Catching monster fish in Kansas
Here is the fishing report for lakes and reservoirs in the Kansas City area and regionally around Kansas and Missouri for June 26, 2019.
BULL SHOALS: 80 degrees, clear (15 feet), 27 feet high Outlook: Del Colvin Guide Service reports: water clarity on the main lake is very clear, but there is color in the back of major creeks, especially after a rain. Look for shad in pockets and points. The shad are suspending in about 15-20 feet off main lake and secondary points. A tube in burnt orange/green pumpkin or green pumpkin, jig or watermelon red colors is working on the old shoreline. Keep boat in 30-35 feet. If the sun is out, go deep using jigs, twin tail grubs, tubes, or shakey heads. Those are all good options dragged on points and secondary points either jig beaver or big worm Texas rigged. Jewel Gem Shad swimbait will move through those bushes well and catch those suspended fish. Summer patterns will most likely be out on the old shoreline points, islands, or humps hanging around bait fish. If there is wind, powerfishing will work. Wind will also help the look for long points with a channel swing nearby. Topwater like spooks, gunfight sammy redfin ploppers, poppers and toads are working. Use walk the dog style baits on open water and poppers on isolated cover. Walleye have been eating bass baits again this week. Below the dam: John Berry of Berry Bros. Guide Service reports: The White has fished very well. Light generation and some wadable water.The hot spot has been 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 pheasant tail nymph (#14) with a ruby midge (#18) suspended below it. Use weight to get your flies down.
TANEYCOMO: 45 degrees, clear, moderate to heavy generation Outlook: Lilleys’ Landing reports: there’s no generation in the mornings during the week and 2-3 units in the afternoons. On weekends they’re running 2 units around the clock. Early and late in the day is the best fishing, and stay in the shade as much as possible when fishing on bright, sunny days. Using 2-pound line with smaller jigs has been more productive recently. Try a 1/32nd or 1/16th-ounce jig when there’s no generation and work them fairly deep. Best colors are sculpin/ginger or peach, olive, brown and brown/orange. The 2-pound line will become a major factor when water is off. If fishing is tough, change. Change locations, change lures, change colors, change flies, change line or tippet. Drifting scuds, eggs and San Juan Worms is still good, but you may have to drop to #14’s in some cases to get bit. Best to drift from Lookout Island down to Short Creek and either stay in the middle of the lake or on the inside bend. Use as little weight as possible to keep it off the bottom and out of the algae. Best scuds colors have been different shades of gray, olive, tan and brown. Best egg is peach and best San Juan Worm is red or pink. The pink Powerworm is still working most days but when it gets sunny, you have to fish it deep (8-9 feet) under a float. Join Southwest Missouri Area Fishing Facebook group for fishing updates from an engaged membership.
NORFORK: 78 degrees, clear, about 17 feet high Outlook: Bink’s Fintastic Guide Service reports: the topwater bass bite has been good lately. Stripers have been hitting a Bink’s Spoon really well down at 60 feet.
LONGVIEW: mid to upper 70s, stained, a little high. Outlook: Longview Marina reports: bass have been fair on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Crappie are biting fairly well around the dock with various sizes. Whites have been picking up in 7-10 feet of water. Catfish have been caught lakewide on worms or prepared baits. Fishing is available from the marina Monday-Friday. Fishing hours are 7am-5:00pm. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook group for daily updates.
POMME DE TERRE: 75 degrees, clear to stained, 23 feet high Outlook: Pomme Muskie Guide Service reports: clarity is good to about 3 feet. Discharging 3,000 CFS. Lots of fry around the lake. Crappie are fair to good hitting jigs and minnows five feet down. No muskies yet. Lake is expected to drop 5-6 inches a day if the release rate stays the same.
LAKE OF THE OZARKS: mid 80s, stained, full pool Outlook: Gier’s Bass Pro reports: they’re running a ton of water and fish are still being caught primarily on the main lake. Crappie are very good trolling crankbaits near main lake points. Catfish are very good on main lake and secondary points using cut bait 25-30 feet down. Bass are on main lake points and brush piles catching them on soft plastics and crank baits.
JAMES A. REED: 72 degrees, muddy, normal Outlook: Missouri Dept. of Conservation reports: largemouth bass good on chatterbaits and topwater. Anglers continue to catch 3-pound fish or bigger on a weekly basis. Channel catfish are fair on prepared baits and cut bait. All other species are slow. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.
STOCKTON: upper 70s/low 80s, clear, 15 feet high and falling Outlook: Tandem Fly Outfitters reports: there’s a been a big shad spawn recently which has made the bite a little tougher. With the water falling, the fish will be found on main lake and secondary points on the outer edge of the bushes. A Ned rig and a biffle head with a beaver on the old shore line has been producing lots of bites with most of the quality fish coming on the beaver. There’s a top water bite starting to develop but the bass are very spread out and not finding large concentrations in one area yet. Walleye can be caught on main lake points in 25-30 feet on the bottom with a ⅛ oz road runner tipped with half of a night crawler or ⅛ oz jig head. Crappie can be caught trolling flicker shad in the middle for the creeks (white bass and walleye will be mixed in).
JACOMO: mid to upper 70s, clear, normal Outlook: Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook group reports: White bass have been schooling on the main lake. Try rooster tails, whopper ploppers or other small topwaters. Crappie are scattered and hard to find. Look for them in structure 10-15 feet deep or near the mouths of coves. Try trolling flicker shad in various sizes. Largemouth have been slow to fair and found on the outside edges of flooded vegetation 10-15 feet down on finesse style baits. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.
BLUE SPRINGS: upper 70s, clear, high Outlook: Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group reports: the bass bite has been okay in the last week. Crappie are scattered and hard to find. Look for them in structure 10-15 feet deep. Trolling crankbaits seems to be more productive right now. Continue to look for wipers to concentrate around the “blow hole” on the south end of the lake. Folks have been finding them from the bank as well where Jacomo flows into Blue Springs. Catfish should be patrolling areas with water coming into the lake. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.
TABLE ROCK: 78 degrees, clear to muddy, 3.5 feet high and rising Outlook: Eric Prey of Focused Fishing Guide Service reports: bass are hitting top water baits early and late around shad on main lake points and bluff ends. Drop shot rigs later in the day have been productive on fish 25 - 40 feet deep suspended over deep trees. Football jigs on main lake mixed rock and gravel points 12-20 feet’ deep has been working. Also try up the rivers flipping bushes with jigs and creature baits or football jigs and big Texas rigged worms in brush piles 10-20 feet deep. White Bass are slow with a few scattered fish surfacing with black bass in the mornings. You can also find them trolling small shad colored crankbaits. Join Southwest Missouri Area Fishing Facebook group for fishing updates from an engaged membership.
TRUMAN: low 70s, stained, about 28 feet high Outlook: Richard Bowling Guide Service reports: water is rising slowly but they are releasing 40,000 to 50,000 cfs per day. Crappie are being caught on the flats around willow trees. Fish are in 25 feet of water and more with bait down 23 feet deep. The crappie bite has picked up and will continue to get better each day. Minnows and jigs are working. Bass are being caught on main lake points using 10-inch worms. Catfish bite has been good below the dam.
SMITHVILLE: 77 degrees, clear, about 6.5 feet high Outlook: Burton’s Bait and Tackle reports: Crappie and walleye have been biting well. The W Bridge has been a hot spot for all species. Look for fish to be moving to points. A jig and nightcrawler worked along points should be produce some walleye. Look for them in 8 feet of water or less.
MOZINGO LAKE: mid to upper 70s, muddy, high Outlook: Fishing With Nordbye YouTube channel reports: all species are good. Fish are staged in their summer patterns. Bass have been hitting , UVenkos, BD Squarebills, and Fish Hog Tackle’s wired jigs on points, weedlines in coves, and standing timber. For crappie, UV Crappie Jigs as well as minnows are working near deeper trees in coves about 10 feet down. Bluegill are biting good, and are moving up spawning. Tube jigs or night crawlers working well up shallow in coves. Andrew Nordbye is moving out of state at the end of the summer so will no longer be able to provide fishing reports at that time. If you, or someone you know, could be a good resource for Mozingo Lake fishing reports each week, please reach out to Tyler Mahoney.
SHAWNEE MISSION PARK: 79 degrees, clear, normal Outlook: trout are fair on Powerbait. Crappie and panfish are fair on worms and minnows. Catfish are fair on cut bait or stink bait. Bass/wipers are fair on plastic jigs and nightcrawlers. Wipers can sometimes be caught on chicken liver under a bobber.
KILL CREEK PARK: 81 degrees, clear, normal Outlook: Crappie and panfish are fair on worms or minnows. Bass are good on plastic worms and spinner baits. Topwater baits early and late are also good. Catfish are fair on cut bait or chicken liver.
WYANDOTTE: mid to upper 70s, clear, normal Outlook: KDWPT reports: last updated 6/19/19. Largemouth are good on finesse baits targeting underwater vegetation. Smallmouth bass are good near rocky bottoms with crankbaits, jigs, and swimbaits. Crappie are fair near deeper structure on jigs and minnows.
MELVERN: mid 70s, stained, 17.5 feet high Outlook: Melvern Lake Marina reports: discharging 20 CFS. Eisenhower State Park has reopened the East boat ramp. Crappie are poor to fair, mostly caught near submerged trees and along the docks on minnows. White bass have been poor to fair on shallow crankbaits and minnows. Channel cats are fair lakewide on nightcrawlers and livers. Blue catfish are fair, catching a few at the west end of the lake on shad sides and entrails.
CLINTON: 64 degrees, dingy, 21 feet high Outlook: KDWPT reports: last updated 6/21/19. All boat ramps in the State and Corps Parks are closed due to high water. Fish feeders will not be operational until water levels recede to normal.
PERRY: low 80s, stained, about 28.5 feet high Outlook: Don and Tom’s Bait and Tackle reports: all the boat ramps are closed so there hasn’t been much fishing. Catfish have been very good where water is flowing into the lake. Only prominent fishing activity going on is down below the spillway. Blues, flatheads, and walleye are being caught at the spillway.
COFFEY COUNTY (WOLF CREEK): 75 degrees middle of lake, clear, high Outlook: KDWPT report last updated 6/19: Entrance gate phone number is 620-364-2475. Be sure to call ahead for lake conditions. White bass and wipers are fair to good using shad imitation lures like small spinners, crankbaits or bucktail jigs. Look for schools of shad or focus on wind blown flats or points. Smallmouth are fair to good on crankbaits, swimbaits, and finesse plastics around rocky habitat. Some anglers are figuring the fish out and having good days with more than 30 fish caught. Largemouth are fair around shallow cover and standing cattails, using reaction style baits should produce some fish. Jerkbaits, lipless cranks, vibrating jigs, or spinnerbaits. Some fish may be caught off rocky points using large plastic worm or shaky head. Crappie are fair vertical jigging around the standing timber or channel swings.
LA CYGNE: mid 70s, stained, high Outlook: KDWPT reports: last updated 6/14/19. The water level is very full and has flooded lots of weed beds that are full of crappie, channel catfish and bass. Bass are good. Fish the rip rap areas, use cranks, plastic worms, lizards, spinner baits, or shad imitation baits. Bass over 10 pounds have been caught recently. White bass have been good to excellent at the hot water outlet. Use shad imitations or silver spoons. Most of the fish caught at the hot water outlet have been in the 1 to 2 pound range. Crappie are fair but picking up. Some have been caught off of marina coves and along the dam. There are a good numbers of fish 10- 12 inches long. Best lures to use are jigs/ minnows near structure. At the dam, bounce jigs off the outlet wall, but don’t go over the restrictive cable. Try any of the brush piles or Georgia cubes placed for fish habitat. There are some close to the marina shoreline. White bass have been good near the hot water outlet. For information on the Linn County Marina boat ramps, call 913-757-6633. Good shoreline angler access is provided by the Linn County Park on the west side of the lake. Join Southeast Kansas Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.
POMONA: 73 degrees, stained, 24 feet high Outlook: KDWPT reports: last updated 6/14/19. Most fishing is slow recently. Anglers have really caught some fish at the outlet because of the high water releases. The fish feeders are on. Only boat ramp opened, Boat Ramp 1.
MILFORD: 71 degrees, stained, 29 feet high Outlook: KDWPT reports: last updated 6/24/19. Discharging 25 CFS. Many boat ramps are still closed around the lake. Fishing access around the reservoir will most likely be difficult until the water level goes down. Channel catfish can be caught on cut bait, worms, and stink bait. Blue catfish are typically caught on fresh cut bait. Target wind blown flats for catfish. Walleye are slow to fair and can be found targeting rocky or wind-swept mud banks with jigs, crankbaits, or bottom bouncers. Crappie are slow to fair. Look for them 10-20 feet deep suspended near points, flooded brush, and ledges on jigs and minnows. At the outlet, catfish are fair on cut bait; walleye, white bass, and wipers are slow on jigs.
HILLSDALE: upper 60s/low 70s, stained, 11.5 feet high and falling Outlook: KDWPT reports: last updated report 6/19. All Boat Ramps are closed due to flooding. All camping areas in Jayhawk Park Area are closed. All fishing has been slow to fair. Look for bass along shallow, flooded structure. Some walleye are being found on shallow rocky points and adjacent mud flats. Some walleye are also being taken at the spillway. Crankbaits and jigs are the most productive lures right now. Crappie have been fair around Jayhawk Marina. Largemouth bass can be found near shallower structure right now. Plastic baits and topwater baits near shoreline vegetation are producing the most fish.
GLEN ELDER (WACONDA LAKE): 75 degrees, stained, about 10 feet high Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism reports: last update given 6/21/19. The two state park boat ramps (Osage and Marina Cove) are closed as is the Boller Point boat ramp. There are still several open ramps that can be used safely including Granite Creek, Walnut Creek, Schoen’s Cove, and North Fork Bridge. This high water may stick around for awhile and boaters should be aware of any new potential hazards which could be showing up in the newly flooded water. Anglers have been catching fair to good numbers of walleye around the Cawker City Causeway, the flats south of the golf course, near Schoen’s Cove, and off the state park points. Most fish are coming from 15-20 feet of water using jigs and worms or jigs and minnows. Smallies can be caught along the dam and north shore around the state park area, as well as the south bluffs. Largemouth bass numbers are best in the back end of Walnut Creek, Granite Creek, Mill Creek, and Mealls Cove. Jig and Pig, white spinnerbaits, and Ned Rigs are all good options for early summer bass. Check for white bass around the dam and off main lake points along the north shore and near the south bluffs. Trolling along the Cawker City causeway can also be good if the water is not too murky.
TUTTLE CREEK: 80 degrees, stained, 57.3 feet high. Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife reports: KDWPT last updated report given 6/13. Running 200 CFS. Most fishing has been slow due to high water. The high release rates have been moving saugeye downstream from the Reservoir, which has led to some good fishing in the river pond, the river below the dam or at Rocky Ford. Everything else has been slow.
WILSON: mid to upper 70s, clear to stained, 10.2 feet high Outlook: KDWPT reports: as of 6/21, all boat ramps were usable. Black bass are good on soft plastics and jerkbaits along rocky shorelines and reed grass. Spinnerbaits work well when the wind is blowing. There has been recent reports of keeper Blue Catfish being caught throughout the reservoir. Try points in Hell Creek and shoreline habitat near West Minooka and Elm Creek. Use fresh cut bait. Stripers are fair with a few reports coming near the bluffs on the upper end and the river channel near Duvall. Try spoons and jigs/road runners in 12-20 feet of water. There are reports of big walleye being caught off points and flats from Duvall to Rock Town on the north shore. Try jigs and swimbaits in the early morning and late evening.
EL DORADO: mid 70s, stained, 6.5 feet high. Outlook: KS Dept. of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism reports: last updated report given 6/21/19. Due to high water, all but one of the lake’s boat ramps are unusable. The Shady Creek Area 1 Boat Ramp is the only functioning ramp. The courtesy dock is flooded. Use extreme caution and be on the lookout for floating debris if you take a boat out on the water. Wipers are fair to good trolling or casting crank baits along windy shorelines. White bass are fair on main lake points and windy shorelines on curly tailed grubs or inline spinners. White perch are fair on small hooks with half a worm fished on rocky breaks and along old roads. Crappie are scattered in the flooded cover and are being caught on minnows and jigs. Walleye are fair drifting jig and crawler combos or pulling worm harnesses on main lake points and flats. A few are also being picked up on larger crankbaits.
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.