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Saturday Morning Fishing Report: Area Ice Fishing Rated Fair to Good

Stay safe when fishing with these tips:

  • Try a new fishing spot — if your regular fishing location is popular and busy, try out a new one that is not so crowded.
  • Once you find your spot, keep at least 6 feet of distance between you and other groups.
  • Stick with your immediate family, but keep groups to fewer than 10 people.
  • Bring lures from home instead of buying bait to minimize your interaction with other people.
  • Bring hand sanitizer and wash your hands often.

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 at the boat ramp is 5-6 inches of good ice. Ice may be thinner near shore.

Black Hawk Lake
Ice thickness is 7-8 inches in front of the Ice House Point boat ramp. Ice in the east basin is more variable and may have thinner areas. Use caution if venturing out; check ice thickness often. Most angling activity has been near the Ice House Point boat ramp and near the Gunshot Hill shoreline. Ice is thinner in the inlet bridge bay. Black Crappie – Fair: Try waxworms and small live minnows. Sorting is needed;  8-10 inch fish reported. Anglers have had good luck fishing the rock pile just off the shoreline from Gunshot Hill. Yellow Perch – Fair: Most have been picked up in the southwest portion of the lake between Provost Point and Ice House Point in 3-7 feet of water. You may have to move to find fish. Use waxworms or live minnows on a small jig. Most fish are 6- to 10-inches with some 11- to 12-inches. Walleye – Fair: Anglers have picked up occasional walleyes with jigging spoons and minnow heads. Low light conditions are more productive. Bluegill – Fair: Try a waxworm on a small jig fished in 3-6 feet of water. Sorting is needed with some fish up to 8-inches.

Black Hawk Pits
Ice thickness near the boat ramp is 6-7 inches. Ice conditions are variable; use caution and check ice thickness often. Ice has degraded along shore in some areas due to recent precipitation.

Brushy Creek Lake
Ice is variable; areas with fishing activity have roughly 5-7 inches of ice in most places. Reports of possible open water and thinner ice near the beach at the southwest part of the lake. Expect thinner ice near the spillway and near any inflows in the arms. Anglers have been out on foot at the north end, mid-lake and near the south end boat ramp. Use caution and check ice thickness often; conditions can change quickly with recent precipitation. Yellow Perch – Good: Try minnows and waxworms fished in 10-20 feet of water. Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers have had luck in 10-20 feet of water. Walleye – Fair: Try a jigging spoon with a small minnow or minnow head fished in the north end of the lake.

Crawford Creek Impoundment|
Fishing has been productive. Reports of 6 inches of good ice earlier in the week, before the precipitation. Ice conditions can change daily, especially along shore and near inflows. Use caution and check ice thickness often as you venture out. Black Crappie – Fair: Pick up 7- to 10-inch fish in 15-22 feet of water in the main basin. Use waxworms and minnows for best luck. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are picking up 7- to 9- inch bluegills with waxworms in the main basin in 15-20 feet of water. Yellow Perch – Fair: Reports of 6-inch perch caught with the occasional larger fish.

Moorehead Park Pond
Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are catching 9- to 10-inch bluegill. Black Crappie – Fair: Reported catches of 10- to 12-inch fish last week.

North Twin Lake
Ice remains variable; use caution and check ice thickness often if you venture out. Anglers have been out; foot traffic only at this time. Anglers have had luck with panfish and the occasional walleye while fishing the very southwest corner of the lake and near the narrows in front the state park beach. Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers have picked up crappie along the southwest shoreline of the lake. The bite is hit or miss; morning and evening bite is best.

Storm Lake (incl Little Storm Lake)
Ice conditions remain variable with 9-10 inches of ice in locations and much thinner areas mid-lake. Reports of heaves and thinner ice near the big island. Use caution and check ice thickness often. Yellow Perch – Fair: Anglers are picking up perch with waxworms and minnows near the dredge cuts along the west side of the lake. Walleye – Fair: Use jigging spoons with a minnow during low light conditions near the dredge cuts in the west end. Black Crappie – Fair: Try a waxworm or minnow on a small jigging spoon in 8-10 feet of water.

Ice conditions vary and can change quickly from one area to another; use caution and check thickness often if venturing out. Most ice in the district is between 5 -10 inches with the occasional pocket of open water, seam, or thin ice in the main basins. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.


Bluebill Lake
Ice thickness is 6 to 8 inches.

Clear Lake
Ice thickness is 4 to 10 inches. Avoid the open water area by the island, the channel between the little lake, and the main lake; use extreme caution if you fish within the aeration holes boundary. Yellow Bass – Fair: Yellows are biting on a variety of baits. Use your electronics to find fish; stay mobile. Best bite is a half hour before sunset. Yellow Perch – Excellent: Try near vegetation in 2 to 6 feet of water. Use a jigging spoon and minnow to catch the bigger fish. Walleye – Slow: Best bite is near sunset. Black Crappie – Slow. Bluegill – Slow: Try a small jig in the open areas near the rushes.

Crystal Lake
Ice thickness is 6 to 10 inches. Black Crappie – Fair: Use a small minnow fished along the edge of the dredge cut.

Lake Cornelia
Ice thickness is 6 to 10 inches. Yellow Perch – Good: Anglers are catching lots of 3- to 7-inch fish. Yellow Bass – Fair: Catch 5- to 8-inch yellows on small jigs tipped with a waxworm. Black Crappie – Slow. Bluegill – Slow.

Lower Pine Lake
Ice thickness is 7.5 inches off the boat ramp.

Rice Lake
Ice thickness varies from 6 to 10 inches. Yellow Perch – Fair: Use jigs tipped with bait.

Silver Lake (Worth)
Ice thickness is 6 to 10 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Try a small jig tipped with red spikes near vegetation.

Upper Pine Lake
Ice thickness is 7.5 inches off the boat ramp.

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
Caution: Winter aeration system is currently in use. Ice thickness is around 12.5 inches.

Dog Creek (Lake)
Fishing has been fair to good.

East Okoboji Lake
The walleye season is openIce conditions vary across the lake with around 11 inches with some bad spots that have more recently frozen over in recent weeks.  Bluegill – Good: Easily catch lots of bluegill; a lot of sorting may be needed with many 7.5- to 9-inch fish. Yellow Perch – Fair. Black Crappie – Fair.

Ingham Lake
Caution: Winter aeration system is currently in use. Ice thickness is around 8 inches with two major open holes caused by geese and the lake aeration unit. Yellow Perch – Fair: Anglers are catching larger yellow perch, but with low frequency.

Lake Pahoja
Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs tipped with waxworms. Black Crappie – Fair: Try small jigs tipped with waxworms.

Lost Island Lake
Caution: Winter aeration system is currently running on the north east side near the nature center. Ice thickness is 10-13 inches. A good amount of fishing pressure has been seen recently. Yellow Perch – Good. Walleye – Fair.

Minnewashta Lake
Bluegill – Good: Lots of 4- to 6-inch fish are being caught. Black Crappie – Good.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Caution: Winter aeration system is currently in use. Ice conditions are around 10 inches, but can be variable. Use caution; a side-by-side went through the ice the last week of December. Walleye – Fair.

Spirit Lake
The walleye season is open. Ice conditions vary across the lake with 10-13 inches. Yellow Perch – Fair: Perch fishing has been tough, but once you find them, many quality 9- to 10.5-inchers have been caught. Walleye – Fair: Walleye bite has been tough, but anglers have been able to limit out.

Trumbull Lake
Ice thickness is around 11 inches with an open hole on the north end caused by geese.

West Okoboji Lake
The walleye season is open. West Okoboji was the last lake to fully ice up. Ice thickness varies from 9-11.5 inches in the bays (North Bay- 10 inches; Millers Bay – 9 inches; Emerson Bay – 10.5 inches; Smiths Bay -11 inches). Pan fishing has been spotty in many of the bays where many anglers have been able to sight fish in around 10 feet of water along weed lines. Yellow Perch – Fair. Bluegill – Good.

Iowa Great Lakes are fully iced up with conditions ranging from 10-12 inches. There are still many spots in the main basins that are somewhat thinner; use caution when going out. The use of full sized vehicles is not recommended. Remember to bring a form of ice picks, a form of flotation, a friend, and be smart out on the ice! A blizzard advisory is in affect until the end of Friday. This weekend temperatures should remain below freezing with highs in the upper 20s and low 30s. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.

NORTHEAST

Cedar River (above Nashua)
The impoundments have about 12 inches ice with 4 inches of snow. Use caution when crossing areas with current; check ice thickness often. Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers are finding nice sized crappie in the deeper holes and areas out of current, such as a backwater. Use minnows for best luck. Bluegill – Slow: A few nice sized gills are being caught while fishing for crappie. Try small pieces of bait and lures; bluegills have very small mouths. Walleye – Slow: Use live bait for best luck.

Decorah District Streams
Iowa’s trout season is open all year. Don’t forget to buy a new trout fee and license. Many streams maintain excellent populations of brown trout and stocked catchable-size rainbow trout. Many trout streams flow through wildlife management areas. Use care when parking along road if a parking area isn’t plowed. Rainbow Trout – Good: Use hair jigs, spinnerbaits or small shallow water crankbaits for aggressive fish. Plenty of fish remain in streams over winter. Brown Trout – Fair: Avoid stepping on trout nests or redds; these are freshly cleaned areas on stream bottoms. Brownies may be slow to take bait. A keen eye and a fly box filled with a variety of sizes and colors will help match a hatch. Plenty of fish remain in stream over winter. Brook Trout – Fair: Walk around cleared areas in the stream bottom; these are trout nests or redds. Use small flies imitating midges or minnows. Please respect private property open to angling.

Lake Hendricks
Ice thickness is 8-10 inches with about 2 inches of snow. Open water around the aerator; use caution around this area. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the ice. Bluegill – Fair: Use a waxworm or spike on a small jig under a bobber. The bite is improving. Black Crappie – Good: Anglers using minnows on an ice jig are finding fish. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Concentrate your effort along the rock reefs or around brush piles.

Lake Meyer
Ice thickness is 4 to 8 inches with about an inch of snow. Excellent clarity with 15 feet visibility. Use caution when walking to your favorite ice fishing hole; check ice thickness often. Bluegill – Fair: Use a small jig tipped with a waxworm or spike on overcast days with excellent water clarity. Activity is picking up some. Look for fish in 12 to 15 feet of water. Black Crappie – Slow.

Volga Lake
Volga Lake has about 8-10 inches of ice capped with 4 inches of snow. Use caution when going on ice; check ice thickness often. Bluegill – Fair: Use a small brightly colored jig tipped with a waxworm or spike under a bobber. Find fish in 10 feet of water; keep your lure 1 to 2 feet off the bottom.

Area rivers are partially frozen. Use caution in areas with current. Area lakes are iced over with a cap of 2-4 inches of snow. Ice thickness varies. Temperatures in the high 20’s to teens at night. Weather event Thursday and Friday may impact area rivers and streams. Ring in 2021 with a family outing. 2021 licenses are available now. For current fishing information, please call the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.


Alice Wyth Lake
Good reports of anglers catching crappie on Alice Wyth Lake in George Wyth State Park. Black Crappie – Fair: Try fishing a dead stick with a minnow on one rod and jigging an ice jig tipped with a waxworm or spike. Electronics are very helpful to find suspended crappie.

Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
Ice thickness is around 8 inches over most of lake. Anglers are catching bluegill and crappie. Bluegill – Good: Try an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished just off of the bottom. Black Crappie – Fair: Use a jig tipped with a minnow around sunken structure.

George Wyth Lake
Use extreme caution; reports of thin ice on areas of the lake with the recent warmer weather. Reports of anglers catching panfish. Black Crappie – Fair: Try fishing a dead stick with a minnow on one rod and jigging an ice jig tipped with a waxworm or spike. Electronics are very helpful to find suspended crappie. Bluegill – Fair: Use an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished just off of the bottom.

Manchester District Streams
All area Manchester trout streams are in excellent condition and hold vast populations of brown trout. Brown Trout – Good: Spring Branch Creek is a favorite amongst anglers for quality and trophy-sized brown trout.

Martens Lake
Anglers are catching panfish; most activity is on the north end of the marsh as anglers cross the reservoir for access. Black Crappie – Fair: Try fishing a jig tipped with a minnow fished around sunken structure.

North Prairie Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Try fishing a dead stick with a minnow on one rod and jigging an ice jig tipped with a waxworm or spike. Electronics are very helpful to find suspended crappie Bluegill – Fair: Use an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished just off of the bottom.

South Prairie Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Try an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished just off of the bottom.

Ice thickness on most area lakes has set up well; use extreme caution with the milder winter. Lakes in and around the Cedar Falls/Waterloo area are producing catches of bluegill and crappie. For further information contact your area bait and tackle shops. All field stations and fish hatcheries remain closed. Call the Manchester Hatchery at 563-927-3276 for more information.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9
Water level is 8.4 feet at Lansing. Use caution on snow covered ice in areas that may have current as conditions can vary. Water temperature is 33 degrees. Ice thickness is 6-8 inches. Yellow Perch – Fair: Look for perch hanging above vegetation from 4 to 12 feet of water with jig and a minnow. Bluegill – Fair: Use jigs tipped with mousies in shallow backwaters. Northern Pike – Good: Try tip-ups baited with a minnow or shiners in shallow backwater lakes. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use tip-ups baited with minnows in backwaters.

Mississippi River Pool 10
Lynxville water level is 15.4 feet. Use caution on snow covered ice in areas that may have current as conditions can vary. Water temperature is 33 degrees. Ice thickness is 6-8 inches. Bussey Lake bite has been fair. Anglers are able to cross Johnson Slough in the Sny Magill area; many are fishing in Norwegian Lake. Sauger – Slow: Try vertical jigging with jigs in tailwaters of the Lock and Dam. Walleye – Slow: Use jigging spoons or a jig tipped with a minnow in tailwaters of Lock and Dams. Yellow Perch – Fair: Look for perch hanging above vegetation from 4 to 12 feet of water with jig and a minnow. Bluegill – Good: Use jigs tipped with mousies in shallow backwaters. Northern Pike – Good: Try tip-ups baited with a minnow or shiners in shallow backwater lakes. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use tip-ups baited with minnows in backwaters.

Mississippi River Pool 11
Water level at Guttenberg has fallen to 6.7 feet. Use caution on snow covered ice in areas that may have current as conditions can vary. Ice thickness is 6-8 inches. Ice anglers are catching panfish at Mud Lake. Use caution and avoid the creek area. Tailwater fishing is still accessible by both boat ramps in Guttenberg. Sauger – Slow: Try vertical jigging with jigs in tailwaters of the Lock and Dam. Walleye – Slow: Use jigging spoons or a jig tipped with a minnow in tailwaters of Lock and Dams. Yellow Perch – Fair: Look for perch hanging above vegetation from 4 to 12 feet of water with jig and a minnow. Bluegill – Good: Use jigs tipped with mousies in shallow backwaters. Northern Pike – Good: Try tip-ups baited with a minnow or shiners in shallow backwater lakes. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Reports of largemouth biting on tip-ups baited with minnows in backwaters.

Warmer weather coupled with new snow will affect ice conditions. Backwater ice varies from 6-8 inches. Sloughs have less ice. Ice grippers are recommended; snowmelt has caused slick surface conditions. Walleye slot length limits now apply on the entire Mississippi River. All walleyes less than 15 inches long and between 20-27 inches long must be released immediately. Only one walleye greater than 27 inches can be kept. Combined walleye/sauger daily harvest limit of 6 and possession of 12.


Mississippi River Pool 12
Water level is expected to hold steady this week. Water levels are 6.6 feet at the Lock and Dam and 9.1 feet at the RR bridge. The water temperature is around 34 degrees. Water clarity is good. Ice fishing is underway in a lot of the usual locations. Bluegill – Fair: Lots of small bluegills reported; use waxworms and tungsten jigs. Northern Pike – Good: Some nice pike have been reported this ice fishing from people using minnows on tip ups.

Mississippi River Pool 13
The water level is 7.3 feet at the Bellevue Lock and Dam and is holding steady. Water temperature is around 34 degrees. Water clarity is good. The tailwater ramp at Bellevue is open to boats. Walleye – Good: Most walleye and sauger angling is near the Lock and Dam in 15 to 30 feet of water. Jig and minnow is commonly used this time of year. City of Bellevue ramp is marginal for launching a boat with large floating ice chunks. Bluegill – Fair: Lots of small bluegills reported; use waxworms and tungsten jigs.

Mississippi River Pool 14
Water level at the Fulton Lock and Dam is holding steady at 5.8 feet, 9.9 feet at Camanche and 5.2 feet at LeClaire. Water temperature is around 34 degrees. Water clarity is good. Walleye – Good: Most walleye and sauger angling is near the Lock and Dam in 15 to 30 feet of water. Jig and minnow is commonly used this time of year. Bluegill – Fair: Lots of small bluegills reported; use waxworms and tungsten jigs. Most anglers are fishing at Rock Creek and Cattail Slough.

Mississippi River Pool 15
Water level is 6.5 feet at Rock Island and is holding steady. The water temperature is near 34 degrees. Water clarity is good.

Water temperature in the main channel is near freezing and water level is stable throughout the district. Tailwater walleye fishing is underway. If you have any fishing questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-880-8781.


Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 6.21 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and is forecast to stay fairly steady. The Marquette Street boat ramp has been plowed. Ramp conditions may change with snow in the forecast. Reports of 5-6 inches of ice in Sunset Marina. Use caution on the ice; check ice thickness often as you move. Ice conditions may change with recent warm temperatures and rain in the forecast. Bluegill – Good: Some bluegills are being caught in Sunset Marina on ice jigs and waxworms. Sauger – Fair: Some saugers are being caught below the dam in the Quad Cities. Try vertical jigging with plastics or minnows.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 5.00 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and is forecast to stay steady. As of Jan. 14, the ramp at Muscatine has been plowed, but the parking lot has not. Some boats have been using the ramp this week. Big Timber has 5-6 inches of ice out from the parking lot. Ice conditions can be variable in Big Timber; check ice conditions often as you move. Ice conditions may change with recent warm temperatures and rain in the forecast. Walleye – Slow: Some walleyes are being caught below the dam. Try vertical jigging with minnows or plastics. Ramp conditions may change with snow in the forecast.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 5.47 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and is forecast to stay fairly steady. The Toolsboro road and ramp are snow and ice covered. We have not received any ice fishing or ice conditions reports for this pool.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 3.03 feet at Lock and Dam 18 and is forecast to stay fairly steady. River stage is 9.17 feet at Burlington. River stage is 525.71 feet at Ft. Madison. We have not received any ice fishing or ice condition reports for this pool. We have not received any tailwater reports or reports on boat ramp conditions for this pool.

Tailwater stages have been fairly steady the past couple days. Main channel water temperature is 32 degrees. Water clarity is fair. Use caution out on the ice; check ice thickness often as you move. With recent warm temperatures and rain in the forecast ice, conditions may change. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

SOUTHEAST

Big Hollow Lake
Ice fishing not recommended on the main lake. Ice thickness at the boat ramp bay is about 4-5 inches. Ice thickness is thinner on the main body of the lake and highly variable.

Lake Belva Deer
Ice fishing not recommended. Ice thickness is about 3-4 inches in the campground arm; most of the main lake remains much thinner.

Lake Darling
Ice fishing not recommended. Temperatures haven’t been below freezing the last 48 hours. Numerous wet spots are around the lake and a couple of open water spots have developed. The frozen-over spot where the geese were is opening back up. Some anglers have been out on the ice; they are staying close to shore for the most part (<20 yards out).

Lost Grove Lake
Above the causeway is the best ice; the upper half of the main lake has improved to about 5 inches of ice. Use extreme caution if you go down lake off the middle (red barn) boat ramp, especially out away from the tree. Black Crappie – Good: Best bite is later in the afternoon into the night in about 12-14 feet of water up above the causeway. Bluegill – Good: Best bite is early morning or late afternoon down about 14 to 16 feet in the flooded timber.

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


Cedar River (La Porte City to Cedar Rapids)
The backwaters near Vinton have about 7 inches of ice. Bluegill – Fair: Most fish are smaller. Black Crappie – Fair: Most fish are smaller. Northern Pike – Fair: Angles are catching a few fish on tip-ups.

Central Park Lake
Ice thickness is 3-8 inches. Bluegill – Slow: Catch 4- to 6.5-inch fish on the bottom.. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Fish are 10- to 13- inches; no legal-sized fish are available yet.

Central Park Pond
Ice thickness is 4-8 inches. Fish are being caught on the bottom. Bluegill – Slow. Largemouth Bass – Slow.

Coralville Reservoir
The lake is at winter pool of 683.3 feet and is frozen over with variable ice.

Diamond Lake
The lake has about 2 to 6 inches of ice under the snow. Use caution if venturing out; check ice thickness often. Bluegill – Fair. Black Crappie – Fair: Most fish are 7- to 9-inches.

Green Castle Lake
Ice thickness is 4 to 6 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Most fish are small. Yellow Perch – Fair: Most fish are small. Black Crappie – Fair: A few nice fish were reported.

Hannen Lake
Ice thickness is about 6 inches in most areas, with less in the center of the lake. No fishing reports are available.

Iowa Lake (Iowa Co.)
Ice thickness is 6 inches on the edges and closer to 3 inches on the main lake. Use caution if venturing out; check ice thickness often. Bluegill – Fair: Some decent fish were caught this week. Black Crappie – Fair.

Lake Macbride
Ice thickness is 5-6 inches on the edges and protected areas; deeper areas may only have 2-3 inches. Use caution if venturing out; check ice thickness often. No fishing reports available.

Otter Creek Lake
Ice thickness is 6-8 inches. A yellow bass ice fishing tournament will be held here on Jan. 16. Bluegill – Good. Black Crappie – Fair. Yellow Bass – Fair.

Pleasant Creek Lake
The west end of the lake has up to 6 inches of ice; the main lake is more variable and potentially unsafe. Bluegill – Fair: Try around brush in coves. Most fish are smaller, but some are up to 7- to 8-inches. Black Crappie – Slow: A few around 9-inch fish have been caught around brush.

Rodgers Park Lake
Ice thickness is 9 to 10 inches. Most activity has been towards the north end of the lake around brush. Bluegill – Fair: Fish are reported as 5- to 8-inches. Black Crappie – Fair: Fish are reported as 10- to 12-inches.

Sand Lake
This is the quarry in Marshalltown. Ice thickness is up to 6 inches, but is variable. Use caution and check ice thickness often. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Fair. Bluegill – Fair: Most fish are smaller. Largemouth Bass – Slow: A few nice bass have been caught this week.

Union Grove Lake
Ice thickness is 5 to 7 inches. The aeration system was turned on Jan. 13; there is open water on the southwest corner of the lake. Bluegill – Fair: Catch bluegill up to 8 inches. Most activity has been around the west ramp jetties and over the deeper water below the cabins.

Some areas have unsafe ice hidden under the snow. Use caution if venturing out; check ice thickness often. For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.


Hawthorn Lake
Ice is of variable thickness. Use caution and test ice thickness often.

Lake Miami
Ice thickness varies; use caution if venturing out and test ice thickness often.

Lake Sugema
Ice is starting to form, but is unsafe. Open water is still in some areas.

Lake Wapello
Ice thickness varies; use caution and check ice thickness often. There is open water out from the lodge and beach.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 904.08 msl. Recreation pool is 904 msl. The lake still has some areas of open water in the main lake. Bays and coves will ice over first. Use caution; unsafe ice is hidden under the snow. Lake Rathbun has zebra mussels, so make sure to properly drain, clean, and dry equipment before transporting to another waterbody.

Red Haw Lake
Use caution; the ice is of variable thickness and there are some areas of open water.

Very few anglers have been out. Ice has been forming, but it is not thick enough to fish on in most locations. 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
As of Jan. 13, ice near the main parking lot was 6 to 8 inches. Rainbow Trout – Good: Trout were stocked on Jan. 13. Use jigging spoons or panfish jigs tipped with waxworms. Start by trying within 100 feet from shore. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Big Creek Lake
On Jan. 13, ice thickness near the accesses was 7 inches with areas of 4 inches mid-lake. There was a new seam of thin ice to open water just south of the 100th St. boat ramp. Black Crappie – Slow: Catch crappies in the evenings with live minnows or waxworms on glow jigs in the main lake near roadbeds and the creek channel.
Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: Try jigging spoons with live minnows or minnow heads fished mid-lake over the creek channel.

Boone District Farm Ponds
As of Jan. 13, farm ponds and community fishing ponds in Central Iowa had an average of 6 to 8 inches of ice. Bluegill – Good: Catch a mix of bluegills and crappies in many community ponds. Check the Fish Local webpage for a list of  public ponds where ice fishing is allowed; click on the location marker for where you want to go fishing and scroll down to the bottom of the left-hand menu – Ice Fishing (Yes/No)

Des Moines River (Saylorville to Red Rock)
Walleye – Fair: Cast jigs baited with shad imitating plastics or shiners below the Red Rock dam. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: Cast jigs baited with shad imitating plastics or shiners below the Red Rock dam.

Don Williams Lake
As of Jan. 4, ice thickness was 4-6 inches. Black Crappie – Slow: Catch crappies with live minnows or glow jigs tipped with waxworms in the evenings at sunset and after. The daytime bite has been very slow. Bluegill – Fair: Catch bluegills over brush piles and pallet piles during daylight with waxworms.

Lake Petocka
As of Jan. 13, ice thickness was 6-8 inches. Rainbow Trout – Slow: Trout were stocked on Jan. 13. Try jigging spoons or panfish jigs tipped with waxworms. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

As of Jan. 14, Central Iowa ponds and lakes had 4 to 8 inches of ice. 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
Lake Anita is holding a large number of geese keeping a portion of the lake open. The upper end of the pontoon arm has 5 inches of ice. Bluegill – Slow.

Lake Manawa
The dredging project has provided excellent habitat to find fish this winter. Expect good numbers of black and white crappies plus good walleye numbers.

Littlefield Lake
Ice thickness is variable from 3 to 5 inches. Be prepared to find the cedar tree piles in the lake for best success through the ice. Bluegill – Fair.

Meadow Lake
Unsafe ice conditions. Meadow Lake will be a good ice fishing destination this year. It has a good population of 8-inch bluegill and 9-inch black crappie.

Prairie Rose Lake
Prairie Rose is a top pick for lakes with large bluegills. It also has a small population of large black crappies.

Viking Lake
The lake is holding a large number of geese. Viking has a very good crappie population that will provide good fishing this winter.

Ice conditions continue to be variable. Lakes in the northern part of the district average about 6 inches of ice. For more information on lakes in the Southwest District call the Cold Springs office at 712-769-2587.


Green Valley Lake
Ice thickness is about 6 inches at the south ramp and beach ramp. Black Crappie – Fair: Catch crappie up to 9.5 inches with jigs tipped with a minnow fished along deep cedar tree brush piles.

Lake Icaria
Variable ice conditions with 3-5 inches of ice. Geese are keeping some areas of open water.

Summit Lake
Ice thickness is about 7 inches at the boat ramp. Avoid the HWY 25 bridge area due to thin ice.

Three Mile Lake
Ice thickness is about 4-6 inches at the main boat ramp. Area of open water on south end.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake
Ice thickness is about 5 inches at the east boat ramp and south boat ramp.

Most Mount Ayr district lakes have variable ice conditions with 3-7 inches of ice. The recent warm weather deteriorated the top couple inches of ice. If you venture out on the ice, use extreme caution and drill test holes often. Limited ice fishing activity observed this week. For more information, please call the Mount Ayr Fisheries office at 641-464-3108.

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