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Iowa fishing report

October 30, 2010 at 02:45 AM

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For current information, contact the district fisheries office at the phone number listed at the end of each district report.

NORTHWEST

Crawford Creek Impoundment

There has been very little fishing and anglers have not been catching much.

Brushy Creek Lake

Water clarity is continuing to improve, but fishing is slow.  Bluegill - Slow: Fish around submerged trees with a small lure baited with a wax worm.  Experiment with different depths.  Largemouth Bass - Slow: Fish with plastics or night crawlers.  Cast near submerged trees or weed beds.  Muskellunge - Slow:

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

Channel Catfish - Slow: Very few channel catfish are being caught.  At night try fishing about 10 to 20 feet from shore.  White Bass - Slow: Most of the white bass being caught are being picked up while walleye fishing.  Walleye - Slow: Walleye fishing continues to be hit or miss.  The bite seems to turn on for an hour or so at certain times of the morning and evening and then shuts off.  Most anglers have been targeting the inlet to the lake and the east shoreline near the public boat ramp.  Anglers have been using twisters and spinners and many are fishing at night. 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. 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. 

North Twin Lake

Anglers have been doing well for yellow bass with a few nice walleye mixed in.  Walleye - Slow: Some walleye have been caught while fishing for yellow bass.  Yellow Bass - Good: Anglers have been catching yellow bass casting small bright colored jigs tipped with a small piece of bait.  Try fishing the windward shore and fishing off the bulrushes at Featherstone Park.  Keep moving around until you find the fish.  Once they quite biting in an area, move around again until you find more.

Black Hawk Lake

Walleye - Fair: Anglers are continuing to catch walleye in Town Bay throwing pink and white twisters.  Try fishing between the stone piers and along the shoreline of Ice House Point in Town Bay.  Yellow Bass - Slow: There have been few reports of anglers catching any yellow bass lately.  The Ice House Point area has been reopened for public use.  There is a newly constructed bike path that runs along the edge of the shoreline at Ice House Point.  On Black Hawk Lake, walleye must be at least 15 inches in length to keep and only three per day may be kept.

Browns Lake

Brown’s Lake received a stocking of 2,650 6-inch walleye three weeks ago.

Most of the water temperature in the Black Hawk District is just below 60 degrees.  For more information on the lakes and rivers in this area contact Ben Wallace or Don Herrig at the Black Hawk Fish Management Office in Lake View at 712-657-2638.

Clear Lake

With this week’s weather fishing has been slow, look for the bite to pick up over the weekend. Try multiple spots to find the fish.

Rice Lake

Anglers are having good success catching crappie and yellow perch from shore. A piece of crawler on a jig is what most anglers are using. Try fishing around the boat ramps or the beach.

For more information on fishing in the area lakes and rivers, call the Clear Lake Fisheries Office at 641-357-3517.

Big Spirit Lake

Water temperature is 48.5 degrees.  Walleye - Good: Fish at Buffalo Run or the Little Spirit outlet with soft plastics or shallow diving crankbaits at sunrise or sunset.

East Okoboji Lake

Walleye - Good: Use soft plastics near the bridges at sunrise or sunset.

Minnewashta Lake

Walleye - Fair: Fish with minnows or twister tails at sunset near the Walk Bridge or Sawmill Bridge.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)

Walleye - Fair: Fish from shore at sunset with twister tails, shallow diving crankbaits, or a jig and minnow.

West Okoboji Lake

Water temperature is 57.5 degrees.  Walleye - Fair: Fish from shore with soft plastics or a jig and minnow.

Five Island Lake

Walleye - Fair: Use twister tails, crankbaits, or a jig and minnow at sunset.

Lost Island Lake

Walleye - Fair: Fish from shore at sunset with twister tails, shallow diving crankbaits, or a jig and minnow.

Iowa Lake

Northern Pike - Slow: A few fish are being caught while perch fishing.  Yellow Perch - Fair: Use minnows below a bobber or on a small lead head.

Tuttle Lake

Walleye - Good: Fish from shore at sunset with twister tails, shallow diving crankbaits, or a jig and minnow.

Silver Lake (Palo Alto)

Walleye - Good: Use minnows, twister tails or shallow diving crankbaits after sunset near shore.

Big Sioux River

Walleye - Fair: Use minnows in eddies and current seams.

Little Sioux River (state line to Linn Grove)

Walleye - Fair: Use large minnows at eddies and current seams.

West Fork Des Moines (state line to Emmetsburg)

Walleye - Fair: Fish eddies and current seams with a twister tail or minnows.

The fish cleaning station at Marble Beach on Big Spirit Lake is now closed for the season.  There has been very little fishing activity other than from shore this week.  For more fishing information on the Spirit Lake area call 712-336-1840.

NORTHEAST

Volga Lake

With high winds many anglers have not been fishing this week.  New habitat has been put into Volga Lake late last week.  Bluegill - Slow:  Largemouth Bass - Slow:

Lake Hendricks

We have received no information regarding fishing on this water body this week.

Lake Meyer

Anglers have not been on the lake this week with high winds in the region.  Try fishing any habitat you can find.

Charles City Impoundment

Walleyes have been improving their bite.  Most fish have are being caught on jigs and crawlers.  Walleye - Fair: Anglers are catching a few fish on jigs and crawlers.

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)

Anglers have been having luck floating with jigs and twisters.  Smallmouth Bass - Excellent: Smallies are very active in the deep holes they migrated to for wintering.  White twisters are the ticket.  Walleye - Good: Walleyes are being caught with white twisters.

Cedar River (above Nashua)

Not many anglers have been out this week with the high winds in the area.

River levels normal for this time of year and clarity is excellent. Trout streams conditions are excellent.  With recent high winds anglers have not been fishing much. For more information about a specific stream or river, call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.

Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)

Fishing has been good for largemouth bass and bluegill. Shoreline angling is favorable here again with the recent setback of aquatic vegetation heading into fall.  Bluegill - Good: The cove and jetties have been real productive areas for bluegill. Use small worms and a hook under a bobber cast from shore in these areas.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass have been biting well early morning and late afternoon on spinners and crankbaits.

Big Woods Lake

Crappie fishing has been fair. Try casting over submerged pallet structures recently placed within the lake. Anglers have been having good success fishing from the shoreline.  Crappie - Fair: Try a minnow under a slip bobber fished near the newly placed pallet bed structures.

Brinker Lake

A few crappies are being caught toward evening.  Crappie - Fair: A few fish have been caught under the highway bridge toward evening.

George Wyth Lake

Crappie and yellow perch are being caught.  Crappie - Fair: Try fishing off of the jetties using smaller crappie minnows or tube jigs under a bobber.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)

The Cedar River remains good for walleye and smallmouth bass with some occasional crappie.  Smallmouth Bass - Good: Live baits, spinner baits and crankbaits have all been working well. Concentrate around areas with rock shorelines or fallen trees.  Crappie - Fair: Some anglers are reporting catches in backwater areas or areas of slack water in the main channel. Try casting tube jigs or small crappie minnow under slip bobber.  Walleye - Good: Jigs tipped with a minnow or night crawler has been very productive.

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)

Reports have been good for walleye and smallmouth bass.  Smallmouth Bass - Good: Both artificial and live baits have been working well.  Walleye - Good: Try using as light of jig as possible tipped with a minnow or leech bounced off of the bottom.

Wapsi River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)

Fishing has been good for walleye, smallmouth bass and northern pike.  Northern Pike - Good: Anglers have been doing well casting artificial spoons and spinners or fishing live chubs under a bobber.  Smallmouth Bass - Good: Try casting a jig and twister tail tipped with a minnow near rock shorelines this time of year.  Walleye - Good: Anglers have been taking walleye on jigs tipped with a minnow or night crawler. Concentrate on areas near deeper water.

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)

Fishing has been good for walleye and smallmouth bass in and around Manchester. The month of October can be dynamite for smallmouth bass.  Smallmouth Bass - Good: Try casting spinner baits or crankbaits for these aggressive fish.  Walleye - Good: Try using a small jig tipped with a minnow now that water temperature has cooled down.

Fishing has been good for walleye, northern pike and smallmouth bass on the interior rivers. The month of October is an excellent time to be fishing as they actively feed with the onset of winter. With the recent cool weather, area lakes are beginning to provide catches of crappie as well. For more information call the district office in Manchester at 563-927-3276.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9

Water levels at Lansing on Thursday are at 8.57 feet and are expected to rise throughout next week. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are beginning to move toward their overwintering areas in deeper backwaters with minimal current. Yellow Perch - Good: Some large yellow perch have been caught in the Lansing area mainly using small jigs.

Mississippi River Pool 10

Water level Lynxville, Wis., is 16.6 feet and expected to rise throughout the week.  Water clarity is fair with aquatic vegetation still hampering some fishing activity.  Water temperature is around 52 degrees.  Bluegill - Fair: Some bluegill and other panfish are beginning to move into their overwintering areas.  Try fishing the better quality backwaters as fish will pack into these spots to survive throughout the winter.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Many largemouth bass can now be caught near the entrances to major backwater complexes.  Sauger - Fair: Small fish are being caught in the tail water on jigs and minnow.

Mississippi River Pool 11

Water level at Guttenberg is around 8.0 feet but expected to rise throughout next week.  Water temperature is 54 degrees and falling.  Water clarity is fair as winds have stirred up the water. White Bass - Slow: Schools of white bass have been working in the tail water areas but fishing for them has been difficult due to the windy conditions.  Largemouth Bass - Fair: Many bass are now beginning to concentrate at the mouths of backwater overwintering areas and they are feeding heavily.  Use a minnow imitation type lure for the best results. Sauger - Fair: Some sauger are being taken on jig and minnow in the tail water. 

Water levels are continuing to Yo-Yo on the Mississippi River and are expected to rise again this week.  Water clarity has been affected by the high winds experienced this week and has turned slightly turbid.  Water temperature is generally in the low 50s.

Mississippi River Pool 12

River stage at Dubuque is 9.55 feet and is forecast to rise to 12.1 feet over the next week.  Water temperature is in the low 50s and clarity is fair.  Bluegill - Fair: Reports of a few bluegill coming out of the backwaters, marinas, and sloughs around snags or other structure on crawlers or jigs.  Sauger - Fair: Sauger are moving into the tail water area and biting on one-eyes, jigs, or three-way rigs tipped with minnows.  Walleye - Fair: Walleye are biting on the wing dams and in the tail waters on three-way rigs tipped with minnows, crankbaits, or sonars.

Mississippi River Pool 13

River stage at Bellevue is 8.24 feet and is forecast to rise to 10.5 feet over the next week.  Water temperature is in the low 50s and clarity is fair.  Sauger - Fair: Sauger are moving into the tail waters in Bellevue and biting on three-way rigs or jigs tipped with minnows.  Walleye - Fair: Walleye are biting on the wing dams and the tail waters on three-way rigs tipped with minnows, jigs, or one-eyes.

Mississippi River Pool 14

Sauger - Fair: Sauger are moving into the tail waters and biting on jigs or three-way rigs tipped with minnows.  Walleye - Fair: A few walleye are being caught on the wing dams and in the tail waters.

For fishing information in Pool 12-15 of the Mississippi River contact the Bellevue Fish Management and Research Station at 563-872-4976.

Mississippi River Pool 16

Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 8.45 feet.  White Bass - Fair: Some white bass are being caught in Sylvan Slough casting jig and twister tails.  Bluegill - Fair: Some bluegills are being caught in Sunset Marina on wax worms. The bite seems to be best in the afternoon.  Crappie - Fair: Some crappies are being caught in Sunset Marina on wax worms and small minnows.  Sauger - No Report:  Walleye - No Report:

Mississippi River Pool 17

Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 6.94 feet.  Bluegill - Fair: Some bluegills are being caught in the backwaters fishing around brush piles.  Crappie - Fair: Some crappies are being caught in the backwaters fishing around brush piles.  Sauger - No Report:  Walleye - No Report:

Mississippi River Pool 18

Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 8.52 feet.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel catfish are being caught on shad and night crawlers.  Bluegill - Fair: Some bluegills are being caught in the backwaters fishing around brush piles.  Crappie - Fair: Some crappies are being caught in the backwaters fishing around brush piles.  Sauger - No Report:  Walleye - No Report:

Mississippi River Pool 19

Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 5.45 feet. Fishing has been slow in Pool 19.

Mississippi River Pools 16-20. Fishing has been tough due to the high winds this past week. Tail water fishing for walleyes and saugers has been slow. Some crappies and bluegills are starting to be caught in the backwaters. Main channel water temperature is around 54 degrees. For more fishing information on Pools 16-19 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

SOUTHEAST

Lake Geode

Fishing has been slow with the rain and the big swing in fronts.

Lake Belva Deer

Anglers continue to catch crappies and bluegills in deeper water.  Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are in 16 to 18 feet of water.  Wax worms or fish worms are the best.  Crappie - Fair: The big crappies remain out in 16 to 18 feet of water. Minnows seem to be working best. Both the north and south sides are open now.  The contractor is still doing some shoulder work but anglers should be able to reach the lake with little delay.

Lake of the Hills

Rainbow Trout - Excellent: Trout continue to hit on spinners, jigs, corn, power bait, and worms.  They are around the habitat in about 4 to 5 feet of water.  Channel Catfish - Good: Catfishing remains good.  Anglers are having the best luck using dip baits.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Anglers are catching some nice bass while they are using spinners trying to catch trout.  Crappie - Fair: The better sized fish are out around the deeper brush piles.

Railroad Lake

Channel Catfish - Good: Catfishing remains good in Railroad Lake, producing good numbers of pan-sized fish. Fish cut bait or night crawlers around the stump fields along the North side.

Wilson Lake

Wilson Lake will be having 500 rainbow trout and 50 brook trout released in the lake at 1 p.m., November.  Anglers must have a fishing license and a trout stamp (fee) to fish for the trout.

Environmental Discovery Park North Pond

This is the main pond at Discovery Park in Muscatine.  The DNR will release 500 rainbow and 50 brook trout into the pond at 10:30 a.m., November 6.  Anglers must have a fishing license as well as a trout stamp (fee) to fish for the trout.

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

Iowa Lake

Bluegill - Good: Small jigs or worms fished in the brush piles have been producing.  Crappie - Fair: Most success has come from drifting jigs out in the main lake basin.

Lake Macbride

Crappie - Fair: Crappies are extremely hit and miss right now. Some anglers are catching limits, some are catching a few. Fish brush and areas with warmer water.  Walleye - Fair: A few walleyes are being picked up by trolling crankbaits. Most success has come in 9 to 11 feet.  Any sized motor may be used at no-wake speed. Water temperature is in the mid to upper 50s.

Diamond Lake

Bluegill - Fair:  Crappie - Fair: Diamond Lake has a huge year class of 7 to 8-inch crappies.

Otter Creek Lake

Yellow Bass - Good: Use spinners or small jigs. Morning tends to be the best time.

Union Grove Lake

Bluegill - Fair: Use small jigs around brush.  Crappie - Good: Anglers are catching fish drifting jigs or minnows in open water as well as by casting to shoreline structure. There is an abundance of 8 to 9-inch fish.

Coralville Reservoir

The lake level is at normal pool of 683 feet and holding. The water is dirty.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Stink bait has been reported as working best. The upper end of the reservoir has been producing best.  Crappie - Slow: A few nice fish are being caught on bright colored jigs in deeper brush piles and rock walls.

Iowa River (Coralville Lake to River Junction)

Walleye - Slow: A few walleyes are being picked up on jigs and crankbaits below the dams.

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

Lake Wapello

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

Bluegill - Fair: Use small jigs tipped with a chunk of night crawler.  Try areas along the shoreline and around the aquatic vegetation.  Largemouth Bass - Fair: Try plastic worms fished around submerged structure or around the rock jetties.  As the water continues to cool, slow down your retrieve.

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.

Lake Keomah

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 - Fair: Use rubber worms along the shoreline and around the jetties.  Another spot to try is along the outside of the aquatic vegetation.  As the water cools, make sure to slow down your retrieve.

Albia (lower)

A boat ramp has been constructed on the lower reservoir.  Bluegill - Fair: 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.  Rubber worms can also be productive this time of year.  Crappie - Fair: Some crappies are being caught in the shallows.  Try small jigs of various colors.

Lake Sugema

Largemouth Bass - Good: Use plastic worms and spinner baits around areas with submerged structure.  A jig’ n pig combo should also be tried this time of year.  Crappie - Slow: Try small jigs along submerged structure.  Fish have been suspended in 8 to 12 feet of water.  Walleye - Slow: Use jigs tipped with a minnow around the rocky shorelines.  Walleyes have started to move shallow in the evenings.

Rathbun Reservoir

The current lake level is 908.25 feet with normal pool being 904 feet.  The water temperature is ranging in the lower 60s.  Boat ramps are open at Honey Creek State Park, Bridgeview, South Fork, Buck Creek, and Island View.  Crappie - Slow: Fish are starting to move shallow so try areas with submerged trees or other structure.  Rocky shorelines have also been producing some fish.  Using small jigs has been productive.  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, call the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406.

SOUTHWEST

Big Creek Lake

Crappie - Fair: Crappie are beginning to be caught in locations similar to the ice fishing season.  These locations include the road beds out from the West ramp and Ensign shelter and the sunken brush piles in 15 feet of water or deeper.  Use small tube jigs or small jigs tipped with minnows in the evenings. 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.

Red Rock Reservoir

White Bass - Fair: The white bass bite is still good right now below the spillway throwing anything from jig and twisters, crankbaits, or spoons.  Crappie - Fair: Anglers fishing minnows under a bobber or small jigs below the spillway in slack water are picking up some crappie.  Walleye - Slow: Anglers are picking up some walleyes below the spillway with jig and twisters or jig and minnow.  Most have been on the smaller side, but some good fish are mixed in.

Des Moines River (Saylorville to Red Rock)

White Bass - Good: White bass below the Saylorville spillway are hitting on jig and twisters, spoons, and lipless crankbaits.  Walleye - Fair: The walleye bite remains slow to fair.  Anglers fishing at Cottonwood with jigs tipped with minnows or twisters are catching a few walleye.  Jig and crawler is also catching some walleye, but expect to catch numerous drum.

Middle Raccoon River (above Van Meter)

Walleye - Good: Excellent fall river conditions are making for good walleye fishing.  Jig with crawler or minnow presentations work best.  Focus on slower water below riffles, along cut banks, and near wood cover such as tree falls.

Poor weather over the last week has limited fishing activity and reports.  Water temperature continues to fall into the low 50s.  The Des Moines River, Middle and North Raccoon rivers remain in good fishing condition.  For questions about central Iowa lakes and rivers contact Ben Dodd or Andy Otting at 515-432-2823.

Greenfield Lake

Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel catfishing has slowed with cooler water temperatures. Fish range in size from 1 to 5 pounds.

Orient Lake

Channel Catfish - Slow: Channel catfish from 1 to 2 pounds are being caught on dip bait around newly placed cedar trees along the dam.

Lake Anita

Water clarity has been good.  Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills up to 8.5 inches are still being caught drifting small jigs on the main lake.

Lake Manawa

Water conditions are fair.  Crappie - Fair: Anglers are still having success catching crappies in the canals and around docks although it has slowed from earlier in the week. Sorting is necessary for 9 to 10-inch fish.  Walleye - Fair: Walleyes up to 25 inches are being caught trolling shad raps on the south and west side of the lake.

Weather conditions have slowed fishing activity however; water conditions remain good on southwest Iowa lakes and rivers. For information contact Bryan Hayes or Mark Boucher at the Cold Springs District Office 712-769-2587.

Lake Icaria

Water clarity is about 30 inches at the dam.  The lake’s water level has been lowered about 16 inches to allow some shoreline repairs.  The repairs should be completed by Oct 25.  The lake will then be allowed to refill.

Green Valley Lake

The lake is still down for sediment removal.  The lake has been restocked and most species are big enough to catch.  Ice fishing should be excellent.

Three Mile Lake

Water clarity is about 4 feet.  Walleye - Fair: A few walleye are being caught from the old roadway between the ramps or by trolling the big open points or open flat areas at the upper end.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake

Water clarity is about 4 feet.  Water temperature is in the lower 50s.  Walleye - Fair: A few mid-sized walleye can be caught by trolling the open flat areas at the upper end of the lake.

Water quality is good, water levels are normal, and water temperatures are in the low 50s.  Fishing is good.

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