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Fishing in IA?

Shoemaker SethShoemaker Seth MemberPosts: 136 Member
I'm on my way to Des Moines for a week. I plan on fishing most every day. Any suggestions as to where to go?
Some threads I read for information. Others I read for entertainment value.


  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,395 Senior Member
    Never been there, but the Des Moines River runs through the town. Should be some places to fish there in the river. And the Saylorville Dam is just on the North edge of town. Should be some good tailwater fishing below the dam. Hope you catch a bunch!
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,148 Senior Member
    I fished Iowa plenty when I lived in Nebraksa, but only on the Western edge. Arrowhead lake, Pinky's Glenn (ice fishing there), Desoto Bend and the Nishnabotna river. These are all about 2 hours from where you will be. There is some excellent largemouth and catfishing to be done in that state, and further east (probably near Des Moines) I hear that you can even get trout. Of course, there are your standard bluegill/crappie/panfish fare. If you're into bowfishing or junking in general, many of the state lakes have carp and alligator gar.

    Iowa is a GREAT outdoor state: huge deer; lots of ducks, geese and pheasants; and plenty of fish. A drive down virtually any freeway will reveal a WMA or state lake in fairly short order.

    Here is the Iowa fishing guide. It is well laid out and easy to use (I used to keep a copy in my tackle box):


    They list the major lakes by county on pg. 32 and have simple tables to figure out the special regs for a given bodies of water. Of course, they also have species limits and protected species w/ pics.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • minnesotashooterminnesotashooter Senior Member Posts: 769 Senior Member
    If you can find some farm ponds in the area, they are usually full of nice bass and panfish. I have been catfishing on the Skunk River about an hour SE of Des Moines near Pella, we caught lots of nice fish on the Skunk.
  • Shoemaker SethShoemaker Seth Member Posts: 136 Member
    Thanks guys. Looks good. I've been on the greyhound without Internet so wasn't able to respond. I'll hopefully post some pics in the coming days.
    Some threads I read for information. Others I read for entertainment value.
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