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Dec. 9 Iowa fishing report

December 10, 2010 at 01:55 AM

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 district fisheries office at the phone number listed at the end of each district report.

NORTHWEST

Brushy Creek Lake

Water clarity at Brushy Creek is excellent.  The docks and fishing cleaning stations have been removed for the winter.  The majority of Brushy Creek still has open water.  There is about 1 inch of ice covering the northern portions of the lake.

Bacon Creek Lake

Approximately 1,500 rainbow trout were stocked into Bacon Creek on November 10.  Iowa residents and nonresidents who are required to have a fishing license must pay the Trout Fee to fish for or possess trout.  Exceptions: Iowa residents and nonresidents under 16 years old may possess trout without having paid the Trout Fee if they fish with a properly licensed adult who has paid the Trout Fee and together they limit their catch to the one person daily limit of five trout.  Rainbow Trout - Excellent: Rainbow trout bite readily off the stocking truck.  Try casting small spinners or rooster tails.  Small live bait also works well.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

Ice thickness on Storm Lake is around 3 to 4 inches out in the main basin.  Ice is 8 to 9 inches thick near the inlet where most of the fishing is taking place.  Walleye - Good: Anglers are doing well for walleye near the inlet to the lake.  A number of anglers have been catching their limit in a few hours or less.  Try using a minnow and a bobber or a super duper and a minnow head.  One angler reported that Macho Minnow super glo baited with a minnow half has been very effective. Daily bag limit at Storm Lake is three walleye: all 17 to 22-inch walleye must be immediately released, only one walleye over 22 inches may be kept.

North Twin Lake

There is 3 to 4 inches of ice on most of the lake with thicker ice near shore.

Swan Lake

The majority of Swan Lake is frozen over with the exception of one open water area being kept open by the geese.

Black Hawk Lake

Ice is 3 to 4 inches thick.  Use caution as waterfowl are keeping some holes open on the lake.  The winter aeration system will begin operation this week creating pockets of open water and thin ice in the town bay area. On Black Hawk Lake walleye must be at least 15 inches in length to keep and only three per day may be kept.

Browns Lake

There is 3 to 4 inches of ice on Browns Lake.

Snyder Bend Lake

Snyder Bend has open water areas and 3 to 4 inches of ice in other areas.

Arrowhead Lake

Ice is 3 to 4 inches thick in Arrowhead.

For more information on the lakes and rivers in this area contact Ben Wallace or Don Herrig at the Black Hawk Fish Management Office in Lake View at 712-657-2638.

Lower Pine Lake

Anglers are reporting ice thickness ranging from 3 to 5 inches.

Upper Pine Lake

Anglers are reporting ice thickness ranging from 3 to 5 inches.

Clear Lake

Ice depths on Clear Lake range from 3 to 8 inches.  Anglers must use caution and drill test holes when going out.  Many spots on Clear Lake still had open water late last week so ice thickness is not the same throughout!  There is a pressure seam that runs from Dodge’s Point north to the Harbourage Canal that anglers should avoid.  A few anglers are getting out on the little lake, but not many are reporting success yet.

Rice Lake

Ice depths are 4 to 8 inches.  A few anglers are reporting catches of crappie and yellow perch.  Use caution when heading out.

Silver Lake (Worth)

Ice depths vary from 3 to 7 inches.  Not much angling activity yet.  As the early ice season progresses Silver Lake can be good for yellow perch and northern pike.

Blue Pit

Blue Pit is not completely frozen.  Waterfowl have kept some holes open.  Ice angling is not advised at this time.  Rainbow trout were stocked the week of Thanksgiving and should provide great fishing opportunities once the ice thickness is safe enough for foot travel.

Bluebill Lake

Ice depth is 3 to 6 inches.

Fin and Feather Lake

Ice depth is 4 to 8 inches.

Ice fishing in the Clear Lake district is beginning.  Area lakes are almost completely frozen over with some exceptions.  For more information call the Clear Lake office at 641-357-3517.

Lake Pahoja

No report on ice conditions.  Bluegill - Fair: Fish brush piles with small ice jigs tipped with wax worms/wigglers.

Big Spirit Lake

Ice report: Marble Beach boat ramp 7 inches, Crandall’s Beach 6.5 inches, The Grade 6 inches, North end of Angler’s Bay 8 inches, and Hale Slough boat ramp 6 inches.  Bluegill - Fair: Look for open holes in the weed beds on the north end of Angler’s Bay use small ice jigs tipped with wax worms in 6 to 8 feet of water.  Crappie - Fair: Look for open holes in the weed beds on the north end of Angler’s Bay or fish in Templar Lagoon around the docks.  Use small ice jigs tipped with wax worms or plastics.  Yellow Perch - Fair: Fish are being caught on the main lake tipping jigging spoons with a minnow head or a slip bobber with a live minnow.  Walleye - Good: Fish rock bars or weed lines at sunrise or sunset with jigging lures tipped with a minnow head and dead sticking with a minnow on a small hook below a split shot.

East Okoboji Lake

Ice report: Hattie Alston boat ramp 4 inches.

Minnewashta Lake

Ice report:  North boat ramp 6.5 inches.  White Bass - Fair: Use small jigs tipped with wax worms/wigglers.  Yellow Perch - Fair: Fish with small ice jigs tipped with wigglers. Anglers are reporting fish up to 8 inches.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)

No report on ice conditions.  Yellow Perch - Slow: A few fish are being caught while walleye fishing.  Walleye - Fair: Use jigging lures tipped with a minnow head at sunrise or sunset.

West Okoboji Lake

Ice report: Emerson Bay boat ramp 5 inches; Spencer Beach 1 inch; canals 5 inches; south shore of Millers Bay 3 inches; Lazy Lagoon (Triboji) Beach 3.5 inches.  Bluegill - Fair: Fish in the canals with small ice jigs tipped with wax worms/wigglers or plastics.  Crappie - Fair: Fish in the canals with small ice jigs tipped with plastics.

Five Island Lake

No report on ice conditions.  Crappie - Fair: Fish for suspended fish with minnows or wax worms along drop-offs.  Yellow Perch - Slow: A few fish are being caught while fishing for walleye and crappie.  Walleye - Fair: Fish drop offs with jigging lures tipped with a minnow head.

Lost Island Lake

No report on ice conditions.  Walleye - Fair: Fish the rock bars while using jigging lures tipped with a minnow head.

Willow Creek

No report on ice conditions.  Bluegill - Fair: Use small ice jigs tipped with wax worms/wigglers.

Upper Gar Lake

Ice report: Boat ramp 7.5 inches.  Bluegill - Slow: Lots of small fish are being caught using small ice jigs tipped with a wax worm.  Yellow Perch - Slow: Lots of small perch are being caught using small ice jigs tipped with a wax worm.

Tuttle Lake

No report for ice conditions.  Crappie - Fair: Use small ice jigs tipped with live bait.  Yellow Perch - Fair: Use a slip bobber and minnow.  Walleye - Fair: Use jigging lures tipped with live bait.

Silver Lake (Palo Alto)

No report on ice conditions.  Yellow Perch - Fair: Use a jigging lure tipped with a minnow head or slip bobber fish with a live minnow.  Walleye - Fair: Use jigging lures tipped with a minnow at sunrise or sunset.

Scharnberg Pond

On December 18 at 12:30 p.m., Scharnberg Park, 5 miles west of Spencer on Highway B24, will receive the first of two trout stocking this winter. A fishing clinic will be held before the trout stocking.  This will be an excellent event for families to attend that are interested in ice fishing.  Please refer to the Iowa Fishing Regulations Booklet or the Iowa DNR website for trout stamp requirements.  Rainbow Trout - Excellent: Trout anglers at other lakes in Iowa have reported great success using jigging spoons tipped with wax worms or synthetic trout baits.

Iowa Lake (Osceola County)

Ice report: 5 to 6 inches.  Northern Pike - Fair: Pike are being caught by perch anglers while using minnows.  Yellow Perch - Fair: Use a slip bobber above a minnow.

Ice conditions are variable on area lakes.  Extreme caution should be used when ever going out onto the ice.  For more fishing information on the Spirit Lake area call 712-336-1840.

NORTHEAST

Volga Lake

There is about 2 inches of ice under about 8 inches of snow.  Bluegill - No Report:  Largemouth Bass - No Report:  Crappie - No Report:

Lake Hendricks

Ice depths are running about 2 to 4 inches under about 7 inches of snow.  A few folks have been out.  The action has been slow.

Lake Meyer

There is about 1 to 1 1/2 inches of ice under about 8 inches of snow. 

Charles City Impoundment

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

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)

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

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)

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

Cedar River (above Nashua)

A few people have been ice fishing in some of the bays above the Nashua impoundment and are catching a few fish.  Bluegill - Slow: Try wax worms on ice fishing jig.  Crappie - Slow: Crappies are biting on wax worms.  Walleye - No Report:

Decorah District Streams

There are plenty of trout to be caught overwintering in our streams.  Water quality is excellent.  Urban ponds are now being stocked, weather permitting.  For information on when and where, please call the trout stocking number at 563-927-5736 or visit our website at http://www.iowadnr.gov/fish/news/stockrep/urban.html.

Ice and snow depths vary from lake to lake.  Please use caution when going out on the ice.  Trout streams continue to provide good action.  For more information about a specific stream or river, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.

Silver Lake (Delaware)

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

Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)

Ice conditions are reported as 3 inches of good clear ice. Casey Lake is ready for ice-fishing and has received some light pressure. Caution is advised until ice thickness increases.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Jigs tipped with a wax worm has been providing good action. There is an 18 inch length limit for largemouth bass on Casey Lake.

Brinker Lake

Ice fishing is not advised at this time. Brinker Lake is a deep lake with high wind-fetch, which slows ice formation. Brinker is now iced over, but open water was observed as of Monday (12-6).

George Wyth Lake

Ice conditions are reported at 3 to 4 inches of good ice. George Wyth Lake is ready for ice fishing and a good season is anticipated based on fish population surveys. Caution is advised until ice thickness increases.  Bluegill - Fair: Try numerous small ice fishing jigs and a variety of colors tipped with a wax worm.  Crappie - Fair: Locate structure and find crappie suspended in and around the structure at various depths.

Avenue of the Saints Pond

Ice conditions are reported as 3 inches of good clear ice. Avenue of Saints Lake is ready for ice fishing and has received some light pressure. Caution is advised until ice thickness increases.  Bluegill - Good: Try numerous small ice fishing jigs and a variety of colors tipped with a wax worm.  Crappie - Fair: Try locating cover and fishing various depths with minnow or wax worm under a bobber.

Plainfield

Ice conditions are reported at 3 to 5 inches of good ice. Plainfield Lake is ready for ice-fishing and has received some light pressure. Caution is advised until ice thickness increases.  Bluegill - Fair: Try numerous small ice fishing jigs and a variety of colors tipped with a wax worm.  Largemouth Bass - Fair: Try numerous small ice fishing jigs and a variety of colors tipped with a wax worm.

Ice fishing conditions are favorable as early ice can provide great angling opportunities for panfish. Use extreme caution when entering on to thin ice this time of year. Trout streams remain in excellent condition and hold good numbers of trout throughout the winter months. For further information contact the district office in Manchester at 563-927-3276.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9

Ice report as of Tuesday, December 7:  ice in Minnesota Slough by New Albin is still unsafe.  No anglers have been out fishing in that area.  A few anglers have been out by the Village Creek ramp but most fishing is taking place in Shore Slough above Lansing with ice ranging from 2 to 5 inches.  Bluegill - Good: Anglers reporting a lot of Bluegill being caught in Shore Slough above Lansing with about 1 out of 3 being quality size fish.  Crappie - Fair: Not many crappie being reported but a few quality size fish have been caught.  Yellow Perch - Good: Large yellow perch can be found throughout Pool 9 backwaters and anglers may again want to target these fish this upcoming ice fishing season.  Most yellow perch are caught when fishing for bluegills but some anglers may want to try using very small minnows as well.  Perch up to 13 inches will be caught this season!

Mississippi River Pool 10

Ice fishing has begun on Bussey Lake with some of the first anglers getting out on Monday, December 6.  Ice ranges from 2 to 5 inches but anglers should use caution and stay to the upper part of the lake and away from any areas that may have current.  As of Tuesday December 7, no anglers have been able to access Norwegian Lake in the Sny Magill area. Ice in Johnson Slough was unsafe. Anglers have been out on McGregor Lake by Marquette and Ambrough Slough by Prairie Du Chien on 2 to 5 inches   Bluegill - Good: Decent catches of good sized bluegills reported from Bussy Lake. Keep moving to find pockets of biting fish.  Crappie - Fair: A few nice sized crappies reported.  Yellow Perch - Good: Good numbers of perch being caught in Ambrough slough above Prairie Du Chien.

Mississippi River Pool 11

The city ramp and DNR ramps in Guttenberg are blocked with ice.  The marina by Mud Lake has 3 to 5 inches of ice but anglers should use caution trying to get to Zollicoffer and avoid any areas that may have current.  Bluegill - Good: Decent catches of bluegills in the marina by Mud Lake

Ice fishing is just getting under way on the upper pools of the Mississippi, but ice conditions in some areas are still unsafe.  Please practice proper safety when ice fishing on the River, especially early in the season; avoid places with moving current as ice will be uneven in thickness.  Ice thickness is ranging from 5 inches in protected areas to 1 inch or less in open areas or areas with any current.  Boat ramps are iced in, cutting off access for any tail water fishing for walleye.

Mississippi River Pool 16

Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 6.14 feet. Boat ramps are being reported as frozen in. Ice fishing is not advisable due to thin ice conditions.

Mississippi River Pool 17

Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 3.93 feet. The boat ramps in Muscatine are frozen in. Ice fishing in the backwaters is not advisable due to thin ice conditions.

Mississippi River Pool 18

Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 4.64 feet. No fishing information was received for this pool.

Mississippi River Pool 19

Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 2.01 feet. Tail water fishing has been slow. Ice fishing is not advisable due to thin ice conditions.

Pools 16-19: River levels have fallen over the past week. Boat ramps are frozen in. Backwaters are freezing up. Ice fishing is not advisable yet due to thin ice conditions. For more fishing information on Pools 16-19 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

SOUTHEAST

Lake Geode

Unsafe ice conditons.

Lake Belva Deer

Unsafe ice conditions.  Open water off shore of the dam.

Lake of the Hills

The lake is frozen over but the ice is thin.  UNSAFE ICE CONDITIONS.

Lake Darling District Farm Ponds

Some of the smaller area ponds froze over late last week and have about 1 inch of ice on them.  The weather forecast is for a couple of above freezing temp days before the weekend.  Don’t look for much more ice formation before the weekend.

For more information on the above lakes call the Lake Darling Fisheries office at 319-694-2430.

Hannen Lake

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

Rodgers Park Lake

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

Iowa Lake

The lake just froze over on 12/7 and conditions are unsafe.

Kent Park Lake

Ice conditions are reported to be 3 inches but may be variable in areas.

Lake Macbride

The upper ends of the lake have been frozen for a week, but the main lake just froze over on 12/8. Ice conditions are extremely variable!

Pleasant Creek Lake

Some of the coves have 4 inches of ice. However, the main lake just froze over on 12/7, making ice conditions extremely variable.

Diamond Lake

The lake just recently froze over and there is still an area where the geese have kept open. The ice conditions are unsafe.

Otter Creek Lake

Ice conditions are not safe yet.

Union Grove Lake

Ice conditions have been reported up to 5 inches but can be variable. Nobody has been reported as fishing here yet. The aeration system has not been turned on, but is expected to be turned on later next week. There has been some fishing activity on the silt pond though.

Coralville Reservoir

Much of the Reservoir has been frozen for more than a week; however the rest of the Reservoir just locked up on Dec. 4. Due to areas of flow, the ice conditions are extremely variable.

For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.

Red Haw Lake

There is not enough ice to support ice anglers.

Hawthorn Lake (aka Barnes City Lake)

The lake has been drained for a lake renovation to be started this winter.

Lake Sugema

The main lake is still open.  Some of the bays are starting to ice up but there is not enough ice to support anglers.

Rathbun Reservoir

The lake level is at 902.60 with 904.0 being normal pool.  The main lake is still open and a few of the bays are starting to ice over but there is not enough ice to support anglers.

For further fishing reports in south central Iowa please call the Rathbun fish hatchery at 641-647-2406

SOUTHWEST

Green Valley Lake

The lake level has been lowered 12 feet for a sediment removal project.  The lake has a lot of quality panfish.  Ice fishing this winter should be very good.

Summit Lake

The lake has been drained for a spillway replacement project.  It should be down at least until spring.

Ice is starting to form.  Most lakes still have some open areas.  Walking on the ice is not recommended.  The weekend temperatures will help.

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