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Iowa fishing report 11-19-09

November 19, 2009 at 06:28 PM

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.


Crawford Creek Impoundment

Anglers have been catching a few medium-size bluegils and crappies.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

Walleye, catfish and white bass fishing have been fair this week.  Remember that Storm Lake has a 17-22 inch slot length limit.  All walleye in that range must be immediately released.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Try using a minnow or chub below a slip bobber.  White Bass - Fair: Anglers are having some luck casting twisters; chartreuse has been a good color.  Walleye - Fair: They are still catching fish using a minnow or chub under a slip bobber and fishing in the marina, but anglers are also catching walleye fishing rocky points.  People are also having luck using twisters (chartreuse) and also floating crank baits, like traditional Rapalas; black and silver has been a good color.  Walleye seem to be really shallow.  Make sure to immediately return slot length (17 to 22 inch) fish to the water.

Swan Lake

The water has cleared at Swan Lake and anglers are catching medium size crappie and bluegill.  Crappie - Good: Anglers have been doing well fishing for crappie, but they are fairly small (6 to 7 inches).

Fishing has been generally fair this week.  Weekend forecasts say it will be mostly sunny and in the low 50s; should be a good time to give your local lake or river a try.  For more information about these lakes and rivers call Don Herrig (712-657-2638) at the Black Hawk District Office in Lake View.


Volga Lake

Bluegill - Slow: A few small ones are biting along the dam.

Lake Hendricks

No Report.

Lake Meyer

No report.

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)

Walleye - Good: Anglers have been catching nice walleyes in the deeper holes using jigs tipped with minnows.

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)

Walleye - Good: Try concentrating on those deeper, slow moving holes.  Use a minnow-tipped jig for best results.

Turkey River (below Clermont)

Walleye - Good: Look for deeper holes with slower moving water.  Use a slow presentation.

Cedar River (above Nashua)

No report.

Decorah District Streams

Area trout streams are in excellent condition.  The water is extremely clear so sneaking up on those wiley fish is key.  Try angling in the late afternoon when insects are more likely to hatch.  Even though stocking has finished for the year, there are plenty of fish in the streams.

The Upper Iowa, Cedar and Turkey rivers are looking very good.  Area lakes are ready and waiting for anglers to dunk their lines in.  For information on stream conditions, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324,

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)

Water level is good and clarity is high.  Fishing is starting to pick up for walleyes and smallmouth.  Walleyes up to 8 ½  pounds have been reported.  Smallmouth Bass - Good: Try jig tipped with minnow in deep water areas.  Walleye - Good: Try jig tipped with minnow in deep water areas.

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)

Water level is still falling and fishing is picking up for walleyes and smallmouth bass.  Walleye - Good: Jig with a minnow seems to be working the best.  Try the deep over wintering holes.

Wapsi River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)

The river is still falling to more normal levels and clarity is good.

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)

Water level is falling still and the clarity is good.  Try fishing the deep overwintering holes. 

Maquoketa River (below Monticello)

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

NE Iowa interior rivers are still falling from recent rainfall events and fishing has been real spotty on the rivers. Reports are that anglers are beginning to pick up a few more fish now that the rivers are becoming more stable. Due to such unstable fall weather conditions, crappie fishing has only been fair to poor for most of our district lakes. For more information contact the NE Iowa District Office at (563) 927-3276.


Mississippi River Pool 9

River level at Lansing is 8.0 and falling. Water temp is 44 degrees.  Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are starting to hit on waxworms in the backwaters.  Walleye - Good:  A few nice walleye being caught in Minnesota slough.

Mississippi River Pool 10

River levels at Lynxville are 14.3 and falling.  Water temp is 44 degrees.  Bluegill - Good: Nice bluegills being caught near the Sny Magill area using small worms and wax worms.  Crappie - Fair: A few crappies still being caught in Joyce Lake near the tree piles.  Sauger - Good: More limits being caught but a lot of smaller fish being released.  Walleye - Good: A few anglers reporting nice catches of walleyes on minnows

Mississippi River Pool 11

River level at Guttenberg is 5.8 and falling.  Water temp is 44 degrees.  Bluegill - Good: Anglers still catching bluegill near the marina and in Zollicoffer slough.  Crappie - Fair: A few crappie being caught in Swift and Dead slough.  Sauger - Good: A few more limits being caught with some nicer sized saugers reported recently.  Walleye - Fair: Occasional nice walleyes being caught but most of the action is for sauger.

Water levels continue to fall but will begin to stabilize over the next week. River levels at Guttenberg are 5.8, Lynxville 14.3 and Lansing 8.0.  Water temperature is 44 degrees.

Mississippi River Pool 16

Pool 16: Tailwater stage is 7.10 ft and forecasted to slowly fall over the weekend.  White Bass - Slow: A few white bass are being caught in Sylvan slough, on the wingdams, and in Sunset Marina.  Bluegill - Slow: Bluegill fishing in the backwaters has been slow.  Crappie - Slow: Crappie fishing in the backwaters has been slow.  Sauger - Slow: A few saugers are being caught in Sylvan Slough up by the dams on jigs and minnows. Some fish are also being caught pulling crankbaits on three-ways.  Walleye - Slow: A few walleyes are being picked up in Sylvan Slough up by the dams on jigs and minnows. A few fish are also being caught pulling crankbaits on three-ways.

Mississippi River Pool 17

Pool 17: Tailwater stage is 5.71 feet and forecasted to fall over the weekend.  Crappie - Fair: Some crappies are being caught in Big Timber on jigs/minnows or floating minnows under a bobber around brush piles.  Sauger - Slow: Sauger fishing in the tailwaters has been slow.  Walleye - Slow: Walleye fishing in the tailwaters and on the wingdams has been slow.

Mississippi River Pool 18

Pool 18: Tailwater stage is 8.11 feet and forecasted to fall over the weekend.  Crappie - Fair: Crappies are being picked up floating minnows under a bobber in the backwaters around brush piles.  Sauger - Fair: Some saugers are starting to be picked up at the dam. Fish are being caught on jigs/minnows or pulling crankbaits on three-way rigs.  Walleye - Fair: Some walleyes are being picked up pulling three-way rigs with a crankbait or on jigs/minnows on the wingdams. Some walleyes are also being caught in the tailwaters while fishing for saugers.

Mississippi River Pool 19

Pool 19: Tailwater stage is 5.38 eeft and forecasted to fall over the weekend.  Crappie - Fair: Crappies are being caught in the backwaters floating minnows under a bobber.  Sauger - Slow: Sauger fishing has been slow in the tailwaters.  Walleye - Slow: Walleye fishing has been slow.

Mississippi River Pools 16-20: Rivers levels are forecasted to slowly fall over the weekend. Main channel water temperature is around 45-46 degrees. Fishing has been slow throughout the pools. For more information on fishing pools 16-20 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.


Pollmiller Park Lake

The great November weather led a lot of people out on the lake.  There were not tremendous catches, yet some fish were caught.  Channel Catfish - No Report: No angling pressure at this juncture.  Bluegill - Fair: Jigheads tipped with a small chunk of nightcrawler/waxworm placed in submerged structure may help you catch fish.  Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use crank baits and deep water lures near structure to produce some nice fish.  Crappie - Slow: Very few crappies are being caught.

Lake of the Hills

Overall, fishing is slow.  Anglers are still catching rainbow trout, but in smaller numbers.  Rainbow Trout - Slow: Use worms, dough bait, or a small jig tipped w/ a waxworm under a bobber.  Fish are continually moving so be patient.  The Gate 6 area produced a 7 lb 14 oz. brood fish on Nov. 8.

Lake Macbride

There will be another riprap project on the lake this winter. The outlet valve was opened Tuesday, Nov. 17. As of today (19th) the lake is down 6 inches. The lake will be lowered 8-10 feet to allow for equipment access to shorelines and islands. This level is hoped to be achieved in 2-3 weeks.  Crappie - Slow: A few fish are being picked off from deeper brush with small jigs or minnows.

Pleasant Creek Lake

Crappie - Slow: Some suspended fish are being caught on jigs or minnows.  Walleye - Slow: A few anglers are picking up the occasional walleye.

Coralville Reservoir

Fishing has been essentially non-existent due to extremely high water.  As of 11/19, the lake level is 702’ and is projected to fall less than a half a foot per day.

Wapsi River (Troy Mills to Oxford Junction)

Walleye - Fair: Some nice sized fish are being caught in deeper wintering holes. Jigs or live bait have been producing best.

With the weather and water cooling, fishing activity has been low, resulting in lack of available reports. For more information contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.


Big Creek Lake

Crappie - Slow: Some crappies are being caught by drifting minnows or small pink and white jigs in the main lake over the roadbeds.  They are being caught suspended from 5 to 15 feet deep.

Hickory Grove Lake

The panfish populations are looking good.  Good numbers of crappies are present with fish up to 11 inches.  Bluegills are averaging 8 to 9 inches.  This should make for a good ice fishing season.

Saylorville Reservoir

White Bass - Good: Rains have caused water to start going over the Big Creek spillway again.  Anglers are catching a few white bass here.  Crappie - Good: Crappie are being caught around Marina boat docs on small jigs and minnows.  Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) - Good: Anglers fishing for white bass below the Big Creek spillway are also hooking in to a few good sized wipers.

Lake Petoka

Approximately 1,500 trout will be stocked on Tuesday, Nov. 24.

Banner Lake (south)

Rainbow Trout - Good: 1,500 rainbow trout were stocked Thursday, October 29.  They can be caught using a variety of methods including crawlers, minnows, and artificial scented baits under a bobber or just off the bottom, or small inline spinners.

A lack of fishing activity over the past week has led to few fishing reports.  More reports will be added as the ice fishing season begins in December.  Contact Ben Dodd or Andy Otting at (515) 432-2823 for information on the above area lakes and rivers.

Lake Manawa

Anglers have been catching crappies on the warmer days in the canals adjacent to the lake on small minnows.  A few walleyes and wipers have been caught from near the inlet to Mosquito Creek.  Crappie - Fair: Fish with minnows in the canal areas on warmer days this fall.  Walleye - No Report: A few walleyes have been caught near the inlet from Mosquito Creek.  Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) - No Report: Try the North shore area near the inlet to Mosquito Creek for wiper in the fall.

Middle Raccoon River (above Van Meter)

We have received no information regarding fishing on this water body this week.  Smallmouth Bass - No Report: Flows have dropped and smallmouth bass are headed to overwintering areas that contain deeper water.  Look for fish below the low head dams.  Walleye - No Report: Walleyes will soon be concentrated in over wintering holes below the low head dams.  Try slow fishing a jig and minnow combination.

Fall has arrived in Southwest Iowa and this can be a great time to fish as water temperatures drop. Fewer people are fishing which makes it harder to gather fishing report information. My advice is to fish when the weather permits in areas you have had success in the past. If you are looking for a spot don’t hesitate to contact DNR Fisheries. For more information contact Bryan Hayes or Mark Boucher at the Cold Springs District Office (712)769-2587.

Lake Icaria

Water temps are in the upper 40s.  Water quality is good.

Green Valley Lake

The lake is down 12 feet until completion of a sediment removal project planned for this winter.  The lake has been restocked and will be allowed to refill in spring 2010.  Campground upgrades are nearing completion.

Summitt Lake

Lowering the lake’s water level has begun.  Shoreline protection will be added this winter.  The lake will be refilled and restocked in the spring.

Three Mile Lake

Water temps are in the upper 40s.  Clarity is good.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake

Water temps are in the upper 40s.

Water temps have fallen into the 40s.  Water quality remains good or very good at most lakes.  Very few anglers are fishing but several fish are being caught.  Fish are moving wintering areas.

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