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Saturday Morning Fishing Report: Area Ice Fishing Fair to Excellent

If you’re headed out fishing, please do your part to keep yourself and others safe by following COVID-19 public health and safety guidelines. Go fishing only if you’re feeling well. Practice proper social distancing (at least 6 feet away from people who don’t live in your household) and keep a face covering handy for when social distancing cannot be maintained. Frequently wash your hands with soap and warm water, or use hand sanitizer.

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 9 inches.in front of the boat ramp.

Bacon Creek Lake
Conditions are variable; check ice thickness often. Reports of open water and thinner areas in the southern part of the lake and along shore in some places. Rainbow Trout – Fair: The DNR stocked about 1500 rainbow trout on Jan. 20. Try a small hook with a piece of nightcrawler or corn fished under a bobber, tube jigs or a small spinner. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Children age 15 or younger can fish for trout with a properly licensed adult, but they must limit their catch to one daily limit (5 trout). The child can purchase a trout fee which will allow them to catch their own limit.

Black Hawk Lake
Ice thickness is 10-11 inches in front of the Ice House Point boat ramp. Ice in the east basin is more variable and may have thinner areas. 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; avoid ice near the bridge. Black Crappie – Fair: Try waxworms and small live minnows. Sorting is needed; 8-10 inch fish reported. Bite has been hit or miss. Yellow Perch – Fair: Use waxworms or live minnows on a small jig in the southwest portion of the lake between Provost Point Denison Beach and Ice House Point. You may have to move to find fish. Most fish are 6- to 10-inches with some 11- to 12-inches. Walleye – Slow: 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 Pit
Ice thickness is 9 inches at the boat ramp. Anglers are picking up panfish on waxworms and minnows.

Brushy Creek Lake
A pressure ridge with dangerously thin ice is covered with snow. It starts near the fishing jetty just south of the east boat ramp and extends across the middle of the lake. A 1-2 acre area of thin ice near the swimming beach is hidden under snow. The best ice conditions are around 7-9 inches at the north end and near the big island by the southeast boat ramp. Drill test holes often and use caution. Yellow Perch – Fair: Bite slowed a little. Try minnows and waxworms fished in 10-20 feet of water; 10- to 12-inch keepers with lots of sorting. 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.

Moorland Pond
Rainbow Trout – Fair: The DNR stocked about 1500 rainbow trout last week. Try a small hook with a piece of nightcrawler or corn fished under a bobber, tube jigs or a small spinner. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Children age 15 or younger can fish for trout with a properly licensed adult but they must limit their catch to one daily limit (5 trout). The child can purchase a trout fee which will allow them to keep their own limit.

Storm Lake (incl Little Storm Lake)
Reports of a pressure seam extending from Casino Point to the northeast. Areas near the big island that recently froze over with thin ice are covered with snow. Avoid these areas; use caution and check ice thickness often as you move around. Yellow Perch – Fair: Use waxworms and minnows near the dredge cuts along the west side of the lake. Move around to find fish. Sorting is needed. Walleye – Fair: Try jigging spoons with a minnow near the dredge cuts in the west end. Black Crappie – Fair: Use a waxworm or minnow on a small jigging spoon in 8-10 feet of water. Bite has been hit or miss.

Ice thickness in district lakes and ponds is around 7-11 inches with the occasional seam or thin ice in the main basins. Ice is covered with snow. Check out the Virtual Ice Fishing Clinic at Black Hawk LakeFor more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.


Blue Pit
Rainbow Trout – Excellent: Trout are biting on a variety of baits. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. The daily bag limit is 5.

Clear Lake
Ice thickness is 10-15 inches. Avoid 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 bigger bait to catch keeper-sized fish. Walleye – Fair Best bite is near sunset. Black Crappie – Slow: Look for suspended fish along the dredge cuts. Bluegill – Slow: Try a small jig in the open areas near the rushes.

Crystal Lake
Ice thickness is 8-12 inches. Black Crappie – Fair: Use a jig and small minnow fished along the edge of the dredge cut. Yellow Perch – Slow. Northern Pike – Slow.

Lower Pine Lake
Ice thickness is 8 inches off the boat ramp. Use caution between the island and beach.

Rice Lake
Ice thickness is 8-12 inches. Yellow Perch – Fair: Try small jigs tipped with waxworms. Walleye – Slow.

Silver Lake (Worth)
Ice thickness is 8-12 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Try a small jig tipped with red spikes near vegetation. Yellow Perch – Slow.

Upper Pine Lake
Ice thickness is 8 inches off the boat ramp. Black Crappie – Fair: Look for suspended fish in deeper water. Best bite is early morning and late afternoon. Bluegill – Slow. Yellow Perch – Slow.

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 13.5 inches.

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

East Okoboji Lake
Ice conditions vary across the lake with averages around 13 inches or more. The walleye season is open 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 14 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. Some good sized perch have been seen recently.

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 11-14 inches. A good amount of fishing pressure has been seen recently. Yellow Perch – Good. Walleye – Fair.

Minnewashta Lake
Ice thickness is around 16 inches. 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 12 inches, but can be variable. Use caution; a side-by-side went through the ice the last week of December. Walleye – Fair.

Spirit Lake
Ice thickness across the lake is around 15 or more inches. Caution: Holes created by small springs have developed or iced over recently. The walleye season is open. 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.

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

West Okoboji Lake
Ice thickness varies, starting around 16 inches. Caution: there are many seams across the lake. The walleye season is open. Panfishing 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 thickness ranging from 13-18 inches. Recent temperatures have created safer ice conditions, allowing the use of some full-sized vehicles; use caution and check conditions before driving out. Caution: there are still many seams throughout area lakes, as well as a few holes that have developed or iced over on Spirit Lake. The extended forecast calls for well below freezing temperatures. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.

NORTHEAST

Cedar River (above Nashua)
Backwaters have 6-10 inches ice. Ice depth varies in areas with current. Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers are finding nice sized crappie in the deeper holes out of current. Use minnows for best luck. Bluegill – Slow: A few 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. Find an eddy or deeper pool.

Decorah District Streams
Streams are very clear with about 6-8 inches of snow in places, but could change by the weekend. Don’t forget to buy a new trout fee and license. Iowa’s trout season is open all year. 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: Get tackle in front of fish and imitate prey movements. Minnow midge and caddis flies work well this time of year. Brown Trout – Good: Use tackle imitating forage fish; fish the edge of a weed bed or large rock. Brook Trout – Good: Try flies imitating prey drifting down in fish pool edges and heads. Fish the hatch on sunny afternoons.

Lake Hendricks
Ice thickness is 8-10 inches with about 6 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. Find brush piles. Black Crappie – Fair: Minnows work best; fish deeper water. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Concentrate your effort along the rock reefs or brush piles.

Lake Meyer
Ice thickness is 10 inches with 8 inches 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. Activity is picking up some. Look for fish in 12-15 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. Best bite is morning and dusk. 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.

Ice thickness varies on area rivers, especially areas with current. Check ice thickness often. Ice thickness on area lakes is greater than 10 inches with 8 plus inches of snow. Snow today (Feb. 4) with high winds and subzero temperatures through the weekend; may slow outdoor activities and impact area roads. 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 the lake. Anglers are catching bluegill and crappie. Bluegill – Fair: 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.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
Reports last week of anglers catching a few walleye on the Cedar River; concentrate on the deeper overwintering holes. Anglers are having some success on the Cedar River fishing tip-ups for northern pike. Use extreme caution when fishing on river ice. Walleye – Fair: Use a jig and plastic tipped with a minnow slowly retrieved off of the river bottom. Northern Pike – Good: Try tip-ups or rigs under the ice using a live shiner or chub.

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 and northern pike. 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. Northern Pike – Good: Anglers are catching quality northern pike on tip-ups. Try a live chub or shiner 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: Reports of anglers catching bluegill. Use an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished just off of the bottom.

Plainfield Lake
Anglers are catching a few panfish on; catching fewer fish, but of quality size. Bluegill – Fair: Use an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished just off of the bottom. Black Crappie – Fair: Try a jig tipped with a minnow fished around sunken structure.

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

Ice thickness on most area lakes is most likely safe; use extreme caution with the milder winter and accumulating snow on the ice. 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 8.2 feet at Lansing. Use caution on snow covered ice and areas with current. Best panfish bite is early morning and evening; some sorting is needed. Yellow Perch – Fair: Look for perch hanging above vegetation from 4 to 12 feet of water with a jig and 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. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappie bite is best in shallow backwaters fishing just below the ice surface.

Mississippi River Pool 10
Lynxville water level is 14.8 feet. Use caution on snow covered ice in areas that may have current. Anglers are able to cross Johnson Slough at Sny Magill ramp. 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 – Slow: 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. Black Crappie – Slow: Crappie bite is best in shallow backwaters fishing just below the ice surface.

Mississippi River Pool 11
Water level at Guttenberg is 6.6 feet. Use caution on snow covered ice in areas with current. 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 – Fair: Use jigs tipped with waxworms in shallow backwaters. Northern Pike – Slow: Try tip-ups baited with a minnow or shiners in shallow backwater lakes. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use tip-ups baited with minnows in backwaters. Black Crappie – Good: Crappie bite is best in shallow backwaters fishing just below the ice surface.

Ice conditions vary with heavy snow cover. Areas with current can have unsafe ice. Ice thickness varies from 6-10 inches. 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 6.1 feet at the Lock and Dam and 8.8 feet at the RR bridge. The water temperature is around 34 degrees. Water clarity is good. Ice fishing is underway in most of the usual locations. Ice conditions are decent, but no ice is 100 percent safe. Bluegill – Fair: Most anglers report poor to fair catch rates. Use waxworms and tungsten jigs. Northern Pike – Good: Some nice pike were reported earlier this ice fishing season by anglers using minnows on tip-ups.

Mississippi River Pool 13
The water level is 6.7 feet at the Bellevue Lock and Dam and is holding steady. Water temperature is around 34 degrees. Water clarity is good. Launching into the tailwater at Bellevue is possible, but ice may need to be chipped or moved to launch. We expect the ramp to completely ice in during the weekend cold snap. Ice conditions are decent, but no ice is 100 percent safe. Walleye – Good: Most walleye and sauger angling is near the Lock and Dam. Jig and minnow is commonly used this time of year. The City of Bellevue ramp can be accessed, but ice chunks may need to be moved or chipped out of the way. Bluegill – Fair: Most anglers report poor to fair catch rates. Use waxworms and tungsten jigs. Most Pool 13 ice fishing is taking place near the Sabula area backwaters. Largemouth Bass – Good: Anglers are catching lots of bass with tip-ups and minnows. Most ice fishing pressure is around the Sabula backwaters. Ice conditions in Browns Lake were reported as marginal in a few locations a few weeks ago. but may have improved; use caution.

Mississippi River Pool 14
Water level at the Fulton Lock and Dam is holding steady at 5.3 feet, 9.7 feet at Camanche and 4.6 feet at LeClaire. Water temperature is around 34 degrees. Water clarity is good. Ice conditions are decent, but no ice is 100 percent safe. Bluegill – Fair: Most anglers report poor to fair catch rates. Use waxworms and tungsten jigs. Most anglers are fishing at Rock Creek and Cattail Slough backwaters.

Mississippi River Pool 15
Water level is 5.7 feet at Rock Island and is receding. The water temperature is near 34 degrees. Water clarity is good.

Water temperature in the main channel is near freezing. Water level is stable throughout the district. Tailwater walleye fishing is underway, but access to the tailwaters is difficult with ramps mainly iced in. If you have any fishing questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-880-8781.

SOUTHEAST

Big Hollow Lake
Rain last weekend chewed up the ice some. Slush and water on top of the ice, but that will freeze back up with frigid temperatures in the forecast. Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers are catching nice crappies down from the campground and out into the trees. Ice in this area is fairly good, but gets thin on both sides of this area.

Lake Belva Deer
A mixture of slush and water on top of the ice and under the snow. The area around the south boat ramp is about as far as anybody has gone out.

Lake Darling
Eight hours of rain last Saturday did not help ice conditions. Very few anglers have even tried to go out; still staying within about 20 yards from shore.

Lost Grove Lake
Ice conditions continue to be decent. Most anglers are fishing above the causeway and down the lake to about the Red Barn (middle) boat ramp. Black Crappie – Fair: Bite slowed down some. Best bite is later in the afternoon into the night in about 12-14 feet of water or in 16-18 feet farther down the lake. Bluegill – Fair: Best bite is early morning or late afternoon down about 14 to 16 feet in the flooded timber. Be prepared to move to find a hot spot.

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 7-10 inches of ice. Bluegill – Fair: Most fish are smaller. Northern Pike – Slow: Angles are catching a few fish on tip-ups.

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
Bluegill – Fair: Most fish are small. Black Crappie – Fair: A few nice fish were reported.

Hannen Lake
Ice thickness is about 6-8 inches in most areas, with less in the center of the lake. Bluegill – Fair: Bite has been on and off. Nice fish can be caught here. Black Crappie – Slow: Not many fish are being caught, but the ones that are tend to be 11+ inches.

Iowa Lake (Iowa Co.)
Ice thickness is 6-8 inches. Bluegill – Fairk. Black Crappie – Fair.

Lake Macbride
Ice thickness is 6-8 inches on the edges and protected areas; deeper areas may only have 3-4 inches. Use caution if venturing out; check ice thickness often. Bluegill – Good: Try over rock piles or brush piles in 10-20 feet of water. Most fish are less than 7 inches. Black Crappie – Fair: Use jigs or minnows around brush or stumps or rock near deeper water.

Otter Creek Lake
Ice thickness is 8-10 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Try in brush piles. Yellow Bass – Fair.

Pleasant Creek Lake
The west end of the lake has 7-9 inches of ice; the main lake is more variable and potentially unsafe in spots. 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 9-10 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.

Union Grove Lake
Ice thickness is 7-10 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 brush below the cabins.

For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.


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

Lake Miami
Ice thickness varies; use caution if venturing out and test ice thickness often. Target areas around the cedar tree piles.

Lake Sugema
Very few anglers have been out. Ice thickness is variable and snow is covering thin areas. Use caution if venturing out.

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

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 904.55 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; variable ice thickness with some areas of open water. Target areas with submerged structure.

Ice conditions are variable; use caution if venturing out. 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: 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
Ice thickness near the accesses is 9 inches. Black Crappie – Fair: Catch crappies in the evenings with live minnows or waxworms on glow jigs in the main lake near roadbeds, brush piles 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
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)

Don Williams Lake
Black Crappie – Slow: Catch crappies with live minnows or glow jigs tipped with waxworms 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
Rainbow Trout – Fair: 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.

Central Iowa ponds and lakes have 8-11 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 and the south arm has 8 inches of ice. Black Crappie – Slow. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers report good success in the south arm around the road bed or out from the campground in 12 feet of water.

Littlefield Lake
Ice thickness is variable from 4-8 inches. Be prepared to find the cedar tree piles in the lake for best success through the ice. Bluegill – Fair: Best bite is in the afternoon. Use the fishing atlas to find one of the cedar tree piles in the lake for best success. Yellow Perch – Slow: Sorting is needed for the larger perch.

Meadow Lake
Ice thickness is 8 inches. 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. Bluegill – Fair: Look for bluegills around the tree piles; fish average 8-inches. Sorting is needed for larger fish. Black Crappie – Fair: Try close to the cedar tree piles in the lake. Early morning and late afternoon bite is best. Some anglers report minnows increased their catch. Fish average 9-inches. 

Nodaway Lake
Ice thickness is 7 inches. Nodaway Lake has a decent fish population that will provide good fishing this winter. Bluegill – Fair. Black Crappie – Fair.

Prairie Rose Lake
Ice thickness is 6-8 inches. Prairie Rose is a top pick for lakes with large bluegills. It also has a small population of large black crappies. Bluegill – Fair: Catch bluegills north of the pumphouse in the channel or east of the beach to the jetty in a cedar tree pile. Fish average 8.5-inches.

Viking Lake
Ice thickness is 5 inches. Stay far away from the open water where the geese are. Most anglers are fishing south of the concession and west of the dam. Bluegill – Fair: Fishing has been fair for bluegills averaging 7.5-inches. Black Crappie – Fair: Try around tree piles in the upper end of the lake to find 10-inch black crappie.

Ice thickness is 5 to 9 inches throughout the district. Use caution and drill check holes often when venturing out. For more information on lakes in the Southwest District call the Cold Springs office at 712-769-2587.


Fogle Lake S.W.A.
Ice thickness is about 8 inches at the boat ramp. Bluegill – Slow: Catch bluegill of all sizes with jigs tipped with a waxworm fished along deep cedar tree brush piles.

Green Valley Lake
Ice thickness is about 7 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. Bluegill – Slow: Use jigs tipped with a waxworm fished along deep cedar tree brush piles to catch bluegill up to 8.5-inches.

Little River Watershed Lake
Ice thickness is about 7 inches at the main boat ramp and Paul Vonn boat ramp. No fishing reports.

Three Mile Lake
Ice thickness is about 4-9 inches at the main boat ramp and north ramp. Some areas of open water along larger flooded trees. Large area of open water on the south end. Bluegill – Slow: Catch bluegill up to 8.5-inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm fished in the flooded timber or rockpiles in the upper end of the lake. Walleye – Slow: Try jigging spoons fished in the flooded timber or rockpiles in the upper end of the lake to catch walleye of all sizes. Black Crappie – Fair: Catch crappie up to 10 inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm fished in the flooded timber or rockpiles in the upper end of the lake.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake
Ice thickness is about 7 inches at the east boat ramp and south boat ramp. Bluegill – Slow: Catch bluegill up to 8.5-inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm fished near deep cedar tree brush piles. Black Crappie – Slow: Try jigs tipped with a waxworm fished near deep cedar tree brushpiles to catch crappie up to 9.5-inches.

Most Mount Ayr district lakes have variable ice conditions with 3-8 inches of ice. The recent warm weather deteriorated the top 2-3 inches of ice. If you venture out on the ice, use extreme caution and drill test holes often. For more information, please call the Mount Ayr Fisheries office at 641-464-3108.

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