Iowa Fishing Report – 6/5/2008

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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.

NOTE: The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has closed George Wyth State Park until at least June 12 because of high water and flooding conditions in and around the park. With the park’s closing, the DNR had to cancel the family fishing event scheduled for June 7.

Mississippi River 9 to 15: River levels are on the rise. On Thursday, Lansing was at 9.4 feet, Lynxville 18.3 feet, Guttenberg 9.9 feet, Dubuque 10.8 feet, Bellevue was 9.5 feet, and Camanche was 12.6 feet. Water temperature is in the upper 60s. Rains have made much of the Mississippi quite turbid, but if you plan a fishing trip, increased water clarity may be found above the Turkey River in Pool 11 and above the Wisconsin River in Pool 10 and other major tributaries downriver. Pools 9 and 10 should maintain decent water clarity unless they receive heavy rainfall locally. Good clarity is important when fishing sight-feeding predatory fish such as bass and crappies.

Walleye fishing is very good right now on the wing dams in Pools 9 to 11 and is fair along the wing dams in Pools 12 and 13 above the mouth of the Maquoketa River. Most people use 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 your bait or lure in contact with rock as you work along the dam. As the water level rises, try spending more time near shore on the wing dams as the current will be less.

A few nice crappies are being caught in the backwaters and sloughs in Pools 9 and 10. Float a worm under 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. Use a piece of worm on a small jig or a hook and sinker fished in the slack water next to the dams.

Largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing remains very good in Pools 9, 10 and in upper 11.

Channel catfish are biting on worms fished on the bottom in Pools 9 to 15 in the sloughs next to woody cover or around wing dams. Catfish will begin spawning soon, so anglers should target rocky areas with current, such as Ackerman’s cut in Pool 11 or any rip rapped shoreline. Try floating a minnow or worm and bobber along the rocks for spawning catfish.

Freshwater drum fishing remains excellent in Pools 9 to 15. Use worms on the bottom or jigs with a sinker for these nice-sized fish. As the water rises, fish in the eddy areas near shore.

Northern pike fishing is good in Pools 9 and 10 on spinners or white jigs with twister tails. Many limits are being reported of quality-sized fish.

Yellow perch fishing has been good in Pool 10 near Harpers Ferry along the brush piles and in Mud Lake in lower Pool 11.

Fishing conditions are difficult in many northeast Iowa rivers due to high flows and turbid water conditions.

Cedar River (Mitchell, Floyd and Chickasaw): Locally heavy rains near Charles City and throughout the area have water levels high and muddy.

Cedar River (Bremer and Black Hawk) and Shell Rock River (Butler and Bremer): Channel catfish have been biting very well on dead cut baits and night crawlers. Target the flooded backwater inlets and tributary streams. Some walleyes are also being caught.

Maquoketa River (Delaware): A few walleye are biting on jigs tipped with a night crawler. Fish for channel catfish in any newly flooded areas outside of the main river flows.

Turkey River (Fayette and Clayton): Fishing has slowed due to the rising water and muddy conditions.

Upper Iowa River (Winneshiek and Allamakee): Fishing has slowed due to rising water and muddy conditions. Anglers may want to target fish at the mouths of the trout streams entering the Upper Iowa River as they may clear faster than the main river.

Wapsipinicon River (Buchanan): Water levels are expected to rise again after recent rains. Fish for channel catfish in areas that provide refuge from the main river, such as backwater inlets and tributary stream confluences.

Big Woods Lake and other Black Hawk ponds: Bluegill, crappie and largemouth bass fishing is fair to good when the weather cooperates.

Casey Lake (Tama): Fishing is excellent for quality-sized bluegills when using flies, red worms and small jigs. Keep the lure in shallow water near the spawning beds. Catfishing is fair during the evening hours using fresh or live baits on the bottom. Largemouth bass fishing for smaller-sized bass has been good near shoreline structure.

Hendricks Lake (Howard): Prior to this week’s rains, clarity was extremely good at more than 12 feet. Bluegills can be caught on nests using dark or natural colored jigs, such as brown, pumpkinseed or watermelon. Largemouth bass fishing is good and some have been seen on nests. Anglers have been picking up bass of varying sizes. Channel catfish angling is starting to pick up, with some larger fish being caught on night crawlers or dead minnows fished on the bottom.

Lake Delhi (Delaware): Fishing has been fair for crappies and channel catfish near shoreline habitats during periods when the Maquoketa River is not at flood stage.

Lake Meyer (Winneshiek): The bigger largemouth bass have been starting to bite on soft plastics or spinners worked along shore. Look to catch crappies staging around shallow structure and in new rock and cedar trees placed along the new jetty and use small white, yellow or silver jigs or minnows. Crappies are 6 to 9 inches with the majority of them at 8 inches. Anglers fishing on the bottom near the dam have been bagging larger crappies. Bluegill fishing has heated up, with 5 to 7-inch fish being readily caught. Channel catfishing is slow due to cooler water temperature.

Plainfield Lake (Bremer): Bluegill fishing is good. Use flies, red worms and small jigs in the shallows.

South Prairie Lake (Black Hawk): Fishing is good for bluegills and fair for crappies. Try using small jigs, worms and flies for bluegills. Slip bobber rigs tipped with a minnow or small jig are currently a good option for catching crappies.

Volga Lake (Fayette): Largemouth bass action has been picking up along the dam for 12-inch fish. Use crankbaits, spinners or plastic tube jigs along rocky shorelines. Try catching channel catfish in the shallow coves when the wind is blowing into the coves. Catfish feed on dead fish pushed into these areas. Also, try using cut baits on the bottom.

Trout stream fishing and conditions have been difficult due to frequent rains. Streams with smaller watersheds should clear quickly. Fish for brown trout when the water starts to go off color. 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 and following the menus through to the fish and fishing pages. Anglers are reminded that many of our 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.

For information on fishing in northeast Iowa, call the regional office in Manchester at 563-927-3276.



Spirit Lake (Dickinson): For walleyes, drift a leech in Anglers Bay or slip bobber fish with leeches out from boat docks at sunset. Crappies have begun spawning and are near visible cover around the North Grade or Trickles Slough. Pitch to bulrushes for spawning largemouth bass in Trickles Slough. Large bullheads are being caught at the North Grade with night crawlers. For smallmouth bass, target rock areas out from the shorelines at Cottonwood Point, Miniwakan, Bakers Point or Reeds Run with tube or hair jigs. Anglers are catching 4 to 6 pound northern pike at Trickles Slough.

East Okoboji (Dickinson): White bass are biting a jig and shiner at the bridges, mouth of spillway, or wind blown shorelines. Throw twister tails or shiners at Hinshaw’s Bridge for walleyes. Use a small tube or hair jigs in the evening at the bridges for yellow bass. Bluegills are hitting at the trestle area on small tube jigs or small worms. Anglers are catching channel catfish at the north end of the lake with night crawlers. Bullheads are being caught at the spillway with night crawlers.

West Okoboji (Dickinson): Target spawning largemouth bass in Triboji, Little Emerson, Little Miller’s Bay, and the canals. Fish canals for spawning crappies. Fish main lake or Triboji around boat docks for bluegills. Anglers are catching walleyes trolling spinner rigs with live bait or crankbaits at night. Troll crankbaits on main lake for northern pike.

Silver Lake (Dickinson): Anglers are catching walleyes trolling crankbaits at night or cast jig and minnow from shoreline at night.

Center Lake (Dickinson): Fish the south end of lake for bullheads.

Lake Pahoja (Lyon): Anglers are catching 6 to 8-inch bluegills from the spawning beds near shore. Fish along rip rap banks with a minnow for crappies.

Tuttle Lake (Emmet): Anglers are catching walleyes trolling crankbaits along drop-offs for fish up to 27 inches.

Black Hawk Lake (Sac): Fishing is fair to good for channel catfish on night crawlers and good for bullheads on night crawlers. Lake level is high due to the rains.

Storm Lake (Buena Vista): Walleye fishing is good drifting live bait or trolling crankbaits. White bass are fair to good trolling crankbaits or casting twisters from shore. Catfish have been good on live bait.

Crawford Creek Lake (Ida): Fishing is good for bluegill and an occasional crappie. Bluegills are very close to shore in the spawning areas.

Clear Lake (Cerro Gordo): Walleye fishing has been good in a variety of locations using live bait rigs drifted or trolled or crankbaits trolled in the 8 to 12 feet of water. 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. Yellow bass are spawning and the fish get finicky during the spawn, so smaller jigs and baits are working better. A few white bass are being caught while walleye and yellow bass fishing. Channel catfish are hitting the prepared baits and dead chubs.

Little Wall Lake (Hamilton): Channel catfish are hitting chicken liver and stink bait. Crappie fishing is good for smaller fish. A year class of 6 to 8-inch crappies is abundant in the lake.

Crystal Lake (Hancock): Channel catfish are hitting from shore and the jetties. Chicken liver and chubs are working the best.

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. Bullheads are hitting on 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 or from the nearby shallow flooded timber. Largemouth bass fishing is good with several being caught from the near-shore structure. Some channel catfish are biting in the upper end and in the shallows on stink bait.

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. 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. Bluegills are starting to move into the spawning areas. Water level is up slightly and clarity is fair, at least 2 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 around 70 degrees. Some crappies have been caught near shore or nearby flooded timber areas 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 by trolling the big points or casting crankbaits in the timber. Some channel catfish have been biting on stink bait. Largemouth bass have been very aggressive near shore and around the 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 walleye have been picked up on the old road beds, fish mounds and from the dam using white or yellow twister tails. The maximum size is 21 inches. 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. Several species have been caught while trolling or casting over the rock riprap fields at the east corner of the dam or the one just southeast of the west ramp.

Green Valley (Union): Several channel catfish have been caught from the shallow bays on stink bait. Most are between 2 and 5 pounds. Some nice 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 still near shore at the dam. Largemouth bass have been caught from the dam. Some fair sized bluegills have been caught from the spawning beds.

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. Water clarity is about 14 inches.

Nine Eagles (Decatur): 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 caught 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 the shoreline structure around the entire lake.

Contact Gary Sobotka at (641) 464-3108 for information on the above area lakes.

Don Williams (Boone): Crappies are biting on jigs and minnows. The crappies are nice, but not a lot are being caught.

Big Creek (Polk): The lake is high and muddy. Fish in 5 to 10 feet of water near the mouths of the bays and near points with minnows and jigs.

Beaver Lake (Dallas): Bluegills are being caught in the shallow bays. Bass are being caught around rocks and trees.

Saylorville Lake (Polk): Catfish are being caught on the wind sweep shores on shrimp and shad. White bass are being caught in the main lake in open water.

Des Moines River (Polk): Below Saylorville Dam white bass are still biting.

Red Rock (Marion): Smaller walleyes and white bass are being caught below the spillway. Crappies and white bass are being caught in the main lake but bite has been hit or miss.

Roberts Creek (Marion): Crappie bite has slowed with the high water.

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): Lake is flooded and full of debris. Fishing has slowed.

Easter Lake (Polk): Bluegills and bass have been biting.

Lake Ahquabi (Warren): Bluegill and redear sunfish have been biting on small jigs. Bass are biting but need a finesse approach.

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 at 6 to 7 inches, and 14 to 16-inch catfish. 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 on the south and west sides of the lake. Wiper fishing has also been good drifting with a white twister tail.

Willow Lake (Harrison): Fishing is fair for 8-inch bluegills.

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 also 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: Mississippi River Pools 16 to 20 are muddy and on the rise. Water temperature is around 69 degrees. Lower pools are once again at flood stage or they are forecasted to reach flood stage over the weekend.

In Pool 16, river stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 10.47 feet and is forecasted to reach 12.2 feet over the weekend. Anglers are catching a few walleyes and white bass around Sunset Marina. Some walleyes and saugers are still being caught in Sylvan Slough. A few bluegills are also being caught in Sunset Marina. Channel catfish are starting to be picked up along rocky shorelines. In Pool 17, river stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 10.51 feet and is predicted to reach 12.2 feet over the weekend. With poor river conditions fishing is slow. Some channel catfish are being caught on night crawlers. A few white bass are being caught by the dam and the spillway. The ramp at Big Timber is closed.

In Pool 18, river stage at Lock and Dam 17 has risen to 13.72 feet and is expected to reach 14.9 feet by the weekend. Flood stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 15.0 feet. Due to poor river conditions fishing is slow. The Toolesboro landing is closed. In Pool 19, river stage at Lock and Dam 18 has risen above flood stage at 10.29 feet and is forecasted to reach 11.5 feet by this weekend. Fishing is slow due to river conditions. In Pool 20, river stage at Lock and Dam 19 is 14.29 feet and is forecasted to reach 15.9 feet by the weekend. Fishing is slow due to river conditions.

Lake Odessa (Louisa): Odessa remains flooded. All boat ramps and the Toolesboro road are closed.

Lake Darling (Washington): Crappie fishing was good last weekend with the fish in shallow to spawn. Heavy rains this week have pushed them back to deeper water.

Lake Belva Deer (Keokuk): Fishing remains fairly slow and the weather is not helping. Anglers have been picking up some bluegills in shallow water when the weather has been nice.

Lake Geode (Henry): Bluegill fishing has slowed. 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 have been hitting on minnows fished under slip bobbers and on small jigs tipped with a minnow. Try a variety of depths as the fish are scattered. There is also a lot of flooded vegetation along the shoreline so this is also spreading the crappies out. Walleyes have been hitting on night crawlers drifted or trolled along rock drop-offs and rocky points. Channel catfish are biting on liver and night crawlers. The lake is 9 feet above normal pool and the water temperature is in the mid 60s.

Lake Sugema (Van Buren): Bluegills are moving into shallow water and are biting on night crawlers fished under a bobber. Largemouth bass are hitting on a variety of artificial presentations. With the recent rains, the lake is about 1 foot above normal.

Lake Wapello (Davis): The lake is 14 feet below normal and the boat ramps are not usable. Anglers have been catching some channel catfish from the beach area using night crawlers. Most of the submerged habitat is no longer underwater so the largemouth bass and bluegill are scattered around. Shoreline fishing is possible, but muddy conditions persist so come prepared.

Red Haw Lake (Lucas): Bluegills have been biting close to the shoreline and around submerged structure on small jigs. Largemouth bass have been hitting on rubber worms and crankbaits. Concentrate on areas where trees have been put in the water and around the jetties.

Lake Macbride (Johnson): Bluegills and crappies are on the banks spawning. Anglers are finding fish on shallow wood and rock. Bluegills tend to run 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. Channel catfish are also being caught on night crawlers.

Otter Creek Lake (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 in the shallows waiting to spawn. Look for them around shallow wood and rock. Some catfish are also being caught on night crawlers.

Pleasant Creek (Linn): Anglers are catching white bass, walleyes and largemouth bass. Try white or silver artificial lures for white bass, live bait rigs or jigs for the walleyes, and soft plastics for the largemouth bass. Remember, there is an 18-inch minimum length limit on largemouth bass.

Kent Park (Johnson): Bluegills are being caught in the shallows on worms and small jigs. Largemouth bass can be taken on a number of live and artificial baits, mostly around structure and the dam. Channel catfish are hitting on stink bait and shad guts, especially in the evening.

Skunk River (Keokuk and Washington): Flooding.

Iowa River (Louisa): Moderate flooding.

Iowa River (Iowa): Some anglers are catching good numbers of bluegills and an occasional crappie. The bluegills tend to be shallow, while crappies are a bit deeper.

For more information on fishing in southeast Iowa, call the regional office in Brighton at 319-694-2430.