by Iowa DNR
May 26, 2008
Mississippi River Pools 9 to 15: Water levels on the Mississippi River Pools 9 to 11 are dropping, boat ramps are opening, water clarity is improving and it is time to go fishing. River level at Lansing is 9.65 feet, 19.4 feet at Lynxville and 10.8 feet at Guttenberg. River levels are expected to continue to drop slowly. Water temperature is 56 degrees.
Water has come off of the islands and fish are beginning to concentrate around shoreline structure. The tailwaters of the locks and dams continue to be good spots to catch a variety of fish. Harpers Ferry is reporting excellent fishing right now. Walleye are being caught on jig and minnow or jigging spoons along the shorelines down from the Lock and Dam 9. Some anglers are doing very well on bullheads next to the dam wall. Northern pike are being caught near the spillway. Channel catfish are being caught on worms, and a few starting to bite on stink bait just above Lock and Dam 9. In Pool 11 near Guttenberg, anglers are catching flathead catfish in the tailwaters of Lock and Dam 10 along with a lot of drum, and an occasional sauger. Largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing is very good right now. Target largemouth bass by pitching spinner baits and crankbaits along the fallen trees next to shore, or along the main channel in the upper parts of the pools. Fish for smallmouth bass along rocky areas with good current. Crappies are getting close to spawning. Float a minnow under a bobber or use small jigs and fish right in fallen trees in backwaters and near the mouths of back waters. If you are not getting bites within a few minutes keep moving to find structure that is holding fish. Mud Lake and Sunfish Lake are producing some 10 to 12-inch yellow perch.
In Pools 12 to 15, water level is 13 feet at Dubuque, 11.8 feet at Bellevue and 14.3 feet at Camanche. River levels are forecast to drop around a foot and a half over the next week. Water temperature is in the low 60s. Water clarity has also been increasing as the water levels drop.
Walleye and sauger are being caught on wing dams in Pools 12 to 14 with three-way rigs tipped with leeches or crankbaits. With water levels up, target the inside (closest to shore) of the wing dams. Also where wing dams occur in series (several in a row), focus on the lower dams because they will have less current. Largemouth bass are biting well in the side channels and sloughs on crankbaits, spinner baits and jigs. Focus on areas with rock and or woody structure for best results. The rip rapped shoreline from Lock and Dam 11 to AY McDonald Park in Dubuque, as well as the mouth of Mill Creek in Bellevue, holds good numbers of largemouth and smallmouth. Drum are biting well on night crawlers fished on the bottom.
River temperature in northeast Iowa is running about 60 degrees which is prime temperature for pre-spawn smallmouth bass.
Turkey River (Fayette and Clayton): Flows are high, but the river is very fishable. Nice smallmouth bass, 15 to 17 inches, are being caught on large spinners and crankbaits. Good numbers of walleyes are biting on crankbaits. White suckers and redhorse are being caught on night crawlers fished on the bottom.
Upper Iowa River (Winneshiek and Allamakee): Fish are starting to stack up at the lower dam. Good numbers of walleye, smallmouth bass, and white bass are holding in the area. White bass fishing is excellent at the lower dam using minnows or light colored jigs. Smallmouth bass and walleye are being caught throughout the river on dark jigs tipped with night crawlers. Fish deeper water to find walleyes and bigger smallmouth.
Cedar River (Mitchell, Floyd and Chickasaw): Anglers are having some success using jigs tipped with a night crawler for 12 to 17-inch walleye, and a little more success using minnow-tipped jigs. Some smallmouth bass are also being caught using twistertails with or without live bait.
Hendricks Lake (Howard): Largemouth Bass fishing has been good using a variety of lures. Bluegill fishing has been slow, but with warming water temperature it should pick up. Crappies are moving in shallow to spawn. Look to catch crappies staging around shallow structure and in new rock placed along shoreline using small jigs or minnows.
Volga Lake (Fayette): There is a good numbers of 14 to 16-inch largemouth bass in the lake. Try twistertails or spinners along rocky shorelines. Try catching channel catfish in the shallow coves when the wind is blowing in. Catfish feed on dead fish pushed into these areas. Try using cut bait fished on the bottom.
Lake Meyer (Winneshiek): The bigger largemouth bass have been starting to bite on soft plastics or spinners worked along shore. Anglers are also picking up some 10-inch crappies with small twister tails, minnows or tube jigs fished along the various brush piles in deeper water. The smaller fish are starting to move to the shallow water brush piles. The larger fish will move in as the water warms. Some sorting of crappies may be necessary, but they are bigger than last year.
Fishing activity has picked up with the receding water levels on the Cedar River (Mitchell, Floyd, Chickasaw, Bremer and Black Hawk), West Fork Cedar River (Butler and Black Hawk), Maquoketa River (Delaware, Jones and Jackson), and Wapsipinicon River (Buchanan). Rivers will be settling back into normal patterns in the next week. Of these rivers, the Maquoketa River will improve quickly, followed by the West Fork Cedar River, Cedar River and finally the Wapsipinicon River. Some walleyes are being caught on jigs and crankbaits fished in areas off the main channel in the Cedar and Maquoketa rivers.
Wapsipinicon River (Buchanan): Fishing is excellent for largemouth and smallmouth bass below the Littleton Dam. Crappie and rock bass are also biting well.
Alice Wyth, George Wyth and South Prairie lakes (Black Hawk): Fishing is fair for crappie. Use 1/64 to 1/32-ounce jigs fished slowly for best success, or try small minnows fished on a slip bobber rig.
Casey Lake (Tama): Fishing is fair for bluegills with small baits, and sinking flies providing the best action.
Heritage Pond (Dubuque): The 10 to 12-inch rainbow trout stocked on May 2 should be available through much of June. A trout fee is required to fish for and possess trout.
Hendricks Lake (Howard) and Volga Lake (Fayette): Try catching channel catfish in the shallow coves in these lakes when the wind is blowing in. Catfish feed on dead fish pushed into these areas.
Lake Meyer (Winneshiek): A few smaller largemouth bass have been biting on soft plastics or spinners worked along shore. Anglers are also picking up some crappies with small twister tails, minnows or tube jigs fished along various brush piles. Some sorting of crappies may be necessary.
North Prairie Lake (Black Hawk): Anglers continue to catch rainbow trout following the last stocking on April 5. The trout fee is required to fish for or possess trout.
Sweet Marsh (Bremer): Crappie fishing is fair in shallow water areas for anglers using small jigs and small live bait rigs tipped with a minnow.
Trout stream conditions are excellent with good flow and clear water. Conditions should continue barring heavy rain. Mayflies and caddis flies are hatching off in good numbers. In 'stained' water conditions, try using lighter colored lures for greater visibility. Don't let a previous day's rain deter you from trout fishing as coldwater streams are the first to clear after a rain. Fountain Springs Park will be walk-in access only until the road repairs are completed later this summer. Anglers fishing Silver Creek are only allowed to fish the lower portion of the stream. Public fishing is no longer allowed on upper Silver Creek and stocking has been discontinued on that portion of the stream. Anglers should avoid the lower end of Brush Creek due to construction work at the iron bridge, in Jackson County. The upper portion of Brush will continue to be stocked.
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