Fishing report: Is it fall on the water yet? Fish are starting to move into autumn patterns

Thomas Wicker and his fiance, Clarissa, landed this 17.-pound catfish on Lake of the Ozarks using a 5-inch live bluegill.
Thomas Wicker and his fiance, Clarissa, landed this 17.-pound catfish on Lake of the Ozarks using a 5-inch live bluegill. Submitted photo

Here is the fishing report for Kansas and Missouri lakes and reservoirs for the week of Oct. 3, 2018.


BULL SHOALS: mid to upper 70s, clear, about 2.5 feet low. Outlook: Del Colvin Guide Service reports: thermocline is forming around 35 feet. Need to keep the boat moving to find the fish. 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. We had little generation with some marginable wadable.The hot spot has been Rim Shoals. They are still hitting grasshoppers for some nice top water action. 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 weight to get your flies down.

TANEYCOMO: 52 degrees, clear (12 feet), running 1-2 units for a couple hours late in the afternoon Outlook: Lilleys’ Landing reports: Mice flies on top at night is still good. The dissolved oxygen in the water varies widely, but in general has been very good. We are seeing a good number of browns already up below the dam, some being caught up near the hatchery outlets. Most browns are being caught when wading and fly fishing below the dam. Most of these browns are on the small side, but several in the 22 - to 26-inch range have been brought in. Both browns and rainbows are also being caught on scuds, sow bugs, egg flies and sculpin streamers. Cracklebacks, WD40’s, san juan worms, mega worms, soft hackles and woolybuggers are also productive. Night fishing has been very good throwing big streamers, as well as the miracle fly and scuds under a glowing indicator. Jig fishing has been fair to good. Try smaller jigs when the water is off and heavier jigs during generation. A 3/32nd-ounce sculpin/ginger/brown head jig on four-pound line has been good in the mornings. We’ve been pretty successful throwing smaller jigs with two-pound line down around the resort area, up closer to Fall Creek but still out of the trophy area. The area from Fall Creek up to the Narrows has also been profitable with sculpin/ginger, sculpin/peach and straight sculpin or olive in 1/32nd -and 1/16th-ounce jigs. Before the sun hits the water, work your jig close to the surface, especially if the trout are midging, and fish them deeper as the sun hits the water.

During generation, we’re using four-pound line and heavier jigs -- 3/32nd and 1/8th ounce in the same colors. Join Southwest Missouri Area Fishing Facebook group for fishing updates from an engaged membership.

NORFORK: 77 degrees, stained, about 4 feet low. Outlook: Bink’s Guide Service reports: things are about the same as last week. Crappie are biting well near Corp of Engineers brush piles on main lake and back in creeks. Walleye – fair in 30 feet on the flats or back in the creeks, many limits are being caught using Bink’s Spoons; stripers – are good 60 feet down on the bottom using white, 1 oz Bink’s spoon or trolling, topwater bite has slowed down; white bass - are excellent in 40 feet of water on main lake flats; bass – good on topwater baits in the first hour of the day, otherwise they’ll be deep in about 25 feet of water. Catfish - have been doing well in coves in 10 feet of water on cut shad.

LONGVIEW: low to mid 70s, stained, about normal. Outlook: Longview Marina reports: crappie can be found, but have to weed through a lot of little ones. Bass have been fair. Fishing is available from the marina 7 days a week now. Hours are 7am-5pm at the marina until October 15th. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook group for daily updates.

POMME DE TERRE: low 70s, 4-6 feet of clarity, normal. Outlook: Muskie Guide Service reports: Muskies are slow, but are being caught around the docks mostly. Black bucktail in-line spinners have seen the most action. Bass have been fair, catching them deep and shallow, but appear to be moving up a bit. Crappie are starting to move back to structure in 15-20 feet on jigs and minnows.

LAKE OF THE OZARKS: low to mid 70s, clear, about 3 feet low. Outlook: Gier’s Bass Pro reports: not much changing. 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. There has been more activity around docks in the last weeks. Still not much word on catfish.

REED AREA: 62 degrees, clear, low. Outlook: Missouri Department of Conservation reports: most fishing has been slow, but some bass and crappie are being caught.

STOCKTON: 72 degrees, clear, 3.8 feet low. Outlook: Tandem Fly Outfitters reports: walleye are fair 15-20 feet down on 1/4 oz jig heads tipped with half of a nightcrawler near main lake points. Trolling Bandit 200’s or Flicker Shad is also productive. Crappie are good to excellent in brush piles 18-25 feet down on a 1/16th oz jig head tipped with a medium shiner. White bass are poor to fair. Look for schools surfacing on the main lake and main lake flats with a 1/4 oz or 1/2 oz silver spoon. Catfish are fair on whole or cut shad. Black bass are fair in 15-20 feet on points around the mouths of creeks on jigs, Ned rigs, or a 10 inch worm. Join Southwest Missouri Area Fishing Facebook group for fishing updates from an engaged membership.

JACOMO: low to mid 70s, clear, about normal. Outlook: Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook group reports: Crappie – anglers are having success using minnows and trolling. Look near brush in 15-20 feet of water; white bass - fair to good using small jigs, road runners, or trolling crankbaits. Largemouth – fair. The topwater bite has been picking up in the evening in shallow water. Buzzbaits are a good option as the fall progresses. Try spinnerbaits along windy banks, crankbaits or big worms. 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: low to mid 70s, clear, 1 foot low Outlook: Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group reports: Crappie – slow to fair 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 quite a few nice ones caught in the last week. Many have been caught near woody cover. 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 to mid 70s, clear, about 4 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. Join Southwest Missouri Area Fishing for daily updates.

TRUMAN: 70 degrees, murky, 1 foot high. Outlook: Jeff Faulkenberry’s Endless Season Guide Service reports: Crappie are good to excellent moving into fall pattern. Some fish being caught in the creeks in 10-12 feet of water on bottom. Catfish are spotty, but fair. Look for them on creek channel ledges 15-18 feet down. 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: low 70s, clear, about 2.7 feet low. Outlook: Burton’s Bait and Tackle reports:

White bass have been very good near windy, rocky main lake points. They can be caught from the rock jettys so easily available for bank fisherman. The more wind the better. Crappie are fair in brush piles using minnows, try in 8-12 feet of water near points or back in coves. Bass - the two day total weight that won the most recent tournament was a little over 35 pounds. Most fish are shallow right now in 6-8 feet of water. Spinnerbaits on windy banks has been the pattern. Some walleyes have been caught shallow on crankbaits.

MOZINGO LAKE: upper 60s, 1-3 feet of clarity, 3 feet low. Outlook: Fishing With Nordbye YouTube channel reports: no change from week to week. Bass have been fair. They are on trees, points, and sparse grass. Summer patterns are transitioning to fall patterns. They been hitting a Boyd duckett squarebill on the rocks and topwater buzzbaits shallow. 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: 76 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, plastics and chicken liver under a bobber.

KILL CREEK PARK: 72 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, about normal. Outlook: Coffey County reports: smallmouth bass were the best in the past week. White bass slowed down. Channel and blue cats have also been biting well. All other species slow to fair.

MELVERN: 73 degrees, clear, 2.1 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. White bass - fair lake wide on shallow crankbaits. Channel catfish - fair on nightcrawlers and dough bait; blue catfish - poor with a few being caught on cut bait or crappie entrails; walleye - poor with a few shorts caught on the south side of lake near points of coves while trolling with small crankbaits or nightcrawlers around 15 feet or deeper.

CLINTON: 68 degrees, dingy, 2.1 feet low. Outlook: Kansas Angling Experience Guide Service reports: wipers/white bass - good. Fall patterns are in motion and lots of fish are being caught. 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 2.4 feet low. Outlook: Lighthouse Bay Marina reports: Catfish - still good on chicken liver or cut shad; all other species slow.

PERRY: upper 60s/low 70s, clear, 1.7 feet low. Outlook: Don and Tom’s Bait and Tackle reports: most fishing activity has been the same as last week. A lot of crappie were caught, but had to weed through quite a few small ones to get to the better ones. Look in brush piles and don’t be afraid to fish shallow in 3-5 feet. Minnows outperformed jigs. White bass have been biting well. Blue catfish have been decent up to 17 feet of water, but shallow water was best for numbers and bigger fish. Folks were catching them around Slough Creek and up in the north end.

MILFORD: 72 degrees, stained, 3.9 feet high Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife reports: KDWPT last updated 9/19. Catfish – fair to good along channel ledges and flats on cut bait, worms, and shrimp. Look for recently tagged blue cats! Crappie – fair to good 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 to good near deep gravel/rock points and banks on jigs, crank baits, and topwater lures; largemouth – fair to good 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: 69 degrees, clear, 3 feet low. Outlook: Jayhawk Marina reports: lake is falling. Crappie – fair minnows in 6-15 feet deep; channel catfish – fair on chicken liver, worms, or stink bait on the bottom and river channels. No reports on walleye or largemouth bass. 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, low to mid 70s, clear, low. Outlook: Linn County Park reports: bass and crappie were pretty good in the last week. All other species slow to fair. A 28-pound blue catfish was caught in the last week. The stacks are back up and running this week.

GLEN ELDER (WACONDA LAKE): upper 60s, clear, 1.6 feet high Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism reports: KDWPT last updated 9/28. Activity has remained the same. Crappie – fair, the fish are hanging out around the deeper brush piles and Georgia cubes. Minnows and jigs are most effective. Walleye – fair with a few caught by anglers trolling for white bass and wipers using a variety of crankbaits. Look for them 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 in the last hour of daylight 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. 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: 72 degrees, stained, 16 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 to mid 70s, 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: low 70s, mostly clear, about 0.5 feet high. Outlook: Knothead’s Bait Shop reports: flatheads on bluegill has picked up in the last week. Most other activity is the same. 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: low 70s, stained, about normal. Outlook: Wildlife, Parks & Tourism reports: KDWPT last updated 9/28. Blue catfish - fair and are being caught on fresh shad on shallow flats, on the edges of river channels, in recently submerged vegetation, and in the upper ends of the lake in areas with inflow. 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. 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 – fair and same as wiper report. White Perch – slow with few reports available this week. Look along breaks or on humps using small jigs, spoons, or spinners. White crappie – good and are being found 10-12 feet deep near timber in deeper water or on brush piles on jigs or minnows. Channel catfish – fair to good 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 crank baits (#7 and #9) trolled along breaks, windy flats, and old roads have been catching walleye. Vertically fishing slab spoons near old roads or ledges also producing.

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.