Iowa statewide fishing report for September 22

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.


Nelson Park Lake

Nelson Park has the invasive plant brittle naiad. Be sure to clean
boat and trailer before leaving the lake to avoid spreading this
species to other water bodies. Fishing has been slow for all

Yellow Smoke Park Lake

Yellow Smoke has the invasive plant brittle naiad. Be sure to clean
boat and trailer before leaving the lake to avoid spreading this
species to other water bodies. Water clarity is excellent. Fishing
has been slow.

Crawford Creek Impoundment

Crawford Creek has the invasive plant brittle naiad. Be sure to
clean boat and trailer before leaving the lake to avoid spreading
this species to other water bodies. Channel Catfish – Fair:
Catfishing has slowed some compared to the last few weeks, but
anglers are still able to catch a few. Turkey liver, Sonny’s stink
and blood bait. Bluegill – Slow: A few bluegills are being caught
by shore anglers around the handicapped accessible pier and the

Brushy Creek Lake

Fishing is fairly slow. Bluegill – Fair: Some limits of bluegill
are being caught in 14 feet of water around the submerged trees.
Crappie – Fair: Try using minnows around submerged trees. Walleye –
Fair: Some walleye are being caught in 15 to 20 feet of water
during midday. Anglers last weekend reported catching walleyes on
spinners in 6 to 8 feet of water.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

Boaters use caution. The hydraulic dredge is in operation at Storm
Lake. Stay clear of dredge barge, booster pump barge, and pipeline.
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. Channel Catfish – Slow: Catfish anglers are catching a
few fish on the usual baits. Walleye – Slow: Anglers have reported
catching a few walleye while casting twisters.

North Twin Lake

Anglers are still catching a lot of yellow bass. Northern Pike –
Slow: An occasional northern is being caught while fishing for
yellow bass. Channel Catfish – Slow: Anglers are catching a few
channel catfish using the usual baits. Walleye – Slow: An
occasional walleye is being caught while yellow bass fishing.
Yellow Bass – Good: Anglers are doing well for medium sized yellow

Swan Lake

Water clarity as of Sept. 21 was 23 inches. Panfish are starting to
bite. Fish around the fish house, about one foot off of the bottom.
Crappies are 8 to 8.5 inches.

Black Hawk Lake

Anglers are allowed three walleye per day and all walleye must be
at least 15 inches. Channel Catfish – Fair: Anglers fishing from
shore near the outlet have been catching some 2 to 4 pound channel
catfish off of live chubs. Yellow Bass – Fair: Some yellow bass are
being caught from the north shore along the Sac Beach area. Target
the windblown shorelines.

Browns Lake

Browns Lake is open to boat traffic.

Snyder Bend Lake

Snyder Bend is still closed. It will likely remain closed until it
is no longer connected to the Missouri River.

Great Western Park Lake

Great Western Park has the invasive plant brittle naiad. Be sure to
clean boat and trailer before leaving the lake to avoid spreading
this species to other water bodies.

Water temperatures are around 60 degrees. 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

Yellow bass fishing continues to be good, most anglers fish in the
main lake with cut bait, crawlers, or minnows. Fishing the rock
reefs or the artificial reefs have been good spots. Keep moving
till you find the active schools. White bass and yellow perch are
also being caught in the schools of yellow bass. Walleye are still
being caught around the bulrushes and cattails using crawler
harnesses or small crankbaits. Remember, Clear Lake has zebra
mussels. Be sure to clean and dry the boat and trailer to prevent
spreading this invasive species to other water bodies.

Rice Lake

As the fall approaches typically the yellow perch move in towards
shore and anglers can enjoy some decent catches of perch with a few
walleye or crappie mixed in. Use jigs with small minnows or a piece
of crawler.

Remember to clean, drain, and dry your boat and equipment to stop
the spread of invasive species. For more fishing information in the
north central area contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office
at 641-357-3517.

Lake Pahoja

Bluegill – Good: Bluegill fishing has been consistently good for a
while now. Try fishing with a small piece of night crawler under a
bobber along weed lines and trees.

Big Spirit Lake

White Bass – Good: Bass and walleye fishermen at the footbridge
have reported good numbers of big white bass. Bluegill – Fair:
Bluegill fishing has slowed down. Try fishing the edge of weed
lines, the north grade, and Buffalo Run fish barrier for the best
action. Largemouth Bass – Good: Many largemouth bass have been
reported while casting spinner baits along the weed lines and along
the north grade road. Yellow Perch – Fair: Given the recent
weather, the perch have slowed down. Look for them to start biting
again in the next week with more stable weather. Walleye – Fair:
Walleye fishing has picked up in the last week along weed lines and
at the footbridge.

East Okoboji Lake

White Bass – Good: Try fishing the spillway or along the edge of
weed beds for best action with a minnow or piece of cut bait.
Walleye – Fair: Walleye have been reported along rocky points like
parks marina and Stoney Point. Yellow Bass – Good: Yellow bass are
being caught while fishing for white bass.

Little Spirit Lake

Bullhead – Good: Try fishing on the bottom with a night crawler
near the outlet.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)

Channel Catfish – Good: Try fishing toward evening hours with a
dead chub or stink bait. White Bass – Good: Watch for schooling
fish chasing minnows and fish with minnow or minnow-like baits or
try drifting through the main basin with a bobber and minnow.
Walleye – Fair: Wader fishing activity at night will continue to
improve as water temperature drops.

West Okoboji Lake

Northern Pike – Good: Pike have been reported using the same
tactics as fishing for largemouth bass. Bluegill – Good: For the
best action, fish the docks and weed lines associated with deep
water vertically jigging with a small piece of night crawler or
small crawdad. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Smallmouth bass are being
picked up using crankbaits along the weed lines. Largemouth Bass –
Good: Fishing is good along deep weed lines associated with inside
turns using traditional baits. Yellow Perch – Good: Some yellow
perch are being picked up while fishing for bluegill.

Big Sioux River

Channel Catfish – Good: Fishing for channel catfish has remained
good with the low water levels. Find a deep pool and use stink bait
or chicken liver for best action.

Little Sioux River (state line to Linn Grove)

Channel Catfish – Good: Channel catfish have been biting on night
crawlers and chicken livers as the river has been going down.

West Fork Des Moines (state line to Emmetsburg)

Anglers are reporting good numbers of channel catfish, and some
walleyes while fishing in deeper pools.

Recent cold fronts have slowed down panfish fishing; however
walleye fishing has picked up on area lakes. Catfish and walleye
have been biting well on area rivers. For more information on
fishing in northwest Iowa, call the Spirit Lake hatchery at


Brinker Lake

Anglers are catching crappies. Crappie – Fair: A crappie minnow
fished under a slip bobber in 10 feet of water has been most

George Wyth Lake

Anglers have been catching some crappies fishing off of the dock or
jetties. Fishing should only improve as water temperature drops.
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Spinner baits have been catching bass.
Crappie – Fair: A crappie minnow fished under a slip bobber in 10
feet of water has been most productive.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)

Fishing has improved for walleye and smallmouth bass as they tend
to feed more aggressively heading into fall. There also have been
reports of crappie being caught near brush piles above the dams in
the impoundment areas. Northern Pike – Fair: Artificial spoons and
crankbaits have been producing some northern pike. Smallmouth Bass
– Good: Jig and twistertail or spinner baits have been producing
smallmouth bass. Crappie – Fair: Concentrate near brush piles with
a minnow tipped under a slip bobber. Walleye – Good: A nightcrawler
or minnow tipped on a jig work well this time of year.

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)

Fishing has been fair for most species but walleye have reported as
fair to good. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Jig and twistertail or
spinner baits have been producing smallmouth bass. Walleye – Good:
Crankbaits or a minnow tipped on a jig work well.

Wapsi River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)

The Wapsi is dropping and should produce some good angling
opportunities by the weekend. Smallmouth bass reports have been
good with walleye and northern pike being caught as well. Northern
Pike – Fair: Artificial spoons and crankbaits have been producing
some northern pike. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Concentrate near the
riffle areas casting spinner baits or jigs with a twistertail.
Walleye – Fair: Fish downstream of woody structure along the
current breaks and back eddy areas.

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)

The Maquoketa River is in excellent condition. Concentrate efforts
for smallmouth bass and walleye above Delhi. Smallmouth Bass –
Good: Spinner baits or jig tipped with a twistertail can be
productive for smallmouth bass. Walleye – Good: Fish a jig tipped
with a crawler or minnow.

Manchester District Streams

Trout streams remain in excellent condition with the dry, cool
weather heading into early fall.

Fishing on the interior rivers for walleye and smallmouth bass has
improved over the last week as water temperatures decline. Anglers
are also beginning to pick up some northern pike and crappie on the
rivers. Some area Black Hawk County lakes have been fair for
crappie. Trout streams in the Manchester District are in excellent
condition; call the Manchester District Office at 563-927-3276 for
any additional information.


Mississippi River Pool 16

Pool 16 is 4.63 feet at the Davenport Dam. This is about three feet
below where it was this time last year. Work is being performed on
the arsenal dam. No flow is coming out of the dam so fishing is
slow in that area. The first two wing dams below the I-280 Bridge
are producing white bass and few sauger and walleye that are
feeding on the minnows schooled on the wing dams. Try using minnows
and jigs or crankbaits where you see bait fish jumping at the
surface. White Bass – Good: Try fishing where you see minnows or
shad jumping at the surface. Walleye – Fair: Fish wing dams that
have minnows or shad schooled at the surface.

Mississippi River Pool 17

Pool 17 is 3.73 feet at the Muscatine Dam. A few fish are being
caught in the backwaters. Watch for shad boiling at the surface.
White Bass – Fair: Look for prey fish boiling at the surface.
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Look for prey fish boiling at the

Mississippi River Pool 18

Pool 18 is 1.8 feet at the dam. Channel Catfish – Good: Channel
cats are biting in stink baits and crawlers. Crappie – Good:
Crappie are being taken on minnows in the brush piles. Walleye –
Good: Walleye are biting on crank baits or three-way rigs on the
wing dams.

Mississippi River Pool 19

Pool 19 is 3.14 feet and holding steady to slightly dropping. A
number of different species are being taken at the second pumping
station. Channel Catfish – Good: catfish are biting on stink bait
or crawlers. Walleye – Good: walleye are hitting on crankbaits and
three-way rigs trolled on wing dams.

The lower section of the Mississippi is at its lowest level all
year. Most pools are slightly below historic low levels for this
time of year. Exercise caution around wing dams and other
structures that you are not familiar with.


Lake Geode

Brittle Naiad (an invasive aquatic plant species) is present in
Geode so please clean the boat and trailer before leaving the ramp.
Channel Catfish – Good: Catfish has continued to be good as these
fish get ready for winter. Look for them to be foraging around the
rocky shorelines and along the face of the dam.

Lake Belva Deer

The south (campground) boat ramp is closed for paving. Use the
north boat ramp. Channel Catfish – Good: Anglers are stilling
getting good numbers of catfish along the rocks and while crappie
fishing. Crappie – Fair: Most of the crappies being caught now are
down along the dam. Minnows and slip bobbers or small jig and
minnows seem to be working the best.

Lake of the Hills

Rainbow Trout – Excellent: The fall release of 1,800 trout will be
Oct. 22 at 10:30 a.m. Channel Catfish – Good: All types of stink
baits, liver, and night crawlers are producing decent fish. Crappie
– Good: Live minnows are producing crappies off the fishing dock
area as well as the brush piles. Remember, Lake of the Hills is the
only lake in West Lake Park where live minnows can be used as

Railroad Lake

Channel Catfish – Good: Catfishing has been good along the old
creek channel. Crappie – Good: Action has been picking up along the
stretch of flooded timber along the old creek channel. Live minnows
are not allowed in Railroad Lake.

Skunk River (Rose Hill to Coppock)

The river is very low and boating would be difficult. Channel
Catfish – Excellent: Catfishing has been very good lately with the
cooler weather. They are on a feeding frenzy as the drop in water
temperature is telling the catfish that it’s about time to make
that trip to the overwintering holes to sleep through the

Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River)

Channel Catfish – Good: Catfishing has been good with the return of
the cooler weather. They are getting fattened up for their winter

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

Iowa Lake

A fish survey was done here this week and lots of fish were seen in
the brush piles. The survey was dominated by redear sunfish in the
8 to 10-inch range. Channel Catfish – Fair: Bluegill – Fair:
Crappie – Slow:

Lake Macbride

Largemouth Bass – Fair: Fish shallow structure early and late in
the day for best results. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: A few
fish are being caught on crankbaits. Look for balls of shad on the
surface or on your electronics, and the wipers should be in the

Diamond Lake

Channel Catfish – Fair: Bluegill – Fair:

Otter Creek Lake

The fish cleaning station is no longer available due to storm
damage. Channel Catfish – Good: Some nice sized fish can be caught.
Bluegill – Fair: Most fish have been smaller sized. Yellow Bass –
Good: Fish are being caught closer to shore now.

Union Grove Lake

Channel Catfish – Fair: Stink bait has been working best for
catfish. Crappie – Fair: Some fish are starting to be caught by
jigging in deeper water.

Coralville Reservoir

The water level on Sept. 22 is 685.1 feet. The level is slowly
rising due to reduction of outflow to allow for construction below
the dam. Channel Catfish – Fair: Most fish have been coming on
shad. Crappie – Fair: Fish jigs or minnows in brush piles.

Iowa River (Marshalltown to Coralville Lake)

Channel Catfish – Good: Areas in Johnson County have been producing
catfish on dip baits. Live bait has been producing well in deeper
holes in Tama County. Water levels are low and boat access is
limited. Flathead Catfish – Good: Live bait has also been producing
flatheads in Tama County. Walleye – No Report: Several nice
walleyes were seen in the deeper holes around Marshalltown during a
fish survey this week.

Iowa River (Coralville Lake to River Junction)

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

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

Red Haw Lake

Bluegill – Fair: Anglers have been having success using a jig
tipped with a chunk of nightcrawler fished under a bobber. Target
areas with some submerged habitat or along the shorelines.
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try rubber worms fished along shoreline
structure or around the rock jetties. Plastic crawdads or lizards
should also be tried.

Hawthorn Lake (aka Barnes City Lake)

The lake was drained for a lake renovation last year but work is
now complete. New fish habitat areas have been built along with
some new jetties. The lake is now full. Fingerlings were stocked in

Albia (lower)

Bluegill – Fair: Some keeper bluegills are being caught using small
jigs tipped with a chunk of nightcrawler. Try depths ranging from 4
to 8 feet along the upper end of the reservoir. Largemouth Bass –
Fair: Use rubber worms fished along the dam and the areas of the
lake with rock.

Lake Sugema

Lake Sugema contains the invasive plant brittle naiad so make sure
to inspect and clean the boat and trailer when leaving the lake.
Bluegill – Fair: Small jigs with a chunk of nightcrawler have been
the most productive. Don’t forget to add a bobber to find suspended
fish. Try areas with submerged habitat and along the shoreline in 4
to 8 feet of water. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use crankbaits or
plastic crawdad imitations fished along the shorelines. The water
temperature is in the low 70s.

Rathbun Reservoir

The lake level is at 904.27 feet with 904.0 feet being normal pool.
Water temperature has been in the upper 60s. Outlet Park has been
reopened. Don’t forget Lake Rathbun contains zebra mussels so make
sure to clean, drain, and dry boats before transporting to another
water body. Spray boats and trailers with high pressure water above
104 degrees, or let them dry for at least 10 days, with five days
in sun. Crappie – Slow: Crappies are still being caught close to
shore using jig and minnow combos. Look for areas with flooded
woody structure. Walleye – Fair: Nightcrawler harnesses being
trolled or drifted have been catching some fish. Try the areas
around Island View or South Fork. Jig and minnow combinations have
been producing a few fish when fished shallow. Tagged walleyes
should be reported at 641-647-2406.

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


Roberts Creek Lake

Crappie – Good: Trolling small panfish crankbaits or drifting small
jigs or minnows is catching decent numbers of crappie.

Big Creek Lake

Bluegill – Good: Large bluegill are being caught over brush piles
in 15 feet of water or less and near structure in the deeper water
near the emergency spillway.

Hickory Grove Lake

Bluegill – Good: Bluegill can be easily caught fishing live bait
over pallet and brush piles in eight feet of water or less,
especially those between the island and beach and out from the
plover bay shelter.

Hooper Area Pond

Crappie – Good: Drifting small jigs or live minnows is working well
on crappies. A good population of nice size crappie exists. Most
are black crappie running between 8 and 10 inches, but some white
crappies are there up to 12 inches.

Cooling water is now dipping into the low to mid 60s have fish
starting to feed. Now is a great time to be out for bluegill and
crappie. 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. Water clarity is good.
Channel Catfish – Fair: Channel catfish are being caught around
jetties using shrimp. Fish average two pounds. Bluegill – Fair: 7
to 8-inch bluegill can be caught drifting small jigs. Largemouth
Bass – Fair: Largemouth bass are being caught casting around
jetties and weed edges. Many fish are in the 12 to 15-inch

Nodaway Lake

Nodaway has one small boat ramp. Channel Catfish – Fair: Catfish
are being caught along the north shoreline and the dam with dip
bait. Bluegill – Slow: Bluegill are being caught around brush piles
with nightcrawlers. Crappie – Fair: Crappies are being caught
vertical jigging around brush piles. Fish average nine inches with
a few 11-inch fish being caught. Evenings seem to be best.

Orient Lake

Orient Lake has one concrete boat ramp. Channel Catfish – Good:
Catfish are being caught on shrimp. Fish average 14 to 18

Cold Springs Lake

Cold Springs has one concrete boat ramp. Bullhead – Good: Bullheads
are biting on nightcrawlers. Fish average nine inches. Channel
Catfish – Fair: Channel catfish are being caught in less than six
feet of water using cut bait. Fish average 2.5 pounds.

Lake Anita

Lake Anita has two concrete ramps. Bluegill – Slow: Bluegills up to
nine inches are being caught drifting and around brush piles.
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Largemouth bass are being caught along weed
edges and the road beds. Bass are all sizes up to 20 inches.

Willow Lake

Willow has one concrete boat ramp and excellent water clarity.
Channel Catfish – Fair: Channel catfish can be caught along the
campground shoreline and around jetties using blood bait or liver.
Bluegill – Fair: The best bluegill bite is early in the morning
using nightcrawlers under a bobber. Fish average eight inches.
Largemouth Bass – Slow: Largemouth are being caught using Powerbait
worms around sunken trees. Most fish are 12 to 14 inches.

Viking Lake

Viking Lake has four feet of water clarity. The lake has three
concrete boat ramps. Channel Catfish – Good: Catfishing has been
fair in the evenings around the jetties using liver. Largemouth
Bass – Fair: Anglers are catching largemouth bass in the sunken
cedar trees using plastic baits. Casting spinner baits along weed
edges has also produced fish up to 20 inches.

Lake Manawa

The lake level is about two feet high at Lake Manawa. Water
temperature is 65 degrees. Channel Catfish – Fair: Channel catfish
are being caught on the west and south side of the lake using
shrimp or Sonny’s dip bait.

Cold Springs District Farm Ponds

There are numerous farm ponds in southern Iowa that can provide a
quality fishing trip. Remember to always get permission to fish
private farm ponds. Aquatic vegetation is starting to come on.
Small boats or bass buggies will aid in fishing small ponds this
time of year. Channel Catfish – Good: Channel catfish are active
now that water temperature is cooling down. Liver and prepared
blood baits work well this time of year. Bluegill – Fair: Fish for
bluegills around deeper structure and outside edges of vegetation.
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Largemouth bass are aggressive now and can
be caught casting around structure and along the shoreline. Early
morning and late evenings are the best times to target

With water temperatures in the mid 60s, panfishing is picking up.
Catfishing continues to be good on many lakes. For more information
on fishing call the district office at Cold Springs at

Little River Watershed Lake

The lake has been lowered 20 feet to allow for a fish renovation,
shoreline repairs, and fish habitat project to be completed this
fall and winter. The fishery will be restocked as soon as
conditions allow.

Green Valley Lake

The lake level is down about nine feet to allow completion of the
final stages of a sediment removal project. The main concrete ramp
is open and functional. The fishery is growing fast and currently
contains a lot of bluegill up to 8-1/2 inches, crappies up to 9-1/2
inches and bass from 8 to 15 inches.

Three Mile Lake

Water temperatures are in the upper 60s. Water clarity is good at
mid-lake and near the dam. The upper end is still a little green.
The fall walleye and crappie bite is starting. Crappie – Fair: A
few crappies are coming from the deeper flooded tree piles. Walleye
– Fair: A few walleye are being caught from the old roadway between
the ramps.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake

The water temp is in the upper 60s. The algae is starting to
disappear. The walleye, crappie and bluegill bite is

Water temperature is the mid 60s at most lakes. Small lakes are in
the low 60s. Water clarity is above average. The fall crappie and
walleye bite is picking up.

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