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Iowa Fishing Report
www.iowadnr.gov

July 31, 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.

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

East Okoboji Lake (Dickinson): Anglers are fishing for walleyes using a jig in the evening at the Hwy. 71 Bridge and Hinshaw’s Bridge. Use a jig and minnow at Hinshaw’s Bridge for white bass. Anglers are catching bluegills, yellow perch and yellow bass fishing the rock reefs on the south end of the lake using small jigs tipped with small minnow. Fish Stony Point south towards Jingle’s Point for suspended muskies relating to weed lines and rock reefs.

West Okoboji Lake (Dickinson): Anglers are working the docks or weed lines in Brown’s, North, Emerson, and Millers Bay for largemouth bass. For smallmouth bass, fish the rock reefs in Miller’s Bay, Pocahontas, Fort Dodge, Pillsbury, and Gull points with jerk baits, soft plastics, or crawdads and leeches. Fish the weed line at North, Miller’s, Smith or Emerson bays with live bait or fish between Fort Dodge and Pillsbury Point in 12 to 15 feet of water along rock reef and weed line with small crawdads or leeches below a split shot for bluegills. Anglers are catching yellow perch fishing the weed lines at Triboji, Emerson, Smith’s and Millers bays. Anglers targeting walleyes are fishing the weed lines around Pillsbury Point, and Emerson and Miller’s bays with crankbaits or live bait on spinner rigs. For northern pike, troll crankbaits or cast along weed edges. Muskie anglers are fishing the weed lines at North, Smith’s and Emerson bays.

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

West Fork Des Moines River: Fish upstream side of brush piles with crawdads for channel catfish.

North Twin Lake (Calhoun): Yellow bass fishing is fair on a lead heads tipped with fish flesh. Fishing is fair to good for channel catfish.

Black Hawk Lake (Sac): Fishing is good for channel catfish on bait shrimp and stink bait.

Storm Lake (Buena Vista): Fishing is fair for channel catfish on shrimp, cut chubs or stink bait.

Raccoon River (Sac and Carroll): Fishing is good for walleye on crankbaits and good for channel catfish on a variety of baits.

Brushy Creek (Webster): Bluegills can be located in 10 to 15 feet of water. A small hook and a piece of worm or a wax worm works best. A few crappies have been caught on minnows fishing behind Taylor’s Island. Try for bass right along the weed beds or in the deeper water out from rock structure.

Clear Lake (Cerro Gordo): Walleye fishing continues to be slow with anglers catching a few trolling crankbaits. Anglers are catching yellows on the reefs in 8 to 10 feet of water. Use minnows or cut bait for best results. Bullhead fishing has slowed; a few are being caught in the west end. Channel catfish are being caught on the rock reefs, mostly when fishing for other species using a variety of baits.

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

Lake Catherine (Winnebago): Bluegills are biting on worms fished below a bobber; try fishing near the brush in the shade.

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 level continues to return to normal for this time of year. On Thursday, water levels were as follows: Dubuque 5.3 feet, Bellevue 5.5 feet, and Camanche 9.8 feet. Water levels are stable to slowly falling 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 9 through 15. Stink bait and night crawlers are both working well for hungry cats.

Anglers in Pools 9 through 15 are having good to excellent success fishing 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 Minnesota Slough, near New Albin (Pool 9), Harpers Ferry (Pool 10) and the below the locks and dams in Dubuque and Bellevue.

Bluegill fishing is good in Pools 9 through 15 on wax worms or garden worms suspended under a bobber fished along rip rapped shorelines or near woody structure adjacent to the channel. Keep moving until you find those good pockets of bluegills.

Freshwater drum (sheepshead) fishing is excellent 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.

White bass are hitting spinners and jigs fished around the wing dams in Pool 11.

Cedar River (Mitchell, Floyd and Chickasaw): Water levels are dropping, 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 and moved very slowly. Smallmouth bass are biting on green and purple twister tails.

Cedar (Black Hawk and Bremer) and Shell Rock rivers (Butler): Drift night crawlers or cast shallow running crankbaits for walleye and smallmouth bass. Channel catfish are hitting stink bait and chicken liver.

Maquoketa River (Delaware and Jones): Walleye and smallmouth bass are biting on crankbaits or jigs tipped with a piece of night crawler. Cast your lure next to structure or into current breaks in or near deeper pools. Smallmouth bass fishing is good in the catch-and-release area below the Lake Delhi dam. Drift a piece of night crawler with a small split shot off of the bottom. Channel catfish, crappie and walleye are also biting below the dams.

Turkey River (Clayton): River conditions have greatly improved and anglers are catching fish. Smallmouth bass fishing is good using night crawlers, twister tails and shad raps fished on the edge of current breaks. 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 clarity has improve and walleye fishing has picked up using crankbaits, white twister tails and jigs tipped with night crawlers or other live baits. Try using a heavier jig to get down into the current. Fishing for smallmouth bass is good using twister tails, shad raps, crankbaits, and night crawlers on the edge of the current break. Most anglers are using night crawlers in that area.

Wapsipinicon River (Black Hawk and Buchanan): Channel catfish are biting on stink bait, night crawlers and chicken liver fished on the bottom near tree snags and in the deeper pools. Smallmouth bass fishing is good on jigs tipped with a night crawler and on artificial baits.

Lake Delhi (Delaware): Channel catfish, crappies and bluegill are all being caught using a piece of night crawler or a minnow fished under a slip bobber around the docks and other structure in Lake Delhi.

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 larger logs and riprap in the lake. Try using chicken liver or dead chubs under a bobber in the early morning and late evening hours. Crappie fishing has slowed 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 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. 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: Water temperature is around 80 degrees and water clarity has improved.

In Pool 16, river stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 6.42 feet and is predicted to fall slowly over the next week. White bass are being caught up in Sylvan Slough on jig/twister combinations and in-line spinners. Some white bass are being caught around Credit Island. Walleye and saugers are being caught trolling or casting crankbaits in front of the wing dams. A few walleyes are also being caught up in Sylvan Slough. Channel catfish are being caught around rocky areas using leeches, shrimp, and night crawlers. Some flathead catfish are being caught on live bait fished around snags.

In Pool 17, river stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 5.2 feet and forecasted to fall slowly over the next week. Walleye fishing is picking up on the wing dams trolling or casting crankbaits. Channel catfish are being caught on stink bait fished above the wing dams. In Pool 18, river stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 7.82 feet and slowly falling. No fishing report available.

In Pool 19, river stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 4.94 feet and forecasted to continue falling over the next week. Channel catfish are being caught on night crawlers, stink bait and shad guts. Largemouth bass are being caught around the lily pad fields around Montrose. In Pool 20, river stage at Lock and Dam 19 is 10.7 feet. Channel catfish are biting on stink bait and shad guts.

Lake Odessa (Louisa): The water level at Odessa has finally dropped to a useable level. The docks are in at Schaffer’s and Sand Run. Also the Toolesboro road is open and people have been using that ramp this week. Anglers have been catching white bass and catfish below the outlet as these fish have been feeding on the fish getting flushed through from Odessa.

Lake Darling (Washington): Water temperature is in the middle 80s. Look for most of the fish to be around the deep habitat. Fishing has been relatively slow.

Lake Belva Deer (Keokuk): Fishing is slow. Catfishing is about the only thing going. Try for them 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): With the rains earlier in the week, the lake level is now 20 feet above normal pool. The only ramps that are usable are at Bridgeview, Buck Creek and Honey Creek. Some roads are also closed leading to the lake. Anglers are still catching walleyes by drifting or trolling night crawler rigs over drop-offs. Anglers are also using crankbaits in the same areas. White bass are hitting on crankbaits.

Lake Sugema (Van Buren): Largemouth bass have been hitting on top-waters and soft plastics with the most productive times being mornings and evenings. Bluegills have been biting on small jigs tipped with a night crawler. Early and late have been the most productive times.

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

Lake Miami (Monroe): Try using chicken liver or night crawlers for channel catfish. For largemouth bass, try fishing in the early morning or evening with spinner baits or top-water lures.

Lake Macbride (Johnson): Crappies are in and around brush piles, but some piles are better than others. Largemouth bass are in and around almost any kind of structure, especially wood and rock. White bass can be hit or miss on top-waters. Watch for schools feeding on young shad.

Pleasant Creek (Linn): White bass have been hitting top-waters 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 the largemouth have to be 18 inches to keep here.

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 bait, chicken liver or worms. Bluegills are hitting on worms and small jigs fished around brush piles.

Kent Park Lake (Johnson): Channel catfish are still biting fairly well on Sonny’s stink bait or chicken liver in the morning or late in the evening. Some nice bluegills are also being caught on night crawlers.

Skunk River (Washington and Henry): The river at Brighton is still bank full but the level upstream is dropping fairly quickly so it should be dropping fairly quickly at Brighton as well.

Iowa River (Louisa): The river is finally dropping but it is still plenty high.

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

Southwest

Fogle Lake (Ringgold): Largemouth bass can be caught from shoreline structure. 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, near the cedar trees, and the east end of the dam. Several largemouth bass can be caught from the structure or the edges of the lotus beds. Some channel catfish can be caught in water 6 feet deep or less. Water clarity is about 3 feet at the dam.

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

Three Mile Lake (Union): Water clarity is about 3½ feet at the dam. Largemouth bass are being caught from structure or flooded timber. Anglers are catching a few walleyes using leeches on the earth mounds. Bluegills are biting on night crawlers just off shore.

Twelve Mile Lake (Union): A few nice bluegills are being caught from the rock mounds. Several mid-sized largemouth bass are being caught from the deeper rock structure or flooded timber. Water clarity is at least 2 feet near the dam.

Green Valley (Union): The water control valve was opened to start draining 12 feet of water off the lake. Water levels are currently down 8 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.

Nine Eagles (Decatur): Some mid-sized largemouth bass have been caught from the outside edges of the vegetation.

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

Don Williams (Boone): The lake level is up and water is cloudy. Crappies are biting on jigs or minnows fished in 10 feet of water. Catfish are being caught on chicken liver and shrimp.

Big Creek (Polk): Water is high and muddy. Crappies are still being caught drifting jigs. Catfish are being caught on cut bait and stink bait.

Raccoon River (Dallas): The river is out of its banks and hard to fish right now. But with no rain in the forecast it will be on its way down.

Saylorville Lake (Polk): White bass are still being caught at the pump station but the action has really slowed. Anglers fishing from shore and in waders have been doing real well on the white bass. Sandpiper beach has been real good. The water level is going up a bit with the recent rains but the water is staying clear. The flow has been slowed down at the dam.

Des Monies River (Polk): Catfish are still biting with the new inflow of water.

Red Rock (Marion): White bass are doing great. Most of the fish are being caught in the main lake. Look on the windy shoreline and for fish hitting the surface.

Rock Creek (Jasper): Water level is normal. Catfish are being caught on stink bait and cut bait at the north end. Crappies are really biting on jigs and wax worms in 6 to 8 feet of water on the main lake.

Hickory Grove (Story): Water is high and cloudy with recent rains. Catfish are biting on cut bait and bluegills are being caught worms under a bobber.

Lake Ahquabi and Hooper (Warren): Water is high and muddy. Catfish have been biting on cut bait and chicken liver. Bluegills and redear sunfish are being caught on jigs over rock piles and drifting the main lake.

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

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

Hacklebarney (Montgomery): 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 catfish 14 to 16 inches. 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. A few wipers have been caught on north east part of lake around boat docks.

Willow Lake (Harrison): Channel catfish fishing has been fair using liver.

Meadow Lake (Adair): Meadow is open to fishing, however the lake has been lowered 8 feet and the boat ramp is not usable. Habitat improvements are scheduled for this fall and winter.

Orient (Adair): Channel catfish fishing 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): Crappie fishing is excellent for 7 to 8-inch fish drifting a small jig. Crappies have been in 6 to 8 feet of water. Bluegills have slowed but a few are being caught while drifting. Bass fishing is fair using plastic baits around rocks and along the road bed during the day.

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

Arrowhead Lake (Pottawattamie): Bluegills and crappies are still being caught at the inlet tube using small jigs and worms.

Prairie Rose Lake (Shelby): Channel catfish fishing is fair using liver and stink bait.

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.
 
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