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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

 

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
Cedar River (above Nashua) Northeast Area rivers and streams water levels continue to fall. Flows remain elevated. Water clarity excellent. Expect a pleasant weekend with low humidity and temperatures in the 80's for highs and 60's for lows. Pop-up thunderstorms possible. For current fishing information, call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324. 07/30 07:30
Cedar River (above Nashua) Northeast Repairs to the Nashua dam continue as water levels and flows drop. Water levels falling with good water clarity. Use caution; under water hazards may have moved. For more information on water levels, visit the following link: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/ia/nwis/rt. 07/30 07:30
Cedar River (above Nashua) Northeast Smallmouth Bass - Good: Use a jig tipped with natural colored twister tails and crank or spinner baits for bass. 07/30 07:30
Cedar River (above Nashua) Northeast Walleye - Good: Use a jig tipped with a bright plastic tail for some quick action. 07/30 07:30
Cedar River (above Nashua) Northeast Channel Catfish - Good: Use chicken liver and stink baits for best luck or dead chub on bottom out of current. 07/30 07:30
Decorah District Streams Northeast Area rivers and streams water levels continue to fall. Flows remain elevated. Water clarity excellent. Expect a pleasant weekend with low humidity and temperatures in the 80's for highs and 60's for lows. Pop-up thunderstorms possible. For current fishing information, call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324. 07/30 07:30
Decorah District Streams Northeast Wild yellow parsnip seeded out. Please don't touch this plant. Sap causes painful blisters. All trout stream stockings will be unannounced for the rest of the year due to COVID-19 precautions. A small number of trout streams are not stocked in July and August due to marginal water temperatures. This is an annual occurrence. To check which ones, please visit the trout fishing website. 07/30 07:30
Decorah District Streams Northeast Brown Trout - Good: Hoppers, beetles, and bugs are plentiful. Use flies imitating terrestrial insects fishing along grassed edges. Use hair jigs or spinners for aggressive fish. 07/30 07:30
Decorah District Streams Northeast Rainbow Trout - Excellent: Use a worm or cheese bait floated through a pool under a bobber. Use an ultra-light pole and reel for fun action. Small crappie or bluegill jigs work well on a hungry trout. 07/30 07:30
Decorah District Streams Northeast Brook Trout - Good: Please respect private property open to angling. Pick up trash. Be considerate. Bead-headed midges and pheasant tail nymphs working well. 07/30 07:30
Lake Hendricks Northeast Area rivers and streams water levels continue to fall. Flows remain elevated. Water clarity excellent. Expect a pleasant weekend with low humidity and temperatures in the 80's for highs and 60's for lows. Pop-up thunderstorms possible. For current fishing information, call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324. 07/30 07:30
Lake Hendricks Northeast A severe green algal bloom continues limiting visibility. Best times to fish are early morning and evening. 07/30 07:30
Lake Hendricks Northeast Bluegill - Fair: A small piece of worm on a small hook under a bobber works well. Find fish along rocky shoreline in deeper water. 07/30 07:30
Lake Hendricks Northeast Channel Catfish - Good: With warmer water temperatures, try using cheese or stink baits. A fat juicy worm will work also. 07/30 07:30
Lake Hendricks Northeast Largemouth Bass - Good: Use topwater lures or weedless hooks for best luck. Fish along weed edges. 07/30 07:30
Lake Meyer Northeast Area rivers and streams water levels continue to fall. Flows remain elevated. Water clarity excellent. Expect a pleasant weekend with low humidity and temperatures in the 80's for highs and 60's for lows. Pop-up thunderstorms possible. For current fishing information, call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324. 07/30 07:30
Lake Meyer Northeast Water clarity is excellent. Filamentous algae mats covering vegetation in shallow water. Fish early morning and evening when shadows aren't cast on the water. 07/30 07:30
Lake Meyer Northeast Bluegill - Fair: Try a small piece of worm fished under a bobber along a rocky shoreline. 07/30 07:30
Lake Meyer Northeast Channel Catfish - Good: Use chicken liver or nightcrawler fished on the bottom near stumps or other structure. 07/30 07:30
Lake Meyer Northeast Largemouth Bass - Good: Use a jig tipped with a twister tail or worm fished along vegetated edges. Also try using a topwater lure. 07/30 07:30
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Upper Mississippi River levels are expected to rise slightly over the weekend and then stabilize. Water clarity remains good. 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 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast River level at Lynxville is at 617 and expected to rise a foot over the weekend to 618.1 and then stabilize. Water temp is in the low 80's. Sny Magill access is open. 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Northern Pike - Excellent: Northern pike can be caught in areas of colder streams and springs entering the Mississippi River 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Walleye - Good: Walleyes are biting on crankbaits on wingdams and channel border structure. 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Black Crappie - Good: Crappies are in 8-10 ft of water. Use a minnow under a bobber in areas near current breaks in backwaters and side channels. 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Yellow Perch - Excellent: Fish a small piece of crawler off the bottom near shorelines with slight current. 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Largemouth Bass - Good: Try casting plastics or blade baits along edges of vegetation beds in backwater lakes. 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Smallmouth Bass - Good: Fish rock piles at the tip of the islands on main channel borders with spinnerbaits 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Flathead Catfish - Fair: Flathead bite has slowed up some but still some being caught on shiners or a small bluegill for bait. 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Shovelnose sturgeon - Good: Some shovelnose are being picked up using crawler fished off the bottom in main channel areas. 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Channel Catfish - Excellent: Fish nightcrawlers or cut bait off the bottom in deeper side channel areas. 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Bluegill - Excellent: Bluegills are spawing. Fish along the shorelines with light tackle tipped with small piece of worm 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Fish for drum in along current breaks using a crawler fished on the bottom. 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Upper Mississippi River levels are expected to rise slightly over the weekend and then stabilize. Water clarity remains good. 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 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast River level at Guttenberg is 8.9 ft and is expected to rise a foot over the weekend to 9.8 ft and then stabilize. Water temperature is low 80's °F. 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Walleye - Good: Walleyes are biting on crankbaits on wingdams and channel border structure. 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Northern Pike - Excellent: Northern pike can be caught in areas of colder streams and springs entering the Mississippi River. 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Yellow Perch - Fair: Fish a small piece of crawler off the bottom near shorelines with slight current. 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Black Crappie - Good: Crappies are in about 10 ft of water. Use a minnow under a bobber in areas with less current in backwaters and side channels 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Largemouth Bass - Good: Try casting plastics or blade baits along edges of vegetation beds in backwater lakes. 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Smallmouth Bass - Excellent: Fish rock piles at the tip of the islands on main channel borders with spinnerbaits 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Flathead Catfish - Fair: Flathead bite has slowed up some but still some being caught on shiners or a small bluegill for bait. 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Shovelnose sturgeon - Fair: Some shovelnose are being picked up using crawler fished off the bottom in main channel areas. 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are spawing. Fish along the shorelines with light tackle tipped with small piece of worm 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Channel Catfish - Excellent: Fish nightcrawlers or cut bait off the bottom in deeper side channel areas. 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Fish for drum in along current breaks using a crawler fished on the bottom. 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 9 Northeast Upper Mississippi River levels are expected to rise slightly over the weekend and then stabilize. Water clarity remains good. 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 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 9 Northeast River level at Lansing is is 9.17 and expected to rise over the weekend to 9.5 ft and then stabilize. Water temp is in the low 80's. New Albin Army road is open. Hwy 82, Lansing Bridge has reopened. Use caution at ramps during low water. Lansing Village Creek is shallow near the creek mouth. Heytman's Landing accessible with shallow drive boats only at this time. 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 9 Northeast Walleye - Good: Walleyes are biting on crankbaits on wingdams and channel border structure. 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 9 Northeast Northern Pike - Good: Northern pike can be caught in areas of colder streams and springs entering the Mississippi River 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 9 Northeast Yellow Perch - Fair: Fish a small piece of crawler off the bottom near shorelines with slight current. 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 9 Northeast Black Crappie - Good: Crappies are in about 10 ft of water. Use a minnow under a bobber in areas with less current in backwaters or side channels. 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 9 Northeast Largemouth Bass - Good: Try casting plastics or blade baits along edges of vegetation beds in backwater lakes. 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 9 Northeast Shovelnose sturgeon - Fair: Some shovelnose are being picked up using crawler fished off the bottom in main channel areas. 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 9 Northeast Smallmouth Bass - Excellent: Fish rock piles at the tip of the islands on main channel borders with spinnerbaits. 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 9 Northeast Channel Catfish - Excellent: Fish nightcrawlers or cut bait off the bottom in deeper side channel areas. 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 9 Northeast Flathead Catfish - Fair: Flathead bite has slowed up some but still some being caught on shiners or a small bluegill for bait. 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 9 Northeast Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are spawing. Fish along the shorelines with light tackle tipped with small piece of worm. 07/30 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 9 Northeast Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Fish for drum in along current breaks using a crawler fished on the bottom. 07/30 10:04
Turkey River (below Clermont) Northeast Area rivers and streams water levels continue to fall. Flows remain elevated. Water clarity excellent. Expect a pleasant weekend with low humidity and temperatures in the 80's for highs and 60's for lows. Pop-up thunderstorms possible. For current fishing information, call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324. 07/30 07:30
Turkey River (below Clermont) Northeast Water levels falling with improved clarity. For more information on current water levels, please visit the USGS Current Conditions website at: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/ia/nwis/rt. 07/30 07:30
Turkey River (below Clermont) Northeast Smallmouth Bass - Good: A jig tipped with a ringworm or twistertail fished along a current break or rock ledge may be productive. 07/30 07:30
Turkey River (below Clermont) Northeast Walleye - Good: Find fish in deeper holes around brush piles. Toss a jig tipped with a twister tail near a brush pile and see what might bite. 07/30 07:30
Upper Iowa River (above Decorah) Northeast Area rivers and streams water levels continue to fall. Flows remain elevated. Water clarity excellent. Expect a pleasant weekend with low humidity and temperatures in the 80's for highs and 60's for lows. Pop-up thunderstorms possible. For current fishing information, call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324. 07/30 07:30
Upper Iowa River (above Decorah) Northeast Water levels are falling with improved clarity. Current remains strong. Water hazards may have moved. 07/30 07:30
Upper Iowa River (above Decorah) Northeast Walleye - Good: Flip a jig with twistertail along a brush pile or rock ledge for some action. 07/30 07:30
Upper Iowa River (above Decorah) Northeast Smallmouth Bass - Good: A small crank bait tossed along a current break or rock ledge may find a hungry bass. 07/30 07:30
Upper Iowa River (below Decorah) Northeast Area rivers and streams water levels continue to fall. Flows remain elevated. Water clarity excellent. Expect a pleasant weekend with low humidity and temperatures in the 80's for highs and 60's for lows. Pop-up thunderstorms possible. For current fishing information, call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324. 07/30 07:30
Upper Iowa River (below Decorah) Northeast Water levels falling with excellent clarity. 07/30 07:30
Upper Iowa River (below Decorah) Northeast Walleye - Good: Find fish along current breaks or around log jams. 07/30 07:30
Upper Iowa River (below Decorah) Northeast Smallmouth Bass - Good: Use a jig tipped with brightly colored plastics or a crankbait imitating crawdads for success. 07/30 07:30
Upper Iowa River (below Decorah) Northeast Channel Catfish - Good: Bank anglers using nightcrawlers fished on the bottom are catching catfish. 07/30 07:30
Volga Lake Northeast Area rivers and streams water levels continue to fall. Flows remain elevated. Water clarity excellent. Expect a pleasant weekend with low humidity and temperatures in the 80's for highs and 60's for lows. Pop-up thunderstorms possible. For current fishing information, call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324. 07/30 07:30
Volga Lake Northeast Best time to fish is early morning or just before dark. Green algae bloom causing poor water clarity. 07/30 07:30
Volga Lake Northeast Bluegill - Fair: Use a small hook tipped with waxworm or small piece of nightcrawler fished around brush piles and rocky shoreline. 07/30 07:30
Volga Lake Northeast Channel Catfish - Good: Try a nightcrawler, cheese bait, or chicken livers fished on bottom for best luck. Best catfishing lake around. 07/30 07:30
Volga Lake Northeast Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use a jig tipped with a ringworm or twister tail. 07/30 07:30
Arrowhead Lake Northwest Water temperatures are in the lower 80's in the Black Hawk District. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638. 07/30 08:58
Arrowhead Lake Northwest Water clarity is good. 07/30 08:58
Arrowhead Lake Northwest Bluegill - Fair: Cast a small jig fished under a bobber near submerged structure along shore in 5-10 feet of water. Try small popping plugs on a fly rod on calm evenings. Cast plugs around downed trees along the shoreline. Anglers can also try drifting down the middle of the lake with a 1/16 ounce lead head in search of suspended fish. 07/30 08:58
Arrowhead Lake Northwest Largemouth Bass - Fair: Cast traditional bass lures near submerged woody structure throughout the lake and along weed lines in the southern part of the lake. 07/30 08:58
Beeds Lake Northwest Black Crappie - Good: Drift fish a minnow or small tube jig. 07/30 08:36
Beeds Lake Northwest Bluegill - Fair: Fish a small piece of crawler under a bobber near the shore. 07/30 08:36
Beeds Lake Northwest For information on the lakes and rivers in north central Iowa contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517. 07/30 08:36
Beeds Lake Northwest Yellow Bass - Fair: 07/30 08:36
Black Hawk Lake Northwest Water temperatures are in the lower 80's in the Black Hawk District. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638. 07/30 08:58
Black Hawk Lake Northwest Channel Catfish - Fair: Fish around deeper rock piles. Use natural baits like night crawlers, crawdads, or shrimp. Try drifting at night to cover a lot of water. 07/30 08:58
Black Hawk Lake Northwest Largemouth Bass - Fair: Cast traditional bass lures and plastics along shore and near docks . Fish can be caught anywhere around the lake but some of the best areas include Ice House point shoreline, inlet bay and bridge area, near the outlet, and along Gunshot Hill. 07/30 08:58
Black Hawk Lake Northwest Surface water temps are around 80 degrees. Water level is slightly below crest. 07/30 08:58
Black Hawk Lake Northwest Walleye - Slow: 07/30 08:58
Black Hawk Lake Northwest Yellow Perch - Slow: 07/30 08:58
Black Hawk Lake Northwest Bluegill - Fair: 07/30 08:58
Browns Lake Northwest Water temperatures are in the lower 80's in the Black Hawk District. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638. 07/30 08:58
Browns Lake Northwest Channel Catfish - Fair: Look for channel catfish along the outside bend of the lake in deeper water. 07/30 08:58
Browns Lake Northwest Largemouth Bass - Fair: Look for largemouth bass along the edges of the lotus patches and the deadfalls along the outside bend of the lake. 07/30 08:58
Brushy Creek Lake Northwest Water temperatures are in the lower 80's in the Black Hawk District. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638. 07/30 08:58
Brushy Creek Lake Northwest Black Crappie - Fair: fish near submerged woody structure with a small piece of crawler or minnow on a jig either drifting or fished under a bobber. 07/30 08:58
Brushy Creek Lake Northwest Bluegill - Fair: 07/30 08:58
Brushy Creek Lake Northwest Brushy Creek is currently being drawn down four feet for a construction project. Anglers should launch their boat at the north ramp or the west ramp. The docks have been adjusted at the west ramp to make them easier to use. 07/30 08:58
Brushy Creek Lake Northwest Channel Catfish - Fair: Brushy Creek Lake has a low-density population of larger channel catfish. Target these larger fish near shore with rocky structure using a variety of cut baits and crankbaits. 07/30 08:58
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