Iowa's Fishing Report

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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.

February 2022 Fishing Report - Zak Slagle from the Ohio DNR joins us to talk about walleye populations, fishing and surveys at Lake Erie; plus plans for the Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference hosted by Iowa DNR is Des Moines mid-February

March 2022 Fishing Report - Ben Neely, Kansas fishery biologist joins us to talk about a recent research project to determine if live scope sonar technology leads to anglers catching more/bigger fish; plus spring community trout stockings

April 2022 Fishing Report - new state record smallmouth buffalo, plus tips for catching trout in community fishing ponds and annual walleye gillnetting efforts

 

Iowa Fishing Report
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Waterbody District Comments Date
Alice Wyth Lake Northeast The interior rivers and cold water trout streams are now in excellent condition. Anglers have been catching some walleye on the interior rivers. Black Hawk county area lakes have been good for crappie with the recent spawn. For further information contact your local area bait shops for the most recent hot spots. 05/19 08:02
Alice Wyth Lake Northeast Anglers are catching crappie on Alice Wyth Lake. 05/19 08:51
Big Woods Lake Northeast Anglers are catching crappie now with the crappie spawn now under way. 05/19 08:02
Big Woods Lake Northeast Black Crappie - Fair: The lake is up but concentrate efforts in the shallows near structure with a crappie minnow under a slip bobber or casting colored tube jigs. 05/19 08:02
Big Woods Lake Northeast The interior rivers and cold water trout streams are now in excellent condition. Anglers have been catching some walleye on the interior rivers. Black Hawk county area lakes have been good for crappie with the recent spawn. For further information contact your local area bait shops for the most recent hot spots. 05/19 08:02
Cedar River (above Nashua) Northeast Chance of thunderstorms through Saturday with temperatures ranging from 60's to 40's. Most river and stream water levels rose between 1/2 to a foot with recent rain. Most are relatively clear. For more information, please contact the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324. 05/18 04:38
Cedar River (above Nashua) Northeast Channel Catfish - Fair: A hook loaded with a crawler or chub might be just the ticket for a hungry cat. 05/18 04:38
Cedar River (above Nashua) Northeast Northern Pike - Fair: Find pike in shallow vegetated areas out of current. 05/18 04:38
Cedar River (above Nashua) Northeast Smallmouth Bass - Slow: Smallies showing up below dams. Try using a hook tipped with a ringworm, twistertail, or nightcrawler. 05/18 04:38
Cedar River (above Nashua) Northeast Walleye - Fair: Use worms or minnows under a slip bobber with enough weight to get bait near bottom. 05/18 04:38
Cedar River (above Nashua) Northeast Water levels stabilizing with improved clarity. Fish eddies and current breaks. 05/18 04:38
Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City) Northeast Anglers have been catching walleye and smallmouth bass on the Cedar River. 05/19 08:02
Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City) Northeast The interior rivers and cold water trout streams are now in excellent condition. Anglers have been catching some walleye on the interior rivers. Black Hawk county area lakes have been good for crappie with the recent spawn. For further information contact your local area bait shops for the most recent hot spots. 05/19 08:02
Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City) Northeast Walleye - Fair: Try casting a jig and plastic tipped with a half crawler or casting crank baits for walleye. 05/19 08:02
Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City) Northeast Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Try casting spinner or crank baits near rocky shoreline areas for some good smally action. 05/19 08:02
Decorah District Streams Northeast Chance of thunderstorms through Saturday with temperatures ranging from 60's to 40's. Most river and stream water levels rose between 1/2 to a foot with recent rain. Most are relatively clear. For more information, please contact the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324. 05/18 04:38
Decorah District Streams Northeast Brook Trout - Good: Numerous insect hatches on sunny afternoons. Use midge, caddis, mayfly, or scud patterns for hungry brookies. 05/18 04:38
Decorah District Streams Northeast Brown Trout - Excellent: Rain water flowing into streams bringing a fresh supply of foods for curious brownies. Fish near or around structure. Spinner or crank baits work well for this. Midge and gnat hatches remain strong. 05/18 04:38
Decorah District Streams Northeast Rainbow Trout - Excellent: Freshly stocked Rainbow Trout are waiting for anglers. Use small spinner baits, hair jigs, or hooks tipped with a worm or minnow floating past structure or around large rocks. 05/18 04:38
Decorah District Streams Northeast Stocking calendars are available on the DNR's website. Stream clarity excellent with levels still low. 05/18 04:38
Lake Delhi Northeast The interior rivers and cold water trout streams are now in excellent condition. Anglers have been catching some walleye on the interior rivers. Black Hawk county area lakes have been good for crappie with the recent spawn. For further information contact your local area bait shops for the most recent hot spots. 05/19 08:02
Lake Delhi Northeast Anglers have been catching crappie on Lake Delhi. Concentrate on areas along the shoreline with fallen trees or rocky shoreline. 05/19 08:22
Lake Delhi Northeast Black Crappie - Good: Concentrate efforts in the shallows near structure with a crappie minnow under a slip bobber or casting colored tube jigs. 05/19 08:59
Lake Hendricks Northeast Chance of thunderstorms through Saturday with temperatures ranging from 60's to 40's. Most river and stream water levels rose between 1/2 to a foot with recent rain. Most are relatively clear. For more information, please contact the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324. 05/18 04:38
Lake Hendricks Northeast Water is stained brown. Water temperatures 60's. 05/18 04:38
Lake Hendricks Northeast Bluegill - Slow: Bluegills building nests shallow in preparation for spawning. 05/18 04:38
Lake Hendricks Northeast Black Crappie - Fair: Find crappie in 6 to 8 ft. of water. 05/18 04:38
Lake Hendricks Northeast Channel Catfish - Fair: Use a worm on a hook just off the bottom near stumps. 05/18 04:38
Lake Hendricks Northeast Largemouth Bass - Fair: Anglers finding fish near shore using crankbaits or jig tipped with a brightly colored plastic tail. 05/18 04:38
Lake Meyer Northeast Chance of thunderstorms through Saturday with temperatures ranging from 60's to 40's. Most river and stream water levels rose between 1/2 to a foot with recent rain. Most are relatively clear. For more information, please contact the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324. 05/18 04:38
Lake Meyer Northeast Anglers finding hit and miss action as water warms. Water temperature in the mid 60's. 05/18 04:38
Lake Meyer Northeast Black Crappie - Fair: Crappie in about 6 to 8 ft. water around submersed vegetation. 05/18 04:38
Lake Meyer Northeast Bluegill - Slow: Water temperatures still cool. Find a cove out of the wind. Use an ice fishing jig tipped with a small piece of worm. 05/18 04:38
Lake Meyer Northeast Largemouth Bass - Fair: Pre-spawn bass are in shallow. Try using crankbaits or a jig with plastic tail. 05/18 04:38
Lake Meyer Northeast Channel Catfish - Fair: Use a chunk of worm or squished minnow fished off the bottom near stumps or other woody debris for best luck. 05/18 04:38
Manchester District Streams Northeast The interior rivers and cold water trout streams are now in excellent condition. Anglers have been catching some walleye on the interior rivers. Black Hawk county area lakes have been good for crappie with the recent spawn. For further information contact your local area bait shops for the most recent hot spots. 05/19 08:02
Manchester District Streams Northeast Manchester District area trout streams are currently in excellent condition. Next weeks weather forecast should produce some intense hatches for some top water fly fishing action. 05/19 08:02
Manchester District Streams Northeast Brown Trout - Good: Try small jigs or spinner baits for brown trout. Try fly fishing top water with the upcoming warm weather. 05/19 08:02
Manchester District Streams Northeast Rainbow Trout - Good: Try small jigs or spinner baits for rainbow trout. 05/19 08:02
Maquoketa River (above Monticello) Northeast The interior rivers and cold water trout streams are now in excellent condition. Anglers have been catching some walleye on the interior rivers. Black Hawk county area lakes have been good for crappie with the recent spawn. For further information contact your local area bait shops for the most recent hot spots. 05/19 08:02
Maquoketa River (above Monticello) Northeast Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Try casting spinner or crank baits near rocky shoreline areas for some good smally action. 05/19 08:02
Maquoketa River (above Monticello) Northeast There have been reports of walleye and smallmouth bass being caught on the Maquoketa River. 05/19 08:02
Maquoketa River (above Monticello) Northeast Walleye - Fair: Try casting a jig and plastic tipped with a half crawler or casting crank baits for walleye. 05/19 08:02
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Upper Mississippi River levels are predicted to rise another two feet. Anglers are reporting a mixed bag of species with warmer water temperatures in the 60's. Clarity is fair with some debris moving down. 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 6/possession 12. 05/19 09:57
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Black Crappie - Good: Anglers are catching crappies in the flooded timber on crappie rigs with minnows. 05/19 09:57
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Bluegill - Fair: Fish areas away from current along the weed edges in backwaters using light tackle tipped with piece of worm. 05/19 09:57
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Channel Catfish - Fair: Expect the catfish bite to pick up when a warm-up in temperatures this week. Try cutbait or crawlers fished along current breaks of side channels. 05/19 09:57
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Flathead Catfish - Good: The flathead bite is picking up with the warmer temperatures. Try a shiner or small bluegill for bait. 05/19 09:57
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Northern Pike - Fair: Try casting crankbaits off vegetation lines or near mouth of triibutary streams. 05/19 09:57
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Sauger - Slow: Sauger are biting on hair jigs with minnows in slacker current near tailwater areas. 05/19 09:57
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Walleye - Good: Fish the current breaks and structure near shoreline of the tailwaters or side channel structure. Hair jigs or drifting a crawler on three-way rigs has been effective. 05/19 09:57
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Water level at Lynxville is 620.9 and is expected to rise several feet. Ramps have some water over them. Water clarity is fair with some debris still coming down. Rollers are out at the dam. Water temperature is 66 degrees. 05/19 09:57
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Yellow Perch - Fair: Perch bite has slowed up this week. Try jigging minnows or a piece of crawler, avoiding heavy current. 05/19 09:57
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Freshwater Drum - Fair: Freshwater drum bite is coming on. Fish weighted crawler rig in the current anywhere from shore. 05/19 09:57
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Largemouth Bass - Good: Cast jigs or jerkbaits in woody cover in the shallows of backwaters. 05/19 09:57
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Smallmouth are getting more active along main channel rock structure. Cast inline spinners or crankbaits along the faster current. 05/19 09:57
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Upper Mississippi River levels are predicted to rise another two feet. Anglers are reporting a mixed bag of species with warmer water temperatures in the 60's. Clarity is fair with some debris moving down. 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 6/possession 12. 05/19 09:57
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Black Crappie - Good: Anglers are catching crappies in the flooded timber on crappie rigs with minnows. 05/19 09:57
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Bluegill - Fair: Fish areas away from current along the weed edges in backwaters using light tackle tipped with piece of worm. 05/19 09:57
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Channel Catfish - Fair: Expect the catfish bite to pick up when a warm-up in temperatures this week. Try cutbait or crawlers fished along current breaks of side channels. 05/19 09:57
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Flathead Catfish - Good: The flathead bite is picking up with the warmer temperatures. Try a shiner or small bluegill for bait. 05/19 09:57
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Freshwater Drum - Fair: Freshwater drum bite is coming on. Fish weighted crawler rig in the current anywhere from shore. 05/19 09:57
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Largemouth Bass - Good: Cast jigs or crankbaits in woody cover in the shallows of backwaters. 05/19 09:57
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Northern Pike - Slow: Try casting crankbaits off vegetation lines or near mouth of triibutary streams. 05/19 09:57
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Sauger - Slow: Sauger are biting on hair jigs with minnows in slacker current near tailwater areas. 05/19 09:57
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Smallmouth are getting more active along main channel rock structure. Cast inline spinners or crankbaits along the faster current. 05/19 09:57
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Walleye - Slow: Fish the current breaks and structure near shoreline of the tailwaters or side channel structure. Hair jigs or drifting a crawler on three-way rigs has been effective. 05/19 09:57
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Water level is 11.7 feet and is expected to rise several feet. Ramps have some water over them. Water is stained with some debris still coming down. Rollers are out at the dam. Water temperature is near 60 degrees. 05/19 09:57
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Yellow Perch - Fair: Perch bite has slowed this week. Jigging minnows was somewhat successful or try a piece of crawler. 05/19 09:57
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Lots of fishing reported this week and conditions for fishing on the river are good. Water levels are are slightly rising and water temps are in the mid to upper 60's throughout the district. If you have angling questions, please call the Bellevue Fisheries Management Station at 563-880-8781. 05/19 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Water levels are currently 11.4 feet at the Dubuque Lock and Dam and 13.5 feet at the RR bridge and clarity is good. Water levels are rising, and the temperature is around 65 degrees. 05/19 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Sauger - Slow: Walleye and Sauger angling has started out slow in Pool 12 with most anglers using jig and minnow rigs. With warmer weather it is hoped they start moving in on the wingdams. 05/19 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Yellow Perch - Good: Spring can be a good season to hit some tailwater yellow perch. Minnow heads and worms are the preferred bait. Keep worm short and straight on the hooks. 05/19 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Northern Pike - Slow: Pike were reported frequently earlier this year but not much lately. Expect them to be on the feed and their populations are quite robust on the River. 05/19 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast White Crappie - Good: Crappie are being taken in Marina areas and backwaters. Use a minnow attached to small jig head. Fish are commonly in three feet of water or less. 05/19 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Bluegill - Good: Check various harbors in Dubuque out for bluegills using a worm and bobber. Fish in 3 feet or less of water. Bobber and worm rigs work the best. 05/19 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Channel Catfish - Good: Channel cats are just starting to bite and being picked up occasionally by bluegill anglers in the backwaters. 05/19 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Lots of drum are taken in areas of moderate current using a egg sinker and worm rig. Keep fish on ice if plan on eating them and they can be very good table fare. 05/19 10:08
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass of all sizes are being reported mostly from backwater areas on spinner baits and swim baits. 05/19 10:09
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Smallmouth Bass - Good: Fish along rock lines with moderate current using a spinner or crankbait. 05/19 10:09
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Lots of fishing reported this week and conditions for fishing on the river are good. Water levels are are slightly rising and water temps are in the mid to upper 60's throughout the district. If you have angling questions, please call the Bellevue Fisheries Management Station at 563-880-8781. 05/19 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast The water level at the Bellevue Lock is rising and currently near 12.2 feet. The water temperature is around 65 degrees. Boat ramps are all open, but some debris is floating due to higher water. The Bellevue DNR ramp is experiencing some minor flooding. The Lock and dam gates are still open. 05/19 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Rainbow Trout - Good: Now is your final opportunity to fish the Bellevue Kids pond until this fall. Some trout remain in the pond but it will soon be covered in vegetation and be unfishable. 05/19 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Yellow Perch - Good: The bite has been good at times with most anglers using worms for bait. 05/19 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Paddlefish - No Report: Paddlefish season is now closed for the year. 05/19 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Sauger - Slow: The bite has been somewhat slow but some nice fish were reported last week. 05/19 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Bluegill - Good: Try a simple bobber and worm in the Sabula area backwaters. 05/19 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Northern Pike - No Report: Pike should start biting on the sunny days. Use gaudy white spinners for best action. 05/19 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast White Crappie - Good: Use small minnows in brush piles in backwater areas. The fish will be shallow in one to three feet. 05/19 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Lots of drum are taken in areas of moderate current using a egg sinker and worm rig. Keep fish on ice if plan on eating them and they can be very good table fare. 05/19 10:12
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast White Bass - Fair: Small white bass have been reported in the tailwater area with anglers using small white jigs or spinners. 05/19 10:13
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Channel Catfish - Good: The channel cat bite has really started with most anglers using prepared catfish baits or cut shad. 05/19 10:13
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Largemouth Bass - Good: Really nice bass are being caught once again in the Spring Lake area but other places in the pool are producing bass of all sizes. Most anglers using spinner baits or swim baits. 05/19 10:14
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast Lots of fishing reported this week and conditions for fishing on the river are good. Water levels are are slightly rising and water temps are in the mid to upper 60's throughout the district. If you have angling questions, please call the Bellevue Fisheries Management Station at 563-880-8781. 05/19 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast Sauger - Fair: We recieved a few good reports of Walleye and Sauger being caught out of Pool 14 in some of the larger sloughs. Anglers were mainly using crank baits. 05/19 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast The water level at the Fulton Lock and Dam is rising and is presently at 11.5 feet, Camanche is at 14.0 feet and Le Claire is at 8.4 feet. Water temperature is around 66 in the main channel and clarity is good. 05/19 10:04
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. Often the tailwaters can be a great early spot for perch when the ice recedes. 05/19 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast Northern Pike - No Report: No reports on Pike but they are plentiful in Pool 14 and anglers fishing northerns or even crappies will run across them. 05/19 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast Paddlefish - No Report: Paddlefish season is now closed for the year. 05/19 10:04
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are on the bite throughout Pool 14, use a simple bobber and worm rig in three foot of water or less. 05/19 10:04
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