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Iowa Fishing Report 8-25-2011

Basshawk

Iowa Fishing Report Officer
Joined
Jun 16, 2010
Location
North Liberty, Iowa
#1
A little late. I have been gone.

For immediate release: august 25, 2011

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.

NORTHWEST
Nelson Park Lake
Nelson Park has the invasive plant brittle naiad. Be sure to clean boat and trailer before you leave lake to avoid spreading this species to other water bodies. Fishing has been slow for all species.

Yellow Smoke Park Lake
Yellow Smoke has the invasive plant brittle naiad. Be sure to clean boat and trailer before you leave lake to avoid spreading this species to other water bodies. Water clarity is excellent.

Crawford Creek Impoundment
Crawford Creek has the invasive plant brittle naiad. Be sure to clean boat and trailer before you leave lake to avoid spreading this species to other water bodies. There hasn't been a lot of fishing activity at Crawford Creek lately. Channel Catfish - Excellent: Anglers are having good success with catfish using cut chubs, turkey liver, and Sonny's stink bait. Bluegill - Good: Fishing for bluegill has been good.

Brushy Creek Lake
Fishing at Brushy Creek is decent right now. Bluegill - Fair: Some limits of bluegill are being caught in 14 feet of water in outside bends of the creek channel around the submerged trees. Largemouth Bass - Excellent: Largemouth bass fishing has been very good. Crappie - Fair: Fish for crappie the same way as bluegill. Walleye - Fair: Some walleye are being caught in 15 to 20 feet of water during midday.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Boaters use caution. The hydraulic dredge is in operation at Storm Lake. Stay clear of dredge barge, booster pump barge, and pipeline. Anglers are allowed three walleye per day, all fish between 17 and 22 inches must be released; only one of the three fish can be over 22 inches. Not a lot of anglers have been fishing Storm Lake lately.

North Twin Lake
Yellow bass fishing is good with most being caught at the north end. Channel catfish and freshwater drum continue to bite. Some decent crappies have been caught from the docks.

Swan Lake
Fishing has been slow.

Black Hawk Lake
Anglers are allowed three walleye per day and all fish must be at least 15 inches. Catfishing remains good, but anglers need a boat to do really well. Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish have moved off shore and are lying along the dredge cuts in about 8 feet of water. Fish the deep edge of the drop-offs and use crawdads, cut bait, or gizzard shad guts.

Blue Lake
Largemouth bass are being caught in the mornings and evenings. Plastic frogs are working well.

Browns Lake
Browns Lake is open to boat traffic. Anglers are still catching channel catfish ranging 2 to 4 pounds each.

Snyder Bend Lake
Snyder Bend is closed to boat traffic.

Great Western Park Lake
Great Western Park has the invasive plant brittle naiad. Be sure to clean boat and trailer before you leave lake to avoid spreading this species to other water bodies.

Southwood Conservation Area Pond (east)
Panfishing has been good for nice sized bluegill and crappie. Anglers have been targeting deeper water and submerged structure. Some catfish are being caught on prepared baits and chicken liver.

Little Sioux River (Linn Grove to Correctionville)
Fishing in the Little Sioux River has picked up. There have been many reports of anglers catching walleye below the Linn Grove Dam. Catfishing is excellent throughout the unchannelized portion of the Little Sioux. Try fishing the outside bends in the deep holes to catch catfish, walleye, and the occasional drum. A split shot above a #6 circle hook baited with half a night crawler will catch most species.

North Raccoon River (above State Highway 175 Bridge near Auburn)
Anglers targeting walleye at the rock riffles on the public areas from Sac City south to Auburn have had some success. Try casting a Mepps spinner below the rock riffles.

Black Hawk District Farm Ponds
Bluegills are short biting on a bobber and a small piece of worm. Largemouth bass are hitting top water flies and purple worms with white spots. Perch are hitting fast on Shucks jigger minnow set-up.

For more information on lakes and rivers in this area contact Ben Wallace or Don Herrig at the Black Hawk District Office in Lake View at 712-657-2638.

Eldred Sherwood Lake
No recent reports, but be aware that this lake contains an invasive plant called brittle naiad. Please clean, drain, and dry your boat and equipment before going to another water body.

Upper Pine Lake
Largemouth bass fishing has been fair; most boat anglers cast near or under the overhanging or fallen trees for best success. Try spinners or plastic worms.

Clear Lake
Anglers continue to catch yellow bass while drifting or vertically jigging over the artificial reefs and rock reefs in the main lake and dredged areas in the little lake using jigs with crawlers, minnows or cut bait. Try fishing different depths, anywhere from 6 to 15 feet. Walleye fishing is fair and most fish are caught using the same methods for yellow bass.

Bluebill Lake
Largemouth bass have been hitting plastic worms and frogs fished along the weed edges.

Remember to clean, drain, and dry your boat and equipment to stop the spread of invasive species. For more fishing information in the north central area contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.

Dog Creek (Lake)
Bullhead - Good: Anglers have reported many large bullheads being caught in the past week on night crawler under a bobber.

Big Spirit Lake
There has been little fishing pressure in the past week on Big Spirit Lake. White Bass - Good: Bass fisherman have reported good catches of white bass. Bluegill - Good: Anglers are catching bluegill on the edge of weed lines with slip bobbers and a piece of worm. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Anglers are still catching smallmouth while casting in the bulrushes and above the submerged vegetation. Largemouth Bass - Good: Many largemouth bass have been reported while using the same tactics as fishing for smallmouth. Yellow Perch - Fair: Anglers are reporting a limited number of yellow perch being caught. Action will improve in the coming weeks. Walleye - Fair: Walleye fishing has slowed down, but some anglers are still reporting limits. Fishing is best along the weed beds and Stoney Point with leeches and crawlers during early morning hours for best action.

East Okoboji Lake
Channel Catfish - Good: Try fishing along the spillway or along tree falls with cut bait or smelly bait. White Bass - Good: Try fishing the spillway or along the edge of weed beds for best action with a minnow or piece of cut bait. Walleye - Good: Walleye have been reported along rocky points and wader fisherman at the spillway early in the morning and before sunset. Yellow Bass - Good: Yellow bass are being caught while fishing for white bass.

Little Spirit Lake
Bullhead - Good: Try fishing on the bottom with a night crawler near the outlet.

Silver Lake (****inson)
Channel Catfish - Good: Try fishing toward evening hours with a dead chub or stink bait. White Bass - Good: Watch for schooling fish chasing minnows and fish with minnow or minnow-like baits. Walleye - Fair: Wader fishing activity at night will continue to improve as water temperature drops.

West Okoboji Lake
Northern Pike - Good: Pike have been reported using the same tactics as fishing for largemouth bass. Bluegill - Good: For the best action fish docks and weed lines associated with deep water vertical jigging with a small piece of night crawler or small crawdad. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Smallmouth bass are being picked up using crankbaits along the weed lines. Largemouth Bass - Good: Fishing is good along deep weed lines associated with inside turns using traditional baits. Yellow Perch - Fair: Some yellow perch are being picked up while fishing for bluegills.

Lost Island Lake
Try fishing under the bridge for a mixed batch of species. Many fish have been sitting in the current under the bridge in the past week. Walleye - Fair: Walleye are still being caught near the rock point and rock pile. They are feeding on young yellow bass so try to mimic their forage.

Big Sioux River
Channel Catfish - Good: As water levels drop, fishing will continue to pick up for channel cats.

Little Sioux River (state line to Linn Grove)
Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish have been biting on night crawlers and chicken livers as the river has been going down.

For more information on fishing in northwest Iowa, contact the Spirit Lake hatchery at 712-336-1840.

NORTHEAST
Volga Lake
Road construction will be occurring on the road to the lake and new campground through Labor Day baring any delays. The lake and campground will be inaccessible during construction.

Lake Hendricks
Angling pressure has been slow this week. Try top water jigs and fishing in the upper water column for best luck.

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
Anglers are catching a lot of small fish. Sheepshead and mooneye are hitting on worms. Sauger - Good: Anglers are using crankbaits or lures that look like crawfish for best luck. Walleye - Good:

Cedar River (above Nashua)
Water conditions are excellent. Fish are biting and can be found in the pockets below the dams or in deeper pools. Most fish are being caught using a worm bounced on the bottom or under a bobber. Channel Catfish - Good: Smallmouth Bass - Slow: Crappie - Fair: Anglers are using jigs tipped with minnows. Walleye - Fair:

Decorah District Streams
Early morning Trico hatches (#20-#24) are currently good on area streams around 7:30 a.m. Blue Wing Olives have been hatching on some late mornings and afternoons, normally followed by evening spinner falls. Try a sparsely tied #18 Blue Wing Olive and spinner pattern for the Blue Wing hatch. Hoppers, crickets and other terrestrial patterns remain good alternative daytime patterns. For stocking information, call 563-927-5736.

Area rivers and streams are in good condition and many are running low. Fish activity in lakes should pick up with the cooler weather. Trout streams are in excellent condition. For more information, contact the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER
Mississippi River Pool 16
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 7.94 feet. Channel Catfish - Good: Some channel catfish are being caught on stink baits and shad guts fished around snag piles along the main channel or in side channels. Some channel catfish are also being caught at the mouth of the Rock River. Bluegill - Fair: Some bluegills are being caught in Sunset Marina on wax worms. Some bluegills are also being caught in the Andalusia Island complex fishing around brush piles. Crappie - Fair: Some crappies are being caught in Sunset Marina on wax worms, jigs and minnows, or jigs and plastics. Some crappies are also being caught in the Andalusia Island complex fishing around brush piles. Sauger - Slow: Some saugers are being caught on three-way rigs with nightcrawlers on the upstream side of wing dams. Walleye - Slow: Some walleyes are being caught on the wing dams on jigs and minnows or on three-way rigs with half a crawler.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 6.66 feet. Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish are being caught on stink baits and shad guts. Try fishing above snag piles along the main channel and side channels. White Bass - Good: White bass are being caught in Big Timber fishing top water lures or shallow running crankbaits. Try fishing for white bass around the deeper dredge cuts and schools of shad. Crappie - Fair: Crappies are being caught in Big Timber fishing around brush piles with minnows.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 7.60 feet. Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish are being caught on stink baits and shad guts. Try fishing above snag piles along the main channel and side channels.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 4.35 feet. Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish are being caught on cut shad, stink baits, and crawlers. Try fishing above snag piles along the main channel or side channels. Crappie - Fair: Some crappies are being caught in the backwaters. Try using jigs and minnows or small plastics around brush piles.

Pools 16-19: River levels throughout the pools have been falling over the past few days. Main channel water temperature is around 78 degrees and water clarity is fair. Remember to clean, drain, and dry your boat before going to another water body. For more fishing information on Pools 16-19 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

SOUTHEAST

Lake Odessa
The water levels are dropping quickly as wildlife staff is trying to get the water off the trees and button brush that has had water on them since April. Still, it is very navigable. Channel Catfish - Good: Catfishing is really picking up as the water recedes and brings more food into the deeper areas. Bluegill - Good: With a little work and knowledge of the lake anglers are catching some big bluegills. Work the deeper water of the sand run and Yankee chute areas. Crappie - Good: There are some slab crappies being caught along the trees dropped into deeper water. Also try down in Burris ditch near the outlet. Slip bobbers and minnows are working well as are jigs tipped with minnows.

Lake Geode
Make sure to clean off your boat and trailer after fishing, Geode has brittle naiad. Water temperature continues to cool into the mid 70s with the cool nights. The number of anglers out during the week has dropped off as school starts back up. Channel Catfish - Good: Catfishing remains good around the rocks along the dam face as well as the rip rap along the shore at the boat ramps. Chicken liver and stink bait remain the go-to baits. Bluegill - Good: With the cooler weather the bluegill fishing has improved. Look for them to be in shallow in the morning and late evening and move back out to the ledges for the middle of the day.

Lake Belva Deer
Fishing remains pretty steady. Channel Catfish - Good: Catfishing remained good during the evening hours. Chicken liver and cut bait are good things to try. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills have for the most part moved to deeper water. Fish around the trees in the old creek channel. Crappie - Good: Anglers are catching some nice crappies out in front of the beach. Slip bobbers and minnows are a good way to start.

Lake of the Hills
Angler numbers have dropped with all the competing activities in the area and the start of school. Channel Catfish - Good: Catfish in the 2 to 4 pound range are common. Liver and various stink baits are working the best. Nightcrawlers are also good bait to use as the water cools down. Bluegill - Good: The fish are deep but once you find the right depth and habitat, you can do well. Largemouth Bass - Good: The bass are deeper. The recent cool weather should be bringing them up shallow for longer in the morning and evening.

Railroad Lake
Channel Catfish - Excellent: Fishing along the old creek channel with liver or stink baits should get some nice eating size catfish. Bluegill - Good: Fish the north side around the stumps and logs, in the tree falls or by the recycling containers to catch some bluegills. Largemouth Bass - Good: Work the flooded timber and along the riprap late in the day or early in the morning.

Skunk River (Rose Hill to Coppock)
The river is getting low enough that canoes and kayaks are pretty much the only boat traffic. Channel Catfish - Good: Anglers who know where the deeper water is are still catching some nice catfish.

Skunk River (Coppock to Mississippi River)
The river continues to drop. Most boats are going to have problems. Channel Catfish - Good: Catfishing has been good. Try a few freshly caught grass frogs as bait. Anglers are also catching them on stink baits.

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

Red Haw Lake
Bluegill - Good: Try using small jigs tipped with a chunk of nightcrawler along the shoreline. Largemouth Bass - Good: Rubber worms and spinner baits have been the baits of choice. Target areas along the dam and the rock jetties.

Hawthorn Lake (aka Barnes City Lake)
The lake was drained for a lake renovation last year but is now complete. New fish habitat has been built along with some new jetties. The lake is now full.

Albia (lower)
Bluegill - Fair: Anglers have been catching some keeper bluegills using small jigs tipped with a chunk of nightcrawler within 10 feet of the shoreline. Largemouth Bass - Good: Try plastic worms fished along the shoreline and spinner baits along the dam and other rocky areas.

Lake Miami
Largemouth Bass - Slow: Try rubber worms or crankbaits along the face of the dam or along the west side among the stumps. Crappie - Slow: Try drifting minnows in the main lake area.

Lake Sugema
Lake Sugema contains the invasive plant brittle naiad so make sure to inspect and clean your boat and trailer when leaving the lake. Bluegill - Fair: Try using small jigs tipped with a piece of nightcrawler along the shoreline and areas of the lake with standing timber. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use top water baits fished in the early morning or late evening hours. Fish areas with rip-rapped shorelines with a spinner bait or a jig n' pig combo.

Rathbun Reservoir
The lake level is at 904.87 feet with 904.0 feet being normal pool. Water temperature has been in the upper 70s. Outlet Park was closed on August 22 for a river stabilization project and it could be closed up to 60 days. 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 with 5 days in the sun. Crappie - Slow: A few crappies are still being caught off docks and close to shore using a jig and a minnow. Look for areas with flooded woody structure. Suspended crappies can be targeted by trolling small chrome colored crankbaits. Try areas with variations in depths like underwater islands and submerged points. Walleye - Fair: Anglers have had some success trolling chrome colored crankbaits or vertically jigging blade baits. They are also using nightcrawlers being drifted or trolled. Tagged walleyes should be reported at 641-647-2406.

For further fishing reports in south central Iowa call the Rathbun fish hatchery at 641-647-2406

SOUTHWEST
Big Creek Lake
Channel Catfish - Good: Channel cats are being caught on the upper end drifting cut bait. Cut creek chubs seem to be working best. Bluegill - Good: Bluegill are being caught drifting pieces of nightcrawler along the edge of the vegetation beds on the upper half of the lake and over the roadbeds and brush piles that are in 15 feet of water or less. Walleye - Fair: Walleyes are being caught on the upper third of the lake by drifting or jigging nightcrawlers, or casting and trolling crankbaits. Do not fish water deeper than 15 feet. Many fish being caught are sublegal, but fish over 15 inches are coming in. Check legal size fish for yellow tags near the tail. If one is caught follow the instructions on the signs at the boat ramps.

Hickory Grove Lake
Bluegill - Good: Quality bluegill continue be caught by drifting or trolling small panfish crankbaits or by still fishing crawlers over the pallet piles.

Red Rock Reservoir
Channel Catfish - Good: Anglers drifting cut bait are doing very well on good sized channel cats. White Bass - Fair: Look for schools of shad busting the surface then troll or cast lipless crankbaits or spoons in these areas. Try multiple colors to find their preference. Good starting colors are chrome or a blue/chrome combo. The Marina Point and west of the mile long bridge are good starting points.

Saylorville Reservoir
Channel Catfish - Excellent: Drifting cut creek chubs north of the mile long bridge is producing some excellent catfishing. Expect some 5 pounds plus cats. White Bass - Good: The best activity has been in the Sandpiper Point area, Oak Grove area, and around the Mile Long Bridge. Cast or troll spoons and shad colored crankbaits. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) - Fair: Anglers trolling the Sandpiper area are also getting into some wipers. The best activity has been in the evenings.

Des Moines River (Stratford to Saylorville Lake)
Channel Catfish - Good: Boat navigation is becoming challenging, but good numbers of channel cats are being caught on stink baits.

Des Moines River (Saylorville to Red Rock)
Channel Catfish - Good: Channel cats are being caught on stink baits and cut creek chubs or gizzard shad. White Bass - Fair: The white bass bite is fair below the Red Rock spillway casting jigs or drifting minnows under a bobber.

The white bass bite continues to be fairly good on the large reservoirs. Catfishing is excellent in the reservoirs and most lakes using cut bait and good on the rivers using stink baits. Rivers are getting low and more difficult to navigate in a boat. Bluegill and crappie are being caught by drifting or fishing over pallet and brush piles. Do not fish too deep as most lakes have a thermocline between 6 and 10 feet. For information on central Iowa lakes and rivers contact Ben Dodd or Andy Otting at 515-432-2823.

Greenfield Lake
Greenfield has one concrete boat ramp. Water clarity is good. Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel catfish are being caught around jetties using shrimp. Fish average two pounds. Bluegill - Slow: 7 to 8-inch bluegills can be caught drifting small jigs. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth bass are being caught casting around jetties and weed edges. Many fish are in the 12 to 15-inch range.

Nodaway Lake
Nodaway has one small boat ramp. Water temperature is in the high 70s. Channel Catfish - Fair: Catfish are being caught along the north shoreline and the dam with dip bait. Bluegill - Slow: Bluegill are being caught around brush piles with nightcrawlers. Crappie - Slow: Crappies can be caught trolling jigs around brush piles in 10 to 12 feet of water. Fish average 9 inches with a few 11-inch fish being caught. Evenings seem to be best.

Orient Lake
Orient Lake has one concrete boat ramp. Water temperature is around 80 degrees. Channel Catfish - Fair: Catfish are being caught on shrimp. Fish average 14 to 18 inches.

Cold Springs Lake
Cold Springs has one concrete boat ramp. Water temperature is 80 degrees. Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel catfish are being caught in less than six feet of water using cut bait. Fish average 2.5 pounds.

Lake Anita
Lake Anita has two concrete ramps. Water temperatures are around 80 degrees. Bluegill - Slow: Bluegills up to nine inches are being caught drifting and around brush piles. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth bass are being caught along the road beds and in brush piles. Bass are all sizes up to 20 inches. Crappie - Slow: The crappies being caught are around brush piles and underwater reefs. Late afternoon is the best bite. Fish average nine inches.

Willow Lake
Willow has one concrete boat ramp and excellent water clarity. Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel catfish can be caught along the campground shoreline and around jetties using blood bait or liver. Bluegill - Fair: The best bluegill bite is early in the morning using nightcrawlers under a bobber. Fish average eight inches. Largemouth Bass - Slow: Largemouth are being caught using Powerbait worms around sunken trees. Most fish are 12 to 14 inches.

Viking Lake
Viking Lake has four feet of water clarity. The lake has three concrete boat ramps. Channel Catfish - Fair: Catfishing has been fair in the evenings around the jetties using liver. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Anglers are catching largemouth bass in the sunken cedar trees using plastic baits. Casting spinner baits along weed edges has also produced fish up to 20 inches.

Lake Manawa
Manawa is full and has a slight algal bloom. Water temperature is 80 degrees. Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel catfish are being caught on the west and south side of the lake using shrimp or Sonny's dip bait. Fish up to six pounds have been reported.

Cold Springs District Farm Ponds
There are numerous farm ponds in southern Iowa that can provide a quality fishing trip. Remember to always get permission to fish private farm ponds. Aquatic vegetation is starting to come on. Small boats or bass buggies will aid in fishing small ponds this time of year. Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel catfish can be caught using a variety of prepared baits in the summer. Fish in 3 to 6 feet of water. Bluegill - Fair: Fish for bluegills around deeper structure and outside edges of vegetation. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth bass are aggressive now and can be caught casting around structure and along the shoreline. Early morning and late evenings are the best times to target largemouth.

Water temperatures are cooling down on area lakes and interior rivers are again at fishable levels. Panfish are around deep structure and along vegetation edges. Catfishing has been good early morning and late afternoon. For more information on fishing in southwest Iowa, call the district office in Lewis at 712-769-2587.