Iowa Fishing Report for Feb. 24

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.

NORTHWEST

Brushy Creek Lake

Ice conditions are not safe.

Bacon Creek Lake

1,500 rainbow trout were stocked on January 8. Anglers need a trout
stamp in addition to their regular fishing license to fish for or
keep trout. There is a 5 trout daily limit.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

Walleye fishing has been fair. Anglers are catching one or two
walleye, measuring around 13 to 14 inches, per trip. Anglers
catching theirs limits have been putting in a lot of time.

Very few fishing reports have been received from the Black Hawk
District. Be careful on the ice, the refreezing of the snowmelt has
made conditions very slick. For more information on the lakes and
rivers in this area contact Ben Wallace or Don Herrig at the Black
Hawk Fish Management Office in Lake View at 712-657-2638.

Clear Lake

Permanent ice shelter removal deadline is February 27. Yellow Bass
– Fair: Anglers are having the best success for yellow bass on the
west end of the lake. Fish minnows and small jigs in 7 to 10 feet
of water between 3 p.m. and sunset.

Anglers are still getting on the ice using ATVs or walking out.
Access points have deteriorated and caution should be used near
inflows and shorelines. Contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife
Station 641-357-3517 for the latest ice conditions.

Lake Pahoja

Bluegill – Good: Anglers are reporting good catches of bluegills.
Crappie – Good: Some crappie are being caught while fishing for
bluegill.

Big Spirit Lake

Ice conditions are still good on the main lake; however use caution
when deciding to drive on the lake as accesses have deteriorated
from last week’s warm weather. Anglers are still driving on at
Marble Beach and Mini-Wakan. Avoid Buffalo Run, Hales Slough, and
Sunset Park accesses as they have deteriorated. Bluegill – Good:
Anglers are reporting good numbers of bluegill fishing by the north
grade about 50 feet from the road, as well as in Angler’s Bay.
Crappie – Good: Anglers are reporting good numbers of crappies
while fishing in Angler’s Bay. Yellow Perch – Good: Fish are being
caught on the main lake basin using small ice jigs tipped with
wigglers, wax worms, and artificial blood worms. Anglers are
experiencing successful catches on the north side of the lake, as
well as Marble Beach, Big Stoney, Templar Park, and Cottonwood
Points. Some success has been reported in Angler’s Bay.

West Okoboji Lake

Ice conditions have deteriorated around the shoreline and accesses.
Not many anglers are driving on the ice. Use extreme caution when
deciding to drive on the ice. Northern Pike – Good: Anglers are
reporting some northern pike on tip-ups in shallow water in the
bays. Bluegill – Good: Fish in the bays with small ice jigs tipped
with wax worms/wigglers or plastics. Bluegills are still
aggressively biting, but sorting is needed for larger fish. Yellow
Perch – Good: Some anglers are reporting good catches of perch off
of Triboji access, Eagle Point and Hayward’s Bay.

Trumbull Lake

Yellow Perch – Good: Anglers are reporting good catches of perch on
the south side of the lake.

Ice conditions are still good once you get out on area lakes;
however extreme caution should be used near shorelines and
accesses. Lakes north of U.S. Hwy 20 must have all unattended
permanent shacks removed by Sunday, February 27. Also, remember
that walleye season is now closed on Big Spirit, East Okoboji, and
West Okoboji until May 7.

NORTHEAST

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)

Walleye – Fair: Jig and minnow combinations work well in open water
areas this time of year.

Ice fishing is not recommended on northeast Iowa lakes at this
time. Reports are open water and poor shoreline conditions on some
area lakes in Bremer and Black Hawk counties. Recent warm weather
has bumped water levels up on the interior rivers causing a decline
in open water fishing opportunities. Trout streams are in good
shape once again after recent runoff. For further information
contact the Manchester District Office at 563-927-3276.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9

Tail water stage at Lansing is 9.2 feet. Ice depth is okay, but
that could change with the warm weather and high water levels. Use
caution in places like Minnesota Slough. Driving vehicles on the
ice is not advised. High water levels in the river have made many
pockets of treacherous ice. Northern Pike – Fair: A few reports of
pike are being taken on tip ups in the Minnesota Slough area. The
northern pike population is very robust, and many pike are present
in most backwater systems. If using ATV to set tip-ups, use caution
as some open water exists in unusual places this year! Bluegill –
Fair: Minnesota Slough and Indian Lake by New Albin are fair. Some
bluegills are being reported from Becks Lake but that is being
reported as slow. Bear Paw and Cordwood Lake have had some bluegill
biting but it has generally been slow to fair fishing. Near
Lansing, fishing in the Marina and in Phillippi Lake has been good
at times. DeSoto Bay on the Wisconsin side has seen lots of
pressure throughout the ice fishing season. Crappie – Slow: A few
crappies in the 10-inch range are being reported from the backwater
lakes off Minnesota Slough. These include Cordwood, Bear Paw and
Fish Lake. Fishing however remains slow but bite is expected to
pick up due to warming conditions. Yellow Perch – Fair: A few nice
perch reported from Shore Slough and Minnesota Slough. Some jumbo
yellow perch are being reported in Pool 9 but they are very
unpredictable when they will bite. Yellow perch can take areas with
slight current flow and the bite usually gets better for jumbo
perch later in the ice fishing season.

Mississippi River Pool 10

Tail water stage at Lynxville is 18.1 feet. Some good ice
conditions remain but water is rising and exposed along the edges.
Crossing over Wylusing Slough into Norwegian Lake is not advised.
Crossing over Johnson Slough from the Sny parking lot is getting to
be poor conditions but still doable as of Feb. 24. For those
wanting to access the Lynxville tail water as of noon Feb. 24, it
is still iced in. Call for current conditions. Northern Pike –
Fair: Some smaller northern pike were being caught on tip-ups using
larger shiners as bait. Bluegill – Fair: Some bluegills are being
reported near Ambrough Slough and Greymore Lake by Prairie Du Chien
but they are smaller. Most of the bite is after 3 p.m. Bussey Lake
has slowed a bit but still is cranking out some bluegills. Some
anglers are still venturing into McGregor Lake for late season
bluegills. Crappie – Fair: A few nice crappies in Bussey but they
have ranged from 8 to 10 inches. Some larger crappies are reported
in the Sny Magill area. Yellow Perch – Fair: Some nice perch
reported from sloughs in the Prairie Du Chien area, and in Sny
Magill. Yellow perch fishing can get better later in the winter and
some jumbo yellow perch exist in many of the backwaters of Pool 10.
Sauger – Slow: The tail waters still have a lot of current due to
the high water going into the winter. This has made fishing for
sauger difficult as they do not appear to be in their normal winter
locations. As of Feb. 23, the ramp at Lynxville was not open and
still had significant ice in front of ramp. Call the Guttenberg
fisheries station if needing current conditions.

Mississippi River Pool 11

Guttenberg tail water stage is 9.6 feet. Ice conditions in most
backwaters are generally okay but that could change with the rising
river. Unsafe ice conditions could develop around shorelines and
areas with current. The boat ramps at Guttenberg are not open as of
noon Feb. 24. Significant ice is still keeping boats from
launching. Conditions should change rapidly. Anglers can call the
DNR office in Guttenberg for current conditions. Bluegill – Slow:
Zollicoffers in lower Pool 11 is still “hit or miss,” but some nice
fish have been taken. All season the best bite seems to be late
afternoon but lately fishing has been poor. The small creek
entering above Zollicoffers should be avoided as it is making ice
conditions unsafe. Crappie – Fair: A few crappies are being taken
in Zollicoffer’s Lake by Dubuque, and Swift Slough by Guttenberg.
Yellow Perch – Fair: During later season ice often yellow perch
fishing can get better. Perch can withstand a slight bit of current
and sometimes are found in backwater areas with minimal flow.
Bluegills typically avoid such areas. Some very large perch have
been caught out of Mud Lake but the bite is very unpredictable.
Sauger – Fair: As of noon Feb. 24, all ramps in Guttenberg remain
iced in but conditions could change rapidly. Some sauger are being
caught in the tail water on jigs and minnows. Anglers are
encouraged to call the DNR office in Guttenberg for current ramp
conditions. Walleye – Slow: As of noon Feb. 24, all ramps in
Guttenberg remain iced in but conditions could change rapidly. A
few smaller walleyes have been reported most of the winter. Anglers
are encouraged to call the DNR office in Guttenberg for current
ramp conditions.

Ice conditions in most backwaters are still good but the condition
of the ice could change with the rising river. Unsafe ice condition
could develop around shorelines and areas with current should be
avoided.

Mississippi River Pool 12

No ice fishing reports were available, but a few anglers have been
fishing the tail water with varied success.

Mississippi River Pool 13

Due to recent weather, water levels have risen creating poor ice
conditions in some areas, extreme caution is suggested when ice
fishing. The tail waters is open but only the Iowa side is open for
fishing. Illinois is closed until March 16. The water is turbid and
slowly falling as of today but could change with the weather.
Sauger – Fair: A few saugers are being caught on the Iowa side of
the channel below the lock. The area open for fishing is the center
of the lock chamber following the center of the channel downstream
on the Iowa side. Fish are being caught using a jig and minnow or
three-way with live bait. Walleye – Fair: A few walleyes are being
caught on the Iowa side of the channel below the lock. The area
open for fishing is the center of the lock chamber following the
center of the channel downstream on the Iowa side. Fish are being
caught using a jig and minnow or three-way with live bait.

Mississippi River Pool 14

Due to recent weather, water levels have risen creating poor ice
conditions in some areas, extreme caution is suggested when ice
fishing. The tail waters is open but only the Iowa side is open for
fishing. Illinois is closed until March 16. The water is turbid and
slowly falling as of today but could change with the weather. The
water is very turbid due to the Maquoketa River but with cooler
temperatures and a reduction in run-off conditions should improve
until the next melt. Sauger – Slow: A few sauger are being caught
on the Iowa side of the channel. Fish are being caught using a jig
and minnow or three way with live bait. Walleye – Slow: A few
walleyes are being caught on the Iowa side of the channel. Fish are
being caught using a jig and minnow or three way with live
bait.

Mississippi River Pool 15

We have received no information regarding fishing on this water
body this week.

Due to recent weather and rising river levels extreme caution is
suggested for all ice fishing. Open water fishing is occurring at
the lock and dams but water is turbid. The river is slowly dropping
as of Feb. 24, so conditions should improve until the next melt
occurs.

Mississippi River Pool 16

Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 9.97 feet. Sauger – Slow:
Sauger fishing below Lock and Dam 15 and Sylvan Slough has been
slow. Walleye – Slow:

Mississippi River Pool 17

Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 9.37 feet. Sauger – Slow:
Tail water fishing for saugers has been slow.

Mississippi River Pool 18

Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 11.73 feet. The Toolesboro
ramp is closed due to high water. Sauger – No Report: Walleye – No
Report:

Mississippi River Pool 19

Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 8.25 feet. Tail water
fishing for saugers and walleyes has been slow due to high water
conditions. Sauger – No Report: Walleye – No Report:

Pools 16-19: Ice fishing in the backwaters is not advisable due to
poor ice conditions from recent warm weather, rain and rising river
levels. Tail water fishing for saugers has been slow due to the
rising river levels. For more fishing information on Pools 16-19
contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

SOUTHEAST

Lake Geode

UNSAFE ICE CONDITIONS. There are several areas of open water.

Lake Belva Deer

UNSAFE ICE CONDITIONS.

Lake of the Hills

UNSAFE ICE CONDITIONS

Crawford Pond

UNSAFE ICE CONDITIONS

Lake Darling District Farm Ponds

Most, if not all, the area ponds have UNSAFE ICE CONDITIONS

For more information on the above lakes call the Lake Darling
Fisheries Station at 319-694-2430.

Iowa Lake

Ice thicknesses are reported as 8 inches and the edges are still
holding up. Bluegill – Fair: Limits of bluegills have been reported
in the mornings. Fish around brush or pallets with a
jig/waxie.

Kent Park Lake

Ice conditions seem to be holding up. Use caution though and keep
your eye open for bad spots. Fishing has been slow. Bluegill –
Slow: Fish around brush with a jig/waxie.

Lake Macbride

There has not been much fishing activity on the lake this week and
reports are limited. There is still plenty of ice on the main lake,
but the shorelines are poor. Use caution when getting on and off
the ice. Bluegill – Fair: Fish around almost any structure in 10 to
20 feet of water. Size is generally small. Crappie – Slow: A few
nice sized fish are being reported although it has been slow
lately. Keep moving until you find fish on brush.

Central Park Lake

Ice conditions look okay, but use caution when venturing out.
Fishing has been slow lately.

Pleasant Creek Lake

Ice conditions seem to be holding up at the time. Channel Catfish –
Slow: A few catfish have been found in 20 to 30 feet of water. Try
a small jigging spoon tipped with waxies, minnow heads, or GULP.
Bluegill – Slow: Try around brush piles in the mornings and
evenings. Depths of 10 to 15 feet have been reported as best.
Yellow Perch – Slow: Fish deep water with a jig/waxie. Fish have
been ranging from 4 to 11 inches with most around 7 inches.

Diamond Lake

Ice conditions have deteriorated. Ice fishing is not
recommended.

Otter Creek Lake

We have received no information regarding fishing on this water
body this week.

Union Grove Lake

Ice conditions look to be good; however, the open water around the
aerator has expanded. There has not been much fishing activity and
fishing has been slow.

For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station
at 319-624-3615.

Red Haw Lake

Ice conditions are not safe for anglers. The ice has started
melting along the shoreline creating quite a bit of open
water.

Hawthorn Lake (aka Barnes City Lake)

The lake has been drained for a lake renovation and work has begun
around the lake. New fish habitat areas are being built along with
some new jetties.

Lake Miami

Ice conditions are not safe for anglers.

Lake Sugema

Ice conditions are not safe for anglers. The ice has started
melting along the shoreline creating quite a bit of open
water.

Rathbun Reservoir

The lake level is at 905.54 feet with 904.0 feet being normal pool.
Ice conditions are not safe for anglers. The lake level has risen
and there is open water along the shoreline.

For further fishing reports in south central Iowa, call the Rathbun
fish hatchery at 641-647-2406

SOUTHWEST

Rock Creek Lake

We have received no information regarding fishing on this water
body this week.

Roberts Creek Lake

We have received no information regarding fishing on this water
body this week.

Big Creek Lake

Bluegill – Fair: Anglers that are venturing out are having decent
success on the bluegills. More catches are starting to come from
the northern end of the lake. Crappie – Fair: A few crappie are
being caught in the north end out from the Marina, from the roadbed
and the 30 to 40 feet deep creek channel running between the east
ramp and Ensign shelter. Use glowing tackle with wax worms, small
live minnows, or just minnow heads.

Hickory Grove Lake

Bluegill – Fair: The bluegill bite has been a little slow this
week. Anglers are still having decent outings catching some good
size fish, just not in large numbers. Keep to the lower half of the
lake and fish in 10 to 25 feet water. Crappie – Fair: Some crappie
are being caught mixed in with the bluegills. Most are 8 to 10
inches, but some larger ones do show up. Better chances of crappie
occur late in the day and into the evening. Stay to the lower 2/3
of the lake. Glow jigs with wax worms or minnows are working.

Lake Ahquabi

We have received no information regarding fishing on this water
body this week.

Ankeny Lake (DMACC)

We have received no information regarding fishing on this water
body this week.

Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake

We have received no information regarding fishing on this water
body this week.

Des Moines River (Stratford to Saylorville Lake)

Walleye – Slow: Anglers are beginning to target walleye below the
Saylorville spillway. Success has not been as good as it has been
below the Red Rock spillway, but some walleye are being caught.
Bounce a jig tipped with a minnow through the current.

Des Moines River (Saylorville to Red Rock)

Walleye – Fair: Anglers continue to catch occasional walleyes below
the Red Rock spillway. They are throwing jigs with twisters or jigs
with minnows.

Ice fishing continues! Ice conditions on most central Iowa lakes
are fair to good. The edges on many lakes did become weak during
the warm temps, just use caution when getting on the ice. Once on
the ice, most lakes continue to have 10 to 15 inches of ice. Use
more caution on ponds since they were likely affected more by the
warmer weather. For questions on Central Iowa lakes and rivers
contact Ben Dodd or Andy Otting at 515-432-2823.

Lake Anita

The edges of the lake are open and caution is needed to get on the
ice. Once on the ice it is 6 to 8 inches thick. Bluegill – Good:
Bluegill fishing has been consistent using wax worms. Fish are 7 to
9 inches. Crappie – Fair: The crappie bite has been good after dark
and very early in the morning. Fish are 9 to 10 inches.

Ice anglers are still fishing a few lakes. Ice conditions have
deteriorated on many smaller lakes and farm ponds in the southwest
district. The edges on many lakes are open and caution is needed
when getting on the ice. For more information on fishing and ice
conditions call the southwest Iowa district office at
712-769-2587.

Lake Icaria

Some stretches of shoreline have water near the edge.

Fogle Lake S.W.A.

The shoreline has a lot of water on the ice. Some near-shore areas
are open.

Lake of Three Fires

There is some water on the ice. The bite has slowed since the Feb.
14. Bluegill – Slow: Few anglers are venturing out because of the
melt.

Green Valley Lake

The lake has been lowered to complete a sediment removal project.
There is a little open water at the shore.

Summit Lake

The lake has been drained to complete a shoreline rip rap project
and replace the spillway. Refilling is expected later in the
summer.

Three Mile Lake

There is some water on the ice. Anglers are still walking out but
ice thickness varies. The bite has slowed.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake

There is some water on the ice and some shoreline areas have some
water. Ice thickness and quality in the middle of the lake varies.
Bluegill – Slow: A few nice sized bluegills are coming from the old
roadway between the lake and the west shore in the flooded
trees.

Most of the snow has melted. Most ponds and small lakes have a ring
of water at the shore. The larger lakes have some open water near
shore and water on the ice. Ice thickness varies greatly. Access is
can be difficult and dangerous.

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