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February 8, 2018
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.
Top Iowa Fishing Spots for the Week of February 8.
This 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.
Winter Urban Trout Stockings - fun for everyone
Catch trout through the ice at Lake Petocka this Saturday - the last winter urban trout stocking this season. Bring the whole family.
Ice is 11 inches thick. Black Crappie - Fair: Use minnows or waxworms on a jig in areas with structure anywhere from 10-15 feet deep. Bluegill - Fair: Catch keeper size bluegills with a teardrop jig tipped with a waxworm fished near structure.
Bacon Creek Lake
Rainbow trout were stocked on Jan. 27th.
Black Hawk Lake
The winter aeration system is in operation in Town Bay. Expect areas of thin ice and open water in Town Bay. Ice thickness is around 12-14 inches off of Ice House boat ramp. Bluegill - Fair: Use a teardrop jig and waxworm fished off the bottom in the channel between Ice House boat ramp and Gunshot Hill, the rock pile off of Gunshot Hill, rock pile off Cottonwood Point, and the dredge cuts near Denison Beach and Lakewood Point. Some sorting is needed. Black Crappie - Fair: Anglers are picking up crappie while targeting bluegill. Walleye - Fair: Use a spoon and minnow fished on the rock piles off Cottonwood Point and in the east basin. Low light hours and after sunset are best.
Black Hawk Pits
Ice is around 10-12 inches thick. Bluegill - Fair: Try a small jig tipped with waxworms fished near the bottom.
Brushy Creek Lake
Use caution, conditions are variable - drill test holes often and expect less ice near inflows, in the main channel, and near trees. Walleye - Slow: A few walleye are being picked up with jigging spoons and a minnow head. Low numbers, but most are bigger fish with some over 25 inches. Bluegill - Fair: Decent numbers of bluegill catches reported with waxworms on a teardrop jig. Some sorting is needed. Black Crappie - Fair: Use a minnow on a jig fished near structure in 10-15 feet of water.
Rainbow trout were stocked on Jan. 20th. Use small tube jigs tipped with bait or live minnows under a bobber.
Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Most ice is around 14-18 inches, but there are variable conditions near shore - some areas of shoreline had open water within the last couple weeks so use caution. Walleye - Fair: Use rattle spoons and jigging spoons with a minnow head in 8 feet of water on the edges of the old dredged area in the west end. Some anglers are catching limits of fish. Most fish are less than 14 inches, but some over 23 are being picked up too. Most of the action is at the west end of the lake off Casino Beach, Frank Starr, and College Island. Yellow Perch - Fair: Some perch have been picked up while targeting walleye. Black Crappie - Fair: A few crappies are being picked up while fishing for walleye.
Most lakes in western Iowa have 9-18 inches of ice. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.
Trout are still being caught. Fish near the pier with small jigs tipped with live bait.
Ice thickness is 16-20 inches. Ice heaves have made access on the lake difficult in spots. Avoid areas near the aerators. Yellow Bass - Fair: Yellows have been hard to find and are finicky. Use light tackle and be mobile to stay on fish. The best bite is still at dawn. Walleye – Slow: Try jigging spoons and minnow heads near the island. The best bite is at dusk.
Ice thickness is 17-20 inches. Avoid areas near the aerators. Black Crappie - Slow: Use a small jig tipped with spikes or a minnow head near the edge of the dredge cut.
Ice thickness is 17-21 inches. Avoid areas near the aerators. Walleye - Slow.
Silver Lake (Worth)
Ice thickness is 17-19 inches. Avoid areas near the aerators.
For information on the lakes and rivers in the north central area, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.
East Okoboji Lake
Walleye - Fair: Anglers report walleye action south of Stony Point. Yellow Bass - Good: Reports of yellow bass action as "hit or miss"; fish traditional sites and move often to find active fish.
Five Island Lake
Walleye - Fair: Ice anglers have had good pole bending activity with numbers of fish harvested. Yellow Bass - Good: Action has picked up, good numbers of fish have been harvested; fish the dredge cuts for the best action.
Use caution; thin ice conditions around the aeration system.
Lost Island Lake
Yellow Bass - Good: Good numbers of fish are being caught; fish the Stoney Point area for the best action. Walleye - Fair: Numbers of fish are reported from Lost Island Lake; change tactics with the changing weather conditions. Yellow Perch - Fair: Some yellow perch and black crappie are being caught by anglers fishing for yellow bass.
Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Use caution; thin ice conditions around the aeration system.
Silver Lake (Palo Alto)
Walleye - Fair: Ice anglers report harvesting walleye. Yellow Perch - Fair: Fishing action has been very variable; ice anglers are catching nice size perch.
Limited access to the lake. Yellow Perch - Good: Numbers of large angler acceptable size fish being caught. Walleye - Good: Limits being reported. Use traditional baits tipped with a minnow head. Best action is early evening at prime time; fish a half hour after sunset, but do not overlook the morning bite.
Yellow Perch - Good: Persistent and patient anglers will be rewarded with good numbers of yellow perch 12 inches and larger in the creel. Northern Pike - Good: Action has picked up; anglers are harvesting northern pike from the lake.
West Okoboji Lake
Bluegill - Good: Bluegills continue to be fussy; persistence and patience will be rewarded with good numbers of fish caught. Reports of improving water clarity. Northern Pike - Good: Good numbers of fish up to 36 inches are being caught. Tip-up action will
For more information throughout the week, contact the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.
Cedar River (above Nashua)
Improved ice conditions with colder temperatures. Use caution when going on ice. Check ice depths often. Bluegill - Slow: Find fish in slack water out of current. Stumps, brush piles, and deep holes hold fish. Use small jigs tipped with spikes or waxworms.
Decorah District Streams
Find out what urban pond or lake is being stocked this weekend. With a slower bite, use bigger flashier flies and lures. Parking lots on wildlife management areas are not plowed. Use care when parking along the road. Brook Trout - Fair: Midges hatch all season. Try wholly buggers or a flashy fly for a hungry brookie. Brown Trout - Good: Insects will hatch on sunny afternoons. Use small midge patterns. With off color water, try a flashy spinner or fly. Rainbow Trout - Fair: Drift a feathered spinner or a hook tipped with worm along an undercut bank.
Ice thickness is at least 24 inches with about 3 inches of snow on the lake; more snow by Saturday. Anglers finding habitat will find fish. Open water around the aerator. Anglers are catching quite a few small fish. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the ice. Black Crappie - Fair: Move around to find fish. Use small jig tipped with a minnow head. Bluegill - Fair: Use small jigs tipped with waxworms or spikes around structure.
Ice thickness is about 24 inches ice with about 3 inches of snow. An additional 3 inches of snow is possible by the weekend. Early and late bites are best. The bite has slowed. Be prepared to move often. Bluegill - Good: Use small jigs tipped with spikes or waxworms. Black Crappie - Fair: Key in to brush and dangle a small jig about a foot or two above the stems.
Ice thickness is 20 inches with 3 inches of snow. Water is stained. More snow by the weekend. The bite is best in the morning, but fish can be caught all day. Black Crappie - Slow: Drop your lure about 3 feet above structure and watch them swim up to the bait. Use small teardrop shaped jigs tipped with spikes or waxworms. Bluegill - Slow: Fish around structure in 14-16 feet water about a foot off the bottom.
Temperatures in the mid-teens through the weekend. Chance for snow Friday into Saturday morning. Ice conditions are improving. The groundhog saw his shadow. Keep your ice fishing gear out. For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.
Big Woods Lake
Reports of anglers catching panfish in Big Woods Lake, but some sorting of fish is needed. Bluegill - Fair: Find bluegill off of the bottom using a teardrop jig tipped with a waxworm.
Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
It's been hit and miss on Casey Lake, but there have been some reports of crappie being caught. Black Crappie - Fair: Concentrate efforts in and around 5-6 feet of water near the west and south side of the lake. Try a dead stick with a minnow or a teardrop jig tipped with a waxworm. Bluegill - Fair: Use a teardrop jig tipped with a waxworm.
George Wyth Lake
Anglers are catching panfish on George Wyth Lake.
Manchester District Streams
Conditions are again ideal for getting out and chasing some nice brown trout populations in many of our streams. Brown Trout - Fair: Use nymphs and midges in sizes 18-24.
Reports have been hit and miss for panfish on Martens Lake. Access the north end of the lake by crossing over the reservoir and north dike. Bluegill - Fair: Find bluegill off of the bottom using a teardrop jig tipped with a waxworm. Black Crappie - Fair: On occasion anglers will catch a jumbo crappie. Use a jig tipped with a waxworm covering the water column for suspended fish.
South Prairie Lake
We have received no information about fishing on this water body this week. Bluegill - Fair: Find bluegill off of the bottom using a teardrop jig tipped with a waxworm.
Ice conditions remain good on most lakes in and around Black Hawk County, averaging 10-12 inches. Reports are very few this past week as anglers are not having much success. Northeast Iowa trout streams remain in excellent condition. Call the N.E. Iowa district office at 563-927-3276 for more information.
Mississippi River Pool 9
Lansing levels are on a slight fall at 7.8 feet this week. Avoid areas where ice is heaved and use caution accessing the ice as shorelines and sloughs may be unsafe. Tailwaters are tough to access due to ice flows. Walleye - No Report: Access to tail-water areas is difficult with large areas of ice flows. Black Crappie - Slow: Occasional crappie being caught in just 2-4 feet of water just under the ice. Yellow Perch - Fair: Yellow perch bite has been good off and on. Try slow falling presentation with plastic jigs or waxworms a few feet from the bottom. Sauger - No Report: Use jig and minnows fished off the bottom in the tailwater areas and deeper side channels. Bluegill - Slow: Ice anglers are catching bluegill. Use small teardrop jigs tipped with waxies in 4-5 feet of water with no current. Northern Pike - Fair: Use tip-ups baited with shiners along the edges of deeper cuts with vegetation. Set up tip-ups far away from human traffic to avoid spooking them.
Mississippi River Pool 10
Water level at Lynxville fallen to 14.3 feet this week. Greymore Lake at Prairie du Chien and Sny Magill area anglers have to work for their panfish. Bussey Lake has been better early morning or later afternoon. Avoid the boat ramp area and ice heaves as ice is not stable. Park along the south side of causeway road and walk down from the upper end of Bussey. Walleye - No Report: Access to tail-water areas is difficult with large areas of ice flows. Yellow Perch - Fair: Yellow perch bite has been good off and on. Try slow falling presentation with plastic jigs or waxworms a few feet from the bottom. Bluegill - Slow: Ice anglers are catching bluegill. Use small teardrop jigs tipped with waxies in 4-5 feet of water with no current. Northern Pike - Slow: Use tip-ups baited with shiners along the edges of deeper cuts with vegetation. Set up tip-ups far away from human traffic to avoid spooking them. Black Crappie - Slow: Occasional crappie being caught in just 2-4 feet of water just under the ice. Largemouth Bass - Slow: Tip-up anglers are catching nice size bass through the ice using minnows or shiners.
Mississippi River Pool 11
Water level at Guttenberg tail-water has fallen a few feet to 5.9 feet. Backwaters have good ice thickness; avoid areas of thick snow cover and around edges. Bertom & Mc Cartney, Sunfish Lake and Zollicoffers are still producing bluegills and perch with some crappie mixed in. Black Crappie - Slow: Occasional crappie being caught in just 2-4 feet of water just under the ice. Yellow Perch - Good: Yellow perch bite has been good off and on. Try slow falling presentation with plastic jigs or waxworms a few feet from the bottom. Bluegill - Slow: Ice anglers are catching bluegill. Use small teardrop jigs tipped with waxies in 4-5 feet of water with no current. Northern Pike - Fair: Use tip-ups baited with shiners along the edges of deeper cuts with vegetation. Largemouth Bass - Good: Tip-up anglers are catching a few bass using minnows or shiners.
Upper Mississippi River conditions are fairly stable. Ramps are either iced in or areas below the dams are covered in ice flows. The bite has been sluggish and anglers are moving around a lot. The bite seems to be better in later afternoon this week. Backwater ice is variable with around 2 feet of ice. Use caution on sloughs, near pressure ridges, snow covered areas and entering and exiting the ice where ice can be thin.
Mississippi River Pool 12
Water levels are receding and are 5.7 feet at the Dubuque Lock and Dam and 8.3 feet at the RR bridge. This is down over a foot from last week. Ice fishing is still going on in almost all the typical backwaters and marina's in Pool 12. Fishing was slow this week. Yellow Perch - Slow: Yellow perch are being caught in a variety of backwaters. Most anglers are using waxworms and are catching them while targeting bluegills. Black Crappie - Slow: Up and down reports on crappies all fall and into the winter. Northern Pike - Slow: Reports of northern pike being taken earlier on tip-ups and large shiners; lately the fishing has slowed. Bluegill - Slow: Fishing for bluegills has slowed this week, but we have had some weeks of decent fishing in many locations.
Mississippi River Pool 13
Water levels are receding and are 6.2 feet at the Bellevue Lock and Dam. This is down from last week. Expect water levels to continue to recede. Ice flows are present in the tailwater and are blocking tailwater fishing. Ice fishing is underway in nearly all the normal backwaters on Pool 13, but it is reported as slow. Yellow Perch - Fair: Yellow perch fishing has gotten tougher this week; most ice anglers are reporting poor to good fishing. Keep moving to find where they are hitting. Spring Lake has been the most popular spot on the pool to find yellow perch. Bluegill - Slow: Bluegill fishing has slowed this week.
Mississippi River Pool 14
Water levels receded this week and are 5.2 feet at Fulton, 9.7 feet at Camanche and 4.8 feet at LeClaire. Expect water levels to continue to recede. Ice flows are present in the tailwater and launching is difficult. Very few ice fishermen reported this with the extreme cold weather and poor ice conditions last week.
Mississippi River Pool 15
Water levels are 6.5 feet at Rock Island and will recede the next few days. No fishing was reported to us this week.
The river levels decreased this week. Tailwaters are again mostly frozen in and people are not able to launch boats. Backwater ice fishing conditions were better than in the past two weeks, but angling is slow. If you have any angling questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.
Central Park Lake
The lake is drained for the renovation project that is going on now.
The lake is holding at winter pool of 683.4 feet. Ice conditions have improved, but water clarity has not. There is open water around the Mehaffey Bridge area.
The lake is reported as having 6-8 inches of good ice. Fishing has slowed. Bluegill - Fair: Catch 6-8 inch fish off brush piles on jigs/waxies. Black Crappie - Fair: Use jigs/waxies around brush. Most fish are about 8 inches.
Iowa Lake (Iowa Co.)
Most of the lake has about 7 inches of ice. There was a portion on the east shoreline that had been open last week. Fishing activity has been low.
Kent Park Lake
The lake is drained for the renovation project that will take place next winter. The ponds in Kent Park are reported as having about 10 inches of ice.
The lake has 7-11 inches of ice. Most anglers are targeting the south arm and the area from the beach to the main double ramp. Bluegill - Good: Use a jig/waxie around any brush or deeper rock. Size is marginal at best as these fish top out at 7.5 inches. Black Crappie - Fair: It is day to day on good catches. Some days have been good and others are slow. Fish over deeper wood or look for suspended fish over the deeper basin with a jig/waxie. Walleye - Slow: Use a spoon/minnow along rock edges, deeper stumps, or drop-offs. Dawn and dusk has been best. Most fish are small, but some eaters are also being caught. Channel Catfish - Slow: A few catfish are being picked up in deeper water on jigs/waxies, spoons/minnow heads, and minnows under a bobber.
Otter Creek Lake
Ice thickness is reported at 10-12 inches. Most fish are being found in deeper water (18'+). Yellow Bass – Slow. Bluegill – Slow. Black Crappie – Slow.
Pleasant Creek Lake
The lake is still 10 feet low from the restoration project. The lake is reported as having about 10-12 inches of ice. Most anglers are targeting the area along the dam and out from the main ramp. Walleye - Slow: Try minnows or spoons tipped with minnow heads. Most fish are being caught in the creek channels. Early mornings have been best. Bluegill - Slow: Use small jigs and waxies along the dam. White Bass - Slow: A few fish are being caught suspended in deeper water with spoons. Yellow Perch - Slow: A few decent perch are being caught on jigs or small spoons tipped with waxies. Black Crappie - Slow: Fish over deeper brush with a jig/waxie.
Union Grove Lake
There has been no fishing activity on the lake. The aeration system is on, so there is open water at the lower end of the lake.
Wapsipinicon River (Troy Mills to Oxford Junction)
Ice conditions look good in the backwaters. Black Crappie – Fair. Bluegill – Fair. Channel Catfish – Slow. Largemouth Bass – Slow.
For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.
Use caution getting on and off the ice as the ice along the shoreline has started to melt and then re-frozein some areas. Bluegill - Good: Use a teardrop jig tipped with a waxworm in the cedar tree piles.
Ice thickness is variable; use caution. Very few anglers have been out in the last couple of weeks. The ice has melted and re-frozen along the shoreline; use caution getting on and off the ice. Bluegill - Fair: Use teardrop jigs tipped with a waxworm in areas with structure. Black Crappie - Fair: Try jigs tipped with a waxworm or a minnow in areas with structure.
Ice thickness is variable; use caution. The ice around the shoreline has melted and re-froze; use caution getting on and off the ice. Bluegill - Fair: Use teardrop jigs tipped with a waxworm in areas around the cedar tree piles. Black Crappie - Fair: Use jigs tipped with a waxworm or a minnow in areas around the cedar tree piles.
The current lake level is 903.11 msl. Normal operating elevation is 904.0 msl. Lake Rathbun has zebra mussels, so make sure to properly drain, clean, and dry equipment before transporting to another water body. The ramps at the Rathbun marina are closed for the season and all the campgrounds are closed.The main lake has areas of open water so avoid those areas. Use caution getting on and off the ice as the ice near the shoreline has melted and re-froze. Black Crappie - Fair: Use waxworms or minnows. Target structure in deeper water. Sorting is needed for larger fish.
Red Haw Lake
Ice thickness has varied with the warmer weather; use caution. The ice around the shoreline has melted and re-froze; these areas have variable ice thicknesses making
Ice conditions vary across the district; use caution. The district includes Mahaska, Lucas, Wayne, Monroe, Appanoose, Wapello, Davis and Van Buren counties. Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions about fishing in south central Iowa.
Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake
Rainbow Trout - Good: Trout were stocked Feb. 3rd. Use spoons or small panfish jigs tipped with waxworms or live minnows. Trout tend to swim the perimeter, so set up close to shore in 3 to 10 feet of water. Any tagged fish left over from the family fishing event that are caught can be turned in to Jax Outdoors in Ames until this Sunday, Feb. 11th at 6:00 p.m.
Big Creek Lake
Black Crappie - Good: Good: Anglers fishing the north half of the lake are finding a fair to good crappie bite in the afternoons and evenings. Fall 2017 surveys showed good numbers of 10 plus inch crappies that are worth the time to find.
Des Moines River (Saylorville to Red Rock)
Walleye - Fair: Anglers are catching fair numbers of walleyes below the Saylorville spillway slowly fishing jigs tipped with twister tails and/or minnows.
Don Williams Lake
Black Crappie - Fair: Anglers are catching crappies suspended 10-15 feet down in 20-30 feet of water in the late afternoon and evenings. Midday they are also being found shallower near sunken habitat in 10-15 feet of water. Two size ranges are being caught. Expect to fish through many 5-7 inch fish for the 9-10 inch fish.
Hickory Grove Lake
Bluegill - Good: Catch 7-8 inch bluegills over brush piles and suspended in deeper water. Move around to stay on active fish. Black Crappie - Slow: Most anglers are finding the crappie fishing to be slow, but when fish are caught the size is good. Crappie catches have been mostly limited to dawn and dusk.
Jacob Krumm Nature Preserve Lake (west)
Bluegill - Good: Krumm is a popular ice fishing destination for its good size bluegills and crappies. Anglers are catching both with the better crappie fishing in the evenings.
Rainbow Trout - Good: The family fishing event and trout stocking has been rescheduled for this Saturday, Feb. 10th. The trout will be stocked around noon. Use small panfish jigs and jigging spoons tipped with waxworms.
Ice thicknesses in Central Iowa is 8 to 14 inches. For more information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers, contact Andy Otting or Ben Dodd at 515-432-2823.
Big Lake (Including Gilbert's Pond)
Rainbow trout were stocked on Jan. 20th. Rainbow Trout - Fair: Tip jigs with waxworms or use minnows.
Cold Springs District Farm Ponds
Some ponds in the southern part of the district may not be safe to fish. Use extreme caution when venturing out on farm ponds. Bluegill - Good: Anglers are finding bluegills in the deepest part of ponds. Move often if fishing is slow. Black Crappie - Fair: The late afternoon bite has been good in larger ponds that support crappie populations.
Farm Creek Lake
Farm Creek has a good panfish population. Bluegill - Fair: Drill holes often to find active bluegill. Fish will average 8.5 inches. Black Crappie - Fair: The crappie bite has been best in the late afternoon and after dark. Fish over the channel for best success. Crappies will average 9.5 inches.
Ice on the main lake averages 8 inches. Most of the activity is in the campground arm. Black Crappie - Fair: The best bite is late afternoon and after dark. Fish will average 9 inches. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegill fishing is best in the afternoon. Catch fish up to 9.5 inches.
Littlefield has a quality panfish population. Find fish around cedar tree piles. Bluegill - Good: Fishing is good around the cedar tree piles for bluegills up to 9 inches. Morning and late afternoon bite is best. Be prepared to sort for larger fish. Black Crappie - Slow: A few 10 to 12 inch black crappies are being caught around the tree piles.
Meadow Lake has a good panfish population and will provide good fishing this winter.
Prairie Rose Lake
Prairie Rose has a bluegill and crappie population that should provide good ice fishing this winter. Ice is 9 inches. Bluegill - Fair: The best bluegill bite is in the afternoon. There has been good fishing west of the traditional pump house location. Fish will average 8.5 inches. Black Crappie - Fair: Black crappie become active just before dark. Fish are 9.5 inches.
Ice conditions remain stable with 5 to 9 inches around the district. For more information, call the Cold Springs District Office at 712-769-2587.
Little River Watershed Lake
Ice thickness is 6-9 inches. Thin ice reported in the flooded timber between Paul Vonn boat ramp and the campground.There is open water at the Paul Vonn boat ramp. Geese are keeping some areas of open water, especially north of the dam. Bluegill - Fair: Catch bluegills up to 9 inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm fished in the campground bay and main boat ramp bay. Walleye - Slow: Catch walleye up to 22 inches using jigs tipped with a minnow fished in the campground bay and the main boat ramp bay.
Ice thickness is about 8-10 inches. There may be thin ice along the fishing jetty and boat ramp as these areas may have refroze. Ice may also be thin near the HWY 25 bridge. Bluegill - Slow: Catch bluegill up to 8 inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm fished on the bottom.
Twelve Mile Creek Lake
Ice thickness is about 10-12 inches. Some areas of the shoreline may have thin ice. Bluegill - Fair: Catch bluegill up to 7.5 inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm fished along rock piles, cedar tree brush piles, or along the roadbed. . Yellow Perch - Slow: Catch yellow perch up to 9 inches using jigs tipped with a waxworm fished along rock piles, cedar tree brush piles, or along the roadbed.
Most Mount Ayr district lakes have 6-12 inches of ice.Use caution as areas of shorelines, fishing jetties, boat docks, and around flooded timber may have refrozen and may have thin ice. Geese are keeping some areas of lakes open. For more information, please contact the Mount Ayr Fisheries office at 641-464-3108.
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