Your Best Spring Fishing in Kansas

Your Best Spring Fishing in Kansas
Photo By Ron Sinfelt

Here's everything you need to know about spring fishing in Kansas whether you're angling for monster pike, slabs, walleyes or bass.


Reservoirs along Kansas' northern tier of counties may still have ice on them in March. As soon as the ice disappears look for slab crappies to begin moving into the shallows on reservoirs like Glen Elder, Kirwin, Lovewell and others in search of minnows and warmer temperatures. The specks won't spawn until May or later, but the closer it gets to the spawn the more the crappies will be relating to structure. Concentrate on south-facing shorelines early in the spring. It's pretty hard to beat a lively minnow for spring crappies, but jigs excel when crappies are concentrated.


Kansas' biggest reservoirs take a while to heat up, so savvy anglers would be wise to concentrate on smaller, more shelter bodies of water in April. Council Grove City Lake doesn't get the fishing attention it deserves. On most days, you won't see more than a couple anglers on the lake. That's especially true in early spring. It's not because the fishing is bad. Just the opposite is true. And the variety is incredible. Multiple species can be caught by casting twister-tailed jigs or grubs or classic Roadrunners. Just flip to the docks and run and gun. If you hit on a spot that produces several fish, spend a little more time or come back a second time. Key is to cover water.

May brings out the best in Kansas' booming brown bass fisheries. A subtle climb in water temperatures puts smallies on the prowl in reservoirs like Lake Wabaunsee, Coffee County Lake and Wilson Reservoir. Look for back bays, rocks and bluffs that reflect and absorb the sunlight to attract schools of foraging bass. The reservoirs will produce plenty of smallmouths that will average 12 to 15 inches, but bass up to 5 or 6 pounds are not uncommon. Light spinning gear that can toss 1/8- to ¼-ounce jigs adorned with some kind of plastic are perfect for spring smallies.

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