The Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For current information, contact the district fisheries office at the phone number listed at the end of each district report.
Nelson Park Lake
Channel catfish are being caught from the dam and near the lake bottom below the catfish cages.
Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Channel Catfish – Good: Anglers drift fishing with night crawlers have been doing. White Bass – Fair: White bass can be caught pulling plugs, crankbaits, or casting white twisters. Walleye – Slow: Some anglers are catching walleye while trolling shad raps. The successful anglers have been putting in a lot of time in order to catch fish. The dredge machine on Storm Lake is in operation. Stay clear of the dredge, booster pump, and the pipeline that runs from the dredge to the east shore.
North Twin Lake
Water levels are about 3 to 4 inches below crest. Water clarity is poor. Fishing for most species is slow, except for catfish. Anglers have been doing well for channel catfish. Try night crawlers, stink bait, cut bait, etc.
Black Hawk Lake
Black Hawk Lake is approximately three inches below crest. Water clarity is good. Black Hawk Lake’s fishery was renovated last fall. Although we have been restocking the lake with sport fish, there are not a lot of harvestable size fish in the lake yet.
Little Sioux River (Linn Grove to Correctionville)
Channel catfish have been hitting hard on chicken livers. Use a slip sinker and toss into a snag or along a high bank. The river has come down and is in good shape. Fishing around the Linn Grove Dam for catfish has been good.
For more information on lakes and rivers in the Black Hawk District contact the Black Hawk District Office at 712-657-2638.
Sucker – Good: There are lots of white suckers in Beed’s. A worm and sinker on the bottom should entice them to bite. Channel Catfish – Fair: Largemouth Bass – Good: Crappie – Fair: Try for crappies around the jetties with minnows.
Lower Pine Lake
Channel Catfish – Good: Some very nice channel catfish from Lower Pine Lake on liver. Largemouth Bass – Fair:
Upper Pine Lake
Channel Catfish – Fair: A few catfish are being caught on liver. Bluegill – Good: Small grub-style baits are working. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Crappie – Fair: Some crappies are being caught near structure.
Channel Catfish – Good: Try cutbait, worms, or stinkbait. Fish are probably biting best the last hour of sunlight to an hour after sunset. Bluegill – Slow: Largemouth Bass – Fair: A few largemouths are being caught in the evening and early morning.
Channel Catfish – Good: Cats are biting on minnows or chicken liver. Try early morning or right at dark. They are decent size with some running 7-9 pounds. Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth bass are biting on spinners.
Channel Catfish – Fair: Catfish are biting near the grade, on some of the rock reefs, near the island, and perhaps by the city seawall. Best fishing is after dark with small live bait, cutbait, or stinkbait. Bluegill – Slow: Bluegill numbers are low, but some fish may be caught below docks or on the edge of bulrush. Crappie – Slow: Reports of crappies hitting near the state reef, near the dollar dock and a few by the Ventura grade. Walleye – Slow: Most of the action is in deeper water on the various rock reefs using a small lead head with a quarter piece of nightcrawler. A few walleyes have been taken trolling. Some anglers are drifting around the island and picking some up. Shore fishing can still be ok on the windward shorelines. Some walleyes can be picked up in or near the edge of the bulrush. Muskellunge – No Report: Yellow Bass – Good: Anglers are getting lots of yellows from boats near the state artificial reef, which is out from the state dock area, and from Fisherman’s Reef.
Channel Catfish – Good: Cats should be biting on cutbait or stinkbait. Fish from the last hour of sunlight to an hour after sunset. or try during the day on a windward side of the lake. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are keeper size. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Largemouth bass are near the rocks by the harbor and other rocky shorelines. Crappie – Fair: Crappies are around eight inches. Yellow Bass – Good: Yellow bass are 7-7.25 inches
Little Wall Lake
Channel Catfish – Fair: Some channel cats have been caught in the evenings. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Crappie – Slow:
Most anglers are fishing the deeper dredged water to catch fish. Channel Catfish – Slow: Bluegill – Good: Anglers are picking bluegills up in 7-8 feet of water but some deep too. Largemouth Bass – Good: Anglers have reported catching lots of largemouth. Fish on the outside edges with a bobber and live bait or try a weedless spoon. Walleye – Fair: Walleyes are around 16-20 inches. Fish deep during the day and a little shallower during the evening.
Channel Catfish – Good: Anglers still catching some catfish off the jetty. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills still biting. Largemouth Bass – Good: Remember the 15-inch minimum length limit.
Interstate Park Lake
There was a partial fish kill this winter on this lake but anglers have been reporting catching a variety of fish this past week. Bluegill – Fair: Largemouth Bass – Fair: Crappie – Fair: Crappies are a nice size and should be biting off the boat ramp point or off the east rock side.
Iowa River (Iowa Falls to Marshalltown)
Water levels have gone down. No reports, but fishing should be good for a variety of species. Channel Catfish – Good:
Shell Rock River (above Greene)
Water levels have gone down. No reports, but fishing should be good for pike, walleye, and catfish. Northern Pike – No Report: Look for areas with cooler water flowing in, if you can find them. Channel Catfish – Good: Catfish should be biting well. Try whatever you have available: worms, cutbait, stinkbait, live bait. Some of the best action can be had by throwing a slip sinker rig right in front of a snag/logjam and waiting for a bite. Smallmouth Bass – Good:
Anglers are catching pike, smallmouth bass, and catfish on artificial lures on the Winnebago from Mason City to Rockford. Northern Pike – Good: Anglers are catching their limits on artificial lures. Channel Catfish – Good: Catfish should be biting well. Try whatever you have available: worms, cutbait, stinkbait, live bait. Some of the best action can be had by throwing a slip sinker rig right in front of a snag/logjam and waiting for a bite. Smallmouth Bass – Good:
East Fork Des Moines (Algona to Humboldt)
The East Fork is fishable. Channel Catfish – Good: Anglers are having nice catches with frogs. Walleye – No Report:
For lake updates and fishing information in the north central area contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.
Big Spirit Lake
Smallmouth Bass – Slow: Look around rock piles and weed lines for smallmouth with a combination being even better. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Fish have been found in a few different areas but there doesn’t seem to be a clear cut pattern. Pitching docks, cranking weed lines, and top-water early and late have all caught a few fish. Walleye – Slow: A few fish have been caught trolling the basin but only a few fish have been coming in. Shore anglers have been catching a few slots around sunset.
West Okoboji Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Look for bluegills in and around weeds, with open pockets and weed edges being the most productive. Live bait rigged on a slip bobber rig suspended just above the weeds has been good as well as jigging pilkies and small jigs. A few perch and yellow bass are also being picked up with this presentation. Smallmouth Bass – Slow: The smallies have been relating more so to deeper weed edges and drop-offs. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Look for weed pockets or weed edges for largemouth.
Little Sioux River (state line to Linn Grove)
The water is low and the fish are concentrated in deeper holes. Try a white twister tail for walleye and a worm on bottom should catch just about anything.
For more information contact the Spirit Lake Hatchery at 712-336-1840.
Channel Catfish – Fair: Cooler water has slowed catfish activity. Try a hook and worm set near the bottom. Bluegill – Slow: Try in the shallow flats. Use a small jig tipped with a worm under a bobber. Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth bass are hitting a jig tipped with a twistertail or worm. Crappie – Good: Fish are suspended over the deep water brush piles. Try using a jig tipped with imitation minnows. Yellow Perch – Slow:
Water is cloudy due to rain over the weekend. Lake levels are up about one foot. Channel Catfish – No Report: Try night crawlers or stink baits under a bobber along the rockier shoreline. Bluegill – No Report: Try a hook tipped with a small chunk of worm under a bobber. Largemouth Bass – Good: Anglers have been catching largemouth bass using spinnerbaits. Crappie – Fair: Anglers have been catching crappies in the old river channel or deeper water using small jigs tipped with a minnow.
There is a greenish tint to the water but little submersed vegetation at this time. Fish seem to be biting better in the evening and closer to dark. Northern Pike – No Report: Channel Catfish – Slow: Try near submersed trees. Use a worm or cut bait fished on the bottom under a bobber. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are picking up a lot of small bluegills using a piece of worm under a bobber. Largemouth Bass – Good: Anglers are catching bass from shore by casting and retrieving a hook tipped with a big chunk of nightcrawler, or by using brightly colored jigs. Crappie – Slow: Anglers continue to pick up a few suspended in deeper water.
Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
Fish seem to be more active in the morning with action picking up again in the late afternoon. Sucker – Slow: Anglers are catching suckers on a hook tipped with a worm and fished along the bottom. Smallmouth Bass – Excellent: Anglers are using jigs tipped with a worm or darker colored twistertail with some success. Crankbaits have also been working. Walleye – Fair: Anglers are having luck using dark colored jigs or a hook tipped with a worm or twister tails.
Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
Sucker – Fair: Suckers are taking worms fished along the bottom. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Anglers using small hair jigs and crankbaits are doing the best. Walleye – Good: Anglers are having success using a jig tipped with a dark colored twister tail or worm and drifting it in the current.
Fishing out of a canoe or kayak is allowed without landowner permission. Wading or fishing from the bank requires landowner permission.
Turkey River (above Clermont)
Dirty water from rain in the upper watershed has made its way throughout the system. Clarity should start to improve. Anglers are finding fish in the shallower water. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Anglers are using a jig tipped a worm with success. Also try a crawdad or a lure imitating crawdads. Walleye – Good: Try along cut banks or around woody debris.
Cedar River (above Nashua)
River levels have come up a bit and clarity has decreased with the three inch rain last weekend. Water is clearing slowly. Channel Catfish – Fair: Catfish are beginning to take stink baits but will take chicken livers and dead chubs. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Anglers are using a jig tipped with a twistertail. Smallies, 14 inches plus, are common. Crappie – Slow: Anglers have been finding crappies around brush piles. Walleye – Slow: Anglers are using nightcrawlers and jigs tipped with a twister tail.
Decorah District Streams
Northeast Iowa streams are looking good but additional rains are still hampering stream clarity. Invertebrate populations were definitely affected by the flooding and mayfly/caddisfly hatches might be sparse for awhile. Hoppers, crickets, ants and beetles will be effective terrestrial patterns for the balance of the season, as well as sub-surface nymphs, wet flies and streamers. Good fish are being caught.
Area rivers continue to look good and another weekend with beautiful weather is in store. For more on water levels, visit http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ia/nwis/rt. ; For trout stocking information, call 563-927-5736. For more information, call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.
George Wyth Lake
George Wyth is providing some decent fishing for bluegill, crappie, and largemouth bass near the Cedar Falls/Waterloo metro area. Bluegill – Fair: Largemouth Bass – Fair: Crappie – Fair:
Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
The Cedar River has been providing excellent catfishing as well as some action for smallmouth bass and walleye. Catfish can be caught on prepared stink baits, cutbaits, and nightcrawlers. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Smallmouth Bass – Good: Walleye – Good: Anglers have been catching some larger walleye fishing crankbaits.
Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
The Shell Rock has been providing excellent fishing during recent weeks for channel catfish and walleye. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Walleye – Good:
Wapsi River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
The Wapsipinicon has been slow compared to the other area rivers over recent weeks, but fishing action has started to pick up. Northern Pike – Fair: Channel Catfish – Good: Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Walleye – Fair:
Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
The Maquoketa is in excellent condition and is providing good opportunities for channel catfish, smallmouth bass, and walleye. Channel Catfish – Good: Smallmouth Bass – Good: Walleye – Good:
Rivers and streams in northeast Iowa are providing excellent fishing for channel catfish, smallmouth bass and walleye. A light jig tipped with a nightcrawler is a good option now because it will catch all three species. Fishing reports from lakes in the area are not as good during these dog days of summer, so consider focusing on the flowing waters. Trout streams are in great condition. For more info call 563-927-3276.
Mississippi River Pool 9
River level at Lansing is 8 feet and is expected to hold steady at this level over the next week. Army Road near New Albin is open but could be rough because of flood damage. Heytman’s Landing at the lower end of pool 9 is difficult to use due to siltation. Channel Catfish – Good: Catfish biting on stink bait and worms. Bluegill – Excellent: Lower water levels and better water quality have got bluegills biting again. Look for fish along shoreline structure in backwaters and slow running sloughs. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Smallmouth bite is picking up along current breaks on rocky shorelines. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass are active in backwaters and near shorelines next to wing dams. Walleye – Good: Walleye fishing on wing dams is improving. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Drum are actively biting on worms or small bits of crawler fishing along the main channel drop-offs and sand flats.
Mississippi River Pool 10
River level at Lynxville is 13.4 feet and falling slightly over the next week. Boaters should use caution launching in the lower water to avoid backing off the end of ramps. Bluegill fishing has been good at the roadside fishing access areas near Harpers Ferry, and the fishing piers at Marquette and Bussey Lake. Channel Catfish – Good: Catfish biting on stink bait and worms. Bluegill – Excellent: Lower water levels and better water quality have got bluegills biting again. Look for fish along shoreline structure in backwaters and slow running sloughs. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Smallmouth bite is picking up along current breaks on rocky shorelines. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass active in backwaters and near shorelines next to wing dams. Walleye – Good: Walleye fishing on wing dams is improving. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Drum are actively biting on worms or small bits of crawler fishing along the main channel drop-offs and sand flats.
Mississippi River Pool 11
River stage at Guttenberg is 5.3 feet currently and is expected to fall slightly over the next week to 5 feet. All Pool 11 ramps are open but parking at the Turkey River landing is limited due to flood mud. Channel Catfish – Good: Catfish biting on stink bait and worms. Bluegill – Excellent: Lower water levels and better water quality have got bluegills biting again. Look for fish along shoreline structure in backwaters and slow running sloughs. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Smallmouth bite is picking up along current breaks on rocky shorelines. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass active in backwaters and near shorelines next to wing dams. Walleye – Good: Walleye fishing on wing dams is improving. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Drum are actively biting on worms or small bits of crawler fishing along the main channel drop offs and sand flats
The Upper Mississippi is back to normal summer levels and is expected to remain stable over the next week. Stable river levels on the Mississippi can create great fishing and now is a great time to get on the river. All boat ramps are open. Water temperature is in the upper 70s.
Mississippi River Pool 12
Water level at the lock and dam in Dubuque is at 5.0 feet and the water level at the railroad bridge is at 7.6 feet. Water levels are steady and water clarity is good. Water temperature is around 72 degrees. Channel Catfish – Good: People fishing for drum report catching a lot of smaller catfish. You can also try stink bait fished above brush piles, but make sure to move often if you do not get bites within the first 15 minutes. Flathead Catfish – Good: Many crappie and bluegill anglers are reporting catching flatheads, especially when fishing along rock piles. The flatheads are generally in the smaller size range of the species but can be quite good to eat. Bluegill – Excellent: Fish are being caught along rock piles and snags throughout the pool. Use a simple hook and worm for best results. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Some smallies are being caught along current areas near rock. Spinners and crankbaits are best but some are also being caught by the bluegill anglers on worms. Largemouth Bass – Excellent: Numerous 12-inch largemouths are being reported caught nearly everywhere, mostly on minnow imitation lures but some by bluegill anglers using worms. Crappie – Good: Small crappies have moved into brush piles. A bobber and worms or small minnows seems to be catching some 10 to 11-inch crappie. Yellow Perch – Fair: Yellow perch have been reported from the tail water and by folks fishing on wing dams. Some of these perch are up to 13 inches but finding concentrations is difficult. Walleye – Fair: Conditions are favorable for fishing on wing dams right now. Learn how to fish above the dams using a three way rig and a worm. Also crankbaits have been effective fished on wing dams. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Drum are being caught on simple egg sinkers and worm rigs. Drum can be a great eating fish but you must keep them on ice after being caught and remove all red meat from fillets.
Mississippi River Pool 13
Water levels at the Bellevue Lock and Dam is 5.0 feet. Water is clear and water temperature is around 72 degrees. Channel Catfish – Good: Catfish are reported to be biting on stink bait near log piles. Anchor above the rock piles and let the smell of the stink bait ooze into the brush pile drawing out the catfish. Flathead Catfish – Fair: Several flatheads were reported by bluegill anglers. Larger flatheads can be caught using live fish as bait. Fish near brush piles and deeper water locations with eddy currents. Bluegill – Excellent: Many nice bluegills are being caught throughout the pool. Size ranges from 6.5 inches to 9 inches. Most anglers are using worms and bobbers or split shot rigs. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Some smallmouth are being caught along rock piles throughout the pool. Smallmouth concentrate along areas that are rocky and have current. Use jigs or spinners for best results. Anglers are also reporting catching rock bass while smallmouth fishing. Largemouth Bass – Excellent: Sub-legal bass are providing good action on spinner baits in Pool 13. Try around rocky points or rip rap areas for best luck. The size of the largemouth bass has been small but good for kids fishing. Crappie – Good: Several small crappies were reported in Pool 13 this week on rigs tipped with small minnows. Walleye – Fair: Some walleyes were reported using three-way rigs above the wing dams. Small chunks of worms or floating crankbaits yield the best results. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: A simple rig with an egg sinker and worm rig yields the best results. Drum can be great eating but you must be prepared to keep them on ice and remove all red meat from fillets.
Mississippi River Pool 14
Water levels at Fulton are at 5.0 feet and steady. Water clarity is quite good but a green algae hatch has made water cloudy in some locations. The water temperatures is 72 degrees. Conditions are good at most all boat ramps so get out and enjoy the great fishing. Channel Catfish – Good: If you are going after catfish anchor and fish above brush piles and let the stink bait ooze into the hole. Bluegill – Excellent: Many 8 and even 9 inchers have been reported. Lots of rock bass also being caught when bluegill fishing. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Some smallies are being reported on the rock rip rap areas of the pool especially by Clinton. Largemouth Bass – Excellent: Small largemouth bass are being caught seemingly everywhere on Pool 14. The size is mainly under the legal size limit of 14 inches but folks are having a ball catching 12-inch fish. Walleye – Good: Wing dam fishing is available to anglers now that the water receded. Folks are mainly throwing crankbaits on the dams for best results. Some are using plainer boards along channel edges. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Several drum were reported by folks using a worm rig on the bottom. Drum can be excellent eating but you need to keep them on ice for best flavor.
Mississippi River Pool 15
Water level at LeClaire is at 4.6 feet and steady. Some quality angling was again reported on Pool 15 this week. Channel Catfish – Good: Several folks were reported fishing for channel catfish mostly using worms but some also trying cut bait. Either way they also caught a few drum as well. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: A few smallies were reported by anglers mainly fishing for bass. Try using crankbaits for bigger smallmouth bass. Imitation crayfish cranks can be quite effective. Largemouth Bass – Good: Anglers reported catching many sub-legal largemouth bass this week. Folks are working rock piles with jigs and spinners. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Freshwater drum are being caught all along the channel boarder by anglers using worms for bait. Boat ramps such as Eagles Landing can be a great spot to catch drum.
The water levels in the district have are low. The river dropped about one foot from last week. Presently the issue for boaters is logs and debris that have been rearranged from the months of flooding on the river. Water temperature is at 72 degrees and water clarity is good.
Mississippi River Pool 16
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 15 in Davenport is 4.76 feet. River conditions are low so use caution when boating. Channel Catfish – No Report: Bluegill – No Report: Crappie – No Report: Walleye – Fair: Some walleyes are also being caught trolling the main river by Sunset Marina or around the wing dams along Credit Island. Some walleyes are also being caught casting crankbaits on the wing dams.
Mississippi River Pool 17
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine is 3.54 feet. River conditions are low so use caution when boating. Walleye – Fair: Some walleyes are being caught on the wing dams. Try trolling crankbaits or three-way rigs tipped with half a nightcrawler on the upstream side of the wing dams. Casting crankbaits over the top of the wing dams can produce some fish as well.
Mississippi River Pool 18
River stage at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston is 3.94 feet. The Toolesboro Road and boat ramp are now open. Channel Catfish – No Report: Try fishing for channel catfish by anchoring above snag piles and wing dams in the main channel or side channels. Try nightcrawlers, stinkbait, or cut shad for bait. White Bass – Good: Some white bass are being caught by the dam and on the wing dams. Try casting crankbaits or in-line spinners. Typically the bite is best early in the morning or right before dark.
Mississippi River Pool 19
River stage at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington is 1.75 feet. Channel Catfish – Good: Channel catfish are being caught on cut shad, shad guts, and nightcrawlers. Some channel catfish are also being caught on stinkbait. Try fishing above snag piles along the main channel and side channels. Crappie – No Report: Fish brush piles and snags in the side channels with jigs and minnows. Most crappie fishing reports are coming from area lakes and farm ponds. Walleye – Slow: Look for walleyes on the wing dams trolling crankbaits or three-way rigs with a half a nightcrawler. Casting crankbaits over the top of the wing dams can produce some fish as well.
Mississippi River Pools 16-19: River conditions are low so use caution when boating. Remember to clean, drain, and dry your boat before going to another water body. If you have questions about fishing Pools 16-19 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.
All the ramps as well as the Toolesboro Road are open. There is a lot of water moving through Odessa right now both from the inlet and outlet. Wildlife has the water level dropping fairly fast yet trying to dry out some of the areas that were flooded for most of the spring and summer. Burris ditch is very shallow right now. Channel Catfish – Good: Look to the button bush thickets to find catfish. Anglers have been catching them on chicken liver and cut bait. Crappie – Good: Good numbers of crappies can be found around the tree falls and the beaver lodges.
Lake Belva Deer
Bluegill – Fair: Work off the edges of the underwater mounds in the lake. The fish are down about 10 feet. Crappie – Fair: Anglers are finding crappies in the same places as the bluegills.
Lake of the Hills
Remember, Lake of the Hills is the only lake in West Lake Park where the use of live minnows as bait is allowed. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Catfishing remains hot. The popular baits remain chicken liver and stinkbait. Bluegill – Good: They’re down about 3 to 4 feet. You’ll have to move around to find them so I would recommend drift/ trolling for them. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass are now hitting on plastic worms. White spinner baits continue to work very well. Crappie – Fair: Work the brush piles along the dam using minnows. The depth of the fish varies from day to day.
The use of live minnows is not permitted on Railroad Lake. Channel Catfish – Good: Catfish have been biting on stinkbait and chicken liver along the old creek channel on the south side. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are biting along 110th and along the north shore in the stump field. Largemouth Bass – Good: Use white spinner baits to locate the bass along the rocks and the submerged wood. Crappie – Fair: Anglers working the flooded timber and old creek channel on the south side have been catching some crappies.
Skunk River (Coppock to Mississippi River)
The river level has been dropping slowly; some of the riffles are too shallow to boat through now even with the smaller Jon boats. Water temp remains in the low 70s. Channel Catfish – Good: Catfish continue to bite. Work the brush piles and below the rock riffles.
Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River)
Water levels are dropping slowly some of the bigger sand bars are really sticking out. Channel Catfish – Good: The go to baits continue to be frogs, chubs and crawdads. Work the brush piles and the drop-offs at the edges of the sandbars.
For more information on the above lakes and rivers call the Lake Darling Fisheries Station at 319-694-2430.
Channel Catfish – Good: Chicken livers and stinkbait are working well. Bluegill – Good: Some fish are around the weed edges and some are out in deeper water. Crappie – Good: Most fish are suspended in open water. The invasive species, brittle naiad, is present. Check the boat, trailer, and equipment before leaving the lake.
Channel Catfish – Fair: Some are being caught around shallow rock while others have pulled out to deeper water. Crawlers and stinkbait are working best. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Fish around shallow rock and wood. Crappie – Fair: Look for main lake lay downs to hold crappies. Walleye – Slow: Fish are being caught by trolling flats or rock reefs. Water temperature is about 80 degrees and the water has quite a bit of color to it. The 10 hp motor restriction and 5 MPH speed limit is in effect. The invasive species, brittle naiad, is present. Check the boat, trailer, and equipment before leaving the lake.
Pleasant Creek Lake
Channel Catfish – Fair: Livers, crawlers and stinkbait have been working best. White Bass – Good: Fish shallow, wind-blown shorelines with small crankbaits or jigs, or chase schools of fish in open water with top-water baits, crankbaits, or other small, flashy baits. Walleye – Fair: Some better fish are being caught by jigging leeches on humps and roadbeds. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: These fish are only two years old but some are approaching 18 inches. Look for them mixed in with the white bass. Water clarity is excellent and water temperature is around 80 degrees. Remember, largemouth bass must be 18 inches to keep and musky must be 40 inches to keep. The invasive species, brittle naiad, is present. Check the boat, trailer, and equipment before leaving the lake.
The lake is still murky. Remember, no minnows are allowed here. Channel Catfish – Good: Stinkbait and chicken livers have been working well, especially early and late in the day. Bluegill – Fair: Most fish are being caught around deeper brush. Crappie – Fair: Fish are being caught around deeper brush or just suspended in open water by drift fishing jigs.
Otter Creek Lake
The lake water is fairly green from an algae bloom. Channel Catfish – Good: Evenings have been best. Bluegill – Good: Try around deeper brush. Yellow Bass – Good: Mornings have been best on small spinners.
Union Grove Lake
Channel Catfish – Good: Chicken livers and stinkbait are working best. Bluegill – Good: Wax worms are working best, but crawlers are producing as well. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Fish along rock banks and the dam face for best results. Crappie – Slow:
The lake is at normal summer pool. Channel Catfish – Fair: Drifting and trolling cut bait has been producing fish. Crappie – Fair: Try casting jigs to steeper banks or submerged brush piles with jigs.
Iowa River (Coralville Lake to River Junction)
Channel Catfish – Good:
Cedar River (Cedar Rapids to Moscow)
Channel Catfish – Good:
Wapsi River (Troy Mills to Oxford Junction)
Smallmouth Bass – Fair:
For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.
Anglers should try rubber worms or top-water lures fished among the lily pads. Largemouth bass have also been hitting on crankbaits and spinnerbaits. Target areas with rip-rapped shorelines and aquatic vegetation, such as lily pads. Use chicken liver for channel catfish and try around the rock jetties.
Red Haw Lake
Bluegill – Good: Use a chunk of nightcrawler on a bare hook and put a bobber about 8-12 inches above the bait. Try near the shoreline, around the fishing jetties or along the dam. Largemouth Bass – Good: Use rubber worms around the stake beds. Try spinnerbaits in areas around the rock jetties and along the face of the dam. Try top-waters in the early mornings in the same areas.
Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs and a slip-bobber tipped with a chunk of nightcrawler. Add a split shot about 12 inches above the hook. Look for open areas among the aquatic vegetation and drop the nightcrawler in those areas. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try top-water baits in the mornings and evening. Use plastic worms and spinnerbaits along the edges of the aquatic vegetation.
The current lake level is 908.35 feet with normal pool being 904 feet. The water temperature is 77 degrees. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try chicken liver and prepared stink bait around areas with rocky shorelines. Also try areas such as coves and bays that have some water running into them. Walleye – Slow: Walleye fishing remains slow but has improved as the lake gets closer to normal pool. The best baits to use have been crankbaits that mimic gizzard shad around the submerged points and rock reefs. Look for areas where there is a change in depth from deeper to shallower water. Don’t forget Lake Rathbun contains zebra mussels so make sure to clean, drain, and dry boats before transporting to another water body. Spray boats and trailers with high pressure hot water (above 104 degrees) or let them dry for at least 10 days (5 days in the sun).
If you have other questions regarding fishing in south central Iowa call the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406.
Bluegill – Good: Bluegill can be caught fishing small jigs tipped with crawlers 2 to 4 feet below the surface around much of the standing timber. Crappie – Fair: Drifting panfish jigs around the standing timber mid lake is producing crappie.
Rock Creek Lake
Crappie – Fair: Anglers drifting jigs on the main lake are picking up some crappie. Keep your bait above 6 to 7 feet. If crappie aren’t cooperating try drifting small pieces of crawler for bluegills. Bluegill are fair size in Rock Creek with many fish around 8 inches.
Roberts Creek Lake
Crappie – Good: Anglers drifting small jigs or trolling small crankbaits are catching decent numbers of 9 to 11-inch white crappies.
Big Creek Lake
Bluegill – Good: Bluegill fishing is in the summer pattern of drift fishing small jigs with crawler, especially over the old road beds. Big Creek bluegills are good size with many fish over 8 inches.
Bluegill – Fair: Bluegill are being caught drifting or casting crawlers under a bobber along the vegetation edges. Crappie – Good: Crappie are suspended along the northwest shoreline just outside the vegetation line. Cast or drift small panfish jigs or white twisters out from the vegetation. Crappies are also being caught around the fishing shelter.
Red Rock Reservoir
White Bass – Excellent: White bass are being caught in good numbers trolling crankbaits or spoons around windswept points. Look for shad schools breaking the surface and be ready to move often to stay with the activity. Good colors to start with are shad imitating colors, such as solid chrome.
Channel Catfish – Good: Drift fishing cut creek chubs or dead shad above the mile long bridge will produce some fun catfishing with good chances at fish over five pounds. White Bass – Fair: Saylorville white bass have been hit or miss with most anglers. The action will be great on one day and dead at the same spot the following day. Anglers have to follow the large schools of young of the year gizzard shad that the white bass are targeting. Try staying as close to these schools breaking the surface as possible. Troll or cast lipless crankbaits or spoons.
Des Moines River (Stratford to Saylorville Lake)
Channel Catfish – Excellent: River levels are challenging for boats, but channel catfishing has been good using stink baits.
Crappie and bluegill are in summer patterns and can be caught best drift fishing or still fishing over habitat in 6-15 feet of water. White bass fishing on Red Rock Reservoir continues to be good. For questions on central Iowa lakes and rivers contact Ben Dodd or Andy Otting at 515-432-2823.
Try drifting for bluegills and crappie suspended mid-lake or around cedar tree piles. Greenfield also has a good channel catfish population with many 2 to 3 pound fish. Channel Catfish – Fair: Channel catfish have been caught around the jetties using shrimp. Fish in shallow water above the thermocline. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills can be caught drifting small jigs tipped with scented bait or a piece of worm. Largemouth Bass – Good: Plastic baits are catching bass around structure and close to shore. Crappie – Fair: Vertically jigging with minnows around cedar tree piles has been good for 8 to 10-inch crappies. Early morning has been the best.
Fish the cedar tree piles. Bluegill – Fair: Vertically jig cedar trees or drift small jigs to catch 8 to 9-inch bluegills. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Largemouth bass can be caught casting plastic baits to shore and around cedar tree piles.
Crappies are being caught around submerged trees and drifting. Catfish have slowed this week. Channel Catfish – Fair: Catfishing has been good using shad sides and liver. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegill in the 7 to 8-inch size range are being caught round brush piles in 4 to 6 feet of water. Crappie – Fair: Drift with tube jigs to catch 10-inch crappie.
Fishing has slowed this week with the blue-green algae bloom. Channel Catfish – Slow: Two pound catfish are being caught on cutbait. Bluegill – Slow: Bluegills can be caught drifting along the dam. Tipping jigs with crawler seems to help.
A few bluegills and crappie are being picked up drifting. Littlefield has a good channel catfish population. Channel Catfish – Fair: Catfish can be caught in the corners of the dam and on the north shore using liver. Fish average two pounds. Bluegill – Slow: Drift with small black jigs tipped with night crawler or power bait to catch 7 to 8 fish. Crappie – Fair: Late afternoon has been a good time to catch 10-inch crappie drifting white twister tails.
Largemouth bass fishing was fair this week. Crappies and bluegills are being caught vertically jigging over the road beds. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills are being caught vertically jigging small jigs tipped with worms or power bait. Fish are around road beds and other submerged structure. Fish are 8 to 9 inches. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Largemouth bass are reported to be caught close to shore and around aquatic vegetation casting spinnerbaits and plastic worms. Fish are all sizes. Crappie – Fair: Crappies are being caught drifting with jigs in both arms of the lake. Vertically jigging along submerged road beds with minnows has also been good. Mornings and late evening hours are best.
Largemouth bass fishing remains good. A few channel catfish were also caught. Channel Catfish – Fair: Cutbait and liver were reported to catch catfish close to shore around structure. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass fishing has been good in the upper end of the lake using spinners and plugs. Redear Sunfish – Fair: Redear sunfish are being caught using night crawlers under a bobber. Redears can reach sizes of 10 plus inches.
Largemouth bass fishing is good. Crappies are suspended off the dam and around the many brush piles. Channel Catfish – Fair: Channel catfish can be caught around underwater reefs and rock fields using cutbait. Many are 2 to 4 pounds. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Largemouth bass are being caught casting the shoreline with spinnerbaits and slow trolling crankbaits. Fish are all sizes. Crappie – Fair: Crappies range in size from 7 to 10 inches and are being caught drifting tube jigs and vertically jigging tree piles.
The middle boat ramp is the only place to launch a boat at Desoto Bend. Largemouth bass fishing continues to be good. Anglers are drifting shallow flats w/ blood bait and catching channel catfish. Channel Catfish – Fair: Fish liver or blood bait on the shallow flats. Most anglers are drifting these baits along the bottom. Fish will average two pounds. Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth bass of all sizes are being caught casting plastic baits to shore.
Crappie fishing has picked up around the docks. Catfishing is also good. Channel Catfish – Good: The south and west side of the lake has been good for catfish using liver. Fish up to five pounds are being caught. Crappie – Fair: Crappie are being caught around the docks with minnows.
Flows are low enough to access the fishing in the river by wading. Try drifting crawdads around structure and the outside river bends. Channel Catfish – Good: Channel catfish are being caught with crawdads and liver in the deeper holes.
Middle Raccoon River (above Van Meter)
We have received no information regarding fishing on this water body this week. Channel Catfish – No Report: Crawdads are a good bet for summer catfishing on the river. Smallmouth Bass – No Report: Try fishing a small piece of worm and a lead head jig through the holes.
Cold Springs District Farm Ponds
Bluegills and crappie are in their summer pattern and can be caught along weed edges and suspended in the water column. Largemouth bass are aggressive and easily caught this time of year. Remember to always get permission before fishing private farm ponds. Channel Catfish – Fair: Catfish can be caught in 4 to 6 feet of water with dip bait or liver. Bluegill – Fair: Cast small jigs close to weed edges or drift open water to catch bluegill. Largemouth Bass – Good: Casting small spinners and jigs around structure and along vegetation has been good for bass. Crappie – Fair: Fish minnows and small jigs around structure to catch crappies.
Bluegill and crappie fishing has been spotty in southwest Iowa. Channel catfishing has been good in the interior rivers. For more information on lakes in southwest Iowa, call the Cold Springs office at 712-769-2587
The water clarity is fairly good and temperatures are in the mid 70s. Bluegill – Fair: A few bluegills can be caught from the fish mounds. Crappie – Fair: Crappies are hanging around the fish mounds and the edges of the tree piles.
Little River Watershed Lake
Water level is near full and the lake is easily accessible. Channel Catfish – Fair: A lot of mid-sized channel catfish are being caught from shoreline areas. Small liver chunks and stink baits are working the best.
Green Valley Lake
The water levels are normal. Some algae is present but not excessive. The water temperature is in the mid 70s. Bluegill – Fair: A few bluegills are being caught from the edges of the rooted vegetation and fish mounds. Crappie – Fair: The crappies are on the fish mounds and the stake beds.
The lake has refilled and the fishery has been restocked.
Three Mile Lake
The water level is near normal. Channel Catfish – Fair: Channel catfish are biting on liver and stink baits. Yellow Bass – Fair: A lot of small yellow bass are being caught on small crawlers or jigs. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: Anglers are catching a few wipers on small liver chunks on the bottom or suspended just off the bottom.
Twelve Mile Creek Lake
The water quality is fair and temps are in the mid 70s. Bluegill – Good: Some nice bluegills are being caught from the edges of the rooted vegetation. Small jigs and small crawlers seem to be working the best. Crappie – Fair: Several crappies can be caught from the edges of the vegetation and the fish mounds. Walleye – Slow: A few walleyes have been caught from the steep shoreline areas and deeper rocky areas.
Water levels are near normal. Some green algae is appearing but usually not severe.
Missouri River (Sioux City to Little Sioux)
Channel Catfish – Good: Fishing continues to be good for channel catfish. Anglers are having success on various baits such as: worms, cutbait, dip baits, minnows, and crawfish. Flathead Catfish – Good: Flatheads continue to bite on live bait and cut bait. Anglers have had the best success on chubs, goldfish, and sunfish near deep water habitat, wing dikes, revetments, and incoming rivers and streams. Walleye – Slow: A few walleye have been reported.
Missouri River (Little Sioux to Council Bluffs)
Channel Catfish – Good: Fishing has been good for channel catfish on various baits. Anglers continue to have success on dip baits, worms, and cutbait. Flathead Catfish – Good: Flathead catfish are biting on live bait and cut bait. Try using live baits such as chubs and sunfish around deep holes near wing dykes, logs, and incoming rivers and streams. Walleye – Slow: A few walleye have been reported.
Missouri River (Council Bluffs to Missouri State Line)
Channel Catfish – Good: Anglers continue to have success catching channel catfish dip baits, worms and cutbait. Try the deeper slack water areas below wing dikes and drift piles. Flathead Catfish – Good: Flathead fishing continues to be good in and near deeper slack water holes, near logs, incoming rivers and streams and rocky habitat. Flatheads bite best on live baits such as chubs, bullheads, and sunfish.
The Missouri River at Decatur, Nebraska is at 19.6 feet/25,000 cfs. The Missouri River has risen slightly from last week. Water temperature is 73 degrees.