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Saturday Morning Fishing Report: Walleye and Channel Catfish are Slow

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

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

NORTHWEST

Black Hawk Lake
Water levels are about 14 inches below the crest of the spillway. Anglers are targeting panfish along shore in Town Bay primarily from the floating dock, the fish house, and the stone piers. Black Crappie – Fair.  Yellow Perch – Fair.

Brushy Creek Lake
The lake is ice free. Courtesy docks are in.

Storm Lake (incl Little Storm Lake)
The lake is ice free. Water temperatures are in the low 40s. Anglers are fishing along shore and in the marina. All walleye between 19 and 25-inches must be immediately released unharmed at Storm Lake; no more than one walleye longer than 25-inches can be taken per day. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use cut bait along shore. Yellow Bass – Fair: Anglers are catching keeper-sized yellow bass; bite is hit-or-miss. Yellow Perch – Fair: Use small minnows in the marina.

Area lakes are ice free. Water temperatures in the low 40s. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.


Clear Lake
The lake is ice free. Water temperatures are in the mid 30s. Clear Lake has a protected slot on walleye. All walleye between 17 and 22 inches must be immediately released unharmed. No more than one walleye longer than 22 inches may be taken per day. Channel Catfish – Slow: Fish the wind-swept shore with cut bait. Walleye – Slow: Try minnows and jigs fished off the Ventura jetties and in the cannels. Angler success will increase as the water temperatures rise. Yellow Perch – Slow: Anglers are catching a few fish from the Ventura jetties.

Lake Cornelia
The lake is ice free. The docks are not in yet. Channel Catfish – Slow: Fish the wind-swept shore with cut bait.

Little Wall Lake
Channel Catfish – Fair: Fish the wind-swept shore with cut bait or liver.

Winnebago River
It’s the time of year to target Northern Pike. Fish a chub in the slack water below a dam or where a smaller stream enters the river. Walleye – Slow.

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


East Okoboji Lake
The lake is ice free. Courtesy docks are not in place yet. Black Crappie – Good.  Bluegill – Fair: Try jigging with tube jigs or a tungsten jig and live bait. Yellow Bass – Fair: With a little movement on the basin you should be able to get on a decent bite and also catch a few other species.

Lost Island Lake
The lake is ice free. Yellow Perch – Fair: Lots of sorting may be needed.

Minnewashta Lake
The lake is ice free. Black Crappie – Fair: A nice crappie bite can be found with a little bit of movement around the lake. Bluegill – Fair: Try jigging with tube jigs or a tungsten jig and live bait. Pumpkinseed – Fair:

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
The majority of the lake is open and free of ice. Walleye – Fair:

Spirit Lake
The lake is ice free. Launching boats is difficult with low water levels. The only courtesy dock in place is at Templar ramp; conditions are very shallow. Black Crappie – Fair: Mostly being caught along with the perch; use tube jigs with wigglers or pilkies. Bluegill – Fair: Mostly being caught along with the perch; use tube jigs with wigglers or pilkies. Walleye – Slow: Season is closed until May 7th. Yellow Perch – Fair.

West Okoboji Lake
The lake is ice free. The only courtesy dock in place is at Triboji ramp. Black Crappie – Fair: Try jigging with tube jigs or a tungsten jig and live bait. Bluegill – Fair: Many anglers have been successful off Triboji on the north end of the lake. Try jigging with tube jigs or a tungsten jig and live bait.

The walleye season for the Iowa Great Lake chain is closed. The season opens back up May 7th. Most area lakes are ice free allowing for open water fishing; courtesy docks are not in place yet. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.

NORTHEAST

Cedar River (above Nashua)
Water levels are stable. Turbidity is good on the Cedar. Fish eddies and current breaks. Channel Catfish – Fair: Catfish are starting to look for food floating their way. Try a hook loaded with a crawler. Northern Pike – Fair: Pike are on the move looking for good spawning grounds as ice melts and water warms. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Find smallies below the dams; use a nightcrawler. Walleye – Fair: Try worms or minnows under a slip bobber with enough weight to get your bait near bottom.

Decorah District Streams
Catchable rainbow trout stocking season begins April 1. The 2022 Trout Stream Stocking calendars is available on our Trout Fishing webpage. Stream clarity is variable depending on the stream. Flows are up with recent rain. Gravel roads are messy. Use care when walking from site to site; ground conditions are highly variable from mushy to greasy.  Brook Trout – Fair: Insect hatches are starting to take place on sunny afternoons. Use midge minnow or scud patterns for fish looking to get more bang for their effort. Brown Trout – Fair: Rain water flowing into streams is bringing a fresh supply of food for curious brownies.  Try spinner or crankbaits near or around structure. Also try flies that look fishy. Rainbow Trout – Fair: Rainbows are teasing anglers with soft strikes and nudges. Use small spinner baits, hair jigs or hooks tipped with imitation eggs floating past structure.

Lake Hendricks
Water clarity is good. No one is out fishing with wind and whitecaps.

Lake Meyer
Water clarity is improving, but stirred up a bit with the wind. No one is out fishing.

North Bear Creek
Bridge replacement work is starting on the Sacquitne Bridge on 360th St. parking lot. Stream access should remain open; be courteous to workers. Rainbow Trout – Fair.

Volga Lake
No one is fishing with the windy conditions.

Chance of mixed precipitation through the weekend. Temperatures are fluctuating between the upper 20s and 50s. Water levels are up on area rivers. For current fishing information, please call the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.


Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
Anglers are catching a few walleye on the Cedar River; it has taken some effort before the spawn. Walleye – Fair: Cast a jig tipped with plastic and minnow. Keep your presentation slow and just off of the river bottom near current breaks or slack water areas.

Manchester District Streams
Trout streams are in excellent condition. Very clear water conditions; use subtle presentations and approach fish from downstream. Sunday could provide some runoff on our streams which can often be beneficial in catching brown trout. Brown Trout – Fair:  Rainbow Trout – Fair:

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
Anglers are starting to catch a few walleye on the Shell Rock River. Walleye – Fair: Cast a jig tipped with plastic and a minnow. Keep your presentation slow and just off of the river bottom near current breaks or slack water areas.

Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
Anglers are beginning to catch a few walleye and northern pike on the Wapsipinicon River. Northern Pike – Fair: Cast bucktail spinnerbaits or float a chub or shiner under a bobber. Walleye – Fair: Cast a jig tipped with plastic and a minnow. Keep your presentation slow and just off of the river bottom near current breaks or slack water areas.

Reports of anglers catching walleye and northern pike on the interior rivers. Call area/local bait shops for the most up to date reports. Contact the Manchester Hatchery at 563-927-3276 for more information.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9
Water level at Lansing has crested near 10.2 feet and is expected to gradually fall a foot over the next week. Water temperature has dropped to 37 degrees.  Bluegill – Slow: Use light tackle tipped with piece of worm in areas away from current along the weed edges in backwaters. Northern Pike – Fair: The bite is picking up as pike start to feed to prepare for the spawn. Sauger – Fair: Some smaller sauger are being caught on twister tail jigs in tailwater areas. Walleye – Fair: Walleye are moving to tailwaters and side channel structure pre-spawn. Vertical jigging and drifting a live minnow has been effective. Yellow Perch – Fair: Perch bite has slowed with colder temperatures. Try jigging minnows or use a piece of crawler.

Mississippi River Pool 10
Water level at Lynxville crested near 620.1 and is predicted to gradually fall a foot this week. Gates are open at the dam. Water temperature has dropped to 39 degrees. Bluegill – Slow: Use light tackle tipped with piece of worm in areas away from current along the weed edges in backwaters. Northern Pike –  Fair: The bite is picking up as pike start to feed to prepare for the spawn. Sauger – Fair: Some smaller sauger are being caught on twister tail jigs in tailwater areas. Walleye – Fair: Walleye are moving to tailwaters and side channel structure pre-spawn. Vertical jigging and drifting a live minnow has been effective. Yellow Perch – Fair: Perch bite has slowed with colder temperatures. Try jigging minnows or use a piece of crawler.

Mississippi River Pool 11
Water level crested near 11.5 feet this week and is predicted to gradually fall a foot.  Gates are all open at the dam. Water temperature has dropped to 37 degrees. Bluegill – Slow: Use light tackle tipped with piece of worm in areas away from current along the weed edges in backwaters. Northern Pike – Fair: The bite is picking up as pike start to feed to prepare for the spawn. Sauger – Fair: Some smaller sauger are being caught on twister tail jigs in tailwater areas. Walleye – Fair: Walleye are moving to tailwaters and side channel structure pre-spawn. Vertical jigging and drifting with a live minnow has been effective. Yellow Perch – Fair: Perch bite has slowed with colder temperatures. Try jigging minnows or use a piece of crawler.

Upper Mississippi River levels crested Tuesday with a gradual fall predicted this week. Falling water temperature has slowed the bite as temperatures dipped into the 30s with the cold snap. 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. Walleye/sauger combined daily limit 6/possession 12.


Mississippi River Pool 12
Water levels are 11.5 feet at the Lock and Dam and 13.3 feet at the RR bridge. Water clarity is fair. Water levels may have peaked this week and should start to recede. Lots of debris has been floating down river. Northern Pike – Good: Some pike are being taken on large chub rigs floated on bobbers. Sauger – Slow: Walleye and sauger angling has started out slow in Pool 12; most anglers are using jig and minnow rigs. Yellow Perch – Fair: Spring can be a good season to hit some tailwater yellow perch. Minnow heads often are the preferred bait.

Mississippi River Pool 13
The water level at the Bellevue Lock is rising at near 12.0 feet. The water temperature is around 39 degrees. Boat ramps are all open; some debris is floating due to higher water. The gates are open. Water clarity is fair.  Northern Pike – No Report: Usually pre-spawn northern pike fishing is good; we need warmer weather. Paddlefish – Slow: Paddlefish season is underway; review all paddlefish rules before angling in Iowa and Illinois waters. Contact the Bellevue Fisheries Management office or the local game wardens if you are uncertain of paddlefish snagging rules. When the gates open in the spring that usually signals the end of paddlefishing on the Mississippi River. Rainbow Trout – Good: The kids trout pond just north of the DNR station has been stocked again with rainbow trout for the winter. You can only keep two trout per child. Sauger – Slow: Ramps are all open; fishing pressure has been heavy when the weather is conducive. The bite has been slow, but some nice fish were reported. Yellow Perch – Fair: Ice out catches of yellow perch can often found in the tailwaters.

Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level at the Fulton Lock and Dam is rising at 11.2 feet, 13.8 feet at Camanche, and 8.3 feet at Le Claire. Water temperature is around 41 degrees in the main channel Water clarity is fair.  Northern Pike – No Report: Pike are close to spawning. Pre-spawn bite can be good at times; none have been reported yet. Paddlefish – Slow: Paddlefish season is underway; review all paddlefish rules before angling in Iowa and Illinois waters. Contact the Bellevue Fisheries Management office or the local game wardens if you are uncertain of paddlefish snagging rules. High water levels may signal the end to the paddlefish season. Sauger – Slow: Boat ramps are all open; angling has been slow.  A few nice walleye and sauger have been reported. Yellow Perch – No Report: Lots of small perch are in the system; the future for yellow perch fishing looks bright in Pool 14. Often the tailwaters can be a great early spot for perch when the ice recedes.

Mississippi River Pool 15
The water level is 11.2 feet at Rock Island and is rising. The water temperature is near 42 degrees. Water clarity is fair. Lots of floating woody debris reported in Pool 15. Bluegill – No Report: Not a lot of backwater bluegill habitat exists on Pool 15 outside of marina areas. Sauger – No Report:

Lots of wildlife are making their way back to the Mississippi River. The sounds of Spring are in the air, even though the air temperatures have been cool. Water levels are rising or have peaked throughout the district. If you have angling questions, please call the Bellevue Fisheries Management Station at 563-880-8781.


Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 11.21 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and has risen close to 2 feet since last week. Tailwater stage is forecast to reach 11.7 feet over the weekend. Flood stage is 15 feet. There has been some tailwater fishing for walleyes and saugers, but fishing has been slow.  Sauger – Slow: Fishing has been slow in Sylvan slough and below the Lock and Dam in the Quad Cities. Try hair jigs and minnows or nightcrawlers. Mostly small saugers have been caught. White Bass – Fair: Reports of white bass being caught in Sylvan Slough. Cast jigs and twister tails.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 9.80 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and has risen close to 2 feet since last week. Tailwater stage is forecast to reach 11.1 feet over the weekend. Flood stage is 15 feet. The gates are out of the water at the dam. Water clarity at Muscatine is poor. Sauger – Slow: Look for saugers below the Lock and Dam. Try vertical jigging with minnows or crawlers. Walleye – Slow: There have been some anglers out this past week. Try vertical jigging with minnows or crawlers.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 10.99 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and is rising. Tailwater stage has risen close to 2 feet since last week. Tailwater stage is forecast to reach 12.5 feet over the weekend. Flood stage is 15 feet. River levels will be at the top of the Toolsboro ramps with current river predictions. The gates are out of the water at the dam. Tailwater fishing for walleyes and saugers has been slow. Sauger – Slow: Try vertical jigging with minnows or crawlers. Walleye – Slow: Try vertical jigging with minnows or crawlers.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 7.20 feet at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington and has risen close to 2 feet since last week. Tailwater stage is forecast to reach 8.2 feet by next Tuesday. Flood stage is 10 feet. We have not received any reports on tailwater fishing for walleye and sauger. Sauger – No Report: Look for saugers below the dam. Try vertical jigging with minnows. Walleye – No Report: Look for walleyes below the dam. Try vertical jigging with minnows.

River stages are on the rise with recent rains. Tailwater stages have risen 2 feet this past week. River stages are forecast to continue to rise. Tailwater fishing for walleyes and saugers below the Locks and Dams has been slow. Water clarity has been poor to fair. Water temperature is 40 degrees. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

SOUTHEAST

Lake Belva Deer
Water temperature is 42-43 degrees. Water clarity remains fairly good despite rain and high wind. No boats have been out the last few days.

Lake Darling
Water clarity on the north side of the lake is suffering from the strong south winds.  Weather is keeping most anglers off the water.

Lost Grove Lake
Hoping to get the docks in Friday; weather dependent. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Picking up a few early season bass working soft plastics very slowly along the rocks on the north shore.

Skunk River (Rose Hill to Coppock)
The Skunk River has gone down some from last week, but is muddy from the rains.

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


Cedar River (La Porte City to Cedar Rapids)
Channel Catfish – Fair: Use minnows under floats in the backwaters. Walleye – Fair: Try jigs and crankbaits under dams and on sandbar breaks.

Coralville Reservoir
Water levels are at spring pool of 683 feet. Channel Catfish – Good: Fish the upper end of the lake with cut bait. Try current breaks or windblown flats.

Diamond Lake
The boat ramp and kayak launch are open; the rest of the facilities remain closed. No fishing report is available.

Lake Macbride
Water temperatures are in the low 40s. Boat docks are not in yet; the boat slips at Main and Opie ramp are available. Black Crappie – Fair: A few fish are being caught over brush piles. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try cut bait in the upper reaches. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Try slow presentations around wood and rock.

Liberty Centre Pond
You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Good: 2000 fish were stocked earlier this month. Try small jigs, spinners, crankbaits or live/prepared baits.

Pleasant Creek Lake
The docks are in. No fishing reports are available.

Prairie Park Fishery
You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Good: 2000 fish were stocked earlier this month. Try small jigs, spinners, crankbaits or live/prepared baits.

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


Hawthorn Lake
Bluegill – No Report: Try small jigs along the shoreline as the water warms.

Lake Miami
Channel Catfish – Slow: Try dead chubs around the shoreline.

Lake Sugema
Black Crappie – No Report: Try small jigs and minnows around the flooded trees as the water warms.

Lake Wapello
Largemouth Bass – No Report: Try rubber worms or other plastics fished around the cedar tree piles.

Ottumwa Park South Pond (Trout Pond)
Trout were stocked on March 25th.Try small tube and twister jigs, casting spoons or live minnows fished under a bobber. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 905.84 msl; recreation pool is 904 msl. Lake Rathbun has zebra mussels so make sure to properly drain, clean and dry equipment before transporting to another waterbody. Docks have been installed at Island View, South Fork, and Bridgeview. Army Corps campgrounds are closed. Channel Catfish – Slow: Try dead chubs or shad sides for early ice out catfish.

Red Haw Lake
Red Haw State Park is closed due to the damage from the tornado on March 5th.

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

SOUTHWEST

Big Creek Lake
Walleye – Slow: Catch walleye in early April shallow in the evenings just before and after sunset; cast jigs with twister tails or swimbaits.

Des Moines River (Saylorville to Red Rock)
Walleye
 – Fair: Catch walleye through March and April with twister tails, swimbaits or live minnows on jigs.

Des Moines River (Stratford to Saylorville Lake)
Walleye – Fair: Catch walleye through March and April with twister tails, swimbaits or live minnows on jigs. Best bite is early morning and evening.

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


Greenfield Lake
Greenfield Lake is a good destination for ice-out catfish. Channel Catfish – No Report: Look for channel catfish in the upper end of the lake or windblown shoreline using shad sides.

Lake Anita
The crappie bite picks up in the upper ends of the lake as water temperatures warm.  Largemouth Bass – Fair.

Prairie Rose Lake
Prairie Rose will provide good spring fishing. Largemouth Bass – Fair: A few boats braved the cold wind this week and did fair on largemouth bass close to shore and around the jetties.

Viking Lake
Viking lake is 4.5 feet low; access is compromised. Black Crappie – No Report: Search the brush piles to find active crappies. Channel Catfish – No Report: Viking has a good catfish population. Use shad sides on a windblown shoreline. Largemouth Bass – Fair:

Very few reports this week due to weather. For information on lakes in the Southwest District call the Cold Springs office at 712-769-2587.


Lake Icaria
Docks are in at all boat ramps. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try cut bait along windblown shorelines to catch channel catfish of all sizes.

Little River Watershed Lake
The dock is in at main ramp. Black Crappie – Slow: Use a jig tipped with live bait fished near deep cedar tree brush piles to catch crappie up to 11-inches.

Three Mile Lake
Courtesy docks are in place at main ramp.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake
Largemouth Bass – Slow: Catch largemouth bass up to 20-inches with finesse plastics fished near deep cedar tree brush piles.

Mount Ayr district lakes are 100 percent ice free. Water temperature is in the mid-40s. For more information, call the Mount Ayr Fisheries office at 641-464-3108.

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