Saturday Morning Fishing Report: Bluegill are Good and Walleye are Fair

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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.

NORTHWEST

Black Hawk Lake
Water temperatures are in the mid 70’s. Water clarity is around 5 feet. Bluegill – Fair: The bluegill spawn is later than normal and not as condensed. Try Town Bay, Ice House Point, and the North Shore. Look for males in 2-3 feet of water with the females out a little deeper. Use a small hair or tube jig with a small piece of crawler fished under a bobber. 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. Muskellunge – Fair: There is a 40 inch minimum length limit on Musky at 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 – Fair: Use minnows and leaches in 5-15 feet of water. Black Crappie – Fair: Try minnows on a jig in 10-20 feet of water. Yellow Perch – Fair: Fish along the vegetation to find 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.

Crawford Creek Impoundment
Bluegill – Fair: Catch bluegill near shore with 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)
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: Boat anglers are doing well trolling crank baits or drifting crawler harnesses on the edges of the dredge cuts around the lake in about 8 feet of water. White Bass – Fair: Use crankbaits; most action has been from boat while fishing dredge cuts.

Swan Lake 
Bluegill – Fair: Use a small jig tipped with crawler along the dam and off the jetties. Most 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 mid to upper 70’s. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.


Beeds Lake
Black Crappie – Good: Drift fish or troll with tube jig or a small minnow. Bluegill – Fair: Use a small piece of crawler under a bobber in 2 to 4 feet of water.

Clear Lake
Surface water temperature is 70 degrees. Black Crappie – Slow: Crappies are done spawning and have moved to deeper water. Walleye – Fair: Try a slip bobber and leeches fished in the rocky reefs. Yellow Bass – Slow: 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 – Good: Use stink bait, chicken liver or crawlers on the bottom. Best bite is late evening. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try a spinner or topwater bait in the open spots in the vegetation.

Crystal Lake
Bluegill – Good: 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. Drift fish the dredge cut with tube jig or a small minnow 4 to 6 feet under a slip bobber. Walleye – Fair: Use leeches or nightcrawler in the old road bed. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass are biting spinners and plastic baits fished near vegetation.

Lake Smith
Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth bass are biting on a variety of baits. Bluegill – Good: Bluegill are biting. Use a small piece of crawler and a bobber in 2 to 3 feet of water.

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. 


East Okoboji Lake
Channel Catfish – Good: Use traditional baits in the evening. Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers report a improving panfish bite of bluegill and crappie. Try traditional baits fished in weed lines. Walleye – Good: Use crawlers or leeches. Yellow Bass – Good: Yellow bass activity has improved.

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: Use bottom bouncers tipped with crawlers or leeches. Yellow Bass– Good: Reports 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: Anglers report good action on the lake. Walleye – Good: Use live bait trolled on the bottom. Yellow Perch – Good: Try jigs tipped with wigglers along the weedlines.

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 are falling and clarity is improving. Baring more rain, water levels should stabilize. Visit the USGS Current Water Data website for current water level information. Walleye – Slow: Use a jig tipped with a crawler, minnow or twister tail. Channel Catfish – Fair: Catch catfish in the impoundments with dead chubs fished on bottom. Smallmouth Bass – Slow: Use a variety of jigs or spinners near brush piles. Black Crappie – Slow: Crappie are keying into shallow rocky shorelines. Use small jigs tipped with twister tail or minnow.

Decorah District Streams
Trout streams are clearing after last week’s rain, but flows remain high. A light spinning rod/reel combo is a perfect set up for beginning trout anglers. Yellow wild parsnip is starting to bloom. Catchable trout are stocked weekly as weather and water conditions permit. Listen to the trout stocking hotline (563-927-5736) for daily plans. Brook Trout– Good: A variety of aquatic and terrestrial insects, like ants and beetles, are more numerous. Use care not to spook a feeding fish. Brown Trout – Fair: Hendrickson, caddis, and cranefly hatches occurring. Use hendrickson, gnat or beadhead nymph patterns and watch the water boil. Pale yellow, black, brown, and grey colors work best.  Rainbow Trout – Good: 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. Water clarity is poor with recent rains. Black Crappie – Slow: Use small jigs in shallow areas. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Fish along edges of vegetation for a cruising bass. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use a worm under a bobber in the later evening. Bluegill – Slow: Try a small jig tipped with small piece of worm along the shoreline.

Lake Meyer
With recent rains, lake has about 1 feet visibility. Fish activity has dramatically slowed. Bluegill – Slow: Use a hook tipped with a worm in shallow water. Black Crappie– Slow: Try a hook tipped with a worm or small spinner bait along a rocky shoreline. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Use buzz or spinner baits in shallow bays. Northern Pike – Slow: Use a nightcrawler fished along the shallow weedy bays.

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
Water clarity is poor. Water temperatures are in the low 70’s. Water levels are falling. Flows are up. Paddling not recommended. Walleye – Slow: Bring an assortment of tackle to find what works best for your location and time of day. White Sucker – Slow: Use worms fished on the bottom.

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
Water levels are falling baring additional rainfall this weekend. Clarity is improving. Paddling not recommended. Flows remain high. Submersed hazards increase with falling water levels. Visit the USGS Current Water Data website for more information. Walleye – Slow: Cast bright colored jigs and twister tails near undercut banks and log jams. Best fishing is toward dusk. Smallmouth Bass – Slow: Use spinners around tributaries. Light colored jigs and crankbaits work best. Fish 10-12 inches common. White Sucker – Fair: 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 – Slow: Shallow, rocky, warmer areas are more productive. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Use topwater 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 – Slow: Use small jigs tipped with a small piece of worm along shallow rocky areas. Common Carp– Fair: Fish the shallow bays in the evening.

Last week’s heavy rain caused area water bodies to rise dramatically and turn muddy. Most are clearing, but are still high. Thunderstorm potential present daily with hot, humid weather. Temperatures in the 90s for highs over weekend. For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.


Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try topwater spinner baits or sinking plastic baits.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
Reports of anglers pursuing channel catfish on the Cedar River. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try dead cut baits stink bait or nightcrawlers fished on the bottom.

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
There has been angling activity on the Maquoketa River at the Whitewater Park in Delaware County this past week. Water clarity conditions improve every day, if we can avoid summer storms.

North Prairie Lake
Anglers are catching largemouth bass on North Prairie Lake. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Cast topwater frog baits, jigs and buzzbaits.

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
No reports from the Shell Rock River this past week due to high water levels.

South Prairie Lake
Anglers are catching largemouth bass on South Prairie Lake. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Cast topwater frog baits, jigs, Texas rigs and buzzbaits.

Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
No reports from the Wapsipinicon River this past week due to high water levels.

Most interior rivers remain high and turbid with the recent rainfall and storm events. The Maquoketa River is the most clear of all of them. Most Black Hawk County area lake fishing reports have been fair to good for largemouth bass. Call the N.E. Iowa district office at 563-927-3276 for more information.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9
River level is 10 feet at Lansing with a slow fall this week. Water temperature is near 72 degrees. New Albin ramp road is closed this week. The Lansing Village Creek ramp and parking lot will be closed for construction after August 1st. For more updates, call the Guttenberg Fisheries Management office at 563-252-1156. Walleye – Good: Some walleye are being caught trolling crankbaits along bottom structure and wing dams.  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 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 up a foot around 18.9 feet with a gradual fall predicted. Water temperature is 72 degrees at the Lock 9. Walleye– Good: Some walleye are being caught trolling crankbaits along bottom structure and wing dams. 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 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 is up about a foot at 10 feet and expected to gradually fall to 9 feet this week. Water temperature is 67 degrees at the Lock and Dam 10. Walleye– Good: Some walleye are being caught trolling crankbaits along bottom structure and wing dams. 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 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 remain high this week with poor water quality from recent heavy rains. Main channel water temperatures are in the mid 70’s; lots of vegetation present. Panfishing is excellent and fishing overall has been good for multiple species this week.


Mississippi River Pool 12
Water levels rose three feet from last weekend’s rain, but the water is receding. Water levels are 10 feet at the Dubuque Lock and 12.1 feet at the RR Bridge. Water clarity is turbid. The channel water temperature is around 72 degrees. White Bass – No Report: White bass have been seen chasing minnows in the tailwaters. Use small spinners or jigs. Bluegill – No Report: Reports of some bluegills being caught on worms near shore and by structure in the back waters. Smallmouth Bass – No Report: Fishing for smallies along rock current lines was productive before the river turned muddy. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Catfish are along the rocks. Float bobbers with worms or leaches along rock lines. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Lots of bass of all sizes were being caught in a variety of habitats before the water turned turbid. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Loads of freshwater drum are being reported out of nearly every section of Pool 12. Most anglers use a simple egg sinker and worm rig. Flathead Catfish – Good: Flathead bite should continue to get good as they begin to spawn. Anglers are mostly using green sunfish for bait.

Mississippi River Pool 13
The water rose nearly three feet after last weekend’s showers. Minor flooding may still be occurring on some smaller boat ramps, but water is receding. The courtesy dock at DNR ramp is in place. The north ramp at Sabula is not in use this year due to bridge construction. The channel water temperature is around 73 degrees. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Spring Lake has been good all year. Some bass are being caught out of Middle Sabula Lake and Green Island. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Catfish are spawning along the rocks. Float bobbers with worms or leaches along rock lines. Black Crappie – No Report: Some crappies were showing up in the creel.before last week’s rain; anglers were targeting crappies in the backwater sloughs along tree piles. Smallmouth Bass – No Report: Smallies have moved in along the rocky shorelines. Use spinners or jigs and cast near the rocks. The water has been too turbid this week for effective smallmouth fishing. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: The drum bite is on. Fish worms with an egg sinker in moderate current areas. You may even catch some channel catfish, too. Northern Pike – No Report: Some northern pike are being caught in the Bellevue tailwater on crankbaits and spinners. Flathead Catfish – Good: Use live chubs, bluegills or bullheads in deep holes or above large brush piles.

Mississippi River Pool 14
Water levels rose considerably last weekend. Levels are receding and are 11.3 feet near Fulton, 13.8 feet at Camanche and 8.2 feet at LeClaire.  The water temperature is around 73 degrees. Water clarity is poor. Largemouth Bass – No Report: Before the muddy water after last week’s rain, the bass bite was on in Pool 14. Bass of all sizes were being reported on a variety of tackle. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Catfish are moving in to spawn along the rocks. Float bobbers with worms or leaches along rock lines. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Use a simple egg sinker/worm rig in moderate current areas. Flathead Catfish – Good: Use bank poles with live bullheads or green sunfish.

Mississippi River Pool 15
Water levels rose rapidly last weekend, but are now receding. Water clarity is poor. The water temperature is near 74 degrees. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Catfish are moving in to spawn along the rocks. Float bobbers with worms or leaches along rock lines. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: The drum bite is on and will resume once the water levels recede; use an egg sinker and worm rig. Floating debris has been an issue.

A big rain event last weekend changed the river condition. The river experienced a rapid rise in levels, which peaked on Tuesday and is now receding. Water clarity is turbid, but slowly getting better. Lots of debris is floating in the channel. If you have any angling questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.


Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 12.10 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in Davenport. Tailwater stages have risen close to 3 feet since last weekend due to recent heavy rains. Fishing has been slow with the muddy water conditions. Walleye – No Report: Walleye fishing will be tough with the higher and muddy water conditions. Look for walleyes on the wing dams. Troll or cast crankbaits. Trolling three-way rigs with crawlers works, too. Bluegill – No Report: Look for bluegills in the backwaters close to shore around brush piles and logs. Use pieces of worm under a bobber. Some bluegills are being caught in Sunset Marina. Channel Catfish – Fair: Some channel catfish are being caught on dip baits.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 11.49 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine. Tailwater stage has risen close to 3 feet since last weekend. Fishing has been tough with the muddy water conditions. Big Timber is closed due to high water.  Bluegill – No Report: Look for bluegills in the backwaters around brush piles and logs. Try fishing with pieces of worm under a bobber. Walleye – No Report: Wing dam fishing for walleyes will be tough with the muddy water conditions. Cast or troll crankbaits on the wing dams. Trolling 3-way rigs with crawlers on the wing dams works, too.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 13.23 feet at Lock and Dam 17 above New Boston. Tailwater stage has risen close to 3 feet since last weekend. The ramps at Toolsboro are flooded due to high water. Walleye – No Report: Wing dam fishing will be tough with the high and muddy water conditions. Look for walleyes on the wing dams. Troll or cast crankbaits. Trolling three-way rigs with crawlers works, too. Bluegill – No Report: Look for bluegills up shallow in the backwaters. Try fishing with pieces of worm under a bobber around brush piles and logs.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 8.94 feet at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington. River levels are forecasted to reach 9.6 feet over the weekend. Floodstage is 10 feet. Fishing has been slow with the high and muddy water conditions. Bluegill – No Report: Look for bluegills up shallow in the backwaters. Try fishing around brush piles and logs. Walleye – No Report: Wing dam fishing for walleyes will be tough with the high and muddy water conditions. Look for walleyes on the wing dams. Cast or troll crankbaits. Trolling three-way rigs with crawlers works too.

River stages are below flood stage, but have risen since last weekend due to recent heavy rains. Main channel water temperature is around 73 degrees and water clarity is poor. Fishing has been tough with the muddy water conditions. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

SOUTHEAST

Big Hollow Lake
Water had cooled down some, but expect it to go right back up the next few days. Largemouth Bass – Fair: The spawn has wrapped up; adults 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 moved back out into deeper water. Work the 6 to 8 foot deep water.

Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River)
The Iowa River below where the Cedar River comes in is going up as water from the Mason City rains comes down the Cedar River. Channel Catfish – Fair: Work to logjams and you can catch some nice fish. Also work the high cut banks as catfish get ready to spawn.

Lake Belva Deer
Water temperature has been in the mid 70’s. Don’t plan on it staying there much longer with the hot forecast. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass fishing is improving as the fish finish recovering from the spawn. Bluegill – Fair: Most have moved out to deeper water. Smaller ones are still in shallow hiding from the bass. 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
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass fishing is picking up as the post spawn bass go back on the feed. Channel Catfish – Good: Catfish are in the rocks down at the dam and along the deeper shorelines spawning. Bluegill – Fair: Most of the bluegills have moved out to 5-6 feet of water.

Lost Grove Lake
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass are starting to go back on the feed; look for them in the early morning and late afternoon in shallow feeding on little bluegills. Bluegill– Fair: Mostly smaller ones are in shallow; the bigger ones are out deeper most of the time. Channel Catfish – Fair: Catfish are hanging off the face of the dam and around some of the underwater mounds.

Skunk River (Rose Hill to Coppock)
The Skunk River water levels are holding steady. Channel Catfish – Good: Catfishing has picked up with the stable water levels. Flathead Catfish – Fair: Anglers are catching flatheads on bank poles.

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


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 – Good: Some spawning fish are being caught along the rocks; best action is drifting or trolling cut bait in the channel. Black Crappie – Fair: Fish steep rock banks for suspended fish.

Diamond Lake
No minnows are allowed here. The fish cleaning station is open. Black Crappie – Fair: Try small jigs fished around the brush piles or drift the basin. Most fish are 7-9 inches. Pink and black tube jigs have been the hot colors. Bluegill – Good: Use small jigs or worms around shallow rock or brush. Many fish are around 6-7 inches. Channel Catfish – Fair: Catfishing has picked up over the past week.

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. Black Crappie – Fair: Fish the weed line or offshore for suspended crappies. Most fish are around 8 inches. Some bigger fish are being caught out deeper. 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 back down in the 70’s. The fish cleaning station at the primitive campground and main ramp are both open. Only motors under 10hp may be used at no-wake speed. Black Crappie – Slow: Fish deeper brush or look for suspended fish off breaks. Walleye – Fair: Cast toward shallow, windblown rocks or troll or jig live bait. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Some fish are still shallow while other fish have pulled off to deeper rock for the summer. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Slow: Look for schools roaming deep water feeding on juvenile shad. Bluegill – Fair: Use a small jig or worm around shallow cover. Size is marginal at best. Channel Catfish – Fair: Evenings are 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 – Good: Fish windblown shores or look for schools in open water.  Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Good: These are mixed in with the white bass. Bluegill – Fair: Fish weed edges. Channel Catfish – Slow.

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


Des Moines River (Ottumwa to Farmington)
Channel Catfish – Fair: Target log jams and rocked areas; channel catfish are spawning.

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: Try fishing deep structure with a jig and minnow. Some fish should still be shallow. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use nightcrawlers in areas along the fishing jetties.

Lake Sugema
Walleye – Slow: Use nightcrawlers or jig and minnows along the dam. Largemouth Bass– Good: Cast spinnerbaits or crankbaits along the fishing jetties and rip-rapped shorelines. Target deeper structure with rubber worms as the day heats 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 aquatic vegetation. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use dead chubs or nightcrawlers along the dam or around the fishing jetties.

Lake Wapello
Channel Catfish – Good: Use nightcrawlers around areas with rip-rapped shorelines or rock piles. Largemouth Bass – Good: Try spinnerbaits and crankbaits around the cedar tree piles. Fish deeper structure as temperatures warm. Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs tipped with a chunk of nightcrawler in areas around aquatic vegetation or near the fishing jetties.

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: Use minnows around deeper structure. Some fish can still be caught shallow around the docks. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: Troll 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: Cast the shorelines in the early part of the day and then fish deeper structure as the day warms up. Black Crappie – Fair: Try tube jigs along the shorelines. Bluegill – Good: Use small jigs tipped with live bait around the shorelines and aquatic vegetation. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try nightcrawlers around the fishing jetties or along the dam.

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 being caught in the shallow bays on the upper half of the lake between the fishing jetties and drifting small jigs tipped with crawlers through the flooded timber.

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 twister tails or minnows. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Good: Wiper fishing is picking up in the main lake trolling and casting crankbaits.

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: 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: Good: Cast small panfish plastics or bobber fishing crawlers for nice size bluegill.

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 crankbaits.

Rock Creek Lake
White Crappie – Fair: Drift or slowly troll jigs or minnows in the lower portion of the lake between the beach and dam. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are being caught shallow and drifting with nightcrawlers. The larger fish are 7.5 to 8 inches. Channel Catfish – Good: Use nightcrawlers fished on the bottom or near the bottom (6 feet deep or less) under a bobber.

Bluegill fishing and catfishing is excellent in Central Iowa. 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: Largemouth bass are 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
Catch bluegills on top of underwater reefs. 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 bluegills are spawning on the reefs and roadbeds. 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 black crappie around underwater reefs and tree piles. Fish will average 10 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Catch bluegill on the underwater reefs. Cast small jigs for fish averaging 8 inches.

Orient Lake
Channel Catfish – Good: Catch 18-20 inch channel catfish with cut bait or shrimp below the sediment structure where water is running into the lake.

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
Find crappies and largemouth bass on deeper brush piles. Channel catfish have moved in around jetties and rocky shorelines. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappies are starting to be caught in the deeper tree piles. Sorting is needed for larger fish. Channel Catfish – No Report: Cast cut bait or liver close to rocky shorelines for catfish up to 10 pounds.
Largemouth Bass – Good: Jig plastics in deeper brush piles during the day and cast shallow structure early morning for largemouth bass of all sizes.

Bluegill fishing has been good in the southwest district. Catfish are moving close to rocky shorelines. 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 or finesse plastics fished along cedar tree brush piles. Bluegill – Good: Catch bluegill up to 8.5 inches with jigs or nightcrawlers fished along the fishing jetties. Black Crappie – Fair: Catch crappie up to 9 inches using jigs or minnows fished along the cedar tree brush piles or near rocky areas. Walleye – Fair: Catch walleye up to 23 inches with minnows fished in 10-15 feet of water.

Lake Icaria
Walleye – Fair: Walleye of all sizes have been caught using jigs or minnows fished along the roadbed or trolling along main lake points. Channel Catfish – Good: Channel catfish of all sizes have been caught using nightcrawlers fished along rocky shoreline areas. Bluegill – Good: Catch bluegill up to 8.5 inches with jigs or nightcrawlers fished along the fish mounds.

Little River Watershed Lake
Walleye – Fair: Catch walleyes up to 22 inches with jigs tipped with a minnow or leech
fished along the weed lines, especially in the morning or evenings. Largemouth Bass– Good: Catch largemouth bass up to 18 inches using finesse plastics fished near cedar tree brush piles or along weed lines. Bluegill – Fair: Catch bluegills up to 9 inches with nightcrawlers or leaf worms fished in 10-15 feet of water along cedar tree brush piles. Channel Catfish – Good: Catch channel catfish up to 10 pounds with nightcrawlers fished along rocky shoreline areas.

Three Mile Lake
Walleye – Fair: Catch walleyes up to 17 inches with minnows fished along the roadbed. Largemouth Bass – Good: Catch largemouth bass up to 12 inches using finesse plastics fished along weed lines. Bluegill – Fair: Catch bluegill up to 7 inches with nightcrawlers fished along the fishing jetties. Black Crappie – Fair: Catch crappies up to 7 inches using minnows fished along the fishing jetties.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake
Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth bass of all sizes have been caught with finesse plastics 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 – Good: Catch walleyes up to 25 inches using using minnows or leeches fished in 10-15 feet of water. Yellow Perch – Fair: Catch yellow perch up to 12 inches with jigs or nightcrawlers fished along main lake points. Black Crappie – Fair: Catch crappies up to 10 inches using minnows fished in the flooded timber.

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 – Good: Use worms and stink bait below wing dams and along the banks. Sauger – Slow: Try jigs tipped with minnows or worms below wing dams or where tributary streams or rivers come into the Missouri River. Shovelnose sturgeon – Fair: Use 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 report catching a few blue catfish on rod and reel and trotlines. Use live bait or fresh cut bait with live bait rigs along wing dam tips or in or close to the main channel of the Missouri River. Flathead Catfish – Good: Flathead catfish are being caught on trotlines and rod and reel using live baits (chubs, bullheads, green sunfish). Fish below wing dam tip, near rock structures, logs and along the bank with deeper water nearby.

Missouri River (Little Sioux to Council Bluffs)
Channel Catfish – Good: Use worms and stink bait below wing dams and along the banks. Sauger – Slow: Try jigs tipped with minnows or worms below wing dams or where tributary streams or rivers come into the Missouri River. Shovelnose sturgeon – Fair: Use 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 report catching a few blue catfish on rod and reel and trotlines. Use live bait or fresh cut bait with live bait rigs along wing dam tips or in or close to the main channel of the Missouri River. Flathead Catfish – Good: Flathead catfish are being caught on trotlines and rod and reel using live baits (chubs, bullheads, green sunfish). Fish below wing dam tip, near rock structures, logs and along the bank with deeper water nearby.

Missouri River (Council Bluffs to Missouri State Line)
Channel Catfish – Good: Use worms and stink bait below wing dams and along the banks. Sauger – Slow: Use jigs tipped with minnows or worms below wing dams or where tributary streams or rivers come into the Missouri River. Shovelnose sturgeon – Fair: Use 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 on rod and reel and trotlineswith fresh cut bait or live 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. Flathead Catfish – Good: Flathead catfish are being caught on trotlines and rod and reel using live baits (chubs, bullheads, green sunfish). Fish below wing dam tip, near rock structures, logs and along the bank with deeper water nearby.

The Missouri River at Decatur, Nebraska is at 25.80 ft. /51,000 cfs./72 degrees Fahrenheit. Missouri River water temperatures are up one degree and water levels are up 0.55 feet from last week. Fishing has been fair to good. Water levels are still high 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.