Bluegill – Fair: Drift or slow troll in 5-10 feet of water near structure. Try also a small jig and wax worm below a bobber. Fish are up to 9.5 inches.
Black Hawk Lake
Water level is about 4 inches over the crest of the spillway. Water temperature is 70 degrees. Bluegill – Good: Bluegill fishing is good just about everywhere on the lake. Town Bay, around the handicap dock, near the inlet bridge and the outlet are producing fish. Use a small hook tipped with a worm suspended from a bobber fished about 2 feet deep near shore. Walleye – Fair: Fish the rock piles in the east basin and near Cottonwood Point. Try also the shoreline just west of Ice House Point. Try crankbaits fished 5-7 feet deep. Largemouth Bass – Good: Anglers have had luck fishing the north side of Ice House Point. Fish drop offs and brush piles in 3-4 feet of water. Use grey crankbaits, green plastic worms and spinner baits. There is a 15-inch minimum length limit for largemouth bass on Black Hawk Lake. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try stink bait, leeches and worms on the bottom toward evening. Fish are between 17 and 23 inches. Black Crappie – Fair: There is a good population of black crappie. Fish are 8-10 inches. Use live minnows below a bobber or small tube jigs tipped with power bait.
Black Hawk Pits
Black Crappie – Fair: Try minnows fished in areas along shore and in areas with contour and structure 5-10 feet deep. Bluegill – Fair: Drift in deeper areas or fish near shore with a small black jig tipped with bait suspended below a bobber.
Brushy Creek Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are picking up some bluegill in 10-15 feet of water. Use small jigs tipped with crawlers or red worms. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try plastics and spinners along weed lines and near structure in 4-10 feet of water. Yellow Perch – Fair: Some perch are being picked up near structure in 10-15 feet of water along the creek channel. Black Crappie – Fair: Use a small jig such as a 1/32nd ounce jig tipped with crawler or power bait in 10-15 feet of water.
Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
The dredge is in operation in the northeast portion of the lake. Boaters should use extreme caution in this area and must maintain a 100 foot distance from the dredge, booster pump and all dredge pipes at all times. Storm Lake has a daily limit of 3 walleye and all 17 to 22-inch walleye must be released; no more than one walleye longer than 22 inches may be taken per day. Walleye – Fair: Cooler temperatures means increased feeding activity. Use crankbaits, leeches or minnows and a slip bobber. Drift in the dredge cuts and fish near shore in morning and evenings. Channel Catfish – Fair: Storm Lake has a good catfish population; target catfish from shore using stink bait or cut bait fished off the bottom.
Water temperatures in the Black Hawk District are around 70 degrees. Bass and bluegill fishing is fair to good in most area lakes. With the onset of cooler temperatures, expect an increase in feeding activity and more opportunities fishing near shore. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District Office at 712-657-2638.
Largemouth Bass – Good: Recent surveys have produced some nice sized largemouth near submerged trees on Beeds lake shorelines.
Channel Catfish – Good: Catfish are biting on chicken liver or worms fished on the bottom. Some nice bluegills are mixed in as well. Bluegill – Good.
Yellow Bass – Excellent: Farmer’s Beach (just outside the weed edge), MacIntosh swim beach and the Ventura jetties have been producing well. Action has really picked up this week with anglers reporting fish on every cast, at times. Walleye – Good: Walleyes action is starting to pick up in certain areas. Use jigs and a minnow or cut bait in many of the same areas that yellow bass are biting. Channel Catfish – Good: Catfish are biting near the grade on cut bait and minnows. Try the last couple hours of the day or early morning. Black Crappie – Fair: Some crappies are being caught near the Hy-Vee reef or in tight to docks in early morning. Muskellunge – Good: Musky fishing has been decent; this is usually a good month for musky fishing.
Channel Catfish – Fair: A number of nice catfish have come out of the lake this past week. Walleye – Slow. Bluegill – Fair.
For lake updates and fishing information in the north central area, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.
Big Spirit Lake
Little fishing activity has been observed on the lake. Yellow Perch – Good: Fish are being caught along the weed lines; best action is early morning and evening, but perch have been caught throughout the day. Walleye – Good: Reports of fish being caught at the north grade; early morning and evening hours has produced the best results.
East Okoboji Lake
Yellow Bass – Good: Good action early morning and evening hours; fish bridge sites for the best action. Try also the south end of the lake; look for rock piles in 15 – 20 feet of water. Bluegill – Good: Fish are being caught on the south end of the lake in 15 feet of water. Rock piles close to aquatic plants will produce the best action. Channel Catfish – Good: Fish early morning and evening for the best action.
Lost Island Lake
Yellow Bass – Good: Good numbers of yellow bass are being caught from shore. Sorting is in order; persistence will be rewarded with good numbers of fish harvested.
West Okoboji Lake
Bluegill – Good: Bluegills have moved to deeper water, fish weed lines for the best action.
For more information on the above lakes, call the Spirit Lake Fisheries Station at 712-336-1840.
Cedar River (above Nashua)
Cedar River water levels have stabilized. Clarity is slowly improving. Visit http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ia/
Decorah District Streams
Trout streams in the Decorah District are fishable. Many streams sustained some damage to habitat and access points. Stocking has resumed in all areas. The ground in many areas is saturated and may limit truck access on some streams. For more information, call the trout stocking number at 563-927-5736. Brown Trout – Good: Hoppers and other terrestrial flies will catch fish. Try also small mosquito and gnat patterns. Brook Trout – Fair. Rainbow Trout – Fair: Use stealth when approaching trout streams right now. Streams are free of in-stream vegetative cover so fish are very spooky.
Fish activity is improving as fish gear up for winter. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use jigs tipped with a variety of soft plastics. Bluegill – Fair: Find bluegills near shore and in vegetation edges.
Water clarity is improving. Anglers reports fish activity is increasing. Bluegill – Fair: Catch nice sized bluegill on a hook tipped with a small piece of worm under a bobber. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Look for bass cruising the weed edges; use a jig tipped with a long plastic tail.
Anglers have excellent shore and boat access. Channel Catfish – Good: Try a nightcrawler fished on the bottom just out past shoreline vegetation.
Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
Water levels have stabilized and clarity remains very limited. Water temperature is in the low 60’s. Lime Springs campground is closed until further notice, but everything else is open. Chimney Rock access is open, but the bridge is closed; access from CR W14 side. Use caution if paddling; there are many submerged logs not visible that could tip a kayak or canoe.
Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
Water levels have stabilized and clarity is extremely limited. Flows remain high. Visit http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ia/
Anglers drifting over rock or brush piles will find fish. Shoreline access is excellent with many submerged cedar trees within casting distance. Largemouth Bass – Fair. Black Crappie – Good: Use small jigs with flat tailed plastic body. Bluegill – Slow: Fish will be in shallow with cooling water temperatures. Channel Catfish – Good: Try stink baits, chicken liver and crawlers. Volga Lake has a very nice population of catfish awaiting the patient angler.
Most rivers have stabilized, but are still running high and muddy. Additional rain is forecast for Thursday into Friday. Rainfall amounts are predicted to be less than an inch. For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.
There have been some reports of anglers catching crappie in Brinker Lake. Black Crappie – Fair: Vertically drift or jig a small crappie minnow under a slip bobber in 8-10 feet of water or near structure.
Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
Reports have been slow, but some anglers are picking up a few walleye and channel catfish on the Cedar River. Walleye – Fair: Casting crankbaits and fishing a jig tipped with a night crawler are productive for walleye this time of year. Channel Catfish – Fair: Concentrate near fallen snags using dead cut bait, night crawlers, stink bait or chicken livers.
George Wyth Lake
There have been reports of anglers catching bluegill, crappie and a few northern pike in George Wyth Lake. Black Crappie – Fair: Vertically drift or jig a small crappie minnow under a slip bobber in 8-10 feet of water or near structure. Bluegill – Fair: Try a piece of crawler under a slip bobber near the edges of weed beds. Northern Pike – Fair: Cast weedless spoons near the edges of weed beds or shoreline vegetation.
Lake Delhi is at full water capacity and lake level. Anglers are catching a few of the recently stocked bluegill and largemouth bass. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Cast artificial baits near the shoreline edges. Bluegill – Fair: Try a piece of crawler under a slip bobber near the edges of weed beds.
Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
Maquoketa River remains in excellent condition. Walleye – Good: Casting crankbaits and fishing a jig tipped with a night crawler are productive for walleye this time of year. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Casting crankbaits and fishing a jig tipped with a night crawler are productive for smallmouth bass this time of year.
Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
There currently are no reports for the Shell Rock River; the river is high and turbid. Walleye – Slow. Smallmouth Bass – Slow.
South Prairie Lake
There have been reports of anglers catching bluegill, crappie and largemouth bass in South Prairie Lake. Black Crappie – Fair: Vertically drift or jig a small crappie minnow under a slip bobber near the edges of the weed beds. Bluegill – Fair: Try a piece of crawler under a slip bobber near the edges of weed beds. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Cast artificial baits near the shoreline edges.