Saturday Morning Fishing Report: Ice Fishing Slow to Fair on Area Lakes

This weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys and county and state parks staff. You can check the activity of your favorite lake or stretch of river within each district, including which species are being caught, a rating of the bite (slow, fair, good or excellent), as well as a hot bait or lure pattern.

For current information, contact the district fisheries office at the phone number listed at the end of each district report.

NORTHWEST

Arrowhead Lake
Ice thickness is 8 inches near the boat ramp. Conditions are variable; check ice thickness often if you venture out. Use waxworms and minnows near structure to target the larger bluegill and crappie this lake commonly produces.

Bacon Creek Lake
The DNR stocked rainbow trout at Bacon Creek Lake on Jan. 25th. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Use a piece of worm, small minnow, or power bait fished under a bobber. Put the bait on a small hook or small and shiny jig.

Black Hawk Lake
There is around 12 inches of ice off of Ice House Point boat ramp and 11 inches of ice off the 30 Acres boat ramp at the state campground on the SE part of the lake. Conditions are more variable in the east basin of the lake. The winter aeration system in Town Bay is in operation; expect open water and thin ice in Town Bay. Yellow Perch – Fair: Anglers are catching perch around Gunshot Hill, the Ice House Point boat ramp, and in the marina. Keeper-size perch are 8 to 10 inches; sorting is needed. Waxworms and small minnows work well. Bluegill – Fair: Most anglers are using waxworms fished near the Ice House Point boat ramp and the rock piles off Gunshot Hill and Cottonwood Point. Channel Catfish – Fair: Anglers have picked up catfish off the rock pile north of Cottonwood Point and in the east basin; use waxworms.. Black Crappie – Fair: Try minnows and waxworms fished in the marina and off the rock pile near Gunshot Hill. Most fish are 8-10 inches; sorting is needed. Walleye – Slow.

Black Hawk Pits
There was 6 inches of ice off the boat ramp on Feb 6. Conditions are variable; use caution and check ice thickness often. Black Crappie – Fair: Use waxworms.

Brushy Creek Lake
Most fishing activity has been in the northeast arm and around the island. Ice is variable; check ice thickness often. There are open areas in the middle of the lake and around shore near inflows. Expect thinner ice under bridges and anywhere with current. Yellow Perch – Fair: Use waxworms and small minnows. Walleye – Fair. Bluegill – Fair: Use a waxworm or small minnow on a jig fished near structure. Reports of 9 inch keepers.

Moorland Pond
Rainbow Trout – Fair: Use a piece of worm, small minnow, or power bait fished under a bobber. Put the bait on a small hook or small and shiny jig. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Ice thickness is 6-15 inches, with thinner ice on the east part of the lake. Use caution and avoid open areas near the island. Snow cover is variable. The bite has slowed down; anglers are catching perch, crappie, walleye and white bass.

Ice thickness in west central Iowa is 5 to 15 inches. Some lakes have open areas and seams. Use caution; check thickness often. There is open water and thin ice in Town Bay of Black Hawk Lake from the aeration system.  For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.


Clear Lake
Ice thickness is 12 to 15 inches. Use caution near the aeration systems. Bluegill – Slow: Use a small jig tipped with a waxworm near the edge of vegetation. Yellow Perch – Good: Yellow perch are biting on a variety of baits. Use larger baits and change location to find bigger fish. Walleye – Fair: Try a jigging spoon tipped with a minnow head near the edge of vegetation. The best bite is during low light periods. Black Crappie – Slow: Use a jig tipped with a waxworm on the edge of vegetation. Yellow Bass – Slow: Try a small spoon tipped with cut bait or several waxworms. You have to move around to find fish.

Crystal Lake
Ice thickness is 12 to 15 inches.

Interstate Park Lake
Ice thickness is 12 inches. No fishing activity reported.

Lower Pine Lake
Use extra caution directly north and east of the Island; an area of poor ice was reported. A few reports of anglers catching keeper-size perch and crappie, but most report catching only small bluegill. Bluegill – Fair.

Rice Lake
Ice thickness is 11 to 15 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs tipped with a waxworm. Best bite is late afternoon. Yellow Perch – Slow:Try a small jigging spoon tipped with a waxworm.. Walleye – Slow.

Silver Lake (Worth)
Ice thickness is 11 to 15 inches. Bluegill – Slow.

Upper Pine Lake
Anglers are catching small bluegill and perch.

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


Center Lake
Ice thickness is 14 to 16 inches. The aeration system has been started. Use caution on the west side of the lake, north of the boat ramp. Signs are up around the aerator hole.

East Okoboji Lake
Ice thickness is 14 to 15 inches. Bluegill – Good: Sorting is needed, but the bite has been good in the southern section of the lake along the weed line. Try near the trestle and the Hattie Elston Boat Ramp. Use small jigs and wigglers. Walleye – Fair: Fishing  has been good near Parks Marina in the evening. Use spoons, jigging raps or minnows in the early morning or evening. Yellow Perch – Fair. Black Crappie – Good. Yellow Bass – Fair.

Ingham Lake
Ice thickness is 12 to 16 inches. The aeration system has been started. Use caution on the southeast side of the lake and off of the northern boat ramp. Signs are up around the aerator hole.

Lost Island Lake
Ice thickness is around 12 inches. Yellow Perch – Fair. Walleye – Fair.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Ice thickness is 15 to 18 inches. The aeration system has been started. Use caution on the east side of the lake. Signs are up around the aeration holes.

Spirit Lake
Ice thickness is 15 to 18 inches. Walleye – Good: Fish 1 hour before and after sunrise or sunset. Use spoons or jigging raps tipped with minnow heads in 12-14 feet of water. Also try live minnows. Reports of lots of slot size and bigger fish. Bluegill – Fair: Use wigglers and small jigs in Anglers Bay and Trickles Slough. Yellow Perch – Good: Use minnows and small jigs in Anglers Bay and near Minniwaukon. Best bite is early and late. Be prepared to move around until you get on top of them. Black Crappie – Fair.

Trumbull Lake
Yellow Perch – Fair: Size quality is outstanding with some sorting. Use jigs and minnows or wigglers in the main lake.

West Okoboji Lake
West Okoboji ice conditions are variable. Beware of heaves at Atwell and Gull Point; don’t drive over heaves/seams. Ice thickness has been up to 14 inches in small bays and thinner on the main lake. Bluegill – Good: Little Emerson Bay is producing a few nice bluegills. Sorting is needed. Walleye – Fair: Fish rocky areas in 18-20 feet of water. Live minnows work best 1 hour before and after sunset.

Ice thickness is 12 to 18 inches on area lakes. Ice conditions are generally good; be weary of holes caused by springs/methane release. Do not travel under bridges and other areas of flow; most of these areas have little to no ice. Aeration systems at Center Lake, Silver Lake (near Lake Park), and Ingham Lake have been started and signs are up; stay clear of these systems. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.

NORTHEAST

Cedar River (above Nashua)
Backwaters and slack water areas have about 5 to 9 inches of ice with 5 inches of snow. Ice conditions may change with warmer temperatures. Use care when crossing areas with current. Check ice depths often. Anglers are finding fish. Black Crappie – Fair: Find deeper water or off-channel refuges out of current. Use waxworms or spikes. Yellow Perch – Slow: Anglers are finding a few perch mixed in with the crappie. Bluegill – Fair: Find deeper off-channel areas. Spikes or waxworms tipped on a small jig work well. Walleye – Fair: Anglers fishing below dams are finding walleye. Use jigs tipped with a ringworm, minnow, or crawler.

Decorah District Streams
Parking lots in wildlife management areas are not plowed. Heavy use areas should be packed enough for anglers to get around. Use care when parking on the roadside. Trout streams are clear and remain ice free. Brook Trout – Good: Midges and small mayflies are hatching on warmer sunny days. Use flies imitating insects hatching. Brown Trout – Good: Try a fly imitating small silvery fish. Feathered spinner baits work well when fished through pools. Rainbow Trout – Good: Fish are actively hitting the surface early afternoon. Use an ultra-light pole and reel for fun action. Try a spinner in eddies and around structure.

Lake Hendricks
Lake Hendricks has about 14 inches of ice with 6 inches of snow on top. Fish activity has slowed. Open water around the aerator; be careful around this area. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the ice. Black Crappie – Fair: Use a small jig tipped with a waxworm. Fish are suspended off the bottom. A variety of sizes are being caught. Bluegill – Fair: Use a baited hook; gills are sitting closer to the bottom. Nine to 11 inch fish are common.

Lake Meyer
Lake Meyer has 10 inches of ice with 4 to 5 inches of snow on top. Use care when going on ice, especially around the dam. Check ice depths often. Hit or miss panfish action. Fish are hanging in 8 to 10 feet of water around brush piles. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are marking a lot of fish, but few bites. Find gills around brush piles using a small jig tipped with a waxworm fished near the bottom. Morning bite is best. Black Crappie – Slow: Crappie are suspended above brush piles. Baited hooks work best. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Catching bass while fishing for panfish.

Turkey River (above Clermont)
Backwaters and slack water areas are ice and snow covered. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on Vernon Springs impoundment when covered with ice. Water is crystal clear. Check ice depths often, especially where there is current. Walleye – Slow: Anglers are catching walleye in off-channel areas and drop-offs using minnows.

Volga Lake
Ten inches of ice with some snow on top. Use care when going on ice; check ice depths often. Fish action remains spotty. Black Crappie – Fair: Use waxworms or spikes fished in brush or rock piles. Bluegill – Fair: Try small bait on small hooks. Gills are small.

Chance of snow through the weekend; greater chance begins Saturday night. Temperatures are in the upper 20’s to low 30’s. Use care on area rivers. Ice thickness varies on waterbodies with current. Area lakes have about 10 inches of ice with snow on top. For current fishing information, please call the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.


Alice Wyth Lake
Anglers are catching a few crappie and bluegill. Bluegill – Fair: Use an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished just off of the bottom. Black Crappie – Fair: Try an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished just off of the bottom or use electronics to find suspended fish, which often are crappie. Also try a dead stick rig tipped with a live minnow.

Big Woods Lake
Anglers are catching a few crappie. Black Crappie – Fair: Find sunken fish structure. Use an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished just off of the bottom or use electronics to find suspended fish, which often are crappie. Also try a dead stick rig tipped with a live minnow.

Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
Best ice conditions on the lake are near the dam area. Bluegill – Excellent: Quality size bluegill are being caught in the early morning hours in 10 to 11 feet of water or deeper and on structure. Find sunken fish structure near the dam. Use an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished just off of the bottom; electronics are a bonus to find fish. Black Crappie – Fair: Find sunken fish structure near the dam. Try an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished just off of the bottom or use electronics to find suspended fish, which often are crappie. Also try a dead stick rig tipped with a live minnow.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
Backwater areas of the Cedar River are producing some crappie. Use extreme caution when venturing out onto river ice. Black Crappie – Fair: Use an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished just off of the bottom or use electronics to find suspended fish, which often are crappie. Also try a dead stick rig tipped with a live minnow.

George Wyth Lake
There has been ice fishing activity on the lake. Reports of 4 to 6 inches of good ice. Use extreme caution, especially with the snow cover. Bluegill – Fair: Find sunken fish structure; use an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished just off of the bottom. Black Crappie – Fair: Find sunken fish structure. Try an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished just off of the bottom or use electronics to find suspended fish, which often are crappie. Also try a dead stick rig tipped with a live minnow. Northern Pike – Fair: Try setting up tip-up rigs with shiners for bait.

Martens Lake
Anglers are catching a few bluegill and crappie; reports are best for northern pike. Access is available crossing the reservoir from the north side of the lake; use caution. Bluegill – Fair: Use an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished just off of the bottom. Black Crappie – Fair: Try an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished just off of the bottom or use electronics to find suspended fish, which often are crappie. Also try a dead stick rig tipped with a live minnow. Northern Pike – Good: Use a live shiner or chub under a tip-up rig.

Plainfield
Anglers report fair catches of panfish on Plainfield Lake this past week. Best bite is first light in morning and last hour before sunset. Bluegill – Fair: Find sunken fish structure. Use an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished just off of the bottom; electronics are a bonus to find fish. Black Crappie – Fair: Find sunken fish structure. Try an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished just off of the bottom or use electronics to find suspended fish, which often are crappie. Also try a dead stick rig tipped with a live minnow.

Ice anglers are getting out now with the more favorable ice conditions on area lakes and ponds. Use extreme caution on lakes and ponds, especially with the snow cover. Reports have been fair for both bluegill and crappie. 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
River level at Lansing has drop a foot to 9.2 feet. Protected backwaters have around 10 inches of ice. Ice conditions along the shorelines can be unstable due to dropping river levels. Yellow Perch – Good: Reports of nice-sized perch from Pool 9 backwaters. Black Crappie – Fair: Few reports of crappie mixed with bluegills fished through the ice. Bluegill – Good: Bluegill are biting on waxworms fished through the ice in backwater lakes. Northern Pike – Good: Tip-up anglers are having success with shiners or suckers for larger pike. Largemouth Bass – Good: Try a lively shiner on a tip-up for some big bass through the ice.

Mississippi River Pool 10
River level at Lynxville dropped to 18.8 feet; a gradual fall is predicted this week. Protected backwaters have 10 inches of ice. Ice conditions along the shorelines can be unstable due to dropping river levels. Sny Magill road is closed due to flooding. Yellow Perch – Good: Reports of nice-sized perch from Pool 10 backwaters. Black Crappie – Slow: Few reports of crappie mixed with bluegills fished through the ice. Bluegill – Good: Bluegill are biting on waxworms fished through the ice in backwater lakes. Northern Pike – Good: Tip-up anglers are having success with shiners or suckers for larger pike. Largemouth Bass – Good: Try a lively shiner on a tip-up for some big bass through the ice.

Mississippi River Pool 11
River level at Guttenberg has risen to 11.8 feet this week. Boat ramps are all iced in. Protected backwaters have 10 inches of ice. Ice conditions along the shorelines can be unstable due to dropping river levels. Yellow Perch – Fair: Perch are biting in Sunfish and Mud Lake. Use caution and avoid the creek area at Mud Lake; unsafe ice. Fish in deeper cuts with some vegetation in backwater areas. Black Crappie – Slow: Few reports of crappie mixed with bluegills fished through the ice. Northern Pike – Good: Tip-up anglers are having success with shiners or suckers for larger pike. Largemouth Bass – Good: Try a lively shiner on a tip-up for some big bass through the ice.

Upper Mississippi River levels are expected to gradually recede after bumping up last week. Some ice flow is still occurring making access and fishing difficult below dams. Most areas have 7 to 10 inches of ice. Falling river levels will impact shoreline ice conditions. Avoid poor ice conditions on shorelines and areas with current.


Mississippi River Pool 12
The water level is 10 feet at the Dubuque Lock and Dam and 12.3 feet at the RR bridge. River levels at Dubuque are receding. The water temperature is 32.5 degrees. Water clarity is good. The tailwater is fairly free of flowing ice, but boat ramps are iced in. Ice anglers are reporting water and slush on top of the ice in many places. Sauger – Good: It takes some work to get into the tailwaters, but they are mostly open and can be fished. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills are abundant, but not very aggressive. Use light equipment, small jigs and rod tips able to detect small hits. Lots of sorting needed, but you can find some nice-sized gills. Yellow Perch – Fair: Anglers are catching a yellow perch or two when bluegill fishing. Some exceptional yellow perch creels were seen in early ice. Now anglers are only be catching a few each trip. Black Crappie – Fair: A few incidental crappies are being caught when ice fishing for bluegills. Reports of some nice crappies.

Mississippi River Pool 13
Water level is 11.6 feet at the Bellevue Lock and Dam and is receding. The water temperature is 32.5 degrees. Water clarity is good. The tailwater is ice free. The city ramp has been open. Ice fishing is taking place, but anglers are reporting slush and water on top of the ice and open edges in some backwaters.  Sauger – Good: Anglers report lots of smaller sauger with a few nice-sized fish mixed in. Lock and Dam gates are open. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills are abundant, but not very aggressive. Use light equipment, small jigs and rod tips able to detect small hits. Lots of sorting needed, but you can find some nice-sized gills. Yellow Perch – Fair: Anglers are catching a yellow perch or two when fishing for bluegill. Some anglers targeted good numbers of yellow perch in early ice, but now are only catching a few each trip. Black Crappie – Fair: A few incidental crappies are being caught when ice fishing for bluegills. Largemouth Bass – Good: Quite a few largemouth bass are being caught through the ice this year.

Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level is 9.9 feet at the Fulton Lock and Dam, 12.8 feet at Camanche and 7.3 feet at LeClaire. Water temperature is around 32.5 degrees. River levels are receding. The tailwater has been ice free, but finding an open boat ramp may be difficult. Ice anglers report slush and water on top of the ice and open edges in many places. Sauger – Fair: Early winter catches were decent with lots of smaller sauger reported along with some nice walleye and sauger taken. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills are abundant, but not very aggressive. Use light equipment, small jigs and rod tips able to detect small hits. Lots of sorting needed, but you can find some nice-sized gills.  Black Crappie – Fair: A few incidental crappies are being caught when ice fishing for bluegills.

Mississippi River Pool 15
Water level is around 10.3 feet at Rock Island and has been falling. The water temperature is around 33 degrees. Water clarity is good.

Tailwaters are open, but ramps may have ice on them. Water levels are receding throughout the district. Backwater ice fishing conditions are variable; use caution, especially in snow-covered sloughs. Reported backwater ice depths are 1 to 7 inches. Water is often on top of the ice. If you have any fishing questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.


Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 10.27 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and has been rising. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 15. The Marquette Street boat ramp is open. Unsafe ice conditions. Fluctuating river levels have made unsafe ice conditions, especially along the shorelines. Sauger – Slow: Reports of small saugers being caught in Sylvan Slough. Use jigs and minnows or troll three-way rigs with stick baits.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 9.3 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and has been rising. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 16. As of Feb. 6, the ramp at Muscatine was open, but the dock has been pulled out. The gates are in at the dam still. We have not received any tailwater fishing reports for walleye and sauger. Unsafe ice conditions. Rising river levels have created unsafe ice conditions, especially along the shorelines.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 10.56 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and has been rising the past few days. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 17. The gates are out of the water at the Lock and Dam. The boat ramp at Toolsboro is open and free of ice. We have not received any tailwater fishing reports for walleyes and saugers. Unsafe ice conditions. The rising river levels have created unsafe ice conditions, especially along the shorelines.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 7.44 feet at Lock and Dam 18 and has been falling the past few days. Flood stage is 10 feet at Lock and Dam 18. River stage is 12.7 feet at Burlington and has been falling the past few daysWe have not received any fishing or ice condition reports for this pool.

Tailwater stages have been rising the past few days. Tailwater stages are forecast to start falling over the weekend. Main channel water temperature is around 32 degrees. Unsafe ice conditions. With warm temperatures this past weekend and river levels fluctuating, there is some unsafe ice conditions especially along the shorelines.  If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

SOUTHEAST

Central Park Lake
Ice thickness 6 to 8 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Most fish are around 4-6 inches. Use jigs tipped with waxies or plastics. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Most fish are around 8-12 inches.

Central Park Pond
Ice thickness is 6 to 7 inches.

Coralville Reservoir
The lake is froze over, but the channel has poor ice; travel is not recommended. The protected areas out of the current and wind have 4 to 6 inches of ice. The lake is at normal winter pool of 683.4 feet.

Diamond Lake
Ice thickness is 2 to 6 inches; use extreme caution.

Green Castle Lake
No ice or fishing reports are available. Anglers have been on the ice.

Hannen Lake
Ice thickness is 5 to 6 inches.

Iowa Lake (Iowa Co.)
Ice is 9 inches at the boat ramp; out farther is 7 inches. The east end of the lake may have less ice; check ice conditions as you go.

Lake Macbride
Much of the lake has 6 to 8 inches of ice; there are areas of deeper water, especially at the lower end of the lake, that may have poor ice. Bluegill – Good: Use small jigs/waxies fished over brush or rock pile. Black Crappie – Slow: The bite has been tough. Isolated brush or stumps has been best. Best bite is early and late in the day. Most success has been in 10-15 feet of water. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Slow: A few bonus fish are being picked up in 18-20 feet of water. Walleye – Slow.

Otter Creek Lake
Ice thickness is 8 to 11 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Use jigs and waxies. Black Crappie – Fair: Try jigs and waxies. Yellow Bass – Fair: Use jigs tipped with waxies or cut bait.

Pleasant Creek Lake
The lake has 4 to 8 inches of ice, depending on where you are. The west end of the lake has the best ice; the east end should be checked before walked on. Bluegill – Fair: Some fish are being caught at the west end of the lake. Try around brush or jetties near shore. Yellow Perch – Slow: Some smaller fish are being caught.

Rodgers Park Lake
Ice thickness is 5 to 6 inches.

Sand Lake
No ice or fishing reports are available. Anglers have been on the ice.

Union Grove Lake
Most of the lake has 6 to 8 inches of ice. The aeration system has been turned on; there is open water at the south end of the lake. Bluegill – Fair: Catch fish up to 8 inches with jigs/waxies fished in brush piles.

Always check ice thickness and use caution when venturing out. For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.


Albia Lower Reservoir
Anglers are catching some bluegill around the submerged structure. Use caution; ice thickness has been variable in the district.

Lake Miami
Few reports this week; anglers are just starting to get out now with better ice conditions. Ice conditions are variable.

Lake Sugem
Ice formed recently and is variable in thickness; use caution if venturing out. Geese are keeping areas open; be aware of these areas.

Lake Wapello
The lake iced up recently; use caution if venturing out. There is thin ice or open water out in front of the lodge area due to geese keeping the water open. Anglers are catching some bluegills.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 904.97 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 ice is variable on the lake; use caution if venturing out. Use caution in areas inside and next to docks at the Rathbun Marina and the Honey Creek Resort as they are using deicing equipment this winter.

Red Haw Lake
Ice formed recently; use caution. Ice thickness is variable.

Ice thickness is variable; use caution. Lakes have about 4 inches of snow and slush on top of the ice. The district includes Appanoose, Davis, Lucas, Mahaska, Monroe, Wapello, Wayne 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
The trout stocking and family fishing event will be held this Saturday, Feb. 8 at noon. JAX Outdoors, the City of Ames and local businesses have donated prizes for tagged fish. Tags can be turned in to JAX until 6 p.m. on Feb. 22. Rainbow Trout – Good: Catch trout 5 to 20 yards off shore with panfish jigs and small jigging spoons tipped with waxworms.

Big Creek Lake
Ice conditions are good; ice thickness is 8 to 12 inches.  Walleye – Fair: Use minnows fished still or on jigging spoons. Fish mid-lake on drop-offs to the creek channel in 20 to 30 feet of water.

Don Williams Lake
Black Crappie – Slow: Use minnows or glow jigs tipped with waxworms fished at sunrise or in the late afternoon and just after dark.

Hickory Grove Lake
Hickory Grove was pumped dry in the fall to renovate the fishery.  No fishing is available until after the lake is restocked.

Lake Ahquabi
Ice thickness is 6 to 8 inches. Test the ice thickness when you venture out.  Bluegill – Good. Crappie – Fair: Good size.

Lake Petocka
Trout were stocked on Jan. 28. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Good: Use panfish jigs and small jigging spoons tipped with waxworms. The good bite is fishing suspended fish out deeper.

Ice fishing conditions in Central Iowa are good. Use caution on lakes south of I80 where areas of thin ice have been persistent. For more information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers, call Ben Dodd at 641-891-3795 or Andy Otting at 515-204-5885.


Big Lake (Including Gilbert’s Pond)
Ice thickness is 6 inches. On Jan. 24th, 1000 rainbow trout were stocked into Big Lake.You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Good: Any type of small spinner or minnow under a bobber will catch rainbow trout.

Lake Anita
Anglers report 5 to 7 inches of ice on most of the lake. Bluegill – Slow: A few bluegills are being caught south of the campground. Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers report early and late in the day is best for 9 inch black crappies.

Lake Manawa
Ice is variable. Some activity is taking place around the dredge cuts. Black Crappie – Slow: A few reports of fair crappie fishing in the dredge cuts late in the afternoon.

Littlefield Lake
Littlefield has a consistent 9 inches of ice. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are finding bluegills in the cedar tree piles. Sorting is needed for larger fish.

Orient Lake
Anglers report 7 inches of ice. Fall fisheries surveys showed good numbers of crappies and bluegills. Black Crappie – Fair: The best bite is early and late for 9 to 12 inch black crappie. Bluegill – Fair: Use waxworms fished around the cedar tree piles. Fish  average 8 inches. Yellow Perch – Fair:  Catch yellow perch early in the morning. Pink color jigs or spoon work best with waxworms. Fish are 8 to 12 inches. Channel Catfish – Good: Anglers have had a bonus fish this week. Most catfish are 18 to 24 inches.

Prairie Rose Lake
Ice thickness is 7 to 9 inches. Most of the fishing activity is taking place east of the beach on the north side of the lake. Bluegill – Slow: The fishing should improve with a more stable weather pattern. A few large bluegills are being picked up east of the beach around the rock piles.

Ice conditions are still variable in the southern part of the district. Lakes in the northern part of the district have 9 inches of ice. For more information call the SW District Office at 712-769-2587.


Green Valley Lake
Variable ice thickness up to 8 inches. Black Crappie – Good: Catch crappie up to 9 inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm or minnow fished near cedar tree brush piles. Bluegill – Good: Catch bluegill up to 7.5 inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm fished near cedar tree brush piles.

Lake Icaria
Variable ice conditions up to 7 inches. Areas of open water near the dam. Black Crappie – Slow: Catch crappies up to 10 inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm or minnow fished along cedar tree brush piles. Walleye – Slow: Try jigs tipped with a minnow fished along the roadbed for walleye of all sizes.

Little River Watershed Lake
Ice thickness is variable up to 7 inches. Areas of open water along the campground and main ramp areas.

Three Mile Lake
Variable ice thickness up to 7 inches. Area of open water near the main campground point. Bluegill – Slow: Catch bluegill up to 8 inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm fished along the roadbed.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake
Variable ice thickness up to 8 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Catch bluegill up to 8.5 inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm fished along the roadbed or cedar tree brush piles. Black Crappie – Fair: Catch crappie up to 10 inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm or minnow fished along the roadbed or cedar tree brush piles. Walleye – Fair: Try jigs tipped with a minnow fished along the roadbed for walleye of all sizes.

Ice conditions for the Mount Ayr district lakes is variable, ranging from 4 to 8 inches. Check ice thickness often when venturing out. Geese are keeping some areas of open water at some district lakes. For more information, contact the Mount Ayr Fisheries office at 641-464-3108.

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