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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. 

 

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
Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake) Northeast Interior rivers continue to drop and are providing some excellent angling opportunities. Lakes in and around the Cedar Falls/ Waterloo area have been good for largemouth bass. Trout streams are in excellent condition. For further information contact the N.E. District Office at 563-927-3276. 08/06 08:38
Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake) Northeast Reports have been excellent for bluegill and channel catfish and good on largemouth bass. 08/06 08:43
Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake) Northeast Bluegill - Excellent: Cast a piece of nightcrawler underneath a bobber for some good bluegill action. 08/06 08:45
Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake) Northeast Channel Catfish - Excellent: Stinkbaits or leopard frogs fished on the bottom of the lake has been really good for channel catfish. 08/06 08:47
Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake) Northeast Largemouth Bass - Good: Both crankbaits and top water artificial baits has been really good for largemouth bass. 08/06 08:48
Cedar River (above Nashua) Northeast Area rivers and streams water levels continue to fall. Water clarity excellent. Expect a hot humid weekend with temperatures in the upper 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. 08/06 07:34
Cedar River (above Nashua) Northeast Channel Catfish - Good: Use chicken liver and stink baits for best luck or dead chub on bottom in slow water. 08/06 07:34
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. 08/06 07:34
Cedar River (above Nashua) Northeast Smallmouth Bass - Good: Use a jig tipped with natural colored twister tails or nightcrawler. Fish the brush piles for best luck. 08/06 07:34
Cedar River (above Nashua) Northeast Walleye - Good: Use a jig tipped with a bright plastic tail for some quick action. 08/06 07:34
Cedar River (above Nashua) Northeast Black Crappie - Fair: Find crappie in brush piles or around woody structure. Use a minnow under a bobber. 08/06 08:36
Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City) Northeast Interior rivers continue to drop and are providing some excellent angling opportunities. Lakes in and around the Cedar Falls/ Waterloo area have been good for largemouth bass. Trout streams are in excellent condition. For further information contact the N.E. District Office at 563-927-3276. 08/06 08:38
Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City) Northeast The Cedar River has been really good for channel catfish. Reports for walleye has been good in Bremer County as well. 08/06 08:51
Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City) Northeast Channel Catfish - Good: Try fishing above fallen tree snags using stink baits or fresh chicken livers for some great catfish action. 08/06 08:52
Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City) Northeast Walleye - Good: Casting crankbaits or a jig tipped with a nightcrawler is deadly this time of year for walleye. 08/06 08:53
Decorah District Streams Northeast Area rivers and streams water levels continue to fall. Water clarity excellent. Expect a hot humid weekend with temperatures in the upper 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. 08/06 07:34
Decorah District Streams Northeast 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. 08/06 07:34
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. 08/06 07:34
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. 08/06 07:34
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. 08/06 07:34
Lake Hendricks Northeast Area rivers and streams water levels continue to fall. Water clarity excellent. Expect a hot humid weekend with temperatures in the upper 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. 08/06 07:34
Lake Hendricks Northeast A green algal bloom continues limiting visibility. Best times to fish are early morning and evening. 08/06 07:34
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. 08/06 07:34
Lake Hendricks Northeast Channel Catfish - Good: With warmer water temperatures, try using cheese or stink baits. A fat juicy worm will work also. Late evening is best time to fish for catfish. 08/06 07:34
Lake Hendricks Northeast Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use topwater lures or weedless hooks for best luck. Fish along weed edges. 08/06 07:34
Lake Meyer Northeast Area rivers and streams water levels continue to fall. Water clarity excellent. Expect a hot humid weekend with temperatures in the upper 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. 08/06 07:34
Lake Meyer Northeast Bluegill - Fair: Try a small piece of worm fished under a bobber along a rocky shoreline. 08/06 07:34
Lake Meyer Northeast Channel Catfish - Good: Use chicken liver or nightcrawler fished on the bottom near stumps or other structure. 08/06 07:34
Lake Meyer Northeast Water clarity is excellent at 7 ft. Filamentous algae mats covering vegetation in shallow water. Fish early morning and evening when shadows aren't cast on the water. 08/06 07:34
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. 08/06 07:34
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Water level is expected to slowly recede. Water temperature is near 77 degrees. If you have angling questions please call the Bellevue Fisheries Station at 563-880-8781. 08/06 11:22
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast The water levels is expected to recede this week. Water is near 9.2 feet at the Lock and Dam and 11.3 feet at the RR bridge. The water temperature is around 77 degrees and the clarity is good. 08/06 11:22
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Bluegill - Slow: Bluegills are still being reported in shallow backwater areas near brush piles. 08/06 11:22
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Channel Catfish - Excellent: Lots of anglers are being caught on prepared stink baits. Catfish can also be taken by floating worms along rock lines. 08/06 11:22
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. 08/06 11:22
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Largemouth Bass - Excellent: Lots of bass are being taken off lily pad areas on spinner baits or frog imitation lures. 08/06 11:22
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Northern Pike - Good: Flashy spinners in eddy areas or along weed lines will take this toothy predator. 08/06 11:22
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Smallmouth Bass - Good: Some smallies have now moved in along the rock piles and can be caught on flashy spoons or crank baits. 08/06 11:22
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Walleye - Slow: Some walleyes were being taken off the middle of wingdams in the lower water but the recent rise in water level seemed to hamper some anglers. 08/06 11:22
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast White Bass - Good: Many white bass are being caught in the Dubuque tailwater on white jigs. Look for feeding schools elsewhere. 08/06 11:22
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Water level is expected to slowly recede. Water temperature is near 77 degrees. If you have angling questions please call the Bellevue Fisheries Station at 563-880-8781. 08/06 11:22
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast The water level at the Bellevue Lock and Dam is at 10.2 feet. The water temperature is at 77 degrees. The water clarity is fair. The recent water rise hampered fishing but it is picking up again. 08/06 11:22
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Bluegill - Fair: Try fishing around brush piles in larger sloughs with reduced current. 08/06 11:22
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Channel Catfish - Excellent: Catfish are along rock lines and brush piles in moderate current. Anglers are mostly using prepared stink baits. 08/06 11:22
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Flathead Catfish - Good: 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. 08/06 11:22
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Freshwater drum are easy to catch on a sinker and worm rig. Fish in moderate current. 08/06 11:22
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Largemouth Bass - Excellent: Bass are being taken off lily pad areas on spinner baits or frog imitation lures. Some are also being caught off the rocks in the tailwater. 08/06 11:22
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Northern Pike - Good: Pike are being reported on flashy spinners along weed edges and rock shorelines. 08/06 11:22
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast White Bass - Good: White bass are being reported in the tailwater mostly on flashy small spinners. 08/06 11:22
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast Water level is expected to slowly recede. Water temperature is near 77 degrees. If you have angling questions please call the Bellevue Fisheries Station at 563-880-8781. 08/06 11:22
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast Channel Catfish - Excellent: Anglers are using prepared stink baits, also some are being caught along rock lines. 08/06 11:22
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast The water level at the Fulton Lock and Dam is at 9.5 feet, Camanche is near 12.4 feet and LeClaire is at 7.0 feet. Water temperature is at 77 degrees and water clarity is fair. 08/06 11:22
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills can be found near the mouths of large backwater areas usually around brush piles. 08/06 11:22
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. 08/06 11:22
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. 08/06 11:22
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast Largemouth Bass - Good: Lots of bass are being taken off lily pad areas on spinner baits or frog imitation lures. Some being taken off of exposed rock piles now as well. 08/06 11:22
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast Northern Pike - Good: Use flashy spinners along backwater shorelines or in the tailwaters for this aggressive fish. 08/06 11:22
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast Smallmouth Bass - Good: Fish spinners or crank baits along rip rap areas for best results. 08/06 11:22
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast White Bass - No Report: Expect white bass to be hitting in the tailwaters and elsewhere. Look for feeding schools of fish and use flashy small spinners. 08/06 11:30
Mississippi River Pool 15 Northeast Water level is expected to slowly recede. Water temperature is near 77 degrees. If you have angling questions please call the Bellevue Fisheries Station at 563-880-8781. 08/06 11:22
Mississippi River Pool 15 Northeast Channel Catfish - Excellent: Channel cats are readily biting on cut bait and now even prepared baits. 08/06 11:22
Mississippi River Pool 15 Northeast Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Freshwater drum are easy to catch on a worm sinker and worm rig. Fish in moderate current. 08/06 11:22
Mississippi River Pool 15 Northeast The water level at Rock Island is around 9.5 feet and receding. The water temperature is at 78 degrees and water clarity is fair. 08/06 11:22
Mississippi River Pool 15 Northeast Flathead Catfish - Excellent: Try using live bait around brush piles or in the tailwater area. 08/06 11:22
Mississippi River Pool 15 Northeast Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Fish the rocky habitats along the channel edge for best results. 08/06 11:22
Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock) Northeast Interior rivers continue to drop and are providing some excellent angling opportunities. Lakes in and around the Cedar Falls/ Waterloo area have been good for largemouth bass. Trout streams are in excellent condition. For further information contact the N.E. District Office at 563-927-3276. 08/06 08:38
Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock) Northeast There have been no reports on the Shell Rock River this past week but walleye and smallmouth bass fishing should be good. 08/06 08:55
Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock) Northeast Walleye - No Report: Casting crankbaits or a jig tipped with a nightcrawler is deadly this time of year for walleye. 08/06 08:55
Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock) Northeast Smallmouth Bass - No Report: Casting crankbaits or a jig tipped with a nightcrawler is deadly this time of year for smallmouth bass. 08/06 08:56
Turkey River (below Clermont) Northeast Area rivers and streams water levels continue to fall. Water clarity excellent. Expect a hot humid weekend with temperatures in the upper 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. 08/06 07:34
Turkey River (below Clermont) Northeast Smallmouth Bass - Fair: A jig tipped with a ringworm or twistertail fished along a current break or rock ledge may be productive. 08/06 07:34
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. 08/06 07:34
Turkey River (below Clermont) Northeast Water levels falling. May have to walk through some riffles. Clarity excellent. For more information on current water levels, please visit the USGS Current Conditions website at: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/ia/nwis/rt. 08/06 07:34
Upper Iowa River (above Decorah) Northeast Area rivers and streams water levels continue to fall. Water clarity excellent. Expect a hot humid weekend with temperatures in the upper 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. 08/06 07:34
Upper Iowa River (above Decorah) Northeast Smallmouth Bass - Slow: A small crank bait tossed along a current break or rock ledge may find a hungry bass. 08/06 07:34
Upper Iowa River (above Decorah) Northeast Walleye - Good: Flip a jig with twistertail along a brush pile or deeper pool for some action. 08/06 07:34
Upper Iowa River (above Decorah) Northeast Water levels are falling with excellent clarity. Water hazards may have moved and sandbars appearing. 08/06 07:34
Upper Iowa River (below Decorah) Northeast Area rivers and streams water levels continue to fall. Water clarity excellent. Expect a hot humid weekend with temperatures in the upper 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. 08/06 07:34
Upper Iowa River (below Decorah) Northeast Channel Catfish - Good: Anglers using nightcrawlers fished on the bottom towards dark in slower water are catching catfish. 08/06 07:34
Upper Iowa River (below Decorah) Northeast Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Use a jig tipped with brightly colored plastics or a crankbait imitating crawdads for success. Fish current breaks and deeper holes. 08/06 07:34
Upper Iowa River (below Decorah) Northeast Walleye - Good: Find fish in deeper pools or around log jams. Use jig with natural colored plastics for some fun action. 08/06 07:34
Upper Iowa River (below Decorah) Northeast Water levels falling with excellent clarity. Sand and gravel bars appearing. May have to walk in a few places. 08/06 07:34
Volga Lake Northeast Area rivers and streams water levels continue to fall. Water clarity excellent. Expect a hot humid weekend with temperatures in the upper 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. 08/06 07:34
Volga Lake Northeast Best time to fish is early morning or just before dark. Green algae bloom causing poor water clarity. 08/06 07:34
Volga Lake Northeast Bluegill - Fair: Use a small hook tipped with waxworm or small piece of nightcrawler fished around brush piles and rocky shoreline. 08/06 07:34
Volga Lake Northeast Channel Catfish - Good: Try a nightcrawler, cheese bait, or chicken livers fished on bottom for best luck. Best catfishing lake around. 08/06 07:34
Volga Lake Northeast Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use a jig tipped with a ringworm or twister tail. 08/06 07:34
Wapsi River (Tripoli to Troy Mills) Northeast Interior rivers continue to drop and are providing some excellent angling opportunities. Lakes in and around the Cedar Falls/ Waterloo area have been good for largemouth bass. Trout streams are in excellent condition. For further information contact the N.E. District Office at 563-927-3276. 08/06 08:38
Wapsi River (Tripoli to Troy Mills) Northeast There have been reports of channel catfish being caught on the Wapsipinicon River. 08/06 08:57
Wapsi River (Tripoli to Troy Mills) Northeast Channel Catfish - Good: Try fishing above fallen tree snags using stink baits or fresh chicken livers for some great catfish action. 08/06 08:59
Arrowhead Lake Northwest Water temperatures are in the upper 70s in the Black Hawk District. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638. 08/06 08:42
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. 08/06 08:42
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. 08/06 08:42
Arrowhead Lake Northwest Water clarity is good. 08/06 08:42
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. 08/06 08:09
Beeds Lake Northwest Black Crappie - Good: Drift fish a minnow or small tube jig. 08/06 08:09
Beeds Lake Northwest Bluegill - Fair: Fish a small piece of crawler under a bobber near the shore. 08/06 08:09
Beeds Lake Northwest Yellow Bass - Fair: 08/06 08:09
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. 08/06 08:42
Black Hawk Lake Northwest Surface water temps are around 78 degrees. Water level is a few inches below crest. 08/06 08:42
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