Finding these smallmouth bass in natural lakes requires a lot of looking around. But, cast up or downstream a foot or two out from the rock and retrieve the lure parallel to riprap and bass will dart from rocky crevices to attack the lure. Most Iowa towns and cities have either rocky riffles or riprapped banks, or both. Another type of bait to consider once the water temperature rises over 55-degrees are topwater baits. St. Lawrence River (New York) St Lawrence River is a part of one of the largest fisheries in all of the … Agricultural run-off declined as no-till farming and Conservation Reserve Program enrollment became widespread on farms. If you tend to fish the larger stretches of interior rivers located on the Cedar, Des Moines, and other bigger waters then the typical bass baits that work for largemouth should be just fine for the smallmouth. I tend to try a little bit of everything and let the smallies tell me where they are living and eating. Do they want a lot of current? At other times at both lakes, you must look at the rocky shorelines and points, and always look under those boat docks. The first is casting a plastic bait upstream and letting it tumble down with the current while keeping a slack line. "I think the quality of smallmouth fishing in Eastern Iowa rivers, which is excellent, is staying about the same," he said. Most of the comeback can be pegged to better water quality but a 12-inch minimum size for smallmouth bass helped the comeback. Often the fish are smaller in tributaries than in the main river, but these small streams are worth fishing, especially if the main stem is swollen and dirty from heavy rains but a tributary runs clear and lower," continued Love. INTERIOR RIVERS If you are looking to hook into some smallmouth bass, the interior rivers of Iowa are your best bet. ©2019 The Iowa Sportsman. Expansion of Woodland Series targets continues fun, realistic way to practice. Current is everything when you are searching for smallmouth, so keep a keen eye out for it and let the smallmouth tell YOU where they are living. Smallmouth really like to stay on the edge of weeds and come out to prey on food passing by or being swept past them by the current. Near where Indian Creek flows into the Cedar River downstream from Cedar Rapids, I watched her cruise slowly around an old brush-tangled bridge abutment. Smallmouth are Iowa's urban bass for two reasons. It is more like a lake you would see in Minnesota or Canada. IDNR fisheries research chief Don Bonneau told me that smallmouth bass could be found in nearly any river where the habitat is right. Lunker smallmouths live from there to the north. Both work, but sometimes one technique will be best on a given day. ", Although Eastern Iowa's best smallmouth fishing is north of Interstate 80, there are pockets of good bass fishing in rivers south of the big highway. All are on stretches of the Middle Raccoon, Maquoketa, Cedar, and Upper Iowa Rivers. I've had success with a wide range of lures. There's excellent fishing from shore at Dubuque, in the Davenport area, and anywhere else that you find a tad bit of current over a rocky bottom or along riprap," he said. You can go camping, boating, hiking and more. Bass are spooky and challenging. The improving fishery is so new that relatively few Iowa anglers know about it or target that "other bass," the smallmouth. These are top locations for smallies during most of the year at this particular lake. Known as one of the nation's top walleye destinations, the largemouth and smallmouth fishing … The progeny of that hatch, now about 5 or 6 inches long, can be found everywhere in all the rivers I've mentioned. A further factor on the Mississippi River was the establishment of exotic zebra mussels. Love has fished all these rivers and has an accurate picture of smallmouth trends. All of these rivers, along with smaller ones not mentioned have the ingredients for smallmouth populations. Mississippi River -- From Pool 9 in extreme Northeast Iowa to Pool 13 in the southeast corner of the state, the mighty Mississippi is an angling heaven for … It was only 15 inches, but it fought harder and longer than a largemouth half again as big. Orlan Love, outdoor writer for Cedar Rapids-area paper The Gazette battles a big smallie on the Maquoketa River. The Best Fishing Spots on the Mississippi River Now, this is a topic that should be covered in an encyclopedia. It was chalked full of spawning smallmouth and the occasional nice largemouth! The Mississippi River is also widely known as a walleye fishery because of the clear water of the streams and creeks that feed this river. Small spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and plastic baits will work excellent in these smaller bodies of water. Just like in the interior rivers anglers must dissect what the bass are holding on for that day. Lots of numbers and action and a chance at that monster pike awaits you! Along the way it carves out some of the most picturesque gorges, cliffs, and rapids east of the Rockies. 9. "Some people fret about otters depleting our stocks, but I have not seen evidence of that. The natural lakes, smaller interior rivers, (which are perfect for canoes or smaller boats) and the big rivers that border this great state are the top places to find these bronze beauties. Weeds will grow up from 20 feet of water and provide a perfect habitat for these bass for most of the year at Okoboji. |, Easy Ideas for Increased Ice-Fishing Success. Once they see you, your chance of catching them is gone. If you have never seen West Okoboji Lake, just think of it like no other lake in the state, because it is just that unique. Some key baits I like to throw at Mississippi River smallmouth include swim jigs, crankbaits, topwater baits, and Hot Rod Bait Tubes. Smallmouth bass live all over the state and are sought after very heavily, especially in the summer months. Columbia River. Subscriber Services. Once you think the fish have stopped biting, just try a different type of lure, you will probably catch some more, then switch again. High, swollen, murky rivers make for poor fishing. Throw in a few natural Iowa lakes and you have just about everything you would ever need to try and find some big Iowa Smallmouth bass. All Rights Reserved. Most anglers in Iowa are not used to fishing clear water, and it does take some adjusting. The 250 spine size answers bowhunters' needs for stiffer arrows. And, they live in many more streams than trout. BEST SMALLMOUTH BASS TRIP EVER by Bob Jensen In thirty five years of fishing all over the Midwest and much of North America, I’ve had the good fortune to get in on some outstanding fishing action for a wide variety of fish. Bring your friends and family along on a fishing adventure of a lifetime on Lake Erie. "He was using unscented worms, and I had similar scented ones on. Although few anglers work lures along the river face, the area holds many big smallmouths. I wasn't alone: Several other anglers tested their skill on the big bass. The smaller the body of water the smaller the bait should be when chasing smallmouth bass. To unlock the secret of these smallmouth bass you have to focus in on the current and the speed of the current. Pleasant Creek Lake, Palo. First, many towns were established in sites appropriate for milling. Details are in the fishing regulations booklet. These fish move more than any other fish I’ve ever chased in my life. Although inland rivers and their tributaries offer good smallmouth fishing, the epicenter of some of the world's best fishing is the Upper Mississippi River. Our countless weedy bays, rocky structure and prolific forage-base produce excellent northern pike fishing. The Cedar. “The counties that I would recommend on the Cedar would be Blackhawk, Bremer, Floyd, and Mitchell — basically all the way up to the Minnesota border. "It's a lot like trout fishing," said Steve Krotz, fishing manager at the Cedar Rapids GOT Outdoors Store. Small minnows, bugs, and crawdads will be the main source food so you will want to match those sizes with your baits. We can thank the glaciers from centuries ago for creating these marvelous smallmouth lakes found right here in Iowa. It may be 125 years old, but the .30-30 Winchester retains its status thanks to modern loads. Seeing that the Mississippi River runs down the whole length of the US, it’s safe to say that you could spend several lifetimes exploring all the treasure troves in this 10-state area. It was dry and there just wasn't much runoff, and that probably also helped the water quality be somewhat better," he said. Kids who can't get to a largemouth lake without an adult to drive them there can cycle to urban tributary streams or even the downtowns of cities and towns and find smallmouth. Orlan Love, outdoor writer for the Cedar Rapids Gazette may be Iowa's best-known smallmouth bass angler. I think it could get even better in the next few years based on the phenomenal reproductive success smallmouths enjoyed in 2005. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets. 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