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Productive trolling at Rathbun Lake

Monday, February 15, 2016

Context is everything. If you run across the term “trolling” online, it often refers to someone making nasty comments on social media. The same term used on Rathbun Lake in Appanoose County, Iowa, means something completely different.

Trolling in the context of a lake means dropping a fishing line into the water from a moving boat, allowing the bait to be pulled along to attract fish.

Rathbun Lake, with its 11,000 acres of water, is a great place to troll. It is especially known for its walleye, Channel Catfish, and crappie fishing. The lake is regularly stocked with walleye and catfish from the Rathbun Fish Hatchery on its southeast side. Within the last couple of years, the Iowa DNR has also added bass to the lake.

The fishing is good on Rathbun Lake, so much so that it isn’t uncommon to catch one’s limit, whether by trolling or standard casting. http://www.gameandfishmag.com/fishing/fishing_walleyes-fishing_ia_0705_02/

The DNR’s fishing forecast for the lake is expected to be good for the 2016 season, with record flood years leading to an excellent crop of crappies. Walleye fishing is due to improve as well, with previously stocked walleye likely to reach about 16 inches during the year.

If you accidentally lose your fishing rod while trolling Rathbun Lake, try not to give in to the temptation to engage in the other kind of trolling by swearing at the lake.

For more info on fishing at Rathbun Lake, visit the Iowa DNR’s page: http://www.iowadnr.gov/Fishing/WheretoFish/LakesPondsReservoirs/LakeDetails.aspx?lakeCode=RAT04

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