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Iowa fishing report

October 09, 2008 at 02:25 PM


Spirit Lake (Dickinson): Yellow perch are being taken by vertically jigging or drifting with small jigging spoons or micro jigs tipped with worms across the main lake basin. Walleyes are being caught drifting the weed lines with live bait or cast with crankbaits, or fishing from shore at the footbridge or the North Grade with a minnow and jig at sunrise or sunset. Fish weed lines with crank baits or tube jigs for smallmouth bass. Bluegills are biting around boat docks on ice jigs tipped with live bait worms. Work tube jigs or other soft plastics around boat docks and weed lines for largemouth bass.

East Okoboji Lake (Dickinson): White bass are being caught at the bridges and boat docks using a slip bobber and minnows. Fish with live bait around boat docks or the Hwy. 9 bridge for yellow bass.  Channel catfish are taking cut-bait and liver around the Hwy. 9 bridge.  Bluegills are biting around the boat docks on ice jigs tipped with live bait. Troll crankbaits in deeper water between Stony Point and Jingles Point for walleyes.

West Okoboji Lake (Dickinson): Work the docks and weed lines with soft plastics or crankbaits for largemouth bass.  Fish soft plastics or jerk baits around the points for smallmouth bass. Walleyes are being caught trolling crankbaits along the weed lines and rock piles in Brown’s, Emerson and Miller’s bays, and by drifting with bottom bouncers and live bait. Yellow perch are hitting small jigging spoons tipped with live bait at the rock piles and weed lines around the points and bays. Troll or cast for northern pike along weed edges in Miller’s, North, Smith’s and Emerson bays. Cast or troll for muskies along the weed lines and rock piles in Emerson, Miller’s, North and Smith’s bays with crankbaits and spinners.

Minnewashta (Dickinson): Bluegills, yellow bass and some crappies are biting around the boat docks with small ice jigs tipped with live bait.

Upper Gar (Dickinson): Bluegills, yellow bass and crappies are biting on ice jigs tipped with live bait fished around boat docks.

West Fork of the Des Moines River: Walleyes are taking a jig and minnow fished at the riffles and holes.

Little Sioux River: Walleyes are taking a jig and minnow fished at the riffles and holes.

Yellow Smoke Lake (Crawford): Fishing is good for bluegill and crappie around flooded timber on small ice jigs tipped with night crawlers.

North Twin Lake (Calhoun): Fishing is fair to good for yellow bass on jigs tipped with cut bait.

Brushy Creek (Webster): The nice sized blue gills remain in 10 to 15 feet of water and can be caught just off the bottom.  Wax worms have been the preferred bait.  A few nice walleyes and crappies have been caught on a small minnow and jig set up.

Clear Lake (Cerro Gordo): Walleye fishing continues to be slow.  Yellow bass fishing is good at the grade, around the artificial weed beds, from the island to the north shore, and by the Baptist Camp and the McIntosh beach area with cut bait or a piece of crawler in 4 to 10 feet of water.  White Bass are sill biting around the island and any sandy areas in the morning and late evening.

For more information on fishing in northwest Iowa, call the regional office in Spirit Lake at 712-336-1840.


Mississippi River Pools 9 to 15:  Fishing is slowly picking up on the Mississippi River in Pools 9 to 15 with the drop in water temperature.  Water level at Lansing is 8.04 feet, Lynxville 12.87 feet, Guttenberg 4.89 feet, Dubuque 7.64 feet, Bellevue 4.33 feet, and Camanche 9.29 feet.  The river is forecast to remain stable or rise slightly over the next week.  Water temperature is 60 degrees.  As the temperature continues to drop, a fall feeding binge will begin for many fish species. 

Sauger fishing is starting to pick up in the tailwaters near Lock and Dams 9 (Lynxville), 10 (Guttenberg), 11 (Dubuque), and 12 (Bellevue); however, many are small.  Try using a three-way rig tipped with either a night crawler, leech or minnow for walleye and sauger in Pools 12 to 15 or throw crankbaits along the face of the wing dams.  Sauger fishing should really pick up as water temperature drops into the 50s.

Fishing is good to very good for channel catfish using worms on the bottom in Pools 9 through 11.  Concentrate on the wing dams and rocky shorelines. 

Smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing is good casting crankbaits along rocks with current in Pools 9 through 11.

Bluegill fishing is very good in Mud Hen Lake south of Harpers Ferry (upper Pool 10) and Norwegian Lake near Sny Magill (middle Pool 10) near fallen trees.  Bluegill fishing is fair in Pools 12 through 15 on small jigs tipped with a wax worm in the snags along the side channel and around wing dams with little flow.

Crappie fishing is picking up in Pools 9 through 15 along snags in the side channels and running sloughs.  Fishing should pick up as water temperature continues to decline.  Try using small jigs or minnows on a bare hook for crappies or tie up the boat to the snag and vertically jig a small jig and minnow. 

Freshwater drum (sheepshead) fishing is good in Pools 9 through 15 using night crawlers on the bottom. Drum can be found at nearly any shoreline location adjacent to the channel. 
Use a sliding egg sinker with night crawler or crayfish for bait. Large crayfish often produce larger drum.

Northern pike are hitting jig and minnows, spinners and crankbaits in Minnesota Slough (Pool 9) and Harpers Ferry (Pool 10). 

Cedar River (Mitchell, Floyd and Chickasaw): The river is still off color due to a diatom bloom, but as water temperature drops, water clarity will improve.  This bloom should not scare anglers away as the fish are still there waiting for whatever lure tossed their way.  Some smallmouth bass are being caught on jigs and crankbaits.  Walleye fishing is slow; try fishing in deeper pools using jigs tipped with long piece of night crawler.

Cedar River (Bremer, Black Hawk), Maquoketa River (Delaware, Jones), Shell Rock River (Butler), and Wapsipinicon River (Buchanan, Black Hawk): Fishing is currently good for channel catfish, smallmouth bass and walleye.  Now is a great time to fish as water levels are favorable in all area rivers, water temperature is dropping, and water clarity is excellent.  Fish activity is high during this time of year as fish feed in preparation for winter and next springs’ spawn.  As water temperature cools use more live bait presentations, such as a jig-and-night crawler, and slow-down retrieval speeds.

Maquoketa River (Delaware): Smallmouth bass and walleye fishing is excellent below the Lake Delhi Dam. 

Turkey River (Clayton): Try using a variety of lures and live bait for smallmouth bass.  Walleye can be caught in the deeper pools with slow moving artificial lures.

Upper Iowa River (Winneshiek and Allamakee): Smallmouth bass fishing has been fair.  Try fishing twister tails and crankbaits in the pools and in the riffles.  Walleyes are biting on crankbaits, Shad Raps, and white twister tails in the deeper pools.  Also try tipping lead head with night crawler fished slowly on bottom of deep holes.  Insect hatches are continuing on the river.  Trout can be caught below larger riffles by matching the hatch, or by using smaller jigs.

Yellow River (Allamakee): Water clarity is excellent.  Smallmouth bass and trout fishing is good and should be picking up.  Try using twister tails in a variety of colors.

Avenue of the Saints Lake and Plainfield Lake (Bremer County):  Fishing is good for largemouth bass and bluegills; try crankbaits and plastics for largemouth and use small night crawlers or red worms for bluegill.

Casey Lake (Tama):  Fishing is good for bluegills using flies and wax worms, and bass fishing is fair.

Lake Delhi (Delaware):  Fishing is fair to good for bluegills using live bait presentations.  Bass fishing is good around structure using crankbaits and plastics.

Lake Hendricks (Howard):  Largemouth bass fishing is good with a variety of artificial lures fished along shore. Channel catfish are actively looking for food in the shallower area.  Try using night crawlers or chicken liver fished on the bottom.  Bluegill fishing is fair.  Try using smaller gear when fishing midday to hook the finicky ones.  Larger crappies are being caught by slowly trolling at 4 to 5 feet depths with a minnow.

Lake Meyer (Winneshiek):  Good numbers of 7 to 9-inch crappies are moving in on the brush piles on the south and east sides of the lake.  They are being caught with small jigs or minnows under a bobber.  Try throwing the rig a few feet past the snags and reeling in toward them.  This works really well if the wind is blowing into the snags.  Bluegill fishing is good for medium sized fish on night crawlers or angleworms.  Some larger bluegills are being caught while jig fishing for crappie.  Largemouth fishing is fair using artificial lures working the shoreline.

Volga Lake (Fayette):  Largemouth bass fishing is fair throughout the day.  Use slower-moving artificial lures worked along structure.  Bluegill fishing is fair using wax worms or night crawlers on a very small hook under a bobber near structure.  Bluegills have grown well this summer and now many are 6 to 7 inches. Crappies (7 to 8.5-inch) are being caught while slowly drifting or trolling in deeper, open water using a slip bobber.

Northeast Iowa Trout Streams:  Streams are in excellent condition, fishing pressure is moderate while fishing continues to be outstanding, and fall colors are adding a splash of colors to northeast Iowa.  Stream stockings are no longer announced, but do not let this bog you down.  There are plenty of fish out there and the leaves are really beginning to put on a show.  With the continued warm weather, summer hatches have persisted through this fall.  Backbone State Park is now open and anglers can drive in at any gate to fish Richmond Springs.

Anglers are reminded to help the DNR monitor the health of our streams and rivers by reporting fish kills immediately by calling 515-281-8694.  This hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Only with your help can we continue to protect and enhance the aquatic communities in our public waters.

For information on fishing in northeast Iowa, call the regional office in Manchester at 563-927-3276.


Mississippi River Pools 16 to 20: In Pool 16, river stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 4.74 feet with water temperature around 64 degrees.  Channel catfish are being caught on shad and dip baits.  Crappies are being caught in the Andalusia Island complex fishing brush piles with minnows and tube jigs.  Walleye fishing has been slow but some fish are being caught on the wing dams around Credit Island.  A few white bass are being caught in Sylvan Slough.  In Pool 17, river stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 3.70 feet with water temperature around 62 degrees.  Channel catfish are being caught on dip baits and night crawlers.  Crappies are being caught on jigs and minnows fishing the brush piles in Big Timber.  Some crappies are also being caught in the Muscatine Harbor.  Walleye fishing has been slow.  White bass fishing has been slow. 

In Pool 18, river stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 4.09 feet.  Channel catfish are being caught fishing shad along the main channel.  Crappies are being caught in Huron Island fishing the brush piles with minnows and tube jigs.  In Pool 19, river stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 1.95 feet. Channel catfish are being caught on shad and night crawlers.  Some crappies are being caught in the backwaters on minnows. In Pool 20, river stage at Lock and Dam 19 is 3.34 feet.  Tailwater stages are changing daily due to dam releases.  Channel catfish are being caught on shad and night crawlers.             

Lake Darling (Washington): Most of the fish have moved to deeper water.  There are a few flatheads working the shallow water looking for something to eat. 

Lake Belva Deer (Keokuk): Bluegills are still on the edges of the deeper weed beds.  Wax worms on small jigs are working the best.     

Lake Geode (Henry): Bluegills and redears are coming in shallow during the warmer parts of the day.   

Lake Rathbun (Appanoose): The lake is about 14 feet above normal pool.  Three boat ramps remain open; Bridgeview, Honey Creek, and Buck Creek marina high water ramp. Crappies have been hitting on small jigs and minnows fished along the flooded shorelines.  Some crappies are also being caught on crankbaits trolled along rocky drop-offs and underwater islands. 

Lake Sugema (Van Buren): Crappies have been hitting on small jigs and minnows.  Try different depths until you find fish.  Bluegills have been hitting on small jigs fished along structure.  Look for stumps or other woody structure to hold fish. 

Lake Wapello (Davis): The lake has been drained for renovation.

Lake Miami (Monroe): Crappies have been hitting on small jigs and minnows fished or drifted along the deeper water.  Also try areas in the flooded timber.  Largemouth bass have been hitting on spinner baits and other artificial lures.  Look for areas with downed trees or other types of structure

Lake Macbride (Johnson): Fishing has been steady. Crappies can be found in and around some of the brush piles.  Minnows have been working best but small jigs are producing as well.  A few walleyes, channel catfish, and largemouth bass are also being picked up.  Remember, any size motor may be used at no wake speed at this time of the year.     
Union Grove (Tama): Bluegill fishing around shallow structure has been good.  A few crappies can be found on the shallow brush, but boat anglers are also picking crappies up by drifting the main lake.

Skunk River (Washington and Henry): The river level is staying steady.  Fishing is kind of spotty with a few nice flatheads being caught.

Iowa River (Johnson): Walleyes and white bass can be found below many of the dams.  Jig and plastics or jig and minnows are the preferred presentations.

Wapsipinicon River (Linn): Channel catfish are being picked up on live/cut bait.  Walleyes can also be picked up on jigs or crankbaits. 

Cedar River (Linn): A few walleyes are being picked up below the dams on twisters and jig/minnows.  Some crappies are also being picked off in the backwater areas on bobber rigs or jigs with minnows.   

For more information on fishing in southeast Iowa, call the regional office in Brighton at 319-694-2430.


Fogle Lake (Ringgold):  A few crappies, bluegills, and big bullheads are biting near shore in the evenings.

Lake of Three Fires (Taylor):  Channel catfish can be caught using cut baits or night crawlers.  Several nice bluegills have been caught on night crawlers near shore or the fish mounds.  Water clarity is at least 4 feet.

Icaria (Adams):  Walleye fishing is good near the fish mounds.  The bullheads and bluegills are biting well on night crawlers.

Twelve Mile Lake (Union): Several mid-sized largemouth bass are being caught from the flooded timber.  The big bullheads are biting well on night crawlers anywhere in the lake.  Some crappies and several big bluegills are biting well on night crawlers near rock structure.

Contact Gary Sobotka at (641) 464-3108 for information on the above area lakes.

Don Williams (Boone): A few crappies and bluegills are being caught on jigs tipped with minnows. 

Big Creek (Polk): Crappie and bluegill fishing is still reported as slow with a few fish being caught fishing a night crawler or minnow under a slip bobber.  There are still reports of decent catches of 10 to 12-inch white bass.  Walleyes have also been biting mostly after dark, but anglers having a hard time catching fish over 15 inches.  Catfish can still be caught on chicken liver, crawler, or stink bait.

Red Rock (Marion):  White bass bite has slowed.

Rock Creek (Jasper): Crappie fishing is reported good using small jigs tipped with wax worms.

Saylorville Lake (Polk):  White bass fishing is still fair out in the main lake trolling or jigging.  Good numbers of catfish are being caught using cut bait and fishing on flats in around 15 feet of water.

Hickory Grove (Story):  Crappie fishing is starting to pick up with the cooler water temperature.  Fish are being caught over submerged brush piles using small crappie jigs or a minnow under a slip bobber.  A mixed catch of white and black crappies can be expected with a few of the whites approaching 11 inches. 

Lake Ahquabi and Hooper (Warren):  Bass are hitting good on spinner baits fished near shore tight to wood and vegetation.  Sizes range from 13 to 16 inches with a few over 18 inches.  Bluegill and crappie bite is still slow, but some good sized crappies and bluegills are being caught drifting a small piece of night crawler, minnow or panfish jig in the center of the lake under a slip bobber in 5 to 6 feet of water. 

Skunk River (Story):  Smallmouth fishing is still good with some nice fish up to 17 inches being caught using crawfish imitations or small inline spinners.  Recent rains have bumped the river up a little so the fish may be less concentrated. 
Contact Ben Dodd at (515) 432-2823, Ext.108, for information on the above area lakes

Viking Lake (Montgomery): Anglers are catching 16 to 19-inch channel catfish on stink baits or chicken liver.

Anderson Area (Montgomery): Bluegill fishing is fair along dam casting worms and bobber.

Lake Manawa (Pottawattamie):  Catfish are fair to good using crawdads and shrimp. Crappies are being caught on north east part of lake around boat docks.  Fishing for wipers is good on east side of lake. Walleyes are picking up using large minnows.

Willow Lake (Harrison): Channel catfish has been fair using liver. 

Meadow Lake (Adair): Meadow is open to fishing, however the lake has been lowered 8 feet and the boat ramp is not usable. Habitat improvements are scheduled for this fall and winter.

Orient (Adair): Catfish is fair using liver.

Greenfield (Adair):  Bluegills are fair drifting small jigs and around jetties. A few catfish are being caught on liver. 

Mormon Trail (Adair): Fishing for channel catfish has been fair in the evenings using liver and cut bait. A few crappies are being caught around the jetties using minnows and bobber.

Lake Anita (Cass): Crappie fishing is good for 8 to 9-inch fish drifting a small white jig or anchored near structure. Schools of crappie have scattered around the lake and when anglers find the schools, they are able to catch quite a few. Bluegill fishing is fair around cedar trees using worms. 

Arrowhead Lake (Pottawattamie): Channel catfish is fair using liver.

Prairie Rose Lake (Shelby): Channel catfish is fair using liver and stink bait.

Middle Raccoon (Guthrie): A few bluegills and crappies are being caught below the Lennon Mills Dam. Conditions are favorable for fishing the catch and release stretch for smallmouth bass from Lennon Mills Dam to Redfield.
Contact Bryan Hayes at (712) 769-2587 for information on the above area lakes.
For more information on general fishing in southwest Iowa, call the regional office in Lewis at 712-769-2587.

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Thanks for the report.Later this month,I’ll be heading back up for another 4 day trout outing.Can’t wait to see those fall colors on those streams.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/09 at 03:55 PM

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