Outdoors

Hunting & fishing report: Rainbow trout biting in metro lakes after recent stockings

Mateo Fuimaono holds a 5-pound walleye caught at Lake Jacomo in Lee’s Summit. It measured 26 3/4 inches and was landed on a white ice jig using 2-pound line.
Mateo Fuimaono holds a 5-pound walleye caught at Lake Jacomo in Lee’s Summit. It measured 26 3/4 inches and was landed on a white ice jig using 2-pound line. Submitted photo

Here is the hunting and fishing report for the Kansas City area for the week of Nov. 21, 2018, including forecasts at lakes, streams and wildlife areas in Kansas and Missouri.

FISHING

Missouri

BULL SHOALS: 56 degrees, clear, about 4.6 feet low. Outlook: Del Colvin Guide Service reports: about the same as last week. 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: The White has fished well. The hot spot has been Rim Shoals. There was no wadable water in the last week. They have been some blue wing olive and some midge hatches (try a size twenty parachute Adams). 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), generating water all day lately, enough for a good drift in a boat, but challenging for wade fisherman Outlook: Lilleys’ Landing reports: the water quality has improved with oxygen levels and fishing is expected to become very good. There has been minimal fishing pressure lately other than the wading area below the dam. Sculpin jigs with or without another combo color (ginger, burnt orange, olive, red) straight, no float, using either two- or four-pound line has been productive. If throwing an 1/8th- or 3/32nd-ounce jig, try using four-pound line. Throwing smaller jigs will work better with two-pound line. White/gray jigs are working pretty well up lake in the trophy area. Most fish have come off the bottom rather than when working the jig higher in the water column. If you’re in a boat and drifting bait on the bottom, pay close attention to the amount of weight you’re using to get the bait to the bottom. It’s much better to have less than more. Only use enough weight to get the bait to the bottom, even if it takes a while to sink. Too much weight will do two things: you will snag up much quicker and the heavier weight will make feeling a bite much harder. If you’re using drift rigs, use the smallest weight, and if that weight is too heavy, break it off, tie a simple knot on the end of that line and pinch on a small split shot. The knot keeps the shot from sliding off the end of the line. Night crawlers will catch bigger fish, but Powerbait catches fish, too. Try PowerEggs and use a white egg with another color, pink, orange or chartreuse. Cleos and other spoons are producing, but work much better if there’s some wind and chop on the water. The pink Berkley’s Powerworm is still catching rainbows. Rig it under a float anywhere from four- to eight- feet deep depending on how bright the day is. Under a bright sun, fish them deeper. With choppy/cloudy conditions, fish them closer to the surface.Join Southwest Missouri Area Fishing Facebook group for fishing updates from an engaged membership.

NORFORK: 60 degrees, clear, about normal. Outlook: Bink’s Guide Service 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, murky, normal. Outlook: Longview Marina reports: white bass are excellent on silver or gold jigging spoons and kastmasters. Crappie are biting well, too. The marina is closed Thursday-Sunday and will reopen on Monday. 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 (4-6 feet), 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: upper 40s, stained, 1.5 feet 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 to good, 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. Many limits are being caught. 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: 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. Crappie have been found in good numbers and sizes around the docks. White bass have been picking up as well. 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. Crappie are good around the marina 2-10 feet down. Be sure to slowly retrieve your line on a vertical presentation with a jig or minnow. Largemouth bass are fair, with solid keepers being caught regularly. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.

TABLE ROCK: 54 degrees, clear (7 feet), about 4.5 feet low. Outlook: Eric Prey of Focused Fishing Guide Service reports: about the same as last week. 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: upper 40s, muddy, about 0.5 feet low. 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: 37 degrees, clear, normal. Outlook: Burton’s Bait and Tackle reports: no updated report this week. 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 40s, 1-3 feet of clarity, normal. Outlook: Fishing With Nordbye YouTube channel reports: Bass have been fair. They are on grass lines along banks, and near shallow standing timber. Fall patterns are transitioning to winter patterns. Find the shad, find the bass. Jerkbaits have been good shallow. They have also 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. The slower you fish, the better your chances are at catching one. Crappie are fair. Try fishing next to 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 fair. 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: 40 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: 40 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.

MELVERN: 48 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 fair on nightcrawlers and cut bait. Blue Catfish are fair 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: 46 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. You will find a lot of fish following warmer water, sometimes up the creek arms or on the bank. 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.

PERRY: low to mid 40s, clear, 4 feet high. Outlook: Don and Tom’s Bait and Tackle reports: crappie have been good in the brush piles and docks. The south end of the lake has been more productive. Ice spoons are starting to be used more often. Best jig color has been purple/chartreuse, brown/orange, or purple/orange. The Bobby Garland “Eclipse” color has been working well. Look for fish 10-20 feet down.

MILFORD: 46 degrees, stained, 4.3 feet high Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife reports: KDWPT last updated 11/13. No major changes on fishing activity. 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 using jigs, worms, and crankbaits 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: 44 degrees, stained, 1 foot high. Outlook: Jayhawk Marina reports: Crappie – fair on pink, red, and chartreuse jigs and minnows; channel catfish – fair on chicken liver, worms, or stink bait on the bottom and river channels. No other reports. The fishing dock opens at 7am, kids 12 and under are free. Join Northeast Kansas Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.

GLEN ELDER (WACONDA LAKE): 45 degrees, clear, about 0.5 feet 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: 44 degrees, stained, 20 feet high. Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife reports: last KDWPT online update was 11/16. The lake is still 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 800 pounds of rainbow trout on 11/15 and these fish should be biting now. A total of about 2,700 trout have been stocked. 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: 44 degrees, 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 fair in the weeds. White perch have been good and have moved to deeper parts of the lake. Blue catfish are being caught all over, but the upper end is producing best. There have also been reports of smallmouth and largemouth picking up. White bass remain scarce for the most part.

EL DORADO: low 40s, stained, 0.4 feet high. Outlook: Wildlife, Parks & Tourism reports: Crappie are fair to good 12 to 17 feet down near channels and brush. Try minnows or larger plastics. Wipers and white bass have really slowed down with the rapid drop in water temp. Most action for them has been dropping spoons and jigs on schools as casting success has slowed with chasing activity falling off. Blue cats should be around deeper ledges off of shallow areas and moving towards the river channels. As always, cut fresh shad is hard to beat. Few reports on walleye. With the rapid drop in lake water temps, the fish appear to be following the warmest water while it’s still available.

HUNTING

Missouri

BOB BROWN CONSERVATION AREA: last updated 11/5. 13,975 ducks were observed then, including 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: last updated 11/6. 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: last updated 11/5. 8,560 ducks were observed, including 1310 Gadwalls, 3700 Mallards, 500 Mixed dabblers, 2650 Pintails, and 400 Wigeon.

GRAND PASS CONSERVATION AREA: last updated 11/5. 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: last updated 11/5. 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: last updated 11/5. 105 ducks were observed made up gadwalls and mallards.

LOESS BLUFFS CONSERVATION AREA: On 11/13/2018, a total of 44,077 ducks were observed along with 42,131 geese. The vast majority of ducks were mallards, followed by Northern Pintails. Snows and Greater-White Fronted Geese made up the majority of geese.

Kansas

CHEYENNE BOTTOMS: On 11/19/, 1,000 - 5,000 ducks were observed. Mallards currently make up about 50% of the ducks on the area. The rest of the birds are mixed species. Goose numbers have increased to around 80,000 - 120,000. About half are snows, the rest are equal numbers of whitefronts and Canadas. For the period of 11/10-11/19, hunters have averaged 2.4 ducks per hunter. During that period, 36% of the harvest was mallards. Very few geese are being harvested at this time. Hunters are required to use the electronic Daily Hunt Permit system.

MARAIS DES CYGNES: On 11/19, greater than 40,000 ducks were observed, which included a good mix of mallards and early migrants including pintail, gadwall, shoveller, and teal. Saturday and Sunday (Nov 17-18): 260 ducks / 195 hunters = 1.3 success. Season: 1,354 ducks / 672 hunters = 2.0 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 11/13: 40,000 ducks, mainly Mallards and Teal. Good numbers of Gadwall, Pintail, Wigeon, and mixed divers were also observed along with 200 Canada Geese and 500 White-fronted Geese. Hunting conditions are considered excellent.

PERRY: On 11/13, about 11,000 ducks and 1,000 Geese were observed around the area with nearly all being down around Lake Perry. Mostly Mallards were observed with some Green Wing Teal, Gadwalls, and various diving ducks around as well. Use caution when accessing Kyle Marsh’s west unit as water levels are still above normal and some are 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. 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 11/19, 20,000 ducks and 20 Canada Geese were observed. The Mallard Migration Rank is 9 out of 10 currently. 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 11/15/2018, 500 ducks 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 6 feet above conservation pool. The boat ramp on Gatesville/Lower smith is now accessible but Mall creek is not usable due to the flood waters being too high.

QUIVIRA: On 11/16/, a total of 84,041 geese and 17,123 ducks were observed. Over 60,000 were snow geese, followed by 9,500 white-fronted geese. The majority of ducks were mallards and Green-winged teal.

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. On 11/16, the following was observed: 3 Duck Marsh- Both units are pumped and full of water, 250 mallards and 15 teal; Willow Marsh- North and South units are pumped and full, 73 unknown large ducks. Shoveler Slough - 50 ducks were observed at the time of this survey; Refuge- 300 mixed divers and 200 mallards.

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.

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