Black Hawk Lake
Water level is about 8 inches over the crest of the spillway. Bluegill – Good: Bluegill fishing is good just about everywhere on the lake. Town Bay, around the handicap dock, near the inlet bridge and the outlet are producing fish. Use a small hook tipped with a worm suspended from a bobber fished about 2 feet deep near shore. Walleye – Fair: Fish the rock piles in the east basin and near Cottonwood Point. The shoreline just west of Ice House Point also holds fish. Some have had luck with crankbaits fished 5-7 feet deep. Largemouth Bass – Good: Anglers have had luck fishing the north side of Ice House Point. Fish drop offs and brush piles in 3-4 feet of water. Use grey crankbaits, green plastic worms and spinner baits. There is a 15-inch minimum length limit for largemouth bass on Black Hawk Lake. Black Crappie – Fair: There is a good population of black crappie. Fish are 8-10 inches. Use live minnows below a bobber or small tube jigs tipped with power bait.
Black Hawk Pits
Black Crappie – Fair: Black crappie are being picked up on minnows fished in areas along shore and in areas with contour and structure 5-10 feet deep. Bluegill – Fair: Drift in deeper areas or fish near shore with a small black jig tipped with bait suspended below a bobber.
Brushy Creek Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are picking up some bluegill in 10-15 feet of water. Use small jigs tipped with crawlers or red worms. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Fish plastics and spinners along weed lines and near structure in 4-10 feet of water. Yellow Perch – Fair: Some perch are being picked up near structure in 10-15 feet of water along the creek channel. Black Crappie – Good: Try a small jig such as a 1/32nd ounce jig tipped with crawler or power bait in 5-15 feet of water with. Fish are being picked up near weed lines and structure.
Moorehead Park Pond
Bluegill – Fair: Use a small jig tipped with bait fished below a bobber. Fish are 6-8 inches.
Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
The dredge is in operation in the northeast portion of the lake. Boaters should use extreme caution in this area and must maintain a 100 foot distance from the dredge, booster pump and all dredge pipes at all times. Storm Lake has a daily limit of 3 walleye and all 17 to 22-inch walleye must be released; no more than one walleye longer than 22 inches may be taken per day. Walleye – Fair: Cooler temperatures means increased feeding activity. Use crankbaits, leeches or minnows and a slip bobber. Drift in the dredge cuts and fish near shore in morning and evenings to find fish. Channel Catfish – Fair: Storm Lake has a good catfish population; target catfish from shore using stink bait or cut bait fished off the bottom.
Bluegill – Good: Use a small jig tipped with bait fished below a bobber.
Water temperatures in the Black Hawk District are in the mid to low 60’s. Bass, bluegill and crappie fishing is fair to good in most area lakes. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District Office at 712-657-2638.
Anglers without a boat can still find some good wading opportunities in early October for yellow bass and walleyes. Try the MacIntosh swim beach, off the North Shore on the edge of the rushes or off Farmer’s Beach. Use a jig and piece of cut bait or minnows, or try a bobber and small light hook with bait under a bobber. Yellow Bass – Excellent: Action has been good to excellent at Hy-Vee reef, State Reef, the sandy shoreline near the Ventian Village mouth, McIntosh swim beach, the hump on the little lake out from McIntosh swim beach and the inlet from the Ventura Marsh. Tip a small jig with a minnow or a piece of cut bait and bump it along the bottom. Walleye – Good: Walleye action is starting to pick up in certain areas. Use jigs and a minnow or cut bait in many of the same areas that yellow bass are biting. Black Crappie – Fair: Some crappies are being caught near the Hy-Vee reef or in tight to docks in early morning. Muskellunge – Good: Musky fishing has been decent; October is usually a good month for musky fishing. Yellow Perch – Good: Yellow perch are hitting by the grade on 1/16 ounce black leadheads with a piece of cut bait.
Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth are starting to go on the feed with cooler water.
For lake updates and fishing information in the north central area, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.
Big Spirit Lake
Little fishing activity has been observed on the lake. Yellow Perch – Good: Try along the weed lines; best action is early morning and evening, but perch have been caught throughout the day. Walleye – Good: Reports of fish being caught at the north grade; early morning and evening hours is best. Black Crappie – Good: Reports of bluegill and crappie being caught at the north grade; morning and evening hours has produced the best action. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Good numbers of fish have been caught this week in 12 feet of water; fish typical smallmouth bass areas.
Black Crappie – Good: Numbers of fish are being caught around the submerged woody structure; look for schooling fish in the lakes basin with electronics. Bluegill – Good: Numbers of fish are being caught from the fishing pier, sorting is necessary.
East Okoboji Lake
Yellow Bass – Good: Good action early morning and evening hours; fish bridge sites for the best action. Fish are also being caught on the south end of the lake; look for rock piles in 15 – 20 feet of water. Bluegill – Good: Fish are being caught on the south end of the lake. As the water cools, look for shallow water rock piles, docks associated with deeper water and aquatic plants. Channel Catfish – Good: Fish early morning and evening for the best action. Walleye – Good: Troll crankbaits or crawlers in the lakes basin.
Lost Island Lake
Yellow Bass – Good: Good numbers of yellow bass are being caught from shore. Sorting is necessary; persistence will be rewarded with good numbers of fish harvested.
Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Walleye – Good: Use crank baits for the best action. Look for wader fishing to heat up as the water cools; this is the time when trophy size fish are caught from Silver Lake.
West Okoboji Lake
Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are moving inshore as the water cools; fish weed lines and docks.
For more information on the above lakes, call the Spirit Lake Fisheries Station at 712-336-1840.
Cedar River (above Nashua)
Cedar River water levels have stabilized but flows remain elevated. Use caution when going on water after flooding as the streambed and banks may have changed. Clarity is good and fishable. Visit http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ia/
Decorah District Streams
Trout streams are fishable and the fish are hungry. Many roads and parking lots sustained some damage with the high waters. All catchable stockings are unannounced through October. All streams continue to be stocked. There have been nice hatches of small mayflies and caddis flies midday. Bring lots of bug spray as mosquito hatches are incredible. Brown Trout – Good: Anglers may start to see more color on trout; the kype on male becomes more pronounced as brown trout spawning seasons gets closer. Brook Trout – Good: Watch the stream bottom as brookies begin to build their nests or redds in the stream bottom. Rainbow Trout – Good.
More anglers have been out this week. Fish are becoming more aggressive as water begins to cool down. Fish mid-day for best luck. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use jigs tipped with a variety of soft plastics. Bluegill – Good: Find bluegills near shore and in vegetation edges.
The lake is in excellent condition and anglers are catching fish. Find the habitat and you’ll find fish. Bluegill – Good: Use a hook tipped with a small piece of worm under a bobber. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass can be found cruising the weed edges. Try a jig tipped with a long plastic tail. Black Crappie – Good: Be ready for a light bite. Use a small hook tipped with a minnow.
Anglers have excellent shore and boat access. Channel Catfish – Good: Use a nightcrawler fished on the bottom just out past shoreline vegetation. Bluegill – Fair: Try along the rockier shoreline.
Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
Water levels have stabilized and clarity is good. Use caution if floating as hazards are present. Many access points and campgrounds were affected by the high water. Please call local city or county conservation board offices for more information. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Smallies are hitting crankbaits and spinner baits. Focus efforts on seams and back eddies. Walleye – Good: Use a jig tipped with a minnow or a variety of plastic tails.
Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
Water levels have stabilized and clarity is good. Use caution when floating in elevated flows; snags and submersed logs may have moved. Continually read the river and be prepared to adjust your track. Smallmouth Bass – Good. Walleye – Fair.
Anglers drifting over rock or brush piles will find fish. Shoreline access is excellent with many submerged cedar trees within casting distance. Black Crappie – Good: Use small jigs with flat tailed plastic body. Bluegill – Good: Fish will be in shallow with cooling water temperatures. Channel Catfish – Slow: Try chicken liver or crawlers. Volga Lake has a very nice population of catfish awaiting the patient angler.
Stream conditions continue to improve. Water levels have stabilized and clarity is excellent. A good possibility of severe weather Thursday evening could impact some streams, but they should clear by the weekend. Now is the time to be in Northeast Iowa. Mother Nature’s color show is turning on. For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.
Big Woods Lake
Anglers are catching largemouth bass and crappie. Black Crappie – Fair: Float a crappie minnow under a slip bobber at various depths to locate fish. Largemouth Bass – Good: Cast jigs and artificial crankbaits.
Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
Anglers are catching largemouth bass, bluegill and channel catfish. Channel Catfish – Good: Try fishing from the beach and west. Use stink bait, night crawlers, cut baits or chicken livers fished on the bottom of the lake. Numerous 3-10 pound cats have been taken recently. Bluegill – Fair: Try fishing a piece of worm or nightcrawler a couple feet under the surface with a bobber or small 1/16 ounce hair jigs. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Cast crankbaits, spinner baits or top water baits.
Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
The Cedar River has been producing catches of both walleye and smallmouth bass now that the river has receded from recent flooding. Walleye – Good: Cast crankbaits or fishing a jig tipped with a nightcrawler. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Cast crankbaits or fish a jig tipped with a nightcrawler.
Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
The Maquoketa River continues to fall from recent flooding and is in good condition. Walleye – Slow: Cast crankbaits or fish a jig tipped with a nightcrawler. Smallmouth Bass – Slow: Cast crankbaits or fish a jig tipped with a nightcrawler.
Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
The Shell Rock River is producing some catches of walleye after the recent high water levels. Walleye – Slow. Smallmouth Bass – Slow: Casting artificial crankbaits has been good for smallmouth bass.
Silver Lake (Delaware)
Anglers are reporting catches of bluegill, largemouth bass and northern pike. Bluegill – Good: Try fishing a piece of worm or nightcrawler a couple feet under the surface with a bobber or small 1/16 ounce hair jigs. Bluegills here tend to run on the small side. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Cast crankbaits, spinner baits or top water baits. Northern Pike – Fair: Troll or cast spoons along weed edges.
Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
There are no reports on the Wapsipinicon River this past week due to high river levels. Walleye – Slow: Cast crankbaits or fish a jig tipped with a nightcrawler. Smallmouth Bass – Slow: Cast crankbaits or fish a jig tipped with a nightcrawler. Channel Catfish – Slow: Try stink baits, cut baits and chicken livers in areas of snags and fallen trees.
Interior river levels continue to fall and are beginning to clear up. Anglers are reporting catches of walleye and smallmouth bass once again on the interior rivers. Trout streams remain in excellent in the Manchester District. For further information, call the N.E. District Office at 563-927-3276.