Sadly, ice fishing is gone for the year, and now the focus of area anglers should be aimed at the rivers and lakes throughout Iowa. A known fact is that April showers bring May flowers, but it also brings fresh water and warm water to our lakes and rivers. This, in turn will bring many good days of fishing.
With the unusually long winter, area anglers seem to be more ready than ever to hit their favorite lake or part of the river. Today I will touch briefly on each area lake and what anglers can expect to catch there throughout the fishing season.
Rock Creek Lake: This is our largest lake in the area. I would rate this lake very well for shoreline fishing, as it has many parking lots and nice access to much of the lake. The most dominant fish in this lake is the crappie. Bass, Catfish, bluegill and a few walleyes are present also.
T-R PHOTO BY TODD REED
Spring fishing has begun, later than usual this year but spring is finally here. Soon area anglers will be spending many hours on the water trying to catch their favorite species of fish.
Union Grove Lake: I hate to report this to any one whom doesn't know, but this will be the last summer for several years this lake will be worth fishing. In the fall this lake is scheduled to be overhauled. The lake will be drained, all fish taken out and a lot of dirt work done to improve this fishery. So, we might as well take advantage for the abundant bluegills and bass this lake has to offer. Crappies and catfish are also available as well as some yellow bass. I will have a full write up on this lake later this year.
Pine Lakes: The Pine lakes have a good population of bass and bluegill in them. However, they are quite difficult to fish from shore. A boat/canoe/kayak make fishing these much easier and enjoyable. Upper Pine Lake gets quite "weedy" in the summer, but that doesn't stop the fish from biting. Crappies, and catfish are also readily available to catch in these two lakes.
Hickory Grove Lake: I would consider this lake as average for the shore angler. From shore you can get to many good fishing areas. The Story County Conservation has put a lot of structure in the lake for shore anglers. This really helps congregate fish and helps shore anglers have a good chance at having a good day of fishing. Anglers can expect to catch many bass and bluegills. The crappie population is also starting to take off too. Catfish are present in the lake, and are a favorite species for evening fishing.
Otter Creek Lake: This lake has many opportunities to fish from shore. The lake has many yellow bass, bluegills, crappies and bass to keep anglers satisfied. There are a few parking lots, but anglers willing to walk the shoreline will have plenty of fishing spots to try.
Sand Lake: This lake has plenty of opportunities to fish from shore too. However, accessing the lake by boat/canoe, kayak will allow you to fish much more of the water and get you to some deeper water. Sand Lake has every species in it that lives in the Iowa River. When the river exceeds its bank and floods, many fish take refuge in Sand Lake. Many big fish are caught at Sand Lake each year, including big bass, walleye, crappie and catfish. The water level in Sand Lake goes up and down often during the year, making some areas excellent at times. Pay close attention to areas as the water is low, those images will lead you to many more bites when the water is at a higher level. Brushpiles, culverts and trees are magnets for fish, and when the water is high, those fish will seek out those areas.
As you can see, there are a lot of possibilities for anglers that live in the Marshalltown area. Many lakes are better suited for shore anglers, so if you are in that category, make sure and try those to keep you busy searching for that next catch. A few spring reminders for all anglers; if you are 16 years or older you must purchase an Iowa fishing license. Anglers of all ages must abide by all the fishing rules. Some common fishing violations include keeping bass under the 15-inch length limit. Also, each angler can keep 25 bluegills per day and 25 crappies per day. Please make sure you review the DNR rules (www.iowadnr.gov) for the lake that you are going to fish. Each person is responsible for knowing the rules as they partake in this great sport. Be safe and enjoy the beautiful spring weather if it ever gets here.