Lower Pine Lake
The heavier snows have kept anglers off the lake the last couple weeks. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills, average size, being caught at sunset with wax worms. Crappie – Fair: A few 12 to 14-inch crappies have been caught over the winter.
Ice is still good, but very little fishing pressure is happening. Bluegill – Fair:
Ice depth on the little lake is 14-17 inches; ice on the main lake is highly variable. Warning: Be cautious around the pressure ridges that have developed on the main lake. Watch the weather and changing ice conditions. Colder weather has refrozen areas near the aerators that were open earlier, so be aware that thin ice extends a long ways out from the aerators. Fishing activity has slowed, mainly because it is harder to get around. Channel Catfish – Slow: Anglers have been catching some 20 to 24-inch catfish using minnows on the main lake in the deeper water. Try near the island or Baptist Camp area. Crappie – Slow: Crappies are mostly being found in 15-20 feet of water and are often suspended 3 to 10 off the bottom. They are being caught on minnows or wax worms. Yellow Perch – Slow: Perch are being caught in low numbers; a few are over 10 inches. Try a small spoon and a minnow or minnow head. Walleye – Slow: An occasional report of a keeper walleye being caught near the island on the main lake and a few in the little lake. Yellow Bass – Fair: Yellow bass are scattered. Move around till you find numbers. Look for 9-14 feet of water. They seem willing to bite whole minnows, cutbait, or wax worms.
There is 14 to 16 inches of ice on the main lake. Warning: In the channel leading to the quiet water area has variable ice thickness. Channel Catfish – Fair: Bluegill – Slow: Yellow Bass – Slow:
Fishing success has been good. It’s been pretty consistent and should continue to produce good fishing in the next week. Bluegill – Good: Fish near the dredged area 9 to 14 feet of water. Anglers are still catching 7 to 9-inch bluegills on wax worms. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Largemouth bass and an occasional walleye or northern pike being caught on minnows.
There isn’t a lot of fishing lately; success has likely slowed. Crappie – Slow: Lots of 5-6 inches crappies and perch; some crappies are 9-14 inches. Fishing has slowed down on Rice. Walleye – Slow: A few walleyes are being caught.
Rainbow trout were stocked on Jan 19.
Ice has melted on the Winnebago.
Be mindful of warming weather and changing ice conditions on area lakes. For ice condition updates and fishing information in the north central area contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.
Big Spirit Lake
Walleye season is closed until May 4. Northern Pike – Slow: A few reported seeing pike while sight fishing for bluegills. Try tip-ups in shallow areas and around weeds. Bluegill – Slow: A few gills are being caught in Anglers Bay. Try small jigs tipped with live bait or plastic. Yellow Perch – Slow: Perch continue to be finicky but once located, a few are being caught. Try spoons and small jigs with wigglers.
East Okoboji Lake
Walleye season is closed until May 4.
West Okoboji Lake
Walleye season is closed until May 4. Northern Pike – Slow: Try tip-ups around weeds. Bluegill – Slow: Emerson and Miller bays are most popular areas to fish for bluegills with Smiths Bay gaining some attention. Sight fishing with small jigs and light line can be a good way to catch a few fish. Yellow Perch – Slow: A few perch are still being caught deep and in the weeds while fishing for bluegills.
Ice conditions vary from 6 inches near shore to about 2 inches toward the middle. Rainbow Trout – Good: With the clear water sight fishing is possible. The fish are using the entire water column. Jigging a gold fat boys tipped with waxies around the five feet mark is a proven tactic.
The rain last week has deteriorated some of the shorelines and dirtied water in some areas. Use caution as the late ice season continues. For more information contact the Spirit Lake Hatchery at 712-336-1840.