Fishing Conditions Beginning To Pick Up
The following is a report on fishing conditions as compiled by the Iowa Deparment of Natural Resources for Northwest Iowa.
If taking a child ice fishing this weekend in the Spirit Lake area, take them to the North Grade on the north end of Big Spirit Lake. Access is easy since most anglers have been fishing right along the shore. Yellow perch and bluegills have been the most frequently caught species along with a few black crappies. Use a small ice jig a few inches off the bottom tipped with a wax-worm jigged very lightly. If fishing for perch use a slip bobber and a small hook. Place a split shot a few inches above the hook with the minnow hooked lightly through the back. Set the depth of the minnow six inches off the bottom.
Spirit Lake (Dickinson): Bluegills are being caught in Angler’s Bay along the weed beds and in open areas, or at the North Grade along the remnant lily pad field with small ice jigs tipped with wax worms. Yellow perch are biting in the main lake basin from the pump house north towards Crandall 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 in Angler’s Bay along weed lines on small ice jigs tipped with wax-worms.
West Okoboji Lake (Dickinson): Bluegills are biting in Miller’s and North bays along the weed beds, and between Pocahontas and Eagle points on small ice jigs tipped with wigglers or wax worms. Crappies are being caught between Pocahontas and Eagle points with small ice jigs tipped with wax worms or wigglers. Northern pike are being caught using live bait on tip-ups in Smith’s and North bays. For yellow perch, fish the rock reef in Hayward’s Bay with small teardrop jigs tipped with live bait.
East Okoboji Lake (Dickinson): Yellow bass are being caught at sunrise and sunset between Stony and Jingles points with ice jigs tipped with live bait or a slip bobber and minnow.
Larry Wilson Wildlife Management Area Lower Pond (Dickinson): Bluegills are biting on a small ice jig tipped with a wax worm.
Sportsman Recreation Area (Palo Alto): Bluegills and crappies are biting on small ice jigs tipped with live bait.
Clear Lake (Cerro Gordo): Yellow bass are still biting on the west end of the lake around Dodge’s Point and Farmer’s Beach. A few walleye and white bass are also being caught while fishing for yellows. Fish are being caught in 7 to 10 feet of water on jigging spoons. Ice depth remains 20 to 25 inches.
Silver Lake (Worth): A few yellow perch are being caught fishing the north side of the lake by the county park. Try using a jig tipped with a minnow for best results.
Storm Lake (Buena Vista): Fishing is fair to good for walleye on minnows in 7 feet of water. The lake is covered by 10 to 20 inches of ice but there are some open areas by storm drains. Don’t forget there is a 17 to 22-inch protected slot on walleye in Storm Lake.
Brushy Creek Lake (Webster): Ice conditions have improved, but ice in some areas around the trees and by the spillway is only 1-inch thick. A few crappies have been caught at sunrise using minnows.
For more information on fishing in northwest Iowa, call the regional office in Spirit Lake at 712-336-1840.