Madison County parks provide for a multitude of fishing opportunities for anglers. Iowa’s most popular game fish, the Channel Catfish, can be easily caught in all of the river systems in Madison County. Excellent pan fishing opportunities (Bluegills, Bass and Crappie) also abound in each of the public ponds, lakes and impoundments found in various County, State and municipal parks in Madison County.

We strongly encourage all anglers to practice the “catch & release” ethic when catching any size Large-Mouth Bass. Even though we have a posted 15” minimum length limit for Large-Mouth Bass on our public areas, we encourage all anglers to immediately return all bass to the water in healthy condition.

 

Fishing Information by Park:

Criss Cove has a 9 acre pond with a maximum depth of over 25 feet. Recent fishery improvements include two new fishing jetties, shore-line clearing of brush and vegetation to provide better shore-line access, new boat docks and under-water fish structure to attract schooling fish. This area is good for Large-Mouth Bass, Bluegill, Crappie and Channel Catfish. Park hours are 7:00 am to 10:00 pm.

Special Rules:

  • Electric Motors Only
  • 15” Minimum length limit on Large-Mouth Bass

Facilities:

  • 9 Acre Pond
  • 2 Fishing Jetties
  • Boat ramp for small boats
  • Boat dock
  • Good shore-line accessibility

Click for map of Criss Cove Lake Depths

Click for UTM Coordinates for Criss Cove Fish Habitat

Clanton Creek Natural Resource Area has a 6 acre pond located in the Deer Creek Management Unit (west end of the wildlife area). Anglers will need to hike into this pond from the west parking lot of the Deer Creek Unit. The five minute hike is well worth your time in order to fish this isolated pond that provides for very good Large-Mouth Bass, Bluegill and Crappie fishing. Channel Catfishing is fair. The Deer Creek pond has a maximum depth of 26 feet. Anglers may access the shoreline of the pond, which includes a 15’ wide shoreline easement zone (stay between shoreline & fence) on the south portion of the pond that other-wise lies on private land adjacent to the park. Park hours are 7:00 am to 10:00 pm.

Special Rules:

  • Hike-In Access Only
  • Electric motor only (if you can get your canoe back there)
  • 15” Minimum length limit on Large-Mouth Bass

Facilities:

  • 6 Acre Pond
  • Good shore-line accessibility

Click for map of Deer Creek Pond Depths

Fellowship Forest has a small ½ acre pond that provides the perfect place to take a young family for a few hours of fishing. Although small in size, this pond is surprisingly deep and provides fair fishing for Bluegill, Large-Mouth Bass and Channel Catfish. Park hours are 7:00am to 10:00pm

Special Rules:

  • No vessels.
  • 15” Minimum length limit on Large-Mouth Bass

Facilities:

  • ½ Acre Pond
  • Small Fishing Dock
  • Good shore-line accessibility
  • Vault bathrooms

Click for map of Fellowship Pond Depths

Pammel Park has Middle River running through the entire park. Middle River meanders throughout Pammel, entering the park in the southwest corner of Pammel, then flowing east and north over the ford and briefly leaves the park as it makes a large oxbow bend around the limestone “backbone.” Middle River re-enters the park on the northeast corner of Pammel near the main entrance to park and flows west and south departing the park on the southeast corner of Pammel. One of the most productive locations to fish is immediately below the ford where ample numbers of Channel Catfish are caught along with monster Flathead and Blue cats. When the fish are feeding in late spring and early summer, the river banks near the ford are lined with anglers. An occasional Walleye can be caught below the ford. If anglers wish to take some short hikes they can find some very productive catfish holes in the river within the park boundaries. Park hours are 6:00 am to 10:00 pm.

Facilities:

  • Middle River
  • Both developed and non-developed shore-line accessibility
  • Modern campgrounds and bathrooms nearby

Middle River Park has Middle River forming the south boundary of the park. Within the boundaries of Middle River Park there is nearly 1 mile of public access river frontage on the north bank of Middle River beginning up-stream near the bridge on County Road P-71 and ending down-stream near the Winterset Municipal Treatment plant. One of the most productive locations to fish is immediately down river from the County Road P-71 bridge near where a small feeder creek enters the river. The rock riffles in this location and deep holes both above and below the riffles makes this a good location that is only a few yards from the canoe access parking lot. There are other deep holes located on sharp bends as well as numerous tree snags that provide excellent catfish habitat. The majority of the river frontage is not-developed (no trails or groomed banks). Park hours are 7:00am to 10:00pm.

Facilities:

  • Middle River
  • Both developed and non-developed shore-line accessibility
  • Modern bathrooms nearby

Guye Woods is located approximately 6 miles northeast of Winterset in the 2400 block of 160th Street. This 93 acre timber tract is bordered on the north by North River. This area provides for non-developed access to fishing on the south bank of North River. Anglers need to cross over the cable suspension bridge to gain access to the public access portion of the North River. Over ½ mile of river frontage provides river anglers with numerous options to find deep holes on river bends to find channel catfish. Park hours are 6:00 am to 10:00 pm.

Facilities:

  • Cable suspension bridge to gain access to south side of North River
  • Non-developed shore-line accessibility (no trail or groomed banks)

Badger Creek Lake: 276 acre reservoir managed by the Iowa DNR. 15 miles northeast of Winterset.

Winterset City Lake: 70 acre lake managed by Winterset Municipal Utilities. 3 miles northeast of Winterset.