Monday, February 6th, 2023
Monday, February 6th, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

Iowa statewide fishing report for March 3

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

Crawford Creek Impoundment

There is about 12 inches of ice. Anglers have been catching decent
numbers of panfish through the ice. One group reported harvesting
over 80 bluegills, 8 to 9 inches in length last weekend. Bluegill –
Fair: The best bite is in the early morning. If you’re marking
fish, but can’t get them to bite, experiment with different lure
presentations. Wax worms are the bait of choice. Crappie – Slow:
Some nice crappie are picked up while fishing for bluegill.

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. Daily limit of trout is 5.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

The late ice bite for walleye appears to be picking up. Anglers
have been doing well for walleye in the 14 to 16-inch size range.
Ice thickness is about 12 inches. Walleye – Good: Fish the mornings
and evenings for the best bite. Many walleye have been caught on
tip-ups using a split shot, hook, and minnow. Jigging raps with
minnow heads have also been working well.

Browns Lake

Ice conditions are still decent. Anglers have been catching fair
numbers of crappie and some walleye.

Arrowhead Lake

Ice is around 12 inches thick.

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.

Beeds Lake

Bluegills are biting on wax worms, fishing near structure.

Lower Pine Lake

No activity.

Lake Smith

Ice thickness is 16 to 18 inches. Fishing has been slow, a few
bluegills and yellow perch are biting in the late afternoon.

Clear Lake

Ice thickness is 12 to 20 inches. Yellow bass fishing is fair; the
best bite is from 4 until dark. The best spot has been by the
Baptist camp in about 8 feet of water using minnows or cut bait. A
few walleyes are being caught using the same method. Yellow perch
and crappies are biting by the Ventura grade.

Lake Cornelia

Yellow perch fishing is fair for 7 to 9-inch fish. The best bait is
cut bait on a jig.

For more information on fishing in the area lakes and rivers, call
the Clear Lake fisheries office at 641-357-3517.

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 have improved at accesses in the past week; however
they can change quickly. Use caution if deciding to drive onto the
ice. 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 improved with this week’s colder weather, and
anglers have resumed driving on at public accesses. Use caution
when deciding to drive onto the ice as conditions can change
rapidly. 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 bluegill. Yellow Perch – Good: Some anglers are
reporting good catches of perch off of Triboji access, Eagle Point
and Haywards 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. Also, remember that walleye season is now closed on Big
Spirit, East Okoboji, and West Okoboji until May 7.

NORTHEAST

Lake Meyer

Lake Meyer still has about 12 inches of ice. Anglers report slow
catches of bluegills. Bluegill – Slow:

Decorah District Streams

Many of the stream flows are up but running clear to slightly off
color later in the day. Fish remain active and are patiently
waiting to tease anglers.

Ice conditions vary but with the temperatures staying below
freezing, ice should be around for awhile yet. Many of our trout
streams are in good condition and fishable but flows are up. For
more information, call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at
563-382-8324.

George Wyth Lake

Anglers are still picking up a few crappies. Crappie – Fair: Try
locating crappies suspended around structure early morning or late
afternoon.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)

Most rivers are now open. There have been some reports of walleye
taken on the Cedar River. Walleye – Fair: Jig and minnow
combinations work well in open water areas this time of year.

Anglers are still getting out on area lakes but reports are slow,
use extreme caution when venturing onto ice this time of year.
Interior river levels have remained steady now and may provide some
angling opportunities for walleye and northern pike. Trout streams
remain in excellent condition. For further information contact the
Manchester district office at 563-927-3276.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9

Tail water stage at Lansing is 9.6 feet. Ice depth is okay in many
areas 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. Bluegill – Good: DeSoto
bay on the Wisconsin side continues to see lots fishing pressure.
Crappie – No Report: A few crappies in the 10-inch range were being
reported from the backwater lakes off Minnesota Slough. These
include cordwood, bear paw and Fish Lake. Yellow Perch – Fair: The
yellow perch bite usually gets better later in the ice fishing
season.

Mississippi River Pool 10

Tail water stage at Lynxville is 18.4 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 March 3. For those
wanting to access the Lynxville tail water as of noon March 3, it
is still iced in. Call for current conditions. Bluegill – No
Report: Not much activity in the district although a few places
still have some good ice. Anglers were still able to get on Bussey
Lake and at Sny Magill but caution should be used. 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 – Fair: 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. On March 3, the ramp at Lynxville
was not open and still had significant ice in front it. Call the
Guttenberg fisheries station for current conditions.

Mississippi River Pool 11

Guttenberg tail water stage is 9.6 feet. Some safe ice exists in
select backwaters but use caution when ice fishing. One boat ramp
is launchable at Guttenberg city ramp but floating ice can make
launching a little tough. Conditions should change rapidly. Anglers
can call the DNR office in Guttenberg for current conditions.
Bluegill – No Report: The last we heard the small creek entering
above Zollicoffers should be avoided as it is making ice conditions
unsafe. Yellow Perch – No Report: 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 – Good: Some sauger are being caught in the
tail water on jigs and minnows or 3-way rigs. Anglers are
encouraged to call the DNR office in Guttenberg for current ramp
conditions but as of March 3, one lane of the Guttenberg City ramp
was launchable. Walleye – Fair: 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 will likely change with the rising river. Unsafe ice
condition could develop around shorelines and areas with current
should be avoided.

Mississippi River Pool 16

Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 9.21 feet. Ice fishing is
not advisable. Tail water fishing below Lock and Dam 15 and in
Sylvan Slough for saugers and walleyes has been slow. Sauger –
Slow: Walleye – Slow:

Mississippi River Pool 17

Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 8.25 feet. Ice fishing is
not advisable. Tail water fishing below Lock and Dam 16 has been
slow. Sauger – Slow:

Mississippi River Pool 18

Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 10.31 feet. Fishing has been
slow due to recent high water. Sauger – No Report: Walleye – No
Report:

Mississippi River Pool 19

Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 6.88 feet. Tail water
fishing for saugers has been slow due to recent high water
conditions. Sauger – No Report: Walleye – No Report:

Pools 16-19: River levels have been falling over the past week. Ice
fishing in the backwaters is not advisable due to poor ice
conditions. Tail water fishing for saugers has been slow throughout
the pools due to recent high water conditions. Anglers are just
starting to get back out tail water fishing. 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

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 quite a bit of ice on the lake.
Use caution around the edges and watch for bad spots on the main
lake where seep holes had formed. 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 OK but use caution when venturing out. Fishing
has been slow lately.

Pleasant Creek Lake

Ice conditions seem to be holding up yet. 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.

It is getting late in the season and extra caution should be used
when venturing out on the ice. 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 904.27 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. Anglers are reminded
that walleyes have been tagged in Lake Rathbun and if tagged fish
are caught please take the time to look under the jaw of the
walleye to check for a tag. Call the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at
641-647-2406 with any tagged walleye information or
questions.

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

SOUTHWEST

Rock Creek Lake

Crappie – Fair: Anglers accessing the lake at the southeast ramp
are catching crappie and bluegill fishing around the jetties.

Roberts Creek Lake

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

Big Creek Lake

Crappie – Fair: Some crappie continue to be caught in the evenings
out from the east ramp towards the road bed in 30 to 35 feet of
water. Use glowing tackle with wax worms, small live minnows, or
just minnow heads.

Hickory Grove Lake

Bluegill – Fair: The anglers still making it out are 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.

Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake

Rainbow Trout – Fair: Trout from the January stocking still remain
and are being caught. Ice conditions are still good, just stay back
from the open area near the bridge. The trout are confined to the
north pit.

Des Moines River (Stratford to Saylorville Lake)

Walleye – Slow: Anglers below the Saylorville spillway are
averaging around one walleye per outing. The fish have been good
size. The bite should become better when it begins to warm up
again. Bounce a jig tipped with a minnow, or ring worm like soft
plastics through the current seams.

Des Moines River (Saylorville to Red Rock)

Flathead Catfish – Fair: Anglers fishing below Center Street Dam
were catching good numbers of flathead and channel catfish. The
tackle of choice, weird but true, was large jigs with white
twisters. Walleye – Fair: Anglers continue to catch occasional
walleyes below the Red Rock spillway. They are throwing jigs with
twisters or jigs with minnows.

Due to some re-freeze this week, ice conditions on most central
Iowa lakes remain good. Once on the ice, most lakes continue to
have 8 to 12 inches of ice. Use more caution on ponds. Anglers are
starting to target the rivers below dams for walleyes and are
having some success. For questions on central Iowa lakes and rivers
contact Ben Dodd or Andy Otting at 515-432-2823.

Lake Anita

The edges have re-frozen and anglers are fishing the campground arm
of the lake. Ice is 6 to 8 inches thick. Bluegill – Good: Bluegill
fishing has been consistent using wax worms for 7 to 9-inch fish.
Crappie – Fair: The crappie bite has been good after dark and very
early in the morning. Crappies are 9 to 10 inches.

Cold temperatures have re-frozen the edges on many areas. Remaining
ice on larger lakes is 6 to 8 inches while on smaller lakes and
ponds is considered unsafe especially in the southern part of the
district. Use extreme caution as ice conditions can change daily.
For more information on fishing and ice conditions call the
district office in Lewis at 712-769-2587.

Green Valley Lake

The water level is down about 12 feet for the sediment removal
project. The edges have open water and the catfish should be
starting.

Three Mile Lake

Some of the edges are open but the coves and shady areas have some
ice.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake

Some portions of the edges are open and others are still ice. Boat
access is still difficult.

All of the snow has melted. Farm ponds and small lakes are
completely open or have small areas of ice remaining. Large lakes
have open water around the edges and poor ice in the middle. The
boat ramps at the big lakes are not always ice-free. Catfish in the
small lakes are starting to bite.

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