Fishing Report for New Year’s Weekend
Nothing says 'Happy New Year' like a day of fishing. We'll help you catch what you can with the Iowa DNR's weekly fishing report for New Year's weekend.
Cedar River (above Nashua)
A few anglers have been braving the backwaters and the impoundments. Use extreme caution when going on river ice. There is no such thing as safe ice. Seven inches of ice have been reported in places. Bluegill - Fair: Use a small jig tipped with a spike or wax worm. Black Crappie - Fair: Find crappies around submersed trees or logs. Use small jigs tipped with wax worms.
Decorah District Streams
Trout streams are running crystal clear and continue to fish well. Parking lots are not plowed in the winter; use care when parking on the side of the road. It is very pretty along the trout streams this time of year, but be ready to walk through about 5 plus inches of snow. A spinner or small crank bait will catch trout. 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: Find rainbow trout hiding in the upper and lower ends of pools. Dance a meaty looking fly or lure in these areas and wait.
All parking lots are now open. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the ice. The aerator is on so be careful; there is open water around it. Ice depths are 4-6 inches with snow on top. Bluegill - Slow: Anglers are starting to catch nice bluegills using small brightly colored jigs tipped with a spike. Largemouth Bass - Slow: Use a small spinner tipped with a wax worm. Black Crappie - Slow: Crappies are biting. Try a small brightly colored jig tipped with a wax worm near the bottom.
Lake Meyer has about 5 to 6 inches of ice, but should have more by the weekend. Snow depths vary depending on drifts. Water clarity is excellent. Fish are active in the afternoon and evenings. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are taking a jig tipped with wax worm. Largemouth Bass - Slow: Anglers report seeing fish on cameras, but they are not interested in bait. Black Crappie – Slow.
Turkey River (above Clermont)
Use extreme caution when going out on Vernon Spring impoundment; check ice depths often. Ice depths vary greatly in areas with current. Black Crappie - Slow: Find crappie around downed trees and submerged logs out of the current. Use a jig tipped with a wax worm.
Volga Lake has 4-6 inches of ice with snow on top. Windy conditions has caused some drifting of snow. Use caution when going out on new ice. Bluegill - Slow: Use small jigs tipped with a wax worm. Black Crappie - Slow: Find crappies around brush piles early season.
It looks like Northeast Iowa is in for some mild weather over the next week and into the weekend. Use extreme caution when going out on the ice this early in the season. Rain, snow and mild temperatures over the weekend may have weakened the ice. Check depths often especially where there is current or springs. For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.
Big Woods Lake
Bluegill – Fair. Black Crappie – Fair.
Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
Fishing has slowed, but is still decent. Bluegill are spread out and not necessarily associated with structure. Bluegill – Fair. Black Crappie – Slow.
Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
River ice conditions are very questionable. Ice fishing is not recommended until river levels stabilize and cold weather returns.
George Wyth Lake
George Wyth has about 6-8 inches of ice; use caution when heading onto the ice. Bluegill – Fair. Black Crappie – Fair.
Manchester District Streams
Trout streams are in excellent condition and are open. With air temperatures at or near freezing, it is a great time for winter trout fishing. Expect to catch rainbow trout stocked late in the fall, as well as post-spawn brown trout in most streams. Streamers, spinners and crankbaits are the most consistent baits during this time of year. Fish can be skittish this time of year, so avoid walking in the stream and approach fishing spots from downstream. Rainbow Trout – Good. Brown Trout – Good.
North Prairie Lake
North Prairie Lake was stocked with about 1500 trout during mid-October; anglers are now having good luck catching trout through the ice using small jigs or spoons. Rainbow Trout – Good. Channel Catfish – Fair.
Plainfield has been receiving some pressure. The bite is not hot, but a few quality bluegills have been caught. Bluegill – Fair.
South Prairie Lake
Bluegill – Fair. Black Crappie – Fair.
Ice conditions in the Manchester District are generally fair with about 6-8 inches of decent ice. Ice edges may be poor due to recent rainfall and melting. Some larger water bodies may still have poor ice that should be avoided. Rivers and streams are generally in good condition, but are high for this time of year. Fishing has been slow for the past several days given strong weather fronts that have moved through the area. Fishing is expected to improve with more stable weather this week. For further information, call the N.E. District Office at 563-927-3276.