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Saturday Morning Fishing Report: Area Lake Fishing Rated Slow

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 11 inches near the boat ramp.

Bacon Creek Lake
Ice thickness is around 11 inches. About 1,500 rainbow trout were stocked this winter. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Black Hawk Lake
The winter aeration system in Town Bay is currently operating. Ice thickness is around 12 inches near the Ice House Point boat ramp; this is where most of the ice angling has taken place. Use caution – there are pressure seams and areas of open water around Lakewood Point and in the middle of the east basin. There are still open water fishing opportunities near the fish house in Town Bay. Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers have picked up some crappie around the Gunshot Hill area. Bluegill – Fair. Walleye – Slow. Yellow Perch – Fair.

Brushy Creek Lake
Ice conditions are variable; the thickest ice is by the big island near the south boat ramp and in the area around the north boat ramp. These areas are where most of the ice fishing is taking place. Conditions are more variable in the middle portion of the lake; there is thinner ice and a seam running across the big part of the lake. Use caution and check the ice thickness often when venturing out. Black Crappie – Good. Bluegill – Fair. Walleye – Fair. Yellow Perch – Slow.

Crawford Creek Impoundment
Ice thickness is around 10-12 inches in most areas. Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers are picking up crappie with minnows and waxworms. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are catching some keepers with sorting.  Use waxworms in 10-15 feet of water. Yellow Perch – Fair.

Moorland Pond
About 1,500 rainbow trout were stocked this winter. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Storm Lake (incl Little Storm Lake)
Ice thickness is around 12-14 inches in most areas. Conditions remain variable; there is open water near the big island, and thinner areas of ice near Stoney Point and the King’s Point area. Watch out for seams in the middle of the lake. Use caution when venturing out and check ice thickness often. All walleye between 19 and 25-inches must be immediately released unharmed at Storm Lake; no more than one walleye longer than 25-inches can be taken per day.  Walleye – Fair: Anglers are picking up some walleye; best bite is during low-light hours. White Bass – Fair.  Yellow Perch – Fair: Anglers are picking up fish; sorting is needed.

Lakes throughout the district have roughly 10-16 inches of ice. Watch out for seams and waterfowl holes with open water on the bigger lakes. Use caution and check ice thickness often. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.


Blue Pit
Ice thickness is 8 to 12 inches. Rainbow Trout – Good. Trout were stocked this winter. 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 0 to 19 inches. Clear Lake has a protected slot on walleye. All walleye between 17 and 22 inches must be immediately released unharmed. No more than one walleye longer than 22 inches may be taken per day. Black Crappie – Slow. Bluegill – Fair: Use a small jig tipped with a waxworm  or a plastic bait near the edge of the rushes or open areas in the vegetation in 2 to 3 feet of water. Walleye – Fair: Use a jigging spoon tipped with a minnow or cut bait in 9 to 10 feet of water. Yellow Bass – Slow: Try a small jig tipped with bait in 8 to 10 feet of water. You have to stay mobile to find fish. Yellow Perch – Fair: Perch are biting in the Farmers beach area in 2 to 4 feet of water. Try fishing near vegetation; use a larger bait to get the bigger fish.

Crystal Lake
Ice thickness is 0 to 19 inches. Bluegill – Slow.

Lake Cornelia
Ice thickness is 13 to 15 inches. Yellow Bass – Slow.

Lake Smith
Ice thickness is 0 to 18 inches. Black Crappie – Slow.  Bluegill – Fair: Use a small jig tipped with waxworms.

Little Wall Lake
Ice thickness is 15 to 17 inches.

Rice Lake
Ice thickness is 0 to 17.5 inches. Bluegill – Slow: Use a small jig tipped with waxworms near vegetation. Walleye – Slow. Yellow Perch – Fair.

Silver Lake (Worth)
Ice thickness is 0 to 17 inches. Bluegill – Slow.

Upper Pine Lake
Ice thickness is 12 to 14 inches. Black Crappie – Fair: Try a small minnow or plastic bait in 12 to 15 feet of water. Best bite is early morning. Bluegill – Slow: Use a small jig tipped with a waxworm.

Aeration systems are running at Clear Lake, Crystal Lake, Rice Lake and Silver Lake. Avoid any open water areas. 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
Ice thickness is around 13 inches. Caution: The lake aeration system is currently in operation, creating a large open hole.

East Okoboji Lake
Most of the lake is fully iced with an average of 16+ inches of ice allowing for safe ATV traffic in most areas. Be cautious of the open holes and seams that still persist. Panfishing has been good out from the Ritz; some sorting is needed. Try heavy tungsten jigs, plastics and baits. Black Crappie – Fair. Bluegill – Fair: Try jigging with tube jigs or a tungsten jig and live bait.

Ingham Lake
Ice conditions very heavily around the lake; most areas have 17+ inches. Caution: The lake aeration system is currently in operation.

Lost Island Lake
Ice conditions vary with an average of 17+ inches. Caution: The aeration system is currently in operation on the east side of the lake out from the nature center. This creates a large open hole in the ice. Yellow Perch – Fair: Lots of sorting may be needed.

Minnewashta Lake
Ice conditions are safe enough to venture with ATVs with an average ice thickness of 16+ inches. The panfish and crappie bite has been fairly good with the recent onset of ice. Black Crappie – Fair: A nice crappie bite can be found with a little movement around the lake. Bluegill – Fair: Try jigging with tube jigs or a tungsten jig and live bait. Pumpkinseed – Fair.

Scharnberg Pond
Trout were stocked this winter; fish should be biting well. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Brook Trout – Good. Rainbow Trout – Good: Trout are biting on a variety of different baits. Try a worm or lure that imitates a minnow.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
The lake is fully iced, with an average ice thickness of 17+ inches. Caution: The lake aeration system is currently in operation. Walleye – Fair.

Spirit Lake
The lake is fully iced; watch out for areas that had open goose holes until recently. Ice thickness is 16+ inches in most places. Black Crappie – Fair: Mostly being caught along with perch; use tube jigs with wigglers or pilkies. Bluegill – Fair: Mostly being caught along with perch; use tube jigs with wigglers or pilkies. Yellow Perch – Fair.

West Okoboji Lake
Ice thickness is 16+ inches in most places; there still are a handful of seams usually running from points. Know where trouble areas are before you venture on or off the ice. Panfishing has slowed a bit; with a little movement on the north end and Little Emerson Bay you may be able to catch a good amount of fish. Try heavy tungsten jigs, plastics or baits. Black Crappie – Fair: Try jigging with tube jigs or a tungsten jig and live bait. Bluegill – Fair: Many anglers have been successful off Triboji on the north end of the lake. Try jigging with tube jigs or a tungsten jig and live bait.

All walleye between 19 and 25 inches must be immediately released unharmed at Big Spirit Lake, East and West Okoboji Lakes, Upper Gar Lake, Minnewashta Lake, Lower Gar Lake and Storm Lake; no more than one walleye longer than 25-inches can be taken per day. Most area lakes have 16+ inches of ice.  Watch out for iced over holes and seams running across the lakes. Be sure you know a safe route on and off the ice. Bring safety essentials like flotation, ice picks and a friend. Area lakes have 3-6 inches of snow coverage. The forecast calls for continued freezing temperatures until next week where highs will be above freezing. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.

NORTHEAST

Cedar River (above Nashua)
Ice thickness is 12 to 16 inches. Use caution when crossing areas with flow. Check ice thickness often. Anglers are catching a variety of fish. Black Crappie – Good. Bluegill – Good: Try waxworms and spikes. Walleye – Fair: Use minnows under a slip bobber with enough weight to get your bait near the bottom.

Decorah District Streams
Don’t forget to purchase your trout fee for 2022. A new lifetime trout fishing license is available for mature anglers. Winter trout fishing is a great time to explore new streams and enjoy opportunities with fewer anglers out. Water clarity is excellent. Be prepared to blend into the background for wary fish. Brook Trout – Fair: Use midge, minnow or leach patterns for fish looking to get more bang for their effort. Brown Trout – Fair: Try spinner or crankbaits near or around structure. Rainbow Trout – Fair: Rainbow Trout are coloring up for their spawning season. Hatchery hold overs remain in the stream teasing anglers. Use small spinnerbaits or hair jigs floating past structure.

Lake Hendricks
Areas around the aerator remain open; use caution. Ice thickness is about 15 inches with 4-5 inches of snow. Few anglers have been out this week. Black Crappie – Slow: Try fishing in the sharp drop-offs. Finicky crappies may bite as you slowly raise the lure. Bluegill – Slow: Use a small jig tipped with waxworm or spike fished near structure.

Lake Meyer
Ice thickness is about 14-15 inches with variable snow depths. Fish activity slowed. Find fish in 12-14 feet of water. Black Crappie – Slow.  Bluegill – Fair: Catching mostly small bluegills. Anglers with cameras see lots of fish looking at bait, but not biting.

Volga Lake
Few anglers have been out as conditions were suitable for a few brave souls. Ice thickness is about 14 inches topped with crusted snow. Check ice thickness often. Black Crappie – Good: Try fishing around cedar tree clusters. Bluegill – Fair: Try fishing around brush piles about 3 feet off the bottom. Best bite is mid to late afternoon.

Weekend temperatures range from 20’s to single digits over night. Breezy. Ice thickness on most waterbodies is 12+ inches. For current fishing information, please call the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.


Alice Wyth Lake
Anglers are catching crappie. Black Crappie – Slow: Locate structure and use electronics to find suspended fish. Use a small ice jig tipped with a waxworm or try a minnow on a dead stick.

Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
Anglers are catching  bluegill. Bluegill – Fair: Try fishing in the evening or early morning for best success with small presentations.

George Wyth Lake
Anglers are catching some crappie; some sorting may be needed. Black Crappie – Slow: Locate structure and use electronics to find suspended fish. Use a small ice jig tipped with a waxworm or try a minnow on a dead stick.

Heritage Pond
Trout were stocked in the fall; some of these stocked trout remain in the lake. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Slow: Try jigging flashy jigs with a blade to entice rainbow trout to take your lure or jig.

Manchester District Streams
Trout streams are in excellent condition. Very clear water conditions; use subtle presentations and approach fish from downstream. Brown Trout – Fair.  Rainbow Trout – Fair.

Martens Lake
Anglers are catching bluegill and crappie. Black Crappie – Fair: Locate structure and use electronics to find suspended fish. Try a small ice jig tipped with a waxworm or a minnow on a deadstick. Bluegill – Good: Best bite is evenings or early mornings with small presentations. Use a small ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished just off of the bottom.

North Prairie Lake
Trout were stocked in the fall; some of these stocked trout remain in the lake. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Slow: Try jigging flashy jigs with a blade to entice rainbow trout to take your lure or jig.

Silver Lake (Delaware)
High catches of small bluegill. Harvest-size fish are rare, but a good location to catch some fish with the kids. Bluegill – Slow: Best bite is evening or early morning with small presentations. Use a small ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished just off of the bottom. Northern Pike – Slow: Try fishing tip-ups with a large shiner or chub.

South Prairie Lake
Anglers are catching bluegill and crappie. Black Crappie – Slow: Locate structure and use electronics to find suspended fish. Use a small ice jig tipped with a waxworm or try a minnow on a deadstick. Bluegill – Slow: Best bite is evenings or early mornings with small presentations. Use a small ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished just off of the bottom.

Ice conditions are generally 6-10 inches on lakes and ponds in east-central Iowa. Remain cautious while ice fishing; avoid areas with water current or discolored ice. Ice fishing has been extremely slow around the Cedar Falls/Waterloo area. Call area/local bait shops for the most up to date reports. Contact the Manchester Hatchery at 563-927-3276 for more information.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9
Lansing water level remains stable near 8 feet. Ice continues to build, but it is extremely variable with snow cover. Use caution and check ice thickness often before crossing sloughs and areas with any current. Notice: Dredging is completed at Lansing Village Creek. The west part of the parking lot remains closed. Black Crappie – Slow: Use jigs tipped with a waxworm a few feet under the ice to mid-depth. Best bite is mid-morning and again later afternoon. Bluegill – Fair: Try a jig tipped with a waxworm about mid-water column to just off the bottom. Anglers are doing a lot of sorting. Release the small ones alive; they will be keepers next year. Northern Pike – Slow: Some northern have been caught in backwaters using shiners on tip-downs. Yellow Perch – Fair: Perch are hanging out in weed edges on the slopes of backwater cuts. Jig a waxie or minnow a foot or two off the bottom.

Mississippi River Pool 10
Lynxville water level remains stable at 614 feet. Ice continues to build, but it is extremely variable with snow cover. Use caution and check ice often before crossing sloughs and areas with any current. Anglers are crossing Wyalusing Slough at Sny Magill to fish down in Methodist Lake. Stay on well traveled paths in areas of potential current.  Black Crappie – Slow: Use jigs tipped with a waxworm a few feet under the ice to mid-depth. Best bite is mid-morning and again later afternoon. Bluegill – Fair: Try a jig tipped with a waxworm about mid-water column to just off the bottom. Anglers are doing a lot of sorting. Release the small ones alive; they will be keepers next year. Northern Pike – Fair: Some northern have been caught in backwaters using shiners on tip-downs. Yellow Perch – Fair: Perch are hanging out in weed edges on the slopes of backwater cuts. Jig a waxie or minnow a foot or two off the bottom.

Mississippi River Pool 11
Guttenberg tailwater has risen slightly to 5.6 feet. Ice continues to build, but it is extremely variable with snow cover. Use caution and check ice often before crossing sloughs and areas with any current. Black Crappie – Slow: Use jigs tipped with a waxworm a few feet under the ice to mid-depth. Best bite is mid-morning and again later afternoon. Bluegill – Fair: Try a jig tipped with a waxworm about mid-water column to just off the bottom. Anglers are doing a lot of sorting. Release the small ones alive; they will be keepers next year. Northern Pike – Fair: Some northern have been caught in backwaters using shiners on tip-downs. Yellow Perch – Fair: Perch are hanging out in weed edges on the slopes of backwater cuts. Jig a waxie or minnow a foot or two off the bottom.

Upper Mississippi River levels remain stable. Fish are not as active mid-winter; move often to find fish. Ice depth in backwaters is averaging more than 12 inches. Ice on areas with current varies; use caution. Walleye slot length limits now apply on the entire Iowa border of the Mississippi River. All walleyes less than 15 inches long and between 20-27 inches must be immediately released. One walleye over 27 inches may be kept.  Combined walleye/sauger daily limit 6/possession 12.


Mississippi River Pool 12
The water level is steady and temperature is near freezing. Water levels are 5.4 feet at the Lock and Dam and 8.0 feet at the railroad bridge. Water clarity is good. Boat ramps are nearly all frozen in. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are commonly being caught in nearly all the marina areas and deeper backwater lakes. Lots of sorting is needed. Catches have been sporadic. Sauger – No Report: The ramps are iced in. Yellow Perch – Fair: Expect to see more yellow perch as winter progresses. We have had excellent reproduction of yellow perch in the past few years.

Mississippi River Pool 13
The water level at the Bellevue Lock is receding at near 5.5 feet. Water temperature is near freezing in the main channel. Water clarity is good. The Bellevue Boat ramp refroze in during the recent cold snap. The viewing of bald eagles at the Bellevue Lock and Dam is spectacular as they are feeding on dead shad. The city parking lot is an easy location to watch the action. Black Crappie – Fair: An occasional report of anglers catching a nice crappie at times. Bluegill – Good: Ice thickness has been good. Anglers are reporting spotty good catches of gills. Rainbow Trout – Good: The kids’ trout pond just north of the DNR station has been stocked with rainbow trout for the winter. You can only keep two trout per child. Sauger – No Report: The Bellevue Ramp is frozen back in again. Yellow Perch – Fair: Lots of small perch are being seen during fish surveys. The future looks bright for decent yellow perch fishing in Pool 13. Some nice catches of yellow perch; fishing has been boom or bust as schools move around under the ice.

Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level is steady at 4.7 feet at the Fulton Lock and Dam, 9.7 feet at Camanche and 4.9 feet at Le Claire. Water temperature is around 33 degrees in the main channel. Water clarity is good. Most ramps on Pool 14 are frozen in; boat launching is not possible. Bald Eagle viewing in the tailwaters has been very good below the dam. Bluegill – Good: Try the Rock Creek area; some bluegills are being reported. Lots of sorting needed. Catches have been spotty. Sauger – No Report: It remains difficult to launch out of frozen ramps. Yellow Perch – No Report: Lots of small perch are in the system; the future looks bright for yellow perch fishing in Pool 14.

Mississippi River Pool 15
The water level at Rock Island is 5.7 feet and is dropping. The water temperature is near 33 degrees. Water clarity is good. Bluegill – No Report: Not a lot of backwater bluegill habitat exists on Pool 15 outside of marina areas. Sauger – No Report: Launching is difficult in Pool 15; boat ramps are frozen in.

Lots of ice fishing throughout the district; make sure you have a safety plan as Mississippi River ice can be unpredictable. Be aware of places with flowing water or where ice looks discolored. Most ice is 10 to 12 inches in the backwaters. The main channel water is low and clear; most boat ramps are frozen in. If you have angling questions please call the Bellevue Fisheries Station at 563-880-8781.


Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 4.76 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and has been fairly steady. As of Feb. 3, one lane was open at the Marquette St. boat ramp. The channel looked to be free of ice up to the Lock and Dam. Ramp conditions may change with colder temperatures in the forecast. Reports of around 8 inches of ice in Sunset Marina. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills are being caught through the ice in Sunset Marina on jigs and waxworms. White Crappie – Fair: Some crappies are being caught through the ice at Sunset Marina on jigs and waxworms.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 4.0 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and has been fairly steady. We have not received any reports if the ramps at Muscatine are open. As of last week, they were still frozen in. Big Timber has 9-10 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 jigs and waxworms. Use caution and check ice thickness often as you move.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 4.39 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and has been fairly steady the past few days. The Toolsboro ramp is inaccessible due to the main channel freezing up. We have not received any ice fishing or ice condition reports for this pool this week.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 2.09 feet at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington and has been fairly steady the past few days. We have not received any ice fishing or ice condition reports for this pool this week.

The tailwaters are inaccessible due to the main channel freezing up. River stages have been fairly steady the past few days. Some ice fishing activity at Sunset Marina and Big Timber. 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 there are ground seeps along some of the steeper shoreline that make thinner spots. Black Crappie – Fair: The bite is sporadic; best bite is just before dark or just before light .

Lake Belva Deer
A couple inches of refrozen snow and ice makes a hard crust over top the good clear ice. Bluegill – Fair: Best bite is after 5:30 to 6:30.

Lake Darling
A good foot of ice with some crust on it.  Water is very clear; you can see jigs on the bottom in 8-9 feet of water.  Black Crappie – Fair: Best bite is just after dark. Bluegill – Fair: The bite during the day is fairly slow; best bite is the last hour right around dark.

Lost Grove Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Bite remains sporadic; it’s fast and furious on some days.

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


Central Park Lake
Ice thickness is reported as 10-12 inches. Black Crappie – Slow.  Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs/waxies. Best bite is morning and evening. Catch crappie up to 8.5-inches. Channel Catfish – Slow.  Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass tend to be small. Redear Sunfish – Slow.

Diamond Lake
Ice thickness is reported as 8-10 inches. Black Crappie – Fair: Most fish are 8-inches. Bluegill – Fair. Channel Catfish – Slow: A few smaller fish have been caught this week.

Lake Macbride
Most of the lake has 10-12 inches of ice. Extremely variable ice depending on location. Black Crappie – Slow: A few fish are being caught on minnows at sunrise/sunset. Bluegill – Fair: Try jigs/waxies fished near structure. Size is marginal at best. White Bass – Slow: Minnows, spoons, and jig/waxies are catching fish if you can find a school.

Otter Creek Lake
The lake is drained for a restoration project.

Pleasant Creek Lake
Most of the lake has 10-12 inches of ice. Black Crappie – Slow: Catch 9 to 12-inch fish in 5-15 feet of water. The bite is good some days and slow others. Bluegill – Good: Lots of smaller fish have been caught on any structure in 15 feet of water or less.

Rodgers Park Lake
Ice thickness is reported as up to 14inches. Bluegill – Slow.

Union Grove Lake
Ice thickness is about 12 inches. The aeration system is on; there is open water near the dam area. Black Crappie – Fair: Try fishing in the brush piles in 10-15 feet of water. Bluegill – Fair: Try fishing around brush in 10-15 feet of water. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Most fish are smaller. Walleye – Slow.

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


Hawthorn Lake
Ice thickness varies; use caution. Bluegill – No Report: Try small jigs over submerged habitat.

Lake Miami
Ice thickness varies; use caution. Black Crappie – Slow: Try jig and minnows in brush piles. Bluegill – Slow: Use jigs and waxworms around brush piles and submerged structure.

Lake Miss (Tug Fork West)
Ice thickness varies; use caution.  Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs tipped with a waxworm around structure.

Lake Sugema
Ice thickness varies; use caution. Geese will create areas of open water. Black Crappie – Slow: Try small jigs tipped with a waxworm around the flooded timber or rock piles.

Lake Wapello
Ice thickness varies; use caution. Black Crappie – Slow: Try minnows in brush piles. Bluegill – Slow: Use jigs and waxworms in brush piles.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 904.60 feet msl; 904 feet msl is recreation pool. Ice thickness varies; use caution and drill test holes. Lake Rathbun has zebra mussels; make sure you properly drain, clean and dry equipment before transporting to another waterbody. White Crappie – Fair: Try minnows in brush piles.

Red Haw Lake
Ice thickness varies; use caution. Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs tipped with a waxworm around habitat structures.

Ice conditions vary across each lake; use caution. Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions about fishing in south central Iowa.

SOUTHWEST

Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake
Rainbow Trout – Fair: Catch trout through the ice with jigging spoons tipped with multiple waxworms or just a hook with live minnow. Start by fishing within 20 yards of shore. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Big Creek Lake
As of Feb. 2, ice thickness is 15 inches. Black Crappie – Fair: Target crappies in the early morning and evenings over brush piles and roadbeds in the middle part of the lake; use glow jigs with waxworms or live minnows. Bluegill – Fair: Catch bluegills over brush in the mid  and lower half of the lake. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: Catch wipers mid-lake over the creek channel with jigging spoons with minnows.

Don Williams Lake
Black Crappie – Slow: Few crappie are being caught during the day. Try glow jigs and waxworms or live minnows in the evenings.

Lake Petocka
Rainbow Trout
 – Fair: Catch trout through the ice with jigging spoons tipped with multiple waxworms or just a hook with live minnow. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

As of Feb. 2, Central Iowa ponds and lakes have ice thickness averaging 12 to 15 inches. For information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers contact Ben Dodd at 641-891-3795 or Andy Otting at 515-204-5885.


Lake Anita
Ice thickness is 12 inches. Black Crappie – Fair: Look for black crappies around deep tree piles. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are catching 7.5 inch bluegills in the campground arm of the lake.

Lake Manawa
A few anglers have reported fishing around Tin Can Dyke and the dredge cuts. Black Crappie – Slow. Walleye – Fair: A few walleyes were caught along Tin Can Dyke with minnows. White Crappie – Slow.

Littlefield Lake
Ice thickness is 12 inches. Black Crappie – Slow: There is a small population of large black crappies. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegill fishing is good around any of the cedar tree piles in the lake. Sorting is needed for larger fish.

Meadow Lake
Meadow Lake will provide good fishing this winter. Find a cedar tree pile for best success. Black Crappie – Fair: The crappie bite picks up after 5 p.m. Bluegill – Fair: Sorting is needed, but anglers are catching 8-inch bluegill in the cedar tree piles.

Orient Lake
Orient has a good bluegill and crappie population with a chance to catch a bonus walleye or yellow perch. Black Crappie – Fair: There is a good population of 8 to 9-inch black crappie. Best bite is late afternoon. Bluegill – Good: Anglers report catching 8-inch bluegill.

Prairie Rose Lake
Ice anglers are finding bluegills in the new cedar tree piles placed in the lake. Black Crappie – No Report: There is a small population of large black crappies. Bluegill – Fair: The DNR placed three new tree piles in the channel north of the pumphouse.

Viking Lake
Viking Lake will provide good bluegill and black crappie fishing this winter. Geese are keeping a portion of the lake open south of the pontoon area. Black Crappie – Slow: Find crappies around deep tree piles that are close to the creek channel. There is a good population of black crappie. Bluegill – Good: Bluegill size has improved with the drawdown. Anglers can sort for 8-inch fish.

Southwest district lakes have 10  to 12 inches of ice. Use caution when venturing out on lakes holding large numbers of geese. For information on lakes in the Southwest District call the Cold Springs office at 712-769-2587.


Green Valley Lake
Ice thickness is about 12 inches of the beach area boat ramp. Geese are keeping a large area of open water between the beach and campground. Black Crappie – Slow: Catch crappie up to 11-inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm or minnows fished near deep cedar tree brush piles. Bluegill – Fair: Use jigs tipped with a waxworm fished near deep cedar tree brush piles to catch bluegill up to 8.5-inches.

Lake Icaria
Ice thickness is about 10 inches. Walleye – Fair: Catch walleye up to 16-inches with minnows fished along the roadbed.

Little River Watershed Lake
Ice thickness is around 11 inches off the main boat ramp and Paul Vonn boat ramp.

Three Mile Lake
Ice thickness is about 13 inches off the main boat ramp. Geese had area of open water on the south end earlier in the winter. Black Crappie – Fair: Use jigs tipped with a waxworm or minnows fished near the flooded timber in the upper end of the reservoir. Walleye – Slow: Try minnows fished along the roadbed or in the flooded timber near creek channels to catch walleye of all sizes.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake
Ice thickness is about 12 inches off the east boat ramp. Black Crappie – Fair: Catch crappie up to 12-inches with a jig tipped with a waxworm or minnow fished along the roadbed. Bluegill – Fair: Try jigs tipped with a waxworm near flooded timber in the upper end of the reservoir.

Mount Ayr district lakes have variable ice conditions ranging from 9 to 13 inches. Use caution and drill test holes. For more information, call the Mount Ayr Fisheries office at 641-464-3108.

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