DNR fishing report for week ending Wed. July 24, 2019

Big Hollow Lake
The fish have moved out deep with some bass moving in shallow before the sun gets things hot. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Anglers are picking up a few bass in 5 to 6 feet of water around the flooded timber. Bluegill – Fair: With the heat, switch to fishing early mornings and late evening. Concentrate your efforts around the brush piles near the upper end and the flooded timber near deep water at the lower end. Black Crappie – Slow: Look for crappies out in the trees and brush piles in 6 to 7 feet of water. The bite slowed some since last week, maybe because the bluegill bite is drawing more anglers. Channel Catfish – Good: Fish near the rocks on the dam jetties and island to catch some nice catfish. 

Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River)
The Iowa River is below bank full and dropping fast. Use caution; the water is still moving fast. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try stink bait or grass frogs this time of year. Flathead Catfish – Fair: Flatheads are mostly done spawning and are starting to get back on the feed.

Lake Belva Deer
Water temperature was 84 degrees on July 15. Water clarity is 29 inches. 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: Bluegills are out deep. Start out in 10 to 12 feet 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 water temperature remains around 85 degrees. Water clarity is running just over two feet.Early before the sun gets hot is the best time to fish. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass are out around the rock piles and brush piles in 6-10 feet of water coming in shallower early in the morning before it gets hot. 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 – Fair: Slow drift or troll over the habitat in 10 to 12 feet of water. Early morning or late evening the best.

Lost Grove Lake
Water temperature is holding in the low 80’s. Hot weather is keeping angler numbers down. 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: Anglers continue to pick up crappies out around edges of the flooded timber in 8 to 10 feet 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 (Coppock to Mississippi River)
The Skunk River is down to about half bank full. Channel Catfish – Fair: Some decent catfish have been working the flats around the sandbars at night. This is also the time of the year to collect a few grass frogs for bait.

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

Cedar River (Cedar Rapids to Moscow)
Channel Catfish – Good.

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

Central Park Pond
Located just west of Central Park Lake. Bluegill – Fair. Channel Catfish – Fair.

Coralville Reservoir 
The lake level as of July 18 is 687 feet (normal summer pool is 683 feet). Channel Catfish – Fair: Slow troll or drift cut bait in the channel.

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

Green Castle Lake
Walleye – Fair: Some fish are being picked up on leeches. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try rubber frogs.

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.

Iowa River (Marshalltown to Coralville Lake)
Channel Catfish – Good: Frogs work well as bait.

Lake Macbride 
Only outboards 10 hp or less may be operated on the lake. Water temperatures are in the mid 80’s. 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 – Fair: Target rock reefs in 8-10 feet of water or around shoreline rip-rap. Size is marginal. 

Otter Creek Lake
Bluegill – Good. Yellow Bass – Good. Channel Catfish – Good: Evenings have been best. Largemouth Bass – Fair.

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. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Slow: Target windblown rock or drop-offs during the day; look for surface activity at sunrise/sunset. 

Sand Lake
You must have a trout stamp to fish for and/or possess trout. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: Fish up to 2 pounds are being caught on the surface early in the mornings. Black Crappie – Slow: A few 10-12 inch crappies are being picked up. 

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. Use topwater lures early and late in the day in the same locations. 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 rocked shorelines. Use topwater lures early and late in the day. 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. 

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

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 908.63 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 fished in shorelines with the wind blowing into them. Black Crappie – Slow: Try jigs and minnows along rocky shores and around structure. Catch suspended with small crankbaits. 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 baits that imitate gizzard shad 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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