Big Spirit Lake

General Information

County: Dickinson
Location: One mile North of Spirit Lake
Acres: 5684.00
Maximum Depth: 24 ft. (1989)
Motoring Restrictions: none

Nearby Parks

Lower Gar State Recreation Area
Mini-Wakan State Park
Gull Point State Park
Gull Point State Park
Marble Beach State Recreation Area
Emerson Bay State Recreation Area
Elinor Bedell State Park
Pikes Point State Park
Templar State Recreation Area

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
  • Fish Cleaning Station
The best times for fishing right now are in the morning before 10 O'clock and in the evening around 5 O'clock. As always take caution when venturing out on the ice as there may be some weaker areas. For more information throughout the week, contact the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.
The ice on Big Spirit is pretty sturdy with people driving on at most locations. Check ice depths often when going out on the ice as there may be some weaker areas.
Walleye - Good: Anglers fishing for Walleye have found that the best time to find them is at dusk. The best areas to catch these right now are on the north end and on the rock beds on the east side of the lake.
Yellow Perch - Fair: The Perch on Big Spirit are being hard to find right now, however once you find them you should be able to catch a pretty good amount.
Download Printable Lake Map

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

  • 05/12/2015 - 720 Muskellunge (12.3")
  • 04/23/2015 - 25,250,000 Walleye (Fry)
  • annual 2014 - 23,022,291 Walleye (Fry)
  • 05/20/2014 - 595 Muskellunge (10.5")
  • 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)
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
  • 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 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:
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)

Contacts

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.