Spirit Lake is located approximately 1 mile north of the town of Spirit Lake in
Dickinson County with its northern shores almost on the Minnesota boarder. It is
the furthest north member of Iowa's Great Lakes and at 5,684 acres it is Iowa's
largest natural lake. Due to its circular shape its 15.25 miles shoreline is
less than its smaller neighbors East Okoboji and West Okoboji. Considering its size it is a fairly shallow
lake with a maximum depth of 24 feet and a mean depth of 17 feet. The watershed
is approximately 75 square miles with the majority in Minnesota.
The lake contains some 40 species of fish with 13 of these typically caught.
Most of the walleye and yellow perch fishing is done from boat or through the
ice. Bullhead fishing is a land lovers sport - during the spring run buckets
full of bullheads are taken from shore, especially along the north grade (an
area along the road on the north shore of the lake). This diverse fishery also
has some good fishing for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike,
muskie, crappie, and bluegill.
Spirit Lake holds all-time big fish records for freshwater drum and
An accessible fishing pier is located at the north grade of the lake. Boat
access is provided at four major locations. On the south there is a double lane
boat ramp at Orleans Beach. The west shore has ramps at Marble Beach State
Recreation Area and Templar Park. There is also a double lane boat ramp on the
north shore located at Mini-Wakan State Park.