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Iowa Fishing Reports

Iowa Fishing Map Guide

Scroll down for the most recent DNR and other sites’ fishing reports.  Additional reports are being developed by SC staff and contributors that will also be posted here.

Fishing Report 11/28/19:

NORTHWEST
Black Hawk Lake
Marsh and main lake remain ice free. Yellow perch – fair: Anglers are catching perch from the inlet bridge and the fish house on Ice House Point. Fish up to 10-12 inches are being caught with some sorting. Black Crappie – Fair: Use crawlers, power bait bites or small minnows on a jig fished under a bobber from the inlet bridge.

North Raccoon River (above State Highway 175 bridge near Auburn)
Walleye – Fair: Use live bait or twisters in deeper areas below riffles. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try cut bait and crawlers fished in deeper areas below riffles and on outside of bends.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
White Bass – Fair: Use crawlers or twisters fished from shore. Black Crappie – Fair: Try crawlers and small minnows on a jig fished under a bobber from shore and docks in the marina.

Most lakes in West Central Iowa remain ice free. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.

Blue Pit
1,500 Rainbow trout were stocked at Blue Pit in Mason City this morning. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Clear Lake
The lake remains open. Anglers looking for one last open water trip should take advantage. Walleye – Slow: Try fishing off the jetties after sunset .

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

NORTHEAST
Cedar River (above Nashua)
Anglers fishing back eddies and open water areas below dams are catching fish. With high river levels, backwaters are ice free or water sitting on top of thin layer of ice; going to these areas is not recommended. Walleye – Fair: Fish below dams or find deeper pools in the eddies. Use a hook tipped with a crawler or a jig with a twister tail or ring worm.

Decorah District Streams
Stocked fish remain in streams through the winter creating excellent angling opportunities. Trout streams with good flows remain open even during winter. Hunting seasons are open in Iowa; wear bright orange and be visible to hunters. Brown Trout – Good: Use care around freshly cleared gravel in the stream bottom. Try a fly imitating small silvery fish. Feathered spinner baits work well when fished through pools. Rainbow Trout – Good: Use an ultra-light pole and reel for fun action. A worm fished under a bobber in slow water works well. Try a spinner in eddies and around structure. Brook Trout – Good: Redds or trout nests are cleared areas in the stream bottom; avoid walking here. With fewer insect hatches, try using flies imitating minnows such as a wholly bugger.

Lake Hendricks
Ice conditions have deteriorated on Lake Hendricks with warmer weather and rain last week. Not safe for fishing. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the ice.

Lake Meyer
With warmer weather and rain, Lake Meyer is ice free. No anglers have been out.

Turkey River (above Clermont)
Most backwaters have lost ice with high water levels and warmer temperatures. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on this area when covered with ice.

Volga Lake
Volga Lake is mostly ice free with warmer temperatures and rain. Few anglers have been out.

Temperatures in the mid to low 30’s for highs to below freezing for lows through the week. Mixed precipitation through the holiday weekend. Water levels rose between ½ feet to 1.5 feet after last week’s rain, taking out any ice on area rivers and lakes. Flows remain high on all area rivers. Trout streams are good to excellent. For current fishing information, please call the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
Anglers are catching good numbers of walleye and northern pike on the Cedar River. Northern Pike – Good: Cast and retrieve larger spinner baits near instream habitat or deeper overwintering areas. Walleye – Good: Cast and retrieve crankbaits or use jig and minnow near instream habitat or deeper overwintering areas.

Manchester District Streams
The extended forecast for next week looks cold and wet. Most streams were recently stocked with rainbow trout and many have great populations of wild brown trout.

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
Recent fish sampling efforts showed a good population of walleye on the Maquoketa River in Delaware County. Walleye – Fair: Cast and retrieve crankbaits or use jig and minnow near instream habitat or deeper overwintering areas.

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
There are no reports on the Shell Rock River.

Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
Good reports of walleye being caught on the Wapsipinicon River in Buchanan County. Walleye – Good: Cast and retrieve or troll crankbaits or use jig and minnow near instream habitat or deeper overwintering areas.

Interior rivers are in good condition and are falling after last week’s rainfall. Next week forecast looks cold and wet; it’s a good time to gather your ice fishing equipment for the upcoming season. Many trout streams have been recently stocked and remain in excellent condition. Call the N.E. Iowa district office at 563-927-3276 for more information.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER
Mississippi River Pool 9
River level is 9.3 feet at Lansing and is predicted to rise to 9.6 feet next week. Water temperature is 36 degrees. Largemouth Bass – No Report: Find bass in areas of no or slight current in backwaters with clearer water. Smallmouth Bass – No Report: Use crankbaits fished on rocky areas along main channel shoreline. Bluegill – Fair: Look for bluegill to move into deeper backwater areas out of the current. Channel Catfish – No Report: Use crawlers fished in side-channel current. Freshwater Drum – No Report: Drum are biting. Use worms on the bottom or crayfish to target larger fish. Walleye – Fair: A lot of smaller fish are being caught. Vertical jigging with twister tails or trolling crankbaits has been successful in Lock and Dams tailwaters. Yellow Perch – No Report: Use crawlers fished just off the bottom in about 6-8 feet of water. Black Crappie – No Report: The fall crappie bite has slowed. Try small jigs fished in the flooded trees and side-channels. Sauger – Fair: Vertical jigging with twister tails or jig tipped with minnows has had the most success in Lock and Dams tailwaters.

Mississippi River Pool 10
River level is 618.5 feet at Lynxville and is predicted to rise slightly this week. Water temperature is 38 degrees at Lock & Dam 9. Sny Magill ramp still has water over the road. Largemouth Bass – No Report: Find bass in areas of no or slight current in backwaters with clearer water. Bluegill – Fair: Look for bluegill to move into deeper backwater areas out of the current. Channel Catfish – No Report: Use crawlers fished in side-channel current. Freshwater Drum – No Report: Drum are biting. Use worms on the bottom or crayfish to target larger fish. Walleye – Fair: A lot of smaller fish are being caught. Vertical jigging with twister tails or trolling crankbaits has been successful in Lock and Dams tailwaters. Yellow Perch – No Report: Use crawlers fished just off the bottom in about 6-8 feet of water. Black Crappie – No Report: The fall crappie bite has slowed. Use small jigs in the flooded trees and side-channels. Sauger – Fair: Try jigs tipped with a minnow in the tailwaters of the Lock & Dams. Smallmouth Bass – No Report: Use crankbaits fished on rocky areas along main channel shoreline.

Mississippi River Pool 11
River level is 10 feet at Guttenberg and is expected to rise to near 11 feet by late next week. The Turkey River boat ramp is closed. Water temperature is 36 degrees at Lock & Dam 10. Largemouth Bass – No Report: Find bass in areas of no or slight current in backwaters with clearer water. Bluegill – Fair: Look for bluegill to move into deeper backwater areas out of the current. Channel Catfish – No Report: Use crawlers fished in side-channel current. Freshwater Drum – No Report: Drum are biting. Use worms on the bottom or crayfish to target larger fish. Walleye – Fair: A lot of smaller fish are being caught. Vertical jigging with twister tails or trolling crankbaits has been successful in Lock and Dams tailwaters. Yellow Perch – No Report: Try crawlers fished just off the bottom in about 6-8 feet of water. Black Crappie – No Report: The fall crappie bite has slowed. Use small jigs fished in the flooded trees and side-channels. Sauger – Fair: Try jigs tipped with a minnow in the tailwaters of the Lock & Dams. Smallmouth Bass – No Report:Use crankbaits fished on rocky areas along main channel shoreline.

Upper Mississippi River levels have fallen this week, but are expected to rise slightly with recent precipitation. Backwater lakes are not safe for ice fishing. Water temperature has dropped into the mid-30’s.

Mississippi River Pool 12
The water levels is 9.6 feet at the Dubuque Lock and Dam and 11.7 feet at the RR bridge. River levels at Dubuque are expected to recede over the next week. The water temperature is 36 degrees. Water clarity is good. Sauger – Good: Tailwater sauger fishing has started; most anglers are using a jig and minnow. Lots of small sauger and small walleye are being reported. Black Crappie – Fair: Some crappies are being reported off Marina docks and backwater trees.

Mississippi River Pool 13
Water level is 10.4 feet at the Bellevue Lock and Dam and is rising. The water temperature is 37 degrees. Water clarity is good. The DNR ramp is open again as flood waters have receded off of it. Sauger – Good: Most anglers are using a jig and minnow. Walleye – Fair: Some walleyes are being reported by anglers pulling double Rapalas.

Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level is 9.9 feet at the Fulton Lock and Dam, 12.6 feet at Camanche and 7.5 feet at LeClaire. Water temperature is around 38 degrees. River levels are expected to rise over the next week. Walleye – Fair: Some walleyes are being taken on double Rapala rigs. Sauger – Good: Use jigs tipped with minnows.

Mississippi River Pool 15
Water levels are 10.6 feet at Rock Island and will rise this week. The water temperature is around 38 degrees. The water clarity is good.

Water remains high for this time of year, but the tailwaters are receiving high fishing pressure. If you have any fishing questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.

Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 10.59 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and is forecast to reach 11.6 feet by Sunday. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 15. Some boats have been out fishing in Sylvan Slough for walleye and sauger, but we have not received any reports on how the bite has been. The boat ramp at Clark’s Ferry is still closed. Walleye – No Report: Look for walleyes by the Lock and Dam or in Sylvan Slough. Use jigs and minnows or troll three-way rigs with minnows or stick baits. Sauger – No Report: Look for saugers by the Lock and Dam or in Sylvan Slough. Try jigs and minnows or troll three-way rigs with minnows or stick baits. White Crappie – Slow: Some crappies were being caught in Sunset Marina. Try vertical jigging with minnows or plastics around the docks. Some crappies can also be caught in the Andalusia Island complex fishing around brush piles.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 9.55 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and is forecast to reach 10.9 feet by Sunday. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 16. River stage is 11.3 feet at Muscatine; flood stage is 16 feet. River level is forecast to reach 12.4 feet by Sunday at Muscatine. The ramp at Big Timber will be open by noon on Nov. 27th, but the parking lot might be muddy. Kilpeck Landing is still closed. We have not received any reports on tailwater fishing for walleye and saugers. Walleye – No Report: Look for walleyes by the dam. Try vertical jigging with minnows or pulling three-way rigs with minnows or stick baits. Sauger – No Report: Try Use jigs and minnows or pull three-way rigs with minnows or stick baits in the tailwaters. White Crappie – No Report: Look for crappies in the backwaters. Try fishing around brush piles with jigs and minnows or jigs and plastics.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 10.9 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and is forecast to reach 12.4 feet by Monday. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 17. River stage is 11.24 feet at Keithsburg; flood stage is 14 feet. The Toolsboro landing is open. The gates are out of the water at the dam. We have not received any tailwater fishing reports for walleye and sauger. White Crappie – No Report: Look for crappies in the backwaters; use jigs and minnows or jigs and plastics around brush piles.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 7.51 feet at Lock and Dam 18 and is forecast to reach 8.7 feet by Monday. Flood stage is 10 feet at Lock and Dam 18. River stage is 12.77 feet at Burlington and is forecast to reach 13.7 feet by Monday. Flood stage is 15 feet at Burlington. We have not received any fishing report information for this pool.

River stages are below flood stage. River stage has been rising slowly. We have not received much tailwater fishing reports for walleye and sauger. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

SOUTHEAST
Lake Belva Deer
Water temperatures is around 40 degrees. Water clarity remains at better than 9 feet. Little to no angler activity. Bluegill – Slow: Find bluegills out over the deeper water habitat; vertical jigging or slow drift trolling works best.

Lake Darling
Water temperature was 38 degrees Tuesday morning. Boat docks are pulled for the winter. No angler activity.

Lake Darling District Farm Ponds
Air temperatures are staying in the 40’s; enough to prevent ice from forming.

Lost Grove Lake
The docks have been pulled for the winter and the gate is closed at the parking lot by the dam.

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

Cedar River (La Porte City to Cedar Rapids)
Walleye – Fair.

Coralville Reservoir
The lake level is back to normal fall pool of 686.3 feet. White Crappie – Slow: Try minnows or bright jigs over brush piles.

Diamond Lake
The fish cleaning station and restrooms are closed for the season. Black Crappie – Slow: Trolling the main lake has been best. A few fish are being caught from the jetties. Early and late in the day is best.

Lake Macbride
Water temperature was 40-41 degrees this week. Any sized motor may be used at no wake speed (5 mph). The fish cleaning stations and docks are out for the winter. Black Crappie – Fair: Try jigging over brush piles, stumps, or rock piles in 10-15 feet of water. Walleye – Slow: Target rock reefs during the day and windblown rock shores at night. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: Fish are next to breaks setting up for winter.

Liberty Centre Pond
This pond is found on Cherry Street in North Liberty. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Fair.

Pleasant Creek Lake
The main ramp is now open after parking lot repaving. The boat docks have been taken out for the winter. Walleye – Fair: Fish rock bars points or the dam. Muskellunge – Fair: Use large chubs or suckers.

Prairie Park Fishery
You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Fair.

Sand Lake
This is the quarry on the Northeast end of Marshalltown. Rainbow Trout – Fair: You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Slow: Most fish have been around 2 pounds.

Wapsipinicon River (Troy Mills to Oxford Junction)
Black Crappie – Slow: Reports are from fishing slack water areas of Linn County; minnows work best. Walleye – Fair: Cast jigs and swimbaits.

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

Lake Miami
Try small jigs tipped with live bait for bluegills along the rocks and shorelines.

Lake Wapello
Try small jigs for bluegills and crappies.

Ottumwa Park Pond South
Trout were stocked on Oct. 25th. Use in-line spinners, casting spoons, and small tube and twister jigs. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 905.57 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. Most docks have been pulled out for the season and most campgrounds are closed. Try jig and minnows around underwater structure for crappie.

Red Haw Lake
Try small jigs fished around the shorelines for bluegills.

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
Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake
Rainbow Trout – Good: Cast small in-line spinners, small plastic swim baits, or waxworms under a float. Most of the trout will be in the North part of the lake. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Des Moines River (Saylorville to Red Rock)
Walleye – Fair: Catch walleye below the dams and at creek mouths from Saylorville through downtown Des Moines in the evenings just before and after dark. Cast jigs tipped with chartreuse twister or paddle tails or live minnows.

Lake Petocka
Rainbow Trout – Good: Cast small in-line spinners, small plastic swim baits, or waxworms under a float past the weed line. A weighted float helps to cast out further. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Terra Lake
Rainbow Trout – Good: Cast small in-line spinners, small plastic swim baits and waxworms or nightcrawlers under a float. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

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