Browns Lake is a 580 acre lake located in Woodbury County. The lake offers amenities such as a hard surface boat ramp, beach, campground and picnic area. For panfishermen, Browns Lake is an ideal place to try for big crappies. Crappies in this lake run the whole gamut of sizes but some larger fish up to 14” are not uncommon at all. The bluegills in Browns are average in size with some reaching 8-9”. The largemouth bass and channel catfish are abundant but many are smaller. The channel catfish can be caught on many different baits and a lot of the fish in the lake are the classic “eater” size that anglers love to catch, with a few bigger ones mixed in. There are some nice walleyes present but their population is somewhat low.
Browns Lake is also a great place to bowfish with good numbers of common carp, shortnose gar and a few plus sized buffalo calling these waters home. It has been said that small hair jigs and minnows below a bobber are the ticket to catching the crappies most of the open water season. Walleyes can be caught around structure and deeper portions of the lake by drifting a spinner with a crawler harness or slow trolling deep diving crankbaits.
Green Valley Lake
Green Valley Lake is a 338 acre lake located in Union County. Just like many other DNR managed lakes, Green Valley offers users a hard surface boat ramp, camping, fishing pier and jetties, trails, a playground, picnic area and restrooms. This lake is a great place to bring kinds and family and offers fishing for everyone. Recently renovated, the fishing is slowly picking up and many reports indicate that the bluegill bite is strong with good numbers of decent size fish. The crappies in Green Valley are of lower abundance yet when one is caught, it is usually of good size.
There is a high abundance of walleye in the lake but many of the fish are in the 12-14” size range with very few larger fish present. The channel catfish are of good abundance and the majority of them are small to medium size with a few larger fish present. Largemouth bass have started to come on strong despite their smaller size at this point. In time, some truly large bass should be found in this lake. Top spots for crappie and walleye include the dam face and off of the edges of the jetties. Catfish have been going strong along the rock dikes being caught on worms, dip bait and cutbait.
Diamond Lake is a 98 acre lake located in Poweshiek County. Due to its small size, Diamond is electric motors only and live minnows are not allowed as bait. This doesn’t seem to affect the fishing success though and even though it’s small, the lake still provides some excellent fishing and family fun. Camping, trails, a playground, restrooms, picnic area and excellent shore fishing opportunities offer something for everyone to enjoy while at Diamond. There is also a hard surface boat ramp to incorporate the boat fishermen.
Walleyes are present in decent numbers with many fish being smaller but there are some real nice sized eyes present for the patient and persistent angler. Anglers have experienced success for the walleyes by trolling along the dam and points with crawlers, leeches and crankbaits. The channel catfish are generally smaller in size but still large enough for a nice meal on the frying pan. There is a large abundance of crappie in Diamond, most fish range in size from 7-10” with a few pushing 12”. The bluegills are of average size and quite abundant as well. Both bluegill and crappie can be caught readily along shoreline brush using small jigs fished plain or tipped with wax worms. There are decent numbers of largemouth bass present also and some truly big fish are in the lake according to the recent DNR sampling data.