Here is the fishing report for Kansas and Missouri lakes and reservoirs for the week of May 16, 2018.
BULL SHOALS: 80 degrees, clear, 10.25 feet high. Outlook: Guide Del Colvin reports: Bass – most are in post-spawn and a topwater bite has started, a lot of smallmouth have moved off shore already, but everything is still relating heavily to the bushes; walleye – have been found up in the bushes; crappie – still around brush as well but it’s been tough to find them in high water. Below the dam: John Berry of Berry Bros. Guide Service reports: The White has fished much better. The hot spot has been Rim Shoals. There are caddis coming off. 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 red fox squirrel nymph (#14) with a ruby midge (#18) suspended below it. Use lead to get your flies down.
TANEYCOMO: 48 degrees, clear, angler friendly, low flow most of day with increases up to 2 units some afternoons Outlook: Lilleys’ Landing reports: The best bait right now is the Berkley Pink Worm under a float from 4 to 6 feet deep using 2-4 pound line and a small, 1/100th ounce jig head. Powerbaits is working too, white paste caught some nice browns this weekend from Cooper to Monkey Island, drifting on the bottom. Minnows and night crawlers did well, catching bigger fish on average than Powerbait. With low flow, you need to drop to just a split shot, just enough to get your bait to the bottom. Gold and red spoons are still catching good fish early and late in the day. Throwing or trolling Flickershad, Shad Raps or Fingerling Fat Free Shad Bombers have been picking up nice browns and rainbows. The browns have been feeding on small threadfin shad on the surface early and late in the day. If you see this, throw a white jig or small spoon or crank bait. In the trophy area, white jigs close to the dam has been best, lots of rainbows in the 15-19 inch range. White jigs, shad flies, and white wooly buggers imitating shad is number one but throwing darker jigs is good too. Fly fishing has been good using scuds, egg flies and shad flies under an indicator. Still a little early for dry fly action.
NORFORK: upper 70s, main lake - clear, creeks – stained, 8.63 feet high. Outlook: Bink’s Guide Service reports: stripers and hybrids – good first two hours in the morning on top water near main lake points; white bass – still in the back in the creeks; walleye – have spawned out and slowed down; bass – good up in the brush.
LONGVIEW: 73 degrees, 2-3 feet of clarity, normal. Outlook: Longview Marina reports: crappie – continues to be good around the dock in quantity and size, 10-inch or better fish are being caught; bass – have been picking up on topwater, spinnerbaits, and crankbaits; all other species – no reports. No weekend dock fishing available until the fall. Fishing is available from the marina between 7am-7:00pm Monday through Friday. 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: low to mid 80s, clear, about 3 feet high. Outlook: Muskie Guide Service reports: fishing has continued to be slow. Not much word on any species biting well except for bass.
LAKE OF THE OZARKS: 75 degrees, stained, about 1 feet low. Outlook: Gier’s Bass Pro reports: fish are biting like crazy and much of the activity has remained the same from week to week. Crappie – done spawning everywhere except North Shore, most are now in shallow brush and still biting very well; bass – hammering top water, jigs, lizards at the back corner of docks along the walkways; all other species – no reports.
REED AREA: 72 degrees, clear, normal. Outlook: Department of Conservation reports: largemouth bass - good on soft plastics and spinner baits; bluegill and channel catfish - fair 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: low to mid 70s, very clear, 2.5 feet high. Outlook: no updated report submitted. Last week’s report: catfish – good on set lines using shad sides; bass – good on jigs near secondary points and backs of coves; crappie – scattered, best way to catch them is with a #6 flicker shad with a little purple in it pulled at 1.3 mph in coves or where you’re seeing fish suspended on the screen; walleyes – excellent with 1/8 oz or 1/4 oz jigs tipped with night crawlers in 8-10 feet of water near points. Be sure you have some wind if you’re going after walleye. All other species – slow or no reports. Special 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: upper 70s, very clear, about normal Outlook: Forty Woods Bait & Tackle reports: not much has changed in last week. Crappie – fair using minnows and jigs, seem to have moved a little deeper closer to 10-15 feet of water, but some still being caught shallow; largemouth – fair to good on chatter baits, plastic worms, Ned rigs, and jerk baits, the top water bite has turned on in the morning; channel cats – fair to good on chicken liver, worms, or cut shad. Green Sunfish are picking up as well along the banks. 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: upper 70s, clear, about normal Outlook: Forty Woods Bait & Tackle reports: hybrids – still biting along the dam trolling crankbaits or rooster tails, and some people are catching them on the fly from the bank. If in a boat, use your electronics to figure out what depth they are and choose a bait accordingly; crappie – slowing down, but some still caught shallow; channel cats – fair on chicken liver, worms, and cut shad; bass – good near Woods Chapel Rd on both sides; Blue gill - picking up and getting better everyday on worms or small plastics. 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 70s/low 80s degrees, clear, about normal. Outlook: Eric Prey of Focused Fishing Guide Service reports: bass – great on top water in shallow water and also still eating a swimbait if it’s windy, most fish are 15 feet deep or less. Try a Ned rig or shaky head if no wind. White bass - scattered so you have to look for schooling fish; crappie – have shut down drastically in the past week.
TRUMAN: mid 70s, clear, 2.6 feet high. Outlook: Jeff Faulkenberry’s Endless Season Guide Service reports: crappie – excellent still with limits caught fast, but many have moved out from 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. Bigger fish have been found on main lake points, but good numbers of fish have been in the backs of the coves and along secondary points. 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: mid 70s, clear, 1.8 feet low. Outlook: crappie – spawn seems to be winding down, but good fish are still being caught; walleye – getting better along the dam and on main lake points, many anglers picking some up on minnows while crappie fishing; catfish – excellent on chicken liver or night crawlers; all other species – no reports.
MOZINGO LAKE: mid to upper 70s, 1-3 feet of clarity, 4 feet low. Outlook: Fishing With Nordbye YouTube channel reports: bass – good on points and shallow wood cover. Some prespawn and some postspawn. They are biting Texas rigs and jigs up shallow, as well as chatterbaits and squarebills. On points, drag a wobble head style bait along the bottom. They have been hitting a Tightlines UV Whisker Beaver style bait on the Texas rig and wobble head. Crappie – very good, spawn is ending and they are starting to migrate back to deeper water. Most are 7-8 feet down with an occasional crappie between 10-14 feet. Crappie jigs or minnows work best. Bluegill - fair, but increasing. They are prespawn, and more are moving shallow. Best baits are worms, crickets, and panfish jigs.
SHAWNEE MISSION PARK: 79 degrees, murky, normal. Outlook: Johnson County Park and Recreation District reports: trout – fair on small spinners; crappie/panfish – good on small plastics or rooster tail spinners; catfish – fair to good on liver or dough bait; bass/wipers – fair on jigs.
KILL CREEK PARK: 80 degrees, murky, normal. Outlook: Johnson County Park and Recreation District reports: trout – fair using spinners; catfish – fair on chicken liver or dough bait; crappie/panfish – fair on worms or small plastics and spinners; bass – good on plastics or jigs.
COFFEY COUNTY: hot water outlet - 91, main lake - mid 70s, clear, about normal. Outlook: Coffey County reports: white bass – continues to be excellent with over 1,200 caught on crankbaits, grubs, bucktail jigs and small spinners thrown around wind-blown shorelines or points; wipers – really picked up in past week and can be caught on similar methods as whites; smallmouth – very good using crankbaits, jerkbaits or 4” stick worms rigged wacky style or 4” tubes fished around rocky habitat such as points and sharp drop offs; crappie – picked back up in past week; catfish – fair to good for both channels and blue cats on cut bait; all other species – no reports.
MELVERN: 72 degrees, visibility around 6 feet, about 1 foot low. Outlook: Melvern Lake Marina reports: crappie - fair with good quantities of large crappie in and around established brush piles around the docks and in Turkey Creek west of the State Park using dark jigs and minnows; smallmouth - good to very good along the shoreline and rip rap face of the dam using spoons and shallow crankbaits with several around the docks being caught on minnows as well; white bass - fair lake wide on jigs and minnows; channel catfish - fair to good using nightcrawlers and minnows or cut bait; blue Catfish - poor to fair on cut bait or crappie entrails; walleye - fair with several keepers caught on the northwest end of the lake in the shallow flats while trolling with small crankbaits or nightcrawlers.
CLINTON: 72 degrees, clear (2-3 feet), 0.3 feet high. Outlook: Clinton Marina reports: crappie – fair to good around the docks and along the banks 4-6 feet out; catfish – have been hearing more and more being caught in last week; gar are being caught around the marina on minnows; all other species – no reports. Courtesy docks at all boat ramps in Bloomington Park are in the water and ready for use. Special note from Tyler: If you’re a social media user, the “Northeast Kansas area Fishing” Facebook group is a great place to find daily updates about the lake.
POMONA: low to mid 70s, clear, 1 foot low. Outlook: no updated report submitted. Last week’s report: crappie – can be found in 6-8 feet on minnows; white bass – still being caught, but no reports of what size; a few walleye have been caught in past week as well; all other species – slow or no reports.
PERRY: mid to upper 70s, mostly clear, about 1 foot low Outlook: Don and Tom’s Bait and Tackle reports: crappie – fair to good with some still on the banks, mostly smaller males. Bigger females have moved out to brush 8-10 feet down. Channel catfish – excellent along the banks in the rocks; all other species – no reports. Special note from Tyler: If you’re a social media user, the “Northeast Kansas area Fishing” Facebook group is a great place to find daily updates about the lake.
MILFORD: low 70s, mostly clear, about normal. Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife reports: walleye – fair to good on and near flats using jigs, worms, and crankbaits; crappie – good five feet deep near points, brush, and spawning bays on jigs minnows; smallmouth – biting well near secondary gravel points and pockets on jigs, jerk baits, and crankbaits; largemouth – good near points and coves with brush/rock on jerk baits, jigs and spinnerbaits; white bass/wipers – good along windy rocky banks and points chasing shad, try deer hair jigs, spoons, jigs, crankbaits and topwater. Special note from Tyler: If you’re a social media user, the “Northeast Kansas area Fishing” Facebook group is a great place to find daily updates about the lake.
HILLSDALE: 74 degrees, slightly stained, about normal. Outlook: Jayhawk Marina reports: crappie – fair on minnows around the dock 4-10 feet deep, and fish are also spawning in Big Bull and Little Bull arms; channel catfish – excellent on chicken liver or worms on the bottom; walleye – biting well on worms along points and flats; all other species – no reports. The fishing dock opens at 7am, kids 12 and under are free. Special note from Tyler: If you’re a social media user, the “Northeast Kansas area Fishing” Facebook group is a great place to find daily updates about the lake.
LA CYGNE: 82 degrees, stained, high. Outlook: Linn County Park reports: Bass – biting very well with plenty of 3+ pound fish caught in the last week; flathead catfish – have seen numerous reports from last week, try live blue gill for bait; white bass – nice fish are being caught, but yet to see quantities; blue catfish – great sizes continue to be caught.
GLEN ELDER (WACONDA LAKE): upper 60s, clear, a little high. Outlook: Wildlife, Parks and Tourism reports: crappie – fair to good with fish moving up shallow for the spawn. You can find them in 3-5 feet of water, but in clearer water they could spawn in 6-10 feet. Target the state park coves, creeks, and coves on the south side of the reservoir with flooded habitat. Casting a minnow or slowly retrieving a jig under a bobber in spawning areas will yield the best results. Not all crappie spawn at once so anglers can also find fish staging in 10-15 feet over water around brush. Walleye – good with several limits reported over past couple of weeks. Anglers are also reporting lots of shorts to go along with the keepers so please handle these fish with care when you release them. Best reports have come from Gibbs Point in 20 feet of water, but fishing around the Cawker City causeway and Wally World are also good bets. Anchoring up on old foundations seems to be working well for a mixed bag of walleye, crappie and white bass. Jig and worm and jig and minnow are both working well. White bass/wipers – good with white bass actively spawning now. Look for spawning males around rocky shorelines and along the dam. Kastmasters, spoons, slabs, roadrunners, and Rattletraps will all work well. There are also some whites being caught up the rivers near the log jams using white twistertails. Other anglers have reported catching whites and big wipers trolling around Walnut Creek, the south bluffs, and along the dam. The bite typically picks up just before dark and anglers should target areas on the north shore with a south wind blowing in. Black bass – good to excellent with the smallmouth getting into spawning mode, which means they are going to be found shallow and feed aggressively on most baits. The largemouth bass have also moved in shallow and can be caught using spinnerbaits, soft plastics, crainkbaits, and Ned Rigs. Remember, there is a 21-inch length limit on smallmouth bass and an 18-inch length limit on largemouth bass. All fish less than those lengths should be immediately released with care. Catfish – good. Anglers have been catching very good numbers of catfish in 2-3 feet of water around cove shorelines using shrimp and worms fished on the bottom. Look for these fish to be concentrated around flooded timber and vegetation. The spawn is not too far away and the fish will be moving to the rocky banks shortly for this annual event. They can easily be caught using a leech or a worm fished under a bobber in 2-3 feet of water around the Cawker City causeway, Granite Creek causeway, and rocky shorelines in the state park area.
TUTTLE CREEK: 72 degrees, clear, 1.1 feet high Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife reports: no updated fishing report submitted from week to week. Last week’s report: crappie – good on jigs or minnows in shallow water, Channel catfish – biting very good, try cut bait or liver; white bass – fair to good along the dam and rocky points; blue catfish – fair on shad sides, be sure to check any blue catfish for a yellow tag in its back and report the tag number and the general location of the catch to (785) 539-7941 or email@example.com. A big THANK YOU to all who report their catch! Special note from Tyler: If you’re a social media user, the “Northeast Kansas area Fishing” Facebook group is a great place to find daily updates about the lake.
WYANDOTTE: upper 70s, clear, normal. Outlook: Wyandotte Boat Rental reports: bass – remains good lake wide; crappie – still slow with minimal reports; walleye – have been caught on minnows in the past week in 12 feet of water; all other species – no reports.
WILSON: mid to high 70s, clear, 0.5 feet high Outlook: Knothead’s Bait Shop reports: everything has remained about the same as last week, but have seen more reports on walleye and crappie. Stripers – good out on the west end on bucktails; bass – both largemouth and smallmouth are getting better each day; walleye – have been picking up; white bass – picking up along the dam and good sizes being caught, try small swimbaits or rooster tails; white perch – good up in Hell Creek; all other species – slow or no reports.
EL DORADO: low 70s, mostly clear, stained on wind-blown points, 4.1 feet low. Outlook: Wildlife, Parks & Tourism reports: blue catfish - fair on fresh cut bait near wind-blown points and shorelines. Anglers are also finding them on edges of river channels in the upper half of the lake. There is a 25 to 35-inch protective slot limit with daily creel limit of five per day with no more than two 35 inches and longer. Wipers – good near shallow, rocky points and rocky shorelines where the wind is blowing in. Jig and plastics and crank baits are effective. Be sure to properly ID your catch as there is there is an 21-inch minimum length limit and 2/day creel limit on wiper. White bass – fair and same as wipers. Walleye – fair and improving. Beginning to see walleye on the flats in water 6 to 9 feet deep. Jigs tipped with leeches or worms drifted on the flats or worked vertically near humps or ledges is producing fish. Trolling larger crankbaits on wind-blown shorelines or points is also getting some bites. The walleye length limit is 21-inches with a 2/day creel limit. White Perch – fair using worm on humps and ledges in 8 to 11 feet of water. White crappie – good catches reported this week. Lots of fish being caught from shore 4 to 7 feet deep on minnows and jigs. Channel catfish – fair along windy shorelines on shad sides. Attention Boaters: Use caution launching boats at the wildlife area boat ramps in the upper ends of the lake. The Jumping Bridge and Hackler boat ramps continue to suffer from low water. Larger boats with longer trailers requiring deeper water may have difficulty launching with current low water conditions. Also use caution launching at the Area 1 boat ramp within the state park.
STOCKTON: low to mid 70s, clear, 2.5 feet high. Outlook: Stockton Lake Guide Service reports: walleye - excellent on worms in 10 feet of water; crappie - fair on flicker shad crank baits where fish are suspended at 15 feet in 30-40 feet of water; bass - fair to good along spawning banks on jigs and worms; catfish - beginning their spawn and can be caught on nightcrawlers and shad sides near points and long, rocky banks. Special 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.
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.