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Iowa fishing report for April 28

April 28, 2013 at 07:36 AM

Iowa Department of Natural Resources

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report 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
Brushy Creek Lake
The docks are in place at the west and south boat ramps.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Water clarity is poor. Water temperature is around 45 degrees. The east boat ramp and marina boat ramp are usable. Avoid the Bel Air boat ramp. Water levels are approximately 2 feet below crest. Channel Catfish - Fair: Walleye - Slow:

Swan Lake
Anglers have started to catch crappie from the piers and fish house. Crappies are around 9 inches. Water levels are approximately 3 to 3.5 feet low.

Black Hawk Lake
Water levels are 24 inches below crest. The fishery in Black Hawk Lake was renovated in fall of 2012 so there are no fish to catch at this time. Bluegills have been restocked and additional species will be stocked over the next several months.

Arrowhead Lake
Anglers are catching a few bluegill and yellow bass in the south end. Water levels are approximately 2 feet low.

Black Hawk Pits
No fishing reports have been received for Black Hawk Pits. However, anglers might try fishing for catfish with cut bait or shad guts.

Little Sioux River (Correctionville to Missouri River)
Little Sioux River is turbid and moving swiftly. Fishing has been difficult.

Beeds Lake
No reports, yet, but catfish should be feeding in the shallower west end. Try fishing along the causeway when the wind is from the south or southwest. Anglers should also try by the cuts for bass or crappies.

Upper Pine Lake
Water temperature is less than 40 degrees on Upper Pine Lake; a few northern pike have been caught. If the fishing is slow, you can watch the amazing variety of birds and wildlife on the lake. One report this past week counts: 300 pelicans, 50 sea gulls, 100 cormorants, 9 snowy egrets, 3 eagles, 1 pair of ospreys and a couple of river otters.

Lake Smith
There has been little or no activity at Smith Lake due to the weather.

Clear Lake
The lake is up about 3-4 inches from last week; about 14 inches below crest. Water temperature is around 40 but will be warming up this weekend. Channel Catfish - Fair: Fishing for channels should be good on any warm day this week. Try some cutbait, worms, or stinkbait on a windward shoreline. Walleye - Slow: Anglers are catching walleyes close to sunset near the outlet. Some reports of boat anglers catching some in the little lake. Most are caught on jig and a minnow retrieved slowly. Muskellunge - Slow: There is a good population of musky in Clear Lake. The city beach and east shoreline would be a good starting point for anglers wanting to catch an early season musky.

Lake Cornelia
Channel Catfish - Slow: Cats should be biting on cutbait or stinkbait on a warmer day.

Little Wall Lake
Crappie - Fair: Crappie (6-8 inches) and bluegills have been hitting on the north end off the jetty.

Crystal Lake
Ice is finally out at Crystal. No reports from open water anglers, yet. Northern Pike - Slow: Anglers may have success using slow presentations such as weedless spoons. Bluegill - Slow: Great population of 7 to 9-inch bluegills in the lake.


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

Blue Pit
Rainbow trout were stocked on Jan 19. Rainbow Trout - Fair: Crappie - Fair: Anglers have caught a few crappies on minnows this week.

Iowa River (Iowa Falls to Marshalltown)
Water level in the Iowa River is on the rise from runoff and recent local rains. There is some activity below Steamboat Rock for walleye and northern pike.

Shell Rock River (above Greene)
The Shell Rock is rising with recent rains. Anglers might try below some of the dams for walleye, northern pike or catfish. Northern Pike - Slow: A few northern pike are being caught with a chub and bobber, or slow artificial presentations. Between Northwood and Nora Springs below dams, backwater areas and anywhere a creek feeds into the river. Walleye - Slow: A few small walleyes are being caught on jig/twister.

Winnebago River
Anglers might have success at some of the dams in Mason City, Fertile, or Forest City. Look for eddy areas, where the current is slower. Northern Pike - Slow: Northern pike are being caught in Fertile by the dam and the park point east of the dam. Anglers are using a slow retrieval with Mepps number 4 and 5 spinner baits or a Rapala three-inch Countdown Minnow. Some pike are also hitting chubs presented below bobbers. Channel Catfish - Slow: Anglers should try below the dams or in backwater areas using cutbait, stinkbait or minnows.

East Fork Des Moines (Algona to Humboldt)
Walleye - Slow: Anglers are catching a few walleyes on the river on jigs/twister tails.

River temperatures are low and levels are up and down with rain and ice melt. The weather looks favorable for the weekend so fishing should pick up. For lake updates and fishing information in the north central area contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.

Mill Creek (Lake)
Look for some good bluegill, bass and crappie fishing this spring and summer. Good numbers of 7-8 inch bluegills and 9-10 inch crappies were caught during surveys last year as well as many bass in the 14-17 inch range.

Big Spirit Lake
Walleye season is closed until May 4. Bullhead - No Report: As the water starts warming, look toward the grade for some early bullhead action. Smallmouth Bass - Slow: Best angling during calm sunny days fish shallow rock piles and then work deeper. Crappie - Slow: As the water continues to warm the crappies will move inshore look for them around rock piles and in protected areas.

East Okoboji Lake
Walleye season is closed until May 4. Channel Catfish - No Report: East Okoboji has good numbers of channel catfish and soon after ice out is an excellent time to catch good numbers. Try cut bait around structure, like brush piles, points and drop-offs. Crappie - Good: Fishing off the trestle bridge has been good near the pillars with minnows and small jigs. A few bluegills are also being caught in the same manner.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Look for walleyes along rocky shorelines and near the inlet and outlet. Try fishing slow with a jig and minnow or twister tail in the evening.

West Okoboji Lake
Walleye season is closed until May 4. Once the water starts to warm, look for bluegills and bass to move into the canals.

Lost Island Lake
Walleye and crappie action has been slow but as the water warms fishing should pick up.

Silver Lake (Palo Alto)
Good numbers of 9-inch bullheads await the serious bullhead angler. Expect the action to pick up as the water warms. There are also good numbers of 8-inch yellow perch and with continued good growth will provide an upswing to the fall 2013 season.

For more information contact the Spirit Lake Hatchery at 712-336-1840.

NORTHEAST
Volga Lake
Few anglers have been out and the ones who have report slow fishing. More fish habitat will be added to the lake on Friday. Try fishing in shallower water as that will be warmer. Bluegill - No Report: Crappie - No Report:

Lake Hendricks
The lake is finally ice-free. Habitat was placed in the lake this week and should provide nice cover for fish. Water temperature is 45 degrees.

Lake Meyer
Lake Meyer is finally ice free. Fish habitat was placed in the lake this week. Fish activity has been slow. Bluegill - No Report: Largemouth Bass - No Report: Crappie - No Report:

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
Water levels have stabilized. With warmer weather on its way, fish activity should begin to pick up. Walleye - Slow: Try for walleye just off the current breaks. Since the water is still cold, use a slow retrieve.

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
Water levels have stabilized and water is clearing. A few northerns and walleye are starting to bite. Sucker - Fair: The bite is starting to pick up with more stable water. Try using a worm on a hook weighted to bounce along the stream bottom.

Yellow River
Nice brown trout were hitting on jigs imitating minnows. Please remember to get landowner permission to fish the Yellow River or fish out of a canoe or kayak.

Cedar River (above Nashua)
Anglers are catching a few small northern pike below the St. Ansgar Dam with a chub and bobber. A lone fisherman reported catching his limit of walleye on a green jig head and twister tail tipped with a minnow. Water levels have stabilized. Channel Catfish - Fair: Anglers were catching cats on dead chubs in the impoundment above Nashua dam as the water levels dropped.

Decorah District Streams
Dark Hendrickson, Blue Wing Olive and Baetis hatches continue to be heavy on northeast Iowa streams. Good fish have been consistently taken on standard Hendrickson and blue wing dry, wet and nymph patterns. Bright wooly buggers and streamers have been effective in stained water. Call 563-927-5736 for current stocking information.

River and stream water levels have stabilized and dropped to more springtime levels. For more on water levels, visit http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ia/nwis/rt. Water clarity has improved and temperature is rising. All Decorah area trout streams will be stocked this week. It sounds like spring has finally arrived and a great weekend is in store. For more information, call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.

Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
Anglers have been catching crappie off of structure. Crappie - Fair: Fish light tackle under a slip bobber near sunken structure.

Avenue of the Saints Pond
There have been reports of largemouth bass being caught with some quality sized bass available. Largemouth Bass - Good: Artificial baits have been most productive; spinnerbaits, crankbaits and rattle baits. Keep the retrieve slower this time of year with the cooler water temperatures.

Plainfield Lake
There have been reports of largemouth bass being caught. Largemouth Bass - Good: Artificial baits have been most productive; spinnerbaits, crankbaits and rattle baits. Keep the retrieve slower this time of year with the cooler water temperatures.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
The Cedar River is falling and conditions are vastly improving. Walleye and smallmouth bass fishing has improved, with some reports of crappie being caught in the shallow water impoundment areas. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Lead head jigs tipped with plastics or slowly retrieved crankbaits and spinner baits work well with the colder water temperatures. Crappie - Fair: Anglers are using a minnow under a bobber or small jigs fished in shallow water around structure on the impoundment areas. Walleye - Good: Lead head jigs tipped with a minnow is good for walleyes. Cast upstream and bounce off of bottom while retrieving.

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
There have been good reports of walleye fishing on the Shell Rock River that should only improve as weather and river level conditions stabilize. Walleye - Fair: Lead head jigs tipped with a minnow is good for walleyes. Cast upstream and bounce off of bottom while retrieving.

Wapsi River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
The river is currently at 7.16 feet and slowly falling in Buchanan County. Fishing should improve as water levels begin to recede.

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
The Maquoketa River is currently falling and in really good condition for fishing in Delaware County.

Manchester District Streams
Area Manchester District trout streams are currently in excellent condition.

The weather forecast is setting up for a beautiful weekend of fishing. There have been good reports of smallmouth bass, walleye and crappie on the Cedar River in Bremer County. Walleye are biting well on the Shell Rock River. Smaller Black Hawk and Bremer County lakes are reporting good largemouth bass fishing. Manchester District trout streams are in excellent condition. For more information call the district office in Manchester at 563-927-3276.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER
Mississippi River Pool 9
River level at Lansing is 11.3 feet and is expected to drop slightly before rising again early next week. The boat ramp at New Albin is inaccessible due to high water. Anglers can still access the river at the Village Creek boat ramp in Lansing. High water is making it difficult to find fish but fish are biting in the flooded trees and vegetation. Yellow Perch - Fair: Some perch are being picked up in the backwater lakes and along rocks on jigs tipped with worm or minnow. Walleye - Fair: Some walleye are still biting but high water is making it hard to find active fish.

Mississippi River Pool 10
River level at Lynxville 21.8 feet and expected to remain steady over the next week. The boat ramp at Sny Magill is inaccessible due to high water. Anglers can still access the river at the Harpers Ferry high water ramp and at Marquette and Clayton. Yellow Perch - Fair: A few yellow perch being caught near the emergency spillway, out of the current. Sauger - Slow: A few sauger still being caught in the tail waters but high water is making it hard to find active fish. Walleye - Slow: Walleye are spawning but some nice fish are still being caught in the tail waters at Lynxville fishing off to the sides out of current.

Mississippi River Pool 11
Current level at Guttenberg tail water is 13.5 feet and slowly receding. The city ramp in Guttenberg is inaccessible due to high water, but the DNR ramp is still open. Yellow Perch - Fair: Perch are biting along the flooded shorelines and in the trees using jigs tipped with worm or minnow. Sauger - Slow: Sauger has slowed but some fish are being caught in the tail waters. High water is making it hard to find active fish. Walleye - Slow: Walleye bite has slowed but some nice fish are still being caught off to the sides out of current.

River levels remain at minor flood stage on the Upper Mississippi and are expected fall slowly over the next week. Some boat ramps are inaccessible due to high water. The walleye and sauger are spawning and anglers are having success despite high water. Water temperature is 41 degrees.

Mississippi River Pool 12
Water levels at Dubuque Lock and Dam are at 14.1 feet and at the railroad bridge water levels are at 15.9 feet. Water is slowly dropping. Water clarity is stained. Northern Pike - Fair: Northern pike are done spawning on the Mississippi and are now on an aggressive feeding pattern. Use bright gaudy spinner baits for the best success. Yellow Perch - Fair: Some yellow perch are showing up around O'Leary's Lake. Yellow perch are also mainly done spawning and beginning to aggressively feed.

Mississippi River Pool 13
Water level at Bellevue is 14.5 feet and dropping. Water is stained. Northern Pike - No Report: Pike are done spawning in Pool 13. Recent DNR surveys show a very strong population of northern pike in the pool. Use gaudy spinner baits and target these fish along the channel edge or backwater areas. Sauger - Fair: Even with high water some sauger are being reported near the Bellevue shoreline in the tail waters.

Mississippi River Pool 14
Water level at Fulton is at 14.6 feet and dropping. The water is heavily stained and fishing conditions are not ideal. Very little fishing reported in the Clinton area except in farm ponds. Bluegill - No Report: Last year was a very good year for bluegills on Pool 14 with the hot fishing spots being cattail slough, rock creek and the mouth of Beaver Island. Expect many bluegills again in 2013 as the populations seem to remain strong.

Mississippi River Pool 15
We have received no information regarding fishing on this water body this week.

The Mississippi in Pools 12 to 15 is very high and muddy. Many ramps are under water so call ahead to the DNR or local bait shops if traveling to the River to fish. Water temperature is around 50 degrees.

Mississippi River Pool 16
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 15 in Davenport is 17.62 feet and falling. Flood stage is 15 feet. Fishing has been slow due to the high water and many ramps are not accessible. Water clarity is poor and there is some debris floating in the water.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine is 18.52 feet and falling. Flood stage is 15 feet. Many of the ramps are not accessible due to the high water. Water clarity is poor and there is debris floating in the river. Fishing has been slow due to high water.

Mississippi River Pool 18
River stage at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston is 20.03 feet and falling. Flood stage is 15 feet. Many of the ramps are not accessible due to the high water. Water clarity is poor and there is debris floating in the river. Fishing has been slow due to high water.

Mississippi River Pool 19
River stage at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington is 16.26 feet and falling. Flood stage is 10 feet. Many ramps are underwater. Water clarity is poor and there is debris floating in the river. Fishing has been slow due to high water. Most of the fishing reports have been from area lakes and farm ponds.

Mississippi River Pools 16-19: River stages throughout Pools 16-19 are still above flood stage. Many boat ramps are not accessible due to high water. Water clarity is poor and there is some debris floating in the river. Fishing has been slow due to the high water. Remember to clean, drain, and dry your boat before going to another water body. If you have questions about fishing Pools 16-19 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

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

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

Kent Park Lake
There have been a few fishermen here, but fishing has been very slow and no catches have been reported. Water clarity is poor.

Lake Macbride
The lake has returned to normal level but water clarity is poor (one foot or less of visibility). Water temperature is in the upper 40s. There has been little fishing activity, fishing has been very slow, and no reports are available.

Central Park Lake
There has not been much fishing activity. Water clarity is poor and water temperature is in the upper 40s.

Pleasant Creek Lake
Water clarity is excellent and temperature is in the mid 40s. Remember, largemouth bass must be 18 inches to keep and musky must be 40 inches to keep. Walleye - Fair: A few walleyes are being picked up along the dam at sunset.

Diamond Lake
The lake has muddied and filled up. Remember, no minnows are allowed here. Channel Catfish - Fair: A few fish are being caught on chicken livers. Crappie - Slow:

Otter Creek Lake
There have only been a few people fishing. The fish cleaning station is now operational and the boat dock is in. Bluegill - Slow: Yellow Bass - Slow:

Union Grove Lake
There have not been many people fishing and no reports are available.

Coralville Reservoir
The lake level has crested and is now slowly beginning to fall. The lake level on April 24 is 697.5 feet (normal 679 feet) and dropping less than one foot per day. The water is very dirty and there is some debris floating. There has been very little fishing activity and no fishing reports are available.

Iowa River (Coralville Lake to River Junction)
Outflow from the Coralville dam is at maximum spring allowance of 10,000 cubic feet per second. It will remain at this flow for approximately a week. Fishing in this section of the river will be difficult to impossible.

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

Red Haw Lake
Anglers have been catching a few crappies and bluegills using small jigs. The areas along the north shoreline will warm more quickly.

Lake Sugema
Anglers have been catching some crappies and bluegills in 8-10 feet of water. Fish will continue to move shallow as the water temperatures rise.

East Greater Ottumwa Central Park Pond
2,000 trout were stocked March 30. Use small spinners or prepared trout baits. Don't forget a trout stamp is needed to fish for trout.

Rathbun Reservoir
The lake level is 916.84 feet with 904 feet being normal. The water temperature is 46 degrees. Fishing has been slow. Try targeting channel catfish on windblown shorelines. Use cut bait or shad sides. Crappie fishing is still slow as the water is still cool. Don't forget Lake Rathbun contains zebra mussels so make sure to clean, drain, and dry boats before transporting to another water body.

For questions regarding fishing in south central Iowa, call the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406.

SOUTHWEST
Big Creek Lake
Walleye - Fair: April is the best month to target walleye in Big Creek casting jigs with twisters or minnows, or slow trolling live bait rigs. Good areas to start are the south shoreline of the east boat ramp bay, around the peninsula between the beach and marina, the face of the dam, and the first couple hundred yards of the canal.

Hickory Grove Lake
Crappie - Fair: This time of spring anglers can do well on crappies fishing the shallower upper end near the tubes with small live minnows.

Red Rock Reservoir
Crappie - Fair: Early spring crappie fishing is picking up in the marina fishing near the docks and along the riprap in the dredged area using live minnows under a bobber.

Saylorville Reservoir
Crappie - Fair: Now is a good time to target early spring crappies near riprap and the docks in the marina using small tube jigs or live minnows under a bobber. Best access is from a boat, but shore fishing is possible.

Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake
Rainbow Trout - Fair: Good numbers of trout left from this winter's stocking, as well as previous year's stockings, can be caught in both sections of the lake. Cast flashy inline spinners, small crankbaits, panfish tube jigs or live minnows under a bobber.

Banner Lake (south)
Rainbow Trout - Excellent: Trout were stocked April 6. They can be caught through May on inline spinners, small crankbaits, and live minnows.

Des Moines River (Saylorville to Red Rock)
White Bass - Good: Anglers fishing below Red Rock and between Des Moines and Red Rock have been having decent success on white bass making their spring run casting jigs with twister tails or swim baits. Crappie - Fair: Anglers fishing below Red Rock that are targeting walleye with jig presentations are also getting into some crappie. Walleye - Fair: Walleye are being caught, especially below the dams. The stretches of river from below Saylorville, through Des Moines and below Red Rock will be best. Slowly retrieve jigs tipped with minnows, twister tails, or swim baits.

Warming water temperatures are finally on their way. Crappie fishing will be picking up soon. For questions on central Iowa lakes and rivers contact Ben Dodd or Andy Otting at 515-432-2823.

Greenfield Lake
Greenfield Lake has a good channel catfish population with many fish in the 2 to 3 pound range. Crappie fishing should pick up this weekend. The boat ramp is usable. Channel Catfish - Fair: Shad sides fished around the jetties will catch fish in the 2 to 3 pound range. Crappie - Fair: Try minnows under a bobber along the dam and in the upper end of the lake where water warms quickly.

Nodaway Lake
A few crappies are being picked up with minnows. The lake is about full and the boat ramp is useable. Crappie - Fair: Small jigs and minnows are catching crappie around shallow brush piles and along the dam.

Lake Anita
The pontoon area of the lake has been good for crappie on warm sunny days. This weekend will be a good time to fish Anita. Crappie - Good: Fish a minnow two feet under a bobber in the pontoon arm of the lake. Sorting will be necessary for 9 to 10-inch crappie.

Viking Lake
Viking has a good population of crappie. Channel catfish is another species to target. Crappie - Slow: Fish minnows in coves and around structure for crappies up to 10 inches.

DeSoto Bend
Desoto Bend opened for fishing on April 15. The lake has a good catfish and crappie population. Channel Catfish - No Report: Crappie - No Report:

Lake Manawa
Crappie fishing will be good this week in the canals. Manawa has a good channel catfish population which can be caught with shad sides this time of year. Channel Catfish - Fair: Fish the windy shoreline with shad sides for catfish of all sizes. Crappie - Good: Crappies up to 12 inches can be caught with minnows in the canals.

Cold Springs District Farm Ponds
Water temperatures on ponds generally warm sooner than larger water bodies, and can provide good early season angling. Remember to always get permission before fishing private farm ponds. Bluegill - Fair: Wax worms under a bobber is a good presentation now for bluegills. Crappie - Good: Fish minnows and small jigs around structure to catch crappies.

Crappie fishing should pick up with forecasted warm temperatures this week. For more information on lakes in southwest Iowa call the Cold Springs district office at 712-769-2587.

Lake Icaria
The water level is approximately 12 inches low. The ramps are accessible. Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel catfish are biting on shad bait and crawlers. Walleye - Slow: A few walleyes are being caught from the dam.

Little River Watershed Lake
The lake has filled to within 8 inches of full. All ramps are accessible. All fish have been restocked but their size is small.

Fogle Lake S.W.A.
The water level has risen to within 6 inches of full. Clarity is typical for spring time.

Mt. Ayr Old Reservoir
Water clarity is moderate. Crappie - Fair: A few crappies are being caught from the face of the dam during the evenings.

Sands Timber Lake (Blockton Reservoir)
The lake has been drained to allow completion of shoreline work and a wetland at the upper end.

Green Valley Lake
The water level has risen to within 12 inches of full. Clarity is moderate. All boat ramps are easily accessible.

Summitt Lake
Water levels are rising. Boat access is possible but the area around the ramp will be shallow.

Three Mile Lake
The water level has risen. Boat access is easy. Walleye - Slow: A few walleyes are being caught from the face of the dam and some of the larger points.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake
The water levels have risen and boat access is easy. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Several largemouth bass are hanging around the flooded cedar tree piles and nearby shoreline areas. Crappie - Slow: A few crappies can be caught from the west shoreline and flooded trees. Walleye - Slow: An occasional walleye is being caught from the dam and the old roadway.

Walnut Creek Marsh
The water levels have risen to near full. Boat access is normal.

The water temperatures are in the low 40s. The water levels at most lakes have risen but not overflowed excessively. Water clarity varies with most lakes having 12 to 20 inches.

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