Rains muck up water in local fishing holes

DES MOINES – The following is the weekly fishing report from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for the six days beginning July 2.

Big Hollow Lake
Lots and lots of rain this week made the water muddy. Not many anglers out on the lake. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Unstable weather with summer heat shuts the bass down until it evens out some. Bluegill – Fair: Most bluegills have moved off the beds and are out in 6 to 8 feet of water.

Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River)
The Iowa River is dropping pretty fast, but isn’t forecast to be below minor flood stage until the middle if next week.

Lake Belva Deer
Water temperature is 79-80 degrees. Water is green from planktonic algae bloom. Curlyleaf pondweeds have died off. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Summer patterns have set up. Try early or late in the shallows; most of the day they are out in deeper water. Bluegill – Fair: Move out to the deeper water (16 to 18 feet) out around the trees. Black Crappie – Fair: Slow trolling at the lower end of the lake early in the morning or late evening as the sun goes down. 

Lake Darling 
Heavy rains last weekend made the lake high and muddy.  Water level has gone back down; the water is trying to clear. Water temperature is 80 degrees. Largemouth Bass– Slow: Muddy water will slow down the sight feeding fish. Bluegill – Fair: You can still catch bluegills on worm and bobber; most have moved out to 5 to 7 feet of water.  Channel Catfish – Good: When it rains, head for the wiers in the in-lake silt dams; catfish wait just off the sides for food to come through on the current. Black Crappie – Slow: Anglers are picking up a few crappies slowly drift trolling in 10 to 12 feet of water; bite will improve as the water clears.

Lost Grove Lake 
Water temperatures are around 80 degrees. Water clarity is still good with a little green color; weed beds are dying back. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass fishing has slowed a bit; most fish are heading to deeper water for the summer. Bluegill – Good: A majority of the bluegills have moved off into 10-15 feet of water. Try small jigs tipped with waxworms or red wigglers. Some bluegills have finished spawning; find them in the flooded timber out in deeper water.

Skunk River (Rose Hill to Coppock)
The water level in the Skunk River dropped this week with it returning to just above half-bank full. Channel Catfish – Fair: Bite should pick up as the water level gets more stable.  Don’t forget to fish under any mulberries that you find hanging over the river.

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

Coralville Reservoir
The lake level crested at 702.4 feet on 7/01 (normal summer pool is 683 feet) and is predicted to start falling. Mehaffey Bridge ramp is the only open ramp.

Diamond Lake
All facilities are open. Black Crappie – Fair: Most fish are 8-12 feet down in deeper water around brush or suspended in open water. Try small jigs for these 8-9 inch fish. Bluegill – Fair: Most fish have moved off the bank after the spawn and are being caught a bit deeper on small jigs or worms. Channel Catfish -Good: Try stinkbait or crawlers. After rain events has been best.

Lake Macbride
The 10 hp outboard maximum limit is in effect. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: Look for surface activity towards sunset; try plastics or topwater baits. Walleye – Slow: Troll crankbaits and live bait rigs in 7-13 feet of water. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Target shallow cover for post-spawn fish. Bluegill – Fair: Try small jigs or worms in rock islands or rock reefs. Channel Catfish – Fair: Live bait works best. Some fish are spawning around shallow rock.

Otter Creek Lake
Docks are in; the bathroom at the ramp is open. The fish cleaning station is open. Bluegill – Good: Try small jigs or worms around brush piles. Yellow Bass – Good: Use small jigs, spinners or live bait. Channel Catfish – Fair: Look for spawning fish near rocky shores. Black Crappie – Fair: Most fish are small.

Pleasant Creek Lake
Walleye – Slow: Use crawlers or plastics fished towards evening. Bluegill – Fair: Most fish have moved a bit deeper. Try small worms or jigs. Channel Catfish – Fair: Typical baits such as stinkbait or crawlers work well. Some spawning fish are in the shallow rocks. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Slow: Target windblown areas or look for surface activity in the evening. Muskellunge – Fair: Cloudy or rainy days have had the fish active.

Sand Lake
This is the quarry on the east side of Marshalltown. Channel Catfish – Good.  Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair.

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

Hawthorn Lake
Largemouth Bass
 – Fair: Try areas along the fishing jetties and the face of the dam. 
Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs around the fishing jetties and rip-rapped shorelines.

Lake Miami
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use spinnerbaits or crankbaits along the dam and the cedar tree piles. Bluegill – Fair: Try small jigs with a small chunk of nightcrawler around the fishing jetties.

Lake Sugema
Channel Catfish – Fair: Use nightcrawlers or chicken liver. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try spinnerbaits or crankbaits along the fishing jetties and other rip-rapped areas. Use topwaters early and late in the day.

Lake Wapello
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use spinnerbaits or rubber worms along the cedar tree piles and any structure along the shorelines. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try nightcrawlers or chicken liver.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 905.08 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 waterbody. Walleye – Fair: Troll or drift nightcrawlers around rock piles and submerged structure. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: Try vertically jigging around rock piles and underwater islands.

The district includes Appanoose, Davis, Lucas, Mahaska, Monroe, Wapello, Wayne 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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