Big Creek Lake

General Information

County: Polk
Location: 2 miles north of Polk City
Acres: 814.00
Maximum Depth: 53.4 ft. (2006 - Data collected as part of the statewide lake mapping program.)
Motoring Restrictions: No Size Limit at No Wake

Nearby Parks

Big Creek State Park

Amenities

Amenities at Big Creek Lake include:
  • Boat Access
  • Fishing Jetty
  • Accessible Pier
  • Boat Rental
  • Picnic Area
  • Beach
  • Trails
  • Accessible Facilities
  • Playground
  • Restrooms
  • Good/Excellent Shorefishing
  • Hard Surface Boat Ramp
  • Fish Cleaning Station
For information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers contact Ben Dodd at 641-891-3795 or Andy Otting at 515-204-5885.
Black Crappie - Good: A decent crappie bite occurs at Big Creek during the fall. Drift or troll jigs in the upper end and bays in the lower half of the lake. Casting jigs around the rock jetties can also be good.
Walleye - Fair: Walleye fishing is fair trolling spinner rigs with night crawlers or lindy rigging with crawlers on the bottom at depths of 8 to 15 feet. Some good areas to start are out from the marina and the humps out from the west shoreline between the 100th Street Boat ramp and the West Ramp bay.
Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) - Good: The hybrid striped bass bite is good throughout the mid-lake portion. Troll silver colored live bait rigs and shad imitating crankbaits. The hybrids are still young, so the upper end on size is around 19 inches.
Download Printable Lake Map
Download Printable Fishing Structures Map

You can zoom in on the map for bathymetric information for some lakes

  • 6/30/2017 - 400 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (2")
  • 6/29/2017 - 10,625 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (2")
  • 5/10/2017 - 315 Muskellunge (13.1")
  • 4/28/2017 - 1,817,000 Walleye (fry)
  • 10/26/2017 - 2,562 Walleye (8.9")
  • 10/26/2017 - 87 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (7.2")
  • 10/23/2017 - 1,885 Walleye (9")
  • fall 2016 - 4,401 Walleye (9.8")
  • 6/16/2016 - 8,151 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (1.3")
  • 5/2/16 - 1,834,500 Walleye (Fry)
  • 10/19/2015 - 4,070 Walleye (8")
  • 05/11/2015 - 300 Muskellunge (12.3")
  • 04/28/2015 - 1,766,000 Walleye (Fry)
  • 10/24/2014 - 4,400 Walleye (8")
  • 05/12/2014 - 2,000,000 Walleye (Fry)
  • 10/28/2013 - 4,100 Walleye (8.9")
  • 05/14/2013 - 1,048 Muskellunge (12.5")
  • 05/08/2013 - 1,800,000 Walleye (Fry)
  • 10/29/2012 - 4,717 Walleye (8.5")
  • 05/24/2012 - 32,097 Walleye (1.6")
  • 05/01/2012 - 1,100 Muskellunge (12.6")
  • 04/20/2012 - 1,766,000 Walleye (Fry)
  • 10/24/2011 - 3,997 Walleye (8.3")
  • 09/08/2011 - 2,335 Channel Catfish (8.3")
  • 06/10/2011 - 31,780 Walleye (1.7")
  • 05/12/2011 - 1,828,625 Walleye (Fry)
  • 10/20/2010 - 7,172 Walleye (9.6")
  • 10/12/2009 - 4,415 Walleye (9.4")
  • 09/18/2009 - 4,800 Channel Catfish (8.0")
  • 05/08/2009 - 1,100 Muskellunge (14.0")
  • 10/14/2008 - 5,664 Walleye (9.0")
  • 05/21/2008 - 1,443 Muskellunge (13.5")
The Fishing Regulations brochure is available for download. The summaries listed below are a partial listing provided for your benefit.

  • Bluegill
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: 25 fish
    • Possession Limit: unlimited
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other: No daily limit on private waters
  • Channel Catfish
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined: channel, blue and flathead catfish, 8 fish
    • Possession Limit: combined: channel, blue and flathead catfish, 30 fish
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other:
  • Common Carp
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: none
    • Possession Limit: unlimited
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other: May be taken by hand fishing, by snagging, by spear or by bow and arrow, day or night.
  • Freshwater Drum
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: none
    • Possession Limit: unlimited
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other: May be taken by hand fishing, by snagging, by spear or by bow and arrow, day or night.
  • Largemouth Bass
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined black bass, 3 fish
    • Possession Limit: combined black bass, 6 fish
    • Length Limit: 18-inch minimum
    • Other:
  • Muskellunge
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined: muskellunge and tiger muskellunge, 1 fish
    • Possession Limit: combined: muskellunge and tiger muskellunge, 1 fish
    • Length Limit: 40-inch minimum
    • Other:
  • Smallmouth Bass
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined black bass, 3 fish
    • Possession Limit: combined black bass, 6 fish
    • Length Limit: 15-inch minimum
    • Other:
  • Walleye
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: 3 fish
    • Possession Limit: 6 fish
    • Length Limit: 15-inch minimum length limit
    • Other: No more than one walleye longer than 20 inches may be taken per day
  • White Bass
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: none
    • Possession Limit: unlimited
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other:
  • White Crappie
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined black and white crappie, 25 fish
    • Possession Limit: unlimited
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other: No daily limit on private waters
  • White Sucker
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: none
    • Possession Limit: unlimited
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other: May be taken by hand fishing, by snagging, by spear or by bow and arrow, day or night.
  • Yellow Perch
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: 25 fish
    • Possession Limit: 50 fish
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other:
Largemouth bass abundance increased in the 2017 survey. There is a good group of 9.5- to 12.5-inch bass coming up. Other bass surveyed ranged in size from 13.5- to 21-inches. There is a fair population of smallmouth bass, mostly in the lower portion of the lake, with sizes between 11.5- and 15-inches surveyed. Big Creek has held a quality bluegill fishery, but average size has decreased since gizzard shad numbers increased. 2017 surveys showed 3- to 8.5- inch bluegills, with most being 3.5- to 7-inches. Better crappie abundance and crappie fishing has returned. Black crappie surveyed in 2017 were found in two main groups of 5.5- to 7-inches and 9.5- to 10.5-inches. Black crappies topped out at 12 inches. White crappie surveyed were running 7-to 11-inches. There was a white bass die-off during the summer of 2017. Anglers were still catching white bass after the die-off had ended, but the effect on the numbers and size of white bass will not be known until after 2018 surveys. White bass grow quickly to good sizes over 15 inches in Big Creek. Hybrid striped bass were reintroduced into Big Creek in 2016 and 2017 to take advantage of the large gizzard shad population. This should provide another location with a good opportunity to catch some large hybrids in the near future. A good channel catfish population was surveyed with many catfish in the 19- to 28-inch size range. Walleye numbers have increased nicely with changes in the stocking strategy over the past 6 years. Angler catches of legal fish over 15-inches were good in 2017. The best time for anglers to target the walleyes are in April, May and June before the gizzard shad hatch and make angling less effective. The muskie population is improving due to the fish barrier that has prevented them from leaving the lake over the spillway. Muskie densities are reaching management goals following a crash in 2008. Chances at muskies over 40-inches are continuing to improve.(2017)

Contacts

Iowa-Caught Fish Are Safe to Eat, In Almost All Cases

The vast majority of Iowa’s streams, rivers and lakes offer safe and high-quality fish that pose little or no threat to human health if consumed. Some limitations may apply for young children and pregnant women. Here’s a Fish Consumption Fact Sheet from the Iowa DNR and the Iowa Dept. of Public Health for more information. Here is a list of current fish consumption advisories for Iowa lakes and rivers.