Stockton Lake

Bennett’s fishing report, April 10

Posted by Bob Bennett on April 10th, 2012
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The fishing on Stockton has been just about as hot as the early spring. The warm nights and hot days has moved up the spawns and the fish are going crazy.

Lake Level 686.12
Water normal to slightly stained
Water temp is approx 65 (I have seen as high as 78 in the middle of the day) That is well over 10 degrees warmer than this time last year.

The fishing on Stockton has been just about as hot as the early spring. The warm nights and hot days has moved up the spawns and the fish are going crazy. It’s been a great spring so far and the water levels and conditions have made for an awesome fishing opportunity. Other than a few “off” days, most everyone I have talked to says the same thing, they admit to catching a limit of crappie, and most of the time add that they either caught or lost a nice walleye. This really makes me mad because I had to have my elbow operated on last Monday, and for the past week, all I can do is listen to everyone elses stories. Hopefully that will all change by wed!! I have still had guide trips out with some other guys that guide with me and I talk to others on the lake daily. The only difference is I am sitting back depressed while everyone else gets to catch the fish.

The crappie fishing has been awesome to say the least. About 3 weeks ago the crappie moved into the rapidly warming shallow waters to feed up before the spawn. Although there are lots of varying opinions on if the fish are spawned out, are spawning, or are prespawn, the fact is you can catch them in 2-6 foot of water pretty much lake wide now. I have been fishing up the rivers for the past 3 weeks and have been catching the crappie under a strike indicator (bobber). The main reason for using this technique is to keep the jig in the strike zone longer and be able to fish the jig a little slower without getting hung up all the time. If you are newer to crappie fishing look for pea gravel and sandy banks. It’s ok to have some bigger rocks around, but the crappie need someplace to make their beds, so concentrate these types of banks. Also, don’t always go where all the other boats are, look for smaller areas that don’t have all the pressure. Sometimes this will help catch some of the bigger fish. Also, unless they are predicting some cloud cover, it’s best to hit the lake early or late, the fishing will slow down during the middle of the days when it’s a blue bird sky. A lot of fisherman will show up about 10 am, fish until 3 pm, and go home thinking everyone has been lying about the great fishing. You can still catch some fish during these times, but no doubt it’s better during the early and late times.

Color doesn’t seem to matter much during the spawn, everyone has their favorite or their idea of what works better. I usually try to throw something with white or chartreuse in them, but throw what you have confidence in. Most of the time I will throw a 2” grub on a 1/16 oz head, but will go heavier if the wind is blowing to much.

The walleye fishing has been just about as hot as the crappie. If you are going to fish for walleye only, fish points and secondary pints close to the channels. Throw either a pony head or a lead head with ½ of a night crawler, or you can throw a 2-3 inch grub on the lead head. Either one should work good. If you are crappie fishing and just want to try to pick up one for desert, just take off the bobber and fish the jig back through 8=10 foot of water. The walleye are just off the crappie spawning banks in the coves and around the main lake, if you are fishing the really shollow water up the rivers, this doesn’t really work as well. This is the time of year that you can catch a limit of walleye. It might take some work to find the right points, but once you catch a walleye, figure out why.Look at the point, the type of bottom, the depth and duplicate it. Most of the walleye are hanging out in 6-12 foot of water.

Bass are spawning. Lots of beds lake wide. Your best bet is a jig in 3-8 foot of water and concentrate on laydowns and structure. It’s a great time of year to get hooked up with a really big sow, so have the net close. (and don’t be to afraid to release these big fish to finish their spawn!! A replica last longer and looks better anyways)

Hopefully tomorrow at 2:00 pm the doc will take off all these bandages and tell me to take a long vacation, which will be taken on Stockton lake!! Keep your hooks sharp and have some fun fishing the best lake in missouri. If you have any questions, feel free to give me a call at 417-234-8988

Bob Bennett
Stockton Lake Guide Service
“our service is crappie”

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