Iowa Fishing Reports – 10/2/2008

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Mississippi River Pools 9 to 15: Fishing is slowly picking up on the Mississippi River in Pools 9 to 15 with the drop in water temperature. Water levels at Lynxville are 12.3 feet, Guttenberg 4.0 feet, Dubuque 7.12 feet, Bellevue 4.11 feet, and Camanche 9.02 feet. The river is forecast to remain stable over the next week. Water temperature is in the mid 60s. As the temperature continues to drop, a fall feeding binge will begin for many fish species.

Walleye and sauger fishing is picking up in the tailwaters near Lock and Dams 9 (Lynxville), 10 (Guttenberg), 11 (Dubuque), and 12 (Bellevue). In Pool 9, anglers are reporting good catches of walleye in Minnesota Slough. Now is a good time of the year to troll crankbaits along the wing dams and running sloughs near Harpers Ferry (Pool 10) for larger walleyes. Try using a three-way rig tipped with either a floater or leach in Pools 12 to 15 along the front edge of the wing dams or the upper dams when they are in series. Sauger fishing should really pick up as water temperature drops into the 50s.

Fishing is very good for channel catfish using worms fished on the bottom in Pools 9 through 11.

Smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing is good casting crankbaits along rocks with current in Pools 9 through 11.

Bluegill fishing is excellent near Harpers Ferry (Pool 10) near fallen trees. Bluegill fishing is fair in Pools 12 through 15 on night crawlers fished on the bottom in the snags along the side channel and around wing dams with little flow.

Crappie fishing is picking up in Pools 9 through 15 along snags in the side channels and running sloughs. Fishing should pick up as water temperature continues to decline. Try using small jigs or minnows on a bare hook for crappies or tie your boat up to the snag and vertically jig a small jig and minnow.

Freshwater drum (sheepshead) fishing is good 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.

Northern pike are hitting crankbaits in Minnesota Slough (Pool 9) and Harpers Ferry (Pool 10).

Cedar River (Mitchell, Floyd and Chickasaw): The river is still off color due to a diatom bloom but as water temperature drops, water clarity will improve. This bloom should not scare the angler away as the fish are still there waiting for whatever lure you want to throw their way. Try fishing for walleyes in the deeper pools using jigs tipped with long piece of night crawler. Channel catfishing has slowed a bit.

Shell Rock River (Floyd and Bremer): River conditions are very good and anglers are having good success. Fishing is excellent for channel catfish on night crawlers, live minnows and chicken liver. Walleye fishing is good casting crankbaits or jigs tipped with a night crawler or minnow near current breaks or runs below the riffles in 3 to 4 feet of water. Also try casting jigs tipped with a night crawler onto the sandbars and let them drop into deeper holes with current.

Cedar River (Bremer, Black Hawk), Maquoketa River (Delaware, Jones), Shell Rock River (Butler), and Wapsipinicon River (Buchanan, Black Hawk): Fishing is currently good for channel catfish, smallmouth bass and walleye. Now is a great time to fish as water levels are favorable in all area rivers, water temperature is dropping, and water clarity is excellent. Fish activity is high during this time of year as fish feed in preparation for winter and the spring spawn. As water temperature cools, use more live bait presentations, such as a jig-and-night crawler, and slow-down retrieval speeds.

Turkey River (Clayton): Try using a variety of lures and live bait for smallmouth bass. Walleye can be caught in the deeper pools with slow moving artificial lures.

Upper Iowa River (Winneshiek and Allamakee): Anglers have been picking up larger smallmouth bass above Decorah. Try fishing twister tails and crankbaits in the pools and in the riffles. Walleye are biting on crankbaits, Shad Raps and white twister tails in the deeper pools. Also try tipping lead head with night crawler fished slowly on bottom of deep holes.

Yellow River (Allamakee): Water clarity is excellent. Smallmouth bass and trout fishing are good and should be picking up. Try using twister tails in a variety of colors.

Avenue of the Saints Lake and Plainfield Lake (Bremer County): Fishing is good for largemouth bass and bluegills; try crankbaits and plastics for largemouth and use small night crawlers or red worms for bluegill.

Casey Lake (Tama): Fishing is good for bluegills using flies and wax worms. Bass fishing is fair.

Lake Delhi (Delaware): Fishing is fair to good for bluegill using live bait. Bass fishing is good around structure using crankbaits and plastics.

Lake Hendricks (Howard): Largemouth bass fishing is good with a variety of artificial lures fished along shore. Channel catfish are actively looking for food in shallow area. Try using night crawlers or chicken liver fished on the bottom. Bluegill fishing is fair. Try using smaller gear when fishing midday to hook the finicky ones. Larger crappies are being caught by slowly trolling at 4 to 5 feet deep with a minnow.

Lake Meyer (Winneshiek): Good numbers of 7 to 9-inch crappies are moving in on the brush piles on the south and east sides of the lake. They are being caught with small jigs or minnows under a bobber. Try throwing the rig a few feet past the snags and reeling in toward them. This works really well if the wind is blowing into the snags. Bluegill fishing is good for medium sized fish on night crawlers or angleworms. Some larger bluegills are being caught while fishing for crappie with jigs. Largemouth bass fishing is fair using spinner baits working the shoreline. Channel catfish fishing has slowed, but a few nice sized ones are still being caught.

Volga Lake (Fayette): 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 wax worms or night crawlers on a very small hook under a bobber near structure. Crappies are being caught while slowly drifting or trolling in deeper, open water using a slip bobber. Catfishing has slowed, but there is an excellent population of channel catfish in this lake. A good number of them are in the trophy-sized range.

Northeast Iowa Trout Streams: GO!!! Area streams are in excellent condition, fishing pressure is moderate while fishing continues to be outstanding, and fall colors are adding a splash of colors to northeast Iowa. Stream stockings are no longer announced, but do not let this bog you down. There are plenty of fish out there and the leaves are really beginning to put on a show.

Anglers are reminded to help the DNR monitor the health of our streams and rivers by reporting fish kills immediately by calling 515-281-8694. This hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Only with your help can we continue to protect and enhance the aquatic communities in our public waters.

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

Spirit Lake (Dickinson): Walleyes are being caught drifting the weed lines with spinner rigs tipped with worms or casting along weed lines with crankbaits or jerk baits, and by fishing from shore at the North Grade with a minnow and jig at sunrise or sunset. Fish weed lines with jerk baits or tube jigs for smallmouth bass. Bluegills are biting around boat docks on ice jigs tipped with worms or wax worms or at the North Grade. Vertically jig or drift with small jigging spoons or micro jigs tipped with worms across the main lake basin for yellow perch. Work tube jigs or other soft plastics around boat docks for largemouth bass.

East Okoboji Lake (Dickinson): White bass are biting at bridges and boat docks on a slip bobber and minnow. For yellow bass, drift to find active fish then anchor and vertically jig with jigging spoons tipped with worms, or fish around docks with a bobber and minnow. Channel catfish are biting on cut bait, liver and stink bait around the bridges. Fish around boat docks with ice jigs tipped with worms for bluegills.

West Okoboji Lake (Dickinson): Largemouth bass are being caught around the docks and weed lines with soft plastics and jerk baits. Smallmouth bass are being picked up around the points with soft plastics or jerk baits, or on surface lures late in the evening. Troll with crankbaits along the weed lines and rock piles in Brown’s, Emerson and Miller’s bays, or drift with bottom bouncers and live bait for walleyes. Yellow perch are biting at the rock piles and weed lines around points and bays on small jigging spoons tipped with live bait. Troll or cast along weed edges in Miller’s, North, Smith’s and Emerson bays for northern pike. Cast or troll along the weed lines and rock piles in Emerson, Millers, North and Smith Bay with crankbaits and spinners for muskies.

Minnewashta (Dickinson): Fish around boat docks with small ice jigs tipped with live bait for bluegills, yellow bass and some crappies.

Upper Gar (Dickinson): Use ice jigs tipped with live bait around boat docks for bluegills, yellow bass and crappies.

West Fork of the Des Moines River: Fish a jig and minnow around riffles and holes for walleyes.

Yellow Smoke Lake (Crawford): Fishing is good for bluegill and crappie around flooded timber on small ice jigs tipped with night crawlers.

North Twin Lake (Calhoun): Fishing is fair to good for yellow bass on jigs tipped with cut bait.

Brushy Creek (Webster): Bluegills are in 10 to 15 feet of water and can be caught on a piece of worm on a small hook fished just off the bottom. A few crappies have been caught on minnows around trees located near shore. Bass have been more active. Water clarity is fair.

Clear Lake (Cerro Gordo): Walleye fishing continues to be slow. A few fish are being caught in the west end of the lake. Yellow bass fishing is good around drifting cut bait or a piece of night crawler in 8 to 14 feet of water by the artificial weed beds, from the island to the north shore and by the Baptist Camp. White bass are sill biting around the island and from any sandy areas in the morning and late evening. A few muskies are being caught trolling baits near the weed edge.

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

Fogle Lake (Ringgold): A few crappies are biting in the evenings.

Lake of Three Fires (Taylor): Several mid-sized 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 using cut baits in less than 6 feet of water, from the shoreline. Several nice bluegills have been caught on night crawlers near shore. Water clarity is at least 4 feet.

Icaria (Adams): A few channel catfish are being caught using cut bait. Largemouth bass are biting on crankbaits and spinners. Bullheads are biting well on night crawlers.

Three Mile Lake (Union): Largemouth bass are being caught near structure. A few crappies are caught suspended over the dirt mounds. Wipers and walleyes have picked up over the rock areas.

Twelve Mile Lake (Union): Several mid-sized largemouth bass are being caught from the flooded timber. Bullheads are biting well on night crawlers anywhere in the lake. Some crappies and several bluegills biting are rear rocks.

Green Valley (Union): The water level is drained down to 12 feet and the fishery was renovated. Fish will be restocked by early October. Boating access is possible using the main ramp but not encouraged. Extreme care must be used during launching and loading.

Local Rivers and Streams: Anglers have been catching an abundance of catfish in these areas.

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

Don Williams (Boone): A few crappies and bluegills are being caught on jigs tipped with minnows.

Big Creek (Polk): Crappie fishing is still reported as slow with a few fish being caught. Catfish can still be caught on chicken liver, shrimp or stink bait.

Red Rock (Marion): White bass bite has slowed.

Rock Creek (Jasper): Crappie fishing is reported as good using small jigs tipped with wax worms.

Saylorville Lake (Polk): White bass fishing is still fair out in the main lake trolling or jigging. Good numbers of catfish are being caught using cut bait and fishing on flats in around 15 feet of water.

Hickory Grove (Story): Fishing has been slow with smaller catches of Bluegill and Crappie. A few Catfish are still being caught on cut bait and stink bait. .

Lake Ahquabi and Hooper (Warren): Bluegill and crappie bite is slow. A few catfish are still being caught.

Skunk River (Story): Smallmouth fishing is still very good with some nice fish up to 17 inches being caught using crawfish imitations or small inline spinners.

Banner Pits (Warren): South Banner is being drawn down to a normal level. Shoreline access will improve.

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

Viking Lake (Montgomery): Anglers are catching 16 to 19-inch channel catfish on stink baits or chicken liver.

Lake Manawa (Pottawattamie): Catfish are fair to good using crawdads and shrimp. Crappies are being caught on the northeast part of lake around boat docks. Fishing for wipers is good on east side of lake. Walleyes are picking up using large minnows.

Willow Lake (Harrison): Channel catfish has been fair using liver.

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): 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 good for 8 to 9-inch fish drifting a small white jig or anchored near structure. Schools of crappie have scattered around the lake and when anglers find the schools, they are able to catch quite a few. Largemouth Bass fishing has been good using plastic baits around rock reefs 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 River (Guthrie): A few bluegills and crappies are being caught below the Lennon Mills Dam. Conditions are favorable for fishing the catch and release stretch for smallmouth bass from Lennon Mills Dam to Redfield.

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: In Pool 16, river stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 4.46 feet with water temperature around 68 degrees. Channel catfish are being caught on shad and dip baits. Crappies are being caught in the Andalusia Island complex fishing brush piles with minnows and tube jigs. Walleye fishing has been slow but some fish are being caught on the wing dams around Credit Island. A few white bass are being caught in Sylvan Slough. In Pool 17, river stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 3.76 feet with water temperature around 66 degrees. Channel catfish are being caught on dip baits and night crawlers. Crappies are being caught on jigs and minnows fishing the brush piles in Big Timber. Some crappies are also being caught in the Muscatine Harbor. Walleye fishing has been slow. White bass fishing has been slow.

In Pool 18, river stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 4.46 feet. Channel catfish are being caught fishing shad along the main channel. Crappies are being caught in Huron Island fishing the brush piles with minnows and tube jigs. In Pool 19, river stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 1.79 feet. Channel catfish are being caught on shad and night crawlers. Some crappies are being caught in the backwaters on minnows. In Pool 20, river stage at Lock and Dam 19 is 3.05 feet. Tailwater stages are changing daily due to dam releases. Channel catfish are being caught on shad and night crawlers.

Lake Odessa (Louisa): Anglers are catching nice crappies and bluegills around the trees and beaver lodges in the Horseshoe Bend and Sand Run areas. Yes, this is the same as last week’s report but the fish are on their fall migration and they are looking for something to eat.

Lake Darling (Washington): The channel and flathead catfish fishing has been fair to good with the arrival of the cooler weather. They are looking to fatten up for the winter. Cut bait and chicken liver for the channels and green sunfish for the flatheads.

Lake Belva Deer (Keokuk): Fishing is good right now. Anglers are catching good numbers of the big bluegills in 10 feet of water along the weed beds and other habitat at that depth. Anglers are also taking a lot of catfish as those fish start to fatten up for winter.

Lake Geode (Henry): The fish are still trying to settle down after the lake came up from those heavy rains a couple of weeks ago. The redears are coming in shallow as well as a few crappies.

Lake Rathbun (Appanoose): The lake is about 14 feet above normal pool and three boat ramps remain open; Bridgeview, Honey Creek, and Buck Creek marina high water ramp. Crappies have been hitting on minnows fished around the shoreline in flooded vegetation. Walleyes have been hitting on crankbaits being trolled along rocky drop-offs and underwater islands.

Lake Sugema (Van Buren): Crappies have been hitting on small jigs and minnows. Bluegills have been biting on small jigs fished around a variety of underwater structure.

Lake Wapello (Davis): The lake has been drained for renovation.

Lake Miami (Monroe): Crappies have been hitting on small jigs and on minnows. Try drifting along deeper water. Use small jigs fished along shore for bluegills and an occasional crappie.

Lake Macbride (Johnson): Fishing has been hit or miss here. Crappies can be found in some of the brush piles and some are still roaming open water. A few walleyes, channel catfish, and largemouth bass are also being picked up. Remember, any size motor may be used at no wake speed during this time of the year.

Union Grove (Tama): Bluegill fishing around shallow structure has been good. A few crappies will also be found on the shallow brush, but boat anglers are also picking crappies up by drifting the main lake.

Skunk River (Washington and Henry): The river has fallen back to what it was before the big rains. Anglers in the Brighton area are catching nice numbers of catfish. Anglers are also catching good numbers of flatheads as these big fish are staring to move to their over wintering holes as the water temps drop.

Iowa River (Louisa): The river was almost back to its normal level but it has started to go back up. The rise is forecasted to be short lived and the river level should start to drop very soon. Look for the fishing for flatheads to start picking up as they start on their fall feeding frenzy.

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