Popular Fish Species at this Lake are Black Bullhead, Black Crappie, Bluegill, Channel Catfish and Largemouth Bass.
Although Lake Odessa is more of a wetland complex managed primarily for waterfowl is does provide some very high quality fishing. Anglers can expect to catch about anything that can be caught in the Mississippi River. Crappies are probably one of the more sought after species with good numbers of 11+ inch black crappies present. Anglers should concentrate on these fish during their spring spawning run as well as in late fall when the crappies will feed heavily during their fall migration to their overwintering spots. Channel catfish, Bluegills, and Largemouth Bass are other species that provide quality fishing in Odessa. Also Odessa provides the Bowfishermen a good place to pursue their sport with good water clarity and an abundance of shallow water habitats where their rough fish prey abound. Anglers should be aware of the fact that during the summer months that the water level in Odessa is lowered to promote vegetative growth to provide waterfowl with food during the fall migration. During September the water level is brought back up to the normal pool level. This summer drawdown while making boating a little tougher actually improves the fishery as it crowds the smaller fish in with the bigger ones promoting the growth of the predator fish (bass, crappies, catfish) while thinning out the prey numbers (bluegills, etc) which then have a growth increase when the water is brought back up for the fall and the vegetation is flooded providing insects for food with less competition because of the reduced numbers of small fish.
The link below is to the Iowa DNR page which has a map that is downloadable and where you can get license, regulation and other information that you may need.
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