Where do I Fish This Weekend? July 3rd Fishing Report Has the Answers!

Big Hollow Lake
Water temperature is in the upper 70s to low 80s. Water is clear. Duck weed is not bad. Bluegill – Fair: Work the edges of the flooded trees in 6 to 7 feet of water. The 6 feet depth is their perennial sweet spot during the summer. Channel Catfish – Good: The face of the dam is the place to catch catfish; after a heavy rain, try where those steep gullies hit the lake.
Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River)
The Iowa River in this section is bank full or higher for at least the next several days.

Lake Belva Deer
Water temperature is 77 degrees. Water is getting greener with clarity down to 22 inches. Black Crappie – Fair: Find crappies in 10 to 12 feet of water by vertically jigging or slow drift trolling. They remain in their summer pattern. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are catching bluegill while slow trolling for crappies and also off the rock points and mounds in the lake. Bigger bluegill want to stay closer to deeper water. Channel Catfish – Good: Try fishing in the rocks along the face of the dam and off the ends of the jetties. After a heavy rain, check where the marsh overflow enters the lake under the gravel road. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Early in the morning you can get some topwater action along the shallower brush and trees along the north shoreline between the two boat ramps.

Lake Darling
Water temperature is 78 degrees. Water is getting green. Heavy rains have cut water clarity to 9 inches. The lake level is a little higher than normal pool. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers continue to catch some bluegills over top of the rock piles between the point and the campground boat ramp; also off the tips of the jetties. They are hanging around the habitat in 5-6 feet of water. Channel Catfish – Good: Try fishing around the rip rap shorelines and over the culvert piles along the shore. The lake is stratified; don’t fish below 10 feet with little to no oxygen below that. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Look for bass to be hunting for bluegills and green sunfish along the rocks and edges of the weed beds early in the morning or late evening. They retreat out to deeper water during the day.

Lake Geode
Water temperature is 80 degrees. While the water is green, water clarity remains at just over 4 feet. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills have moved to their summer spots. Try slow trolling (drifting) with a small jig tipped with bait until you find them and then vertically jigging. Anglers are also picking up some around the docks. Channel Catfish – Good: Catfishing is picking up; try fishing around the rip-rap shoreline. Use stink bait and cut bait; good numbers of pan-sized fish. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Most bass have headed out to deeper water; expect to find them hunting the tree falls for bluegills and green sunfish on cloudy mornings.

Lost Grove Lake
Water temperatures is in the mid to upper 70s. Water clarity remains decent at 4+ feet. Bluegill – Fair: Most are hanging out in 8 to 10 fee of water around the brush. Worm and bobber works best, but be ready to pull them out of there when they bite or lose fish and tackle. Channel Catfish – Good: Catfish like the rain. Work the face of the dam for nesting males; also look to the causeways culvert pass through for catfish working the flowing water. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Look for bass during the first and last hours of daylight to be hunting the outer edges of the weed beds; jig for them along the deeper water habitat in 13-18 feet of water.

Skunk River (Rose Hill to Coppock)
The Skunk River was about one foot below bank full on July 3. The North Skunk River by Sigourney is heading to moderate flood stage and will be sending a lot of water down the Skunk the next few days. The South Skunk is at just above bank full and will be doing the same.
For more information on the above lakes and rivers call the Lake Darling Fisheries Office at 319-694-2430.
Central Park Lake
Bluegill – Good: Evening bite is best. Channel Catfish – Good. Largemouth Bass – Good. Redear Sunfish – Good: Sunset and later bite has been good.

Coralville Reservoir
Water levels is at normal summer pool; predicted to rise next week. Black Crappie – Fair: Try bright jigs or minnows along steep rock banks or deeper brush piles. Channel Catfish – Fair: Some anglers have had luck trolling cut bait; catfish are being caught along shallow rock.

Lake Macbride
The 10 hp maximum is in effect. Water temperatures are in the low 80s. Black Crappie – Slow: Target deeper brush/stumps or look for suspended fish in open water. Bluegill – Fair: Some fish are in shallow pockets; others have slid out to deeper rock. Fish size is improving. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try fishing around shallow rock. Largemouth Bass – Fair. Spotted bass – Fair: Try fishing around shallow rock. Walleye – Slow. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: Look for surface activity at sunrise/sunset or look for suspended fish or wind-blown banks where there are shad.

Pleasant Creek Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Crappie are moving shallower towards evening and after dark. Channel Catfish – Fair: Evening bite is best. Walleye – Fair: Try fishing in rock after dark. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: Try fishing towards dusk. There has been some surface activity.
For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.
Hawthorn Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Try jig and minnow combinations in brush piles. Bluegill – Fair: Use jigs along the shoreline and open areas in the vegetation. Tip the jigs with a chunk of nightcrawler. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use nightcrawlers or chubs in 6-10 feet of water. Largemouth Bass – Good: Target the fishing jetties and rip-rapped shorelines. Use plastics in these areas and in open areas of the vegetation.

Lake Miami
Black Crappie – Fair: Use jigs and minnows along cedar tree brush piles. Bluegill – Fair: Try small jigs in the brush piles and along the shore. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use nightcrawlers along the face of the dam and around the jetties. Largemouth Bass – Good: Try plastics around brush piles and along rip-rapped shorelines.

Lake Sugema
Black Crappie – Fair: Try jigs and minnows in the standing timber. Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs around submerged brush piles and the shoreline. Largemouth Bass – Good: Try plastics or spinnerbaits along rip-rapped shorelines and around submerged structures.

Lake Wapello
Bluegill – Fair: Try small jigs around brush piles. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use dead chubs around rip-rapped shorelines. Largemouth Bass – Good: Try plastics and crankbaits around the brush piles and rip-rapped shoreline.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 905.63 msl; the 2024 summer recreation target pool is 905.60 msl; typical recreation pool is 904 msl. Lake Rathbun has zebra mussels; properly drain, clean and dry equipment before transporting to another waterbody. Black Crappie – Fair: Try jigs around submerged cedar tree piles and docks. Crappie have moved to deeper water after spawning. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use minnows or nightcrawlers along areas with large rocks. Walleye – Fair: Try trolling crankbaits or crawler harnesses. All walleye less than 15-inches must be immediately released unharmed. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Good: Use jigging spoons or crankbaits over rock piles and near the old river channel.

Red Haw Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Try small jigs around the shorelines and submerged structure near the campground shoreline. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use nightcrawlers along the fishing jetties or the face of the dam. Largemouth Bass – Good: Try plastics along rip-rapped shorelines and the fishing jetties.
Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions about fishing in south central Iowa.