Iowa has many locations throughout the state that provide excellent areas to catch fish. My brother-in-law is an avid fisherman and travels the state competing in fishing tournaments. He provided five locations that he highly recommends for anyone wanting to fish in the state of Iowa.

Info on Iowa fishing license

An Iowa fishing license is required for anyone 16 years of age or older. A full year resident license is $19. You may also purchase a 7-day for $13.50 or a 1-day for $9.50. Non-resident fishing licenses will cost: Full-year for $41; 7-day for $32; 3-day for $17.50 and a 1-day for 10.50. A special Trout license will need to be purchased if fishing for Trout is on your agenda. Resident fee is $13 while a Nonresident is $15.

Pine Lake State Park

Pine Lake State Park

Pine Lake State Park is located just east of Eldora. The location has a large camp ground that is set-up for both tent and RV camping. The area has a swimming area that includes a beach house, golf course, picnic areas, and cabins to rent. Crappies, Bluegills and Largemouth Bass are the main fish in Pine Lake.

Brushy Creek


Brushy Creek is located by Webster City. Swimming, boating and fishing are allowed on the lake. The park has several picnic areas, tent and RV camping, modern restrooms and showers, and Equestrian camping. Perch, Walleye, Muskies, Crappies, Bluegills and Largemouth Bass will be found in the lake for your fishing enjoyment.

Mississippi River

Mississippi River IOWA

The Mississippi River offers excellent fishing along Iowa’s east border. An excellent area is around McGregor and Prairie du chien, Wisconsin. There are campgrounds, picnic areas, hotels, motels, shopping centers, a casino and more to do in the area. Boats may be rented for fishing or water enjoyment. Fish to be caught in the area include Northerns, Catfish, Bullheads, Small and Largemouth Bass, Perch, Walleye, Muskies, Crappies, and Bluegills.

Lake Iowa Park

Lake Iowa Park
Credit: Iowa County Conservation

Lake Iowa Park is located off Interstate I-80 at Exit 211 towards Millersburg. The lake is off the beaten path and provides a nice campground and is an excellent place to take the kids. A nice campground that provides a safe environment for the kids. Crappies, Bluegills and Large Mouth Bass will be the main fish caught in the lake.

3 Mile Lake

3 Mile Lake is located by Afton which is in southwestern Iowa. The small town of Afton provides unique opportunities for entertainment while staying in the area. 3 Mile Lake is rated one of Iowa’s top 10 fishing spots. A small campground provides a nice area for both tent and RV camping. The main fish to be caught on the lake include Crappies, Bluegills and Largemouth Bass.

12 Mile Lake

12 Mile Lake is just a short jaunt from 3 Mile Lake and located in Union County. A nice campground provides spaces for both tent and RV camping. The surrounding area has several nice motels for your staying pleasure. Fish to be caught in the lake include Crappies, Bluegills and Largemouth Bass.


The Iowa Department of Natural Resources provides an excellent website that lists all the public fishing locations across the state. Fishing reports are also provided to give you the heads up on what locations are hitting the best.