The Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For current information, contact the district fisheries office at the phone number listed at the end of each district report.
For lake locations, maps and other information, go to [ http://www.iowadnr.gov/Fishing/FishingReports.aspx ]www.iowadnr.gov/Fishing/FishingReports.aspx.
Des Moines River
Walleye - Good: Walleye anglers fishing below the Saylorville and Red Rock Reservoir spillways and smaller dams from Fraser down through Des Moines are now catching fair numbers of walleye and occasional crappie and white bass. Try slowly retrieving jigs with twister tails, jigs with minnows or minnow imitating swim baits.
Central Iowa lakes are now mostly ice free. The best bite right now is the walleye fishing below the dams on the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers. More fishing reports will resume when open water fishing picks up. For questions on fishing central Iowa lakes and rivers contact Ben Dodd or Andy Otting at 515-432-2823.
There is a good panfish population. Greenfield is also a good place to target channel catfish. Channel Catfish - Fair: Anglers have reported catching ice out catfish using shad sides. Bluegill - No Report: Bluegill up to 8.5 inches can be caught around brush piles using wax worms. Crappie - No Report: There is a good crappie population ranging from 8-12 inches.
A few catfish are being caught at Nodaway. Channel Catfish - Fair: Catfish can be caught in the upper end of the lake with shad sides or cut bait.
Anita has quality sized panfish. The pontoon arm of the lake is a good place to target crappies after ice out. Bluegill - Slow: A few nine-inch bluegill are being caught on small jigs. Crappie - Good: Fish small jigs two feet under a bobber in the pontoon arm of the lake on sunny days. Sorting is necessary but the large size is 12 inches.
Viking has a good crappie population and will provide good early season fishing. Crappie - No Report: Fish with wax worms around brush piles to catch crappie ranging from 8-12 inches.
Manawa is 12 inches low. Anglers are catching crappies in the canals on warm days. This is a good time of year to catch walleyes close to shore. Crappie - Slow: Crappies are being caught in the canals using red and black tube jigs tipped with wax worms. Fish are all sizes. Walleye - No Report: Walleye move close to shore and spawn during April. Cast jigs or crankbaits to catch spawning walleye.
Farm ponds typically warm sooner than lakes making them a good choice for early season fishing. Remember to get permission before fishing privately owned ponds. Channel Catfish - No Report: This is a good time of year to catch channel catfish with shad sides. Bluegill - No Report: Bluegills can be caught using small tackle and wax worms. Crappie - Good: Ponds that support crappie populations have been good last week fishing minnows under a bobber.
Open water fishing has begun in the southwest district. Anglers are catching crappies in ponds and shallow bays of lakes that warm quickly on sunny days. For more information call the Cold Springs office at 712-769-2587.
Icaria's water level is below full pool. Channel Catfish - Fair: Catfish are being caught on cut bait in the north and east arms. Sunny days have been reported to be the best. Crappie - Fair: Crappies up to nine inches are being caught on minnows and small jigs along the roadbed and near cedar tree piles.
West Lake (Osceola)
West Lake is below full pool. Crappie - Good: Crappies are being caught with minnows and small jigs in the casino bay and near flooded timber.
Sands Timber Lake (Blockton Reservoir)
The lake has been drained to allow the construction of a wetland near the upper end.
Three Mile Lake
Three Mile's water level is below full pool. Crappie - Slow: Crappies up to 10 inches have been caught on minnows and small jigs along the roadbed and near flooded timber. Muskellunge - Slow: A few musky have been reported to be caught in the evenings along the dirt mounds and the dam.
Twelve Mile Creek Lake
Twelve Mile's water level is below full pool. Crappie - Fair: Most crappies being caught are 5-7 inches with some up to 10 inches. They are being caught using minnows and small jigs along the roadbed and near the flooded timber.
Lakes are ice free in the Mount Ayr Fisheries District. The district includes Page, Taylor, Adams, Union, Ringgold, Decatur, Clarke and Madison counties. High winds and cooling temperatures have limited fishing effort on area lakes. As of April 2, water temperatures in area lakes were around 46 degrees. For more information, call 641-464-3108.