Looking for places to fish around Des Moines County? Here are a few of our favorites.

Big Hollow Recreation Area

Des Moines County's newest lake - Big Hollow - is undoubtedly one the best fishing locations in the area. 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.

Big Hollow also features several small ponds throughout the park, all of which are stocked with fish. 

4th Pumping Station Lake

The backwater drainage district lake adjacent to the 4th Pumping Station Campground offers shore fishing from the campground and boat access via the campground's boat ramp. You don't have to camp at the park to fish the lake. The lake is best known for big bass and catfish. 

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. 

River Access Parks:

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 then stocked with fish by the DNR. Find bass, bluegill, crappie, and catfish here.

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. The lake was completely renovated in 2020 to improve water quality and fish habitat.


Fishing ponds are also available at the Linder Conservation Area and Gahn Recreation Area. The Skunk River can be accessed at Welter Recreation Area.

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