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.
The courtesy docks at the boat ramps have been removed for the winter. Walleye – Slow: A few walleyes are being picked up with minnows and cut bait. Try drifting and vertical jigging. Yellow Bass – Fair: Yellow bass are biting on minnows and cut bait fished in the little lake area.
For more fishing information in the north central area contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.
Big Spirit Lake
Yellow Perch – Fair: Action has been spotty but 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.
Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Wader fishing should be good for walleyes in the late afternoon. Try using twister tails, minnow baits and minnows along drop offs and other structure.
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, crappie 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.
Fifteen hundred trout were stocked Nov. 10.
Little Sioux River (state line to Linn Grove)
Walleye fishing has been good. Look for deep pools and try white twister tails and minnows.
West Fork Des Moines (state line to Emmetsburg)
Fishing has been good especially for walleye, but catfish action has also been good. Try twister tails and minnow baits for walleyes and minnows for both catfish and walleye. Target the deeper pools and don’t be afraid to venture away from the bridges, but ask permission before fishing private lands.
Few anglers have been out. Crappie – Fair: Anglers have been having success both fishing along the shoreline and slowly trolling a line behind a boat toward evening. Ice fishing jigs tipped with waxworms are working well.
A few people have been out but angling has been slow.
Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
Fish have moved into their overwintering areas. Northern Pike – Fair: A few northerns are showing up in the creel. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Anglers are catching smallies while fishing for walleye. Walleye – Good: Anglers have been having success below lower dam using live baits, such as minnows, on a bare hook weighted with split shot and bounced along the bottom.
Turkey River (below Clermont)
A reminder to walleye anglers fishing on all interior rivers, there is a daily bag limit of five and possession limit of 10. Please be mindful of the number and size of fish taken from their overwintering holes during this vulnerable time of year. Walleye – Fair: Anglers are using live baits bounced slowly off the bottom.
Cedar River (above Nashua)
Smallmouth Bass – Slow: Anglers are catching smallies while fishing for walleye. Walleye – Slow: Fish the deeper holes using minnows or night crawlers.
Decorah District Streams
Northeast Iowa streams are fishing well late in autumn. Blue wing olive and baetis hatches continue in the afternoons. Try a #16 Blue Wing Quill or similar pattern for trout rising to larger blue wings. Good trout have also been taken on streamer patterns such as wooly buggers and light spruces. Please take care while wading so as not to disturb spawning browns and brookies on their newly formed redds.
Rivers and streams are still low but in excellent condition for angling. For more information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324 or just to let us know what you’ve been catching.
Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
There have been fair to good reports of walleye and smallmouth bass being caught on the Cedar River in both Black Hawk and Bremer counties. Some nice crappies are being taken on the impoundment areas above the dams also. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Plastic baits have been the most productive for smallmouth on the river. Crappie – Fair: Crappie jigs have been the most productive. Look for brush or other structure in the impoundment areas. Walleye – Fair: Plastic baits, twister tails and ringworms, or a split shot on the bottom with a floating jig tipped with a minnow, have been good for walleye.
Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
The Shell Rock has been producing catches of smallmouth bass and walleye. Fishing has been fair to good on the Shell Rock with some quality fish being taken. Northern Pike – Fair: Casting spinnerbaits or spoons for pike has been good 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, twister tails and ringworms, or a split shot on the bottom with a floating jig tipped with a minnow, have 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 and current breaks. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Jig tipped with a twister tail 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. Crankbaits have also been productive on the river.
Interior rivers still remain low with difficult navigation but anglers are catching walleye, smallmouth bass and crappie. Trout streams remain in excellent condition in northeast Iowa. Call the Manchester District Office for any additional information @ 563-927-3276.
Mississippi River Pool 9
Lansing river stage is 7.9 and remaining stable over the next week. Yellow Perch – Fair: Try fishing minnows alongside channel areas with some vegetation to pick up some nice perch. Sauger – Good: Vertical jigging with a minnow for sauger in the tailwaters has been successful. Walleye – Slow: A few walleyes are being caught in deeper side channel sloughs and in the lock and dam tailwaters
Mississippi River Pool 10
Lynxville river stage is at 12.8 and expected to fall slightly over the next week. White Bass – Fair: Walleye and sager anglers are picking up some white bass on jigs along the rocks in the tailwaters. Yellow Perch – Fair: Sauger – Good: Vertical jigging with a minnow for sauger in the tailwaters has been successful. Walleye – Fair: Walleye are biting on jig and minnow fished along drop-offs in the tailwater areas.
Mississippi River Pool 11
River stage at Lock and Dam 10 in Guttenberg is 4.4 and expected to fall slightly in the following week. White Bass – Fair: Walleye and sauger anglers are picking up some white bass on jigs along the rocks in the tailwaters. Yellow Perch – Fair: Try fishing minnows alongside channel areas with some vegetation to pick up some nice perch. Sauger – Good: Vertical jigging with a minnow for sauger in the tailwaters has been successful. Walleye – Fair: Walleye are biting on jig and minnows fished along drop-offs in the tailwater areas.
Sauger fishing is picking up with a few walleye moving up to the locks and dams. Anglers are having success vertical jigging in the tailwaters. Reports of some perch, white bass and crappie are coming in. Water levels remain extremely low on the Mississippi River and remain stable. Water temperature is in the low 40s. Boaters should continue to use caution launching in low water conditions to avoid backing off the ends of ramps.
Mississippi River Pool 12
Water clear, water temps are the 40s. Skim ice reported in some spots. Water level at Dubuque dam is very low at 4.5. White Bass – Good: White bass have been targeted in the tailwater areas chasing minnows. Try a white spinner or white twister tail for best action. 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 being caught in the tailwaters with anglers using a jig and minnow. Walleye – Good: Some nice walleyes are being reported on the wingdams and in the tailwaters. On wingdams most anglers are using three way rigs with a crankbait. In the tailwaters many are using a jig and minnow.
Mississippi River Pool 13
Water is very clear. Water temps in the 40s. Water Level at Bellevue dam is 4.3 which is a slight bump but still very low. 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. Crappie – Good: The crappie bite continues into the winter. 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 – Good: Some walleyes are being reported on the wingdams and in the tailwater. On wingdams most anglers are using three way rigs with crankbaits. Some are also jigging on the wingdams. In the tailwaters many are using a jig and minnow.
Mississippi River Pool 14
Water is clear with the temps in the 40s. Some skim ice reported on the cold nights. Water level at the Dam is 4.6 feet. White Bass – Good: Numerous white bass were caught out of the tailwaters on jigs or spinners. Bluegill – Good: Some 7.5 inch bluegills are still being reported out of Rock Creek and in Cattail Slough. Most anglers are using simple worm rigs for best results. Largemouth Bass – Good: 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. Some are still being reported though in the tailwater reaches. Sauger – Good: Some sauger were being reported in the tailwater areas with anglers using a jig and minnow. Walleye – Good: Nice walleyes are being reported on the wingdams and in the tailwaters. On wingdams most anglers are using three way rigs or throwing deep diving crankbaits. In the tailwaters many are using a jig and minnow.
Mississippi River Pool 15
Water is very clear in Pool 15 with water temps in the 40s. Water level at LeClaire is 4.2 feet and stable. Walleye – Fair: Some walleye were reported in the tailwater and on wingdams. Some nice keeper 18-inch fish are being reported. Anglers are using crank baits or ring worms on jigs for best results.
Water temperatures are in the 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, beware of wingdams when motoring near the main channel.
Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 4.12 feet. River stages are still low so anglers should use caution when boating. White Bass – Fair: Some white bass are being picked up by anglers fishing for saugers below Lock and Dam 15 and in Sylvan Slough. Bluegill – Excellent: Bluegill fishing has been good in Sunset Marina. Try fishing around the docks with small jigs and minnows. Crappie – Excellent: Crappie fishing has been good in Sunset Marina. Try fishing around the docks with small jigs and minnows. Sauger – Fair: Some saugers are being caught below Lock and Dam 15 above the casino. Try fishing with a jig and minnow. Some saugers are also being caught in Sylvan Slough below the dams. Most of the fish have been on the small side.
Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 3.29 feet. River stages are still low so anglers should use caution when boating. Crappie – No Report: We have received no crappie fishing information for this pool this week. Try fishing in Big Timber (The Breaks) around brush piles and logs along the shore with jigs and minnows or jigs and plastics. Big Timber also has some deeper dredge cuts with some submerged brush piles as well. Sauger – Slow: Tailwater fishing for saugers below Lock and Dam 16 at Muscatine has been slow. A few saugers are being caught on jigs and minnows but most of the fish have been on the small side.
Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 3.06 feet. River stages are still low so anglers should use caution when boating. Crappie – No Report: We have received no crappie fishing information for this pool. Try fishing in the backwaters around brush piles and logs with jigs and minnows. Sauger – Slow: Tailwater fishing for saugers has been slow.
Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 1.14 ft. River levels are still low so anglers should use caution when boating. Crappie – Good: Crappies are being caught in the backwaters. Try fishing around brush piles and logs with jigs and minnows or jigs and plastics. With the low water conditions some backwater areas may be difficult to access. Sauger – Slow: Some saugers are being caught below Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington. Try fishing with jigs and minnows.
Mississippi River Pools 16-19: River stages are still low so anglers should use caution when boating. Main channel water temperature has been around 47 degrees. Remember to clean, drain and dry your boat before going to another water body. For more fishing information contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.
Lake Belva Deer
Pick the warm days to go fishing and you might do real well. Crappie – Excellent: If you can catch a nice warm day you can catch the crappies. Work the flat out from the beach and along the face of the dam and the jetties along the North side of the lake.
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. Rainbow Trout – Good: Anglers are still catching good numbers of trout on a variety of baits and lures; Panther Martins and Roostertails for lures and minnows and worms as bait. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills are still being caught from shore but are starting to move out to deeper water. Try fishing at different depth until you find them. Crappie – Fair: The lures you use for trout will also be bringing in some crappies.
They have lowered the lake about 2 feet to work on the boat ramp. The use of live minnows is not permitted in this Lake. Bluegill – Good: Bluegill fishing is pretty good at 110th and along the north side in the stump fields. Crappie – Fair: The crappies have moved out to the deeper water. Look for them around the brush piles and along the old creek channel.
Rainbow Trout – Excellent: Good numbers of trout are being caught. Look for them around the culverts and brushpiles in the 3 to 4 foot of water. Bluegill – Fair: 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. They are starting to move out to deeper water but should be in shallower when it’s warm.
Environmental Discovery Park North Pond
Anglers continue to catch good numbers of trout as well as pick up a few bluegills. Rainbow Trout – Excellent: The trout have settled in and are being caught on small jigs and spinners. Worms and minnows will also work well. The corners of the dam seem to be good spots to start looking for them.
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 – Slow: 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 683.37 feet as of Nov. 15. White Bass – Slow: Run and gun around rock/gravel banks looking for feeding fish. Crappie – Fair: 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.
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 903.37 feet with 904 being normal. The surface water temperature is 47. Fishing has been slow. Some anglers have been catching crappies along the boat docks in the marinas. 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.
Little River Watershed Lake
The water level is down about 12 feet to allow completion of a shoreline stabilization project. The fish have been restocked and are growing fast.
Fogle Lake S.W.A.
The water level is down about 7 feet to allow boat ramp repairs and crowd the fish to increase predation. The repairs are complete. The water level will be allowed to rise as run-off occurs.
Sands Timber Lake (Blockton Reservoir)
The lake has been drained to allow the construction of a wetland and shoreline stabilization to be completed.
Green Valley Lake
The water level is still down about 3 feet. The ramps are easily accessible. The tree piles are holding a lot of crappies and largemouth bass. Largemouth Bass – Good: A lot of 10 to 15 inch largemouth bass are being caught from the tree piles and heavy riprap areas. Crappie – Good: Several crappies are biting near the cedar tree piles.
The spillway replacement project is complete but run-off has not refilled the lake. Restocking and boating will occur when water levels rise.
Three Mile Lake
The water level is down about 4 feet but the ramps are easily usable.
Twelve Mile Creek Lake
The water level is down about 3.5 feet but access is easy. Crappie – Fair: Depth finders are being used to locate and follow schools through the flooded trees.
The water temps are in the upper 30s and low 40s. Reports of very successful crappie trips are still coming in.