Ice thickness was 8-9 inches on Feb. 1st. Conditions are more variable next to shore. Bluegill – Fair: Use a wax worm on a small jig fished near structure. Fish are up to 8-9 inches. Some sorting is required. Black Crappie – Fair: Try a jig tipped with a wax worm near structure.
Bacon Creek Lake
Ice thickness was 10-11 inches on Feb. 1st. About 1,500 rainbow trout will be stocked this Saturday, Feb. 4th at 1:30 p.m. Come experience some great fishing at this event. Catch trout using a variety of methods including: live minnow fished under a bobber, small tube and twister jigs, in-line spinners, and casting spoons – anything shiny to grab the trout’s attention.
Black Hawk Lake
Ice thickness off Ice House Point boat ramp was 13 inches on Feb. 1st. There is an area of open water in the east basin. The winter aeration system is in operation so expect thin ice and open water in Town Bay. Bluegill – Fair: Catch bluegill up to 8 inches. Try around the Gunshot Hill and Ice House Point areas using a small jig tipped with a wax worm. Walleye – Slow: Use a minnow head on a jigging spoon during low light hours around Ice House Point and out from Gunshot Hill. Try also the dredge cuts by Denison Beach and Lakewood Point areas.
Black Hawk Pits
There was 6 inches of ice covered by an inch of slush on Feb. 1st. Conditions are variable near shore so use caution if going out. Catch bluegill and crappie with small jigs tipped with wax worms or minnows.
Brushy Creek Lake
Ice is variable on Brushy Creek Lake, especially near the south end of the lake and the east boat ramp. Use caution and test ice thickness often when venturing out. The best ice conditions and most fishing action have been on the north end of the lake. Bluegill – Fair: Use a small jig tipped with a wax worm. Black Crappie – Fair: Try wax worms and minnows fished on a small jig.
Moorehead Park Pond
Ice thickness was 11 inches on Feb. 1st. Expect to see 6-8 inch bluegill, 8-9 inch crappie and 15-20 inch channel catfish.
About 1,500 rainbow trout were stocked on Jan. 20th. Catch trout with a variety of methods; use live minnows fished under a bobber, small tube and twister jigs, in-line spinners and casting spoons.
Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Ice thickness is around 14-15 inches. Yellow Perch – Fair: Use wax worms and minnows fished on a jig in 5-8 feet of water. White Bass – Fair: Try fishing minnow heads on a jigging spoon. Walleye – Fair: Use minnow heads or whole minnows on jigging spoons, jigging raps and rattle spoons in low light hours. Try in areas 5-10 feet deep. If no luck at that depth, try in the lower light conditions of the dredge cuts. Black Crappie – Fair: Fish are usually suspended; use a jig tipped with a wax worm or a minnow during low light hours.
As of Feb. 1st, most lakes in the district have 5 to 14 inches of ice. There are areas of thin ice and open water near shore on some lakes so use caution and test ice depths often. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.
Ice thickness is 14-16 inches. Bluegills and crappies are biting on small jigs tipped with wax worms. Bluegill – Fair. Black Crappie – Fair.
Ice thickness is 16-18 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Use wax worms. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use minnows fished in 12-16 feet of water.
Ice thickness is 18-20 inches on most of the little lake and 17-19 inches on the main lake. The best bite is early morning and around 4:30 p.m. to dark. Catch bluegills and crappies near the rushes by the west aeration system. Yellow bass are still biting in 8 to 10 feet of water; you have to move to stay on fish. Yellow Bass – Good: Use wax worms and spikes fished near the bottom in 8-10 feet of water. Try near the Farmers Beach area. Walleye – Slow: Try jigs tipped with minnows or a jigging rap. Most are less than 14 inches but a few keepers are being caught. Black Crappie – Fair: The best crappie bite is at first light.
Ice thickness is 16-18 inches. Catch bluegills and crappies near the dredge cut. Bluegill – Good: Catch 6.5 to 7.5 inch bluegills on small jigs tipped with wax worm or spikes. Black Crappie – Good: 8 to 9.5 inch crappies are biting on small jigging spoons.
Ice thickness is 14-16 inches. Yellow Perch – Good: Perch are biting, lots of smaller fish being caught with a few keepers.
Ice thickness is 14-16 inches. Bluegill – Good: Use wax worms fished near the bottom; lots of smaller fish being caught with a few keepers.
Ice thickness is 18-20 inches. With the clear water the best bite has been the last hour of light. Walleye – Slow: Use jigging spoons tipped with a minnow head. Yellow Perch – Fair: Try small jigs tipped with live bait.
Silver Lake (Worth)
Ice thickness is 18-20 inches. Bluegill – Good: Use small jigs tipped with spikes. Yellow Perch – Good: Try small jigging spoons and jigs tipped with bait.
For information in the north central area, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.
Aerators are currently in use on Center Lake so avoid areas with open water. Thin ice signs are out; stay outside of the signed in areas.
East Okoboji Lake
Reports of good walleye and yellow bass activity on the south side of the lake near Parks Marina. Anglers are reeling in panfish on the very north end of the lake. Walleye – Fair: Try to get on the edge of the weed lines in about 10-12 feet of water. Yellow Bass – Good: Catch yellow bass on the south basin of the lake.
Five Island Lake
Aerators are currently in use on Five Island Lake so avoid areas with open water. Thin ice signs are out; stay outside of the signed in areas. The fishing has been decent near the north boat ramp. Yellow Bass – Good: Catch lots of yellow bass on Five Island Lake. You may need to move around to catch the active fish.
Aerators are currently in use on Ingham Lake so avoid areas with open water. Thin ice signs are out; stay outside of the signed in areas.
Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Aerators are currently in use on Silver Lake so avoid areas with open water. Thin ice signs are out; stay outside of the signed in areas.
Silver Lake (Palo Alto)
The fishing has slowed down on Silver Lake. Yellow Perch – Fair: Fishing activity has slowed; with patience you can come off the lake with a healthy bag of fish.
The ice on Big Spirit is sturdy with people driving on at most locations. The most fish are being reported up North off of Mini-Wakan and off of Stony Point. Yellow Perch – Slow: Perch are hard to find right now; you may need to move around. Walleye – Good: Dusk is the best time to find walleye. Try on the north end and on the rock beds on the east side of the lake.
West Okoboji Lake
The fishing on West Okoboji has started to slow down with a few perch, crappies and bluegills still being caught. The fish are hanging out in about 12-15 feet of water right outside of the weed beds. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills have been hard to find; you may need to move around to catch them. Yellow Perch – Fair: Perch have been active in about 12 feet of water. They are hanging tight to the weed edges. Black Crappie – Good: Crappie have shown decent activity in the bays.
The fishing on the Iowa Great Lakes has been really good over the past week. Use caution when going out; the large snow fall has created a lot of slush on top of the ice making it very easy to get stuck when driving on. The snow adds a lot of weight to the ice making weaker areas more abundant. For more information throughout the week, contact the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.
Cedar River (above Nashua)
Use extreme caution when going on river ice; check ice depths often. Ice depths can change fast. Water level fluctuations are causing air pockets.
Decorah District Streams
Urban catchable trout stocking is in full swing. Check our webpage for dates and locations. Streams are in good condition but flows remain elevated. Gravel roads in our area are in poor condition. Snow depths vary but with this recent cold, snow is very hard and crusty. Brook Trout – Good: Use flies or lures that look like sculpins, dace or suckers. Brown Trout – Good: Anglers have had success using a nymph rig with a scud dropper but most fish were hitting wet flies. Rainbow Trout – Good: Black fly midge or hares ear wet flies are attracting bows fished in the riffles. Slowly pull a black bead head fly with a yellow scud dropper through the upper and lower ends of pools for trout in deeper water.
Ice depths are 8-10 inches with 3 inches of crusty snow on top. All parking lots are open. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the ice. The aerator is on so be careful; there is open water around it. Bluegill – Slow: Use small brightly colored jigs tipped with a spike. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Try a small spinner tipped with a wax worm or minnow head. Black Crappie – Slow: Use small brightly colored jig tipped with a wax worm suspended in the water column.
Lake Meyer currently has 12 inches of ice with a hard crust of snow on top. Water clarity is improving. Fish activity has been variable. You need to move around to find fish. Midday bite is best. Bluegill – Slow: Use a jig tipped with wax worm or red or white spike. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Anglers are seeing fish on cameras; a few have taken a jig tipped with wax worms. Black Crappie – Slow: Crappie are sitting higher off the bottom and are being more finicky.
Turkey River (above Clermont)
Use extreme caution when going out on Vernon Spring impoundment. There are areas of open water; ice depths change fast especially with increased flows. Check ice depths often. Black Crappie – Slow: Find crappie around downed trees and submerged logs out of the current. Use a jig tipped with a wax worm. Walleye – Slow: Find walleye in the deeper holes around current breaks.
Volga Lake is reporting 8 inches of ice but watch for thin spots. Check ice depths often. Use of a spud bar may be needed. Ice is getting a bit poky with freeze thaw cycles. Fish activity is been best around early to mid-morning. Bluegill – Slow: Use small brightly colored jigs tipped with a wax worm. Try along the dam and universal access dock. Black Crappie – Slow: Find crappies suspended in deeper water late season.
Winter continues with daytime temperatures below freezing through the weekend. Use extreme caution when going out on the ice. Check ice depths often especially where there is current or springs. For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.
Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
Reports of anglers catching bluegill yet on Casey Lake. Bluegill – Fair: Concentrate near structure towards the dam portion of the lake for best success.
Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
Reports of anglers catching northern pike and crappie on the backwater areas of the Cedar River. Use extreme caution, especially when entering on to river ice. Crappie numbers are not of many but fish are of quality size. Black Crappie – Fair: Vertical jig with a wax worm or dead-stick with a crappie minnow under a bobber near structure if possible. Northern Pike – Fair: Vertical jig with or set some tip-ups with a live shiner.
South Prairie Lake
Reports of anglers catching bluegill yet on South Prairie Lake. Bluegill – Fair: Look for past angler activity on where may be the best place to fish.
Angling reports have increased but overall ice fishing remains fairly slow. Ice conditions vary on Black Hawk County lakes but most are six to ten inches. Anglers are still taking some bluegill from area lakes in Black Hawk County. Interior rivers remain partially iced over. Area trout streams are in excellent condition, contact the N.E. District Office at 563-927-3276 for more information.
Water levels on the Upper Mississippi Pools 9-11 remain high but appear to have peaked and are expected to begin to drop slowly over the next week. Recent warm weather and rising waters have eroded the shoreline ice in most areas. Use extreme caution if trying to go ice fishing, especially along shorelines and any areas that may have current.
Mississippi River Pool 12
The water level is near 10.3 feet at Dubuque tailwater and near 12.5 feet at the RR bridge. These levels are nearly identical to last week and will begin to drop. Edge ice is bad and ice quality has been deteriorating, but some ice fishing is still taking place. Be careful and know your ice fishing safety rules. Ice flows still hamper tailwater fishing at times. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are numerous but smaller this ice fishing season. Yellow Perch – Good: Good sized yellow perch have been consistently reported by ice anglers this year. They are finicky and some report using small minnow heads or blood worms for bait. Largemouth Bass – Good: Lots of bass are being reported from most backwaters. Bass bite has been aggressive in some areas and sometimes it dominates the catch.
Mississippi River Pool 13
The water level is near 10.3 feet at Bellevue. This is nearly the same as last week but water level is now receding. The tailwater is still mostly open but an ice flow could happen at any time. As of now the ramp is open with lots of anglers. The DNR ramp is also now open. Walleye – Good: Walleye fishing has been good but water level changes have affected the creel numbers. Sauger – Good: Use a minnow rig.
Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level is near 9.7 feet at Fulton, 12.8 feet at Camanche and 7.2 feet at Le Claire. Water levels are receding this week. Poor ice conditions were reported throughout Pool 14. No report on tailwater angling but it could be underway.
Mississippi River Pool 15
The water level is 10.4 feet at Rock Island, which is up a bit from last week. Water will begin to recede this week. No fishing was reported in Pool 15.
Some ice fishing is still taking place but conditions are marginal in most locations. The Mississippi River is still unusually high for this time of year. Water levels are expected to begin dropping this week. If you have any angling questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.
Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 10.12 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and forecasted to fall over the weekend. The Marquette St. ramp is open. Walleye and sauger fishing is being reported as slow. There is unsafe ice conditions in the backwaters. Sauger – Slow: There have been a few boats out fishing for saugers but it has been slow below the dam and in Sylvan Slough. Try fishing with three-way rigs with stick baits or vertical jigging with minnows. Walleye – Slow.
Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 9.25 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and is forecasted to begin falling by the weekend. The boat ramps in Muscatine are open. Tailwater fishing for walleye and saugers has been slow. There is unsafe ice conditions in the backwaters. Sauger – Slow: Tailwater fishing for saugers below Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine has been slow. Walleye – Slow: Walleye fishing below the dam in Muscatine is slow.
Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 10.92 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and forecasted to reach 11.2 feet over the weekend. The gates at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston are out of the water. The toolsboro ramp and the main channel are open but there has not been any boats out. We have not received any tailwater fishing reports for walleye and sauger with the higher water levels. There is unsafe ice conditions in the backwaters.
Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 7.31 feet at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington and forecasted to rise. We have not received any fishing reports for this pool this week with the high water conditions. There is unsafe ice conditions in the backwaters.
River stages have risen over the past few days. Tailwater fishing for walleyes and saugers has been slow. There is unsafe ice conditions in the backwaters. Main channel water temperature has been around 33 degrees. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.
Big Hollow Lake
Unsafe ice conditions.
Lake Belva Deer
Unsafe ice conditions.
Unsafe ice conditions. Lots more open water than last week.
Unsafe ice conditions.
Lost Grove Lake
Unsafe ice conditions.
For more information on the above lakes, contact the Lake Darling Fisheries Office at 319-694-2430.
The lake is holding at normal winter pool. There is lots of open water and the remaining ice is unsafe.
There is a lot of water around the shorelines; ice fishing is not recommended.
The ice is reported as being about 5 inches. There have been a few anglers out but use caution. Bluegill – Fair. Black Crappie – Slow.
Kent Park Lake
The ice is reported as being 6 inches. A few anglers have been out; use caution.
The ice is extremely variable and there is some open water. Ice fishing is not recommended at this time. There are still a few anglers out on the ice.
Otter Creek Lake
Ice is reported as being about 9 inches. Bluegill – Slow. Black Crappie – Slow. Yellow Bass – Slow.
Pleasant Creek Lake
The lake is currently down 13′ for the restoration project. Most of the lake has 8 inches of ice, but the shorelines are poor and there has been quite a bit of water around the edge. Use caution if venturing out. Bluegill – Fair: Size has been marginal but you can sort some keepers out. Yellow Perch – Slow: Use a Jig/waxie and small spoon/minnow head. Walleye – Slow: Most fish are small. Try a spoon or jigging rap tipped with a minnow head in 20-25 feet of water. Black Crappie – Slow: Use a jig/waxie around deeper brush. White Bass – Slow: Try spoons or jigging raps tipped with minnows.
Wapsipinicon River (Troy Mills to Oxford Junction)
The backwaters are unsafe for ice fishing. The ramp below Central City at Wakpicada is open at this time.
Many areas are unsafe or marginal at best. Use extreme caution and check ice often if venturing out. For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.
The warmer temperatures have deteriorated the ice. There is open water and the ice has started to melt along the shorelines. The ice is not thick enough to support anglers.
Lake Miss (Tug Fork W)
The ice has deteriorated since last week. The ice along the shorelines has started to melt.
Ice conditions have deteriorated since last week. The lake has quite a bit of open water.
The ice has deteriorated since last week and the lake still has open water in front of the lodge and the beach area. The ice is not thick enough to support anglers.
The current lake level is 904.46 msl. Normal operating elevation is 904.0 msl. Lake Rathbun contains zebra mussels so make sure to properly drain, clean, and dry equipment before transporting to another water body. The lake has open water in the main lake and the ice has melted along the shorelines. Conditions have deteriorated since last week.
Red Haw Lake
Ice conditions continue to weaken. Watch for variable thicknesses of ice and use caution along the shorelines as the ice has melted in those areas.
Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions about fishing in south central Iowa.
Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake
Rainbow Trout – Good: The family fishing event for this Saturday, Feb. 4th has been canceled due to inadequate ice thickness for a large crowd on a small area. The trout stocking has only been postponed. Trout will be stocked during the week of Feb. 6th to give ice anglers a chance at them for the rest of the winter.
Bluegill – Good: Start in the standing trees mid lake or on the edge of the deepest water on the northeast part of the lake. Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers fishing in the trees for bluegills are picking up some crappie as well. There is a group of 9.5 to 10.5 inch crappies.
Big Creek Lake
Bluegill – Slow: A few decent gills are being caught fishing the brush piles at the mouths of the bays. Black Crappie – Slow: Find 9-11 inch crappies on brush piles in the main lake and suspended in the evenings off the creek channel mid-lake.
Bluegill – Fair: Find good bluegill fishing throughout the lake. The most popular area to start is within the flooded timber, but there are other structures holding fish shown on maps at some of the access points.
Don Williams Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: The crappie bite has been consistent all winter. Use wax worms or minnows. Target the mid-lake section at depths of 15-25 feet; schools of crappie are moving through suspended.