Regional Iowa Fishing Reports – 5/29/2008
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources will be releasing the 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. Phone numbers are listed with each district report.
Mississippi River Pools 9 to 15: River levels are dropping, but upcoming rains may change this. River levels on Thursday were as follows: Guttenberg is at 6.57 feet, Dubuque 11 feet, Bellevue 10 feet, and Camanche 13 feet. Water temperature has increased to the mid to upper 60s. Water levels in Pools 9 to 11 have been stable making for great fishing. Waters below the mouth of the Maquoketa River in Pool 13 and into Pool 14 are very turbid, making fishing difficult. Spend some time this next week fishing on the Mississippi; however, the best fishing will occur in the upper pools.
Walleye fishing is very good right now on the wing dams in Pools 9 to 11 and is slowly picking up on the wing dams in Pools 12 and 13. Fish are also being caught around the mouth of Catfish Creek (Pool 12). A few saugers are still being caught below the city boat ramp in Bellevue in 12 to 20 feet of water (Pool 13). Most people are trolling crankbaits or three-way rigs with a floating jig head and tipped with a leech or worm along the front of the wing dams. Try to keep the bait or lure in contact with rock as it is worked along the dam.
A few nice crappies are being caught in the backwaters and sloughs in Pools 9 and 13. Float a worm on a bobber and keep moving to find actively feeding fish.
Bluegills are biting in Pools 9 to 11 on a split shot and garden worm. The spillways at Lock and Dams 9 and 10 are hot spots. Fish in slack water areas next to the dam with a small piece of worm on a small jig or hook and sinker. A few bluegills, white bass and largemouth bass are being caught in Middle and South Sabula lakes in Pool 13. Bluegills are starting to bed up. A night crawler under a bobber works well, but be ready to move to find actively feeding fish.
Largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing remains very good in Pools 9 to 11 and fair to good in Pools 12 and 13.
Channel catfish are biting on worms fished on the bottom in Pools 9 to 11 or try dip baits in Pool 12. Fish in sloughs around woody cover or around wing dams for catfish. Catfish will begin spawning soon, so anglers should begin targeting rocky areas with current, such as Ackerman’s Cut in Pool 11. Try floating a minnow or worm and a bobber along the rocks for spawning catfish.
Freshwater drum fishing remains excellent in Pools 9 to 15. Use worms fished on the bottom or jigs with a sinker for these nice-sized fish.
Northern pike fishing is good in Pools 9 and 10 on spinners or jigs with twister tails.
Yellow perch fishing has been good in Pool 10 near Harpers Ferry along the brush piles.
Rivers in northeast Iowa are running high, but as of Thursday, are very fishable. If the area receives the predicted heavy rains, flows and clarity might change.
Turkey River (Fayette and Clayton): Nice smallmouth bass (15 to 17 inches) are being caught on big spinners and crankbaits. Good numbers of walleyes are biting on crankbaits. White suckers and redhorse are being caught on night crawlers fished on the bottom.
Upper Iowa River (Winneshiek and Allamakee): Fish are starting to stack up at the lower dam. Good numbers of suckers, walleye, smallmouth bass and white bass are holding in the area. Suckers are being caught in the slower parts of the larger back-eddies using night crawlers on the bottom. White bass fishing is excellent at the lower dam using minnows or light colored jigs. Try casting the jigs just past larger boulders to catch those 12 to 17-inch fish.
A lot of smaller-sized smallmouth bass are being caught throughout the river. As the water warms, those larger fish should start to bite. Walleyes are also being caught throughout the river in good numbers. White-colored twister tails seem to be the lure of choice on the lower end of the river.
Right now many anglers are targeting trout at the mouths of the trout streams entering the Upper Iowa River. They are being caught regularly on small jigs tipped with a half of a worm, as well as small white artificial lures.
Cedar River (Mitchell, Floyd and Chickasaw): Near Charles City, northern pike are being caught with live chubs fished on the bottom. Anglers are targeting crappie in that area as well. Throughout the river, anglers are having some success using jigs tipped with a night crawler for 12 to 17-inch walleyes, and a little more success using minnow-tipped jigs. Some smallmouth bass are also being caught using twister tails with or without live bait.
Cedar River (Bremer and Black Hawk) and Shell Rock River (Butler and Bremer): Fishing activity has picked up with the receding water levels on these rivers. Walleye and smallmouth bass fishing has been good using jigs tipped with a night crawler or fishing crankbaits. Channel catfish have been biting very well on dead cut baits and night crawlers. Concentrate in the deeper holes and around log jams.
Maquoketa River (Delaware): Walleye, smallmouth bass and channel catfish are all starting to bite on jigs tipped with a night crawler.
Wapsipinicon River (Buchanan): Water levels are expected to rise again after recent rains. Crappies are now spawning so anglers are encouraged to fish around brush piles or fallen trees in slack water areas using jigs or minnows under a slip bobber. Walleye and smallmouth bass fishing should pick up using jigs tipped with a night crawler fished in the current breaks and eddies once river levels return to more normal stages.
Avenue of the Saints Lake (Bremer): Largemouth bass fishing has been very good using weedless plastics or lures fished in the flooded willows.
Big Woods, Brinker and South Prairie Lakes (Black Hawk): Crappie fishing is good using 1/64 to 1/32 ounce jigs fished slowly for best success in and around brush piles or sunken trees. Other options are to use a small minnow under a slip bobber or cast a jig next to a brush pile or along the shoreline for crappies. Some anglers have been catching crappies with fly rods using small jigs fished near the surface.
Casey Lake (Tama): Fishing is good for channel catfish using night crawlers or dead cut baits fished on the bottom.
Heritage Pond (Dubuque): The DNR stocked 10 to 12-inch rainbow trout on May 2. These fish should be available through much of June. A trout fee is required to fish for and possess trout.
Hendricks Lake (Howard): Channel catfish angling is starting to pick up, with some larger fish being caught on night crawlers or dead minnows on the bottom. Largemouth Bass fishing has been good using a variety of lures. Bluegill fishing has picked up as well as crappie fishing. Crappies are starting to move in shallow to spawn. Look to catch crappies staging around shallow structure and in new rock placed along shoreline using small (white, yellow or silver) jigs or minnows.
Volga Lake (Fayette): There are good numbers of 14 to 16-inch largemouth bass in the lake. Try using twister tails or spinners along rocky shorelines. Try catching channel catfish in the shallow coves when the wind is blowing into the coves. The catfish feed on dead fish pushed into these areas. Try using cut bait fished on the bottom.
Lake Delhi (Delaware): Crappies will be spawning in the warmer water. Fish for crappies using jigs fished along the shorelines or try small minnows near brush piles.
Lake Meyer (Winneshiek): The bigger largemouth bass have been starting to bite on soft plastics or spinners worked along the shore. Crappies are starting to move in shallow to spawn. Look to catch crappies staging around shallow structure and in new rock placed along the new jetty using small (white, yellow, or silver) jigs or minnows. The crappies are 6 to 9 inches with the majority of them at 8 inches. Bluegill fishing has heated up, with 5 to 7-inch fish being readily caught.
Trout Fishing Note: Due to high water and subsequent damage to the road and crossings, Richmond Springs in Backbone State Park will not be stocked until the park reopens.
Trout stream conditions are excellent with good flow and clear water as of Thursday morning. Conditions should continue barring heavy rain. Anglers are reminded that many trout streams are located on private property. Remember to respect private property and assist the landowners by picking up your trash and other trash you see along the streams. Vehicle trespass is never allowed on private property, nor can you hunt on private property without the landowners consent-including mushroom hunting. A few inconsiderate people can put a halt to the privilege of fishing these properties by the general public. Due in part to trespass complaints, recent changes to trout stocking include the closure of the upper portion of Silver Creek and lower Brush Creek to public fishing. Lower Brush Creek is also closed due to bridge repair. Anglers are encouraged to call the trout stocking recording at 563-927-5736 if they have a question about whether their favorite stream has been stocked. Stocking calendars can be printed off the DNR’s website by going to www.iowadnr.gov and following the menus through to the fish and fishing pages.
For information on fishing in northeast Iowa, call the regional office in Manchester at 563-927-3276.
Fishing at the Iowa Great Lakes, on average, has slowed from a cold front and dropping water temperature. After a few days of warm, stable weather, fishing should improve again for all species.
Spirit Lake (Dickinson): For walleyes, cast a jig and minnow at sunset around the Little Spirit outlet and Buffalo Run; try slip bobber fishing with leeches at night around docks; or trolling live bait or crankbaits between Big Stoney and Little Stoney points. Crappie anglers should fish visible cover around the North Grade or Trickles Slough for fish that have begun spawning. Pitch jigs to shoreline cover for spawning largemouth bass. Large bullheads are being caught at the North Grade with night crawlers. Yellow perch are being caught at Buffalo Run out from shore. Some sorting will be required for larger fish. For smallmouth bass, target rock areas out from shorelines at Cottonwood Point, Miniwakan, Bakers Point or Reeds Run with tube or hair jigs. The fish will be located in deeper water in preparation for spawning. For northern pike, throw a jig and large shiner on the north shore for eating size fish.
East Okoboji (Dickinson): Fish at the bridges, mouth of spillway, or wind blown shorelines with a jig and shiner for white bass. Troll a spinner rig with leaches on the lower end of lake at night for keeper walleyes. For yellow bass, fish the spillway or outlet using a small tube or hair jig. Anglers are catching bluegills around the trestle with small tube jigs or with small worms. Muskies are being caught on the upper end of the lake, including some over 40 inches. Anglers are catching good quality bullheads on north end with worms.
West Okoboji (Dickinson): Fish canals around visible habitat for spawning largemouth bass. Look for spawning crappies in the canals. Troll spinner rigs with live bait or troll crankbaits at night for walleyes. For northern pike, troll crankbaits in the main lake.
Silver Lake (Dickinson): Anglers are catching walleyes trolling with crankbaits at night or casting jig and minnows from shoreline at night. Eating-sized channel catfish are being caught at the bridge and spillway.
Lake Pahoja (Lyon): Anglers are catching 6 to 8-inch bluegills off their spawning beds near shore. For crappies, use a minnow along banks with riprap.
Willow Creek (Osceola): Anglers are catching crappies. Some sorting is required but 9 to 10-inch fish are being caught.
Tuttle Lake (Emmet): For walleyes, troll crankbaits on south end of lake. Fish up to 27 inches are being caught.
Black Hawk Lake (Sac): Fishing is good for 1 to 3 pound channel catfish using leeches on the windy shoreline. A few walleyes above the 15-inch size limit have been taken drifting leeches. Bullhead fishing is excellent on the lake side of the inlet area.
Arrowhead Lake (Sac): Fishing is good for bluegill and an occasional yellow bass.
Storm Lake (Buena Vista): Walleye fishing is good trolling crankbaits. Storm Lake has a 17 to 22-inch protected slot limit on walleye. White bass are being caught while trolling for walleye.
Crawford Creek Lake (Ida): Fishing is good for bluegills using small jigs or a hook tipped with a night crawler.
North Twin Lake (Calhoun): Walleye fishing is good trolling crankbaits or using a jig and minnow fished slowly off the points.
Brushy Creek (Webster): Bluegills and crappies have moved into the shoreline areas. Best bait for crappies has been a small minnow only a foot or two in depth. Same for the bluegills, but use a piece of worm. Bass can be located around most shore structure, too. A few nice walleyes have been caught in the early evening on leeches. Try for catfish at the silt bridges.
Clear Lake (Cerro Gordo): Walleye fishing has been good in a variety of locations. Live bait rigs drifted or trolled in the 8 to 12 foot depth range or crankbaits trolled in the similar depths are the best techniques. Anchoring on the rock reefs and using a jig and night crawler or minnow is also producing good catches of walleye. Yellow bass fishing is good around the reefs, the island, and the east shoreline. Small jigs, minnows, and cut bait work the best for the yellow bass. A few white bass are being caught while walleye and yellow bass fishing.
Little Wall Lake (Hamilton): Channel catfish are hitting chicken liver and stink bait. Crappie fishing is good for smaller sized fish. A year class of crappie, ranging from 6-8 inches, is abundant.
Crystal Lake (Hancock): Channel catfish are hitting from shore and from the jetties. Chicken liver and chubs are working best.
Eldred Sherwood Park – Indian Lake (Hancock): Bluegills are hitting on small jigs and worms. Sorting is required or the nicer sized bluegill. Channel catfish are hitting chicken liver and night crawlers.
Smith Lake (Kossuth): Largemouth bass are hitting spinner baits and plastics. Smith Lake has an 18-inch minimum size limit on largemouth.
Rice Lake (Worth): Bullhead fishing is excellent. Crappies are being caught near inflow areas and downed trees.
Silver Lake (Worth): Yellow perch are being caught from the jetties on small minnows.
Lake Cornelia (Wright): Bullhead fishing is excellent for 8 to 10-inch fish using night crawlers on the bottom.
For more information on fishing in northwest Iowa, call the regional office in Spirit Lake at 712-336-1840.
Fogle Lake (Ringgold): Bluegills are starting to move to shallow water. Some crappies are biting near shore in the evenings. Largemouth bass fishing has picked up a lot with several being caught from the near-shore structure. Some channel catfish are biting in the upper end and shallows.
Lake of Three Fires (Taylor): Lots of nice bluegills are being caught near shore from the spawning areas. Some crappies can still be caught using minnows or white jigs near shore or along the fish mounds in the evenings. Largemouth bass can be caught from structure near shore. Channel catfish can be caught in the bays.
Icaria (Adams): Walleye fishing is good for small and mid-sized fish. Several walleye can be caught from shore in the lower portions of the lake using white spinners or jigs. Several have been caught from the rocks off the dam. A few channel catfish have been picked up from the shallow bays. Crappies are just off shore in 6 to 12 feet of water during the day but move to the fish mounds and rocky shoreline areas during the evening. The bluegills are starting to move into the spawning areas. Water clarity is good and at least 5 feet near the dam. Several largemouth bass have been caught from the near shore structure and tree piles.
Three Mile Lake (Union): Water temperature is about 65 degrees. Crappies have been caught near shore during the morning and evening hours. Most are 9 to 10 inches but there are several reports of larger fish. Bluegills are starting to bite near shore off spawning areas on night crawlers. Walleyes have been caught trolling the large points in the lower portion of the lake and from the dam. Crankbaits and jigs with white twister tails have been the best. Channel catfish have been biting in the upper end and the windward bays. Largemouth bass have been very aggressive near shore and around shallow trees and structure. Several wipers up to 21 inches long have been caught near rocky shoreline areas in the evenings. Water clarity is good and at least 7 feet near the dam.
Twelve Mile Lake (Union): Nice bluegills are being caught from the spawning areas. Some small and mid-sized walleyes have been picked up on the old road beds, fish mounds and from the dam. The maximum size is 21 inches and white or yellow twister tails seem to work best. Many small to mid-sized largemouth bass have been caught from the near-shore structure. Water clarity is at least 8 feet near the dam.
Green Valley (Union): A few channel catfish have been caught from the shallow bays. Bluegills have been caught from the near-shore areas off the spawning beds. Several crappies have been caught near-shore on small jigs during the evening hours.
Wilson Lake (Taylor): Crappies are near the shores of the dam. Some largemouth bass have bee caught from the dam.
Little River (Decatur): Walleyes have been picked up from the dam and deeper points near the dam. A few bluegills have been caught from the spawning areas near shore. Crappies are still being caught from the near-shore rocky areas with most caught on small white jigs. Water clarity is about 14 inches.
Nine Eagles (Decatur): Some bluegills have been caught on night crawlers off the points. Some crappies have been picked up from the dam.
Slip Bluff (Decatur): Several nice bluegills and a few good crappies have been caught from the dam and shallow bays.
Binder Lake (Adams): A bunch of chunky bluegills have been from the dam or bays near the dam. Vegetation is limiting access to some of the shoreline.
Badger Creek (Madison): Bluegill and crappie fishing has been busy along the rocks of the jetties and the road.
Grade Lake (Clarke): Several nice bluegills and crappies can be caught from the corners of the dam and the west shoreline.
West Osceola (Clarke): Several real nice largemouth bass can be caught from shoreline structure around the entire lake. Some thin crappies have died from spawning related stress.
Contact Gary Sobotka at (641) 464-3108 for information on the above area lakes.
Don Williams (Boone): Crappies are biting on jigs and minnows. Crappies are nice, but not a lot are being caught.
Big Creek (Polk): Crappie fishing is inconsistent. Cool weather has pushed the fish into deeper water near the mouths of the bays and near points. For best results use minnows and jigs.
Saylorville Lake (Polk): Crappie and white bass are being caught below the Big Creek spillway. Catfish are being caught on the wind swept shores on shrimp and shad. White bass are being caught in the main lake on small jigs and spinners.
Des Moines River (Polk): Below the Saylorville Dam, white bass are still biting. The higher the flow, the better the bite.
Red Rock (Marion): Walleyes and white bass are being caught below the spillway.
Roberts Creek (Marion): Crappies are biting on minnows.
Rock Creek (Jasper): Catfish bite has slowed, but a few fish are still being caught on cut bait and stink bait. Crappies and bluegills are biting.
Hickory Grove (Story): Crappies and bass are biting. Crappies are being caught in deeper trees and on points next to bays. Bass have been hitting small crankbaits and minnows.
Fort Des Moines Pond (Polk): Bluegills are biting on worms.
Easter Lake (Polk): Crappies are biting on jigs and minnows.
Lake Ahquabi (Warren): Crappies and bluegills have been biting on small jigs off fishing piers.
Contact Ben Dodd at (515) 432-2823, Ext.108, for information on the above area lakes
Anderson Area (Montgomery): Bluegill fishing is good in the north pond along dam using small jigs and worms. Bluegills are 7 to 8 inches.
Hacklebarney (Montgomery): Fishing is slow but a few bluegills are being caught close to shore. Expect bluegill fishing to pickup as they move into shore to spawn.
Viking Lake (Montgomery): Viking Lake was renovated in the fall of 2006. The lake refilled and was restocked with largemouth bass, bluegill, red ear sunfish and channel catfish in the spring of 2007. Anglers can expect to catch largemouth bass up to 15 inches, bluegills are 6 to 7 inches, and catfish are reported 14 to 16 inches. Expect fish to grow rapidly in this newly renovated lake.
Lake Manawa (Pottawattamie): Catfish are still excellent on worms. A few walleyes are being caught on twister tails tipped with a minnow. Most of the walleyes are being caught on the south and west sides of the lake. Wiper fishing has also been good drifting with a white twister tail.
Willow Lake (Harrison): Bluegill fishing is fair for 8-inch fish.
Orient (Adair): Catfish is fair using liver.
Greenfield (Adair): Bass fishing is fair using plastic baits around cedar tree piles. Bluegills are slow but expect fish to be close to shore as water temperature warms. A few catfish are being caught on liver.
Lake Anita (Cass): Crappie fishing has slowed for 7 to 8-inch fish in shallow bays and around jetties. Bluegills are moving into shore to spawn and can be caught using small jigs and worms. Bass fishing has been good using top-water lures in the morning and evenings and plastic baits around rocks during the day.
Farm Ponds: Anglers are catching bass and bluegills at some of the local ponds. Reminder: Be sure to ask landowner for permission before fishing.
Contact Bryan Hayes at (712) 769-2587 for information on the above area lakes.
For more information on general fishing in southwest Iowa, call the regional office in Lewis at 712-769-2587.
Mississippi River Pools 16 to 20: With recent rains, Mississippi River stages for Pools 16 to 20 have increased over the past couple of days but are now beginning to fall. Water temperature is around 64 degrees.
In Pool 16, river stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 10.84 feet and falling. Some walleyes and saugers are still being caught in Sylvan Slough on jig/twister tail combinations. White bass are being caught around Sunset Marina and in Sylvan Slough on jigs and white twister tails. Channel catfish are being caught along the Moline River front and below the mouth of the Rock River. Channel catfish are also being caught around the islands above the dam at Muscatine on shad guts. Some bluegills and crappies are being caught in the backwaters and at Sunset Marina.
In Pool 17, river stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 10.7 feet and falling. Largemouth bass are being caught in the backwaters, at the harbor in Muscatine, and up by the spillway. White bass are being caught by the dam. In Pool 18, river stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 12.7 feet and falling. Channel catfish are being caught on shad, shad guts and night crawlers. Bluegills and crappies are being caught in the backwaters on jigs and minnows.
In Pool 19, river stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 8.99 feet and is forecasted to begin falling by the weekend. Some channel catfish are being caught on shad and night crawlers. In Pool 20, river stage at Lock and Dam 19 is 10.99 feet and is forecasted to begin falling early next week. No fishing report.
Lake Odessa (Louisa): Odessa remains flooded. The water level is dropping with all four outlet gates open. All boat ramps and the Toolesboro road are closed.
Lake Darling (Washington): Rain earlier this week has kept the water turbid. Crappies have finally started to move in shallow. If the weather would warm, anglers should do really well this weekend. Anglers are catching some nice catfish in Honey Creek after the rains.
Lake Belva Deer (Keokuk): Fishing has slowed this week. Anglers are finding some crappies but they are still in 10 feet of water.
Lake Geode (Henry): Bluegill fishing has slowed this week. Crappies are still out deep; look to the brush piles and rock piles in 8 to 10 feet of water to find them.
Lake Rathbun (Appanoose): Crappies are biting on minnows fished under a slip bobber or on a jig. Different depths have been productive at different times. Start in deeper water and work shallower until you find fish. Also look for submerged habitat. The lake is 7 feet above conservation pool so there is a lot of flooded vegetation. Walleyes have been hitting on night crawlers being drifted or trolled along rock drop-offs and rocky points. Water temperature is in the low 60s.
Lake Sugema (Van Buren): Bluegills and crappies have been hitting on small jigs. Largemouth bass have been hitting on a variety of other artificial presentations.
Lake Wapello (Davis): The lake is 9 feet low and the boat ramps are not usable. Small boats can be launched down the shoreline on foot. Anglers are still catching fish around the pallet structures that still have water around them. Muddy conditions persist so come prepared if you want to fish from shore or launch a small boat.
Red Haw Lake (Lucas): Bluegills have been biting on small jigs fished along the shoreline. A few redear sunfish are being caught along with bluegill. Largemouth bass are hitting on artificial lures such as spinner baits and rubber worms.
Lake Macbride (Johnson): Bluegills and crappies are in spawning. Anglers are finding fish on shallow wood and rock. Bluegill size is 5 to 7 inches, while most of the crappies are 7 to 9 inches.
Diamond Lake (Poweshiek): Bluegills are on the bank spawning and anglers are catching them. Small jigs of various colors as well as worms are producing. A few catfish are also being caught on night crawlers.
Union Grove (Tama): Bluegills and yellow bass can be caught shallow. Look for bluegills around shallow wood or rock, while the yellow bass are found nearly everywhere in the first few feet of depth.
Hannen Lake (Benton): Bluegills are around shallow wood and rock waiting to spawn. Some catfish are also being caught on night crawlers.
Pleasant Creek (Linn): White bass, walleyes and largemouth are being caught here. Try white or silver artificial lures for white bass, live bait rigs or jigs for walleyes, and soft plastics for largemouth bass. Remember, largemouth bass have an 18-inch minimum length limit.
Skunk River (Keokuk and Washington): The river has finally returned to a level a few feet below bank full and seems to have stabilized. Catfishing has been pretty good. A few anglers are starting to set bank poles.
For more information on fishing in southeast Iowa, call the regional office in Brighton at 319-694-2430.