Fishing report: Recent area storms make fishing hit or miss

Clinton, Mo.-area resident Denny Hartmann with some one-pound black crappie caught near Truman Lake while spider-rigging with minnows.
Clinton, Mo.-area resident Denny Hartmann with some one-pound black crappie caught near Truman Lake while spider-rigging with minnows. Submitted photo

Here is the fishing report for Kansas and Missouri lakes and reservoirs for the week of Sept. 5, 2018.


BULL SHOALS: low to mid 80s, clear, about 3.7 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. Deep bite is starting to slow down a bit. Jigs are starting to pick up and throwing big worms in brush piles has been the ticket lately too. There’s been a good spook bite early in the morning. Try multiple techniques throughout the day to find active fish. 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. On the White, we had little generation with wadable water every day. The hot spot has been Rim Shoals. There are still a few 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: 50 degrees, clear (12 feet), generation is changing with temperature, hotter days have seen more in the afternoon Outlook: Lilleys’ Landing reports: The dissolved oxygen in the water varies widely, but in general has been very good. We bought a D.O. meter so we could keep an eye on the levels and have found readings between 5.9 and 9.1 p.p.m. which is great. This should be a banner fall season for both rainbows and browns. We are already seeing large browns in the trophy area as well as very good quality rainbows being caught mid-lake. On bright, sunny days, wind is almost always the key to the bite. Look for corners with wind coming around it and you’ll likely find feeding rainbows under the surface at about five feet deep. On the fly rod, try throwing a two-fly rig with a #14 green zebra midge, gold head and wire, and a #16 red zebra midge with a gold head, gold wire, fishing it under a float five feet deep. Rio 6x tippet works well. They will take a small micro jig or marabou jig under a float, too. Try the same setup with two-pound line and a sculpin or ginger micro jig or a 1/100th-ounce brown or sculpin jig with an orange head. Using two-pound line is essential, too. Trilene XL clear two-pound line works well. If you want to throw a jig, using a 1/32nd- or 1/16th-ounce, sculpin/ginger or brown/burnt orange jig and two-pound line is catching a lot of rainbows around Lilley’s. This setup is best to use early and late in the day, or mid-day if the wind is up. But if you’re throwing it in wind, cast directly against or with the wind. The lower trophy area has a lot of trout right now. There’s some good-sized rainbows, but most are in the smaller range - less than 14 inches. These trout seemed to be pretty smart and are accustomed to natural foods such as small minnows, sculpin, midges and scuds. The brown trout make a ceremonial run up the lake in the fall for spawning. They will move up close to the dam in September and linger for a couple of weeks before they head back down. It does seem like sculpins are a big part of brown trout’s diet these days. So throwing jigs and sculpin flies should do the trick when fishing for browns this fall. Trout are still keying in on midge flies like the zebra, wd40’s, soft hackles, cracklebacks and chili peppers. Join Southwest Missouri Area Fishing Facebook group for fishing updates from an engaged membership.

NORFORK: low to mid 80s, stained, about 3.7 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 70-80 feet down on main lake flats using white, 1 oz Bink’s spoon or trolling, topwater bite has slowed down; white bass - acres of them are surfacing early in the morning; 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: 81 degrees, clear, about normal Outlook: Longview Marina reports: things have been pretty slow. Crappie are okay at the dock and on the main lake with a few reports back in the coves near timber, mostly small fish still. Still seeing them 7 feet down in 15 feet of water. It might take you a bit to get through the smaller ones, but quality fish can be found. Catfish are still biting very well on chicken liver or cut shad, some really nice channels and flatheads have been caught in the past week; 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. Bass are slow, try on hard bottom banks, a really big 8 pound bass was caught in last week’s buddy bass tournament. No weekend or Wednesday dock fishing available until the fall. Fishing is available from the marina between 7am-8:00 pm Monday through Friday. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook group for daily updates.

POMME DE TERRE: 82 degrees, 6 feet of clarity, a little high. Outlook: Muskie Guide Service reports: some muskie have been caught in the last week, but haven’t heard much about any other species.

LAKE OF THE OZARKS: upper 70s/low 80s, 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: bluegill fair on worms; fishing pressure has slowed down this week. All other species slow.

STOCKTON: 80 degrees, clear, about 3 feet low. Outlook: Stockton Lake Guide Service reports: white bass - excellent on roadrunners on main lake flats if they are surfacing; crappie - fair on jigs and minnows in brush piles in 20 feet of water up the river arms; walleye - poor, try nightcrawlers in 17-25 feet of water on flats and points; bass - fair on large plastics and jigs in brush piles 15-20 feet deep; catfish - very good on fresh caught shad drift fishing along the flats from 7 to 25 feet of water. Join Southwest Missouri Area Fishing Facebook group for fishing updates from an engaged membership.

JACOMO: upper 70s/low 80s, clear, a little low. Outlook: Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook group reports: crappie – 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 in the evenings all over the lake and shutting off before dark. Use small jigs, road runners, or crankbaits. One report of catching nice whites from the beach throwing a whopper plopper. Largemouth – fair. The topwater bite has been picking up in the evening in shallow water. Try chatterbaits or jigs worked around the grass and wood cover. 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, try trolling crankbaits or vertical jigging nightcrawlers around windy points. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.

BLUE SPRINGS: upper 70s/low 80s, clear, 1 foot low Outlook: Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group reports: multiple flatheads and large wipers have been caught in last week. Crappie – slow over main lake brush on minnows and jigs; largemouth – good to excellent late on topwater in the shallow near cover. Also try jigs worked along rocky banks or 10-inch Texas-rigged worm,; 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. 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: bass – good to very good. The top water bite early and late is picking back up. Fish are starting to move deeper during the day with a good bite 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 been very good. They’re also hitting a jigging or flutter spoon very well. Anglers are getting them on big worms up the James River. 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: upper 70s/low 80s, murky, 0.2 feet high. Outlook: Jeff Faulkenberry’s Endless Season Guide Service reports: changing weather has made the blues and crappie a little more difficult lately. Blue catfish - still spotty, try drifting and looking for them in 15-18 feet of water, they will be moving to their fall pattern soon; crappie - fair and still on summer pattern. Look for them on flats and picking them up deeper, have been finding them recently 10 feet down in 10-18 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: low 80s, clear, about 2.5 feet low and rising. Outlook: Burton’s Bait and Tackle reports: much has remained the same. Be careful navigating the lake as some boaters are tearing up lower units on trees due to low water. Bass - fair and has been like a rollercoaster lately. Many fishermen are struggling and brush pile fishing is slowing down. Many fish seemed to have moved shallow near shallow grass. Topwater is restricted to early and late. Walleye - slow. Try near shallow, main lake points using shallow running crankbaits, rattle traps, nightcrawlers on a bottom bouncer, and Flicker Shad crankbaits 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. Several reports finding them near bridges and timber 18 feet down in about 22-25 feet of water. Catfish – lots of cats feeding on minnows on the surface in about 10’ of water. Stink baits or worms for the smaller channel cats. Cut baits for fewer bites, but larger channels and blue cats. The flatheads are eating the goldfish or bluegill on trotlines and limb lines. Shad, worms, or livers are the best, but as the water temps are going up the stink baits are also starting to produce channels. 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. Focus your efforts over by the dam or along windy points.

MOZINGO LAKE: upper 70s, 1-3 feet of clarity, 3-4 feet low. Outlook: Fishing With Nordbye YouTube channel reports: similar patterns as last week. Bass have been good. They are on trees, points, and sparse grass. Summer patterns are transitioning to fall 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 4” Beaver on the texas rig around trees. 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.


SHAWNEE MISSION PARK: 87 degrees, murky, normal. Outlook: Johnson County Park and Recreation District reports: trout - poor, try worms; crappie/panfish - fair on small jigs, minnows or pieces of nightcrawlers; catfish - good on cut bait; bass/wipers - fair on plastics.

KILL CREEK PARK: 85 degrees, murky, normal. Outlook: Johnson County Park and Recreation District reports: trout - poor, try worms; crappie/panfish - good using worms and small jigs or plastics; bass - good on plastics or crankbaits; catfish - fair using cut bait or dough bait.

COFFEY COUNTY: low to mid 80s, clear, full pool. Outlook: Coffey County reports: Channel cats were biting the best followed by blue cats and white bass. Smallmouth are being caught,but still slow. Largemouth are also being caught both in the trees and the weeds on topwater baits and bladed jigs, but has been slow.

MELVERN: upper 70s, visibility around 5 feet, 2 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 - good lake wide on shallow crankbaits, jigs and minnows. Channel catfish - fair on nightcrawlers, minnows, or cut bait lake wide; blue catfish - poor with a few being caught on cut bait or crappie entrails; walleye - fair to good with a few keepers caught on the south side of lake near points while trolling with small crankbaits or nightcrawlers around 15 feet or deeper.

CLINTON: 80 degrees, stained, about 1.6 feet low. Outlook: Kansas Angling Experience Guide Service reports: wipers/white bass - Good - recent rains have dipped the water temps into the mid 70s getting the fish more active for longer periods of time. Great fish being caught but still very window-oriented bites. Crappie – fair on jigs and minnows in 12-15 feet of water in standing timber; Walleye – slow, very scattered, deep; All ramps usable. Join Northeast Kansas Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily fishing updates.

POMONA: low 80s, stained, about 2.3 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; crappie - slow for just about everyone; all other species - slow or no reports.

PERRY: low 80s, clear on main lake, muddy on north end, 2.2 feet low. Outlook: Don and Tom’s Bait and Tackle reports: Thermocline has caused fish to move up shallow. Lots of crappie and catfish are being caught less than 5 feet of water. 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 – another tournament coming up soon, but most being caught right now are small. Look near shallow 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. Old town boat ramp is just about under water currently.

MILFORD: 75 degrees, stained, 1.3 feet high Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife reports: KDWPT last updated 8/28. All zones are in a “clear” status for blue green algae. 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 15-20 feet deep suspended near points, brush, and ledges on jigs and minnows; walleye – fair and scattered near flats, points or ledges about 20 feet deep using jigs, worms, and crankbaits; white bass/wipers – good along windy banks, humps, 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, 2 feet low. Outlook: Jayhawk Marina reports: lake is falling. Crappie – fair to good on jigs and minnows in 6-10 feet deep; channel catfish – fair 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: 89 degrees at hot water outlet, 85 on south end, slightly stained, low. Outlook: Linn County Park reports: bass - fair lake wide; channel catfish - have been very good; crappie - slow to fair in the last week around timber; white bass - some reports of them biting around the hot water outlet. There was a 66 pound blue caught in the last week on rod and reel and a 33 pound flathead caught as well.

GLEN ELDER (WACONDA LAKE): 75 degrees, clear, a little high. Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism reports: KDWPT last updated 8/31. 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: 78 degrees, mostly clear, 7.3 feet high. Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife reports: no major changes, last update was 8/23. 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: not much fishing activity in the last week. Bluegill - have been good; crappie – good 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: high 70s, mostly clear, about 1.2 feet high. Outlook: Knothead’s Bait Shop reports: crawdads have been a good bait for catfish and bass in the last week. Some nice flatheads have been caught in the spillway. 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 and are starting to school up chasing shad; 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 – have slowed down, try up in Hell Creek and you’ll find them in the deeply stained water; channel and blue catfish – fair to good, mostly on the west end.

EL DORADO: low to mid 80s, stained, 3.8 feet low. Outlook: Wildlife, Parks & Tourism reports: KDWPT last updated 8/31. 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 – 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 – few reports for white perch this week, look for them using worms, small jigs or spinners along humps and ledges in 8-12 feet of water. White crappie – large quantities being caught lately and they are quality, too, ranging from 12 to 15-inches. Most reports are coming from standing timber along channels or old roads dipping jigs 7-11 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 medium sized crankbaits (#7 and #9) trolled along breaks, windy flats, and old roads. Also, starting to pick up some fish on slab spoons or on jig and crawler, spinners, and trolled crankbaits. 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.