It is 10:40 PM Thursday 3-30-17 as I write these words. Tomorrow I am going to Iowa for the weekend to fish muskies and possibly some walleye and panfish. I would like to write a more extensive “how to” article, but I have put all my time into the preceding regulations article, I am tired, and I still need to get my gear ready for tomorrow. So in the spirit of where I am heading, I will talk about how great a month April is to travel to Iowa.
I have been heading to Iowa to fish in the spring for several years now and have been very impressed with what I have seen, even though I have only scratched the surface of what Iowa fishing has to offer. Iowa gamefish resources are healthy, fishing pressure is relatively light, and only a few waters have closed seasons on anything. Its waters warm a bit faster in the spring than those of Minnesota and Wisconsin and many of the lakes managed for fishing allow boat travel no faster than idle speed, which helps fishing and makes for a nice relaxing day on the water. I am usually targeting muskies, but the walleye and bass fishing is excellent as well. The real attraction though as far as I am concerned are the panfish. Bluegill, crappie, and yellow perch abound and have excellent growth rates. Combine that with the lack of heavy pressure, and one begins to realize why large numbers of “jumbos” can be caught with relative ease.
Iowa is very overlooked as a fishing destination, but there is little good reason for this. The Iowa DNR website provides stocking and survey info. The “Sportsman’s Connection” IA book is also a great resource. I use these to get some ideas, then I just drive down and start figuring things out. Seldom have I been disappointed. I have experienced several unique angling opportunities that I would have likely not experienced in Minnesota or Wisconsin, such as fishing muskies that were targeting spawning gizzard shad. I am looking forward to this weekend, and will let you know how I do.
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