Catch of the Week
When Harry Carr caught a 9-pound, 3-ounce bass at Smithville Lake in 2000, he set a record for the biggest largemouth ever caught in the Burton’s Bait and Tackle tournament circuit.
Still, he sensed that that mark wasn’t safe. Someone would surely break that record at a well-known bass lake such as Smithville, he reasoned.
But he didn’t think he would be the one to do it.
It happened Sunday when Carr reeled in a 9-pound, 4-ounce bass in a Burton’s tournament.
“It was almost exactly 15 years ago to the day,” said Carr, 66, who lives in Blue Springs. “That was an April tournament, just like this one was.
“And I caught them both on spinnerbaits.”
The bass Carr caught Sunday was in the back of a wind-blown pocket in shallow water. He cast toward the bank, brought it out a ways and was greeted with a jolting strike.
“I had that fish to the boat three times, and it took off on me each time,” said Carr, who was fishing with his longtime friend and fishing partner Beetle Bailey of Kansas City. “It fought like crazy.”
But for Carr, it wasn’t the fish of a lifetime. He has caught three bass exceeding 10 pounds since the 1980s.
“This is the best time of the year for catching big bass,” Carr said. “The fish are shallow and they’re predictable.”
The best time of the year
For many outdoors enthusiasts, April is the best time of the year.
The crappies are in the shallows, spawning and accessible to fishermen. The tasty morels are popping. Turkeys are gobbling, inadvertently revealing their location to hunters. And the bass are active and roaming the flats.
It’s all happening now. Crappies at many reservoirs in Missouri and Kansas are on the verge of moving in, morels are being found in good numbers in the Ozarks, and the regular turkey season is underway in Kansas and poised to start Monday in Missouri.
The outlook for all of the above? Very good.
With timely rains and warm weather, the morels are thriving on the moist conditions. The turkey population in Missouri and Kansas is in good shape, and the crappie fishing has been very good at reservoirs such as Truman and Lake of the Ozarks. And outstanding bass fishing already is taking place at reservoirs such as Stockton and Smithville.
Kansas nonresident deer permits
Nonresident hunters who want to chase deer in Kansas are facing a deadline.
They have until April 24 to apply for deer permits for the 2015-16 season. Only online applications will be accepted. Go to ksoutdoors.com to apply. A nonresident white-tailed deer combo permit will cost $346.96. The mule-deer stamp will cost $102.50.
Fish kill at Kansas reservoir
Fisheries biologists are investigating a fish kill at Wilson Lake in central Kansas.
Officials discovered the dead fish in late March in Spillway Cove near the dam. They say up to several hundred fish may have been affected.
Of the fish that were found, the majority of them were smallmouth bass. Since the day they were found, the number of dead fish showing up has diminished.
Dead fish and water samples have been sent to labs for testing, and results are expected in early May.