Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Iowa Weekly Fishing Report for January 10th - 16th

Here is the  Iowa DNR weekly fishing outlook for January 10th - 16th. 

Once again I would like to remind our ice anglers to use caution for the next day or so when you get out to an Iowa lake. The surfaces need time to refreeze after these above normal temperatures we've experienced this past week. One more day with a Spring like influence on the ice then we can expect the cold to return.



FriSatSunMonTueWedThu
Jan 11Jan 12Jan 13Jan 14Jan 15Jan 16Jan 17
Weather:Sprinkles early. Overcast. Cool. Passing clouds. Chilly. a mixture of sun and clouds. Cold. a mixture of sun and clouds. Cold. a mixture of sun and clouds. Chilly. More sun than clouds. Chilly. More sun than clouds. Cold.
Description:Sprinkles
early.
Overcast.
Cool.
Passing
clouds.
Chilly.
a mixture
of sun and
clouds.
Cold.
a mixture
of sun and
clouds.
Cold.
a mixture
of sun and
clouds.
Chilly.
More sun
than
clouds.
Chilly.
More sun
than
clouds.
Cold.
High temperature:50 °F43 °F25 °F32 °F38 °F32 °F21 °F
Low temperature:39 °F19 °F15 °F20 °F24 °F10 °F8 °F
Comfort Level:42 °F13 °F9 °F24 °F26 °F-1 °F15 °F

 NORTHWEST

Yellow Smoke Park Lake
Yellow Smoke still has around 7 inches of good ice.  Water clarity is excellent.  However, fishing has been very slow.
 
Crawford Creek Impoundment
Anglers are doing well for nice sized bluegill and crappie.  Most anglers are using wax worms and fishing off the Christmas tree south of the boat ramp in about 13 feet of water.
 
Oldham Lake
Oldham has 7 to 10 inches of ice depending on location.  Fishing has been very slow.  Anglers are marking a lot of fish, but are having difficulty getting them to bite.  Recent surveys show an abundance of 7.5 to 8.5-inch bluegills.
 
Badger Lake
Ice is between 8 to 10 inches depending on location.  Anglers are reporting decent bluegills.
 
Brushy Creek Lake
There is around 10 inches of ice in the near shore areas and in the upper end of the lake.  Avoid the main body of the lake as ice conditions can be quite variable.  There is open water east of the beach. Most anglers are targeting the north end.  Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are biting, but most are on the small side.  Crappie - Fair: Crappies are biting, but most are on the smaller side.
 
Bacon Creek Lake
Bacon Creek has about 7 inches of ice.  Trout fishing has been good with waxies on a small jig head or a Kastmaster spoon.  Trout will be stocked between 1:30 and 2 p.m. on Jan. 12.
 
Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Fishing for walleye seems to have picked up over the last couple weeks.  However, many of are 12 to 14 inches.  The mornings and evenings have been the best with anglers fishing in 4 to 5 feet of water.
 
North Twin Lake
North Twin has around 10 inches of ice.  Anglers are doing okay for yellow bass.  Target the south west portion of the lake.
 
Black Hawk Lake
Black Hawk Lake was renovated in November 2012 so there is no fishing to be had.  Ice is around 8 inches thick.  Waterfowl are keeping a small area open in the Town Bay.
 
Browns Lake
Browns Lake has about 8 inches of ice.  Anglers have been catching some bluegill and crappie, but there hasn't been a lot of size to them.
 
Southwood Conservation Area Pond (east)
The east pond has around 9 inches of ice and the fishing has really turned on.  Bluegill - Good: A lot of 8 to 9-inch bluegills are being caught using waxies and spikes on a jig head.  Most fish are being picked up between 8 and 18 feet of water. Fish in the middle of the water column and raise or lower your bait to the fish when located on the fish finder.  Largemouth Bass - Fair: Some largemouth are being picked up fishing closer to shore. Crappie - Good: A lot of 10 to 12-inch crappie are being caught in the same manner as the bluegill.  The crappies have been preferring waxies and spikes over minnows.
 
Southwood Conservation Area Pond (west)
The west pond has around 8 inches of ice. Fishing in the west pond is slower than the east pond.  Some bluegills and crappie are being caught, but a lot of sorting is required.
 
Arrowhead Lake
Arrowhead Lake has around 7 inches of ice.  Anglers reported catching some 7.5 to 8.5-inch bluegill and a few large yellow bass.
 
Black Hawk Pits
Black Hawk Pit has around 7 inches of ice.  Anglers have been fishing it pretty hard, but are having difficulty locating fish.  Keep moving as the fish are likely stacked into a small area of the pit.
 
Moorland Pond
Moorland Pond was stocked with trout in mid-November.  Anglers should experience good trout fishing through the ice there right now.  The next stocking is scheduled for Jan. 18.
 
For more information or questions contact the Black Hawk Fish Management Office in Lake View at  712-657-2638 .
 
Maynes Grove Lake
6 to 8 inches of ice.
 
Briggs Woods Lake
The ice thickness is around 6 to 8 inches.
 
Interstate Park Lake
8 inches of Ice.
 
Lower Pine Lake
Good sized bluegills are being caught in fair numbers.  Bluegill - Good:
 
Upper Pine Lake
Upper Pine Lake is seeing minimum activity however a few smaller crappies have been caught.
 
Lake Smith
Ice depth is 10 inches plus.  Bluegill - Good: Anglers having good success on bluegills, but some sorting required.
 
Lake Catherine
Ice thickness is 12 inches.  Bluegill - Good: Large bluegills still biting late afternoon at Thorpe Park. 
 
Clear Lake
Ice thickness on the little lake area is 14 to 18 inches. Main lake is around 10 to 15 inches.  The bite is slow in midday. Best bite is in the morning or evening.  Crappie - Good: Most of the crappies are ranging from 9 to 10 inches with a few being reported at 12-13 inches. Some anglers are reporting good success for crappies well past sunset. Most are being caught on minnows. Fish in deeper water; 15-20 feet, or near the drop-offs to those deeper areas.  Yellow Perch - Fair: Anglers are catching modest numbers and an occasional 12-13 incher. A few of the bigger ones have been taken by the Lynne Lorenzen access or close to the deeper water northwest of McIntosh Woods State Park access.  Walleye - Slow: Anglers are catching a few under 14 inches but the larger ones seem to be hard to come by.  Yellow Bass - Good: Anglers seem to be doing better for numbers on the west end of the little lake and by the aerator mid-lake. Yellow bass are being caught around 8 to 15 feet of water.
 
Lake Cornelia
10-12 inches of ice.  Walleye - Fair: Some reports of small walleyes being caught.  Yellow Bass - Good: Lots of 6 to 8-inch yellow bass.
 
Little Wall Lake
Ice 8 to 10 inches. Fishing has been slow. Try fishing in the deeper pockets of the lake with wax worms.
 
Crystal Lake
Bluegills and an occasional Walleye or Largemouth Bass. Fish near the dredged area 8 to 12 feet of water. Bluegill - Good:
 
Bluebill Lake
11 inches of ice.  Bluegill - Fair:   Yellow Perch - Good: Yellow perch still biting good at in 12 to 15 feet of water.
 
For ice condition updates and fishing information in the north central area contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at  641-357-3517 .
 
Big Spirit Lake
Expect to find 10 to 13 inches of ice across most of the lake with ATVs currently being the best means of travel. Northern Pike - Fair: Most pike are being caught by accident on walleye tackle but setting tip-ups with chubs around structure has been producing. Bluegill - Slow: A few gills are being caught in Little Anglers Bay and off the grade.  Try small jigs and being very quite as they are spooky. Yellow Perch - Slow: Look for perch off the ends of structure as well as in the main basin.  Moving to find active fish may be necessary to catch any numbers.  Wigglers, waxies, and minnow heads on either spoons or small jigs seem to be the go to lures.  Walleye - Slow: Action seems to be restricted to dawn and dusk without much of a pattern.   Try spoons and jigging raps tipped with a minnow head. 
 
West Okoboji Lake
There is 6 to 10 inches of ice and ATVs are driving on much of the lake. Be aware: geese kept holes of open water in a few areas, avoid discolored ice and when in doubt turn back or test the ice with a spud.  Northern Pike - Fair: Setting tip-ups in or near weeds is producing a few pike as well as setting them on drop-offs. Bluegill - Slow: Look for bluegills in the bays (Emerson and Millers seem to be the best) in or near standing weeds. Sight fishing has been the most popular method but a few choose to hole hop. Try small jigs tipped with wax worms or wigglers but don't overlook some of the finesse plastics.  Yellow Perch - Fair: Look for perch in 20 feet plus of water along drop-offs or on mudflats. Try spoons tipped with live bait such as wigglers, wax worms, or minnow heads.
 
Lost Island Lake
A few yellow bass, walleye, and perch are being caught but fishing has slowed from earlier in the year.
 
For more information contact the Spirit Lake Hatchery at  712-336-1840 .
 
NORTHEAST
Volga Lake
Volga Lake has 10 inches of clear ice.  Lots of folks have been out and are scattered over the lake.  Fish seem to be hanging around structure in deeper water. Bluegill - Fair:   Crappie - Good: Anglers are finding fish near structure.  Try small teardrops tipped with wax worms. 
 
Lake Hendricks
The lake has 8 to 10 inches of ice.  Anglers are fishing in the bay by the pier and off the point with great success.  The bite has slowed some but should pick up by Saturday.  Bluegill - Good: Bluegills have been found in 8 to 9 feet of water.  Small jigs tipped with wax worms continue to work well.  Crappie - Good: Anglers are catching crappies up to 10 inches in about 8 feet of water using small jigs tipped with wax worms.
 
Lake Meyer
The bite should pick up by the early part of the weekend.  Fish can be found at variable depths.  If you don't find fish in one spot, don't be afraid to move. Bluegill - Fair: Anglers have been fishing in a variety of depths on small jigs tipped with wax worms.  Crappie - Fair:
 
Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
We have received no information regarding fishing on this water body this week.
 
Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
We have received no information regarding fishing on this water body this week.
 
Yellow River
We have received no information regarding fishing on this water body this week.
 
Turkey River (below Clermont)
We have received no information regarding fishing on this water body this week.
 
Cedar River (above Nashua)
Reports of 4 to 9 inches of ice on some of the backwaters and slack water areas are coming in.  Be sure to check ice depths as you go to the spot you want to fish.  Current can make ice depths vary.  The bite has picked up a bit this week.  Bluegill - Fair: Fish are being found about 6 inches off the bottom.  Crappie - Fair: Anglers are using a small jig tipped with a wax worm or spike.
 
Decorah District Streams
Morning midge and afternoon baetis hatches still occur occasionally even as colder weather approaches - #24 dry fly patterns have been successful for trout rising to small surface flies.  Spin fishers using spinnerbaits and roostertails are reporting excellent catches of trout on area trout streams.
 
Don't forget to buy your new fishing license and trout stamp for the year.  Thursday, January 10 is the last day Iowa Resident licenses are valid.  Much of the snow on open ground has melted or will melt with rain forecast for Thursday/Friday.  Ice conditions on area lakes remain good and are averaging 9 inches.  Trout streams remain in excellent condition and are accessible in many instances.  For more information or to let us know what's been biting, contact the Decorah Fish Hatchery at  563-382-8324 .
 
Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
Ice conditions are as 8 inches of good ice across the lake. Fish near structure towards deeper areas of the dam especially during early morning or late afternoon hours.  Bluegill - Fair: Try a wax worm on a small ice jig near sunken brush piles for decent bluegill.
 
Big Woods Lake
Some crappie are being caught  but be cautious of uneven ice on this lake.  Bluegill - Fair: Wax worm tipped on an ice fishing jig has been fair for bluegill.  Crappie - Fair: Try fishing a wax worm or small crappie minnow under a jig, fish heavier jigs in deeper water.
 
Brinker Lake
Anglers are keying in on habitat structures.  Bluegill - Fair: Wax worm tipped on an ice fishing jig has been fair.  Crappie - Fair: Try fishing a wax worm or small crappie minnow under a jig, fish heavier jigs in deeper water.
 
George Wyth Lake
Anglers are reporting 7-8 inches of ice. Fishing has been fair for crappie and bluegill.  Bluegill - Fair: Try a wax worm on a small ice jig near sunken habitat.  Crappie - Fair: Try fishing a wax worm or small crappie minnow under a jig, fish heavier jigs in deeper water.
 
North Prairie Lake
North Prairie Lake was stocked with 1,800 trout on Jan. 5. Rainbow Trout - Fair: Use small, flashy lures jigged under the ice, or ice fishing jigs tipped with a wax worm.
 
South Prairie Lake
Bluegill fishing has been fair near submerged structure. Decent sized bluegills are being caught.  Bluegill - Fair: Try a wax worm on a small ice jig near sunken habitat.
 
Martens Lake
The northwest portion of the lake has been good for fishing, especially for the early morning and late afternoon bite. Bluegill are anywhere from 6.5-8.5 inches. Bluegill - Good: Wax worm tipped on an ice jig in 3 to 4 feet of water near weeds or structure has been good.  Crappie - Fair: Wax worm or minnow tipped on an ice jig fished just under the ice has been fair.
 
Plainfield
Nice sized bluegills are being caught. Move often or locate structure for some good bluegill fishing.  Bluegill - Good: Wax worm tipped on an ice fishing jig has been good.
 
Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
There have been reports of walleye and crappie being caught on the Cedar River in Black Hawk and Bremer counties. Use extreme caution when venturing out onto river ice as conditions may vary greatly and most often not recommended.
 
2012 fishing licenses expire Jan. 10. Be sure to check out the new fishing license options available for 2013. Black Hawk and Bremer County lakes are reporting anywhere from 6-8 inches of good ice, use caution as ice thickness can vary on lakes. For more information contact the northeast district office in Manchester at  563-927-3276  for any additional information.
 
MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9
Lansing river stage is 7.9 feet and expected to remain stable over the next week. Backwater ice thickness is 6 to 10 inches. Bluegill - Good: Nice sized bluegills still being caught in Shore Slough and Village Creek boat ramp but bite is inconsistent. Crappie - Fair: Some nice sized crappies caught in Shore Slough but bite is inconsistent.  Yellow Perch - Fair: A few smaller yellow perch being caught.
 
Mississippi River Pool 10
Lynxville river stage is up slightly to 12.7 feet and expected to remain at this level over the next week.  Ice thickness in 6 or more inches in most areas. The boat ramp at Lynxville is blocked by ice. Depending on how much rain and warm weather we get, crossing Johnsons Slough in the Sny Magill area may become dangerous.  Northern Pike - Fair: Pike still being caught on tip-ups in Norwegian and Bussey Lake. Bluegill - Good: Nice sized bluegills still being caught in Joyce Lake by Harpers Ferry, Norwegian and Ice Lake in the Sny Magill area, Greymore Lake by Prairie Du Chien and Bussey Lake, but bite is inconsistent.  Largemouth Bass - Fair: Bass hitting tip-ups in Bussey Lake.  Crappie - Fair: Some good catches of crappie reported in Sand bar slough in the Sny Magill area as well as Bussey Lake.
 
Mississippi River Pool 11
River stage at Lock and Dam 10 in Guttenberg is 4.2 feet and expected to remain stable over the next week. The DNR boat ramp in Guttenberg is still open but the city ramps are blocked with ice. Ice thickness is 5 or more inches in most backwaters.  Bluegill - Good: Nice sized bluegills biting well in the Mud Lake marina and Zollicofers slough as well as the lower part of Sunfish lake on the Wisconsin side but bite can be inconsistent.  Crappie - Fair: Some nice crappie reported in Zollicofers slough and Sunfish Lake but bite is inconsistent.  Yellow Perch - Fair: A few smaller perch being caught in Mud Lake Marina and Sunfish Lake.  Sauger - Fair: Vertical jigging with a minnow for sauger in the tail waters has been successful.  Walleye - Slow: Walleye are biting on jig and minnow fished along drop-offs in the tail water areas.
 
Although solid ice still remains, warm weather and rains may weaken ice, especially along shorelines and any areas that may have current. Warm weather and rains will also remove the snow cover making ice conditions very slippery.  Ice cleats are recommended until snow returns. Ice thickness is 6 or more inches in most areas but anglers should always use caution in any areas that may have current.  Most boat ramps are blocked with ice limiting tail water fishing access. Water levels remain low on the Mississippi.
 
Mississippi River Pool 12
The Dubuque Lock and Dam water level is 4.9 feet and slightly rising.  The tail water is completely socked in with ice.  Boat ramps are unusable right now.  For ice fishing, good ice should occur in most stagnant backwater areas but take care and never go on any ice if unsure of the thickness.  White Bass - Fair: Small white bass are mixing in with the gills being caught at O’Leary’s Lake and various other backwaters.  Bluegill - Good: Many folks report catching small fish mostly from the various harbors on Pool 12. Some activity is being reported also on Frentress and O’Leary’s lakes.  Fish Trap was reported to be slow.  Crappie - Fair: Some crappies are being caught with the gills but they too have tended to be small. In some place very small 3-inch type fish are pestering anglers.  Sauger - No Report: As of Thursday it was not possible to launch a boat as all ramps were frozen in. Rain may change that situation.
 
Mississippi River Pool 13
Water Level at Bellevue dam is at 4.3 feet which is very low.   The tail water ramp at Bellevue is open. Please take care and not back off the end of this ramp due to low water levels.  Ice fishing is taking place at many locations on Pool 13. Most popular spots have been Michelson’s Landing and Sabula lakes. Bluegill - Good: A lot of bluegills are being reported from various places on Pool 13 but the size has been small.  Most anglers using various tear drop type lures tipped with grubs. Crappie - Fair: Crappie fishing has been excellent all year in Pools 12 to 14.   A few are being taken by ice anglers but most of the reported fish are small. Yellow Perch - Good: Some yellow perch are showing up in the tail waters and the size has been pretty decent.  Sauger - Good: The sauger bite is good with many small fish being reported mainly by anglers using a three-way rig tipped with a minnow. 
 
Mississippi River Pool 14
A water level at Fulton is low at 4.2 feet.  Ice fishing is occurring at Rock Creek and Cattail Slough.   The tail water ramps at Clinton have re-opened as ice has receded.  Bluegill - Fair: Some bluegills are being reported out of Rock Creek and Cattail slough area. Many of the fish are small and you have to catch 50 to keep 12.  Crappie - Slow: A few smaller crappies are also biting at Rock Creek by anglers using wax worms and teardrops. Sauger - Good: A few boats are being reported in the Pool 14 tail water and catching some small sauger on a jig and minnow and three-way rigs.  
 
Mississippi River Pool 15
We have received no information regarding fishing on this water body this week.
 
One of the best ice fishing seasons in recent history is taking shape on Pools 12-15 so get out and enjoy it. Please take care on the ice and never cross into places where you are uncertain of the ice depth.  Low water conditions persist in the district. Expected warm up will play havoc with some spots with current flow. Ice will be very slick at times; some anglers are putting short stove pipe screws in the soles of their boots to help walk on the ice.  
 
Mississippi River Pool 16
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 3.74 feet. Ice fishing is not advisable due to unsafe ice conditions from the recent warm temperatures. A few anglers have been getting out to fish the tail waters and in Sylvan Slough for walleye and saugers.
 
Mississippi River Pool 17
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 2.84 feet. Ice fishing is not advisable due to unsafe ice conditions from the recent warm temperatures. As of Thursday morning the boat ramps in Muscatine are open.  Sauger - No Report: We have received no tail water fishing information for this pool this week but anglers have been able to launch boats in Muscatine to access the tail waters.
 
Mississippi River Pool 18
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 2.54 feet. Ice fishing is not advisable due to unsafe ice conditions from the recent warm temperatures. Anglers have been able to launch boats at the Toolesboro ramp this past week.  Sauger - Good: We have received reports that anglers have been catching some saugers at the dam this past week. Try vertical jigging with minnows or plastics.
 
Mississippi River Pool 19
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 0.77 feet. Ice fishing is not advisable due to unsafe ice conditions from the recent warm temperatures. Anglers have been able to fish the tail waters for walleye and sauger but fishing is being reported as slow.
 
Mississippi River Pools 16-19: With recent warm temperatures there are unsafe ice conditions throughout the pools. There is also rain in the forecast that could further deteriorate ice conditions. Ice fishing is not advisable at this time. Some anglers have been getting out to fish the tail waters for walleyes and saugers. For more fishing information contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at  563-263-5062 .
 
SOUTHEAST

Lake Geode
Thin ice, won’t hold anybody. Don't try.
 
Lake Belva Deer
Ice is 6 + inches thick. Expect to see water on the ice, especially with the forecasted rain and expected 40-50 degree air temps for the next couple of days.  Bluegill - Good: Go early.  The bite seems to kind of wrap up by about 10:30 a.m. Come in the middle of the day and the bite will be really slow.  Crappie - Fair: Anglers are picking up a few while fishing for bluegills in the morning.  There is a better bite for them around dark.
 
Pollmiller Park Lake
Lake has about 5 inches of ice. The warm weather has made the top of the ice kind of sloppy. A forecasted return to cold weather next week should fix that.  Bluegill - Good: Work the brush piles out in deeper water.
 
Lake of the Hills
Ice about 5-6 inches thick. Use caution there are some thinner spots.  Stay clear of the aeration system hole around the boat rental and beach area. Lake of the Hills is the only lake in West Lake Park where you can use live minnows.  Rainbow Trout - Fair: Trout catches are sporadic but if you keep moving and find a spot where they are staying you still should be able to catch a limit.  Bluegill - Good: Fish the deeper brush piles and you'll find the bluegills. Sorting is required for larger fish. Wax worms are the popular bait.  Crappie - Good: Expect to find crappies mixed in with the bluegills.
 
Wilson Lake
Ice is about 5 inches thick.  Rainbow Trout - Good: Anglers are picking up a fair number of trout.  I would work some of the cedar tree piles in the deeper sections of the lake.
 
For more information on the above lakes call the Lake Darling Fisheries Station at  319-694-2430 .
 
Hannen Lake
Ice thickness is about 9 inches. Remember, no minnows are allowed here.  Bluegill - Fair: Look for submerged brush piles. Most fish are 6 to 8 inches. Best results have been in water less than 15 feet.  Crappie - Good: Fish around submerged brush piles in 15 to 20 feet of water. Generally the fish are suspending 10 to 15 feet down. Most fish are about 9 inches.
 
Iowa Lake
There is about 8 inches of ice on the lake. Bluegill - Fair: Fish around submerged brush with a small jig/waxie.  Crappie - Fair: Look for suspended fish around deeper brush or just out roaming the basin.
 
Kent Park Lake
The lake has about 8 inches of ice. Bluegill - Good: Fish early and late in the day around submerged brush piles.
 
Lake Macbride
The majority of the lake is covered with 8 inches of ice.  Bluegill - Good: Bluegills can be caught on most structure but size is usually 4 to 6 inches. Crappie - Slow: A few anglers are finding the right brush piles and catching some 10 to 12 inches crappies. Depths of 10 to 15 feet seem to be producing best.
 
Pleasant Creek Lake
Most of the lake has 8 inches of ice. Bluegill - Fair: Fish along the dam in 15 to 20 feet of water with small jigs/waxies.  Yellow Perch - Slow: A few perch are also being picked up by bluegill fishermen along the dam. Walleye - Fair: Most walleyes are being caught along the dam in 15 to 20 feet of water. They can be caught on bluegill tackle but small spoons are working as well.
 
Diamond Lake
The lake has about 9 inches of ice. Remember, no minnows are allowed here.  Bluegill - Good: Fish brush piles or the creek channel with small jigs/waxies. Most fish are 7 to 8 inches.  Crappie - Fair: Fish around deeper brush piles with small jigs/waxies. Most fish are about 9 inches.
 
Union Grove Lake
Ice thickness is about 9 inches. The aeration system is turned on so caution should be used towards the south end of the lake as there will be open water. Bluegill - Fair: Fish along the bottom next to brush piles.  Crappie - Fair: Look for suspended fish near deeper brush or roaming the basin.
 
Coralville Reservoir
Ice depths are variable but some areas have up to 8 inches.  Crappie - Slow: Most fish have been small at this point. Look for fish around submerged trees, pallet structures, or suspended along steeper rock bluffs.
 
For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at  319-624-3615 .
 
Red Haw Lake
Ice conditions are variable across the lake so use caution if venturing out. The area of open water by the beach and dam has gotten larger with the warmer temperatures and the wind.  There is about 7 inches of ice in the campground bay.  Use small jigs to catch bluegill.
 
Albia (lower)
Ice thickness is about 4-5 inches.  The area of open water near the dam has gotten larger with the warm temperatures and the wind.  Use small jigs tipped with a wax worm for bluegills.
 
Rathbun Reservoir
The lake level is 902.95 feet with 904 feet being normal.  There is still some open water so use caution.  Most of the fishing so far has been in the Honey Creek area and other bays and coves.  Crappies have been biting on small jigs but sorting is required for larger fish.  Don't forget Lake Rathbun contains zebra mussels so make sure to clean, drain, and dry equipment before transporting to another water body.
 
For questions regarding fishing in south central Iowa, call the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at  641-647-2406 .
 
SOUTHWEST

Beaver Lake
Bluegill - Good: Anglers are finding actively feeding bluegills and crappies near the wood structure.
 
Rock Creek Lake
Crappie - Fair: Crappie are being picked up in 10 to 12 feet of water.  The better sized fish are running 10 to 12 inches.
 
Roberts Creek Lake
Crappie - Good: Ice anglers after crappie are doing well on the lower portion of the lake.
 
Big Creek Lake
Bluegill - Good: Anglers are catching good sized bluegills over brush piles.  Crappie - Slow: Some anglers are having fair nights on crappie fishing 30 feet of water using minnows.
 
Hickory Grove Lake
Bluegill - Good: Hickory Grove has about 8 inches of ice.  Ice anglers fishing over pallet and brush piles are doing well on good size bluegills from 7 to 9 inches with an occasional crappie mixed in. 
 
Lake Ahquabi
Bluegill - Fair: Some good size bluegills are being caught on the brush piles.  Good ice fishing brush piles and rock piles can be found out from the steep north shore.
 
Lake Petoka
Rainbow Trout - Good: Rainbow trout that were stocked can now be caught through the ice using wax worms on jigs and jigging spoons or small live minnows.
 
Banner Lake (south)
Rainbow Trout - Good: Rainbow trout can be caught through the ice using wax worms on jigs and jigging spoons or small live minnows.
 
Good ice fishing conditions continue in central Iowa. Ponds and lakes in central Iowa are averaging 10 inches of ice.  For questions on central Iowa lakes and rivers contact Ben Dodd or Andy Otting at  515-432-2823 .
 
Greenfield Lake
Greenfield has 8 inches of ice. The lake is 6 feet low. Use extreme caution when venturing out as geese are keeping a portion on the west side open.  Bluegill - Good: Small jigs and wax worms are catching 7 to 8 inch fish.  Crappie - Fair: Sorting is necessary but anglers are catching crappies up to 10 inches.
 
Meadow Lake
Meadow Lake has 8 inches of ice.  Bluegill - Slow: The bluegill bite was slow this week at Meadow. Fish average 8 inches.
 
Nodaway Lake
Nodaway is 7 feet low. The lake has 8 inches of ice and a good bluegill and crappie population.  Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are being caught using wax worms in 8 to 10 feet of water. Fish range from 7 to 8 inches. Crappie - Fair: The best crappie bite is in the evening just after dark. Fish minnows in 10 to 13 feet of water. Sorting is necessary for the 9 to 10-inch fish.
 
Littlefield Lake
Littlefield has 8 inches of ice.  Bluegill - Good: The bluegill bite was good last week using wax worms. North of the beach in 10 feet of water was a good location for 7 to 8-inch fish.  Crappie - Slow: A few crappies have been caught with wax worms. All sizes are being caught up to 10 inches.
 
Lake Anita
Anita has 8 inches of ice. Geese are keeping a large area of open water near the dam. Anita has 9-inch bluegill and 10-inch crappie.  Bluegill - Slow: Bluegills bite has been slow. The best success has been in the campground arm of the lake.  Crappie - Slow: A few crappies have been caught in the late afternoon on minnows.
 
Willow Lake
Willow has 9 inches of ice.  Bluegill - Fair: Anglers are catching 8-inch bluegills on wax worms.
 
Big Lake (Including Gilbert's Pond)
Rainbow trout will be stocked on Jan. 18. A youth fishing event is scheduled for Jan. 19, pending ice conditions. Rainbow Trout - Slow: Trout can be caught on a variety of ice fishing jigs tipped with wax worms or minnows.
 
Lake Manawa
Manawa has 9 inches of ice.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Catfish can be caught on wax worms north of the beach.  Crappie - Fair: Crappies up to 12 inches are being caught on minnows. The best locations have been Tin Can dyke and north of the beach.
 
Hacklebarney East
Hacklebarney has 8 inches of ice.  Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills can be caught using wax worms. Fish average 8 inches. Crappie - Fair: Crappies are being caught in 18 feet of water using minnows.
 
Farm Creek Lake
Farm Creek has 8 inches of ice. The lake supports a good panfish population.  Bluegill - Fair: Bluegill are being caught on wax worms in 15 feet of water. Fish average 8 inches.  Crappie - Slow: Fish late afternoon with minnows to catch 8to 10-inch crappies.
 
Cold Springs District Farm Ponds
Farm ponds in the southwest district have 7 to 9 inches of ice. Remember to always get permission to fish private ponds.  Bluegill - Good: The deepest part of the pond is usually the best location to start fishing for bluegills.   Crappie - Fair: Larger ponds that support crappie populations have been good. Late afternoon has been the best time to target crappies.
 
Ice conditions are good in the southwest district. Lakes have 7 to 9 inches of ice. For more information call the district office at Cold Springs at  712-769-2587 
 
Lake Icaria
Most of the lake is ice covered.  Anglers are using the area just to the north of the beach and the old roadway under the main arm.  Ice condition will deteriorate over Friday and Saturday.  It should get better after Sunday.  Bluegill - Fair: Anglers are finding some good bluegills just north of the beach in the old creek channel. Crappie - Good: The old roadway on the main arm and creek channel in the lower portion of the lake is producing some crappies.  The fish are suspended at various times of the day.
 
Little River Watershed Lake
The water level is down about 12 feet to allow completion of a shoreline stabilization project.  The fish have been restocked and are growing fast.
 
Fogle Lake S.W.A.
The water level is down about 6 feet to allow boat ramp repairs and crowd the fish to increase predation.  The repairs are complete.  The water level will be allowed to rise as run-off occurs.  Anglers are fishing the flooded trees and sub-merged brush piles for panfish.  Bluegill - Fair: A few medium sized bluegills are coming from the creek channel and flooded trees.
 
Lake of Three Fires
Most of the lake has 4 inches of ice but is getting weaker.  Check often.  Bluegill - Good: Several bluegills are being caught from the tree pile 150 yards north of the center of the dam.  Crappie - Good: Some nice crappies are biting from the cedar tree pile just north of the center of the dam.  Wax worms are working but minnows are best.
 
Sands Timber Lake (Blockton Reservoir)
The lake has been drained to allow the construction of a wetland and shoreline stabilization to be completed.
 
Green Valley Lake
Most of the lake is ice covered. Some areas will be too thin or too weak to support people.  Check the ice thickness frequently.  Bluegill - Fair: Some nice sized bluegills can be caught from the deeper cedar tree piles located just south for the main ramp and immediately north of the center of the dam.
 
Summitt Lake
The spillway replacement project is complete but run-off has not refilled the lake.  Restocking and boating will occur when water levels rise.
 
Three Mile Lake
The water level is down about 4 feet.  The lake is mostly frozen. It is possible a few areas will have ice too thin or too weak to support people.  Check ice thickness frequently.  Crappie - Fair: A few nice sized crappies are coming from the creek channel edges in the upper portion of the lake and from around the deeper tree piles in the mid and lower portion of the lake.
 
Twelve Mile Creek Lake
The water level is down about 3.5 feet.  Ice has formed over the most of the lake.  Some areas will still be too thin or too weak.  Check thickness frequently.  Bluegill - Fair: Anglers are finding some bluegills near the flooded trees near the creek channel.  Start around 10 to 16 feet down.  Crappie - Good: Anglers are finding some nice crappies from around the creek channel of the west shore and the deeper edges of the fish mounds.  Start around 12 to 16 feet down.
 
The  DNR reports most lakes are covered by 4 inches of ice.  The warmer weather and rain have weakened the ice quality. Looking toward Friday and Saturday many areas will be too weak to hold ice fishermen. Next week the cold temps return and should get the ice ready for more outdoor recreation.  Activity is strong and anglers are finding a lot of fish.  Check thickness often and be very careful.
 

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