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Saturday Morning Fishing Report: Fair Rating on Area Fishing Remains

The weekend will see temperatures near 40 on Saturday, precipitation on Saturday night, and steady temperatures in the upper 20’s on Sunday.

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 12 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- to 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; fish are 6- 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 and slushy areas from a pressure ridge in the middle of the lake that starts near the fishing jetty just south of the east boat ramp. With the recent warmer temperatures, stay away from areas near inflows or current. There is thinner ice near the swimming beach. The best ice conditions are at the north end and near the areas by the southeast boat ramp. Drill test holes often and use caution. Yellow Perch – Fair: Try minnows or 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 areas with up to 25 feet of depth. Bluegill – Fair: Use waxworms in 20 feet of water.

Moorland Pond
Rainbow Trout – Fair: Anglers continue to pick up trout. 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.

Storm Lake (incl Little Storm Lake)
Most ice is reported to be around 12-15 inches. Ice is covered with slush and water in some places. There are thinner areas from a pressure seam extending from Casino Point to the northeast. Ice near the big island and near Chautauqua Point may by thinner and unsafe. 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 and north portions of the lake. Move around to find fish. Larger fish are 10- to 13- inches. Walleye – Good: The bite is picking up. Try a small minnow on a jigging spoon in the dredge cuts and flats. Best bite is mornings and evenings. You may have to move around to find groups of fish. Anglers have had luck in the north end and western portions of the lake. 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 9-14 inches with the occasional seam or thin ice in the main basins. Ice is covered with slush and water in some places due to recent warmer temperatures. For 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 14-18 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 – Fair: Use a small jig in the open areas near the rushes.

Crystal Lake
Ice thickness is 14-18 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 – Excellent: Yellows are biting on a variety of baits.

Lower Pine Lake
Ice thickness is 14 inches off the boat ramp.

Rice Lake
Ice thickness is 14-18 inches. Yellow Perch – Fair: Try near vegetation in 4 to 5 feet of water on the west side of the lake. Walleye – Slow.

Silver Lake (Worth)
Ice thickness is 14-18 inches. Bluegill – Good: Try a small glow jig tipped with spikes near vegetation. You may need to use a 1 to 2 pound leader with the clear water. Yellow Perch – Slow.

Upper Pine Lake
Ice thickness is 14 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 16.5 inches.

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

East Okoboji Lake
The walleye season is closed.
 Ice conditions vary across the lake with averages around 18 inches or more. 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 or more with a major open hole from 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 northeast side near the nature center. Ice thickness is 18-20 inches. A good amount of fishing pressure has been seen recently. Yellow Perch – Good. Walleye – Fair.

Minnewashta Lake
Ice thickness varies around 19 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 18-22 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 closed.
 Ice thickness across the lake is around 19 inches or more. Caution: There are holes that are open or recently iced over. 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
The walleye season is closed. Ice thickness varies, starting around 19 inches. Caution: there are many seams across the lake. 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. Many fish are headed to the basins with the latest cold front. Yellow Perch – Fair. Bluegill – Good.

The walleye season is closed on Spirit, East Okoboji and West Okoboji Lake. Iowa Great Lakes are fully iced up with thickness ranging from 18-22 inches. Warm weather has left the snow on top of the ice very sloppy in some areas. Ice conditions still allow for some full sized vehicles to be driven out on the ice; use caution and check conditions before driving out. The extended forecast calls for continued above freezing temperatures. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.

NORTHEAST

Cedar River (above Nashua)
Backwaters have 20+ inches of ice. Ice depth varies in areas with current. Use care as warmer temperatures impact snow melt. Having a variety of baits and lures will help maximize your catch. Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers are finding nice sized crappie in the deeper holes out of current. Use minnows for best luck. Bluegill – Fair: A few gills are being caught while fishing for crappie. Try small pieces of bait and lures; bluegills have very small mouths. Walleye – Fair: 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. Gravel roads are messy and rutted. 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 worm 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 12+ inches with 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 12+ inches with snow. Fresh inputs from snowmelt should perk up fish. 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 -Fair: Use minnows under a bobber. Be prepared to set the hook as you move your jig up.

Volga Lake
Ice thickness is 12+ inches capped with snow. Use caution when going on ice; check ice thickness often. Activity should improve as meltwater inputs move through the lake. Bluegill – Fair: Use a small brightly colored jig tipped with a waxworm or spike under a bobber. Keep your lure 1 to 2 feet off the bottom; a little wiggle goes a long way. Black Crappie – Fair: Try a jig tipped with a minnow near brush piles.

Temperatures above freezing during the day and below at night. Chance of mixed precipitation Friday night into Saturday. Ice depths vary on area rivers, especially areas with current and snow melt. Check ice thickness often. Ice thickness on area lakes is greater than 15 inches with 8 plus inches of snow. Buy your 2021 fishing license today.  For current fishing information, please call the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.


Brinker Lake
Reports of anglers catching crappie. 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 or more over most of the 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 – Good: 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.

Ice thickness on most area lakes is most likely safe; use extreme caution with the recent warmer temperatures. Lakes in and around the Cedar Falls/Waterloo area are producing catches of bluegill and crappie, but fishing has been slow. 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 at Lansing has risen to 8 feet. Use caution on snow covered ice and shoreline edges. Yellow Perch – Good: Look for perch hanging above vegetation from 4-12 feet of water with a jig and minnow. Bluegill – Fair: Use bright colored jigs tipped with waxworms 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 – Fair: Crappie bite is best in shallow backwaters fishing just below the ice surface.

Mississippi River Pool 10
Lynxville water level is 614.5 feet. Use caution on snow covered ice in areas with current. Johnson Slough at Sny Magill ramp is frozen and accessible. 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 – Good: Look for perch hanging above vegetation from 4-12 feet of water with a jig and  minnow. Bluegill – Fair: Use bright colored jigs tipped with waxworms 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 – Fair: Crappie bite is best in shallow backwaters fishing just below the ice surface.

Mississippi River Pool 11
Water level is 6.4 feet at Guttenberg. Use caution on snow covered ice in areas with current and edges. Ice anglers are catching panfish at Mud Lake and Zollicoffers. Use caution and avoid the creek area. 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 – Good: Look for perch hanging above vegetation from 4-12 feet of water with a jig and minnow. Bluegill – Fair: Use bright colored 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.

The bite has improved with recent warm weather. Ice surface has some slush on top and may become slick over the weekend. Avoid ice in areas of 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 6.2 feet at the Lock and Dam and 8.8 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. Low oxygen levels may be seen in some backwaters. Bluegill – Fair: Most anglers only report poor to fair catch rates. Try waxworms and tungsten jigs. Northern Pike – No Report: Some nice pike were reported earlier this ice fishing season by anglers using minnows on tip-ups. Walleye – No Report: Some attempts to catch walleyes were made at Peosta Slough and Schmitt Island, but no reports on if any fish were caught.

Mississippi River Pool 13
The water level is 6.8 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 may have some large ice chunks around the ramp; it may soon be possible to launch. Ice conditions are decent, but no ice is 100 percent safe. Low oxygen may be occurring in some backwaters stressing panfish. 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 – No Report: 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 the dredge cuts, but may have improved; use caution.

Mississippi River Pool 14
Water level at the Fulton Lock and Dam is holding steady at 5.6 feet, 9.7 feet at Camanche and 4.5 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 5.4 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. If you have any fishing questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-880-8781.


Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 5.37 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and had been falling this past week. River stage is forecast to start rising. As of Feb 25th, the Marquette St. boat ramp is open and some boats were at the launch. Anglers will have to access the ramp at Gaines St. by Modern Woodmen Park. Reports of 10 inches of ice in Sunset Marina, but shorelines will start to deteriorate with the snow melt, warmer temperatures, and rising river levels.Sauger – No Report: Look for saugers below the dam. Try vertical jigging with minnows or trolling three-way rigs with minnows.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 4.73 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and is forecast to start rising over the weekend. As of Feb 25, the main channel at Muscatine is open but the ramp area is still frozen in. Big Timber has 9-10 inches of ice out from the parking lot. Ice conditions could start to deteriorate, especially along the shorelines with warmer temperatures, melting snow, and rising river conditions. Use caution if venturing out on the ice.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 6.25 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston. Earlier this week the main channel was still frozen in at Toolsboro. We have not received any ice fishing reports for this pool this week. With warmer temperatures, melting snow, and rising river levels ice conditions could start to deteriorate, especially along the shorelines.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 3.59 feet at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington and is rising. We have not received any ice fishing reports for this pool. With warmer temperatures, melting snow, and rising river levels ice conditions could start to deteriorate, especially along the shorelines.

Tailwater stages had been falling this past week, but are forecast to start rising. With warmer temperatures in the forecast, ice conditions could start to deteriorate especially along the shorelines with snow melt and rising river levels. 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, but gets some water and slush on top on warmer days. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappie fishing has been slowing lately; if you move around and drill enough holes you can still find some active fish. Bluegill – Fair: Try fishing closer to the bottom.

Lake Belva Deer
If the warm weather continues, the ice around the trees could start to get rotten. Black Crappie – Slow: Evening bite is best. Bluegill – Fair: Morning bite is best, before 10 am.

Lake Darling
The ice remains in good condition, except for some spots along the south-facing rip-rap that are getting soft. Black Crappie – Slow: The morning bite continues to drop off. A few anglers are coming out in the late afternoon and are still catching some nice fish. Bluegill – Slow: The morning bite for bluegills has slowed down more. Be prepared to drill holes and move around to find fish.

Lost Grove Lake 
Ice remains solid, but gets a little sloppy on warm afternoons. Black Crappie – Slow: Crappie fishing is slowing down more. Continue to work the edges of the flooded timber in 12-14 feet of water in the main lake and around the sunken habitat at the same depths above the causeway. Bluegill – Slow: Bluegills are in late ice mode. 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
Bluegill – Fair: Try in deeper brush; many fish are 6- to 7-inches. Black Crappie – Fair: Most fish are 7- to 9-inches; try in the dam and basin area.

Gateway Park South
Ice thickness is 10+ inches. Bluegill – Good. Black Crappie – Fair. Walleye – Good. Yellow Perch – Fair.

Iowa Lake (Iowa Co.)
Ice thickness is 12+ inches. Bluegill – Good. Black Crappie – Fair.

Lake Macbride
Ice thickness is 12-15 inches. The South Arm and under the power lines have been busy areas. 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, stumps or rock near deeper water. Walleye – Slow: Anglers are picking up a few walleye. Try over rock near drop-offs or deeper water. White Bass – Slow: Crappie and walleye anglers are picking up a few white bass.

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. Target areas with submerged structure.

Lake Miami
Ice thickness varies; use caution and test ice thickness often. Try small jigs tipped with a waxworm or small minnow in areas around the cedar tree piles.

Lake Sugema
Very few anglers have been out. Ice thickness is variable; use caution and test ice thickness often.

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 904.44 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. Use small jigs tipped with a waxworm in areas with submerged structure.

Ice conditions are variable; use caution if venturing out. The ice has a lot of slush and water on top of it. 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 13 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)

Central Iowa ponds and lakes have 11-13 inches of ice. Use caution on city ponds collecting snowmelt. For more information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers, call Ben Dodd at 641-891-3795 or Andy Otting at 515-204-5885.


Big Lake (Including Gilbert’s Pond)
Trout will be stocked in Big Lake as soon as the ice goes off in March. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Lake Anita
Ice conditions are good; most of the lake is averaging 8 inches. Black Crappie – Slow. Bluegill – Slow: Find fish in 12-18 feet of water out from the campground.

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 – Slow: 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 has a good population of 8-inch bluegill and 9-inch black crappie. Bluegill – Slow: Look for bluegills around the tree piles; fish average 8-inches. Sorting is needed for larger fish. Black Crappie – Slow: 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 12-16 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 7 inches. The geese still have an area open 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.

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 – Fair: Try jigging spoons fished in the flooded timber or rock piles. Black Crappie – Fair: Catch crappie up to 10-inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm fished in the flooded timber or rock piles after dark.

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 melted the snow on the ice leaving a large amount of slush on top of the ice. If you venture out on the ice, use caution and drill test holes often. For more information, please call the Mount Ayr Fisheries office at 641-464-3108.

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