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Iowa fishing report 11-25-09

November 25, 2009 at 02:59 PM


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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 bluegill and crappie.

Bacon Creek Lake
The DNR stocked 1,666, 8 to 10-inch rainbow trout were stocked in Bacon Creek on Nov. 17, and they have been biting well.  Rainbow Trout - Good: The fish have probably spread out across the lake, but were stocked on the west side.  Anglers were having good luck using anything flashy, like a spinner or a spoon, but, after a couple of weeks in the lake, a wax worms or piece of crawler may also be effective.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Walleye fishing has been very good this week and anglers have been doing well for various other species.  Anglers have been hitting Casino Marina hard, but it’s been fairly good around the lake.  Remember that Storm Lake has a 17 to 22-inch slot length limit.  All walleye in that range must be immediately released.  White Bass - Fair: Anglers are having some luck casting twisters; chartreuse has been a good color.  Crappie - Fair: Anglers are catching a few nice crappies, mostly in the marina.  Yellow Perch - Fair: Anglers are catching a few nice perch, mostly in the marina.  Walleye - Good: 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 crankbaits, 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 and anglers are catching medium sized crappie and bluegill.  Crappie - Good: Anglers have been doing well fishing for6 to 7-inch crappie.

Weather is terrible mid-week, should improve for the weekend.  Fishing has been generally fair this week.  For more information about these lakes and rivers call Don Herrig (712-657-2638) at the Black Hawk District Office in Lake View.

Clear Lake
Yellow bass are still biting and the best fishing has been on the warmer days.  Walleye - Slow:  Muskellunge - Slow:  Yellow Bass - Fair:

Silver Lake (Worth)
Yellow perch have been biting.

Bluebill Lake
The DNR will stock 1,500 trout on Nov. 25.

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

Big Spirit Lake
Yellow perch fishing is still excellent.  Shore fishing for walleyes is a popular activity this time of year.  Water temperature has been stable and hovering between 40 and 45 degrees.  Smallmouth Bass - Good:  Yellow Perch - Excellent: Good numbers of perch are still being harvested.  Fish in deeper water in the main basin.  Use a small jig and piece of worm or larvae. Walleye - Good: Wader fishing has been good using a jig and minnow or twister tail in the evenings.  Try Buffalo Run, the Old Footbridge, or Marble Beach.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Walleye - Good: Walleyes have been biting near Trapper’s Bay in the evenings.

West Okoboji Lake
Water temperature has dropped into the upper 40s.  Yellow Perch - Fair: Smith’s Bay has produced some perch with small jigs tipped with live bait.  Walleye - Good: Fish can be caught from shore in the Triboji, Pikes Point, and Gull Point areas in the evening.  Use a twister tail or jig and minnow.  You might also try a crankbait.

Five Island Lake
Walleye - Good: Walleye fishing from shore has been good in the evenings.  Use a jig and twister tail.  Try fishing near the railroad trestle.

Lost Island Lake
Walleye - Good: Try a twister tail at the bridge or the beach in the evening

Big Sioux River
Walleye - Good: Fish deeper holes with a jig and minnow or twister tail.

West Fork Des Moines (state line to Emmetsburg)
Good walleye fishing has been reported in the river using a jig and night crawler or minnow.  Walleye - Good:

Weather is expected to change this week.  Cooler temperatures and rain/snow will usher in the end of our extended fall weather.  Water temperatures that have held nearly steady since mid October will undoubtedly drop as a result.

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

Lake Hendricks
Bluegill - Slow: Try using a small piece of worm under a bobber near some kind of structure.  Largemouth Bass - Slow:

Lake Meyer
Bluegill - Slow: Try fishing near structure. Largemouth Bass - Slow: With cooler water temperature, fish are moving slower.  Try using a slower presentation.

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
Water levels are slowly dropping but the water is clear.  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 those deeper, slow moving holes.  Use a minnow tipped jig for best results.

Turkey River (below Clermont)
Water conditions are favorable for angling.  Walleye - Good: Look for deeper holes with slower moving water.  Use a slow presentation.

Cedar River (above Nashua)
Water levels are stabilizing and conditions are excellent for angling.  Smallmouth Bass - Slow: Anglers report catching a few smallies while walleye fishing.  Walleye - Fair: Find those deeper holes and try using a jig tipped with a minnow.

Decorah District Streams
Area trout streams are in excellent condition.  The water is extremely clear so sneaking up on those wiley fish is the 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 especially during this holiday weekend.  For information on stream conditions, call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
Water level is stable and clarity is good.  Fishing is starting to pick up for walleyes and smallmouth.  Walleyes up to 8-1/2 pounds have been reported.  Northern Pike - Fair:  Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Try jig tipped with minnow in deep water areas.  Walleye - Fair: Try jig tipped with minnow in deep water areas. 

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
Water levels have stabilized and conditions are good for pursuing walleye.  Walleye - Fair: Jig with a minnow seems to be working the best.  Try the deep over wintering holes. 

Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
Gage height is currently at 5.4 feet and slowly falling. Conditions are ideal with good reports of walleye and crappie being caught above and below low head dams. Anglers are also catching an occasional smallmouth bass and northern pike.  Northern Pike - Fair: Try fishing some larger artificial plastics in and around structure or deeper overwintering areas.  Smallmouth Bass - Fair:  Crappie - Good: Try fishing above low head dams in impoundment areas fishing a minnow under a bobber around submerged structure.  Walleye - Good: Try using a jig and twister tail tipped with a minnow or night crawler.

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
Water levels have stabilized and clarity is good, try fishing the deep overwintering holes.  Walleye - Fair: Some decent reports of walleye being caught have come from below the Lake Delhi Dam in Delaware County.

Maquoketa River (below Monticello)
We have received no information regarding fishing on this water body this week. 

Northeast Iowa interior rivers are still the best option for anglers this time of year. Anglers are reporting better catches of fish from the rivers than area lakes. Walleye, crappie and occasional smallmouth bass and pike caught from the rivers are accounting for most angler creels at this time. Fishing pressure on area lakes has decreased dramatically as anglers wait for ice-up conditions. For more information contact the district office in Manchester at 563-927-3276.

Mississippi River Pool 9
River level at Lansing is 7.95 feet and stable. Water temperature is 43 degrees.  Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are staring to hit on wax worms in the backwaters.  Largemouth Bass - Excellent: Try Village Creek boat ramp around the boat launch or the effluent water of the Lansing power plant.  Even though it is cold these fish can still be caught.  Sauger - Fair: Some sauger being reported in deeper holes in Minnesota slough.  Anglers are catching them on jigs and minnow.  Walleye - Good:  A few nice walleye being caught in Minnesota slough.

Mississippi River Pool 10
River levels at Lynxville are 14.5 feet and stable.  Water temperature is 43 degrees.  Bluegill - Good: Nice bluegills being caught near the Sny Magill area using small worms and wax worms.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Fish are located in the upper ends of backwater lakes where sun and waves warm the lakes.  Use a slow presentation.  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.  Some walleyes are still on the wing dams. 

Mississippi River Pool 11
River level at Guttenberg is 6.1 feet.  Water temperature is 43 degrees.  Bluegill - Good: Anglers still catching bluegill near the marina and in Zollicoffer Slough.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Fish with a slow presentation on upper ends of overwintering sites.  Use jigs, night crawlers or slow action rattle traps.  Crappies - Fair: A few crappie being caught in Swift and Dead sloughs.  Sauger - Good: Some limits, most fish running small but plentiful.  Walleye - Fair: Occasional nice walleyes being caught but most of the action is for sauger.

Water levels are stable and river is running very clear. 

Mississippi River Pool 16
Pool 16: Tail water stage is 6.46 feet.  White Bass - Fair: A few white bass are being caught in Sylvan Slough while fishing for saugers and walleyes   Bluegill - Slow: Bluegill fishing in the backwaters has been slow.  Crappie - Slow: Crappie fishing in the backwaters has been slow. Some crappies are being caught in Sunset Marina on jigs and minnows.  Sauger - Good: 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 - Fair: 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: Tail water stage is 5.10 feet.  Crappie - Fair: Some crappies are being caught in Big Timber on jigs/minnows or floating minnows under a bobber around brush piles.  Sauger - Fair: Saugers are being caught in the tail waters at Muscatine on jigs and minnows or by pulling crankbaits on three-way rigs.  Walleye - Fair: Walleyes are being caught in the tail waters on jigs and minnows or by pulling crankbaits on three-way rigs.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Pool 18: Tail water stage is 6.96 feet.  Crappie - Fair: Crappies are being caught in the backwaters on jigs and minnows.  Sauger - Good: Saugers are being caught in the tail waters at New Boston. 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 wing dams. Some walleyes are also being caught in the tail waters while fishing for saugers.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Pool 19: Tail water stage is 4.24 feet.  Crappie - Fair: Crappies are being caught in the backwaters on jigs and minnows.  Sauger - Good: Saugers are being caught in the tail waters on jigs and minnows or by pulling crankbaits on three-way rigs.  Walleye - Fair: Some walleyes are also being picked up in the tail waters on jigs and minnows or by pulling crankbaits on three-way rigs.

Mississippi River Pools 16-20: River levels have been fairly steady over the past week. With recent rains, river stages are forecast to rise over the weekend. Main channel water temperature is around 47 degrees. For more information on fishing pools 16-20 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

Lake Geode
Very little angler activity.

Lake Belva Deer
Very few anglers out.  Bluegill - Slow: Look for these fish to be out deep around the creek channel in the trees.  These fish are in no rush to feed so light tackle and small baits worked slowly is the way to go.

Lake of the Hills
Angler numbers have dropped off considerably and fishing has slowed.  Rainbow Trout - Slow: The bite is soft so go with light tackle. Worms, Power Bait, or small jigs tipped with wax worms still are the baits to try.  Bluegill - Slow: Trout anglers are picking up a few bluegills.  Crappie - Slow: Using the same techniques as the trout anglers a few crappies are being caught.

Lake Darling
The frequent rains are keeping the lake about half full.  We are continuing to drain the lake so that we can do the lake restoration work next year.

Skunk River (Coppock to Mississippi River)
The river is running about half full and is forecast to continue to drop slowly.

Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River)
The Iowa River is in this section is about three feet below bank full.  It is forecast to continue to drop very slowly.

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

Iowa Lake
Crappie - Fair: Look for crappies over deeper brush/structure or suspended in the main lake basin.

Lake Macbride
There will be another riprap project on the lake this winter. The outlet valve was opened on Nov. 17. As of Nov. 25, the lake is down about 3 feet. The lake will be lowered 8 to 10 feet in total to allow for equipment access to shorelines and islands. The lake is falling approximately 6 inches per day.  Crappie - Slow: A few nice fish are being picked off from deeper brush with small jigs or minnows.

Coralville Reservoir
Fishing has been essentially non-existent due to extremely high water.  As of Nov. 25, the lake level is 700 feet and is projected to fall less than a half a foot per day.

Cedar River (La Porte City to Cedar Rapids)
Walleye - Fair: Try jigs or live bait in deeper areas that the walleyes use for wintering.

Wapsipinicon River (Troy Mills to Oxford Junction)
Areas in Linn County have been producing better.  Walleye - Fair: Some fish are being caught in deeper wintering holes or below dams. 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.

Lake Wapello
The lake was drained this summer but has been renovated and is being allowed to refill.

Lake Keomah
Bluegill - Slow: Use small jigs around structure.  Try around the fishing pier and the rock jetties.  Largemouth Bass - Slow: Rubber worms fished slowly can be effective this time of year.  Try off the ends of the rock jetties.

Lake Miami
The lake was drawn down 6 feet this year.  The boat ramps are still usable.  Channel Catfish - Slow: Use chicken liver or night crawlers.

Rathbun Reservoir
The lake level is 906.61 feet with 904.00 feet being normal pool.  The water temperature is 49 degrees.  Crappie - Slow: Fish structure in 15 to 18 feet of water.  Use minnows or small jigs.  Walleye - Slow: Fish areas with drop-offs or underwater islands.  Try drifting minnows through these areas or trolling crankbaits.

For additional fishing information in south central Iowa call the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406.

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.

Lake Petoka
Rainbow Trout - Good: 1,500 rainbow trout were stocked in Lake Petoka on Nov. 24.  Anglers started having success shortly after stocking.  Small inline spinners were working best.

Des Moines River (Saylorville to Red Rock)
Walleye - Fair: Anglers fishing below the Scott Street Dam were doing well catching walleyes.  If the recent rains do not raise the river significantly, this bite should continue.  Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) - Fair: Anglers fishing for walleye below the Scott Street Dam are also catching a fair number of wipers.

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.

Manteno Park Pond
Anglers are catching quality sized largemouth bass fishing the nicer fall days.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Look for schools of bass in deeper water near drop-offs.

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 - No Report: Fish with minnows in the canal areas on warmer days this fall.  Walleye - A few walleyes have been caught near the inlet from Mosquito Creek.  Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) - 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 - Flows have dropped and smallmouth bass are headed to overwintering areas that contain deeper water.  Look for fish below the low head dams.  Walleye - 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 do not hesitate to contact DNR Fisheries. For more information contact Bryan Hayes or Mark Boucher at the Cold Springs District Office (712)769-2587.


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