For lake locations, maps and other information, go to www.iowadnr.gov/Fishing/FishingReports.aspx
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For current information, contact the district fisheries office at the phone number listed at the end of each district report.
There is still open water in the middle, but the hole is getting much smaller. Most of the rest of the lake has 4-5 inches of ice.
Lake Belva Deer
Not too many anglers out at the beginning of the week. As always the bite is from sun up to about 10 a.m., and then around the last hour of daylight. Bluegill - Good: Work near the bottom out in 20 to 23 feet of water around the flooded trees and the old creek channel. Crappie - Good: Look for the crappies to be about two feet higher than the bluegills.
Pollmiller Park Lake
Bluegill - Good: Work the deeper brush piles down from the boat ramp towards the dam.
Lake of the Hills
Very few anglers out earlier this week. Numbers are starting to pick back up with the nicer (relatively) weather. Remember, Lake of the Hills is the only lake in West Lake Park where live minnows are allowed for bait. Rainbow Trout - Fair: Trout fishing is good if you can find where they are holding. The problem is finding that location. Anglers who know the spots are catching fish. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills make up a majority of what is being caught. Small ice fishing jigs tipped with wax worms fished around the deeper brush piles will get you a batch.
Use caution on this smaller lake in West Lake Park as the ice thickness is variable. Live minnows cannot be used as bait. Crappie - Good: This lake has the deep water running down the middle along an old gully; work this area and you can probably catch a nice batch of crappies.
Wilson finally has some ice; 5-6 inches thick. A few anglers have been out but no reports yet.
Big Hollow Lake
The ice has finally gotten good; 5 1/2-6 inches. Bluegill - Good: Look for the bluegills out along the old creek channel along the upper two-thirds of the lake. Crappie - Good: The anglers are finding the crappies now. Minnows seem to be working well.
For more information on the above lakes call the Lake Darling Fisheries Station at 319-694-2430.
Remember, no minnows are allowed here. Bluegill - Fair: Size has been small, but occasionally a larger fish is caught. Fish around brush with a jig/waxie. Crappie - Slow: Look for suspended fish in open water. Fishing early and/or late increase your odds of success.
Bluegill - Good: Most fish have been on the small side. Fish around brush with a jig/waxie. Crappie - Fair: Good reports of crappie are coming in. Most fish will be about nine inches. Look for suspended fish in open water or around sunken brush.
Kent Park Lake
Bluegill - Fair: Fish around brush piles with a jig/waxie. Bluegills up to nine inches are available here. Crappie - Slow: Try around the brush with jigs/waxies as well. Most fish are about nine inches. Early and late has been best.
Most of the lake has six inches plus of ice. Bluegill - Fair: Fish a jig/waxie around brush, stumps, or rock. Size is marginal with most fish about 5-6 inches. Crappie - Fair: Most fish have been smaller black crappies. A few nicer white crappies are being caught occasionally. Anglers are trying both rock and brush piles. The south arm and around the main ramp have been the most popular. Walleye - Slow: A few smaller walleyes are being reported.
Central Park Lake
Bluegill - Slow: Use a small jig/waxie around brush. Largemouth Bass - Slow: Some bass are being picked up by panfish anglers.
Pleasant Creek Lake
Most of the lake has six inches plus of ice. Bluegill - Fair: The area down by the dam has been producing best. Yellow Perch - Fair: Anglers are reporting fish up to 10 inches being picked up around brush on jig/waxies. Walleye - Slow: In the evening, fish over humps and roadbeds with spoons or minnows.
Remember, no minnows are allowed here. Bluegill - Good: Look for fish around brush. Try a jig/waxie for 6 to 8-inch fish. Crappie - Fair: Look for suspended fish around brush or open water. Use a jig/waxie for 8 to 10-inch fish.
Otter Creek Lake
Reminder, no ATVs are allowed in the park or on the ice. Bluegill - Fair: Try around brush in 10-15 feet of water. Use a small jig/waxie for fish up to nine inches. Crappie - Slow: A few marginal sized fish are being taken around brush on jigs/waxies. Yellow Bass - Fair: Most fish are 7-10 inches. Try a jig/spoon tipped with a waxie/cutbait near the bottom. Look for these fish around 20 feet deep.
Union Grove Lake
Most of the lake has 8-10 inches of ice. The aeration unit was turned on Jan. 3. There is open water towards the dam surrounded by Thin Ice warning signs. Bluegill - Fair: Crappie - Slow:
There are ice thicknesses up to 10 inches, but other areas may have much less. Use caution if venturing out. Crappie - Fair:
For more information, contact Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.
Ice thickness reported to be 8-9 inches. Anglers have been catching some bluegills and a few crappies. Sorting is needed for larger fish.
Red Haw Lake
Anglers report about 8-9 inches of ice. Anglers have been using small jigs tipped with a wax worm to catch bluegills. Fish in 19-20 feet of water.
Ice thickness are reported as good. The majority of the anglers have been on Tug Forks West and have been catching some bluegills. Bluegill - Fair: Use small jigs tipped with a wax worm.
Thicknesses of 5-9 inches of ice have been reported. Fishing pressure has been light. Try small jigs tipped with a minnow under a bobber around underwater structure. The current lake level is 904.24 feet. Don't forget Lake Rathbun contains zebra mussels so make sure to clean, drain, and dry equipment before transporting to another water body.
If you have other questions regarding fishing in south central Iowa please call the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406.