Weekend Fishing Report: Bluegill and Bass are Good

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.

NORTHWEST

Arrowhead Lake
Bluegill – Fair: As water continues to warm, look for bluegill nest colonies along the west and east shorelines; the highest concentration are likely in the southern end of the lake. Use a small tube jig tipped with a piece of crawler.

Black Hawk Lake
Water temperatures are in the upper 70’s. Water clarity is 5-6 feet. Bluegill – Fair: The bluegill spawn is later than normal, but look for fish to start moving in close to shore again. Use a small hair or tube jig with a small piece of crawler fished under a bobber off the floating fishing pier, the west stone pier, and the inlet bridge. Look for bluegills sitting on nests; you can easily target the males. Walleye – Fair:Try in Town Bay, the shoreline along Ice House Point, and near the inlet bridge. Use leeches fished under a bobber and twisters on the downwind shoreline where walleye are feeding. Black Crappie – Slow: A few have been picked up from Ice House Point, the floating dock, the stone piers and the inlet bridge. Catch fish up to 11 inches with crawlers and leeches fished under a bobber. Look for post-spawn crappie out deeper. Largemouth Bass – Good: Catch largemouth all over the lake using traditional bass lures. Many anglers have found good bass action at the Ice House Point, the east shoreline,and the lake side of the inlet bridge. There is a 15 inch minimum length limit on largemouth bass in Black Hawk Lake.

Brushy Creek Lake
There is a 15 inch minimum length limit on largemouth bass in Brushy Creek Lake, and a 40 inch minimum length limit for Musky. Walleye – Good: Use minnows, leaches and twisters in 5-15 feet of water. Black Crappie – Fair: Try minnows on a jig in 10-20 feet of water.  Some males are being caught near shore, so look for the fishing close to shore to improve over the next week. Yellow Perch – Fair: Fish along the vegetation to find the perch. Largemouth Bass – Good: Catch bass along weed lines near shore just about anywhere with traditional bass lures.  There is a 15 inch minimum length limit on largemouth bass in Brushy Creek Lake. Muskellunge – Fair: There is a 40 inch minimum length limit for musky on Brushy Creek Lake. Bluegill – Slow: Bluegill are still pre-spawn.  Look for bluegill fishing to improve near shore as water continues to warm.

Crawford Creek Impoundment
Bluegill – Fair: Catch bluegill near shore using a small jig tipped with bait fished under a bobber.  Look for males guarding nests near shore.  Fish are 6-8 inches.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Water clarity is 3-4 feet. 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: Much of the walleye action has shifted to the boat anglers. Boat anglers are doing well trolling shad raps or ripple shads or drifting crawler harnesses on the edges of the dredge cuts around the lake in about 8 feet of water. Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers are picking up suspended crappie out mid-lake in the dredge cuts while fishing for walleye. White Bass – Fair: Use crankbaits; most action has been from boat while fishing dredge cuts.

Swan Lake
Water temperature is around 80 degrees. Water clarity is 3 feet. Bluegill – Fair: Use a small jig tipped with crawler along the dam and off the jetties. Most of the fish are 6-7 inches. Look for fish to move closer to shore and the males sitting on nests.

Yellow Smoke Park Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Find bluegill spawning in the arm north of the swim beach and in the coves along the south shore. Yellow Smoke is known for its big bluegill consistently reaching 9 inches or more.

Water temperatures in Black Hawk District lakes are in the upper 70’s. Bluegill are starting to move close to shore in many lakes and ponds. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.


Clear Lake
Surface water temperature is 74 degrees. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappies are biting. Use a small jig or a minnow in the rush beds and areas with vegetation. Walleye – Good: Try a slip bobber and leeches fished in the rocky reefs. Yellow Bass – Fair: Yellows bass have moved off the shallow rocky areas and are out in deeper water.  Use a small jig with a minnow or cut bait in the early morning. Channel Catfish – Fair: With recent rains, any spot where water is entering the lake is worth trying for catfish. Fish a dead chub or crawlers on the bottom. The best bite is late evening. Muskellunge – Fair.

Crystal Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Bluegill are biting. Use a small piece of crawler and a bobber in 2 to 3 feet of water. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappie are biting. Use a small minnow and a bobber in 3 to 6 feet of water.

Lake Smith
Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth bass are biting on a variety of baits. Bluegill – Fair.

Rice Lake
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass are biting on plastic baits. Bluegill – Fair: Use a small piece of crawler and a bobber in the edge of the vegetation.

Silver Lake (Worth)
Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth bass are biting on plastic baits. Bluegill – Fair: Use a small piece of crawler and a bobber in 2 to 3 feet of water.

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


Center Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Cast mini jigs in shallow water wood habitat.

East Okoboji Lake
Channel Catfish – Good: Use traditional baits in the evening. Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers report a panfish bite of bluegill and crappie in shallow water; best bite during early evening hours.  Walleye – Good: Report of anglers catching fish from the south end; best bite during the evening hours.

Five Island Lake
Channel Catfish – Good: Use traditional baits during evening hours. Walleye – Fair: Action is picking up with lots of angler acceptable size and larger being caught.

Lake Pahoja
Bluegill – Good: Recent surveys show good numbers of large angler size fish in the lake.

Lost Island Lake
Walleye – Good: Report of a walleye bite at Lost Island Lake. Yellow Bass – Good: Report of yellow bass being caught. Use small lures such as a twister tail or hair jigs.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Walleye – Good: Troll crank baits when there is a good walleye chop on the lake.

Spirit Lake
Marble Beach campground, including the boat ramp, is closed for the season for renovation. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Use a jig tipped with a minnow in shallow rock structures. Action is best during sunny, calm days. Black Crappie – Good: Fish the bulrush on the lake for spawning crappie. Cast a mini-jig and swim the bait slowly back to the boat to find active fish. Walleye – Good: Best action is during the night off the docks. Fish leeches under a bobber or cast a twister tail. Cast crankbaits or a jig and minnows in emerging weed beds.

West Okoboji Lake
Bluegill – Good: Wooden docks in deeper water and new aquatic growth will produce good numbers of angler acceptable sized fish.

For more information throughout the week, contact the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.

NORTHEAST

Cedar River (above Nashua)
Water levels continue to fall and clarity is improving. Baring more rain, water levels should stabilize. Water temperatures are in the mid 70’s. Visit the USGS Current Water Data website for current water level information. Walleye – Good: Bite improves toward evening. Use a jig tipped with a crawler, minnow or twister tail. Channel Catfish – Good: Catch catfish in the impoundments with dead chubs fished on bottom. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Use a variety of jigs or spinners near brush piles. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappie are keying into shallow rocky shorelines. Use small jigs tipped with twister tail or minnow. Bluegill – Fair.

Decorah District Streams
Trout streams are in good condition, but flows remain high. Family friendly locations abound. A light spinning rod/reel combo is a perfect set up for beginning trout anglers. Catchable trout are stocked weekly as weather and water conditions permit. Listen to the trout stocking hotline (563-927-5736) for daily plans. Area trout stream clarity is greatly improved. Flows remain elevated. Brook Trout – Good: A variety of insects are hatching. Match the hatch, but try not to spook a feeding fish.  Brown Trout – Good: Blue wing olive, midge, and stonefly hatches are occurring; some exceptional lately. Use blue wing olive, hendrickson, gnat, or beadhead nymph patterns and watch the water boil.  Rainbow Trout – Excellent: Try a piece of worm or small cheese chunk on a hook under a bobber in the deeper holes or floated past an undercut bank. A variety of small spinnerbaits also work.

Lake Hendricks
Excellent shoreline access; aquatic vegetation is relatively low. Black Crappie – Good: Use small jigs in shallow areas. Largemouth Bass – Good: Fish along edges of vegetation for a cruising bass. Channel Catfish – Good: Use a worm under a bobber in the later evening. Bluegill – Fair: Try a small jig tipped with small piece of worm along the shoreline.

Lake Meyer
Perfect time to enjoy being on the water with family. Lake Meyer is fishing well with water temperatures in the mid to upper 70’s. Bluegill – Excellent: Use a hook tipped with a worm in shallow water. Black Crappie – Excellent: Try a hook tipped with a worm or small spinner bait along a rocky shoreline. Largemouth Bass – Good: Use buzz or spinner baits. Northern Pike – Fair: Use a nightcrawler fished along the shallow weedy bays.

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
Water clarity is much improved. Water temperatures are in the low 70’s. Water levels are falling. Flows remain up. Use care when paddling as strainers and snags may have moved. Walleye – Good: Bring an assortment of tackle to find what works best for your location and time of day. White Sucker – Excellent: Use worms fished on bottom.

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
Water levels are falling baring additional rainfall this weekend. Clarity is excellent. Use care when paddling. Flows remain high. Submersed hazards increase with falling water levels. Visit the USGS Current Water Data website for more information. Walleye– Good: Cast bright colored jigs and twister tails near undercut banks and log jams. Best fishing is toward dusk. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Use spinners around tributaries. Light colored jigs and crankbaits work best. Fish 10-12 inches common. White Sucker– Good: Worms fished off the bottom work for a hungry sucker.

Volga Lake
Many water related activities available in the Volga River Recreation area. Explore the park. Water temperatures are in the mid to upper 70’s. Black Crappie – Good: Shallow, rocky, warmer areas are more productive. Largemouth Bass – Good: Use top water lures in shallow water. Channel Catfish – Good: Find catfish shallow in early morning or late night. Use worm or smashed minnow fished on the bottom. Bluegill – Good: Use small jigs tipped with a small piece of worm along shallow rocky areas. Common Carp – Good: Anglers are doing well in shallow bays at night.

Area rivers and streams continue to improve. Temperatures somewhat cooler in the upper 70s for highs and humid. Rain potential present daily. For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.


Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
Reports of anglers catching largemouth bass and bluegill. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try topwater spinner baits or sinking plastic baits. Bluegill – Good: Use a piece of worm under a bobber. Cast out and retrieve slowly over bluegill spawning beds.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
Reports of anglers having success catching walleye, smallmouth bass, channel catfish and some northern pike on the Cedar River. Channel Catfish – Good: Try dead cutbaits stinkbait or nightcrawlers fished on the bottom. Walleye – Good: Fish the usual jig tipped with half a nightcrawler. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Cast artificial lures in rocky shorelines. Northern Pike – Fair: Cast larger spinner baits in backwater areas or submerged wood.

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
Reports of anglers catching walleye, smallmouth bass and channel catfish. Walleye– Fair: Cast and retrieve a jig with plastics tipped with a minnow. Smallmouth Bass– Good: Cast and retrieve a jig with plastics tipped with a minnow. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try cut bait, nightcrawler or stinkbait fished on the bottom.

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
There have been few reports from the Shell Rock this past week, but anglers should expect success with walleye and smallmouth bass. Walleye – Fair: Fish the usual jig tipped with half a nightcrawler. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Cast artificial lures in rocky shorelines.

Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
No reports this past week as the river has stayed high this past spring and early summer. Expect fair to good action on walleye and smallmouth bass.

Fishing reports have been good on most interior rivers and area lakes for most all gamefish. Trout stream stockings continue and streams remain in good condition. Call the N.E. Iowa district office at 563-927-3276 for more information.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9
River level is 8.6 feet at Lansing and is expected to remain stable. Water temperature is near 78 degrees. New Albin ramp road is open this week. The Lansing Village Creek ramp and parking lot will be closed for construction starting July 5th. For more updates, call the Guttenberg Fisheries Management office at 563-252-1156. Walleye– Fair: Expect walleye to settle in on the closing dams and wing dams as the river falls and stabilizes in the next week or two. Yellow Perch – Fair: Still a few perch biting along the rocky shorelines and tailwater areas. Sauger – Fair: Try a lightweight jig tipped with minnow fished on the bottom along main channel edges and wing dams. Northern Pike– Fair: Northern are feeding along main channel borders. Cast spinners or a minnow along edges of debris piles. Flathead Catfish – Fair: Expect the flatheads to be on the feed as they enter the spawning period. Fish deeper holes with a large shiner or sunfish. Channel Catfish – Good: Use a crawler fished on the bottom. Common Carp – Good: Carp are on the move with the high water. To hook a big one, try fishing the warm shallow backwaters where carp are staging for the spawn. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Largemouth are biting on topwaters and crankbaits in warm shallow bays and marina areas out of the current. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Warm water temperatures and slowly receding flood waters will have smallmouth working the rocky shorelines. Toss inline spinners along rock points. White Bass – Fair: Cast flashy spinners or crankbaits along the rocks in main channel current for big white bass. Black Crappie – Fair: Try small jigs or a plain hook tipped with a crappie minnow along the trees in backwater lakes. Bluegill– Excellent: Bluegill have moved into the shallows for spawning. Use light tackle tipped with a garden worm.

Mississippi River Pool 10
River level at Lynxville is stabilizing around 17.3 feet. Gates are in at the Lock and Dam. Water temperature is 77 degrees at the Lock 9. Walleye– Fair: Expect walleye to settle in on the closing dams and wing dams as the river falls and stabilizes in the next week or two. Yellow Perch – Fair: Still a few perch biting along the rocky shorelines and tailwater areas. Sauger – Fair: Try a lightweight jig tipped with minnow fished on the bottom along main channel edges and wing dams. Northern Pike –  Fair: Northern are feeding along main channel borders. Cast spinners or a minnow along edges of debris piles. Flathead Catfish – Fair: Expect the flatheads to be on the feed as they enter the spawning period. Fish deeper holes with a large shiner or sunfish. Channel Catfish – Good: Use a crawler fished on the bottom. Bluegill – Good: Panfish bite is picking up this week. Try a small piece of garden worm on small tackle under a bobber. Common Carp – Good: Carp are on the move with the high water. To hook into a big one, try fishing the warm shallow backwaters where carp are staging for the spawn. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Largemouth are biting on topwaters and crankbaits in warm shallow bays and marina areas out of the current. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Warm water temperatures and slowly receding flood waters will have smallmouth working the rocky shorelines. Toss inline spinners along rock points. White Bass – Fair: Cast flashy spinners or crankbaits along the rocks in main channel current for big white bass. Black Crappie – Fair: Try small jigs or a plain hook tipped with a crappie minnow along the trees in backwater lakes. Bluegill – Excellent: Bluegill have moved into the shallows for spawning. Use light tackle tipped with a garden worm.

Mississippi River Pool 11
River level at Guttenberg has stabilized near 8.8 feet. The gates are in at the Lock and Dam. Water temperature is 73 degrees at the dam. Walleye – Fair: Expect walleye to settle in on the closing dams and wing dams as the river falls and stabilizes in the next week or two. Yellow Perch – Fair: Still a few perch biting along the rocky shorelines and tailwater areas. Sauger – Fair: Try a lightweight jig tipped with minnow fished on the bottom along main channel edges and wing dams. Northern Pike – Fair: Northern are feeding along main channel borders. Cast spinners or a minnow along edges of debris piles. Flathead Catfish – Good: Expect the flatheads to be on the feed as they enter the spawning period. Fish deeper holes with a large shiner or sunfish. Channel Catfish – Good: Use a crawler fished on the bottom. Common Carp – Good: Carp are on the move with the high water. Try fishing the warm shallow backwaters where carp are staging for the spawn. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Largemouth are biting on topwaters and crankbaits in warm shallow bays and marina areas out of the current. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Warm water temperatures and slowly receding flood waters will have smallmouth working the rocky shorelines. Toss inline spinners along rock points. White Bass – Fair: Cast flashy spinners or crankbaits along the rocks in main channel current for big white bass. Black Crappie – Good: Fish small jigs or a plain hook tipped with a crappie minnow along the trees in backwater lakes. Bluegill – Excellent: Bluegill have moved into the shallows for spawning. Use light tackle tipped with a garden worm.

The Upper Mississippi River levels are stable this week. Water temperatures have soared into the upper 70’s in the main channel and 80’s in backwaters. Flood debris is still present, but water clarity is improving. With record heat, look for fish in deeper cooler water with some current.


Mississippi River Pool 12
Water levels are 8.64 feet at the Dubuque Lock and 10.87 feet at the RR Bridge. The flooding is over and the river is dropping fast. The channel water temperature is around 75 degrees. White Bass – Fair: Some white bass are biting on spinners. Common Carp– Fair: Conditions for bowfishing carp in shallow flooded areas look good. Find carp and other rough fish thrashing about on hot sunny days. Flathead Catfish – Fair: Both channel cat and flatheads like flooded water. Fish worms in shallow water near shore along freshly flooded banks. Bluegill – Good: Reports of some bluegills being caught on worms near shore and by structure in the back waters. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Fishing for smallies along rock current lines is getting to be real productive.

Mississippi River Pool 13
Water levels at Bellevue are 9.91 feet and are dropping fast. Bellevue is presently out of flood action stage. The Bellevue City ramp and DNR ramp are available for use. The channel water temperature is around 75 degrees. Largemouth Bass – Excellent: Anglers are after large bass in the big flooded expanses of some of Pool 13’s largest backwater complexes such as Spring Lake and Browns Lake. Some bass are being caught out of Middle Sabula Lake and Green Island. Common Carp– Fair: Conditions for bowfishing carp in shallow flooded areas are perfect. Find carp and other rough fish thrashing about on hot sunny days in Green Island and Middle Sabula Lakes. Please take fish with you; don’t leave them on the bank. Channel Catfish – Fair: Anglers will start to target channel cats along rock lines soon as they begin to spawn. Bluegill – Slow: some Bluegills are being reported; try around debris in the back waters.

Mississippi River Pool 14
Water levels are cresting 9.77 feet at Fulton, 12.73 feet at Camanche and 7.08 feet at LeClaire. Levels are dropping fast. The water temperature is around 76 degrees. Some ramps may still have debris on them. Largemouth Bass – No Report: Flooding made access to bass fishing difficult last week, but fishing for bass should really pick up the next few weeks. Common Carp – No Report: Conditions for bowfishing carp in shallow flooded areas look good. Find carp and other rough fish thrashing about on hot sunny days. Channel Catfish – No Report: Fish worms near the shore as catfish feed along newly flooded shorelines.

Mississippi River Pool 15
Water levels are moving out of flood action stage at 10.23 feet at Rock Island. Water levels are dropping fast. The water temperature is near 76 degrees. Some boat ramps will still have debris on them from the recent flood. Channel Catfish – Slow: Reports of a few channel cats caught on worms drifting near shore lines.

River levels are dropping fast and most places are out of flood stages. Water temperatures are in the mid 70’s. Many boat ramps are unusable. If you have any angling questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.

SOUTHEAST

Big Hollow Lake
Water temperature are in the 80’s. Largemouth Bass – Fair: The spawn has wrapped up; adults have moved out to deeper water to cool off. Work the flooded trees with soft plastics. Bluegill – Fair: Warm temperatures lead to a quick spawn.  Most have moved back out into deeper water.  Work the 6 to 8 foot deep water.

Deep Lakes
All that sand also warms up fast during the day. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Some males were still in fairly shallow late last week.  The bigger females were out deep. Bluegill – Fair: Found some 10 inch bluegills last Thursday.  Most of them are out in deeper water, but you can sight fish them.

Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River)
The Iowa River continues to drop at a good rate.  A few more anglers are getting out on the river. Channel Catfish – Fair: Work the logjams and the high cut banks as the catfish are getting ready to spawn

Lake Belva Deer
Water temperature is in the low 80’s. Curlyleaf is still pretty thick, but it should die back soon with these warm water temperatures. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Most of the bigger bass have moved to their deeper water haunts to recover from the heat and the spawn. Black Crappie – Slow: Go deep and move around the flooded timber to find crappies. Bluegill – Good: Most of the bluegills are done spawning, but you should still be able to find a few pockets of spawning fish. Channel Catfish – Good: Catfish are enjoying the hot weather and have moved into the rocks to spawn. The face of the dam is a good place to start.

Lake Darling
Hot weather over the holiday weekend raised the water temperature into the low 80’s. Black Crappie – Slow: Crappies have moved out to 8 to 12 feet deep water. Look for them over the rock piles and cedar trees at those depths. Largemouth Bass– Slow: Adults have moved off into deeper water to cool off and recover from the spawn. Clouds of 1 1/2 little bass in the shallows. Channel Catfish – Good: Catfish are in the rocks down at the dam and along the deeper shorelines spawning. Bluegill– Good: Most bluegills are done with this round of spawning.  Still pockets of spawning fish in some of the more shaded areas of the shallows.

Lost Grove Lake
Water temperature is around 70 degrees; water is very clear (14 feet).  Largemouth Bass – Fair: Most of the spawn is over; look for bass to be deeper out taking it easy. Bluegill – Fair: Most bluegills are done spawning.  Look for them around the brush and trees in 6 to 8 feet of water. Channel Catfish – Fair: Start along the face of the dam in the riprap for males guarding the nests.

Skunk River (Rose Hill to Coppock)
The Skunk River water level are holding steady. Plenty of water for most boats. Channel Catfish – Good: Catfishing has picked up with the stable water levels. Flathead Catfish– Fair: Starting to see some diddy poles out.

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


Cedar River (Cedar Rapids to Moscow)
Channel Catfish – Good. Flathead Catfish – Good. Shovelnose Sturgeon – Good.

Central Park Lake
The lake is currently drained as a renovation project is finishing up this spring.

Coralville Reservoir
The lake is at normal summer pool of 683.3 feet. Channel Catfish – Fair: Find fish along the shallow rocks looking to spawn. White Crappie – Fair: Check brush piles and rock banks for post spawn fish.

Diamond Lake
No minnows are allowed here. The fish cleaning station is open. Black Crappie – Good: Try small jigs fished around the rock jetties or brush piles. Most fish are 7-9 inches. Pink and black tube jigs have been the hot colors. Bluegill – Excellent: Use small jigs or worms around shallow rock or brush. Many fish are around 7 inches.

Green Castle Lake
Largemouth Bass – Good: Spinnerbaits work well. Channel Catfish – Fair: Some have been caught on jig/twister, but crawlers work too.

Iowa Lake (Iowa County)
The weeds are thick around the shoreline. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use a frog over the weeds or fish the outside weed line. Bluegill – Fair: Fish right along the shoreline or in pockets of the weeds for spawning fish. Black Crappie – Fair: Fish the weed line or offshore for suspended crappies. Most fish are around 8 inches. Channel Catfish – Fair.

Kent Park Lake
The lake is currently drained for a lake renovation project currently underway. It is scheduled to be completed next spring.

Lake Macbride
Water temperatures are around 80 degrees. All boat docks are in and the fish cleaning station at the primitive campground ramp is open. Only motors under 10hp may be used at no-wake speed. Black Crappie – Slow: Most fish have moved off the bank. Some are on brush and others are suspended out from spawning areas. Walleye – Fair: Cast toward shallow, windblown rocks or troll or jig live bait rigs. Early/late in the day or cloud cover has been best for shallow walleyes. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Some males are still shallow guarding fry and some fish have pulled off to deeper rock for the summer. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair. Bluegill – Good: Use a small jig or worm around shallow cover. Size is marginal at best. Channel Catfish – Fair: Evenings are best.

Otter Creek Lake
Yellow Bass – Good: Cast small jigs, spinners or live bait to shallow shores. Most fish are around 8 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs or worms around shallow rock or brush. Most fish are 5-7 inches. Black Crappie – Slow: Bright colored jigs work best.

Pleasant Creek Lake
The lake is still 7 feet low from the restoration project. The main ramp is usable, but it is shallow; use caution. There is a boat dock in on the east lane. Be cautious when boating as new structures have started to be submerged. Walleye – Fair: Some small fish are being caught on crawlers. White Bass – Fair. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair. Bluegill – Fair. Yellow Perch – Slow. Channel Catfish – Fair.

Union Grove Lake
The lake was restocked two years ago after a lake renovation project. Most fish are smaller, but some adult fish were also stocked. Bluegill – Good: Use small jigs or worms in the shallows.

Wapsipinicon River (Troy Mills to Oxford Junction)
Smallmouth Bass – Good.

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


Hawthorn Lake
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use spinnerbaits along the rocky shorelines and rubber worms around the deeper structure. Bluegill – Fair: Try small jigs along the rocky shorelines and around the fishing jetties. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use dead chubs or nightcrawlers in areas with large rocks.

Lake Keomah
Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs near shoreline. Try a chunk of nightcrawler if fish get picky. Black Crappie – Fair: Use jigs or minnows around the fishing jetties and the fishing pier. As the water warms, crappies will move to a little deeper water.

Lake Sugema
Walleye – Slow: Use jig and minnow combinations in areas with rip-rapped shorelines. Nightcrawlers can also be productive. Largemouth Bass – Good: Try spinnerbaits or crankbaits along the fishing jetties and rip-rapped shorelines. Use rubber worms in the same areas as the day warms up. Black Crappie – Slow: Use tube jigs or jig and minnows in deeper water structure. Bluegill – Fair: Try small jigs tipped with live bait around the shorelines and around the aquatic vegetation.

Lake Wapello
Channel Catfish – Fair: Use liver or nightcrawlers around areas with rip rap. Largemouth Bass – Good: Try spinnerbaits and rubber worms around the cedar tree piles. Fish deeper structure as the temperatures warm. Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs tipped with a chunk of nightcrawler.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 904.27 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. The water temperature is in the upper 70’s. Channel Catfish – Good: Use cut bait or large chubs around areas with rip rap. The rocks around the bridge at the Bridgeview area are a good spot this time of year. White Crappie – Good: Anglers are some crappies around the docks at the marina and at the resort. Anglers have had luck in shallow water as well as in 4-10 feet of water. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: Anglers are trolling crankbaits along rocky shorelines. Try also using jig and minnow combos along the shoreline. Walleye – Good: Use nightcrawler rigs or crankbaits around rock piles and submerged points.

Red Haw Lake
Largemouth Bass – Good: Use spinnerbaits or rubber worms in shoreline areas along rip-rapped shorelines. Black Crappie – Fair: Try tube jigs along the shorelines. Bluegill – Good: Use small jigs tipped with live bait around the shorelines and around the aquatic vegetation.

The district includes Mahaska, Lucas, Wayne, Monroe, Appanoose, Wapello, Davis and Van Buren counties. Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions about fishing in south central Iowa.

SOUTHWEST

Beaver Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Drift jigs or still fish minnows near the trees mid-lake. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills are in the shallow bays on the upper half of the lake between the fishing jetties. They should be easy to target in these areas through May.

Big Creek Lake
Walleye – Good: Walleyes are being caught throughout the lake in 10 to 15 feet of water. Areas out from the beach, marina, East boat ramp, Ensign Shelter and the west shoreline south of the 100th Street Boat Ramp have been popular. Use jig and twistertails, jig and minnow, slow trolling minnow or leech rigs and trolling crankbaits. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappies have moved away from shore and are being caught over brushpiles in 10 to 15 feet of water with minnows under a slip bobber or drifting jigs with white or chartreuse twistertails or minnows.

Des Moines River (Stratford to Saylorville Lake)
Channel Catfish – Good: Flows are still high, but it is making it easy for boat anglers to navigate.  Use cut bait and dip baits off the main current and in backed up small tributaries.

Don Williams Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Crappies are being caught slowly troll or drift small twister tails or minnows throughout the lake. Expect to fish through some 5-7 inch fish for the 9-10 inchers.

Fort Des Moines Pond
Bluegill – Good: Nice size bluegill are being caught casting small panfish plastics or bobber fishing crawlers.

Lake Ahquabi
Bluegill – Excellent: Bluegill have moved close to shore. Cast small jigs or little pieces of crawler in areas near shore that have slightly murky water compared to the otherwise very clear water right now.

Red Rock Reservoir
White Bass – Fair: As the crappie spawn bite is coming to an end, the hot weather is causing the white bass bite to pick up.  Troll shad imitating spoons and shallow diving crank baits.

Rock Creek Lake
White Crappie – Fair: Crappies have moved off spawning areas. Drift or slowly troll jigs or minnows in the lower portion of the lake between the beach and dam.

The crappie spawn is mostly finished in Central Iowa. Bluegill fishing and catfishing is excellent right now. For more information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers, contact Andy Otting or Ben Dodd at 515-432-2823.


Cold Springs District Farm Ponds
Anglers report excellent fishing in ponds right now. Always get permission to fish privately owned ponds. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are spawning and are close to shore in most ponds. Black Crappie – Fair: Find post spawn crappies suspended and around structure.  Largemouth Bass – Good: As the water temperature warms, bass become very active and can be caught with a variety of lures and plugs. Channel Catfish– Fair: Try along weed edges and around structure.

Cold Springs Lake
The fish population at Cold Springs looks good. There is an 18 inch minimum length limit on largemouth bass. Bluegill – Fair: Cast a small jig tipped with crawler under a bobber to catch bluegill up to 9 inches. Black Crappie – Slow: A few black crappie are being caught around the underwater rock piles. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Catch bass around the shoreline with a variety of spinners and lures.

Farm Creek Lake
Farm creek will offer good fishing this year. Bluegill should be spawning and close to shore. Black Crappie – No Report: Black crappie in Farm Creek are quality size fish. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills are spawning and close to shore. Cast the shoreline with small jigs and move often to find fish.

Lake Anita
A few bluegills can still be picked up close to shore. Find crappies around brush piles and suspended over the roadbeds. Black Crappie – Fair: Vertical jig deeper tree piles to catch black crappie averaging 9 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers report that most bluegills have moved off their spawning beds and can be caught around structure. Largemouth Bass – Good: Cast to structure to catch bass of all sizes.

Lake Manawa
Lake Manawa is a good destination for summer catfishing. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use dip bait on the south shore. Fish in the 2 to 5 pound range were reported.

Meadow Lake
Meadow has a good population of 10 inch black crappie. Black Crappie – Fair: Look for post spawn crappie around underwater reefs and tree piles. Fish will average 10 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegill can still be caught on the underwater reefs. Cast small jigs for fish averaging 8 inches.

Mormon Trail Lake
Bluegills were being caught on spawning beds earlier in the week. Bluegill – Fair: Look for spawning bluegills close to shore. Move often to find fish.

Prairie Rose Lake
Prairie Rose will offer good panfishing. The lake has quality sized bluegills and acceptable size crappies. Target the spawning beds, underwater reefs and jetties to find spawning fish. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are spawning and can be caught on top of underwater reefs and on the spawning substrate placed in the lake. Bluegills in Prairie Rose are quality size fish. Black Crappie – Slow: Look for post spawn crappies along the dam and around tree piles. Fish will average 9 inches. Largemouth Bass – Good: There is a large population of 12 inch bass in the lake that offers fun catch and release fishing.

Viking Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Crappies are starting to be caught in the deeper tree piles. Sorting is needed for larger fish. White Crappie – Fair: Boat anglers are finding white crappies along the dam and deeper tree piles. Fish will average 12 inches. Largemouth Bass – Good: Jig plastics in deeper brush piles during the day and cast shallow structure early morning for largemouth bass of all sizes.

Anglers report catching spawning bluegills last weekend. Look for post spawn crappies in deeper brush piles. For more information, contact the Cold Springs office at 712-769-2587.


Green Valley Lake
Largemouth Bass – Good: Catch largemouth bass up to 18 inches with jigs fished along cedar tree brush piles or stake beds. Bluegill – Good: Catch bluegill up to 8.5 inches with jigs or nightcrawlers fished along the fishing jetties or fishing piers. Black Crappie – Good: Catch crappie up to 9 inches using jigs or minnows fished along the fishing jetties or fishing piers.

Lake Icaria
Black Crappie – Fair: Catch crappie up to 10 inches with jigs or minnows fished along deep cedar tree brush piles. Walleye – Fair: Walleye of all sizes have been caught using jigs or minnows fished along the roadbed or trolling along mainlake points. Channel Catfish – Good: Channel catfish of all sizes have been caught using nightcrawlers fished along main lake points. Bluegill – Good: Catch bluegill up to 8.5 inches with jigs or nightcrawlers fished along the fish mounds.

Little River Watershed Lake
Walleye – Good: Catch walleyes up to 22 inches with jigs tipped with a minnow or leech
fished along the weed lines. Largemouth Bass – Good: Catch largemouth bass up to 18 inches using jigs fished near cedar tree brush piles. Bluegill – Fair: Catch bluegills up to 9 inches using jigs tipped with a waxworm or leaf worms fished along cedar tree brush piles or the fishing jetties. Channel Catfish – Fair: Catch channel catfish up to 10 pounds with nightcrawlers fished along weed lines.

Three Mile Lake
Walleye – Good: Catch walleyes up to 17 inches with jigs tipped with a minnow fished along the dam. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Catch largemouth bass up to 15 inches using finesse plastics fished along weed lines.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake
Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth bass of all sizes have been caught with jigs fished along cedar tree brush piles. Bluegill – Good: Catch bluegill up to 8.5 inches with jigs or nightcrawlers fished along the fishing jetties, rock reefs or flooded timber. Walleye– Fair: Catch walleyes up to 20 inches using jigs tipped with a minnow fished along the roadbed. Yellow Perch – Good: Catch yellow perch up to 12 inches with jigs or nightcrawlers fished along the roadbed or along the bottom in the main basin.

Water temperature in most district lakes is in the upper 70’s to low 80’s.. For more information, please call the Mount Ayr Fisheries office at 641-464-3108.

MISSOURI RIVER

Missouri River (Sioux City to Little Sioux)
Channel Catfish – Slow: A few anglers are catching catfish on worms and cut bait below wing dams and along the banks. Sauger – Fair: Spring is a good time to catch sauger and walleye on the Missouri. Use jigs tipped with minnows or worms below wing dams or where tributary streams or rivers come into the Missouri River. Shovelnose sturgeon – Good: Anglers are catching shovelnose sturgeon on live bait rigs tipped with worms. Freshwater Drum – Fair: Try using live bait rigs or jigs tipped with worms along the bank and around tributary stream or rivers where they join the Missouri River. Blue Catfish – No Report: Spring can be a great time to catch some big blue catfish. Use fresh cut bait with live bait rigs along wing dam tips or in or close to the main channel of the Missouri River.

Missouri River (Little Sioux to Council Bluffs)
Channel Catfish – Fair: A few anglers are catching catfish on worms and cut bait below wing dams and along the banks. Sauger – Fair: Spring is a good time to catch sauger and walleye on the Missouri. Use jigs tipped with minnows or worms below wing dams or where tributary streams or rivers come into the Missouri River. Shovelnose sturgeon – Good: Anglers are catching shovelnose sturgeon on live bait rigs tipped with worms. Freshwater Drum – Fair: Try using live bait rigs or jigs tipped with worms along the bank and around tributary stream or rivers where they join the Missouri River. Blue Catfish – No Report: Spring can be a great time to catch some big blue catfish. Use fresh cut bait with live bait rigs along wing dam tips or in or close to the main channel of the Missouri River.

Missouri River (Council Bluffs to Missouri State Line)
Channel Catfish – Fair: A few anglers are catching catfish on worms and cut bait below wing dams and along the banks. Sauger – Slow: Spring is a good time to catch sauger and walleye on the Missouri. Use jigs tipped with minnows or worms below wing dams or where tributary streams or rivers come into the Missouri River. Shovelnose sturgeon – Good: Anglers are catching shovelnose sturgeon on live bait rigs tipped with worms. Freshwater Drum – Fair: Try using live bait rigs or jigs tipped with worms along the bank and around tributary stream or rivers where they join the Missouri River. Blue Catfish – Fair: Anglers are catching a few blue catfish with fresh cut bait. Try by the wing dam tips, close to or in the main channel of the Missouri River for your best chance at getting bigger blue catfish.

The Missouri River at Decatur, Nebraska is at 25.69 ft. /51,100 cfs./73 degrees Fahrenheit. Missouri River water temperatures are up 9 degrees and water levels are up .02 feet from last week. Fishing continues to be slow with few anglers out with the higher water conditions on the Missouri River along the Iowa border. The Army Corps of Engineers is releasing water from Gavin’s Point Dam due to snow melt from up North, which has contributed to higher  water conditions