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
Ice thickness at the boat ramp is 4-5 inches of good ice under two inches of poor quality ice.
Black Hawk Lake
Ice thickness is 6-7 inches in front of the Ice House Point boat ramp. Ice in the east basin is more variable and may have thinner areas. Use caution if venturing out; check ice thickness often. Most angling activity has been near the Ice House Point boat ramp and near the Gunshot Hill shoreline. Ice is thinner in the inlet bridge bay. Black Crappie – Fair: Try waxworms and small live minnows. Sorting is needed; 8-10 inch fish reported. . Yellow Perch – Fair: Fair to good bite. Most have been picked up in the southwest portion of the lake between Provost Point and Ice House Point in 3-7 feet of water. You may have to move to find fish. Use waxworms or live minnows on a small jig. Most fish are 6- to 10-inches with some 11- to 12-inches. Walleye – Fair: Anglers have picked up occasional walleyes with jigging spoons and minnow heads. Low light conditions are more productive. Bluegill – Fair: Try a waxworm on a small jig fished in 3-6 feet of water. Sorting is needed.
Black Hawk Pits
Ice thickness near the boat ramp is 5-6 inches of good ice under 2 inches of poor quality ice. Ice conditions are variable; use caution and check ice often. This is a good place to target bluegill, crappie, and yellow perch through the ice.
Brushy Creek Lake
Ice is variable; areas with fishing activity have roughly 5 inches of ice in most places. Reports of open water and thinner ice near the beach at the southwest part of the lake. Expect thinner ice near the spillway and near any inflows in the arms. Anglers have been out on foot at the north end, mid-lake and near the south end boat ramp. Use caution and check ice thickness often. Yellow Perch – Fair: Try minnows and waxworms fished in 10-20 feet of water. Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers have had luck in 10-20 feet of water. Walleye – Fair: Anglers have picked up the occasional walleye. Use a jigging spoon with a small minnow or minnow head.
North Twin Lake
Ice remains variable; use caution and check ice thickness often if you venture out. Anglers have been out; foot traffic only at this time. Anglers have had luck with panfish and the occasional walleye while fishing the very southwest corner of the lake and near the narrows in front the state park beach. Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers have picked up crappie along the southwest shoreline of the lake. The bite is hit or miss; morning and evening bite is best.
Storm Lake (incl Little Storm Lake)
Ice conditions remain variable with 9-10 inches of ice in locations and much thinner areas mid-lake that were just recently frozen over. Reports of heaves and thinner ice near the big island. Use caution and check ice thickness often. Yellow Perch – Fair: Anglers are picking up perch with waxworms and minnows near the dredge cuts along the west side of the lake. Walleye – Fair: Use jigging spoons with a minnow during low light conditions near the dredge cuts. Black Crappie – Fair: Try a waxworm or minnow on a small jigging spoon in 5-10 feet of water.
Ice conditions vary and can change quickly from one area to another; use caution and check thickness often if venturing out. Most ice in the district is between 5 -10 inches with the occasional pocket of open water, seam, or thin ice in the main basins. . For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.
Ice thickness is 4 to 6 inches. Waterfowl have kept a hole open on the northeast side of the lake. Yellow Bass – Fair. Bluegill – Fair. Black Crappie – Fair.
Ice thickness is 3 to 8 inches. Yellow Bass – Fair: Use a small jig tipped with a spikes. Yellow Perch – Excellent: Anglers fishing the Farmers beach area are catching perch in 2 to 6 feet of water on small jigs. You may have to use larger bait to catch the bigger fish. Walleye – Slow. Black Crappie – Slow.
Ice thickness is 3 to 5 inches. Yellow Perch – Good: Anglers are catching lots of 3- to 7-inch fish. Yellow Bass – Fair: Catch 5- to 8-inch yellows on small jigs tipped with a waxworm. Black Crappie – Slow. Bluegill – Slow.
Lower Pine Lake
Ice thickness is about 7 inches off the boat ramp. Waterfowl have a large hole open between the island and beach. Ice thickness can vary dramatically on Lower Pine Lake due to springs. Use caution and check thickness as you go.
Ice thickness varies from 4 to 7 inches. Yellow Perch – Fair: Use jigs tipped with bait.
Silver Lake (Worth)
Ice thickness is 3 to 7 inches. Bluegill – Fair.
Upper Pine Lake
Ice thickness is about 5 inches off the boat ramp. Ice thickness can vary dramatically on Upper Pine due to springs and slush covering the lake before good ice formation. Most anglers have stayed close to the west shoreline. Use caution and check thickness as you go.
For information on the lakes and rivers in north central Iowa, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.
Caution: Winter aeration system is currently in use.
Dog Creek (Lake)
Fishing has been fair to good.
East Okoboji Lake
The walleye season is open. Ice conditions vary across the lake with around 9 inches with some bad spots that have more recently frozen over in recent weeks. Bluegill – Good: Easily catch lots of bluegill; a lot of sorting may be needed with many 7.5- to 9-inch fish. Yellow Perch – Fair. Black Crappie – Fair.
Caution: Winter aeration system is currently in use. Yellow Perch – Fair: Anglers are catching larger yellow perch, but with low frequency.
Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs tipped with waxworms. Black Crappie – Fair: Try small jigs tipped with waxworms.
Lost Island Lake
Ice conditions range from 7-10.5 inches. A good amount of fishing pressure has been seen recently. Yellow Perch – Good. Walleye – Fair.
Bluegill – Good: Lots of 4- to 6-inch fish are being caught. Black Crappie – Good.
Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Caution: Winter aeration system is currently in use. Ice conditions are around 9.5 inches, but can be variable. Use extreme caution; a side-by-side went through the ice the last week of December. Walleye – Fair.
The walleye season is open. Ice conditions vary across the lake with 7-11 inches. Be wary out on the main basin with areas that have more recently frozen over. Yellow Perch – Fair: Perch fishing has been tough, but once you find them, many quality 9- to 10.5-inchers have been caught. Walleye – Fair: Walleye bite has been tough, but anglers have been able to limit out.
West Okoboji Lake
The walleye season is open. West Okoboji was the last lake to fully ice up on Dec. 25. . Ice conditions vary 7-11 inches in the bays (North Bay- 9 inches; Millers Bay – 8 inches; Emerson Bay – 9.5 inches; Smiths Bay -10 inches). Be wary out on the main basin as there are areas that have more recently frozen over; venturing far out is not recommended. Panfishing has been good in many of the bays where many anglers have been able to sight fish. Yellow Perch – Fair. Bluegill – Good.
Iowa Great Lakes are fully iced up with conditions ranging from 8-10 inches. There are still many spots in the main basins that are somewhat freshly covered; use caution when going out. The use of ATV’s is not recommended. Remember to bring a form of ice picks, a form of flotation, a friend, and be smart out on the ice! For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.