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Print

Iowa fishing report for Nov. 21

November 21, 2012 at 02:32 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.

NORTHWEST
Bacon Creek Lake
1,500 rainbow trout were stocked on Nov. 15.

Black Hawk Lake
Black Hawk Lake was chemically renovated on Nov. 8.

Moorland Pond
1,500 rainbow trout were stocked on Nov. 18.

Water temperatures remain in the mid 40s at most of the lakes around the district.

Clear Lake
The courtesy docks at the boat ramps have been removed for the winter. Walleye - Slow: A few walleyes are being picked up with minnows and cut bait. Try drifting and vertically jigging.  Yellow Bass - Fair: Yellow bass are biting on minnows and cut bait fished in the little lake area.

Blue Pit
1,500 rainbow trout were stocked on Nov. 21.

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

Big Spirit Lake
Yellow Perch - Fair: Action has been spotty but active fish can be found, it just takes a little leg work. Try drifting mud flats or weed lines with either wigglers or minnows and don’t overlook shallow water.  Walleye - Good: Wader fishing can still be good but a few fish have moved out deeper.  Try drifting larger minnows and jigs and plastics in the main lake basin but don’t give up on the shallower water in rock piles and green weeds.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Wader fishing should be good for walleyes in the late afternoon try using twister tails, minnow baits, and minnows along drop-offs and other structure.

West Okoboji Lake
Yellow Perch - Fair: Try fishing on the drop-offs and don’t be afraid to move around to locate a school of bigger fish as there are many small ones.  Fishing 8-15 feet of water using jigging spoons with wigglers has been bringing some results. Yellow Bass - Good: Try using a jigging spoon tipped with wigglers in 15-25 feet of water just off the weed edge and down the drop a bit.

Lost Island Lake
A mixed bag of walleye, crappie, and yellow bass has been coming in and action has been good.  Try pitching jig and minnow combos for all three along drop-offs and other structure.

Scharnberg Pond
1,500 rainbow trout were stocked Nov. 10.  Use a variety of things for trout such as small spinners, crappie tubes, worms, and even corn or marshmallows.

Little Sioux River (state line to Linn Grove)
Walleye fishing has been good. Look for deep pools and try white twister tails and minnows.

West Fork Des Moines (state line to Emmetsburg)
Fishing has been good especially for walleye but also for catfish. Try twister tails and minnow baits for walleyes and minnows for both catfish and walleye. Target the deeper pools and don’t be afraid to venture away from the bridges but ask permission before fishing private lands.

As the water continues to cool look for fish in their wintering locations and slow your presentations down

NORTHEAST
Volga Lake
Bluegill - Fair: Anglers are catching bluegills using a small jig tipped with a small piece of nightcrawler.  Crappie - Good: Anglers are having success around the new habitat using an ice fishing jig tipped with wax worm.

Lake Hendricks
Few anglers have been out.  Crappie - Good: Anglers have been having success fishing along the shoreline and slowly trolling a line behind a boat toward evening.  Ice fishing jigs tipped with wax worms are working well.

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

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
Fish have moved into their overwintering areas. Northern Pike - Fair: A few northerns are showing up in the creel.  Smallmouth Bass - Good: Anglers are catching smallies while fishing for walleye.  Walleye - Good: Anglers have been having success below lower dam using live baits, such as minnows, on a bare hook weighted with split shot and bounced along the bottom.

Turkey River (below Clermont)
A reminder to walleye anglers fishing on all interior rivers, there is a daily bag limit of 5 and possession limit of 10.  Be mindful of the number and size of fish taken from overwintering holes during this vulnerable time of year.  Walleye - Fair: Anglers are using live baits bounced slowly off the bottom.

Cedar River (above Nashua)
Northern Pike - Fair: Anglers are starting to pick up a few northerns using a dead chub fished under a bobber.  Smallmouth Bass - Slow: Anglers are catching the smallies while fishing for walleye.  Walleye - Fair: Fish the deeper holes using minnows or nightcrawlers.

Decorah District Streams
Northeast Iowa streams are fishing well late in autumn. Blue Wing Olive and Baetis hatches continue in the afternoons. Try a #16 Blue Wing Quill or similar pattern for trout rising to larger Blue Wings. Good trout have also been taken on streamer patterns such as Wooly Buggers and Light Spruces. Please take care while wading so as not to disturb spawning browns and brookies on their newly formed redds.

Rivers and streams are still low but in excellent condition for angling.  Urban ponds are now being stocked with catchable sized trout.  Contact the management office in that district for more information.  It sounds like northeast Iowa is going to have beautiful weather for the holiday.  After sharing a lovely meal of turkey with all the fixings, take the family out for a walk in a park or go fishing.  Who knows, maybe the fish would like to nibble on some leftovers, too.

South Prairie Lake
Anglers are still catching good numbers of crappie but fish are running small in size.  Crappie - Good: Different colored tube jigs have been real productive for crappie near the floating fish dock.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
There have been good reports of walleye and smallmouth bass and being caught on the Cedar River in Black Hawk and Bremer counties.  Smallmouth Bass - Good: Plastic baits have been the most productive for smallmouth on the river, keep tackle as light as possible.  Walleye - Good: Plastic baits, twistertails and ringworms, or a split shot on the bottom with a floating jig tipped with a minnow has been good for walleye.

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
The Shell Rock has been producing good catches of smallmouth bass and walleye with some quality fish being taken.  Northern Pike - Fair: Casting spinnerbaits or spoons has been good for northerns. Concentrate near the deeper holes or areas with woody debris.  Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Plastic baits have been the most productive.  Walleye - Fair: Plastic baits, twistertails and ringworms, or a split shot on the bottom with a floating jig tipped with a minnow has been good.

Wapsi River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
Fishing has been fair to good on the Wapsipinicon River, concentrate near the deeper holes or near woody debris and current breaks.  Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Jig tipped with a twistertail has been good. Walleye - Fair: Jig tipped with a plastic twister tail or ringworm, tipped with or without a minnow, has been good. Crankbaits have also been productive.

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
There have been reports of some northern pike being caught on the Maquoketa River.  Northern Pike - Fair: Pike are being taken on shallow running Rapala baits.

Interior rivers still remain low with difficult navigation but anglers are doing very well in catching walleye and smallmouth bass on the Cedar and Shell Rock rivers. Trout streams remain in excellent condition. Call the Manchester District Office for any further additional information at 563-927-3276.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER
Mississippi River Pool 9
Lansing river stage is 8.0 feet and remaining stable over the next week. Crappie - Good: Fish jigs into any woody structure in backwater sloughs for some fall crappies.  Yellow Perch - Fair: Try fishing minnow along side channel areas with vegetation to pick up some nice perch.  Sauger - Good: Vertical jigging with a minnow for sauger in the tail waters has been successful.  Walleye - Slow: A few walleyes are being caught in deeper side channel sloughs and in the lock and dam tail waters.

Mississippi River Pool 10
Lynxville river stage is at 12.7 feet and expected to remain stable over the next week. White Bass - Fair: Walleye and sager anglers are picking up some white bass on jigs along the rocks in the tail waters. Crappie - Good:  Yellow Perch - Fair:  Sauger - Good: Vertical jigging with a minnow for sauger in the tail waters has been successful. Walleye - Fair: Walleye are biting on jig and minnow fished along drop-offs in the tail water areas.

Mississippi River Pool 11
River stage at Lock and Dam 10 in Guttenberg is 4.4 feet and expected to remain stable the following week. White Bass - Fair: Walleye and sager anglers are picking up some white bass on jigs along the rocks in the tail waters. Crappie - Good: Fish jigs into any woody structure in backwater sloughs for some fall crappies.  Yellow Perch - Fair: Try fishing minnow alongside channel areas with some vegetation to pick up some nice perch.  Sauger - Good: Vertical jigging with a minnow for sauger in the tail waters has been successful.  Walleye - Fair: Walleye are biting on jig and minnow fished along drop-offs in the tail water areas.

Sauger fishing is picking up with a few walleye moving up to the locks and dams. Anglers are having success vertical jigging in the tail waters. Reports of some perch, white bass and crappie are coming in.  Water levels remain extremely low on the Mississippi River and remaining stable. Water temperature is in the low 40s. Boaters should continue to use caution launching in low water conditions to avoid backing off the ends of ramps.

Mississippi River Pool 12
Water clear, water temps are the 40s. Skim ice reported in some spots.  Water level at Dubuque dam is very low at 4.7 feet. White Bass - Fair: White bass have been targeted in the tail water areas chasing minnow. Try a white spinner or white twister tail for best action.  Crappie - Fair: The deepest backwater or slow moving sloughs have been excellent for crappies but it seems the crappie bite has slowed up some. Try fishing in log piles with a small minnow and a bendable hook. Crappie may move into deeper open backwater areas this time of year away from structure.  Sauger - Good: Some sauger are being caught tail waters with anglers using a jig and minnow. Walleye - Good: Some nice walleyes are being reported on the wing dams and in the tail water. On wing dams most anglers are using three-way rigs with a crankbait.  In the tail waters many are using a jig and minnow.

Mississippi River Pool 13
Water is very clear.  Water temperature is in the 40s. Water Level at Bellevue dam is 4.1 feet.  White Bass - Fair: Many smaller white bass are being caught in the tail water reaches.  White spinners or white jigs can still provide some fast action.  Crappie - Fair: The crappie bite continues but seemed to slow up a little.  Try fishing the deeper sloughs and backwater log piles using bendable hooks.  Sauger - Good: Numerous smaller sauger are showing up in the tail water areas with anglers using a jig and minnow. Walleye - Good: Some walleyes are being reported on the wing dams and in the tail water. On wing dams most anglers are using three-way rigs with crankbaits. Some also jigging on the wing dams. In the tail waters many are using a jig and minnow.

Mississippi River Pool 14
Water is clear with the temperature in the 40s. Water level at the dam in Fulton reads 4.5 feet.  White Bass - Fair: Numerous white bass were caught out of the tail waters on jigs or spinners.    Sauger - Good: Some sauger were being reported in the tail water areas with anglers using a jig and minnow. Walleye - Good: Nice walleyes are being reported on the wing dams and in the tail water.  On wing dams most anglers are using three way rigs or throwing deep dive crankbaits.  In the tail waters many are using a jig and minnow.

Mississippi River Pool 15
Water is very clear in Pool 15, water temperature is in the 40s. Water level at LeClaire is 4.2 feet and stable.  Walleye - Fair: Some walleye were reported in the tail water and on wing dams.  Some nice keeper 18-inch fish are being reported. Anglers are using crankbaits or ring worms on jigs for best results.

Water temperature is in the 40s. Water levels are still low at all locations.  Beware backing off any ramp as you can easily put your axles over the ends of the ramps.  Also, beware of wing dams when motoring near the main channel.

Mississippi River Pool 16
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 3.68 feet. River stages are still low so anglers should use caution when boating. Bluegill - Excellent: Bluegill fishing has been good in Sunset Marina. Try fishing around the docks with small jigs and minnows.  Crappie - Excellent: Crappie fishing has been good in Sunset Marina. Try fishing around the docks with small jigs and minnows.  Sauger - Slow: Sauger fishing below Lock and Dam 15 and in Sylvan Slough has been slow.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 3.22 feet. River stages are still low so anglers should use caution when boating. Crappie - No Report: We have received no crappie fishing information for this pool this week. Try fishing in Big Timber (The Breaks) around brush piles and logs along the shore with jigs and minnows or jigs and plastics. Big Timber also has some deeper dredge cuts with some submerged brush piles as well.  Sauger - Slow: Tail water fishing for saugers below Lock and Dam 16 at Muscatine has been slow. A few saugers are being caught on jigs and minnows but most of the fish have been on the small side.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 3.02 feet. River stages are still low so anglers should use caution when boating.  Crappie - Fair: Crappies are being caught in the backwaters and flowing sloughs. Try fishing around brush piles and submerged logs in the backwaters with small jigs and plastics tipped with a minnow. Some of the backwaters may be difficult to access with the low water conditions. Sauger - No Report: We have received no tail water sauger information for this pool this week.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 1.35 ft. River levels are still low so anglers should use caution when boating. Bluegill - No Report: Most bluegill reports are coming from area lakes and ponds.  Crappie - No Report: Most crappie reports are coming from area lakes and ponds.  Sauger - Slow: Some saugers are being caught below Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington. Try fishing with jigs and minnows.

Mississippi River Pools 16-19: River stages are still low so anglers should use caution when boating. Main channel water temperature has been around 46 degrees. Remember to clean, drain, and dry your boat before going to another water body. For more fishing information contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

SOUTHEAST
Red Haw Lake
Try small jigs for bluegills in 6-8 feet of water.

Lake Sugema
Fishing activity has slowed. Try minnows for crappies along flooded timber areas and around rocky shorelines.  Slow your presentation as the water cools down for largemouth bass.

Rathbun Reservoir
The lake level is 903.31 feet with 904 feet being normal.  The surface water temperature is 47 degrees.  Fishing has been slow.  Some anglers have been catching crappie along the boat docks in the marinas. 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
Lake Petoka
The trout from the previous stocking are still very active and numerous.

Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake
2,200 rainbow trout, measuring 11-14 inches were stocked into the north basin on Nov. 20.  These fish should provide excellent fishing through ice-up.  The water is very clear, and the fish are near shore, so fishing back away from the shore a few feet might improve success.

Banner Lake (south)
The trout from the previous stocking are still active and numerous.

Des Moines River (Stratford to Saylorville Lake)
The low water has fish concentrated in pools.  Hiking upstream or downstream from an access point could yield an “untapped” pool, and a great day of catching.  Channel Catfish - Fair:  White Bass - Fair:  Crappie - Good:  Walleye - Fair:

These last few warm days might trigger a feeding binge for the fish before the water turns cold.  Target bass, bluegills and crappies in warm, shallow water in ponds and lakes.  For more information about fishing in central Iowa, contact Ben Dodd or Andy Otting at the Boone Wildlife Research Station, 515-432-2823.

Nodaway Lake
Crappie - No Report: Try fishing minnows or jigs around the exposed brush piles in the lake.  Crappies are 9 to 10 inches.

Big Lake (Including Gilbert’s Pond)
Rainbow trout were stocked in October to provide some excellent fall fishing.  Anglers are still catching an occasional trout from the pond.  Rainbow Trout - Fair: Trout can be caught on a variety of baits including wax worms and minnows.  Some anglers prefer small crappie jigs for catching trout.

Lake Manawa
Anglers are catching some crappies along the north shore and the west canal using jigs and minnows.  Warm sunny days are best.  Try fishing wipers along the same north shore and close to the inlet from Mosquito Creek.  Crappie - Fair: Anglers are catching some crappies along the north shore and the west canal using jigs and minnows.  Warm sunny days are best.

The above average temperatures have extended the fall fishing in southwest Iowa lakes.  Water temperatures are around 50 degrees.  From now to ice up consider trying your favorite ice fishing spot from a boat.

Little River Watershed Lake
The water level is down about 12 feet to allow completion of a shoreline stabilization project.  The fish have been restocked and are growing fast.

Fogle Lake S.W.A.
The water level is down about seven feet to allow boat ramp repairs and crowd the fish to increase predation.  The repairs are complete.  The water level will be allowed to rise as run-off occurs.

Sands Timber Lake (Blockton Reservoir)
The lake has been drained to allow the construction of a wetland and shoreline stabilization to be completed.

Green Valley Lake
The water level is still down about three feet.  The ramps are easily accessible.

Summitt Lake
The spillway replacement project is complete but run-off has not refilled the lake.  Restocking and boating will occur when water levels rise.

Three Mile Lake
The water level is down about three feet but the ramps are easily usable.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake
The water level is down about 3.5 feet but access is easy.

The water temperature is in the upper 30s.  A few anglers are still finding fish in 8 to 14 feet of water around flooded trees.

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