Smithville Lake


Annual Prospects Report

Smithville Lake is a 7,190 acre reservoir located just north of Kansas City.  Aquatic vegetation in the lake is making a steady comeback thanks to stable water levels for the last couple of years.   Couple that with continued efforts to increase hard woody habitat throughout the lake and as a result, Smithville has experienced some great reproduction success several years in a row.  2015 should be a exciting time for Smithville Lake anglers.

Smithville Lake Largemouth bass numbers continue to climb.  The high reproductive success the last couple of years should lead to some good bass fishing in the future.  These large year classes of bass coming through the system should reach legal size in 2015 and 2016.    Casting spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and plastics around the newly installed brushpiles and around the aquatic vegetation should produce some nice fish.  White Bass fishing was hit or miss in 2014. Hopefully they will rebound in 2015.  Find the shad and you will find the white bass.  Running crankbaits off the main lake points or watch for them busting schools of shad at the surface.  Crappie continue to be the focal point of Smithville Lake and this season should produce some nice stringers. Black crappie numbers remain high but the size structure tends to run a little smaller.  White crappie will continue to make up most limits.  Small plastic jigs and minnows fished around the standing timber and around the numerous brush piles in the lake should produce some nice fish. Walleye fishing should continue to be good in Smithville Lake.  Walleye sampling in 2014 indicated that 56 percent of the walleye sampled were over 20 inches.  That is the highest percentage of fish over 20" in the last 15 years.  2014 was also a stocking year, with 215,000 walleye fingerlings stocked to ensure walleye fishing to be good in the future.  There are two primary fishing seasons for walleye at the lake: the spawning run to the dam, and the hot summer months on the points and flats. The spawning run on the dam can be frustrating for many anglers, but the stockings have greatly increased the number of fish coming to the dam. Using shallow diving crank baits work best during this period. During the summer months walleye move deeper off main lake points and flats. The newly installed rock piles in the main lake area should produce good numbers of fish. Trolling deep diving cranks or crawler harnesses over these areas usually work best. Catfishing at Smithville can be outstanding. For best bets on channel catfish, fish at night in the upper ends of the lake arms or along the shallow flats around the islands and main lake. Fresh cut shad or livers work best. Flathead catfish are very popular at Smithville. Flathead catfish can be caught fishing jugs and on trotlines along creek channels and rocky bluffs using fresh shad or other live baits. Remember to always label your lines and watch for boat traffic.

Latest Report

all species are slow to fair due to water conditions.
Water Surface Temp
Water Type
Water Level (Range)
Smithville Lake
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