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Iowa fishing report (5-26)

May 26, 2011 at 03:11 PM

Attention Anglers: If you catch a big fish this summer, be recognized as a Master Angler by the Iowa DNR! Large fish from 40 different species qualify for Master Angler designation. You’ll receive a certificate and car/boat decal when you apply. Catch five big fish over time and earn a silver Master Angler medallion, or a gold medallion for 10 fish!  Complete details and an entry form can be found at: http://www.iowadnr.gov/fish/masterangler.html

P.S. You’ll also find details about the DNR’s new First Fish program on this web page, commemorating the first catch of your favorite little angler. Check it out.

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

Nelson Park Lake

Some medium size bluegills are still being caught.  Try a small jig and a small piece of night crawler or a just a small piece of crawler under a bobber from the dam.

Yellow Smoke Park Lake

Water clarity is excellent.  Bass and bluegill are starting to bite with a few crappies being picked up as well.  Bluegill - Slow: Bluegill fishing has been slow, but the ones that are caught are big.  Try a small piece of night crawler around the brush piles.  Largemouth Bass - Fair: Some nice sized bass have been caught from the west fishing pier using night crawlers under a bobber about 12 inches off the bottom.

Oldham Lake

Anglers are doing well for 6 to 9-inch bluegill and 7 to 9 inch crappie.

Badger Lake

Anglers are catching 8 to 10-inch crappie slow trolling small white twisters.

Brushy Creek Lake

Water clarity is good.  Fishing for bluegill, bass and crappie is picking up.  Some nice walleyes have been caught.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

Anglers are allowed three walleye per day, all fish between 17 and 22 inches must be released; only one of the three fish can be over 22 inches.  Boaters should use caution on Storm Lake.  The hydraulic dredge is in operation in the east basin of the lake.  There is a pipeline running from the dredge to the shoreline and may rise to the surface at times.  Walleye - Excellent: Anglers have been doing very well for walleye lately.  Boat anglers have been drifting bottom bouncers and doing very well.  Shore anglers are using anything from minnows to crankbaits and twisters to leeches.

North Twin Lake

Fishing has picked up.  Walleye - Good: Anglers are catching a lot of nice walleyes.  Yellow Bass - Good: Fishing for yellow bass continues to be really good.

Swan Lake

Large numbers of black crappie are in close to shore all around Swan Lake.

Black Hawk Lake

Water clarity is around 4 to 5 feet.  Anglers are allowed three walleye per day and all fish must be at least 15 inches.  Bullhead - Excellent: A lot of nice sized bullhead are being caught.  Try fishing Ice House Point with a slip bobber and a piece of night crawler.  Channel Catfish - Good: A lot of nice catfish are still being caught.  Anglers can expect to pick up a few catfish while walleye fishing with leeches.  Walleye - Good: Anglers have been catching limits of walleye.  Move around until you find fish.  Bounce a weighted jig with a leech slowly across the bottom or use a leech under a slip bobber.  Minnows and night crawlers also work well.  Yellow Bass - Good: Fish the windy shorelines with a small bright jig.

Browns Lake

Water clarity is 40 inches.  Surface water temperature is 64 degrees.  Bluegill - Fair: Some decent sized bluegill (around 7.5 inches) are being caught.  Largemouth Bass - Good: There is a good population of big largemouth bass in Brown’s Lake.  Crappie - Fair: A lot of 11-inch plus crappie are being caught.  There are a lot of crappies along the east shoreline (outside bend) in the deeper water amongst the fallen in trees.

Snyder Bend Lake

Some nice crappies are still being picked up.

Great Western Park Lake

Some largemouth bass are being caught with night crawlers.

Southwood Conservation Area Pond (west)

Anglers are still catching crappie and a few catfish.  Bluegills are starting to move into the shallows and anglers are starting to pick up some nice ones.

Walleye are biting well at the three big natural lakes in the Black Hawk District.  Water temperature is in the high 60s and water clarity is good at most of the lakes.  For more information on lakes and rivers in this area contact Ben Wallace or Don Herrig at the Black Hawk District Office in Lake View at         712-657-2638     .

Beeds Lake

Anglers are catching panfish using small tube jigs or a jig and a piece of crawler in 10 feet of water or less.

Lake Smith

A few anglers have been catching panfish near shore using jigs with crawler.

Clear Lake

Crappie, bluegill, yellow bass, and perch are being caught in and around the cattail beds using hair jigs or jig and crawler.  Boat anglers are still finding walleye on the reefs using live bait or trolling the shorelines with crankbaits in 4 to 12 feet of water.  A few catfish and bullhead are being caught on the west end of the lake on crawlers.

Rice Lake

A few anglers fishing from shore report catching bullheads on hook and crawler.

Black Pit

A few anglers have reported catching crappie and bluegill near shore on small jigs with minnows or crawlers.

Fin and Feather Lake

Bluegills have been biting on jig and crawler or tube jigs in 6 feet or less of water.

Interstate Park Lake

Anglers are catching bluegill on a small jig with a piece of crawler casting from shore.

For more fishing information contact the Clear Lake fish and wildlife station at         641-357-3517     .

Lake Pahoja

Bluegill - Good: Anglers are reporting catches of bluegill fishing with a bobber and small piece of worm.  Crappie - Good: Anglers are starting to catch crappies in shallow water.

Big Spirit Lake

Bullhead - Good: Many fish are being caught along the North Grade.  Some have been reported up to 14.5 inches, just shy of the Master Angler size of 15 inches.  White Bass - Good: White bass fishing is good around Angler’s Bay.  Bluegill - Good: Try fishing in protected areas on sunny days by docks.  Smallmouth Bass - Good: Anglers fishing for walleye are also catching smallmouth bass.  Crappie - Good: Crappie fishing is still consistent in Trickles Slough, Buffalo Run, and Hales Slough.  Walleye - Good: Many fish have been caught from shore and in boats.  The best bite has been at sunrise and sunset near inlets of the lake and the old footbridge.  Muskellunge - Fair: Anglers are reporting a few muskies being caught and many follows.

East Okoboji Lake

White Bass - Good: Anglers fishing near the Spirit Lake spillway are catching good numbers of white bass.  Yellow Perch - Fair: Some yellow perch are being caught while fishing for white bass and yellow bass.  Walleye - Good: Walleye fishing has been good all week along rocky shorelines and near Parks Marina.  Yellow Bass - Good: Anglers on the spillway are catching many yellow bass.  On sunny calm days the bite can be excellent.  Many master angler fish greater than 10 inches have been caught during the spawn.

Little Spirit Lake

Bullhead - Good: Anglers are reporting catches of large bullhead near the outlet of Little Spirit Lake.  Yellow Perch - Fair: Some decent sized perch have been caught fishing at the outlet using a small jig.  Freshwater Drum - Good: Drum have been caught while fishing for bullhead and perch.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)

Bullhead - Good: Anglers report catching bullheads at inlet areas of the lake.  Yellow Perch - Good: Try fishing along sandy shorelines in the early morning and at sunset.  This lake has many yellow perch up to 12 inches.  Walleye - Good: Walleye fishing has been good on the windblown shorelines at night.  Many large fish have been reported.

West Okoboji Lake

White Bass - Good: Anglers fishing for white bass have had some success in the past week.  Bluegill - Good: Try fishing along docks in shallow bays with a small jig and piece of worm or wax worm.  Walleye - Good: Dock fisherman and anglers fishing rocky points have had success this past week.

Five Island Lake

Bluegill - Good: Bluegill are being caught in the same areas as crappies.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Try fishing along rock piles and tree falls along the shorelines.  Crappie - Good: Try fishing with a small jig tipped with a twister along brush piles in deeper water.

Lost Island Lake

Crappie - Good: Try fishing by the bridge between the little lake and the main lake along the rocks.

East Hottes

Bluegill - Good: Try fishing near fallen trees with a small jig and twister or top water lure.  Crappie - Good: Anglers are catching crappie while fishing for bluegill

Little Sioux River (state line to Linn Grove)

Channel Catfish - Good: Anglers are starting to catch more channel catfish as water temperature has risen.  Walleye - Good: Try using a jig and minnow along the bottom.

Fishing in area lakes has stayed consistently good even with the wind and rain this week.  Remember that there is a protected slot limit on walleye in the Great Lakes chain from 17 to 22 inches and only one fish is allowed over 22 inches. For more information, contact the Spirit Lake fish hatchery at         712-336-1840     .

NORTHEAST

Volga Lake

Anglers report best luck for crappies and bluegills in shallow water.  Bluegill - Fair: A few big bluegills are being caught while fishing for crappies.  Crappie - Good: Anglers are using small tube jigs for best luck and are catching a lot of small ones.

Lake Hendricks

County Road T68 to Lake Hendricks is will be under construction through late June.  Use the north entrance which can be accessed by the gravel road (Birch Ave.) to the east of Riceville.  Bluegill - Fair:  Largemouth Bass - Excellent: Best luck on bass is using dark colored plastic worms.  Several over 18 inches are being caught.  Crappie - Fair: Anglers are using wax worms with some luck.

Lake Meyer

Bluegill - Good: Bluegill are visible on their spawning beds and very aggressive now.  Bite is still good using a nightcrawler fished off the jetty.  Largemouth Bass - Fair: Anglers have been catching a few bass 10 to 14 inches.  Crappie - Good: Most are 6 to 8 inches with a few up 9 inches.  Anglers are having the best luck with small jigs and no bait at the northeast end by the jetty.  Work the brush piles.

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)

Water clarity is excellent. Fish activity may pick up if we get warmer weather. Sucker - Good: Anglers should try using a slip bobber and a hook tipped with a worm. Walleye - Slow: Anglers have been catching walleye using a jig tipped with a long piece of nightcrawler retrieved slowly.

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)

Anglers are catching walleyes below lower dam on jigs tipped with a crawler.  Bigger fish seem to be hitting Shad Raps.  Sucker - Excellent: Use a split shot about one foot above the hook tipped with a chunk of worm.  Northern Pike - No Report:  Smallmouth Bass - No Report:  Yellow Perch - No Report:  Walleye - Slow: Anglers are catching walleye but it is slow going.

Wapsi River (state line to Tripoli)

We have received no information regarding fishing on this water body this week.

Cedar River (above Nashua)

Water levels have stabilized and water is clearing. Northern Pike - Slow: Anglers have been catching pike while fishing for walleye.  Channel Catfish - Good: Best bait for cats is dead chubs, stink bait or chicken livers.  Largemouth Bass - Slow: Largemouth are just starting to bite.  Try using dark twistertails with a splash of white.  Walleye - Slow: Anglers are using minnows and jigs with some luck but are also using a variety of plastic lures.

Decorah District Streams

Trout remain active on the surface in northeast Iowa.  For small baetis hatches, #18 to #22 Thread Wrap patterns have been effective.  A few trout have been taken on caddis patterns, including #16 Henryvilles and Deer Hairs.  A #16 Adams remains an excellent dry fly searching pattern. For stocking information, call         563-927-5736     or http://www.iowadnr.gov

Area lakes continue to slowly warm but action is picking up with warmer weather.  With yesterday’s 1.5 to 2.5-inch rain in the eight county area, river water levels have risen about 1 to 2 feet and are muddy.  Trout streams with better land management and water quality will clear faster.  For more information, contact the Decorah fish hatchery at         563-382-8324     .

Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)

Water temperature is ideal for crappie spawning. Concentrate in the shallow bays and off the jetties.  Bluegill - Fair: Try fishing with a small hook or small jig with a piece of nightcrawler fished under a bobber.  Crappie - Fair: Try fishing with a crappie minnow under a bobber or casting colored tube jigs.

George Wyth Lake

Fishing is starting to pick up for crappie.  Crappies should be moving into shallow water bays, off jetties and the fishing dock.  Bluegill - Good: Try fishing with a small hook or small jig with a piece of nightcrawler fished under a bobber.  Crappie - Good: Try fishing with a crappie minnow under a bobber or casting colored tube jigs.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)

River levels are rising with the recent rainfall. In Black Hawk County, anglers have been doing very well on crappie in the backwaters. Catfish angling should remain good with the current conditions.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Dead cut baits or nightcrawlers fished on the bottom in most areas of the river has been productive on channel catfish.  Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Jigs tipped with a twister and nightcrawler slowly retrieved off of the bottom works well.

Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)

The Wapsi River is rising in Buchanan County with the recent rainfall. Channel catfish may be an anglers best bet right now with current conditions.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Nightcrawlers or dead cut baits fished on the bottom has been good.  Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Jig tipped with a nightcrawler or crankbaits are very productive for smallmouth bass this time of year.  Walleye - Fair: Try a jig tipped with half a nightcrawler or casting crankbaits.

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)

Maquoketa River is currently on the rise and more rain is in the forecast for the holiday weekend.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Try nightcrawlers, dead cut baits or stink baits fished on the bottom of the river.  Walleye - Fair: Jig and twister tipped with a minnow or crawler has been productive.

Manchester District Streams

Trout streams are in good condition but rain is in the forecast. Call the Manchester district office for stream conditions at         563-927-3276     .

Interior rivers are currently rising and have been providing angling opportunities for a variety of different species, especially channel catfish. Anglers are beginning to catch crappie and bluegill on area Black Hawk and Bremer County lakes. Trout streams in the Manchester district are in good condition but rain is in the forecast. Call ahead for stream conditions. For further information contact the Manchester district office at         563-927-3276     .

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9

River level at Lansing is 10.5 feet and expected to rise slowly to 11.6 feet over the next week.  Village Creek ramp is open but Army Road Ramp at New Albin is still closed.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel Cats are being found in log piles near shore in moderate current.  White Bass - Fair: White bass starting to hit near shorelines.  Look for jumping minnows and pitch small white jigs or spinners.  Bluegill - Fair: Some bluegill and other panfish are being taken out of noncurrent areas with a simple bobber and worm rig.  With high water bluegill spots are hard to find but usually the fish are concentrated.  Smallmouth Bass - Good: Fish along exposed rock shorelines with current.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass are hitting well but finding good shoreline to fish may take some work.  Walleye - Slow: A few walleye being caught near wing dams and the bottoms of running sloughs.  Freshwater Drum - Good: Drum are really starting to bite on worm on the bottom.

Mississippi River Pool 10

River levels are still high at Lynxville at 20.3 feet and expected to rise to 21.6 feet over the course of the next week. Boat ramps at Harpers Ferry and Bussey Lake are open but Nobles Island and Sny Magill are still closed.  Northern Pike - Fair: Some nice northern pike being caught in the Sny Magill area.  Channel Catfish - Slow: A few channel cats starting to bite on cut bait or worms. White Bass - Fair: White bass are starting to hit well along shorelines. Look for jumping minnows and pitch small white jigs or spinners.  Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are being taken in the tail water but in places outside the heavy current areas.  A few bluegills hitting in Bussey lake but they are tending to be small.  Smallmouth Bass - Good: Fish along exposed rock shoreline with current.  Largemouth Bass - Excellent: Bass are really hitting well in the upper part of the pool below the dam and near Harpers Ferry.  Yellow Perch - Fair: Some nice perch have been caught in the Harpers Ferry area.  Walleye - Slow: A few walleyes being caught near wing dams and bottoms of running sloughs.  Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Drum are being taken all over the river, with most anglers using an egg sinker and nightcrawlers for bait.

Mississippi River Pool 11

River level at Guttenberg is 11.6 feet and expected to rise slowly to 12.4 feet over the next week. The Guttenberg city ramp is open but no courtesy docks are present.  The DNR ramp is open but parking is limited so boaters may have to park on nearby side streets.  Please use the city ramp if at all possible.  Downstream, the Turkey River ramp is not usable but the Mud Lake ramp and campground is open for business.  Channel Catfish - Fair: A few channel cats are being caught in the tail water usually by anglers fishing for sauger on sonar type lures.  Flathead Catfish - Slow: The first few flatheads have been reported to us, but the main run of flathead into the tail waters apparently has not started yet.  Most anglers use chubs in heavy current areas for the large flatheads.  White Bass - Good: White bass starting to hit along shorelines. Look for jumping minnows and pitch small white jigs or spinners.  Bluegill - Fair: Pockets of nice bluegills are being found in the tail waters. Most anglers using worms for bait.  Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Fish exposed rock shoreline with current.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass are hitting pretty well in the upper part of the pool along shorelines.  They tend to be on the small side and remember they need to be 14 inches to keep.  Walleye - Slow: A few walleye being caught near wing dams and the bottoms of running sloughs.  Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Drum are biting well on worm fished on the bottom.

River levels on the Upper Mississippi have are just below flood stage in most areas and expected to rise slowly over the next week. More boat ramps are beginning to open up but many others are still flooded or closed for clean up.  Boaters should be cautious of floating debris and be conscious of their boat wake and potential damage to shorelines and private property. Water temperature is 64 degrees.

Mississippi River Pool 12

River stage at Dubuque is 13.1 feet and is forecast to rise to 15.0 feet by next week. Water clarity is fair and water temperature is in the mid 60s.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Cats are biting on cut bait around snags in the side channels.  As the water was warmed, stink baits have also been producing.  Largemouth Bass - Fair: Bass are being caught in the backwaters and marinas around structure on soft plastics and crankbaits.  Walleye - Fair: A few walleye are being caught on the wing dams and the sand flat at Steamboat.

Mississippi River Pool 13

River stage at Bellevue is 12.2 feet and is forecast to rise to 13.0 feet by this weekend. Water clarity is fair but has diminished somewhat with recent rains.  Water temperatures are in the mid 60s.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Catfish biting on cut baits, crawlers, and stink bait in the side channels around structure.  Bluegill - Fair: Anglers are catching bluegill at Middle and South Sabula lakes on crawlers or small jigs under a bobber.  Largemouth Bass - Good: The bass bite has been good in Spring Lake and Browns Lake.  Crappie - Fair: Anglers are catching a few crappie in Middle and South Sabula lakes on minnows and small jigs under a bobber.  Walleye - Fair: Walleye are starting to bite on the wing dams.  Three-way rigs and crankbaits are producing.

Mississippi River Pool 14

River stage at Camanche is 14.31 feet and is forecast to rise to 15.7 feet by next Tuesday. Water clarity is fair but has diminished with recent rains. Water temperature is in the mid 60s.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel cats are biting on cut bait, crawlers, and stink bait.  Walleye - Fair: Walleye are biting on the wing dams or along mussel beds and rocky shorelines on three-way rigs, crankbaits, and jigs.

For fishing information in Pool 12 to 15 of the Mississippi River contact the Bellevue Fish Management and Research Station at         563-872-4976    

Mississippi River Pool 16

Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 12.63 feet and rising. Flood stage is 15 feet. River levels are forecast to reach 14 feet by Monday with current river predictions. Fishing has been slow due to recent heavy rains.  Channel Catfish - Slow: Fishing has been slow.  White Bass - No Report:  Bluegill - Slow: Bluegill fishing has been slow due to recent weather conditions.  Crappie - Slow: Crappie fishing has been slow due to recent weather conditions.  Walleye - Slow: Walleye fishing has been slow.

Mississippi River Pool 17

Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 12.00 feet and rising. Flood stage is 15 feet. River stage is forecast to reach 13.3 feet by early next week with current river predictions. The ramp at Big Timber is still closed. We have received no fishing information for this pool. Most fishing information has been coming from area lakes and ponds.  Channel Catfish - No Report:  White Bass - No Report:  Bluegill - No Report:  Crappie - No Report:  Walleye - No Report:

Mississippi River Pool 18

Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 13.71 feet and rising. Tail water stage is forecast to reach 14.8 feet by early next week.  Flood stage is 15 feet. Many of the boat ramps are still closed due to high water. Fishing has been slow due to the high water conditions. Most fishing information has been coming from area lakes and ponds.  Channel Catfish - No Report:  Bluegill - No Report:  Crappie - No Report:  Walleye - No Report:

Mississippi River Pool 19

Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 10.15 feet and rising. Flood stage is 10 feet. River stage at Burlington is 15.47 feet and Flood stage is 15 feet. Fishing has been slow due to the high water conditions. Most fishing information has been coming from area lakes and ponds.  Channel Catfish - No Report:  Bluegill - No Report:  Crappie - No Report:  Walleye - No Report:

Pools 16 to 19: With recent heavy rains river levels are rising. Some boat ramps are still closed due to high water. Water clarity is poor. Main channel water temperature is around 66 degrees. Fishing has been slow due to recent weather conditions. There is some debris floating in the river so boaters should use caution. For more fishing information on Pools 16 to 19 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at         563-263-5062     .

SOUTHEAST

Lake Odessa

All the ramps remain underwater and the Toolesboro road also remains closed.

Lake Geode

Water temperature is in the mid 60s.  Bluegill - Good: The male bluegills are starting their nests.  If you work slowly and quietly you can pick off a few from the beds before they spook since they are not defending the nests yet.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass are being caught in the shallows.  Some of the males are setting up nesting territories so look for those fish to be around the stumps and tree falls along the weed line.  Crappie - Good: The crappie spawn is nearly over but you can still catch some in shallow also look for them to be around the nearest drop-off to the shallow bays.

Lake Belva Deer

Water temperature is in the mid to upper 60s. Bluegill - Good: The bluegills are back into the shallows. A few of the bigger males are in really shallow building nests.  Largemouth Bass - Good: The bass are out along the edge of the weed lines eating small crappies. Jigs or small crankbaits seem to work best.  Crappie - Good: This week the crappies were in shallow near the edge of the weed beds in bays with the flooded trees. Small blue and white tube jigs (what I caught them on) or minnows seem to work well.

Lake of the Hills

Rainbow Trout - Fair: Trout are still active with some fish being picked up early and late in the day.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Catfishing is picking up with liver being the favorite bait.  Bluegill - Good: The bluegills are coming in shallow with a few starting to build nests.  Largemouth Bass - Slow: Bass fishing has been spotty although the serious bass anglers have been picking up some nice fish.  Crappie - Good: Start by working the tree falls in the upper end of the lake.  The crappies are in shallow finishing up there spawn.

Railroad Lake

This sister lake to Lake of the Hills has been favored with its warmer water making the fish a little more active.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Look for some nice fish around the stumps on the north side and along the flooded timber on the south side.

Skunk River (Rose Hill to Coppock)

The North Skunk, by Sigourney, is expected to go above flood stage this weekend so look for the Skunk to go up as well.

Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River)

The Iowa is forecasted by NOAA to come up to near bank full at Wapello sometime early this weekend.

Big Hollow Lake

This new lake down in Des Moines County is starting to get angler’s attention.  Go to the Des Moines County Conservation Board Website for more its location and a contour map.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Average size is 10 to 14 inches.  Start with using nightcrawlers around the creek channel and gully bottoms.  Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are being found around the jetties and shallow timber.  Worm and bobber is working the best. They are starting to build nests.  Largemouth Bass - Excellent: These fish are just below the legal length, their numbers are high and they are aggressive.  Fish on sunny afternoons in the shallow bays and terraces around the islands where the water will be a little warmer.  Crappie - Good: The crappies were in shallow around just about every tree in the lake.  Most are still a little small at about 8 inches.

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

Iowa Lake

Bluegill - Fair: Fish around shallow brush with small worms or jigs.  Crappie - Fair: Fish around shallow brush or rock with small jigs or minnows.

Kent Park Lake

Some bass and bluegills are being caught in the ponds, but the lake has been pretty slow.

Lake Macbride

The 10 horsepower maximum limit on outboards goes into effect on May 27. Water temperature has been about 70 degrees and clarity is very good.  Crappie - Fair: Fish up to 15 inches have been caught, with many being 9 to 12 inches. Fish around submerged brush/trees with a slip bobber/minnow or jig. The upper ends of the lake have been the most productive.  Walleye - Good: Some fish have been caught jigging over structure, and some fish have been caught trolling crankbaits.

Central Park Lake

Bluegill - Fair: Fish around shallow brush or in pockets for spawning bluegills. Nice sized fish are available.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Lots of bass are up shallow for the spawn. Most fish are 12 to 14 inches.

Pleasant Creek Lake

Water clarity is very good.  White Bass - Good: Look for schools moving into the shallows to spawn. Windblown areas tend to be best. Use jigs, spinners, or small crankbaits.  Bluegill - Fair: Look for spawning fish in the shallows. Use a small jig tipped with a worm or wax worm. Most fish have been good sized.  Largemouth Bass - Fair: Males have been moving shallower in search of nesting sites. Most fish are smaller. Remember, largemouth bass have to be 18 inches to keep.  Crappie - Fair: Fish around brush with tube jigs or minnows.  Walleye - Fair: A few fish are coming from jigging or trolling crankbaits. Most have been smaller.

Diamond Lake

Remember, minnows are not allowed here.  Bluegill - Fair: Fish around shallow brush piles. Use a small jig or small worm under a bobber.  Crappie - Good: Size has been a bit small (8 inches) but numbers are good. During the warm weather, fish have been caught right along the shoreline on small tube jigs.

Otter Creek Lake

Channel Catfish - Fair: Some nice sized fish have been caught. Nightcrawlers have been working well.  Bluegill - Fair: Look for spawners in the shallows. Use a small jig or worm.  Crappie - Fair: Fish around shallow brush with a small jig or minnow.  Yellow Bass - Good: The yellow bass are spawning now. Large schools will be roaming the shallows. Use a small jig, spinner, or minnow to catch these scrappy, tasty fish.

Union Grove Lake

People looking to catch crappies should be fishing here now! Fish shallow and don’t be afraid to keep your limit of 25 as there is an abundance of 8 to 9-inch fish.  Bluegill - Good: Fish around shallow wood and brush with a small worm or jig. Most fish will be 6 to 7 inches.  Largemouth Bass - Fair: Top water baits have been producing well.  Crappie - Excellent: Fish around shallow brush or rocky/sandy bays with a small jig or minnow. The shallow bays on the east bank from the beach to the dam are holding the greatest concentration of fish.

Coralville Reservoir

The current lake level as of May 25 is 683.5 feet and is now predicted to rise to 686.7 feet by June 2. Fishing reports are based off of last week’s normal water conditions.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Anglers are still catching catfish on cut bait and some on nightcrawlers.  Crappie - Fair: Some bigger sized crappies are being caught. Fish shallower brush and along rocky banks in coves.

Dike Lake

Bluegill - Fair: Fish are moving shallow to spawn. Try a small jig tipped with a worm or wax worm in shallow flats.  Crappie - Fair: Nice sized crappies are being picked up on minnows suspended over pallet structures.  Walleye - Fair: A few smaller walleyes are being caught here.

Cedar River (Cedar Rapids to Moscow)

Most reports have come from the dams in Cedar Rapids.  Channel Catfish - Good: Nightcrawlers have been catching fish below the dams.  Flathead Catfish - Fair: Fish have been caught on nightcrawlers but other live baits should be working as well.

For more information, contact the Lake Macbride fisheries station at         319-624-3615     .

Red Haw Lake

Bluegill - Fair: Use small jigs fished along shoreline structure and around submerged structure in 6 to 10 feet of water.  These fish will continue to move shallower at the water temperature rises.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Use rubber worms or spinner baits along the shoreline structure.  Crappie - Good: Use small jigs in shallow water.  The crappies have started to move shallow to spawn.

Hawthorn Lake (aka Barnes City Lake)

The lake had been drained for a lake renovation which is now complete.  New fish habitat areas have been built along with some new jetties.  The gate has been closed and the lake is now starting to fill.  As of May 17, the lake was approximately 1/3 full.  The boat ramps are still not usable.

Albia (lower)

Bluegill - Fair: Try areas along the shoreline.  Use small jigs tipped with a chunk of nightcrawler.

Lake Miami

Channel Catfish - Slow: Anglers have been having some success in the evenings using cut bait or dead chubs.  Largemouth Bass - Slow: Try using jig’n pig combos or spinner baits in 2 to 8 feet of water around submerged structure.  Crappie - Fair: Use small jigs along the shoreline.  Some sorting will be necessary for large fish.

Lake Sugema

Largemouth Bass - Fair: Some nice bass are being caught.  Use a jig’n pig combo or try spinner baits.  Fish areas with submerged structure.  Crappie - Good: Use small jigs or minnows along the shorelines or among the flooded timber.

Rathbun Reservoir

The lake level is at 908.27 feet with 904.0 feet normal pool.  Water temperature has been in the upper 60s.  Crappies have moved to deeper water with the cooler weather. Try deeper water first and then move shallow.  Anglers are reminded that walleyes have been tagged in Lake Rathbun and if tagged fish are caught please report the tag to the hatchery at         641-647-2406     .  Crappie - Fair: Use small jigs or minnows.  Anglers have been having some success fishing from shore.

For further fishing reports in south central Iowa, call the Rathbun fish hatchery at         641-647-2406     .

SOUTHWEST

Beaver Lake

Bluegill - Good: Bluegill have started to move shallow.  Some good bluegills are also still being caught fishing crawlers or small tube jigs near the flooded trees in deeper water.  Crappie - Fair: Crappie are being caught shallow, especially along the dam and jetties where there is rock.  A few are being caught near the mid lake flooded timber.

Rock Creek Lake

Crappie - Good: Crappie are being caught shallow, especially in areas with rock shoreline, using small tube jigs and minnows under a bobber.  Walleye - Good: Anglers fishing for crappie have been catching some walleye as well.  Some anglers switched to a jig and crawler presentation and had decent catches of 15 to 18-inch walleye.

Roberts Creek Lake

Crappie - Good: Crappies are being caught shallow in good numbers on small minnows. The crappie population in Roberts Creek is strong right now and is providing some excellent fishing.

Big Creek Lake

Bluegill - Fair: Bluegill are beginning to move shallower for the spawn.  Big Creek currently has some excellent bluegill with many fish from 8 to 10 inches.  Crappie - Fair: The crappie spawn is occurring at Big Creek.  Some fish are being caught shallow next to wood in the bays, but clear water is making them hard to approach and catch.  Most are being caught spawning on structure in 6 to 8 feet of water. Minnows under a bobber are working best. Walleye - Fair: Walleye are being caught on jigs, soft swim baits, crankbaits, and minnows.  The fish are being caught in the east ramp bay, the dam, and any jetties on the south half of the lake.  Most fish being caught are sublegal, but fish over 15 inches are coming in.

Hickory Grove Lake

Bluegill - Excellent: The bluegill spawn has started.  Bluegill can be caught on beds shallow.  Good bluegills are also being caught off the pallet piles in the lower portion of the lake.  The bluegills are good sized with some going over 9 inches.  Crappie - Fair: The crappie spawn is on.  Crappies are being caught shallow on the upper end of the lake and from habitat in 4 to 8 feet of water.

Lake Ahquabi

Bluegill - Good: Anglers fishing the brush piles near the fishing shelter are doing well on bluegills and also picking up a few crappie.  Boat anglers targeting the dam area and Northwest shore are having similar success.  Some large, spawning redear sunfish are also being caught. Fish the gaps and pockets in the vegetation close to shore.

Red Rock Reservoir

Crappie - Good: Anglers fishing in wind protected coves near wood structure in 4 feet or less of water have been catching some crappie over 10 inches.

Saylorville Reservoir

Crappie - Good: Spawning crappie are being caught near riprap in the marina bay, Cherry Glen, and Lakeview.  Any flooded willows protected from the wind in the back of small coves are also producing a few fish.

Des Moines River (Stratford to Saylorville Lake)

Channel Catfish - Excellent: Rising water levels will have catfish active and feeding.  Best baits will be large nightcrawlers or cut bait.  White Bass - Good: Anglers continue to catch good numbers of white bass and an occasional wiper below the Saylorville Reservoir.

Des Moines River (Saylorville to Red Rock)

White Bass - Fair: The white bass bite is fair below the Red Rock spillway casting jigs or drifting minnows under a bobber.

The crappie spawn is still occurring.  The current cool weather may slow the bite for a couple days, but it should be good again through the Memorial Day weekend.  Rains have the rivers in central Iowa on the rise, which can create some excellent catfishing.  Farm ponds have been and continue to be very productive for bluegill and crappie.  For information on central Iowa lakes and rivers contact Ben Dodd or Andy Otting at         515-432-2823     .

Greenfield Lake

Greenfield has one concrete boat ramp and is trolling motor only. Lake is full.  Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are on beds spawning. Cast small jigs for 7-inch fish.  Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth bass are being caught using jigs in the cedar tree piles and along the dam.  Crappie - Fair: Crappies have slowed along the dam but a few are still being caught using small jigs. Sorting is necessary for larger fish.

Nodaway Lake

Nodaway has one concrete boat ramp and good water quality. Channel Catfish - Fair: Catfish are being caught in the upper end of the lake using dead minnows. Bluegill - Good: Find bluegill spawning beds and cast small jigs for fish 7 to 8 inches. Crappie - Fair: Crappies are still being caught around rock. Slow trolling twister tails in deeper water is also working well. Fish average 9 inches with a few 11-inch fish being caught.

Cold Springs Lake

Cool weather has slowed the development of aquatic plants in the lake making the lake very fishable from shore.  Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish are being caught on cut bait fished in the shallows.  Catfish up to 4 pounds are common.

Lake Anita

The crappie spawn is coming to an end. Bluegills are spawning. Water temperature is 70 degrees.  Bluegill - Good: Work the shore line casting small jigs to find spawning bluegill. Fish are all sizes up to 9 inches.  Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth bass are being caught along the road beds and in brush piles.  Crappie - Fair: Crappies up to 10 inches can still be caught around underwater reefs and around jetties.

Willow Lake

Willow Lake has one concrete boat ramp and excellent water clarity. Bluegill and crappie have been fairly steady around the bridge and jetties. Fish close to structure and as deep as possible using worms or small casting jigs.  Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are being caught using worms around jetties. Fish are up to 8 inches.  Largemouth Bass - Fair: Fish middle of lake around trees in 10 feet of water. Size range up to 15 inches.  Crappie - Fair: Crappies up to 9 inches are being caught along the dam and around jetties.

Viking Lake

Viking Lake fish are coming back following the 2006 renovation. The lake has three concrete boat ramps and good water quality.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel catfish are being caught using dead minnows. Fish average 2 to 3 pounds.  Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth bass up to 18 inches are being caught around cedar tree piles using plastic baits.

DeSoto Bend

Water levels are very high at DeSoto. There is only one boat ramp available in the middle of the lake.  Crappie - Fair: A few crappies are being caught close to shore and around pilings. Cast twister tails tipped with minnows. Fish are 10 to 12 inches.  Walleye - Good: Walleye up to 20 inches are being caught slow trolling or casting twister tails close to flooded cattails. Fish are shallow. Most fish are being caught in less than 8 feet of water.

Lake Manawa

Crappies are still biting on the west side and in the canals. Catfish are biting on dead minnows.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel catfish are being caught on the windy shorelines using dead minnows.  Crappie - Fair: Crappies up to 12 inches are being caught on jigs and minnows in the canals and around docks.

Cold Springs District Farm Ponds

Farm ponds provide good early season fishing. Larger ponds with quality bluegill populations are good now as bluegills are close to shore spawning. Remember to always get permission to fish private farm ponds.  Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are spawning and are readily caught casting small jigs.  Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth are being caught next to shore casting small spinner baits using a slow retrieve.  Crappie - Fair: Cast small jigs alone dam for best success.

Crappie spawn is tailing off but a few can still be caught close to shore. Bluegills are now spawning. Water temperature is around 70 degrees. For more information on fishing call the district office in Lewis at         712-769-2587     .

Lake Icaria

The lake level is normal, the water temperature is in the mid 60s and the clarity is fairly good.  The panfish bite is better than a week ago.  Channel Catfish - Good: The catfish bite is steady with several fish coming from the shallows.  A few are starting to be caught on jigs by the bluegill anglers from mounds.  Bluegill - Good: A lot of fish are coming from the mounds on small jigs.  A few coves have males on the spawning beds.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Several largemouth bass are being caught from near shore in 2 feet of water.  Crappie - Fair: A few crappie are being caught from the shoreline areas but the bite is starting to slow a bit.

Slip Bluff Lake

Water clarity is about 2 1/2 feet and the temperature is still in the upper 60s.  Crappie - Fair: A few crappie are still coming from off the dam and the south jetty.

Fogle Lake S.W.A.

Water temperature is in the mid to upper 60s.  Clarity is good.  The crappie bite about the same as last week but the bluegills are better.  Bluegill - Fair: Several mid-sized bluegills are on the spawning areas of the quiet shoreline areas.  Crappie - Fair: Some nice crappie are being caught from the dam in about 4 feet of water during the evenings.  They are starting to get a little less aggressive.

Mt. Ayr Old Reservoir

Water temperature is in the upper 60s.  Water clarity is extremely good and the fish are spooked easily but the bite is good.  Crappie - Good: Several 8 to 9-inch crappie are coming from just off the dam and shoreline between the dam and boat ramp.  Small white or black jigs are working well.  Low light times are best.

East Lake (Lenox)

Water temperature is above 65 but the clarity is about 2 feet.

Lake of Three Fires

Water temperature is in the upper 60s and clarity is 3 feet at the dam.  Bluegill - Good: Bluegill are starting to gather on the spawning beds in quiet areas in less than 3 feet of water.  Largemouth Bass - Good: A lot of mid-sized largemouth bass are being caught from near shore all around the lake.  Crappie - Fair: A few crappie are being caught from just off the deeper shoreline areas of the jetties or the dam.  They are in and out a lot but the early morning and evenings are the most reliable.

Wilson Park Lake

Water temperature is in the upper 60s and the clarity is about 2 feet.  Bluegill - Good: Several mid-sized bluegills are coming from spawning beds located in the corner of the dam and the coves of the south side.  Crappie - Good: A few nice sized crappie are being caught from the dam.

Windmill Lake

The water temperature is above 65 and the clarity is about 18 inches.  Crappie - Fair: The dam and jetties are still producing a few nice sized crappie.  Small white or black jigs just out from the dam are the best.

Green Valley Lake

The lake level is down 9 feet for a sediment removal project.  The main concrete ramp is operational and accessible.  The lake has a lot of nice sized fish of all species.  The water temperature is in the upper 60s.  Water clarity is good.  Channel Catfish - Good: A few channel catfish are biting near the dam on crawlers.  Bluegill - Fair: The male bluegills are moving into the shallows to spawn.  The corners of the dam and steep coves are holding several.  Crappie - Slow: A few nice crappie are still being caught from the base of the dam in about 3 to 5 feet of water.

Three Mile Lake

The water temperature is in the middle 60s.  Water clarity is good at mid-lake and the dam.  Largemouth Bass - Good: A lot of largemouth bass are near structure in water less than 3 feet deep.  Crappie - Fair: The crappie are in, then back out, then back in but overall is about the same as last week.  Size ranges from 8 to 11 inches.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake

The water temperature is in the middle 60s.  Water clarity is very good. The bite is a little better than last week.  Bullhead - Fair: The shallows at the upper end are producing a lot of giant bullheads, some over 2 pounds.  A crawler on the bottom during the evening is the most effective.  Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are starting to bite from the tops of the mounds and the coves near shore.  Jigs work but crawlers are a little better.  Largemouth Bass - Fair: Several mid-sized bass are being caught from near shore.  Crappie - Fair: The crappie bite changes throughout the day.  Mornings and evenings are pretty good but mid-day can be tough.

West Lake (Lenox)

Water clarity is good and the temperature is above 65 degrees.

Mt. Ayr District Farm Ponds

Several ponds are producing very good panfish and largemouth angling.  A few bluegills are starting to move into the shallows during the evening.  Water temperature can be above 65 degrees. Bluegill - Good: The bluegills are spawning in most ponds and can be found near shore.  Crappie - Good: Anglers are finding several crappies near shore.

Water temperature is on a roller coaster and usually in the upper 60s.  Fishing at the small lakes and farm ponds is very good.  Crappies are in and out at the big lakes.  Bluegills are coming on strong. Water clarity is still good at most lakes.

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