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Iowa fishing report 4-17-09

April 16, 2009 at 09:01 PM

East Okoboji Lake (Dickinson): Bluegills are being caught by fishing with a small ice jig tipped with live bait at the trestle, Hwy. 9 Bridge, and along the fishing pier at East Okoboji Slough.

Five Island Lake (Palo Alto): Walleyes are biting on a jig and minnow, twister-tail, or minnow style crankbaits after sunset.

Lost Island Lake (Palo Alto): Walleyes are biting on a jig and minnow, twister-tail, or small crankbaits after sunset.

Silver Lake (Dickinson): Walleyes are being caught on a jig and minnow, twister-tail, or small crankbaits after sunset along shorelines.

Spirit Lake (Dickinson): Yellow perch are biting on jigging lures tipped with live bait and vertical jig, or a slip bobber and minnow at Buffalo Run, Hales Slough, or the footbridge.  Crappies are being caught on a small jig or minnow under a small slip bobber at Buffalo Run, Templar Lagoon, the North Grade, or along weed beds in Angler’s Bay near Trickles Slough. Smallmouth bass are hitting blade baits and jerk baits slowly twitched over rock bars at Little and Big Stoney points.  White bass are biting on small jigs tipped with minnows or a minnow and bobber on the lake side of the road.

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

West Okoboji Lake (Dickinson): Bluegills are being caught on a small ice jig tipped with a wax worm under a small bobber at Triboji.

Clear Lake (Cerro Gordo): Water temperature is in the middle 40s. A few small walleyes are being caught fishing at the grade and the outlet. Crappie fishing has been good in the canals. Musky fishing is fair most fish are caught incidentally while fishing for something else.

Storm Lake (Buena Vista): Walleye gill netting operations are done.  Walleye are still being caught in early morning and late evening.  Males have moved out from shore a little but can still be caught on twisters by wade-in anglers. Remember that Storm Lake has a 17-22 inch slot limit.  All walleye in that range must be released.

Black Hawk Lake (Sac): Fishing is good for 8 to 9-inch bullheads at the inlet area on night crawlers. Catfishing is good on shad entrails on the windy shorelines.

Brushy Creek Lake (Webster): Park staff has put in docks at the west and south ramps.  Fishing on the lake is very slow.

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

Mississippi River Pools 9 to 15:  The Mississippi River is slowly falling. River stages on Thursday morning were 11.69 feet in Dubuque, 10.34 in Bellevue, and 12.73 feet at Camanche. Water temperature is in the low 50s.

Walleye and sauger fishing has been fair to poor in the tailwaters of Pools 12 to 15. Due to high water conditions, fish tighter to shore. Most are being caught on three-way rigs, jigs or one-eyes. A few walleye are also being taken off the wing dams.

Some anglers are catching northern pike in O’Leary’s Lake (Pool 12).

Anglers using trotlines are catching channel catfish in flooded backwater areas of Pools 12 to 15.

Cedar River (Mitchell, Floyd and Chickasaw):  Walleye fishing is slow, but channel catfish are biting on chubs and cut baits.

Cedar River (Bremer and Black Hawk): Walleye fishing has been good to excellent using jigs tipped with a plastic tail or casting crankbaits around current breaks and eddies.  Smallmouth bass fishing is good with anglers picking up lots of smallies while a fishing for walleye.  Try casting jigs with plastic tails or crankbaits and spinner baits.

Shell Rock River (Butler): River levels are stable and conditions are excellent for fishing.  Walleye fishing is good using jigs tipped with a minnow and crankbaits. 

Maquoketa River (Delaware):  River levels are stable and conditions are good for angling throughout Delaware and Jones County.  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 efforts 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 smallmouth bass.  This stretch of the river is a catch-and-release area for bass.

Turkey River (Clayton):  Fishing has been slow, but will improve as the water temperature rises.

Upper Iowa River (Winneshiek):  Walleye fishing is slow, but a few are being caught on jigs tipped with a twister tail or minnow.  Water temperature is in the 40s.  Traditionally sucker fishing hits its peak on Good Friday, so stick with those worms and get out there.

Wapsipinicon River (Bremer and Buchanan):  Northern pike fishing is good using chubs fished under a bobber, spinner baits and spoons.  Fishing is good for channel catfish in the shallow backwater areas.  Use dead cut baits fished on the bottom.  Smallmouth bass and walleye are also hitting jigs tipped with minnows or crankbaits.

Casey Lake (Tama):  Largemouth bass fishing has been good casting and retrieving rubber worms along the shoreline.  Crappies are biting on small ice jigs tipped with a small minnow fished around structure in 8 to 10 feet of water.

North Prairie Lake (Black Hawk): Trout fishing is very good this week after last Saturday’s trout stocking.

Sweets Marsh (Bremer): Crappie fishing is good using crappie minnows under a bobber fished from shore.

Volga Lake (Fayette): A few people have been out on the lakes.  This time of year can be good for catching channel catfish.  When the wind is blowing hard toward a shallow cove, the catfish will gorge themselves on dead fish that are being pushed into those areas.

Hendricks Lake (Howard):  Few people have been out.  Anglers have been catching bass using jigs tossed along the shoreline.  Also try angling for catfish using dead chubs.

Lake Meyer (Winneshiek):  Anglers are also picking up 6 to 9-inch crappies off the new jetty using small twister tails or tube jigs.  A few bass up to 15 inches are being caught on artificial lures and spinner baits.

Upper Iowa River (Winneshiek and Allamakee):  Water levels are low but very clear.  Fishing is fair for walleye and smallmouth using jigs tipped with minnow and good for suckers using a hook and worm on the river bottom. 

Turkey River (Clayton and Fayette):  Water conditions are excellent but levels are low.  Try a night crawler with a pretty heavy slip sinker to adjust to the current. Trout fishing is good from Elkader upstream using a 1/32 ounce jig with a white twister tail.

Cedar River (Mitchell, Floyd, Chickasaw): Water is off-color due to a diatom bloom.  Catfishing is good using cut bait and chubs.   

Yellow River (Allamakee): Trout fishing is good using wooly bugger. 

Northeast Iowa Trout Streams:  Trout stream conditions are excellent.  After stocking for several weeks the streams are bulging with trout. For current trout stocking information, call 563-927-5736 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.

No new report at this time.  Below is April 9 Fishing Report.

Mississippi River Pools 16 to 20: River levels are still high but forecasted to begin slowly falling by the weekend or early next week.  Main channel water temperature throughout the pools is between 44 and 46 degrees. In Pool 16, tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 12.06 feet.  River levels are forecasted to start falling by this weekend.  Sylvan Slough has been producing some saugers and a few walleyes on jigs and minnows.  Bluegill and crappie fishing in Sunset Marina has been fair on minnows and wax worms. 

In Pool 17, tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 11.27 feet.  River levels are forecasted to begin falling by this weekend.  Fishing has been slow in the tailwaters for walleyes and saugers.  There have been reports of some white bass being caught around GPC.  In Pool 18, tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 12.59 feet.  River levels are forecasted to begin falling by early next week.  Walleye and sauger fishing in the tailwaters has been slow.  Some channel catfish are being caught on shad and night crawlers.  A few crappies are starting to be caught in the backwaters on jigs and minnows. 

In Pool 19, tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 8.62 feet. River levels are forecasted to begin falling by early next week.  Fishing has been slow in the tailwaters for walleye and saugers.  Some channel catfish are being caught on shad and night crawlers. In Pool 20, tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 19 is 10.65 feet.  No fishing report. 

Lake Odessa (Louisa): The water levels are good, but the weather has not been so good.  Hopefully the weather will warm up soon and anglers can get back out.  The lateral ditch is currently being dredged. 

Lake Darling (Washington): The water level continues to drop as the water from the rains leaves the drain pipe.  About 2 feet of water is left to go.  This will continue until the lake is dry again.  There are no fish in the lake. 

Lake Belva Deer (Keokuk): The cold, windy weather has kept most of the anglers away.  Construction is continuing on the road into the campground or south end of the park.  The lake can be accessed from the north boat ramp or from the park road from the dam past the cabins. 

Lake Geode (Henry): Very few anglers have been out this week.  Hopefully with the forecasted warmer weather the anglers will return.       

Lake Rathbun (Appanoose): The lake level is 1 ½ feet above normal pool.  Water temperature is in the middle 40s.  Use cut bait or shad guts to catch channel catfish on windblown shorelines. The following boat ramps are currently closed for repaving:  high water ramp at Buck Creek, the South Fork Marina ramp, and the Bridgeview ramp. 

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 spinnerbaits fished slowly, and on soft plastics. 

Lake Macbride (Johnson): The lake water temperature is in middle 40s and the walleyes should be spawning very soon.  However, no catches have been reported. 

Coralville Reservoir (Johnson): The lake level is down to normal at 679 feet and is expected to hold at this level.  The water is still dirty but some channel catfish are being caught on cut bait. 

Iowa River (Johnson): The flow coming out of the reservoir is expected to steadily decline.  A few walleyes and saugeyes are being caught on jigs and crankbaits.         

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


Manawa (Pottawattamie): Walleye fishing has been good on the south and east side of the lake. Boat anglers are casting jigs tipped with night crawler or minnow to shore with a slow retrieve back to boat. Crappie fishing has picked up in the canals casting small jigs around the docks. A few wipers are being caught by outlet casting twister tails with spinners.

Big Lake (Pottawattamie): Anglers are having good success using feather jigs or tube jigs tipped with wax worms. A minnow on a bare hood under a bobber has also been successful.

Saganaush Pond (Pottawattamie): Most of the same tackle used for crappie fishing work well with trout. Try small feather jigs, tube jigs or tear drops and baits such as meal worms, wax worms, night crawlers, and minnows.

Anita (Cass): Crappie fishing is good around rocky shorelines using small jigs. Anglers are having good success around the main boat ramp and pontoon area. A few bluegills are being caught by crappie anglers. Largemouth bass fishing is fair using plastic baits around the numerous brush piles in Anita. 

Anderson Area (Montgomery): Anglers are catching crappies along the dam casting jigs or drifting a minnow under a bobber.

Nodaway Lake (Adair): Crappies are fair along the dam using chartreuse twister tails. Boat anglers are catching largemouth bass around the brush piles using plastic worms.

Farm Ponds: Anglers are catching crappies in the larger farm ponds. Largemouth bass and bluegills can also be caught. 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.

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