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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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    • NORTHEAST IOWA FISHING REPORTS Cedar River (above Nashua)
      The river is rising and extremely muddy. Boating is not recommended. Visit the USGS Current Water Data website for current water level information. Walleye -Slow. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use chicken liver, stink bait or dead chubs. Catfish will be in a slow pocket or area out of the current.  Decorah District Streams
      Small game hunting seasons are open in Iowa. Many trout streams flow through areas with hunting. Wear bright colors. Due to recent rain, streams will be stocked depending on stream conditions the day of stocking. Listen to the trout stocking hotline (563-927-5736) for daily information. Brook Trout - Fair: A variety of aquatic and terrestrial insects, like ants and beetles, are more numerous. Try small spinnerbaits and jigs tipped with twister tails. 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. Rainbow Trout - Fair: 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 work well. French Creek
      The bridge on Mays Prairie Road (CR X6A) is being replaced. Work is scheduled through mid-November. Access the parking lot from the south. Brown Trout - Good: The best time to fish French Creek is after rain events so fish will be less spooky. This stream rarely turns off color.  Lake Hendricks
      Water temperatures are in the upper 60's. Clarity remains poor. Black Crappie - Slow: Drift a minnow in deeper water. Largemouth Bass - Slow: Try near submersed rocky habitat or depth contours in the early morning.  Channel Catfish - Good: Use a large night crawler fished off the bottom near woody structure. Bluegill - Slow: Activity should pick up with cooler temperatures. Try a small jig tipped with small piece of worm off rocky shoreline or near submersed logs.  Lake Meyer
      Lake clarity is about 5 feet, but will likely be much less after this current rainy period. Water temperatures are in the upper 60's. Few people have been out fishing. Bluegill - Fair: Use a hook tipped with a small piece of worm or cricket under a bobber in deeper water. Channel Catfish - Good: Try stink bait or cut baits fished just off the bottom in the evening. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use topwater baits along weed edges on overcast days and late evenings. Black Crappie - Fair: Use a jig and minnow near submersed structure.  Osborne Pond
      Osborne Pond is currently being renovated. The dam was breached in July and a water retention basin installed. Material will be removed over the winter and new habitat installed in the spring. After repairs to the dam are made, it will be allowed to fill. The pond will then be restocked with bluegill, channel catfish, and largemouth bass.  Turkey River (above Clermont)
      The Turkey River is rising again and muddy. Flows remain high. Boating is not recommended.  Visit the USGS Current Condition website for more information. Boat docks at Vernon Springs are out for the season. Smallmouth Bass - Slow: Try spinner and crankbaits. Walleye - Fair: Use minnows or lures imitating minnows in deep water drop offs. Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
      Water levels are rising with poor water clarity. Visit the USGS Current Water Data website for more information. Boating is not recommended. The dock is out at Lime Springs for the season. Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
      The Upper Iowa is rising and clarity is poor. Paddling activities are not recommended. Visit the USGS Current Conditions website for more information.  Volga Lake
      Bluegill - Slow: Find gills along rocky shoreline or suspended deeper. Use a small jig tipped with a small piece of worm. Black Crappie - Slow: Slowly retrieve a lure over structure in deeper water. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use topwater lures over structure or run a jig tipped with a twister tail along a rocky shoreline. Channel Catfish - Good: Use stink bait worms or cut baits fished off the bottom in the evening near woody structure.  Recent rainfall events have turned a majority of area rivers and streams off color and running high. Temperatures are cooling greatly for the weekend. Trout streams are off color and high. For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.   Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
      Casey Lake is in good condition with clear water. Bluegill – Good: Try fishing various depths with a piece of crawler under a bobber near the edge of weeds or structure. Largemouth Bass - Good: Use topwater and plastic artificial baits. Black Crappie - Good: Try small pink and white tube jigs or a crappie minnow fished under a slip bobber by the jetties and dam areas in about 4 feet of water.  The recent wet weather may provide a great opportunity to gather up bow hunting gear for the upcoming weekend! Heavy rains and flooding is occurring on all cold and warm water streams and rivers.Call the N.E. Iowa district office at 563-927-3276 for more information.   MISSISSIPPI RIVER FISHING REPORTS Mississippi River Pool 9
      River level is 8.6 feet at Lansing and is expected to stay stable. Water temperature is near 73 degrees. The Lansing Village Creek ramp is closed through October.  For more updates, call the Guttenberg Fisheries Management office at 563-252-1156. Walleye - Good: Fishing wing dam areas will get easier with a drop in river levels. Use crankbaits or 3-way rigs tipped with crawlers in 8-12 feet of water. Yellow Perch - Excellent: Perch bite has picked up. Many 13 inch fish are being caught with live minnow floated under a bobber. Northern Pike - Good: This time of year pike are attracted to cooler water coming in from springs and tributaries. Cast spoons along the edge of weed beds. Channel Catfish - Good: Try cut bait or stink bait in the main and side channel borders. Largemouth Bass - Good: Look for largemouth in the slack water areas off the main channel or running sloughs. Smallmouth Bass - Excellent: Smallmouth activity has picked up. Cast inline spinners or crankbaits along rock or tree habitat in faster current.  White Bass - Fair: Cast flashy spinners or crankbaits along the rocks in main channel current for big white bass. Bluegill - Excellent: Find bluegills in clearer water with slow current in backwater areas away from main channel and sloughs.  Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Freshwater drum are actively biting in areas of current. Drop a heavily weighted worm rig into the current for some big fish action. Black Crappie - Fair: Expect the crappie bite to pick up this fall after the water clarity improves. Try tube jigs or minnow under a bobber in submersed trees in the backwater sloughs.  Mississippi River Pool 10
      River level is 16.4 feet at Lynxville and will stabilize near 15.5 feet next week. Water temperature is 74 degrees at the Lock and Dam 9. Walleye- Good: Fishing wing dam areas will get easier with a drop in river levels. Use crankbaits or 3-way rigs tipped with crawlers in 8-12 feet of water. Yellow Perch - Excellent: Perch bite has picked up. Many 13 inch fish are being caught with live minnow floated under a bobber.  Northern Pike -Good: This time of year pike are attracted to cooler water coming in from springs and tributaries. Cast spoons along the edge of weed beds. Channel Catfish - Good: Try cut bait or stink bait in the main and side channel borders. Bluegill - Excellent: Find bluegills in clearer water with slow current in backwater areas away from main channel and sloughs. Largemouth Bass - Good: Look for largemouth in the slack water areas off the main channel or running sloughs.  Smallmouth Bass - Excellent: Smallmouth activity has picked up. Cast inline spinners or crankbaits along rock or tree habitat in faster current.  White Bass - Fair: Cast flashy spinners or crankbaits along the rocks in the main channel current for big white bass. Bluegill - Fair: Find bluegills in clearer water with slow current in backwater areas away from main channel and sloughs.  Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Freshwater drum are actively biting in areas of current. Drop a heavily weighted worm rig into the current for some big fish action. Black Crappie - Fair: Expect the crappie bite to pick up this fall after the water clarity improves. Try tube jigs or minnow under a bobber in submersed trees in the backwater sloughs. Mississippi River Pool 11
      River level at Guttenberg has dropped several feet to 8.9 feet and is expected to reach 7.5 feet by next week. Water temperature is 68 degrees at Lock and Dam 10. Walleye - Good: Fishing wing dam areas will get easier with a drop in river levels. Use crankbaits or 3-way rigs tipped with crawlers in 8-12 feet of water. Yellow Perch - Excellent: The perch bite has picked up. Many 13 inch fish are being caught with a live minnow floated under a bobber.  Northern Pike - Good: This time of year, pike are attracted to cooler water coming in from springs and tributaries. Cast spoons along the edge of weed beds.
      Channel Catfish - Good: Try cut bait or stink bait in the main and side channel borders. Largemouth Bass - Good: Look for largemouth in the slack water areas off the main channel or running sloughs. Smallmouth Bass - Excellent: Smallmouth activity has picked up. Cast inline spinners or crankbaits along rock or tree habitat in faster current.  White Bass - Fair: Cast flashy spinners or crankbaits along the rocks in main channel current for big white bass. Bluegill - Excellent: Find bluegills in clearer water with slow current in backwater areas away from main channel and sloughs. Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Freshwater drum are actively biting in areas of current. Drop a heavily weighted worm rig into the current for some big fish action. Black Crappie - Fair: Expect the crappie bite to pick up this fall after the water clarity improves. Try tube jigs or minnow under a bobber in submersed trees in the backwater sloughs.  Upper Mississippi River level is falling back into normal fall range. Look for fish to be more active as they start fall feeding activity. Water temperatures are near 70 degrees.   Mississippi River Pool 12
      Water levels will fluctuate this week, starting at 8.2 feet at the Dubuque Lock and Dam and at 10.7 feet at the RR bridge. Water clarity is fair. The water temperature is around 72 degrees. Channel Catfish - Good:Try stink bait or worms near shore. Channel cats feed heavily near shore during flooded conditions. Freshwater Drum - Good: Most anglers use a simple egg sinker and worm rig. Drum will be hanging out relatively near shore in moderate current areas. Bluegill - Good: Try finding clear water in the upper reaches of backwater areas; use worms and bobber. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Fish the upper ends of backwater areas in cleaner water. Black Crappie - Fair: Use small minnows in the clear upper reaches of backwater areas.  Mississippi River Pool 13
      Water level will fluctuate this week, starting out at 9.2 feet at the Bellevue Lock and Dam. Water clarity is fair. Avoid large tributary streams as they are muddy. The water temperature is around 73 degrees. The north ramp at Sabula is not in use this year due to bridge construction. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try stink bait or worms near shore. Move often if you are not finding catfish. Freshwater Drum - Good: The drum bite is on. Fish worms with an egg sinker in moderate current areas. Fish near the shorelines if possible. Largemouth Bass - Good: Try frog imitation lures and spinner baits in the upper ends of backwater areas and deep in the vegetated areas. Bluegill - Good: Find the clear water in the upper reaches of large backwater complexes; use a simple bobber and worm. Black Crappie - Fair: Use a small minnow and bobber in the upper reaches of backwaters in clear water.  Mississippi River Pool 14
      Water levels are predicted to fluctuate this week, starting at around 9 feet at Fulton Lock and Dam, 12 feet at Camanche and 6.7 feet at the LeClaire. Water clarity is fair. The water temperature is around 73 degrees. Channel Catfish - Good: Try stink bait or worms near shore or along brush piles. Channel cats feed heavily in flooded waters. Freshwater Drum - Good: Use a simple egg sinker/worm rig in moderate current areas. Walleye - Slow: A few walleye were caught off the bank with jigs and minnows. Bluegill - Good: Use a bobber and worm in the upper reaches of Rock Creek or Cattail Slough.  Mississippi River Pool 15
      Water levels are near 10.2 feet at Rock Island and will rise to 12.3 feet. This level will again approach "action" flood stage, so some boat ramps will be flooded. Water clarity is poor. The water temperature is around 74 degrees. Channel Catfish - No Report: Try stink bait or worms near shore. Fish near shore in flooded waters. Freshwater Drum - No Report: Use an egg sinker and worm rigs fished near shore in moderate current areas.  The water levels will fluctuate this week. Most ramps are usable again, but some will have water on them. If you have any angling questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976. 
    • NORTHWEST IOWA FISHING REPORTS Black Hawk Lake
      Water temperatures are in the low 70's. Water levels are 6 inches over the crest of the spillway. Bluegill - Fair: Use a small jig with a small piece of crawler fished under a bobber in 3-6 feet of water in Town Bay from the stone piers along Ice House Point and near the inlet bridge. Walleye - Slow: Try crawler rigs or crankbaits around Ice House Point, the dredge cut near Denison Beach, and around the rock piles near Gunshot Hill, Cottonwood Point and the East Basin. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Catch largemouth all over the lake using traditional bass lures. 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, and along shore near the outlet. Yellow Perch - Fair: Use crawlers fished 3-4 feet below a bobber on the lake side of the inlet bridge and from the stone piers in Town Bay. 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: Drift or troll slowly crawler rigs, minnows or leaches in 15-20 feet of water. Yellow Perch - Fair: Find perch along the vegetation and deeper structure. Largemouth Bass - Fair: 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. Bluegill - Fair: Try tube jigs tipped with crawlers in 10-15 feet of water.  North Twin Lake
      Water temperatures are in the low 70's. Water clarity is around 1.5 feet. White Crappie - Slow: No Report - A recent survey showed most crappie are 6-10 inches with a few up to 14 inches. Walleye - Slow: Walleye up to 27 inches have been seen in recent netting surveys.  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: Use crawler rigs and troll crankbaits along the edges of the dredge cuts around the lake in 6-10 feet of water. White Bass - Fair: Troll crankbaits or fish crawlers along the dredge cuts.  Water temperatures in Black Hawk District lakes are in the low 70's. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.   Beeds Lake
      The park road will be closed Sept. 19th - 21st due to road construction; there will be no access to the boat ramp. Black Crappie - Fair: Drift fish or troll with a tube jig or small minnow. Yellow Bass - Fair: Drift fish or troll with a small jig. Shore anglers should fish a small piece of crawler or cut bait off the bottom.  Clear Lake
      Surface water temperature is 70 degrees. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use crawlers or cut bait in the areas where water is entering the lake. Black Crappie - Fair: Drift a jig and minnow over deeper submerged vegetation. Yellow Bass - Fair: Drift or troll a small jig tipped with cut bait or a minnow over the reefs until you find fish.  Muskellunge - Fair: Fish the edge of the vegetation and near docks.  Crystal Lake
      Black Crappie - Fair: Drift or troll small tube jigs or a minnow in the dredge cut or on the edge of vegetation. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use crankbaits.  Lake Smith
      Black Crappie - Fair: Drift or troll a small jig or minnow in deeper near the outlet.  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. Don’t overlook the evening bite from docks as these fish will move shallow at dusk. Walleye - Good: Numbers of fish are being caught with traditional baits; good numbers of yellow bass are mixed in with the catch. Northern Pike - Fair: Anglers report northern pike action on the lake.  Five Island Lake
      Channel Catfish - Good: Numbers of fish are being caught trolling. Don’t overlook public areas to fish using traditional "cat" baits which will provide excellent action.  Lake Pahoja
      Bluegill - Good: Recent surveys show good numbers of large angler size fish in the lake.  Little Sioux River (state line to Linn Grove)
      Channel Catfish - Good: Report of angles catching fish from the river.  Lost Island Lake
      Yellow Bass - Good: Reports of yellow bass being caught with black crappie and yellow perch up to 10 inches mixed in the catch. Use small lures such as a twister tail or hair jigs. Bluegill - Good: Recent surveys show numbers of fish approaching 7 inches in the lake. Black Crappie - Good: Recent surveys show numbers of angler acceptable size fish up to 10 inches in the lake.  Ocheyedan Pit #1
      Channel Catfish - Fair: Recent surveys show good numbers of 17 -23 inch channel catfish.  Silver Lake (Dickinson)
      Walleye - Good: Expect the fall walleye bite to start soon. Troll crankbaits during the day; wader fishing is your best chance to catch trophy size fish.  Spirit Lake
      Walleye - Good: The fall walleye bite has started with action improving. Yellow Perch - Good: Good numbers of angler acceptable size yellow perch continue to be caught in the outside line of the weed beds. Bonus bluegill will be mixed in the catch.  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. 
    • SOUTHEAST IOWA FISHING REPORTS Big Hollow Lake
      The unstable weather isn't helping the fishing or the number of anglers out on the lake.  Black Crappie - No Report: Start looking for crappies in 6 feet of water. Bluegill - No Report: Bluegills should be moving in to more shallow water soon. Start at 6 feet and work your way in from there.  Deep Lakes
      Grab a pole and go exploring at Deep Lakes; there are lots of ponds to try. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Most of the ponds have good numbers of bass in them; most are smaller, but there are some big ones. Go subtle in your choice of lures with the ultra-clear water. Bluegill - Good: Find the right pond and you can catch some nice bluegills.  Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River)
      The Iowa River still has a lot of flow right now, but is currently back down in its bank with only some low area flooding; it looks to be headed back up.  Lake Belva Deer
      Water warmed up over the last days to around 78 degrees again. The cooler weather forecast should reverse that trend. Black Crappie - Fair: Last week was pretty slow;  crappie should start biting again with the water getting back to normal and cooling off. Channel Catfish - Fair: Should still be able to pick up a few catfish up by the inlet from the marsh. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Picking up a few bass in the more shallow water up along the rocks and gravel bottom areas.  Lake Darling
      The water temperature is back up to about 79 degrees. Water clarity is improving despite more heavy rains earlier this week. Fishing, while still pretty good, is a little more hit and miss due to the weather.  Bluegill - Good: Decent numbers of hand-sized bluegills are being caught in 5 or less feet of water. Water still hasn’t cleared up after last week’s heavy rains. So a little flash to any lure is a good idea. Channel Catfish - Good: Anglers continue to catch catfish. It’s a good time to fish the weirs in the in-lake silt dams as the water from the recent and forecast rains come into the lake. Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass are hovering over the rock piles in about 5-8 feet of water. Spinnerbaits and spoons work best.  Lost Grove Lake
      Water temperature was 78 degrees on Wednesday; the storm may have cooled it off more since then. Black Crappie - Fair: Anglers are still catching crappies out deep, but if the nights stay fairly cool, they should start to move in to shallower water. Largemouth Bass - Good: Run your favorite crankbait on the north side of the lake, out along the mounds on the flats and in shallow.  Skunk River (Coppock to Mississippi River)
      The Skunk River is back down to about 1/2 bank full. The parking areas and lanes to them are still muddy.  For more information on the above lakes and rivers, call the Lake Darling Fisheries Office at 319-694-2430. Central Park Lake
      The lake is close to full after the renovation project; fingerling fish have been stocked.  Coralville Reservoir
      The lake level is at 705 feet (normal pool is 683.4 feet) and slowly falling as of 9/20. All public ramps are under water and the Mehaffey ramp is closed due to construction.  Diamond Lake
      The water is muddy. Black Crappie - Fair: Try small jigs fished over deeper brush. Most fish are 8-9 inches. Channel Catfish - Good: Stink bait works best. Some limits are being reported.   Iowa Lake (Iowa County)
      Largemouth Bass – Slow. Channel Catfish – Slow. Bluegill – Fair. Black Crappie - Fair: Fish in 12-15 feet of water and look for fish suspended a few feet off the bottom.  Iowa River (Coralville Lake to River Junction)
      Catfish were biting at Hills and River Junction before the flows bumped up to 10,000 CFS. Flows will continue to be this high until the Coralville Reservoir is back down to normal, which could be weeks.  Kent Park Lake
      The lake is currently drained for a lake restoration project.  Lake Macbride
      The motor restriction is off; any sized motor may be used at no-wake speed (5 mph). Black Crappie - Fair: Use jigs or minnows around brush; some fish are reported as moving shallower. Walleye - Fair: Troll crawlers or crankbaits in 7-14 feet of water. Largemouth Bass - Fair. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: Try topwater baits early and late then troll during the day. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try cut bait or stink bait. Evenings are best.  Pleasant Creek Lake
      The lake is still 1.5 feet low. Use caution on the lake, as many of the new rock and wood structures are becoming submerged. There are 2 docks in at the main ramp and the fish cleaning station is open.   For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.   Lake Keomah
      Bluegill - Fair: Use small jigs tipped with live bait near shore and around the fishing jetties. Black Crappie - Fair: Use a jig tipped with a minnow around deep structure. Try different depths until you find active fish. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use stink bait or chicken liver in 4-8 feet of water. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Try spinnerbaits, crankbaits or rubber worms around the fishing jetties and along the dam.  Lake Miami
      Largemouth Bass - Fair: Try topwater lures in the early mornings and evenings then switch to rubber worms or crankbaits during the hotter parts of the day. Target the cedar tree piles and the fishing jetties. Bluegill - Fair: Use a chunk of night crawler along the fishing jetties or around the cedar tree piles.  Lake Sugema
      The south boat ramp off of Highway 2 has been reopened. There is now a construction project on the north ramp. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use topwater lures in the early mornings and evenings. As the day progresses, target deeper structure using rubber worms or deep diving crankbaits. Black Crappie - Slow: Crappies are suspended. Try drifting minnows around the flooded timber at different depths to find active fish. Bluegill - Fair: Try live bait tipped on a small jig around the shorelines and fishing jetties. Keep moving until you find active fish.  Lake Wapello
      Channel Catfish - Fair: Use chicken liver or stink bait. Don’t fish too deep as the lake does stratify; target 6-8 feet of water. Largemouth Bass - Good: Use rubber worms or crawdad imitating crankbaits around deep structure. Try also topwater lures around the cedar tree piles in the morning. Bluegill - Fair: Try small jigs tipped with a chunk of night crawler around aquatic vegetation. Black Crappie - Slow: Try jigs tipped with a minnow in 6-10 feet of water.  Rathbun Reservoir
      The current lake level is 906.10 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 stink bait or chicken liver in coves or areas with some water running into the lake. White Crappie - Fair: Try minnows around deeper structure. Trolling small crankbaits can also catch suspended crappies. Crappies will start to move shallow as the water cools. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) - Fair: Troll crankbaits along rocky shorelines and around rock piles. Follow the gulls as they will be where the schools of hybrid striped bass are feeding. Try also vertically jigging spoon baits around rock piles. Walleye - Fair: Use night crawler rigs or troll crankbaits around rock piles and submerged points.  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. Use rubber worms or crankbaits. Topwater lures can be productive along the lily pads. 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 or chicken liver around the fishing jetties and the outer edge of the lily pads.  The district includes Mahaska, Lucas, Wayne, Monroe, Appanoose, Wapello, Davis and Van Buren counties. Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions about fishing in south central Iowa.   MISSISSIPPI RIVER  FISHING REPORTS Mississippi River Pool 16
      Tailwater stage is 10.36 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities, but is forecast to reach 12.5 feet by the middle of next week. Flood stage is 15 feet. As of Sept. 19th, the Clark's Ferry boat ramp was still closed due to high water, but the ramp at Shady creek is open. The docks have been pulled out at the Fairport Recreational area due to high water. Fishing has been slow.  Mississippi River Pool 17
      Tailwater stage is 10.31 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and is forecast to rise over the weekend. Flood stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 15 feet. River stage at Muscatine is 12.14 feet, but forecast to reach 13.2 feet by the middle of next week. Flood stage at Muscatine is 16 feet. The Kilpeck Landing is closed. Big Timber is also closed due to high water. Fishing has been slow.   Mississippi River Pool 18
      Tailwater stage is 12.57 feet at Lock and Dam 17 above New Boston and has been falling the past week, but is forecast to rise over the weekend. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 17. River level at Keithsburg is 12.52 feet and is forecast to reach 13.1 feet by the middle of next. Flood stage at Keithsburg is 14 feet. The Toolsboro access is inaccessible due to the Odessa road being flooded. Ferry Landing is closed. Fishing has been slow.   Mississippi River Pool 19
      Tailwater stage is 9.43 feet at Lock and Dam 18 and is forecast to start rising over the weekend. Flood stage is 10 feet. River level at Burlington is 14.63 feet and is forecast to start rising over the weekend. Flood stage at Burlington is 15 feet. Fishing has been slow with the high water.   River stages have been falling the past few days. With recent heavy rains, the river is forecast to start rising over the weekend. Some boat ramps are closed due to high water. Main channel water temperature is around 73 degrees. Water clarity is poor due to high water conditions. Fishing has been slow with the high water. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.
    • SOUTHWEST IOWA FISHING REPORTS Beaver Lake
      Black Crappie - Fair: Troll twister tails or tube jigs in the top 3 to 8 feet of water throughout the lake for 9.5 to 10.5 inch crappies Big Creek Lake
      Walleye - Fair: Troll shallow diving shad imitating crankbaits or spinner rigs with night crawlers with little weight to fish 3 to 10 feet deep. The northern half of the lake is best during the summer; start from the beach up to the marina boat ramp. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) - Good: Troll live bait rigs and shad imitating crankbaits or soft plastics mid-lake where the two upper arms of the lake meet. The hybrids are still young, so the upper end on size is around 18 inches Don Williams Lake
      Black Crappie - Good: Good numbers of crappies are being caught trolling twister tail or tube jigs in the upper half of the lake mostly from the boat ramp to 100 yards up from the beach. Many are young fish just under 8 inches, with some bigger ones mixed in.  Lake Ahquabi
      Black Crappie - Fair: Drift or troll small white, pink and chartreuse twister tails or tube jigs.  Red Rock Reservoir
      White Bass - Fair: Fishing below the dam has been the best action for a mix of white bass and hybrid striped bass. Cast white twister tails fluke or paddle tail swim baits. Black Crappie - Fair: Some anglers are catching some of Red Rocks large crappies. Fall is good time to drift or troll panfish jigs in the arms and coves off the main lake.  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 should improve in ponds this week. Always get permission to fish privately-owned ponds. Bluegill - Slow: Anglers report slow fishing in ponds after heavy rains this week. Try fishing 4 feet below the surface for suspended fish. Largemouth Bass - Fair: 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 cut bait or commercial stink baits along weed edges and around structure. Black Crappie - Slow: Find crappies suspended and around structure.  Farm Creek Lake
      Farm Creek has a good fish population with quality sized panfish. Black Crappie - No Report: Fish the creek channel for black crappie up to 12 inches. Bluegill - No Report: Drift or slow troll along the creek channel for bluegills up to 9.5 inches. Largemouth Bass - No Report: There is a good population of 13 to 15 inch bass in the lake.  Lake Anita
      Fishing has picked up now that the weather has stabilized. Water temperature has heated back up to 80 degrees. Water clarity is good. Bluegill - Fair: Look for bluegills close to the creek channel. Slow troll small jigs tipped with crawler for bluegills up to 9.5 inches. Black Crappie - Fair: The early morning crappie bite is best. Slow troll small crank baits or small jigs tipped with power bait to catch 9 to 11 inch fish. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Throw spinners along the vegetation and plastics around deep structure during the day  Lake Manawa
      Lake Manawa is a good destination for summer catfishing. Channel Catfish - Slow: Channel catfish have slowed a bit, but anglers report catching fish around Boy Scout Island. Fish will average 2 to 5 pounds. White Crappie - No Report: There is a good population of white crappies in Manawa.  Orient Lake 
      Bluegill - No Report: Bluegills at Orient have good body condition. Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish are actively feeding below the rock sediment dam. Cast liver, crawlers or cut bait next to the current. Black Bullhead - Fair: Catch quality sized bullheads with night crawlers below the rock sediment structure.  Prairie Rose Lake
      Prairie Rose will offer good panfishing. The lake has quality sized bluegills and acceptable size crappies. The water clarity has improved to 2 feet this week. Bluegill - Slow: Bluegills are in a summer pattern. Look for fish around underwater reefs and drift/troll open water areas. Bluegills in Prairie Rose are 8 to 9.5 inches. Largemouth Bass - Fair: There is a large population of 12 inch bass in the lake that offers fun catch and release fishing. Black Crappie - Slow: Try vertical jigging or minnows under a slip bobber in the brush piles to catch 10 plus inch black crappies. Be prepared to lose tackle.  Viking Lake
      The pontoon area will be closed starting Sept. 28th for repairs to the seawall. Channel Catfish - Good: Cast liver in the pontoon area of the lake. Sorting is needed for larger fish. Black Crappie - Fair: Use tube jigs early in the morning and late afternoon. The fish are averaging 9 inches. Largemouth Bass - Slow: Jig plastics in deeper brush piles during the day and cast shallow structure early morning for largemouth bass of all sizes.  Water temperatures have jumped back up near 80 degrees in the S.W. district. For more information, contact the Cold Springs office at 712-769-2587.   Green Valley Lake
      Largemouth Bass - Fair: Catch largemouth bass up to 20 inches with finesse plastics fished near cedar tree brush piles. Bluegill - Good: Catch bluegill up to 8.5 inches with worms fished in shallow bays and along fishing jetties. Black Crappie - Fair: Catch crappies up to 9 inches using minnows fished near cedar tree brush piles. Little River Watershed Lake
      Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth bass of all sizes have been caught using topwater baits fished in early morning or late evening or finesse plastics fished near cedar tree brush piles. Bluegill - Fair: Catch bluegills up to 9 inches with worms fished near cedar tree brush piles. Channel Catfish - Good: Catch channel catfish up to 10 pounds with prepared baits or chicken liver fished near main lake points in the evenings. Walleye - Fair: Catch walleye up to 22 inches using minnows fished along the roadbed or main lake points. Three Mile Lake
      Bluegill - Good: Catch bluegills up to 8 inches with worms fished in shallow bays. Walleye - Fair: Catch walleyes up to 18 inches with crankbaits or minnows fished along the fish mounds or the dam.  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 or rocky areas. Bluegill - Good: Catch bluegill up to 8.5 inches with worms fished in shallow bays. Walleye - Fair: Catch walleyes of all sizes using minnows or crankbaits fished in 10 feet of water.  Black Crappie - Good: Catch crappie up to 9 inches with minnows fished near cedar tree brush piles. Water temperature in most district lakes is in the mid to upper 70'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 FISHING REPORTS Missouri River (Sioux City to Little Sioux)
      Channel Catfish - Good: During high water levels, try below flooded wing dams and 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. Use worms, cut bait, or dip baits. 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 - Good: 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 - Good: During high water levels, try below flooded wing dams and 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. Use worms, cut bait, or dip baits. 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 - Good: Anglers report catching blue catfish on rod and reel and trotlines. Use live bait or fresh cut bait along wing dam tips or in or close to the main channel of the Missouri River. Flathead Catfish - Fair: 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 - Good: During high water levels, try below flooded wing dams and 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. Use worms, cut bait, or dip baits.  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 - Good: 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 - Fair: 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 28.26 ft. /63,600 cfs./74 degrees Fahrenheit. Missouri River water temperatures are up 3 degrees from last week and water levels are down 0.04 feet. Water levels continue to be 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. Fishing has been good to fair. 
    • NORTHWEST Black Hawk Lake
      Water temperatures are in the low 70's. Water levels are 6 inches over the crest of the spillway. Bluegill - Fair: Use a small jig with a small piece of crawler fished under a bobber in 3-6 feet of water in Town Bay from the stone piers along Ice House Point and near the inlet bridge. Walleye - Slow: Try crawler rigs or crankbaits around Ice House Point, the dredge cut near Denison Beach, and around the rock piles near Gunshot Hill, Cottonwood Point and the East Basin. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Catch largemouth all over the lake using traditional bass lures. 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, and along shore near the outlet. Yellow Perch - Fair: Use crawlers fished 3-4 feet below a bobber on the lake side of the inlet bridge and from the stone piers in Town Bay. 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: Drift or troll slowly crawler rigs, minnows or leaches in 15-20 feet of water. Yellow Perch - Fair: Find perch along the vegetation and deeper structure. Largemouth Bass - Fair: 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. Bluegill - Fair: Try tube jigs tipped with crawlers in 10-15 feet of water.  North Twin Lake
      Water temperatures are in the low 70's. Water clarity is around 1.5 feet. White Crappie - Slow: No Report - A recent survey showed most crappie are 6-10 inches with a few up to 14 inches. Walleye - Slow: Walleye up to 27 inches have been seen in recent netting surveys.  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: Use crawler rigs and troll crankbaits along the edges of the dredge cuts around the lake in 6-10 feet of water. White Bass - Fair: Troll crankbaits or fish crawlers along the dredge cuts.  Water temperatures in Black Hawk District lakes are in the low 70's. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.   Beeds Lake
      The park road will be closed Sept. 19th - 21st due to road construction; there will be no access to the boat ramp. Black Crappie - Fair: Drift fish or troll with a tube jig or small minnow. Yellow Bass - Fair: Drift fish or troll with a small jig. Shore anglers should fish a small piece of crawler or cut bait off the bottom.  Clear Lake
      Surface water temperature is 70 degrees. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use crawlers or cut bait in the areas where water is entering the lake. Black Crappie - Fair: Drift a jig and minnow over deeper submerged vegetation. Yellow Bass - Fair: Drift or troll a small jig tipped with cut bait or a minnow over the reefs until you find fish.  Muskellunge - Fair: Fish the edge of the vegetation and near docks.  Crystal Lake
      Black Crappie - Fair: Drift or troll small tube jigs or a minnow in the dredge cut or on the edge of vegetation. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use crankbaits.  Lake Smith
      Black Crappie - Fair: Drift or troll a small jig or minnow in deeper near the outlet.  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. Don’t overlook the evening bite from docks as these fish will move shallow at dusk. Walleye - Good: Numbers of fish are being caught with traditional baits; good numbers of yellow bass are mixed in with the catch. Northern Pike - Fair: Anglers report northern pike action on the lake.  Five Island Lake
      Channel Catfish - Good: Numbers of fish are being caught trolling. Don’t overlook public areas to fish using traditional "cat" baits which will provide excellent action.  Lake Pahoja
      Bluegill - Good: Recent surveys show good numbers of large angler size fish in the lake.  Little Sioux River (state line to Linn Grove)
      Channel Catfish - Good: Report of angles catching fish from the river.  Lost Island Lake
      Yellow Bass - Good: Reports of yellow bass being caught with black crappie and yellow perch up to 10 inches mixed in the catch. Use small lures such as a twister tail or hair jigs. Bluegill - Good: Recent surveys show numbers of fish approaching 7 inches in the lake. Black Crappie - Good: Recent surveys show numbers of angler acceptable size fish up to 10 inches in the lake.  Ocheyedan Pit #1
      Channel Catfish - Fair: Recent surveys show good numbers of 17 -23 inch channel catfish.  Silver Lake (Dickinson)
      Walleye - Good: Expect the fall walleye bite to start soon. Troll crankbaits during the day; wader fishing is your best chance to catch trophy size fish.  Spirit Lake
      Walleye - Good: The fall walleye bite has started with action improving. Yellow Perch - Good: Good numbers of angler acceptable size yellow perch continue to be caught in the outside line of the weed beds. Bonus bluegill will be mixed in the catch.  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)
      The river is rising and extremely muddy. Boating is not recommended. Visit the USGS Current Water Data website for current water level information. Walleye -Slow. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use chicken liver, stink bait or dead chubs. Catfish will be in a slow pocket or area out of the current.  Decorah District Streams
      Small game hunting seasons are open in Iowa. Many trout streams flow through areas with hunting. Wear bright colors. Due to recent rain, streams will be stocked depending on stream conditions the day of stocking. Listen to the trout stocking hotline (563-927-5736) for daily information. Brook Trout - Fair: A variety of aquatic and terrestrial insects, like ants and beetles, are more numerous. Try small spinnerbaits and jigs tipped with twister tails. 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. Rainbow Trout - Fair: 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 work well. French Creek
      The bridge on Mays Prairie Road (CR X6A) is being replaced. Work is scheduled through mid-November. Access the parking lot from the south. Brown Trout - Good: The best time to fish French Creek is after rain events so fish will be less spooky. This stream rarely turns off color.  Lake Hendricks
      Water temperatures are in the upper 60's. Clarity remains poor. Black Crappie - Slow: Drift a minnow in deeper water. Largemouth Bass - Slow: Try near submersed rocky habitat or depth contours in the early morning.  Channel Catfish - Good: Use a large night crawler fished off the bottom near woody structure. Bluegill - Slow: Activity should pick up with cooler temperatures. Try a small jig tipped with small piece of worm off rocky shoreline or near submersed logs.  Lake Meyer
      Lake clarity is about 5 feet, but will likely be much less after this current rainy period. Water temperatures are in the upper 60's. Few people have been out fishing. Bluegill - Fair: Use a hook tipped with a small piece of worm or cricket under a bobber in deeper water. Channel Catfish - Good: Try stink bait or cut baits fished just off the bottom in the evening. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use topwater baits along weed edges on overcast days and late evenings. Black Crappie - Fair: Use a jig and minnow near submersed structure.  Osborne Pond
      Osborne Pond is currently being renovated. The dam was breached in July and a water retention basin installed. Material will be removed over the winter and new habitat installed in the spring. After repairs to the dam are made, it will be allowed to fill. The pond will then be restocked with bluegill, channel catfish, and largemouth bass.  Turkey River (above Clermont)
      The Turkey River is rising again and muddy. Flows remain high. Boating is not recommended.  Visit the USGS Current Condition website for more information. Boat docks at Vernon Springs are out for the season. Smallmouth Bass - Slow: Try spinner and crankbaits. Walleye - Fair: Use minnows or lures imitating minnows in deep water drop offs. Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
      Water levels are rising with poor water clarity. Visit the USGS Current Water Data website for more information. Boating is not recommended. The dock is out at Lime Springs for the season. Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
      The Upper Iowa is rising and clarity is poor. Paddling activities are not recommended. Visit the USGS Current Conditions website for more information.  Volga Lake
      Bluegill - Slow: Find gills along rocky shoreline or suspended deeper. Use a small jig tipped with a small piece of worm. Black Crappie - Slow: Slowly retrieve a lure over structure in deeper water. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use topwater lures over structure or run a jig tipped with a twister tail along a rocky shoreline. Channel Catfish - Good: Use stink bait worms or cut baits fished off the bottom in the evening near woody structure.  Recent rainfall events have turned a majority of area rivers and streams off color and running high. Temperatures are cooling greatly for the weekend. Trout streams are off color and high. For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.   Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
      Casey Lake is in good condition with clear water. Bluegill – Good: Try fishing various depths with a piece of crawler under a bobber near the edge of weeds or structure. Largemouth Bass - Good: Use topwater and plastic artificial baits. Black Crappie - Good: Try small pink and white tube jigs or a crappie minnow fished under a slip bobber by the jetties and dam areas in about 4 feet of water.  The recent wet weather may provide a great opportunity to gather up bow hunting gear for the upcoming weekend! Heavy rains and flooding is occurring on all cold and warm water streams and rivers.Call the N.E. Iowa district office at 563-927-3276 for more information.   MISSISSIPPI RIVER Mississippi River Pool 9
      River level is 8.6 feet at Lansing and is expected to stay stable. Water temperature is near 73 degrees. The Lansing Village Creek ramp is closed through October.  For more updates, call the Guttenberg Fisheries Management office at 563-252-1156. Walleye - Good: Fishing wing dam areas will get easier with a drop in river levels. Use crankbaits or 3-way rigs tipped with crawlers in 8-12 feet of water. Yellow Perch - Excellent: Perch bite has picked up. Many 13 inch fish are being caught with live minnow floated under a bobber. Northern Pike - Good: This time of year pike are attracted to cooler water coming in from springs and tributaries. Cast spoons along the edge of weed beds. Channel Catfish - Good: Try cut bait or stink bait in the main and side channel borders. Largemouth Bass - Good: Look for largemouth in the slack water areas off the main channel or running sloughs. Smallmouth Bass - Excellent: Smallmouth activity has picked up. Cast inline spinners or crankbaits along rock or tree habitat in faster current.  White Bass - Fair: Cast flashy spinners or crankbaits along the rocks in main channel current for big white bass. Bluegill - Excellent: Find bluegills in clearer water with slow current in backwater areas away from main channel and sloughs.  Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Freshwater drum are actively biting in areas of current. Drop a heavily weighted worm rig into the current for some big fish action. Black Crappie - Fair: Expect the crappie bite to pick up this fall after the water clarity improves. Try tube jigs or minnow under a bobber in submersed trees in the backwater sloughs.  Mississippi River Pool 10
      River level is 16.4 feet at Lynxville and will stabilize near 15.5 feet next week. Water temperature is 74 degrees at the Lock and Dam 9. Walleye- Good: Fishing wing dam areas will get easier with a drop in river levels. Use crankbaits or 3-way rigs tipped with crawlers in 8-12 feet of water. Yellow Perch - Excellent: Perch bite has picked up. Many 13 inch fish are being caught with live minnow floated under a bobber.  Northern Pike -Good: This time of year pike are attracted to cooler water coming in from springs and tributaries. Cast spoons along the edge of weed beds. Channel Catfish - Good: Try cut bait or stink bait in the main and side channel borders. Bluegill - Excellent: Find bluegills in clearer water with slow current in backwater areas away from main channel and sloughs. Largemouth Bass - Good: Look for largemouth in the slack water areas off the main channel or running sloughs.  Smallmouth Bass - Excellent: Smallmouth activity has picked up. Cast inline spinners or crankbaits along rock or tree habitat in faster current.  White Bass - Fair: Cast flashy spinners or crankbaits along the rocks in the main channel current for big white bass. Bluegill - Fair: Find bluegills in clearer water with slow current in backwater areas away from main channel and sloughs.  Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Freshwater drum are actively biting in areas of current. Drop a heavily weighted worm rig into the current for some big fish action. Black Crappie - Fair: Expect the crappie bite to pick up this fall after the water clarity improves. Try tube jigs or minnow under a bobber in submersed trees in the backwater sloughs. Mississippi River Pool 11
      River level at Guttenberg has dropped several feet to 8.9 feet and is expected to reach 7.5 feet by next week. Water temperature is 68 degrees at Lock and Dam 10. Walleye - Good: Fishing wing dam areas will get easier with a drop in river levels. Use crankbaits or 3-way rigs tipped with crawlers in 8-12 feet of water. Yellow Perch - Excellent: The perch bite has picked up. Many 13 inch fish are being caught with a live minnow floated under a bobber.  Northern Pike - Good: This time of year, pike are attracted to cooler water coming in from springs and tributaries. Cast spoons along the edge of weed beds.
      Channel Catfish - Good: Try cut bait or stink bait in the main and side channel borders. Largemouth Bass - Good: Look for largemouth in the slack water areas off the main channel or running sloughs. Smallmouth Bass - Excellent: Smallmouth activity has picked up. Cast inline spinners or crankbaits along rock or tree habitat in faster current.  White Bass - Fair: Cast flashy spinners or crankbaits along the rocks in main channel current for big white bass. Bluegill - Excellent: Find bluegills in clearer water with slow current in backwater areas away from main channel and sloughs. Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Freshwater drum are actively biting in areas of current. Drop a heavily weighted worm rig into the current for some big fish action. Black Crappie - Fair: Expect the crappie bite to pick up this fall after the water clarity improves. Try tube jigs or minnow under a bobber in submersed trees in the backwater sloughs.  Upper Mississippi River level is falling back into normal fall range. Look for fish to be more active as they start fall feeding activity. Water temperatures are near 70 degrees.   Mississippi River Pool 12
      Water levels will fluctuate this week, starting at 8.2 feet at the Dubuque Lock and Dam and at 10.7 feet at the RR bridge. Water clarity is fair. The water temperature is around 72 degrees. Channel Catfish - Good:Try stink bait or worms near shore. Channel cats feed heavily near shore during flooded conditions. Freshwater Drum - Good: Most anglers use a simple egg sinker and worm rig. Drum will be hanging out relatively near shore in moderate current areas. Bluegill - Good: Try finding clear water in the upper reaches of backwater areas; use worms and bobber. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Fish the upper ends of backwater areas in cleaner water. Black Crappie - Fair: Use small minnows in the clear upper reaches of backwater areas.  Mississippi River Pool 13
      Water level will fluctuate this week, starting out at 9.2 feet at the Bellevue Lock and Dam. Water clarity is fair. Avoid large tributary streams as they are muddy. The water temperature is around 73 degrees. The north ramp at Sabula is not in use this year due to bridge construction. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try stink bait or worms near shore. Move often if you are not finding catfish. Freshwater Drum - Good: The drum bite is on. Fish worms with an egg sinker in moderate current areas. Fish near the shorelines if possible. Largemouth Bass - Good: Try frog imitation lures and spinner baits in the upper ends of backwater areas and deep in the vegetated areas. Bluegill - Good: Find the clear water in the upper reaches of large backwater complexes; use a simple bobber and worm. Black Crappie - Fair: Use a small minnow and bobber in the upper reaches of backwaters in clear water.  Mississippi River Pool 14
      Water levels are predicted to fluctuate this week, starting at around 9 feet at Fulton Lock and Dam, 12 feet at Camanche and 6.7 feet at the LeClaire. Water clarity is fair. The water temperature is around 73 degrees. Channel Catfish - Good: Try stink bait or worms near shore or along brush piles. Channel cats feed heavily in flooded waters. Freshwater Drum - Good: Use a simple egg sinker/worm rig in moderate current areas. Walleye - Slow: A few walleye were caught off the bank with jigs and minnows. Bluegill - Good: Use a bobber and worm in the upper reaches of Rock Creek or Cattail Slough.  Mississippi River Pool 15
      Water levels are near 10.2 feet at Rock Island and will rise to 12.3 feet. This level will again approach "action" flood stage, so some boat ramps will be flooded. Water clarity is poor. The water temperature is around 74 degrees. Channel Catfish - No Report: Try stink bait or worms near shore. Fish near shore in flooded waters. Freshwater Drum - No Report: Use an egg sinker and worm rigs fished near shore in moderate current areas.  The water levels will fluctuate this week. Most ramps are usable again, but some will have water on them. If you have any angling questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.    Mississippi River Pool 16
      Tailwater stage is 10.36 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities, but is forecast to reach 12.5 feet by the middle of next week. Flood stage is 15 feet. As of Sept. 19th, the Clark's Ferry boat ramp was still closed due to high water, but the ramp at Shady creek is open. The docks have been pulled out at the Fairport Recreational area due to high water. Fishing has been slow.  Mississippi River Pool 17
      Tailwater stage is 10.31 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and is forecast to rise over the weekend. Flood stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 15 feet. River stage at Muscatine is 12.14 feet, but forecast to reach 13.2 feet by the middle of next week. Flood stage at Muscatine is 16 feet. The Kilpeck Landing is closed. Big Timber is also closed due to high water. Fishing has been slow.   Mississippi River Pool 18
      Tailwater stage is 12.57 feet at Lock and Dam 17 above New Boston and has been falling the past week, but is forecast to rise over the weekend. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 17. River level at Keithsburg is 12.52 feet and is forecast to reach 13.1 feet by the middle of next. Flood stage at Keithsburg is 14 feet. The Toolsboro access is inaccessible due to the Odessa road being flooded. Ferry Landing is closed. Fishing has been slow.   Mississippi River Pool 19
      Tailwater stage is 9.43 feet at Lock and Dam 18 and is forecast to start rising over the weekend. Flood stage is 10 feet. River level at Burlington is 14.63 feet and is forecast to start rising over the weekend. Flood stage at Burlington is 15 feet. Fishing has been slow with the high water.   River stages have been falling the past few days. With recent heavy rains, the river is forecast to start rising over the weekend. Some boat ramps are closed due to high water. Main channel water temperature is around 73 degrees. Water clarity is poor due to high water conditions. Fishing has been slow with the high water. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062. SOUTHEAST Big Hollow Lake
      The unstable weather isn't helping the fishing or the number of anglers out on the lake.  Black Crappie - No Report: Start looking for crappies in 6 feet of water. Bluegill - No Report: Bluegills should be moving in to more shallow water soon. Start at 6 feet and work your way in from there.  Deep Lakes
      Grab a pole and go exploring at Deep Lakes; there are lots of ponds to try. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Most of the ponds have good numbers of bass in them; most are smaller, but there are some big ones. Go subtle in your choice of lures with the ultra-clear water. Bluegill - Good: Find the right pond and you can catch some nice bluegills.  Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River)
      The Iowa River still has a lot of flow right now, but is currently back down in its bank with only some low area flooding; it looks to be headed back up.  Lake Belva Deer
      Water warmed up over the last days to around 78 degrees again. The cooler weather forecast should reverse that trend. Black Crappie - Fair: Last week was pretty slow;  crappie should start biting again with the water getting back to normal and cooling off. Channel Catfish - Fair: Should still be able to pick up a few catfish up by the inlet from the marsh. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Picking up a few bass in the more shallow water up along the rocks and gravel bottom areas.  Lake Darling
      The water temperature is back up to about 79 degrees. Water clarity is improving despite more heavy rains earlier this week. Fishing, while still pretty good, is a little more hit and miss due to the weather.  Bluegill - Good: Decent numbers of hand-sized bluegills are being caught in 5 or less feet of water. Water still hasn’t cleared up after last week’s heavy rains. So a little flash to any lure is a good idea. Channel Catfish - Good: Anglers continue to catch catfish. It’s a good time to fish the weirs in the in-lake silt dams as the water from the recent and forecast rains come into the lake. Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass are hovering over the rock piles in about 5-8 feet of water. Spinnerbaits and spoons work best.  Lost Grove Lake
      Water temperature was 78 degrees on Wednesday; the storm may have cooled it off more since then. Black Crappie - Fair: Anglers are still catching crappies out deep, but if the nights stay fairly cool, they should start to move in to shallower water. Largemouth Bass - Good: Run your favorite crankbait on the north side of the lake, out along the mounds on the flats and in shallow.  Skunk River (Coppock to Mississippi River)
      The Skunk River is back down to about 1/2 bank full. The parking areas and lanes to them are still muddy.  For more information on the above lakes and rivers, call the Lake Darling Fisheries Office at 319-694-2430. Central Park Lake
      The lake is close to full after the renovation project; fingerling fish have been stocked.  Coralville Reservoir
      The lake level is at 705 feet (normal pool is 683.4 feet) and slowly falling as of 9/20. All public ramps are under water and the Mehaffey ramp is closed due to construction.  Diamond Lake
      The water is muddy. Black Crappie - Fair: Try small jigs fished over deeper brush. Most fish are 8-9 inches. Channel Catfish - Good: Stink bait works best. Some limits are being reported.   Iowa Lake (Iowa County)
      Largemouth Bass – Slow. Channel Catfish – Slow. Bluegill – Fair. Black Crappie - Fair: Fish in 12-15 feet of water and look for fish suspended a few feet off the bottom.  Iowa River (Coralville Lake to River Junction)
      Catfish were biting at Hills and River Junction before the flows bumped up to 10,000 CFS. Flows will continue to be this high until the Coralville Reservoir is back down to normal, which could be weeks.  Kent Park Lake
      The lake is currently drained for a lake restoration project.  Lake Macbride
      The motor restriction is off; any sized motor may be used at no-wake speed (5 mph). Black Crappie - Fair: Use jigs or minnows around brush; some fish are reported as moving shallower. Walleye - Fair: Troll crawlers or crankbaits in 7-14 feet of water. Largemouth Bass - Fair. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: Try topwater baits early and late then troll during the day. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try cut bait or stink bait. Evenings are best.  Pleasant Creek Lake
      The lake is still 1.5 feet low. Use caution on the lake, as many of the new rock and wood structures are becoming submerged. There are 2 docks in at the main ramp and the fish cleaning station is open.   For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.   Lake Keomah
      Bluegill - Fair: Use small jigs tipped with live bait near shore and around the fishing jetties. Black Crappie - Fair: Use a jig tipped with a minnow around deep structure. Try different depths until you find active fish. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use stink bait or chicken liver in 4-8 feet of water. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Try spinnerbaits, crankbaits or rubber worms around the fishing jetties and along the dam.  Lake Miami
      Largemouth Bass - Fair: Try topwater lures in the early mornings and evenings then switch to rubber worms or crankbaits during the hotter parts of the day. Target the cedar tree piles and the fishing jetties. Bluegill - Fair: Use a chunk of night crawler along the fishing jetties or around the cedar tree piles.  Lake Sugema
      The south boat ramp off of Highway 2 has been reopened. There is now a construction project on the north ramp. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use topwater lures in the early mornings and evenings. As the day progresses, target deeper structure using rubber worms or deep diving crankbaits. Black Crappie - Slow: Crappies are suspended. Try drifting minnows around the flooded timber at different depths to find active fish. Bluegill - Fair: Try live bait tipped on a small jig around the shorelines and fishing jetties. Keep moving until you find active fish.  Lake Wapello
      Channel Catfish - Fair: Use chicken liver or stink bait. Don’t fish too deep as the lake does stratify; target 6-8 feet of water. Largemouth Bass - Good: Use rubber worms or crawdad imitating crankbaits around deep structure. Try also topwater lures around the cedar tree piles in the morning. Bluegill - Fair: Try small jigs tipped with a chunk of night crawler around aquatic vegetation. Black Crappie - Slow: Try jigs tipped with a minnow in 6-10 feet of water.  Rathbun Reservoir
      The current lake level is 906.10 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 stink bait or chicken liver in coves or areas with some water running into the lake. White Crappie - Fair: Try minnows around deeper structure. Trolling small crankbaits can also catch suspended crappies. Crappies will start to move shallow as the water cools. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) - Fair: Troll crankbaits along rocky shorelines and around rock piles. Follow the gulls as they will be where the schools of hybrid striped bass are feeding. Try also vertically jigging spoon baits around rock piles. Walleye - Fair: Use night crawler rigs or troll crankbaits around rock piles and submerged points.  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. Use rubber worms or crankbaits. Topwater lures can be productive along the lily pads. 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 or chicken liver around the fishing jetties and the outer edge of the lily pads.  The district includes Mahaska, Lucas, Wayne, Monroe, Appanoose, Wapello, Davis and Van Buren counties. Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions about fishing in south central Iowa.   SOUTHWEST Beaver Lake
      Black Crappie - Fair: Troll twister tails or tube jigs in the top 3 to 8 feet of water throughout the lake for 9.5 to 10.5 inch crappies Big Creek Lake
      Walleye - Fair: Troll shallow diving shad imitating crankbaits or spinner rigs with night crawlers with little weight to fish 3 to 10 feet deep. The northern half of the lake is best during the summer; start from the beach up to the marina boat ramp. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) - Good: Troll live bait rigs and shad imitating crankbaits or soft plastics mid-lake where the two upper arms of the lake meet. The hybrids are still young, so the upper end on size is around 18 inches Don Williams Lake
      Black Crappie - Good: Good numbers of crappies are being caught trolling twister tail or tube jigs in the upper half of the lake mostly from the boat ramp to 100 yards up from the beach. Many are young fish just under 8 inches, with some bigger ones mixed in.  Lake Ahquabi
      Black Crappie - Fair: Drift or troll small white, pink and chartreuse twister tails or tube jigs.  Red Rock Reservoir
      White Bass - Fair: Fishing below the dam has been the best action for a mix of white bass and hybrid striped bass. Cast white twister tails fluke or paddle tail swim baits. Black Crappie - Fair: Some anglers are catching some of Red Rocks large crappies. Fall is good time to drift or troll panfish jigs in the arms and coves off the main lake.  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 should improve in ponds this week. Always get permission to fish privately-owned ponds. Bluegill - Slow: Anglers report slow fishing in ponds after heavy rains this week. Try fishing 4 feet below the surface for suspended fish. Largemouth Bass - Fair: 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 cut bait or commercial stink baits along weed edges and around structure. Black Crappie - Slow: Find crappies suspended and around structure.  Farm Creek Lake
      Farm Creek has a good fish population with quality sized panfish. Black Crappie - No Report: Fish the creek channel for black crappie up to 12 inches. Bluegill - No Report: Drift or slow troll along the creek channel for bluegills up to 9.5 inches. Largemouth Bass - No Report: There is a good population of 13 to 15 inch bass in the lake.  Lake Anita
      Fishing has picked up now that the weather has stabilized. Water temperature has heated back up to 80 degrees. Water clarity is good. Bluegill - Fair: Look for bluegills close to the creek channel. Slow troll small jigs tipped with crawler for bluegills up to 9.5 inches. Black Crappie - Fair: The early morning crappie bite is best. Slow troll small crank baits or small jigs tipped with power bait to catch 9 to 11 inch fish. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Throw spinners along the vegetation and plastics around deep structure during the day  Lake Manawa
      Lake Manawa is a good destination for summer catfishing. Channel Catfish - Slow: Channel catfish have slowed a bit, but anglers report catching fish around Boy Scout Island. Fish will average 2 to 5 pounds. White Crappie - No Report: There is a good population of white crappies in Manawa.  Orient Lake 
      Bluegill - No Report: Bluegills at Orient have good body condition. Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish are actively feeding below the rock sediment dam. Cast liver, crawlers or cut bait next to the current. Black Bullhead - Fair: Catch quality sized bullheads with night crawlers below the rock sediment structure.  Prairie Rose Lake
      Prairie Rose will offer good panfishing. The lake has quality sized bluegills and acceptable size crappies. The water clarity has improved to 2 feet this week. Bluegill - Slow: Bluegills are in a summer pattern. Look for fish around underwater reefs and drift/troll open water areas. Bluegills in Prairie Rose are 8 to 9.5 inches. Largemouth Bass - Fair: There is a large population of 12 inch bass in the lake that offers fun catch and release fishing. Black Crappie - Slow: Try vertical jigging or minnows under a slip bobber in the brush piles to catch 10 plus inch black crappies. Be prepared to lose tackle.  Viking Lake
      The pontoon area will be closed starting Sept. 28th for repairs to the seawall. Channel Catfish - Good: Cast liver in the pontoon area of the lake. Sorting is needed for larger fish. Black Crappie - Fair: Use tube jigs early in the morning and late afternoon. The fish are averaging 9 inches. Largemouth Bass - Slow: Jig plastics in deeper brush piles during the day and cast shallow structure early morning for largemouth bass of all sizes.  Water temperatures have jumped back up near 80 degrees in the S.W. district. For more information, contact the Cold Springs office at 712-769-2587.   Green Valley Lake
      Largemouth Bass - Fair: Catch largemouth bass up to 20 inches with finesse plastics fished near cedar tree brush piles. Bluegill - Good: Catch bluegill up to 8.5 inches with worms fished in shallow bays and along fishing jetties. Black Crappie - Fair: Catch crappies up to 9 inches using minnows fished near cedar tree brush piles. Little River Watershed Lake
      Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth bass of all sizes have been caught using topwater baits fished in early morning or late evening or finesse plastics fished near cedar tree brush piles. Bluegill - Fair: Catch bluegills up to 9 inches with worms fished near cedar tree brush piles. Channel Catfish - Good: Catch channel catfish up to 10 pounds with prepared baits or chicken liver fished near main lake points in the evenings. Walleye - Fair: Catch walleye up to 22 inches using minnows fished along the roadbed or main lake points. Three Mile Lake
      Bluegill - Good: Catch bluegills up to 8 inches with worms fished in shallow bays. Walleye - Fair: Catch walleyes up to 18 inches with crankbaits or minnows fished along the fish mounds or the dam.  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 or rocky areas. Bluegill - Good: Catch bluegill up to 8.5 inches with worms fished in shallow bays. Walleye - Fair: Catch walleyes of all sizes using minnows or crankbaits fished in 10 feet of water.  Black Crappie - Good: Catch crappie up to 9 inches with minnows fished near cedar tree brush piles. Water temperature in most district lakes is in the mid to upper 70'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 - Good: During high water levels, try below flooded wing dams and 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. Use worms, cut bait, or dip baits. 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 - Good: 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 - Good: During high water levels, try below flooded wing dams and 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. Use worms, cut bait, or dip baits. 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 - Good: Anglers report catching blue catfish on rod and reel and trotlines. Use live bait or fresh cut bait along wing dam tips or in or close to the main channel of the Missouri River. Flathead Catfish - Fair: 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 - Good: During high water levels, try below flooded wing dams and 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. Use worms, cut bait, or dip baits.  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 - Good: 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 - Fair: 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 28.26 ft. /63,600 cfs./74 degrees Fahrenheit. Missouri River water temperatures are up 3 degrees from last week and water levels are down 0.04 feet. Water levels continue to be 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. Fishing has been good to fair. 
    • I hung 4 tanglefoot traps this year and quit counting at 200k bugs(counted out 1/4 cup to get a baseline). Lots of days with a gallon or more caught, sometimes 2. Lots of info stating it just makes matters worse, but I disagree. Despite inviting clouds of them plant damage was minimal compared to not trapping. My cherry tree hasn't been completely defoliated since trapping began last year. Still gets hit, but not bad. Haven't noticed any real lawn damage either.  Just for easy math, if half were females I prevented over 5 million eggs from being laid. I like not using poison and bycatch was only 2-3 bumblebees over the last 2 years. If you decide to trap stay away from bag traps. They are a pain and greatly increase the number of dead stinky bugs in the trap, which acts as a repellant. https://www.amazon.com/Tanglefoot-Japanese-Beetle-Xpando-Trap/dp/B077XLPN3J/ref=sr_1_6?s=lawn-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1537568898&sr=1-6&keywords=japanese+beetle+trap&dpID=51WRxjClq%2BL&preST=_SX300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch  
    • If you have season tickets and your not going because your pitcher is not pitching.  Please PM me, I'll sit in your seats that game for yea!  🙂
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