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Fishing Report for Weekend of 5/12

Iowa DNR
Iowa DNR

By the looks of this report, the fish are REALLY starting to bite. We may see 80 degrees this weekend, which would warm up the waters and make the fishing even better. To help, here is the Iowa DNR Fishing Report for the weekend of 5/12

Cedar River (above Nashua)
The river is fishable and water levels are falling. Water temperatures are in the low to mid 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. Smallmouth Bass – Excellent: Smallmouth are hitting everything that hits the water. Fish around brush piles for a whopper. Black Crappie – Good: Crappie are biting; 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. Streams are in good condition. 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 – Good: 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 and dark hendricksons 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 – Fair: 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 – Good: Warmer shore temperatures are drawing crappies in. Use a hook tipped with a minnow under a bobber. Largemouth Bass – Good: Try a jerk bait fished slowly over rock piles.

Lake Meyer
Visibility is improving. Water temperatures are in the low 60’s and warming. 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 – Fair: Use a small jig with a slow retrieve. Channel Catfish – Slow: Try a dead chub or crawler in a rocky windblown shoreline. Largemouth Bass – Good: Use a spinnerbait. Big bass are on spawning beds. Use a slow retrieve in cooler water. Black Crappie – Good: Use a minnow fished under a bobber in the evening in shallow water along a rocky shoreline. Crappies are in full spawning color. Northern Pike – Slow: Try a spinnerbait for a pike hanging in shallow water.

Turkey River (above Clermont)
Water levels are falling and temperatures are in the low to mid 60’s. Smallmouth Bass – Excellent: 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 – Excellent: The sucker bite is on. Try a hook tipped with a nightcrawler fished off the bottom. Black Crappie – Good: Find a slack water area. Let a small jig sink and slowly reel it in.

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
Water levels are stable with temperatures in the low 60’s. Visibility is improving. 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. Brown Trout – Fair: Use spinnerbaits near the mouths of 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.

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
Water levels are falling and temperatures are in the low 50’s. Visibility is improving. The sucker bite is on.  Walleye – Slow: Try spinnerbaits and jerk baits along rocky shorelines. Smallmouth Bass – Slow: Use jigs tipped with nightcrawlers or ringworms. Try also bright colored twister tails. White Sucker – Good: Use a hook with a worm and enough weight to get the worm to the bottom. Smallmouth Bass – Excellent: Catch smallies in the off channel areas. A variety of lures are working now.

Volga Lake
Water temperature is 60 degrees. Fish attractors were recently added in the lake. Find fish attracting structure locations on the Iowa DNR’s fishing atlas. Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs tipped with small piece of nightcrawler or red worm fished deep. Black Crappie – Good: Panfish anglers should start to see fish in shallow water. Try a hook tipped with a small minnow under a bobber. Channel Catfish – Fair: 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.

Daytime temperatures will be in the mid 70’s with 50’s overnight. It will be a great weekend to take Mom outside. Area rivers and streams are improving. 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)
Smallmouth Bass – Good: Cast spinner baits or use live crawler tipped on a jig. Look for wood or rocky shoreline habitat. Northern Pike – Good: Float a live chub or shiner under a bobber or cast larger bucktail spinnerbaits. Channel Catfish – Fair: 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)
There have been reports of anglers catching walleye below low head dams on the Shell Rock River. Walleye – Fair: Use jig and plastic tipped with a nightcrawler.

Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
The river is maintaining higher flows, but clarity is good. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use dead cut baits. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Cast spinnerbaits or use live crawler tipped on a jig. Look for wood or rocky shoreline habitat. Walleye – Fair: Cast jig and twister combo tipped with half a crawler or cast and retrieve crankbaits.

Angling reports have been poor and few this past week as cold weather and rain impeded most of the state. Dropping water temperatures and pressure moved fish deeper on most lakes. Interior river water levels have peaked and are beginning to drop. Trout fishing remains good. Angling should improve with the nice extended forecast. Contact the N.E. District Office at 563-927-3276 for more information.

(Source: Iowa DNR)

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