Best Walleye Fishing in Iowa

Walleye being held in an anglers hands
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In the heart of the Midwest lies a haven for walleye enthusiasts, as Iowa boasts some of the finest fishing grounds for this prized species. With a diverse landscape of lakes, rivers, and reservoirs, Iowa offers a unique blend of scenic beauty and thriving walleye populations. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a novice looking to reel in the big one, Iowa’s pristine waters provide an ideal setting for an exhilarating walleye fishing experience. From the sprawling Mississippi River to the tranquil lakes nestled in the state’s picturesque countryside, Iowa stands as a premier destination for those seeking the thrill of the catch and the tranquility of nature combined in the pursuit of this sought-after freshwater game fish.



Clear Lake

Situated in the heart of Iowa, Clear Lake is a captivating destination renowned for its pristine beauty and exceptional walleye fishing opportunities. With its crystal-clear waters, this lake provides anglers with optimal visibility, creating an ideal environment for pursuing the elusive walleye. Beyond the fishing experience, Clear Lake boasts a diverse fish population, making it a captivating locale for anglers seeking a variety of challenges and rewards.

Reasons to Walleye Fish in Clear Lake:

  • Clear Waters: Clear Lake is renowned for its crystal-clear waters, providing excellent visibility for walleye fishing.
  • Diverse Fish Population: The lake is home to a diverse range of fish species, contributing to a dynamic fishing experience.
  • Scenic Surroundings: Anglers can enjoy the picturesque surroundings of Clear Lake, enhancing the overall fishing adventure.
  • Convenient Access: Clear Lake is easily accessible, making it a popular choice for both local and visiting anglers.
  • Fishing Events: The lake hosts various fishing events, adding to the excitement for avid anglers.

Recommended Gear: Baitcasting Reel, Braided Line, Flashlight, Hooks, Tackle Box, Fishing Net, Rod


West Okoboji Lake

Welcome to West Okoboji Lake, a gem within the Iowa Great Lakes region. Offering picturesque views and exceptional walleye fishing, this lake stands as a haven for anglers seeking both natural beauty and the thrill of catching walleye in its pristine waters.

Reasons to Walleye Fish in West Okoboji Lake:

  • Walleye Opportunities: West Okoboji Lake provides good walleye fishing opportunities, attracting anglers seeking this prized species.
  • Iowa Great Lakes Region: Being part of the Iowa Great Lakes region, the lake offers a scenic backdrop for a memorable fishing experience.
  • Accessibility: West Okoboji Lake is easily accessible, accommodating anglers of all levels.
  • Lake Size: With its substantial size, the lake provides ample space for fishing enthusiasts to explore different areas.
  • Recreational Activities: Apart from fishing, the lake offers various recreational activities for a well rounded outdoor experience.

Recommended Gear: Flashlight, Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Pliers, Fishing Net, Tackle Box, Large Reel


Brushy Creek Lake

Embark on a journey to Brushy Creek Lake in Webster County, where clear waters and an abundant walleye population define the angler’s experience. This secluded destination provides anglers with a tranquil setting, allowing for a rewarding day of walleye fishing amidst the peaceful surroundings.

Reasons to Walleye Fish in Brushy Creek Lake:

  • Clear Water: Brushy Creek Lake, located in Webster County, is known for its clear water, providing anglers with optimal visibility for walleye fishing.
  • Abundant Walleye Population: The lake boasts an abundant population of walleye, making it a prime destination for anglers seeking this popular game fish.
  • Natural Beauty: Surrounded by scenic landscapes, Brushy Creek Lake offers a tranquil setting for a day of fishing, enhancing the overall experience.
  • Accessibility: The lake is easily accessible, allowing anglers to reach productive fishing spots without extensive travel.
  • Year round Fishing: Brushy Creek Lake provides year-round fishing opportunities, with different seasons offering unique challenges and rewards.

Recommended Gear: Flashlight, Dry Bag, Rod Holder, Cooler, Fillet Knife, Sunglasses, Sunscreen 


Storm Lake

Discover the vastness of Storm Lake in northwest Iowa, a large and shallow lake celebrated for its walleye population. Anglers are drawn to this family-friendly destination, where the thrill of catching walleye is complemented by a welcoming atmosphere and the scenic beauty of the surrounding landscape.

Reasons to Walleye Fish in Storm Lake:

  • Large and Shallow: Storm Lake, located in northwest Iowa, is a large and shallow lake, creating favorable conditions for walleye populations.
  • Walleye Abundance: Anglers visiting Storm Lake can benefit from its well-established walleye population, providing ample opportunities for successful fishing trips.
  • Family Friendly: The lake’s size and amenities make it a family-friendly destination, catering to both avid anglers and those looking for a recreational outing.
  • Fishing Events: Storm Lake hosts various fishing events throughout the year, attracting anglers from different regions.
  • Boating Opportunities: With its size and depth, Storm Lake offers excellent boating opportunities, allowing anglers to explore different parts of the lake for the best fishing spots.

Recommended Gear: First Aid Kit, Pliers, Paddle, Fishing Net, Hooks, Live Bait, Fillet Knife 


Black Hawk Lake

Found in Sac County, Black Hawk Lake boasts not only a diverse range of fish species but also stands out as a haven for walleye enthusiasts. Anglers are lured by the variety of fishing experiences available in this scenic locale, making it a sought-after destination for those seeking the thrill of walleye fishing.

Reasons to Walleye Fish in Black Hawk Lake:

  • Diverse Fish Species: Located in Sac County, Black Hawk Lake is home to a variety of fish species, including walleye, offering anglers a diverse fishing experience.
  • Walleye Hotspot: The lake is recognized as a walleye hotspot, attracting anglers seeking to catch this elusive and prized game fish.
  • Year Round Fishing: Black Hawk Lake provides year-round fishing opportunities, with each season bringing different challenges and rewards for anglers.
  • Scenic Surroundings: Anglers can enjoy the scenic beauty of Black Hawk Lake, enhancing the overall fishing experience with picturesque views.
  • Accessible Shorelines: The lake’s accessible shorelines make it suitable for anglers who prefer fishing from the bank, providing a range of options for fishing locations.

Recommended Gear: Dry Bag, Fish Stringer, Pliers, Sunglasses, UV Clothing, Fishing Net, First Aid Kit 


Saylorville Reservoir

Known for its walleye and other game fish, this reservoir not only offers convenience but also promises quality fishing experiences for enthusiasts of all skill levels. With ample boating opportunities and accessible shoreline areas, Saylorville Reservoir provides a well-rounded outdoor adventure.

Reasons to Walleye Fish in Saylorville Reservoir:

  • Des Moines River Setting: Saylorville Reservoir, situated on the Des Moines River, offers a picturesque setting for walleye fishing, with the river’s flow contributing to a dynamic fishing experience.
  • Walleye and Game Fish: Known for its walleye and other game fish, the reservoir attracts anglers seeking a variety of fishing opportunities.
  • Close to Des Moines: The proximity to Des Moines makes Saylorville Reservoir a convenient choice for both local and visiting anglers.
  • Recreational Amenities: Besides fishing, the reservoir provides recreational amenities, making it suitable for a day of outdoor activities.
  • Boating Access: With ample boating access points, anglers can explore different parts of the reservoir for the best walleye fishing spots.

Recommended Gear: Rod Holder, Bucket Seat, Cooler, Lip Gripper, Scale, Tackle Box, Sunglasses 


Coralville Reservoir

Embark on a walleye fishing adventure at Coralville Reservoir along the Iowa River. This prime destination captures the hearts of anglers with its diverse fishing environments, natural beauty, and exceptional walleye opportunities. Whether exploring the river or enjoying the serene surroundings, Coralville Reservoir promises a unique and enjoyable fishing experience.

Reasons to Walleye Fish in Coralville Reservoir:

  • Iowa River Location: Coralville Reservoir is located on the Iowa River, offering a scenic backdrop for walleye fishing and creating a diverse aquatic environment.
  • Walleye Fishing Opportunities: The reservoir is known for providing quality walleye fishing opportunities, attracting anglers seeking this popular game fish.
  • Varied Fishing Environments: Coralville Reservoir features various fishing environments, including riverine and lake-like areas, providing anglers with diverse settings to explore.
  • Picnic and Recreation Areas: The reservoir has designated picnic and recreation areas, making it a suitable destination for a day of fishing combined with other outdoor activities.
  • Wildlife Viewing: In addition to fishing, visitors to Coralville Reservoir can enjoy wildlife viewing, adding to the overall outdoor experience.

Recommended Gear: Cooler, Fillet Knife, Sunglasses, Bucket Seat, Live Bait, Sunscreen, Fishing Gloves


Mississippi River

Immerse yourself in the grandeur of the Mississippi River, specifically in Pool 13, where breathtaking views and an abundant walleye population await. This majestic river setting offers anglers not only a challenging fishing experience but also a chance to connect with the natural wonders of Iowa. With its expansive waters and diverse fish species, Pool 13 stands as a testament to the allure of Mississippi River walleye fishing.

Reasons to Walleye Fish in Mississippi River:

  • Mississippi River Beauty: Pool 13 of the Mississippi River, spanning the eastern border of Iowa, offers breathtaking views and a unique environment for walleye fishing.
  • Abundant Walleye Population: The river, particularly in Pool 13, is known for its abundant walleye population, providing excellent opportunities for anglers.
  • Fishing Diversity: Besides walleye, the Mississippi River hosts a diverse range of fish species, offering anglers a chance to target different game fish.
  • Riverbank Access: Anglers can access the riverbanks for fishing, providing a variety of options for those who prefer shoreline angling.
  • Boating Opportunities: The expansive nature of the Mississippi River allows for extensive boating opportunities, allowing anglers to explore various sections of Pool 13.

Recommended Gear: Flashlight, Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Pliers, Fishing Net, Tackle Box, Large Reel

Rathbun Lake

Escape to the tranquility of Rathbun Lake in south-central Iowa, a vast reservoir surrounded by rolling hills and woodlands. Appreciated for its size, diverse fish species, and accessible shoreline, Rathbun Lake creates an idyllic setting for walleye fishing and outdoor enjoyment. Whether casting lines from the shore or exploring the expansive waters by boat, anglers can expect a fulfilling fishing experience in this scenic locale.

Reasons to Walleye Fish in Rathbun Lake:

  • South Central Iowa Setting: Rathbun Lake, situated in south-central Iowa, provides a serene setting for walleye fishing, surrounded by rolling hills and woodlands.
  • Large Reservoir: As a large reservoir, Rathbun Lake offers ample space for anglers to explore different areas, increasing the chances of finding productive fishing spots.
  • Diverse Fish Species: Besides walleye, the lake is home to various fish species, providing anglers with a diverse fishing experience.
  • Accessible Shoreline: The lake’s accessible shoreline allows for shore fishing, making it suitable for anglers who prefer fishing from the bank.
  • Camping and Recreation: Rathbun Lake offers camping and recreational facilities, allowing anglers to extend their stay and enjoy other outdoor activities.

Recommended Gear: Baitcasting Reel, Braided Line, Flashlight, Hooks, Tackle Box, Fishing Net, Rod


Yellow River State Forest Ponds

Venture into the secluded beauty of the Yellow River State Forest Ponds, where tranquility meets the thrill of walleye fishing. Tucked within the scenic confines of the state forest, these smaller ponds offer a serene escape for anglers seeking a more intimate and secluded fishing experience. Despite their size, these ponds hold the promise of walleye catches, making them a hidden gem for those in search of tranquility and the excitement of reeling in prized game fish.

Reasons to Walleye Fish in the Yellow River State Forest Ponds:

  • Secluded Setting: The smaller ponds within the Yellow River State Forest offer a more secluded setting for anglers seeking a tranquil and less crowded fishing experience.
  • Walleye Opportunities: Despite being smaller bodies of water, these ponds can still provide opportunities for catching walleye, making them a hidden gem for anglers.
  • Natural Surroundings: Anglers can enjoy the natural surroundings of the state forest, enhancing the overall outdoor experience.
  • Hiking Trails: In addition to fishing, visitors can explore hiking trails within the state forest, adding to the recreational options available.
  • Wildlife Observation: The ponds and surrounding areas provide opportunities for wildlife observation, making it an enjoyable destination for nature enthusiasts.

Recommended Gear: First Aid Kit, Pliers, Paddle, Fishing Net, Hooks, Live Bait, Fillet Knife 

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