The largemouth bass population continues to improve at 530-acre Hazel Creek Lake located just north of Kirksville. Anglers that routinely fish Hazel Creek Lake know that it has the potential to produce trophy bass. According to spring 2013 surveys, 26 percent of the bass captured were 15 inches or longer, and one in ten was 18 inches or longer! Due to the lack of aquatic vegetation, anglers should target woody cover for spring bass and timbered creek channels in the summer. The white crappie population is improving in response to the bass population, but a majority of fish caught by anglers this year are expected to be less than 9 inches long. Muskie fishing in 2014 is predicted to be good. A total of 32 muskies were captured in spring 2013 and 41 percent of these were 36 inches or longer. In order to safely release these large, toothy predators at boat side, anglers should keep a floating ruler, needle-nose pliers, hook cutter and leather gloves handy. Anglers who wish to assist first-hand with muskie management in Missouri are encouraged to participate in the Show-Me Muskie Project, a volunteer angler diary program. Anglers can find out more about the Show-Me Muskie Project and muskie fishing information by visiting the Missouri Department of Conservation Web page at: http://mdc.mo.gov/node/5355. Channel catfish in the 2- to 4-pound range are available but not in great numbers. Blue catfish were last stocked in 1990 and can be caught in spring using dead shad as bait. A popular place to fish for blue catfish among local anglers is off the causeway at the south end of the lake. Bow fishing for common carp and grass carp is highly encouraged and can be very exciting throughout the spring and summer months.
Driving directions: Three and two-tenths miles north of Kirksville on Highway 63, then 1.5 miles west on Hungry Hollow Road (look for cantilever sign).
Annual Prospects Report
Three and two-tenths miles north of Kirksville on Highway 63, then 1.5 miles west on Buck Creek Road (look for the cantilever sign).