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Print

Iowa fishing report 12-17-09

December 17, 2009 at 03:48 PM

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

Crawford Creek Impoundment

They’re catching a few bluegill and crappie.

Bacon Creek Lake

Try fishing for trout.  Make sure you have a trout stamp.  Rainbow Trout - Fair: The lake is frozen over, use flashy lures tipped with a wax worm.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

Walleye fishing is very good.  Walleye - Good: Fish are biting around the lake, particularly off the inlet and around college island.  Try any of the normal hot spots.  Good all day but especially around dusk.  Try using a jigging spoon tipped with a minnow head or a minnow below a bobber.

Lakes are frozen over pretty well, with reported ice depths from 7 to 9 inches.  Check the ice before going out to your spots.  Walleye are biting well at Storm Lake.  Make sure that you don’t go alone, tell people where you are going and when you plan to be home.  For more information about these lakes, call Don Herrig (712-657-2638) at the Black Hawk District Office in Lake View.

Clear Lake

Ice thickness is 5 to 8 inches. Check it as you go. Yellow bass are biting on the west end of the lake in the Farmers beach area and the little lake. Try using a jigging spoon or a hook with a minnow.

Silver Lake (Worth)

Fall sampling showed good numbers of perch with fish up to 12 inches but the biggest year class is 6 to 7 inches. Fair number of Pike.  Yellow Perch - Fair:

Blue Pit

The DNR will stock 1,500 rainbow trout will be stocked next week.  Check the DNR web site http://www.iowadnr.gov for exact date.

For more information on fishing in the area lakes and rivers, call the Clear Lake Fisheries Office at (641) 357-3517.

Lake Pahoja

Bluegill - Good: Use small ice jigs tipped with wax worms along brush piles.  Crappie - Fair: Use small ice jigs tipped with a wax worms along brush piles early in the morning and evenings.

Big Spirit Lake

Bluegill - Excellent: Use small ice jigs tipped with wax worms or plastics at the Grade or north end of Anglers Bay.  Crappie - Fair: Use small ice jigs tipped with wax worms at the Grade and north end of Anglers Bay.  Yellow Perch - Excellent: Use small ice jigs tipped with plastics or wax worms at the Grade or Angler’s Bay.  Walleye - Good: Use jigging lures tipped with a minnow head along the weed line out from Templar Lagoon or on rock bars at Big Stoney and Cottonwood points.

West Okoboji Lake

Bluegill - Good: Use small ice jigs tipped with plastics or a wax worms in Emerson and Miller’s bays.  Walleye - Good: Using jigging lures tipped with a minnow head at sunrise and sunset in Smith’s and Millers bays.

Five Island Lake

Walleye - Good: Fish at sunrise and sunset along drop-offs with jigging lures tipped with a minnow.

Upper Gar Lake

Bluegill - Fair: Use small ice jigs tipped with live bait or plastics.  Crappie - Slow: A few fish are being caught while targeting perch and bluegills.  Yellow Perch - Fair: Use small ice jigs tipped with a wax worm.

Kids Corner:  If you want to take a child fishing then take them to the Grade or north end of Anglers Bay on Big Spirit Lake for bluegills and yellow perch.  Use a small gold color ice jig tipped with a wax worm.  Lower the jig to the bottom and then raise it 6 to 8 inches off the bottom and lightly jig the bait.  Caution should always be taken when going out onto the ice.  For more information on ice conditions and fishing for the lakes and rivers in the Spirit lake area call 712-336-1840.

NORTHEAST

Volga Lake

There is about 4 to 6 inches of ice in most areas and relatively free of snow.  A few anglers have been out on the ice.  Bluegill - Slow:  Crappie - Slow:

Lake Hendricks

Ice depths are variable but 6 inches is common.  Anglers are catching fish but some sorting is necessary.  Bluegill - Fair:  Crappie - Slow:

Lake Meyer

Many places have 3 to 4 inches of ice with about 2 inches of cloudy, melt ice on top.  Bluegill - Fair: Evening seems to be the best time to catch a bluegill.  They are still deep.  Try using a rubber-tail jig.  Crappie - Slow: Fish over the deeper brush piles.  A few fish over 10 inches are being caught.

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)

No report.  Walleye - No Report:

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)

No report.  Walleye - No Report:

Turkey River (below Clermont)

No report.  Walleye - No Report:

Cedar River (above Nashua)

Ice depths vary greatly so use caution. There has been activity in the impounded area above the Nashua Dam.  Anglers have been using wax worms with some success.  Channel Catfish - Slow: Yes, through the ice on wax worms.  Bluegill - Slow:  Largemouth Bass - Slow:  Crappie - Slow:

Decorah District Streams

Area trout streams are in good condition and should provide great fishing.  The water is extremely clear so sneaking up on those fish is the key. Even though stocking has finished for the year, there are plenty of fish in the streams.

Ice conditions on ponds and lakes are better this week especially on areas where the snow has blown off.  The biggest problem seems to be around the edges where the snow is deepest.  Use caution.  Area rivers still have open water.  For information on stream conditions, call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.

Silver Lake (Delaware)

Anglers have had some success on Silver lake catching bluegill and crappie. Ice thickness is 6 to 8 inches of good ice.  Bluegill - Good: Fish in the deeper water just off of the bottom with an ice jig and wax worm.  Crappie - Good: More crappies seem to be caught fishing off of the bottom than being found suspended. Jig and wax worm tend to be more effective than jig and minnow.

Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)

Casey Lake has seen ice fishing pressure this week.  Bluegill - Good: Be sure to concentrate around submerged structure near the dam.

Lake Delhi

There have been no reports of anglers venturing out on Lake Delhi but one week ago, there was still some open water on the main lake. Use extreme caution and follow all ice safety precautions if heading out onto this lake.

Big Woods Lake

Anglers are catching crappies but some sorting is required.

Brinker Lake

A few anglers have been spotted ice fishing on Brinker but there have been no fish reports.

George Wyth Lake

Anglers have been fishing George Wyth early morning and late evening but there have been no fish reports.

Avenue of the Saints Pond

Anglers are catching bluegill and crappie with some sorting required.  Bluegill - Good: Fish the south end of the lake in 12 to 18 feet of water.  Crappie - Good: Fish on the south end of the lake in 12 to 18 feet of water or suspended around structure.

Martens Lake

There have been reports of good ice but no catch information.

Plainfield

Anglers are catching bluegills on this thirty acre lake.  Bluegill - Good: Try locating structure and fishing just off of the bottom with an ice jig and wax worm.

Ice fishing season is upon us and always use extreme caution when venturing out onto ice.  Ice thickness reports in Black Hawk County and surrounding areas are varying anywhere from 4 to 6 inches. Try fishing the frozen backwater areas of the Cedar and Wapsipinicon rivers for good panfish success.  For more information contact district office in Manchester at 563-927-3276.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9

The boat ramps have become locked in ice.  Solid ice for fishing has formed with most areas having 5 to 6 inches but anglers should always use caution in areas where heavy snow may have insulated ice or areas of potential current.  Shore Slough near Lansing and Blackhawk Park on the Wisconsin side are popular fishing areas with good catches of bluegills and crappie.  Some anglers suggest using orange colored ice jigs.

Mississippi River Pool 10

Lynxville boat ramp has become locked in ice limiting access to tail water fishing. Ice is 5 to 6 inches in most places but anglers should still use caution in areas with potential current.  Anglers in the Harpers Ferry area report good catches of bluegills and some crappie below the spillway and in Joyce Lake.

Mississippi River Pool 11

The boat ramps in town are locked in ice limiting access to tail water fishing. Some anglers are able to access the tail waters by pushing a boat out over the ice at the DNR station.  Bluegill - Good: Initial catches on Bussey Lake were high but has slowed some.  Nice sized bluegills and crappie still being caught.  Crappie - Fair: Some nice catches of crappie have been reported from Bussey Lake but action can be hit or miss.  Sauger - Excellent:

Solid ice for fishing has formed with most areas having 5 to 6 inches of ice but anglers should always use caution in areas where heavy snow may have insulated ice or areas of potential current.  The ramps at Lynxville and the city ramp in Guttenberg are locked in ice. Ice is beginning to form at the DNR ramp so anglers should call the DNR office for an update.  Call Guttenberg fisheries station for current conditions at 563-252-1156.

Mississippi River Pool 12

Ice conditions at most backwaters are good with reports of 4 to 8 inches at most lakes.  Ice conditions in sloughs with flowing water will be considerably less and travel on them is not recommended.  River stage in Dubuque is stable around 7.5 feet.  Reports of fish being caught in the local marinas, Kehough Slough, and Tippy Lake.  Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are biting well on ice fishing jigs tipped with wax worms.  Anglers are sorting through a lot of small fish.  Crappie - Fair: Anglers that are finding the crappie are finding big ones.  Big and L’il Micks or soft plastic jigs are working well.

Mississippi River Pool 13

Ice conditions at most backwaters are good with reports of 4 to 8 inches at most lakes.  Ice conditions in sloughs with flowing water will be considerably less and travel on them is not recommended.  River stage in Bellevue is forecast to rise to 4.5 feet, and then remain stable.  Reports of fish being caught in South Sabula Lake and Mickelson’s Landing.  Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are biting on ice fishing jigs tipped with wax worms. Anglers are sorting through a lot of small fish.  Crappie - Slow: Not a lot of crappie reports, yet.  But fish jigs with soft plastics or small spoons like L’il Micks for best results.

Mississippi River Pool 14

Ice conditions at most backwaters are good with reports of 4 to 6 inches at most lakes.  Ice conditions in sloughs with flowing water will be considerably less and travel on them is not recommended.  River stage in Camanche is stable around 9.35 feet.  Reports of fish being caught in the Rock Creek area.  Bluegill - Fair: Lots of small fish coming on jigs with wax worms.

For fishing information in Pool 12 to 15 of the Mississippi River contact the Bellevue Fish Management and Research Station at 563-872-4976

Mississippi River Pool 16

Tail water stage is 5.33 feet. As of this week, anglers have been able to launch boats at the Marquette St. ramp to get up to the tail waters. There is some floating ice at the ramp. There are reports of 3 to 4 inches of ice in Sunset Marina. There is some open water in the Credit Island Harbor.  Bluegill - No Report:  Crappie - No Report:  Sauger - Fair: Some saugers are being caught in Sylvan Slough on jigs and minnows or by pulling three-way rigs with crankbaits.  Walleye - Slow: Walleye fishing has been slow.

Mississippi River Pool 17

Tail water stage is 4.00 feet. Both boat ramps at Muscatine have ice chunks floating in them. As of this week, anglers have been able to launch boats at the lower ramp. Watch for floating ice chunks in the main channel. There is 3 to 4 inches of ice in Big Timber. Take caution when ice fishing.  Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are being caught on small ice fishing jigs tipped with wax worms. Most of the fish have been small so some sorting with be necessary. Take caution when out on the ice.  Crappie - Slow: A few small crappies are being caught on small ice fishing jigs tipped with wax worms.  Sauger - Slow: Fishing for saugers in the tail waters has been slow.  Walleye - Slow: Walleye fishing has been slow.

Mississippi River Pool 18

Tail water stage is 5.28 feet and has risen over the past couple of days. Ice conditions in the backwaters are unsafe for ice fishing.  Bluegill - Slow: Ice conditions in the backwaters are unsafe for ice fishing.  Crappie - Slow: Ice conditions in the backwaters are unsafe for ice fishing.  Sauger - No Report:  Walleye - No Report:

Mississippi River Pool 19

Tail water stage is 2.54 feet. There are reports of 2 to 3 inches of ice in the backwaters. Ice conditions in the backwaters are unsafe for ice fishing.  Bluegill - No Report: Ice conditions in the backwaters are unsafe for ice fishing.  Crappie - No Report: Ice conditions in the backwaters are unsafe for ice fishing.  Sauger - Slow: Sauger fishing in the tail waters has been slow.  Walleye - Slow: Walleye fishing has been slow.

Mississippi River Pools 16 to 20: Main channel water temperature is around 32 degrees. Backwaters have ice on them but take caution when ice fishing. For more information on fishing pools 16 to 20 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

SOUTHEAST

Lake Geode

A thin layer of ice has finally covered the lake with a few holes kept open by the geese.  Any warm weather or wind will break up the ice.

Lake Belva Deer

Unsafe ice conditions.  The lake has finally frozen over in the last few days with only a couple of spots at the lower end being kept open by some geese.

Pollmiller Park Lake

Unsafe ice conditions

Lake of the Hills

Ice conditions are getting better.  Drill test holes before going out too far.

Skunk River (Rose Hill to Coppock)

The river iced over completely about Tuesday night.

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

Hannen Lake

Ice fishing has begun here, but not much has been caught.

Rodgers Park Lake

Ice is reported as unsafe.

Iowa Lake

Nobody has been fishing yet.

Kent Park Lake

Ice fishing has started. There is approximately 4 inches of ice on the lake and the ponds.  Bluegill - Fair: Some decent bluegills were caught around brush the last few days.

Lake Macbride

There will be another riprap project on the lake this winter. The lake has been lowered approximately 8 feet for equipment access to shorelines and islands. A few ice anglers have ventured out, but use caution as the ice is variable in different portions of the lake. The dam area froze over on Dec. 15.

Pleasant Creek Lake

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

Diamond Lake

Ice anglers have been sighted on the lake, but no ice or fishing reports are available.

Otter Creek Lake

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

Union Grove Lake

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

Coralville Reservoir

As of Dec. 17, the lake level is 686 feet and is projected to reach winter pool of 683 feet on Dec. 20. The ice is extremely variable and dangerous due to current and falling water levels.

Ice fishing has begun in some areas, while other areas are still unsafe. For more information contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.

Lake Wapello

The lake was drained this summer but has been renovated and is being allowed to refill.

Red Haw Lake

The ice is variable and thin in many spots.  There is also some open water.  Use caution if venturing out.

Lake Keomah

The ice is starting to form but it is not thick enough to support anglers.

Lake Miami

The lake is frozen over but ice thickness varies so use caution if venturing out.

Lake Sugema

The lake is starting to freeze over but there is not enough ice to support anglers.

Rathbun Reservoir

The lake is starting to freeze over in the bays and coves.  Use caution if venturing out because the ice thickness varies from place to place.  Honey Creek State Park will be closed this winter due to road construction.

For additional fishing information in south central Iowa call the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406.

SOUTHWEST

Rock Creek Lake

Ice conditions are good with 5-plus inches.  Bluegill - Good: Anglers are doing well late in the afternoon and into the evening.  Depths of 12 feet or more are producing the fish.  Crappie - Fair: Crappie are being caught along with the bluegills in 12 feet of water or more.  The better crappie bite is in the evening.  Pink and white with wax worm is working well.  Fish are averaging 7 to 9 inches.

Roberts Creek Lake

Ice conditions are good with 5 to 6 inches of ice.

Big Creek Lake

As of Wednesday ice thickness ranged from 4 to 6 inches.  Bluegill - Good: Anglers are catching quality sized bluegills mostly midday through mid-afternoon off sunken brush in the main lake and the deeper coves.  Crappie - No Report. As more anglers hit the there should be more information for future reports.

Hickory Grove Lake

Ice thickness is around 5 inches.  Caution should be used around the main lake side of the island.  This was the last place to freeze and ice thickness will be less here.  Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are being caught near sunken habitat.  This habitat can be found in most of the coves and in deeper water out from the points.  Sonar and/or cameras help in finding structure.

Ankeny Lake (DMACC)

Bluegill - Fair: The lake level was back to normal before ice up.  The fishery is still present.  Some anglers are catching decent sized bluegills.  Nice sized crappies are also present and worth targeting.

Red Rock Reservoir

Crappie - Good: Anglers are having luck catching crappies in the marina bay.

Boone District Farm Ponds

Ice conditions on central Iowa farm ponds are good with most having 6 inches or more.  Caution should be used on ponds that froze over before the heavy snow.  Check ice thickness frequently.

Ice conditions are improving on central Iowa lakes and ponds.  Most are now able to be ice fished, but it is still recommended to test ice thickness.  Contact Ben Dodd or Andy Otting at (515) 432-2823 for information on the above area lakes and rivers.

Greenfield Lake

As of Dec. 16, the lake had 6 inches of ice with no open water. Greenfield is a popular ice fishing lake because of the quality panfish fishery.

Nodaway Lake

Nodaway Lake should offer good crappie fishing this winter with a large year class in the 8 to 9-inch range. Bluegills are 7 inches.

Orient Lake

Ice is 6 inches thick and water was turbid.  Bluegill - Slow: Teardrops tipped with wax worms were catching 6 to 7-inch bluegill.

Littlefield Lake

Spring sampling showed a large year class of crappies that should be in the 8 to 9-inch range this winter. Littlefield averages 8 inches of ice.

Lake Manawa

Manawa has 6 inches of ice.  Channel Catfish - Slow: A few catfish are being caught on minnows.  Crappie - Good: Anglers are having good success using a jig called Forage Minnow. The jig has a small spinner and they are tipping it with a live minnow. Sorting is necessary for 10-inch crappie.

Cold Springs District Farm Ponds

Farm ponds offer excellent opportunity for quality ice fishing in southern Iowa. Remember to always ask permission before fishing a private pond.  Bluegill - Fair: Typically bluegills can be found in the deepest part of the pond. Tip small jigs with wax worms and start fishing a foot off the bottom.  Crappie - Fair: Fish the larger farm ponds using wax worms or minnows. Fish different depths in the water column as crappie can be suspended.

Most southwest Iowa lakes have 6 to 8 inches of ice. High winds during last weeks snow storm likely left drifts on the ice. Anglers should avoid areas with large amounts of snow as this insulates ice delaying formation. For more information contact Bryan Hayes or Mark Boucher at the Cold Springs District Office 712-769-2587.

Lake Icaria

Skim ice has formed over most of the lake.  Waterfowl is keeping several areas open.  Ice thickness in the quiet areas can be up to 8 inches thick, but open portions of the lake have ice less than 2 inches.  The timbered area just to the east of the concrete road is very productive.  Bullhead - Good: Anglers have been catching a lot of bullheads on wax worms in the flooded timber.  Bluegill - Fair: Small wax worms near flooded timber have been catching several bluegills.  Crappie - Good: A lot of crappie have been caught from the flooded timber on wax worms.  Walleye - Fair: Wax worms and small minnows have been successful for walleyes in the flooded timber.

Green Valley Lake

The lake has been lowered for a sediment removal project this winter.  The lake is expected to be refilled in April 2010.

Summit Lake

The lake has been lowered for allow for shoreline rock to be placed this winter.  The lake is expected to be refilled in April 2010.

Three Mile Lake

Reports include variable ice thickness - from 8 inches in some areas with nearby areas having only 1-inch of ice or in open water.  Check thickness frequently.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake

Ice has formed over most of the lake.  Waterfowl have kept some areas open.  Ice thickness varies greatly.  In some areas, 4 to 8 inches are common, but within a few yards, ice may be less than 2 inches thick.

Ice has formed on most lakes/ farm ponds and small water bodies can have up to 8 inches but thin areas are still present.  Open water areas can still be seen on larger water bodies.  Ice on mid-sized and larger water bodies varies tremendously.  Ice conditions vary but are improving.  Farm Ponds have been very productive.

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