Black Hawk Lake
Surface water temperature is 68 degrees. Water levels are near the crest of the spillway. Bluegill – Good: Pick up bluegill just about anywhere along the shoreline in 2- to 5-feet of water. Use a small jig tipped with live bait or a small piece of crawler fished below a bobber off the floating fishing pier, the west stone pier, and the inlet bridge. Black Crappie – Fair: Use a jig with a minnow in 2- to 6-feet of water along Ice House Point, the floating dock and the stone piers in Town Bay. Walleye – Fair: Use live bait fished along the Ice House Point shoreline and the rock piles near Cottonwood Point and in the east basin. Expect walleye fishing to pick up near shore in the next couple of weeks as water temperatures cool. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use nightcrawlers and cut bait fished on the bottom near the floating dock, Ice House Point, and the rock piles near Cottonwood Point and the east basin. Largemouth Bass – Good: Use topwater lures, twisters, or live bait to catch largemouth bass just about anywhere along the shoreline.
Brushy Creek Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Use a small jig tipped with a piece of crawler in 5- to 15-feet of water. Drift near deep structure, drop-offs and weed lines. Black Crappie – Fair: Try a small piece of crawler or minnow on a jig in 10- to 15-feet of water. Largemouth Bass – Good: Throw topwater lures, weedless baits, spinners and plastic worms along weed lines, near cover and wood structure. Fish deeper for larger fish. Pick up small fish in the shallows. Muskellunge – Fair.
Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Surface water temperatures are around 68 degrees. Dredge is in operation in the northeast portion of the lake; boaters must maintain a 100 foot distance from the dredge, booster pump and 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: Walleye activity will increase as water temperatures continue to drop. Use a minnow or leach fished below a bobber in shallower areas near shore. Some action may still be in deeper water – troll shad raps or drift crawlers on the edges of the dredge cuts around the lake. White Bass – Fair: Use crankbaits or live bait fished from shore and in the dredge cuts.
Bluegill – Fair: Try areas with rocky structure and along weed lines in 2- to 6-feet of water near the jetties, the fish house and the dam. Use a small jig tipped with a piece of crawler or minnow under a bobber. Expect 6- to 9-inch fish.
Yellow Smoke Park Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills can reach 9 inches or more. Look for bluegills in 5- to 10-feet of water near the arm north of the swim beach, the flooded timber near the southwest shoreline, and the coves on the south shore.
Surface water temperatures in area lakes are in the upper 60’s. With cooler temperatures comes increased feeding activity; panfishing has been fair to good from shore in most lakes. Expect good walleye action near shore as water temperatures continue to drop. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.
The water temperature is 65 degrees. Yellow Bass – Good: Drift a small jig tipped with a piece of crawler or cut bait in 8- to 10-feet of water until you find fish. Try also near the rock reefs. Walleye – Fair: Use a slip bobber and leech or minnow near the rock reefs. Black Crappie – Fair: Try near the vegetation in 3- to 5-feet of water.
Bluegill – Fair: Use a small piece of crawler under a slip bobber near the dredge cut.
Walleye – Fair: Use a jig and minnow in the deeper parts of the lake in the late evening.
Silver Lake (Worth)
Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth bass are biting on a variety of baits.
For information in the north central area, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.
East Fork Des Moines (state line to Algona)
Walleye – Fair: Walleye activity has started to pick up with increased water temperatures.
East Okoboji Lake
Lots of keeper fish are being caught on East Okoboji, with yellow bass being the majority of kept fish. Yellow Bass – Excellent: Good sized yellow bass are still being caught shallow near docks; use jig with pilkies and wigglers. Yellow Perch – Good: Jig with tube jigs and pilkies around docks and weed lines.
Five Island Lake
Recent surveys show good numbers of angler acceptable channel catfish.
Little Sioux River (state line to Linn Grove)
Walleye – Fair: Walleye activity is starting to pick up as the water starts to cool down.
Lost Island Lake
Yellow Bass – Good: Yellow bass activity is reported to have improved with the cooler water temperatures.
Mill Creek (Lake)
Black Crappie – Good: Good numbers of angler acceptable crappie are being caught.
Walleye – Good: Walleye are active after dark; fish the north end of the lake. Yellow Perch – Good: The yellow perch bite picked up over the past week; use tube jigs and pilkies.
West Okoboji Lake
Bluegill – Good: Nice sized bluegill are coming off the lake. Try in shallow areas around weed lines. Black Crappie – Good: Crappie are very active; cast tube jigs along weed lines.
For more information throughout the week, contact the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.
Cedar River (above Nashua)
Water levels are low. Use caution when backing boats down boat ramps. Trailers going off the ends of the ramps have been reported. Walleye – Fair: Trol
Decorah District Streams
Hunting season has started. Many streams run through wildlife management areas where hunting is allowed. Wear bright clothing when not stalking a trout. Trout streams are in good condition. Call 563-927-5736 for current catchable trout stocking locations. Brook Trout – Good: A variety of small mayflies are hatching mid-afternoon. Use a dry fly for insects hatching off the water surface. Use a nymph or scud dropper for subsurface critters. Brown Trout – Good: Recent rain turned many streams off color; this should put the browns in a feeding frenzy. Use a hopper pattern in pastured or open areas. In wooded areas in the morning, use #22-24 trico patterns. In the evening, use #18-20 blue wing olive patterns. Rainbow Trout – Good: Freshly stocked trout are hitting a variety of lures and baits. Drift a feathered spinner along an undercut bank.
Lake Hendricks is an electric motor only lake. The bite should improve with the return of cooler weather. Black Crappie – Slow: Troll over rock mounds with a jig tipped with minnow or spinnerbait. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Try topwater lures along the edge of a vegetation. Channel Catfish – Slow: Use a hook tipped with a worm or chicken liver. Bluegill – Slow: Use a small hook tipped with small piece of worm in deeper water.
Lake Meyer is an electric motor only lake. Few people have visited the lake this week. Bluegill – Slow: Use a small hook tipped with a piece of worm under a bobber near jetties in the evening. Black Crappie – Slow: Find crappie suspended near submersed structure. Use a spinner or jig with bright colored twister tail. Largemouth Bass – Fair: 10- to 12-inch bass are hitting crankbaits.
Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
The Upper Iowa is stable but low. Be prepared to walk through riffles. Fly fishers, watch for evening hatches of white and grey mayflies. Flying ants are hatching mid-day. Fall is a good time to use streamers or minnow patterns for bass, trout, and walleye. Walleye – Slow: Drift a jig tipped with a twister tail or worm through a deeper hole or along a current break. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Try jigs tipped with worms or crankbaits imitating crawdads in deeper holes and along rocky shorelines. Rock Bass – Fair: Use jigs tipped with worms along rocky shorelines.
Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
Water temperatures are in the low 70’s. This shot of rain should bring on the bite. Northern Pike – Slow: Use a steel leader tipped with 1/4 oz. jig tipped with natural colored plastic to a 3 inch jerk bait fished around tributaries or brush piles. Smallmouth Bass – Slow: Use jigs tipped with plastic tails in the current breaks or near rock ledges. Walleye – Slow: Drift a jig tipped with a twister tail or worm through a deeper hole or along a current break. Channel Catfish – Slow: Catch a catfish from shore with a hook tipped with a crawler. Evening is best.
Warmer water temperatures are sparking green algae blooms on the lake. Panfishing has been hit or miss for the last week. Black Crappie – Fair: Troll the deeper areas for suspended crappie; use small jig tipped with a minnow. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Bass are hitting jigs tipped with a nightcrawler or twister tail. Try a topwater lure in the evening as fish come in shallow to feed. Bluegill – Fair: Use a small hook tipped with a piece of worm under a bobber along rocky shorelines. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use chicken liver and stink baits. Catfish are more active in the evening.
Fall-like temperatures will return over the weekend with temperature highs in the low 70’s and 40’s for lows in the forecast. Area streams and rivers are low. For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.
Big Woods Lake
Largemouth Bass – Good: Use imitation shad lures; morning bite is best.
Largemouth Bass – Good: Anglers are catching good numbers of largemouth bass; morning bite is best. Use imitation shad lures.
Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
Bluegill – Fair: Try a piece of worm under a slip bobber at various depths.
Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
Walleye – Good: Use a jig and plastic tail tipped with half a nightcrawler on the downstream sandbar drop-offs or woody structure as the river is low Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Cast spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater lures along rip-rap shorelines and woody structure. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try nightcrawlers or dead chubs on the bottom above log jams or below riffle areas.
Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
There have been few reports on the Maquoketa River this past week. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Cast spinnerbaits or crankbaits along rip-rap shorelines and woody structure. Walleye – Fair: Try a jig and plastic tail tipped with half a nightcrawler on the downstream sandbar drop-offs or woody structure as the river is low.
Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
There have been few reports on the Shell Rock River this past week. Walleye – Fair: Use a jig and plastic tail tipped with half a nightcrawler on the downstream sandbar drop-offs or woody structure as the river is low. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Cast spinnerbaits or crankbaits along rip-rap shorelines and woody structure.
Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
There have been few reports on the Wapsipinicon River this past week; anglers have had best success fishing for northern pike. Northern Pike – Good: Cast and retrieve large bucktail spinnerbaits near structure or float a live chub or shiner under a bobber in the deeper pools. Walleye – Fair: Try a jig and plastic tail tipped with half a nightcrawler on the downstream sandbar drop-offs or woody structure as the river is low. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Cast spinnerbaits or crankbaits along rip-rap shorelines and woody structure.
Fishing reports are those of the typical late summer lulls, but anglers are catching some fish on the interior rivers. There are reports of anglers catching smallmouth bass, walleye and northern pike. Best reports have been northern pike on the Wapsipinicon River.Trout streams remain in excellent condition. Call the N.E. Iowa district office at 563-927-3276 for more information.
Mississippi River Pool 9
River level at Lansing is 8.3 feet and is predicted to remain stable. Water temperature is near 70 degrees. Bluegill – Excellent:
Mississippi River Pool 10
Lynxville water level has risen a foot to 15 feet and is predicted to rise slightly then remain stable. Water temperature is 71 degrees at the lock and dam. Bluegill – Excellent: Som
Mississippi River Pool 11
Mississippi River at Guttenberg has risen nearly a foot to 6.5 and is predicted to level out around 7 feet next week. Water temperature is 67 degrees at the Lock and Dam. Bluegill – Excellent:
Upper Mississippi water levels have bumped up slightly this week. Boaters should still use caution to avoid dropping off the ends of ramps during low water conditions. Water clarity continues to be good with lots of vegetation present. Many fish are spreading out into backwaters with the cooler temperatures. Water temperature remains in the upper 60’s to 70 degrees this week.
Mississippi River Pool 12
Use caution when backing up on any ramp; river levels are low and it is easy to back off the ends of ramps. River levels will rise slightly in the next few days. Water levels are 5.9 feet at the Dubuque Lock and Dam and 8.4 feet at the RR bridge. Water clarity is good. Water temperature is near 74 degrees. Channel Catfish – Good: Use worms and stink bait; move often if you do not find biting fish. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: A simple egg sinker and worm rig works best. White Crappie – Good: Fall is the best time of the year to catch crappies on the Mississippi River. Look for them along log jams in backwater sloughs. Walleye – Fair: The wing dam fishing is well underway on the Mississippi River. Some anglers are using worm rigs while others are throwing crankbaits on the dams. Floating weeds are being a real hindrance at times. Bluegill – Fair:Find bluegills at the mouths of large backwater areas and along the channel border rock. Flathead Catfish – Excellent: Pull worm rigs near rocky habitats. Lots of flatheads have been caught this year. Smallmouth Bass – Excellent:Throw spinners or small crankbaits around rocky areas with strong current in the evenings. Largemouth Bass – Excellent: Largemouths have pulled out of the shallow backwater areas and are on trees and sandy shoals often chasing minnows. The scum frog bite has been very good in the weed pads. Yellow Perch – Good: Yellow perch are being caught in backwater areas on minnows by anglers fishing for bluegills or crappies.
Mississippi River Pool 13
Use caution when backing up on any ramp; river levels are getting low and it is easy to back off the ends of ramps. Water level is 6 feet at the Bellevue Lock and Dam. Water clarity is good. Water temperature is 75 degrees in the main channel. Try to remove any vegetation off your trailers. Northern Pike – Good: Use flashy white lures. Channel Catfish – Good: Try worm rigs and stink bait above log jams and rock piles; let the smell of the bait flow into the log piles. Move often if you don’t find fish. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Use egg sinker and worm rigs. Drum bite in all types of river conditions. Walleye – Good: Mixed reports on walleye the past couple of weeks. Mixed reports on walleye the past couple of weeks, but the bite has improved. Most angers are fishing on the wing dams. Smallmouth Bass – Excellent: Throw crank baits or spinners near rock piles with strong current. Bluegill – Fair: Use worm rigs in log piles in larger backwater and sloughs. Flathead Catfish – Excellent: Small flathead catfish are hitting on worms; mostly by people fishing for channel cats. Try large live bait fished in the evening hours for bigger flatheads. Largemouth Bass – Excellent: Some fish are on weed edges while others are in logs in deeper sloughs. Use scum frogs and other frog imitations. Black Crappie – Slow: Fall is a great time to fish for crappies. Use small minnows in the woody snags in backwater sloughs. The bite slowed down during the warm spell, but crappies are expected to turn on soon.
Mississippi River Pool 14
Use caution when backing up on any ramp; river levels are getting low and it is easy to back off the ends of ramps. Water levels are 5.9 feet at Fulton, 10 feet at Camanche and 4.8 feet at LeClaire. Water clarity is good. Water temperature is 76 degrees in the main channel. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass had moved out of the large shallow areas into deeper slough habitats. Use spinnerbaits along the channel weed lines. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Freshwater drum are biting on worm rigs. Catch drum in nearly all moderate current areas. Channel Catfish – Good: Use worm rigs and prepared stink baits fished close to shoreline snags or along rock lines. Walleye – Good: Most anglers are chasing walleyes on the wing dams this time of year. Flathead Catfish – Excellent: Some anglers are trot lining flathead catfish using large bullheads as bait. Flathead are most active during the night and evening hours. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Try along rock piles with current. Bluegill – Fair: Use worms and bobbers along vegetation lines.
Mississippi River Pool 15
Use caution when backing up on any ramp; river levels are getting low and it is easy to back off the ends of ramps. Levels are around 5.9 feet at Rock Island. It will rise slightly during the week. Water clarity has improved. Water temperature is near 76 degrees in the main channel. Channel Catfish – Good: Try stink bait along the rock piles near Campbells and Arsenal Island. Move often if fish are not hitting. Freshwater Drum – Good: Freshwater drum bite well this time of year. Put them on ice immediately if you are going to clean them. Flathead Catfish – Good: Use large live bait fished near shore during the night and evening hours. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Find smallmouths along rock lines with strong current. White Bass – Fair: A few white bass are being caught in the tailwater reaches on white twister tails.
Use caution when using any ramp, as you can back off the ends in low water levels. The channel temperature has been in the mid to upper 70’s. Fishing conditions are good throughout the district. Aquatic vegetation is floating in the River, so do your best to clean your boats and trailers and not transport vegetation to other bodies of water. If you have any angling questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.
Big Hollow Lake
Water temperature is still holding on to the low 70’s. Not many anglers have been out this week. Black Crappie – Slow: Anglers are still finding the crappies in deeper water. Bluegill – Slow: Still look in deeper water, but the hungry ones are harder to find.
Lake Belva Deer
Water temperature dropped a couple of degrees last night, but is still pretty warm; the water needs to cool off so the fish will come in shallow. Bluegill – Slow: Warm weather has slowed the bluegill bite again. Anglers have to work for them. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Use chicken liver and cut bait along the dam and at the upper end of the lake around the mounds. Black Crappie – Slow: Crappie fishing went from pretty good, to hard to find.