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Print

Iowa fishing report for May 23

May 23, 2013 at 05:58 PM

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.

For lake locations, maps and other information, go to http://www.iowadnr.gov/Fishing/FishingReports.aspx

NEW ONLINE VIDEO SHOWS HOW TO CATCH POPULAR FISH

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is creating a new series of online videos to help beginning anglers to catch more fish.
The first video, an introduction to crappie fishing, focused on the how to fish for crappies during the spawn, which is currently underway. Catch Crappies NOW, can be found at http://www.iowadnr.gov/fishing in the tab on the right side of the screen.


NORTHWEST
Nelson Park Lake
Anglers should fish for bluegill along the face of the dam with a small black hair jig and a small piece of bait.

Brushy Creek Lake
Water clarity is excellent. Anglers should do well for crappie and bluegill as they move into the shallows. Bass fishing has been good in the near shore areas and near structure.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Fishing has picked up and water clarity has improved. Channel Catfish - Excellent: Anglers are catching good numbers of 18 to 22-inch channel catfish from shore. Nightcrawlers and cut bait are working well. Crappie - Fair: Last week anglers did very well for crappie in the state marina, but fishing has slowed some since. Walleye - Good: The walleye bite has picked up. Many anglers are catching limits. Try trolling crankbaits around the dredge cuts or jigging a minnows in 5 to 8 feet of water in the east basin. Shore anglers using a nightcrawler on the bottom have been catching walleye and catfish. 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. Anglers are allowed 3 walleye per day, all fish between 17 and 22 inches must be released, and only one fish over 22 inches may be kept.

North Twin Lake
Water levels are getting close to crest. Channel Catfish - Fair: Some anglers are catching catfish from shore. Try using nightcrawlers on the bottom.

Black Hawk Lake
Black Hawk Lake was renovated last fall. Although fish have been restocked, there are no catchable size fish in the lake. Water clarity is excellent. The lake is around 16 to 18 inches below crest.

Arrowhead Lake
Water clarity is good. Water levels are around two feet low. Bluegill - Fair: A few larger males are starting to move onto the beds. Expect more to move into the shallows over the next few weeks. Use a 1/32 ounce black feather jig. It helps to put a small piece of nightcrawler on the jig. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth bass are biting on small hair jigs near shore and around downed trees. They are biting aggressively, but are on the small side. Most are 8 to 12 inches. Crappie - Slow: A few crappies can be picked up while targeting bluegill. Try drifting and jigging for crappie.

Black Hawk Pits
Water clarity is excellent. Water levels are around two feet low. Largemouth Bass - Slow: Some nice largemouth bass can be caught using minnows or casting twisters. Walleye - Slow: A few smaller walleye have been caught with fire tiger colored twisters. The water is very clear so anglers may have to try fishing in the early morning, late evening, or at night.

For more information on lakes and rivers in the Black Hawk District contact the Black Hawk Office in Lake View at 712-657-2638.

Beeds Lake
Water temperature is around 61 degrees. Sucker - Fair: There are lots of white suckers in Beeds Lake. A worm and sinker on the bottom should entice them to bite. Channel Catfish - Good: 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. Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth bass are near shore and should be biting well. Crappie - Good: Anglers are catching some crappies near the cuts of the causeway.

Upper Pine Lake
Crappies, bluegill and largemouth bass are biting on Pine Creek (between the lakes), mostly on grub-type baits. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are staged in 4 to 5 feet of water and are close to spawning. A bobber and small jig with a piece of worm should work. Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth bass are near shore and are close to spawning. Crappie - Fair: Some crappies are being caught near structure.

Lake Smith
Bluegill - Fair: Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass are near the shorelines and should be biting well. There are some 19 to 20-inch bass.

Clear Lake
The lake is 4.5 inches below crest. Water temperature is 68-70 degrees. Channel Catfish - Good: Catfishing is good right now as they are close to prespawn mode. If you find the fish, action is fast and aggressive. Try with some cutbait, worms, or stinkbait on a windward shoreline or near some of the water sources coming in. Anglers are picking some catfish up when fishing for yellow bass with cutbait. Crappie - Good: Crappies are scattered but fishing near some of the rock points are reefs might be a good choice. Walleye - Good: Anglers have been catching better numbers over the last few days with the warmer weather and water. A few bigger fish have been caught but most are a mix of sublegals and small legal walleyes. Most are caught on jig and a minnow. Some are catching walleyes drifting or trolling. Muskellunge - Fair: Anglers are catching some muskies, while fishing for walleye with minnows. Yellow Bass - Good: Waders near the island are picking up large numbers of yellows. The spawn is started and should be good through Memorial Day weekend. Most anglers are using bobbers and minnows or a small jig with a piece of crawler on bottom.

Lake Cornelia
Fishing has been good. Lots of fish being caught. Channel Catfish - Good: Cats should be biting on cutbait or stinkbait on a warmer day. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are keeper size. Crappie - Fair: Crappies are around 8 inches. Yellow Bass - Good: Yellow bass are small 7-7.25 inches.

Little Wall Lake
Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass are also biting along the shorelines. Crappie - Good: Anglers are catching 7-8 inch crappies and bluegills off the north fishing jetty and other shorelines.

Crystal Lake
Northern Pike - Good: Northerns have been caught up to the mid 30-inch range. Anglers may have success using presentations such as weedless spoons or bobbers with chubs. Bluegill - Slow: Great population of 7-9 inch bluegills in the lake. Largemouth Bass - Excellent: Anglers have reported catching lots of largemouth. Walleye - Good: Anglers are catching some 16-17 inch walleyes.

Bluebill Lake
Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth bass are biting well along shorelines. Please remember the 15-inch minimum length limit on bass. Crappie - Fair: Some crappie are being reported.

Fin and Feather Lake
There has been some activity for panfish. Bluegill - Fair: Crappie - Fair:

Interstate Park Lake
There was a partial fish kill this winter but anglers have been reporting catching a variety of fish this past week. Bluegill - Fair: Largemouth Bass - Fair: Crappie - Fair: Yellow Perch - Fair:

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

Shell Rock River (above Greene)
Water levels are high. 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 walleye being caught on jig/twister.

Winnebago River
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)
The East Fork is running high right now. Walleye - Fair: Reports are few, but anglers were doing well in the Plum Creek area.

For lake updates and fishing information in the north central area contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.

Big Spirit Lake
Bullhead - Good: The grade is providing some good bullhead action and don't overlook the north side. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Target rock piles start shallow and work deep. Largemouth Bass - Good: Start looking around the rushes for prespawn bass. Walleye - Slow: With the clear water fishing has been tough but the night bite seems to be a bit better than during the day. Slip bobbering, trolling crankbaits, spinners, and Lindy rigs all have produced a few fish.

East Okoboji Lake
Walleye - Slow: With the cool water, fishing has been slow but a few fish are being caught. Try trolling crankbaits, spinners, or Lindy rigs along drop offs and mudflats.

West Okoboji Lake
Bluegill, crappie, and bass fishing has been good in the canals. Try small jigs under a bobber for the bluegill and crappie. Walleye - Slow: The clear water has made the fishing tough during the day but the night bite is a bit better.

Big Sioux River
Channel Catfish - Slow: With the warming water the cats are starting to bite. Try cut bait or crawlers in deeper holes and log jams.

Little Sioux River (state line to Linn Grove)
Channel Catfish - Slow: Try cut bait and crawlers in deep holes and around log jams. Walleye - Fair: Try throwing twister tails or fishing small chubs in deeper holes.

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

NORTHEAST
Volga Lake
More anglers have been out and have reported catching fish near the new cedar tree piles. Fish activity has picked up with warmer water temperatures. Channel Catfish - Fair: The cats are starting to move. Hook a dead chub or minnow and let it set near the bottom. Bluegill - Good: Fish are starting to come in to the rocky shoreline. Try a hook tipped with a worm under a bobber. Crappie - Good: Fish are in shallower water this week especially to the north of the boat ramp and around the fishing pier. Try a jig tipped with imitation minnows.

Lake Hendricks
Water temperature is on the rise so try angling for fish in shallower water. Channel Catfish - Good: Catfish are biting on night crawlers or dead chubs fished under a bobber along the rockier shoreline. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are starting to move into shore and are biting on ice fishing jigs tipped with worm under a bobber. Largemouth Bass - Good: Anglers have been catching largemouth bass along the sandy beach using a jig and plastic worm. Crappie - Good: Crappies are biting on jigs tipped with rubber skirt or minnow.

Lake Meyer
Fish activity is picking up with warmer water. Water clarity is excellent. Bluegill - Good: Anglers are picking up a lot of small bluegills along the shoreline. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Anglers have been picking up bass with jigs and plastic twister tails fished slowly along the shoreline. Crappie - Good: Anglers have been picking quite a few small ones off the jetty using jigs with artificial baits.

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
Water levels are falling and river is muddy. Sucker - Slow: Sucker fishing had been excellent earlier in the week before the river went out of its banks. Walleye - No Report:

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
Water levels are dropping but river is muddy. Sucker - Slow: Sucker fishing had been excellent before water levels rose. Smallmouth Bass - No Report: Walleye - No Report:

Yellow River
Fishing out of a canoe or kayak is allowed without landowner permission. Wading or fishing from the bank requires landowner permission.

Turkey River (above Clermont)
Water levels are dropping. Water temperature is in the mid 60s. Smallmouth Bass - No Report:

Cedar River (above Nashua)
Water levels are beginning to drop but river is still above flood stage and muddy. Channel Catfish - No Report: Smallmouth Bass - No Report: Walleye - No Report:

Decorah District Streams
Trout streams in Mitchell County are unfishable. Several bridges washed out. Dry fly action slowed somewhat with the end of the Dark Hendrickson hatch and high water issues. March Browns should be coming off towards the end of May or early June as it gets warmer. Try a #12 Brown Adams or similar large Drake pattern for the March Brown hatch. Good searching flies at present for rising trout include #16 and #14 Adams, Griffith Gnats or Caddis patterns. Wet flies and various streamers also work.

River and stream water levels are again flooding and muddy. For more on water levels, visit this website http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ia/nwis/rt. Lakes and ponds are in great condition. Decorah area trout streams off color and flows are elevated. Fish higher up in the watershed for best luck. For more information, call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.

Silver Lake (Delaware)
Anglers have been catching bluegill and crappie. Bluegill - Good: Fishing a piece of nightcrawler under a bobber is always productive for bluegill or smaller jigs retrieved over spawning beds. Crappie - Good: Crappie jigs have been working well.

Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
Crappie fishing has been good for quality sized fish. Anglers have been doing well fishing the rip-rap around the jetties especially early morning or late evening hours. Crappie - Good: Sight fishing has been good using a minnow under a slip bobber retrieved over spawning beds.

George Wyth Lake
Anglers are beginning to catch some crappie as they near spawning areas. Crappie - Fair: Use small jigs or minnow under a slip bobber for crappie.

Plainfield Lake
Anglers are catching bluegill and crappie. Bluegill - Fair: Small piece of crawler on a small hook under a bobber always works well. Crappie - Fair: Try casting small colored tube jigs or minnow fished under a slip bobber as they move shallow to spawn.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
The Cedar River currently remains above flood stage in Black Hawk County.

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
The Shell Rock River at Shell Rock is currently at 11.92 feet and falling.

Wapsi River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
The Wapsipinicon is again rising, dirty and at 7.35 feet as of today.

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
The Maquoketa River continues to fall and remains in decent condition for fishing in Delaware County. There have been good reports of smallmouth bass and walleye being caught. Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Spinnerbaits or lead head jigs with a twister tail work well for artificial baits. A live crawler drifted under a slip bobber is effective for smallmouth bass this time of year also. Walleye - Fair: Jigs tipped with half a nightcrawler has been very good for walleye.

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

Manchester District trout streams are in excellent condition, for further information call the district office in Manchester at 563-927-3276.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER
Mississippi River Pool 9
River level at Lansing is 10.8 feet and expected to rise to 11.2 feet this week. Bluegill and bass are biting along Shore Sough and Phillipi Lake. Army Road, near New Albin, is closed due to high water. Channel Catfish - Good: Look for channel cats to be feeding aggressively on crawlers or cut bait in the eddies, just off main channel borders and side sloughs. Flathead Catfish - Good: Flathead catfish are being caught on live chubs and shiners. Try fishing the side channel areas below the dams. White Bass - Good: Fish for white bass along the flooded shorelines just off the current. Nice sized fish are striking on larger in-line spinner baits. Bluegill - Excellent: Fish the shorelines close to the dams or rock structure out of the current. Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Smallmouth are feeding more actively along rocky shorelines this week. Try small crankbaits or inline spinners along the riprap. Yellow Perch - Excellent: This spring has been one of the best perch fishing seasons in years. Many large perch are being caught on minnows or jigs with worm. Freshwater Drum - Good: Drum are actively biting on worms or small bits of crawler fishing along the main channel drop offs and sand flats.

Mississippi River Pool 10
River stage at Lynxville is 20.6 feet and rising to 21 feet this week. The Sny Magill boat ramp access still has some water on the road under the railroad overpass. Many anglers are catching bluegills from the Bussey Lake fishing pier. Channel Catfish - Good: Look for channel cats to be feeding aggressively on crawlers or cut bait in the eddies just off main channel borders and side sloughs. Flathead Catfish - Good: Flathead catfish are being caught on live chubs and shiners. Try fishing the side channel areas below the dams. White Bass - Good: Fish for white bass along the flooded shorelines just off the current. Nice sized fish are striking on larger in-line spinner baits. Bluegill - Excellent: Bluegills have been active in almost all areas. Try backwater areas with wood or rock structure out of the current. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Smallmouth are feeding more actively along rocky shorelines this week. Try small crankbaits or inline spinners along the riprap. Yellow Perch - Excellent: This spring has been one of the best perch fishing seasons in years. Many large perch are being caught on minnows or jigs with worm. Sauger - Fair: Sauger have spawned and have been actively feeding. Try jigs or minnows in the side channel areas of the locks and dams. Freshwater Drum - Good: Drum are actively biting on worms or small bits of crawler fishing along the main channel drop offs and sand flats.

Mississippi River Pool 11
River stage at Guttenberg is 11.7 feet currently. Levels expected to rise by one foot or more by next week. Fish are becoming more active as water temperature rises into the 60s. Channel Catfish - Good: Look for channel cats to be feeding aggressively on crawlers or cut bait in the eddies just off main channel borders and side sloughs. Flathead Catfish - Good: Flathead catfish are being caught on live chubs and shiners. Try fishing the side channel areas below the dams. White Bass - Good: Fish for white bass along the flooded shorelines just off the current. Nice sized fish are striking on larger in-line spinner baits. Bluegill - Excellent: Bluegills have been active in almost all areas. Try backwater areas with wood or rock structure out of the current. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Smallmouth bass are active along the current areas. Try casting in-line spinners or a small crankbait near the rocky shorelines. Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth are biting on spinner baits. Yellow Perch - Excellent: This spring has been one of the best perch fishing seasons in years. Many large perch are being caught on minnows or jigs with worm. Walleye - No Report:

Mississippi River levels are on the way up again after recent rainfalls. Many boat ramps are still inaccessible. Water temperature is in the mid 60s. Fishing has been excellent for a variety of species despite the high water. Anglers are having success catching drum, bluegill and catfish this week.

Mississippi River Pool 12
Water levels at Dubuque Lock and Dam are at 12.0 feet and at the railroad bridge water levels are at 14.1 feet. Water levels are expected to fall. High water is hampering fishing effort in most places. Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass are being caught in the tail waters very close to the shoreline edges. In this high water try to find eddy areas near rock piles. Most bass have been around 12 inches. Yellow Perch - Fair: We are still hearing that some yellow perch are showing up around O'Leary's Lake. It is one place that can be accessible from bank during high water. Yellow perch are also mainly done spawning and beginning to aggressively feed.

Mississippi River Pool 13
Water level at Bellevue is 13.0 feet and expected to fall throughout the week. Water is stained but fishable. Some fishing in Green Island was reported and anglers were catching bowfin (aka dogfish). These can be a fun fish to catch but please never throw them up on the banks. Just release them if you do not want to eat them. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Small bass are being caught on spinners in the tail water and at the mouth of mill creek.

Mississippi River Pool 14
Water levels at Fulton is at 13.2 feet and falling. The water is stained and fishing conditions are not ideal in most areas. Some clearer water can be found in the large backwater areas. No fishing was observed on Pool 14 this week due to high water.

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

The water level in Mississippi in Pools 12 to 15 is high but slowly receding. Many ramps are under water so make sure to call the DNR or local bait shops if traveling to the River to fish. Water temperature is around 62 degrees.

Mississippi River Pool 16
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 15 in Davenport has fallen to 12.38 feet. Flood stage is 15 feet. River stage has been falling steadily over the past few days. As of May 22, the Marquette St. ramp in Davenport was still closed. The ramp at Buffalo Shores is usable but there is no dock in with the high water conditions. Launching at the Fairport Recreational Area will be difficult with the high water conditions. The docks at the Fairport Recreational Area will not be out due to high water. Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel catfish are being caught on nightcrawlers and dip baits. White Bass - Good: White bass are being caught between Lock and Dam 15 and the casino, below the Arsenal Dam in Sylvan Slough, and at the mouth of Sylvan Slough on the point of Arsenal Island. Some white bass are also being caught at the mouth of Sunset Marina. Try casting jigs and twister tails. Other lures to try are inline spinners and crankbaits. Freshwater Drum - Good: Drum are being caught along the Davenport riverfront. Try using slip sinkers and nightcrawlers fished on the bottom. Some drum are also being caught above the casino while fishing for white bass.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine is 11.93 feet and falling. Flood stage is 15 feet. Many of the ramps are not accessible due to the high water. Big Timber (The Breaks) is closed. The ramp in Muscatine is open. There is debris floating in the river. Fishing has been slow on the river due to the recent high water conditions. Most fishing reports are coming from area lakes and farm ponds.

Mississippi River Pool 18
River stage at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston is 13.92 feet and falling. Flood stage is 15 feet. Many of the ramps are not accessible due to the high water. Toolesboro is closed. There is debris floating in the river. Fishing has been slow due to the high water conditions. Most fishing reports are coming from area lakes and farm ponds.

Mississippi River Pool 19
River stage at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington is 10.32 feet. Flood stage is 10 feet. There is debris floating in the river. Fishing has been slow due to the high water conditions. Most of the fishing reports have been from area lakes and farm ponds.

Mississippi River Pools 16-19: River stages throughout Pools 16-19 have been falling over the past few days. River conditions are still high and there is debris floating in the water. Fishing has been slow due to the high water conditions. 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
Lake Odessa
Odessa has come down a little bit since last week but all the ramps are still underwater.

Lake Geode
The water remains a little turbid. Water temperature is in the low 70s. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are in shallow. Crappie - Good: Crappies seem to be heading back out. You can still find some really nice sized ones, along the tree in the water.

Lake Belva Deer
The water is clearing up, but is still a little cloudy. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are starting to build nests in shallow water. Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass fishing has been pretty good during warmer weather. What the cold snap will do to it; don't know. Crappie - Fair: The crappies have started to move out to deeper water.

Lake of the Hills
There's been plenty of boats on the lake with the Mississippi River conditions being what they are. Remember, Lake of the Hills is the only lake in West Lake Park that allows the use of minnows as live bait. Rainbow Trout - Fair: Warm water temperatures are driving the trout to cool water refuges around the springs. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are moving shallow to spawn. Largemouth Bass - Good: bass fishing has been good along the dams and other rocky areas. Jig and pigs or a slow moving crankbaits seem to be the best baits. Crappie - Good: Still some nice crappies to be caught in the tree falls along the shoreline. A 15-inch and several 12-inch crappies were caught earlier this week.

Railroad Lake
Remember the use of live minnows is not allowed in Railroad Lake. Bluegill and crappies fishing is starting to pick up especially around the inflow from Bluegrass. Channel Catfish - Fair: Catfishing is picking up with the warmer water. Bluegill - Good: Anglers are picking up bluegills along the area around the inflow from Bluegrass. Crappie - Good: Anglers are picking up crappies in the same area as the bluegills.

Skunk River (Coppock to Mississippi River)
The Skunk is slowly starting to come back up as a result of the rains in central Iowa earlier this week. Channel Catfish - Fair: Anglers picked up a few catfish over the weekend.

Big Hollow Lake
Lots of people fishing this week. Water temperature is in the 70s. The rain fronts moving through seem to have the most effect on the bite. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are in shallow when it's not raining. Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass are in fairly shallow; work the rocky areas. Crappie - Good: Anglers are picking up a few crappies on minnows near structure. The fish are down 6 to 8 feet. Only a few in shallow. Most of the keepers are around 11 inches.

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

Hannen Lake
Water clarity is up to 15 feet and temperature is about 70 degrees. Remember, no minnows are allowed here. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Bass are moving shallow in preparation to spawn. Crappie - Good: Fish shallow rock, gravel, and brush with small jigs.

Iowa Lake
Channel Catfish - Fair: Bluegill - Good: Fish around overhanging brush. Crappie - Good: Look for crappies along rocky or brushy shorelines.

Lake Macbride
Water temperature is in the low 70s. Water clarity continues to improve. The less than 10 hp motor operating at no wake speed motor restriction starts May 24. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Shallow rock and wood is holding bass getting ready to spawn. Crappie - Good: Fish around shallow rock or brush with jigs and/or minnows. Most fish are small but 9 to 11-inch fish are available. Walleye - Fair: A few fish are being caught shallow on sand and rock. Some fish are being caught trolling flats. Most fish are 13-14 inches, with some in the 16-18 inches.

Central Park Lake
Bluegill - Good: Largemouth Bass - Good: Crankbaits and plastic worms have been working best.

Pleasant Creek Lake
Water clarity is excellent and water temperatures are around 65 degrees. Remember, largemouth bass must be 18 inches to keep and musky must be 40 inches to keep. Bluegill - Good: Fish around overhanging brush with a jig and waxie. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Some bass are being caught on rocky banks and flooded weeds. Crappie - Fair: Some nice crappies had been around shallow brush. Walleye - Fair: A few walleyes are being picked up along the dam at sunset.

Diamond Lake
The lake is still murky. Remember, no minnows are allowed here. Channel Catfish - Fair: A few fish are being caught on chicken livers. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills have moved shallow and many are around 8 inches. Crappie - Good: Crappies have moved shallow. Most are about 9 inches with an occasional one up to 11 inches.

Otter Creek Lake
The fish cleaning station is now operational and the boat dock is in. Bluegill - Good: The fish are very shallow. Yellow Bass - Good: Look for fish roaming the shallows.

Union Grove Lake
Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are all over the banks now. Crappie - Good: Many crappies are being caught in the shallow pockets and around shallow brush. Jigs with waxies are actually working best. Yellow Bass - Good:

Coralville Reservoir
The lake level on May 24 is 693.9 feet (normal 683 feet) and is slowly falling. The water clarity is about three feet. Channel Catfish - Slow: Some fish are being caught on cut shad, minnows, or crawlers. Some fish have moved to the shallows. Crappie - Slow: Fish shallow brush along hard banks with bright jigs and/or minnows.

Wapsi River (Troy Mills to Oxford Junction)
Channel Catfish - Fair: Smallmouth Bass - Good: Fish are being caught below the dams on jigs, crankbaits, and live bait. Walleye - Good: Fish are being caught below the dams on jigs, crankbaits, and live bait.

Maquoketa (Hopkinton to Canton)
Channel Catfish - Good: Smallmouth Bass - Good: Walleye - Good:

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

Red Haw Lake
Bluegill - Good: Use small jigs along the shoreline. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use plastic worms and spinnerbaits along the dam and around the fishing jetties. Crappie - Fair: Anglers have been using small jigs tipped with a minnow fished along the rock jetties and around the underwater structures.

Albia (lower)
Anglers have been having success catching nice bluegills and yellow bass. Use small jigs and tip them with a nightcrawler.

Lake Sugema
Bluegill - Fair: Anglers have been having some success using ice jigs tipped with a wax worm or a chunk of nightcrawler. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use crankbaits and spinnerbaits fished along any shore. Also try areas with rocky shorelines. Crappie - Fair: Crappie fishing has improved with the warmer weather. Start in about six feet of water and work toward shore. Use jigs or jig and minnow combos.

Humeston Reservoir
Bluegill - Fair: Use small jigs tipped with a chunk of nightcrawler along the shore. Crappie - Fair: Anglers have been having some success catching crappies from shore using minnows and small jigs.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 916.23 feet with normal pool being 904 feet. Water temperature is 62 degrees. Crappie - Slow: Crappies are in a little deeper water waiting for the water temperature to increase so they can move shallow to spawn. Try using jigs or jigs and minnows in 6-8 feet of water. 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 (5 days in the sun).

If you have other questions regarding fishing in south central Iowa call the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406.

SOUTHWEST
Don Williams Lake
Crappie - Fair: The crappie spawn in done, but some good size 10-12 inch crappie can be caught using minnows under a bobber fished 2 to 4 feet deep tight to wood habitat, especially on the upper half of the lake.

Beaver Lake
Bluegill - Good: Bluegill are spawning and some good size fish are being caught in two feet of water in the small bays and next to shallow flooded wood on the upper end.

Rock Creek Lake
Crappie - Good: Anglers are doing well on spawning crappie throughout the lake using jigs tipped with minnows or jigs tipped with wax worms.

Big Creek Lake
Bluegill - Good: Spawning bluegills are being caught in good numbers close to shore throughout the lake, especially in the back of the protected bays. Big Creek bluegills are good size with many fish over eight inches.

Lake Ahquabi
Bluegill - Excellent: The bluegill spawn is going and anglers are catching good numbers. Fish small pieces of crawler in openings in the vegetation. Shore angling can be an advantage right now to fish the narrow gap of vegetation free water along the shore.

Red Rock Reservoir
Crappie - Good: The crappie spawn continues. The white crappie spawn in the reservoirs tends to run a little longer than the crappie spawn in smaller lakes. Fish the marina along the riprap in the dredged area, and near any rock or wood structure in protected bays, especially up the Whitebreast arm. Use live minnows under a bobber.

Saylorville Reservoir
White Bass - Good: Flow over the Big Creek spillway is attracting white bass. Anglers are doing well casting jigs or fishing minnows under a bobber. Some good white bass activity is also occurring around the marina point. Crappie - Good: Crappie are being caught near riprap, near rip rap in the marina, the Cherry Glenn jetty, and Lake View jetty using small tube jigs or live minnows under a bobber. Best access is from a boat, but shore fishing is possible. Crappie are also being caught in the riprap below the Big Creek spillway. Walleye - Fair: Flow over the Big Creek spillway is also attracting walleye. Anglers are picking up decent numbers of 14-16 inch fish casting jigs.

Des Moines River (Saylorville to Red Rock)
White Bass - Good: Even with higher flows anglers are still doing fairly well fishing for white bass. Good areas to target right now are creek inlets that have water backed up into them. Crappie - Fair: Anglers fishing below Red Rock that are targeting walleye with jig presentations are also getting into some crappie.

The central Iowa crappie spawn is coming to an end with bluegill fishing picking up. For questions on central Iowa lakes and rivers contact Ben Dodd or Andy Otting at 515-432-2823.

Greenfield Lake
Crappie can still be caught around the jetties and along the dam. Greenfield has a good population of 2 to 3 pound channel catfish. The boat ramp is usable. Channel Catfish - Slow: A few channel catfish have been caught around the jetties using shrimp. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are moving close to shore. Cast small jigs to catch spawning bluegill. Crappie - Fair: Cast small jigs around rock and along the dam to catch spawning crappies. Sorting is necessary for 8-10 inch fish.

Meadow Lake
Crappies are spawning on the two underwater reefs in the lake. Largemouth Bass - Good: High numbers of small bass are being caught along the dam. An occasional larger fish is being reported. Crappie - Good: Cast jigs around under water reefs to catch spawning fish. Meadow crappie are 10 to 14 inches.

Nodaway Lake
Crappie are being caught along the dam on the north side of lake around rock. Bluegills are also being caught close to shore. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegill, 7 to 8 inches, are being caught casting small jigs close to shore. Crappie - Fair: Small jigs are catching crappie around rock substrate.

Lake Anita
Crappie are moving into the pontoon area and around the underwater reefs to spawn. A few bluegill are also being picked up close to shore. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are reported to be caught close to shore and around jetties with small black jigs. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth bass are reported to be caught close to shore and around structure. Crappie - Fair: Fish with small jigs in the pontoon arm and around underwater reefs. Sorting will be necessary for 9 to 10-inch fish.

Willow Lake
Largemouth bass fishing has been good. Bluegills can be caught close to shore. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegill and being picked up with small jigs close to shore. Willow bluegill are 7 to 8 inches. Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass fishing has been good in the upper end of the lake using a variety of spinners and plugs.

Viking Lake
Viking has a good population of crappie. Channel catfish is another species to target. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth bass are being caught casting the shoreline with spinnerbaits. Fish are all sizes. Crappie - Good: Many crappies are being caught in the pontoon arm and around jetties. Sorting will be necessary for fish larger than 8 inches.

Lake Manawa
Crappie fishing was good last week. Reports of walleye and catfish were also caught last week. Channel Catfish - Fair: Fish the windy shoreline for catfish of all sizes. Crappie - Good: Crappies fishing has now moved to the main lake along rock as well as in the canals. Fish up to 12 inches are being caught.

Cold Springs District Farm Ponds
Crappie and bluegill fishing was good this week in ponds. Remember to always get permission before fishing private farm ponds. Bluegill - Good: Cast small jigs around structure and close to shore. Largemouth Bass - Good: Small spinners and jigs casting around structure has been good. Crappie - Fair: Fish minnows and small jigs close to shore.

Crappie spawn is winding down and bluegills are moving to shore. For more information on lakes in southwest Iowa, call the district office at Cold Springs at 712-769-2587

Binder Lake
The lake is full and the clarity is good. Vegetation is creeping into the shallows. Crappie - Fair: Crappies are moving out but still can be caught from deeper water during the evening hours.

Lake Icaria
Water clarity is very good. Crappies are biting. Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish are biting on and crawlers. Largemouth Bass - Good: A lot of nesting largemouth bass are being caught near shore. Crappie - Excellent: A lot of mid-sized crappies are being caught from any of the gravel and rip rap areas. The big cove on the south side for the campground and the south end of the dam are very good spots. Walleye - Good: Anglers are casting and trolling jigs and small crankbaits in 5 to 7 feet of water and catching some nice sized walleyes.

Grade Lake
Water clarity is good and the fish are biting. Bluegill - Excellent: Some real nice bluegills are being caught from the east end of the dam using crawler pieces suspended twp feet down.

West Lake (Osceola)
The water level is normal and the clarity is good. Crappie - Good: A lot of mid-sized crappies are being caught from along the face of the dam.

Little River Watershed Lake
The lake has filled. All ramps are accessible. All fish have been restocked but they are small. Channel Catfish - Fair: Several two pound channel catfish are being caught from the shoreline access areas using crawlers on the bottom.

Badger Creek Lake
Water levels are near full and clarity is average for spring. Bluegill - Slow: A few very large bluegills can be caught from the structure in 4 to 6 feet of water. Crappie - Good: Several very large crappies are being caught from gravel areas surrounding the jetties and the roadway.

Fogle Lake S.W.A.
The lake has risen to within six inches of being full and clarity is very good. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Several largemouth bass are moving to structure near shore. Crappie - Fair: Some mid-sized to large crappies are being caught from along the dam and gravel areas surrounding the jetties.

Mt. Ayr Old Reservoir
Water clarity is good. Crappie - Good: A lot of crappies are being caught from the face of the dam during the evenings.

Lake of Three Fires
Water levels are full and clarity is good. Largemouth Bass - Excellent: Several mid-sized and big largemouth bass can be caught from near-shore. Crappie - Good: Crappies are moving off-shore but a few are still being caught.

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

Wilson Park Lake
Water levels are full and clarity is average. Crappie - Good: Several crappies still remain near the dam but are deeper than last week.

Green Valley Lake
The lake has filled. Clarity is good. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are starting to move shallow. Some are being caught on jigs tipped with crawlers. Largemouth Bass - Excellent: A lot of mid-sized largemouth bass are being caught from the shoreline structure. Crappie - Excellent: The crappie spawn is winding down but several can be caught from the spawning areas are in deeper areas nearby.

Summitt Lake
Water levels are full. Boat access is easy from the main ramp. The fishery has been restocked.

Three Mile Lake
The water level is full. Boat access is easy. Water clarity at mid lake and the dam is good. Crappie - Good: A few crappie are moving to the near-shore gravel and rip rap areas. A few remain off-shore is some of the flooded trees. Walleye - Good: A few walleyes are being caught using crankbaits from the face of the dam and some of the larger points. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) - Fair: Some anglers are hitting schools of wipers in the coves near the dam or from over the tops of the deeper tree piles located in the ski zone.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake
The water levels are full and boat access is easy. Bluegill - Excellent: A few anglers are catching a lot of bluegills on small black jigs. The flooded trees close to spawning areas seem to be the best. Largemouth Bass - Excellent: Several largemouth bass are hanging around the flooded cedar tree piles and nearby shoreline areas. Crappie - Excellent: Several crappies can be caught from the rock and rubble areas around the jetties, spawning beds, and armored points. Walleye - Fair: An occasional walleye is being caught on crappie sized jigs from gravel and rip rap areas.

Criss Cove County Park Pond
Water clarity is good. Crappie - Good: Several crappie are being caught from the gravel along the road and from around the jetties.

Walnut Creek Marsh
The water levels are full. Boat access is normal. Bluegill - Good: A few bluegills can be caught from the shallows along the edges of the vegetation.

The water temperature is in the mid 60s. The water levels at most lakes near full but not overflowing excessively. Water clarity is good to very good at most lakes.

Missouri River (Sioux City to Little Sioux)
Channel Catfish - Fair: Anglers had success with worms and stinkbait in side channel areas around logs, river and stream inlets, wing dykes and revetments. Flathead Catfish - Slow: Anglers have been catching a few flathead catfish on chubs. Sauger - Slow: Fishing has been slow for sauger. Walleye - Slow: Fishing has been slow for walleye.

Missouri River (Little Sioux to Council Bluffs)
Channel Catfish - Fair: Anglers have had some success with worms, shiners, and stinkbait in side channel areas around logs, river and stream inlets, wing dykes and revetments. Flathead Catfish - Slow: Anglers are catching a few flathead catfish on chubs. Sauger - Fair: Fishing has been fair for sauger on jigs and minnows. Walleye - Fair: Fishing has been fair for walleye on jigs and minnows.

Missouri River (Council Bluffs to Missouri State Line)
Channel Catfish - Fair: Anglers have had some success with worms and stinkbait in side channel areas around logs, river and stream inlets, wing dykes and revetments. Flathead Catfish - Slow: Fishing has been fair for flatheads on chubs. Sauger - Slow: Fishing has been slow for sauger. Walleye - Slow: Fishing has been slow for walleye.

The Missouri River at Decatur, Neb., is at 19.22 feet / 22,100 CFS. Water levels are predicted to remain stable over the next week.

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