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Saturday Morning Fishing Report: Fall Fishing in Full Swing Locally

Weekend fishing in the area is looking cool and a little breezy on Sunday. Afternoon highs on Saturday will be in the mid 50’s while Sunday is expected to be cooler in the mid 40’s. Area water temperatures are comparable to the local weather conditions.

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.

Black Hawk Lake
The fish cleaning station is closed for the season. Courtesy docks at Ice House Point boat ramp and the ramp near Black Hawk State Park Campground will be removed within the next week. The courtesy dock at the State Marina will remain in place year-round. Water temperature has dropped to the mid-50’s. Water level is about 12 inches below the crest of the spillway. Water clarity is about one foot. Black Crappie – Fair: Try along Ice House Point shore and in or on the fish house in Town Bay. Keeper-size fish are 8- to 10-inches. Bluegill – Slow. Walleye – Fair: 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
The fish cleaning station is closed and the courtesy docks have been removed for the season. Black Crappie – Fair: Try a small jig and minnow in 15 feet of water near woody structure.  Walleye – Fair. Yellow Perch – Fair: Use a small jig tipped with crawler or minnows fished in areas of 10-15 feet of water.

Storm Lake (incl Little Storm Lake)
The courtesy dock at the Bel-Air boat ramp has been removed for the season. Courtesy docks at the ramp in the DNR marina will remain in place throughout the season. Water temperature is in the mid-50’s. Most of the lake is free of vegetation. Water clarity is less than one foot. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use cut bait or dip baits fished on the bottom in areas along shore with rocks. Walleye – Fair: Water temperatures are cooling down. 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 district lakes are in the mid-50’s. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.


Clear Lake
Water temperature is in the upper 40’s. The lake is 6.3 inches low. Water clarity is 27 inches. The fish cleaning station and bathrooms are closed for the season. Black Crappie – Slow. 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 and around the island. Shore anglers are having success fishing minnows off the jetties after sunset. Yellow Bass – Slow: Try a small jig tipped with a minnow or piece of cut bait fished on the edge of the vegetation. Use your electronics to find and stay on fish.

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 shoreWalleye – 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 along the edge of the vegetation. Best bite is mid-afternoon. Largemouth Bass – Slow. Yellow Perch – Slow.

Upper Pine Lake
The Upper Pine Lake boat ramp is closed until further notice. Black Crappie – Fair.

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 52 degrees. Many anglers have had success with slip bobbers/spoons and vertical jigging and drop shot fishing. Many anglers are observing higher catch rates with sorting needed to limit out on various fish. Black Crappie – Good: Catch is picking up; crappie are moving in shallower and hanging out around pockets of vegetation. 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
Bite has started to pick up with many anglers fishing off the southern stony point and eastern shore. Black Crappie – Fair. Bluegill – Fair. Walleye – Fair. Yellow Bass – Fair. Yellow Perch – Good: Good catch rate with some sorting needed.

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 49 degrees. Fish are moving in shallower. Use lead core and tadpole baits. The walleye bite has been very good in the evening; try fishing from shore or with waders. The perch bite continues to slowly pick up as water temperatures fall. 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 – Fair: 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 52 degrees. Anglers have been successful fishing for bluegill and crappie in 10-15 feet of water. Most any bait has been working. Use lead core or tadpole baits. 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.

The panfish/perch bite has been consistent lately. Most boat ramp docks are still in. The evening walleye bite from shore has been good. The forecast calls for continued cooler temperatures in the 40’s to 50’s. Lake temperatures are dropping fast with most lake temperatures in the upper 40’s and 50’s.

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. Clarity is good. 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. 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
This is the last week for catchable trout stream stockings. Many thanks and much gratitude to all our trout anglers and supporters for making this year’s stocking a huge success. Community trout pond stockings start this month with dates and times unannounced to help reduce the crowd size at stocking locations and minimize the spread of COVID-19. Check the Trout Fishing website for more information as it comes available. Clarity is good to excellent on most streams. 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: Brookies are exhibiting pre-spawn behavior. Look for small areas of freshly cleaned gravel; these are trout nests or redds. Late afternoon hatches of midges are occurring on sunny days. Brown Trout – Good: Fall is brown trout spawning season. Walk carefully around freshly cleaned off gravel; these are trout nests or redds. 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 temperature is in the 50’s. Few anglers have been out. Black Crappie – Good: Try a small spinnerbait fished mid-depth. Bluegill – Good: Use a small hook tipped with a small piece of worm under a bobber fished near rocks. Largemouth Bass – Good: Find bass suspended around rocky structures or along vegetated edges. Use a jig tipped with twister or ring worm.

Lake Meyer
Water clarity is about 5 feet. Most aquatic vegetation is gone. Docks are out for the season. Black Crappie – Good. Bluegill – Good: Try fishing shallow over vegetation with a slow retrieve. Largemouth Bass – Good: Try jigs tipped with a twister tail or spinnerbait fished over vegetation.

Turkey River (above Clermont)
Water levels are stabilizing. Clarity is improving. A variety of lures work well. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Find smallies in deeper pools around rocky seams and eddies. A quick hook set is best for these playful fish. Walleye – Good: Try fishing slack water eddies and deeper pools; use a heavier jig with a twister to get you lure near the bottom of the hole.

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
Water levels are low, but stable. Clarity is good to excellent. 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: Find walleye in deeper holes. Try a jig tipped with crawler. Anglers report 10- to 13-inch fish common.

Volga Lake
The boat ramp is closed. The old ramp is scheduled to be replaced. Clarity is improved. Water temperature is in the 50’s. 

Temperatures this weekend will be in the low 50’s for highs to low 30’s for lows, dropping into the 40’s to 20’s next week. Rain chances Thursday to Friday am. Area river levels stable and clear. Water temperature for most waterbodies are in the low 50’s. For current fishing information, please call the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.


Big Woods Lake
Reports of anglers catching crappie.

Brinker Lake
Reports of anglers catching crappie. Black Crappie – Excellent: Try a minnow under a slip bobber fished in 5-6 feet of water near structure and submersed trees. Fishing from a boat is advantageous.

Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
Anglers are catching crappie and bluegill. Black Crappie – Excellent: Try a minnow under a slip bobber fished in 5-6 feet of water near structure and submersed trees. Fishing from a boat is advantageous. Bluegill – Good: Try a small red worm or chunk of crawler under a slip bobber fished from shore.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
Anglers are doing well on smallmouth bass and walleye. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Cast a jig and plastics, spinnerbaits or crankbaits. Walleye – Good: Try a jig and plastic tipped with half a crawler or cast crankbaits.

Manchester District Streams
Area Manchester streams remain in excellent condition providing many angling opportunities for rainbow and brown trout.

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
Anglers are catching smallmouth bass and walleye. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Cast a jig and plastics, crankbaits or spinnerbaits. Walleye – Fair: Use a jig and plastic tipped with half a crawler or cast crankbaits.

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
Anglers are doing well on smallmouth bass and walleye. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Cast a jig and plastics, spinnerbaits or crankbaits. Walleye – Good: Try a jig and plastic tipped with half a crawler or cast crankbaits.

Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
The Wapsipinicon River is producing some smallmouth bass, walleye and northern pike opportunities. Northern Pike – Good: Cast and retrieve larger spinnerbaits. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Cast a jig and plastics, spinnerbaits or crankbaits. Walleye – Fair: Use a jig and plastic tipped with half a crawler or cast crankbaits.

Interior river conditions remain favorable providing great angling opportunities. Reports of good walleye and smallmouth bass fishing on the interior rivers. Call the Manchester Hatchery at 563-927-3276 for more information.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9
Lansing water level is expected to stabilize near 8.1 feet after a slight bump. Water temperature is 53 degrees. Expect the bite to improve with cooling water temperatures. Notice: Dredging is occuring at Village Creek. The west part of the parking lot is closed and one lane of the ramp is closed for dredge equipment. Boaters are urged to use caution around dredge equipment. Alternate ramps are Big Slough and Winneshiek Landing across the bridge. 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. Try a small piece of worm under a bobber. Channel Catfish – Fair: Catfish bite has slowed. 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. Sauger – Fair: Sauger are moving into the tailwaters of the dam. Try vertical jigging with a minnow. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Use spinners or crankbaits fished in main channel rock piles along the tips of islands. Walleye – Good: Troll crankbaits along structure in side channel and main channel current breaks. Expect walleye to move up to tailwaters of the dams. White Bass – Good: Cast inline spinners in areas of current. Look for schools of white bass feeding on minnows. Yellow Perch – Excellent: 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 near 613 feet after a slight uptick this week. Boaters should use caution to avoid backing off end of ramps. Water temperature is 55 degrees at the Lynxville dam. The bite is picking up with cooler water temperatures. Sny Magill ramp has reopened after completion of concrete work under the railroad underpass. 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 – Fair: 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. Sauger – Fair: Sauger are moving into the tailwaters of the dam. Try vertical jigging with a minnow. Smallmouth Bass – Excellent: Use spinners or crankbaits fished in main channel rock piles along the tips of islands. Walleye – Fair: Troll crankbaits along structure in side channel and main channel current breaks. Expect walleye to move up to tailwaters of the dams. White Bass – Fair: Cast inline spinners in areas of current. Look for schools of white bass feeding on minnows. Yellow Perch – Excellent: 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 4.9 feet at Guttenberg and is expected to remain stable. Water temperature is 52 degrees at the Guttenberg dam. Boaters should use caution to avoid backing off the end of ramps. The fall bite is picking up with cooler water temperatures. 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. Sauger – Fair: Sauger are moving into the tailwaters of the dam. Try vertical jigging with a minnow. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Use spinners or crankbaits fished in main channel rock piles along the tips of islands. Walleye – Fair: Troll crankbaits along structure in side channel and main channel current breaks. Expect walleye to move up to tailwaters of the dams. White Bass – Good: Cast inline spinners in areas of current. Look for schools of white bass feeding on minnows. 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 have dropped slightly this week and are expected to stabilize. Check boat ramp conditions before you go; water levels are low. Water temperatures have dropped into the 50’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 5.2 feet at the Lock and Dam and 7.8 feet at the RR bridge. Water clarity is good. Water temperature is around 52 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 – Excellent: Find bluegills in vegetated areas; some are still in brush piles in side channel sloughs. Bobber and worm work best. Try fishing near vegetated areas in 2 to 4 feet of water. Channel Catfish – Fair: Some anglers are just using worms, while other are using stink bait. The bite may have tailed off a bit in recent weeks. Flathead Catfish – Fair: Some anglers are targeting flatheads at night, mainly using live green sunfish as bait. Walleye anglers are catching some on the wing dams. Flatheads are feeding heavily on sunfish and crappies still along the main channel areas. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: 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 on gizzard shad. Expect angling to continue to improve as we move into the fall season. Try chatter baits or weedless crankbaits in the lily pads. Northern Pike – Good: Cast gaudy spinnerbaits along weedy edges. Pumpkinseed – Good: Try fishing in 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. Find the areas of the strongest flow along rock. Lots of little smallmouths indicate an excellent year class coming on. 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. Lots of vegetation floating downstream at times is making fishing crankbaits difficult. Yellow Perch – Good: Expect to see more yellow perch in the creel until ice up.

Mississippi River Pool 13
The water level is near 5.2 feet at the Bellevue Lock and Dam and is steady. Water temperature is near 53 degrees in the main channel. Water clarity is good. Water rose a foot with recent rains. 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. Crappies are usually hanging in the brush piles. Bluegill – Excellent: Find a brush pile in a side channel that is blocking most of the current flow and bluegills will be abundant. Another place to try is weedy edge areas that are around 2 to 3 feet deep. Channel Catfish – Fair: The bite is tailing off as water temperatures are cooling. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: 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 – Excellent: Find bass chasing small shad. Try jigs or chatterbaits fished along weedy edges and rock and brush piles. Northern Pike – Good: Cast a gaudy white spinnerbait in shallow weedy edges. The bite has picked up. 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: Not a lot of activity yet in the tailwaters, but soon we should see a push of fish moving in. White Bass – Good: White bass are chasing minnows in the tailwaters and along rocky/sandy habitats. Yellow Perch – Fair: Lots of small perch are being seen during fall fish surveys. The future looks bright for decent yellow perch fishing in Pool 13.

Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level at the Fulton Lock and Dam is steady and is 5.0 feet, 9.5 feet at Camanche and 4.6 feet at Le Claire. Water temperature is around 54 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: Catch bluegills in vegetated backwater habitats. Lots of sorting needed with numerous small fish being caught. Channel Catfish – Fair: The catfish bite has tailed off in recent weeks. 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 –  Good: Cast gaudy white spinnerbaits in shallow vegetated areas. 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 – Fair: Look for smallies along rocky habitat with strong current flow. Crankbaits and spinners work best. Walleye – Good: Use crankbaits on wing dams or three-way-rigs with a small nightcrawler.  Expect better fishing as we move into the cooler fall season. Lots of vegetation floating downstream at times is making fishing crankbaits difficult. 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. Yellow Perch – No Report: Expect to see more yellow perch in the creel during the autumn months. Usually that is when the bite picks up.

Mississippi River Pool 15
The water level is 5.1 feet at Rock Island and is steady. The water temperature is near 54 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 – Fair: Use stink bait or cut shad near brush piles or along rock lines. Simple worms and egg sinker rigs also work well. 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. Pool 15 can be surprisingly good for smallmouth bass as it typically has more rock and stronger currents than most  Mississippi River pools. Still time to target this species; they will bite until ice up. White Bass – Good: 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 has dipped in recent days but still is in the mid 50’s, which is uncommonly warm for this time of year. Levels rose a foot or so this weekThe 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 5.12 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities. Tailwater stage is forecast to fall over the weekend, but there is rain in the forecast. 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 in the backwaters and side channels. Sauger – Fair: A few small saugers are starting to be caught in Sylvan Slough on hair jigs. Walleye – No Report: Look for walleyes on the wing dams. Try trolling three-way-rigs with crawlers or casting or trolling crankbaits. White Bass – Fair: Some white bass are being caught in Sylvan Slough. 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 4.49 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine. Tailwater stage is forecast to fall over the weekend, but there is rain in the forecast. 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 night 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. Sauger – Fair: As water temperatures start to drop, look for saugers in the tailwaters. There have been a few boats below the dam this week. Try vertical jigging with minnows. 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 5.05 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston. Tailwater stage is forecast to fall over the weekend, but there is rain in the forecast. 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 in the backwaters and side channels. Sauger – No Report: Look for saugers in the tailwater as water temperatures starts to drop. Try vertical jigging with minnows. Walleye – No Report: Look for walleyes on the wing dams. Try trolling three-way-rigs with crawlers or casting or trolling crankbaits.  White Bass – Fair: Some white bass are being caught in the auxiliary lock. Cast jigs and twisters or crankbaits. Look for walleyes below the dam vertical jigging with minnows. 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 2.67 feet at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington. Tailwater stage is forecast to fall over the weekend, but there is rain in the forecast. Channel Catfish – No Report: Look for channel catfish around brush piles and snags along the main channel and side channels. Use stink bait or night crawlers. Largemouth Bass – No Report: Look for largemouth bass around woody structure along the main channel and side channels. Sauger – No Report: Look for saugers in the tailwaters as water temperatures starts to drop. Try vertical jigging with minnows. 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 risen some over the past few days. Tailwater stages are forecast to start falling, but there is rain in the forecast. Main channel water temperature is 54 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
Water temperature is just above 60 degrees; could be in the 50’s soon with the weather forecast points. Bluegill – Fair: The weather is keeping most anglers off the lake. Look for bluegills to be move out to deeper water soon.

Lake Belva Deer
Water temperature is in the upper 50’s. Very little angler activity on the lake with the wind and the rain. Black Crappie – Fair: Find some crappies in shallower water at the upper end of the lake. Most crappie are still out in deeper water. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills were back out in the 4-6 feet of water earlier this week.  They weren’t vert aggressive; try waxworms or small pieces of worm fished under bobber. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Bass are not very aggressive; try a slow presentation worked along the rocks in 8-10 feet of water.

Lake Darling
Water temperature is barely holding onto 60 degrees. Rains earlier this week brought the water levels up some. Water clarity is about 3 feet. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappie fishing was good last week, but by the end of the week they moved out to a little deeper water. Bluegill – Fair: The windy rainy weather has angler numbers down this week. Bluegills might start heading back to deeper water with the forecast.

Lost Grove Lake
Water temperature was down to 58 degrees at mid-day on Tuesday.  It hasn’t warmed up any since.  Water clarity is 40 inches with a brown cast to the water. Black Crappie – Slow: Crappie fishing this week remains sporadic. Really hit-or-miss, most are out in 8-10 feet of water. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills are moving in and out with the rapidly changing weather. Worm and bobber or very slow trolling/drifting to locate fish works best. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass are coming in to the shallows to fatten up for cooler weather to come.  Yellow Bullhead – Good: Bullheads were in shallow, especially near the flooded timber. Good numbers of 10- to 12-inch fish. A nightcrawler fished on the bottom works best.

Skunk River (Rose Hill to Coppock)
Recent rains brought the Skunk River up a couple of more feet. Gives the fish a good chance to move to their over wintering holes.

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
 – Fair. Walleye – Fair.

Cedar River (La Porte City to Cedar Rapids)
Black Crappie – Slow.  Channel Catfish – Fair.  Smallmouth Bass – Good.  Walleye – Fair.

Coralville Reservoir
Current lake level is 686 feet. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try cut bait in the channel. White Crappie – Fair: Use bright jigs or minnows around brush piles or rock bluffs.

Diamond Lake
All park facilities are closed. The boat dock and kayak launch remain open year round. Black Crappie – Fair: Try tube jigs or small jigs tipped with worms around jetties and brush piles. Best bite is early and late in the day. Most fish are about 8-inches. Channel Catfish – Fair.

Lake Macbride
The road to the main boat ramp and beach in the park is closed through the winter for a repaving project. The fish cleaning station has been shut down for the winter. The boat docks will be removed the first week of November. There is a permanent boat slip at Opie Ave Ramp for boaters to use year round. Black Crappie – Fair: Try jigs or minnows 7-15 feet down near brush or stumps. Walleye – Fair: Troll crankbaits on rock reefs or cast windblown rocks towards evening.

Otter Creek Lake
The lake is currently drained for a lake restoration project.

Pleasant Creek Lake
The modern restrooms and fishing cleaning station are closed for the winter. The pit toilets remain open. The boat docks will remain until skim ice starts. Black Crappie – Fair: Try fishing around wood in 5-15 feet of water. Muskellunge – Slow.  Walleye – Fair: Try jigs or live bait on rock reefs or banks preferably with wind blowing on it. Most fish are 13- to 14-inches.

Sand Lake
Trout were stocked in the back section of the lake. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Fair.

Union Grove Lake
The boat docks have been removed for the season. Black Crappie – Slow: A few crappies are being picked up around brush piles. Bluegill – Good: Try small jigs or worms around jetties and brush piles for nice-sized fish. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Cast artificials around rock or troll crankbaits. Walleye – Slow: A few fish are being caught while trolling crankbaits.

Wapsipinicon River (Troy Mills to Oxford Junction)
Black Crappie
 – Good: Try jigs or minnows in the backwaters. Smallmouth Bass – Fair.  Walleye – Fair: Use jigs or crankbaits fished below the dams.

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: Try small jigs fished around the shorelines and fishing jetties. 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 along the shorelines and flooded timber. Keep moving until you find active fish. 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.

Lake Wapello
Black Crappie– Slow: Try jigs tipped with a minnow around the cedar tree piles and the shoreline. 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. Plastic worms or lizards also work well around structure.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 904.63 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 closed for the season. Prairie Ridge is closed for the season. 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.

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

SOUTHWEST

Banner Lake (south)
Rainbow Trout – Good: Cast inline spinners, spoons, small plastics or live baits under floats. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Big Creek Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Cast small plastics or fish live minnows under a bobber to catch crappies off the rock jetties. Walleye – Good: Troll or jig live bait rigs over hump points and drop-offs to the creek channel in the upper half of the lake in 5 to 15 feet of water. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: Troll or cast shad imitating crankbaits and spoons.

Red Rock Reservoir
White Crappie– 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
Look for panfish around deeper structure. Water temperatures is below 60 degrees. Black Crappie – Fair: Catch 8- to 9-inch black crappie with minnows under a bobber fished in the tree piles. Bluegill – Fair: Concentrate on deeper structure to find bluegill. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Greenfield has a good bass population with a high percentage of 14- to 16-inch fish.

Lake Anita
Water temperatures are below 60 degrees. Concentrate fishing in deeper structure.  Black Crappie – Fair:  Find 8- to 10-inch black crappie in the deep tree piles and points and drop-offs. Bluegill – Fair: Find bluegills around tree piles in the lake and slow trolling the creek channels. 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 twister tails tipped with a minnow along the south shore. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – No Report: Cast or troll crankbaits.

Meadow Lake
Anglers report finding panfish in the tree piles. 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.  Largemouth Bass – Fair: Anglers report catching bass casting the shoreline and in the tree piles.

Orient Lake
Water clarity is fair. Black Crappie – No Report: Target the tree piles in the lake to find crappies this fall season. Bluegill – Good: Catch 8-inch bluegills around the tree piles in the lake. Shore anglers are catching fish with worms under a bobber.

Prairie Rose Lake
Water clarity is good. Water temperature is 60 degrees and will continue to drop. Black Crappie – Slow.  Bluegill – Slow: Anglers are finding bluegills around the underwater reefs and cedar tree piles in the lake. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Cast the shoreline and  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. 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 – Fair: Catch crappie up to 9.5-inches with jigs tipped with minnows fished near cedar tree brush piles. Bluegill – Slow: Catch bluegill up to 8-inches with worms under a bobber fished near the fishing jetties. 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 – Slow: Use jigs tipped with live bait fished near main lake points to catch crappie up to 10-inches. Bluegill – Slow: Catch bluegill up to 8-inches with worms under a bobber fished near shallow coves. 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. Black Crappie – Fair: Catch crappie up to 11 inches with jigs tipped with a minnow fished near cedar tree brush piles. Bluegill – Fair: Try jigs fished near cedar tree brush piles or along the flooded timber to catch bluegill up to 8.5-inches. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Use jigs fished near rock piles or along the flooded timber to catch largemouth bass of all sizes. Walleye – Slow: Try jigs tipped with a minnow or worm harness fished in 20 feet of water.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake
The dock is in at main ramp. Black Crappie – Slow: Catch crappie up to 9.5-inches with jigs tipped with live bait fished along cedar tree brush piles or rocky shoreline areas. Bluegill – Slow: 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 60’s in most Mount Ayr district lakes. For more information, call the Mount Ayr Fisheries office at 641-464-3108.

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