Largemouth bass are plentiful, but most are smaller than the 15" length limit in lakes 10, 16, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 27, 30, 31, 34 and 37 and Fire Lake on adjacent Weldon Spring CA. Use small spinner baits, crankbaits, and topwater baits along rocky shorelines, brush piles, and in weedy coves for best results. The best lake for big largemouth bass will again be Lake 33 where a huge 71 percent of the bass were larger than 15" and 30 percent were larger than 18". Lakes 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 21, 28, 36 and 38 are also big bass lakes, with over 20 percent of bass being larger than 15", and also having fish larger than 18 inches. In spring and fall, bass will be in shallow water and can be caught on spinnerbaits, jig & pig, and crankbaits. Rock on the lake dams are especially good locations to try in late winter/early spring. In the summer fish go to deeper to cooler water. Bigger bass can be caught along rock dams and dropoffs near log structures. Plastic worms, crankbaits, and jig & pigs are productive in early morning and evening hours.
White crappie will again be plentiful in Lake 33, 35, and 38. Please remove all sizes of crappie up to the daily limit of 30. Although you can occasionally catch large crappie in Lake 33, better lakes to catch larger crappie are Lakes 6, 8, 21, 31, 34, 35, and 37. The best crappie fishing is from mid-March through mid-May. There is also some good fall crappie fishing in October. Lakes 33 and 35 feature several large brush and pallet piles (follow the "Crappie brush pile" signs) to enhance crappie fishing.
Channel catfish will be best in lakes 3, 4, 5, 7, and 23 where one pound catfish are stocked May through September. Lakes where channel catfish greater than 10 pounds are consistently caught include lakes 33 and 35.
Flathead catfish continue to provide high-quality opportunities at lakes 33 with many 20 pounders present. Live bait fished along the rock dams, under logs, and in root wads will produce the best results.
Bluegill larger than 7" should be best in lakes 6, 8, 9, 10, 16, 19, 20, 22, 30, and 38. If you want lots of action try lakes 20, 22, 30, and 33 where there are many 4-6" bluegill. Try fishing for redear sunfish in lakes 6, 11, 20, 24, 27, 30, 31, 34, 35, 37, and 38. Redear will not be as numerous as bluegill, but there are Master Angler sized redear (10" or greater) in all of these lakes. Fish with worms or crickets on the bottom near weedbeds.
Rainbow trout will again be available in Lakes 3, 21, 22, 23, and 28 for excellent winter fishing, beginning in November. As in the past, Lakes 21 and 28 host catch-and-release, artificial lures only fishing November through January and then allow harvest under statewide regulations. Though prepared baits continue to provide good action in trout harvest lakes, very light lines/tippets with 1/64-ounce black jigs or flies continue to be very productive.
Muskies will provide fair fishing at Lake 35. Spring 2014 sampling revealed fish as large as 40". Large Rattle Traps, plastic swim baits and bucktail spinners have been most productive. Several brush and pallet piles (follow "Crappie brush piles" signs) were added in 2013 to help concentrate muskies.