Monday, January 30th, 2023
Monday, January 30th, 2023

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Iowa Statewide Fishing Report for April 21

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing
report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information
heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled
from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel
surveys, and county and state parks staff. For current information,
contact the district fisheries office at the phone number listed at
the end of each district report.

NORTHWEST

Brushy Creek Lake

Not a lot of fishing activity at Brushy Creek.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

Anglers are allowed three walleye per day, all fish between 17 and
22 inches must be released; only one of the three fish can be over
22 inches. Boaters should use caution on Storm Lake. The hydraulic
dredge is in operation in the east basin of the lake. There is a
pipeline running from the dredge to the shoreline and may rise to
the surface at times. Walleye – Fair: The cold weather last week
and weekend slowed the bite. Fishing should pick up when the
weather warms again. Anglers are reporting a very light bite on
minnows under a bobber. Give the fish time to take the bait before
setting the hook.

Swan Lake

Little to no fishing activity on Swan Lake.

Black Hawk Lake

Water temperature was 41 degrees on April 19. Channel Catfish –
Good: Fish the windward shorelines or look for current. Fish on the
bottom with gizzard shad guts or cut bait. A lot of 3 to 4 pound
channel cats are being caught. Walleye – Slow: Some walleye are
being caught from the east shore. Float a live minnow under a
bobber and fish just off the bottom. Also, try casting a 2-inch
white or fire tiger twister. Yellow Bass – Slow: Some nice yellow
bass were caught last week, but fishing has slowed for them. Try
casting a small, bright colored jig along the windward
shorelines.

Browns Lake

Navigational buoys are now in the lake.

Snyder Bend Lake

Navigational buoys are now in the lake.

Arrowhead Lake

Nice sized bluegills have been biting in the north end of
Arrowhead. Some anglers have been targeting the south end.

Little Sioux River (Linn Grove to Correctionville)

Fishing has shut down on the Little Sioux below the Linn Grove Dam
due to the recent weather.

Fishing has slowed considerably from the past weekend/week. Water
temperature dropped over the past week. For more information on
lakes and rivers in this area contact Ben Wallace or Don Herrig at
the Black Hawk District Office in Lake View at 712-657-2638.

Clear Lake

The water temperature has remained in the 40s but the recent
weather has slowed fish activity. Panfish and muskie had been
active in the canals before the cold weather. A few walleye were
still biting along the east shore for anglers using jigs with
minnows. Yellow bass remain slow yet, but it may only take a few
days of warm weather and they will be biting.

Winnebago River

A few pike were caught from Fertile south towards Mason City. Work
your baits slow and try a variety of lures.

Fishing this past week has been tough with the colder weather. For
more fishing information contact the Clear Lake station at
641-357-3517.

Big Spirit Lake

Bullhead – Fair: Some fish are starting to be caught along the
north grade. White Bass – Slow: Try fishing along rocky bottoms
near Jackson Point. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Some fish were reported
last week. Try fishing along rocky shorelines and points. Crappie –
Slow: Fishing has slowed for crappie this week with the wind and
cold weather

East Okoboji Lake

White Bass – Fair: Anglers are catching white bass on the north
side of the lake, the Hwy. 9 Bridge, and along the west shoreline
near Hwy. 71.

Little Sioux River (state line to Linn Grove)

Walleye – Good: Try using a jig and minnow with slow
presentation.

Area lakes have seen very little fishing pressure this past week
with the cold weather and wind. Area rivers are starting to come up
again with recent rainfalls.

Walleye season is closed at Big Spirit Lake, East Okoboji Lake and
West Okoboji Lake until May 7. For more information, call the
Spirit Lake fish hatchery at 712-336-1840.

NORTHEAST

Volga Lake

Recent weather has slowed some angling activity. Crappie – Slow:
Try using a small jig tipped with a wax worm over structure. Fish
should be starting to hang around the shallow, warmer water.

Lake Hendricks

A few anglers have been out, but not much is happening. Bluegill –
Slow: Largemouth Bass – Slow: Crappie – Slow: Anglers are using wax
worms with some luck.

Lake Meyer

Very little activity on the lake.

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)

Water clarity is excellent. Fish activity is slow.

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)

Anglers have been reporting lots of activity from Hwy. 76 Bridge to
the mouth. Sucker – Slow: Northern Pike – Slow: Pike have been
caught using crankbaits while fishing for walleye. Smallmouth Bass
– Fair: Yellow Perch – Excellent: Anglers are drifting a small
chunk of worm on a hook with a slip bobber. Walleye – Good: Anglers
are reporting nice size walleyes are being caught using jigs and
twister tails.

Wapsi River (state line to Tripoli)

We have received no information regarding fishing on this water
body this week.

Cedar River (above Nashua)

Northern Pike – Slow: Many anglers are catching pike while fishing
for walleye. Best bet for a pike is using live chubs. Channel
Catfish – Slow: Catfish are hitting dead chubs above the dam in
Nashua. Walleye – Slow:

Decorah District Streams

Blue Wing Olive and Dark Hendrickson mayflies continue to hatch
heavily on northeast Iowa streams. #12, #14 and #16 Adams dry flies
have recently taken many trout. On warmer afternoons, try a #14 or
#16 Deer or Elk Hair caddis for the occasional caddis hatch. For
the spin fisher, try using dark jigs. For stocking information,
please call 563-927-5736 or visit our website.

Area lakes are slowly warming but activity has been slow. The area
received 3 to 5 inches of snow early in the week, but rivers seem
to be handling the precipitation and are fishable. Action may pick
up with weekend warming. Trout streams are in excellent condition.
For more information, contact the Decorah Fish Hatchery at
563-382-8324.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)

Water levels are dropping and anglers are catching a few walleyes.
Walleye – Fair: Jig and minnow combinations have been best.

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)

The Shell Rock River is starting to drop again after a slight rise;
conditions should again be favorable with little or no major
rainfall events. Walleye – Fair: Jig and minnow combinations have
been working best.

Wapsi River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)

The river is dropping in Buchanan County and there have been
reports of walleye being caught on the Wapsipinicon River. Angling
below low head dams can be productive this time of year. Walleye –
Fair: A jig tipped with a large minnow has been the best
combination for walleye right now.

Manchester District Trout Streams

Trout streams are slowly dropping but should be good by the
weekend. Call the Manchester district office for the most recent
conditions at 563-927-3276.

The interior rivers are falling due to recent rainfall events and
should only improve with no additional heavy rains. Anglers are
still reporting catches of walleye on the Cedar and Shell Rock
rivers. Trout streams in the Manchester district are now falling
and conditions should be good for the upcoming weekend. For further
information contact the Manchester district office at
563-927-3276.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 12

River stage in Dubuque is 22.29 feet and is forecast to drop over
the next week. The river crested Tuesday at 22.82 feet and was the
fifth highest crest on record. Water clarity is fair and water
temperature is in the mid 40s. The ramps in Dubuque and East
Dubuque are still usable. The campground and ramp at Massey Marina
Park is underwater. The campground at Spruce Creek Park is
underwater and closed, but the ramp is still usable.

Mississippi River Pool 13

River stage in Bellevue is 20.47 feet and is forecast to fall over
the next week. The river crested on Wednesday at 20.58 feet and was
the fourth highest crest on record. Water clarity is fair and water
temperature is in the mid 40s. All ramps except the downtown Sabula
City Ramp are currently under water and are unusable. The Hwy. 52
causeway between Sabula and Savanna, Ill., is also closed due to
high water.

Mississippi River Pool 14

River stage in Camanche is 21.91 feet and is forecast to rise to
22.1 feet on Friday. This will be the fourth highest crest on
record. Water clarity is poor and water temperature is in the mid
40s. All area ramps are closed due to the flooding.

For fishing information in Pool 12-15 of the Mississippi River
contact the Bellevue fish management and research station at
563-872-4976

SOUTHEAST

Lake Odessa

The ramps at Odessa are all underwater as the water level has been
brought up to help prevent damage to the levee from the rising
Mississippi. The Toolesboro Road is also closed as water is going
over the spillway.

Lake Geode

Cold weather has slowed fishing. Look for it to pick back up with
the return of warmer weather. Channel Catfish – Slow: Work the
shoreline where the wind is blowing in. Minnows or cut baits will
be the ticket. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Hit the warm windy
afternoons along the shoreline where the wind is blowing in to find
the bass. Minnows or crankbaits would be my baits of choice.

Lake Belva Deer

Channel Catfish – Slow: The catfish have slowed with the recent
cold weather. Target catfish along the windblown shorelines using
cut bait. Largemouth Bass – Slow: The bass are coming in shallow on
the warmer afternoons to chase little bluegills. Your best chance
is during the windier days when the fish can’t see you. Crappie –
Slow: Wait for the return of the really warm windy afternoons the
crappies have been coming into the shallow to feed.

Lake of the Hills

The cold weather does not seem to affect the trout. Rainbow Trout –
Good: Worms on the bottom seem to be the biggest producing bait
right now. Although on some days flies, spinners, and jigs can hold
their own. Channel Catfish – Slow: Anglers had been picking up some
catfish with the warmer weather but that has slowed down with the
cold temperatures. Dead shad or other cut baits would be the “go
to” baits. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Work the rocky areas when the
wind is blowing in during a warm afternoon. I would start with a
slow moving crankbait as the bass are in trying to catch small fish
blown in by the wind.

Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River)

The river level is fairly steady to slightly falling. Channel
Catfish – Fair: A few anglers have been out catching some catfish
using shad or shad guts. A few nightcrawlers would also work.

For more information on the above rivers and lakes call the Lake
Darling fisheries office at 319-694-2430.

Iowa Lake

Surface temperature approached 60 degrees, but has now fallen.
Fishing has slowed during this colder weather. Bluegill – Fair:
Crappie – Slow:

Kent Park Lake

Some bass and bluegills are being caught in the ponds, but the lake
has been pretty slow yet.

Lake Macbride

Any sized motor may be used at no wake speed at this time. Water
temperature has fallen below 50 degrees. Crappie – Fair: Fish in
the 9 to 12-inch range are common. Fish around submerged
brush/trees with a slip bobber/minnow or jig. The upper ends of the
lake have been the warmest and most productive. Walleye – Fair:
Some fish have been caught casting jigs to shallow rock/sand, and
some fish have been caught trolling crankbaits.

Central Park Lake

Fishing has been very slow due to the weather.

Pleasant Creek Lake

Water temperature has fallen below 50 degrees. White Bass – Good:
Fish are starting to school up and prepare for the spawn. Evening
has been the most productive time. White or yellow jigs have been
working best, but small spinners or crankbaits can also be
productive. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Some bass are being caught, but
size has been small. Remember, largemouth have to be a minimum of
18 inches to keep.

Diamond Lake

Remember, minnows are not allowed at Diamond Lake. Bluegill – Fair:
Fish around brush piles. Reports say that just a bobber and small
worm has been producing well. Crappie – Fair: Size has been a bit
small (8 inches) but numbers are good. During the warm weather,
fish have been caught right along the shoreline on small
jigs.

Otter Creek Lake

The fish cleaning station is now open. Bluegill – Fair: Fish around
brush with small worms or jigs.

Union Grove Lake

There has been little or no fishing activity here since the poor
weather. Fishing had been good for bluegills and crappies around
brush and rock during the warmer weather.

Coralville Reservoir

The lake level as of April 21 is 682 feet and rising. Current
predictions show the lake raising to 687.5 feet by April 26, and
then starting to fall. Channel Catfish – Fair: Anglers are still
catching catfish on cut bait and some on nightcrawlers. The upper
end of the lake has still been best.

Iowa River (Marshalltown to Coralville Lake)

Fishing has been slow. Prior to the cold snap, some walleyes and
catfish were being caught.

Iowa River (Coralville Lake to River Junction)

Current flows coming out of Coralville Reservoir are 1,000 cubic
feet per second (CFS) and are predicted to remain at this level
until April 26, when flows are predicted to increase to 5,000 CFS.
Channel Catfish – Fair: The bite has slowed a bit due to falling
water temperature. Also, the change in flow will affect fish
behavior. Cut bait and crawlers had been producing.

Cedar River (La Porte City to Cedar Rapids)

Fishing has been slow. In the backwaters, a few bullheads have been
reported, as well as some bow fishing activity.

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

Red Haw Lake

Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs along shoreline structure and
around submerged structure in 6 to 10 feet of water. Largemouth
Bass – Fair: Use rubber worms along shoreline structure.

Hawthorn Lake (aka Barnes City Lake)

The lake had been drained for a lake renovation work which is now
complete. New fish habitat areas have been built along with some
new fishing jetties. The gate has been closed and the lake is now
starting to fill.

Lake Sugema

Walleye – Slow: Try jig and minnow combo’s along the dam or any
other riprapped shoreline.

Ottumwa Lagoon

Trout were stocked on March 19. Try using spinners, worms, or other
trout bait.

Rathbun Reservoir

The lake level is at 905.88 feet with 904.0 feet being normal pool.
Water temperature has been in the low to mid 50s. Fishing has been
slow with the cool water. Warmer water temperatures will help
improve fishing. Anglers are reminded that walleyes have been
tagged in Lake Rathbun and if tagged fish are caught please take
the time to look under the jaw of the walleye to check for a tag.
Please call the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with any tag
information.

For further fishing reports in south central Iowa call the Rathbun
fish hatchery at 641-647-2406

SOUTHWEST

Rock Creek Lake

Crappie – Fair: Just before the cool, wet weather set in, crappies
were starting to be caught near shore. Good crappie fishing should
return as soon as we get a couple days of sun and warmer
weather.

Big Creek Lake

Walleye – Fair: Walleye are being caught on jigs, soft swim baits,
crankbaits, and minnows. The fish are being caught in the east ramp
bay, the dam, and any jetties on the south half of the lake. Most
fish being caught are sublegal, but fish over 15 inches are coming
in.

Saylorville Reservoir

White Bass – Fair: Increased flow over the Big Creek spillway is
attracting white bass. An occasional crappie is also being
caught.

Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake

Rainbow Trout – Fair: Anglers are still catching rainbow trout that
were stocked through the ice. The block net was lifted at ice-out
and trout are now spread to both pits. Small minnows under a bobber
are working well.

Des Moines River (Stratford to Saylorville Lake)

White Bass – Good: Anglers casting twister tails below the
Saylorville spillway are catching some white bass up to 15
inches.

Cool, wet weather over the last week has led to little fishing
activity and few reports. Sunshine and warmer temps are needed to
move panfish in for the spawn. Water temperatures are still in the
40s. For information on central Iowa lakes and rivers contact Ben
Dodd or Andy Otting at 515-432-2823.

Greenfield Lake

Greenfield has one concrete boat ramp and is trolling motor only.
Lake is full. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Largemouth bass are being
caught using jigs in the cedar tree piles and along the dam.
Crappie – Slow: Crappies have slowed but a few are being caught
along the dam using small jigs. Sorting is necessary for larger
fish.

Nodaway Lake

Nodaway has one concrete boat ramp. Crappie bite has slowed.
Channel Catfish – Fair: Catfish are being caught in the upper end
of the lake using dead minnows. Crappie – Fair: Crappies up to 8
inches are being caught on the dam casting small jigs.

Lake Anita

Crappies are biting in the north arm around the pontoons on warm
sunny days. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Largemouth bass are being
caught along the road beds and in brush piles. Crappie – Fair:
Crappies up to 10 inches are being caught on jigs under a
bobber.

Viking Lake

Viking Lake fish populations are coming back following the 2006
renovation. The lake has three concrete boat ramps and good water
quality. Channel Catfish – Fair: Channel catfish are being caught
using dead minnows. Fish average 2 to 3 pounds. Largemouth Bass –
Fair: Largemouth bass up to 18 inches are being caught around cedar
tree piles.

Lake Manawa

Crappies fishing has slowed but a few are still being caught. The
canals and around docks have been producing the most fish. Catfish
are biting on dead minnows. Channel Catfish – Fair: Channel catfish
are being caught on the windy shorelines using dead minnows.
Crappie – Fair: Crappies up to 12 inches are on jigs and minnows in
the canals and around docks.

Cold Springs District Farm Ponds

Farm ponds typically warm quickly and can provide good early season
fishing. Larger ponds with crappie populations are good now as
crappies are close to shore preparing to spawn. Remember to always
get permission to fish private farm ponds. Bluegill – Slow:
Bluegill fishing has been slow with the cool water. Try fishing
deep structure with small jigs and a slow retrieve. Largemouth Bass
– Fair: Largemouth are being caught next to shore on sunny days
casting small spinner baits using a slow retrieve. Crappie – Fair:
Cast small jigs alone dam for best success.

Water temperatures have cooled over the past week slowing the
crappie bite. Catfishing has been good in many areas. For more
information on fishing call the district office in Lewis at
712-769-2587.

Lake Icaria

The lake level is normal, the water temperature is in the middle
50s and the clarity is good. Crappie – Fair: A few crappies are
starting to bite from just off shore and the deeper edges of the
mounds. Walleye – Slow: Very few walleye are biting. A few anglers
are finding a few from along the south shore.

Green Valley Lake

The lake level is down 9 feet for a sediment removal project. The
main concrete ramp is operational and accessible. The lake has a
lot of nice sized fish of all species. Channel Catfish – Good: The
channel catfish are biting well on crawlers.

Three Mile Lake

Water temperature is in the low 50s and clarity is good. Walleye
have moved out. Walleye – Fair: A few walleye are biting from the
mounds at mid-lake or the upper end.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake

Water temperature is in the middle 50s and clarity is very good.
Bullhead – Good: The giant bullheads are biting well from above the
upper end of the lake in the warmest water. Crawlers are working
well. Walleye – Slow: The walleye have moved out to the mounds and
creek channel edges.

Water temperatures have slipped to the low 50s in the big lakes.
Water clarity is still above normal at most places but recent rains
will start to adversely affect water clarity. The walleye spawn is
over. Channel catfish are biting.

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