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Print

Iowa fishing report 5-7-10

May 07, 2010 at 05:29 AM

NORTHWEST

Crawford Creek Impoundment

Anglers are catching bluegills and crappies at the face of the dam and in front of the campground area.  Bluegill - Good: Anglers are catching good numbers of hand-sized fish.  Crappie - Good: Anglers are catching good numbers of hand-sized fish.

Badger Lake

Fishing is quickly picking up.  Bluegill - Good: Bluegill have moved in near shore and are being caught on small jigs.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Fishing for bass has been good using plastics.  Crappie - Good: Crappie have moved in near shore and are averaging 9 to 10 inches.

Brushy Creek Lake

All boat docks are in place.  The water in the bays and backwaters has warmed up and fish are starting to move in near shore.  Bluegill - Fair: Bluegill are being caught on small jigs and wax worms.  Crappie - Fair: Try fishing with small, live minnows.  Walleye - Fair: Some walleye are being caught on live bait.

Bacon Creek Lake

1,600 rainbow trout were stocked on April 17.  Anglers need a trout stamp in addition to their regular fishing license to fish for or keep trout.  Rainbow Trout - Good: Use very small spinners or anything else that is small and flashy when casting for rainbow trout.  When fishing from shore, avoid the east side of the lake near the playground where the water is very shallow near shore.  Rather, try fishing from the face of the dam, the west side of the lake, and the area from the fishing dock below the parking lot to the dam.  These are areas where it is fairly deep close to shore and the trout should be cruising these waters.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

Storm Lake is still going strong for walleye fishing.  The daily bag limit is 3 walleye, all 17 to 22-inch walleye must be immediately released, and only one walleye over 22 inches may be kept.  White Bass - Fair: Some white bass are being caught on white twisters.  Walleye - Excellent: Shore fishing for walleye has slowed down quite a bit.  However, anglers fishing from boats are doing very well.  Boat anglers are catching walleye trolling at a speed of about 1 mph.  When trolling, try using a fire-tiger twister with a minnow and target points and rocky areas and dredge cuts.  Anglers have also had good luck drifting in about 10 feet of water and jigging for walleye.

North Twin Lake

Fishing is good at North Twin right now.  Walleye - Good: Anglers report good walleye fishing at North Twin.  Twisters, crankbaits, jigs, and chubs under bobbers are catching fish.  Yellow Bass - Good: Yellow bass fishing is fast action right now, but the yellow bass are about 7 to 8 inches.

Swan Lake

Crappies are biting at Swan Lake around shore and from the fishing jetties.  Crappie - Excellent: Crappie between 7 and 8 inches are being caught as fast as you can reel them in.  This is a great place to take kids fishing.  Try fishing from shore between the fish house and the outlet.  Use a small jig baited with a wax worm or a Barkley crappie niblet under a bobber set 1 to 2 feet down.

Black Hawk Lake

Fishing is starting to pick up at Black Hawk Lake.  Walleye must be 15 inches or longer to keep and anglers are allowed 3 walleye per day.  Channel Catfish - Good: People are catching their limit of eight channel catfish per day.  When the wind is blowing hard look for areas where there is a strong current near shore and cast your bait into the current and let it sit on the bottom.  Gizzard shad guts work the best, but cut bait and stink bait work too.  Walleye - Fair: A lot of shorts and a fair number of keepers are being caught.  Fish ice house point with a leech under a slip bobber set just off the bottom.

Snyder Bend Lake

The road to Snyder Bend Lake is closed for resurfacing.

Black Hawk District Farm Ponds

Panfish and bass are biting in farm ponds around the Black Hawk District.  Remember to ask the landowner’s permission before fishing privately owned farm ponds.

Water temperature at most of the lakes is in the 60s.  Storm Lake is still the hot spot for walleye fishing in the Black Hawk District.  For more information about these lakes and rivers, call Ben Wallace or Don Herrig at the Black Hawk District Office in Lake View at 712-657-2638.

Beeds Lake

Bluegills are biting on tube jigs.

Clear Lake

Yellow bass fishing has slowed some with the cooler weather. A few fish are still being caught in the early mornings around the island and in the evenings off the docks using small jigs.

Little Wall Lake

Crappies are biting on small jigs or a hook and minnow. A few largemouth bass are biting on plastic baits.

Fin and Feather Lake

A few bluegills are being caught using a worm fished under a bobber.

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

Lake Pahoja

Bluegill - Fair: Use a small jig below a bobber at brush piles and rock jetties.  Crappie - Fair: Use a small jig or minnow below a bobber at brush piles and rock jetties.

Big Spirit Lake

Bullhead - Good: Use night crawlers at the Grade under the road at the fish barrier.  Northern Pike - Fair: Drift a sucker or large minnow below a bobber in Angler’s Bay.  White Bass - Good: Use a white hair jig tipped with a minnow or shiner at sunset.  Bluegill - Fair: Use a small ice jig tipped with a wax worm below a bobber at Buffalo Run, Templar Lagoon, and in Anglers Bay.  Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Fish rock bars with jerk baits or jigs.  Largemouth Bass - Fair: Fish around boat docks or bull rush beds in Angler’s Bay with soft plastics.  Crappie - Fair: Use a small jig or minnow and hook below a bobber at Templar Lagoon and Buffalo Run.  Walleye - Good: Many fish in the 13 to 16-inch range are being caught trolling crankbaits or drifting with worms or leeches.  Fish from shore after sunset with a jig and minnow or lighted slip bobber.

Center Lake

Bullhead - Fair: Use worms fished on the bottom on the south shore.

East Okoboji Lake

Channel Catfish - Fair: Use large minnows or cut bait on the bottom.  White Bass - Fair: Use a white jig and minnow at the bridges.  Yellow Perch - Good: Use small hair jigs or a minnow below a bobber on the north shore at the spillway.  Walleye - Fair: Troll crankbaits along rock bars or fish at sunset with a jig and minnow or lighted slip bobber with a minnow or leech.  Yellow Bass - Good: Use small white jigs near the bridges in the evenings.

Minnewashta Lake

White Bass - Good: Use a white hair jig tipped with a minnow or shiner at sunset.  Walleye - Good: Use a white hair jig tipped with a minnow or shiner at sunset.  Yellow Bass - Fair: Use a small jig along boat docks.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)

White Bass - Fair: Fish at sunset with a jig and minnow.  Walleye - Fair: Use a jig and minnow or troll crankbaits at sunset.

West Okoboji Lake

If you are looking for a place to take kids fishing go to Triboji (Lazy Lagoon) on the northwest end of North Bay.  Plenty of parking is available with good shoreline for casting along the boat docks.  There are many different sizes of bluegills with plenty of action.  Bluegill - Good: Use a small ice jig tipped with a wax worm along boat docks in the canals.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Use soft plastics pitched near boat docks or other cover in the canals.  Crappie - Fair: A few fish are being caught while bluegill fish with small ice jigs tipped with a wax worm.  Walleye - Fair: Use a lighted slip bobber with leeches over rock bars after sunset.

Ingham Lake

Bullhead - Good: Fish below the dam with worms.

Five Island Lake

Channel Catfish - Fair: Use stink bait or cut bait at the bridge.  Crappie - Good: Fish around boat docks or other shoreline structure with a bobber and minnow.  Walleye - Good: Troll crankbaits or drift with live bait.  Fish from shore at sunset with a jig and minnow.

Lost Island Lake

Bullhead - Fair: Use worms fished on the bottom in the Little Lake Bay.  Walleye - Good: Troll crankbaits or fish from shore at sunset with a jig and minnow.

High Lake

Bullhead - Good: Fish with worms on the bottom.

Silver Lake (Palo Alto)

Bullhead - Good: Use worms fished on the bottom.  Walleye - Fair: Troll with crankbaits or drift using live bait.  Fish are also being caught from shore at sunset with a jig and minnow.

East Hottes

Bluegill - Good: Use a small ice jig tipped with a wax worm along shoreline structure.

Big Sioux River

Channel Catfish - Good: Fish current edges in deep holes or above brush piles with worms, stink bait, or cut bait.  Some channel cats are also being caught at the Klondike Dam.  Walleye - Fair: use a jig head tipped with a worm or minnow below the Klondike Dam in the mornings.

Little Sioux River (state line to Linn Grove)

Channel Catfish - Good: Use worm, cut bait, or stink bait in eddies or above brush piles.  Walleye - Good: Use a jig tipped with a worm or minnow along current edges and eddies.

West Fork Des Moines (state line to Emmetsburg)

Channel Catfish - Fair: Use cut bait or worms fished above brush piles or deep holes.  Walleye - Fair: Use twister tails or a jig tipped with live bait along current edges of holes.

Little Spirit Lake

Bluegill - Fair: Use small jigs near brush piles.  Crappie - Fair: Fish downed trees with a small minnow and bobber.  Yellow Perch - Fair: Use small jigs or a minnow below a bobber along shorelines.

Willow Creek

Bluegill - Good: Use small jigs tipped with live bait below a bobber.  Largemouth Bass - Fair: A few fish are being caught using small jigs while fishing for bluegills.  Crappie - Good: Use a small minnow beneath a bobber.

Upper Gar Lake

Remember that all 17 to 22-inch walleyes must be released alive.  Bluegill - Good: Use small jigs along boat docks.  Walleye - Good: Use a lighted slip bobber and shiner on the north end at night.

Muskie season opens on May 21.  Walleye season is now open on Big Spirit, East and West Okoboji Lakes.  All walleye between 17 and 22 inches must be released.  There is a 3 fish limit of which only one over 22 inches may be kept.  For more fishing information in the Spirit Lake area call 712-336-1840.

NORTHEAST

Volga Lake

Take notice of the new structure in the lake as fish will be found close by.  Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are biting on small ice fishing jigs tipped with a wax worm.  Largemouth Bass - No Report:  Crappie - Slow: Crappie activity should pick up as temperatures stabilize.  Crappies are biting on 1/32 ounce jigs tipped with a wax worm. Most of the fishing activity is along the shoreline and relating to structure.

Lake Hendricks

Angling has really leveled off this week.  Bluegill - Fair: Try using a small jig tipped with a wax worm.  Largemouth Bass - Fair: Bass have been hitting on crankbaits this week.  Crappie - Fair: Crappie fishing has picked up a bit.  Yellow Perch - No Report:

Lake Meyer

The action on Lake Meyer remains slow.  Northern Pike - No Report:  Bluegill - Slow: Some bluegills are being caught using small dark colored jigs and 1/32 ounce heads.  Largemouth Bass - Slow: Anglers are having the best luck on bass working the shorelines with artificial lures.  Crappie - Slow: Anglers are still catching a few crappies in the 7 to 10-1/2-inch range with small crappie jigs that are minnow colored.  Yellow Perch - No Report:

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)

Water quality is excellent and angling for walleye and smallmouth has leveled off with fish still being caught.  Sucker - Slow: Try using a worm on a hook but the key is to get it to sit on the stream bottom.  Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Smallmouth Bass are being caught by anglers using in-line spinners and small crankbaits. As well as twister tails.  Walleye - Fair: Some nice walleyes are still being caught in the deeper pools using jigs tipped with ringworms.

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)

River conditions are excellent.  Anglers have reported smallies and walleyes have starting biting.  Sucker - Slow: Try using a worm fished off the bottom for continued success.  Smallmouth Bass - Good: Smallmouth Bass are being caught using in-line spinners and small crankbaits. Some anglers have also had luck using crawlers.  Try below the lower dam.  Remember fish are migrating upstream to prepare for the spawn.  Smallies have not spawned yet so catch and release is a good idea.  Yellow Perch - Good:  Walleye - Good: Walleyes are starting to bite again on crawlers and crankbaits.

Turkey River (above Clermont)

Water temperature below the Cresco dam is around 60 degrees.  Walleyes are being associated with the deeper pools below the riffles.  Smallmouth Bass - Slow: Few fish are being caught.  Walleye - Fair: Walleyes are being seen in the deeper pools below the riffles.  They are associating with underwater structure.

Cedar River (above Nashua)

Water quality is excellent this week and water temperatures are on the rise.  To target walleyes concentrate on deeper pools below riffles.  Northern Pike - Slow: Anglers are catching a few northerns while fishing for walleyes.  Channel Catfish - Slow: Try using whole or chunks of chubs.  Also a few anglers are using chicken liver with luck.  Smallmouth Bass - Slow: A few smallmouth are caught while angling for walleye.  Walleye - Slow: A few smaller walleyes are being caught.

Decorah District Streams

Trout streams remain in excellent condition.  There have been excellent hatches of numerous types of mayflies.  May’s stocking schedule is available online at http://www.iowadnr.gov/fish/news/stockrep/trout.html as well as a phone number for the stocking schedule at 563-927-5736.  Stocking of our unannounced streams is taking place.  The unannounced streams will be listed on next month’s calendar.  Schedules will be available monthly this year.

River and lake temperatures are slowly warming but fish activity is varies from lake to lake.  Area streams are in great condition and very fishable.  For more information about a specific stream, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.

Silver Lake (Delaware)

Silver lake is providing good catches of 12 to 14-inch largemouth bass. Size limit is 15 inches on this lake.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Try casting spinner baits or buzz baits before the onset of dense vegetation in early summer.

Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)

Anglers have reported catches of largemouth bass, bluegill, channel catfish and a few crappies on Casey Lake.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Try fishing cut baits on the bottom.  Bluegill - Good: Fly-fishing for bluegill along the shoreline has been productive. Using a small piece of crawler on a small hook under a bobber has been good also.  Largemouth Bass - Fair: Try casting top water baits, spinner baits or crankbaits near woody structure or off of the dam and around the jetties. There is an 18-inch minimum size limit on largemouth bass.  Crappie - Fair: A few crappies have been taken but should expect to improve with warming water temps. Concentrate around the jetties using crappie jigs or minnow under a bobber.

Lake Delhi

Crappies should begin spawning soon as water temperature warms. Anglers have been catching bluegills on the lake as well.  Bluegill - Good: Try small ice fishing jigs or a small hook tipped with a wax worm or piece of redworm in and around brush piles and docks.  Crappie - Fair: Try crappie jigs in and around brush piles and docks.

Big Woods Lake

Anglers are beginning to report catches of crappie and channel catfish.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Try fishing cut baits on the bottom.  Crappie - Fair: Concentrate around 6 to 8 feet of water off of shoreline.

George Wyth Lake

Crappies are beginning to pick up here on George Wyth Lake.  Crappie - Fair: Concentrate around dock and jetties.

Avenue of the Saints Pond

A few bluegill and crappie are being caught on Saints Lake.  Bluegill - Fair: Use a small piece of worm under a small bobber.  Crappie - Fair: Try a minnow under a bobber or casting crappie jigs.

Plainfield

Reports of bluegill being caught on Plainfield Lake.  Bluegill - Fair: Try fishing small piece of worm under bobber around structure.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)

The Cedar River has been very productive for a variety of fish species in both Bremer and Black Hawk counties, especially channel catfish.  Northern Pike - Fair: Large spinner baits have been catching a lot of northern pike on the river recently.  Channel Catfish - Excellent: Drifting crawlers or minnow under a bobber in shallow riffle areas has been real productive on nice cats in Bremer County. Also try fishing cut baits and dead minnows on the bottom near log jams.  Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Jig and minnow and spinner baits have been working well.  Walleye - Fair: Jig and minnow have worked well for post-spawn males in the shallower riffle areas.

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)

Walleye and smallmouth bass fishing should improve as water temperatures warm.  Channel Catfish - Good: Anglers have had good success on channel catfish using dead cut baits and minnows.  Smallmouth Bass - Good: Try casting spinner baits, crankbaits and plastics for these aggressive fighters!  Walleye - Fair: Jig and minnow have been productive.

Wapsi River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)

The Wapsipinicon has been producing channel catfish and smallmouth bass.  Channel Catfish - Good: Try crawlers, cut baits, etc. on the bottom in both channel and shallow backwater areas.  Smallmouth Bass - Good: Try casting spinner baits, crankbaits or jigs with a twister around rock shorelines or woody debris.

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)

Maquoketa River should start to produce catches of walleye, smallmouth bass and channel catfish as water temperatures warm.

Interior river levels continue to fall and are producing good numbers of channel catfish along with some walleye, smallmouth bass and northern pike. Some lakes are beginning to report the onset of the crappie spawn with warming temperatures. Trout stocking season is in full swing with streams remaining in excellent condition. For more information contact district office in Manchester at 563-927-3276.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9

Channel Catfish - Fair: A few catfish beginning to bite on stink bait near woody debris and rocky areas.  Bluegill - Good: A few people are catching their limits in the slacker water past the tail waters.  Smallmouth Bass - Good: Try fishing areas with rock and good current, especially near a good back eddy.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth can be found feeding on minnows near the shore in the slack water of a back eddy with some sort of structure (boulders/wood).  Walleye - Fair: A few walleyes caught on wing dams and in Minnesota Slough.  Freshwater Drum - Excellent:  A lot of drum being caught just fishing worm on the bottom along main channel and side channel shorelines.  Drum are easy to clean and excellent eating fish especially if eaten fresh.

Mississippi River Pool 10

Fishing remains very good in the Harpers Ferry area right now.  Channel Catfish - Good: Catfish being caught above the spillway near Harpers Ferry fishing a worm on a bobber.  Bluegill - Good: Some nice bluegills being caught along main channel shorelines below the lock and dam.  Smallmouth Bass - Good: Smallmouth hitting well along rocky areas with current.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth being caught along woody debris and emerging vegetation beds.  Crappie - Slow:  Yellow Perch - Fair: A few nice sized perch being caught fishing a worm on the bottom.  Walleye - Fair: A few walleyes being caught trolling on wing dams.  Freshwater Drum - Excellent: A lot of drum being caught right now fishing a worm on the bottom near main channel and side channel shorelines.  Drum are excellent eating fish especially if prepared fresh.

Mississippi River Pool 11

Bluegill - Good: Some nice bluegills being caught from shore by the DNR ramp but the bite is light so use light line and small jigs and pieces of worm.  Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Some smallmouth being caught fishing near rock in good current.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth being caught along shorelines with woody debris.  Yellow Perch - Fair: A few nice yellow perch being caught on worms.  Walleye - Fair: A few walleyes being caught trolling on wing dams.  Freshwater Drum - Excellent: A lot of drum being caught along shoreline in the Guttenberg area fishing a worm on the bottom.  Drum are excellent eating fish especially when prepared fresh.

River levels continue to drop slowly. River levels at Lansing 8.1 feet, Lynxville 15.4 feet, and Guttenberg 6.5 feet.  Water temperature is in the low 60s.

Mississippi River Pool 16

Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 7.42 feet.  Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish are being caught on crawlers, leeches and dip baits fished on the bottom. Places to try are Sunset Marina, the Davenport Riverfront, Sylvan Slough, and the mouth of the Rock River.  White Bass - Good: White bass are being caught casting small crankbaits and jigs/twisters in Sunset Marina and up by the Lock and Dam. Fishing is usually best early in the morning or right before dark.  Bluegill - Slow: Fishing for bluegills in backwaters has been slow.  Crappie - Slow: Crappie fishing in the backwaters has been slow.  Sauger - Slow:  Walleye - Fair: Walleyes are starting to be picked up on the wing dams on jigs/minnows or by pulling three-way rigs with a floating crankbait.

Mississippi River Pool 17

Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 5.94 feet.  Channel Catfish - Good: There are reports of channel catfish being caught at GPC on crawlers.  White Bass - Fair: White bass fishing has been fair. A few fish are being picked up along the Muscatine Riverfront casting jigs and twisters.  Bluegill - Slow: Bluegill fishing in the backwaters has been slow.  Crappie - Slow: Crappie fishing in the backwaters has been slow.  Walleye - Fair: Walleyes are being caught on the wing dams towards the dam. A few fish are also being picked up along the Muscatine Riverfront casting jigs and twisters. Some walleyes are also being picked up by GPC on large minnows and leeches.

Mississippi River Pool 18

Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 8.38 feet.  Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish are being caught on crawlers, dip baits, and shad guts.  White Bass - Slow:  Bluegill - Fair: A few bluegills are being picked up in the backwaters floating a piece of crawler under a bobber.  Crappie - Fair: A few crappies are being picked up in the backwaters on jigs and minnows or floating minnows under a bobber.  Walleye - Fair: There are reports of some walleyes being caught on wing dams on jigs and minnows or by pulling crankbaits on three-way rigs.

Mississippi River Pool 19

Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 5.30 feet. Most fishing reports are coming from area lakes and ponds.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel catfish are being caught on night crawlers fished along the bottom.  White Bass - Slow:  Bluegill - Slow:  Crappie - Slow:  Walleye - Slow:

Mississippi River Pools 16-20: River levels have been falling over the past week. Main channel water temperature is around 65 degrees.  For more fishing information contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

SOUTHEAST

Hannen Lake

Bluegill - Fair: Size makes up for numbers here. Fish shallow brush with small jigs or worms.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Numbers make up for size here. Bass are hitting on a variety of artificial and live baits.  Crappie - Fair: Fish around brush and rock. The warmer it gets, the shallower you should fish.

Iowa Lake

Bluegill - Fair: Try around brush or warmer pockets/coves with a worm or small jig.  Largemouth Bass - Fair: Try spinner baits or plastics around shallow wood.  Crappie - Fair: Fish around brush with small jigs or minnows.

Kent Park Lake

The ponds have been providing better fishing for nice sized bass and small bluegills.  Bluegill - Fair: Anglers using fly fishing equipment have been doing well. Otherwise use a small jig or worm along the dam or brush.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Anglers are catching bass on a large assortment of live and artificial baits. Look for cruising males in the shallows.

Lake Macbride

The water clarity is as clear as it has ever been. A clarity test was done near the beach and showed a clarity of 22 feet. The farther up each arm you go the less clarity. East of the causeway is especially murky.  Crappie - Fair: Fish areas with warmer water with small jigs or minnows under a bobber. Most fish are coming off brush. The clearer the water, the deeper you should fish. Most fish are 10 to 13 inches.  Walleye - Fair: Trolling or casting crankbaits in 10 to 15 feet of water has been producing fish. Try a little shallower in dirtier water and a little deeper in clearer water.

Central Park Lake

Bluegill - Good: Look in shallow pockets or flats for bluegills getting ready to spawn. Try small jigs or worms.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Sublegal bass are being caught on night crawlers and plastic lizards.  Crappie - Fair: 9 to 11-inch crappies have been picked up. Try small jigs or minnows. The north end of the lake has been good.

Pleasant Creek Lake

Remember, there is an 18-inch size limit on bass and 40-inch size limit on muskie. The water is very clear.  White Bass - Good: Schools are moving up shallow and along the dam. Try jigs or small crankbaits that are silver or white.  Bluegill - Good: Look for bluegills in shallow coves, especially around shallow brush or overhanging trees. Wax worms have been working well.  Largemouth Bass - Fair: Crawlers and soft plastics along the dam are producing some bass.  Walleye - Fair: Crankbaits are producing a few fish.

Diamond Lake

Remember, no minnows are allowed here.  Channel Catfish - Good: Catfish have been hitting on crawlers, especially after rain events.  Crappie - Good: Most fish are smaller with an occasional larger one mixed in. Blue or lime jigs seem to work best.

Otter Creek Lake

Crappie - Fair: Some smaller crappies are being caught around shallow brush.  Yellow Bass - Excellent: Look in shallow coves or flats for schools of yellows. Try small jigs, spinners, or live bait.

Union Grove Lake

Channel Catfish - Good: Catfishing has turned on recently. Stink bait seems to be producing best.  Bluegill - Good: Small jigs are producing bluegill in shallow coves or flats.  Crappie - Good: Fish around rock, docks, or wood with a small jig or minnow under a bobber.

Coralville Reservoir

As of May 6, the lake level is 679 feet and water is extremely dirty. Boating above Sandy Beach is not recommended.

Iowa River (Marshalltown to Coralville Lake)

Channel Catfish - Good: The catfish are biting on crawlers. Anglers running bank lines are also having good success.

Iowa River (Coralville Lake to River Junction)

As of April 28 the outflow is 8,000 CFS and is predicted to drop gradually until 2,000 CFS is reached. This is predicted to be achieved about May 7.

Cedar River (La Porte City to Cedar Rapids)

Flathead Catfish - Good: Try below the dams with live bait.  Smallmouth Bass - Good: Live bait and artificials have been working well. Try below the dams…especially in Cedar Rapids.

For more information contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.

Lake Wapello

The lake has refilled after last year’s fish population renovation.  Red ear and channel catfish were stocked last fall along with some largemouth bass and bluegill.

Red Haw Lake

Bluegill - Fair: Use small jigs tipped with a chunk of night crawler fished around the shoreline.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Use spinner baits around structure or off the ends of the jetties.  Use plastic worms in the same areas.

Lake Keomah

Try using small jigs around shoreline structures and jetties.  Anglers have been catching some largemouth bass.

Albia (lower)

The gate has been reopened and a new boat ramp has been constructed on the reservoir.  Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use spinner baits fished along the shoreline and around areas with submerged structures.  Crappie - Fair: Use small jigs along the shoreline and around submerged structure.  There are buoys marking areas where cedar trees have been placed for fish habitat.

Lake Miami

The lake is now full from last year’s drawdown.  Try small jigs fished along the shoreline and along the dam.

Lake Sugema

Bluegill - Fair: Use small jigs tipped with a wax worm or a chunk of night crawler.  Look for areas with submerged structure.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Use spinner baits or crankbaits around rocky shorelines or submerged structure.  Use plastic worms around areas with trees and other woody vegetation.  Walleye - Fair: Use jigs or crankbaits along the rocky shorelines.  Also try areas in 6-10 feet of water with a minnow fished under a slip bobber.

Rathbun Reservoir

The current lake level is 911.02 feet with normal pool being 904 feet.  The water temperature is ranging in the upper 50s to the low 60s.  Crappie - Fair: Fish around submerged structure in 8 to 10 feet of water with small jigs and minnows.  Some fish are up shallow starting to spawn.  Walleye - Fair: Use jig and minnow combinations along rocky areas around the shoreline.  The walleye bite has been shallow so far this spring.  Please be wary of tagged walleyes and if these fish are harvested please call the hatchery with the tag number.  The phone number for the hatchery is 641-647-2406.

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

SOUTHWEST

Don Williams Lake

Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth are spawning.  Don Williams holds good numbers of large bass.  Crappie - Fair: Water temperature is in the lower 60s and the crappie are beginning to move shallow.  Some good size crappie are being caught near tree falls and stumps, and drifting in the upper half of the lake.  Use small panfish jigs or minnows under a slip bobber.

Rock Creek Lake

Channel Catfish - Good: Good catches of channel catfish are being caught along the causeway using night crawlers.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass anglers are doing well.  Bass are in shallow spawning.  Crappie - Fair: Crappie are beginning to move shallow for spawning, but anglers are also still catching them near deeper structure using crappie jigs.

Big Creek Lake

There is currently a walleye harvest study taking place.  Anglers who catch a walleye should look near the tail of the fish for a small yellow tag.  The tags can be removed from harvested or released fish of LEGAL size and returned with a survey for a cash reward.  The surveys can be picked up at the marina, park office, Polk City Bait and Tackle, or Johnston Bait and Tackle.  There are also signs posted at the boat ramps with instructions.  Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are moving shallow and are being caught best with pieces of worm near structure in the coves and bays.  Lost Lake is also producing some good gills using small jigs and wax worms fished near any wood structure.  Crappie - Fair: The crappie spawn is just beginning.  Some males have moved into the coves near wood structure.  Crappies are also still being picked up in Lost Lake and in the brush piles in the deeper water at the mouths to the coves.  Live minnows under a bobber are working best.  Walleye - Fair: Decent numbers of walleye are being caught near the points fishing live bait under bobbers, or jigs with twisters or live bait.  More legal sized fish are being caught with larger bait presentations such as crankbaits.

Lake Ahquabi

Bluegill - Good: Bluegill are starting to be caught shallow on live bait fished on the edge of the vegetation or open pockets within the vegetation and near shallow wood structure.  Largemouth Bass - Fair: Bass are guarding nests shallow and anglers are doing well fishing the open pockets in the vegetation.  Crappie - Fair: Crappie are not yet shallow for spawning, but are being caught on the rock piles using small crappie jigs or minnows under a slip bobber.

Red Rock Reservoir

White Bass - Fair: White bass are being caught below the Roberts Creek spillway.

Saylorville Reservoir

White Bass - Good: Anglers are doing well catching white bass below the Big Creek spillway in the mornings and evenings just before sunset.

Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake

Bluegill - Good: The bluegill bite is good shallow fishing with small pieces of night crawler.  Like the crappies, more bluegills are being caught fishing close to any wood structure.  Crappie - Fair: The spawn is just starting.  Good sized crappie are starting to be caught closer to shore using minnows under a bobber, especially near any wood structure.

Des Moines River (Saylorville to Red Rock)

White Bass - Good: Anglers are having success fishing for white bass below the Saylorville spillway.  White bass have been off and on below the Red Rock spillway, but anglers are catching some every day.  Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) - Good: Anglers fishing for white bass below the Red Rock spillway are having good success catching wipers, some 6 to 8 pounds and larger.

Boone District Farm Ponds

Farm ponds are providing some excellent fishing.  Pond water temperature is at spawning temperature for crappie and bluegill.  Both species can easily be caught fishing live bait under a bobber or casting small panfish tube jigs. 

Central Iowa lakes have warmed slightly into the low to mid 60s.  The crappie and bluegill spawn is slowly beginning for many lakes.  Contact Ben Dodd or Andy Otting at 515-432-2823 for information on the above area lakes and rivers.

Greenfield Lake

Greenfield Lake has one concrete boat ramp and is trolling motor only.  Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth bass are being caught around cedar tree piles casting crankbaits and small spinners.  Crappie - Good: Crappies are spawning around jetties and the dam. Cast small jigs close to shore. Fish are averaging 9 inches.

Nodaway Lake

Nodaway has a good population of crappies in the 8-9 inch range.  Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish in the 1 to 2-pound range are being caught on night crawlers.  Crappie - Good: Crappies are spawning and close to shore. Sorting is necessary for 9-inch fish. Cast small jigs around rocky shoreline.

Orient Lake

Orient is full with one concrete boat ramp. Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel catfish are being caught on night crawlers. Fish are averaging 14 inches.  Crappie - Fair: Crappies are just moving in to spawn. Cast jigs close to rocky shorelines.

Littlefield Lake

Littlefield has a large watershed and water quality can suffer after rain events. The lake has one concrete boat ramp.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel catfish are being caught in upper end of the lake on cut bait.  Crappie - Fair: Littlefield has a good population of 8 to 10-inch crappies. Cast small jigs around rocky shorelines.

Lake Anita

Lake is full and has good water clarity.  Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills up to 9 inches are being caught with small jigs tipped with Berkley Gulp.  Largemouth Bass - Slow: A few largemouth bass are being caught around cedar tree piles using plastic baits.  Crappie - Fair: Cast rocky shoreline to find pockets of spawning crappies. Fish average 9 inches.

Willow Lake

Willow lake has one concrete boat ramp with excellent water quality.  Crappie - Fair: Crappies are being caught around rocky shorelines casting small jigs. Fish are 10 inches.

Prairie Rose Lake

Prairie Rose has two concrete boat ramps and camping facilities.  Crappie - Fair: The crappie bite has slowed some since last week. Fish average 8 inches.

Lake Manawa

Water temperature is in the mid 60s.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel catfish are being caught on the south and west side with liver.  Crappie - Good: Crappies fishing has picked up again in the canals. Three inch rubber shad has been working well.  Walleye - Fair: Anglers are still catching walleyes trolling shad raps on the west side of lake.

Middle Raccoon River (above Van Meter)

Water levels in the Middle Raccoon are back to fishable.  Walleye - Slow: For best success cast twister tails tipped with minnows around structure and deeper pools.

Cold Springs District Farm Ponds

Many farm ponds hold good populations of bass, bluegill, crappie, and channel catfish. Remember to always ask permission before fishing private ponds.  Bluegill - Fair: Fish are becoming active and can be caught with small jigs.  Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth bass can be caught casting small spinner baits around structure.  Crappie - Good: Crappies are beginning to spawn and can be caught close to shore casting small jigs.

Saganaush Pond

1,500 rainbow trout were stocked on April 2.  Rainbow Trout - Fair: Fish are averaging 12 inches and being caught on small jigs. White twister tails have been a good choice.

Water temperature is holding in the mid 60s with fair water clarity in most lakes. The crappie spawn has started in many lakes and ponds. For more information contact Bryan Hayes or Mark Boucher at the Cold Springs District Office 712-769-2587.

Lake Icaria

Water temperature is in the above 60.  The lake level is normal and water clarity is good.  Channel Catfish - Good: A lot of catfish are biting at the upper end and bays next to the jetties.  Largemouth Bass - Excellent: A lot of largemouth are being caught from the shoreline structure on spinners and crankbaits.  Crappie - Excellent: The crappie are near shore in gravel areas.  Some anglers are catching a fish every cast.  Most fish range from 7-1/2 to 9-1/2 inches long.  Walleye - Good: Walleye fishing is steady near shore.

West Lake (Osceola)

Water clarity is good.  Largemouth Bass - Good: A lot of nice sized largemouth bass are biting from the shoreline structure.

Little River Watershed Lake

Water clarity is about 2-1/2 feet.  Channel Catfish - Good: Several channel catfish are being caught from the shoreline accesses in stink bait and blood baits.  Crappie - Good: A lot fish ranging from 7-1/2 to 8 inches are being caught from shore.

Fogle Lake S.W.A.

Water clarity is good and temperature is near 60 degrees.  Crappie - Good: Crappie are near shore near the jetties and the gravel areas.

Lake of Three Fires

Water clarity is good and the fish are biting.  Largemouth Bass - Good: A lot of mid-size bass are near shore around the fallen trees.  Crappie - Excellent: The crappie are moving near shore and biting well on small jigs.

Green Valley Lake

The lake level has been lowered to allow for sediment removal from the upper end.  The fish have been restocked and some catfish are being caught.

Summit Lake

The lake has been lowered for shoreline stabilization.

Three Mile Lake

Water temperature is above 60 degrees.  Walleye and crappie are being caught near shore.  Channel Catfish - Fair: A few channel cats are being caught from the shallow areas of the upper end on stink bait.  Crappie - Fair: Several crappie are biting near shore around the timber coves and the fish are moving into shallow water.  Walleye - Fair: Several walleye are still being caught off the steep rocky shoreline areas during the evening.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake

Water temperature is in the mid 60s and clarity is very good.  Bullhead - Excellent: A lot of big bullheads are being caught from shore using crawlers.  Channel Catfish - Good: A lot of channel catfish are being caught from the upper portion of the lake on stink baits.  Bluegill - Fair: A few bluegill are starting to bite on crawlers from the coves.  Largemouth Bass - Excellent: Bass are biting well from the shoreline structure and rocks.  Crappie - Good: Several crappie are starting to bite near shore in gravel areas.  Walleye - Fair: A few walleye are being caught by jigging and trolling the gravel areas in the mornings or evenings.

The crappies are biting fast.  Many ponds and small lakes have temperatures near 65.  Water clarity is good at most places.  A lot of small walleyes are being caught.

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