Iowa Fishing Report – 6/26/2008

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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.


The unprecedented volume of water in many areas during the flood will minimize the impact from any chemicals, waste or other toxins mixed in with the water. Nothing in the water is going to hurt the quality or the edibility of the fish. These fish are safe to eat.

In general, more water means more fish. Growth of fish is great in expanded habitats when lake and stream water levels are high. It is expected the flood conditions in many streams will have an adverse impact on smallmouth bass reproduction this year. The floods will rearrange the habitat in streams with some deep holes filling in while others are created.

A larger issue is that of sediment washing into streams, lakes and ponds, covering and reducing habitat and causing water quality problems.

Printable Copy:
Report for June 26, 2008,*.pdf


Boaters are advised to stay off recently flooded rivers due excessive currents and the dangers of floating debris. Debris washed into the rivers from flooded areas could potentially capsize a watercraft.

Mississippi River Pools 9 to 15: Conditions continue to improve for fishing in Pools 9 to 11 as the water levels are still high but falling steadily. Many closed ramps are beginning to open but anglers may want to call ahead for ramp availability. At the time of this report, here is a list of some of the known ramp conditions from north to south: Lansing Village Creek (Pool 9) is open; Heytman’s Landing (Pool 9) is open; Harpers Ferry upper ramp (Pool 10) is open; Harpers Ferry lower ramp (Pool 10) is open; Nobel’s Island (Pool 10) is open; Sny Magill (Pool 10) closed; Bussey Lake (Pool 10) open; Guttenberg DNR hatchery ramp (Pool 11) is open but parking is limited; Guttenberg city ramp (Pool 11) closed; Turkey River ramp (Pool 11) closed; Finley’s Landing (Pool 11) closed but may open soon, Mud Lake (Pool 11) closed but may open soon.

As of Thursday, water level at Lansing (Pool 9) was 10.6 feet, Lynxville, Wis. (Pool 10) was 20.1 feet and Guttenberg (Pool 11) was 11.6 feet. Water temperature is 78 degrees.

Fishing activity has been limited due to high water levels. Largemouth bass are still biting in the tailwaters at Lynxville (Pool 10) and Guttenberg (Pool 11) using spinner baits. Catfishing is good on stink bait along rocky shorelines. At Harpers Ferry, a few anglers are catching walleyes drifting night crawlers. A few northern pike are also being caught below the spillway. Anglers on the handicap walkway at the DNR’s Guttenberg office are catching a lot of catfish and bass along the rocks.

Cedar River (Mitchell, Floyd, Chickasaw, Bremer and Black Hawk), Shell Rock River (Butler) and Wapsipinicon River (Buchanan): Fishing conditions are less than ideal but are improving with river levels coming down. Try fishing for walleyes with a jig tipped with a night crawler, or casting crankbaits along rocky shorelines or next to woody structure. Anglers hoping to hook a smallmouth bass should drift night crawlers with a small split shot along the bottom in the current or cast artificial crankbaits in and around rocky shorelines or woody structure.

Turkey River (Clayton): The upper stretch of this river is starting to clear up. Smallmouth fishing should continue to improve as the river level recedes.

Upper Iowa River (Winneshiek and Allamakee): Water level is coming down and clarity is improving. Some smallmouth bass are being caught in rocky habitat close to shore. Try using light colored twister tails or crankbaits.

Lake Delhi (Delaware): Fishing is good for channel catfish using dead cut baits or night crawlers on the bottom.

Lake Hendricks (Howard): Fishing is good for bluegills on wax worms or a piece of night crawler suspended under a bobber, or with black and white artificial flies. Largemouth bass fishing is good using plastic worms worked near structure. Look for bluegills and bass on nests near shore for better action. Channel catfish are starting to bite. Try using night crawlers or stink bait fished on the bottom in the shallow coves of the lake.

Lake Meyer (Winneshiek): Water clarity is good and lake level is back to normal. Catfishing is good using chicken liver near the south side of dam. Crappie fishing is slow, but some can be caught in the snags using small light-colored tube jigs. Bluegill fishing is fair using worms fished near shore or by the new jetty, but require some sorting. Largemouth bass fishing is fair using plastic worms.

Volga Lake (Fayette): Fishing is picking up for channel catfish. Largemouth bass fishing is picking up in the early morning and late evening hours. Use slower-moving artificial lures along structure. Bluegill fishing is good using wax worms under a bobber, but a lot of sorting is required.

Trout streams are being stocked as conditions allow. The trout hatcheries have deviated from the proposed stocking calendars so make sure you call the trout stocking hotline at 563-927-5736 to get the most updated information.

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

Spirit Lake (Dickinson): Walleye fishing is good at Cottonwood, Big Stoney, Little Stoney or Red Nose points using live bait where the weed lines and rock meet. Use worms or leeches while drifting, or troll with crankbaits. For crappies, work the weed lines near Marble Beach for suspended fish or in Trickles Slough use a pink jig head and white twister tail along the weed line. Bullheads are biting at the North Grade on worms. Fish the rock areas of Big Stoney Point, Little Stoney Point, or along rock shorelines with boat docks using jerk baits or jig and pigs for smallmouth bass. Bluegills are biting around boat docks on small ice jigs tipped with live bait, or drifting with leeches along the weed lines. Fish the rock reef at Buffalo Run or Little Stoney Point with live bait for yellow perch. For northern pike, troll crankbaits along weed lines in the main lake.

East Okoboji Lake (Dickinson): Anglers are catching white bass at the spillway, Highway 9 Bridge and Hinshaw’s Bridge at sunrise or sunset with a jig and minnow. Use small jigs around boat docks in the north bay for yellow perch. Yellow bass fishing is good at the spillway, the trestle or Hinshaw’s Bridge using a small tube or hair jig tipped with a minnow. For bluegills, fish the boat docks, trestle or along weed lines with worms or leeches. Channel catfish fishing is good at the north end of the lake or around any of the bridges at night or early morning with night crawlers or cut bait. Bullheads are biting at the spillway on night crawlers. For muskies, fish Stony Point south for suspended fish relating to weed lines and rock reefs.

West Okoboji Lake (Dickinson): Largemouth bass fishing is good around boat docks or weed lines in North, Emerson and Miller’s bays. Fish the rock reef around Gull Point with jerk baits for smallmouth bass. For bluegills, fish the weed lines while drifting with leeches in North or Smith’s bays or around boat docks for fish that are still spawning. Walleye anglers are fishing the weed lines near rock reefs with a slip bobber and leech or spinner rigs with worms or leeches, or troll crankbaits along outside weed lines in Emerson or Miller’s bays. Troll crankbaits or cast buck tails along weed edges for northern pike. For muskies, fish along weed lines at North, Smith’s or Emerson bays at night and early morning.

Black Hawk Lake (Sac): Fishing is good to excellent for channel catfish, especially early in the morning.

Storm Lake (Buena Vista): Channel catfish fishing is good on night crawlers. Walleye fishing is fair, but has slowed. Water temperature is 75 degrees.

Brushy Creek (Webster): Water clarity is good and lake level is back to normal. Bluegills and crappies have been active. Try using small jigs or small hooks with live bait. Walleyes have been active just at sunset; use a small jig with a minnow or slip bobber set up. Many short walleye have been caught. Bass fishing is good on an assortment of lures.

Clear Lake (Cerro Gordo): Walleye fishing is good using live bait rigs drifted or trolled in 8 to 12 feet of water, or crankbaits trolled in the similar depths. Anchoring on the rock reefs and using a jig and night crawler or minnow is also producing good catches of walleye. Anglers report catching a lot of sub legal walleye, so sorting is required. A few yellow bass are being caught drifting with live bait in 8 to 12 feet of water. A few white bass are being caught while walleye and yellow bass fishing. Channel catfish are hitting prepared baits and dead chubs at the reefs, the Ventura Grade, and shoreline areas with a breeze coming in. A few bullheads are being caught off the McIntosh Woods shoreline and the Ventura Grade.

Crystal Lake (Hancock): Channel catfish are hitting from shore and the jetties on chicken liver or chubs.

Lake Catherine (Winnebago): Bluegill fishing has been good for 8 to 9-inch fish using small jigs and night crawlers.

Rice Lake (Worth): Bullhead fishing is excellent.

Lake Cornelia (Wright): Fishing is excellent for 8 to 10-inch bullheads using night crawlers on the bottom. Channel catfish are hitting of the jetty using liver and prepared baits.

For more information on fishing in northwest Iowa, call the regional office in Spirit Lake at 712-336-1840.

Fogle Lake (Ringgold): Largemouth bass fishing is good with several mid-sized fish being caught from structure. Some channel catfish are biting on stink bait. Water level is near normal and clarity is about 3 1/2 feet.

Lake of Three Fires (Taylor): Largemouth bass can be caught from structure. Channel catfish can be caught in the bays. Water level is near normal and clarity is about 3 1/2 feet at the dam.

Icaria (Adams): Channel catfish are biting in the shallow bays and riprap. Water level is near normal and ramps are accessible. Water clarity is about 2 feet.

Three Mile Lake (Union): The lake level is near normal. Water clarity is about 2 ½ feet at the dam. A few bluegills are to biting just off shore near structure on night crawlers. Channel catfish have been biting on stink bait.

Twelve Mile Lake (Union): The lake has returned to near normal conditions. A few nice bluegills are being caught. Many small to mid-sized largemouth bass have been caught from the near-shore structure. Channel catfish are in the rocks and walleyes in the flooded timer near sharp drop-offs. Water clarity is about 3½ feet near the dam.

Green Valley (Union): Water levels are near normal and all ramps are usable. Water clarity is about 2 feet. A lot of channel catfish have been caught from the shallow bays on stink bait. Most are between 2 and 5 pounds. A few bluegills are caught occasionally near the tree piles on night crawlers.

Wilson Lake (Taylor): Water clarity is about 1 1/2 feet. Some largemouth bass have been caught from the dam.

Windmill Lake (Taylor): Largemouth bass are biting next to shore.

Little River (Decatur): The ramps are usable and the water clarity is about 1 foot.

Nine Eagles (Decatur): Water clarity is about 3 feet. Bluegills have been caught on night crawlers fished off the points. The largemouth bass fishing is good for mid-sized fish on the outside of the weed line.

Badger Creek (Madison): The largemouth bass fishing is good near structure.

West Lake Osceola (Clarke): Several real nice largemouth bass can be caught from the shoreline structure around the entire lake.

Binder Reservoir (Adams): Bluegills are being caught from the weed line edges on night crawlers. Water clarity is good and at least 4 feet near the dam.

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

Don Williams (Boone): Crappies are biting close to dark on jigs.

Big Creek (Polk): Bluegills are biting on night crawlers under a bobber in shallow water and crappies are biting on minnows fished under a bobber.

Beaver Lake (Dallas): Bluegills are being caught on worms, and catfish are biting on cut bait.

Saylorville Lake (Polk): White bass are being caught at the pump station. Catfish are being caught on cut bait fished around the lake on the windy shores and next to running water.

Red Rock (Marion): Access is limited due to high water, but catfish are being caught in the floodwaters.

Rock Creek (Jasper): Bluegills are being caught in shallow water with jigs and worms. Catfish are biting on stink bait and cut bait.

Hickory Grove (Story): Anglers are catching bluegills and bass.

Easter Lake (Polk): Bluegills are biting on worms. Catfish are being caught on stink bait and chicken liver.

Lakes Ahquabi and Hooper (Warren): Bluegill and redear sunfish have been biting on small jigs and night crawlers close to submerged timber.

Contact Ben Dodd at (515) 432-2823, Ext.108, for information on the above area lakes

Anderson Area (Montgomery): Bluegill fishing is fair for 7 to 8-inch fish in the north pond along dam using small jigs and worms.

Hacklebarney (Montgomery): A few bluegills are being caught close to shore. Catfish fishing is good along the dam using worms and crayfish.

Viking Lake (Montgomery): The lake was renovated in the fall of 2006, then refilled and 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 between 6 to 7 inches, and catfish between 14 to 16 inches. Expect fish to grow rapidly in this newly renovated lake.

Lake Manawa (Pottawattamie): Catfish are still good on worms and shrimp. Walleye are being caught at night jigging twister tails tipped with a minnow. A few crappies are being caught using white jigs along west shoreline.

Willow Lake (Harrison): Bluegill fishing is fair for 8-inch fish.

Meadow Lake (Adair): Catfish fishing is good.

Mormon Trail (Adair): Bass fishing is good. Catfish fishing is fair.

Greenfield (Adair): Bass fishing is good using plastic baits around cedar tree piles. Catfish fishing is good.

Lake Anita (Cass): Fishing is fair for 7 to 8-inch crappies around jetties. Bluegills are close to shore spawning and can be caught using small jigs and worms. Bass fishing is fair using top-water lures in the morning and evening and plastic baits around rocks during the day.

Littlefield Lake (Audubon): Catfish fishing is good using night crawlers.

Arrowhead Lake (Pottawattamie): Largemouth bass fishing is good casting plastic baits around jetties and underwater structure. Catfish is good on shrimp close to shore around rock.

Prairie Rose Lake (Shelby): Fishing is good for channel catfish using worms around the jetties. Carp are also being caught along the campground shoreline. A few flatheads in the 6 to 8-pound range are being caught using live bait.

Farm Ponds: Anglers are catching bass and bluegills at some of the local ponds. Reminder: Be sure to ask the 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: Fishing remains slow due to flooded conditions and limited access on Pools 16 to 20 of the Mississippi River. According to the Rock Island District Army Corps of Engineers, Lock and Dam 15 is expected to re-open by June 28 if current river forecasts do not change. The river is slowly falling throughout the pools but the lower pools are still above major flood stage. Water temperature is around 74 degrees.

In Pool 16, river stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 15.83 feet and falling. River levels are forecasted to fall to 12 feet by next Wednesday. Flood stage is 15 feet. The Marquette Street ramp in Davenport remains closed. The boat ramp at the Fairport State Recreational Area is still underwater.

In Pool 17, river stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 16.8 feet and falling. River stage is expected to fall to 12 feet by Wednesday. Flood stage is 15 feet.

In Pool 18, river stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 19.02 feet and falling. River levels are predicted to fall below 15 feet by Wednesday. Flood stage is 15 feet.

In Pool 19, river stage at Burlington is 20.48 feet and falling. River levels are forecasted to fall to around 17 feet by Wednesday. Flood stage is 15 feet.

In Pool 20, river stage at Lock and Dam 19 is 22.33 feet and slowly falling. River levels are predicted to fall below 17 feet by Wednesday.

Lake Odessa (Louisa): Odessa remains flooded. All boat ramps and the Toolesboro road are closed. Wednesday night rains did not help.

Lake Darling (Washington): The water remains muddy but it is starting to clear. Water temperature is in the 80s. Catfish are biting along the rip-rapped shorelines.

Lake Belva Deer (Keokuk): Bluegill fishing is picking back up with the fish starting to spawn. Look for the males to be guarding the nests in shallow water.

Lake Geode (Henry): Bluegills are biting along the weed lines in 6 to 8 feet of water.

Lake Rathbun (Appanoose): Walleyes have been hitting night crawlers being trolled or drifted along the rocky points and submerged islands. The lake is still 11 feet above normal pool and some boat ramps are closed. The high water ramps remain open. Channel catfish have been biting on chubs and minnows fished around the bridge embankments at South Fork and Bridgeview. Areas with rocks have been holding fish.

Lake Sugema (Van Buren): Bluegills have been hitting on small jigs tipped with a chunk of night crawler. The bluegills have spawned and are moving into a little deeper water. Largemouth bass have been hitting on soft plastic baits and also on jig and pig combos.

Lake Wapello (Davis): The lake is almost completely drained. Now would be a good time to have a look at all the structure to help with future fishing trips.

Lake Keomah (Mahaska): Channel catfish have been biting on chicken liver. Largemouth bass have been hitting on spinner baits. Bluegills and crappies have spawned and are moving to structure in 6 to 8 feet of water.

Lake Macbride (Johnson): The lake has reopened to boat traffic but there are no fishing reports at this time.

Coralville Reservoir (Johnson): The reservoir has reopened to boat traffic but there are no fishing reports at this time.

Kent Park (Johnson): Catfishing has been good and a few decent bass are being caught. Catfish are biting on liver and Sonny’s Dip Bait fairly early in the morning and just before dark. Bass are hitting crankbaits and soft plastics. Campers reported some bluegills still along the rocks guarding nests. We like to remind anglers that Kent Lake closes to all fishing before the park closing time of 10:30 p.m.

Lake Iowa (Iowa): Catfish are being caught on worms and other common baits. A few bluegills and redears are being caught with wax worms.

Hannen Lake (Benton): Stink bait, liver, shrimp, or night crawlers have been catching channel catfish. Mornings and evenings are best and last year’s caged fish (12-14 inches) are very common, with many around 2 to 4 pounds. After a rainfall, fishing seems to be prime close to the shorelines. Bluegills are still spawning in certain areas but tough to find due to the warm weather and algae bloom.

Pleasant Creek (Linn): Anglers are catching bluegills on worms around jetties. Bass are being caught on about anything around wood and rock. Walleyes are hitting on leeches, while white bass are hitting on crankbaits and top-water baits.

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