Southeast Iowa Fishing Report for the week of August 17th

Big Hollow LakeThe water temperature is in the upper 70s. Water clarity is about 3 feet. Bluegill – Fair: Find bluegill in the trees down 5 or 6 feet from the surface; use worm and bobber. Channel Catfish – Fair: Look for catfish along the face of the dam and in the old creek channel, especially out from the boat ramp bay where the old bridge was.  Largemouth Bass – Slow: Look for bass down at about 6 feet, no deeper. Flip soft plastics and jigs back into the flooded timber at 4-6 feet down to find them.

Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River)Lots of new sand showing as the Iowa River continues to drop. Jet drives would have problems getting around now. Channel Catfish – Fair: Find the deeper pools of water around the brush piles and logjams where catfish spend nearly every August waiting out the low water and hot weather. Most anglers have switched from live bait to cut bait and stink baits.

Lake Belva DeerWater temperature is 76 degrees. A few more boats are on the water this week. Black Crappie – Slow: A few anglers early in the morning are still picking up a few crappie in about 6 to 7 feet of water along the trees out from the beach. Bluegill – Slow: Try vertically jigging around the trees to a depth of about 6-7 feet.  Drift quietly from spot to spot; use a 1/64 oz jig tipped with a waxworm. Try the bays on the south side where there is more shade on the water. Channel Catfish – Fair: Along the face of the dam is always a good place to catch nice catfish. Don’t forget to try the “Old Pond”. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Bass are suspended down about 6-7 feet out in the trees. Try soft plastic or weedless jigs early in the morning.

Lake DarlingAfter the rain, the lake still hasn’t come up much. Water temperature is 76 degrees. Water at the top foot or so is still green; it’s clear below that. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegill fishing has picked up some. Try slow trolling a small (1/64 oz) jig tipped with a waxworm out over tops of the rock piles. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try along the rock piles out in front of the fishing trail between to “point” and the campground boat ramp. They are working for crawdads in the rock piles and are about a cast from shore. Use chicken liver; using nightcrawlers will get you a bunch of bluegills. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Water is fairly clear below the phytoplankton layer (about 2.5 feet). Run a shallow diving crankbait (0-4 feet) just below that in the morning or a medium diver (5-9 feet) trolled a little later in the day.

Lost Grove LakeWater clarity is 7-8 feet with a little green tint to the water. Water temperature is 76 degrees. The thermocline starts at 7 feet and bottoms out at 14 feet; find most fish at 10-14 feet. Lost Grove Lake has Eurasian Watermilfoil; be sure to clean all vegetation off your boat and trailer before leaving the boat ramp area. Black Crappie – Slow: Crappies are out along the edge of the flooded timber in 10 to 12 feet of water. Try vertical jigging or slow trolling until you find them. Bluegill – Fair: Most bluegill anglers were fishing out a little deeper this week in 10-12 feet of water; they were still catching bluegills. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Most boats are out from shore either vertically jigging or slow trolling crankbaits in about 10-12 feet of water. The thermocline bottoms out a little deeper at about 14 feet.

Skunk River (Rose Hill to Coppock)The last rains brought the Skunk up a good foot or so, but we lost about 6 inches of that last night (8/16). Channel Catfish – Good: Try fishing the deeper water around the established log jams (the ones where the trees still don’t have leaves). Had a good spawn earlier this year, so there is a lot of fiddlers. Stink baits work well; don’t forget the nightcrawlers.

For more information on the above lakes and rivers call the Lake Darling Fisheries Office at 319- 694-2430.