Spirit Lake, Iowa — 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 more information contact the Spirit Lake fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840
Ice thickness at the boat ramp is 4-5 inches.
Black Hawk Lake
Ice thickness is 6 inches in front of the Ice House Point boat ramp. Ice in the east basin is more variable and may have thinner areas. Use caution if venturing out; check ice thickness often. Most angling activity has been near the Ice House Point boat ramp and near the Gunshot Hill shoreline. Ice is thinner in the inlet bridge bay. Black Crappie – Fair. Yellow Perch – Fair: Anglers are catching keeper-size fish; some sorting is needed. Walleye – Fair.
Black Hawk Pits
Ice thickness is 5-6 inches near the boat ramp. Ice conditions are variable; use caution and check ice often. Anglers have just started making their way out. This is a good place to target bluegill, crappie, and yellow perch through the ice.
Storm Lake (incl Little Storm Lake)
Ice conditions are extremely variable. Some areas mid-lake have pockets of open water, while ice is up to 9 inches thick in other locations. Some areas may have recently frozen over with thin ice that are now hidden with snow. Use caution if venturing out; check ice thickness often.
Ice conditions in the district are variable. Some lakes have pockets of open water, but may have up to 8 inches of ice in other places. Ice is snow covered and variable; use caution if venturing out. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.
Ice thickness is 4 to 6 inches. Waterfowl have kept a hole open on the northeast side of the lake. Yellow Bass – Fair. Bluegill – Fair. Black Crappie – Fair.
Ice thickness is 4 to 6 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are having luck catching decent-sized bluegill on a jig tipped with red spikes.
Ice thickness is 3 to 8 inches. There are several open water areas to avoid on the main lake. Yellow Bass – Fair: Use a small jig tipped with a spikes. Yellow Perch – Excellent: Anglers fishing the Farmers beach area are catching perch in 2 to 6 feet of water on small jigs. You may have to use larger bait to catch the bigger fish. Use caution near the access and avoid the seams. Walleye – Slow.
Ice thickness is 3 to 5 inches. Yellow Perch – Good: Anglers are catching lots of 3- to 7-inch fish. Yellow Bass – Fair: Catch 5- to 8-inch yellows on small jigs tipped with a waxworm. Black Crappie – Slow. Bluegill – Slow.
Lower Pine Lake
Ice thickness is about 7 inches off the boat ramp. Waterfowl have a large hole open between the island and beach. Ice thickness can vary dramatically on Lower Pine Lake due to springs. Use caution and check thickness as you go.
Ice thickness varies from zero to 7 inches. Yellow Perch – Slow.
Silver Lake (Worth)
Ice thickness is 3 to 7 inches. Bluegill – Fair.
Upper Pine Lake
Ice thickness is about 5 inches off the boat ramp. Ice thickness can vary dramatically on Upper Pine due to springs and slush covering the lake before good ice formation. Most anglers have stayed close to the west shoreline. Use caution and check thickness as you go.
For information on the lakes and rivers in north central Iowa, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.
Dog Creek (Lake)
Fishing has been fair to good.
East Okoboji Lake
The walleye season is open. Ice conditions vary across the lake with around 8 inches with some bad spots that have more recently frozen over in recent weeks; ATV use is not recommended. Bluegill – Good: Easily catch lots of bluegill; a lot of sorting may be needed with many 7.5- to 9-inch fish. Yellow Perch – Fair. Black Crappie – Good.
Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs tipped with waxworms. Black Crappie – Fair: Try small jigs tipped with waxworms.
Lost Island Lake
Ice conditions range from 5-10.5 inches. A good amount of fishing pressure has been seen recently. Yellow Perch – Good. Walleye – Fair.
Bluegill – Good: Lots of 4- to 6-inch fish are being caught. Black Crappie – Good.
Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Ice conditions are around 8.5 inches, but are highly variable. Use extreme caution; a side-by-side went through the ice this week. Walleye – Fair.
The walleye season is open. Ice conditions vary across the lake with 5-10 inches. Be wary out on the main basin with areas that have more recently frozen over; venturing out on an ATV is not recommended. Yellow Perch – Fair: Perch fishing has been tough, but once you find them, many quality 9- to 10.5-inchers have been caught. Walleye – Fair: Walleye bite has been tough, but anglers have been able to limit out.
West Okoboji Lake
The walleye season is open. West Okoboji was the last lake to fully ice up on Dec. 25. Ice conditions vary with 4-6 inches in the bays. Be wary out on the main basin as there are areas that have more recently frozen over; venturing far out is not recommended. Panfishing has been good in many of the bays where many anglers have been able to sight fish. Yellow Perch – Fair. Bluegill – Good.
Iowa Great Lakes are fully iced up with conditions ranging from 5-10 inches. There are still many spots in the main basins that are somewhat freshly covered; use caution when going out. The use of ATV’s is not recommended. Remember to bring a form of ice picks, a form of flotation, a friend, and be smart out on the ice! Through New Year’s and this weekend temperatures should remain below freezing with highs in the upper 20’s to low 30’s. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.