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Matt Johnson

Iowa Pannies!

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Spent the weekend down in the Des Moines area chasing bass and pannies this weekend. Found a couple fun lakes loaded with fish and structure. The lakes down there are a little different than the lakes up here. They were mostly dammed in lakes with a lot of deep shorelines and wood. Found our panfish amongst the deep wood suspended. A lot of big sunfish with a few crappies mixed in here and there. Our fish came on 1.5" white Berkley Tubes or 1/32 hair jigs. Largest sunfish was 9.75" but long and skinny. Did manage to catch a few stout 9" fish. We were looking for that true 10" but couldn't find it smile

I'll definitely be heading back down there! Very fun times on the water!

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Hey Matt,

I'm originally from Des Moines and am intimately familiar with most of the fishable waters down there. I'm guessing that you probably fished a lake called Big Creek? Next time if you are down there, you might want to check out a lake called Hickory Grove about 40 minutes north of Des Moines; its been known to kick out 10" bluegills. Also, if you have the connections, the absolute best panfishing to be found anywhere in the upper midwest is probably in farm ponds from DM on south. My dad and I once found a pond with an entire year class of 11 to 11.5" bluegills. I've never seen anything like it and may never again, but thats the beauty of farm pond fishing...

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Yep, we fished Big Creek one of the days. If you can find your way around the pontoons you were ok wink The water was very pea green but we managed some nice bass and a handful of crappies. The gills eluded us on that lake. The other lake we fished was Badger Creek smilesmilesmile... very fun lake...and I'll leave it at that... wink

I talked to a couple locals and they mentioned Hickory Grove, but we didn't feel like driving 90 minutes round trip. We only had a half-day each day to fish and stayed closer to home. We stayed in West Des Moines so both lakes we fished were only 10-20 minutes away.

I would have liked to fish some of the farm ponds, but we didn't have the chance to team up with anyone. Spent most of our time visiting with family down there. Maybe next time I'll bang up on a few of those big gills...

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