Muddy water in most lakes makes fishing a challenge

Here’s the fishing report for areas around Kansas City in Kansas and Missouri for the week of Feb. 28.


BULL SHOALS: 49 degrees, main lake clear, creeks dirty, 1.3 feet high. Outlook: Guide Del Colvin reports: lake rose quite a bit and fish are moving shallow. Largemouth picked up a lot in last week. Try crank baits or spinner baits in shallow water; walleye fair and getting better on jerk baits in the evening; crappie fair to good in brush piles. Below the dam: John Berry of Berry Brothers reports: On the White, the hot spot has been Rim Shoals. 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 (John’s 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 4 units all day Outlook: Lilleys’ Landing reports: lake came up 8 feet in past week; four days of hard generation expected after it started running Sunday night. Fishing was tough over the weekend with muddy water, but it has cleared now. Drift fishing will be your best bet now, getting bait to the bottom. Nightcrawlers, minnows, powerbait should be very good below Fall Creek. Scuds and San Juan worms should be productive above Fall Creek and you may try crank baits on the bottom. Table Rock has some shad dying, so shad are expected to be coming through the dam any day now.

NORFORK: 54 degrees, main lake stained, creeks murky, 2.6 feet low. Outlook: Bink’s Guide Service reports: same pattern has persisted last two weeks. Bass have been the best and continue to be excellent in the creek channel swings and turns using 1/8-ounce or 1/4-ounce spoon in 30 feet of water; crappie and walleye slow in brush piles at the bottom in 30 feet of water; stripers slow.

LONGVIEW: 41 degrees, 2.5-3 feet of clarity, 0.5 feet high. Outlook: Longview Marina reports: Crappie continue to be good around the dock on small spoons and tube jigs in about 20-25 feet; all other species slow. Fishing available around the dock during marina hours during 7am-1pm.

POMME DE TERRE: 40 degrees, muddy, 9.46 feet high. Outlook: Muskie Guide Service reports: fishing activity has been slow. Water is very muddy. All species slow.

LAKE OF THE OZARKS: 38 degrees, main lake stained, creeks dirty, full pool. Outlook: Gier’s Bass Pro reports: lots of water generation currently, once water stabilizes the fish are going to move shallower. Everything is about the same as last week, but expect significant changes by next week. Crappie good using jigs and jerk baits, still relating to shad balls in main lake; largemouth bass good on jerk baits or jigs on chunk rock points.

REED AREA: 38 degrees, mostly clear, lakes 6 inches low. Outlook: Department of Conservation reports: no report submitted. Pattern should be similar to previous week. Crappie fair using tube jigs and minnows near brush piles; trout good on power bait and small jigs; all other species slow.

STOCKTON: Low to mid 40s, main lake clear, tributaries muddy, 0.7 feet high. Outlook: Stockton Lake Guide Service reports: crappie fair on jigs in 18-50 feet of water under schools of shad.

JACOMO: Low 40s, stained, normal. Outlook: Forty Woods Bait & Tackle reports: crappie good on minnows and jigs around docks and over brush; walleye starting spawn phase with some being caught on grub jigs bottom bouncing or deep diving crankbaits; largemouth fair to good on shiners or paddle tail baits.

BLUE SPRINGS: Low 40s, muddy, normal. Outlook: Forty Woods Bait & Tackle reports: crappie good on small shiners and jigs lake wide; largemouth fair on shiners, paddle tail baits, and chatter baits; hybrids: fair drift fishing or casting umbrella rigs.

TABLE ROCK: 48 degrees, main lake stained, rivers muddy, about 1.3 feet high. Outlook: Focused Fishing Guide Service reports: things have changed a bit with the rain. The best bite for largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass are on ‘2.8 Keitech swimbaits’ in about 25 feet or less on mixed rock and gravel points. A few on the ‘Bass Pro Shops Tender Tube’. Most fishing is taking place midlake down to lower lake because of the muddy water. A lot of debris present in the rivers. Crappie expected to be slow until rivers clear up.

TRUMAN: 41 degrees, main lake stained, backs of creeks muddy, about 4.4 feet low. Outlook: Truman Lake Guide Service reports: blue catfish very good on fresh cut shad in shallow water and out deeper up to 25 feet; crappie very good spider rigging in main channel of creeks with double jig rig, pink/white and purple/chartreuse jigs. That pattern should continue until spawn.

SMITHVILLE: 33 degrees, clear, about 1.5-2 feet low. Outlook: Camp Branch Marina: crappie slow to fair around the docks; all others species slow or no report.


SHAWNEE MISSION PARK: No report available until next week.

KILL CREEK PARK: No report available until next week.

COFFEY COUNTY: Low to mid 60s at hot-water outlet, clear, about 3.5 to 4 feet low. Outlook: Coffey County reports:. Largemouth excellent; smallmouth good; white bass excellent; blue cats fair; all other species slow.

MELVERN: 36 degrees, visibility around 8 feet, 1.2 feet low. Outlook: Melvern Lake Marina reports: crappie fair numbers around the docks and in the heated docks using red or dark jigs. Numbers above 10" are increasing, particularly in early morning and mid-afternoon, mostly on the south docks. Smallmouth poor, but can be caught along the shoreline and riprap face of the dam using spoons and shallow crankbaits; white bass fair lakewide on jigs and minnows. All other species poor.

CLINTON: High 30s, murky, normal. Outlook: Clinton Marina reports: Crappie fair on jigs in 12-14 feet of water around the docks. Courtesy docks at all boat ramps in Bloomington Park have been pulled for the winter.

POMONA: 33 degrees, clear, about 1.9 feet low. Outlook: Lighthouse Bay Marina reports: Crappie and white bass slow to fair. Fishing was good up until Sunday. Days since have been slow. Catching numbers and big fish larger than 15”.

PERRY: 38 degrees, clear, a little low Outlook: Don and Tom’s Bait and Tackle reports: lake is wide open. Spillway continues to run a lot of water. Crappie and white bass good around the marinas and on main lake over the weekend. Focus on brush piles with tube jigs in orange/chartreuse, red/chartreuse, or blue/chartreuse. The Bobby Garland 3” live minnow slab slayer has been very productive. Due to limited staff, Perry Lake's Daily Lake Information page will not be updated from Saturday, February 24 to Monday, March 5. Please call the Perry Project office at 785-597-5144 to obtain current lake conditions.

MILFORD: 15 percent ice coverage, 34 degrees, clear, 2.8 feet low. Outlook: Vic Oertle Guide Service reports: the big ice is gone. There has still been little to no fishing activity on the upper lake to report. Fishing below the dam can be productive if they are running water, but the outflow has been low recently. Blue cats should be picking up soon.

HILLSDALE: 37 degrees, clear, about 2 feet low. Outlook: Jayhawk Marina reports: lake is wide open. Crappie fair with a lot of short fish being caught on jigs and minnows.

LA CYGNE: 50 degrees at the hot-water outlet, clear, normal. Outlook: Linn County Park reports: Bass fair; crappie good; channels slow; blue catfish good, with large fish being caught; all other species, no updated report.

GLEN ELDER (WACONDA LAKE): Low 40s, clear, about 1.2 feet low. Outlook: Wildlife, Parks and Tourism reports: no updated report, same pattern persisting. Crappie fair to good on small jigs and spoons near the river channel in 20-25 feet of water around established brush piles and marina docks; white bass good to excellent lakewide, with larger fish found west of the causeway and in Walnut Creek; wipers fair, and can be found in same areas as white bass; walleye good on jig and crawler around the dam, Harry’s Island, north shore points, and off the river channel between Schoen’s Cove and Cawker causeway; trout, fourth batch of trout was stocked on February 6 in the Glen Elder pond. Anglers can now catch fish in either the outlet area or in the pond. Anglers have been having excellent success using a variety of small jigs and inline spinner baits as well as salmon eggs, Powerbait, and cheese.

TUTTLE CREEK: 32 degrees, mostly clear, about 1.3 feet low. Outlook: Vic Oertle Guide service reports: dam construction has started to fix damaged areas to tubes along with the changes to the highway over the dam spillway. If you can navigate the roads, the water is open.

WYANDOTTE: Lake opens March 3.

WILSON: 33 degrees, clear (5-6 feet of visibility), about 0.1 feet high Outlook: Hines Guide Service reports: fishing has been slow. It’s been very difficult to locate stripers. Thin ice on water the last few mornings, but that is expected to stop with warmer weather. All species slow.

EL DORADO: Mid to upper 40s, clear, about 3.8 feet low. Outlook: Wildlife, Parks & Tourism reports: Just starting to see boats on the lake, but very little to report. Crappie should still be in wintertime locations and will soon be moving out to prespawn locations. Walleye will begin staging soon near the dam and off main lake, rocky points. Blue cats and channels will be working wind swept shorelines looking for winter kill shad.

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.