The Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a 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 at the phone number listed at the end of each district report.
Brushy Creek Lake
Some smaller bass are being caught in the upper ends and creek arms where the water is warmer.
Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Spring gillnetting efforts indicate a good population of walleye with a lot of fish in the slot. Fishing for walleye has been slow over the past week.
North Twin Lake
Fishing has been slow for anglers targeting northern pike and walleye. There have not been any reports for other species.
Anglers have been catching crappie; most are around 8.5 inches.
A few small bass and smaller crappie have been caught. Fishing has been fairly slow.
Snyder Bend Lake
No fishing to report.
Water temperatures are in the mid 50s at most lakes in the Black Hawk District. For more information on rivers and lakes in the area contact the Black Hawk District Office at 712-657-2638.
Upper Pine Lake
There is fishing activity but no reports.
Channel Catfish – No Report: Channel cats should provide a late afternoon bite near the bridge by the boat ramp during the ice out period. Cats will likely move into the shallow water in the bay. Use cutbait, stinkbait or minnows. Largemouth Bass – No Report: Anglers should be able to catch some bass in along shore with jigs and minnows or jig and plastic.
Surface temperature is 48-50 degrees. Channel Catfish – Fair: Catfish can be caught on the warmer days with cutbait or minnows. Look for the windy side of the lake. Crappie – Good: Looks like crappies are biting in the harborages on the north shore. Walleye – Good: Some wader fisherman are catching walleyes near the outlet with a 1/16 ounce lead head jig and minnow. Action has been best after dark, later than some anglers expect, with a few anglers catching their limits. A few walleyes have been caught on the little lake with lead head and minnow jigged on bottom. Yellow Bass – Fair: Some yellows have been caught on the little lake with small artificials. Fish in the shallows on warm days with a slight breeze or try deeper near the boat ramps.
Catches have included bluegills to eight inches, some crappies to nine inches, yellow bass 7.5 inches. You will need to sort the bluegills and yellows. Some small walleyes also have been caught.
Little Wall Lake
Fishing activity has been slow.
Bluegill – Slow: No reports but bluegills can probably be caught on warm afternoons with a bobber and an ice fly or small jig with a piece of crawler or wax worm. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass are biting along shore in shallower water. Cast a 3/16 ounce lead head jig with a minnow hooked through the lips. Walleye – Fair: Some walleyes are being caught from boats.
Largemouth bass and catfish have started biting at Bluebill Lake. Anglers are having success fishing with minnows or crawlers and a bobber near the fishing jetty. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass can be caught casting lead heads tipped with a minnow or artificials.
No reports but the river is stable. Try below some of the dams in Mason City, Forest City or Fertile for pike, catfish or walleye.
East Fork Des Moines (Algona to Humboldt)
East Fork has been pretty good for walleyes. Near Humboldt, there is quite a bit of fishing activity.
Streams and rivers are stable and should provide some action for northerns and walleye and perhaps a smallmouth. Try below some of the dams with a jig and minnow.
For lake updates and fishing information in the north central area contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.
Big Spirit Lake
Smallmouth Bass – No Report: Fish shallow water rock piles early on clear sunny days as these areas warm first, attracting and concentrating fish early. Fish slowly; a jig tipped with a minnow will produce the best action.
East Okoboji Lake
Channel Catfish – No Report: Fish after dark with bait on the bottom will produce excellent angling for this species as channel catfish will typically go on the feedbag after ice out. Bluegill – No Report: Fish the north end for bluegill and crappie action early. Fish the wooden docks on the west side of the lake early, as the water warms fish docks located on the east side. Cast a mini jig to locate panfish, persistence and patience will be rewarded with a mix bag of crappie, bluegill and yellow perch.
Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Walleye – No Report: Wader fisherman angling after dark traditionally produces good catches of walleye. Fish slow early; a jig tipped with a minnow slowly retrieved will produce nice catches. As the water warms cast twister tails and minnow intimating baits for consistent action.
West Okoboji Lake
Crappie – No Report: Fish the canal areas for largemouth bass, crappie and bluegill, best action will occur during sunny warm days.
Crappie – No Report: Fish the submerged brush piles on warm sunny days using a minnow under a slip bobber will produce fish up to 11 inches. Once bullheads become active cast a mini jig and swim it back to the boat to find active fish.
Five Island Lake
Channel Catfish – No Report: Good opportunities exist to catch angler acceptable sized and larger channel catfish. Walleye – No Report: Expect walleye angling to pick up in the next few weeks after the water warms.
Lost Island Lake
Crappie – No Report: Fish the canal s for crappie action, activity will continue to improve as the water warms.
Fisheries survey completed in April reflect excellent numbers of northern pike and yellow perch are present within the lake. Yellow Perch – No Report: Good numbers of yellow perch were sampled averaging nine inches.
All lakes in the Spirit Lake District are ice free.
Anglers be aware that the universally accessible dock sustained major ice damage and is unusable at this time. Bluegill – Slow: Fish the shallow areas with a small jig tipped with a wax worm. Crappie – Slow: Fish will be found in the shallow areas along the rocks and brush piles. A small jig tipped with wax worm is your best bet.
Channel Catfish – Slow: Anglers can catch a few hungry catfish using a jig tipped with a nightcrawler or a piece of cut bait. Bluegill – No Report: Largemouth Bass – Fair: A few anglers are catching largemouth bass along the shoreline using a jig and twistertail retrieved slowly. Crappie – No Report:
Few people have been out and fish activity is slow. Bluegill – No Report: Crappie – No Report:
Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
Water levels are on a slow rise. Water temperature is in the mid to low 50s.
Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
Water levels are on a slow rise with decreasing clarity due to recent rain. Sucker – Slow: Suckers are biting on worm rigs.
Turkey River (above Clermont)
We have received no information regarding fishing on this water body this week.
Turkey River (below Clermont)
Clarity has decreased. Water temperatures are declining to the low to mid 50s. Smallmouth Bass – Slow: Walleye – Slow: Try using a jig tipped with a nightcrawler, minnow or plastic imitation minnow.
Cedar River (above Nashua)
Water levels are on the rise and temperatures are dropping. Fish activity has really slowed. Northern pike have been caught while fishing for walleye. Channel Catfish – Slow: Catfish are taking a hook tipped with a nightcrawler or dead chubs. Walleye – Slow: Anglers have been picking up a few walleye on artificial jigs tipped with minnows. Use a slow retrieve as water temperatures are still cool.
Decorah District Streams
Spring mayfly hatches have been light. Very few Hendricksons have been reported. There have been reasonably good blue wing olive and baetis hatches in sizes #18-#24. Midge hatches have been productive in sizes #24 and smaller and nymph fishing with very small patterns has been good. Streamer fishing has been decent in deeper water.
Fish activity has slowed over the past week as water temperatures have declined. Trout hatchery folks are stocking streams where they can. Call 563-927-5736 for daily stocking information. For more information, call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.
Heritage Pond will be stocked with 1,800 catchable trout at 10 a.m., April 26. This event is sponsored by both the Dubuque Fly Fishers and the Dubuque County Conservation Board; prizes may be available for children of all ages.
Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
There have been good reports of walleye being taken on the Cedar River, a seven pound walleye was taken in Black Hawk County a few days ago.
Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
The Shell Rock River at Shell Rock is currently at 9.05 feet and falling after receiving rainfall through Sunday evening. There have been reports of a few walleye being caught.
Wapsi River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
There have been numerous reports of good walleye fishing on the Wapsipinicon River and some northern pike being caught in Bremer and Black Hawk counties. Sucker fishing on or near the riffle areas has been good very good also. Sucker – Excellent: A smaller hook and weighted sinker tipped with a piece night crawler fished on the bottom near riffle areas is very productive. Walleye – Good: A jig and twister tipped with a minnow or half a night crawler has been good.
Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
There have been reports of walleye and northern pike being caught in Delaware County. Sucker fishing on or near the riffle areas has been good very good also. Sucker – Excellent: A smaller hook and weighted sinker tipped with a piece night crawler fished on the bottom near riffle areas is very productive. Walleye – Good: A jig and twister tipped with a minnow or half a night crawler has been good.
Interior river walleye fishing has been good in areas where both water levels and clarity have been good. Heritage Pond will be stocked with 1,800 catchable trout this Saturday, at 10 a.m. Trout streams in the Manchester District have been in excellent condition, for further information contact the Manchester District Office at 563-927-3276.
Mississippi River Pool 9
River level at Lansing is 12.2 feet and expected to fall over the next week. Water temps are in the upper 40s. Northern Pike – Fair: Pike have spawned and are back on the feed. Some pike are being caught on live bait and jigs in backwater sloughs. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegill will begin to be on the move and feeding more. Fish the upper warmer areas of backwaters with small bait on a bobber. Crappie – Fair: A few crappie biting in the backwaters. Use small bait and slow presentations along shoreline trees. Yellow Perch – Fair: A few yellow perch being caught near village creek. Walleye – Fair: A few walleye being caught in Minnesota Slough.
Mississippi River Pool 10
River level at Lynxville is 22.7 feet and expected to fall slightly over the next week. Water temp is in the upper 40s. Northern Pike – Fair: Pike have spawned and are back on the feed. Some pike are being caught on live bait and jigs in backwater sloughs. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegill will begin to be on the move and feeding more. Fish the upper warmer areas of backwaters with small bait on a bobber. Crappie – Fair: A few crappie biting in the backwaters. Use small bait and slow presentations along shoreline trees. Yellow Perch – Fair: Occasional nice perch can be caught in the tail waters fishing for sauger. Sauger – Good: Some good catches of sauger reported with a lot of short fish released. Walleye – Good: Walleye are on the spawning areas. Now is the time to get in on the last of the tail water bite.
Mississippi River Pool 11
River level at Guttenberg is 14 feet and is expected to fall over the next week. Water temp is in the upper 40s. Many shorelines may still be under water by the end the week. Gates remain open at Lock and Dam 10 and the main city ramp is still closed due to high water. Northern Pike – Fair: Pike have spawned and are back on the feed. Some pike are being caught on live bait and jigs in backwater sloughs. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegill will begin to be on the move and feeding more. Fish the upper warmer areas of backwaters with small bait on a bobber. Crappie – Fair: A few crappie biting in the backwaters. Use small bait and slow presentations along shoreline trees. Yellow Perch – Fair: Some perch begin caught near the DNR boat ramp in Guttenberg. Sauger – Good: Some good catches of sauger reported with a lot of short fish released. Walleye – Good: Walleye are on spawning areas. Now is the time to get in on the last of the tail water bite.
A spring pulse of high water is beginning to recede this week and the fish will soon settle back into their normal feeding routines. Water temperatures are on the rise again into the upper 40s. Expect the walleye and sauger bite to pick up again post spawn. Call ahead as many ramps are still closed due to high water conditions.
Mississippi River Pool 12
Water level at the Dubuque Lock and Dam is 14.5 feet and water level at the railroad bridge is at 16.8 feet. Tail water stage will drop for a few days and then rise later in the week. Water temperature is at 51 degrees in the main channel and water is somewhat turbid but clearing up. Very little fishing was reported.
Mississippi River Pool 13
Water level at the Bellevue Lock and Dam is 15.4 feet. Tail water stage will drop for a few days and then rise later in the week. Water temperature is at 51 degrees in the main channel and water is somewhat turbid but clearing up. Limited fishing was reported.
Mississippi River Pool 14
Water level at the Fulton Lock and Dam is 15.3 feet and water level at Camanche is 17.1 feet. Tail water stage will drop for a few days and then rise later in the week. Water temperature is at 51 degrees in the main channel and water is somewhat turbid but clearing up. Limited fishing was reported.
Mississippi River Pool 15
No angling was reported from Pool 15. Water level at the Le Claire and Dam is 10.7 feet and stage at Rock Island is 15.5 feet. Tail water stage will drop for a few days and then rise later in the week. Water temperature is at 51 degrees in the main channel and water is somewhat turbid but clearing up.
Water levels are falling now but will rise again later in the week. Many ramps are flooded out. Plan ahead before heading to your Mississippi River ramp to make sure your favorite ramp is open. Fishing for many species is slow due to the high water levels but fishing can be good (and fun) for many non-traditional species. You might enjoy an outing catching carp, gar and bowfin more than you think, but do not throw them up on bank.
Mississippi River Pool 16
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 15.37 feet and flood stage is 15 feet. The lower ramps at the Fairport Recreational area are inaccessible due to high water. There has been very little fishing activity due to the high water conditions.
Mississippi River Pool 17
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 14.48 feet and flood stage is 15 feet. River stage at Muscatine is 16.03 feet and flood stage is 16 feet. The ramp in Big Timber is closed due to high water. There has been very little fishing activity due to the high water conditions.
Mississippi River Pool 18
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 15.25 feet and flood stage is 15 feet. The Toolesboro access is closed due to high water conditions. There has been very little fishing activity due to the high water.
Mississippi River Pool 19
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 10.44 feet and flood stage is 10 feet. River stage at Burlington is 15.39 feet and flood stage is 15 feet. Some crappies and bluegills are being caught in area inland lakes and farm ponds. There are some catfish being caught on the river. Channel Catfish – Fair: Some channel catfish are being caught down around the Ft. Madison and Montrose area. Channel catfish are being caught on shad and nightcrawler fished on the bottom. Try fishing shallow areas on the downstream side of the islands out of the current.
Mississippi River Pools 16-19: River stages have risen over the past week. River stages are near or above flood stage at this time. Some boat ramps are inaccessible due to the high water conditions. There has not been much fishing activity due to the high water conditions. Remember to clean, drain, and dry your boat before going to another water body. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.
The gate for the Toolesboro road has been closed as the Mississippi River is flow in through the breach in the Iowa River levee and across the road there. The Sand Run and Schaffer ramps are still usable even though Odessa is a little higher than normal.
Channel Catfish – Fair: Anglers are catching some nice catfish. I would work the shallow flats on the north side where the sun hits the water and warms it. Also down by the dam where the rip rap warms up. Use nightcrawlers or cut bait.
Lake Belva Deer
Largemouth Bass – Good: Some nice bass have been caught recently. Pick one of the few nice sunny days and hit the warmer bays. Also work the upper end of the lake. Crappie – Fair: Anglers are picking up a few crappies but it really hasn’t started yet. Need the weather to warm up and stay that way.
Pollmiller Park Lake
Largemouth Bass – Excellent: If you just want to get the kids out and catch some fish and don’t want to keep any. The 10-12 inch bass are hitting fast and furious.
Lake of the Hills
Remember Lake of the Hills is the only lake in West Lake Park where minnows are allowed as live bait. Rainbow Trout – Good: Trout are active and hitting jigs and spinners, as well as sweet corn fished under a bobber.
Rainbow Trout – Good: Trout have been very active but not in big numbers. A few limits are being caught but most anglers are catching one or two per trip.
For more information on the above lakes call the Lake Darling Fisheries Station at 319-694-2430.
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Crappie – Fair: Look for males moving to shallow wood/brush.
Water temps are in the mid to upper 50s. Loading docks are now in at the ramps. Crappie – Fair: Early mornings have been best for male crappies around rock/brush. Most reports are coming from the south arm and are being caught from shore. Walleye – Fair: Early and late in the day have been best for smaller male walleyes. During these low light conditions they can be caught shallower along rock. During the day, look for them deeper.
The boat dock is in, fish cleaning station and restrooms are open. Channel Catfish – Slow: Largemouth Bass – Slow:
Otter Creek Lake
The boat docks are in and the fish cleaning station is open. Bluegill – Fair: Reports of decent catches of bluegills have been coming from anglers fishing shallow, near shore.
Iowa River (Coralville Lake to River Junction)
Outflow from the Coralville dam is about 1,500 CFS. White Bass – Fair: A few white bass and occasional wiper have been caught below the dams as well. Walleye – Fair: A few fish are being caught below the dams and in deeper pools. Jigs are usually best but crankbaits can be good as well.
Cedar River (La Porte City to Cedar Rapids)
Walleye – Fair: Try below the dams with a jig or crankbait.
This is located in Terry Trueblood Recreation Area on the south side of Iowa City. Remember, you must possess a trout stamp to fish for and/or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Fair: Cast small jigs, spinners, or live baits for trout cruising around in search of a meal. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Crappie – Fair: Try small jigs or tubes along any sort of rock or wood.
For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.
Red Haw Lake
Anglers have been catching some largemouth bass. Crappie fishing has been slow with the cooler temperatures. Look for areas with brush piles or submerged habitat.
Anglers have been catching bluegills casting jigs along the shorelines.
Anglers have been catching largemouth bass along the shorelines and rip-rapped areas of the lake. Crappie fishing remains slow.
The current lake level is 904.99 feet. Water temperature is 50 degrees. Anglers have been catching channel catfish on nightcrawlers. Try windblown shorelines and coves. Crappie fishing has been slow. Don’t forget Lake Rathbun contains zebra mussels so make sure to clean, drain, and dry equipment before transporting to another water body.
Remember to take your trash with you so your favorite fishing spot is free from litter. Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions regarding angling in south central Iowa.
Big Creek Lake
Walleye – Fair: Post-spawn late April walleye fishing can be productive in Big Creek. Areas to target include the entire East boat ramp bay and along the dam into the entrance of the canal.
Red Rock Reservoir
Crappie – Fair: Crappies are staging and feeding before the spawn in areas that warm quickly such as in the marina cove and in the Whitebreast arm near rock and wood habitat. Fish minnows under a bobber in these areas on warm days.
Banner Lake (south)
Rainbow Trout – Good: Rainbow trout stocked in early April are still available in good numbers and willing to bite. A variety of baits will work, including inline spinners, panfish tube jigs, prepared trout baits, and live minnows or wax worms under a bobber.
Des Moines River (Stratford to Saylorville Lake)
White Bass – Fair: White bass are running in the Des Moines River providing some angling action using jigs, minnows, or small shallow diving crank baits. Walleye – Slow: Walleye fishing from Boone County to Saylorville Reservoir has been slow with reports of occasional nice fish being caught.
The pre-spawn crappie bite is starting to occur in central Iowa lakes and reservoirs. Water temperatures are remaining in the low to mid 50s. For information on central Iowa’s lakes and rivers contact Ben Dodd or Andy Otting at 515-432-2823.
There is a good panfish population. Greenfield is also a good place to target channel catfish. Channel Catfish – Fair: Anglers have reported catching catfish using shad sides. Bluegill – No Report: Bluegill up to 8.5 inches can be caught around brush piles using wax worms. Crappie – Slow: Crappies will begin to move close to the dam and around the jetties. Fish range from 8-12 inches.
A few catfish are being caught. Channel Catfish – Fair: Catfish can be caught in the upper end of the lake with shad sides or cut bait. Crappie – No Report: Crappie should move to rocky shorelines to spawn as water temperatures rise.
Anita has quality sized panfish. The pontoon arm of the lake is a good place to target crappies after ice out. Bluegill – Fair: Nine-inch bluegill are being caught on small jigs tipped with Powerbait. Crappie – Good: Fish small jigs two feet under a bobber in the pontoon arm of the lake on sunny days. Sorting is necessary but the large size is 12 inches.
Viking has a good crappie population and will provide good early season fishing. Crappie – Good: Crappie fishing has picked up in the upper end of the lake where water temperature is the warmest. Fish black jigs tipped with wax worms or power bait to catch 9-10-inch crappie.
Manawa is 12 inches low. Anglers are catching crappies in the canals on warm days. This is a good time of year to catch walleyes close to shore. Crappie – Good: Crappies are being caught in the canals using red and black tube jigs tipped with wax worms. Fish are all sizes. Walleye – Fair: Walleye move close to shore and spawn during April. Cast jigs or crankbaits to catch spawning walleye.
Cold Springs District Farm Ponds
Farm ponds typically warm sooner than lakes making them a good choice for early season fishing. Remember to get permission before fishing privately owned ponds. Channel Catfish – Slow: This is a good time of year to catch channel catfish with shad sides. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills can be caught using small tackle and wax worms. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Largemouth bass can be caught casting a variety of plugs and lures. Crappie – Good: Ponds that support crappie populations have been good last week fishing minnows under a bobber.
Water temperatures are above 55 degrees and crappies have moved into shallow areas of lakes that warm quickly. This is a good time of year to target channel catfish with shad sides. For more information call the Cold Springs office at 712-769-2587
Lake access is good. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Catfish are being caught on cut bait along the silt dikes in the north and east arms. Sunny days have been reported to be the best. Crappie – Good: Crappies up to nine inches are being caught on minnows and small jigs along the roadbed and near cedar tree piles.
West Lake (Osceola)
Lake access is good. Crappie – Good: Crappies are being caught with minnows and small jigs in the Casino Bay and near flooded timber.
Little River Watershed Lake
Little River is at full pool and lake access is good. Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth bass have been caught using crankbaits and plastics near rock structures and cedar tree piles.
Badger Creek Lake
Lake access is good. Crappie – Slow: A few crappies have been caught drift fishing the main lake with small jigs and minnows.
Fogle Lake S.W.A.
Lake access is good. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills can be caught around cedar tree piles using small jigs. Crappie – Fair: Crappies up to 10 inches are being caught on minnows and jigs near the deep cedar tree piles and along the flooded timber.
Lake of Three Fires
Lake access is good. Crappie – Slow: Crappies up to 12 inches are being caught on jigs and minnows along the channel and the deep cedar tree piles.
Sands Timber Lake (Blockton Reservoir)
The lake has been drained to allow the construction of a wetland near the upper end.
Green Valley Lake
Lake access is good. Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth bass have been caught using crankbaits and plastics near rock structures and cedar tree piles.
Three Mile Lake
Lake access is good. Crappie – Fair: Crappies up to 10 inches have been caught on minnows and small jigs along the roadbed and near flooded timber.
Twelve Mile Creek Lake
Lake access is good. Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth bass have been caught using plastics and crankbaits near rock structures and cedar tree piles. Crappie – Fair: Most crappies being caught are 5-7 inches with some up to 10 inches. They are being caught using minnows and small jigs along the roadbed and near the flooded timber.
Water temperatures in the Mount Ayr District area lakes are exceeding 55 degrees. The district includes Page, Taylor, Adams, Union, Ringgold, Decatur, Clarke, and Madison counties. Reports from area farm ponds on bass and crappie fishing have been good. For more information call 641-464-3108.
Missouri River (Council Bluffs to Missouri State Line)
Channel Catfish – Slow: A few channel catfish are being caught in river mouths and on trotlines crawlers have been working well. Sauger – Fair: Anglers are catching a few sauger and walleye around rock piles and wing dykes.
The Missouri River at Decatur, Neb., is 20.99 feet / 30,200 CFS. Water levels have dropped over the last few days, but will likely rise with recent rains. The water temperature is 53 degrees. Fishing has been slow overall with unstable weather conditions.