Fishing report: Don’t look now, but the angling is great and the weather is improving

Clarissa Wicker, accompanied by her husband, Thomas, experienced her first crappie trip to Truman Lake recently. They dipped trees with jigs and minnows and caught quite a few between 11 and 13.5 inches.
Clarissa Wicker, accompanied by her husband, Thomas, experienced her first crappie trip to Truman Lake recently. They dipped trees with jigs and minnows and caught quite a few between 11 and 13.5 inches. Submitted photo

Here is the fishing report for lakes and reservoirs in the Kansas City area and regionally around Kansas and Missouri for September 25, 2019.


BULL SHOALS: 83 degrees, dingy to clear (5-10 feet) visibility, 10 feet high and falling fast. Outlook: Del Colvin Guide Service reports: Fishing is fair on cloudy days. Main lake clear, back of creeks are dirty. The shad are suspending in about 15-20 feet off main lake and secondary points all the way into major creeks. Bait will move off banks and points with no current. In the sun, go deep using jigs, drop shot, or spoon 20 to 30 feet down on points or bluffs. Generation is key to a good deep bite. Junk fishing with a buzz bait, plopper, spinnerbait, and Jewel Gem Shad swimbait will get them. Old shoreline bushes are still holding fish but a lot are moving with shorter days. There are still fish on islands or humps hanging around bait fish 22-32 feet down. Powerfishing will work if there’s clouds or a front moving in. Wind will help the look on long points with channel swing banks nearby. Bushes will be gone soon except for the buck brush. Walleye are fair trolling 32-34 feet down early in the morning. Spoon guys are catching on cloudy days. Del Colvin also does a video fishing report on YouTube: Bull Shoals Lake Fishing Report. Below the dam: John Berry of Berry Bros. Guide Service reports: The White has fished very well. The hot spot has been the Catch and Release section below Bull Shoals Dam where we have had an unseasonal shad kill (white shad flies have been the ticket). 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: 55 degrees, clear, moderate flow all day, increase in afternoons. Outlook: Lilleys’ Landing reports: Night crawlers are still king on Lake Taneycomo. Both brown worms and pink worms, real worms and rubber worms, the trout like them both. Getting to the cable is a bit tricky if you don’t know the lake well. Below Fall Creek, drift night crawlers on the bottom. In most places, you’ll be using a split shot. You may have to experiment. 1/8th is too big for most places. Pinch your worm in half and hook it once in the middle, letting it hang off the hook. You don’t have to hide your hook. If the current is very slow, you may want to inject some air in the worm using a blow bottle or a syringe to float your worm off the bottom. Black marabou jigs have been picking up lately. Sculpin/peach is also good. You’ll have to experiment on jig size, but 2-pound line is typically a must. The Berkley Pink Worm is still catching fish early. There are some brown trout showing up at the outlets below the dam, but finding a spot to wade is hard. There’s not much room up there, but if you do get a spot, a brown, tan or gray #18 scud or egg fly is working. If you boat up to the cable below the dam and drift, try a beaded fly under a float with a smaller dropper. For the beaded fly, use a miracle fly (beaded egg fly), a Y2K or a beaded scud, #14 or #16. Drop a San Juan worm or another weighted scud under the beaded fly about 18 inches and fish this rig from four- seven-feet deep. Drift from the cable down to the top of Trophy Run and then drift the section from Lookout Island to Fall Creek. Join Southwest Missouri Area Fishing Facebook group for fishing updates from an engaged membership.

NORFORK: low 80s, slightly stained, about 5 feet high. Outlook: Bink’s Fintastic Guide Service reports: the best bite has been crappie recently. They have really turned on. Walleye and bass have been down in 25 feet of water and hitting the Bink’s “Many Shad” spoon in white color. The striped bass are leaving the 100 foot depth and heading towards their fall and winter pattern.

LONGVIEW: 80 degrees, stained, a couple feet high. Outlook: Longview Marina reports: Crappie have been very good all over the lake using minnows or jigs (any color) 10-20 feet down. The fish are quality 9-13 inchers overall. Catfish have been fair in the last week on liver or nightcrawlers. Fishing is available from the marina Monday-Friday. Fishing hours are 7am-6pm. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook group for daily updates.

POMME DE TERRE: 77 degrees, clear, one foot high. Outlook: Pomme Muskie Guide Service reports: 500 CFS (Tuesday). Shad are all over the surface with fish hitting them. Many shad in the coves as well. Walleye, bass, and crappie have all been biting well in the last week. Muskies are really starting to show themselves in shallow water, 3 feet or less, the last few days.

LAKE OF THE OZARKS: mid 70s, clear, normal. Outlook: Gier’s Bass Pro reports: still no major change here yet. Fish are still 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: 74 degrees, muddy, high. Outlook: Missouri Dept. of Conservation reports: all species slow. Some largemouth have been caught on squarebills recently. Bigger fish haven’t been as common in last week. Channel catfish will bite prepared baits and cut bait. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.

STOCKTON: upper 70s, clear, 1.3 feet low. Outlook: Tandem Fly Outfitters reports: no major changes. Fishing continues to be excellent. Walleye are biting on a Jakked shooter head tipped with a nightcrawler, trolling flicker shad in 12-15 feet and still bottom bouncing. Crappie are still suspended and around brush from 15-25 feet on jig or minnow using a 1/16th-1/8th oz jig head. Bass are scattered but eating well. Have a spook, jig and a crank bait tied on. White bass are scattered, but trolling a rooster tail or flicker shad will put some in the boat. Join Southwest Missouri Area Fishing Facebook group for fishing updates from an engaged membership.

JACOMO: upper 70s, stained, normal. Outlook: Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook group reports: bass fishing has been very good in the last week. Tournament anglers are producing lots of keeper fish. Crappie are still being found all over the water column. Look for them suspended 15-20 feet down or more near the mouths of coves using minnows or jigs. Not as many reports from the bank this past week. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.

BLUE SPRINGS: upper 70s, stained, normal. Outlook: Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group reports: whites and wipers have been picking up recently. They should look like big stacks on your graphs or you may find them surfacing. Crappie are slow to fair and can be found 8-12 feet deep. Trolling or casting small crankbaits are good options. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.

TABLE ROCK: 80 degrees, clear to stained, 1.5 feet low. Outlook: Eric Prey of Focused Fishing Guide Service reports: Bass are finally starting to move shallow on mixed rock and gravel banks. Spider jigs, shaky heads and Ned rigs have all been effective 5-10 feet deep on cloudy days and 10-20 feet deep on sunny days. Top water baits have been working early and late in the day around standing timber. Drop shot rigs are still working on gravel points 20 -30 feet deep. White bass are still slow but a few are being caught trolling small crankbaits in the river arms. Crappie are still slow but are starting to be caught on live minnows and white jigs in standing cedar trees 10-15 feet deep midway back in creek arms in the stained water of the rivers. Join Southwest Missouri Area Fishing Facebook group for fishing updates from an engaged membership.

TRUMAN: 78 degrees, clear, about 3.1 feet high (23,750 CFS Tuesday). Outlook: Richard Bowling Guide Service reports: Crappie are biting well all day and being caught in 8-14 feet of water near hardwoods, cedars, and hedges. Minnows and jigs are working. The crappie bite in the mid-lake area is the best due to water coming in. Bass are being caught on main lake points using 10-inch worms. Catfish have been good in 15 feet on points with current.

SMITHVILLE: 77 degrees, clear, 0.5 feet high (8 CFS). Outlook: Burton’s Bait and Tackle reports: 8 CFS releasing. No major changes. The crappie and catfish are excellent. The crappie are lights out and 8-10 feet down in brush piles in 12-18 feet of water on minnows or jigs. Catfish are great on the bottom in about 6-10 feet using cut shad, liver, or prepared baits. 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: 76 degrees, dingy, normal. Outlook: some trout have been caught in the last week on Powerbait. 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 have been good on plastic jigs and nightcrawlers. White spinnerbaits have been productive on windy days. Wipers can sometimes be caught on chicken liver under a bobber.

KILL CREEK PARK: 75 degrees, dingy, normal. Outlook: a few trout have been caught in the last week on Powerbait. Crappie and panfish are being caught well on worms or minnows. Bass are good on plastic worms and spinner baits. Jigs have been producing recently. 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.

WYANDOTTE: mid 70s, clear, normal. Outlook: KDWPT last updated 9/6/19: No changes. Largemouth are good on finesse baits targeting shallow 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: 79 degrees, clear, 2.5 feet high. Outlook: Melvern Lake Marina reports: 20 CFS releasing (Monday). All boat ramps accessible. Crappie are very good in brush piles 5-15 feet down on minnows and dark jigs. Smallmouth are fair to good lakewide on tubes and shallow crankbaits; minnows are working, too. 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: mid 70s, dingy, 11.9 feet high (21 CFS). Outlook: KDWPT reports: received last update 9/11. No changes. 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: mid to upper 70s, stained, about 14.5 feet high. Outlook: Don and Tom’s Bait and Tackle reports: Slough Creek Bridge boat ramp is back open. Rock Creek Marina on the west side has also begun re-allowing the public to launch but there is still limited parking. Channel catfish have been good near flooded brush along the shoreline. Largemouth and smallies have been fair recently, with large fish caught. Crappie are fair 15-20 feet deep. Blue cats are being caught down in the spillway.

COFFEY COUNTY (WOLF CREEK): upper 70s to upper 80s, clear, about normal. Outlook: KDWPT report last updated 9/6: Entrance gate phone number is 620-364-2475. Be sure to call ahead for lake conditions. Channel catfish were caught the most, followed by blue cats in last week. White bass and wipers are starting to pick up as well. All other species have been slow to fair.

LA CYGNE: upper 70s/low 80s, stained, normal. Outlook: KDWPT last updated 9/2/19: No major changes here. 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 on jigs or minnows. White bass caught near the hot water outlet have been good sized 1 to 2-pounds. 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: 75 degrees, stained, 2.5 feet high (15 CFS Tuesday) Outlook: KDWPT reports: last received updates 9/2. 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: 78 degrees, stained, 17 feet high (25 CFS Tuesday). Outlook: KDWPT reports: received last update 9/23. Most boat ramps are still closed. Catfish are fair. Channels 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. Anglers are also targeting flooded areas around the lake for catfish. Crappie are slow to fair 10-20 feet deep suspended near points, flooded brush, and ledges on jigs and minnows. Walleye are fair neear rocky or wind-swept mud banks with jigs, crankbaits, or bottom bouncers. White bass and wipers are fair on jigs in the river on the north end of the reservoir. Not many reports on bass.

HILLSDALE: 69 degrees, stained, 1.6 feet high (500 CFS Tuesday). Outlook: KDWPT reports: last received updates 9/6. The swim beach is closed for the season. Jayhawk and Marysville boat ramps are open. Crappie are good in brush piles using minnows about 8-10 feet down. Bass are fair near shallow vegetation on plastics or topwater. Some recent reports on walleye using nightcrawlers. Some have been caught at the spillway and near mud flats. Channel catfish have been fair on cut bait and nightcrawlers.

GLEN ELDER (WACONDA LAKE): 75 degrees, stained, 6 feet high. Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism: received last update 9/17. No changes. Osage, Marina Cove, and Boller Point ramps are still closed. Granite Creek, Walnut Creek, Schoen’s Cove, and North Fork Bridge ramps are open. Crappie are fair. Find them near the causeway in the fall as well as in the shallow brush piles and along the river channel in 20-25 feet of water. Walleye are good near the Walnut Creek area, along the state park points, and south of the Cawker City golf course in 10-15 feet of water. Cawker City causeway and flooded smartweed just west of the causeway are also productive. Smallies are fair 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. Catfish have been good west of the causeway, especially near Brock Bridge. Anglers should target catfish on the flats in 10 to 15 feet of water. Takota Point, Walnut Creek, and the old Highway 24 road bed are good areas. White bass are excellent near the dam and off main lake points along the north shore and near the south bluffs. Windy days have been moving a lot of baitfish and whites into coves on the north shore which has offered some excellent angling.

TUTTLE CREEK: 79 degrees, clear, 35.1 feet high. Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife reports: received last update 9/10. No changes. Running 4,000 CFS (9/20). 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. Catfish have been fair on the main lake, but everything else has been slow.

WILSON: mid 70s, clear, 2.5 feet high. Outlook: KDWPT reports: last updated 9/23. No major changes. Stripers are fair near channel breaks in 25-40 feet of water on the lower end. Try live bait (e.g. bluegill and shad). There are recent reports of walleye being caught from the bank and near vegetation. Try drifting soft plastics in the early morning and late evening in 4-10 feet down along vegetation lines. Marshall Cove and the Sawhill/Duvall area are holding shallow Walleye. There are good reports of channel catfish being caught throughout the reservoir on worms and dough bait. Several blue cats are being caught throughout the reservoir but the best luck is from Minooka West and Duvall to Horseshoe bend in 6-20 feet of water. White bass are fair on 1/16 oz. jigs near 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: upper 70s/low 80s, stained, normal (15 CFS Monday). Outlook: KS Dept. of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism: received last update 9/13. All boat ramps usable. Wipers are fair 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.

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