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HooknHorns

Colorado DYI Archery Elk Hunt

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I'm starting to put together pictures and storyline to share from my hunt. Sorry but this will take a few days, bare with me. There's a lot of work to do around the house after a two week vacation.

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Over a years worth of anticipation my time for a western style hunt was here. Talking to my partner we decided to head to an OTC of southern Colorado where he has previous experience with. There should be plenty of room to stretch my legs even though it will take place on public land.

Buying the gear, looking over the terrain on google earth of the area to get a better clue where to start took up time in recent months. I can tell you that satellite pics do not do it justice..

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After a 1100 mile trek straight thru the night. We caught up with the other foursome from Wisconsin. Out of six of us, three of us were elk rookies. We picked up supplies for ten days and hit the trail.

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The trail was rough but the wheelers stayed on the trailer. Two hours later we hit the campsite.

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After scouting just one night, opening morning was up on the air as far as where to go. My partner being an older guy with health problems, couldn't go where I wanted to. I realized this when planning this trip and was not a problem, i'd go solo. With other hunters driving atvs for miles to reach their spots, I figured "what the heck, just climb up behind camp".

Standing at the base of the hill and looking up, I hoped my body was in good enough shape to do this. I thought to myself " Dang, now that's steep!". Now breathing deep and hard like l worked on all summer. I was pleasantly surpised how fast I recovered once on top. Within 50ft I ran into to fresh sign no more than a day old. Still hunting into the wind seemed the best option instead of a calling setup. Not to confident in calling yet, but that would change. After 30 minutes I met up with John, my old friend, and discussed what we saw. Both seeing good sign high and low, we figured we are in a good area.

Worked back up and started to realize how hard it was going to be to hunt into the wind, blowing in all directions and switching nonstop. A little bit further I see my first elk rubs that reached up six feet. Wow impressive. Used my gps and began to mark fresh elk sign as I creeped forward. Keeping eyes front and not letting my mind wander was tough already. The landscape, trees and the feeling if finally experiencing this made me smile the whole time. Not really expecting things to happen so fast, I was caught off guard.

Off to my right I see a dark brown head and big ears staring right at me. First elk! It's a cow. Then another straight ahead moving broadside. Then another smaller one. In awe, my hunting instincts were gone. I was busted and knew it. With a sharp bark they trotted off and out of bow range they went. Still cool.

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Can't wait to hear your story, I leave for public land elk hunt this Friday for an 8 day hunt. I also have a mule deer buck tag I got too. What unit were you in? I'll be hunting unit 45.

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Can't wait to hear your hunt story.

last time I was in Montana on an archery hunt for elk and deer, it was for 2 weeks and it was all I could do. Not sure if my energy level would allow another archery hunt the DIY way but have thought about a guided rifle hunt, just so much moola.

Scenery at times is worth the trip all in it's own.

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As I moved on trying to keep the wind in my face I got closer to the edge of the canyon.

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I started to gain elevation and kept eyeing how far down that river looked. Another mental lapse tripped me up. There bedded on a shelf 35 yards away lays a nice 5x5 bull watching me as I climbed right to him. Frozen, we both waited for the first move. Letting me knock an arrow, I didn't know how long he was going to stick around. Finally putting tension on my release, he whipped 180 and fired his afterburners. Man he really never dodged trees or branches. Just ran over everything in his way. For such a big critter, these things can move. Afterwords I did do a little calling set with no avail. Too little to late.

Moving on I found a good water hole but it seemed to open to rely on for an evening spot so I marked it for later. Finally heading back to camp to regroup with my partner. We talked about another spot to check out. Scouting it revealed good sign but not quite as fresh. Tried a couple calling sets just before dark but nothing. I was surprised the hear no bugling from the bulls after dark. At camp we ate well and slept better. Day one in the books.

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Sorry guys, didn't realize the kiddos had so much to do after school.

The second day was little uneventful for me. Walked a few miles looking for a plan B. Checked out a north facing slope up from a dry creek bed. Seen some mule deer and a monster jack rabbit. 3 pm rolled around and wanted to head to the fore mentioned water hole. Then I ran into a problem with my GPS. I could not find the waypoint. Kind of freaked me out a bit but somehow found a really good waterhole inside of a stand of aspens. The downwind side was steep like a tree stand shot. 35 yards all the way around. While sitting I tried to figure out my location. Marked that spot and checked my compass to get a heading back to camp before it got really dark. I looked up in time to see a small bull running right at me. Then when he banked right and up hill at a trot, I wondered what that was all about. Thinking someone bumped him.

Back at camp a new friend reminded me to recalibrate my garmin. Duh. Don't leave with a back up compass and get set gps everyday just in case.

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Other guys in camp weren't seeing a whole lot. Which led me to believe I was on to something with a third of a mile from my tent.

3rd morning arrived. I haven't felt the need to get up earlier that shooting hours. Drank coffee, enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere this hunt was having. Not rushed. I didn't want to be on top of the ridge before the elk due to the thermals coming down before light. I knew I had to get there fast before the sun broke the peak on the other side.

I found a beautiful looking spot with taller grass, aspens on the other side and a little island of pines to call from. I've read do not set up behind something that will block shot opportunities. So I sat my butt flat on the ground at the stump end of big pine log. I'm by far an expert caller. So I started with some cow and calf talk. With minutes I see a bull walking right to me. Quickly I ranged the final aspen at 50yds. My problem was I got so nervous I could barely look at his rack. Small bull but it was my first time. As long as he was legal he was mine.

Slowly moving into my range, he angled broadside at 45. Looking for these other elk his head moved side to side. Seemingly looking right at me, I could tell he wasn't coming any closer. Now or never. Pulling back as slow as I could, I started to struggle with drawing. The arrow crept forward a quarter inch and then my rest slapped my shelf. @$)(;:_',?!!! Don't panic put the arrow up and draw. Meanwhile the bull now picking me out had this look on his face like "I can't believe I didn't see that lump there to begin with." Turning his head and throwing it back like a snob he bounced off on all fours. Strike two.

I've read it's better for them to see you than to smell you. I made the decision to leave pronto before the thermals turned. Talking to just my partners about what happened. I told him I could kill an elk tomorrow 100%. But that wouldn't get him to climb that steep hill right at camp. He had his spot and I realized it was his hunt too. Which very well could be his last. So I didn't push the issue. The other guys were starting to see a few but still no bugling.

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Taking Barry, a veteran elk hunter, I pleaded with him that I needed a calling partner. He asked if I was 100% that I could kill one so close to camp. Absolute I replied. Let's talk to Dave, a rookie like myself. He was all in.

The next morning and my now partner and I talked. I told him that I was placing him ahead of me and I will call for him. Then he could return the favor on another spot I needed him for. When you have two guys unselfishly calling for each other, things go a lot smoother.

Back up the hill we go, I explained to him why we waited till we did. Then hauled to get there, shedding outer-gear on the way. Settled in I started to call just like the morning before. After just moments I see elk moving though aspens behind me. I quickly got Dave's attention and with a couple hand signals we switched rolls. Backing up I was an easy thirty from the trail. A calf was the first on the scene with a cow trailing. Decision made, I'm shooting. Drawing back hard without a hesitation, I hit anchor and waited.

Mostly diaphragm calls are used to stop an elk for the shot. Since that was concealed yet I was at their mercy. The cow came up from behind and I let my slick trick loose. With those long legs she moved faster than I thought. Maybe checking to see if the coast was clear for the calf before it entered the clearing. Watching the arrow bury half way, I see the shot further back than planned. ,!$)()@/. Paying close attention to the wound I knew it was going to be a long morning.

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With all quiet, listening for any signs of direction she went. Dave snuck up to where she was hit and we had a little pow wow. I told him it was a cow that came through and where I hit her. Im marking the spot and backing out. Just then there was a elk that barked. I quickly backed up to see If we could double up. Using a rock I hit the ground with some thuds and cow called. Over my right shoulder I see a bull looking for a cow. Then another bull. Young ones. Moving up to bow range from Dave, bull used a pine tree to cover up. No shot. Then they walked off. 15 minutes go by the another calf shows up. Maybe a good sign if it belonged to that cow.

Leaving not to disturb any thing, we arrived at camp to hear some good news. Jason, another cheesehead, got lucky with a small herd and took a cow. Frank his partner had a small 6x7 sneak in with in a couple yards while watching another bull. No shot. It's amazing they can slip in quiet or sound like a dozer.

John my partner passed up a cow cause of the rack walking behind her. Only to hit a small twig and wiff on that bull. It was a good morning to be out.

Jason's cow just happen to expire next to the trail. So she'll be an easy retrieval. 4 hrs go by and up the mountain we go. Going back to the spot where the elk was hit. We found tracks but it was hard to distinguish the cow and calf. Dave going left found some blood on a dried log. Little by little we have something to go on. Tracking though this type of terrain took some time to get used to. Not a lot of green down lower unless it was thin grass or pine needles. Very dry ground also complicated things. The logs she went over were almost white which helped out.

After 150 yards I mentioned to Dave she has come along ways without bedding down. Peaking over the next rise, there she was. Quickly nocking an arrow for a second shot, I walked up to her in disbelief. Here's the bummer. Clearing the other side I see her eyeballs were gone and her anus opened with flies on it. I just couldn't bring my self for a picture session. I told Dave to make sure his pepper spray was out and ready just in case. With help on the way I quickly went to work on the gutless method. I will tell you that the jug of black pepper and citric acid saved my hunt. Dave being an elk rookie did his homework well. Plain and simple. The pepper was put on the meat while butchering and the flies would not land on it to lay eggs. The citric acid works with ph levels to deter bacteria. It wouldn't be a success without this meat in the freezer. Pictures or not. Sorry guys.

The arrow penetrated just behind the diaphragm and some how worked all the way to her hindquarter. I'm guessing she expired quicker than I though, but still did the right thing by backing out.The heat was the biggest reason why I gave her only four hours. Well with help and the quarters, neck meat and loins in game bags we started down hill to camp. We ate good that night, tenderloins and blackstrap, well beer too.

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Hanging to cool. grin

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Now it's up to me to try and get john a shot. With camp being a little more laid back than before gave me time for pictures and watch the guys fish a little.

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I think they were cutthroats or a cross.

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This mountain lake was beautiful. Didn't take long before a limit was pulled out.

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The next night john and I did a calling set then to move to the meadow just before light ran out. Three cows came running from a quarter mile away to just 40 yards of me but john didn't have a shot.

Night six I went along to see if I could call in one of the bulls that frank and Jason finally had bugling by them.

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Near at the end of the day I see this big bull make it's way towards us. I got the gitters just seeing him close to 100 yards. The thermals started to head down and right in his face. Never got closer and disappeared.

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All in all every one in camp had chances at bulls by day 6 before the hunting pressure got bad. The elk didn't really talk that much and just kinda moved on. Two cows were all that went home but it was a great trip. Met some new friends and spent precious time with an old one. Sitting on top of the mountains at 11,000. Thinking back on old times and dreaming about future hunts. Chasing the most exciting beast in the Rockies. 84B50C67-9E75-4773-9207-737A34C460E5_zps

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I hope to do it again some day. Till next time thanks for following and be safe. Sorry about wait I did all of this from phone and predictive was really getting to me.

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Awesome story. Thanks for sharing. Some good stories and experiences and everyone made it home safe. It doesn't get better than that!

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Congrats on the success. The beautiful country adds to so much to a hunt.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Brotha’ you got that right.   Actually I’m cooking hobos over the campfire in Ely right now.  Not a bad second fiddle.   I won’t be a cooking hobo in a blind this weekend. 
    • Hey, it happens.  Think I'm tilling the garden tonight and will chase turkeys in the morning.
    • 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.