Saturday Morning Fishing Report: Area Fishing is Fair to Good

Despite the forecast for showers and thunderstorms, fishing in the area looks promising. Boat docks are in and temperatures should be in the 70’s both Saturday and Sunday. Exercise caution when out on the water particularly when strong storms threaten the area. Stay tuned to KIOW for severe weather updates throughout the weekend.

This weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys and county and state parks staff. You can check the activity of your favorite lake or stretch of river within each district, including which species are being caught, a rating of the bite (slow, fair, good or excellent), as well as a hot bait or lure pattern.

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 temperature is in the upper 50’s. Water clarity has increased since last week. The outdoor walkway on the fish house structure in Town Bay is open to anglers; the indoor portion of the structure remains closed to the public due to physical distancing guidelines.Yellow Perch – Fair: Anglers are catching perch in Town Bay. Sorting is needed, but keepers are 8-10 inches.Black Crappie – Good: Shore fishing has been productive. Fish anywhere from shore with rock and structure. Use a small jig tipped with crawler or small minnow fished under a bobber along shore in Town Bay, Ice House Point from the inlet bridge and from the floating pier and fish house in Town Bay. Largemouth Bass – Fair. Walleye – Fair: Walleye fishing from shore has picked up. Use twisters, crankbaits and leeches or crawlers fished under a bobber.

Brushy Creek Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Use a small piece of crawler or minnow on a jig fished under a bobber near shore in 5-10 feet of water by rocks or woody structure. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Anglers are picking up a few on spinner baits and plastics in areas near submerged structure. Yellow Perch – Fair: Try crawlers on a small jig in 5-10 feet of water. Some is sorting needed. Walleye – Fair.

North Twin Lake
Water temperature is around 60 degrees with around 4 feet of water clarity. Fish anywhere with structure near shore to pick up crappie as water temperatures continue to warm.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Anglers have had good luck from shore and in the main lake. Storm Lake has a daily limit of 3 walleye and all 17- to 22-inch walleye must be released; and no more than one walleye longer than 22 inches may be taken per day. Black Crappie – Fair: Use crawlers and minnows on a small jig fished near shore in the marina near the inlet and along the north and east shore of the main lake. Walleye – Fair: Pick up walleye from shore and also in the main lake. Use a twister, crankbait and a leech or crawler fished under a bobber. Yellow Perch – Fair: Pick up perch along shore in the marina and north and east shores. White Bass – Fair: Anglers are picking up white bass from shore. Use twisters, crawlers or crankbaits in the marina near the inlet and north and east shores in the main lake.

For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.


Clear Lake
The water temperature is in the mid-fiftiesThe spring midge hatch is on. Walleye – Fair: Anglers are having success drift fishing a jig and crawler near structure or slip bobber fishing a leech on the rock reefs. Yellow Bass – Slow: Boat anglers should try fishing the edge of the vegetation on the north shore with a small piece of crawler or cut bait. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass are biting on jigs fished near the edge of vegetation. Yellow Perch – Fair.

Crystal Lake
Black Crappie – Fair. Largemouth Bass – Fair.

Lower Pine Lake
Popular fishing areas become crowded in the afternoon and evening; fish in the morning to avoid crowds.  Bluegill – Good: Shore anglers are catching good numbers of 4 to 7 inch fish. Black Crappie – Good. Largemouth Bass – Good. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try chicken liver or cut bait fished on the bottom near the spillway.

Rice Lake
Largemouth Bass – Fair. Bluegill – Fair.

Silver Lake (Worth)
Largemouth Bass – Fair.

Upper Pine Lake
Popular fishing areas become crowded in the afternoon and evening; fish in the morning to avoid crowds. The fish cleaning station is unavailable at this time.  Bluegill – Good: Shore anglers are catching good numbers of 4 to 7 inch fish. Largemouth Bass – Good. Black Crappie – Good.

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


East Okoboji Lake
The Walleye Season is open. The water temperature is 51 degrees. There has been a fair panfish bite in many of the bays and harbors, in and around boat hoists and docks. Bluegill – Good: Large schools have been found gathering around hoists and docks. Black Crappie – Good. Yellow Perch – Fair.

Lake Pahoja
Bluegill – Fair. Black Crappie – Fair. Largemouth Bass – Good.

Lost Island Lake
Yellow Perch – Fair. Walleye – Fair.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Walleye – Good.

Spirit Lake
The Walleye Season is open. The water temperature is 51 degrees. Bluegill – Good: Large schools have been found gathering around hoists and docks. Walleye – Fair: Evenings have had fairly good bites.

Trumbull Lake
Yellow Perch – Fair: Size quality is outstanding with some sorting. Use jigs and minnows or wigglers in the main lake.

West Okoboji Lake
The Walleye Season is open. The water temperature is 51 degrees. A good spring bass bite has been observed in canal areas, as well a good panfish bite in various harbors and around docks and hoists. Bluegill – Good: Large schools have been found gathering around hoists and docks. Black Crappie – Good. Smallmouth Bass – Fair. Largemouth Bass – Fair:

The Walleye season is open on Spirit Lake, East Okoboji Lake and West Okoboji Lake. All local boat ramps are in and open for use. Iowa Great Lake water temperatures range from 51 to 54 degrees. The bite should continue to pick up as water temperatures rise. This week’s extended forecast is temperatures in the 60 to 80 degrees. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.

NORTHEAST

Cedar River (above Nashua)
Nashua dam is currently under repair. Water levels are lowered in the impoundment for the duration. Water clarity is good. Walleye – Fair: Anglers are finding good numbers of fish below dams and along current breaks. Jigs tipped with a minnow or twister tail work best. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use dead chubs and worms fished on the bottom.

Decorah District Streams
All streams are being stocked. All trout stream stockings are unannounced due to COVID-19 precautions. Hatchery grounds are open to the public, but feeders and other conveniences are temporarily closed for prevention precautions. Hatchery visitors must be mindful of one another’s safety and keep at least 6 feet of distance between you and others. Currently, DNR wildlife management areas are open to normal recreational uses. Brook Trout – Good: When fishing private property open to angling, leave that property as was or better by picking up trash. Close gates if you opened them; be considerate. Brown Trout – Good: Blue-winged olive and caddisfly hatches are good to excellent. An excellent time to fish for browns is when the water gets cloudy. Use hair jigs or spinners for aggressive fish. Rainbow Trout – Excellent: Stocked fish and hold-overs are biting well. Use a worm or cheese floated through a pool under a bobber. Use an ultra-light pole and reel for fun action.

Lake Hendricks
Hit and miss fish activity. Water temperatures are in the low 60’s. Black Crappie – Fair: Find crappie suspended over brush piles or submersed structure. Use a minnow and drift over structure. Bluegill – Fair: Try a small piece of nightcrawler or waxworm under a bobber. Channel Catfish – Fair: Fish the windrow shoreline with a dead chub or minnow or worm on the bottom. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use a crankbait or jerk bait over structure.

Lake Meyer
Water temperatures are in the low 60’s. Black Crappie – Slow: Anglers are having a hard time finding crappies. Bluegill – Fair: Try a small piece of worm or waxworm fished under a bobber along a sunny shoreline. Northern Pike – Slow: Find pike in the shallows spawning. Use a spoon with a steel leader to prevent line cuts. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try a jerk bait or crankbait fished along a brush pile or rock structure.

Turkey River (above Clermont)
Water levels are stable with excellent clarity. Water temperatures are in the 50’s. Walleye – Good: Find walleye in runs and along current breaks. Use hair jigs and spinners. White Sucker – Excellent: Suckers are biting. Use a nightcrawler fished on the bottom.

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
Water levels are stable with excellent clarity. Water temperatures are in the mid to upper 50’s. Walleye – Fair: Use minnows or hair jigs fished in runs and around current breaks. White Sucker – Excellent: Sucker activity is picking up. Try nightcrawlers fished on the stream bottom.

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
Water level are stable with excellent water clarity. Water temperatures are in the mid to upper 50’s.  Walleye – Slow: Anglers are finding fish in eddies and runs. Use crankbaits and spinners. White Sucker – Excellent: Try a hook tipped with a nightcrawler fished on the bottom. Smallmouth Bass – Slow.

Volga Lake
Anglers are finding fish; focus efforts along rocky shoreline and submersed habitat. . Bluegill – Fair: Use a small hook tipped with waxworm or small piece of nightcrawler fished around brush piles and rocky shores. Black Crappie – Fair: Try a minnow suspended over brush piles or other structure. Fish 5 to 7 inches are common. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use a jerk bait fished over structure with a slow retrieve. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try a dead minnow or nightcrawler fished along windrow shore. Trophy catfish are abundant in Volga Lake.

Water levels are stable and water clarity is good to excellent on area rivers. Expect a rainy weekend with highs in the upper 60’s and lows in the 40’s. Fish activity should improve with warmer temperatures. For current fishing information, please call the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.


Big Woods Lake
Anglers are catching some crappie on Big Woods Lake. Black Crappie – Fair: Try crappie jigs or a minnow fished under a bobber over structure; use electronics to find structure.

Brinker Lake
Crappie should be moving into shallower water; the weekend forecast looks very warm so crappie should be staging to spawn. Black Crappie – Fair: Try crappie jigs or a minnow under a bobber fished over structure; use electronics to find structure.

Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
Anglers are catching largemouth bass, bluegill and some nice 10-13 inch crappie. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Cast crankbaits and topwater baits early morning or late evening. Black Crappie – Fair: Try crappie jigs or a minnow fished under a bobber over structure near the dam and in the coves. Bluegill – Fair: Use a small piece of worm on a small hook and sinker fished under a bobber off of the shorelines. Try fishing artificial flies using a slow presentation.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
Reports of anglers catching a few walleye and northern pike on the Cedar River. Walleye – Fair: Cast and retrieve plastics tipped with or without a minnow or crankbaits; walleye have moved out of over-wintering areas. Northern Pike – Good: Try a live chub or shiner fished under a bobber near slack water areas off of main current. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use chicken livers or dead cut baits fished on the bottom upstream of fallen snags.

George Wyth Lake
There are abundant numbers of pike along the willows near the shoreline edges in George Wyth Lake. Northern Pike – Fair: Cast and retrieve spinnerbaits near the shore. Black Crappie – Fair: Try crappie jigs or a minnow fished under a bobber over structure; use electronics to find structure.

Manchester District Streams
N.E. area trout streams are in excellent condition and full of trout. Rainbow Trout – Good: Use flashy spinnerbaits or match the hatch with flies.

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
Reports of anglers catching a few walleye and smallmouth bass on the Maquoketa River. Walleye – Fair: Cast and retrieve plastics tipped with or without a minnow or crankbaits; walleye have moved out of over-wintering areas. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Try a jig and plastic tipped with a minnow or cast spinner or crankbaits.

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
Anglers are catching some walleye on the Shell Rock River. Walleye – Fair: Cast and retrieve plastics tipped with or without a minnow or crankbaits; walleye have moved out of over-wintering areas.

South Prairie Lake
Crappie should be moving into shallower water; the weekend forecast looks very warm so crappie should be staging to spawn. Black Crappie – Fair: Try crappie jigs or a minnow under a bobber fished over structure; use electronics to find structure. Also try fishing along the edges of aquatic vegetation.

Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
A recent electrofishing survey revealed numerous year classes of walleye. Northern pike are biting well on the upper Wapsipinicon River. Walleye – Fair: Cast and retrieve plastics tipped with or without a minnow or crankbaits; walleye have moved out of over-wintering areas. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Try a jig and plastic tipped with a minnow or cast spinner or crankbaits. Northern Pike – Good: Float a live chub or shiner under a bobber or cast bucktail spinners. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use chicken livers or dead cut baits fished on the bottom upstream of fallen snags.

Interior rivers are in excellent condition. Walleye, pike, smallmouth bass and channel catfish are being caught on most rivers. Fair to good reports of panfish on the area Black Hawk County lakes; the crappie spawn is in the midst. Trout stocking season is in full swing, but all stockings are unannounced due to COVID-19 precautions. All state fish hatcheries are closed to the public. Call the Manchester Hatchery at 563-927-3276 for more information.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9
River level at Lansing is 8.4 feet and is stable. Water temperature is 57 degrees. Ramp conditions are improved, but many area roads are still muddy. New Albin Army road is open. Walleye – Fair: Walleyes are biting on crankbaits near the dams and channel border structure. Northern Pike – Good: Northern pike bite has picked up with warmer water temperatures. Use a lure with steel leaders fished in shallow backwaters. Yellow Perch – Excellent: Use a small piece of crawler fished just off the bottom near shorelines with slight current. Black Crappie – Good: Crappies are in about 10 feet of water. Use a minnow under a bobber in areas with less current in backwaters or side channels. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass will be on pre-spawn bite as temperatures rise. Cast plastics or blade baits in backwater lakes. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Try spinnerbaits fished in rock piles at the tip of the islands on main channel borders. Shovelnose sturgeon – Fair: Some shovelnose are being picked up with a crawler fished off the bottom in main channel areas. Flathead Catfish – Fair: Expect the flathead bite to improve near spawning and as the water warms up. Use large shiners or a small bluegill for bait. Channel Catfish – Good: Try nightcrawlers or cut bait fished off the bottom in deeper side channel areas.

Mississippi River Pool 10
River level is 17 feet at Lyxnville and is expected to drop another foot. Water temperature is 58 degrees. Walleye – Good: Walleyes are biting on crankbaits near the dams and channel border structure. Northern Pike – Fair: Northern pike bite has picked up with warmer water temperatures. Use lures with steel leaders fished in shallow backwaters. Yellow Perch – Excellent: Use a small piece of crawler fished just off the bottom near shorelines with slight current. Black Crappie – Good: Crappies are in about 10 feet of water. Use a minnow under a bobber in areas with less current in backwaters and side channels. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass will be on pre-spawn bite as temperatures rise. Cast plastics or blade baits in backwater lakes. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Try spinnerbaits fished in rock piles at the tip of the islands on main channel borders. Shovelnose sturgeon – Good: Some shovelnose are being picked up using a crawler fished off the bottom in main channel areas. Flathead Catfish – Fair: Expect the flathead bite to improve near spawning and as the water warms up. Use large shiners or a small bluegill for bait. Channel Catfish – Good: Try nightcrawlers or cut bait fished off the bottom in deeper side channel areas.

Mississippi River Pool 11
River level at Guttenberg has fallen to 8.5 feet and is predicted to fall gradually next week. Water temperature is 54 degrees. Ramp conditions are improved. Walleye – Good: Walleyes are biting on crankbaits near the dams and channel border structure. Northern Pike – Good: Northern pike bite has picked up with warmer water temperatures. Use lures with steel leaders fished shallow backwaters. Yellow Perch – Excellent: Use a small piece of crawler fished just off the bottom near shorelines with slight current. Black Crappie – Good: Crappies are in about 10 feet of water. Use a minnow under a bobber in areas with less current in backwaters and side channels. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass will be on pre-spawn bite as temperatures rise. Cast plastics or blade baits in backwater lakes. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Try spinnerbaits fished in rock piles at the tip of the islands on main channel borders. Shovelnose sturgeon – Fair: Some shovelnose are being picked up with a crawler fished off the bottom in main channel areas. Flathead Catfish – Fair: Expect the flathead bite to improve near spawning and as the water warms up. Use large shiners or a small bluegill for bait. Channel Catfish – Good: Try nightcrawlers or cut bait fished off the bottom in deeper side channel areas.

Upper Mississippi River levels are stabilizing near normal levels. Fish are more actively feeding with the water temps in upper 50’s. Walleye slot length limits now apply on the entire Mississippi River in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin waters of Pools 9-12. All walleyes less than 15 inches long and between 20-27 inches long must be released immediately. Only one walleye greater than 27 inches can be harvested per day. Combined walleye/sauger daily harvest limit of 6 and possession of 12.


Mississippi River Pool 12
The water level at the Dubuque Lock and Dam is receding and is near 8.2 feet; levels are near 10.5 feet at the RR bridge. The water temperature has fallen to 55 degrees. The water clarity is good. Northern Pike – Good: Flashy spinners in warm sun filled waters might trigger these predators. Yellow Perch – Slow: It was a great spring to catch yellow perch. Expect a good perch season as water comes down. Bluegill – Slow: Some bluegills are starting to be reported, but the season is starting slowly. Black Crappie – Good: Some crappie were reported out of marina areas, especially under boat docks. A few real nice-sized fish were reported this week. Channel Catfish – Fair: Cut bait is still producing nice channel catfish. Freshwater Drum – Good: Freshwater drum are easy to catch on a worm sinker and worm rig. Fish in moderate current.

Mississippi River Pool 13
Water level at the Bellevue Lock and Dam has receded to 9.3 feet. The water temperature has fallen to 55 degrees. Most boat ramps are coming on line after flooding. The Pleasant Creek and Thompson Causeway boat ramps may still be closed. Yellow Perch – Slow: Some yellow perch are being reported by anglers fishing for bluegills and crappie. Shorthead redhorse – Good: These fish are being caught in the tailwaters and running up local tributaries. All you need is a simple worm rig fished on the bottom. Channel Catfish – Good: Use cut bait in flooded areas for abundant channel catfish. Black Crappie – Fair: A few crappies are being taken in flooded areas under boat docks or large trees. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Freshwater drum are easy to catch on a worm sinker and worm rig. Fish in moderate current. Northern Pike – Good: Try flashy spinners fished along old weed edges and rock shorelines. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Largemouth bass fishing started off hot this year, but receding water levels and dropping temperatures have slowed down the bite.

Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level is 8.9 feet at the Fulton Lock and Dam, 12 feet at Camanche and 6.7 feet at LeClaire. Water temperature has fallen to around 56 degrees. The Corps of Engineers boat ramp at Cattail Slough may still be closed due to high water and debris. Walleye – Slow: Walleye spawn is over, but a few males are still being caught on the clam beds and outside rocky bends of the river. Some wing dam fishing may start soon as water levels recede.Yellow Perch – Slow: It was a great spring for catching yellow perch. Some are still being reported incidentally while fishing for bluegills and crappie. Shorthead redhorse – Good: Redhorse are being caught in the tailwaters and running up local tributaries. All you need is a simple worm rig fished on the bottom. Channel Catfish – Good: Try cut bait in moderate current areas. Freshwater Drum – Good: Freshwater drum are easy to catch on a worm sinker and worm rig. Fish in moderate current. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass fishing started out hot this year, but lately the falling water levels and falling water temperatures has slowed down the bite.

Mississippi River Pool 15
Water level is around 9.6 feet at Rock Island and is receding. The water temperature is around 57 degrees; water is clear. Freshwater Drum – Good: Freshwater drum are easy to catch on a worm sinker and worm rig. Fish in moderate current.

Water levels are dropping, but so has the water temperature. Ramps and parking lots will need to be cleaned; please be patient. If you have any fishing questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-880-8781.


Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 9.38 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and is falling. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 15. River stage is 10.36 feet at Fairport; flood stage is 14 feet. We have not received any fishing report information for this pool. White Crappie – No Report: Look for crappies in the backwaters. Try jigs and minnows/plastics or minnows fished under a bobber around brush piles. White Bass – No Report: Look for white bass in Sylvan slough. Cast jigs and twister tails.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 8.11 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and is falling. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 16. River stage is 10.32 feet at Muscatine. Flood stage is 16 feet at Muscatine. We have not received any fishing report information for this pool. White Crappie – No Report: Look for crappies in the backwaters around brush piles. Try jigs and minnows/plastics or minnows fished under a bobber. White Bass – No Report: Look for white bass up by the spillway or down by GPC. Cast jigs and twister tails.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 9.98 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and is falling. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 17. River stage is 10.62 feet at Keithsburg; flood stage is 14 feet. The gates are out of the water at the dam. The Toolsboro ramp is open. We have not received any fishing reports for this pool this week. White Crappie – No Report: Look for crappies in the backwaters around brush piles. Try jigs and minnows/plastics or minnows fished under a bobber. White Bass – No Report: Look for white bass up by the spillway, the outlet of Odessa, or back by the pumping station in Belle Pocket. Cast jigs and twister tails.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 6.78 feet at Lock and Dam 18 and is falling. Flood stage is 10 feet at Lock and Dam 18. River stage is 12.19 feet at Burlington; flood stage is 15 feet. River stage is 526.70 feet at Fort Madison; flood stage is 528 feet. We have not received any fishing reports or ramp condition reports for this pool.

River stage has fallen below flood stage. River stages have been falling the past week. Main channel water temperature is around 57 degrees. The river has muddied up some with the recent rains. 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 trying to stay in the 60’s. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass fishing continues to be fairly decent. Use crankbaits. Black Crappie – No Report: Just not in yet; could change in a hurry on the next sunny warm day. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers continue to pick up some bluegills in shallow using bobber and worms.

Lake Belva Deer
Water temperature remains just a few degrees shy of 60 degrees. Water is nice and clear. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass continue to be the fish that most anglers are catching. Bass are in shallow hunting bluegills, green sunfish, and the occasional crawdad. Black Crappie – No Report: A few here and there, but no real numbers being caught yet. Need the weather to get warm and sunny for more than a few hours and they will come in.

Lake Darling
Water temperature was 58 degrees on Thursday (5/14) at mid-morning. Water clarity remains very good despite the rain. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass fishing remains decent; work crank baits along the near shore habitat. Black Crappie – Fair: Water temperature needs to go up just a little bit more for the crappies. Crappie fishing has picked up a little bit recently with a few anglers catching some nice batches in 4 to 6 feet of water. Bluegill – Fair: You can see a lot of bluegills in the shallow water; use a worm and bobber.

Lost Grove Lake
The weather the last few days isn’t helping the fishing; rain and/or wind with one nice day in between. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Decent bass fishing is the one steady trend at Lost Grove. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegill fishing has been decent when the weather cooperates.

Skunk River (Coppock to Mississippi River)
River water levels are holding steady. Channel Catfish – Good: Use cut bait or nightcrawlers fished out in front of the brush piles and in the back eddies below the bigger sand bars where catfish wait for food to drift by.

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


Cedar River (Cedar Rapids to Moscow)
Shovelnose sturgeon – Good: Try crawlers along sandbars. Channel Catfish – Fair. Shorthead redhorse – Fair: Use crawlers in gravel areas.

Coralville Reservoir
The lake level was is 682.3 feet on 5/14 and is rising. It is being brought up to summer pool and should reach 683.5 feet on 5/19. Water temperatures are in the upper 50’s. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use cut bait around the 380/965 bridges. Shallow windblown bays can also be good. White Crappie – Slow: Try minnows or bright colored jigs around shallow brush piles.

Diamond Lake
The dock/kayak launch are in, but the bathrooms are closed. Black Crappie – Fair: Most fish are 8-12 feet down in deeper water. Try small jigs for these 8-9 inch fish. Bluegill – Fair: Try small jigs or worms around brush. Many fish are 7-8 inches. Channel Catfish – Slow: A few fish have been caught this week.

Lake Macbride
Water temperatures are in the upper 50’s. Water clarity is very high. The docks are in; fish cleaning stations are open. Bathrooms and other facilities are closed due to COVID concernsBlack Crappie – Fair: The bite slowed a bit this week. Some fish are in  shallower brush and rock while others are staging in 10 feet of water.Try minnows under a bobber or cast small plastics. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: A few more fish were caught this week. Fish windblown flats and banks where shad may be found. Walleye – Fair: Some fish are being caught shallow towards evening while others are in 7-13 feet of water. Try jigs, live bait, jerkbaits and crankbaits. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Fish should move shallower again with the upcoming warm up. A variety of artificial lures will work.

Liberty Centre Pond
2000 trout were stocked in this North Liberty Pond. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Fair: Try small jigs, spinners, spoons, scented baits or worms.

Pleasant Creek Lake
The docks are in; the fish cleaning station and bathrooms are closed. Best bite is in the afternoons and evenings when water temperatures are highest. Walleye – Fair: Use crawlers or plastics fished towards evening. Bluegill – Fair: Some fish are being seen moving shallower. Try small worms or jigs in warmer water areas. Black Crappie – Fair: Some fish are being caught in the brush on jigs or minnows. Keep moving until you find the right area. Fish up to 12 inches are reported.

Sand Lake
2000 trout were stocked here. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Fair. Black Crappie – Fair: The bite slowed this week with the cool down, but may pick back up by the weekend.

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


Des Moines River (Ottumwa to Farmington)
Shovelnose sturgeon – Fair: Try crawlers along sandbars and rock riffles.

Lake Miami
Largemouth Bass – Good: Use spinnerbaits along the shorelines. Bluegill – Fair: Try a bobber and worms in shallow areas.

Lake Sugema
Use nightcrawlers to catch catfish. Black Crappie – Good: Use minnows and jigs around the standing timber and shorelines. Bluegill – Fair: Try worms and a bobber around shorelines and vegetation.

Lake Wapello
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try jigs and spinnerbaits around structure. Black Crappie – Fair: Try minnows and jigs along rocky shorelines. Bluegill – Good: Use a worm and bobber around structure and along the shorelines.

Ottumwa Park Pond South (Trout Pond)
2000 trout were stocked here. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Try small jigs, in-line spinners, spoons, or worms.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 904.15 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. Most docks are not in. Water temperature is in the mid to lower 50’s. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappies are still out in a little deeper water waiting for a warm up to move shallow. Try small jigs and minnows.

Red Haw Lake
The docks are in. Largemouth Bass – Good: Use spinnerbaits or rubber worms along the shorelines and around structure. Bluegill – Fair: Try a chunk of nightcrawler around structure and along the shoreline.

The district includes Appanoose, Davis, Lucas, Mahaska, Monroe, Wapello, Wayne and Van Buren counties. Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions about fishing in south central Iowa.

SOUTHWEST

Banner Lake (south)
Rainbow Trout
 – Good: Use in-line spinners, small jigs with twister tails or swimbaits or live bait under a bobber. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Big Creek Lake
Walleye – Fair: Try jigs tipped with plastics or live minnows along rocky shores or troll live bait rigs in 10 to 20 feet of water. Target the East Boat ramp bay, the West Boat Ramp bay and the marina to beach area. Black Crappie – Good: The week of May 18 will be a good time to fish for crappies. Try live minnows near any wood and rock in 6 feet of water or less, especially in the coves.

Blue Heron Lake (Raccoon River Park)
White Crappie – Good: Cast tube jigs, hair jigs and live minnows under a bobber from shore near wood.

Des Moines River (Saylorville to Red Rock)
Walleye – Fair: Target walleye and northern pike below the dams and mouths of creeks where clearer water is coming in. Use jigs tipped with twister tails, shad, and shiner imitating swimbaits or live minnows. White Bass – Fair: Cast jigs tipped with twister tails, swim baits or shiners below dams near creek mouths and on sandbar drop-offs.

Don Williams Lake
Black Crappie – Good: Catch crappies with live minnows under a bobber fished near tree falls and drift or troll panfish jigs out a little deeper on the edges of the tree falls. Most crappies are 8.5 to 10 inches.

Lake Petocka
Rainbow Trout – Good: Catch trout left from the winter stocking with in-line spinners, small jigs with twister tails or swimbaits, or live bait under a bobber. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Red Rock Reservoir
Black Crappie – Good: The peak of the crappie spawn will be the weekend of May 16th through the third week of May. Use live minnows fished under a bobber or cast jigs with plastics near rip-rap, natural rock and wood.

Rock Creek Lake
Black Crappie – Good: Cast jigs with twister tails or live minnows near shore on tree falls and rip-rap.

Terra Lake
Rainbow Trout – Good: Use in-line spinners, small jigs with twister tails or swimbaits, or live bait under a bobber. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

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


Anderson Area Pond 1
Kayaks and canoes only. Black Crappie – Slow: Use jigs; fish average 9 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Try crawlers under a bobber about anywhere on the lake. Fish average 8 inches.

Farm Creek Lake
Farm Creek has a good fish population. Channel Catfish – No Report: Cast cut bait or shad sides off the new jetty on the west side of the lake. Fish range from 2 to 5 pounds. Black Crappie – No Report: Black crappies are being caught around the new jetty in the lake.

Greenfield Lake
Anglers are catching a few crappie and bluegills along the dam and around the jetties. Channel Catfish – Fair: Fish shad sides on the wind-blown shore, especially in the upper end of the lake where water warms sooner. Black Crappie – Fair: Target around jetties and the dam. Bluegill – Slow: A few bluegill are being caught with worms.

Lake Anita
Bluegill – Fair: Anglers report catching bluegills in 6 to 8 feet of water around the reefs. Black Crappie – Fair: Most crappies have moved out to deeper water and around tree piles in the lake.

Lake Manawa
Walleyes are being picked up around the dredge cuts. Fishing should pick up this week with warming temperatures. Channel Catfish – Fair: Fish the wind-blown shores with shad sides or cut bait to catch channel catfish of all sizes. Black Crappie – Slow: Crappie bite has slowed down with cool temperatures. Walleye – Fair: A few anglers are having good success trolling crankbaits using planner boards. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Slow: A few wipers are being caught by walleye anglers.

Prairie Rose Lake
A cool and windy weather pattern has slowed fishing. Anglers were catching crappies and bluegills around the jetties and in brush piles. Bluegill – Slow: A few large bluegills are being caught around brush piles and the reefs. Black Crappie – Fair: Catch black crappie around the jetties and underwater reefs. Large fish will average 10 inches. Largemouth Bass – Fair: A large population of 12 to 14 inch bass offer fun catch and release fishing.

For more information on lakes in the Southwest District call the Cold Springs office at 712-769-2587.


Green Valley Lake
Largemouth Bass – Slow: Use jigs fished near cedar tree brush piles for largemouth bass up to 20 inches. Black Crappie – Good: Catch crappie up to 9 inches with jigs tipped with live bait fished near the fishing jetties or silt dams. Bluegill – Good: Catch bluegill up to 7.5 inches with jigs tipped with live bait fished near the fishing jetties or cedar tree brush piles.

Lake Icaria
Black Crappie – Fair: Catch crappie up to 10 inches with jigs tipped with live bait fished near the fishing jetties or flooded timber.

Little River Watershed Lake
Dock is in at the main ramp. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Catch largemouth bass up to 20 inches with jigs fished near cedar tree brush piles.

Three Mile Lake
Walleye – Good: Use jigs tipped with live bait fished near main lake points or crankbaits fished along the dam for walleyes up to 22 inches. Black Crappie – Slow: Catch crappies up to 10 inches with jigs tipped with a minnow fished along the flooded timber. Bluegill – Fair: Use jigs tipped with live bait fished near cedar tree brush piles for bluegill of all sizes.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake
Dock is in at the main ramp. Black Crappie – Fair:  Use jigs tipped with live bait fished along cedar tree brush piles or rocky shoreline areas for crappie up to 11 inches. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Catch largemouth bass up to 20 inches with jigs fished near cedar tree brush piles. Bluegill – Fair: Use jigs tipped with live bait fished in coves or near cedar tree brush piles for bluegill of all sizes.

Water temperature in most Mount Ayr district lakes is in the upper 50’s to low 60’s. For more information, contact the Mount Ayr Fisheries office at 641-464-3108.

ADVERTISEMENT