Anglers: Favorite sites at reservoir, lake lure fishermen to county
Mike and William Andreas slowly maneuvered their boat at Marion County Park and Lake, looking for largemouth bass.
The father and son drive from Galva fairly regularly to fish at the lake — “whenever the wind is 15 mph or lower,” Mike Andreas said.
They’d caught two bass in about an hour and planned to fish until about 9 p.m. that day.
Mike Andreas has been fishing at the lake for about 14 years. His son is 15.
Fishing is a big draw for Marion County because of the lake and Marion Reservoir, managed by the U.S. Corps of Engineers.
At the county lake, people can find walleye, saugeye, crappie, white bass, largemouth bass, spotted bass, wipers, sunfish, bluegill, channel and flathead catfish, and drum. Fishing is permitted 24 hours a day.
At Marion Reservoir, people can fish for walleye, black and white crappie, channel catfish, white bass, wipers, and spotted bass.
Peabody resident Jim Nickel has fished at the reservoir for 30 to 40 years.
“I like to fish crappie, but I’ll fish whatever’s biting,” he said.
Nickel likes crappie because of their taste.
“I like to fish for walleye as well, but they’re more difficult to catch,” Nickel said.
He also catches white bass and channel catfish.
Nickel fishes almost exclusively at the reservoir.
“I have better luck there, and I know it well,” he said.
He has favorite spots, but like most people who fish, he won’t give specifics.
The reservoir is under a blue-green algae warning, a common occurrence in the summer.
“I don’t like to go out when there’s too much blue-green algae,” Nickel said. “It’s annoying. I can remember years ago blue-green algae was off-and-on.”
Now, it’s a regular challenge, he said.
Channel catfish pick up in the summer during shad spawning.
“It’s the best bait there is for channel cat,” he said of shad. “If you find shad, you find the fish. One time at the county lake, it seemed like it was raining — but it was shad blowing up. It was crazy. Wipers were pushing the shad up on the surface. If you can get a lure out when they’re blowing up like that, you can sure catch a fish.”
Nickel typically fishes with jigs but will use live bate. He enjoys fishing in winter and shoulder seasons and typically fishes from banks at the reservoir.
“In about two weeks, I’ll go out to see if the new shad crop is out,” he said in late June. “In the summertime, when it gets real hot, night fishing can be real hot.”
The second reference to “hot” means successful.
“You can suspend lights in the summertime into the water. Some people do extremely well doing that,” he said. “Fish are more active at night. But it’s tiresome. You’re going to lose some sleep over it.”
Last modified June 29, 2023