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 Iowa Fishing Report

Help The Angler keep others informed by emailing fishing reports to us. Include your name in the message part of your report if you'd like to receive credit for the report.

Information for fishing reports is gathered by a number of ways including angler contact, state agencies and bait and tackle dealers.

Reports from Iowa Anglers

Here is a list of Iowa Counties

December 13, 2012

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For current information, contact the district fisheries office at the phone number listed at the end of each district report.

NORTHWEST

Clear Lake

Ice on Clear Lake is not safe at this time. With colder temperatures forecasted for next week, we should have fishable ice soon.

Blue Pit

Rainbow Trout - Fair: trout are still being caught using small jigs and spinners.

For more fishing information in the north central area contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.

Big Spirit Lake

The lake is about 70 percent ice but the wind has opened a large hole in the middle as well as multiple smaller holes. Ice travel is not advised due to the changing and unpredictable conditions. The Marble Beach boat ramp is open and the open water extended 3/4 of the way across the lake.

Center Lake

Open holes remain in the center of the lake and ice conditions are too thin for foot travel.

East Okoboji Lake

East Okoboji has iced over in all but a few places but conditions are still too unstable for fishing.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)

The lake is frozen but the above average temperature is making what little ice there is weak.

West Okoboji Lake

Ice has formed on some of the back bays but the majority of the lake is open. With the warmer weather the Emerson Bay boat ramp may be usable but some ice may have to be broken to reach the open water.

Diamond Lake

Diamond Lake is fully iced over but the ice is not stable enough for fishing; walking on the ice is not advised.

For more information contact the Spirit Lake Hatchery at 712-336-1840.

NORTHEAST

Volga Lake

Skim ice covers most of the lake. The area from the boat ramp to the universally accessible dock remains open.

Lake Hendricks

The lake is covered by a thin layer of ice. An open area remains around the aerator.

Lake Meyer

A thin layer of ice is beginning to form over the lake but not thick enough to walk on.

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)

Walleye - Slow: The bite is spotty and has been occurring in the evening. A jig tipped with soft plastics and a slow return has been successful with soft biting walleye.

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)

Very few people have been out this week. Anglers still report catching walleye using a slow presentation with jigs tipped with plastics worms.

Yellow River

A few folks have caught some nice brown trout on artificial lures, such as small jigs and spinnerbaits. Please remember to wear orange or other bright colors while along this stream during deer season and to get landowner permission to fish from shore.

Turkey River (below Clermont)

We have received no information regarding fishing on this water body this week.

Cedar River (above Nashua)

River is open again and anglers have been using boats to get to some backwaters. Crappie - Good: Anglers are finding crappies in back or slack water areas around brush piles. Minnows continue to work well. Walleye - Fair: Walleye have been hitting on hooks tipped with minnows and a few are using jigs tipped with plastics below the dam in Nashua.

Decorah District Streams

There are still Blue Wing Olives hatching on northeast Iowa streams in the afternoons, but hatches are slowing down as winter weather approaches. Streamers, wet fly and nymph fishing has been good in the absence of dry fly hatches. Wooly Buggers, classic streamer and wet fly patterns and small nymphs have all been effective in hooking trout.

Many area lakes were beginning to ice up but warmer weather and mixed precipitation predicted for the weekend will hamper any new development. A reminder to trout anglers that it is deer season in Iowa so be as visible to hunters as possible while along a stream. For more information, contact the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9

Lansing river stage is 8 feet and is expected to fall slightly over the next week. Walleye - Slow: A few walleyes are being caught in deeper side channel sloughs

Mississippi River Pool 10

Lynxville river stage is at 12.6 feet and expected to fall slightly over the next week. Sauger - Good: Vertical jigging with a minnow for sauger in the tail waters has been successful. Walleye - Fair: Walleye are biting on jig and minnow fished along drop-offs in the tail water areas.

Mississippi River Pool 11

River stage at Lock and Dam 10 in Guttenberg is 4.1 feet and expected to fall slightly in the following week. Sauger - Fair: Vertical jigging with a minnow for sauger in the tail waters has been successful. Walleye - Slow: Walleye are biting on jig and minnow fished along drop-offs in the tail water areas.

Although recent cold weather has tried to make ice on protected backwaters, forecasted warm weather and rain will delay safe ice formation. The open tail water fishing for walleye and sauger has been slow with some success vertical jigging. Water levels remain extremely low on the Mississippi River. Water temperature is in the 30s. Boaters should continue to use caution launching in low water conditions to avoid backing off the ends of ramps.

Mississippi River Pool 12

Water clear, water temperature is in upper 30s. Water level at Dubuque dam fell this week to 4.5 feet and is expected to go even lower. Crappie - No Report: No report on crappie this week but they have been consistently biting using a small jig or a small shiner. Sauger - Fair: Some sauger are being caught tail waters on a jig and minnow. Many anglers are letting these large females back for next year’s spawn production. Walleye - Fair: Some nice walleyes are being reported on the wing dams and in the tail water. On wing dams most anglers are using three-way rigs with a crankbait. In the tail waters many are using a jig and minnow.

Mississippi River Pool 13

Water is very clear and temperature is in the upper 30s. Water Level at Bellevue dam is at a low 3.8 feet and expected to fall this week. Be careful backing off ALL ramps. Good news though the Bellevue Fisheries Station ramp is now repaired. It has been lengthened and reinforced along the edges. Crappie - No Report: No report on crappie this week but they have been consistently biting a small jig or a small shiner. Most anglers waiting for hard ice. Sauger - Good: Numerous smaller saugers are showing up in the tail water with anglers using a jig and minnow. Just a few decent sized fish are also being reported. Walleye - Fair: Some walleyes are being reported on the wing dams and in the tail water. On wing dams most anglers are using three-way rigs with crankbaits. Anglers are often concentrating on the tips of the wing dams with areas of stronger current.

Mississippi River Pool 14

Water is clear with a temperature in the upper 30s. Water level at the dam in Fulton reads 4.0 feet and is falling. Sauger - Good: Some sauger were being reported in the tail water areas with anglers using a jig and minnow. Walleye - Good: Some nicer walleyes are being caught on the tips of the wing dams where people can find a little more current flow. Anglers are pitching jigs on these wing dam tips.

Mississippi River Pool 15

We have received no information regarding fishing on this water body this week.

Water temperature is in upper 30s. Water levels are low so beware backing off any ramp as you can easily put your axles over the ends of the ramps. Also, beware of wing dams when motoring near the main channel. No hard ice has been reported in the district but skim ice is forming in many backwaters.

Mississippi River Pool 16

Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 3.64 feet. River stages are still low so anglers should use caution when boating. Bluegill - Slow: Bluegill fishing has slowed down in Sunset Marina. Crappie - Slow: Crappie fishing has slowed down this week in Sunset Marina. Sauger - Slow: Sauger fishing below Lock and Dam 15 and in Sylvan Slough has been slow.

Mississippi River Pool 17

Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 3.17 feet. River stages are still low so anglers should use caution when boating. Crappie - No Report: We have received no crappie fishing information for this pool this week. Anglers should look for crappies in the backwaters or side channels around brush piles or fallen trees. Try floating a minnow under a bobber around the brush piles or vertical jigging with small jigs and minnows or plastics. Sauger - Fair: Saugers are being caught in the tail waters at Muscatine vertical jigging with minnows.

Mississippi River Pool 18

Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 2.78 feet. River stages are still low so anglers should use caution when boating. Crappie - Good: Crappies are being caught in the backwaters and flowing sloughs. Try fishing around brush piles and submerged logs in the backwaters and sloughs with small jigs tipped with a minnow or plastic. Some of the backwaters may be difficult to access with the low water conditions. Try around Huron Island and Campbell's Island. Sauger - Fair: Saugers are being caught below Lock and Dam 17 (New Boston) vertical jigging with minnows. Walleye - Fair: Some walleyes are being caught in the tail waters vertical jigging with minnows.

Mississippi River Pool 19

Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 1.05 feet. River levels are still low so anglers should use caution when boating. Crappie - Fair: Some crappies are being caught in the backwaters. Try vertical jigging with minnows around brush piles and logs. Sauger - Fair: Saugers are being caught below Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington. Try fishing with jigs and minnows. Walleye - Fair: Some walleyes are also being caught below Lock and Dam 18 vertical jigging with minnows.

Mississippi River Pools 16-19: River stages are still low so anglers should use caution when boating. Main channel water temperature has been around 38 degrees. Remember to clean, drain, and dry your boat before going to another water body. For more fishing information contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

SOUTHEAST

Lake of the Hills

The boat ramp is closed for repairs until further notice. Lake of the Hills is the only lake in West Lake Park that allows live minnows. They are letting the new concrete cure and still have to do some dirt work. Rainbow Trout - Good: Trout remain very active and readily catchable if you can find them. They are hitting on a variety of baits and lures. Minnows and worms have both been very successful.

Railroad Lake

The water level has been lowered to work on the boat ramp, which has now been completed. The dock will remain out of the water until the new decking is installed. Live minnows are not permitted on this lake. Bluegill - Slow: Anglers continue to pull out a few bluegills in the same spots as they are catching crappies. Also try along the road (110th). The sun warms up that water on the nice days. Crappie - Slow: Anglers are still picking up a few crappies around the brush piles on the south side of the lake.

Wilson Lake

Rainbow Trout - Good: Anglers are still catching trout. Look for the easy to see culverts and the brush piles in 6 to 8 feet of water. Minnow and bobber or a small dark colored jig worked slowly should get their attention.

Environmental Discovery Park North Pond

Pick out a nice day and take the kids to the Discovery Park Pond for some late season fishing action. Rainbow Trout - Excellent: Anglers continue to catch trout. Along the face of the dam is a good place to start. Start with small jigs or worm and bobber, if that doesn't work try a small spinner and cover more water till you find where they are hanging out that day. Easy access and a small pond make it easy to find the trout.

For more information on the above lakes call the Lake Darling Fisheries Station at 319-694-2430.

Iowa River (Coralville Lake to River Junction)

Outflow from the Coralville dam is 150 cubic feet per second. Walleye - Fair: Use a jig and minnow in wintering holes below the tube.

Water temperature is in the upper 30s in most area lakes/rivers. Some shallower, protected areas may have some crusting of ice. There has been very little fishing activity on the lakes. For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.

Red Haw Lake

Fishing activity has slowed with the cooler water temperatures. Try small jigs for bluegill and largemouth bass and tip the jigs with a wax worm.

Lake Sugema

Fishing activity has slowed. Try vertically jigging minnows on small jigs or using ice fishing equipment.

Rathbun Reservoir

The lake level is 903.09 feet with 904 feet being normal. The surface water temperature is 43 degrees. Very little fishing has been occurring with the colder temperatures. Try vertically jigging minnows or wax worms on ice fishing jigs for crappies. Don't forget Lake Rathbun contains zebra mussels so make sure to clean, drain, and dry equipment before transporting to another water body.

For questions regarding fishing in south central Iowa, call the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406.

SOUTHWEST

Lake Petoka

Rainbow Trout - Excellent: Rainbow trout stocked at the beginning of November will remain in good numbers and actively bite through the fall and winter. Popular methods of catching them include inline spinners, twister tail jigs, small tube jigs, casting spoons, live minnows and wax worms.

Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake

Rainbow Trout - Good: Rainbow trout stocked in the north pit will remain in good numbers and actively bite through the fall and winter. Popular methods of catching them include inline spinners, twister tail jigs, small tube jigs, casting spoons, live minnows and wax worms.

Banner Lake (south)

Rainbow Trout - Good: Rainbow trout stocked in mid October will remain in good numbers and actively bite through the fall and winter. Popular methods of catching them include inline spinners, twister tail jigs, small tube jigs, casting spoons, live minnows and wax worms.

Central Iowa lakes remain ice free. More fishing reports will be added when ice fishing begins. For questions on central Iowa lakes and rivers contact Ben Dodd or Andy Otting at 515-432-2823.

Big Lake (Including Gilbert's Pond)

Rainbow trout will be stocked on Jan. 18. A youth fishing event is scheduled for Jan. 19, depending upon ice conditions.

Most lakes in the southwest district have skim ice. There have been no reports of fishing this week. For more information call the district office at Cold Springs State Park, at 712-769-2587

Little River Watershed Lake

The water level is down about 12 feet to allow completion of a shoreline stabilization project. Fish have been restocked and are growing fast.

Fogle Lake S.W.A.

The water level is down about 7 feet to allow boat ramp repairs and crowd the fish to increase predation. Repairs are complete. The water level will be allowed to rise as run-off occurs. The ramp is usable with care and ice fishing access should be normal.

Sands Timber Lake (Blockton Reservoir)

The lake has been drained to allow the construction of a wetland and shoreline stabilization to be completed.

Green Valley Lake

The water level is still down about 3 feet. The ramps are easily accessible.

Summitt Lake

The spillway replacement project is complete but run-off has not refilled the lake. Restocking and boating will occur when water levels rise.

Three Mile Lake

The water level is down about 3 feet but the ramps are easily usable.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake

The water level is down about 3.5 feet but access is easy. Crappie - Good: A few anglers are still enjoying the crappies bunched up around the deeper flooded trees. The side-scan fish finders are helping anglers locate schools.

The water temperature is in the upper 30s. Skim ice is starting to form on the small water bodies along shore and in the quiet bays. Most disappears throughout the day.

 


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