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Fishing Report for the Weekend of 5/19/17

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Some expected rain may put a halt to your fishing plans, but when it’s not raining, it’ll be perfect fishing weather. To help you catch a few, here is the Iowa DNR Fishing Report for the weekend of 5/19/17.

Cedar River (above Nashua)
The river is fishable. Water temperatures are in the mid to upper 60’s.Visit https://waterdata.usgs.gov/ia/nwis/rt for current water level information. Walleye – Good: Try a jig tipped with a minnow or twister tail below dams in the pockets. With cooler temperatures, slow your retrieve. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use dead chubs or liver fished from shore under a bobber. Find fish in brush piles. Smallmouth Bass – Excellent: Smallmouth are hitting everything that hits the water. Fish around brush piles for a whopper. Black Crappie – Slow: Use a minnow under a bobber in eddies or off channel areas.

Decorah District Streams
The road to the Decorah Fish Hatchery will be under construction through June. Many streams are off color. Streams with better watersheds will clear quicker.Call 563-927-5736 for catchable trout stocking locations. Use jigs tipped with twister tails, feathered spinnerbaits, or flashy spoons. Use a nightcrawler to catch a freshly stocked fish. Brook Trout – Fair: Use scuds or stonefly imitations for fish not rising to the surface. Brown Trout – Good: A great time to fish for brown trout is when water turns off color from rainfall events. Try caddis fly and midge larvae imitations hatching off the water. Nice hatches of blue wing olives, dark hendricksons, and caddis are occurring on warmer sunny afternoons. Rainbow Trout – Good: Fish rainbow trout in the head end of riffles. Slowly pull a black bead head fly with a light colored scud or midge dropper through the upper and lower ends of pools for trout in deeper water.

Lake Hendricks
Water temperatures are warming and fish are biting. Slow your retrieve giving fish time to strike. Boat anglers are finding fish in deeper water. Bluegill – Good: Catch gills moving into shallower water with a small jig. Let it sink and slowly reel it in. Channel Catfish – Slow: Use cut baits on windblown rocky shorelines. Black Crappie – No Report: Use a hook tipped with a minnow under a bobber. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass are on nests.
Use a jig tipped with a plastic twister.

Lake Meyer
Water clarity is poor after this week’s severe weather. Water temperatures are in the upper 60’s. Find the latest hot spots on the Iowa DNR’s fishing atlas. Set your GPS coordinates to WGS84 to key in to your structure preference. Bluegill – Good: Bluegill are building nests. Use a small jig in shallow water with a slow retrieve. Channel Catfish – Slow: Try a dead chub or crawler in a rocky windblown shoreline. Largemouth Bass – Good: Use a spinnerbait. Bass are on spawning beds. Black Crappie – Slow: Use a minnow fished under a bobber in the evening in shallow water along a rocky shoreline. Northern Pike – Slow: Try a spinnerbait for a pike hanging in shallow water.

Turkey River (above Clermont)
Water levels are on the rise with temperatures in the mid to upper 60’s. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Try a jig tipped with a minnow or feathered spinnerbait around a current break. Walleye – Fair: Use a jig tipped with a soft plastic twister tail. Use a slow retrieve in cooler water. White Sucker – Good: Try a hook tipped with a nightcrawler fished off the bottom.

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
Water levels are rising with temperatures in the upper 60’s. Visibility is fair. Visit https://waterdata.usgs.gov/ia/nwis/rt for current water level information. Walleye – Fair: Try a jig tipped with natural colored twister tails or small crankbait near coldwater tributaries. White Sucker – Good: Use a worm with enough weight for it to sit on the bottom. Watch your rod tip. When it bends, set the hook. Smallmouth Bass – Excellent: Catch smallies in the off channel areas. A variety of lures are working now.

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
Water levels are rising with temperatures in the upper 60’s. Visibility is poor. Bank anglers should toss lure upstream and let it float through the current along a ledge or current seam.  Walleye – Fair: Use spinnerbaits and jig tipped with a minnow fished at the head and tail ends of deeper pools. White Sucker – Good: Use a hook with a worm and enough weight to get the worm to the bottom. Smallmouth Bass – Excellent: Use jigs tipped with nightcrawlers or ring worms. Try also Bright colored twister tails. Northern Pike – Slow: A few anglers are picking up pike using spinnerbaits.

Volga Lake
Water temperature is nearing 70 degrees. Fish attractors were recently added in the lake. Find fish attracting structure locations on the Iowa DNR’s fishing atlas. Bluegill – Slow: Use small jigs tipped with small piece of nightcrawler or red worm fished deep. Black Crappie – Good: Find crappie along rocky shoreline especially near sunset. Try a hook tipped with a small minnow under a bobber. Channel Catfish – Slow: Use dead minnows or other dead fish along windblown shores to attract a cruising cat. Largemouth Bass – Good: Big bass are on beds. Release them right away. Try a spinnerbait with a slow retrieve in cooler water. Smaller fish are hitting.

Expect a cold, rainy weekend. Area rivers and streams are rising and off color but fishable. Anglers must get a landowner’s permission to fish private property, even if it can be accessed through public property. For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.


Big Woods Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Try numerous depths floating a crappie minnow under a slip bobber as the crappie begin to stage for spawn.

Brinker Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Try numerous depths floating a crappie minnow under a slip bobber as the crappie begin to stage for spawn.

Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
Black Crappie – Fair: Try numerous depths floating a crappie minnow under a slip bobber as crappie begin to stage for spawn. Bluegill – Fair: Find structure within the lake. Use a piece of worm or waxworm under a slip bobber. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try spinnerbaits or plastic worms fished along shoreline or near the dam or jetties.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
The Cedar River has risen with recent rainfall events; channel catfish angling should be good. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Cast spinnerbaits or use live crawler tipped on a jig. Look for wood or rocky shoreline habitat. Northern Pike – Fair: Float a live chub or shiner under a bobber or cast larger bucktail spinnerbaits. Channel Catfish – Good: Anglers have had some success using dead cut baits. Walleye – Fair: Cast jig and twister combo tipped with half a crawler or cast and retrieve crankbaits.

George Wyth Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Try numerous depths floating a crappie minnow under a slip bobber as the crappie begin to stage for spawn.

Manchester District Streams
Trout streams are clear and in excellent condition. Rainbow Trout – Good.

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
Angler reports have been really good for smallmouth bass on the Maquoketa River in Delaware County. Recent surveys have found good numbers of walleye also. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Use artificial baits.

Martens Lake
Anglers are doing well on largemouth bass on Martens Lake. Largemouth Bass – Good: Use weedless spinnerbaits or plastic worms fished along shoreline or near lily pads.

Plainfield Lake
Anglers are starting to catch some bluegill on Plainfield Lake. Bluegill – Fair: Find structure within the lake. Try a piece of worm or waxworm under a slip bobber.

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
The Shell Rock River has risen with recent rainfall events; channel catfish angling should be good. Walleye – Fair: Use jig and plastic tipped with a nightcrawler. Channel Catfish – Good: Use dead cut baits.

Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
The Wapsipinicon River has risen with recent rainfall events; channel catfish angling should be good. Channel Catfish – Good: Use dead cut baits.

Interior river water levels have risen again with the recent rainfall events. Channel catfish angling should be good with these conditions. Lake fishing has picked up throughout the crappie spawn. Trout fishing remains good. Contact the N.E. District Office at 563-927-3276 for more information.

(Source: Iowa DNR)

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