Iowa’s fishing opportunities are some of the best in the Midwest. Find out more about fishing destinations across the state including maps, directions and amenities.
Lakes, Ponds and Reservoirs
Iowas’s lakes and ponds number in the thousands. Many are stocked and managed by the Iowa DNR, offering abundant fishing, especially of panfish like crappie and bluegill. Several lakes are fishing destination choices for muskie, northern pike and walleye.
For diversity of fish to catch, head to one of Iowa’s rivers or streams. Iowa’s interior rivers are known for growing large-sized fish, and lots of them. In one trip an angler could catch a dozen or more different species, including prized-size catfish, walleye and smallmouth bass.
Northeast Iowa is a regional destination for exceptional trout fishing. Both stocked and naturally occurring trout can be found in the breathtaking forests and streams of this part of the state.
Iowa’s eastern border river is nationally known for backwater fishing of bass, catfish, panfish, pike and walleye. It is the best fishery in Iowa for abundance and diversity of fish species. Dozens of access points are available for boaters and anglers.
On the western border, the Missouri River offers excellent fishing for catfish and sauger. The southern part of the river is one of the only places in Iowa to catch blue catfish.