SATURDAY MORNING FISHING REPORT: Most Fishing Remains Fair in the Area

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 69 degrees. Walleye – Fair: Troll crankbaits in 6 to 10 feet of water. Channel Catfish – Good: With recent rains and more predicted for next week, cut bait or crawlers in areas where water is entering the lake. Black Crappie – Fair: 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. Muskellunge – Fair: Fish the edge of the vegetation and near docks.

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
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 approaching 7 inches in the lake. Black Crappie – Good: Recent surveys show numbers of angler acceptable size fish up to 10 inches in the lake.

Ocheyedan Pit #1
Channel Catfish – Fair: Recent surveys show good numbers of 17 -23 inch channel catfish.

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 continue to be caught; start shallow 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.

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 crested after Tuesday’s rain. Flows remain high. Clarity is poor. Use caution when boating as large woody debris and other materials may be on the move.  Visit the USGS Current Water Data website for current water level information. Walleye – Slow: Use a jig tipped with a twister tail or minnow in deeper water or a spinnerbait in slack water pockets. Smallmouth Bass – Slow: Fish midday on overcast days or dawn and dusk. A variety of baits are working. Channel Catfish – Good: Fresh food inputs from recent rain should turn the catfish bite on; use chicken liver or dead chubs.

Decorah District Streams
Streams with better watersheds will clear quicker, especially after Tuesday’s rain. Without more rain, streams should clear enough to fish by the weekend. 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 – Fair: A variety of aquatic and terrestrial insects, like ants and beetles, are more numerous. Use care not to spook a feeding fish. Brown Trout – Excellent: 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 – Fair: 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 work well.

French Creek
The bridge on Mays Prairie Road (CR X6A) is being replaced. Work is scheduled through mid-November. Access the parking lot from the south. Brown Trout – Good: The best time to fish French Creek is after rain events so fish will be less spooky. This stream rarely turns off color.

Lake Hendricks
Planktonic green algae bloom continues on the lake. Water temperatures are in the low 70’s. Cooler weather should help clear the bloom. 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. With Tuesday’s rain, lake clarity is poor. Bluegill– Slow: Use a hook tipped with a small piece of worm or cricket under a bobber near weed edges. Channel Catfish – Good: Try stink bait or cut baits fished just off the bottom in the evening. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Use topwater baits along weed edges on overcast days and late evenings. Black Crappie – Slow: Use a jig and minnow near submersed structure.

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 the 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 River continues to rise. Flows remain high. Visit the USGS Current Condition website for more information. Use care when boating, especially with unpredictable currents. Water temperatures are in the low 70’s. Visibility is poor. Smallmouth Bass – Slow: Use crawfish imitators or spinners in slack water areas off riffles. Walleye – Slow: Try minnows or lures imitating minnows in deep water drop offs.

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
Water levels are variable with poor clarity. Visit the USGS Current Water Data websitefor more information. Paddling activities are not recommended. Walleye – Slow: Catch varies. Try natural colored jigs and twister tails or a spinnerbait. Smallmouth Bass– Slow: Use crankbaits near rocky ledges undercut banks and current breaks.

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
Water clarity is poor. Water levels are dropping. Current velocities are very swift. Paddling activities are not recommended. Visit the USGS Current Conditions websitefor more information. Walleye – Slow: Cast a jig and twister tail into deep water drop offs and eddies. Smallmouth Bass – Slow: 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 shorelines.

Prepare for a stormy holiday weekend in Northeast Iowa. Temperatures ranging from upper 70’s for highs to upper 50’s for lows. Area rivers and streams are up and muddy after recent rain events. Trout streams are currently off color and should clear without more heavy downpours. For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.


Big Woods Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Try finding structure; use a crappie minnow under a slip bobber at various depths.

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. Bluegill – Fair: Try fishing various depths with a piece of crawler under a bobber near the edge of weeds or structure.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
The Cedar River received a fair amount of rain this past week; there have been no angling reports. Channel catfish may be the best opportunity on the river right now. Channel Catfish – Good Use stink baits in the top or upstream end of log jams.

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

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
The Shell Rock River received a fair amount of rain this past week; there have been no angling reports. Channel catfish may be the best opportunity on the river right now. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use stink baits in the top or upstream end of log jams.

South Prairie Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Try finding structure; use a crappie minnow under a slip bobber at various depths.

Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
The Wapsipinicon River received a little rain in Buchanan County, but conditions remain good for angling opportunities.  Northern Pike – Good: Cast large bucktail spinners.

The Cedar and Shell Rock in Butler County received a fair amount of rain this past week. The Wapsipinicon and Maquoketa Rivers remain in decent shape for angling opportunities. Trout streams remain in excellent condition, but the extended forecast is calling for potential heavy rains. Call the N.E. Iowa district office at 563-927-3276 for more information.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9
River level at Lansing has risen to 9.8 feet and is expected to rise another foot next week. Water temperature is near 73 degrees. The Lansing Village Creek ramp is closed through October.  For more updates, call the Guttenberg Fisheries Management office at 563-252-1156. Walleye – Fair: Water levels are rising; you will need to move around to find walleyes.  Use a 3-way rig with a floating jig and a worm. Yellow Perch – No Report: Perch bite has been spotty, but some nicer ones are being caught with live minnow rigs. Northern Pike – No Report: 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 – Slow: The bass bite has slowed with the poor water clarity this week. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: The bite has slowed with the poor water clarity this week. White Bass – Fair: Cast flashy spinners or crankbaits along the rocks in main channel current for big white bass. Bluegill– Fair: Find bluegills in clearer water with slow current in backwater areas away from main channel and sloughs.  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 – Slow: Expect the crappie bite to pick up after the water clarity improves. Try tube jigs or minnow under a bobber in submersed trees in the backwater sloughs.

Mississippi River Pool 10
River level at Lynxville rose 3 feet this week to 16.4 feet. It is expected to remain around this level pending any more precipitation. Water temperature is 75 degrees at the Lock and Dam 9. Walleye– Fair: Water levels are rising; you need to move around to find walleyes.  Use a 3-way rig with a floating jig and a worm. Yellow Perch – No Report: Perch bite has been spotty, but some nicer ones are being caught with live minnow rigs. Northern Pike -No Report: 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 – Fair: Find bluegills in clearer water with slow current in backwater areas away from main channel and sloughs. Largemouth Bass – Slow: The bass bite has slowed with the poor water clarity this week.  Smallmouth Bass – Slow: The bass bite has slowed with the poor water clarity this week.  White Bass – Fair: Cast flashy spinners or crankbaits along the rocks in the main channel current for big white bass. Bluegill – Fair: Find the bluegills in clearer water with slow current in backwater areas away from main channel and sloughs.  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 – Slow: Expect the crappie bite to pick up after the water clarity improves. Try tube jigs or minnow under a bobber in submersed trees in the backwater sloughs.

Mississippi River Pool 11
River level at Guttenberg has risen several feet to 7.4 feet and is expected to reach 9.5 feet next week. Water temperature is 68 degrees at Lock and Dam 10. Walleye– Fair: Water levels are rising; you need to move around to find walleyes. Use a 3-way rig with a floating jig and a worm. Yellow Perch – No Report: Perch bite has been spotty, but some nicer ones are being caught with live minnow rigs. Northern Pike – No Report: 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 – Slow: The bass bite has slowed with the poor water clarity this week. Smallmouth Bass – Slow: The bass bite has slowed with the poor water clarity this week.  White Bass – Fair: Cast flashy spinners or crankbaits along the rocks in main channel current for big white bass. Bluegill – Slow: Find bluegills in clearer water with slow current in backwater areas away from main channel and sloughs. 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 – Slow: Expect the crappie bite to pick up after the water clarity improves. Try tube jigs or minnow under a bobber in submersed trees in the backwater sloughs.

Upper Mississippi River levels are rising with recent heavy rainfalls. Water clarity is poor with much floating vegetation and debris. Water temperatures are in the low 70’s.


Mississippi River Pool 12
Water levels will rise to around 9.1 feet at the Dubuque Lock and Dam and 11.2 feet at the RR bridge. Water clarity is fair. The water temperature is around 76 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– Slow: Use crankbaits on the wing dams. White Crappie – Good: Try small minnows in 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 10 feet at the Bellevue Lock and Dam. Water clarity is fair, but avoid all the tributary streams as they are muddy. The water temperature is around 77 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