Iowa DNR releases weekly fishing report
Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River)
Water levels are dropping slowly some of the bigger sand bars are really sticking out now. Channel catfish — good: the go-to baits continue to be frogs, chubs and crawdads. Work the brush piles and the drop-offs at the edges of the sandbars.
Lake Belva Deer
Bluegill — fair: work off the edges of the underwater mounds in the lake. The fish are down about ten foot. Crappie — fair: anglers are finding crappies in the same places as the bluegills.
Both the outlet and inlets are open for flow through from and to the river. Water levels are down to summer levels. Crappie — fair: good numbers of crappies can be found around the tree falls and the beaver lodges. Channel fatfish — good: look to the button bush thickets to find the catfish. Anglers have been catching them on chicken liver and cut bait.
Lake of the Hills
Remember, Lake of the Hills is the only lake in West Lake Park where the use of live minnows as bait is allowed. Channel catfish — good: catfishing has cooled off some. The popular baits remain chicken liver and stinkbait. Crappie —fair: work the brush piles along the dam using minnows. The depth of the fish varies from day to day. Bluegill — good: they’re down about three to four feet. Move around to find them; drift trolling is recommended. Largemouth bass — good: bass are now hitting on plastic worms. White spinner baits continue to work very well. While the bite has been more sporadic lately, some nice-sized ones have been caught.
The use of live minnows is not permitted on Railroad Lake. Channel catfish — good: the catfish have been biting on stinkbait and chicken liver along the old creek channel on the south side of the lake. Bluegill — fair: bluegill fishing has slowed down some, but efforts should still be focused along 110th and along the north shore in the stump field. Crappie — fair: anglers working the flooded timber and old creek channel on the south side have been catching some crappies.
For more information on the above lakes and rivers call the Lake Darling Fisheries Station at (319) 694-2430.
Largemouth bass — fair: try top water baits in the mornings and evening. Fish among the aquatic vegetation using plastic worms and jigs. Try spinnerbaits along the edges of the aquatic vegetation and along rocky shorelines. Bluegill — fair: look for open areas among the aquatic vegetation and use small jigs tipped with a chunk of nightcrawler in those areas.
Largemouth bass — anglers should try rubber worms fished among the lily pads. They should also target areas with rip-rapped shorelines and use crankbaits and spinnerbaits. Use chicken liver or stinkbait for channel catfish.
Red Haw Lake
Bluegill — good: try areas near the shoreline and around the fishing jetties. Use a chunk of nightcrawler on a small jig and cast into these areas. Add a bobber if needed. Largemouth bass — good: use rubber worms around the stake beds and along the submerged structure along the shoreline. Try spinnerbaits in areas around the rock jetties.
Skunk River (Coppock to Mississippi River)
The river level continues to drop. Very few boats are getting very far on the river. Water temperatures are starting to go back up with the hot weather. Channel catfish — fair: catfish continue to bite. Work the brushpiles and below the rock riffles.
Channel catfish — fair: Start in coves and bays that have some water running into them. Try chicken liver and cutbait. The current lake level is 908.02 with normal pool being 904. The water temperature is 74 degrees. 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 (five days in the sun). Walleye — fair: walleye fishing has been improving as the lake gets closer to normal pool. Look for areas where there is a change in depth like rock reefs and submerged points. Try trolling crankbaits in these areas.
If you have other questions regarding fishing in south central Iowa, please call the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406.