Where they are biting
All the boat ramps are still underwater and will likely stay that way until the Iowa and Mississippi Rivers come down.
Bluegill — good: bluegills have moved deeper for the summer. Look for them to be just off the ledges to the deep water.
Lake Belva Deer
Bluegill — fair: bluegills have moved deeper; anglers are picking up some nice ones suspended off the mounds in the upper end of the lake. Largemouth bass — excellent: no real patterns to where they are or what bait to use. Crappie — fair: anglers are catching some crappies in the same area as the bluegills, and a few are getting caught off the face of the dam in the evenings.
Pollmiller Park Lake
Channel catfish — good: nightcrawlers and stinkbaits in the shallow water early or late is producing some good fish. Bluegill — excellent: limits of nice-sized bluegills are still being caught. Look for them around the brush piles and the flooded stumps and trees. Largemouth bass — excellent: during the day they are around the submerged structure. In the evenings look for them cruising the shoreline.
Rainbow trout — excellent: somebody forgot to tell these trout that it's July. Daily limits are still being caught. Work the habitat in six to seven feet of water.
Skunk River (Coppock to
The river is about half-bank full and continues to drop. Channel catfish — good: catfishing has been pretty good lately. Fish under any mulberry tree hanging over the water.
Iowa River (Columbus Junction
to Mississippi River)
Continues to be at minor to moderate flood stages.
Big Hollow Lake
Bluegill — fair: bluegills have moved to deeper water along the creek channel in the flooded timber or around deeper brush piles.
For more information on the above lakes and rivers call the Lake Darling Fisheries Station at 319-694-2430.
Channel catfish — good: rocky areas are holding fish. Bluegill — good: look for bluegills in the shallows, especially around overhanging brush. Crappie — fair: most fish are eight to nine inches. Some fish are still shallow, while some have pulled off the bank. Redear sunfish — slow: a few large redears are being caught in the shallows. The invasive species brittle naiad is present here. Check over boats, trailers and equipment before leaving the lake.
Channel catfish — fair: look for catfish around shallow rock. Live bait is usually best. Bluegill — good: bluegills are still mostly shallow. Size is marginal with fish over seven inches very rare. Walleye — fair: most fish are being caught trolling flats with crankbaits or spinner rigs. Many fish are 13-14 inches, with some 16-20 inchers. Water temperature is around 80 degrees. The 10 h.p. motor restriction and five mph speed limit is in effect. The invasive species brittle naiad is present here. Check over boats, trailers and equipment before leaving the lake.
Pleasant Creek Lake
The minimum length to keep largemouth bass is 18 inches and musky is 40 inches. Channel catfish — good: fish around rock jetties and banks with crawlers or crawdads. White bass — good: fish shallow, wind-blown shorelines with small crankbaits or jigs, or chase schools of fish in open water with top water baits. Bluegill — fair: fish around overhanging brush with a jig and waxie. Wiper (hybrid striped bass) — good: these fish are only two years old but some are approaching 18 inches. Look for them mixed in with the white bass. Water clarity is excellent and water temperature is around 75 degrees. The invasive species brittle naiad is present here. Check over boats, trailers, and equipment before leaving the lake.
The lake is still murky. No minnows are allowed here. Channel catfish — good: crawlers, stinkbait, and chicken livers have been working well. Bluegill — good: bluegills are still shallow for the most part. Small jigs and/or worms are working best.
Otter Creek Lake
The lake is dirty from recent rains. Channel catfish — good: catfish are starting to be caught around rock. Evenings have been best. Bluegill — good: the fish are very shallow. Look for them under overhanging brush.
Union Grove Lake
Channel catfish — good. Bluegill —good: bluegills are being caught shallow and deep, although the larger fish seem to be in deeper water. Largemouth bass — fair: fish along shallow rock with plastics or crankbaits for best results. Crappie — slow.
The lake level on July 2 was 693 feet (normal 683 feet). The lake is predicted to continue to fall slowly. Mehaffey ramp, Macbride ramp and West Overlook ramps are open. Channel catfish — fair: some fish are being caught on live bait on the rocks.
Iowa River (Coralville Lake to
Outflow from the Coralville Dam is 10,000 CFS.
Cedar River (La Porte City to
Channel catfish — good: channel catfish are being caught below the dams in Cedar Rapids as well as Ellis Park. Try crawlers, chicken livers or stinkbait.
For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.
Use top water lures for largemouth bass in the early mornings. Concentrate on areas with submerged structure or rocks. Channel catfish have been biting on nightcrawlers or liver.
Red Haw Lake
Bluegill — good: use small jigs tipped with a chunk of nightcrawler around submerged structure. Largemouth bass — good: try areas along the dam and out in front of the rock jetties. Use rubber worms and crankbaits in these areas.
Bluegill — fair: try using jigs tipped with a chunk of nightcrawler. Try different areas around the flooded timber and along the shorelines. Largemouth bass — fair: try top waters in the early mornings and late evenings. Also try crankbaits around the rocky shorelines.
Channel catfish — fair: try dead chubs or stinkbait. Areas around Bridgeview are productive this time of year. Walleye — slow: try drifting or trolling nightcrawlers around the underwater points and the islands. The current lake level is 915.36 feet (normal 904 feet). The water temperature is 76 degrees. 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).
If you have other questions regarding fishing in south central Iowa call the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406.