Cedar River (above Nashua)
The Cedar River continues to drop and water clarity is improving. Use this opportunity to get out and play before the cold weather sets in. Walleye – Good: Use a jig tipped with a long piece of worm or minnow in deeper pools and around brush piles near evening.
Decorah District Streams
This is the final week for catchable stream stocking. Many fish remain in the streams for anglers to catch through the winter. Brook and Brown Trout spawning season is upon us. Walk carefully around freshly cleared areas in streams; these are trout nests or “redds”. Many streams run through wildlife management areas where hunting is allowed. Wear bright clothing when not stalking a trout. Brook Trout – Good: Vibrant colors abound on spawning fish. 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 – Excellent: With heavy frost, cold temperatures in the forecast, and spawning fish, it’s time to change strategies. Start using patterns imitating small fish, eggs, and scuds. Use small gnats, mayflies, caddisflies hatch on warmer afternoons. Rainbow Trout – Good: Freshly stocked trout are hitting a variety of lures and baits. Drift a feathered spinner along an undercut bank. Always leave gates and fences as you find them.
Lake Hendricks is an electric motor only lake. Few anglers have been out. Black Crappie – Slow: Troll over rock mounds with a jig tipped with minnow or spinnerbait. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use a spinnerbait or jig with a twistertail and a slow retrieve near brush piles and downed trees. Bluegill – Slow: Try a small jig tipped with a small piece of nightcrawler or spike.
Lake clarity is excellent. Anglers will notice recent fish habitat improvements in the lake including spawning beds, shoreline rip-rap, and submersed concrete culverts. Few anglers are out. Bluegill – Slow:
Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
Few people have been out. Water levels continue to fall and clarity is improving. Walleye – Fair: Fin
Duck season is open and hunters are on the water. All water to the campground and restroom at the boat ramp is shut off for the season. Black Crappie – Slow: Slowly troll along the dam. Use a jig tipped with a minnow in 10- to 12-feet of water.
Chances for rain/snow Friday evening into Saturday are likely. Temperature highs are mid 40’s with lows in the low 30’s. Area streams and rivers are in good condition. For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.
Black Crappie – Good: Try fishing a crappie minnow under a slip bobber at various.
Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
There have been good reports of anglers catching walleye, northern pike and smallmouth bass on the Cedar River. The impoundment above Waverly has been producing good catches of crappie. Target deeper pools or holes for walleye as they migrate to overwintering areas. Walleye – Good: Use jigs tipped with plastics with or without live bait. Northern Pike – Good: Cast white bucktail spinner baits. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Try jigs tipped with plastics with or without live bait or spinner baits. Black Crappie – Good: Use a crappie minnow under a slip bobber at various depths.
Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
Reports of some anglers having success catching some walleye. Water levels on the Maquoketa River remain in excellent condition. Walleye – Fair: Try jigs tipped with plastics with or without live bait.
Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
Walleye – Good: Use jigs tipped with plastics with or without live bait. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Try jigs tipped with plastics with or without live bait or spinner baits.
Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
River levels are starting to fall. Walleye – Fair: Use jigs tipped with plastics with or without live bait. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Try jigs tipped with plastics with or without live bait or spinner baits.
Most interior river water levels remain steady or are falling. River reports have been best for walleye and northern pike. Trout streams remain in excellent condition; trout stream stockings end this week, but streams will provide excellent trout fishing throughout the winter. Call the N.E. Iowa district office at 563-927-3276 for more information.
Mississippi River Pool 12
Water levels have dropped and are 10.4 feet at the Dubuque Lock and Dam and 12.5 feet at the RR bridge. Water clarity is improving. Water temperature is near 53 degrees. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: A simple egg sinker and worm rig works best. White Crappie – Good: Fall is the best time to catch crappies on the Mississippi River, but panfish have not been biting the best in recent weeks. Look for them along log jams in backwater sloughs. Walleye – Fair: Use crankbaits or jigs along sandy banks. Fish are holding tight to the shorelines. They have started to move into the tailwater areas. Bluegill – Slow: Rapidly changing conditions have made bluegills somewhat hard to find. Smallmouth Bass – Good:Throw spinners or small crankbaits around rocky areas with strong current in the evenings. Floating weeds along the rock lines are causing issues getting to the smallmouths. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass are on the wood in deeper sloughs. Yellow Perch – Fair: Yellow perch are being caught in backwater areas on minnows by anglers fishing for bluegills or crappies.
Mississippi River Pool 13
Water levels receded this week and are 11.5 feet at Bellevue Lock and Dam. The water is expected to drop a foot this upcoming week. Water clarity is good. Water temperature is 54 degrees in the main channel. The Bellevue DNR ramp and other small ramps on Pool 13 have minor flooding and debris on them, but should be good to use later in the week. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Use egg sinker and worm rigs. Drum bite in all types of river conditions. Walleye – Fair: Use crankbaits or jigs fished close to bank on sandy areas. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Throw crank baits or spinners near rock piles with strong current. Bluegill – Slow: Use worm rigs in log piles in larger backwater and sloughs. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Some fish are on the weed edges while others are close to woody debris in the deeper sloughs. Black Crappie – Fair: Fall is a great time to fish for crappies. It has been slow, but expect it to improve. Use small minnows in the woody snags in backwater sloughs.
Mississippi River Pool 14
Water levels started to drop late this past week and are expected to recede further this upcoming week. Gauge readings are 10.7 feet at Fulton, 13.4 feet at Camanche and 7.7 feet at LeClaire. Water clarity is fair. Water temperature is 54 degrees in the main channel. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass are on the wood in side channel sloughs. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Freshwater drum are biting on worm rigs. Catch drum in nearly all moderate current areas. Walleye – Good: Some nice walleyes have been reported from Pool 14 all year. Fish are tight to the bank in this higher water. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Try along rock piles with current. Bluegill – Slow: Use worms and bobbers along vegetation lines. Changing conditions make it hard to consistently find bluegills. Black Crappie – No Report: Expect the crappie bite to pick up yet this fall.
Mississippi River Pool 15
Water levels have peaked and are receding. Water clarity is getting better and is fair. Water temperature is near 54 degrees in the main channel. Freshwater Drum – Good: Freshwater drum bite well this time of year. Put them on ice immediately if you are going to clean them. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Find smallmouths along rock lines with strong current. Walleye – No Report: A decent walleye population exists in Pool 15, but we have not heard anyone catching many lately.
The water receded slowly all week and is expect water to drop a foot or more again this upcoming week. The water temperature has dipped down to the mid 50’s. Some ramps have minor flooding or debris on them, but should become usable again soon. 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.
Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities is 10.8 feet and is falling. Walleye – Slow: Use jigs and minnows or troll crankbaits in Sylvan Slough. A few walleyes are being caught on the wingdams. Sauger – Slow: Try jigs and minnows or troll crankbaits in Sylvan slough. White Crappie – Fair: Some crappies are being caught in the backwaters. Use jigs and minnows or jigs and plastics around brush piles in the Andalusia Island complex, Sunset Marina or Credit Island. Bluegill – Fair: Some bluegills are being caught in Sunset marina. Use waxworms under a bobber. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try spinnerbaits in the Andalusia Island complex. White Bass – Fair: Use crankbaits in Sylvan Slough. Some anglers are also picking up white bass while crappie fishing in Sunset Marina with minnows.
Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine is 9.76 feet and is falling. The gates are out of the water at the dam. The ramp at Big Timber (The Breaks) is open. White Crappie – Fair: Use jigs and minnows or minnows under a bobber around brush piles in the backwaters and side channels. Bluegill – No Report: Look for bluegills in the backwaters. Use worms or waxworms under a bobber along brush piles. Sauger – No Report: We have not received any tailwater fishing information for this pool this week with the high water conditions.
Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 11.14 feet at Lock and Dam 17 above New Boston and is falling.The gates are out of the water at the dam. White Crappie – No Report: Use jigs and minnows or minnows under a bobber in the backwaters and flowing side channels around brush piles. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use spinnerbaits or plastics in New Boston Bay. Sauger – No Report: We have not received any tailwater fishing reports with the high water conditions.
Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 7.29 feet at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington and is falling. We have not received any fishing reports for this pool this week. White Crappie – No Report: Use jigs and minnows or minnows under a bobber in the side channels and backwaters around brush piles. Sauger – No Report: We have not received any tailwater fishing information for this pool.
River stages have been falling the past few days. Main channel water temperature is 55 degrees. Water clarity is poor. Tailwater fishing for walleyes and saugers has been tough with the high water conditions. Crappies and bluegills are being caught in the backwaters. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.
Big Hollow Lake
Bluegill – Good: Fish the cedar trees and brush piles that are in 6 foot of water; no deeper or shallower. Black Crappie – Good: Most of the crappies are out in the deeper 10- to 12-feet water. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass are with the bluegills near the bottom in 6 feet of water.
Environmental Discovery Park North Pond
The fall trout release will be on Oct. 28th at 10 am. 1000 rainbow trout will be released at that time. 100 will be tagged for prizes.
Lake Belva Deer
Water temperature is down into the mid 50’s. Bluegill – Good: Anglers are catching some really nice bluegills in 4- to 5-feet of water. Look for them around the mounds and rock piles at the upper end of the lake. Black Crappie – Good: Try down by the dam and along the north side of the lake down at that end. They seem to be out deeper than the bluegills. Channel Catfish – Good: Catfish continue to feed fairly heavily. Try in the rock along the dam, and where any of the feeder creeks enter the lake. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass are out hunting the bluegills in 4- to 5-feet of water.
Water temperature is down to 57 degrees. Fishing remains good; the weather not so much according to the forecast. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass are just over the tops of the rock piles and brush piles that have 4- to 5-feet of water over them. Black Crappie – Good: Crappies are a little reluctant to come into shallow water; most are being caught in 8- to 10-feet of water around the habitat. Bluegill – Good:Lots of nice bluegills are hanging out in the brush piles in 4- to 6-feet of water; some are in shallow in 1.5 feet of water.
Lake of the Hills
The fall trout release was Oct. 14. Rainbow Trout – Good: Start out fishing in 3- to 4-feet of water. Work your way around the lake concentrating on the submersed logs and stumps. Bluegill – Good: Lots of bluegills were being caught during the trout release. Most were in fairly close to shore and were hitting on bobber and worm.
Lost Grove Lake
Lots of wind the last few days have kept angler numbers down. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are running the edges of the weed beds; use a small jig or worm and bobber. Black Crappie – Good: Crappies are starting to work in closer to the shallows, a change from last week when they were still out in deeper water.
Skunk River (Rose Hill to Coppock)
Last Saturday’s rains brought the river up about a foot; probably still not enough to use jon boats, but canoes and kayaks won’t have any problems. Channel Catfish – Fair: Won’t be long before these fish will be on their way to their overwintering sights.
The fall trout release will be on Oct. 28th with trout fishing beginning at 1:00 pm. 1000 trout will be released with 200 being tagged for prizes. Rainbow Trout – Excellent: Trout fishing will pick up this weekend when the truck from Manchester arrives with the trout for the fall release.