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Fishing report: Shallow topwater bass bite picking up in evenings at area lakes

George Hays (right), 86, with grandson Payden Hays, recently went out on George’s first trout-fishing trip. George’s second fish of the day was this giant 23 1/2-inch, 3 pound, 13 ounce rainbow at Lake Taneycomo.
George Hays (right), 86, with grandson Payden Hays, recently went out on George’s first trout-fishing trip. George’s second fish of the day was this giant 23 1/2-inch, 3 pound, 13 ounce rainbow at Lake Taneycomo. Submitted photo

Here is the fishing report for Kansas and Missouri lakes and reservoirs for the week of Aug. 15, 2018.

Missouri

BULL SHOALS: low to mid 80s, clear, about 3 feet low. Outlook: Del Colvin Guide Service reports: look for fishing to pick up on the front end of the thunderstorms. Bass – has been picking up with the rains moving through. Bass have been suspending in 20-25 feet down. Drop shot has been very productive. Deep bite can be good on spoon as well. Still schooling up on shad. Walleye – good and hitting bottom bouncers in 28-34 feet on bottom bouncers and crawler harnesses. Below the dam: John Berry of Berry Bros. Guide Service reports: The White has fished well. We had less generation with wadable water every day. The hot spot has been Rim Shoals. The hot spot has been Rim Shoals. There are sulphurs still 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 combination is a copper John (#14) with a ruby midge (#18) suspended below it. Use lead to get your flies down.

TANEYCOMO: 49 degrees, clear (12 feet), generation is changing with temperature, hotter days have seen more in the afternoon Outlook: Lilleys’ Landing reports: about the same as last week. The number one choice is the pink Powerworm on a small jig head, two-pound line fished under a float five to eight feet deep. Also doing well is the a jig-and-float using a 1/100th-ounce jig on two-pound line under a float from four to six feet deep. Colors: best is the sculpin or brown with an orange head, but other earth colors are working okay, such as black, olive and ginger. The sculpin/ginger 1/32nd or the 1/16th-ounce jig with a brown head on two-pound line is catching trout like crazy. The black/olive and plain sculpin are also producing, too, but not as much as the sculpin/ginger jig. If dam operators do start heavy generation again, go for big browns by throwing stick baits! Fly fishing: some say it’s not a “fly,” but the 1/100th-ounce jig under a float with a fly rod is a lot of fun with a lot of rainbows on the bluff channel side of the lake from Fall Creek’s dock down to Short Creek Tuesday morning this week. They also took a #16 red Zebra Midge under a float five-feet deep using 6x tippet. Below Lookout Island with a Zebra Midge has produced, but has been been good area for the 1/100th-ounce brown jig with an orange head. Scuds are working fine. Try a brown or tan, #14 or #16 if the water is off and larger if the water is running. If you find a chop on the surface, strip an olive or brown wooly bugger, a 56’er, a crackleback or a soft hackle. On the dock, nightcrawlers have been good, but Powerbait has been a bit better with pink and orange the best colors. An old favorite has made a comeback - Pautzsky’s Balls of Fire salmon eggs are doing very well, plain and gold label with gold glitter. Again, two-pound line is best for catching more fish. Join Southwest Missouri Area Fishing Facebook group for fishing updates from an engaged membership.

NORFORK: 84 degrees, stained, about 3 feet low. Outlook: Bink’s Guide Service reports: Walleye – fair in 30 feet on the flats or back in the creeks, many limits are being caught using Bink’s Spoons; stripers – excellent 40 feet down on main lake flats using white, 1 oz Bink’s spoon or trolling, topwater bite has slowed down; crappie – scattered, check under docks; bass – good on topwater baits in the first hour of the day, otherwise they’ll be deep in about 30 feet of water. Catfish - have been doing well in coves in 10 feet of water on cut shad.

LONGVIEW: low 80s, clear (about 2-3 feet), normal Outlook: Longview Marina reports: most species have been fair to good. Crappie are doing great at the dock and on the main lake with many reports back in the coves near timber. Look for them 7 feet down in 15 feet of water. Bass are slow to fair on hard bottom banks. Catfish are still biting very well on chicken liver or cut shad, a 10.75 pound channel was caught recently; white bass - good trolling along windy banks and points; some walleye have even been picked up around humps in the lake if you can find them on your graphs. 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 (6 feet), about normal. Outlook: Muskie Guide Service reports: all species are slow and still fish seen belly up along the shore. Nighttime bass tournament winning bag from the weekend was just over 12 pounds. They were getting them on worms 16 feet down.

LAKE OF THE OZARKS: 84 degrees, clear, about 2.5 feet low. Outlook: Gier’s Bass Pro reports: summer pattern still is in high gear. Not much will change until the temperature begins to cool down noticeably into the low 70s, which will likely be mid-late September. 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, low. Outlook: Missouri Department of Conservation reports: channel catfish - good on liver and prepared baits; largemouth bass - good on soft plastics and topwater early and late in the day; all other species - slow. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook group for daily updates.



STOCKTON: 85 degrees, clear, about 3 feet low. Outlook: Stockton Lake Guide Service reports: much has remained the same. Catfish – good to excellent on mud flats in 10-18 feet with nightcrawlers or cut bait; walleye – fair on flats in 20-25 feet of water, try bottom bouncers with nightcrawlers; bass – fair in brush piles in 15-18 feet; crappie – have really picked up and doing good, seem to be relating more to deep brush piles around 20 feet, try jigs or minnows; white bass - excellent in the evenings on rooster tails where surfacing. Join Southwest Missouri Area Fishing Facebook group for daily updates.

JACOMO: low 80s, stained, a little low. Outlook: Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook group reports: crappie – numerous reports of anglers having success trolling small crankbaits and finding fish down 7-13 feet in 15-20 feet of water, some crappie have been found in the middle of the lake relating to shad balls; white bass - schooling activity is really picking up in the evenings all over the lake and shutting off before dark. Use small jigs, road runners, or crankbaits. Largemouth – fair. The topwater bite has been picking up in the evening in shallow water. 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 – slow to fair trolling crankbaits or vertical jigging nightcrawlers around windy points. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.

BLUE SPRINGS: low 80s, stained, very low Outlook: Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group reports: crappie – slow over main lake brush on minnows and jigs; largemouth – fair on jigs worked along rocky banks, topwater has been good very early in the morning in the shallows, look for big cover; channel catfish – fair on small bluegill, cut shad, liver or nightcrawlers; bluegill – good on waxworms, crickets, and riverworms; whites/hybrids – fair to good with lots of surfacing activity in the mornings on the main lake. Also, try trolling in front of coves 15 feet down in 16-22 feet of water or look for them around the Blow Hole in early mornings after a rain as well. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.

TABLE ROCK: low 80s, clear, about 3.5 feet low. Outlook: Eric Prey of Focused Fishing Guide Service reports: no changes. Walleye - good to very good up the White River on jigging spoons 30-35 feet deep on main lake gravel points; bass – good to very good. The top water bite early in the morning is slowing down significantly. Fish are starting to move deeper during the day, the best bite has been on a drop shot rig 25-35 feet deep on main lake gravel points. Football jigs in 20-25 feet of water near gravel points has improved significantly. They’re also hitting a jigging or flutter spoon very well. Anglers are getting them on big worms up the James River. White bass – showing occasionally, try having a jigging spoon or top water tied on so you can cast to them quickly when they start schooling; bluegill – have moved into the shade of docks or on gravel points in 15-20 feet. Join Southwest Missouri Area Fishing for daily updates.

TRUMAN: low 80s, murky, 1 foot low. Outlook: Jeff Faulkenberry’s Endless Season Guide Service reports: patterns have remained about the same from week to week. Blue catfish - has slowed down a bit and still spotty, try drifting and looking for them in 15-18 feet of water; crappie - have been lights out. Look for them on flats and picking them up deeper, have been finding them recently 10 feet down in 12-14 feet of water. Minnows are best; White bass/hybrids – have been very good, look for them on main lake humps. The whites are surfacing morning and evening. Many people doing well on hybrids using live perch or shad. Largemouth - good to excellent. Pulling squarebills over the tops of trees 6-8 feet down in 12-18 feet of water has been catching a lot of good fish. Channel catfish - fair to good on flats and channel swings about 8-11 feet down. Cut shad or prepared baits will produce fish.

SMITHVILLE: 80 degrees, clear, about 3 feet low. Outlook: Burton’s Bait and Tackle reports: much has remained the same with white bass picking up. Be careful navigating the lake as some boaters are tearing up lower units on trees due to low water. 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 still decent with better quality fish showing up. You can pick them up trolling crankbaits like Flicker Shad through suspended fish in channels. You can find them in wood piles as well. 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 – have become more scattered and hard to track down, but have been coming up more in the evenings than in the mornings. 3-inch swimbaits have been picking up better sized fish.

MOZINGO LAKE: upper 70s/low 80s, 1-3 feet of clarity, 4-5 feet low. Outlook: Fishing With Nordbye YouTube channel reports: no change week to week. Bass have been good. They are on brush, trees, points, and sparse grass. Summer patterns. They are biting texas rigs and jigs, as well as chatterbaits and squarebills around grass. On points, drag a wobble head style bait along the bottom. They have been hitting a Tightlines UV 10” Worm on the texas rig around trees and brush piles. Crappie - good. Try fishing next to deeper trees in coves toward main lake or main lake brush piles. The bite has been good. Most crappie are 7-8” with an occasional crappie between 10-14”. Crappie jigs or minnows. Bluegill - good. Summer pattern. Bluegill are spread out, some shallow around grass, some deeper on points and next to trees. Best baits are worms, crickets, and panfish jigs. Join Northwest Missouri Area Fishing Facebook Group for more updates on Mozingo and more.

Kansas

SHAWNEE MISSION PARK: 86 degrees, murky, normal. Outlook: Johnson County Park and Recreation District reports: trout - poor; crappie/panfish - fair to good on small jigs or pieces of nightcrawlers; catfish - fair to good on cut bait; bass/wipers - fair on crankbaits.

KILL CREEK PARK: 86 degrees, murky, normal. Outlook: Johnson County Park and Recreation District reports: trout - poor; crappie/panfish - fair to good using worms and small jigs; bass - fair to good on plastics or crankbaits; catfish - fair using cut bait or dough bait.

COFFEY COUNTY: low to mid 80s, clear, high. Outlook: Coffey County reports: all night fishing tournament yield a ton of channels and blues. Winning 5 fish weighed right around 114 pounds. Channel cats were biting the best followed by white bass. Smallmouth are being caught, some caught on frogs in the weeds. Largemouth are also being caught both in the trees and the weeds on topwater baits and bladed jigs.

MELVERN: 82 degrees, visibility around 5 feet, 2.6 feet low. Outlook: Melvern Lake Marina reports: Crappie - poor, but catching a lot of small fish, some are finding a few keepers in and around established brush piles in Turkey Creek west of the State Park. Dark jigs and minnows are still best. Smallmouth - fair 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 lakewide on shallow crankbaits, jigs and minnows. Channel catfish - poor to fair using nightcrawlers and minnows or cut bait lakewide. Blue Catfish - fair on cut bait or crappie entrails. Walleye - fair with a few keepers caught on the north side west of state park while trolling with small crankbaits or nightcrawlers around 20 feet or deeper.

CLINTON: 84 degrees, stained, about 1.4 feet low. Outlook: Kansas Angling Experience Guide Service reports: wipers/white bass - shad are absolutely abundant everywhere in the lake and wiper and white bass fishing has been excellent. Crappie – fair on jigs and minnows in 12-15 feet of water in standing timber; Walleye – slow, still some fish being caught but very scattered; All ramps usable. Join Northeast Kansas Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily fishing updates.

POMONA: low 80s, stained, about 2.7 feet low. Outlook: Lighthouse Bay Marina reports: not much activity in the past week. Catfish - still good on chicken liver or prepared baits; white bass/wipers - catching them up shallow chasing shad; all other species - slow or no reports.

PERRY: low 80s, clear, 2.5 feet low Outlook: Don and Tom’s Bait and Tackle reports: white bass - have really taken off in the last week, try by Devil’s Gap where they’ve been catching 1-2 pound whites. A lot of people are using a lure called a “bubba” made at a shop in Manhattan, KS. White has been best color. Channel catfish - good on the rocks using worms, shrimp, or prepared baits. Sonny’s dip baits have been very productive. Devil’s Gap has been a very good spot. Crappie – tournament had some decent results with anglers finding them relatively shallow. The evening bite has seen the best activity, 10-13 feet deep near brush on black/chartreuse and red/chartreuse, Slough Creek in the timber has been good and Rock Creek Bridge has been a good area; blue catfish - not much word in the past week, but the big fish have been staying more shallow than deep; all other species – no reports.

MILFORD: 80 degrees, mostly clear, 1.2 feet low Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife reports: KDWPT last updated 8/8. Catfish – fair to good along channel ledges and edges of flats on cut bait, worms, and shrimp. Look for recently tagged blue cats! Crappie – fair to good 15 feet deep near points, brush, and ledges on jigs and minnows; walleye – fair and scattered near flats, points or ledges anywhere from 20-30 feet deep using jigs, worms, and crankbaits; white bass/wipers – fair to good along windy rocky banks and points chasing shad, try jigs, spoons, jigs, crankbaits and topwater; smallmouth – fair near deep gravel/rock points and banks on jigs, crank baits, and topwater lures; largemouth – fair near points and deeper coves with brush/rock on jigs, crank baits, spinner baits, and topwater lures. Join Northeast Kansas Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.

HILLSDALE: 82 degrees, clear, about 1.8 feet low Outlook: Jayhawk Marina reports: lake is falling. Crappie – poor, try minnows 15-20 feet deep; channel catfish – excellent on chicken liver, worms, or stink bait on the bottom and river channels. The fishing dock opens at 7am, kids 12 and under are free. Join Northeast Kansas Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.

LA CYGNE: 98 degrees at hot water outlet, 95 along the dam, clear, a little low. Outlook: Linn County Park reports: bass - Olathe Bass Club was out on Saturday and did really well with several big bass over 5 pounds; channel catfish - have been very good; crappie - fair to good in the last week around timber; white bass - picked up in the last week and some are getting them from the bank as well.

GLEN ELDER (WACONDA LAKE): low to mid 80s, clear, about normal. Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism reports: KDWPT last updated 7/26. Virtually no changes. Crappie – fair, 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 – fair with things slowing a bit. There will be a few caught by anglers trolling for white bass and wipers using a variety of crankbaits. There is also a shallow water pattern throughout the summer with anglers catching fish in 3 to 6 feet of water along the state park shoreline and in Walnut Creek. Trolling shallow running crankbaits works well as does casting swimbaits and slab spoons. 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. 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: 80 degrees, mostly clear, 1 foot high Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife reports: no major changes, last update was 7/17. 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 main lake points; catfish – fair to good, try cut bait or liver where the creeks enter the lake or around Fancy Creek with worms. Channels are up shallow feeding up with the water level coming up and will take a worm. Fishing for blues has been good in the river below the reservoir with fresh cut bait. 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! 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. 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”. Join Northeast Kansas Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.

WYANDOTTE: low 80s, clear, 1 foot low. Outlook: Wyandotte Boat Rental reports: patterns are remaining consistent. Bluegill - have been very good; crappie – have really picked up late evening or at night; catfish - have slowed down, better at night; bass – are very good and continue to be caught on a variety of baits along weed edges, including plastics worked along the bottom; all other species – no reports.

WILSON: mid 80s, mostly clear, but murky on west end, 1 foot high Outlook: Knothead’s Bait Shop reports: crawdads have been a good bait for catfish and bass in the last week. Walleye – have been picking up using swimbaits and dropping them to the bottom, look for them 8-18 feet or up in or around grass, trolling crankbaits or jigging nightcrawlers have been effective. Fishing your baits slow will produce the most. Stripers – fair to good in 30 feet of water on live bait, Lucas Point has been a good area and the night bite is still the best; black bass – both largemouth and smallmouth continue to be good, more smallmouth have been found lately, white has been a good color on baits. Bite for both species has really picked up on swimbaits; 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, clear to stained, 4.6 feet low. Outlook: Wildlife, Parks & Tourism reports: KDWPT last updated 8/9. Blue catfish - fair on fresh cut bait on river channel edges in upper half of the lake. Fish are also being found on timbered flats. 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 – fair to good casting shad imitating baits to surfacing fish has produced some nice wipers recently. Trolling crankbaits and vertical fishing spoons along the dam has also resulted in fish over the 21 inch length limit. Be sure to properly ID your catch as there is a 21-inch minimum length limit and 2/day creel limit on wiper. White bass – fair along windy shorelines and main lake points on twister tails and crankbaits. White Perch – fair using worms on humps and ledges in 8-12 feet of water. White crappie – fair with catches slowing recently. Most reports are coming from standing timber along channels or old roads dipping jigs 4 to 7 feet deep. Channel catfish – fair drifting fresh shad on the flats is a good tactic this time of year. Liver and stink baits fished on the bottom on windy points or shorelines is also producing. Walleye – fair on jig and crawler, spinners, and trolled crankbaits. Anglers are starting to pick some up on slab spoons as well. Good numbers of legal fish are being caught near main lake points and windy flats. 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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