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Saturday Morning Fishing Report: Weather Turns Colder as Fishing is Rated Fair

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 level is about 10 inches below the crest of the spillway. Water clarity is about one foot. Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers are picking up 10- to 12-inch crappie. 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 low-40s. Black Crappie – Fair: Try a small jig and minnow in 15 feet of water near woody structure. 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. 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 clarity is less than one foot. Walleye – Slow: 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 have dropped to around 40 degrees. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.


Blue Pit
Rainbow Trout
 – Good. 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.

Clear Lake
Water temperature is in the upper 30s. The lake is five inches low. All courtesy docks have been removed for the season. Walleye – Fair: Anglers are having success fishing jigs and a minnow after sunset from the jetties and along the north shoreline. Yellow Perch – Fair: Anglers are catching a few perch from the Ventura Grade jetties using slip bobbers with minnows or a jig and minnow with a slow retrieve.

Rice Lake
The refuge area west of the north boat ramp is closed to all boating activity. Walleye – Slow: Use a jig and minnow after sunset. Yellow Perch – Slow: Use a sllip bobber and a minnow in the deep water out from the homes.

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
Many anglers are observing higher catch rates with sorting needed to limit out on various fish. Many people have had success with slip bobbers/spoons as well as vertical jigging and dropshot. The current water temperature is 35 degrees. Black Crappie – Fair: Catch has been picking up and fish have been moving in shallower and hanging out around pockets of vegetation. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegill are biting like crazy recently. Leeches or worms and a simple bobber setup work well. Pumpkinseed – Fair: 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
The panfish and crappie bite has been fairly decent and will continue to improve as the water cools and starts to ice up. Black Crappie – Good: A nice crappie bite can be found with a little movement around the lake. Bluegill – Good. Pumpkinseed – Good.

Scharnberg Pond
Trout were stocked unannounced this fall. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Good: Trout are biting on a variety of different baits. Try a worm or lure that imitates a minnow.

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

Spirit Lake
The water temperature is 35 degrees. Fish are moving in shallower. The perch and walleye bite has slowed with the latest cold front. 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 – Fair: Bite is hit-or-miss at dusk, but the day bite is improving. Many anglers have started to fish in shallower with slip bobbers along weed edges. Yellow Perch – Fair: 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 36 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 slowed a bit due to the most recent cold front. The evening walleye bite from shore has been slower. The forecast calls for highs in the 40s with much colder nights leading to some freezing. Most lake temperatures are now in the 30s. Many of the the smaller lakes have been icing over during the nights. 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. All 18 community trout ponds have been  stocked this fall. Check the Trout Fishing website for a list of locations. Clarity is good to excellent on most streams. Good coldwater streams don’t freeze during winter allowing for a serene angling experience for the hearty angler. 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 – Fair: 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 excellent.

Lake Meyer
Few anglers have been 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.

Rollercoaster weather patterns continue with temperatures ranging from 40s to 20s. Smaller waterbodies should be seeing skim ice soon. Area river levels stable and clear. Few anglers fishing lakes as they await the transition to hard water. For current fishing information, please call the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.


MISSISSIPPI RIVER


Mississippi River Pool 12
The water level is falling and temperature is in upper 30s. Water levels are currently 5.8 feet at the Lock and Dam and 8.4 feet at the railroad bridge and clarity is good. At these low river levels be careful not to back off the ends of the boat ramps. Use the minimum water as necessary to launch boats. Black Crappie – Fair: It has been a good year so far for crappie angling in general. With the low water crappie moved in the deeper sloughs and brush piles. Use small jig and minnow. Bluegill – Good: The upper areas of backwater lakes can still produce some bluegill until it the areas ice over. Look for brush pile in 2 to 4 foot of water. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass now can be found in their overwintering areas. They still can be caught with spinners and chatterbaits on warmer sunny days. Northern Pike – Good: Fish gaudy spinner baits along weedy edges. Pike get active on warm sun soaked days even in the cold temperatures. Pumpkinseed – Fair: Fish in lower Pool 12 for this colorful panfish species. Usually mixed in with the bluegill and caught on a bobber and worm. Sauger – Good: Use jigs in tailwater. Walleye – Good: Most angling for walleye and sauger is taking place in the tailwaters with anglers using jig and minnow or a one-eye jigging spoon. Yellow Perch – Good: Expect to see more yellow perch showing up  in the creel until ice up. We have had excellent reproduction of yellow perch in the past few years.

Mississippi River Pool 13
The water level at the Bellevue Lock is falling and is currently near 6.2 feet. Water temperature is in upper 30s in the main channel and the water clarity is good. Levels are still low so be careful not to back off the ends of the boat ramps. Use the minimum water necessary to float boat. 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 – Good: Bluegills have moved to their overwintering areas in the backwaters. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass have now moved to their overwintering backwater areas. Use jigs or chatterbaits fished in weedy edges and along rock and brush piles. They are still on the bite, especially on warm sunny days. Northern Pike – Good: Cast a gaudy white spinnerbait in shallow weedy edges. Square bill crankbaits can be deadly for pike this time of year. Rainbow Trout – Fair: The kids’ trout pond just north of the DNR station has been stocked with rainbow trout for the winter.  Some duck weed is still present in the pond, but this should decrease as temperatures get cooler.  You can only keep two trout per child. Walleye – Fair: Most angling for walleye and sauger is taking place in the tailwaters with anglers using jig and minnow or a one-eye jigging spoon. Yellow Perch – Excellent: Lots of small perch are being seen during fall fish surveys. The future looks bright for decent yellow perch fishing in Pool 13. Most of the fish being caught are small.

Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level at the Fulton Lock and Dam is currently receding and presently 6.2 feet, Camanche is at 10.2 feet and Le Claire is at 5.0 feet. Water temperature is around 39 degrees in the main channel and clarity is good. With the low water, be careful not to back off the ends of the boat ramps. Use the minimum water necessary to float boat. Bluegill – Good: Catch bluegills in vegetated backwater habitats. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass have moved into the backwater areas to overwinter. They can still be caught, especially on warmers sunny days. Northern Pike –  Good: Cast gaudy white spinnerbaits in shallow vegetated areas. Pumpkinseed – Good: Try the Rock Creek backwaters for this very colorful sunfish species. Walleye – Good: Most angling for walleye and sauger is taking place in the tailwaters with anglers using jig and minnow or a one-eye jigging spoon. Most fishing occurs at depths greater than 20 feet. 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.

Mississippi River Pool 15
The water level at Rock Island is at 6.6 feet and expected to recede. The water temperature is near 40 degrees and water clarity is good. Sauger – No Report: Try fishing in the tailwater with a simple jig and minnow. Usually you need to fish at a depth greater than 20 feet for walleye and sauger.

Water temperatures fell to the upper 30s this week and skim ice is appearing on the edge of backwater lakes. The water is low and clear, be careful not to back off the ends of rampsIf you have angling questions please call the Bellevue Fisheries Station at 563-880-8781.


Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities if 6.61 feet and is forecast to fall the rest of the week. Main channel water temperature is 40 degrees. Sauger – No Report: Look for saugers below the Lock and Dam and in Sylvan Slough. Try vertical jigging with minnows or plastics. Fish can also be caught trolling three-way rigs with minnows or stick baits. Walleye – No Report: Look for walleyes below the dam or in Sylvan Slough. Some walleyes can also be caught fishing the wing dams. Try vertical jigging with minnows or plastics. Walleyes can also be caught trolling three-way rigs with minnows or stick baits. White Crappie – No Report: Look for crappies in the backwaters. Try fishing around brush piles with jigs and minnows or jigs and plastics.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine is 5.18 feet and forecasted to fall throughout the week. Main channel water temperature is around 40 degrees. Sauger – No Report: Look for saugers below the dam. Try vertical jigging with minnows or trolling three-way rigs with minnows or stick baits. Walleye – No Report: Look for walleyes below the dam. Some walleyes can also be caught on the wing dams. Try vertical jigging with minnows or trolling three-way rigs with minnows or stick baits. White Crappie – Slow: Some small crappies are being caught in Big Timber. Try fishing around brush piles with jigs and minnows or minnows under a bobber. Also look for crappies in Cleveland Slough.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston is 5.72 feet and is forecast to fall throughout the week. Main channel water temperature is around 40 degrees. Sauger – Slow: Tailwater fishing below Lock and Dam 17 is being reported as slow. Try fishing with jigs and minnows or trolling three-way rigs with minnows or stick baits. Walleye – Slow: Walleye fishing below the dam is being reported as slow. Try vertical jigging minnows or trolling three-way rigs with minnows. Some walleyes can also be caught on the wing dams. White Crappie – No Report: Look for crappies in the backwaters. Try fishing around brush piles with jigs and minnows or minnows under a bobber. Look for crappies in Huron Island

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington is 3.17 feet and forecasted to fall through out the week. Main channel water temperature is around 40 degrees. Sauger – No Report: Look for saugers below the Lock and Dam. Try vertical jigging with minnows or trolling three-way rigs with minnows. Walleye – No Report: Look for walleyes below the Lock and Dam or on the wing dams. Try vertical jigging with minnows or trolling three-way rigs with minnows. White Crappie – No Report: Look for crappies in the backwaters. Try fishing around brush piles with jigs and minnows or minnows under a bobber.

Tailwater stages are forecasted to fall throughout the week. Main channel water temperature is around 40 degrees and water clarity is fair. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

SOUTHEAST

Big Hollow Lake
Water temperature is in the 30s. Very little fishing activity. Bluegill – No Report: Start looking for them to be out in the deeper water at the edges of the flooded timber where they spend their winter. Use baits and lures similar to what you use for ice fishing.

Discovery Park Pond
The fall stocking of trout was unannounced; 1000 rainbow trout were stocked. 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; 1000 rainbow trout were stocked. 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 in the upper 30s. Water clarity is very clear. Very little angler activity. Bluegill – Slow: Headed out to their winter homes. 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 38 degrees on the main part of the lake. Some skim ice was on the upper end and the shallow bays in the morning. Water clarity is very good. The docks at the boat ramps have been pulled for the season. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappies have moved out to deeper water brush piles on their way to their winter haunts. Bluegill – No Report: Would be fishing the deep water ice fishing spots using baits and lures sized for ice fishing.

Lost Grove Lake
The water temperature is in the 30s. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Bass are still hanging in 8 to 10 feet of water, but expected to move deeper fairly soon. Slow presentations using jigs or soft plastics working best.

Wilson Lake
The fall stocking of trout was unannounced; 1000 rainbow trout were stocked. 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.


Hawthorn Lake
Bluegill – Slow: Try small jigs tipped with live bait fished around submerged structure and rock piles. Largemouth Bass– Fair: Try spinnerbaits or rubber worms fished along rocky shorelines and fishing jetties.

Lake Miami
Bluegill – Slow: Try small jigs fished around the cedar tree piles. Largemouth Bass– Fair: Try spinnerbaits and rubber worms fished along the dam and around the fishing jetties.

Lake Sugema
Bluegill – Slow: Use small jigs along the shorelines and flooded timber. Keep moving until you find active fish. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use spinnerbaits and crawdad presentations 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. Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs around the shorelines and the submerged structure. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use spinnerbaits or crankbaits fished around submerged structures. Plastic worms or lizards also work well around structure.

Ottumwa Park Pond South (Trout Pond)
The fall stocking of trout was unannounced a couple weeks ago; 1000 trout were stocked. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Fair: Try spoons, inline spinners or live bait under a bobber.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 906.01 feet msl with 904 feet msl being recreation pool. 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. Walleye – Slow: Try jigging or spoons over rock piles.

Red Haw Lake
Bluegill – Slow: Try small jigs under a bobber. Look for submerged structure; these areas should hold fish. Largemouth Bass– Fair: Try crankbaits or plastics in areas along the shorelines.

Very few anglers have been out lately. Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions about fishing in south central Iowa.


Cedar River (Cedar Rapids to Moscow)
Channel Catfish – Fair:  Walleye – Fair:

Cedar River (La Porte City to Cedar Rapids)
Black Crappie – Slow:  Smallmouth Bass – Fair:  Walleye – Fair:

Diamond Lake
All park facilities are now closed. The boat dock and kayak launch remain year round. Black Crappie – Fair: Fish tube jigs or small jigs tipped with worms around jetties and brushpiles. Early and late in the day tends to be best. Most fish are about 8 inches.

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

Iowa River (Coralville Lake to River Junction)
Walleye – Fair:  White Bass – Fair:

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. Water temps are in the mid 40s. Black Crappie – Fair: Fish jigs or minnows 10-15 down near brush or stumps.

Liberty Centre Pond
Trout have been stocked here. Remember, you must have a trout stamp to fish for and/or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Fair: Try small jigs inline spinners live bait or scented baits.

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 and the boat docks will remain until skim ice starts. Black Crappie – Fair: Fish around wood 5-15 feet down. Muskellunge – Slow:  Walleye – Slow: Try jigs or live bait on rock reefs or banks preferably with wind blowing on it. Most fish have been 13-14 inches.

Prairie Park Fishery
Trout have been stocked. Remember, you must have a trout stamp to fish for and/or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Slow: Try small jigs inline spinners live bait or scented baits.

Sand Lake
Trout were stocked in the back section of the lake. Remember, you must have a trout stamp to fish for and/or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Slow: Try small jigs inline spinners live bait or scented baits.

Union Grove Lake
The boat docks have been removed for the season. Bluegill – Fair: Fish small jigs or worms around jetties and brushpiles for nice sized fish. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Cast artificials around rock or troll crankbaits.

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

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


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
Walleye – Fair: 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. 

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.

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
Concentrate fishing in deeper structure. Black Crappie – No Report Bluegill – No Report Largemouth Bass – Fair: Catch largemouth bass around deep structure.

Meadow Lake
Anglers report finding panfish in the deeper tree piles. Black Crappie – Fair.  Bluegill – Fair.  Largemouth Bass – No Report

Prairie Rose Lake
Water clarity is good. Black Crappie – No Report Bluegill – No Report: Look for bluegills around the underwater reefs and cedar tree piles. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Shore anglers report catching largemouth bass casting from the jetties.

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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