Outdoors

Outdoors report: Snow? No worries. Big crappie are biting on Norfork

Rum Binkley from Mountain Home, Ark., had a good day fishing with her husband, Darrel Binkley, who runs Bink’s Guide Service. Using Darrel’s “Bink’s Spoons” in the white three-eighths-ounce model, Rum landed a limit of big crappie measuring 14 to 17 inches apiece.
Rum Binkley from Mountain Home, Ark., had a good day fishing with her husband, Darrel Binkley, who runs Bink’s Guide Service. Using Darrel’s “Bink’s Spoons” in the white three-eighths-ounce model, Rum landed a limit of big crappie measuring 14 to 17 inches apiece.

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. 16, 2019.

FISHING

Missouri

BULL SHOALS: upper 40s, clear, 3 feet high. Outlook: Del Colvin Guide Service reports: the water is rising with Table Rock dumping water. Bull Shoals Dam is generating 8 units. The deep bite is good. The spoon bite has moved a little deeper with the shad suspending. Try Rapala ice jigs and expect the bite anywhere from 30 to 60 feet down. Avoid the cold, muddy water from the rain! If you run into finicky fish, try a drop shot or damiki rig. The umbrella rig is producing in brush piles, channel swings, 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. Current has moved them into smaller pods. Crank baits, Wiggle warts, and rock crawlers can be good if there’s a little wind. Never rule out a jig. A Jewel football jig will work year round. Below the dam: John Berry of Berry Bros. Guide Service reports: The White has fished well. There was no wadable water in last week. The hot spot has been The Wildcat Shoals. 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, moderate generation (2 units) Outlook: Lilleys’ Landing reports: fishing has been relatively slow in the last week. Heavy generation was occurring after the rains, but has slowed to 2 units. When heavy generation is occurring, get your bait, lure or fly on the bottom or over in some slower water like eddies or slack water. Try 4-pound line and an 1/8th ounce bell weight and a #14 gray scud or larger, like a #10 or even a #8. An egg fly should work too. Join Southwest Missouri Area Fishing Facebook group for fishing updates from an engaged membership.

NORFORK: 49 degrees, stained, 1.6 feet high. Outlook: Bink’s Fintastic Guide Service reports: stripers are still up lake. Trolling with umbrella rigs 40-50 feet down is productive. Crappie have moved up into the brush piles and are feeding aggressively. Bass have been good on the banks anywhere from 10-20 feet down. White bass have been excellent throughout the lake on Bink’s Spoon vertical jigging.

LONGVIEW: low 40s, stained, normal. 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: low to mid 40s, clear (4-6 feet), 5 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 to mid 40s, slightly stained, 2.6 feet low. Outlook: Gier’s Bass Pro reports: In the last week, crappie have been good near brush piles 15-18 feet down. They’ve been hitting well on jerkbaits. Look for brush piles around condo docks. Bass have been fair on jerkbaits, but picking up on tube baits on main lake and secondary points 15-20 feet down.

REED AREA: 33 degrees, clear, normal. Outlook: Missouri Dept. of Conservation reports: lakes are mostly free of ice; trout fishing is fair. Trout are being caught on a variety of baits from power bait to flies. All other species are slow. Cold weather has kept most people from fishing. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.

STOCKTON: low to mid 40s, clear, normal. Outlook: Stockton Lake Guide Service reports: Crappie are good and moving under schools of shad in 20 to 30 feet. For bass, try A-rigs on points. Walleye are either way up rivers or under schools of shad, but the bite has been poor. Join Southwest Missouri Area Fishing Facebook group for fishing updates from an engaged membership.

JACOMO: mid 30s, stained, normal Outlook: Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook group reports: Be cautious of possible icy conditions on boat ramps. About the same as last week. Not many people out fishing. 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 can be found in 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: mid 30s, clear, about normal Outlook: Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group reports: Be cautious of possible icy conditions on boat ramps. Crappie can be found around the marina and brush piles 10-15 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), 1.5 feet high. 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, 3.2 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: 33 degrees, clear, 1.5 feet high Outlook: Burton’s Bait and Tackle reports: Corps. of Engineers reports 10% ice cover recently. No updated report from Burton’s since previous 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 can 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. Look for them in brush piles 20 feet down in 30 feet of water and move shallower until you find them.

MOZINGO LAKE: upper 30s/low 40s, 1-3 feet of clarity, normal. Outlook: Fishing With Nordbye YouTube channel reports: The lake is very close to freezing up again. All fishing is fair. Use slow presentations when fishing. If you can find the Shad, some fish will be close by.

Kansas

MELVERN: 38 degrees, stained, 0.4 feet low. Outlook: Melvern Lake Marina reports: discharging 1,000 c.f.s currently. Crappie are poor to fair with a lot of small fish being caught. More keepers are being caught in and around established brush piles and at the Marina docks. 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 poor to fair lake wide on jigs and minnows. Channel catfish are poor to fair on nightcrawlers and cut bait with a few caught in the outflow on the east side of the dam.

CLINTON: 34 degrees, clear, normal pool. Outlook: Kansas Angling Experience Guide Service reports: Crappie are good with limits being caught on channel breaks and brush piles. 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, about normal. Outlook: Don and Tom’s Bait and Tackle reports: Crappie have been biting at both marinas and near brush piles 15-20 feet down. Look for them shallower on sunny days or if you’re not finding them deep. Orange/chartreuse and red/chartreuse are working well. Anything with orange is the ticket. Ice jigs are working well, too.

MILFORD: 37 degrees, stained, 0.2 feet low Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife reports: Corps. of Engineers reports 3,000 c.f.s being discharged. 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, 1.1 feet high. Outlook: Jayhawk Marina reports: Crappie – fair on black, white and pink jigs, as well as minnows 14-20 feet down; catfish are fair on natural or artificial baits. The fishing dock opens from 7am-5pm, kids 12 and under are free. Join Northeast Kansas Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.

GLEN ELDER (WACONDA LAKE): 32 degrees, clear, 0.3 feet high Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism reports: KDWPT last updated 1/3/19 to include: All the boat ramps are iced in. The lake is about 30% ice covered. 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. There is now 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. Trout are good. The latest trout stocking occurred on December 31st and the fish looked very good. The pond is currently covered with a thin layer of ice so it will be difficult for anglers to fish until the ice thickens or clears off. Once anglers are able to fish, the best baits to try include Powerbait, minnows, and worms. Don’t forget to purchase a trout permit.

TUTTLE CREEK: 38 degrees, stained, 0.4 feet low. Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife reports: KDWPT last updated 1/8. Most fishing has been slow due to high water. Crappie and White bass have been hard to find. Catfish and saugeye have been fair. Trout in Willow Lake are biting well. Willow Lake 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 01/08/19. So far this trout season the lake has been stocked with 5,260 catchable sized rainbow trout. Fishing has been good with the ice gone. Best baits are commercial trout baits, worms, corn or lures. Best places have been the rock piers or the North bank. Limit is 5 fish a day. A trout permit is needed to fish at Willow Lake during the trout season, except that anyone under 16 years of age with a properly licensed adult can fish and harvest up to 2 trout without a trout permit. Join Northeast Kansas Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.

WILSON: low 30s, stained, about normal. 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, 0.26 feet high. Outlook: Wildlife, Parks & Tourism reports: last updated 1/10. Few reports on wipers and white bass in the last week. Look for white perch along breaks or on humps using small jigs, spoons, or spinners. White crappie are good and being found 12 to 15 feet deep near timber or on brush piles on jigs or minnows. Rainbow Trout were stocked on November 13, November 27, December 13, and January 10. 500 pounds of rainbow trout were stocked January 10. Anglers have been doing well on a variety of baits including small spoons, spinners, flies, PowerBait, and small jigs.

HUNTING

Missouri

The North Zone and Middle Zone are now closed. The South Zone remains open until January 27th.

South Zone:

10 MILE POND CA: On January 6, 2019: 42,000 ducks were observed, mostly Mallards and Pintails. Hunters averaged 1.56 ducks per day in the last week.

Kansas

CHEYENNE BOTTOMS: Duck season is now closed for this area. As of 1/10, goose numbers are highly variable by the day, ranging from 75,000-250,000 geese. Mostly snows, but some Canadas and whitefronts are present.

MARAIS DES CYGNES: Last updated 1/14/19: 20,000 ducks were present. Duck numbers were decreasing with snow and ice. A few hundred geese were present. Weekend (Jan 12 & 13): 201 ducks/117 hunters = 1.7 success. Season: 4,662 ducks / 3,144 hunters = 1.5 success. Season goose harvest = 51. 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 1/14, 10,000 to 15,000 ducks were present, mainly Mallards and mixed divers. 2000 Canada Geese, 1500 White-fronted Geese were also present. On 1/08/19 area staff counted 62 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 1/11, about 2,500 ducks were observed and 1,500 Canada Geese were observed. Mostly Mallards and a few diver species were observed for ducks. At the time, all wetlands, the Delaware River, and Lake Perry were open with no ice coverage. Duck season remains closed for the split until January 19th, 2019. 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 was minimal around the area with some seen along the edges of wetlands. 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 1/11. 4,000 ducks and 40 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: The Refuge area is closed Jan 1-15. On 1/11, the following was observed: 3 Duck Marsh - Both units are pumped and full of water, 80 mallards and 120 canada geese; Willow Marsh - North and South units are pumped and full, 116 mallards and 20 unidentified; 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 200 mallards and 110 unidentified waterfowl 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.

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