The Ottumwa Courier

August 30, 2013

Southeast Iowa Fishing Report


Ottumwa Courier

---- — Lake Odessa

Not very many anglers out on Odessa, it’s just too hot. Both the outlet and inlets are open for flow through from and to the river. Water levels are down to summer levels. Channel Catfish — Fair: Work around the tree falls in the Sand Run area and similar areas to find the catfish. Crappie — Fair: Good numbers of crappies can be found around the tree falls and the beaver lodges.

Lake Belva Deer

Low angler numbers because of the heat. Bluegill — Fair: Work off the edges of the underwater mounds in the lake. The fish are down about 10 feet. Crappie — Fair: Anglers are finding crappies in the same places as the bluegills.

Pollmiller Park Lake

The hot weather is keeping most of the anglers away. Channel Catfish — Fair: Anglers using wax worms to catch bluegills are also catching some really nice catfish; a couple of them have been more than 20 inches long. Bluegill — Fair: Anglers that are coming out either early or late are catching some nice bluegills down about five feet using wax worms.

Lake of the Hills

The hot weather has reduced the number of anglers out on the water during the day. 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 — Fair: Unlike the air temps, catfishing has cooled off some. Popular baits remain chicken liver and stinkbait. Bluegill — Good: They’re down about 3 to 4 feet. Move around to find fish, so drifting/ trolling is recommended. Largemouth Bass — Good: Bass are now hitting on plastic worms. Go deep after the early morning shallow water bite is over. Crappie — Fair: Work the brush piles along the dam using minnows. The depth of the fish varies from day to day.

Railroad Lake

Hot weather is keeping angler numbers down. The use of live minnows is not permitted on Railroad Lake. Channel Catfish — Good: The catfish have been biting on stinkbait and chicken liver along the old creek channel on the south side of the lake. Bluegill — Fair: Bluegill fishing has slowed down some; still focus your efforts along 110th and along the north shore in the stump field. Crappie — Fair: Anglers working the flooded timber and old creek channel on the South side have been catching some crappies.

Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River)

Water levels are dropping slowly some of the bigger sand bars are really sticking out now. Channel Catfish — Good: The go to baits remain frogs, chubs and crawdads. Work the brush piles and the drop-offs at the edges of the sandbars. Obviously predawn and post sunset are the best times to fish. For more information on the above lakes and rivers call the Lake Darling Fisheries Station at 319-694-2430.

Skunk River (Coppock to Mississippi River)

Most anglers are now shore bound although as hot as it is a little wet wading sounds good. Be careful. Channel Catfish — Fair: Catfish continue to bite. Work the brush piles and below the rock riffles.

Diamond Lake

Channel Catfish — Fair: Bluegill — Fair:

Otter Creek Lake

Remember, largemouth bass must be at least 15 inches to keep. Channel Catfish — Good: Evenings have been best. Try stinkbait, livers, or frogs. Largemouth Bass — Fair: Yellow Bass — Good: Try fishing shorelines in the mornings with small spinners.

Coralville Reservoir

The Reservoir is at normal summer pool. Channel Catfish — Fair: Drifting or slow trolling cut bait is still producing a few fish. Crappie — Fair: Fish brush piles or steeper rock banks with a jig.

Iowa River (Marshalltown to Coralville Lake)

Channel Catfish — Good: Flathead Catfish — Good:

Cedar Lake

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

Lake Wapello

Largemouth bass anglers should try rubber worms fished among the lily pads and spinnerbaits fished around the rock jetties and the dam. Use stinkbait for channel catfish off the fishing pier.

Red Haw Lake

Bluegill — Good: Use a chunk of nightcrawler on a small jig around the fishing jetties. Try a slip bobber above and chunk of nightcrawler in 4-8 feet of water. Largemouth Bass — Good: Use rubber worms around the stake beds. Try spinnerbaits around the submerged structures.

Lake Sugema

Bluegill — Slow: Anglers have been having some success in 8-10 feet of water using small jigs. Largemouth Bass — Fair: Try top water baits in the mornings and evening. Try spinnerbaits along drop-offs and rocky shorelines.

Rathbun Reservoir

Crappie — Slow: Look for brush piles in 10-15 feet of water and use minnows around these areas. Walleye — Fair: Walleye fishing has improved as the lake gets closer to normal pool. Anglers have been trolling with crankbaits around rock reefs and submerged points. Some anglers have been using jigs and minnows and casting around areas with submerged structure. The current lake level is 906.69 feet with normal pool being 904 feet. The water temperature is 78 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 please call the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406.