Fishing report: Temperatures at many Missouri, Kansas lakes dipping into the 70s

Travis Swift has been fishing Lake Taneycomo for 30 years. He caught his personal-best rainbow trout, measuring 25 inches and weighing 10 pounds, 12 ounces, on 2-pound test line with a homemade jig.
Travis Swift has been fishing Lake Taneycomo for 30 years. He caught his personal-best rainbow trout, measuring 25 inches and weighing 10 pounds, 12 ounces, on 2-pound test line with a homemade jig. Submitted photo

Here is the fishing report for Kansas and Missouri lakes and reservoirs for the week of Sept. 12, 2018.


BULL SHOALS: upper 70s/low 80s, clear, about 3.6 feet low. Outlook: Del Colvin Guide Service reports: fish are moving up on the bank a bit. Bass – the spinner bite is coming along with fish on the shore out to 10 feet. 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 Buffalo Shoals. 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), there has been a minimum flow of a half unit all day in the past week, but not sure if it will continue Outlook: Lilleys’ Landing reports: No changes. 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: 79 degrees, stained but clearing up, 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 85 feet down on the bottom 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: upper 70s, stained, about normal Outlook: Longview Marina reports:cCrappie continue to be caught in decent numbers, but mostly small fish. 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. No weekend or Wednesday dock fishing available still. 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: 76 degrees, 6 feet of clarity, about 0.75 feet high. Outlook: Muskie Guide Service reports: Muskies are picking up and hitting up shallow. Bass are turning on well too.

LAKE OF THE OZARKS: mid to upper 70s, clear, about 2.9 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. They have been hammering crankbaits on the main lake trolling around shad balls. 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: 72 degrees, clear, low. Outlook: Missouri Department of Conservation reports: largemouth bass fair on soft plastics and inline spinners. Crappie have begun to pick up a little bit this week. Try using inline spinners or tube jigs under a bobber. All other species slow.

STOCKTON: mid to upper 70s, clear, about 2 feet low. Outlook: Stockton Lake Guide Service reports: Walleye are fair on bottom bouncers using a crawler in 18 to 22 foot of water. Crappie are fair to good on minnows in brush piles, any place from 15 to 20 feet. White bass are surfacing in the evenings and early mornings and will hit about anything you throw at them.Your best bet is probably a spoon or roadrunners. Catfish are good on fresh shad in 12 to 20 feet of water. Black bass are fair on main lake points on plastics and jigs in 18 to 22 feet of water. Join Southwest Missouri Area Fishing Facebook group for fishing updates from an engaged membership.

JACOMO: upper 70s, clear, about normal. Outlook: Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook group reports: some jumbo flatheads have been reported in the last week. 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. Some nice whites coming from the docks. 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, clear, 1 foot low Outlook: Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group reports: some flatheads have still been reported. 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, some big ones continue to be caught. 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: upper 70ss, clear, about 3.3 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 are still 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 18-23 feet of water near gravel points has been very good. They’re also hitting a jigging or flutter spoon very well. The big worm bite is slowing down. Join Southwest Missouri Area Fishing for daily updates.

TRUMAN: 76 degrees, murky, 1.3 feet high. Outlook: Jeff Faulkenberry’s Endless Season Guide Service reports: Blue catfish - good on the lower lake. Crappie - about the same. Fair and still on summer pattern. Look for them on flats and picking them up deeper, have been finding them 10 feet down in 10-18 feet of water. Minnows are best; White bass/hybrids – not much word in the last week. Largemouth - good using spinnerbaits. Channel catfish - fair to good on flats and channel swings about 8-11 feet down. Cut shad or prepared baits will produce fish.

SMITHVILLE: mid to upper 70s, clear, about 2.5 feet low. 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: Lower 70s, 1-3 feet of clarity, 3 feet low. Outlook: Fishing With Nordbye YouTube channel reports: Bass have been fair. 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 jig along the bottom. They have been hitting a Tightlines UV 4” Jig Trailer on the texas rig around trees. Crappie - good. Try fishing next to deeper trees in coves toward main lake or main lake brush piles. 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: 84 degrees, murky, normal. Outlook: Johnson County Park and Recreation District reports: trout - poor, try worms; crappie/panfish - fair to good on small jigs, minnows or pieces of nightcrawlers; catfish - good on dough bait; bass/wipers - fair to good on jigs and plastics.

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

COFFEY COUNTY: upper 70s on main lake, at the outlet it’s 91, clear, above pool. Outlook: Coffey County reports: smallmouth bass were the best in the past week. Channel and blue cats have also been biting well. All other species slow to fair.

MELVERN: 75 degrees, visibility around 4 feet, 2 feet low. Outlook: Melvern Lake Marina reports: Crappie poor to fair and 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 to 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 - fair to good on nightcrawlers, minnows, dough bait 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: mid 70s, stained, about 1.7 feet low. Outlook: Kansas Angling Experience Guide Service reports: wipers/white bass - good and fish are moving into their early fall patterns and are stacking up good. The rain has stained the water enough to keep the fish more stationary making them easier to pick off. Great bites happening. 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 to mid 70s, stained, about 2.2 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: 77 degrees, clear on south end, muddy on north end, 1.5 feet low. Outlook: Don and Tom’s Bait and Tackle reports: fishing was really good in the middle of the week. A lot of crappie were caught, but had to weed through quite a few small ones to get to the better ones. Minnows outperformed jigs. It didn’t matter if you were fishing trees or brush, it seemed like you would catch fish. When the cold front came through on Saturday, it shut down the big fish. Sunday picked up with better quality fish. There was also a catfish tournament where the best five fish weighed in was 117 pounds. Lots of blues were caught between 20-35 pounds. Folks were catching them around Slough Creek and up in the north end. White bass were biting well over the weekend.

MILFORD: 75 degrees, stained, 6.2 feet high Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife reports: KDWPT last updated 9/5. 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 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 have been very good lately; 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: 84 degrees, clear, 2 feet low. Outlook: Jayhawk Marina reports: lake is falling. Crappie – fair to good on jigs and live shad in 6-10 feet deep; channel catfish – fair on chicken liver, worms, or stink bait on the bottom and river channels. Bass - good about 6 feet deep on points. 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, upper 70s/low 80s everywhere else, slightly stained, low. Outlook: Linn County Park reports: flatheads and bass have been really good in the past week. All other species slow to fair.

GLEN ELDER (WACONDA LAKE): 75 degrees, clear, about 2 feet high Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism reports: KDWPT last updated 9/7. 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: 75 degrees, stained, 23.5 feet high. Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife reports: last KDWPT online update was 8/23. The lake is very high. 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: no updated report submitted. Last week’s report: 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: mid to upper 70s, mostly clear, about 1.2 feet high. Outlook: Knothead’s Bait Shop reports: Walleye – a few more anglers are getting into the walleye 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 being caught in six feet of water drawing them out of the flooded vegetation; black bass – both largemouth and smallmouth continue to be good, but more largemouth are being caught 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: mid 70s, stained, slightly low. Outlook: Wildlife, Parks & Tourism reports: KDWPT last updated 9/7. Blue catfish - fair and not many recent reports this week with all the rain. Lake level is increasing and creeks are flowing. Look for blue cats in areas with inflow or on flats near timbered river channels.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, but few reports this week as not many anglers have been fishing with all of the rain. Watch for surface feeding activity in the evenings and use shad imitating lures such as jig and plastics, spoons, crankbaits, or inline spinners. 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 – same as wiper report. 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 – although high numbers of crappie have not been caught this week the fish that are being caught are of quality size in the 12-to-15-inch range. Best reports are coming from standing timber along channels or old roads dipping jigs 7 to 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. Worms fished in areas with inflow should be a productive tactic with the recent runoff. 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.

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.