Iowa Fishing Report August 7 2014

Iowa Fishing Report August 7 2014

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.

NORTHWEST

Brushy Creek Lake

Surface temps are in the high 70s to low 80s. Bluegill – Slow: Anglers are reporting bluegill have moved into 15-20 feet of water. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Look for bass in shaded areas. Try a finesse presentation that will allow for a slow retrieve, such as a Texas rig worm. Muskellunge – Fair: Anglers are reporting increased muskie activity during small windows of time triggered by fronts, changes in wind speed/direction, etc. Anglers can expect to fish for an extended amount of time and see all the muskie action within a short window.

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 – Fair: Try shrimp, dip bait, or cut bait. Walleye – Fair: Some keepers and slot fish are being caught trolling cranks.

Black Hawk Lake

Water levels are at or near crest. Heavy algal blooms have reduced water clarity. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Anglers have reported decent action for largemouth. Most fish under the legal length limit.

Little Sioux River (Linn Grove to Correctionville)

Water levels have come up some due to recent rains. The river should still be fishable, though. Channel Catfish – Good: Anglers have had good luck using chicken guts and fishing along high banks in the current and around snags. Many fish are around 17-18 inches.

Water levels are at or near crest at most of the lakes in the Black Hawk District. For more information on fishing in this area contact the Black Hawk District Office in Lake View at 712-657-2638.

Lake Smith

Channel Catfish – Slow: Try after dark near the rocks or steeper shorelines. Bluegill – Slow: Try in near the rocks at dark or out deeper looking for suspended fish with a depth finder.

Lake Catherine

Channel Catfish – Fair: There are some nice 22-27-inch cats in the lake. Try after dark with some cutbait, worms, or stink bait. Largemouth Bass – No Report:

Clear Lake

Channel Catfish – Fair: Fishing is slow to fair. The best bite will be after dark but some fish will bite throughout the day. Target the edge of reeds or rocks with Sonny’s or similar bait. White Bass – Slow: An occasional white bass near the reeds on the little lake. Largemouth Bass – Fair: An occasional largemouth near the edge of the reeds, rocks, or lily pads on the little lake. Walleye – Slow: Wader fisherman or boats fishing near the edges of the reeds seem to be doing the best. Fish where the wind is pushing into the reeds. Muskellunge – Good: Yellow Bass – Fair: Some anglers catching yellows in about 6.5 feet off the north shore.

Crystal Lake

Bluegill – Fair: Fish with a popper or a bobber set shallow for the bluegills closer to shore or try with a slip bobber 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 – No Report: Try on the dredge cut weed line or up close to the rock shorelines. Walleye – No Report: An occasional walleye may be caught near the edge of the dredge cut along the edge of the curlyleaf.

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 – Fair: A few pike are being harvested by anglers using spinner baits near weed beds. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Soft plastics and spinner baits worked near vertical structures should produce a few decent bass right now. Walleye – Slow: Walleye fishing has slowed down recently. A few slot fish are still being caught but harvest has been tough the past week or so. The best action has been on live bait presented very slowly near weed lines and rocky points.

East Okoboji Lake

Walleye – Fair: Anglers with the best success are working deeper areas with live bait rigs and deep running crankbaits. Yellow Bass – Fair: Deep weed lines and structures are providing the best action to anglers who use small jigs tipped with live bait.

Little Spirit Lake

Bullhead – Fair: Anglers continue to harvest 9-11-inch bullheads from the shorelines using crawler rigs.

West Okoboji Lake

Bluegill – Fair: Tiny jigs tipped with live bait have been producing a few keepers when worked near the edges of weed beds. Yellow Perch – Good: Fishing has slowed a little bit but anglers are still catching quite a few perch by working deep weed lines and rocky structures with live bait. Walleye – Fair: A few walleyes are being harvested from rocky points using leeches and crawler rigs presented slowly.

Lost Island Lake

Channel Catfish – Good: Using cut or stink bait after dark is producing some nice size cats. White Bass – Fair: A small hair jig tipped with a white or chartreuse twister should get white bass interested. Bluegill – Fair: A small jig tipped with live bait near weed edges is producing small size class fish. Yellow Perch – Fair: Small jigs under a slip bobber tipped with live bait near weed lines and rocky structures should attract a few perch for anglers. Yellow Bass – Fair: Small jigs tipped with twister tails will get you a few small yellows with the occasional keeper.

Little Sioux River (state line to Linn Grove)

Channel Catfish – No Report: Catfish should be hitting cut or stink bait presented near deeper pools and tree snags right now.

West Fork Des Moines (state line to Emmetsburg)

Channel Catfish – Good: Catfish should be hitting cut or stink bait presented near deeper pools and tree snags right now. Walleye – Slow: Anglers are working areas below rock and sand bars with shiners and leeches for a few fish right now.

For lake updates and fishing information for Northwest Iowa, contact the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.

NORTHEAST

Volga Lake

The universally accessible dock sustained major ice damage and not unusable. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass are hitting crankbaits or a jig tipped with a variety of colored twistertails. Crappie – Good: Anglers are catching crappies around brush piles or by slowly trolling a jig tipped with a twistertail around the lake.

Lake Hendricks

The new rock mounds are in place in the north end of the lake. These mounds are accessible by watercraft but there are some nice stumps along the shoreline that hold fish also. Channel Catfish – Good: Channel catfish are hitting a hook tipped with a worm. Largemouth Bass – Good: Anglers have been using spinnerbaits or crankbaits along the shoreline.

Lake Meyer

Blue green algae has appeared in a few areas along the shoreline. Be careful around this algae, it can cause skin irritation and animals may get sick if they drink or swim in the water. Fish are okay to eat. Bluegill – Slow: Gills are hit or miss. Largemouth Bass – Good: Anglers can find fish along weed lines. Crappie – Slow:

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)

The CR-V36 Bridge at Lidtke Mill 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. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Anglers are using crawdad imitation crankbaits to catch smallies.

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)

Smallmouth Bass – Good: Nice sized smallies are being caught on crankbaits or a jig tipped with a variety of bright colored twistertails. Walleye – Good: Anglers are catching quite a few small walleye while fishing for smallmouth bass.

Cedar River (above Nashua)

Anglers are finding a variety of nice fish below dams in pockets of slack water and off current breaks. Channel Catfish – Good: Anglers are using chicken liver or dead chubs. Crappie – Good: A minnow fished under a bobber is working well in the slack water areas near log jams and other woody debris. Walleye – Good: Walleye are being caught with a jig tipped with a minnow or a variety of twistertail colors.

This awesome summer weather pattern continues to hold. Take advantage of the cooler temps, grab a fishing pole and get to the nearest body of water. Area rivers and streams are in great shape and fish activity has picked up. Summer trout stocking schedule is in effect. Call 563-927-5736 for daily stocking information. For more information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.

Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)

There have been good reports of nice sized bluegill being taken near structure in deeper water close to the dam. Anglers have had excellent luck on largemouth bass throughout the day also. Channel Catfish – Good: Shrimp, leopard frogs and night crawlers has been really good. Bluegill – Good: Concentrate near deeper structure close to the dam using a small piece of crawler or wax worm under a slip bobber. Largemouth Bass – Excellent: Try casting top water artificial baits during early morning or early evening hours for good top water action. Try spinner baits throughout the mid-day. Crappie – Fair: Anglers have had good luck fishing around the sunken timbers using small jigs (ice fishing) tipped with redworm or wax worms.

Big Woods Lake

There have been a few reports of anglers catching crappie in 12-15 feet of water. Crappie – Fair: Try jigging crappie jigs located near structure in 12-15 feet of water.

George Wyth Lake

The lake still remains high but there have been good reports of northern pike along with some largemouth bass being caught out of George Wyth Lake. Northern Pike – Good: Artificial baits such as spinner and crankbaits have been good for pike. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try casting top water artificial baits during early morning or early evening. Try spinner or crank baits throughout the mid-day. Crappie – Fair: Fish a minnow under a slip bobber drifting anywhere from 5-9 feet of water.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)

The Cedar River is offering excellent catches of walleye, smallmouth bass and channel catfish. Concentrate in the more shallow water areas for all three species. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Stink baits, cut baits, and crawlers have been real effective for cats. Concentrate below and near the riffle areas below the dam in Waverly. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Try casting jig and crawler, spinner baits or even top water baits near rocky habitat and riffle areas for good smallie action. Walleye – Excellent: Half a nightcrawler tipped on a jig or casting crankbaits has been really hot on the Cedar.

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)

The Shell Rock is producing as excellent of fishing for walleye as has the Cedar River. There have been excellent reports of anglers catching walleye, channel catfish and smallmouth bass on the river. Channel Catfish – Excellent:

Stink baits, cut baits, live chubs and crawlers have been real effective for cats. Try fishing below lowhead dams through riffle areas this time of year. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Try casting jig and crawler or spinner baits near rocky habitat areas for good smallie action. Walleye – Excellent: Half a nightcrawler tipped on a jig or casting crankbaits has been really hot on the Shell Rock River also.

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)

The Maquoketa River is in excellent shape heading into the weekend. Angler reports have been fair to good for a variety of species; channel catfish, walleye, smallmouth bass and suckers. Channel Catfish – Good: Stink baits, cut baits, live chubs and crawlers have been real effective for cats. Try fishing below lowhead dams through riffle areas. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Try casting jig and crawler or spinner baits near rocky habitat. Walleye – Fair: Half a nightcrawler tipped on a jig is a sure fire way to catch walleye.

The weekend forecast again calls for some beautiful weather. The interior rivers are in excellent condition and anglers are slamming the walleye, channel catfish and smallmouth bass. Lakes are now in their summer mode; fish deeper water and around structure for panfish. Trout streams remain in excellent condition. For further information contact the Manchester District Office at 563-927-3276.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9

River level at Lansing is 8.2 feet and is expected to stabilize at that level over the next week. Army Road leading to the ramp at New Albin is open. Northern Pike – Excellent: Northern pike fishing has picked up. Fish flashy spoons using a steel leader along grassy backwater or side channel shorelines. Channel Catfish – Good: Channel cats are actively feeding. Fish the bottom along side channels. Now is a good time to start using stink bait. Bluegill – Good: Look for bluegills to gather around fallen trees in running sloughs and back waters. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Smallmouth are beginning to become active along rocky areas with good current. Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth are biting well but scattered. Keep moving to find active fish. Crappie – Fair: A few crappie being caught along fallen trees in running sloughs. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Drift a crawler along the side channels in moderate current.

Mississippi River Pool 10

River level at Lynxville is 14.7 feet is expected to drop slightly more and then stabilize over the next week. Northern Pike – Excellent: Northern pike fishing has picked up. Fish flashy spoons using a steel leader along grassy backwater or side channel shorelines. Channel Catfish – Good: Channel cats are actively feeding. Fish the bottom along side channels. Now is a good time to start using stink bait. Bluegill – Good: Look for bluegills to gather around fallen trees in running sloughs and back waters. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Smallmouth are beginning to become active along rocky areas with good current. Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth are biting well but scattered. Keep moving to find active fish. Crappie – Fair: A few crappie being caught along fallen trees in running sloughs. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Drum are feeding actively along main channel borders. Fish a worm on the bottom or use crayfish for bigger fish.

Mississippi River Pool 11

The water levels at Lock & Dam 10 Guttenberg have dropped to 6.3 feet and expected to stabilize over the next week. Northern Pike – Excellent: Northern pike fishing has picked up. Fish flashy spoons using a steel leader along grassy backwater or side channel shorelines. Channel Catfish – Good: Channel cats are actively feeding. Fish the bottom along side channels. Now is a good time to start using stink bait. Bluegill – Good: Look for bluegills to gather around fallen trees in running sloughs and back waters. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Smallmouth are beginning to become active along rocky areas with good current. Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth are biting well but scattered. Keep moving to find active fish. Crappie – Fair: A few crappie being caught along fallen trees in running sloughs. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Drum are feeding actively along main channel borders. Fish a worm on the bottom or use crayfish for bigger fish.

Upper Mississippi River levels have fallen and are beginning to stabilize which means good things for fishing in the next few weeks. All boat ramps are open again and many anglers and boaters are taking advantage of being able to get back on the river. Water temperatures are in the upper 70s.

Mississippi River Pool 12

The water level at Dubuque Lock and Dam is 6.0 feet and water level at the Dubuque railroad bridge is 8.6 feet. This is down about half-foot from last week and water levels are going to continue to drop slowly. Water temperature has moved back up to 77 degrees. Channel Catfish – Good: Channel cats are hitting on stink bait. Fish a dip worm on rock piles, wing dam or snags. Flathead Catfish – Fair: Some flatheads are also being caught by bass anglers using crankbaits. Bluegill – Good: Lot of Bluegills coming off rock lines and brush piles. Look for areas near big backwater complexes. As water becomes shallow in these lakes the bluegill will pull out to snags near the openings. Crappie – Good: Crappie are being caught in good numbers around brush piles in slightly flowing slough areas. Most have moved out of the stagnant backwaters. Try a small minnow. Walleye – Good: Walleyes are being caught on their normal summer patterns. Most fish are hanging on wing dams and can be caught with a three-way rig with a crawler. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Drum are now easily caught in eddy current areas on a simple egg sinker and worm rig.

Mississippi River Pool 13

The water level at Bellevue is 6.4 feet, down nearly a foot from last week’s report. The river is expected to continue to recede slowly and water clarity will continue to improve. The water temperature is at 77 degrees. Northern Pike – Good: Pike have moved into cool water tributary areas. Try white jigs or spinner baits. Channel Catfish – Good: Use stink bait or cut bait to catch channel cats. Fish wing dams or rock piles. Bluegill – Good: Fish brush piles in sloughs adjacent to large backwater complexes. Gills have moved out of the backwaters and into these locations. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Nice number of smallmouth are being taken along rock piles using spinners or small crankbaits. Largemouth Bass – Good: Small largemouth are biting in tail water areas and along rock piles throughout the pool. Use a spinner or crankbait for best results. Crappie – Good: Crappies are being caught in the large sloughs of Pool 13. Some of these include Crooked Slough, Running Slough and Dark Slough. Fish brush piles with jigs and small minnows for bait. Walleye – Good: Walleyes are being caught off wing dams by anglers using a three-way worm rig. Some are also being taken off crankbaits in rock pile areas. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Drum are readily biting in moderate current areas. Use a worm rig with an egg sinker for best results. Pumpkinseed – Good:

Mississippi River Pool 14

The water level at Fulton is 6.1 feet and water level at Camanche it is at 10.2 feet. This is down slightly from last week. Water levels are expected to continue to drop. Water clarity is good and fish should be biting. Water temperature is near 77 degrees. Channel Catfish – Good: Fish using stink bait along the rocks. Try fishing trot lines baited with worms in the back waters. Flathead Catfish – Fair: Some flathead catfish are being caught by bluegill anglers and by bass anglers on crankbaits. Bluegill – Good: Anglers are catching nice bluegills around long piles and rock lines using bobbers and worms. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Some smallies are being taken off rock piles and in the tail water areas on crankbaits and small spinners. Cast right next to rocky areas for best results. Largemouth Bass – Excellent: Bass are sight feeders. With the increase in clarity, bass will be feeding. Find clear backwaters and start throwing some lures. Large bass may be hard to find but plenty of small ones are being reported. Walleye – Good: Look for walleyes on their normal summer patterns. Try a worm rig on wing dams or crankbaits along rock piles. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Freshwater drum are an easy fish to catch. Use an egg sinker rig with night crawlers in areas of moderate current.

Mississippi River Pool 15

The water level at Rock Island is 6.1 feet. It is expected to drop slightly all week. Eagle landing in Bettendorf park is back open after flooding damage. Water temperature is 77 degrees. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Fish using stink bait and fish wing dams or rock piles. Fish will be moving to their summer holes. Largemouth Bass – Good: Smaller bass are being taken off rock lines and sunken trees. Freshwater Drum – Good: Try fishing with a worm and egg sinker rig into the eddy areas with modest current.

The river is slowly dropping. Water clarity is generally good and fishing has been very good for many species.

Mississippi River Pool 16

River stage at Lock and Dam 15 in Davenport is 6.07 feet. Boat ramps are now open throughout the pool. Channel Catfish – Fair: Some channel catfish are being caught on the wing dams. Try anchoring above the wing dam and fishing with stink bait, cutbait or nightcrawlers. Look for channel catfish in the side channels around brush piles as well. White Bass – Fair: Some white bass are being caught on the wing dams. Try casting crankbaits over top of the wing dams. Crappie – No Report: Look for crappies in the backwater lakes and flowing side channels. Vertical jig with minnows or float a minnow under a bobber around brush piles and snags. Walleye – Good: Walleyes are being caught on the wing dams. Try casting or trolling crankbaits on the upstream side of the wing dams. Trolling three-way rigs with half a night crawler on the upstream side of the wing dam can work too.

Mississippi River Pool 17

River stage at Lock and Dam 16 above Muscatine is 4.67 feet. The gate at Big Timber is open. Channel Catfish – Fair: Look for channel catfish on the wing dams. Anchor above the wing dam and fish with stink bait, cutbait or nightcrawlers. Channel catfish will also be in the side channels around brush piles and snags. White Bass – Fair: Look for white bass on the wing dams. Try casting crankbaits over top of the wing dams. White bass can also be found around GPC around the water outfalls. Crappie – No Report: Look for crappies in the backwater lakes and flowing side channels. Try vertical jigging with minnows or floating minnows under a bobber around brush piles and snags. Walleye – Good: Walleyes are being caught on the wing dams. Try casting or trolling crankbaits on the upstream side of the wing dams. Trolling with three-way rigs and half a nightcrawler on the upstream side of wing dams works as well.

Mississippi River Pool 18

River stage at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston is 5.96 feet. Toolesboro is open. We have not received any fishing information for this pool this week. Channel Catfish – No Report: Look for channel catfish on the wing dams and anchor above them using stink bait, cutbait, or nightcrawlers. Channel catfish can also be found in the side channels around brush piles and snags. Crappie – No Report: Look for crappies in the backwater lakes and flowing side channels. Vertical jig with minnows or float a minnow under a bobber around brush piles and snags. Walleye – No Report: Look for walleyes on the wing dams. Try casting or trolling crankbaits on the upstream side of the wing dams. Trolling three-way rigs with half a nightcrawler on the upstream side of the wing dam can work as well. Anchoring above the wing dam and casting jigs with half a nightcrawler and working them down the face of the wing dam can work also.

Mississippi River Pool 19

River stage at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington is 3.18 feet. Channel Catfish – Fair: Channel catfish are being caught on the wing dams. Try anchoring above the wing dam and use stink bait. nightcrawlers or cutbait. Look for channel catfish in the side channels around brush piles and snags. Crappie – No Report: Look for crappies in the backwater lakes and flowing side channels. Veridical jig with minnows or float a minnow under a bobber around brush piles and snags. Walleye – No Report: Look for walleyes on the wing dams. Try trolling or casting crankbaits on the upstream side of the wing dam. Trolling with three-way rigs with half a nightcrawler can work too.

River stages are well below flood stage. Water temperature in the main channel has been around 78 degrees and water clarity has been good. Remember to clean, drain, and dry your boat before going to another water body. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

SOUTHEAST

Lake Geode

Water temperature is right around 80 degrees. The water is pretty green from a planktonic algae bloom right now. Channel Catfish – Good: Work the rocky areas of shoreline with stink bait or chicken liver.

Lake Belva Deer

Water temp is up around 80 degrees. The algae bloom continues to make the water more murky than normal. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass fishing continues to be decent. Work the flooded timber with soft plastics

Lake of the Hills

Fishing remains pretty steady. 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 – Good: Baits: chicken liver or stink baits. Locations: along the rocks and also where Railroad dumps in. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers continue to catch bluegills from shore using worm and bobber. I would expect the bluegills to start moving deeper next week with the return of the hot weather. Largemouth Bass – Good: Work the shallows with top waters in the early morning and late evening. The deeper habitat with soft plastics during the day.

Lambach Lake

You have to fish around the weed beds but there is always good fish in this smaller lake. Live minnows may not be used as bait in Lambach. Bluegill – Good: Bluegill fishing is pretty good on worm and bobber. Black Crappie – Good:

Railroad Lake

The use of live minnows as bait in is not allowed in Railroad Lake. Channel Catfish – Good: Baits used for good results: chicken liver, stink baits, and night crawlers, so about anything other than live minnows are acceptable and catching fish. Bluegill – Good: The bluegills in Railroad Lake are easy; worm and bobber fish along the shore by 110th.

Skunk River (Coppock to Mississippi River)

The water level has stayed fairly steady. Channel Catfish – Good: Work the high banks and the larger brush piles. Grass frogs are popular bait this time of year.

Big Hollow Lake

Water temp is in the upper 70s. Bluegill – Good: Bluegill fishing is picking up with the nice weather. They are out suspended over deeper water down about five feet. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Most bass anglers are finding the bass suspended out in deeper water.

For more information on the above lakes and rivers call the Lake Darling Fisheries Office at 319-694-2430.

Lake Wapello

Channel Catfish – Fair: Try chicken liver or nightcrawlers. Target areas along the outer edge of the lily pads. Remember most lakes in Iowa stratify so don’t fish much below eight feet. Largemouth Bass – Good: Try fishing among the cedar trees placed in the lake during the last renovation. Use spinnerbaits or crankbaits in these areas. Try rubber worms along the shorelines.

Red Haw Lake

Bluegill – Good: Anglers are reporting the best bait has been a bobber and a chunk of nightcrawler. Search along the shorelines until finding active fish. Largemouth Bass – Good: Try rubber worms around the aquatic vegetation and around the fishing jetties. Spinnerbaits or crankbaits can be used around the face of the dam or near the shorelines.

Hawthorn Lake (aka Barnes City Lake)

The docks have been installed at Hawthorn Lake. Bluegill – Slow: Anglers have been catching bluegills with a chunk of nightcrawler under a bobber. Sorting is required for larger fish. Largemouth Bass – Good: Anglers have been catching good numbers of largemouth bass using spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Remember Hawthorn Lake has a slot limit so all 12-16-inch fish must be immediately released.

Lake Sugema

Bluegill – Slow: Anglers should target the weed line and open pockets in the vegetation with a small jig and a chunk of nightcrawler. Largemouth Bass – Good: Try using rubber worms in the open pockets in the vegetation. Use spinnerbaits or crankbaits along the outer edge of the aquatic vegetation. Crankbaits should also be used along the rocky shorelines.

Rathbun Reservoir

The current lake level is 905.29 feet. The water temperature is 80 degrees. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try using chicken liver. Coves and bays are usually the best areas to target this time of year. White Bass – Slow: Look for areas in the main lake where shad are breaking at the surface and cast or troll lures that mimic gizzard shad in these areas. Crappie – Slow: Try finding submerged structure in 6-10 feet of water. Try a minnow and bobber in these areas. Walleye – Slow: Crankbaits have been best. The gizzard shad hatch has occurred so use crankbaits that mimic gizzard shad. Look for areas with a variation in depth such as underwater islands and submerged points. Don’t forget Lake Rathbun contains zebra mussels so make sure to clean, drain, and dry equipment 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).

Remember to take your trash with you so your favorite fishing spot is clean. Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions regarding angling in south central Iowa.

SOUTHWEST

Beaver Lake

Crappie – Good: Crappies are being caught in decent numbers fishing small panfish jigs 3-5 feet deep tight to the standing trees broken off at the water’s surface mid-lake.

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.

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 8-12 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. Bluegills are 7-9 inches.

Lake Ahquabi

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.

Des Moines River (Stratford to Saylorville Lake)

Channel Catfish – Good: The Des Moines River above Saylorville is still navigable with small boats. Channel catfish are being caught on stink baits.

Des Moines River (Saylorville to Red Rock)

White Bass – Fair: Flows are slowly coming down below Saylorville making for better fishing conditions. Anglers fishing below the spillway are catching a mix of white bass and crappie.

South Skunk River (Story City to Cambridge)

Smallmouth Bass – Good: The South Skunk River from Story City to Ames is in good condition for wade fishing for smallmouth bass. Cast in-line spinners or crayfish imitating shallow diving crankbaits.

For good summer fishing anglers should drift/slow troll the open water for bluegill and crappie. The Des Moines River Reservoirs continue to drop closer to their normal levels. White bass fishing should begin picking up. For information on central Iowa’s lakes and rivers contact Ben Dodd or Andy Otting at 515-432-2823.

Greenfield Lake

Channel catfish are being caught around the jetties and along the dam. Drift small jigs to catch bluegills and crappies. Channel Catfish – Fair: Anglers have reported catching catfish using cut bait around the jetties and the dam. Fish average two pounds. Bluegill – Fair: Drift with small jigs to catch 8.5-inch bluegill. Largemouth Bass – Good: Greenfield has a good bass population of all sizes. Crappie – Slow: A few crappies are being picked up drifting and around cedar tree piles. Fish range from 8-12 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. Channel Catfish – Fair: Fish cut bait in five feet of water to catch channel catfish ranging from 2-6 pounds. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills up to 7.5 inches can be caught casting small jigs or nightcrawlers under a bobber. 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.

Lake Anita

Anglers are drifting to catch quality sized panfish. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are picking up nine plus inch fish drifting small jigs tipped with Powerbait. Largemouth Bass – Good: Cast the weed edges with spinner baits and plastics to catch fish of all sizes. Black Crappie – Slow:

Viking 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 – Slow: Try drifting open water or fishing around cedar tree piles for crappies ranging from 8-11 inches.

Lake Manawa

Catfishing has been good on the main lake. A few wipers have been caught. Channel Catfish – Good: Anglers are catching catfish of all sizes using liver or shrimp. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Slow: A few wipers are being picked up when catfishing using cutbait.

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 – Good: This is a good time of year to catch channel catfish close to shore with cut bait or commercial stink bait. 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 – Fair: Ponds that support crappie populations have been good this week. Try fishing minnows under a bobber around structure.

Anglers are drift fishing open water areas to catch bluegills and crappies. Catfishing has been good on lakes. Interior rivers are back up after recent rains. For more information call the Cold Springs office at 712-769-2587.

Binder Lake

Binder Lake access is good. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Largemouth bass up to 16 inches have been caught on crankbaits and plastics along the dam and weed lines. Crappie – Fair: Crappies up to 10 inches have been caught on small jigs near cedar tree piles.

Lake Icaria

Lake Icaria access is good. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Catfish up to 19 inches have been caught with worms near the fish mounds. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Largemouth bass up to 16 inches have been caught on crankbaits near the cedar tree piles. Crappie – Good: Crappie up to 12 inches have been caught on small jigs and minnows near the cedar tree piles.

West Lake (Osceola)

West Lake access is good. Crappie – Good: Crappies up to nine inches have been caught with small jigs and minnows drift fishing the main lake and near the flooded timber.

Little River Watershed Lake

Little River lake access is good. Bluegill – Slow: Bluegills up to 8 inches have been caught with small jigs and worms along weed lines and rock reefs. Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth bass up to 17 inches have been caught on crankbaits, spinners, and top water along the weed lines. Walleye – Good: Walleyes up to 16 inches have been caught trolling crankbaits across points and near sharp water depth breaks.

Badger Creek Lake

Badger Creek Lake access is good. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Largemouth bass up to 18 inches have been caught on spinners and top water baits along the dam and in the flooded timber.

Lake of Three Fires

Three Fires lake access is good. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Largemouth bass up to 19 inches have been caught on crankbaits and plastics along the dam in the mornings. Crappie – Fair: Crappies up to 12 inches have been caught with small jigs near cedar tree piles.

Green Valley Lake

Green Valley Lake access is good. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Largemouth bass up to 17 inches have been caught using crankbaits and plastics along the rock structure and cedar tree piles.

Three Mile Lake

Three Mile Lake access is good. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Largemouth bass up to 15 inches have been caught on crankbaits and plastics near jetties and in the flooded timber. Crappie – Fair: Crappies up to nine inches have been caught on small jigs in flooded timber near the channel.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake

Twelve Mile lake access is good. Bluegill – Slow: Bluegills up to nine inches have been caught on small jigs in 12 feet of water along the weed lines and on the roadbed. Crappie – Fair: Crappies up to 10 inches have been caught on small jigs in 12-15 feet of water near the flooded timber.

Water temperatures in the Mount Ayr District lakes are in the upper 70s or lower 80s. Recent rains have increase flows in rivers. The district includes Page, Taylor, Adams, Union, Ringgold, Decatur, Clarke, and Madison counties. For more information call 641-464-3108.

Missouri River (Sioux City to Little Sioux)

Channel Catfish – Fair: catfish are being caught with rod and reel and on trotlines. Dip baits, worms, chubs, and cutbait are baits of choice. Flathead Catfish – Fair: A few flathead catfish are being caught on trotlines and rod and reel. Live baits or fresh cutbait works best for flatheads.

Missouri River (Little Sioux to Council Bluffs)

Channel Catfish – Good: Fishing for channel catfish has improved try dip bait, worms, chubs, and cutbaits. Flathead Catfish – Good: Flathead catfish are being caught on live bait and fresh cutbait. Blue Catfish – Fair:

Missouri River (Council Bluffs to Missouri State Line)

Channel Catfish – Good: Anglers are catching channel catfish on worms, dip bait, chubs, and cutbait. Flathead Catfish – Good: Flatheads are being caught on live bait and fresh cutbait. Blue Catfish – Fair:

The Missouri River at Decatur, Neb., is 22.14 feet, flow is 33,600 CFS and temperature is 74 degrees. The Missouri River is up .65 feet from last week. Watch out for logs and sandbars that are potential hazards. Fishing has been fair overall on the Missouri River.

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