Family Fishing | Tourism Cedar Rapids

Fishing In Linn County

The 7 best family-friendly fishing spots across Cedar Rapids and Linn County!

When the bobber lands and sends ripples cascading through the water, the look on your child’s face will surely light up. Within moments, the bobber will stand upright, twist, and dive right out of sight. The battle with your bluegill, walleye, bass, or catfish has begun! Set the hook and reel it in. This hands-on experience with wildlife is a perfect way to engage your family with nature and the outdoors before sending your catch back into the water and restarting the process. 


father and daughter bluegill fishing in Linn County Iowa

Linn County and Cedar Rapids are ideal for fishing enthusiasts and their families. There are plenty of wonderful fishing spots to choose from. To name just a few, we compiled a list below. You can find Iowa Fishing license and regulation information here.

1. Pinicon Ridge Park

4729 Horse FallsRd, Central City, IA - This 966-acre park sits right on the Wapsipinicon River and is perfect for a day of fishing. Full of natural beauty, wildlife and water, you’ll be sure to relax with your family and catch a few fish.

2. Prairie Park Fishery

2125 Otis Rd SE, Cedar Rapids, IA - Providing great opportunities for fishing, ice fishing, picnicking and so much more, Prairie Park Fishery is the place to be for the whole family. Sporting a newly completed ADA accessible dock, there's never been a more inclusive time to go fishing. So grab your rod and spend a peaceful day in the park.

little boy holding fishing pole in top fishing spots iowa

3. Palisades-Kepler State Park

700 Kepler Dr., Mt. Vernon, IA - Pack for a full day in nature including dramatic river bluffs, majestic hardwood trees, native american mounds and an abundance of wildlife in Linn County's only state park. Fish for numerous species in the Cedar River including channel catfish, bass and walleye. Angers often fish by boat or along the shore near the old dam. A modern boat ramp provides convenient access to the river, and the shore and trails make for a beautiful view and walk at Palisades Kepler State Park.

4. Indian Creek Nature Center

5300 Otis Rd. SE, Cedar Rapids, IA - A true treasure near downtown Cedar Rapids, immerse yourself in nature and enjoy hiking, bird watching, cross-country skiing and of course, fishing, while you and your family explore the local nature scene in various stages of ecological restoration.

5. Five in One Dam

Downtown Cedar Rapids, I-380 Bridge - Centrally located near the Tree of Five Seasons in downtown Cedar Rapids, the five-in-one-dam is the go to place for urban fishing. Walk on over to the I-380 bridge and cast a line from the ground level sidewalk where you are protected from traffic but still present in the hustle and bustle of city life.

6. Pleasant Creek State Recreation Area

4530 McClintock Rd, Palo, IAPleasant Creek Lake is one of the best fishing lakes in Iowa. A short 20-minute trip outside of Cedar Rapids, Pleasant Creek is full of bass, catfish, crappie, bluegill and more, you’ll be sure to catch a great time!

7. McCloud Run Trout Stream

Central Cedar Rapids, East Side of I-380 - McLoud Run is a unique community resource as Iowa’s only urban trout stream. The wooded stream is fed from natural springs, making the water cold enough to support trout. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) stocks McLoud Run with trout periodically.

The experience of getting outdoors, unplugging, and spending time on the shorelines or in our parks with family is incredibly rewarding. Iowa is lucky to have rapid growth in our fish species, which makes the opportunity to catch new and more fish even greater. A simple set up such as a spin-casting rod and reel, a small bobber, a size 6 or 8 hook, and half a nightcrawler can catch many of the most desirable fish in the area.

About the Author
Cedar Rapids  Tourism Office
Chuck Ungs
Naturalist for Linn County Conservation at Wickiup Hill Learning Center

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