Saturday Morning Fishing Report: Area Lakes Rated Slow to Fair

Afternoon rains on Saturday may hamper some anglers, but Sunday looks to be sunny with highs near 40. Water temperatures are in the low 40’s in area lakes making for slow to fair fishing.

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
Boat ramp courtesy dock has been removed for the season.

Black Hawk Lake
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. All courtesy docks along boat ramps (except at the marina) have been removed. 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. South and southeast boat ramp courtesy docks have been removed for the season. 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 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 – Good: The bite has been good during the last week. Try in the marina near the inlet and areas 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.

Most lake levels are over a foot low. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.


Blue Pit
Trout are biting on a variety of baits. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

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. All courtesy docks have been pulled for the season. Walleye – Fair: A few anglers are having success fishing jigs from shore at night. Yellow Bass – Fair: Yellows are biting on small jigs tipped with a piece of crawler.

Rice Lake
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. You may have to use larger bait to catch keeper-size fish. The best bite is early morning and evenings.

Silver Lake (Worth)
The best bite is early morning and evenings.

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

Lost Island Lake
Yellow Perch – Good: Anglers are catching 9- to10-inch perch in 10 feet of water. Walleye – Fair.

Spirit Lake
The walleye season is open; the bite should pick up as water temperatures continue to fall. The water temperature is 39 degrees. Many of the hoists and docks are pulled out for the season. Bluegill – Good: Schools are starting to move move out to deeper water around structure. Walleye – Fair: Try bottom bouncers or crankbaits to cover more water. 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 42 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)
Water levels remain low. Water clarity is variable due to resuspension of leaves and sediment. Use caution; access to fishing holes by boat may be difficult. 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 live bait for best luck. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Use a minnow on a hook under a bobber in the back eddies and deeper pools with little current.

Decorah District Streams
All fall community trout locations have been stocked. Check our website at www.iowadnr.gov/trout to find out where they were stocked. Take advantage of fishing trout streams this fall. Iowa’s trout season is open all year. Plenty of rainbow trout were stocked and many streams maintain excellent populations of brown trout. Thanks to all who take advantage of our catchable stockings. We look forward to seeing you on the streams next year. Rainbow Trout – Good: Use flies imitating midges, mayflies and small fish. Use hair jigs, spinnerbaits or small shallow water crankbaits for aggressive fish. Plenty of fish remain in streams over winter. Brown Trout – Fair: Avoid stepping on trout nests or redds; these are freshly cleaned areas on stream bottoms. 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 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. 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 – Slow: 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
Few anglers were out this week. Lake levels are normal. Water clarity is good. Bluegill – Slow: Use a small hook tipped with a small piece of worm under a bobber from shore. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Try a jerk bait; 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 with little current. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Try live bait fished around current breaks or impoundments.

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 fished in deep holes with little current. Smallmouth Bass – Fair.

Volga Lake
Few anglers are out this week. Water clarity is good. 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. Black Crappie – Slow: Try a small jig tipped with waxworm or spike fished under a bobber around rocky shorelines or submersed woody habitat.

This week’s rain bumped water levels on area rivers up a bit, but they remain low with excellent clarity on most. Mixed precipitation possible this weekend with temperatures in the mid 40’s to below freezing. Iowa’s hunting seasons are in full swing; wear 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 open on Casey Lake. Anglers are catching bluegill and crappie off the jetties and near the dam. Bluegill – Fair: Use a piece of worm under a bobber or cast small hair jigs. Black Crappie – Fair: Try a minnow under a slip bobber at various depths to find crappie.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
Walleye – Good: Cast and retrieve large running crankbaits for active fish; concentrate on the deeper overwintering holes. Jig and plastics tipped with or without live bait has been very productive.

George Wyth Lake
The boat ramp access for George Wyth Lake is open. Bluegill – Excellent: Concentrate efforts on the south facing rock off the jetties.

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)
Walleye – Good: Cast and retrieve large running crankbaits for active fish.

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
Walleye – Good: Cast and retrieve large running crankbaits for active fish; concentrate on the deeper overwintering holes. Jig and plastics tipped with or without live bait has been very productive.

Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
Walleye – Good: Cast and retrieve large running crankbaits for active fish; concentrate on the deeper overwintering holes. Jig and plastics tipped with or without live bait has been very productive. Northern Pike – Good: Larger spinnerbaits are working well on the Upper Wapsipinicon River.

Interior rivers are in excellent condition – November can provide excellent fishing opportunities. 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 is near 8.2 feet at Lansing and is expected to rise slightly over the next week. Water temperature is 48 degrees. Walleye – Excellent: Wing dam fishing with crankbaits has been good with the low water. Fish are moving up to the dams. Try jigging spoons or a jig tipped with a minnow in tailwaters of Lock and Dams. Largemouth Bass – Excellent: Use spinnerbaits in fallen trees and vegetation beds in backwater lakes. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are moving into backwater lakes. Use a small piece of worm fished just off the bottom along weed beds. Yellow Perch – Fair: Try a jig and minnow along the brush piles and weed edge-lines in slack water off of side channels and sloughs. Black Crappie -Good: Try minnows fished under a bobber in 6-8 feet of water in the backwaters.Sauger – Good: Try vertical jigging with jigs in tailwaters of the Lock and Dam.

Mississippi River Pool 10
Pool 10 at Lynxville is 615.7 feet and is expected to rise to near 616.3 feet next week. Water temperature is 51 degrees at the Lock & Dam. Walleye – Excellent: Wing dam fishing with crankbaits has been good with the low water. Fish are moving up to the dams. Try jigging spoons or jig tipped with a minnow in tailwaters of Lock and Dams. Largemouth Bass – Excellent: Use spinnerbaits in fallen trees and vegetation beds in backwater lakes. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are moving into backwater lakes. Try a small piece of worm fished just off the bottom along weed beds. Yellow Perch – Fair: Use a jig and minnow along the brush piles and weed edge-lines in slack water off of side channels and sloughs. Black Crappie – Good: Try minnows fished under a bobber in 6-8 feet of water in backwater lakes. Sauger – Good: Try vertical jigging with jigs in tailwaters of the Lock and Dam.

Mississippi River Pool 11
Guttenberg tailwater level is 7.3 feet and is expected to rise to 9.2 feet next week. Water temperature is 48 degrees at the dam. Walleye – Excellent: Wing dam fishing with crankbaits has been good with the low water. Fish are moving up to the dams. Try jigging spoons or jig tipped with a minnow in tailwaters of Lock and Dams. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are moving into backwater lakes. Use a small piece of worm fished just off the bottom along weed beds. Largemouth Bass – Excellent: Try spinnerbaits in fallen trees and vegetation beds in backwater lakes. Yellow Perch – Fair: Use a jig and minnow along the brush piles and weed edge-lines in slack water off of side channels and sloughs. Black Crappie – Good: Try minnows fished under a bobber in 6-8 feet of water in backwater lakes. Sauger – Good: Try vertical jigging with jigs in tailwaters of the Lock and Dam.

Upper Mississippi River levels are expected to rise this week. Water temperatures are in the mid-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 rise this week. The water level is 6.6 feet at the Lock and Dam and 9 feet at the RR bridge. The water temperature is around 54 degrees. The water clarity is good. Northern Pike – Fair: Flashy spinnerbaits in eddy areas or along weed lines will take this toothy predator. They are still actively eating shad in around 4 feet of water. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills have moved into the deeper slack water backwaters. Try in the upper ends of the backwater areas in the sunny warm waters. Largemouth Bass – Excellent: Find bass on wood in backwater areas. They are also found chasing shad in these vegetated backwaters. Try gaudy white or green spinnerbaits. White Bass – Good: Small white bass are often biting in backwaters by anglers fishing for crappies. 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 wing dams. Some are using jigs now in the tailwater. Yellow Perch – Good: Some nice yellow perch are starting to be reported by anglers using mostly minnows or minnow heads for bait. White Crappie – Fair: Find white crappie along vegetation lines in backwaters with no flowing water.

Mississippi River Pool 13
The water level is 6.6 feet at the Bellevue Lock and Dam and is receding. The water temperature is around 54 degrees. The water clarity is fair. Repairs are complete on the Bellevue City Ramp and it’s open. Northern Pike – Good: Try flashy spinners fished along weed edges in backwater areas. Largemouth Bass – Excellent: Bass are on wood structure in deeper backwater areas. Some are also seen chasing shad in vegetated backwater areas. Use gaudy spinnerbaits to catch large bass before the hard water hits. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills have moved into deeper backwater areas that will not freeze to the bottom. Walleye – Good: Walleyes are being taken on wing dams by anglers pulling cranks or in the tailwater on jigs. Some floating weeds are somewhat hampering pulling crankbaits. Yellow Perch – No Report: Surveys show another very strong year class of yellow perch this year. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappie are being taken in backwater areas in fallen wood structure.

Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level is 6.4 feet at the Fulton Lock and Dam, 10.3 feet at Camanche and 5.2 feet at LeClaire and are rising. Water temperature is around 55 degrees. Water clarity is fair. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass are in deeper backwater areas hiding in wood structure. Bass are heavily feeding on shad in vegetated backwaters such as Cattail Slough. 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 in the tailwaters using a jig and minnow. Black Crappie – Excellent: Look for brush piles in backwater sloughs. Most anglers are using small jigs, some tipped with minnows. Pumpkinseed – Good: Find this colorful fish in Rock Creek and Joyces Slough. Most anglers catch them along with bluegills in backwaters with fallen wood.

Mississippi River Pool 15
Water level is 6.8 feet at Rock Island and is rising. The water temperature is near 54 degrees. Water clarity is fair. Walleye – No Report: Try a jig and minnow in the tailwater water areas in 15-25 feet of water. White Bass – Good: White Bass are being taken out of the tailwater along the Lock and Dam Rocks on the Illinois side of the River.

Water temperatures have risen around 10 degrees to the middle 50’s. Some aquatic vegetation is floating at times due to wind. If you have any fishing questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-880-8781.


Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 7.03 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and is forecast to reach 9.2 feet by the middle of next week. 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 5.67 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and is forecast to reach 7.7 feet by the middle of next week. 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: Look for walleyes in the tailwaters. Try vertical jigging with minnows or trolling three-way rigs with minnows. 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 – No Report: Try vertical jigging with minnows or trolling three-way rigs with minnows.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 6.27 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and is forecast to reach 8.9 feet by the middle of next week. We have not received any tailwater fishing reports for walleye and saugers for this pool. Walleye – No Report: Try vertical jigging with minnows or trolling three-way rigs with minnows below the dam. White Crappie – No Report: Look for crappies in the backwaters around brush piles; try minnows under a bobber or jigs and plastics. Sauger – No Report: Try vertical jigging with minnows or trolling three-way rigs with minnows.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 3.45 feet at Lock and Dam 18 and is forecast to reach 4.9 feet by the middle of next week. River stage is 9.38 feet at Burlington. River stage is 525.72 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 are forecast to rise close to 2 feet by the middle of next week. Main channel water temperature is 50 degrees. Tailwater fishing for walleyes and saugers is being reported as slow. Some floating grass is coming down the channel. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

SOUTHEAST

Big Hollow Lake
Water temperatures are in the low 50’s. Bluegill – Slow: 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 – Slow: Most of the bass have moved out to deeper water. Use soft plastics or weedless jigs tipped with crawdad trailers.

Lake Belva Deer
Water temperature is in the low 50’s. Water clarity is about 6 feet. Bluegill – Slow: Bluegills are out deep, 10-15 feet down in the trees, and look to stay there. Black Crappie – Slow: Most crappies have moved out to deeper water. Try vertically jigging or drift or troll small jigs. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Work slowly around in the flooded timber in 10 to 15 feet of water using soft plastics or jigs.

Lake Darling
Water temperature is 53 degrees. Water clarity is about 3 feet. Very few anglers out this week. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Bass have moved to deeper water. You might still find a few in shallow on a sunny day in the afternoon  Bluegill – Slow: Bluegills are out in 10-14 feet of water around the habitat. The ones biting are hitting awfully light. Black Crappie – Slow: Lots of crappies are being marked in 12-14 feet of water. The bite is very timid and light; use small jigs tipped with just a little live bait and work slow.

Lost Grove Lake
Water temperatures is in the low 50″s. Mostly just a few boats getting out that last time for the year on the water. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Bass are out in 8-12 feet of water around the flooded trees. Bluegill – Slow: Bluegills are out deep. Work the habitat in 12-16 feet of water. Successful anglers are vertical jigging small jigs tipped with a little live bait.

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 686.6 feet. Water temperatures are in the low to mid-40’s. Black Crappie – Slow: A few fish are being caught off rock 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 in the upper 40’s. The docks have been moved, but there are new boat slips at Main Ramp and Opie Ramp that can be used year-round. An all seasons dock will be installed this week at Main Ramp. 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. Muskellunge – Slow: A few fish are being caught.

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

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. 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 – Slow: Bass have moved out to 6-8 feet of water. Try soft plastics fished slowly around structure. Bluegill – Slow: Use small jigs tipped with a nightcrawler around structure. Sorting may be needed for larger fish.

Lake Miami
Bluegill – Slow: Use small jigs around structure. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Try crankbaits or soft plastics around the cedar tree piles. Black Crappie – Slow: Use jigs tipped with a minnow around submerged structure.

Lake Sugema
Black Crappie – Slow: Drift jigs tipped with a minnow in 6-10 feet of water for suspended crappies. Use jigs around submerged structure and the standing timber. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Try soft plastics along the rip-rapped areas and the deeper structure.

Lake Wapello
Largemouth Bass – Slow: Try plastics and spinnerbaits fished around the cedar tree structures. Bluegill – Slow: Use small jigs tipped with a chunk of nightcrawler around the cedar tree piles.

Ottumwa Park Pond South (Trout Pond)
Trout have been stocked. Try small in-line spinners or jigs and twister tails. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 903.33 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. The Corps of Engineers have pulled their boat docks and their campgrounds are closed. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Slow: Try jigging spoons around underwater structure in 12-16 feet of water. Walleye – Slow: Use jig and minnow combinations around rock piles, submerged points and areas with depth changes.

Red Haw Lake
Largemouth Bass – Slow: Try spinnerbaits or plastics around submerged structure. Bluegill – Slow: Use small jigs around deeper structure.

Most lakes in the district have water temperatures in the high 40’s. The district includes Appanoose, Davis, Lucas, Mahaska, Monroe, Wapello, Wayne and Van Buren counties. Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions about fishing in south central Iowa.

SOUTHWEST

Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake
Rainbow Trout
 – Fair: 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.

Banner Lake (south)
Rainbow Trout – Good: 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.

Lake Petocka
Rainbow Trout – Good: Cast light weight in-line spinners, spoons, twister tail jigs or minnows under a float to keep above the aquatic vegetation. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Terra Lake
Rainbow Trout – Fair: 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.

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)
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
Littlefield Lake has a good fish population. Bluegill – Slow: Try worms fished around the cedar tree piles. Bluegills will average 8-inches. Largemouth Bass – No Report: A large number of 12- to 14-inch fish are in the lake.

Meadow Lake
Water clarity is much better. Bluegill – No Report: Anglers report catching bluegills in deep water around cedar tree piles. Fish average 8-inches. Black Crappie – Slow: Catch crappies averaging 9-inches with jigs fished over the newer tree piles in the lake. Largemouth Bass – No Report: A good population of largemouth bass up to 18-inches are in the lake.

Prairie Rose Lake
The water clarity is good. 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. 

Many lakes are low because of the drought. For more information on lakes in the Southwest District call the Cold Springs office at 712-769-2587.

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