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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
Lake level is about 7 inches below the crest of the spillway. Water clarity is roughly 1.5 feet. Black Crappie – Fair. 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 or vegetation or along docks. 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 about 15 feet of water near woody structure. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use weedless lures along vegetation edges and traditional bass lures anywhere 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)
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: The walleye bite is hit-or-miss. Anglers need to adjust some methods to fish in areas that have vegetation. 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.

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. Best bite is early morning. Yellow Bass – Fair.

Clear Lake
Water temperature is in the low 70’s. The lake is 5.5 inches low. Water clarity is 25 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 north shore. Use your electronics to find and stay on fish.

Crystal Lake
Black Crappie – Slow: Drift fish tube jigs or a minnow in the dredge cut.

Lake Cornelia
Channel Catfish – Good: Try crawlers and chicken liver. Best bite is after sunset. Yellow Bass – Good.

Rice Lake
Walleye – Slow. Yellow Perch – Fair: Use a jig and minnow in the deeper water along the homes on the south shore.

Silver Lake (Worth)
Bluegill – Fair: Try a small piece of crawler under a bobber fished in open areas near shore. Largemouth Bass – Good: Use topwater lures.

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 77 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
Black Crappie – Fair. Bluegill – Fair. Walleye – 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 77 degrees. The yellow perch bite has improved with the walleye bite starting to slow down. Walleye – Fair: 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 76 degrees. Many anglers have been most successful with trolling, but jigging and casting has also been very good. 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 are working well. Leeches or worms and a simple bobber setup work well. 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 lower, making launching and loading boats more difficult. Be careful when backing trailers down ramps as many boaters have been backing off the end of ramps with longer trailers. If at all possible, attempt to load your boat without power loading it onto the trailer. The forecast calls for temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s with chances of rain. Lake temperatures are in the 70’s. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.