August 28, 2014 - 2:40 pm - Posted in Sports

Iowa DNRThe Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For more information contact the Spirit Lake fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.

Northwest

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

The dredge machine is in operation on Storm Lake.  Boaters should use caution and stay clear of the dredge machine, booster pump barge, and pipeline.  Channel Catfish – Fair: Try shrimp, dip bait or cut bait.  Walleye – Fair: Some keepers and slot fish are being caught trolling cranks.

Big Spirit Lake

Northern Pike – Fair: Anglers using spinner baits near weed edges have been catching a few harvestable size fish.  Largemouth Bass – Fair: Soft plastics and spinner baits worked near vertical structures should produce a few decent bass right now.  Walleye – Slow: Harvest has been slow but a few anglers are having good success with live bait presented VERY slowly. Let the action of your leech or shiner bring in the fish, don’t be drag racing them around the lake.

East Okoboji Lake

Channel Catfish – Good: Cut bait, chicken livers, and stink bait presented in the evenings and overnight hours is producing a number of nice aggressive catfish for anglers. Bluegill – Fair: Small ice jigs tipped with red worms or other live bait when presented near weed lines is producing some angler acceptable fish right now. Early morning seems to be when most folks are fishing these spots.  Yellow Perch – Fair: Pilkies tipped with red worms worked near rocky points have been producing a few nice perch. Be prepared to sort some small ones, but anglers can count on keeping some for the freezer.  Walleye – Fair: Anglers with the best success are working deeper areas with both live bait rigs and deep running crank baits. Trolling across the deep ends of structure is producing a few nice keepers. Make sure to slow your presentation way down when using live bait, fish have been hitting very softly.  Yellow Bass – Good: Deep weed lines and structures are providing the best action to anglers who use small jigs tipped with live bait.

West Okoboji Lake

Bluegill – Good: Tiny jigs tipped with live bait have been producing a few keepers when worked near the edges of weed beds. The bite seems to be best at first light.  Yellow Perch – Good: Smaller fish need to be sorted out, but red worms tipping a pilkie have been producing some nice action for anglers.  Walleye – Fair: A few walleyes are being harvested from rocky points using leeches and crawler rigs presented slowly. Lots of folks have been fishing these areas at first light until 9 a.m. or so.  Yellow Bass – Good: Small jigs tipped with wigglers will get you some nice action.

August 21, 2014 - 3:27 pm - Posted in Sports

Iowa DNRThe Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For more information contact the Spirit Lake fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.

Northwest

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

The dredge machine is in operation on Storm Lake.  Boaters should use caution and stay clear of the dredge machine, booster pump barge, and pipeline.  Channel Catfish – Fair: Try shrimp, dip bait, or cut bait. Walleye – Fair: Some keepers and slot fish are being caught trolling cranks.

Big Spirit Lake

Northern Pike – Fair: Anglers using spinner baits near weed edges have been catching a few harvestable size fish.  Largemouth Bass – Fair: Soft plastics and spinner baits worked near vertical structures should produce a few decent bass right now.  Walleye – Slow: The best action has been on live bait presented very slowly near weed lines and rocky points. Overnight anglers using leeches under a lighted slip bobber have been finding a few 16 inchers shallow.  Muskellunge – Good: Quite a few nice muskies have been caught on Big Spirit the past couple weeks.

East Okoboji Lake

Channel Catfish – Good: Cut bait, chicken livers, and stink bait presented in the evenings and overnight is producing a number of nice aggressive catfish. Bluegill – Fair: Small ice jigs tipped with red worms or other live bait when presented near weed lines is producing some angler acceptable fish. Early morning seems to be when most are fishing these spots.  Yellow Perch – Fair: Pilkies tipped with red worms worked near rocky points have been producing a few nice perch. Be prepared to sort some small ones, but anglers can count on keeping some for the freezer.  Walleye – Fair: Anglers with the best success are working deeper areas with both live bait rigs and deep running crankbaits. Trolling across the deep ends of structure is producing a few nice keepers.  Yellow Bass – Good: Deep weed lines and structures are providing the best action to anglers who use small jigs tipped with live bait.

West Okoboji Lake

Bluegill – Good: Tiny jigs tipped with live bait have been producing a few keepers when worked near the edges of weed beds. The bite seems to be best at first light.  Yellow Perch – Good: Fishing has slowed a little bit but anglers are still catching quite a few perch by working deep weed lines and rocky structures with live bait.  Walleye – Fair: A few walleyes are being harvested from rocky points using leeches and crawler rigs presented slowly. Lots of folks have been fishing these areas at first light until 9 a.m. or so.  Yellow Bass – Good: Small jigs tipped with wigglers will get you some nice action.

August 19, 2014 - 12:10 pm - Posted in Sports

Iowa DNRLast year Iowa had six treestand falls, all resulting in personal injury. Tree stand incidents are one of the leading causes of injury to hunters. The DNR urges hunters to utilize the following safety tips:

· National studies show that up to 30 percent of hunters that use a treestand without using/wearing the proper safety equipment will fall during their lifetime.

· Always wear a safety harness, also known as a fall arrest system, when you are in a tree stand, as well as when climbing into or out of a tree stand. 1 in 2 treestand users do not use a fall arrest device.

· 86 percent of treestand incidents occur while climbing in and out of a stand

· A safety strap should be attached to the tree to prevent you from falling more than 12 inches.

· Always inspect the safety harness for signs of wear or damage before each use.

· Follow all manufactures’ instructions for use of a safety harness and stand.

· Follow the three point rule of tree stand safety. Always have three points of contact to the steps or ladder before moving. This could be two arms and one leg holding and stepping on the ladder or one arm and two legs in contact with the ladder before moving. Be cautious that rain, frost, ice, or snow can cause steps to become extremely slippery. Check the security of the step before placing your weight on it.

· Always hunt with a plan and if possible a buddy. Before you leave home, let others know your exact hunting location, when you plan to return and who is with you.

· Always carry emergency signal devices such as a cell phone, walkie-talkie, whistle, signal flare, PLD (personal locator device) and flashlight on your person at all times and within reach even while you are suspended in your FAS. Watch for changing weather conditions. In the event of an incident, remain calm and seek help immediately.

· Always select the proper tree for use with your tree stand. Select a live straight tree that fits within the size limits recommended in your tree stand’s instructions. Do not climb or place a tree stand against a leaning tree.

· Never leave a tree stand installed for more than two weeks since damage could result from changing weather conditions and/or from other factors not obvious with a visual inspection.

· Always use a haul line to pull up your gear and unloaded firearm or bow to your tree stand once you have reached your desired hunting height. Never climb with anything in your hands or on your back. Prior to descending, lower your equipment on the opposite side of the tree.

· Always know your physical limitations. Don’t take chances. Do not climb when using drugs, alcohol or if you’re sick or un-rested. If you start thinking about how high you are, don’t go any higher.

· For more treestand safety tips visit: http://www.tmastands.com/_safety.html

August 19, 2014 - 12:05 pm - Posted in Sports

Iowa DNRIt was not hard to see why the mourning dove is the most populous game bird in North America. As we bounced through the picked field, 30 or 40 lifted off ahead of us and to the sides; winging away from the millet-baited wire traps that held seven or eight less wary doves.

Yet, this handful of birds and a few more in the next set of wire live traps would bring the DNR wildlife crew from Otter Creek Wildlife Area in Tama County to their banding goal of 100. And over the next day, they would fit another 80 with tiny aluminum leg bands, to pad their quota. “You never catch them all. There are so many doves and we’ll catch only a small percentage,” explained wildlife technician Rodney Ellingson.

Setups across Iowa in August yield similar results…where 2,000 banded doves is the goal for this summer. Since 2003, 18,000 doves have been banded and released in Iowa. As any are harvested or recaptured, those bands tell wildlife biologists a lot about where the birds nest, age structure, their migration habits and just how many mourning doves are out there.

Even in mid-August, doves were on the move.

“We see a lot more birds. We know some are local, some are early migrants,” noted Ellingson. “Yesterday, we had some (already banded) recaptures; probably from the northern part of the state. They are definitely on the move; after a few cooler nights.”

That is what hunters want to see, with Iowa’s dove season opening September 1. The state’s newest season, hunters are still ‘trickling’ into the dove fields; as more learn how to hunt the elusive, fast moving game bird.

“An estimated 8,200 dove hunters harvested about 118,000 doves in 2013,” said DNR upland wildlife research biologist Todd Bogenschutz. “Band return data shows hunters harvest about 2 percent of Iowa’s doves.  The population has remained stable here over the last decade.”

Regionally, the 2013 estimated dove population in the Central Management Unit was 141 million.

Scouting is important for successful dove hunting. Many of the better areas are along food plots on public hunting areas and on private fields enrolled in IHAP—Iowa’s Hunter Access Program. Sunflowers have proven most popular in the first three seasons.  Contact the area wildlife biologist for locations of dove plots.  Observations by field staff indicate an abundance of doves this fall.  Visit http://www.iowadnr.gov/Hunting/MigratoryGameBirds/MourningDoves.aspx for more information.

Iowa’s mourning dove season runs through November 9, 2014.  The daily bag limit is 15 doves (Mourning and Eurasian Collared combined) with a possession limit of 30.  Shooting hours are half hour before sunrise to sunset.  Dove hunters are required to register with the federal Harvest Information Program (HIP). Hunters can register with HIP online or thru any license agent.  Go to http://www.iowadnr.gov/Portals/idnr/uploads/Hunting/migratoryregs.pdf for information.

Non-toxic shot is not required for dove hunting except on areas requiring it be used.  A list of public areas requiring non-toxic shot for doves is in the 2014-15 hunting regulations (p. 17) http://www.iowadnr.gov/Hunting/HuntingLicensesLaws.aspx

August 18, 2014 - 9:23 am - Posted in Community Calendar, Sports

Sibley Kiwanis will hold their annual Golf Tournament on Saturday September 6th, 2014.

Registration fee is $125 dollars per couple. This includes 18 holes of golf, cart rental, hors d’oeuvres, and a steak dinner catered by 1015 Steak House. All golfers are eligible for hole in one prizes, and door prizes that are awarded after the dinner. Tee off time is 12:00 noon.

Sign up by contacting Kyle Grimes 754-2503 or by emailing kgrimes@keithmerrick.com

August 15, 2014 - 9:39 am - Posted in Sports

Iowa DNRDES MOINES – The Natural Resource Commission of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources approved the 2014-14 migratory game bird hunting seasons during its monthly meeting on Thursday.

In the north zone, the seasons for ducks, coots and mergansers is Oct. 4-19 and Oct. 25-Dec. 7, the youth waterfowl season is Sept. 27-28, Canada goose and brant season is Sept. 27-Jan. 2, White-fronted geese is Sept. 27-Dec. 9 and light geese is Sept. 27-Jan. 11.

In the south zone, the seasons for ducks, coots and mergansers is Oct. 4-8 and Oct. 18-Dec. 11, the youth waterfowl season is Oct. 11-12, Canada goose and brant season is Oct. 4-Jan. 9, White-fronted geese is Oct. 4-Dec. 16 and light geese is Oct. 4-Jan. 16.

In the Missouri River zone, the seasons for ducks, coots and mergansers is Oct. 4-8 and Oct. 25-Dec. 18, the youth waterfowl season is Oct. 18-19, Canada goose and brant season is Oct. 11-Jan. 16, White-fronted geese is Oct. 11-Dec. 23 and light geese is Oct. 11-Jan. 16.

Commissioners also approved reducing the daily bag limit for canvasbacks to one.

A statewide special September Teal season is Sept. 6-21. The daily bag limit is six with a possession limit of 18 of green-winged, blue-winged and cinnamon teal only. No other ducks may be taken.

Special September teal season shooting hours are different than regular duck season hours. Teal season shooting hours are sunrise to sunset.

The migratory game bird hunting regulations booklet is available online at www.iowadnr.gov/hunting.

 

August 15, 2014 - 9:33 am - Posted in Sports

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For more information contact the Spirit Lake fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.

Northwest:

Big Spirit Lake

Bullhead – Fair: Anglers are reporting a decent bullhead bite in the evenings. A great opportunity to get some kids out fishing for these hard fighting fish. Sinking a night crawler to the bottom should do just the trick.  Northern Pike – Fair: A few pike are being harvested by anglers using spinner baits near weed beds.  Largemouth Bass – Fair: Soft plastics and spinner baits worked near vertical structures should produce a few decent bass right now.  Walleye – Slow: A few slot fish are still being caught but harvest has been tough the past few weeks for daytime anglers. The best action has been on live bait presented very slowly near weed lines and rocky points. Overnight anglers using leeches under a lighted slip bobber have been finding a few 16 inchers up shallow as well.

East Okoboji Lake

Channel Catfish – Good: Cut bait, chicken livers and stink bait presented in the evenings and overnight hours is producing a number of nice aggressive catfish. Bluegill – Fair: Small ice jigs tipped with red worms or other live bait when presented near weed lines is producing some angler acceptable fish right now. Early morning seems to be when most folks are fishing these spots.  Walleye – Fair: Anglers with the best success are working deeper areas with both live bait rigs and deep running crankbaits. Trolling across the deep ends of structure is producing a few nice keepers.  Yellow Bass – Fair: Deep weed lines and structures are providing the best action using small jigs tipped with live bait.

Little Spirit Lake

We have received no information regarding fishing on this water body this week.

West Okoboji Lake

Bluegill – Good: Tiny jigs tipped with live bait have been producing a few keepers when worked near the edges of weed beds. The bite seems to be best at first light.  Yellow Perch – Good: Fishing has slowed a little bit but anglers are still catching quite a few perch by working deep weed lines and rocky structures with live bait.  Walleye – Fair: A few walleyes are being harvested from rocky points using leeches and crawler rigs presented slowly. Lots of folks have been fishing these areas at first light until 9 a.m. or so.

August 7, 2014 - 4:42 pm - Posted in Sports

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For more information contact the Spirit Lake fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.

Northwest:

Big Spirit Lake
Walleye – Slow: Walleye fishing has slowed down recently. A few slot fish are still being caught but harvest has been tough the past week or so. The best action has been on live bait presented very slowly near weedlines and rocky points.
Northern Pike – Fair: A few pike are being harvested by anglers using spinner baits near weedbeds.
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Soft plastics and spinner baits worked near vertical structures should produce a few decent bass right now.

Little Spirit Lake:
Bullhead – Fair: Anglers continue to harvest 9 to 11 inch bullheads from the shorelines using crawler rigs.

East Okoboji Lake
Walleye
 – Fair: Anglers with the best success are working deeper areas with both live bait rigs and deep running crank baits.
Yellow Bass – Fair: Deep weed lines and structures are providing the best action to anglers who use small jigs tipped with live bait.

West Okoboji Lake
Walleye – Fair: A few walleyes are being harvested from rocky points using leeches and crawler rigs presented slowly.
Yellow Perch – Good: Fishing has slowed down a little bit but anglers are still catching quite a few perch by working deep weed lines and rocky structures with live bait.
Bluegill – Fair: Tiny jigs tipped with live bait have been producing a few keepers when worked near the edges of weed beds.

Lost Island Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Using a small jig tipped with live bait near weed edges is producing small size class fish.
Channel Catfish – Good: Using cut or stink bait after dark is producing some nice size cats right now.
Yellow Bass – Fair: Small jigs tipped with twister tails will get you a few small yellows with the occasional keeper.
Yellow Perch – Fair: Small jigs under a slip bobber tipped with live bait near weed lines and rocky structures should attract a few perch for anglers.
White Bass – Fair: A small hair jig tipped with a white or chartreuse twister should get white bass interested.

Storm Lake
The dredge machine is in operation on Storm Lake. Boaters should use caution and stay clear of the dredge machine, booster pump barge, and pipeline.
Channel Catfish – Fair: Try shrimp, dip bait, or cut bait.
Walleye – Fair: Some keepers and slot fish are being caught trolling cranks.

 

July 31, 2014 - 3:43 pm - Posted in Sports

Iowa DNRThe Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For more information contact the Spirit Lake fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.

NORTHWEST

Storm Lake

Walleye – Slow: Walleye fishing has slowed down considerably, but some anglers are still catching a few around the dredge cuts. Channel Catfish: Fair – try using cut bait, dip bait, or shrimp. The dredge machine is in operation on Storm Lake.  Boaters should use caution and stay clear of the dredge machine, booster pump barge, and pipeline.

Big Spirit Lake

Northern Pike – Fair: A few pike are being harvested using spinner baits near weed beds.  Walleye – Slow: Walleye fishing has slowed down recently. A few slot fish are still being caught but harvest has been tough the past week or so. The best action has been on live bait presented very slowly near weed lines and rocky points.

Little Spirit Lake

Bullhead – Fair: Anglers continue to harvest 9-11-inch bullheads from the shorelines using crawler rigs.

East Okoboji Lake

Walleye – Fair: Anglers with the best success are working deeper areas with both live bait rigs and deep running crank baits. Yellow Bass – Fair: Deep weed lines and structures are providing the best action to anglers who use small jigs tipped with live bait.

West Okoboji Lake

Yellow Perch – Fair: Fishing has slowed down a little bit but anglers are still catching quite a few perch by working deep weed lines and rocky structures with live bait. Walleye – Fair: A few walleyes are being harvested from rocky points using leeches and crawler rigs presented slowly.

July 17, 2014 - 4:49 pm - Posted in Sports

DNR logoSpirit Lake, Iowa — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For current information, contact the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.

NORTHWEST

West Okoboji Lake

Remember that all walleyes between 17 and 22 inches must be released alive immediately upon catching.  Bluegill – Good: Anglers working deep weed beds have been catching some nice bluegills using small jigs tipped with live bait.  Yellow Perch – Good: Anglers working rock structures have been catching a number of nice yellow perch using small jigs tipped with live bait.

East Okoboji Lake

Remember that all walleyes between 17 and 22 inches must be released alive immediately upon catching.  Walleye – Fair: The catch has been dominated by small walleyes with the occasional angler acceptable size. Boats working the areas around Jingle’s Point and Charlestrom beach have been seeing the most action.  Yellow Bass – Good: Small yellow bass continue to be caught near the spillway with a few nice ones mixed into the fray. Jig heads tipped with shiners should work well.

Big Spirit Lake

Remember that all walleyes between 17 and 22 inches must be released alive immediately upon catching. Northern Pike – Fair: A few pike have been caught by running spinner baits over or near the edge of the major weed lines.  Smallmouth Bass – Good: Jerk baits and jigs tipped with live bait have been producing a few bass near rocky points and other deep water structure.  Largemouth Bass – Good: Fishermen using spinner baits and soft plastics have reported catching bass near docks and other vertical structures.  Walleye – Fair: The catch is dominated by 20-inch walleyes currently with the best action on live baits near weed beds and deep rocky structures.   Black Bullhead – Fair:

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

Channel Catfish – Excellent: Angler reports indicate fish being caught on chicken livers, night crawlers, chubs and stink bait.  White Bass – Good: Anglers are catching fish using shiny spoons like Kastmasters.  Walleye – Fair: A few limits of fish have been reported trolling scatter raps.

Little Sioux River (state line to Linn Grove)

Channel Catfish – Good: Chicken liver or cut bait worked near snags and deep pools should produce some nice action right now.

Little Sioux River (Linn Grove to Correctionville)

Water levels are still above normal but falling.  Channel Catfish – Fair: Fish have been caught around brush piles and creek mouths with stink bait.  New brush piles have formed this year so care should be taken if boating.