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Iowa Fishing

All about fishing in the Hawkeye State

Iowa Lake at Sunrise

There are over 150 bodies of water in Iowa considered big enough to call a lake by most fisherman. Additionally there are ponds, streams and creeks with additional fishing options. We will focus on the larger fishing impoundments here giving size, location and species.

Bass, crappie and walleye are the focus of most Iowa anglers yet there are additional anglers with interest in muskellunge, trout, catfish, panfish, northern pike and others.

Major Iowa Lakes

Iowa major lakes and fish chart

Lake & Fish Chart

This chart shows the major fishing waters in Iowa, cross referencing these waters with the major types of fishing to be found in each of the lakes or impoundments. For a more complete list of fish species in Iowa, see the list below, which also includes state records.

Iowa Fishing Lake Sizes & Locations

Big Creek Lake is an 830-acre lake in Central Iowa 2 miles northwest of Polk City, IA.

Big Spirit Lake is a 5,700-acre lake in northwest Iowa on the Minnesota border, at Spirit Lake, IA.

Black Hawk Lake is a 900-acre lake in northwest Iowa 10 miles east of Odebolt, IA.

Browns Lake is a 580-acre lake in northwest Iowa 1 mile west of Salix, IA.

Brushy Creek Lake is a 690-acre lake in north-central Iowa 3 miles northeast of Lehigh, IA.

Clear Lake is a 3,700-acre lake in north-central Iowa at Clear Lake, IA.

Coralville Lake is a 5,300-acre lake in east-central Iowa 1 mile northeast of North Liberty, IA.

DeSoto Bend Lake is a 790-acre lake in west-central Iowa 4 miles west of Missouri Valley, IA, at the central western border of the state with Nebraska.

East Okoboji Lake is an 1,800-acre lake in northwest Iowa at Okoboji, IA.

Five Island Lake is a 950-acre lake in northwest Iowa at Emmestburg, IA.

Lake Icaria is a 670-acre lake in southwest Iowa 2 miles east of Carbon, IA.

Lake MacBride is an 810-acre lake in east-central Iowa, 2 miles northeast of North Liberty, IA.

Lake Manawa is a 710-acre lake in west-central Iowa on the southern outskirts of Council Bluffs, IA.

Little River Lake is a 780-acre lake in south-central Iowa 1 mile northeast of Decatur City, IA.

Little Spirit Lake is a 610-acre lake in northwest Iowa on the Minnesota border, at Spirit Lake, IA.

Lost Island Lake is a 1,260-acre lake in northwest Iowa 2 miles north of Ruthven, IA.

North Twin Lake is a 450-acre lake in northwest Iowa 5 miles south of Pomeroy, IA.

Pleasant Creek Lake is a 400-acre lake in east-central Iowa 3 miles north of Palo, IA.

Rathbun Lake is a 11,000-acre lake in south-central Iowa 1 mile north of Rathbun, IA.

Red Rock Lake is a 19,000-acre lake in central Iowa 3 miles west of Pella, IA.

Rock Creek Lake is a 490-acre lake in central Iowa 2 miles northeast of Kellog, IA.

Saylorville Lake is a 5,400-acre lake in central Iowa at Polk City, IA.

Silver Lake (Palo Alto) is a 1,000-acre lake in northwest Iowa 1 mile west of Ayrshire, IA.

Spirit Lake is a 3,400-acre lake in northwest Iowa on the Minnesota border, at Spirit Lake, IA.

Storm Lake is a 3,000-acre lake in northwest Iowa at Storm Lake, IA.

Three Mile Lake is an 880-acre lake in south-central Iowa 7 miles northeast of Creston, IA.

Trumbull Lake is a 1,180-acre lake in northwest Iowa 2 miles north of Ruthven, IA.

Tuttle Lake is a 2,360-acre lake in northwest Iowa in both Minnesota and Iowa, 1 mile north of Doliver, IA.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake is a 630-acre lake in south-central Iowa 7 miles northeast of Creston, IA.

West Okoboji Lake is a 3,850-acre lake in northwest Iowa at Okoboji, IA.

Iowa Walleyes

State of IA Fishing Information

Find fishing regulations and information about fishing in Iowa at the Iowa Department of Natural Resources website.

Visit AA-Boats-Boating.com to find information about fishing boats in Iowa and other boating information.

Get your Iowa Fishing License here.

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Fish for big bass in Iowa

Excellent largemouth bass and smallmouth bass fishing opportunities are available to anglers in IA.

Fish Species in Iowa

Fishing for bass in Iowa

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass

World record: 22 lbs 4 oz

IA State Record: 10 lbs 14 oz

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass

World record: 11 lbs 15 oz

IA State Record: 7 lbs 12 oz

Fishing for catfish in Iowa

Channel Catfish

Channel catfish

World record: 58 lbs 0 oz

IA State Record: 38 lbs 2 oz

Flathead Catfish

Flathead catfish

World record: 123 lbs 9 oz

IA State Record: 81 lbs 0 oz

Blue Catfish

Blue catfish

World record: 143 lbs 0 oz

IA State Record: 74 lbs 8 oz

Fishing for crappie in Iowa

Black Crappie

Black crappie

World record: 6 lbs 0 oz

IA State Record: 3 lbs 14 oz

White Crappie

White crappie

World record: 5 lbs 3 oz

IA State Record: 4 lbs 9 oz

Fishing for walleye in Iowa

Walleye

Walleye

World record: 25 lbs 0 oz

IA State Record: 14 lbs 8 oz

Fishing for trout in Iowa

Rainbow Trout

Rainbow trout

World record: 42 lbs 2 oz

IA State Record: 19 lbs 8 oz

Brook Trout

Brook trout

World record: 14 lbs 8 oz

IA State Record: 7 lbs 0 oz

Brown Trout

Brown trout

World record: 40 lbs 4 oz

IA State Record: 15 lbs 6 oz

Fishing for panfish in Iowa

Bluegill

Bluegill

World record: 4 lbs 12 oz

IA State Record: 3 lbs 2 oz

Green Sunfish

Green sunfish

World record: 2.1 lbs

IA State Record: 2 lbs 1 oz

Rock Bass

Rock bass

World record: 3.0 lbs

IA State Record: 1 lbs 8 oz

White Bass

White Bass

World record: 6.8 lbs

IA State Record: 4 lbs 3 oz

Yellow Bass

Yellow bass

World record: 2 lbs 15 oz

IA State Record: 1 lbs 9 oz

Yellow Perch

Yellow perch

World record: 4 lbs 3 oz

IA State Record: 2 lbs 7 oz

Fishing for striped bass in Iowa

Striped Bass

Striper

Saltwater world record: 81 lbs 14 oz

IA State Record: 9 lbs 4 oz

Fishing for other species in Iowa

Bowfin

Bowfin

World record: 21 lbs 8 oz

IA State Record: 11 lbs 9 oz

Longnose Gar

Longnose gar

World record: 50 lbs 5 oz

IA State Record: 20 lbs 13 oz

Muskie

Muskie (Muskellunge)

World record: 69 lbs 9 oz

IA State Record: 50 lbs 6 oz

Northern Pike

Northern pike

World record: 55 lbs 1 oz

IA State Record: 25 lbs 5 oz

Paddlefish

Paddlefish

World record: 144 lbs

IA State Record: 107 lbs 0 oz

Sauger

Sauger

World record: 17 lbs 7 oz

IA State Record: 6 lbs 8 oz

Saugeye

Saugeye

World record: 15 lbs 6 oz

IA State Record: 12 lbs 4 oz

Tiger Muskie

Tiger muskie

World record: 51 lbs 2 oz

IA State Record: 27 lbs 2 oz

By clicking on the images and links above, you will be taken to a page offering more information about the selected species.

Fishing information for each state.