Here is the fishing report for Kansas and Missouri lakes and reservoirs for the week of May 2:
BULL SHOALS: upper 50s/low 60s, clear, about 7.5 feet high. Outlook: Guide Del Colvin reports: fishing has been getting better every day. Bass – currently spawning and largemouth are up in the bushes. Try flipping a jig or a Senko worm. Top water is starting to pick up. If it’s sunny and calm, try Carolina rig or Ned rig along secondary points halfway back in creek channels. If you get an overcast day with a little wind, a jerk bait can work off steeper secondary points that lead into spawning pockets. A fluke can work if you find the shad. Crappie are moved up in the bushes too. White bass and walleye are down spawning. All other species – no reports.
Below the dam: John Berry of Berry Brothers reports: The White has fished better. The hot spot has been the State Park. There are caddis coming off in the afternoon. 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 pink worm with a prince nymph (#14) suspended below it). Use weight to get your flies down.
TANEYCOMO: 47 degrees, clear, running 2 units in morning then dropping rest of the day Outlook: Lilleys’ Landing reports: drifting bait has been very productive from Fall Creek to past Cooper Creek using minnows, night crawlers and white Gulp Eggs. Gold spoons with a flash of red have worked well. Buoyant gold in the 1/6th ounce and Colorado silver/gold in the 1/8th ounce worked slowly with a twitch have been the best. If the current is slow, when only one unit is running, you can anchor along the edges and fish a minnow or night crawler below the boat and do well. White or sculpin 1/32nd-ounce jig under a float five- to six-feet deep, drifting from the cable at the dam all the way down to Lilley’s Landing has produced fish, but you have to “bump it” or move the float, thus moving the jig. Also, try a #12 gray scud under a float about the same distance with a small split shot to keep it close to the bottom, drifting it all through the trophy area. The pink Powerworm is still doing well from Fall Creek to the Branson Landing, fished on a small jig head under a float five- to seven-feet deep. Good numbers of walleye are being caught below the dam trolling crankbaits on the bottom.
NORFORK: 62 degrees, main lake - clear, creeks – stained, about 9 feet high. Outlook: Bink’s Guide Service reports: walleye – good numbers being caught on spoons and jigs in 20 feet of water; white bass – spawn is finished up; bass – fair and spawning right now; stripers – still slow; all other species – slow or no reports.
LONGVIEW: 57 degrees, 34 inches of clarity, a little high. Outlook: Longview Marina reports: crappie – very good on jigs and minnows around the dock; bass – good; white bass – good on windy banks and points; all other species – no reports. Fishing is available around the dock during marina hours from 7am-5:00pm. 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: upper 50s, 3 feet of clarity, about 2.3 feet high. Outlook: Muskie Guide Service reports: bass – fair on anything you throw at them; crappie – great on the shorelines; all other species – slow or no reports.
LAKE OF THE OZARKS: 61 degrees, clear, about 4 feet low. Outlook: Gier’s Bass Pro reports: crappie – bite is excellent with fish up on the banks hitting jigs or minnows; bass – staging around back corners of docks, hitting top water, lizards, and spinnerbaits when wind is blowing; catfish – no reports.
REED AREA: 60 degrees, clear, normal. Outlook: Department of Conservation reports: crappie - good. Sunny days are best using tube jigs and minnows near brush piles; trout – fair to good on Power bait, inline spinners and small jigs on windy banks. Channel catfish - picking up on worms; all other species slow. 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 fishing updates throughout the week.
STOCKTON: 62 degrees, clear, about 3 feet high. Outlook: Stockton Lake Guide Service reports: crappie – fair on jigs near the bank all the way out to 20 feet; bass – good on plastics in 8-12 feet of water on points and rocky banks; walleye – fair to good on jigs and crawlers in 8-12 feet of water on main lake points; all other species – no reports. Note from Tyler: if you’re a social media user, the “Stockton Lake Fishing” Facebook group has an engaged membership which provides excellent daily updates.
JACOMO: mid 50s, slightly stained, about normal Outlook: Forty Woods Bait & Tackle reports: crappie – good to very good in shallow water using minnows and jigs; largemouth – good on chatter baits, plastic worms, Ned rigs, and jerk baits; channel cats – fair to good on chicken liver or worms. 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 fishing updates throughout the week.
BLUE SPRINGS: mid 50s, slightly stained, about normal Outlook: Forty Woods Bait & Tackle reports: hybrids – getting better along the dam trolling and some people catching them on the fly from the bank; crappie – numbers are being caught shallow, but still not many large fish yet; channel cats – fair on chicken liver or worms. 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 fishing updates throughout the week.
TABLE ROCK: upper 50s/low 60s, clear to stained, a little high. Outlook: Eric Prey of Focused Fishing Guide Service reports: bass – in spawn and some have moved to post spawn. Try using shaky heads, swimbaits and floating worms or sight fishing. Crappie – shallow near spawning beds being caught on swimming minnows and crappie jigs; white bass – can be found in backs of creeks using grubs and swimbaits.
TRUMAN: upper 50s/low 60s, stained, about normal. Outlook: Jeff Faulkenberry’s Endless Season Guide Service reports: crappie – excellent and still on the banks, try jigs or minnows; blue cats – good and suspended in shad on channel edges, being caught on jugs too; white bass – good up the back of creeks early morning using ¼ oz white rooster tails; largemouth – still continues to be excellent on spinnerbaits and top water. 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. This is a great place to find daily updates for below Truman Dam.
SMITHVILLE: upper 50s, main lake - clear, arms – dirty, 2.1 feet low. Outlook: Burton’s Bait and Tackle reports: fishing has been very mixed. Most reports have been slow, but some anglers have found crappie out deeper in 15 feet of water. All other species – slow or no reports.
SHAWNEE MISSION PARK: 60 degrees, murky, normal. Outlook: Johnson County Park and Recreation District reports: trout – fair using Power Bait or worms; crappie/panfish – fair on worms or plastics; catfish – poor using chicken liver, cut bait, or dough bait; bass/wipers – poor to pair using worms.
KILL CREEK PARK: 60 degrees, murky, normal. Outlook: Johnson County Park and Recreation District reports: trout – fair on Power bait or worms; crappie/panfish – fair using worms or small plastics; bass – poor to fair, try worms or plastics; catfish – poor, try using chicken liver or dough bait.
COFFEY COUNTY: mid 50s, clear, normal. Outlook: Coffey County reports:
white bass – excellent crankbaits, grubs, bucktail jigs, and small spinners thrown around wind-blown shorelines or points; wipers – fair with similar methods as whites; smallmouth – excellent using try crankbaits, jerkbaits or 4" stick worms rigged wacky style or 4" tubes fished around rocky habitat such as points and sharp drop offs; blue catfish –good on cut bait; walleye – fair to good; crappie – fair to good.
For white bass/wipers, try crankbaits, grubs, bucktail jigs, and small spinners thrown around wind-blown shorelines or points. If you can find large schools of shad, whites and wipers should be near. For smallmouth, try crankbaits, jerkbaits or 4" stick worms rigged wacky style or 4" tubes fished around rocky habitat such as points and sharp drop offs.
MELVERN: 57 degrees, visibility around 6 feet, about 1 foot low. Outlook: Melvern Lake Marina reports: crappie – good to very good with large fish moving in around the docks. The strongest bite is on darker jigs and minnows earlier in the week, action tapered later in the weekend with rise in pressure. Smallmouth - good, along the shoreline and rip rap face of the dam using spoons and shallow crankbaits. Several around the docks being caught on minnows.
White bass - fair lake wide on jigs and minnows; channel catfish - fair with a few reports in deeper water with nightcrawlers; all other species – slow or no reports.
CLINTON: low to mid 50s, stained, 0.3 feet high. Outlook: Clinton Marina reports:
crappie – biting well around the dock and in channels close to the bank; all other species – slow or no reports. Courtesy docks at all boat ramps in Bloomington Park are in the water and ready for use.
POMONA: 52 degrees, clear, about one foot low. Outlook: no updated report submitted. Last week’s report: crappie – picking up in Dragoon and in the creeks. Channel cats are biting.
PERRY: mid to upper 50s, clear, about 2.2 feet low Outlook: Don and Tom’s Bait and Tackle reports: crappie – spawn is on and the bite is great anywhere on the rocks, size and quantity is good; blue catfish – good sizes being caught; white bass – some caught up in the Delaware; all other species – slow or no reports.
MILFORD: mid 50s, mostly clear, about 2 feet low. Outlook: Vic Oertle Guide Service reports: some crappie coming into shallow water, best activity has been in backs of coves near brush. A few Smallmouth and Largemouth are being caught up and down the lake. Wipers are showing and chasing a little. Whites and wipers can also be found on the face of the dam from late evening until first good light.
HILLSDALE: upper 50s, stained, about normal. Outlook: Jayhawk Marina reports:
crappie – good on minnows 8-12 feet deep in 15-20 feet of water and starting to go shallow; catfish – good on chicken liver or worms on the bottom and in river channels; fishing dock is open daily at 7am.
LA CYGNE: 60 degrees at hot water outlet, 2.5-3 feet of clarity, about normal. Outlook: Linn County Park reports: overall fishing is improving. Bass – fair; blue catfish – fair to good with great sizes being caught; crappie – have been biting around the dam.
GLEN ELDER (WACONDA LAKE): mid 50s, clear, about 1 foot low. Outlook: Wildlife, Parks and Tourism reports: activity has stayed mostly the same from week to week. Crappie – fair but have been difficult to catch lately as they break up in preparation for the annual spawn. As the water temperatures warm into the mid-50's fish will begin to move in shallow. Prior to that, anglers should look for fish in offshore staging areas in 10-25 feet of water near any brush close to traditional spawning areas. Walleye – fair and the spawn is winding down now, but anglers are still catching a limited number of fish along the dam. As these fish leave the dam they typically head to the west end of the reservoir near Schoen's Cove, Gibbs Point, and the Cawker Causeway. Jig and worm or jig and minnow often work well this time of year as the fish begin to feed again to help recover from the spawn. Over 6 million walleye fry were stocked in the lake this spring. White bass/wipers – fair with the white bass spawn about to begin with fish starting to move up the rivers. Anglers should be able to start catching some near the log jams and any shallow riffle areas using white and chartreuse twister tails. Fish will also move into rocky banks like the Cawker City causeway, dam, and south bluffs as the males will show up first followed by the females. They typically bite well during this time of year on roadrunners, slab spoons, Rattletraps, and Kastmasters. Black bass – will be good over the next couple of weeks with the smallmouth bass moving into rocky and sandy coves for their annual spawn. Largemouth bass will be hanging out in similar areas, but can also be found in areas with standing timber and flooded vegetation and are often caught on white and chartreuse spinnerbaits and a variety of plastic baits. Glen Elder Pond: trout – excellent in the outlet area or the pond using a variety of small jigs and inline spinner baits as well as salmon eggs, Powerbait, and cheese. The last batch of trout was stocked in the Glen Elder Outlet on April 12th.
TUTTLE CREEK: low 50s, clear, about one foot low Outlook: Vic Oertle Guide Service reports: very close to popping on the crappie with nice fish moving into spawn position up and down the lake. Catfish are biting well and white bass are showing in the upper end.
WYANDOTTE: 64 degrees, stained, normal. Outlook: Wyandotte Boat Rental reports: wiper – caught a 13 pound fish in the past week, the new lake record; walleye – some being caught; bass – good numbers caught on just about anything you want to throw; crappie – many limits being caught but the fish are still scattered in 5-15 feet.
WILSON: low to mid 50s, clear, 0.2 feet high Outlook: Knothead’s Bait Shop reports: stripers – good out on the west end on bucktails; smallmouth – some big fish being caught; walleye – have been picking up; white bass – picking up, try small swimbaits or rooster tails; white perch – good up in Hell Creek; all other species – slow or no reports.
EL DORADO: upper 50s, mostly clear, stained on wind-blown points, 4.3 feet low. Outlook: Wildlife, Parks & Tourism reports: wipers – fair to good near shallow, rocky points and shorelines where wind is blowing in using jigs, plastics, or crank baits; white bass – fair in same areas and using same methods as wipers; blue catfish – fair using fresh cut bait on wind-blown points and shorelines. Please note the 25-35” protective slot limit with no more than two allowed to be kept over 35”. White perch – fair using worms on humps and ledges in 8-11 feet of water; white crappie – heating up with the arrival of warmer weather and best on jigs and minnows near brush or shallow cover near shore; channel catfish – fair on windy shorelines using shad sides; walleye – slow.
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.