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July 24, 2008

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. Phone numbers are listed at the end of each district report.



Southwest

Fogle Lake (Ringgold): A few bluegills are being caught from the shallows at dusk on night crawlers. A few channel catfish are being picked up in water 5 feet deep or shallower.

Lake of Three Fires ( Taylor ): Bluegills can still be caught from the fish mounds and near the cedar trees. A few largemouth bass can be caught from the structure or the edges of the lotus beds. Channel catfish can be caught in water 6 feet deep or less. Water clarity is about 3 1/2 feet at the dam.

Icaria ( Adams ): A few crappies have been picked up around the trees. Channel catfish are biting in the shallow bays. Water clarity is about 2 feet.

Three Mile Lake ( Union ): Water clarity is about 3½ feet at the dam. A few bluegills are biting just off shore near structure on night crawlers. Crappies are being caught around the deeper trees and structure in about 8 feet of water. Several largemouth bass are being caught from structure or flooded timber. Anglers are catching some walleye over the roadway or deeper rock structure.

Twelve Mile Lake ( Union ): Walleye fishing is fair for mid-sized fish on crankbaits over rocky areas and steep drop-offs. A few nice bluegills are being caught from the rock mounds. Several mid-sized largemouth bass are being caught from the deeper rock structure and flooded timber. Water clarity is at least 5 feet near the dam.

Green Valley ( Union ): The water control valve was opened last week to start draining 12 feet of water off the lake. Water level is currently down 6 feet will be down 10 feet by the weekend and go lower all next week. Boating access is possible using the main ramp but not encouraged. Extreme care must be used during launching and loading. Water clarity is about 2 1/2 feet. Several channel catfish have been caught from the shallow bays on stink bait. Most are between 2 and 5 pounds.

Nine Eagles ( Decatur ): A few bluegills, crappies and some mid-sized largemouth bass have been caught from the edges of the vegetation.

Contact Gary Sobotka at (641) 464-3108 for information on the above area lakes.



Don Williams (Boone): Crappies are biting on jigs or minnows fished in 10 feet of water.

Big Creek (Polk): Bluegills are biting on night crawlers under a bobber fishing out from shore. Crappies are being caught on jigs drifting in 9 to 12 feet of water. Walleyes are biting, but sorting is needed for fish over the 15-inch minimum length limit.

Raccoon River ( Dallas ): River is on the rise so this would be a great time to fish for catfish using stink bait and chicken liver.

Beaver Lake ( Dallas ): Bluegills are being caught on worms and catfish on cut bait.

Saylorville Lake (Polk): White bass are still being caught at the pump station and below the Big Creek Spillway. With the recent rains, the pump station will be on for another week. The water level keeps dropping and more and more fish are being caught in the main lake; the small fish are closer to the surface, fish deeper for bigger fish. White bass and catfish are being caught below the dam; Cottonwood is closed but Bob Shetler is still open. They are still pumping a lot of water.

Des Monies River (Polk): Catfish bite is really starting to turn on. Yellow Banks, Runnels, and Beaver Creek have been some good spots.

Red Rock ( Marion ): White bass are really biting. Best spots are below the dam, Hwy. 14 Bridge and Teader Creek Bay . Use small crankbaits and in-line spinners. Most fish are being caught out in the main lake. Catfish are being caught on the old road bed.

Rock Creek (Jasper): Bluegill bite is slowing down. Worms are the best bet. Catfish are still being caught on stink bait and cut bait. Crappies are biting on jigs in 6 to 8 feet of water.

Hickory Grove (Story): Bluegills are biting on a worm fished under a bobber. Crappies are being caught trolling or drifting small jigs or crankbaits. Some catfish are being caught on night crawlers or cut bait.

Easter Lake (Polk): Bluegills are biting on worms and bobbers. Catfish have really turned on and are being caught on stink bait and chicken liver.

Lake Ahquabi and Hooper (Warren): Shore fishing has been slow but catfish have been biting on worms. Crappies and bluegills have been biting on tube jigs fished next to rock piles out of boats.

Mariposa (Jasper): Bluegills are biting on worms fished under a bobber. Catfish are biting on worms and chicken liver.

Contact Ben Dodd at (515) 432-2823, Ext.108, for information on the above area lakes



Anderson Area ( Montgomery ): Crappies are being caught off from the dam in the evenings using small jigs. Bluegills are slow but a few are being caught using night crawlers.

Hacklebarney (Montgomery): Largemouth bass are being caught from the dam area. Catfish fishing is fair along the dam using worms and crayfish.

Viking Lake ( Montgomery ): Viking Lake was renovated in the fall of 2006. The lake refilled and restocked with largemouth bass, bluegill, red ear sunfish and channel catfish in the spring of 2007. Anglers can expect to catch largemouth bass up to 15 inches, bluegills 6 to 7 inches, and 14 to 16-inch catfish. Expect fish to grow rapidly in this newly renovated lake.

Lake Manawa (Pottawattamie): Catfish have slowed but a few are still being caught on worms and shrimp. Walleyes are being caught at night jigging twister tails tipped with a minnow. A few crappies are being caught around docks and Boy Scout Island using large minnows with white tube jigs. Wiper fishing has picked up and can be caught using artificial lures.

Willow Lake ( Harrison ): Bluegill fishing is fair for 8-inch fish around the jetties. Fishing for channel catfish has been good using liver.

Orient (Adair): Catfish is fair using liver.

Greenfield (Adair): Bass fishing is fair using plastic baits around cedar tree piles. Bluegills are fair drifting small jigs and around jetties. A few catfish are being caught on liver.

Lake Anita (Cass): Fishing is good for 7 to 8-inch crappies around cedar trees. Bluegills have slowed but a few are being caught along weed edges using small jigs and worms. Boat anglers are also catching bluegills and crappies by drifting in some of the deeper areas of the lake. Bass fishing is fair using plastic baits around rocks and along the road bed during the day.

Littlefield Lake (Audubon): Catfish is fair using night crawlers.

Arrowhead Lake (Pottawattamie): Largemouth bass fishing is fair casting plastic baits around jetties and underwater structure. Bluegills and crappies are being caught at the inlet tube using small jigs and worms.

Prairie Rose Lake ( Shelby ): Channel catfish fishing is good using liver and stink bait. A few white bass are also being caught along the dam.

Middle Raccoon River (Guthrie): Anglers are catching a few crappies below Lenon Mills Dam using minnows. Anglers are also catching a few channel catfish.

Farm Ponds: Anglers are catching bass and bluegills at some of the local ponds. Reminder: Be sure to ask landowner for permission before fishing.

Contact Bryan Hayes at (712) 769-2587 for information on the above area lakes.

For more information on general fishing in southwest Iowa , call the regional office in Lewis at 712-769-2587.



Northwest
Spirit Lake ( Dickinson ): Anglers are working the edges of weed lines and rock reefs with crankbaits or live bait at Templar Park , Marble Beach , Cottonwood Point towards Big Stoney, Little Stoney, and Red Nose for walleyes. Look for crappies along weed lines on the main lake or Anglers Bay . Fish the rock reefs and weed lines around Big Stoney and Little Stoney points using crankbaits and leeches or top-water lures in the evening for smallmouth bass. Anglers are drift fishing for bluegills using a split shot rig and live bait along weed lines and rock piles. For yellow perch, fish the rock reefs and weed lines at Buffalo Run or Little Stoney with live bait. Anglers are fishing for northern pike by trolling or casting along the weed lines and cabbage beds in the main lake and in Anglers Bay .

East Okoboji (Dickinson): Walleye anglers are fishing around the Hwy. 71 Bridge and Hinshaw’s Bridge in the evening using a jig. White bass are also biting at Hinshaw’s Bridge on a jig and a minnow, and at the south end of the trestle along the rocks. For yellow bass, fish the rock reefs on the south end of the lake using small jigs tipped with small minnow. At the spillway, anglers are catching freshwater drum using worms on the bottom, and bullheads on night crawlers. Fish the rock reefs on the south end of lake for bluegills and yellow perch. Fish Stony Point south towards Jingle’s Point for suspended muskies relating to weed lines and rock reefs.

West Okoboji (Dickinson): Anglers are working the docks and weed lines in Brown’s, North, Emerson, and Millers bays for largemouth bass. For smallmouth bass, fish the rock reefs in Miller’s Bay, and Pocahontas, Fort Dodge , Pillsbury, and Gull points with jerk baits, crawdads or leeches. For bluegills, fish the weed line in North, Miller’s, Smith, or Emerson bays with live bait. Anglers are catching yellow perch fishing along the weed lines in 15 feet of water at Triboji, Emerson, Smith’s, and Miller’s bays. For walleyes, fish the weed lines near rock reefs with crankbaits or live bait on spinner rigs in Emerson or Miller’s bays. Anglers are catching northern pike trolling crankbaits and casting buck tails along weed edges. For muskies, fish the weed lines at North, Smith’s, and Emerson bays.

Minnewashta (Dickinson): Anglers are catching white bass fishing with a jig and minnow and walleyes at night using a split shot and a leech at Sawmill Bridge .

Five Island Lake (Emmet): Anglers are catching channel catfish drift fishing with cut bait, or using stink bait by the railroad bridge.

Black Hawk Lake (Sac): Fishing is fair for catfish using shrimp.

Storm Lake ( Buena Vista ): Fishing is fair for catfish on shrimp, night crawlers or cut chubs. Walleyes are slow but a few are being caught on crankbaits.

Yellow Smoke Lake (Crawford): Fishing is fair for nice sized bluegills.

Clear Lake ( Cerro Gordo ): Walleye fishing is fair drifting or trolling live bait rigs and trolling crankbaits in 8 to 14 feet of water. Yellow bass are being caught in the mornings on the deeper reefs or drifting in the flats with live bait. A few bullheads are being caught off the McIntosh Woods shoreline and the Ventura Grade. Channel catfish are being caught in the west end of the lake. Fish near the vegetation with chicken liver or stink bait.

Crystal Lake (Hancock): Channel catfish are hitting from shore and the jetties using chicken liver or chubs.

Smith Lake (Kossuth): Channel catfish are hitting on liver and prepared baits. Largemouth bass fishing has been good using spinner baits and plastics. Remember the 18-inch minimum length limit on largemouth.

Lake Cornelia (Wright): Fishing is fair for 8 to 10-inch bullheads using night crawlers on the bottom.

For more information on fishing in northwest Iowa , call the regional office in Spirit Lake at 712-336-1840.



Northeast
Mississippi River Pools 9 to 15: Fishing success is excellent on the Mississippi River as water levels continue to return to normal for this time of year. On Thursday, water levels were as follows: Lansing 8.1 feet, Lynxville, Wis. , 14.5 feet, Guttenberg 6.1 feet, Dubuque 8.88 feet, Bellevue 6.94 feet, and Camanche 10.81 feet. Water levels are stable to slowly falling. Water temperature is in the low 80s.

Walleye fishing is good to excellent along the wing dams from Pool 9 through 15. Use a three-way rig tipped with either a leech or night crawler fished along the front edge of the wing dams, or try casting or trolling crankbaits along the wing dams and lower ends of the sloughs. Some wing dams will produce more fish than others depending on the depth and amount of flow on top of each dam.

Fishing is very good for channel catfish that have moved off the spawning beds. Channel catfish can be found near fallen snags and the holes behind the wing dams in Pools 11 through 15. Stink bait works well for hungry cats.

Anglers fishing in Pools 9 through 15 are having good to excellent success for both smallmouth and largemouth bass. Look for areas with moderate current and structure such as riprap or snags. Bass are also concentrated along the shorelines with rocky areas and drop-offs. Bass hotspots include Harpers Ferry (Pool 10) and the below the locks and dams in Dubuque and Bellevue .

Bluegill fishing has picked up in Pools 9 through 15. They can be caught in many of the same areas bass and anglers are reporting that when you find bluegills, they can be caught one after another. Keep moving until you find those good pockets. Bluegills are biting on wax worms or garden worms suspended under a bobber fished along rip rapped shorelines or near woody structure adjacent to the channel.

Freshwater drum (sheepshead) fishing continues to be very good in Pools 9 through 15 using night crawlers on the bottom. Drum can be found at nearly any shoreline location adjacent to the channel.

Northern pike can be caught on spinner baits or top-water baits fished near Harpers Ferry in Pool 10. Northern pike seek cooler water at this time of year, so search for areas where small streams or springs are entering the river.

Cedar River (Mitchell, Floyd and Chickasaw): Water levels are high, but fishing is excellent for channel catfish using chicken liver and dead chubs. Walleye fishing is fair on twister tails tipped with a night crawler, moved very slowly. Smallmouth bass are biting on green and purple twister tails.

Cedar River (Black Hawk and Bremer), Maquoketa River ( Delaware and Jones), Shell Rock River ( Butler ), and Wapsipinicon River (Black Hawk and Buchanan): Fishing continues to be slow on interior rivers in east-central Iowa due to rainfall during the period from July 18 through July 21 that resulted in turbid water conditions and high water flows. Rivers remain turbid, but water levels are currently dropping in all area rivers. As of today (July 24) the Maquoketa River is in fishable condition with some reports of fair smallmouth bass fishing using crankbaits and a fair channel catfish bite using stink bait or liver. Catfishing has been good on the Cedar River , but river flows remain high.

Turkey River (Clayton): River level is slowly falling and clearing up. Smallmouth bass fishing is good using night crawlers, twister tails and shad raps fished on the edge of current breaks. Rock bass can be caught on small pieces of a night crawler fished next to rock boulders and riprap. Walleye fishing is good using a variety of lures throughout the day. Channel catfish fishing is good below the Elkader dam using cut baits and a variety of other catfishing favorites.

Upper Iowa River (Winneshiek and Allamakee): Water levels are slowly falling and clearing up. Walleye fishing has been slow throughout the entire river, but some are being caught using crankbaits, white twister tails and jigs tipped with night crawlers or other live baits. Try using a heavier jig-head to get the jig down into the current. Fishing for smallmouth bass is good in the upper reaches of the river using twister tails, shad raps, crankbaits, and night crawlers fished on the edge of the current break. Fishing for smallmouth bass in the lower reaches of the river has been fair. Most anglers are using night crawlers in that area. Channel catfish fishing is fair downstream of the lower dam to the mouth using chicken liver or night crawlers on the bottom.

Big Woods Lake (Black Hawk): Fishing has been good for 8 to 10-inch crappie using small artificial baits and minnows. Bass fishing is fair using surface lures, plastics and subsurface artificial lures.

Brinker and George Wyth Lakes (Black Hawk): Good news for area anglers as George Wyth State Park will open for day-use on July 25. The park remains without power and campgrounds, but will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. until further notice. Anglers will now have access to boat ramps and shoreline fishing areas at Brinker and George Wyth Lake . The beach at George Wyth will remain closed until further notice and flush toilet facilities are down until power is restored. Portable restroom facilities will be available at George Wyth State Park .

Casey Lake (Tama): A strong channel catfish bite continues, while bluegill and bass have slowed. Channel catfish are slow through mid-day, but a good bite is occurring in the early morning and in evening. Catfish can be caught from shore using prepared stink baits, night crawlers or chicken liver. Bluegill fishing is currently fair at Casey Lake using small pieces of worm, small jigs or flies.

Lake Delhi ( Delaware ): The lake remains turbid and fishing is fair for bluegill, crappie and channel catfish using small artificial lures and night crawlers.

Lake Hendricks (Howard): Fishing is fair for channel catfish using chicken liver, stink bait, cut bait, or worms on the bottom. Towards the evening hours, catfish are being caught across from the campground and up the lake a hundred yards or so. Fishing is fair for bluegills on wax worms or a piece of night crawler suspended under a bobber. Artificial flies are still working for bluegill anglers. Try using smaller gear when fishing midday to hook the finicky ones. A few crappies are being caught with minnows fished under a bobber along the weed lines. Largemouth bass fishing is good in the evening hours on top-water lures and fair at other times of the day using plastic worms worked next to structure.

Lake Meyer (Winneshiek): Channel catfish are in the shallows next to the larger logs and riprap in the lake. Try using chicken liver or dead chubs fished under a bobber in the early morning and late evening hours. Crappies can be caught along the weed edges using small tube jigs fished in 8 to 10 feet of water on the west side of the lake. Bluegill fishing is good using night crawlers or angle worms near weeds with sorting of smaller fish required. Largemouth bass are being caught with surface lures, especially in the evening hours. Try using plastic weed-less worms during other hours of the day.

Volga Lake (Fayette): Fishing is picking up for channel catfish using night crawlers or chicken liver on the bottom in the shallow bays. Largemouth bass fishing is good in the early morning and late evening hours. Use slower-moving artificial lures worked along structure. Bluegill fishing is good using wax worms or night crawlers under a bobber, but be prepared to catch many small fish.

Trout fishing continues to be very good. The three trout hatcheries are attempting to stock as close to the proposed stocking schedule as possible. If you have a question about the recent stockings, call the trout stocking hotline at 563-927-5736 for updated information.

For information on fishing in northeast Iowa , call the regional office in Manchester at 563-927-3276.



Southeast
Mississippi River Pools 16 to 20: With recent heavy rains, river levels in pools 16 to 20 have risen over the past couple of days. Water temperature is around 79 degrees and water clarity is still poor.

In Pool 16, river stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 8.64 feet and falling. Walleye fishing is slow on the wing dams. Some channel catfish are still being caught along rocky areas on night crawlers. Largemouth bass are being caught in the bay at Credit Island and white bass are being caught in Sylvan Slough.

In Pool 17, river stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 8.21 feet and falling. Channel catfish are being caught on stink bait and shad anchoring above wing dams. Walleye fishing on the wing dams is slow. A few crappies and bluegills are being caught by the spillway.

In Pool 18, river stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 11.41 feet and falling. Channel catfish are being caught on stink bait and night crawlers.

In Pool 19, river stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 8.04 feet and falling. Channel catfish are being caught along rocky shorelines on stink bait and night crawlers. Largemouth bass are being caught in the lotus fields around Montrose. Crappies are being caught in the backwaters on minnows.

In Pool 20, river stage at Lock and Dam 19 is 11.28 feet and falling. Channel catfish are being caught on shad guts, stink bait and night crawlers.

Lake Odessa (Louisa): Odessa remains flooded. All boat ramps and the Toolesboro road are closed. The drop in the water level has slowed down with the rains earlier this week.

Lake Darling ( Washington ): Water temperature is in the mid 80s. Look for most of the fish to be deep and around habitat. Catfishing has been fairly good with the best times being before the sun gets too high in the sky.

Lake Belva Deer (Keokuk): Fishing is slow. Catfishing is about the only thing going. Try along the rocky shorelines early in the morning.

Lake Geode (Henry): Fishing has slowed with mostly catfish being caught. Most anglers are coming early in the morning and leaving by 10 a.m.

Lake Rathbun (Appanoose): Walleye fishing has been good with anglers catching fish by trolling or drifting night crawlers along drop-offs. Anglers are also catching some walleyes trolling crankbaits in the same areas. White bass have been hitting on minnows and crankbaits. Channel catfish have been biting on night crawlers.

Lake Sugema (Van Buren): Bluegills have been hitting on small jigs tipped with a chunk of night crawler. Largemouth bass have been hitting on top-water lures and also soft plastic baits. Mornings and evenings have been the most productive times.

Lake Wapello ( Davis ): The lake has been drained.

Lake Keomah (Mahaska): Largemouth bass have been hitting on soft plastics and spinner baits. Look for areas where there is submerged structure such as trees. Also try around the jetties. Channel catfish have been biting on night crawlers and chicken liver.

Lake Macbride (Johnson): Crappies can be found on the outer ends of lay downs and on the outside weed edges. Largemouth bass are in and around almost any kind of structure, especially wood and rock.

Pleasant Creek (Linn): White bass have been hitting top-water lures at sunrise and sunset. Look for schools busting the surface and follow them as they feed. Largemouth bass are hitting a variety of baits and lures around structure, jetties, and the dam. Remember, these largemouth bass must be 18 inches to keep.

Diamond Lake (Poweshiek): Channel catfish have been very active and most anglers have been doing very well early morning or late evenings. Catfish are biting on various stink baits, chicken liver or worms. Bluegills are hitting on worms and small jigs fished around brush piles.

Skunk River (Washington and Henry): The river level is rising but it should fall back fairly quickly. Look for the fishing to slow down until the water level stabilizes again.

Iowa River (Louisa): Rain has brought the river back up to minor flooding levels. It is forecasted to be back to within its banks by early next week at Wapello.

For more information on fishing in southeast Iowa , call the regional office in Brighton at 319-694-2430.
 
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