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Last year, we recruited readers to join a mission by taking someone fishing. We called it Mission
Fishin’ and asked you to share your stories and photos. And you responded. Readers took kids, friends, coworkers and neighbors and turned them on to the joy of angling. You shared your stories with letters, emails and posts to the DNR’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #MISSIONFISHIN. The photos here are from that campaign, submitted by readers. Thank you for getting out, having fun and bringing many new anglers along for the journey. Keep it going!
This year we have 10 categories of recommended angling fun - everything from beginner to challenging, best with
a boat, off the beaten path, master angler worthy and best for the whole family.
Keep sharing your photos and stories with us and most importantly, keep taking someone new to fishing with you!
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Iowa’s fishing opportunities are some of the best in the Midwest. Find out more about fishing destinations across the state including maps, directions and amenities.
Buy Your Fishing Licenses OnlineLakes, Ponds and ReservoirsIowa’s lakes and ponds number in the thousands. Many are stocked and managed by the Iowa DNR, offering abundant fishing, especially of panfish like crappie and bluegill. Several lakes are fishing destinations for muskie, northern pike and walleye.Interior RiversFor diversity of fish to catch, head to one of Iowa’s rivers or streams. Iowa’s interior rivers are known for growing large-sized fish, and lots of them. Catch a dozen or more different species, including prized-size catfish, walleye and smallmouth bass in one trip.Trout StreamsNortheast Iowa is a regional destination for exceptional trout fishing. Find both stocked and naturally occurring trout in the breathtaking forests and streams of this part of the state.Mississippi RiverIowa’s eastern border river is nationally known for backwater fishing for bass, catfish, panfish, pike and walleye. It is the best fishery in Iowa for abundance and diversity of fish species. Dozens of access points are available for boaters and anglers.Missouri RiverOn the western border, the Missouri River offers excellent fishing for catfish and sauger. The southern part of the river is one of the only places in Iowa to catch blue catfish.