Here is the fishing and hunting report for the Kansas City area and lakes and wildlife areas in Kansas and Missouri for the week of Jan. 2, 2019.
BULL SHOALS: upper 40s, clear, about normal. Outlook: Del Colvin Guide Service reports: deep bite is good. The spoon bite has moved a little deeper with the shad suspending. Expect the bite anywhere from 30 to 60 feet down. An umbrella rig is producing in shallows and bluff ends. Jerkbait bite is good early and late in low light conditions. Look for shad and you’ll find the fish. Loons and gulls will help you find them. Crank baits, Wiggle warts, and rock crawlers can be good if there’s a little wind. Below the dam: John Berry of Berry Bros. Guide Service reports: The White has fished well. There was significant wadable water most days in the last week. The hot spot has been The Narrows. 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: 49 degrees, stained, heavy generation on cold mornings off in the afternoon to light generation on warmer mornings and 1500-2000 c.f.s in the afternoons. Outlook: Lilleys’ Landing reports: Fly fishing is good using #12 - #16 brown or gray scuds on the bottom from Short Creek to the dam. Strip olive woolies, cracklebacks and soft hackles in windy conditions. For midging trout, use a #16 root beer Zebra midge under a float 12 to 36 inches deep. Bait fishermen are doing well using minnows and night crawlers below Fall Creek. Trolling gold Cleos is working good from Monkey Island down through Branson Landing. Join Southwest Missouri Area Fishing Facebook group for fishing updates from an engaged membership.
NORFORK: 49 degrees, stained, 0.5 feet high. Outlook: Bink’s Fintastic Guide Service reports: crappie are getting better on main lake Corps. of Engineers brush piles 25-30 feet deep. Stripers are biting well trolling umbrella rigs 50-60 feet deep between the bridges. All bass species have been in the main lake creek channels in 60 feet, but suspended 40 feet down.
LONGVIEW: low 40s, clear, a little high. Outlook: Longview Marina reports: The marina is now open again. Things have been a little slower, but white bass and crappie are still being caught regularly. Try silver or gold jigging spoons and kastmasters, or black and purple jigs. All boat ramps usable. Marina no longer has minnows available until the spring. Fishing is available from the marina 7 days a week. Fishing hours are 8am-12:30pm and that will go through the end of February. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook group for daily updates.
POMME DE TERRE: mid 40s, clear (4-6 feet), 3.6 feet high. Outlook: Muskie Guide Service reports: Crappie are fair to good near docks and brush piles. Look for them 14-15 feet down in 20 feet of water. Bass have been slow, but still some quality fish being caught on an Alabama rig. A lot of shad are moving in the back of the coves so bass and muskie have been following them.
LAKE OF THE OZARKS: low 40s, clear, 1.7 feet low. Outlook: Gier’s Bass Pro reports: nothing much changing. Crappie are biting 15 feet down near brush. Some have also been caught on main lake points using jerkbaits. Bass are biting on spinnerbaits if the wind is blowing. They’re also starting to hit jerkbaits a little better but jigs have been most productive.
REED AREA: mid to upper 30s, clear, normal. Outlook: Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group reports: crappie have been good on minnows near brush piles. Trout are being caught on a variety of baits when water isn’t frozen. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.
STOCKTON: low to mid 40s, clear, 3 feet low. Outlook: Stockton Lake Guide Service reports: Crappie are good on jigs in 20 for of water along bluffs and steep points. Walleye are fair under schools of shad in 25 feet of water. All other species are poor. Join Southwest Missouri Area Fishing Facebook group for fishing updates from an engaged membership.
JACOMO: upper 30s/low 40s, stained, normal Outlook: Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook group reports: Be cautious of possible icy conditions on boat ramps. If bass fishing, slow your retrieve down. Jerkbaits worked slow over standing timber or brush can be good. Be sure to have a noticeable pause between jerks the fish will want a slower moving target in colder water. Try different cadences on your retrieve and when you get a bite be sure to duplicate the cadence that caused the bite. 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 around the docks and from the bank. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.
BLUE SPRINGS: upper 30s/ low 40s, clear, about normal Outlook: Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group reports: Be cautious of possible icy conditions on boat ramps. 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. White bass and wipers are slow to fair. Largemouth bass are slow. Jerkbaits are starting to produce. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.
TABLE ROCK: 48 degrees, clear (7 feet), normal. 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. A finesse jig on gravel mixed with rock banks and points can produce. The jerkbait bite over standing timber or steep banks/points is also picking up. 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 30s/low 40s, muddy, 2.6 feet high. Outlook: Richard Bowling Guide Service reports: releasing 16,000 cfs currently. Crappie fishing is good. Target the mouths of the creeks or along the bluffs in 20 ft of water and more. You’ll find fish about 14 feet down in these areas. The best bite is on minnows spider rigging or 2 pole trolling. Be sure to move very slow. Catfish in the upper grand has slowed due to the water conditions. Fish the mid to lower lake and key on the channel edges. Fresh shad is a must.
SMITHVILLE: 34 degrees, clear, 1 foot high Outlook: Burton’s Bait and Tackle reports: Corps. of Engineers reports 40% ice cover recently. No updated report from last week. Use caution around boat ramps. 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: upper 30s/low 40s, 1-3 feet of clarity, normal. Outlook: Fishing With Nordbye YouTube channel reports: All fishing is fair. Use slow presentations when fishing. If you can find the Shad, some fish will be close by.
MELVERN: 39 degrees, stained, 1.9 feet high. Outlook: Melvern Lake Marina reports: Crappie are poor to fair with a lot of small fish caught, more keepers are being brought in around established brush piles and the marina. Small ice jigs and soft baits are best. Smallmouth are poor along the shoreline and rip rap face of the dam using spoons and shallow crankbaits. White bass are fair lake wide on jigs and minnows. Largemouth Bass are poor with no reports. Channel catfish are poor to fair on nightcrawlers and cut bait. Blue Catfish are poor to 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. Several have been caught in the outflow on the east side of the dam.
CLINTON: 40 degrees, clear, about normal. Outlook: Kansas Angling Experience Guide Service reports: Crappie are good with limits being caught on brush piles if you can stand the cold. All ramps usable-please be cautious, and 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: upper 30s, stained, 2 feet high. Outlook: Don and Tom’s Bait and Tackle reports: Crappie have been biting at both marinas and near brush piles 10-14 feet down. Look for them shallower on sunny days. Orange/chartreuse and red/chartreuse are working well. Anything with orange is the ticket.
MILFORD: 37 degrees, stained, about normal Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife reports: KDWPT last updated 12/20. Catfish are fair along main river channel on cut bait. Crappie are fair 10-20 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 20-30 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. Join Northeast Kansas Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.
HILLSDALE: 38 degrees, stained, 0.6 feet high. Outlook: Jayhawk Marina reports: Crappie – fair on jigs and minnows 14-20 feet down; catfish are fair on natural or artificial baits. 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): 37 degrees, clear, 1 foot high Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism reports: KDWPT last updated 12/20. Crappie are fair to good. Anglers have been reporting improved crappie catch rates from deep drops along the river channel and in the marina slips. Small jigs and minnows are working best. The bite is often best early in the morning and late in the afternoon. There have also been some fish caught off the brush piles around the state park area. Beginning in January 2019 there will be a 10 inch minimum length limit on crappie at Glen Elder! Walleye are fair. Anglers do not catch many walleye during the winter out here. Best bets to catch some now would be to target deeper water along the river channel in the lower half of the reservoir. During the day, fish can be found as deep as 40 feet, but they will move shallower at night. White bass are good. Check around the outlet area with the high outflows occurring right now. Also, fish can be found off main lake points along the north shore and near the south bluffs. Fish will also be stacking up west of the causeway and anglers should be able to find some along the river channels in that area.
TUTTLE CREEK: 38 degrees, stained, 5 feet high. Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife reports: last KDWPT online update was 12/14/18. Most 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 12/11/18 and there were some really nice sized fish in this stocking. So far this trout season, the lake has been stocked with over 4,070 catchable sized rainbow trout. Fishing has been limited with the ice cover but anglers have been doing well in holes near the docks. As of 12/14/18 Willow Lake was mostly free of ice. Best baits are 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, 0.5 feet 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: mid 30s, stained, 0.75 feet highl. Outlook: Wildlife, Parks & Tourism reports: last updated 12/31/18. Crappie are good and being found 12 to 15 deep near timber or on brush piles using jigs or minnows. Look for wipers on secondary drops in 12 to 18 feet of water. Slab spoons and vertically fished larger plastics would be good baits. 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, November 27 and December 13. Anglers have been doing well on a variety of baits including small spoons, spinners, flies, PowerBait, and small jigs.
BOB BROWN CONSERVATION AREA: As of 12/30, about 7,300 ducks were present including 4700 mallards. 18 hunters harvested an average of 0.33 ducks per man in the last week.
FOUR RIVERS CONSERVATION AREA: As of 12/30, about 68,074 ducks were on the area. 20 hunters reported harvesting 29 ducks in the last week for a 1.45 daily average in last week.
NODAWAY VALLEY CONSERVATION AREA: As of 12/30, 2,650 ducks were observed, mostly mallards. 13 hunters averaged 1.08 ducks per hunter in the last week.
GRAND PASS CONSERVATION AREA: As of 12/30, there were 225,000 ducks observed. Almost all mallards. 120 hunters averaged 1.05 ducks daily in last week.
FOUNTAIN GROVE CONSERVATION AREA: As of 12/23, 70,000 ducks were observed. Almost all mallards. 40 hunters averaged 0.92 ducks per man on a daily average in last week.
MONTROSE CONSERVATION AREA: As of 12/30, about 2,653 ducks were observed. 24 hunters averaged 2.12 ducks daily in last week.
LOESS BLUFFS CONSERVATION AREA: Last updated on 12/4 when 4,818 geese and 21,309 ducks were observed. Almost all ducks were mallards and almost all geese were snows.
CHEYENNE BOTTOMS: Duck season is now closed for this area. Hunters averaged 2.58 ducks per man. Goose numbers are highly variable by the day, ranging from 5,000-50,000 geese, mostly snows, but some Canadas and whitefronts are also there.
MARAIS DES CYGNES: On 12/31, 25,000 ducks were observed along with a few hundred geese. Last 7 days (Dec 24 thru 30): 477 ducks / 301 hunters = 1.6 success. Season: 4,207 ducks / 2,710 hunters = 1.6 success. Season goose harvest = 33. 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: On 12/27, 25,000 to 30,000 ducks were present, mainly Mallards. Good numbers of Gadwall, Pintail and mixed divers were observed along with 2000 Canada Geese and 1000 White-fronted Geese. On 12/20/18, area staff counted 70 Swans so please identify your target. 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. If the red check out sign is out at check station all hunters are required to stop.
PERRY: As of 12/28, approximately 5000 ducks and 500 Geese were observed around the area. Mostly Mallards were observed and minimal diving ducks are around as well. 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. Efforts will continue to draw any units down that are above normal pool to get them down to a more desirable level. Ice coverage is minimal and most wetlands have open water due to high winds and warmer temperatures. 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 12/28. 1,500 ducks and 90 Canada Geese were observed. The Hunting success is expected to be poor. A permit/survey is required to hunt the Tuttle Creek Wildlife Area.
QUIVIRA: Last update on 12/19. A total of 9,342 geese and 13,167 ducks were observed. About 8,200 were snow geese. About 5600 Green-winged Teal were present, followed by over 2,000 mallards.
MELVERN: On 12/28, the following was observed: 3 Duck Marsh- Both units are pumped and full of water, 30 mallards. Willow Marsh - North and South units are pumped and full. A few mallards were observed on the marsh. Sundance Marsh - No waterfowl was observed on the survey. Lowman’s Cove - Full of water. No waterfowl was observed on the survey. Shoveler Slough - About 80 mallards were observed at the time of this survey. (NOTE: Motorized boats are prohibited). Refuge - Observed waterfowl at the time of the survey was about 15 mixed species of waterfowl. 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.
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.