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Saturday Morning Fishing Report: Fishing Rated Slower as Colder Conditions Prevail

Unlike the early fall conditions we have experienced in weekends past, this weekend will be much colder. Forecasts are calling for high temperatures in the mid 30’s and lows in the mid 20’s. Water temperatures in the area have gone down into the mid 40’s, however fish are still biting, feeding in preparation for the spring spawn.

This weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys and county and state parks staff. You can check the activity of your favorite lake or stretch of river within each district, including which species are being caught, a rating of the bite (slow, fair, good or excellent), as well as a hot bait or lure pattern.

For current information, contact the district fisheries office at the phone number listed at the end of each district report.

NORTHWEST

Arrowhead Lake
The courtesy dock at the boat ramp has been removed for the season.

Black Hawk Lake
The fish cleaning station is closed for the season. The courtesy dock at the State Marina boat ramp will remain in place year-round. Water temperatures are in the upper 40’s. Water level is about 9 inches below the crest of the spillway. Water clarity is about one foot. Black Crappie – Good: Anglers have been doing well this last week – keepers are 10- to 12-inches long.  Most fish are being picked up in and around the fish house in Town Bay. Try also along Ice House Point and near the inlet bridge. Fish are biting on jigs tipped with a minnow or without bait. Most are being fished under a bobber.  Bluegill – Slow. Walleye – Slow. Yellow Perch – Fair: Perch fishing is fair to good.  Pick up fish in the fish house and near the inlet bridge with a minnow fished under a bobber.

Brushy Creek Lake
The fish cleaning station is closed and the courtesy docks have been removed for the season. Water temperature is in the upper 40’s. Black Crappie – Fair: Try a small jig and minnow in 15 feet of water near woody structure. Bluegill – Fair: Vertical jig for in 5-15 feet of water near submerged trees and logs. Walleye – Slow: Walleye have moved off shore to deeper water with cooling water temperatures. Yellow Perch – Fair: Use a small jig tipped with crawler or minnows fished in areas of 10-15 feet of water.

North Twin Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Shore fishing for crappie has been productive. Sorting is needed. Yellow Bass – Fair: Anglers are picking up yellow bass fishing from shore.

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 temperatures are in the upper 40’s. 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 – Slow: Water temperatures are in the upper 40’s. 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 upper 40’s. Most boat ramp courtesy docks have been removed for the season. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.


Blue Pit
Trout are biting on a variety of baits. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. The daily bag limit is 5. Rainbow Trout – Good.

Clear Lake
Water temperature is in the mid 40’s. Courtesy docks have been removed for the season. Black Crappie – Slow. Walleye – Slow. Yellow Perch – Good: Use slip bobbers with minnows or a slow retrieve with a jig and minnow from the Ventura Grade jetties.

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. Yellow Perch – Slow.

Upper Pine Lake
Upper Pine Lake boat ramp is open. The courtesy dock has been removed for the season. 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 49 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
The walleye bite from shore has been very good with many anglers fishing off the southern stony point and eastern shore. Black Crappie – Fair. Bluegill – Fair. Walleye – Fair. Yellow Bass – Fair. Yellow Perch – Fair: Good catch rate with some sorting needed.

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

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

Spirit Lake
The water temperature is 45 degrees. Fish are moving in shallower. Use lead core and tadpole baits. The walleye bite is 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 49 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 are catching them while fishing for other species.

The panfish/perch bite has been consistent. Most boat ramp docks have been pulled for the season. The evening walleye bite from shore is good. The forecast calls for 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. Clarity is excellent. Visit the USGS Current Water Conditions website for more information. Black Crappie – Good: Find crappies around brush piles or deeper holes. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Find smallies in a variety of habitats; try along current breaks, eddies or subtle depth changes. Walleye – Good: Find walleye in deeper holes; use minnows or worms.

Decorah District Streams
Many thanks and much gratitude to all our trout anglers and supporters for making this year’s catchable trout stocking a huge success. Community trout pond stockings dates and times are unannounced this fall. 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 – Fair: Brookies are spawning. 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 – Good: Plenty of rainbows stay in the stream through the winter keeping the heartier anglers interested. Try a worm or lure imitating a minnow.

Lake Hendricks
Few anglers have been out. Water clarity is good to excellent.

Lake Meyer
Few anglers have bee out. Water clarity is excellent.

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
Water clarity is excellent with stable water levels. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Try spinnerbaits or jigs tipped with plastics along ledges, seams and eddies. Walleye – Good: Find walleye in deeper holes. Use enough weight to get  your lure to bottom. Try  a jig tipped with a crawler.

Volga Lake
Few anglers have been out. Water clarity is excellent.

Sneak peek at wintry weather this weekend. Temperatures will range from 40’s to 20’s with rain/snow through Sunday. Area river levels are stable and clear. 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 – Good: 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 crappie, 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 crappie, 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 8.3. Water temperature is 49 degrees. Expect the bite to improve with cooling water temperatures. Notice: Dredging is occurring 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 – Excellent: Try a jig and crappie minnow fished in the brush piles and submersed tree tops. 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 – Good: 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 613.7 feet and is expected to rise slightly this week. Boaters should use caution to avoid backing off end of ramps. Water temperature is 50 degrees at the Lynxville dam. The bite is picking up with cooler water temperatures. Sny Magill ramp is open, but docks have been removed for the winter. Black Crappie – Excellent: Use a jig and crappie minnow fished in the brush piles and submersed tree tops. 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 – Good: 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 5.2 feet at Guttenberg and is expected to rise slightly this week. Water temperature is 47 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 – Excellent: Use a jig and crappie minnow fished in the brush piles and submersed tree tops. 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 – Good: 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 rose slightly this week and are expected to remain stable. Check boat ramp conditions before you go; water levels are low. Water temperatures have dropped into the 40’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 5.23 feet at the Lock and Dam and 8.0 feet at the RR bridge. Water clarity is good. Water temperature is around 50 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. 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. Sauger – Good: Use jigs in the tailwater. 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. Fish are moving into the tailwater areas.  Expect better fishing as we move into the cooler fall season. Yellow Perch – Good: Expect to see more yellow perch in the creel until ice up.

Mississippi River Pool 13
The water level is near 5.4 feet at the Bellevue Lock and Dam and is steady. Water temperature is near 51 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. 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. Square bill crankbaits can be deadly for pike this time of year. 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: Some tailwater angling for walleye and sauger has started.  Most anglers are using a jig and minnows. White Bass – Good: White bass are chasing minnows in the tailwaters and along rocky/sandy habitats. Feeding gulls often point to areas where white bass are schooling. 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 5.0 feet, 9.6 feet at Camanche and 4.5 feet at Le Claire. Water temperature is around 51 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 is 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: Tailwater fishing for walleye and sauger has started with most anglers using a jig and minnow. 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.  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 5.4 feet at Rock Island and is expected to rise near 5.5 feet. The water temperature is near 52 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. Sauger – No Report: Sauger should move into the tailwaters in the next few weeks. Often a simple jig and minnow works best. 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 remains in the low 50’s to upper 40’s; somewhat 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 5.12 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities. Tailwater stage is forecast to stay fairly steady over the weekend. 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 4.14 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine. Tailwater stage is forecast to stay fairly steady over the weekend. Bluegill – No Report: Look for bluegills in the backwaters around brush piles. Use pieces of worm under a bobber. 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. Walleye – No Report: Look for walleyes on the wing dams. Try trolling three-way-rigs with crawlers. Walleyes can also be caught trolling or casting crankbaits on the wing dams. There have been a few boats below the dam this week tailwater fishing. 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 4.46 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston. Tailwater stage is forecast to stay fairly steady over the weekend. 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. 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 2.22 feet at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington. Tailwater stage is forecast to stay fairly steady over the weekend. 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 been fairly steady over over the past few days. Tailwater stages are forecast to stay steady over the weekend. Main channel water temperature is 50 degrees. Water clarity is fair. Some walleyes and saugers are starting to be caught below the dams. 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

Discovery Park Pond
The fall stocking of trout was unannounced a couple of weeks ago; 1000 rainbow trout were stocked last week. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Good: They should be use to their new home by now; they like to stay in the corners of the pond.

Jefferson Co. Park New Pond
The fall stocking of trout was unannounced a couple of weeks ag; 1000 rainbow trout were stocked last week. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Good: There was even a few nice brook trout in the mix.  By now they have adjusted to their new home; look for them to be stuck tight to the habitat, but in fairly shallow.

Lake Belva Deer
Water temperature is 50 degrees. Water clarity is very clear. Bluegill – Fair: Most bluegill are headed back to the mid-depths. If the forecast for next week is correct (mid-60’s), they might come back in shallow. 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 was 52 degrees this morning. Water clarity is very good at over 7 feet. Very little angler activity. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappies have moved out to deeper water brush piles on their way to their winter haunts. Bluegill – Slow: Start working the rock piles in 8-10 feet of water as these fish start to move out into deeper water.

Wilson Lake
The fall stocking of trout was unannounced a couple of weeks ago; 1000 rainbow trout were stocked last week. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Good: Look for them around the dropped trees and out around the cedar trees sunk in 6 to 8 feet of water.

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 – Slow: 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.

Iowa Lake (Iowa Co.)
Black Crappie – Fair: Look for suspended fish in 6-12 feet of water in the basin. Drift with jigs or minnows. Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs or minnows around shorelines with rock or wood.

Lake Macbride
The road to the main boat ramp and beach is closed for a repaving project. The fish cleaning station has been shut down for the winter. The boat docks have been removed for the season. There is a permanent boat slip at Opie Ave Ramp and the Main Park Ramp (once the road is reopened) for boaters to use year round. Black Crappie – Fair: Try jigs or minnows 7-15 feet down near brush or stumps. Bluegill – Fair: Catch small to average-sized fish around rocky shorelines.  Walleye – Fair: Troll crankbaits on rock reefs or cast windblown rocks towards evening.

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

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. Bluegill – Fair: There are lots of fish around the rocky shorelines, but size is mediocre. 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.

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

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 905.56 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. Prairie Ridge, Island View and the Bridgeview campgrounds are closed for the season. The ramp is still open at Bridgeview and Island View high water ramp. Docks have been removed for the year. Black Crappie – Slow: Try jigging around submerged structure or rock piles. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use chicken liver, cut bait or night crawlers. Walleye – Slow: Troll crankbaits or night crawler rigs over rock piles and near lake depth changes such as the old river channel.

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 or plastics in areas along the shorelines.

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

SOUTHWEST

Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake
Rainbow Trout – 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.

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.

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

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.

Terra Lake
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.

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


Lake Anita
Water temperatures are below 50 degrees. Concentrate fishing in deeper structure.  Bluegill – Fair. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Catch largemouth bass around deep structure.

Meadow Lake
Water clarity has improved. Anglers report finding panfish in the tree piles. Black Crappie – Fair.  Bluegill – Fair.

Prairie Rose Lake
Water clarity is good. Water temperature is 50 degrees. Bluegill – Slow: Anglers are finding bluegills around the underwater reefs and cedar tree piles in the lake. Largemouth Bass – Good: 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 6 feet below full pool. Access is compromised. Black Crappie – Fair: Find crappies around deep tree piles. There are several year classes of crappies ranging from 8- to 14-inches

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

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