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Iowa fishing report

December 11, 2008 at 03:19 PM

Ice conditions are improving.  Small bodies of water are ice fishable, but larger lakes just recently iced over and conditions vary from one part of the lake to another.  Use caution and check ice thickness frequently.
Hickory Grove (Story): Bluegill fishing is fair.  Most fish being caught are 7 to 9 inches.  The best ice conditions are being found on the southern portion of the lake.
Big Creek (Polk): The main lake just recently froze and may not have safe ice conditions.  Bluegills are being caught in Lost Lake.
Des Moines River (Polk): There are reports of good walleye fishing below the Saylorville Reservoir.
Badger Creek (Madison): Bluegill fishing is good with fish up to 8 to 9 inches.
DMACC Pond (Ankeny): Bluegill fishing is very good with the occasional trout being caught.  Bluegills are good size with most being around 8 inches.  A trout stamp is not needed if fishing for and keeping bluegills only.
Contact Ben Dodd at (515) 432-2823, Ext.108, for information on the above area lakes.

Most area lakes have some open water.  Smaller shallow water bodies have skim ice forming every night but open areas during the day.  Walking of ice is not recommended at this time. 
Contact Gary Sobotka at (641) 464-3108 for information on the above area lakes.

Ice conditions have been reported as favorable in most farm ponds and smaller bodies of water. Check ice conditions frequently and be aware of potential weak ice.  Ice conditions remain variable, from 4 inches on the farm ponds to 2 to 3 inches on small lakes.  It is strongly advised to remain cautious and to test the ice before venturing out.
Lake Manawa (Pottawattamie): The canals have 4 inches of ice and anglers are catching small crappies on wax worms.
Southwest Iowa Farm Ponds:  The best fishing reports have been from privately owned small ponds for bluegill and in the larger ponds, crappie, using teardrops tipped with wax worm.  Ice thickness varies from 3 to 5 inches.
Contact Bryan Hayes at (712) 769-2587 for information on the above area lakes.

For more information on general fishing in southwest Iowa, call the regional office in Lewis at 712-769-2587.

Most shallow lakes will be frozen but deeper lakes have open water areas. Ice anglers are currently fishing on 5 to 10 inches of ice in various areas of Big Spirit.  West Okoboji is beginning to freeze over and does not have safe ice for fishing.
Spirit Lake (Dickinson): For black crappies, fish at Templar Lagoon or at Trickles Slough with small ice jigs tipped with wax worms. Bluegills are being caught in Angler’s Bay along the weed line and over the weed beds using small horizontal ice jigs tipped with live-bait or plastics.  Yellow perch are biting in Angler’s Bay and at the North Grade on ice jigs tipped with wax worms, plastics or minnows.  Fish for walleyes along the rock bars around Big Stoney Point or the footbridge in the evening with jigging lures tipped with live bait.
Upper Gar (Dickinson): Fish over weed beds or near docks using small ice jigs tipped with wax worms for panfish.
West Swan (Emmet): Use tip-ups or fishing poles with live bait to catch eating size northern pike.
Strom Lake (Buena Vista): Large seams and holes of open water making conditions not safe for ice fishing.
Black Hawk Lake (Sac): Large seams and holes of open water making conditions not safe for ice fishing.
Clear Lake (Cerro Gordo): Yellow bass are being caught at Farmer’s Beach, which has about 8 to 12 inches of ice in that location. A few walleyes are being caught as well.  Many areas of the lake have not been tested, be sure to use caution and drill test holes.
For more information on fishing in northwest Iowa, call the regional office in Spirit Lake at 712-336-1840.

Mississippi River Pools 9 to 15:  The Mississippi River is still very low and forecast to remain stable or drop slightly over the next week. Water levels on Thursday were: 13.09 feet at Lynxville, 7.35 feet at McGregor and Guttenberg was 4.44 feet.  Water temperature is around 32 degrees.  Please use caution when backing off boat ramps as many will be extremely shallow and your trailer may go into the blow hole at the end of the ramp.  In addition, ramps easily ice over with trailer water and will be extremely slippery.
Pool 10 is good for bluegills and crappies in Joyce Lake.  Bluegills and largemouth bass are biting in Black Hawk Lake.  The tailwater area is starting to ice up by Lynxville making it difficult to fish for saugers.  Bussey Lake is fair for bluegills; however, a few northern pike are being caught on tip-ups. 
Pool 11 tailwaters by Guttenberg are fair for saugers on jig and minnows.  Some smaller walleyes are being caught.  The lower boat ramp is still usable; however, when it does ice up, boaters may still be able to access the river by going to the boat ramp by the DNR Guttenberg office.  Ice conditions in Pool 11 are still poor.
Pool 12 has good ice conditions in O’Leary’s Lake, Frentress Lake and Kehough Slough.  These areas are accessible by foot and have fair to good fishing for bluegills and crappies.
Pool 13 bluegill and crappie hotspots include Brown’s Lake, Green Island, Lower Sabula Lake and Edick Lake.  Again, at the time of the report, the ice conditions were around 3 inches; however, be aware of any area with moving water such as side channels where the ice may be much thinner.
Pool 14 has poorer ice conditions with the exception of Rock Creek.  Fish for panfish in Rock Creek, but again, be aware of any moving water and check the depth of the ice as you move across the area.
Cedar River (Mitchell, Floyd and Chickasaw):  We are getting a few reports of anglers on the ice.  Try finding those deeper holes with slack water for best fishing success.
Cedar (Butler and Black Hawk) and Wapsipinicon rivers (Buchanan):  Ice fishing is just beginning.  Fish the backwater areas for bluegills and crappies.  Use caution in and around moving water as ice depths will vary. 
Turkey River (Clayton):  Walleye fishing is good if you find those deeper holes.  Try using a slow presentation with a white or chartreuse twister tail.
Upper Iowa River (Winneshiek and Allamakee):  Nice rainbows are being caught on night crawlers.
Black Hawk County Lakes:  Ice conditions are improving daily, but use extreme caution before venturing out. 
Lake Hendricks (Howard): Crappie, bluegill and perch are biting on wax worms, but angling has slowed this week due to the recent snowfall.
Lake Meyer (Winneshiek): Anglers have officially been on the ice and are catching 6 to 8-inch bluegills and crappies up to 9 inches.  Try using a jig tipped with wax worm fishing along the dam. 
Silver Lake (Delaware):  Ice is beginning to improve and is currently 2 to 3 inches thick—use caution!  Bluegill fishing will be picking up as more anglers are able to venture out.
Volga Lake (Fayette): Anglers have been out on the ice and say there’s about 4 inches with about 5 inches of snow on top.  Folks have been catching nice size bluegills and 10-inch crappies.
Northeast Iowa Trout Streams:  Trout fishing is still good.  Better trout streams with good spring flows will be open throughout the winter.  Trout fishing is a great option for the ice-shy angler and the snow covered scenery is beautiful.
For information on fishing in northeast Iowa, call the regional office in Manchester at 563-927-3276.

Mississippi River – Pools 16 20: In Pool 16, river stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 4.39 feet.  Walleye and sauger fishing in the tailwaters is slow.  There are reports of ice in the harbor at the Marquette St. boat ramp, but ice fishing is not recommended.  In Pool 17, river stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 3.38 feet. Walleye and sauger fishing in the tailwaters is slow.  There is ice in the harbor at the Muscatine boat ramp, but ice fishing is not recommended. 
In Pool 18, river stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 4.14 ft..  Walleye and sauger fishing in the tailwaters is slow.  Ice may make it difficult to launch a boat.  Ice fishing in the backwaters is not recommended due to thin ice.  In Pool 19, river stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 1.89 feet. Walleye and sauger fishing in the tailwaters is slow.  There are reports of ice at the ramps in Burlington.  Ice fishing is not recommended in the backwaters due to thin ice.  In Pool 20 – River stage at Lock and Dam 19 is 3.86 feet..  Tailwater stage is fluctuating daily due to dam release.  No fishing report.   
Lake Darling (Washington): The lake is completely drained.
Lake Belva Deer (Keokuk): Unsafe ice conditions. 
Lake Geode (Henry): Unsafe ice conditions. 
Lake Rathbun (Appanoose): Conditions are unsuitable for ice fishing.  Bays and coves are starting to ice up but the main lake is still open. 
Lake Sugema (Van Buren): Conditions are not suitable for ice fishing. 
Lake Wapello (Davis): The lake has been completely drained.
Lake Miami (Monroe): Conditions are not suitable for ice fishing.   
Lake Hawthorn (Mahaska): Conditions are not suitable for ice fishing.
Lake Macbride (Johnson): The lake is completely ice covered as of December 7.  The ice thickness is varies from 1 to 4 inches and no one has been seen fishing here yet. 
Coralville Reservoir (Johnson): Other than under I-380, the lake is completely ice covered.  The ice is extremely variable and is not safe.
Union Grove (Tama): The lake is completely ice covered and last reports of ice thickness was 3 inches plus or minus.  The DNR is hoping to start the aeration system at the dam end of the lake as soon as next week.  This will result in open water at that end of the lake. 
Kent Park (Johnson): The lake is completely ice covered.  Ice thickness is 2 to 4 inches, but park personnel do not recommend fishing just yet. 
Hannen Lake (Benton): The lake is completely ice covered with 5 to 6 inches.  Ice fishermen have been out fishing but no catch reports are available. 
Washington and Keokuk counties: Some of the smaller county owned ponds have been 2 and 3 inches of ice. 
For more information on fishing in southeast Iowa, call the regional office in Brighton at 319-694-2430.

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