O'Brien County's Bell-Times-Courier -

By Iowa DNR 

Northwest Iowa Fishing Report


January 10, 2019

Black Hawk Lake

Most remaining ice is unsafe for travel. Angling activity has occurred in open water from the inlet bridge and the fishing shelter on Ice House Point. Large areas of open water near Ice House Point and in the east basin. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills have been picked up from open water under the inlet bridge with a small jig tipped with waxworm. Black Crappie - Fair: Crappie are being picked up near the inlet bridge. Use a small jig tipped with waxworm.

Brushy Creek Lake

No anglers have been out recently. Most of the main lake is open water. Ice is extremely variable in the northeast arm of the lake. Most remaining ice is unsafe.

North Twin Lake

There are large areas of open water on the lake.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

Large areas of open water mid-lake and near the inlet. Reports of 8-9 inches of ice in the west end. Conditions are extremely variable. Use caution if venturing out on any remaining ice; wear float coats, bring picks and check ice thickness often. Walleye - Fair: Use minnows and jigging spoons during low light conditions in 5-6 feet of water. Yellow Perch - Fair: Try waxworms in 4-6 feet of water in mornings or evenings.

Many lakes in the Black Hawk district are unsafe for ice fishing. Several lakes still have some ice angling going on, but foot traffic only. Use caution and check ice thickness often; conditions are extremely variable with many areas of open water and thin ice. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.

Beeds Lake

Ice thickness is 6 to 8 inches. No fishing activity reported.

Blue Pit

The DNR will stock trout this Saturday, Jan. 12th. A kids fishing event will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Clear Lake

Ice thickness is 8 to 10 inches in the little lake. Use extreme caution if you venture out on the main lake as areas that were open water are starting to freeze over. Yellow Bass - Fair: Start shallow using a small jig or jigging spoon tipped with several spikes or a waxworm. You have to keep moving to stay on fish. Yellow Perch - Good: Lots of small fish are being caught. If you're not going to use the fish you catch, please release them. Black Crappie - Fair: Try a jigging spoon tipped with a minnow head in the early morning. Walleye – Fair: A few walleyes are being caught fishing the rock reefs. Best bite is early morning and evening.

Lake Cornelia

Ice thickness is 6 to 8 inches. A fair number of 6-7 inch yellow bass and a few 9 inch crappies are being caught off the north shore of lake.

Lake Smith

Current conditions are unsafe due to wind and warm temperatures earlier this week.

Lower Pine Lake

Mostly open water.

Rice Lake

Ice thickness is 10 to 11 inches.Yellow Perch - Fair: Best bite is early morning and evening. You have to keep moving to find fish. Walleye - Fair: Dead stick a minnow while you're jigging for panfish.

Upper Pine Lake

Ice fishing not recommended.

For information on the lakes and rivers in the north central area, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.

East Okoboji Lake

Some ice fishing activity observed on the south end of the lake. Bluegill - Good: Numbers of angler acceptable size fish are being caught; sorting is needed with small fish mixed in the catch. Yellow Bass - Good: Move often and drill many holes to stay on the school of active fish; sorting is needed.

Five Island Lake

Yellow Perch - Good: Anglers report limited catches of black crappie and yellow perch; anglers will be pleased by the large size of fish harvested. Yellow Bass - Good: Some activity reported on the lake; you need to search to find active fish.

Lake Pahoja

Bluegill - Recent surveys show good numbers of angler acceptable size bluegill in the lake with large fish over 8 inches not uncommon.

Lost Island Lake

Yellow Perch - Good: Report of fish being caught from the lake with "bonus mixed bag" of bluegill and crappie in the catch. Yellow Bass - Good: Yellow bass activity has picked up with good numbers of fish "on the bite."

Scharnberg Pond

Rainbow Trout - Good: Next trout stocking is Jan. 19 at noon.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)

Extreme open water and thin ice conditions exists on the east side of the lake.

Spirit Lake

Walleye - Good: Angler acceptable size fish are being caught; best action is half hour before sunset to half hour after sunset. Yellow Perch - Good: Numbers of angler acceptable size fish are being caught; sorting is needed as numbers of small fish will also be in the catch. Bluegill - Good: Report of a mixed bag of bluegill and crappie being caught from the Anglers Bay and Hales area.

Trumbull Lake

Yellow Perch - Fair: Report of fish being caught from the lake; anglers are very pleased with the quality of the fish caught.

Virgin Lake

Walleye - Good: Good opportunities to catch fish averaging 16 inches. Yellow Perch - Good: Fish averaging 8 inches are common.

West Okoboji Lake

Bluegill - Good: Report of anglers catching good numbers of bluegills.

Foot or ATV traffic at this time; no vehicles as of Jan. 10 on the lakes. Mild temperatures again are in the forecast for the Iowa Great Lakes. For more information throughout the week, contact the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.


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