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Saturday Morning Fishing Report: Ice Fishing is Fair on Area Lakes

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 10 inches.in front of the boat ramp.

Black Hawk Lake
Ice thickness is 13 inches in front of the Ice House Point boat ramp. There is open water in Town Bay from the winter aeration system. Ice in the east basin 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. 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 10 inches at the boat ramp.

Brushy Creek Lake
Beware of thinner ice from a pressure ridge in the middle of the lake that starts near the fishing jetty just south of the east boat ramp. There is thinner ice near the swimming beach. The best ice conditions are at the north end and near the big island by the southeast boat ramp. Drill test holes often and use caution. Yellow Perch – Fair: 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: 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)
There may be thinner areas from a pressure seam extending from Casino Point to the northeast. Ice near the big island is more variable. 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: Bite has been hit or miss. Try jigging spoons with a minnow near the dredge cuts in the west end. Black Crappie – Fair: Use a waxworm on a jig or minnow on a small jigging spoon. You may need to move to find fish near the dredge cuts.

Ice thickness in district lakes and ponds is around 9-14 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 12-17 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: Try dead sticking a minnow while you fish with another rod. Best bite is near sunrise and 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 11-16 inches. Black Crappie – Fair: Use a jig and small minnow fished along the edge of the dredge cut. Yellow Perch – Slow. Northern Pike – Slow.

Lake Cornelia
Ice thickness is 14-16 inches. Yellow Bass – Fair.

Lower Pine Lake
Ice thickness is 11 inches off the boat ramp. Very little fishing activity with heavy snow and bitter cold temperatures.

Rice Lake
Ice thickness is 11-16 inches. Yellow Perch – Slow: Try small jigs tipped with waxworms. Walleye – Slow.

Silver Lake (Worth)
Ice thickness is 11-16 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Try a small jig tipped with red spikes near vegetation. Yellow Perch – Slow.

Upper Pine Lake
Ice thickness is 11 inches off the boat ramp. Very little fishing activity with heavy snow and bitter cold temperatures.

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 16.5 inches.

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

East Okoboji Lake
Ice conditions vary across the lake with averages around 17 inches or more. The walleye season is open through Feb. 14.  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 16 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 12-15 inches. A good amount of fishing pressure has been seen recently. Yellow Perch – Good. Walleye – Fair.

Minnewashta Lake
Ice thickness varies around 18 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 17 or more inches. Caution: Holes created by small springs have developed or iced over recently. The walleye season is open through Feb. 14. 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 17 inches. Caution: there are many seams across the lake. The walleye season is open through Feb. 14. 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 17-20 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 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 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. Chance of snow Thursday thru Saturday 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 ParkAnglers are also catching a few pike on tip-ups. 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 – Fair: Try using tip-up devices or rigs under the ice with a live shiner or chub.

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.

George Wyth Lake
Use extreme caution; reports of thin ice on areas of the lake. 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; 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 with recent arctic weather; use extreme caution with 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 8.1 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 4-12 feet of water with a jig and minnow. Bluegill – Fair: Use jigs tipped with mousies in shallow backwaters. Northern Pike – No Report: Try tip-ups baited with a minnow or shiners in shallow backwater lakes. Largemouth Bass – Slow: 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 10
Lynxville water level is 14.9 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 4-12 feet of water with jig and a minnow. Bluegill – Fair: Use jigs tipped with mousies in shallow backwaters. Northern Pike – No Report: Try tip-ups baited with a minnow or shiners in shallow backwater lakes. Largemouth Bass – Slow: 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 5.9 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 4-12 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.

Heavy snow cover has made access to ice fishing difficult. Subzero temperatures are building ice; avoid ice in areas with current. 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 5.6 feet at the Lock and Dam and 8.2 feet at the RR bridge. The water temperature is around 33 degrees. Water clarity is good. Ice conditions are decent, but no ice is 100 percent safe. Little ice fishing activity this week with extreme cold temperatures.  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 6.1 feet at the Bellevue Lock and Dam and is holding steady. Water temperature is around 33 degrees. Water clarity is good. The Bellevue City ramp finally iced in due to the recent cold snap. Ice conditions are decent, but no ice is 100 percent safe. Little ice fishing activity this week with extreme cold temperatures. 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 5.5 feet, 9.7 feet at Camanche and 4.6 feet at LeClaire. Water temperature is around 33 degrees. Water clarity is good. Ice conditions are decent, but no ice is 100 percent safe. Little ice fishing activity this week with extreme cold temperatures. 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 6.9 feet at Rock Island and is receding. The water temperature is near 33 degrees. Water clarity is good.

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


Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 6.96 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities. Tailwater stage rose close to 2 feet last week, but is forecast to fall slowly. The Marquette Street boat ramp is frozen in. Reports of 10 inches of ice in Sunset Marina. Bluegill – Fair: Some bluegills are being caught through the ice in Sunset Marina on small jigs and waxworms. Some sorting is needed; keeper-sized bluegills are being caught. Black Crappie – Fair: Some crappies are being caught in Sunset Marina on jigs and waxworms.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 5.26 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine. Tailwater stage had risen close to 1.5 feet last week, but is forecast to stay fairly steady the next few days. The boat ramps at Muscatine are frozen in. Big Timber has around 9 inches of ice out from the parking lot. Ice conditions can be variable in Big Timber; check ice thickness often as you move. Bluegill – Fair: Some bluegills are being caught in Big Timber through the ice on ice jigs and waxworms. Mostly smaller bluegills with some keeper-sized bluegills mixed in.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 6.85 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston. Tailwater stage had risen close to 2.5 feet since last week. The main channel is frozen in. The Toolsboro road is ice and snow covered. We have not received any ice fishing or ice conditions reports for this pool.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 3.30 feet at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington. Tailwater stage rose close to a foot last week. We have not received any ice fishing reports for this pool.

Tailwater stages rose 1-2 feet last week, but are forecast to stay fairly steady the next few days. The main channel has frozen up. There has been some ice fishing in the backwaters. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

SOUTHEAST

Big Hollow Lake
Ice is in good shape. Black Crappie – Fair: Best bite is early morning and after about 4 pm when the sun starts to set. Bluegill – Fair: Try fishing closer to the bottom.

Lake Belva Deer
Below zero temperatures will make ice. About five inches of good ice with a couple inches of refrozen slush and snow on top. Black Crappie – Fair: Evening bite is best; crappies will follow small fish up from the bottom as it gets dark. Bluegill – Fair: Morning bite is best, before 10 am.

Lake Darling
Ice thickness is about five inches of clear ice with a couple inches of white refrozen slush on top. Not seeing many anglers out in the area that froze over last. Black Crappie – Slow: Bite gets better after 4 pm; try a couple feet off the bottom over the deeper brush piles and rock piles. Bluegill – Slow: Bite is more consistent than the crappie bite for more hours of the day. Try just off the bottom around the big cedar trees and rock piles.

Lost Grove Lake
Ice remains in good condition; 6-8 inches not counting the compacted frozen snow/slush on top. Black Crappie – Slow: Bite is in the late ice stage; best later in the afternoon into the night. Concentrate on the habitat in 12-14 foot of water or in 16-18 feet farther down the lake. Bluegill – Fair: Best bite is early morning or late afternoon; try down about 14-16 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.


Diamond Lake
Ice thickness is 4-8 inches under snow. Use caution if venturing out; check ice thickness often. Bluegill – Fair: Try in deeper brush; many fish are 6- to 8-inches. Black Crappie – Fair: Most fish are 7- to 9-inches; try in the dam and basin area.

Lake Macbride
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. Walleye – Slow: Some walleye catches were reported over the last week. Try over rock near drop-offs or deeper water.

Pleasant Creek Lake
Ice thickness is about 8 inches on the main lake and 12+ inches on the west end and coves. Bluegill – Fair: Try around brush in coves. Most fish are smaller, but some are up to 7- to 8-inches. Black Crappie – Slow: Catch crappie up to 12-inches with minnows fished in deeper brush and rock. Yellow Perch – Fair: Try in deeper water; keep moving until you find fish. Sorting is needed.

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. Use caution if venturing out.

Lake Wapello
Ice thickness varies; use caution and check ice thickness often. Caution: the area out from the lodge and beach froze up last. Target areas with submerged structure.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 904.58 msl. Recreation pool is 904 msl. Bays and coves should have the thickest ice. Different areas of the lake froze over at different times; use caution and check ice thickness often. 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. Target areas with submerged structure.

Ice conditions are variable; use caution if venturing out. Few anglers have been fishing with the extreme cold snap. 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 10 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)

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 9-12 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 9 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 6-10 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 8 inches. Look for tree piles in 12 to 16 feet of water for best success. Bluegill – Fair. Black Crappie – Fair.

Prairie Rose Lake
Ice thickness is 7-9 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 6 inches. Stay far away from the open water in the pontoon arm. 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 6-10 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 10 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 7-12 inches at the south ramp and beach ramp. Black Crappie – Slow: Catch crappie up to 9.5-inches with jigs tipped with a minnow fished along deep cedar tree brush piles. Bluegill – Fair: Use jigs tipped with a waxworm fished along deep cedar tree brush piles to catch bluegill up to 8.5-inches. Walleye – Fair: Anglers are catching a few walleyes on jigging spoons around rock piles and brush piles.

Lake of Three Fires
Ice thickness is 10 inches at the main boat ramp. Bluegill – Fair: Catch bluegills up to 8.5-inches with jigs tipped with waxworms fished off of brush piles. Black Crappie – Slow: A few crappies are being caught off brush piles with jigs tipped with waxworms.

Little River Watershed Lake
Ice thickness is about 8-12 inches at the main boat ramp and Paul Vonn boat ramp.
Use caution near the dam and campground area that have thin ice in areas recently froze over after waterfowl left. Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers are catching crappie up to 12-inches off of deeper brush piles on jigs tipped with waxworms. Some sorting is needed for quality fish. Bluegill – Good: Try off of deeper cedar tree brush piles throughout the lake. Some sorting is needed for quality sized fish. Walleye – Fair: A few walleyes have been caught near rock and brush piles on jigging spoons and live bait.

Three Mile Lake
Ice thickness is about 4-11 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 that was a waterfowl roosting area. The geese have left, with the cold weather this area froze over recently and is snow covered. Bluegill – Good: Catch bluegill up to 8.5-inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm fished in the flooded timber or rock piles. Walleye – Good: Try jigging spoons fished in the flooded timber or rock piles. Black Crappie – Good: Catch crappie up to 10-inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm fished in the flooded timber or rock piles.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake
Ice thickness is about 7-10 inches at the east boat ramp and south boat ramp. Bluegill – Fair: Catch bluegill up to 8.5-inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm fished near deep cedar tree brush piles. Black Crappie – Fair: Try jigs tipped with a waxworm fished near deep cedar tree brush piles to catch crappie up to 9.5-inches.

Most Mount Ayr district lakes have variable ice conditions with 6-12 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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