Outdoors

Outdoors report: Improved fishing prospects, and a Missouri turkey tally

Eric Schupe and his nephew Hudson Broadus, 3,  show off a bass they caught while fishing for crappie.
Eric Schupe and his nephew Hudson Broadus, 3, show off a bass they caught while fishing for crappie. Submitted photo

Here is the fishing and hunting report for Kansas and Missouri lakes and reservoirs for the week of May 9, 2018.

Fishing

Missouri

BULL SHOALS: upper 60s, clear, 10.8 feet high. Outlook: Guide Del Colvin reports: fishing has been exceptional, and bass are spawning. Smallmouth – good from the main lake halfway back in the creeks using a Ned rig on outside of bushes and along gravelly points; largemouth – a majority are in spawning pockets along gravelly flats in the backs of creeks, try using a swimbait. Remember to fish the conditions. If there are bluebird skies and the water is choppy, try throwing a spinnerbait. If you have cloudy skies and choppy water, a topwater bait can be effective. Crappie are still moved up shallow. 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 from turbines, 63 degrees from flod gates, clear, running 3 units and 5 flood gates Outlook: Lilleys’ Landing reports: fishing is improving daily. It was super slow when the flow increased, but now seeing more and more shad coming over the gates and fish are taking shad flies and white jigs pretty well in the upper lake. Below Fall Creek, drifting with minnows is fair. Anchoring close to the bank on the slack side of the lake in slow current and fishing minnows behind the boat is working well. In another 3-4 days of flow, there should be a slowdown and fishing will get easier.

NORFORK: low 70s, degrees, main lake - clear, creeks – stained, about 10 feet high. Outlook: Bink’s Guide Service reports: white bass – still hot back in the creeks; walleye – have spawned out and slowed down; stripers – good in 25-35 feet of water on “Bink’s Spoon”; bass – good up in the brush.

LONGVIEW: low 60s, 1-2 feet of clarity, a little high. Outlook: Longview Marina reports: crappie – good around the docks in quantity and size. A 17.5” was caught over the weekend and they should be moving in shallow soon. 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: mid 60s, 3-4 feet of clarity, about 2.3 feet high. Outlook: Muskie Guide Service reports: crappie – are on the banks and biting extremely well; bass – moving up and are in 5-6 feet of water hitting best on a Carolina rig; all other species – slow or no reports.

LAKE OF THE OZARKS: 63 degrees, clear, about 4 feet low. Outlook: Gier’s Bass Pro reports: fishing has remained excellent. 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: 69 degrees, clear, normal. Outlook: Department of Conservation reports: crappie – good to excellent with good sizes and quantities caught. Tube jigs and minnows near brush piles are producing the most. Trout - fair on power bait, inline spinners and small jigs; largemouth bass - fair on soft plastics with several 4 pound fish and bigger caught in the last week; 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 60s, clear, 2.8 feet high. Outlook: Stockton Lake Guide Service reports: crappie – fair on jigs near the bank all the way out to 20 feet, there’s been a good evening bite with fish suspended at 15 feet in 20-40 feet of water using a flicker shad; walleye – fair to good on jigs and crawlers in 8-13 feet of water on main lake points, also try the outlet on the main lake side; bass – fair on spinner baits or jigs in 2-6 feet from secondary points to the back; catfish – fair on trot lines in the creeks on cut bait; all other species – 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: high 50s, stained, about normal Outlook: Forty Woods Bait & Tackle reports: crappie – good to very good in shallow water using minnows and jigs; largemouth – fair on chatter baits, plastic worms, Ned rigs, and jerk baits; channel cats – fair to good on chicken liver, worms, or cut shad. Blue gill are picking up. 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: high 50s, stained, about normal Outlook: Forty Woods Bait & Tackle reports: hybrids – getting better every day along the dam trolling and some people catching them on the fly from the bank; crappie – numbers are being caught shallow, and better sizes are picking up. A 17-inch fish was caught this past week. Channel cats – fair on chicken liver, worms, cut shad. Blue gill are picking up. 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: 71 degrees, clear, 2.6 feet high. Outlook: Eric Prey of Focused Fishing Guide Service reports: running a lot of water so there is quite a bit of debris in the river arms. Bass – continues to be excellents and the topwater bite is turning on with spooks or a PopR. Jigs, shaky heads, and Ned rig are all producing as well. Target fish in less than 15 feet. Both white bass and crappie have really slowed down.

TRUMAN: mid 60s, clear, 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. 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 to upper 60s, clear, 1.5 feet low. Outlook: Burton’s Bait and Tackle reports: crappie – spawning and being caught in good numbers along the banks using jigs or minnows; walleye – picking up and many anglers are getting them while crappie fishing. They are mostly on main lake points or along mouths of coves. Bass and catfish are fair.

Kansas

SHAWNEE MISSION PARK: 64 degrees, murky, normal. Outlook: Johnson County Park and Recreation District reports: trout – good on worms or Power bait; crappie/panfish – good on small plastics or rooster tail spinners; catfish – fair on dough bait; bass/wipers – fair on worms or plastics.

KILL CREEK PARK: 64 degrees, murky, normal. Outlook: Johnson County Park and Recreation District reports: catfish – fair on dough bait; crappie/panfish – fair on small spinners; bass – fair on worms or plastics.

COFFEY COUNTY: low to mid 60s, clear, about normal. Outlook: Coffey County reports: White bass – excellent on crankbaits, grubs, bucktail jigs, and small spinners thrown around wind-blown shorelines or points, over 1,000 whites were reported caught in last week; smallmouth – continues to be excellent 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 – fair near the bank, but slowing down; all other species – slow.

MELVERN: 68 degrees, visibility around 6 feet, about 1 foot low. Outlook: Melvern Lake Marina reports: crappie – good to excellent with many anglers finding quantities of large fish in and around established brush piles near docks and in Turkey Creek west of the State Park using dark jigs and minnows; smallmouth bass - 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; walleye - poor with a few short fish caught near the dam on nightcrawlers and trolling with small crankbaits; channel catfish – poor to fair lake wide on cut bait and nightcrawlers.

CLINTON: low 60s, clear, 0.3 feet high. Outlook: Clinton Marina reports: crappie – fair to good around the docks and along the banks; 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: upper 60s/low 70s, clear, 1 foot low. Outlook: Lighthouse Bay Marina reports: crappie – starting to bed along the shore in the clear water, but numbers are still out a little deeper; white bass – still being caught, but no reports of what size; all other species – slow or no reports.

PERRY: 67 degrees, clear, 1.1 feet low Outlook: Don and Tom’s Bait and Tackle reports: crappie – spawn is still on and many fish are being caught along the banks with good numbers of 12-13” fish. Rock Creek area has been the hottest over by DJ’s Marina. Minnows are working the best, but black and chartreuse plastic jigs are working well, along with Bobby Garland threadfin shad. Catfish – fair and being caught up shallow; 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: 64 degrees, mostly clear, about normal. Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife reports: crappie – fair to good in 5 feet near points, brush, and spawning bays on jigs and minnows; blue catfish – fair to good near wind-blown flats on cut bait in the upper end of the lake, channel ledges when little wind, and in the river and creek mouths with current; smallmouth bass – good near secondary gravel points and pockets on jigs, jerk baits, and crankbaits; all other species – slow to fair. 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: upper 50s, stained, about normal. Outlook: Jayhawk Marina reports: crappie – fair on jigs and minnows around the dock in 5-15 feet and starting to move shallow to spawn along the banks; catfish – good on chicken liver and worms in river channels; walleye – being caught on Hillsdale point using worms on a jig head. 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: 62 degrees at hot water outlet, clear, about normal. Outlook: Linn County Park reports: crappie – biting around the dam; bass – picking up and a 9 lb fish was caught in the past week; blue catfish – fair to good with large sizes caught; wipers – 250,000 fingerlings were stocked recently; all other species – no reports.

GLEN ELDER (WACONDA LAKE): low 60s, clear, a little low. 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 – fair to good with several limits reported over the weekend. 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. 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. Black bass – good 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 – fair with minimal reports, but anglers should be able to find the catfish in the backs of coves where the water is warmer, and the fish are feeding. Often times, catfish can be found in creeks and at the mouth of creeks where rains have increased inflow and allowed food to wash in.

TUTTLE CREEK: 60 degrees, clear, 2.3 feet high Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife reports: crappie – have picked up and anglers are catching fish in 5-8 feet of water with the spawn expected to last until late May; white bass – fair along the dam; 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 ely.sprenkle@ks.gov. 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: 69 degrees, stained, normal. Outlook: Wyandotte Boat Rental reports: walleye – have been caught on minnows in the past week in 12 feet of water; crappie – picking up but still out a little deeper; bass – good to excellent; all other species – no reports.

WILSON: upper 50s/low 60s, clear, 0.5 feet high Outlook: Knothead’s Bait Shop reports: much of the activity has remained the same. Stripers – good out on the west end on bucktails; smallmouth – some big fish being caught; walleye – have been picking up; white bass – picking up along the dam, try small swimbaits or rooster tails; white perch – good up in Hell Creek; all other species – slow or no reports.

EL DORADO: upper 50s/low 60s, mostly clear, stained on wind-blown points, 4.3 feet low. Outlook: Wildlife, Parks & Tourism reports: Blue catfish – fair and being caught on fresh cut bait on wind-blown points and shorelines. There is a 25-35 inch protective slot limit on blue catfish. Daily creel limit is 5 per day with no more than two 35 inches and longer. Wipers – good and being caught on shallow rocky points and rocky shorelines where the wind is blowing in. Jigs, plastics and crank baits are effective. White bass – fair and can be found and caught in same areas and on similar methods as wipers. White Perch – fair using worm on humps and ledges in 8 to 11 feet of water. White crappie – good and heating up with the arrival of the warmer weather! Use jigs and minnows on brush and near shallow cover in 6-7 feet along the shore. Channel catfish – fair along windy shorelines on shad sides. 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. Trolling larger crankbaits on wind-blown shorelines or points is also getting some bites.

Hunting

The Missouri 2018 statewide spring turkey harvest summary:

  • Total turkey harvest: 35787

  • Total adult gobblers: 29914

  • Total juvenille gobblers: 5367

  • Total bearded hens: 506

  • Top county: Franklin County (760 turkey)

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.

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