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#2714032 - 12/07/11 08:43 AM
Iowa Great lakes Ice Report.
Agronomist_at_IA Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 09/07/06
Posts: 1290
Loc: Northwest Iowa
Talked on the phone with Oh Shucks and Kabele's bait shops this Wednesday morning at 9:37.

Sounds like quite a few people are ice fishing Spirt Lake on Anglers Bay, and the Grade, and some even fishing Lower Gar. There is a solid black ice layer that is a strong 2 inches. They thought with the temps to come we could be seeing a good 4 to 5 inches of ice by this weekend on these spots.

On West they said Emerson was froze over, but the spud bar went through the ice a little easy to be going out on it yet. It is possible by this weekend that it might have enough ice.


Looks like the season will finally start.


Edited by Agronomist_at_IA (12/07/11 08:43 AM)

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#2714308 - 12/07/11 01:05 PM
Re: Iowa Great lakes Ice Report. [Re: Agronomist_at_IA]
IceKing72 Offline
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Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 77
Loc: SW MN
Please keep us updated if possible. I would like to get out this weekend.
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#2714591 - 12/07/11 05:48 PM
Re: Iowa Great lakes Ice Report. [Re: IceKing72]
Agronomist_at_IA Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 09/07/06
Posts: 1290
Loc: Northwest Iowa
Myself and three other friends are taking the day off work on Friday to hit the ice for the first time this year. If things go the way we're thinking, we're going to hit Okabena, Round, or Ocheda if the ice is thin by worthington. Then Sat, I think two of us are going to go and try to hit Anglers Bay over on spirt. I'll let you know what I find out.

Found out it's about has easy to phone 2-3 of the bait shops over at the lakes to find stuff out. They can tell you were the ice is thick enough, where guys have been fishing, and if anyone is catching anything.

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#2714627 - 12/07/11 06:20 PM
Re: Iowa Great lakes Ice Report. [Re: Agronomist_at_IA]
Esox_Magnum Online   wide-eyed
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Registered: 02/10/08
Posts: 4977
Loc: IGL's, NW Iowa
So you base it off 2nd and 3rd hand reports?? I know all the guys at the baitshops in the area, most don't fish....All they tell you is what someone else told them....If you were on a bite would you go tell the baitshop?

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#2714628 - 12/07/11 06:22 PM
Re: Iowa Great lakes Ice Report. [Re: Agronomist_at_IA]
IceKing72 Offline
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Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 77
Loc: SW MN
Me and my roomate will probably be on Round Friday and Anglers bay Saturday or Sunday.
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#2714757 - 12/07/11 08:37 PM
Re: Iowa Great lakes Ice Report. [Re: Esox_Magnum]
Agronomist_at_IA Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 09/07/06
Posts: 1290
Loc: Northwest Iowa
Originally Posted By: Esox_Magnum
So you base it off 2nd and 3rd hand reports?? I know all the guys at the baitshops in the area, most don't fish....All they tell you is what someone else told them....If you were on a bite would you go tell the baitshop?


Yes, I talk to bait shops knowing that they are hearing 2nd and 3rd hand reports from people and relaying that info to me. I take that into account.

More then anything I find it handy to get general information from them. A lot of times they can inform u on small things. Like the depth the fish are being caught at, if a certain bait or jig size/color is working better then another. If a general lake at the great lakes or certain bays are seeing a better bite or not. If there is any ice at the lakes, and an idea about how thick the ice is.

If I was on a bite would I tell the bait shop. Well, ya if I stopped back at it after I fished. I mean it's not like I'm going to tell the guy more then the generals. It's not like I'm giving him the GPS spots that I fish, just a few tips that I learned on my outing so he can hopefully enjoy his time.

If other people catch fish out of the lake, it's not like I won't be able to. Heck, thousands of good sized yellow perch died in august due to old age and the natural cycle of things....what a waste. If that is occuring I think it only proves that there was more then enough fish to be had. I'm not a selfish person, I'd rather be willing to help people out hoping that the next guy is willing to help me out.

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#2714765 - 12/07/11 08:42 PM
Re: Iowa Great lakes Ice Report. [Re: IceKing72]
Agronomist_at_IA Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 09/07/06
Posts: 1290
Loc: Northwest Iowa
Originally Posted By: IceKing72
Me and my roomate will probably be on Round Friday and Anglers bay Saturday or Sunday.


Well, I might see you on round. I've got a blue fish trap voyager, and I ware an HSO artic armour camo suit. My budy will have on a green artic armour suit. If we're there stop by and say hi.

I'm not sure how thick the ice is, but I did come across some GPS points on where there is rocky strip in Round Lake. Hoping the ice is thick enough to get out there. Since it is a bowl shaped muc bottom lake, I'm hopping the rocky strip will pan out a couple walleye. Haven't fished the spot before, but Have seen some people fish in the area before.

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#2714782 - 12/07/11 08:57 PM
Re: Iowa Great lakes Ice Report. [Re: Agronomist_at_IA]
Esox_Magnum Online   wide-eyed
HotSpotOutdoors Specialist

Registered: 02/10/08
Posts: 4977
Loc: IGL's, NW Iowa
Well from a local standpoint, 2 shacks draw 4 that draw 8 that draw 20....We have proven that in the past, set up 2-3 unmanned shacks in an area that had nothing, within 2 hours there were 15 shacks set up around them, we were a less than 1/4 mile away all alone....90% follow the crowd, not saying you do but most chase the bite others have found....Do I tell the shops about my catch, yes but to I honestly tell them where and how???? Or do I tell them something totaly different to draw the crowds away from me???? Take what 2nd hand info you get with a grain of salt, most are blowing smoke...

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#2714828 - 12/07/11 09:53 PM
Re: Iowa Great lakes Ice Report. [Re: Esox_Magnum]
Agronomist_at_IA Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 09/07/06
Posts: 1290
Loc: Northwest Iowa
Originally Posted By: Esox_Magnum
Well from a local standpoint, 2 shacks draw 4 that draw 8 that draw 20....We have proven that in the past, set up 2-3 unmanned shacks in an area that had nothing, within 2 hours there were 15 shacks set up around them, we were a less than 1/4 mile away all alone....90% follow the crowd, not saying you do but most chase the bite others have found....Do I tell the shops about my catch, yes but to I honestly tell them where and how???? Or do I tell them something totaly different to draw the crowds away from me???? Take what 2nd hand info you get with a grain of salt, most are blowing smoke...


Not saying they don't. However, I have gotten fairly good info from many of the bait shops that checked out. Is there going to be B.S. info, yes. Can a bite change in a short period. Yes.

I a couple of years ago I took a day off work with a co worker. Went to the lakes stopped at Oh Shuck's bait shop. Bait shop guy tells us that the bite was really good on West O at Smith's bay in x amount of feet. We're thinking it's a B.S. story, nobody gives that detailed of info. So we head to Spirt like we originally plannned and drove by Smith's Bay. A fair amount of huts, but nothing out of the ordinary. Didn't see much, or catch much at spirit. Ended up leaving early to go home. So, I get home turn on the news channel on and see the guy is reporting from up at the lakes on West O, on Smith's bay. He interviews 2-3 anglers, shows some really nice size fish and then shows the limits these guys caught. I was like [PoorWordUsage], just my luck. Even the news knows about the hot bite, I get told about the hot bite, I drive by the hot bite, and I find the place with no fish.

LOL guess that's how it goes sometime.

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#2714991 - 12/08/11 07:33 AM
Re: Iowa Great lakes Ice Report. [Re: Agronomist_at_IA]
IceKing72 Offline
HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 77
Loc: SW MN
We probably wont be in a house. But we will probably be hole hoppin trying to locate some fish. So if you see two kids, one in all camo, thats us.
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#2715811 - 12/08/11 06:40 PM
Re: Iowa Great lakes Ice Report. [Re: IceKing72]
Esox_Magnum Online   wide-eyed
HotSpotOutdoors Specialist

Registered: 02/10/08
Posts: 4977
Loc: IGL's, NW Iowa
Be prepared for crowds, over 40 shacks on Anglers today, could double on the weekend, bite reports were slow at best....

Founding/ Board Member, Hunters Helping Hunters
Board Member Upper Great Plains Chapter 29 Muskies Inc.



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#2737848 - 01/01/12 04:49 PM
Re: Iowa Great lakes Ice Report. [Re: Esox_Magnum]
stretch1975 Offline
IceLeaders.com Family

Registered: 11/03/11
Posts: 34
Loc: Northwest Iowa
Looking to go to Spirit on Monday. How is the ice?
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#2737865 - 01/01/12 05:09 PM
Re: Iowa Great lakes Ice Report. [Re: stretch1975]
Esox_Magnum Online   wide-eyed
HotSpotOutdoors Specialist

Registered: 02/10/08
Posts: 4977
Loc: IGL's, NW Iowa
Haven't been on it since X-Mas, betting few if any where on it today... Best guess is it may be ok but can't say for sure, as always use caution and check as you go since alot has changed in the past week....

Founding/ Board Member, Hunters Helping Hunters
Board Member Upper Great Plains Chapter 29 Muskies Inc.



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#2746984 - 01/10/12 07:21 PM
Re: Iowa Great lakes Ice Report. [Re: Esox_Magnum]
FishNightmare Offline
HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 76
Loc: Somewhere
Did all right on spirit on saturday. Ended up with 14 jumbo perch, two walley, and a northern. Ice was good, 8" or more. Most of lake was froze over. Except east side of big part of lake and where Anglers bay starts. Seen some guys on a four wheeler way out in the middle. I wanted to follow but my buddies were in no hurry to die. haha. Bit on waxies and minnows. Cant say one was better than the other. All types of jigs too. Seemed like switching kept them interseted and biting. Took a while to find them too. Just had to drill a ton of wholes, but once we found them we caught fish consistantly. Only fished from 2pm until 6pm. The northern was what scared them away and the walleye were a bonus in the dark. We could have got more if the northern wouldn't have showed up.
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#2749075 - 01/12/12 03:04 PM
Re: Iowa Great lakes Ice Report. [Re: FishNightmare]
Agronomist_at_IA Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 09/07/06
Posts: 1290
Loc: Northwest Iowa
Great to hear that Fishnightmare. Planning on heading up to spirt that way this weekend. Maybe tomarrow sometime if it works out. What's West O look like? Is everything still open except the very sheltered parts of the Bays?

With the weather being so warm and crazy did the fish move to the basin yet, or are they still up in early ice areas?


Edited by Agronomist_at_IA (01/12/12 03:04 PM)

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#2749191 - 01/12/12 05:14 PM
Re: Iowa Great lakes Ice Report. [Re: Agronomist_at_IA]
Esox_Magnum Online   wide-eyed
HotSpotOutdoors Specialist

Registered: 02/10/08
Posts: 4977
Loc: IGL's, NW Iowa
Spirits open from Buffalo to Cottonwood at least....West is about the same small sheltered areas basicly...

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Board Member Upper Great Plains Chapter 29 Muskies Inc.



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#2760501 - 01/24/12 07:05 AM
Re: Iowa Great lakes Ice Report. [Re: Esox_Magnum]
rlock12 Offline
Hello I'm New

Registered: 01/24/12
Posts: 4
Loc: sw iowa
Hey could someone tell me what the ice is like on west okoboji right now? Headed up first weekend in February and hoping to get some fishing done. Thanks for any info.
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#2760608 - 01/24/12 08:15 AM
Re: Iowa Great lakes Ice Report. [Re: rlock12]
Mr.Seaguar Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 08/21/04
Posts: 837
Loc: Iowa
is a good place for that info. I havent been and you wont see a lot of traffic here. Good Luck and have fun
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#2761298 - 01/24/12 04:49 PM
Re: Iowa Great lakes Ice Report. [Re: rlock12]
Esox_Magnum Online   wide-eyed
HotSpotOutdoors Specialist

Registered: 02/10/08
Posts: 4977
Loc: IGL's, NW Iowa
Originally Posted By: rlock12
Hey could someone tell me what the ice is like on west okoboji right now? Headed up first weekend in February and hoping to get some fishing done. Thanks for any info.


varies from 15" to open water, if you venture off the beaten path check the ice frequently.....

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Board Member Upper Great Plains Chapter 29 Muskies Inc.



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#2771888 - 02/04/12 10:19 AM
Re: Iowa Great lakes Ice Report. [Re: Esox_Magnum]
eyeowegian Offline
HSOShow.com Family

Registered: 12/24/09
Posts: 125
Loc: Sioux City, IA
Hows the ice and fishing report on Big Spirit? Thinkin about bringin an ATV and portable next weekend.

{FISH ON!}
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