Outdoors

May 19 Iowa Fishing Report

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
Water temperature is around 70 degrees. Black Crappie – Fair: Find crappie along shore near woody structure; use small jigs and minnows.

Black Hawk Lake
The dredge is working in the east basin of the lake. The floating and submerged portions of pipe is marked with buoys. Dredge barges are marked with buoys; boaters should use caution and stay away from the equipment and pipe. Water levels are about 9 inches below the crest of the spillway. Surface water temperature is around 70 degrees. Water clarity is roughly 3 feet. Black Crappie – Good: Most fish are 8- to 11-inches. Find fish close to shore in 1-3 feet of water. Use small hair jigs (with or without bait), small live minnows or marabou jigs fished from shore. Areas along the stone pier, the fish house and along Ice House Point are the most popular spots; fish are being seen anywhere along rocky shorelines and dock/boat lift poles. Bluegill – Fair: Find bluegills along shore. Fish are 6- to 7-inches. Areas along shore in Town Bay and near the stone piers may be most productive. Walleye – Good: The walleye bite has turned on. Anglers are catching fish from shore and by boat. Boat anglers are trolling crankbaits with good success. Shore anglers are doing well using twisters or shallow diving crankbaits. Water clarity is roughly 3 feet. Also try leaches or crawler fished under a bobber from shore.

Brushy Creek Lake
Fishing action has picked up with the warming water temperatures. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappie action has picked up; they are being caught from the jetty and along shore in 5-20 feet of water near submerged trees. Use a small jig (with or without bait) or small minnows on a jig. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use plastics and traditional bass lures along submerged woody structure near shore. Walleye – Fair: Shore anglers are having luck near the beach and at the north end. Try throwing twisters or fishing with minnows or leaches under a bobber. Yellow Perch – Slow.

North Twin Lake
With low water levels, boaters should use caution when launching boats. Black Crappie – Fair: Use small jigs and minnows from shore and along the docks.

Storm Lake (incl Little Storm Lake)
Surface water temperatures are around 70 degrees. Water clarity is around 16 inches in the marina and 2 feet in the main lake. 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: Use small live minnows and small jigs along shore docks, lifts and anywhere with rocky structure. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try cut bait or liver fished on the bottom along shore. Walleye – Fair: The Walleye action has picked up. Try fishing from shore with a lead head with a twister tail. Also try a jig with a crawler or tipped with a minnow. Shallow diving crankbaits can also work well from shore. Boat anglers are having luck with crawler harnesses and trolling crankbaits.

Surface water temperatures are around 70 degrees in most areas lakes. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.

Beeds Lake
Black Crappie – Good: Try small tube jigs fished along downed shoreline trees and the causeway area. Yellow Bass – Fair: Use small jigs or bobbers with live bait.

Clear Lake
Black Crappie – Good: Crappie have moved into rush beds to spawn. Use small jigs and minnows fished in open pockets of the rush beds. Walleye – Good: Try crankbaits trolled over the top of aquatic vegetation in the western basin. Spinner rigs and slip bobbers with live bait are also providing good action. Yellow Bass – Fair: Yellow Bass have moved in to spawn on shallow rocky shorelines. Use small jigs or plastics. Best bite is early morning.

Lake Smith
Black Crappie – Fair: Crappie have moved near shore to spawn. Try small jigs along the dam and off the fishing piers. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use crankbaits and spinnerbaits along the shoreline.

Rice Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs tipped with a piece of night crawler. Largemouth Bass – Good: Cast crankbaits, spinnerbaits and jigs.

Silver Lake (Worth)
Bluegill – Fair: Bluegill are starting to move into shoreline areas to spawn. Use small jigs tipped with a piece of crawler. Largemouth Bass – Excellent: Try crankbaits, spinnerbaits and jigs.

Water temperatures have reached the mid to upper 60s on most northern Iowa lakes. 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
Lake temperature is in the upper 60s. The water level is 3 inches over crest. The walleye season is open. There has been a fairly good crappie bite recently. Anglers using electronics have been fairly successful finding schools of fish. Fish are moving shallower. Black Crappie – Good. Bluegill – Fair. Yellow Bass – Fair.

Minnewashta Lake
Bluegill and crappie fishing has been; some sorting may be needed. Black Crappie – Good. Bluegill – Good.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Walleye – Fair.

Spirit Lake
Water temperature is in the mid-60s. The lake is 17 inches below crest, making launching boats more difficult. Courtesy docks are in place. The walleye season is open. Black Crappie – Fair: Use a tube jig and bobber. Bluegill – Fair. Yellow Perch – Fair.

West Okoboji Lake
Water temperature is in the lower 60s. The water level is 3 inches over crest. The walleye season is open. Black Crappie – Fair. Bluegill – Fair. Largemouth Bass – Fair. Smallmouth Bass – Fair.

Courtesy docks are in place. Area water temperatures have been rising quickly due to very warm weather. Most lakes are in the 60s and at crest or higher levels. Water clarity has been fairly good on most area lakes. Bass and panfish are moving to shallower water from the basins, making shore and dock fishing easier. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.

NORTHEAST

Cedar River (above Nashua)
Water levels are stabilizing with improved clarity. Fish eddies and current breaks. Channel Catfish – Fair: 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 hook tipped with a ringworm, twister tail or nightcrawler. Walleye – Fair: Try worms or minnows under a slip bobber with enough weight to get your bait near the bottom.

Decorah District Streams
The 2022 Trout Stream Stocking calendar is available on our Trout Fishing webpage. Clarity is excellent on most streams; water levels are still low. 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 spinnerbaits or crankbaits near or around structure. Midge and gnat hatches remain strong. Rainbow Trout – Excellent: Freshly stocked rainbow trout are waiting for anglers. Use small spinnerbaits, 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 60s. Black Crappie – Fair: Find crappie in 6 to 8 feet of water. Bluegill – Slow: Bluegills are building nests shallow to prepare for spawning. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use a worm on a hook just off the bottom near stumps. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Find fish near shore with crankbaits or jig tipped with a brightly colored plastic tail.

Lake Meyer
Anglers are finding hit-and-miss action as water warms. Water temperature is in the mid-60s. Black Crappie – Fair: Find crappie in 6 to 8 feet of water around submersed vegetation. 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. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try a chunk of worm or squished minnow fished off the bottom near stumps or other woody debris. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Pre-spawn bass are in shallow. Try 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: Stocked weekly from April through October.

Turkey River (below Clermont)
Water levels are stabilizing with improved clarity. Water temperatures is in the 60s. White Sucker – Good: Use a piece of worm on a hook fished on the stream bottom.

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
Water levels are rising slowly with improved clarity. Water temperatures are in the low 60s. 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. White Sucker – Good: Sucker fishing is heating up with warmer temperatures. Find fish off the bottom using a jig tipped with a worm.

Volga Lake
Water temperatures are warming slowly. Docks are in. The main park road will be closed weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to install a culvert. Access to park from Heron Rd. See park bulletin for more information. Black Crappie – Fair: Use small jigs tipped with plastic tails or minnows off jetties. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are finding gills off the jetties. Try a small piece of worm under a bobber. Channel Catfish – Fair: Trophy-sized catfish are abundant in this lake. Use dead chub or squished minnow fished off the bottom near woody debris. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use crankbaits and a slow retrieve in drop-offs and around brush piles and other attracting structures.

Chance of thunderstorms through Saturday with temperatures ranging from 60s to 40s. Most river and stream water levels rose between 1/2 to a foot with recent rain; most are relatively clear. For current fishing information, please call the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.

Alice Wyth Lake
Anglers are catching crappie.

Big Woods Lake
Anglers are catching crappie with the spawn underway. Black Crappie – Fair: The lake is up, but concentrate your efforts in the shallows near structure; use a crappie minnow under a slip bobber or cast colored tube jigs.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
Anglers are catching walleye and smallmouth bass. 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.

Lake Delhi
Anglers are catching crappie. Concentrate on areas along the shoreline with fallen trees or rocky shoreline. Black Crappie – Good: Try a crappie minnow under a slip bobber or cast colored tube jigs in the shallows near structure.

Manchester District Streams
Manchester District trout streams are in excellent condition. Next week’s weather forecast should produce intense hatches for topwater fly fishing action. Brown Trout – Good: Use small jigs or spinnerbaits. Try fly fishing topwater with the upcoming warm weather. Rainbow Trout – Good: Try small jigs or spinnerbaits.

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
Reports walleye and smallmouth bass being caught on the Maquoketa River. 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 of anglers catching channel catfish on the Shell Rock River. Channel Catfish – Good: Look for fallen tree snags anchoring above; use chicken livers or stink bait rigs. 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)
Anglers are catching walleye, smallmouth bass and channel catfish on the Wapsipinicon River. Channel Catfish – Fair: Look for fallen tree snags anchoring above; use chicken livers or stink bait rigs. 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.

Interior rivers and cold water trout streams are in excellent condition. Anglers are catching some walleye on the interior rivers. Black Hawk County area lakes have been good for crappie with the recent spawn. Contact your local area bait shops for the most recent hot spots. For more information, contact the Manchester Hatchery at 563-927-3276.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9
Water level is 11.1 feet at Lansing and is expected to rise. Ramps have some water over them. Water is stained; some debris is coming downriver. Water temperature is 65 degrees. Army road is closed due to high water. Black Crappie – Good: Anglers are catching crappies in the flooded timber on crappie rigs with minnows. Bluegill – Good: Use light tackle tipped with piece of worm in areas away from current along the weed edges in backwaters. Channel Catfish – Good: Expect the catfish bite to pick up with a warm-up in temperatures. Try cut bait or crawlers fished along current breaks of side channels. Flathead Catfish – Good: The flathead bite is picking up with the warmer temperatures. Try a shiner or small bluegill for bait. Freshwater Drum – Fair: Freshwater drum bite is coming on. Use a weighted crawler rig in the current anywhere from shore. Largemouth Bass – Good: Cast jigs or jerk baits in woody cover in the shallows of backwaters. Northern Pike – Slow: Cast crankbaits off vegetation lines or near the mouth of tributary streams. Sauger – Fair: Use hair jigs with minnows in slacker current near tailwater areas. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Smallmouth are getting more active along main channel rock structure. Cast inline spinners or crankbaits along the faster current. Walleye – Fair: 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 is 620.9 at Lynxville and is expected to to rise several feet. Ramps have some water over them. Water clarity is fair; some debris is coming downriver. Rollers are out at the dam. Water temperature is 66 degrees. Black Crappie – Good: Anglers are catching crappies in the flooded timber on crappie rigs with minnows. Bluegill – Fair: Use light tackle tipped with piece of worm in areas away from current along the weed edges in backwaters. Channel Catfish – Fair: Expect the catfish bite to pick up with a warm-up in temperatures. Try cut bait or crawlers fished along current breaks of side channels. Flathead Catfish – Good: The flathead bite is picking up with the warmer temperatures. Try a shiner or small bluegill for bait. Freshwater Drum – Fair: Freshwater drum bite is coming on. Use a weighted crawler rig in the current anywhere from shore. Largemouth Bass – Good: Cast jigs or jerk baits in woody cover in the shallows of backwaters. Northern Pike – Fair: Cast crankbaits off vegetation lines or near the mouth of tributary streams.. Sauger – Slow: Try hair jigs with minnows in slacker current near tailwater areas. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Smallmouth are getting more active along main channel rock structure. Cast inline spinners or crankbaits along the faster current. Walleye – Good: Use hair jigs or drift 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 11
Water level is 11.7 feet and is expected to rise several feet. Ramps have some water over them. Water is stained; some debris is coming downriver. Rollers are out at the dam. Water temperature is near 60 degrees. Black Crappie – Good: Anglers are catching crappies in the flooded timber on crappie rigs with minnows. Bluegill – Fair: Use light tackle tipped with piece of worm in areas away from current along the weed edges in backwaters. Channel Catfish – Fair: Expect the catfish bite to pick up with a warm-up in temperatures. Try cut bait or crawlers fished along current breaks of side channels. Flathead Catfish – Good: The flathead bite is picking up with the warmer temperatures. Try a shiner or small bluegill for bait. Freshwater Drum – Fair: Freshwater drum bite is coming on. Use a weighted crawler rig in the current anywhere from shore. Largemouth Bass – Good: Cast jigs or crankbaits in woody cover in the shallows of backwaters. Northern Pike – Slow: Cast crankbaits off vegetation lines or near the mouth of tributary streams. Sauger – Slow: Try hair jigs with minnows in slacker current near tailwater areas. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Smallmouth are getting more active along main channel rock structure. Cast inline spinners or crankbaits along the faster current. Walleye – Slow: Use hair jigs or drift 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 predicted to rise another two feet. Anglers report a mixed bag of species with warmer temperatures in the 60s. Water clarity is fair iwht some debris moving down river. 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 11.4 feet at the Lock and Dam and 13.5 feet at the RR bridge. Water clarity is good. Water levels are rising. Water temperature is around 65 degrees. Bluegill – Good: Check various harbors in Dubuque for bluegills; use a worm and bobber in 3 feet or less of water. Bobber and worm rigs work best. Channel Catfish – Good: Channel cats are just starting to bite and being picked up occasionally by bluegill anglers in the backwaters. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Lots of drum are taken in areas of moderate current with a egg sinker and worm rig. Keep fish on ice if you plan to eating them; they can be very good table fare. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass of all sizes are being reported mostly from backwater areas on spinnerbaits and swimbaits. Northern Pike – Slow: Pike were reported frequently earlier this year, but not much lately. Expect them to be on the feed; their populations are quite robust on the River. Sauger – Slow: Walleye and sauger angling has started out slow in Pool 12; most anglers are using jig and minnow rigs. With warmer weather, it is hoped they start to move in on the wing dams. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Use a spinnerbait or crankbait along rock lines with moderate current. White Crappie – Good: Crappie are being taken in marina areas and backwaters. Use a minnow attached to small jig head in 3 feet of water or less. Yellow Perch – Good: Spring can be a good season to hit tailwater yellow perch. Minnow heads and worms are the preferred bait. Keep the worm short and straight on your hooks.

Mississippi River Pool 13
The water level at the Bellevue Lock is rising at near 12.2 feet. The water temperature is around 65 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. Bluegill – Good: Try a simple bobber and worm in the Sabula area backwaters. Channel Catfish – Good: The channel cat bite has started; most anglers are using prepared catfish baits or cut shad. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Lots of drum are taken in areas of moderate current with a egg sinker and worm rig. Keep your fish on ice if plan to eat them; they can be very good table fare. Largemouth Bass – Good: Nice bass are being caught in the Spring Lake area; other places in the pool are producing bass of all sizes. Most anglers are using spinnerbaits or swimbaits. 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: Now is your final opportunity to fish the Bellevue Kids pond until this fall. Some trout remain in the pond, but it will soon be covered in vegetation. Sauger – Slow: The bite has been somewhat slow, but some nice fish were reported. White Bass – Fair: Small white bass have been reported in the tailwater area; anglers are using small white jigs or spinners. White Crappie – Good: Use small minnows in brush piles in backwater areas. The fish will be shallow in 1 to 3 feet of water. Yellow Perch – Good: 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 rising at 11.5 feet, 14.0 feet at Camanche, and 8.4 feet at Le Claire. Water temperature is around 66 degrees in the main channel. Water clarity is good. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are on the bite throughout Pool 14; use a simple bobber and worm rig in 3 feet of water or less. Channel Catfish – Good: Try prepared cut bait or stink bait. They are preparing to spawn and can be very vulnerable to angling right now. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Lots of drum are taken in areas of moderate current with a egg sinker and worm rig. Keep your fish on ice if you plan to eat them; they can be very good table fare. Largemouth Bass – Good: Lots of bass of all sizes are being taken out of the larger backwater areas like Sunfish Lake and the Rock Creek Complex. Northern Pike – No Report: Pike are plentiful in Pool 14; anglers fishing northerns or even crappies will run across them. Paddlefish – No Report: Paddlefish season is closed for the year. Sauger – Fair: Reports of walleye and sauger being caught out of Pool 14 in some of the larger sloughs. Anglers are mainly using crankbaits. White Crappie – Good: Some crappie are being taken in marina areas around docks. A few reported around the fallen trees at Rock Creek. 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 .

Mississippi River Pool 15
The water level is rising at 8.2 feet at Rock Island. The water temperature is near 67 degrees. Water clarity is good. Bluegill – No Report: Try marina areas as few backwaters exist on Pool 15. Channel Catfish – Good: Pool 15 is home to a large population of channel catfish. The channel cats bite has just started with most anglers picking them up on worms and prepared cut baits. Freshwater Drum – Excellent: Lots of drum are taken in areas of moderate current with a egg sinker and worm rig. Keep your fish on ice if you plan to eat them; they can be very good table fare.

Lots of fishing reported this week; conditions for fishing on the river are good. Water levels are slightly rising. Water temperatures are in the mid to upper 60’s 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 11.55 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and has been falling the past few days. River stage is forecast to stay fairly steady over the weekend. Flood stage is 15 feet. Bluegill – Fair: Some bluegills are being caught in Sunset Marina; use pieces of worm under a bobber. Channel Catfish – Fair: Some channel catfish are being caught on crawlers and stink baits around brush piles and snags. Walleye – Slow: Walleye fishing has been slow with the highwater conditions. Look for walleyes on the wing dams. Cast crankbaits or troll three-way rigs with crawlers. 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 10.56 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and has been falling the past few days. Tailwater stage is forecast to stay fairly steady over the weekend. Flood stage is 15 feet. The gates are out of the water at the Lock and Dam. The ramp at Big Timber is closed due to high water. Bluegill – No Report: Look for bluegills in the backwaters. Try jigs and plastics or pieces of worm under a bobber around brush piles at Big Timber and Cleveland Slough. Walleye – Slow: Walleye fishing has been slow with the higher water conditions. Look for walleyes on the wing dams. Cast crankbaits or troll three-way rigs with crawlers. 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 12.00 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and has been falling the past few days. River stage is forecast to stay fairly steady over the weekend. 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 open, but the water is at the top of the ramp which could make launching boats difficult. Bluegill – No Report: Look for bluegills in the backwaters. Try pieces of worm under a bobber or jigs and plastics around brush piles. Channel Catfish – No Report: Look for channel catfish around brush piles and snags. Use stink bait and crawlers. Walleye – Slow: Look for walleyes on the wing dams. Cast crankbaits or troll three-way rigs with crawlers. 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 8.32 feet at Lock and Dam 18 and is falling. Flood stage is 10 feet. We have not received any fishing reports for this pool this week.

River stages have been falling the past few days, but are forecast to stay fairly steady over the weekend. Main channel water clarity is fair to poor. Water temperature is 68 degrees. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

SOUTHEAST

Big Hollow Lake
Water temperature was 78 degrees earlier this week. Curly-leaf pondweed is starting to grow; the duckweed is off to a slow start. Black Crappie – Good: Crappies remain in 14-16 feet of water. Anglers are catching them using vertical jigging. Bluegill – Fair: A few bluegill are starting to move in shallow; crappie anglers are catching some while fishing in deeper water. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Run something flashy along the edges of the flooded timber or cast soft plastics into the flooded timber.

Deep Lakes
Water clarity is always excellent. Water temperature is in the mid to upper 70s. Water level is low. Bluegill – Good: Nice-sized bluegills are being caught in shallow on the spawning beds and along the weed line. Use bobber and worms. Largemouth Bass – Good: Find bass cruising the shallows A finesse presentation with a “non-flashy” bait works best in this ultra-clear water. Redear Sunfish – Good: The redears stocked a few years ago are coming on. Try fishing right next to the bottom and out a little deeper than bluegills.

Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River)
The Iowa River is dropping at a good rate; it is forecast to drop another foot by next Wednesday. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use live baits like nightcrawlers and minnows.

Lake Belva Deer
Water temperature is 75 degrees. Water clarity is about 9 feet. Curly-leaf pondweed is growing fast. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappies remain out along the outer edges of the weed beds and the edges of the flooded timber. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are picking up bluegills in deeper water while crappie fishing. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Some males are moving in to set up nests. The rest seem are holding out in deeper water.

Lake Darling
Water temperature is 75 degrees. Water clarity remains at about 6 feet. Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers are catching good numbers of crappies on the deeper (8-10 feet) habitat on slip bobber and minnow. Bluegill – Good: Work the rock piles and cedar trees in 4-5 feet of water. Also look for a few spawning beds that are getting started. Largemouth Bass – Good: Some are moving in to set up nests, but many remain in 5-6 feet of water around brush and rock piles. Spinnerbaits and noisy crankbaits are catching their attention.

Lost Grove Lake
Water temperature is around 73-74 degrees. Weed beds are growing up now. Water clarity remains very good. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappies are done with the spawn. You can still find them in 12-15 feet of water along the tree line. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are holding out in 3-4 feet of water along the edges of the weed beds; some are starting to spawn. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass fishing is picking up with males coming in and building nest. Concentrate most of your effort along the edges of the trees and other habitat in 4-5 feet of water. Soft plastics and weedless jigs with trailers will help you keep from getting snagged up in the brush.

Skunk River (Rose Hill to Coppock)
The skunk is holding at about 2/3 bank full. A few boats are getting out and catching nice catfish. No reports on if the flatheads are moving yet.

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

Cedar River (Cedar Rapids to Moscow)
Shovelnose Sturgeon – Good: Try a crawler on the bottom.

Central Park Lake
Black Crappie – Fair. Bluegill – Good. Channel Catfish – Fair. Largemouth Bass – Good. Redear Sunfish – Good.

Coralville Reservoir
Channel Catfish – Fair: Try drifting or trolling cut bait in the channel.

Diamond Lake
Black Crappie – Good: Look for spawning fish along the shallow rock or brush. Bluegill – Fair. Channel Catfish – Fair.

Green Castle Lake
Black Crappie – Fair. Bluegill – Fair.

Lake Macbride
Water temperatures are in the low 70s. Black Crappie – Slow: Some fish are shallow while some are deep. Bluegill – Fair: Try fishing over rock. Most fish are smaller. Largemouth Bass – Good: Try fishing the weedlines or on rocky banks. Walleye – Slow: Lots of small fish are being caught shallow. Try deeper rock or flats for bigger fish.

Sand Lake
Black Crappie – Fair. Bluegill – Fair. Rainbow Trout – Fair: You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Wapsipinicon River (Troy Mills to Oxford Junction)
Smallmouth Bass – Good: Try crankbaits along rocky shores.

For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.

Hawthorn Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Try small jigs along the shoreline as the water warms. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use plastics around submerged structure and the shoreline.

Lake Miami
Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs along the shoreline. Try different colors until you find the right combo. Channel Catfish – Slow: Try dead chubs around the shoreline. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use spinnerbaits and crankbaits around the jetties and shorelines.

Lake Sugema
Black Crappie – Fair: Use small jigs and minnows around the flooded trees as the water warms. Largemouth Bass – Good: Try plastics or spinnerbaits around structure.

Lake Wapello
Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers are catching some crappies with jigs. Look for structure to hold fish. Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs along the shoreline as these fish start to spawn. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try rubber worms or other plastics fished around the cedar tree piles.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 905.70 msl; recreation pool is 904 msl. Lake Rathbun has zebra mussels so make sure to properly drain, clean and dry equipment before transporting to another waterbody. Black Crappie – Slow: Crappies are starting to bite, but are still not real aggressive. This should improve with warmer temperatures. Water temperature is in the lower 60s. Channel Catfish – Slow: Try dead chubs or shad sides. Walleye – Fair: Anglers are catching some walleyes with jig and minnow combos. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: Try vertically jigging around rock piles or trolling crankbaits.

Red Haw Lake
Red Haw State Park will partially reopen on Friday, May 20th. Visitors can access the beach and north boat ramp area, but are asked to avoid the campground. Bluegill – Fair: Try small jigs along the shoreline.

Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions about fishing in south central Iowa.

SOUTHWEST

Big Creek Lake
The Williams Drive and West Boat Ramps will be closed until around Memorial Day. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappies have started to movie shallow. Try minnows under a float or cast panfish tube jigs, twister tails, and swimbaits near shoreline rock and treefalls. Walleye – Good: Catch walleye in the evenings from shore just before and after sunset; cast jigs with twister tails, swimbaits or live bait. Boat anglers can catch walleye jigging or trolling live bait rigs over humps, near points, and near creek channel drop-offs along flats. A good starting area is out from the marina around to the beach.

Des Moines River (Saylorville to Red Rock)
Walleye – Fair: Use twister tails, swimbaits or live minnows on jigs. White Bass – Good: Cast twister tails, swimbaits, spoons and in-line spinners below the dams in Des Moines. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Good: Try twister tails, swimbaits or live minnows on jigs below the dams in Des Moines and below Red Rock.

Don Williams Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Cast panfish jigs or live minnows under a float near wood next to shore. Crappies are also suspended just off shore; slowly trolling twister tail jigs 3 to 6 feet deep.

Red Rock Reservoir
White Crappie – Good: Try live minnows, panfish tube jigs or twister tails near riprap and wood off the main lake protected from wind and wave action.

For information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers contact Ben Dodd at 641-891-3795 or Andy Otting at 515-204-5885.

Greenfield Lake
Spawning crappies can still be caught; bass fishing is good. Black Crappie – Fair: Greenfield has a good year class of 8- to 10-inch black crappie. Concentrate your effort around the jetties and along the dam. Bluegill – Fair: Cast the shoreline and move often to find spawning bluegill. Largemouth Bass – Good: Greenfield has a good largemouth bass population with a good percentage of fish more than 15-inches.

Lake Anita
Black Crappie – Fair: Look for spawning crappies on the sides of underwater reefs and around the jetties. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are moving up on the reefs. Cast small jigs to find spawning bluegill. Largemouth Bass – Good: Lake Anita has a good bass population.

Meadow Lake
Water clarity is good causing curly-leaf pondweed to grow to the surface. This can make fishing difficult; the DNR will treat the lake this week. Black Crappie – Fair: Shore anglers are finding spawning crappies around the jetties. Largemouth Bass – Good.

Nodaway Lake
Water clarity is 25 inches. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappies are spawning along the dam. Bluegill – Good: Cast the shoreline moving often to find spawning bluegill. Channel Catfish – No Report: The lake has good numbers of 22-inch channel catfish. Largemouth Bass – Good: Anglers report very good bass fishing this week.

Orient Lake
Water clarity is fair so far. Black Crappie – Fair: Cast the dam and the rock around the pumphouse to find late spawning crappies. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are spawning in multiple locations around the lake. Move often to find 8-inch fish.

Prairie Rose Lake
Water clarity is good. Black Crappie – Good: Crappies are at the end of their spawn. Concentrate on the ends of the underwater reefs to catch late spawning crappie. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are spawning and can be caught on the underwater reefs and the pea-gravel spawning beds in the lake. Largemouth Bass – Good.

Viking Lake
Viking lake is 20 inches low. Access to the lake by boat and shore has improved. Black Crappie – Fair: Viking will be a good destination for crappie fishing in 2022. Look for late spawning crappie by fishing rocky shorelines; move often. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills have gained size and are in good body condition due to the drawdown. Bluegills should be spawning now. Largemouth Bass – No Report: Viking Lake has a very good largemouth bass population and will provide quality bass fishing in 2022.

For information on lakes in the Southwest District call the Cold Springs office at 712-769-2587.

Green Valley Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Catch crappie up to 11-inches with jigs fished near cedar tree brush piles or rocky shoreline areas .

Lake Icaria
Docks are in at all boat ramps. Black Crappie – Fair: Catch crappie up to 10-inches with jigs fished near rocky shoreline areas. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try cut bait along wind-blown shorelines to catch channel catfish of all sizes.

Little River Watershed Lake
The dock is in at main ramp. Black Crappie – Fair: Use a jig tipped with live bait fished along rocky shoreline areas or weed lines to catch crappie up to 11-inches. Bluegill – Fair: Catch bluegill up to 8.5 inches with worms under a bobber fished along rocky shoreline areas.

Three Mile Lake
Courtesy docks are in place at the main ramp. Black Crappie – Fair: Catch crappie up to 11-inches with jigs tipped with live bait fished near rocky shoreline areas. Walleye – Slow: Use jigs or crankbaits along weed lines or the roadbed to catch walleye of all sizes.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake
The dock is in at the main ramp. Black Crappie – Good: Catch crappie up to 11-inches with jigs or live bait fished near cedar tree brush piles or rocky shoreline areas. Bluegill – Fair: Try nightcrawlers fished under a bobber in shallow bays and rocky shoreline areas to catch bluegill up to 8.5-inches.

Water temperature is in the upper 60s to low 70s at most Mount Ayr district lakes. For more information, call the Mount Ayr Fisheries office at 641-464-3108.

Chris Berg

Chris was born in Webster City and raised in Charles City. As a young kid, he would always be caught singing along to songs on the radio. He says he's good at karaoke but we think otherwise. ;) In his free time, he enjoys beginning new projects at home and hardly ever finishing them. Chris lives in Charles City with his wife Vicki, daughter Brynlee and son Jaxon.
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