Tag Archives: iowa fishing

Deserving of a second chance, Carter Lake

July 16, 2017

I had been to this lake a few years back and was very unimpressed.  I hadn’t caught a fish and the water level was very low and it left me with very little reason to come back.  However, I had been hearing reports and even seen a few youtube video’s of people that had been catching fish here!  I also had heard of small tournaments there and been hearing murmers about it being a “hidden gem” in the area.  So of course i had to go back and give it a second chance.

I started near the ramp on the southeast side.  I fished along the pier and then the lilly pads on the closest shoreline.  Through fishing there I did not get a single bite but I could hear plenty of sunfish smacking the bottom of the lilly pads. So it kind of surprised me I wasn’t getting bits as Bass are usually not to far from the smaller fish they prey on.

I decided to go towards the center of the lake and I wanted to fish the dock and rock piles there. Around the first few docks I hooked into a bass using a chatter bait.  But as I continued to fish along the docks I was not having luck with moving baits.

I switched to a Pig and Jig, and a large flat trailer so that I might be able to skip under the docks.  In order to do this I switched to a longer and heavier rod, with braided line.  Pretty quickly after trying this I hooked into a nice 3lb bass.  I decided to stick to this pattern for a while and it paid off.  If i could find wood docks that the shade went deep and preferably with poles or stumps underneath them.  If I could get up far underneath the docks and get the jig to skip under there where it was difficult to reach i would find good fish hiding and get good bites.  I did loose a few nice fish, including one large enough to run my drag and wrap me deep around some brush before breaking me off.  But while doing so I did land quite a few nice fish as well.  I think I finished with eight or so bass that I was able to boat before the temperature got hot enough that I wanted to leave the lake.

I am definitely glad I decided to go back to this lake. I am not sure there is a large population of bass here yet. But the fish I did find were very healthy and good size!

Lake Ranking: 4 star, While I did now find some nice fish, the depth was still shallow and the fish were difficult to find.  I am much more impressed with it now and definitely plan on going back.

Missouri River Oxbow May 29th 2016

One of my favorite places to fish is Middle Decatur Bend.  I go out there because of the fish diversity and also because it is a relatively unknown place to fish.  It is an oxbow lake off of the Missouri River about an hour north of Omaha.  For the most part the lake is shallow (less than 5 feet) but on both the east and west sides by the tall log pilings it does get to 8-10 feet deep and some spots even a little more.

I started the day throwing spinner baits and a plastic worm around the wood on the west side.  I fished for a couple hundred of feel and didn’t get a bite so I skipped further down the line and tried at deeper spot and didn’t get any bites.

The canal leading to the river must have been all the way through because I saw 2 different boats come through and then leave.  But as I was near the canal I saw and heard some fish in the shallow grasses.  As I got closer I realized they were mostly carp with a few gar but usually where some fish are the others will follow.

I started throwing a white spinner bait around the grasses and cat tails.  I caught two gar right off the bat, they are nasty creatures but there were plenty around to catch.  I shortly after caught two small large mouth bass.  It was nice to catch the fish I had been looking through, although I was a little disappointed I didn’t catch any Walleye or Northern Pike.  Still a fun place to go and I will definitely go back!

Lake Ranking: 4 star

This lake is a lot of fun to go to, I really like it but it is a little difficult to figure out.  I like being able to catch nice bass and northern pike but it might be a little better without the gar or all of the carp in the area.  2dc7e577-df5c-472f-8d1d-5d85ac71fa20 290f718b-5d7a-4943-94cd-cbfeaa972a4c 570b14a3-7ba0-4333-8c0a-c611ff99e0f8 e32bd206-db31-4fbb-a031-82e67b8233a3 eccc1f7b-7a7d-460b-bac6-13b5a5d4eeb5 fe26ffc7-e528-49ae-b7d2-30a1fff7a1db

August 12th 2014, Pony Creek, Glenwood IA

Today I went by myself in the afternoon for a few hours to a lake I had driven by a few times. My dad had told me he used to fish this lake a long time ago but I had no recent reports.

The boat ramp I choose was steep and I hadn’t realized there was a different one until I was leaving.  The lake itself had surprisingly clear water and deep as well, it for to 25ft deep in the spots of the channel I went over. I fished all the way up the west side and started catching a few fish on a Scheels brand spinner bait and a pig and jig.  After a few minutes I hooked into something huge and it took me a really long fight to get in.  Once I did it ended up being an 18lb flathead that I got so excited about catching that I released it without remembering to take a picture!

I did end up catching 10-15 bass all between 12-17 inches.  They seemed to be healthy and this lake was a fun place to fish and was very close to Omaha. I will be definitely be going back in the future.

Enjoy the pictures.

Overall Ranking: 4 Star

This lake is great size, depth and location.  It was very beautiful being in the hills and the fishing was awesome.  The only reason I didn’t give this lake a 5 star ranking is because the boat ramps were not in good shape and did have a dock at them.






May 18th 2014 Mile Hill Lake

Who: Brandon Dubois (my brother-in-law) and me

Where: Mile Hill, Glenwood Iowa

When: May 18th 2014

Weather 75 degrees with a breeze

Boat Type: 14ft jon boat and trolling motor

Another good trip that just goes to show how important the outdoors are.  Today I took my brother-in-law.  Right now he is just getting out of high school and starting his adult life.  He could really use a positive roll model and what better way to spent a day together than on the lake fishing.

Since he is from Council Bluffs and had just purchased an Iowa license I decided to head over there to try some new lakes.  We drove by Pony Creek but decided on Mile Hill since we could get out of the wind at that lake.  The water was extremely clear, I could see for probably 5 ft through the water.  There fore I saw plenty of fish but they were also spooked really easily.

We fished for a few hours before my trolling motor started giving me trouble and we decided to stop.  But this lake was a very pretty lake.  Up in the bluff hills of Iowa and had a lot of natural woodlands surrounding the lake.  It had good parking and walking trails there as well.

The lake is only about 40 acres so we were able to fish most of it.  We could see the bluegill spawning in the shallows and a few bass were still sitting up there as well but by the time we would get close they would spook as the water was so clear.  We did end up finding a few nice crappy and missed some good bass bites.  This is definitely a lake I will be trying again another time but I hope we have a little bit better luck…

Overall Ranking: 3 Star

This is a very pretty lake up in the hills.  Good hiking paths and park area.  The lake structure and water clarity were great, I just didn’t have much luck fishing it and the boat ramp was rough. 


May 15th Spirit Lake

Who: My Grandma and Grandpa and two of their friends

Where: Spirit Lake, Spirit Lake Iowa

When: May 15th 2014

Weather 45 Degrees and Windy

Boat Type: Fishing from shore

This is what fishing is all about.  Being able to fish with my grandparents as they showed me around a new place and trying new ways to catch fish.

My Grandparents make this trip every year in the spring and I finally had a day off that I could join them.  They head up to Spirit Lake and fish for bullheads so they can fill their freezer with some fish to eat for the year.  They had been there from Wednesday morning through mid day Friday and I drove up Wednesday night and drove back Thursday night.  But that was plenty of time to do some good fishing.

We woke up really early for some breakfast before hitting the lake early.  We caught a few fish in the morning then took a break for lunch be fore returning to the water.

They took me out to the lake and showed me all the spill ways and creek entrances they spot up on to find their bullhead, but with the water being a little low so there was not a lot of water moving through the spillways.  We did however find one that there was some water moving and there were some pretty good bullhead stacking up in it.  On Thursday alone we had between 14-20 bullhead, 2 bass and 1 carp caught.  Fishing mainly with worms in the spillway but I would cast my lures attempting to find a bass wondering around.

The Lake was bigger than I thought and had some great views.  They also showed me the place they take the fished to get cleaned and freeze wrapped.  I was glad I was able to see the place but the real treat of the weekend was getting some good times with my grandparents, even if it was cold and windy.

Overall Ranking: 4 Star

Great size and depth of the lake.  We caught plenty of fish of multiple species and all had good size.  My only downfall with this lake is the distance to get there.