Iowa's Fishing Report

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How to read our weekly Iowa fishing report

Our weekly fishing report is broken down by counties or regions – Northwest, Northeast, Mississippi River, Southeast and Southwest.

You can check the activity of your favorite lake or stretch of river within each region, including which species are being caught, a rating of the bite (slow, fair, good or excellent), as well as a hot bait or lure pattern.

Fishing reports may include information on stream or river flows (and if it is rising or dropping), ice conditions, depths that fish are biting (watch for trends if this changes), or safety issues like if the water suddenly becomes shallow in spots.




Fishing Podcasts

Each month, Jeff Kopaska of the Iowa DNR and Ross Peterson from KXnO Sports Fanatics get together to talk about fishing opportunities, seasons and events in Iowa and around the Midwest. They are often joined by other DNR staff and guest speakers.

The links below are the podcast recordings of their conversations, and can also be found on the iHeartRadio app.

January 2022 Fishing Report - Hank Kohler joins us to talk the One4Water trip down the Mississippi this summer; plus winter ice fishing adventures and reminders to renew your fishing license.

February 2022 Fishing Report - Zak Slagle from the Ohio DNR joins us to talk about walleye populations, fishing and surveys at Lake Erie; plus plans for the Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference hosted by Iowa DNR is Des Moines mid-February

March 2022 Fishing Report - Ben Neely, Kansas fishery biologist joins us to talk about a recent research project to determine if live scope sonar technology leads to anglers catching more/bigger fish; plus spring community trout stockings

April 2022 Fishing Report - new state record smallmouth buffalo, plus tips for catching trout in community fishing ponds and annual walleye gillnetting efforts

June 2022 Fishing Report - fishing tips and hotspots, plus sturgeon sampling on the Cedar River, Free Fishing Weekend and Iowa Walleye Challenge

July 2022 Fishing Report - summer catfish fishing, plus results of Iowa Walleye Challenge, great fishing at Clear Lake and Iowa State Fair aquarium updates

August 2022 Fishing Report - live from the Iowa State Fair; stop by the aquarim in the DNR building to see fish from across Iowa; plus local fishing information 

January 2021 Fishing Report - Kevan Paul joins us to talk about ice fishing on Clear Lake

February 2021 Fishing Report - fishing in community ponds, plus hybrid striped bass in Big Creek, and the hot yellow perch bite at Clear Lake

March 2021 Fishing Report - Corey Goldsworthy from the Minnesota DNR joins us to talk about the fishing options at Lake Superior, plus ice-out catfishing

April 2021 Fishing Report - Jay Rudacille, Iowa DNR Warm and Coolwater Fish Culture Supervisor, joins us to talk about the annual spring walleye collection, production and stocking, plus spring community trout stockings and fun fishing stories

May 2021 Fishing Report - Hank Kohler joins us to talk about his upcoming paddling trip from central Minnesota down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico to make people aware of and seek donations for clean water projects

July 2021 Fishing Report - Fish Local Community Fishing Program and river catfishing tips, plus trout stream sampling

September 2021 Fishing Report - freshwater drum fishing on the Mississippi River, plus drift fishing for crappie and recap of Iowa State Fair aquarium and courtyard presentations

October 2021 Fishing Report - fall fishing tips, plus fall community trout stockings annouced again this year and upcoming trout angler survey

December 2021 Fishing Report - Eric Brinkman, asssistant chief of aquatic conservation in Arkansas, joins us to talk about managing alligator gar in the Red River; plus the Iowa Urban Trout Challenge on urban/community trout locations through December 31, 2021.

Iowa Fishing Report
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Waterbody District Comments Date
Brinker Lake Northeast Interior rivers here in N.E. Iowa are currently falling thus providing some channel catfish opportunities. Trout streams are in excellent condition across NE Iowa. Area Black Hawk county lakes are producing catches of panfish, channel catfish and largemouth bass. For more information contact your area local bait shops for the most recent up to date hot spots. 08/11 08:05
Brinker Lake Northeast There have been reports of anglers catching a few crappie out of Brinker Lake. 08/11 08:45
Brinker Lake Northeast Black Crappie - Fair: Try a crappie minnow under a slip bobber near structure for crappie. 08/11 08:45
Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake) Northeast Anglers have been catching a few channel catfish after dark in Casey Lake. 08/11 08:05
Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake) Northeast Channel Catfish - Fair: Fish off of the old beach area and to the west using stink baits, livers, leopard frogs or dead cut baits fished on the bottom. After dark has been the most productive. 08/11 08:05
Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake) Northeast Interior rivers here in N.E. Iowa are currently falling thus providing some channel catfish opportunities. Trout streams are in excellent condition across NE Iowa. Area Black Hawk county lakes are producing catches of panfish, channel catfish and largemouth bass. For more information contact your area local bait shops for the most recent up to date hot spots. 08/11 08:05
Cedar River (above Nashua) Northeast Temperatures range from 80's to 60's. Rain likely Friday. Area waterbodies in good condition. Use care when paddling with elevated current and dirty water. For more information, please contact the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324. 08/11 07:16
Cedar River (above Nashua) Northeast Channel Catfish - Excellent: A hook loaded with a crawler, chub, chicken livers, or stinkbait might be just the ticket for a hungry cat. 08/11 07:16
Cedar River (above Nashua) Northeast Smallmouth Bass - Good: Smallies showing up below dams. Try using a hook tipped with a ringworm, twistertail, or nightcrawler. 08/11 07:16
Cedar River (above Nashua) Northeast Walleye - Good: Use worms or minnows under a slip bobber with enough weight to get bait near bottom. 08/11 07:16
Cedar River (above Nashua) Northeast Water levels stabilizing. Clarity improving. For current water level information, please visit the USGS Water Dashboard at https://dashboard.waterdata.usgs.gov/api/gwis/2.0/service/site?agencyCode=USGS&siteNumber=05457700&open=43909. 08/11 07:16
Cedar River (above Nashua) Northeast Largemouth Bass - Slow: Fish lake edges dawn and dusk using a spinnerbait or crankbait. 08/11 07:16
Cedar River (above Nashua) Northeast Northern Pike - No Report: Find pike in shallow vegetated areas out of current. 08/11 07:16
Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City) Northeast Interior rivers here in N.E. Iowa are currently falling thus providing some channel catfish opportunities. Trout streams are in excellent condition across NE Iowa. Area Black Hawk county lakes are producing catches of panfish, channel catfish and largemouth bass. For more information contact your area local bait shops for the most recent up to date hot spots. 08/11 08:05
Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City) Northeast Anglers are catching primarily channel catfish on the river. 08/11 08:05
Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City) Northeast Channel Catfish - Fair: Try using stink baits, chicken livers or dead cut baits fished above fallen tree snags. 08/11 08:05
Decorah District Streams Northeast Temperatures range from 80's to 60's. Rain likely Friday. Area waterbodies in good condition. Use care when paddling with elevated current and dirty water. For more information, please contact the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324. 08/11 07:16
Decorah District Streams Northeast Brook Trout - Fair: Fish the weed lines and head end of riffles for actively feeding fish. Terrestrial insects abundant. 08/11 07:16
Decorah District Streams Northeast Brown Trout - Good: Dirty water favors Brown Trout anglers. Increasing terrestrial insect numbers such as crickets, beetles, grasshoppers washing into streams creates a feeding frenzy for brownies. 08/11 07:16
Decorah District Streams Northeast Rainbow Trout - Good: A few streams get too warm for stocking Rainbow Trout during the heat of the summer, specifically July and August. This is an annual occurrence. Not to worry. Plenty of fish remain in the streams. Stocking the other streams continues as scheduled. 08/11 07:16
Decorah District Streams Northeast Trout streams continue to be stocked every week even if not announced. Most area trout stream current remain elevated. Clarity much improved. Use care when crossing or fishing in faster current. 08/11 07:16
George Wyth Lake Northeast Anglers are catching some northern pike, crappie, channel catfish and largemouth bass on George Wyth Lake. 08/11 08:05
George Wyth Lake Northeast Black Crappie - Fair: Try a crappie minnow under a slip bobber near structure for crappie. 08/11 08:05
George Wyth Lake Northeast Interior rivers here in N.E. Iowa are currently falling thus providing some channel catfish opportunities. Trout streams are in excellent condition across NE Iowa. Area Black Hawk county lakes are producing catches of panfish, channel catfish and largemouth bass. For more information contact your area local bait shops for the most recent up to date hot spots. 08/11 08:05
George Wyth Lake Northeast Largemouth Bass - Fair: Try casting top water artificial or spinner baits early morning or late evening for bass. 08/11 08:05
George Wyth Lake Northeast Northern Pike - Fair: Try trolling crankbaits around the lake or casting spinnerbaits along the edges of willows on the west end of the lake. 08/11 08:05
George Wyth Lake Northeast Channel Catfish - Excellent: Try fishing with night crawlers, chicken livers, dead cutbaits or leopard frogs on the bottom in ten foot of water or less. 08/11 08:05
Lake Hendricks Northeast Temperatures range from 80's to 60's. Rain likely Friday. Area waterbodies in good condition. Use care when paddling with elevated current and dirty water. For more information, please contact the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324. 08/11 07:16
Lake Hendricks Northeast Bluegill - Slow: Try using a small piece of worm to catch one of these beauties. 08/11 07:16
Lake Hendricks Northeast Green algae bloom occurring on Lake Hendricks. Water temperatures are low 70's. Due to recent weather, angling is slow. 08/11 07:16
Lake Hendricks Northeast Black Crappie - Slow: Slowly troll for crappie. Best times to fish are in the evening. 08/11 07:16
Lake Hendricks Northeast Channel Catfish - Excellent: Best time to catch a nice size cat is at night using stinkbait. 08/11 07:16
Lake Hendricks Northeast Largemouth Bass - Slow: Anglers finding fish on edges of vegetation. Use weedless lures to minimize the frustration of casting into weeds. 08/11 07:16
Lake Meyer Northeast Temperatures range from 80's to 60's. Rain likely Friday. Area waterbodies in good condition. Use care when paddling with elevated current and dirty water. For more information, please contact the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324. 08/11 07:16
Lake Meyer Northeast Black Crappie - Slow: Find crappie suspended. Try trolling weed edges with a jig and twister tail. 08/11 07:16
Lake Meyer Northeast Bluegill - Slow: Find a cove or weed edge. Use an ice fishing jig tipped with a small piece of worm. 08/11 07:16
Lake Meyer Northeast Channel Catfish - Good: Use a chunk of worm or squished minnow fished off the bottom near stumps or other woody debris for best luck. 08/11 07:16
Lake Meyer Northeast Lake levels up and off color from recent rain. Shoreline angling much improved. Water temperatures in the 70's. 08/11 07:16
Lake Meyer Northeast Largemouth Bass - Slow: Try using crankbaits or a jig with plastic tail on weedless hooks. Fish vegetation edges. 08/11 07:16
Maquoketa River (above Monticello) Northeast Interior rivers here in N.E. Iowa are currently falling thus providing some channel catfish opportunities. Trout streams are in excellent condition across NE Iowa. Area Black Hawk county lakes are producing catches of panfish, channel catfish and largemouth bass. For more information contact your area local bait shops for the most recent up to date hot spots. 08/11 08:05
Maquoketa River (above Monticello) Northeast The Maquoketa River is currently falling. There have been no reports this past week with the recent rainfall events. 08/11 08:05
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Upper Mississippi River levels are up slightly and will gradually recede. Boaters should use caution so not to back off end of ramps. The bite has improved with better clarity. Walleye slot length limits now apply on the entire Iowa border of the Mississippi River. All walleyes less than 15 inches long and between 20-27 inches must be immediately released. One walleye over 27 inches may be kept. Walleye/sauger combined daily limit 6/possession 12. 08/11 11:17
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Bluegill - Excellent: Fish areas away from current along the weed edges in backwaters using light tackle tipped with piece of worm. 08/11 11:17
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Northern Pike - Fair: Try casting crankbaits off vegetation lines or near mouth of triibutary streams. 08/11 11:17
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Water level at Lynxville is 614.1 feet and predicted to be recede. Water temperature is 81 degrees at Lynxville dam. The backwaters are covered in duck weed and lily-pads. 08/11 11:17
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Yellow Perch - Good: Perch have been biting on a jig tipped with crawler. 08/11 11:17
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Black Crappie - Fair: Anglers are catching crappies in the flooded timber on crappie rigs with minnows. 08/11 11:17
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Channel Catfish - Good: Try cut-bait or stink-bait fished in deeper holes along current breaks of side channels. 08/11 11:17
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Flathead Catfish - Fair: The flathead bite is picking up with the warmer temperatures. Try a shiner or small bluegill for bait. Some anglers are using bank poles with bullheads for bait. 08/11 11:17
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Freshwater drum bite is coming on. Fish weighted crawler rig in the current anywhere from shore. 08/11 11:17
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Largemouth Bass - Good: Cast jigs or jerkbaits in woody cover in the shallows of backwaters. 08/11 11:17
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Sauger - No Report: 08/11 11:17
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Smallmouth Bass - Excellent: Smallmouth are getting more active along main channel rock structure. Cast inline spinners or crankbaits along the faster current. 08/11 11:17
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Walleye - Good: Trolling crankbaits has been effective for walleye off the wing-dams and side channels. 08/11 11:17
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Upper Mississippi River levels are up slightly and will gradually recede. Boaters should use caution so not to back off end of ramps. The bite has improved with better clarity. Walleye slot length limits now apply on the entire Iowa border of the Mississippi River. All walleyes less than 15 inches long and between 20-27 inches must be immediately released. One walleye over 27 inches may be kept. Walleye/sauger combined daily limit 6/possession 12. 08/11 11:17
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Bluegill - Good: Fish areas away from current along the weed edges in backwaters using light tackle tipped with piece of worm. 08/11 11:17
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Northern Pike - Fair: Try casting crankbaits off vegetation lines or near mouth of triibutary streams. 08/11 11:17
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Water level at Guttenberg 5.9 feet and expected slowly reced. Water temperature is 75 at the Guttenberg dam. The backwaters are covered in duck weed and lily-pads. The water is slightly turbid after recent rains. 08/11 11:17
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Yellow Perch - Good: Perch have been biting on a jig tipped with crawler. 08/11 11:17
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Black Crappie - Fair: Anglers are catching crappies in the flooded timber on crappie rigs with minnows. 08/11 11:17
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Channel Catfish - Good: Try cut-bait or stink-bait fished in deeper holes along current breaks of side channels. 08/11 11:17
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Flathead Catfish - Fair: The flathead bite is picking up with the warmer temperatures. Try a shiner or small bluegill for bait. Lots of bank pole fishing with anglers using live fish such as bullheads or green sunfish for bait. 08/11 11:17
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Freshwater drum bite is coming on. Fish weighted crawler rig in the current anywhere from shore. 08/11 11:17
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Largemouth Bass - Good: Cast jigs or crankbaits in woody cover in the shallows of backwaters. 08/11 11:17
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Sauger - No Report: 08/11 11:17
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Smallmouth Bass - Excellent: Smallmouth are getting more active along main channel rock structure. Cast inline spinners or crankbaits along the faster current. 08/11 11:17
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Walleye - Good: Trolling crankbaits has been effective for walleye off the wing-dams and side channels 08/11 11:17
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Water levels have changed dramatically this week due to substantial rains in the watershed. The river also turned somewhat turbid due to runoff into our tributary streams. The water temps are near 80 degrees throughout the district and water levels are stable. If you have angling questions, please call the Bellevue Fisheries Management at 563-880-8781. 08/10 10:43
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Water levels are currently at 5.8 feet at the Dubuque Lock and Dam and 8.5 feet at the RR bridge. Water levels are receding, and the temperature is around 79 degrees. Lots of mixed bags reported with many species contributing. The water is clearing up after massive rains this week. 08/10 10:43
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Bluegill - Good: Fish around rock lines and behind fallen trees using a simple bobber and worm. 08/10 10:43
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Northern Pike - Good: Some nice pike are now being reported on spinner baits. Fish are located often along the established vegetation lines. Try gaudy white spinner baits for the best success. 08/10 10:43
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Black Crappie - Good: Both Black and White Crappie are being caught on woody structures in larger side channel areas with most anglers using small jigs or minnows. 08/10 10:43
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Channel Catfish - Excellent: Catfish angling is still very good but moving to post spawn. Many anglers switch over to stink baits in larger sloughs and mud flats. 08/10 10:43
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Flathead Catfish - Good: Banklines are popular with most anglers using live bullheads or small carp for bait. 08/10 10:43
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Drum are being taken in areas of moderate current using an egg sinker and worm rig. Keep drum on ice if plan on eating them and they can be very good table fare. 08/10 10:43
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Largemouth Bass - Excellent: Bass of all sizes are being reported mostly from backwater areas on spinner baits and swim baits. Fish are often found along weed lines. 08/10 10:43
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Smallmouth Bass - Excellent: Fish along rock lines with moderate current using a spinner or crankbait. Most of the smallies are small but bigger fish can be caught on bigger crankbaits. 08/10 10:43
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Walleye - Good: The bite for walleyes seems to be up and down. At times they seem to be feeding heavily and then later other anglers complain they cannot find them at all. Changing water levels really negatively affects walleye angling 08/10 10:43
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast White Bass - Good: White bass are being caught on white spinners or jigs. Look for schools of white bass chasing minnows especially near sandy areas. 08/10 10:43
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Water levels have changed dramatically this week due to substantial rains in the watershed. The river also turned somewhat turbid due to runoff into our tributary streams. The water temps are near 80 degrees throughout the district and water levels are stable. If you have angling questions, please call the Bellevue Fisheries Management at 563-880-8781. 08/10 10:43
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Bluegill - Excellent: Try a simple bobber and worm rigs along rock lines or near fallen trees in larger sloughs. 08/10 10:43
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Northern Pike - Good: Use gaudy white spinners for best action. 08/10 10:43
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Rainbow Trout - No Report: The Kids Trout Pond is unfishable right now due to excessive vegetation. The pond will be restocked in later fall with trout. 08/10 10:43
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast The water level at the Bellevue Lock is currently near 6.6 feet and falling. The water temperature is around 80 degrees. Lots of mixed species' bags being reported. Some debris is floating due to the recent raise in water level. 08/10 10:43
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Walleye - Good: Good numbers are now coming off the wingdams with anglers using crankbaits or worm rigs. Some good fishing reported but changing water levels seem to affect the bite of walleye more than most species. 08/10 10:43
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Black Crappie - Good: Both Black and White Crappie are being caught on woody structures in larger side channel areas with most anglers using small jigs or minnows. 08/10 10:43
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Channel Catfish - Excellent: Try to switch over to stink baits for post spawn channel cats. Channel Cats seem to be in the deeper holes during this low water. 08/10 10:43
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Flathead Catfish - Good: Many anglers are using bank poles and a live bullhead or Green Sunfish for bait. 08/10 10:43
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Drum are being are taken in areas of moderate current using an egg sinker and worm rig. Keep drum on ice if plan on eating them and they can be very good table fare. 08/10 10:43
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Largemouth Bass - Excellent: The Bass bite is very hot right now. They are heavily feeding on minnows in side channels and rock lines. 08/10 10:43
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Smallmouth Bass - Good: Fish spinners or crankbaits along rock lines. Some really nice three-pound type smallmouth have been reported but most are small but fun on light action poles. 08/10 10:43
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast White Bass - Good: White bass have been seen feeding at the surface in various parts of Pool 13. Try to use white jigs and small spinners in these feeding schools. 08/10 10:43
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast Water levels have changed dramatically this week due to substantial rains in the watershed. The river also turned somewhat turbid due to runoff into our tributary streams. The water temps are near 80 degrees throughout the district and water levels are stable. If you have angling questions, please call the Bellevue Fisheries Management at 563-880-8781. 08/10 10:43
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are on the bite throughout Pool 14, use a simple bobber and worm rig in three foot of water or less. 08/10 10:43
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Drum are taken in areas of moderate current using an egg sinker and worm rig. Keep fish on ice if plan on eating them and they can be very good table fare. 08/10 10:43
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast Northern Pike - Good: Some pike have been seen in mixed species bags mostly by angler's bass fishing. Target pike along weedy shorelines with gaudy white spinners. 08/10 10:43
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast The water level at the Fulton Lock and Dam is receding and is presently at 6.4 feet, Camanche is at 10.7 feet and Le Claire is at 5.5 feet. Water temperature is around 80 in the main channel and clarity is clearing up but still stained after recent rains. 08/10 10:43
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast Walleye - Good: Some nice walleyes continue to be reported from sloughs and near shore wingdams. Most anglers are using crankbaits. 08/10 10:43
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast White Crappie - Good: Both Black and White crappie angling continues to be good in around brush piles. Small jig tipped with minnows are often the bait of choice. 08/10 10:43
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast Channel Catfish - Excellent: Try switching over to stink bait for post spawn walleyes. Fish in larger sloughs upstream of fallen trees. 08/10 10:43
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