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Top Iowa fishing spots for the week of August 22, 2019


This news story was published on August 22, 2019.
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CLEAR LAKE – This 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.

NORTHWEST

Black Hawk Lake
Water temperatures are in the mid-70’s. Bluegill – Fair: Use crawlers fished under a bobber in Town Bay off the stone piers, the floating dock, and the fish house. Walleye – Slow: Use leeches and crankbaits along the Ice House Point shoreline or the rock piles off Cottonwood Point and in the east basin. Mornings and evenings are best. Channel Catfish – Fair: Anglers have had luck using crawlers or stink bait fished on the bottom near the inlet bridge. Try near the stone piers along the Ice House Point shoreline and the rock piles off Shotgun Hill and Cottonwood Point. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Catch fish about anywhere in the lake along shore using traditional bass lures and topwater baits. Try the Ice House point shore, east shore near the outlet, and the inlet bay near the inlet bridge. Yellow Perch – Fair: Anglers have picked up some perch from the fish house and the inlet bridge using crawlers and minnows. Black Crappie – Fair: Use crawlers and small minnows fished under a bobber from shore in Town Bay and from the fish house.

Brushy Creek Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Use a minnow or crawler on a jig fished near submerged structure. Bluegill – Fair: Use crawlers or waxworms on small jig fished under a bobber near shore and submerged structure. Largemouth Bass – Good: Catch bass along the shore near weed lines using traditional bass lures. Try spinners, weedless and topwater lures.

North Twin Lake
Water temperature is in the mid-70’s. Walleye – Fair: Try live bait or crankbaits in areas where walleye gather to feed on baitfish near vegetation lines and inlets.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
White Bass – Fair: Use leeches, crawlers and twisters. Walleye – Fair: Pull crankbaits along the dredge cuts. Low light hours may be more productive. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try cut bait, stink bait or crawlers fished on the bottom. Target areas with rocky structure.

For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.

Beeds Lake
Black Crappie – Slow: Drift fish a small tube jig to catch suspended fish. Yellow Bass – Fair.

Clear Lake
The water temperature is in the mid-70’s. Walleye – Slow: Anglers are having success slip bobber fishing the rock reefs with a jig and leech and fishing under docks with a minnow. Channel Catfish – Fair: Drift fish with cut bait in the evening. Shore anglers should try chicken liver or stink bait fished on the bottom. Yellow Bass – Slow: Use a small piece of crawler fished in 9 to 10 feet of water. Early morning bite is best.

Crystal Lake
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try spinnerbaits fished on the edge of the vegetation. Black Crappie – Good: Drift fish a tube jig in 7 to 8 feet of water. Bluegill – Good: Bluegill bite is good fishing along the shoreline.

Silver Lake (Worth)
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass are biting on a variety of baits.

For information on the lakes and rivers in the north central area, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.

East Okoboji Lake
Bluegill – Good: Fish have moved to deeper water; fish deeper weed lines or deep rock piles. Yellow Bass – Good: Action has picked up. Find fish in 12 feet of water on the south end of the lake; move often to find active fish. Northern Pike – Fair: Action has slowed; anglers report continued action on the north end of the lake. Cast spinning baits for the best action.

Five Island Lake
Yellow Bass – Good: Anglers report good numbers of fish being caught; sorting is needed.

Lake Pahoja
Bluegill – No Report: Recent surveys show good numbers of angler acceptable size and larger bluegill in the lake.

Lost Island Lake
Walleye – Fair: Report of 14 – 18 inch fish being caught. Yellow Bass – Fair: Fish shallow water during the morning and evening. Channel Catfish – Good: Good numbers of large angler acceptable size fish continue to be caught. Use cut bait to provide plenty of pole bending action. Bluegill – Good: Action continues for bluegill, black crappie and yellow perch; sorting is needed.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Yellow Perch – No Report: Recent surveys show good numbers of fish approaching 11 inches. Channel Catfish – No Report: Recent surveys show good numbers of 16 – 23.9 inch fish in the lake.

Spirit Lake
Walleye – Fair: Walleyes action has slowed on the lake. Fish the basin; don’t overlook the weed edges. Use crawlers and bottom bouncers or troll crankbaits. Yellow Perch – Good: Good numbers of fish are being caught. Try a yellow and white mini jig tipped with wigglers fished in the outside edges of the weed beds. Move often to find active fish.

West Okoboji Lake
Bluegill – Good: Fish the outside weed edges for larger sized bluegill; do not overlook deeper rock piles in 20 – 25 feet of water with aquatic plants.

For more information throughout the week, contact the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.

NORTHEAST
Cedar River (above Nashua)
Water levels are low. Water clarity is improvied. Use caution when boating; submersed hazards hazards may have moved. Channel Catfish – Good: Use worms and cheese or stink baits fished on the river bottom. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Try spinnerbaits or crankbaits fished on the edge of eddies or drop-offs. Walleye – Good: Use a jig and twister tail or worm fished in the eddies and slack water. Bluegill – Good: Try a small hook tipped with piece of worm fished along the shoreline. Black Crappie – Good: Find crappies in side channels and backwaters. Use a hook tipped with a minnow or bladed spinner.

Decorah District Streams
A few streams are not stocked in August; water temperatures get too warm for trout. Summer is a perfect time to use terrestrial terminal tackle when fly fishing. Grasshoppers, crickets, and ants should turn a trout head. Check the 2019 trout stream stocking calendar or call the stocking number at 563-927-5736 to find out when your favorite trout stream will be stocked. Brown Trout – Good: Brown trout are feasting on terrestrial insects; try grasshopper or cricket flies. Also try crayfish. Rainbow Trout – Good: A crappie or bluegill set-up works great for trout fishing. Put a piece of cheese or small piece of worm on a hook under a bobber in a good hole and wait. Brook Trout – Fair: With dirtier water, try woolly buggers, San Juan worms or other subsurface flies and lures. For clear water, use emerging insects with a scud dropper.

Lake Hendricks
Water temperatures are in the low 80’s. Clarity is poor with an algae bloom limiting visibility. Fish are sitting higher in the water column. Black Crappie – Slow: Crappie are hit or miss. A slow troll might get one to come to a hook. Bluegill – Slow: Find fish on the edge of weed beds. Use a small piece of worm about a foot below a bobber. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Use topwater lures fished in the edge of weeds. Channel Catfish – Good: Channel catfish are biting. Use worms, stink bait or cheese baits. Leave your bait on the bottom until you feel a tug; set the hook.

Lake Meyer
Water temperatures are in the low 80’s. Water clarity is excellent. Anglers report hit or miss action for panfish. Bluegill – Slow: Use a small piece of worm under a bobber just above the submersed weeds. Black Crappie – Slow: A bladed spinnerbait just above the vegetation should turn a crappie head. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Fish topwater lures in the evening and morning. Channel Catfish – Good: Catch nice sized catfish in shallow water near woody structures. Fish during low light conditions with clear water.

Turkey River (above Clermont)
Water levels are low. water temperatures are in the low 70’s. Flows remain high. Walleye – Fair: Find walleye in deeper pools and brush piles. Use spinnerbaits or jig tipped with a twister tail. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Use a jig tipped with a twister tail or crawfish crankbait fished near eddies, rocky outcroppings and ledges.

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
Flows remain high, but water levels are low. Use care when paddling; read the water ahead of you – get out if needed . Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Use spinnerbaits or jig tipped with plastic tails fished in the deeper pools and eddies. Walleye – Fair: Fish undercut ledges and brush piles.

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
Water clarity is good. Use caution on the water; high flows and low water levels can cause dangerous conditions for paddlers. Watch for strainers; go around log jams. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Use crawdad crankbaits or jigs tipped with black or white twister tails. Walleye – Fair: Fish the eddies and drop-offs. Jigs tipped with minnows or twister tails work well.

Volga Lake
Water temperatures are in the mid 80’s. A green algal bloom is present. With warmer temperatures, dissolved oxygen is limiting depth availability for fish. Bluegill – Slow: Find fish at depths of 6 feet or less. Use a small piece of worm on a small hook under a bobber. Black Crappie – Slow: Slowly troll through the lake to find suspended fish. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Run a crank or jerk bait along the edge of rocky or woody structure. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Find a shallow shoreline littered with woody debris. Use stink baits or worms and wait for a whiskery tug.

Pleasant weekend weather through Sunday. Chance for storms Sunday afternoon. Temperatures in the mid 70’s for highs to 50’s for lows. Water clarity on area streams is good. Fish action is picking up with cooler temperatures and settled weather patterns. For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.

Brinker Lake
Black Crappie – Good: Look for suspended fish around structure. Try vertical jigging with tube jigs or fishing a minnow under a slip bobber.

Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
Channel Catfish – Fair: Use dead cut baits or stink baits for a good catfish bite.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
Anglers are catching some channel catfish and a few smallmouth bass on the Cedar River. Channel Catfish – Good: Dead chubs for bait work best. Try also chicken livers or stink baits. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Cast and retrieve topwater baits, crankbaits or spinnerbaits along rocky shoreline areas.

George Wyth Lake
Anglers are catching northern pike. Northern Pike – Fair: Cast and retrieve spinnerbaits along the weed beds or shoreline willows. Anglers do well trolling for pike on this lake.

Fishing reports have been few, but anglers are catching some crappie, channel catfish and northern pike in rivers and lakes in the Black Hawk County area. Trout fishing remains excellent. The forecast looks fantastic for the upcoming week. Call the N.E. Iowa district office at 563-927-3276 for more information.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER
Mississippi River Pool 9
River level at Lansing remains steady at 8.7 feet. Water temperature is 77 degrees. New Albin ramp has opened; use caution as the road is still very rough. Use caution exiting to the channel at Lansing Village Creek; the channel is very shallow. Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth are scattered, but hungry. Bass may move to deeper water and wing dams as water levels drop. Bluegill – Excellent: Fish fallen trees in 5-6 feet of water in side channels with slight current. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Use crawlers or stink bait fished in side channel current. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Drum are biting. Use worms on the bottom or crayfish to target larger fish. Walleye – Good: Walleyes are back in side channel structure and wing dams. Crankbaits have been effective. Yellow Perch – Fair: Use crawlers fished just off the bottom in about 6-8 feet of water. Black Crappie – Slow: Try a minnow in the fallen trees in slight current of backwater sloughs. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Smallmouth are hitting crankbaits on rocky areas along main channel shoreline.

Mississippi River Pool 10
River level at Lynxville has fallen to 16.1 feet and is steady this week. Water temperature is 77 degrees at Lock & Dam 9. Sny Magill road repair and flood clean-up is completed and has reopened. Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth are scattered, but hungry. Bass may move to deeper water and wing dams as water levels drop. Bluegill -Excellent: Fish fallen trees in 5-6 feet of water in side channels with slight current. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Catfish are biting on crawlers or stink bait fished in side channel current. Freshwater Drum – Excellent:Drum are biting. Use worms on the bottom or crayfish to target larger fish. Walleye – Good: Walleyes are back in side channel structure and wing dams. Crankbaits have been effective. Yellow Perch – Good: Use crawlers fished just off the bottom in about 6-8 feet of water. Black Crappie – Slow: Use a minnow in the flooded trees in slight current of backwater sloughs. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Smallmouth are hitting crankbaits on rocky areas along main channel shoreline.

Mississippi River Pool 11
River level at Guttenberg has fallen to 7.8 feet and is expected reach 7 feet this week. The Guttenberg city ramps are open. Turkey River boat ramp is still closed for flood repair work. Water temperature is near 71 degrees at Lock & Dam 10. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Largemouth are scattered, but hungry. Bass may move to deeper water and wing dams as water levels drop. Bluegill – Excellent: Fish fallen trees in 5-6 feet of water in side channels with slight current. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Catfish are biting on crawlers or stink bait fished in side channel current. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Drum are biting. Use worms on the bottom or crayfish to target larger fish. Walleye – Good: Walleyes are back in side channel structure and wing dams. Crankbaits have been effective. Yellow Perch – Good: Try crawlers fished just off the bottom in about 6-8 feet of water. Black Crappie – Slow: Use a minnow in the flooded trees in slight current of backwater sloughs. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Smallmouth are hitting crankbaits on rocky areas along main channel shoreline.

Upper Mississippi River levels have dropped to near normal summer conditions. Boaters should use caution due to new sand deposits and sedimentation of many parts of the river after several months of continuous flood water. As levels continue to drop, boat ramps and channels can become very shallow. Water temperature is in the upper 70’s. Many roads and ramps are still covered in flood debris. Fishing has been good. Fish are transitioning from the flooded areas into the regular spots.

Mississippi River Pool 12
Water levels are receding. Levels are near 7.2 feet at the Dubuque Lock and Dam and 9 feet at the RR bridge. Water clarity is good. The water temperature is 78 degrees. Some boat ramps still have flood debris on them. Please be patient for cleanup efforts at ramps and parks. Heron Pond is open again, but it has debris on the dock and path. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Try stink bait fished above brush piles. Some channel cats are still along the rock lines. Largemouth Bass – Good: Use flashy spinners in the tailwater areas. Try also fishing frog imitation lures in vegetated areas when the weather gets hot. Walleye – Fair: Reports are hit and miss. When conditions are good, we see a lot of walleye being caught. Most anglers are using crankbaits to get to hungry fish. When water falls a few more feet expect, walleye action will pick up, especially on wing dams. Black Crappie – Fair: A few crappie are being taken from assorted backwaters where flow is reduced. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Large freshwater drum can be taken on a crayfish and egg sinker combo fished in moderate current areas. Flathead Catfish – Good: Lots of bank poles are being set with live bait for flathead cats. Northern Pike – Good: Look for cooler springs and tributary areas to target northern pike. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Use flashy spinners along rock lines with strong currents.

Mississippi River Pool 13
Water levels are receding. Bellevue tailwater is near 7.9 feet at Lock and Dam 12. Water clarity is good. The water temperature is 78 degrees. A few boat ramps have debris on them. The Bellevue DNR ramp is usable, but no boat dock is available. Please be patient for cleanup efforts at ramps and parks. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use frog imitations along vegetation lines. Some bass are coming out the tailwater areas with anglers using spinners. White Bass – Good: Small white bass are being caught in the tailwaters with small spinners. Channel Catfish – Good: Target above tree deadfalls with stink bait. Bluegill – Good: Good numbers of bluegills are starting to be caught out of slack water areas. Walleye – Slow: Expect the crankbait bite to pick up if the water continues to recede. Pumpkinseed – Good: Good catches of this colorful sunfish are being reported in clear backwater areas and in the Green Island wildlife area. Simple bobber and worm works best. Black Crappie – Slow: Anglers report nice catches of crappie using minnows as bait. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Large freshwater drum can be taken on crayfish in moderate current areas. Flathead Catfish – Good: Lots of bank poles are being used for flathead. Most anglers are using live green sunfish or bullheads for bait. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Throw spinners or jigs along rock lines with moderate current.

Mississippi River Pool 14
Water levels are receding. Levels are near 8 feet at Fulton Lock and Dam, 11 feet at Camanche and 5.9 feet at LeClaire. Water clarity is good. The water temperature is around 78 degrees. Some boat ramps will have flood debris on them. Please be patient for cleanup efforts at ramps and parks. White Bass – Fair: Use small spinners in the tailwater areas. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try fishing frog imitation lures in heavily vegetated areas. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Try stink bait fished above tree deadfalls. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Use a crayfish fished with an egg sinker in moderate current areas. Flathead Catfish – Good: Flathead catfish prefer to eat live fish; use a bullhead or green sunfish near large river snags. Walleye – Good: Walleyes have started biting again; most anglers are using crankbaits. Black Crappie – Fair: Reports of crappies holding on brush piles in larger slough areas. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Fish along rock lines with moderate current.

Mississippi River Pool 15
Water levels are near 8 feet at Rock Island. Water clarity is good. The water temperature is around 80 degrees. Some boat ramps will have debris on them. Please be patient for cleanup efforts at ramps and parks. Channel Catfish – Good: Try stink bait fished above tree deadfalls. Freshwater Drum – Good: Lots of drum are in the system; use a simple egg sinker and worm rig in moderate current areas.

Water levels are receding throughout the district. It has been a tough year with all the flooding; it will take some time to get all the boat ramps and campgrounds open. Some will remain closed or will have debris on them for a while. If you have any fishing questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.

Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 8.15 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in Davenport and has been fairly steady the past few days. Flood stage is 15 feet at Davenport. River level is 10.40 feet at Fairport and flood stage is 14 feet. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use stink bait fished around brush piles and snags along the main channel or side channels. Some channel catfish are also being caught anchoring above the wing dams. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Some largemouth bass are being caught in Sunset Marina. Bluegill – Fair: Some bluegills are being caught in Sunset Marina. Bluegills are also being caught in the Andalusia Island complex. Try fishing with pieces of worm or waxworms under a bobber. White Bass – Fair: Some white bass are being caught in Sylvan slough up by the dams casting jigs and twister tails. White Crappie – Fair: Some crappies are being caught in the Andalusia Island complex. Try jigs and plastics or minnows under a bobber fished around brush piles. Walleye – Fair: Troll crankbaits from the 280 bridge up to Sunset Marina Marina and below the 280 bridge on the Iowa side. Also look for walleyes on the wing dams, casting crankbaits or trolling three-way rigs with crawlers.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 7 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and has been fairly steady the past few days. Flood stage is 15 feet. River stage is 9 feet at Muscatine. Flood stage at Muscatine is 16 feet. The ramp at Big Timber is open. Channel Catfish – No Report: Look for channel catfish around brush piles and snags. Also try anchoring above wingdams. Use nightcrawlers or stink bait. White Crappie – No Report: Look for crappies in the backwaters around brush piles. Use jigs and plastics or minnows under a bobber. Walleye – No Report: Look for walleyes on the wing dams. Troll crankbaits or three-way rigs with nightcrawlers.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 8.16 feet at Lock and Dam 17 above New Boston. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 17. River stage is 9.35 feet at Keithsburg. Flood stage at Keithsburg is 14 feet. The Toolsboro landing is now open. Channel Catfish – No Report: Use stink bait or crawlers fished above brush piles and snags. White Crappie – No Report: Look for crappies in the backwaters around brush piles. Use jigs and plastics or minnows under a bobber. Walleye – No Report: Look for walleyes on the wing dams. Troll crankbaits or three-way rigs with nightcrawlers. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Some largemouth bass are being caught in New Boston Bay/Bell Pocket. Use jigs and plastics.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 5.04 feet at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington. Flood stage is 10 feet at Lock and Dam 18. River stage is 10.62 feet at Burlington. Flood stage at Burlington is 15 feet. River stage at Fort Madison is 526.1 feet and flood stage is 528 feet. We have not received any fishing report information for this pool this week. Channel Catfish – No Report: Use stink bait or nightcrawlers fished around brush piles and snags along the main channel and side channels. Also try anchoring above the wing dams. White Crappie – No Report: Look for crappies in the backwaters around brush piles. Try jigs and plastics or minnows under a bobber.

River levels have been fairly steady this past week. Water clarity is fair. Main channel water temperature is around 79 degrees. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

SOUTHEAST
Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River)
The recent spotty heavy rains brought the Iowa up a couple of feet, but it’s headed back down. Channel Catfish – Fair: Work the bigger brush piles. The rise in the water level got them biting, but now it’s dropping again.

Lake Belva Deer
Water temperature is 78-80 degrees, still getting too warm during the day to cool down the lake. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Look for bass around the mounds in the deeper water at the upper end and around the rip-rap at the lower end of the lake. Early morning or late evening is best. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills are out deep. Start in 10 to 12 feet of water early in the morning. Channel Catfish – Fair: Most catfish have moved into deeper water; start along the old creek channel.

Lake Darling
The rain helped knock down the green color (algae) in the lake. Weather has been up and down lately, messing with the fishing. Largemouth Bass – Good: Anglers are picking up a few more bass early in the morning. Work the fallen trees and brush piles to catch a few before they head out deep for the balance of the day. Bluegill – Fair: Most bluegills have moved off into deeper water (8-10 feet) around the rock piles and brush piles. Channel Catfish – Fair: Catfish have wrapped up the spawn. Try drift fishing with cut bait along the old creek channel in the lake. Black Crappie – Fair: Slow drift or troll over the habitat in 10 to 12 feet of water. Early morning or late evening is best.

Lost Grove Lake
Water temperature is bouncing from 78 to 80 degrees. The water was still pretty green a couple of days ago; the rain helped knock that down some. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass fishing is starting to pick up, especially just about dark. Work them out along the edges of the weed beds and out around the trees and brush piles in 4-6 feet of water using soft plastics. Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers continue to pick up crappies out around edges of the flooded timber in 8 to 10 feet of water. Try vertical jigging or using a slip bobber and minnow. Bluegill – Fair: The nicer bluegills remain out in deeper water; smaller ones are in shallow. Channel Catfish – Fair: Anglers continue to catch catfish below the causeway.

Skunk River (Coppock to Mississippi River)
The North Skunk jumped up with the rains and the South Skunk came up a little bit, too. Should be down to Brighton soon and move on down river. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try to hit the rise in water level and catch a few nice catfish looking for an easy meal.

For more information on the above lake, call the Lake Darling Fisheries Office at 319-694-2430.

Coralville Reservoir
The lake is at normal summer pool. Channel Catfish – Fair: Slow troll or drift cut bait in the channel. White Crappie – Fair: Use minnows or bright jigs over brush piles.

Diamond Lake
Channel Catfish – Fair: Try stink bait or chicken liver. Bluegill – Fair: Use worms or small jigs fished in brush. Black Crappie – Fair: Fish brush piles or drift the basin with jigs.

Lake Macbride
Only outboards 10 hp or less may be operated on the lake. Walleye – Fair. Black Crappie – Slow. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Slow. Largemouth Bass – Fair. Channel Catfish – Fair. Bluegill – Fair.

Pleasant Creek Lake
The main ramp is still closed for repaving. Bluegill – Fair. Channel Catfish – Fair: Evenings are best.

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

Hawthorn Lake
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try rubber worms or spinnerbaits along the rock jetties and the face of the dam. Use topwater lures early and late in the day in the same spots. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try dead chubs or nightcrawlers in 4-8 feet of water. Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs tipped with a waxworm. Sorting is needed for larger fish.

Lake Miami
Bluegill – Fair: Try small jigs tipped with a chunk of nightcrawler fished around the fishing jetties and rip-rapped shorelines. Largemouth Bass – Good: Use crankbaits or rubber worms around the fishing jetties and around the submerged cedar trees. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try nightcrawlers along the shorelines.

Lake Sugema
Largemouth Bass – Good: Use spinnerbaits or crankbaits around rip-rapped shorelines and the fishing jetties. Try rubber worms around openings in the vegetation. Black Crappie – Slow: Use jigs tipped with a minnow around the flooded timber and submerged structure. Keep moving until you find active fish. Bluegill – Fair: Try small jigs jigs tipped with a chunk of nightcrawler in the open areas of the aquatic vegetation.

Lake Wapello
Channel Catfish – Fair: Use cut bait or dead chubs along the shore. Don’t fish too deep, most lakes have stratified. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use rubber worms or spinnerbaits around rock jetties and submerged cedar trees. Bluegill – Fair: Try small jigs along the shorelines and around the aquatic vegetation.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 905.67 msl. Normal operating elevation is 904.0 msl. Lake Rathbun has zebra mussels, so make sure to properly drain, clean, and dry equipment before transporting to another water body. Channel Catfish – Good: Try cut bait or nightcrawlers fished along the shorelines. Black Crappie – Slow: Catch suspended crappie with small crankbaits. Sorting is needed for larger fish. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Good: Anglers have been successful trolling crankbaits along rocky shores. Anglers are also vertically jigging over rock piles with some success. Walleye – Slow: Troll baits that imitate gizzard shad or bottom bouncers with a nighcrawler over submerged points or along rocky shores.

Red Haw Lake
Channel Catfish – Fair: Use cut bait or nightcrawlers along the shorelines. Bluegill – Fair: Try small jigs with a chunk of nightcrawler fished around the shores and submerged structure. Largemouth Bass – Good: Use rubber worms or spinnerbaits around brush piles and other submerged structure.

The district includes Mahaska, Lucas, Wayne, Monroe, Appanoose, Wapello, Davis and Van Buren counties. Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions about fishing in south central Iowa.

SOUTHWEST
Big Creek Lake
Walleye – Slow: Walleye fishing is slower after the gizzard shad hatch. Use live bait on jigs or troll spinner rigs and shad imitating crankbaits in the upper half of the lake around road beds humps and weed edges in 10 feet of water and less. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: Troll shad imitating crankbaits and spoons throughout the lake. Also watch for shad busting on the surface; cast into the frenzy. Black Crappie – Fair: Drift or troll jigs with twister tails or minnows in the West Boat Ramp bay. Shore anglers should fish live minnows near the rock jetties in the evenings.

Des Moines River (Saylorville to Red Rock)
Channel Catfish – Good: Use cut baits and dip baits below the Saylorville spillway.

Des Moines River (Stratford to Saylorville Lake)
Channel Catfish – Excellent: Use stink baits or cut baits.

Don Williams Lake
Black Crappie – Good: Catch crappies from shore casting live minnows under a bobber 2 to 3 feet deep from the docks. Slowly troll jigs 3 to 6 feet deep. Good areas to troll are mid-lake between the boat ramp and the beach and from the beach north to the next bend. Largemouth Bass – Good: Catch quality 3 to 6 pound bass with shallow diving crankbaits and soft plastics around the tree falls and submerged stumps throughout the lake. Fish at depths of 8 feet and shallower.

Red Rock Reservoir
White Bass – Good: Troll spoons and crankbaits in the main lake from the marina down to the dam.

Saylorville Reservoir
White Bass – Good: Troll or cast shad imitating spoons and shallow diving crankbaits. Tie on a leading or trailing twister tail jig if the bite is slow. Cast jigging spoons once you find fish. Good areas to start are from the Sandpiper boat ramp to the marina cove and out from Oak Grove Beach. Fish are also being caught from Cherry Glen to the dam.

For more information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers, call Ben Dodd at 641-891-3795 or Andy Otting at 515-204-5885.

Lake Anita
Lake Anita is a good lake to try drift fishing for suspended bluegills and crappies. Anglers are doing well on catfish around rock piles and jetties. Black Crappie – Slow: A few crappie can be picked up drifting. Anglers targeting brush piles do better. Bluegill – Slow: The north arm of the lake around the road bed has been the best this week for suspended bluegill. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Fishing has been good for largemouth along the vegetation edges. Channel Catfish – Fair: Dip bait is working well on channel catfish around the jetties.

Lake Manawa
Fishing for wipers and catfish has been good early morning. Troll shad raps for walleye on the west side of the lake. Manawa’s no-wake restriction has been lifted. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: Troll crankbaits for best success. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try dip baits fished in the windblown shoreline.

Meadow Lake
The DNR has drawn Meadow Lake down 3.5 feet to improve the fishery. The stop logs will be put back in mid-October and the lake allowed to refill. The boat ramp can still be used.

Prairie Rose Lake
Prairie Rose has a quality panfish population and an abundance of largemouth bass. Bluegill – Slow: Look for bluegills around tree piles. Drift close or cast to find quality sized fish. Black Crappie – Slow: Troll along the dam or around brush piles to find 10 inch black crappie.

Viking Lake
Viking is down eight feet and will be maintained at this level until October. At that time, the gate will be closed and the lake will be allowed to refill.

Anglers are finding panfish suspended mid-lake and around structure; a typical summer pattern. Catfish are being caught around rocky shores. For more information, contact the S.W. District Office at 712-769-2587.

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