Bluegill, bass, channel cats all biting this week

SOUTHEAST IOWA – The following is the Iowa Department of Natural Resources fishing report for the week ending Sept. 25, 2019 for southeast Iowa.

Big Hollow Lake
Water temperature is in the mid-70’s. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are picking up nice bluegills in 6 to 8 feet of water in the flooded timber. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Work the flooded timber with soft plastics in 6 to 8 feet of water or around the big brush piles near the upper end of the lake.

Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River)
Water coming down the Cedar will make the water level in this section of the Iowa River jump about 18 inches. Channel Catfish – Fair: Might be a little pick up with the bite as the water from the Cedar River makes its way down the Iowa River.

Lake Belva Deer
Water temperature is in the upper 70’s. The lake is still green. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Look for bass near the deeper water as they wait for fall to arrive. Bluegill – Fair: Not a lot of angler activity this week, but they continue to pick up the bluegills in 10 to 12 foot of water. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try around the mounds near the upper end of the lake where there is some deep rock on the sides.

Lake Darling 
The water is green again; need a good rain to flush it out. Hot daytime temperatures have brought the water temperature back up to near 80 degrees. Largemouth Bass – Fair: A few early morning anglers are catching a few nice bass before they go deep for the balance of the day. Bluegill – Fair: The bigger bluegills are still mostly in the deeper water (8-10 feet) around the rock piles and brush piles. A few smaller ones are in shallow. Black Crappie – Fair: Warming water has slowed them back down. Look for crappie in 10 to 12 feet of water around the habitat.

Lost Grove Lake
Water temperatures are in the upper 70’s. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Most bass have moved back out to the edges of the deep water; they are waiting for cool weather and fall to arrive. Black Crappie – Slow: Anglers are picking up a few crappies in 12 to 16 feet of water around the trees. Bluegill – Good: Anglers are catching a few more bluegills this week. The better ones are still be out deep, with the smaller ones venturing into shallow water around the weeds.

Skunk River (Coppock to Mississippi River)
The Skunk River is holding steady with a slow drop in water levels, but the big rocks are sticking out. Channel Catfish – Fair: Work the pools just downstream of the rock riffles, slow drifting crawdads or nightcrawlers to catch some nice eating-size catfish. Don’t forget to work the brush piles.

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

Coralville Reservoir 
The lake level is 684.2 feet. Channel Catfish – Fair: Slow troll or drift cut bait. White Crappie – Fair: Use minnows or bright jigs over brush piles. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Flip jigs/plastics or shallow running crankbaits along chunk rock.

Diamond Lake 
Channel Catfish
 – Fair: Try stink bait or chicken livers. Bluegill – Fair: Use worms or small jigs fished in brush. Black Crappie – Slow: Fish brush piles or drift the basin with jigs. Early and late in the day is best.

Hannen Lake
Mornings are best as the water is at its coolest part of the day. Bluegill – Fair:  Use small worms. Channel Catfish – Fair. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try spinnerbaits and buzz baits.

Iowa Lake (Iowa Co.
Bl
uegill – Slow. Black Crappie – Slow. Channel Catfish – Slow. Largemouth Bass – Slow.

Iowa River (Marshalltown to Coralville Lake)
Reports were good before the recent rains. Walleye – Fair: Try jigging in the deeper holes with the low water conditions.

Lake Macbride 
Water temperatures are in the upper 70’s. Any sized motor may now be used at no wake speed (5 mph). Walleye – Slow. Black Crappie – Fair: Try jigging over deeper brush piles. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Slow. Largemouth Bass – Fair. 

Pleasant Creek Lake 
The main ramp is still closed for repaving. Channel Catfish – Good: Use shrimp livers or stink bait in 10-14 feet of water; sandy or rocky areas have been best.

Sand Lake
Channel Catfish – Good: Use stink bait.

Union Grove Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Catch bluegill up to 8 inches. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Most fish are around 10 inches.

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 spots. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use dead chubs or nightcrawlers in 4-8 feet of water. Bluegill – Fair: Try 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 fished around the fishing jetties and rip-rapped shorelines. Drifting this time of year can also produce some fish. Largemouth Bass – Good: Use spinnerbaits or rubber worms around the fishing jetties and around the submerged cedar trees. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try nightcrawlers along the shorelines.

Lake Sugema
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try rubber worms around openings in the vegetation or spinnerbaits around the jetties and rip-rapped shorelines. Black Crappie – Slow: Use jigs tipped with a minnow around the flooded timber and submerged structure. Drifting in open water areas can also produce some fish this time of year. Bluegill – Fair: Try small  jigs tipped with a chunk of nightcrawler in the open areas of the aquatic vegetation and along the outer edges.

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. Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs along the shorelines and around the aquatic vegetation. Black Crappie – Fair: Try drifting in open water areas for suspended crappie.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 905.06 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 nightcrawlers fished along the shorelines or any place with some water flowing into the lake. Black Crappie – Slow: Catch suspended crappie with small crankbaits. Sorting is needed for larger fish. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: Anglers have been successful trolling crankbaits along rocky shores. Anglers are also vertically jigging over rock piles with some success. Walleye – Slow: Troll baits that imitate gizzard shad or bottom bouncers with a nightcrawler over submerged points or along rocky shores.

Red Haw Lake
Channel Catfish – Fair: Use cut bait or nightcrawlers along the shorelines. Don’t fish too deep; the lake is stratified. Bluegill – Fair: Try small jigs with a chunk of nightcrawler fished around the shores and submerged structure. Largemouth Bass – Good: Use 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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