Bluegill and Black Crappie are Fair in the Saturday Morning Fishing Report

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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.

The Cabin at Lake Catherine remains available through the Winnebago County Conservation Board.


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

Arrowhead Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Catch 8- to 9-inch bluegills near structure in 5- to 10-feet of water. For deeper fish, drift a small jig tipped with a piece of crawler. Use a bobber if fishing closer to shore.

Black Hawk Lake
Surface water temperature is around 70 degrees. Water levels are near the crest of the spillway. Bluegill – Fair: Pick up bluegill just about anywhere along the shoreline in 2- to 5-feet of water. Use a small jig tipped with live bait or a small piece of crawler fished below a bobber off the floating fishing pier, the west stone pier, and the inlet bridge. Black Crappie – Fair: Use a jig with a minnow in 2- to 6-feet of water along Ice House Point, the floating dock and the stone piers in Town Bay. Walleye – Fair: Use live bait fished along the Ice House Point shoreline and the rock piles near Cottonwood Point and in the east basin. Largemouth Bass – Good: Catch largemouth bass just about anywhere along the shoreline with topwater lures, twisters or live bait.

Brushy Creek Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Use a small jig tipped with a piece of crawler in 5- to 15-feet of water. Drift near structure, drop-offs and weed lines. Black Crappie – Fair: Try a small piece of crawler or minnow on a jig in 10- to 15-feet of water. Largemouth Bass – Good: Throw topwater lures, weedless baits, spinners and plastic worms along weed lines, near cover and wood structure. Fish deeper for larger fish. Pick up small fish in the shallows. Walleye – Fair.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Surface water temperatures are around 70 degrees. Dredge is in operation in the northeast portion of the lake; boaters must maintain a 100 foot distance from the dredge, booster pump and dredge pipes at all times. Storm Lake has a daily limit of 3 walleye and all 17- to 22-inch walleye must be released; no more than one walleye longer than 22 inches may be taken per day. Walleye – Fair: Troll shad raps or drift crawlers on the edges of the dredge cuts around the lake. White Bass – Fair: Use crankbaits; most action has been from boat while fishing dredge cuts.

Swan Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Try areas with rocky structure and along weed lines in 2- to 6-feet of water near the jetties, the fish house and the dam. Use a small jig tipped with a piece of crawler or minnow under a bobber. Expect 6- to 9-inch fish.

Yellow Smoke Park Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills can reach 9 inches or more. Look for bluegills in 5- to 10-feet of water near the arm north of the swim beach, the flooded timber near the southwest shoreline, and the coves on the south shore.

Surface water temperature in area lakes is around 70 degrees. Panfishing has been fair to good in most lakes. The channel catfish bite in rivers and lakes continues to be fair. Expect Walleye fishing to pick up as water temperatures cool.For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.


Bluebill Lake
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass are biting on a variety of baits fished near vegetation. Bluegill– Fair: Use a bobber and small piece of crawler near the edge of the vegetation.

Clear Lake
The water temperature is 68 degrees. Yellow Bass – Good: Drift a small jig tipped with a piece of crawler in 8- to 10-feet of water until you find fish. Walleye – Fair: Use a slip bobber and leech or crawler near the rock reefs or try trolling bottom bouncers with bright colored blades and a nightcrawler. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use cut bait on the windward side of the lake. Late evening bite is best. Muskellunge – Fair: Fish the weed edge and shady areas near docks.

Crystal Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Use a small piece of crawler under a slip bobber near the dredge cut. Black Crappie – Fair: Try a slip bobber and small minnow in the deeper water in the dredge cut. Look for suspended fish on your electronics.

Rice Lake
Walleye – Fair: Use a jig and minnow in the deeper parts of the lake in the late evening.

Silver Lake (Worth)
Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth bass are biting on a variety of baits.

For information in the north central area, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.


East Okoboji Lake
Lots of keeper fish are being caught on East Okoboji, with yellow bass being the majority of kept fish. Yellow Bass – Excellent: Good sized yellow bass are still being caught shallow near docks; use jig with pilkies and crawlers. Yellow Perch – Good: Jig with tube jigs and pilkies around docks and weed lines.

Five Island Lake
Recent surveys show good amount of channel catfish and panfish. Black Crappie – Good: There are lots of angler acceptable fish. Bluegill – Good: There are lots of angler acceptable fish; try along weed lines in shallow water. Channel Catfish – Good: Lots of channel catfish have been caught in recent sampling.

Little Sioux River (state line to Linn Grove)
Walleye – Fair: Walleye activity is starting to pick up as the water starts to cool down.

Spirit Lake
Walleye – Fair: Walleye are still active, but are harder to find as they move to deeper water.  Yellow Perch – Good: The yellow perch bite picked up over the past week; use tube jigs and pilkies.

West Okoboji Lake
Bluegill – Good: Nice sized bluegill are coming off the lake. Try in shallow areas around weed lines. Black Crappie – Good: Crappie are very active; cast tube jigs along weed lines.

The walleye fishing will pick up as the water temperature continues to cool down.  For more information throughout the week, contact the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840. 

NORTHEAST

Cedar River (above Nashua)
Fish are more active with stable water levels and cooler temperatures. Fish are taking a variety of lures and baits. Cedar Lake near Nashua is temporarily experiencing a naturally occurring die-off of channel catfish mainly due to a large algal bloom. Catfish are occasionally susceptible to environmental and handling stress. Walleye – Good: Troll main channel or deeper holes and along current breaks. Use a jig tipped with a minnow or twister tail. Channel Catfish – Good: Use a hook with a dead chub or crawler for a 2 pound catfish. Try also chicken liver, stink bait and nightcrawlers around brush piles. Black Crappie – Good: Use a hook tipped with a minnow in eddies below dams and backwaters around brush piles. Smallmouth Bass – Slow: Use crawdad crankbaits along rocky shorelines and substrates.

Decorah District Streams
Hunting season has started. Many streams run through wildlife management areas where hunting is allowed. Wear bright clothing when not stalking a trout. Trout streams are in good condition. Call 563-927-5736 for current catchable trout stocking locations.  Brook Trout– Good: A variety of small mayflies are hatching mid-afternoon. Use a dry fly for insects hatching off the water surface. Use a nymph or scud dropper for subsurface critters. Brown Trout – Good: A hopper pattern with a scud dropper is a dangerous combination.  Rainbow Trout – Good: Freshly stocked trout are hitting a variety of lures and baits. Drift a feathered spinner along an undercut bank.

Lake Hendricks
Lake Hendricks is an electric motor only lake. With cooler weather coming, panfishing is picking up. Black Crappie – Fair: Use a worm or spinnerbait around the jetties. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try topwater lures along the edge of a vegetation for a hiding bass. Channel Catfish – Good: Use a hook tipped with stink bait. Bluegill – Fair: Find bluegills near vegetation edges.

Lake Meyer
Water temperatures are in the low 60’s. Panfishing should start to pick up with cooler temperatures. Lake Meyer is an electric motor only lake. Bluegill – Fair: Use a small hook tipped with a piece of worm under a bobber near jetties in the evening. Black Crappie – Fair: Find crappie suspended near submersed structure. Use a spinner or jig with bright colored twister tail. Largemouth Bass – Good: Early morning and evening bite is best. Use topwater lures fished along vegetation beds or spinners along rocky edges.

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
The Upper Iowa is in excellent condition. Be prepared to walk through riffles as water levels fall.  Walleye – Fair: Drift through a deeper hole or along a current break. Use a jig tipped with a twister tail or worm. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Try jigs tipped with natural colored plastic tails.

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
Water temperatures are in the mid to low 60’s. Water is slightly muddy below Highway 76. Northern Pike – Fair: Use a steel leader tipped with 1/4 oz. jig tipped with natural colored plastic to a 3 inch jerk bait fished around tributaries or brush piles. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Use jigs tipped with plastic tails in the current breaks or near rock ledges. Walleye – Fair: Drift a jig tipped with a twister tail or worm through a deeper hole or along a current break. Channel Catfish – Fair: Catch a catfish from shore with a hook tipped with a crawler. Evening is best.

Volga Lake
The lake is currently experiencing a green algae bloom. Black Crappie – Fair: Use a jig with a minnow under a bobber near submersed trees for suspended crappie. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass are hitting jigs tipped with a nightcrawler or twister tail. Try a topwater lure in the evening as fish come in shallow to feed. Bluegill – Fair: Use a small hook tipped with a piece of worm under a bobber. Channel Catfish – Good: Use stink bait, worms, and cheese baits. Catfish are active in the evening. Catfish are active in the evening. They are occasionally susceptible to environmental and handling stress. Open sores are visible and likely caused by a bacterial infection. Please release these fish back into the water. Usually, these infections are non-life threatening to fish and people.

Temperature highs in the low 70’s and upper 40’s for lows in weekend forecast. Area streams and rivers are in good condition. For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.


Alice Wyth Lake
Reports of anglers catching some crappie in Alice Wyth Lake. Black Crappie – Fair: Try a crappie minnow under a bobber in 4- to 6-feet of water.

Big Woods Lake
Reports of anglers catching some crappie in Big Woods Lake. Black Crappie – Fair: Use a crappie minnow under a bobber in 4- to 6-feet of water.

Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
Bluegill – Fair: Try a piece of nightcrawler under a bobber. Channel Catfish – Good: Use dip baits on the bottom of the lake near the old beach area or the west, shallower end of the lake.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
The Cedar River is in excellent condition and producing good catches of walleye, smallmouth bass, channel catfish and northern pike in Bremer and Black Hawk Counties. Walleye – Fair: Cast and retrieve a jig tipped with a crawler below drop-off sandbars when river levels are low. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Cast and retrieve artificial lures for some great smallmouth action. Channel Catfish – Good: Use dip baits or cut baits near riffle areas or upstream of logjams. Northern Pike – Excellent: Pike are going crazy on the river; cast and retrieve bucktail spinners or spoons. Black Crappie – Fair: Use a minnow under a bobber on the river impoundments and above where there is structure. Anglers have to search for crappie. Quality and size has been nice.

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
Smallmouth Bass – Good: TCast and retrieve artificial lures for some great smallmouth action. Walleye – Good: Cast and retrieve a jig tipped with a crawler below drop-off sandbars when river levels are low.

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
Walleye – Fair: Cast and retrieve a jig tipped with a crawler below drop-off sandbars when river levels are low. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Cast and retrieve artificial lures for some great smallmouth action. Channel Catfish – Good: Use dip baits or cut baits near riffle areas or upstream of logjams. Northern Pike – Excellent: Pike are going crazy on the river; cast and retrieve bucktail spinners or spoons.

Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
Northern Pike – Excellent: Pike are going crazy on the river; cast and retrieve bucktail spinners or spoons. Walleye – Fair: Cast and retrieve a jig tipped with a crawler below drop-off sandbars when river levels are low. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Cast and retrieve artificial lures for some great smallmouth action. Channel Catfish – Good: Use dip baits or cut baits near riffle areas or upstream of logjams.

The weather has held fantastic for angling opportunities this weekend. Reports are excellent for many species on all of the interior rivers.Trout streams remain in excellent condition. Call the N.E. Iowa district office at 563-927-3276 for more information.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9
River level at Lansing 9.4 feet and is predicted to fall slightly, then stabilize there. Water temperature has fallen into the mid 60’s. Bluegill – Excellent: Some larger bluegills are being picked up near structure on the side channels. Use a small hook tipped with worm fished under a slip bobber. Channel Catfish – Good:Try nightcrawlers or stink bait fished on the bottom in areas of moderate current where side channels form an eddy. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Lots of drum are still being caught in the swifter current breaks. Bounce a nightcrawler along the bottom or try crayfish for bigger fish. Smallmouth Bass – Excellent: Smallmouth fishing is improving with reports of many 2-3 pound fish being caught with a worm harness along the riprap near the Black Hawk bridge. Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth fishing is good on side channel and main channel shoreline structure. Walleye – Fair: Try a little slower presentation as the water temperature is falling. One eye jigs or bait-rig off the bottom has been effective. Yellow Perch – Fair: Look for perch in vegetated areas along the main channel.  Northern Pike – Fair: Northern pike fishing is picking up in the shallows or in the mouths of tributary streams. Flathead Catfish – Fair: Try live shiners or small bluegill in woody debris to attract flatheads in slack areas off the side channels. Black Crappie – Good: Use light colored jigs or hook tipped with crappie minnows in backwater side-channels.

Mississippi River Pool 10
Lynxville water level is 17 feet and is predicted to drop slightly then remain stable at this level over the next week. Water temperature is 67 degrees at the lock and dam. Bluegill – Excellent: Some larger bluegills are being picked up near structure on the side channels. Use a small hook tipped with worm fished under a slip bobber. Channel Catfish – Good: Try nightcrawlers or stink bait fished on the bottom in areas of moderate current where side channels form an eddy. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Lots of drum are still being caught in the swifter current breaks. Bounce a nightcrawler along the bottom or try crayfish for bigger fish. Smallmouth Bass – Excellent: Use live bait or artificials along rocky shorelines with good current. Best bite is towards evening. Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth fishing is good on side channel and main channel shoreline structure. Walleye – Fair: Try a little slower presentation as the water temperature is falling. One eye jigs or bait-rig off the bottom has been effective. Yellow Perch – Fair: Look for perch in vegetated areas along the main channel.  Northern Pike – Fair: Northern pike fishing is picking up in the shallows or in the mouths of tributary streams. Flathead Catfish – Fair: Use live shiners or small bluegill in woody debris to attract flatheads in slack areas off the side channels. Black Crappie – Good: Use light colored jigs or hook tipped with crappie minnows in backwater side channels.

Mississippi River Pool 11
Mississippi River at Guttenberg has bumped up to 8.4 feet and is predicted to drop slightly this week. Water temperature is 65 degrees at the Lock and Dam. Bluegill – Excellent: Some larger bluegills are being picked up near structure on the side channels. Use a small hook tipped with worm fished under a slip bobber. Channel Catfish – Good: Try nightcrawlers or stink bait fished on the bottom in areas of moderate current where side channels form an eddy. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Lots of drum are still being caught in the swifter current breaks. Bounce a nightcrawler along the bottom or try crayfish for bigger fish. Smallmouth Bass – Excellent: Use live bait or artificials along rocky shorelines with good current. Best bite is towards evening. Largemouth Bass -Good: Largemouth fishing is good on side channel and main channel shoreline structure. Walleye – Fair: Try a little slower presentation as the water temperature is falling. One eye jigs or bait-rig off the bottom has been effective. Yellow Perch – No Report: Look for perch in vegetated areas along the main channel.  Northern Pike – Fair: Northern pike fishing is picking up in the shallows or in the mouths of tributary streams. Flathead Catfish – Fair: Try live shiners or small bluegill in woody debris to attract flatheads in slack areas off the side channels. Black Crappie – Good: Use light colored jigs or hook tipped with crappie minnows in backwater side-channels. Bertom Lake area has been picking up.

Upper Mississippi water levels are holding steady this week. Late summer fishing has been consistent for many species. Water clarity continues to be good with lots of vegetation present. Many backwater species have moved to main channel borders and side sloughs. Water temperature has been gradually falling into the mid to upper 60’s this week.


Mississippi River Pool 12
River levels rose this week. Water levels are 7.8 feet at the Dubuque Lock and Dam and 10.1 feet at the RR bridge. Water clarity is good. Water temperature is 67 degrees in the main channel. The River should hold steady this week. Channel Catfish – Good: Use worms and stink bait; move often if you do not find biting fish. Freshwater Drum – Excellent:  A simple egg sinker and worm rig works best. White Crappie – Good: Good numbers and size of crappie reported this week. Most anglers are using small minnows as bait. Walleye – Fair: The wing dam fishing fishing is well underway on the Mississippi River. Some anglers are using worm rigs while others are throwing crankbaits on the dams. Floating weeds are being a real hindrance at times. Bluegill – Good:Find bluegills at the mouths of large backwater areas and along the channel border rock. Flathead Catfish – Excellent: Pull worm rigs near rocky habitats. Lots of flatheads have been caught this year. Smallmouth Bass– Excellent:Throw spinners or small crankbaits around rocky areas with strong current in the evenings. Largemouth Bass – Excellent: Largemouths have pulled out of the shallow backwater areas and are on trees and sandy shoals often chasing minnows. The scum frog bite has been very good in the weed pads.

Mississippi River Pool 13
Water level is 8.7 feet at the Bellevue Lock and Dam. Water levels should hold steady this week. Water clarity has been improving. Water temperature is around 69 degrees in the main channel.  Northern Pike – Good: Use flashy white lures lures. Channel Catfish – Good: Use worm rigs and stink bait above log jams and rock piles; let the smell of the bait flow into the log piles. Move often if you don’t find fish. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Use egg sinker rigs with worms. Drum bite in all types of river conditions. Walleye – Fair: Throw crank baits over the rock piles. Try also worm rigs. Floating vegetation is becoming a hindrance to wing dam fishing. Smallmouth Bass – Excellent: Throw crank baits or spinners near rock piles with strong current.  Bluegill – Good: Use worm rigs in log piles in larger backwater and sloughs. Flathead Catfish – Excellent: Small flathead catfish are hitting on worms; mostly by people fishing for channel cats. Try large live bait fished in the evening hours for bigger flatheads. Largemouth Bass – Excellent: Some fish are on weed edges while others are in logs in deeper sloughs. Use scum frogs and other frog imitations. Black Crappie – Good: Some nice crappies have been reported from the sloughs in Pool 13. Most anglers are using small minnows.

Mississippi River Pool 14
Water levels are 7.9  feet at Fulton, 11.3 feet at Camanche and 6.1 feet at LeClaire.  Water clarity has been poor, but is improving. Water levels are predicted to hold steady. Water temperature is 69 degrees in the main channel. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass had moved out of the large shallow areas into deeper slough habitats. Use frog imitation lures along the weed edges. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Freshwater drum are biting on worm rigs. Catch drum in nearly all moderate current areas. Channel Catfish – Good: Use worm rigs and prepared stink baits fished close to shoreline snags or along rock lines. Walleye– Good: Try Twister tails near the outside tips of wing dams in low water levels. Flathead Catfish – Excellent: Flathead are most active during the night and evening hours. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Try along rock piles with current. Bluegill – Good: Fish deeper sloughs next to large backwater complexes that have been dewatered due to lower water levels. White Bass – Fair: Use minnow imitation spinners.

Mississippi River Pool 15
Levels are up slightly and are at 8.3 feet at Rock Island. Water temperature is 69 degrees in the main channel. Water levels should hold steady this week. Channel Catfish – Good: Try stink bait along the rock piles near Campbells and Arsenal Island. Move often if fish are not hitting. Freshwater Drum – Good: Freshwater drum bite well this time of year. Put them on ice immediately if you are going to clean them. Flathead Catfish – Good: Use large live bait fished near shore during the night and evening hours. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Find smallmouths along rock lines with strong current.

The main channel water temperature is has fallen again and is now in upper 60’s. Fishing conditions have been generally good throughout the district this week. Some aquatic vegetation is floating in the River right now, please do your best to clean your boats and trailers and not transport vegetation to other bodies of water.  If you have any angling questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976. 


Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities is 8.19 feet and has been fairly steady the past week. Channel Catfish – Good: Try worms, stink bait or cut shad in brush piles and snags along the main channel and side channels. White Crappie – No Report: Look for crappies in the backwaters and flowing side channels. Use jigs and minnows/plastics or minnows under a bobber around brush piles. Walleye – Fai: Look for walleyes on the wing dams. Cast crankbaits over the wing dams or troll three-way rigs with nightcrawlers in front of the wing dams.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine is 6.63 feet and has been fairly steady. Channel Catfish – Good: Try worms, cut shad, or dip baits in brush piles and snags along the main channel and side channels. White Crappie – Fair: Try jigs and minnows/plastics or minnows under a bobber around brush piles in Big Timber and Cleveland Slough. Walleye – Fair: Look for walleyes on the wing dams. Cast crankbaits or pull three-way rigs with crawlers. Bluegill – Fair: Look for bluegills in the backwaters. Use pieces of worm under a bobber around brush piles.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 7.75 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston. Channel Catfish – Good: Try dip baits, nightcrawlers or cut shad in snags and brush piles along the main channel and side channels. White Crappie – No Report: Use jigs/minnows or minnows under a bobber in the backwaters and flowing side channels around brush piles. Walleye – No Report: Look for walleyes on the wing dams. Cast crankbaits to the wingdams or pull three-way rigs with crawlers.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 4.18 feet at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington. We have not received any fishing reports for this pool this week. Channel Catfish – No Report: Try dip baits, nightcrawlers, or cut shad in brush piles and snags along the main channel and side channels.  White Crappie – No Report: Use jigs and minnows/plastics or minnows under a bobber crappies in brush piles in the backwaters and flowing side channels.

River stages have been fairly steady this past week. Water clarity has been fair and main channel water temperature is around 68 degrees. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

SOUTHEAST

Big Hollow Lake
Colder night time temperatures are cooling off the water. Water temperature is in the low 70’s. Expect to find the fish in shallow pretty soon. Black Crappie – Fair: The crappie bite has picked up some. Try in the flooded timber and down about 8 feet. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Go shallow in the early morning and late evening; as the day gets warmer flow them out to deeper water. Bluegill – Fair: Try around the jetties and the deeper sides of the island where the bluegills still have access to deeper water.

Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River)
The Iowa fell just a few inches since last week. The water is still pretty shallow for outboard motors, but with the slow current a nice float trip down the river would be fun.  Channel Catfish – Fair: Look for the deeper holes with brush piles; getting to them is the hard part.

Lake Belva Deer
The lake is back to being a little murky; water clarity is about 36 inches. Water temperature is down to the upper 60’s. Bluegill – Good: Bluegill fishing has picked back up. They are still out in the deeper 10- to 12-foot water, but with a few more cool nights expect to see them come in shallower. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Catfish are biting. Look for them in the upper end of the lake where the arm from the north connects to the main lake. Black Crappie – Good: Anglers are starting to catch crappies.  They are still out in the 10-foot depth range vertical jigging or slip bobbers with minnows.

Lake Darling
A couple of mid 40’s degrees nights cooled off the water. Water temperature is down to 68 degrees. Once the fish acclimate to the cooler water, expect them to move in shallow. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use soft plastics on the shallow edge of the drop-offs.  Black Crappie – Fair: Most anglers were still catching them out in deeper water, but expect them to move in shallow very soon.

Lake Geode
Water clarity is improving at 66 inches, but is still a little on the green side. Water temperature is in the lower 70’s. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills are starting to work the outer edges of the water willow beds close to deeper water. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappies are starting to move into the brush piles and tree falls in shallow water, but still near the deeper drop-offs.

Lake Odessa
The water level is stable and cooling off with the cooler weather. The September teal season continues through the 10th (Sunday). Black Crappie – Fair: Look for crappies around the beaver lodges and around the fallen trees from Sand Run on down. Bluegill – Fair: Use bobbers and worms or small jigs tipped with wax worms around the beaver lodges and around the fallen trees from Sand Run on down.

Skunk River (Coppock to Mississippi River)
The water level in the Skunk is holding pretty steady. Not much angler activity and no boat activity because of the shallow water conditions. It’s a good time to take a float trip. Channel Catfish – Fair: With the water cooling off, catfish should start to fatten up before they start migrating to their overwintering holes.

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


Coralville Reservoir
The lake is at normal summer pool of 683.4′. Black Crappie – Slow: Most fish have been smaller. Channel Catfish – Fair: Drift/troll cut bait along the channel. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Cast crankbaits along rock.

Diamond Lake
Channel Catfish – Fair. Bluegill – Slow. Black Crappie – Slow.

Hannen Lake
Largemouth Bass – Good.

Iowa Lake (Iowa County)
Channel Catfish – Good. Bluegill – Fair. Redear Sunfish – Fair. Largemouth Bass – Good. Black Crappie – Fair.

Lake Macbride
The motor restriction is now off and all motors may be used at no-wake speed (5 mph).  Bluegill – Fair. Walleye – Slow: Troll crankbaits or crawlers in 8- to 14-feet of water. Largemouth Bass – Fair. Black Crappie – Slow: Fish around brush/wood in 10- to 15-feet of water.

Otter Creek Lake
The lake is a little low and the water has lots of color to it. Bluegill – Slow. Channel Catfish – Fair. Black Crappie – Slow. Yellow Bass – Fair.

Pleasant Creek Lake
The lake is still 9.5 feet low from the restoration project. The main boat ramp is usable, but is still shallow; use caution. Inspect, clean, drain, and dry your boat/trailer before leaving as there is a lot of the invasive species, Brittle Naiad, in the lake.

Wapsipinicon River (Troy Mills to Oxford Junction)
Bluegill – Fair. Smallmouth Bass – Fair. Walleye – Fair: Use nightcrawlers, either on a split shot rig or jighead.

For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.


Lake Keomah
Bluegill – Slow: Try small jigs tipped with live bait along the edge of the vegetation and around the fishing jetties. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use rubber worms or spinnerbaits along the shorelines and around the vegetation. Try submerged structure in 6- to 8-feet of water. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try nightcrawlers or liver in about 4- to 6-feet of water.

Lake Sugema
Black Crappie – Fair: Try jig tipped with live bait in the flooded timber. Sorting is needed for larger fish. Walleye – Slow: Cast crankbaits along the dam and other rip-rapped shorelines. Try also drifting or trolling nightcrawlers. Bluegill – Fair: Use a small jig tipped with live bait  in structure in 8-to 10-feet. Sorting is needed for larger fish. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try spinnerbaits or crawdad imitating baits along the shorelines and around the jetties. Use a rubber worm among the vegetation and around deep structure.

Lake Wapello
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try crankbaits or spinnerbaits around the cedar tree piles and around the fishing jetties. Use topwater lures or rubber worms among the lily pads. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use chicken liver or nightcrawlers fished in 6- to 8-feet of water. Black Crappie – Fair: Try live bait around submerged structure. Sorting may be needed for larger fish.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 903.96 msl. Normal operating elevation is 904.0 msl. Lake Rathbun has zebra mussels, so make sure to properly drain, clean, and dry equipment before transporting to another water body. White Crappie – Fair: Troll crankbaits over submerged points and underwater islands. Crappies are suspended over these areas. Channel Catfish– Good: Use nightcrawlers or cut bait in coves and bays where the wind is blowing toward the shoreline. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: Troll crankbaits or blade baits around submerged points and rock piles or vertically jig in these same areas. Walleye – Slow: Troll crankbaits that mimic gizzard shad around submerged points and rock piles; look for areas with changing depths.

Red Haw Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs tipped with a chunk of nightcrawler and a bobber around the fishing jetties. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try spinnerbaits and rubber worms along the shorelines, around the jetties, and along the face of the dam. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use nightcrawlers or chicken liver around the fishing jetties.

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

SOUTHWEST

Big Creek Lake
Walleye – Fair: Troll live bait rigs and cast or troll shallow diving crank baits on the upper end of the lake.

Des Moines River (Saylorville to Red Rock)
White Bass – Fair: Cast jigs and twister tails or shallow diving, shad imitating crankbaits. Channel Catfish – Good: Use stink baits and cut baits.

Don Williams Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Drift or troll tube jigs and twister or paddle tail jigs 3- to 8-feet down in 10- to 20-feet of water. The middle section of the lake has been the most consistent.

Red Rock Reservoir
Channel Catfish – Good: Drift cut creek chubs or shad above the mile long bridge in 6- to 12-feet of water.

Saylorville Reservoir
Channel Catfish – Good: Drift cut creek chubs in the upper end of the reservoir above and just below the mile long bridge.

Late summer and early fall is a good time to slow drift for crappies and bluegills. Channel catfishing on the reservoirs and the Des Moines River is good. For information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers, contact Andy Otting or Ben Dodd at 515-432-2823.


Cold Springs District Farm Ponds
Pond fishing was fair this week. Always get permission to fish privately owned farm ponds. Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth bass are active and easy to catch. Cast a variety of spinner type baits or plastics for fun catch and release fishingBluegill – Fair: Catch bluegills around weed edges and deep structure. Black Crappie – Slow: Cast minnows under a slip bobber. Channel Catfish – Good: Use cut bait or prepared baits around structure and vegetation edges.

Greenfield Lake
Greenfield Lake has a good fish population. The lake is 3 feet low. Black Crappie – Slow: A few crappies can be caught around structure. Late afternoon bite is best. Fish average 9 inches. Bluegill – Slow: Drift small jigs tipped with a crawler to catch 8 inch bluegill. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use cut bait or shrimp in less than 8 feet of water. Anglers have a chance to catch large catfish at Greenfield.

Lake Anita
Lake Anita will provide good fishing this year. Find a large crappie population averaging 9 inches and bluegills up to 9.5 inches. Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers are catching crappies in the tree piles. Fish will average 9 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Catch bluegills up to 9.5 inches with small jigs tipped power bait or nightcrawlers on steep drop offs near the creek channel and in deep tree pile. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Find bass around underwater reefs and vegetation edges. Fish are all sizes.

Middle Raccoon River (above Van Meter)
Walleye – Fair. Smallmouth Bass – Fair.

Prairie Rose Lake
Expect to catch quality size bluegills. 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 fishingBluegill – Fair: Anglers report catching quality size bluegills around the underwater reefs placed in the lake during the renovation. Fish are 8.5- to 9-inches. Largemouth Bass – Slow: There are many 12 inch bass in the lake that will provide fun catch and release fishingBlack Crappie – Slow: A few 8 inch black crappie are being picked up drifting or trolling along the dam. Channel Catfish– Fair: Use liver or nightcrawlers in the upper end of the lake for 14- to 16-inch catfish.

Viking Lake
Anglers report catching crappies in deep brush piles. Largemouth Bass – Good: Anglers are catching largemouth bass in tree piles with plastics and around the shoreline with spinnerbaits. Fish are all sizes. Channel Catfish – Fair: Viking has a good channel catfish population; fish will average 2 pounds with the opportunity to catch larger fish. Anglers report chicken livers was the bait of choice this week. Black Crappie – Fair: Vertical jig any tree pile in 12- to 14-feet of water. Sorting is needed for larger fish. Bluegill – Fair: Drifting has been good for 7 inch bluegill.

Water temperatures are in the low to mid 70’s in the S.W. district. Anglers are catching panfish in brush piles and catfishing has been fair in lakes. For more information, call the Cold Springs District Office at 712-769-2587.


Green Valley Lake
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Catch largemouth bass up to 18 inches with spinnerbaits or finesse plastics fished along cedar tree brush piles and stake beds. Black Crappie – Good: Catch crappies up to 8 inches using small spinners or small jigs fished near cedar tree brush piles or rock piles.

Lake Icaria
Channel Catfish – Fair: Channel catfish of all sizes have been caught with cut bait or nightcrawlers fished along the fish mounds or windblown points.

Lake of Three Fires
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Largemouth bass of all sizes have been caught with finesse plastics fished along rocky shoreline areas. Black Crappie – Fair: Catch crappie up to 10 inches using jigs tipped with a minnow fished along cedar tree brush piles or fish mounds.

Little River Watershed Lake
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Catch largemouth bass up to 18 inches with finesse plastics fished near cedar tree brush piles. Bluegill – Good: Catch bluegill up to 8 inches with small jigs or nightcrawlers fished along main lake points and rock fields. Channel Catfish – Fair: Catch channel catfish up to 10 pounds with nightcrawlers or cut bait fished along rock fields or fishing jetties. Black Crappie – Fair: Catch crappie up to 11 inches using minnows fished near cedar tree brush piles, rock piles, or rock fields. Walleye – Slow: Use crankbaits fished along main lake points.

Summit Lake
Black Crappie – Slow: Catch black crappie up to 9 inches with small spinners or jigs fished along the HWY 25 bridge. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Catch largemouth bass up to 15 inches using spinnerbaits fished along rocky shoreline areas or cedar tree brush piles.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake
Largemouth Bass – Slow: Catch largemouth bass up to 20 inches with finesse plastics fished along weed lines. Bluegill – Good: Catch bluegill up to 8 inches using small jigs tipped with nightcrawlers or waxworms fished along rock piles.  Black Crappie – Good: Catch black crappie up to 10 inches with small jigs tipped with a minnow fished along cedar tree brush piles, rock piles, or the weed line. Yellow Perch – Good: Catch yellow perch up to 8 inches with jigs tipped with a minnow or nightcrawler fished along shallow flats or main lake points.  Walleye – Fair: Walleyes of all sizes have been caught with jigs tipped with a leech or minnow fished along rock piles or along the dam.

Water temperaturea in most Mount Ayr District lakes are in the mid-70’s. The district includes Page, Taylor, Adams, Union, Ringgold, Decatur, Clarke and Madison counties. For more information, contact the Mount Ayr Fisheries office at 641-464-3108.

MISSOURI RIVER

Missouri River (Sioux City to Little Sioux)
Flathead Catfish – Good: Use rod and reel and trotlines with live bait off the tips of wing dikes and rock structures. Evening or after dark is best. Blue Catfish – Good: Use fresh cut bait fished just off the bottom in or near the current. Channel Catfish – Good: Use worms, chicken livers, cut bait and dip baits along wing dikes, brush piles and along the rock revetment.

Missouri River (Little Sioux to Council Bluffs)
Flathead Catfish – Good: Use rod and reel and trotlines with live bait off the tips of wing dikes and rock structures. Evening or after dark is best. Blue Catfish – Good: Use fresh cut bait fished just off the bottom in or near the current. Channel Catfish – Good: Use worms, chicken livers, cut bait and dip baits near wing dikes, brush piles and along the rock revetment.

Missouri River (Council Bluffs to Missouri State Line)
Flathead Catfish – Good: Use rod and reel and trotlines with live bait off the tips of wing dikes and rock structures. Evening or after dark is best. Blue Catfish –  Good: Use fresh cut bait fished off the bottom in or near the main river channel. Channel Catfish – Good: Use chicken livers, worms, cut bait and dip baits near wing dikes, brush piles and along the rock revetment.

The Missouri River at Decatur, Nebraska is at 21.93 ft. /33,500 cfs./68 degrees Fahrenheit (water temperature dropped 5 degrees from last week). The Missouri River dropped 0.40 feet from last week. Anglers are mainly catching catfish species (channels, flatheads and blue cats). Fishing continues to be fair to good overall for all catfish species. The Decatur Bridge West of Onawa has reopened.

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