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Iowa Fishing Report

Lakes & Reservoirs

Okoboji Lakes Sponsored by
Date 28-Aug-15
Water Condition
Water Temperature  

Conditions : Okoboji Lake: West Okoboji Lake Largemouth Bass - Good: Fish football jigs, crankbaits, or Texas rigs under boat hoists, near weed lines, and on the drop offs. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Smallmouth have moved off beds and are headed towards the rocky drop offs. Fish the rock points that shoot out into the main basin of West Lake, Pillsbury, Fort Dodge, or Gull Point. Use jerk baits, football jigs, or swimbaits. Walleye - Fair: Many anglers fishing off Manhattan point after dark are reporting an increase in quality non-slot walleyes. Anglers are trolling deep diving crankbaits and are picking up these walleyes as they come up the point. Yellow Bass - Good: In Smiths bay just north of the amusement park anglers are reporting a high catch rate of large yellow bass. Anglers using orange twister tails or plain hook with worm and split shot are catching yellows on every cast. Yellow Perch - Fair: A perch bite is going on in Millers and Emerson bays with 9-11 inch fish caught in 12-18 feet of water. Crappie - Fair: Crappies are starting to bite. Fish the bays with 22-24 feet of water. Crappies are suspending at 5-10 feet in the deeper waters. Fish a small white jig with light line to catch 10-12 inch fish. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills can be caught in 25 feet of water off the points using pilkies tipped with red worms. Northern Pike - Good: Northern pike are biting on spinner baits in Millers bay. Fish the north bank with a black spinner bait in 7 feet of water. Fish range in size from mid-20s to 30 inches. Also try top-water for these fish.

East Okoboji Lake Yellow Bass - Good: Large numbers of yellow bass are being caught near East Okoboji beach near the boat docks. Fish vary from small to a few larger 8-9 inch fish. Throw soft plastic shad for them. Anglers fishing under the highway 9 bridge are catching fair numbers of yellows using small plastic minnows. Yellow Perch - Fair: Numbers of smaller yellow perch are being caught while anglers are fishing for yellow bass. Pulling similar baits near the bottom will force more perch into your bucket. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Fish near the inlet to upper gar along the rocks to find a fast paced bass bite. Anglers are seeing bass bedding up in upper gar then swimming into East Okoboji. Walleye - Fair: Parks Marina and Lone Tree Point are reporting a hot bite for walleye. Anglers are drifting minnows along the bottom before dark. Larger walleye are being caught in 10-12 feet of water. Bluegill - Fair: Anglers are catching low numbers of 8 inch bluegills while fishing docks throughout East Okoboji. Anglers are fishing small jigs under docks tipped with wax worms. Crappie - Fair: Large numbers of crappie are being caught on the north side of the narrows. 10 inch fish are being caught using pilkies, small jigs, or minnows.

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About: - East Okoboji is a 1,835 acre natural lake on the east edge of the town of Okoboji in Dickinson County. It is a member of Iowa's Great Lakes which include West Okoboji and Spirit Lake. Only 6 percent of the lake's 16.8 miles of shoreline is state owned and about 85 percent of the shoreline is developed. The lake recieves water from 19 square miles plus the overflow from Spirit Lake.

A universally accessible fishing pier is located at the north end of the lake along Hill Avenue. Elinor Bedell State Park provides shore fishing access, camping and day use facilities. There are three boat ramps on the lake; the Isthmus access at the far north end of the lake, East Okoboji Beach Access, and #9 Bridge Access at the south end of the lake. Access is also available from West Okoboji and Upper Gar Lake. There are no restrictions on boat or motor size.

Bullheads are king in this lake, with buckets full caught during their spring run. Besides bullheads, there are 37 species of fish present of which 10 species are annually creeled. The other species of fish caught include walleye, bluegill, channel catfish, and yellow perch. Northern pike, crappie, muskie and white bass are also caught in lesser numbers.

West Okoboji is Iowa's deepest natural lake at 136 feet and at 3,847 acres, second in size only to Spirit Lake. The lake's 39 feet mean depth is greater than most of Iowa's lake's maximum depth. Water from approximately 22 square miles drains into the lake. Three state parks, Pillsbury Point, Gull Point and Pike's Point are located on its 19.6 miles of shoreline.

There are no motor size restrictions with boat access provided at two locations on the lake. Access is also available from a connected lake, East Okoboji. Besides being a great fishing lake it is also a true water playground with motor boating, water skiing, sailing, swimming and just about anything else you want to do in or on water.

There are 47 different species of fish in the lake with 11 of these species showing up in the creel. Species that make up the majority of the catch are yellow perch, bluegill and walleye. The lake also produces some excellent large and smallmouth bass, northern pike, muskie, crappie and white bass fishing.

If your looking for big fish West Okoboji is a place to try. It holds more Iowa all-time big fish records than any other lake in the state. It has the record for the biggest smallmouth bass, white bass, tiger muskie, and northern pike, like this 22 pounder right here.

  • Walleye
  • Bluegill
  • Channel Cat
  • Crappie
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Muskie
  • White Bass

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