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Iowa fishing report

November 14, 2008 at 10:36 AM


Spirit Lake and Minnewashta (Dickinson): Yellow perch fishing has been good at both lakes using small jigs over the weed beds and rock reefs.  Walleyes are being caught at the North Grade on a jig and minnow, twistertail or crankbait.

East Okoboji Lake (Dickinson): Walleyes are being caught fishing near the Hwy. 9/71 Bridge and the Upper Gar Bridge using a jig and minnow.

Black Hawk Lake (Sac):  Fishing is good for channel catfish under the inlet bridge on a variety of baits.  Best time is when wind is blowing from the south.  Fishing is fair for small bluegill and crappie off the west stone pier using small jigs tipped with wax worms.

Clear Lake (Cerro Gordo): Anglers are catching yellow bass and white bass around the McIntosh Woods sandbar and in front of the Regular Baptist Camp.  Waders and boat anglers are catching yellow bass and white bass in shallow water using night crawlers, minnows, and cut bait.  The Ventura Grade is producing yellow bass, white bass, and an occasional walleye using minnows and jigs.
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:  The Mississippi River is still very low going into the early winter and it is easy to back trailers into the blow holes created at the end of the boat ramp. Try putting trailers in the minimum amount of water needed to launch your boat.

Walleye and sauger fishing is good in the tailwaters near Lock and Dams 10 (Guttenberg), 11 (Dubuque), 12 (Bellevue) and 13 (Clinton).  Jigs or three-way rigs with minnows have been producing. 
Sauger catch rate and size have been increasing over the past week.  A few quality-sized walleye are also being reported.  While the tailwater fishing at Lynxville has been slower, more anglers are catching walleye off of the wing dams and sloughs near Harpers Ferry (Pool 10) and wing dam fishing has improved in other pools as well.

Smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing is good to excellent casting crank baits off of points and breaks in Pools 9 through 11.

Bluegill fishing is very good in the backwaters and side channels in Pools 12-15.  Fish a plain hook or jig tipped with a minnow under a bobber around snags.  Hot spots have been Frentress and Tippy
Lakes (Pool 12), Crooked Slough, Lanesville Slough, Brown’s Lake, South Sabula Lake and Spring Lake (in Pool 13), or Rock Creek area in Pool 14.

Crappie fishing is good to excellent in Pools 9 through 15 in the brush piles in backwater areas like Minnesota Slough near New Albin (Pool 9), Joyce Lake near Harpers Ferry (Pool 10), Frentress and
Tippy Lakes (Pool 12), Crooked Slough, Lanesville Slough, Brown’s Lake, South Sabula Lake and Spring Lake (in Pool 13), and Rock Creek area (Pool 14).  Try using small jigs or minnows on a bare
hook for crappies or tie your boat up to the snag and vertically jig a small jig and minnow.  Crappie fishing has begun to pick up near Guttenberg in Swift Slough and Cassville Slough (Pool 10).

Cedar River (Mitchell, Floyd and Chickasaw):  A few smallmouth bass are being caught on jigs and crank-baits.  Walleye fishing is slowing up a bit.  Try fishing in the deeper pools using jigs tipped with long piece of night crawler or minnow.

Cedar River (Bremer, Black Hawk), Maquoketa River (Delaware, Jones), Shell Rock River (Butler), and Wapsipinicon River (Buchanan, Black Hawk):  Fishing is currently good for smallmouth bass and walleye.  Now is a great time to fish as water levels are favorable in all area rivers, water temperatures are 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 temperatures cool use more live bait presentations, such as a jig-and-minnows, and slow-down retrieval speeds.  Crappies are also biting well in the backwater areas on the Cedar River.

Maquoketa River (Delaware):  Smallmouth bass and walleye fishing are fair to good below the Lake Delhi dam.

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

Upper Iowa River (Winneshiek and Allamakee):  Smallmouth and walleye fishing is slow.  Fish are moving into overwintering areas so can be caught in the deeper pools with a slow moving presentation.

Brinker Lake (Black Hawk):  Crappie fishing is good around submerged trees in 6-9 feet of water.  Use a minnow under a bobber or small artificial bait presentations.

Casey Lake (Tama):  Fishing is good for panfish.  Bluegill and crappies are biting on and around structure in 6-9 foot of water during daylight hours.  Use smaller bait presentations for these panfish species.  In the evening hours, try fishing closer to shore in the shallows.

Lake Hendricks (Howard):  A few folks are out there but angling is slow.

Lake Meyer (Winneshiek):  Fishing has slowed up and not many folks are out fishing.

Volga Lake (Fayette):  The fish are many but the anglers are few.  Reports of catching nice crappies are coming in.  Use a brightly colored jig tipped with a minnow slowly trolled over structure.
Trout fishing continues to be outstanding.  The mayflies and midges are hatching mid to late afternoon so a nice evening outing may be best.  Weekly plants have ended, but there are plenty of fish out there.
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 5.15 feet.  Water temperature is 46 degrees.  Walleye and sauger fishing in the tail waters has been slow.  A few small fish are being caught by the Arsenal Dam in Sylvan Slough.  Crappies are being caught in Sunset Marina and in the backwaters on minnows.  In Pool 17, river stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 4.04 feet.  Water temperature is 44 degrees.  Walleye and sauger fishing has been slow in the tail waters.  A few walleyes are being caught around GPC on jigs and minnows.  Crappie fishing has been good in the backwaters on jigs and minnows.  Areas to try are Eagle Fill, Cleveland Slough, Big Timber, and the Muscatine Harbor.

In Pool 18, river stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 4.79 feet and water temperature is 45 degrees.  A few walleyes and saugers are being caught in the tail waters on jigs and minnows.  Crappies are being caught in the backwaters on minnows fished around brush piles. In Pool 19, river stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 2.38 feet and water temperature is 46 degrees.  A few walleyes and saugers are being caught on jigs and minnows in the tail waters. In Pool 20, river stage at Lock and Dam 19 is 3.96 feet and water temperature is 46 degrees.  No fishing report.

Lake Darling (Washington): Draining the lake started on Nov. 10.  As of Nov. 13, the water level had dropped about three feet.

Lake of the Hills (Scott): The winter trout stocking in Lake of the Hills, (West Lake Park) began with the first release of 1,800 rainbow trout last weekend.  Anglers were catching nice sized fish soon after they were stocked.  Many anglers were leaving with their limits within an hour of the fish being stocked.

Lake Rathbun (Appanoose): The lake is about 9 feet above normal pool.  Most ramps are reopened except for two ramps around Island View.  Walleye fishing has been slow.  Try areas with rocky points close to drop-offs.

Lake Sugema (Van Buren): Crappies have been hitting on small jigs tipped with a minnow.  Try different depths until you find fish.  Walleyes have been biting on crankbaits and jigs. Largemouth bass have been hitting on spinner baits and soft plastic baits.

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

Lake Miami (Monroe): Fishing has slowed.  Try using liver or night crawlers for channel catfish.

Lake Macbride (Johnson): The lake is about 8 feet down and will be down at this level throughout the fall/winter for road/lake work.  BOAT RAMPS ARE NOT ACCESSIBLE.

Coralville Reservoir (Johnson): Some white bass are being caught in the lower half of the lake.  Keep moving in search of schools.  A bonus walleye may also be caught.  Both can be caught on small shad colored crankbaits or white jigs.

Union Grove Lake (Tama): Anglers fishing from boats are picking up some crappies by drifting the main lake basin.  Drift small jigs or minnows 3 to 6 feet down.

Hannen Lake (Benton): Some bluegills are being caught in deeper water around brush piles.  Small jigs tipped with worms or wax worm are working best.  A few channel catfish are still being caught on a variety of baits.
For more information on fishing in southeast Iowa, call the regional office in Brighton at 319-694-2430.


Very little fishing activity is occurring.  Recent cold rainy weather has hampered angler enthusiasm.  Anglers are anticipating safe ice conditions to begin winter activities.
Contact Gary Sobotka at (641) 464-3108 for information on the above area lakes.

Big Creek (Polk): Crappie fishing is fair drifting or trolling with tube jigs and minnows.  Fish have moved to deeper water and can be found with electronics suspended anywhere from 5 to 30 feet.  Most fish are 8 to 10 inches.

Des Moines River (Boone and Polk):  There are reports of decent walleye fishing at Waterworks Dam near Boone, and Center and Scott Street dams in Des Moines.  Fish are being caught on jig and minnow or jig with twistertail.

Raccoon Rivers (Dallas):  Walleye fishing has been good.  Most fish are being caught using a jig head and minnow, or soft plastic imitating a minnow.  Better reports are coming from the Middle and North Raccoon rivers.

DMACC Pond (Ankeny):  Approximately 1,400 trout were stocked on Nov. 7.  Baits such as night crawlers, corn, cheese, or small flashy spinners work best.
Contact Ben Dodd at (515) 432-2823, Ext.108, for information on the above area lakes

Lake Manawa (Pottawattamie):  Angles are catching a few crappies on minnows fished under a bobber.

Saganosh and Big Lake (Pottawattamie): These urban trout fisheries have been stocked with catchable size rainbow trout. A minnow fished 1 to 2 feet under a small bobber is producing the best catches. Most tackle used for crappie, tube jigs, small spinners, twister tails, will work for trout.

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.

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