WEEKLY FISHING REPORT: Walleye Season Opens On Iowa Great Lakes Saturday


01 May

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.

The way we interact with others may be a little different right now with Iowa's current State of Emergency. The Iowa DNR has made adjustments to protect the health and safety of state employees, the public, and our angling community.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t go fishing. Stay safe when fishing this spring with these tips:

  • Try a new fishing spot — if your regular fishing location is popular and busy, try out a new one where less people are fishing. 
  • Once you find your spot, keep at least 6 feet of distance between you and other groups.
  • Stick with your immediate family, but keep groups to fewer than 10 people.
  • Bring lures from home instead of buying bait to minimize your interaction with other people.
  • Bring hand sanitizer and wash your hands often.

Black Hawk Lake
The outdoor walkway on the fish house structure in Town Bay is open to anglers; the indoor portion of the structure remains closed to the public due to physical distancing guidelines. Look for the bite to pick up as temperatures warm and fish move close to shore. 
Yellow Perch - Good: Anglers are catching perch in Town Bay. Sorting is needed, but keepers are 8-10 inches.
Black Crappie – Fair: Look for crappie fishing from shore to pick up as water temperatures approach 60 degrees.
Largemouth Bass – Fair.
Walleye - Fair: Shore fishing can be productive this time of year. The beginning of May is usually a great time of year to catch walleye on Black Hawk Lake. Use twisters, crankbaits and leeches or crawlers fished under a bobber.

Brushy Creek Lake
Black Crappie - Fair: Expect the crappie to move close to shore as water temperatures approach the upper 50s. Use a small piece of crawler or minnow on a jig in 5-10 feet of water near rocks or structure.
Largemouth Bass - Fair: Anglers are picking up a few on spinner baits and plastics in areas near submerged structure.
Yellow Perch - Fair: Try crawlers on a small jig in 5-10 feet of water. Some is sorting needed.
Walleye – Fair.

North Twin Lake
Fish anywhere with structure near shore as water temperatures continue to warm.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Fishing remains productive from shore and in the main lake. Storm Lake has a daily limit of 3 walleye and all 17- to 22-inch walleye must be released; and no more than one walleye longer than 22 inches may be taken per day.
Black Crappie - Fair: Use crawlers and minnows on a small jig fished near shore, in the marina near the inlet and along the north and east shore of the main lake.
Walleye - Fair: Walleye fishing has been productive. Pick up walleye in the marina from shore and also in the main lake. Use a twister, crankbait and a leech or crawler fished under a bobber.
Yellow Perch – Fair: Pick up perch along shore in the marina and north and east shores.
White Bass -Good: Anglers are picking up white bass from shore. Use twisters, crawlers or crankbaits in the marina near the inlet and north and east shores in the main lake. 

For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.

East Okoboji Lake
The Walleye Season is closed; it opens this Saturday, May 2nd.
The water temperature is 50 degrees. There has been a fair panfish bite in many of the bays and harbors, in and around boat hoists and docks.
Bluegill – Good: Large schools have been found gathering around hoists and docks.
Black Crappie – Fair.
Yellow Perch – Fair.

Lost Island Lake
Yellow Perch – Fair.
Walleye – Fair.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Get on the walleye bite at Silver Lake while the season is closed for the Iowa Great Lakes until this Saturday, May 2nd.
Walleye – Good.

Spirit Lake
The Walleye Season is closed; it opens this Saturday, May 2nd. The water temperature is 49 degrees.
Bluegill - Good: Large schools have been found gathering around hoists and docks.

Trumbull Lake
Yellow Perch - Fair: Size quality is outstanding with some sorting. Use jigs and minnows or wigglers in the main lake.

West Okoboji Lake
The Walleye Season is closed; it opens this Saturday, May 2nd. The water temperature is 50 degrees. A good spring bass bite has been observed in canal areas, as well a good panfish bite in various harbors and around docks and hoists. 
Bluegill - Good: Large schools have been found gathering around hoists and docks.
Black Crappie - Fair.
Smallmouth Bass - Fair.
Largemouth Bass - Fair:

The Walleye Season opens this Saturday, May 2nd for Spirit Lake, East Okoboji Lake and West Okoboji Lake. All local boat ramps are in and open for use. Iowa Great Lake water temperatures range from 49 to 55 degrees. The bite should pick up as temperatures continue to rise. This week’s extended forecast is temperatures in the 60°’s to upper 70’s. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.

Clear Lake
The water temperature is in the mid-fifties.
Channel Catfish - Good: Use chicken liver or cut bait fished on the bottom. Best bite is after sunset.
Walleye - Good: Anglers are having success drifting fishing jigs and minnow near structure or vertical jigging a minnow on the rock reefs. Fish are biting throughout the day, but the best bite is late afternoon as the water warms.
Yellow Bass – Good: Yellow bass are being caught from the jetties. Boat anglers should try fishing the edge of the vegetation on the north shore.
Black Crappie – Slow.

Crystal Lake
The courtesy dock at the boat ramp and the fish clean station are in.

Eldred Sherwood Lake
The park gates are closed. Fishing access is walk-in only.

Little Wall Lake
Channel Catfish - Fair:  Use chicken liver or cut bait fished on the bottom. Best bite is after sunset.
Black Crappie – Slow.

Lower Pine Lake
Popular fishing areas become crowded in the afternoon and evening; fish in the morning to avoid crowds.  Bluegill - Good: Shore anglers are catching good numbers of 4 to 7 inch fish.
Black Crappie – Good.
Largemouth Bass – Fair.
Channel Catfish - Fair: Try chicken liver or cut bait fished on the bottom near the spillway. Best bite is after sunset.

Silver Lake (Worth)
The courtesy dock at the boat ramp is in.
Bluegill – Slow.

Upper Pine Lake
Popular fishing areas become crowded in the afternoon and evening; fish in the morning to avoid crowds. The fish cleaning station is unavailable at this time.  
Bluegill - Good: Shore anglers are catching good numbers of 4 to 7 inch fish.
Largemouth Bass – Fair.

Winnebago River
The river level continues to drop. Try a minnow or crankbait fished along current breaks.Use a crawler fished on the bottom for suckers.
Northern Pike - Fair.
Shorthead Redhorse – Fair. 

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

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