Fishing report: Heat has slowed action on some lakes, but not all

The writer shows off a fine, 20-inch brown trout caught last weekend at Lake Taneycomo while dragging a Bomber Fat Free Fingerling Shad crank bait through Trophy Run as water was being run through the dam.
The writer shows off a fine, 20-inch brown trout caught last weekend at Lake Taneycomo while dragging a Bomber Fat Free Fingerling Shad crank bait through Trophy Run as water was being run through the dam. Submitted photo

Here is the fishing report for Kansas and Missouri lakes and reservoirs for the week of June 6, 2018.


BULL SHOALS: mid to upper 80s, clear, about 6.8 feet high. Outlook: Del Colvin Guide Service reports: Bass – are on their summer patterns now. Top water bite has started early and late, try spooks, poppers, or buzz baits. Deep bite is good on a drop shot or spoon in 12-30 feet off bluffs, docks, and channel swings. Still schooling up on shad. Walleye – good and hitting bottom bouncers in 24-35 feet on bottom bounces and crawler harnesses. 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 lead 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: no real change, fishing activity has remained the same. 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: 85 degrees, clear, about 4.5 feet high. Outlook: Bink’s Guide Service reports: really no changes from week to week. Walleye – have really turned on in 28 feet on the flats, many limits are being caught using Bink’s Spoons; stripers – moving deeper and showing up in 60-70 feet, topwater bite has slowed down; crappie – done spawning and scattered, check under docks; bass - fair 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.

LONGVIEW: low 80s, very clear (about 6-8 feet), normal. Outlook: Longview Marina reports: activity has really slowed down in the past week. Many people aren’t even catching small crappie off the dock. Some nicer bass have been picked up off points and woody cover. No weekend or Wednesday dock fishing available until the fall. Fishing is available from the marina between 7am-8:00pm Monday through Friday. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.

POMME DE TERRE: mid 80s, clear (4-5 feet), about 1.5 feet high. Outlook: Muskie Guide Service reports: running 50 cubic feet of water. Fishing has continued to be very slow. Thermocline is still sitting at about 24 feet.

LAKE OF THE OZARKS: 87 degrees, clear, about normal. Outlook: Gier’s Bass Pro reports: most fish are out in the main lake and in brush piles. Crappie – look for them 15-20 feet deep on minnows and jigs. Some reports of catching them trolling a crankbait in the main channel. Bass – will be in the same areas as the crappie and on main lake points, try using 10-inch worms, brush hogs, and jigs. The best bite has been at night. Still not much word on catfish.

REED AREA: 80 degrees, clear, normal. Outlook: Department of Conservation reports: bluegill - good on worms and small jigs; largemouth bass - fair on crank baits; channel catfish - fair on chicken liver and prepared baits; all other species slow. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.

STOCKTON: 85 degrees, very clear, 2 feet high. Outlook: Stockton Lake Guide Service reports: fishing slowed down a bit. Cappie – fair and can still be found on a flicker shad suspended at 15 feet of water; walleye – slowed down, but look for them on flats using bottom bouncers or points on jigs and crawlers in 14-17 feet of water; bass – very good on spinnerbaits and plastics along chunk rock banks in 8-12 feet of water; catfish – good on spawning areas using worms and cut bait.

JACOMO: low to mid 80s, clear with a little cloudiness to it, about normal Outlook: Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook group reports: crappie – numerous reports of anglers having great success trolling small crank baits and finding fish down 10-15 feet; largemouth – fair to good on spinnerbaits, jigs and shiners, Ned Rigs, or beaver tail plastics; channel catfish – fair on cut shad or liver, moving in along the banks on near rocky drop offs; bluegill – good on waxworms, crickets, or small pieces of nightcrawler; walleye – fair to good trolling crankbaits or vertical jigging night crawlers around windy points.

BLUE SPRINGS: low to mid 80s, clear, about normal Outlook: Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook group reports: things have remained the same mostly and maybe gotten slower due to the heat. Crappie – fair over main lake brush on shiners and jigs; largemouth – fair to good on shiners or jigs worked along rocky banks; channel catfish – fair on cut shad, liver or nightcrawlers; bluegill – good on waxworms, crickets, and riverworms; hybrids – slow to fair trolling around the dam, look for them around the Blow Hole in early mornings after a rain.

TABLE ROCK: 84 degrees, clear, about normal. Outlook: Eric Prey of Focused Fishing Guide Service reports: thermocline is developing at 28 feet. Bass – good to 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 or Shaky Head, but the best bite has been on a drop shot rig 25-35 feet deep on main lake gravel points. 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: low to mid 80s, murky, about 1 foot high. Outlook: Jeff Faulkenberry’s Endless Season Guide Service reports: no major changes from week to week. Crappie – starting to move out on flats and picking them up deeper, 16 feet down suspended in 25-40 feet water around shad balls. Minnows or jigs are best; catfish – fair but is day to day, getting ready to start spawning; White bass/hybrids – have been very good, look for them on main lake humps. Many people doing well on hybrids using live perch or shad.

SMITHVILLE: low to mid 80s, clear, 1.8 feet low. Outlook: Burton’s Bait and Tackle reports: much of the activity has remained the same. Bass – have been very good on brush hogs or jigs on both the main lake and in the rivers, look for 8 feet or less of water; walleye - have continued 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. Crappie – picking up trolling crankbaits like Flicker Shad through suspended fish in channels. They are deeper now and moving into their summer pattern. Catfish – still excellent in shallow, but expected to slow down over next couple of weeks. Some big flatheads have been caught on goldfish in the past week. Blues are being picked up too.

MOZINGO LAKE: low to mid 80s, 1-3 feet of clarity, 4 feet low. Outlook: Fishing With Nordbye YouTube channel reports: bass – good on brush, trees, or points in postspawn patterns.

They are biting Texas rigs and 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 Craw style bait on the texas rig and wobble head. Crappie – good and gathering around brush piles. Try fishing next to deeper trees in coves toward main lake or brush piles using jigs or minnows.. Most crappie are 7-8 feet with an occasional crappie between 10-14 feet. Bluegill - bite is good, and increasing. They are spawning, and they are up shallow in the backs of coves. Best baits are worms, crickets, and panfish jigs.


SHAWNEE MISSION PARK: 85 degrees, murky, normal. Outlook: Johnson County Park and Recreation District reports: fishing activity has been very slow due to heat. Lake is warmer than usual for this time of year. Late night catfish bite has been the biggest thing going in the last week.

KILL CREEK PARK: 85 degrees, murky, normal. Outlook: Johnson County Park and Recreation District reports: fishing activity has been very slow due to heat. Lake is warmer than usual for this time of year. Late night catfish bite has been the biggest thing going in the last week.

COFFEY COUNTY: hot water outlet - 102, north end – 95, main lake – 88 degrees, clear, about full pool. Outlook: Coffey County reports: hot temperatures have really slowed the fishing. Smallmouth and wipers were the best bite in the last week. Everything else was extremely slow compared to previous weeks. For smallmouth, try using crankbaits, jerkbaits or 4” stick worms rigged wacky style or 4” tubes fished around rocky habitat such as points and sharp drop offs.

MELVERN: 80 degrees, visibility around 6 feet, about 1.25 feet low. Outlook: Melvern Lake Marina reports: crappie – fair with a few keepers 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 - good lake wide on shallow crankbaits, jigs and minnows. Channel catfish - good to very good on nightcrawlers and minnows or cut bait lake wide. Blue Catfish - fair on cut bait or crappie entrails. Walleye - good with diversity of sizes very active lately. Several keepers caught on the northwest end of the lake while trolling with small crankbaits or nightcrawlers around 12 to 15ft.

CLINTON: 82 degrees, stained, about normal. Outlook: Clinton Marina reports: crappie – fair and has slowed down in the last week. Walleye – fair to good using jigs and nightcrawlers around the dock on the Northwestern bank by the marina. All other species – no reports. Courtesy docks at all boat ramps in Bloomington Park are in the water and ready for use.

POMONA: low to mid 70s, stained, about 1.4 feet low. Outlook: Lighthouse Bay Marina reports: not much has changed in the past week. It’s gotten a bit slower overall. Catfish – still biting on chicken liver or cut bait; walleye – remains good, white bass/wipers – very few reports in last week; crappie – fair, with several good report of big fish from 110 mile creek around trees at 4-5 feet in about 8-13 feet of water; all other species – slow or no reports.

PERRY: mid 80s, clear (north end was little more stained), about 1 foot low Outlook: Don and Tom’s Bait and Tackle reports: overall, fishing has been slow because of the heat. The quality of fish being caught has been very good though. Channel catfish - fair on the rocks using worms, shrimp, or prepared baits, but that bite is expected to slow down; crappie – evening bite has seen the best activity, 8-10 feet deep near brush on black/chartreuse and red/chartreuse; all other species – no reports.

MILFORD: 78 degrees, mostly clear, about 1 foot low. Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife reports: no major changes from week to week. Catfish – fair to good along channel ledges on cut bait, worms, and shrimp; crappie – fair 10 feet deep near points, brush, and spawning bays on jigs and minnows; walleye – fair to good on and near flats or points using jigs, worms, and crankbaits; white bass/wipers – good along windy rocky banks and points chasing shad, try deer hair jigs, spoons, jigs, crankbaits and topwater; smallmouth – good near gravel/rock points and pockets on jigs and crankbaits; largemouth – good near points and coves with brush/rock on jerk baits, jigs and spinnerbaits.

HILLSDALE: 78 degrees, clear, about normal. Outlook: Jayhawk Marina reports: recent rain may affect fishing. Crappie – fair on minnows around the dock 10-20 feet deep; channel catfish – excellent on chicken liver, worms, dough bait or stink bait 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.

LA CYGNE: 86 degrees at hot water outlet, clear, high. Outlook: Linn County Park reports: Bass – tournament over the weekend every person had a 5-bag limit and winning bag was 17 pounds. Catfish – flatheads have been good on trotlines in the last week. Big blues continue to be caught. Crappie – have moved out deep.

GLEN ELDER (WACONDA LAKE): 79 degrees, clear, about normal. Outlook: Wildlife, Parks and Tourism reports: no major changes week to week. Crappie – still fair to good. These fish normally spawn in 3 to 5 feet of water, but with the clear water on the lower end of the reservoir they may be spawning from 6-10 feet deep. Anglers should 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 this time of year. 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. 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: upper 70s, clear, 1.6 feet high Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife reports: crappie – fair to good on jigs or minnows. They are in their post spawn pattern and can be tough to find for a couple weeks. 10 feet down in brush a good starting point. White bass – fair along the dam and rocky points; 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. White bass – fair along the dam and rocky points; catfish – fair, try cut bait or liver. 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”.

WYANDOTTE: 84 degrees, clear, about normal. Outlook: Wyandotte Boat Rental reports: bluegill have been very good; crappie – have been very slow; catfish - biting very well in general, especially at night; bass – are very good and continue to be caught on a variety of baits, including plastics worked along the bottom; all other species – no reports.

WILSON: upper 70s, stained to murky, 1 foot high Outlook: Knothead’s Bait Shop reports: Things haven’t changed a whole lot. Stripers have been seen surfacing more. Walleye – have continued to be very good, look for them 14-18 feet or up in or around grass, trolling crankbaits or jigging night crawlers have been effective, Lucas Point has been a good spot; Stripers – slow out on the west end on bucktails; black bass – both largemouth and smallmouth continue to improve, more smallmouth have been found lately, white has been a good color on baits; white perch – good up in Hell Creek and you’ll find them in the deeply stained water; channel and blue catfish – fair to good.

EL DORADO: low to mid 80s, mostly clear, stained on wind-blown points, 4 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. White Perch – fair using worms on humps and ledges in 6-9 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. Walleye – fair to good on a ¼ oz. jig and crawler, spinners, and trolled crankbaits. Good numbers of legal fish are being caught. Main lake points and windy flats have been best. 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.