The Iowa Guide
The Premier Iowa Great Lakes Fishing Guide
October 31, 2013
Spirit Lake water temps are down to 44 degrees and visibility is about 4 feet. Today I watched a walleye eat my jerkbait right at the boat. It's not crazy good just yet but everyday it seems to get better for both walleye and smallmouth. A few nice pike are showing themselves also. Some green weeds near rocks is the key locale with jerkbaits being the my best presentation.
April 7-8, 2013
The ice is off Spirit Lake, but Okoboji still has some ice. In 4 1/2 hours over two days hair jigs and XRaps put 28 smallmouth in the boat.
Spirit Lake-April 13, 2013
The water temp dropped a couple of degrees in the past week but that didn't stop Ethan & Elyssa from catching some nice smallmouth. XRaps and hair jigs fished near and over deep rocks is the key. The walleye spawn is in full swing.
April 27, 2013
It was an absolutely beautiful day for Chris and his sister Nicole, two self-proclaimed novices. Jigs tipped with crawdad imitators have been the key lately and this isn't the easiest bite to learn. Most people want to fish too fast instead of just a slow drag and shake. Chris caught on quickly and boated 13 nice smallmouth. Nicole didn't catch on as fast but was soon in the game and fought numerous smallie to the boat. Water temp: 47
April 29, 2013
Nick from Omaha made his first trip up this year. The weather and fishing were wonderful. We targeted smallmouth and caught plenty. We also couldn't avoid
the walleye. Rock bars in 6 to12 feet were holding both species. The fish hit jigs tipped with creature bait, and Power Minnows. XRaps and Flicker Shads were effective also. Water temp 50 degrees.
I went to W. Okoboji by myself yesterday and didn't fair so well. The water was still cold and very clear. For those planning on fishing West for walleye opener don't plan on sleeping.
April 30, 2013 - Spirit Lake
Phil and Ken are in town to do some work at Wal-Mart but had a few spare hours to do some fishing. We concentrated on rock points, 6-10 foot deep, looking for smallmouth bass. It took a couple of points to find one with more smallies than walleye. The fish only wanted #10 XRaps tonight, they wouldn't touch anything else. The total for the evening was 15 smallmouth bass and around 12 walleye, with one 24 incher. Pretty good for three hours. Water temp. 50 degrees
May 5-6, 2013 Spirit Lake
The lake is very clear with visibilty of 8-10 feet. The smallmouth are biting well. Steve and Jim took advantage of that and put 30 scrappy fish in the boat on jigs and crawdad baits. Big fish have been a little scarce lately but Al Kunz had a nice 19 /2 incher on the 5th. Water temp. 50
Walleye Weekend saw terrible weather but some nice fish were still caught. Trolling Flicker Shads and Rapalas on W. Okboji and Spirit Lake during the middle of the night was the most effective.
May 12, 2013
Berkley managers from Maylasia, Steve, and from Japan, Kuni, are in town for meetings and decided to get in some fishing. Smallmouth bass were the species of choice and a great choice it was. We boated around 40 fish with Steve taking bragging rights with a 20 1/4 inch Iowa Master Angler fish. Flicker Shads #6 size worked as a jerkbait were hot. Also working well were a 1/4 oz football jig tipped with a small creature bait and #10 XRaps.
The water remains very clear and the walleye are still on their night patrol. Water temp. 50 degrees.
Friday the 17th was a great day of fishing. Jim and Dawn caught around 50 smallmouth and a 1/2 dozen walleye with one of keeper size that became a delicious shore lunch. The 18th provided fair fishing with Scott getting a 20 1/2 inch Iowa Master angler Smallmouth bass and his brother Thad had a 23 inch walleye. The evening trip was ok with a few smallies and 7 slot walleye. The 19th the morning was tough but in the afternoon Nick caught his 1st muskie and we had some smallie action.
The best walleye action has been on a slow death hook with a nightcrawler in 18-19 foot. The smallmouth have been hitting 1/4 jigs tipped with a 4" Gulp Alive Minnow and #10 XRap.
May 25-26, 2013
The walleye bite has gotten much better. On Saturday the Snyder family took advantage. We put about 25 nice walleye in the boat all between 17 & 21 1/2 inches. Fishing in 17-19 feet of water with 1/4 oz jigs tipped with 4" Gulp Alive Minnows is the best presentation with leeches on a plain snell also working. We had a few nice pike up to 6 lbs also. Sunday was a bit tougher as the 'eyes weren't as cooperative, but we got a few and threw in a couple smallmouth to boot. The constant storms have slowed the smallmouth bite.
Spirit Lake-June 3, 2013
The fishing has been fair lately. The walleye are spread out. The last two outings have seen catches
of 'eyes in 8' and 20'. Jigs tipped with Gulp Minnows and leeches on a bare hook are best.
Most of the smallmouth seem to have spawned. XRaps are still taking some fish but tube jigs are producing better.
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June 8, 2013 Spirit Lake
Walleye fishing has been good this past week. The weeds are starting to grow and walleye are around those weeds. Trolling Flicker Shads and jigging with 4" Power Minnows is working to extract the 'eyes
from the weeds. The basin bite is still happening. Trolling with live bait rigs i.e. spinners, slow death hooks, and leeches on a bare hook are the keys.
June 16, 2013
The fishing remained good in the basin catching walleye and pike in 18-20 foot. Pulling live bait, leeches & crawlers, behind bottom bouncers as well as trolling cranks was productive. Today that bite slowed and we moved into 12-14 foot outside of emerging weedlines and caught nice fish, including a 24 inch walleye and a beautiful pike. Jigs with 4" Gulp Alive Minnows and live bait were productive.
June 23, 2013
The largemouth bass fishing on West Okoboji has been fantastic. Casting 1/8th oz jigs tipped with 3 & 4 inch Berkley Pro Tubes and 4 inch Power Minnows has been key. Offshore humps that are connected to a point are holding fish.
Over on Spirit Lake the the walleye fishing remains good. Live bait rigs with leeches & nightcrawlers, plus jigging with 1/4 oz jigs tipped with 4 inch Gulp Alive Minnows outside new weedlines brings walleye to the net.
June 27, 2013
Pulling spinners and slow death rigs over the weed tops is making for excellent walleye fishing right now. At the same time I've been snap jigging a 1/4 oz jig tipped with 4" Gulp Alive minnow on 10 pound FireLine. Do this 20 to 30 yards behind the boat as you troll the bait rigs. There are some nice pike mixed in so expect a few bite offs.
July 10, 2013
The bass fishing on West Okoboji remains good. Jigs tipped with Berkley 5" Shakey Worms are taking good numbers of largemouth and some smallmouth bass. A top water bite is just starting to develop over the weeds.
On Spirit Lake the walleye fishing has slowed. A Slow Death hook with 1/2 a nightcrawler fished in the 15-19 foot range is still putting some fish in the boat.
August 26, 2013
The bass fishing remains pretty good on West Okoboji. Fishing deep weed edges along humps and points are the key locales. Soft plastics like Berkley Havoc Devil Spears and Power worms are producing. Spinnerbaits are also putting some bass in the boat and taking some northern pike. The bluegill are still cooperating in the 17-25 foot range along the weed edge. If you can find suspended 'gills out over 30-40 foot these are often the biggest fish in the system. Be kind and don't remove all these big fish as they are important to continued growth of the other bluegills.
I haven't fished Spirit Lake lately.
September 7, 2013
The bass fishing is still going strong on West Okoboji. A few more smallmouth(see Fish of the Week) are showing up with the largemouth. Weededges and rockpiles are the key structures. Rubbber skirted jigs tipped with Havoc Devil Spears or Berkley Chigger craws draw strikes. A topwater bite happens from time to time so have a walking bait ready if you see surface action.
The bluegill bite is still good fishing deep weed edges. Belgian worms below a slip bobber or on Shuck's Jigger Spoon are putting big gills in the livewell.
October 11, 2013
The water temperature is finally below 60 degrees and the fish in Spirit Lake are starting to respond. Both smallmouth and walleye are showing up on rockpiles when the wind blows. Casting diving cranks that will get down and crash into the rocks triggers strikes. In the calm lowlight periods smallmouth are hitting topwater. What a blast! The trolling bite in the basin is still hit or miss but mostly miss.
The bluegill and bass are still going good on W. Okoboji. Redworms below a bobber in 20+ feet is the key for bluegill. Bass are eating crankbaits.
October 19, 2013
The fishing is fair on Spirit Lake as the water has cooled to 52 degrees and is starting to clear nicely. This means the jerkbait bite is starting for both smallmouth bass and walleye. Working rocks near weeds is the prime location.