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Corey Bechtold

What's Workin Now...

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Well I hope to get out today and chase some of those early season Panfish. The boat's ready, reels have new line, and I have some new plastics to try. All I need now is for the fish to cooperate. I'll probably have the kids along so I'll have to hope for some action to keep them interested. I hope to have my report up later.

What kind of luck has everybody else had? Colors, sizes, shapes?

Lets get it started! grin.gif

Corey Bechtold

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Hi Corey, We have done real well using 2 inch Puddle Jumpers on a 1/32oz jighead. The best color combo was pink head/pearl white body. We found our fish on the edges of some main lake shelves, where they were hanging out during late ice. The crappies were tucked down in he cabbage weeds in 6-8 feet. The key was to fish right down in the weeds, bobber set at 6 feet. We hit some real dandies the day after the ice went out. I'm sure that you can start getting them in shallow too.

crappies04134xv.th.jpg

Twin 14 Inch Slabs

"C & R Puddle Jumpers"

Jason Erlandson

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Nice report Jason. I also have a rod ready to go with a Puddle Jumper. laugh.gif I hope to get some fish like you displayed. Nice job on the C+R too!

Corey Bechtold

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Here on Tonka I'm finding the crops in the shallow bays, however they are tight lipped as of yet. I'm thinking the females are doing their thing because all we have caught so far are males. Any how, they don't seem to want live bait so we've stuck with beetle spins and similar types. This has provided reaction bites.

After dark it's another story. I'm hitting some of my late ice spots with the good old minnow/jig under a float. It's pretty much to the point where you throw it out and reel it back with a fish. I wouldn't say it's anywhere near "peak" yet so I'm excited to see what's in store!! Good luck to you.

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Today the bite was definitely the paddletail for me. I don't know how many fish I caught but did keep three in the 11 inch range for my lunch.

Colors were variable today. Junebug/chartreuse in the Culprit bait but the "other" paddletail with the ringed body was hot in the blue/chartreuse and chartreuse.

Most of the fish came off deep water at about five feet and were definitely preferring to hit "up". The amount of activity dropped way off if the bait was lowered even a foot. Fickle fish.

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We found the prespawn crappies!! Hit the spot up a few times and have been nailing them in 2-3 fow. Using 1 1/2 inch tube jigs on bare hooks. Red body, chartruese legs and a black head. Letting them just slowly sink. Nothing like prespawn crappies cause they are just vicious! They also seem to turn off when the sun hits the horizon, we probably need to try some live bait then. Gotta keep that C&R practiced otherwise we might not get them here next year. Goin out tonight and we will see what happens. grin.gif

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That a boy Mike! Glad to hear you're on some pannies. Good job on the C&R too, those lakes you're on are fragile. Any bigguns?

Good Fishin,

Matt Johnson

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I was out tonight in a proven early crappie spot, but the water is just a touch too cold yet I think. Although I did see what appeared to be minnows dimpling the surface. Oh yeah, I had a battle royal on the ultralight and 4lb test with a fat, porker of a 27" walleye. How in the heck am I gonna beat that this season? Oh well, it was a great night out, even though I didn't catch any crappies. I did catch one little gator too. With the warm weather this weekend, hopefully the water will warm up a touch. I may have to convince my wife to go with me on Monday evening and try it again.

Brian

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We hit the spot and the crappies were just like the night before but we tried using some live bait. Caught some really nice gills mixed in with the crappies. We easily caught our limit with 3 people but didnt keep any of those sucker cause they were just full of eggs. Its a common misconception of how big the fish is and how big the eggs inside them are. We caught crappies from 6-12 in. and a few really nice ones that got off. It seemed like all the gills that we caught we no smaller then 8 inches with a couple that had to go 9" There were There were 4 other boats in the area that were fishing and they were all keeping fish. I know i have seen a couple of them in that area before and they all must go home and eat fish every night. smirk.gif

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Well my report isn't so great. I searched all over for some warm water and the warmese I found was 55 degrees and all that was in that shallow water was small Northerns, Bass, and timy Sunfish. I moved around and found some emerging weeds in 8 feet of water but the Crappies weren't there. Although the kids didn't have too much action for Crappies they did have a blast reeling in a couple of those Bass. Right at sunset there was a brief Crappie bite and I got the fish on Berkley 1" Power tubes, white on a 1/32oz jighead. I tried Paddletails, Puddle Jumpers, and even flies on the flyrod. The Crappies seemed to be inactive last night. I have a thought that these fish are taking advantage of the major hatch of insects that happened right after dark. Hopefully they will bite better today. I'll try and report later. Here is a picture of one of the Crappies Brooke landed last night.

springfish0028hn.jpg

Good Luck this weekend,

Corey Bechtold

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I like to focus primarily on plastics this time of year, as well as most of the open water months when targeting pannies. Profile is most important right now. Panfish will feed aggressively during spring periods and the use of larger baits shouldn't be shunned upon either. 2-inch plastics are not uncommon for even bluegills at this time of year. A variety of styles can be put into play right now, not to mention colors. CrappieTom (to be honest) has just about perfected the art of pitching plastics for pannies and knowing when, where and how to fish them. He will emphasize color, profile, size and action during this time of the year, and his techniques change as the open water season progresses. His contribution to this topic is almost invaluable.

Right now I'm tossing plastics in two different color patterns (broad category). Natural colors and vibrant colors. Whites and glitters are producing, as are purples and hints of chartruese and high-light. Pinks are also a good choice. I know BDR has been landing panfish pretty consistently as of late with a gold jighead and a white twister-tail for a body. Seems to reflect well in the water and also gives off an excellent profile with the white contrasting in the darker water causing it to appear slightly bigger than it is. The twister-tail also provides action and triggers a response from fish both near and far.

Many panfish are indeed looking for food right now and as the water temps continue to warm you will see an even higher activity level. The recent, and present, rains will also provide some nutrients into the shallows as well. I was just talking with Corey Bechtold (another FM staffer who I would consider to be an expert on panfish) and we both like the concept that spring rain brings to the panfish bite. Seems to only trigger the bite in some situations and rains like we're seeing now I'd consider to be one of those situations. Temps are still holding and by adding a warm spell like we're going to see tomorrow should result in a pretty decent bite.

With the huge variety of plastics we have available to use today, we can just about mimic anything. Plastics can be trimmed down to match profile, size and action, and colors can be implemented for the desired look. The versatility of plastics is incredible and to be completely honest, it has been over a year since I've used livebait for open water panfish. The demand is just not there if plastics are thrown into the equation. Under the ice is a different story, because panfish will examine a bait much longer and tend to feed smaller and with less of a kamikaze approach. But, during open water, the importance of profile, color and action play more of a role. I've also noticed a size difference (in regards to the size of fish) when using plastics vs. livebait. The fish taken on plastics, on average, are larger than those taken on livebait.

Confidence is the key here. It's tough to shy away from livebait when targeting panfish, and that's understandable, but once you acquire that confidence that plastics can (and will) work, you'll be a more versatile panfish angler and you're success for catching quality fish will not decrease.

Just like any fish, at any given time there are plastics that will work on panfish and there are plastics that will not. If one style or color isn't working, try another one. It doesn't mean the fish don't want plastics, it just means they don't want that plastic. I'm not tossing livebait out of the equation either, and in now way is it wrong to use livebait for panfish, I'm just offerring up a different approach that works for me, and I believe that it is something that will work for you as well with a little bit of time and practice.

In my opinion, there is no better source than CrappieTom on the topic of plastics for panfish, and there is an almost endless amount of information on plastics that you can read and soak up in this forum that Tom has posted. This is an excellent opportunity to ask whatever questions you have and to get an answer from one of the most knowledgable anglers on this subject. And then you throw in the knowledge of Corey Bechtold, United Jigsticker and the other panfish diehards, and you have a very valuable tool. There isn't a quesiton that they can't answer and they each have their own insight on every topic (and might I add, insight that has worked for me and insight that I use everytime I hit the water). I've learned an incredible amount of information from these anglers and I'm always looking forward to what I can learn next.

This time of year brings a lot of excitement and opportunity. We get to finally drop the boat in the lake again after a long winter, and we get to partake in the aggressive feeding frenzy that the panfish bring to the shallows. This is one of my favorite times of the year and it's a time when anglers, both young and old, can cash in on some excellent fishing.

Good Fishin,

Matt Johnson

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Great post Matt. I plan on taking my wife and boys out later today if the rain lets up. I have a question for you or anyone else that might be able to help. I hear the talk about crappies in shallow water this time of year, but would I be able to find them deeper as well? I had a lot of success fishing crappies in a certain spot during the winter and I'm wondering if they might still be there this time of year? I was fishing in about 26ft just outside of some structure. I'll try shallow and deep, but I hear a lot of talk about shallow water.

Thanks

Ole

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I don't think I'd tossing all of my fishing eggs in the shallow water basket just yet. A cold rain , a cold front, or a string of very cool days will pull the heat from the water and the fish will do the proverbial disappearing act.

If the water you plan to fish has some deep water adjecent some shallower water, like a small bay, I'd begin by running the electronics over the deep stuff to see if anyone is home there. If there is a bit of structure (weed re-growth or wood), so much the better. later in the day, if the sun shines, look in that shallower water for the fish. In most ares it is too early for the fish to be set up for spawning even if eggs are apparent. The eggs only indicate that the fish is a female. If you want to determine the stage of of the fish to spawning, look at the testes of the male fish. Until these gland swell and occupy a good portion of the gut cavity, the spawn is not going to happen soon.

Right now your best fishing will be in that trnsitional water between deep and shallow. It takes a long time for the fish to give up on deep water after ice-out.

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i hear a lot about plastics, so i went out and bought a kit of paddletails, and was going to get one of tubes, but had to get a rod/reel instead. How are you guys fishing these plastics? if your casting, are you just using the jig and plastic, or adding weights to it?

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I managed to get 7 crappies that went 10.5"-12" the other night in about 2 feet of water. They were more active on the fatheads under a float and a green jig although I had a few hits on glow pink they preferred the green. Mud bottom areas with a few weeds seemed to concentrate them a little more. The water was ultra clear so it was mainly a nite bite.

GOOD FISHIN!!!

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Not!!! We have been planning all week to get out today. We monitored the weather and thought that at only 20% chance of light stuff in the morning we would be safe.

We loaded up everything and hit the road. It was a nice calm morning and we had high hopes. We got to the landing, put the boat in the water and the first sprinkles started comming down. We motored across the lake to our spot and the rain continued, then it got harder and continued somemore, then it was just steady rain. We fished for a while because we were there, 4 nice LM Bass, 4 slimers, and that was it, no Crappies. It was 52 degrees when we went out and 46 when we came back in...we got over 3/4 inch of rain today.

After an hour or so, we pulled the plug, we had had enough fun for one morning!

But hope springs eternal....I never unhitched the boat, we are going to give it another shot in the morning! grin.gif

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The temp was 45 today. The rain was cool. But the sunnies were biting. Smaller ones in the shallows today. Did see a couple large bass cruising around. Also saw one northern cruising around. In with the sunnies were perch.

I started with waxies and switched to plastics. Matt, you're right. Until I switched to the plastics, I was catching all tiny guys. It was all the bigger ones once I switched.

Would you say the fish will be on large flats or in areas where there's a slow sloping? Where we were today, it was a fairly large flat area.

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Lost....The sunnies will be a couple weeks behind the crappies. The crappies will .or should be , looking at some structure getting relative to the pre spawn areas. Your sunnies on flats is no surprize then. If you can find some new-growth weeds on these flats I'd be looking to fish near them...maybe not in them but right next to the weedline. If they are not too tall yet, the tops of weeds might hold real active fish too.

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We got rained out yesterday, but we more then made up for it today.

We went out in the fog this morning and it was thick! We left the launch and you had to keep it throttled back because you could see nothing for more then a boat length or so in front of you.

I set my trusty internal compass, assured my nephew we were headed in the right direction and ended up on the wrong side of the lake!

No problem, I had just neglected to adjust the interior compass for daylight savings time!

Hard to port we went and I aimed her toward the spot, we were on our way, this time I had it bagged! About 10 minutes later, we were back in front of the same lakeside cottage again and we were laughing harder then the Loons that were on the lake in numbers today.

The third times a charm they say, (Or is it the third guy on a match gets shot?) whatever, the third time we hit our targe area almost literally! The shorline came up alot faster then what I would have liked!

For the better part of the morning and early afternoon, we hunted like hounds and had little to show for our efforts, except a few little sunnies and a couple little Crappies.

We did get on them for a little bit in one area, bagging 4 of them in the 12 inch range. We finally found where they were congrgated about 1:30 and proceeded to have a grand old time!

We bagged about 15 or 20 bass for the day and the biggest was about 3 pounds. We also got a half dozen slimers. Had our 4# test cut afew times also. Those bass and pike sure like to bite before the season opens.

We got some pretty fair sized sunnies also, all of them guys went back, we were after Crappies. The Crappies did'nt seem to be interested in the little tube jigs and curlytails we were throwing at them...put a little crappie minnow on a plain wire hook, 2 feet below a small float and it would barely hit the water and down it would go.

The same with the little ball head jigs, a minnie through the lips and it was lights out! We were fishing the Crappies in about 4 feet of water, over a very fertile bottom, was probably heating up nicely. There was what I believe were Lilly Pads shoots growing, at least that is what they looked like to me? We were right over the tops of them, in a little cove and I swear that the plants grew throughout the course of the day, because when we first set up, we would'nt snag them...toward the late afternoon, we started snagging the weeds and had to go even shallower.

All in all a very good day, we caught about 30 Crappies, released most of them, but some made the trip home with us to!

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Hey Grebe, where was your handheld gps unit with background map??

dockehr

Lindy Tackle

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dockehr...you know, I thought about that when we were out in that fog, but it sits where it usually sits, in my top dresser drawer at home!

I don't know why I don't use it? They are fun to mess around with, but most of the time I have a good idea of where I'm going and it is'nt foggy!

Had I not been so sure I could find my way, in retrospect, I should have hugged the shoreline, right to the destination. Oh well, it was an adventure!

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Tom writes about the "disappearing act" and that is what Matt Johnson, Bailey and myself found on Sunday. We decided to hit some lakes that typically produce larger than average Bluegills and Crappies. It was a shot in the dark because neither of us had spent much time on these lakes other than winter months. When we arrived we found very high water conditions and fluctuating water temperatures. We hit a lot of high percentage spots where the fish should have been to no avail. We tossed everything we had at these fish that obviously weren't there. Water temps were anywhere from low 50's to 59.5 degrees. Still no fish. I watched the locator out in deeper water and still saw no sign of life. The lakes we fished didn't have real deep water to speak of but we did check the basins (16' max). Where were the fish? I certainly don't know. Maybe the previous rain moved them off the for sure spots and made them suspend high enough in the water column where the locator couldn't pick them up? I don't know. For all our efforts we only managed to boat one small Pike while I lost a nice Smallie and Matt lost either a Pike or nice Walleye. We did however have a fun day considering the fish didn't cooperate. Good company, good weather, and good laughs made up for the poor fishing. There is another good side to this bad day though. Even though we didn't catch much I feel that I learned more with this bad day than if we would have had a good day. Sometimes fish can tell us a lot about what they can handle weather and water wise even if we can't catch them. I can't wait to get back out and try and learn more about these Panfish. smile.gif

Better luck next time,

Corey Bechtold

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • It was slow for us this year, steelhead on Sunday afternoon, and only a couple nice kings on Monday. But the potential for a big fish is there again this year.   My friend is a little on the small side, always makes nice fish look HUGE.   My early morning fish came in at 23.6 lbs. A pound and a half heavier than the top pic.      
    • Nice work, that looks incredible. And I'm a big fan of the grey motif.   Thanks for the show and write up.
    • Yeah we brought it up to our cabin and sleep in it if there are a bunch of people up there. Thanks!
    • Are you guys using it as a summer camper as well?  Super Product right there!  😎
    • Thanks! It weighed in over what I thought which was disappointing. It was right around 7000 lbs with full propane tanks and some other stuff in it. We actually weighed it just after getting spray foamed and it was already at like 5000 lbs I’m not sure how others that did the same style steel stud house have a finished weight around 5500 lbs.    The cost in materials was above 20K but below 25 still too scared to finish adding the receipts. We really tried to use the best materials we could find and not cut any corners. When I was pricing stuff out before we started my ballpark was 19K but I forgot to add a tv screws wire and little stuff like that.    Yeah it took a lot of time but I enjoyed it for the most part. I’m actually getting kind of bored now and don’t know what to do with all the free time. 
    • Thanks for taking the time to do a write up and post all the pics! That alone is a big undertaking in itself. Nice work.   any idea what finished weight is for the entire house?    And just a ballpark figure are you willing to share what it costs in material to build something like this?   I can’t imagine how many hours of your own labor you got into this build. I think it turned out amazing.
    • Alright here’s the finished product. I think it turned out pretty nice. Still need a stove/ range but working on it.    Underneath the lift bed there are 7 lights and two speakers. There are 4 lights above the lift bed. The 3 middle lights underneath are on one button the outer 4 are on a different button and above are on a separate button.  55” smart tv recessed into to wall. The speakers really kick out some sound in this thing though. The tv sound comes out of the 5 speakers in the house which are all ran through the stereo and an amp.      Hole lights  Single light above the stove area  This door is for the satellite receiver. The black center piece is tinted acrylic so you can still use the remote with the door shut. The hole just below the tv is also so you can use the tv remote.  Battery monitor  Supply and return water temperatures for the in floor heat. I was actually really surprised I got my 20 degree delta t I calculated for.  Lights above lift bed. Lift bed in lowest position. Could go lower but that’s just where we put the lowest at.  Different height if people are sleeping below.  Folding table.  These are the cabinets inside the bathroom wall. These are only about 9” deep but I think they will be deep enough for a little more storage. The converter is in here as well it is just above the wiring panel. And the large center square is a false front so you can access the tv wires. I think we are going to go with the dry flush toilet. I put a little 12 v outlet in there so it can br ran off the house batteries.     The only other thing I did that i don’t know if others have done is I wired the rear porch light to the reverse wire of the trailer plug. So when you put the truck in revers that porch light comes on and lights everything up.    I think that’s everything. Feel free to ask any questions if you have any. And thanks again to lipripper and others for posting their builds the information was a ton of help and sorry if I copied too much of your design. 
    • Next we made the back benches that our couches sit on. These things are very comfortable. The couches are the same ones they use in the firebrand fish houses. Matt from fish n style ordered them for us.     Both fold out to be beds. We also bought a 4” thick piece of foam that can go over the whole thing to make one bed when it’s used for camping.  Under each couch we made drawers. I figured it would be a pain to have to lay on the ground and open some doors to get something. They actually can hold a ton of stuff.  Both rear couches have the drawers.      Next we started working on our cabinets above the wheel wells. The two inside openings have doors and the outer two are soft close drawers.      We then made some countertops. They were actually really easy to make.    For our our upper bunk in the back we wanted it to be a lift bed. We did similar to what lip ripper did without the strut trolly things. We used some plastic that just keeps the bed within the strut. For our unistrut we found some super light aluminum strut that worked great. We are going to make a black cover to go over the foam.   inside the bed looks like this.      We have two motors inside the bed. One motor runs one side and the other runs the other. So basically the motor is in the middle and two cables come off of the wheel going opposite directions. Each cable goes around a pulley so now they are both heading for the wall. Once they get to the edge of the bed there is another pulley that directs the cable up towards the ceiling. On top of the strut we have a bolt that the cable is connected to. Each side does this. And the motors are wired together and are ran by a switch. We have holes drilled at different heights on the strut for pins to go through and the bed then rests on the pins. The motors were kind of pulling the bed up at different speeds so we contacted the motor company and they said thar getting two motors to go exactly the same speed without spending a ton of money is very hard to do. So we are going to try and either find one motor to somehow control all four sides or somehow connect the two motors with a shaft. But it does go up and down just one side ends up being about an inch higher once you get to the top.    Next up finished pictures.             
    • The house is done I’m just slowly putting pictures up and describing it.    Next thing we did was have it spray foamed. Which was a nightmare we went with the cheaper guy which was a mistake. I would not recommend American Spray foam which is who we used. After it was spray foamed we started the in floor heat similar to liprippers 2017 build. We put down 2 layers of 3/4” 250 pink foam board. In the top layer we used a router to make a groove where we wanted our pex to go worked out pretty slick. Next we put down as many heat transfer plates as we could. We used these little pex clips that got screwed into the plywood to hold the pex down around bends and a few straight places. Next we Pushed the pex into the heat transfer plates and the clips. We did ours with one zone that was around 120’ of pex.  I took a bunch of pictures of where all the pex ran with the tape measure showing how far away each line was from walls and stuff so We didn’t screw into it accidentally      We then put a layer of aluminum over all the pex.      We then stained all our pine tongue and groove. We used Jacobean then went over it with grey for a little different look. I think it turned out pretty good. For the trim pieces and cabinets we used special walnut. After the pine was stained we started nailing it to the furring strips.  For the window casings we used cedar in case there was any condensation. For the window trim we used pine. Once we got to this point I was a little nervous thinking our stain looked like something you’d see in your grandparents house but we kept going.  All these wires are for the lights and speakers we put in the lift bed.  We kind of installed lights and other things as we went.  Soms of the tongue and groove pine looked really cool and unique when we were staining and we set those aside and used them on the front wall. We thought about doing some fake stone looking stuff  but we were feeling the time crunch.  Next we started making some upper cabinets and finishing the window casings and trim. We’ve never done any of this so we were just kind of learning as we went.      Once we got the upper cabinets made we screwed them in place.    next we put up the backer for the tv. We used 3/4” pine I think they were 10” wide. Wasn’t exactly sure which tv we were getting and they all vary a bit in size so we stained it in case you could see behind it. Oh I forgot we also put the rubber coin floor down. We purchased it from garage floor LLC. The first roll they sent took like a month to get and it was the wrong floor but after I told them I needed the right floor right away they had the new roll on the doorstep the next day which was surprising. The floor got screwed down under cabinets and where the hole covers went. But by the time we got to the floor it was cold already and new we would have to figure something out in the summer when it got hot and expanded. So this summer when it was good and hot we pulled the edges of the floor tight and used some left over VHB tape which actually worked to keep it tight.  After the floor was done we started piping the in floor heat. We accidentally broke the  insulation around the water heater which is why it’s taped. We put some unions off of the pump in case it fails. We use the furnace to get the house up to temp while the floor is heating up but once everything is up and running the furnace never kicks on. I was trying to figure out how I wanted to control the system and was trying to ask lipripper questions but he has a patent on his so he couldn’t really answer.  What I ended up doing was running 5v from the arduino board to the thermostat. I then ran a wire from the thermostat to my relay board. The relay board I am using  closes the circuit when it gets 5 volts. So when the thermostat calls for heat 5 volts is allowed to pass through the thermostat back to the relay board closing the circuit that I have wired to the hydronic pump. You could use any relay for this just have to pick the voltages that you have available in your fish house. So I’m not really sure how lipripper did his but that is how I did mine and it works.  The whole in floor heat system fits under the front couch. I call this the mechanical room since all the moving parts are under this couch. We have the hydronic system, the hydraulic pump to raise and lower the fish house and our batteries. Only have the one battery in this picture but we have one battery for our hydraulics and two 6v gold cart batteries wires in series for everything else. The two 6v batteries are charged by the converter and the single battery is charged by a one bank minnkota  on board charger.     
    • NORTHWEST Black Hawk Lake
      Water temperatures are around 80 degrees. Water levels are 5 inches over the crest of the spillway. Bluegill - Slow: Try Town Bay, Ice House Point, and the North Shore. Use a small hair or tube jig with a small piece of crawler fished under a bobber in 5-6 feet of water. Target deeper fish this time of year on the rock piles near Gunshot Hill, Cottonwood Point, and the East Basin. Walleye - Fair: Try leeches or crawler harnesses around Ice House Pt, the dredge cut near Denison Beach, and around the rock piles near Gunshot Hill, Cottonwood Point and the East Basin. Largemouth Bass - Good: Catch largemouth all over the lake using traditional bass lures. Many anglers have found good bass action at the Ice House Point, the east shoreline,and the lake side of the inlet bridge. There is a 15 inch minimum length limit on largemouth bass in Black Hawk Lake.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Use stink bait, cut bait, or crawler fished on the bottom along Ice House Point and in Town Bay. Look for fish along rocky shorelines this time of year.  Brushy Creek Lake
      There is a 15 inch minimum length limit on largemouth bass in Brushy Creek Lake, and a 40 inch minimum length limit for musky. Walleye - Fair: Use minnows and leaches in 15-20 feet of water. Black Crappie - Fair: Try minnows on a jig in 10-20 feet of water near submerged structure. Yellow Perch - Fair: Find perch along the vegetation and deeper structure. Largemouth Bass - Good: Catch bass along weed lines near shore just about anywhere with traditional bass lures. There is a 15 inch minimum length limit on largemouth bass in Brushy Creek Lake.  Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
      Storm Lake has a daily limit of 3 walleye and all 17- to 22-inch walleye must be released; no more than one walleye longer than 22 inches may be taken per day. Walleye - Fair: Boat anglers are picking up fish trolling crankbaits or drifting crawler harnesses on the edges of the dredge cuts around the lake in about 8 feet of water. White Bass - Fair: Use crankbaits; most action has been from boat while fishing dredge cuts.  Swan Lake 
      Bluegill - Fair: Use a small jig tipped with crawler along the dam and off the jetties in 3-6 feet of water. Most fish are 6-7 inches.  Water temperatures in Black Hawk District lakes are around 80 degrees. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.   Beeds Lake
      Black Crappie - Good: Drift fish or troll with a tube jig or small minnow.  Clear Lake
      Clear Lake is 3 inches above crest. Surface water temperature is 81 degrees. Walleye - Fair: Troll spinners near the edge of vegetation in 3 to 6 feet of water. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use stink bait or cut bait after dark. Black Crappie - Good: Try fishing the edge of the vegetation with a jig and minnow.  Crystal Lake
      Bluegill – Fair: Bluegill are biting. Use a small piece of crawler and a bobber in 2 to 3 feet of water. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Bass are biting spinners and plastic baits. Black Crappie - Good: Drift or troll small tube jigs in the dredge cut.  Lake Smith
      Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth bass are biting on a variety of baits. Bluegill –Good: Bluegill are biting. Use a small piece of crawler and a bobber in 2 to 3 feet of water.  Upper Pine Lake
      Largemouth Bass - Good: Use topwater baits.  For information on the lakes and rivers in the north central area, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.    East Okoboji Lake
      Yellow Bass - Good: Excellent bite continues with good numbers of fish being caught. Cast mini-jigs or hair-jigs or use small baits tipped with wigglers. Walleye - Good: Numbers of fish are being caught with traditional baits; good numbers of yellow bass are mixed in with the catch. Bluegill - Good: Anglers report a good panfish bite of bluegill and crappie continues. Use small jigs tipped with waxworms in the weed lines.  Lake Pahoja
      Bluegill - Good: Recent surveys show good numbers of large angler size fish in the lake.  Lost Island Lake
      Walleye - Good: Walleye action has improved; reports of the best action in areas with flow. Yellow Bass - Good: Reports of yellow bass being caught. Use small lures such as a twister tail or hair jigs. Channel Catfish - Good: Numbers of fish were caught over the weekend, contact the local bait shop for more information.   Spirit Lake
      Walleye - Good: Troll live bait or crankbaits. Yellow Perch - Good: Report of yellow perch action "picking up" on the lake with good numbers of angler acceptable size fish being caught. Northern Pike - Good: Look for areas with flow for the best action. West Okoboji Lake
      Bluegill - Good: Rock piles in deeper water with stands of aquatic growth will produce good numbers of angler acceptable sized fish.  For more information throughout the week, contact the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.    NORTHEAST Cedar River (above Nashua)
      Water levels are stabilizing, but flows remain high. Visibility has improved. Visit the USGS Current Water Data website for current water level information. Walleye - Good: Use a jig tipped with a crawler, minnow or twister tail. Look for fish near deep water drop offs. Channel Catfish - Slow: Target snags for catfish using stink baits or chicken liver fished on bottom. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Use a variety of jigs or spinners near brush piles. Black Crappie - Fai: Crappie are keying into shallow rocky shorelines. Use small jigs tipped with twister tail or minnow.  Decorah District Streams
      Yellow wild parsnip is blooming. Wear long sleeved clothing when walking through it to prevent skin contact. Flows remain high, but most can be fished. Catchable trout are stocked weekly as weather and water conditions permit. Listen to the trout stocking hotline (563-927-5736) for daily information. Brook Trout - Good: A variety of aquatic and terrestrial insects, like ants and beetles, are more numerous. Use care not to spook a feeding fish. Brown Trout - Good: Hendrickson, caddis, and cranefly hatches are occurring. Crickets are common along streams now. Use hendrickson, gnat or beadhead nymph patterns. Pale yellow, black, brown, and grey colors work best. Try using terrestrial patterns for crickets and ants. Rainbow Trout - Good: Try a piece of worm or small cheese chunk on a hook under a bobber in the deeper holes or floated past an undercut bank. A variety of small spinnerbaits also work. Lake Hendricks
      Water is stained green; limited visibility.  Best bite is in the evening and early morning. Black Crappie - Fair: Use small jigs in shallow areas. Anglers are finding large numbers of small fish. Largemouth Bass - Good: Use spinnerbaits and soft plastics along edges of vegetation. Bluegill - Fair: Try a small jig tipped with small piece of worm along the shoreline.  Lake Meyer
      Green algae bloom continues. Water clarity is good. Water temperatures are in the mid 80's. Bluegill - Fair: Use a hook tipped with a worm in shallow water along vegetated edges. Black Crappie - Slow: Try a hook tipped with a worm or small spinner bait along a rocky shoreline. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use topwater baits  along weed edges.  Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
      Water clarity is much improved. Water levels are stabilizing, but flows remain high. Be aware of river conditions ahead of you; snags and log jams may have moved or trees may be blocking the river corridor.  Walleye - Fair: Bring an assortment of tackle to find what works best for your location and time of day. Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Use feathered spinnerbaits or crankbaits near rocky ledges.  Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
      Water levels are stabilizing with much improved clarity. Trees and other debris may be blocking the main channel. Visit the USGS Current Water Data website for more information. Walleye - Fair: Cast bright colored jigs and twister tails over deep water drop offs. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Use spinnerbaits and crankbaits near rock ledges and undercut banks.  Volga Lake
      Algae bloom continues with warm water temperatures. Fish activity is better toward evening. Black Crappie - Good: Find fish near submersed structure or in open water. Use a light colored jig with twistertail. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use topwater lures around structure. Channel Catfish - Fair: Find catfish shallow in early morning or late night. Use worm, chicken liver, or cut bait fished on the bottom. Bluegill - Good: Use small jigs tipped with a small piece of worm along shallow rocky areas. Common Carp - Fair: Use bright lights and bows in the shallow bays at night .  Rain Thursday and Friday; breezy. Temperatures will be in the 80's. Rivers and streams with better watersheds will clear faster .For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.   Big Woods Lake
      Largemouth Bass – Fair. Bluegill – Fair. Black Crappie – Fair. Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
      Vegetation has become abundant around lake edges, so adjust strategies to fish over or through plants. Catfish anglers are fishing deep water with frogs, shrimp or stink baits. 
       Largemouth Bass – Fair: Size has been good. Bluegill – Fair. Channel Catfish - Excellent: Catfish are biting on a variety of baits. Best bite is early morning and late evening. Catfish size has been excellent.  Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
      The Cedar River is running at 5100 CFS as of July 19 in Waterloo or about 2 times above median flow. Smallmouth Bass – Fair. Walleye – Fair. Channel Catfish – Good: Use stinkbaits or fresh baits. George Wyth Lake
      Bluegill - Fair. Largemouth Bass – Fair.  Manchester District Streams
      Trout streams in Delaware, Dubuque, and Jackson Counties are in good condition. Trout stocking was completed as scheduled during the week of July 16-20. Try caddis in the late evening and hoppers during midday. Stocked fish are biting on a variety of presentations. Brown Trout – Fair. Brook Trout – Good. Rainbow Trout – Good. Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
      The Maquoketa River at Manchester is flowing at about 136 CFS as of July 19; this is near average for median flows on this date. Smallmouth Bass – Fair. Walleye – Fair. Channel Catfish – Fair.  Maquoketa River (below Monticello)
      White Sucker – Fair. Walleye - Fair: Use crankbaits or live bait. Smallmouth Bass – Slow.  Martens Lake
      Expect to fish through and around vegetation. Adjust tactics as needed, including heavy baits or topwater options. Largemouth Bass – Good. Plainfield
      Bluegill – Fair. Largemouth Bass – Fair. South Prairie Lake
      Vegetation has become abundant; adjust strategies accordingly, including topwater baits and weedless baits. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use topwater baits. Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
      The Wapsipinicon River at Independence has a flow of about 675 CFS as of July 19; this water discharge rate is about 2 times above median levels for this time of year. Fishing has been improving with better water conditions . Northern Pike – Slow. Smallmouth Bass – Fair. Channel Catfish – Fair. Water flows in east-central Iowa rivers have improved greatly since last week, but are still high in the Cedar, Shell Rock, and Wapsipinicon. Lakes are generally providing some fair bass fishing. Trout streams are providing excellent fishing opportunity. Call the N.E. Iowa district office at 563-927-3276 for more information.   MISSISSIPPI RIVER Mississippi River Pool 9
      River level at Lansing is 11.7 feet with a very gradual fall. Water temperature is near 81 degrees. New Albin ramp road is closed due to water over the road. The Lansing Village Creek ramp and parking lot construction is expected to start July 30 and the ramp will be closed through October. For more updates, call the Guttenberg Fisheries Management office at 563-252-1156. Walleye - Fair: Fishing has been tough with high water. Some walleye are being picked up bottom bouncing crawlers on side channel and bottom structure. Yellow Perch - No Report: Still a few perch biting along the rocky shorelines and tailwater areas. Sauger - Slow: Try a lightweight jig tipped with minnow fished on the bottom along main channel edges and wing dams. Northern Pike - Fair: Northern are feeding in the vegetation along main channel borders. Cast spinners or a minnow along edges of debris piles. Flathead Catfish - Fair: Use a large shiner or sunfish in deeper holes. Channel Catfish - Good: Channel cats should be spawning. Use a crawler fished on the bottom in current eddies. Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass are biting along the vegetation in backwater lakes and areas protected from the current. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Fishing has been difficult with floating flood debris and weeds. Find smallmouth along shorelines in slight current off rocky points. White Bass - Fair: Cast flashy spinners or crankbaits along the rocks in main channel current for big white bass. Bluegill - Fair: Try fishing for bluegills in the flooded trees; use a surface lure or poppers to imitate the mayflies. Freshwater Drum - Good: Freshwater drum are actively biting in areas of current. Drop a heavily weighted worm rig into the current for some big fish action.  Mississippi River Pool 10
      River level is 620.5 feet at Lynxville and is slowly receding. Water temperature is 81 degrees at the Lock and Dam 9. Sny Magill ramp still has water over the road. Walleye- Fair: Fishing has been tough with high water. Some walleyes are being picked up bottom bouncing crawlers on side channel and bottom structure. Yellow Perch - No Report: Still a few perch biting along the rocky shorelines and tailwater areas. Sauger - Slow: Try a lightweight jig tipped with minnow fished on the bottom along main channel edges and wing dams. Northern Pike - Fair: Northern are feeding in the vegetation along main channel borders. Cast spinners or a minnow along edges of debris piles. Flathead Catfish - Fair: Use a large shiner or sunfish in deeper holes. Channel Catfish - Good: Channel cats should be spawning. Use a crawler fished on the bottom in current eddies. Bluegill - Good: Panfish bite is picking up this week. Try a small piece of garden worm on small tackle under a bobber. Common Carp - Good: Carp are on the move with the high water. To hook into a big one, try fishing the warm shallow backwaters where carp are staging for the spawn. Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass are biting along the vegetation in backwater lakes and areas protected from the current. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Fishing has been difficult with floating flood debris and weeds. Find smallmouth along shorelines in slight current off rocky points. White Bass - Fair: Cast flashy spinners or crankbaits along the rocks in main channel current for big white bass. Bluegill - Fair: Try fishing for bluegills in the flooded trees using a surface lure or poppers to imitate the mayflies. Freshwater Drum - Good: Freshwater drum are actively biting in areas of current. Drop a heavily weighted worm rig into the current for some big fish action.  Mississippi River Pool 11
      River level is 11.4 feet at Guttenberg and is slowly receding. Water temperature is 75 degrees at Lock and Dam 10. Guttenberg south ramp is now open. Walleye - Fair: Fishing has been tough with high water. Some walleyes are being picked up bottom bouncing crawlers on side channel and bottom structure. Yellow Perch - No Report: Still a few perch biting along the rocky shorelines and tailwater areas. Sauger - Slow: Try a lightweight jig tipped with minnow fished on the bottom along main channel edges and wing dams. Northern Pike - Fair: Northern are feeding along main channel borders. Cast spinners or a minnow along edges of debris piles. Flathead Catfish - Fair: Use a large shiner or sunfish in deeper holes. Channel Catfish - Good: Channel cats should be spawning.Use a crawler fished on the bottom in current eddies. Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass are biting along the vegetation in backwater lakes and areas protected from the current. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Fishing has been difficult with floating flood debris and weeds. Find smallmouth along shorelines in slight current off rocky points. White Bass - Fair: Cast flashy spinners or crankbaits along the rocks in main channel current for big white bass. Bluegill - Fair: Try fishing for bluegills in the flooded trees using a surface lure or poppers to imitate the mayflies. Freshwater Drum - Good: Freshwater drum are actively biting in areas of current. Drop a heavily weighted worm rig into the current for some big fish action.  Upper Mississippi River levels remain high with only a slight downward trend. Many ramps have reopened. Be aware of floating flood debris. Water temperature is in the upper 70's to 80's. Fish have been elusive in the high water, but clarity has improved this week.    Mississippi River Pool 12
      Water levels are near 11 feet at the Dubuque Lock and Dam and near 13 feet at the RR bridge. Expect water to drop slowly this upcoming week. Water clarity is improving. The water temperature is around 81 degrees. Channel Catfish - Excellent: In flooding conditions, most fish hang around near bank using food washing into the system. Try stinkbait or worms near shore. Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Most anglers use a simple egg sinker and worm rig. Drum will be hanging out relatively near shore in moderate current areas. Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth bass are being caught along the edge of flooding water. White Bass - Good: Looks for schools of white bass feeding on the surface in the morning and evening hours. Bluegill - Fair: Some bluegill have finally returned to angler creels. Try bobber and worms in clearer backwater areas.  Mississippi River Pool 13
      Water level is 12.5 feet at Bellevue and is receding. Expect a small drop in levels this upcoming week. Smaller boat ramps still have water and debris on them. The north ramp at Sabula is not in use this year due to bridge construction. The water is turbid, but is clearing up. The channel water temperature is around 81 degrees. Channel Catfish - Excellent: Especially in flooding conditions, most fish hang around near bank using food washing into the system. Try stinkbait or worms near shore. Freshwater Drum - Excellent: The drum bite is on. Fish worms with an egg sinker in moderate current areas. Fish near the shorelines if possible. Largemouth Bass - Good: Both largemouth and smallmouth are being caught. Most are feeding along the flooding edge. Use a bright colored spinner in the turbid water. White Bass - Good: Look for feeding schools of white bass in the morning and evenings. Small spinners and white jigs work best.  Mississippi River Pool 14
      Water levels are receding throughout Pool 14; expect it to continue to continue to recede. Presently levels are near 12 feet near Fulton, 14.2 feet at Camanche and 8.4 feet at LeClaire. The water temperature is around 82 degrees. Water clarity is poor, but is improving. Channel Catfish - Excellent: Especially in flooding conditions, most fish hang around near bank using food washing into the system. Try stinkbait or worms near shore. Freshwater Drum - Good: Use a simple egg sinker/worm rig in moderate current areas. Find fish near the shoreline in flooded conditions. Largemouth Bass - Good: Bright colored spinners fished along flooded shorelines are picking up some bass.  Mississippi River Pool 15
      Water levels are receding in Pool 15. Most smaller boat ramps have debris on them, but most are useable. Presently the water is 12 feet at Rock Island. Water clarity is poor, but is improving. The water temperature is near 82 degrees. Channel Catfish - Good: Especially in flooding conditions, most fish hang around near bank using food washing into the system. Try stinkbait or worms near shore. Freshwater Drum - Good: Use an egg sinker and worm rig fished near shore in flooded conditions. Drum will use freshly washed in food in newly flooded habitats.  Water levels are high, but are receding slowly; we are out of flood stages throughout the district. Boat ramps are getting back in working order, but some are still under water. Water clarity is fair. If you have any angling questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.    Mississippi River Pool 16
      Tailwater stage is 11.38 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in Davenport and is falling. Flood stage is 15 feet. The docks are being reported as in at the Marquette St. ramp in Davenport. The Fairport Recreation Area has a dock in at the upper ramp. Channel Catfish - Fair: Some channel catfish are being caught in Sunset Marina on stinkbait. Try also above brush piles and snags in the back channels. Walleye - Fair: Reports of some walleyes being caught trolling between the mouth of the Rock River and Sunset Marina. Try fishing on the wingdams along Credit Island with crankbaits or three-way rigs with crawlers. Mississippi River Pool 17
      Tailwater stage is 10.48 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and is falling. Big Timber is closed due to high water. Fishing has been slow with the high water. Fishing has been slow with the high water conditions. Channel Catfish - No Report: Try fishing above snag piles along the side channels and main channel with stinkbait or shad. Walleye - No Report: Look for walleyes on the wing dams; use crankbaits or three-way rigs with crawlers. Trolling crankbaits by GPC can work, too. Bluegill - No Report: Look for bluegills in the backwaters around brush piles. Try fishing with pieces of worms under a bobber.  Mississippi River Pool 18
      Tailwater stage is 11.87 feet at Lock and Dam 17 above New Boston and is falling. The gates are still out of the water at the dam. Flood stage is 15 feet. Fishing has been slow with the high water conditions. Channel Catfish - No Report: Try fishing above brush piles and snags along side channels and the main channel for catfish; use stinkbait or shad. Bluegill - No Report: Look for bluegills in the backwaters around brush piles. Try fishing with worms under a bobber.  Mississippi River Pool 19
      Tailwater stage is 8.22 feet at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington and is falling. Flood stage is 10 feet. River level is 13.34 feet at Burlington and is falling. Flood stage is 15 feet. River level at Fort Madison is 527.02 feet and flood stage is 528 feet. Fishing has been slow with the high and muddy water conditions. Channel Catfish - No Report: Try fishing above brush piles and snags along the side channels and main channel; use stinkbait or shad. Bluegill - No Report: Look for bluegills in the backwaters around brush piles. Try fishing with worms under a bobber.  River stages are still high, but have been falling. Fishing is being reported as slow. Main channel water temperature is around 82 degrees. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062. SOUTHEAST Central Park Lake
      The lake is currently drained as a renovation project is finishing up.  Coralville Reservoir
      The lake is at normal summer pool. Channel Catfish - Fair: Best action is drifting or trolling cut bait in the channel. Black Crappie – Slow: Fish steep rock banks for suspended fish.  Diamond Lake
      No minnows are allowed here. The fish cleaning station is open. Black Crappie - Fair: Try small jigs fished around the brush piles or drift the basin. Most fish are 7-9 inches. Bluegill - Fair: Use small jigs or worms around shallow rock or brush. Many fish are around 6-7 inches. Channel Catfish - Good: Catfishing has picked up over the past week.  Iowa Lake (Iowa County)
      Largemouth Bass - Fair. Bluegill - Good. Black Crappie - Good. Channel Catfish - Good.  Kent Park Lake
      The lake is drained for a lake renovation project currently underway. It is scheduled to be completed next spring.  Lake Macbride
      Only motors under 10hp may be used at no-wake speed. Water temperatures are in the 80's. Black Crappie - Slow: Fish deeper brush or look for suspended fish off breaks. Walleye - Fair: Troll crankbaits or jig live bait. Most fish are in 8-13 inches. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Some fish are still shallow while other fish have pulled off to deeper rock for the summer. Best bite is early in the day. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Slow: Look for schools roaming over deep water feeding on juvenile shad. Early and late in the day are best. Bluegill - Fair: Some are shallow in pockets while others have moved to deeper rock. Size is marginal at best. Channel Catfish - Fair: Evenings are best.  Pleasant Creek Lake
      The lake is still 5 feet low from the restoration project. The main ramp is usable, but it is shallow; use caution. There is a boat dock in on the east lane. Be cautious when boating as new structures have started to be submerged. Check your boat and trailer for the invasive plant, Brittle Naiad; it is abundant here. White Bass – Fair: Fish windblown shores or look for schools in open water.  Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: These are mixed in with the white bass. Mornings and evenings are best. Bluegill – Slow: Fish weed edges. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use chicken liver or shrimp. Walleye - Slow.   Rodgers Park Lake
      Largemouth Bass – Fair.  Wapsipinicon River (Troy Mills to Oxford Junction)
      River levels are finally receding. Bluegill - Fair: Use small jigs or worms in the backwaters. Black Crappie - Fair: Try jigs or minnows around brush in the backwaters.  For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.   Des Moines River (Ottumwa to Farmington)
      Channel Catfish - Fair: Target log jams and rocked shorelines. Watch for water levels to change with the recent rains. Hawthorn Lake
      Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use spinnerbaits along the rocky shorelines and rubber worms around the deeper structure. Bluegill - Fair: Try small jigs tipped with live bait along the rocky shorelines and the weed line. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use chicken liver or stinkbait in areas with 4-6 feet of water.  Lake Keomah
      Bluegill - Fair: Use small jigs tipped with live bait near shoreline and around the fishing jetties. Black Crappie - Fair: Try fishing deep structure with a jig and minnow. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use stinkbait or chicken liver. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Cast spinnerbaits or crankbaits around the fishing jetties and along the dam. Switch to rubber worms and deeper structure as the day heats up.  Lake Sugema
      Largemouth Bass - Fair: Target deeper structure with rubber worms or jig-n-pig combos. Black Crappie - Slow: Use tube jigs or jig and minnows in deeper water structure. Bluegill - Fair: Try small jigs tipped with live bait around the shorelines and fishing jetties. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use dead chubs or stinkbait along the dam or around the fishing jetties.  Lake Wapello
      Channel Catfish - Fair: Use chicken liver or stinkbait around areas with rip-rapped shorelines or rock piles. Largemouth Bass - Good: Fish deeper structure with rubber worms or crawdad imitations. Bluegill - Fair: Use small jigs tipped with a chunk of night crawler in areas around aquatic vegetation or near the fishing jetties. White Crappie - Slow: Try minnows or jig and minnows in deeper structure and the outer edge of the weed line.  Rathbun Reservoir
      The current lake level is 905.02 msl. Normal operating elevation is 904.0 msl. Lake Rathbun has zebra mussels, so make sure to properly drain, clean, and dry equipment before transporting to another water body. Channel Catfish - Good: Use stinkbait or chicken liver in areas with water running into the lake. White Crappie - Fair: Use minnows around deeper structure. Trolling small crankbaits can also catch suspended crappies. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) - Fair: Troll crankbaits along rocky shorelines and around rock piles. Try also vertical jigging in the same areas . Walleye - Fair: Walleye bite has slowed from earlier in the year. Use night crawler rigs or troll crankbaits around rock piles and submerged points.Leeches can also be productive this time of year.  Red Haw Lake
      Largemouth Bass - Good: Cast the shorelines in the early part of the day and then fish deeper structure as the day warms up. Black Crappie - Fair: Try tube jigs along the shorelines. Bluegill - Fair: Use small jigs tipped with live bait around the shorelines and fishing jetties. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try night crawlers around the fishing jetties or along the dam.  The district includes Mahaska, Lucas, Wayne, Monroe, Appanoose, Wapello, Davis and Van Buren counties. Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions about fishing in south central Iowa.   SOUTHWEST Big Creek Lake
      Walleye - Slow: The walleye bite has become tough since the shad spawn created abundant small forage. Target the upper end of the lake in shallow water, preferably by any vegetation. Cast or troll shallow diving shad imitating crankbaits or troll spinner rigs with night crawlers with little weight to fish 3-10 feet deep. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) - Good: Troll and cast crankbaits, spoons or in-line spinners in the main lake. Look for schools of fish busting shad on the surface.  Hooper Area Pond
      Black Crappie - Fair: Anglers drifting and trolling jigs mid-lake are picking up some nice 10-12 inch crappies. Keep your baits in the top 6 feet of water.  Lake Ahquabi
      Largemouth Bass - Good: Cast crankbaits in 4 to 8 feet of water in the evenings.  Red Rock Reservoir
      White Bass - Fair: High water levels are spreading fish out, but it is still the best time of year to target aggressive white bass and hybrid striped bass. Look for shad schools breaking the surface of the water and troll shad imitating spoons and shallow diving crankbaits.  Rock Creek Lake
      White Crappie - Good: Drift or slowly troll jigs or minnows in the lower half of the lake in the mornings to just after noon.  For more information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers, call Ben Dodd at 641-891-3795 or Andy Otting at 515-204-5885.   Cold Springs District Farm Ponds
      Water clarity in most ponds have recovered from heavy rains in July. Always get permission to fish privately-owned ponds. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are in their summer pattern in ponds. Concentrate on suspended fish and along weed lines during the summer months.  Black Crappie - Fair: Find crappies suspended and around structure. Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth bass are very active and can be caught with a variety of lures and plugs. Fish shallow early and late and go deeper during the middle of the day. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try along weed edges and around structure.  Farm Creek Lake
      Farm creek will offer good fishing this year. Black Crappie - No Report: Black crappie in Farm Creek are quality size fish. Concentrate fishing the channel during the summer. Bluegill - Fair: Find bluegills in the open water portion of the lake and close to the channel.  Lake Anita
      Anglers report catching bluegills drifting. Find crappies around brush piles and suspended over the roadbeds. Black Crappie - Fair: Vertical jig deeper tree piles or troll twister tails to catch black crappie averaging 9 inches. Bluegill - Slow: Drift small jigs tipped with crawler. Fish will average 8.5 inches. Largemouth Bass - Good: Cast to structure to catch bass of all sizes.  Lake Manawa
      Lake Manawa is a good destination for summer catfishing. Channel Catfish - Good: Use shrimp and bubble gum bait on the south and west shore. Fish in the 2 to 5 pound range were reported. Orient Lake
      Channel Catfish - Fair: Catch 18-20 inch channel catfish with cut bait or shrimp below the sediment structure where water is running into the lake and along the dam.  Prairie Rose Lake
      Prairie Rose will offer good panfishing. The lake has quality sized bluegills and acceptable size crappies. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are done spawning and have moved into a summer pattern. Look for fish around underwater reefs and drift/troll open water areas. Bluegills in Prairie Rose are quality size fish. Black Crappie - Slow: Look for crappies along the dam and around tree piles. Fish will average 9 inches. Largemouth Bass - Good: There is a large population of 12 inch bass in the lake that offers fun catch and release fishing.  Viking Lake
      Find crappies and largemouth bass on deeper brush piles. Channel catfish have moved in around jetties and rocky shorelines. Black Crappie - Fair: Crappies are being caught in the deeper tree piles. Sorting is needed for larger fish. Channel Catfish - Good: Cast cut bait or liver close to rocky shorelines for catfish up to 10 pounds. Late afternoon bite is best. Largemouth Bass - Good: Jig plastics in deeper brush piles during the day and cast shallow structure early morning for largemouth bass of all sizes.  Panfish have moved into their summer pattern. Target open water and deep structure. Catfishing has been good around the district.  For more information, contact the Cold Springs office at 712-769-2587.   Green Valley Lake
      Largemouth Bass - Good: Catch largemouth bass up to 18 inches with crankbaits or finesse plastics fished along cedar tree brush piles. Bluegill - Good: Catch bluegill up to 8 inches using worms fished along the fishing jetties. Black Crappie - Good: Catch crappie up to 9 inches with minnows or jigs fished along rocky areas.  Lake Icaria
      Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish of all sizes have been caught using night crawlers fished along rocky shoreline areas.  Little River Watershed Lake
      Largemouth Bass - Good: Catch largemouth bass up to 18 inches using finesse plastics fished near cedar tree brush piles or rock reefs. Bluegill - Fair: Catch bluegills up to 9 inches with worms fished along the fishing jetties. Channel Catfish - Good: Catch channel catfish up to 10 pounds with night crawlers fished along rocky shoreline areas.  Three Mile Lake
      Bluegill - Fair: Catch bluegill up to 7 inches with worms fished along the fishing jetties or cedar tree brush piles. Walleye - Good: Catch walleye up to 18 inches using crankbaits or live bait fished along the roadbed or main lake points. Black Crappie - Fair: Catch crappie up to 9 inches with jigs or minnows fished along the fishing jetties or cedar tree brush piles.  Twelve Mile Creek Lake
      Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth bass of all sizes have been caught with crankbaits or finesse plastics fished along cedar tree brush piles. Bluegill - Good: Catch bluegill up to 8 inches with worms fished near cedar tree brush piles or shallow bays. Walleye - Fair: Catch walleyes of all sizes using minnows or leeches fished in 8-10 feet of water. Black Crappie - Good: Catch crappie up to 9 inches with minnows or worms fished along cedar tree brush piles or in the flooded timber.  Water temperature in most district lakes is in the low to mid 80's. The district includes Page, Taylor, Adams, Union, Ringgold, Decatur, Clarke and Madison counties. For more information, please call the Mount Ayr Fisheries office at 641-464-3108.   MISSOURI RIVER Missouri River (Sioux City to Little Sioux)
      Channel Catfish - Fair: During high water levels, try close to the bank or slower flooded areas from shore. Smaller tributaries should also be good, where channel catfish will find refuge from faster currents. Freshwater Drum - Fair: Try using live bait rigs or jigs tipped with worms along the bank and around tributary stream or rivers where they join the Missouri River. Blue Catfish - Fair: Anglers report catching a few blue catfish on rod and reel and trotlines. Use live bait or fresh cut bait with live bait rigs along wing dam tips or in or close to the main channel of the Missouri River. Flathead Catfish - Good: Flathead catfish are being caught on trotlines and rod and reel using live baits (chubs, bullheads, green sunfish). Fish below wing dam tip, near rock structures, logs and along the bank with deeper water nearby.  Missouri River (Little Sioux to Council Bluffs)
      Channel Catfish - Fair: During high water levels, try close to the bank or slower flooded areas from shore. Smaller tributaries should also be good, where channel catfish will find refuge from faster currents. Freshwater Drum - Fair: Try using live bait rigs or jigs tipped with worms along the bank and around tributary stream or rivers where they join the Missouri River. Blue Catfish - Fair: Anglers report catching a few blue catfish on rod and reel and trotlines. Use live bait or fresh cut bait with live bait rigs along wing dam tips or in or close to the main channel of the Missouri River. Flathead Catfish - Good: Flathead catfish are being caught on trotlines and rod and reel using live baits (chubs, bullheads, green sunfish). Fish below wing dam tip, near rock structures, logs and along the bank with deeper water nearby.  Missouri River (Council Bluffs to Missouri State Line)
      Channel Catfish - Fair: During high water levels, try close to the bank or slower flooded areas from shore. Smaller tributaries should also be good, where channel catfish will find refuge from faster currents. Freshwater Drum - Fair: Try using live bait rigs or jigs tipped with worms along the bank and around tributary stream or rivers where they join the Missouri River. Blue Catfish - Fair: Anglers are catching a few blue catfish on rod and reel and trotlines with fresh cut bait or live bait. Try by the wing dam tips, close to or in the main channel of the Missouri River for your best chance at getting bigger blue catfish. Flathead Catfish - Good: Flathead catfish are being caught on trotlines and rod and reel using live baits (chubs, bullheads, green sunfish). Fish below wing dam tip, near rock structures, logs and along the bank with deeper water nearby.  The Missouri River at Decatur, Nebraska is at 29.06 ft. /68,500 cfs./80 degrees Fahrenheit. Missouri River water temperaturess are down one degree from last week and water levels are up 0.17 feet. Water levels are up due to recent rains in the Missouri River watershed and release of water from reservoirs. Anglers and boaters are advised to use caution going on the Missouri River.
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