Northeast Iowa fishing report (Oct. 13)

By the Iowa DNR

The Cedar River in Charles City is punctuated by wildlife murals. This is one.

Cedar River (above Nashua)

Water levels are very, low limiting some boat accesses. 

Channel Catfish – Slow: Dead chubs fished on the river bottom work well for a hungry catfish. 

Northern Pike – Fair: Find pike in pools. Use a steel leader with a shiny lure. 

Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Smallie bite is variable. Try artificial lures or a lure tipped with a minnow around rocky outcroppings or ledges.  

Walleye – Good: Use jig tipped with a minnow or worm near the bottom of deeper holes at dawn and dusk.

Decorah District Streams

All trout stream stockings are unannounced; streams are stocked through the end of October. Streams are in good condition. Hunting seasons are in full swing. Be visible to hunters. Anglers fishing for trout using any kind of light weight rods and reels with spinnerbaits or a hook tipped with a small piece of crawler, cheese, or dough can be just as successful as fly anglers. 

Brook Trout – Good: Hoppers, beetles or anything else buggy work well this time of year.

Brown Trout – Good: Use hair jigs, spinnerbaits or small, shallow water crankbaits for aggressive fish. Mayflies, caddis and gnats are hatching on sunny days. 

Rainbow Trout – Excellent: Try fishing along grassed edges, undercut banks, pools and around boulders. Thank a landowner for allowing stream access on private land. 

Lake Hendricks

Water clarity is improving as temperatures drop. Water temperature is in the low 50s. Black Crappie – Fair: Use a small minnow or lure in deeper water. Bluegill – Fair: Find gills along rocky shorelines. Use a small piece of worm fished under a bobber near shore. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use a jig tipped with aplastic worm or nightcrawler for best luck fished near shore. 

Lake Meyer

Water clarity is improving as water temperatures drop. The water has a brownish tint. 

Black Crappie – Slow: Find crappie suspended in 10-13 feet of water. Use a jig tipped with a minnow or spinnerbait. 

Bluegill – Slow: Find bluegills along rocky shorelines in the evening. Try a small jig tipped with a small piece of worm. 

Largemouth Bass – Fair: Find bass in shallow water. Use a jig tipped with a plastic tail or nightcrawler.

Turkey River (above Clermont)

Water levels are low, but clear. 

Smallmouth Bass – Good: Bass are taking a jig tipped with a variety of plastic tails. Run your lure along vegetated edges or woody debris. 

Walleye – Good: Find walleye in deeper pools or eddies. Use live bait for best luck.

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah) 

Water levels are low, but clear. Water temperatures are in the 50s. 

Smallmouth Bass – Good: Find smallies in eddies or near rock ledges. Use jigs tipped with a variety of plastics. 

Walleye – Good: Find walleye in deeper pools or near log jams or other woody debris.

Volga Lake

Water clarity is much improved. Water temperature is in the 50s. 

Black Crappie – Fair: Use minnows or small jigs in 5 to 8 feet of water. 

Bluegill – Slow: Find gills along rocky shoreline. Use a small jig tipped with small piece of worm under a bobber. 

Channel Catfish – Fair: Use a dead chub, worm or squished minnow fished on the bottom in 10 feet or less of water near stumps or other woody structure. 

Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try crankbaits or jigs with plastic tails.

Temperatures range from the 50s to 30s with gusty west winds. Rivers and streams are in good condition with excellent clarity; many are low, limiting boat access. For current fishing information, please call the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.


Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
Trap nets set and collected last week captured good numbers of good-sized black crappie. Black Crappie – No Report: Try to find structure within the lake fishing a minnow under a slip bobber or vertical jigging with jigs in 8-12 feet of water.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers are catching some crappie on the river. Find brush piles or armored banks with a crappie minnow under a slip bobber. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Smallmouth bite has slowed. Cast crankbaits or jig and crawler rigs near rocky or rip-rap shorelines. Walleye – Fair: Try a jig and crawler or cast crankbaits.

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Smallmouth bite has slowed. Cast crankbaits or jig and crawler rigs near rocky or rip-rap shorelines. Walleye – Fair: Try a jig and crawler or cast crankbaits.

Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Smallmouth bite has slowed. Cast crankbaits or jig and crawler rigs near rocky or rip-rap shorelines. 

Walleye – Good: Try a jig and crawler or cast crankbaits.

Interior rivers remain low and are in excellent condition for angling opportunities. Walleye and smallmouth bass have been reported as fair this past week. The lakes in and around Black Hawk County have been slow. Trout streams are in excellent condition. Contact your local area bait shops for the most recent hot spots. For more information, contact the Manchester Hatchery at 563-927-3276.