10/19/18 Prospect Report: Austin Lake

Associated Area

Driving Directions

Located north of Highway 60 on MM northwest of Cabool and east of Mountain Grove in Texas County.  The last exit in Texas County on highway 60 going north.

Austin Lake would make a perfect family day of fishing. At the lake you will find disabled parking; paved paths to an accessible privy; a spacious covered pavilion equipped with grills and tables; and a paved path to a large covered fishing dock on the lake. All the facilities are accessible to all types of anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts. Submerged trees throughout the lake along with water willow patches provide structure for fish. If you do not have a boat, vegetation in the lake is managed to accommodate shoreline anglers or you can always fish off the covered floating dock. Some cedar tree bundles were placed around the covered floating dock which will provide habitat; casting about 20 feet in front of the floating dock will reach those bundles. There are several benches located around the lake, so anglers may sit, relax, and fish. No gasoline powered motors are permitted on the lake; however, boating anglers can use a trolling motor, or paddle around the lake. Always remember if you use a water craft on the lake, you can prevent the spread of invasive species by using the clean, drain, and dry method following your fishing adventure. Fish species to catch include: largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish and channel catfish. A 12 -15-inch protected length range is in effect for the largemouth bass. Our 2018 sample showed plenty of fish below the slot limit for anglers to harvest. Anglers are encouraged to harvest up to four bass less than 12 inches each trip. This will reduce the number of small slower growing bass and allow the remaining bass to grow and exceed the upper 15-inch limit. If panfish are your delight, fishing for bluegill or redear sunfish should provide a lot of enjoyment. This past sample showed bluegill average size was 6”. Use natural bait, especially night crawlers when fishing for bluegill. People who fish during the bluegill spawning season which typically begins during the first full moon in April and continues through mid-June can easily catch these fish using a small hook, baited with a worm. Bluegill can be caught all around the shoreline of the lake, especially on the northeast shore. Anglers wanting to fish for a bigger panfish can fish for redear sunfish. The most recent sample showed redear average length was 9" and several redear at the Master Angler length (10"). Because their diet consists of snails and mollusks, redear tend to feed on the bottom. To target them, fish live baits on or just slightly above the bottom. You can find them in those areas with plenty of aquatic vegetation. Each year catchable size channel catfish are stocked. One favorite bait is old chunks of deer steaks marinated with chicken livers or fried chicken skins stuck on a circle bait hook that catches catfish for the skillet. Most of the channel catfish caught range in size from 9 to 15 inches. Most fish in the lake are catchable with a small #6 hook, bait and bobber.

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