Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Okoboji Area

All states have their unique places to ice fish, Mille Lacs in Minnesota, Waubay Lake in South Dakota, Devils Lake in North Dakota, the famed Lake Cascade in Idaho and the Mississippi River backwaters of Wisconsin.  Those are some high class destinations here in the Ice Belt, but where does Iowa claim its ice fishing fame? 

In my opinion it resides in the Okoboji area.  West Lake Okoboji, East Lake Okoboji and Spirit lake make a up a chain of lakes on the most northern part of Western Iowa.  This chain of lakes has a huge variety of fish to keep you busy drilling holes all winter long.  I live about 4 hours from this destination, but it is a place that I try to schedule a couple trips to each year.  I had one of those trips recently on my annual Christmas break from work.  We fished Emerson Bay on West Okoboji and Spirit Lake on this trip, as much of the ice was not quite ready for ice anglers.  The pure numbers of fish in these two lakes continues to amaze me with each trip up there.  Bluegills and crappies were the targeted fish of the this trip and we certainly chased them down.  We explored Emerson Bay the first two days we were there.  This area I am familiar with and the typical bites were there.  A good gill bite was had in most areas we tried, a few crappies were mixed in too.  Our last stop was to head north to Spirit Lake.  A little bait and help from Kabeles Bait shop, as they pointed us in the right direction, and we were off.  Again the bluegills and crappies were more than willing to cooperate with us, even a few perch were mixed in.  Shallow was certainly the key on Spirit Lake, as well as finding some green weeds. 

If you ever get the chance to go to Okoboji, the answer should be "YES, when are we leaving."  The bluegills just grow different up there, tall and thick, making for some great fillets for the dinner table.  Enjoy these lakes if you can this year, I know I will get there as much as possible!

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