Outdoors

Outdoors report: Frigid temps make fishing more difficult; ice starting to appear

Jake Olson had a great day at James A. Reed in Lee’s Summit. He landed numerous trout, including these two lunkers the Missouri Department of Conservation had recently released during its annual stockings of select ponds on the conservation area.
Jake Olson had a great day at James A. Reed in Lee’s Summit. He landed numerous trout, including these two lunkers the Missouri Department of Conservation had recently released during its annual stockings of select ponds on the conservation area. Submitted photo

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. 23, 2019.

FISHING

Missouri

BULL SHOALS: upper 40s, clear, 2 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 Rim 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 cerise San Juan worm (#10) with a Y2K (#12) suspended below it. Use plenty of lead 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, 1.3 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: mid 30s, stained, normal. Outlook: Longview Marina reports: The marina is open during the winter, but may close when weather is bad. Fishing has been very slow in last week. Boat ramps are still open, but probably not for long if cold weather persists. 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: 40 degrees, clear (4-6 feet), 4 feet high. Outlook: Muskie Guide Service reports: 1500 cfs being released. All species have been slow.

LAKE OF THE OZARKS: upper 30s, slightly stained, 2.5 feet low. Outlook: Gier’s Bass Pro reports: Fishing activity has been very slow with few anglers out in the cold. All species are considered slow due to no reports.

REED AREA: 33 degrees, clear, normal pool. Outlook: Missouri Dept. of Conservation reports: lakes are ice covered, fishing pressure has been down with the current weather conditions. All species slow. Trout can be found on a variety of baits from power bait to flies. Remember that no ice is 100% safe. It takes a minimum of four inches of good ice to fish, and you should always avoid off-colored ice. Do not venture out on the ice alone. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.

STOCKTON: low 40s, clear, 0.8 feet high. 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: 46 degrees, clear (7 feet), 1 foot 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, muddy, 2.9 feet high. Outlook: Richard Bowling Guide Service reports: releasing 23,000 cfs early in the week. 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, 1.75 feet low Outlook: Burton’s Bait and Tackle reports: Corps. of Engineers reports 15% 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: low 30s, 1-3 feet of clarity, normal. Outlook: Fishing With Nordbye YouTube channel reports: The lake is frozen up. Join Northwest Missouri Area Fishing Facebook group for daily updates.

Kansas

MELVERN: 37 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. All other species - no reports.

CLINTON: 33 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.

LA CYGNE: 37 degrees main lake, 67 at hot water outlet, clear, 0.2 feet low Outlook: Linn County Parks reports: Fishing has been fairly slow in last week, but crappie have been biting in deep water over by the dam. For information on the Linn County Marina boat ramps call 913 757-6633. Join Southeast Kansas Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.

POMONA: 33 degrees, stained, 1 foot low Outlook: Lighthouse Bay Marina reports: crappie have been very good around the marina lately. Large numbers of keepers are being taken home almost everyday. Coves are frozen up now. Most anglers are fishing through the ice around docks. Join Northeast Kansas Area Fishing on Facebook to see daily updates about the area.

MILFORD: 36 degrees, stained, 1 foot 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: 36 degrees, stained, 1.1 feet high. Outlook: Jayhawk Marina reports: Crappie – fair on blue and white, black and chartreuse, and pink jigs, as well as minnows 18-20 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, normal 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: 33 degrees, stained, 1.4 feet high. Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife reports: KDWPT last updated 1/15. Most fishing has been slow due to high water. Crappie and White bass have been hard to find with fluctuating water levels. Catfish and saugeye have been fair. The high release rates have been moving saugeye from the Reservoir downstream, which has led to some good fishing in the river pond, the river below the dam or at Rocky Ford. 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, 0.62 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 27.

South Zone:

10 MILE POND CA: On January 14, 2019: about 28,000 ducks were observed, including 2000 Gadwalls,

19000 Mallards, 5000 Pintails, and 2000 Teal. Hunters averaged 0.71 ducks per day in the week leading up to the survey count.

Kansas

CHEYENNE BOTTOMS: Duck season is now closed for this area. As of 1/18, goose numbers are highly variable by the day, ranging from 10,000-250,000 geese. Mostly snows, but some Canadas and whitefronts are present.

MARAIS DES CYGNES: Last updated 1/22/19: Less than 5,000 ducks were present. Duck numbers are decreasing significantly with snow and ice. A few hundred geese are present. Jan 20 & 21: 14 ducks / 24 hunters = 0.6 success. Season: 4,918 ducks / 3,346 hunters = 1.5 success. Season goose harvest = 61. 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 1/22, 15,000 to 25,000 ducks were present, mainly mallards and mixed divers. 2000 Canada Geese and 3500 White-fronted Geese were also observed. 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 1/18, 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.

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 1/18, the following was observed: 3 Duck Marsh - Both units are pumped and full of water, 120 mallards; Willow Marsh - North and South units are pumped and full, roughly 20 mallards; Sundance Marsh - No waterfowl were observed during the survey; Lowman’s Cove - Full of water. No waterfowl were observed during the survey; Shoveler Slough - 20 plus unidentified waterfowl, however most of the area was not surveyed due to weather conditions. (NOTE: Motorized boats are prohibited); Refuge - Observed waterfowl at the time of the survey was about 300 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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