The weekly Iowa Fishing Reports are compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. Know where to go to get the best catch in your area.
NORTHWEST Iowa Fishing Reports
Yellow Smoke Park Lake
An electrofishing survey was conducted on 5-29-15. Bluegill up to 9.5 inches and largemouth bass up to 15 inches were collected. Several crappies were also sampled. Water clarity is good. Bluegill – Good: With high water clarity, bluegill can be seen guarding nests along shore in 1-4 feet of water. Work these areas with a small jig tipped with crawler fished under a bobber. Anchor the boat away from bluegill nests and cast into them to avoid spooking fish. If fish are spooked, continue fishing the shorelines and work your way back after the fish have had time to return to the nests. Expect to catch 8-9 inch bluegill using this method.
Brushy Creek Lake
Walleye – Good: Successful anglers are fishing with leeches in about 15-20 feet of water. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are being caught on beds using wax worms, leeches, and crawlers fished in about 4-8 feet of water. Black Crappie – Fair: A few crappies have been picked up in 15-20 feet of water.
Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Boaters should use caution around the dredge barge, booster pump barge, and pipeline. Walleye regulations for Storm Lake are three fish per day, all fish between 17 and 22 inches must be released and only one over 22 inches may be kept. Walleye – Fair: Anglers are picking up 11 to 13 inch and 17 to 20 inch walleye. Most are having success trolling crankbaits in the dredge cuts between the islands on the east side of the lake. Others have had success fishing in 4-6 feet of water along the south shore of the lake using crankbaits and leeches. Channel Catfish – Fair: Anglers are catching catfish using dip baits and crawlers. They are having the best luck fishing the north shore areas, especially in the Circle Park area and the island near Circle Park. White Bass – Fair: White bass are being caught on spinners and crankbaits while fishing for walleyes. Anglers are also having luck fishing spinners and crankbaits in shallower areas near shore.
An electrofishing survey conducted in May 2015 showed an abundant panfish population consisting of 6-8 inch bluegill and 6-9 inch crappie; 7-16 inch largemouth bass were also sampled. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are picking up 7-8 inch bluegill. Fish for bluegills around the emergent vegetation with a small jig set about 2 feet under a bobber. Black Crappie – Fair: Some crappie are mixed in with bluegills.
Black Hawk Lake
Water temperature is 70 degrees. Lake level is 12 inches above crest. Water clarity is good. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegill are being caught in Town Bay along the shoreline and off the piers. This time of year bluegill can also be targeted on or near their nests, which are usually located in 3 to 5 feet of water where there is sandy/gravel substrate. Use a 1/16 ounce jig tipped with a piece of night crawler or red worm fished about a foot under a bobber. Walleye – Fair: Walleye are being caught in Town Bay and near Ice House Point. A few have been caught in the State Marina. Most are fishing with twister tails, leeches, and crawlers. Mornings and evenings are most productive. Black Crappie – Slow: A few crappie are being picked up while bluegill fishing. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Anglers are catching largemouth bass using spinners, crawlers, or minnows and jigs. Most fish are 7-8 inches, which is below the 15 inch minimum length limit for largemouth bass.
Southwood Conservation Area Pond (east)
Bluegill – Good: Keeper size bluegill are being caught on spawning beds. Look for bluegill guarding nests near shore in 2-5 feet of water. Anglers are often successful targeting bluegills that are guarding these nests. Use a 1/16 ounce jig tipped with a piece of night crawler or red worm fished about a foot under a bobber. Channel Catfish – Fair: Some catfish are being picked up using dip baits and crawlers.
Bluegill – Fair: Look for bluegills on nests along the east shoreline off the points. Cast small black jigs set 1 to 2 feet below a bobber into the nests.
Black Hawk Pits
Water clarity is good. An electrofishing survey conducted 6-8-15 collected 6-8 inch bluegill and 6-10 inch largemouth bass. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegill nests can be found along shore in 2-4 feet of water and also on the submerged islands where there is gravel substrate in 3-5 feet of water. Anglers are often successful fishing in these areas where bluegills are guarding the nests. With high water clarity, try to avoid spooking fish by anchoring away from nesting areas where fish can be seen and cast into them.
Little Sioux Park Lake
Bluegill – Good: Keeper size bluegill are being caught on spawning beds. Look for bluegill guarding nests near shore in 2-5 feet of water. Anglers are often successful targeting bluegills guarding these nests. Use a 1/16 ounce jig tipped with a piece of night crawler or red worm fished about a foot under a bobber. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Anglers are catching largemouth bass, but most are under the 15 inch minimum length limit for bass.
For more information on the Black Hawk District call 712-657-2638.
Lower Pine Lake
Largemouth Bass – Good: Lower Pine Lake has produced a few large largemouth bass with top water next to wood (downed trees).
Upper Pine Lake
Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth bass are being caught on deep diving crank bait. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are biting on worms.
Bluegill – Good: Look for bluegills on beds on sandy bottom. Largemouth Bass – Good.
Walleye – Good: Fishing is still good but getting a little tougher. Fish have started to move to the main lake basin. Rock reefs in deeper water should still produce as well as the edges of the weed beds at dark. Muskellunge – Good. Bluegill – No Report: Look for spawning activity in the rushes on sandy bottom. Yellow Perch – Slow: A few nice perch have been caught in or near edges of rushes with a bobber and minnow. Yellow Bass – Slow: Yellow bass are done spawning. Look for some near the rock reefs out in deeper water. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Anglers are catching a few largemouths with plastic worms near the edges of vegetation in the little lake.
White Bass – Fair: An occasional white bass have been caught near the culverts where water is flowing in.
Little Wall Lake
Channel Catfish – Good: The action has picked up. Fish near any rock shoreline for spawning cats. Use cut bait or worms below a bobber set near the bottom. Largemouth Bass – Fair.
Largemouth Bass – Good: Anglers are fishing with artificial worms or weedless presentations on the weed edges. Bluegill – Good: Lots of bluegills still on beds. Look for beds close to shore from the jetties or near the boat ramp. A bobber set about a foot down with a 1/16 ounce jig tipped with a piece of nightcrawler or red worm works well. Crappie – Slow: Some anglers are having success on plastic 1/16th ounce tube jigs by the first buoy in front of the boat launch in about 7 feet of water drifting/light casting. Also some action along the dredge line as the depth goes from 13 to 17 feet.
Black Pit and Blue Pit in Mason City are worth a try for bluegills. Bluegills should be close to shoreline setting up nests for spawning. Try a bobber and worm or a small (1/16 ounce) jig and worm.
Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth bass are biting well on artificial lures along the shorelines. The minimum size limit for largemouth bass is 15 inches. Channel Catfish – Good: Fish from the jetty or the windward side of the lake, if fishing from a boat. Try cubit or worms. Bluegill – Fair: Lots of fisherman activity from the jetties. Bite has been good.
Rivers are high and muddy after recent rains so fishing is limited. For lake updates and fishing information in the north central area, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.
Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are schooled off the jetties. Bluegills are very large with many 7-8 inch fish. Fish a worm and bobber. Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth are beginning to bed in the shallows along the south banks in shallower water. Throw spinner baits or soft plastics for aggressive males.
Big Spirit Lake
Largemouth Bass – Good: Fish are bedding along the north banks of Big Spirit. Bedding fish can be caught using drop shots placed around the bed or larger Texas rigged baits. Use a lighter color to keep your bait visible. Walleye – Good: Local anglers are catching walleye around 5:00 till dark at the North Grade. Fish above and below the slot are being caught and creeled. Successful anglers are using dark deer hair jigs tipped with leeches. Yellow Perch – Fair: The fishing pier at the grade is producing more 6-8 inch perch for anglers willing to sort through bullheads and bluegill. Successful anglers are using jig heads and wax worms. A hot bite is reported near the Templar point in 16 feet of water. Anglers that were creeled were using wax worms and slip bobbers. These perch were 10 inches. Crappie – Fair: At the north grade crappies over 10 inches are becoming a common catch. Anglers are using minnows below bobbers anywhere along the grade. The old footbridge site is turning on as well. Anglers are pulling minnows parallel with the rocks to bring crappies into their baskets. Anglers fishing this location are catching larger numbers but less respective in size. These fish are 8-10 inches. Black Bullhead – Fair: The bullhead bite at the north grade is slowing down. Creeled anglers are taking home single digits at this time. These fish are 12-14 inches. The most successful anglers are leaving the worm on the bottom and fishing around submerged vegetation. Northern Pike – Good: Fishermen fishing in Templar bar are catching large numbers of small Northerns. Most fish are in the mid-20 inch range. Successful anglers are using Meps or small spinnerbaits. A Johnson silver minnow tipped with a leech also works well.
Bluegill – Fair: 6-8 inch bluegill are being caught in low numbers along the north bank. Fish were being harvested using small lipstick jigs tipped with night crawler. Crappie – Good: Smaller crappies are being caught on the north and east side of Center lake. Anglers are using jigs tipped with wax worms.
East Okoboji Lake
Yellow Bass – Good: Large numbers of yellow bass are being caught near East Okoboji beach near the boat docks. Fish vary from small to a few larger 8-9 inch fish. Throw soft plastic shad for them. Anglers fishing under the highway 9 bridge are catching fair numbers of yellows using small plastic minnows. Yellow Perch – Fair: Numbers of smaller yellow perch are being caught while anglers are fishing for yellow bass. Pulling similar baits near the bottom will force more perch into your bucket. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Fish near the inlet to upper gar along the rocks to find a fast paced bass bite. Anglers are seeing bass bedding up in upper gar then swimming into East Okoboji. Walleye – Fair: Parks Marina and Lone Tree Point are reporting a hot bite for walleye. Anglers are drifting minnows along the bottom before dark. Larger walleye are being caught in 10-12 feet of water. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are catching low numbers of 8 inch bluegills while fishing docks throughout East Okoboji. Anglers are fishing small jigs tipped with wax worms under docks.
Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Walleye – Good: Anglers are catching limits of walleye on Silver Lake in Lake Park. Many anglers are catching limits using leeches and crankbaits while trolling or slip bobbers with minnows. Anglers are catching these fish throughout the water body.
West Okoboji Lake
Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth bass are schooled in the warm water of the canals and harbors as they enter their pre-spawn. Many male bass are already on beds while females are still out swimming the depths. Males are being caught on trick worms, wacky rigs, and drop shots. Females are enjoying jigs and deep diving cranks. Bluegill – Good: The canals are loaded with bluegills. Large and small fish are being caught in good numbers. Pocahontas point is holding a good population of bluegills with anglers catching large fish with little sorting. Crappie – Fair: The trestle is still being reported to be a good bite. The canals are starting to fill with larger crappies. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Smallmouth are on beds in bays with sandy cobble and larger boulders. These fish will be bedded near larger rocks. Placing any soft plastics near the bed will result in a strike. Northern Pike – Good: Little Emerson and Little Millers are filled with northerns. Throw anything at this time and catch a few. Walleye – Good: Walleyes are being caught by shore anglers fishing the canal bridges after dark. Successful anglers are fishing darker crankbaits and bottom jigs with leeches. 13-19 inch fish are being caught. Yellow Bass – Good: In Smiths bay just north of the amusement park anglers are reporting a high catch rate of large yellow bass. Anglers using orange twister tails or a plain hook with worm and split shot are catching yellows on every cast.
Five Island Lake
Walleye – Fair: Anglers fishing just north of town bay are catching 14-17 inch walleye. Anglers using bottom bouncers are stumbling upon numbers of walleyes as they approach the shallows.
Lost Island Lake
Yellow Bass – Good: Large yellow bass can be caught at the outlet of little lake. These fish are being seen and caught under the overhang of the outlet structure. A large number of smaller fish can be caught near the bridge where Lost Island dumps into little lake. Black Bullhead – Excellent: A large number of bullhead are being seen while crews are electrofishing on Lost Island. These large numbers of bullhead are being seen at the mouth of little lake just west of the bridge. Crappie – Fair: Crappies are starting to group in the shallow coves of little lake. These fish are swimming into the cattails in preparation for the spawn.
NORTHEAST Iowa Fishing Reports
Lots of shoreline anglers are taking home nice catches of panfish. Largemouth Bass – Good: Anglers have found bass suspended over brush piles. A jig tipped with a twister works well. Bluegill – Slow: Bluegills can be found in shallow water guarding nests. Channel Catfish – Good: Use a hook tipped with a night crawler just off the bottom. Put a bobber on the line and wait for it to go under. Give it a quick jerk and reel it in. Crappie – Slow: Anglers are catching 7-8 inch crappies along the rip-rapped shoreline along the dam front. Use a small brightly colored tube jig.
Panfishing remains slow but shoreline anglers are catching some nice catfish. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Anglers fishing over the rock reefs are finding some nice bass. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Anglers fishing midday using a hook with a night crawler or stink bait are catching some nice catfish. Bluegill – Slow: Anglers using worms fished over structure in shallow bays are finding fish. Crappie – Slow: Crappie are hanging around rock mounds. Use a small jig for success.
As of 6-17, water levels have been drawn down 66 inches. The lake is about down to the desired level. The boat ramp is unusable at this time and will remain so until water levels are allowed to return to normal. Mud flats and past habitat locations are becoming exposed. Water levels will remain low throughout the construction period. Construction should be completed by November 1, 2015 when water levels will be allowed to return to normal. Largemouth Bass – No Report. Bluegill – Slow: Panfishing has been spotty but some anglers have picked up a few nice bluegills by the jetty. All other areas are difficult to access. Crappie – No Report.
Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
Water clarity has greatly improved on the Upper Iowa River above Decorah. Walleye – Slow: Walleye activity has slowed with recent rains. Anglers using crankbaits and a jig tipped with a crawler are catching fish.
Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
Temperatures are running in the mid 70’s this week. Water clarity has decreased due to recent rainfall. Smallmouth Bass – Slow: Anglers are finding success using a variety of tackle. Walleye – Slow: Anglers are catching walleye using a jig tipped with a night crawler or small crankbaits. Sucker – Fair: Anglers continue catching suckers using a hook tipped with a night crawler bounced on the bottom. Channel Catfish – Good: Shoreline anglers are catching nice catfish using stink baits and crawlers.
Turkey River (below Clermont)
Water levels are dropping but levels are still high and clarity is poor. Water temperatures are in the mid 70’s. Sucker – Slow: Use a hooked drifted along the bottom of the river. Walleye – Slow: Walleye are biting on jigs tipped with a night crawler. Rainbow Trout – Fair: Trout can be caught in the river at Big Spring Hatchery.
Cedar River (above Nashua)
Water levels have stabilized after recent rains but clarity decreased with rise in the river. Walleye – Slow: Use a jig tipped with a minnow or dark colored twister tails. Smallmouth Bass – Slow: A jig tipped with a natural colored twister or crankbait will work for smallies. Channel Catfish – Good: With warmer water temperatures, catfish will be more active. Use chicken liver, dead chubs and stink bait.
Decorah District Streams
Trout streams are in good condition. Anglers have been taking trout on #16 or #18 March Browns, Adams, Griffiths gnat and mole hair leach. Match the size of the fly with the critter hatching. Spin fishers using small crankbaits or haired spinners fished through deeper holes continue to take nice catches. Brook Trout – Good: Brook trout are intolerant of siltation, turbidity, and elevated water temperatures. Brown Trout – Good: Fingerling brown trout have been stocked into all our put-and-grow streams. Rainbow Trout – Good: Rainbow trout have a broad pink stripe on both sides and spots covering sides, dorsal fin and tail.
Temperatures will rise through the weekend to the mid 80’s. Greatest chance of showers will be on Saturday. Water levels on many streams in our area increased due to localized rainfall but levels have now stabilized (as of 6-17). Rivers are also off color but clearing. Be prepared for rapidly changing weather conditions. For more information, call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.
Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
There are reports of both bluegill and largemouth bass being caught on Casey Lake. There has also been a good night bite on channel catfish. Boat angling is ideal as the vegetation has set in around the shorelines. Bluegill – Good: Cast and retrieve small jigs or use a piece of worm on both a small hook and bobber casted along the out edges of weed beds. Use small tackle when fishing bluegills. Largemouth Bass – Good: Evening/mornings have been best. Try top water baits or weedless spinnerbaits for some good action. Channel Catfish – Good: Sunset or thereafter evening hours have been good. Fish on the bottom past weed beds using dead chubs, chicken liver or stink baits.
Big Woods Lake
There are fair reports of crappie being caught in Big Woods Lake. Crappie – Fair: Fish a crappie minnow under a slip bobber or cast colored tube jigs off of shore or in and around structure.
Brinker Lake has been producing fair catches of crappie and a recent fisheries survey produced good numbers and size as well. Crappie – Fair: Fish a crappie minnow under a slip bobber or cast colored tube jigs off of shore or in and around structure.
George Wyth Lake
Anglers have been successful in catching both bluegill and crappie. Crappie – Fair: Fish a crappie minnow under a slip bobber or cast colored tube jigs off of shore or in and around structure. Bluegill – Fair: Cast and retrieve small jigs or use a piece of worm on both a small hook and bobber casted from shore. Use small tackle when fishing bluegills.
Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
Channel catfish continue to offer angling opportunities on the Cedar River in Black Hawk County as the river recedes. Channel Catfish – Fair: Anglers have done well using night crawlers, cut baits and chubs fished on the bottom or near snags.
Wapsi River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
The Wapsipinicon River levels continue to fall. There are decent reports of smallmouth bass fishing. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Crankbaits or other artificial baits worked near rocky shorelines or woody debris work well this time of year.
River levels continue to fall with improved water clarity. Channel catfish and smallmouth bass are biting fair on the interior rivers. Black Hawk County lakes are providing bluegill and crappie opportunities as the weather warms. Trout streams in northeast Iowa remain in good condition as long as rain holds off, for further information contact the N.E. Iowa District Office at 563-927-3276.
Mississippi River Pool 9
River level is 9.4 feet at Lansing and expected to fall slightly over the next week. Water temperature is 69 degrees. The boat ramp at New Albin is closed due to flooding. Walleye – Slow: Higher water levels will make it difficult to find walleyes on wing dams. Bluegill – Fair: High water has bluegills scattered but many should be preparing to spawn in shallow backwater areas. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass are beginning to move in to backwater areas and may be preparing to spawn. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Smallmouths are feeding along rocky areas. In high water, look for good current breaks. Channel Catfish – Good: Channel catfish have been on the feed and starting to spawn. Float a minnow on a bobber along rocky shorelines. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Drum are actively feeding just about everywhere. Fish with a worm on the bottom. White Bass – Fair: Some nice size white bass are being caught fishing along the main channel and tailwaters of the dams. Sauger – Slow: A few saugers are being picked up in the tailwaters. Northern Pike – Fair: Occasional northern pike are being picked up fishing for bass along structure.
Mississippi River Pool 10
River level is 18.5 feet at Lynxville and falling. Water temperature is 68 degrees. Walleye – Slow: With stable water levels look for walleyes to start feeding on the top sides of wing dams. Bluegill – Fair: High water has bluegills scattered but many should prepare to spawn in shallow backwater areas. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass are beginning to move into backwater areas and may be preparing to spawn. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Smallmouths are feeding along rocky areas. In high water, look for good current breaks. Sauger – Slow: A few saugers are being picked up in the tailwaters. Channel Catfish – Good: Channel catfish have been on the feed and starting to spawn. Float a minnow on a bobber along rocky shorelines. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Drum are actively feeding just about everywhere. Fish with a worm on the bottom. White Bass – Fair: Some nice size white bass are being caught along the main channel and tailwaters of the dams. Northern Pike – Fair: Occasional northern pike are being picked up fishing for bass along structure.
Mississippi River Pool 11
River level is 10.4 feet at Guttenberg and beginning a gradual fall. Water temperature is 69 degrees. Walleye – Slow: Higher water levels will make it difficult to find walleyes on wing dams. Bluegill – Fair: High water has bluegills scattered but many should be preparing to spawn in shallow backwater areas. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass are beginning to move into backwater areas and may be preparing to spawn. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Smallmouths are feeding along rocky areas. In high water, look for good current breaks. Sauger – Slow: A few saugers are being picked up in the tailwaters. Channel Catfish – Good: Channel catfish have been on the feed and starting to spawn. Float a minnow on a bobber along rocky shorelines. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Drum are actively feeding just about everywhere. Fish with a worm on the bottom. White Bass – Fair: Some nice size white bass are being caught along the main channel and tailwaters of the dams. Northern Pike – Fair: Occasional northern pike are being picked up fishing for bass along structure.
River levels remain high on the Upper Mississippi which is affecting river access at some areas. Levels are on a steady fall this week. As the river falls active fish may be harder to find as they pull back to deep water. Water temperatures have risen to near 70 degrees and many fish are spawning.
Mississippi River Pool 12
The water level is 10.1 feet at Dubuque Lock and Dam and 12.2 feet at the Dubuque RR bridge, both up from last week. Water temperature in the main channel remains 75 degrees. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Largemouth fishing is generally good but you have to find clearer water. Frog imitations in the weeds have been somewhat effective. Walleye – Slow: Some walleyes are still being caught. Most are found in very shallow water and being caught by bluegill anglers. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills were hitting well over the past few weeks but the bite has slowed as the water has risen. Some fish can be found in the back ends of marinas and backwaters in this high water. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Channel and flathead catfish are being caught by trot lines and pole anglers using worms. Flathead Catfish – Excellent: Channel and flathead catfish are being caught by trot lines and pole anglers using worms.
Mississippi River Pool 13
The water level is 11.7 feet at Bellevue, up from last week. The main channel temperature is 75 degrees. Water is quite dirty in most locations but slowly clearing. Crappie – Slow: The muddy water has stymied the crappie bite but expect it to improve once clearer water returns. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Look for clearer water especially in weed bed locations to catch bass. Largemouths reported to us so far have been quite sizable. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Smallmouth bass are sight predators and have difficulty feeding when water gets so murky. Look for this species along current rock lines once the water clears. Walleye – Slow: After the rise in water levels, walleye moved into shallower water along the shorelines and were being picked up by bass and bluegill anglers. Bluegill – Fair: Some nice bluegills are still being reported in the big backwater areas like Savannah Bay and Spring Lake but the bit has slowed considerably. Channel Catfish – Excellent: The bite has really cranked up in earnest. Catfish are biting on worms and stink bait in side channels just above brush piles. Flathead Catfish – Excellent: Lots of smaller eater flatheads are still being caught in the tailwaters by anglers using worm rigs. Some larger specimens are being taken on trot lines.
Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level is 11.7 feet at Fulton, 14.2 feet at Camanche, and 8.6 feet above the dam at LeClaire. All water levels are up considerably from last week but are expected to recede. The main channel water temperature is around 75 degrees. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Great populations of bass exist in Pool 14. Some may have moved into the bigger backwater areas and clearer waters. Some folks report using frog imitations in the weed lines and are catching some nice sized bass. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Lots of reports of channel catfish hitting on stink bait and worms. Bluegill – Slow: Bluegills are being caught in the backwater areas on worm rigs. Muddy water finally took its toll on the bluegill bite. Expect good fishing to resume once the water clears. Walleye – Slow: Walleyes were reported in shallow water throughout the district this week. Bass and bluegill anglers are catching them near shore. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Some nice smallmouths are being reported on the rock piles in Pool 14. Use spinners or jigs and fish close to any exposed rocky areas. Flathead Catfish – Excellent: Some nice flathead catfish are being caught by people crappie and walleye fishing. Flatheads are live fish eating catfish and will readily hit on flashy lures. Northern Pike – No Report: The pike bite has been good this year on Pool 14. Backwaters such as Rock Creek and Cattail Slough have been some of the best target lakes. Use gaudy white spinners for best results.
Mississippi River Pool 15
The water level is 13.8 feet at Rock Island but should start receding this week. The water temperature is around 75 degrees. Catfishing was reported as excellent in Pool 15. Eagles Landing and Leach park are two nice areas to put in and enjoy fishing on Pool 15. Channel Catfish – Good: Try launching at Eagles Landing in Bettendorf and fish near smaller tributary mouths above and below the park. Use worms or stink bait but move often if you are not having success. Catfish will either bite immediately or not be there.
The Mississippi River is fairly high and running dirty most of the week but no major flooding was reported. Some ramps may be out of commission but a boat still can be launched at most places.
Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 13.72 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in Davenport and rising. Tailwater stage is forecasted to reach 14 feet by 6/19 but the forecast may change with more rain in the forecast. Water clarity is poor. Fishing has been slow. Clark’s Ferry boat landing is closed due to high water. The docks at the Fairport Recreational Area have been removed.
Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 13.41 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and rising. Flood stage is 15 feet. Tailwater stage is predicted to reach 14.2 feet by 6/19 but the forecast may change with more rain. River levels at Muscatine are 15.17 feet and rising. Flood stage at Muscatine is 16 feet. The boats ramps at Kilpeck and Big Timber (The Breaks) are closed due to high water. Fishing has been slow with the high and muddy water conditions.
Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 15.32 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and rising. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 17. River level is forecasted to reach 15.9 feet by 6/18 but the prediction may change with more rain in the forecast. The Toolsboro landing is closed due to high water.
Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 11.07 feet at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington and rising. Flood stage is 10 feet at Lock and Dam 18. River level is forecasted to reach 11.5 feet by 6/19 but the forecast may change with more rain in the forecast. River level is 16.01 feet at Burlington and flood stage is 15 feet. Fishing has been slow with the high water conditions. Many of the boat ramps are underwater.
Mississippi River Pools 16-19: With the recent heavy rains the river is high and muddy. Many boat ramps are underwater. Fishing has been slow with the high and muddy water conditions. Main channel water temperature is 73-74 degrees. Use caution when on the river with the high water due to the strong currents and floating debris. If you have questions on fishing pools 16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.
SOUTHEAST Iowa Fishing Reports
Cedar River (La Porte City to Cedar Rapids)
Channel Catfish – Good: Quite a few catfish were caught this past weekend below the dams in Cedar Rapids.
The 9.9 horsepower maximum rule is in effect. These motors must also observe the 5 mph speed limit. Water temperatures are about 80 degrees. Crappie – Slow: Fish deeper brush or look for suspended fish in deeper water. Walleye – Fair: Troll spinner rigs or crankbaits in 8-12 feet of water. White Bass – Fair: There is a short window and dawn/dusk for schooling fish being caught on top waters. Channel Catfish – Fair: Fish live bait around rocks or drift cut bait in mid-depth flats.
Pleasant Creek Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Fish around overhanging brush along the shorelines. White Bass – Good: White bass and wipers can be caught along windblown shorelines on crankbaits and twisters. Dawn/dusk is providing some top water action. Channel Catfish – Fair: Chicken livers are working well. Target these fish around rock. Walleye – Fair: Most have been caught on live bait and are on the small side. Yellow Perch – Fair: Most fish are smaller and are being caught on worms.
No minnows are allowed here. The lake is a bit high and muddy. Crappie – Fair: Fish around deeper brush or look for suspended fish in open water. Bluegill – Good: Small jigs fished around the jetties and brush is working well. Many fish are 7-9 inches. Channel Catfish – Good: Nightcrawler, chicken livers, and stink bait has been working.
Otter Creek Lake
Channel Catfish – Fair: Cut bait has been reported as working best in the evenings. Yellow Bass – Fair: Small jigs or worms work well. Crappie – Slow. Bluegill – Slow.
Union Grove Lake
The drain valve was scheduled to be opened Tuesday, June 16 to begin drawdown for the renovation project. There are relaxed fishing regulations; no length or bag limits for any species at this lake. Bluegill – Good: Use small jigs or worms around shallow brush and pockets. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Fish crankbaits and soft plastics around shallow rock. Crappie – Fair: Some fish are being caught in shallow pockets or brush. Some fish are being caught drifting in open water.
The lake is still rising and is predicted to crest this weekend at 692 feet (normal summer pool is 683 feet). There is debris floating around the lake. Channel Catfish – Slow: Catfishing had been good before the rising water. Not many reports are available this week.
For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.
Largemouth Bass – Good: Fish rubber worms and crankbaits around the cedar trees. Spinnerbaits can be productive when fished along the shorelines and around the rock jetties. Top water lures can be productive when fished in the mornings and evenings. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are catching bluegill along the shorelines. Use small jigs and try different depths until you find active fish. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try cut bait or night crawlers around the fishing jetties.
Red Haw Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are catching bluegills using small jigs or a chunk of night crawler fished under a bobber. Largemouth Bass – Good: Use spinnerbaits and top water lures around the rock jetties and along the face of the dam. Rubber worms should also be tried around any submerged structure. Channel Catfish – Good: Anglers are catching catfish using night crawlers and cut bait. Target areas around rock jetties and the dam.
Hawthorn Lake (aka Barnes City Lake)
Hawthorn Lake has a slot length limit for largemouth bass and all 12 to 16-inch bass must be immediately released. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try rubber worms along the shoreline. Concentrate on areas with rock or stumps. Bluegill – Fair: Fish small jigs around spawning areas. Some sorting may be required for larger fish.
Lake Keomah State Park is undergoing road construction so access to the park is limited. The boat ramps are still accessible by using the entrance to the north and east of the park.
Lake Miami is currently undergoing a lake renovation project. The lake is 4.5 feet below normal and the boat ramps are difficult to use. New jetties and cedar tree piles have been installed.
Lake Sugema has a 12-18 inch protected slot length limit for largemouth bass. Anglers are encouraged to harvest largemouth bass less than 12 inches in length to improve overall largemouth bass growth. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try spinner baits or crankbaits along rip-rapped shorelines and around fishing jetties. Rubber worms can also be a good choice along the shorelines and around any type of structure. Crappie – Slow: Use a bobber and a minnow or small jigs. Target areas with 6-10 feet of water. Walleye – Slow: Anglers are catching some walleyes using jigs along the dam. Bluegill – Fair: Successful anglers are using small jigs and fishing around spawning areas. Channel Catfish – Fair: Anglers are catching catfish along the fishing jetties using night crawlers or dead minnows.
The current lake level is 909.24. The water temperature is 69 degrees. Lake Rathbun contains zebra mussels so make sure to properly drain, clean, and dry boats before transporting to another water body. Spray boats and trailers with high pressure hot water (above 104 degrees) or let them dry for at least 10 days (5 days in the sun). Crappie – Fair: Anglers are catching crappies using small jigs. Try areas with rip-rapped shorelines. Sorting is required for larger fish. Channel Catfish – Good: Use night crawlers or dead chubs. Try areas with large rip-rap as the catfish are preparing to spawn. Areas around Bridgeview and the dam are good places to target. Walleye – Fair: Anglers have reported catching walleyes using crawler harnesses around submerged rocky areas. Drift or troll through these areas.
Take your trash with you so your favorite fishing spot is clean and litter free. Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions regarding angling in south central Iowa.
The Mississippi and Iowa rivers are coming in through the levee breaks that the contractors were in the process of fixing. The Toolesboro Road was closed last Friday night just before the water started coming over it. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Anglers are catching some really nice catfish.
Heavy rains have made the water muddy again. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are catching good numbers of bluegills but you have to do a little sorting. Channel Catfish – Good: Good numbers of catfish in the rocks along the dam and up around the boat ramp area.
Lake Belva Deer
Water temperature is running about 76 degrees. Water clarity is about 12 feet. Bluegill – Good: Some are moving back into the spawning area. Others can be found down by the dam and in deeper water taking a break. Redear Sunfish – Fair: Redears seem to be mostly done and gone from the beds. Look for them in 6 to 7 feet of water in the weed beds. Crappie – Good: Crappies continue to hang around the underwater mounds at the upper end of the lake. Channel Catfish – Good: If you are looking for catfish look no further than the face of the dam, the males are in the rocks protecting the nests.
The water is still in pretty good shape, we keep missing the big rains. Bluegill – Good: Most bluegills have finished spawning but you can still find them in pretty shallow. Fish are running between 7 and 8 inches. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappies are in 8 to 10 feet of water around the willows and brush piles. You’ll catch a lot of little ones but the better ones are 10 to 11 inches. Green sunfish – Good: Anglers are catching 9+ inch green sunfish.
Lost Grove Lake
The heavy rains are adding water to the lake, only about three feet to go. Lost Grove Lake has an 18 inch minimum size limit on largemouth bass. Black Crappie – Good: Crappies are starting to trend towards the smaller sizes in the shallow waters near the spillway and the shallow bays. Bluegill – Slow: Bluegill fishing has slowed above the causeway and on the main lake. Largemouth Bass – Good: Still too small to keep but they are very aggressive.
Skunk River (Rose Hill to Coppock)
The skunk has spent most of this week rising from the rains. It was about 2 feet from being bank full on Wednesday. The water is really muddy.
Big Hollow Lake
Water temperature is running around 78 degrees. The water is getting muddy but you can still see down about 2.5 feet. A lot of duckweed and algae are in the upper end of the lake; not as bad by the dam. Largemouth Bass – Excellent: Bass fishing is doing well. With the calm near windless evenings we’ve been having lately, I would be tempted to run some top water plugs along the edges of the duckweed. Bluegill – Excellent: Bluegills are biting. Work your way through the flooded trees in one of the bays and you should find them. Channel Catfish – Good: Find the rock shorelines and down on the face of the dam and you won’t have any problem finding them. They are spawning. Good numbers of pan sized fish.
For more information on the above lakes, call the Lake Darling Fisheries Management station at (319) 694-2430.
SOUTHWEST Iowa Fishing Reports
Crappie – Fair: Crappies are schooled around the standing timber broke off at the water’s surface mid-lake. Fish minnows under a bobber 3 to 5 feet down or pitch small panfish jigs.
Rock Creek Lake
Crappie – Fair: Crappie are being caught drifting panfish jigs or minnows mid-lake on the lower portion of the lake. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegill are still being caught in less than 5 feet of water near the shoreline.
Big Creek Lake
Walleye – Fair: Walleye are being caught in good numbers with a few fish over 15 inches. Troll spinning rigs with minnows in about 15 feet of water in the East ramp bay and around the point between the beach and the marina. Shore anglers can pick up walleye as well fishing minnows under slip bobbers off the jetties. Bluegill – Fair: The lake has become more turbid and bluegill fishing has slowed. Fish the outside edges of vegetation beds in shallow water with small hooks, crawler pieces and a bobber.
Hickory Grove Lake
Crappie – Fair: Crappies can be caught fishing minnows 2 to 6 feet deep tight to the fallen and overhanging trees in the coves. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills are being caught fishing crawlers over pallet piles in less than 10 feet of water as well as along the fallen and overhanging trees.
Bluegill – Good: Good size bluegills are being caught fishing crawlers or small panfish jigs 2 to 6 feet deep on the lower portions of the lake where the vegetation is less dense.
Red Rock Reservoir
Channel Catfish – Good: Channel catfish can be found this time of year near large rip rap and woody structure. Crayfish under a bobber and even crankbaits can entice these fish out of the cavities.
Anglers should focus on the Big Creek spillway when water is flowing over this structure. Channel Catfish – Good: Crankbaits and cut bait should be tried at the spillway. White Bass – Good: Spoons, spinners and crankbaits will entice these aggressive fish to bite at the spillway.
Heavy rains and stained water have made fishing more challenging at most lakes, however the bluegill are still in shallow as they wrap up their initial spawning run. For information on central Iowa lakes and rivers, contact Andy Otting or Ben Dodd at 515-432-2823.
Fish surveys indicate a large crappie population in Greenfield. Bluegills can still be caught close to shore. Greenfield also has good largemouth bass and catfish numbers. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills up to 8 inches are being caught just off shore with small jigs. Crappie – Slow: A few crappies averaging nine inches can be caught casting jigs around the jetties and along the dam. Fish cedar tree piles or drift for post spawn fish. Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth bass can be caught around the shoreline casting a variety of plugs and lures. Fish are all sizes. Channel Catfish – Fair: Anglers are beginning to catch channel cats around the jetties with shrimp.
Meadow Lake has quality size panfish. The bluegill spawn is tailing off. Bluegill – Fair: A few bluegills can still be caught on the reefs. Cast small jigs to catch fish up to 9 inches. Crappie – Slow: Meadow has large white crappies that can be caught around the two underwater reefs in the lake.
Mormon Trail Lake
Mormon Trail has a large year class of 8 to 9 inch crappies. Bluegills are on their beds in numerous locations around the shoreline. Largemouth Bass – Good: The lake has a good number of 13 to 16 inch fish. Crappie – Fair: Anglers are catching crappies with jigs or minnows 2 feet under a bobber. Fish around the jetties and along the dam. Bluegill – Good: Cast small jigs in the corner of the jetties to find spawning fish.
Anglers can expect to catch 8 inch bluegills and 9 inch crappies. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills are still close to shore. Work the shoreline casting small jigs to find nesting fish. Crappie – Slow: Crappies are being caught around structure and drifting jigs. Channel Catfish – No Report: Nodaway has a good population of channel catfish.
Littlefield has a good panfish population. The water clarity has improved this week. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills can be caught casting jigs to the shoreline. Fish are up to 9 inches. Black Crappie – Slow: Cast minnows under a bobber or drift small jigs to catch crappie up to 12 inches. Channel Catfish – No Report.
Cold Springs Lake
Bluegill fishing has responded at Cold Springs after the 2012 partial renovation of the fishery. Issues with excessive vegetation have also been addressed. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills up to 8.5 inches can be caught casting night crawlers under a bobber. Largemouth Bass – Good: Cold Springs has a good bass population. Channel Catfish – No Report.
Crappie can be caught around underwater reefs. Bluegill spawn is winding down but anglers are still finding spawning fish on the roadbeds. Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers should fish a summer pattern for crappie. Drift around the roadbeds and cast along vegetation edges to catch crappie up to 12 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegill can be caught on the roadbed in both arms of the lake. Drift small jigs to catch quality size bluegills. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass are being caught all over the lake casting a variety of lures. Fish are all sizes up to 20 inches.
Viking has a good largemouth bass population. Channel catfish have picked up this week. Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth of all sizes are being caught casting small spinner baits with a slow retrieve or plastics around the shoreline and jetties. Crappie – Slow: Crappies have moved off shore. Fish around cedar tree piles with minnows to catch post spawn fish. Channel Catfish – Good: Catfish can be caught in the campground arm of the lake using cubit. Fish average 2 pounds. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills at Viking have grown to an acceptable size and anglers are beginning to harvest 8 inch fish.
Prairie Rose Lake
The fishery at Prairie Rose is back. Bluegill growth has been very good with fish over nine inches being caught this spring. The crappie fishing is still a couple of years away as they were just stocked last fall. Largemouth bass are growing quickly with many 8 to 10 inch fish. The initial stocking of catfish are in the 14 to 16 inch range. Bluegill – Fair: Most of the bluegills have moved off their spawning beds and can be caught drifting or around structure in the lake. Channel Catfish – No Report. Largemouth Bass – Good: Many 8 to 10 inch bass are being caught in the lake.
The catfish bite is good in the canals and on the main lake. Crappie – Fair: A few crappies have been caught in the main lake on the west shore. Sorting is necessary for larger fish. Channel Catfish – Good: Catfishing has been good this week at Manawa. Anglers are catching fish in the 2 pound range on shrimp or cut bait.
Cold Springs District Farm Ponds
Farm ponds have been good this week for panfish. Always get permission to fish privately owned ponds. Crappie – Fair: Anglers can find crappies around structure and along weed lines. Fish minnows under a bobber or smaller jigs to catch post spawn crappies. Bluegill – Good: Bluegill fishing has been good in ponds. Cast small jigs or worms under a bobber close to shore. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass are being caught casting small spinners with a slow retrieve. Channel Catfish – Fair: Cut bait is a good bait choice this time of year. Catfish will feed close to shore and along weed edges.
Water temperatures in the southwest district have climbed into the mid to upper 70’s. Crappies are being caught around structure and drifting. Bluegills can still be caught on their spawning beds. For more information, call the Cold Springs District Office at (712) 769-2587
Bluegill – Fair: Bluegill up to 8 inches have been caught using jigs fished on the fish mounds. Channel Catfish – Good: Channel catfish up to 5 pounds have been caught using night crawlers or liver fished near rocky shoreline areas.
West Lake (Osceola)
The marina is closed for improvements.
Little River Watershed Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Bluegill up to 8 inches have been caught using jigs fished near the brush piles.
Green Valley Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Bluegill up to 8 inches have been caught using jigs fished near the fishing jetties or near shallow brush piles.
Yellow Perch – Fair: Yellow perch up to 10 inches have been caught using jigs tipped with a worm fished in 5-8 feet of water. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills up to 9 inches have been caught using jigs tipped with a worm fished in 5-8 feet of water.