NewsOutdoors

Saturday Morning Fishing Report: Ice Clearing from Area Shores

Spring Becoming and Outdoor Women Workshop

Looking to learn new skills or dust off the rust? Join us at Camp Io-Dis-E-Ca and enjoy all that spring has to offer! This weekend event, held in partnership with Johnson County Conservation Board is geared to give you skills to spend more time outdoors this year.

Learn how to fish, fly fish and tie flies, kayak, backpack, camp, Dutch oven cook or forage. Our BOW instructors are there to help you along the way.

Find details in the 2024 Spring BOW Catalog.

Register Online Today button

 

NORTHWEST

Arrowhead Lake
The boat ramp is open. Most of the north half of the lake is open water.

Black Hawk Lake
The lake is almost completely ice-free. Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers are picking up crappie from the fish house in Town Bay and in the marina. Bluegill – Fair: Find bluegill in the marina and near the inlet bridge. Yellow Perch – Fair: Fish are being picked up in the marina and near the inlet bridge.

Black Hawk Pits
The lake is ice-free.

Brushy Creek Lake
The lake is still mostly ice covered, but is starting to open up near the beach and along the shore.

Storm Lake (incl Little Storm Lake)
Most of the main lake is ice-free. The marina was open, but the area between the marina and the main lake still had ice. Bel Air boat ramp and the east shore boat ramp are iced in.

Swan Lake
The lake is almost completely ice-free. Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers are having success catching crappie from the fish house using tube jigs. Most fish are 8 to 8.5 inches.

Most area lakes are completely open; a few are holding onto some ice. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.


Clear Lake
The lake is about 50 percent ice-free. Water level is 14.7 inches below crest.  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. Channel Catfish – Slow: It’s a good time to target catfish. Walleye – Slow.

Crystal Lake
The lake is about 70 percent ice-free.

Winnebago River
Water level is 4.63 feet. Northern Pike – Slow. Walleye – Fair: Try a jig head tipped with a minnow along current breaks.

Most area lakes are about 50 percent ice-free. For information on the lakes and rivers in north central Iowa, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.


East Okoboji Lake
Unsafe ice conditionsThe walleye season is closed until May 4Black Crappie – Fair: Use minnows and plastics. Bluegill – Fair. Yellow Perch – Fair: Sorting will most likely be needed.

Ingham Lake
The lake is mostly ice covered; unsafe ice conditionsWalleye – Fair: Anglers have been successful morning and evening.

Lost Island Lake
The lake is mostly ice covered; unsafe ice conditions. Black Crappie – Fair.  Walleye – Fair.

Minnewashta Lake
The walleye season is closed. Black Crappie – Fair. Bluegill – Fair.  Pumpkinseed – Good.

Scharnberg Pond
Trout were stocked recently. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
The lake is mostly ice covered; unsafe ice conditions. Walleye – Fair.

Spirit Lake
Unsafe ice conditions. The walleye season is closed until May 4th. Black Crappie – Good: Minnows and plastics work well. Many nice-sized fish have been seen lately. Bluegill – Fair. Yellow Perch – Good: Find good numbers; may need to sort for size.

West Okoboji Lake
Unsafe ice conditions. The walleye season is closed until May 4th. Black Crappie – Fair: Try small jigs tipped with a minnow. Bluegill – Good. Pumpkinseed – Good. Yellow Perch – Fair: Sorting may be needed.

Area ice conditions have deteriorated extensively making ice fishing impossible. Many shallower lakes have started to open up in areas; shorelines are receding The walleye season is closed on the Iowa Great Lakes until May 4th. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.


NORTHEAST

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
Anglers are catching a few walleye on the Cedar River. Walleye – Fair: Cast and retrieve lead head jigs tipped with plastics and a minnow.

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
We have not received any fishing  information this week. Walleye – No Report: Cast and retrieve lead head jigs tipped with plastics and a minnow.

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
We have not received any fishing  information this week. Walleye – No Report: Cast and retrieve lead head jigs tipped with plastics and a minnow.

Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
We have not received any fishing  information this week. Walleye – No Report: Cast and retrieve lead head jigs tipped with plastics and a minnow.

Interior rivers have opened back up with reports of anglers catching a few walleye. Trout streams remain in excellent condition. For further information contact your local bait shops for the most recent information. Contact the Manchester Hatchery at 563-927-3276 for more information.


MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9
Water level is 8.1 feet at Lansing and is expected to stabilize over the next week. Boat ramps are open. Ice conditions are deteriorating quickly; ice fishing is not recommendedSauger – Slow: Try hair jigs tipped with a minnow in the tailwaters or off tips of deeper wing-dams. Walleye – Slow: Use hair jigs tipped with a minnow in the tailwaters or off tips of deeper wing-dams. Yellow Perch – Fair: Perch are near spawn; the bite is picking up.

Mississippi River Pool 10
Water level is near 613.4 feet at Lynxville and is expected to stabilize over the next week. Ice conditions have deteriorated; ice fishing is not recommended. The Lynxville boat ramp is open; be cautious of ice flows. Sauger – Fair: Nice-sized sauger are being caught on jig and minnow; bite can be slow at times. Walleye – Fair: Slow bite at times; nice fish being found on live bait. Yellow Perch – Slow: Perch are near spawn; the bite is picking up.

Mississippi River Pool 11
Water level is near 5.4 feet at Lynxville and is expected to stabilize over the next week. Ice conditions have deteriorated; ice fishing is not recommended. Water temperature is near 40 degrees.  The boat ramps in Guttenberg are open. Sauger – Fair: Nice-sized sauger are being caught on jig and minnow; bite can be slow at times. Walleye – Fair: Slow bite at times; nice fish being found on live bait. Yellow Perch – Slow: Perch are near the spawn. Expect the bite to pick up as the water temperature reaches into the 40s.

Upper Mississippi River levels have fallen slightly and are expected to stabilize over the next week. The main channel has opened up; many anglers are taking advantage of the early open water tailwater fishing. Results have been mixed with some nice catches of walleye and sauger, but many anglers are searching for biting fish. Expect the bite to pick up as water temperatures rise. Main channel temperatures are climbing to near 40 degrees.


Mississippi River Pool 12
The river is steady at Dubuque at near 5.4 feet at Lock and Dam 11 and 8.0 feet at the railroad bridge. Water temperature is around 39 degrees. Water clarity is good. Northern Pike – No Report: Spawning may be occurring shortly, weeks before the normal spawning season. Sauger – Fair: Most anglers are using a jig and minnow or one eye rig.  Fishing has been good at times this spring for many anglers with many small fish and an occasional keeper being caught.

Mississippi River Pool 13
The water level is steady at near 5.6 feet at Bellevue. Water clarity is good. Water temperature is around 39 degrees. Rainbow Trout – Excellent: The kids trout pond north of the DNR fisheries station is stocked with trout and can provide fun action for kids throughout the winter. If you plan to keep trout, limit yourself to 2 trout per child so we can keep good fishing in the pond throughout the winter. Walleye – Fair: Most anglers are catching small saugers with an occasional keeper mixed in using a jig and minnow rig.

Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level is steady at near 5.2 feet at Fulton, 9.6 feet at Camanche and 4.6 feet at LeClair. Temperature is around 40 degrees. Walleye – Fair: Most anglers are catching small saugers with an occasional keeper mixed in using a jig and minnow rig.

Mississippi River Pool 15 
The water level is steady at near 5.8 feet at Rock Island. Water clarity is good. Water temperature is 40 degrees.

Ice fishing is all but finished on the Mississippi River. Most angling has been in the tailwaters for walleyes and sauger. If you have angling questions, please call Bellevue Fisheries Management at 563-880-8781.


Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 5.80 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and has been fairly steady. Sauger – Slow: Some boats are fishing below Lock and Dam 15 and in Sylvan Slough. Try vertical jigging with minnows or trolling three-way rigs with minnows. Walleye – Slow.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 4.60 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and has been fairly steady. Sauger – Slow: Try vertical jigging with minnows or trolling three-way rigs with minnows. Walleye – Slow.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 4.88 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and has been fairly steady. Tailwater fishing for walleye and saugers is being reported as hit-or-miss. Sauger – Slow: Try vertical jigging with minnows or trolling three-way rigs with minnows. Walleye – Slow: Tailwater fishing for walleyes has been hit-or-miss.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 2.74 feet at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington and has been fairly steady. We have not received any fishing reports for this pool this week. Sauger – No Report: Look for saugers below the Lock and Dam. Try vertical jigging with minnows or trolling three-way rigs with minnows. Walleye – No Report: Look for walleyes below the Lock and Dam. Try vertical jigging with minnows or trolling three-way rigs with minnows.

Tailwater stages have been fairly steady this past week. Main channel water temperature is around 37 degrees. Water clarity is good. Tailwater fishing for walleye and sauger is being reported as slow. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.


SOUTHEAST

Big Hollow Lake
The last of the ice in the boat ramp bay is gone. The rest of the lake has been open water since last week.

Lake Belva Deer
The lake is open water; there was a little skim ice in a couple of the bays earlier in the week.

Lake Darling
Water temperature Wednesday afternoon (Feb. 21) at 2 pm reached 40 degrees.  A couple of boats have been out.

Lake Geode
The lake is open water.

Lost Grove Lake
A little ice is still in some of the most shaded bays.  Wednesday there was One  boat was out Wednesday (Feb. 21), launched from the west ramp and a couple of anglers fishing from the causeway.

Skunk River (Coppock to Mississippi River)
Open water; running about 1/2 bank full.

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


Coralville Reservoir
the lake level is 383.57 feet. The upper end of the lake is ice-free; the wind is chewing up the remaining ice quickly. Channel Catfish – Slow: A few fish are being caught on cut bait around the 380/965 bridge area.

Diamond Lake
The lake is ice-free.

Hannen Lake
The lake is ice-free.

Iowa Lake (Iowa Co.)
The lake is ice-free.

Kent Park Lake
The lake is ice-free.

Lake Macbride
Ninety five percent of the lake is ice-free. All ramps are open; a dock is in at the main ramp and slips are available at the main and opie ramps. Water temperatures are near 40 degrees. Black Crappie – Fair: Use minnows over brush/stumps in 10-15 feet of water. Bluegill – Fair: Try fishing stumps or rock piles in 8-12 feet of water. Walleye – Slow. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair.

Otter Creek Lake
The lake is still empty due to the renovation project; the project is complete and the lake will fill as mother nature allows.

Pleasant Creek Lake
Much of the lake has skim ice; some of the lake is opening up. Boat fishing is not possible.

Wapsipinicon River (Troy Mills to Oxford Junction)
The river and ramps are open. A dredging project is in progress in the Pinicon Ridge backwaters. Walleye – Fair.

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


Hawthorn Lake
The lake is open water.

Lake Miami
The lake is open water.

Lake Sugema
The lake is open water.

Lake Wapello
The lake is open water.

Rathbun Reservoir
The lake is almost completely open with a little cove ice in places. The current lake level is 902.92 msl; recreation pool is 904 msl. Lake Rathbun has zebra mussels so make sure to properly drain, clean and dry equipment before transporting to another waterbody.

Red Haw Lake
The lake is open water.

Area lakes are all almost completely open water. 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 – Good: Use ice fishing panfish jigs tipped with waxworms under a float or cast small plastics, spoons, spinners and blade baits. Trout tend to swim close to shore in depths out to 10 feet. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Big Creek Lake
Big Creek Lake is partially open on the upper half of the lake. Open water is accessible from the 100th Street Boat Ramp. The Marina Boat Ramp is very close to being ice-free.

Des Moines River (Stratford to Saylorville Lake)
Walleye
 – Fair: Good river conditions have created an early season opportunity for walleyes. Cast jigs with twister tails, swim baits or live minnows below the dams and in the deeper pools with slow water.

Lake Petocka
Rainbow Trout – Good: Use ice fishing panfish jigs tipped with waxworms under a float or cast small plastics, spoons, spinners and blade baits. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Terra Lake
Rainbow Trout – Fair: Try ice fishing panfish jigs tipped with waxworms under a float or cast small plastics, spoons, spinners and blade baits. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Triumph Park West
Rainbow Trout – Good: Use ice fishing panfish jigs tipped with waxworms under a float or cast small plastics, spoons, spinners and blade baits. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Most ponds and lakes in Central Iowa are mostly open water.  For information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers contact Ben Dodd at 641-891-3795 or Andy Otting at 515-204-5885.


Lake Anita
The lake is ice-free.

Prairie Rose Lake
The lake is ice-free.

Viking Lake
The lake is ice-free. Channel Catfish – Good: An angler reported catching a 2-pound channel catfish using shad sides.

Lakes in the Southwest District are ice-free. For information on lakes in the Southwest District, call the Cold Springs office at 712-769-2587.


Little River Watershed Lake
The dock is in at the main boat ramp. Channel Catfish – Slow: Catch channel catfish up to 25 inches with cut bait along wind-blown shorelines.

Three Mile Lake
Lake level is 8 feet below normal pool.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake
The dock is in at the main boat ramp. Channel Catfish – Slow: Catch channel catfish up to 25 inches with cut bait along wind-blown shorelines.

West Lake (Osceola)
Boat ramps remain closed due to low water conditions.

Mount Ayr district lakes are ice-free. Water temperatures are in the mid-30s. For more information, call the Mount Ayr Fisheries office at 641-464-3108.

ADVERTISEMENT

Back to top button