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 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

November 2021 Fishing Report - Andrew Downs, KXnO production director, joins us to talk about his family fishing trip to Cairns Lake in nortwestern Ontario, Canada; plus 2021 Iowa Trout Angler Survey invitations going out this week via email, fall community trout stockings and the fall trout spawn

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.


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.

 

Iowa Fishing Report
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Waterbody District Comments Date
Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake) Northeast Ice conditions on lakes and ponds in east-central Iowa are generally 4-6 inches. Remain cautious while ice-fishing and avoid areas with water current. For additional information contact the Manchester Fish Hatchery at 563-927-3276 01/13 10:59
Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake) Northeast Bluegill - Fair: Fish evenings or early mornings for best success with small presentations. 01/13 11:01
George Wyth Lake Northeast Ice conditions on lakes and ponds in east-central Iowa are generally 4-6 inches. Remain cautious while ice-fishing and avoid areas with water current. For additional information contact the Manchester Fish Hatchery at 563-927-3276 01/13 10:59
George Wyth Lake Northeast There has been moderate fishing activity on lakes in George Wyth State Park, but most fish have been small. 01/13 11:04
George Wyth Lake Northeast Bluegill - Fair: 01/13 11:05
George Wyth Lake Northeast Black Crappie - Slow: 01/13 11:05
Heritage Pond Northeast Ice conditions on lakes and ponds in east-central Iowa are generally 4-6 inches. Remain cautious while ice-fishing and avoid areas with water current. For additional information contact the Manchester Fish Hatchery at 563-927-3276 01/13 10:59
Heritage Pond Northeast Trout were stocked into Heritage Pond in the fall and some of those stocked trout remain in the lake at this time. 01/13 11:08
Heritage Pond Northeast Rainbow Trout - Fair: 01/13 11:09
Manchester District Streams Northeast Ice conditions on lakes and ponds in east-central Iowa are generally 4-6 inches. Remain cautious while ice-fishing and avoid areas with water current. For additional information contact the Manchester Fish Hatchery at 563-927-3276 01/13 10:59
Manchester District Streams Northeast Trout streams are in excellent condition. Very clear water conditions at this time so use subtle presentations and approach fish from downstream. 01/13 11:11
Manchester District Streams Northeast Rainbow Trout - Fair: 01/13 11:11
Manchester District Streams Northeast Brown Trout - Fair: 01/13 11:11
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Upper Mississippi River levels remain stable. Boat ramps remain iced in. Ice depth in backwaters is averaging around 8-10 inches. Anglers should use caution on areas with current with variable ice conditions due to snow cover. 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 is 6/possession 01/13 10:34
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Black Crappie - Fair: Fish with jigs tipped with waxworm a few feet under the ice to mid depth. Bite has been best mid morning and again later afternoon. 01/13 10:34
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Bluegill - Fair: Fish with jig tipped with a waxworm about mid water column to just off the bottom for the gills. Anglers are doing a lot of sorting. Release the small ones alive; they will be keepers next year. 01/13 10:34
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Lynxville water level is stable near 614.2 feet. Ice continues to build, however, it is extremely variable with snow cover. Warmer days have caused some snowmelt and slush on the surface. Use caution and check ice often before crossing sloughs and areas with any current. 01/13 10:34
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Sauger - No Report: 01/13 10:34
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Walleye - No Report: 01/13 10:34
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Yellow Perch - Good: Perch are hanging out in weed edges on the slopes of backwater cuts. Jig a waxie or minnow a foot off the bottom. 01/13 10:34
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Northern Pike - Fair: Some northern have been caught in backwaters using shiners on a tip up/down. 01/13 10:34
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Upper Mississippi River levels remain stable. Boat ramps remain iced in. Ice depth in backwaters is averaging around 8-10 inches. Anglers should use caution on areas with current with variable ice conditions due to snow cover. 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 is 6/possession 01/13 10:34
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Guttenberg tailwater is 5.6 feet, remaining fairly stable. Ice continues to build, however, it is extremely variable with snow cover. Warmer days have caused some snowmelt and slush on the surface. Use caution and check ice often before crossing sloughs and areas with any current. 01/13 10:34
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Walleye - No Report: 01/13 10:34
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Yellow Perch - Good: Perch are hanging out in weed edges on the slopes of backwater cuts. Jig a waxie or minnow a foot off the bottom. 01/13 10:34
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Black Crappie - Fair: Fish with jigs tipped with waxworm a few feet under the ice to mid depth. Bite has been best mid morning and again later afternoon. 01/13 10:34
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Bluegill - Fair: Fish with jig tipped with a waxworm about mid water column to just off the bottom for the gills. Anglers are doing a lot of sorting. Release the small ones alive; they will be keepers next year. 01/13 10:34
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Northern Pike - Fair: Some northern have been caught in backwaters using shiners on a tip up/down. 01/13 10:34
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Sauger - No Report: 01/13 10:34
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are commonly being caught in nearly all the marina areas and deeper backwater lakes. Lots of sorting going on with the Gills and sometime 1 in 10 are keepers. 01/13 11:05
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Ice fishing is well underway. If ice fishing have a safety plan as Mississippi River ice can be unpredictable. Be ware of places with flowing water or where ice looks discolored. The main channel water is low and clear and some fishing ramps are now frozen in. If you have angling questions please call the Bellevue Fisheries Management at 563-880-8781. 01/13 11:05
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Sauger - No Report: The ramps are iced in. 01/13 11:05
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast The water level is steady and temperature is in low 30's. Water levels are currently 5.5 feet at the Lock and Dam and 8.2 feet at the RR bridge and clarity is good. Boat ramps are nearly all frozen in. 01/13 11:05
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Yellow Perch - Fair: Expect to see more yellow perch showing up as winter progresses. We have had excellent reproduction of yellow perch in the past few years. 01/13 11:05
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Ice fishing is well underway. If ice fishing have a safety plan as Mississippi River ice can be unpredictable. Be ware of places with flowing water or where ice looks discolored. The main channel water is low and clear and some fishing ramps are now frozen in. If you have angling questions please call the Bellevue Fisheries Management at 563-880-8781. 01/13 11:05
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast The water level at the Bellevue Lock is steady and is currently near 5.6 feet. Water temperature is near freezing in the main channel and the water clarity is good. The Bellevue Boat ramp is again open as of Thursday. The viewing of Bald Eagles at the Bellevue Lock and Dam is fantastic right now as they are feeding on dead shad. 01/13 11:05
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Yellow Perch - Excellent: Lots of small perch are being seen fall DNR fish surveys. The future looks bright for decent yellow perch fishing in Pool 13. 01/13 11:05
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Bluegill - Good: Ice thickness reports have varied but when good ice most anglers are reporting plenty of gills. 01/13 11:05
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Rainbow Trout - Good: The kids trout pond just north of the DNR station has been stocked again with rainbow trout for the winter. Remember if keeping trout to only keep two per child. 01/13 11:05
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Sauger - No Report: Boat ramp is open as of Thursday but no anglers were out yet. 01/13 11:05
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Black Crappie - Fair: Some nice Crappie were reported out of places like lower Sabula Lake but they are not abundant. 01/13 11:10
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast Ice fishing is well underway. If ice fishing have a safety plan as Mississippi River ice can be unpredictable. Be ware of places with flowing water or where ice looks discolored. The main channel water is low and clear and some fishing ramps are now frozen in. If you have angling questions please call the Bellevue Fisheries Management at 563-880-8781. 01/13 11:05
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast Bluegill - Good: Try the Rock Creek area where some Bluegills are being reported. Lots of sorting going on, if you catch 20 gills 3 might be keepers. 01/13 11:05
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast Sauger - No Report: no reports as it remain difficult to launch out of frozen ramps. 01/13 11:05
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast The water level at the Fulton Lock and Dam is steady at 5.1 feet, Camanche is at 9.5 feet and Le Claire is at 4.5 feet. Water temperature is around 33 in the main channel and clarity is good. Most ramps on Pool 14 are frozen in and boat launching is not possible. 01/13 11:05
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast Yellow Perch - No Report: Lots of small perch are in the system and the future for yellow perch fishing looks bright in Pool 14. 01/13 11:05
Mississippi River Pool 15 Northeast Ice fishing is well underway. If ice fishing have a safety plan as Mississippi River ice can be unpredictable. Be ware of places with flowing water or where ice looks discolored. The main channel water is low and clear and some fishing ramps are now frozen in. If you have angling questions please call the Bellevue Fisheries Management at 563-880-8781. 01/13 11:05
Mississippi River Pool 15 Northeast Sauger - No Report: Try fishing in the tailwater with a simple jig and minnow. Usually you need to fish at a depth greater than 20 feet for walleye and sauger. 01/13 11:05
Mississippi River Pool 15 Northeast The water level at Rock Island is at 5.3 feet and is dropping. The water temperature is near 33 degrees and water clarity is good. 01/13 11:05
Mississippi River Pool 15 Northeast Bluegill - No Report: 01/13 11:13
Mississippi River Pool 9 Northeast Black Crappie - Fair: Fish with jigs tipped with waxworm a few feet under the ice to mid depth. Bite has been best mid morning and again later afternoon. 01/13 10:34
Mississippi River Pool 9 Northeast Lansing water level remains stable near 8 feet. Ice continues to build, however, it is extremely variable with snow cover. Warmer days have caused some snowmelt and slush on the surface. Use caution and check ice often before crossing sloughs and areas with any current. NOTICE: Dredging is completed at Lansing Village Creek. The west part of the parking lot remains closed. 01/13 10:34
Mississippi River Pool 9 Northeast Sauger - No Report: 01/13 10:34
Mississippi River Pool 9 Northeast Upper Mississippi River levels remain stable. Boat ramps remain iced in. Ice depth in backwaters is averaging around 8-10 inches. Anglers should use caution on areas with current with variable ice conditions due to snow cover. 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 is 6/possession 01/13 10:34
Mississippi River Pool 9 Northeast Walleye - No Report: 01/13 10:34
Mississippi River Pool 9 Northeast Yellow Perch - Good: Perch are hanging out in weed edges on the slopes of backwater cuts. Jig a waxie or minnow a foot off the bottom. 01/13 10:34
Mississippi River Pool 9 Northeast Bluegill - Fair: Fish with jig tipped with a waxworm about mid water column to just off the bottom for the gills. Anglers are doing a lot of sorting. Release the small ones alive; they will be keepers next year. 01/13 10:34
Mississippi River Pool 9 Northeast Northern Pike - Fair: Some northern have been caught in backwaters using shiners on a tip up/down. 01/13 10:34
North Prairie Lake Northeast Ice conditions on lakes and ponds in east-central Iowa are generally 4-6 inches. Remain cautious while ice-fishing and avoid areas with water current. For additional information contact the Manchester Fish Hatchery at 563-927-3276 01/13 10:59
North Prairie Lake Northeast Trout were stocked into North Prairie during the fall and some of those stocked trout remain in the lake at this time. 01/13 11:07
North Prairie Lake Northeast Rainbow Trout - Fair: 01/13 11:07
Silver Lake (Delaware) Northeast Ice conditions on lakes and ponds in east-central Iowa are generally 4-6 inches. Remain cautious while ice-fishing and avoid areas with water current. For additional information contact the Manchester Fish Hatchery at 563-927-3276 01/13 10:59
Silver Lake (Delaware) Northeast High catches of small fish. Harvest-size fish are rare, but a good location to catch some fish with the kids. 01/13 11:13
Silver Lake (Delaware) Northeast Bluegill - Fair: Try small plastics. 01/13 11:14
Silver Lake (Delaware) Northeast Northern Pike - Slow: 01/13 11:14
Silver Lake (Delaware) Northeast Largemouth Bass - Slow: 01/13 11:14
Arrowhead Lake Northwest Lakes throughout the district have roughly 7-12 inches of ice. The recent warm weather has reduced ice quality in some areas. There are still seams and waterfowl holes with open water to watch out for on the bigger lakes. Check ice frequently and use caution. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638. 01/13 09:00
Arrowhead Lake Northwest Ice is 8 inches thick near the boat ramp. 01/13 09:00
Black Hawk Lake Northwest Lakes throughout the district have roughly 7-12 inches of ice. The recent warm weather has reduced ice quality in some areas. There are still seams and waterfowl holes with open water to watch out for on the bigger lakes. Check ice frequently and use caution. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638. 01/13 09:00
Black Hawk Lake Northwest Black Crappie - Fair: Some anglers have picked up 10-11 inch crappie around the Gunshot Hill area. 01/13 09:00
Black Hawk Lake Northwest Bluegill - Fair: 01/13 09:00
Black Hawk Lake Northwest Ice is around 8 inches near the Ice House Point boat ramp, this is where most of the ice angling has taken place so far. Ice is variable, especially in the middle and east end. Use caution, there are multiple pressure seams and areas of open water in the middle portion of the lake. There are still open water fishing opportunities near the fish house in Town Bay. 01/13 09:00
Black Hawk Lake Northwest Yellow Perch - Fair: 01/13 09:00
Blue Pit Northwest Clear Lake, Crystal Lake, Rice Lake and Silver Lake have aeration systems running. Avoid any open water areas and be cautious of waterfowl holes on these lakes that may have recently froze over. Check ice thickness often as you go. For information on the lakes and rivers in north central Iowa, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517. 01/13 08:11
Blue Pit Northwest Ice thickness is 5 to 10 inches. Trout were stocked the first week of November. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. The daily bag limit is 5. 01/13 08:11
Blue Pit Northwest Rainbow Trout - Slow: 01/13 08:11
Brushy Creek Lake Northwest Lakes throughout the district have roughly 7-12 inches of ice. The recent warm weather has reduced ice quality in some areas. There are still seams and waterfowl holes with open water to watch out for on the bigger lakes. Check ice frequently and use caution. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638. 01/13 09:00
Brushy Creek Lake Northwest Bluegill - Fair: 01/13 09:00
Brushy Creek Lake Northwest Ice conditions are variable. Use caution and check the ice thickness frequently when venturing out. Recent warm weather has reduced ice quality in some areas. 01/13 09:00
Brushy Creek Lake Northwest Black Crappie - Fair: 01/13 09:00
Brushy Creek Lake Northwest Yellow Perch - Fair: 01/13 09:00
Center Lake Northwest The majority of area lakes have 12+ inches of ice allowing for safe ice fishing. In areas with thicker ice some small vehicle traffic has been prevalent. There are still many hazards as their are many holes and seams on bigger lake basins. Make sure you have flotation, ice picks and check ice thickness often. The forecast calls for high temperatures just below freezing though the weekend and a winter storm this Friday. 01/13 10:20
Center Lake Northwest Caution: The lake aeration system is currently in operation, creating a large open hole. 01/13 10:20
Clear Lake Northwest Bluegill - Fair: Fish near the edge of the rushes or open areas in the vegetation in 2 to 3 feet of water. Use a small jig tipped with a wax worm. 01/13 08:11
Clear Lake Northwest Clear Lake, Crystal Lake, Rice Lake and Silver Lake have aeration systems running. Avoid any open water areas and be cautious of waterfowl holes on these lakes that may have recently froze over. Check ice thickness often as you go. For information on the lakes and rivers in north central Iowa, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517. 01/13 08:11
Clear Lake Northwest Ice thickness is 0 to 14 inches. Clear Lake has a protected slot on walleye. All walleye between 17 and 22 inches must be immediately released unharmed. No more than one walleye longer than 22 inches may be taken per day. 01/13 08:11
Clear Lake Northwest Walleye - Slow: Use a jigging minnow or try dead sticking a minnow. Best times are near last light. 01/13 08:11
Clear Lake Northwest Yellow Bass - Slow: Fish in 5 to 6 feet of water with a small jig tipped with bait. You have to stay mobile to find fish. 01/13 08:11
Clear Lake Northwest Yellow Perch - Fair: Perch are biting in the Farmer's beach area in 2 to 4 feet of water. Fish near vegetation and use a larger bait to get the bigger fish. 01/13 08:11
Clear Lake Northwest Black Crappie - Slow: 01/13 08:56
Crystal Lake Northwest Clear Lake, Crystal Lake, Rice Lake and Silver Lake have aeration systems running. Avoid any open water areas and be cautious of waterfowl holes on these lakes that may have recently froze over. Check ice thickness often as you go. For information on the lakes and rivers in north central Iowa, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517. 01/13 08:11
Crystal Lake Northwest Black Crappie - No Report: 01/13 08:11
Crystal Lake Northwest Ice thickness is 0 to 12 inches. Be cautious of a few open water areas outside of the aeration boundary. 01/13 08:11
East Okoboji Lake Northwest The majority of area lakes have 12+ inches of ice allowing for safe ice fishing. In areas with thicker ice some small vehicle traffic has been prevalent. There are still many hazards as their are many holes and seams on bigger lake basins. Make sure you have flotation, ice picks and check ice thickness often. The forecast calls for high temperatures just below freezing though the weekend and a winter storm this Friday. 01/13 10:20
East Okoboji Lake Northwest Black Crappie - Good: 01/13 10:20
East Okoboji Lake Northwest The lake is fully iced up and has an average of 14+ inches of ice allowing for safe ATV traffic in most areas. 01/13 10:20
East Okoboji Lake Northwest Bluegill - Good: Try jigging with tube jigs or a tungsten jig and live bait. 01/13 10:20
Ingham Lake Northwest The majority of area lakes have 12+ inches of ice allowing for safe ice fishing. In areas with thicker ice some small vehicle traffic has been prevalent. There are still many hazards as their are many holes and seams on bigger lake basins. Make sure you have flotation, ice picks and check ice thickness often. The forecast calls for high temperatures just below freezing though the weekend and a winter storm this Friday. 01/13 10:20
Ingham Lake Northwest Caution: The lake aeration system is currently in operation. Ice conditions very heavily around the lake but most areas have 12+ inches. 01/13 10:20
Lake Cornelia Northwest Clear Lake, Crystal Lake, Rice Lake and Silver Lake have aeration systems running. Avoid any open water areas and be cautious of waterfowl holes on these lakes that may have recently froze over. Check ice thickness often as you go. For information on the lakes and rivers in north central Iowa, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517. 01/13 08:11
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