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Big Spirit Lake

General Information

County: Dickinson
Location: 1m N Spirit Lake
Acres: 5684.00
Maximum Depth: 24 ft. (1989)
Motoring Restrictions: none

Amenities

Amenities at Big Spirit Lake include:
  • Boat Access
  • Accessible Pier
  • Picnic Area
  • Beach
  • Trails
  • Accessible Facilities
  • Playground
  • Restrooms
  • Camping
  • Good/Excellent Shorefishing
  • Hard Surface Boat Ramp
  • Accessible Shoreline

Fishing Report

Black Bullhead - Fair: The bullhead bite at the north grade is slowing down now. Creeled anglers are taking home single digits at this time. These fish are 12-14". The most successful anglers are leaving worm on the bottom and fishing around submerged vegetation.
Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass can be found near weed choked areas at this time as they are protecting their fry. Fish are being caught in trickles using top water frogs. Anglers are also catching bass on boat hoists along the north banks in the deeper water. Try crankbaits or swimbaits to pull these bass out from under the hoists.
Northern Pike - Good: Fishermen fishing in Templar bar are catching large numbers of small Northerns. Most fish are in the mid 20" range. Anglers using Meps, or small spinnerbaits are having the most success. Johnson silver minnow tipped with a leech also has been proving to catch these fish.
Walleye - Good: Local anglers are now catching walleye around 5:00 till dark at the North Grade. Fish above and below the slot are being caught, and creeled. Anglers using dark deer hair jigs tipped with leeches are proving the most successful.
Yellow Perch - Good: A majority of anglers creeled are catching yellow perch at this time. Most anglers are keeping around 6"-9" fish. Numbers are still low but perch are biting up at the grade at this time.
Black Bullhead - Fair: The bullhead bite at the north grade is slowing down now. Creeled anglers are taking home single digits at this time. These fish are 12-14". The most successful anglers are leaving worm on the bottom and fishing around submerged vegetation.
Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass can be found near weed choked areas at this time as they are protecting their fry. Fish are being caught in trickles using top water frogs. Anglers are also catching bass on boat hoists along the north banks in the deeper water. Try crankbaits or swimbaits to pull these bass out from under the hoists.
Northern Pike - Good: Fishermen fishing in Templar bar are catching large numbers of small Northerns. Most fish are in the mid 20" range. Anglers using Meps, or small spinnerbaits are having the most success. Johnson silver minnow tipped with a leech also has been proving to catch these fish.
Walleye - Good: Local anglers are now catching walleye around 5:00 till dark at the North Grade. Fish above and below the slot are being caught, and creeled. Anglers using dark deer hair jigs tipped with leeches are proving the most successful.
Yellow Perch - Good: A majority of anglers creeled are catching yellow perch at this time. Most fish are coming from anglers bay from the weed edge in 16-17ft of water. Anglers are drifting small jigs tipped with wax worms, or wigglers.

Fishing Forecast

Walleye anglers will continue to catch fish dominated by slot size; however anglers will see an influx of harvestable size walleye in the next few years. Black bass comprised of largemouth and smallmouth bass will continue to provide excellent pole bending action throughout the upcoming season. Anglers seeking northern pike will find early spring and the late fall season, when water temperatures is below 70 degrees, will provide the best action for this species. Yellow perch anglers will see an influx of small fish during the fall season which will provide an upswing to the fishery in the next few years. Bullhead anglers will continue to fill the bucket at the north grade with good numbers of large plump fish available for the upcoming spring season. (2015)


Lake Maps

Download Printable Lake Map

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

Popular Fish Species at this Lake

Fish Stocking

  • 05/16/2013 - 850 Muskellunge (12.5")
  • 05/13/2013 - 21,150,000 Walleye (Fry)
  • 04/16/2013 - 128,812 Walleye (Fry)
  • 05/07/2012 - 400 Muskellunge (12.6")
  • 04/17/2012 - 14,489,339 Walleye (Fry)
  • 05/12/2011 - 831 Muskellunge (12.4")
  • 05/11/2011 - 21,419,028 Walleye (Fry)
  • 04/25/2010 - 24,858,046 Walleye (Fry)
  • 04/06/2010 - 414,906 Northern Pike (Fry)
  • 09/28/2009 - 12,331 Walleye (6.7")
  • 05/06/2009 - 850 Muskellunge (14.0")
  • 05/02/2009 - 20,980,000 Walleye (Fry)
  • 04/04/2009 - 590,940 Northern Pike (Fry)
  • 05/19/2008 - 850 Muskellunge (13.5")
  • 05/09/2008 - 25,250,000 Walleye (Fry)
  • 05/15/2007 - 852 Muskellunge (13.2")
  • 04/30/2007 - 20,815,000 Walleye (Fry)
  • 05/08/2006 - 270 Muskellunge (14.0")
  • 04/25/2006 - 25,000,000 Walleye (Fry)
  • 05/12/2005 - 578 Muskellunge (13.0")
  • 04/19/2005 - 21,134,827 Walleye (Fry)

Regulations

The Fishing Regulations brochure is available for download. The summaries listed below are a partial listing provided for your benefit.

  • Black Bullhead
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: unlimited
    • Possession Limit: unlimited
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other:
  • Black 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
  • Bluegill
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: 25 fish
    • Possession Limit: unlimited
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other: No daily limit on private waters
  • 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: 15-inch minimum
    • Other:
  • Muskellunge
    • Season: Open from May 21 - November 30
    • 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:
  • Northern Pike
    • Season: Continuous, except for boundary lakes
    • Daily Bag Limit: 3 fish
    • Possession Limit: 6 fish
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other: Except for border lakes
  • 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: Open from May 3, 2014 through February 15, 2015.
    • Daily Bag Limit: 3 fish
    • Possession Limit: 6 fish
    • Length Limit: all 17 to 22-inch walleyes must be immediately released alive
    • Other: No more than one walleye longer than 22 inches may be taken per day
  • White Bass
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: none
    • Possession Limit: unlimited
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other:
  • Yellow Perch
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: 25 fish
    • Possession Limit: 50 fish
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other:

Fish Surveys

Lake Fish Survey Data Data from the most recent fisheries survey of this lake is provided on this external web site. This data may include information from various netting surveys and/or electroshocking surveys. Data includes numbers of fish sampled, and fish size ranges. Not all lakes are sampled every year.

Lake Mini-report

Lake Reports Summary report information about selected (~130) lakes regarding water quality, upstream land use, usage, economic value and more. Reports are customizable by the user to include only that information which the user desires to include.

Water Quality

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.

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