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.
Big Spirit Lake
Yellow Perch – Fair: Action has been spotty. Active fish can be found, it just takes a little leg work. Try drifting mud flats or weed lines with either wigglers or minnows, and don’t overlook shallow water. Walleye – Good: Action seems to be picking up, especially for wader fishermen in the evening. Many of the fish being caught are in the 11- to 14-inch range, along with a few slots. Trolling crank baits has yielded a few fish, but action is still a little hit and miss.
East Okoboji Lake
Walleye – Fair: Rock piles and drop offs have been producing a few fish. Trolling and jigging have been the best producers. Yellow Bass – Good: Yellow bass action has been good. Look for rock piles and drop offs. Wigglers and worms produce well on either a jigging spoon or a slip bobber. Trolling small crank baits can also prove effective.
Silver Lake (Dickinson)
We have received no information regarding fishing on this water body this week.
West Okoboji Lake
Yellow Perch – Fair: Try fishing on the drop-offs and don’t be afraid to move around to locate a school of bigger fish as there are many small ones. Fishing 8 to 15 feet of water using jigging spoons with wigglers has been bringing some results. Yellow Bass – Good: Try using a jigging spoon tipped with wigglers in 15 to 25 feet of water just off the weed edge and down the drop a bit.
Lost Island Lake
A mixed bag of walleye, crappies, and yellow bass has been coming in and action has been good. Try pitching jig and minnow combos for all three along drop offs and other structure.
Trout stocking will be Nov. 10 around 12:30 p.m.
South Prairie Lake
Anglers are still doing well catching crappies on South Prairie Lake. Some sorting may be necessary as crappie vary between 5 to 8 inches. Crappie – Good: Try vertically jigging with tube jigs or drifting a crappie minnow under a slip bobber.
Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
There have been fair to good reports of walleye, smallmouth bass and northern pike being caught on the Cedar River in both Black Hawk and Bremer counties. Quality to memorable size fish have been taken on the river. Northern Pike – Fair: Casting spinnerbaits or spoons for pike has been good for northerns on the river. Concentrate near the deeper holes or areas with woody debris. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Plastic baits have been the most productive for smallmouth on the river. Walleye – Fair: Plastic baits, twistertails and ringworms, or a split shot on the bottom with a floating jig tipped with a minnow has been good for walleye.
Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
The Shell Rock has been producing catches of smallmouth bass, walleye and northern pike. Reports have been fair to good. Northern Pike – Fair: Casting spinnerbaits or spoons for pike has been good for northerns on the river. Concentrate near the deeper holes or areas with woody debris. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Plastic baits have been the most productive for smallmouth on the river. Walleye – Fair: Plastic baits, twistertails and ringworms, or a split shot on the bottom with a floating jig tipped with a minnow has been good for walleye.
Wapsi River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
Fishing has been fair to good on the Wapsipinicon River, concentrate near the deeper holes or near woody debris. Pike anglers have been doing fair north of HWY. 3 on the Upper Wapsipinicon River. Northern Pike – Fair: Casting spinnerbaits or spoons for pike has been real productive on the river. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Jig tipped with a twistertail has been good for smallmouth bass. Walleye – Fair: Jig tipped with a plastic twister tail or ringworm, tipped with or without a minnow, has been good.
Interior rivers still remain low with difficult navigation but anglers are catching walleye, smallmouth bass, northern pike and crappie. Trout streams remain in excellent condition in northeast Iowa. Call the Manchester District Office for any further additional information @ 563-927-3276.
Mississippi River Pool 12
Water is clear, and water temps are in mid 40s. White Bass – Good: White bass have been targeted in the tailwater areas chasing minnows. Try a white spinner or white twister tail for the best action. Bluegill – No Report: Bluegill fishing has been good. Bluegills will be near their overwintering habitat right now. Try fishing in the sunny sides of the backwater lakes around brush piles. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass are really starting to concentrate in the backwater areas and slack water sloughs. Deep backwaters are going to be hard to find but they may seek refuge in low flowing sloughs. Crappie – Excellent: The deepest backwater or slow moving sloughs have been excellent for crappies. Try fishing in log piles with a small minnow and a bendable hook. Sauger – Good: Some sauger are showing up in the tailwaters with anglers using a jig and minnow. Walleye – Fair: Some walleyes are being reported on the wingdams and in the tailwater. On wingdams most anglers are using three way rigs. In the tailwaters many are using a jig and minnow.
Mississippi River Pool 13
Water is very clear and temps are in the mid 40s. White Bass – Good: Many smaller white bass are being caught in the tailwater reaches. White spinners or white jigs can still provide some fast action. Largemouth Bass – Good: Many bass are still being caught but bass are on the move to their winter backwater homes. The best places to try are deeper backwaters with little to no flow. Crappie – Good: Many crappies have been caught out of Pool 13 all year and the bite continues. Try fishing the deeper sloughs and backwater log piles using bendable hooks. Sauger – Good: Numerous smaller saugers are showing up in the tailwater areas with anglers using a jig and minnow. Walleye – Fair: Some walleyes are being reported on the wingdams and in the tailwater. On wingdams most anglers are using three way rigs. In the tailwaters many are using a jig and minnow.
Mississippi River Pool 14
Water is clear with the temps in the mid 40s. White Bass – Good: Numerous white bass were caught out of the tailwaters on jigs or spinners. Largemouth Bass – Excellent: Bass fishing has been excellent in pool 14. Bass are starting to move toward their winter homes in such backwater areas as Cattail Slough and Rock Creek. Sauger – Fair: Some saugers were being reported in the tailwater areas with anglers using a jig and minnow. Walleye – Fair: Some walleyes are being reported on the wingdams and in the tailwater. On wingdams most anglers are using three way rigs. In the tailwaters many are using a jig and minnow.
Mississippi River Pool 15
Water is very clear in Pool 15, with water temps around 45 degrees. White Bass – No Report: In the last few weeks white bass were being caught in the tailwater reaches but no report this week. White spinners or white jigs can provide some fast action.
Water temperatures are in the mid 40s. Water levels are still low at all locations. Beware backing off any ramp as you can easily put your axles over the ends of the ramps. Also, watch for wingdams when motoring near the main channel.
Lake of the Hills
Good numbers of trout are still cruising the lake. Remember, Lake of the Hills is the only lake in West Lake Park where live minnows can be used as bait. The best time to catch most of the species of fish is mid-afternoon. Rainbow Trout – Excellent: The rainbows are very active and are readily being caught on spinners, minnows, and worms. Channel Catfish – Slow: The catfishing is slowing down with the colder weather. Chicken liver, worms and stinkbaits are still producing some fish. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills are being caught in good numbers from shore, while anglers are fishing for trout. Crappie – Fair: The lures you use for trout will also be bringing in some crappies.
The use of live minnows is not permitted in this Lake. Channel Catfish – Good: Good catfishing continues as these fish rush to get fattened up for winter.
Rainbow Trout – Excellent: Good numbers of trout are being caught. Look for them around the culverts and brush piles in 3- to 4-foot of water. Bluegill – Good: Look to the brush piles to find the bluegills. The water is clear enough that you can see most of the fish habitat from shore.
Environmental Discovery Park North Pond
The fall trout release was Nov. 3. There were good numbers of anglers out for the event but there are plenty of trout still available to be caught. Rainbow Trout – Excellent: The trout have settled in and are being caught on small jigs and spinners. Worms and minnows will also work well.
For more information on the above lakes call the Lake Darling Fisheries Station at (319) 694-2430.
Water temperature is in the upper 40s. Crappie – Slow: A few fish are being caught off deeper brush. Walleye – Fair: Windblown rocks at dusk has produced a few walleyes. Try casting crankbaits or live bait.
Water temperature is in the upper 40s. The lake level is 683.05′ as of Nov. 8. White Bass – Fair: Run and gun around rock/gravel banks looking for feeding fish. Crappie – Good: Fish deeper water around steep rock banks.
For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.
Red Haw Lake
Try small jigs for bluegills. As the water cools the bluegills will move off shore so try in 6 to 8 feet of water. Largemouth bass has been slow. Try jig-n-pig combos or rubber worms. Concentrate on areas with rock.
Fishing activity has slowed down. Try using minnows for crappies along flooded timber areas and around rocky shorelines. Slow down your presentation as the water cools down for largemouth bass.
The lake level is 903.31 with 904 being normal. The surface water temperature is 50. Fishing has been slow. Some anglers have been catching crappie along the boat docks in the marinas. Try crankbaits for walleyes around submerged rock piles. Don’t forget Lake Rathbun contains zebra mussels so make sure to clean, drain and dry boats before transporting to another water body.
For questions regarding fishing in south central Iowa, please call the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406.
Roberts Creek Lake
The main boat ramp is usable. Crappie – Fair: Crappies can be caught using minnows or jigs tipped with waxworms around any of the brushpiles. With the lower water many of the piles are visible. Fish are also congregated in the creek channels in the small bays on the west side of the lake.
Big Creek Lake
The East, West, Marina and Williams Drive boat ramps are usable, but boaters should use caution. The water starts at the ends of the ramps. There is gravel past the end of the concrete. It may be difficult to pull boats out with two-wheel drive vehicles. Crappie – Fair: A few crappies along with decent bluegills are being caught fishing minnows or tube jigs tipped with waxworms over deeper brushpiles.
Red Rock Reservoir
Crappie – Good: Anglers fishing the docks and dredged areas of the marina bay are catching good numbers of nice sized crappies using tube jigs tipped with minnows or waxworms.
White Bass – Good: Boat and wading anglers have been doing good on white bass trolling and casting crankbaits and spoons from the Sandpiper beach area to the marina point. Crappie – Fair: Some good size white crappie are being picked up near the docks in the marina fishing minnows under a bobber or jigging tube jigs.
Rainbow Trout – Excellent: Rainbow trout were stocked Thursday, Nov. 1. They can be caught with a variety of baits including small spinners, tube jigs, twister tails and minnows or waxworms under a bobber.
Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake
Ada Hayden’s trout stocking will occur on Tuesday, Nov. 20.
Banner Lake (south)
Rainbow Trout – Excellent: Rainbow trout were stocked on Oct. 19. Anglers are doing very well on a variety of baits including spinners, small twister or tube jigs, spoons and live baits such as minnows and waxworms under a bobber.
Des Moines River (Stratford to Saylorville Lake)
Walleye – Fair: Very low water conditions have concentrated fish in the areas of deeper water. Anglers fishing below the dams and the deeper pools on outside bends are catching some good size walleye on jigs tipped with minnows, twister tails or ringworms slowly retrieved.
Bluegill and crappie fishing continues to be fair to good right now on the nicer fall days. River fishing is fair for walleyes; focus on deep holes near outside bends. For questions on Central Iowa lakes and rivers contact Ben Dodd or Andy Otting at 515-432-2823.
Logo courtesy Iowa Department of Natural Resources