DNR releases fishing report for southeast Iowa
Odessa has come down a little bit since last week but all the ramps are still underwater.
The water remains a little turbid. Water temperature is in the low 70s. Bluegill — good: bluegills are in shallow. Crappie — good: crappies seem to be heading back out. You can still find some really nice sized ones, along the tree in the water.
Lake Belva Deer
The water is clearing up, but is still a little cloudy. Bluegill — good: bluegills are starting to build nests in shallow water. Largemouth bass — good: bass fishing has been pretty good during warmer weather, but the cold snap could affect it. Crappie — fair: the crappies have started to move out to deeper water.
Lake of the Hills
There's been plenty of boats on the lake with the Mississippi River conditions being what they are. Remember, Lake of the Hills is the only lake in West Lake Park that allows the use of minnows as live bait. Rainbow trout — fair: warm water temperatures are driving the trout to cool water refuges around the springs. Bluegill — good: bluegills are moving shallow to spawn. Largemouth bass — good: bass fishing has been good along the dams and other rocky areas. Jig and pigs or a slow moving crankbaits seem to be the best baits. Crappie — good: still some nice crappies to be caught in the tree falls along the shoreline. A 15-inch and several 12-inch crappies were caught earlier this week.
Remember the use of live minnows is not allowed in Railroad Lake. Bluegill and crappies fishing is starting to pick up especially around the inflow from Bluegrass. Channel catfish — fair: catfishing is picking up with the warmer water. Bluegill — good: anglers are picking up bluegills along the area around the inflow from Bluegrass. Crappie — good: anglers are picking up crappies in the same area as the bluegills.
Skunk River (Coppock to Mississippi River)
The Skunk is slowly starting to come back up as a result of the rains in central Iowa earlier this week. Channel catfish — fair: anglers picked up a few catfish over the weekend.
Big Hollow Lake
Lots of people fishing this week. Water temperature is in the 70s. The rain fronts moving through seem to have the most effect on the bite. Bluegill — good: bluegills are in shallow when it's not raining. Largemouth bass — good: bass are in fairly shallow; work the rocky areas. Crappie — good: anglers are picking up a few crappies on minnows near structure. The fish are down six to eight feet. Most of the keepers are around 11 inches.
For more information on the above lakes and rivers call the Lake Darling Fisheries Station at 319-694-2430.
Water clarity is up to 15 feet and temperature is about 70 degrees. Remember, no minnows are allowed here. Largemouth bass — fair: bass are moving shallow in preparation to spawn. Crappie — good: fish shallow rock, gravel, and brush with small jigs.
Channel catfish — fair. Bluegill — good: fish around overhanging brush. Crappie — good: look for crappies along rocky or brushy shorelines.
Water temperature is in the low 70s. Water clarity continues to improve. The less-than-10 hp motor operating at no wake speed motor restriction starts May 24. Largemouth bass — fair: shallow rock and wood is holding bass getting ready to spawn. Crappie — good: fish around shallow rock or brush with jigs and/or minnows. Most fish are small but nine- to 11-inch fish are available. Walleye — fair: a few fish are being caught shallow on sand and rock. Some fish are being caught trolling flats. Most fish are 13-14 inches, with some in the 16-18 inches.
Central Park Lake
Bluegill — good. Largemouth bass — good: crankbaits and plastic worms have been working best.
Pleasant Creek Lake
Water clarity is excellent and water temperatures are around 65 degrees. Remember, largemouth bass must be 18 inches to keep and musky must be 40 inches to keep. Bluegill — good: fish around overhanging brush with a jig and waxie. Largemouth bass — fair: some bass are being caught on rocky banks and flooded weeds. Crappie — fair: some nice crappies had been around shallow brush. Walleye — fair: a few walleyes are being picked up along the dam at sunset.
The lake is still murky. Remember, no minnows are allowed here. Channel catfish — fair: A few fish are being caught on chicken livers. Bluegill — good: bluegills have moved shallow and many are around eight inches. Crappie — good: crappies have moved shallow. Most are about nine inches with an occasional one up to 11 inches.
Otter Creek Lake
The fish cleaning station is now operational and the boat dock is in. Bluegill — good: the fish are very shallow. Yellow bass — good: look for fish roaming the shallows.
Union Grove Lake
Bluegill — good: bluegills are all over the banks now. Crappie — good: many crappies are being caught in the shallow pockets and around shallow brush. Jigs with waxies are actually working best. Yellow bass — good.
The lake level on May 24 is 693.9 feet (normal 683 feet) and is slowly falling. The water clarity is about three feet. Channel catfish — slow: some fish are being caught on cut shad, minnows, or crawlers. Some fish have moved to the shallows. Crappie — slow: fish shallow brush along hard banks with bright jigs and/or minnows.
Wapsi River (Troy Mills to Oxford Junction)
Channel catfish — fair. Smallmouth bass — good: fish are being caught below the dams on jigs, crankbaits, and live bait. Walleye — good: fish are being caught below the dams on jigs, crankbaits, and live bait.
Maquoketa (Hopkinton to Canton)
Channel catfish — good. Smallmouth bass — good. Walleye — good.
For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.
Red Haw Lake
Bluegill — good: use small jigs along the shoreline. Largemouth bass — fair: use plastic worms and spinnerbaits along the dam and around the fishing jetties. Crappie - Fair: Anglers have been using small jigs tipped with a minnow fished along the rock jetties and around the underwater structures.
Anglers have been having success catching nice bluegills and yellow bass. Use small jigs and tip them with a nightcrawler.
Bluegill - Fair: Anglers have been having some success using ice jigs tipped with a wax worm or a chunk of nightcrawler. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use crankbaits and spinnerbaits fished along any shore. Also try areas with rocky shorelines. Crappie - Fair: Crappie fishing has improved with the warmer weather. Start in about six feet of water and work toward shore. Use jigs or jig and minnow combos.
Bluegill - Fair: Use small jigs tipped with a chunk of nightcrawler along the shore. Crappie - Fair: Anglers have been having some success catching crappies from shore using minnows and small jigs.
The current lake level is 916.23 feet with normal pool being 904 feet. Water temperature is 62 degrees. Crappie - Slow: Crappies are in a little deeper water waiting for the water temperature to increase so they can move shallow to spawn. Try using jigs or jigs and minnows in 6-8 feet of water. Don't forget Lake Rathbun contains zebra mussels so make sure to clean, drain, and dry boats before transporting to another water body. Spray boats and trailers with high pressure hot water (above 104 degrees) or let them dry for at least 10 days (5 days in the sun).
If you have other questions regarding fishing in south central Iowa call the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406.