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Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 21, 2014

Where they are biting — Iowa DNR releases weekly fishing report

Jun 27, 2014

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For current information, contact the district fisheries office at the phone number listed at the end of each district report.

NORTHEAST

Cedar River (above Nashua)

Cedar River is on a slow decline but still muddy.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Anglers are picking up catfish using a hook tipped with stink bait or night crawlers. Smallmouth Bass - Slow: Smallmouth are hitting night crawlers and minnows. Walleye - Slow: Walleye are hitting worms and minnows. A jig and twistertail is also working.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)

The Cedar River is falling in Bremer and Black Hawk counties. There have been some good reports of channel catfish being caught as the river recedes on the flats above the Waverly Dam in Bremer County. Channel Catfish - Good: Stink baits, chicken livers, minnows and dead cutbaits fished upstream of the dams on the flats has been productive.

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)

The Shell Rock River remains high but is falling. The river gauge is 11.58 feet in Shell Rock. There have been no angler reports this week.

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)

The Maquoketa River gauge is 6.47 feet and falling. The river should be in pretty good shape for the upcoming weekend without additional heavy rainfall over the next five days. There have been no angler reports.

The forecast calls for a chance of rain over the next five days. Most interior rivers are now dropping but still remain turbid. Lakes are now in their summer mode, fish for panfish in deeper water and around structure. Trout streams remain in good condition as long as they receive light rainfall over the next week. Be sure to call ahead for stream conditions or for further information contact the Manchester District Office at 563-927-3276.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 12

The water level at Dubuque Lock and Dam is 13.1 feet and at the Dubuque railroad bridge is 15.4 feet. Expect water to rise nearly two feet this week.  Water temperature is 74.5 degrees.  The water is turbid. Channel Catfish - Slow: Catfish have begun to spawn.  Fish worms or leeches along rocks to catch spawning fish. Freshwater Drum - Fair: Small drum or “perch” as the locals call them are being taken on egg sinker and nightcrawlers. Drum are willing biters and can be caught in moderate current areas.

Mississippi River Pool 15

Mississippi River Pool 16

River stage at Lock and Dam 15 in Davenport is 16.11 feet and forecasted to stay steady over the next week. Flood stage is 15 feet. River stage at Fairport is 16.19 feet and flood stage is 14 feet. Many of the ramps are not accessible due to the high water conditions. The Marquette St. ramp in Davenport is flooded. The ramp at Clark’s Ferry is flooded. The ramps and part of the parking area at the Fairport Recreational Area is flooded.

Mississippi River Pool 17

River stage at Lock and Dam 16 at Muscatine is 15.84 feet and forecasted to reach 16.1 feet on Friday. Flood stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 15 feet. River stage at Muscatine is 17.40 feet and forecasted to reach 18 feet by Saturday. Flood stage at Muscatine is 16.0 feet. Many of the ramps are not accessible due to the high water. Kilpeck Landing and Big Timber are closed.

Mississippi River Pool 19

River stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 12.94 feet and forecasted to reach 13.9 feet by Sunday. Flood stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 10 feet. River level at Burlington is 17.69 feet and forecasted to reach 18.6 feet by Sunday. Flood stage at Burlington is 15 feet. River stage at Ft. Madison is 529.43 feet and flood stage is 528 feet. Many of the ramps are not accessible due to the high water.

SOUTHEAST

Lake Odessa

Still flooded and with all the water coming down the Mississippi River.

Lake Geode

The lake is muddy after this last weekend’s rains. Very little angler activity.  Hopefully we can miss this weekend›s forecasted rain and the lake can get a chance to clear up.

Lake Belva Deer

This lake missed the heavier rains last weekend so conditions are pretty good.  Channel Catfish - Good: Catfishing is pretty good. Try cut bait or chicken liver around the rock.  Bluegill - Good: Still work the shallows and you might be able to even find some active nests.  I also would start to look to the deeper weed beds to find some fish.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Work the flooded timber, and don’t forget about the mounds at the upper end of the lake.

Pollmiller Park Lake

Channel Catfish - Good: The catfish are moving in shallow and are being caught on nightcrawlers and stink bait.  Bluegill - Fair: The spawn is wrapping up but you can still find them in around the habitat in shallow water.  Largemouth Bass - Excellent: Most of the fish are sublegals (less than 15 inches), but there are some up to 18 inches being caught.

Skunk River (Rose Hill to Coppock)

Last week’s rains brought the river up to nearly bank full; it’s dropping now fairly quickly.  Not much angler activity. Hopefully the bite will pick up where it left off before the high water.

Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River)

The river has passed flood stage and is still climbing. It is forecasted to get back down below flood stage towards the end of next week.

Big Hollow Lake

Three plus inches of rain last weekend has clouded up the lake, it is also dropping from being 6-8 inches higher than normal last Monday. Just a few anglers have been out on the lake and they haven’t been having much success.

For more information on the above lakes call the Lake Darling Fisheries Station at 319-694-2430.

Iowa Lake

Channel Catfish - Fair:  Bluegill - Fair: Fish around rock or wood with a small jig or worm.  Crappie - Slow: Some fish are being caught shallow and some are being caught drifting the main lake basin.

Kent Park Lake

Bluegill - Fair: Good numbers of fish are being caught around rock and wood.

Lake Macbride

Remember, the 10 hp maximum at no wake speed is in effect. Channel Catfish - Fair: Fish around jetties or other rock for spawning catfish.  White Bass - Fair: Look for schooling fish chasing new shad in open water. Bluegill - Fair: Fish around shallow rock. Unfortunately size is poor.  Walleye - Fair: Early and late in the day have been best for walleyes. Most anglers are trolling crankbaits or spinner rigs in 8-13 feet of water.

Central Park Lake

Early and late in the day are best.  Channel Catfish - Good: Most baits are working. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are moving to the shallows to spawn. Try small jigs or worms around shallow pockets or wood.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Soft plastic baits have been working best.

Pleasant Creek Lake

Remember, largemouth bass have to be 18 inches and muskies have to be 40 inches to keep. Evenings have been best for white bass and walleyes. White Bass - Fair: Try small spinners, jigs or crankbaits. Walleye - Fair: Crawlers along the bottom are working best.

Diamond Lake

Remember, no minnows are allowed here. Channel Catfish - Good: Chicken livers and stink bait are doing well for catfish.  Bluegill - Good: Fish with small jigs or worms around shallow brush or rock.  Crappie - Fair: Most of the crappies have spawned and are returning to deeper water. Try around submerged brush piles or drift the basin for suspended crappies.

Otter Creek Lake

The water is starting to green up with algae now. Channel Catfish - Good: Fish with stink bait or chicken livers towards evening. Bluegill - Fair: Fish around brush with small jigs or worms.  Yellow Bass - Good: Fish with small jigs or spinners.

Coralville Reservoir

The lake level is rising and is at 692 feet as of June 26. It is predicted to crest at 701 feet on July 4. Normal summer pool is 683 feet. Channel Catfish - Slow: Some fish are being caught drifting cut bait in the main channel and some are being caught on live bait along rock banks. Crappie - Slow: Some nice 10-14-inch fish are being caught on rock banks and deeper brush on jigs.

For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.

Lake Wapello

Channel Catfish - Fair: Try nightcrawlers or chicken liver. Look for areas with large rocks.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Anglers have been using spinnerbaits or top water lures fished among the cedar trees that were placed in the lake during the last renovation. Use rubber worms along the fishing jetties and along the dam.

Red Haw Lake

Bluegill - Good: Anglers report the best bait has been a bobber and a chunk of nightcrawler.    Largemouth Bass - Good: Try top water lures along the jetties. Use spinnerbaits along the shoreline and the face of the dam. Crappie - Fair: Use plastic jigs or minnows fished under a bobber. Target areas with brush piles or other submerged structure.

Hawthorn Lake (aka Barnes City Lake)

Largemouth Bass - Good: Anglers have been catching good numbers of largemouth bass using spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Top water lures are also a good choice this time of year.  Remember Lake Hawthorn has a slot limit so all 12-16-inch fish must be immediately released.

Albia (lower)

Channel Catfish - Fair: Anglers have been catching channel catfish using nightcrawlers or liver.  Bluegill - Fair: Try small jigs with a chunk of nightcrawler. Target the submerged habitat areas that are marked with buoys.

 

Lake Miami

Lake Miami is undergoing a lake renovation and is 6-8 feet below normal.  The fish population was removed last fall and fingerlings have been stocked.  The boat ramps are difficult to use and angler acceptable sized fish are not available.

 

Lake Sugema

Bluegill - Fair: Try a small jig tipped with a chunk of nightcrawler. Target the weed line and open pockets in the vegetation. Largemouth Bass - Good: Target shorelines with submerged structure or rock. Try top water lures along the weed line. Use rubber worms or crawdad imitations in deeper water. Crappie - Slow: The crappies have spawned and are now out in a little deeper water. Try a slip bobber and a minnow to find where the crappie are suspended.  Walleye - Slow: Try areas with rock shorelines using minnows and jigs.  Crankbaits should also be tried in the same areas and along the dam.

 

Rathbun Reservoir

The current lake level is 908.50 feet. Water temperature is 73 degrees.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel catfish have started moving toward shore to spawn so look for areas with large rocks.  Try dead chubs fished under a bobber or nightcrawlers.  Areas with large rocks include along the dam and around the Bridgeview Bridge.  Crappie - Fair: Anglers should try trolling small crankbaits through suspended schools of crappie.  Try areas with submerged structure such as rock piles or stumps.  Walleye - Fair: Anglers should try trolling nightcrawlers along submerged points and underwater islands. Crankbaits should also be tried in the same areas and shallow along rocky shorelines. Don’t forget Lake Rathbun contains zebra mussels so make sure to clean, drain, and dry equipment 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).

 

Remember to take your trash with you so your favorite fishing spot is clean and unlittered.  Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions regarding angling in south central Iowa.

 

SOUTHWEST

Rock Creek Lake

Crappie - Fair: Crappie fishing is now in a summer drifting pattern. Drift small panfish twister or tubes mid lake 4-8 feet deep.

 

Roberts Creek Lake

Crappie - Fair: Drift or slow troll minnows and small jigs in the main lake for crappie.

 

Big Creek Lake

Bluegill - Good: 8-9-inch bluegills are being caught in good numbers fishing at the edges of the vegetation with 1/16 ounce jigs tipped with small pieces of crawler. Walleye - Fair: Walleye are being caught trolling spinner rigs with minnows or crawlers in 10-15 feet of water or drifting jigs tipped with crawlers or leeches at the edges of the vegetation.  Concentrate on the upper half of the lake during the summer months.

 

Hickory Grove Lake

Bluegill - Good: Bluegill are now being caught off pallet piles in 5-15 feet of water. The bluegill are good size running from 7-9 inches.

 

Lake Ahquabi

Bluegill - Fair: Pitch or drift 1/16 ounce jigs tipped with small pieces of crawler close to the edge of the vegetation. Crappie - Fair: Crappie can be caught drifting jigs or minnows close the edge of the vegetation in 10 feet of water or more.

 

Red Rock Reservoir

Channel Catfish - Fair: The channel and flathead catfish should be moving into the rocks to spawn at this point. Cast crankbaits or suspend live bait from a bobber around the rocks.  White Bass - Fair: The white bass are beginning to bite in the main lake.  Casting jigs and trolling tight to the shore on the windward shorelines (along the rocks) has been producing fish.

 

Saylorville Reservoir

White Bass - Slow: The reservoir has risen 30 feet with much debris and turbid water. When the water begins to clear focus on points and steep drop offs. Use white jigs, jigging spoons and crankbaits.

 

Water temperatures are in the low 80s. Anglers should drift/slow trolling the open water for bluegill and crappie.  For information on central Iowa’s lakes and rivers contact Ben Dodd or Andy Otting at 515-432-2823.

 

Greenfield Lake

Channel catfish have moved close to the jetties and along the dam. Channel Catfish - Good: Anglers have reported catching catfish using cut bait around the jetties and the dam. Fish average two pounds.  Bluegill - Fair: Bluegill up to 8.5 inches can be caught drifting with small jigs. Crappie - Slow: A few crappies are being picked up drifting and around cedar tree piles. Fish range from 8-12 inches.

 

Meadow Lake

Water temperature at meadow is 80 degrees. A few bluegills can still be caught on the underwater reefs. Bluegill - Fair: Cast small jigs on top of the reefs to catch 7-9-inch fish.

 

Mormon Trail Lake

Catfish have picked up at Mormon Trail. Anglers are still catching crappie.  Channel Catfish - Good: Catfish are being caught on cutbait or shrimp around the jetties. Fish average two pounds. Crappie - Fair: The lake has a large year class of eight-inch crappies. Anglers are catching them all around the lake using minnows two feet under a bobber.

 

Nodaway Lake

Catfish can be caught on the south shore and along the dam. A few crappies are being picked up around tree piles. Channel Catfish - Good: Catfish are being caught with shrimp. Fish are close to shore. Most fish caught are 18-20 inches. Bluegill - Slow: Bluegills can be caught drifting. Fish average 7.5 inches. Crappie - Fair: Cast small jigs around tree piles or minnows under a bobber to catch 8-10-inch crappies.

 

Orient Lake

Channel catfish are being caught at Orient. Channel Catfish - Good: Anglers are catching channel catfish on the east side of the lake using cutbait or shrimp. Fish average 16 inches.

 

Cold Springs Lake

Bluegill fishing in Cold Springs is coming back after the 2006 renovation. Bass fishing is also good. Cold Springs has an 18-inch size limit on largemouth bass. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills up to 7.5 inches can be caught close to shore casting small jigs.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Cast plastics or small spinnerbaits on the north side of the lake and along the dam to catch bass of all sizes.

 

Lake Anita

Anita has quality sized panfish. With the bluegill spawn winding down drifting is a good way to catch bluegills and crappies. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are still spawning on the underwater reefs. Anglers are also picking up nine plus inch fish drifting small jigs.   Largemouth Bass - Good: Anita has a good bass population with all sizes present. Crappie - Slow: Drift jigs tipped with power bait to catch 10-inch crappies.

 

Willow Lake

Willow has extremely good water clarity. Channel Catfish - Fair: Catfish can be caught along the campground shoreline with cutbait or liver. Fish average 18 inches. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are being caught casting small jigs in the upper end of the lake.

 

Viking Lake

Viking has a good crappie population ranging in size from 8-11 inches. A few crappies are still being caught around cedar tree piles. Channel catfishing is good right now. Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish are being caught with cut bait close to shore. Fish average two pounds.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth are being caught casting the shoreline with slow retrieve crankbaits and spinnerbaits. Fish are all sizes.  Crappie - Fair: Try drifting open water or fishing around cedar tree piles for crappies ranging from 8-11 inches.

 

DeSoto Bend

The refuge enforces a four walleye bag with a 15-inch minimum length limit and no more than one walleye may exceed 22 inches. The lake has a good catfish population.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel catfish can be caught on the outside bend of the lake near rock or drifting with cutbait. Desoto has all sizes of catfish.   Walleye - Slow: Walleyes are being caught slow trolling crankbaits or drifting crawlers. Fish range from 15-20 inches.

 

Lake Manawa

Catfishing has been good on the main lake. Channel Catfish - Good: Catfish are being caught on the west and south side of the lake with cut bait or shrimp.

 

Farm Creek Lake

Farm Creek has a good overall fish population.   Bluegill - Good: Bluegills can be found in the open water part of the lake in 6 feet of water. Drift or slow troll with small jigs to catch 8 to 9 inch fish.

 

Cold Springs District Farm Ponds

Bluegill and crappies are now in deeper water and around structure. Largemouth bass fishing is good. Channel catfish can be caught close to shore. Remember to get permission before fishing privately owned ponds.  Channel Catfish - Fair: This is a good time of year to catch channel catfish close to shore. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills can be caught along weed edges and around deeper structure. Use small tackle and light line for successful bluegill fishing.     Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth bass can be caught casting a variety of plugs and lures.   Crappie - Slow: Ponds that support crappie populations have been slow this week. Try fishing minnows under a bobber around structure.

 

Water temperatures have reached 80 degrees in the southwest district. Anglers are now drift fishing open water areas to catch bluegills and crappies. Channel catfish are close to shore around rock. For more information call the Cold Springs office at 712-769-2587.

 

Lake Icaria

Icaria’s access is good.  Channel Catfish - Good: Catfish have been caught on cut bait and worms along rock structure.   Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills up to eight inches have been caught with jigs near the fish mounds. Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth bass have been caught using plastics and crankbaits near the cedar tree piles and rock structure. Crappie - Slow: Crappies up to 8.5-11 inches have been caught with jigs near the cedar tree piles.

 

Q Pond City Park

Q Pond’s has structural problems with the outlet. The water level has dropped making the boat ramp unusable. Relaxed fishing regulations have been placed on Q Pond.

 

West Lake (Osceola)

West Lake’s access is good.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth bass have been caught with crankbaits and plastics in the flooded timber bays and near the flooded vegetation on the shoreline.

 

Little River Watershed Lake

Little River lake access is good.  Bluegill - Slow: Bluegills up to eight inches have been caught with small jigs and worms near the cedar tree piles and rock reefs. Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth bass have caught using plastics and crankbaits near the cedar tree piles and vegetation.  Walleye - Fair: Walleyes up to 16 inches have been caught with shallow dividing crankbaits along the dam and near the rock reefs.

 

Badger Creek Lake

Badger Creek’s access is good. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth bass have been caught on plastics and crankbaits along rock structure and near the flooded timber.

 

Lake of Three Fires

Three Fires’ access is good. Bluegill - Good: Bluegill up to 8.5 inches have been caught on jigs and worms near the rock mounds and along the rock spawning beds in the evening.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass have been caught on crankbaits and plastics near the fish mounds, along the dam, and near cedar tree piles.

 

Sands Timber Lake (Blockton Reservoir)

The lake has been drained to allow the construction of a wetland near the upper end and rip rap the north shoreline.

 

Green Valley Lake

Green Valley’s access is good.  Channel Catfish - Good: Catfish up to 12 pounds have been caught using cut bait and worms along the silt dikes and jetties.  Bluegill - Slow: Bluegill up to eight inches have been caught on worms and small jigs near the fish mounds and cedar tree piles.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth bass have been caught using crankbaits and plastics near rock structures and cedar tree piles.

 

Three Mile Lake

Three Mile’s access is good. Channel Catfish - Good: Catfish have been caught with cut bait and blood bait along the open flats. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth bass have been caught on plastics and crankbaits along the jetties and in the flooded timber.

 

Twelve Mile Creek Lake

Twelve Mile’s access is good. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegill up to nine inches have been caught on small jigs and worms near deeper structure and along the roadbed.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth bass have been caught using plastics and crankbaits near rock structures and cedar tree piles.  Crappie - Fair: Crappies up to 10 inches have been caught in deeper water near the flooded timber and along the roadbed with jigs and minnows.  Walleye - Slow: A few walleyes have been caught using minnows along the roadbed.

 

Water temperatures in the Mount Ayr District area lakes have climbed over the past week with most lakes over 80 degrees.  The district includes Page, Taylor, Adams, Union, Ringgold, Decatur, Clarke, and Madison counties.  For more information, call 641-464-3108.

 

Blue Lake

Channel Catfish - Fair: Blue Lake has a decent catfish population.  Fishing should be good with warmer water conditions.  Use dip/paste baits or larger live baits to avoid catching too many bullheads.

 

Missouri River (Sioux City to Little Sioux)

No Report -The Missouri River is dropping, but has been high with recent rains and runoff from tributaries. Little fishing has occurred with the high river conditions. Many boat ramps are not accessible.

 

Missouri River (Little Sioux to Council Bluffs)

No Report -The Missouri River is dropping, but has been high with recent rains and runoff from tributaries. Little fishing has occurred with the high river conditions. Many boat ramps are not accessible.

 

Missouri River (Council Bluffs to Missouri State Line)

No Report -The Missouri River is dropping, but has been high with recent rains and runoff from tributaries. Little fishing has occurred with the high river conditions.  Many boat ramps are not accessible.

 

The Missouri River at Decatur, Neb. is at 24.53 feet /43,000 CFS. Water temperature is 77 degrees. The Missouri River has dropped 2.87 feet from last week. The Missouri River was recently near flood stage and several incoming tributaries were also at or near flood stage. Fishing has been slow due to conditions.  The Missouri River has changed from the recent high water, watch out for logs and submerged rock structures that are potential hazards. Many boat ramps are not accessible.

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