Upper Gar Lake is connected to Lake Minnewashta and East Lake Okoboji. Known for its 5 mph speed zone, Upper Gar offers boaters a chance to slow down the pace, putz through and enjoy the scenery as much natural shoreline exists here. The living on this lake consists mostly of condos and seasonal homes in areas such as Lakewood Park. The great thing about upper gar is that it still provides you access to all of the other lakes, and you can walk just a few blocks to the Amusement Park and the Emporium. Upper Gar offers the most affordable condo living as well. Condos range from about $200000 to $325000. Single family homes are not abundant and rarely come available.
Upper Gar Lake connects the south bay of East Okoboji Lake to Minnewashta Lake. At 37 acres, Upper Gar is the smallest of the Iowa Great Lakes chain. This lake is basically a shallow channel connecting two larger bodies of water. The average depth of Upper Gar is 3.5 feet, therefore warranting a maximum 5-mph speed limit on the lake. At its Northern end
Upper Gar Lake connects to East Lake Okoboji at the Hinshaw Bridge (near Trigg’s Resort) and at the Southern end it connects to Lake Minnewashta at the Sawmill Bridge. The Gar Lakes were named for their outlet known as Gar Outlet. This was because schools of Gars, a type of fish, were working their way upstream. Originally, there were three lakes known as the Gar lakes, forming a chain about two miles in length, and were called Upper, Middle, and Lower Gar Lakes. Around 1900, the name Middle Gar was changed to “Minnewashta,” which is Dakotah for good or nice.
If you are looking for a place to catch a bunch of fish in a short period of time, the dock in Minnewashta right off of Sawmill Park in Arnolds Park is the place. Fish with a worm or throw a crank bait, you can't go wrong. This spot located in the center of the lakes area allows you to bring your children to play on the nice equipment, or have a family gathering at the recently remodeled shelter. These waters are well known for perch, bluegill, pike, crappie, walleye, yellows, and smallmouth and largemouth bass. With two different places to launch a boat, Minnewashta is a great place for some family fun.
Separated from the rest of the Iowa Great Lakes, Big Spirit has a lot to offer. Big Spirit is actually located in Iowa and in Minnesota. This quiet setting offers a number of different lake views as well as access to fantastic fishing. While your are there, stop at the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery. Every year they use gillnetting to catch and release walleye, muskie and pike using each fish to help breed a new batch of fish for the year. Often times the DNR catches very large fish and put them on display in one of their many fish tanks. The DNR professionals harvest fish eggs and release them after they hatch. Stop by and see the in the Spring, you will not be disappointed.
Its almost here!!! Walleye Weekend marks the beginning of another great summer here in the Okoboji Area. Anglers from all over come to try and catch the prize fish. Our local DNR tag and release specific Walleyes while they are gillnetting in the Spring. Whether you are fishing from shore or by boat, you cannot go wrong. It is a great time to get the season started and check out the local restaurants. Maybe you will catch the big one. For more information about Walleye Weekend you can go to http://okobojichamber.com/events-calendar/iowa-great-lakes-walleye-weekend/
The Waterfront has been a really great addition to the Iowa Great Lakes. Located on the Bridges Bay campus, it is easy to find by car or boat. Streak, seafood, pasta, crepes, pizza and numerous delicious sides on the shores of East Lake will have you always coming back for more. Also try their Sunday brunch, it will not disappoint.
Whether you want to sit and enjoy great live music or eat a juicy steak with a lobster tail, this is a great place to spend some time. They have great ownership accompanied by a great staff. You just cannot go wrong. Located in the center of the action on Broadway Street, you are within walking distance of Arnolds Park Amusement Park. You should definitely stop in, enjoy a nice meal and listen to some great music.
The ice is in and its time to mark some fish! Drag the sled right down the ramp off of Dam Road in Arnolds Park and you are catching fish in minutes. On Minnewashta, no spot is a bad spot. Surrounded by a number of beautiful lake homes, the scene is perfect for drilling some holes and jigging your way to a fresh meal. Gills, perch, crappie and walleye will keep you busy in your fish shack. If have not fished on Lake Minnewashta, now is the time.