MUSCATINE, Iowa – Although catfish are associated mostly with warm water, someone forgot to tell the catfish.
Channel catfish are biting in area rivers, ponds and lakes even though the water temperatures are remaining in the upper 30s to mid-40s.
A few anglers have been catching keeper-size channel catfish near Sand Run on Lake Odessa. Most are using cut shad or dew worms that have washed into the lake. Fish the baits about three feet deep, suspended under a bobber for best results.
Catfish are known as bottom feeders but, when searching for food, they will frequent any depth.
The Skunk River also has been good for channel catfish, with shad guts and worms being the best bets. Boaters should be cautious of the fast current as the river falls.
All pools of the Mississippi River are falling and only slightly above flood stage.
Catfish are cruising rocky points looking for dead or dying shad and worms. The river’s backwaters have been slow fishing, but some anglers are taking crappie and bluegill from Sunset Marina on pool 16. Small jigs tipped with wax worms work best.
River water temperatures are low to mid-30s and somewhat dingy.
On the lakes
Even though Lake Wapello has been completely drained, it may be worth a drive over there to see all of the new fish habitat and structures that have been added.
Maybe you should take some photos of mark maps before the lake is once again flooded. The lake should offer much improved fishing when completed.
Lake Miami is reporting good to very good channel catfishing. Dead minnows, cut shad and worms work best in late evenings. Largemouth bass are taking spinnerbaits and soft plastic baits during the day when it’s warmest. Try shallow bays and rock piles.
Lake Macbride is full again and, with water temperatures reaching nearly 40 degrees, some bluegill and crappie are biting. Most of the boat docks are in place.
Coralville Lake is basically a mess with high, muddy water. However, anglers fishing below the dam in the tail waters have been catching some very nice walleye and sauger. Best baits are jigs tipped with Berkley Gulp Alive Minnows. Bank fishing anglers and boaters as well are taking some fish within 100 yards of the dam.
Lake Belva Deer is showing signs of awakening. Bass are taking spinnerbaits and jigs and pigs fished along the rock jetties.
Pan fish have been taking wax worms or dew worm segments, fished fairly shallow in bays and coves.
Lake Geode is becoming busy with anglers as it always has done when the Mississippi River floods. Few anglers, however, are reporting good catches. The docks are in place. Work the upper reaches of the lake where the water is warmest.
Lake Rathbun remains two feet above normal but crappie and bluegill have been biting. The best fishing has been for catfish where anglers are fishing windy shorelines with dead minnows or cut shad.
What bloggers say
People are arming themselves more and more each year and obtaining permits to carry firearms.
Some of them have very valid reasons to carry and express them on gun blogger Web sites. Like it or not, the government will most likely continue to seek more and more gun controls.
Here are a few of the bloggers comments:
“I don’t carry a firearm to kill people; I carry to keep from being killed.”
“I don’t carry to scare people; I carry because the world can be a scary place.”
“I don’t carry to be evil, I carry because I have seen evil and seen what evil can do.”
“I don’t carry because I’m angry. I carry so I’ll never have to regret failure to prepare.”
“I don’t carry to feel manly, I carry because men take care of themselves and their properties and families.”
“I don’t carry to feel adequate, because alone and unarmed, I am inadequate.”
“I don’t carry to try to replace or assist the police or military. I carry because the police and military can’t be everywhere at once and the one time I might need them, they will most likely be somewhere else.”
Johnnie Crain is an outdoors writer from Muscatine.