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Iowa fishing report 4-2-09

April 02, 2009 at 11:35 AM


Mississippi River Pools 16 to 20: Main channel water temperature has been around 45 degrees. In Pool 16, tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 11.26 feet.  River stage is forecasted to stay fairly steady over the next few days.  Some saugers are being caught on jigs and minnows in Sylvan Slough.  A few crappies and bluegills are being caught in Sunset Marina on minnows and wax worms. 

In Pool 17, tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 10.55 feet.  The gates are out of the water at the dam and river levels are forecasted to stay steady over the next few days.  Walleye and sauger fishing in the tailwaters has been slow.  Crappie and bluegill fishing in the backwaters has been slow. 

In Pool 18, tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 12.29 feet.  Walleye and sauger fishing has been slow in the tailwaters.  Some channel catfish are being caught on shad guts.  Crappie and bluegill fishing in the backwaters is slow.  Some crappies and channel catfish are being caught in Lake Odessa. In Pool 19, tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 8.45 feet.  Fishing has been slow.   

Lake Darling (Washington): The water level continues to drop as the rain water leaves the drain pipe.  There looks to be about 4 feet of water left to go.  This will continue until the lake is dry again.  There are no fish in the lake. 

Lake Belva Deer (Keokuk): Very few anglers have been out this week.  Construction is continuing on the road into the campground or the 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.     

Lake Rathbun (Appanoose): The lake level is 2 ½ feet above normal pool.  Water temperature ranges from the low to mid 40s depending on the 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 spinnerbaits fished slowly and also soft plastics. 

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 the walleyes should be spawning very soon.  However, no catches have been reported. 

Coralville Reservoir (Johnson): The lake level is normal, 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.


Des Moines River (Polk and Marion):  The Saylorville and Red Rock tailwaters are still producing some walleyes using small jigs tipped with minnows or night crawlers.  There are also some white bass being caught in both tailwaters, and a few wipers being caught in the Saylorville tailwater.  Channel catfish are biting using dead shad or night crawlers fished on the bottom. 

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

DMACC Pond (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 temperatures have fallen back into the upper 30s.  Smaller lakes and ponds are a little warmer and have been producing better fishing but activity is minimal.

Icaria (Adams):  Some walleyes are being caught from deeper water.  The fish had moved shallow after two consecutive days with sunshine and warmer temperatures.

Three Mile Lake (Union):  Several walleyes are being marked in 20 feet of water just off the dam but very few are being caught.  Some channel catfish are caught from the shallow bays.

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

Manawa (Pottawattamie): Crappie fishing has slowed but anglers are still catching a few in the canals. White feather jigs and chartreuse tube jigs are still the lures of choice. A few wipers
are being caught by the outlet casting twister tails with spinners.

Big Lake (Pottawattamie): The DNR stocked 1,100 trout on March 27. 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.

Saganosh Pond (Pottawattamie): The DNR stocked 800 rainbow trout on March 27. 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 has slowed with the cool weather. It will take warmer temperatures to bring the crappies close to shore. Try vertical jigging or casting around cedar trees piles.

Anderson Area (Montgomery): Cool temperatures have slowed crappie fishing. Anglers are still catching a few by drifting a minnow under a bobber.

Farm Ponds: Anglers are catching crappies in the 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.


Fishing for panfish has been slow but will pick up when there is a warm, sunny day.  Water in the sloughs will warm quickly which will attract bluegills, yellow perch and crappies from the main lake towards the sloughs that have water flowing into the lake.

East Okoboji Lake (Dickinson): Bluegills are biting at the trestle using a small ice jig tipped with a wax worm below a small bobber. Channel catfish are being caught using cut bait along boat docks and bridges at night.

Five Island Lake (Palo Alto): Walleyes are biting on a jig and minnow, twister-tail, or minnow style crankbait after sunset. Channel catfish are taking cut bait at night.

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

Silver Lake (Dickinson): Walleyes are biting on a jig and minnow, twister-tail, or minnow style crankbait after sunset along shorelines.

Spirit Lake (Dickinson): Yellow perch are being caught vertically jigging lures tipped with live bait or a slip bobber and minnow at Buffalo Run, Hales Slough, or the footbridge.  Crappies are
biting on a small jig or minnow under a small slip bobber at Buffalo Run or Templar Lagoon. For northern pike, use large soft plastics or spoons at Hale Slough and Trickles Slough.

Tuttle Lake (Emmet): Walleyes are being caught on a jig and minnow at the lake outlet in the evening.  Northern pike are biting on a jig and minnow at outlet during the day.

West Fork of Des Moines River (Emmet): Use a jig and minnow or twister tail in the deeper holes below riffles for walleyes.

Clear Lake (Cerro Gordo): Poor weather and water temperature in the upper 30s has slowed fishing. A few walleyes are being caught at the grade and near the outlet.

Storm Lake (Buena Vista): Walleye fishing has slowed due to the cold weather.  A few males are still being caught by wade-in anglers throwing twisters.  Catfish are excellent on shad guts with most fish in the 2-pound range, with a few 5 pounds and larger. 

Black Hawk Lake (Sac): Fishing is good for catfish on shad entrails.

Brushy Creek Lake (Webster): The boat docks are in at the south and west ramps.  There has been little fishing activity on the lake.  A few small bluegills have been caught.

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 rising and expected to stabilize through the weekend at high levels.  Boaters are urged to use caution and be aware of floating debris even when the water levels begin to drop.  River stages on Thursday morning were 10.0 feet at Lansing, 19 feet at Lynxville, 10.6 feet at Guttenberg, 11.93 feet in Dubuque, 10.58 in Bellevue, and 12.59 feet at Camanche.  Water temperature remains in the low to mid 40s. 

High water and temperature fluctuations have slowed fishing lately, but there are still a few nice saugers and walleyes being caught at the DNR boat ramp in Guttenberg and next to the shore along the Wisconsin side of Lock and Dam 10.  A few nice walleyes have been taken further up the river below Lock and Dam 9 by anglers trolling crankbaits.  Walleye and sauger fishing has been fair to poor in the tailwaters of Pools 12 to 15.  Most are being caught on three-way rigs, jigs or one-eyes.  A few walleyes are also being taken off the wing dams. 
Fishing has been fair to good for yellow perch below the spillway at Harpers Ferry (Pool 10).  A few yellow perch have been caught at the DNR boat ramp in Guttenberg (Pool 11).
Some anglers are catching northern pike in O’Leary’s Lake (Pool 12) and in the Illinois pocket of the Bellevue tailwaters (Pool 13).

Cedar River (Mitchell, Floyd and Chickasaw):  Water levels and clarity are excellent for this time of year.  Water temperature remains cool so the fish are not very active.  Anglers are picking up a few walleyes using jigs with natural colored plastic tails.

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

Cedar River (Black Hawk):  Walleye fishing has slowed some with the cooler weather pattern, but walleyes are still being caught through this stretch of river.

Shell Rock River (Butler):  River levels are continuing to drop and anglers are catching a few walleyes.  Conditions should continue to improve for walleye fishing as water levels drop and temperatures warm through the next few weeks.

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

Turkey River (Clayton):  Water levels and clarity are excellent, but fishing has been slow.  Try using jigs tipped with live baits fished in deeper holes to catch those larger walleye.  Jigs and twister tails worked with a slow retrieve will work as well.

Upper Iowa River (Winneshiek):  Angling has slowed quite a bit with the cooler weather and high winds this past week.  The bite is spotty for walleye and smallmouth bass, but sucker anglers are happy with their efforts.  A hook and worm works best for suckers.

Wapsipinicon River (Buchanan):  River levels are currently dropping.  Anglers should concentrate on fishing near the current breaks or in the slack water areas out of the main current using 1/8 to 1/16 ounce jigs and twister tails tipped with or without a minnow for walleye and smallmouth bass.  Try using crankbaits and spinner baits for walleye and smallmouth bass as water temperatures warm throughout April.

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

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

Northeast Iowa Trout Streams:  Stocking started this week and hatchery staff are reporting excellent water conditions.  Great fishing opportunities will be prevalent this weekend.  In addition, there have been hatches of stoneflies and gnats.  With excellent water clarity, try using beaded black nymphs, or dark or natural colored jigs with dark plastic split tails.  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.

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