Friday, July 15, 2016

Beautiful Icaria

Icaria is an island in the Agean Sea 10 miles southwest of Samos.  It is also a lake four miles north of Corning, Iowa and about sixty miles from my home in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

We had tried the lake a couple of years ago, and now it was time to hit it again.  One of my friends in the hunting club I belong to told me he was given some hot tips on how to fish the lake for walleye.  Fish attractors had been placed in the lake at multiple locations and were marked on a map up by the Iowa DNR.  The state does a great job on helping sportsmen harvest game with plenty of stocking and providing good fishing locations.  The recommendation was to get on top of the fish attractors and jig up and down.

We were concerned that it might be a little late. It was the middle of June and water temps in the surrounding lakes and ponds were getting warm.  The plan was to follow the hot tip and put the boat on top of the fish attractors and jig with a chartreuse jig.  Also we would work around the attractors jigging the lake in five to fifteen feet of water.  

We had been there probably twenty years ago.  It was a deep clear lake but it was packed with people fishing.  Several years ago it was drawn down to clean out the rough fish and re-stocked with crappie, bass, catfish, and walleye. I have caught a lot of fish up at Webster, SD, but a location close to home was welcomed. 

We started out early with a big breakfast at the Council Bluffs Fish and Game Club, grabbed some crawlers, and headed over to Corning, Iowa.  Four miles north of Corning lies Lake Icaria.   We were really impressed with the campgrounds and parks the state of Iowa had completed in the area.  Several boat ramps were available, and if you own a motor home or 5th wheel camper, there are some really nice options.

A road bed extends across the lake at this location and we worked both sides.  The graph just hummed with targets and we had some hits, but they were really soft and nothing was boated.  To each side of the roadway, water depth was about fifteen to sixteen feet. 

The water was clear and the bank plunged down to fifteen to twenty foot depths.  Our only drawback was the surface temperature was 72 degrees.  We put on spinners and dropped them to the bottom, reeled them up a foot or two and back trolled against the wind and then drifted with the wind depending on where we were on the lake. The wind was starting to pick up in the 20 to 25 mph area, but in a small lake surrounded by hills, it was not a problem.   Near a submerged roadbed called Kale Road, we picked up some hits.  We could feel the light bite, but we were not getting good hook sets.

Spillway area at the dam, and looking southwesterly.  Close to the dam the water was only fifteen feet, but out 20 yards it dropped right down to 20 to 25 feet.  To the left of the picture the bank is really steep and the water depth is in the thirty foot range.
We got on top of the fish attractors and jigged up and down letting the boat drift  out to fifteen feet of water and then moved back over the top of them again.  Good drift produced a lot of hits and we would pick up a fish or two, but they were all small.  I would almost classify them as bait size.  Still catching fish is what it is all about and we were doing it.  I changed rods to ultra light for both Pam and myself and that helped feel the nibble.  Still we the fish we caught were not in the keeping range. 

Map of the lake.  The fish attractors are marked on the map and we worked all of them plus along the face of the dam. 

We had also purchased a book called "Sportsman's Connection" for the state of Iowa and it provided an excellent drawing of the topography of the lake.  I am going to check this book out for other states that I fish, mainly South Dakota and Kansas.  You can review what they have to offer for your state at their website 

Both graphs were humming and we showed a lot of fish with the majority below ten feet.  With the heat that had taken place, it was not surprising that the walleye had probably moved into deeper water.

Northern shoreline close to the dam. 

The wind had picked up considerably but with a smaller lake to fish on, it was not a problem.  We moved to the face of the dam.  At this location and out about 75 yards, we graphed a lot of fish suspended just off the bottom.  Toward the southwest shore the water got deeper down to thirty feet.  Out from the face of the dam at least ten yards, the water was twenty to twenty-five feet deep.  The bottom third of the graph was packed with fish.  

Southern shoreline showing a road that disappeared under the lake.

We changed from jigs to spinners and back to jigs and moved to the north shore letting the boat drift with the wind and kept the jig almost on the bottom.  Sometimes we would let it fall to the bottom and jig it up and down, but there was no action at all.   The weather turned warm and it was definitely time to go home before the sun beat us to death.

This is a beautiful lake and in July, we are going back down and fish for bass with some top water lures in the early morning. 


Good fishing, good hunting, and good luck.  Hank


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