Iowa Fishing Report for July 2, 2014
Brushy Creek Lake
Water clarity is good. Yellow Perch – Fair: Anglers have been catching nice perch by slowly moving along the weeds and vertical jigging small shiners in the openings.
Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
The dredge machine is in operation on Storm Lake. Boaters should use caution and stay clear of the dredge machine, booster pump barge, and pipeline. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Good numbers of catfish are being picked up on Sonny’s dip bait blood/cheese flavor. White Bass – Good: Anglers are picking up white bass on chrome/pink crankbaits, silver Mepps, Kastmasters, or other shiny lures. Walleye – Good: Anglers are still catching walleye. Try using a #5 Shad Rap or a slow death rig with leeches or crawlers. Focus efforts around the dredge cuts. The daily bag limit for walleye is three. All walleye between 17 and 22 inches must be released, and only one over 22 inches may be kept.
Black Hawk Lake
Lake levels are about 3-4 inches below crest. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Many sub legal largemouth bass can be caught fishing the woody shorelines along Ice House Point and Shotgun Hill.
Water levels are high. Channel Catfish – Good: Anglers are catching 1-4 pound channel cats. Use stink bait.
Snyder Bend Lake
Water levels are high. Channel Catfish – Fair: Some catfish are being caught, but there is a lot of incidental catches of gar.
The natural lakes are around 4-10 inches below crest, whereas most of the small impoundments are at full pool. For more information on rivers and lakes in the area contact the Black Hawk District Office at 712-657-2638.
Bluegills and crappies are being caught along the rocky shorelines. Channel Catfish – Good: Catfish are near the rocks, spawning. Cast a piece of cutbait with a light splitshot about one foot above the hook, near the rocks. If you don’t get bit in 15 minutes, recast. Cats will bite if it’s close to their nests.
Catfish and bass are biting. A few large bluegills are being caught. Channel Catfish – Fair: There are some nice 22-27-inch cats in the lake. Try after dark with some cutbait, worms, or stinkbait.
Channel Catfish – Good: Catfish are spawning. Try on the rock reefs, shoreline rocks or just try on the windward shorelines with some cutbait, worms, or stinkbait. North shore docks and Ventura Grade are also worth a try. White Bass – Slow: An occasional white bass near the reeds on the little lake. Largemouth Bass – Fair: An occasional largemouth near the edges of the reeds. Walleye – Good: Action has slowed some this week. Shoreline docks have been okay at dark or on windy days. Boats have been picking some up yet trolling, or fishing near the rock reefs near state reef, Billy’s or Gilmore’s. Some fish by the edges of the reeds where the wind blows into them. Muskellunge – Fair: Yellow Bass – Fair: Walleye anglers are picking 5-10 up while walleye fishing. The state reef area or Dodge’s Point are worth a shot.
Bluegill – Excellent: The bluegill bite is going strong. Angler catches have been great this last week or so. Fish with a popper or a bobber set shallow for the bluegills closer to shore. Or try with a slip bobber for the bluegills near the deeper dredged water (11-13 feet). Casting a lighter jig and letting it slowly sink will also catch some fish. Tip with a worm or leech. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass are biting along shore in shallower water. Cast a bobber and a minnow or any weedless type presentation. Also try deeper with minnows or artificials. Walleye – Fair: An occasional walleye near the edge of the dredge cut along the edge of the curlyleaf.
Channel Catfish – Good: Fish near the rock shorelines or on the jetty. Try with worms. Fish are spawning near the rocks. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass can be caught casting lead heads tipped with a minnow or artificials.
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
Northern Pike – Good: Fishing for pike has been good lately. Trolling crankbaits and spinners near weed lines should produce good results for anglers. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Bass have been hitting top water baits and jigs tipped with live bait near rocky points. Walleye – Fair: Anglers are continuing to catch many slot walleye during the day and in the evening. A few fish are being harvested by drifting and/or trolling live bait near weed lines and across rocky points. Black Bullhead – Fair:
East Okoboji Lake
Bluegill – Good: Bluegill fishing has been good fishing near docks with small jigs and live bait. Walleye – Fair: Many small walleyes are being caught fishing in the evenings with live bait along with a few angler acceptable sizes. Yellow Bass – Good: Jigging live bait over deeper rocky areas is producing a few nice sized yellow bass. Many small yellow bass are being caught on the north end of the lake near the spillway from Big Spirit.
West Okoboji Lake
Bluegill – Fair: A few bluegills are being caught near docks and over deeper rock piles. Fishing live bait with a small jig is producing the best results. Yellow Perch – Fair: A few yellow perch are being reported caught by anglers jigging live bait over deeper rock piles and rocky points.
For lake updates and fishing information for northwest Iowa, contact the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.
The universally accessible dock sustained major ice damage and is currently not usable. Channel Catfish – Good: Catfish are along the rocky shore and are actively taking stink bait and worms. Bluegill – No Report: Largemouth Bass – Fair: Largemouth bass are taking spinnerbaits from shore. Target woody debris along the waters edge. Crappie – Good: Anglers are catching crappies over the brush piles or along the shoreline using a small jig tipped with tube jigs or twistertail.
Lake levels have stabilized and water clarity is improving. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Anglers are catching catfish using a hook tipped with a nightcrawler, cutbait or liver; even try a hunk of hotdog. Bluegill – Slow: Bluegills are spotty but when found can be good. Use small pieces of worms on a hook. Largemouth Bass – Excellent: Anglers have been using spinnerbaits or jigs tipped with soft plastics fished along the shoreline.
Lake is clearing and water levels are dropping. Bluegill – Fair: Gills are biting but you may have to catch a few before you get the one you want. A light colored twistertail is best. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass are hitting jigs tipped with twister tails or grubs. Anglers are finding fish along the weed lines. Crappie – Slow:
Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
The CR-V36 Bridge at Lidtke Mill is closed and will be closed for most of the season. The Lidtke County Park, boat ramp and canoe access will also be closed for the duration of the construction. Sucker – Slow: Suckers will take a hook tipped with a worm fished on the stream bottom. Smallmouth Bass – Slow: Smallmouth bass action is picking up. Try using a crankbait or jig tipped with twistertail. Fish around the mouth of tributaries or an undercut bank. Walleye – Slow: Walleye are hitting on spinners and jigs tipped with nightcrawlers.
Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
Water clarity remains off color. Water levels have stabilized but still high. Most anglers are fishing from shoreline and are catching catfish. Catfish have been in the 3-5 pound range. Strippers are hitting twistertails below Hwy. 76. Sucker – Slow: Suckers are biting on worm rigs. Channel Catfish – Good: Anglers are catching catfish using a hook tipped with a nightcrawler bounced off the bottom. Smallmouth Bass – Slow: Anglers have been catching smallies on flashy spinnerbaits. Walleye – Slow: Walleye are being picked up while fishing for smallmouth.
Turkey River (below Clermont)
Water temperatures have dropped to the mid 60s. Water levels have stabilized but still high and muddy. Sucker – Slow: Redhorse are actively taking worms threaded on a hook. Smallmouth Bass – Slow: Anglers are using a jig tipped with a worm. Walleye – Slow: Try using a jig tipped with a nightcrawler, minnow or plastic imitation minnow.
Cedar River (above Nashua)
Cedar River is on a slow decline but still muddy. Channel Catfish – Good: Anglers are picking up catfish using a hook tipped with chicken liver, cut bait or night crawlers. Smallmouth Bass – Slow: Smallmouth are hitting night crawlers and minnows. Walleye – Slow: Walleye are hitting worms and minnows. A jig and twistertail is also working.
Water levels are slowly falling but area rivers are still dirty. Continue to use caution if you decide to go out on the water over the holiday. Recreationists may not see debris or rocks under the surface. Lake levels are elevated but clarity is improving. For more information on water levels, visit http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ia/nwis/rt. ; Call 563-927-5736 for daily stocking information. For more information, call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.
Mississippi River Pool 9
River level at Lansing is 16.1 feet and expected to rise over 16.5 feet before leveling off. Lansing Village Creek is not accessible under the railroad bridge. Army Road at New Albin remains closed. Channel Catfish – Good: Catfish are spawning. Try fishing a minnow under a bobber in side channel and sloughs with some current. Bluegill – No Report: Fish backwaters and the slack current areas of side channels with small garden worms fished under a bobber. Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth are pulling back into their usual shorelines and backwater areas and on the feed. Crappie – No Report: Freshwater Drum – Good: The rising temperatures have drum actively feeding. Drifting a worm on the sand flats on side channel areas has been successful.
Mississippi River Pool 10
River level at Lynxville is at 26.1 feet and expected to level off next week. The boat ramps at Nobles Island and Sny Magill and Bussey Lake are now closed. Channel Catfish – Good: Catfish are spawning. Try fishing a minnow under a bobber in side channel and sloughs with some current. Bluegill – No Report: Fish backwaters and the slack current areas of side channels with small garden worms fished under a bobber. Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth are pulling back into their usual shorelines and backwater areas and on the feed. Crappie – No Report: Freshwater Drum – Good: The rising temperatures have drum actively feeding. Drifting a worm on the sand flats on side channel areas has been successful.
Mississippi River Pool 11
River level at Guttenberg is expected to rise over 16.7 feet this week before leveling off. The Guttenberg city ramp is now closed. Channel Catfish – Good: Catfish are spawning. Try fishing a minnow under a bobber in side channel and sloughs with some current. Bluegill – No Report: Fish backwaters and the slack current areas of side channels with small garden worms fished under a bobber. Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth are pulling back into their usual shorelines and backwater areas and on the feed. Crappie – No Report: Crappies are dropping into the trees in backwater sloughs. Use small bait and slow presentations along shoreline trees. Freshwater Drum – Good: The rising temperatures have drum actively feeding. Drifting a worm on the sand flats on side channel areas has been successful.
Boating is not recommended on the Mississippi River due to heavy flooding and rapid currents carrying debris. Levels are once again rising due to widespread heavy rains. Most boat ramps are now closed. Water clarity is poor and temperatures in the mid 60s.
Mississippi River Pool 12
The water level at Dubuque Lock and Dam is at 18.1 feet and water level at the Dubuque Railroad Bridge is at 19.9 feet. Water levels should drop slowly after Thursday. Fishing continues to be tough. Channel Catfish – Slow: Fishing trot lines in backwaters have produced many catfish. Bait lines with a small piece of worm. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegill are being caught by the dam and backwaters. Find areas with submerged vegetation and throw out a piece of worm.
Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level at Camanche is at 20.0 feet and expected to rise slightly. The water level in LeClaire is at 13.2 feet is expected to peak on Thursday. Many of the ramps on Pool 14 are closed due to high water. The river is very turbid and there is a lot of debris floating down the river. Channel Catfish – Fair: Channel catfish are spawning. Float a crawler or leech over rocks for best results. Try fishing trot lines baited with worms in the back waters.
Mississippi River Pool 15
The water level at Rock Island is at 19.2 feet. The river is expected to rise another foot and then start to fall slowly. There is some debris floating down and the water is very turbid. Fishing remains slow due to high water. Channel Catfish – Slow: The catfish spawn is still going on. Fish a worm on a float near rip rap.
Heavy rains have raised water levels to near record heights. The high water has made fishing very slow. We advise people to be careful if they decide to boat, the river is running fast and there is debris floating down.
Remember, the 10 hp maximum at no wake speed is in effect. Due to heavy rains this week, the lake is a bit high and became murky. Channel Catfish – Fair: Fish around jetties or other rock for spawning catfish. White Bass – Fair: Look for schooling fish chasing new shad in open water. Bluegill – Fair: Drift small worms in 10-12 feet of water or fish around brush/rock. Size is usually small. Walleye – Fair: Early and late in the day have been best for walleyes. Most anglers are trolling crankbaits or spinner rigs in 8-13 feet of water.
Pleasant Creek Lake
Remember, largemouth bass have to be 18 inches and muskies have to be 40 inches to keep. Channel Catfish – Fair: Chicken livers and stink bait are working best towards evening. White Bass – Good: Try small spinners, jigs, or crankbaits. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: These are mixed in with the white bass schools. Fish for them the same way.
The lake has been high this week but it is dropping. However, the water is still muddy. Channel Catfish – Good: Bluegill – Fair: Crappie – Fair:
Otter Creek Lake
The lake is a little high and murky. Channel Catfish – Good: Fish with stink bait or chicken livers towards evening. Bluegill – Fair: Fish around brush with small jigs or worms. Yellow Bass – Fair: Fish with small jigs or spinners.
For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.
Channel Catfish – Fair: Try using nightcrawlers or chicken liver. Look for areas with large rocks. Largemouth Bass – Good: Anglers have been using spinnerbaits or top water lures fished among the cedar trees that were placed in the lake during the last renovation. Use rubber worms along the fishing jetties and along the dam.
Red Haw Lake
Bluegill – Good: Anglers report the best bait has been a bobber and a chunk of nightcrawler. Largemouth Bass – Good: Try top water lures along the jetties. Use spinnerbaits along the shoreline and the face of the dam. Crappie – Fair: Use plastic jigs or minnows fished under a bobber. Target areas with brush piles or other submerged structure.
Channel Catfish – Fair: Anglers have been catching channel catfish using nightcrawlers or liver. Bluegill – Fair: Try small jigs with a chunk of nightcrawler. Target the submerged habitat areas that are marked with buoys.
Please remember to take your trash with you so your favorite fishing spot is clean and free from litter. Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions regarding angling in south central Iowa.
Rock Creek Lake
Crappie – Fair: Crappie fishing is now in a summer drifting pattern. Drift small panfish twister or tubes mid lake 4-8 feet deep.
Roberts Creek Lake
Crappie – Fair: Drift or slow troll minnows and small jigs in the main lake.
Big Creek Lake
Bluegill – Good: 8-9-inch bluegills are being caught in good numbers fishing at the edges of the vegetation with 1/16 ounce jigs tipped with small pieces of crawler. Walleye – Fair: Walleye are being caught trolling spinner rigs with minnows or crawlers in 10-15 feet of water or drifting jigs tipped with crawlers or leeches at the edges of the vegetation. Concentrate on the upper half of the lake during the summer months.
Hickory Grove Lake
Bluegill – Good: Bluegill are now being caught off pallet piles in 5-15 feet of water. The bluegills are good size running from 7-9 inches.
Bluegill – Fair: Pitch or drift 1/16 ounce jigs tipped with small pieces of crawler close to the edge of the vegetation. Crappie – Fair: Crappie can be caught drifting jigs or minnows close the edge of the vegetation in 10 feet of water or more.
Red Rock Reservoir
Channel Catfish – Fair: Channel and flathead catfish should be moving into the rocks to spawn at this point. Cast crankbaits or suspend live bait from a bobber around the rocks. White Bass – Fair: The white bass are beginning to bite in the main lake. Casting jigs and trolling tight to the shore on the windward shorelines (along the rocks) has been producing fish.
White Bass – Slow: The reservoir has risen 40 feet with much debris and turbid water. When the water begins to clear focus on points and steep drop-offs. Use white jigs, jigging spoons and crankbaits.
Water temperatures have fallen into the mid 70s. Anglers should drift/slow trolling the open water for bluegill and crappie. For information on central Iowa’s lakes and rivers contact Ben Dodd or Andy Otting at 515-432-2823.
Channel catfish have moved close to the jetties and along the dam. Channel Catfish – Good: Anglers have reported catching catfish using cut bait around the jetties and the dam. Fish average two pounds. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegill up to 8.5 inches can be caught drifting with small jigs. Crappie – Slow: A few crappies are being picked up drifting and around cedar tree piles. Fish range from 8-12 inches.
Water temperature is 80 degrees. Bluegill – Fair: Cast small jigs or drift to catch 7-9-inch fish. Largemouth Bass – Good: Meadow has a large year class of 10-12-inch bass.
Mormon Trail Lake
Catfish have picked up at Mormon Trail. Anglers are still catching crappie. Channel Catfish – Good: Catfish are being caught on cutbait or shrimp around the jetties. Fish average two pounds. Crappie – Fair: The lake has a large year class of eight-inch crappies. Anglers are catching them all around the lake using minnows two feet under a bobber.
Catfish can be caught on the south shore and along the dam. A few crappies are being picked up around tree piles. Channel Catfish – Good: Catfish are being caught with shrimp. Fish are close to shore. Most fish caught are 18-20 inches. Bluegill – Slow: Bluegills can be caught drifting. Fish average 7.5 inches. Crappie – Fair: Cast small jigs around tree piles or minnows under a bobber to catch 8-10-inch crappies.
Channel catfish are being caught at Orient. Channel Catfish – Good: Anglers are catching channel catfish on the east side of the lake using cutbait or shrimp. Fish average 16 inches.
Cold Springs Lake
Bluegill fishing in Cold Springs is coming back after the 2006 renovation. Bass fishing is also good. Cold Springs has an 18-inch size limit on largemouth bass. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills up to 7.5 inches can be caught close to shore casting small jigs. Largemouth Bass – Good: Cast plastics or small spinnerbaits on the north side of the lake and along the dam to catch bass of all sizes.
Anita has quality sized panfish. With the bluegill spawn winding down, drifting is a good way to catch bluegills and crappies at Anita. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are picking up nine plus inch fish drifting small jigs tipped with Powerbait. Largemouth Bass – Good: Anita has a good bass population with all sizes present. Crappie – Slow: Drift jigs tipped with power bait to catch 10-inch crappies.
Willow has extremely good water clarity. Channel Catfish – Fair: Catfish can be caught along the campground shoreline with cutbait or liver. Fish average 18 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills are being caught casting small jigs in the upper end of the lake.
Viking has a good crappie population ranging in size from 8-11 inches. A few crappies are being caught drifting the open water portion of the lake. Channel catfishing is good right now. Channel Catfish – Good: Channel catfish are being caught with cut bait close to shore. Fish average two pounds. Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth are being caught casting the shoreline with slow retrieve crankbaits and spinnerbaits. Fish are all sizes. Crappie – Fair: Try drifting open water or fishing around cedar tree piles for crappies ranging from 8-11 inches.
The lake has a good catfish population. Channel Catfish – Fair: Channel catfish can be caught on the outside bend of the lake near rock or drifting with cutbait. Desoto has all sizes of catfish. Walleye – Slow: Walleyes are being caught slow trolling crankbaits or drifting crawlers. Fish range in size from 15-20 inches. The refuge enforces a four walleye bag with a 15-inch minimum length limit and no more than one walleye may exceed 22 inches.
Catfishing has been good on the main lake. Channel Catfish – Good: Catfish are being caught on the west and south side of the lake with cut bait or shrimp.
Farm Creek Lake
Farm Creek has a good overall fish population. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills can be found in the open water part of the lake in six feet of water. Drift or slow troll with small jigs to catch 8-9-inch fish. Black Crappie – Slow:
Cold Springs District Farm Ponds
Bluegill and crappies are now in deeper water and around structure. Largemouth bass fishing is good. Channel catfish can be caught close to shore. Remember to get permission before fishing privately owned ponds. Channel Catfish – Fair: This is a good time of year to catch channel catfish close to shore. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills can be caught along weed edges and around deeper structure. Use small tackle and light line for successful bluegill fishing. Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth bass can be caught casting a variety of plugs and lures. Crappie – Slow: Ponds that support crappie populations have been slow this week. Try fishing minnows under a bobber around structure.
Cooler temperatures have slowed fishing a bit in the southwest district. Anglers are now drift fishing open water areas to catch bluegills and crappies. Channel catfish can be caught close to shore around rock. For more information call the Cold Springs office at (712) 769-