Saturday Morning Fishing Report: Yellow Perch and Bluegill are Fair

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 was 6 inches near the boat ramp on Feb. 27th.  Conditions are variable, and will likely worsen with warm weekend temperatures. Use waxworms and minnows near structure to target bluegill, crappie and perch.

Bacon Creek Lake
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.

Black Hawk Lake
On Feb. 27, there was 11 inches of ice off of Ice House Point boat ramp; this area of the lake has the thickest ice.  Conditions are more variable in the east basin of the lake.  Ice has started to pull away from the shoreline is some areas.  Expect conditions to worsen over the weekend with warm temperatures. Use caution. 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 in the marina and near Provost Point. Keeper-size perch are 8 to 10 inches; sorting is needed. Use waxworms and small minnows. 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. Most fish are 7-8 inches. 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.

Black Hawk Pits
Ice thickness was 4 inches on Feb. 27th.  Ice fishing is not recommended.

Brushy Creek Lake
Avoid thin and open areas in the middle of the lake out from the west ramp and near inflows and under bridges.  Anglers are still fishing in the north part of the lake and around Taylor’s Island.  Expect ice to deteriorate some with the warm weekend temperatures. Yellow Perch – Good: Use waxworms and small minnows. Some sorting is needed. 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.

North Twin Lake
Ice thickness is 12 to 14 inches in most areas. Expect small pockets of open water on the west side in the southern portion of the lake and near the outlet.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Ice thickness varies anywhere from about 12-20 inches on most areas of the lake.  There may be open water near the pressure ridges that extend from Chautauqua Park through the east dredge area to the big island.  Another seam runs from the big island to the south shoreline.  Expect some degrading ice right along shorelines and heavily used access points with the warmer weekend temperatures.  There is open water and thin ice in the marina bay, avoid this area. Walleye – Good: The late winter walleye bite has picked up. Anglers are catching fish throughout the day, but low light hours may be more productive. Yellow Perch – Fair: Use waxworms and small minnows. White Bass – Fair.

Ice conditions in west central Iowa have deteriorated some, but most conditions remain fair.  However, some ice in the southern part of the district is poor.  With warm temperatures this weekend, expect ice to pull away from shorelines and near inflows on some lakes. Use caution and check ice 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 14 to 16 inches. Use caution near the aeration systems. Yellow Perch – Good: Yellow perch are biting on a variety of baits. Use larger baits and change location to find bigger fish. Walleye – Slow: Try a jigging spoon tipped with a minnow head near the edge of vegetation. Best bite is during low light periods. Black Crappie – Slow: Use a jig tipped with a waxworm on the edge of vegetation. Yellow Bass – Fair: Try a small spoon tipped with cut bait or several waxworms. You have to move around to find fish.
Best bite is late afternoon.

Crystal Lake
Ice thickness is 13 to 15 inches.

Lower Pine Lake
A few reports of anglers catching keeper-size perch and crappie, but most are only catching small bluegill. Bluegill – Fair.

Rice Lake
Ice thickness is 13 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 13 to 15 inches. Bluegill – Fair. Best bite is early morning and late afternoon.

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
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. The walleye fishing season on Spirit, East and West Okoboji lakes is closed and will reopen on May 2. 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. Yellow Perch – Fair. Black Crappie – Good. Yellow Bass – Fair.

Ingham Lake
Ice thickness is 15 to 19 inches. The aeration system has been started. Use caution on the southeast side of the lake and off the northern boat ramp. Signs are up around the aerator hole.

Lost Island Lake
Ice thickness is around 16 to 20 inches. Yellow Perch – Fair. Walleye – Fair.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Ice thickness is 14 to 17 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 18 to 23 inches. The walleye fishing season on Spirit, East and West Okoboji lakes is closed and will reopen on May 2. Bluegill – Fair: Use wigglers and small jigs in Anglers Bay and Trickles Slough. Yellow Perch – Good: Try 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
Ice thickness is 18 to 22 inches. Yellow Perch – Fair: Size quality is outstanding with some sorting. Use jigs and minnows or wigglers in the main lake.

West Okoboji Lake
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. The walleye fishing season on Spirit, East and West Okoboji lakes is closed and will reopen on May 2. Bluegill – Good: Little Emerson Bay is producing a few nice bluegills. Sorting is needed.

Willow Creek
February 21st Willow Creek was stocked with trout for Osceola County Trout Fest.  Rainbow Trout – Fair. The Walleye season is currently closed for the Iowa Great Lakes.

Ice thickness is 13 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 – Good: Anglers are finding walleye through the ice. Use jigs tipped with a shiner. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass are hitting shiners.

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 10 inches of snow on top. Fish activity has slowed. Open water is around the aerator; be careful around this area. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the ice. Black Crappie – Slow: Use a small jig tipped with a waxworm. Fish are suspended off the bottom. A variety of sizes are being caught. Bluegill – Slow: Use a baited hook; gills are sitting closer to the bottom.

Lake Meyer
Lake Meyer has 10 inches of ice with 6 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 – Slow: 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 – Slow: 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 – Slow: Use waxworms or spikes fished in brush or rock piles. Bluegill – Slow: Try small bait on small hooks. Gills are small.

A cold week ahead of a warmer weekend. Temperatures in the upper 20’s to low 30’s by Friday. Use care on area rivers. Ice thickness varies on waterbodies with current. Fish activity is slow on area lakes. For current fishing information, please call the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.


Big Woods Lake
There have been no fishing reports on Brinker Lake this past week but there have been “through the ice” rescues here so use extreme caution if fishing this particular lake!

Brinker Lake
There have been a few reports of anglers catching “nice” crappie on Brinker Lake but use extreme caution as this lake was late in winter to ice over. Black Crappie – Fair: Fish an ice jig tipped with a waxworm just off of the bottom or using electronics to locate suspended fish which often tend to be crappie. Also try a deadstick rig tipped with a live minnow.

Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
There continues to be reports of bluegill and crappie being taken over the past week but some sorting may be required. Fish the early morning hours for best success. Fish the ten to eleven foot of water or deeper and on structure. Best ice conditions on the lake appear to be near the dam area. Bluegill – Fair: 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.

Fisher Lake
Anglers have been targeting Fisher Lake located within George Wyth Park for northern pike. Northern Pike – Fair: Set up a tip-up rig using a live shiner or chub as bait for some fun pike action!

Harold Getty Lake
There have been fair reports of anglers catching both bluegill and crappie on Harold Getty Lake but some sorting of fish may be required. Bluegill – Fair: Fish an ice jig tipped with a waxworm or minnow just off of the bottom electronics are a bonus in locating fish. Black Crappie – Fair: Fish an ice jig tipped with a waxworm just off of the bottom or using electronics to locate suspended fish which often tend to be crappie. Also try a deadstick rig tipped with a live minnow.

Martens Lake
Anglers are catching a few bluegill and crappie. 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.

Plainfield
Lots of angler activity on the 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 fishing reports are few this past week. This weekend’s warm forecast may trigger a good panfish bite. 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 remains stable at near 8.8 feet. Protected backwaters have a foot of ice or more. Ice conditions along the shorelines can be unstable due to fluctuating river levels. Yellow Perch – Good: Reports of nice-sized perch from Pool 9 backwaters. Black Crappie – Good: Crappie bite is better later afternoon into evening. 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 – Fair: Try a lively shiner on a tip-up for big bass through the ice.

Mississippi River Pool 10
River level at Lynxville has leveled off to near 17.4 this week. Protected backwaters have over a foot of ice. Ice conditions along the shorelines can be unstable due to fluctuating river levels. Sny Magill road has reopened. Yellow Perch – Good: Reports of nice-sized perch from Pool 10 backwaters. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappie bite is better later afternoon into evening. 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 big bass through the ice.

Mississippi River Pool 11
River level at Guttenberg has bumped up near 9.7 feet. Boat ramps are all iced in. Protected backwaters have over a foot of ice. Ice conditions along the shorelines can be unstable due to fluctuating 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 – Fair: Crappie bite is better later afternoon into evening. 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 big bass through the ice.

Upper Mississippi River levels have stabilized this week. Most backwater lakes have over a foot of ice. Ice anglers are finding fish, but the late winter bite has slowed. Use caution crossing areas of ice with any current.


Mississippi River Pool 12
The water level is 7.7 feet at the Dubuque Lock and Dam and 10.4 feet at the RR bridge. River levels at Dubuque are expected to be steady. The water temperature is 32.5 degrees. Water clarity is good. The tailwater is mostly free of ice, but boat ramps are iced in. 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 is needed, but you can find some nice-sized gills. Yellow Perch – Slow: Anglers are catching a yellow perch or two when bluegill fishing. Some exceptional yellow perch creels were seen in early ice. Big ring perch often get active again during late ice fishing season. Black Crappie – Fair: A few incidental crappies are being caught when ice fishing for bluegills. Reports of some nice crappies. Walleye – Good: The spring bite on walleye has started with folks mostly using jig and minnows or crawlers for bait. Northern Pike – Good: Some northern pike are being taken using tip ups and large shiners.

Mississippi River Pool 13
Water level is 8.4 feet at the Bellevue Lock and Dam and is stable. The water temperature is 32.5 degrees. Water clarity is good. The tailwater is open. The city ramp has stayed ice free. Backwater ice depth is variable; use caution when ice fishing. Sauger – Good: Angler catches have been a mixed bag. Some anglers report nice-sized sauger and walleye. Others report great numbers of fish, but nearly all are small. 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. Big ring perch often get active again during late ice fishing season. Black Crappie – Slow: 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. Walleye – Good: The spring bite on walleye has started with folks mostly using jig and minnows or crawlers for bait. Paddlefish – No Report: Remember paddlefish snagging season starts on March 1. Please review rules as they can be a bit complicated.

Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level is 7.6 feet at the Fulton Lock and Dam, 11.2 feet at Camanche and 5.9 feet at LeClaire. Water temperature is around 32.5 degrees. River levels are stable. The tailwater has been ice free, but finding an open boat ramp may be difficult. Ice anglers report variable ice conditions. 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 – Slow: A few incidental crappies are being caught when ice fishing for bluegills. Paddlefish – No Report: Remember paddlefish snagging season starts on March 1. Please review rules as they can be a bit complicated. Walleye – Good: Anglers using a variety of tatics to find nice walleye but most seem to be doing best on a simple jig and minnow.

Mississippi River Pool 15
Water level is around 8.3 feet at Rock Island and is stable. The water temperature is around 33 degrees. Water clarity is good.

Tailwaters are open, but ramps may have ice on them. Water levels are stable throughout the district. Backwaters can be fished through the ice, but open water may be along the edges; use caution, especially crossing sloughs with current. Reported backwater ice depths are 3 to 7 inches. If you have any fishing questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.


Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 8.27 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and has been fairly steady. As of Feb. 20th, the Marquette Street boat ramp is open, but there was some floating chunks of ice at the launch. Some flow ice is coming down the channel. Ramp conditions may change with below freezing temperatures overnight. We have not received any ice fishing or ice condition reports for this pool. Warm temperatures in the forecast could create unsafe ice conditions.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 7.05 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and has been fairly steady. As of Feb. 20, the ramp at Muscatine was open. Some flow ice is coming down the channel. Ramp conditions may change with below freezing temperatures overnight. We have not received any ice fishing or ice condition reports for this pool. Warm temperatures in the forecast could create unsafe ice conditions.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 8.39 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and has been fairly steady the past couple of days. Tailwater stages rose close to 1.5 feet since last weekend. We have not received any reports on ramp conditions at Toolsboro. We have not received any ice fishing or ice condition reports for this pool.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 5.49 feet at Lock and Dam 18 and has been falling slightly the past couple of days. We have not received any fishing or ice condition reports for this pool.

Tailwater stages have been fairly steady the past couple of days. Some skim ice is forming in the channel with the recent cold snap. We have not received any ice fishing or ice condition reports. Warmer temperatures in the forecast could create some unsafe ice conditions. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

SOUTHEAST

Big Hollow Lake
The ice has melted away from the shoreline in a lot of places especially in the areas of full sun on the north side. The ice is also turning pretty black.  Not recommended. Bluegill – Slow.

Lake Belva Deer
The ice is getting pretty black now.  Several areas of open water along the north side.  Not recommended. Bluegill – Slow: A few here and there kind of fishing.

Lake Darling
The areas of open water continue to get bigger and along most of the north and east shorelines the ice has melted away from the shore.  Not recommended. Black Crappie – Slow.

Lost Grove Lake
The ice is starting to get thinner now. Use caution especially when getting off and onto the ice.  The edges will start getting rotten soon. Black Crappie – Fair: The evening bite has picked up over the last few days.

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


Cedar River (La Porte City to Cedar Rapids)
Vinton area backwaters have 6 to 7 inches of ice. Bluegill – Fair: Most fish are small. White Crappie – Slow. Northern Pike – Slow: A few fish are being caught on tip-ups.

Central Park Lake
Ice thickness is 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. Bluegill – Fair: Most fish are 5-7 inches.

Coralville Reservoir
The ice is starting to tear out with warming temps and increasing flows. The lake is still at normal winter pool of 683.4 feet.

Diamond Lake
The shorelines are starting to open up. Conditions may be unsafe by the end of the weekend. Use caution if venturing out and stay away from inlet areas. Bluegill – Fair. Black Crappie – Slow: Most fish are 8-9 inches.

Green Castle Lake
The ice may be unsafe by the end of the weekend. Caution should be used. Bluegill – Fair: Reports of better sized fish on the west side of the lake. Black Crappie – Slow: Catches are spotty, but some 12-14 inch fish are reported. Northern Pike – Slow:  Channel Catfish – Slow.

Hannen Lake
Ice thickness is 5 to 6 inches. Bluegill – Slow.

Iowa Lake (Iowa Co.)
Ice thickness is around 8 inches. Reports are lots of lookers, but few biters. Bluegill – Slow. Black Crappie – Slow.

Lake Macbride
The main lake sheet has 6-9″ but the shorelines are eroding, especially on south facing banks. Getting on the ice may get difficult this weekend. Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs/waxies fished over brush or rock pile. Black Crappie – Fair: Best bite is early and late in the day. Most success has been in 10-15 feet of water around stumps or rock breaks.

Otter Creek Lake
The ice is reported as 10-11″ but could soften this weekend. Bluegill – Slow: Use jigs and waxies. Black Crappie – Slow: Try jigs and waxies. Yellow Bass – Slow: Use jigs tipped with waxies or cut bait.

Pleasant Creek Lake
The lake has 6-9″ of ice depending on where you are. The west end of the lake has the best ice and the east end towards the dam has less ice. Shorelines are starting to deteriorate. Use extreme caution.Bluegill – Fair: Some fish are being caught at the west end of the lake. Try around brush or jetties in 4-8 feet of water.

Rodgers Park Lake
Ice thickness is 5 to 6 inches. Bluegill – Fair. Largemouth Bass – Slow.

Sand Lake

The ice is reported as extremely variable and ice travel is not recommended. Rainbow Trout – Fair: Fish from last year, as well as larger fish from previous stockings, are being caught. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Union Grove Lake
Much of the lake has 8-10″ of ice but shorelines may weaken this weekend. The aeration system has been turned on; there is open water at the south end of the lake. Bluegill – Slow: Catch fish up to 8 inches with jigs/waxies fished in deeper brush piles mid-lake .

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.

Lake Miami
Ice conditions are variable. Use caution around the standing timber. Try small jigs tipped with a waxworm.

Lake Sugema
Ice thickness is variable; use caution if venturing out. Geese are keeping areas open; be aware of these areas.

Lake Wapello
Ice conditions are variable with the warmer temperatures. There is thin ice or open water out in front of the lodge area due to geese keeping water open.  Anglers have been catching some bluegills.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 904.90 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 conditions are constantly changing with the warmer temperatures, use caution. Anglers have been catching bluegill around submerged structures but sorting is required for larger fish.

Ice thickness is variable; use caution. 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
Rainbow Trout – Fair: Catch trout 5 to 20 yards off the north and east shores of the north pit with panfish jigs and small jigging spoons tipped with waxworms.

Beaver Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Catch bluegills mid-lake in the trees. The bite has been slow during the day and best during the late afternoon and evening just before dark.

Big Creek Lake
Ice conditions are good as of Feb. 26 ; ice thickness is mostly 8 inches mid-lake. 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. Black Crappie – Fair: The crappie bite has been mostly slow, but the evening bite (sunset and after) is fair. Catch crappies fishing mid-lake off the roadbeds and along the edge of old creek channel in 20 to 35 feet of water. Use glow jigs with waxworms, glowing jigging spoons with minnow heads, or live minnows still fished.

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 Petocka
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.

Roberts Creek Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Catch suspended crappies with jigging spoons tipped with minnow heads, live minnows, or glow jigs tipped with waxworms.

Ice fishing conditions in Central Iowa remain good. For more information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers, call Ben Dodd at 641-891-3795 or Andy Otting at 515-204-5885.


Lake Anita
Anglers report 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 thickness 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 8 inches of ice. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are finding bluegills in the cedar tree piles. Sorting is needed for larger fish.

Prairie Rose Lake
Ice thickness is 9 inches. Most of the fishing activity is east of the beach on the north side of the lake. Bluegill – Slow: A few large bluegills are being picked up east of the beach around the rock piles.

Ice thickness is 4 to 9 inches in the Southwest District. Reports of thin ice around shorelines in the southern part of the district. 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 – Fair: Catch bluegill up to 7.5 inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm fished near cedar tree brush piles.

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. Walleye – Fair: Try minnows fished along the roadbed in the early morning for walleye of all sizes.

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 – Slow: Try jigs tipped with a minnow fished along the roadbed for walleye of all sizes.

Ice conditions are variable for the Mount Ayr district lakes, ranging from 4 to 8 inches. Some thin ice observed this week around some shoreline areas and fishing jetties. 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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