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Weekly DNR Fishing Report

Spirit 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 more information contact the Spirit Lake fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840

NORTHWEST
Arrowhead Lake
Water clarity is good. Bluegill – Fair: Cast a small jig fished under a bobber near submerged structure along shore in 5-10 feet of water. Try small popping plugs on a fly rod on calm evenings. Cast plugs around downed trees along the shoreline. Try drifting down the middle of the lake with a 1/16 ounce leadhead to find suspended fish. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Cast traditional bass lures near submerged woody structure throughout the lake and along weed lines in the southern part of the lake.

Black Hawk Lake
Water level is roughly 5 inches below crest. Yellow Perch – Slow. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Cast traditional bass lures and plastics along shore and near docks. You can catch fish anywhere around the lake, but some of the best areas are Ice House point shoreline, inlet bay and bridge area near the outlet, and along Gunshot Hill. Walleye – Slow. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use natural baits like nightcrawlers, crawdads or shrimp fished around deeper rock piles. Try drifting at night to cover a lot of water. Target catfish around the inlet bridge, especially if there is some flow following a rain event. Bluegill – Slow: Fish the deeper rock piles near Gunshot Hill and in the east basin. Black Crappie – Slow: Use a small white jig or a small live minnow under a bobber around and inside the fish house. Many crappie are 8 to 9-inches, but a few bigger ones are mixed in.

Browns Lake
Channel Catfish – Fair: Look for channel catfish along the outside bend of the lake in deeper water. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Look for largemouth bass along the edges of the lotus patches and the deadfalls along the outside bend of the lake.

Brushy Creek Lake
Brushy Creek has been drawn down about four feet for a construction project. Launch boats at the north ramp or the west ramp; docks have been adjusted at the west ramp to make them easier to use. Black Crappie – Fair: Use a small piece of crawler or minnow on a jig either drifting or fished under a bobber near submerged woody structure. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Throw traditional bass lures, plastics or weedless lures near submerged structure and along weed lines. Yellow Perch – Slow. Walleye – Slow. Bluegill – Fair. Channel Catfish – Fair: Brushy Creek Lake has a low-density population of larger channel catfish. Target these larger fish near rocky areas and submerged woody structure using a variety of cut baits and crankbaits fished near the bottom in 10-15 feet of water.

North Raccoon River (above State Highway 175 bridge near Auburn)
River levels are low; fish are concentrated in the deeper holes. Channel Catfish – Fair: Target catfish in the deeper areas with cut bait, liver or stinkbait fished on the bottom. Walleye – Fair: Water clarity is good. Look for walleye in deeper areas; use crawlers, twisters or crankbaits.

North Twin Lake
Water levels are several inches below crest. Water temperature is in the mid-70’s. Yellow Bass – Fair: Use a small jig tipped with a piece of crawler or waxworm fished under a small bobber. Yellow bass are 6-10 inches long.Try around the dead falls and woody structure along the shoreline just to the south of Featherstone Park. Channel Catfish – Fair: Channel catfish are numerous in North Twin Lake. If fishing from shore, let the bait sit near the bottom. Use natural baits like nightcrawlers, crawdads, or shrimp fished near shore. If fishing from a boat, try drifting at night over deeper water. Bluegill – Slow: Try small jigs tipped with a crawler fished under a bobber near vegetation edges. Walleye – Slow: Try trolling walleye in the middle of the basin using crankbaits or crawler harnesses. Recent surveys show a lot of big walleye along the wooded shoreline just south of Muddy Bay and Featherstone Park.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Storm Lake has a daily limit of 3 walleye, and all 17- to 22-inch walleye must be released; no more than one walleye longer than 22 inches may be taken per day. Walleye – Fair: Drift with leeches or crawlers along the dredge cuts and troll crankbaits or bottom bouncing rigs in the main lake. White Bass – Fair: Pick up white bass from shore and in the main like while trolling. Use twisters, crawlers or crankbaits in the marina, near the inlet and north and east shores in the main lake. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try a variety of dip baits, cut baits and crankbaits fished near shore and anywhere with rocky structure or rock piles. Bluegill – Slow: Find panfish around patches of vegetation. Yellow Perch – Slow: Look for panfish around patches of vegetation. Black Crappie – Slow: Find panfish around patches of vegetation.

Water temperatures have warmed slightly to the mid-70’s in most parts of the Black Hawk District. River levels are low and most lake levels are below crest. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.

Beeds Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Use a small piece of crawler under a bobber from the causeway. Black Crappie – Slow: Drift fish a minnow or small tube jig. Yellow Bass – Fair.

Clear Lake
The water temperature is in the low 70’s. Walleye – Fair: Anglers are catching walleyes jigging a crawler on the rock reefs. Best bite is early morning and late evening. Yellow Bass – Good: Yellows are biting on small jigs tipped with a piece of crawler. Use your electronics to find and stay on fish. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try cut bait or crawlers fished on the bottom from the windswept shore. Evening bite is best.

Crystal Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Drift fish a minnow or small jig near the dredge cut. Largemouth Bass – Fair.

Rice Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Use a piece of crawler under a bobber in the open areas of vegetation. Largemouth Bass – Fair.

Silver Lake (Worth)
Bluegill – Fair: Drift fish a small jig or piece of crawler.

For information on the lakes and rivers in north central Iowa, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.

East Okoboji Lake
The walleye season is open. The water temperature is 72 degrees. Bluegill – Good: Find schools in deeper water. Black Crappie – Fair. Yellow Perch – Good. Yellow Bass – Good.

Lake Pahoja
Bluegill – Good: Use small jigs tipped with waxworms. Black Crappie – Good: Try small jigs tipped with waxworms. Largemouth Bass – Good: Use rubber worms or other slow-moving jigs.

Lost Island Lake
Yellow Perch – Fair. Walleye – Fair.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Walleye – Good.

Spirit Lake
The walleye season is open. A great yellow perch bite has slowed down, with many yellows over 10 inches caught. Bites should pick up again as temperatures drop. The water temperature is 70 degrees. Bluegill – Good: Schools are starting to move deeper off shore post-spawn. Walleye – Fair: A fairly good bite lately can also be seen from shore. Try bottom bouncers or crankbaits to cover more water. Black Bullhead – Fair: Anglers have been successful at the north grade. Yellow Perch – Fair: The bite has really picked up; fish are a little deeper than what can be easily fished from shore. Try small humps in the main basin or weed edges.

West Okoboji Lake
The walleye season is open. The water temperature is 72 degrees. The panfish bite has been great.The ability to anchor or use Spot Lock is very useful to stay on fish in about 20-30 feet of water. Bluegill – Excellent: Schools are deeper off shore. Try fishing in 20-30 feet of water off most points. Anglers have had success using pilkies. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Find smallmouth bass on rock piles or on the points. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Find largemouth bass on the weed lines. Yellow Perch – Fair: Schools have started to move deeper off shore. Yellow Bass – Excellent: Easily find yellow bass while fishing for bluegill.

Iowa Great Lake water temperatures have cooled down a bit and are 72 degrees. This week’s extended forecast calls for cooler temperatures with highs in the upper 80’s to mid-50’s. The area walleye bite has slowed considerably due to very warm water conditions. The panfish bite has been excellent in deeper water, especially on West Okoboji. The overall bite should pick up as temperatures go down. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.