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Lake Information for Spirit Lake


Big Spirit Lake is a natural body of water, approximately 5,684 acres (23.01 km²) in area, in Dickinson County in northwest Iowa in the United States. It is part of the chain of lakes known as the Iowa Great Lakes, the northern shore of the lake straddles the border with Minnesota. It is the largest natural lake in Iowa. The Dakotah Indian name for the lake was Minnewaukon. Early French traders named it Lac D' Esprit after the Indian legends of an evil spirit who dwelled in the lake.

Its maximum depth is 24 feet (7.3 m), and the mean depth is 17 feet (5 m). The drainage area of the lake is approximately 22 square miles (57 km²). It has a drainage area of approximately 75 mi² (194 km²), most of which is in Minnesota.

Fishing Description: 

Major species include bullhead, crappie, muskellunge, smallmouth bass, walleye, and yellow perch.

Fishing Tips, Tactics, How-To info: 

West Okoboji Lake and Spirit Lake are excellent for bluegill. After ice out, fish in Anglers Bay or at the North Grade at Spirit, then move to the weeds or rock piles as the weather warms.

Spirit Lake has great smallmouth populations. Fish after ice out. Use a jig and minnow over shallow rock piles on sunny, calm days. As the water warms, fish deep rock piles and switch to live bait rigs with leeches or diving crankbaits.

Spirit Lake has recently had excellent walleye harvests. Fish rocky shorelines and points in May and June.

Smallmouth Bass
Catfish Family
Optional Information
Maximum depth: 
Surface area: 
Spirit Lake
Lake type: 

Businesses Located Nearby

Boat Rental

    Bridgewater Boat
  • 3130 18th St - Spirit Lake, IA
  • (712) 336-3906
    Bridges Bay Resort
  • 630 Linden Dr - Arnolds Park, IA
  • (605) 334-2371

Vacation Rental

Bar and Restaurant

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