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JohnMickish

Trolling 101 (AKA Trolling for Dummies)

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Here is part 1 of some trolling information I have put together. We have some guys that are starting to get into the trolling side of fishing and this should get you headed in a good starting direction.

Feel free to discuss and ask questions, as that is what this is all about.

Part one of a multi segment trolling information article. Wikipedia defines trolling as "The practice of fishing by drawing a baited line or lure behind a boat”. During my time spent as a co angler on the FLW Walleye Tour, I had the pleasure of being able to fish wish some of the best trollers to ever hit the water, and I learned more than I thought there was to such a simple task. This article is not meant to be a set of rules on how to troll, but more of a set of guidelines. We won't be focusing so much on how to troll, but more on the why, when and when not to use the various trolling techniques. Nothing here is secret or a tournament proprietary technique, it just the different ways to accomplish the same thing, under different conditions with different results. The techniques discussed will be

Equipment

Long lining

Snap weights

Trolling weights

Planer Boards

Leadcore

The first segment here will be why should you learn to troll? The answer is easy, to put more fish in the boat. I am going to say that 80% of the time a troller will catch more fish than a non troller will over the same given time on the same water. I have seen times where fish are stacked up on a small piece of structure that the only way to get them is to jig, but those situations are, as a whole, rare. There are other situations such as post cold front where fish will only take live bait, but being versed in trolling will make you a more successful fisherman.

The reason a troller will catch more fish is not because he is a better fisherman, it's not because he has better equipment, it is because he will come in contact with more fish over the same time. For example, say you are fishing a two mile long break and you will come in contact with a fish every 1/8th mile. You want to Lindy Rig a leech at .5MPH, over that break it will take you 4 hours and you will contact 16 fish, for a 4 fish per hour average. Not bad, right? Well, someone trolling a Slow Death rig at 1MPH, will cover that same stretch in 2 hours, contacting the same 16 fish but have an 8 fish per hour average. Pulling a spinner rig or cranks at 1.5MPH gives you 12 fish per hour and trolling that same stretch at 2MPH, contacting the same fish every 1/8th mile will give you a 16 fish per hour average! Speed is the key here, as you want to fish for the most active fish, not the most lethargic.

As a guideline, you want to fish as fast as you can and still catch fish for the reasons listed above. If your catching fish at 1.5MPH bump it up to 1.6 or 1.7. You might catch more or bigger fish, as the more aggressive fish in the schools will hit the faster baits, but there is a limit to the speed the fish want. If you stop catching fish, slow back down to where you where catching them.

Equipment

The most important piece of equipment a troller can have in his boat is a GPS. It doesn't have to be a $3000 10" screen, it can be a small $150 hand held unit, but you must be able to see your speed down to the 10th of a MPH. While you and I can't tell the difference between 1.2 and 1.3MPH on the water, the fish can, and the GPS will allow you to see what is working and you will be able to repeat it. After all, aren't we out there to catch fish, not just go for a boat ride? Having a unit that also reads a map is a plus but that is not just an advantage to trolling, that's an advantage everywhere.

The Precision Trolling book, AKA the Trolling Bible and a set of line counter reels are the next pieces of equipment that a person should have. The book is hard to find but there are dive curve sticker kits available now so if you are only going to use a couple of lures the sticker kits will help you out.

The reason you want to use line counter reels is that they offer repeatability, just like the GPS speed. If all your going to do is fish shallow and bang your lures off the bottom you can skip the line counters, but if you want to target a specific depth, line counters are a necessity. The ability to put your lure back at the exact distance after a catch is key when fish are targeting a specific depth. We will get deeper into this later. With line counter reels you really do get what you pay for. They are available from $30 up to $200+. Reels in the $60 range are a good place to start, with most of the guys that troll a lot end up with reels in the $100 range. I would personally try to stay away from the lower end reels as they tend to have inferior drag systems which can heat up and create an inconsistent resistance, possibly costing you a trophy fish. The Daiwa Accudepth is a good place to start, and the Daiwa Sealine, Abu Garcia Ambassadeur LC, Cabelas Depthmaster GOLD or Okuma Convector are good placed to end up. The upper end reels are what you would expect, very nice and smooth at a premium price.

One thing that really isn't discussed is that if you are going to have more than one line counter reel, get them all of the same model and manufacturer, and spool them up with the same amount of line. One often overlooked issue when using LC reels, is that the footage readout is not the same from manufacturer to manufacturer. This can be an issue when trolling multiple lines. Say, one rod keeps getting hit at 98' back, and all the other rods have the same lure at the same depth and they are getting nothing. There is a good chance that 98' on one reel isn't 98' on the others if they are not all set up the same, and the other lures are running out of the strike zone. When the fish are picky and targeting a specific zone this can be very frustrating and time consuming to figure out, costing you missed fish.

Line, not much thought is given to line. The trolling bible uses 10lb mono on all its dive curves and 10/4 fireline on some. Here is something to think about when you are setting your gear up. Mono floats, flourocarbon and braid sink. When trolling the same lure at the same amount of feet back, mono will run the shallowest with braid the deepest, and flouro in the middle. 10LB mono offers a nice compromise between strength knot holding and stretch. Many long line guys will use braid since it will get their lures a couple feet deeper than mono, but you have to consider your rod choice when trolling with braid. There are lots of good lines out there, pick the one that you like but don't cheap out here. Line is not the place where you want to cut three dollars out of your fishing budget.

I'm going to stop it here for now, but with the increase in your catch, please fish responsibly and remember, limit your take, don't take your limit.

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Awesome read. I'm pretty sure I've bugged you (and lots of other folks) a few times on here for some info....good to have it all in one place. I'd love to add my .02. but I'm pretty positive I'll have nothing to add (yet) in terms of this method. smile

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I would be interested i hearing your thoughts on rods, and specifically lengths and actions. (maybe coming in nest segment)

I have seen on multiple occasions where all else being equal (reel, line, lure) one particular rod action has outproduced others. In general it seems as if the more moderate actions are more consistant producers. Almost to the point where you think they are too soft.

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Yes, rods will be a segment on it's own. There is alot more to rod selection for trolling than just picking one out because it's pretty. wink

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Good read like trolling. Some of the biggest fish I have caught is from trolling. I am looking to get new gear for next year. Want to try lead core too. I need to revamp my trolling gear and winter time is a great time for this discussion. I don't have any specific question's at this time but I will be fallowing this thread. Will this topic be for trolling walleye only or can we talk about pike and musky also?

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Ok I have a question for yeah. As far as crank baits go what brand and style is best used? For instance.

Lead core

Snap weights

Long lining

Planer boards. Are some brands and styles of baits used better for a specific method?

When pulling crawler spinners and need to get it down 30' would you use lead core or snap weights?

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Good questions.

As far as lead, vs. snapweights on a crawler harness, that will come later.

What cranks work best on each presentation, I really haven't found where you can say that this style of crank is for this presentation only.

With that being said, a given crank will act slightly different on each presentation, and sometimes the fish will want it one particular way.

For example, when trolling the "can line" on Pool 4, which is roughly 11-14' deep, any decent shad style bait can hit bottom even if long lined. The fish in this area can really show a preference to shad baits on lead over any other method. I don't know why. One day it can be Flicker Shads and the next it will be Lindy Shadlings, but it will have to be on lead.

We will get into leadcore and other weights deeper here right after the first of the year.

As far as trolling for Musky, the principals will still apply, but the rods and line selection will be much different.

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So when a guy is setting out 2 lines he might want to run one with lead core and the other with a snap weight to get it down in the zone but both lines should have on the same style and size of crank bait? But maybe different colors? Too find which set up the fish prefer.

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Good read, thanks. At what point do you consider switching techniques? Is it a time frame? Or switching lures? 1/2 hour or an hour? I have a bunch of cranks in my tackle box but I rarely troll because I don't have the confidence in them. I remember trolling for hours with my dad only to look back and see the rapala rolling on top of the water. I tune them now but after an hour of not getting anything I try something else.

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So when a guy is setting out 2 lines he might want to run one with lead core and the other with a snap weight to get it down in the zone but both lines should have on the same style and size of crank bait? But maybe different colors? Too find which set up the fish prefer.

If it were me, I'd base my presentation on conditions and use two different lures.

We will get into when/why to use the different presentations later. There are times and conditions where it is a must to use one over the other.

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Good read, thanks. At what point do you consider switching techniques? Is it a time frame? Or switching lures? 1/2 hour or an hour? I have a bunch of cranks in my tackle box but I rarely troll because I don't have the confidence in them. I remember trolling for hours with my dad only to look back and see the rapala rolling on top of the water. I tune them now but after an hour of not getting anything I try something else.

A big part of trolling is confidance in your skills and tools. You can't expect to read some stuff then go out and just kill them every time. I really wish it worked that way.

If you have cranks that you have zero confidance it, I'd get rid of them. Seriously, I'd get rid of them. Your not going to use them and if you do, you will probably swap them out right away anyways.

Tuning your cranks is a must, even Rapala's can get out of tune. This is where a good rod will be your friend. If it is good enough to show the wiggle, it will show when the wiggle is different. If it's different the lure is fouled up with a weed or some thing. That will make the lure run bad, run up to the surface or tangle with other lines. A fouled up lure when running multiple lines close together (like leadcore on the river) can make for a real bad mess. That leadcore can braid itself toghether in no time.

When to switch stuff up? If your marking alot of fish and are sure your in the right spot then I start to change things up. It might be speed, color, size and/or action until I either give up or they do. We've all been there, when everyone around you is catching fish and you've thrown everything including the kitchen sink at them and can't buy a bite. Not much you can do at that point.

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Good read, thanks. At what point do you consider switching techniques? Is it a time frame? Or switching lures? 1/2 hour or an hour? I have a bunch of cranks in my tackle box but I rarely troll because I don't have the confidence in them. I remember trolling for hours with my dad only to look back and see the rapala rolling on top of the water. I tune them now but after an hour of not getting anything I try something else.

If they're not running true, you'll see it on the rod tip...it should be pulsing. If not, reel up to check for weeds or a foul of some sort.

Mnfishinguy is the expert on this stuff, but I give it *maximum* 20 minutes without a bite. I just started trolling seriously last year, and I was amazed numerous times at how a lure change would make a HUGE difference. Sometimes it just takes (a lot of) time to figure out exactly what they want. To wit, one time this fall I was out for two hours with one fish. Switched to a flat rap (which was at the bottom of the tackle box....which is why it took me so long to get to it), and it was lights out. We had four on in twenty minutes. I've got no idea why fish are so preferential at times, but they are. Same was true one time out fishing leadcore: hours of no fish, and then I put on a wiggle wart (again, because it was at the bottom of my tackle box). That was what they wanted.

What I learned from the process: Change lures frequently. It sucks to be fishing alone because you can't cover as many options, but it's still better to try lots of things and go back to the "old standbys" than to waste $$ on gas and get nothing but a tan.

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Carmike sums that up pretty well.

That is the bad thing about fishing in Minnesota, you can only use one rod per person. That is part of the reason I like Green Bay so much. Three rods per person. You can dial it in pretty quick that way!

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This is really a fun topic and a fun way to fish.

I got more into walleye fishing probably 6 years ago with fall night trolling on both Cass Lake, Lake Mille Lacs, and a few other smaller lakes with good fall night bites.

Within the topic of trolling alone, there are plenty of different variations and techniques of which many have been mentioned. When learning, your probably best to start with the basics and expand from there. By basics... I'd say basic longlining crankbaits whether they are sticks (husky jerks & rogues) or shad style baits (shad raps, flicker shads, etc). The fall night bite is as basic as it gets although you compound things with the darkness of the night.

Figure out your boat control, figure out how to dial in your speed, figure out how deep a few basic crankbaits run on how much line, etc.

I don't run a big walleye boat with a kicker motor so it took some trial and error to dial in my speed which is so critical. I settled on the double trolling bag method tied off under the bow of the boat for pulling cranks. This has worked very well. I have great control and I can troll 1.5 to 2.0 mph very easily. I'm thinking of getting some slightly bigger bags to see if I can drop that speed to 1.0 mph which would be nice in the late late fall.

For pulling harnesses, I use my bowmount. That lets me play around with speeds in that 1.0mph mark very easily. I just have a PowerDrive V2 so I run the foot pedal by hand from the console. Works well. If I had a Terrova, I'd use the I-Pilot. I'd lose my foot pedal if I put I-Pilot on my PowerDrive.

I'd start learning these two tactics and then go from there. You can use the same rods and reels for each as well. From there... leadcore is an option but you'll need new rods and reels for lead.

It was mentioned earlier but electronics are soooo important for trolling. Waypoint or Icon where you catch fish. Depending on the type of structure I'm trolling, I'll spin around and pull back through that area as often as they keep biting. When they stop, I move on to find the next bunch of biters. Patterns will develop on your GPS after awhile.

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Yeah, an efficient method of controlling speed is on my to-do list for next year. Our drift sock is too big to work all that well for our boat, so last fall I ended up dropping two or three cinder blocks over the side and/or an anchor or two and/or the trolling motor. It was a bit of hassle, to say the least, plus wet hands from pulling up the ropes don't feel all that good when it's 20 degrees outside.

I was also amazed at how important speed was...on some nights, a few tenths of a mph too fast or too slow, and I'd catch nothing (some nights it didn't seem to matter at all). Heck, even going (relatively) the same speed but going down or into the wind would make a huge difference sometimes. A little boat surge would either turn them off completely, or make them bite. Odd things, fish.

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Awesome thread and good information. Here is a comparison of trolling methods that I have started to put together. I primarily fish the Mississippi River Pool 4 and the St. Croix where 2 lines are legal, if fishing inland MN waters a Dubuque rig would not be legal.

Walleye crank bait trolling methods evaluation

General definitions of the primary 6 methods:

Lead core – Weighted line with a 5’ to 50’ leader attached.

Long lining – Normal line with crank bait directly attached.

Snap weight – Normal line with a weight added in front of the crank bait.

3-way – A 3-way swivel to attach a crank bait and a weight on a dropper line.

Dubuque rig – Same as a 3-way but replaces the weight with a jig.

Hand line – Special reel, cable, shank, and weight. Basically the same as a 3-way rig.

Of the six methods discussed in this article 2 basic groupings stand out.

1. Lead core - Snap weight - Long lining

All 3 of these methods rely primarily on the dive curve of the crank bait to determine the depth.

These methods generally use deep diving crank baits. Deep diving crank baits will typically run 5’ to 10’ under the surface but specific crank baits can be purchased that will run much deeper without any additional weight.

The weight of the lead core line and snap weights is placed ahead of the crank bait to allow the baits to be fished deeper than the bait will dive by itself. Long lining relies only on the dive curve of the crank bait to determine the depth.

2. 3-way - Dubuque rig - Hand line

All 3 of the methods use the weight to get the crank baits to the bottom. Each of these methods employs some type of 3-way swivel with the weight and crank bait attached to the 3-way swivel. The weight for each of these methods is generally dragged on the bottom or in close proximity to the bottom.

These methods generally use shallow diving crank baits. Typically shallow diving crank baits will run 1’ to 4’ below the surface without the addition of any weight.

Lead core

Advantages:

Not as speed sensitive as other methods.

Detractors:

Weeds, leaves, (surface debris)

Long deployment time

Long lining

Advantages:

No special equipment or line needed.

Detractors:

Limited to the depth of the lures.

Snap weights

Advantages:

Quick deployment.

Can be fished deep.

Detractors:

Very speed sensitive. Line counter reels are useful. Need to remove snap prior to netting fish.

3-way

Advantages:

Follows bottom contour. Easily adjust to variable depths.

Detractors:

Storage when not in use.

Tangles when deploying.

Dubuque rig

Advantages:

Puts multiple baits on each line.

Detractors:

Tangles when deploying.

Cannot be used where multiple baits are not allowed.

Both baits are in close proximity so less area is covered with each rig.

Handline

Advantages:

Multiple bait deployment.

Adjusts quickly to depths.

Detractors:

Special equipment needed.

Initial investment.

No mechanical (drag) or leverage (rod) advantage when fighting fish.

Only 2 per boat can be used at any time.

Baits on each rig follow same line so not as much water is covered.

Methods:

Lead Core:

Lead core line is a braided line with a strand of lead inside the braid giving the line weight causing it to sink. Lead core line is used to get crank baits to greater depths than they would normally run when trolled using regular line. A lead core setup typically consists of a level wind reel, a trolling rod, lead core line, leader, and a deep diving crank bait. While not the least expensive method it can be done fairly inexpensively with existing equipment.

Most lead core line is segmented in multiple colors with each color representing 30’ of line. The approximate sink rate is 1’ for every 6’-8’ of line in the water. Deploying 5 colors (150’) of lead core will typically get a deep diving bait down to 20’-25’ depending on the speed and the dive curve of the bait.

Long Line:

Long lining is one of the lowest cost methods because it can be performed with existing equipment. Depth that can be fished is limited to the dive curve of the individual crank bait. In order to fish deeper depths, purchasing deeper diving baits will be necessary. Using smaller diameter line will also allow the bait to dive deeper but the added depth may only be a few inches. Long lining can work extremely well in shallow water or for wary fish because the bait can be deployed a long distance behind the boat allowing for the boat to be well past the fish when the bait comes by.

Snap Weight:

Snap Weight fishing is adding weight to the line ahead of the crank bait to make the lure run deeper than it would normally run. Typically anglers use Offshore Tackle OR16 clip and add a ½ to 6 ounce bell sinker to make a Snap Weight. The Snap Weight is clipped onto the line ahead of the lure.

Reducing speed sensitivity with snap weights:

·The heavier the weight the more speed sensitive it will be. Use the lightest weight possible to get the bait to the desired depth.

·Higher speeds will reduce speed sensitivity for a given weight.

·Greater distance between the snap weight and the bait reduces speed sensitivity. The closer the weight is to the bait the more immediate the effect of a speed change is on the bait.

·Deeper diving crank baits will reduce the effect of a speed change with a snap weight.

3-Way Rig:

A 3-way rig consists of a 3-way swivel attached to the end of the line with a short leader connected to a weight on the second connection of the swivel and on the 3rd swivel connection, a leader to the crank bait. The weight used will depend on the current, speed, and depth. Typically the weight will be ½ to 3 ounces but it is not uncommon in higher current, or when higher speeds are desired, to use 3 to 6 ounce weights.

3-way rigs can also be used very effectively to run live bait or plastics.

Dubuque Rig (AKA Denver Rig):

A Dubuque rig is the same principle as a 3-way rig but the bell sinker is replaced with a jig. Typically the jig on a Dubuque rig will be ½ to 3 ounces.

Dubuque rigs are also good for live bait or plastics.

Combining methods:

There is great advantage to having multiple methods available because each method can be combined with another method to facilitate putting more baits and types of baits in the water.

Combining methods that use deep and shallow diving lures allows the fish to show you what they are interested in.

Planer Boards:

For this discussion Planer boards were not considered a method by themselves because they are most commonly used as an augmentation to Long Lining, Snap Weight, or Lead Core methods. That being said, planer boards can be a very deadly method for trolling shallow flats or trying to pull Walleyes off of shorelines. Planer boards also give you the distinct advantage of covering a large swath of water in each pass.

Advantages:

Puts bait away from the boat and can be very advantageous when fishing shallow water.

Very useful for running multiple lines on the same side of the boat and fishing a shoreline while keeping the boat away from the shore.

Detractors:

Not easily adjusted for varying depths and deployment time is longer than most other methods.

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even going (relatively) the same speed but going down or into the wind would make a huge difference sometimes. A little boat surge would either turn them off completely, or make them bite. Odd things, fish.

We will touch on this in the third segment and I'll explaine how to combat the situation to make things more consistant.

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This topic has been too quite so how often should a guy troll? I find my self only trolling as a last resort if live bait ain't producing any fish. Where I should first troll to find active fish? I think it's a lack of confidence in my trolling skills why I use live bait rigs more. If a fish won't bite on live bait why would they on a crank bait?

How do you guys incorporate trolling in an average day of walleye fishing?

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For me, it depends on what body of water I'm on.

But, since I fish almost always on Mille Lacs, I'll say that I start with trolling...and I start trolling fast, especially when I'm on the flats. I did my best last summer with leadcore going at least 2.0, and most likely 2.5, pulling cranks and looking for fish.

If I saw a fish, I'd mark it. Another one, I'd mark it, too. Two fish in close proximity (with neither biting), I'd reel up the leadcore and either pull a spinner through them, or Lindy them, or toss a bobber on top of them. Most of the time, using the electronics, I'd use trolling as a search tool. I'd even get lazy and pull the lead just about as fast as the lures would troll without going out of whack (about 3.0 or faster), and I was amazed that I'd catch fish going that fast. But I did--sometimes. And if I marked them but they didn't bite, I'd pull back through them with a slower presentation.

Of course, last year on Mille Lacs, you could've caught a walleye on a beer can with a treble hook attached, so we'll see how my strategy works when the bite isn't so good.

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The next section will be coming out today or Thursday (I'm going fishing tomorrow!).

How often should you troll? That is a great question. For me, it depends on the lake I am going to. If I am going to say Green Bay or LOW, trolling will be the first thing I do. These types of lakes have vast feeding areas and the fish tend to be spread out. If I'm going to go to Mille Lacs, Leech or Oahe, live bait will be the method of choice to start out with in the first half of the season. These lakes have big feeding areas as well and are great trolling lakes, but sometimes boat traffic will force your hand. It is fun to watch people change up and start to cover water after they see you pick off a few in front of them if there is room to troll around the drifters.

That dosen't really answer your question, but think of it this way. Say you are going to Mille Lacs in June and you KNOW the fish are on the mud, there really isn't a reason to start out trolling there and trying to weave in and out of the other boats. Now if your on an unfamiliar lake or don't have a real confidant idea of where the fish are, now is the time to troll cranks. Troll where you think they should be, troll close by, troll deeper and troll shallower untill you make contact. This is where a GPS comes in so handy. Put an icon at every fish you make contact with and pretty soon you have a map full of answers.

How do I incorporate trolling into my daily fishing? After about the 4th of July, my bait rig rods start to collect dust. As I get better at this game I have found that trolling, whether it's cranks or crawlers, is now my go to method. Go fishing some day and leave your bait rods and gear at home, force yourself into it and once the confidance is there you will enjoy it more. Minnesota, and it's "One line Wisdom" really does put a damper on the learning curve.

Remember too, trolling dosen't just mean cranks, it means crawler/spinners too.

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First post, and new member here ... (new to trolling)

 

I know this thread is 5 yrs old, but is there a continuation to this thread somewhere? This is quite honestly THE single best read I've run across!!! 

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Theoutdoorsman3276 said:

First post, and new member here ... (new to trolling)

 

I know this thread is 5 yrs old, but is there a continuation to this thread somewhere? This is quite honestly THE single best read I've run across!!! 

 

Welcome to the forum.  Yes it is an old post but still good info for sure.  Hope you find other posts that or of interest to you.  Feel free to start a new one as well. :-)

Edited by leech~~

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    • Thanks! It weighed in over what I thought which was disappointing. It was right around 7000 lbs with full propane tanks and some other stuff in it. We actually weighed it just after getting spray foamed and it was already at like 5000 lbs I’m not sure how others that did the same style steel stud house have a finished weight around 5500 lbs.    The cost in materials was above 20K but below 25 still too scared to finish adding the receipts. We really tried to use the best materials we could find and not cut any corners. When I was pricing stuff out before we started my ballpark was 19K but I forgot to add a tv screws wire and little stuff like that.    Yeah it took a lot of time but I enjoyed it for the most part. I’m actually getting kind of bored now and don’t know what to do with all the free time. 
    • Thanks for taking the time to do a write up and post all the pics! That alone is a big undertaking in itself. Nice work.   any idea what finished weight is for the entire house?    And just a ballpark figure are you willing to share what it costs in material to build something like this?   I can’t imagine how many hours of your own labor you got into this build. I think it turned out amazing.
    • Alright here’s the finished product. I think it turned out pretty nice. Still need a stove/ range but working on it.    Underneath the lift bed there are 7 lights and two speakers. There are 4 lights above the lift bed. The 3 middle lights underneath are on one button the outer 4 are on a different button and above are on a separate button.  55” smart tv recessed into to wall. The speakers really kick out some sound in this thing though. The tv sound comes out of the 5 speakers in the house which are all ran through the stereo and an amp.      Hole lights  Single light above the stove area  This door is for the satellite receiver. The black center piece is tinted acrylic so you can still use the remote with the door shut. The hole just below the tv is also so you can use the tv remote.  Battery monitor  Supply and return water temperatures for the in floor heat. I was actually really surprised I got my 20 degree delta t I calculated for.  Lights above lift bed. Lift bed in lowest position. Could go lower but that’s just where we put the lowest at.  Different height if people are sleeping below.  Folding table.  These are the cabinets inside the bathroom wall. These are only about 9” deep but I think they will be deep enough for a little more storage. The converter is in here as well it is just above the wiring panel. And the large center square is a false front so you can access the tv wires. I think we are going to go with the dry flush toilet. I put a little 12 v outlet in there so it can br ran off the house batteries.     The only other thing I did that i don’t know if others have done is I wired the rear porch light to the reverse wire of the trailer plug. So when you put the truck in revers that porch light comes on and lights everything up.    I think that’s everything. Feel free to ask any questions if you have any. And thanks again to lipripper and others for posting their builds the information was a ton of help and sorry if I copied too much of your design. 
    • Next we made the back benches that our couches sit on. These things are very comfortable. The couches are the same ones they use in the firebrand fish houses. Matt from fish n style ordered them for us.     Both fold out to be beds. We also bought a 4” thick piece of foam that can go over the whole thing to make one bed when it’s used for camping.  Under each couch we made drawers. I figured it would be a pain to have to lay on the ground and open some doors to get something. They actually can hold a ton of stuff.  Both rear couches have the drawers.      Next we started working on our cabinets above the wheel wells. The two inside openings have doors and the outer two are soft close drawers.      We then made some countertops. They were actually really easy to make.    For our our upper bunk in the back we wanted it to be a lift bed. We did similar to what lip ripper did without the strut trolly things. We used some plastic that just keeps the bed within the strut. For our unistrut we found some super light aluminum strut that worked great. We are going to make a black cover to go over the foam.   inside the bed looks like this.      We have two motors inside the bed. One motor runs one side and the other runs the other. So basically the motor is in the middle and two cables come off of the wheel going opposite directions. Each cable goes around a pulley so now they are both heading for the wall. Once they get to the edge of the bed there is another pulley that directs the cable up towards the ceiling. On top of the strut we have a bolt that the cable is connected to. Each side does this. And the motors are wired together and are ran by a switch. We have holes drilled at different heights on the strut for pins to go through and the bed then rests on the pins. The motors were kind of pulling the bed up at different speeds so we contacted the motor company and they said thar getting two motors to go exactly the same speed without spending a ton of money is very hard to do. So we are going to try and either find one motor to somehow control all four sides or somehow connect the two motors with a shaft. But it does go up and down just one side ends up being about an inch higher once you get to the top.    Next up finished pictures.             
    • The house is done I’m just slowly putting pictures up and describing it.    Next thing we did was have it spray foamed. Which was a nightmare we went with the cheaper guy which was a mistake. I would not recommend American Spray foam which is who we used. After it was spray foamed we started the in floor heat similar to liprippers 2017 build. We put down 2 layers of 3/4” 250 pink foam board. In the top layer we used a router to make a groove where we wanted our pex to go worked out pretty slick. Next we put down as many heat transfer plates as we could. We used these little pex clips that got screwed into the plywood to hold the pex down around bends and a few straight places. Next we Pushed the pex into the heat transfer plates and the clips. We did ours with one zone that was around 120’ of pex.  I took a bunch of pictures of where all the pex ran with the tape measure showing how far away each line was from walls and stuff so We didn’t screw into it accidentally      We then put a layer of aluminum over all the pex.      We then stained all our pine tongue and groove. We used Jacobean then went over it with grey for a little different look. I think it turned out pretty good. For the trim pieces and cabinets we used special walnut. After the pine was stained we started nailing it to the furring strips.  For the window casings we used cedar in case there was any condensation. For the window trim we used pine. Once we got to this point I was a little nervous thinking our stain looked like something you’d see in your grandparents house but we kept going.  All these wires are for the lights and speakers we put in the lift bed.  We kind of installed lights and other things as we went.  Soms of the tongue and groove pine looked really cool and unique when we were staining and we set those aside and used them on the front wall. We thought about doing some fake stone looking stuff  but we were feeling the time crunch.  Next we started making some upper cabinets and finishing the window casings and trim. We’ve never done any of this so we were just kind of learning as we went.      Once we got the upper cabinets made we screwed them in place.    next we put up the backer for the tv. We used 3/4” pine I think they were 10” wide. Wasn’t exactly sure which tv we were getting and they all vary a bit in size so we stained it in case you could see behind it. Oh I forgot we also put the rubber coin floor down. We purchased it from garage floor LLC. The first roll they sent took like a month to get and it was the wrong floor but after I told them I needed the right floor right away they had the new roll on the doorstep the next day which was surprising. The floor got screwed down under cabinets and where the hole covers went. But by the time we got to the floor it was cold already and new we would have to figure something out in the summer when it got hot and expanded. So this summer when it was good and hot we pulled the edges of the floor tight and used some left over VHB tape which actually worked to keep it tight.  After the floor was done we started piping the in floor heat. We accidentally broke the  insulation around the water heater which is why it’s taped. We put some unions off of the pump in case it fails. We use the furnace to get the house up to temp while the floor is heating up but once everything is up and running the furnace never kicks on. I was trying to figure out how I wanted to control the system and was trying to ask lipripper questions but he has a patent on his so he couldn’t really answer.  What I ended up doing was running 5v from the arduino board to the thermostat. I then ran a wire from the thermostat to my relay board. The relay board I am using  closes the circuit when it gets 5 volts. So when the thermostat calls for heat 5 volts is allowed to pass through the thermostat back to the relay board closing the circuit that I have wired to the hydronic pump. You could use any relay for this just have to pick the voltages that you have available in your fish house. So I’m not really sure how lipripper did his but that is how I did mine and it works.  The whole in floor heat system fits under the front couch. I call this the mechanical room since all the moving parts are under this couch. We have the hydronic system, the hydraulic pump to raise and lower the fish house and our batteries. Only have the one battery in this picture but we have one battery for our hydraulics and two 6v gold cart batteries wires in series for everything else. The two 6v batteries are charged by the converter and the single battery is charged by a one bank minnkota  on board charger.     
    • NORTHWEST Black Hawk Lake
      Water temperatures are around 80 degrees. Water levels are 5 inches over the crest of the spillway. Bluegill - Slow: Try Town Bay, Ice House Point, and the North Shore. Use a small hair or tube jig with a small piece of crawler fished under a bobber in 5-6 feet of water. Target deeper fish this time of year on the rock piles near Gunshot Hill, Cottonwood Point, and the East Basin. Walleye - Fair: Try leeches or crawler harnesses around Ice House Pt, the dredge cut near Denison Beach, and around the rock piles near Gunshot Hill, Cottonwood Point and the East Basin. Largemouth Bass - Good: Catch largemouth all over the lake using 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. There is a 15 inch minimum length limit on largemouth bass in Black Hawk Lake.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Use stink bait, cut bait, or crawler fished on the bottom along Ice House Point and in Town Bay. Look for fish along rocky shorelines this time of year.  Brushy Creek Lake
      There is a 15 inch minimum length limit on largemouth bass in Brushy Creek Lake, and a 40 inch minimum length limit for musky. Walleye - Fair: Use minnows and leaches in 15-20 feet of water. Black Crappie - Fair: Try minnows on a jig in 10-20 feet of water near submerged structure. Yellow Perch - Fair: Find perch along the vegetation and deeper structure. Largemouth Bass - Good: Catch bass along weed lines near shore just about anywhere with traditional bass lures. There is a 15 inch minimum length limit on largemouth bass in Brushy Creek Lake.  Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
      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: Boat anglers are picking up fish trolling crankbaits or drifting crawler harnesses on the edges of the dredge cuts around the lake in about 8 feet of water. White Bass - Fair: Use crankbaits; most action has been from boat while fishing dredge cuts.  Swan Lake 
      Bluegill - Fair: Use a small jig tipped with crawler along the dam and off the jetties in 3-6 feet of water. Most fish are 6-7 inches.  Water temperatures in Black Hawk District lakes are around 80 degrees. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.   Beeds Lake
      Black Crappie - Good: Drift fish or troll with a tube jig or small minnow.  Clear Lake
      Clear Lake is 3 inches above crest. Surface water temperature is 81 degrees. Walleye - Fair: Troll spinners near the edge of vegetation in 3 to 6 feet of water. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use stink bait or cut bait after dark. Black Crappie - Good: Try fishing the edge of the vegetation with a jig and minnow.  Crystal Lake
      Bluegill – Fair: Bluegill are biting. Use a small piece of crawler and a bobber in 2 to 3 feet of water. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Bass are biting spinners and plastic baits. Black Crappie - Good: Drift or troll small tube jigs in the dredge cut.  Lake Smith
      Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth bass are biting on a variety of baits. Bluegill –Good: Bluegill are biting. Use a small piece of crawler and a bobber in 2 to 3 feet of water.  Upper Pine Lake
      Largemouth Bass - Good: Use topwater baits.  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
      Yellow Bass - Good: Excellent bite continues with good numbers of fish being caught. Cast mini-jigs or hair-jigs or use small baits tipped with wigglers. Walleye - Good: Numbers of fish are being caught with traditional baits; good numbers of yellow bass are mixed in with the catch. Bluegill - Good: Anglers report a good panfish bite of bluegill and crappie continues. Use small jigs tipped with waxworms in the weed lines.  Lake Pahoja
      Bluegill - Good: Recent surveys show good numbers of large angler size fish in the lake.  Lost Island Lake
      Walleye - Good: Walleye action has improved; reports of the best action in areas with flow. Yellow Bass - Good: Reports of yellow bass being caught. Use small lures such as a twister tail or hair jigs. Channel Catfish - Good: Numbers of fish were caught over the weekend, contact the local bait shop for more information.   Spirit Lake
      Walleye - Good: Troll live bait or crankbaits. Yellow Perch - Good: Report of yellow perch action "picking up" on the lake with good numbers of angler acceptable size fish being caught. Northern Pike - Good: Look for areas with flow for the best action. West Okoboji Lake
      Bluegill - Good: Rock piles in deeper water with stands of 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 are stabilizing, but flows remain high. Visibility has improved. Visit the USGS Current Water Data website for current water level information. Walleye - Good: Use a jig tipped with a crawler, minnow or twister tail. Look for fish near deep water drop offs. Channel Catfish - Slow: Target snags for catfish using stink baits or chicken liver fished on bottom. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Use a variety of jigs or spinners near brush piles. Black Crappie - Fai: Crappie are keying into shallow rocky shorelines. Use small jigs tipped with twister tail or minnow.  Decorah District Streams
      Yellow wild parsnip is blooming. Wear long sleeved clothing when walking through it to prevent skin contact. Flows remain high, but most can be fished. Catchable trout are stocked weekly as weather and water conditions permit. Listen to the trout stocking hotline (563-927-5736) for daily information. Brook Trout - Good: A variety of aquatic and terrestrial insects, like ants and beetles, are more numerous. Use care not to spook a feeding fish. Brown Trout - Good: Hendrickson, caddis, and cranefly hatches are occurring. Crickets are common along streams now. Use hendrickson, gnat or beadhead nymph patterns. Pale yellow, black, brown, and grey colors work best. Try using terrestrial patterns for crickets and ants. Rainbow Trout - Good: Try a piece of worm or small cheese chunk on a hook under a bobber in the deeper holes or floated past an undercut bank. A variety of small spinnerbaits also work. Lake Hendricks
      Water is stained green; limited visibility.  Best bite is in the evening and early morning. Black Crappie - Fair: Use small jigs in shallow areas. Anglers are finding large numbers of small fish. Largemouth Bass - Good: Use spinnerbaits and soft plastics along edges of vegetation. Bluegill - Fair: Try a small jig tipped with small piece of worm along the shoreline.  Lake Meyer
      Green algae bloom continues. Water clarity is good. Water temperatures are in the mid 80's. Bluegill - Fair: Use a hook tipped with a worm in shallow water along vegetated edges. Black Crappie - Slow: Try a hook tipped with a worm or small spinner bait along a rocky shoreline. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use topwater baits  along weed edges.  Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
      Water clarity is much improved. Water levels are stabilizing, but flows remain high. Be aware of river conditions ahead of you; snags and log jams may have moved or trees may be blocking the river corridor.  Walleye - Fair: Bring an assortment of tackle to find what works best for your location and time of day. Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Use feathered spinnerbaits or crankbaits near rocky ledges.  Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
      Water levels are stabilizing with much improved clarity. Trees and other debris may be blocking the main channel. Visit the USGS Current Water Data website for more information. Walleye - Fair: Cast bright colored jigs and twister tails over deep water drop offs. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Use spinnerbaits and crankbaits near rock ledges and undercut banks.  Volga Lake
      Algae bloom continues with warm water temperatures. Fish activity is better toward evening. Black Crappie - Good: Find fish near submersed structure or in open water. Use a light colored jig with twistertail. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use topwater lures around structure. Channel Catfish - Fair: Find catfish shallow in early morning or late night. Use worm, chicken liver, or cut bait fished on the bottom. Bluegill - Good: Use small jigs tipped with a small piece of worm along shallow rocky areas. Common Carp - Fair: Use bright lights and bows in the shallow bays at night .  Rain Thursday and Friday; breezy. Temperatures will be in the 80's. Rivers and streams with better watersheds will clear faster .For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.   Big Woods Lake
      Largemouth Bass – Fair. Bluegill – Fair. Black Crappie – Fair. Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
      Vegetation has become abundant around lake edges, so adjust strategies to fish over or through plants. Catfish anglers are fishing deep water with frogs, shrimp or stink baits. 
       Largemouth Bass – Fair: Size has been good. Bluegill – Fair. Channel Catfish - Excellent: Catfish are biting on a variety of baits. Best bite is early morning and late evening. Catfish size has been excellent.  Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
      The Cedar River is running at 5100 CFS as of July 19 in Waterloo or about 2 times above median flow. Smallmouth Bass – Fair. Walleye – Fair. Channel Catfish – Good: Use stinkbaits or fresh baits. George Wyth Lake
      Bluegill - Fair. Largemouth Bass – Fair.  Manchester District Streams
      Trout streams in Delaware, Dubuque, and Jackson Counties are in good condition. Trout stocking was completed as scheduled during the week of July 16-20. Try caddis in the late evening and hoppers during midday. Stocked fish are biting on a variety of presentations. Brown Trout – Fair. Brook Trout – Good. Rainbow Trout – Good. Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
      The Maquoketa River at Manchester is flowing at about 136 CFS as of July 19; this is near average for median flows on this date. Smallmouth Bass – Fair. Walleye – Fair. Channel Catfish – Fair.  Maquoketa River (below Monticello)
      White Sucker – Fair. Walleye - Fair: Use crankbaits or live bait. Smallmouth Bass – Slow.  Martens Lake
      Expect to fish through and around vegetation. Adjust tactics as needed, including heavy baits or topwater options. Largemouth Bass – Good. Plainfield
      Bluegill – Fair. Largemouth Bass – Fair. South Prairie Lake
      Vegetation has become abundant; adjust strategies accordingly, including topwater baits and weedless baits. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use topwater baits. Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
      The Wapsipinicon River at Independence has a flow of about 675 CFS as of July 19; this water discharge rate is about 2 times above median levels for this time of year. Fishing has been improving with better water conditions . Northern Pike – Slow. Smallmouth Bass – Fair. Channel Catfish – Fair. Water flows in east-central Iowa rivers have improved greatly since last week, but are still high in the Cedar, Shell Rock, and Wapsipinicon. Lakes are generally providing some fair bass fishing. Trout streams are providing excellent fishing opportunity. Call the N.E. Iowa district office at 563-927-3276 for more information.   MISSISSIPPI RIVER Mississippi River Pool 9
      River level at Lansing is 11.7 feet with a very gradual fall. Water temperature is near 81 degrees. New Albin ramp road is closed due to water over the road. The Lansing Village Creek ramp and parking lot construction is expected to start July 30 and the ramp will be closed through October. For more updates, call the Guttenberg Fisheries Management office at 563-252-1156. Walleye - Fair: Fishing has been tough with high water. Some walleye are being picked up bottom bouncing crawlers on side channel and bottom structure. Yellow Perch - No Report: Still a few perch biting along the rocky shorelines and tailwater areas. Sauger - Slow: Try a lightweight jig tipped with minnow fished on the bottom along main channel edges and wing dams. Northern Pike - Fair: Northern are feeding in the vegetation along main channel borders. Cast spinners or a minnow along edges of debris piles. Flathead Catfish - Fair: Use a large shiner or sunfish in deeper holes. Channel Catfish - Good: Channel cats should be spawning. Use a crawler fished on the bottom in current eddies. Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass are biting along the vegetation in backwater lakes and areas protected from the current. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Fishing has been difficult with floating flood debris and weeds. Find smallmouth along shorelines in slight current off rocky points. White Bass - Fair: Cast flashy spinners or crankbaits along the rocks in main channel current for big white bass. Bluegill - Fair: Try fishing for bluegills in the flooded trees; use a surface lure or poppers to imitate the mayflies. Freshwater Drum - Good: Freshwater drum are actively biting in areas of current. Drop a heavily weighted worm rig into the current for some big fish action.  Mississippi River Pool 10
      River level is 620.5 feet at Lynxville and is slowly receding. Water temperature is 81 degrees at the Lock and Dam 9. Sny Magill ramp still has water over the road. Walleye- Fair: Fishing has been tough with high water. Some walleyes are being picked up bottom bouncing crawlers on side channel and bottom structure. Yellow Perch - No Report: Still a few perch biting along the rocky shorelines and tailwater areas. Sauger - Slow: Try a lightweight jig tipped with minnow fished on the bottom along main channel edges and wing dams. Northern Pike - Fair: Northern are feeding in the vegetation along main channel borders. Cast spinners or a minnow along edges of debris piles. Flathead Catfish - Fair: Use a large shiner or sunfish in deeper holes. Channel Catfish - Good: Channel cats should be spawning. Use a crawler fished on the bottom in current eddies. 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 - Good: Bass are biting along the vegetation in backwater lakes and areas protected from the current. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Fishing has been difficult with floating flood debris and weeds. Find smallmouth along shorelines in slight current off rocky points. White Bass - Fair: Cast flashy spinners or crankbaits along the rocks in main channel current for big white bass. Bluegill - Fair: Try fishing for bluegills in the flooded trees using a surface lure or poppers to imitate the mayflies. Freshwater Drum - Good: Freshwater drum are actively biting in areas of current. Drop a heavily weighted worm rig into the current for some big fish action.  Mississippi River Pool 11
      River level is 11.4 feet at Guttenberg and is slowly receding. Water temperature is 75 degrees at Lock and Dam 10. Guttenberg south ramp is now open. Walleye - Fair: Fishing has been tough with high water. Some walleyes are being picked up bottom bouncing crawlers on side channel and bottom structure. Yellow Perch - No Report: Still a few perch biting along the rocky shorelines and tailwater areas. Sauger - Slow: 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: Use a large shiner or sunfish in deeper holes. Channel Catfish - Good: Channel cats should be spawning.Use a crawler fished on the bottom in current eddies. Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass are biting along the vegetation in backwater lakes and areas protected from the current. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Fishing has been difficult with floating flood debris and weeds. Find smallmouth along shorelines in slight current off rocky points. White Bass - Fair: Cast flashy spinners or crankbaits along the rocks in main channel current for big white bass. Bluegill - Fair: Try fishing for bluegills in the flooded trees using a surface lure or poppers to imitate the mayflies. Freshwater Drum - Good: Freshwater drum are actively biting in areas of current. Drop a heavily weighted worm rig into the current for some big fish action.  Upper Mississippi River levels remain high with only a slight downward trend. Many ramps have reopened. Be aware of floating flood debris. Water temperature is in the upper 70's to 80's. Fish have been elusive in the high water, but clarity has improved this week.    Mississippi River Pool 12
      Water levels are near 11 feet at the Dubuque Lock and Dam and near 13 feet at the RR bridge. Expect water to drop slowly this upcoming week. Water clarity is improving. The water temperature is around 81 degrees. Channel Catfish - Excellent: In flooding conditions, most fish hang around near bank using food washing into the system. Try stinkbait or worms near shore. Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Most anglers use a simple egg sinker and worm rig. Drum will be hanging out relatively near shore in moderate current areas. Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth bass are being caught along the edge of flooding water. White Bass - Good: Looks for schools of white bass feeding on the surface in the morning and evening hours. Bluegill - Fair: Some bluegill have finally returned to angler creels. Try bobber and worms in clearer backwater areas.  Mississippi River Pool 13
      Water level is 12.5 feet at Bellevue and is receding. Expect a small drop in levels this upcoming week. Smaller boat ramps still have water and debris on them. The north ramp at Sabula is not in use this year due to bridge construction. The water is turbid, but is clearing up. The channel water temperature is around 81 degrees. Channel Catfish - Excellent: Especially in flooding conditions, most fish hang around near bank using food washing into the system. Try stinkbait or worms near shore. Freshwater Drum - Excellent: The drum bite is on. Fish worms with an egg sinker in moderate current areas. Fish near the shorelines if possible. Largemouth Bass - Good: Both largemouth and smallmouth are being caught. Most are feeding along the flooding edge. Use a bright colored spinner in the turbid water. White Bass - Good: Look for feeding schools of white bass in the morning and evenings. Small spinners and white jigs work best.  Mississippi River Pool 14
      Water levels are receding throughout Pool 14; expect it to continue to continue to recede. Presently levels are near 12 feet near Fulton, 14.2 feet at Camanche and 8.4 feet at LeClaire. The water temperature is around 82 degrees. Water clarity is poor, but is improving. Channel Catfish - Excellent: Especially in flooding conditions, most fish hang around near bank using food washing into the system. Try stinkbait or worms near shore. Freshwater Drum - Good: Use a simple egg sinker/worm rig in moderate current areas. Find fish near the shoreline in flooded conditions. Largemouth Bass - Good: Bright colored spinners fished along flooded shorelines are picking up some bass.  Mississippi River Pool 15
      Water levels are receding in Pool 15. Most smaller boat ramps have debris on them, but most are useable. Presently the water is 12 feet at Rock Island. Water clarity is poor, but is improving. The water temperature is near 82 degrees. Channel Catfish - Good: Especially in flooding conditions, most fish hang around near bank using food washing into the system. Try stinkbait or worms near shore. Freshwater Drum - Good: Use an egg sinker and worm rig fished near shore in flooded conditions. Drum will use freshly washed in food in newly flooded habitats.  Water levels are high, but are receding slowly; we are out of flood stages throughout the district. Boat ramps are getting back in working order, but some are still under water. Water clarity is fair. If you have any angling questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.    Mississippi River Pool 16
      Tailwater stage is 11.38 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in Davenport and is falling. Flood stage is 15 feet. The docks are being reported as in at the Marquette St. ramp in Davenport. The Fairport Recreation Area has a dock in at the upper ramp. Channel Catfish - Fair: Some channel catfish are being caught in Sunset Marina on stinkbait. Try also above brush piles and snags in the back channels. Walleye - Fair: Reports of some walleyes being caught trolling between the mouth of the Rock River and Sunset Marina. Try fishing on the wingdams along Credit Island with crankbaits or three-way rigs with crawlers. Mississippi River Pool 17
      Tailwater stage is 10.48 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and is falling. Big Timber is closed due to high water. Fishing has been slow with the high water. Fishing has been slow with the high water conditions. Channel Catfish - No Report: Try fishing above snag piles along the side channels and main channel with stinkbait or shad. Walleye - No Report: Look for walleyes on the wing dams; use crankbaits or three-way rigs with crawlers. Trolling crankbaits by GPC can work, too. Bluegill - No Report: Look for bluegills in the backwaters around brush piles. Try fishing with pieces of worms under a bobber.  Mississippi River Pool 18
      Tailwater stage is 11.87 feet at Lock and Dam 17 above New Boston and is falling. The gates are still out of the water at the dam. Flood stage is 15 feet. Fishing has been slow with the high water conditions. Channel Catfish - No Report: Try fishing above brush piles and snags along side channels and the main channel for catfish; use stinkbait or shad. Bluegill - No Report: Look for bluegills in the backwaters around brush piles. Try fishing with worms under a bobber.  Mississippi River Pool 19
      Tailwater stage is 8.22 feet at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington and is falling. Flood stage is 10 feet. River level is 13.34 feet at Burlington and is falling. Flood stage is 15 feet. River level at Fort Madison is 527.02 feet and flood stage is 528 feet. Fishing has been slow with the high and muddy water conditions. Channel Catfish - No Report: Try fishing above brush piles and snags along the side channels and main channel; use stinkbait or shad. Bluegill - No Report: Look for bluegills in the backwaters around brush piles. Try fishing with worms under a bobber.  River stages are still high, but have been falling. Fishing is being reported as slow. Main channel water temperature is around 82 degrees. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062. SOUTHEAST Central Park Lake
      The lake is currently drained as a renovation project is finishing up.  Coralville Reservoir
      The lake is at normal summer pool. Channel Catfish - Fair: Best action is drifting or trolling cut bait in the channel. Black Crappie – Slow: Fish steep rock banks for suspended fish.  Diamond Lake
      No minnows are allowed here. The fish cleaning station is open. Black Crappie - Fair: Try small jigs fished around the brush piles or drift the basin. Most fish are 7-9 inches. Bluegill - Fair: Use small jigs or worms around shallow rock or brush. Many fish are around 6-7 inches. Channel Catfish - Good: Catfishing has picked up over the past week.  Iowa Lake (Iowa County)
      Largemouth Bass - Fair. Bluegill - Good. Black Crappie - Good. Channel Catfish - Good.  Kent Park Lake
      The lake is drained for a lake renovation project currently underway. It is scheduled to be completed next spring.  Lake Macbride
      Only motors under 10hp may be used at no-wake speed. Water temperatures are in the 80's. Black Crappie - Slow: Fish deeper brush or look for suspended fish off breaks. Walleye - Fair: Troll crankbaits or jig live bait. Most fish are in 8-13 inches. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Some fish are still shallow while other fish have pulled off to deeper rock for the summer. Best bite is early in the day. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Slow: Look for schools roaming over deep water feeding on juvenile shad. Early and late in the day are best. Bluegill - Fair: Some are shallow in pockets while others have moved to deeper rock. Size is marginal at best. Channel Catfish - Fair: Evenings are best.  Pleasant Creek Lake
      The lake is still 5 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. Check your boat and trailer for the invasive plant, Brittle Naiad; it is abundant here. White Bass – Fair: Fish windblown shores or look for schools in open water.  Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: These are mixed in with the white bass. Mornings and evenings are best. Bluegill – Slow: Fish weed edges. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use chicken liver or shrimp. Walleye - Slow.   Rodgers Park Lake
      Largemouth Bass – Fair.  Wapsipinicon River (Troy Mills to Oxford Junction)
      River levels are finally receding. Bluegill - Fair: Use small jigs or worms in the backwaters. Black Crappie - Fair: Try jigs or minnows around brush in the backwaters.  For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.   Des Moines River (Ottumwa to Farmington)
      Channel Catfish - Fair: Target log jams and rocked shorelines. Watch for water levels to change with the recent rains. Hawthorn Lake
      Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use spinnerbaits along the rocky shorelines and rubber worms around the deeper structure. Bluegill - Fair: Try small jigs tipped with live bait along the rocky shorelines and the weed line. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use chicken liver or stinkbait in areas with 4-6 feet of water.  Lake Keomah
      Bluegill - Fair: Use small jigs tipped with live bait near shoreline and around the fishing jetties. Black Crappie - Fair: Try fishing deep structure with a jig and minnow. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use stinkbait or chicken liver. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Cast spinnerbaits or crankbaits around the fishing jetties and along the dam. Switch to rubber worms and deeper structure as the day heats up.  Lake Sugema
      Largemouth Bass - Fair: Target deeper structure with rubber worms or jig-n-pig combos. 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 fishing jetties. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use dead chubs or stinkbait along the dam or around the fishing jetties.  Lake Wapello
      Channel Catfish - Fair: Use chicken liver or stinkbait around areas with rip-rapped shorelines or rock piles. Largemouth Bass - Good: Fish deeper structure with rubber worms or crawdad imitations. Bluegill - Fair: Use small jigs tipped with a chunk of night crawler in areas around aquatic vegetation or near the fishing jetties. White Crappie - Slow: Try minnows or jig and minnows in deeper structure and the outer edge of the weed line.  Rathbun Reservoir
      The current lake level is 905.02 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. Channel Catfish - Good: Use stinkbait or chicken liver in areas with water running into the lake. White Crappie - Fair: Use minnows around deeper structure. Trolling small crankbaits can also catch suspended crappies. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) - Fair: Troll crankbaits along rocky shorelines and around rock piles. Try also vertical jigging in the same areas . Walleye - Fair: Walleye bite has slowed from earlier in the year. Use night crawler rigs or troll crankbaits around rock piles and submerged points.Leeches can also be productive this time of year.  Red Haw Lake
      Largemouth Bass - Good: Cast the shorelines in the early part of the day and then fish deeper structure as the day warms up. Black Crappie - Fair: Try tube jigs along the shorelines. Bluegill - Fair: Use small jigs tipped with live bait around the shorelines and fishing jetties. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try night crawlers around the fishing jetties or along the dam.  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 Big Creek Lake
      Walleye - Slow: The walleye bite has become tough since the shad spawn created abundant small forage. Target the upper end of the lake in shallow water, preferably by any vegetation. Cast or troll shallow diving shad imitating crankbaits or troll spinner rigs with night crawlers with little weight to fish 3-10 feet deep. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) - Good: Troll and cast crankbaits, spoons or in-line spinners in the main lake. Look for schools of fish busting shad on the surface.  Hooper Area Pond
      Black Crappie - Fair: Anglers drifting and trolling jigs mid-lake are picking up some nice 10-12 inch crappies. Keep your baits in the top 6 feet of water.  Lake Ahquabi
      Largemouth Bass - Good: Cast crankbaits in 4 to 8 feet of water in the evenings.  Red Rock Reservoir
      White Bass - Fair: High water levels are spreading fish out, but it is still the best time of year to target aggressive white bass and hybrid striped bass. Look for shad schools breaking the surface of the water and troll shad imitating spoons and shallow diving crankbaits.  Rock Creek Lake
      White Crappie - Good: Drift or slowly troll jigs or minnows in the lower half of the lake in the mornings to just after noon.  For more information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers, call Ben Dodd at 641-891-3795 or Andy Otting at 515-204-5885.   Cold Springs District Farm Ponds
      Water clarity in most ponds have recovered from heavy rains in July. Always get permission to fish privately-owned ponds. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are in their summer pattern in ponds. Concentrate on suspended fish and along weed lines during the summer months.  Black Crappie - Fair: Find crappies suspended and around structure. Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth bass are very active and can be caught with a variety of lures and plugs. Fish shallow early and late and go deeper during the middle of the day. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try along weed edges and around structure.  Farm Creek Lake
      Farm creek will offer good fishing this year. Black Crappie - No Report: Black crappie in Farm Creek are quality size fish. Concentrate fishing the channel during the summer. Bluegill - Fair: Find bluegills in the open water portion of the lake and close to the channel.  Lake Anita
      Anglers report catching bluegills drifting. Find crappies around brush piles and suspended over the roadbeds. Black Crappie - Fair: Vertical jig deeper tree piles or troll twister tails to catch black crappie averaging 9 inches. Bluegill - Slow: Drift small jigs tipped with crawler. Fish will average 8.5 inches. Largemouth Bass - Good: Cast to structure to catch bass of all sizes.  Lake Manawa
      Lake Manawa is a good destination for summer catfishing. Channel Catfish - Good: Use shrimp and bubble gum bait on the south and west shore. Fish in the 2 to 5 pound range were reported. Orient Lake
      Channel Catfish - Fair: Catch 18-20 inch channel catfish with cut bait or shrimp below the sediment structure where water is running into the lake and along the dam.  Prairie Rose Lake
      Prairie Rose will offer good panfishing. The lake has quality sized bluegills and acceptable size crappies. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are done spawning and have moved into a summer pattern. Look for fish around underwater reefs and drift/troll open water areas. Bluegills in Prairie Rose are quality size fish. Black Crappie - Slow: Look for crappies along the dam and around tree piles. 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
      Find crappies and largemouth bass on deeper brush piles. Channel catfish have moved in around jetties and rocky shorelines. Black Crappie - Fair: Crappies are being caught in the deeper tree piles. Sorting is needed for larger fish. Channel Catfish - Good: Cast cut bait or liver close to rocky shorelines for catfish up to 10 pounds. Late afternoon bite is best. Largemouth Bass - Good: Jig plastics in deeper brush piles during the day and cast shallow structure early morning for largemouth bass of all sizes.  Panfish have moved into their summer pattern. Target open water and deep structure. Catfishing has been good around the district.  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 crankbaits or finesse plastics fished along cedar tree brush piles. Bluegill - Good: Catch bluegill up to 8 inches using worms fished along the fishing jetties. Black Crappie - Good: Catch crappie up to 9 inches with minnows or jigs fished along rocky areas.  Lake Icaria
      Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish of all sizes have been caught using night crawlers fished along rocky shoreline areas.  Little River Watershed Lake
      Largemouth Bass - Good: Catch largemouth bass up to 18 inches using finesse plastics fished near cedar tree brush piles or rock reefs. Bluegill - Fair: Catch bluegills up to 9 inches with worms fished along the fishing jetties. Channel Catfish - Good: Catch channel catfish up to 10 pounds with night crawlers fished along rocky shoreline areas.  Three Mile Lake
      Bluegill - Fair: Catch bluegill up to 7 inches with worms fished along the fishing jetties or cedar tree brush piles. Walleye - Good: Catch walleye up to 18 inches using crankbaits or live bait fished along the roadbed or main lake points. Black Crappie - Fair: Catch crappie up to 9 inches with jigs or minnows fished along the fishing jetties or cedar tree brush piles.  Twelve Mile Creek Lake
      Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth bass of all sizes have been caught with crankbaits or finesse plastics fished along cedar tree brush piles. Bluegill - Good: Catch bluegill up to 8 inches with worms fished near cedar tree brush piles or shallow bays. Walleye - Fair: Catch walleyes of all sizes using minnows or leeches fished in 8-10 feet of water. Black Crappie - Good: Catch crappie up to 9 inches with minnows or worms fished along cedar tree brush piles or in the flooded timber.  Water temperature in most district lakes is in the low to mid 80's. The district includes Page, Taylor, Adams, Union, Ringgold, Decatur, Clarke and Madison counties. 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 - Fair: During high water levels, try close to the bank or slower flooded areas from shore. Smaller tributaries should also be good, where channel catfish will find refuge from faster currents. 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 report catching a few blue catfish on rod and reel and trotlines. Use live bait or fresh cut bait with live bait rigs along wing dam tips or in or close to the main channel of the Missouri River. Flathead Catfish - Good: Flathead catfish are being caught on trotlines and rod and reel using live baits (chubs, bullheads, green sunfish). Fish below wing dam tip, near rock structures, logs and along the bank with deeper water nearby.  Missouri River (Little Sioux to Council Bluffs)
      Channel Catfish - Fair: During high water levels, try close to the bank or slower flooded areas from shore. Smaller tributaries should also be good, where channel catfish will find refuge from faster currents. 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 report catching a few blue catfish on rod and reel and trotlines. Use live bait or fresh cut bait with live bait rigs along wing dam tips or in or close to the main channel of the Missouri River. Flathead Catfish - Good: Flathead catfish are being caught on trotlines and rod and reel using live baits (chubs, bullheads, green sunfish). Fish below wing dam tip, near rock structures, logs and along the bank with deeper water nearby.  Missouri River (Council Bluffs to Missouri State Line)
      Channel Catfish - Fair: During high water levels, try close to the bank or slower flooded areas from shore. Smaller tributaries should also be good, where channel catfish will find refuge from faster currents. 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 rod and reel and trotlines with fresh cut bait or live bait. 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. Flathead Catfish - Good: Flathead catfish are being caught on trotlines and rod and reel using live baits (chubs, bullheads, green sunfish). Fish below wing dam tip, near rock structures, logs and along the bank with deeper water nearby.  The Missouri River at Decatur, Nebraska is at 29.06 ft. /68,500 cfs./80 degrees Fahrenheit. Missouri River water temperaturess are down one degree from last week and water levels are up 0.17 feet. Water levels are up due to recent rains in the Missouri River watershed and release of water from reservoirs. Anglers and boaters are advised to use caution going on the Missouri River.
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