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IOWA FISHING REPORT
Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Last Updated: September 30, 2003

This is the FINAL Iowa Fishing Report until ice conditions are present and can support fishing activity. 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 are expected to stay steady this week, but they are very low. Water is clear and the temperature is 56 degrees. Use caution navigating on the Mississippi right now, as many stumps and rock piles are present throughout the river. Catfishing in Pools 12-14 has been good on cheese baits, worms and cut baits. Bigger channel catfish are being caught on cut shad fished around the deeper wing dams. Freshwater drum (sheepshead) fishing is excellent in Pools 9-11. Drum numbers are sky high in the river and can easily be caught using a sliding egg sinker and a hook baited with worms or crayfish. Drum are a great fish for getting kids in on some action. Largemouth bass fishing has been good in Pools 9-14. These fish have been caught in very good numbers throughout the year and are generally found in the backwater lakes, but since water levels are so low, they are being caught in flowing sloughs and channels. A variety of lures will work, but the traditional jigs, twisters, spinner and crankbaits fished along woody structure in the early morning or late evening hours work best. Some smallmouth are being caught in Pools 12-14. White bass are starting to school up right now and action can be very fast. Watch for white bass schools feeding on minnows. If you see areas where minnows are being chased and some are jumping out of the water, try to maintain some distance away from the melee to avoid spooking the white bass. Any lure with flash-such as a spoon or spinner-will work. Make long casts into the areas where the minnows have been breaking the water. White bass can be found anywhere throughout a pool, but areas close to Lock-and-Dams 9 and 10 are best. Walleye and sauger fishing has been slow on the wing dams in Pools 12-15 using crankbaits or night crawlers. Bluegill fishing is good in Pools 12-14 along the shore and brush piles-move to find fish. Crappies are being taken in the deeper sloughs around brush piles. Many anglers are using 'crappie rigs' with minnows for bait. In Pool 9, try Minnesota Slough. In Pool 10, Harpers Slough is a good location and Cassville Slough in Pool 11 generally holds good numbers of crappies. Fish minnows in the running sloughs in and around the Sabula Lakes in Pool 13 for crappies in 4 to 6 feet of water.

Cedar River (Mitchell and Floyd): Walleye fishing is picking up on jigs tipped with a night crawler. Crappies are being caught on small jigs and minnows.

Cedar (Bremer and Black Hawk) and Shell Rock rivers (Butler and Bremer): Fishing is good for walleyes using jigs tipped with a night crawler. Smallmouth bass fishing is good on crawdad-colored crankbaits.

Maquoketa (Delaware) and Wapsipinicon rivers (Buchanan): Smallmouth bass fishing is good using crawdad-colored crankbaits. Walleye fishing is good on jigs tipped with a night crawler.

Lake Delhi (Delaware): Bluegill and crappie fishing is good using a piece of worm or a jig tipped with a minnow.

Volga Lake (Fayette): Crappie fishing is good along brush piles using small jigs and/or minnows.

Lake Hendricks (Howard): Crappie and bluegill fishing is good drifting a small piece of night crawler or a jig tipped with a minnow across the lake.

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. A few fish in the 26 to 29-inch range were released last week. Try fishing the Stoney Point areas and the footbridge. Yellow perch fishing is spotty with a lot of 9-inch fish and a few 10 to 11-inchers mixed in. 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 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 occurring 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, especially off the deep weed edges. Anglers are also finding bluegills suspended off steep drop-offs. Light line and ice jigs tipped with wigglers or wax worms work well. Miller's Bay is a good area for bluegills. Anglers are catching some crappies and perch on the weed edges too.

East Okoboji (Dickinson): Anglers fishing walleyes in East are using shallow running crankbaits over the weed lines, and deep diving crankbaits in deeper water. Yellow perch are being caught at the north end of the lake, by the marinas and the trestle using a little jig tipped with a worm. The best action is in the evenings. Some white bass are still being caught. The best approach is to use small, white spinner baits. The best location is the north end by the Hatchery in the evenings.

Clear Lake (Cerro Gordo): Yellow bass fishing is excellent. Yellows are being caught around the rock reefs, drifting the north shore and off some of the public docks. Use minnows and cut bait for the best yellow bass action. Try different spots until locating a school of fish.

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

 

Southwest

Little River (Decatur): Crappies are being caught in the trees.

Slip Bluff (Decatur): Bluegills are being caught along the dam.

Badger Creek (Madison): Anglers are catching crappies and largemouth bass in the tree stumps.

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

Three Mile (Union): Crappies are being caught in the trees at the upper end of the lake.

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

Green Valley (Union): Anglers can find crappies in the trees and around stake beds.

Viking (Montgomery): Crappie fishing is fair using tube jigs tipped with a minnow or minnows suspended from a bobber 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.

Greenfield (Adair): Fishing is fair for channel catfish in the early morning and evening hours using liver. Bluegill and crappie are being caught around brush piles using jigs tipped with a minnow or worm.

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

Mormon 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.

Big Creek Lake (Polk): Bluegill and crappie fishing has been good using traditional baits with the onset of cooler weather. Largemouth bass and walleye fishing has been fair to good with the majority of fish caught are below legal length limits.

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

Don Williams (Boone): 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. Largemouth bass - primarily sub-legal sized 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. Some channel catfish have been caught using traditional baits.

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

Saylorville Lake (Polk): White bass/wiper fishing has been fair using crankbaits and shad raps. Channel catfish fishing has remained fair in the reservoir using stink baits, cut baits and night crawlers. Tailwater: Channel catfish and walleye have been fair, with most fish caught early and late.

Lake Red Rock (Marion): White bass/wipers have been fair in the larger bays (Whitebreast), the marina area and areas along the dam. Crappie fishing has been spotty, although some anglers are reporting good fishing once the fish are located. Channel catfish fishing has been good along shorelines using stink baits, cut baits and night crawlers. Tailwater: Crappie and walleye fishing has improved using jigs and minnows.

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

 

Southeast

Lake Darling (Washington): Catfish are still cruising the area around the campground. Cooler weather forecasted this week should bring in the crappies and bass to feed on the young bluegills and green sunfish.

Lake Odessa (Louisa): Levee work is mostly finished. The Toolesboro road will be open full time now. With the lower temperatures forecasted for this week the fish should start to move into Sand Run and the deeper areas of the lake to over winter.

Lake Geode (Henry): Crappies and bluegills are out in about 8 feet of water just above the weed beds. Bluegills are more than happy to hit a slow sinking jig tipped with a worm. Try darker colors for the best bet. For the crappies use the same thing or tip the jig with a minnow. You may notice a few fish jumping out of the water away from the shore; these are yellow bass chasing small fish. Try casting a small spoon with lots of flash into these feeding fish for a nice batch of eight to 10-inch yellows.

Lake Rathbun (Appanoose): Crappies have been hitting on minnows.

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

Lake Miami (Monroe): Crappies have been hitting on jig and minnow combinations. Bluegills have been biting on small jigs.

Lake Wapello (Davis): Bluegills have been hitting on small jigs fished along the weed line. Largemouth bass have been hitting on artificial lures. Bullheads have been hitting on chunks of night crawlers.

Coralville Reservoir (Johnson): Catfishing has been slow throughout the reservoir a few fish are being caught around deeper brush piles and drop-offs around the rock walls. The boat ramp in Lake Macbride State Park will be closed Sept. 30 through Oct. 20 due to asphalt work on the parking lot.

Lake Macbride (Johnson): Crappie fishing is fair throughout the lake using jigs and minnows on deeper brush piles. Fish up to 9-inches are available. Anglers are catching a few walleye off of the rock reefs.

Diamond Lake (Poweshiek): Crappie and bluegill fishing has been good on the brush piles. A few redear sunfish and catfish are also being caught. Anglers are reminded that minnows are not allowed in Diamond Lake.

Union Grove Lake (Tama): Crappie fishing has been good around brush throughout the lake. Most of the fish are around 8 inches with some larger crappie available. Catfishing has been fair on various baits.

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

Cedar River (Linn and Cedar): Catfishing has been good to fair on prepared baits and night crawlers. Crappie fishing has been good in the backwater areas throughout the river.

Wapsipinicon River (Jones and Linn): Fishing has been fair for walleye and smallmouth bass on artificial baits and jigs. Catfish are biting on dip baits and night crawlers.

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

 

 

 

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