Black Hawk Lake
Water temperature is in the upper 50’s. 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 crankbaits, plastics and spinner baits. There is a 15-inch minimum length limit for largemouth bass on Black Hawk Lake. Black Crappie – Good: Fish are 8-10 inches. Try live minnows below a bobber or small tube jigs tipped with power bait. Fish near shore, especially in Town Bay, Ice House Point and near the inlet bridge.
Black Hawk Pits
Black Crappie – Fair: Fish minnows 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 have been 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: Use 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.
Nelson Park Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Anglers have picked up nice sized bluegills near the dam and along the shoreline with jigs tipped with bait fished below a bobber. Drifting jigs along submerged trees and structure has also been productive. Black Crappie – Good: Try near the dam and along structure and submerged trees near shore. Use a small jig such as a 1/32nd ounce jig tipped with crawler or power bait fished below a bobber.
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 around 60 degrees. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.
Water temperature is around 57 degrees. The fish cleaning station at McIntosh is closed for the season. The bathrooms at Lynne Lorenson and the Ventura jetties are also closed. Boat ramps at McIntosh and Lynne Lorenson are still in as of 10/20, but will be coming out soon. 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. 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 McInstosh 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 – Fair: Some walleyes are being caught near the Ventura grade. Use jigs and a minnow or cut bait in many of the same areas that yellow bass are biting. Boat anglers may find walleyes near the Hy-Vee reef, the edge of the North Shore Reed bed, the island or Dodges point. Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers have caught some in the Baptist camp area out near 10 contour. 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.
Fishing has been good; the best bite is right at dusk or dawn due to the clear water. Yellow Perch – Good: Anglers are catching 8- 12.5 inch perch on minnows or cut bait. Walleye – Good: Anglers have occasionally caught limits with walleyes measuring 14 to 17 inches. Fishing has been best near the deeper water and shoreline off the Park point.
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
Yellow Perch – Good: Fishing activity has heated up with excellent numbers of fish being caught. 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 are best. Dock anglers are also catching fish; early morning and evening hours are best. Yellow perch anglers fishing the weed lines are also catching some walleye. Black Crappie – Good: Reports of bluegill and crappie being caught at the north grade; early morning and evening hours are best. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Good numbers of fish have been caught this week in 12 feet of water; fish typical smallmouth bass areas.
Dog Creek (Lake)
Bluegill – Good: Recent survey reflects good numbers of quality sized fish up to 8 inches in the lake.
East Okoboji Lake
Yellow Bass – Good: Good action early morning and evenings; fish bridge sites for the best action. Try also the north end of the lake from the public docks. 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: Report of fish being caught in the lakes basin; troll crank baits or crawlers for the best action. Yellow Perch – Good: Anglers are catching fish off the public docks located on the north end of the lake.
Walleye – Good: Recent surveys reflect numbers of 1.5 – 3.5 pounds walleye in Ingham Lake. Black Crappie – Good: Black crappie will provide an upswing for anglers and will sustain the fishery for the next couple of years.
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. Yellow Perch – Good: Fish are being caught in 10 feet; fish traditional baits.
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. Clarity is good and fishable. Visit http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ia/
Decorah District Streams
Trout streams are fishable. Its hunting season; be courteous to other recreational users. All catchable stockings are unannounced through October. All streams continue to be stocked. There have been good hatches of small mayflies and caddis flies midday. Brook Trout – Excellent: In streams that were ravaged by flooding where there is no aquatic vegetation, use flies or lures that look like sculpins or suckers. Brown Trout – Excellent: Brown Trout are beginning their pre-spawn activities. Anglers should start to see small indentations in the stream bottom called redds. Please try not to step in these areas. Rainbow Trout – Excellent: Find rainbow trout hiding in the upper and lower ends of pools. Dance a meaty looking fly or lure in these areas and wait.
The restrooms are closed and the water has been turned off for the year. Anglers and boaters are welcome. A fishing jetty project will begin soon. Fish are becoming more aggressive as water begins to cool down. Fish mid-day for best luck. Bluegill – Good. Largemouth Bass – Fair. Black Crappie – Fair.
The lake is in excellent condition and anglers are catching fish. The dock is in until there is a change in the weather. Look for fish in the shallow bays in the afternoons and evenings. Bluegill – Good: A small jig tipped with a plastic twister tail cast out and slowly reeled in should turn a head. Largemouth Bass – Fair. Black Crappie – Fair.
Turkey River (above Clermont)
The Turkey River is in excellent condition. Canoe accesses faired pretty well with the flooding that occurred the end of August and September. Smallmouth Bass – Excellent: Use rubber skirted jigs. Black Crappie – Fair: Try fishing along the brushy edges.
Turkey River (below Clermont)
The Turkey River is in excellent condition and water levels have stabilized. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Use a jig tipped with a crawler or twister tail. Walleye – Good: Walleye are moving into their wintering holes. Try jigs tipped with worms.
Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
Water levels have stabilized and clarity is excellent. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Use a jig tipped with a nightcrawler. Walleye – Good: Walleye are becoming more aggressive and are hitting live baits well.
Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
Water levels have stabilized and clarity is excellent. Walleye – Good: Anglers bank fishing and floating are having success using a jig tipped with a nightcrawler or plastic twister tail. Fish are starting to move into their winter holes. Smallmouth Bass – Excellent: Smallies are hitting jigs tipped with a nightcrawler.
Water clarity is excellent. Fish along the rocky shoreline in the afternoon and evenings. Bluegill – Good. Largemouth Bass – Fair.
Streams are in good condition. Water levels have stabilized and clarity is excellent. Temperature highs will be in the mid 60’s to low 40’s; perfect for a weekend out and about in the Driftless area. Mother Nature’s color show will peak this weekend.For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.
Big Woods Lake
Anglers are reporting catches of largemouth bass and crappie. Black Crappie – Good: Float a crappie minnow under a slip bobber at various depths to locate fish.
Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
Anglers are catching largemouth bass and channel catfish. Channel Catfish – Good: Try fishing from the beach and west. Use chicken livers fished on the bottom of the lake. Numerous 3-10 pound cats have been taken recently. Afternoon through the early evening hours is best. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Cast crankbaits, spinner baits or top water baits.
Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
The Cedar River is producing catches of walleye and smallmouth bass now that the river has receded from recent flooding. Backwater areas with structure are producing some crappie as well. Walleye – Good: Cast crankbaits or fish a jig twister tipped with a minnow. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Cast crankbaits or fish a jig tipped with a nightcrawler. Black Crappie – Good: Try fishing a crappie minnow under a slip bobber near structure or cast and retrieve tube jigs.
Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
The Maquoketa River continues to fall from recent flooding and is in good condition. Walleye – Good: Cast crankbaits or fish a jig/twister tipped with a minnow. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Cast crankbaits or fish a jig/twister tipped with a minnow.
Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
The Shell Rock River is producing some catches of walleye after the recent high water levels. Walleye – Good: Cast crankbaits or fish a jig twister tipped with a minnow. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Cast artificial crankbaits.
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. Bluegill here to tend to run in the 6-7 inch size range. 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 have been reports of anglers catching walleye on the Wapsipinicon River in Buchanan County. Walleye – Good: Cast crankbaits or fish a jig tipped with a nightcrawler. Smallmouth Bass – Good: 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 in excellent condition. Anglers are reporting good to excellent catches of walleye and smallmouth bass on the interior rivers. Recent surveys on the Wapsipinicon River in Buchanan County have found good numbers of quality size northern pike. Trout streams remain in excellent in the Manchester District. For further information, call the N.E. District Office at 563-927-3276.
Mississippi River Pool 9
River level is 10.1 feet at Lansing and is predicted to be stable over the next week. A lot of vegetation and debris is still present in the river after multiple high water events. New Albin Ramp has reopened this week. Black Crappie – Fair: Some anglers are reporting a few crappies this week as the river has returned to its banks. Use minnows under a bobber in the tree piles in backwater areas. Largemouth Bass – Fair. Smallmouth Bass – Fair.
Mississippi River Pool 10
Water level is 19.0 feet at Lynxville with predictions calling for a slight bump before leveling off. Fish close to shore on the side channels and backwaters as the river falls back into its banks. Black Crappie – Fair: Some anglers are reporting a few crappies this week as the river has returned to its banks. Use minnows under a bobber in the tree piles in backwater areas. Largemouth Bass – Fair. Smallmouth Bass – Fair.
Mississippi River Pool 11
River level at Guttenberg has fallen about a foot this week to 10.2 feet; predictions call for a small bump before leveling out. Fish are returning to regular fall habitats as the river is settling back into its banks. Main channel temperature at Lock and Dam 10 is 53 F. Black Crappie – Fair: Some anglers are reporting a few crappies this week as the river has returned to its banks. Use minnows under a bobber in the tree piles in backwater areas. Largemouth Bass – Fair. Smallmouth Bass – Fair. Sauger – Fair: Lock gates are still out of the water this week making it difficult to fish below the dam. A few sauger are being picked up on main channel borders.
The Upper Mississippi River levels remain somewhat high this week, but are on a slow decline. Water temperatures have fallen into the mid 50’s. There is still a lot of current and debris coming downriver this week making fishing a challenge. Expect flows to return to normal over the next few weeks. Fishing will be more productive in backwaters and side channels away from the strong main channel current.
Mississippi River Pool 12
The water level is near 9.6 feet at Dubuque tailwater and near 11.8 feet at the RR bridge. The water is down from last week and expected to remain steady. The main channel is near 61 degrees. Fishing has improved; it’s time to enjoy the fall colors while fishing on the Mississippi River. Largemouth Bass – Good: Lots of bass are being reported often by walleye anglers. Try jigs or spinners near shoreline areas and current breaks. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Cut out all the red meat and they are a fine eating fish. If you plan on eating drum throw them immediately on ice after catching them; try to avoid freezing them. Channel Catfish – Good: Channel cats can be found along the shoreline, in one or two feet of water. Try rock lines for best results. Bluegill – Fair: Good bluegill angling should return when/if the river returns to normal seasonal water levels. Our first reports of people catching bluegills in backwater areas are beginning to filter in. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Smallmouth bass are doing very well in the Mississippi River with numerous year classes present. The combination of rock and current are a must to catch smallmouth bass, which often hold very tight to the rocks. The high water has made angling for them a challenge. Black Crappie – No Report: Expect good fishing for crappies to return this fall. Lots of nice crappies are present in the Mississippi River. Walleye – Good: Some walleye are being taken by anglers fishing wing dams very close to the bank. A lot of current remains in the Mississippi River which pushes the fish near shore. White Bass – Good: These fish can school up and action can be fast. Use spinners or small crankbaits.
Mississippi River Pool 13
The water level is near 10.8 feet at Bellevue, which is a foot lower than last week. The water temperature is around 62 degrees. The Bellevue DNR ramp is once again functional; water levels are expected to stay steady all week. Walleye – Good: Walleyes are being caught in near shore areas in 1 to 5 feet of water. Pitch jigs or slow roll crank baits. Floating vegetation is frustrating many anglers as the bite appears to be good, but getting through the floating vegetation is difficult. Largemouth Bass – Good: Many good catches of bass were reported this week. Bass are on the bite often feeding on shad as their primary food item. Use larger silver colored crank baits: try your best to keep vegetation off your line. Freshwater Drum – Good: Loads of freshwater drum are available and good fishing should return. Use large crayfish to catch really large drum. Channel Catfish – Good: Catfish are being seen very close to the shoreline. Do not be afraid to try to catch them in one or two feet of water. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Smallmouth bass are doing very well in the Mississippi River with numerous year classes present. The combination of rock and current are a must to find smallmouth bass. Smallies often hold very tight to the rocks. Stay away from the turbid tributary streams as smallmouths are sight feeders. Black Crappie – No Report: Before the latest water level rise, lots of 11 inch crappies were being seen in side channel sloughs. White Bass – Fair: White bass schools are being reported in the tailwater area at times. Try a spinner or minnow imitation lure.
Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level is near 10.1 feet at Fulton, 13.0 feet at Camanche and 7.2 feet at Le Claire. Some boat ramps may have debris on them yet but water is off almost all ramps. The water temperature is near 62 degrees. Angling has picked up greatly this week. Freshwater Drum – Good: Use a simple sliding sinker and worm fished in current. Worms are the best bait. Channel Catfish – Good: Fish are located near shoreline in one to three feet of water. Walleye – Good: Walleye bite is now back on, or at least water levels are such that anglers can again fish for walleyes. Most are found somewhat near shore on the inside track of the wing dams or rock eddies. Smallmouth Bass – No Report: Smallmouth bass are doing very well in the Mississippi River with numerous year classes present. The combination of rock and current are a must to find smallmouth bass, which often hold very tight to the rocks. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass are biting once again. They are still out in the edges of the main channels and side sloughs but you need to fish out of the high current areas. Pockets and eddies give you the best shot at quality bass right now. White Bass – No Report: Expect the white bass and hybrid striped bass catches to improve greatly. Try fishing in the tailwater this fall using minnow imitations such as spinners.
Mississippi River Pool 15
The water level is 10.2 feet at Rock Island, which is down one foot from last week. Water should hold steady nearly all week. Water temperature is up slightly and is around 62 degrees in the main channel. Freshwater Drum – Good: Freshwater drum are abundant in Pool 15 and can easily be caught from shore. Try fishing the eagles landing area with worm and egg sinkers. Channel Catfish – Good: Rising water levels usually trigger what has already been a good catfish bite. Lots of varieties of stink bait are being used. Move often if the fish do not bite in 15 minutes. Fish close to the shorelines for best success. White Bass – No Report: Seen a lot of nice white bass in a recent survey of Pool 15. These fish should be targeted in near shore current eddies or in the tailwater area.
Water temperatures have dropped to the low 60’s throughout the district. The water levels are still a bit higher than most anglers are accustomed to this time of year. Some boat ramps still have some debris on them and many also have floating vegetation along the shoreline. This can make ramps slick for walking or when pulling the boats out of the water. Do your best to remove all vegetation from your trailer when exiting the boat ramps to prevent the spread of non-native species.
Big Hollow Lake
Fishing is starting to pick up now that the weather has cooled down. Black Crappie – Good: Crappie fishing is starting to pick up. Anglers are bringing them in, but are being a little secretive as to where they are catching them. Try along the north side of the lake down at the lower end in some of the bays that are more open to the sun and around the islands.
Environmental Discovery Park North Pond
The fall trout release will be at 10:00 am on October 29th. 1000 trout will be released. 100 will be tagged for prizes. Tags can be turned in at the Learning Center before 4:00 pm for a prize. Rainbow Trout – Excellent: The clear water of the pond allows you to see the fish you’re trying to catch.
Lake Belva Deer
Not a lot of anglers out the last few days. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Catfish continue to fatten up for winter. Work the bays on the north side that are catching the sun. With the cooler water temperatures, it’s time to switch back to nightcrawlers and minnows. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are back to having to work for the bluegills. The upper end of the lake along the north side that catches the most sun seems to be the place to go.
The water clarity is about 6 feet now. Water temperature in the mornings is around 64 degrees. Black Crappie – Good: The crappies are in shallow – 4 feet or less of water. 9-10 inch fish, but they are thick bodied. Use white or yellow twister tails. Bluegill – Good: Look to the brush piles in shallow water and around the bigger brush piles that reach the surface from deeper water. Channel Catfish – Good: Catfish are up around the upper end of the lake. Use nightcrawlers or cut bait to catch fish between 1 to 1 1/2 pounds. Largemouth Bass – Good: Look for bass around the rip rap along the shoreline feeding on little fish and crawdads.
Lake of the Hills
The fall trout release was October 14th; 2000 trout were stocked. Lots of anglers left fairly early after the stocking with their limits of trout. Rainbow Trout – Excellent: Even after last Fridays big number of trout caught, there are still plenty of trout left to be caught.
The fall trout release will be Saturday, October 29th. 1,000 trout will be released with 200 of them tagged for prizes. Trout fishing will begin at 1:00 pm. Rainbow Trout – Excellent: Trout like flashy spinners in the beginning; wax worms and power baits work better after they calm down a bit.
For more information on the above lakes, call the Lake Darling Fisheries Station at 319-694-2430.
Central Park Lake
The lake will be drained this fall for a restoration project. There are relaxed fishing regulations for Central Lake with no daily bag limit on all fish species and no size limit on bass. The new 7 acre pond located west of the lake has been stocked with adult bass, bluegill and catfish, which were removed from Central Lake. All normal fishing regulations still apply to this pond. Contact the Jones County Conservation Board for additional information.
The lake level as of 10/20 is 697.6′ and slowly falling. Black Crappie – Fair: Try flooded laydowns or steeper rock banks. White Crappie – Fair: Try flooded laydowns or steeper rock banks. Walleye – Slow: Look for windblown rock/gravel banks. White Bass – Slow: Look for windblown rock/gravel banks.
No minnows are allowed here. Black Crappie – Fair. Channel Catfish – Fair.
Minnows are not allowed here. Channel Catfish – Slow. Largemouth Bass – Slow. Black Crappie – Fair.
Any sized motor may be operated at no wake speed (5mph) now. Water temperatures are in the mid 60’s. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Slow: Some small fish are more willing to bite. Larger fish have been hit and miss. Evening is the best bite. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappie fishing is improving. Fish over/around brush piles with jigs or minnows. Most reports are in about 10-15 feet of water. Walleye – Fair: A few more fish are being caught. Some are being caught trolling and some are caught casting. They can be anywhere from 5-20 depending on time of day and weather. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try around shallow rock and wood with plastics, crankbaits and topwaters, or try the offshore rock reefs with crankbaits and plastics. Channel Catfish – Fair: The south arm has been best on shad guts. White Bass – Fair: Look for windblown areas with shad. Throw small crankbaits or jigs.
Otter Creek Lake
Yellow Bass – Good: Try small jigs, spinners or live bait. Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs or worms around brush piles.
Pleasant Creek Lake
The lake is down 15′ for the restoration project in process. There is a make-shift boat ramp at the main ramp; use caution as it is shallow just off the end of the ramp. 4×4 vehicles only. The ramp now is day-to-day on whether it is usable. Contractors are in the process of working on the boat ramp area and at any time, the ramp could be closed to pour new concrete. White Bass – Fair: Try crankbaits or jigs along windblown shores. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: Use crankbaits or jigs along windblown shores. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try crawlers, livers, cut bait and stink bait. Fish up to 15 pounds have been reported. Muskellunge – Fair: Fish are being seen and caught shallower now.
Rodgers Park Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Use worms under bobbers. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Worms are also catching bass.
For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615