10 Best Fish to Catch in Iowa

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It is no secret that thousands of anglers visit Iowa every year. But why, and what is all the hype about? It is not because the waters are handing over the fish right to them, but because of the quality and quantity of fish. This state is home to some great fish. See for yourself!

1. Catfish

Iowa is known very well for the amazing catfish it serves to its anglers. This state is home to more than ten different kinds of catfish, and these species are densely populated in the waters of Iowa. You can easily recognize these fish because of their flattened bellies and round, scaleless body. There is a specific kind, too, that has whiskers around its mouth. But it isn’t all that easy to catch them, so make sure you do polish your skills.

2. Black Bass

This includes both smallmouth and largemouth bass. You can easily find this species of fish as they are abundant in the waters of Iowa. You can locate them with minimum effort, but you would be required to have a sharp wit and brushed up fishing skills to bag these fish. These fish essentially have at least a single spine with is deeply attached to the rear portion.

3. Sunfish

This is a general term to include a wide range of fish, including bluegill, crappies, and basses. Now, these are the kinds of fish that angles are normally after. It’s because they are easier to carry, and they don’t require fancy baits and lures to be reeled in. The old gold fishing tricks work just fine on these, and even beginners can bag these. These fish are usually small, and they have a disc-shaped body. Their body is kind of flattened and compressed.

4. Paddle Fish

You may have never heard of it as it is a primitive fish. These fish are kind of the exotic ones that only a handful of anglers are after. It may be a challenge to distinguish and catch these.

5. Trout

Iowa’s name is usually associated with trout because this fish is in abundance. Their kinds like brown, rainbow, and brook trout as most commonly caught. The anglers are after this fish because of its delicious taste and excellent filet.

6. Sucker Family

This is another wide range of fish species that have been condensed under a general term because of their similar attributes. The mouth of these fish is on the underside of the fish’s head and is surrounded by the lips. The head of such fish is scaleless, and there are few or no rays on the fins. You may confuse these fish with minnow species, but because of their dorsal fins, which are more than 10, you can distinguish them

7. Perch

You may have heard about yellow perch, walleye, or sauger. All these are included in the family of perch fish. You may have noticed that it is quite easy to pick out perch in a group of fish; it is only possible if you know your fish. But if you don’t, you have to look for their elongated bodies, slander head, spiny and tender meat, and a large bone located on the gills.

8. Minnow Family

This family represents around 50 different kinds of fish. These fish are more or less the same; they are nearly 12 inches in length, and they are small in size. The most popular kinds of this species are white amur, goldfish, and carp. As mentioned earlier, their appearance is quite similar to sucker, but because of their few dorsal fins, you would be able to discern.

9. Crappie

It is quite likely that you will land this species in Iowa if you aren’t looking for a target fish. Crappie from the rest is very easy to set apart as it has a longer lower jaw and is quite deep-bodied.

10. Pike

You can say that this species is the gamefish. The most wanted kinds of this species are grass pickerel, northern pike, and muskellunge. These fish are usually easy to detect because of their unusual body structure. They have elongated cylindrical bodies; their heads are compressed, and they have sharp teeth on their jaws, which are shaped like duckbills. These fish are heavy, and they are smart. So, catching them can be a real challenge for anglers.


So, you must have chosen by now which fish you are after. So, get your fishing bag ready because you are going to Iowa this fishing season!



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