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Iowa's Fishing Report

Sign up today for free weekly fishing information from Iowa’s fisheries experts. Learn the best hot spots and latest news about Iowa’s fishing opportunities from region to region. This weekly fishing forecast will be emailed directly to your inbox every Thursday!

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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 2020 Fishing Report - Great Lakes Salmon

February 2020 Fishing Report - Andy Fales joins us to talk about Boundary Waters fishing, plus local fishing information

March 2020 Fishing Report - Local fishing, plus a conversation with Ben Wallace about Brushy Creek, Storm Lake and Black Hawk Lake

April 2020 Fishing Report - Coronavirus Impacts on Iowa fishing, Minnesota panfish regulations

The Mighty Mississippi River - Kirk Hansen talks about habitat restoration projects on the Mississippi River

May 2020 Fishing Report - Dr. Mark Pegg, Fisheries Ecologist, shares his channel catfish radio telementry research on the Red River of the North; crappie and bluegill fishing hot spots and tips

June 2020 Fishing Report - Clear Lake fishing trip; fishing in community ponds; where to catch Master Angler size fish

July 2020 Fishing Report - Chad Dolan joins us to talk about the science of electrofishing and turtle studies; plus local fishing information

August 2020 Fishing Report -  Jason Schooley from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation joins us to talk about their assault on the paddlefish record books, and the legend of "the big one" from Okoboji from over a century ago; plus local fishing hot spots. 

September 2020 Fishing Report - Shane Akin joins us to talk about musky fishing on the Iowa Great Lakes; plus local fishing information, river fishing tips and stocking channel catfish in community fishing ponds and lakes across Iowa

 

January 2019 Fishing Report - Jeff Kopaska reports on his fishing trip to Clear Lake, Scott Grummer joins to talk ice fishing opportunities in north central Iowa

February 2019 Fishing Report - Ice fishing opportunities across Iowa

April 2019 Fishing Report - big fish/internet legends from Davenport, how to best handle the fish you are keeping to eat

May 2019 Fishing Report - River monsters (lake sturgeon) below Red Rock, walleyes at Big Creek and Brushy Creek

June 2019 Fishing Report - Free fishing weekend, fish stories from 100 year olds, fish local information, DNR fishing atlas

July 2019 Fishing Report - Pond fishing info, urban fishing opportunities

August 2019 Fishing Report - Summer family fishing trips, how to fish the thermocline

September 2019 Fishing Report - Upcoming Professional Musky Tournament Trail event at Okoboji, with Corey Montgomery

October 2019 Fishing Report - National Musky Tournament and Taneycomo Trout

November 2019 Fishing Report - Pheasant opener, fall sampling at Big Creek and Brushy Creek (big muskies and walleyes), trout stocking and more

December 2019 Fishing Report - Ben Schneider joins us to talk about hunting for reindeer on a remote Alaskan island

 

January 2018 Fishing Report - Ice fishing safety, ice fishing tips

February 2018 Fishing Report - Lots of ice fishing, Lake Miami by Albia, Littlefield Lake, DNR Fishing atlas, new ponds in Altoona, Fishermen’s Swap Meet

March 2018 Fishing Report - Community fishing atlas, getting ready for open water

April 2018 Fishing Report - Local fishing in Des Moines, trout stocking

May 2018 Fishing Report - Post-sampling information about Big Creek and Brushy Creek, big muskies, community fishing program, Fort Des Moines pond, walleye opener at Okoboji

June 2018 Fishing Report - Free Fishing Weekend, fishing at Prairie Rose and Big Creek, more great spots to fish

July 2018 Fishing Report - What to do with all the high water, how do we fish these conditions

August 2018 Fishing Report - Mick Klemesrud talks about the August Roadside Survey, pheasant hunting, fishing downtown Des Moines, statewide hot spots, fishing for hot weather bluegills

September 2018 Fishing Report - Why there are slot limits, grass carp stocking and fishing

October 2018 Fishing Report - Trout stocking in Iowa, hunting seasons with Mick Klemesrud

November 2018 Fishing Report - Ice fishing outlook for the Iowa Great Lakes with Mike Hawkins

December 2018 Fishing Report - "50 fish" goals from Scott Gritters

 

 

November 2017 Fishing Report- How to catch fish when the water cools down, Big Creek and Brushy Creek report, prep for winter ice fishing

December 2017 Fishing Report - Ice fishing information, fishing Christmas gifts

 

Iowa Fishing Report
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Waterbody District Comments Date
Big Woods Lake Northeast Fishing conditions have improved on eastern Iowa streams, lakes and rivers during this past week with cooler temperatures and dry weather. 09/17 10:24
Big Woods Lake Northeast Black Crappie - Fair: 09/17 10:31
Big Woods Lake Northeast Bluegill - Fair: 09/17 10:31
Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake) Northeast Fishing conditions have improved on eastern Iowa streams, lakes and rivers during this past week with cooler temperatures and dry weather. 09/17 10:24
Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake) Northeast Channel Catfish - Fair: Fishing has slowed for catfish but the average size caught is large 09/17 10:33
Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake) Northeast Bluegill - Good: 09/17 10:33
Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake) Northeast Largemouth Bass - Fair: Fishing has been best in shallow areas 09/17 10:34
Cedar River (above Nashua) Northeast Area rivers stabilized after last weeks rain. Clarity remains good on most. Weekend temperature highs 60's to mid 40's for lows. Enjoy this beautiful fall-like weather and explore a new area. For more information, please call the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324. 09/16 05:25
Cedar River (above Nashua) Northeast Black Crappie - Fair: Use minnows fished under a bobber near downed trees and slow water or pool areas. 09/16 05:25
Cedar River (above Nashua) Northeast Channel Catfish - Good: Use dead chubs, stinkbaits, and worms fished near bottom near dusk. Find woody debris or stumps for best luck. 09/16 05:25
Cedar River (above Nashua) Northeast Repairs to the Nashua dam continue as water levels and flows stabilize. Water clarity improving. Use caution. Access to fishing holes by boat may be difficult due to low levels. For more information on water levels, visit the following link: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/ia/nwis/rt. 09/16 05:25
Cedar River (above Nashua) Northeast Smallmouth Bass - Slow: Fish the current breaks or rock ledges and gravel bars. Use a minnow on hook under a bobber. 09/16 05:25
Cedar River (above Nashua) Northeast Walleye - Fair: Fish active in evening. Fish fish near current breaks and in log jams. Be prepared to run lure near bottom of pools. Use minnows for best luck. 09/16 05:25
Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City) Northeast Fishing conditions have improved on eastern Iowa streams, lakes and rivers during this past week with cooler temperatures and dry weather. 09/17 10:24
Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City) Northeast River levels are good for fishing. River flow at Waterloo on September 17 were about 1510 CFS. Median flow for this date is 1340 CFS. 09/17 10:41
Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City) Northeast Smallmouth Bass - Good: 09/17 10:41
Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City) Northeast Walleye - Fair: 09/17 10:42
Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City) Northeast Channel Catfish - Fair: 09/17 10:42
Decorah District Streams Northeast Area rivers stabilized after last weeks rain. Clarity remains good on most. Weekend temperature highs 60's to mid 40's for lows. Enjoy this beautiful fall-like weather and explore a new area. For more information, please call the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324. 09/16 05:25
Decorah District Streams Northeast All trout stream stockings unannounced for the rest of the year due to COVID-19 precautions. Anglers seeing good evening mayfly and white fly hatches. Take advantage of the cooler weather and explore a new stream. 09/16 05:25
Decorah District Streams Northeast Brook Trout - Good: Now is the time to use small terrestrial flies such as crickets, grasshoppers, and ants. Please respect private property open to angling. Pick up trash. Be considerate. 09/16 05:25
Decorah District Streams Northeast Brown Trout - Excellent: Excellent evening mayfly hatches. A keen eye and a fly box filled with a variety of sizes and colors will help match a hatch. Fish along grassed edges, undercut banks, and around boulders. 09/16 05:25
Decorah District Streams Northeast Rainbow Trout - Excellent: Hoppers, beetles, and anything that looks buggy will work this time of year. Use hair jigs, spinner baits, small shallow water crankbaits for aggressive fish. 09/16 05:25
George Wyth Lake Northeast Fishing conditions have improved on eastern Iowa streams, lakes and rivers during this past week with cooler temperatures and dry weather. 09/17 10:24
George Wyth Lake Northeast George Wyth boat ramp is closed for repairs. Shoreline fishing access remains open. 09/17 10:28
George Wyth Lake Northeast Black Crappie - Fair: Fish are running small, but hitting a variety of smaller live or artificial baits 09/17 10:29
George Wyth Lake Northeast Bluegill - Fair: Fish are running small 09/17 10:29
George Wyth Lake Northeast Largemouth Bass - Good: George Wyth has a good bass population with many 2-4 pound fish. 09/17 10:30
Lake Hendricks Northeast Area rivers stabilized after last weeks rain. Clarity remains good on most. Weekend temperature highs 60's to mid 40's for lows. Enjoy this beautiful fall-like weather and explore a new area. For more information, please call the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324. 09/16 05:25
Lake Hendricks Northeast Black Crappie - Fair: Try using a jig tipped with a minnow or twister tail trailing behind a boat or kayak for best luck when fish are deep. 09/16 05:25
Lake Hendricks Northeast Bluegill - Fair: Shore anglers should find fish around the jetty's or along the weed lines. A small piece of worm under a bobber works well. 09/16 05:25
Lake Hendricks Northeast Channel Catfish - Fair: Fish channel cats in the evening around woody structure. A worm or stinkbait works well fished near the bottom. 09/16 05:25
Lake Hendricks Northeast Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use a topwater lure fish along a weed edge for some fun bass action. 09/16 05:25
Lake Hendricks Northeast Water clarity remains fair with as green algae bloom continues. Visibility slowly improving. Water temperatures in the mid 60's. 09/16 05:25
Lake Meyer Northeast Area rivers stabilized after last weeks rain. Clarity remains good on most. Weekend temperature highs 60's to mid 40's for lows. Enjoy this beautiful fall-like weather and explore a new area. For more information, please call the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324. 09/16 05:25
Lake Meyer Northeast Bluegill - Fair: Shoreline anglers use a small hook tipped with a small piece of worm under a bobber. Fly anglers try using a small cricket with a jerky movement on the waters surface along a weed edge for a picky gill. 09/16 05:25
Lake Meyer Northeast Channel Catfish - Good: Use stinkbait or worms fished on the bottom around woody strucuture near dusk for a nice fish. 09/16 05:25
Lake Meyer Northeast Few anglers out this week. Lake level is down about 1 foot. Use care using boat ramp during low water. Long trailers reach the end of the ramp. Water clarity is very good. Best time to fish are morning and evening. An excellent lake to use a paddle board or kayak to fish the nooks and crannies. 09/16 05:25
Lake Meyer Northeast Largemouth Bass - Fair: Flip a topwater lure along a weed edge in the evening when fish are actively feeding. Also try a jig tipped with a plastic worm for fun. 09/16 05:25
Manchester District Streams Northeast Fishing conditions have improved on eastern Iowa streams, lakes and rivers during this past week with cooler temperatures and dry weather. 09/17 10:24
Manchester District Streams Northeast Trout Streams are in excellent condition. 09/17 10:25
Manchester District Streams Northeast Rainbow Trout - Excellent: 09/17 10:25
Manchester District Streams Northeast Brown Trout - Good: 09/17 10:26
Maquoketa River (above Monticello) Northeast Fishing conditions have improved on eastern Iowa streams, lakes and rivers during this past week with cooler temperatures and dry weather. 09/17 10:24
Maquoketa River (above Monticello) Northeast River flows are a little high for this time of year but okay for fishing. River flow at Manchester was 294 CFS on September 17. Median flows for this date are 113 CFS. 09/17 10:46
Maquoketa River (above Monticello) Northeast Smallmouth Bass - Good: 09/17 10:46
Maquoketa River (above Monticello) Northeast Walleye - Fair: 09/17 10:46
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Upper Mississippi River levels are stable and fall fishing is picking up. Water clarity has diminished with lots of vegetation dying off and floating. Cooler days have taken water temps down into the mid 60"s° Fish are on the fall feed. Walleye slot length limits now apply on the entire Mississippi River. All walleyes less than 15 inches long and between 20-27 in.must be immediately released.One walleye over 27" may be kept.Combined walleye/sauger limit 6/poss.12 09/17 09:16
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Bluegill - Excellent: Larger bluegills are biting on small piece of crawler fished along channel borders and sloughs. 09/17 09:16
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Channel Catfish - Good: Catfish are biting on prepared stinkbait and worms fished in current along rock shorelines. 09/17 09:16
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Flathead Catfish - Good: Smaller flatheads are biting on worms fished in the deeper tailwaters of dams. 09/17 09:16
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth are hanging out along weedbeds and along channel borders. 09/17 09:16
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Pool 10 at Lynxville is near 615 ft and stable. Water temp is 69° The fall bite has picked up. 09/17 09:16
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Smallmouth Buffalo - Excellent: Smallmouth are hitting crankbaits on rock tips of islands in main channel. 09/17 09:16
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Drum are biting on worms sunk to the bottom in areas of current. 09/17 09:16
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Walleye - Good: Walleye are feeding on the wingdams drifting crawlers or crankbaits. 09/17 09:16
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Yellow Perch - Excellent: Perch have been active in backwater areas in around 5-7 ft of water using a small piece of worm. 09/17 09:16
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Black Crappie - Good: Fish minnows under a bobber in submerged trees in backwater lakes for crappies. 09/17 09:24
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Upper Mississippi River levels are stable and fall fishing is picking up. Water clarity has diminished with lots of vegetation dying off and floating. Cooler days have taken water temps down into the mid 60"s° Fish are on the fall feed. Walleye slot length limits now apply on the entire Mississippi River. All walleyes less than 15 inches long and between 20-27 in.must be immediately released.One walleye over 27" may be kept.Combined walleye/sauger limit 6/poss.12 09/17 09:16
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Bluegill - Excellent: Larger bluegills are biting on small piece of crawler fished along channel borders and sloughs. 09/17 09:16
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Channel Catfish - Good: Catfish are biting on prepared stinkbait and worms fished in current along rock shorelines. 09/17 09:16
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Flathead Catfish - Good: Smaller flatheads are biting on worms fished in the deeper tailwaters of dams. 09/17 09:16
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Drum are biting on worms sunk to the bottom in areas of current. 09/17 09:16
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth are hanging out along weedbeds and along channel borders. 09/17 09:16
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Pool 11 is 6.7 ft this week with a slight fall late next week expected. Water temp is near 61° The fall bite has picked up. 09/17 09:16
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Smallmouth Bass - Excellent: Smallmouth are hitting crankbaits on rock tips of islands in main channel. 09/17 09:16
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Walleye - Good: Walleye are feeding on the wingdams drifting crawlers or crankbaits. 09/17 09:16
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Yellow Perch - Excellent: Perch have been active in backwater areas in around 5-7 ft of water using a small piece of worm. 09/17 09:16
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Black Crappie - Good: Fish minnows under a bobber in submerged trees in backwater lakes for crappies. 09/17 09:25
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Water level continues to decrease throughout the district but tributary streams are running turbid after last weeks rains. If you have angling questions please call the Bellevue Fisheries Station at 563-880-8781. 09/16 03:20
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast The water level is expected to continue to recede this week. Water levels are 6.8 feet at the Lock and Dam and 9.2 feet at the RR bridge. The water temperature is back up to 74 degrees and the clarity is fair. 09/16 03:20
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Bluegill - Good: Bluegills can be found along rock piles and submerged trees in the larger low current sloughs. 09/16 03:20
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Channel Catfish - Excellent: Channel catfish are being caught on prepared stink baits and cut shad. 09/16 03:20
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Northern Pike - Good: Flashy spinners in eddy areas or along weed lines will take this toothy predator. 09/16 03:20
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Black Crappie - Good: Crappie are being taken out of brush piles and marina areas on small jigs and minnows. 09/16 03:20
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Flathead Catfish - Excellent: Smaller flatheads are being taken on worms in deeper holes and in the tailwater. 09/16 03:20
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Freshwater drum are easy to catch on a egg sinker and worm rig. Fish in moderate current. Use large crayfish for big Drum! 09/16 03:20
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Largemouth Bass - Excellent: Bass anglers are switching away from frog baits to large spinner baits. Bass have also moved along rock lines in moderate current. 09/16 03:20
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Smallmouth Bass - Good: Smallmouth bass can be found along rock piles with strong current. Best lures are are flashy spoons, spinners and crank baits. Turbid water will hamper smallmouth catch-ability. 09/16 03:20
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Walleye - Fair: A few walleye are being taken on wingdams with stronger current. Some are also being taken on sand flats by anglers using crankbaits. 09/16 03:20
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast White Bass - Fair: Some white bass are still being caught in the Dubuque tailwater on white jigs. Look for feeding schools elsewhere. 09/16 03:20
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Water level continues to decrease throughout the district but tributary streams are running turbid after last weeks rains. If you have angling questions please call the Bellevue Fisheries Station at 563-880-8781. 09/16 03:20
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Bluegill - Good: Bluegills can be found along rock piles and submerged trees in the larger sloughs. 09/16 03:20
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Channel Catfish - Excellent: Catfish can be found along rock lines and brush piles in moderate current. Anglers are mostly using prepared stink baits. 09/16 03:20
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Flathead Catfish - Excellent: Flathead catfish are being caught using live fish for bait. Lots of trot lines are being set and make sure you follow trot lines rules especially with having your name and address attached to the lines. Smaller flatheads are being taken in deep holes or in the tailwater on worms. 09/16 03:20
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Freshwater drum are easy to catch on a sinker and worm rig. Fish in moderate current. 09/16 03:20
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Largemouth Bass - Excellent: Fish large single hook spinner baits in weedy areas. 09/16 03:20
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Northern Pike - Good: Pike are being reported on flashy spinners along weed edges and rock shorelines. 09/16 03:20
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast The water level at the Bellevue Lock and Dam is at 7.6 feet. Levels are expected to recede all week. The water temperature has risen back up to 74 degrees and the water clarity is fair. The Maquoketa River is still running somewhat turbid. 09/16 03:20
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Smallmouth Bass - Good: Fish along rock lines with strong current. 09/16 03:20
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Walleye - Fair: Walleyes are being taken on wingdams with stronger current. Another technique is to pull crank baits on sand flat areas between islands or between wingdams. 09/16 03:20
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast White Bass - Fair: A few white bass are being taken in the tailwater areas and near wingdams. Most anglers are using flashy spinners. 09/16 03:20
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast Water level continues to decrease throughout the district but tributary streams are running turbid after last weeks rains. If you have angling questions please call the Bellevue Fisheries Station at 563-880-8781. 09/16 03:20
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast Bluegill - Good: Bluegills can be found near backwater areas around brush piles. As water levels get low, look for bluegills along the channel edges. 09/16 03:20
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast Channel Catfish - Good: Anglers are using prepared stink baits, also some are being caught along rock lines. Cut shad is also working well. 09/16 03:20
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast Flathead Catfish - Excellent: Flathead catfish are being caught using live fish for bait. Lots of trot lines are being set and make sure you follow trot lines rules especially with having your name and address on the lines. 09/16 03:20
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Freshwater drum are easy to catch on a worm sinker and worm rig. Fish in moderate current areas. Use large crayfish for bigger Drum. 09/16 03:20
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass are being taken off lily pad areas on spinner baits or frog imitation lures. 09/16 03:20
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast Northern Pike - Good: Use flashy spinners along backwater shorelines or in the tailwaters for this aggressive fish. 09/16 03:20
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast Smallmouth Bass - Good: Fish spinners or crank baits along rip rap areas for best results. 09/16 03:20
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