Outdoors

Fishing report: Prospects for area waters, plus tips on finding fishing Facebook groups

By Tyler Mahoney

Special to The Star

Trevor McDowell shows off a seven-pound hybrid bass he caught while trolling a crank bait at Truman Lake.
Trevor McDowell shows off a seven-pound hybrid bass he caught while trolling a crank bait at Truman Lake. Courtesy photo

Here is the fishing report for Kansas and Missouri lakes and reservoirs for the week of May 30, 2018.

Missouri

BULL SHOALS: low to mid 80s, clear, 10.25 feet high. Outlook: K Dock Marina reports: Bass – most are in post-spawn and a topwater bite has started, try spooks, poppers, or buzz baits. Medium crank baits, jigs, and small plastics in flooded brush in backs of coves are producing too; walleye – good to excellent on small to medium crankbaits in less than 10 feet of water. Also hitting spoons and night crawlers. Crappie – fair to good on live minnows and swimming minnow plastics, most fish are scattered down the banks and in coves around brush. 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 weight to get your flies down.

TANEYCOMO: 48 degrees, clear, low flow in the mornings with increases to 2-4 units most of the afternoon Outlook: Lilleys’ Landing reports: they've been drawing the lake down over night so in the mornings the lake is unusually low, use caution! Fishing has been very good overall. There are a lot of Rainbows in the lake and they are bigger than normal. They’re still wanting to chase something, especially early in the mornings. Spoons and spinners are working well, either throwing and reeling them in or trolling behind the boat. Trolling crank baits has been doing well with bigger fish. The Berkley Pink PowerWorm is still a must for anyone struggling to catch fish. Fish it 4-5 feet deep early in the morning, then move it deeper as the sun gets higher in the sky, around 7-8 feet deep. Use 2-pound line as tippet for more bites, but 4-pound is ok. Sculpin/Ginger and Sculpin/peach 1/16th oz Marabou jigs are catching big numbers of rainbows below and above Fall Creek in the mornings. Use bigger jigs when water is running more. The jig and float method with either a sculpin or ginger micro jig, on 2-pound tippet is catching good numbers of rainbows. A #16 to #18 weighted gray scud or a San Juan Worm or a Mega Worm should also work well, or try a Zebra Midge and a soft hackle if they are rising on midges. Wading below the dam, try the same flies.

NORFORK: low 80s, main lake - clear, creeks – slightly stained, 7.6 feet high. Outlook: Hummingbird Hideaway reports: stripers, hybrids, white bass – good first two hours in the morning on top water near main lake points and again at sunset, swimbaits and A-Rigs are also working well; walleye – good and being found inside sunken buck brush and along deep bluff lines where the channel is making a swing, try jerk baits, swim bais, and casting spoons; bass – good on topwater baits, flukes and jerk baits. In the mornings, work the shallow water that has sunken brush. As sun gets high, move to 10-20 feet and work the bottom with your plastics. Crappie – great under docks in the middle of the day and after dark. Small jigs, spoons, and minnows are your best bet 15 feet down.

LONGVIEW: 79 degrees, very clear (about 6-8 feet), normal. Outlook: Longview Marina reports: not much fishing activity over the weekend due to boating activity, but fishing was still about the same leading up to it. 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 top water, spinnerbaits, and crankbaits; all other species – no reports. No weekend dock fishing available until the fall. Fishing is available from the marina between 7am-8:00pm 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: mid 80s, clear, about 3.6 feet high. Outlook: Muskie Guide Service reports: fishing has continued to be slow from week to week. Not much word on any species biting well except for bass. Thermocline is starting and sitting about 24 feet.

LAKE OF THE OZARKS: 78 degrees, stained, about normal. Outlook: Gier’s Bass Pro reports: all the spawning is over and everything is back out on the main lake and in brush piles. Crappie – look for them 15-20 feet deep on minnows and jigs. Bass – will be in the same areas as the crappie, try using worms, brush hogs, and jigs. Still not much word on catfish.

REED AREA: 82 degrees, clear, normal. Outlook: Department of Conservation reports: bluegill - fair on worms. Channel catfish - fair on worms and prepared baits; 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: high 70s/low 80ss, very clear, 2.8 feet high. Outlook: Stockton Lake Guide Service reports: walleye – excellent, but need to catch them early in the morning if there’s no wind. Jig and night crawlers on points in 8-13 feet has been most productive. Crappie – good 12-15 feet down in 50 feet of water trolling with Flicker Shad #6 size, make sure you don’t exceed 1.3 mph. Catfish – very good using shad sides on points and rip rap. 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/low 80s, clear with a little cloudiness to it, about normal Outlook: Forty Woods Bait & Tackle reports: crappie – fair over main lake brush on shiners; largemouth – fair on spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, and shiners, also try throwing a Ned Rig along gravelly drop offs and flats; channel catfish – fair on cut shad or liver; bluegill – good on waxworms, crickets, or riverworms; walleye – fair trolling leeches, but can be caught trolling crankbaits or vertical jigging night crawlers around windy points. 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/low 80s, clear, about normal Outlook: Forty Woods Bait & Tackle reports: crappie – fair over main lake brush on shiners and jigs; largemouth – fair on shiners or jigs; channel catfish – fair on cut shad, liver or nightcrawlers; bluegill – good on waxworms, crickets, and riverworms; hybrids – fair trolling around the dam. 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: low to mid 80s degrees, clear, about normal. Outlook: Eric Prey of Focused Fishing Guide Service reports: bass – continues to be very good. The top water bite early in the morning is lasting about an hour or a little longer if it’s cloudy. Fish are starting to move deeper during the day and can be caught on a Ned Rig, Shaky Head, or a drop shot rig. Many fish are being pulled from gravel ridges in 25-30 feet of water. White bass – good if you can find them, try having a jigging spoon or top water tied on so you can cast to them quickly when they start schooling; bluegill – really moving onto beds up in the rivers and behind boat docks.

TRUMAN: upper 70s/low 80s, upper lake – murky, lower lake - clear, 4.5 feet high. Outlook: Jeff Faulkenberry’s Endless Season Guide Service reports: Crappie – very good on just about every method you want to try. Most fish have moved back off the banks now. Bite is best on minnows or jigs. Catfish – very good on cut shad, starting to pick them up drifting; largemouth – still very good and suspending in deeper water; white bass – being seen at the surface; hybrids – very good using shad. 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: high 70s/ low 80s, clear, 1.8 feet low. Outlook: Burton’s Bait and Tackle reports: crappie – have really diminished in last week. They are deeper now and moving into their summer pattern. Walleye – have really picked up and biting well. Try near shallow, main lake points using crank baits, rattle traps, night crawlers on a bottom bouncer, and Flicker Shad crank baits in 10 feet or less. Catfish – excellent with channels moving in shallow to feed on crappie eggs. Some big flatheads have been caught on goldfish in the past week.

MOZINGO LAKE: mid to upper 70s, 1-3 feet of clarity, 4 feet low. Outlook: Fishing With Nordbye YouTube channel reports: bass – good near points and shallow wood. Most fish are in postspawn. Try using Texas rigs and jigs 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 – good and the spawn is over. They are migrating back out to deeper water. Try fishing next to deeper trees in coves toward main lake or brush piles. The bite has been good. Most crappie are 7-8" with an occasional crappie between 10-14". Crappie jigs or minnows are best. Bluegill – good and getting better. They are getting ready to spawn and they are up shallow in the backs of coves. Best baits are worms, crickets, and panfish jigs.

Kansas

SHAWNEE MISSION PARK: 82 degrees, murky, normal. Outlook: Johnson County Park and Recreation District reports: trout – poor, try Powerbait; crappie/panfish – poor to fair on small plastics or rooster tail spinners; catfish – fair to good on liver, cut bait, or dough bait; bass/wipers – fair on plastics and jigs.

KILL CREEK PARK: 82 degrees, murky, normal. Outlook: Johnson County Park and Recreation District reports: trout – poor, try Powerbait; catfish – fair to good on chicken liver, cut bait, or dough bait; crappie/panfish – poor to fair on worms or small plastics and spinners; bass – good on plastics.

COFFEY COUNTY: hot water outlet - 102, main lake - mid 80s, clear, about normal. Outlook: Coffey County reports: 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; white bass – slowed down a bit, but still good on crankbaits, grubs, bucktail jigs and small spinners thrown around wind-blown shorelines or points; wipers – fair and caught on similar methods as whites; crappie – slow; catfish – fair to good for both channels and blue cats on cut bait; all other species – no reports.

MELVERN: 73 degrees, visibility around 6 feet, about 1.25 feet low. Outlook: Melvern Lake Marina reports: crappie – anglers are finding fair quantities of large crappie in and around established brush piles and in Turkey Creek west of the State Park. Dark jigs and minnows are still best. Smallmouth - 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 to good lake wide on jigs and minnows. Channel catfish - good to very good using nightcrawlers, minnows or cut bait lake wide. Blue Catfish - fair on cut bait or crappie entrails. Walleye - good and all sizes have been very active with several keepers caught on the northwest end of the lake in the shallow flats while trolling with small crankbaits or nightcrawlers.

CLINTON: 75 degrees, murky, about normal. Outlook: Clinton Marina reports: crappie – fair to good around the docks in 12 feet of water; catfish – have been hearing more and more being caught in last week; 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: mid to upper 70s, very clear, about 1 foot low. Outlook: Lighthouse Bay Marina reports: walleye – have been biting very well; crappie – good, but fishing activity has been slow due to heat; catfish – have been excellent; all other species – slow or no reports.

PERRY: upper 70s/low 80s, clear, about 1 foot low Outlook: Don and Tom’s Bait and Tackle reports: fishing activity was pretty slow due to boating activity. Channel catfish - good on the rocks using worms, shrimp, or prepared baits; crappie – evening bite has seen the best activity, 8-10 feet deep on black/chartreuse and red/chartreuse; 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: 75 degrees, mostly clear, about 1 foot low Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife reports: walleye – fair to good on and near flats using jigs, worms, and crankbaits; crappie – good five 5-10 feet deep near points, brush, and spawning bays on jigs and 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: 75 degrees, clear, about normal. Outlook: Jayhawk Marina reports: Everything has remained about the same, there wasn’t much fishing on activity with all the boating traffic from Memorial Day weekend. Crappie – fair on minnows around the dock 4-10 feet deep, spawn is over and they are starting to move back deeper; 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: mid to high 80s, 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 over the weekend, 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. Still not much on crappie.

GLEN ELDER (WACONDA LAKE): mid to upper 70s, clear, about normal. 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 to excellent 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 still in 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, crankbaits, 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, 1.2 feet high Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife reports: crappie – good on jigs or minnows in 2-5 feet of water along any rocky banks or towards the backs of coves in the lower part of the reservoir. The dam has been good too, and the spawn is expected to last until late May. Largemouth bass – slow, but coves in the southern third of the reservoir have decent populations of bass and McIntyre Cove tends to produce the best. Channel catfish – fair to good good, try cut bait or liver; white bass – fair to good along the dam and rocky points; blue catfish – slow to 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! Saugeye – fair and the river pond has been the best place for them so far this year. There is a 15-inch minimum length limit on the reservoir, but it does not apply to saugeye in the river pond or at the “tubes”. 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: low 80s, clear, normal. Outlook: Wyandotte Boat Rental reports: a big flathead was caught in the past week weighing 39 pounds. Not as much fishing activity due to boater activity. 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: Walleye were very good in the past week. Crappie – has picked up a lot in the past week. Stripers – fair out on the west end on bucktails; bass – both largemouth and smallmouth are getting better each day; white perch – good up in Hell Creek; all other species – slow or no reports.

EL DORADO: mid to upper 70s, mostly clear, stained on wind-blown points, 4.1 feet low. Outlook: Wildlife, Parks & Tourism reports: blue catfish - fair on fresh cut bait. Anglers are 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 a 21-inch minimum length limit and 2/day creel limit on wiper. White bass – fair and same as wipers. Walleye – fair to good on main lake points and flats in 6-9 feet. 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 in 7-11 feet of water near timber or brush using 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.

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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