Saturday Morning Fishing Report: Black Crappie and Yellow Bass Are Fair

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

Beeds Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Drift fish or troll with a tube jig or small minnow. Yellow Bass – Fair: Drift fish or troll with a small jig.

Clear Lake
Surface water temperature is 72 degrees. Walleye – Fair: Troll crankbaits in 6 to 10 feet of water. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use cut bait or crawlers fished after sunset. Black Crappie – Slow: Drift a jig and minnow over deeper submerged vegetation. Yellow Bass– Fair: Drift or troll a small jig tipped with cut bait or a minnow in 6 to 10 feet of water until you find the fish.

Crystal Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Drift or troll small tube jigs in the dredge cut.

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
Yellow Bass – Good: Excellent bite continues with good numbers of fish being caught. Cast mini-jigs or hair-jigs or use small baits tipped with wigglers. Walleye – Good: Numbers of fish are being caught with traditional baits; good numbers of yellow bass are mixed in with the catch. Bluegill – Good: The bite has fluctuated with the changing weather, but persistence will be rewarded with good numbers caught.

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

Lost Island Lake
Walleye – Good: Walleye action has improved; reports of the best action in areas with flow. Yellow Bass – Good: Reports of yellow bass being caught with black crappie and yellow perch up to 10 inches mixed in the catch. Use small lures such as a twister tail or hair jigs. Channel Catfish – Good: Anglers report catching large channel catfish after dark.  Bluegill – Good: Recent surveys show numbers of fish about 7 inches in the lake. Black Crappie – Good: Recent surveys show numbers of angler acceptable size fish up to 10 inches in the lake.

Spirit Lake
Walleye – Fair: The walleye bite has slowed, but persistence will be rewarded with good catches of fish. Yellow Perch – Good: Good numbers of angler acceptable size yellow perch are being caught shallow; start on the outside line of the weed beds. Bluegill – Good: Reports of bluegill, crappie and yellow perch being caught in the Illinois Pondweed in 8 – 10 feet of water. Use a slip bobber and jigs to fish fast and find active fish.

Trumbull Lake
Yellow Perch – Fair: Anglers fishing from a boat or kayak report some perch action from the lake.

Tuttle Lake
Walleye – Fair: Use crankbaits in the basin.

West Fork Des Moines (state line to Emmetsburg)
Channel Catfish – Good: Reports of fish being caught from the river. Use traditional baits for the best “pole bending” action. Walleye – Good: Report of walleye action picking up on the river.

West Okoboji Lake
Bluegill – Good: Rock piles in deeper water with stands of 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 have stabilized and are near summer levels. Visit the USGS Current Water Data website for current water level information. Walleye – Good: Use a jig tipped with a twister tail or minnow in deeper water or a spinnerbait in slack water pockets. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Fish midday on overcast days or dawn and dusk. A variety of baits are working.

Decorah District Streams
Due to marginal stream temperatures, some streams are not stocked during August. Listen to the trout stocking hotline (563-927-5736) for daily information. 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 – Good: Hendrickson caddis and cranefly hatches are occurring. Crickets are common along streams now. Use hendrickson gnat or beadhead nymph patterns. 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
Planktonic green algae bloom continues on the lake. Water temperatures are in the low 80’s. Black Crappie – Fair: Slowly reel a minnow on a hook over structure. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try near submersed rocky habitat or depth contours in the early morning.  Channel Catfish – Good: Use a large nightcrawler fished off the bottom near woody structure. Bluegill – Fair: Activity should pick up with cooler temperatures. Try a small jig tipped with small piece of worm off rocky shoreline or near submersed logs.

Lake Meyer
Water temperatures are in the mid 70’s; excellent water clarity. Bluegill – Good: Use a hook tipped with a small piece of worm or cricket under a bobber near weed edges. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try stink bait or cut baits fished just off the bottom in the evening. Largemouth Bass – Good: Use topwater baits  along weed edges on overcast days and late evenings.

Osborne Pond
Osborne Pond is currently being renovated. The dam was breached in July and a water retention basin installed. Material will be removed over the winter and new habitat installed in spring. After repairs to the dam are made, it will be allowed to fill. The pond will then be restocked with bluegill, channel catfish, and largemouth bass.

Turkey River (above Clermont)
The Turkey continues to be hit or miss. Water temperatures are in the low 70’s. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Use crawfish imitators or spinners in slack water areas off riffles. Walleye – Fair: Try minnows or lures imitating minnows in deep water drop offs.

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
Water levels have stabilized with good clarity. Visit the USGS Current Water Data website for more information. Walleye – Good: Catch varies. Try natural colored jigs and twister tails or a spinnerbait. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Use crankbaits near rocky ledges undercut banks and current breaks.

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
Water clarity is good and levels are relatively stable. Walleye – Fair: Cast a jig and twister tail into deep water drop offs and eddies. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Cast a crankbait or spinner near a rock ledge or into a current break.

Volga Lake
The algae bloom continues, but should clear with cooling temperatures. Black Crappie– Slow: Slowly retrieve a lure over structure at dawn and dusk. Largemouth Bass– Good: Use topwater lures over structure or run a jig tipped with a twister tail along a rocky shoreline. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Use stink bait worms or cut baits fished off the bottom in the evening near woody structure. Bluegill – Fair: Use a small jig tipped with a small piece of worm along rocky shoreline.

Greater chance for thunderstorms Friday as higher temperatures and humidity return. Temperatures for the weekend will be in the mid 80’s. Area rivers and streams are at seasonal levels. Trout streams are in good condition. For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.


Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
Casey Lake is in good condition with clear water. Vegetation remains abundant around edges, but it is starting to die back. Catfish, bluegill, crappie and bass are biting well. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Best bite is mornings and evenings. Bluegill – Good: Try fishing various depths with a piece of crawler under a bobber near the edge of weeds or structure. Channel Catfish – Good: Catfish are biting on a variety of baits. Best bite is early morning and late evening. Catfish size has been excellent. Black Crappie – Fair: Jig tube jigs or fish a minnow under a bobber near structure in the lake towards the dam area.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
The Cedar River continues to improve. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Cast artificial baits along rocky shorelines. Walleye – Good: A jig tipped with a half crawler and twister tail is a deadly combination this time of year. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Use stink baits in the top or upstream end of log jams. Flathead Catfish – Fair: Fish the larger snags with live bait.

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
The Maquoketa River is in excellent condition. Smallmouth bass and walleye fishing should be good throughout Delaware and Jones counties.

Martens Lake
Expect to fish through and around vegetation. Adjust tactics as needed, including heavy baits or topwater options. Reports of some quality size bass being caught. Largemouth Bass – Good: Use weedless artificial lures with the dense vegetation. Try also topwater frog imitation baits.

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
Walleye – Good: A jig tipped with a half crawler and twister tail is a deadly combination this time of year. Northern Pike – Fair: Float a live chub or shiner under a bobber or cast larger artificial spoons or lures. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Cast crankbaits along and near rock shorelines.

Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
The Wapsipinicon River continues to fall in Buchanan County; conditions have vastly improved. Reports of anglers doing well on northern pike on the Upper Wapsipinicon in Bremer County. Northern Pike – Good: Cast large bucktail spinners.

Some interior rivers received little rainfall, but some more than others. The Cedar and Shell Rock in Butler County remain in good condition and anglers are doing well. The Wapsipinicon and Maquoketa Rivers remain a bit high and muddy. 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 is 8.5 feet at Lansing and is expected to remain steady. Water temperature is near 75 degrees. The Lansing Village Creek ramp is closed through October.  For more updates, call the Guttenberg Fisheries Management office at 563-252-1156. Walleye– Good: Water levels are at a good level to find walleyes on wing dams. Use a 3-way rig with a floating jig and a worm. Yellow Perch – Fair: Perch bite has been spotty, but some nicer ones are being caught with live minnow rigs. Northern Pike – Good: This time of year pike are attracted to cooler water coming in from springs and tributaries. Channel Catfish – Good: Try cut bait or stink bait in the main and side channel borders. Largemouth Bass – Good: With lower water levels, bass will be pulling out to wing dams and structure along the main channel. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Find smallmouth along shorelines in slight current off rocky points. White Bass – Fair: Cast flashy spinners or crankbaits along the rocks in main channel current for big white bass. Bluegill – Excellent: Use light tackle tipped with small piece of worm under a bobber in 4-6 feet of water. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Freshwater drum are actively biting in areas of current. Drop a heavily weighted worm rig into the current for some big fish action. Black Crappie – Good: Try tube jigs or minnow under a bobber in submersed trees in the backwater sloughs.

Mississippi River Pool 10
River level is 13.5 feet at Lynxville and is expected to remain fairly steady. Water temperature is 77 degrees at the Lock and Dam 9. Walleye– Fair: Water levels are at a good level to find walleyes on wing dams. Use a 3-way rig with a floating jig and a worm. Yellow Perch – Fair: Perch bite has been spotty, but some nicer ones are being caught with live minnow rigs. Northern Pike -Good: This time of year pike are attracted to cooler water coming in from springs and tributaries. Channel Catfish – Good: Try cut bait or stink bait in the main and side channel borders. 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 – Good: With lower water levels, bass will be pulling out to wing dams and structure along the main channel. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Find smallmouth along shorelines in slight current off rocky points. White Bass – Fair: Cast flashy spinners or crankbaits along the rocks in the main channel current for big white bass. Bluegill – Excellent: Use light tackle tipped with small piece of worm under a bobber in 4-6 feet of water. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Freshwater drum are actively biting in areas of current. Drop a heavily weighted worm rig into the current for some big fish action. Black Crappie – Good: Try tube jigs or minnow under a bobber in submersed trees in the backwater sloughs.

Mississippi River Pool 11
River level is 5.3 feet at Guttenberg and is expected to remain steady. Water temperature is 72 degrees at Lock and Dam 10. Walleye – Fair: Water levels are at a good level to find walleyes on wing dams. Use a 3-way rig with a floating jig and a worm. Yellow Perch – Fair: Perch bite has been spotty, but some nicer ones are being caught with live minnow rigs. Northern Pike – Excellent: This time of year, pike are attracted to cooler water coming in from springs and tributaries. Channel Catfish – Good: Try cut bait or stink bait in the main and side channel borders. Largemouth Bass – Good: With lower water levels, bass will be pulling out to wing dams and structure along the main channel. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Find smallmouth along shorelines in slight current off rocky points. White Bass – Fair: Cast flashy spinners or crankbaits along the rocks in main channel current for big white bass. Bluegill– Excellent: Use light tackle tipped with small piece of worm under a bobber in 4-6 feet of water. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Freshwater drum are actively biting in areas of current. Drop a heavily weighted worm rig into the current for some big fish action. Black Crappie – Good: Try tube jigs or minnow under a bobber in submersed trees in the backwater sloughs.

Upper Mississippi River levels are low with good water clarity. Now is the time to get out fishing. Boaters should use caution with the lower water with wing dams and sandbars now near the surface. Water temperatures are in the mid 70’s.


Mississippi River Pool 12
Water levels will drop to around 5.5 feet at the Dubuque Lock and Dam and at 8.0 feet at the RR bridge. Expect water levels to drop slowly this upcoming week. Water clarity is good. The water temperature is around 82 degrees. Channel Catfish – Excellent:Try stink bait or worms near shore. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Most anglers use a simple egg sinker and worm rig. Drum will be hanging out relatively near shore in moderate current areas. Largemouth Bass – Excellent: Largemouth bass are being caught along flooded weed lines and in weedy backwater using lures like scum frogs.  White Bass – Good: Look for schools of white bass feeding on the surface in the morning and evenings. Bluegill – Excellent: Try along the vegetation lines in 4 to 6 feet of water. Flathead Catfish – Good: Current areas along rocks are starting to again produce some nice eating sized flathead catfish. Walleye – Good: Use crankbaits on the wing dams. White Crappie – Good: Try small minnows in newly exposed brush piles along major side channels or deeper backwater areas. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Use spinners or crankbaits along rocky areas with strong current.

Mississippi River Pool 13
Water level will drop to around 5.6 at the Bellevue Lock and Dam. Expect water levels to recede this upcoming week. Water clarity is good. The water temperature is around 83 degrees. The north ramp at Sabula is not in use this year due to bridge construction. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Try stink bait or worms near shore. Move often if you are not finding catfish. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: The drum bite is on. Fish worms with an egg sinker in moderate current areas. Fish near the shorelines if possible. Largemouth Bass – Excellent: Most are feeding along the edge of weed lines. Use a bright colored spinner that imitates minnows. Try also frog imitation lures in the weedy backwaters. White Bass – Good: Look for feeding schools of white bass in the morning and evenings. Small spinners and white jigs work best. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills have returned  to the creel. Try fishing along vegetation lines in 4 to 6 feet of water. Flathead Catfish – Good: Try live bait in high current areas or above large brush piles.  Smallmouth Bass – Good: Focus on rock lines and piles with strong current. Spinner jigs and crankbaits work best. White Crappie – Good: Some nice crappies were reported coming out of deeper backwater areas along newly exposed brush piles.

Mississippi River Pool 14
Water levels are predicted to drop to 5.5 feet at Fulton Lock and Dam, 9.8 feet at Camanche and 4.8 feet at the LeClaire. Expect water levels to drop t