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Iowa fishing report

November 20, 2008 at 04:06 PM

Mississippi River Pools 9 to 15:  The Mississippi River is still very low and forecast to remain stable or drop slightly over the next week. Water levels on Thursday were: 13.1 feet at Lynxville, 5.0 feet at Guttenberg, 7.84 feet at Dubuque, 5.17 feet at Bellevue, and 9.58 feet at Camanche.  Water temperature is around 40 degrees.  Cold water temperature is beginning to concentrate fish in over wintering areas. 
There may be a short window before ice up when anglers can get their boats into popular ice fishing spots to catch crappie and bluegill in Pools 9 through 15.  Try using wax worms on ice fishing jigs under a bobber and fish slowly.  Crappies are also hitting minnows on a plain hook or jig fished under bobbers.  Concentrate in the backwaters, side channels and along the marinas.  In the side channels or backwater areas, fish around snags and other woody structure.  Fish off the docks in the marinas for panfish.  Hot spots have been Bagley Bottoms and near Wyalusing State Park on the Wisconsin side (Pool 10), Swift Slough near Guttenberg and Joyce Lake near Harpers Ferry (Pool 11), 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. 
Walleye and sauger fishing is fair to good in the tailwaters near Lock and Dams 9 (Lynxville), 10 (Guttenberg), 11 (Dubuque), 12 (Bellevue) and 13 (Clinton).  Jigs or three-way rigs with minnows have been producing.  A few are also catching walleye off the wing dams in Pools 12 to 15. 
A few white bass are being caught in the tailwaters of Lock and Dams 11 to 13. 
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 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-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. 
Brinker Lake (Black Hawk):  Crappie fishing is good to excellent 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 to 9 feet of water during daylight hours and use smaller bait presentations.  In the evening hours, try fishing closer to shore in the shallows.
Lake Hendricks (Howard):  The aerator was turned on this week and a nice skim of ice is forming. 
Lake Meyer (Winneshiek):  Ice is forming around the edges in the evening but melts during the day.
Volga Lake (Fayette): Ice is on the way. 
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 5.19 feet and water temperature is 40 degrees.  Walleye and sauger fishing in the tailwater and in Sylvan Slough has been slow.  Some crappies are still being caught on minnows in Sunset Marina and in the Andalusia Island complex in areas with deeper water and brush piles.  In Pool 17, river stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 4.18 feet and water temperature is 40 degrees.  Walleye and sauger fishing is picking up at the dam.  Anglers have been jigging with minnows and some fish are being caught on crankbaits.  Crappie fishing has slowed down but some fish are still being caught in the backwaters on minnows.  Places to try are Eagle Fill, Cleveland Slough, and Big Timber.  Look for crappies in deeper water along brush piles. 
In Pool 18, river stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 5.09 feet and water temperature is 40 degrees.  Walleye and sauger fishing below the dam is starting to pick up.  Anglers are using jigs and minnows.  Some crappies are still being caught in Gun Slough (Huron Island) on minnows. In Pool 19, river stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 2.62 feet and water temperature is around 41 degrees.  Tailwater fishing for walleyes and saugers has been slow.  Crappie fishing in the backwaters has been slow. In Pool 20, river stage at Lock and Dam 19 is 4.51 feet.  No fishing report.   
Lake Darling (Washington): The lake is in the process of being drained and the water level had dropped about six feet.
Lake Rathbun (Appanoose): The lake is about 8 feet above normal pool.  Most ramps have been reopened except for 2 ramps around Island View.  Walleye fishing has been slow.  Try areas with rocky points and nearby drop-offs.   
Lake Sugema (Van Buren): Crappies have been hitting on small jigs tipped with a minnow.  Some walleyes have started hitting on crankbaits and jigs.  Try areas of the lake with rocky shorelines.     
Lake Wapello (Davis): The lake has been completely drained.
Lake Miami (Monroe): Fishing has slowed.  Try using night crawlers for channel catfish. 
Lake Macbride (Johnson): The lake is now about 8 feet down and will be down at this level throughout the fall/winter for road/lake work.  BOAT RAMPS ARE NOT ACCESSIBLE. 
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 weather has hampered angler enthusiasm.  Angles are anticipating safe ice conditions to begin winter activities.
Contact Gary Sobotka at (641) 464-3108 for information on the above area lakes.

Des Moines River (Boone, Polk, and Marion):  A few walleyes are still being caught 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 twister tail.  Some large crappies have been caught below the Red Rock spillway.  Fishing has not been fast, but using a slow presentation at the edge of the current has produced a few fish. 
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 in Redfield and Adel.
DMACC Pond (Ankeny):  Approximately 1,400 trout were stocked on Nov. 7 and there are still anglers catching their limits or coming close.  Baits such as night crawlers, minnows, corn, cheese, or small flashy spinners fished close to the bottom work best.
South Banner (Warren): The second trout stocking will take place on Nov. 24.
Contact Ben Dodd at (515) 432-2823, Ext.108, for information on the above area lakes.

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

Dickinson County Lakes Update: Very limited fishing activity. No safe ice reported anywhere as area lakes are beginning the annual freeze up.  The north end of East Okoboji Lake is skimming over during the overnight.  West Okoboji Lake is cooling but is only at 46 degrees.  Spirit Lake is has cooled considerably and is at 34 degrees.  A few more cold nights and it should skim over. Many of the smaller bodies of water are skimming during the night.  Some have frozen over.
Black Hawk Lake (Sac):  Some of Black Hawk has skim ice with the predicted low temperature 9 degrees, that tomorrow morning it will have more. No fishing report.
Clear Lake (Cerro Gordo): With the recent cold spell fishing has been slow. Some ice is forming on the west end of the lake.
For more information on fishing in northwest Iowa, call the regional office in Spirit Lake at 712-336-1840.

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