Fishing report: Action on area lakes is getting hot as cold front moves in

Blake Felix (pictured) shows off some of the bass that helped him win first place in a two-day solo tournament recently on Truman Lake. Both were in the 4.7-pound range. The bait that produced the most for him was a Dave’s Custom Baits squarebill. He finished with a total of 34.40 pounds for the tournament.
Blake Felix (pictured) shows off some of the bass that helped him win first place in a two-day solo tournament recently on Truman Lake. Both were in the 4.7-pound range. The bait that produced the most for him was a Dave’s Custom Baits squarebill. He finished with a total of 34.40 pounds for the tournament. Submitted photo

Here is the fishing report for lakes and reservoirs in the Kansas City area and regionally around Kansas and Missouri for October 2, 2019.


BULL SHOALS: 81 degrees, dingy to clear (5-10 feet) visibility, 5.7 feet high. Outlook: Del Colvin Guide Service reports: Fishing is fair on cloudy days. The shad are suspended in about 15-20 feet off main lake/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. 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. 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: 57 degrees, clear, moderate flow all day, increase in afternoons. Outlook: Lilleys’ Landing reports: San Juan worm is hot this past week as the go-to fly. Best colors are pink and red in the micro version, which is basically a small diameter chenille tied on a #14 or #16 hook. You want to fish the worm, and scuds for that matter, on the bottom when drifting along in the current, so set the indicator at a depth where the flies rake across the bottom. Fish it on shallow, gravel flats. Nightcrawlers are still the best below the trophy area. Use enough weight to get it to the bottom without dragging. 4-pound line is fine when you are drifting a nightcrawler. Marabou jigs are also good in traditional sculpin variations.

NORFORK: low 80s, slightly stained, about 5 feet high. Outlook: Bink’s Fintastic Guide Service reports: Crappie are very good. 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: upper 70s, stained, a couple feet high. Outlook: Longview Marina reports: Crappie are very good all lakewide using minnows or jigs 10-20 feet down. Catfish have been fair in the last week on liver or nightcrawlers. Fishing hours are 8am-5pm M-F. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook group for daily updates.

POMME DE TERRE: 77 degrees, clear, 0.5 feet high. Outlook: Pomme Muskie Guide Service reports: 250 CFS (Tuesday). Shad are all over the surface with fish hitting them. Many shad in the coves as well. Crappie are biting shallow and deep on jigs and minnows. Bass have been very good lately on a variety of baits. Muskies are really starting to show themselves in shallow water and will continue to get better with cool weather.

LAKE OF THE OZARKS: 80 degrees, clear, normal. Outlook: Gier’s Bass Pro reports: still no major change here yet. Waiting for temps to drop. Crappie are very good trolling crankbaits near main lake point and 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, normal. Outlook: Missouri Dept. of Conservation reports: all species slow. Some largemouth have been caught on squarebills recently. Channel catfish have been biting chicken liver. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.

STOCKTON: upper 70s, clear, 1.3 feet low. Outlook: Tandem Fly Outfitters reports: fishing is hot. 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 suspended around brush from 15-25 feet on jig or minnow using a 1/16th-1/8th oz jig head. Bass are scattered. Have a spook, jig and a crank bait tied on. White bass are scattered, but trolling a rooster tail or flicker shad will work.

JACOMO: mid to upper 70s, stained, normal. Outlook: Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook group reports: bass fishing has been very good in the last week. The cold front is going to really improve fishing. 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. Some large flatheads were caught in the last week in the backs of coves. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.

BLUE SPRINGS: mid to upper 70s, stained, normal. Outlook: Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group reports: whites and wipers have been picking up recently. Find them on your graphs or look for surfacing activity. Bass have been good ahead of the storms. Expect things to pick up with cold front moving in. Crappie are fair and can be found 8-12 feet deep on jigs or minnows. Join Lee’s Summit Area Fishing Facebook Group for daily updates.

TABLE ROCK: 81 degrees, clear to stained, 1.77 feet low. Outlook: Eric Prey of Focused Fishing Guide Service reports: No changes this week. Bass are shallow on mixed rock and gravel banks. Spider jigs, shaky heads and Ned rigs are all effective 5-10 feet deep on cloudy days and 10-20 feet deep on sunny days. Topwater baits are 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 slow with some caught trolling small crankbaits in the river arms. Crappie are slow but biting 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.

TRUMAN: 78 degrees, clear, 3.4 feet high (24,000 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: 75 degrees, clear, 2 feet high (8 CFS). Outlook: Burton’s Bait and Tackle reports: 8 CFS releasing. Crappie and catfish are excellent. Find the crappie 8-10 feet down over brush piles in 12-18 feet of water using minnows or jigs. Catfish are on the bottom in about 6-10 feet using cut shad, liver, or prepared baits. White bass still unpredictable, but look for them on 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. Winning weight in the recent Daniel Alan Palmer Memorial Classic was 17.62 pounds. The event raised $1,500 for the Fishing for Freedom Foundation.


SHAWNEE MISSION PARK: 77 degrees, clear, 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. Plastic crawdads have been good for largemouth lately.

KILL CREEK PARK: 75 degrees, dingy, normal. Outlook: some trout have been caught in the last week on Powerbait. Crappie and panfish are good on worms or minnows. Bass are good on plastic worms and spinner baits. Catfish are fair on cut bait or chicken liver.

WYANDOTTE: mid 70s, clear, normal. Outlook: KDWPT reports: 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: 76 degrees, clear, 2.5 feet high. Outlook: Melvern Lake Marina reports: 20 CFS releasing (Monday). All boat ramps accessible. Crappie are good near submerged trees and along the docks on minnows and dark jigs. Smallmouth are fair to good lakewide on tubes and shallow crankbaits. White bass are fair to good on shallow crankbaits on wind blown points. Channel cats are fair lakewide on nightcrawlers and livers. Blue catfish are fair to good at the west end of the lake and in the stilling basin on shad sides and entrails. Walleye are slow but can be caught on deep crankbaits while trolling.

CLINTON: 73 degrees, dingy, 12.5 feet high (21 CFS). Outlook: KDWPT reports: Boat ramp #1 is open in the state park. Crappie are fair over brush on minnows and jigs. All other species slow.

PERRY: mid 70s, stained, about 15 feet high. Outlook: Don and Tom’s Bait and Tackle reports: Slough Creek Bridge and Rock Creek Marina boat ramp are open. Crappie are excellent around rocks, bridge pillars, and flooded buck brush 8-15 feet deep. Drifting for blue cats at the north end on flats has been very good for 20 to 30-pound blue cats. White bass are showing up more and biting inline spinners.

COFFEY COUNTY (WOLF CREEK): upper 70s to upper 80s, clear, about normal. Outlook: KDWPT reports: Entrance gate phone number is 620-364-2475. Be sure to call ahead for lake conditions. Largemouth are slow, but try fishing around shallow cover and standing cattails, using reaction style baits. Walleye are slow to fair near flats and humps dragging a jig and crawler. Catfish are good on windblown banks. Smallmouth are fair using crankbaits, swimbaits, and finesse plastics around rocky habitat.White bass and wipers are good on shad imitation baits near windblown points or flats. Crappie are slow but being found near standing timber on minnows or jigs.

LA CYGNE: upper 70s/low 80s, stained, normal. Outlook: KDWPT reports: No major changes here. Largemouth are good on deep side of riprap areas and weed beds. Use cranks, plastic worms, lizards or spinner baits. Crappie are close to brush in 5-12 feet of water on jigs or minnows. Catfishing has been excellent. For information on the Linn County Marina boat ramps, call 913-757-6633.

POMONA: 75 degrees, stained, 3 feet high (15 CFS Tuesday). Outlook: KDWPT reports: Channel catfish are excellent using worms, dip baits , sunfish entrails, cutshad, or stink/prepared baits. All other species are slow.

MILFORD: 76 degrees, stained, 17 feet high (25 CFS Monday). Outlook: KDWPT reports: 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. Crappie are slow to fair 10-20 feet deep suspended near points, flooded brush, and ledges on jigs and minnows. Walleye are fair near 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.

HILLSDALE: 68 degrees, stained, 1.9 feet high (8 CFS Monday). Outlook: KDWPT reports: Jayhawk and Marysville boat ramps are open. Crappie are fair 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, 4 feet high (2500 CFS Monday). Outlook: KDWPT: 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 near the causeway, 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. Smallies are fair along the dam and north shore around the state park area, and the south bluffs. Largemouth 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 on flats in 10-15 feet of water. White bass are excellent near the dam and off main lake points along the north shore.

TUTTLE CREEK: 79 degrees, clear, 39.1 feet high (200 CFS Monday). Outlook: Kansas Department of Wildlife reports: High water still limiting fishing. Very few anglers. Saugeye continue to be found downstream in the River Pond. Catfish have been fair on the main lake.

WILSON: mid 70s, clear, 2.5 feet high. Outlook: KDWPT reports: No major changes. Stripers are fair near channel breaks in 25-40 feet of water on the lower end on live bait. Walleye are fair drifting soft plastics early and late near vegetation 4-10 feet down. Marshall Cove and the Sawhill/Duvall area are holding shallow walleye. Channel cats are good throughout the reservoir on worms and dough bait. Blue cats are best at 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. Black bass are fair using 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, stained, normal (7 CFS Monday). Outlook: KS Dept. of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism: All boat ramps usable. Wipers and white bass are fair trolling or casting crank baits along windy shorelines. Find them under the birds. Crappie are fair near timber or brush piles on minnows and jigs. Walleye are fair trolling #9 and larger crankbaits along windblown shorelines, points, and flats.

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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