Iowa fishing report 9-2-10
Nelson Park Lake
Catfish are biting. Remember to clean vegetation off boat trailers when leaving Nelson Park Lake because the invasive plant brittle naiad is present. Channel Catfish - Good: Many channel catfish have been caught from the face of the dam. Anglers have been having the best luck using stink bait and fishing fairly close to shore in 5 to 10 feet of water. Bluegill - Slow: 7 to 8-inch bluegill have been caught on small jigs and a wax worm. If you have a small boat, try drifting with a jig set at about 6 to 10 feet down.
Yellow Smoke Park Lake
Water clarity is excellent. Remember to clean vegetation off boat trailers when leaving Yellow Smoke because the invasive plant brittle naiad is present. Bluegill - Slow: Yellow Smoke has very large bluegill in the 8.5 to 9.5 inch size range. Because the water is so clear, try using really light line and small lures. Fish deep around submerged trees. Also, try drifting the open water 5 to 10 feet down. Try small black jigs tipped with a wax worm, a piece of night crawler or a piece of crawdad tail. Anglers that typically fish Yellow Smoke report that they can catch big bluegill, but don’t expect to catch more than 7 or 8 per trip. Largemouth Bass - Fair: A fair number of largemouth bass are being caught, but most are sub-legal fish. There are a lot of bass around 14 inches in length that make for great catch and release fishing.
Crawford Creek Impoundment
A lot of 10-inch crappies are being caught. Remember to clean vegetation off boat trailers when leaving Crawford Creek because the invasive plant brittle naiad is present. Channel Catfish - Good: Anglers are still doing well for channel catfish. Catfish are biting on just about anything, but night crawlers are working the best. Night time fishing has been popular the last couple of weeks. Bluegill - Fair: Try using small jigs and a piece of night crawler. A good technique has been drifting the open water and fishing about 6 to 10 feet down. The bluegills are nice sized (7 to 8.5 inches). Largemouth Bass - Good: Many largemouth bass are being caught, but very few are over the 15-inch legal limit. Crappie - Good: Crappie were being caught on small minnows. Try drifting the open water and fishing about 6 to 10 feet down.
Catfishing has been good, but fishing for other species is still slow. Channel Catfish - Good: Anglers are catching catfish on shrimp, cut bait and dip bait. A wide variety of sizes are being caught.
Brushy Creek Lake
Fishing has been picking up; however water clarity has not been the best. Although there has not been much fishing for channel catfish, there are a lot of large (8 pounds plus) channel catfish present. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try fishing in the north end of the lake. Bluegill - Good: Some nice bluegill are just off the bottom of the lake in 10 to 15 feet of water. Use very light fishing gear and live bait. Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass can be found on the drop-offs where there is structure nearby. Anglers are also catching bass near vegetation and from underneath mats of vegetation.
Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Boaters use caution: There is an ongoing dredging project at Storm Lake and boats should stay at least 100 feet away from the dredge pipe. The dredge pipe is marked with buoys. Small gizzard shad (2.5 to 3.5 inches) are abundant in the lake right now. Daily bag limit at Storm Lake is three walleye: all 17 to 22-inch walleye must be immediately released, only one walleye over 22 inches may be kept. Channel Catfish - Fair: Catfishing has slowed since the week prior. Try using shrimp or stink bait. White Bass - Good: White bass are being caught on white twisters or picked up while walleye fishing. Try fishing white bass with top waters on hot, calm evenings. Look for bait fish breaking the surface and cast for white bass there. Walleye - Fair: Anglers are starting to catch more walleye. Most anglers are fishing the shore near Lakeside and have been doing the best from 7 to 8 a.m.
North Twin Lake
Yellow bass are going strong and channel catfish have picked up. Channel Catfish - Good: Catfish are hitting late in the evening in the shallows. Freshwater Drum - Fair: Freshwater drum are plentiful; try using live crawdads or night crawlers and fish near the bottom. Yellow Bass - Good: Yellow bass fishing has been good. The yellow bass are about 7 to 8 inches long, but there are lots of them. Some yellow bass in the 9 to 10-inch range have been caught. Try casting near shore using small, bright colored lures tipped with a piece of crawdad or a little piece of yellow bass meat. Anglers have been picking up two or three bass at each dock on the east side and then move on to the next.
Water clarity at Swan Lake has improved since the last couple of weeks. Bluegill - Good: Fish about 10 feet off shore and two feet down with a bobber and a worm. Anglers are catching them almost as fast as they can reel them in. Largemouth Bass - Fair: A few bass are still being picked up. Crappie - Excellent: Fish about 10 feet off shore and two feet down with a bobber and a worm. Anglers are catching them almost as fast as they can reel them in.
Black Hawk Lake
Walleye must be 15 inches or longer to keep and anglers are allowed three walleye per day. The Ice House Point picnic area and handicapped accessible pier will be closed until further notice. The road is still open to the boat ramp, but the remainder of the area will be closed due to the construction of a paved bike trail. Channel Catfish - Fair: Fish the windward shore with cut bait or stink bait. Whole crawdads make excellent catfish bait. Hook the crawdad through the tail and crack the shell so the juices can put out scent in the water. Anglers from boats have been catching fair numbers of catfish averaging two pounds.
Fishing has been slow. Small bass and catfish are being caught.
Snyder Bend Lake
Fishing has been slow. Small bass and catfish are being caught.
Southwood Conservation Area Pond (east)
Fishing at both ponds is slow. Small bass and bluegill are being caught.
Fishing is starting to pick up around the area. Water temperatures are in the low to mid 70s. For more information about these lakes and rivers call Ben Wallace or Don Herrig at the Black Hawk District Office in Lake View, at 712-657-2638.
Briggs Woods Lake
Anglers are catching bluegill and largemouth bass. Try using crawlers for the panfish and top-water baits or spinners for the bass.
Eldred Sherwood Lake
Largemouth bass are hitting top-water baits. A few panfish are being caught on crawlers.
Yellow bass fishing has slowed this week. Most fish are being caught in the little lake or the rock reefs in the main lake using live bait or cut bait and jigs. A few walleyes are being caught while fishing for yellow bass. Sunfish and a few bullheads are being caught from shore using crawlers.
Catfish are biting on chicken liver fished from shore.
Little Wall Lake
Catfish are biting on stink bait and chicken liver fished from shore.
Anglers are catching bluegill and largemouth bass fishing the weed edge with crawlers.
For more information contact the Clear Lake office at 641-357-3517.
We have received no information regarding fishing on this water body this week.
Anglers have reported fishing as picking up this week on the lake for largemouth bass using live bait. Channel Catfish - Fair: A few catfish are being caught using chicken liver. Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass have picked up this week using large live bait.
Fishing has picked up for smaller bluegills this week. This is a good time to take a child or first time angler. Catfish have picked up using dead bait. Northern Pike - Slow: Anglers are catching a few small northerns along the weed lines using a variety of cast and retrieve baits. Channel Catfish - Good: The catfish bite has picked up this week on the lake using dead bait. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are being caught in 10 to 12 feet of water on small jigs or slip bobbers. Most fish are in the 5 to 6-inch range. Largemouth Bass - Slow: Bass have slowed down this week. Crappie - Slow: The crappie bite has slowed.
Charles City Impoundment
The river is looking very good this week and fishing has picked up. Channel Catfish - Fair: Reports are that catfish are biting on crawlers and chicken liver. Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Anglers are catching smallmouth on jigs and crawlers. Walleye - Fair: Anglers are reporting catching small walleyes on jigs and crawlers.
Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
Water levels have risen and turned muddy after recent rains, but if conditions continue this weekend should get back to being good. Smallmouth and walleye are being caught all along the river above Decorah and should start again as soon as water levels and clarity improve. Smallmouth Bass - Slow: Anglers are catching smallmouth bass. Most fish have been in the 10 to 14-inch range. Try using twister tails with a slow retrieve. Walleye - Slow: Anglers are reporting a few walleyes being caught while fishing for smallmouth.
Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
Water levels have risen this week after the 4 inches of rain on Tuesday. Smallmouth have been being caught from the Ellingson Bridge to the Hwy. 76 Bridge before the rains and if present conditions continue this weekend they should be back on and biting. Anglers were also having luck around the lower dam. Channel Catfish - Good: Anglers have been having some success using stink bait and chicken livers around the Lundy Bridge area. Smallmouth Bass - Slow: Smallmouth bass have are being caught with a twister and jig. Most of anglers have been using white twister tails.
We have received no information regarding fishing on this water body this week.
Cedar River (above Nashua)
The river is back to normal and is looking really good. Channel Catfish - Good: Anglers have been using cut bait, chubs, minnows or stink bait. Anglers having the most luck have been fishing the Nashua Lake. Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Smallmouth bass are being caught, but with no regularity using a jig with a crawler. Most of the fish have been caught below the dam. Try using a white or pink twister. Crappie - Fair: Anglers are catching a few crappies in the lake at Nashua. Try using a bobber and minnow. Walleye - Fair: Some good sized walleyes have are being caught using a jig and minnow.
River levels have risen and the water is muddy, but is starting to fall and should be fishable by the weekend if conditions continue. Trout streams are running muddy after the Decorah are got 4 inches or rain the last couple days, but should clear quickly if conditions continue. The district lakes are still catching fish and have not been effected as much. For more information about a specific stream, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.
Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
Catfish, largemouth bass, and bluegills are being caught at Casey Lake but not in great quantities. Channel Catfish - Good: Try stink bait in shallow water around dusk or early in the morning. Bluegill - Slow: Largemouth Bass - Fair:
Big Woods Lake
Largemouth bass fishing has been good with some smaller crappie and northern pike being caught as well. Try fishing from the jetties on the north side of the lake where recent fish structure was placed within casting range. Northern Pike - Fair: Try casting large spoons or crankbaits from the shore or trolling crankbaits from a boat. Largemouth Bass - Good: Crankbaits and buzzbaits have been working well around submersed structure. Crappie - Fair: Try small jigs tipped with minnows
Reports of some smaller walleye and crappie are coming in. Crappie - Good: Troll or drift below schools of shad with minnows in 10 to 12 feet of water. Walleye - Fair: Try trolling crankbaits in 15 to 20 feet of water.
George Wyth Lake
The water is higher than normal. You will have to wade to get on to the fishing piers. Fishing has been good for crappie and largemouth bass during the early morning hours. Largemouth Bass - Good: Cast top-water baits early morning or late evening. During midday, try casting spinner baits or plastic worms. Crappie - Good: Minnows under a slip bobber or on a small jig during morning hours.
Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
Anglers are reporting a mixed bag when fish are biting. Fishing has been good overall with the best action coming from channel catfish and smallmouth bass. As fall temperatures approach, angling should really improve on most all species. Channel Catfish - Good: Try stink bait, cut bait, or small panfish fished on the bottom. With recent cool temperatures, try fishing shallow near riffle areas or fallen logs along the shoreline. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Use crayfish patterned crankbaits or plastics resembling crayfish around rocks or logs. Walleye - Fair: Concentrate in areas where the current is broken by fallen trees along shore in 4 to 6 feet of water.
Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
Smallmouth bass, walleye, channel catfish and northern pike action has been good. Northern Pike - Good: Cast spoons near wood structure, rock shorelines or below low head dams for these aggressive predators. Channel Catfish - Good: Try stink bait, cut bait, or small panfish fished on the bottom. With recent cool temperatures, try fishing shallow near riffle areas or fallen logs along the shoreline. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Use crayfish patterned crankbaits or plastics resembling crayfish around rocks or logs. Walleye - Good: Try casting jigs tipped with a night crawler along current breaks or rocky shorelines.
Wapsi River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
Angling has really improved, especially for channel catfish. Recent surveys show good numbers of both smallmouth bass and channel catfish in the Wapsipinicon River. Channel Catfish - Excellent: Cut-baits have been working really well fished on the bottom in 2 to 3 feet of water in areas where there is current. Walleye - Fair: Look for break lines in the current or drop-offs near sandbars using artificial or live baits.
Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
The Maquoketa River is falling quickly after recent rainfall events but more rain is expected in the watershed. Reports have been good for both walleye and channel catfish on the Maquoketa. Use caution when boating due to recent flooding. Channel Catfish - Good: Try night crawlers or cut baits near fallen logs dropping your bait into the upstream end of the structure. Walleye - Good: Jigs tipped with a night crawler has been working well.
Interior river levels remain steady or falling with this week’s rainfall in northern Iowa, they are forecasting potential heavy rains for today as well. Fishing had been good for walleye, smallmouth bass and channel catfish on the interior rivers. With the recent cool weather, area lakes should begin to pick up again as we enter into the month of September. Trout streams still remain in excellent condition. For more information call the district office in Manchester at 563-927-3276.
Mississippi River Pool 9
Water level at Lansing is 9.3 feet, and is predicted to remain stable but fall slowly over the next week. Water temperature is near 76 degrees. Water clarity is fair to good. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try fishing along the shoreline or edges of flooded vegetation for best results. You do not need to cast far out to catch nice catfish. Stink baits or chicken liver are the baits of choice. There has also been reports of good catches above the dam. Bluegill - Good: Bluegill fishing has been good around the islands in the Lansing area. There have also been good reports from Minnesota Slough. Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Try fishing areas with rock and good current, especially near a good back-eddy. Some nice fish earlier were being reported at the entrance of Big Slough and near Village Creek. Largemouth Bass - Good: Anglers report good catches of bass in the Lansing area along main channel weed lines using crawdad crankbaits. Yellow Perch - Fair: good numbers of yellow perch have been caught fishing off the bottom in 5 to 6 feet of water near New Albin. Sauger - No Report: With the past week’s floating vegetation, few anglers went out drifting/jigging for sauger. The amount of vegetation has decreased. Walleye fishing should start to pick up. Walleye - Slow: As water levels fall and begin to stabilize walleye fishing should start to pick up. Look for walleyes on wing dams or try trolling crankbaits in sloughs or drifting with jig and minnow. Freshwater Drum - Fair: The drum fishing has slowed a bit, but they can still be caught off the bottom with a crawler. Drum are excellent eating fish especially if prepared fresh. Remember to take ice with you if you plan on keeping drum and other fish fresh especially with the warm temperatures.
Mississippi River Pool 10
Water level at Lynxville is 16.2 feet, and is expected to remain stable but fall slowly over the next week. Water temperature is near 76 degrees. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try fishing along the shoreline or edges of flooded vegetation for best results. You do not need to cast far out to catch nice catfish. Stink baits have been working well here. White Bass - Good: Some schools of active feeding white bass have begun to show up near the wing dams in Harpers Ferry. Look for jumping minnows and cast a small white minnow imitation or spinner. Bluegill - Good: Anglers have reported catching good catches of bluegills in the Harpers Ferry area fishing off the bottom in 6 to 9 feet of water. Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Smallmouth are hitting well along rocky areas with current. They can be seen chasing minnows along with the white bass. Largemouth Bass - Good: Bigger largemouths are being caught right now. Fish near bank areas along the weed line using top-water or spinner baits for the best success. Crappie - Slow: Some nice crappies have been caught near woody structure using minnows and small jigs. The problem is that they have been hard to find, but if you do the size has been good. Walleye - Slow: A few small walleye being caught drifting three ways with crawlers in the Harpers Ferry area. Freshwater Drum - Fair: Some drum are being caught right now fishing a worm on the bottom, especially out of Noble’s Landing. Drum are excellent eating fish especially if prepared fresh. Remember to take ice with you if you plan on keeping drum and other fish especially with the warm temperatures.
Mississippi River Pool 11
Water level at Guttenberg is 7.9 feet. It is expected to remain stable but fall slowly over the next week. Water temperature is near 77 degrees. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try fishing along the shoreline or edges of flooded vegetation for best results. You do not need to cast far out to catch nice catfish. Stink baits or crawlers are the baits of choice. Bluegill - Excellent: Larger bluegills and other sunfish are being caught right now along the bank with bobber and worms. The DNR fishing walkway in Guttenberg has been a popular location. Edge of weed lines throughout the pool especially in areas of brush piles has also been popular. Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Some smallmouth are being caught fishing near rock in good current. Try drifting night crawlers or using artificial lures such as in-line spinner. Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth can be caught along shorelines with woody debris. Small spinners or jigs will work best. Some places to try bass fishing in Pool 11 are Mud Lake by Dubuque, Bertrum Lake by Cassville and Swift Slough by Guttenberg. Many anglers are using plastic frogs and worms to eliminate problems with floating weeds. Crappie - Fair: Some Crappie are being caught on minnows in Mud Lake and Sunfish Lake in Lower Pool 11. Yellow Perch - Fair: There have been some reports of good catches of yellow perch in the sloughs around Guttenberg. Some very large yellow perch can be found in the Mississippi River. Sauger - Slow: There have been some reports of sauger being caught in the tail waters and out on the wing dams. Walleye - Slow: The walleye fishing should start to pick up. Wing dams are a little too deep with the high water. Hopefully anglers can start to concentrate on fall wing dam walleye fishing. Freshwater Drum - Fair: Some drum are still being reported in the upper part of Pool 11. During high water fish will often be found near shore in eddy area but away from the strong current. One-eyed jigs or night crawlers have been working well.
Water temperature at Guttenberg is right around 77 degrees. River levels are expected to remain stable but fall slightly over the next week. Water levels are: Lansing 9.3, Lynxville 16.2 and Guttenberg 7.9. Floating vegetation may be a problem in some areas.
Mississippi River Pool 13
The river stage at Bellevue is 8.6 feet and steady due to recent rains. Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish are being taken using stink bait and crawlers. Don’t be afraid to move around, if fishing slows in one area move and find active fish. Areas to try are side sloughs, main channel border and the upstream side of wing dams. Bluegill - No Report: Crappie - No Report: With water still high for summer levels fish are still scattered making it difficult for anglers to find good catches. Fishing should improve as water levels drop. Walleye - Fair: A few fish are being caught on the wing dams using crawlers. Sand flats have also been producing a few fish, trolling crankbaits in 10 to 12 feet of water. Freshwater Drum - Good: Drum are being caught in a variety of places including the tail waters, inside edge of wing dams and side sloughs. When fishing drum if you haven’t caught a fish in 10 to 15 minutes move to find active fish.
Mississippi River Pool 14
The river stage at Clinton is 8 feet and stable. Channel Catfish - Good: Stink bait and crawlers are producing decent catches of fish. Try fishing side sloughs, wing dams and main channel borders. Move to find fish, if you haven’t had a bite in 10 minutes move. Walleye - Fair: Walleye fishing has been slow but, with dropping water a few fish are being caught of the wing dams and an occasional fish caught in the backwaters. Freshwater Drum - Good: Numbers of drum are being taken in a variety of places. Try fishing the wing dams. Move until you find the right spot, current plays a big part as to where the fish are on the dam.
The Mississippi River this year has been if nothing but challenging for the angler, the water levels are starting to go down, but are still high for summer levels. The river temperature is around 76 degrees with slightly rising to stable water levels due to recent rains.
Mississippi River Pool 16
River stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 8.38 feet. Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish are being caught on dip baits and crawlers fished around brush piles and logjams along the main channel and side sloughs. White Bass - Slow: Bluegill - Slow: Crappie - Slow: Walleye - Slow: Walleye fishing on the wing dams has been slow due to high and muddy water.
Mississippi River Pool 17
River stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 7.06 feet. Channel Catfish - Good: Some channel catfish are being caught on dip baits, green worms, crawlers, and shad fished around brush piles and logjams along the main channel and sloughs. Channel catfish are also being caught at GPC. White Bass - Slow: Bluegill - Slow: Crappie - Fair: Some crappies are being caught on minnows in Big Timber fishing shallow along brush piles. Walleye - Slow: Walleye fishing has been slow due to high and muddy water.
Mississippi River Pool 18
River stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 8.98 feet. Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish are being caught on dip baits, crawlers, and shad fished around brush piles and logjams along the main channel and side sloughs. Bluegill - No Report: Crappie - No Report: Walleye - No Report:
Mississippi River Pool 19
River stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 5.86 feet. Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish are being caught on stink baits, crawlers, and shad fished around brush piles and logjams along the main channel and side sloughs. Bluegill - No Report: Crappie - No Report: Walleye - No Report:
Mississippi River Pools 16-20: River stages are still above normal throughout Pools 16-20. Water clarity is still fairly poor. Fishing has been slow due to high and muddy water conditions. Main channel water temperature is around 77 degrees. For more fishing information on pools 16-20 of the Mississippi River contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.
Wildlife was hoping to get the Toolesboro Road open this week but rising river levels and rains won’t be helping.
Fishing is starting to pick up a bit. The cooler weather is bringing out a few more anglers. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try along the face of the dam and up at the upper end of the lake for the catfish. Stink baits or chicken liver is working the best. Bluegill - Fair: Look to the edge of the weed beds in 6 to 8 feet of water to find some nice bluegills. Small jigs tipped with worm will be your best bet. Largemouth Bass - Good: The bass are starting to run the edge of the water willows in the evenings. Crankbaits run along the edge of the weed beds should get their attention.
Lake Belva Deer
The road paving project continues in the park. Boaters need to use the north ramp as the south ramp continues to be closed. Channel Catfish - Good: Look for the catfish to be in the bays and around the rock jetties. Bluegill - Excellent: The bluegills are suspended at a depth of 10 to 13 feet. The problem is that t he smaller bluegills are just above this depth and you have to get your bait through them first. Largemouth Bass - Good: Work the shallow water timber with plastic worms for these fish. Crappie - Excellent: Crappies are at about 6 feet of water in among the trees. Tube jigs seem to be working the best.
Lake of the Hills
Channel Catfish - Good: Catfishing has been good early and late using chicken liver and stink baits. Anglers fishing along the old creek channel have been having some luck. Bluegill - Fair: The bigger bluegills are suspended out in the deeper water. The smaller ones are in shallow if you want some nonstop action for the kids. Crappie - Good: Crappies are being caught off the deeper brush piles in the lake. Vertical jigging with a jig and minnow is working. Some crappies are also starting to move in shallow.
Channel Catfish - Good: Look for these fish to be around the stumps and the old creek channels in the early morning and late evening. Largemouth Bass - Good: Look for the bass to be in the flooded timber along south side of the lake. Spinner baits and top-water early and late. Crappie - Good: Work the brush piles and around the flooded timber.
Skunk River (Rose Hill to Coppock)
The river is currently about three feet below bank full but is forecast to go back up with this week’s rains.
For more information on the above lakes and rivers call the Lake Darling Fisheries Station at (319) 694-2430.
Kent Park Lake
Channel Catfish - Good: Most fish are on the small size. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegill size has been good.
Motors over 9.9 horsepower may be used beginning Tuesday, September 7. Channel Catfish - Good: Fishing at sunset and at dark has been producing well. Crappie - Fair: Some anglers are catching nice sized crappies now.
Remember, no minnows are allowed here. Channel Catfish - Good: Bluegill - Slow: Crappie - Slow:
Otter Creek Lake
Channel Catfish - Good: Night has been the best time. Bluegill - Fair: Crappie - Fair: Yellow Bass - Good: Small spinners have been producing well.
The lake level is at 683 feet which is normal summer pool and is supposed to remain steady. Channel Catfish - Good: Try cut bait for best results. Dip bait has also been working.
Iowa River (Coralville Lake to River Junction)
Channel Catfish - Good: Dip baits and cut bait has been working. Dip bait is producing numbers while cut bait has been better for size.
For more information contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.
The lake has refilled after last year’s fish population renovation. Red ear and channel catfish were stocked last fall and largemouth bass and bluegill this spring.
Red Haw Lake
Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel catfish have been biting on stink bait and cut bait. Bluegill - Good: Use small jigs tipped with a chunk of night crawler. Try areas along the aquatic vegetation and in pockets within the vegetation. Largemouth Bass - Good: Try plastic worms fished around submerged structure or around the rock jetties. Another good lure selection would be brightly colored spinner bait. Try white or chartreuse.
Hawthorn Lake (aka Barnes City Lake)
The lake renovation project has begun and the lake is being drained. The boat ramps are not usable as the lake is approximately 20 feet low. Shore fishing is still allowed however the lake bottom is still quite muddy.
Channel Catfish - Fair: Try using stink bait or cut bait in 8 to 12 feet of water. Bluegill - Fair: Use a chunk of night crawler fished along the shoreline and around submerged structure. Along the fishing piers can also be a good spot. Largemouth Bass - Good: Use spinner baits or rubber worms along the shoreline and around the jetties. Another good spot to try is along the outside of the aquatic vegetation.
A boat ramp has been constructed on the lower reservoir. Bluegill - Good: Use small jigs tipped with a chunk of night crawler. Try areas along the dam between the upper and lower reservoirs. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use spinner baits fished along the shoreline and around areas with submerged structures. Try top-water lures in the mornings and evenings.
Bluegill - Good: Use small jigs tipped with a chunk of night crawler. Try areas with edges such as the shoreline or the weed lines. Largemouth Bass - Good: Use plastic worms and spinner baits around areas with submerged structure. Top-water action can be good in the mornings and evenings.
The current lake level is 918.22 feet with normal pool being 904 feet. The water temperature is ranging in the lower 80s. Boat ramps are open at Honey Creek State Park, Bridgeview and the high water ramp at Buck Creek. Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel catfish are biting on cut bait and dead chubs. Crappie - Slow: Try trolling crankbaits. Try different depths until you find active fish. With the higher pool levels the fish may be in different depths when compared to prior years. Walleye - Fair: Jigging spoons have been productive. Find areas with drop-offs and ledges. Crankbaits are also a good choice this time of year. Try using baits that mimic gizzard shad. Please be wary of tagged walleyes and if these fish are harvested please call the hatchery with the tag number. The phone number for the hatchery is 641-647-2406.
For additional fishing information in south central Iowa please call the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406.
Roberts Creek Lake
Crappie - Good: Crappies are still being caught by trolling or drifting minnows. Most of the fish are around 8 inches, but there are some larger white crappies around 10 inches. Shore anglers are also doing well on crappies in front of the outlet.
Big Creek Lake
There is currently a walleye harvest study taking place. Anglers who catch a walleye should look near the tail of the fish for a small yellow tag. The tags can be removed from harvested or released fish of LEGAL size and returned with a survey for a cash reward. The surveys can be picked up at the marina, park office, Polk City Bait and Tackle, or Johnston Bait and Tackle. There are also signs posted at the boat ramps with instructions. White Bass - Good: Big Creek currently has a large population of white bass. They are biting aggressively, especially just before and just after sunset. Casting or drifting small jigs or spinners is working well. Trolling lip-less crankbaits is also a good option. Concentrate on the points and jetties on the windblown side of the lake. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills remain suspended. Drift fishing small pieces of crawler in 6 to 14 feet has produced good catches in the upper half of the lake in both the east and west arms. The roadbeds in the west ramp bay and out from the 100th Street boat ramp continue to produce bluegills, white bass, and few crappies. Bluegills and crappies are suspended from 8 to 12 feet on either side of the roadbeds. The lake is stratified so avoid fishing depths greater than 12 to 15 feet. The bluegills have been good. Walleye - Fair: The walleye bite had slowed, but the increased flow coming in again should help the walleye bite at the East and West arms at their very upper ends using night crawlers, minnows or shallow diving crankbaits.
Hickory Grove Lake
We have received no information regarding fishing on this water body this week.
Red Rock Reservoir
White Bass - Good: Anglers are having good success on white bass. They are being picked by covering water and trolling crankbaits. The quickly dropping water level is changing where the best fishing is daily, but around the bridges, marina point, and Whitebreast arm have been good starting points. Sunny days seem to be far more productive. There was excellent shad reproduction this year. On calm days, look for gulls and/or shad breaking the surface. Crappie - Fair: Crappie continue to be caught at the Roberts Creek spillway using minnows or small tube jigs. There are some reports of larger crappie being caught by shore anglers below the Red Rock spillway. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) - Good: Anglers fishing white bass that are busting shad are also hooking into some good sized wipers. There have also been some nice wipers caught by shore anglers below the spillway.
White Bass - Excellent: White bass are hitting good right now by trolling silver or chrome colored spoons or lip-less crankbaits. The best areas have been the north shore of the marina cove around to Sandpiper beach, the pump station in the marina, and the Big Creek spillway due to the high flow. If the water is calm, look for schools of shad breaking the surface.
Bluegill - Good: Good numbers of nice sized bluegill are being caught. There is very little structure to fish near, so anglers are casting out and fishing 5 to 6 feet deep just using small pieces of crawler under a bobber.
Des Moines River (Stratford to Saylorville Lake)
Channel Catfish - Good: The Des Moines river is remaining at a good fishing level. There are good numbers of channel catfish being caught using crawfish, fresh cut baits and stink baits. After sunset and early mornings has been best.
Middle Raccoon River (above Van Meter)
Walleye - Good: Flows have increased slightly with the rains, but levels and water clarity should be good by the weekend. Anglers floating and wading the Middle Raccoon are having success catching walleyes. Use 1/8 to 1/16 ounce jigs with half a crawler or shallow diving crankbaits are the choice baits.
Fishing conditions remain good. Recent rains have bumped Central Iowa rivers up slightly, but should be in good condition by the labor day weekend. The large reservoirs are continuing to drop rapidly, which is changing the good fishing locations daily. For questions about central Iowa lakes and rivers contact Ben Dodd or Andy Otting at 515-432-2823.
Greenfield Lake has one concrete boat ramp and is trolling motor only. Bullhead - Good: Bullheads up to 14 inches are being caught on night crawlers. Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish are being caught around jetties using shrimp. Fish are 1 to 3 pounds. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills up to 8 inches are being caught drifting small jigs in 6 to 8 feet of water. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth bass are being caught early morning and late afternoon along weed edges casting crankbaits and small spinners. Large percentage of bass are 15 to 17 inches.
Mormon Trail Lake
Mormon Trail Lake has excellent water clarity and is a quality fishery. There is one concrete boat ramp available. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth bass up to 19 inches are being caught using plastics along weed edges.
Nodaway has one concrete boat ramp. No reports of fishing this week.
Orient is full with one concrete boat ramp. Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish in the 14 to 16-inch range are being caught on shrimp. Bluegill - Fair: A few 7-inch bluegills are being caught by shore anglers using night crawlers.
Littlefield has a large watershed and water quality is susceptible to rain events. There is one concrete boat ramp available. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills in the 8-inch range are being caught drifting small jigs. Crappie - Slow: A few crappies are being caught while drifting. Crappies are 10 inches.
Lake Anita has two concrete boat ramps to choose from. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are being caught drifting small jigs across the main lake and around underwater reefs. It helps to tip jig with crawler or Berkley baits. Fish average 8 inches. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth bass are being caught casting the shoreline with spinner baits early morning and late afternoon. Crankbaits and plastics are good bait around underwater reefs and roadbeds later in the day. Crappie - Slow: A few crappies can be picked up drifting jigs or casting around underwater reefs. Fish average 9 inches. Later in afternoon and evening is best.
Viking Lake has three concrete boat ramps and three feet of water clarity. Channel Catfish - Fair: Viking has a good population of channel catfish in the 1 to 3 pound range. Sonny’s dip bait or night crawlers have been working well. Largemouth Bass - Slow: Largemouth up to 18 inches are being caught casting spinner baits or plastics along weed edges and around structure.
Water temperatures are cooling and fishing has improved for walleye. Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel catfish are being caught on the south and west side using dip bait. Liver and crawlers have also been good. Fish are 2 to 6 pounds. Walleye - Fair: Walleyes are being caught slow trolling minnows or crankbaits. Most fish have been 18 to 22 inches.
Cold Springs District Farm Ponds
Many farm ponds hold good populations of bass, bluegill, crappie, and channel catfish. Remember to always ask permission before fishing private ponds. Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel catfish are active with warmer water temperatures. Try night crawlers, liver, or stink baits around structure. Bluegill - Good: Bluegill fishing has picked up in ponds using small jigs and worms. Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth bass are aggressive this time of year. Top water baits work well during low light conditions and plastics during the day.
Water conditions on southwest Iowa lakes and rivers are improving and the fishing is picking up. For more information, contact Bryan Hayes or Mark Boucher at the Cold Springs District Office, at 712-769-2587.
Channel catfish are biting off the rock mounds on jigs. Bluegills are in the gravels areas and on the tops of the fish mounds during the evenings. Largemouth bass fishing is fair. Crappie fishing is fair in the rocks.
Old Mount Ayr Reservoir
Good for crappie off the dam using jigs in the evenings.
The rivers have a lot of channel catfish caught during the evenings.
In the Mt. Ayr district, we are starting to hear of very good fishing trips. Temps are still high but the fish are starting to bite. Lake levels are normal and clarity is normal.