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Iowa fishing report (Dec. 11, 2011)

November 11, 2011 at 12:13 PM

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

Nelson Park has the invasive plant brittle naiad.  Be sure to clean boat and trailer before you leave lake to avoid spreading this species to other water bodies.  Fishing has been slow for all species.

Yellow Smoke Park Lake

Yellow Smoke has the invasive plant brittle naiad.  Be sure to clean boat and trailer before you leave lake to avoid spreading this species to other water bodies.  Water clarity is excellent.  Fishing has been slow.

Crawford Creek Impoundment

Crawford Creek has the invasive plant brittle naiad.  Be sure to clean boat and trailer before you leave lake to avoid spreading this species to other water bodies.  Docks have been removed and the water has been shut off in the park for the winter.

Brushy Creek Lake

Bluegill and crappie are being caught in 20 to 25 feet of water on wax worms.

Bacon Creek Lake

The DNR will release 1,500 rainbow trout on Nov. 17 at 1 p.m.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

Boaters use caution.  The hydraulic dredge is in operation at Storm Lake.  Stay clear of dredge barge, booster pump barge, and pipeline.  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.  Fishing continues to be slow at Storm Lake.  Walleye - Slow:

North Twin Lake

Anglers continue to catch good numbers of yellow bass.  Most yellows are around eight inches with a few 9 and 10-inch fish mixed in.  Anglers fishing the windward shoreline have had the best luck.  There have been reports of walleye being caught as well.

Swan Lake

Bluegill and crappie are biting on very small jigs tipped with a wax worm or a red worm.  Bass fishing has been slow out in the deeper water.

Black Hawk Lake

Anglers are allowed three walleye per day and all walleye must be at least 15 inches.  Bluegill - Fair: Anglers have been catching medium sized bluegill in Town Bay from the south stone pier.  Walleye - Slow: Anglers have been catching a few legal walleye from Ice House Point using live minnows under a bobber or casting twisters and shad raps.  Some walleye have also been caught trolling shad raps.

Browns Lake

Fishing from shore has been slow.

Snyder Bend Lake

Snyder Bend has been reopened.  However, anglers need to be aware of the refuge boundary.

Great Western Park Lake

Great Western Park has the invasive plant brittle naiad.  Be sure to clean boat and trailer before you leave lake to avoid spreading this species to other water bodies.

Moorland Pond

The DNR will release 1,500 rainbow trout on Nov. 16 at 1 p.m.

Little Sioux River (Linn Grove to Correctionville)

A few northern pike and muskie have been caught on crankbaits and white twister tails.  Some walleye have been caught using a live minnow on the bottom or casting a jig head with a minnow.

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.

Clear Lake

Most of the docks have been removed. Yellow bass and a few walleyes are biting drifting cut bait. Anglers are having success catching a mixed bag of fish off the jetties.

Remember to clean, drain, and dry your boat and equipment to stop the spread of invasive species.  For more fishing information in the north central area contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.

Lake Pahoja

Bluegill - Good: Try fishing along the shorelines in the mornings and in brush piles in the afternoons for best action.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Try casting along brush piles and along the dam with a spinner bait or rattle trap for best action.

Big Spirit Lake

There has been little boat traffic in the past week.  Most action has been wader fishing.  White Bass - Good: Try casting in the weeds or rock piles with a rattle trap for best action.  Bluegill - Good: Bluegill fishing continues to be good at the north grade near the public dock.  Smallmouth Bass - Good: Anglers are reporting good catches of smallmouth casting crankbaits near rock piles.  Yellow Perch - Fair: Perch fishing continues to be erratic with some days being good fishing and others slow.  Walleye - Good: Wader fishing at dusk has continued to pick up in the past week along the west shoreline and at the footbridge.

East Okoboji Lake

Yellow Perch - Fair: The best luck has been anchoring near Parks marina or on the lower chain lakes and jigging with a pilkie tipped with a small piece of worm or wigglers.  Walleye - Good: Anglers have been catching walleyes near rock points and along rocky shorelines.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)

Walleye - Good: Wader fishermen are having the best luck at dusk casting crank baits or swim baits

West Okoboji Lake

Northern Pike - Good: Northern pike have been caught using the same tactics as largemouth.  Smallmouth Bass - Good: Smallmouth have been caught using the same tactics as largemouth near rock points.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Try fishing above the weeds in the bays with a spinner bait or shallow crank baits for best action.

Scharnberg Pond

Scharnberg Pond will be stocked with trout on Nov. 12, between noon and 1 p.m.

Area rivers have had some good walleye fishing recently with the best action being in deeper pools with structure. For more information on fishing in northwest Iowa, contact the Spirit Lake hatchery at 712-336-1840.

NORTHEAST

Volga Lake

Few anglers have been out on the lake.  Bluegill - Slow:  Largemouth Bass - Slow:  Crappie - Slow: Try using a jig tipped with a wax worm.

Lake Hendricks

Anglers have been fishing along the point around the handicap fishing pier and north along the road with some luck.  Bluegill - Slow:  Largemouth Bass - Slow:  Crappie - Slow:

Lake Meyer

Very few anglers have been on the lake this week.  Northern Pike - No Report:  Bluegill - Slow:  Largemouth Bass - No Report:  Crappie - Slow:

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)

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

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)

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

Turkey River (below Clermont)

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

Wapsi River (state line to Tripoli)

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

Cedar River (above Nashua)

Northern Pike - No Report:  Smallmouth Bass - Slow:  Crappie - No Report:    Walleye - Fair: Walleye have been hitting on jigs tipped with a minnow, worms or twistertails drifted over the deeper holes.

Decorah District Streams

#18 Blue Wing Olive hatches have remained excellent, though they are diminishing somewhat as colder weather approaches.  #18 Blue Wing dry fly (on the surface or drowned) and wet fly patterns have been successful casting upstream and twitching back downstream, especially late in the day.  Blue Wing nymph patterns have also been productive.  These patterns can remain effective through Thanksgiving.  Streams still have plenty of fish even though the stocking of catchable size fish has ended for the year.

Area rivers, lakes and trout streams remain in good condition even after recent rain/snow.  Several urban trout pond stockings are occurring this month and are listed on our website.  For more information, contact Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)

Walleyes are still hitting well in the areas with deeper water or holes they be overwintering in.  Walleye - Good: Jigs tipped with or without a twistertail and minnow has been most productive.

Wapsi River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)

There are still reports of walleye being caught on the Wapsipinicon River in Buchanan County and some occasional northern pike.  Northern Pike - Fair: Try casting spoons near woody debris for northerns.  Walleye - Fair: Jigs tipped with or without a twistertail and minnow has been most productive.

With the onset of early winter conditions, fishing on the inland lakes has been unproductive. There still have been reports of walleye being caught on the Cedar and Wapsipinicon rivers. Call the Manchester District Office at 563-927-3276 for any additional information.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9

River levels at Lansing are 7.8 feet and expected to stay at this level over the next week.  Northern Pike - Fair: Pike are scattered but feeding.  Many being caught on minnows along snags or in backwaters around what vegetation is left.  Bluegill - Good: Majority of bluegills have moved into overwintering areas.  Fish deeper areas and fish slow with small jigs and worms.  Smallmouth Bass - Good: Smallmouth bass are feeding along rocky areas with current.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth are still feeding but have moved closer to overwintering areas and are slowing down. Begin to use slower presentation to catch fish.  Crappie - Fair: Crappie bite slowing a bit as fish move into overwintering areas but nice fish still being caught in sloughs.  Walleye - Fair: Some nice walleyes being caught but reports are mixed.

Mississippi River Pool 10

River level at Lynxville is 13.1 feet and expected to stay at this level over the next week.  Northern Pike - Fair: Pike are scattered but feeding. Many being caught on minnows along snags or in backwaters around what vegetation is left.  Bluegill - Good: Majority of bluegills have moved into overwintering areas. Fish deeper areas and fish slow with small jigs and worms.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth are still feeding but have moved closer to overwintering areas and are slowing down. Begin to use slower presentation to catch fish.  Crappie - Fair: Crappie bite slowing a bit as fish move into overwintering areas but nice fish still being caught in sloughs.  Sauger - Good: Sauger bite is still on but has slowed a bit. Many 10 to 12-inch sauger with a few pushing 15 inches.  Walleye - Fair: Some nice walleyes being caught.  Jig and minnow still seems to be the best combination.

Mississippi River Pool 11

River level at Guttenberg is 4.7 and expected to rise slowly to 5.4 by next week.  Northern Pike - Fair: Pike are scattered but feeding. Many being caught on minnows along snags or in backwaters around what vegetation is left.  Bluegill - Good: Majority of bluegills have moved into overwintering areas. Fish deeper areas and fish slow with small jigs and worms.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth are still feeding but have moved closer to overwintering areas and are slowing down. Begin to use slower presentation to catch fish.  Crappie - Fair: Crappie bite slowing a bit as fish move into overwintering areas but nice fish still being caught in sloughs.  Sauger - Good: Sauger bite is still on but has slowed a bit. Many 10 to 12-inch saugers, with a few pushing 15 inches.  Walleye - Fair: Some nice walleyes being caught but reports are mixed.

Fishing levels remain low on the Upper Mississippi River Pools 9 - 11 and are expected to be stable at low levels over the next week.  Water temperatures have fallen into the mid 40s and the river is transitioning into winter fishing season.

Mississippi River Pool 12

Water Level at Dubuque is 5.3 feet and steady. Water temperature is in the middle 40s.  Fish are in a period of transition. Crappies and bass have moved into the backwaters.  Most of the anglers are targeting walleye and sauger and success is fair. The sauger bite will pick up shortly in the tail waters. Walleyes will be associating with wing dams on the upper pools.  Use three-ways or jigs and minnows. Walleye in the 20 to 27-inch slot cannot be kept.

Mississippi River Pool 13

Water Level at Bellevue is 4.7 feet and steady. Water temperature is in the middle 40s.  Fish are in a period of transition. Crappies and bass have moved into the backwaters.  Most of the anglers are targeting walleye and sauger and success is fair. The sauger bite will pick up shortly in the tail waters. Walleyes will be associating with wing dams on the upper pools.  Use three-ways or jigs and minnows. Walleye in the 20 to 27-inch slot cannot be kept.

Mississippi River Pool 14

Water Level at LeClaire is 4.5 feet and steady. Water temperature is in the middle 40s.  Fish are in a period of transition. Crappies and bass have moved into the backwaters.  Most of the anglers are targeting walleye and sauger and success is fair. The sauger bite will pick up shortly in the tail waters. Walleyes will be associating with wing dams on the upper pools.  Use three-ways or jigs and minnows. Walleye in the 20 to 27-inch slot cannot be kept.

Mississippi River Pool 15

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

River levels remain low and stable on the upper Mississippi Pools 12-15.

Mississippi River Pool 16

Crappie and bluegill are being caught in the backwaters and Sunset Marina although access to Sunset is difficult.  Small sauger are being caught in Sylvan Slough.  Current stage is 6.17 feet up slightly with the recent precipitation.  Water temperature is 47 degrees.  Bluegill - Good: Bluegill are being caught on bobbers and minnows or worms fished about two feet deep.  Crappie - Good: Crappie are being caught on bobber and minnows fished about two feet deep.  Sauger - Fair: Some small sauger are being caught trolling in Sylvan Slough

Mississippi River Pool 17

Pool 17 stage is 4.76 feet and water temperature is 47 degrees.  The pool is up slightly with the recent precipitation.  Crappie - Fair: Crappies are being caught in the backwaters.  Try around the trees and brush piles in Big Timber.  Bobbers and minnows fished about two feet deep seems to be working.

Mississippi River Pool 18

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

Mississippi River Pool 19

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

Pool 16-19 water temps are running 47 degrees from north to south.  River level is still low but up slightly with the recent precipitation boaters should continue to use caution.  Many of the backwaters have been difficult to access but the slight bump in the stage should help that situation.  Remember to drain, clean and dry your boat to avoid accidently transporting invasive species.

SOUTHEAST

Lake Odessa

Crappie - Good: Crappies are biting. Look to head them off as they head towards deeper water in Odessa to overwinter.  Key locations are around old beaver lodges and bigger downed trees. Water temperature is 51 degrees.

Lake Belva Deer

The south ramp remains closed for construction but will be reopened very soon.  Bluegill - Fair: There are a few anglers still out.  Look for the bluegills to be between 6 to 8 feet deep.

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

Lake of the Hills

Rainbow Trout - Excellent: Trout were stocked on Oct. 22.  Find the trout and you’ll get a limit quickly. Use wax worms and artificial lures.  Channel Catfish - Good: Look for the catfish to be in the shallow bays on warmer afternoons.  Crappie - Good: Crappies are around the dock area and brush piles. Minnows are working the best. Remember Lake of the Hills is the only lake in West Lake Park that you can use minnows.

Railroad Lake

Channel Catfish - Good: Catfish are hitting with increased frequency as they fatten up for winter. Liver and night crawlers are the baits to use.  Crappie - Good: More crappies are being caught along the timber by the old creek channel.  Remember minnows are not allowed in Railroad Lake.

Wilson Lake

Trout were stocked Nov. 5.  Rainbow Trout - Excellent: Look for the trout to be hanging around the cedar tree piles and fallen trees that create habitat in the shallow water.  Be ready to catch a limit fast.

Environmental Discovery Park North Pond

Water temperature was 51 degrees on Saturday.  Trout were released Nov. 5.  Rainbow Trout - Excellent: The trout fishing is excellent.  Look for the fish to be out in about four feet of water. Don’t be surprised to actually see the fish as they cruise the shoreline.  Powerbait and spinners seem to be working the best.

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

Lake Macbride

All the loading docks have been taken out for the winter.  Crappie - Slow: Vertical jig brush piles with a jig or minnow.  Walleye - Slow: Crankbaits have produced a few fish. Windblown areas should start producing fish as the walleyes feed up for winter.

Pleasant Creek Lake

Loading docks have been removed for the winter.  White Bass - Fair:  Bluegill - Fair: Fish off the dam with a small worm.  Walleye - Fair:

Diamond Lake

Crappie - Fair: Crappies were being caught off the jetties prior to the snowfall.

Coralville Reservoir

The lake level as of Nov. 9 was 686.7 feet.  White Bass - Fair: Cast jigs or small crankbaits to windblown banks.  Crappie - Fair: Fish jigs over brush piles.

Iowa River (Coralville Lake to River Junction)

Walleye - Good: Look for walleyes in deeper holes. Some big fish have been caught recently.

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

Red Haw Lake

Fishing pressure has slowed down.  Try a chunk of nightcrawler for bluegills in the 6 to 12 foot range.  Target areas with submerged structure.

Hawthorn Lake (aka Barnes City Lake)

The lake was drained last year for a lake renovation but work is complete.  New fish habitat areas have been built along with some new jetties.  The lake is now full.  Fingerlings were stocked in May.

Lake Sugema

Lake Sugema contains the invasive plant brittle naiad so make sure to inspect and clean your boat and trailer when leaving the lake.  Fishing has been slow.  Try for crappies in 10 to 15 feet of water using minnows.

Ottumwa Lagoon

Trout were stocked on Oct. 14.  Try using small spinners or small jigs.

Rathbun Reservoir

The lake level is 904.22 feet with 904.0 feet being normal pool.  Water temperature has been in the lower 50s.  Crappie fishing has been slow.  Try areas with underwater structure in 10 to 15 feet of water using bobbers and minnows.  Don’t forget Lake Rathbun contains zebra mussels so make sure to clean, drain, and dry boats before transporting to another water body.  Spray boats and trailers with high pressure hot water (above 104 degrees) or let them dry for at least 10 days (five days in sun).

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

SOUTHWEST

Lake Anita

We have received no information regarding fishing on this water body this week.  Bluegill - No Report: Try the same presentation and location used by ice anglers.  Largemouth Bass - No Report: Look for largemouth bass schooled up in and around brush piles and road beds.  Crappie - No Report: Crappie up to 11 inches are available.  Try using small ice fishing tackle in the cooler fall water temperatures.  Fish the same areas normally targeted by ice anglers.

Lake Manawa

Crappies are being caught off docks on the main lake.  Anglers are sorting for larger fish.  Crappie - Fair: Fish under the docks w/ minnows.  Sort for nicer sized fish.

Trout were stocked in West Lake in Big Lake Park in Council Bluffs on Nov. 9. Trout fishing in the park would be a good option over the Veterans Day Holiday weekend.  The onset of colder fall temperatures has slowed activity on area lakes and up to date information is limited.

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