Saturday Morning Fishing Report: Area Lakes and Rivers Rated Slow

Plentiful sunshine will help area anglers on lakes, rivers, and streams. Highs will be in the high 60’s to low 70’s, while night fishing will see mostly clear skies and lows near 50. Winds will create some chop on the lakes as they gust out of the southeast up to 25 miles per hour. Overall, most fishing this weekend appears to be slow as water temperatures are in the mid 60’s.

Stay safe when fishing with these tips:

  • Try a new fishing spot — if your regular fishing location is popular and busy, try out a new one that is not so crowded.
  • Once you find your spot, keep at least 6 feet of distance between you and other groups.
  • Stick with your immediate family, but keep groups to fewer than 10 people.
  • Bring lures from home instead of buying bait to minimize your interaction with other people.
  • Bring hand sanitizer and wash your hands often.

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

Arrowhead Lake
Water clarity is good. Bluegill – Fair: Cast a small jig fished under a bobber near submerged structure along shore in 5-10 feet of water. Try small popping plugs on a fly rod on calm evenings. Cast plugs around downed trees along the shoreline. Try drifting down the middle of the lake with a 1/16 ounce leadhead to find suspended fish. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Cast traditional bass lures near submerged woody structure throughout the lake and along weed lines in the southern part of the lake.

Black Hawk Lake
Water level is roughly 5 inches below crest. Water temperatures have cooled and the shore fishing action has picked up. Yellow Perch – Slow. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Cast traditional bass lures and plastics along shore and near docks. You can catch fish anywhere around the lake, but some of the best areas are Ice House point shoreline, inlet bay and bridge area near the outlet, and along Gunshot Hill. Walleye – Fair: Look for walleye along the north shore Ice House Point and near the outlet on the east shoreline. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use natural baits like nightcrawlers, crawdads or shrimp fished along rocky shorelines like Ice House Point near the outlet and near the inlet bridge. Bluegill – Fair: Pick up bluegill along shore with small jigs. Black Crappie – Fair: Use a small white jig or a small live minnow under a bobber in and around the fish house in Town Bay and along Ice House Point. Some anglers have caught limits. Many crappie are 8- to 9-inches, but a few bigger ones are mixed in.

Browns Lake
Channel Catfish – Fair: Look for channel catfish along the outside bend of the lake in deeper water. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Look for largemouth bass along the edges of the lotus patches and the deadfalls along the outside bend of the lake.

Brushy Creek Lake
Brushy Creek has been drawn down about four feet for a construction project. Launch boats at the north ramp or the west ramp; docks have been adjusted at the west ramp to make them easier to use. Black Crappie – Fair: Use a small piece of crawler or minnow on a jig fished under a bobber near submerged woody structure. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Throw traditional bass lures, plastics or weedless lures near submerged structure and along weed lines. Yellow Perch – Slow. Walleye – Slow. Bluegill – Fair.  Channel Catfish – Fair: Brushy Creek Lake has a low-density population of larger channel catfish. Target these larger fish near rocky areas and submerged woody structure using a variety of cut baits and crankbaits fished near the bottom in 10-15 feet of water.

North Raccoon River (above State Highway 175 bridge near Auburn)
River levels are low; fish are concentrated in the deeper holes. Channel Catfish – Fair: Target catfish in the deeper areas with cut bait, liver or stinkbait fished on the bottom. Walleye – Fair: Water clarity is good. Look for walleye in deeper areas; use crawlers, twisters or crankbaits.

North Twin Lake
Water levels are several inches below crest. Water temperature is around 60 degrees. Yellow Bass – Fair: Use a small jig tipped with a piece of crawler or waxworm fished under a small bobber. Yellow bass are 6-10 inches long.Try around the dead falls and woody structure along the shoreline just to the south of Featherstone Park. Channel Catfish – Fair: Channel catfish are numerous in North Twin Lake. If fishing from shore, let the bait sit near the bottom. Use natural baits like nightcrawlers, crawdads, or shrimp. If fishing from a boat, try drifting at night over deeper water. Bluegill – Slow: Try small jigs tipped with a crawler fished under a bobber near vegetation edges. Walleye – Slow: Try trolling walleye in the middle of the basin using crankbaits or crawler harnesses. Recent surveys show a lot of big walleye along the wooded shoreline just south of Muddy Bay and Featherstone Park.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
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. Walleye – Fair: Drift with leeches or crawler harnesses along the dredge cuts and troll crankbaits or bottom bouncing rigs in the main lake. As the water temperatures cool, look for shore fishing action to pick up as fish move close to shore and start feeding more aggressively. Try twisters or minnows/leeches fished under a bobber along shore at the marina, near the outlet and along the north and east shorelines. White Bass – Fair: Pick 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. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try a variety of dip baits, cut baits and crankbaits fished near shore and anywhere with rocky structure or rock piles. Bluegill – Slow: Find panfish around patches of vegetation. Yellow Perch – Slow: Look for panfish around patches of vegetation. Black Crappie – Slow: Find panfish around patches of vegetation.

Fishing action has picked up in some areas as water temperatures cool down. Most lake levels remain at or below crest. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.


Beeds Lake
Bluegill
 – Slow. Black Crappie – Fair: Drift fish small tube jig to catch suspended fish.

Clear Lake
The water temperature is in the low 60’s. Walleye – Slow: Try slip bobber fishing or jigging a crawler on the rock reefs. Best bite is early morning and late evening. Yellow Bass – Slow: Yellows are biting on small jigs tipped with a piece of crawler. Use your electronics to find and stay on fish.

Crystal Lake
Black Crappie
 – Slow: Drift fish small tube jigs near the dredge cut. Bluegill – Slow.

Rice Lake
Bluegill
 – Slow. Largemouth Bass – Slow. Yellow Perch – Slow: Try a jig tipped with a small minnow along the north shore near the boat ramp or the deeper water on the south shore by the homes.

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 64 degrees. Bluegill – Good: Find schools in deeper water. Black Crappie – Fair. Yellow Perch – Good. Yellow Bass – Good.

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
Yellow Perch – Fair. Walleye – Fair.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Walleye – Fair.

Spirit Lake
The walleye season is open; the bite should pick up as water temperatures fall. The water temperature is 60 degrees. Bluegill – Good: Schools are starting to move deeper off shore post-spawn. Walleye – Fair: A fairly good bite lately can also be seen from shore. Try bottom bouncers or crankbaits to cover more water. Black Bullhead – Fair: Anglers have been successful at the north grade. Yellow Perch – Good: The bite has really picked up; fish are starting to be found closer to shore from accessible areas such as docks. Other areas to try are small humps in the main basin or weed edges. Many 9-inch fish being have been caught.

West Okoboji Lake
The walleye season is open. The water temperature is 64 degrees. The panfish bite has been good.The ability to anchor or use Spot Lock is very useful to stay on fish in about 20-30 feet of water. Fish will start to move to shallower water soon and be able to be caught from docks/shore. Bluegill – Excellent: Schools are deeper off shore. Try fishing in 20-30 feet of water off most points. Anglers have had success using pilkies. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Find smallmouth bass on rock piles or on the points. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Find largemouth bass on the weed lines. Yellow Perch – Fair: Schools have started to move deeper off shore. Yellow Bass – Excellent: Easily find yellow bass while fishing for bluegill.

Iowa Great Lake water temperatures have dropped in the past week with the cooler temperatures and are 64° or lower. This week’s extended forecast calls for warmer temperatures with highs in the upper 60’s to lower 70’s. The area walleye bite should start to pick up as water temperatures start to fall. The panfish bite should start to pickup around shore as fish move towards shallower water. The yellow perch bite has started to pick up. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.

NORTHEAST

Cedar River (above Nashua)
Repairs to the Nashua dam continue as water levels and flows stabilize. Water clarity is improving. Use caution; access to fishing holes by boat may be difficult due to low levels. Go to the USGS Current Conditions website for more information on water levels. Channel Catfish – Good: Use dead chubs, stinkbaits and worms fished near bottom near dusk in woody debris or stumps. Walleye – Fair: Fish are active in the evening. Try minnows fished near current breaks and in log jams. Be prepared to run your lure near bottom of pools. Smallmouth Bass – Slow: Use a minnow on a hook under a bobber in current breaks or rock ledges and gravel bars. Black Crappie – Fair: Try minnows fished under a bobber near downed trees and slow water or pool areas.

Decorah District Streams
All trout stream stockings are unannounced due to COVID-19 precautions. Anglers are seeing good evening mayfly and white fly hatches. Take advantage of the cooler weather and explore a new stream. Rainbow Trout – Excellent: Hoppers, beetles and anything that looks buggy will work this time of year. Use hair jigs, spinnerbaits or small shallow water crankbaits for aggressive fish. Brown Trout – Excellent: There have been excellent evening mayfly hatches. A keen eye and a fly box filled with a variety of sizes and colors will help match a hatch. Try along grassed edges, undercut banks and around boulders. Brook Trout – Good: Use small terrestrial flies such as crickets, grasshoppers and ants. Please respect private property open to angling; pick up trash and be considerate.

Lake Hendricks
Water clarity remains fair as a green algae bloom continues. Visibility is slowly improving. Water temperatures are in the mid-60’s. Bluegill – FairShore anglers will find fish around the jetties or along the weed lines. Use a small piece of worm under a bobber. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try a worm or stinkbait fished near the bottom around woody structure in the evening. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use topwater lures fished along a weed edge. Black Crappie – Fair: Try a jig tipped with a minnow or twister tail trailing behind a boat or kayak for best luck when fish are deep.

Lake Meyer
Few anglers are out this week. Lake level is down about 1 foot. Use care using boat ramps during low water; long trailers reach the end of the ramp. Water clarity is good. Early morning and evening bite is best. An excellent lake to use a paddle board or kayak to fish the nooks and crannies. Bluegill – Fair: Use a small hook tipped with a small piece of worm under a bobber from shore. Fly anglers should try a small cricket with a jerky movement on the water’s surface along a weed edge. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Flip a top water lure along a weed edge in the evening when fish are actively feeding. Also try a jig tipped with a plastic worm. Channel Catfish – Good: Try stinkbait or worms fished on the bottom around woody structure near dusk.

Turkey River (below Clermont)
Water levels are at summer lows, even with the rain; you may need to walk through some riffles. Walleye – Fair: Use a jig tipped with natural colored plastics or crankbait in deeper holes and log jams. Fish deeper for walleye holding near the bottom. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Try a variety of brightly colored lures in eddies or along rocky ledges.

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
Water levels are low with excellent clarity. Sand and gravel bars are appearing. You might have to walk in a few places. Walleye – Fair: Use a lure imitating a shiner or sucker fished in the deeper pools around log jams.

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
Water levels are low with excellent clarity. Sand and gravel bars are appearing; take advantage of these spots to fish the eddies or deeper areas. Walleye – Fair: Use a jig tipped with a worm or bright colored twister tail. Smallmouth Bass – Fair.

Volga Lake
Water clarity is improving to about 18 inches. Water temperatures are in the 60’s. Bluegill – Fair: Use a small hook and piece of worm under a bobber. Wait for the bobber to go under the water, then give the line a quick jerk to set the hook. Keep the rod tip up to put tension on the line while reeling in the fish. Largemouth Bass – Good: Slowly troll a lure over fish attracting structure and get ready to set the hook. Try crankbaits or a jig with a twister tail. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Use worms or stinkbait fished near dusk. Find a good stump or woody structure to toss bait and wait; patience is key for this fish.

Area rivers are stable after last week’s rain. Clarity is good on most. Thunderstorms are possible through Saturday. Weekend temperature highs in the 60’s with mid-40’s for lows. Enjoy this beautiful fall-like weather and explore a new area. For current fishing information, please call the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.


Big Woods Lake
Black Crappie – Fair. Bluegill – Fair.

Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Fishing has been best in shallow areas. Bluegill – Good. Channel Catfish – Fair: Fishing has slowed for catfish, but the average size caught is large.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
River levels are good for fishing. River flow at Waterloo on Sept. 17 were about 1510 CFS.Median flow for this date is 1340 CFS. Channel Catfish – Fair. Walleye – Fair. Smallmouth Bass – Good.

George Wyth Lake
George Wyth boat ramp is closed for repairs. Shoreline fishing access remains open. Black Crappie – Fair: Fish are small, but they are hitting a variety of smaller live or artificial baits. Bluegill – Fair: Fish are small. Largemouth Bass – Good: George Wyth has a good bass population with many 2-4 pound fish.

Manchester District Streams
Trout Streams are in excellent condition. Rainbow Trout – Excellent. Brown Trout – Good.

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
River flows are a little high for this time of year, but okay for fishing. River flow at Manchester was 294 CFS on Sept. 17. Median flows for this date are 113 CFS. Walleye – Fair. Smallmouth Bass – Good.

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
River conditions are good for fishing. River flow at Shell Rock was 555 CFS on Sept. 17. Median levels are 424 CFS. Walleye – Fair. Smallmouth Bass – Fair.

Silver Lake (Delaware)
Bluegill – Good: Fish are small, but catch rates are excellent. A good place to take kids fishing Largemouth Bass – Fair.

Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
River flows are a little high for this time of year, but are okay for fishing. River flow at Independence was 543 CFS on Sept. 17. Median flow is 144 CFS. Channel Catfish – Fair. Smallmouth Bass – Fair. Northern Pike – Fair. Walleye – Fair.

Fishing conditions have improved on eastern Iowa streams, lakes and rivers during this past week with cooler temperatures and dry weather. All fish hatcheries remain closed. Call the Manchester Hatchery at 563-927-3276 for more information.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9
Pool level is 8 feet at Lansing and remains stable. Water temperature is 66 degrees. Use caution at the Lansing Village Creek ramp with low water as the access channel is shallow. Walleye – Good: Walleyes are feeding on the wing dams; drift crawlers or crankbaits. Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth are hanging out along weed beds and channel borders. Smallmouth Bass – Excellent: Try crankbaits fished on rock tips of islands in the main channel. Flathead Catfish – Good: Smaller flatheads are biting on worms fished in the deeper tailwaters of dams. Channel Catfish – Good: Try prepared stinkbait and worms fished in current along rock shorelines. Bluegill – Excellent: Larger bluegills are biting on a small piece of crawler fished along channel borders and sloughs. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Drum are biting on worms sunk to the bottom in areas of current. Yellow Perch – Excellent: Perch have been active in backwater lakes in around 5 feet of water; use a small piece of worm. Black Crappie – Good: Try minnows fished under a bobber in submerged trees in backwater lakes.

Mississippi River Pool 10
Pool 10 at Lynxville is near 615 feet and stable. Water temperature is 69 degrees. The fall bite has picked up. Walleye – Good: Walleye are feeding on the wing dams; drift crawlers or crankbaits. Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth are hanging out along weed beds and channel borders.  Flathead Catfish – Good: Smaller flatheads are biting on worms fished in the deeper tailwaters of dams. Channel Catfish – Good: Try prepared stinkbait and worms fished in current along rock shorelines. Bluegill – Excellent: Larger bluegills are biting on a small piece of crawler fished along channel borders and sloughs. Smallmouth Buffalo – Excellent: Use crankbaits fished on rock tips of islands in the main channel. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Drum are biting on worms sunk to the bottom in areas of current. Yellow Perch – Excellent: Perch have been active in backwater lakes in around 5 feet of water; use a small piece of worm. Black Crappie – Good: Try minnows fished under a bobber in submerged trees in backwater lakes.

Mississippi River Pool 11
Pool 11 is 6.7 feet with a slight fall late next week expected. Water temperature is near 61 degrees. Walleye – Good: Walleyes are feeding on the wing dams; drift crawlers or crankbaits. Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth are hanging out along weed beds and channel borders. Smallmouth Bass – Excellent: Try crankbaits fished on rock tips of islands in the main channel. Flathead Catfish – Good: Smaller flatheads are biting on worms fished in the deeper tailwaters of dams. Channel Catfish – Good: Try prepared stinkbait and worms fished in current along rock shorelines. Bluegill – Excellent: Larger bluegills are biting on a small piece of crawler fished along channel borders and sloughs. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Drum are biting on worms sunk to the bottom in areas of current.Yellow Perch – Excellent: Perch have been active in backwater lakes in around 5-7 feet of water; use a small piece of worm. Black Crappie – Good: Try minnows fished under a bobber in submerged trees in backwater lakes.

Upper Mississippi River levels are stable and fall fishing is picking up. Water clarity has diminished with lots of vegetation dying off and floating. Cooler days have cooled water temperatures to the mid-60’s. Fish are on the fall feed. Walleye slot length limits now apply on the entire Mississippi River. 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
Water levels are expected to recede this week. The water level is 6.8 feet at the Lock and Dam and 9.2 feet at the RR bridge. The water temperature is 74 degrees. The water clarity is fair. Northern Pike – Good: Flashy spinners in eddy areas or along weed lines will take this toothy predator. Bluegill – Good: Find bluegills along rock piles and submerged trees in the larger low current sloughs. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Try prepared stinkbaits and cut shad. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Freshwater drum are easy to catch on an egg sinker and worm rig. Fish in moderate current. Use large crayfish to catch big drum. Largemouth Bass – Excellent: Bass anglers are switching from frog baits to large spinnerbaits. Bass have moved along rock lines in moderate current. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Find smallmouth bass along rock piles with strong current; use flashy spoons, spinners or crankbaits. Turbid water will hamper catching smallmouths. Walleye – Fair: A few walleye are being taken on wingdams with stronger current, others are being taken on sand flats by anglers using crankbaits. White Bass – Fair: Some white bass are being caught in the Dubuque tailwater on white jigs. Look for feeding schools elsewhere. Black Crappie – Good: Crappie are being taken out of brush piles and marina areas on small jigs and minnows. Flathead Catfish – Excellent: Smaller flatheads are being taken on worms in deeper holes and in the tailwater.

Mississippi River Pool 13
The water level is 7.6 feet at the Bellevue Lock and Dam. Levels are expected to recede all week. The water temperature temperature is 74 degrees. The water clarity is fair. The Maquoketa River is still running somewhat turbid. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Find catfish along rock lines and brush piles in moderate current. Most anglers are using prepared stinkbaits. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Freshwater drum are easy to catch on a sinker and worm rig. Fish in moderate current. Northern Pike – Good: Try flashy spinners fished along old weed edges and rock shorelines. Largemouth Bass – Excellent: Try large single hook spinnerbaits in weedy areas. Bluegill – Good: Find bluegills along rock piles and submerged trees in the larger sloughs. Flathead Catfish – Excellent: Use live fish for bait. Lots of trot lines are being set; make sure you follow trot lines rules, especially having a tag with your name and address attached to the lines. Smaller flatheads are being taken in deep holes or in the tailwater on worms. White Bass – Fair: A few white bass are being taken in the tailwater areas and near wingdams; use flashy small spinners. Walleye – Fair: Walleyes are being taken on wing dams with stronger current. Try pulling crankbaits on sand flat areas between islands or between wing dams. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Try along rock lines with strong current.

Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level is 7.2 feet at the Fulton Lock and Dam, 11.2 feet at Camanche and 5.9 feet at LeClaire. Water temperature is 74 degrees. Water clarity is fair. The Wapsipinicon River is running turbid. Channel Catfish – Good: Anglers are using prepared stinkbaits along rock lines. Cut shad is also working well. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Freshwater drum are easy to catch on a worm sinker and worm rig. Fish in moderate current. Use large crayfish to catch bigger drum. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass are being taken off lily pad areas on spinnerbaits or frog imitation lures. Northern Pike – Good: Use flashy spinners along backwater shorelines or in the tailwaters for this aggressive fish. Flathead Catfish – Excellent: Try live fish for bait. Lots of trot lines are being set; make sure you follow trot lines rules, especially having a tag with your name and address attached to the lines. Bluegill – Good: Find bluegills near backwater areas around brush piles. As water levels get low, look for bluegills along the channel edges. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Try spinners or crankbaits along rip-rap areas. Walleye -Fair: Some fish are being taken on wingdams with stronger current, others are being taken on sand flats by anglers using crankbaits. White Bass – Fair: Try white jigs fished in tailwater areas.

Mississippi River Pool 15
Water level is 8.2 feet at Rock Island and is dropping. The water temperature is 74 degrees. Water clarity is fair. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Freshwater drum are easy to catch on a worm sinker and worm rig. Fish in moderate current. Use large crayfish to catch larger drum. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Channel cats are hitting on cut bait and stinkbaits. Flathead Catfish – Excellent: Try live bait around brush piles or in the tailwater area. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Fish the rocky habitats along the channel edge. In line spinners work best, but must be fished very close to the rock and current areas. White Bass – No Report: Expect a fall fun of white bass, especially in the tailwater areas.

Water level continues to fall throughout the district. Tributary streams are running turbid after last week’s rains. If you have any fishing questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-880-8781.


Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 7.73 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and has been falling. The recent forecast has the river falling over the weekend. Channel Catfish – Good: Use chicken livers or dip baits around brush piles and snags along the main channel and side channels. Reports of channel catfish being caught around the wingdams along Credit Island on stinkbait. White Crappie – No Report: Look for crappies in the backwaters. Try jigs and plastics or minnows fished in Sunset Marina or Andalusia Island Complex. Bluegill – No Report: Try pieces of worm under a bobber in Sunset Marina or Andalusia Island Complex. Walleye – Fair: Look for walleyes on the wing dams. Try trolling crankbaits or three-way rigs with pieces of a crawler. Reports of some walleyes being caught around the mouth of Sunset Marina.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 6.55 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and is falling. Channel Catfish – No Report: Use chicken livers or dip baits around brush piles or snags along the main channel or side channels. White Bass – No Report: Look for white bass by the dam or by GPC. Cast jigs and twister tails or crankbaits. Also look for white bass on the wing dams. Bluegill – No Report: Look for bluegills in the backwaters. Try pieces of worm under a bobber fished around brush piles in Big Timber or Cleveland Slough. Walleye – Fair: Look for walleyes on the wing dams. Try trolling crankbaits or pulling three-way rigs with crawlers. White Crappie – No Report: Look for crappies in the backwaters. Try minnows under a bobber or jigs and plastics around brush piles at Big Timber and Cleveland Slough.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 8.04 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and is falling. The recent forecast has tailwater stage falling over the weekend. Channel Catfish – Good: Use or chicken livers or dip baits around brush piles and snags along the main channel and side channels. Walleye – No Report: Look for walleyes on the wing dams; use crankbaits or three-way rigs with crawlers. White Crappie – No Report: Look for crappies in the backwaters around brush piles; try minnows under a bobber or jigs and plastics. White Bass – No Report: Look for white bass at the outlet of Odessa up by the dam or on the wing dams. Cast jigs and twister tails or crankbaits. Largemouth Bass – No Report: Look for largemouth bass in Boston Bay or Huron Island complex. Try fishing around fallen trees in the backwaters and sloughs.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 4.87 feet at Lock and Dam 18 is falling. River stage is 10.55 feet at Burlington. River stage is 526.24 feet at Ft. Madison. Channel Catfish – Fair: Look for channel catfish around brush piles and snags along the main channel and side channels. Rocky shorelines with current can be good. Use dip baits, shad or nightcrawlers. White Crappie – No Report: Look for crappies in the backwaters. Try minnows under a bobber or jigs and plastics fished around brush piles. Walleye – No Report: Look for walleyes on the wing dams. Use crankbaits or three-way rigs with crawlers.

Tailwater stages are falling after the recent rise due to rain. Main channel water temperature  is 67 degrees. Water clarity is fair. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

SOUTHEAST

Big Hollow Lake
Pretty quiet out on the lake earlier this week. Water temperature was 71 degrees on Sept. 16; several boats were out on the lake in the middle of the day. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegill fishing is picking up. Most are still out in the deeper 6-10 feet of water. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Work out in a little deeper water in the flooded timber in the bays. Muskellunge – Fair: Every once and a while somebody will hook into a musky. Several are in that legal-size range.

Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River
This Iowa River came up from the rains, but has already dropped more than a foot from it’s crest this week. Channel Catfish – Fair: Depending on how much more it rains, find a feeder creek that has some decent flow into the river and use nightcrawlers for bait. Catfish will be looking for these spots to find fresh food washed in by the rains.

Lake Belva Deer
Water temperatures are between 69 and 72 degrees. Water remains dirty by Belva Deer standards. Most of the runoff from the rains is being caught by the marsh above the lake. Bluegill – Fair: The bluegill bite is picking up; a little better than fair, but anglers are having to work hard to catch their fish. Slowly troll in 12-18 feet of water. Black Crappie – Fair: Slowly troll in deeper water at the lower end of the lake. Largemouth Bass – Fair: The bite is starting to pick up; most bass are not in shallow yet. Work the mid depths (6-10 feet deep) in the timber.

Lake Darling
Water temperature is around 70 degrees +/- a couple of degrees. Water is still turbid. Largemouth Bass – No Report: Rapidly falling water temperatures should bring the fish in shallow once the weather settles down. Bluegill – Good: Bluegill fishing is picking up. The better ones are still out in deeper water. Slowly troll or drift over the deeper water habitat. Black Crappie – Good: Slowly troll over the habitat in 10-12 feet of water or over the rock piles in 5-8 feet of water.

Lost Grove Lake
The lake is still showing the effects of all that rain last week. Water temperatures is in the upper 60’s. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass fishing is picking up. They are not in shallow, but are hanging out in 4-8 feet of water. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills are sticking to the deeper water for now. Work the flooded timber in 6-10 feet of water.

Skunk River (Rose Hill to Coppock)
The Skunk River came up just a few inches from all the rains. Some of the sand bars got covered up, but are now coming back out of the water. Channel Catfish – Slow: Use live bait, nightcrawlers or minnows fished on the mouths of the feeder creeks.

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


Coralville Reservoir
The lake level on Sept. 17 is 684.8 feet and will slowly start to rise to waterfowl fall pool this weekend. Channel Catfish – Fair: Troll cut bait in the channel or up on shallow flats depending on the fish activity. Some fish have also been caught on shrimp near Curtis Bridge. White Crappie – Slow: A few fish are being caught off rock banks.

Diamond Lake
Channel Catfish – Fair: Use crawlers and livers. Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs tipped with worms around brush piles. Black Crappie – Fair: Try small jigs tipped with worms around brush piles.

Lake Macbride
Any sized motor may be used at a maximum of 5 mph. The west lane of the main ramp is closed due to construction. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Slow: Troll crankbaits during the day and throw topwaters or plastics at sunrise/sunset for surface feeders. Walleye – Slow: Try trolling crankbaits or jigging in 7-13 feet of water. Largemouth Bass – Slow. Black Crappie – Fair: A few fish are being caught over brush piles.

Otter Creek Lake
The park and lake are closed until further notice due to storm damage.

Pleasant Creek Lake
All ramps are open. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try around shallow structure. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Try over the new rock bars and points. Bluegill – Fair: Fish are moving back into the shallows.

Additional parks/lakes may be still closed due to storm damage. For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.


Hawthorn Lake
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use spinnerbaits or crankbaits along rock piles and rip-rapped shores. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try liver or stinkbait in 4-8 feet of water.

Lake Miami
Bluegill – Slow: Drift small jigs for suspended bluegills.Try small jigs tipped with a chunk of nightcrawler around the fishing jetties. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try crankbaits around the cedar trees and along the rip-rapped shorelines. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use nightcrawlers or liver in 4-8 feet of water.

Lake Sugema
Black Crappie – Slow: Drift jigs tipped with a minnow in 6-10 feet of water for suspended crappies. Submerged structure can also hold fish. Keep moving until you find active fish. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try crankbaits or rubber worms along the shorelines and rip-rapped areas.

Lake Wapello
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try plastics and spinnerbaits fished around tree piles. Bluegill – Slow: Drift nightcrawlers on small jigs for suspended bluegills. Target areas in 6-8 feet of water. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use nightcrawlers or stinkbait. Black Crappie – Slow: Drift jigs tipped with minnows for suspended crappie.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 903.90 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. Use caution while boating: the lake has not been at this level for some time. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: Look for flocks of seagulls to find shad; hybrids should be below the school of shad. Troll crankbaits that mimic gizzard shad through this area. Walleye – Slow: Troll gizzard shad imitating crankbaits around rock piles, submerged points and areas with depth changes. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try nightcrawlers or chicken liver in 6-8 feet of water.

Red Haw Lake
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try spinnerbaits and crankbaits around submerged structure and rocky shorelines. Bluegill – Slow: Drift nightcrawlers on small jigs in the main part of the lake. Channel Catfish – Slow: Use chicken liver or stinkbait in 4-8 feet of water.

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

Big Creek Lake
Walleye – Slow: Troll live bait rigs or crankbaits in 15 feet of water or less in the upper half of the lake. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Slow: Cast or troll shad imitating spoons, crankbaits or plastics. Look for schools of young shad breaking the surface of the water to find feeding wipers.

Des Moines River (Saylorville to Red Rock)
Channel Catfish – Fair: Channel catfish and flathead catfish are being caught. Try live bait, stinkbait and crawlers. White Bass – Fair: Cast twister tail jigs, in-line spinners, spoons and topwater poppers near sandbar drop-offs. Look for small gizzard shad busting the surface.

Don Williams Lake
Black Crappie – Slow: Drift or troll panfish jigs in the middle half of the lake. Start just out from the docks in the boat ramp area. Crappies are 8.5 to 10 inches.

Red Rock Reservoir
White Crappie – Fair: Drift or slowly troll panfish tube jigs or twister tails along the rock cliffs on the south shore just above and below the Mile Long Bridge in the marina cove and bays with flooded timber.

Roberts Creek Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Drift or troll jigs with twister or paddle tails in the lower half of the lake.

Saylorville Reservoir
Channel Catfish – Good: Drift or slowly troll cut bait in the upper end of the reservoir.

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
Water clarity is good. Water temperatures are in the mid-70’s. Bluegill – Slow: Drift or troll small jigs tipped with berkly or nightcrawlers in 6 to 8 feet of water. Black Crappie – Fair: Best bite is early morning around tree piles for 7 to 9 inch black crappie. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Anita has a good bass population. Find fish along vegetation edges and around tree piles. Channel Catfish – Slow: Catfish are being caught on top of the two roadbeds in the lake and around jetties.

Lake Manawa
Zebra mussels were found in Lake Manawa; clean, drain and dry your boat when leaving the lake. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use cut bait; fish are all sizes in the lake. White Crappie – Slow: A few large white crappies are being caught on the west shore. Walleye – Fair: A few anglers are having good success running a crawler through the dredge cuts. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Slow: Wipers are being caught on the east shoreline.

Littlefield Lake
Littlefield Lake has an algae bloom. Water clarity will get better with cooling water temperatures. Bluegill – Slow: Try worms fished around the cedar tree piles. Bluegills will average 8 inches. Largemouth Bass – Slow: A large number of 12 to 14-inch fish are in the lake. Channel Catfish – Fair: Cast cut or stinkbait along the dam to catch 2 to 4 pound channel catfish.

Meadow Lake
Water clarity is fair. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers report catching bluegills slow trolling and drifting. Fish average 8 inches. Largemouth Bass – No Report: There is a good population of largemouth bass up to 18 inches in the lake. Channel Catfish – Fair: Anglers can find large channel catfish in Meadow Lake. Cast cut bait into the tree piles.

Prairie Rose Lake
A few bluegills are being caught slow trolling. The water clarity is improving at the lake. Bluegill – Slow: Look for bluegills around tree piles and slow trolling the lake. Bluegills in Prairie Rose are quality-size. Black Crappie – No Report: A small population of large black crappies are in the lake. Channel Catfish – Slow: Channel catfish are being caught around the jetties and underwater reefs. Fish average 2 to 4 pounds. Largemouth Bass – Fair: A large population of 12 to 14-inch bass offer fun catch and release fishing. 

Viking Lake
Viking Lake is eight feet low. Black Crappie – Fair: Slowly troll jigs over humps and drop-offs in the lake. Fish average 9 inches. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Anglers are catching bass in tree piles using plastics. Channel Catfish – Fair: Cast stinkbait around tree piles to catch fish up to 6 pounds.

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 to catch largemouth bass up to 20 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Catch bluegill up to 7.5 inches with worms fished under a bobber along fishing jetties.

Lake Icaria
Channel Catfish – Fair: Use nightcrawlers or chicken liver fished along rocky shoreline areas to catch channel catfish of all sizes.

Little River Watershed Lake
Bluegill – Slow: Use jigs tipped with a nightcrawler fished near cedar tree brush piles to catch bluegill up to 8.5 inches. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Catch largemouth bass up to 20 inches with jigs fished near cedar tree brush piles.

Three Mile Lake
Walleye – Slow: Use jigs tipped with live bait fished along the creek channels or main lake points to catch walleyes up to 22 inches. Bluegill – Slow: Catch bluegill of all sizes with jigs tipped with a nightcrawler fished near weed lines.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake
Largemouth Bass – Slow: Catch largemouth bass up to 20 inches with jigs fished near cedar tree brush piles. Bluegill – Fair: Drift with small jigs to catch bluegill of all sizes.

Water temperature in most Mount Ayr district lakes is in the upper 60’s to low 70’s. For more information, contact the Mount Ayr Fisheries office at 641-464-3108.


Iowa Outdoors Expo goes virtual

Don’t miss out on all of the same great Iowa Outdoor Expo fun just because we can’t meet in person this year. Visit www.iowadnr.gov/expo to view several family-friendly videos and resources to expand your skills and knowledge about recreating in Iowa’s Great Outdoors. Sign up for free webinars on campfire cooking, snakes, bald eagles and more.

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