Crawford Creek Impoundment
Crawford Creek is mostly open water with some ice in the smaller bays.
Moorhead Park Pond
Moorehead is still ice covered, although no one has been venturing out on it recently.
Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
There is still some ice on the lake, but the open water area along the north shore has extended a considerable distance to the south.
Black Hawk Lake
There are large areas of open water in the town bay, between Denison Beach and Provost Point, and in the east end of the lake.
Arrowhead has a little bit of open water near the boat ramp. The ice covering the rest of the lake is cloudy and unstable.
Black Hawk Pits
Black Hawk Pits has mostly open water with a few small areas still ice covered.
Little Sioux River (Correctionville to Missouri River)
The Little Sioux is mostly open with some floating ice chunks near Turin.
Ice conditions are degrading on most lakes in the Black Hawk District. Strong winds this week have enlarged many of the open water areas.
There is open water by the silt dam on the northwest end where Canada geese are gathering. It won’t be long before some catfish will be feeding in the shallow open water. When the current opens up cuts in the causeway, try for cats, bass, crappies.
Lower Pine Lake
The heavier snows kept anglers off the lake the last couple weeks. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills, average size, are being caught at sunset with wax worms. Crappie – Fair: A few bigger crappies (12-14 inches) 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. 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 due to a heavier snowfall event and slushy conditions. Channel Catfish – Slow: Anglers have been catching some 20-24 inch catfish using minnows on the main lake in deeper water. Try near the island or Baptist Camp. Crappie – Slow: Crappies are mostly being found in 15-20 feet of water, suspended 3 to 10 feet 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 till you find numbers. Look for 9-14 feet of water. They seem willing to bite whole minnows, cutbait, or wax worms.
Warning: In the channel leading to the quiet water area has a lot of variation in ice thickness. Lots of slush on the ice. Channel Catfish – Fair: Bluegill – Slow: Yellow Bass – Good: Lots of 7-inch yellow bass are being caught. Anglers catching some a little larger on jigging spoons.
Fishing 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 7-9 inch bluegills on wax worms. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Largemouth bass and an occasional walleye or northern pike being caught on minnows.
Not much fishing pressure, fishing has likely slowed. Crappie – Slow: Lots of 5-6 inch crappies and perch; some crappies are in the 9-14 inch range. Fishing has slowed. Walleye – Slow: A few walleyes are being caught.
Rainbow trout were stocked on Jan 19.
Shell Rock River (above Greene)
Anglers might try below some of the dams on the Shell Rock for walleye, northern pike, or catfish.
Ice is melting on the Winnebago. Anglers might have success looking for eddy areas, where the current is slower, and fishing with cutbait or minnows for catfish or northern pike.
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. Bluegill – Slow: A few gills are being caught in Anglers Bay using small jigs tipped with live bait or plastic. Yellow Perch – Slow: The perch continue to be finicky but a few are being caught once located. Try using 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 putting tip-ups around weeds. Bluegill – Fair: Emerson and Miller Bays continue to be the most popular areas to fish for bluegills but better fishing has been day by day. Crappie – Fair: Action has picked up in a few areas but most are still caught while fishing for bluegills. Yellow Perch – Slow: A few perch are still being caught out deep as well as in the weeds while fishing for bluegills.
Yellow Perch – Fair: A few decent perch have been caught in the past few weeks but some sorting may required as there are many smaller fish.
With the than colder average weather there hasn’t been much if any ice melt. Most lakes still have around 18-20 inches but it is weakened from last week’s rain. For more information contact the Spirit Lake Hatchery at 712-336-1840.
Volga Lake has about 18-20 inches of ice topped off with 8-10 inches of snow. Bluegill – Slow: Anglers have to work for bluegills but they’re catching them. Crappie – Good: Anglers have had luck catching crappies over structure in shallower water using a glow jig or spinner jig tipped with wax worm.
There is 18 + inches of ice. Be aware of the aerator running on the south end. Very few people have been out ice fishing this week.
The best time to fish seems to be late afternoon to early evening. Fish are suspended at varying depths in shallower water. Bluegill – Good: 6-8 inch bluegills are taking small jigs tipped with a wax worm. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Anglers are catching a few largemouths while fishing for bluegills. Crappie – Slow: Try a small teardrop jig tipped with a wax worm.
Decorah District Streams
A few trout have recently been taken on various nymph, wet fly and streamer patterns. Lately there has been little in the way of surface activity or mayfly hatches on northeast Iowa streams. Snowmelt has affected and will continue to affect water clarity on some streams depending on current conditions. Streams with better water quality should clear quickly.
All river and stream water levels have stabilized and clarity has improved. For more on water levels, visit this website http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ia/
There are anglers ice fishing Martens Lake but access has become more limited with the recent rainfall. Crossing the reservoir from the north side is not recommended, the ice had gone off earlier in the week. Proceed with caution as we are getting late into the ice fishing season. Bluegill – Fair: Wax worm tipped on an ice fishing jig has been most productive. Crappie – Fair: Use a wax worm or crappie minnow tipped on an ice fishing jig. Crappie will often be caught just under the ice so cover most of water column while jigging.
Both ice conditions and angling pressure has drastically declined in Black Hawk and Bremer counties, ice fishing is not recommended. Walleye fishing on the interior rivers should only improve as pre-spawn conditions near. Trout streams have receded and are in good condition once again. For further information call the district office in Manchester at 563-927-3276.