Saturday Morning Fishing Report: Fishing Quality Improves with Warmer Waters

Showers and thunderstorms are likely both Saturday and Sunday with highs in the upper 70’s to lower 80’s. Exercise caution on area lakes particularly when thunderstorms are in the area. While winds will average 5 to 9 mph from the south, they may increase in storms. Lightning can strike up to two miles from a storm so be safe when venturing into the water before or after a storm.

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 around 60 degrees. The outdoor walkway on the fish house structure in Town Bay is open to anglers; the indoor portion of the structure remains closed. Yellow Perch – Fair: Anglers are picking up some 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 been hit or miss. 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 5 feet of water clarity. Black Crappie – Fair: Fish anywhere with structure near shore or downed trees near the shoreline. Yellow Bass – Fair: Yellow bass have moved in close to shore. Use a small jig tipped with a piece of crawler or waxworm fished under a small bobber in 3-6 feet of water near shore. If fishing from boat, you may need to move around to stay on top of fish. Yellow bass are 6-10 inches long.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Water clarity has increased. 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 – Good: The bite in the main lake has picked up. If fishing from shore, use a twister, crankbait or a leech or crawler fished under a bobber. Boat anglers have had good luck trolling crankbaits in the dredge cuts. Yellow Perch – Fair: Pick up perch along shore in the marina and north and east shores. White Bass – Fair: The bite has been hit or miss. Anglers are picking up white bass from shore and in the main like while trolling. Use twisters, crawlers or crankbaits in the marina, near the inlet and north and east shores in the main lake.

Water temperatures are around 60 degrees in the Black Hawk District. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.


Beeds Lake
The panfish bite is picking up. Bluegill – Good. Black Crappie – Good. Yellow Bass – Fair.

Clear Lake
The water temperature is in the low sixtiesThe bite will continue to improve as the water warms. Walleye – Fair: Anglers are catching a few walleyes drift fishing a jig and crawler near vegetation. Also try slip bobber fishing a leech on the rock reefs and along the vegetation edge. The trolling bite is starting to pick up. Yellow Bass – Slow: Yellow bass a starting to move up shallow. The best bite is early morning. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass are biting on jigs fished near the edge of vegetation. Yellow Perch – Fair. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try a piece of cut bait fished on the bottom near areas where water is coming into the lake.

Crystal Lake
Black Crappie – Good: Use small white plastics in 7-9 feet of water. Largemouth Bass – Good. Northern Pike – Slow.

Lake Cornelia
Yellow Bass
 – Good: Yellow bass are on the rocky areas. Walleye – Fair: Try jerk bait fished along the shoreline. Bluegill – Good.

Lake Smith
Anglers are catching bluegills and crappies along the shoreline. Recent rains have reduced water clarity. Bluegill – Good. Black Crappie – Good.

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.

Silver Lake (Worth)
Largemouth Bass – Good. Bluegill – Slow.

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. 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 55 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 56 degrees. Bluegill – Good: Large schools have been found gathering around hoists and docks. Walleye – Fair: Evenings have had fairly good bites. Black Bullhead – Fair: Anglers have been successful at the north grade.

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 55 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 55 to 60 degrees. The bite should continue to pick up as water temperatures rise. This week’s extended forecast is temperatures ranging from the upper 60’s to 70’s. 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 cloudy. 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. Black Crappie – Fair: Try minnows fished in shallow water areas or around structure.

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. 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
Water temperatures are in the mid-60’s. Black Crappie – Fair: Find crappie suspended over brush piles or submersed structure. Use a minnow and drift over structure. Bluegill – Good: Try a small piece of nightcrawler or waxworm under a bobber. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use a dead minnow or worm and fished on the bottom. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass are on beds. Use a crankbait or spinnerbait over structure.

Lake Meyer
Hit and miss activity. Fish mid-afternoon and evening to let water temperature to warm up. Water temperatures are in the mid-60’s. Water clarity is excellent. Black Crappie – Fair: Find crappies around brush piles. Use minnow suspended over habitat. 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. Try along weed edges. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use a jerk bait or crankbait fished along a brush pile or rock structure.

Turkey River (above Clermont)
Water levels are falling with turbid water. Water temperatures are in the 60’s. Walleye – Fair: Find walleye in runs and along current breaks. Use jigs tipped with ringworms or twister tails. White Sucker – Excellent: Suckers are biting. Use a nightcrawler fished on the bottom.

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
Water levels are stable with poor clarity due to rainfall mid-week. Water temperatures are in the 60’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 stabilizing with fair water clarity. Water temperatures are in the 60’s.  Walleye – Slow: Anglers are finding fish in eddies and runs. Use jigs tipped with a nightcrawler. White Sucker – Excellent: Try a hook tipped with a nightcrawler fished on the bottom. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Use jigs tipped with a worm.

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

Water levels stabilizing after mid-week rain. Water clarity is fair on area rivers. Improvements to clarity depend on rain amounts over the weekend. Expect a rainy weekend with highs in the upper 70’s and lows in the 60’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 and bluegill. Black Crappie – Fair: Try crappie jigs or a minnow fished under a bobber over structure; use electronics to find structure. Bluegill – Good: Use a piece or worm underneath a slip bobber along the shoreline as bluegill near their spawning beds.

Brinker Lake
Anglers are catching crappie and bluegill. Black Crappie – Fair: Try crappie jigs or a minnow under a bobber fished over structure; use electronics to find structure. Bluegill – Fair: Use a piece or worm underneath a slip bobber along the shoreline as bluegill near their spawning beds.

Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
Anglers are catching largemouth bass, bluegill and 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)
No reports for the Cedar River as water levels have risen with the recent rainfall events. Walleye – No Report: Cast and retrieve plastics tipped with or without a minnow or crankbaits; walleye have moved out of over-wintering areas. Channel Catfish – No Report: 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. 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 – No Report: Cast and retrieve plastics tipped with or without a minnow or crankbaits; walleye have moved out of over-wintering areas.

South Prairie Lake
Anglers are catching some crappie, bluegill and largemouth bass. 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. Bluegill – Fair: Use a piece or worm underneath a slip bobber along the shoreline as bluegill near their spawning beds. Largemouth Bass – Good: Cast crankbaits and topwater baits early morning or late evening.

Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
The Wapsipinicon River has risen and stabilized with the recent rainfall events. There have been no reports this past week, but the river may be fair to fish by the upcoming weekend. Walleye – No Report: Cast and retrieve plastics tipped with or without a minnow or crankbaits; walleye have moved out of over-wintering areas. Smallmouth Bass – No Report: Try a jig and plastic tipped with a minnow or cast spinner or crankbaits. Northern Pike – No Report: Float a live chub or shiner under a bobber or cast bucktail spinners. Channel Catfish – No Report: Use chicken livers or dead cut baits fished on the bottom upstream of fallen snags.

Most interior rivers have risen and are now stabilizing or falling with recent rainfall. Fair to good reports of panfish on the area Black Hawk County lakes; crappie spawn is mostly finished. 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 has risen to 9 feet and is predicted to hit 9.4 feet before gradually receding. Water temperature is 62 degrees. 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 – Good: 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 18 feet at Lyxnville and is expected tor each 18.5 feet over the weekend and stabilize there. Water temperature is 63 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 bumped up to 9.3 feet and is predicted to reach 9.8 feet. Water temperature is 55 degrees at the dam and in the 60’s in backwaters. 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 – Good: 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 have bumped up this week. Fish are more actively feeding with the water temps in near 60 degrees. 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 rising and is 8.3 feet; levels are near 10.6 feet at the RR bridge. The water temperature is around 62 degrees. The water clarity is good. Northern Pike – Good: Flashy spinners in warm sun filled waters might trigger these predators. Yellow Perch – Fair: It was a great spring to catch yellow perch. Some fish are being caught along side of bluegills and crappies in backwater areas. Bluegill – Good: Some nice bluegills are being taken out of some backwater areas with earthworms and bobbers. Black Crappie – Good: Crappie were reported out of marina areas, especially under boat docks. A few real nice-sized fish were reported this week. Channel Catfish – Good: Cut bait is still producing nice channel catfish. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Freshwater drum are easy to catch on a worm sinker and worm rig. Fish in moderate current. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass bite has picked up; most fish are in spawning behavior right now.

Mississippi River Pool 13
Water level is 9.3 feet at the Bellevue Lock and Dam and is rising. The water temperature has risen to 62 degrees. Most boat ramps are coming on line after spring flooding. Yellow Perch – Slow: Some yellow perch are being reported by anglers fishing for bluegills and crappie. Shorthead redhorse – Good: Redhorse are still 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 larger complexes such as crooked slough near fallen 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 – Good: The bass bite has picked up again. Many fish are in spawning mode with females on the nests.

Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level is 8.7 feet at the Fulton Lock and Dam, 11.9 feet at Camanche and 6.6 feet at LeClaire. Water temperature has risen to 62 degrees. The water is clear. The Corps of Engineers boat ramp at Cattail Slough may still be closed due to high water and debris. Walleye – Fair: Angler are finding some walleyes on wing dams near shore with crankbaits. 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 – Good: Bass fishing has picked back up again; fish are in spawning mode. Black Crappie – No Report: Expect crappie to really start biting on the Mississippi now that water levels have somewhat stabilized.

Mississippi River Pool 15
Water level is around 10.8 feet at Rock Island and is rising. The water temperature is around 63 degrees; water is clear. Freshwater Drum – Good: Freshwater drum are easy to catch on a worm sinker and worm rig. Fish in moderate current. Channel Catfish – Good: Channel cats are readily biting on cut bait and now even prepared baits.

Water level is rising a bit. Most boat ramps are open after spring flooding, but there may still be some debris. If you have any fishing questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-880-8781.


Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 10.46 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 15. River stage is 11.35 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 10.08 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 16. River stage is 11.88 feet at Muscatine. Flood stage is 16 feet at Muscatine. The gates are out of the water at the dam. 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 11.71 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 17. River stage is 11.71 feet at Keithsburg; flood stage is 14 feet. The gates are out of the water at the dam. 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 8.42 feet at Lock and Dam 18. Flood stage is 10 feet at Lock and Dam 18. River stage is 13.56 feet at Burlington; flood stage is 15 feet. River stage is 527.21 feet at Fort Madison; flood stage is 528 feet. We have not received any fishing reports or ramp condition reports for this pool.

Tailwater stages have risen 1-2 feet since last week due to recent heavy rains. River stages are still below flood stage. Main channel water temperature is around 60 degrees. Water clarity is poor with the recent heavy rains. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

SOUTHEAST

Big Hollow Lake
Water temperatures hit the 60’s when the sun comes out. Heavy rains over the weekend but water remains in good condition. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Anglers continue to pick up a few bass with the males in shallow. Black Crappie – No Report: Just not in yet; could change in a hurry on the next sunny warm day. Bluegill – Slow: The weather has set them back out to deeper water.

Lake Belva Deer
Very heavy rains over the weekend brought the lake level up several inches and the water clarity down to 2-3 feet; down to 6 inches at the upper end of the lake last Monday. Has been improving since then. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Water temperature is struggling to hit the 60’s. Bass are trying to adjust to the conditions. Black Crappie – No Report: Anglers are catching some crappies out in 10-12 feet of water. Expect the spawn to happen fast when it does.

Lake Darling
Very heavy rains over the weekend gave us near 0 water clarity on Monday; lake level was up a foot or more above normal. Water level is back to near normal; water clarity is about 12 inches. Water temperature is 60 degrees. Largemouth Bass – Slow: A few of the males are in shallow defending territories. Black Crappie – Slow: During the first part of last weekend they were starting to come in to spawn; heavy rains stopped that. Bluegill – Slow: The water needs to clear back up.

Lost Grove Lake
Water temperature hit the low 60’s the first part of last weekend, but has had a hard time hitting it since. Water clarity is still good. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Anglers report that male bass are in shallow picking out nesting spots. Females are out a little deeper waiting for the water to warm more. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegill fishing has been decent when the weather cooperates. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappie fishing picked up over the weekend, but slowed since.

Skunk River (Coppock to Mississippi River)
River levels came up some with the rain, but not too bad. A few new trees are in the water in the Brighton area. 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 at summer pool of 683.5 feet. Water temperatures are about 60 degrees. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use cut bait in the channel. White Crappie – Fair: Try minnows or bright colored jigs around shallow brush piles.

Diamond Lake
The docks are in, but the facilities 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.

Iowa Lake (Iowa Co.)
Bluegill – Fair: Fish are starting to move shallow. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Look for fish to move in shallow to spawn. Black Crappie – Fair: Some fish are shallow to spawn, whilel some are in deeper water.

Lake Macbride
Water temperatures are around 60 degrees. The 10 hp outboard maximum starts on Friday, May 22. Black Crappie – Fair: 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.Try windblown areas 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. Channel Catfish – Fair.

Pleasant Creek Lake
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.

Union Grove Lake
Bathrooms will open this Friday, May 22nd. The fish cleaning station is available at the west ramp. Bluegill – Fair: Look for fish to move in shallow. Catch fish up to 8 inches. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Most fish are smaller. Walleye – Slow: A few fish are being caught mostly while targeting other fish.

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


Hawthorn Lake
Largemouth Bass – Good: Try crankbaits or spinnerbaits fished along the rip-rapped shorelines. Black Crappie – Good: Use small jigs or jigs and minnows around submerged structure and shorelines.

Lake Miami
Largemouth Bass – Good: Use spinnerbaits along the shorelines. Bluegill – Fair: Try a bobber and worms in shallow areas. Black Crappie – Good: Use small jigs and twister tails along the shore.

Lake Sugema
Black Crappie – Good: Use minnows and jigs around the standing timber and shorelines. Bluegill – Fair: Try worms and a bobber around shorelines and vegetation.
Largemouth Bass – Good: Use spinnerbaits or crankbaits along rip-rapped shores and around structure.

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

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 905.23 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 waterbody. Black Crappie – Fair: Try small jigs and minnows. Crappies are moving shallow to spawn and can be caught from shore as well as from boats.

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 shore.

Crappie fishing picked up in most lakes in the district. Cast small jigs or minnows along shore. 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

Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake
Rainbow Trout – Good: 1200 extra rainbow trout were stocked in Ada Hayden on May 21. Cast small inline spinners and spoons or live minnows and nightcrawlers under floats. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

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 – Good: Troll live bait rigs or vertical jig with minnows, nightcrawlers, or leeches near points humps and roadbeds. Target the East Boat ramp bay, the West Boat Ramp bay and the marina to beach area. Black Crappie – Slow: Cooler than expected weather has slowed the crappie bite. If warm weather returns over the Memorial Day weekend, try live minnows fished 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 – Fair: 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 – Fair: Cooler than expected conditions has slowed the crappie bite in shallow water. Use live minnows fished under a bobber or cast jigs with plastics near rip-rap, natural rock and wood. Drift or troll panfish jigs until you find schools to catch crappies that have moved just off the shallows.

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 – Good: Bluegills are spawning and can be caught close to shore. Fish average 8 inches. Channel Catfish – Fair: Cast cut bait in the upper end of the lake.

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. Bluegills will start to spawn soon.

Lake Anita
A few crappies were caught around the reefs this week. Bluegills are starting to build nests.  Bluegill – Fair: Anglers report catching bluegills in 6 to 8 feet of water around the reefs. Fish should move up on reefs to spawn this week. 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 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.

Meadow Lake
The water level was drawn down by the DNR last summer to stimulate bluegill growth. The lake is full and bluegills are building nests to prepare to spawn. Bluegill – No Report: Cast small jigs to find spawning bluegills on top of underwater reefs. Black Crappie – Fair: Sorting is needed for bigger fish.

Prairie Rose Lake
Anglers were catching a few remaining spawning crappies on the reefs. Bluegills are starting to build nests on the reefs. Bluegill – Fair: A few large bluegills are being caught around brush piles and the reefs .Next week should be good for spawning bluegills. Black Crappie – Fair: Catch black crappie around the jetties and underwater reefs. Large fish will average 10 inches. Largemouth Bass – Good: 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 – Fair: 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 – Good: Catch crappie up to 10 inches with jigs tipped with live bait fished near the fishing jetties or rocky shoreline areas. Walleye – Fair: Use crankbaits fished along shallow flats for walleye of all sizes. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Catch largemouth bass up to 20 inches with jigs fished along rocky shoreline areas.

Little River Watershed Lake
Dock is in at the main ramp. Largemouth Bass – Good: Catch largemouth bass up to 20 inches with jigs fished near cedar tree brush piles. Black Crappie – Fair: Catch crappie up to 9 inches with jigs fished near rocky shoreline areas.

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 – Good:  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 low 60’s. For more information, contact the Mount Ayr Fisheries office at 641-464-3108.

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