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MuskieJunkie

Anyone Paddle an Otter Stealth?

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I'm looking at getting a new kayak for duck hunting. I'd like to be able to use it for fishing small metro lakes too. I like the Otter Stealths, 1200 and 2000. I currently duck hunt 1 or 2 weekends a year and if I start catching fish at the lakes by my house I might end up using the kayak for fishing much more than hunting.

What I am wondering is are these things too big to be paddeling around all day fishing, and only really suited for hunting? The 2000 is 120 lbs.

Any other thoughts on the otter series, likes, dislikes....

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Lake Assault has a "Mudduck" - a welded, all Aluminum duck boat that might suit your duties. It has a lot of room and weighs 95 lbs. They are out of Elk River/Ramsey.

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whoa 120lbs? That is heavy. Weighs more than a full 15ft-17ft heavy Coleman/Pelican Canoe.

Look into a Meyers/SportsPal type canoe. They weigh like 40lb to 60lbs for a like a 13ft. Good for fishing and hunting.

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I'm selling mine this fall because of how heavy it is. If just bringing it within a short pull of lake it would not be that bad. it is incredibly stable(can be swiming and pull myself up into it without worrying about tipping it). It paddles pretty good, but definatly not as good as a canoe would. It works well with a kayak paddle. If windy its hard to handle alone. Overall I think it would be a good boat to put a trolling motor on instead of paddling. I made due with it, it worked very well for hunting and when paddling with another person. It definatly has its upsides, but the weight is just too much for me to drag very far(especially up hill at all).

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I've used an Otter Stealth 1200 for the last couple of years. It is heavy and doesn't paddle very good with a canoe paddle. Maybe if you sat more in the middle of the boat it would paddle better? I'm getting the oar locks before duck season and I believe that will help tremendously for getting around. I've also got the motor mount and run a 2.3 Johnson outboard on it. It really cruises w/ that set up. It is pretty much un-tippable IMO. As with any thing, it's got it good points and bad points. If I were you, I'd give it a test drive (if possible) before you decide.

Brian

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Thanks for the replies so far. This is the kind of info I am looking for, keep it coming.

I would really like the weight and stability for hunting but it sounds like that doesn't go well with paddleabilty (did I just create a new word), I kind of thought I would find myself walking that line......

The lazyness in me says "buy the big one and slap a motor on it" but deep down I know I should be paddeling around in a lighter one.

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If you duck hunt in really shallow [6 inches or so] the hull design seems to always drag in the mud . A good friend of mine had one and hated it for that reason and cause it was sooo heavy .But in deeper water he said it was untippable [sp] so it was safe in that regard .

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You may also want to look at the Carstens Industries duck boats. I think the Pintail might be more what you are looking for. Better yet, it's another MN company, that I believe is located in Melrose, MN. That's what I would have bought, if I wouldn't have bought an Otter Stealth.

Decisions, decisions, decisions!!!

Brian

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I have the Otter Stealth 1200. It is stable as a rock! I am over 6ft tall and I can actually stand up in it and not worry about tipping it over. I also have a canoe and never stand up in it because I would definitely tip over.

The Otter Stealth 1200 paddles best with a Kayak Paddle...a canoe paddle works in a pinch but the kayak paddle is the ticket.

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You may also want to look at the Carstens Industries duck boats. I think the Pintail might be more what you are looking for. Better yet, it's another MN company, that I believe is located in Melrose, MN. That's what I would have bought, if I wouldn't have bought an Otter Stealth.

Decisions, decisions, decisions!!!

Brian

I own a Carsten Pintail and no doubt, it's a great boat, stable and tough as a rock, but I really wish I had some sort of dry storage like the Otter boats. My older pintail probably weighs over 100lbs. It's relatively easy to paddle with a kayak paddle, and a kayak paddle is the only way to go IMO. I have the oars and it's too bulky.

I've eyes up the Otters for a long time and I really like all the storage, gun rests, etc. It probably doesn't paddle as easy as the Pintail (I've heard) but that doesn't bother me much, I need the exercise. My dog soaks everything in the boat and I hate laying my gun/case in inches of water. I think the Otter has more floor space too.

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We have two Carsten's Puddlers (the smallest they make, at 10' long and about 70#) and one Pintail (13'4" and about 100#). I love the Carstens boats.

The Puddlers are very easy for one guy to lift, drag, carry, whatever. Once you get a fat guy (me and bro go about 260 each)and a gun, and some dekes in they are getting a bit low in the water, but they are very stable and for a thinner guy even better. But even iwth all the weight, you could spit on the sidewalk and it would float!

The only issue with the Puddler is that there is no real "Seat" in the boat. We always wear waders and use a boat cushion for a seat, strapped to a Gander Canoe seat-back rest. It works great, but your butt will get wet, usually. I don't think I would take a Puddler out in heavy "waves" but it excels in the backwaters and bays, and we actually haul one along in our 16' duck boat to use as a decoy setter and duck retreiver boat, and it is great for that.

The Puddlers really cruise with the kayak paddle, and they blend into the area like a layout blind. I personally think my Puddler is the best duck hunting purchase I have ever made. (BTW - call the factory direct if you want to buy one, and ask about seconds...)

The Pintail is a bit heavier and higher, and easy for two guys (or a person and a kid) to handle, but doable for one person to get into a pickup truck, etc.

I have talked to guys while hunting who have Otter boats, and they liked them.

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The Otters are tough to paddle, they like to wander side to side and its really difficult to paddle a straight line. Thats really my only complaint about those boats.

The paddling problem can easily be solved by adding a trolling motor to them. Battery goes under the back seat, they have a bracket that mounts to the side, and away you go. 65lb thrust transom mount pushes these boats nice. smile

Stability has already been touched on. They are rock solid and I have never felt more safe in a small boat in my life.

duckopener07uz2.jpg

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Hanson,

Don't you use a Carsten's Bluebill too? For some reason I thought I saw on another site that you have one. I'm trying to sell my 1200 Otter right now and get a Bluebill. It will give me more room as I will be hunting with 2 people more now that my dad is retired. If you do have the Bluebill, I'd be interested in how you have it set up for hunting (blind, etc).

Thanks,

Brian

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The not tracking strait is one of my complaint with the kayak I have now. It's similar to the Carsten Puddler (fiberglass 10' long, very low in the water).

Hansen - 65 lbs thrust!? You'd be able to water ski behind that thing! Or troll motor restricted city lakes....hmmmmmmmmmmm

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Hanson,

Don't you use a Carsten's Bluebill too? For some reason I thought I saw on another site that you have one.

Yeah, we have another duckboat but its not a Carsten's. It was actually made by Larson Boat Works years ago, really unsure of the year, although my quick research puts Larson in the duck boat business during the 50s and that seams about right. It was my Grandpa's so its been around awhile We've had to do a little glass work on it but its a great little boat, just a little too small now for 2 guys. Awesome for one though! I'll see if I can't find a photo of it.

There were 3 of us hunting this day, 2 in our fiberglass canoe and 1 in the duckboat. We just posed with the duckboat for the photo.

chrisadamcz3.jpg

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Hansen - 65 lbs thrust!? You'd be able to water ski behind that thing! Or troll motor restricted city lakes....hmmmmmmmmmmm
It leaves a wake. wink

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Well I finally made a desicion. I bought the Otter Stealth 1200 last night. Thanks everyone for the info.

I had the Carstens Puddler (sold it on hsolist) and I didn't like it because it was too small and not really stable enough to climb in and out of in deeper hunting water.

It sounded like the biggest complaint was the weight of the otters and it is pretty bulky to move around. They claim it's 100 lbs but I think they're underestimating that.

I wouldn't have tried fishing out of the puddler but I am going to try fishing out of this one which was one of my reasons for upsizing. That and my son who will be coming out duck hunting in a few years.

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I have a stealth, but I don't use it much because of the weight. You almost need two guys to maneuver it from truck to water. I use a kayak paddle, and have always ended up kneeling in the middle to paddle it.

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i sold my 2000 because of the wieght and you had to be in the middle kneeling to go straight worth darn. Tell you what it feels like 200lbs not 100lb.

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I just put the oar locks on mine tonight and will be using it tomorrow, so I'll post the results on how it oars. I'm hoping it's better than paddling.

Brian

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I had my 1200 out for the first time last weekend and I'm really happy with it. I used a 7' kayak paddle and it goes pretty good, the boat itself it heavy and when you get into lilly pads the paddeling it tough. We put out and took in the decoys with 2 guys, me paddeling the other guy doing the decoys.

Otter recomends a 9' paddle and that definetly would have worked better since the boat is so wide.

The 1200 tracks MUCH better than my old Carsten's Puddler.

I'm very happy with the stability it's better than I had expected.

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The oars worked AWESOME!!! NO comparison between oaring and paddling!

Brian

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Hey bmc,

What are the specifics on the oars?

Did you get the oar lock kit that Otter makes? What length of oars? I've been thinking of setting mine up with oars.

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    • Old Man Winter is refusing to loosen his grip on Wisconsin, dropping from a few inches to more than 2 feet of snow in across the state in a series of snowstorms in the last week. Crews from Pattison State Park and the Brule River State Forest continued to groom ski trails and reported good to excellent conditions. Other properties have put away grooming equipment but skiing was still fair on ungroomed trails through central and even southern Wisconsin. After another 15 inches of snow this week, ski trails were groomed April 17 at Pattison State Park.Photo credit: Gervase Thompson, DNRThe weather kept many fishermen inside this week, but warm weather this week should bring out lots of anglers. Walleye fishing was picking up on the Oconto, Peshtigo, Menominee and Wolf rivers prior to the snow, but then water temperatures dropped dramatically. There have still been hundreds of shore anglers and boaters out on the Fox River to catch a trophy walleye. Sturgeon are in the Wolf River, but with cold water it will be at least a week or longer before spawning will occur. This satellite image taken by NOAA about noon April 19 shows snow cover across almost all of WisconsinPhoto credit: NOAAMost Door County ramps and access points are blocked with snow. Before the storm fishing was fairly productive. Boats launching at Sturgeon Bay were trolling for browns. Steelhead fishing was good before the storm with numbers of fish showing up in creeks. .
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      Tailwater stage is 6.39 feet at Lock and Dam 19 above Burlington and is rising. River stage is forecasted to reach 8.2 feet over the weekend. Flood stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 10 feet. We have not received any fishing reports for this pool this week.  River stages have been on the rise the past few days. Main channel water temperature dropped to 41 degrees; water clarity has been fair. We have not received much for fishing reports this week. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.
    • NORTHWEST IOWA FISHING REPORTS Black Hawk Lake
      Water temperatures are around 41 degrees. Bluegill - Fair: Use waxworms and crawlers in Town Bay. Most action has been in Town Bay and along Ice House Point, the floating dock, and from the inlet bridge. Yellow Perch - Slow: A few perch have been picked up from the floating dock in Town Bay and from the inlet bridge. Black Crappie - Fair: Use crawlers and minnows fished from shore and from the floating dock. Walleye - Slow: Expect walleye shore fishing action to pick up as water temperatures gradually warm. Fish a minnow or leech under a bobber or throw a twister along the Ice House Point shoreline, North Shore, and East Shore near the outlet.  Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
      Water temperature is around 40 degrees. Walleye - Fair: Throw twisters or fish minnows under a bobber from the state marina. Expect good walleye action along the east and north shores as water temperatures continue to climb.White Bass - Fair: Anglers are having luck fishing from shore on the east side and from the marina. Black Crappie - Fair: Catch crappie from the marina using minnows and a twister.  Some western Iowa lakes are providing good shore fishing action. Water temperatures are in the low 40's. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638. Beeds Lake
      Beeds Lake is ice free.  Clear Lake
      Clear Lake is about 75 percent ice free. The boat ramp at city beach is accessible.  Lake Cornelia
      Lake Cornelia is ice free. The docks at the boat ramp are in.  Lower Pine Lake
      The docks at the boat ramp are in.  Shell Rock River (above Greene)
      River levels are up. Try fishing the slack water areas below a dam with live bait.  Upper Pine Lake
      The docks at the boat ramp are in.  Winnebago River
      River levels are rising with the melting snow.  For information on the lakes and rivers in the north central area, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.  East Okoboji Lake
      Channel Catfish - Good: Ice out brings excellent channel catfish fishing as catfish go on a feeding frenzy. There is open water at the spillway and bridges; Lower Gar Lake has extensive open water. Fish these areas for some early "pole bending” action.  Silver Lake (Palo Alto)
      Walleye - Fair: Numbers of fish are reported caught.  Lakes remain ice covered. Very limited fishing activity on the Iowa Great Lakes. Forecasted warmer temperatures will help melt the ice. For more information throughout the week, contact the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.   
    • SOUTHWEST Banner Lake (south)
      Rainbow Trout - Good: Trout were stocked on April 7th. Use inline spinners, small casting spoons, 1/8 ounce or smaller jigs with twister tails, and waxworms or minnows under a bobber.  Big Creek Lake
      Walleye - Fair: Some anglers are starting to catch walleyes off points and rip rap shorelines in the mid and lower lake. They are being caught on jig and twister tails, jig and minnow, or slow trolling minnow rigs.  More Central Iowa reports will resume when warmer weather brings anglers back out. For more information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers, contact Andy Otting or Ben Dodd at 515-432-2823.   Farm Creek Lake
      Farm Creek Lake will offer good early spring crappie fishing in the upper end as water temperatures warm. Lake Anita
      Crappies were caught this week at Lake Anita. As water temperatures warm, crappies will move into the pontoon area of the lake. Black Crappie - Fair: Cast a jig two feet under a bobber in the pontoon area of the lake. Limits of crappie are being taken on warm sunny days. Bluegill - Slow: A few quality size bluegills are being caught.  Lake Manawa
      Warm sunny days offer good crappie fishing in the canals. Lake Manawa is also a good destination for early spring catfishing. White Crappie - Slow: A few crappies are being caught in the canals. Warm sunny days are best. 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. Prairie Rose Lake
      Prairie Rose will offer good panfishing this spring. The lake has quality sized bluegills and  crappies are acceptable size. Target the brush piles.    Viking Lake
      Find early spring crappies in the campground arm and behind the pontoon area. A few bass are being caught in the deeper brush piles. Largemouth Bass - Slow: Jig plastics in deeper brush piles.  Anglers can catch crappie on the right day. Reports of limits taken on warm sunny days. For more information, contact the Cold Springs office at 712-769-2587. Green Valley Lake
      Largemouth Bass - Slow: Catch largemouth bass up to 19 inches using crankbaits fished along the silt dams and rocky shoreline areas.  Little River Watershed Lake
      Walleye - Slow: Catch walleyes up to 22 inches with jigs tipped with a minnow fished along the dam. Largemouth Bass - Slow: Catch largemouth bass up to 18 inches using jigs fished near cedar tree brush piles.  Lakes in the Mount Ayr district are 100% ice free. Water temperature in most district lakes is about 45 degrees. Limited fishing activity observed this week. For more information, please call the Mount Ayr Fisheries office at 641-464-3108.
    • NORTHWEST Black Hawk Lake
      Water temperatures are around 41 degrees. Bluegill - Fair: Use waxworms and crawlers in Town Bay. Most action has been in Town Bay and along Ice House Point, the floating dock, and from the inlet bridge. Yellow Perch - Slow: A few perch have been picked up from the floating dock in Town Bay and from the inlet bridge. Black Crappie - Fair: Use crawlers and minnows fished from shore and from the floating dock. Walleye - Slow: Expect walleye shore fishing action to pick up as water temperatures gradually warm. Fish a minnow or leech under a bobber or throw a twister along the Ice House Point shoreline, North Shore, and East Shore near the outlet.  Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
      Water temperature is around 40 degrees. Walleye - Fair: Throw twisters or fish minnows under a bobber from the state marina. Expect good walleye action along the east and north shores as water temperatures continue to climb.White Bass - Fair: Anglers are having luck fishing from shore on the east side and from the marina. Black Crappie - Fair: Catch crappie from the marina using minnows and a twister.  Some western Iowa lakes are providing good shore fishing action. Water temperatures are in the low 40's. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638. Beeds Lake
      Beeds Lake is ice free.  Clear Lake
      Clear Lake is about 75 percent ice free. The boat ramp at city beach is accessible.  Lake Cornelia
      Lake Cornelia is ice free. The docks at the boat ramp are in.  Lower Pine Lake
      The docks at the boat ramp are in.  Shell Rock River (above Greene)
      River levels are up. Try fishing the slack water areas below a dam with live bait.  Upper Pine Lake
      The docks at the boat ramp are in.  Winnebago River
      River levels are rising with the melting snow.  For information on the lakes and rivers in the north central area, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.  East Okoboji Lake
      Channel Catfish - Good: Ice out brings excellent channel catfish fishing as catfish go on a feeding frenzy. There is open water at the spillway and bridges; Lower Gar Lake has extensive open water. Fish these areas for some early "pole bending” action.  Silver Lake (Palo Alto)
      Walleye - Fair: Numbers of fish are reported caught.  Lakes remain ice covered. Very limited fishing activity on the Iowa Great Lakes. Forecasted warmer temperatures will help melt the ice. For more information throughout the week, contact the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.    NORTHEAST Cedar River (above Nashua)
      Water clarity is poor. Water levels are stable, but will rise with snow melt. Visit the USGS Current Water Data website for current water level information.   Decorah District Streams
      Catchable trout are stocked in all streams as weather and water conditions permit. Listen to the trout stocking hotline (563-927-5736) for daily plans. Plan a trip to your favorite trout stream. Check out this year’s trout stream stocking calendar. Trout country received 6-12 inches of snow. Most snow covered roads should melt quickly when the sun comes out. Fun in snow covered woods continues for hearty trout anglers. Brook Trout - Good: Use a streamer to mimic minnows or subsurface flies like scuds or pheasant tail nymphs. Brown Trout - Good: Melt water and run-off inputs drive Brown Trout into a feeding frenzy. Use small midge, caddis, or flashy streamer patterns. Rainbow Trout - Good: Float a feathered spinner or crankbait past a freshly stocked fish. A piece of worm under a bobber also works in the deeper holes. Lake Hendricks
      Few anglers have been out.  Lake Meyer
      Anglers have not been out. Water is off color with recent snow event and melt water.  Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
      Water clarity is poor. Water levels are up, but currently stable. Conditions could change fast depending on snow melt. Water temperatures were low 40.  Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
      Water levels are relatively stable, but clarity is poor. Visit the USGS Current Water Data website for more information.  Volga Lake
      Few anglers have been out. Docks are in.  Temperatures reaching upper 50s for highs, dipping into 30's at night. Cooler nights will help slow the snow melt. Our area received 6-12 inches of snow on Wednesday. Turbid conditions on area rivers and streams. For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.   Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
      River levels remain high and muddy. Backwater areas may produce some catfish. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use cut bait.  Heritage Pond
      Heritage Pond was stocked last Saturday, April 14th with both rainbow and brook trout. Trout fishing should be good; the weather forecast looks to be more of average seasonal temperatures next week. Brook Trout - Good: Cast and retrieve flashy spinner baits like a panther martin jig or similar jigs and spinners. Rainbow Trout - Good: Cast and retrieve flashy spinner baits like a panther martin jig or similar jigs and spinners.  Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
      Reports of anglers catching walleye, smallmouth bass, channel catfish and even an occasional trout on the Maquoketa River in Delaware County. The river remains up a bit, but clarity is not bad. Walleye - Fair: Cast and retrieve a jig with plastics tipped with a minnow. Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Cast and retrieve a jig with plastics tipped with a minnow. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try cut bait fished on the bottom.  North Prairie Lake
      North Prairie Lake was stocked last Saturday, April 14th with both rainbow and brook trout. Trout fishing should be good; the weather forecast looks to be more of average seasonal temperatures next week.  Brook Trout - Good: Cast and retrieve flashy spinner baits like a panther martin jig or similar jigs and spinners. Rainbow Trout - Good: Cast and retrieve flashy spinner baits like a panther martin jig or similar jigs and spinners.  Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
      The Shell Rock River has been high and muddy, but is starting to drop in water levels. No fishing reports for this week.  Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
      No reports on the Wapsipinicon River as the river continues to rise and remains muddy. It may the perfect time to try for some catfish on the backwater areas of the river. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use cut bait fished on the bottom.  Few fishing report this past week as winter will not let go of its grasp. Interior river levels have been on the rise and conditions are muddy with the snow melt. 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 at Lansing has risen nearly a foot with a steady rise predicted this week. Water temperature is 36 degrees. Look for backwaters and areas of lesser current away from the main channel that concentrate fish. Walleye - Slow: Walleye are in spawning mode, but the recent cool down in water temperatures will prolong the spawn. Yellow Perch - Slow: Perch are still in spawning areas along the rocky shorelines and near the tailwaters of the dam. Expect the bite to pick up again once temperatures rise. Sauger - Slow: Sauger are in spawning mode, but the recent cool down in water temperatures will prolong the spawn. Northern Pike - Slow: Pike spawn is ending; anglers report catching some nice pike with live bait.  Mississippi River Pool 10
      River level at Lynxville has come up several feet to 18.8 feet with a slow steady rise expected.. Water temperature is 36 degrees. Look for backwaters and areas of lesser current away from the main channel that concentrate fish. Walleye- Slow: Walleye are in spawning mode, but the recent cool down in water temperatures will prolong the spawn. Yellow Perch - Slow: Perch are still in spawning areas along the rocky shorelines and near the tailwaters of the dam. Expect the bite to pick up again once temperatures rise. Sauger - Slow: Sauger are in spawning mode, but the recent cool down in water temperatures will prolong the spawn. Northern Pike -  Slow: Pike spawn is ending; anglers report catching some nice pike with live bait. Mississippi River Pool 11
      River level at Guttenberg has risen two feet at 10.3 feet with a slow steady rise this week. The gates are all up at the Lock and Dam. Water temperature is 36 degrees. Look for backwaters and areas of lesser current away from the main channel that concentrate fish. Walleye - Slow: Walleye are in spawning mode, but the recent cool down in water temperatures will prolong the spawn. Yellow Perch - Slow: Perch are still in spawning areas along the rocky shorelines and near the tailwaters of the dam. Expect the bite to pick up again once temperatures rise. Sauger - Slow: Sauger are in spawning mode, but the recent cool down in water temperatures will prolong the spawn. Northern Pike - Slow: Pike spawn is ending; anglers report catching some nice pike with live bait. The Upper Mississippi River is on the rise with heavy snowfalls and melting. Water clarity is diminishing as levels rise. The bite has slowed with water temperature staying unseasonably cold near 36 degrees. Expect a fast warm-up and increase in fish activity as temperatures rise. Mississippi River Pool 12
      Water levels are rising at 9.3 feet at the Dubuque Lock and the RR bridge is 11.5 feet. Levels are up from last week and will continue to rise all week. The channel water temperature is still only around 39 degrees. Yellow Perch - No Report: Some scattered reports of ring perch catches earlier, but not many people out fishing for them. Northern Pike - No Report: The pike spawn is late this year due to the weather; they might be still spawning some. Once done, pike can go on a good bite. Try flashy spinners. Walleye - Slow: Fishing has been good at times for walleye and sauger this spring, but poor weather is limiting activity and slowing the spawning season. Some walleyes may still be spawning.  Mississippi River Pool 13
      Water levels at Bellevue are 10.3 feet and rising. Both Bellevue City ramp and the DNR ramp are open, but no courtesy dock is available yet at the DNR ramp. Paddlefish season is over for the year. The channel water temperature is around 40 degrees. Paddlefish - No Report: Paddlefish season is closed for the year. Sauger - Slow: Hit or miss. Some reports of sauger being caught. Most are being taken on minnow rigs. Walleye – Slow: Nice slot fish are still being reported, but fishing is slow. Minnow with a jig or pulling crank baits are the most popular strategies.  Mississippi River Pool 14
      Water levels are rising and are 9.7 feet at Fulton, 12.6 feet at Camanche and 7.3 feet at LeClaire. The water temperature is around 41 degrees. Paddlefish season is now closed for the year. Paddlefish - No Report: Paddlefish season is closed for the year. Sauger - Slow: Just not many people out walleye or sauger fishing in the cold weather. Both species are still spawning due to the extended cold water season.  Mississippi River Pool 15
      Water levels are 9.8 feet at Rock Island. Water levels are up from last week and will be on a steady rise this upcoming week. Conditions are still favorable for angling.  The River levels will be rising this upcoming week. Water conditions are conducive to angling, but the weather has not been. Paddlefish season is closed for the year.  If you have any angling questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.  Mississippi River Pool 16
      Tailwater stage is 9.85 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and has been rising the past few days. There has been some walleye and sauger fishing in Sylvan Slough. Sauger - Slow:Some saugers are being caught in Sylvan Slough. Try fishing with jigs and minnows or trolling three-way rigs with stick baits. Mississippi River Pool 17
      Tailwater stage is 8.29 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and has been rising the past few days. Tailwater fishing for walleyes and saugers has been slow. Sauger - Slow: Try fishing fishing in the tailwaters with jigs and minnows or pulling three-way rigs and stick baits. Walleye - Slow: Look for walleyes in the tailwaters or down by GPC. Try vertical jigging with minnows or trolling three-way rigs with stick baits.  Mississippi River Pool 18
      Tailwater stage is 9.98 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and is rising. The gates are out of the water at the dam. River stage is forecasted to reach 11.9 feet over the weekend. We have not received any fishing reports for this pool this week.  Mississippi River Pool 19
      Tailwater stage is 6.39 feet at Lock and Dam 19 above Burlington and is rising. River stage is forecasted to reach 8.2 feet over the weekend. Flood stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 10 feet. We have not received any fishing reports for this pool this week.  River stages have been on the rise the past few days. Main channel water temperature dropped to 41 degrees; water clarity has been fair. We have not received much for fishing reports this week. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.   SOUTHEAST Big Hollow Lake
      Water temperature is holding around 44 degrees. Just need some warm days to get it going up to normal. Very little angler activity because of the weather.  Lake Belva Deer
      Cold, windy weather with a little snow is keeping most anglers away. Largemouth Bass - Slow: A few are getting picked up in the deeper water. Try on the upper end of the lake around the mounds.  Lake Darling
      Water temperature is holding in the low 40's. Water clarity is pretty good, except when the wind stirs the lake bottom up. Black Crappie - Slow: A few anglers have been catching some crappies out in deeper water over the habitat.  Lost Grove Lake
      A few anglers have been out. Cold, windy weather doesn't make for the best fishing weather. Largemouth Bass - Slow: Most angler trips are pretty short, but they are picking up some bass out around the deeper habitat.  For more information on the above lakes, contact the Lake Darling Fisheries Office at 319-694-2430. Central Park Lake
      The lake is currently drained as a renovation project is finishing up this spring.  Coralville Reservoir
      The lake is at normal spring pool of 679.4 feet. Boating above Lake Macbride Park is not recommended at this water level. Channel Catfish - Slow. White Crappie – Slow.  Diamond Lake
      Black Crappie - Fair: Fishing had been slow, but it should pick up as the weather warms. Try small jigs fished around the rock jetties or brush piles. Most fish are 8-9 inches.  Kent Park Lake
      The lake is currently drained for a lake renovation project. It is scheduled to be completed by the spring of 2019.  Lake Macbride
      Water temperatures are in the mid 40's. All boat docks are in. All motor sizes may be used at no-wake speed (5 mph). Black Crappie - Slow: Try fishing jigs or minnows over deeper brush. There are lots of 10-12 inch crappies. Walleye - Slow: A few fish are being caught. A shallow water bite should improve as things warm up. Cast jigs or stick baits to windblown banks.  Pleasant Creek Lake
      The lake is still 7-8 inches 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.  Prairie Park Fishery
      500 additional trout will be stocked here this Saturday, April 21 at 10:30. There will be a family fishing event held in conjunction with the stocking. 1500 trout had previously been stocked here on March 31. Iowa residents and nonresidents who are required to have a fishing license must pay the Trout Fee to fish for or possess trout. Exception: Anglers under 16 years old may possess or fish for trout without having paid the Trout Fee if they fish with a properly licensed adult who has paid the Trout Fee and together their combined limit is 5. Rainbow Trout - Excellent: Try small jigs, spinners, live bait or artificial scented baits. Brook Trout – Fair.   Sand Lake
      2000 trout will be stocked here this Saturday, April 21 at 11:00. There will be a family fishing event held in conjunction with the stocking. Iowa residents and nonresidents who are required to have a fishing license must pay the Trout Fee to fish for or possess trout. Exception: Anglers under 16 years old may possess or fish for trout without having paid the Trout Fee if they fish with a properly licensed adult who has paid the Trout Fee and together their combined limit is 5. Rainbow Trout - Excellent: Try small jigs, spinners, live bait or artificial scented baits. Brook Trout - Excellent: Try small jigs, spinners, live bait or artificial scented baits. Black Crappie - Fair: Some fish are being caught on warmer days.  Terry Trueblood Lake
      You must have a fishing license and trout stamp to fish for and/or possess trout. Brook Trout – Fair. Rainbow Trout – Fair.   For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615. Lake Sugema
      Try using cut bait for channel catfish. The water temperature is in the low 40's.  Lake Wapello
      Use cut bait on the windblown shorelines to catch channel catfish this time of year. Catch largemouth bass around brush piles.  Ottumwa Park Pond South
      Trout were stocked on March 30th. Try small tube and twister jigs, in-line spinners or casting spoons.  Rathbun Reservoir
      The current lake level is 903.66 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 low 40's. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use shad sides or cut bait on the windblown shorelines.  Red Haw Lake
      Try cut bait near shorelines with the wind blowing in for channel catfish.  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 Banner Lake (south)
      Rainbow Trout - Good: Trout were stocked on April 7th. Use inline spinners, small casting spoons, 1/8 ounce or smaller jigs with twister tails, and waxworms or minnows under a bobber.  Big Creek Lake
      Walleye - Fair: Some anglers are starting to catch walleyes off points and rip rap shorelines in the mid and lower lake. They are being caught on jig and twister tails, jig and minnow, or slow trolling minnow rigs.  More Central Iowa reports will resume when warmer weather brings anglers back out. For more information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers, contact Andy Otting or Ben Dodd at 515-432-2823.   Farm Creek Lake
      Farm Creek Lake will offer good early spring crappie fishing in the upper end as water temperatures warm. Lake Anita
      Crappies were caught this week at Lake Anita. As water temperatures warm, crappies will move into the pontoon area of the lake. Black Crappie - Fair: Cast a jig two feet under a bobber in the pontoon area of the lake. Limits of crappie are being taken on warm sunny days. Bluegill - Slow: A few quality size bluegills are being caught.  Lake Manawa
      Warm sunny days offer good crappie fishing in the canals. Lake Manawa is also a good destination for early spring catfishing. White Crappie - Slow: A few crappies are being caught in the canals. Warm sunny days are best. 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. Prairie Rose Lake
      Prairie Rose will offer good panfishing this spring. The lake has quality sized bluegills and  crappies are acceptable size. Target the brush piles.    Viking Lake
      Find early spring crappies in the campground arm and behind the pontoon area. A few bass are being caught in the deeper brush piles. Largemouth Bass - Slow: Jig plastics in deeper brush piles.  Anglers can catch crappie on the right day. Reports of limits taken on warm sunny days. For more information, contact the Cold Springs office at 712-769-2587. Green Valley Lake
      Largemouth Bass - Slow: Catch largemouth bass up to 19 inches using crankbaits fished along the silt dams and rocky shoreline areas.  Little River Watershed Lake
      Walleye - Slow: Catch walleyes up to 22 inches with jigs tipped with a minnow fished along the dam. Largemouth Bass - Slow: Catch largemouth bass up to 18 inches using jigs fished near cedar tree brush piles.  Lakes in the Mount Ayr district are 100% ice free. Water temperature in most district lakes is about 45 degrees. Limited fishing activity observed this week. For more information, please call the Mount Ayr Fisheries office at 641-464-3108.
    • I thinking all the Southern lakes that may be open are going to be packed this opener.
    • Weatherman on the news last night predicted that it will be record late ice out for most of the state or really close.