Northern Pike Slow in the Saturday Morning Fishing Report

This 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.

Stay Where You Play

Make your next fishing trip an overnight stay. Take advantage of state park cabins and campgrounds near many of these bodies of water. Make your reservation now. For more information on availability and rates, visit iowastateparks.reserveamerica.com.

NORTHWEST

Black Hawk Lake
Black Hawk Lake was covered with about an inch of ice on March 16th. Look for fishing opportunities to return as temperatures gradually warm over the next week. 

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Most of Storm Lake is covered with skim ice. Look for fishing opportunities to return as next week brings warmer temperatures. 

On March 16th most lakes in Western Iowa were covered with skim ice. More reports will be available as warmer temps bring anglers back out. Look for shore fishing to start again next week as lakes open back up and fish begin to move into near-shore areas. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.


Clear Lake
The lake froze over with a thin sheet of ice. Ice fishing is not recommended. 

Winnebago River
The cold temperatures and higher river levels has slowed the northern pike bite; expect it to pick back up as the water levels drop. Use crankbaits or a live chub in the slack water below the dams. 

Most lakes in the north central area are covered with ice. For information in the north central area, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517. 

NORTHEAST

Cedar River (above Nashua)
Water levels are falling and clarity is improving. Visit the USGS Current Water Data website for more information. Walleye – Slow: Use a jig tipped with a flat tailed twister. Channel Catfish – Slow: Shore anglers using dead chubs fished under a bobber will find success. 

Decorah District Streams
The 2017 Catchable Trout Stocking Calendar is out – catchable trout stockings start April 3. Streams are in good condition but flows remain high. Spin fishers using jigs tipped with twister tails or feathered spinnerbaits are catching nice fish. Brook Trout – Fair: Use flies or lures that look like sculpins, dace or suckers. Brown Trout – Good: Off color water from run-off turns the browns on. Try critters imitating small caddis fly larvae or gnats hatching off the water. Rainbow Trout – Fair: Black fly midge or hares ear wet flies are attracting bows fished in the riffles. Slowly pull a black bead head fly with a yellow scud dropper through the upper and lower ends of pools for trout in deeper water. 

Lake Hendricks
The aerators are off. Ice is covering about 1/2 of the lake. Ice is not safe. No one has been out. Catfish – Fair: Use a dead fish on a hook in shallower water on windblown shorelines. 

Lake Meyer
No one has been out on the lake. Channel Catfish – Slow: Try a dead chub or some other minnow in a rocky windblown shoreline.

Turkey River (above Clermont)
Water levels are falling but flows remain up. Water clarity is improving.  

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
Water levels are falling and clarity is improving. Visit the USGS Current Water Data website for more information. Walleye – Slow: Anglers were catching a few walleye near coldwater tributaries. Try a blade bait or bigger crankbait. Brown Trout – Fair: Catch nice brown trout near the mouths of coldwater tributaries. Try using spinnerbaits. 

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
Water levels have stabilized. Shore angling slowed. Walleye – Slow: Use jigs tipped with twister tails, spoons or feathered spinnerbaits. Yellow Perch – Fair: Good shore angling on the lower end of the Upper Iowa. 

Volga Lake
The lake is ice free. Few anglers have been out this week. Channel Catfish – Slow: Use dead minnows or other dead fish along windblown shores to attract a cruising cat. 

Anglers must get a landowner’s permission to fish private property, even if it can be accessed through public property. For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.


Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
There are no reports for the Cedar River this week. 

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
There are no reports for the Shell Rock River this week. 

Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
There are no reports for the Wapsipinicon River this week. Walleye – Good: Use jig and minnow combinations in deeper holes or slack water areas off of main flow. 

Angling reports are few as last week’s snow storm kept anglers indoors. Area trout streams are in excellent condition, contact the N.E. District Office at 563-927-3276 for more information.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9
River level is 9.5 feet at Lansing and is expected to fall slowly to 8.8 feet by next week. The boat ramp at New Albin should be open soon. Water temperatures are in the low 40’s. Walleye – Fair: Walleye fishing is happening in the tailwaters and over closing dams, but may be more difficult with the high water and current. Sauger – Good: The sauger bite has been good vertical jigging in tailwater areas; the high water may create some challenges. Yellow Perch – Excellent: Perch fishing continues to be successful at the public boat ramp areas and side channels with little or no current. 

Mississippi River Pool 10
River level is 19.6 feet at Lynxville and is expected to fall to 17.8 feet by next week. Water temperatures are in the low 40’s. Walleye – Fair: Walleye fishing is happening in the tailwaters and over closing dams, but may be more difficult with the high water and current. Sauger – Good: The sauger bite has been good vertical jigging in tailwater areas; the high water may create some challenges. Yellow Perch – Excellent: Perch fishing continues to be successful at the public boat ramp areas and side channels with little or no current. 

Mississippi River Pool 11
River level is 11.4 feet at Guttenberg and is expected to fall to 9.8 feet by next week. Water temperatures are in the low 40’s. Walleye – Fair: Walleye fishing is happening in the tailwaters and over closing dams, but may be more difficult with the high water and current. Sauger – Good: The sauger bite has been good vertical jigging in tailwater areas; the high water may create some challenges. Yellow Perch – Excellent: Perch fishing continues to be successful at the public boat ramp areas and side channels with little or no current. 

The Upper Mississippi River levels remain high, but are expected to continue to fall slowly over the next week. Water temperature in the channel is in the low 40’s. 


Mississippi River Pool 12
River levels are 11.8 feet at the Dubuque Lock and Dam and 13.9 feet at the RR bridge.  Levels will recede later this week. Some of the smaller boat ramps in Pool 12 are still under water or will have debris on them. Sauger – Fair: Some tailwater angling is taking place. High water is making it difficult to find fish. Walleye – Fair: Walleye tailwater angling is underway.  A gig and minnow rig is the most common rig used. Yellow Perch – Good: Find yellow perch in tailwaters near shore but out of the main current. 

Mississippi River Pool 13
River level is 12.6 feet at Bellevue. This is down one foot from last week and levels will recede all week. Some of the smaller boat ramps in Pool 13 are still under water or will have debris on them. The DNR ramp at Bellevue is still unusable due to high water. Paddlefish – Slow: Find paddlefish in the deeper holes in the tailwaters.  High water is making paddlefish snagging difficult, but conditions are improving. Sauger – Fair: A few sauger and walleye are being reported on jigs and minnow, but high water is making it somewhat difficult to find fish. Yellow Perch – Good: Find yellow perch in tailwaters near shore but out of the main current. 

Mississippi River Pool 14
River level is 11.9 feet at Fulton, 14.3 feet at Camanche and 8.4 feet at Le Claire. This is down over one foot from last week and levels will recede all week. Some of the smaller boat ramps in Pool 14 are still under water or will have debris on them. Paddlefish – Slow: Find paddlefish in the deeper holes in the tailwater areas.  Please review paddlefish rules before you go out. Sauger – No Report: Angling will begin in earnest if water levels continue to recede. 

Mississippi River Pool 15
River level is 12.3 feet at Rock Island. This is down two feet from last week and levels will recede all week. Some of the smaller boat ramps in Pool 15 are still under water or will have debris on them. No fishing was reported to us from Pool 15.  

The main channel water temperature is 36 degrees; this is down five degrees from last week. Water levels are still high, but will start to recede this week. Paddlefish season is underway; please review snagging rules before you go out. Many boat ramps are still under water or have debris on them. If you have any angling questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976. 


Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 12.2 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and is falling. Flood stage is 15 feet. The docks have been removed at the Marquette St. ramp in Davenport. Fishing has been slow with the high water conditions. Sauger – No Report: Fishing has been slow with the high water conditions. Walleye – No Report: Fishing has been slow with the high water conditions. 

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 11.50 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and is falling. Flood stage is 15 feet. The gates are out of the water at the dam. The Big Timber access and Kilpeck access are closed due to the high water. Fishing has been slow with the high water conditions. Sauger – No Report: Fishing has been slow with the high water conditions. Walleye – No Report: Fishing has been slow with the high water conditions. 

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 13.27 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and is falling. Flood stage is 15 feet. The Toolsboro ramp is closed due to the high water. The gates are out of the water at the dam. Fishing has been slow with the high water conditions. Sauger – No Report: Fishing has been slow with the higher water levels. Walleye – No Report: Walleye fishing has been slow with the higher water levels. 

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 9.32 feet at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington and is falling. Flood stage is 10 feet. Fishing has been slow with the high water conditions. 

River levels have been falling the past few days. River stages are still high and some boat ramps are still closed due to the high water. Water temperature is around 37 degrees and water clarity is poor. There has not been much fishing with the high water levels. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

SOUTHEAST

Environmental Discovery Park North Pond
The spring trout release will be at 10 am on Friday, March 24th; we’ll stock 1000 trout at that time.  Rainbow Trout – Excellent: trout fishing will be very good, with lots of limits caught shortly after 10 am on March 24. 

Lake Belva Deer
The docks are always in at this lake, they are built that way. Weather has kept fishing activity low. 

Lake Darling
There has been a little ice around the edges the last few days. Little to no fishing activity. 

Lake of the Hills
The spring trout release will be on Friday, March 24 at noon; 2000 trout will be released. Rainbow Trout – Excellent: Forecasting the fishing at Lake of the Hills for shortly after 12 pm on Friday, March 24th. 

Wilson Lake
The spring trout stocking will be at noon on Friday, March 24th; 1000 trout will be stocked at that time. Rainbow Trout – Excellent: Come out on, or after, March 24th and catch some trout. 

For more information on the above lakes, contact the Lake Darling Fisheries Office at 319-694-2430.


Central Park Lake
The lake is mostly drained for an upcoming renovation project. There is still a pool of water that contains fish. The relaxed fishing regulations have been extended to take advantage of these fish. There are no length or bag limits for fish in Central Park Lake. Normal regulations still apply to the new pond in Central Park. 

Coralville Reservoir
The water level is at normal spring pool of 679.4′ At this level, boating above Bobber’s Grill is difficult to impossible for most boats. Channel Catfish – Good: Some catfish are being caught on shad guts and cut bait at the 965/380 bridges. 

Diamond Lake
Bluegill – Slow: Use small jigs or worms/waxworms around brush and off the jetties. Many fish were reported as being 7- to 8-inches. Black Crappie – Slow: Try small jigs or waxworms around/off the jetties. Most fish were 7- to 9-inches. 

Kent Park Lake
Fishing regulations have been relaxed for Kent Park Lake only to take advantage of the fish before the lake is drained later in the year for a scheduled renovation project. There are no length or bag limits for fish in the lake. Contact the Johnson County Conservation Board at 319-645-2315 for questions about the project. Bluegill – Slow: Anglers were catching some fish on wax worms around brush. 

Lake Macbride
All boats may run at no wake speed at this time. Boat docks are not in yet. Black Crappie – Slow: Some fish are being caught over structure in 15-20 feet of water on minnows. Walleye – Slow: Some fish were caught over structure in 15-25 feet of water on minnows. 

Pleasant Creek Lake
The lake is currently down 12′ for the restoration project. The in-lake construction is completed. The main boat ramp is open but it is extremely shallow; use caution at these water levels. Some anglers have been fishing by boat and off shore, but no reports are available. 

Fishing slowed down this past week with the cold weather. For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.


Hawthorn Lake
Channel Catfish – Fair: Use nightcrawlers or shad sides along windblown shorelines. 

Lake Keomah
Channel Catfish – Slow: Try Cut bait or nightcrawlers along windblown shorelines. 

Lake Sugema
Channel Catfish – Slow: Use cut bait or shad along windblown shorelines. 

Lake Wapello
Channel Catfish – Slow: Use cut bait or nightcrawlers around the jetties. 

Ottumwa Park Pond East (Trout Pond)
Trout will be stocked on Saturday, March 25th at 11:00 AM. 

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 903.99 msl. Normal operating elevation is 904.0 msl. Lake Rathbun contains zebra mussels so make sure to properly drain, clean, and dry equipment before transporting to another water body. Channel Catfish – Good: Use shad or shrimp along the windblown shorelines. 

Red Haw Lake
Channel Catfish – Slow: Use cut bait or nightcrawlers along windblown shorelines. Bluegill – Slow: As the water warms, look for active fish along the shorelines. 

Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions about fishing in south central Iowa.

SOUTHWEST

Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake
Rainbow Trout – Good: Trout were stocked on Feb. 9th. Use spinners, panfish jigs and waxworms or minnows under a bobber. 

Des Moines River (Saylorville to Red Rock)
Anglers interested in snagging big head and silver carp should try below the Red Rock spillway; lots of fish are there and anglers are doing well. Walleye – Slow: Fishing below the dams from Saylorville through Des Moines is slow right now; test the waters for walleyes and white bass when warmer weather returns. Slowly retrieve jigs tipped with twister tails, paddle tail swimbaits or live minnows. 

Lake Petocka
Rainbow Trout – Good: Trout were stocked here on Feb. 3rd. Cast small inline spinners, spoons, panfish jigs and waxworms or live minnows under a bobber. 

More fishing reports will resume when warmer weather brings anglers back to the water. For information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers, contact Andy Otting or Ben Dodd at 515-432-2823.


Big Lake (Including Gilbert’s Pond)
1000 rainbow trout were stocked on Feb. 16th. Rainbow Trout – Fair: Trout fishing has been very good at Big Lake. Cast small spinners or minnows under a bobber. 

Greenfield Lake
Greenfield Lake has a good fish population. It’s a good destination for early spring fishing for channel catfish. 

Lake Anita
Lake Anita will provide good fishing this spring. Find a large crappie population in the lake averaging 9-inches and bluegills up to 9.5-inches. The pontoon area is a hotspot for crappie this time of the year. 

Lake Manawa
Crappie fishing the canals can be good on warm sunny days after ice out. Manawa has a decent population of 10- to 12-inch white crappie. It’s also a good destination for early season catfish. White Crappie – Fair: Cast twister tails or minnows under a bobber in the canals. Sorting is necessary for larger fish. Black Crappie – Fair: Manawa has a large year class of 5- to 7-inch black crappie. This big group of fish will provide good crappie fishing over the next couple of years.  

Littlefield Lake
Littlefield Lake has quality size black crappies and bluegill. 

Orient Lake
Orient lake has a good population of 10-inch crappie that will provide good fishing this spring. The bluegills will average 7-inches. 

Prairie Rose Lake
Expect to catch quality size bluegills again this spring. The crappies stocked in 2014 will reach an acceptable size to harvest in 2017. The lake also supports a good population of channel catfish and the largemouth bass will provide good catch and release fishing

Water temperatures in the southwest district are 40 degrees. Fishing reports will resume as angler reports come in. For more information, call the Cold Springs District Office at 712-769-2587.


Green Valley Lake
Channel Catfish – Fair: Catch channel catfish of all sizes with cut bait fished along the bottom or along windblown shoreline areas. 

Lake Icaria
Channel Catfish – Fair: Catch channel catfish of all sizes with cut bait fished along windblown shoreline areas. 

Water temperature in Mount Ayr district lakes is in the low to mid-40’s. For more information, contact the Mount Ayr Fisheries office at 641-464-3108.

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