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Iowa fishing report

January 15, 2009 at 02:42 PM


Spirit Lake (Dickinson): Crappies are biting at Trickles Slough and Anglers Bay along weed edges and openings or at the North Grade with small ice jigs tipped with wax worms. Bluegills are being caught at the North Grade and in Angler’s Bay along the weed beds and open areas with small ice jigs tipped with live bait.  Fish for yellow perch along weed beds or rock reefs at Big Stoney,
Cottonwood, and Jackson points or Reeds Run using jigging lures tipped with live bait or use a slip bobber and minnow. For walleyes, fish along the weed lines and rock reefs with jigging lures tipped with a minnow at sunrise and sunset at Reeds Run, the footbridge, Big Stoney and Little Stoney points.  Northern pike are being caught along rock reefs at Buffalo Run or Cottonwood and Big Stoney points with jigging lures tipped with live bait.

West Okoboji Lake (Dickinson): Bluegills are biting in Emerson, Little Emerson, Miller’s and North bays on small ice jigs tipped with wigglers or wax worms.  Walleyes are being caught from the rock reefs in North, Miller’s and Emerson bays with jigging lures tipped with minnows in the morning or evening.  For northern pike, use live bait or jigging lures in Little Emerson Bay or around rock reefs in North and Emerson bays.

East Okoboji Lake (Dickinson): Walleyes are being caught on jigging lures tipped with minnows and fished at rock bars in the evening.

Center Lake (Dickinson): Fish for walleyes in the evening with jigging lures tipped with minnows.

Lake Pahoja (Lyon): Bluegills are biting on small ice jigs tipped with wax worms or wigglers.  Yellow perch are being caught using small ice jigs or jigging lures tipped with live bait.

Silver Lake (Dickinson): Walleyes are being caught using jigging lures tipped with minnows and fished at sunset along the south shore.

Trumbull Lake (Clay): Yellow perch are being caught with jigging lures tipped with live bait early or late in the day.

Five Island Lake (Palo Alto): Fish around the Boat House area with jigging lures for walleyes.

Crawford Creek Lake (Ida): Fishing is fair for bluegills and crappies.  Some sorting is required to get nicer fish.

Black Hawk Lake (Sac):  Fishing fair fishing for walleyes but most are below the 15-inch minimum length limit.  A few crappies are being caught using live minnows.

Arrowhead Lake (Sac): Fishing is fair to good for bluegill on teardrops and wax worms.

Brushy Creek Lake (Webster): Ice conditions have improved on the lake, but driving on the lake is not advised. Fishing has slowed this past week.  A few nice crappie, perch and bluegills have been caught just outside the tree line on live bait.  Very few walleyes have been caught this winter.  The lake has 4 to 8 inches of snow cover.

Clear Lake (Cerro Gordo): Ice on Clear Lake averages 13 to 20 inches.  Yellow bass fishing has been fair to good on the west end of the main lake.  Fish are being caught in less than 9 feet of water using jig and minnow.  Fishing away from the main group of shacks seems to improve catches. A few white bass, walleye, and catfish are also being caught while fishing for yellows.  As winter progresses expect yellow bass to spread out and provide better fishing action in other areas of the lake. 

Blue Pit (Cerro Gordo): The DNR plans to stock trout, weather permitting, on Jan. 22.

Eldred Sherwood Park, Indian Lake (Hancock): Ice on Indian Lake averages 14 to 16 inches. Bluegill fishing has been good using small jigs tipped with a wax worms.

Silver Lake (Worth): Yellow perch fishing has been good. Some sorting is required, but 10 to 12-inch perch are being caught.  Fishing the north side of the lake by the county park has been one of the better spots. Try using a jig tipped with a minnow for best results. 

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: Pool 9 anglers are catching northern pike on tip-ups in Fish Lake off Army Road in New Albin.  A few walleye and sauger are being caught near the Lansing Power Plant.  Try a variety of methods including jigs tipped with a minnow or twister tails since the fish can be finicky.  Shore Slough near Lansing has been producing a few bluegills.

Pool 10 fishing has slowed near the spillway, but some northern pike and bass can be caught using shiners on tip-ups.  Saugers can be caught below the dam at Lynxville using a jig and minnow.  A few walleye can also be caught here on jigs with twister tails.  Use the smallest jig that you can get to the bottom for best success.  Some crappies are being caught at Spring Lake and Mud Slough, north of Prairie du Chien.  The Sny Magill Access is producing bluegills, but many are small and some sorting will be necessary.  These areas include Sandbar, Norwegian and Methodist lakes.  A few nice crappies have also been caught in Norwegian Lake.  Bussey Lake has been very hit or miss for bluegill.  There are fish to be caught, but you may need to move around until you find them.  Many anglers are driving now on Bussey Lake.

Pool 11 tailwaters by Guttenberg continue to be slow for angling; however, some saugers are still being caught.  The amount of open water has been shrinking dramatically this past week.  Fishing is only accessible by airboat or by pushing a small boat out from the DNR landing.  Some good sized crappies and perch can be caught at Mud Lake in Dubuque.  Fishing is best late in the day.

Pool 12 anglers are catching a few bluegill and crappie in O’Leary’s Lake, Tippy Lake, Frentress Lake and in Kehough Slough. 

Pool 13 anglers are catching a few bluegill and crappie in South Sabula Lake, Middle Sabula Lake and Mickelson’s Lake (aka Potters Marsh).  Anglers should avoid Brown’s Lake as oxygen readings have dropped to levels unsuitable for fish. 

Pool 14 is fair for bluegill and crappie in Rock Creek.

Inland Anglers:  Just a reminder to buy your 2009 fishing license before you go fishing.  Also, the daily bag limit of 25 bluegills and 25 crappies on public waters begins on Wednesday, January 21, 2009.

Cedar River (Black Hawk): Walleye and crappie fishing is fair to good in deeper holes with good ice conditions.  Use extreme caution when fishing river ice. 

Casey Lake (Tama):  Crappie fishing is good in the early morning and late evening using jigs tipped with a minnow or wax worm, or try minnows fished under a bobber.  Bluegill fishing is excellent around stake beds and brush piles located in 10 feet of water or deeper near the center and on the east side of the lake.  Jigs tipped with a wax worm works well for bluegills. 

Lake Hendricks (Howard): Large crappies are being caught on minnows.  Try using a teardrop shaped jig tipped with a wax worm for bluegills.  Best time to fish seems to be towards sunset.  There is about 20 inches of ice and snow depths vary.

Lake Meyer (Winneshiek):  Anglers continue catching 6 to 8-inch bluegills but some larger crappies are beginning to show up in the creel.  Try using a white, red or yellow rubber skirted jig tipped with wax worm.  For crappies, try using a minnow suspended off the bottom about 3 to 4 feet.  Also try fishing near the habitat added last year. 

Volga Lake (Fayette): Anglers are catching 8 to 9-inch crappies and a few bluegills on a yellow jig tipped with a wax worm.  Try using a minnow tipped jig to entice those larger crappies.  Fish your lure higher off the bottom.  Perch are also biting. 

Northeast Iowa Trout Streams:  Trout fishing is 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 to 20: In Pool 16, ice anglers have been catching bluegills and crappies on wax worms at Credit Island.  Ice fishing has slowed some in Sunset Marina for bluegills and crappies.  In Pool 17, Big Timber has been good for bluegills and an occasional crappie on small jigs and wax worms fished around brush piles.  Anglers have also been catching some bluegills through the ice at Hidden Acres.

In Pool 18, most area ice fishing reports are coming from farm ponds.  In Pool 19, most area ice fishing reports are coming from farm ponds and lakes.

Lake Darling (Washington): The lake is completely drained.

Lake Belva Deer (Keokuk): Ice thickness is around 12 inches.  Ice fishing is starting to slow as we hit the middle of winter.  Anglers are still catching some nice bluegills and crappies in the trees.  Look for the fish to be suspended in the trees about 18 to 20 feet down.  They are hitting it very softly so be very watchful of any change in the line. 

Lake Geode (Henry): Ice conditions have improved, but because of recent weather not too much ice fishing has been going on.   

Lake Rathbun (Appanoose): Ice thickness has been measured at 8 to 9 inches.  Crappies have been biting on minnows and by vertically jigging around submerged habitat.  Fishing has been the best at Atwell’s, in Honey Creek, and in Buck Creek.  The gate is now open at the Glenwood area. 

Lake Sugema (Van Buren): The bays and coves have been producing some catches of bluegill and crappie using small jigs tipped with a wax worm.  Last week the main lake still had some open water due to a flock of geese so use caution.  The Tug Fork lakes have also been producing some catches of crappies using minnows. 

Lake Keomah (Mahaska): Anglers have been catching some crappies using small jigs tipped with a wax worm.  Look for areas with submerged trees or rock piles.   

Lake Wapello (Davis): The lake has been completely drained.

Lake Miami (Monroe): Anglers have been catching some crappies using jigs and minnows.  The most productive area has been along the stumps on the west side of the lake.       

Lake Macbride (Johnson): Crappie fishing has been fair to good and some nicer-sized fish have been caught.  The recent heavy snows may slow things down but fish have been coming off deeper brush and drop-offs.     

Kent Park (Johnson): Anglers are having some success on bluegills fishing around deeper structure with small jigs and wax worms.  Dusk seems to be the prime fishing time.   

Lake Iowa (Iowa): Fishing around brush or stake beds has been producing bluegills and redears.  There are many smaller fish, but nicer fish up to 10 inches are mixed in.  An ice jig and wax worm has been working best. 

Union Grove (Tama): Bluegills and crappies are being caught in high numbers but small to average in size.  Look for them in 8 to 10 feet of water around brush.  The aeration system was turned on December 30, so there are open water pockets at the dam end of the lake. 

For more information on fishing in southeast Iowa, call the regional office in Brighton at 319-694-2430.


Hickory Grove (Story):  Bluegill fishing has been a little slow, but a few good sized fish are being caught.  Anglers are doing fair on crappies once they are located.  A catch of half dozen or so keepers is common, with the occasional white crappie up to 12 inches coming through the ice.   

Big Creek (Polk):  Bluegill and crappie fishing has been good.  The better bluegill fishing has been in the Lost Lake portion.  Crappies are being caught in the main lake suspended in water 25 feet or deeper. The best crappie bite is in the evenings after sunset.  Wax worms have been the bait of choice for both bluegills and crappies.

Ahquabi (Warren):  Fishing has been slow.  Some bluegills are being caught in the silt ponds above Hooper, in 3 to 6 feet of water.   
Contact Ben Dodd at (515) 432-2823, Ext.108, for information on the above area lakes

Area lakes are frozen.  Farm ponds, small lakes and medium lakes have areas with up to 10 inches of ice.  Large lakes are also frozen over but ice thickness and condition varies.  Check ice thickness in several places.

Farm Ponds:  Fishing has been very good.

Three Mile Lake (Union):  The lake is completely frozen but the thickness can be from 4 to 8 inches.  The roadway between the ramps, the area just to the northwest of the upper ramp, and the cove just south of the upper ramp have been the most popular to date.  Anglers are catching mostly bluegills on wax worms with a few crappies mixed in.

Twelve Mile Lake (Union):  The lake is completely frozen.  A lot of angler activity has occurred in the creek channel between the two middle ramps.  Several 2 to 4 pound walleye and lots of 7 to 9-inch bluegills have been caught over the old roadway.  Ice thickness seems to be over 6 inches in most places.

Lake Icaria (Adams):  The lake is completely frozen.  Most of the angling activity has occurred just to the north of the marina, in the south corner of the dam, and over the old roadway.  All species can be caught with 7 to 8-inch bluegills, 9-inch crappies, and walleyes up to 22 inches being the most active.

Lake of Three Fires (Taylor):  The angling activity has occurred over the brush pile immediately north of the center of the dam and from the deeper hole 150 yards north of the spillway.  Lots and lots of nice bluegills and few crappies have been caught on wax worms.

Fogle Lake (Ringgold):  The lake is completely frozen over.  Some fishing has occurred over the brush pile just north of the center of the dam and the brush piles to the northwest of the spillway.  The bluegills are 6 to 7.5 inches and the crappies are 8 to 10.5 inches.

Contact Gary Sobotka at (641) 464-3108 for information on the above area lakes.

Ice conditions are reported as good with area lakes having 8 to 10 inches. Always check ice thickness frequently and be aware of potentially weak ice.

Lake Manawa (Pottawattamie): Anglers are catching crappies in the brush piles around the old beach area using wax worms and minnows.

Big Lake (Pottawattamie): Trout fishing has picked up recently with some anglers reporting catching their limit. Baits and lures used for crappie work well for catching trout.

Anderson Area (Montgomery): Bluegills are fair using wax worms. A few 8-inch crappies are being caught in the evenings using minnows.

Lake Anita (Cass): Bluegills are fair with an occasional 9-inch crappie.

Desoto Bend (Harrison): Fishing has been good for 10 to 12-inch crappies using minnows around deeper tree piles and off the ends of deeper jetties.

Nodaway Lake (Adair): Fishing has been fair for 7-inch bluegills.

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 is 8 to 10 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.

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