Mark Twain Lake


Annual Prospects Report

Mark Twain Lake is located in Ralls and Monroe counties in northeast Missouri. Largemouth bass fishing should be good this year. Electrofishing surveys completed during Spring 2015 indicated average abundance for all sizes of adult bass, however; the abundance of bass over 15 inches long was good. Bass anglers can expect about a third of the fish they catch to be 15 inches long or longer. Crappie fishing will continue to be challenging during 2016. Based on fall 2015 surveys, the abundance of adult crappie in the lake is good, but is dominated by a very large year class produced in 2013. These fish grew slowly during 2014 and just fair during 2015. As a result, anglers will catch lots of crappie between 7 and 8 inches long during early 2016. The relative abundance of crappie 9 inches long or longer will remain low until fish hatched during 2013 begin to reach the 9 inch mark, probably mid to late summer. Consequently, anglers will initially have to sort through many small fish to catch a limit of keeper size crappie, but average size should improve through the summer. Even though only about one in ten crappie will exceed 9 inches long, there are still some very large crappie present. As always, larger fish will be more plentiful and vulnerable during late April and early May when they can be caught in shallow water on jigs or minnows. Anglers reported good white bass fishing at times last year, and excellent white bass fishing should continue this year with good numbers of fish over 12 inches long. Anglers do best when these fish are spawning on riffles in tributary streams in early spring, while feeding on schooling shad, or congregating over underwater humps or mud flats during the summer. Walleye abundance remains low, although anglers continue to report incidental catches. Anglers should also consider walleye fishing in tributary streams of the lake during early spring where walleye abundance has increased due to recent tributary stream stockings. Catfish anglers can expect good fishing to continue this year. Channel catfish are abundant and many flathead catfish and blue catfish exceeding 25 pounds are caught each year on trotlines, bank lines, and jugs. Anglers have been very successful in recent years capturing blue catfish on trotlines and jugs baited with cut shad or herring. Catfish anglers do best in the upper portions of North Fork, Middle Fork, South Fork, and Indian Creek arms.

Latest Report

water level is at 607.99; temperatures are at 71-75 degrees depending on where you are; the water level is falling; the water is clearing from the last rainfall; crappie good on minnows and Power Baits; catfish fair on cut baits; all other species slow.

Water Type


Water Level (Range)





Mark Twain Lake





Best Bets

From annual prospecting surveys

The weekly fishing report is updated every Thursday from the start of April to the end of September.