DES MOINES – The following is the Iowa Department of Natural Resources weekly fishing report for the lakes, ponds and waterways of southeast Iowa.
Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River)
The Iowa River is going back and forth from being bank full to minor flood level.
Lake Belva Deer
Recent rains have brought the lake level up some, but water clarity remains decent. Water temperature dropped below 60 after the recent cool weather. Black Crappie – Fair: Find crappies in 10-12 feet of water; you have to work for them. Largemouth Bass– Fair: Bass don’t look to be on the beds yet, but anglers are catching some in shallow, not far from deeper water.
Yesterday’s rain brought the lake up about 10 inches; the water is muddy and seems to be stuck at 58 degrees. Black Crappie -Slow: Anglers are still able to pick up some crappies around the deeper brush and rock piles. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Anglers are catching decent bass in the shallow water, but most are not far from the deeper water drop-offs. Not seeing anything on beds; the water is still too cool.
Lost Grove Lake
Strong winds have kept angler numbers down the last few days. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try along the face of the dam where the sun hitting the rip rap might warm it up a little; bring out the crawdads and green sunfish. Black Crappie – Slow: Crappies have stayed in deeper water; don’t know if they will make it in shallow this spring to spawn.
Skunk River (Rose Hill to Coppock)
Rains have brought the Skunk River up and over flood stage. Most ramps are completely under water.
For more information on the above lake, call the Lake Darling Fisheries Office at 319-694-2430.
The lake level is 695 feet and is still rising and predicted to crest at 698 feet; summer pool is 683 feet.
The water is muddy here after all the rains. Black Crappie – Fair: Males were on the bank under overhanging brush, while the females were suspended 10-14 feet down. Most fish are around 9 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are starting to pick up some bluegills.
Fishing has been slow this week due to weather. Bluegill – Fair: Look for fish to move to the shallows, especially on warmer days.
Iowa Lake (Iowa Co.)
Black Crappie – Fair: Some fish are still suspended out deeper, while some move in shallow on warmer days. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Fish the weed lines or in open pockets. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are catching some fish on deeper brush piles, as well as some near shore.
Water temperatures are in the low 60’s.Starting this Friday, May 24, only motors of 10 hp or less may be operated on the lake. Walleye – Fair: Trolling in 7-12 feet of water or jigging on points has been producing some fish. Black Crappie – Fair: Fish have been moving in and out of the shallows based on weather; crappie fishing has been tough the last week. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: Cast crankbaits or swimbaits along rock reefs or windblown banks. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Quite a few bass are in the shallows. Spotted bass – Fair: Lots of fish are up shallow preparing to spawn.
Otter Creek Lake
Bluegill – Slow. Yellow Bass – Fair. Black Crappie – Slow.
Pleasant Creek Lake
There is a lot of terrestrial vegetation in the shallows that established during the low water period. Walleye – Slow: Most action is in the shallows towards evening and after dark. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Slow: Look for schools of fish towards sunset. Bluegill – Fair: Some fish are starting to invade the shallows.
Rodgers Park Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Some decent fish are moving shallower.
Union Grove Lake
Bluegill – Good: Bluegills here are now around 7 inches and are being caught in the shallows.
Wapsipinicon River (Troy Mills to Oxford Junction)
Fish below the dams for the best action. Smallmouth Bass – Good. Northern Pike – Fair.
For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try rubber worms or spinnerbaits around the rock jetties and along the dam. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try dead chubs or nightcrawlers.
Black Crappie – Fair: Use jigs tipped with a minnow around the submerged trees. Bluegill – Fair: Try small jigs around the rock jetties and shorelines. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use rubber worms around the fishing jetties and along the face of the dam.
Largemouth Bass – Good: Try spinnerbaits or crankbaits around rock jetties and along the dam. Black Crappie – Fair: Try jigs tipped with a minnow around the flooded timber and submerged structure. Keep moving until you find active fish.
Bluegill – Fair: Try small jigs along the shorelines. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use cut bait or dead chubs. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try rubber worms or spinnerbaits around rock jetties and submerged structure.
The current lake level is 909.04 msl. Normal operating elevation is 904.0 msl. The water temperature is in the upper 50’s. The lake’s water level has risen about 2 1/2 feet in the last week and will continue to rise with more rain. Lake Rathbun has zebra mussels, so make sure to properly drain, clean, and dry equipment before transporting to another water body. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try cut bait or shad sides in areas with flowing water. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappie fishing has slowed with the cooler weather and the rain. Try jigs and minnows along rocky shores and around structure. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Good: Anglers have been successful trolling crankbaits along rocky shores. Walleye – Fair: Try trolling over submerged points or along rocky shores.
Red Haw Lake
Channel Catfish – Fair: Use cut bait or dead chubs. Bluegill – Fair: Try small jigs fished around the shores and submerged structure. Largemouth Bass – Good: Try rubber worms or spinnerbaits around brush piles and other submerged structure.
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.