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Iowa DNR Fishing Report for April 28

New catch-photo-release tournament encourages Iowa walleye anglers to report their catches

Iowa DNR is partnering with My Catch by Angler’s Atlas to conduct a statewide walleye fishing tournament starting May 1 through June 30.

Win weekly prizes and help Iowa DNR expand walleye collection data by simply recording your catches.

Register for the Iowa Walleye Challenge at https://www.anglersatlas.com/tournament/553/2022-iowa-walleye-challenge. There is a $25 registration fee.


This weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys and county and state parks staff. You can check the activity of your favorite lake or stretch of river within each district, including which species are being caught, a rating of the bite (slow, fair, good or excellent), as well as a hot bait or lure pattern.

For current information, contact the district fisheries office at the phone number listed at the end of each district report.

NORTHWEST

Arrowhead Lake
Lake level is low. Water temperature is around 50 degrees. Black Crappie – Fair: As water temperatures warm, look for crappie fishing to pick up along shore near woody structure. Use small jigs and minnows.

Black Hawk Lake
Dredging operations in the east basin will likely start next week. The floating and submerged portions of pipe will be marked with buoys. Dredge barges will also be marked with buoys; boaters should use caution and stay away from the equipment.  Water levels are about 15 inches below the crest of the spillway. Water temperatures are in the low 50s. Black Crappie – Fair: Most fish are 8- to 12-inches. Use small live minnows and marabou jigs fished from shore in Town Bay. Areas along the stone Pier floating T dock, the fish house and along Ice House Point are the most popular spots. Walleye – Slow: Expect shore fishing to pick up when water temperatures warm up.

Browns Lake
Water levels are around 3 feet low. Walleye – Slow: A few anglers have been targeting walleye.  The bite has been slow with cool temperatures and windy weather. Expect the bite to improve as water temperatures warm up.

Brushy Creek Lake
Courtesy docks are in. The fishing action has been slow with the cool water temperatures and wind. Once water temperatures start to warm, look for crappie and bass action along shore in 5-10 feet of water near submerged woody structure.

Crawford Creek Impoundment
Fishing activity has been slow. Bass and panfish action should pick up once water temperatures warm up.

North Twin Lake
Courtesy dock is in on the south ramp. With low water levels, boaters should use caution when launching boats. Black Crappie – Slow: Fishing action has been slow with the cooler water temperatures. Expect a better panfish bite from shore as water temperatures warm up. Use small jigs and minnows from shore and along the docks.

Storm Lake (incl Little Storm Lake)
Water temperatures are around 50 degrees. Shore fishing has been fair to slow with the recent cool and windy weather. All walleye between 19 and 25-inches must be immediately released unharmed at Storm Lake; no more than one walleye longer than 25-inches can be taken per day. Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers have picked up some crappie from the marina. Use small live minnows and small jigs. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try cut bait or liver fished on the bottom along shore. Walleye – Fair: Walleye have been picked up from shore using twisters and minnows.

Water temperatures are in the low 50s in most areas lakes. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.


Clear Lake
The lake is at crest. Water temperatures are in the mid-40s. Clear Lake has a protected slot on walleye. All walleye between 17 and 22 inches must be immediately released unharmed. No more than one walleye longer than 22 inches may be taken per day. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try cut bait or crawlers on the wind swept shore and spots where water is flowing into the lake. Walleye – Fair: Use minnows and jigs in the rock reefs and wind-swept points. Wader angler are catching fish on the east shore and around the island. Best bite is after sunset. White Bass – Fair. Yellow Bass – Slow.

Lake Cornelia
Channel Catfish – Fair: Fish the wind swept shore with cut bait. Yellow Bass – Slow.

Rice LakeWater temperature is in the mid-40s. The courtesy docks are not in yet.

Winnebago River
River levels are rising. Northern Pike – Slow. Walleye – Slow: Try a jig and minnow in the current breaks below a dam.

For information on the lakes and rivers in north central Iowa, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.


East Okoboji Lake
Water temperature is in the high 40s. The water level is 1 inch over crest. The walleye season is closed. There has been a fairly good crappie bite recently. Anglers using electronics have been fairly successful finding schools of fish. Black Crappie – Good. Bluegill – Fair. Yellow Bass – Fair.

Minnewashta Lake
The walleye season is closed. Black Crappie – Good.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Walleye – Fair.

Spirit Lake
Water temperature is in the low 40s. The lake is 22 inches below crest making launching boats more difficult. Most courtesy docks are in place. The walleye season is closed. Black Crappie – Fair: Use a tube jig and bobber. Bluegill – Fair.  Yellow Perch – Fair.

West Okoboji Lake
Water temperature is in the low 40s. The water level is 1 inch over crest. The walleye season is closed. Black Crappie – Fair. Bluegill – Fair.

The walleye season for the Iowa Great Lake chain is closed. The season opens back up May 7th. Most courtesy docks are in place. Area water temperatures are lower with the recent cold weather. The Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery currently has walleye and muskellunge eggs in the hatchery. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.


NORTHEAST

Cedar River (above Nashua)
Water levels are stable. Water clarity is much improved after last week’s rains. Fish eddies and current breaks. Channel Catfish – Fair: Catfish are starting to look for food floating their way. Try a hook loaded with a crawler or chub. Northern Pike – Fair: Find pike in shallow vegetated areas out of current. Smallmouth Bass – Slow: Find smallies below the dams; use a nightcrawler. Walleye – Fair: Try worms or minnows under a slip bobber with enough weight to get your bait near the bottom.

Decorah District Streams
Fourth season turkey hunting is open until May 14. Avoid wearing red, white, or blue colors to prevent misidentification by hunters. The 2022 Trout Stream Stocking calendar is available on our Trout Fishing webpage. Clarity is good on most streams. Brook Trout – Good: Numerous insect hatches on sunny afternoons. Use midge, caddis, mayfly or scud patterns for hungry brookies. Brown Trout – Excellent: Rain water flowing into streams is bringing a fresh supply of food for curious brownies.  Try spinner or crankbaits near or around structure. Midge hatches remain strong. Rainbow Trout – Excellent: Freshly stocked rainbow trout are waiting for anglers. Use small spinner baits, hair jigs or hooks tipped with a worm or minnow floating past structure or around large rocks.

Lake Hendricks
Water is stained brown. Water temperature is in the 40s. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Find fish in deeper water near shore with crankbaits or jig tipped with a brightly colored plastic tail.

Lake Meyer
Boat dock is in. A few anglers have been out. Gusty winds are providing casting challenges. Bluegill – Slow: Water temperatures are still cool. Find a cove out of the wind. Use an ice fishing jig tipped with a small piece of worm. Largemouth Bass – Fair: With cooler temperatures, cast your line out with a slow retrieve. Fish drop-offs with crankbaits or a jig with plastic tail.

North Bear Creek
Bridge replacement work is starting on the Sacquitne Bridge on 360th St. Stream access and parking lot remain open; be courteous to workers. Rainbow Trout – Excellent.

Turkey River (below Clermont)
Water levels are slowly rising. Water clarity is fair. Water temperatures is in the 40s. White Sucker – Fair: Use a piece of worm on a hook fished on the stream bottom.

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
Water levels are stable with good clarity. Smallmouth Bass – Slow: Find deeper holes and eddies. Try fishing near the bottom. Walleye – Fair: Anglers are catching 10-inch walleye with a jig tipped with a natural colored twister tail in the edges of eddies.

Volga Lake
Few anglers have been out due to weather. Water temperatures are warming slowly. Docks are in.

A soggy weekend forecast for NE Iowa. Temperatures range from the 40s to 60s through the weekend. Breezy with winds from the east. River and stream water levels remain stable and clear. For current fishing information, please call the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.


Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
No reports on the Cedar River with the recent poor weather conditions. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Cast spinnerbaits or crankbaits near rocky shoreline areas. Walleye – Fair: Cast a jig and plastic tipped with a half crawler or crankbaits.

Manchester District Streams
Manchester District trout streams are on the rise and turbid. The extended forecast for the upcoming weekend is cold and wet conditions.

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
No reports on the Maquoketa River with the recent poor weather conditions. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Cast spinnerbaits or crankbaits near rocky shoreline areas. Walleye – Fair: Cast a jig and plastic tipped with a half crawler or crankbaits.

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
No reports on the Shell Rock River with the recent poor weather conditions. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Cast spinnerbaits or crankbaits near rocky shoreline areas. Walleye – Fair: Cast a jig and plastic tipped with a half crawler or crankbaits.

Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
No reports on the Wapsipinicon River with the recent poor weather conditions. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Cast spinnerbaits or crankbaits near rocky shoreline areas. Walleye – Fair: Cast a jig and plastic tipped with a half crawler or crankbaits.

The spring weather is taking it’s toll on both fish and anglers. Fishing and angling efforts have been poor with the recent and extended forecast of cold, wind and rain. No reports on lakes and river;  streams are rising and turbid. Manchester District area trout streams are rising and muddy. Contact the Manchester Hatchery at 563-927-3276 for more information.


MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9
Water level at Lansing fell to 10.6 feet and is expected to continue receding over the next week. Water is stained; some debris is coming downriver. Water temperature is 46 degrees. Army road is closed due to high water. Bluegill – Fair: Use light tackle tipped with piece of worm in areas away from current along the weed edges in backwaters. Northern Pike – Fair: The bite has improved post-spawn. Cast crankbaits off vegetation lines. Sauger – Slow: Use hair jigs with minnows in slacker current near tailwater areas. Walleye – Slow: Try hair jigs or drifting a crawler on three-way rigs in current breaks and structure near shoreline of the tailwaters or side channel structure. Yellow Perch – Fair: Perch bite has slowed this week. Try jigging minnows or a piece of crawler; avoid the heavy current.

Mississippi River Pool 10
Water level at Lynxville fell to 620.6 and is expected to continue receding this week. Water is stained; some debris is coming downriver. Rollers are out at the dam. Water temperature is 48 degrees. Bluegill – Fair: Use light tackle tipped with piece of worm in areas away from current along the weed edges in backwaters. Northern Pike –  Fair: The bite has improved post-spawn. Cast crankbaits off vegetation lines. Sauger – Slow: Try hair jigs with minnows in slacker current near tailwater areas. Walleye – Slow: Try hair jigs or drifting a crawler on three-way rigs in current breaks and structure near shoreline of the tailwaters or side channel structure. Yellow Perch – Slow: Perch bite has slowed this week. Try jigging minnows or a piece of crawler; avoid the heavy current.

Mississippi River Pool 11
Water level fell to 11.9 feet and is expected to continue receding this week. Water is stained; some debris is coming downriver. Rollers are all open at the dam. Water temperature is 47 degrees. Bluegill – Fair: Use light tackle tipped with piece of worm in areas away from current along the weed edges in backwaters. Northern Pike – Slow: The bite has improved post-spawn. Cast crankbaits off vegetation lines. Sauger – Slow: Some smaller sauger are being caught on twister tail jigs in tailwater areas. Try hair jigs with minnows in slacker current near tailwater areas. Walleye –  Slow: Try hair jigs or drifting a crawler on three-way rigs in current breaks and structure near shoreline of the tailwaters or side channel structure. Yellow Perch – Fair: Perch bite has slowed this week. Try jigging minnows or use a piece of crawler.

Upper Mississippi River levels are high and expected to gradually recede. A lot of debris is coming downriver, making fishing difficult. Water temperature is in the upper 40s. Walleye slot length limits now apply on the entire Iowa border of the Mississippi River. All walleyes less than 15 inches long and between 20-27 inches must be immediately released. One walleye over 27 inches may be kept. Walleye/sauger combined daily limit 6/possession 12.


Mississippi River Pool 12
Water levels are 12.1 feet at the Lock and Dam and 14.2 feet at the RR bridge. Water clarity is fair. Water levels are receding. Water temperature is around 50 degrees. Black Crappie – Fair: Some crappie are being taken in marina areas around docks. Northern Pike – Fair: Some pike are being taken on spinner rigs. Pike fishing has been variable this spring. Sauger – Slow: Walleye and sauger angling has started out slow in Pool 12; most anglers are using jig and minnow rigs. Yellow Perch – Fair: Spring can be a good season to hit tailwater yellow perch. Minnow heads and worms are the preferred bait.

Mississippi River Pool 13
The water level at the Bellevue Lock is receding at near 13.4 feet. The water temperature is around 43 degrees. Boat ramps are open; some debris is floating due to higher water. The Bellevue DNR ramp is experiencing some minor flooding. The Lock and Dam gates are open. Black Crappie – Fair: Some crappie are being taken in marina areas around docks. Northern Pike – No Report: Pike should start biting on sunny days; use gaudy white spinners. Paddlefish – No Report: Paddlefish season is closed for the year. Rainbow Trout – Good: The kids trout pond just north of the DNR station is stocked with rainbow trout. You can only keep two trout per child. This area will be full of aquatic vegetation in the late spring and summer, so now is the time to fish with your kids. Sauger – Slow: Fishing pressure has been heavy when the is weather is warm. The bite has been slow, but some nice fish were reported. Yellow Perch – Fair: Ice-out catches of yellow perch can often be found in the tailwaters. The bite has been good at times; most anglers are using worms for bait.

Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level at the Fulton Lock and Dam is receding at 13.3 feet, 15.5 feet at Camanche, and 9.6 feet at Le Claire. Water temperature is around 50 degrees in the main channel. Water clarity is fair.  Black Crappie – Fair: Some crappie are being taken in marina areas around docks. A few reported around the fallen trees at Rock Creek. Northern Pike – No Report: Pike are spawning; no report on any angling for them. Paddlefish – No Report: Paddlefish season is closed for the year. Sauger – Slow: Boat ramps are all open, but angling has been slow. Yellow Perch – No Report: Lots of small perch are in the system; the future for yellow perch fishing looks bright in Pool 14. The tailwaters can be a great early spot for perch when the ice recedes.

Mississippi River Pool 15
The water level is 14.1 feet at Rock Island; this is action flood stage. The water temperature is near 50 degrees. Water clarity is fair. Bluegill – No Report: Not a lot of backwater bluegill habitat exists on Pool 15 outside of marina areas.

Cold windy conditions persist on the Mississippi River; some fishing is progressing.  Fishing pressure has been heavy when the weather is nice. Water levels are dropping throughout the district. Water temperatures are near the 50s throughout the district. If you have angling questions, please call the Bellevue Fisheries Management Station at 563-880-8781.


Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 13.09 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and is falling. Flood stage is 15 feet. Fishing has been slow. Bluegill – Fair: Some bluegills are being caught in Sunset Marina; use pieces of worm under a bobber. Walleye – Slow: Look for walleyes below the Lock and Dam and in Sylvan Slough. Try vertical jigging with minnows or trolling three-way rigs with minnows.  White Bass – No Report: Look for white bass in Sylvan Slough. Use jigs and twister tails. Some white bass are also being caught in Sunset Marina. White Crappie – Fair: Look for crappies in the backwaters. Try jigs and minnows or minnows under a bobber. Look for fish around brush piles in Sunset Marina or the Andalusia Island complex.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 12.71 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and is falling. Flood stage is 15 feet. The gates are out of the water at the Lock and Dam. Fishing has been slow with the recent weather and higher water conditions. The ramps at Big Timber and Kilpeck are closed due to high water. Walleye – Slow: Look for walleyes below the Lock and Dam. Try vertical jigging with minnows or trolling three-way rigs with minnows. Some walleye can also be caught fishing along GPC. White Crappie – No Report: Look for crappies in the backwaters. Use jigs and minnows or minnows under a bobber around brush piles in Big Timber and Cleveland Slough.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 14.26 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and is starting to fall. Flood stage is 15 feet. The gates are out of the water at the Lock and Dam. Fishing has been slow. The Toolsboro ramp is closed due to high water. The Ferry Landing ramp is also closed due to high water. Walleye – Slow: Walleye fishing below the dam has been slow. Try vertical jigging with minnows or pulling three-way rigs with minnows. White Crappie – No Report: Look for crappies in the backwaters. Try jigs and minnows or minnows under a bobber around brush piles at Huron Island and Belle Pocket.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 10.35 feet at Lock and Dam 18 and is starting to fall. Flood stage is 10 feet. We have not received any fishing reports for this pool this week. Some boat ramps may be under water. Walleye – No Report: Look for walleyes below the dam. Try fishing with jigs and minnows or trolling three-way rigs with minnows. White Crappie – No Report: Look for crappies in the backwaters around brush piles. Use jigs and minnows or minnows under a bobber.

River stages have been falling the past few days and are forecast to keep falling. Rain in the forecast could change river level predictions. Main channel water clarity is poor. Water temperature is 50 degrees. Fishing has been slow with the recent weather and muddy water conditions. Some areas of the river are above flood stage. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.


SOUTHEAST

Big Hollow Lake
The redesigned boat ramp is open. Black Crappie – Slow: A few crappies are being caught around some of the big brush piles up the lake from the beach. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Find a nice sunny stretch of shoreline out of the wind; work jigs or soft plastic along the edges of the drop-offs to find the bass.

Lake Belva Deer
Water temperature is 50 degrees. Water clarity is good. Black Crappie – Fair: A few crappies are being picked up slow trolling out from the beach. Bluegill – Fair: Most bluegills are in 4-6 feet of water waiting for it to warm up. Try slow trolling at these depths along the habitat. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try fishing the slopes of the mounds at the upper end of the lake and along the old creek channels at the lower end.

Lake Darling
Water temperature is 52 degrees. Water clarity is about 6 feet. Channel Catfish – Fair: Look for catfish in the bays where water is coming in from the overflow tubes of the ponds. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass seem are holding right along the edges of the deep water.

Lost Grove Lake
Water temperature is trying to hold on to 50 degrees. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are picking up a few bluegills in 6-8 feet of water along the edges of the flooded brush on the northside. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Picking up a few early season bass working soft plastics very slowly along the rocks on the north shore.

Skunk River (Coppock to Mississippi River)
The Skunk River was within a foot of being bank full earlier this week and is slowly going back done.

For more information on the above lakes call the Lake Darling Fisheries Office at 319- 694-2430.


Central Park Lake
Water temperatures are in the low 50s. Fishing is slow; most catches have been in deeper water.

Coralville Reservoir
The lake level is 683 feet. Channel Catfish – Fair: Fish the upper end of the lake with cut bait; bite is hit-and-miss with the weather.

Iowa Lake (Iowa Co.)
Water temperatures got into the mid-50s, but have fallen again. Black Crappie – Fair: Look for fish in 8-12 feet of water. Bluegill – Fair: Try fishing on the bottom around structure. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Look for the warmest water.

Lake Macbride
Docks are in. Water temperatures are around 50 degrees. Black Crappie – Fair: Look for crappies around brush or stumps in 10-15 feet of water. Bluegill – Fair: Try fishing over rock piles or stumps in 10-20 feet of water. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Try fishing shallow rock or wood on warm days and deeper water and structure on cooler days. Spotted bass – Fair: Try fishing deeper stumps or mid-depth structure on warmer days. Walleye – Slow: Some fish are on shallow rocky areas spawning, while others are pre/post spawn on nearby structure and drop-offs. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Slow: Find fish deep some days and shallower others; follow the wind and shad.

Mark Pitz

News Director/Weekdays 10am to 2pm on 95.9 KCHA
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