Southeast Iowa Fishing Report

Big Hollow LakeThe water temperature is around 80 degrees; cooler weather this week might lower the water temperature. Thermocline is bottoming out at 6 feet. Water clarity is about 30 inches. Bluegill – Slow: Try fishing in the trees out from the islands on the north side of the lower end of the lake. Find bluegill in 5-6 feet of water in the trees. Bobber and worm work best; a small jig tipped with a small piece of bait is worth a try. 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)The Iowa River got a brief bump of 6 inches of water level after the rains. That is long gone; didn’t even cover over any of the sand bars. Would be tough to navigate with a boat right 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 clarity is a couple of feet. Thermocline is at 5 to 7 feet. Water temperature was 78 degrees on August 7, down from 83 the week before. Water remains a green color. Black Crappie – Slow: A few anglers early in the morning are still picking up a few in about 6 to 7 feet 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 DarlingWater temperature is 77 degrees. Water clarity is 20 inches. Water remains a green color. The lake is still  8-10 inches from going over the spillway. Most fish are hanging out at between 6.5 and 7.5 feet to stay cool. Bluegill – Slow: Try slow trolling a small (1/64 oz) jig tipped with a waxworm over tops of the rock piles. Channel Catfish – Fair: Catfish are out in the shallower culvert piles and at the foot of the rip-rap. 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.

Lake GeodeLots of rain has water going over the spillway. Water remains very green with a water clarity of 25 inches. The water temperature is 81 degrees. Black Crappie – Slow: Crappies are out in deeper water for the summer. Try slow trolling in 8 to 10 feet of water along the drop-offs. Bluegill – Slow: Slow troll or drift with a small jig along the lake renovation haul road on the west side of the lake; should bring you up along side enough of the rock piles and gravel flats to catch some bluegills. Largemouth Bass – Slow: While the water has cooled some, fishing pressure has remained fairly low. Bass are hanging out just off the drop-offs in 7 to 8 feet of water.

Lost Grove LakeWater clarity has remained fairly good this summer at 7-8 feet; not really that green in color. Water temperature is 77-78 degrees. Weed beds are few and far between. The thermocline starts at 7 feet and bottoms out at 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: Try slip bobbers and worms off the jetties in 5-6 feet of water. Boat anglers are fishing the rock piles and cedar trees at about those same depths. Largemouth Bass – Slow: 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 rains bumped up the water level just a little. The water temperature is in the upper 70s. Channel Catfish – Fair: Keep working  the deeper pockets of water; haven’t seen much to get those fish to leave that yet.

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