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Print

Iowa fishing report 12-3-09

December 03, 2009 at 05:47 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.

NORTHWEST

Bacon Creek Lake

The DNR stocked 1,666 8 to 10-inch rainbow trout in Bacon Creek on Nov. 17.  Rainbow Trout - Good: The fish have likely 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 worm or piece of crawler may also be effective.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

Walleye fishing remained very good this week; anglers have been doing fair for various other species.  Anglers have been having good luck all around the lake, mostly from the shore line.  Casino Marina and the inlet are also good.  Remember that Storm Lake has a 17 to 22-inch slot length limit for walleyes.  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.  Walleye - Good: Anglers are doing well casting twisters around the lake (wading has worked well), especially on rocky points.  Chartreuse has been a good color; a bare hook has been effective.  People have also been fishing with a minnow or chub below a slip bobber in the marina and at the inlet.  Also, try floating crankbaits, like traditional Rapalas; black and silver has been a good color.  The best time seems to be around dusk; with some anglers fishing for an hour or two after sundown.

Walleye are still biting at Storm Lake.  It will be interesting to see how the severe temperature drop through the weekend will affect the fishing.  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; the best fishing has been on the warmer days.  Walleye - Slow:  Muskellunge - Slow: 

Silver Lake (Worth)

Yellow perch are biting.

Blue Pit

The DNR stocked 1,500 rainbow trout on Nov. 25.  Rainbow Trout - Good: try using spinners and small jigs.

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

Lake Pahoja

Crappie - Good: Fish at the handicap fishing pier or from a boat over brush piles using small ice jigs tipped with a wax worm or a minnow under a bobber.

Big Spirit Lake

Water temperature is 37 degrees.  Bluegill - Good: Use small ice jigs tipped with live bait beneath a bobber on the west end of the Grade or at the fishing pier.  Crappie - Fair: Use a small ice jig tipped with a wax worm or a small bobber and minnow along the fishing pier at the Grade.  Yellow Perch - Good: Use a small ice jig tipped with a wax worm or wiggler beneath a bobber on the west end of the Grade near the cattails.  Walleye - Fair: Slowly drift fish in 20 to 22 feet of water with a bead and hook baited with a night crawler or after dark along shorelines with a twister tail or jig and minnow.

East Okoboji Lake

Walleye - Good: Fish at any of the bridges in the evenings with a jig and minnow or minnow style crankbait.

West Okoboji Lake

Water temperature is 45 degrees.  Walleye - Fair: Fish the Hwy. 71 Bridge after dark with a twister tail.

Little Sioux River (state line to Linn Grove)

Walleye - Good: Fish deep holes below riffles or bridges with a white twister tail or jig baited with half a night crawler.

West Fork Des Moines (state line to Emmetsburg)

Walleye - Good: Fish deep holes with a twister tail or jig baited with half a night crawler.

For more information on lakes and rivers in the Spirit lake area call (712) 336-1840.

NORTHEAST

Volga Lake

Few anglers have been on the lake.  Bluegill - Slow:

Lake Hendricks

Few anglers have been out.  Bluegill - Slow: Fish are likely out in the deeper water.  Largemouth Bass - Slow:

Lake Meyer

Angling activity has been slow.  Bluegill - Slow:  Largemouth Bass - Slow:

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)

Water conditions are favorable for fishing.  Walleye - No Report:

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)

Water conditions are favorable for angling.  Walleye - No Report:

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)

Angling activity has been slow but the ones that have gone out have come back with some nice fish.  Northern Pike - Slow: A few anglers reported catching some nice northerns while fishing for walleye.  Smallmouth Bass - No Report:  Walleye - Fair: Best fishing has been reported from Howards Woods to the Midway Bridge.  Anglers were using a jig tipped with a minnow.

Decorah District Streams

Area trout streams are in excellent condition and the recent dusting of snow intensifies the beauty of the area.  The water is extremely clear so sneaking up is key.  Even though stocking has finished for the year, there are plenty of fish in the streams.

We have had few reports of angler activity, but area rivers and streams are clear with water temperatures in the 30s.  Some of our smaller ponds are forming skim ice.  For information on stream conditions, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)

Water levels are stable and clarity is good.  There have been reports of walleye and pike still being taken on the river.  Northern Pike - Fair: Some pike are being taken floating a chub underneath a bobber or on larger plastics.  Walleye - Good: 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 - Good: Jig with a minnow seems to be working the best.  Try the deep over wintering holes.

Wapsi River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)

Gage height is currently at 5.4 feet and slowly falling. Conditions are ideal with good reports of walleye still being caught.  Smallmouth Bass - Fair:  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.  Walleye - Fair: Concentrate on deeper holes in overwintering areas.

Northeast Iowa interior rivers are still the best option for anglers this time of year.  Walleye and northern 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

Mississippi River Pool 16

Pool 16: Tail water stage is 6.63 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 5.19 feet. Crappie - Fair: Some crappies are being caught in Big Timber on jigs/minnows or floating minnows under a bobber around brush piles.  Sauger - Good: 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 7.11 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 4.35 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: Rivers levels have been fairly steady over the past week. Main channel water temperature is around 41 degrees. For more information on fishing pools 16-20 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

SOUTHEAST

Lake of the Hills

Angler numbers have dropped off considerably and fishing has slowed.  Rainbow Trout - Slow: Fishing remains slow. The bite is soft so go with light tackle. Worms, Power Bait, and 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 lake is back to empty again.

Skunk River (Coppock to Mississippi River)

The river level is dropping very slowly.  It is forecast to drop less than six inches over the next seven days.

Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River)

The river remains just a couple of feet below bank full.  The river is forecast to remain close to this level for at least the next week.

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

Iowa Lake

Crappie - Slow: 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 Dec. 3, the lake is down more than five feet of the eight to 10 feet needed to allow for equipment access to shorelines and islands. The lake is falling approximately six inches per day. The main ramp and north shore ramp were the only accessible ramps as of Nov. 30.

Coralville Reservoir

Fishing has been essentially non-existent due to extremely high water.  As of 12/3, the lake level is 697.5’ and is projected to fall about a half a foot per day.

Iowa River (Coralville Lake to River Junction)

Walleye - Fair: Fish deeper holes with current breaks with jigs. Many small fish are being caught but some nice fish are also available.

Cedar River (La Porte City to Cedar Rapids)

Walleye - Fair: Try jigs or live bait in deeper areas that the walleyes use for wintering.

Wapsi 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.

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 fishing off the ends of the rock jetties.

Lake Miami

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

Lake Sugema

Largemouth Bass - Slow: Try slowly rolling spinner baits or rubber worms.  Walleye - Slow: Walleyes can be found around the rocky shorelines and along the dam.  Use a jig and minnow combo or a minnow fished under a bobber.

Rathbun Reservoir

The lake level is 905.54 feet with 904.00 feet being normal pool.  The water temperature is 45 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.

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

SOUTHWEST

Lake Petoka

Rainbow Trout - Good: 1,500 rainbow trout were stocked in Lake Petoka on Nov. 24.  Small inline spinners or small minnows under a bobber are working best.

Des Moines River (Saylorville to Red Rock)

Walleye - Slow: Anglers are still catching a few walleye below the Scott Street Dam using light jigs tipped with minnows or floating a crawler under a bobber in the current breaks.

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

Lake Manawa

A few anglers are braving the cold temperatures and catching crappies in the canals. A few walleyes and wipers have been caught from near the inlet to Mosquito Creek.  Crappie - Fair: Fish the canals on with small jigs and minnows.

For more information, contact Bryan Hayes or Mark Boucher, at the Cold Springs District Office, at (712) 769-2587.

Green Valley Lake

The lake has been lowered for a sediment removal project this winter and is expected to be refilled in April 2010.

Summit Lake

The lake has been lowered for allow for shoreline rock to be placed this winter and is expected to be refilled in April 2010.

Three Mile Lake

Small areas of skim ice are starting to form in the backs of the shallow bays.  Water temperature is near 40 in the open portions of the lake.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake

Water temperature is in the low 40s.  Some skim ice is forming in the shallow backwater bays.

Mt. Ayr district: Water temperature is in the lower 30s.  Skim ice is forming on small water bodies.  Ice fishing will begin soon.

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