Outdoors

Outdoors report: Polar-like temps have kept most anglers indoors, but warm-up’s coming

Josh Matthews (left) and Devin Greenwood hoisting their stringers of crappie caught on Pomme de Terre with guide Kris Nelson of Tandem Fly Outfitters. Although they battled cold and windy conditions, Nelson was able to find the fish transitioning from brush piles to deeper water for the winter.
Josh Matthews (left) and Devin Greenwood hoisting their stringers of crappie caught on Pomme de Terre with guide Kris Nelson of Tandem Fly Outfitters. Although they battled cold and windy conditions, Nelson was able to find the fish transitioning from brush piles to deeper water for the winter.

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. 30, 2019.

Missouri

BULL SHOALS: lower 40s, clear, 1.1 feet high. Outlook: Del Colvin Guide Service reports: 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. The hot spot has been The State Park below Bull Shoals Dam. No wadable water in last week. 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 weight to get your flies down.

TANEYCOMO: 49 degrees, stained, full generation Outlook: Lilleys’ Landing reports: drifting minnows has resulted in a lot of bites, but catching them can be a different story. Trout can be finicky and steal minnows right off the hook. Try experimenting where you hook in the minnow (eye or back) to see if that helps improve your hook up ratio. Drifting PowerEggs can be successful too, but you need to be bouncing off the bottom. White/gray and black/chartreuse jigs have been the best producers lately on 1/8oz. Sculpin color varieties are good too. No shad to report coming through the turbines. The fact that white jigs are starting to draw bites is a good sign, but no one has literally seen threadfin shad in the lake. Guide Steve Dickey is still reporting fair numbers of rainbows caught drifting a pink or orange PowerWorm on the bottom, hooking the worm “wacky style” or in the middle of the worm and using a drift rig to get it to the bottom. With heavy generation, it’s a good time to get out the bigger baits and cast for big browns. Jerk baits, like the MegaBass 110+1 in the bone and pearl, have been the best, working the banks and even out in the middle. Dragging crankbaits behind the boat while drifting can have good results too. Fly fishing is pretty tough in this kind of water flow. Try drifting a scud on the bottom from the dam down past Fall Creek. Join Southwest Missouri Area Fishing Facebook group for fishing updates from an engaged membership.

NORFORK: 42 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: low 30s, stained, normal. Outlook: Longview Marina reports: Ice is starting to build up on the lake, still not safe levels. Boat ramps are iced in and can’t be used. No fishing activity to speak of currently. 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: 37 degrees, clear (4-6 feet), 2 feet high. Outlook: Muskie Guide Service reports: 1500 cfs being released. All species have been slow.

LAKE OF THE OZARKS: mid 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: mid to upper 30s, clear, 1.4 feet high. Outlook: Stockton Lake Guide Service reports: there is lots of ice, so be sure to check with someone about the ramps if at all possible before making at trip out. If you can get on the water and find shad schooled up in the coves or along the front of the bluffs, crappie and walleye should be underneath those schools of shad. Most of the shad have been in about 40 feet of water. You can also run A-rigs through the schools of shad for bass. Bass have seemed to be a little bit shallower in the 30 foot range. Your best bet is to go after the crappie and hopefully catch a walleye while you catch crappie. Join Southwest Missouri Area Fishing Facebook group for fishing updates from an engaged membership.

JACOMO: low 30s, stained, normal Outlook: Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook group reports: Ice is appearing, but not safe. Fishing activity has been slow due to cold weather. 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: low 30s, clear, about normal Outlook: Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group reports: Ice is appearing, but not safe. Fishing activity has been slow due to cold weather. 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 has slowed with the generation through the dam. Jerkbait bite has been the best on steeper, rocky main lake and secondary points near isolated timber. Allow the bait to sit for 5 - 10 seconds to draw strikes. Wind makes the bite better. The jig bite is also strong on these same points when it’s calm. The fish have been 15-25 feet deep. A few fish are still being caught on crankbaits but it has slowed as well. Join Southwest Missouri Area Fishing Facebook group for fishing updates from an engaged membership.

TRUMAN: 35 degrees, muddy, 3.4 feet high. Outlook: Richard Bowling Guide Service reports: releasing 24,000 cfs early in the week. Crappie continue to be good. The dam area has been productive near bluffs in 25 feet of water and more. Look for the fish 20 feet deep. Minnows are best right now.

SMITHVILLE: 32 degrees, clear, 1.6 feet low Outlook: Burton’s Bait and Tackle reports: Corps. of Engineers reports 100% ice cover recently. No updated report from Burton’s since previous week. Use caution if attempting to ice fish.

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: 35 degrees, stained, 0.8 feet low. Outlook: Melvern Lake Marina reports: Ice coverage as of Sunday morning was around 60% and 1.5” thick. 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: 32 degrees, clear, normal pool. Outlook: Kansas Angling Experience Guide Service reports: Lake is completely frozen.

PERRY: low 30s, stained, about normal. Outlook: Don and Tom’s Bait and Tackle reports: Corps. Of Engineers reports: 80% ice covered. 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: 32 degrees, stained, 0.5 feet low Outlook: Lighthouse Bay Marina reports: Corps. Of Engineers reports: 90% ice coverage. Crappie can still be caught around the docks through the ice. Use caution.

MILFORD: 33 degrees, stained, 3.3 feet high Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife reports: Corps. of Engineers reports 31,000 c.f.s being discharged. The lake is 75% ice covered. 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: 32 degrees, stained, a little low. Outlook: Jayhawk Marina reports: lake is about 50% ice covered. Be cautious using boat ramps. Crappie – fair on blue and white, black and chartreuse, black and silver, 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, 1 foot low 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, 1.2 feet high. Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife reports: Corps. Of Engineers reports: 50% ice cover. 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: watch out for icy conditions. Stripers have been slow to fair on the west end. Little word on walleyes in the last week. White perch can be found in deeper parts of the lake. Blue catfish are being caught all over, but the upper end is producing best. White bass remain scarce for the most part.

EL DORADO: low to mid 30s, stained, 0.22 feet high. Outlook: KS Dept. of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism reports: some ice is present. The main lake was open as of 1/30. Upper ends of coves and some protected arms were iced over. Use caution around boat ramps. Walnut River is wide open and flowing in at 90th St. Anglers have been catching crappie, but activity has been sparse recently with cold temps.

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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