Fishing Report for the Weekend of February 3rd
We're entering a very good time to get out on the ice and get some fishing done. Just be careful. Here is the Iowa DNR Fishing Report for the weekend of February 3rd.
Cedar River (above Nashua)
Use extreme caution when going on river ice; check ice depths often. Ice depths can change fast. Water level fluctuations are causing air pockets.
Decorah District Streams
Urban catchable trout stocking is in full swing. Check our webpage for dates and locations. Streams are in good condition but flows remain elevated. Gravel roads in our area are in poor condition. Snow depths vary but with this recent cold, snow is very hard and crusty. Brook Trout - Good: Use flies or lures that look like sculpins, dace or suckers. Brown Trout - Good: Anglers have had success using a nymph rig with a scud dropper but most fish were hitting wet flies. Rainbow Trout - Good: Black fly midge or hares ear wet flies are attracting bows fished in the riffles. Slowly pull a black bead head fly with a yellow scud dropper through the upper and lower ends of pools for trout in deeper water.
Ice depths are 8-10 inches with 3 inches of crusty snow on top. All parking lots are open. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the ice. The aerator is on so be careful; there is open water around it. Bluegill - Slow: Use small brightly colored jigs tipped with a spike. Largemouth Bass - Slow: Try a small spinner tipped with a wax worm or minnow head. Black Crappie - Slow: Use small brightly colored jig tipped with a wax worm suspended in the water column.
Lake Meyer currently has 12 inches of ice with a hard crust of snow on top. Water clarity is improving. Fish activity has been variable. You need to move around to find fish. Midday bite is best. Bluegill - Slow: Use a jig tipped with wax worm or red or white spike. Largemouth Bass - Slow: Anglers are seeing fish on cameras; a few have taken a jig tipped with wax worms. Black Crappie - Slow: Crappie are sitting higher off the bottom and are being more finicky.
Turkey River (above Clermont)
Use extreme caution when going out on Vernon Spring impoundment. There are areas of open water; ice depths change fast especially with increased flows. Check ice depths often. Black Crappie - Slow: Find crappie around downed trees and submerged logs out of the current. Use a jig tipped with a wax worm. Walleye - Slow: Find walleye in the deeper holes around current breaks.
Volga Lake is reporting 8 inches of ice but watch for thin spots. Check ice depths often. Use of a spud bar may be needed. Ice is getting a bit poky with freeze thaw cycles. Fish activity is been best around early to mid-morning. Bluegill - Slow: Use small brightly colored jigs tipped with a wax worm. Try along the dam and universal access dock. Black Crappie - Slow: Find crappies suspended in deeper water late season.
Winter continues with daytime temperatures below freezing through the weekend. Use extreme caution when going out on the ice. Check ice depths often especially where there is current or springs. For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.
Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
Reports of anglers catching bluegill yet on Casey Lake. Bluegill - Fair: Concentrate near structure towards the dam portion of the lake for best success.
Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
Reports of anglers catching northern pike and crappie on the backwater areas of the Cedar River. Use extreme caution, especially when entering on to river ice. Crappie numbers are not of many but fish are of quality size. Black Crappie - Fair: Vertical jig with a wax worm or dead-stick with a crappie minnow under a bobber near structure if possible. Northern Pike - Fair: Vertical jig with or set some tip-ups with a live shiner.
South Prairie Lake
Reports of anglers catching bluegill yet on South Prairie Lake. Bluegill - Fair: Look for past angler activity on where may be the best place to fish.
Angling reports have increased but overall ice fishing remains fairly slow. Ice conditions vary on Black Hawk County lakes but most are six to ten inches. Anglers are still taking some bluegill from area lakes in Black Hawk County. Interior rivers remain partially iced over. Area trout streams are in excellent condition, contact the N.E. District Office at 563-927-3276 for more information.