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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 level is about 11 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: Shore fishing action should pick up as water temperatures drop. Try along Ice House Point and near the outlet in the east end of the lake. Throw twisters or fish live bait like minnows or leeches under a bobber.

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 temperature is in the mid-60’s. Water clarity is roughly 12 inches. Most areas along shore are free of vegetation. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use cut bait or dip baits fished on the bottom in areas along shore with rocks. Walleye – Slow: A few walleye are being picked up mid-lake along dredge cuts. Shore fishing for walleye should improve as water temperatures continue to cool down and they begin to increase feeding behavior. Cast twisters or crankbaits from shore. Also try live bait like minnows or leeches fished under a bobber along shore during evenings or mornings. White Bass – Fair: Cast twisters along shore or use crawlers fished under a bobber in areas along shore.

Water temperatures in most lakes are in the mid to upper 60’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 – Good: Drift fish or troll a small minnow or tube jig. Shore anglers are having success jigging a piece of crawler on the bottom.

Clear Lake
Water temperature is in the mid-60’s. The lake is 4.9 inches low. Water clarity is 25 inches. Black Crappie – Slow. Walleye – Fair: 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. White Bass – Slow. Yellow Bass – Fair: Try a small jig tipped with a minnow or cut bait fished on the edge of the vegetation. Use your electronics to find and stay on fish.

Lake Smith
Bluegill – Fair: Use a small piece of crawler under a bobber along the dam and in open pockets in the vegetation.

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: Use a small piece of crawler under a bobber in open areas of vegetation near shore. 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 opened 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.

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 66 degrees. Many anglers have had success with slip bobbers/spoons and vertical jigging and drop shot fishing. Many anglers have observed high catch rates with sorting needed to limit out on various fish. Black Crappie – Good: Catch is picking up; crappie are moving in shallower and been hanging out around pockets of vegetation. 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
Bite has started to pick up with many anglers fishing off the southern stony point and eastern shore. Black Crappie – Fair. Bluegill – Fair. Walleye – Fair. Yellow Bass – Fair. Yellow Perch – Good: Good catch rate with some sorting needed.

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 66 degrees. Fish are moving in shallower. Use lead core and tadpole baits. Black Crappie – Fair: Mostly being caught along with perch; use tube jigs with wigglers or pilkies. Bluegill – Fair: Mostly being caught along with perch; use tube jigs with wigglers or pilkies. 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 – Good: Perch are moving in shallower allowing for great catch with some sorting. Try mini jigs and minnows; bring plenty of minnows as smaller fish will strip you of your bait.

West Okoboji Lake
The water temperature is 66 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. Try a shucks jigger and bobber fished in 10-15 feet of water. Jigging, casting, and slip bobbers work well. Try trolling with twister tails and ripple shads or shucks jiggers with a bobber. 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 60’s and 70’s, but lows in the 50’s at night. Lake temperatures have been slowly cooling down and are in the 60’s degrees. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.