10/19/18 Prospect Report: Fourche Lake

Associated Area

Driving Directions

Fourche Lake is located on Highway V, approximately 2.5 miles off Highway 160 west and ~10 miles from Doniphan in Ripley County

Fourche Lake is owned by the US Forest Service, but the lake's fishery is managed by MDC. Aquatic vegetation is maintained for both bank and boat fishing opportunities. Anglers specifically fish for largemouth bass, bluegill and redear sunfish. This past sample indicated 40 percent of the Largemouth bass were over 15 inches which means there will be good numbers of fish to harvest. There are fair numbers of bluegill up to 8 inches, but there were adequate numbers of redear sunfish averaging about 9 inches. Redear sunfish are doing veryl well due to the abundant vegetation, and are most active during the day feeding primarily on snails and other mollusks. Because of this diet sometimes they are commonly known as "shellcrackers." They can be caught on either artificial lures or natural baits fished close to or at the bottom of the lake. However, the most effective are worms, nightcrawlers, and grubs. This lake also contains a substantial number of chain pickerel. These toothy fighters lurk along the edges of water willow beds and are most easily caught in February through April using top water baits, spinner baits or live bait. Channel catfish are stocked annually with catchable sizes and several over 20 inches were captured in the sample. You can catch them using a #6 hook, bait and bobber using a wide variety of baits including liver, worms, grasshoppers, cheese or stink bait.