Largemouth bass fishing may be slightly slower in 2019 according to recent surveys. However, survey conditions were not ideal (i.e., hot, low water) so there could be ample numbers of bass that were not sampled. Over the last several years, however, the density of bass has slowly increased due to good survival over the past few years. As a result, there should be good numbers of bass in the 10-11-inch range available to anglers. There should be fair numbers of bass in the 12-15-inch protected slot length range providing some excellent catch and release fishing. A fair number of bass over 18 inches (3 lbs. or larger) will be present including a few around 22 inches (6 lbs.). Anglers can help improve the density of larger bass by practicing catch-and-release fishing for those bass greater than 15 inches. The rock jetties on the east and west side and all along the dam are the spots that usually provide the best fishing. Fishing around structure like creek channel drop-offs, brush piles, and fallen trees are also very productive. Fishing just past the vegetation (water willow) off the rock jetties in the spring time should be productive. Bluegill fishing will be fair this year. There are many bluegill in the lake, but most fish will average 5-8 inches. Crappie fishing should be fair for small black and white crappie. Surveys show large numbers of 7-9-inch crappie.
MDC continues to stock Channel catfish and blue catfish in the lake each fall. Fishing for channel catfish should be good this year and in the coming years. Each October, MDC stocks around 1,000 channel catfish and around 500 blue catfish into the lake. The population should continue to improve over the next few years as they grow and reach a more desirable size. There should also be good numbers of blue catfish available to anglers. We continue to receive reports of 30+ pound blue catfish caught by anglers. Most of the 18-22-inch catfish caught by anglers last year were taken during the spring and early summer months, though large blue catfish were caught all summer. Fishing off the jetties and dam, around cover, and near creek channels is the most productive. Good catfish baits include worms, liver, shrimp, cut shad, prepared baits, and live sunfish. Anglers are encouraged to identify their catch and report blue catfish catch to the Columbia MDC office (573-815-7901 ext 2874). Redear sunfish fishing should be outstanding again this year, according to surveys conducted in Spring 2018. As in previous years, anglers will have the opportunity to catch large numbers of 8-11-inch redear. Chances of catching a 10-inch redear sunfish (Master Angler Award size) are good. Try fishing near woody cover and tree stumps in shallow water, especially in May and early June during spawning. Worms and crickets fished on or near the bottom work well. There is also an overabundance of common carp in Little Dixie Lake. Common carp not only compete with more desirable game species but decrease water quality as well. Anglers can assist with the eradication of common carp by not returning them to the water when caught. Little Dixie Lake is also home to a few large lake sturgeon. Lake sturgeon are an endangered species and are protected by law. Any angler catching a lake sturgeon must release it unharmed, immediately after being caught. Check Missouri's Fishing Regulation summary booklet on how to identify sturgeon. When in doubt about the identity or legal length of any fish, play it safe and return the fish to the water unharmed immediately.