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Iowa fishing report 2-4-10

February 04, 2010 at 01:30 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
Bluegill and crappie has slowed.  Use tear drops and wax worms.  Anglers are targeting the area southwest of the boat ramp and areas with structure.  Bluegill - Fair: Anglers are catching bluegill about hand size with orange or green glow in the dark teardrops with wax worms.  Bluegill are being caught in 12 feet of water fishing about 8 inches off the bottom from about 3 to 5:30 p.m.  Crappie - Fair: Anglers are picking up crappie with wax worms and minnows, some are nice size fish.  Crappie fishing at Crawford Creek has been best after dark.  Crappies are in the 8 to 10-inch range.

Badger Lake
The bluegill and crappie fishing has slowed down some, but anglers are still catching a few nice sized fish.  Bluegill - Fair: Nice size bluegill are being caught with small jigs and wax worms.  Crappie - Fair: Nice size crappie are being caught as well.

Brushy Creek Lake
Fishing on Brushy Creek has slowed.  Keep moving around to find the fish.  Bluegill - Slow: Bluegill are being caught in 20 to 25 feet of water right off of the bottom.  Tear drops and wax worms have been working the best.  Crappie - Slow: A few crappies have been caught on minnows.  Walleye - Slow: Walleye have been slow, but try just at sunset for them.  Anglers have been picking a few up on minnows.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Walleye fishing has picked up on the lake.  Access to the lake has improved.  Walleye - Good: Anglers have been using jigs tipped with minnow heads or minnows under a bobber.  Try to target areas away from the crowds of anglers.  A good number of walleye are being caught in the 12 to 13-inch size range, a few walleye bigger than 22 inches are being picked up.  Evening has been the most productive.

Black Hawk Lake
Anglers have been working the lake, but the fishing has been pretty slow.  Boat ramp area on Ice House Point and 30 Acres boat ramp has been plowed out.  Bluegill - Slow: Some bluegill are being caught with wax worms, but most are smaller size fish.  Crappie - Slow: Some crappie are being caught with wax worms and minnows, but most are smaller size fish.  Walleye - Slow: Some walleye, mostly shorter than the 15-inch minimum, are being caught near the old dredge cuts near Denison Beach in the evenings with super dupers and minnow heads.

There has been a lull in fishing activity around the Black Hawk District, but some are still being caught.  Always use caution on the ice. For more information about these lakes and rivers call Don Herrig 712-657-2638 at the Black Hawk District Office in Lake View.

Beeds Lake
Ice thickness 18 to 20 inches.  Bluegill - Slow:  Crappie - Slow:

Eldred Sherwood Lake
Ice thickness 18 to 20 inches. Fishing been slow.  Bluegill - Slow:

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

Lake Smith
Ice thickness 18 to 20 inches.  Bluegill - Slow:

Clear Lake
Ice thickness is 18 to 21 inches. Yellow bass fishing has been slow. A few fish are being caught at dawn and dusk.  Walleye - Slow: most fish caught are below the 14-inch length limit.  Muskellunge - Slow:  Yellow Bass - Slow: 

Lake Cornelia
Ice thickness is 18 to 20 inches.

Rice Lake
Ice thickness is 16 to 20 inches.  Crappie - Slow:  Yellow Perch - Slow:

Silver Lake (Worth)
Ice thickness is 18 to 20 inches.  Yellow Perch - Slow:

Blue Pit
Ice thickness 18 to 20 inches. Trout are biting.  Rainbow Trout - Good:

Bluebill Lake
Ice thickness is 18 to 20 inches.  Bluegill - Slow:  Yellow Perch - Slow:

Fin and Feather Lake
Ice thickness 18 to 20 inches.  Bluegill - Slow:

Elm Lake
Ice thickness 18 to 20 inches.  Yellow Perch - Slow:

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

Lake Pahoja
Bluegill - Fair: Use ice jigs tipped with wax worms or wigglers around structure.  Crappie - Fair: Use ice jigs tipped with wax worms or wigglers around structure.

Mill Creek (Lake)
If you are looking for a place to take a child ice fishing for the first time Mill Creek Lake would be a good place to start.  Bluegills of all sizes with a possible largemouth bass can be expected.  Bluegill - Good: Use small ice jigs tipped with a wax worm or wiggler around weed beds or any other structure.

Big Spirit Lake
People are driving onto the ice at Buffalo Run, Crandall’s Beach, Miniwakan State Park boat ramp and Marble Beach.  There are a few slush pockets that haven’t froze solid yet if your front tires drop into a pocket stop and back out don’t pull forward far enough to get all 4 tires in.  Large slush pockets have been reported between Jackson and Cottonwood Points.  Bluegill - Fair: Use small ice jigs tipped with a wax worm or wiggler on the north end of Anglers Bay.  A few fish are also being caught at the Grade.  Yellow Perch - Fair: Use ice jigs tipped with wax worms or wigglers in deep water around Big Stoney Point.  Walleye - Fair: Use jigging lures tipped with a minnow head or whole minnow on rock bars in the evenings or at sunrise.

East Okoboji Lake
Walleye - Fair: Use jigging lures tipped with a minnow head on rock bars in the evening.  Yellow Bass - Fair: Fish the south end of the lake in 20 to 22 feet of water with live bait in the evenings.

West Okoboji Lake
People are driving onto the ice at Triboji Beach, north shore of Smith’s Bay, south shore of Miller’s Bay, and at the Emerson Bay boat ramp.  Bluegill - Fair: Use small ice jigs tipped with plastics or live bait in the bays along weed beds, the fish are scattered so keep moving to find fish.  Yellow Perch - Fair: Fish along the edge of weed beds at Eagle Point or fish on sand out in deeper water in Emerson and Miller’s Bay with small ice jigs tipped with wax worms or wigglers or a small minnow below a slip bobber.  A few fish are also being caught off Triboji in 20 feet of water in the mornings.

Five Island Lake
Crappie - Fair: Use an ice jig tipped with a minnow head or wax worm.  Walleye - Good: Fish at sunrise or sunset along drop offs with jigging lures tipped with a minnow head.

Snow conditions on the lakes are getting better.  Remember that walleye season on Big Spirit, East and West Okoboji lakes closes on February 15.  For more information on the Spirit Lake area call 712-336-1840.

NORTHEAST
Volga Lake
Ice depths are running in the 20-inch range.  Now is the time of year to try angling at varying depths.  Good oxygen levels down to 12 feet.    Bluegill - Slow:  Largemouth Bass - Slow:  Crappie - Slow:

Lake Hendricks
Anglers are reporting the best time to fish for crappie seems to be in the evening and early morning while daytime angling is best for bluegills.  Bluegill - Slow:  Crappie - Slow: Some sorting is necessary.

Lake Meyer
Oxygen levels on the lake are good down to 20 feet.  If you don’t catch fish a few feet off the bottom try mid depth or even a foot or two below the ice.  Also key your efforts around structure, such as brush or rock piles.  Ice depths are running 19 inches.  Bluegill - Slow:  Crappie - Slow:  Yellow Perch - Slow:

Cedar River (above Nashua)
Smallmouth Bass - Slow: A few small smallmouth bass are being caught below the dam at Nashua.  Walleye - Slow: A few small walleye are being caught below the dam at Nashua.

Decorah District Streams
Fishing for trout has been excellent recently most likely due to slightly cloudier conditions on the streams from runoff.  Try using a dark subsurface fly.  Midges have been hatching fairly often on bright sunny warmer days. 

Ice conditions remain good on area lakes.  Use caution when going out on area rivers and streams as many are opening up.  For more information, please call the Decorah Trout Hatchery at 563-382-8324.

Silver Lake (Delaware)
Anglers have had some success catching mainly bluegill with an occasional crappie. Best success has been early morning or late afternoon before dark.  Bluegill - Slow: Concentrate in the deeper water just off of the bottom with an ice jig and wax worm.

Brinker Lake
Anglers are taking both bluegill and crappie, but some sorting may be necessary. There have been reports of a few channel catfish being taken as well.  Bluegill - Fair:  Crappie - Fair: Anglers are taking a few nice sized crappies using a jig tipped with a minnow.

George Wyth Lake
Anglers have been fishing early morning and late evening with some success on both bluegill and crappie, but some sorting may be necessary.  Bluegill - Fair: Anglers are reporting catches of bluegill.  Crappie - Fair: Anglers have been catching crappie on a fairly consistent basis. Look for areas where pressure has been the heaviest.

North Prairie Lake
This lake was stocked with trout on January 16 and should still provide good numbers of trout.  Brown Trout - Fair: Trout are not real selective on tackle, flashy jigs or lures work best for these aggressive fish. Also try wax worms or power bait tipped on small jigs.

Martens Lake
Anglers had been doing well on both crappie and bluegill before this latest cold snap. Concentrate efforts on the west side of the marsh and look for where there has been heavy angling activity on the ice. Ice conditions have been anywhere from 14 to 18 inches thick.  Bluegill - Fair: Most catches have been from anglers concentrating on catching crappie.  Crappie - Good: Cecils and Swedish pimples tipped with a wax worm have been the favorites for anglers targeting crappie.

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

Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
Anglers are catching some nice sized crappie above the dam in Independence and in good numbers. Also reports of bluegill and northern pike being caught.  Northern Pike - Fair: Anglers have been catching pike while fishing for crappie using either a wax worm or minnow under a jig. Also been having success using tip-up rigs.  Bluegill - Fair: Try fishing the Independence Impoundment above the dam.  Crappie - Good: Try fishing in two to three foot of water on the backwaters of the Wapsi above the dam. Best reports have come from anglers using Cecil’s tipped with a wax worm.

Ice thickness around Black Hawk County is varying from 8 to 12 inches. Best success has been on the following lakes; Martens (Sweet Marsh), Plainfield, George Wyth and Brinker for bluegill and crappie. The Independence Impoundment above the Dam in Buchanan County has been good this week for crappie. North Prairie Lake was stocked with trout on January 16 and should still provide good action. For more information contact the district office in Manchester at 563-927-3276.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER
Mississippi River Pool 9
Ice conditions are excellent.  Bluegill - Slow: Some bluegill being taken from the Village Creek boat ramp and above the Marina in Lansing.  Fishing is slow and most anglers using teardrops and wax worms.  Crappie - Slow: Not many caught but they can be large.  Anglers using wax worms and teardrops and some using prepared baits such as gulp.

Mississippi River Pool 10
Ice conditions are excellent.  Bluegill - Slow: A few bluegills are being reported below the spillway at Harpers Ferry but fishing is slow.  Crappie - Slow: Not many being reported but a few are being taken at the lower end of Norwegian Slough and Bussey Lake.

Mississippi River Pool 11
Ice conditions are excellent.  White Bass - Fair: Some white bass are being reported in larger sloughs and deeper water side channels.  Bluegill - Slow: Some bluegills being caught at Mud Lake.  A few being taken in the marina and some at Zollicoffers.  Crappie - Slow: Once in a while a nice crappie is taken from the marina area on jig and wax worm.  Swift slough up by Guttenberg also has a few crappies taken at times.  Yellow Perch - Slow: The yellow perch bite can start later in the season and surveys show a strong yellow perch population in places like Mud Lake and Sunfish Lake. 

Solid ice for fishing remains with most areas having 12 inches or more of ice. The boat ramps at Lynxville and the city ramp in Guttenberg are locked in ice. Call Guttenberg fisheries station for current conditions at 563-252-1156.

Mississippi River Pool 12
Backwater ice conditions are good with 12 inches or greater at most lakes. Ice conditions in areas of flowing water will be considerably less and travel on them is not recommended. River stage in Dubuque is stable at 8.22 feet.  Anglers in Pool 12 should keep an eye out for radio tagged crappie. The DNR has externally radio tagged 200 crappies in Pool 12 and will be tracking them over the course of the next year. Tags are attached to the dorsal spines and we ask that you release any tagged fish.  Bluegill - Slow: Bluegill fishing has been slow the past week in the backwaters and anglers have to sort through a lot of small fish.  Crappie - Slow: Crappie fishing has been slow the past week in the backwaters with very few reports of fish being caught.  Sauger - Fair: A few anglers have been pulling boats off the ice from the Wisconsin side of the tail waters and catching a few saugers.

Mississippi River Pool 13
Backwater ice conditions are good with 12 inches or greater at most lakes. Ice conditions in areas of flowing water will be considerably less and travel on them is not recommended. River stage in Bellevue is 6.05 feet and if forecast to rise to 6.30 feet.  Bluegill - Slow: Bluegill fishing in the backwaters has been slow and catches have consisted of a lot of small fish.  Crappie - Slow: Crappie fishing in the backwaters has been slow.

Mississippi River Pool 14
Backwater ice conditions are good with 12 inches or greater at most lakes. Ice conditions in areas of flowing water will be considerably less and travel on them is not recommended. River stage in Camanche is stable at 9.52 feet.  Bluegill - Slow: Bluegill fishing has been slow and anglers have had to sort a lot of small fish.  Crappie - Slow: Crappie fishing has been slow, as well.  Although some crappie are being caught just after dark at Rock Creek.

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 6.40 feet. Anglers have been able to launch boats at the Marquette St. ramp in Davenport. Ice fishing has been slow in Sunset Marina.  Bluegill - Slow: Ice fishing in Sunset Marina for bluegills has been slow.  Largemouth Bass - No Report:  Crappie - Slow: Crappie fishing in Sunset Marina has been slow.  Sauger - Slow: A few saugers are being caught in Sylvan Slough on jigs and minnows. Some saugers are also being caught around wing dams jigging with minnows.  Walleye - Slow: Walleye fishing in the tail waters has been slow.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tail water stage is 5.37 feet. Anglers have been able to launch boats at both ramps in Muscatine. There is a lot of small ice chunks floating at both ramps. Ice fishing in the backwaters has been slow.  Bluegill - Slow: Fishing has been slow in Big Timber. Big Timber has variable ice thicknesses of 4 to 6 inches.  Crappie - Slow: Crappie fishing in Big Timber has been slow.  Sauger - No Report:  Walleye - No Report:

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tail water stage is 7.72 feet.  Anglers have been able to access the tail waters to walleye and sauger fish from the Toolesboro Access. Most ice fishing reports are coming from area lakes and ponds.  Bluegill - Slow:  Crappie - Slow:  Sauger - No Report:  Walleye - No Report:

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tail water stage is 5.10 feet. Anglers have been able to access the tail waters to walleye and sauger fish. Ice fishing in the backwaters has been slow. Most ice fishing reports are coming from area lakes and ponds.  Bluegill - Slow:  Crappie - Slow:  Sauger - No Report:  Walleye - No Report:

Mississippi River Pools 16 to 20: Anglers have been able to access the tail waters throughout Pools 16 to 19 to sauger and walleye fish. River levels have been falling over the past week. Ice fishing in the backwaters has been slow. Most ice fishing reports are coming from area lakes and ponds. Backwaters have variable ice thicknesses so take caution when ice fishing. For more information on fishing Pools 16 to 20 of the Mississippi River contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

SOUTHEAST
Lake Geode
Ice conditions have improved, somewhat.  Some of the ice is only a couple of inches thick.  Use extreme caution.  Bluegill - Slow: Try around the piles of fish habitat in the area around the main boat ramp.

Lake of the Hills
Ice fishing remains slow going.  Bluegill - Slow: Anglers are picking up a few small bluegills.  Crappie - Slow: Just a few small crappies are being caught.

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

Iowa Lake
Bluegill - Slow:  Crappie - Slow:

Kent Park Lake
Bluegill - Slow:

Lake Macbride
Bluegill - Slow:  Crappie - Slow:

Central Park Lake
Bluegill - Slow:

Pleasant Creek Lake
Bluegill - Slow:  Crappie - Slow:

Diamond Lake
Bluegill - Slow:  Crappie - Fair: Most fish are small (7 inches)

Otter Creek Lake
Bluegill - Slow:  Yellow Bass - Fair:

Union Grove Lake
Bluegill - Slow:  Crappie - Slow:

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

Lake Wapello
The lake was drained in the summer of 2009 but is now full.

Red Haw Lake
The lake’s ice is variable.  Use caution if venturing out onto the ice.  Bluegill - Fair: Use tear drop jigs tipped with a wax worm.  Try areas around submerged cedar trees.  Some fish have been up to 9 inches in length.

Lake Keomah
The ice is variable in thickness so use caution if heading out.  The latest measurements have about 7 inches out in from out the fishing pier and over by the dam.  Very few anglers have been fishing.

Lake Miami
The ice thickness varies so use caution if venturing out onto the ice.  Very few anglers have been venturing out so far this winter.  Remember the lake has been drawn down all year.  Find areas with structure and try small jigs tipped with wax worms.

Lake Sugema
Use caution if venturing out.  Ice thickness is variable.  Bluegill - Fair: Use tear drop jigs tipped with a wax worm.  Crappie - Slow: Use wax worms or minnows on small jigs.  Try fishing within a foot or two of the lake bottom.

Rathbun Reservoir
Use caution if venturing out because the ice thickness varies from place to place.  The last measurements taken have about 12 to 14 inches in spots including Atwell’s, Glenwood and the Dedication Site boat ramp.  Crappie - Slow: Try using small jigs tipped with either a minnow or wax worms.  Find areas with submerged structure for the best results.  The Buck Creek area and Atwell’s has been producing some crappies.

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


SOUTHWEST
Beaver Lake
Bluegill - Good: Beaver Lake is producing some decent bluegills through the ice this year.  The larger ones being caught are 8 to 9 inches.  Anglers are having success in 15 to 20 feet of water out from the dam and on the 9 to 15 foot ridge that runs south of the 40 foot hole across the lake from the boat ramp.  Fish are being caught using wax worms and spikes.  Crappie - Fair: With the bluegills, anglers are picking up a few decent crappies up to 11 inches.

Roberts Creek Lake
Crappie - Slow: A few crappies are being caught in the deeper water out from the east access.

Big Creek Lake
Bluegill - Fair: The bluegill bite is light, but some good bluegills from 7 to 9 inches are being caught mostly midday through late afternoon off sunken brush piles in the main lake and in front of the deeper coves. Depths around 15 feet or greater have been best. Both wax worms and spikes have been working.  Crappie - Good: Crappie are being caught near the roadbed in 30 to 40 feet of water off the east road bed out from the Ensign shelter and into the handicap pier bay.  Live minnows have been working best, but glow jigs with wax worms have also been working.  The bite has been best from 5:30 to 10 p.m.   

Hickory Grove Lake
Bluegill - Slow: The bluegill bite is slow, but some fish are still being caught late in the afternoon and especially just before and after sunset near sunken habitat.  This habitat can be found in most of the coves and in deeper water out from the points.  It is taking some jumping from hole to hole to find active fish.  The bluegills are good sized around 8 inches and are being caught using both wax worms and spikes.  Crappie - Slow: A few crappies are being pulled off the same sunken habitat as the bluegills.  Better crappie are being caught suspended in the deeper water in the evenings.  Some of the crappie being caught are 10 to 11 inches.

Lake Ahquabi
Bluegill - Fair: Anglers are catching some good bluegills on the sunken brush piles.  For a map with GPS locations for the brush piles and rock piles email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  Ahquabi can produce some large bluegills over 9 inches.  Crappie - Fair: Anglers fishing over the brush piles are also picking up a few crappies.  Some have been up to 12 inches.

Red Rock Reservoir
Anglers below the Red Rock spillway are having success snagging large buffalo and bighead carp.

Lake Petoka
Rainbow Trout - Good: 1,700 rainbow trout were stocked January 16.  Good numbers of fish should still be present.  Some anglers are still catching their limit.  Several large brood fish were also stocked.  The fish are biting on small jigs and spoons tipped with one or several wax worms.  Small live minnows also work well.  The water is clear enough to sight fish.

Banner Lake (south)
Rainbow Trout - Good: 1,500 Rainbow trout were stocked on January 14.  Good numbers of fish still remain to be caught.  Bluegill - Fair: There has been reports of a few anglers catching some bluegills up to 9 inches.

As of February 4, most central Iowa lakes have 15 inches plus of ice.  Fishing success has been fair over the last week.  Most fish are being caught early in the mornings and especially in the afternoon and evenings.  Contact Ben Dodd or Andy Otting at 515 432-2823 for information on the above area lakes and rivers.

Greenfield Lake
Greenfield lake has a consistent 14 inches of ice. Greenfield is a popular ice fishing lake because of the quality panfish fishery.  Bluegill - Slow: Bluegills have been slow using wax worms.

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. Nodaway has 14 inches of ice.  Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills up to 7.5 inches are being caught using wax worms. The best reports are between 3 and 4 p.m.  Crappie - Slow: A few crappies are being caught using minnows. Try fishing late in the afternoon.

Lake Anita
Lake Anita will offer excellent ice fishing opportunities this year. Fall samples show that bluegills and crappies experienced good growth in 2009.  Anita has 12 to 14 inches of ice.  Bluegill - Fair: The best bluegill bite has been consistently between 5 and 6 p.m. Anglers are catching many fish exceeding 8 inches using wax worms.  Crappie - Fair: The best success has been fishing with minnows in the evening. Late afternoon to after dark is best. Crappies are running 9 to 10 inches.

Lake Manawa
Manawa has 14 inches of ice.  Crappie - Slow: Crappies are slow but anglers are still catching a few. Jigs with small spinner tipped with a live minnow is working best.

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 - Slow: 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 - Slow: Fish the larger farm ponds using wax worms or minnows. Fish different depths in the water column as crappie can be suspended.

Fishing has improved somewhat from last week. Late afternoon has been the best time to fish in most reports. Anglers can expect to find 14 to 18 inches of ice on most lakes in southwest Iowa. For more information contact Bryan Hayes or Mark Boucher at the Cold Springs District Office 712-769-2587.

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