Saturday Morning Fishing Report: Some Area Docks Being Pulled for the Season

Area weather for the weather is mixed. While Saturday appears to be warm with the high in the mid 50’s, Sunday may see a high in mid 30’s and windy. Both days will be sunny. Area lake temperatures are in the upper 40’s to lwer 50’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

Black Hawk Lake
Water temperatures have dropped to the mid-40’s. Look for perch, crappie, and walleye along shore in areas where you can wade in. Try along Ice House Point, Gunshot Hill, the outlet, and the North Shore picnic area. Courtesy docks along boat ramps will be in for the remainder of this week. Yellow Perch -Fair: Look for perch near shore in Town Bay near the outlet along Gunshot Hill and the outlet. Walleye – Fair: Look for walleye along the north shore, Ice House Point and near the outlet on the east shoreline. 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.

Brushy Creek Lake
Brushy Creek water level remains about 4-5 feet low. Black Crappie – Fair: Use a small piece of crawler or minnow on a jig fished under a bobber near submerged woody structure along shore. Yellow Perch – Slow. Walleye – Slow. Bluegill – Fair.

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. Yellow Bass – Fair: Use a small jig tipped with a piece of crawler or waxworm fished under a small bobber along shore in 3-6 feet of water. Yellow bass are 6-10 inches long. 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 submerged logs or any remaining patches of vegetation. Walleye – Slow: With cooler water temperatures, try fishing near shore with twisters or leeches.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Water temperatures are in the 40’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: Try twisters or minnows/leeches fished under a bobber near shore at the marina near the inlet and and areas where you can wade in 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 crawlers or a variety of dip baits and cut baits fished on the bottom near shore 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.

Water temperatures in most area lakes are in the mid-40’s. Some areas have skim ice, but will be open again with warmer temperatures in the forecast. Most lake levels are over a foot low. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.


Bluebill Lake
The courtesy dock has been pulled for the season. The gate to the boat ramp access will remain open until the lake freezes up.

Clear Lake
The water temperature is in the low 40’s. The Ventura Access boat ramp is closed while a new boat ramp is installed. The fish cleaning station has closed for the season. Walleye – Fair: Not much fishing activity with the cold windy conditions this week. A few anglers are having success fishing jigs and minnows near vegetation. Best bite is late afternoon and evening. Yellow Bass – Fair: Yellows are biting on small jigs tipped with a piece of crawler. Use your electronics to find and stay on fish. White Bass – Fair.

Crystal Lake
The courtesy docks and fish cleaning station have been pulled for the season.

West Twin Lake
The courtesy dock has been pulled for the season.

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 43 degrees. Many of the hoists and docks are pulled out for the season. 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 37 degrees. Many of the hoists and docks are pulled out for the season. 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.

West Okoboji Lake
The walleye season is open. The water temperature is 43 degrees. Many of the hoists and docks are pulled out for the season. 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 43 degrees or lower with a few areas icing over at night. After this week, air temperatures are expected to be back in the 50’s to 60’s. Many of the area hosts and docks have been pulled from the lakes to prepare for ice-up. The area walleye bite has started to pick up in many areas where you can wade in off shore. The yellow perch bite has began 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 – Good: 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.

Decorah District Streams
This is the last week that streams are stocked with catchable-sized trout. Thanks for supporting this program. All fall community trout locations will be stocked by November 4. These stockings will be unannounced with no family fishing events to help reduce the crowd size at stocking locations and minimize the spread of COVID-19. Check our website at www.iowadnr.gov/trout to find out when and where they were stocked. Rainbow Trout – Excellent: Use flies imitating midges, crickets and mayflies; the smaller the better. Use hair jigs, spinnerbaits or small shallow water crankbaits for aggressive fish. Plenty of fish remain in streams over winter. 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. Brook Trout – Fair: Brookies are coloring up to prepare for the spawn. Walk around freshly cleared areas in the stream bottom; these are trout nests or redds. Use small flies imitating midges, minnows or mayflies. Please respect private property open to angling; pick up trash and be considerate.

Lake Hendricks
Water clarity is good. Few anglers are out. The campground is closed for the year and water is shut off. The rock reef fish habitat project is complete. Bluegill – SlowShore anglers will find fish around the jetties. Use a small piece of worm under a bobber. Channel Catfish – No Report: Try a worm or cut bait fished near the bottom. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use a jig and a minnow around rocky structure. Black Crappie – Slow: Try a hook tipped with a minnow under a slip bobber.

Lake Meyer
No anglers were out this week. The lake is slowly rising with recent rain, but remains low. Use care when using boat ramps with low water. Water clarity is good. Bluegill – No Report: Use a small hook tipped with a small piece of worm under a bobber from shore. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Try a jig tipped with a minnow; a slow retrieve works best with cooler water.

Turkey River (below Clermont)
Water levels remain low. Fish have moved to overwintering holes. Walleye – Good: Use a jig tipped with a minnow 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. Walleye – Good: Use a lure imitating a shiner or sucker fished in the deeper pools around log jams. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Try a crawdad or shiner crankbait fished around current breaks or rock ledges.

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
Water levels are low with excellent clarity. Walleye – Good: Use a jig tipped with a minnow or bright colored twister tail. Take advantage of eddies and deeper runs. Smallmouth Bass – Fair.

Volga Lake
Few anglers are out this week. Water clarity is good. Docks will be removed by the weekend. Bluegill – Slow: 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 – Fair: Slowly troll a lure over fish attracting structure and get ready to set the hook. Try crankbaits or a jig with a twister tail. Black Crappie – Slow: Try a minnow fished under a bobber around rocky shorelines in the evening.

Area rivers remain low with excellent clarity on most. Temperature highs in the low 50’s with lows in the upper 20’s. Windy over the weekend. 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.


Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
The boat ramp is closed for the next two weeks for repair and replacement. The dock is still in; you can fish off the dock, but can’t launch a boat.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
Few reports for the Cedar River, but some anglers are doing good on walleye where they can find deeper holes. 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)
Few reports for the Maquoketa River with little activity, but the river is in good condition. Walleye – Fair: Cast and retrieve large running crankbaits for active fish.

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
Few reports for the Shell Rock River this past week; some anglers are getting out in their boats and waders. Walleye – Good: Cast and retrieve large running crankbaits for active fish.

Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
Few reports for the Wapsipinicon River; concentrate on deeper overwintering areas. Walleye – Fair: Cast and retrieve large running crankbaits for active fish. Northern Pike – Good: Larger spinnerbaits are working well on the Upper Wapsipinicon River.

Interior rivers are in excellent condition – October/November can provide excellent fishing opportunities. No reports of panfish angler activity. Trout streams remain in excellent condition, but rain is expected the next two days 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 is near 8.4 feet at Lansing and is expected to remain stable. Water temperature is 41 degrees. Use caution at the Lansing Village Creek access channel due to shallow water. Walleye – Fair: Look for walleyes to transition toward tailwaters of locks and dams as water temperatures fall. Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth are are moving out of the current to deeper and warmer backwater lakes to feed. 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. Bluegill – Excellent: Bluegills are transitioning to their backwater overwintering areas. Try redworms or a small piece of crawler fished near the bottom. 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. Sauger – Fair: Vertical jig with a small hair-jig tipped with a minnow near the tailwaters of the dam.

Mississippi River Pool 10
Pool 10 at Lynxville is 615.6 feet and is expected to remain there this week. Water temperature is near 44 degrees. Walleye – Fair: Look for walleyes to transition toward tailwaters of locks and dams as water temperatures fall. Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth are moving out of the current to deeper and warmer backwater lakes to feed. 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 – Excellent: Bluegills are transitioning to their backwater overwintering areas. Try redworms or a small piece of crawler fished near the bottom. 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 in 6-8 feet of water in backwater lakes. Sauger – Fair: Vertical jig with a small hair-jig tipped with a minnow near the tailwaters of the dam.

Mississippi River Pool 11
Pool 11 has risen to 7.6 feet and is expected to fall slightly this week. Boaters should use caution to not back off the end of ramps during low water levels. Water temperature is near 40 degrees. Walleye – Fair: Look for walleyes to transition toward tailwaters of locks and dams as water temperatures fall. Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth are moving out of the current to deeper and warmer backwater lakes to feed. 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. Bluegill – Excellent: Bluegills are transitioning to their backwater overwintering areas. Try redworms or a small piece of crawler fished near the bottom. 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 6-8 feet of water in backwater lakes. Sauger – Fair: Vertical jig with a small hair-jig tipped with a minnow near the tailwaters of the dam.

Upper Mississippi River levels have risen slightly and are stabilizing. Water temperatures are in the low 40’s. Fish are on the fall feed and moving into 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 recede this week. The water level is 7.3 feet at the Lock and Dam and 9.9 feet at the RR bridge. The water temperature is 44 degrees. The water clarity is fair. Northern Pike – Fair: Flashy spinnerbaits in eddy areas or along weed lines will take this toothy predator. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills have moved into the deeper slack water backwaters. 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 – Good: Use spinnerbaits fished along dying weed lines or log piles. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Some smallmouth are still along rock lines, but they are starting to move to their wintering areas which are deep slow-moving sloughs. White Bass – Fair: White bass are being found in the tailwater. Look for feeding gulls to find white bass schools. Black Crappie – Good: 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. Walleye – Good: Anglers pulling crankbaits are finding walleyes on wingdams. Yellow Perch – Good: Some nice yellow perch are starting to be reported by anglers using mostly minnows or minnow heads for bait.

Mississippi River Pool 13
The water level is 8.1 feet at the Bellevue Lock and Dam and is receding. The water temperature is around 44 degrees. The water clarity is fair. Repairs are complete on the Bellevue City Ramp and it’s open. Freshwater Drum – Good: 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 – Fair: Bass and bluegill are on the move to the wintering areas in deeper backwater lakes. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are moving to the deeper wintering backwater lakes. White Bass – Good: 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. Yellow Perch – No Report: Surveys show another very strong year class of yellow perch this year.

Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level is 6.1 feet at the Fulton Lock and Dam, 11.2 feet at Camanche and 6.1 feet at LeClaire. Water temperature is around 44 degrees. Water clarity is fair. Freshwater Drum – Good: 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 – Fair: Use flashy spinners along backwater shorelines or in the tailwaters for this aggressive fish. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are on the move to deeper backwater lakes such as near Rock Creek. Walleye – Good: Some fish are being taken on wing dams with stronger current, others are being taken on sand flats by anglers using crankbaits. 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 8.5 feet at Rock Island. The water temperature is near 44 degrees. Water clarity is fair. Freshwater Drum – Good: Freshwater drum are easy to catch on a worm sinker and worm rig. Fish in moderate current. Use large crayfish to catch larger drum. Flathead Catfish – Fair: Try live bait around brush piles or in the tailwater area. White Bass – Good: Some white bass are hanging around the tailwater area; use small white jigs.

Unusually cold temperatures and rainfall muddied the water this past week and limited fishing, but the Mississippi River is shaping back up. If you have any fishing questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-880-8781.


Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 8.38 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and is forecast to stay steady over the weekend. Grass floating in the water has made tailwater fishing for walleyes and saugers difficult. 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 – Slow: Walleye fishing has been slow in Sylvan Slough. White Bass – Slow: White bass fishing in Sylvan slough has been slow. Cast crankbaits or jigs and twister tails. Sauger – Slow: Sauger fishing in Sylvan Slough and the tailwaters has been slow.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 6.76 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and is forecast to start falling slowly. Tailwater fishing for walleyes and saugers has been slow. 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 – Slow: Tailwater fishing for walleyes is being reported as slow. 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. Sauger – Slow: Tailwater fishing for saugers is being reported as slow. Try vertical jigging with minnows or trolling three-way rigs with minnows.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 7.95 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston. Tailwater fishing for walleyes and saugers has been slow. Walleye – Slow: Walleye fishing below Lock and Dam 17 is being reported as slow. White Crappie – No Report: Look for crappies in the backwaters around brush piles; try minnows under a bobber or jigs and plastics. Sauger – Slow: Tailwater fishing for saugers has been slow. Try vertical jigging with minnows or trolling three-way rigs with minnows.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 4.78 feet at Lock and Dam 18 and is forecast to start falling slowly. River stage is 10.52 feet at Burlington. River stage is 525.97 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. Sauger – No Report: Look for saugers in the tailwaters. Try vertical jigging with minnows or trolling three-way rigs with minnows.

Tailwater stages have risen since last week. Main channel water temperature is 43 degrees. Water clarity is poor. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

SOUTHEAST

Big Hollow Lake
Water temperature has dropped down to 50 degrees. Few anglers out this week, may pick up if the weather warms up as forecast. Bluegill – Fair: Look for bluegills out in 8 to 12 feet of water. Work the flooded timber or the big brush piles at the upper end of the lake past the beach. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Find bass in shallow trying to get one last meal before winter. Use soft plastics or weedless jigs tipped with crawdad trailers. Black Crappie – Fair: Look for the crappies to stay out in deeper water with the big drop in water temperature. A water temperature around 50 degrees normally means they are getting ready to settle down for the winter.

Lake Belva Deer
Water temperature trying to hang onto 50 degrees. Water is nice and clear. Few anglers out because of the weather. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills are out deep, 10-15 feet down in the trees, and look to be staying there. Black Crappie – Fair: Most crappies have moved out to deeper water. Try vertically jigging or drift or troll small jigs. Largemouth Bass – Fair: 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 is in the upper 40’s in the morning and getting up to just over 50 degrees during the day. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Most bass have moved out to 6-8 feet of water. A warm sunny day might bring them back in shallow briefly. Bluegill – Slow: Cold weather has pushed bluegills back out to deep water. Try vertical jigging in 10-14 feet of water over the habitat. Black Crappie – Slow: Go deep for crappies; 10-12 feet of water over the habitat. Try over popular spots during ice fishing to see if they have moved out there.

Lost Grove Lake
Water temperatures was 49 degrees Wednesday (10/28) shortly before noon. Water is very clear. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Bass fishing has slowed; most have moved out to a little deeper water (6 to 10 feet). Bluegill – Slow: Bluegills are out deep. Work the habitat in 12-16 feet of water. A few more anglers are needed to get a good idea on the trend as to where these fish are headed with the rapidly changing weather.

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. Some big fish were reported this week. Northern Pike – Fair: Target backwater areas.

Coralville Reservoir
The lake is at fall pool of 686.3 feet. Black Crappie – Fair: A few fish are being caught off rock banks. White Bass – Slow: Look for schools on windblown rock or sand banks.

Diamond Lake
Park facilities are closed for the season. The boat ramp is open and the dock stays in year round. Bluegill – Fair: Try small jigs tipped with worms around brush piles. Black Crappie – Fair: Use small jigs tipped with worms around jetties and brush piles. Most fish are 8-9 inches.

Lake Macbride
Any sized motor may be used at a maximum of 5 mph. Water temperature is 50 degrees. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: Try in 10-20 feet of water during the day and on windblown shallow banks towards evening. 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. White Bass – Fair: Try in 10-20 feet of water during the day and on windblown shallow banks towards evening.

Liberty Centre Pond
You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Good.

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

Pleasant Creek Lake
The west end docks have been removed. Bluegill – Fair: Lots of small fish are on the banks. Muskellunge – Fair.

Prairie Park Fishery
You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Fair.

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. Black Crappie – Fair: Some nice fish were caught this week. Rainbow Trout – Fair.

Union Grove Lake
The docks have been removed. 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 deeper structure. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try crankbaits around the cedar trees and along the rip-rapped shorelines. Black Crappie – Slow: Use jigs tipped with minnows around  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 fishing jetties. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use nightcrawlers or stinkbait. Black Crappie – Slow: Try jigs tipped with minnows around submerged structure.

Ottumwa Park Pond South (Trout Pond)
Trout have been stocked. Try small spinners or prepared baits made for trout. Nightcrawlers can also be successful. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 903.34 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: Troll crankbaits that mimic gizzard shad around submerged rock piles or points. Walleye – Slow: Try jig and minnow combinations 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 around tree piles and deeper structure. Anglers are having some success around the fishing docks.

Red Haw Lake
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try spinnerbaits and crankbaits around submerged structure. Bluegill – Slow: Use small jigs tipped with a chunk of nightcrawler around deeper structure. 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 in-line 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.

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 – Fair: 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. Bluegill – Slow: Anglers report catching bluegills deep along the creek channel. Try tipping your jigs with berkly or nightcrawlers. Black Crappie – No Report: 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 – No Report: 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 – No Report: A few large white crappies are being caught in the canals. Walleye – No Report: 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.

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.

Prairie Rose Lake
The water clarity has improved. Bluegill – No Report: 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 – No Report: Anglers are catching bass in the deeper tree piles using plastics.

Few fishing reports this week because of weather. The forecast looks good for next week. For more information on lakes in the Southwest District call the Cold Springs office at 712-769-2587.

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