Here’s the fishing report for areas around Kansas City in Kansas and Missouri for the week of March 15.
BULL SHOALS: Upper 40s, murky, about normal. Outlook: largemouth – good in shallow water. Try crankbaits or spinner baits in shallow water or jerk baits in clear water; walleye – up lake is doing well on jerk baits and they are moving up on points around sunset; crappie – fair in 20 feet brush piles and docks; white bass – good on white swim jigs or beetle spins; wipers – slow, but starting to run. The next couple of weeks will be hot.
Below the dam: John Berry of Berry Brothers reports: On the White, the hot spot has been Wildcat Shoals. There have been shad coming through the dam. The hot flies were olive woolly buggers (#8, #10), Y2Ks (#14, #12), prince nymphs (#14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead #16, #18), pheasant tails (#14), ruby midges (#18), root beer midges (#18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (#10), and sowbugs (#16). Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective (my current favorite is a Y2K (#10) with a ruby midge (#14) suspended below it). Use weight to get your flies down.
TANEYCOMO: 43 degrees, clear, running 2 units all day Outlook: Lilleys’ Landing reports: fishing is fair. Still not seeing the shad come over the dam in large quantities. The best bite continues in the creeks down around the Landing. Dark colored jigs, jig and float (white and pink), red/gold spoons, nightcrawlers, minnows or Powerbait can all be productive. Try fishing the mouths, as well as up in the creeks, for good numbers and sizes. Trout will begin moving more towards the mouths in the near future. Short, Cooper, Turkey, Coon, Roark, Bee, and even Bull Creek should all be producing. Near the dam, drifting brown and gray scuds has been productive as well as white jigs.
NORFORK: upper 40s, slightly stained, about 0.5 feet low. Outlook: Bink’s Guide Service reports: things have slowed down a bit. When water hits 52, things will heat up quick. Bass – fair to good halfway back in coves with crankbaits; white bass – fair in the back of creeks; crappie – fair and sitting up tight next to banks in 2-3 feet of water; walleye – fair in the river; stripers – slow.
LONGVIEW: 41 degrees, 2.5-3 feet of clarity,0.2 feet high. Outlook: Longview Marina reports: virtually the same as last week. Crappie – good around the dock. Numbers and sizes over 13” being caught regularly. No reports of walleyes yet, but expect the dam to be productive on bottom bouncers or Lindy rigs when the water temperature reaches 45-50 degrees. If not fishing from a boat, try fishing with 3-4” white swimbait with 1/8 oz. jig head along the dam. Let the bait fall slowly back towards you with very small jerks of the rod every so often. Bigger jig heads will get you hung up in the rocks more often. Fishing is available around the dock during marina hours from 7am-1pm. The marina will not have minnows for another 2-3 weeks. Special note from Tyler: If you’re a social media user, the “Lee’s Summit Area Fishing” Facebook group has an engaged membership that posts regular updates throughout the week.
POMME DE TERRE: 49 degrees, stained, 1.8 feet high. Outlook: Muskie Guide Service reports: crappie – slow to fair around the docks and off brush piles; bass – fair on crank baits, jerk baits, and spinner baits; all other species – slow or no report.
LAKE OF THE OZARKS: 42 degrees, main lake – dirty, creeks - dirty, about 3.5 feet low. Outlook: Gier’s Bass Pro reports: crappie – good using minnows and jigs around brush piles; largemouth bass – will start relating to chunk rock points on secondary or main lake points. Try Wiggle Wart or tube baits (ask your local tackle shop about a “GitzIt” rig).
REED AREA: 42 degrees, clear, less than 6 inches low. Outlook: Department of Conservation reports: no change from last week. Crappie - good on sunny days using tube jigs and minnows near brush piles; trout fishing good on power bait, inline spinners and small jigs; all other species slow.
STOCKTON: low to mid 40s, clear, about 2 foot high. Outlook: Stockton Lake Guide Service reports: walleye – fair on jerk baits around rocky points on the main lake early morning or late afternoon/evening; crappie – fair on jigs under schools of shad, but shad have been difficult to find; bass – fair on plastics and jigs in 7-10 feet of water on points.
JACOMO: low 40s, mostly clear, normal Outlook: Forty Woods Bait & Tackle reports: everything virtually the same as last week. Crappie - good lake wide on shiners and jigs; walleye – have slowed down since last week, but were hitting on grub jigs and deep diving cranks; channel cat – fair on worms lake wide; bluegill – fair on waxworms and redworms; largemouth – fair on shiners, worm rigs, and paddle tail swimbaits.
BLUE SPRINGS: low 40s, slightly stained, normal Outlook: Forty Woods Bait & Tackle reports: crappie - good lake wide; largemouth – fair on worms and worm rigs; hybrid bass – fair drift fishing; channel catfish – fair on nightcrawlers lake wide. Special note from Tyler: If you’re a social media user, the “Lee’s Summit Area Fishing” Facebook group has an engaged membership that posts regular updates throughout the week.
TABLE ROCK: 47-50 degrees, main lake - stained, some river channels still murky, normal. Outlook: Eric Prey of Focused Fishing Guide Service reports: All bass species – good to excellent. Most of the fish have moved shallow in less than 10 feet of water. Many fish are right up on the bank in less than two feet of water. Jerkbaits and crankbaits on 45 degree banks with big and small rock is productive. Jigs are also working well. Crappie – fair using jigs up the King’s around standing timber and in brush piles and also up the James on the marked Corp brush piles close to channel swings on main lake.
TRUMAN: low to mid 40s, stained, about 1.8 feet high. Outlook: Truman Lake Guide Service reports: crappie – good in the creeks on the bottom on jigs. Getting ready to spawn when temperature hits upper 50s. Blue catfish – very good on fresh cut shad in shallow water and out deeper on channel breaks next to current in 18-25 feet. Special note from Tyler: If you’re a social media user, the “Truman Lake Area Fishing” Facebook group has an engaged membership that posts regular updates throughout the week. Current members have seen updates of some monster walleye caught below the dam in the past couple of weeks, one over 11 pounds that measured 31”. Fishing there is best when the water is running. Try a paddletail swimbait for walleye.
SMITHVILLE: 41 degrees, clear, 2 feet low. Outlook: Burton’s Bait and Tackle: Crappie – fair to good around the docks, mostly in deeper water; channel catfish – fair on cut bait like shad sides in 10-12 feet of water.
SHAWNEE MISSION PARK: 46 degrees, murky, normal. Outlook: Johnson County Park and Recreation District reports: trout - fair to good on small spinners an Powerbait, more trout stocked recently. Crappie/panfish - poor to fair on small spinners or worms. Bites are hit and miss with the weather. catfish – poor, but can be productive on dough bait or chicken livers; bass/wipers: poor, but try crank baits or spinners.
KILL CREEK PARK: 44 degrees, murky, normal. Outlook: Johnson County Park and Recreation District reports: trout – fair to good on small spinners or Powerbait, more trout just stocked; crappie/panfish – poor to fair on small spinners or worms; bass – poor, but try spinner baits; catfish – poor, but try dough bait or chicken livers.
COFFEY COUNTY: Upper 60s degrees at hot-water outlet, clear, 4 feet low. Outlook: Coffey County reports: largemouth – good; smallmouth – fair; white bass – outstanding; wipers – fair; walleye – slow; crappie – fair; catfish species – slow to fair.
MELVERN: 44 degrees, visibility around 7 feet, 1.2 feet low. Outlook: Melvern Lake Marina reports: crappie – poor to fair with good numbers of 6-9" fish around the docks and in the heated dock area using red or dark jigs. Numbers above 10" have been inconsistent, but mostly on the south docks. There has been some success on the lake near the northwest end of the lake. Smallmouth - poor, but try along the shoreline and rip rap face of the dam using spoons and shallow crankbaits; white bass - fair lake wide on jigs and minnows; all other species – slow.
CLINTON: low 40s, clarity - 3 feet, normal. Outlook: Clinton Marina reports: Crappie – fishing has slowed to smaller fish on jigs. Courtesy docks at all boat ramps in Bloomington Park are in the water and ready for use.
POMONA: 42 degrees, murky, 2 feet low. Outlook: Lighthouse Bay Marina reports: crappie – picking back up in the last week up the river and out on the lake on jigs.
PERRY: 41 degrees, clear, about 2 feet low Outlook: Don and Tom’s Bait and Tackle reports: crappie – good around the docks in the afternoons and off brush piles on the lake in 17 feet of water using jigs. White bass and Sauger run hasn’t started yet up in the Delaware. Courtesy docks are available at all Corps managed boat ramps.
MILFORD: 40 degrees, clear, 2.8 feet low. Outlook: Jan Kissinger Guide Service reports: blue cats – good at the north end of the lake. May have to search because some days they are shallow and others deep. Big fish are being caught consistently so make sure you know the slot limit rules, all blue cats between 25-40” must be released and only one fish over 40” can be kept. All other species - slow.
HILLSDALE: 43 degrees, murky, 1.6 feet low. Outlook: Jayhawk Marina reports: crappie – fair to good with a lot of short fish being caught on jigs; channel catfish – fair on chicken livers and fish guts. Walleye haven’t turned on quite yet.
LA CYGNE: 45 degrees at the intake, a couple feet of clarity, normal. Outlook: Linn County Park reports: All catfish species – fair to good on cutshad or chicken liver. Blue catfish over 60 pounds are present; bass – good in the riprap areas using crank baits, plastic worms or spinner baits. Double digit bass have been caught this year; crappie – good on jigs in 14 feet of water on the points like 110 mile. Good numbers of fish 10-12 inches are being caught. White bass – fair to good on silver spoons or cut shad while drifting or trolling near shallow points or rip rap; wipers – fair to good trolling with sassy shad baits, crankbaits, spoons or cut shad.
GLEN ELDER (WACONDA LAKE): 35 degrees, clear, about 1.1 feet low. Outlook: Wildlife, Parks and Tourism reports: the lake is ice free and all boat ramps are open. Crappie – 8-13” fair to good off the river channel in 20-25 feet of water around brush piles and other natural cover using small jigs and spoons; walleye – 14-24” good around the dam, off the north shore points, near Harry's Island, and off the river channel between Schoen's Cove and the Cawker causeway. Jig and crawler are working well, but plastic swim baits may be the best bet to catch some nice walleye during the late winter/early spring months.
White Bass (11-18”)/wipers (19-27”) – good to excellent nearly lake wide. The north shore state park area, the dam, Walnut Creek, the Cawker causeway, and the river channel are all good places to find white bass. Wipers can be found in the same areas trolling crankbaits, slabbing, or using live bait. Glen Elder Pond: trout – excellent in either the outlet area or in the pond using a variety of small jigs and inline spinner baits as well as salmon eggs, Powerbait, and cheese. Latest batch was stocked March 5th. Anglers fishing the park pond and the Glen Elder outlet between now and April 15 are required to purchase a trout stamp ($14.50) if age 16-74 and must adhere to a daily creel limit of 5 fish per day. Anglers 15 and younger may fish the park pond without a trout stamp, but the daily creel limit is 2 trout per day.
TUTTLE CREEK: 34 degrees, mostly clear, 0.6 feet low. Outlook: Vic Oertle Guide service reports: crappie – good to excellent on sizes, but numbers caught still a little on the slow side.
WYANDOTTE: 44 degrees, clear, normal. Outlook: Wyandotte Boat Rental reports: all species slow. Weird weather last week slowed things down. Try Powerbait for trout and dough bait or chicken liver for catfish
WILSON: low 40s, clear (6-8 feet of clarity), 0.1 feet high Outlook: Hines Guide Service reports: stripers continue to be good slabbing in 30 feet of water. All other species – slow or no report.
EL DORADO: upper 40s/low 50s, slightly stained, 4 feet low. Outlook: Wildlife, Parks & Tourism reports: blue catfish – fair on fresh cut bait on wind-blown points and shorelines. The slot limit is 25-35” with no more than two fish over 35” kept. White bass – slow to fair in shallow water during the warmer days casting jigs or plastic swimbaits; wipers – slow; white perch – fair on humps and ledges using worms in 8-11 feet of water; white crappie (20/day limit effective Jan 1, 2018) – fair to good on jigs or minnows near brush or timbered creek channels 9-11 feet down; channel catfish – fair on windy shorelines on fresh cut shad; walleye – slow to fair, but will improve in coming weeks as the spawn progresses. They are in prespawn mode and are moving in to the spawning areas on the dam and other rocky points and shorelines. Casting floating jerk baits, suspending crankbaits, or working jigs and minnow combos along rocky shorelines after dark are good tactics during the walleye spawn.
Tyler Mahoney is a Rockhurst University-educated outdoors fanatic who works to support his hunting and fishing habits. Read more of his next-generation insight at mahoneyoutdoors.com.