SATURDAY MORNING FISHING REPORT: Fishing Continues to Improve at Area Lakes and Rivers

Father with son fishing at river bank, summer outdoor. Man and young boy standing at river bank with rod and fishing. Family leisure, parenting. Fishing. Angling.

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 50’s. Bluegill – Fair: Use crawlers fished under a bobber. Most action has been in Town Bay off the stone piers, the floating dock, and the fish house. Yellow Perch – Fair: Anglers are picking up perch from shore along Ice House Point and the fish house in Town Bay using minnows fished under a bobber. Some have had luck fishing from the inlet bridge. Walleye – Slow. Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers are picking up crappie from shore and the fish house in Town Bay using minnows and crawlers.

Black Hawk Pits
Black Crappie – Fair: Use crawlers and minnows fished under a bobber in 2-6 feet of water. Bluegill – Fair.

Brushy Creek Lake
Expect panfish action to pick up near submerged structure along the shore as water temperatures warm up. Black Crappie – Fair: Look for crappie fishing to pick up along shore in 5-10 feet of water as water temperatures warm up. Bluegill – Fair: Use crawlers and small minnows fished under a bobber in 5-10 feet of water near shore and submerged structure. Yellow Perch – Fair.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Water temperatures are in the mid 50’s. Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers have picked up crappie in the marina using crawlers and minnows fished under a bobber. White Bass – Fair: Use crawlers and twisters. Walleye – Fair: Some are having luck from shore in the marina and along the north and east shores with twisters, leeches and minnows.

Water temperatures have cooled to the mid 50’s. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.


Clear Lake
The water temperature is in the low fifties. Fishing has been slow with the cold, rainy weather. Expect the bite to get better as the water warms up. Walleye – Fair: Anglers are having success slip bobber fishing the rock reefs with jigs and a minnow or leech. Black Crappie – Fair: Fish the edge of the rushes with a small minnow.

Crystal Lake
The water temperature is in the low fifties. No fishing activity reported this week.

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


Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Walleye
 – Good: Wader fishing is at its prime after dark. Fish slow with a jig and minnow or twister tails on light jig heads. Boat angler activity has picked up; slowly troll crank baits. Yellow Perch – Slow: Recent surveys show good numbers of fish approaching 11 inches.

Spirit Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Some crappie action at Buffalo Run; boat anglers also report good numbers caught. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Early spring provides superb action for bass on calm sunny days with a jig and minnow on shallow rock piles.

West Okoboji Lake
Bluegill – Good: Some action reported from Triboji Lagoon; sorting is needed. Expect action to improve as water temperatures warm.

Courtesy docks are in at the Iowa Great Lakes. Water temperature is 50 degrees. For more information throughout the week, contact the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.

NORTHEAST

Cedar River (above Nashua)
Levels are stabilizing with good clarity. Anglers are seeing a nice variety of fish in the creel. Channel Catfish – Good: Use dead chubs fished in the impoundments or slack water areas. Keep your bait on the river bottom. Walleye – Good: Try a jig tipped with a minnow or ring worms. Northern Pike – Fair: Pike are hitting spoons, crankbaits and hooks tipped with dead chubs below dams and slack water areas. The bite is slowing. Smallmouth Bass – Slow: Smallies are starting to show up; use crankbaits.

Decorah District Streams
Turkey season is in full swing. Avoid wearing blue, white, and red colors; hunters key in on these. Gravel roads remain in rough shape; watch for soft spots. Hatchery trucks are stocking as many spots as possible. Check the 2019 trout stream stocking calendar  or call the stocking number at 563-927- 5736 to find out when your favorite trout stream will be stocked. Brown Trout – Good: Good caddis fly hatches are occurring mid-afternoon. Fish are hitting just below the surface; nymph fishing might work best. Rainbow Trout – Excellent: Use cheese or a worm under a bobber. Try also a leach pattern. Brook Trout – Good: A variety of insects are hatching throughout the day. Matching the hatch is key. On clear streams, use care not to be seen.

Lake Hendricks
The lake has a brown tint to it and about 3 feet visibility. Fish shallow bays and along rocky shorelines later in the day and early morning. Black Crappie – Good: Use a hook tipped with a minnow under a bobber near brush piles or sunny shores. Bluegill – Fair: Try a small hook tipped with a small piece of worm or left over waxies under a bobber. Largemouth Bass – Good: Jigs tipped with plastic twister tail or jerkbait will catch a hungry bass. Channel Catfish – Slow: Use a jig tipped with a nightcrawler around the rocky shores with wind-blown material.

Lake Meyer
Little activity this past week. Catches rate vary with the changing weather patterns. Clarity is about 10 feet. Water temperature is in the upper 50’s. Bluegill – Slow: Use small jigs tipped with a small piece of worm around rocky shores. Black Crappie – Fair: Try small plastic lures or hair jigs fished shallow around submersed logs. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Crankbaits or jerkbaits work well. Northern Pike – Slow: Find pike in shallow bays. Try swimbaits, spoons or a hook baited with a minnow.

Turkey River (above Clermont)
Water levels and flows are stabilizing. Clarity is excellent. Walleye – Fair: Use a jig tipped with a minnow or shallow water crankbait in the slack water areas below dams. White Sucker – Good: Try a worm fished off the bottom. Suckers become more active when the water warms in the 50’s.

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
Flows and levels are up a bit, but levels are stabilizing. Clarity is excellent. Find water level information at https://waterdata.usgs.gov/ia/nwis/rtWhite Sucker – Excellent: Suckers are biting; use a worm fished on bottom. You might have to use a bit more weight to keep the line down with the high flows. Walleye – Good: A variety of lures will catch walleye. Fish slack water below dams or off-channel areas.

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
Flows and levels are high. Clarity is excellent. Water temperature is in the low 50’s. Walleye – Fair: Try jigs tipped with a minnow or crankbaits. White Sucker – Excellent: Use a hook tipped with a nightcrawler fished on the bottom. Channel Catfish– Fair: Try cut bait or nightcrawlers. Northern Pike – Slow: Pike are hitting dead chubs or suckers. Yellow Perch – Slow: Use nightcrawlers or red worms.

Volga Lake
Concentrate efforts along rocky shorelines and shallow warmer water. Boat docks are in. If temperatures warm this week, fish activity should increase. Bluegill – Slow: Use small jigs tipped with waxworms or spikes under a bobber in shallow areas. Black Crappie – Fair: Try a hook tipped with a minnow under a bobber or a feathered jig near rocks out deeper. Largemouth Bass – Good: Crankbaits and jigs tipped with a variety of plastics will hook a bass.

Good reports of fish biting continue throughout the district. Showers are possible on Sunday. Temperature highs in the 60’s and lows in the 40’s. Area streams and rivers levels are slightly high with good clarity; could change depending on the amount of rain over saturated ground. For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.


Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
Crappies are starting to stage in shallow for the upcoming spawn. Black Crappie – Good: Cast and retrieve various colored tube jigs or fish a crappie minnow shallow under a bobber.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
Walleye – Fair: Cast and retrieve jigs with plastics tipped with a nightcrawler. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Cast and retrieve jigs with plastics tipped with a minnow or nightcrawler. Try also artificial spinnerbaits. Northern Pike – Fair: Cast and retrieve large artificial baits or spoons. Try also floating a live shiner or sucker under a bobber. Channel Catfish – Fair: Anglers are doing well on catfish using cut baits fished on the bottom.

George Wyth Lake
Northern Pike – Good: Cast artificial baits or spoons.

Green Belt Lake
Anglers are catching largemouth bass. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Cast topwater baits early morning or late evening. Try also crankbaits and spinnerbaits.

Lake Delhi
There have been a few reports of anglers catching crappie on Lake Delhi. Black Crappie – Fair: Cast and retrieve various colored tube jigs or float a crappie minnow under a slip bobber.

Manchester District Streams
Manchester trout streams remain in excellent condition, but access to some are in sloppy condition. Richmond Springs in Backbone State Park can be accessed through the north entrance only.

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
Smallmouth bass and walleye are being caught on the Maquoketa River. Walleye – Fair: Cast and retrieve jigs with plastics tipped with a minnow or nightcrawler. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Cast and retrieve jigs with plastics tipped with a minnow or nightcrawler. Try also artificial spinnerbaits.

Martens Lake
Anglers are catching a few crappie in the canal at Sweet Marsh. Black Crappie – Fair: Cast and retrieve various colored tube jigs or float a crappie minnow under a slip bobber. White Crappie – Fair: Cast and retrieve various colored tube jigs or float a crappie minnow under a slip bobber.

North Prairie Lake
Anglers are doing well catching trout; the lake was stocked a few weeks ago. You must have a fishing license and a pay the trout fee to fish for and/or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Good: Cast and retrieve flashy artificial lures or jigs.

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
Anglers are catching walleye and northern pike on the Shell Rock River. Walleye – Fair: Cast and retrieve jigs with plastics tipped with a minnow or nightcrawler. Northern Pike – Fair: Cast and retrieve large artificial baits or spoons. Try also floating a live shiner or chub under a bobber.

South Prairie Lake
Reports of anglers catching quality size bluegill at South Prairie Lake. Bluegill – Good: Try fishing a small piece of nightcrawler under a slip bobber just under the surface. Black Crappie – Fair: Cast colored tube jigs or float a crappie minnow under a slip bobber. Anglers are doing well with fly rods, too.

Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
Reports of anglers catching walleye and smallmouth bass on the Wapsipinicon River. Walleye – Fair: Cast and retrieve jigs with plastics tipped with a nightcrawler.
Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Cast and retrieve jigs with plastics tipped with a minnow or nightcrawler. Try also artificial spinnerbaits.

Fair to good reports of anglers catching walleye, smallmouth bass and some catfish on the interior rivers. Lakes in Black Hawk County are starting to produce bluegill and crappie. 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 has fallen to 16.4 feet at Lansing and is expected to recede several feet this week. Water temperature is 50 degrees.Yellow Perch – Fair: Try light tackle tipped with minnows fished near shore along marina areas. Largemouth Bass – Good: Use weedless artificial baits in the flooded shorelines in areas out of the current. Sauger – Fair: Use small jigs tipped with minnows close to shore in flooded areas. Walleye – Fair: Fish with three-way rigs tipped with a minnow below the dam. Black Crappie – Fair: Use light tackle fished in the flooded trees. Bluegill – Good: The bluegill bite has picked up. Use light tackle tipped with a small piece of worm in areas away from current.

Mississippi River Pool 10
River level is has fallen to 27.2 feet at Lynxville and is expected to recede several feet this week. Water temperature is 52 degrees. Yellow Perch – Fair: Try light tackle tipped with minnows fished near shore along marina areas. Largemouth Bass – Good: Use weedless artificial baits in the flooded shorelines in areas out of the current. Sauger – Fair: Use small jigs tipped with minnows close to shore in flooded areas. Walleye – Fair: Fish with three-way rigs tipped with a minnow below the dam. Bluegill – Good: The bluegill bite has picked up. Use light tackle tipped with a small piece of worm in areas away from current.

Mississippi River Pool 11
River level has fallen to 18.5 feet at Guttenberg and is expected to gradually fall several feet this week. Water temperature is 49 degrees. Yellow Perch – Fair: Try light tackle tipped with minnows fished near shore along marina areas. Largemouth Bass – Good: Use weedless artificial baits in the flooded shorelines in areas out of the current. Sauger– Fair: Use small jigs tipped with minnows close to shore in flooded areas. Walleye – Fair: Fish with three-way rigs tipped with a minnow below the dam. Bluegill – Good: The bluegill bite has picked up. Use light tackle tipped with a small piece of worm in areas away from current.

Upper Mississippi River levels remain high, but are expected to fall gradually to moderate flood stages. Navigation is not recommended due to flooding. Boaters should operate at no wake speed to reduce damage to shorelines and flooded structures. Most boat ramps are under water. Water clarity is reduced; water temperature is near 50 degrees.


Mississippi River Pool 12
Water levels have peaked and should start to recede. Levels are near 21 feet at the Dubuque Lock and Dam and 22 feet at the RR bridge. Water clarity is fair. The water temperature is 52 degrees. Most boat ramps are flooded. Northern Pike – No Report: Northern pike are done spawning and should bite along flooded shorelines. They are active feeders once the spawn is over. Common Carp – Good: Shallow flooded areas with lots of sun is a recipe for bowfishing carp. Please do not dispose of the carp on the bank.

Mississippi River Pool 13
Water levels have and should start to recede. Water levels are at 20 feet at Lock and Dam 12. Water clarity is good. The water temperature is 52 degrees. Northern Pike – No Report: Expect northern pike to start feeding heavily now they are done spawning. Common Carp – Good: Shallow flooded areas with lots of sun is a recipe for bowfishing carp. Please do not dispose of the carp on the bank. Largemouth Bass – Good: Deep clear flooded areas like Spring Lake have been good. Green Island wildlife area might also hold some bass this year.

Mississippi River Pool 14
Water levels will rise for a bit yet, then start to recede late in the week. Levels are near 22 feet at Fulton Lock and Dam, 23 feet at Camanche and 16.5 feet at LeClaire. Pool 14 will be in major flood stages all week. Water clarity is fair. The water temperature is around 53 degrees. Most boat ramps are flooded. Common Carp – Good: Shallow flooded areas with lots of sun is a recipe for bowfishing carp. Please do not dispose of the carp on the bank.

Mississippi River Pool 15
Water levels are 22.2 feet and are approaching record flood levels. Water clarity is fair. The water temperature is around 53 degrees. Most boat ramps are flooded. Common Carp – Good: Shallow flooded areas with lots of sun is a recipe for bowfishing carp. Please do not dispose of the carp on the bank.

We are in major flood levels throughout the district; most boat ramps are closed. Water levels are near peak and may start receding later this week. If you have any angling questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.


Mississippi River Pool 16 
Tailwater stage is 22.50 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities; flood stage is 15 feet. The current forecast has the river stage reaching 22.7 feet by Friday. The forecast may change with recent rains. River stage at Fairport is 23.38 feet and flood stage is 14 feet. The Marquette St boat ramp, Credit Island boat ramp, Buffalo Shores boat ramp, Clark’s Ferry boat ramp, Shady Creek boat ramp, and Fairport boat ramps are all closed due to high water.

Mississippi River Pool 17 
Tailwater stage is 22.98 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine; flood stage is 15 feet. The current forecast has the river reaching 23.4 feet at Lock and Dam 16 by Friday. River stage in Muscatine is 24.06 feet and flood stage is 16 feet. River stage is forecast to reach 24.5 feet at Muscatine by Friday. The forecast may change with recent rains. The Muscatine City boat ramps are closed due to high water. Kilpeck Landing and Big Timber are also closed due to flooding.

Mississippi River Pool 18 
Tailwater stage is 23.29 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston; flood stage is 15 feet. The current forecast has the river reaching 23.5 feet at Lock and Dam 17 by Friday. Forecasts may change with recent rains. River stage at Keithsburg is 21.56 feet; flood stage is 14 feet. The Toolsboro landing is closed due to high water. The Hawkeye Dolbee access will also be under water.

Mississippi Pools 16-19 are still above flood stage. Many of the boat ramps are closed due to flooding. Main channel water temperature is around 52 degrees and water clarity is poor. We have not received any fishing report information this week due to the high water conditions. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

SOUTHEAST

Big Hollow Lake
The weather kept most of the anglers away earlier this week.

Lake Belva Deer
Water temperature dropped over the weekend, but is recovering back into the mid 50’s. There is extra water in the lake due to the heavy rains. Black Crappie – No Report: Very little fishing pressure so far this week due to the weather. With the water temperature going back up, the spawn shouldn’t be too far off.

Lake Darling 
Thursday morning, the water temperature had gone back up to 55 degrees and the lake level was dropping from being 1.5 feet above normal. Water clarity is improving. Largemouth Bass – Slow: High water and a drop in temperature sent the bass out of the shallows. Black Crappie – Slow: Last Friday, the crappies were in at about 4 feet deep water. Then temperatures dropped and we got 5.5 inches of rain in 72 hours; that sent them back out.

Lost Grove Lake
The lake is running about 2 feet above normal pool, but is dropping. Water clarity isn’t terrible, but isn’t as clear as normal. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Anglers continue to pick up some bass up in the flooded timber on sunny afternoons. Black Crappie – Slow: By the end of last week, the crappies had moved to shallower water but then they moved right back out this week.

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


Coralville Reservoir
The lake is rising, and as of May 2 is 682′ feet (normal spring pool is 679′ feet). It is predicted to crest on May 5 at 685 feet, then drop back to spring pool by May 11.

Diamond Lake
The fishing cleaning station and restrooms are open for the season. Minnows are not allowed here. Black Crappie – Good: Tube jigs or jigs tipped with worms work best. Try around the jetties and shallow brush. Most fish are around 9 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are starting to pick up some bluegills; fish up to 8 inches have been reported.

Green Castle Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Catch fish up to 9 inches. Black Crappie – Fair: Most fish are 8-10 inches.

Hannen Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: The bite slowed a bit this week, but most fish are 10-13 inches. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Most fish are smaller.

Iowa Lake (Iowa Co.)
Water temperatures were around 53 degrees this week. Black Crappie – Fair: Some fish are still suspended out deeper, while some move in shallow on warmer days. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Some nicer fish were caught this week. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are catching some fish on deeper brush piles, as well as some near shore.

Iowa River (Marshalltown to Coralville Lake)
Channel Catfish – Fair: Cut bait is working well.

Lake Macbride
Water temperatures are in the mid 50’s. All motors may be used at no wake speed at this time. The fish cleaning stations are open. The bite seemed to be slower here this week due to weather conditions. Walleye – Fair: Some fish are shallow, while others are still out deeper. The shallow bite should improve as water temperatures warm. Black Crappie – Fair: Fish are starting to move shallower. They are not on the bank, but are by shallower brush and staging just off the bank. Nice 10- to 13-inch crappie are available. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: Wipers are starting to move shallower and chase bait and lures.

Otter Creek Lake
The lake is full; the water is fairly clear. Yellow Bass – Fair: Try small jigs, spinners or live bait. Most fish are 8- to 9-inches.

Pleasant Creek Lake
The lake is full. Water temperatures are in the mid 50’s. There is a lot of terrestrial vegetation in the shallows that established during the low water period. Walleye – Fair: Most action is in the shallows towards evening and after dark. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: Look for schools of fish towards sunset.

Prairie Park Fishery
2000 trout will be released here on April 20. You must have a fishing license and a pay the trout fee to fish for and/or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Fair.

Rodgers Park Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Some decent fish were caught this week.

Sand Lake
This lake is in Marshalltown. 2000 trout will be released here on April 20. You must have a fishing license and a pay the trout fee to fish for and/or possess trout. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: Most fish are 14- to 16-inches. Jigs and other artificials are working, if you can find a school. Rainbow Trout – Fair. Black Crappie – Slow. Black Crappie – Good: Try jigs or minnows around brush or near shore. Many fish are around 10 inches.

Union Grove Lake
Docks are in. There has been a little fishing activity here, but the fish are still marginal due to the lake’s recent renovation. Bluegill – Fair. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Most fish are small yet.

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


Hawthorn Lake
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try rubber worms or spinnerbaits around the rock jetties and along the dam.

Lake Miami
Start shallow using small jigs for bluegill. Use minnows around the submerged trees for crappies.

Lake Sugema
Largemouth Bass – Good: Target rock jetties and along the dam. Black Crappie – Fair: Try jigs tipped with a minnow.

Lake Wapello
Bluegill
 – Fair: Try small jigs along the shorelines. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use cut bait or dead chubs. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Target rock jetties and submerged structure.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 907.10 msl. Normal operating elevation is 904.0 msl. The water temperature is in the 50’s. Lake Rathbun has zebra mussels, so make sure to properly drain, clean, and dry equipment before transporting to another water body. Channel Catfish – Fair: Anglers are catching channel catfish; use cut bait or shad sides. Black Crappie – Slow: Crappie fishing remains slow. Warmer water will help in the upcoming weeks.

Red Haw Lake
Channel Catfish – Fair: Use cut bait or dead chubs. Bluegill – Fair: Try small jigs fished around the shorelines and the submerged structure. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Target brush piles and other submerged structure.

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

Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake
Rainbow Trout – Fair: Cast in-line spinners, small twister tail and paddle tail jigs or live minnows. Start by fishing the east shore of the north and south parts of the lake. You must have a fishing license and a pay the trout fee to fish for and/or possess trout.

Banner Lake (south)
Trout were stocked on April 6. The lake water clarity is less than normal after flooding. You must have a fishing license and a pay the trout fee to fish for and/or possess trout.Rainbow Trout – Good:Fish bright colored spinners and jigs or live bait.

Big Creek Lake
Walleye – Good: Use jigs or troll spinner rigs out from the marina to past the beach and around the East and West Ramp bays. If shore fishing, cast jigs or live bait under a slip bobber in these same areas. Black Crappie – Slow: A good crappie bite is likely the second and third week of May. Fish minnows under a bobber near any wood and riprap next to shore.

Boone District Farm Ponds
Black Crappie – Good: Pre-spawn fishing is good in city ponds that have crappies. Fish live minnows under a bobber or cast small twister tail jigs off the shorelines that get the most sunlight.

Des Moines River (Saylorville to Red Rock)
White Bass – Good: Catch white bass and hybrid striped bass casting white twister tail or paddle tail jigs below the dams in downtown Des Moines and below the Red Rock dam.

Lake Ahquabi
Black Crappie – Good: Use minnows near the rock jetties and shores with tree falls.

Red Rock Reservoir
White Crappie – Slow: The best time for crappie fishing is likely the second and third week of May. Fish live minnows near rip rap and flooded trees near shore in the coves.

Roberts Creek Lake
White Crappie – Good: Use live minnows near shallow wood or drift jigs in coves off the main lake.

Terra Lake

ADVERTISEMENT