The Ottumwa Courier

July 19, 2013

Southeast Iowa Fishing Report


Ottumwa Courier

---- — Lake Odessa

All the boat ramps continue to be underwater but the water level is dropping. They expect for the Schafer and Sand Run Ramps to be useable by the middle of next week. The Toolesboro road and ramp will be closed probably for a couple of more weeks since they have to get some heavy equipment in to clean off all the sand and silt washed through the blow outs.

Lake Geode

Hot weather is keeping angler activity low. Bluegill - Fair: The bluegills have moved deeper for the summer. Look for them to be just off the ledges to the deep water.

Lake of the Hills

Remember, Lake of the Hills is the only lake in West Lake Park where the use of live minnows as bait is allowed. Channel Catfish - Excellent: Chicken liver or stinkbait, go chicken liver. Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass are now hitting on plastic worms. Crappie - Fair: Work the brush piles along the dam using minnows.

Skunk River (Coppock to Mississippi River)

The river seems to be holding steady right now. Channel Catfish - Good: Catfishing has been pretty good lately. I wouldn’t overlook fishing under any mulberry tree hanging over the water. Catfish have a sweet tooth for mulberries. Try grass frogs too.

Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River)

The river is starting to show some sand bars finally. Not too many anglers out yet. For more information on the above lakes and rivers call the Lake Darling Fisheries Station at 319-694-2430.

Iowa Lake

Channel Catfish - Good: Rocky areas are holding fish. Bluegill - Fair: Some fish are around overhanging brush while others have moved out deeper. The invasive species, brittle naiad, is present. Check over your boat, trailer, and equipment before leaving the lake.

Lake Macbride

Channel Catfish - Fair: Some are being caught around shallow rock while others have pulled out to deeper water. Crawlers and stinkbait are working best. Walleye - Slow: Most fish are being caught trolling flats with crankbaits or spinner rigs. Water temperature is in the mid to upper 80s. The 10 h.p. motor restriction and 5 mph speed limit is in effect. The invasive species, brittle naiad, is present. Check over your boat, trailer, and equipment before leaving the lake.

Pleasant Creek Lake

Channel Catfish - Fair: Crawlers and stinkbait have been working best. White Bass - Good: Fish shallow, wind-blown shorelines with small crankbaits or jigs, or chase schools of fish in open water with top water baits. Bluegill - Fair: Better fish are coming out of deeper water on small worms. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Fish shallow structure or drop-offs. Walleye - Fair: Smaller walleye are being caught deeper and on the roadbeds. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) - Fair: These fish are only two years old but some are approaching 18 inches. Look for them mixed in with the white bass. Water clarity is excellent and water temperature is around 75 degrees. Remember, largemouth bass must be 18 inches to keep and musky must be 40 inches to keep. The invasive species, brittle naiad, is present. Check over your boat, trailer, and equipment before leaving the lake.

Diamond Lake

The lake is still murky. Remember, no minnows are allowed here. Channel Catfish - Good: Crawlers, stinkbait, and chicken livers have been working well. Bluegill - Fair: Some fish are still around shallow rock and wood while others have pulled out to deeper water.

Otter Creek Lake

The lake water is fairly green from an algae bloom. Channel Catfish - Good: Evenings have been best. Bluegill - Good: Largemouth Bass - Fair: Yellow Bass - Good: Mornings have been best on small spinners.

Coralville Reservoir

The lake is at normal summer level. Channel Catfish - Fair: Some fish are being caught out in the channel by trolling and anchored positions.

Iowa River (Marshalltown to Coralville Lake)

Channel Catfish - Good: Live baits have been working best. Flathead Catfish - Good: Using live bait at night has been producing fish.

Cedar River (La Porte City to Cedar Rapids)

Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish are being caught below the dams in Cedar Rapids as well as Ellis Park. Try crawlers, chicken livers, or stinkbait.

Wapsi River (Troy Mills to Oxford Junction)

Try below the dams where moving, cooler, more oxygenated water is present. Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Walleye - Fair: For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.

Lake Wapello

Use nightcrawlers or chicken livers for channel catfish. Use small jigs tipped with a chunk of nightcrawler for bluegills.

Red Haw Lake

Bluegill - Good: Use small jigs tipped with a chunk of nightcrawler. Largemouth Bass - Good: Try areas along the dam and out in front of the rock jetties. Use rubber worms and crankbaits in areas with some submerged structure. Try areas with 6-8 feet of water. Try top waters in the early mornings.

Lake Sugema

Bluegill - Fair: Try using small jigs tipped with a chunk of nightcrawler. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Try crankbaits around the rocky shorelines. Use a plastic worm around brush piles or rock jetties in 6-8 feet of water. Try top waters in the early morning. Crappie - Fair: Use a slip bobber and a minnow to fish around submerged structure and rocky shorelines.

Rathbun Reservoir

Channel Catfish - Fair: Try using dead chubs, stinkbait or cut bait. Areas with rocky shorelines are productive. Crappie - Slow: Find brush piles in 10-12 feet of water and try small jigs or use a slip bobber with a minnow. Walleye - Slow: Try crankbaits around the submerged points and rock reefs. Look for changes in depth as fish should be using the ledges. The current lake level is 912.52 feet with normal pool being 904 feet. The water temperature is 77 degrees. Don’t forget Lake Rathbun contains zebra mussels so make sure to clean, drain, and dry boats before transporting to another water body. Spray boats and trailers with high pressure hot water (above 104 degrees) or let them dry for at least 10 days (5 days in the sun).

If you have other questions regarding fishing in south central Iowa call the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406.