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Fishing Report for the Weekend of 9/29/17

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Fall has arrived and with it some better fishing, if you’re into Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass and Walleye. Just be aware of some lower water levels on rivers and streams. You’ll get all that info and more from the Iowa DNR’s Fishing Report for the weeekend of 9/29/17.

Cedar River (above Nashua)
Water levels are low. Use caution when backing boats down boat ramps. Trailers going off the ends of the ramps have been reported. Walleye – Fair: Troll main channel or deeper holes and along current breaks. Use a jig tipped with a minnow or twister tail. Channel Catfish – Slow: Use a hook with a dead chub or crawler. Try also chicken liver, stink bait and nightcrawlers around brush piles. Black Crappie – Slow: Use a hook tipped with a minnow in eddies below dams and backwaters around brush piles. Smallmouth Bass – Slow: Use crawdad crankbaits along rocky shorelines and substrates.

Decorah District Streams
Hunting season has started. Many streams run through wildlife management areas where hunting is allowed. Wear bright clothing when not stalking a trout. Trout streams are in good condition. Call 563-927-5736 for current catchable trout stocking locations.  Brook Trout– Good: A variety of small mayflies are hatching mid-afternoon. Use a dry fly for insects hatching off the water surface. Use a nymph or scud dropper for subsurface critters. Brown Trout – Good: Recent rain turned many streams off color; this should put the browns in a feeding frenzy. Use a hopper pattern in pastured or open areas. In wooded areas in the morning, use #22-24 trico patterns. In the evening, use #18-20 blue wing olive patterns. Rainbow Trout – Good: Freshly stocked trout are hitting a variety of lures and baits. Drift a feathered spinner along an undercut bank.

Lake Hendricks
Lake Hendricks is an electric motor only lake. The bite should improve with the return of cooler weather.  Black Crappie – Slow: Troll over rock mounds with a jig tipped with minnow or spinnerbait. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Try topwater lures along the edge of a vegetation. Channel Catfish – Slow: Use a hook tipped with a worm or chicken liver. Bluegill– Slow: Use a small hook tipped with small piece of worm in deeper water.

Lake Meyer
Lake Meyer is an electric motor only lake. Few people have visited the lake this week. Bluegill – Slow: Use a small hook tipped with a piece of worm under a bobber near jetties in the evening. Black Crappie – Slow: Find crappie suspended near submersed structure. Use a spinner or jig with bright colored twister tail. Largemouth Bass – Fair: 10- to 12-inch bass are hitting crankbaits.

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
The Upper Iowa is stable but low. Be prepared to walk through riffles. Fly fishers, watch for evening hatches of white and grey mayflies. Flying ants are hatching mid-day. Fall is a good time to use streamers or minnow patterns for bass, trout, and walleye.  Walleye – Slow: Drift a jig tipped with a twister tail or worm through a deeper hole or along a current break. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Try jigs tipped with worms or crankbaits imitating crawdads in deeper holes and along rocky shorelines. Rock Bass – Fair: Use jigs tipped with worms along rocky shorelines.

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
Water temperatures are in the low 70’s. This shot of rain should bring on the bite. Northern Pike – Slow: Use a steel leader tipped with 1/4 oz. jig tipped with natural colored plastic to a 3 inch jerk bait fished around tributaries or brush piles. Smallmouth Bass – Slow: Use jigs tipped with plastic tails in the current breaks or near rock ledges. Walleye – Slow: Drift a jig tipped with a twister tail or worm through a deeper hole or along a current break. Channel Catfish – Slow: Catch a catfish from shore with a hook tipped with a crawler. Evening is best.

Volga Lake
Warmer water temperatures are sparking green algae blooms on the lake. Panfishing has been hit or miss for the last week.  Black Crappie – Fair: Troll the deeper areas for suspended crappie; use small jig tipped with a minnow. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Bass are hitting jigs tipped with a nightcrawler or twister tail. Try a topwater lure in the evening as fish come in shallow to feed. Bluegill – Fair: Use a small hook tipped with a piece of worm under a bobber along rocky shorelines. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use chicken liver and stink baits. Catfish are more active in the evening.

Fall-like temperatures will return over the weekend with temperature highs in the low 70’s and 40’s for lows in the forecast. Area streams and rivers are low. For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.


Big Woods Lake
Largemouth Bass – Good: Use imitation shad lures; morning bite is best.

Brinker Lake
Largemouth Bass – Good: Anglers are catching good numbers of largemouth bass; morning bite is best.  Use imitation shad lures.

Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
Bluegill – Fair: Try a piece of worm under a slip bobber at various depths.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
Walleye – Good: Use a jig and plastic tail tipped with half a nightcrawler on the downstream sandbar drop-offs or woody structure as the river is low Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Cast spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater lures along rip-rap shorelines and woody structure. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try nightcrawlers or dead chubs on the bottom above log jams or below riffle areas.

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
There have been few reports on the Maquoketa River this past week. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Cast spinnerbaits or crankbaits along rip-rap shorelines and woody structure. Walleye – Fair: Try a jig and plastic tail tipped with half a nightcrawler on the downstream sandbar drop-offs or woody structure as the river is low.

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
There have been few reports on the Shell Rock River this past week. Walleye – Fair: Use a jig and plastic tail tipped with half a nightcrawler on the downstream sandbar drop-offs or woody structure as the river is low. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Cast spinnerbaits or crankbaits along rip-rap shorelines and woody structure.

Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
There have been few reports on the Wapsipinicon River this past week; anglers have had best success fishing for northern pike. Northern Pike – Good: Cast and retrieve large bucktail spinnerbaits near structure or float a live chub or shiner under a bobber in the deeper pools.  Walleye – Fair: Try a jig and plastic tail tipped with half a nightcrawler on the downstream sandbar drop-offs or woody structure as the river is low. Smallmouth Bass– Fair: Cast spinnerbaits or crankbaits along rip-rap shorelines and woody structure.

Fishing reports are those of the typical late summer lulls, but anglers are catching some fish on the interior rivers. There are reports of anglers catching smallmouth bass, walleye and northern pike. Best reports have been northern pike on the Wapsipinicon River.Trout streams remain in excellent condition. Call the N.E. Iowa district office at 563-927-3276 for more information.

Click here for past Fishing Reports

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