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Southwest Iowa Fishing Reports

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Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake
Rainbow Trout - Good: Use jigging spoons tipped with waxworms. Trout tend to swim close to the shoreline, so setup over water shallower than 15 feet. You must have a trout stamp to fish for and/or possess trout. 

Big Creek Lake
Black Crappie - Fair: Use live minnows or waxies on glow jigs in the afternoons and evenings. Fish brush piles deeper than 15 feet and the edges of the roadbeds and creek channel mid-lake. Walleye - Fair: Try live minnows still fished and minnows or minnow heads on jigging spoons in creek channel edges, humps and roadbeds throughout the lake from the Marina to just south of the west boat ramp.

Don Williams Lake
Black Crappie - Good: Crappie fishing is good in the late afternoon and evenings. Fish mid-lake near creek channel edges, stumps and sunken habitat in 10 to 20 feet of water.

Hickory Grove Lake
The lake is drawn down around 9 feet, but good fishing is still possible. Bluegill - Good:
Catch bluegills and crappies off brush piles with waxworms and minnows.

Lake Petocka
Rainbow Trout - Good: Use small jigging spoons tipped with waxworms or still fish live minnows. You must have a trout stamp to fish for and/or possess trout. 

Good ice conditions continue in Central Iowa. There is 18 to 20 inches of ice. For more information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers, call Ben Dodd at 641-891-3795 or Andy Otting at 515-204-5885.


Big Lake (Including Gilbert's Pond)
Big Lake was stocked with 1000 rainbow trout on Feb. 9th. Rainbow Trout - Fair: Use small jigs, minnows or waxworms. You must have a trout stamp to fish for and/or possess trout. 

Cold Springs District Farm Ponds
Large amounts of drifted snow has made access to ponds very difficult. Bluegill – Good. Black Crappie – Fair.

Lake Anita
Anglers report 18 inches of ice. Bluegill - Fair: Anglers report catching bluegill around brush piles. Fish average 8.5 inches. Black Crappie - Fair: Crappies are being caught in tree piles close to the creek channel. Early morning and late afternoon bite is best.

Littlefield Lake
Ice thickness is 22 inches. Find fish around cedar tree piles placed in the lake. Bluegill - Good: Fishing is good for bluegill if you can get to a cedar tree pile. Sorting is needed for larger fish. Black Crappie - Slow: A few large black crappie are being caught in the afternoon around cedar tree piles.

Nodaway Lake
No reports this week from Nodaway Lake. Anglers were finding fish in the brush piles. Bluegill - Fair: Look for bluegills in the tree piles. Fish will average 8 inches. Black Crappie - Fair: Late afternoon bite is best. Fish will average 10 inches.

Orient Lake
Orient has a good crappie population. Target the tree piles out from the dam. Black Crappie - Fair: Find 10- to 12-inch crappies in the tree piles out from the dam. Bluegill - Good: Use waxworms in the tree piles. Fish will average 7.5 inches.

Prairie Rose Lake
Prairie Rose has good ice conditions. Bluegill - Slow: You may need to move around to find fish. Bluegill in Prairie Rose are quality size. Black Crappie - Slow: A few 10 inch crappie are being caught around the tree piles.

Viking Lake
Ice conditions are good at Viking Lake; anglers report 18 inches. Black Crappie – Slow: Target brush piles. Early morning and late afternoon bite is best.

Ice conditions remain good in the southwest district. Access is still difficult in some areas due to drifted snow, especially farm ponds. For more information, contact the Cold Springs office at 712-769-2587.


Green Valley Lake
About 12-14 inches of ice. Black Crappie - Fair: Catch crappie up to 8.5 inches with minnows or jigs tipped with waxworms fished near cedar tree brush piles. Bluegill - Slow: Catch bluegill up to 8 inches using jigs tipped with waxworms fished near cedar tree brush piles.

Little River Watershed Lake
About 7-14 inches of ice. Black Crappie - Slow: Catch crappie up to 12 inches with minnows or jigs tipped with a waxworm fished near cedar tree brush piles.

Summit Lake
About 12 inches of ice. Be cautious around the HWY 25 bridge as there may be areas of thin ice. Bluegill - Fair: Catch Bluegill up to 8 inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm fished near cedar tree brush piles or near the creek channel.

Three Mile Lake
About 12-14 inches of ice. Walleye - Fair: Catch walleye up to 16 inches with minnows fished near the roadbed early and late in the day. Black Crappie - Slow: Catch crappie up to 9 inches using minnows or jigs tipped with waxworms fished near cedar tree brush piles.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake
About 12-17 inches of ice. Black Crappie - Fair: Catch crappie up to 9.5 inches using jigs tipped with a minnow or waxworm fished near cedar tree brush piles or flooded timber near creek channels. Bluegill - Fair: Catch bluegill up to 8 inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm fished near cedar tree brush piles or flooded timber near creek channels.

Most Mount Ayr district lakes have variable ice conditions from 6-17 inches. Use caution  and drill test holes. For more information, please call the Mount Ayr Fisheries office at 641-464-3108.

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Due to heavy rains, snow melt and flooding, ice conditions are unknown in the southwest district. For more information, contact the Cold Springs office at 712-769-2587.


Twelve Mile Creek Lake
Three Mile Lake is 2 feet above full pool. Areas of the shoreline are open.

Ice conditions have deteriorated fast with the rain and windy conditions. Areas of the shoreline are open and the water level has increased up to 2 feet above full pool at some lakes. For more information, please call the Mount Ayr Fisheries office at 641-464-3108

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Oxidizers were federally mandated in 1997. Politicians took big contributions from the ethanol industry which is set up to benefit ethanol manufacturers and big operations. It has in fact hastened the demise of small and medium farms and the rural communities that depended on them. The farm belt has suffered greatly as a result of regulations passed that benefit the big operations. Small & medium farmers cannot compete with growing ag corporations who can buy seed with big discounts, often exploit illegal workers and can ship product cheaper. Corn had it's short 10 year or so boon after 1997. But that went bust as more marginal land was tilled under & overproduction was achieved to the benefit of ethanol producers. Many farms are still going bust or selling out to the big corporations. 75% of the land in production is owned by big corporate farms. 30 years ago you could flip that number around. So what has this gov't subsidy done for most farmers? Put them out of business!
    • Sorry if I came across as a bit abrasive.  Some of us can get a little surly around here and sometimes we forget we aren't talking to one of the other surly long-timers.   I get what you're saying about a more hunting specific truck with some specific bells and whistles designed with hunters in mind.  I do think the best way to get a truck like that would be to find the base model truck you like for all of the normal stuff trucks come with and then look for some sort of after market option.  There has to be a pro or 2 out there that can take on such a project if you aren't up for tackling it yourself.  I'd be a bit nervous cutting into a new truck as well so would look to hire it out as well.   A couple things that I'd like.  A winch in the bed like you mentioned.  Could be used for loading deer, portable ice houses, or other large loads when you don't have another guy to help. Some sort of instant heat or maybe an app that could start your car from the stand. Maybe some sort of gun safe type lock box behind the seats or in the floor so that if you can keep your rifle or shotgun cased and locked up.  It could be useful for times you may want to sneak out for a hunt after work and you want a better way to secure your firearm when at work.
    • Just a seasoning packet. Adjust the recipe as you see fit. A late summer batch with fresh sweet corn off of the cob works pretty well.     
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    • Check your throttle position sensor voltage. KOEO you should see .8 to 1.0 volts with the throttle closed.  
    • Spring officially arrived March 20 with the vernal equinox and temperatures leading into it were very spring like, bringing a close to much of the outdoor winter recreation across the state. Snowmobile trails now remain open in only a handful of northern counties on the Wisconsin Department of Tourism's Snow Conditions Report (exit DNR) and more are expected to close with warm weather this week. Many state parks and forests have discontinued ski trail grooming, so even if a spring snowstorm arrives most trails will not be groomed. Most mountain bike and horse trails are closed and will remain closed until they dry out. There is still up to 2 feet or more of snow in some northern counties, making it a great time to get out and explore on snowshoes, which are a must for trekking out in the woods.Flood waters were rampant last week in some areas of southern Wisconsin but many went down over the weekend. As of March 20, the Trempealeau River had dropped to minor flood stage and the Crawfish, Rock, Fox and Manitowoc rivers were expected to remain in moderate flood stage through next week. .
    • Just buy whatever truck you want and get started adding after market accessories, probably cheaper than buying all that stuff standard on a niche truck that will likely be really over priced due to it being a specialty item.  Most of that list could probably be doable fairly easily.  Personally I don't think half of that list is kind of pointless though.  If your non-camo truck with reflective chrome bumpers is giving you away to the animals you might want to get a bit further away from your truck when you're hunting.  If you're really struggling with loose ammo rolling all around the floor of your truck try leaving it in the box when its not in your gun. Key less entry might be nice but if you lose your key in the woods it will just give you a place to sit while you wait for someone to give you a ride home. Can't you already turn your lights/high beams off when your truck is running?
    • Most of that would be do-able by a small outfit (not 4 wheel steering).   Business opportunity for someone
    • Also got my bonus tag. Both tags bought and ready to rock in a couple months.  
    • Just scored my Zone 4 bonus tag.  Quick and easy.
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