Fishing report: With summer settling in, morning bite is best most places

By Tyler Mahoney

Special to The Star

Frank Cooper caught a four-pound largemouth bass on Sunday at Lake Jacomo using a Whopper Plopper.
Frank Cooper caught a four-pound largemouth bass on Sunday at Lake Jacomo using a Whopper Plopper. Submitted photo

Here is the fishing report for Kansas and Missouri lakes and reservoirs for the week of June 27, 2018.


BULL SHOALS: mid to upper 80s, clear, a little high. Outlook: Del Colvin Guide Service reports: they’ve been dropping the lake pretty significantly and lake is just a little high now. Fishing hasn’t changed much. 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 bouncers and crawler harnesses. Below the dam: John Berry of Berry Bros. Guide Service reports: The White has fished well. The hot spot has been Rim Shoals (this access is closed for repairs). There are sulphurs 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: no real change, fishing activity has remained virtually the same and very good. There’s a good bite usually until the fog burns off, then you have to work a little harder until the water turns on. Throwing jerk baits along the banks in the trophy area during high generation is a good way to get on some bigger fish. Hoppers are starting to get a few bites during high generation as well. There are good numbers of quality fish down by the bridges around the Landing. Pink power worms under a float even while water is running is a good way to catch a quantity of 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 okay. When the water shuts down, usually around 7-8pm, a really good bite happens. Try eating dinner a little early then get back on the water by 7pm for one more round of fish catching. They've been drawing the lake down over night so in the mornings the lake is unusually low, use caution! 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. Sculpin/Ginger and Sculpin/peach 1/16th oz Marabou jigs are catching big numbers of rainbows below and above Fall Creek in the mornings. 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: 87 degrees, milky, about 0.5 feet high. Outlook: Bink’s Guide Service reports: summer pattern is in full swing. Walleye – fair 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 on 1 oz Bink’s spoon, topwater bite has slowed down; crappie – done spawning and scattered, check under docks; bass – fair on topwater baits in the first hour of the day, otherwise they’ll be deep in about 30 feet of water.

LONGVIEW: 82 degrees, clear (about 3 feet), normal. Outlook: Longview Marina reports: have not heard much of anything in the past week. Still catching lots of crappie around the marina, but they are small. 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: low 80s, clear (4-5 feet), 1.1 feet high. Outlook: Muskie Guide Service reports: bass - there was a tournament over the weekend with quite a few 5 fish limits caught, but all other species remain slow.

LAKE OF THE OZARKS: low to mid 80s, stained, about 1.5 feet low. Outlook: Gier’s Bass Pro reports: summer pattern is in high gear. Not much will change until the temperature begins to cool in a couple months. Most fish are out in the main lake and in deep 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, but getting better.

REED AREA: 78 degrees, clear, normal. Outlook: Missouri Department of Conservation reports: bluegill - good on worms and small jigs; largemouth bass - good on topwater and crankbaits; channel catfish - excellent on chicken liver and prepared baits; all other species - slow.

STOCKTON: 85 degrees, very clear, 1.5 feet high. Outlook: Stockton Lake Guide Service reports: much has remained the same. Catfish – good on points with nightcrawlers; walleye – have slowed down a lot, try bottom bouncers with nightcrawlers in 15-18 feet; bass – fair in brush piles in 15-18 feet; crappie – fair and suspended in the coves.

JACOMO: low 80s, stained, 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, night bite has been good; largemouth – slow with storms blowing through, try spinnerbaits, jigs and shiners, Ned Rigs, or beaver tail plastics. Swimbaits have been picking up as well. Channel catfish – slow to 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 – slow to fair trolling crankbaits or vertical jigging night crawlers around windy points.

BLUE SPRINGS: low 80s, clear, low Outlook: Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group reports: crappie – slow over main lake brush on minnows and jigs; largemouth – fair to good on jigs worked along rocky banks, topwater has been picking up; channel catfish – slow to fair on cut shad, liver or nightcrawlers; bluegill – good on waxworms, crickets, and riverworms; hybrids – slow to fair trolling in front of coves 15 feet down in 16-22 feet of water, look for them around the Blow Hole in early mornings after a rain as well.

TABLE ROCK: 82 degrees, clear, about normal. Outlook: Eric Prey of Focused Fishing Guide Service reports: activity has remained virtually the same. 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. The swimbait bite has really picked up, try a 3” Kaitech 10 feet down over 25-30 feet of water. They’re also hitting a jigging or flutter spoon very well. Anglers are getting them on big worms up the James River. White bass – have a slowed down a lot, 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: mid 80s, murky, about normal. Outlook: Jeff Faulkenberry’s Endless Season Guide Service reports: blue catfish - are in full spawn mode and spotty but still catchable; crappie- 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; 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. Largemouth - good to excellent.

SMITHVILLE: 81 degrees, clear, about 2 feet low. Outlook: Burton’s Bait and Tackle reports: much 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 really slowed down. 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 – bite is improving with better quality fish showing up. You can pick them up trolling crankbaits like Flicker Shad through suspended fish in channels. They are deeper now and moving into their summer pattern. You can find them in wood piles now. 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. White bass – starting to show more on the main lake recently.

MOZINGO LAKE: low to mid 80s, 1-3 feet of clarity, 5 feet low. Outlook: Fishing With Nordbye YouTube channel reports: bass - good near brush, trees, and points biting Texas rigs and jigs, 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 starting to gather in brush piles. Try fishing next to deeper trees in coves toward main lake or brush piles. Most crappie are 7-8" with an occasional crappie between 10-14". Try either jigs or minnows. Bluegill - good and the spawn is over. Bluegill are spread out, some shallow, some deeper. Try next to trees. Best baits are worms, crickets, and panfish jigs.


SHAWNEE MISSION PARK: 80 degrees, murky, normal. Outlook: Johnson County Park and Recreation District reports: trout - poor but can be caught on worms; crappie/panfish: - fair to good on small plastics; catfish - fair to good on cut bait; bass/wipers - fair to good on plastics.

KILL CREEK PARK: 80 degrees, murky, normal. Outlook: Johnson County Park and Recreation District reports: trout - poor but some found on Power bait; crappie/panfish - fair to good on small plastics; bass - fair to good on plastics; catfish - fair on dough bait.

COFFEY COUNTY: hot water outlet - 102, north end – 95, main lake – 88 degrees, clear, about full pool. Outlook: Coffey County reports: all fishing has continued to be slow. Smallmouth, channel catfish, and walleye have been the most productive.

MELVERN: 81 degrees, visibility around 6 feet, about 1.7 feet low. Outlook: Melvern Lake Marina reports: crappie - fair with a few keepers found 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. Blue Catfish - fair on cut bait or crappie entrails; channel catfish - fair to good on nightcrawlers, minnows or cut bait lake wide; walleye - fair to good with a few keepers caught on the north and southwest end of the lake while trolling with small crankbaits or nightcrawlers around 18 to 20ft.

CLINTON: 83 degrees, murky, about normal. Outlook: Clinton Marina reports: not much has changed. Crappie – slow to fair on jigs and minnows in 12 feet of water; channel catfish – fair to good. 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: upper 70s, clear, about 2 feet low. Outlook: Lighthouse Bay Marina reports: Catfish – still biting on chicken liver or cut bait; walleye – have slowed down, white bass/wipers – more reports catching them up shallow chasing shad; crappie – slowed down significantly; all other species – slow or no reports.

PERRY: 79 degrees, clear, about 1.4 feet low Outlook: Don and Tom’s Bait and Tackle reports: virtually no change from week to week. Fishing has been slow, but 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 normal. Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife reports: last updated 6/20. Catfish – fair to good along channel ledges on cut bait, worms, and shrimp; crappie – fair 10 feet deep near points, brush, and ledges on jigs and minnows; walleye – fair on and near flats, points or ledges using jigs, worms, and crankbaits; white bass/wipers – fair to good along windy rocky banks and points chasing shad, try deer hair jigs, spoons, jigs, crankbaits and topwater; smallmouth – good near deep gravel/rock points and banks on jigs, crank baits, and topwater lures; largemouth – good near points and deeper coves with brush/rock on jigs, crank baits, spinner baits, and topwater lures.

HILLSDALE: 78 degrees, clear, a little low. Outlook: Jayhawk Marina reports: crappie – fair on minnows around the dock 15-20 feet deep in cover; channel catfish – excellent on chicken liver, worms, or stink bait on the bottom;. The fishing dock opens at 7am, kids 12 and under are free.

LA CYGNE: upper 80s degrees, clear, high. Outlook: Linn County Park reports: all fishing has been slow. Not many people have been out due to hot temperatures or storms.

GLEN ELDER (WACONDA LAKE): 82 degrees, clear, about 1 foot high. Outlook: Wildlife, Parks and Tourism reports: last updated 6/21. Crappie – fair, spawn is over and the fish are hanging out around the deeper brush piles and Georgia cubes. Minnows and jigs are most effective. There is also a summer pattern with fish hanging out near standing timber. They can also be caught using dead stick minnows. Walleye – good, anglers are still catching walleye on the west end using jigs tipped with minnows and nightcrawlers. There are still a lot of short fish being caught, but keepers can be found as well. White bass/wipers – good, there has been a fair amount of surface activity with mainly white bass, but also with a few wipers. Look for these fish chasing shad on calm days around the state park, dam, and south bluffs. There are also fish being caught around the outlet depending on how much water is moving through. Anglers should also target the windblown side of the reservoir as schools of whites will follow the shad close to shore. Trolling along the old highway 24 roadbed and in Walnut Creek has also been productive. Black bass – fair to good when fishing early in the day and late in the evening. Casting topwater lures has been very productive for both species, but using plastic worms, Senkos, and Ned rigs will also work well. 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. The catfish spawn is winding down and the fish will move off the banks to deeper water. Chumming activity will offer the best angling opportunities using a variety of stink baits. Anglers should also target moving water and fish for catfish up the rivers and near the outlet as water is being released. Set line anglers will have success on the west end and in the creek coves for both flatheads and channel catfish.

TUTTLE CREEK: 78 degrees, clear, 7 feet high Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife reports: no major changes, last update was 6/26. Crappie – fair on jigs or minnows. They are in their summer pattern and are scattered along rocky shorelines or in brush in 8-12 feet of water. White bass – slow to 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 to good, try cut bait or liver. Channels are up shallow feeding up with the water level coming up and will take a worm. 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 dragging a nightcrawler or casting jigs and crankbaits. 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: 79 degrees, clear, normal. Outlook: Wyandotte Boat Rental reports: patterns are remaining consistent. Bluegill - have been very good; crappie – have been very slow, but are being found occasionally; catfish - biting okay, better 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/low 80s, clear, 1 foot high Outlook: Knothead’s Bait Shop reports: walleye – slowed down, but still being caught, look for them 14-18 feet or up in or around grass, trolling crankbaits or jigging night crawlers have been effective. Stripers – fair to good in 30 feet of water on live bait, Lucas Point has been a good area; black bass – both largemouth and smallmouth continue to be good, 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 80s, mostly clear, stained on wind-blown points, 4.2 feet low. Outlook: Wildlife, Parks & Tourism reports: last updated 6/18. Blue catfish - fair on fresh cut bait on river channel edges and 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 worms, liver, and cut bait. 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.