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Iowa fishing report 3-5-09

March 05, 2009 at 01:09 PM

Southwest

Central Iowa ice conditions are quickly deteriorating.  Recent warm days have begun to open up areas around the shore.  Ice fishing is not recommended by this weekend.
Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers (Polk, Dallas and Boone):  With the warmer weather the walleye bite is starting to pick up below the dams.  Use bright colored jigs such as pink or chartreuse with either white or chartreuse twister tails, or tip the bare jig with a minnow.  Catfishing can also be good now using dead gizzard shad as bait. 
Contact Ben Dodd at (515) 432-2823, Ext.108, for information on the above area lakes

Ice is almost completely gone.  Recent warm days have opened up most of the lakes and ponds.
The small lakes and ponds are warming up quicker and channel catfish angling is occurring at several locations.  Most anglers are fishing from shore while using shad baits.
Three Mile Lake (Union):  The ice is mostly gone and boat anglers are using the lake.  Some walleye and channel catfish are being caught.
Twelve Mile Lake (Union):  The lake is mostly open.  Some walleye angling is occurring over rock areas.  Channel catfish can be caught on shad bait.
Lake Icaria (Adams):  The lake is almost completely open.  Some walleye are being caught over rock structure.  Several walleye are being caught from the spillway area.
Contact Gary Sobotka at (641-464-3108 for information on the above area lakes.

There are no reports of ice fishing in Cold Springs District in southwest Iowa. Most lakes have open water and remaining ice is rotten. Ice fishing is not recommended.
Manawa (Pottawattamie): The canals have skim ice making them impossible to fish. With the warming temperatures the canals will open making them accessible to anglers. Last week, crappie fishing was excellent in the canals. Anglers having the most success are using white jigs tipped with minnows. Walleyes are being caught on the west side of the lake using twister tails and minnows.
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.

Northwest

Spirit Lake (Dickinson): Access to the lake is limited because of pressure ridges that have expanded.  Most anglers are gaining access onto the lake at Crandall’s Beach.  Anglers can park and walk onto the lake at the Hale Slough boat ramp, Mini-Wakan State Park, Buffalo Run, Marble Beach Boat Ramp, and the Pump House.
Bluegills are being caught in Angler’s Bay along the weed beds and open areas or at the North Grade along the remnant lily pad field with small ice jigs tipped with wax worms. Yellow perch are being caught in the main lake basin from the Pump House north towards Crandall’s Beach or at the North Grade using jigging lures tipped with live bait or a slip bobber rig baited with a minnow.  Crappies are biting on small ice jigs tipped with wax worms or grubs in Angler’s Bay fishing in the evenings over weed beds.
West Okoboji Lake (Dickinson): Access points can be found at Emerson, Miller’s, and Smith’s bays and Triboji Beach.
Look for bluegills in Miller’s, Smith’s and North bays along weed beds, and between Pocahontas and Eagle points with small ice jigs tipped with wigglers or wax worms. For northern pike, use live bait and tip-ups in Smith and North bays.
Center Lake (Dickinson): Walleyes are biting in the evening on jigging lures tipped with minnow heads or a slip bobber and minnow.
Clear Lake (Cerro Gordo): Yellow bass are still biting on the west end of the lake between Farmer’s Beach and the Baptist Camp, and west of McIntosh State Park in the new dredge area.  A few walleye and white bass are also being caught while fishing for yellows.  Jigging spoons and minnows below a bobber are the best techniques.  Ice depth remains 18 to 20 inches, but warm days are deteriorating the access points.  Use caution with the changing ice conditions this time of year.
Silver Lake (Worth): A few yellow perch are being caught fishing the north side of the lake by the county park and near the boat ramp on the southwest side.  Try using a jig tipped with a minnow for best results.
Storm Lake (Buena Vista): Lots of open water on the north and southwest sides of the lake.  Ice fishing is still good on the west side of the lake by the inlet area.  Walleyes are biting on live minnows. 
Brushy Creek Lake (Webster): Ice fishing is not recommended.
For more information on fishing in northwest Iowa, call the regional office in Spirit Lake at 712-336-1840.

Northeast

Mississippi River Pools 9 to 15:  With the warm temperatures and rain expected this weekend, the safe ice fishing period may be ending soon.  Anglers are advised to use caution when heading out.  Although thick ice remains on most backwater areas, caution should be used around edges and anywhere there may be current.  Typically on the Upper Mississippi, the bite picks up toward the late ice period, but this must always be balanced with caution for safe ice conditions. 
The bright spot for upper Mississippi River fishing is the walleye and sauger fishing in the tailwaters of Lock and dams 9 and 10 at Lynxville and Guttenberg.  Fishing is very good for sauger with a lot of small sauger being caught and a few limits of nicer sized fish being caught.  A few good sized walleyes are also being caught.
In Pool 9 fishing has been good for bluegills and crappie out of New Albin.  Anglers are reporting better tip-up fishing for northern pike in the New Albin area. 
In Pool 10 bluegill fishing is fair to good with a lot of sorting in Bussey Lake.  Anglers are urged to use caution and test ice conditions before attempting to cross Johnson Slough in the Sny Magill area. 
In Pool 11 bluegill fishing is good with a lot of sorting in the harbor and down at Zollicoffer’s Slough in the Mud Lake area. 
Interior rivers in northeast Iowa have lost much of their ice and many are a little high, but fishable.  Now might be the time to try angling for walleye below the dams and in those deep holes.  Try using a jig with a slow presentation.
Cedar (Black Hawk and Bremer) and Shell Rock rivers (Black Hawk and Butler):  Open water conditions exist and anglers are fishing for walleye by boat and shore using jigs with a twister tail fished with and without minnows.  Action has been better in and around the Waterloo area.  A few northern pike are also being caught as the pike spawning seasons draws near.  Angling should continue to improve as water temperature rises into the high 30s.
Maquoketa River (Delaware):  The river is mostly free of ice and some fishing is occurring below the Lake Delhi Dam for walleye.  Anglers are also catching walleye further up the river.
Upper Iowa River (Winneshiek):  Reports of anglers catching walleye are beginning to come in.  The Upper Iowa is up a bit and has fairly decent water clarity.
Wapsipinicon River (Buchanan):  The river is open in sections, but remains largely ice-covered above dams.  Anglers are fishing from shore for northern pike and walleye below the dams in Independence and Quasqueton, but action has been slow.
Black Hawk County area lakes and ponds:  Ice fishing is beginning to pick up as oxygen levels improve and spring approaches.  Anglers are catching a few crappies during an evening bite on George Wyth Lake.  Ice anglers should use caution because ice has eroded during recent warm weather and melt events, especially along the edges and near the inlets.
Bremer County area lakes and ponds:  Fishing has picked up over the last week on Sweet Marsh, Avenue of the Saints Lake and Plainfield Lake.  Sweet Marsh is providing good action for crappies using jigs tipped with a wax worm.  Anglers are catching a few nice sized crappies out of Saints Lake—bluegills are biting as well, but tend to run smaller in size.  Nice-sized bluegills are being caught in Plainfield Lake.  Ice anglers should use caution.
Casey Lake (Tama):  Fishing is fair for bluegills using small ice jigs and wax worms.  Use caution entering and leaving the ice, as well as near the inlet and outlet.
Lake Hendricks (Howard):  Anglers continue to work to get fish, but nice crappies and bluegills are starting to bite.  Fish are being caught using a jig tipped with a wax worm or a small minnow.  Try fishing the bait at various depths as fish are likely suspended off the bottom at this time of year.  Evening is the best time to fish.  There’s water sitting on top of the ice, but there’s still quite a bit of ice—use caution.
Lake Meyer (Winneshiek):  Fishing picked up this week especially around the jetty.  Anglers have been using dark purple or chartreuse colored jigs tipped with a wax worm.  Nice sized crappies and bluegills above 7 inches were biting.  Try fishing lures about 3 to 6 feet under the ice.  The best time to fish continues to be around mid day. 
Volga Lake (Fayette):  Fishing is slow.  Runoff in the stream is making the water cloudy so use light colored jigs.  Try fishing a different spot if a fish doesn’t nibble right away.  Also try suspending lures in 2 to 5 feet of water this time of year. 
Northeast Iowa trout streams are running a little high but clear.  Rains may dirty the water; however, streams will clear quickly.  Brown trout seem to be really aggressive when the water first gets cloudy.  Some streams are experiencing insect hatches in the warm afternoons.
For information on fishing in northeast Iowa, call the regional office in Manchester at 563-927-3276.

Southeast

Mississippi River Pools 16 to 20: River levels have fallen over the past week but water clarity remains poor.  In Pool 16, tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 6.51 feet.  Walleye and sauger fishing in the tailwaters has been slow.  A few anglers have been targeting channel catfish with dead shad and crawlers around Sunset Marina.   
In Pool 17, tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 5.28 feet.  Walleye and sauger fishing in the tailwaters has been slow.  In Pool 18, tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 6.58 feet.  Tailwater fishing for walleyes and saugers has been slow.  In Pool 19, tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 3.81 feet.  Walleye and sauger fishing in the tailwaters has been slow.  A few anglers have been targeting channel catfish with dead shad and night crawlers.  In Pool 20, tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 19 is 5.37 feet.  No fishing report.   
Lake Darling (Washington): The lake is completely drained.
Lake Belva Deer (Keokuk): Unsafe ice conditions.  Percent of open water continues to increase.
Lake Geode (Henry): Unsafe ice conditions.  Percent of open water continues to increase.   
Lake Rathbun (Appanoose): Ice conditions are not suitable for ice fishing. Most of the lake has open water.           
Lake Sugema (Van Buren): The lake is completely free of ice.  Fishing has been slow with anglers using small jigs.     
Lake Keomah (Mahaska): The lake is completely free of ice.   
Lake Wapello (Davis): The lake has been completely drained.
Lake Miami (Monroe): The lake is free of ice.  Look for shallow water areas to start warming up with the afternoon sun.       
Lake Macbride (Johnson): Ice fishing continues.  Most areas still have around 8 inches of ice, BUT the edges are thinner.  The warm weather and wind will most likely make the edges extremely variable, so use CAUTION.
Pleasant Creek (Linn): Ice fishing still continues.  Some areas along the dam have poor ice, but most of the south and west ends of the lake still have 10 inches of ice or more. 
Kent Park (Johnson): Ice fishing still continues.  Most of the lake has 8 inches of ice but the edges may deteriorate with the upcoming warm weather.   
Hannen Lake (Benton): Ice fishing still continues.  Most of the lake has 8 to 10 inches of ice, but the edges may deteriorate with the upcoming warm weather.     
Iowa River (Johnson): Some walleyes are being picked up below the dams.  Try bright colored twisters due to the dirty water conditions.  Tipping them with a minnow can also help. 
For more information on fishing in southeast Iowa, call the regional office in Brighton at 319-694-2430.

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