Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

  • RECEIVE THE GIFTS MEMBERS SHARE WITH YOU HERE...THEN...CREATE SOMETHING TO ENCHANT OTHERS THAT YOU WANT TO SHARE

    You know what we all love...

    When you enchant people, you fill them with delight and yourself in return. Have Fun!!!

Sign in to follow this  
gurkster

How do you age a deer on the hoof?

Recommended Posts

I am reading posts that say how people saw a 2.5 year old buck or 3.5 year old, etc. I know how to age a deer by their teeth, but not on the hoof? I can tell a "young buck" from a "mature buck" but that is by antler size and body size, also some coloring and body posture. I have no idea how to know if it is a 2.5 year old vs. a 3.5 year old though? How do you guys age the deer you see?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2.5 and 3.5 I think can be a little tougher to distinguish on the hoof.

When hunting I just think that a 1.5 is simple to see, then grouping 2.5 and 3.5's together, and 4.5 and older all in a class.

Basically looking at them as young bucks, mid tier bucks, and Big Daddy bucks.

On trail cam you have the benefit of examining closely, different angles, close up, etc. So that helps. And by no means is it concrete. Lots of people post pics on the QDMA forums asking for age and score of bucks they have on cam, and most times there is darts being tossed out on the ages.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am reading posts that say how people saw a 2.5 year old buck or 3.5 year old, etc. I know how to age a deer by their teeth, but not on the hoof? I can tell a "young buck" from a "mature buck" but that is by antler size and body size, also some coloring and body posture. I have no idea how to know if it is a 2.5 year old vs. a 3.5 year old though? How do you guys age the deer you see?

Its not an exact science, but its like aging people. You go off of physical traits and experience. In all honesty, tooth wear aging has been found to be less than 50% accurate. Cementum annuli (think counting tree rings) is about the only accurate way of determining age, and that is only about 85% accurate according to some studies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In farm country for me it's very easy, then again the older you get the easier it gets, baskets or less are 1.5's. 2.5's either have a decent rack small body or bigger body less rack, 3.5 and up are in our groups shooter category, if you are unsure or can't get a decent look we don't shoot and many times that's the case, the farm country bucks seem to pattern out fairly well, wouldn't have a clue further north or in the big woods. Another help is watching them all summer long in velvet, forgetting age they are either in our shootable category or not and trailcams help get really close up looks, not an exact science but it works, sad part is the past 5 years or so we are seeing very very few of those 3.5 year olds or up. But you convince yourself 1 must be around somewhere, reality is probably not but we all hang onto hope. Good Luck with the scopeless muzzleloaders this weekend! Food source might be a good place to start.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rack size plus body size is how I guess. 1.5 and 2.5 generally small bodies and the rack is inside the ears or on the verge of getting outside the ears. 3.5 up here don't usually have much mass. When they reach around 4.5 and older all things come together. Body size, wide antlers, and antler mass. Thats the best I can do anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Basically we are taking our best guess. For the most part it is fairly easy to tell the different between a 1.5 - 2.5 - 3.5 once you have some experience under your belt. There is plenty of gray/overlap among those age groups but hey are the easiest judging by body/antler size. After they reach 4.5 it it anyone's best guess, you might even throw a few 3.5's in that group as well because sometimes you just don't know.

Overall I think we can be fairly accurate but I suspect there are a lot of deer that we could be way off on depending on their age/genetics/nutrition.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From experience of hunting an area for a few years you begin to see a pattern in body sizes and antler sizes. Different areas can mean very different body and antler sizes. It is just a guess for the most part, based on experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having hunted different areas of MN it's very dependent on where you are hunting.

Before anyone disputes my numbers below I am generalizing and there are exceptions to every rule. I've mostly hunted in Southern MN and is what I'm basing my numbers on. Weights can obviously vary greatly depending on when you shoot them.

For a 1.5 year old I rarely see spikes and when I do they are probably at least 6 inches. Some 1.5 year olds will be 8 pointers. Very little spread and no tine length. Probably dressing out between 120-140 lbs. I don't have my memory card here but I just got a trail pic of a buck after gun season with spikes that I would say are 8-9 inches. Will try and post the pic later.

Most 2.5 year olds are getting 12-15 inch spreads. A few will have good tine length but the mass of the main beams won't be too great. The necks on these guys will start to get pretty impressive but not huge yet. Dress out between 150-180 lbs.

A 3.5 year old will usually have a spread outside the ears. Most will have both good mass and tine length. When nearing the rut these guys will have some big necks on them. Most will score 120-130 inches gross which make these the first real nice deer, IMO. Most will dress out at over 200lbs.

4.5 and older I kind of cluster together. At this point the bodies/racks may get a little or a lot bigger. I figure it's mostly genetics at this point.

Very mature. Look for more of a pot belly, a swail (sag in the back like an old horse) and a little bit of a crown in the nose. These guys have been around for a WHILE.

When I have hunted more North woods deer I've seen a lot more spikes and some that may not even make 3 inches. The body sizes and racks will be a little smaller but by 4.5 or 5.5 I think they catch up to the guys from the South.

Back to the 2.5 year olds. I was kind of disappointed I shot a 2.5 year old this year. He had great tine length but never looked at me so I didn't get a great judgement on him. Just a little disappointed in myself but happy to have gotten a deer. Had I let him walk he would have surely been one for me next year, if he would have made it through.

Just my .02 worth. And I'm not even sure it's worth that. smile

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think your body weights would be accurate for Canadian whitetails.

Vast majority of MN, a 2.5 isnt going to tip the scales at 150 too often.

You certainly will NEVER find a yearling(1.5 year old) going in at 150.

120 tops, and thats a stretch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You could be right. I typically don't do a lot of weighing of 1.5-2.5 year olds so I'll buy that. I'll edit and lower the weights a bit. I will admit most deer that we go through the trouble to weigh are typically 180 or above.

First deer I ever shot was a button buck and did weigh 90lbs field dressed. I'm sure he would have been bigger than 120 the next year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think a 2 1/2 year old MN buck will break the 150lb mark with regularity.

Aging them is pretty easy.

0-7 points is a 1 1/2 year old

8-10 is a 2 1/2

11-13 is a 3 1/2

14-16 4 1/2

Pretty straight forward. laugh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would agree on the weight thing. I think most bucks that dress around 150 lbs. are probably two-year olds. They may be starting to have okay racks, but most in our area are still runty little baskets. I would say most yearlings are 6 pointers, but there are plenty of forks, as well as little 7's or 8's. We hardly ever see a spike, if we do it's usually a really little yearling, which we assume means he was a late fawn the previous year. It does seem like spikes are more common farther North.

I don't think there's many deer that will dress out at 200 lbs. as a three-year old, although I agree they could be pretty close. That said there aren't many deer, bucks anyway, that get to be three years old...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shot a tooth aged 3.5 year old that out dressed at 207.

Shot one that I estimated was a 3.5 year old at 210. Obviously this one could have been older.

I do think eating corn/beans makes a big difference in the early years.

About 5 years ago the neighbors shot a 1.5 year old buck that would have probably had trouble breaking 100lbs dressed. I attributed that to a probable LATE fawn the previous year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe I should start a new thread for this, but I think it is pertinent here. I am pretty lost when it comes to guessing the age of deer so I thought maybe I would post a picture of the buck I shot this fall so we can see what age everyone would guess it as. It might help people get an idea of what everyone looks for.

The buck was shot in NE Minnesota. I did not get a weight on it, but it was pretty heavy. It was all two of us could do to get it loaded in the back of a truck. I'm guessing a bit on either side of 200 pounds. My guess for age is 3 1/2, based on no skill or experience. What do others think, and why?

full-28108-3691-pb131377.jpg

full-28108-3692-pb131358.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My analogy is similar to humans, let’s use woman to compare the different ages. Hope this doesn’t offend anyone. If so Im sorry ahead of time.

Teeny bopper- 1.5 She’s starting to see she has the tools, she is so darn excited about them she struts them everywhere. Ive learned to ignore this age as it isn’t worth mounting

18-early 20’s - 2.5 built like an Arabian Horse lean and fast , a tight tummy but just learning the ropes, Mighty tempting but not quite yet ready, Just get you in a bunch of trouble and a bunch of mounting’s on the wall

Mid 20’s – early 30’s -3.5 She’s got it all now and she knows how to use it, Still a little lean but built for anything. The trophy’s of the woods. Still get excited for the rut but she’s a lot smarter than a year ago and doesn’t just go traipsing through the woods for just any ole buck. .

Mid 30’s- 40 -4.5, She s got some age on her now but also some well learned experience. She’s showing signs of from these experiences; guts getting a little poochier than it used to be but she still knows she’s got what it takes. No little lady better mess with her cause she’s seen it all by now and knows how to fight.. Doesn’t get out as much during daylight now either, if you see her its usually after dark and she means business. She’s a survivor.

Over 40 - 5.5 and older Tummy sagging, wrinkles showing up, Weight has become a problem. Still has a nice rack but it’s starting to go down hill. Still a trophy but her years are limited from here on out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No Wiser, Id say 3.5 -4.5 for sure.leaning to the 4.5 myself but ive seen some that have surprised me before.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My analogy is similar to humans, let’s use woman to compare the different ages. Hope this doesn’t offend anyone. If so Im sorry ahead of time.

Teeny bopper- 1.5 She’s starting to see she has the tools, she is so darn excited about them she struts them everywhere. Ive learned to ignore this age as it isn’t worth mounting

18-early 20’s - 2.5 built like an Arabian Horse lean and fast , a tight tummy but just learning the ropes, Mighty tempting but not quite yet ready, Just get you in a bunch of trouble and a bunch of mounting’s on the wall

Mid 20’s – early 30’s -3.5 She’s got it all now and she knows how to use it, Still a little lean but built for anything. The trophy’s of the woods. Still get excited for the rut but she’s a lot smarter than a year ago and doesn’t just go traipsing through the woods for just any ole buck. .

Mid 30’s- 40 -4.5, She s got some age on her now but also some well learned experience. She’s showing signs of from these experiences; guts getting a little poochier than it used to be but she still knows she’s got what it takes. No little lady better mess with her cause she’s seen it all by now and knows how to fight.. Doesn’t get out as much during daylight now either, if you see her its usually after dark and she means business. She’s a survivor.

Over 40 - 5.5 and older Tummy sagging, wrinkles showing up, Weight has become a problem. Still has a nice rack but it’s starting to go down hill. Still a trophy but her years are limited from here on out.

Ufff-da.

mabr, I gotta make sure my wife doesn't read this one!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also 1.5's typically have little to no neck during first rut(similar to doe), 2.5-3.5 is tough but generally spread or height will give it away

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No Wiser: I'd say your deer is no younger than 4.5 years. Very nice buck, by the way!

A few years ago I shot a 12-pointer up here that topped 220 pounds. I figured it was AT LEAST 5.5 years old, as its face was gray and its massive antlers were thicker at the base than a 50 cent piece.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HNTBUX, It really could have been a fun if we didnt have youngsters reading.I was worried as it was. If my wife sees it she's going to ask me to age her, then Im in a bunch of trouble LOL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  



  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • I did 5/16" cedar and installed tight. Is there any finish on the cedar?
    • I gave it my last shot of the year this morning and I juked and the turkeys jived.  They have been rolling through the same spot for the last couple mornings and unfortunately went a different direction this morning.     That's it for me! Unfortunately I have obligations until the season is done now. Morgan, Logan, and I all finished with unpunched tags. Darn pea-brained birds won this time.
    • NORTHWEST IOWA FISHING REPORTS Arrowhead Lake
      Bluegill - Fair: As water continues to warm, look for bluegill nest colonies along the west and east shorelines; the highest concentration are likely in the southern end of the lake. Use a small tube jig tipped with a piece of crawler. Black Hawk Lake
      Water temperatures are around 70 degrees. Water clarity is 5-6 feet. Bluegill - Fair: Fish for bluegill just about anywhere along the shoreline. The fish average 7-8 inches. Use a small hair or tube jig with a small piece of crawler fished under a bobber off the floating fishing pier, the west stone pier, and the inlet bridge. Look for bluegills to start moving closer to shore, sitting on nests; you can easily target the males. Walleye - Fair: Anglers are picking up walleye from shore and by boat. Town Bay, the shoreline along Ice House Point, and near the inlet bridge are producing fish. Use leeches fished under a bobber and twisters on the downwind shoreline where walleye are feeding. Black Crappie - Slow: Anglers are still picking up fish from Ice House Point, the floating dock, the stone piers, and the inlet bridge. Catch fish up to 11 inches with crawlers and leeches fished under a bobber. Largemouth Bass - Good: Catch largemouth all over the lake using the traditional bass lures. Many anglers have found good bass action at the Ice House Point, the east shoreline,and the lake side of the inlet bridge.  Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
      Water clarity is 3-4 feet. Storm Lake has a daily limit of 3 walleye and all 17- to 22-inch walleye must be released; no more than one walleye longer than 22 inches may be taken per day. Walleye - Fair: Much of the walleye action has shifted to the boat anglers. Boat anglers are doing well trolling shad raps or ripple shads or drifting crawler harnesses on the edges of the dredge cuts around the lake in about 8 feet of water. Black Crappie - Fair: Anglers are picking up suspended crappie out mid-lake in the dredge cuts while fishing for walleye. White Bass - Fair: Use crankbaits; most action has been from boat while fishing dredge cuts.  Swan Lake
      Water temperature is around 70 degrees. Water clarity is 3 feet. Bluegill - Fair: Use a small jig tipped with crawler along the dam and off the jetties. Most of the fish are 6-7 inches. Look for fish to move closer to shore and the males sitting on nests. Yellow Smoke Park Lake
      Bluegill - Fair: Find bluegill spawning in the arm north of the swim beach and in the coves along the south shore. Yellow Smoke is known for its big bluegill consistently reaching 9 inches or more.  Water temperatures in Black Hawk District lakes are around 70 degrees. Bluegill are starting to move close to shore in many lakes and ponds. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638. Clear Lake
      Surface water temperature is 67 degrees. Black Crappie - Good: Crappies are biting. Use a small jig or a minnow in the rush beds and areas with vegetation. Walleye - Good: Try a slip bobber and leeches fished in the rocky reefs. Yellow Bass - Fair: Yellows bass are on the rocky areas to spawn. Use a small jig in the early morning. Channel Catfish - Fair: With recent rains, any spot where water is entering the lake is worth trying for catfish. Fish a dead chub or crawlers on the bottom. The best bite is late evening.  Crystal Lake
      Channel Catfish - Fair: Use nightcrawlers fished from shore. Walleye – Slow. Black Bullhead - Fair: Try nightcrawlers fished from shore. Bluegill – Slow: Bluegill are biting. Use a small piece of crawler and a bobber in 2 to 3 feet of water.  Lake Smith
      Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth bass are biting on a variety of baits. Bluegill – Fair. Rice Lake
      Largemouth Bass - Fair: Bass are biting on plastic baits. Bluegill - Fair: Use a small piece of crawler and a bobber in the edge of the vegetation.  Silver Lake (Worth)
      Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth bass are biting on plastic baits. Bluegill - Fair: Use a small piece of crawler and a bobber in 2 to 3 feet of water.  For information on the lakes and rivers in the north central area, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.  Center Lake
      Black Crappie - Fair: Cast mini jigs in shallow water wood habitat.  East Okoboji Lake
      Channel Catfish - Good: Use traditional baits in the evening. Black Crappie - Fair: Anglers report a panfish bite of bluegill and crappie from docks; sorting is needed. Walleye - Good: Report of anglers catching fish from the south end; best bite during the evening hours.  Five Island Lake
      Channel Catfish - Good: Use traditional baits during evening hours. Walleye - Fair: Action is picking up with numbers of angler acceptable size and larger being caught.  Lost Island Lake
      Walleye - Good: Walleye are being caught close to shore. Try fishing from a dock or wader fishing after dark. Black Crappie - Good: Reports of crappie and yellow perch being caught. Yellow Bass - Fair: Report of yellow bass being caught. Use small lures such as a twister tail or hair jigs.  Silver Lake (Palo Alto)
      Walleye - Fair: Report of large fish being caught during the late evening hours. Cast a white twister for the best action. Black Bullhead - Good: Good action reported of angler acceptable sized fish. Yellow Perch - Fair: Some activity reported.  Spirit Lake
      Marble Beach campground, including the boat ramp, is closed for the season for renovation. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Use a jig tipped with a minnow in shallow rock structures. Action is best during sunny, calm days. Black Crappie - Good: Fish the bulrush on the lake for spawning crappie. Cast a mini-jig and swim the bait slowly back to the boat to find active fish. Walleye - Good: Best action is during the night off the docks. Fish leeches under a bobber or cast a twister tail. Black Bullhead - Good: The bite has slowed at the north grade; persistence will be rewarded with good numbers of fish caught. Fish traditional baits on the bottom. Trumbull Lake
      Northern Pike - Fair: Use casting spoons below the spillway.  West Okoboji Lake
      Bluegill - Good: Wooden docks in deeper water and new aquatic growth will produce good numbers of angler acceptable sized fish.  For more information throughout the week, contact the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.   
    • NORTHEAST IOWA FISHING REPORTS Cedar River (above Nashua)
      Water levels continue to fall and clarity is improving. Baring more rain, water levels should stabilize. Water temperatures are in the mid 60's. Visit the USGS Current Water Data website for current water level information. Walleye - Good: Bite improves toward evening. Use a jig tipped with a crawler, minnow or twister tail. Channel Catfish - Good: Catch catfish in the impoundments with dead chubs fished on bottom. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Use a variety of jigs or spinners near brush piles. Black Crappie - Fair: Crappie are keying into shallow rocky shorelines. Use small jigs tipped with twister tail or minnow. Bluegill – Fair.  Decorah District Streams
      Trout streams are in good condition, but flows remain elevated. Family friendly locations abound. A light spinning rod/reel combo is a perfect set up for beginning trout anglers. Catchable trout are stocked weekly as weather and water conditions permit. Listen to the trout stocking hotline (563-927-5736) for daily plans. Area trout stream clarity is greatly improved. Flows remain elevated. Brook Trout - Good: A variety of insects are hatching. Match the hatch, but try not to spook a feeding fish.  Brown Trout - Good: Blue wing olive, midge, and stonefly hatches are occurring; some exceptional lately. Use blue wing olive, hendrickson, gnat, or beadhead nymph patterns and watch the water boil.  Rainbow Trout - Excellent: Try a piece of worm or small cheese chunk under a bobber in the deeper holes or floated past an undercut bank. A variety of small spinnerbaits also work. Lake Hendricks
      Excellent shoreline access; aquatic vegetation is relatively low. Black Crappie - Good: Use small jigs in shallow areas. Largemouth Bass - Good: Fish along edges of vegetation for a cruising bass. Channel Catfish - Fair:  Use a worm or smashed minnow along a windblown shoreline. Bluegill - Fair: Try a small jig tipped with small piece of worm along the shoreline.  Lake Meyer
      Perfect time to enjoy being on the water with family. Lake Meyer is fishing well. Bluegill - Excellent: Use a hook tipped with a worm in shallow water. Black Crappie - Excellent: Try a hook tipped with a worm or small spinner bait along a rocky shoreline. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Jigs tipped with a variety of plastics or a jerk bait catch bass; fish shallow bays for best luck. Northern Pike - Fair: Use a nightcrawler fished along the shallow weedy bays.  Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
      Water clarity is much improved. Water temperatures are in the low 60's. Water levels are falling. Flows remain up. Use care when paddling as strainers and snags may have moved. Walleye - Good: Bring an assortment of tackle to find what works best for your location and time of day. White Sucker - Excellent: Use worms fished on bottom.  Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
      Water levels are falling baring additional rainfall this weekend. Clarity is excellent. Use care when paddling. Flows remain elevated. Submersed hazards increase with falling water levels. Visit the USGS Current Water Data website for more information. Walleye - Good: Cast bright colored jigs and twister tails near undercut banks and log jams. Best fishing is toward dusk. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Use spinners around tributaries. Light colored jigs and crankbaits work best. Fish 10-12 inches common. White Sucker - Good: Worms fished off the bottom work for a hungry sucker.  Volga Lake
      Many water related activities available in the Volga River Recreation area. Explore the park. Water temperatures are in the mid 60's. Black Crappie - Good: Shallow, rocky, warmer areas are more productive. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use a jerkbait in shallow water with a slow retrieve. Channel Catfish - Good: Find catfish shallow in evening. Use worm or smashed minnow fished on the bottom. Bluegill - Good: Find gills along shallow rocky areas. Use small jigs tipped with a small piece of worm.  Area rivers and streams continue to improve. Summer is coming early to northeast Iowa; temperatures in the upper 80s for highs to mid 60's for lows and very humid. Rain potential present daily. For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.   Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
      Reports of anglers catching largemouth bass and bluegill. Largemouth Bass - Good: Try topwater spinner baits or sinking plastic baits. Bluegill - Excellent: Use a piece of worm under a bobber. Cast out and retrieve slowly over bluegill spawning beds. Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
      There have been a few reports of anglers catching catfish on the Cedar River, but the river remains high yet. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try dead cutbaits or stinkbait fished on the bottom.  Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
      Reports of anglers catching walleye, smallmouth bass and channel catfish. Walleye - Fair: Cast and retrieve a jig with plastics tipped with a minnow. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Cast and retrieve a jig with plastics tipped with a minnow. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try cut bait, nightcrawler or stinkbait fished on the bottom.  Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
      No fishing reports for this week.  South Prairie Lake
      Anglers are starting to catch bluegill and crappie. Bluegill - Fair: Try fishing a piece of worm under a slip bobber near vegetation. Black Crappie - Fair: Cast colored tube jigs or fish a minnow under a slip bobber 3 to 6 feet down near vegetation.  Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
      No reports on the Wapsipinicon River as the river continues to stay high and muddy.  Fishing reports have been good on most interior rivers and area lakes for most all gamefish. Trout stream stockings continue and streams remain in good condition. Call the N.E. Iowa district office at 563-927-3276 for more information.   MISSISSIPPI RIVER Mississippi River Pool 9
      River level is 9.4 feet at Lansing. Water temperature is near 66 degrees. New Albin ramp road is expected to reopen this week. The Lansing Village Creek ramp and parking lot will be closed for construction starting July 5th. For more updates, call the Guttenberg Fisheries Management office at 563-252-1156. Walleye - Fair: Expect walleye to settle in on the closing dams and wing dams as the river falls and stabilizes in the next week or two. Yellow Perch - Fair: Still a few perch biting along the rocky shorelines and tailwater areas. Sauger - Fair: Try a lightweight jig tipped with minnow fished on the bottom along main channel edges and wing dams. Northern Pike - Fair: Northern are feeding along main channel borders. Cast spinners or a minnow along edges of debris piles. Flathead Catfish - Fair: Expect the flatheads to be on the feed as they enter the spawning period. Fish deeper holes with a large shiner or sunfish. Channel Catfish - Good: Use a crawler fished on the bottom. Common Carp - Good: Carp are on the move with the high water. To hook into a big one, try fishing the warm shallow backwaters where carp are staging for the spawn. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth are biting on topwaters and crankbaits in warm shallow bays and marina areas out of the current. Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Warm water temperatures and slowly receding flood waters will have smallmouth working the rocky shorelines. Toss inline spinners along rock points. White Bass - Fair: Cast flashy spinners or crankbaits along the rocks in main channel current for big white bass. Black Crappie - Fair: Try small jigs or a plain hook tipped with a crappie minnow along the trees in backwater lakes.  Mississippi River Pool 10
      River level at Lynxville has fallen to 19.3 feet with a steady fall to 17 feet expected next week. Gates remain raised at the Lock and Dam. Water temperature is 66 degrees. Walleye- Slow: Expect walleye to settle in on the closing dams and wing dams as the river falls and stabilizes in the next week or two. Yellow Perch - Fair: Still a few perch biting along the rocky shorelines and tailwater areas. Sauger - Fair: Try a lightweight jig tipped with minnow fished on the bottom along main channel edges and wing dams. Northern Pike -  Fair: Northern are feeding along main channel borders. Cast spinners or a minnow along edges of debris piles. Flathead Catfish - Fair: Expect the flatheads to be on the feed as they enter the spawning period. Fish deeper holes with a large shiner or sunfish. Channel Catfish - Good: Use a crawler fished on the bottom. Bluegill - Good: Panfish bite is picking up this week. Try a small piece of garden worm on small tackle under a bobber. Common Carp - Good: Carp are on the move with the high water. To hook into a big one, try fishing the warm shallow backwaters where carp are staging for the spawn. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth are biting on topwaters and crankbaits in warm shallow bays and marina areas out of the current. Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Warm water temperatures and slowly receding flood waters will have smallmouth working the rocky shorelines. Toss inline spinners along rock points. White Bass - Fair: Cast flashy spinners or crankbaits along the rocks in main channel current for big white bass. Black Crappie - Fair: Try small jigs or a plain hook tipped with a crappie minnow along the trees in backwater lakes. Mississippi River Pool 11
      River level at Guttenberg has receded several feet this week at 10.9 feet with predictions to reach 9 feet late next week. The gates remain up at the Lock and Dam. Water temperature is 61 degrees at the dam. Walleye - No Report: Expect walleye to settle in on the closing dams and wing dams as the river falls and stabilizes in the next week or two. Yellow Perch - Fair: Still a few perch biting along the rocky shorelines and tailwater areas. Sauger - Fair: Try a lightweight jig tipped with minnow fished on the bottom along main channel edges and wing dams. Northern Pike - Fair: Northern are feeding along main channel borders. Cast spinners or a minnow along edges of debris piles. Flathead Catfish - Fair: Expect the flatheads to be on the feed as they enter the spawning period. Fish deeper holes with a large shiner or sunfish. Channel Catfish - Good: Use a crawler fished on the bottom. Common Carp - Good: Carp are on the move with the high water. Try fishing the warm shallow backwaters where carp are staging for the spawn. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth are biting on topwaters and crankbaits in warm shallow bays and marina areas out of the current. Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Warm water temperatures and slowly receding flood waters will have smallmouth working the rocky shorelines. Toss inline spinners along rock points. White Bass - Fair: Cast flashy spinners or crankbaits along the rocks in main channel current for big white bass. Black Crappie - Good: Fish small jigs or a plain hook tipped with a crappie minnow along the trees in backwater lakes.  The Upper Mississippi River levels are on a steady decline this week. Warmer water temperatures in the upper 60's have many species of fish active. Use caution at ramps to avoid remaining mud and flood debris. Mississippi River Pool 12
      Water levels are 11.3 feet at the Dubuque Lock and 13.5 feet at the RR Bridge. The flooding is over and the river is dropping fast. The channel water temperature is around 64 degrees. White Bass - Fair: Some white bass are biting on spinners. Common Carp - Fair: Conditions for bowfishing carp in shallow flooded areas look good. Find carp and other rough fish thrashing about on hot sunny days. Flathead Catfish - Fair: Both channel cat and flatheads like flooded water. Fish worms in shallow water near shore along freshly flooded banks. Bluegill - Fair: Reports of some bluegills being caught on worms in near shore flooded areas. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Fishing for smallies along rock current lines is getting to be real productive.  Mississippi River Pool 13
      Water levels at Bellevue are 12.7 feet and are dropping fast. Bellevue is presently out of flood action stage. The Bellevue City ramp is available for use, but the DNR ramp is being cleaned but may have debris on it. The channel water temperature is around 65 degrees. Largemouth Bass - Excellent: Anglers are after large bass in the big flooded expanses of some of Pool 13’s largest backwater complexes such as Spring Lake and Browns Lake. Some bass are being caught out of Middle Sabula Lake and Green Island. Common Carp - Excellent: Conditions for bowfishing carp in shallow flooded areas are perfect. Find carp and other rough fish thrashing about on hot sunny days in Green Island and Middle Sabula Lakes. Please take fish with you; don’t leave them on the bank. Channel Catfish - Fair: Anglers will start to target channel cats along rock lines soon as they begin to spawn.  Mississippi River Pool 14
      Water levels are cresting 12.6 feet at Fulton, 15 feet at Camanche and 8.9 feet at LeClaire. Levels are dropping fast. The water temperature is around 67 degrees. Some ramps may still have debris on them. Largemouth Bass - No Report: Flooding made access to bass fishing difficult last week, but fishing for bass should really pick up the next few weeks. Common Carp - No Report: Conditions for bowfishing carp in shallow flooded areas look good. Find carp and other rough fish thrashing about on hot sunny days. Channel Catfish - No Report: Fish worms near the shore as catfish feed along newly flooded shorelines. 
    • SOUTHEAST Big Hollow Lake
      Water temperature are up to the mid 70's. Water clarity is good. Largemouth Bass - Good: Males are on the nests. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are coming in to spawn. Black Crappie - Fair: Crappies finished up a quick spawn and are headed back out deep. Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River)
      The Iowa River is dropping at a pretty good rate. Still not many anglers out.   Lake Belva Deer
      Water temperature is in the low 70's. Water is very clear; you can see down to 12 feet. Curlyleaf pondweed is getting pretty thick. Largemouth Bass - Good: Still some spawning males guarding the nests. Also look for them to be over the mounds in deeper water at the upper end of the lake. Black Crappie - Fair: Work the trees back in the bays in 8-10 feet of water. Bluegill - Good: The spawn continues, look for the males to be in shallow; work the holes in the curlyleaf beds.  Lake Darling
      Water temperature remains at 70 degrees. We lost some of our water clarity as the runoff rainwater finally worked its way through all the ponds; still pretty good. Black Crappie - Slow: Crappies have moved out to 6 to 10 feet deep water. Look for them over the rock piles at those depths. Largemouth Bass - Good: Males are on the nest with some even being done with that stage of the spawn. Channel Catfish - Good: Anglers are catching some nice stringers of catfish, mostly with nightcrawlers. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are spawning. Find a good bedding area and you can catch 8 inch bluegills. Anglers continue to catch some nice ones in 5 to 6 feet of water.  Lost Grove Lake
      Water temperature is around 70 degrees; water is very clear (14 feet).  Largemouth Bass - Good: Males are still on the nests. Females are out deep recovering from the spawn. Black Crappie - Fair: Look for them in 6 to 8 feet of water. They seem to be moving from spot to spot. Keep moving if you want to catch crappies. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are in shallow spawning; find a nice quiet bay and you should do well.  Skunk River (Rose Hill to Coppock)
      The Skunk River is dropping pretty fast. A few boats are getting out and catching catfish. Channel Catfish - Fair: Concentrate efforts around the mouths of the feeder creeks. The log jams are good especially later in the morning.  For more information on the above lakes, contact the Lake Darling Fisheries Office at 319-694-2430.   Cedar River (Cedar Rapids to Moscow)
      Channel Catfish – Good. Flathead Catfish – Good. Shovelnose Sturgeon – Good.  Central Park Lake
      The lake is currently drained as a renovation project is finishing up this spring.  Coralville Reservoir
      As of May 24, the lake is at normal summer pool of 683.3 feet. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try cut bait in the channel. Some fish are starting to move to the shallow rocks. White Crappie – Fair: Check brush piles and rock banks for post spawn fish.   Diamond Lake
      No minnows are allowed here. The fish cleaning station is open. Black Crappie - Good: Try small jigs fished around the rock jetties or brush piles. Most fish are 7-9 inches. Pink and black tube jigs have been the hot colors. Bluegill - Excellent: Use small jigs or worms around shallow rock or brush. Many fish are around 7 inches.  Iowa Lake (Iowa County)
      The weeds are thick around the shoreline. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use a frog over the weeds or fish the outside weed line. Bluegill - Fair: Fish right along the shoreline or in pockets of the weeds for spawning fish. Black Crappie - Fair: Fish the weed line or offshore for suspended crappies. Most fish are around 8 inches.  Kent Park Lake
      The lake is currently drained for a lake renovation project currently underway. It is scheduled to be completed next spring.  Lake Macbride
      Water temperatures are around 70 degrees. All boat docks are in and the fish cleaning station at the primitive campground ramp is open.Starting May 25th, only motors under 10hp may be used at no-wake speed. Black Crappie - Fair: Most fish have moved off the bank. Some are on brush and others are suspended out from spawning areas. Walleye - Fair: Cast toward shallow, windblown rocks or troll or jig live bait rigs. Early/late in the day or cloud cover has been best for shallow walleyes. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Cast shallow running crankbaits or flip jigs to shallow cover. Males are shallow and females are staging for the spawn. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair. Bluegill - Good: Use a small jig or worm around shallow cover. Size is marginal at best. Channel Catfish - Fair: Evenings are best.  Otter Creek Lake
      Yellow Bass - Good: Cast small jigs, spinners or live bait to shallow shores. Most fish are around 8 inches. Bluegill - Good: Use small jigs or worms around shallow rock or brush. Most fish are 5-7 inches. Black Crappie - Fair: Bright colored jigs work best.  Pleasant Creek Lake
      The lake is still 7 feet low from the restoration project. The main ramp is usable, but it is shallow; use caution. There is a boat dock in on the east lane. Be cautious when boating as new structures have started to be submerged. Walleye – Fair: Evenings are best in the shallows. Black Crappie - Slow: Some fish are being picked up along shallow rock. Union Grove Lake
      The lake was restocked two years ago following a lake renovation project. Most fish are smaller, but some adult fish were also stocked. Bluegill - Good: Use small jigs or worms in the shallows.  Wapsipinicon River (Troy Mills to Oxford Junction)
      Smallmouth Bass – Good. For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615. Hawthorn Lake
      Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use spinnerbaits along the rocky shorelines and rubber worms around the deeper structure. Bluegill - Fair: Try small jigs along the rocky shorelines and around the fishing jetties.  Lake Keomah
      Bluegill - Fair: Use small jigs near shoreline. Try a chunk of nightcrawler if fish get picky. Black Crappie - Fair: Use jigs or minnows around the fishing jetties and the fishing pier.  Lake Sugema
      Walleye - Slow: Use jig and minnow combinations in areas with rip-rapped shorelines. Largemouth Bass - Good: Try spinnerbaits or crankbaits along the fishing jetties and rip-rapped shorelines. Use rubber worms in the same areas as the day warms up. Black Crappie - Slow: Use tube jigs or jig and minnows in deeper water structure. Bluegill - Fair: Try small jigs tipped with live bait around the shorelines and around the aquatic vegetation.  Lake Wapello
      Channel Catfish - Fair: Use liver or nightcrawlers around areas with rip rap. Largemouth Bass - Good: Try spinnerbaits and rubber worms around the cedar tree piles. Bluegill - Fair: Use small jigs tipped with a chunk of nightcrawler.  Rathbun Reservoir
      The current lake level is 904.27 msl. Normal operating elevation is 904.0 msl. Lake Rathbun has zebra mussels, so make sure to properly drain, clean, and dry equipment before transporting to another water body. The water temperature is in the upper 60's. Channel Catfish - Good: Use cut bait or large chubs around areas with rip rap. The rocks around the bridge at the Bridgeview area are a good spot this time of year. White Crappie - Good: Anglers are catching some crappies around the docks at the marina and at the resort. Anglers have had luck in shallow water as well as in 4-10 feet of water. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) - Fair: Anglers are trolling crankbaits along rocky shorelines. Try also using jig and minnow combos along the shoreline. Walleye - Good: Use nightcrawler rigs or crankbaits around rock piles and submerged points.  Red Haw Lake
      Largemouth Bass - Good: Use spinnerbaits or rubber worms in shoreline areas along rip-rapped shorelines. Black Crappie - Fair: Try tube jigs along the shorelines. Bluegill - Good: Use small jigs tipped with live bait around the shorelines and around the aquatic vegetation.  The district includes Mahaska, Lucas, Wayne, Monroe, Appanoose, Wapello, Davis and Van Buren counties. Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions about fishing in south central Iowa.   Mississippi River Pool 15
      Water levels are moving out of flood action stage at 13 feet at Rock Island. Water levels are dropping fast. The water temperature is near 67 degrees. Some boat ramps will still have debris on them from the recent flood.   River levels are dropping fast and most places are out of flood stages. Water temperatures are in the mid 60's. Many boat ramps are unusable or will have flood debris on them. If you have any angling questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.    Mississippi River Pool 16
      Tailwater stage is 12.40 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and is falling. Flood stage is 15 feet. The docks are not in at the Fairport Recreational Area due to the high water. The boat ramps at Clark's Ferry Landing and Shady Creek are closed due to high water. We have not received much for fishing reports due to the high water. Bluegill - Fair: Use worms under a bobber along the shore in Sunset Marina. White Crappie - Fair: Try minnows under a bobber in Sunset Marina. Mississippi River Pool 17
      Tailwater stage is 12.02 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and is falling. Tailwater stage is forcasted to fall to 15 feet by the weekend. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 16.  The Kilpeck Landing and Big Timber Landing are closed due to high water. We have not received much for fishing reports due to the high water.  Mississippi River Pool 18
      Tailwater stage is 13.82 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and is falling. Flood stage is 15 feet. The gates are out of the water at the dam. The Toolsboro landing is closed due to high water. The Hawkeye Dolbee access will have water over the parking lot. We have not received any fishing reports for this pool this week.  Mississippi River Pool 19
      Tailwater stage is 10.06 feet at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington and is falling. Flood stage is 10 feet at Lock and Dam 18. We have not received any fishing reports for this pool this week.  River stages have fallen below flood stage or are at flood stage. Tailwater stages have been falling the past few days. River levels are still high. Main channel water temperature is around 69 degrees. Some boat ramps are closed due to the high water. We have not received much for fishing reports this week. Most fishing reports are coming from inland waters due to the recent high water conditions. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.
    • SOUTHWEST IOWA FISHING REPORTS Beaver Lake
      Black Crappie - Fair: Drift jigs or still fish minnows near the trees mid-lake. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are in the shallow bays on the upper half of the lake between the fishing jetties. They should be easy to target in these areas through May.  Big Creek Lake
      Walleye - Good: Walleyes are being caught throughout the lake in 10 to 15 feet of water. Mid lake out from the beach, marina and East boat ramp have been popular.
      Use jig and twistertails, jig and minnow, slow trolling minnow or leech rigs and trolling crankbaits. Black Crappie - Fair: Crappies have moved away from shore and are being caught over brushpiles in 10 to 15 feet of water with minnows under a slip bobber or drifting jigs with white or chartreuse twistertails or minnows. Don Williams Lake
      Black Crappie - Fair: Crappies are being caught slowly troll or drift small twister tails or minnows throughout the lake. Expect to fish through some 5-7 inch fish for the 9-10 inchers.  Fort Des Moines Pond
      Bluegill - Good: Nice size bluegill are being caught casting small panfish plastics or bobber fishing crawlers.  Lake Ahquabi
      Bluegill - Excellent: Bluegill have moved close to shore. Cast small jigs or little pieces of crawler in areas near shore that have slightly murky water compared to the otherwise very clear water right now.  Red Rock Reservoir
      Black Crappie - Good: Use live minnows next to any flooded vegetation or willows. Try also the rip-rap shorelines near the bridge on the Teter Creek arm and Marina Cove.  Rock Creek Lake
      White Crappie - Fair: Crappies have moved off spawning areas. Drift or slowly troll jigs or minnows in the lower portion of the lake between the beach and dam.  The crappie spawn is mostly finished in Central Iowa. Bluegill fishing is excellent right now. For more information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers, contact Andy Otting or Ben Dodd at 515-432-2823.   Cold Springs District Farm Ponds
      Anglers report excellent fishing in ponds right now. Always get permission to fish privately owned ponds. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are spawning and are close to shore in most ponds. Black Crappie - Fair: You can still catch spawning crappie. Find colonies of nesting fish by casting jigs close to shore. Largemouth Bass - Good: As the water temperature warms, bass become very active and can be caught with a variety of lures and plugs. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try along weed edges and around structure.  Cold Springs Lake
      The fish population at Cold Springs looks good. There is an 18 inch minimum length limit on largemouth bass. Bluegill - Good: Cast a small jig tipped with crawler under a bobber to catch bluegill up to 9 inches. Black Crappie - Fair: A few black crappie are being caught around the underwater rock piles. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Catch bass around the shoreline with a variety of spinners and lures. Redear Sunfish - Fair: Redear are on their beds spawning. Catch fish up to 10 inches with nightcrawlers under a bobber.  Farm Creek Lake
      Farm creek will offer good fishing this year. Bluegill should be spawning and close to shore. Black Crappie - No Report: Black crappie in Farm Creek are quality size fish. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are spawning and close to shore. Cast the shoreline with small jigs and move often to find fish.  Lake Anita
      Bluegills are being picked up close to shore. Anglers can still find late spawning crappie. Black Crappie - Fair: Cast around rocky shorelines and the jetties to find late spawning crappie. Fish will average 9 inches. Move to deeper tree piles to find post spawn fish. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are moving in to spawn. Fish underwater reefs and sandy substrates to find fish up to 9 inches. Largemouth Bass - Good: Cast to structure to catch bass of all sizes.  Lake Manawa
      White crappies can still be caught close to shore with small jigs. Lake Manawa is also a good destination for channel catfish. White Crappie - Fair: White crappies are close to shore. Move often if you are not catching fish. Concentrate on rocky shorelines like the west shore and canals. Channel Catfish - Fair: Fish the windy shoreline with shad sides or cut bait. Channel catfish in Manawa are all sizes.  Meadow Lake
      Meadow has a good population of 10 inch black crappie. Black Crappie - Fair: Look for post spawn crappie around underwater reefs and tree piles. Fish will average 10 inches. Bluegill - Good: Bluegill have moved on the underwater reefs to spawn. Cast small jigs for fish averaging 8 inches. Mormon Trail Lake
      Anglers report good crappie fishing around the jetties. Black Crappie - Good: Cast small jigs around the jetties and dam to find spawning crappie. Fish will average 9 inches.  Prairie Rose Lake
      Prairie Rose will offer good panfishing. The lake has quality sized bluegills and acceptable size crappies. Target the spawning beds, underwater reefs and jetties to find spawning fish. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are spawning and can be caught on top of underwater reefs and on the spawning substrate placed in the lake. Bluegills in Prairie Rose are quality size fish. Black Crappie - Fair: Spawning crappies can still be caught around the jetties and rocky shorelines. Fish will average 9 inches. Largemouth Bass - Good: There is a large population of 12 inch bass in the lake that offers fun catch and release fishing.  Viking Lake
      Concentrate on deeper brush piles to find crappie. Anglers are still catching spawning crappies around underwater reefs and rocky shorelines. A few bass are being caught in the deeper brush piles. Black Crappie - Fair: Crappies are beginning to be caught in the deeper tree piles. Sorting is needed for larger fish. White Crappie - Fair: Boat anglers are finding white crappies along the dam and deeper tree piles. Fish will average 12 inches. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Jig plastics in deeper brush piles during the day and cast shallow structure early morning for largemouth bass of all sizes.  Crappie spawn is winding down and bluegills have moved close to shore.For more information, contact the Cold Springs office at 712-769-2587.   Green Valley Lake
      Largemouth Bass - Good: Catch largemouth bass up to 18 inches with jigs fished along cedar tree brush piles or along the silt dams. Bluegill - Good: Catch bluegill up to 8.5 inches with jigs or nightcrawlers fished along the fishing jetties or fishing piers.  Lake Icaria
      Black Crappie - Fair: Catch crappie up to 10 inches with jigs or minnows fished along rocky shoreline areas or cedar tree brush piles. Walleye - Good: Walleye of all sizes have been caught using jigs or minnows fished along the roadbed or trolling along mainlake points. Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish of all sizes have been caught using nightcrawlers fished along main lake points.  Lake of Three Fires
      Largemouth Bass - Fair: Catch largemouth bass up to 18 inches with jigs fished along rocky shoreline areas or cedar tree brush piles.  Little River Watershed Lake
      Walleye - Fair: Catch walleyes up to 22 inches with jigs tipped with a minnow or leech
      fished along mainlake points or the roadbed. Largemouth Bass - Good: Catch largemouth bass up to 18 inches using jigs fished near cedar tree brush piles. Black Crappie - Fair: Catch crappies up to 14 inches with minnows fished along cedar tree brush piles. Bluegill - Good: Catch bluegills up to 9 inches using jigs tipped with a waxworm or leaf worms fished along cedar tree brush piles or the fishing jetties. Channel Catfish - Good: Catch channel catfish up to 10 pounds with nightcrawlers fished along main lake points.  Summit Lake
      Bluegill - Good: Bluegill up to 9 inches have been caught using jigs or nightcrawlers fished along shallow sandy areas.  Three Mile Lake
      Walleye - Good: Catch walleyes up to 17 inches with jigs tipped with a minnow fished along the dam. Twelve Mile Creek Lake
      Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth bass of all sizes have been caught with jigs fished along cedar tree brush piles. Black Crappie - Good: Catch crappies up to 10 inches using jigs or minnows fished in the flooded timber. Bluegill - Good: Catch bluegill up to 8.5 inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm fished along the fishing jetties or flooded timpber. Walleye - Slow: Catch walleyes up to 20 inches using jigs tipped with a minnow fished along the roadbed.  Water temperature in most district lakes is in the lower 70's. For more information, please call the Mount Ayr Fisheries office at 641-464-3108.   MISSOURI RIVER Missouri River (Sioux City to Little Sioux)
      Channel Catfish - Slow: A few anglers are catching catfish on worms and cut bait below wing dams and along the banks. Sauger - Fair: Spring is a good time to catch sauger and walleye on the Missouri. Use jigs tipped with minnows or worms below wing dams or where tributary streams or rivers come into the Missouri River. Shovelnose sturgeon - Good: Anglers are catching shovelnose sturgeon on live bait rigs tipped with worms. Freshwater Drum - Fair: Try using live bait rigs or jigs tipped with worms along the bank and around tributary stream or rivers where they join the Missouri River. Blue Catfish - No Report: Spring can be a great time to catch some big blue catfish. Use fresh cutbait with live bait rigs along wing dam tips or in or close to the main channel of the Missouri River.  Missouri River (Little Sioux to Council Bluffs)
      Channel Catfish - Fair: A few anglers are catching catfish on worms and cut bait below wing dams and along the banks. Sauger - Fair: Spring is a good time to catch sauger and walleye on the Missouri. Use jigs tipped with minnows or worms below wing dams or where tributary streams or rivers come into the Missouri River. Shovelnose sturgeon - Good: Anglers are catching shovelnose sturgeon on live bait rigs tipped with worms. Freshwater Drum - Fair: Try using live bait rigs or jigs tipped with worms along the bank and around tributary stream or rivers where they join the Missouri River. Blue Catfish - No Report: Spring can be a great time to catch some big blue catfish. Use fresh cutbait with live bait rigs along wing dam tips or in or close to the main channel of the Missouri River.  Missouri River (Council Bluffs to Missouri State Line)
      Channel Catfish - Fair: A few anglers are catching catfish on worms and cut bait below wing dams and along the banks. Sauger - Slow: Spring is a good time to catch sauger and walleye on the Missouri. Use jigs tipped with minnows or worms below wing dams or where tributary streams or rivers come into the Missouri River. Shovelnose sturgeon - Good: Anglers are catching shovelnose sturgeon on live bait rigs tipped with worms. Freshwater Drum - Fair: Try using live bait rigs or jigs tipped with worms along the bank and around tributary stream or rivers where they join the Missouri River. Blue Catfish - Fair: Anglers are catching a few blue catfish on with fresh cutbait. Try by the wing dam tips, close to or in the main channel of the Missouri River for your best chance at getting bigger blue catfish.  The Missouri River at Decatur, Nebraska is at 25.67 ft. /50,300 cfs./64 degrees. Missouri River water temperatures are up 3 degrees and water levels are down 1.12 feet from last week. Fishing continues to be slow with few anglers out with the higher water conditions we are currently having on the Missouri River along the Iowa border. The Army Corps of Engineers is releasing water from Gavin's Point Dam due to snow melt from up North, which has contributed to higher water conditions.
    • NORTHWEST Arrowhead Lake
      Bluegill - Fair: As water continues to warm, look for bluegill nest colonies along the west and east shorelines; the highest concentration are likely in the southern end of the lake. Use a small tube jig tipped with a piece of crawler. Black Hawk Lake
      Water temperatures are around 70 degrees. Water clarity is 5-6 feet. Bluegill - Fair: Fish for bluegill just about anywhere along the shoreline. The fish average 7-8 inches. Use a small hair or tube jig with a small piece of crawler fished under a bobber off the floating fishing pier, the west stone pier, and the inlet bridge. Look for bluegills to start moving closer to shore, sitting on nests; you can easily target the males. Walleye - Fair: Anglers are picking up walleye from shore and by boat. Town Bay, the shoreline along Ice House Point, and near the inlet bridge are producing fish. Use leeches fished under a bobber and twisters on the downwind shoreline where walleye are feeding. Black Crappie - Slow: Anglers are still picking up fish from Ice House Point, the floating dock, the stone piers, and the inlet bridge. Catch fish up to 11 inches with crawlers and leeches fished under a bobber. Largemouth Bass - Good: Catch largemouth all over the lake using the traditional bass lures. Many anglers have found good bass action at the Ice House Point, the east shoreline,and the lake side of the inlet bridge.  Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
      Water clarity is 3-4 feet. Storm Lake has a daily limit of 3 walleye and all 17- to 22-inch walleye must be released; no more than one walleye longer than 22 inches may be taken per day. Walleye - Fair: Much of the walleye action has shifted to the boat anglers. Boat anglers are doing well trolling shad raps or ripple shads or drifting crawler harnesses on the edges of the dredge cuts around the lake in about 8 feet of water. Black Crappie - Fair: Anglers are picking up suspended crappie out mid-lake in the dredge cuts while fishing for walleye. White Bass - Fair: Use crankbaits; most action has been from boat while fishing dredge cuts.  Swan Lake
      Water temperature is around 70 degrees. Water clarity is 3 feet. Bluegill - Fair: Use a small jig tipped with crawler along the dam and off the jetties. Most of the fish are 6-7 inches. Look for fish to move closer to shore and the males sitting on nests. Yellow Smoke Park Lake
      Bluegill - Fair: Find bluegill spawning in the arm north of the swim beach and in the coves along the south shore. Yellow Smoke is known for its big bluegill consistently reaching 9 inches or more.  Water temperatures in Black Hawk District lakes are around 70 degrees. Bluegill are starting to move close to shore in many lakes and ponds. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638. Clear Lake
      Surface water temperature is 67 degrees. Black Crappie - Good: Crappies are biting. Use a small jig or a minnow in the rush beds and areas with vegetation. Walleye - Good: Try a slip bobber and leeches fished in the rocky reefs. Yellow Bass - Fair: Yellows bass are on the rocky areas to spawn. Use a small jig in the early morning. Channel Catfish - Fair: With recent rains, any spot where water is entering the lake is worth trying for catfish. Fish a dead chub or crawlers on the bottom. The best bite is late evening.  Crystal Lake
      Channel Catfish - Fair: Use nightcrawlers fished from shore. Walleye – Slow. Black Bullhead - Fair: Try nightcrawlers fished from shore. Bluegill – Slow: Bluegill are biting. Use a small piece of crawler and a bobber in 2 to 3 feet of water.  Lake Smith
      Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth bass are biting on a variety of baits. Bluegill – Fair. Rice Lake
      Largemouth Bass - Fair: Bass are biting on plastic baits. Bluegill - Fair: Use a small piece of crawler and a bobber in the edge of the vegetation.  Silver Lake (Worth)
      Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth bass are biting on plastic baits. Bluegill - Fair: Use a small piece of crawler and a bobber in 2 to 3 feet of water.  For information on the lakes and rivers in the north central area, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.  Center Lake
      Black Crappie - Fair: Cast mini jigs in shallow water wood habitat.  East Okoboji Lake
      Channel Catfish - Good: Use traditional baits in the evening. Black Crappie - Fair: Anglers report a panfish bite of bluegill and crappie from docks; sorting is needed. Walleye - Good: Report of anglers catching fish from the south end; best bite during the evening hours.  Five Island Lake
      Channel Catfish - Good: Use traditional baits during evening hours. Walleye - Fair: Action is picking up with numbers of angler acceptable size and larger being caught.  Lost Island Lake
      Walleye - Good: Walleye are being caught close to shore. Try fishing from a dock or wader fishing after dark. Black Crappie - Good: Reports of crappie and yellow perch being caught. Yellow Bass - Fair: Report of yellow bass being caught. Use small lures such as a twister tail or hair jigs.  Silver Lake (Palo Alto)
      Walleye - Fair: Report of large fish being caught during the late evening hours. Cast a white twister for the best action. Black Bullhead - Good: Good action reported of angler acceptable sized fish. Yellow Perch - Fair: Some activity reported.  Spirit Lake
      Marble Beach campground, including the boat ramp, is closed for the season for renovation. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Use a jig tipped with a minnow in shallow rock structures. Action is best during sunny, calm days. Black Crappie - Good: Fish the bulrush on the lake for spawning crappie. Cast a mini-jig and swim the bait slowly back to the boat to find active fish. Walleye - Good: Best action is during the night off the docks. Fish leeches under a bobber or cast a twister tail. Black Bullhead - Good: The bite has slowed at the north grade; persistence will be rewarded with good numbers of fish caught. Fish traditional baits on the bottom. Trumbull Lake
      Northern Pike - Fair: Use casting spoons below the spillway.  West Okoboji Lake
      Bluegill - Good: Wooden docks in deeper water and new aquatic growth will produce good numbers of angler acceptable sized fish.  For more information throughout the week, contact the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.    NORTHEAST Cedar River (above Nashua)
      Water levels continue to fall and clarity is improving. Baring more rain, water levels should stabilize. Water temperatures are in the mid 60's. Visit the USGS Current Water Data website for current water level information. Walleye - Good: Bite improves toward evening. Use a jig tipped with a crawler, minnow or twister tail. Channel Catfish - Good: Catch catfish in the impoundments with dead chubs fished on bottom. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Use a variety of jigs or spinners near brush piles. Black Crappie - Fair: Crappie are keying into shallow rocky shorelines. Use small jigs tipped with twister tail or minnow. Bluegill – Fair.  Decorah District Streams
      Trout streams are in good condition, but flows remain elevated. Family friendly locations abound. A light spinning rod/reel combo is a perfect set up for beginning trout anglers. Catchable trout are stocked weekly as weather and water conditions permit. Listen to the trout stocking hotline (563-927-5736) for daily plans. Area trout stream clarity is greatly improved. Flows remain elevated. Brook Trout - Good: A variety of insects are hatching. Match the hatch, but try not to spook a feeding fish.  Brown Trout - Good: Blue wing olive, midge, and stonefly hatches are occurring; some exceptional lately. Use blue wing olive, hendrickson, gnat, or beadhead nymph patterns and watch the water boil.  Rainbow Trout - Excellent: Try a piece of worm or small cheese chunk under a bobber in the deeper holes or floated past an undercut bank. A variety of small spinnerbaits also work. Lake Hendricks
      Excellent shoreline access; aquatic vegetation is relatively low. Black Crappie - Good: Use small jigs in shallow areas. Largemouth Bass - Good: Fish along edges of vegetation for a cruising bass. Channel Catfish - Fair:  Use a worm or smashed minnow along a windblown shoreline. Bluegill - Fair: Try a small jig tipped with small piece of worm along the shoreline.  Lake Meyer
      Perfect time to enjoy being on the water with family. Lake Meyer is fishing well. Bluegill - Excellent: Use a hook tipped with a worm in shallow water. Black Crappie - Excellent: Try a hook tipped with a worm or small spinner bait along a rocky shoreline. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Jigs tipped with a variety of plastics or a jerk bait catch bass; fish shallow bays for best luck. Northern Pike - Fair: Use a nightcrawler fished along the shallow weedy bays.  Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
      Water clarity is much improved. Water temperatures are in the low 60's. Water levels are falling. Flows remain up. Use care when paddling as strainers and snags may have moved. Walleye - Good: Bring an assortment of tackle to find what works best for your location and time of day. White Sucker - Excellent: Use worms fished on bottom.  Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
      Water levels are falling baring additional rainfall this weekend. Clarity is excellent. Use care when paddling. Flows remain elevated. Submersed hazards increase with falling water levels. Visit the USGS Current Water Data website for more information. Walleye - Good: Cast bright colored jigs and twister tails near undercut banks and log jams. Best fishing is toward dusk. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Use spinners around tributaries. Light colored jigs and crankbaits work best. Fish 10-12 inches common. White Sucker - Good: Worms fished off the bottom work for a hungry sucker.  Volga Lake
      Many water related activities available in the Volga River Recreation area. Explore the park. Water temperatures are in the mid 60's. Black Crappie - Good: Shallow, rocky, warmer areas are more productive. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use a jerkbait in shallow water with a slow retrieve. Channel Catfish - Good: Find catfish shallow in evening. Use worm or smashed minnow fished on the bottom. Bluegill - Good: Find gills along shallow rocky areas. Use small jigs tipped with a small piece of worm.  Area rivers and streams continue to improve. Summer is coming early to northeast Iowa; temperatures in the upper 80s for highs to mid 60's for lows and very humid. Rain potential present daily. For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.   Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
      Reports of anglers catching largemouth bass and bluegill. Largemouth Bass - Good: Try topwater spinner baits or sinking plastic baits. Bluegill - Excellent: Use a piece of worm under a bobber. Cast out and retrieve slowly over bluegill spawning beds. Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
      There have been a few reports of anglers catching catfish on the Cedar River, but the river remains high yet. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try dead cutbaits or stinkbait fished on the bottom.  Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
      Reports of anglers catching walleye, smallmouth bass and channel catfish. Walleye - Fair: Cast and retrieve a jig with plastics tipped with a minnow. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Cast and retrieve a jig with plastics tipped with a minnow. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try cut bait, nightcrawler or stinkbait fished on the bottom.  Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
      No fishing reports for this week.  South Prairie Lake
      Anglers are starting to catch bluegill and crappie. Bluegill - Fair: Try fishing a piece of worm under a slip bobber near vegetation. Black Crappie - Fair: Cast colored tube jigs or fish a minnow under a slip bobber 3 to 6 feet down near vegetation.  Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
      No reports on the Wapsipinicon River as the river continues to stay high and muddy.  Fishing reports have been good on most interior rivers and area lakes for most all gamefish. Trout stream stockings continue and streams remain in good condition. Call the N.E. Iowa district office at 563-927-3276 for more information.   MISSISSIPPI RIVER Mississippi River Pool 9
      River level is 9.4 feet at Lansing. Water temperature is near 66 degrees. New Albin ramp road is expected to reopen this week. The Lansing Village Creek ramp and parking lot will be closed for construction starting July 5th. For more updates, call the Guttenberg Fisheries Management office at 563-252-1156. Walleye - Fair: Expect walleye to settle in on the closing dams and wing dams as the river falls and stabilizes in the next week or two. Yellow Perch - Fair: Still a few perch biting along the rocky shorelines and tailwater areas. Sauger - Fair: Try a lightweight jig tipped with minnow fished on the bottom along main channel edges and wing dams. Northern Pike - Fair: Northern are feeding along main channel borders. Cast spinners or a minnow along edges of debris piles. Flathead Catfish - Fair: Expect the flatheads to be on the feed as they enter the spawning period. Fish deeper holes with a large shiner or sunfish. Channel Catfish - Good: Use a crawler fished on the bottom. Common Carp - Good: Carp are on the move with the high water. To hook into a big one, try fishing the warm shallow backwaters where carp are staging for the spawn. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth are biting on topwaters and crankbaits in warm shallow bays and marina areas out of the current. Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Warm water temperatures and slowly receding flood waters will have smallmouth working the rocky shorelines. Toss inline spinners along rock points. White Bass - Fair: Cast flashy spinners or crankbaits along the rocks in main channel current for big white bass. Black Crappie - Fair: Try small jigs or a plain hook tipped with a crappie minnow along the trees in backwater lakes.  Mississippi River Pool 10
      River level at Lynxville has fallen to 19.3 feet with a steady fall to 17 feet expected next week. Gates remain raised at the Lock and Dam. Water temperature is 66 degrees. Walleye- Slow: Expect walleye to settle in on the closing dams and wing dams as the river falls and stabilizes in the next week or two. Yellow Perch - Fair: Still a few perch biting along the rocky shorelines and tailwater areas. Sauger - Fair: Try a lightweight jig tipped with minnow fished on the bottom along main channel edges and wing dams. Northern Pike -  Fair: Northern are feeding along main channel borders. Cast spinners or a minnow along edges of debris piles. Flathead Catfish - Fair: Expect the flatheads to be on the feed as they enter the spawning period. Fish deeper holes with a large shiner or sunfish. Channel Catfish - Good: Use a crawler fished on the bottom. Bluegill - Good: Panfish bite is picking up this week. Try a small piece of garden worm on small tackle under a bobber. Common Carp - Good: Carp are on the move with the high water. To hook into a big one, try fishing the warm shallow backwaters where carp are staging for the spawn. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth are biting on topwaters and crankbaits in warm shallow bays and marina areas out of the current. Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Warm water temperatures and slowly receding flood waters will have smallmouth working the rocky shorelines. Toss inline spinners along rock points. White Bass - Fair: Cast flashy spinners or crankbaits along the rocks in main channel current for big white bass. Black Crappie - Fair: Try small jigs or a plain hook tipped with a crappie minnow along the trees in backwater lakes. Mississippi River Pool 11
      River level at Guttenberg has receded several feet this week at 10.9 feet with predictions to reach 9 feet late next week. The gates remain up at the Lock and Dam. Water temperature is 61 degrees at the dam. Walleye - No Report: Expect walleye to settle in on the closing dams and wing dams as the river falls and stabilizes in the next week or two. Yellow Perch - Fair: Still a few perch biting along the rocky shorelines and tailwater areas. Sauger - Fair: Try a lightweight jig tipped with minnow fished on the bottom along main channel edges and wing dams. Northern Pike - Fair: Northern are feeding along main channel borders. Cast spinners or a minnow along edges of debris piles. Flathead Catfish - Fair: Expect the flatheads to be on the feed as they enter the spawning period. Fish deeper holes with a large shiner or sunfish. Channel Catfish - Good: Use a crawler fished on the bottom. Common Carp - Good: Carp are on the move with the high water. Try fishing the warm shallow backwaters where carp are staging for the spawn. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth are biting on topwaters and crankbaits in warm shallow bays and marina areas out of the current. Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Warm water temperatures and slowly receding flood waters will have smallmouth working the rocky shorelines. Toss inline spinners along rock points. White Bass - Fair: Cast flashy spinners or crankbaits along the rocks in main channel current for big white bass. Black Crappie - Good: Fish small jigs or a plain hook tipped with a crappie minnow along the trees in backwater lakes.  The Upper Mississippi River levels are on a steady decline this week. Warmer water temperatures in the upper 60's have many species of fish active. Use caution at ramps to avoid remaining mud and flood debris. Mississippi River Pool 12
      Water levels are 11.3 feet at the Dubuque Lock and 13.5 feet at the RR Bridge. The flooding is over and the river is dropping fast. The channel water temperature is around 64 degrees. White Bass - Fair: Some white bass are biting on spinners. Common Carp - Fair: Conditions for bowfishing carp in shallow flooded areas look good. Find carp and other rough fish thrashing about on hot sunny days. Flathead Catfish - Fair: Both channel cat and flatheads like flooded water. Fish worms in shallow water near shore along freshly flooded banks. Bluegill - Fair: Reports of some bluegills being caught on worms in near shore flooded areas. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Fishing for smallies along rock current lines is getting to be real productive.  Mississippi River Pool 13
      Water levels at Bellevue are 12.7 feet and are dropping fast. Bellevue is presently out of flood action stage. The Bellevue City ramp is available for use, but the DNR ramp is being cleaned but may have debris on it. The channel water temperature is around 65 degrees. Largemouth Bass - Excellent: Anglers are after large bass in the big flooded expanses of some of Pool 13’s largest backwater complexes such as Spring Lake and Browns Lake. Some bass are being caught out of Middle Sabula Lake and Green Island. Common Carp - Excellent: Conditions for bowfishing carp in shallow flooded areas are perfect. Find carp and other rough fish thrashing about on hot sunny days in Green Island and Middle Sabula Lakes. Please take fish with you; don’t leave them on the bank. Channel Catfish - Fair: Anglers will start to target channel cats along rock lines soon as they begin to spawn.  Mississippi River Pool 14
      Water levels are cresting 12.6 feet at Fulton, 15 feet at Camanche and 8.9 feet at LeClaire. Levels are dropping fast. The water temperature is around 67 degrees. Some ramps may still have debris on them. Largemouth Bass - No Report: Flooding made access to bass fishing difficult last week, but fishing for bass should really pick up the next few weeks. Common Carp - No Report: Conditions for bowfishing carp in shallow flooded areas look good. Find carp and other rough fish thrashing about on hot sunny days. Channel Catfish - No Report: Fish worms near the shore as catfish feed along newly flooded shorelines.  Mississippi River Pool 15
      Water levels are moving out of flood action stage at 13 feet at Rock Island. Water levels are dropping fast. The water temperature is near 67 degrees. Some boat ramps will still have debris on them from the recent flood.   River levels are dropping fast and most places are out of flood stages. Water temperatures are in the mid 60's. Many boat ramps are unusable or will have flood debris on them. If you have any angling questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.    Mississippi River Pool 16
      Tailwater stage is 12.40 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and is falling. Flood stage is 15 feet. The docks are not in at the Fairport Recreational Area due to the high water. The boat ramps at Clark's Ferry Landing and Shady Creek are closed due to high water. We have not received much for fishing reports due to the high water. Bluegill - Fair: Use worms under a bobber along the shore in Sunset Marina. White Crappie - Fair: Try minnows under a bobber in Sunset Marina. Mississippi River Pool 17
      Tailwater stage is 12.02 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and is falling. Tailwater stage is forcasted to fall to 15 feet by the weekend. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 16.  The Kilpeck Landing and Big Timber Landing are closed due to high water. We have not received much for fishing reports due to the high water.  Mississippi River Pool 18
      Tailwater stage is 13.82 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and is falling. Flood stage is 15 feet. The gates are out of the water at the dam. The Toolsboro landing is closed due to high water. The Hawkeye Dolbee access will have water over the parking lot. We have not received any fishing reports for this pool this week.  Mississippi River Pool 19
      Tailwater stage is 10.06 feet at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington and is falling. Flood stage is 10 feet at Lock and Dam 18. We have not received any fishing reports for this pool this week.  River stages have fallen below flood stage or are at flood stage. Tailwater stages have been falling the past few days. River levels are still high. Main channel water temperature is around 69 degrees. Some boat ramps are closed due to the high water. We have not received much for fishing reports this week. Most fishing reports are coming from inland waters due to the recent high water conditions. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.   SOUTHEAST Big Hollow Lake
      Water temperature are up to the mid 70's. Water clarity is good. Largemouth Bass - Good: Males are on the nests. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are coming in to spawn. Black Crappie - Fair: Crappies finished up a quick spawn and are headed back out deep. Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River)
      The Iowa River is dropping at a pretty good rate. Still not many anglers out.   Lake Belva Deer
      Water temperature is in the low 70's. Water is very clear; you can see down to 12 feet. Curlyleaf pondweed is getting pretty thick. Largemouth Bass - Good: Still some spawning males guarding the nests. Also look for them to be over the mounds in deeper water at the upper end of the lake. Black Crappie - Fair: Work the trees back in the bays in 8-10 feet of water. Bluegill - Good: The spawn continues, look for the males to be in shallow; work the holes in the curlyleaf beds.  Lake Darling
      Water temperature remains at 70 degrees. We lost some of our water clarity as the runoff rainwater finally worked its way through all the ponds; still pretty good. Black Crappie - Slow: Crappies have moved out to 6 to 10 feet deep water. Look for them over the rock piles at those depths. Largemouth Bass - Good: Males are on the nest with some even being done with that stage of the spawn. Channel Catfish - Good: Anglers are catching some nice stringers of catfish, mostly with nightcrawlers. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are spawning. Find a good bedding area and you can catch 8 inch bluegills. Anglers continue to catch some nice ones in 5 to 6 feet of water.  Lost Grove Lake
      Water temperature is around 70 degrees; water is very clear (14 feet).  Largemouth Bass - Good: Males are still on the nests. Females are out deep recovering from the spawn. Black Crappie - Fair: Look for them in 6 to 8 feet of water. They seem to be moving from spot to spot. Keep moving if you want to catch crappies. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are in shallow spawning; find a nice quiet bay and you should do well.  Skunk River (Rose Hill to Coppock)
      The Skunk River is dropping pretty fast. A few boats are getting out and catching catfish. Channel Catfish - Fair: Concentrate efforts around the mouths of the feeder creeks. The log jams are good especially later in the morning.  For more information on the above lakes, contact the Lake Darling Fisheries Office at 319-694-2430.   Cedar River (Cedar Rapids to Moscow)
      Channel Catfish – Good. Flathead Catfish – Good. Shovelnose Sturgeon – Good.  Central Park Lake
      The lake is currently drained as a renovation project is finishing up this spring.  Coralville Reservoir
      As of May 24, the lake is at normal summer pool of 683.3 feet. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try cut bait in the channel. Some fish are starting to move to the shallow rocks. White Crappie – Fair: Check brush piles and rock banks for post spawn fish.   Diamond Lake
      No minnows are allowed here. The fish cleaning station is open. Black Crappie - Good: Try small jigs fished around the rock jetties or brush piles. Most fish are 7-9 inches. Pink and black tube jigs have been the hot colors. Bluegill - Excellent: Use small jigs or worms around shallow rock or brush. Many fish are around 7 inches.  Iowa Lake (Iowa County)
      The weeds are thick around the shoreline. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use a frog over the weeds or fish the outside weed line. Bluegill - Fair: Fish right along the shoreline or in pockets of the weeds for spawning fish. Black Crappie - Fair: Fish the weed line or offshore for suspended crappies. Most fish are around 8 inches.  Kent Park Lake
      The lake is currently drained for a lake renovation project currently underway. It is scheduled to be completed next spring.  Lake Macbride
      Water temperatures are around 70 degrees. All boat docks are in and the fish cleaning station at the primitive campground ramp is open.Starting May 25th, only motors under 10hp may be used at no-wake speed. Black Crappie - Fair: Most fish have moved off the bank. Some are on brush and others are suspended out from spawning areas. Walleye - Fair: Cast toward shallow, windblown rocks or troll or jig live bait rigs. Early/late in the day or cloud cover has been best for shallow walleyes. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Cast shallow running crankbaits or flip jigs to shallow cover. Males are shallow and females are staging for the spawn. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair. Bluegill - Good: Use a small jig or worm around shallow cover. Size is marginal at best. Channel Catfish - Fair: Evenings are best.  Otter Creek Lake
      Yellow Bass - Good: Cast small jigs, spinners or live bait to shallow shores. Most fish are around 8 inches. Bluegill - Good: Use small jigs or worms around shallow rock or brush. Most fish are 5-7 inches. Black Crappie - Fair: Bright colored jigs work best.  Pleasant Creek Lake
      The lake is still 7 feet low from the restoration project. The main ramp is usable, but it is shallow; use caution. There is a boat dock in on the east lane. Be cautious when boating as new structures have started to be submerged. Walleye – Fair: Evenings are best in the shallows. Black Crappie - Slow: Some fish are being picked up along shallow rock. Union Grove Lake
      The lake was restocked two years ago following a lake renovation project. Most fish are smaller, but some adult fish were also stocked. Bluegill - Good: Use small jigs or worms in the shallows.  Wapsipinicon River (Troy Mills to Oxford Junction)
      Smallmouth Bass – Good. For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615. Hawthorn Lake
      Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use spinnerbaits along the rocky shorelines and rubber worms around the deeper structure. Bluegill - Fair: Try small jigs along the rocky shorelines and around the fishing jetties.  Lake Keomah
      Bluegill - Fair: Use small jigs near shoreline. Try a chunk of nightcrawler if fish get picky. Black Crappie - Fair: Use jigs or minnows around the fishing jetties and the fishing pier.  Lake Sugema
      Walleye - Slow: Use jig and minnow combinations in areas with rip-rapped shorelines. Largemouth Bass - Good: Try spinnerbaits or crankbaits along the fishing jetties and rip-rapped shorelines. Use rubber worms in the same areas as the day warms up. Black Crappie - Slow: Use tube jigs or jig and minnows in deeper water structure. Bluegill - Fair: Try small jigs tipped with live bait around the shorelines and around the aquatic vegetation.  Lake Wapello
      Channel Catfish - Fair: Use liver or nightcrawlers around areas with rip rap. Largemouth Bass - Good: Try spinnerbaits and rubber worms around the cedar tree piles. Bluegill - Fair: Use small jigs tipped with a chunk of nightcrawler.  Rathbun Reservoir
      The current lake level is 904.27 msl. Normal operating elevation is 904.0 msl. Lake Rathbun has zebra mussels, so make sure to properly drain, clean, and dry equipment before transporting to another water body. The water temperature is in the upper 60's. Channel Catfish - Good: Use cut bait or large chubs around areas with rip rap. The rocks around the bridge at the Bridgeview area are a good spot this time of year. White Crappie - Good: Anglers are catching some crappies around the docks at the marina and at the resort. Anglers have had luck in shallow water as well as in 4-10 feet of water. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) - Fair: Anglers are trolling crankbaits along rocky shorelines. Try also using jig and minnow combos along the shoreline. Walleye - Good: Use nightcrawler rigs or crankbaits around rock piles and submerged points.  Red Haw Lake
      Largemouth Bass - Good: Use spinnerbaits or rubber worms in shoreline areas along rip-rapped shorelines. Black Crappie - Fair: Try tube jigs along the shorelines. Bluegill - Good: Use small jigs tipped with live bait around the shorelines and around the aquatic vegetation.  The district includes Mahaska, Lucas, Wayne, Monroe, Appanoose, Wapello, Davis and Van Buren counties. Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions about fishing in south central Iowa.   SOUTHWEST Beaver Lake
      Black Crappie - Fair: Drift jigs or still fish minnows near the trees mid-lake. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are in the shallow bays on the upper half of the lake between the fishing jetties. They should be easy to target in these areas through May.  Big Creek Lake
      Walleye - Good: Walleyes are being caught throughout the lake in 10 to 15 feet of water. Mid lake out from the beach, marina and East boat ramp have been popular.
      Use jig and twistertails, jig and minnow, slow trolling minnow or leech rigs and trolling crankbaits. Black Crappie - Fair: Crappies have moved away from shore and are being caught over brushpiles in 10 to 15 feet of water with minnows under a slip bobber or drifting jigs with white or chartreuse twistertails or minnows. Don Williams Lake
      Black Crappie - Fair: Crappies are being caught slowly troll or drift small twister tails or minnows throughout the lake. Expect to fish through some 5-7 inch fish for the 9-10 inchers.  Fort Des Moines Pond
      Bluegill - Good: Nice size bluegill are being caught casting small panfish plastics or bobber fishing crawlers.  Lake Ahquabi
      Bluegill - Excellent: Bluegill have moved close to shore. Cast small jigs or little pieces of crawler in areas near shore that have slightly murky water compared to the otherwise very clear water right now.  Red Rock Reservoir
      Black Crappie - Good: Use live minnows next to any flooded vegetation or willows. Try also the rip-rap shorelines near the bridge on the Teter Creek arm and Marina Cove.  Rock Creek Lake
      White Crappie - Fair: Crappies have moved off spawning areas. Drift or slowly troll jigs or minnows in the lower portion of the lake between the beach and dam.  The crappie spawn is mostly finished in Central Iowa. Bluegill fishing is excellent right now. For more information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers, contact Andy Otting or Ben Dodd at 515-432-2823.   Cold Springs District Farm Ponds
      Anglers report excellent fishing in ponds right now. Always get permission to fish privately owned ponds. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are spawning and are close to shore in most ponds. Black Crappie - Fair: You can still catch spawning crappie. Find colonies of nesting fish by casting jigs close to shore. Largemouth Bass - Good: As the water temperature warms, bass become very active and can be caught with a variety of lures and plugs. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try along weed edges and around structure.  Cold Springs Lake
      The fish population at Cold Springs looks good. There is an 18 inch minimum length limit on largemouth bass. Bluegill - Good: Cast a small jig tipped with crawler under a bobber to catch bluegill up to 9 inches. Black Crappie - Fair: A few black crappie are being caught around the underwater rock piles. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Catch bass around the shoreline with a variety of spinners and lures. Redear Sunfish - Fair: Redear are on their beds spawning. Catch fish up to 10 inches with nightcrawlers under a bobber.  Farm Creek Lake
      Farm creek will offer good fishing this year. Bluegill should be spawning and close to shore. Black Crappie - No Report: Black crappie in Farm Creek are quality size fish. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are spawning and close to shore. Cast the shoreline with small jigs and move often to find fish.  Lake Anita
      Bluegills are being picked up close to shore. Anglers can still find late spawning crappie. Black Crappie - Fair: Cast around rocky shorelines and the jetties to find late spawning crappie. Fish will average 9 inches. Move to deeper tree piles to find post spawn fish. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are moving in to spawn. Fish underwater reefs and sandy substrates to find fish up to 9 inches. Largemouth Bass - Good: Cast to structure to catch bass of all sizes.  Lake Manawa
      White crappies can still be caught close to shore with small jigs. Lake Manawa is also a good destination for channel catfish. White Crappie - Fair: White crappies are close to shore. Move often if you are not catching fish. Concentrate on rocky shorelines like the west shore and canals. Channel Catfish - Fair: Fish the windy shoreline with shad sides or cut bait. Channel catfish in Manawa are all sizes.  Meadow Lake
      Meadow has a good population of 10 inch black crappie. Black Crappie - Fair: Look for post spawn crappie around underwater reefs and tree piles. Fish will average 10 inches. Bluegill - Good: Bluegill have moved on the underwater reefs to spawn. Cast small jigs for fish averaging 8 inches. Mormon Trail Lake
      Anglers report good crappie fishing around the jetties. Black Crappie - Good: Cast small jigs around the jetties and dam to find spawning crappie. Fish will average 9 inches.  Prairie Rose Lake
      Prairie Rose will offer good panfishing. The lake has quality sized bluegills and acceptable size crappies. Target the spawning beds, underwater reefs and jetties to find spawning fish. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are spawning and can be caught on top of underwater reefs and on the spawning substrate placed in the lake. Bluegills in Prairie Rose are quality size fish. Black Crappie - Fair: Spawning crappies can still be caught around the jetties and rocky shorelines. Fish will average 9 inches. Largemouth Bass - Good: There is a large population of 12 inch bass in the lake that offers fun catch and release fishing.  Viking Lake
      Concentrate on deeper brush piles to find crappie. Anglers are still catching spawning crappies around underwater reefs and rocky shorelines. A few bass are being caught in the deeper brush piles. Black Crappie - Fair: Crappies are beginning to be caught in the deeper tree piles. Sorting is needed for larger fish. White Crappie - Fair: Boat anglers are finding white crappies along the dam and deeper tree piles. Fish will average 12 inches. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Jig plastics in deeper brush piles during the day and cast shallow structure early morning for largemouth bass of all sizes.  Crappie spawn is winding down and bluegills have moved close to shore.For more information, contact the Cold Springs office at 712-769-2587.   Green Valley Lake
      Largemouth Bass - Good: Catch largemouth bass up to 18 inches with jigs fished along cedar tree brush piles or along the silt dams. Bluegill - Good: Catch bluegill up to 8.5 inches with jigs or nightcrawlers fished along the fishing jetties or fishing piers.  Lake Icaria
      Black Crappie - Fair: Catch crappie up to 10 inches with jigs or minnows fished along rocky shoreline areas or cedar tree brush piles. Walleye - Good: Walleye of all sizes have been caught using jigs or minnows fished along the roadbed or trolling along mainlake points. Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish of all sizes have been caught using nightcrawlers fished along main lake points.  Lake of Three Fires
      Largemouth Bass - Fair: Catch largemouth bass up to 18 inches with jigs fished along rocky shoreline areas or cedar tree brush piles.  Little River Watershed Lake
      Walleye - Fair: Catch walleyes up to 22 inches with jigs tipped with a minnow or leech
      fished along mainlake points or the roadbed. Largemouth Bass - Good: Catch largemouth bass up to 18 inches using jigs fished near cedar tree brush piles. Black Crappie - Fair: Catch crappies up to 14 inches with minnows fished along cedar tree brush piles. Bluegill - Good: Catch bluegills up to 9 inches using jigs tipped with a waxworm or leaf worms fished along cedar tree brush piles or the fishing jetties. Channel Catfish - Good: Catch channel catfish up to 10 pounds with nightcrawlers fished along main lake points.  Summit Lake
      Bluegill - Good: Bluegill up to 9 inches have been caught using jigs or nightcrawlers fished along shallow sandy areas.  Three Mile Lake
      Walleye - Good: Catch walleyes up to 17 inches with jigs tipped with a minnow fished along the dam. Twelve Mile Creek Lake
      Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth bass of all sizes have been caught with jigs fished along cedar tree brush piles. Black Crappie - Good: Catch crappies up to 10 inches using jigs or minnows fished in the flooded timber. Bluegill - Good: Catch bluegill up to 8.5 inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm fished along the fishing jetties or flooded timpber. Walleye - Slow: Catch walleyes up to 20 inches using jigs tipped with a minnow fished along the roadbed.  Water temperature in most district lakes is in the lower 70's. For more information, please call the Mount Ayr Fisheries office at 641-464-3108.   MISSOURI RIVER Missouri River (Sioux City to Little Sioux)
      Channel Catfish - Slow: A few anglers are catching catfish on worms and cut bait below wing dams and along the banks. Sauger - Fair: Spring is a good time to catch sauger and walleye on the Missouri. Use jigs tipped with minnows or worms below wing dams or where tributary streams or rivers come into the Missouri River. Shovelnose sturgeon - Good: Anglers are catching shovelnose sturgeon on live bait rigs tipped with worms. Freshwater Drum - Fair: Try using live bait rigs or jigs tipped with worms along the bank and around tributary stream or rivers where they join the Missouri River. Blue Catfish - No Report: Spring can be a great time to catch some big blue catfish. Use fresh cutbait with live bait rigs along wing dam tips or in or close to the main channel of the Missouri River.  Missouri River (Little Sioux to Council Bluffs)
      Channel Catfish - Fair: A few anglers are catching catfish on worms and cut bait below wing dams and along the banks. Sauger - Fair: Spring is a good time to catch sauger and walleye on the Missouri. Use jigs tipped with minnows or worms below wing dams or where tributary streams or rivers come into the Missouri River. Shovelnose sturgeon - Good: Anglers are catching shovelnose sturgeon on live bait rigs tipped with worms. Freshwater Drum - Fair: Try using live bait rigs or jigs tipped with worms along the bank and around tributary stream or rivers where they join the Missouri River. Blue Catfish - No Report: Spring can be a great time to catch some big blue catfish. Use fresh cutbait with live bait rigs along wing dam tips or in or close to the main channel of the Missouri River.  Missouri River (Council Bluffs to Missouri State Line)
      Channel Catfish - Fair: A few anglers are catching catfish on worms and cut bait below wing dams and along the banks. Sauger - Slow: Spring is a good time to catch sauger and walleye on the Missouri. Use jigs tipped with minnows or worms below wing dams or where tributary streams or rivers come into the Missouri River. Shovelnose sturgeon - Good: Anglers are catching shovelnose sturgeon on live bait rigs tipped with worms. Freshwater Drum - Fair: Try using live bait rigs or jigs tipped with worms along the bank and around tributary stream or rivers where they join the Missouri River. Blue Catfish - Fair: Anglers are catching a few blue catfish on with fresh cutbait. Try by the wing dam tips, close to or in the main channel of the Missouri River for your best chance at getting bigger blue catfish.  The Missouri River at Decatur, Nebraska is at 25.67 ft. /50,300 cfs./64 degrees. Missouri River water temperatures are up 3 degrees and water levels are down 1.12 feet from last week. Fishing continues to be slow with few anglers out with the higher water conditions we are currently having on the Missouri River along the Iowa border. The Army Corps of Engineers is releasing water from Gavin's Point Dam due to snow melt from up North, which has contributed to higher water conditions.
    • That's why it's an if...   It'll be nicer in the morning.  But you can't shoot one from the couch. 
    • you might cook at both spots.   good luck!  
    • Trying to decide where to sit if I got out tonight.  In the blind with good west exposure for the breeze this afternoon/evening or the spot with more consistent movement but likely very little breeze. Hmm.....  I'm leaning towards the breeze...