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.
Brushy Creek Lake
Last week fishing was fairly good at Brushy Creek; however there have not been any reports for this week. The following information is from last week. Bluegill - Fair: Crappie - Good: Anglers were catching many good sized crappies in 15 to 25 feet of water using chartreuse or white Berkley power minnows. Yellow Perch - Fair: Walleye - Fair: Some walleyes were being picked while crappie fishing.
Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Fishing has been pretty slow at Storm Lake. Walleye - Slow: Anglers are catching a few walleye but the action has not been real fast. The point off the north side of the marina has been producing some walleye. Boaters should use caution on Storm Lake. The hydraulic dredge is in operation in the east basin of the lake. There is a pipeline running from the dredge to the shoreline and may rise to the surface at times.
North Twin Lake
We have received no information regarding fishing on this water body this week.
Anglers are still catching some bluegill and crappie, fishing from shore along the south portion of the lake.
Black Hawk Lake
Water temperature is 55 degrees. The recent rains have brought in enough water that there is some flow going through the inlet bridge. Channel Catfish - Slow: Some good catfish were caught earlier in the week fishing shallow on a minnow below a bobber. Crappie - Fair: Decent sized crappie have been caught in Town Bay. Yellow Perch - Slow: Some decent sized perch have been caught while fishing from shore. Try using a small minnow or a piece of nightcrawler. Walleye - Slow: A few legal walleyes have been picked up fishing from shore casting spinners. Angers have been catching some 8-inch walleyes, too. Yellow Bass - Fair: Some yellow bass have been caught from the east shore just north of the outlet. Fish close to shore near the rocks wherever the wind is blowing in.
Bluegill, bass, and crappie were biting on small jig heads baited with a nightcrawler late last week.
Little Sioux River (Linn Grove to Correctionville)
Fishing has been spotty on the Little Sioux River near the Linn Grove Dam. There are occasional reports of walleye and northern pike being caught.
Water temperatures are in the mid 50s at many of the lakes. For more information, contact Ben Wallace or Don Herrig at the Black Hawk District Office in Lake View, at 712-657-2638.
Fishing has slowed, but there are reports of 7 to 9-inch crappies being taken. A few 12 to 16-inch largemouth bass have also been caught.
Briggs Woods Lake
Anglers are catching 8 to 12-inch crappies using minnows, 14 to 15-inch largemouth bass with crawlers, and some bluegills on half crawlers.
Anglers are catching 7 to 9-inch crappies from the dam.
Walleyes continue to bite on crankbaits and jigs tipped with minnows. White bass are biting well on minnows fished in the little lake. Anglers are picking up 9 to 13-inch crappies using jigs tipped with minnows.
Cooler temperatures have slowed things down. Reports show some yellow bass and bluegills are biting on jigs tipped with crawlers. A few walleyes are biting on minnows at dusk.
Little Wall Lake
Fishing has still been slow. Anglers are catching some largemouth bass in the evenings.
Fishing has picked up. Walleye, northern pike, and largemouth bass are biting on crankbaits.
Iowa River (above Iowa Falls)
Recent cooler weather has caused fishing to slow down, although a few walleyes have been caught using jigs tipped with minnows.
For more fishing information in the north central area contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.
Big Spirit Lake
Walleye and musky season is closed. Panfish are being caught off the North Grade and Templar Park. A few smallmouth bass along with white bass may be caught on rock piles in various parts of the lake. Bullhead - Fair: A few bullheads have are being caught off the north grade and templar park as well as a few other places around the lake. Northern Pike - Fair: Try using spoons, and spinner baits around vegetation. Largemouth Bass - Slow: A few largemouth bass have moved in to pre-spawn areas around the lake.
East Okoboji Lake
Walleye and musky season is closed. Bullhead - Fair: Try using worms on bottom. Yellow Bass - Good: Many yellow bass are being caught try looking for rocks and wood and use small baits.
Yellow Perch - Fair: Some perch are being caught try using small jigs and tipped with worm. A few yellow bass and bluegills may be caught at the same time.
West Okoboji Lake
Walleye and musky season is closed. As the deepest lake in the chain, its water is not warming up as fast as the other lakes but is still ahead of normal. Panfish and largemouth bass are being caught in the canals as well as in some of the bays. Both largemouth and smallmouth bass may be caught near docks and there outskirts a few white bass and northern pike may be picked up at the same time.
With cooler temperatures last week and over the weekend, the water has cooled a bit and fishing has slowed down but should pick back up as the weather improves.
Try fishing in the shallow warmer water or around woody structure. Bluegill - No Report: Crappie - Fair: Try using dark jigs with soft plastic skirt and a slow retrieve.
Water temperature is in the mid 50s. Channel Catfish - No Report: Bluegill - No Report: Largemouth Bass - Slow: Anglers are throwing a variety of lures with some success. Crappie - Excellent: Small jigs with a slow retrieve from the shoreline is working well. Nice sized fish are being caught.
Water temperature is running in the low to mid 50s and clarity is excellent. With this cold snap, fish activity has been slow. Northern Pike - Good: Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth bass are cruising the shallower water. Crappie - Slow: A few small crappies have been caught on jigs with a plastic skirt but are in deeper water.
Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
Walleye bite has really slowed and river temperatures have dropped. Sucker - Good: Walleye - Slow:
Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
Anglers have been finding a variety of fish this week but the game fish bite has really slowed. Suckers are still active. Sucker - Good: Bounce a worm on a hook along the river bottom. Walleye - Slow: A jig tipped with plastic worm or twister tail or a hook tipped with worm bounced along the river bottom is best this week.
Cedar River (above Nashua)
Fish activity has really slowed. Northern Pike - Slow: Channel Catfish - Slow: Smallmouth Bass - Slow: Walleye - Slow:
Decorah District Streams
Though the Dark Hendrickson hatches are nearly over, Blue Wing Olive and caddis hatches remain extensive. #16 Adams, #16 Blue Wing Quills and #18 Thread Wraps have been productive on Blue Wing Olive hatches. #16 and #18 Henryville Caddis patterns have worked well for various caddis hatches. As of April 19, streams are still clear after the weekend rains.
The recent rain has had little effect on rivers and streams. Trout stocking schedules may be downloaded at www.iowadnr.gov/Fishing/TroutFishing.aspx. Contact Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324 for more information or to let us know what you’ve been catching.
Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
Fishing for walleye and channel catfish has been fair on the Cedar River in Black Hawk and Bremer counties. Fishing has slowed down over the last week. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try fishing dead cut baits, chubs and nightcrawlers on the bottom near logjams and during evening hours. Walleye - Fair: Jig tipped with a minnow is good.
Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
Fishing on the Shell Rock River is improving for walleye and smallmouth bass. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Jigs tipped with a minnow or crawler and casting crankbaits has been good. Walleye - Fair: Jig tipped with a minnow or crawler is a good combination. Fish along the current breaks for actively feeding fish.
Wapsi River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
Northern pike fishing has improved on the Wapsipinicon River in Bremer County. Northern Pike - Good: Bucktail spinners have been working well for pike or try floating a chub under a bobber.
Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
The Maquoketa River should provide good angling opportunities for the upcoming weekend. Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Walleye - Fair: Jig tipped with a minnow or crawler and crankbaits are productive.
Manchester District Streams
Trout streams remain in excellent condition. There have been some good hatches occurring with the recent warm weather.
Fishing on the interior rivers has improved since last week for most species. The Cedar and Shell Rock rivers are still producing a few catches of walleye, smallmouth bass, northern pike and channel catfish. Most public boat ramp docks are in place around the Cedar Falls/ Waterloo area. Heritage Pond in Dubuque will be stocked with trout on April 21. Trout streams are in excellent condition. Call the Manchester district office for more information at 563-927-3276.
Mississippi River Pool 9
Water level at Lansing is 8.2 feet and expected to rise slowly to 8.6 feet by next week. Bluegill - Fair: With low water, bluegills have been feeding on main channel borders. Rising water may move fish towards spawning areas in backwaters. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Fish are stacked in rocky areas with good current. Fish behind current breaks. Largemouth Bass - Good: Catching fish on woody debris along main channel and sloughs. Freshwater Drum - Good: Drum fishing good on main channel borders with worm on bottom.
Mississippi River Pool 10
River level at Lynxville is 14.3 feet and expected to rise to 16.5 feet by next week. Bluegill - Fair: With low water, bluegills have been feeding on main channel borders. Rising water may move fish towards spawning areas in backwaters. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Fish are stacked in rocky areas with good current. Fish behind current breaks. Largemouth Bass - Good: Catching fish on woody debris along main channel and sloughs. Freshwater Drum - Good: Drum fishing good on main channel borders with worm on bottom.
Mississippi River Pool 11
River level at Guttenberg is 5.9 feet and expected to rise steadily to 8.5 feet over the next week. Bluegill - Fair: With low water, bluegills have been feeding on main channel borders. Rising water may move fish towards spawning areas in backwaters. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Fish are stacked in rocky areas with good current. Fish behind current breaks. Largemouth Bass - Good: Catching fish on woody debris along main channel and sloughs. Freshwater Drum - Good: Drum fishing good on main channel borders with worm on bottom.
With recent rains in the area water levels are expected to begin to rise over the next week. Cool nights have kept water temperatures in the mid 50s. Rising water levels should get fish moving making shorelines key areas to find active fish.
Mississippi River Pool 16
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 5.92 feet. Channel Catfish - Slow: Channel catfishing has been slow. White Bass - Fair: White bass fishing has been hit or miss in Sylvan slough. Try casting in-line spinners, small crankbaits, or jigs and plastics. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are being caught in the backwaters on small jigs and minnows or on wax worms. Try fishing around brush piles. Areas to try are Sunset Marina, Andalusia Island Complex, and the Andalusia Harbor. With the low water some areas of the Andalusia Island Complex may be difficult to access. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth bass are being caught in the backwaters on swim baits, spinner baits, and crankbaits. Crappie - Good: Crappies are being caught in the backwaters on small jigs and minnows or on tube jigs. Try fishing around brush piles. Areas to try are Sunset Marina, Andalusia Island Complex, and the Andalusia Harbor. With the low water some areas of the Andalusia Island Complex may be difficult to access. Walleye - Slow: Walleye fishing has been slow.
Mississippi River Pool 17
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 4.94 feet. Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel catfish are being caught on nightcrawlers, shad and dip baits. White Bass - No Report: Bluegill - Good: Bluegill are being caught in the backwaters on small jigs and minnows. Try fishing around brush piles. Largemouth Bass - No Report: Crappie - Good: Crappie are being caught in the backwaters on small jigs and minnows. Try fishing around brush piles. Walleye - No Report:
Mississippi River Pool 18
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 6.31 feet. Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel catfish are being caught on shad, nightcrawlers, and dip baits. White Bass - No Report: Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are being caught in the backwaters on jigs and minnows or on tube jigs. Largemouth Bass - No Report: Crappie - Good: Crappie are being caught in the backwaters on jigs and minnows or on tube jigs. Try fishing around brush piles. Walleye - No Report:
Mississippi River Pool 19
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 3.70 feet. Most fishing reports are coming from inland lakes, rivers, and farm ponds. Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel catfishing has been spotty. Try fishing with nightcrawlers or shad guts. Crappie - Good: Crappies are being caught in the backwaters on jigs and minnows or on tube jigs. Try fishing around brush piles. Walleye - Slow: Walleye fishing has been slow.
Mississippi River Pools 16-19: With the recent rains, tail water stages have risen over the past few days. Main channel water temperature is 58-61 degrees. Remember to clean, drain, and dry your boat before going to another water body. For more fishing information contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.
Crappie - Fair: Anglers continue to sporadically catch crappies. Look for them along drop-offs where they likely would have moved after the weather changed.
Lake Belva Deer
Largemouth Bass - Good: Anglers have been catching good number of five pound bass this week. They seem to really be on the feed. Work the edges of the curlyleaf weed beds. Crappie - Slow: The cold, windy weather has slowed crappie fishing. Next week’s forecast of more sun and warmer weather should bring them back up.
Lake of the Hills
Rainbow Trout - Good: Flashy spinners as well as wax worms have been bringing in trout. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegill fishing slowed with the return of cold weather. Look for them around stumps between the boat ramp and beach. Crappie - Good: Anglers are catching some nice crappies off the brush piles. Minnows can be used in Lake of the Hills but not in any other lakes in West Lake Park.
Bluegill - Good: Depending on the weather, anglers are catching some nice bluegills in the stump field on the north side. Crappie - Fair: Crappies have been in the flooded timber on the outer edge where it’s a little deeper. Live minnows cannot be used in this lake.
Skunk River (Rose Hill to Coppock)
Last weekend’s rain has brought the river up to about three-fourths bank full. Angler activity has been very light.
Big Hollow Lake
The weather has kept angler numbers down. Just prior to the cold snap, bluegill and bass fishing was good. Bluegill - Good: Anglers had been finding the bluegills along the rock shorelines, around the islands and in the shallow - 3-4 feet - flooded timber. Bobber and worms working the best. Largemouth Bass - Good: Anglers were catching bass at the lower end of the lake around the islands and along the face of the dam.
For more information on the above lakes call the Lake Darling Fisheries Office at 319-694-2430.
Bluegill - Fair: Fish around brush. Fish have been on the small side. Largemouth Bass - Fair:
Water temperature is in the mid to upper 50s. Crappie - Fair: Look for areas of warmer water with brush. The area east of the causeway has been productive. Walleye - Fair: Trolling in 8-16 feet of water has been producing some fish. Most are on the small side yet.
Pleasant Creek Lake
Minimum length to keep largemouth bass is 18 inches, and muskellunge is 40 inches. White Bass - Fair: Using white jigs round the dam area has been best. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Crawlers and a variety of artificial lures along the bottom have been working. Crappie - Slow: A few bigger crappies are being caught in brush in 8-13 feet of water. Walleye - Fair: Many fish are small but larger ones are available. Jigs or live bait rigs in 15 to 25 feet of water has been working best.
Remember, no minnows are allowed here. Bluegill - Fair: Use a small jig tipped with a waxie around brush. Crappie - Good: Use a small tube jig or jig/waxie around brush and the jetties for best results. Limits of fish have been reported. Most are about 8 inches but some 10 to 12-inch fish are being caught. Walleye - Fair: Boat fishermen are picking up some smaller walleyes.
Otter Creek Lake
Bluegill - Fair: Fish around brush with a small jig or small worm. Walleye - Slow: A few walleyes are being picked up by boat fishermen. Yellow Bass - Good: Fish with small jigs or spinners. Try shallower water as it gets warmer.
The water level came up a bit with the past rains. The lake level is 680.0 feet as of April 19. The lake will slowly fall to its normal level of 679.3 feet. At this water level, boating is almost impossible above Sandy Beach. Channel Catfish - Slow: The bite has slowed some. Shad or cut bait have been working best.
This lake is on South Gilbert Street in Iowa City. The DNR released 2,000 trout on March 31. Remember, you must have a trout stamp to fish for and possess trout, in addition to a fishing license. Rainbow Trout - Fair: Small spinners and jigs work best. Brook Trout - Fair: Small spinners and jigs work best. Crappie - Fair: Small jigs or minnows have been working best around brush and areas of warmer water.
Iowa River (Marshalltown to Coralville Lake)
Channel Catfish - Good: Try cut bait or crawlers.
Iowa River (Coralville Lake to River Junction)
Outflow from the tube is 3,000 cubic feet per second as of April 19, and flows will be stair stepping down as the week continues. The quick rise in outflow has slowed fishing this week.
Prairie Park Fishery
The DNR released 2,000 trout on March 24. Remember, you must have a trout stamp to fish for or possess trout, in addition to a fishing license. Rainbow Trout - Fair: Use a small spinner or jig around the shorelines. Brook Trout - Fair: Use a small spinner or jig around the shorelines. Crappie - Fair: Small jigs or minnows fished around brush has been working best.
For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.
Use plastic worms or spinner baits fished along shoreline structure for largemouth bass. Also try areas that have been rip-rapped and that receive a fair amount of sunshine throughout the day.
Red Haw Lake
Before this recent cold snap, anglers were having some luck fishing for bluegills and crappies. Using small jigs along the shore was working well. The crappies were running between 8.5 and 11.5 inches. As the weather starts to warm back up fishing activity should increase.
Crappies and bluegills have begun biting in the shallows and largemouth bass fishing is starting to pick up. Try small jigs for the crappies and bluegills and baits like spinner baits or crankbaits for the bass. Focus on areas that will warm quicker than the rest of the lake like northern shorelines that receive the most sunlight. Lake Sugema contains the invasive plant brittle naiad so make sure not to transport any plant fragments in your equipment.
More than 2,000 trout were stocked on March 24. Don’t forget a trout stamp is required to possess or fish for trout. Spinners or jigs rigged with small white twister tails would be good baits to bring with you.
The lake level is 905.41 feet with 904.0 feet being normal pool. The water temperature is 57 degrees. Crappie - Slow: Crappies have moved into deeper water with the recent colder temperatures. Try jigs tipped with a minnow over and around submerged structure such as cedar trees. Don’t forget Lake Rathbun contains zebra mussels so make sure to clean, drain, and dry boats and 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 sun).
For further fishing reports in south central Iowa call the Rathbun fish hatchery at 641-647-2406
Don Williams Lake
The lake is still too low to use the boat ramps. Carry down small boats, canoes and kayaks is possible near the main ramp and the gravel ramp west of the dam. Crappie - Fair: Shore anglers are continuing to catch crappies at depths of 2 to 5 feet near any wood habitat. More fish are being caught using live minnows under a bobber, but small panfish jigs and swim baits are also working. Most crappie being caught are between 8 and 10 inches.
Roberts Creek Lake
Crappie - Good: Anglers fishing for crappie are having some good days catching nice fish over 10 inches. Fish minnows under a bobber near any of the brush piles and out from the old beach area across the lake from the main boat ramp.
Big Creek Lake
Bluegill - Fair: Bluegill are being caught near shallower brush piles with small pieces of crawler or wax worms. Target the warmer water in some of the smaller bays and the upper end of the lake. Big Creek bluegills are nice sized from 7.5 to 9 inches. Crappie - Slow: Crappie have not moved shallow yet to spawn. Crappies that are being caught are coming off the sunken brush piles at the mouths of the bays with live minnows.
Red Rock Reservoir
Crappie - Good: Crappies are being caught around the docks and riprap in the marina using small jigs or live minnows. Fish up to 15 inches are coming out with most being 8 to 10 inches.
Crappie - Fair: Crappie are being caught around the docks in the marina, as well as near the riprap at the Lakeview access and east side of the mile long bridge. The docks are private property. The best approach is to fish from shore between the shore and docks, and by boat. Fish small panfish jigs or live minnows.
Banner Lake (south)
Rainbow Trout - Good: Rainbow trout were stocked on April 7. The bite has been good using inline spinners, casting spoons, panfish jigs, and live minnows.
Des Moines River (Stratford to Saylorville Lake)
Channel Catfish - Good: The slight bump in river levels due to the recent rains have the channel catfish feeding actively. Nightcrawlers and stink baits are working best right now.
The bluegill and crappie spawn has not yet occurred in central Iowa. Warming temperatures this weekend and through next week will get the crappies and bluegills moving shallower. For more information on central Iowa lakes and rivers contact Ben Dodd or Andy Otting at 515-432-2823.
Crappies have slowed but a few are being picked up along the dam and around jetties. Channel Catfish - Fair: A few channel catfish are being caught using shrimp. Fish average two pounds. Crappie - Slow: Crappies are close to rock and can be caught using red tube jigs or white twister tails. Sorting is necessary. Greenfield Lake has one concrete boat ramp.
The lake is turbid after last weekend’s heavy rains. Channel Catfish - Fair: A few catfish in the 1 to 2-pound range are being caught on shrimp. Crappie - Slow: Crappies are being caught on warm sunny days around brush piles. Nodaway crappies average 10 inches. Nodaway Lake has one boat ramp. Water temperature is in the mid 60s.
Crappies are still away from shore in the brush piles. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Anglers are having success fishing shallow coves with spinner baits and a slow retrieve. Many of the fish caught are in the 14 to 19-inch range. Crappie - Slow: A few 10 inch crappies have been caught anchoring near brush piles and fishing minnows under a bobber. Lake Anita has two concrete boat ramps. The lake has good water clarity after the heavy rain.
Channel Catfish - Slow: Catfish are being caught along the campground shoreline using nightcrawlers. Fish are averaging one pound. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth bass are being caught using plastic baits around the shoreline and jetties. Willow Lake has one concrete boat ramp and excellent water quality.
Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth bass are being caught around rock piles and sunken trees using a variety of plastic baits and jigs. Fish up to 19 inches have been reported. Crappie - Slow: Crappies up to 12 inches are being caught on twister tails. Average size is 8-9 inches. Viking has three concrete boat ramps. Water temperature is in the mid 60s.
Crappie - Slow: The crappie bite has slowed this week. Wax worms and minnows have been the bait of choice on the west side of the lake and around docks. The lake is 30 inches low. Lake Manawa water temperature is in the mid 60s.
Heavy rains last weekend has many lakes and ponds turbid. Warming temperatures in the forecast will improve fishing. For more information call the district office in Lewis at 712-769-2587.
Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish are biting on bluegill sides and crawlers. Bluegill - Fair: Some bluegills are being caught from the sides of fish mounds using crawlers or small black jigs. Crappie - Fair: A lot of mid-sized crappies are being caught from the tree piles and fish mounds. Water clarity if fairly good and the temperature is in the low 60s.
Little River Watershed Lake
The lake level is down 10 feet to allow completion of the shoreline rip rap project. The lake will be down most of the summer. The fish are being restocked through the spring.
Green Valley Lake
Channel Catfish - Good: Some really nice mid-sized channel catfish can be caught from the shoreline access areas using bluegill sides or crawlers. Bluegill - Good: Several bluegills can be caught from the tree piles in 5 to 6 feet of water. Crawlers suspended about three feet down are working well. Crappie - Fair: Crappies are in the flooded tree piles. Numbers are low but the size is good. Walleye - Good: Some of the small walleyes are being caught from the dam and outside edges of the fish mounds. The water level has refilled to within four feet of full. The main ramp is easily accessible. Clarity is good considering the recent heavy rains.
Three Mile Lake
Crappie - Good: Several nice sized crappies are being caught from the flooded cedar trees. Some of deep rock areas will occasionally have some fish. Walleye - Slow: An occasional walleye is being caught from the deeper rock areas or sides of the fish mounds. The water clarity is very good and the temperature is in the low 60s.
Twelve Mile Creek Lake
Bluegill - Good: several bluegills are being caught using small jigs in 8 to 14 feet of water. Steep sided areas with flooded timber is the best. Walleye - Fair: Several walleye are being caught from 10 to 15 feet of water near sharp drop-offs. Twister tails or trolled crawlers are working the best. Water clarity is more than 10 feet. Water temperature is above 60 degrees.
Most lakes have good water quality and water temperatures are in the low 60s. The crappie are still just off-shore. Some of the largemouth bass are starting to move closer to shore.