Best places to fish

Crappie

The best places to fish in and around Des Moines County are:

Big Hollow SignBig Hollow Recreation Area

Des Moines County's newest lake - Big Hollow - is really becoming a great place to fish. The 178 acre lake offers shore and boat fishing opportunities and the 90 acres of standing timber that was flooded to create the lake offers plenty of structure.

Fish for: crappie, bluegill, bass, catfish. Muskies are also present in the lake.

Mississippi River Pool 19 

Whether you're looking for monster catfish or slab crappies, the Mighty Mississippi offers plenty of opportunity. DMCC offers multiple river accesses for those looking to spend some time on the muddy waters of the river.

Luckenbill Woods

Luckenbill Woods is a 76 acre wildlife refuge and natural resource area about five miles east of Mediapolis. The pond to the northeast corner of the property offers great fishing for those wanting to make the long hike back to it.

Leopold Recreation Area

Located on the north edge of the city of Burlington is a 235 acre property named after the renowned local-born conservationist, Aldo Leopold. On this property is a pond that was completely rebuilt in 2017. Once full, the pond will be stocked with fish.

The new pond features benched trails along the dam face and a jetty for easy fishing access. The pond is a relatively easy walk through a prairie from the parking area.

Lake Geode

Lake Geode is managed by the Iowa DNR. Most of this state park actually is located in adjacent Henry County but it's just a short drive west. Locals have long known Geode to be a great place for crappie, bluegill and bass though it does offer other species.

Note: In 2017, the DNR began a lake restoration project at Geode State Park. The lake was drained completely in the fall to make way for a number of in-lake water quality improvements and structures. Once construction on those structures is complete, the lake will be refilled and restocked with fish.