FORT MADISON – The following is the weekly fishing report for southeast Iowa provided by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
Big Hollow Lake
Ice is in pretty good shape; the edges might degrade this weekend with the warm weather. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappie fishing remains a bit spotty; move around until you find fish.
Lake Belva Deer
Ice conditions remain good with about 9-10 inches. Early morning bite is best. Bluegill – Fair: Look for bluegill along the creek channel in the flooded trees in 16 to 20 feet of water near the bottom.
Still about 12 inches of ice. Some of the top layers are degraded from last week’s freezing rain, but the majority of the ice is still good. Black Crappie – Good: The bite shifted from bluegills to crappies last week. Look for the crappies in about 2 to 3 feet off the bottom in 12 to 14 feet of water.
For more information on the above lake, call the Lake Darling Fisheries Office at 319-694-2430.
There is 8-12 inches of ice with the same amount of snow on top. Black Crappie – Good: Fish the basin or around deeper brush for 8- to 9-inch crappies. Bluegill – Good: Catch 7- to 8-inch bluegills with a jig/waxie around brush.
Green Castle Lake
Black Crappie – Slow: Large fish are being caught. Bluegill – Good: It’s quantity over quality.
Black Crappie – Fair: Quite a few fish are 11+ inches. Bluegill – Good: Many fish are 8+ inches.
Iowa Lake (Iowa Co.)
There is over a foot of ice on the lake. Bluegill – Fair. Black Crappie – Fair.
Kent Park Lake
The lake is currently drained for a lake restoration project.
Most ice is 8-12 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Try jigs/waxies fished over rock or brush. Black Crappie – Slow: Fish around stumps or trees in 10-20 feet of water. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Slow: Use minnows, spoons or jigs/waxies around stumps or off rock breaks in 15-20 feet of water.
You must have a trout stamp to fish for and/or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Good. Brook Trout – Fair. Bluegill – Good. Black Crappie – Fair.
For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.
Anglers are catching some bluegills and crappies. Use caution and check ice thickness often.
Ice thickness is 4-7 inches; use caution if venturing out. Most of the ice fishing in this area is occurring on the Tug Forks lakes northwest of Lake Sugema.
Very few reports this week as anglers are just starting to get out with the better ice conditions. Use caution and check ice thickness often.
The current lake level is 904.64 msl. Normal operating elevation is 904.0 msl. Ice thickness is variable so use caution. Not many anglers have been out. Lake Rathbun has zebra mussels, so make sure to properly drain, clean, and dry equipment before transporting to another water body.
Red Haw Lake
Anglers report 12 inches of ice. Bluegill – Fair: Try small jigs tipped with a waxworm. Sorting is needed for larger fish.
Ice conditions in the Rathbun district are variable across the district; use caution if venturing out. 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.