These tips will help you catch a trophy walleye in Iowa. Most anglers successfully catch walleye in Iowa’s deep lakes or shallow rivers.
Tip 1: Fish in Cold and Deep Lakes
Yes, the trophy Iowan walleye was caught in the Des Moines River. And river fishing can be successful (more on that later). But, many Iowan walleyes are caught in the state’s major lakes.
Successful anglers catch walleye cold and deep lakes. Some of the most walleye populated Iowan lakes include Big Creek Lake, Brushy Creek Lake, and Three Mile Lake.
Big Creek Lake has a 15-inch minimum catch limit. Additionally, anglers can only keep 3 walleye per day, and only one can be over 20-inches. Despite these limitations, there is a substantial walleye population and the guidelines keep the fishing interesting.
Brushy Creek Lake is steep-sided and challenging. But skilled anglers are rewarded with larger-than-average walleye.
Three Mile Lake is a timbered lake, so look for walleye swimming near wood.
Tip 2: Cast in Cattail Beds (Especially after Dark)
Cattail are common in Iowa’s waters. Walleye like to stay in weeds or cattail beds, so cast in these areas.
Tip 3: Don’t Overlook Shallow Rivers
Yes, we discussed fishing in lakes earlier. And that is still a good option for catching trophy walleye. But don’t overlook Iowa’s shallow rivers.
Especially in Northeast Iowa, rivers are a good source for walleyes. Biologists and skilled anglers agree that the Cedar, Wapsipinicon, and Turkey Rivers are heavily populated with walleye.
When fishing in a shallow river, you should cast in holes 4-6 feet deep. Ideally, the hole should be downstream of rocks. Cast a 1/16- 1/8 oz jig upstream. This current will easily bring this back downstream, naturally attracting walleye. This is an essential technique that will help you catch trophy walleye in Iowa’s many shallow rivers.
4. Shore-bound Anglers Must be Patient
While trolling from boats is a successful technique, shore-bound anglers can also catch trophy walleye. If you are fishing from the shore, remember to be patient.
Many of Iowa’s lakes include “rocked fishing jetties” that were specifically created to bring fish to the shore. These jetties attract walleye because they typically include brush and are rocked at the bottom.
Walleye tend to move closer to the shore at night, so fish in these areas in the dark. Fishing from the shore means the fish have to come to you, since you can’t troll the entire lake in a boat. But, by fishing in the dark (when walleye are attracted to the shore) you can successfully catch your trophy walleye.
Iowa’s lakes and rivers are home to flourishing populations of walleye. To successfully catch a walleye in Iowa, consider fishing in cold deep lakes or shallow rivers.
Many anglers have caught trophy walleye in Iowa. I hope these tips help on your next Iowa walleye fishing excursion.
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