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Dubuque Ice Fishing?

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Fish are not biting to well. Few crappies bluegills and bass. All little though, only couple nice ones. Really had to jump wholes to catch fish. 4 inches of ice was the norm just about everywhere too and I traveled to quite a few spots in past few days.

How are others doing?

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Still plenty of ice in the tailwaters below the lock and dam at Dubuque yesterday. The picture below shows how the ice is starting to break up, though.


There is also a stretch of open water running along the short wall, so no fishing along that anymore:


Fishing was a bit slow. The walleye and sauger I did pick up were all in this size range: laugh


I saw one nice sauger on the ice, but otherwise no one I talked to did any better than me.

I heard things are better at Guttenberg, but Dubuque is almost a half hour closer for me, so I am going back to Dubuque this afternoon, and hope things are better today.

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The ice is no longer safe around Coralville, so I headed up 151 this morning to Dubuque.

My first stop was at Schmitt Harbor. Plenty of good 6" ice, and quite a few people fishing around the slips. I was told there had been some very nice walleye caught there over the last week, but no one I talked to this morning had anything to show for it, myself included.

Since this was a scouting trip as much as a fish-catching trip, I loaded up my gear and headed north of town to Mud Lake. I had not fished that backwater in years, so it was pretty much like being there for the first time. As with Schmitt Harbor, I was told I should have been there yesterday or last weekend when the bluegill were biting.

I had enough of watching nothing happen with my panfish baits and tip-up after an hour and half there, and had other stuff to do at home, so I left Mud Lake after a couple hours. Hopefully my next ice-fishing road trip, probably next weekend, goes a little better. cool

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I found good ice well east of the short walleye below the lock and dam at Dubuque last weekend, and it only got better over the last week. In the past I thought I had to drive as far north as Lynxville to find good ice most years below a lock and dam, so finding good ice at Dubuque was a welcome surprise.

Last week, I got set up and fishing just in time to catch the end of a mid-afternon bite; my first fish, this 15", hit less than thirty seconds after I dropped my first bait:


The good mid-afternoon bite ended soon after I got set up and fishing at 3:30, so I made it a point to get to the tailwaters earlier today. So of course the sauger bite picked up right before sundown tonight.

I kept four saugers in the 12"-14" range, and released some smaller fish. Based on the forecast I should find good ice there next weekend.

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Never thought I'd take this picture on the tailwaters below the lock and dam in Dubuque on March 6:


I had about 10" of good ice where I was east of the short wall, and set up there with small chubs on deadsticks. The sauger were hitting well while the sun was up, and I kept four in the 12-13" range to justify the drive to Dubuque. I could have easily kept a limit of those fish, but I wanted to keep a couple spots open for bigger fish I thought might show up at sunset. Those bigger sauger and walleye never showed up, and the smaller fish stopped biting, so I went home with four saugers.

I would really like to get out on the tailwater ice one more time, but I can't quite justify the gas money to drive to Dubuque again and catch 12" saugers.

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I needed a backwater ice fix, so I drove up through Dubuque to Mud Lake and made the hike out to Zollicoffer's.

Plenty of ice there, probably eight inches. Quite a few people out too, including some who came out on four-wheelers.

I don't get up to Mud Lake and Zollicoffer's that often, so I always forget how long it takes to get through Dubuque. Today, that meant I didn't start fishing until about 8:00 AM, and by then the sun was over the bluffs and the clouds were clearing out as the high pressure settled in. I was in about seven feet of water, and caught a few small bluegills and a small crappie, all before 8:30. That was it for the morning on panfish. Nothing on the tip-up and chub I put out.

No one else caught anything that I saw while I was there, but I bet if I had left forty-five minutes earlier I would have done a lot better, and would have seen some other people catch fish, too.

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