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The 8 Best Fishing Lakes in Iowa

Discover the best fishing lakes in Iowa for catching walleye, bass, catfish, and more. Learn about the best spots for a fishing adventure and find out which lakes offer the best experiences.

Big Creek Lake

Big Creek Lake is located in Polk County, Iowa. The lake covers an area of 1,251 acres and is known for its abundant fishing throughout the year.

  • Types of Fish: Black Crappie, Bluegill, Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, Redear Sunfish, Walleye
  • Types of Fishing: Bank Fishing, Boating, Ice Fishing
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: None available
  • Fishing Guide Service: None available
  • Closest Hotels: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Des Moines West, Comfort Inn & Suites Des Moines West
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Red Rock Outfitters, 0.5 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Must have a valid Iowa license, no limit on the number of lines per fisherman and daily bag limit of 6 walleye and 25 other fish combined
  • Lake Amenities: Boating (non-motorized, motorized), camping, fishing, picnicking
  • Nearest Gas Station: Git-N-Go, 2 miles away

Clear Lake

Clear Lake, located in Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, is the largest natural lake in the state, with a surface area of 4,801 acres.

  • Types of Fish: Bluegill, Channel Catfish, Crappie, Perch, Walleye, White Bass
  • Types of Fishing: Bank Fishing, Boating, Ice Fishing
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Fishing rod and tackle rental available at the marina
  • Fishing Guide Service: Yes, private services available
  • Closest Hotels: Best Western Holiday Lodge, Super 8 Waterloo Cedar Falls
  • Nearest Fishing Store: The Sportsman’s Den, 0.4 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Must have a valid Iowa license, daily bag limit of 6 walleye and 25 other fish combined, no limit on the number of lines per fisherman
  • Lake Amenities: Boating (non-motorized, motorized), camping, fishing, picnicking
  • Nearest Gas Station: SuperAmerica, 0.5 miles away

Spirit Lake

Spirit Lake, located in Dickinson County, Iowa, is an 8,000 acre lake best known for its exceptional large- and smallmouth bass fishing.

  • Types of Fish: Bluegill, Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye
  • Types of Fishing: Bank Fishing, Boating, Ice Fishing
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: None available
  • Fishing Guide Service: Yes, private services available
  • Closest Hotels: AmericInn & Suites Spirit Lake, Super 8 Milford
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Newman’s Bait & Tackle, 6 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Must have a valid Iowa license, daily bag limit of 6 walleye and 25 other fish combined, no limit on the number of lines per fisherman
  • Lake Amenities: Boating (non-motorized, motorized), camping, fishing, picnicking
  • Nearest Gas Station: Minnow Bucket, 0.1 miles away

Lake Macbride

Lake Macbride is located in Johnson County, Iowa, covering a surface area of 751 acres. It is known for its great walleye and crappie fishing.

  • Types of Fish: Black Crappie, Bluegill, Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, Walleye
  • Types of Fishing: Bank Fishing, Boating, Ice Fishing
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Fishing rod and tackle rental available at the marina
  • Fishing Guide Service: None available
  • Closest Hotels: Marriott Coralville, Staybridge Suites
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Feather & Fin, 7 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Must have a valid Iowa license, daily bag limit of 6 walleye and 25 other fish combined, no limit on the number of lines per fisherman
  • Lake Amenities: Boating (non-motorized, motorized), camping, fishing, picnicking
  • Nearest Gas Station: Casey’s General Store, 4 miles away

Storm Lake

Storm Lake is located in Buena Vista County, Iowa, and covers an area of 8,730 acres. It is known for its excellent fishing opportunities throughout the year.

  • Types of Fish: Bluegill, Channel Catfish, Crappie, Northern Pike, Walleye, White Bass
  • Types of Fishing: Bank Fishing, Boating, Ice Fishing
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: None available
  • Fishing Guide Service: Yes, private services available
  • Closest Hotels: Super 8 Storm Lake, Best Western Starlite Village Inn & Suites
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Red Rock Outfitters, 6 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Must have a valid Iowa license, daily bag limit of 6 walleye and 25 other fish combined, no limit on the number of lines per fisherman
  • Lake Amenities: Boating (non-motorized, motorized), camping, fishing, picnicking
  • Nearest Gas Station: Kwik Star, 2 miles away

Okoboji Lakes

The Okoboji Lakes are a group of 8,000 acres of lakes located in Dickinson County, Iowa. It is a popular destination among fishermen due to its many opportunities for catches.

  • Types of Fish: Bluegill, Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye, White Perch
  • Types of Fishing: Bank Fishing, Boating, Ice Fishing
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Fishing rod and tackle rental available at the marina
  • Fishing Guide Service: Yes, private services available
  • Closest Hotels: AmericInn & Suites Spirit Lake, Super 8 Arnolds Park
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Newman’s Bait & Tackle, 6 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Must have a valid Iowa license, daily bag limit of 6 walleye and 25 other fish combined, no limit on the number of lines per fisherman
  • Lake Amenities: Boating (non-motorized, motorized), camping, fishing, picnicking
  • Nearest Gas Station: Git-N-Go, 1 mile away

Rathbun Lake

Rathbun Lake is located in Appanoose and Monroe Counties, Iowa. It is the state’s second largest lake, covering an area of 11,000 acres.

  • Types of Fish: Bluegill, Channel Catfish, Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Walleye
  • Types of Fishing: Bank Fishing, Boating, Ice Fishing
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Fishing rod and tackle rental available at the marina
  • Fishing Guide Service: Yes, private services available
  • Closest Hotels: Motel Rocks Roadhouse, Super 8 Centerville
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Trent’s Bait Shop, 7 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Must have a valid Iowa license, daily bag limit of 6 walleye and 25 other fish combined, no limit on the number of lines per fisherman
  • Lake Amenities: Boating (non-motorized, motorized), camping, fishing, picnicking
  • Nearest Gas Station: Git-N-Go, 5 miles away

Red Rock Reservoir

Red Rock Reservoir is located in Marion County, Iowa, and covers an area of 6,100 acres. It is a great spot for fishing, particularly for catfish.

  • Types of Fish: Bluegill, Channel Catfish, Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Walleye
  • Types of Fishing: Bank Fishing, Boating, Ice Fishing
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: None available
  • Fishing Guide Service: Yes, private services available
  • Closest Hotels: Comfort Inn, Super 8 Indianola
  • Nearest Fishing Store: The Sportsman’s Den, 0.4 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Must have a valid Iowa license, daily bag limit of 6 walleye and 25 other fish combined, no limit on the number of lines per fisherman
  • Lake Amenities: Boating (non-motorized, motorized), camping, fishing, picnicking
  • Nearest Gas Station: SuperAmerica, 1 mile away

Greenfield Lake

Greenfield Lake is located in Adair County, Iowa. It is a relatively small lake, covering an area of only 57 acres, but has been gaining popularity in recent years due to its great fishing opportunities.

  • Types of Fish: Bluegill, Channel Catfish, Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Redear Sunfish
  • Types of Fishing: Bank Fishing, Boating, Ice Fishing
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: None available
  • Fishing Guide Service: None available
  • Closest Hotels: AmericInn & Suites Atlantic, Super 8 Atlantic
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Red Rock Outfitters, 0.5 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Must have a valid Iowa license, daily bag limit of 6 walleye and 25 other fish combined, no limit on the number of lines per fisherman
  • Lake Amenities: Boating (non-motorized, motorized), camping, fishing, picnicking
  • Nearest Gas Station: Kwik Star, 0.4 miles away

Saylorville Lake

Saylorville Lake is located in Polk County, Iowa. It is a 3,750 acre lake, known for its great fishing opportunities for catfish, sauger, walleye, and other species.

  • Types of Fish: Bluegill, Channel Catfish, Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Sauger, Walleye
  • Types of Fishing: Bank Fishing, Boating, Ice Fishing
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Fishing rod and tackle rental available at the marina
  • Fishing Guide Service: Yes, private services available
  • Closest Hotels: Hampton Inn & Suites Des Moines West, Holiday Inn Express Des Moines West
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Red Rock Outfitters, 0.5 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Must have a valid Iowa license, daily bag limit of 6 walleye and 25 other fish combined, no limit on the number of lines per fisherman
  • Lake Amenities: Boating (non-motorized, motorized), camping, fishing, picnicking
  • Nearest Gas Station: Git-N-Go, 2 miles away

Find Good Fishing Spots in Iowa and Other Nearby Lakes on The Map

If you’re looking for a great fishing spot in Iowa, the Google map below will help you find it! Explore other lakes and good fishing locations throughout the state and find the perfect spot for your next fishing trip. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, you’re sure to find the perfect spot for you. So, don’t wait any longer – start exploring and find the best fishing location for you!

Check the Weather Forecast for Your Next Fishing Trip to Iowa

The weather in Iowa for sport fishing throughout the year varies greatly depending on the season. In the spring and summer, the weather is usually warm and sunny, making for ideal conditions for fishing. During the fall and winter, temperatures can dip below freezing and snowfall is common. However, anglers still find ways to fish in these conditions, as the lakes and rivers remain open.


Fishing Lakes in Iowa
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