Fishing report: Area angling prospects returning to normal after heavy precipitation

Kris Nelson (far right), owner of Tandem Fly Outfitters, and co-guide Cole Boyd (far left), took a group of lifelong friends fishing on Stockton Lake recently. They each left with plenty for a fish fry.
Kris Nelson (far right), owner of Tandem Fly Outfitters, and co-guide Cole Boyd (far left), took a group of lifelong friends fishing on Stockton Lake recently. They each left with plenty for a fish fry. Submitted photo

Here is the fishing report for Kansas and Missouri lakes and reservoirs for the week of October 17, 2018:


BULL SHOALS: upper 60s/low 70s, clear, about 3.7 feet low. Outlook: Del Colvin Guide Service reports: Fish are moving shallow and the bite is picking up in the morning on topwater, try spooks, whopper ploppers or buzz baits on wind blown banks. Keep your eyes open for the bait fish. Pulling a wake bait through schools of fish can be productive. If there’s wind, a spinner bait will produce as well. As the day progresses head out deeper and drag a jig out to 15 feet near docks with shade and steeper banks with chunk rock. Below the dam: John Berry of Berry Bros. Guide Service reports: The White has fished well. There was no wadable water in last week. They are still hitting grasshoppers for some nice top water action. 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 less water in the last week 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: mid 70s, stained, about 2.6 feet low. Outlook: Bink’s Guide Service reports: things are about the same as last week. Crappie are biting well near Corps 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 60s, stained, a little high. Outlook: Longview Marina reports: Crappie can be found at the dock, but have to weed through a lot of little ones. A lot more big ones have been caught lately. Fishing is available from the marina 7 days a week now. Hours are 8am-3pm at the marina through November. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook group for daily updates.

POMME DE TERRE: 68 degrees, 4-5 feet of clarity, about normal (a little high). Outlook: Muskie Guide Service reports: Most fishing has been slow. 50 cubic feet per second being let out the dam.

LAKE OF THE OZARKS: upper 60s low 70s, stained, full pool. Outlook: Gier’s Bass Pro reports: not much changing. Crappie – are starting to move to the bluffs. Bass are starting to chase shad, topwater and shallow running crankbaits have been good. Bigger fish are still a little deeper for now.

REED AREA: 62 degrees, clear, high. Outlook: Missouri Department of Conservation reports: channel catfish are biting well, try using cut bait in the upper ends of the lakes where the water is running in. Crappie have been slow to fair on minnows. Little rooster tails have been catching a lot of small bass.

STOCKTON: upper 60s, clear, 5 feet low. Outlook: Tandem Fly Outfitters reports: walleye are fair on main lake and secondary points on 1/8 oz jig heads tipped with half of a nightcrawler. Trolling Bandit 200’s or Flicker Shad is also productive. Crappie are good to excellent in brush piles 15-20 feet down on a 1/16th oz jig head tipped with a medium shiner. White bass are poor to fair, can sometimes be found at mouths of creeks right now. Catfish are fair on whole or cut shad. Black bass are fair and starting to move shallow in creeks, try jigs, squarebills, or crankbaits. Stockton Lake Guide Service reports: walleye are fair in 5-10 feet of water jigging crawlers. Crappie are fair to good on jigs and minnows in brush piles 8-10 feet down. White bass are in hiding. Catfish are fair on shad sides around 10 feet. Bass are moving shallow, try square bills in 5-7 feet of water. Join Southwest Missouri Area Fishing Facebook group for fishing updates from an engaged membership.

JACOMO: low 60s, stained, high Outlook: Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook group reports: look for fish to be moving shallow. Spinnerbaits on windy banks should be good. Topwater early and late can be productive. Crappie are being caught around the docks. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.

BLUE SPRINGS: low 60s, stained, 1.5 feet high Outlook: Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group reports: Ramp at the marina is now open, but the north ramp is still underwater. Fishing has remained slow in the last week. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.

TABLE ROCK: 70 degrees, clear, about 4.5 feet low. Outlook: Eric Prey of Focused Fishing Guide Service reports: Fish are moving shallower as the water temperature drops. Football jigs and shaky heads 12-20 feet down on main lake gravel and mixed gravel/rock points is a good bite. Spinnerbaits on rocky banks on windy days in less than 10 feet deep is also productive. Top water on steeper banks early and late or on cloudy days will catch fish.

TRUMAN: upper 60s/low 70s, muddy, 3.5 feet 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 60s, stained, about 0.5 feet high. 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: lower 60s, 1-3 feet of clarity, normal. Outlook: Fishing With Nordbye YouTube channel reports: Bass have been good. They are on trees, points, and sparse grass. Fall patterns are in effect. 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. They have been hitting a Tightlines UV 4” Jig Trailer on the texas rig around trees. Crappie are good. Try fishing next to deeper trees in coves toward main lake or main lake brush piles. Most crappie are 7-8 feet down with an occasional crappie between 10-14 feet. Jigs or minnows are best. Bluegill are good. They 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: 58 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. Trout will be stocked on October 24. They will stock 2,000 pounds at 3:45pm and fishing will be closed until Saturday, October 27th, at 5:00 am.

KILL CREEK PARK: 60 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. We have our fall rainbow trout stocking coming up on October 24 at Kill Creek. 1,000 pounds of trout will be stocked at 2:30 pm. Once the lakes are stocked, we will close both of them to ALL fishing until Saturday morning, October 27, at 5:00 am.

COFFEY COUNTY: low 60s lake wide, at the outlet it’s 75, slightly stained, above normal. Outlook: Coffey County reports: white bass and channel catfish were biting the best in the past week. Blue catfish were also caught in good numbers. 66 people fished in 34 boats.

MELVERN: low to mid 60s, clear, 4.55 feet high. 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 are fair to good along the shoreline and rip rap face of the dam using spoons and shallow crankbaits. White bass are poor to fair lake wide on shallow crankbaits. Channel catfish are fair to good on nightcrawlers and dough bait. Blue catfish are fair on cut bait or crappie entrails. Walleye are still poor with a few shorts caught on the south side of lake near points of coves while trolling with small crankbaits or nightcrawlers around 20 feet or deeper.

CLINTON: 62 degrees, dingy, 0.7 feet low. Outlook: Kansas Angling Experience Guide Service reports: wipers are pretty scattered right now with the high water levels. You need to stay mobile to find and stay on them. You will definitely have to work for them right now. All ramps usable. Join Northeast Kansas Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily fishing updates.

POMONA: upper 60s, stained, about 2.8 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, stained, 4.5 feet high. Outlook: Don and Tom’s Bait and Tackle reports: crappie have been good near Rock Creek and Slough Creek Bridge. They haven’t been great in brush piles. Focus on rocks. Blue catfish have been okay drift fishing. Arkansas Pond Stockers will be at Don and Tom’s store on October 24th between 4-5pm.

MILFORD: 60 degrees, stained, 8.5 feet high Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife reports: KDWPT last updated 10/10. Catfish are good along flooded flats on cut bait, worms, and shrimp. Crappie are fair 10 feet deep suspended near points, flooded brush, and ledges on jigs and minnows; walleye are fair and scattered near flats, points or ledges about 20 feet deep using jigs, worms, and crankbaits 10-20 feet deep; 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: 65 degrees, stained, 5 feet high. Outlook: Jayhawk Marina reports: Crappie – fair using minnows in 3-10 feet deep; channel catfish – fair on chicken liver, worms, or stink bait on the bottom and river channels. Some reports on walleye being caught on minnows at the fishing dock. The fishing dock opens at 7am, kids 12 and under are free. Join Northeast Kansas Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.

LA CYGNE: 84 degrees at hot water outlet, low to mid 60s, stained, normal. Outlook: Linn County Park reports: Crappie were biting very well. A 20-pound flathead was caught. Some 30-pound blue catfish were also caught.

GLEN ELDER (WACONDA LAKE): low 60s, clear, 4 feet high Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism reports: KDWPT last updated 9/28. Activity has remained the same. Crappie – fair near deeper brush piles and Georgia cubes. Minnows and jigs are best. Walleye – fair and caught while 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 with decent 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. Topwater has been good, 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: 68 degrees, stained, 27.5 feet high. Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife reports: last KDWPT online update was 10/9. The lake is very high. Crappie are fair on jigs and minnows. White bass are slow. Catfish are fair to good on 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. Largemouth bass are 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.

WILSON: low to mid 60s, stained, about 2.5 feet high. Outlook: Knothead’s Bait Shop reports: flatheads on bluegill has picked up in the last week. Stripers are being caught with more regularity. 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: upper 60s/low 70s, stained, 2.3 feet high. Outlook: Wildlife, Parks & Tourism reports: KDWPT last updated 10/12. Blue catfish fair. Creeks and areas with inflow will be a good bet using live or fresh cut bait. 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, look along breaks or on humps using small jigs, spoons, or spinners. White crappie – good and are being found 12-15 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.