Fishing report: August heat has area anglers antsy for cooler fall weather

Kansas Angling Experience Guide Brian Ondrejka (left) and friend Keith Pflumm fished a bass tournament on Truman Lake in Missouri last weekend, placing fifth with 13.36 pounds. Truman Lake is known for good crappie, blue catfish and wiper fishing but is also a solid largemouth lake.
Kansas Angling Experience Guide Brian Ondrejka (left) and friend Keith Pflumm fished a bass tournament on Truman Lake in Missouri last weekend, placing fifth with 13.36 pounds. Truman Lake is known for good crappie, blue catfish and wiper fishing but is also a solid largemouth lake. Submitted photo

Here is the fishing report for lakes and reservoirs in the Kansas City area and regionally around Kansas and Missouri for August 21, 2019.


BULL SHOALS: 89 degrees, dingy to clear (5-10 feet) visibility, 19 feet high and falling fast Outlook: Del Colvin Guide Service reports: tougher fishing lately. Water clarity on the main lake is clearer, but there is color in the back of major creeks. There is a temp change at 30 feet. Bait fish are everywhere. The shad are suspending in about 15-20 feet off main lake and secondary points all the way into major creeks. With no current, the bait moves off banks and points. If the sun is out, go deep using jigs, beaver style baits, drop shot, or spoon 20 to 30 feet on points or bluffs. Generation is going to be key to a deep bite. Otherwise you need to cover water to get bit. Junk fishing the jig beaver or big worm Texas rigged is productive. Jewel Gem Shad swimbait will move through those old shoreline 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 or clouds, powerfishing will work if there’s a front moving in. Last full moon put bream in beds and wolf packs can be found in shallows schooling. Check submerged roads and manicured areas for feeding bass. Wind will also help the look for long points with a channel swing nearby. Topwater like spooks, gunfight sammy redfin toads, poppers, and buzz baits are working. Use walk the dog style baits on open water and poppers on isolated cover. Walleye guys are trolling and and doing fair. Spoon guys are catching good on cloudy days Below the dam: John Berry of Berry Bros. Guide Service reports: The White has fished very well. Heavy generation and no wadable water in last week. The hot spot has been 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 cerise San Juan worm with an egg pattern suspended below it. Use long leaders and plenty of weight to get your flies down.

TANEYCOMO: 53 degrees, clear, 4 units in afternoon Outlook: Lilleys’ Landing reports: the lake has been foggy lately, so be careful navigating the lake. It can be very difficult to see. Lots of wading opportunities in last week. The line size is very important right now. Use 2-pound line in very clear water. The early and late bite is the best.You’ll catch more trout before 7 a.m. than after. Stay in the shade as long as possible. Night crawlers are still the hottest live bait. The Pink Powerworm is a close second. For nightcrawlers, only use half a worm and inject it with air using a fill needle so it floats slightly off the bottom. Only hook it once, don’t ball it up on the hook. For the Powerworm, folks are fishing it 4-5 feet deep early. When it gets lighter outside, they’ll go deeper - up to 9 feet deep. The Lilley’s Landing 1/32nd-ounce jigs using two-pound line early in the mornings have been very productive just about anywhere on the lake. Black marabou jigs have been good lately. When the water is running in the afternoons and evening, use a 3/32nd- or 1/8th-ounce jigs in sculpin, white, black and olive colors. Fly fishing has been decent in the trophy area. Try a zebra midge under a small indicator 12 to 48 inches deep. Target those fish that are rising if you can. 7x tippet is a must. Use fluorocarbon, too. Join Southwest Missouri Area Fishing Facebook group for fishing updates from an engaged membership.

NORFORK: 87 degrees, slightly stained, about 11 feet high Outlook: Bink’s Fintastic Guide Service reports: the best bite has been walleye recently. They have been down in 27-30 feet of water and hitting the Bink’s “Many Shad” spoon in white color. The striped bass are 70 feet deep right now.

LONGVIEW: mid 80s, stained, about normal. Outlook: Longview Marina reports: Crappie have been good using minnows in standing timber in both creek arms, but you have to work for them. Some big ones have been caught recently. Worms or prepared baits have been productive for catfish. The Little Blue has been a good spot for them. Bass have been fair on plastics in brush piles and along weeds. Morning bite is better. Whites have been schooling intermittently. Fishing is available from the marina Monday-Friday. Fishing hours are 7am-7:30pm. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook group for daily updates.

POMME DE TERRE: mid 80s, clear, 3 feet high Outlook: Pomme Muskie Guide Service reports: 3,000 CFS being released. All species are slow but have been getting better. Crappie are fair trolling crankbaits and have really been picking up around brush piles near docks. Bass have been fair, but they are being found deep. White bass have been picking up lately. Walleye are showing up occasionally and there have been a couple reports of muskies caught in the last week.

LAKE OF THE OZARKS: mid 80s, clear, 0.4 feet low Outlook: Gier’s Bass Pro reports: fish are still being caught primarily on the main lake. Crappie are very good trolling crankbaits near main lake points. Smaller crappie have moved into brush. 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. Both bass and crappie have been in about 15-20 feet recently.

JAMES A. REED: low 80s, murky, normal Outlook: Missouri Dept. of Conservation reports: Largemouth bass are fair on soft plastics and crankbaits. Topwater early in the morning and late in the day has been productive. Anglers continue to catch 3-pound fish or bigger on a weekly basis on a variety of baits. 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: low to mid 80s, clear, 2.5 feet high Outlook: Tandem Fly Outfitters reports: fishing is excellent, especially the walleye. The crappie are suspended in 12-15 feet of water on trees in the river arms and under balls of shad on the main lake. A 1/16th oz Jakked shooter head with blue ice Bobby Garland baby shad is working very well. Walleye are in 12-20 feet and can be caught on 1/8 shooter heads with 1/2 of a night crawler on main lake points. Bottom bouncing with worm harness on flat pea gravel points has been working, too. Catching several Walleye mixed in with the schools of white bass trolling flicker shad. Join Southwest Missouri Area Fishing Facebook group for fishing updates from an engaged membership.

JACOMO: mid 80s, stained, normal Outlook: Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook group reports: White bass schooling has been intermittent, but bigger fish are coming up. Try rooster tails, whopper ploppers or other small topwaters. Crappie are hard to find. Look for them suspended 15-20 feet down or more near the mouths of coves. Jigging minnows has been most productive. Largemouth have been fair and found on the north side of the lake along large structure like boulders or trees. The bite has continued to be fairly tough so you’ll want to work very slowly. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.

BLUE SPRINGS: mid 80s, stained, normal Outlook: Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group reports: the bass bite has been slow to fair in the last week. Some have been caught in the reeds around the lake and some deeper near timber and points using jigs Crappie are scattered and hard to find. Look for them in structure 10-15 feet deep. Trolling or casting small crankbaits or using live minnows are good options. Wipers are scattered, but will stack up together so use your graphs to find them and drop a spoon or cast a swimbait. They should be starting to school up fall gets closer. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.

TABLE ROCK: 85 degrees, clear to stained, normal 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, small jigs fished around boat docks will produce. 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. Smaller swimbaits fished over submerged trees topping out around 20 feet will also produce a mixed bag of bass. Join Southwest Missouri Area Fishing Facebook group for fishing updates from an engaged membership.

TRUMAN: upper 70s/low 80s, stained, about 9.1 feet high Outlook: Richard Bowling Guide Service reports: total discharge is 30,000 CFS. The slower current has really improved fishing. Crappie are very good around hardwoods, cedars, and hedges. 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 have been good in 15 feet on points with current.

SMITHVILLE: 83 degrees, clear, 1 foot high Outlook: Burton’s Bait and Tackle reports: 8 CFS releasing. The crappie and catfish are excellent. The crappie are in brush piles in 15-20 feet of water on minnows or jigs. Move shallower if you don’t find them. Catfish are on the bottom in about 10-15 feet. The white bass haven’t been quite as predictable. Look for white bass on the ledges and use a spoon to catch them. Walleye have been slow recently. Bass have been fair, but most are coming in less than 10 feet of water. Try 10-inch worms, jig and pig, or a brush hog. Some early and late top water is also working.


SHAWNEE MISSION PARK: 81 degrees, clear, normal Outlook: crappie and panfish are good on worms and minnows or small rooster tails. Catfish are fair on cut bait, stink bait, or chicken liver. Bass/wipers are good on plastic jigs and nightcrawlers. Spinnerbaits have been productive on windy days. Wipers can sometimes be caught on chicken liver under a bobber.

KILL CREEK PARK: 82 degrees, clear, normal Outlook: Crappie and panfish are fair on worms or minnows. Bass are fair to good on plastic worms and spinner baits. The timber has been a productive area and during the evenings the bass have been moving up close to weedlines along the bank. Catfish are fair on cut bait or chicken liver. Please note that Kill Creek Park will be closed on Saturday, Aug. 24 from 5 am - noon for the JCPRD U Kids Triathlon.

WYANDOTTE: low to mid 80s, clear, normal Outlook: KDWPT last updated 8/2/19: Largemouth are good on finesse baits targeting underwater vegetation. Smallmouth bass are fair near rocky bottoms with crankbaits, jigs, and swimbaits. Crappie are fair near deeper structure on jigs and minnows. All other species slow to fair.

MELVERN: 84 degrees, clear, 6.8 feet high Outlook: Melvern Lake Marina reports: 1000 CFS being released. Crappie are fair to good and mostly caught near submerged trees and along the docks on minnows and dark jigs. Smallmouth are fair lakewide on minnows and shallow crankbaits. White bass have been poor to fair on shallow crankbaits. Channel cats are fair lakewide on nightcrawlers and livers. Blue catfish are fair to good, catching a few at the west end of the lake and in the stilling basin on shad sides and entrails. Walleye are poor, try deep crankbaits while trolling.

CLINTON: 81 degrees, dingy, 15.7 feet high Outlook: KDWPT reports: last updated 8/20. 1,500 CFS being released. 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, clear, about 20.5 feet high Outlook: Don and Tom’s Bait and Tackle reports: no changes. Lake Perry Marina has a usable ramp, but are charging to put in. All the other boat ramps are still closed so there hasn’t been much fishing. Folks have been catching blue cats down below the spillway, but nothing much else to report. The Corp. won’t have any campsites open for Labor Day.

COFFEY COUNTY (WOLF CREEK): upper 80s/low 90s, clear, about normal Outlook: KDWPT report last updated 8/1: Entrance gate phone number is 620-364-2475. Be sure to call ahead for lake conditions. Water temps across the lake: North end 93, middle 86, outlet 104, inlet 85, and dam 85. Fishing has been very slow in the past week. Channel catfish were caught the most, followed by blue cats. All other species were slow.

LA CYGNE: mid to upper 80s, stained, normal Outlook: KDWPT last updated 8/5/19: Largemouth bass fishing is good on the deep side of the riprap areas and weed beds. Use cranks, plastic worms, lizards or spinner baits like shad imitations. The crappie have been caught close to brush in about 5-12 feet of water. Best lures to use are jigs or minnows. Catfishing has been excellent. 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: 80 degrees, stained, 7.6 feet high Outlook: KDWPT reports: 15 CFS being released. As of 8/5/19, channel catfish are excellent using worms, dip baits , sunfish entrails, cutshad, or stink/prepared baits. All other species are slow. The fish feeders are on. The outlet can be very good when releasing large amounts of water.

MILFORD: 80 degrees, stained, 19 feet high Outlook: KDWPT reports: last updated 8/12/19: Discharging 4,000 CFS. Most boat ramps are still closed. 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. 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 10-20 feet deep suspended near points, flooded brush, and ledges on jigs and minnows. At the outlet, catfish are fair on cut bait; white bass and wipers are slow on jigs.

HILLSDALE: 75 degrees, stained, 4.4 feet high and falling Outlook: KDWPT reports: 1000 CFS being released. As of 8/16/19: Jayhawk, Marysville, and Antioch boat ramps are back open. All other boat ramps remain closed. Still some flooding around courtesy docks. All camping areas in Jayhawk Park Area are closed. Sunflower camping area open. Crappie are good in brush piles using minnows about 20 feet down. Submerged cedar trees have been the ticket for some anglers. Bass are good near shallow vegetation on plastics or topwater. Some walleye are being found on shallow rocky points and adjacent mud flats. Crankbaits and jigs are the most productive lures right now.

GLEN ELDER (WACONDA LAKE): low 80s, stained, 7 feet high Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism last reported changes on 8/13/19: 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. Look for walleye near the Walnut Creek area, along the state park shoreline north shore, and south of the Cawker City golf course in 10-18 feet of water on crankbaits. White bass have been excellent around the dam and off main lake points along the north shore and near the south bluffs. There have been several reports of white bass surfacing on calm days and anglers should be able to take advantage of that using Rattletraps, slab spoons, and Kastmasters. 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. Catfish have been good using shad sides, shad gizzards, shrimp, and stink baits to catch mostly channel cats with a few small blue catfish mixed in. The best areas to try now include Carr Creek, Oak Creek, Fisherman’s Bridge, Boller Point, Cawker City dike, and Granite Creek.

TUTTLE CREEK: 77 degrees, stained, 41.3 feet high. Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife reports: last updated 8/7. Running 12,000 CFS. Most fishing has been slow due to high water. Very few anglers have been on the 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: low 80s, clear, 3.8 feet high and falling Outlook: KDWPT reports: last updated 8/12. All boat ramps were usable. 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 near channel breaks in 25 - 40 feet of water on the lower end. Try live bait (e.g. bluegill and shad). Whites have been surfacing in the mornings and evenings. Try spoons and small topwater baits during this activity. Try 1/16 oz. jigs on windblown points near Lucas and even in the upper reservoir near Elm Creek and Duvall. Black bass are fair. Warm/hot water temperatures have the fish deeper and less aggressive. Try ned rigs off drop offs and points in the lower/middle areas of the reservoir. Topwater and jerkbaits are good for largemouth and smallmouth in the very early morning and late evening.

EL DORADO: low to mid 80s, stained, 1 foot high Outlook: KS Dept. of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism reports: 509 CFS being released (as of Monday). Ramp Update 8/14. All boat ramps usable. Wipers are fair to good trolling or casting crank baits along windy shorelines. White bass are fair along main lake points and windy shorelines on curly tailed grubs or inline spinners. Crappie are being found in flooded timber or brush piles 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.