SATURDAY MORNING FISHING REPORT: Bluegill and Black Crappie Slow to Fair

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.

NORTHWEST

Arrowhead Lake
As of Jan. 2, ice was about 5-6 inches thick.  Drill test holes often. Black Crappie – Fair: Use minnows or waxworms on a jig in areas with structure anywhere from 10-15 feet deep. Bluegill – Fair: Catch keeper size bluegills with a teardrop jig tipped with a waxworm fished near structure.

Black Hawk Lake
As of Jan. 2, ice thickness near Ice House boat ramp was 7 inches.  There was a small pocket being kept open by geese in the northeast part of the lake near the state marina. Bluegill – Good: Catch good numbers of bluegill with a teardrop jig and waxworm fished off the bottom around 6 feet of water in the channel between Ice House boat ramp and Gunshot Hill.  The rock pile off of Gunshot Hill has also been productive. Some sorting is needed. Yellow Perch – Fair: A few larger fish are being picked up while targeting bluegill. Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers are picking up crappie while targeting bluegill. Walleye – Fair: Use a spoon and minnow fished on the dredge cuts near Denison Beach and Lake wood point, and near the rock pile off of Cottonwood Point.

Black Hawk Pits
As of Jan. 2, ice was variable with most at 4-6 inches.  Use caution if venturing out and check ice often. Bluegill – Fair: Try a small jig tipped with waxworms.

Brushy Creek Lake
Anglers have been out on the north end fishing on 5-7 inches of ice. Ice is thinner in the middle of the lake and on the south end.  Drill test holes often and expect less ice near inflows and in the main channel.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Most ice is around 7-10 inches, but variable conditions still exist so drill test holes often. Walleye – Good: Use a minnow and spoon fished in the dredge cuts, with the best luck during low light conditions. Yellow Perch – Fair: Some perch have been picked up while targeting walleye.

Ice fishing is well underway in our district and many anglers are having good luck. Most area lakes have 6-10 inches of ice. Ice is variable and there are still some areas being kept open by geese; use caution and drill test holes often. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.


Bluebill Lake
Ice thickness is 12 to 13 inches. Bluegill – Slow: Best bite is in the early morning.

Clear Lake
Avoid areas near the aerators. The current ice thickness varies from 10 to 13 inches. Yellow Bass – Slow: Use a small jig tipped with live bait at the edge of the vegetation. The best bite is at dawn and dusk. Walleye – Slow: Dead stick a minnow while you are jigging with another rod. The best bite is at dawn and dusk. Yellow Perch – Slow: Use small jigs tipped with live bait. Black Crappie – Slow: Best bite is at first light.

Crystal Lake
Avoid areas near the aerator. Ice thickness is 10 to 13 inches. Black Crappie – Good: Use a small jig tipped with spikes near the edge of the dredge cut. Walleye – Slow: Best bite is early morning fishing with a minnow.

Rice Lake
Ice thickness is 10 to 13 inches. Walleye – Slow: The best bite is at dawn and dusk fishing with minnows.

Silver Lake (Worth)
Avoid areas near the aerator. Ice thickness is 11 to 14 inches. Yellow Perch – Slow: Use a small jig tipped with a waxworm or spike at the edge of vegetation. Bluegill – Slow: Try a small jig tipped with a waxworm or spike at the edge of vegetation.

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


East Okoboji Lake
Walleye – Fair: Anglers report walleye action south of Stony Point.

Five Island Lake
Channel Catfish – Fair: Good ice fishing action reported. Walleye – Fair: Ice anglers have had good pole bending activity with numbers of fish harvested. Yellow Bass – Good: Good numbers of fish have been harvested; fish the dredge cuts for the best action.

Ingham Lake
Walleye – Fair: Good bite reported during the early evening hours.

Lost Island Lake
Yellow Bass – Fair: Good numbers of fish are being caught; fish the Stoney Point area for the best action. Walleye – Fair: Numbers of fish are reported from Lost Island Lake.

Scharnberg Pond
Trout will be stocked on Jan. 13th at 1:30 pm.

Silver Lake (Palo Alto)
Walleye – Fair: Ice anglers report harvesting walleye. Yellow Perch – Fair: Ice anglers are catching yellow perch.

Spirit Lake
Ice conditions have improved. Good ice exists on the lake, but there are reports of areas with only 7 inches of ice. Yellow Perch – Fair: Numbers of fish are being caught off of Marble Beach; sorting is needed as numbers of small fish are being reported. Walleye – Good: Use spoons tipped with a minnow head on rock piles or existing weed lines.  Best action is early evening at prime time; fish half hour before sunset to half hour after sunset.

West Okoboji Lake
Ice conditions have improved. Average ice depth is 10 inches. Most anglers are using ATV’s or foot traffic to access the lake. Caution – numerous seams are present on area lakes.. Bluegill – Good: Look for open spots in the weed lines for the best action; a camera is needed to find fish as site fishing is limited. Black Crappie – Fair: Action has been reported at the north end and Milers Bay. Walleye – Good: Fish evening hours for the best action.

For more information throughout the week, contact the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.

NORTHEAST

Cedar River (above Nashua)
Ice conditions are improving, but use caution. Check ice depths often. Backwaters have about 14 inches ice, but it varies in areas with current. Bluegill – Good: Use small jigs tipped with a waxworm or spikes in 10 feet of water. Black Crappie – Good: Try bright colored jigs or small spoons tipped with minnow heads in backwaters. Walleye – Fair: Use small spoons tipped with a minnow head in deeper holes just out of current.

Decorah District Streams
Parking lots are not plowed at this time of year. Streams with good flow and water quality won’t freeze. With fewer insect hatches this time of year, use streamers and flies that imitate minnows.  Scuds and other subsurface insects work as well. Brook Trout – Good: Use a dry fly for insects hatching off the water surface. Use a nymph or scud dropper for subsurface critters. Brown Trout – Good: Use patterns imitating small fish, eggs, and scuds. Light hatches still occur on warmer afternoons. Rainbow Trout – Good: Drift a feathered spinner or a hook tipped with worm along an undercut bank.

Lake Hendricks
No motorized vehicles are allowed on the ice. Ice conditions are improving. Aerator is on. Black Crappie – Good: Water is stained. Move around to find fish. Use small jig tipped with a minnow head. Bluegill – Good: Anglers are fishing near the point in the deeper channel. Use small jigs tipped with waxworms or spikes.

Lake Meyer
Lake Meyer has about 12.5 inches of ice. Use caution around the dam. Water is a bit murky.  Bluegill – Good: Use small bright colored jigs tipped with waxworms around brush piles. A slow jig works best. Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers need to work for the fish and may have to move once the easy ones are caught.

Volga Lake
Check ice depths often and use the buddy system. Anglers have been out. Fish around the brush piles for best luck. Black Crappie – Good: Drop your lure about 3 feet above structure and watch them swim up to the bait. Use small jigs tipped with spikes or waxworms.

Temperatures will be in the single digits warming to low 30 by Sunday for a brief time. Fishing licenses for the upcoming season are available to residents and non-residents. Thanks to all our anglers this year. May your angling in 2018 be the best yet. For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.


Big Woods Lake
Reports of anglers catching panfish and some walleye. Bluegill – Fair: Try fishing a waxworm just off of the bottom in the deeper areas of the lake. Black Crappie – Fair: Use a small jig tipped with a waxworm or minnow. Walleye – Fair: Try a small jig tipped with a waxworm or minnow.

Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
Some good reports of anglers catching bluegill. Concentrate efforts near the deeper area of water near the dam close to brush pile structures. Bluegill – Fair: Fish a waxworm just off of the bottom near the deeper portions of the lake. Black Crappie – Fair: Use a small jig tipped with a waxworm or minnow near the dam around brush piles

George Wyth Lake
Anglers are catching panfish; most activity has been on the main lake out from the park office area. Bluegill – Good: Fish a waxworm just off of the bottom near the deeper portions of the lake near and around structure. Black Crappie – Good: Use a small jig tipped with a waxworm or minnow near structure.

Green Belt Lake
Reports of anglers catching panfish. Bluegill – Fair: Fish a waxworm just off of the bottom near the deeper portions of the lake near and around structure. Black Crappie – Fair: Use a small jig tipped with a waxworm or minnow near structure.

Silver Lake (Delaware)
Reports have been slow. Anglers are setting tip-ups for pike without much success. Bluegill – Slow: Try fishing a waxworm just off of the bottom in the deeper part of the lake near the outlet structure for 6 to 7 inch bluegills.

South Prairie Lake
South Prairie Lake has been receiving a fair amount of pressure for panfish. Anglers are catching quality bluegill in this lake. Bluegill – Good: Try fishing a waxworm just off of the bottom in the deeper areas of the lake.

The bitter cold weather conditions have made for good ice; most Black Hawk County lakes average eight inches now. Anglers are doing well on panfish with some sorting needed.Northeast Iowa trout streams remain in excellent condition. Call the N.E. Iowa district office at 563-927-3276 for more information.


MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9
Current level is 7.9 feet at Lansing. Water temperature is near 32 degrees. Subzero temperatures have ice building; continue to use caution accessing the ice as shorelines and sloughs may be unsafe due to snow cover. Black Crappie – Fair: Use small jigs with waxworms or crappie minnows. Yellow Perch – Fair:  Some reports of yellow perch being caught on minnows or small jigging spoons through the ice. Sauger – Slow: Use jig and minnows fished off the bottom in the tailwater areas and deeper side channels. Bluegill – Good: Ice anglers are catching bluegill. Use small teardrop jigs tipped with waxies in 4-5 feet of water with no current. Northern Pike – Good: Use tip-ups baited with shiners along the edges of deeper cuts with vegetation.

Mississippi River Pool 10
Water level is 15.4 feet at Lynxville. The Slough at Sny Magill ramp has ice, but it is variable with the recent snow cover. Bluegill and perch are still biting on upper end of Bussey Lake in the cut. Avoid the lower end of lake as ice is not stable. Park along the south side of causeway road and walk down from the upper end of Bussey. Yellow Perch – Fair: Some reports of yellow perch being caught on minnows or small jigging spoons through the ice. Bluegill – Good: Ice anglers are catching bluegill.  Use small teardrop jigs tipped with waxies in 4-5 feet of water with no current. Northern Pike – Good: Use tip-ups baited with shiners along the edges of deeper cuts with vegetation. Black Crappie – Fair: Try small jigs with waxworms or crappie minnows.

Mississippi River Pool 11
Water level at Guttenberg tail-water is 6.6 feet. Water temperature is 32 degrees. Backwaters are building ice this week, but it is variable in areas of snow cover. Anglers are picking up panfish through the ice at Bertom and at Zollicoffers in Mud Lake. Avoid walking near the creek area at Zollicoffer. Black Crappie – Slow: Use small jigs with waxworms or crappie minnows. Yellow Perch – Fair: Some reports of yellow perch being caught on minnows or small jigging spoons through the ice. Bluegill – Good: Ice anglers are catching bluegill. Use small teardrop jigs tipped with waxies in 4-5 feet of water with no current. Northern Pike – Fair: Use tip-ups baited with shiners along the edges of deeper cuts with vegetation.

Upper Mississippi River levels are stable and boat ramps are now iced in. Look for panfish to be in the deeper warmer backwaters with no current. Water temperature is 32 degrees. Backwater ice conditions improved this week, but can be variable with the snow cover. Use caution near flowing sloughs, creek inlets or spring areas. 


Mississippi River Pool 12
Water levels rose slightly and is 6.1 feet at the Dubuque Lock and Dam and 8.7 feet at the RR bridge. It has been fluctuating around 1/2 foot the last few weeks. Expect water levels to start to recede this week. Heavy ice flows and frozen ice prevents any launching in the tailwater and most angling going in Pool 12 is ice fishing. Yellow Perch – Good: Yellow perch are being caught in a variety of backwaters. Most anglers are using waxworms and are catching them while targeting bluegills. Black Crappie – Good: Good in spots.  Some good reports and some anglers saying they are not seeing any. Northern Pike – Fair: Reports of northern pike being taken on tip ups and large shiners. Bluegill – Good: Lots of moving and lots of sorting, but bluegill fishing has been decent in most of the Marinas and usual backwater lakes.

Mississippi River Pool 13
Water levels rose slightly and are 6.7 feet at the Bellevue Lock and Dam. It has been fluctuating around 1/2 foot the last few weeks. Expect water levels to start to recede this week. Heavy ice flows and frozen ice prevents any launching in the tailwater and most angling going in Pool 13 is ice fishing. Yellow Perch – Good: Yellow perch fishing continues to be good in a variety of locations;  some are being seen in the lower pool areas  such as Mickelsons while others are being taken near Sabula and Savanna. Reports are starting to vary from real hot to ice cold which is typical of ice fishing. Bluegill – Good: Lots of sorting going on, but several reports of catching numerous bluegills in the Pool using waxworms.

Mississippi River Pool 14
Water levels rose slightly and is 5.5 feet at Fulton, 9.7 feet at Camanche and 4.7 feet at LeClaire. It has been fluctuating around 1/2 foot the last few weeks. Expect water levels to start to recede this week. Heavy ice flows and frozen ice prevents any launching in the tailwater and most angling going on in Pool 14 is ice fishing. Bluegill – Good: Some good reports of bluegill out of the Rock Creek area. Black Crappie – Good: Cappie anglers are hitting the Rock Creek and Cattail slough.

Mississippi River Pool 15
Water levels have risen all week and are 6.2 feet at Rock Island. Water will continue to rise for a day or two and then start to recede. Bluegill – No Report: Some anglers have been targeting bluegills just above the dam at the LeClaire channel before the major cold snap, but no word on how good the angling is.

A slight water level rise was experienced on the River this week, but water levels should remain steady or start to recede. Water levels are much lower than experienced the past two winters. If you have any angling questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976. 


Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 6.18 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and has been fairly steady. The Marquette St. boat ramp is frozen in. Reports of 5-6 inches of ice in Sunset Marina and around 5 inches of ice in the backwater behind Credit Island. Check ice conditions often as you move.  Bluegill – Fair: Some bluegills are being caught through the ice in Sunset Marina on jigs and waxworms.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 4.72 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and has been fairly steady the past few days. The boat ramp in Muscatine is frozen in. We have not received any ice condition reports for this pool this week.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 5.15 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and has been fairly steady. The Toolsboro ramp is frozen in. We have not received any ice conditions reports for this pool this week.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 2.37 feet at Lock and Dam 18 and has been fairly steady the past few days. We have not received any ice condition reports for this pool this week.

The main channel is frozen up and boat ramps are inaccessible. We have not received much for ice conditions or ice fishing reports for these pools this week. If venturing out on the ice, check ice conditions often as you move. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

SOUTHEAST

Big Hollow Lake
Anglers haven’t been on the ice too long; still trying to pattern the fish. Bluegill – Fair: Look for bluegill in the flooded timber in 10 to 12 feet of water. Black Crappie – Fair: Work just off the bottom in the flooded timber.

Lake Belva Deer
Ice thickness is 6-7 inches. Bluegill – Fair: A little hit and miss.  Some anglers are doing well while others are not catching much. Keep moving until you find them.  Most are close to the bottom in the trees.

Lake Darling
Ice thickness is 6+ inches. Bluegill – Fair: Look for bluegills in 10 to 12 feet of water around the fish habitat. Black Crappie – Fair: They are in the same 10 to 12 feet of water as the bluegills and are suspended over the rock piles and brush.

Lake Geode
The lake is drained for renovation.

Lost Grove Lake
Ice thickness is around 6 inches. Black Crappie – Fair: Most are between 20 and 25 feet down, a few up shallower mostly in the trees. Bluegill – Fair: Most are near the bottom in the 20 to 25 feet zone.

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


Central Park Lake
The lake is drained for the renovation project that is going on now.

Coralville Reservoir
The lake is down to winter pool of 683.4′ now. Ice is 3-8 inches depending on where you are. There has been little to no fishing activity on the lake yet as current seams from falling water levels made the freeze up variable. Use caution and check ice frequently if venturing out.

Diamond Lake
The lake is reported as having 5-8 inches of ice. Bluegill – Good: Catch 6-8 inch fish off brush piles on jigs/waxies. Black Crappie – Good: Use jigs/waxies around brush. Most fish are about 8 inches.

Iowa Lake (Iowa Co.)
The ice thickness is reported as being 7-8 inches. Bluegill – Fair. Black Crappie – Fair.

Kent Park Lake
The lake is drained for the renovation project that will take place next winter. The ponds in Kent Park are reported as having about 6 inches of ice.

Lake Macbride
The lake has 3-8 inches of ice depending on where you are. Use caution when venturing out over deeper water as these were the last places to freeze and the snow is hiding/insulating the ice. Bluegill – Fair: Use a jig/waxie around any brush or deeper rock. Size is marginal at best as these fish top out at 7.5 inches. Black Crappie – Slow: Try a jig/waxie, small spoon, or live minnow around wood. There are some nicer 11-12 inch fish available if you can find the right structure. Walleye – Slow: Use a spoon/minnow along rock edges, deeper stumps, or drop-offs. Dawn and dusk has been best. Most fish are small, but some eaters are also being caught.

Otter Creek Lake
The ice is reported as being about 8 inches. There have been a few people fishing here, but not many reports are available. Yellow Bass – Fair.

Pleasant Creek Lake
The lake is still 10 feet low from the restoration project. The lake is reported as having 8 to 10 inches of ice. A lot of people have been out here fishing. Most anglers are targeting the area along the dam and out from the main ramp. Walleye – Fair: Try minnows or spoons tipped with minnow heads. Many fish are being caught in deep water. Remember that fish caught from as little as 20 can have their air bladders expand out of their mouth if brought up too quickly. There are lots of small walleyes in the system that may not survive releasing if their air bladder is compromised. Bluegill – Slow: Use small jigs and waxies along the dam. White Bass – Slow: A few fish are being caught suspended in deeper water with spoons. Yellow Perch – Slow: A few decent perch are being caught on jigs or small spoons tipped with waxies.

Union Grove Lake
The ice is reported as being about 8 inches. The aeration system is scheduled to be started on Jan. 9th. There are lots of bluegills in the lake and they top out at about 7 inches. About 500 7-8 inch black crappies were stocked this spring. Two dozen trees were also put in the lake late this fall. Most are along the west shore, a few are in the mouths of the bays on the east side. Some tree tops may still be sticking out to find them.

Wapsipinicon River (Troy Mills to Oxford Junction)
Most of the backwater areas are reported as having “safe ice”.  Bluegill – Fair. Black Crappie – Fair. Walleye – Slow: A few bonus walleyes are being caught towards evening.

Use caution when heading out on the ice, especially for the first time, as not all ice formed at the same time. For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.


Lake Miami
Anglers report catching some bluegills using teardrop jigs tipped with a waxworm.

Lake Sugema
Ice thickness is 6-8 inches.  Anglers are catching some bluegills and crappies with teardrop jigs tipped with a waxworm.

Lake Wapello
Ice thickness is about 7 inches on the west end of the lake, but is not as thick out from the beach area.  Anglers are catching some crappies and bluegills using teardrop jigs tipped with a waxworm.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 903.07 msl. Normal operating elevation is 904.0 msl. Lake Rathbun has zebra mussels, so make sure to properly drain, clean, and dry equipment before transporting to another water body. The ramps at the Rathbun marina are closed for the season and all the campgrounds are closed. Ice conditions have been reported as 4-6 inches.

Red Haw Lake
Ice thickness has been reported as 7 inches.  Anglers are catching some bluegills and crappies with teardrop jigs tipped with a waxworm.

Most of the waterbodies in the district have fishable ice, but conditions will vary so use caution. The district includes Mahaska, Lucas, Wayne, Monroe, Appanoose, Wapello, Davis and Van Buren counties. Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions about fishing in south central Iowa.

SOUTHWEST

Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake
Ice thickness was 7 inches as of Jan. 3rd. Rainbow Trout – Fair: Fish spoons tipped with waxworms. Trout tend to swim the perimeter, so set up within 20 yards of shore.

Beaver Lake
Bluegill – Good: Beaver Lake has a good bluegill fishery to target through the ice. Bluegills over 8-inches are possible. Start by fishing the flooded timber mid-lake and on the drop-offs around the deepest portion on the northeast portion of the lake. Black Crappie – Fair: There is a good crappie population with the largest fish just over 10 inches. Fish glow jigs with waxworms or live minnow rigs in the evenings and just after dark in the flooded timber.

Big Creek Lake
As of Jan. 3rd, ice thickness was averaging 8 inches. Black Crappie – Fair: Few reports coming from Big Creek so far. Fall surveys showed good numbers of 10 plus inch crappies that will be well worth some time to find.

Dakins Lake
Bluegill – Good: Anglers are getting on Dakins and catching some good bluegills in the timber. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappies are being caught mixed in with bluegills in the late afternoon and evening.

Don Williams Lake
Black Crappie – Good: Anglers are catching crappies suspended 10-15 feet down in 20-30 feet of water.  Two size ranges are being caught. Expect to fish through many 5-7 inch fish for the 8-10 inch fish.

Jacob Krumm Nature Preserve Lake (west)
Bluegill – Good: Krumm is a popular ice fishing destination for its good size bluegills and crappies. Anglers are catching both with the better crappie fishing occurring in the evenings.

Roberts Creek Lake
Black Crappie – Good: Roberts Creek has large crappie population. Good numbers were being caught by the first anglers on the ice.  Concentrate on the lower portion of the lake.

Ice thickness in Central Iowa is 7 to 12 inches as of Jan. 3rd. For more information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers, contact Andy Otting or Ben Dodd at 515-432-2823.


Cold Springs District Farm Ponds
Ponds in the southwest district have variable ice conditions. Use extreme caution when venturing out and drill test holes often.  Bluegill – Good: Anglers are finding bluegills in the deepest part of ponds. Move often if fishing is slow. Black Crappie – Fair: The late afternoon bite has been good in larger ponds that support crappie populations.

Farm Creek Lake
Farm Creek has a good panfish population. Ice thickness was 7 inches this week. Drill holes often to find active bluegill. Bluegill – Fair: Fish will average 8.5 inches. Black Crappie – Fair: The crappie bite has been best in the late afternoon and after dark. Fish over the channel for best success. Crappies will average 9.5 inches.

Greenfield Lake
Greenfield has a good bluegill and crappie population. There has been little fishing activity to report. Ice averages 6 inches.

Lake Anita
Ice on the main lake averages 6 inches. Most of the activity is in the campground arm. Black Crappie – Fair: Black crappies are hitting minnows starting at dark. Fish will average 9 inches. Bluegill – Good: Bluegill fishing is best in the afternoon. Catch fish up to 9.5 inches.

Littlefield Lake
Littlefield has a quality panfish population. Find fish around cedar tree piles.

Meadow Lake
Meadow Lake has a good panfish population and will provide good fishing this winter. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers report good catches of bluegill in 12 feet of water in the west arm of the lake. Fish will average 8 inches.Black Crappie – Fair: Crappies are hitting better in the late afternoon and after dark. Fish will average 9.5 inches.

Prairie Rose Lake
Prairie Rose has a bluegill and crappie population that should provide some good ice fishing this winter. Ice was 7 inches as of Jan. 2nd. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills are hitting in the afternoon out from the pump house. Fish will average 8.5 inches. Black Crappie – Good: Black crappie become active just before dark. Fish are 9.5 inches.

Viking Lake
Viking has a good crappie population. Ice varies from 4 to 7 inches.  Black Crappie – Fair: Fish deep brush piles close to the channel for black crappies up to 9.5 inches. The late afternoon bite is best. Sorting is needed. White Crappie – Fair: White crappies in Viking are larger than the blacks, but fewer in number. Fish over the channel with minnows to find fish up to 14 inches.

Ice fishing in the Cold Springs District is underway. Angler reports indicate 5 to 7 inches of ice around the district. Use extreme caution as ice thickness is not uniform across our water bodies. For more information, call the Cold Springs District Office at 712-769-2587.


Fogle Lake S.W.A.
Fogle Lake has about 7 inches of ice. Bluegill – Fair: Catch bluegill up to 7.5 inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm fished along cedar tree brush piles.

Little River Watershed Lake
Little River has 6-9 inches of ice. Geese are keeping some areas of open water, especially north of the dam. Use caution and drill test holes to check ice thickness. Black Crappie– Slow: Catch black crappie up to 10 inches with jigs or minnows fished near creek channels or in the trees. Walleye – Slow: Catch walleye up to 22 inches using jigs or minnows fished near creek channels or in the trees.

Summit Lake
Summit Lake has about 7 inches of ice. Yellow Perch – Slow: Catch yellow perch up to 10 inches with minnows fished in the creek channel or near cedar tree brush piles.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake
Twelve Mile Creek Lake has about 8 inches of ice. Yellow Perch – Slow: Catch yellow perch up to 10 inches using minnows fished along rock piles or along the roadbed.

Most Mount Ayr district lakes have 6-9 inches of ice. Ice thickness has been variable, so drill test holes and check ice thickness often. Geese are keeping some areas of lakes open.  Limited ice fishing activity has been observed this week. For more information, please contact the Mount Ayr Fisheries office at 641-464-3108.