Outdoors

Outdoors report: The snowpocalypse was tough, but didn’t keep people from fishing

Neil and Richard Dublinske show off their catch from James A. Reed, where they caught on their limit of trout on rainbow colored Powerbait.
Neil and Richard Dublinske show off their catch from James A. Reed, where they caught on their limit of trout on rainbow colored Powerbait. Submitted photo

FISHING

Missouri

BULL SHOALS: 53 degrees, clear, about 4 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. Wadable water every day. The hot spot has been Wildcat Shoals. 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: Same as last week. 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: 65 degrees, clear, about normal. Outlook: Bink’s Guide Service reports: bass fishing has improved on the banks. Crankbaits off of bluff walls are good plastics are good on shallow sloping banks. Crappie are good in the brush piles. Tthe whites and hybrids are about the same, 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.

LONGVIEW: low to mid 40s, stained, normal. Outlook: Longview Marina reports: not a lot of fishing activity, but the white bass are still excellent on silver or gold jigging spoons and kastmasters. Crappie are biting well, but have to work through some little guys to find the big ones. A few walleye have been caught recently. 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: 50 degrees, clear (4-6 feet), a little high. Outlook: Muskie Guide Service reports: They’re running 50 cubic feet per second. Crappie have been biting pretty well around docks and brush piles anywhere from 5-20 feet down. Bass have been slow, but quality fish are being caught on an Alabama rig.

LAKE OF THE OZARKS: mid to upper 40s, stained, 2.5 feet low. Outlook: Gier’s Bass Pro reports: nothing much has changed. 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: Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group 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: 49 degrees, clear, 5 feet low. Outlook: Stockton Lake Guide Service reports: all species are poor for the most part. Look for crappie are biting on bluffs on main lake. Bass are in back of creeks chasing shad. Shad imitation baits should be productive. 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. Jerkbaits are starting to produce in other area lakes. Be sure to have a noticeable pause between jerks the fish will want a slower moving target in colder water. Crappie have been found in good numbers and sizes around the docks and brush piles. White bass are fair and can be found using rooster tails or crappie jigs. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.

BLUE SPRINGS: mid to upper 40s, clear, about normal Outlook: Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group reports: Crappie continue to be good around the marina and brush piles 2-10 feet down. Be sure to slowly retrieve your line on a vertical presentation with a jig or minnow. They seem to be aggressively chasing bait to the surface. White bass and wipers can be found in good numbers. Largemouth bass are fair, with solid keepers still being caught regularly. Jerkbaits are starting to produce. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.

TABLE ROCK: 51 degrees, clear (7 feet), about 5.5 feet low. Outlook: Eric Prey of Focused Fishing Guide Service reports: The deep bite is best right now so be on the lookout for areas 50-70 feet deep on a spoon or jigging rap. 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: 34 degrees, clear, about normal. Outlook: Burton’s Bait and Tackle reports: Some ice has been present lately, but doesn’t last throughout the day. Use caution. Catfish are fair. The backs of the creeks where water flows in should hold fish. Crawlers, shrimp, or cut bait should all be good. You want to find current to catch fish. White bass continue to be found near windy, rocky main lake points but have slowed down a bit. 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

MELVERN: 46 degrees, stained, 1.5 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 and the marina Small ice jigs and minnows are 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: 42 degrees, clear, 0.3 feet high. Outlook: Kansas Angling Experience Guide Service reports: about the same as last week. 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: 43 degrees, stained, about 1 foot 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 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 7 am, kids 12 and under are free. Join Northeast Kansas Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.

GLEN ELDER (WACONDA LAKE): 40 degrees, clear, about 0.8 feet high Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism reports: KDWPT last updated 11/26. Crappie are fair. Look for fish around the deeper brush piles and other structure during the day. Fishing with minnows and jigs tipped with minnows will often lead to some success. Several anglers have had moderate success fishing around the marina docks recently. Schools of crappie can also be found along the river channel in 25 to 30 feet of water. Walleye are fair. Good numbers of walleye can be found off the state park shoreline, especially off the main lake points, near the dam, and in Walnut Creek this time of year. The best sample numbers came in 30 feet of water along the river channel between Campground 3 and Wally World. Try trolling with crankbaits or vertically jigging slabs or swim baits. Good numbers of white bass and wipers can be found along the Cawker City causeway, off Campground 3, near the dam, and off the south bluffs 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. Anglers fishing around the marina slips have also been reporting good numbers of white bass while crappie fishing. Black bass have been slow lately. Shallow and deep running crankbaits cast along the rocky banks might work well along with Senkos and other soft plastics. Catfish can be found nearly lake wide, but 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: low 40s, stained, 12.6 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: low 40s, stained, a little high. Outlook: Knothead’s Bait Shop reports: not much change from last week. 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: last updated 11/26. Crappie are good and being found 12 to 15 deep near timber or on brush piles using jigs or minnows. 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. Walleye are fair on slab spoons and jigs in 12 to 18 feet of water near roads, breaks, humps, and rocks. Trout were stocked on November 13. Anglers have been doing well on a variety of baits including small spoons, spinners, flies, PowerBait, and small jigs.

HUNTING

Missouri

BOB BROWN CONSERVATION AREA: On 11/19, 61,500 ducks were observed, including 600 Gadwalls, 55,350 Mallards, 300 Mixed divers, 1,200 Pintails, 550 Ring-Necked ducks, 400 Shovelers, and 3100 Teal.

FOUR RIVERS CONSERVATION AREA: On 11/19, 71,961 ducks were observed, including 120 Gadwalls, 63,800 Mallards, 4,780 Mixed dabblers, 1,240 Pintails, and 2,000 Teal.

NODAWAY VALLEY CONSERVATION AREA: On 11/19, 27,850 ducks were observed, including 25,065 Mallards, 410 Mixed dabblers, 375 Pintails, and 2,000 Teal.

GRAND PASS CONSERVATION AREA: On 11/20, 174,995 ducks were observed, including 131,250 Mallards, 7,000 Mixed dabblers, 1,750 Mixed divers, 8,750 Pintails, and 26,250 Teal.

FOUNTAIN GROVE CONSERVATION AREA: On 11/19, 80,500 ducks were observed, including 1,500 Gadwalls, 65,000 Mallards, 1,500 Mixed divers, 2,500 Pintails, and 10,000 Teal.

MONTROSE CONSERVATION AREA: On 11/19, 30,613 ducks were observed, including 26,000 Mallards, 2,001 Mixed dabblers, and 2,600 Mixed divers.

LOESS BLUFFS CONSERVATION AREA: On 11/19, 121,231 geese and 40,181 ducks were observed. About 38,000 mallards were present. 108,795 snows and 10,950 Greater white-fronted geese made up the majority of the geese present.

Kansas

CHEYENNE BOTTOMS: Cold front and snow over the weekend pushed a lot of birds out. 1,000-5,000 ducks present. Mallards currently make up about 50% of the ducks on the area, rest of the birds are mixed species. Goose numbers have dropped some, around 75,000-125,000, mostly snows, a few thousand whitefronts are still on the area, and very few Canadas remain. Almost all the birds are using the refuge at this time. Expected success is fair. For the period of 11/22-11/26, hunters have averaged 0.85 ducks per hunter. During that period, 50.4% of the harvest was mallards. Very few geese are being harvested at this time.

MARAIS DES CYGNES: On 11/26, 35,000 ducks were observed and a few hundred geese. Over the holiday weekend (Nov 21 - 25): 514 ducks / 367 hunters = 1.4 success. Season: 2,141 ducks / 1,181 hunters = 1.8 success. Season goose harvest = 14.

NEOSHO: On 11/20, 50,000 ducks were present; mainly Mallards and Teal. Good numbers of Gadwall, Pintail, Wigeon, and mixed divers along with 500 Canada Geese and 1,000 White-fronted Geese. Hunting continues to be good. Hunters have been averaging around 2 birds per hunter. 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.

PERRY: Last update was on 11/13. At that time, 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: Last update was 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 11/21, about 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 about 3.5 feet above conservation pool. The boat ramp on Gatesville/Lower smith is now accessible along with Mall Creek.

QUIVIRA: Last update 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 11/21, the following was observed: Willow Marsh — North and South units are pumped and full. No waterfowl were observed at the time of the survey. Sundance Marsh — No waterfowl were observed at the time of survey. Lowman’s Cove - Full of water. Shoveler Slough — 100 mallards and 20 unknown ducks were observed at the time of this survey. (NOTE: Motorized boats are prohibited). Refuge — 150 mixed divers, largely Goldeneye. Along with approximately 75 Canada geese, 30 gadwall, and 25 mallards.

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