Outdoors

Fishing report: Most waters clear and warming in Kansas, Missouri

Eight-year-old Porter Anderson caught a 14-inch crappie just as the sun was rising recently. Pretty nice-looking fish!
Eight-year-old Porter Anderson caught a 14-inch crappie just as the sun was rising recently. Pretty nice-looking fish! Submitted photo

Here is the fishing report for Kansas and Missouri lakes and reservoirs for the week of May 16, 2018.

Missouri

BULL SHOALS: 78 degrees, clear, 9.9 feet high. Outlook: Guide Del Colvin reports: thermocline hasn’t started yet, but expected soon. Bass – most are in post spawn and a top water 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: no updated report submitted. Last week’s report read: 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: 48 degrees, clear, low flow 2,000-3,000 c.f.s all day Outlook: Lilleys’ Landing reports: large numbers of shad have come over the dam so trout are hitting crank and stick baits, white jigs and spoons. The Berkley pink worm under a float is the best below Fall Creek again. Starting to see some big midge hatches early and late in the day, try #16 red or black Zebra midge under a float for fly fishing. Also, #14 gray scuds in and out of the trophy area are working. Spoons are very good anywhere on the lake right now.

NORFORK: 76 degrees, main lake - clear, creeks – stained, 8.75 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 hot back in the creeks; walleye – have spawned out and slowed down; bass – good up in the brush.

LONGVIEW: 68 degrees, 2 feet of clarity, normal. Outlook: Longview Marina reports: crappie – continutes to be good around the docks in quantity and size. Quality limits of 10” fish or better are being caught; all other species – no reports. There will be no more weekend dock fishing starting this Saturday. 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 70s, 4 feet of clarity, about 2 feet high. Outlook: Muskie Guide Service reports: fishing has really slowed down. Bass – biting on a Carolina rig in 6-8 feet water; crappie – much slower and appear to have moved out to deeper water; all other species – slow or no reports.

LAKE OF THE OZARKS: 72 degrees, clear, about 4 feet low. Outlook: Gier’s Bass Pro reports: 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: 77 degrees, clear, normal. Outlook: Department of Conservation reports: largemouth - good on soft plastics and spinner baits; bluegill and channel catfish fair on worms; crappie – fair to good on jigs and minnows fished around brush; 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: 70 degrees, very clear, 2.6 feet high. Outlook: Stockton Lake Guide Service reports: 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: low 70s, very clear, about normal Outlook: Forty Woods Bait & Tackle reports: not much has changed in last week. Crappie – fair to good in shallow water using minnows and jigs; largemouth – fair 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. Blue gill are picking up as well. 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: low 70s, clear, about normal Outlook: Forty Woods Bait & Tackle reports: hybrids – still biting along the dam trolling and some people are catching them on the fly from the bank; crappie – still being caught shallow; channel cats – fair on chicken liver, worms, and 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: 72 degrees, clear, 1.5 feet high. 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: low 70s, clear, about normal. Outlook: Jeff Faulkenberry’s Endless Season Guide Service reports: crappie – excellent still, 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: low to mid 70s, clear, 1.8 feet low. Outlook: Burton’s Bait and Tackle reports: crappie – a lot of limits being caught along the banks; walleye – getting better along the dam and on main lake points; catfish – excellent on chicken liver or night crawlers; all other species – no reports.

MOZINGO LAKE: low 70s, clear, 4 feet low. Outlook: Fishing With Nordbye YouTube channel reports: bass – good near shallow wood and points. Some are in prespawn and some postspawn. They are biting Texas Rigs and jigs up shallow along with chatterbaits and squarebills. On pints, drag a wobble head style bait along the bottom. They have been hitting Tightlines UV Whisker Beaver style baits on the Texas Rig and wobble head. Crappie – spawning and biting well. Most are in 7-8 feet of water and can be found in 10-14 feet occasionally using jigs or minnows. Bluegill – bite is fair and are in prespawn mode. Best baits are worms, crickets, and panfish jigs.

Kansas

SHAWNEE MISSION PARK: 80 degrees, murky, normal. Outlook: Johnson County Park and Recreation District reports: trout – fair to good on worms or Power bait; crappie/panfish – good on small plastics or rooster tail spinners; catfish – fair on liver or dough bait; bass/wipers – fair to good on plastics.

KILL CREEK PARK: 81 degrees, murky, normal. Outlook: Johnson County Park and Recreation District reports: trout – fair using Power bait; catfish – fair on chicken liver or dough bait; crappie/panfish – fair to good on worms or small spinners; bass – fair to good on plastics.

COFFEY COUNTY: upper 60s/low 70s, clear, about normal. Outlook: Coffey County reports: White bass – continues to be excellent on crankbaits, grubs, bucktail jigs and small spinners thrown around wind-blown shorelines or points; smallmouth – fair to 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 – slowed down a lot in past week; catfish – fair on cut bait; all other species – no reports.

MELVERN: 69 degrees, visibility around 6 feet, about 1 foot low. Outlook: Melvern Lake Marina reports: crappie – good with large quantities found in and around established brush piles near docks and in Turkey Creek west of the State Park. Dark jigs and minnows are still best. Smallmouth - good to very 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 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; all other species – slow.

CLINTON: 72 degrees, clear, 0.3 feet high. Outlook: Clinton Marina reports: crappie – fair to good around the docks and along the banks; gar are being caught around the marina; 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: Lighthouse Bay Marina reports: 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: 71 degrees, clear, 1.2 feet low Outlook: Don and Tom’s Bait and Tackle reports: crappie – still going and some days are better than others. The spawn will probably still be going for another week. Some tournament anglers turned in great bags of crappie over the weekend, 1st place was over a 10 pound bag. Rock Creek continues to be one of the better areas. Channel catfish – are moving into the banks going after crappie eggs and biting well using live minnows or dead minnows; 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: upper 60s/low 70s, mostly clear, about normal. Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife reports: crappie – good on jigs, smallmouth – biting well near secondary gravel points and pockets on jigs, jerk baits, and crankbaits, wipers – coming up off and on and can be found chasing shad, try deer hair jigs and spoons. 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: 67 degrees, stained, about normal. Outlook: Jayhawk Marina reports: crappie – fair on minnows around the dock 4-8 feet deep, and fish are also spawning in shallows on the north side of the lake; channel catfish – excellent on chicken liver or worms in river channels; 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: 75 degrees, clear, full pool. Outlook: Linn County Park reports: bass – really great sizes are being caught with 6+ pound fish caught weekly. Full pool is allowing anglers to fish weed beds that wouldn’t be as accessible normally.White bass – nice fish are being caught; crappie – are slowly moving in shallow, but they’re getting there; blue catfish – solid sizes being caught when you can find them.

GLEN ELDER (WACONDA LAKE): mid to upper 60s, clear, a little high. Outlook: Wildlife, Parks and Tourism reports: no updated report submitted. Last week’s report said: 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: 70 degrees, clear, 1.1 feet high Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife reports: 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 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: 77 degrees, clear, normal. Outlook: Wyandotte Boat Rental reports: bass – remains good lake wide; crappie – has slowed down, but depending on the day can still be found; walleye – have been caught on minnows in the past week in 12 feet of water; all other species – no reports.

WILSON: high 60s, clear, 0.5 feet high Outlook: Knothead’s Bait Shop reports: Stripers – good out on the west end on bucktails, a 38-pounder was caught in the last week; 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: mid to upper 60s, mostly clear, stained on wind-blown points, 4.4 feet low. Outlook: Wildlife, Parks & Tourism reports:blue catfish - fair on fresh cut bait near wind-blown points and shorelines. 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.

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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