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IOWA FISHING REPORT
Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Last Updated: September 16, 2003

This is the final weekly fishing report. The Iowa Fishing Report is released every other week from August into the fall. For current information on fishing conditions for your lake or area, contact the office in that district. Phone numbers are listed with each district report.
 

Northeast

Mississippi River Pools 9 to 15: The Mississippi River water levels in Pool 10 are 611 and Lock 10 is up slightly at 604. Water is clear and the temperature is 71 degrees. Use caution navigating on the Mississippi right now, as many stumps and rock piles are present throughout the river. Water level at Bellevue is 4.82 feet and dropping. Catfishing in Pools 12-15 has been good on prepared baits or night crawlers. Catfishing is generally done in current areas along the main channel borders and larger side sloughs. Bigger channel catfish are being taken after dark. Freshwater drum (sheepshead) fishing is excellent in Pools 9-15. Larger drum are being caught on crawdads in tailwater and spillway areas of Locks 9 and 10. You may also want to concentrate your efforts in and around the sand flats and wing dams. Largemouth bass fishing has been good in Pools 9-15. These fish have been caught in very good numbers throughout the year and are generally found in the backwater lakes. A variety of lures will work, but the traditional jigs, spinner and crankbaits fished along woody structure in the early morning or late evening hours work best. Smallmouth are being caught in good numbers in Battle Slough (Pool 9). Smallmouth are biting crankbaits fished along the wing dams and over areas with rock. White bass are biting on in-line spinners cast into the current along the sandbars in Pools 9-11. Walleye fishing has been fair on the wing dams in Pools 12-15 using crankbaits or night crawlers. Bluegill fishing is good in the deeper pools with current in DeSoto Bay (Pool 9) and in backwater areas, side sloughs and main channel borders, and along the tips of wing dams in 15-18 feet of water in Pools 9-15. Crappie fishing is good on jigs and/or minnows fished around woody structure in Pools 12-15 in the backwater areas, side sloughs with no current and main channel borders with little or no current.

Upper Iowa River (Winneshiek): Smallmouth bass fishing is good to excellent on black jigs and crankbaits.

Turkey River (Howard): Smallmouth bass fishing is good to excellent on black jigs and crankbaits.

Cedar (Bremer and Black Hawk) and Shell Rock rivers (Butler and Bremer): Fishing is very good for walleyes using night crawlers and crankbaits fished around structure. Channel catfish are biting on cheese baits and night crawlers in the Cedar, Shell Rock and West Fork Cedar River.

Wapsipinicon Rivers (Buchanan): Smallmouth bass fishing is good using crankbaits and top-water baits.

Maquoketa (Delaware): Fishing is good for walleyes using jigs tipped with a night crawler or large minnow. Smallmouth bass fishing is good in the catch-and-release area below the Delhi Dam using spinner baits and crawdad imitation crankbaits.

Lake Delhi (Delaware): Crappie fishing is good using minnows under a slip bobber fished around the brush piles. Bluegill fishing is excellent on minnows or a piece of worm fished under a slip bobber around brush piles in shady areas.

Volga Lake (Fayette): Channel catfish are biting on cut baits and night crawlers.

Big Woods (Black Hawk) and East Lake (Black Hawk): Crappie fishing is fair using minnows fished under a slip bobber around structure.

Lake Hendricks (Howard): Bluegill fishing is good drifting night crawlers over sunken habitat in the middle of the lake.

Casey Lake (Tama): Largemouth bass fishing is good using shallow-diving crankbaits. Channel catfish are good on chicken liver.

Trout fishing and stream conditions are excellent! For current trout stocking information, contact the Big Spring Hatchery at 563-245-1699, Decorah Hatchery at 563-382-3315 or Manchester Hatchery at 563-927-5736. You can also view the trout stocking calendar on-line by going to www.iowadnr.com, clicking on Fish and Fishing and then choosing Favorite Pages.

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

 

Northwest

Spirit Lake (Dickinson): Walleye fishing continues to improve with anglers using crankbaits in the basin of the lake. Anglers are starting to catch a few walleyes on crankbaits at the footbridge. A few fish in the 26 to 29-inch range were released last week. Look for the walleyes to start moving into shallow water as the water temperature cools. Yellow perch fishing continues to be good with a lot of 9-inch fish, and a few 10 to 11-inch fish being reported. The perch are being caught on Big Stoney, Little Stoney and Red Nose Point in 16 to 18 feet of water. Some weed beds in 10 to 12 feet of water are also producing perch, along with the occasional bluegill and crappie. There is some crappie activity off the weed edges on Reeds Run. Smallmouth bass fishing is also good with the best fishing in the morning. Jigs with plastic trailers are catching good numbers of fish where the rock piles meet the weeds.

West Okoboji (Dickinson): Bluegill fishing has been good off the deep weed edges. Anglers are also finding them suspended off the steep drop-offs. Light line and ice jigs tipped with wigglers or wax worms work well. Crappies and yellow perch are being caught along the weed edges. Smallmouth bass are good on the rock piles. Surface baits are working the best. Chubs and live crawfish are also excellent live bait presentations. Walleyes are biting in the morning or late afternoon. Try jigs and minnows off the weed lines or chubs fished deep. Crankbaits will also take some fish in the deeper water.

East Okoboji (Dickinson): Use shallow running crankbaits over he weed lines for walleyes, and deeper diving crankbaits in deeper water. Anglers are picking up some yellow perch at the north end of the lake. The best perch action is in the evening. Some white bass are still being caught. Use small, white spinner baits for the best action. Fish the north end by the Hatchery in the evening.

Clear Lake (Cerro Gordo): Yellow bass fishing is excellent around the rock reefs, drifting the north shore and off some of the public docks. Use minnows and cut bait for the best action. Try different spots until locating a school of fish. Channel catfish are good on chicken liver, stink bait and chubs. Rush beds in the west end, rock reefs and wind blown shorelines are the best spots.

Brushy Creek (Webster): Bass are located almost anywhere, and are being caught on a variety of lures. Sunfish are around the trees and are taking wax worms or worms. Crappies are around the trees. Try different places until finding a school of crappies.

Boone River (Hamilton): Smallmouth bass and catfish fishing has been good. Fish the deeper hoes and outside bends in the river.

Briggs Woods (Hamilton): Channel catfish are hitting stink bait, chicken liver and night crawlers.

Little Wall Lake (Hamilton): Channel catfish are hitting stink bait, chicken liver and night crawlers.

Black Hawk Lake (Sac): Channel catfish are excellent fishing crawdads near rocky areas on into the wind.

Storm Lake (Buena Vista): Channel catfish are good on a variety of baits. White bass have been good all over the lake. Anglers are picking up a few walleyes.

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

 

Southwest

Green Valley (Union): Crappie and bluegill fishing is good in structure 8 to 14 feet deep.

Fogle Lake (Ringgold): Crappies can be caught in the trees along the creek channel.

Three Mile (Union): Bluegills and crappies are being caught in flooded trees at the upper end of the lake.

Twelve Mile (Union): Channel catfish fishing is fair on cut bait and liver.

Little River (Decatur): Channel catfish is best using cut bait and liver in the bays. Some crappies can be caught drift fishing open water.

Icaria (Adams): Channel catfish are still being caught using cut bait and liver.

Viking (Montgomery): Crappie fishing is fair using tube jigs tipped with a minnow or minnows suspended from a bobber fished around brush piles or suspended in 8 to 10 feet of water. Catfish fishing has been good on liver. Bluegills are fair with jigs and night crawlers.

Cold Springs (Cass): Channel catfish are fair on liver and prepared baits, especially toward evening.

Manawa (Pottawattamie): Channel catfish fishing is fair using liver or prepared baits.

Greenfield (Adair): Fishing is fair for channel catfish using liver in the early morning and evening hours.

Orient (Adair): Channel catfish are fair using prepared stink bait or cut fish.

Nodaway (Adair): Fishing is fair for channel catfish in the early morning and evening hours using liver.

Morman Trail (Adair): Channel catfish are fair in the early morning and evening hours using liver. Largemouth bass fishing is fair.

Prairie Rose (Shelby): Fishing is fair for 8-inch crappies on jigs/minnows around brush piles. Channel catfish are good on liver or prepared baits. Largemouth bass fishing is good.

Willow Lake (Harrison): Channel catfish fishing is fair using liver or prepared baits.

Big Creek Lake (Polk): Bluegill fishing has been good using pieces of worm on 1/32-ounce jigs and slip bobbers. Largemouth bass and walleye fishing has been fair, although the majority of fish caught are below legal length limits. Channel catfish fishing has been good using cut and stink baits.

Beaver Lake (Dallas): Bluegill fishing is fair using small jigs/worms and bobbers. Channel catfish fishing has been good, primarily early and late, using stink baits and liver. Largemouth bass fishing has been good, primarily for smaller fish.

Don Williams (Boone): Channel catfish fishing is fair using chicken liver and night crawlers. Crappie fishing is fair using minnows. Largemouth bass fishing has improved with the cooler weather.

Lake Ahquabi (Warren): Bluegill and redear fishing has been good using night crawlers and wax worms. Channel catfish fishing has been good early and late using stink baits and chicken liver. Largemouth bass - primarily sub-legal size fish - are being caught on crankbaits.

Hooper Lake (Warren): Channel catfish fishing has been good early and late using stink baits and chicken liver. Bluegills are being caught using traditional baits and lures. Largemouth bass fishing is fair using crankbaits, although as in Lake Ahquabi, most fish are sub-legal.

Rock Creek (Jasper): Largemouth bass fishing has been fair to good using 'worms' and various rigs. Channel catfish fishing has been fair using night crawlers. Crappie fishing has been fair for boat anglers in deeper water using jigs and minnows.

Easter Lake (Polk): Crappie fishing has been fair, with some fish caught using jigs and minnows and/or worms. Largemouth bass fishing has been fair, with some fish taken along the rocky areas. Channel catfish fishing is good, with the majority of fish caught using stink bait.

Hickory Grove Lake (Story): Bluegill fishing is good using small hooks and tipped with worms. Crappie fishing is also good using various small jigs. Largemouth bass fishing has been good with most anglers using top-water lures. Channel catfish fishing is good on stink bait.

Saylorville Lake (Polk): White bass/wiper fishing is fair using crankbaits and shad raps. Channel catfish fishing has picked up in the upper end of the reservoir around Jester Park using traditional baits such as stink bait, cut bait and night crawlers. Tailwater: Water releases have been low and fishing for most species has slowed although some channel catfish have been caught using liver.

Lake Red Rock (Marion): White bass/wipers fishing has been fair in the larger bays (Whitebreast), the marina area and in areas along the dam. Channel catfish fishing has been good along shorelines using stink bait, cut bait and night crawlers. A few anglers have been very successful crappie fishing in the larger coves. Tailwater: Channel catfish fishing has been fair with the low water release from the dam.

For more information on fishing in southwest Iowa, call the regional office in Lewis at 712-769-2587.

 

Southeast

Lake Darling (Washington): Good numbers of catfish are being caught in the area around the campground. Chicken liver still seems to be working the best.

Lake Odessa (Louisa): The lake level is up for the early duck season, which opens this weekend. The contractor who is working on the levee has been able to keep the Toolesboro Road open during the weekends but it is closed off and on during the week.

Lake Geode (Henry): Crappies are starting to come in for the fall; try minnows along the steep drop-offs in the lake for the best chance of getting a nice batch of fish. Anglers are also catching some nice catfish on chicken liver.

Lake Rathbun (Appanoose): Crappies have been biting on small jigs fished in 3 to 5 feet of water. Look for schools of shad and you should find the crappies. Channel catfish have been hitting on minnows and prepared baits.

Lake Sugema (Van Buren): Crappies have been hitting on minnows. Bluegills have been hitting on small jigs. Largemouth bass have been hitting on a variety of artificial presentations.

Lake Miami (Monroe): Crappies have been biting on jigs tipped with a minnow. Bluegills have been biting on small jigs. Largemouth bass are being caught on artificial lures.

Lake Wapello (Davis): Bluegills have been hitting on jigs tipped with a chunk of night crawler. Largemouth bass have been biting on a variety of artificial lures. Spinner baits and crankbaits have been the most productive.

Coralville Reservoir (Johnson): Catfishing has been fair on dead shad and dip baits throughout the reservoir. Anglers are catching crappie throughout the reservoir around deeper brush piles, and drop-offs around the rock walls.

Lake Macbride (Johnson): Crappies are being caught throughout the lake. Fish up to 9 inches and larger available.

Diamond Lake (Poweshiek): Crappie fishing has been good over brush piles. Channel catfish continue to be caught on worms and dip baits throughout the lake. An occasional bass is being caught on top-water baits. Anglers are reminded that minnow usage is prohibited.

Lake Iowa (Iowa): Catfishing has been good on chicken liver and night crawlers. Bluegill and crappie fishing has been fair.

Skunk River (Washington and Henry): The river is still very low, even after the recent rain. Boating would be nearly impossible right now.

Iowa and Cedar rivers (Louisa): The water levels are still very low; recent rain seems to have soaked in.

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

 

 

 

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