Iowa DNR fishing report – week ending 5/23/18

DES MOINES – The following is the weekly fishing report provided by the Iowa Department of Transportation for the week ending May 23, 2018

Big Hollow Lake
Water temperature is in the upper 60’s. Water clarity is good. Largemouth Bass – Good: Males are on the nests now.  Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are coming in to spawn.  Black Crappie – Fair: Crappies finished up a quick spawn and are headed back out deep.

Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River)
The river is about two feet below being bank full at Columbus Junction the. It is running at just below bank full at Wapello.

Lake Belva Deer
Water temperature is 70 degrees this week. Water is very clear; you can see down to 12 feet. Largemouth Bass – Good: Warm weather is speeding the bass along. The spawn is finishing up with a few males still guarding the nests. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappies are done spawning (very quick this year) and have moved back out to deeper water. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are in shallow water spawning; some are already done.

Lake Darling
Water temperature remains at 70 degrees. Despite some heavy rains, water clarity is good down to nine feet. Black Crappie – Slow: Crappies have finished spawning and have moved back out to deeper water. Largemouth Bass – Good: Males are on the nest with some even being done with that stage of the spawn. Channel Catfish – Good: Anglers are catching some nice stringers of catfish, mostly with nightcrawlers. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are spawning now. Find a good bedding area and you can catch 8 inch bluegills. Anglers are catching some nice ones in 5 to 6 feet of water.

Lost Grove Lake
Water temperature is around 70 degrees; water is very clear (14 feet).  Largemouth Bass – Good: Several males were protecting nests on Wednesday. Also found quite a few off the face of the dam.  Black Crappie – Slow: The spawn happened fast and is wrapping up. Most of the crappies have headed back out deep. A few are still in shallow, but not many. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are in shallow spawning; find a nice quiet bay and you should do well.

Skunk River (Rose Hill to Coppock)
The Skunk River is about two feet below bank full. Only a couple of boats out this week.

For more information on the above lakes, contact the Lake Darling Fisheries Office at 319-694-2430.

Central Park Lake
The lake is currently drained as a renovation project is finishing up this spring.

Coralville Reservoir
As of May 14, the lake is at 685.5 feet and is slowly falling. It will be back down to summer pool of 683.3 feet by early/mid next week. Water temperatures have been close to 70 degrees. The water is very dirty. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try cut bait in the channel; above Mehaffey bridge is best. White Crappie – Fair: Check shallow brush piles and rock banks for spawning fish.

Diamond Lake
No minnows are allowed here. The fish cleaning station is open. Black Crappie – Excellent: Try small jigs fished around the rock jetties or brush piles. Most fish are 7-9 inches. Pink and black tube jigs have been the hot colors. Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs or worms around shallow rock or brush.

Kent Park Lake
The lake is currently drained for a lake renovation project currently underway. It is scheduled to be completed next spring.

Lake Macbride
Water temperatures are close to 70 degrees. All boat docks are in and the fish cleaning station at the primitive campground ramp is open. All motor sizes may be used at no-wake speed (5 mph). Black Crappie – Good: Males are on the bank and some females are too, while the others are staging just off the bank. Cast jigs or minnows to protected banks where crappies can spawn. Most fish are 10-12 inches. Walleye – Good: Cast toward shallow, windblown rocks or troll or jig live bait rigs. Early/late in the day or cloud cover has been best for shallow walleyes. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Cast shallow running crankbaits or flip jigs to shallow cover. Males are shallow and females are staging for the spawn. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair. Bluegill – Good: Use a small jig or worm around shallow cover. Size is marginal at best. Channel Catfish – Fair: Evenings are best.

Otter Creek Lake
The water is reported as being fairly clear. Yellow Bass – Good: Cast small jigs, spinners or live bait to shallow shores. Bluegill – Good: Use small jigs or worms around shallow rock or brush.

Pleasant Creek Lake
The lake is still 7 feet low from the restoration project. The main ramp is usable, but it is shallow; use caution. There is a boat dock in on the east lane. Be cautious when boating as new structures have started to be submerged. Walleye – Good: Evenings are best in the shallows. Muskellunge – Fair. Black Crappie – Fair: Some fish are being picked up along shallow rock.

Sand Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Fish around shallow rocks, brush or the pallet structures off the fishing piers. Most fish are around 9 inches. Yellow Bass – Fair: Cast small jigs, spinners or live bait to the shallows. Most fish are about 9 inches.

For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.

Hawthorn Lake
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use spinnerbaits along the rocky shorelines and rubber worms around the deeper structure. Bluegill – Fair: Try small jigs along the rocky shorelines and around the fishing jetties.

Lake Keomah
Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs near shoreline. Try a chunk of nightcrawler if fish get picky. Black Crappie – Fair: Use jigs or minnows around the fishing jetties and the fishing pier.

Lake Sugema
Walleye – Slow: Use jig and minnow combinations in areas with rip-rapped shorelines. Largemouth Bass – Good: Try spinnerbaits or crankbaits along the fishing jetties and rip-rapped shorelines. Use rubber worms in the same areas as the day warms up. Black Crappie – Slow: Use tube jigs or jig and minnows in the shorelines.

Lake Wapello
Channel Catfish – Fair: Use cut bait along the windblown shorelines. Largemouth Bass – Good: Try spinnerbaits and rubber worms around the cedar tree piles. Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs tipped with a chunk of nightcrawler.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 904.03 msl. Normal operating elevation is 904.0 msl. Lake Rathbun has zebra mussels, so make sure to properly drain, clean, and dry equipment before transporting to another water body. The water temperature is in the mid 60’s. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use shad sides or cut bait on the windblown shorelines. White Crappie – Good: Anglers are catching some crappies around the docks at the marina and at the resort. Crappies have moved into shallow water.
Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: Anglers have been trolling crankbaits along rocky shorelines. Wipers can also be caught using jig and minnow combos along the shoreline. Walleye – Fair: Anglers are catching walleye with nightcrawler rigs.

Red Haw Lake
Channel Catfish – Slow: Use cut bait along the windblown shorelines. Largemouth Bass – Good: Use spinnerbaits or rubber worms in shoreline areas along rip-rapped shorelines. Black Crappie – Fair: Try tube jigs along the shorelines.

The district includes Mahaska, Lucas, Wayne, Monroe, Appanoose, Wapello, Davis and Van Buren counties. Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions about fishing in south central Iowa.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 13.30 feet at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington and is falling. River stage is forecasted to fall to 11.3 feet by May 22nd. Flood stage is 10 feet at Lock and Dam 18. We have not received any fishing reports for this pool this week.

River stages are above flood stage. Tailwater stages have been falling the past few days. Main channel water temperature is around 63 degrees. Water clarity is poor. Some boat ramps are closed due to the high water. We have not received much for fishing reports this week. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

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