July 18, 2024

Get Out & Go Fishing!

Fishing News from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Posted

NORTHWEST

Black Hawk Lake
Water temperatures are in the low 80s. Water levels are several inches above the spillway. Water clarity is about 1-2 feet. Black Crappie - Fair: Pick up crappie in and around the fish house in Town Bay and along Ice House Point shoreline. Crappie are up to 10- to 12-inches. Morning and evening bite are best. Bluegill - Fair: Try a nightcrawler under a bobber fished from shore. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Find bass along the shoreline and submerged rock piles; try a variety of bass baits. Walleye - Fair: Walleye action has slowed; try the submerged rock piles in the east basin and the shoreline along Ice House Point.

Brushy Creek Lake
Water temperatures are in the low 80s. Water clarity is about 3-4 feet. Black Crappie - Fair: Find crappie near submerged structure in 5-15 feet of water. Fish are 5-inches up to 13-inches. Bluegill - Fair: Find bluegill near submerged rock/brush piles in 5-15 feet of water. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass have started to move into deeper habitat. Try soft plastics in deeper weedlines and rock/brush piles in 8-15 feet of water.  Walleye - Fair: Pick up walleye in 10-15 feet of water on rock/brush piles. Yellow Perch – Fair: sorting is needed. 

North Twin Lake
Water levels are about 10 inches below the crest of the spillway. Courtesy docks are installed. 

Storm Lake (incl Little Storm Lake)
Water temperatures are around 80 degrees. Water clarity is 2-3 feet. Black Crappie – Slow. Channel Catfish - Fair. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Find bass along the shore near rocky habitat with overhanging trees. Walleye - Fair: Pick up walleye off shore near the dredge cuts; use a crawler harness or crankbaits. White Bass - Fair. Yellow Bass – Fair.

For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638

 

Beeds Lake
Black Crappie
- Good: Try small jigs trolled or drifted in 6 to 12 feet of water. Crappie are up in the water column; don’t fish too deep. Channel Catfish - Fair: Summer is a good time to target catfish.  Use chicken liver or prepared baits along the causeway walk path.

Clear Lake
Water level is about 5 inches over crest. Water temperature is in the upper 70s. Water clarity is 25 inches. Channel Catfish - Good: Summer is an excellent time to target catfish. Try fishing the reef areas and wind swept shorelines. Walleye -Good: Anglers are catching walleye with live bait and crankbaits. Fish are in 3 to 8 feet of water. Rock reef areas have also been good. Yellow Bass - Fair: Anglers are catching a few yellow bass while targeting walleye.  Live bait below slip bobbers or drifting works best.

Crystal Lake
Black Crappie
- Fair: Drift fish or troll small jigs in the dredge cut.  

Winnebago River
River level is 6.65 feet. Smallmouth Bass - 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
Lake level is 2 feet above crest. The lake is under a 5 mph no wake ordinance until July 20. Most boat ramps and docks are now functional. The walleye season is open. Black Crappie - Good:  Bluegill - Good: Lots of bluegill have been seen and are easily catchable around functional docks. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Bass are a little ways off shore; you can still find some around docks and other structure. Yellow Perch - Good: Many perch have been seen; sorting will most likely be needed.

Ingham Lake
Walleye
- Fair: Anglers have been successful morning and afternoon.  

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Lake level is 6 inches over crest. The lake is under a 5 mph no wake ordinance until July 20. Walleye - Good: Bite has been hit-or-miss, but has been very good when the bite is on.

Spirit Lake
Lake level is just under a foot over crest. The lake is under a 5 mph no wake ordinance until July 20. All major boat ramps are available. The walleye season is open. Black Crappie - Good: Anglers are finding quality-size crappie; they are biting on almost anything. Bluegill - Fair. Walleye - Good: Anglers are catching quality-sized walleye. Evening bite is best with leech and bobber from shore or crankbaits and slip bobbers by boat. Yellow Perch - Good: Sorting may be needed.

West Okoboji Lake
Lake level is 2 feet above crest. The lake is under a 5 mph no wake ordinance until July 20. Most ramps and docks are available. Some public docks that were damaged from high waters have not been repaired. The walleye season is open. Black Crappie - Fair: Bluegill - Good. Pumpkinseed - Good. Walleye - Fair. Yellow Perch - Fair: Sorting may be needed.

All lakes in Dickinson county are currently under a 5 mph no wake ordinance. The ordinance is scheduled to be lifted Saturday July 20. Water has been receding around an inch a day on many lakes. Most ramps and accesses are out of the water. Area water temperatures are in the upper 70s to low 80s. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.

 

NORTHEAST

Cedar River (above Nashua)
Water clarity is improving as levels return to normal. Use caution when on water; watch for submerged hazards. Visit the National Water Prediction Service webpage for more information. Channel Catfish - Good: Try worms or chubs fished on the bottom in calm water or the edge of current. Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Use crankbaits in off channel areas or eddies. Walleye - Fair: Find walleye in deeper water; try jigs tipped with minnow or spinnerbaits.

Decorah District Streams  
Flows are high with improved clarity at most locations. Use care when wading streams with elevated flows. All announced and unannounced streams were stocked this week. Gnats, mosquitoes, and no-see-ums are out in force. Wild parsnip is  blooming. Don't touch this plant; it can cause painful blisters. Brook Trout - Slow: Brook trout take more persuasion to bite in off-color water. Sneak up on brook trout for a better chance to catch one of these beauties. Good hatches of gnats, mayflies, caddisflies, and midges. Brown Trout - Good: Try fishing near or around logs or undercut banks. Spinnerbaits work well. Also try streamers on larger waterbodies. Brown trout like cloudy water. Rainbow Trout - Good: Use spinnerbaits, hair jigs, or hooks tipped with a small piece of worm, bread, or cheese floated through deeper holes.

Lake Hendricks
Water clarity is about 2 feet. Water temperature is in the 80s. Black Crappie - Slow: Try small jigs tipped with a minnow in deeper water.  Bluegill – Slow: Bluegills are in shallow; use a small piece of worm or waxworm. Channel Catfish - Good: Try a nightcrawler or squashed minnow on a hook near the bottom. Largemouth Bass - Good: Use topwater lures along the edge of vegetation. 

Lake Meyer
The lake is experiencing an algae bloom with about 2 feet visibility. Water temperatures in the 80s. Black Crappie - Slow: Use spinnerbaits or a jig tipped with a minnow fished deeper. Bluegill - Fair: Try small hooks tipped with a waxworm or a small piece of worm under a bobber. Channel Catfish - Good: Try a nightcrawler on a hook fished at the bottom. Largemouth Bass - Good: Use a spinnerbait along the edge of vegetation. Reports of anglers catching quite a few small bass.

North Bear Creek
Stream improvements are nearing completion on upper North Bear just downstream of 380th Street. Improvements between 128th Ave. and 380th Street are starting soon. Rainbow Trout - Slow: Thanks for staying out of this area until vegetation gets established. There are many other great locations to find fish below this area. Stocking continues below this area weekly.

Turkey River (above Clermont)
Water clarity is improving as levels stabilize. Use caution when on the water. Visit the National Water Prediction Service webpage for more information. 

Turkey River (below Clermont)
Water clarity is improving as levels return to normal. Use caution when on the water. Visit the National Water Prediction Service webpage for more information. Smallmouth Bass - Slow: Find smallies in deeper holes or near rock ledges. Walleye - Slow: Use crankbaits or jigs tipped with plastics in off channel areas.

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
Water level is stabilizing with improved clarity. Use caution when on the water. 

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
Water level is stabilizing with improved clarity. Use caution as snags and debris move through the system. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Find smallies in off channel areas and back eddies; use spinners or streamers. Walleye - Fair: Find walleyes in deeper water and back eddies. Evening bite is best; try spinners or crankbaits. 

Volga Lake
Water clarity is good. Water temperature is in the 80s. Black Crappie – Slow: Find crappies in deeper water or near drop-offs; use a jig tipped with a minnow. Bluegill – Fair: Try a small piece of worm on a hook under a bobber near brush or rocky areas. Channel Catfish – Good: Use a squished minnow or worm fished on the bottom. Largemouth Bass – Good: Use spinners or crankbaits along jetties or drop-offs. 

Volga River
Water levels are high, but are stabilizing. Water clarity is improving. Visit the National Water Prediction Service webpage for more information. 

Yellow River
Water levels are stabilizing with improved water clarity. Use caution as snags and debris move through the system. Brown Trout - Good: Find trout below or just off riffles. A spinner or shallow running crankbait should interest a hungry mouth.

Water levels on area rivers and streams are falling or stabilizing baring localized rainfall. A beautiful summer weekend with temperatures in the upper 70s to low 60s. For more information, contact the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.

 

Brinker Lake
The boat ramp has opened after a period of flooding. Black Crappie - Fair: Use minnows in wood habitat.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
The Cedar River continues to experience high water levels. Anglers are having some success catching smallmouth bass and catfish. Use caution when fishing near and on the Cedar River at these higher water flows. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use prepared baits or cut baits near structure. Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Try fishing near rock with current breaks or slower water eddies. 

George Wyth Lake
George Wyth Park is open; anglers are fishing at George Wyth Lake. The bite has been slow with a few crappie, bluegill, and largemouth bass caught. Black Crappie - Fair: Use minnows in wood structure. Bluegill - Fair: Try fishing near shore on warm days. Largemouth Bass – Fair. 

Lake Delhi
Avoid weekends, especially during the evening due to heavy recreational boating. Fishing has been good for panfish. Black Crappie - Fair: Try minnows or jigs near structure. Bluegill - Fair: Use small jigs or worms near shore. White Crappie - Fair: Try minnows or small jigs throughout the lake.

Manchester District Streams
Fishing was difficult after heavy rainfall on Monday; conditions are improving. Rainbow trout stocking has been on schedule. Brown trout fishing has been fair, especially in the evenings. Brown Trout - Fair: Use crankbaits, jigs, spinners, dry flies or nymphs. Rainbow Trout - Good: Try jigs, spinners, crankbaits or live bait.

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
River levels are much above average; fishing has been challenging. Channel Catfish - Fair: Reports of catfish hitting stink bait or cut bait. Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Try fishing near rock in areas with reduced current. White Crappie - Fair: Use small jigs in less current.

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
We have not received information about fishing on this water body this week.

Rivers and trout streams in the Manchester Fisheries District continue to have higher than normal flows after another week of persistent rainfall. Trout streams are starting to clear and should be fishable by the weekend without additional heavy rainfall. Area rivers are dirty, but water clarity is improving as water levels recede. Fishing on lakes has been slow with some catches of bluegill, crappie, and largemouth bass. For more information, contact the Manchester Hatchery at 563-927-3276. 

 

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9
Water level is 13.5 feet at Lansing and is predicted to fall to 11 feet early next week. Water is slightly stained. Water temperature is 79 degrees. Army Road at New Albin is closed. Lansing Village Creek may not yet be passable for larger boats. Black Crappie - Fair: Try light tackle in the flooded timber as the river rises; use minnows. Bluegill - Excellent: Bluegill have moved off spawning beds into deeper water. Use light tackle on flooded shorelines and weed beds. Channel Catfish - Good: Anglers are catching a few channel cats on crawlers. Flathead Catfish - Good: Expect flathead to go on the feed after the spawn. Use live bluegill or shiners in the tailwater. Freshwater Drum - Good: Try a piece of crawler off the bottom along main channel and side channel current.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Cast frog baits along weed edges in upper portions of the backwaters. Northern Pike - Good: Try fishing the shallows along weed beds in backwater lakes. Shore Slough at Lansing has been good fishing for northern pike. Sauger - Fair: Sauger are biting on a minnow rig fished just off the bottom. Smallmouth Bass - Excellent: Smallmouth are biting in areas with moderate current. Cast spinners and crankbaits along the main channel rock shorelines. Walleye - Slow: Tailwater fishing has tapered off. Use jigs tipped with a minnow or crawlers on three-way rigs along channel or closing dams. White Bass - Good: Throw inline spinners along current breaks. Watch for schools of minnows jumping as white bass are feeding. Yellow Perch - Fair: Perch are biting on live minnows and crawlers along weed lines in about 6 feet of water.

Mississippi River Pool 10
Water level is 623.4 feet at Lynxville and is predicted to fall to 620 feet next week. Boat ramps at Nobles Island, Marquette, McGregor, and Sny Magill are under water and will need to be cleared of debris. Bussey Lake road still has some water over it, but may open by the weekend. Black Crappie - Good: Try fishing the flooded timber as the river rises; use minnows around submerged structure. Bluegill - Excellent: Bluegill have moved off spawning beds into deeper water. Use light tackle on flooded shorelines and weed beds. Channel Catfish - Good: Anglers are catching a few channel cats on crawlers. Flathead Catfish - Good: Expect flathead to to go on the feed after the spawn. Use live bluegill or shiners in the tailwater. Freshwater Drum - Good: Try a piece of crawler off the bottom along the main channel and side channel current. Largemouth Bass - Good: Cast frog baits along weed edges in upper portions of the backwaters. Northern Pike - Fair: Try fishing the shallows along weed beds in backwater lakes. Sauger - Fair: Sauger are biting on a minnow rig fished just off the bottom. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Smallmouth are biting in areas with moderate current. Cast spinners and crankbaits along the main channel rock shorelines or at the spillway. Walleye - Slow: Tailwater fishing has tapered off. Use jigs tipped with a minnow or crawlers on three-way rigs along side channel or closing dams. White Bass - Good: Throw inline spinners along current breaks. Watch for schools of minnows jumping as white bass are feeding. Yellow Perch - Slow: Perch are biting on live minnows and crawlers along weed lines in about 6 feet of water.

Mississippi River Pool 11
Water level is 14.6 feet at Guttenberg in the tailwaters and is expected to fall to 12 feet next week. Guttenberg City ramp, Turkey River and Mud Lake still have some water and flood debris; avoid these until crews have time to clear them.  Anglers are catching some panfish from the parking lot. Black Crappie - Good: Try light tackle in the flooded timber as the river rises; use minnows. Bluegill - Excellent: Bluegill have moved off spawning beds into deeper water. Use light tackle on flooded shorelines and weed beds. Channel Catfish - Good: Anglers are catching a few channel cats on crawlers or cut bait. Flathead Catfish - Good: Expect flathead to go on the feed after the spawn. Use live bluegill or shiners in the tailwater. Freshwater Drum - Good: Try a piece of crawler off the bottom along the main channel and side channel current. Largemouth Bass - Good: Cast frog baits along weed edges in upper portions of the backwaters. Northern Pike - Good: Try fishing the shallows along weed beds in backwater lakes. Sauger - Fair: Sauger are biting on a minnow rig fished just off the bottom. Smallmouth Bass - Excellent: Smallmouth are biting in areas with moderate current. Cast spinners and crankbaits along the main channel rock shorelines. Walleye - Slow: Tailwater fishing has tapered off. Try jigs tipped with a minnow or crawlers on three-way rigs along side channel or closing dams. White Bass - Good: Throw inline spinners along current breaks. Watch for schools of minnows jumping as white bass are feeding. Yellow Perch - Slow: Perch are biting on live minnows and crawlers along weed lines in about 6 feet of water.

Upper Mississippi River levels at Pools 9 -11 crested last week and continue to gradually fall. Water temperatures are in the upper 70s to 80 degrees. Many public boat ramps remain closed. Use caution for those ramps that are opening; they will have some mud and flood debris. Shoreline fishing has been good. Use caution when fishing from shore due to submerged hazards and current.

 

Mississippi River Pool 12
Water level is 17.9 feet at Dubuque Lock and Dam and 29.6 feet at the RR bridge. Water levels are receding, but are still in moderate to minor flood stages. Use caution when boating on the River. Water temperature is 73 degrees. Water clarity is stained. Most boat ramps are affected by the flooding. Campgrounds at Massey and Spruce Creek are closed. Bluegill - Good: Flooded grass areas out of the flood currents are attracting many bluegills. Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish like flood waters and will move along the banks to feed; use stink baits. Flathead Catfish - Fair: Anglers are starting to use trot lines where they can find non-flooded banks. Largemouth Bass - No Report: Bass are often stacked up along cleaner water edges. Most anglers are using crankbaits or spinning baits to catch abundant bass. Northern Pike - Good: Some pike are being reported in flooded areas like the OLearys access. Walleye - No Report: Many anglers are targeting smaller flowing sloughs with crankbaits. White Bass - No Report: White bass have been a consistent in the creel, even with the dirty water. Try flashy spinners in tailwater areas.

Mississippi River Pool 13
The water level is receding to near 18.0 feet at Bellevue. Use caution when boating on the river. Water temperature is 73 degrees. The water is stained. Most boat ramps on Pool 13 are flooded or have flood debris on them. Pleasant Creek campground near Bellevue, Jackson County Campground at Sabula and Bulgers Hollow campground near Clinton are closed. Brown Bullhead - Good: Anglers using egg sinker and worm rigs in the lower pool above Clinton are catching good numbers of this unique bullhead. Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish like flood waters and will move along the banks to feed; use stink baits. They should be spawning soon; rock lines are a good place to start. Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Drum are a consistent biter in moderate current areas; use an egg sinker worm rig. Largemouth Bass - Good: Find weed lines away from the main channel. Anglers are using gaudy spinnerbaits. Walleye - No Report: Use rattles to allow the fish to find the bait in stained waters. White Bass - No Report: Try white jigs or small spinners in the Bellevue tailwaters.

Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level is receding to near 18 feet at Fulton, 19 feet at Camanche and 13 feet at LeClair. Use caution when boating on the river. Water is stained. Water temperature is 73 degrees. Most boat ramps into Pool 14 are flooded or will have flood debris on them. The campground at Rock Creek will also be affected. Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish like flood waters and will move along the banks to feed; use stink baits. They should be spawning soon; rock lines are a good place to start. Freshwater Drum - Good: Worm rig with egg sinker fished along shore in moderate current will catch this consistent biter. Largemouth Bass - Good: No Report: Marina areas and flooded pockets will hold bass feeding on minnows.

Mississippi River Pool 15 
The water level is receding to near 19 feet at Rock Island. Water is at major flood stage; use caution when boating on the river. The water is stained. Water temperature is 74 degrees. Most boat ramp have flooding issues or have flood debris on them.  Freshwater Drum - No Report: Worm rig with egg sinker fished along shore in moderate current will catch this consistent biter.

Water has peaked and is at moderate or lower flood stage throughout the district. Use caution when boating on the River. Nearly all boat ramps are flooded or will have flood debris on them. If you have angling questions, please call Bellevue Fisheries Management at 563-880-8781. 

 

Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 18.38 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and is falling. River stage is forecast to fall over the weekend. Flood stage is 15 feet. Fishing is being reported as slow with the high water conditions. The Marquette St ramp in Davenport is flooded. Boat ramps at Buffalo Shores, Clark's Ferry, Shady Creek, and Fairport Recreational Area are closed due to flooding.    

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 18.44 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and is falling. River level is forecast to fall over the weekend. Flood stage is 15 feet. The gates are out of the water at Lock and Dam 16. The boat ramps at Muscatine are inaccessible due to high water. The ramps at Kilpeck and Big Timber are closed due to high water. Fishing is being reported as slow. 

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 19.25 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and is falling. Flood stage is 15 feet. Tailwater stage is forecast to fall over the weekend. The gates are out of the water at the Lock and Dam. River stage is 17.72 feet at Keithsburg; flood stage is 14 feet. The Toolsboro ramp is closed due to high water. The Hawkeye Dolbee ramp will also be under water. Fishing is being reported as slow with the highwater conditions.  

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 15.04 feet at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington and is falling. Flood stage is 10 feet at Lock and Dam 18. Tailwater stage is forecast to fall over the weekend. The gates are out of the water at the dam. River stage is 19.35 feet at Burlington; flood stage is 15 feet. River stage is 530.39 feet at Fort Madison; flood stage is 528.0 feet. Boat ramps like Tama Beach and Sullivan Slough are inaccessible due to high water. Fishing is slow.

River stage is above major flood stage throughout Pools 16-19. River level is falling and is forecast to keep falling over the weekend. Water clarity is poor. Main channel water temperature is around 79 degrees. Fishing is being reported as slow. Most boat ramps are inaccessible due to highwater. 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 mid-80s. Water is fairly clear. Black Crappie - Fair: Try slow trolling along the outer edges of the trees. Try fishing down about 6 to 8 feet. Bluegill - Fair: Work the edges of the flooded trees in 6 to 7 feet of water. The 6 feet depth is their perennial sweet spot during the summer. 

Cedar River (Moscow to Columbus Junction)
The lower end of the Cedar River dropped below bank full level, but the current remains fairly swift. Water level is forecast to continue to drop for at least the next few days.

Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River)
The Iowa River downstream of Columbus Junction is forecast to stay at about bank full level for at least the next couple of days as the last of the "extra" water from the Cedar River moves on down.

Lake Belva Deer
Water temperature is in the mid-80s. Water clarity remains at just about two feet with a green cast to the water. Black Crappie - Fair: Find crappies in 10 to 12 feet of water by vertically jigging or slow drift trolling at about the speed of a slow walk. Bluegill - Fair: Anglers are catching bluegill while drifting for crappies; also look on top of the mounds at the upper end of the lake. Channel Catfish - Good: Try along the rocks between the north boat ramp and the dam and along the face of the dam. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Early in the morning you can get some topwater action along the shallower brush and trees along the north shoreline between the two boat ramps.

Lake Darling
Water temperature is in the mid-80s; cooler weather should get it to drop again. The lake is stratified with no oxygen below 10-11 feet.  Bluegill - Fair: Most bluegills remain over top of the rock piles between the point and the campground boat ramp; also off the tips of the jetties.  They are hanging around the habitat in 5-6 feet of water. Channel Catfish - Good: The lake is stratified; don't fish below 10 feet with little to no oxygen below that. Find catfish around the rocks on the in-lake silt dams and the culvert piles just out from the shoreline between the lodge and the point. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Bass are still coming into the shallows to feed first thing in the morning and just before dark in the evening. Try fishing below a couple of feet where the water is clearer or use something noisy and flashy.

Lake Geode
Water temperature is around 86 degrees. Water clarity has decreased to around 3 feet; there is a definite green color to the water. Expect extra boat traffic with the Mississippi River being high. Black Crappie - Good: Anglers are catching lots of small crappies over the habitat in 8-10 feet of water, especially that on top of the old Agency Road. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are out at their deep water spots. Try slow trolling (drifting) with a small jig tipped with bait until you find them and then vertically jigging. Channel Catfish - Good: Try fishing around the rip-rap shoreline. Use stink bait and cut bait; good numbers of pan-sized fish. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Most bass have headed out to deeper water; expect to find them hunting the tree falls for bluegills and green sunfish on cloudy mornings.

Lost Grove Lake
Water temperatures was 84 degrees on July 16. The water has turned to green like most of the rest of the area waters. Water clarity has dropped to a couple of feet. Bluegill - Fair: Most bluegill are being caught in the submerged brush in 8-10 feet of water; some move into shallower water off the jetties and fish cleaning stations on overcast days.  Channel Catfish - Good: Time to head back to the face of the dam or other rocky areas of the lake. Start with chicken liver or stink baits. Largemouth Bass - Slow: Try jigging off the deeper (10-12 feet) habitat: trees and rock piles.

Skunk River (Rose Hill to Coppock)
The water level in the Skunk River is holding steady; you can see a slow drop in water level  by the Richland access. Channel Catfish - Good: Catfishing remains fairly good with the extra current; use cut baits and live baits unless you have good stink bait that really holds onto the hook. Flathead Catfish - Good: The flathead bite remains pretty steady.

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

 

Central Park Lake
Bluegill
- Good: Evening bite is best. Channel Catfish – Good.  Largemouth Bass – Good.  Redear Sunfish - Good: Sunset and later bite has been good.

Coralville Reservoir
Water temperature is in the low 80s. Black Crappie - Slow: Try bright jigs or minnows along steep rock banks or deeper brush piles. Channel Catfish - Slow: Some anglers have had luck trolling cut bait; catfish are being caught in flooded areas.

Kent Park Lake
There is quite a bit of vegetation on the lake. Bluegill - Good: Use a small jig or worm under a bobber. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try stink bait. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Try fishing over or along weed edges.

Lake Macbride
The 10 hp maximum is in effect. Water temperatures are in the low 80s. Black Crappie - Slow: Target deeper brush/stumps or look for suspended fish in open water. Bluegill - Fair: Some fish are on rock banks; others have slid out to deeper rock. Fish size is improving. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try fishing around shallow rock. Largemouth Bass - Fair. Spotted bass - Good: Use plastics around shallow rock. Walleye - Slow.  Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) - Slow: Look for surface activity at sunrise/sunset or look for suspended fish or wind-blown banks where there are shad.

Pleasant Creek Lake
Black Crappie - Fair:
Crappie are moving shallower towards evening and after dark. Bluegill - Fair: Try fishing outside weedlines. Channel Catfish - Fair: Evening bite is best. Walleye - Fair: Try fishing in rock after dark. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) - Slow: Try fishing towards dusk. There has been some surface activity.

Union Grove Lake
There is quite a bit of vegetation in the lake. Water temperature is in the upper 70s. Bluegill - Good: Try fishing outside weedlines or look for suspended fish in 6-10 feet over open water.

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

 

Hawthorn Lake
Black Crappie -
Fair: Try jig and minnow combinations in brush piles. Bluegill - Fair: Use jigs along the shoreline and open areas in the vegetation. Tip the jigs with a chunk of nightcrawler. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try nightcrawlers or chubs in 6-10 feet of water. Largemouth Bass - Good: Target the fishing jetties and rip-rapped shorelines. Use plastics in these areas and in open areas of the vegetation.

Lake Keomah
Lake Keomah is being drained for a lake restoration project. The boat ramps are not usable. There are relaxed fishing regulations at the lake.

Lake Miami
Black Crappie
- Fair: Use jigs and minnows along cedar tree brush piles. Bluegill - Fair: Try small jigs in the brush piles and along the shore. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use nightcrawlers along the face of the dam and around the jetties. Largemouth Bass - Good: Try plastics around brush piles and along rip-rapped shorelines.

Lake Sugema
Black Crappie
- Fair: Try jigs and minnows in the standing timber. Bluegill - Fair: Use small jigs around submerged brush piles and the shoreline. Largemouth Bass - Good: Try plastics or spinnerbaits along rip-rapped shorelines and around submerged structures.

Lake Wapello
Bluegill
- Fair: Try small jigs around brush piles. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use dead chubs around rip-rapped shorelines. Largemouth Bass - Good: Try plastics and crankbaits around the brush piles and rip-rapped shoreline.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 905.78 msl; the 2024 summer recreation target pool is 905.60 msl; typical recreation pool is 904 msl. Lake Rathbun has zebra mussels; properly drain, clean and dry equipment before transporting to another waterbody. Black Crappie - Fair: Try jigs around submerged cedar tree piles and docks. Crappie have moved to deeper water after spawning. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use minnows or nightcrawlers along areas with large rocks. Walleye - Fair: Try trolling crankbaits or crawler harnesses. All walleye less than 15-inches must be immediately released unharmed. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) - Fair: Use jigging spoons or crankbaits over rock piles and near the old river channel. 

Red Haw Lake
Bluegill
- Fair: Try small jigs around the shorelines and submerged structure near the campground shoreline. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use nightcrawlers along the fishing jetties or the face of the dam. Largemouth Bass - Good: Try plastics along rip-rapped shorelines and the fishing jetties.

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

 

SOUTHWEST

Big Creek Lake
Walleye
- Fair: Use crawlers or leeches jigging or troll live bait rigs in 5 to 15 feet of water. Also try trolling live bait jigs or shallow diving crankbaits along the edge of any aquatic vegetation.

Don Williams Lake
Black Crappie
- Good: Drift or troll light jigs with minnows or twister tails from the main boat ramp area to about three quarters up the lake. Crappie are suspended 2 to 6 feet deep away from shore.

Hickory Grove Lake
Bluegill
- Fair: Drift live bait over habitat in 15 feet of water or less.

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

 

Carter Lake
Channel Catfish
- No Report: There is a good channel catfish population. Drift or slow troll cut bait outside the weed edge. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Anglers are catching good numbers of bass along the weedline. A high percentage of the population is more than 15-inches.

Greenfield Lake
Black Crappie
- Slow. Bluegill - Fair: Fish average 7.5 inches. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try fishing around the jetties. Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass anglers are having success along the dam and around jetties.

Lake Anita
Black Crappie
- Slow: Look for black crappies in deeper tree piles and around the roadbeds. The large year class is 10- to 12-inches. Bluegill - Fair: Anglers are slow trolling over the roadbeds and having success. Bluegill average 8-inches. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Cast along the edge of the lilies.

Meadow Lake
Water clarity  is poor. Bluegill - Fair: Catch 8-inch bluegill around the cedar tree piles. Largemouth Bass – Fair. 

Mormon Trail Lake
Water clarity is good. Largemouth Bass - Good: Anglers are having success fishing topwater baits early in the morning, then switching to plastics in deeper water.

Nodaway Lake
Channel Catfish
- Good: Anglers are catching channel catfish along the dam with shrimp. Largemouth Bass - No Report: The lake has a large population of 12- to 14-inch bass.

Prairie Rose Lake
Black Crappie
- Fair: Anglers are catching crappies slow trolling open water areas. Crappie are 10- to 12-inches. Bluegill - Fair: Catch bluegills trolling or drifting. Largemouth Bass - Good: There is a good population of largemouth bass.

Viking Lake
Black Crappie
- No Report: Sorting is needed for larger fish. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegill average 7.5-inches. Largemouth Bass - Fair.  

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

 

Green Valley Lake
Docks are in at the boat ramps.  Bluegill - Fair: Catch bluegill up to 7.5-inches with small jigs near the fishing jetties early in the morning and late in the evening. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use nightcrawlers along rocky shoreline areas to catch all sizes of channel catfish. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Try finesse plastics around cedar tree brush piles to catch all sizes of  largemouth bass.

Lake Icaria
Docks are in at all boat ramps. Marina docks and courtesy docks at Lake View Campground are not in due to low water. Channel Catfish - Good: Use nightcrawlers around rocky shorelines to catch all sizes of channel catfish. 

Little River Watershed Lake
The dock is in at the main boat ramp. Bluegill - Slow: Catch bluegill up to 8.5-inches with small jigs fished along creek channels early in the morning and late in the evening. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use nightcrawlers along rocky shoreline areas to catch all sizes of channel catfish. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Try finesse plastics along weedlines in 6-8 feet of water to catch all sizes of largemouth bass. 

Three Mile Lake
Lake level is 8 feet below normal pool. Walleye - Slow: Use twister tails or crankbaits along the dam to catch all sizes of walleye.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake
The dock is in at the main boat ramp. Black Crappie - Slow: Try jigs or twister tails along creek channels early in the morning and late in the evening to catch all sizes of crappie. Bluegill - Slow: Use small jigs tipped with live bait near deep rock piles early in the morning and late in the evening to catch all sizes of bluegill. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try nightcrawlers along rocky shoreline areas to catch all sizes of channel catfish. Largemouth Bass - Slow: Catch largemouth bass up to 19-inches with jigs or finesse plastics in 6-8 feet of water along weedlines.

West Lake (Osceola)
Lake level has increased with recent rains, but still remains about 2 feet below normal pool. Boaters can use the boat ramps at their own risk.

Water temperatures are in upper 70s to low 80s in most Mount Ayr district lakes. For more information, call the Mount Ayr Fisheries office at 641-464-3108.

 

Download the State Park Passport to discover hidden gems (and earn prizes!) for visiting Iowa state parks and forests this summer. DNR staff have included their picks for favorite trails, scenic views, historical markers, geological wonders, plus many more!

Find a complete list of hidden gems in the summer edition of Iowa Outdoor magazine.