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Fishing Saylorville Lake

AKA: Saylorville Reservoir

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By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Fish species to fish for...

Guide to fishing for largemouth bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, black crappie, white crappie, walleye, bluegill, white bass, hybrid striped bass and northern pike at Saylorville Lake in Iowa.

Lake Video

Offering a wide variety of fish species, Saylorville Lake is a 5,400-acre lake with healthy populations of bass, catfish, crappie, walleye, sunfish, perch, hybrid stripers and northern pike. Located in central Iowa at Polk City. For anglers who enjoy fishing from the bank, there is good to excellent shoreline fishing along the 10 miles of shoreline, as well as a fishing jetty.

Saylorville Lake in Iowa is a popular fishing destination, known for its diverse fish populations and scenic surroundings. Located on the Des Moines River, this 6,000-acre lake offers anglers plenty of opportunities to catch a variety of popular fish species.

One of the sought-after fish species in Saylorville Lake is the walleye. This lake is known for its excellent walleye fishery, attracting anglers from near and far. Walleye can be found near points, drop-offs, and submerged structures. Anglers often have success using techniques such as trolling with crankbaits or spinner rigs, casting with jigs, or live bait rigging. Early morning and evening hours are typically the most productive times to target walleye.

Channel catfish are another popular species in Saylorville Lake. These hard-fighting fish can be caught using techniques such as bottom fishing with cut bait, stinkbaits, or live bait. The lake's deeper holes, submerged structures, and rocky areas are prime locations to target channel catfish. Nighttime or low-light conditions can be particularly productive for catfish angling.

Saylorville Lake also offers opportunities to catch other fish species, including black crappie, white crappie, largemouth bass, bluegill, and northern pike. Anglers can target crappie near submerged structures or brush piles using small jigs or minnows. Largemouth bass can be found near weed beds, submerged structures, or along the shoreline. Bluegill can be caught using small jigs, worms, or crickets near vegetation or submerged structures. Northern pike, known for their aggressive nature, can be pursued using larger lures or live bait.

Saylorville Lake in Iowa provides excellent fishing opportunities for a variety of popular fish species, including walleye, channel catfish, crappie, largemouth bass, bluegill, and northern pike. With its boating options, camping facilities, and picturesque surroundings, Saylorville Lake offers a complete outdoor experience for anglers and nature enthusiasts, making it a top destination for fishing in Iowa.

Boat ramps, rental boats and a marina assist the public with ways to navigate and enjoy this scenic waterway. No limitations are set for motorized boats, so all type boats are welcome here. Fishing boats, pleasure boat, pontoons, canoes and kayaks are all popular craft for experiencing Saylorville Reservoir. Camping and lodging are available at and nearby the lake.

Fishing Boats For Rent In Iowa

Primary fish species residing in Saylorville Lake

Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.

Largemouth bass Channel catfish Flathead catfish Black crappie White crappie Walleye Bluegill White Bass Hybrid Striped Bass Northern pike

Saylorville Lake Amenities

Marina: YES
Boat Rental: YES
Boat Launch Ramp: YES
Campgrounds: YES
RV Hookups: YES
Lodging: YES
Convenience Store: YES
Bait & Tackle: YES
Restaurant: YES

Today's Weather & Forecast

Boating is a popular activity on Saylorville Lake, and the lake provides ample boat ramps and marinas for easy access. Whether it's a motorized boat, kayak, or canoe, boating allows anglers to explore different areas of the lake and find their preferred fishing spots. Additionally, the lake offers opportunities for water skiing, tubing, and other water-based activities.

Fishing Boat Rentals

Big Creek Marina
Rentals: Fishing boats, kayaks, canoes and pontoon boats
515 984-6083

Public Boat Launch Ramps & Landings

Cherry Glen Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, southeast side, off NW 94th Avenue, this is a four-lane, concrete ramp with docks and paved parking.

Sandpiper Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, east side, off McBride Drive, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.

Saylorville - Main Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the southwest section of the lake, off NW Beaver Drive, this is three, two-lane, concrete ramps with docks and lots of paved parking.

Southwest Saylorville Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the southwest section of the lake, at the west end of the Northwest Saylorville Drive Bridge, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with docks and gravel parking.


Saylorville Lake Marina
6170 NW Polk City Dr
Polk City, IA 50226
515 984-6541

Click here for a Iowa Fishing License.

Camping facilities are available near Saylorville 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

Jester Park Campground - 515 323-5300

Acorn Valley Campground - 515 276-0429

Bob Shelter Campground - 515 276-0873

Cherry Glen Campground - 515 964-8792

Prairie Flower Campground - 515 984-6925

Saylorville Lake IA Map - Fishing & Camping Areas

Contact Information

Saylorville Lake
Saylorville Marina
6170 N.W. Polk City Drive
Polk City, IA 50226
515 984-6541


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