Outdoors

Hunting & fishing report: Anglers trade fishing poles for rifles as deer season opens

Tim Mahoney, an avid deer hunter from Lee’s Summit and the author’s dad, took one of his largest bucks ever the second morning of opening weekend on his farm near Clinton, Mo. It gross scored 151 5/8ths.
Tim Mahoney, an avid deer hunter from Lee’s Summit and the author’s dad, took one of his largest bucks ever the second morning of opening weekend on his farm near Clinton, Mo. It gross scored 151 5/8ths. Submitted photo

FISHING

Missouri

BULL SHOALS: 60 degrees, clear, about 4.6 feet low. Outlook: Del Colvin Guide Service reports: Topwater has slowed down drastically. Shad balls are breaking up and the rock crawler/wiggle wart bite is turning on. Try a spinnerbait if windy, or a jig on the nasty rock with ledges. Spoon bite is good around shad balls if the suns up.Below the dam: John Berry of Berry Bros. Guide Service reports: no updated report sent. Last week’s report said: The White has fished well. There was some wadable water in the last week. 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 beadhead pheasant tail nymph (#14) with a ruby midge (#18) suspended below it. Use weight to get your flies down.

TANEYCOMO: 51 degrees, clear (12 feet), 2-3 hours of slow generation at night Outlook: Lilleys’ Landing reports: everything is about the same with not as many people out fishing. Wadable water below the dam has been ample for bank fisherman. Some big browns and rainbows have been caught in the last week below the dam. Rainbows especially hug the banks with their backs out of the water sometimes, digging in the gravel to pick up a bug or two. Casting a small sow bug or scud, even a big mop worm or mega worm, and working it in and around these feeding rainbows will catch them. These trout are typically veterans, too, full of colors and larger than the young stockers just arriving on the scene. Anglers have scored big browns and rainbows stripping soft hackles and cracklebacks well below the hatchery outlets and below Rebar and the Chute (below the Missouri Department of Conservation boat ramp) where the current is still moving from the area but is slower, not calm. If there is a breeze and a chop on the surface that’s even better. You can try streamers like sculpins, Hybernators, leaches, woolly buggers and Pine Squirrels. Strip these in the bigger, deeper pools out in front of outlet #1, the pool below outlet #2 and from the Rocking Chair down to the Chute. Throwing a 1/32nd-ounce jigs with two-pound line is catching some good fish around the dock and up lake around Short Creek. Sculpin/ginger or brown/orange with a brown head best colors. If you’re using four-pound line, throw a 3/32nd-ounce jig instead. Join Southwest Missouri Area Fishing Facebook group for fishing updates from an engaged membership.

NORFORK: 60 degrees, clear, about 1.5 feet low. Outlook: Hummingbird Hideaway Resort reports: the whites and hybrids have been schooled up on flats in 30-40 feet of water. There are some stripers scattered about 10-15 feet down over 27-40 feet of water. Bass have been very good in the same spots as the whites and also up shallow. Crankbaits off of bluff walls are good plastics are good on shallow sloping banks.

LONGVIEW: upper 40s/low 50s, murky, normal. Outlook: Longview Marina reports: fishing has been hit or miss due to cold. Crappie have been very good lately. White bass are also biting and good sizes are being caught. Marina no longer has minnows available until the spring. 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: 52 degrees, clear, a little high. Outlook: Muskie Guide Service reports: They’re running 50 cubic feet per second. Everything has been real slow the past week due to cold.

LAKE OF THE OZARKS: 50 degrees, stained, 1 foot low. Outlook: Gier’s Bass Pro reports: not much fishing activity with cold. Crappie – are starting to move to brush in 10 feet. Minnows or jigs. Bass are starting to chase shad, topwater and shallow running crankbaits have been good. Bigger fish are still a little deeper for now. Spinnerbait bite has been picking up.

REED AREA: 40 degrees, clear, normal. Outlook: Missouri Department of Conservation reports: crappie are fair, try using jigs or minnows under a bobber near brush. Trout are excellent and being caught on a variety of baits from Powerbait, flies, rooster tails and more. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.

STOCKTON: mid 50s, clear, 4.1 feet low. Outlook: Stockton Lake Guide Service reports: crappie are biting good on bluffs on main lake. Picking up a few walleye here and there, but they are still slow. Bass are in back of creeks chasing shad like crazy. Shad imitation baits should be lights out. Join Southwest Missouri Area Fishing Facebook group for fishing updates from an engaged membership.

JACOMO: mid to upper 40s, stained, normal Outlook: Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook group reports: very few people have been fishing, but walleye are being found. If bass fishing, slow your retrieve down. A big spinnerbait or swimbait retrieved slowly along windy banks can still be productive. Not much word on topwater bite lately. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.

BLUE SPRINGS: mid to upper 40s, stained, a little high Outlook: Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group reports: not many people have been out. White bass and wipers can be found in good numbers, though. The blowhole has been a productive area. Largemouth bass are fair, with solid keepers being caught regularly. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.

TABLE ROCK: 58 degrees, clear (7 feet), about 4.5 feet low. Outlook: Eric Prey of Focused Fishing Guide Service reports: fish are shallower now and can be found in the 10-15 feet range. Try a Ned Rig, shaky head, or finesse jig on gravel mixed with rock banks and points. Crankbaits are starting to produce on steeper chunk rock banks. Fish are starting to follow shad in creek channels 25-50 feet deep and can be caught on spoons. Join Southwest Missouri Area Fishing Facebook group for fishing updates from an engaged membership.

TRUMAN: mid to upper 50s, muddy, about 0.5 feet high. Outlook: Jeff Faulkenberry’s Endless Season Guide Service reports: same as last week. Crappie are good to excellent. 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 40s, clear, normal. Outlook: Burton’s Bait and Tackle reports: no updated report this week. Too cold!! Last week said: catfish are excellent with all of the rain water coming into the lake. The backs of the creeks where the water has been flowing in should be loaded with fish. Crawlers, shrimp, or cut bait should all be good. You want current to catch fish. White bass have been very good near windy, rocky main lake points. They can be caught from the rock jettys which are easily available for bank fisherman. Road runners or small rooster tails are effective. The more wind the better. Crappie are fair, but some really nice ones have been caught recently jigging minnows or jigs around the docks.

MOZINGO LAKE: Low 50s, 1-3 feet of clarity, normal. Outlook: Fishing With Nordbye YouTube channel reports: same as last week. Bass have been good. They are on grass lines along banks, and near shallow standing timber. Fall patterns are in effect. They been hitting a chatterbait and spinnerbait shallow, as well as a Boyd Duckett squarebill. They are biting texas rigs and jigs as well around trees and 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.

Kansas

SHAWNEE MISSION PARK: 44 degrees, murky, normal. Outlook: Johnson County Parks and Rec reports: trout are good on worms and Power Bait. Crappie/Panfish are fair to good on worms. Catfish have been good using dough bait. Bass/wipers are fair to good on jigs or chicken liver.

KILL CREEK PARK: 44 degrees, murky, normal. Outlook: Johnson County Parks and Rec reports: trout are good on worms and Power Bait. Crappie/Panfish are fair to good on worms. Bass are fair to good using jigs. Catfish are fair on dough bait.

COFFEY COUNTY: low 50s lake wide, at the outlet it’s 70, stained, above normal. Outlook: Coffey County reports: white bass were fair, all other species were slow in the past week. There weren’t many boats on the lake.

MELVERN: 53 degrees, stained, 1.6 feet high. Outlook: Melvern Lake Marina reports: Crappie are poor with a lot of small fish caught, some keepers in and around established brush piles in Turkey Creek west of the State Park. Dark jigs and minnows are still best. Smallmouth are poor 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. Largemouth Bass are poor with no reports. Channel catfish are good on nightcrawlers and cut bait. Blue Catfish are good using cut bait and crappie entrails. Walleye are poor with a few shorts caught on the south side of lake near points of coves.

CLINTON: 47 degrees, clear, 0.9 feet low. Outlook: Kansas Angling Experience Guide Service reports: Wipers/White Bass: we are still catching fish and the fishing remains fairly steady despite the cold temperatures. Walleye: fair. Some Walleye & Sauger are being caught feeding up for winter. Crappie: fair. Fish are being caught on brush piles and deep channel breaks. All ramps usable-please be courteous to others when using the ramps in below freezing temperatures. Let your trailer drain at the bottom of the ramp before pulling forward. Join Northeast Kansas Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily fishing updates.

POMONA: 45 degrees, stained, about 1.5 feet low. Outlook: Lighthouse Bay Marina reports: still pretty slow overall. Some crappie have been found in the last week 10 feet down. Catfish can still be productive on chicken liver or cut bait. Everything else is slow.

PERRY: mid to upper 40s, clear, 4 feet high. Outlook: Don and Tom’s Bait and Tackle reports: crappie have been good in the brush piles and docks. Ice spoons are starting to be used more often. Best jig color has been purple/chartreuse, brown/orange, or purple/orange. Look for them 10-13 feet down. Crappie around marinas have been biting better.

MILFORD: 53 degrees, stained, 8.2 feet high Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife reports: KDWPT last updated 11/7. Catfish are good along flooded flats on cut bait, worms, and shrimp. Crappie are fair 5-10 feet deep suspended near points, flooded brush, and ledges on jigs and minnows; walleye are fair and scattered near flats, points or ledges using jigs, worms, and crankbaits 10-20 feet deep; white bass/wipers – fair 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: 47 degrees, stained, 1 foot high. Outlook: Jayhawk Marina reports: Crappie – fair on pink, red, and chartreuse jigs and minnows using minnows in 6-10 feet deep; channel catfish – fair on chicken liver, worms, or stink bait on the bottom and river channels. A 20-walleye was caught from the dock in the past week on minnows. Bass have also been showing, jigs have been producing best. The fishing dock opens at 7am, kids 12 and under are free. Join Northeast Kansas Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.

LA CYGNE: 86 degrees at hot water outlet, main lake low 50s, clear, normal. Outlook: Linn County Park reports: crappie have been good. Bass are slow and you really have to work for them.

GLEN ELDER (WACONDA LAKE): 45 degrees, clear, about 1 foot high Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism reports: KDWPT last updated 11/9. Crappie are fair. Look around flooded habitat along the banks early in the day and late in the evening. The fish will move to the deeper brush piles and other structure during the day. Fishing with minnows and jigs tipped with minnows will often lead to some success. Walleye are fair to good near the state park shoreline, especially off the main lake points, near the dam, and in Walnut Creek this time of year. Try trolling with crankbaits or vertically jigging slabs or swim baits. White bass/wipers are good along the Cawker City causeway, the upper end of Walnut Creek, near the outlet with the high releases, off the rocky banks in the state park, and off main lake points and foundations. They are very aggressive now so finding them is typically the hardest part as they will be willing to bite on just about any traditional lure. Black bass have been good. Topwater is effective, but using plastic worms, Senkos, and Ned rigs will also work well. Catfish are good nearly lake wide. Anglers should concentrate near the outlet with the current outflows and up the rivers and creeks where there is still some inflow. Shad sides, shad gizzards, chicken liver, and shrimp are all good baits to try now.

TUTTLE CREEK: 60 degrees, stained, 27.2 feet high. Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife reports: last KDWPT online update was 10/30. The lake is very high. All fishing has been slow due to high water. Trout fishing season started on November 1st at Willow Lake, which is located in the Southeast corner of the Tuttle Creek State Park below the dam. Willow Lake was stocked with 1,350 rainbow trout on 10/30/18 and these fish should be biting now. These fish are usually caught on commercial trout baits, worms, corn or lures. Limit is 5 fish a day. Join Northeast Kansas Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.

WILSON: upper 40s/low 50s, stained, a little high. Outlook: Knothead’s Bait Shop reports: stripers have been good on the west end and are continuing to pick up. Walleye have been good in the weeds. Channel catfish have picked up a lot in the last week.

EL DORADO: low 50s, stained, 0.4 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.

HUNTING

Missouri

Opening Weekend of Deer Firearms results:

Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) showed preliminary data of 99,567 deer harvested during opening weekend of the fall firearms deer season. Of the total, 55,887 were antlered bucks, 9,573 were button bucks, and 34,107 were does. Top counties were Franklin with 2,057 deer checked, Callaway with 1,971, and Benton with 1,875. This total is up compared to last year, when hunters checked 94,886 deer during the opening weekend of the 2017 November portion of firearms deer season.

Duck surveys:

BOB BROWN CONSERVATION AREA: On 11/5/18, a total of 13,975 ducks were observed. This was made up of 1400 Gadwalls, 4400 Mallards, 70 Mixed dabblers, 155 Mixed divers, 5100 Pintails, 550 Ring-Necked ducks, 500 Shovelers, 1550 Teal, and 250 Wigeon.

FOUR RIVERS CONSERVATION AREA: On 11/6/18, a total of 15,375 ducks were observed. This included 1490 Gadwalls, 9215 Mallards, 1490 Mixed dabblers, 447 Pintails, 298 Shovelers, and 2435 Teal.

NODAWAY VALLEY CONSERVATION AREA: On 11/5/18, a total of 8,560 ducks were observed, including 1310 Gadwalls, 3700 Mallards, 500 Mixed dabblers, 2650 Pintails, and 400 Wigeon.

GRAND PASS CONSERVATION AREA: On 11/5/18, a total of 67,405 ducks were observed, including 3500 Gadwalls, 34000 Mallards, 200 Mixed divers, 10000 Pintails, 1200 Shovelers, 17500 Teal, and 1000 Wigeon.

FOUNTAIN GROVE CONSERVATION AREA: On 11/5/18, a total of 15/400 ducks were observed. This was made up of 1000 Gadwalls, 7500 Mallards, 500 Mixed dabblers, 200 Mixed divers, 500 Pintails, 200 Ring-Necked ducks, 250 Shovelers, 5000 Teal, and 250 Wigeon.

MONTROSE CONSERVATION AREA: On 11/5/18, a total of 105 ducks was observed made up gadwalls and mallards.

LOESS BLUFFS CONSERVATION AREA: On 11/6/2018, a total of 78,185 ducks were observed along with 9,990 geese. A good mix of Gadwalls, Mallards, Green-Winged Teal, and Pintails were present.

Kansas

CHEYENNE BOTTOMS: updated 11/8 online. 50,000-75,000 ducks. Still have a good mix of shovelers, teal, pintails, gadwall, wigeon, and a lot of divers. Mallards currently make up about 10% of the ducks on the area. Goose numbers have increased, around 50,000-75,000, a few more whitefronts than Canadas and snows. For the period of 11/3-11/8, hunters have averaged 2.05 ducks per hunter. During that period, 16.5% of the harvest was mallards. Hunters are required to use the electronic Daily Hunt Permit system.

MARAIS DES CYGNES: updated 11/12 online. Greater than 40,000 ducks present with a good mix of mallards and early migrants (pintail, gadwall, shoveller, teal). On opening day: 562 ducks / 189 hunters = 3.0 success. All hunters must check-in daily using iSportsman electronic check-in from a PC, smartphone, or by phone before hunting and check out at the end of the hunt regardless of harvest

NEOSHO: iSportsman (electronic daily hunt permit system) is required for all hunters. There is now a zero tolerance policy on failure to comply with iSportsman and check station requirements. Observed 11/9: 40,000 ducks; mainly Mallards and Teal. Good numbers of Gadwall, Pintail, Wigeon, and mixed divers. 200 Canada Geese, 500 White-fronted Geese

PERRY: Last waterfowl survey was conducted on 10/24/18 and approximately 6,500 ducks were observed around the area. A wide variety of species were present including Gadwalls, Northern Shovelers, Wood Ducks, Teal, Mallards, and a few diving ducks. Use caution when accessing Kyle Marsh’s west unit as water levels are still above normal and some areas are unable to be accessed by walk in hunters. Both East and West Kyle are full and boat access is available. They will continue to draw any units down that are above normal pool to get them down to a more desirable level. They are also pumping, and will continue to pump all week into West River and Northwest Marsh. iSportsman (electronic daily hunt permit system) is required for all hunters. There is now a zero tolerance policy on failure to comply with iSportsman and check station requirements.

TUTTLE CREEK: On 11/6/18, 10,000 ducks and 200 Canada Geese were observed in the area. Hunting conditions are good but there is a lot of deep water so be careful. A permit/survey is required to hunt the Tuttle Creek Wildlife Area.

MILFORD: On 11/8/2018, 415 ducks and 190 Canada geese were observed on the area. Expected hunting success considered poor. There have been two floods back to back this fall so far. The river crested 6 feet above flood stage in early September and 1 foot above in early October. The lake is now close to 10 feet above conservation pool which has backed flood waters onto many wildlife area roads and hunters will need to use extra caution when navigating the deep water. The boat ramps on Gatesville/Lower smith and Mall creek are not usable due to the flood waters being too high.

QUIVIRA: Hasn’t been updated online since 11/1/18, a total of 57,064 geese were observed along with 38,098 ducks. A majority were ruddy ducks, but there were good numbers of Pintails, Green-Winged Teal, and shovelers.

MELVERN: All hunters must check-in daily using iSportsman electronic check-in from a PC, smartphone, or by phone before hunting and check out at the end of the hunt regardless of harvest.

3 DUCK MARSH: Both units are pumped and full of water, 50 unknown ducks were observed. Willow Marsh- North and South units are pumped and full, about 20 ducks were observed in the air. Sundance Marsh- About 150 ducks were observed at the time of this survey. Mostly Mallards. Lowman’s Cove- Full of water. Shoveler Slough - location: South parking lot for this Shoveler Slough is at the intersection of W 317th St. & S Davies Rd. 30 ducks were observed at the time of this survey. (NOTE: Motorized boats are prohibited). Refuge- About 1500 unknown ducks and 20 coots were observed.

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