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Weekly Northwest Iowa DNR Fishing Report

Northwest Iowa — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has released their weekly fishing report for northwest Iowa. This weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys and county and state parks staff. You can check the activity of your favorite lake or stretch of river, including which species are being caught, a rating of the bite (slow, fair, good or excellent), as well as a hot bait or lure pattern.

NORTHWEST
Black Hawk Lake
Water temperature is in the low 70’s. Lake level is about 9 inches below the crest of the spillway. Water clarity is about one foot. Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers are picking up some 8- to 10-inch fish in and around the fish house shelter on Ice House Point. Bluegill – Slow. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try cut bait or dip baits fished on the bottom in areas along shore or near the rock pile off Cottonwood Point. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use traditional bass lures fished along shore in areas with rocks, fallen trees or docks. Ice House Point shoreline near the outlet and near the inlet bridge are good areas to target bass. Walleye – Slow: Try along the dredge shelf in front of Denison Beach or the rock pile off of Cottonwood Point.

Brushy Creek Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Try a small jig tipped with a small minnow in 15 feet of water near woody structure. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use weedless lures along vegetation edges and traditional bass lures along areas with woody structure. Yellow Perch- Fair: Try a small jig tipped with a crawler or minnow in 10-15 feet of water.

Storm Lake (incl Little Storm Lake)
Water clarity is roughly 1-2 feet. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use cut bait or dip baits fished on the bottom in areas along shore with rocks or near the dredge cuts if fishing by boat. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Cast lures along shore and docks. Many areas near shore have only sparse vegetation patches with plenty of casting opportunities. Use weedless lures if fishing in areas with heavier vegetation. Walleye – Fair: Pick up fish along the dredge cuts with crankbaits or bottom bouncers. Use planer boards to pull crawler harnesses just above the weedlines. Try jigging or slip bobber fishing in the deep areas of the dredge cuts where many areas are free of vegetation. Shore fishing for walleyes should improve as water temperatures cool.

Water temperatures in most lakes are in the lower 70’s. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.

Beeds Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Drift fish or troll a small minnow or tube jig. Largemouth Bass – Fair. Yellow Bass – Fair: Drift fish or troll a small minnow or tube jig.

Clear Lake
Water temperature is in the low 70’s. The lake is 3.36 inches low. Water clarity is 23 inches. Black Crappie – Fair. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try cut bait or chicken liver on the wind swept shore after sunset. Walleye – Slow: Use a jig tipped with a minnow or crawler fished near vegetation along the north shore. Also try slip bobber fishing a minnow on the rock reefs. Yellow Bass – Good: Use a small jig tipped with a minnow or cut bait fished in 5 to 6 feet of water along the high bank on the north shore or out from the pump house. Use your electronics to find and stay on fish.

Rice Lake
Any water west of the north boat ramp is a waterfowl refuge and is closed to all activity from Sept. 1st through the final day of the duck season. Bluegill – Fair. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass are biting on a variety of baits. Walleye – Slow. Yellow Perch – Fair: Use a jig and minnow in the deeper water along the homes on the south shore.

Silver Lake (Worth)
The vegetation has open up some. Bluegill – Fair: Try a small piece of crawler under a bobber fished along the edge of the vegetation. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass are biting on a variety of baits. Yellow Perch – Slow.

Upper Pine Lake
The boat ramp at Upper Pine Lake is closed until the new ramp is installed.

For information on the lakes and rivers in north central Iowa, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.

East Okoboji Lake
The water temperature is 69 degrees. Many anglers have had success with slip bobbers/spoons and vertical jigging and drop shot fishing. A great bluegill/crappie/yellow bass bite can be found trolling weed lines. Many anglers have observed high catch rates with a lot of sorting. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappie are hard to target specifically, but can be caught mixed with other panfish. The bite has improved in and around docks and hoists. Bluegill – Good: Bluegill are biting like crazy. Leeches or worms and a simple bobber setup work well. Pumpkinseed – Good: Fun and easier to catch from most docks. Use a small hook, bobber and piece of worm.

Lost Island Lake
Anglers report they have started to catch yellow bass in shallow amongst the vegetation. Black Crappie – Fair. Bluegill – Fair. Walleye – Fair. Yellow Bass – Fair. Yellow Perch – Fair.

Minnewashta Lake
Panfishing has been good for anglers trolling weed lines. Vertical jigging is improving. Black Crappie – Fair: A nice crappie bite can be found with a little movement around the lake. Bluegill – Fair. Pumpkinseed – Good.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Walleye – Fair: Try using slip bobbers and finding weed lines.

Spirit Lake
The water temperature is 69 degrees. The yellow perch bite has been slower, but the walleye bite has picked up. Use lead core and tadpole baits. Walleye – Good: Bite is hit-or-miss at dusk, but the day bite is improving. Many anglers have started to fish in shallower with slip bobbers along weed edges. Yellow Perch – Fair: Best bite is morning till 11:00 and mid-afternoon. Depths vary depending on the time of day. Move often to find fish – schools are smaller and sporadic.

West Okoboji Lake
The water temperature is 68 degrees. Many anglers have been most successful with trolling, but jigging and casting has also been very good. Use lead core and tadpole baits. Offshore fishing for bass has been great. Black Crappie – Good: Crappie have been very picky lately, but can be easily caught if you aren’t afraid to switch things up. Can also be caught frequently while picking through other panfish or have been found around weed edges. Bluegill – Good: Bluegill are biting like crazy with fish up to 10-inches seen. Jigging, casting, and slip bobbers work well. Try leeches or worms and a simple bobber setup. Walleye – Fair: Walleye have been hard to target, but many anglers have been catching them while fishing for other species.

Offshore fishing for bass has been very good lately. The panfish/perch bite has been excellent. Area lake levels are low, making launching and loading boats more difficult. The forecast calls for highs in the 70’s and 80’s, but lows in the 50’s at night. Lake temperatures have been slowly cooling down and are below 70 degrees at night. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.