Fishing at the Iowa Great Lakes

For fishing enthusiasts, the Iowa Great Lakes is the place to be. For a novice angler or a semi-pro, fishing the Iowa Great Lakes can be fun, challenging and rewarding. For easy fishing fun, grab a pole, get some worms and try fishing under the docks for bluegill or crappies. For more challenging fishing, try for perch or bass. Perch are usually found in deeper water, but often school around rocky points and reefs, and bass can be found around bridges, submerged trees and under docks, especially in the mornings and early evenings.

If your looking for Walleyes, try rock reefs, sand beaches and areas around bridges at night. Northerns and Muskies are other fishing challenges. But for early season fishing in a more relaxed approach, hooking a night crawler on the line and letting it sit on the bottom while waiting for a bullhead to bite may be all the fishing required. For the serious fisherman, however, there are many fishing guide services. In this area, the local bait shops can put a fisherman onto some of the operating guides and their services.

The Iowa Great Lakes is host to a series of top notch guide services. All of the guides offer a full range of services for their clients. Guides also offer Facebook opportunities to give viewers the chance to get daily updated fishing reports. For simplicity, guides are listed below alphabetically by last name:

Shane Akin, owner of Great Lakes Guide Service
Business phone (712) 330-0085        

Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Shane Akin Great Lakes Guide Service

Rod Blau, owner of Jigmup Fishing Guide Service
Business phone (712) 346-8454        

Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Jigmup Guide Service

Doug Burns, owner of the Iowa Guide Service
Business phone (712) 209-4286        

Email:  [email protected]  
Facebook: The Iowa Guide Service

John Campbell, owner of Campbell Fishing Expeditions
Business phone (239) 860-0976        

Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Captain John Campbell

Ron Carson, owner of Ron’s Guide Service Iowa Great Lakes
Business phone (712) 330-3458
Email: [email protected]

John Grosvenor, owner of JTG Expeditions, operates out of the Dry Dock area in Arnolds Park.
Business phone (712) 330-5815         

Email: [email protected]   

Facebook: Lake Okoboji Fishing

Ryan Hale, owner of Hale’s Guide Service
Business phone (712) 441-5334 (c)    

Email: [email protected]
(712) 446-3604(h)



Darrin Jones, owner of Big Fin Guide Service LLC,
Business phone (712) 420-9972          

Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Big Fin Guide Service LLC

Chad Loreth, owner of Iowa Great Lakes Outdoors
Business phone is (712) 330-9678         

Email: [email protected]   

Facebook: Iowa Great Lakes Outdoors

Fishing in the Iowa Great Lakes area isn't only for sport fishermen. DNR rules allow the spearfishing of any rough fish, which includes carp, buffalo, suckers, sheepshead, and gar. This can be accomplished from the shoreline, using hand spears or bows and arrows; or by scuba divers using spring-loaded or pneumatic spearguns. Spearguns are prohibited within 100 feet of any swimming beach. There is no limit to the number of rough fish you can harvest while spearfishing, but you do need a valid fishing license. Most of these rough fish are smoked. Your local bait shop will be glad to give you tips and recipes.

Iowa Fishing licenses can be obtained at Fisherman's Factory Outlet, Hy-Vee, Kabele's Trading Post, Oak Hill Marina, Parks Marina, Pioneer Beach Resort, Stan's Bait Shop, Sunshine Market, and Wal-Mart. Online fishing licenses  CLICK HERE

The Spirit Lake Department of Natural Resources Fish Hatchery is located at 122 252nd Street in Orleans. Telephone 712/ 336-1840. A good source for fishing information and an interesting lobby display of local fish.


Iowa DNR Fishing Website:  CLICK HERE

Fishing reports can be found on the Iowa DNR website:  CLICK HERE