Iowa Fishing Report – 8/28/2008
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.
Report for August 28, 2008
Mississippi River Pools 9 to 15: Fishing has slowed as the water levels remained low on the Mississippi River. On Thursday, water levels were as follows: Lansing 7.9 feet, Lynxville, Wis., 12.2 feet, McGregor 6.8 feet, Guttenberg 4.2 feet, Dubuque 7.45 feet, Bellevue 4.11 feet, and Camanche 8.96 feet. Water levels are stable and temperature is at 74 degrees. Be careful when boating on the Mississippi as a lot of new snags have appeared after the spring floods. In addition, many wing dams that boaters have been easily crossing for most of the year are now near the water surface. Whenever traveling the Mississippi River by boat, try to stay in the main channel as much as possible.
Walleye fishing is fair along the wing dams from Pools 12 through 15. Use a three-way rig tipped with either a leech or night crawler fished along the front edge of the wing dams. Some folks are also using a three-way rig with a floating crankbait and report catching larger walleyes.
Fishing is good for channel catfish around the wing dams and side channels with rocky shorelines and riprap areas. Channel catfish are also near fallen snags and the holes behind the wing dams in Pools 9 through 15. Catfish can also move into the shallow water using the weed line as an overhead cove. Use stink bait or night crawlers and fish off the bottom in the side channels and around the wing dams for catfish. Good catfishing areas in the upper pools include: Minnesota Slough and Winneshiek Slough (Pool 9), Harpers Slough and Stateline Slough (Pool 10), and Cassville Slough and Hurricane Slough (Pool 11). Channel catfish are plentiful in the Mississippi River and now is the time to fish for them.
Anglers fishing in Pools 9 through 15 are having fair to good success fishing for smallmouth and largemouth bass. Look for areas with moderate current and structure, such as wood or rocks. Bass also concentrate along rocky shorelines with drop-offs. Bass hotspots include Minnesota Slough near New Albin (Pool 9), Harpers Slough in Harpers Ferry (Pool 10), and the tailwater areas below the locks and dams in Guttenberg, Dubuque and Bellevue. In other parts of the pools, try fishing spinner baits along the weedy edges of the main channel.
Bluegill fishing is fair to good in Pools 9 through 15 on wax worms or garden worms suspended under a bobber fished along rip rapped shorelines or near woody structure adjacent to the channel and side channels. Keep moving until you find those good pockets of bluegills. As waters recede, try fishing some eddy current areas near shore wing dam areas. A split shot and a piece of night crawler is ideal in these areas. Better bluegill fishing can be found on the wing dams in the Harpers Ferry area (Pool 10) and some movement is being made back to the adjacent backwaters.
Crappie fishing is still hit or miss, with most fishing occurring in deeper slough areas using crappie rigs and slow trolling around the snags and woody cover in the backwater areas and side channels. The backwater areas around New Albin (Pool 9), Harpers Ferry (Pool 10), and Guttenberg (Pool 11) are good places for crappies as well as Minnesota Slough (Pool 9) and Cassville Slough (Pool 11). Some reports are coming in of crappies being taken off wing dams which is unusual, but they may be associating with this structure during low water. As fall approaches, crappie fishing should pick up as they begin to concentrate in the deeper sloughs.
Freshwater drum (sheepshead) fishing is good to excellent in Pools 9 through 15 using night crawlers on the bottom. Drum can be found at nearly any shoreline location adjacent to the channel. Use a sliding egg sinker with night crawler or crayfish for bait. Large crayfish often produce larger drum.
Cedar River (Mitchell, Floyd and Chickasaw): Water levels appear to be relatively stable and clarity has improved. Fishing continues to be good for channel catfish using night crawlers, minnows or chicken liver. Walleye fishing is picking up on twister tails tipped with a night crawler and moved very slowly. Crankbaits are working as well. Smallmouth bass are biting well on night crawlers, but have not been hitting the artificials very well.
Cedar (Bremer) and Shell Rock rivers (Butler): Fishing is excellent for channel catfish on stink baits, dead minnows and chicken liver. Walleye and smallmouth bass fishing is excellent on crankbaits and jigs tipped with a night crawler. Bass are associated with rocky areas and other structure. Walleye can be found around woody structure and current breaks. Northern pike fishing has picked up using chubs and spinner baits. Crappies are biting in the Cedar River above and below the Waverly Dam. Fish a minnow under a bobber or cast jigs for crappies.
Cedar River (Black Hawk): Fishing is improving as this section of the river continues to clear and drop to more normal water levels. Channel catfish, walleye and smallmouth bass are beginning to bite.
Maquoketa River (Delaware and Jones): Walleye and smallmouth bass are biting on crankbaits or jigs tipped with a night crawler or minnow. Cast next to woody structure or into current breaks in or near deeper pools. Fishing is good for channel catfish in the deeper pools using stink baits or chicken liver. Fishing is good below the Lake Delhi Dam for crappie, channel catfish and walleye. Use a minnow suspended under a bobber for crappie. Walleye are hitting jigs tipped with a minnow or night crawler and channel catfish are biting on stink bait, night crawlers and chicken liver.
Shell Rock River (Floyd and Bremer): Fishing is excellent for channel catfish on night crawlers, live minnows and chicken liver.
Turkey River (Clayton): Smallmouth bass fishing is fair using night crawlers, twister tails and shad raps fished on the edge of current breaks. Walleye are not being caught in large numbers, but the ones that are being caught are big. These hefty fish can be targeted in the deeper pools of the river near Clermont and Elgin. Channel catfish fishing is fair below the Elkader Dam using cut baits and a variety of other catfishing favorites.
Upper Iowa River (Winneshiek and Allamakee): Water clarity looks good and flows are consistent for a great float this weekend. Fishing for smallmouth bass is fair from the Upper Dam all the way up river, and good from the Lower Dam down. They have been biting on night crawlers or a variety of artificial lures. From the Lower Dam to the mouth of the river, night crawlers have been the bait of choice. The walleye fishing has been a flip-flop of the smallmouth fishing, with anglers having better luck in the upper portions of the river. Jigs tipped with a night crawler or crankbaits in the deeper water are the baits of choice.
Volga River (Fayette): Smallmouth fishing is excellent above Fayette. Anglers are having tremendous success using just about any of the smallmouth fishing favorites.
Wapsipinicon River (Black Hawk and Buchanan): Channel catfish are biting on stink baits, night crawlers and chicken liver fished on the bottom near tree snags and in the deeper pools. Smallmouth bass fishing is good on artificial baits and jigs tipped with a night crawler. A few walleye can be caught on crankbaits and jigs tipped with a night crawler or minnow. On the upper portion of the Wapsipinicon River in Bremer County, northern pike fishing is very good using chubs fished under a bobber and/or casting chartreuse or white and silver spinner baits.
Big Woods Lake and East Lake (Black Hawk): Crappie fishing is improving in deeper water. Fish around structure such as submerged trees or drift a minnow under a bobber.
George Wyth and Mitchell Pit (Black Hawk): Fishing is good for largemouth bass in the early morning and late evening hours. At other times of the day, crankbaits or spinner baits can entice the bass to bite.
Lake Delhi (Delaware): Some crappies are being caught off of structure using minnows under a slip bobber or by casting jigs. Fishing is good for channel catfish on stink baits, dead minnows and night crawlers fished in the deeper pools later in the evening.
Lake Hendricks (Howard): The lake is starting to clear up after previously having a substantial green algae bloom. Channel catfish fishing has slowed, but some are still being caught in the evenings using chicken liver, stink bait, cut bait, or worms fished on the bottom. Fishing is fair for bluegills on wax worms or a piece of night crawler suspended under a bobber. Try using smaller gear when fishing midday to hook the finicky ones. Largemouth bass fishing is fair using plastic worms worked near structure or top-water lures in the evening.
Lake Meyer (Winneshiek): Crappie and bluegill fishing is picking up. Anglers are having some success catching crappies using a small jig under a bobber and drifting across the lake. Those crappies seem to be suspended in 6 to 8 feet of water. Bluegills are being caught more frequently along the weed line using a worm and slip bobber. A few largemouth bass are being caught with top-water lures in the low-light hours. Try using plastic weed-less worms during other hours of the day. Catfishing has slowed, but a few can still be caught using chicken liver or dead chubs in the mornings and evenings. Try fishing these baits under a bobber due to the heavy vegetation.
Volga Lake (Fayette): Fishing is fair for channel catfish using night crawlers or liver on the bottom in the shallow bays. Largemouth bass fishing is good in the early morning and late evening hours. Use slower-moving artificial lures worked along structure. Bluegill fishing is fair using night crawlers under a bobber with many small fish.
Northeast Iowa Trout Streams: Water conditions and fishing are excellent on a number of streams. With streams clearing up, a more subtle approach will yield more fish. A lot of big browns are being caught right now using live bait hooked naturally with little or no weight.
For information on fishing in northeast Iowa, call the regional office in Manchester at 563-927-3276.
Spirit Lake (Dickinson): Work the weed lines or rock reefs with crankbaits, or troll in deep water on the main lake for walleyes. Anglers are fishing the rock reefs and weed lines around Big Stoney, Little Stoney, Reeds Run, Cottonwood points or at the footbridge using live crawdads, crankbaits, jerk baits, or top-water lures in the evening for smallmouth bass. Bluegills are being caught drift fishing with a split shot and live bait along weed lines and rock piles. For yellow perch, fish the rock reef and weed line at Buffalo Run with live bait. Anglers are catching northern pike trolling or casting along weed lines and cabbage beds in the main lake or in Anglers Bay. Look for surfacing white bass in the evening while fishing with crankbaits. Largemouth bass are being caught along the weed lines or boat docks on soft plastics.
East Okoboji Lake (Dickinson): Look for surface feeding white bass early or late in the day and cast into schools with shallow running crankbaits, or use a jig and minnow around the bridges early and late in the day. For yellow bass, drift the weed lines and rock piles during the day to find fish then anchor and fish with live bait, or look for fish feeding on the surface early or late in the day. Anglers are catching channel catfish using stink-bait from shore around the bridges, or drift fishing from boat with cut-bait.
West Okoboji Lake (Dickinson): Work the docks or weed lines around Pillsbury Point or in Brown’s, North, Emerson and Miller’s bays for largemouth bass. Anglers are catching smallmouth bass fishing the deep rock reefs in Miller’s Bay, and Pocahontas, Fort Dodge, Pillsbury, and Gull points with soft plastics or crawdads. For bluegills, fish the drop-off between Fort Dodge and Pillsbury points with a split shot and live bait. Walleyes are being caught fishing the weed lines around Pillsbury Point, and Emerson and Miller’s bays with crankbaits in the evening or at night. For northern pike, troll crankbaits or cast along weed edges.
West Fork Des Moines River: Fish on the upstream side of brush piles with crawdads for channel catfish.
Little Sioux River: Fish around brush piles with stink bait or cut bait for channel catfish.
Lost Island Lake (Clay-Palo Alto): Anglers are catching walleyes drifting with live bait or trolling with crankbaits in the evening.
Storm Lake (Buena Vista): Fishing is good for catfish drifting cut chubs and shrimp. Water temperature is 72 degrees
Black Hawk Lake (Sac): Fishing is good for catfish drifting cut chubs and shrimp.
Clear Lake (Cerro Gordo): Walleye fishing continues to be slow. Yellow bass fishing has been good. Yellow bass are starting to group up and if you find a school, stay with them. Try fishing around the Island and north towards Reely Point on the north shore. The reefs on the east end of the lake have also been producing a few yellows. Use night crawlers to catch your initial few fish then use some belly meat to continue catching yellows with greater success. White bass fishing has been good around the Island.
Bluebill Pond (Cerro Gordo): Bluegill fishing has been good near the weed edge. A few largemouth bass are biting on plastics.
Little Wall Lake (Hamilton): Channel Catfish are biting on liver and prepared baits.
Smith Lake (Kossuth): Bluegill fishing has been good using a piece of night crawler fished under a bobber.
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 fair for midsized fish near the flooded timber. A few channel catfish are being picked up using cut baits or liver.
Lake of Three Fires (Taylor): Several largemouth bass can be caught from structure or the edges of the lotus beds in 3 to 6 feet of water. Channel catfish can be caught from the shoreline in water 6 feet deep or less using cut baits.
Icaria (Adams): Channel catfish are being caught using cut bullheads through the evening hours. Largemouth bass are biting on crankbaits and spinners. Most of the fish are being caught near the tree piles. Bullheads are biting well on night crawlers. Water clarity is about 4 ½ feet at the dam.
Three Mile Lake (Union): Water clarity is about 3 feet at the dam and the upper end has a green algae bloom. Largemouth bass are being caught near structure or flooded timber. A few suspended crappies, wipers, and walleye can be caught from roadway between the ramps. Channel catfish have been picked up using cut baits near the mid-lake rock mounds.
Twelve Mile Lake (Union): Several mid-sized largemouth bass are being caught from the flooded timber in 4 to 10 feet of water using crankbaits or spinners. Anglers catch some small to mid-sized walleyes from the old road. Bullheads are biting well on night crawlers anywhere in the lake. Water clarity is at about 4 feet near the dam.
Green Valley (Union): The water level is drained down to 12 feet and will be held there through the fall and winter. Boating access is possible using the main ramp but not encouraged. Extreme care must be used during launching and loading. Water clarity is about 3 feet. Channel catfish angling has been spotty with varied results. Cut pieces of bluegills or bullheads seem to be the most successful. Some of the higher points or the face of the dam are easily accessible.
West Lake Osceola (Clarke): Several largemouth bass have been caught from the flooded trees just off-shore in about 6 feet of water.
Contact Gary Sobotka at (641) 464-3108 for information on the above area lakes.
Don Williams (Boone): Bass are still chasing schools of shad near the surface. Crappies are biting on jigs or minnows drifted or trolled in 5 to 10 feet of water in the middle of the lake. Most fish are being caught up from the bait shop boat ramp. Catfish are being caught on chicken liver and shrimp.
Big Creek (Polk): Suspended crappies are still being caught drifting jigs in 5 to 10 feet of water in the main lake. Catfish are being caught on cut bait and stink bait.
Raccoon River (Dallas): Catfish are being caught.
Saylorville Lake (Polk): White bass are still being caught near the pump station when it is pumping. Some white bass are also starting to be picked up below the Big Creek spillway. Cast jigs, spoons, or shad imitating crankbaits. Catfish are biting on drifted cut bait or shad.
Red Rock (Marion): White bass and wipers were starting to bite in the main lake, however, cooler nights this past week has slowed them. The approaching warmer weather should improve the bite.
Rock Creek (Jasper): Catfishing has slowed, but some are still being caught on stink bait and cut bait. Crappies are still biting on jigs in 6 to 8 feet of water on the main lake.
Hickory Grove (Story): Bass are being caught in the mornings and evenings using top-water baits. Crappies are being caught trolling or drifting jigs. Catfish are biting on cut bait and stink bait. Bluegills are being caught with worms under a bobber.
Lake Ahquabi and Hooper (Warren): Bluegill and crappie bite is still slow. Bass and catfish are still being caught.
Des Moines River (Polk): Reports of a good catfish bite below Scott Street Dam using either cut bait or stink bait.
Contact Ben Dodd at (515) 432-2823, Ext.108, for information on the above area lakes
Anderson Area (Montgomery): Fishing for bluegills is good in the shallows using small jigs tipped with a worm. A few crappies are being caught in the evenings using minnows. Fishing for channel catfish is fair using liver.
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 6 to 7 inches, and catfish are reported 14 to 16 inches. Expect fish to grow rapidly in this newly renovated lake.
Pilot Grove (Montgomery): A few bass are being caught off the dam.
Hacklebarney (Montgomery): Largemouth bass are fair fishing deep. Bluegill fishing has also been fair.
Lake Manawa (Pottawattamie): Catfish are fair on crawdads and shrimp. A few crappies have been caught on north east part of lake around boat docks. A few wipers are also being caught.
Willow Lake (Harrison): Channel catfish has been fair using liver. A few bluegills are being caught over the deep brush piles.
Meadow Lake (Adair): Meadow is open to fishing, however the lake has been lowered 8 feet and the boat ramp is not usable. Habitat improvements are scheduled for this fall and winter.
Orient (Adair): Catfish is fair using liver.
Greenfield (Adair): Bass fishing is fair using plastic baits around cedar tree piles. Bluegills are fair drifting small jigs and around jetties. A few catfish are being caught on liver.
Mormon Trail (Adair): Fishing for channel catfish has been good in the evenings using liver and cut bait.
Lake Anita (Cass): Crappie fishing is excellent for 8 to 9-inch fish drifting a small jig or anchored near structure. Try a slow drift across the deep basin in front of the dam with a small white jig 6 to 8 feet below the surface. Bluegills have slowed but a few are being caught while drifting or casting around the weed lines. Bass fishing is fair using plastic baits around rocks and along the road bed during the day.
Arrowhead Lake (Pottawattamie): Largemouth bass are being caught using plastic baits around structure. Channel catfish is fair using liver.
Prairie Rose Lake (Shelby): Channel catfish is fair using liver and stink bait.
Middle Raccoon (Guthrie): A few bluegills and crappies are being caught below the Lennon Mills Dam. Conditions are favorable for floating the catch and release stretch for smallmouth bass from Lennon Mills Dam to Redfield.
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: Fishing on the Mississippi River has been slow. River levels have reached summer lows and water temperature is around 77 degrees.
In Pool 16, river stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 4.17 feet. Anglers are catching a few catfish on stink bait and shrimp. A few walleyes are being picked up trolling crankbaits on the wing dams.
In Pool 17, river stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 3.23 feet. Anglers are catching channel catfish on stink bait and night crawlers. Walleye fishing has been slow but a few are being caught trolling crankbaits on the wing dams. Crappies and bluegills are being caught in the backwater sloughs around log jams with current on jigs and minnows.
In Pool 18, river stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 3.67 feet. Channel catfish are being caught on stink bait and night crawlers. A few walleyes are being caught trolling crankbaits on the wing dams. Anglers are catching bluegills and crappies in the backwater sloughs around log jams with current on jigs and minnows.
In Pool 19, river stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 1.37 feet. Channel catfish are being caught on stink bait and shad. Largemouth bass are being caught in the lotus fields.
In Pool 20, river stage at Lock and Dam 19 is 2.83 feet. Water level is fluctuating daily due to dam releases. Channel catfish are being caught on stink bait and shad.
Lake Odessa (Louisa): Anglers are catching a lot of catfish by the inlet, which is open to allow water to flow through the system. The water level is about one foot above normal for this time of year. Anglers are also doing fairly well on bluegills and crappies along the rocky shorelines.
Lake Darling (Washington): Water temperature is starting to cool. Catfish continue to work the shoreline. Try fishing along the rocks using chicken liver.
Lake Belva Deer (Keokuk): Fishing remains slow with a few anglers picking up some catfish along the rocks.
Lake Geode (Henry): Fishing pressure remains low. But a few nice big catfish are being caught.
Lake Rathbun (Appanoose): Anglers are catching a few walleyes and crappies trolling crankbaits along the dam, around the Island View area, and in Honey Creek. The lake is 17 feet above normal pool. Three ramps remain open; Buck Creek high water ramp, Bridgeview high water ramp, and Honey Creek.
Lake Sugema (Van Buren): Bluegills have been hitting on small jigs fished along drop-offs. Largemouth bass have been hitting on soft plastics along downed trees, flooded timber and other shoreline areas with structure. Mornings and evenings have been the most productive.
Lake Wapello (Davis): The lake has been drained.
Red Haw Lake (Lucas): Largemouth bass have been hitting on soft plastics along the dam and around the rock jetties. Bluegills have been biting on small jigs fished along the weed line and around the rock jetties.
Lake Macbride (Johnson): Top-water fishing is still good. Largemouth bass are in and around almost any kind of structure, especially wood and rock. Kentucky spotted bass are on rocky shores. White bass can be hit or miss in open water; watch for schools feeding on young shad. Some channel catfish are being picked up towards evening in shallower water on various baits.
Pleasant Creek (Linn): Fishing has been fairly slow. Largemouth can be picked up on plastic worms and catfish are biting on chicken liver. White bass are feeding on schools of shad on the surface around sunrise and sunset. Throw top-waters or shallow running baits to the schools for the best action.
Hannen Lake (Benton): The water is starting to clear up here. Fishing has been hit or miss, with good days producing bluegills on worms or jigs, and channel catfish on night crawlers or liver.
Kent Park Lake (Johnson): Channel catfish are still biting fairly well on Sonny’s stink bait or chicken liver early in the morning or late in the evening. Some largemouth bass are also being picked up on artificial lures or night crawlers, as well as some bluegills on small jigs or worms.
Skunk River (Washington and Henry): The river is at a nice level right now and seems to be fairly stable. There is just enough water to still be able to boat around. Better yet the catfish seem to be biting.
Iowa River (Louisa): The river level seems to have stabilized finally with levels about back to normal for this time of year. Around Wapello there are a few new sandbars and some of the holes have changed. Catfishing has been fair to good.
For more information on fishing in southeast Iowa, call the regional office in Brighton at 319-694-2430.