Fishing Iowa

Places to go fishing in Iowa

If you have never fished in Iowa, here’s a little secret that most non-Iowans don’t know – the ponds are where the “catching” is. Most, if not all, of Iowa’s native caught their first fish at one of the over 110,000 private or public ponds in the state. Due to the fertility of the land, a pond in Iowa will allow more fish species to thrive and grow than in most other states. So whether you want to get yourself some Bluegill, Largemouth Bass, or Channel Catfish, Iowa ponds got it. However, as noted earlier, a lot of these ponds are on private property, so either ask permission from the land owner or be social and ask around for public property to fish on.

Fortunately for the rest of you out there that don’t have a friend or relative with a pond, Iowa also has well over 1,200 public lakes, ponds and rivers to fish on that are sure to provide great catching. These other bodies of water range from 1/10th of an acre and up to just under 36,000 acres.

For a list of licenses, fees and where to buy, see our Iowa Fishing License page.

The locations below are listed alphabetically and just a sampling of the many places to go fishing and some of the species you can catch in Iowa. 

Places To Go Fishing In Iowa

Carter Lake

Popular Species To Catch: Black Crappie, Bluegill, Channel Catfish, Common Carp, Green Sunfish Largemouth Bass

Lake Odessa

Popular Species To Catch: Black Bullhead, Black Crappie, Bluegill, Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass

Red Rock Reservoir

Popular Species To Catch: Bigmouth Buffalo, Black Bullhead, Black Crappie, Bluegill, Channel Catfish, Common Carp, Freshwater Drum, Green Sunfish, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Longnose Gar, Shortnose Gar, Muskie, Northern Pike, Walleye, White Bass, White Sucker, Yellow Bass, Yellow Perch

West Okoboji Lake

Popular Species To Catch: Bigmouth Buffalo, Black Bullhead, Black Crappie, Bluegill, Channel Catfish, Common Carp, Freshwater Drum, Green Sunfish, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Longnose Gar, Shortnose Gar, Muskie, Northern Pike, Walleye, White Bass, White Sucker, Yellow Bass, Yellow Perch

Bloody Run Creek

Popular Species To Catch: Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Smallmouth Bass, White Sucker

Coldwater Creek

Popular Species To Catch: Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, White Sucker

To see the full list of Iowa fishing licenses and prices, please visit our Iowa Fishing License page.

Many more locations to come. If you have any favorite spots or bodies of water that you think should definitely be on this page, please send us a note. 

Also, if you are a private club or guide service that would like to be featured on any “Places To Fish” page, or other page within the StartFishingToday™ website, let us know.

Please contact us at startfishingtodayusa@gmail.com.

Thank you!