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Saturday Morning Fishing Report: Area Lake Fishing Picking Up

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
Lake level is about 7 inches below the crest of the spillway. Water clarity is roughly 1.5 feet. Black Crappie – Fair. Bluegill – Slow. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try cut bait or dip baits fished on the bottom in areas along shore or near the rock pile off Cottonwood Point. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use traditional bass lures fished along shore in areas with rocks or vegetation or along docks. Walleye – Slow: Try along the dredge shelf in front of Denison Beach or the rock pile off of Cottonwood Point.

Brushy Creek Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Try a small jig tipped with a small minnow in about 15 feet of water near woody structure. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use weedless lures along vegetation edges and traditional bass lures anywhere with woody structure. Yellow Perch– Fair: Try a small jig tipped with a crawler or minnow in 10-15 feet of water

Storm Lake (incl Little Storm Lake)
Channel Catfish – Fair: Use cut bait or dip baits fished on the bottom in areas along shore with rocks or near the dredge cuts if fishing by boat. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Cast lures along shore and docks.  Many areas near shore have only sparse vegetation patches with plenty of casting opportunities. Use weedless lures if fishing in areas with heavier vegetation. Walleye – Fair: The walleye bite is hit-or-miss.  Anglers need to adjust some methods to fish in areas that have vegetation.  Pick up fish along the dredge cuts with crankbaits or bottom bouncers.  Use planer boards to pull crawler harnesses just above the weedlines.  Try jigging or slip bobber fishing in the deep areas of the dredge cuts where many areas are free of vegetation.

For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.


Beeds Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Drift fish or troll a small minnow or tube jig. Best bite is early morning. Yellow Bass – Fair.

Clear Lake
Water temperature is in the low 70’s. The lake is 5.5 inches low. Water clarity is 25 inches. Black Crappie – Fair. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try cut bait or chicken liver on the wind swept shore after sunset. Walleye – Slow: Use a jig tipped with a minnow or crawler fished near vegetation along the north shore. Also try slip bobber fishing a minnow on the rock reefs. Yellow Bass – Good: Use a small jig tipped with a minnow or cut bait fished in 5 to 6 feet of water along the north shore. Use your electronics to find and stay on fish.

Crystal Lake
Black Crappie – Slow: Drift fish tube jigs or a minnow in the dredge cut.

Lake Cornelia
Channel Catfish – Good: Try crawlers and chicken liver. Best bite is after sunset. Yellow Bass – Good.

Rice Lake
Walleye – Slow. Yellow Perch – Fair: Use a jig and minnow in the deeper water along the homes on the south shore.

Silver Lake (Worth)
Bluegill – Fair: Try a small piece of crawler under a bobber fished in open areas near shore. Largemouth Bass – Good: Use topwater lures.

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 water temperature is 77 degrees. Many anglers have had success with slip bobbers/spoons and vertical jigging and drop shot fishing. A great bluegill/crappie/yellow bass bite can be found trolling weed lines. Many anglers have observed high catch rates with a lot of sorting. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappie are hard to target specifically, but can be caught mixed with other panfish. The bite has improved in and around docks and hoists. Bluegill – Good: Bluegill are biting like crazy. Leeches or worms and a simple bobber setup work well. Pumpkinseed – Good: Fun and easier to catch from most docks. Use a small hook, bobber and piece of worm.

Lost Island Lake
Black Crappie – Fair. Bluegill – Fair. Walleye – Fair. Yellow Perch – Fair.

Minnewashta Lake
Panfishing has been good for anglers trolling weed lines. Vertical jigging is improving. Black Crappie – Fair: A nice crappie bite can be found with a little movement around the lake. Bluegill – Fair. Pumpkinseed – Good.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Walleye – Fair: Try using slip bobbers and finding weed lines.

Spirit Lake
The water temperature is 77 degrees. The yellow perch bite has improved with the walleye bite starting to slow down. Walleye – Fair: Bite is hit-or-miss at dusk, but the day bite is improving. Many anglers have started to fish in shallower with slip bobbers along weed edges. Yellow Perch – Fair: Best bite is morning till 11:00 and mid-afternoon. Depths vary depending on the time of day. Move often to find fish – schools are smaller and sporadic.

West Okoboji Lake
The water temperature is 76 degrees. Many anglers have been most successful with trolling, but jigging and casting has also been very good. Offshore fishing for bass has been great. Black Crappie – Good: Crappie have been very picky lately, but can be easily caught if you aren’t afraid to switch things up. Can also be caught frequently while picking through other panfish or have been found around weed edges. Bluegill – Good: Bluegill are biting like crazy with fish up to 10 inches seen. Jigging, casting, and slip bobbers are working well. Leeches or worms and a simple bobber setup work well. Walleye – Fair: Walleye have been hard to target, but many anglers have been catching them while fishing for other species.

Offshore fishing for bass has been very good lately. The panfish/perch bite has been excellent. Area lake levels are lower, making launching and loading boats more difficult. Be careful when backing trailers down ramps as many boaters have been backing off the end of ramps with longer trailers. If at all possible, attempt to load your boat without power loading it onto the trailer. The forecast calls for temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s with chances of rain. Lake temperatures are in the 70’s. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.

NORTHEAST

Cedar River (above Nashua)
Water levels are very low, but improving with recent rainfall. The water is turbid. Boating is difficult on the river. Fish are concentrated in deeper holes.  Black Crappie – Fair: Find crappies near submersed fallen trees and backwater areas with good depth. Channel Catfish – Good: Try stink and cut baits fished near bottom in back eddies or calm areas. Walleye – Slow: Walleye angling from shore or by paddle crafts to find holes works best.

Decorah District Streams
Take time to enjoy and keep cool on one of Iowa’s many trout streams. Some streams may be off-color due to recent rain. Trout stream stocking continue to be unannounced, but streams are stocked regularly with lots of fish. Brook Trout – Good: Eleven streams have naturally reproducing populations with public access; learn more on our Trout Fishing webpageBrown Trout – Good: Streams are full of brown trout; a wide variety of terrestrial insects are hatching. Try flies imitating grasshoppers, crickets, and ants. Off-color water brings on the brown trout bite with a fresh flush of insects. Rainbow Trout – Good: A small number of trout streams are not stocked in July and August due to marginal water temperatures. This is an annual occurrence. To check which ones, please visit the trout fishing website. Rainbows are easy to catch on a hook tipped with a worm, cheese, or bread fished under a bobber. They will also come to a variety of flies.

Lake Hendricks
The lake remains pea green. Try fishing in the upper water column. Bluegill – Fair: Find fish from shore using a small hook tipped with a small piece of worm under a bobber. Channel Catfish – Good: Catch nice catfish near shore at night with chicken liver or cut bait. Your pole might disappear into the lake if you forget to hang on to your pole if a big one hits. Largemouth Bass – Good: Find bass suspended around rocky structures.

Lake Meyer
Water clarity remains excellent with an abundance of submersed aquatic vegetation making shore fishing difficult. Best access to fish is by watercraft or by using a topwater lure. Evening bite is best. Bluegill – Fair: Try trolling or fish lure or bait just above vegetation. Channel Catfish – Fair: Find fish in woody structure. Use cut bait, worms, or stink bait. Largemouth Bass – Good: All size bass are taking a jig tipped with twister tail running over top of aquatic plants.

Turkey River (above Clermont)
Water levels is up about 1/2 foot with increased flows. The water is off-color due to recent rain. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Find smallies in rocky pools and rocky seams. Walleye – Fair: Find walleye in pools around brush piles; use a jig and twister tail.

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
Water levels are low and off-color. Paddlers should use caution around log jams and narrow sections in the river. Smallmouth Bass – Excellent: Find fish along rock ledges and eddies; use smaller spinnerbaits or jigs tipped with plastics. Walleye – Slow: Shore and paddle anglers are finding fish. Deeper holes and off-channel eddies hold fish. Try a jig and night crawler. White Sucker – Good: Suckers are providing fun action for anglers. Use a jig or hook tipped with a worm.

Volga Lake
The green algae bloom continues on Volga Lake. Lake levels are low. Black Crappie– Fair: Crappies are moving near shore in the evening to feed. Use a jig tipped with a twister tail. Bluegill – Fair: Find gills near shore in the evening. Use a small jig and twister tail or small piece of worm. Channel Catfish – Excellent: This is an excellent time of year and place to catch a trophy catfish. Find fish in late evening cruising the shallows. Use cut or stink baits.

Thunderstorms and showers possible through the weekend with temperatures in the upper 80’s to 60’s. Area rivers and streams may be flashy due to nature of storms. Streams are fishing well. For current fishing information, please call the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9
Lansing water level is 8.5 feet this week and is stable. Water is cloudy after some scattered rain. Water temperature is 78 degrees. Notice: Village Creek and Heytman’s Landing boat ramps are very shallow. If you can not launch in shallow conditions avoid using Heytman’s Landing. Both ramps are scheduled to be dredged out in the near future. The fish bite has slowed with the recent hot weather. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappie are seeking deep water. Try a crappie minnow under a bobber fished in areas with moderate to slow current off side channels. Bluegill – Good: Try a small piece of worm under a bobber fished in areas with some current. Channel Catfish – Slow: Use stink bait fished in areas of moderate current in side channels. Flathead Catfish – Fair: Lots of trot lines for flatheads. Make sure you place the trot line on bank and have your name and address clearly visible. Freshwater Drum – Good: Drum fishing is picking up in the main channel areas; use a crawler fished off the bottom. Largemouth Bass – Good: Cast plastics along the weedlines of deep cuts in backwaters or fish the edge of side channels with slight current. Northern Pike – Slow: Try a spoon with steel leader fished near cold water springs or incoming tributary streams. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Use spinners or crankbaits fished in main channel rock piles along the tips of islands. Walleye – Fair: Find walleye on the wing dams. Troll crankbaits along structure in side channel and main channel current breaks. Worm rigs work best. Yellow Perch – Fair: Jig a minnow or piece of worm in areas of vegetation. Many small fish are being taken; larger yellow perch usually start hitting better in the fall.

Mississippi River Pool 10
Lynxville water level is 613 feet and is stable. Water clarity is reduced after recent rainfall. Boaters are urged to use caution when backing trailers on the ramps due to shallow water conditions. Water temperature is 80 degrees at the Lynxville dam. Water grass is floating and causing difficulties when fishing spinners and crankbaits in current areas. Black Crappie – Fair: Some nice crappie reported this week. Try fishing in areas with moderate to slow current amongst the trees in backwaters. Bluegill – Good: Panfish have moved to areas with some current. Use a small piece of worm under a bobber. Bluegills have been running a bit smaller lately. Channel Catfish – Slow: Try stink baits in areas of moderate currents.  Move often if you are not catching cats. Flathead Catfish – Fair: Lots of trot lines for flatheads. Make sure you place the trot line on bank and have your name and address clearly visible.  Freshwater Drum – Good: Drum fishing is picking up in the main channel areas; use a crawler fished off the bottom. Largemouth Bass – Good: Cast plastics along the weedlines of deep cuts in backwaters or fish the edge of side channels with slight current. Northern Pike – Fair: Try a spoon with steel leader fished near cold water springs or incoming tributary streams.  Smallmouth Bass – Good: Use spinners or crankbaits fished in main channel rock piles along the tips of islands. Walleye – Fair: Find walleye on the wing dams. Troll crankbaits along structure in side channel and main channel current breaks. Yellow Perch – Fair: Jig a minnow or piece of worm in areas of vegetation.

Mississippi River Pool 11
Water level is 4.7 feet at Guttenberg and is expected to bump up slightly this week. Boaters are urged to use caution when backing trailers on the ramps due to shallow water conditions. Water temperature is 72 degrees at the Guttenberg dam. Water is cloudy with floating grass causing difficulties when fishing spinners and crankbaits in current areas. The fish bite has slowed with the hot weather. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappie are seeking deep water. Try a crappie minnow under a bobber fished in areas with moderate to slow current of side channels. Bluegill – Good: Panfish have moved to areas with some current. Use a small piece of worm under a bobber. Channel Catfish – Slow: Try stink bait in areas of moderate current. Move often if you are not catching any fish. Northern Pike – Fair: Try a spoon with steel leader fished near cold water springs or incoming tributary streams. Flathead Catfish – Fair: Lots of trot lines for flatheads. Make sure you place the trot line on bank and have your name and address clearly visible. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Drum fishing is picking up in the main channel areas; use a crawler fished off the bottom. Largemouth Bass – Good: Cast plastics along the weedlines of deep cuts in backwaters or fish edge of side channels with slight current. Northern Pike – Fair: Try a spoon with steel leader near cold water springs or incoming tributary streams. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Use spinners or crankbaits fished in main channel rock piles along the tips of islands. Walleye – Fair: Find walleye on the wing dams. Troll crankbaits along structure in side channel and main channel current breaks. Yellow Perch – Fair: Jig a minnow or piece of worm in areas of vegetation. Mostly small perch are being reported; expect the size to increase by this fall.

Upper Mississippi River levels remain low, but are expected to rise slightly.  Boaters are urged to use caution to avoid backing off the end of ramps. Water temperatures are in the upper 70’s to 80’s. Walleye slot length limits now apply on the entire Iowa border of the Mississippi River. All walleyes less than 15 inches long and between 20-27 inches must be immediately released. One walleye over 27 inches may be kept.  Combined walleye/sauger daily limit 6/possession 12.


Mississippi River Pool 12
The water level is expected to rise this week. Water levels are currently 5.0 feet at the Lock and Dam and 7.8 feet at the RR bridge. Water clarity is good. Black Crappie – Fair: Some black and white crappies are being taken near tree snags in deeper moderate flowing sloughs; use a small jig and minnow.  Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills have moved out of the backwaters and are along channel edges and the inside parts of wing dams. Channel Catfish – Good: Try targeting wing dams and rock lines along the main channel. Move often if they do not hit quickly. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Drum are on the bite. Use an egg sinker and worm rig in moderate current areas; areas around boat launches can be productive. You will catch a lot of other species as well on an egg sinker rig. Use large crayfish for bait to catch large drum. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass have moved to the opening of major backwater complexes with the low water. Try to find deeper water in sloughs near the backwaters and you will find largemouth bass stacked up. Northern Pike – Fair: Cast gaudy spinnerbaits near the mouths of cooler water streams; pike will seek out cooler water. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Try fishing along rock lines or day markers with strong current. Fish are running a bit on the smaller side this year. Floating water grass is causing difficulties when fishing spinners and crankbaits in current areas.  Walleye – Fair: When water has warmed, the walleye bite slacks off. Use worm rigs. Floating water grass is causing difficulties when fishing spinners and crankbaits in current areas.

Mississippi River Pool 13
The water level is 5.1 feet at the Bellevue Lock and Dam and is rising. Water temperature is near 80 degrees in the main channel. Water clarity is good. Black Crappie – Fair: Some black and white crappies are being taken near tree snags in deeper moderate flowing sloughs; use a small jig and minnow. Bluegill – Fair: Some bluegill catches are being reported on the inside edges of wing dams. They can also be found along main channel rocky areas. Channel Catfish – Good: The bite has picked up a bit this week.  Most anglers are using stick bait, but bigger fish might be caught on cut shad bait. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Drum are still on the bite.  Use an egg sinker and worm rig in moderate current areas or areas around boat launches. You will catch a lot of other species as well on an egg sinker rig.  Use large crayfish for bait to catch large drum. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass have moved to the opening of major backwater complexes with the low water. Try to find deeper water in sloughs near the backwaters and you will find largemouth bass stacked up. Northern Pike – Fair: Cast gaudy spinnerbaits near the mouths of cooler water streams; pike will seek out cooler water in the summer. Spring areas like Lainsville Slough or along the sand dunes area can cool water enough for northern pike. Paddlefish – No Report: Paddlefish season is closed for the year. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Find places with strong current around rocks and you will find Mississippi River smallmouth bass. Floating water grass is causing difficulties when fishing spinners and crankbaits in current areas.  Walleye – Good: The bite picked up some when the river water temperatures cooled. Try crankbaits fished on exposed wing dams. Floating water grass is causing difficulties when fishing spinners and crankbaits in current areas. White Bass – Fair: Find white bass in the tailwaters using flashy spinners or small spoons. Not many white bass are being caught, but the size has been good.

Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level at the Fulton Lock and Dam is rising and is 4.9 feet,  9.5 feet at Camanche and 4.4 feet at Le Claire. Water temperature is around 80 degrees in the main channel. Water clarity is good. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills have moved to the main channel border areas with some current flow. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try fishing for catfish on wing dams and rock lines along the main channel. Anglers are mostly using stink bait. Move often if you do not get bites. Catfishing has been a little off this summer, but still expect to have some good angling. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Drum are still on the bite.  Use an egg sinker and worm rig in moderate current areas or areas around boat launches. You will catch a lot of other species as well on an egg sinker rig.  Use large crayfish for bait to catch large drum. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass are concentrated in some areas and have been hit-or-miss. Try along rock lines or vegetation lines. Northern Pike –  Fair: Cast gaudy spinnerbaits near the mouths of cooler water streams; pike will seek out cooler water when the river temperatures get this hot.   Paddlefish – No Report: The paddlefish season is closed for the year. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Throw small crankbaits up along rocky shorelines with strong current flow. Walleye – Fair: When the water gets this hot, the walleye bite decreases. White Crappie – Fair: Some black and white crappies are being taken near tree snags in deeper moderate flowing sloughs; use a small jig and minnow.  Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: Some nice 5- to 7-pound hybrids are being caught in the tailwater area by anglers using inline spinners.

Mississippi River Pool 15
The water level is 5.0 feet at Rock Island and is rising The water temperature is near 81 degrees. Water clarity is fair. Channel Catfish – Good: Try fishing the wing dams or rock lines along the main channel.  Most cat anglers use stink bait this time of year. Move often if you are not catching fish. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Drum are still on the bite.  Use an egg sinker and worm rig in moderate current areas or areas around boat launches. Use large crayfish for bait to catch large drum. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Find areas with strong current along rocky shorelines and that is where you will find Mississippi River smallmouth bass. White Bass – Fair: Look for schools of white bass feeding in the tailwaters. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – No Report: Try a shiny spoon or spinner fished in the tailwater pocket for this hard fighting fish.

Water temperature is around 80 degrees. The water is rising in most areas. The water clarity is good. With the low river again, be careful not to back your trailer off the ends of the boat ramps. Use the minimum ramp as necessary to float the boat. If you have angling questions please call the Bellevue Fisheries Station at 563-880-8781.


Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 4.9 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and is forecast to reach 5.9 feet by next week. Channel Catfish – No Report: Look for channel catfish around snags and brush piles along the main channel or side channels. Use crawlers or stink baits fished upstream of the brush pile. Some channel catfish can also be caught fishing above the wing dams. Walleye – No Report: Look for walleyes on the wing dams. Try trolling three-way rigs with crawlers or casting or trolling crankbaits. White Bass – No Report: Look for white bass around current seams chasing minnows. Cast jigs and twisters or inline spinners. White Crappie – No Report: Look for crappies in the backwaters and sloughs around brush piles. Try jigs and minnows or jigs and plastics.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 3.75 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine. Tailwater stage is forecast to stay fairly steady the next few days.  Channel Catfish – No Report: Look for channel catfish around brush piles and snags along the main channel and side channels; use stink bait or crawlers. Some channel catfish can also be caught fishing upstream of the wing dams. Walleye – No Report: Look for walleyes on the wing dams. Try trolling three-way rigs with crawlers or casting or trolling crankbaits. White Bass – No Report: Look for white bass in current seams chasing minnows. Cast jigs and twisters or inline spinners in the outfalls at GPC wing dams and rocky points. White Crappie – No Report: Look for crappies around brush piles in the backwaters and side channels. Use jigs and minnows or jigs and plastics.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 3.95 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston.  River stage is forecast to stay fairly steady the next few days. Channel Catfish – No Report: Look for channel catfish around brush piles and snags along the main channel and side channels. Try stink bait or crawlers fished upstream from the brush pile. Some channel catfish can also be caught fishing upstream of the wing dams. Walleye – No Report: Look for walleyes on the wing dams. Try trolling three-way rigs with crawlers or casting or trolling crankbaits.  White Bass – No Report: Look for white bass around current seams chasing minnows. Cast jigs and twisters or inline spinners along the rocky points and wing dams. White Crappie – No Report: Look for crappies in the backwaters and side channels around brush piles. Try jigs and plastics or jigs and minnows.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 1.71 feet at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington and is forecast to stay fairly steady the next few day. River stage is 8.05 feet at Burlington and is forecast to reach 8.6 feet by next week. River stage is 525.53 feet at Ft. Madison. Channel Catfish – No Report: Look for channel catfish around brush piles and snags along the main channel and side channels. Try fishing upstream of the snag with stink bait or crawlers. Walleye – No Report: Look for walleyes on the wing dams. Try trolling three-way rigs with crawlers or casting or trolling crankbaits. White Bass – No Report: Look for white bass around current seams chasing minnows. Cast jigs and twister tails or inline spinners along the wing dams or rocky points. White Crappie – No Report: Look for crappies around brush piles in the backwaters and side channels. Try jigs and minnows or jigs and plastics.

Tailwater stages have risen slightly with recent rainfall. Main channel water temperature is around 82 degrees. Water clarity is fair. Boaters should use caution with the low water conditions. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

SOUTHEAST

Big Hollow Lake
Water temperature is in the mid-80’s. The thermocline is set up at 5-7 feet deep. Don’t try fishing much below that; there is little to no oxygen below 7 feetBluegill – Fair: Most anglers are finding bluegill back in the trees (in the shade) in 3 to 5 feet of water. Channel Catfish – Fair: Catfish don’t mind the hot weather as much as the other fish do.  Drift cut bait along the face of the dam. Largemouth Bass – Fair: The bite picked up a little over the weekend when it was cooler; especially before the sun got high enough to really hit the water.

Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River)
The Iowa River in this section is at about 1/2 its normal flow for this time of year. Rainfall brought it up just a little bit. The ramp at Columbus Junction is surrounded by very shallow water. The ramp at Wapello is better, but you can’t get very far from it before you hit very shallow water and big sandbars. Channel Catfish – Fair: Catfishing is decent if you can get to the deeper holes where they gather. Use stink baits and cut baits.

Lake Belva Deer
Water temperature is in the mid-80’s. The thermocline is set up at 6-7 feet. Water clarity is at 30 inches with a brown-green color to the water. Bluegill – Slow: Bluegills have moved out to deeper water for the summer.  Look for them in 6-7 feet of water as they adjust to the changing thermocline to stay cool with plenty of oxygen. Channel Catfish – Fair: Catfish don’t mind the hot weather as much as the other fish do. Try chicken liver and cut bait in above 8 feet of water. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Water temperature is headed back up; try fishing early or just before dark.  Slow drift/troll crankbaits down 6 to 7 feet below the surface to find them.

Lake Darling
Water temperature is about 84 degrees. Water clarity is improving, but still pretty green. The thermocline is set up at 5-7 feet. Black Crappie – Slow: Look for crappie to remain in deeper water around the brush piles and rock piles down about 6-7 feet. A few boats were picking them up while “drift” trolling over the cedar trees in the middle. Bluegill – Fair: The bluegill bite slowed with the return of the heat. Look for bluegills in the brush piles and rock piles in 5 to 7 feet of water. Channel Catfish – Good: Work the culvert piles near the bank; where the catfish can avoid the heat in the shade. Chicken liver works best; picked up with the flood waters bring in new food. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Hot weather returns. Most bass remain in 6 or 7 feet of water.

Lost Grove Lake
Water temperature is around 82 degrees. The water is still pretty green. The thermocline is set up at 6-8 feet; concentrate your efforts in this zone.  Bluegill – Fair: Bluegill fishing has picked up a little; cooler weather and dropping water temperatures would help more. Work the flooded trees at about 6 feet down. Channel Catfish – Fair: Slow troll cut bait along the face of the dam and out around the deeper brush piles in 6 to 8 feet of water. Largemouth Bass – FairHolding pretty steady; best bite is after dark or near to it. Look for bass near the drop-off to deeper (6-8 feet) water.

Skunk River (Coppock to Mississippi River)
The South Skunk is at about 1/4 its normal flow rate for this time of year. The North’s flow is about average for it. The Skunk is getting pretty low. Canoes and kayaks are about it for boats. Channel Catfish – Fair: The low flows are pushing the catfish to the deeper holes. Find catfish in the brush piles and log jams.

Wapsipinicon River (Oxford Junction to Mississippi River)
The river level came up slightly with the rainfall, but has gone back down just as fast.  Water temperature is between 78 and 81 degrees. Channel Catfish – Fair: Find the deeper water in the bends with the rock or concrete armoring and you’ll find the catfish.

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


Cedar River (Cedar Rapids to Moscow)
Channel Catfish – Good: Cut bait works best. Flathead Catfish – Good: Try cut bait or live bait. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Use jigs or crankbaits fished below dams and rapids. White Bass – Fair: Try jigs and crankbaits fished below dams and rapids.

Central Park Lake
The water temperature is in the low 80’s. Visibility is about a foot. Black Crappie – Slow. Bluegill – Good: Best bite is early and late with worms under a float. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use cut bait, livers and crawlers. Largemouth Bass – Good: Many live and artificial baits are working. Fish size tops out at 16-inches.

Diamond Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Drift the basin and fish jigs in 5-9 feet of water. Bluegill – Fair: Try small jigs or worms fished over or around brush piles. Channel Catfish – Good: Stink bait works best.

Lake Macbride
There is a 10 hp maximum in effect at this time; these may be run at 5 mph or less. Beginning September 7, the road to the Main Ramp and beach will be closed for construction. Black Crappie – Slow: Look for fish in 5-15 feet of water over brush or stumps. Bluegill – Fair: Try small worms or jigs fished in rock piles or reefs. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try fishing in deeper rock where bluegills are or shallow rock/wood. Walleye – Slow: Troll worm harnesses or crankbaits in 7-14 feet of water. White Bass – Fair: Troll 5-10 feet down in open water or watch for surface activity at sunset.

Otter Creek Lake
The lake is about 4 feet low; it is being drained for a lake renovation project. Fishing regulations are relaxed during this process. Boats are no longer usable.

Pleasant Creek Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Try jigs or minnows to catch suspended fish above the thermocline. Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs or worms along the shorelines. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try crankbaits and soft plastics along the shorelines.

Rodgers Park Lake
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Some decent bass were caught the past week.

Union Grove Lake
Bluegill – Fair. Largemouth Bass – Fair.

Wapsipinicon River (Troy Mills to Oxford Junction)
Channel Catfish – Good.

For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.


Hawthorn Lake
Bluegill – Slow: Try small jigs tipped with live bait fished around the rip-rapped shorelines. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use night crawlers in 6-8 feet of water. Largemouth Bass– Fair: Try spinnerbaits and crankbaits fished along rocky shorelines and fishing jetties.

Lake Miami
Bluegill – Fair: Drift small jigs in deeper water to catch suspended fish. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use night crawlers or cut bait. Largemouth Bass– Fair: Try spinnerbaits and rubber worms fished along the dam and around the fishing jetties.

Lake Sugema
Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs fished along the edge and in openings of the vegetation. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try night crawlers in about 4-6 feet of water. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use spinnerbaits and crankbaits fished along the fishing jetties and other rocky shorelines. Topwater lures can also be good early and late in the day.

Lake Wapello
Black Crappie– Slow: Look for suspended crappies in 6-8 feet of water. Try drifting or slow trolling in these areas. Bluegill– Fair: Use small jigs around the shorelines and the submerged structure. Channel Catfish– Fair: Try night crawlers or cut bait along shorelines in 4-8 feet of water. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use spinnerbaits or crankbaits fished around submerged structures. Try topwater lures in the mornings and evenings.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 904.72 feet msl; recreation pool is 904 feet msl. Lake Rathbun has zebra mussels so make sure to properly drain, clean and dry equipment before transporting to another waterbody. Black Crappie – Fair: Try trolling for suspended crappies over rock piles using small crankbaits. Channel Catfish – Good: Use chicken liver or night crawlers. Walleye – Fair: Troll crankbaits or night crawler rigs over rock piles and near lake depth changes such as the old river channel. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Good: Try minnows and jigs fished over rock piles or trolling crankbaits.

Red Haw Lake
Bluegill – Slow: Try small jigs under a bobber. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use night crawlers around the fishing jetties. Largemouth Bass– Fair: Use crankbaits, plastics or topwater lures in areas along the shorelines and the dam early and late in the day.

Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions about fishing in south central Iowa.

SOUTHWEST

Big Creek Lake
Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: Troll or cast shad imitating crankbaits or spoons. Look for fish breaking the surface chasing shad.

Des Moines River (Saylorville to Red Rock)
Channel Catfish – Excellent: Anglers are catching channel catfish and flathead catfish below the dams (Saylorville, Center St., and Scott Ave) on cut bait, crawlers, and live bait.

Red Rock Reservoir
Channel Catfish – Good: Drift cut shad or cut creek chubs in 4 to 10 feet of water in the upper end of the Reservoir near the mile long bridge.  White Bass– Fair: Schools of young gizzard shad are being fed on by white bass. Cast or troll shad imitating plastics, spoons and hard baits. Casting topwater poppers into surface feeding white bass is another exciting option.

Rock Creek Lake
Channel Catfish – Good: Catch catfish in the upper end of the lake with cut bait, livers or stink baits. White Crappie– Good: Drift jigs or minnows offshore in 5-12 feet of water on the bottom half of the lake.

Saylorville Reservoir
Channel Catfish
 – Good: Drift or slow troll cut creek chubs or gizzard shad in the upper end of the lake. White Bass – Good: Troll shad imitating spoons or crankbaits. The area from Sandpiper Beach to the marina cove is a good starting point.

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


Greenfield Lake
Greenfield has a good bass population; anglers are starting to find acceptable-size crappies in the lake. Black Crappie – Fair: Catch  8- to 9-inch black crappie with minnows under a bobber fished in the tree piles. Sorting is needed for the larger fish. Bluegill – Fair: Troll or drift small jigs to catch 7.5 inch bluegill. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try cut bait or stink bait fished around the jetties. Anglers have the opportunity to catch a trophy-sized channel cat. Largemouth Bass – Good: Greenfield has a good bass population with a high percentage of 14- to 16-inch fish.

Lake Anita
Water clarity remains good. Panfish will stay in 8 to 10 feet of water during the heat of the day. Black Crappie – Fair: The large year class of 6-inch black crappies are now 8- to 9-inches. Sorting is needed, but a larger percentage of crappies are now acceptable-size. Bluegill – Fair: Find bluegills around the roadbeds and slow trolling the creek channels in 8 feet of water. Largemouth Bass – Good: Find largemouth bass in the tree piles and along vegetation edges.

Lake Manawa
Channel Catfish – Fair: Try stink bait fished early in the morning. Walleye – Slow: Troll crankbaits on the west side of the lake. Cast a leech or crawler under a slip bobber around Tin Can dyke. The dredge cuts will also hold walleyes. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – No Report: Cast or troll crankbaits.

Meadow Lake
Water clarity is good. Bluegills will average 8-inches and black crappies 10- to 12-inches. Largemouth bass and channel catfish are also doing well. Black Crappie – Slow: Find black crappies around the deeper tree piles in the lake. Fish average 10-inches. Bluegill – Fair: Try fishing the tree piles to find 8-inch bluegills.  Channel Catfish – Fair: Anglers report catching catfish out of tree piles with cut bait. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Anglers report catching bass casting the shoreline and in the tree piles.

Orient Lake
Water clarity is fair. Bluegill – Fair: A few 8-inch bluegills can be caught around the tree piles in the lake. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use cut bait or shrimp. Yellow Bullhead – Fair: Catfish anglers are picking up a few large bullheads.

Prairie Rose Lake
Water clarity is good. Anglers are catching bluegills slow trolling. Black Crappie – Slow.  Bluegill – Slow: Bluegills are associated with the thermocline during the middle of the day. Anglers are slow trolling 8 feet of water with small jigs tipped with a crawler to find fish.  Largemouth Bass – Fair: Cast the shore line and the tree piles to catch 14- to 16-inch largemouth bass.

Viking Lake
Viking Lake is 7 feet below full pool. Access is compromised. Black Crappie – Fair. Bluegil – Fair. Channel Catfish – Good: Catch channel catfish from shore with stink bait. Largemouth Bass – Fair.

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


Green Valley Lake
Channel Catfish – Slow: Try night crawlers fished along rocky shoreline areas to catch channel catfish up to 8 pounds. Largemouth Bass– Slow: Catch largemouth bass up to 21-inches with a jig fished near cedar tree brush piles.

Lake Icaria
Channel Catfish
 – Good: Catch channel catfish of all sizes with night crawlers fished along rocky shoreline areas.

Little River Watershed Lake
Courtesy docks are in at the main ramp and bait shop ramp. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Try jigs fished near cedar tree brush piles or rock piles to catch largemouth bass of all sizes.

Three Mile Lake
Courtesy docks are installed at the main boat ramp. Bluegill – Slow: Try jigs fished along creek channels in the flooded timber in 8-10 feet of water to catch bluegill up to 8.5-inches. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Catch largemouth bass of all sizes with jigs fished along weedlines or cedar tree brush piles.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake
The dock is in at main ramp. Bluegill – Slow: Try jigs fished along the creek channel in the flooded timber to catch bluegill up to 8-inches. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Catch largemouth bass up to 21-inches with jigs fished near cedar tree brush piles and along weedlines. Yellow Perch – Fair: Use minnows fished along the fishing jetties to catch yellow perch up to 10-inches.

Water temperature is in the low 80’s in most Mount Ayr district lakes. For more information, call the Mount Ayr Fisheries office at 641-464-3108.

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