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
Catfishing is good right now on Central Iowa rivers. White bass fishing on the reservoirs is fair to good. For information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers contact Andy Otting or Ben Dodd at 515-432-2823.
Walleye - Fair: Walleye are being caught trolling spinner rigs with minnows or crawlers in 5-15ft of water. Anglers should focus on the upper/shallower 1/3rd of the lake. The east arm out from and above the marina has been producing more fish. Also, flows coming in from the creeks will attract fish to the silt dam notches. Cast shallow diving crankbaits in these areas.
White Bass - Fair: Anglers are catching white bass near schools of shad. Use your depth finder to locate the shad and look for larger fish surrounding the school. Target white bass with jigging spoons or crankbaits.
Download Printable Lake Map
Download Printable Fishing Structures Map

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

  • Oct 19 2015 12:00AM - 4,070 Walleye (8")
  • May 11 2015 12:00AM - 300 Muskellunge (12.3")
  • Apr 28 2015 12:00AM - 1,766,000 Walleye (Fry)
  • Oct 24 2014 12:00AM - 4,400 Walleye (8")
  • May 12 2014 12:00AM - 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")
  • 10/15/2007 - 6,033 Walleye (9.7")
  • 05/20/2007 - 4,928 Channel Catfish (8.0")
  • 10/20/2006 - 4,015 Walleye (9.5")
  • 09/25/2006 - 4,000 Channel Catfish (6.2")
  • 05/03/2006 - 900 Muskellunge (14.0")
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:
Big Creek holds a quality bluegill fishery. 2015 surveys showed bluegills from 4 to just over 9.5 inches. Both black and white crappies are present in fishable numbers, but their abundance is not high. Black crappie sampled in 2015 were 7 to 11 inches and white crappie were 5.5 to 11 inches. The white bass population decreased significantly in 2013 due to a natural die off. The 2015 surveys continue to show low numbers of white bass, but the ones present are good sized from 10-15 inches. Channel catfish are abundant with sizes from 10 to 30 inches with many being 15 to 18 inches. The largemouth bass population is not dense in Big Creek. Bass were surveyed from 8.5 to 19.5 inches with a decent year class of 11.5 to 14.5 inches. There is a fair population of smallmouth bass present, mostly in the lower portion of the lake, with sizes between 8 and 14 inches. Due to changes in stocking strategy over the past 5 years walleye numbers have increased significantly. Angler catches of legal fish over 15 inches started to improve during 2015 and should continue. 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 will continue to improve.(2015)

Contacts

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.