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rainylakefisher

Gulp Alive - My Opinion

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I was anxious to try the Gulp Alive product as a subsitute for live bait as I really like the idea of having it always there, not having to stop at the bait shop, and the fact it lasts more than one fish. From my experience with Crane Lake walleyes this past weekend, I'll still be stopping at the bait store!

As background, the fishing was steady and I only switched to Gulp Alive after noticing the real minnows probably wouldn't last. I switched to a 2-1/2" Gulp in the black and silver on a 1/8 oz jig in the same color on which I had been catching many 10-15" walleyes.

It quickly became obvious the fish would strike the Gulp, but would not hold it like the real minnows. Using real minnows, you would feel the fish grab hold, release the line for a second or two, and then real up slack and set the hook. They almost always still had the bait. With Gulp, the fish would strike, but not be there after giving them slack and a few seconds to munch on it. The fish I did catch on Gulp were quick hook sets before they could drop it.

To me, and this is certainly only my opinion based on pretty strong evidence, the Gulp is not as good as live bait and the fish could tell something was different. I think it can produce some fish, especially on spinner rigs or other more aggresive presentations, but for jig fishing I'm not convinced. I haven't tried the leeches yet, but have heard better reports on that product. Anybody else notice similar results?

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I have only been using Gulp Alive off the dook catching Blue Gills. I have noticed that I do not catch quite as many as the neighbors, but I do catch consitantly larger fish. for what I am using them for (relaxing on the dock in the evening). I think that they work just fine, but I would not say they are as good as live bait.

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No I haven't noticed similar results, maybe the aren't a replacement for live bait, (it's a marketing ploy) but they are a good replacement when live bait isn't readily avalible.

Usually when I jig I don't feed any line or pause though...that may have been your problem.

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Up to this point, I'm not sold on Gulp Alive because I haven't caught a lot. But what I have noticed that you mentioned they weren't hitting it hard enough, I noticed the exact opposite. When I did get bites, those fish were NOT letting go. Wasn't fishing walters though. I'd think if that was your issue, go with Riverrat and don't pause at all.

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I'm not going to claim they work as well as live bait but the fish I have caught with them so far by no means hesitated. Riverrat can back me up here they will put fish in your boat. But like has been said when using a jig and minnow I don't feed line. And the fish I am talking about are Walleye's.

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I just posted a full report on my Lac Seul trip from last week in the Canada forum, and as I said in that, I caught maybe a dozen fish on live leaches, and 90% of my other fish came on various designs and colors of Gulp. Fish eat it. I am not going to get into the debate of if it works in specific situations, all I can say is that I won't go out without it on my fishing trip ever.

I will agree with a post I saw saying that thier packaging still needs improvement. The new buckets are better than last years, but still not a real treat to use. Regardless, for me the product works and works well. I caught quality fish of all sizes using swimming mullets, pogey's , leaches, both the 3 inch and 5 inch. minnows, and even the worms.

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I have had pretty good luck with them river fishing for eyes and smallies. The fish I catch in the river tend to hit the jig pretty hard so I haven't had a problem with hook sets.

They are pretty convenient to have around instead of stopping to get live bait all of the time. Once I run out of the 3in. minnows I probably will try a bucket of leeches. I am currently into my second season of the minnows and will be able to make it through this season with my current stash.

DT10

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I've used Gulp grubtails for river fishing for Walleyes and they don't do much better than the Berkley Power Grubs. BUT, the Berkley baits are much better than any other grubtails I've used. When using jigs, the Berkley baits seem to make fish hang on a bit longer so you can set the hook on them. Fish don't spit them out as quickly.

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I have caught many quality 'eyes on the Gulp Alive products this year. I really like them fished on a jig pretty aggressively where live bait would either rip off the jig or die instantly anyway. I usually have some sort of live bait on hand but will also not be without some of my favorites of the Gulp Alive as well. They work great in and around the weeds. My experience is that the fish are just inhaling the Gulp unlike that of livebait.

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For the first 3 weeks of the season, all i used was the 4" gulp minnows on a 1/4 oz. jig after my first outing. Couldn't catch an eye on a minnow or anything else but the gulp. They would hit it hard and if I didnt set the hook right away I would miss a lot of them. It's like using any other artificial. Its not alive, and the fish is going to spit it eventually. But I did catch many more fish on those than any other artifical I threw out.

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I've had good luck with the gulp products as well as live bait so far this year. Gulp has its advantages without a doubt but fishing conditions sometimes change and we have to be aware of that. Sometimes Walleyes and even Bass become less agressive for no apparent reason and simply don't take the bait for more than a split second. Whether that bait is a Gulp product, some other soft plastic, crank, or live bait may not matter. Finding the fish matters and like previously stated by Riverrat, I'd never give line while fishing a jig... a lindy or spinner set up yes but not a jig. I'd feel the initial bump-bump, ease the rod tip back toward the source of the bump while keeping tention then when the presence of the fish is felt; set the hook.

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I have had great success on the rivers and some lakes. The smallies and eyes love to hit it. I have gotten some crappies in the oxbow lakes up north off the mississippi. Some days they just want that real minnow.

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I've had mixed results & would probably like them better if they weren't $20 bucket.I'm sure it makes a big difference what pace you're fishing at as in swimming a spinner rig or hopping a jig as to the type of reaction bite the fish is giving at the time. If you are slowly Lindy rigging or dragging a jig they have a bit more time to scrutinize things. I will say though that fish do eat them, as I caught a lmit of crappies & I never lost my minnow, but there were two in with the fish in the livewell when I got home that they must have puked up, cause they weren't mine. L2f

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I've had good results with gulp 4" minnow with a 3/8 or 1/3 jig. Smallmouth love it can't keep them off. It has produced a few eye's and crappies. Caught more eye's on live bait than with gulp.

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Given the move towards requiring that all bait be disposed of at the end of each trip the Gulp products are going to become even more popular. There are new restrictions on live bait dealers on where they can get the bait from. Put these two together and live bait prices are going to surge like it was OPEC providing them. Gulp may seem like a bargain soon.

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I've been very happy with Gulp minnows and crawlers on LOTW. I don't have the confidence with it in clear water yet.

One thing I've heard from a bait store - Berkely/Pure Fishing, through Ducks Unlimited, is buying up wetland space. This supposedly will reduce the amount of live bait harvesting, and will in turn, drive up live bait prices. Now, this was from a bait store, but it makes sense. $5 a dozen (not scoop) of fatheads at LOTW.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Might have to as my garage up north is darn near full to. Sleds will be going into storage soon so that will free up a little space. Storage space is actually pretty cheap compared to building your own
    • Dang Walleye, dude you need to build a Toy barn out back to start holding all these toys! 
    • Thanks guys!  Excited to be back, and thankful for the late allowance!  I hit may 2 - 5th.  Bringing my boy on his first time out this weekend with a gun.  Looking froward to it all!  Good luck guys!!!
    • Will take a little bit to get used to but will spend less time mowing this year and more time doing fun things. If anyone is looking for and older cheaper riding mower I will have a couple of them for sale as soon as I get them out of storage next week. Ones a Craftsman and ones a Scotts. Both well maintained and good shape and will be in the 250 to 300 range.
    • Old Man Winter is refusing to loosen his grip on Wisconsin, dropping from a few inches to more than 2 feet of snow in across the state in a series of snowstorms in the last week. Crews from Pattison State Park and the Brule River State Forest continued to groom ski trails and reported good to excellent conditions. Other properties have put away grooming equipment but skiing was still fair on ungroomed trails through central and even southern Wisconsin. After another 15 inches of snow this week, ski trails were groomed April 17 at Pattison State Park.Photo credit: Gervase Thompson, DNRThe weather kept many fishermen inside this week, but warm weather this week should bring out lots of anglers. Walleye fishing was picking up on the Oconto, Peshtigo, Menominee and Wolf rivers prior to the snow, but then water temperatures dropped dramatically. There have still been hundreds of shore anglers and boaters out on the Fox River to catch a trophy walleye. Sturgeon are in the Wolf River, but with cold water it will be at least a week or longer before spawning will occur. This satellite image taken by NOAA about noon April 19 shows snow cover across almost all of WisconsinPhoto credit: NOAAMost Door County ramps and access points are blocked with snow. Before the storm fishing was fairly productive. Boats launching at Sturgeon Bay were trolling for browns. Steelhead fishing was good before the storm with numbers of fish showing up in creeks. .
    • Welcome aboard pumper. I had one gobbling this morning but he had four girl friends with him . Try again tomorrow.
    • SOUTHEAST IOWA FISHING REPORTS Big Hollow Lake
      Water temperature is holding around 44 degrees. Just need some warm days to get it going up to normal. Very little angler activity because of the weather.  Lake Belva Deer
      Cold, windy weather with a little snow is keeping most anglers away. Largemouth Bass - Slow: A few are getting picked up in the deeper water. Try on the upper end of the lake around the mounds.  Lake Darling
      Water temperature is holding in the low 40's. Water clarity is pretty good, except when the wind stirs the lake bottom up. Black Crappie - Slow: A few anglers have been catching some crappies out in deeper water over the habitat.  Lost Grove Lake
      A few anglers have been out. Cold, windy weather doesn't make for the best fishing weather. Largemouth Bass - Slow: Most angler trips are pretty short, but they are picking up some bass out around the deeper habitat.  For more information on the above lakes, contact the Lake Darling Fisheries Office at 319-694-2430. Central Park Lake
      The lake is currently drained as a renovation project is finishing up this spring.  Coralville Reservoir
      The lake is at normal spring pool of 679.4 feet. Boating above Lake Macbride Park is not recommended at this water level. Channel Catfish - Slow. White Crappie – Slow.  Diamond Lake
      Black Crappie - Fair: Fishing had been slow, but it should pick up as the weather warms. Try small jigs fished around the rock jetties or brush piles. Most fish are 8-9 inches.  Kent Park Lake
      The lake is currently drained for a lake renovation project. It is scheduled to be completed by the spring of 2019.  Lake Macbride
      Water temperatures are in the mid 40's. All boat docks are in. All motor sizes may be used at no-wake speed (5 mph). Black Crappie - Slow: Try fishing jigs or minnows over deeper brush. There are lots of 10-12 inch crappies. Walleye - Slow: A few fish are being caught. A shallow water bite should improve as things warm up. Cast jigs or stick baits to windblown banks.  Pleasant Creek Lake
      The lake is still 7-8 inches low from the restoration project. The main ramp is usable, but it is shallow; use caution. There is a boat dock in on the east lane. Be cautious when boating as new structures have started to be submerged.  Prairie Park Fishery
      500 additional trout will be stocked here this Saturday, April 21 at 10:30. There will be a family fishing event held in conjunction with the stocking. 1500 trout had previously been stocked here on March 31. Iowa residents and nonresidents who are required to have a fishing license must pay the Trout Fee to fish for or possess trout. Exception: Anglers under 16 years old may possess or fish for trout without having paid the Trout Fee if they fish with a properly licensed adult who has paid the Trout Fee and together their combined limit is 5. Rainbow Trout - Excellent: Try small jigs, spinners, live bait or artificial scented baits. Brook Trout – Fair.   Sand Lake
      2000 trout will be stocked here this Saturday, April 21 at 11:00. There will be a family fishing event held in conjunction with the stocking. Iowa residents and nonresidents who are required to have a fishing license must pay the Trout Fee to fish for or possess trout. Exception: Anglers under 16 years old may possess or fish for trout without having paid the Trout Fee if they fish with a properly licensed adult who has paid the Trout Fee and together their combined limit is 5. Rainbow Trout - Excellent: Try small jigs, spinners, live bait or artificial scented baits. Brook Trout - Excellent: Try small jigs, spinners, live bait or artificial scented baits. Black Crappie - Fair: Some fish are being caught on warmer days.  Terry Trueblood Lake
      You must have a fishing license and trout stamp to fish for and/or possess trout. Brook Trout – Fair. Rainbow Trout – Fair.   For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615. Lake Sugema
      Try using cut bait for channel catfish. The water temperature is in the low 40's.  Lake Wapello
      Use cut bait on the windblown shorelines to catch channel catfish this time of year. Catch largemouth bass around brush piles.  Ottumwa Park Pond South
      Trout were stocked on March 30th. Try small tube and twister jigs, in-line spinners or casting spoons.  Rathbun Reservoir
      The current lake level is 903.66 msl. Normal operating elevation is 904.0 msl. Lake Rathbun has zebra mussels, so make sure to properly drain, clean, and dry equipment before transporting to another water body. The water temperature is in the low 40's. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use shad sides or cut bait on the windblown shorelines.  Red Haw Lake
      Try cut bait near shorelines with the wind blowing in for channel catfish.  The district includes Mahaska, Lucas, Wayne, Monroe, Appanoose, Wapello, Davis and Van Buren counties. Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions about fishing in south central Iowa.
    • NORTHEAST Cedar River (above Nashua)
      Water clarity is poor. Water levels are stable, but will rise with snow melt. Visit the USGS Current Water Data website for current water level information.   Decorah District Streams
      Catchable trout are stocked in all streams as weather and water conditions permit. Listen to the trout stocking hotline (563-927-5736) for daily plans. Plan a trip to your favorite trout stream. Check out this year’s trout stream stocking calendar. Trout country received 6-12 inches of snow. Most snow covered roads should melt quickly when the sun comes out. Fun in snow covered woods continues for hearty trout anglers. Brook Trout - Good: Use a streamer to mimic minnows or subsurface flies like scuds or pheasant tail nymphs. Brown Trout - Good: Melt water and run-off inputs drive Brown Trout into a feeding frenzy. Use small midge, caddis, or flashy streamer patterns. Rainbow Trout - Good: Float a feathered spinner or crankbait past a freshly stocked fish. A piece of worm under a bobber also works in the deeper holes. Lake Hendricks
      Few anglers have been out.  Lake Meyer
      Anglers have not been out. Water is off color with recent snow event and melt water.  Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
      Water clarity is poor. Water levels are up, but currently stable. Conditions could change fast depending on snow melt. Water temperatures were low 40.  Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
      Water levels are relatively stable, but clarity is poor. Visit the USGS Current Water Data website for more information.  Volga Lake
      Few anglers have been out. Docks are in.  Temperatures reaching upper 50s for highs, dipping into 30's at night. Cooler nights will help slow the snow melt. Our area received 6-12 inches of snow on Wednesday. Turbid conditions on area rivers and streams. For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.   Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
      River levels remain high and muddy. Backwater areas may produce some catfish. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use cut bait.  Heritage Pond
      Heritage Pond was stocked last Saturday, April 14th with both rainbow and brook trout. Trout fishing should be good; the weather forecast looks to be more of average seasonal temperatures next week. Brook Trout - Good: Cast and retrieve flashy spinner baits like a panther martin jig or similar jigs and spinners. Rainbow Trout - Good: Cast and retrieve flashy spinner baits like a panther martin jig or similar jigs and spinners.  Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
      Reports of anglers catching walleye, smallmouth bass, channel catfish and even an occasional trout on the Maquoketa River in Delaware County. The river remains up a bit, but clarity is not bad. Walleye - Fair: Cast and retrieve a jig with plastics tipped with a minnow. Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Cast and retrieve a jig with plastics tipped with a minnow. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try cut bait fished on the bottom.  North Prairie Lake
      North Prairie Lake was stocked last Saturday, April 14th with both rainbow and brook trout. Trout fishing should be good; the weather forecast looks to be more of average seasonal temperatures next week.  Brook Trout - Good: Cast and retrieve flashy spinner baits like a panther martin jig or similar jigs and spinners. Rainbow Trout - Good: Cast and retrieve flashy spinner baits like a panther martin jig or similar jigs and spinners.  Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
      The Shell Rock River has been high and muddy, but is starting to drop in water levels. No fishing reports for this week.  Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
      No reports on the Wapsipinicon River as the river continues to rise and remains muddy. It may the perfect time to try for some catfish on the backwater areas of the river. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use cut bait fished on the bottom.  Few fishing report this past week as winter will not let go of its grasp. Interior river levels have been on the rise and conditions are muddy with the snow melt. Trout stream stockings continue and streams remain in good condition. Call the N.E. Iowa district office at 563-927-3276 for more information.   MISSISSIPPI RIVER Mississippi River Pool 9
      River level at Lansing has risen nearly a foot with a steady rise predicted this week. Water temperature is 36 degrees. Look for backwaters and areas of lesser current away from the main channel that concentrate fish. Walleye - Slow: Walleye are in spawning mode, but the recent cool down in water temperatures will prolong the spawn. Yellow Perch - Slow: Perch are still in spawning areas along the rocky shorelines and near the tailwaters of the dam. Expect the bite to pick up again once temperatures rise. Sauger - Slow: Sauger are in spawning mode, but the recent cool down in water temperatures will prolong the spawn. Northern Pike - Slow: Pike spawn is ending; anglers report catching some nice pike with live bait.  Mississippi River Pool 10
      River level at Lynxville has come up several feet to 18.8 feet with a slow steady rise expected.. Water temperature is 36 degrees. Look for backwaters and areas of lesser current away from the main channel that concentrate fish. Walleye- Slow: Walleye are in spawning mode, but the recent cool down in water temperatures will prolong the spawn. Yellow Perch - Slow: Perch are still in spawning areas along the rocky shorelines and near the tailwaters of the dam. Expect the bite to pick up again once temperatures rise. Sauger - Slow: Sauger are in spawning mode, but the recent cool down in water temperatures will prolong the spawn. Northern Pike -  Slow: Pike spawn is ending; anglers report catching some nice pike with live bait. Mississippi River Pool 11
      River level at Guttenberg has risen two feet at 10.3 feet with a slow steady rise this week. The gates are all up at the Lock and Dam. Water temperature is 36 degrees. Look for backwaters and areas of lesser current away from the main channel that concentrate fish. Walleye - Slow: Walleye are in spawning mode, but the recent cool down in water temperatures will prolong the spawn. Yellow Perch - Slow: Perch are still in spawning areas along the rocky shorelines and near the tailwaters of the dam. Expect the bite to pick up again once temperatures rise. Sauger - Slow: Sauger are in spawning mode, but the recent cool down in water temperatures will prolong the spawn. Northern Pike - Slow: Pike spawn is ending; anglers report catching some nice pike with live bait. The Upper Mississippi River is on the rise with heavy snowfalls and melting. Water clarity is diminishing as levels rise. The bite has slowed with water temperature staying unseasonably cold near 36 degrees. Expect a fast warm-up and increase in fish activity as temperatures rise. Mississippi River Pool 12
      Water levels are rising at 9.3 feet at the Dubuque Lock and the RR bridge is 11.5 feet. Levels are up from last week and will continue to rise all week. The channel water temperature is still only around 39 degrees. Yellow Perch - No Report: Some scattered reports of ring perch catches earlier, but not many people out fishing for them. Northern Pike - No Report: The pike spawn is late this year due to the weather; they might be still spawning some. Once done, pike can go on a good bite. Try flashy spinners. Walleye - Slow: Fishing has been good at times for walleye and sauger this spring, but poor weather is limiting activity and slowing the spawning season. Some walleyes may still be spawning.  Mississippi River Pool 13
      Water levels at Bellevue are 10.3 feet and rising. Both Bellevue City ramp and the DNR ramp are open, but no courtesy dock is available yet at the DNR ramp. Paddlefish season is over for the year. The channel water temperature is around 40 degrees. Paddlefish - No Report: Paddlefish season is closed for the year. Sauger - Slow: Hit or miss. Some reports of sauger being caught. Most are being taken on minnow rigs. Walleye – Slow: Nice slot fish are still being reported, but fishing is slow. Minnow with a jig or pulling crank baits are the most popular strategies.  Mississippi River Pool 14
      Water levels are rising and are 9.7 feet at Fulton, 12.6 feet at Camanche and 7.3 feet at LeClaire. The water temperature is around 41 degrees. Paddlefish season is now closed for the year. Paddlefish - No Report: Paddlefish season is closed for the year. Sauger - Slow: Just not many people out walleye or sauger fishing in the cold weather. Both species are still spawning due to the extended cold water season.  Mississippi River Pool 15
      Water levels are 9.8 feet at Rock Island. Water levels are up from last week and will be on a steady rise this upcoming week. Conditions are still favorable for angling.  The River levels will be rising this upcoming week. Water conditions are conducive to angling, but the weather has not been. Paddlefish season is closed for the year.  If you have any angling questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.  Mississippi River Pool 16
      Tailwater stage is 9.85 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and has been rising the past few days. There has been some walleye and sauger fishing in Sylvan Slough. Sauger - Slow:Some saugers are being caught in Sylvan Slough. Try fishing with jigs and minnows or trolling three-way rigs with stick baits. Mississippi River Pool 17
      Tailwater stage is 8.29 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and has been rising the past few days. Tailwater fishing for walleyes and saugers has been slow. Sauger - Slow: Try fishing fishing in the tailwaters with jigs and minnows or pulling three-way rigs and stick baits. Walleye - Slow: Look for walleyes in the tailwaters or down by GPC. Try vertical jigging with minnows or trolling three-way rigs with stick baits.  Mississippi River Pool 18
      Tailwater stage is 9.98 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and is rising. The gates are out of the water at the dam. River stage is forecasted to reach 11.9 feet over the weekend. We have not received any fishing reports for this pool this week.  Mississippi River Pool 19
      Tailwater stage is 6.39 feet at Lock and Dam 19 above Burlington and is rising. River stage is forecasted to reach 8.2 feet over the weekend. Flood stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 10 feet. We have not received any fishing reports for this pool this week.  River stages have been on the rise the past few days. Main channel water temperature dropped to 41 degrees; water clarity has been fair. We have not received much for fishing reports this week. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.
    • NORTHWEST IOWA FISHING REPORTS Black Hawk Lake
      Water temperatures are around 41 degrees. Bluegill - Fair: Use waxworms and crawlers in Town Bay. Most action has been in Town Bay and along Ice House Point, the floating dock, and from the inlet bridge. Yellow Perch - Slow: A few perch have been picked up from the floating dock in Town Bay and from the inlet bridge. Black Crappie - Fair: Use crawlers and minnows fished from shore and from the floating dock. Walleye - Slow: Expect walleye shore fishing action to pick up as water temperatures gradually warm. Fish a minnow or leech under a bobber or throw a twister along the Ice House Point shoreline, North Shore, and East Shore near the outlet.  Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
      Water temperature is around 40 degrees. Walleye - Fair: Throw twisters or fish minnows under a bobber from the state marina. Expect good walleye action along the east and north shores as water temperatures continue to climb.White Bass - Fair: Anglers are having luck fishing from shore on the east side and from the marina. Black Crappie - Fair: Catch crappie from the marina using minnows and a twister.  Some western Iowa lakes are providing good shore fishing action. Water temperatures are in the low 40's. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638. Beeds Lake
      Beeds Lake is ice free.  Clear Lake
      Clear Lake is about 75 percent ice free. The boat ramp at city beach is accessible.  Lake Cornelia
      Lake Cornelia is ice free. The docks at the boat ramp are in.  Lower Pine Lake
      The docks at the boat ramp are in.  Shell Rock River (above Greene)
      River levels are up. Try fishing the slack water areas below a dam with live bait.  Upper Pine Lake
      The docks at the boat ramp are in.  Winnebago River
      River levels are rising with the melting snow.  For information on the lakes and rivers in the north central area, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.  East Okoboji Lake
      Channel Catfish - Good: Ice out brings excellent channel catfish fishing as catfish go on a feeding frenzy. There is open water at the spillway and bridges; Lower Gar Lake has extensive open water. Fish these areas for some early "pole bending” action.  Silver Lake (Palo Alto)
      Walleye - Fair: Numbers of fish are reported caught.  Lakes remain ice covered. Very limited fishing activity on the Iowa Great Lakes. Forecasted warmer temperatures will help melt the ice. For more information throughout the week, contact the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.