Fishing At Rathbun Lake In 2024
AKA: Rathbun Reservoir
Fish species to fish for...
Guide to fishing for largemouth bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, black crappie, walleye, bluegill, warmouth, white bass and hybrid striped bass at Rathbun Lake in Iowa.
With plenty of access for shoreline fishing, Rathbun Lake is a favorite of anglers who enjoy fishing from the bank. And, there's over 150 miles of shoreline accessible to anglers fishing from boats.
The purpose of this page is to deliver an overview of this lake, the fishing options, and area amenities. Our goal is to provide info to first time visitors, as well as beginner and novice anglers. We gathered details from personal experience, numerous trusted websites that each offer select bits of information, and videos of fishing activity on the lake. These websites include the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, marinas at the lake, campgrounds, boat rental agencies and others. By consolidating this information to one page it allows visitors to see the entire picture, all in one place.
Rathbun Lake in Iowa is a renowned fishing destination, offering anglers a wealth of opportunities to reel in a variety of popular fish species. As one of the largest lakes in the state, Rathbun Lake spans over 11,000 acres and provides anglers with ample space to explore its waters.
One of the sought-after fish species in Rathbun Lake is crappie. Anglers can find both black crappie and white crappie in the lake, providing exciting angling opportunities. These panfish can be targeted near submerged structures, such as brush piles, fallen trees, or rock piles. Anglers often have success using small jigs, minnows, or artificial baits to entice crappie. Spring and fall tend to be productive seasons for crappie fishing in Rathbun Lake.
Largemouth bass is another popular species in Rathbun Lake. The lake's diverse habitat, including weed beds, submerged structures, and rocky shorelines, provides an ideal environment for bass. Anglers can target largemouth bass using various techniques, such as casting with soft plastic baits, topwater lures, or crankbaits. Largemouth bass in Rathbun Lake can reach impressive sizes, providing an exciting challenge for anglers.
Rathbun Lake also offers opportunities to catch other fish species, including walleye, channel catfish, flathead catfish, and bluegill. Walleye can be targeted using techniques such as trolling with crankbaits or spinner rigs, casting with jigs or live bait rigging. Channel catfish and flathead catfish can be pursued using cut bait, stinkbaits, or live bait in areas with good cover. Bluegill can be found near vegetation or submerged structures and can be caught using small jigs, worms, or crickets.
Rathbun Lake in Iowa offers excellent fishing opportunities for a variety of popular fish species, including crappie, largemouth bass, walleye, channel catfish, flathead catfish, and bluegill. With its boating options, camping facilities, and diverse fishing opportunities, Rathbun Lake provides a complete outdoor experience for anglers and nature enthusiasts, making it a top destination for fishing in the heart of Iowa.
This is an 11,000-acre lake in south-central Iowa that produces big walleye, bass and crappie. The full list of fish species includes bass, catfish, crappie, walleye, sunfish and hybrid stripers. There are half a dozen campgrounds at or nearby the lake, as well as a marina, stores, lodging, bait and tackle, restaurants and rental boats. Several boat launch ramps are open to the public.
Primary fish species residing in Rathbun Lake
Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.
Rathbun Lake Amenities
Boat Rental: YES
Boat Launch Ramp: YES
RV Hookups: YES
Convenience Store: YES
Bait & Tackle: YES
Today's Weather & Forecast
Boating is a popular activity on Rathbun Lake, and anglers can take advantage of the lake's boat ramps and marinas to access their favorite fishing spots. Whether it's a motorized boat, kayak, or canoe, boating provides anglers with the flexibility to explore different areas of the lake and increase their chances of success.
Public Boat Launch Ramps & Landings
Honey Creek Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, on the south side of the north arm of the lake, off Hornet Place, this is a six-lane, concrete ramp with docks and paved parking.
Island View Park East Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the southeast section of the lake, off Intaglio Place, this is a four-lane, concrete ramp with paved parking.
Island View Park Southeast Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the southeast section of the lake, off Isthmus Place, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.
Island View Park West Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the southeast section of the lake, off Islandview Place, this is a four-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.
Prarie Ridge Park Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northeast section of the lake, off Pumpkin Circle, this is a three-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.
The Preserve Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, on the north side of the north arm of the lake, off Resort Drive, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.
Rolling Cove Park Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, on the south side of the lake, off Redhawk Place, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with paved parking.
Southfork Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, on the south side of the lake, east side of the south fork, off Southfork Place, this is a three-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.
21646 Marina Pl
Moravia, Iowa 52571
Click here for a Iowa Fishing License.
Camping facilities are available near Rathbun Lake, allowing anglers to extend their fishing trips and fully immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the area. Campgrounds offer amenities such as RV hookups, tent sites, picnic areas, and hiking trails, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay for visitors.
Campgrounds & RV Parks Nearby
Bridgeview Campground - 641 724-3062
Honey Creek State Park Campground - 641 724-3739
Prairie Ridge Park Campground - 641 724-3103
Dam Site Depot Campground - 641 799-8383
Buck Creek Campground - 641 724-3206
Island View Campground - 641 647-2079
Doggs RV Park - 641 724-3044
Rathbun Lake IA Map - Fishing & Camping Areas
Island View Campground
19357 Islandview Pl
Mystic, IA 52574
Fishing lakes in each state.
Rathbun Lake in Iowa.
General Fishing Info
Information about fishing lakes in Iowa
Fishing in south-central Iowa for bass, catfish, crappie, walleye, sunfish and hybrid stripers.