Saturday Morning Fishing Report: Fair Rating on Area Lakes and Rivers

Like last weekend, weather appears to be mixed for fishing. Saturday appears to be the best day for angling with mostly cloudy skies and highs the mid 30’s. Sunday will see snow with possible accumulations of up to 5 inches. Area lake water temperatures are between 45 and 50 degrees.

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

Black Hawk Lake
Shore fishing action has picked up. Water temperatures are around 60 degrees. Anglers are having success along Ice House point, the stone piers, and the fish House in Town Bay. Yellow Perch -Fair. 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: Try nightcrawlers or dip baits along shore of 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 jig or a small live minnow under a bobber in and around the fish house in Town Bay and along Ice House Point. Many crappie are 8- to 9-inches, but a few bigger ones are mixed in.

Brushy Creek Lake
Brushy Creek has been drawn-down about 4-5 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 along shore. 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 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 about 15 inches below crest. Water temperatures are in the upper 50’s. 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 crawlers or dip baits. Bluegill – Slow: Use small jigs tipped with a crawler fished under a bobber near vegetation edges. Walleye – Slow: With cooler water temperatures, try fishing near shore with twisters or leeches. Recent surveys show a lot of big walleye along the shore.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Water temperatures are in the upper 50’s. Water clarity is good. 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: Shore fishing has been productive. 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. 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 bluegill along shore near rocks and patches of vegetation. Use a small jig with a piece of crawler fished under a small bobber. Yellow Perch – Fair. Black Crappie – Slow: Find crappie around patches of vegetation near shore.

Water temperatures in most area lakes are in the upper 50’s. The walleye bite and panfishing action from shore has picked up. Most lake levels are over a foot low. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.


Clear Lake
The water temperature is in the low 50’s. Starting Oct. 19th, the Ventura Access boat ramp will be closed for an extended period as a new boat ramp is installed. The fish cleaning station has closed for the season. Walleye – Fair: Anglers are having success pitching a jig and minnow in 4 to 9 feet of water. Try fishing near lighted docks after sunset.  Yellow Bass – Fair: Yellows are biting on small jigs tipped with a piece of crawler. Use your electronics to find and stay on fish.

East Fork Des Moines (Algona to Humboldt)
Fall fishing is picking up. Smallmouth Bass – Fair. Walleye – Fair.

Rice Lake
Bluegill
 – Slow. Yellow Perch – Fair: 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. You may have to use larger bait to catch keeper-size fish. With clear water conditions, the best bite is early morning and evenings. Largemouth Bass – Slow.

Silver Lake (Worth)
Largemouth Bass – Fair. Bluegill – Fair.

Winnebago River
Fall fishing is picking up. Walleye – Slow.

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. 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 – Excellent. Walleye – Fair.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Walleye – Fair.

Spirit Lake
The walleye season is open; the bite should pick up as water temperatures continue to fall. The water temperature is 52 degrees. Bluegill – Good: Schools are starting to move deeper off shore. 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 have been caught.

West Okoboji Lake
The walleye season is open. The water temperature is 55 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 – Good: 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 – Good: Easily find yellow bass while fishing for bluegill.

Iowa Great Lake water temperatures are around 55 degrees or lower. The extended forecast calls for much cooler temperatures, so water temperatures should continue to fall fast. Air temperatures are expected to be in the 40’s to 50’s for the remainder of the week. The area walleye bite should start to pick up as water temperatures fall. The yellow perch bite has started to pick up in many area lakes. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.

NORTHEAST

Cedar River (above Nashua)
Repairs to the Nashua dam are complete. Water levels remain low with good clarity. 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. Walleye – Fair: Fish activity is spotty. Cooler temperatures are bringing on the bite. Fish have moved into deeper holes. Be prepared to run your lure near bottom of pools. Use minnows for best luck. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: 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. Streams are stocked with catchable-sized trout through October. Decorah Fish Hatchery restrooms are closed to the public for the remainder of the year. It’s hunting season in Iowa; wear orange. 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 – Fair: Trout nests or redds are appearing on stream bottoms as spawning activity ramps up; avoid stepping on these areas. Brownies may be slow to take bait. 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 – Fair: Brookies are coloring to prepare for the spawn. Walk around freshly cleared areas in stream bottom; these are trout nests or redds. Use small terrestrial flies such as crickets, grasshoppers and ants. Also try minnow or shiner imitators. Please respect private property open to angling; pick up trash and be considerate.

Lake Hendricks
Water clarity improving to about 1.5 feet with cooler weather. Water temperatures are in the 60’s. The rock reef fish habitat project is complete. 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 cut bait fished near the bottom around woody structure in the evening. Largemouth Bass – Good: Use topwater lures fished along a weed edge. Black Crappie – Good: Try a hook tipped with a minnow under a slip bobber.

Lake Meyer
Few anglers are out this week. Lake level remains low, but is slowly rising. Use care when using boat ramp with low water. 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 topwater lure along a weed edge in the evening when fish are actively feeding. Also try a jig tipped with a plastic worm. Channel Catfish – Slow: Try worms fished on the bottom around woody structure near dusk.

Turkey River (below Clermont)
Water levels remain low. You may need to walk through some riffles. Fish have moved to overwintering holes. 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 – Good: Use a lure imitating a shiner or sucker fished in the deeper pools around log jams. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Fish around current breaks or rock ledges; use a crawdad or shiner crankbait.

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. 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 – Fair: Use worms or cut bait fished near dusk. Find a good stump or woody structure to toss bait and wait; patience is key for this fish. Black Crappie – Fair: Try a minnow fished under a bobber around rocky shorelines in the evening.

Area rivers remain low with excellent clarity on most. Falling temperatures and gusty winds through the weekend as a cold front passes. Chance for mixed precipitation daily. Iowa’s hunting seasons have started; where plenty of orange. For current fishing information, please call the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.


Big Woods Lake
Anglers are catching crappie on Big Woods Lake. Black Crappie – Fair: Find crappie in deeper water near structure using small jigs or a minnow under a bobber.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
Some nice walleyes are being brought in to area bait shops in Black Hawk County. Walleye – Good: Cast and retrieve large running crankbaits for active fish.

George Wyth Lake
The boat ramp access for George Wyth Lake remains closed, all other boat ramps within George Wyth Park are open.

Manchester District Streams
Trout streams in the Manchester District are in excellent condition. All three trout hatchery offices are still closed.

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
Reports of anglers catching walleye on the Maquoketa River. Walleye – Good: Cast and retrieve large running crankbaits for active fish.

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
Reports of anglers catching walleye and northern pike on the Shell Rock River. Northern Pike – Good: Cast and retrieve large spinnerbaits. Walleye – Good: Cast and retrieve large running crankbaits for active fish.

Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
Reports of anglers catching walleye on the Wapsipinicon River in Buchanan County. Walleye – Good: Cast and retrieve large running crankbaits for active fish.

Interior rivers are in excellent condition – October can provide excellent fishing opportunities. Anglers are starting to catch crappie on area lakes in and around Black Hawk County. Trout streams remain in excellent condition. Call the Manchester Hatchery at 563-927-3276 for more information. All three trout hatcheries are closed; please call ahead to set up any appointments you need.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9
Pool level has fallen to 8.1 feet at Lansing and is expected to remain stable. Water temperature is 58 degrees. Use caution at the Lansing Village Creek and Heytman’s 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 – Good: Try crankbaits fished on rock tips of islands in the main channel. Flathead Catfish – Good: Flatheads are feeding in the deeper side channels or tailwaters of dams. Channel Catfish – Good: Try crawlers fished in deeper main channel holes. Bluegill – Good: Larger bluegills are biting on a small piece of crawler fished along channel borders and sloughs. Yellow Perch – Excellent: Perch have been active in backwater areas in around 5-7 feet of water; use a small piece of worm. Black Crappie – Excellent: Try minnows fished under a bobber in submerged trees in backwater lakes.

Mississippi River Pool 10
Pool 10 at Lynxville is 614 feet and is stable. Water temperature is 59 degrees. 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. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Smallmouth are hitting crankbaits on rock tips of islands in the main channel. Flathead Catfish – Good: Flatheads are feeding in the deeper side channels or tailwaters of dams. Channel Catfish – Good: Try crawlers fished in deeper main channel holes. Bluegill – Good: Larger bluegills are biting on a small piece of crawler fished along channel borders and sloughs. Yellow Perch – Excellent: Perch have been active in backwater areas in around 5-7 feet of water; use a small piece of worm. Black Crappie – Excellent: Try minnows fished under a bobber in submerged trees in backwater lakes.

Mississippi River Pool 11
Pool 11 is 5.6 feet and is expected to rise gradually. Boaters should use caution to not back off end of ramps during low water levels. Water temperature is near 55 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: Flatheads are feeding in the deeper side channels or tailwaters of dams. Channel Catfish – Good: Try crawlers fished in deeper main channel holes. Bluegill – Excellent: Larger bluegills are biting on a small piece of crawler fished along channel borders and sloughs. Yellow Perch – Excellent: Perch have been active in backwater areas in around 5-7 feet of water; use a small piece of worm. Black Crappie – Excellent: Try minnows fished under a bobber in submerged trees in backwater lakes.

Upper Mississippi River levels are low; boaters should use caution. Lots of vegetation is dying off and floating. Water temperatures have fallen into the mid to upper 50’s. Fish are on the fall feed and moving closer to overwintering holes. 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 continue to hold low this week. The water level is 5.8 feet at the Lock and Dam and 8.4 feet at the RR bridge. The water temperature is around 61 degrees. The water clarity is good. Northern Pike – Excellent: 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 nightcrawlers 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: Use spinnerbaits fished along dying weed lines or log piles. Smallmouth Bass – Excellent: Find smallmouth bass along rock piles with strong current; use flashy spoons, spinners or crankbaits. Walleye – Good: A few walleye are being taken on wing dams with stronger current, others are being taken on sand flats by anglers using crankbaits. White Bass – Good: White bass are being found in the tailwater. Look for feeding gulls to find white bass schools. Black Crappie – Excellent: Crappie are being taken out of brush piles and marina areas on small jigs and minnows. Anglers are moving from log pile to log pile with 2 or 3 fish being taken from each.

Mississippi River Pool 13
The water level is 5.8 feet at the Bellevue Lock and Dam. Levels are low and expected to hold low. The water temperature temperature is around 61 degrees. The water clarity is good. The Bellevue City Ramp is under construction; anglers must launch downstream at the DNR ramp south of Bellevue or the ramp at Pleasant Creek which is about 4 miles south of Bellevue. The courtesy dock is now in place at the DNR ramp. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Find catfish along rock lines and brush piles in moderate current. Most anglers are using cut shad for bait. 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 or chatterbaits near lotus and arrowhead weed lines. Bluegill – Good: Find bluegills along rock piles and submerged trees in the larger sloughs. White Bass – Excellent: A few white bass are being taken in the tailwater areas and near wing dams; use flashy spinners. Walleye – Good: Walleyes are being taken on wing dams with stronger current. Try pulling crankbaits on sand flat areas between islands or between wing dams. Mostly smaller fish are being taken. Smallmouth Bass – Excellent: Try along rock lines with strong current.

Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level is 5.6 feet at the Fulton Lock and Dam, 9.8 feet at Camanche and 4.8 feet at LeClaire. Water temperature is around 61 degrees. Water clarity is good. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Most anglers are using cut shad for abundant cats which are commonly found on the upstream edge of wing dams. 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 caught on the receding weed lines mainly using large spinnerbaits. Northern Pike – Good: Use flashy spinners along backwater shorelines or in the tailwaters for this aggressive fish. Bluegill – Good: Find bluegills near backwater areas around brush piles. As water levels get low, look for bluegills along the channel edges. Smallmouth Bass – Excellent: Try spinners or crankbaits along rip-rap areas. Walleye – Good: Some fish are being taken on wing dams with stronger current, others are being taken on sand flats by anglers using crankbaits. White Bass – Good: Try white jigs fished in tailwater areas. Black Crappie – Excellent: Look for brush piles in backwater sloughs. Most anglers are using small jigs, some tipped with minnows.

Mississippi River Pool 15
Water level is 5.9 feet at Rock Island. The water temperature is near 61 degrees. Water clarity is good. 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 – Good: Expect a fun fall of white bass, especially in the tailwater areas.

Water levels continue to stay low throughout the district. Be careful boating; many logs and rocks are exposed. If you have any fishing questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-880-8781.


Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 5.93 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities. The recent forecast has tailwater stage staying fairly steady over the weekend. White Crappie – No Report: Look for crappies in the backwaters. Use jigs and plastics or minnows fished around brush piles 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. Also look for walleyes around island tips that have rip-rap. Walleyes can also be caught fishing in Sylvan Slough. White Bass – Fair: Some white bass are being caught in Sylvan Slough and at the mouth of Sunset Marina. Cast crankbaits or jigs and twister tails.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 4.78 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and is forecast to stay steady over the weekend. We have not received any tailwater fishing reports for walleye and sauger. 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 – Fair: Look for bluegills in the backwaters. Try pieces of worm under a bobber fished around brush piles in Big Timber or Cleveland Slough. Walleye – No Report: Look for walleyes on the wing dams. Try trolling crankbaits or pulling three-way rigs with crawlers. White Crappie – Fair: Look for crappies in the backwaters. Try minnows under a bobber or jigs and plastics around brush piles at Big Timber and Cleveland Slough. ger – No Report: Look for saugers in the tailwaters. Try vertical jigging with minnows or trolling three-way rigs with minnows.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 5.03 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston. Tailwater fishing for walleyes and saugers has been slow. 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. Largemouth Bass – Good: Look for largemouth bass in areas of the main channel or side channels with current breaks or the outlet at Odessa.Sauger – Slow: Tailwater fishing for saugers has been slow.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 2.22 feet at Lock and Dam 18. River stage is 8.30 feet at Burlington. River stage is 525.11 feet at Ft. Madison. We have not received any tailwater walleye and sauger fishing information for this pool. 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. Sauger – No Report: Look for saugers in the tailwaters. Try vertical jigging with minnows or trolling three-way rigs with minnows.

Tailwater stages have been steady the past few days. Main channel water temperature is 62 degrees. Water clarity is fair. River conditions are low, so use some caution when boating. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

SOUTHEAST

Big Hollow Lake
Water temperature is in the low 60’s. You can find plenty of places out of the wind on this lake. Bluegill – Fair: Late last week the bluegill fishing slowed down. Look for bluegills  out in deeper water. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass fishing picked up a little bit from last week with a few more fish moving in shallow. Use soft plastics or weedless jigs tipped with crawdad trailers. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappie fishing slowed over the last few days; they went deep again.

Lake Belva Deer
Water temperature is around 60 degrees. Water clarity is back to 5+ feet. Bluegill – Good: Look for bluegill in 12 to 15 feet of water. Black Crappie – Good: Most crappies are sticking to deeper water; some are crashing the surface in spots chasing little bluegills on the surface. Largemouth Bass – Good: Work your way back into the trees in the shallow water. Soft plastics, rigged weedless and good heavy test line helps.

Lake Darling
Water temperature was 60 degrees on Wednesday (10/14).Water clarity continues to improve (3+ feet); a lot of the green color has left the water. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass haven’t seemed to be affected by the rapidly changing weather conditions. Work the wind-swept shoreline with crankbaits. Bluegill – Fair: The weather change over the weekend pushed most bluegills back out deep. If the wind allows you to, anchor over the brush piles in 10-12 feet of water and vertically jig. Black Crappie – Fair: Sometime between last Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon crappies stopped biting; they have started to bite again, but moved back out to deeper water.

Lost Grove Lake
Water temperatures are around 60 degrees. Water is clear, except where the wind is pounding into some of the points and unarmored shoreline. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass bite has been hit and miss the last few days. When the wind is blowing, work the back side of the points where there is a little calm spot just out of the wind with crankbaits. Bluegill – Fair: Most of the better bluegills moved to deeper water again with the rapidly changing weather.

Skunk River (Rose Hill to Coppock)
The fishing on the Skunk River is pretty quiet right now. Water levels have stayed at the same low level the last few days.

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


Cedar River (La Porte City to Cedar Rapids)
Walleye – Fair. Black Crappie – Fair: Try a minnow and bobber in the backwaters. Northern Pike – Fair: Target backwater areas.

Coralville Reservoir
Black Crappie – Fair: A few fish are being caught off rock banks. White Bass – Fair: Look for schools on windblown rock or sand banks.

Diamond Lake
Channel Catfish – Fair: Use crawlers and livers. Bluegill – Fair: Try small jigs tipped with worms around brush piles. Black Crappie – Good: Use small jigs tipped with worms around jetties and brush piles. Most fish are 8-9 iches.

Iowa Lake (Iowa Co.)
Water temperatures are in the low 60’s. Black Crappie – Fair: Look for suspended fish in 14-18 feet of water. Bluegill – Fair. Largemouth Bass – Fair.

Lake Macbride
Any sized motor may be used at a maximum of 5 mph. Water temperatures are in the low 60’s. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Slow: Troll crankbaits during the day and throw topwaters or plastics at sunrise/sunset for surface feeders. Walleye – Fair: Try trolling crankbaits or jigging in 7-13 feet of water or windblown banks, especially towards evening. Black Crappie – Fair: A few fish are being caught over brush piles or suspended over/along deeper rock.

Otter Creek Lake
The east side of the park and the boat ramp is open. Largemouth Bass – Fair. Yellow Bass – Fair.

Pleasant Creek Lake
All ramps and facilities are open. Bluegill – Fair: Fish are moving back into the shallows. Muskellunge – Fair: The bite is picking up.

Sand Lake
This is the quarry in Marshalltown. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: Try around sunset for 2-pound fish. Bluegill – Fair. Rainbow Trout – Fair.

Union Grove Lake
Docks will be removed on Tuesday, October 20th. Bluegill – Fair: Try fishing around the jetties. Most fish are 6-8 inches. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try crankbaits or plastics. Most fish are 11-13 inches.

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. Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs along shore. Sorting may be needed for larger fish.

Lake Miami
Bluegill – Slow: Use 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. Black Crappie – Slow: Use jigs tipped with minnows around the shoreline and submerged structure.

Lake Sugema
Black Crappie – Fair: 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: Try small jigs tipped with a chunk of nightcrawler around the shorelines and fishing jetties. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use nightcrawlers or stinkbait. Black Crappie – Slow: Try jigs tipped with minnows around submerged structure.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 903.47 msl. Normal operating elevation is 904 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. Black Crappie – Slow: Use small jigs or jigs tipped with a minnow. Anglers are having some success around the fishing docks.

Red Haw Lake
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try spinnerbaits and crankbaits around submerged structure and rocky shorelines. Bluegill – Slow: Use small jigs tipped with a chunk of nightcrawler along the shorelines. Channel Catfish – Slow: Try chicken liver or stinkbait in 4-8 feet of water. Black Crappie – Slow: Use small jigs tipped with minnows around submerged structure.

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

SOUTHWEST

Banner Lake (south)
Rainbow Trout – Good: Trout have been stocked. Cast small inline spinners, spoons, twister tail jigs or minnows under a float. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Big Creek Lake
Walleye – Slow: Troll live bait rigs or crankbaits in 20 feet of water or less in the upper half of the lake near points old roadbeds and humps. White Bass – Fair: Catch white bass and wipers from shore or boat casting or trolling shad imitating plastics, spoons and crankbaits.

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.

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


Big Lake (Including Gilbert’s Pond)
On Oct. 5th, 1000 rainbow trout were stocked into Big Lake. Rainbow Trout – Good: Much of the same tackle used for panfish will catch trout. Try small spinners and white twister tails. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Lake Anita
Water clarity is good. Water temperatures are around 60 degrees. Bluegill – Slow: Anglers report catching bluegills deep along the creek channel. Try tipping your jigs with berkly or nightcrawlers. Black Crappie – Fair: Best bite is early morning around tree piles for 7- to 9-inch black crappie. Try slow trolling the roadbeds in late afternoon. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Anita has a good bass population. Find fish in deeper tree piles and around points/drop-offs

Lake Manawa
Zebra mussels were found in Lake Manawa; clean, drain and dry your boat when leaving the lake. White Crappie – Fai: A few large white crappies are being caught in the canals. Walleye – Fair: A few anglers are having good success running a crawler through the dredge cuts. Black Crappie – No Report: A good population of black crappies are in the lake. Average size is 9 inches.

Littlefield Lake
The water clarity has improved. Littlefield Lake has a good fish population. 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 – Slow: Cast cut or stinkbait along the dam to catch 2- to 4-pound channel catfish.

Meadow Lake
Water clarity is much better. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers report catching bluegills in deep water around cedar tree piles. Fish average 8 inches. Black Crappie – Good: Catch crappies averaging 9- inches with jigs fished over the newer tree piles in the lake. 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
The water clarity has improved. Bluegill – Fair: Look for bluegills around the rock piles east of the beach. Anglers also report catching fish close to the underwater reefs. Bluegills in Prairie Rose are quality-size. Black Crappie – No Report: A small population of large black crappies are in the lake. Largemouth Bass – Fair: A large population of 12- to 14-inch bass offer fun catch and release fishing. 

Viking Lake
Viking Lake is 9 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 the deeper tree piles using plastics.

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 or cedar tree brush piles.

Little River Watershed Lake
Bluegill – Fair: 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 the roadbed to catch walleyes up to 22-inches. Bluegill – Fair: Catch bluegill of all sizes with jigs tipped with a nightcrawler fished near cedar tree brush piles or shallow coves.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake
Largemouth Bass – Slow: Catch largemouth bass up to 20-inches with jigs fished near cedar tree brush piles. Bluegill – Slow: Catch bluegill of all sizes using jigs tipped with live bait fished near cedar tree brush piles.

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

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