Fishing Reports
Iowa's Fishing Report

Sign up today for free weekly fishing information from Iowa’s fisheries experts. Learn the best hot spots and latest news about Iowa’s fishing opportunities from region to region. This weekly fishing forecast will be emailed directly to your inbox every Thursday!

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How to read our weekly Iowa fishing report

Our weekly fishing report is broken down by counties or regions – Northwest, Northeast, Mississippi River, Southeast and Southwest.

You can check the activity of your favorite lake or stretch of river within each region, including which species are being caught, a rating of the bite (slow, fair, good or excellent), as well as a hot bait or lure pattern.

Fishing reports may include information on stream or river flows (and if it is rising or dropping), ice conditions, depths that fish are biting (watch for trends if this changes), or safety issues like if the water suddenly becomes shallow in spots.




Fishing Podcasts

Each month, Jeff Kopaska of the Iowa DNR and Ross Peterson from KXnO Sports Fanatics get together to talk about fishing opportunities, seasons and events in Iowa and around the Midwest. They are often joined by other DNR staff and guest speakers.

The links below are the podcast recordings of their conversations, and can also be found on the iHeartRadio app.

 

January 2021 Fishing Report - Kevan Paul joins us to talk about ice fishing on Clear Lake

February 2021 Fishing Report -  fishing in community ponds, plus hybrid striped bass in Big Creek, and the hot yellow perch bite at Clear Lake

March 2021 Fishing Report - Corey Goldsworthy from the Minnesota DNR joins us to talk about the fishing options at Lake Superior, plus ice-out catfishing

April 2021 Fishing Report -  Jay Rudacille, Iowa DNR Warm and Coolwater Fish Culture Supervisor, joins us to talk about the annual spring walleye collection, production and stocking, plus spring community trout stockings and fun fishing stories

May 2021 Fishing Report - Hank Kohler joins us to talk about his upcoming paddling trip from central Minnesota down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico to make people aware of and seek donations for clean water projects

July 2021 Fishing Report - Fish Local Community Fishing Program and river catfishing tips, plus trout stream sampling

September 2021 Fishing Report - freshwater drum fishing on the Mississippi River, plus drift fishing for crappie and recap of Iowa State Fair aquarium and courtyard presentations

October 2021 Fishing Report - fall fishing tips, plus fall community trout stockings annouced again this year and upcoming trout angler survey

November 2021 Fishing Report - Andrew Downs, KXnO production director, joins us to talk about his family fishing trip to Cairns Lake in nortwestern Ontario, Canada; plus 2021 Iowa Trout Angler Survey invitations going out this week via email, fall community trout stockings and the fall trout spawn

December 2021 Fishing Report - Eric Brinkman, asssistant chief of aquatic conservation in Arkansas, joins us to talk about managing alligator gar in the Red River; plus the Iowa Urban Trout Challenge on urban/community trout locations through December 31, 2021.


January 2022 Fishing Report - Hank Kohler joins us to talk the One4Water trip down the Mississippi this summer; plus winter ice fishing adventures and reminders to renew your fishing license.

 

Iowa Fishing Report
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Waterbody District Comments Date
Alice Wyth Lake Northeast Ice conditions are generally 6-10 inches on lakes and ponds in east-central Iowa. Remain cautious while ice-fishing; avoid areas with water current. Call the Manchester Hatchery at 563-927-3276 for more information. 01/20 10:20
Alice Wyth Lake Northeast Anglers have been catching crappie on Alice Wyth Lake. 01/20 10:28
Alice Wyth Lake Northeast Black Crappie - Fair: Locate structure and use electronics to find suspended fish. Use a small ice jig tipped with a waxworm or try a minnow on a deadstick 01/20 10:29
Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake) Northeast Ice conditions are generally 6-10 inches on lakes and ponds in east-central Iowa. Remain cautious while ice-fishing; avoid areas with water current. Call the Manchester Hatchery at 563-927-3276 for more information. 01/20 10:20
Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake) Northeast Anglers have been catching some bluegill in Casey Lake. 01/20 10:21
Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake) Northeast Bluegill - Fair: Fish evenings or early mornings for best success with small presentations. 01/20 10:21
Cedar River (above Nashua) Northeast Iowa's 2021 fishing licenses expired January 10. Make sure to have 2022's ready for an exciting season. Weekend temperatures range from 10 to low 20s with snow possible. Ice depths on most waterbodies 12 or more inches. For more information, please contact the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324. 01/20 09:06
Cedar River (above Nashua) Northeast Black Crappie - Good: 01/20 09:06
Cedar River (above Nashua) Northeast Bluegill - Good: Wax worms and spikes working well for gills. 01/20 09:06
Cedar River (above Nashua) Northeast Ice depths about 12 inches. Use caution when crossing areas with flow. Check ice depths often. Anglers consistently catching a variety of fish. 01/20 09:06
Cedar River (above Nashua) Northeast Walleye - Fair: Use minnows under a slip bobber with enough weight to get bait near bottom. 01/20 09:06
Decorah District Streams Northeast Iowa's 2021 fishing licenses expired January 10. Make sure to have 2022's ready for an exciting season. Weekend temperatures range from 10 to low 20s with snow possible. Ice depths on most waterbodies 12 or more inches. For more information, please contact the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324. 01/20 09:06
Decorah District Streams Northeast Brook Trout - Fair: Use midge, minnow, or leach patterns for fish looking to get more bang for their effort. 01/20 09:06
Decorah District Streams Northeast Brown Trout - Fair: Fish near or around structure. Spinner or crank baits work well for this. 01/20 09:06
Decorah District Streams Northeast Don't forget to purchase your trout fee for 2022. A lifetime trout fee will be available soon for the mature anglers. Winter trout fishing is a great time to enjoy exploring new streams and opportunities with fewer anglers present. Water clarity is excellent. Be prepared to blend into the background for wary fish. 01/20 09:06
Decorah District Streams Northeast Rainbow Trout - Fair: Rainbow Trout are coloring up for their spawning season which begins soon. Hatchery hold overs remain in the stream teasing anglers. 01/20 09:06
George Wyth Lake Northeast Ice conditions are generally 6-10 inches on lakes and ponds in east-central Iowa. Remain cautious while ice-fishing; avoid areas with water current. Call the Manchester Hatchery at 563-927-3276 for more information. 01/20 10:20
George Wyth Lake Northeast Anglers have been catching some crappie in George Wyth Lake; some sorting may be required. 01/20 10:24
George Wyth Lake Northeast Black Crappie - Fair: Locate structure and use electronics to find suspended fish. Use a small ice jig tipped with a waxworm or try a minnow on a deadstick. 01/20 10:25
Heritage Pond Northeast Ice conditions are generally 6-10 inches on lakes and ponds in east-central Iowa. Remain cautious while ice-fishing; avoid areas with water current. Call the Manchester Hatchery at 563-927-3276 for more information. 01/20 10:20
Heritage Pond Northeast Trout were stocked in the fall; some of these stocked trout remain in the lake at this time. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. 01/20 10:47
Heritage Pond Northeast Rainbow Trout - Fair: Try jigging flashy jigs with a blade to entice rainbow trout to take your lure or jig. 01/20 10:50
Lake Hendricks Northeast Area around aerator remains open. Use caution. About 15 inches ice with 4-5 inches snow. Few anglers out this week as weather presented formidable conditions and fish activity slowed. 01/20 09:06
Lake Hendricks Northeast Black Crappie - Slow: Fish sharp drop offs. Finicky crappies may bite as slowly raise lure. 01/20 09:06
Lake Hendricks Northeast Bluegill - Slow: Use a small jig tipped with waxworm or spike fished near structure. 01/20 09:06
Lake Hendricks Northeast Iowa's 2021 fishing licenses expired January 10. Make sure to have 2022's ready for an exciting season. Weekend temperatures range from 10 to low 20s with snow possible. Ice depths on most waterbodies 12 or more inches. For more information, please contact the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324. 01/20 09:06
Lake Meyer Northeast About 14-15 inches ice with variable snow depths. Fish activity slowed. Fish are in 12-15 ft. water. Best time to fish is morning and evening. 01/20 09:06
Lake Meyer Northeast Black Crappie - Fair: 01/20 09:06
Lake Meyer Northeast Bluegill - Fair: Gills finicky this week. Anglers with cameras see lots of fish looking at bait but not taking. 01/20 09:06
Lake Meyer Northeast Iowa's 2021 fishing licenses expired January 10. Make sure to have 2022's ready for an exciting season. Weekend temperatures range from 10 to low 20s with snow possible. Ice depths on most waterbodies 12 or more inches. For more information, please contact the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324. 01/20 09:06
Manchester District Streams Northeast Ice conditions are generally 6-10 inches on lakes and ponds in east-central Iowa. Remain cautious while ice-fishing; avoid areas with water current. Call the Manchester Hatchery at 563-927-3276 for more information. 01/20 10:20
Manchester District Streams Northeast Trout streams are in excellent condition. Very clear water conditions; use subtle presentations and approach fish from downstream. 01/20 10:35
Manchester District Streams Northeast Brown Trout - Fair: 01/20 10:36
Manchester District Streams Northeast Rainbow Trout - Fair: 01/20 10:36
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Upper Mississippi River levels remain stable. Mid January ice fishing can be slow. Move often to find the fish. Ice depth in backwaters is averaging 10-12 inches. Ice on areas with current varies; use caution. Walleye slot length limits now apply on the entire Iowa border of the Mississippi River. All walleyes less than 15 inches long and between 20-27 inches must be immediately released. One walleye over 27 inches may be kept. Walleye/sauger combined daily limit 6/possession 12. 01/20 07:34
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Black Crappie - Slow: Fish with jigs tipped with waxworm a few feet under the ice to mid depth. Bite has been best mid morning and again later afternoon. 01/20 07:34
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Bluegill - Fair: Fish with jig tipped with a waxworm about mid water column to just off the bottom for the gills. Anglers are doing a lot of sorting. Release the small ones alive; they will be keepers next year. 01/20 07:34
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Lynxville water level is near 614.6 feet. Ice continues to build, however, it is variable with snow cover. Use caution and check ice often before crossing sloughs and areas with any current. Anglers have been crossing Johnson Slough at Sny Magill. 01/20 07:34
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Northern Pike - Slow: Some northern have been caught in backwaters using shiners on tip-downs. 01/20 07:34
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Sauger - No Report: 01/20 07:34
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Walleye - No Report: 01/20 07:34
Mississippi River Pool 10 Northeast Yellow Perch - Slow: Perch are hanging out in weed edges on the slopes of backwater cuts. Jig a waxie or minnow a foot off the bottom. 01/20 07:34
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Upper Mississippi River levels remain stable. Mid January ice fishing can be slow. Move often to find the fish. Ice depth in backwaters is averaging 10-12 inches. Ice on areas with current varies; use caution. Walleye slot length limits now apply on the entire Iowa border of the Mississippi River. All walleyes less than 15 inches long and between 20-27 inches must be immediately released. One walleye over 27 inches may be kept. Walleye/sauger combined daily limit 6/possession 12. 01/20 07:34
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Guttenberg tailwater is 6.1 feet, remaining fairly stable. Ice continues to build, however, it is extremely variable with snow cover. Use caution and check ice often before crossing sloughs and areas with any current. 01/20 07:34
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Walleye - No Report: 01/20 07:34
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Black Crappie - Slow: Fish with jigs tipped with waxworm a few feet under the ice to mid depth. Bite has been best mid morning and again later afternoon. 01/20 07:34
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Yellow Perch - Slow: Perch are hanging out in weed edges on the slopes of backwater cuts. Jig a waxie or minnow a foot off the bottom. 01/20 07:34
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Bluegill - Fair: Fish with jig tipped with a waxworm about mid water column to just off the bottom for the gills. Anglers are doing a lot of sorting. Release the small ones alive; they will be keepers next year. 01/20 07:34
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Sauger - No Report: 01/20 07:34
Mississippi River Pool 11 Northeast Northern Pike - Slow: Some northern have been caught in backwaters using shiners on tip-downs. 01/20 07:34
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Lots of ice fishing throughout the district. When ice fishing have a safety plan as Mississippi River ice can be unpredictable. Be ware of places with flowing water or where ice looks discolored. The main channel water is low and clear and most boat ramps are now frozen in. If you have angling questions please call the Bellevue Fisheries Management at 563-880-8781. 01/20 09:00
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast The water level is steady and temperature near freezing. Water levels are currently 5.8 feet at the Lock and Dam and 8.5 feet at the RR bridge and clarity is good. Boat ramps are nearly all frozen in. 01/20 09:00
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Yellow Perch - Fair: Expect to see more yellow perch showing up as winter progresses. We have had excellent reproduction of yellow perch in the past few years. 01/20 09:00
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Sauger - No Report: The ramps are iced in. 01/20 09:00
Mississippi River Pool 12 Northeast Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are commonly being caught in nearly all the marina areas and deeper backwater lakes. Lots of sorting going on with the Gills and sometime 1 in 10 are keepers. 01/20 09:00
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Lots of ice fishing throughout the district. When ice fishing have a safety plan as Mississippi River ice can be unpredictable. Be ware of places with flowing water or where ice looks discolored. The main channel water is low and clear and most boat ramps are now frozen in. If you have angling questions please call the Bellevue Fisheries Management at 563-880-8781. 01/20 09:00
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast The water level at the Bellevue Lock is receding and is currently near 6.2 feet. Water temperature is near freezing in the main channel and the water clarity is good. The Bellevue Boat ramp has been open at times this winter but is expected to be frozen in during this cold snap. The viewing of Bald Eagles at the Bellevue Lock and Dam is fantastic right now as they are feeding on dead shad. 01/20 09:00
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Rainbow Trout - Good: The kids trout pond just north of the DNR station has been stocked again with rainbow trout for the winter. Remember if keeping trout to only keep two per child. 01/20 09:00
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Yellow Perch - Excellent: Lots of small perch are being seen fall DNR fish surveys. The future looks bright for decent yellow perch fishing in Pool 13. Some nice catches of yellow perch are now coming in and fishing has been boom or bust as schools move around under the ice. 01/20 09:00
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Bluegill - Good: In general ice thickness has been good and anglers have been reporting spotty good catches of gills usually on wax worms. 01/20 09:00
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Sauger - No Report: A little activity when the boat ramp opened up but we did not get any reports. The Bellevue City ramp is expected to freeze back in again during this cold snap. 01/20 09:00
Mississippi River Pool 13 Northeast Black Crappie - Fair: Some nice Crappie were reported out of places like lower Sabula Lake but they are not abundant. 01/20 09:00
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast Lots of ice fishing throughout the district. When ice fishing have a safety plan as Mississippi River ice can be unpredictable. Be ware of places with flowing water or where ice looks discolored. The main channel water is low and clear and most boat ramps are now frozen in. If you have angling questions please call the Bellevue Fisheries Management at 563-880-8781. 01/20 09:00
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast Sauger - No Report: no reports as it remain difficult to launch out of frozen ramps. 01/20 09:00
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast The water level at the Fulton Lock and Dam is steady at 5.4 feet, Camanche is at 9.8 feet and Le Claire is at 4.6 feet. Water temperature is around 33 in the main channel and clarity is good. Most ramps on Pool 14 are frozen in and boat launching is not possible. 01/20 09:00
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast Yellow Perch - No Report: Lots of small perch are in the system and the future for yellow perch fishing looks bright in Pool 14. 01/20 09:00
Mississippi River Pool 14 Northeast Bluegill - Good: Try the Rock Creek area where some Bluegills are being reported. Lots of sorting going on. 01/20 09:00
Mississippi River Pool 15 Northeast Lots of ice fishing throughout the district. When ice fishing have a safety plan as Mississippi River ice can be unpredictable. Be ware of places with flowing water or where ice looks discolored. The main channel water is low and clear and most boat ramps are now frozen in. If you have angling questions please call the Bellevue Fisheries Management at 563-880-8781. 01/20 09:00
Mississippi River Pool 15 Northeast The water level at Rock Island is at 51 feet and is dropping. The water temperature is near 33 degrees and water clarity is good. 01/20 09:00
Mississippi River Pool 15 Northeast Bluegill - No Report: 01/20 09:00
Mississippi River Pool 15 Northeast Sauger - No Report: Try fishing in the tailwater with a simple jig and minnow. Usually you need to fish at a depth greater than 20 feet for walleye and sauger. 01/20 09:00
Mississippi River Pool 9 Northeast Upper Mississippi River levels remain stable. Mid January ice fishing can be slow. Move often to find the fish. Ice depth in backwaters is averaging 10-12 inches. Ice on areas with current varies; use caution. Walleye slot length limits now apply on the entire Iowa border of the Mississippi River. All walleyes less than 15 inches long and between 20-27 inches must be immediately released. One walleye over 27 inches may be kept. Walleye/sauger combined daily limit 6/possession 12. 01/20 07:34
Mississippi River Pool 9 Northeast Lansing water level remains stable near 8 feet. Ice continues to build, however, it is variable with snow cover. Use caution and check ice often before crossing sloughs and areas with any current. NOTICE: Dredging is completed at Lansing Village Creek. The west part of the parking lot remains closed. 01/20 07:34
Mississippi River Pool 9 Northeast Yellow Perch - Slow: Perch are hanging out in weed edges on the slopes of backwater cuts. Jig a waxie or minnow a foot off the bottom. 01/20 07:34
Mississippi River Pool 9 Northeast Black Crappie - Slow: Fish with jigs tipped with waxworm a few feet under the ice to mid depth. Bite has been best mid morning and again later afternoon. 01/20 07:34
Mississippi River Pool 9 Northeast Bluegill - Fair: Fish with jig tipped with a waxworm about mid water column to just off the bottom for the gills. Anglers are doing a lot of sorting. Release the small ones alive; they will be keepers next year. 01/20 07:34
Mississippi River Pool 9 Northeast Sauger - No Report: 01/20 07:34
Mississippi River Pool 9 Northeast Walleye - No Report: 01/20 07:34
Mississippi River Pool 9 Northeast Northern Pike - Slow: Some northern have been caught in backwaters using shiners on tip-downs. 01/20 07:34
North Prairie Lake Northeast Ice conditions are generally 6-10 inches on lakes and ponds in east-central Iowa. Remain cautious while ice-fishing; avoid areas with water current. Call the Manchester Hatchery at 563-927-3276 for more information. 01/20 10:20
North Prairie Lake Northeast Trout were stocked in the fall; some of these stocked trout remain in the lake at this time. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. 01/20 10:43
North Prairie Lake Northeast Rainbow Trout - Fair: Try jigging flashy jigs with a blade to entice rainbow trout to take your lure or jig. 01/20 10:47
Silver Lake (Delaware) Northeast Ice conditions are generally 6-10 inches on lakes and ponds in east-central Iowa. Remain cautious while ice-fishing; avoid areas with water current. Call the Manchester Hatchery at 563-927-3276 for more information. 01/20 10:20
Silver Lake (Delaware) Northeast High catches of small bluegill. Harvest-size fish are rare, but a good location to catch some fish with the kids. 01/20 10:39
Silver Lake (Delaware) Northeast Bluegill - Fair: Fish evenings or early mornings for best success with small presentations. Try fishing a small ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished just off of the bottom 01/20 10:41
Silver Lake (Delaware) Northeast Northern Pike - Fair: Try fishing tip-ups using a large shiner or chub for some good action. 01/20 10:42
South Prairie Lake Northeast Ice conditions are generally 6-10 inches on lakes and ponds in east-central Iowa. Remain cautious while ice-fishing; avoid areas with water current. Call the Manchester Hatchery at 563-927-3276 for more information. 01/20 10:20
South Prairie Lake Northeast Anglers have been catching both bluegill and crappie on South Prairie Lake. 01/20 10:31
South Prairie Lake Northeast Black Crappie - Fair: Locate structure and use electronics to find suspended fish. Use a small ice jig tipped with a waxworm or try a minnow on a deadstick. 01/20 10:32
South Prairie Lake Northeast Bluegill - Fair: Fish evenings or early mornings for best success with small presentations. Try fishing a small ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished just off of the bottom. 01/20 10:34
Volga Lake Northeast Iowa's 2021 fishing licenses expired January 10. Make sure to have 2022's ready for an exciting season. Weekend temperatures range from 10 to low 20s with snow possible. Ice depths on most waterbodies 12 or more inches. For more information, please contact the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324. 01/20 09:06
Volga Lake Northeast Black Crappie - Fair: Fish around cedar tree clusters. 01/20 09:06
Volga Lake Northeast Bluegill - Fair: Fish structure. Best time to fish is mid to late afternoon. 01/20 09:06
Volga Lake Northeast Few anglers out as conditions were suitable for a few brave souls. About 10 inches ice topped with crusted snow. Check depths often. 01/20 09:06
Arrowhead Lake Northwest Lakes throughout the district have roughly 8-12 inches of ice. There are still seams and waterfowl holes with open water to watch out for on the bigger lakes. Check ice frequently and use caution. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638. 01/20 11:20
Arrowhead Lake Northwest Ice is 8 inches thick near the boat ramp. 01/20 11:20
Bacon Creek Lake Northwest Lakes throughout the district have roughly 8-12 inches of ice. There are still seams and waterfowl holes with open water to watch out for on the bigger lakes. Check ice frequently and use caution. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638. 01/20 11:20
Bacon Creek Lake Northwest Approximately 1500 rainbow trout were stocked into Bacon Creek Lake on January 13th. Ice is around 8-9 inches thick. 01/20 11:54
Black Hawk Lake Northwest Lakes throughout the district have roughly 8-12 inches of ice. There are still seams and waterfowl holes with open water to watch out for on the bigger lakes. Check ice frequently and use caution. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638. 01/20 11:20
Black Hawk Lake Northwest The winter aeration system in Town Bay is currently operating. Ice is around 10 inches near the Ice House Point boat ramp, this is where most of the ice angling has taken place so far. Use caution, there are still pressure seams and areas of thinner ice in the middle portion of the lake. There are open water fishing opportunities near the fish house in Town Bay. 01/20 11:20
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