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Iowa fishing report 3-29-09

March 26, 2009 at 02:39 PM


Mississippi River Pools 9 to 15:  Walleye and sauger fishing is good below the tailwaters of Lock-and-Dams 9 to 15. 

Cedar River (Mitchell and Floyd):  Walleye fishing around the Charles City area is good using jigs with a minnow or rubber tail.  Anglers were catching lots of nice smallmouth bass during the sunny days earlier in the week.  A few walleye and catfish are being caught below the dam at Nashua.  For walleye, your best bet is to try brown or chartreuse ringworms.  When fishing for cats, try chubs, cut baits or walleye minnows.  .

Cedar (Black Hawk and Bremer) and Shell Rock rivers (Black Hawk and Butler):  Open water conditions exist and anglers are fishing for walleye by boat and shore using jigs with a twister tail fished with or without minnows.  Fish the edges along the rocks in about 3 feet of water.  A few northern pike are also being caught as the pike spawning seasons draws near.  Anglers fishing the Cedar River in the backwater areas off the main channel are catching crappies using crappie minnows floated under a slip bobber.  A few catfish have been taking using dead cut baits fished off the bottom.

Maquoketa River (Delaware):  River levels are currently stable and conditions are good for angling throughout both Delaware and Jones counties.  Recent river levels have moved fish out of their over-wintering areas as fish ready themselves for spring spawning activities.  Try fishing drop-offs and current breaks from main flow areas using jigs tipped with or without a minnow for walleyes and smallmouth bass.  Also, concentrate near low head dams as walleyes migrate up river for spawning activities.  Try fishing immediately below the Lake Delhi Dam or the next pool down from the boat ramp for walleyes and northern pike. 

Upper Iowa River (Winneshiek):  Water clarity is still excellent after the recent rains.  Anglers are catching a few larger walleyes using jigs or jig and minnow combination below the lower dam in Decorah.  Good sucker fishing continues—use night crawlers and be prepared to hang on.

Wapsipinicon River (Buchanan):  River levels are currently steady.  Anglers should concentrate on vertical fishing near the current breaks or in the slack water areas out of the main current using 1/8 to 1/2 ounce jigs and twister tails tipped with or without a minnow for northern pike and walleye.  Smallmouth bass fishing is also picking up.

Lake Hendricks (Howard):  No ice and no activity on lake. 

Lake Meyer (Winneshiek):  No ice and no activity on lake.

Volga Lake (Fayette):  No ice and no activity on lake. 

Yellow River (Winneshiek and Allamakee):  Angling for trout has been good in the deeper holes and around log jams using spinners.

Northeast Iowa Trout Streams:  Water clarity is generally excellent, and mayflies and stoneflies are hatching.  Use more natural looking jigs and spinners with clearer water. 

The Decorah Hatchery will begin stocking trout on Monday, March 30.  Big Spring and Manchester Hatcheries will begin stocking on Wednesday, April 1.  For the current trout stocking information, call 563-977-5736 or print off a trout calendar from our website.  Log onto and click on fishing and then choose trout stocking. 

For information on fishing in northeast Iowa, call the regional office in Manchester at 563-927-3276.


Mississippi River Pools 16 through 20:  River levels are once again on the rise. Main channel water temperatures are 46 to 48 degrees. Pool 16: Tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 9.8 feet and is forecasted to reach 11.6 feet by the middle of next week. Some saugers are being caught in Sylvan Slough on jigs and minnows. Anglers have been catching channel catfish on shad guts around wing dams with deeper holes. Crappies and bluegills are being caught in Sunset Marina. Pool 17: Tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 8.97 feet and forecasted to rise to 11.2 feet by the middle of next week. Tailwater fishing for walleyes and saugers has been slow. Most fishing reports are coming from area lakes and farm ponds. Pool 18: Tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 10.83 feet and forecasted to reach 12.7 feet by the end of the weekend. With current river stage forecasts, the Toolesboro landing area could be partially covered in water by this weekend. Tailwater fishing for walleyes and sauger has been slow. A few anglers have been catching channel catfish on shad and night crawlers. Pool 19: Tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 7.30 feet and expected to reach 8.8 feet by Monday. Some anglers have been catching channel catfish on night crawlers and cut bait. Pool 20: Tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 19 is 10.28 feet and is forecasted to reach 13.3 feet by the middle of next week. No fishing report.

Lake Darling (Washington): The water level continues to drop as the rain water leaves through the drain pipe. This will continue until the lake is dry again.  There are no fish in the lake.

Lake Belva Deer (Keokuk): Bass fishing has slowed down this last week with the weather change.  Very few anglers have been out this week.

Lake Geode (Henry): Anglers should be looking to catch a few catfish along the face of the dam or in the upper end where the creek enters the lake.

Lake Macbride (Johnson): The lake is full and most docks are in at the boat ramps. The main lake water temperature is in middle 40s and a few channel catfish are being caught on cut bait. Walleyes should be spawning very soon, so look for them on shallow rock.

Coralville Reservoir (Johnson): The lake level is 681 feet and is falling. Normal pool is 679 feet and it is projected to be 679 feet by the weekend. No fishing report is available.

Rodgers Lake (Benton): The lake has sustained a winter fish kill due to low oxygen levels.  The severity has not been determined.

Lake Rathbun (Appanoose): The lake level is 2 1/2 feet above normal pool.  Water temperature ranges from the upper 30s to the low 40s depending on location.  Use cut bait or shad guts to catch channel catfish on windblown shorelines. 

Lake Sugema (Van Buren): Walleyes have started biting on jigs tipped with minnows along the rocky shorelines.  A few bluegills have been biting on small jigs fished in the shallows.

Lake Wapello (Davis): The lake has been completely drained.  Now would be a good time to look at the new fish habitat that has been added to the lake.

Lake Miami (Monroe): Channel catfish have been biting on dead minnows or shad guts.  Largemouth bass have been hitting on spinner baits fished slow and also soft plastics.

For more information on fishing in southeast Iowa, call the regional office in Brighton at 319-694-2430.


Des Moines River (Polk and Boone counties):  Weekend rains have caused the river to rise 3 feet from last weeks level both above and below Saylorville Reservoir.  This has slowed or ended the walleye fishing below the low head dams.  The Saylorville and Red Rock tailwaters are still producing some walleyes using small jigs tipped with minnows or night crawlers.  There are also a few wipers being caught in the Saylorville tailwater.  Channel catfish are still biting using dead shad or night crawlers fished on the bottom. 

Big Creek Lake (Polk):  A few walleyes and crappies are being caught below the Big Creek spillway.

DMACC Pond, in Ankeny (Polk):  There will be a trout stocking and kid’s fishing event on Saturday, April 4.  Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. and trout will be stocked around noon.

Banner Lake South (Warren):  There will be a trout stocking and kid’s fishing event on Saturday, April 4.  Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. and trout will be stocked around noon.

Contact Ben Dodd at (515) 432-2823, Ext.108, for information on the above area lakes.

Water temperature is still in the upper 30s.  Smaller lakes and ponds are a little warmer and have been producing better fishing.  Channel catfish and walleyes have been the most active.  The panfish are still out in a little deeper water.

Icaria (Adams):  Some walleyes are being caught from deeper water.

Three Mile Lake (Union):  The lake is open and boat anglers are marking several walleyes in 20 feet of water just off the dam, but only a few are being caught.  Large live minnows are providing somewhat better success.  Some channel catfish are caught using shad bait.

Twelve Mile Lake (Union):  A lot of walleye angling is occurring over the deep rock areas but only a little catching.  Large minnows are better than artificial baits. 

Contact Gary Sobotka at (641) 464-3108 for information on the above area lakes.

Manawa (Pottawattamie): Crappie fishing has slowed but is still fair in the canals and along rocks on the west side of the main lake. White feather jigs and chartreuse tube jigs are still the lures of choice. Walleyes are being caught on the east side of the lake by Mosquito Creek outlet slow trolling minnows on a Lindy Rig. A few wipers are being caught by outlet casting twister tails with spinners.

Anita (Cass): Crappie fishing has slowed with cooler temperatures. Try vertical jigging or casting around cedar trees piles. Bluegills are slow.

Anderson Area (Montgomery): Crappie fishing is good along the dam casting white twister tails. Bluegill fishing has been fair for 8 to 9-inch fish.

Greenfield (Adair): Bluegill fishing is slow but a few are being caught around jetties casting small jigs tipped with wax worms.

Farm Ponds: Anglers are catching crappies in larger farm ponds. Bluegills can also be caught using small jigs and worms. Reminder: Ask permission before fishing private farm ponds.

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.


Most ice has gone out, but some large piles of ice may be found at boat ramps where the wind is blowing in.
Kids Corner: If you are taking a child fishing this weekend in the Spirit Lake area, take them to Buffalo Run on the west side of Big Spirit Lake.  Access is very easy.  Yellow perch, bluegills, and black crappie have been the most frequently caught.  Use a small ice jig tipped with a wax-worm three feet below a small bobber. 

East Okoboji Lake (Dickinson): Bluegills can be caught fishing at the trestle with a small ice jig tipped with a wax worm below a small bobber.

Silver Lake (Dickinson): Wader fishing for walleyes is excellent using a jig and minnow, twister-tail, or small crank-bait after sunset.

Five Island Lake (Palo Alto): Walleyes are being caught on a jig and minnow, twistertail, or small crankbaits after sunset.

Lost Island Lake (Palo Alto): Walleyes are being caught on a jig and minnow, twistertail, or small crankbaits after sunset.

West Fork of Des Moines River (Emmet): Walleyes are on a jig and minnow or twistertail fished in the holes below riffles.

Clear Lake (Cerro Gordo): Clear Lake is ice free. A few fish are being caught at the grade.

Winnebago River (Cerro Gordo): Northern pike and walleyes had been biting on spinners and jigs fished in the slack water, but fishing has slowed do to inclement weather.
Expect fishing to pick up as river levels drop and the water clears.

Storm Lake (Buena Vista): Walleye fishing has been good wading along the shoreline and casting twisters.  A few crappies are still being caught in the marina on live minnows.

Black Hawk Lake (Sac): Catfish are good on shad or carp guts on the windy shoreline.  Bluegills up to 7.5 inches are good on the west stone pier using small jigs and wax worms.

Brushy Creek Lake (Webster): The lake is ice free. There has been little, if any, fishing.

For more information on fishing in northwest Iowa, call the regional office in Spirit Lake at 712-336-1840.

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