Bluegill and White Bass are 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.
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
Ice thickness is about 8-9 inches off the boat ramp. 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. Catch fish up to 10.5 inches.

Black Hawk Lake
Ice thickness is 11-13 inches off Ice House Point boat ramp. Ice may be more variable out mid-lake. The winter aeration system is in operation; expect thin ice and open water in Town Bay. Bluegill – Fair: Use a small jig tipped with a wax worm around the Gunshot Hill and Ice House Point areas. Anglers are marking lots of fish. Walleye – Fair: Anglers have reported catching walleye around Ice House Point and in the area between Ice House Point boat ramp and Gunshot Hill. Try fishing a minnow head on a jigging spoon. Other areas to try include the dredge cuts by Denison Beach and Lakewood Point areas.

Black Hawk Pits
Ice is around 8-10 inches, but more variable along shore in some areas so use caution. Use a wax worm or small minnow on a jig bluegill during afternoon to evening. Try near contour and structure in 5-10 feet of water. A few perch have been picked up while fishing for bluegill. Catch largemouth bass with minnows and jigs.

Brushy Creek Lake
Ice is around 12 inches on the north end of the lake and in most areas near shore. Ice conditions are more variable with some 8 inch ice in the mid-lake 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 9-13 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: Fish a minnow head on a jigging spoon during mid-afternoon out from the Frank Starr Park area 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 suspended; use a jig tipped with a wax worm or a minnow. Most are having luck out from the Frank Starr Park area. Late evening and after dark bite seems is best.

Most lakes in the district are covered with 7 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.
Blue Pit
The DNR will stock trout here this Saturday, Jan. 14th. A kids fishing event will be held from 11:00 a.m. -2:00 p.m.

Bluebill Lake
Ice thickness is 16-18 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Use wax worms Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try minnows fished in 12-16 feet of water.

Clear Lake
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 4:00 p.m. to dark. Bluegills and crappies are being caught near the rushes by the west aeration system. Yellows are still biting, but you have to move around to find the fish. Yellow Bass – Fair: Use wax worms and spikes fished near the bottom in 8-12 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 crappie bite is at first light.

Elm Lake
Ice thickness is 16 inches. Yellow Perch – Good: Perch are biting; lots of smaller fish being caught with a few keepers.

Lake Smith
Ice thickness is 16-20 inches. Bluegill – Good:  Use wax worms.

Rice Lake
Ice thickness is 18-20 inches. With the clear water, the best bite is 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 18-20 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs tipped with spikes. Yellow Perch – Fair: 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.
Big Spirit Lake
The ice on Big Spirit is sturdy with people driving on at most locations. Check ice depths often when going out; there may be some weaker areas. Yellow Perch – Fair: 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. Try on the north end and on the rock beds on the east side of the lake.

Center Lake
Aerators are currently in use on Center Lake; avoid areas with open water. Thin ice signs are out; stay outside of the signed in areas.

East Okoboji Lake
Reports of good walleye activity on East Lake out by Parks Marina and near the south basin. Walleye – Fair: Try to get on the edge of the weed lines in about 10-12 feet of water. Yellow Bass – Good: Yellow bass are being caught on the south basin of the lake.

Five Island Lake
Aerators are currently in use on Five Island Lake; avoid areas with open water. Thin ice signs are out, stay outside of the signed in areas. Black Crappie – Fair: A few black crappies have been reported, but they are not eager to bite. Channel Catfish – Good: Some channel catfish have been caught.

Ingham Lake
Aerators are currently in use on Ingham Lake; avoid areas with open water. Thin ice signs are out; stay outside of the signed in areas.

Lost Island Lake
Yellow Bass – Good: A good number of yellow bass are being caught in the Stony Point area. Bluegill – Fair: A few bluegills have been caught. Black Crappie – Fair: A few crappies have been caught.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Aerators are currently in use on Silver Lake; avoid areas with open water. Thin ice signs are out; stay outside of the signed in areas.

West Okoboji Lake
The fishing on West Okoboji continues to be good for perch, crappies, or bluegills, with some active walleye as well. The fish seem are hanging out in about 12-15 feet of water right outside of the weed beds. Bluegill – Excellent: Bluegills continue to show a lot of activity in Little Millers Bay. Walleye – Good: Try near the rock beds around 5 p.m. for the evening bite. Yellow Perch – Excellent: Perch have been active in about 12 feet of water. They are hanging tight to the weed edges. Black Crappie – Excellent: Crappies have shown good activity in Little Millers Bay.

The best times for fishing right now are before 10 a.m. and around 5 p.m. Use caution when venturing out on the ice; 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 impoundments. Use extreme caution when going on river ice. With recent rainfall events, water levels are jumping around causing pockets in the ice. Check ice depths often. Eight to 12 inches of ice have been reported in the backwaters. Anglers are catching a variety of fish including perch and rock bass. Bluegill – Slow: Use a small jig tipped with a spike or wax worm. Black Crappie – Slow: Find crappies around submersed trees or logs. Use small jigs tipped with a minnow head. Walleye – Slow.

Decorah District Streams
Urban catchable trout stocking is in full swing. Check our webpage for dates and locations. Recent rainfall made many trout streams muddy due to water running over frozen ground, but they are clearing quickly with elevated flows. Gravel roads in our area are in poor condition due to freezing rain. Road crews are working to improve them, but single digit temperatures are hampering efforts. 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: Use black fly midge or hares ear wet flies 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 open. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the ice. The aerator is on; 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 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. Fish activity has been variable depending on weather fronts. Anglers will need to move around to find fish. Bluegill – Fair: Use a jig tipped with wax worm or red or white spike. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Anglers report seeing fish on cameras; use a jig tipped with wax worms. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappies are sitting higher off the bottom and are more finicky.

Turkey River (above Clermont)
Use extreme caution when going out on Vernon Spring impoundment. River water levels are fluctuating due to recent rainfall events. Check ice depths often. Ice depths vary greatly in areas with varying flows. 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.

This weekend’s weather will be better in the Driftless area with temperatures reaching mid 20’s by Sunday and much less wind. Use extreme caution when going out on the ice. Recent rainfall may cause some rivers to raise causing ice heaves and other unsafe conditions. 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)
Bluegill – Fair: Anglers continue to have good success catching bluegill in Casey Lake (a.k.a. Hickory Hills Park).

George Wyth Lake
Anglers continue to catch crappie and bluegill in George Wyth Lake. Bluegill – Fair. Black Crappie – Fair.

Manchester District Streams
Trout streams have recently receded with the recent rain and snow melt. 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. Streamers, spinners and crankbaits are the most consistent baits this time of year. Fish can be skittish this time of year, so avoid walking in the stream and approach fishing spots from downstream. Rainbow Trout – Good.

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

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

Most anglers are having some success catching bluegill and crappie on most area Black Hawk County Lakes. Ice conditions remain good with most lakes averaging ten inches; continue to use extreme caution. Rivers and streams are generally in good condition, but are high for this time of year. Trout streams have receded with the recent rainfall and snow melt. For further information, call the N.E. District Office at 563-927-3276.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER
Mississippi River Pool 9
River level is 9.2 feet at Lansing and is expected to be stable over the next week. Colder weather this week has firmed up ice and most backwaters have a good 10 inches of ice.  Bluegill – Good: Fishing for bluegills remains good, but can be hit or miss at times with sorting of smaller fish. Shore slough and Village Creek are popular areas. 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 has dropped to 17 feet at Lynxville and is expected to be stable over the next week. Colder weather this week has firmed up ice and most backwaters have a good 10 inches of ice. Bluegill – Good: Fishing for bluegills remains good, but can be hit or miss at times with sorting of smaller fish. Norwegian Lake in Sny Magill and Greymore Lake by Prairie Du Chien are popular areas for ice anglers. 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 has dropped to 9.2 feet at Guttenberg and is expected to be stable over the next week. Colder weather this week has firmed up ice and most backwaters have a good 10 inches of ice. The boat ramps in Guttenberg remain blocked with ice. Yellow Perch – Fair: Anglers are catching a few perch through the ice along vegetation beds in deeper backwater cuts. Bluegill – Good: Fishing for bluegills remains good, but can be hit or miss at times with sorting of smaller fish. Fishing remains popular in the Sunfish Lake and Zollikoffer Slough at Mud Lake. Largemouth Bass – Good: Fish minnows under tip-ups in backwater areas and marina areas with no current.

Upper Mississippi River levels have dropped nearly 2 feet in Pools 9 – 11 over the past week, but are expected to stabilize at the current levels for the next week. Recent cold weather has solidified ice conditions and most backwaters have a good 10 inches of ice. With little snow cover ice remains very slick and ice cleats are recommended.
Mississippi River Pool 12
The water level is near 8.0 feet at Dubuque tailwater and near 10.4 feet at the RR bridge. These levels are down over two feet from last week. Water is expected to stabilize this week. Edge ice is bad in places, but good ice can be found. Be careful and know your ice fishing safety rules.  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 the bluegill numbers are high. Anglers are fishing at nearly all the Marinas and deeper backwaters in Pool 12. 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 real aggressive in some areas and sometimes it is dominating the catch.

Mississippi River Pool 13
The water level is near 9.2 feet at Bellevue. This is down over two feet from last week and is expected to stabilize. The tailwater is still mostly open, but the access to Bellevue city ramp could ice flow in. As of now, the ramp is wide open.  Walleye – Good: Good walleye and sauger angling was reported. Anglers are mostly using some sort of minnow rig. Bluegill – Good: Bluegill are on the bite in most places.  Some nice fish were reported, but many small ones are biting too. Sauger – Good: Use jig and minnow. Yellow Perch – Good: Some nice ringed perch are being reported, but anglers are trying to keep locations a secret.

Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level is near 7.1 feet at Fulton, 11.0 feet at Camanche and 5.6 feet at Le Claire. These levels are all down significantly from last week. Poor ice conditions were reported throughout Pool 14, but some ice fishing could be taking place again with the cold snap from last week.

Mississippi River Pool 15
The water level is 7.4 feet at Rock Island, which is down from last week. Water will be somewhat stable this week. No fishing was reported in Pool 15. Ice fishing in Pool 15 is limited and takes place in Marina areas; poor ice conditions existed in most locations.

Ice fishing continues, but once again some wet feet were reported this week. Generally safer ice can be found, but water level variations and rain caused some ponding of water on the ice. The Mississippi River is still unusually high for this time of year also making for some bad ice on the edges. After dropping two feet or more last week, the water levels are expected to stabilize. If you have any angling questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.
Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 7.40 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and has been falling the past few days. The main channel has opened up, but boats are not able to launch yet at the Marquette street ramp. There is a ridge of ice at the edge of the ramp that extends out not allowing boats to launch. We have not received any ice fishing reports with the recent unsafe ice conditions.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 6.91 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and has fallen close to a foot the past couple days. The main channel has opened up. Boats are not able to launch at the ramps in Muscatine due to a ridge of ice at the end of the ramps. We have not received any ice fishing reports with the recent unsafe ice conditions.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 10.40 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and has started to fall. The gates were still out of the water at the lock and dam. The main channel has opened up, but the Toolsboro ramp is inaccessible due to a ridge of ice at the bottom of the ramp that extends out 20 feet. We have not received any ice fishing reports with the recent unsafe ice conditions.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 11.77 feet at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington. Flood stage is 10 feet at Lock and Dam 18. River stage at Burlington is 16.74 feet and flood stage is 15 feet. We have not received any ice fishing reports with the recent unsafe ice conditions and high water conditions.

Tailwater stages have been falling the past few days. Pool 19 is above flood stage at Burlington. We have not received much for ice fishing reports. With river levels fluctuating and the recent rains, use caution when venturing out on the ice. We have received some reports of unsafe ice conditions along the shorelines. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

SOUTHEAST
Big Hollow Lake
The ice is about 5 inches thick. There is water on top of it also. Bluegill – Good: Catch 7-9 inch bluegills out in 18 to 19 feet of water in the flooded timber. A few anglers tried down by the dam without much luck. Black Crappie – Good: Anglers are picking up crappies in the same places; some are using minnows.

Lake Belva Deer
The 6 inches of ice survived the warm weather and rain; be careful anywhere the rain ran off into the lake. Use caution around the trees and over on the north side; the ice is thinner in those areas. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are out in the flooded trees out in about 20 foot of water.

Lake Darling
Ice thickness is still highly variable going from six inches down to four inches; geese are keeping the water open around the middle of the. Several areas opened back up with Tuesday’s rain and Wednesday’s warm air. Black Crappie – Good: Crappies are out in the deeper water; a good chunk of that is under the geese. Some brush piles down by the dam are holding some fish in 13-15 feet of water. Park down at the dam; you can’t get there from the upper end because of the open water.

Lake Darling District Farm Ponds
Ice is getting thicker since there isn’t enough open water to catch the wind. Use caution; ice thickness is still highly variable.

Lake Geode
Too many days of near 50 degrees and not very good ice condition to start with means UNSAFE ICE conditions. Open water areas down by the dam, up at the Goose Hole south of the ramp and even up by the beach.

Lake of the Hills
Ice is 7.5 inches thick with, as of Wednesday, 1/2 inch of water on it.  Rainbow Trout – Good: Try over the deeper brush piles and down around the spring. Bluegill – Good: Bluegill fishing is pretty good around deeper brush piles.

Lost Grove Lake
About 7 to 8 inches of ice; use caution around where the water goes under the causeway. Some water standing on the ice. Black Crappie – Good: The flooded trees in the deeper water is the place to go. Bluegill – Good: Look for them to be out in the trees.

Railroad Lake
The ice is about 7 1/2 inches thick with a little water on it. Try the deeper brush piles and the flooded timber down by the dam. Bluegill – Good: Use a wax worm around the deeper habitat.

For more information on the above lakes, contact the Lake Darling Fisheries Office at 319-694-2430.
Coralville Reservoir
The lake is holding at normal winter pool. Ice conditions are variable; use caution if venturing out.

Diamond Lake
The ice is 7-9 inches in most areas. Bluegill – Good: Fish the brush with a jig/waxie. Black Crappie – Fair: Look for suspended fish around brush. Most fish are 8-9 inches.

Hannen Lake
The ice is about 12 inches thick. Bluegill – Fair: Nicer sized fish are being caught around the brush piles. Black Crappie – Slow: Fish around brush piles in the main channel.

Iowa Lake (Iowa Co.)
Bluegill – Fair. Redear Sunfish – Good. Black Crappie – Slow.

Kent Park Lake
Bluegill – Fair. Largemouth Bass – Fair.

Lake Macbride
Most of the lake has good ice, but a few areas are thinner. Use caution if straying from the typical areas. Bluegill – Good: Size is small. They are near the bottom around almost any type of structure. Black Crappie – Slow: Some brush is holding nice crappies while others have small crappies or none at all. Walleye – Slow.

Otter Creek Lake
The ice is 8+ inches. Yellow Bass – Fair. Bluegill – Slow. Black Crappie – 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 – Slow: Use a jig/waxie and small spoon/minnow head. Walleye – Fair: Most fish are small. Use a spoon or jigging rap tipped with a minnow head. Try 20-25 feet of water. Black Crappie – Slow: Fish around deeper brush with a jig/waxie. White Bass – Slow: Use spoons or jigging raps tipped with minnows.

Rodgers Park Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Quite a few fish are being caught, but not much for size at this time. Black Crappie – Slow.

Wapsipinicon River (Troy Mills to Oxford Junction)
The ice is extremely variable so use caution. Stick to areas that have little to no flow. Walleye – Fair: Some fish are being caught through the ice in the deeper holes of the river.

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.

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.

Lake Wapello
The ice has deteriorated since last week; the lake still has open water in front of the lodge and the beach area. The ice formed at different times so thickness varies.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 904.17 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. There are some areas of open water in the main lake. 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 froze over at different times, so the ice thickness is variable. Use caution if venturing out and drill test holes as you go.

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 – Fair: 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 Thursday, Jan. 12th Big Creek’s best ice was 11 inches. There is a narrow area of open water from geese extending from the beach to near mid-lake. Bluegill – Fair: Fish the brush piles at the mouths of the bays and the Lost Lake area. Black Crappie – Fair: Find 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 are moving 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 bluegills 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 broke 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 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 some 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: The next trout stocking will be on Saturday, Jan. 28th at noon. 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: Good numbers of 7 to 8 inch bluegills are being caught. Concentrate on the lower half of the lake.

Roberts Creek Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: As of Jan. 12th, there is 6 to 8 inches of ice. A fair to good crappie bite is happening jigging waxworms or dead sticking live minnows. Try over the brush.

As of Thursday, Jan. 12th central Iowa lakes and ponds have 8 to 11 inches of ice, with the lesser amounts south if I80.For information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers, contact Andy Otting or Ben Dodd at 515-432-2823.
Cold Springs District Farm Ponds
Most farm ponds in the district have 6 to 10 inches of ice. Always get permission when fishing privately owned ponds. Bluegill – Good. Black Crappie – Slow. White Crappie – Fair.

Greenfield Lake
Greenfield has a significant amount of open water around the solar B units. This open water may refreeze, but it’s unsafe. Use extreme caution and stay 150 to 200 feet away from solar B’s in all directions. Black Crappie – Slow. Bluegill – Fair: Fish flats next to the creek channel to catch bluegills averaging 8 inches.

Hacklebarney East
Hacklebarney East has a small population of large black crappie. The lake also supports good numbers of 8 inch bluegill. Bluegill – Good: Find 8 inch bluegills in the upper end of the lake in tree piles. Black Crappie – Slow.

Lake Anita
Lake Anita will provide good panfishing this winter. Find a large crappie population in the lake averaging 9 inches and bluegills up to 9.5 inches. Geese have a large area of open water around the beach. Bluegill – Fair: The larger size bluegills have been caught in the pontoon arm of the lake. The north road bed has been good in the afternoon. Black Crappie – Fair: Use small spoons and jigs with wax worms. Fish will average 9 inches. The best bite is the first hour of daylight.

Littlefield Lake
Littlefield Lake has quality size black crappies and bluegill. Target winter fish around the cedar tree piles placed in the lake. Bluegill – Good: Anglers report having to sort through many small bluegills for the 9 plus inch fish. Fish are around cedar tree piles. Black Crappie – Slow: A few large black crappies are being picked up around the cedar tree piles at dark. Fish are 10 to 12 inches.

Nodaway Lake
Ice is 8 inches thick. Fisheries samples in 2016 showed good numbers of 8 to 11 inch crappies. Bluegills will average 8 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Catch bluegills averaging 8 inches around underwater trees that are in 12 to 14 feet of water. Black Crappie – Slow: A few crappies are being caught around underwater trees. Late afternoon bite is best. Fish will average 10 inches.

Orient Lake
The lake had 8 inches of ice. Orient has a good population of 9 to 10 inch crappies. The lake will be a good ice fishing destination this winter. Bluegill – Good: Bluegill fishing has been good for 7 to 8 inch fish around cedar tree piles. Black Crappie – Fair: The crappie bite has picked up. Try fishing early morning or the last hour before dark to catch fish averaging 10 inches.

Prairie Rose Lake
Expect to catch quality size bluegills again this winter. The crappies stocked by DNR staff are 7 to 8 inches at this time. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers report catching 8 to 9 inch bluegill after dark with wax worms.

The panfish bite is fair to good on area lakes. Check ice often after rain and warm temperatures. Most angler reports show 6 to 10 inches around the district. For more information, call the Cold Springs District Office at 712-769-2587.
Green Valley Lake
Green Valley has approximately 8 inches of ice; geese have kept a large area of open water south of the campground.

Summit Lake
Summit has approximately 10 inches of ice; geese have kept a large area of open water near mid-lake. Thin ice was also reported along the Highway 25 bridge area. Bluegill – Good: Catch bluegill over 8 inches with wax worms fished along the deep cedar tree brush pile or along the channel edges. Black Crappie – Good: Catch 8-10 inch crappies with wax worms fished along the deep cedar tree brush pile or along the channel edges. Yellow Perch – Fair: Catch 8-10 inch yellow perch with minnows fished along the deep cedar tree brush pile or along the channel edges.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake
Twelve Mile Creek Lake has about 8-10 inches of ice; there is an area of open water on the south end of the lake. Thin ice was also reported near the fishing jetty at the northeast boat ramp. Bluegill – Good: Bluegill of all sizes have been caught using wax worms fished along the flooded timber near creek channels or rock piles. Black Crappie – Slow: Use minnows fished along the flooded timber near the creek channel and rock piles. Yellow Perch – Fair: Catch yellow perch up to 11 inches with minnows fished along the flooded timber near creek channels and rock piles. Walleye – Slow: Walleye of all sizes have been caught using minnows fished along the roadbed or near rock piles.

West Lake (Osceola)
Some open water reported around docks. Black Crappie – Good: Catch 8-10 inch crappies with minnows fished along creek channels and main lake points.

Variable ice conditions reported at Mount Ayr district lakes. Some lakes have up to 10 inches of ice, but also areas of thin ice or open water. Be cautious and drill many test holes. For more information, please contact the Mount Ayr Fisheries office at 641-464-3108.

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