Saturday Morning Fishing Report: It’s Free Fishing Weekend

This weekends weather looks to be sunny during the day with highs in the mid to upper 80′ s and windy. There may be thunderstorms on Saturday night. That’s good news considering it’s free fishing weekend in Iowa. That means anyone can go fishing without having to purchase a license. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources annually sponsors the event that helps promote fishing in the state.

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 70 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. Black Crappie – Fair: 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 – Good: Cast traditional bass lures and plastics along shore. You can catch fish anywhere around the lake, but some of the best areas include Ice House point shoreline, inlet bay and bridge area near the outlet, and along Gunshot Hill. 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: Throw traditional bass lures, plastics or weedless lures near submerged structure and along weed lines. Yellow Perch – Fair: Try crawlers on a small jig in 5-10 feet of water. Some is sorting needed. Walleye – Fair.

North Raccoon River (above State Highway 175 bridge near Auburn)
Water remains slightly turbid, but anglers are catching walleye and channel catfish in pools below riffles and along outside bends.

North Twin Lake
Water temperature is around 70 degrees with around 4 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 continue to have good luck with walleye in the main lake and panfish in the marina. Storm Lake has a daily limit of 3 walleye, and all 17- to 22-inch walleye must be released; 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 in the marina near the inlet and along the north and east shore of the main lake. Walleye – Good: Anglers have had luck in the main lake.  Boat anglers are catching fish 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 in the low 70’s in the Black Hawk District. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.


Beeds Lake
Bluegill – Good.  Black Crappie – Good.  Yellow Bass – Fair.

Clear Lake
The water temperature is in the low 70’sWalleye – Good: Anglers are catching walleyes drift fishing a jig and crawler near vegetation. Try slip bobber fishing a leech on the rock reefs. Yellow Bass – Good: Yellow bass are still spawning. 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 or chicken liver fished on the bottom after sunset. Black Crappie – Good: Use a small minnow fished in the edge of the rushes.

Crystal Lake
Black Crappie – Good: Use a minnow or small jig near shore and around vegetation. Largemouth Bass – Good. Northern Pike – Fair. Bluegill – Good.

Lake Smith
Anglers are catching bluegills and crappies along the shoreline. Bluegill – Good. Black Crappie – Good.

Lower Pine Lake
Bluegill – Good: Shore anglers are catching good numbers of 4 to 7 inch fish. Black Crappie – Good. Largemouth Bass – Good. Channel Catfish – Good: Try chicken liver or cut bait fished on the bottom near the spillway.

Silver Lake (Worth)
Largemouth Bass – Good. Bluegill – Good: Cast small jigs or a piece of worm below a bobber.

Upper Pine Lake
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 70 degrees. There is a great panfish bite along the shorelines in the shallows; many fish are bedding, allowing for easy shore and dock fishing. Bluegill – Excellent: Large schools are moving into the shallows to bed and can easily be caught around hoists and docks. Black Crappie – Fair. Yellow Perch – Fair.

Lake Pahoja
Bluegill – Good: Use small jigs tipped with waxworms. Black Crappie – Good: Try small jigs tipped with waxworms. Largemouth Bass – Good: Use rubber worms or other slow moving jigs.

Lost Island Lake
The Palo Alto County Conservation Board is hosting a Virtual Kid’s Fishing Derby for ages 15 and under, June 5th-15th. Go to their Facebook page for details. Yellow Perch – Fair. Walleye – Fair.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Walleye – Good.

Spirit Lake
The walleye season is open. The water temperature is 70 degrees. Walleye and panfish bite has been great. Bluegill – Good: Large schools have been found gathering around hoists and docks. Walleye – Good: Evenings have had fairly good bites; daytime bite is picking up. 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 70 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:

This weekend, June 5th-7th, is Iowa’s free fishing weekend – a great time to get out fishing! Iowa Great Lake water temperatures are warming up quickly and are currently around 70 degrees. The bite has been picking up with warmer water temperatures. This week’s extended forecast is temperatures ranging from the upper 70’s to mid-90’s. The panfish bite has taken off throughout the chain of lakes; they are bedding in the shallows along the shoreline. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.

NORTHEAST

Cedar River (above Nashua)
Water levels are up 2 feet, but are stabilizing after rain early week and are muddy. Use care when on water in these conditions; water hazards are not visible and could capsize or disable a boat. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use a nightcrawler or dead chub fished on the bottom out of current.

Decorah District Streams
With spotty rain, some streams may be muddy making it an excellent time to explore new areas to fish. 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. 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 – Slow: 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. Afternoon gnat hatches are great. An excellent time to fish for browns is when the water gets cloudy. Use hair jigs or spinners for aggressive fish. Rainbow Trout – Slow: Bite is better where water clarity is better. Try a worm or cheese floated through a pool under a bobber. Use an ultra-light pole and reel for fun action.

Lake Hendricks
Water clarity has improved with water temperatures in the 70’s. Black Crappie – Slow: Find crappie suspended in deeper water around structure. Use a minnow or small lure drifting over structure. Bluegill -Fair: Gills are spooky, especially in clear water. Use care not to scare them when tossing out your rig. Try a small piece of worm on a hook under a small bobber. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass are guarding nests. Use a jig tipped with piece of worm or twister tail.

Lake Meyer
Hit and miss activity. Fish mid-afternoon and evening when shadows aren’t cast on the water. Water temperatures are in the low 70’s. Water clarity is excellent. Black Crappie – Slow. Bluegill – Fair: Try a small piece of worm fished under a bobber. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass are guarding nests. Use a jig tipped with a twister tail or worm fished along the shore.

Turkey River (above Clermont)
Water levels are stabilizing with muddy water. Water temperatures are in the mid-70’s. Use care when paddling; strong current. Water hazards are not visible when water is dirty.

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
Water levels are rising with muddy water. Water temperatures are in the mid-70’s. Use care when paddling; strong current. Water hazards are not visible when water is dirty. White Sucker – Slow: Try a hook tipped with a nightcrawler fished on the bottom.

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
Water levels are rising with muddy water. Water temperatures are in the mid-70’s. Use care when paddling; strong current. Water hazards are not visible when water is dirty. White Sucker – Slow: Try a hook tipped with a nightcrawler fished on the bottom.

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. Largemouth Bass – Good: Use a jig tipped with a ringworm or twister tail. Bass are guarding nests. Channel Catfish – Good: Try a nightcrawler, cheese bait or dead chub fished on the bottom.

Lake fishing may be your best bet for a successful trip. Expect a rain free weekend with temperatures in the 80’s for highs and upper 50’s for lows. Iowa residents enjoy our our annual free fishing weekend. This weekend only. Iowa residents don’t need a fishing license or trout privilege to fish for trout, but all other regulations apply. For current fishing information, please call the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9
River level at Lansing has risen to 10.8 feet and is predicted to steadily fall. Water temperature is 74 degrees. New Albin Army road is underwater. Hwy 82, Lansing Bridge is closed until June 15th. 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 – Fair: 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. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are spawing. Use light tackle tipped with small piece of worm along the shorelines.

Mississippi River Pool 10
River level is 20.7 feet at Lyxnville and is expected to steadily fall. Water temperature is 75 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 – 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.  Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are spawing. Use light tackle tipped with small piece of worm along the shorelines.

Mississippi River Pool 11
River level at Guttenberg has bumped up to 12.3 feet, but expected to steadily fall this week. Water temperature is near 70 degrees. 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 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 – 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. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are spawing. Use light tackle tipped with small piece of worm along the shorelines.

Upper Mississippi River levels are predicted to fall steadily this week. Recent rains have reduced water clarity. Look for clearer water in backwater sloughs/ lakes. Many fish species are spawning and actively feeding with the water temperatures over 70 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 kept. 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 near 12 feet; levels are 14.3 feet at the RR bridge.Water temperature is around 71 degrees. The water clarity is fair. Northern Pike – Excellent: Flashy spinners in warm sun filled waters might trigger these predators. Yellow Perch – No Report: It was a great spring to catch yellow perch; populations look good.  None were reported this week. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are on beds. Try a simple bobber and worms.White Crappie – Fair: Crappie are reported out of marina areas and backwaters. The tail end of the white crappie spawn is occurring now. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Cut bait is still producing nice channel catfish. Some catfish have started to move along the rock lines to prepare for spawning. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Freshwater drum are easy to catch on a worm sinker and worm rig. Fish in moderate current. Largemouth Bass – Good: Male bass are being caught in large numbers, but the larger females remain a little elusive since they are done spawning.

Mississippi River Pool 13
Water level is 12.8 feet at the Bellevue Lock and Dam and is cresting. The water temperature is 71 degrees. Most boat ramps are coming on line after spring flooding, but Pleasant Creek Boat ramp remains closed. Water is on the parking lot to the Iowa DNR boat ramp at Bellevue. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Some cats have moved along rock lines and in flooded grass lines to prepare to spawn. White Crappie – Fair: The tail end of the white crappie spawn is occurring.  A few are still being picked up in backwater areas near dead falls. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Freshwater drum are easy to catch on a worm sinker and worm rig. Fish in moderate current. Northern Pike – Excellent: Try flashy spinners fished along old weed edges and rock shorelines. Largemouth Bass – Good: Male bass are being caught in large numbers, but the larger females are a little elusive since they are done spawning. Bluegill – Good: Bluegill nests can be seen along shorelines in the backwater areas. Flathead Catfish – Good: Flathead catfish are being caught by walleye anglers jigging in the tailwaters or by anglers who are targeting fish with live fish for bait. Walleye – Fair: A few walleyes are being reported near locations where the wing dams meet the shorelines.

Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level is 12.3 feet at the Fulton Lock and Dam, 14.8 feet at Camanche and 8.6 feet at LeClaire. Water temperature has risen to 72 degrees. The water is turbid. 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. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Try cut bait in moderate current areas. Look for channel cats to move along the rock lines when spawning gets closer. Freshwater Drum – Good: Freshwater drum are easy to catch on a worm sinker and worm rig. Fish in moderate current. Largemouth Bass – Good:Male bass are being caught in large numbers, but the larger females are a little elusive since they are done spawning. Northern Pike – Good: Use flashy spinners along backwater shorelines or in the tailwaters for this aggressive fish.

Mississippi River Pool 15
Water level is around 13 feet at Rock Island and is rising. Water levels should crest this week. The water temperature is around 72 degrees; water is turbid with recent rains. Freshwater Drum – Good: Freshwater drum are easy to catch on a worm sinker and worm rig. Fish in moderate current. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Channel cats are readily biting on cut bait and prepared baits.

Water level is still rising, but is expected to crest this week. 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 13.07 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and is rising. Tailwater stage has risen over a foot since last weekend. Tailwater stage is forecast to reach 13.5 feet by Saturday. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 15. River stage is 13.42 feet at Fairport; flood stage is 14 feet. White Bass – Fair: Look for white bass in Sylvan slough up by the dams. Cast jigs and twister tails. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use stinkbait fished around snags. Bluegill – No Report: Look for bluegills in the backwaters like Sunset Marina or the Andalusia Island complex. Try pieces of worm under a bobber.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 12.46 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and is rising. Tailwater stage has risen 1.5 feet since last weekend. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 16. River stage is 14.19 feet at Muscatine. Flood stage is 16 feet at Muscatine. The ramp at Big Timber is closed due to high water. We have not received any fishing report information for this pool.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 14.22 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and is rising. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 17. River stage is 13.86 feet at Keithsburg; flood stage is 14 feet. The gates are out of the water at the dam. Toolsboro ramp is closed due to high water. The Hawkeye Dolbee access will most likely have water over it. We have not received any fishing reports for this pool this week.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 10.23 feet at Lock and Dam 18. Flood stage is 10 feet at Lock and Dam 18. The gates are out of the water at the dam. River stage is 15.18 feet at Burlington; flood stage is 15 feet. River stage is 527.93 feet at Fort Madison; flood stage is 528 feet. We have not received any fishing reports or ramp condition reports for this pool.

River stages are on the rise with recent heavy rains. Some boat ramps will be underwater. Water clarity is poor. Main channel water temperature is around 72 degrees. Fishing has been slow with the high and muddy 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 temperatures are approaching the upper 70’s. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass fishing improved over the weekend. Work in shallow with soft plastics; work slow to tick-off the males guarding territories. Bluegill – Good: Some are on beds. Anglers are catching more off the brush piles in 6 to 8 feet of water. Black Crappie – Good: Anglers are picking up crappies off the same brush piles as the bluegills in 6 to 8 feet of water.

Lake Belva Deer
Water clarity is improving this week. Curlyleaf pondweed is having a banner year after a very mild winter. Water temperature is in the upper 70’s. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass are busy finishing up the spawn; males are still guarding the little ones on the nest. Black Crappie – Slow: Crappies are out deep. Drift for them down by the dam or out along the trees in front of the beach. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are starting to move in shallow to spawn. Work the outside edge of the curlyleaf pondweed in 8 to 10 feet of water. Channel Catfish – Slow: Concentrate efforts along the rocks as at these water temperatures the catfish are actively spawning.

Lake Darling
Water temperature was up to 78 degrees Wednesday (6/3) afternoon. Water clarity continues to improve; now at about 3 1/2 to 4 feet. Water color has a gray green tint.   Largemouth Bass – Good: With the jump in water temperature, bass have started spawning activities. Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers are picking up crappies in 8 to 10 feet of water drifting over the deeper habitat. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are spawning and are on beds. Channel Catfish – Fair: Look for the males up in the rocks or in the culvert piles spawning.

Lost Grove Lake
Water temperatures are in the mid to upper 70’s. The aquatic vegetation is thick this year, but should start to die back some with the hot weather. Largemouth Bass – Good: Work the outer edge of the weed beds or use weedless top water baits like scum frogs or moss bosses to get them out of the pockets. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are moving to shallow water; work the edges of the weed beds and any holes you can find in them. Black Crappie – Fair: Warmer water temperatures  have moved crappies out to their summer habitats.

Skunk River (Rose Hill to Coppock)
Water has dropped a couple of feet the last few days. About 3/4 bank full. Channel Catfish – Good: Cut bait live minnows and nightcrawlers work best.

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


Coralville Reservoir
The lake level is 685.2 feet on 6/4 and is rising. Water temperatures are in the mid-70’s. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use cut bait in the channel or live bait along rock banks for spawning fish. White Crappie – Fair: Try minnows or 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; some are around the jetties and brush. Try small jigs for these 8-9 inch fish. Bluegill – Good: Try small jigs or worms in the shallows as they start to move in to spawn. Many fish are 7-8 inches. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try stinkbait or chicken livers. After rain events has been best.

Hannen Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Catch bluegill up to 9 inches in shallow pockets and brush. Black Crappie – Slow: A few nice fish are being picked up along deeper brush. Largemouth Bass – Fair.

Iowa Lake (Iowa Co.)
Water temperature is around 75 degrees. The shoreline is heavily vegetated with aquatic plants. Bluegill – Fair: Look for pockets in the weeds for bedding fish. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try a weedless frog fished in weed lines or over the weeds. Black Crappie – Fair: Target weed lines or drift open water with jigs. Most fish are 9-11 inches.

Lake Macbride
Water temperatures are around 75 degrees. The 10 hp outboard maximum limit is in effect. Black Crappie – Slow: Fish are moving back out to summer areas over brush stumps or rock piles. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Slow: Look for surface activity towards sunset; try plastics or topwater baits. Walleye – Fair: A lot of small fish are being caught with bigger ones mixed in. Troll crankbaits and live bait rigs in 7-13 feet of water. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Target shallow cover for post-spawn fish. Channel Catfish – Fair: Typical baits are working. Fish will start to move to shallow rock to spawn.

Otter Creek Lake
Docks are in; the bathroom at the ramp is open. The fish cleaning station is still closed. Bluegill – Good. Black Crappie – Fair. Yellow Bass – Good.

Pleasant Creek Lake
Walleye – Slow: 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 – Slow: Some fish are being caught on jigs or minnows in the brush or suspended in the mouths of bays. Keep moving until you find the right area. Fish up to 12 inches are reported. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: Target windblown areas. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try chicken livers and stinkbait.

Union Grove Lake
Bathrooms and the fish cleaning station are open. Bluegill – Fair:Target shallow bays and brush or pockets in the weeds. Catch fish up to 8 inches. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Most fish are smaller.

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: Use minnows and jigs along rocky shores. Bluegill – Good: Try a worm and bobber around structure and along shorelines.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 906.25 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. The lake level rising has affected the crappie spawn; try different depths until you find active fish.

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 around the weed line.

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 and another 650 on June 1. 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.

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. Bluegill – Good: Cast small jigs or hooks tipped with nightcrawlers under a bobber.

Don Williams Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Drift or troll panfish jigs out a little deeper on the edges of the treefalls and over sunken pallets. Most crappies are 8.5 to 10 inches. Bluegill – Good: Catch spawning bluegills shallow fishing small jigs tipped with nightcrawlers under a bobber.

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


Lake Anita
A few crappies were caught around the reefs this week. Bluegills are starting to build nests and spawn. Bluegill – Fair: Cast on top of the underwater reefs to find spawning bluegills. Black Crappie – Fair: Most crappies have moved to tree piles and along the two road beds in the lake. Largemouth Bass – Good: Anita has a good bass population. Find fish along vegetation edges and around tree piles.

Lake Manawa
Walleyes are being picked up around the dredge cuts. Channel catfish are being caught on the west shoreline. Channel Catfish – Good: Fish the wind-blown shores with cut bait to catch channel catfish of all sizes. Walleye – Fair: A few anglers are having good success trolling crankbaits using planner boards.

Prairie Rose Lake
Bluegills are starting to build nests and spawn on the reefs. Bluegill – Fair: Find the underwater reefs or spawning beds placed in the lake to find spawning bluegills. Largemouth Bass – Good: A large population of 12 to 14 inch bass offer fun catch and release fishing.

Viking Lake
Viking Lake is still six feet low. Boats can be launched at the pontoon ramp. Black Crappie – Good: Black crappies are being caught in brush piles. Cast a minnow under a bobber to catch 9 to 12 inch crappie. Largemouth Bass – Good: Anglers are catching bass in tree piles using plastics.

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

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