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7 lakes you’ve got to fish this fall

  • 10/23/2018 3:27:00 PM
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Get out and enjoy Iowa’s fantastic fishing opportunities. The air is cool, the views are picturesque, lakes are less crowded and the fish are easy to catch.

You need to fish these 7 Iowa lakes this fall | Iowa DNRHere’s our top fall fishing spots:

  • Big Creek Lake, Polk County – crappie will be close to the shoreline rock/rip-rap as the water temperature gets cooler. Use a small jig or jig head, tipped with a minnow, under a small bobber, around the rock edges of the jetties.
  • Big Spirit Lake, Dickinson County – fall is the perfect time to wade along the shore for walleyes. Use a crankbait or jig in the evenings and early morning. Perch fishing from a boat should be good this fall. Vertical jig around weed edges and move to the main basin later.
  • Black Hawk Lake, Sac County – good fall bluegill and crappie fishing along the shoreline; slowly jig around structure and any docks that are still in the water. You might get lucky and get into some perch around the inlet bridge.
  • Clear Lake, Cerro Gordo County – many Master Angler qualifying yellow bass (10 inches) are available to catch this fall. Use small jigs tipped with a night crawler, minnows or cut bait. Stay on the move to find schools of fish. Trophy size muskellunge are active in the cool fall water (40 inch minimum size on muskellunge).
  • Lake Anita, Cass County – slow troll over and around road beds, rock reefs, rock piles, brush piles, and points for 8 to 9-inch bluegill and 10-inch black crappie. Cast to the edge of the water lilies for trophy size largemouth bass.
  • Lake Belva Deer, Keokuk County – largemouth bass, bluegill and crappie move closer to shore as water temperatures cool. Use jig-n-pig combos around flooded timber, rip-rap shorelines, and underwater mounds for bass. A slow and steady retrieve of a 1/32 oz. jig with a half-inch paddle tail body will entice panfish to bite; tip your hook with a spike to encourage fish to hang on just a little longer. 
  • Lake Miami, Monroe County – look for crappie and bluegill in brush piles and standing timber. Some days these fish can be caught suspended in the lower half of the lake. Catch bluegills up to 9-inches, 12-inch crappies and 12 to 15-inch bass (many up to 21-inches).

Fall is an excellent time for fishing in Iowa - try these 7 lakes!  |  Iowa DNR