Saturday Morning Fishing Report: Dock Opens at Crystal Lake While Shore Fishing Thrives

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
Less fishing activity this week since the cold weather, but anglers are still picking up perch and crappies. Yellow Perch – Fair: Use crawlers or small minnows on a jig fished under a bobber along the east end of the lake near the outlet Ice House Point and the inlet bridge. Black Crappie – Fair: Use a small piece of crawler or power bait on a small jig fished under a bobber along Ice House Point. Walleye – Slow: Few walleye reports this week.

North Raccoon River (above State Highway 175 bridge near Auburn)
Anglers have had success fishing the rivers this week with the colder temperatures. Target pools and deeper areas below riffles. Walleye – Fair: Use live bait or twisters in deeper areas below riffles. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try cut bait and crawlers fished in pools.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Less fishing activity this week due to cold weather, but fish are still being caught. Look for slightly warmer temperatures over the weekend to get out and go fishing. White Bass – Fair: Use crankbaits, crawlers and twisters fished from shore near the inlet and in the marina. Walleye – Fair: Use crankbaits, live bait and twisters near shore. Black Crappie – Fair: Find crappie near shore, along docks and in the marina; use a small jig tipped with a piece of crawler or power bait fished under a bobber. Yellow Perch – Fair: Catch perch from shore docks and in the marina using crawlers or small minnows.

Slightly less fishing activity this last week due to cold weather, but anglers are still having success. River fishing has been productive. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.


Clear Lake
The water temperature is in the upper 30’s. The courtesy docks have been removed for the season. Not much fishing activity reported this week with the cold weather. Walleye – Fair: Shore anglers are catching walleyes fishing at night.

Crystal Lake
The boat ramp is open. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Anglers are catching bass from shore.

Rice Lake
Yellow Perch – Fair: Use a jig tipped with a small minnow or piece of crawler along the north shore near the boat ramp; also try the deeper water on the south shore by the homes or by the outlet. Best bite is early morning and late evening.

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

NORTHEAST

Cedar River (above Nashua)
A variety of fish are biting as water levels stabilize and clarity improves. Fish are moving into overwintering areas. Walleye – Fair: Fish below dams or find deeper pools in the eddies. Use a hook tipped with a crawler or a jig with a twister tail or ring worm.

Decorah District Streams
Thanks for supporting our efforts this year. Without your support, these opportunities might not happen. Many stocked fish remain in streams through the winter, creating excellent angling opportunities. Trout streams with good flows should remain open even during winter. Visit our website to find out when and where trout may be coming to a community near you. Hunting seasons are open in Iowa; wear bright orange and be visible to hunters.  Brown Trout – Good: Brown trout spawn is nearing an end. Use care around freshly cleared gravel in the stream bottom. Try a fly imitating small silvery fish. Rainbow Trout – Good: Use an ultra-light pole and reel for fun action. A worm fished under a bobber in slow water works well. Try a spinner in eddies and around structure. Brook Trout – Good: Brook trout spawn is nearing an end. Redds or trout nests are cleared areas in the stream bottom; avoid walking here. With fewer insect hatches, try using flies imitating minnows such as a wholly bugger.

Lake Hendricks
Restroom facilities closed for season. New construction completed by spring 2020. No angling activity occurring. Lake Hendricks is mostly covered with a skim of ice, except around the aerator and beach; unsafe for fishing.

Lake Meyer
All docks have been removed for the season. No anglers have been out. Water clarity is excellent. 

Osborne Pond
Repairs to the dam are complete; fish attracting structures were added in early September. Fall rains filled Osborne Pond quickly. Baby bluegill stocked in September will grow fast over the winter, especially without competition from other fish. Baby bass and catfish will be added in early summer 2020. Great fishing to come in 2022.

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
Clarity is improving and levels are stabilizing. Flows remain high; use care if you are using a watercraft. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Find smallies in deeper water out of the current. A variety of baits are working. Walleye – Fair: Try a crawler on a hook or jig with a twister tail. Minnows are starting to work. Fish the overcast days or evenings for best luck.

Volga Lake
Water clarity is good. Boat ramps have been pulled for the season. Few anglers have been out.

Temperatures are fluctuating from upper 30’s for highs to single digits for lows. Chance for rain turning to snow on Saturday. Water clarity is excellent on area rivers and streams. Water levels are stabilizing, but flows remain high on all area rivers. For current fishing information, please call the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9
River level is 11.8 feet at Lansing and is predicted to drop a foot by late next week. Water temperature is 39 degrees. New Albin army road is closed due to high water. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Find bass in areas of no or slight current in backwaters with clearer water. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Use crankbaits fished on rocky areas along main channel shoreline. Bluegill – Fair: Look for bluegill to move into deeper backwater areas out of the current. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use crawlers fished in side-channel current. Freshwater Drum – Slow: Drum are biting. Use worms on the bottom or crayfish to target larger fish. Walleye – Fair: Anglers are jigging with minnows below the Lock and Dams with some success. Yellow Perch – Fair: Use crawlers fished just off the bottom in about 6-8 feet of water. Black Crappie – Slow: The fall crappie bite has slowed. Try small jigs fished in the flooded trees and side-channels. Sauger – Fair: Use jigs tipped with a minnow in the tailwaters of the lock & dams.

Mississippi River Pool 10
River level is 621.5 feet at Lynxville with a slight fall next week. Water temperature is 42 degrees at Lock & Dam 9. Noble’s Island and Sny Magill ramps are not accessible due to high water. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Find bass in areas of no or slight current in backwaters with clearer water. Bluegill – Fair: Look for bluegill to move into deeper backwater areas out of the current. Channel Catfish – Slow: Use crawlers fished in side-channel current. Freshwater Drum – Slow: Drum are biting. Use worms on the bottom or crayfish to target larger fish. Walleye – Fair: Anglers are jigging with minnows below the Lock and Dams with some success. Yellow Perch – Fair: Use crawlers fished just off the bottom in about 6-8 feet of water. Black Crappie – Slow: The fall crappie bite has slowed. Use small jigs in the flooded trees and side-channels. Sauger – Fair: Try jigs tipped with a minnow in the tailwaters of the lock & dams. Smallmouth Bass – Slow: Use crankbaits fished on rocky areas along main channel shoreline.

Mississippi River Pool 11
River level is 12.7 feet at Guttenberg and is expected to drop almost a foot by late next week.The Turkey River boat ramp and Guttenberg south marina ramp are closed due to high water. Water temperature is 39 degrees at Lock & Dam 10. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Find bass in areas of no or slight current in backwaters with clearer water. Bluegill – Fair: Look for bluegill to move into deeper backwater areas out of the current. Channel Catfish – Slow: Use crawlers fished in side-channel current. Freshwater Drum – Slow: Drum are biting. Use worms on the bottom or crayfish to target larger fish. Walleye – Fair: Anglers are jigging with minnows below the Lock and Dams with some success. Yellow Perch – Fair: Try crawlers fished just off the bottom in about 6-8 feet of water. Black Crappie – Slow: The fall crappie bite has slowed. Use small jigs fished in the flooded trees and side-channels. Sauger – Fair: Try jigs tipped with a minnow in the tailwaters of the lock & dams. Smallmouth Bass – Slow:Use crankbaits fished on rocky areas along main channel shoreline.

Upper Mississippi River levels remain high; levels are slowly receding. Most ramps remain under water. Fishing has been difficult with strong current, floating debris and weeds. Fish are scattered with islands still over-topped. Water temperature has dropped into the upper 30’s to low 40’s.


Mississippi River Pool 12
The water levels is 13.7 feet at the Dubuque Lock and Dam and 15.6 feet at the RR bridge. River levels at Dubuque are expected to recede over the next week. The water temperature is 42 degrees. Water clarity is decent. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass have moved into the deeper backwater areas in Pool 12 for the winter. Slow rolling spinner baits work well along the old weed edges in these backwaters. Bluegill – Fair: Find the warmest areas of the backwater lakes and you will find bluegills. Black Crappie – Fair: Some suspended crappies were reported in the deep backwater lakes. Fish them like you would ice fishing.

Mississippi River Pool 13
Water level is 14.2 feet at the Bellevue Lock and Dam and is receding. The water temperature is 42 degrees. Water clarity is fair with some vegetation and debris floating downriver. The Bellevue City Ramp is open, but the DNR boat ramp at Bellevue and the ramps at Sabula, Pleasant Creek and Bulgers Hollow are all flooded or have debris on them. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Panfish and largemouth bass have moved into the deeper backwater areas. Try slow rolling a spinner bait along the remnants of the lotus pads. Sauger – Fair: A few sauger are starting to show up in the creel by anglers using a jig and minnow rigs. Walleye – Fair: Not a lot of walleye are being reported, but a few nice sized fish can be found.

Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level is 14.2 feet at the Fulton Lock and Dam, 16 feet at Camanche and 10 feet at LeClaire. Water temperature is around 42 degrees. River levels are expected to fall over the next week. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Panfish and largemouth bass have moved into the deeper backwater areas. Try slow rolling a spinner bait along the remnants of the lotus pads in Rock Creek or Cattail Slough. Walleye – Fair: A few nice fish over 30 inches have been reported in the past couple weeks, even in the high water. Sauger – Fair: Fall sauger fishing has officially started. Use jigs tipped with minnows in the tailwater areas. Bluegill – No Report: Look for bluegills in backwater lakes with no current and decent depths. Search out the warmest areas of the backwaters, where the sun shines is often the most intense.

Mississippi River Pool 15
Water levels are around 14.8 feet at Rock Island. This is action flood level. River levels at Rock Island will recede this week. The water temperature is around 42 degrees. The water clarity is fair.

The latest round of high water is receding, but many boat ramps are still flooded or will have mud and debris on them. If you have any fishing questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.


Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 15.06 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities; flood stage is 15 feet. River level is 15.52 feet at Fairport; flood stage is 14 feet. Fishing has been slow with high water conditions. Some boat ramps are closed due to high water. The ramps at Clark’s Ferry and Shady Creek are closed. Water is over the ramps at the Fairport Recreational Area.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 14.61 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine; flood stage is 15 feet.  River stage is 16.26 feet at Muscatine; flood stage is 16 feet. Fishing has been slow with high water conditions. The ramps at Big Timber and Kilpeck are closed due to high water.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 15.58 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston; flood stage is 15 feet. River stage is 14.93 feet at Keithsburg; flood stage is 14 feet. The Toolsboro landing is closed due to high water. The Hawkeye Dolbee ramp is flooded over. Fishing has been slow with high water conditions.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 11.57 feet at Lock and Dam 18; flood stage is 10 feet. River stage is 16.53 feet at Burlington; flood stage is 15 feet. River stage is 528.61 feet at Fort Madison; flood stage is 528 feet. We have not received any fishing report information for this pool.

River stages are still above flood stage. River stages have been falling slowly the past few days. Main channel water temperature is around 43 degrees. Some boat ramps are closed due to high water conditions. Fishing has been slow with 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
Water temperature is in the mid-40’s and will probably continue to drop with next week’s weather forecast. Largemouth Bass – Good: Anglers braving the weather are catching nice bass. Try the habitat that stays in the sun where the water is warmer to draw in the bait fish.

Environmental Discovery Park North Pond
The DNR released 1000 trout on Oct. 26th. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Good: Still more than a few trout left to catch. Concentrate your effort on the near shore habitat.

Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River)
The Iowa River is headed back down and is forecast to drop another couple of feet by the middle of next week.

Lake Belva Deer
Water temperatures is 46 degrees. Water clarity is 10 feet. Almost no angler activity the last few days.

Lake Darling
Water temperature was 44 degrees on Tuesday and Wednesday. Water clarity is at just under 5 feet. Very little angler activity. Docks were pulled on Monday. Largemouth Bass – Good: A couple of shore anglers out on Monday did well on bass using crankbaits.

Lost Grove Lake
Very little angler activity out on the lake with recent weather changes. Largemouth Bass – Slow: The fall bite was short due to the weather; try fishing on the north side of the lake if we get a nice warm sunny day.

Wilson Lake
The DNR released 1000 trout on Oct. 26. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Good: The trout should have the lake figured out by now. Concentrate your efforts around the brush piles and cedar trees in 4-6 feet of water.

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


Cedar River (La Porte City to Cedar Rapids)
Walleye – Fair.

Coralville Reservoir
The lake level is back to normal fall pool of 686.3 feet. White Crappie – Fair: Try minnows or bright jigs over brush piles.

Diamond Lake
The fish cleaning station and restrooms are closed for the season. Black Crappie – Slow: Trolling the main lake has been best. A few fish are being caught from the jetties. Early and late in the day is best.

Hannen Lake
Bluegill – Fair.

Iowa Lake (Iowa Co.)
The dock is still in. Black Crappie – Fair.

Lake Macbride
Water temperatures are in the mid-40’s. Any sized motor may be used at no wake speed (5 mph). The fish cleaning stations and docks are out for the winter. Black Crappie – Fair: Try jigging over brush piles, stumps, or rock piles. Walleye – Slow: Fish submerged rock during the day and move to shallower rock towards evening. Target windblown areas. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Slow.

Liberty Centre Pond
This pond is found on Cherry Street in North Liberty. The DNR stocked trout on Oct 31. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Good.

Pleasant Creek Lake
The main ramp is still closed for repaving. White Bass – Fair.  Walleye – Fair.  Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair. Bluegill – Fair. Muskellunge – Fair.

Prairie Park Fishery
The DNR stocked trout here on Nov. 1. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Good.

Sand Lake
This is the quarry on the Northeast end of Marshalltown. Rainbow Trout – Good: You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair.

Wapsipinicon River (Troy Mills to Oxford Junction)
Black Crappie – Fair: Reports are from fishing slack water areas of Linn County.

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


Lake Miami
Very few anglers have been out with the colder weather and snow.

Lake Wapello
Very few anglers have been out.

Ottumwa Park Pond South
Trout were stocked on Oct. 25th. Use in-line spinners, casting spoons, and small tube and twister jigs. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 905.59 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. Some docks have been pulled out for the season and some campgrounds are closed. Very few anglers have been out.

Red Haw Lake
Few anglers have been out.

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
The trout stocking scheduled for Nov. 15 was moved to Nov. 8 at 10 a.m. to give anglers a little more open water fishing time before unseasonably cold weather and potential skim ice. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Excellent: Cast small in-line spinners, small plastic swim baits, or live bait under a float. Most of the trout will be in the North portion of the lake.

Banner Lake (south)
Trout were stocked Oct. 24th. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Good: Cast small in-line spinners, small plastic swim baits, or live bait under a float.

Des Moines River (Saylorville to Red Rock)
Walleye – Fair: Catch walleye below the dams and at creek mouths from Saylorville through downtown Des Moines in the evenings just before and after dark. Cast jigs tipped with chartreuse twister or paddle tails or live minnows.

Kettlestone Commons East
Kettlestone Ponds are 1 mile north of I-80 on Grand Prairie Parkway in Waukee.

Lake Petocka
The trout stocking scheduled for Nov. 15 was moved to Nov. 7 to give anglers at least one weekend of open water fishing before unseasonably cold weather. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Excellent: Cast small in-line spinners, small plastic swim baits, or live bait under a float.

Terra Lake
Trout were stocked today, Oct. 24th. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Good: Cast small in-line spinners, small plastic swim baits, or live bait under a float.

For more information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers, call Ben Dodd at 641-891-3795 or Andy Otting at 515-204-5885.


Big Lake (Including Gilbert’s Pond)
The DNR stocked 1,500 rainbow trout into the lake on Oct. 31. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Good: Cast and retrieve spinners or spoons. Try also worms, waxworms, or crappie jigs.

Lake Anita
The new seawall construction is complete and the gate is closed. The lake will now start to refill. There is no boat access at this time.

Lake Manawa
A few anglers report catching walleye and crappies around the dredged area of the lake. Manawa water level is a foot above normal. Walleye – Fair: Fish a diving crank bait 10 to 17 feet down around the dredge hole. White Crappie – Fair: Look for crappies around the dredge hole 15 to 17 feet down.

Nodaway Lake
Nodaway Lake has a good catfish population. The lake will provide good fall crappie fishing.

Orient Lake
A fall fisheries survey showed large numbers of 9 to 10 inch crappies at Orient Lake. Bluegills will average 8 inches.

Prairie Rose Lake
Prairie Rose has a quality panfish population and an abundance of largemouth bass. Bluegill – No Report: Catch bluegills up to 10 inches. Largemouth Bass – No Report: There are an abundance of 12-14 inch bass available. The water has been extremely clear this fall.

Viking Lake
The water level at Viking Lake is down 8 feet. The gate is closed and the lake will be allowed to refill. The summer draw-down was a population manipulation project. Boating access is carry in only.

District lakes saw very little activity with colder temperatures last week and forecast for next week. For more information, contact the S.W. District Office at 712-769-2587.