The Ottumwa Courier

March 28, 2014

Iowa Fishing Reports

Courier Sports Staff
Ottumwa Courier


Rathbun Reservoir —The lake is about 20 percent ice covered but the main lake and most boat ramps are open. The current lake level is 903.95 feet. The water temperature is 37 degrees. Don’t forget Lake Rathbun contains zebra mussels so make sure to clean, drain, and dry equipment before transporting to another water body. Please contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions regarding angling in south central Iowa.

Albia (lower) — The reservoir is free of ice. No fishing has occurred.

Lake Sugema — The lake is free of ice. Very little fishing has occurred since ice out.

Lake Macbride —The lake still has 95 percent ice cover but ice conditions should be considered unsafe.

Lake Geode — Unsafe ice.

Lake Belva Deer — Unsafe ice and open water.

Pollmiller Park Lake — Lots of open water around the shore. Unsafe ice.

Lake of the Hills — Ice is unsafe. There is enough open water around the edges that a few anglers are catching trout. Remember, Lake of the Hills is the only lake in West Lake Park that allow the use of live minnows as bait. Rainbow Trout - Fair: A few anglers are working the open water along the dam and spillway and are catching trout. Wax worms, small spinners and soft plastics are working.

Railroad Lake — Unsafe ice.

Wilson Lake —The spring trout stocking is March 28 at noon.

Environmental Discovery Park North Pond — The spring trout release is March 28 at 10 a.m.

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

Iowa Lake — The lake is approximately one-third open as of March 27.

Kent Park Lake — The ice is unsafe here.

Central Park Lake — There appears to be decent ice yet but there has been no ice fishing activity.

Pleasant Creek Lake — Shorelines are deteriorating but anglers were still ice fishing as of March 26.

Diamond Lake — The lake is ice free.

Otter Creek Lake — There is 4-5 feet around the edge that is poor ice, but ice anglers were still out as of March 26.

Coralville Reservoir —The lake level has reached 679 feet, normal spring drawdown pool level. 90 percent of the lake is open but the coves are still frozen over. The only open ramps are the Macbride Park ramp and Mid River Marina ramp (by permission only). There has been some catfish anglers under the 380/965 bridges but no reports are available.

Iowa River (Coralville Lake to River Junction) — The area below the Coralville Dam is open but is turbid from the lake being drawn down. Outflow on March 27 is approximately 1,800 CFS. There has been some fishing but no reports are available.

Cedar River (Cedar Rapids to Moscow) —There has been some fishing below the dams but the action has been slow.

Wapsi River (Troy Mills to Oxford Junction) — There has been some fishing below the dams but no reports are available.

Most of the lakes have deteriorated ice conditions making ice fishing unsafe. Ice fishing is not recommended in most areas. For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.

Red Haw Lake —The lake is free of ice. There has not been any fishing since the ice went out.


Des Moines River (Saylorville to Red Rock) — Walleye - Good: Walleye anglers fishing below the Saylorville and Red Rock Reservoir spillways and smaller dams from Fraser down through Des Moines are now catching fair numbers of walleye and occasional white bass. Try slowly retrieving jigs with twister tails, jigs with minnows or minnow imitating swim baits.

Most lakes in central Iowa should be ice free by the first week of April. The best bite right now is the walleye fishing below the dams on the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers. More fishing reports will resume when open water fishing picks up. For questions on fishing central Iowa lakes and rivers contact Ben Dodd or Andy Otting at 515-432-2823.

Greenfield Lake —There is a good panfish population. Greenfield is also a good place to target channel catfish. Channel Catfish - Fair: Anglers have reported catching ice out catfish using shad sides. Bluegill - No Report: Bluegill up to 8.5 inches can be caught around brush piles using wax worms. Crappie - No Report: There is a good crappie population in Greenfield ranging from 8-12 inches.

Nodaway Lake — A few catfish are being caught. Channel Catfish - Fair: Catfish can be caught in the upper end of the lake with shad sides or cut bait.

Lake Anita —Anita has quality sized panfish. The pontoon arm of the lake is a good place to target crappies after ice out. Bluegill - No Report: Crappie - No Report: Fish small jigs two feet under a bobber in the pontoon arm of the lake to catch 10-12-inch crappies.

Viking Lake —Viking has a good crappie population and will provide good early season fishing. Crappie - No Report: Fish with wax worms around brush piles to catch crappie ranging from 8-12 inches.

Lake Manawa — The main lake is open. Anglers are catching crappies in the canals. Crappie - Fair: Crappies of all sizes are being caught in the canals using red and black tube jigs tipped with wax worms.

Cold Springs District Farm Ponds — Farm ponds typically warm sooner than lakes making them a good choice for early season fishing. Remember to get permission before fishing privately owned ponds. Channel Catfish - No Report: This is a good time of year to catch channel catfish with shad sides. Bluegill - No Report: Bluegills can be caught using small tackle and wax worms. Crappie - Good: Ponds that support crappie populations have been good last week fishing minnows under a bobber.

Open water fishing has begun in the southwest district. Anglers are catching crappies in ponds and shallow bays of lakes that warm quickly on sunny days. For more information call the Cold Springs office at 712-769-2587.

Sands Timber Lake (Blockton Reservoir) — The lake has been drained to allow the construction of a wetland near the upper end.

Most lakes are ice free in the Mount Ayr Fisheries District (Page, Taylor, Adams, Union, Ringgold, Decatur, Clarke, and Madison counties). As of March 27, water temperatures in ice free lakes was 43 degrees. No reports of open water fishing have been reported. When warmer weather returns, opportunities to catch walleye and largemouth bass near shore should improve. For more information, call 641-464-3108.