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Saturday Morning Fishing Report: Fall Fishing Begins

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 temperature is in the mid-60’s. Lake level is about 10 inches below the crest of the spillway. Water clarity is about one foot. Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers are picking up some 8- to 10-inch fish in and around the fish house shelter on Ice House Point. 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, fallen trees or docks. Ice House Point shoreline near the outlet and near the inlet bridge are good areas to target bass. Walleye – Slow: Shore fishing action should pick up as water temperatures drop. Try along Ice House Point and near the outlet in the east end of the lake. Throw twisters or fish live bait like minnows or leeches under a bobber.

Brushy Creek Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Try a small jig tipped with a small minnow in 15 feet of water near woody structure. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use weedless lures along vegetation edges and traditional bass lures along areas 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)
Water temperature is in the mid-60’s. Water clarity is roughly 12 inches. Most areas along shore are free of vegetation. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use cut bait or dip baits fished on the bottom in areas along shore with rocks. Walleye – Slow: A few walleye are being picked up mid-lake along dredge cuts. Shore fishing for walleye should improve as water temperatures continue to cool down and they begin to increase feeding behavior. Cast twisters or crankbaits from shore.  Also try live bait like minnows or leeches fished under a bobber along shore during evenings or mornings. White Bass – Fair: Cast twisters along shore or use crawlers fished under a bobber in areas along shore.

Water temperatures in most lakes are in the mid-60’s. 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. Largemouth Bass – Fair. Yellow Bass – Good: Drift fish or troll a small minnow or tube jig. Shore anglers are having success jigging a piece of crawler on the bottom.

Clear Lake
Water temperature is in the mid-60’s. The lake is 4.9 inches low. Water clarity is 25 inches. Black Crappie – Fair. 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: Try a small jig tipped with a minnow or cut bait fished in 5 to 6 feet of water along the high bank on the north shore or out from the pump house. Use your electronics to find and stay on fish.

Lake Smith
Bluegill – Fair: Use a small piece of crawler under a bobber along the dam and in open pockets in the vegetation.

Rice Lake
Any water west of the north boat ramp is a waterfowl refuge and is closed to all activity from Sept. 1st through the final day of the duck season.  Bluegill – Fair: Use a small piece of crawler under a bobber in open areas of vegetation near shore. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass are biting on a variety of baits. Walleye – Slow. Yellow Perch – Fair: Use a jig and minnow in the deeper water along the homes on the south shore.

Silver Lake (Worth)
The vegetation has opened up some. Bluegill – Fair: Try a small piece of crawler under a bobber fished along the edge of the vegetation. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass are biting on a variety of baits. Yellow Perch – Slow.

For information on the lakes and rivers in north central Iowa, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.


East Okoboji Lake
The water temperature is 66 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
Anglers report they have started to catch yellow bass in shallow amongst the vegetation. Black Crappie – Fair. Bluegill – Fair. Walleye – Fair. Yellow Bass – 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 64 degrees. The water has cleared recently; using lighter line works best. Fish are moving in shallower. Use lead core and tadpole baits. Black Crappie – Fair: Mostly being caught along with perch; use tube jigs with wigglers or pilkies. Bluegill – Fair: Mostly being caught along with perch; use tube jigs with wigglers or pilkies. Walleye – Good: 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 – Good: Perch are moving in shallower allowing for great catch with some sorting. Try mini jigs and minnows; bring plenty of minnows as smaller fish will strip you of your bait.

West Okoboji Lake
The water temperature is 66 degrees. Many anglers have been most successful with trolling, but jigging and casting has also been very good. Use lead core and tadpole baits. 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. Try a shucks jigger and bobber fished in 10-15 feet of water. Jigging, casting, and slip bobbers work well. Try trolling with twister tails and ripple shads or shucks jiggers with a bobber. 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 low, making launching and loading boats more difficult. The forecast calls for highs in the 60’s and 70’s, but lows in the 50’s at night. Lake temperatures have been slowly cooling down and are in the 60’s degrees. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.

NORTHEAST

Cedar River (above Nashua)
Water levels are low, but relatively stable. Use caution when boating; submerged hazards may have moved. Clarity is improving. Visit the USGS Current Water Conditions website for more information. Black Crappie – Fair: Use light-weight tackle tipped with a crawler or minnow under a bobber in deeper holes, backwaters or eddies. Channel Catfish – Good: Chubs and crawlers fished on bottom under bobber work well. Two to three pound catfish are common. Smallmouth Bass – Good; Find smallies in a variety of habitats; try along current breaks, eddies or subtle depth changes.. Walleye – Good: Find deeper holes. Walleye are taking a variety of baits.

Decorah District Streams
Clarity is good to excellent on most streams. All stream stockings are occurring with the return of cooler temperatures. All stockings are unannounced through the remainder of the season. Trout anglers using any kind of light-weight rods and reels with spinnerbaits or a hook tipped with small piece of crawler, cheese, or dough can be just as successful as fly anglers. Brook Trout – Good: Hoppers, beetles and anything that looks buggy work well this time of year. Be respectful of private property open to fishing; pick up trash. Brown Trout – Good: Off-color water is a great time to catch a brownie. Try along grassed edges, undercut banks and around boulders. Rainbow Trout – Excellent: Use hair jigs, spinnerbaits or small shallow water crankbaits for aggressive fish. Thank a landowner for allowing access on private land.

Lake Hendricks
Water clarity is about a foot, but should improve as water temperatures cool. Water temperature is in the mid-60’s. Black Crappie – Fair: Try a small spinnerbait fished mid-depth. Bluegill – Fair: Use a small hook tipped with a small piece of worm under a bobber fished near rocks. Channel Catfish – Good: Try worms or cut baits fished on the bottom. Nice fish are available for the taking. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Find bass suspended around rocky structures or along vegetated edges. Use a jig tipped with twister or ring worm.

Lake Meyer
Water clarity is excellent. Aquatic vegetation is very thick, but is starting to die back. Black Crappie – Good. Bluegill – Good: Try fishing shallow over vegetation with a slow retrieve. Channel Catfish – Good: Use bait or worms fished on the bottom around stumps or other woody structure.  Largemouth Bass – Good: Try jigs tipped with a twister tail or spinnerbait fished over vegetation.

Turkey River (above Clermont)
Water levels are stabilizing and clearing; flows remain high. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Find smallies in deeper pools around rocky seams and eddies. Walleye – Good: Try fishing slack water and eddies.

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
Water levels are stabilizing with elevated flows. Clarity is good to excellent. Use caution when paddling; submersed hazards may have moved. Check the USGS Current Water Conditions website for more information. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Try spinnerbaits or jigs tipped with plastics along rock ledges, seams and eddies. Walleye – Good: Walleye are moving to overwintering holes. Try a jig tipped with crawler. Anglers report 10- to 13-inch fish common.

Volga Lake
Clarity should improve with cooler temperatures. Water temperature is in the mid-60’s. Black Crappie– Fair: Crappies are moving near shore in the evening to feed. Use a jig tipped with a twister tail or spinnerbait. Bluegill – Good: Find gills near shore in the morning. Use small jigs tipped with twister tails. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Trophy catfish are plentiful. Find fish cruising the shallows in the evening. Use cut baits and worms fished on the bottom. Largemouth Bass – Good.

Overcast this weekend with temperatures in the low 80’s to 50’s. Rain chance through Sunday. Area river levels are stabilizing and clear due to minimal rainfall. Water temperature for most waterbodies is in the mid-60’s. For current fishing information, please call the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.


Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
Anglers are catching largemouth bass, bluegill and channel catfish. Black Crappie – Excellent: Try a minnow under a slip bobber fished near cover or along weedline edges. Bluegill – Excellent: Cast a small piece of crawler under a slip bobber near cover or along weedline edges.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
Channel Catfish – Fair: Anchor above fallen tree snags using chicken livers or dead cut baits. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Cast a jig and plastics, spinnerbaits or crankbaits. Walleye – Fair: Try a jig and plastic tipped with half a crawler or casting crankbaits.

Green Belt Lake
Reports of anglers catching bluegill and largemouth bass. Try fishing the newly placed pallet beds located off of the corners of the new fishing pier. Bluegill – Good: Use a small piece of crawler under a slip bobber near cover. Largemouth Bass – Good: Cast and retrieve crankbaits during the day and topwater baits early morning or late evening.

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
Anglers are catching smallmouth bass on the Maquoketa River. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Cast a jig, plastics, crankbaits or spinnerbaits.

Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
The Wapsipinicon River is producing some smallmouth bass opportunities. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Cast a jig, plastics, spinnerbaits or crankbaits.

Interior rivers are in excellent condition and are providing great angling opportunities. Some area Black Hawk County lakes are providing catches of bass and panfish. Fishing should vastly improve this fall season. Call the Manchester Hatchery at 563-927-3276 for more information.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9
Lansing water level is 8.0 feet and is stable. Water clarity is good. Water temperature is 67 degrees. Expect the bite to improve with cooling water temperatures. Notice: Dredging is expected to begin at Village Creek the week of Oct. 1. There is only one courtesy dock due to one lane closed for dredge equipment. Two lanes will remain open for use. Boaters are urged to use caution around dredge equipment. Alternate ramps are Big Slough and Winneshiek Landing on the Wisconsin side. 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: 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: Drag a crawler fished off the bottom in any areas with moderate current. 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 – Good: Try shad colored baits attached to a leader along backwater weedlines. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Use spinners or crankbaits fished in main channel rock piles along the tips of islands. Walleye – Good: Find walleye on the wing dams. Troll crankbaits along structure in side channel and main channel current breaks. Worm rigs work best. Yellow Perch – Good: Yellow perch bite is picking up with some sorting needed for larger fish. Drift hair jigs with a piece of crawler in 6 to 8 feet of water.

Mississippi River Pool 10
Lynxville water level is stable at 613.2 feet. Water clarity is improving. Water temperature is 69 degrees at the Lynxville dam. The bite is picking up with cooler water temperatures. Sny Magill ramp is closed for work under the railroad underpass this week. Black Crappie – Good: Try fishing in areas with moderate to slow current amongst the trees in backwaters. Bluegill – Good: Panfish are moving away from areas with current. Use a small piece of worm under a bobber. 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 – Fair: Drag a crawler fished off the bottom in any areas with moderate current. 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 – Good: Try shad colored baits attached to a leader along backwater weedlines. 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: Yellow perch bite is picking up with some sorting needed for larger fish. Drift hair jigs with a piece of crawler in 6 to 8 feet of water.

Mississippi River Pool 11
Water level is near 5.0 feet at Guttenberg and is expected to remain stable. Water temperature is 61 degrees at the Guttenberg dam. Boaters are urged to use caution to avoid backing off the end of ramps. The fall bite is picking up with cooler water temperatures. Water clarity is good.  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 are moving away from areas with current. Use a small piece of worm under a bobber. Channel Catfish – Good: Try stink bait in areas of moderate current. Move often if you are not catching any fish. 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 – Fair: Fish the main channel areas with a heavy weight with 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 shad colored baits attached to a leader along backwater weedlines. 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 – Good: Yellow perch bite is picking up with some sorting needed for larger fish. Drift hair jigs with a piece of crawler in 6 to 8 feet of water.

Upper Mississippi River levels remain stable. Check boat ramp conditions before you go; water levels are low. Water temperatures have dropped into the upper 60’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 steady. Water levels are 4.2 feet at the Lock and Dam and 7.6 feet at the RR bridge. Water clarity is good. Water temperature is around 70 degrees. At these low river levels, use caution to avoid backing off the ends of the boat ramps. Use the minimum water as necessary to launch boats. Black Crappie – Good: It has been a good year for crappie fishing. With the low water, crappie moved in the deeper sloughs and brush piles. Use a small jig and minnow. Bluegill – Good: Find bluegills along the channel border areas, especially in eddies behind wing dams or brush piles. Channel Catfish – Good: Some anglers are just using worms, while other are using stink bait. Flathead Catfish – Fair: Some anglers are targeting flatheads at night, mainly using live green sunfish as bait. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Drum are still 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 are feeding heavily on shad. Expect angling to continue to improve as we move into the fall season. Northern Pike – Good: Cast gaudy spinnerbaits along weedy edges. Pumpkinseed – Good: Try fishing in the lower pool 12 for this colorful panfish species. Usually mixed in with bluegill and caught on a bobber and worm. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Look for smallies along rocky habitat with strong current flow. Crankbaits and spinners work best. Walleye – Fair: Try crankbaits on the wing dams or three way rigs with a small nightcrawler. Expect better fishing as we move into the cooler fall season.

Mississippi River Pool 13
The water level is near 5.0 feet at the Bellevue Lock and Dam and is steady. Water temperature is near 70 degrees in the main channel. Water clarity is good. At these low river levels, use caution to avoid backing off the ends of the boat ramps. Use the minimum water as necessary to launch boats. Black Crappie – Good: Use a small jig and minnow.  Crappie fishing has been fairly good this year as fish have been concentrated due to the low water levels. Bluegill – Good: The best bluegill fishing is in the tailwater or eddy currents near shore by wing dams with a simple bobber and worm. Channel Catfish – Good: Most anglers are using stick bait, but bigger fish might be caught on cut shad bait. Flathead Catfish – Fair: Anglers are targeting flathead catfish mainly using live green sunfish for 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: Find bass chasing small shad. Expect bass fishing to keep improving as we enter into the fall season. Northern Pike – Fair: Cast gaudy spinnerbaits along weedy edges. Paddlefish – No Report: Paddlefish season is closed for the year. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Look for smallies along rocky habitat with strong current flow. Crankbaits and spinners work best.  Walleye – Fair: Use crankbaits on the wing dams or a three way rig with a night crawler. White Bass – Good: Find white bass in the tailwaters using flashy spinners or small spoons.

Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level at the Fulton Lock and Dam is steady and is 4.8 feet, 9.4 feet at Camanche and 4.6 feet at Le Claire. Water temperature is around 70 degrees in the main channel. Water clarity is good.  At these low river levels, use caution to avoid backing off the ends of the boat ramps. Use the minimum water as necessary to launch boats. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills have moved to the main channel border areas with some current flow. Channel Catfish – Good: Use stink bait or cut shad. 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 feeding heavily on shad.  Use shad colored crankbaits along channel border rocks and brush piles. Northern Pike –  Fair: Cast gaudy spinnerbaits near the mouths of cooler water streams; pike will seek out cooler water as water temperatures are still warm. Paddlefish – No Report: The paddlefish season is closed for the year. Pumpkinseed – Good: Try the Rock Creek backwaters for this very colorful sunfish species. Smallmouth Bass – Look for smallies along rocky habitat with strong current flow. Crankbaits and spinners work best. Walleye – Good: Some reports of walleye being caught in very shallow water feeding on shad. White Bass – Good: Look for schools of feeding white bass in sandy areas and in the tailwater. Spinners and white jigs work best.  White Crappie – Good: 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) – No Report: Hybrids should start feeding again now that the water is starting to clean up.

Mississippi River Pool 15
The water level is 4.7 feet at Rock Island and is steady. The water temperature is near 71 degrees. Water clarity is good.  At these low river levels, use caution to avoid backing off the ends of the boat ramps. Use the minimum water as necessary to launch boats. Channel Catfish – Good: Use stink bait or cut shad near brush piles or along rock lines. 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 – Good: Look for smallies along rocky habitat with strong current flow. Crankbaits and spinners work best. White Bass – Fair: Look for schools of white bass feeding in the tailwaters or along sandy beaches. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – No Report: Try shiny spoons or spinners fished in the tailwater pocket for this hard fighting fish.

Water temperature is in the upper 60’s to low 70’s, which is uncommonly warm for this time of year. The water is low and clear; use caution to avoid backing off the ends of ramps. If you have angling questions please call the Bellevue Fisheries Station at 563-880-8781.


Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 4.73 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and has been steady the past few days. Channel Catfish – No Report: Look for channel catfish around brush piles and snags along the main channel and side channels. Some channel catfish can also be caught fishing the wing dams; use crawlers or stink bait. Largemouth Bass – No Report: Look for largemouth bass around woody structure along the main and side channels. Walleye – No Report: Look for walleyes on the wing dams. Try trolling three-way rigs with crawlers or casting or trolling crankbaits. White Crappie – No Report: Look for crappies around brush piles in the back water and side channels. Try minnows under a bobber or jigs and plastics.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 3.69 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and has been fairly steady the past few days. Bluegill – No Report: Look for bluegills in the backwaters around brush piles. Use pieces of worm under a bobber. Channel Catfish – No Report: Look for channel catfish around brush piles and snags along the main channel and side channels; use dip baits or crawlers. Some channel catfish can also be caught fishing the wing dams. Largemouth Bass – No Report: Look for largemouth bass in the backwaters and side channels around brush piles and logs. Try spinnerbaits or plastics. Walleye – No Report: Look for walleyes on the wing dams. Try trolling three-way rigs with crawlers or casting or trolling crankbaits. White Crappie – Slow: Look for crappies around brush piles in the backwaters and side channels. Use minnows under a bobber or jigs and plastics in Big Timber and Cleveland Slough.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 3.65 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and has been fairly steady the past 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. Largemouth Bass – No Report: Look for largemouth bass around woody structure along the main channel and side channels. Walleye – No Report: Look for walleyes on the wing dams. Try trolling three-way rigs with crawlers or casting or trolling crankbaits.  White Crappie – No Report: Look for crappies in the backwaters and side channels around brush piles. Try minnows under a bobber or jigs and plastics.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 1.49 feet at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington and has been fairly steady. 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. Largemouth Bass – No Report: Look for largemouth bass around woody structure along the main channel and side channels. White Crappie – No Report: Look for crappies around brush piles in the backwaters and side channels. Try minnows under a bobber or jigs and plastics.

Tailwater stages have been fairly steady the past few days. Tailwater stages are forecast to stay steady over the weekend. Main channel water temperature is 70-71 degrees. Water clarity is fair. Use caution when boating on the river due to 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
A return to hot weather this week kept the water temperature from dropping into the upper 60’s. The lake is still stratified. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegill are not in real shallow, but you can find them out in 4 to 5 feet of water. Channel Catfish – Fair: Catfish should soon be looking to start their fall feeding rush. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass are still working the ledges to deeper water; they are waiting for a little cooler weather to get more active

Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River)
The Iowa River is back to the level where the really big “mid-channel” sandbars are up out of the water. Channel Catfish – Good: Look for catfish in the deeper holes and brush piles as the water levels continue to drop back down.

Lake Belva Deer
At least earlier this week, Belva Deer has not yet done its fall turnover with the lake staying stratified. Water temperature is in the low 70’s. Bluegill – Fair: Not a lot of angler pressure this week with the hot weather. If the forecast is correct, cooler weather next week should turn over the lake and get the fish to feeding. Channel Catfish – Fair: It’s about time for catfish to fatten up for the fall and winter. Try chicken liver and cut bait in above 8 feet of water. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass are in the mid-depth (5-6 feet of water) with an occasional trip into shallower water.

Lake Darling
The lake turned over late last week; good oxygen all the way to the bottom. Water temperature is 71 degrees. Algae got off one last bloom with the hot weather.  Black Crappie – Good: Crappies are for at least part of the day (late) working the shallows to hunt for food.  A return of cooler weather would help.  Bluegill – Good: More of the bigger bluegills are in shallow feeding. Look for them around the fallen trees along shore. Channel Catfish – Fair: Catfish are working the edges of the deeper water; getting a little more active. Use chicken liver. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Some  big bass are coming in shallow to fatten up for the fall.

Lost Grove Lake
Water temperature is in the low 70’s. Still green in the water as the planktonic algae holds on with the hot weather.  Bluegill – Good: Bluegill fishing slowed some this week with the return to hotter weather. Look for bluegill in 4-5 feet of water in the flooded brush. 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 – Good: Best bite is late afternoon or evening. Bass continue to work in to shallower water to feed on small fish to fatten up for the fall.

Skunk River (Coppock to Mississippi River)
The Skunk River is down to really low levels; not a lot of current down river.

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


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. Bluegills should start to move shallower as the water cools  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. Crappies will move into shallow water as the water starts to cool. 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 904.19 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. Some campgrounds and boat ramps are closing for the season October 1.  Black Crappie – Good: Try trolling for suspended crappies over rock piles using small crankbaits. Jigging around submerged structure can also be productive. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use chicken liver, cut bait 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) – Fair: Try minnows and jigs fished over rock piles or trolling crankbaits.

Red Haw Lake
Bluegill – Slow: Try small jigs under a bobber. Look for submerged structure; these areas should hold fish. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use night crawlers around the fishing jetties. Largemouth Bass– Fair: Try 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
Walleye – Fair: Troll or jig live bait rigs over shallow humps and points in the upper half of the lake in 4 to 8 feet of water. 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: Catch channel catfish and flathead catfish below the dams (Saylorville, Center St., and Scott Ave) on cut bait, dead shad, 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: Catch crappies in the fall jigging or trolling panfish plastics and live bait in bays off the main lake, especially the Whitebreast arm.

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

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. The crappie bite has picked up. Black Crappie – Good: The large year class of 6-inch black crappies are now 8- to 9-inches. Anglers are slow trolling small jigs tipped with a crawler. Bluegill – Fair: Find bluegills around the roadbeds and slow trolling the creek channels; keep your bait in 8 feet of water. Use small jigs tipped with a crawler. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Find largemouth bass in the tree piles and along vegetation edges.

Lake Manawa
Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers reports catching crappie with minnows under a bobber in the canals. Walleye – Fair: 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
Fishing has picked up at Meadow Lake. Black Crappie – Fair: 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 – Slow: 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 – Good: Catch 8-inch bluegills around the tree piles in the lake. Shore anglers are catching fish with worms under a bobber. 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. Black Crappie – Slow.  Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are slow trolling 8 feet of water with small jigs tipped with a crawler to find fish.  Largemouth Bass – Good: Cast the shore line and the tree piles to catch 14- to 16-inch largemouth bass. Don’t overlook the underwater reefs and rock piles in the lake to find largemouth bass.

Viking Lake
Viking Lake is 7 feet below full pool. Access is compromised. Black Crappie – Fair. Bluegill – Fair. Channel Catfish – Fair: 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
Black Crappie – Good: Catch crappie up to 9.5-inches with jigs tipped with minnows fished near cedar tree brush piles. Bluegill – Fair: Catch bluegill up to 8-inches with worms under a bobber fished near the fishing jetties. 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.

Little River Watershed Lake
Courtesy docks are in at the main ramp and bait shop ramp. Black Crappie – Good: Use jigs tipped with live bait fished near main lake points to catch crappie up to 10-inches. Bluegill – Fair: Catch bluegill up to 8-inches with worms under a bobber fished near shallow coves. Largemouth Bass – Fair: 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 – Good: Try jigs fished near near dirt mounds or rock piles to catch bluegill up to 8.5-inches. Walleye – Slow: Use jigs tipped with a minnow fished near main lake rocky points.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake
The dock is in at main ramp. Black Crappie – Good: Catch crappie up to 9.5-inches with jigs tipped with live bait fished along cedar tree brush piles or rocky shoreline areas. Bluegill – Fair: Try jigs tipped with a worm fished fished in shallow coves 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 or rock piles. Yellow Perch – Slow: Use minnows fished along the fishing jetties to catch yellow perch up to 10-inches.

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

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