DNR Fishing Report for week ending July 13, 2019

DES MOINES – The following is the weekly fishing report for southeast Iowa for the week ending July 13, 2019 from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River)
Still remains not that far below bank full. Thunderstorms forecast for the next few days won’t help matters.

Lake Belva Deer
The recent heat wave has jumped the water temperature into the 80’s. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Look for  bass around the mounds in the deeper water at the upper end and around the rip-rap at the lower end of the lake. Early morning or late evening is best. Bluegill – Fair: The increase in water temperature has pushed the bluegills out into deeper water. Start out in 10 to 12 foot of water early in the morning. Channel Catfish – Fair: Most catfish have moved into deeper water; start along the old creek channel. 

Lake Darling
The recent hot weather jumped the water temperature into the low 80’s last Friday.  Water clarity isn’t bad. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Find bass in the post-spawn hideout around the thicker cover in 6-8 feet of water around the rock piles. Bluegill – Fair: Most bluegills have moved off into deeper water (8-10 feet) around the rock piles and brush piles. Channel Catfish – Fair: Catfish have wrapped up the spawn. Try drift fishing with cut bait along the old creek channel in the lake. Black Crappie – Good: The bite has been a little spotty with the unsettled weather.  Work the deeper habitat in 10-12 feet of water or slow troll over the same area. A storm front coming through really messes it up. Early morning or late evening is best.

Lost Grove Lake
Water temperature has climbed into the 80’s. Water clarity is decent. Largemouth Bass – Good: Anglers continue to catch bass; work them out along the edges of the weed beds and around the trees and brush piles in 4-6 feet of water using soft plastics. Black Crappie – Good: The bite continues to improve for crappies out around edges of the flooded timber in 8 to 10 foot of water. Try vertical jigging or using a slip bobber and minnow. Bluegill – Fair: The hot weather has put a quick end to the spawn.  Look for the bluegills around the deeper habitat now. Channel Catfish – Fair: The spawn is mostly over. Start working the areas below the flow under the causeway and along the creek channel.

Skunk River (Rose Hill to Coppock)
The spotty heavy rains Friday made the Skunk River go up fast; it’s dropping just as fast.  

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


Cedar Lake
Bluegill – Good: Lots of 6-7 inch fish are along the shore. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Fish plastics along shorelines.

Central Park Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Fish up to 8 inches  have been reported. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Most fish are 11-12 inches.

Coralville Reservoir
The lake level as of July 3 is 687 feet (normal summer pool is 683 feet) and is slowly falling. It is predicted to reach normal pool around July 12th. Channel Catfish – Slow.

Diamond Lake
Channel Catfish
– Good: Stink bait or chicken liver works best.Best bite is early and late in the day. Bluegill – Fair: Try deeper brush with worms or small jigs. Black Crappie – Fair: Try deeper brush or drift the basin with jigs for suspended fish.

Hannen Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills are spawning. Nice sized fish can be caught in the shallows. Largemouth Bass – Fair. Black Crappie – Slow: Look for suspended fish around deeper brush. Numbers are low, but size is good. 

Iowa Lake (Iowa County)
Bluegill – Fair: Some nice sized fish are being caught. Largemouth Bass – Slow. Black Crappie – Slow.  Channel Catfish – Fair: Early and late in the day is best.

Lake Macbride
Only outboards 10 hp or less may be operated on the lake. Water temperatures are in the low 80 degrees. Walleye – Fair: Troll or cast in 8-10 feet of water; target weed or rock edges. Black Crappie – Slow. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: Cast crankbaits or swimbaits along windblown rock or rock breaks. Topwaters can work early and late in the day. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try fishing around the weed edges and shallow rock/weed. Channel Catfish – Fair. Bluegill – Good: Target rock reefs in 8-12 feet of water or around shoreline rip-rap. Size is marginal. 

Pleasant Creek Lake
The main ramp and parking lot will be closed starting July 8 for repaving. It will most likely be closed for a couple months. Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs or worms in shallow pockets. Muskellunge – Slow: A few fish were reported this week. Yellow Perch – Slow: Some 8 inch perch are being caught.

Rodgers Park Lake
Bluegill – Good: Fish are in the shallows. Small jigs and worms work best. Largemouth Bass – Slow.

Sand Lake
You must have a trout stamp to fish for and/or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Fair: 16-18 inch trout are being caught. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: Schools of wipers around 16 inches are being caught on occasion.

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


Hawthorn Lake
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try rubber worms or spinnerbaits along the rock jetties and the face of the dam. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try dead chubs or nightcrawlers in 4-8 feet of water. Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs tipped with a waxworm. Sorting is needed for larger fish.

Lake Miami
Bluegill – Fair: Try small jigs tipped with a chunk of nightcrawler around the rock jetties. Largemouth Bass – Good: Use rubber worms or spinnerbaits around the fishing jetties and along the face of the dam. Try also topwater lures in the mornings and evenings. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use nightcrawlers or chicken liver around the rocky shores.

Lake Sugema
Largemouth Bass – Good: Try spinnerbaits or crankbaits in areas with rip-rap. Black Crappie – Fair: Use jigs tipped with a minnow around the flooded timber and submerged structure. Keep moving until you find active fish. Bluegill – Fair: Try small jigs tipped with a waxworm or chunk of nightcrawler around the shoreline. Also try open areas in the aquatic vegetation. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use chicken liver or dead chubs along the rocky shores.

Lake Wapello
Channel Catfish – Fair: Use cut bait or dead chubs along the rocky shores. Don’t fish too deep, most lakes have stratified. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try rubber worms or spinnerbaits around rock jetties and submerged cedar trees. Bluegill – Fair: Try small jigs along the shorelines and around the aquatic vegetation. 

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 912.59 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. Channel Catfish – Good: Try cut bait or shad sides in areas with flowing water. Black Crappie – Slow: Crappie fishing has slowed with recent rains; it has been very hit and miss. Try jigs and minnows along rocky shores and around structure. Sorting is needed for larger fish. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Good: Anglers have been successful trolling crankbaits along rocky shores. Anglers are also catching wipers with slip bobbers and nightcrawlers. Walleye – Slow: Try trolling over submerged points or along rocky shores.

Red Haw Lake
Channel Catfish – Fair: Use cut bait or dead chubs along the shorelines. Bluegill – Fair: Try small jigs fished around the shores and submerged structure. Tip your jig with a waxworm. 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.

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