Iowa Fishing Report 9-22-2011


Iowa Fishing Report Officer
Jun 16, 2010
North Liberty, Iowa
For immediate release: september, 22, 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.

Nelson Park Lake
Nelson Park has the invasive plant brittle naiad. Be sure to clean boat and trailer before leaving the 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 leaving the lake to avoid spreading this species to other water bodies. Water clarity is excellent. Fishing has been slow.

Crawford Creek Impoundment
Crawford Creek has the invasive plant brittle naiad. Be sure to clean boat and trailer before leaving the lake to avoid spreading this species to other water bodies. Channel Catfish - Fair: Catfishing has slowed some compared to the last few weeks, but anglers are still able to catch a few. Turkey liver, Sonny's stink and blood bait. Bluegill - Slow: A few bluegills are being caught by shore anglers around the handicapped accessible pier and the cabins.

Brushy Creek Lake
Fishing is fairly slow. Bluegill - Fair: Some limits of bluegill are being caught in 14 feet of water around the submerged trees. Crappie - Fair: Try using minnows around submerged trees. Walleye - Fair: Some walleye are being caught in 15 to 20 feet of water during midday. Anglers last weekend reported catching walleyes on spinners in 6 to 8 feet of water.

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. Channel Catfish - Slow: Catfish anglers are catching a few fish on the usual baits. Walleye - Slow: Anglers have reported catching a few walleye while casting twisters.

North Twin Lake
Anglers are still catching a lot of yellow bass. Northern Pike - Slow: An occasional northern is being caught while fishing for yellow bass. Channel Catfish - Slow: Anglers are catching a few channel catfish using the usual baits. Walleye - Slow: An occasional walleye is being caught while yellow bass fishing. Yellow Bass - Good: Anglers are doing well for medium sized yellow bass.

Swan Lake
Water clarity as of Sept. 21 was 23 inches. Panfish are starting to bite. Fish around the fish house, about one foot off of the bottom. Crappies are 8 to 8.5 inches.

Black Hawk Lake
Anglers are allowed three walleye per day and all walleye must be at least 15 inches. Channel Catfish - Fair: Anglers fishing from shore near the outlet have been catching some 2 to 4 pound channel catfish off of live chubs. Yellow Bass - Fair: Some yellow bass are being caught from the north shore along the Sac Beach area. Target the windblown shorelines.

Browns Lake
Browns Lake is open to boat traffic.

Snyder Bend Lake
Snyder Bend is still closed. It will likely remain closed until it is no longer connected to the Missouri River.

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

Water temperatures are around 60 degrees. 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.

Clear Lake
Yellow bass fishing continues to be good, most anglers fish in the main lake with cut bait, crawlers, or minnows. Fishing the rock reefs or the artificial reefs have been good spots. Keep moving till you find the active schools. White bass and yellow perch are also being caught in the schools of yellow bass. Walleye are still being caught around the bulrushes and cattails using crawler harnesses or small crankbaits. Remember, Clear Lake has zebra mussels. Be sure to clean and dry the boat and trailer to prevent spreading this invasive species to other water bodies.

Rice Lake
As the fall approaches typically the yellow perch move in towards shore and anglers can enjoy some decent catches of perch with a few walleye or crappie mixed in. Use jigs with small minnows or a piece of crawler.

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.

Lake Pahoja
Bluegill - Good: Bluegill fishing has been consistently good for a while now. Try fishing with a small piece of night crawler under a bobber along weed lines and trees.

Big Spirit Lake
White Bass - Good: Bass and walleye fishermen at the footbridge have reported good numbers of big white bass. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegill fishing has slowed down. Try fishing the edge of weed lines, the north grade, and Buffalo Run fish barrier for the best action. Largemouth Bass - Good: Many largemouth bass have been reported while casting spinner baits along the weed lines and along the north grade road. Yellow Perch - Fair: Given the recent weather, the perch have slowed down. Look for them to start biting again in the next week with more stable weather. Walleye - Fair: Walleye fishing has picked up in the last week along weed lines and at the footbridge.

East Okoboji Lake
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 - Fair: Walleye have been reported along rocky points like parks marina and Stoney Point. 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 or try drifting through the main basin with a bobber and minnow. 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 the docks and weed lines associated with deep water vertically 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 - Good: Some yellow perch are being picked up while fishing for bluegill.

Big Sioux River
Channel Catfish - Good: Fishing for channel catfish has remained good with the low water levels. Find a deep pool and use stink bait or chicken liver for best action.

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.

West Fork Des Moines (state line to Emmetsburg)
Anglers are reporting good numbers of channel catfish, and some walleyes while fishing in deeper pools.

Recent cold fronts have slowed down panfish fishing; however walleye fishing has picked up on area lakes. Catfish and walleye have been biting well on area rivers. For more information on fishing in northwest Iowa, call the Spirit Lake hatchery at 712-336-1840.

Brinker Lake
Anglers are catching crappies. Crappie - Fair: A crappie minnow fished under a slip bobber in 10 feet of water has been most productive.

George Wyth Lake
Anglers have been catching some crappies fishing off of the dock or jetties. Fishing should only improve as water temperature drops. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Spinner baits have been catching bass. Crappie - Fair: A crappie minnow fished under a slip bobber in 10 feet of water has been most productive.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
Fishing has improved for walleye and smallmouth bass as they tend to feed more aggressively heading into fall. There also have been reports of crappie being caught near brush piles above the dams in the impoundment areas. Northern Pike - Fair: Artificial spoons and crankbaits have been producing some northern pike. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Jig and twistertail or spinner baits have been producing smallmouth bass. Crappie - Fair: Concentrate near brush piles with a minnow tipped under a slip bobber. Walleye - Good: A nightcrawler or minnow tipped on a jig work well this time of year.

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
Fishing has been fair for most species but walleye have reported as fair to good. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Jig and twistertail or spinner baits have been producing smallmouth bass. Walleye - Good: Crankbaits or a minnow tipped on a jig work well.

Wapsi River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
The Wapsi is dropping and should produce some good angling opportunities by the weekend. Smallmouth bass reports have been good with walleye and northern pike being caught as well. Northern Pike - Fair: Artificial spoons and crankbaits have been producing some northern pike. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Concentrate near the riffle areas casting spinner baits or jigs with a twistertail. Walleye - Fair: Fish downstream of woody structure along the current breaks and back eddy areas.

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
The Maquoketa River is in excellent condition. Concentrate efforts for smallmouth bass and walleye above Delhi. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Spinner baits or jig tipped with a twistertail can be productive for smallmouth bass. Walleye - Good: Fish a jig tipped with a crawler or minnow.

Manchester District Streams
Trout streams remain in excellent condition with the dry, cool weather heading into early fall.

Fishing on the interior rivers for walleye and smallmouth bass has improved over the last week as water temperatures decline. Anglers are also beginning to pick up some northern pike and crappie on the rivers. Some area Black Hawk County lakes have been fair for crappie. Trout streams in the Manchester District are in excellent condition; call the Manchester District Office at 563-927-3276 for any additional information.

Mississippi River Pool 16
Pool 16 is 4.63 feet at the Davenport Dam. This is about three feet below where it was this time last year. Work is being performed on the arsenal dam. No flow is coming out of the dam so fishing is slow in that area. The first two wing dams below the I-280 Bridge are producing white bass and few sauger and walleye that are feeding on the minnows schooled on the wing dams. Try using minnows and jigs or crankbaits where you see bait fish jumping at the surface. White Bass - Good: Try fishing where you see minnows or shad jumping at the surface. Walleye - Fair: Fish wing dams that have minnows or shad schooled at the surface.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Pool 17 is 3.73 feet at the Muscatine Dam. A few fish are being caught in the backwaters. Watch for shad boiling at the surface. White Bass - Fair: Look for prey fish boiling at the surface. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Look for prey fish boiling at the surface.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Pool 18 is 1.8 feet at the dam. Channel Catfish - Good: Channel cats are biting in stink baits and crawlers. Crappie - Good: Crappie are being taken on minnows in the brush piles. Walleye - Good: Walleye are biting on crank baits or three-way rigs on the wing dams.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Pool 19 is 3.14 feet and holding steady to slightly dropping. A number of different species are being taken at the second pumping station. Channel Catfish - Good: catfish are biting on stink bait or crawlers. Walleye - Good: walleye are hitting on crankbaits and three-way rigs trolled on wing dams.

The lower section of the Mississippi is at its lowest level all year. Most pools are slightly below historic low levels for this time of year. Exercise caution around wing dams and other structures that you are not familiar with.

Lake Geode
Brittle Naiad (an invasive aquatic plant species) is present in Geode so please clean the boat and trailer before leaving the ramp. Channel Catfish - Good: Catfish has continued to be good as these fish get ready for winter. Look for them to be foraging around the rocky shorelines and along the face of the dam.

Lake Belva Deer
The south (campground) boat ramp is closed for paving. Use the north boat ramp. Channel Catfish - Good: Anglers are stilling getting good numbers of catfish along the rocks and while crappie fishing. Crappie - Fair: Most of the crappies being caught now are down along the dam. Minnows and slip bobbers or small jig and minnows seem to be working the best.

Lake of the Hills
Rainbow Trout - Excellent: The fall release of 1,800 trout will be Oct. 22 at 10:30 a.m. Channel Catfish - Good: All types of stink baits, liver, and night crawlers are producing decent fish. Crappie - Good: Live minnows are producing crappies off the fishing dock area as well as the brush piles. Remember, Lake of the Hills is the only lake in West Lake Park where live minnows can be used as bait.

Railroad Lake
Channel Catfish - Good: Catfishing has been good along the old creek channel. Crappie - Good: Action has been picking up along the stretch of flooded timber along the old creek channel. Live minnows are not allowed in Railroad Lake.

Skunk River (Rose Hill to Coppock)
The river is very low and boating would be difficult. Channel Catfish - Excellent: Catfishing has been very good lately with the cooler weather. They are on a feeding frenzy as the drop in water temperature is telling the catfish that it's about time to make that trip to the overwintering holes to sleep through the winter.

Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River)
Channel Catfish - Good: Catfishing has been good with the return of the cooler weather. They are getting fattened up for their winter hibernation.

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

Iowa Lake
A fish survey was done here this week and lots of fish were seen in the brush piles. The survey was dominated by redear sunfish in the 8 to 10-inch range. Channel Catfish - Fair: Bluegill - Fair: Crappie - Slow:

Lake Macbride
Largemouth Bass - Fair: Fish shallow structure early and late in the day for best results. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) - Fair: A few fish are being caught on crankbaits. Look for balls of shad on the surface or on your electronics, and the wipers should be in the area.

Diamond Lake
Channel Catfish - Fair: Bluegill - Fair:

Otter Creek Lake
The fish cleaning station is no longer available due to storm damage. Channel Catfish - Good: Some nice sized fish can be caught. Bluegill - Fair: Most fish have been smaller sized. Yellow Bass - Good: Fish are being caught closer to shore now.

Union Grove Lake
Channel Catfish - Fair: Stink bait has been working best for catfish. Crappie - Fair: Some fish are starting to be caught by jigging in deeper water.

Coralville Reservoir
The water level on Sept. 22 is 685.1 feet. The level is slowly rising due to reduction of outflow to allow for construction below the dam. Channel Catfish - Fair: Most fish have been coming on shad. Crappie - Fair: Fish jigs or minnows in brush piles.

Iowa River (Marshalltown to Coralville Lake)
Channel Catfish - Good: Areas in Johnson County have been producing catfish on dip baits. Live bait has been producing well in deeper holes in Tama County. Water levels are low and boat access is limited. Flathead Catfish - Good: Live bait has also been producing flatheads in Tama County. Walleye - No Report: Several nice walleyes were seen in the deeper holes around Marshalltown during a fish survey this week.

Iowa River (Coralville Lake to River Junction)
We have received no information regarding fishing on this water body this week.

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

Red Haw Lake
Bluegill - Fair: Anglers have been having success using a jig tipped with a chunk of nightcrawler fished under a bobber. Target areas with some submerged habitat or along the shorelines. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Try rubber worms fished along shoreline structure or around the rock jetties. Plastic crawdads or lizards should also be tried.

Hawthorn Lake (aka Barnes City Lake)
The lake was drained for a lake renovation last year but work is now complete. New fish habitat areas have been built along with some new jetties. The lake is now full. Fingerlings were stocked in May.

Albia (lower)
Bluegill - Fair: Some keeper bluegills are being caught using small jigs tipped with a chunk of nightcrawler. Try depths ranging from 4 to 8 feet along the upper end of the reservoir. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use rubber worms fished along the dam and the areas of the lake with rock.

Lake Sugema
Lake Sugema contains the invasive plant brittle naiad so make sure to inspect and clean the boat and trailer when leaving the lake. Bluegill - Fair: Small jigs with a chunk of nightcrawler have been the most productive. Don't forget to add a bobber to find suspended fish. Try areas with submerged habitat and along the shoreline in 4 to 8 feet of water. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use crankbaits or plastic crawdad imitations fished along the shorelines. The water temperature is in the low 70s.

Rathbun Reservoir
The lake level is at 904.27 feet with 904.0 feet being normal pool. Water temperature has been in the upper 60s. Outlet Park has been reopened. 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 water above 104 degrees, or let them dry for at least 10 days, with five days in sun. Crappie - Slow: Crappies are still being caught close to shore using jig and minnow combos. Look for areas with flooded woody structure. Walleye - Fair: Nightcrawler harnesses being trolled or drifted have been catching some fish. Try the areas around Island View or South Fork. Jig and minnow combinations have been producing a few fish when fished shallow. 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

Roberts Creek Lake
Crappie - Good: Trolling small panfish crankbaits or drifting small jigs or minnows is catching decent numbers of crappie.

Big Creek Lake
Bluegill - Good: Large bluegill are being caught over brush piles in 15 feet of water or less and near structure in the deeper water near the emergency spillway.

Hickory Grove Lake
Bluegill - Good: Bluegill can be easily caught fishing live bait over pallet and brush piles in eight feet of water or less, especially those between the island and beach and out from the plover bay shelter.

Hooper Area Pond
Crappie - Good: Drifting small jigs or live minnows is working well on crappies. A good population of nice size crappie exists. Most are black crappie running between 8 and 10 inches, but some white crappies are there up to 12 inches.

Cooling water is now dipping into the low to mid 60s have fish starting to feed. Now is a great time to be out for bluegill and crappie. 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 - Fair: 7 to 8-inch bluegill 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. 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 - Fair: Crappies are being caught vertical jigging around brush piles. Fish average nine inches with a few 11-inch fish being caught. Evenings seem to be best.

Orient Lake
Orient Lake has one concrete boat ramp. Channel Catfish - Good: Catfish are being caught on shrimp. Fish average 14 to 18 inches.

Cold Springs Lake
Cold Springs has one concrete boat ramp. Bullhead - Good: Bullheads are biting on nightcrawlers. Fish average nine inches. 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. Bluegill - Slow: Bluegills up to nine inches are being caught drifting and around brush piles. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth bass are being caught along weed edges and the road beds. Bass are all sizes up to 20 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 - Good: 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
The lake level is about two feet high at Lake Manawa. Water temperature is 65 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.

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 - Good: Channel catfish are active now that water temperature is cooling down. Liver and prepared blood baits work well this time of year. 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.

With water temperatures in the mid 60s, panfishing is picking up. Catfishing continues to be good on many lakes. For more information on fishing call the district office at Cold Springs at 712-769-2587.

Little River Watershed Lake
The lake has been lowered 20 feet to allow for a fish renovation, shoreline repairs, and fish habitat project to be completed this fall and winter. The fishery will be restocked as soon as conditions allow.

Green Valley Lake
The lake level is down about nine feet to allow completion of the final stages of a sediment removal project. The main concrete ramp is open and functional. The fishery is growing fast and currently contains a lot of bluegill up to 8-1/2 inches, crappies up to 9-1/2 inches and bass from 8 to 15 inches.

Three Mile Lake
Water temperatures are in the upper 60s. Water clarity is good at mid-lake and near the dam. The upper end is still a little green. The fall walleye and crappie bite is starting. Crappie - Fair: A few crappies are coming from the deeper flooded tree piles. Walleye - Fair: A few walleye are being caught from the old roadway between the ramps.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake
The water temp is in the upper 60s. The algae is starting to disappear. The walleye, crappie and bluegill bite is starting.

Water temperature is the mid 60s at most lakes. Small lakes are in the low 60s. Water clarity is above average. The fall crappie and walleye bite is picking up.