Perch, Bluegill, and Crappie Good in the Weekend Fishing Report

This weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys and county and state parks staff. For current information, contact the district fisheries office at the phone number listed at the end of each district report.

Stay Where You Play

Make your next fishing trip an overnight stay. Take advantage of state park cabins and campgrounds near many of these bodies of water. Make your reservation now. For more information on availability and rates, visit iowastateparks.reserveamerica.com.

NORTHWEST

Arrowhead Lake
As of Thursday, Jan. 5th, ice thickness off the boat ramp is 7-9 inches. Use caution if venturing out and drill test holes often; ice is more variable out mid-lake. Bluegill – Good: Use a wax worm on a small jig fished in about 20 feet of water. Fish are up to 8-9 inches. Sorting is required. Black Crappie – Fair: Try a jig tipped with a wax worm fished in about 15-20 feet of water. Fish up to 10.5 inches have been caught.

Black Hawk Lake
On Thursday, Jan. 5th, ice thickness off Ice House Point boat ramp was 10-12 inches. Ice may be more variable out mid-lake. The winter aeration system is in operation so expect thin ice and open water in Town Bay. Some bluegills are being picked up off the Ice House Point area and near the rock pile just off Gunshot Hill. Use a small jig tipped with a wax worm to target panfish or a minnow head on a jigging spoon for walleye. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are catching some bluegill, mostly around the Gunshot Hill and Ice House Point areas with a small jig tipped with a wax worm. Anglers are marking lots of fish. Walleye – Slow: Try fishing a minnow head on a jigging spoon in the dredge cuts by Denison Beach and Lakewood Point areas.

Black Hawk Pits
Ice is 6-10 inches, but is more variable along shore in some areas so use caution. Anglers have had luck targeting bluegill with a wax worm or small minnow on a jig during afternoon to evening. Fish near contour and structure in 5-10 feet of water. A few perch have been picked up while fishing for bluegill. Largemouth bass are also being caught on minnows and jigs.

Brushy Creek Lake
Ice is around 8 inches on the north end of the lake. Ice conditions are more variable with some thinner spots in the mid-lake south end. There are some small pockets of open water near some of the trees in the south end. Use caution and test ice thickness often when venturing out. The best ice conditions and most action have been near the north boat ramp. Bluegill – Fair: Use a small jig tipped with a wax worm. Anglers fishing the north end have been doing well. Black Crappie – Fair: Try wax worms and minnows fished on a small jig.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Ice thickness is 8-13 inches. Anglers have had good luck lately. Much of the action has been on the west portion of the lake off of the Frank Starr Park area. Yellow Perch – Fair: Use wax worms and minnows fished on a jig in 5-8 feet of water. White Bass – Fair: Fish minnow heads on a jigging spoon. Walleye – Good: Try fishing a minnow head on a jigging spoon during mid afternoon out from the Frank Starr Park area. Fish in areas 5-10 feet deep. If no luck at that depth, try in the lower light conditions of the dredge cuts. Black Crappie – Good: Fish are suspended, use a jig tipped with a wax worm or a minnow. Most are having luck out from the Frank Starr Park area. The bite seems to be better late evening and after dark.

As of Jan. 5th, most lakes in the district were covered with 6 to 13 inches of ice. Use caution and test ice depths often. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.


Bluebill Lake
Ice thickness is 10-12 inches. Bluegill – Fair:  Use wax worms. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try minnows fished in 12-16 feet of water.

Clear Lake
Ice thickness is 10-12 inches on most of the little lake and 9-11 inches on the main lake. The best bite is early morning and around 3:00pm to dark. Yellow Bass – Fair: Use wax worms and spikes fished near the bottom in 10-12 feet of water. Walleye – Fair: Try jigs tipped with bait. Most are less than 14 inches, but a few keepers are being caught. Black Crappie – Fair: The best bite is at first light.

Elm Lake
Ice thickness is 10 inches. Yellow Perch – Good: Perch are biting, lots of smaller fish being caught with a few keepers.

Fin and Feather Lake
Ice thickness is 12-13 inches. Black Crappie – Slow: Use small jigging spoons tipped with a minnow head.

Lake Catherine
Ice thickness is 8 to 10 inches. Bluegills are biting in the late afternoon on wax worms. Bluegill – Fair.

Lake Cornelia
Ice thickness is 10 inches. No fishing activity.

Lower Pine Lake
Ice thickness is 10 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Smaller bluegills are biting on wax worms in the evening. Black Crappie – Slow.

Lake Smith
Ice thickness is 8-10 inches. Bluegills are biting on wax worms. Bluegill – Fair.

Rice Lake
Ice thickness is 10-12 inches. With the clear water, the best bite has been the last hour of light. Walleye – Fair: Use jigging spoons tipped with a minnow head. Yellow Perch – Fair: Try small jigs tipped with live bait.

Silver Lake (Worth)
Ice thickness is 10-12 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs tipped with spikes. Yellow Perch – Fair: Try small jigging spoons and jigs tipped with bait.

Upper Pine Lake
Ice thickness is 8 inches. Fishing has been slow.

For information in the north central area, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.


Big Spirit Lake
The ice on Big Spirit is pretty sturdy with a few people driving on at Hales Slough and Buffalo Run. Check ice depths often when going out as there may be some weaker areas. Yellow Perch – Good: Perch on Big Spirit are hard to find right now; once you find them you can catch a many. Walleye – Good: The best time to find them is at dusk.

Center Lake
Aerators are currently in use on Center Lake so avoid areas with open water.

East Okoboji Lake
Reports of good walleye activity on East lake by Parks Marina and near where East and West lake meet. Walleye – Good: Try to get on the edge of the weed lines in about 10-12 feet of water.

Five Island Lake
Aerators are currently in use on Five Island Lake so avoid areas with open water. Black Crappie – Fair: A few black crappies have been reported, but they are not eager to bite. Channel Catfish – Fair: Some channel catfish have been caught.

Ingham Lake
Aerators are currently in use on Ingham Lake so avoid areas with open water.

Lost Island Lake
Walleye – Good: Angler acceptable walleye have been reported as being caught.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Aerators are currently in use on Silver Lake so avoid areas with open water.

West Okoboji Lake
Fishing on West Okoboji is good right for perch, crappies, or bluegills, with some active walleye as well. The fish are hanging out in about 12 feet of water right outside of the weed beds. Bluegill – Good: Bluegill continue to show a lot of activity in Little Millers Bay. Walleye – Fair: Try near the rock beds around 10 am for the morning bite and around 5 pm for the evening bite. Yellow Perch – Good: Perch have been active in about 12 feet of water. They are hanging pretty tight to the weed edges. Black Crappie – Good: Crappie have shown good activity in Little Millers Bay.

Fishing is picking up as the ice continues to thicken. Many anglers are reaching limits on yellow perch and walleye on many of the lakes. Fish in the morning around 10 a.m. and in the evening around 4 p.m. Use caution when venturing out on the ice as there may be some weaker areas. For more information throughout the week, contact the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.

NORTHEAST

Cedar River (above Nashua)
A few anglers have braved the backwaters and the impoundments. Use extreme caution when going on river ice. There is no such thing as safe ice. Eight to twelve inches of ice have been reported in the backwaters.  Bluegill – Fair: Use a small jig tipped with a spike or wax worm. Black Crappie – Fair: Find crappies around submersed trees or logs. They are taking small jigs tipped with a minnow head. Walleye – Fair: Anglers are catching walleye below the Nashua dam.

Decorah District Streams
Urban catchable trout stockings are in full swing. Check our webpage for dates and locations. Trout streams are running crystal clear and continue to fish well. Parking lots are not plowed in the winter; use care when parking on the side of the road. It is very pretty along the trout streams this time of year.  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 are hitting wet flies. Rainbow Trout – Good: Use black fly midge or hares ear wet flies 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.

Lake Hendricks
All parking lots are now open. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the ice. The aerator is on so be careful; there is open water around it. Ice depths are 8-10 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Use small brightly colored jigs tipped with a spike. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Try a small spinner tipped with a wax worm. Black Crappie – Fair: Use a small brightly colored jig tipped with a wax worm near the bottom.

Lake Meyer
Lake Meyer has 8 to 10 inches of ice. Water clarity is excellent at over 20 feet. Fishing activity has been variable depending on weather fronts. Bluegill – Fair: Use a jig tipped with wax worm or red or white spike. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Anglers report seeing fish on cameras; a few have been taken with a jig tipped with wax worms. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappies are being more finicky, but a few have been caught.

Turkey River (above Clermont)
Use extreme caution when going out on Vernon Spring impoundment; check ice depths often. Ice depths vary greatly in areas with current. Black Crappie – Fair: 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
Volga Lake is reporting 8 inches of ice.  Bluegill – Fair: Use small brightly colored jigs tipped with a wax worm. Find fish are along the dam and universal access dock. Black Crappie – Fair: Find crappies around brush piles early season.

It’s going to be windy and cold through the weekend with temperatures not much over single digits. Continue to use extreme caution when going out on the ice. Check depths often, especially where there is current or springs. For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.


Big Woods Lake
Anglers are still having success catching bluegill and crappie in Big Woods Lake. Bluegill – Fair. Black Crappie – Fair.

Brinker Lake
Anglers are still having success catching bluegill and crappie in Brinker Lake. Bluegill – Fair. Black Crappie – Fair.

Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
Anglers continue to have good success catching bluegill in Casey Lake. Bluegill – Good.

George Wyth Lake
Anglers continue to catch primarily bluegill in George Wyth Lake. Bluegill – Fair.

Manchester District Streams
Trout streams are in excellent condition and are open. With air temperatures at or near freezing, it is a great time for winter trout fishing. Expect to catch rainbow trout stocked late in the fall, as well as post-spawn brown trout in most streams. Use streamers, spinners and crankbaits. Fish can be skittish this time of year, so avoid walking in the stream and approach fishing spots from downstream. Rainbow Trout – Good. Brown Trout – Good.

Martens Lake
There are still reports of anglers catching bluegill in Martens Lake (a.k.a. Sweet Marsh), but some sorting may be needed. Bluegill – Fair.

South Prairie Lake
Anglers continue to have success catching crappie in South Prairie Lake. Black Crappie – Fair.

Most anglers are having success catching bluegill and crappie on most area Black Hawk County Lakes. Ice conditions remain good with the recent onset of arctic air, but always use extreme caution. Rivers and streams are generally in good condition, but are high for this time of year. Trout streams remain excellent, for further information call the N.E. District Office at 563-927-3276.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9
River level is 9.7 feet at Lansing and is expected to be stable over the next week. Colder weather this week has firmed up ice in most areas. Use caution around shoreline areas and any areas that may have current. Bluegill – Good: Use small teardrop jigs tipped with wax worms in backwater lakes. Good bluegill action with a lot of sorting. Yellow Perch – Fair: Anglers are catching a few perch through the ice along vegetation beds in deeper backwater cuts. Largemouth Bass – Good: Fish minnows under tip-ups in backwater areas and marina areas with no current.

Mississippi River Pool 10
River level remains high at 19.3 feet at Lynxville and is expected to be stable over the next week. Use caution around shoreline areas and any areas that may have current. Bluegill – Good: Use small teardrop jigs tipped with wax worms in backwater lakes. Good bluegill action with a lot of sorting. Yellow Perch – Fair: Anglers are catching a few perch through the ice along vegetation beds in deeper backwater cuts. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Fish minnows under tip-ups in backwater areas and marina areas with no current.

Mississippi River Pool 11
River level is 11.1 feet at Lock and Dam 10 at Guttenberg and is expected to be stable at this level over the next week. Use caution around shoreline areas and any areas that may have current. The boat ramps in Guttenberg remain blocked with ice. Fishing has been consistent in the Sunfish Lake and Zollikoffer Slough at Mud Lake. Yellow Perch – Fair: Anglers are catching a few perch through the ice along vegetation beds in deeper backwater cuts. Bluegill – Good: Use small teardrop jigs tipped with wax worms in backwater lakes. Good bluegill action with a lot of sorting. Largemouth Bass – Good: Fish minnows under tip-ups in backwater areas and marina areas with no current.

Upper Mississippi River levels remain high making ice conditions unpredictable in many areas particularly along shorelines and any areas that have current. With such high levels there may be current in backwater areas that normally are quiet. Cold weather and lack of snow cover improved ice conditions this week. Many areas have 8-10 inches of ice.


Mississippi River Pool 12
The water level is near 10.3 feet at Dubuque tailwater and near 12.6 feet at the RR bridge. These levels are up from last week. Water will raise a bit more and then recede later in the week. Edge ice is bad in places; be careful. Bluegill – Good: Expect to see a number of medium sized gills this ice fishing season with some nice ones thrown in. You may need to sort, but bluegill numbers are high. People are fishing at nearly all the Marinas and deeper backwaters in Pool 12. Black Crappie – No Report: Hard to pin down where the crappies were being caught, but some nice fish were caught last week on the River. Yellow Perch – Good: Looks to be another excellent perch year with another strong year class. Most ring perch have been caught by anglers targeting bluegills. Some anglers report using minnow heads for the best results. Largemouth Bass – Good: Lots of bass are being reported from most backwaters.  Bass bite has been aggressive in some areas and sometimes it is dominating the catch.

Mississippi River Pool 13
The water level is near 11.7 feet at Bellevue. This is up from last week and water is expected to raise.  Water levels will start to recede later this week. The tailwater is still mostly open, but the access to Bellevue city ramp could ice flow in.  Call ahead if you are traveling far. As of now, the ramp is wide open.  Walleye – Good: Good walleye and sauger angling was reported before the cold snap. Mostly anglers are using some sort of minnow rig. Black Crappie – No Report: The crappie bite was a bit off this fall for many anglers, but some found good numbers. The year class of young crappie looks strong so fishing should be good into the future. Bluegill – Good: Bluegill are on the bite in most places.  Some nice fish were reported, but many small ones were biting too. Poor ice reported in some places, but that should now again freeze; use caution. Yellow Perch – No Report: Lots of yellow perch were seen in our fall surveys. We expect many yellow perch to be reported this winter by people fishing for bluegills. Sauger – Good: Use jig and minnow.

Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level is near 9.7 feet at Fulton, 12.6 feet at Camanche and 7.0 feet at Le Claire. Levels are raising and are expected to fall later this week. Poor ice conditions were reported throughout Pool 14. Ice should refreeze and some ice angling should return; use caution.  Yellow Perch – No Report: Before the ice, some anglers were reporting catching yellow perch in the backwaters when fishing for bluegills.  A few were being taken in the tailwaters by sauger anglers, especially when in 10 feet or less water. We expect to see some nice 14 to 15 inch fish reported again this year. Bluegill – Good: Ice conditions became poor on Pool 14 due to rain and high water levels.  The recent cold snap should once again form decent ice in places; use caution.

Mississippi River Pool 15
The water level is 9.4 feet at Rock Island, which is up from last week. Water will raise a bit more this week and then begin to recede. No fishing was reported in Pool 15 this week.  Ice fishing in Pool 15 is limited and takes place in Marina areas; poor ice conditions exist in most locations.

Ice fishing continues but some anglers reported getting their feet wet last week. The Mississippi River is unusually high for this time of year making for some bad ice on the edges. Water levels are presently rising, but will being to fall quickly. If you have any angling questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.


Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 9.46 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and has been steady the past few days. The Marquette St. ramps is frozen in and there is flow ice coming down the main channel. We have not received any ice fishing reports with the recent unsafe ice conditions.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 7.59 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and has fallen close to a foot the past few days. The boat ramps in Muscatine are frozen in and there is a lot of flow ice coming down the main channel. We have not received any ice fishing reports with the recent unsafe ice conditions.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 9.09 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and falling. As of Jan. 4th, the gates were still out of the water at the lock and dam. There was some flow ice coming down the channel, but the ramp was open. Boat ramp conditions may change with the cold weather. We have not received any ice fishing reports with the recent unsafe ice conditions.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 6.24 feet at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington and has fallen close to a foot the past few days. We have not received any information if boat ramps are open in this pool or not. We have not received any ice fishing reports with the recent unsafe ice conditions.

Tailwater stages have been steady or falling the past few days. With the recent cold temperatures, boat ramps are freezing in again and there is flow ice coming down the channel. We have not received any ice fishing reports with the unsafe ice conditions. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

SOUTHEAST

Big Hollow Lake
The ponds around the lake have about three inches of ice on them and the lake has about the same. Use extreme caution if you go out on it since any thin spots are going to be too thin. Nobody has been out ice fishing, but if it stays cold maybe by this weekend.

Lake Belva Deer
The ice is thinner and there is more open water than last week. Going out on the ice is not recommended.

Lake Darling
There were whitecaps out on the middle of the lake on Tuesday. About 40 acres of open water on Wednesday and still some good wave action. The ice will not be safe by this weekend with temperatures forecast to be back into the upper 30’s.

Lake Darling District Farm Ponds
Last weekend, none of the ponds inside Lake Darling State Park, even the ones back in the trees, had enough ice around the edges to hold a person up very long before breaking through.

Lake Geode
Unsafe ice.

For more information on the above lakes, contact the Lake Darling Fisheries Office at 319-694-2430.


Cedar River (La Porte City to Cedar Rapids)
Still some ice fishermen out on the backwaters, but ice is variable. Use caution if venturing out. Bluegill – Fair. Black Crappie – Fair. Northern Pike – Slow.

Coralville Reservoir
Ice conditions should be considered unsafe at this time. There are still seams of open water on the lake. Pool levels are to rise and fall 6 inches in the next 10 days.

Diamond Lake
Check ice often. There were some open shorelines last week. Bluegill – Fair. Black Crappie – Slow.

Hannen Lake
The ice is reported as being “good ice”. Bluegill – Fair: Fish around brush piles in the main channel. Black Crappie – Slow: Fish around brush piles in the main channel.

Iowa Lake (Iowa Co.)
Few anglers have been out, but no ice/fishing reports are available.

Kent Park Lake
The lake is reported as having 6+ inches of ice. Fishing has been slower; mornings are the most productive. Bluegill – Fair. Largemouth Bass – Fair.

Lake Macbride
Some of the lake has up to 8 inches of ice, while other areas were still open on Tuesday. Stick to familiar areas or areas with other anglers if you are not familiar with the lake. Bluegill – Good: Size is small. They are near the bottom around almost any type of structure. Black Crappie – Fair: Some brush is holding nice crappies while others have small crappies or none at all. Walleye – Slow.

Otter Creek Lake
The ice is reported as being 8 inches thick, but fishing is reported as very slow.

Pleasant Creek Lake
The lake is currently down 13′ for the restoration project. Most of the lake has 8-10 inches of ice. Bluegill – Fair: Quite a few bluegills are being caught along the dam on waxies. Size has been marginal, but you can sort some keepers out. Yellow Perch – Fair: Jig/waxie and small spoon/minnow head has been producing some perch. Walleye – Fair: Most fish are small. Use a spoon or jigging rap tipped with a minnow head in  20-25 feet of water. Black Crappie – Fair: Fish around deeper brush with a jig/waxie. White Bass – Fair: Try spoons or jigging raps tipped with minnows.

Rodgers Park Lake
The ice is reported as being about 6 inches. Bluegill – Good: Quite a few fish are being caught, but not much for size at this time. Black Crappie – Slow.

Last week’s weather did some damage to area lakes’ ice. This week’s cold temperatures should repair most of those areas. Continue to use caution, especially on water bodies that had open water last week. For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.


Lake Keomah
The warmer temperatures last week deteriorated the ice; use caution if venturing out as ice thickness varies. Geese will often keep some areas open so use caution and drill test holes often. The colder temperatures predicted by the end of the week should help the ice conditions.

Lake Miss (Tug Fork W)
The ice has deteriorated since last week. Ice thickness varies so use caution if venturing out. Watch along the shorelines as last week’s warm up melted some of the ice.

Lake Sugema
Ice conditions have deteriorated since last week. The lake still has open water due to geese keeping some areas open. Ice conditions are variable so use caution if venturing out. Colder temperatures should improve the ice conditions.

Lake Wapello
The ice has deteriorated since last week and the lake still has open water in front of the lodge and out from the beach area. The ice formed at different times so thickness varies. The colder temperatures forecasted should improve the ice conditions.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 904.22 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 frozen over but the ice conditions are variable and conditions have deteriorated since last week. The coves and bays should have thicker ice but use caution if venturing out as the ice thickness is variable.

Red Haw Lake
Ice conditions have deteriorated since last week. The lake still has open water by the dam and along the shorelines. Areas of the lake have frozen over at different times so the ice thickness is variable. Use caution if venturing out and drill test holes as you go. The cold weather this weekend should improve ice conditions.

Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions about fishing in south central Iowa.

SOUTHWEST

Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake
Rainbow Trout – Catch trout from the fall stocking with spoons or jigs tipped with wax worms. Trout tend to swim the perimeter in schools, so fish depths of 5 to 15 feet deep just out from shore.

Beaver Lake
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
As of Wednesday, Jan. 4th, Big Creek’s best ice was 8 inches. There is a narrow area of open water extending from the beach to near mid-lake. Use caution and check thickness often if going out. Bluegill – Fair: A few decent gills are being caught fishing the brush piles at the mouths of the bays and the Lost Lake area. Black Crappie – Fair: Some anglers are finding 9-11 inch crappies on brush piles in the main lake and suspended in the evenings off the creek channel mid-lake.

Dakins Lake
Bluegill – Good: Ice anglers are finding good bluegill fishing throughout the lake. The most popular area to start out 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 – Good: Use wax worms or minnows. Target the mid-lake section at depths of 15-25 feet, schools of crappie will come through suspended.

Easter Lake
Ice anglers should stay off Easter Lake this winter as the lake is in the process of being drawn down.

Hickory Grove Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are picking some up on brush and pallet piles throughout the lake at depths greater than 10 feet.

Jacob Krumm Nature Preserve Lake (west)
Black Crappie – Fair: Krumm Pond holds a good population of large black crappies. Search around the flooded trees half way up the lake that are broken off at the water’s surface. Use wax worms or dead minnow heads. Live minnows are not allowed on this waterbody. Bluegill – Good: Good bluegill fishing is happening in the lower half of the lake from mid-lake to the west shore. The pond has good numbers of 7 to 8 inch bluegills, with some larger.

Lake Ahquabi
Ahquabi ice conditions can be variable, especially around the fishing shelter and beach area. Bluegill – Good: Ahquabi provides good bluegill fishing and fair crappie fishing during the ice season. A good spot to start is a large area of habitat sunk out from the west shoreline across the lake from the beach.

Lake Petocka
Rainbow Trout – Fair: Good numbers of trout remain from the fall stocking to be caught through the ice. Use jigs or spoons tipped with wax worms or on small live minnows.

Mariposa Lake
Bluegill – Good: Catch good numbers of 7 to 8 inch bluegills. Concentrate on the lower half of the lake.

Roberts Creek Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Ice conditions have been tricky this year at Roberts Creek; anglers are now finding around 6 inches. Jig wax worms or dead sticking live minnows.

As of Thursday, Jan. 5th ,central Iowa lakes and ponds have ice ranging from 4 to 9 inches. There is still some variability in the ice conditions; check thickness often while going out. For information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers, contact Andy Otting or Ben Dodd at 515-432-2823.


Cold Springs District Farm Ponds
Anglers have been accessing most of the farm ponds in the Cold Springs District and reporting 6 to 10-inches of ice. Respect private property and ask permission from the landowner first.

Cold Springs Lake
Cold Springs has 8 inches of ice and 7 to 8 inch bluegill. Bluegill – Fair: A few bluegills are being caught from the southwest portion of the lake fishing near brush piles.

DeSoto Bend at DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge
Ice conditions are highly variable at Desoto Bend. Anglers are finding areas of open water near the shore making access difficult. Ice fishing is not recommended at Desoto at this time. Use extreme caution.

Greenfield Lake
Ice conditions are variable at Greenfield. Avoid areas around aeration units. Greenfield has a good population of 8-inch bluegills and 9-inch black crappies. Bluegill – Fair: Fish the flats near the old creek channel and/or around the brush piles.

Hacklebarney East
Anglers are catching a few bluegills from the upper end of the lake around the brush. Bluegill – Fair: Fish the trees and stumps in the upper end of the lake near the channel for 8-inch bluegills.

Lake Anita
Reports from Lake Anita are 8 inches of ice in the two main arms of the lake with waterfowl keeping open water around the beach. Anglers are catching a combination of bluegills and crappies depending on the day. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are being caught in the campground arm from depths as shallow as 8 out to 20 feet of water. Black Crappie – Good: The crappie bite has been hit or miss depending on the day. Anita as a dense population of 8 and 9-inch crappie.

Nodaway Lake
Fish around the brush piles in 12 to 14 feet of water for bluegills and crappies. Bluegill – Fair: A few bluegills are being caught around the trees in 12 to 14 feet of water. Black Crappie – Slow: Try fishing late afternoon into dark.

Orient Lake
Last week reports were 8-inches of ice at Orient Lake. The wind and warm temperatures last weekend started to open areas of the lake near the shoreline. Colder temperatures since have refroze those areas. Use caution when accessing Orient. Bluegill – Good: 7 to 8-inch bluegills are being caught through the ice near the dam. Black Crappie – Fair: Orient Lake as a good population of 10 inch crappies. A few are being caught early and then again late in the day around the brush piles.

Prairie Rose Lake
Anglers are reporting up to 10 inches of ice on some areas of Prairie Rose. The best bite has been late afternoon and after dark. Bluegill – Good: Use ice jigs tipped with wax worms after dark in 14 to 16 feet of water. Black Crappie – Fair: A few nice crappies are being caught after dark suspended over 14 to 16 feet of water.

Viking Lake
Ice conditions are variable at Viking Lake. Ice thickness varies from 5 to 6-inches; waterfowl are keeping an area of the lake open. Bluegill – Fair: A few 7 to 8-inch bluegills are being caught late in the afternoon. Black Crappie – Fair: A few crappies are being caught late in the afternoon.

The panfish bite is fair to good on area lakes and ponds. Check ice often after rain and warm temperatures last weekend. Most angler reports indicate 6 to 8 inches around the district. For more information, call the Cold Springs District Office at 712-769-2587.


Green Valley Lake
Green Valley has about 6-8 inches of ice. Geese have kept a large area of open water south of the campground. Ice along the shoreline has become thin or even completely open in some areas.

Summit Lake
Summit has about 6-8 inches of ice. Geese have kept a large area of open water on the south end of the lake. Open water was also reported along the shoreline at the boat ramp, fishing jetty, and Highway 25 bridge area.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake
Twelve Mile Creek Lake has about 6-8 inches of ice. There is an area of open water on the south end of the lake. Some shoreline areas have thin ice or open water.

Variable ice conditions reported at Mount Ayr district lakes. Thin ice or open water reported along the shoreline of many area lakes. For more information, please contact the Mount Ayr Fisheries office at 641-464-3108.

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