This Weekend’s DNR Fishing Report

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


Iowans May Fish Free June 7-9

Iowa residents may fish without a license on June 7, 8 and 9 as part of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources free fishing weekend.

Free fishing weekend is the first weekend in June each year.  It allows Iowans an opportunity to try fishing without purchasing a license.  All other regulations remain in place.



Nelson Park Lake

Anglers should try fishing bluegill along the face of the dam.  Use a small black hair jig with a small piece of bait.  Channel Catfish – Good: Anglers are catching good numbers of catfish in the cove east of the dam.  Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are starting to move onto the nests.  Bluegills are ranging from 8.5 to 9.5 inches.


Crawford Creek Impoundment

Bluegills should be moving onto the nests soon.  Recent surveys show good numbers of 8.5 to 9-inch bluegills.  There are good numbers of sublegal largemouth bass in the lake.  Anglers looking for some catch and release largemouth bass fishing should target the face of the dam.


Moorhead Park Pond

Bluegill and crappie fishing has been good.  Crappies are hitting on the west side around the stumps.


Brushy Creek Lake

Water clarity is excellent and aquatic vegetation is present in many areas.  Bluegill – Good: Good sized bluegill were being caught close to shore earlier this week.  Largemouth Bass – Good: Anglers are picking up a lot of nice bass while fishing for muskie.  Crappie – Fair: Crappie are hanging around submerged trees and deadfalls.  Walleye – Fair: Some walleye are being picked up casting crankbaits.  Muskellunge – Good: Muskies are in post-spawn mode and there has been an increase in activity.  Anglers have been reporting good catch rates and lots of follows.  Anglers need to be persistent as much of the action comes in a small window of opportunity.  If you get a muskie to follow, but not bite, return to that area later that day and try again.


Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

Storm Lake is at full pool.  Channel Catfish – Excellent: Anglers are catching good numbers of 18 to 22-inch channel catfish from shore using nightcrawlers and cut bait.  White Bass – Good: White bass are being picked up trolling crankbaits and fishing nightcrawlers from shore.  Walleye – Fair: Boat anglers have been catching quite a few walleye trolling crankbaits, but many are slot fish.  Anglers should also try crawler harnesses or brightly colored jigs. Shore anglers should try a night crawler on the bottom near the return flow from the dredge machine (on the east side) or along the high banks on the north shore. Boaters should use caution on Storm Lake.  The hydraulic dredge is in operation in the east basin of the lake.  There is a pipeline running from the dredge to the shoreline and may rise to the surface at times.  Anglers are allowed three walleye per day, all fish between 17 and 22 inches must be released, and only one fish over 22 inches may be kept.


North Twin Lake

Water levels have reached crest elevation.  Water clarity is poor.  Channel Catfish – Fair: Some anglers are catching catfish from shore.  Try nightcrawlers on the bottom.  Walleye – Fair: Some nice walleye were caught earlier this week. Yellow Bass – Fair: Anglers having been catching decent numbers of yellow bass, but they are pretty small.


Black Hawk Lake

Black Hawk Lake was renovated last fall.  Although fish have been restocked, there are no catchable size fish in the lake.  Black Hawk Lake is now flowing over the spillway.


Browns Lake

Catfish are biting on shrimp and crawlers.


Snyder Bend Lake

White bass and catfish are biting.  Some anglers are picking crappie.


Arrowhead Lake

Water clarity is good.  Water level is around two feet low.  Bluegill – Fair: A few larger males are starting to move onto the beds.  Expect more to move into the shallows over the next few weeks.  Use a 1/32 ounce black feather jig.  It helps to put a small piece of nightcrawler on the jig.  Largemouth Bass – Fair: Largemouth bass are biting on small hair jigs near shore and around downed trees.  They are biting aggressively, but are on the small side.  Most are 8 to 12 inches.  Crappie – Slow: A few crappies can be picked up while targeting bluegill.  Try drifting and jigging.


Black Hawk Pits

Water clarity is excellent.  Water levels have returned to near normal.  Largemouth Bass – Slow: Some nice largemouth bass can be caught using minnows or casting twisters.  Walleye – Slow: A few smaller walleye have been caught with fire tiger colored twisters.  The water is very clear so anglers may have to try fishing in the early morning, late evening, or at night.


Little Sioux River (Linn Grove to Correctionville)

The Little Sioux is flowing fast and the water is turbid.  Fishing is difficult at this time.


For more information on lakes and rivers in the Black Hawk District contact the Black Hawk Office in Lake View at 712-657-2638.


Beeds Lake

Water is high and muddy due to rainfall. Water temperature is around 61 degrees.  Sucker – Fair: There are lots of white suckers in Beed’s. A worm and sinker on the bottom should entice them to bite.  Channel Catfish – Good: No reports, yet, but catfish should be feeding in the shallower west end. Try along the causeway when the wind is from the south or southwest.    Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth bass are near shore and should be biting well.  Crappie – Good: Anglers are catching some crappies near the cuts of the causeway.


Upper Pine Lake

Not many out fishing this week. Water is high and dirty due to the large rainfall and continuing runoff. Crappies, bluegill and largemouth bass were biting on Pine Creek between the lakes, mostly on grub-type baits. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are staged in 4 to 5 feet of water and are close to spawning. A bobber and small jig with a piece of worm should work.  Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth bass are near shore and are close to spawning.  Crappie – Fair: Some crappies are being caught near structure.


Lake Smith

Channel Catfish – Excellent: Try with some cutbait, worms, or stinkbait. Fish are probably biting best the last hour of sunlight to an hour after sunset.  Bluegill – Slow:   Largemouth Bass – Excellent: Bass are near shore and should be biting well, including some 19 to 20 inchers.


Lake Catherine

Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth bass are biting.


Clear Lake

The lake is full (at crest). Water temperature is 62-64 degrees.  Channel Catfish – Good: Catfishing is good right now as they are close to prespawn mode. If you find the fish, action is fast and aggressive. Try with some cutbait, worms, or stinkbait on a windward shoreline or near some of the water sources coming in. Anglers are picking some catfish up when fishing for yellow bass with cutbait.  White Bass – Fair: Anglers are catching some white bass when they’re fishing for yellows. Try around the island or Dodge’s Point. Bluegill – Fair:   Largemouth Bass – Slow: Some largemouth have been caught near the reeds with live bait.  Crappie – Good: Anglers are catching some crappie and bluegill in the reeds with small jigs.   Walleye – Good: A few bigger fish have been caught but most anglers are catching a mix of sublegals and small legal walleyes. Most are caught on jig and a minnow. Some are catching walleyes drifting or trolling. Action on the rock reefs and rock piles is picking up; anglers are using live bait and bobbers or jigging right on bottom. Muskellunge – Good: Anglers are catching some muskies while fishing for walleye with minnows. Anglers are also catching some muskies while fishing for yellows (island and Dodge’s).  Yellow Bass – Good: Waders near the island are picking up large numbers of yellows. Some fish are spawning. Most anglers are using bobbers and minnows or a small jig with a piece of crawler on bottom. Anglers are also catching yellows on the north shore docks fishing shallow on the edge of the reeds. Use a split shot and small hook with a worm on the bottom. The best fishing seems to be right at dawn to an hour after or right at sunset.


Lake Cornelia

Fishing has been good. Lots of fish are being caught. Channel Catfish – Good: Cats should be biting on cutbait or stinkbait. Fish from the last hour of sunlight to an hour after sunset, or on a windward side of the lake during the day. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are keeper size.  Crappie – Fair: Crappies are around 8 inches.  Yellow Bass – Good: Yellow bass are small 7-7.25 inches


Little Wall Lake

Little Wall is full (at crest). Channel Catfish – Good: Use chicken liver or stink bait in shallow areas in the evenings.  There was a 30 pound flathead caught and released last week. If you’re after flatheads, use a live fish for bait and fish after dark. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass are biting along the shorelines, fairly well over the last week.  Crappie – Good: Anglers are catching 7 to 8-inch crappies and gills off the north fishing jetty and other shorelines.


Crystal Lake

Northern Pike – Good: Northerns have been caught up to the mid 30-inch range. Anglers may have success using presentations such as weedless spoons or bobbers with chubs.  Channel Catfish – Good:   Bluegill – Good: Great population of 7 to 8-inch fish. Bluegills are starting to stage in the shallows to spawn. Largemouth Bass – Excellent: Anglers reported catching lots of largemouth.  Walleye – Good: Anglers are catching some 16 to 17-inch walleyes.


Bluebill Lake

Bluegill – Fair:   Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth bass are biting well along shorelines at Bluebill. Remember the 15-inch minimum length limit on bass.  Crappie – Fair: Crappies are biting on minnows under a bobber.


Fin and Feather Lake

There has been some activity for panfish. There was a partial fish kill this winter but there are still bluegills and largemouth bass left to provide some action.  Bluegill – Fair:   Largemouth Bass – Fair: Largemouth are near shore. Remember the 15-inch minimum length limit.


Interstate Park Lake

There was a partial fish kill this winter on this lake but anglers have been reporting catching a variety of fish this past week.  Bluegill – Fair:   Largemouth Bass – Fair: Largemouth bass are cruising the shorelines.  Crappie – Fair: Crappies are a nice size and should be biting off the boat ramp point or off the east rock side.


Iowa River (Iowa Falls to Marshalltown)

Iowa River is flooding from recent local rains. There is some activity below Steamboat Rock for walleye and northern pike.


Shell Rock River (above Greene)

Water levels are high.  Northern Pike – Slow: A few Northern pike are being caught with a chub and bobber, or slow artificial presentations. Between Northwood and Nora Springs below dams, backwater areas and anywhere a creek feeds into the river.  Walleye – Slow: A few small walleye being caught on Shell Rock River on jig/twister.


Winnebago River

Water level is high/ flooding.  Northern Pike – Slow: Northern pike are being caught in Fertile by the dam and the park point east of the dam.  Anglers are using a slow retrieval with Mepps number 4 and 5 spinner baits or a Rapala three inch Countdown Minnow. Some pike are also hitting chubs presented below bobbers.  Channel Catfish – Slow: Anglers should try below the dams or in backwater areas using cutbait, stinkbait, or minnows.


East Fork Des Moines (Algona to Humboldt)

The East Fork is running high. Fishing is marginal.  Walleye – No Report:


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


Big Spirit Lake

Bullhead – Good: Action on the Grade is still hot. Throw a worm on the bottom and be ready.  Largemouth Bass – Fair: Sight fishing in the bull rushes is starting to pick up look for nesting fish but the big females may be out deeper yet.  Walleye – Fair: Try fishing deep during the day and shallow during dawn and dusk.  Drifting and trolling leeches, crawlers, and minnows has produced a few fish.  Wader fishing is still producing a few fish try casting twister tails or live bait under a bobber.


West Okoboji Lake

Bluegill – Slow: The bluegill action has slowed in the canals but may still be found in the bays.  Try in back corners and look for beds.  Largemouth Bass – Fair: Look for bass in the canals and other shallow areas.


Five Island Lake

Channel Catfish – Fair: Try using cut bait around downed trees and drop offs.  Walleye – Fair: Try drifting Lindy rigs and bottom bouncers during low light periods.


Lost Island Lake

Walleye – Fair: Drifting live bait with Lindy rigs and bottom bouncers has been producing a few fish some days are better than others.


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