Saturday, July 28, 2012

Fishing Webster for Walleye @ Stockton, KS

The weather up north in South Dakota did not look good.  Lake Manawa is four feet below its previous high point and to get a boat on the lake is a lot of work.  The next place to look was Kansas.  The state of Kansas is blessed with a lot of very fine reservoirs.  The water is collected in dams along streams that drain the Rocky Mountains.   Whenever there is a lot of snow in the Rockies, the dams will be full of water.  The main purpose is for agriculture and for irrigation.

The lake as shot from the top of the dam.  Six thousand plus acres of the number 1 Walleye lake in the state.
The lakes have all been well stocked.  The state of Kansas has built excellent camp sites at many of the lakes.  The fishing pressure is low the further west you travel. Some years ago, a couple of trips to Kirwin Reservoir was a yearly plan.  Since then, there was a drought and the lake levels went way down and fishing went with it.  Checking with the Kansas website for recreation and tourism the reports were excellent and a trip was scheduled. (

I took I-80 west out of Omaha and just west of Kearney, NE took Highway 183 south through Alma and into Phillipsburg, Kansas.  Just a little farther south is Stockton, Kansas where I stayed in one of the two motels.  If you are a camper, the park has ample camp sites.  I would recommend contacting KDWPT through their website for reservations.

Main Street, Stockton, Kansas
You will find yourself in the high plains and the landscape changes drastically.  It is here, where you will begin to see "the amber waves of grain."  The wheat had ripened and was close to being cut.  The people are some of the nicest you will ever meet.  Midwestern people are the salt of the earth.  When you buy something, they all say "thank you," not "there you go," or "have a great day."  (

After a quick check-in at the motel a scouting trip to the lake was in order.  This is a big reservoir sitting down in a deep valley.  The first picture above shows what I saw initially as I took a trip all around the roads  to get acquainted.  A short visit with the local park ranger gave me a good idea of where to fish.  A reminder was mentioned that the minimum length for walleye was fifteen inches. 

A little steep, but the parking lot is paved and docks are on each side of the two ramps.
The parking lot was excellent for a remote location and there were clean restrooms and showers at the parking area.  The boat ramp was a little steep and long, but presented no problems.  What was unusual was the docks were not on the ramp, but off to one side.  I took my boat off, drove it over to one of two docks and tied it up.  I then drove my vehicle and trailor up the ramp to the parking area.  The area also had a lengthy wing dam extending into the lake to form a sheltered area.  Kansas can get windy. Toto and Dorothy were nowhere to be found.
Looking west toward the tree line.  The water is as clear and clean as any northern Canada lake I have ever been on.

The wind was right out of the southwest and it can't get any better than that.  Following the advice of the bait shop and the park ranger, the boat was headed straight west to the timber at the end of the lake.  Here the bottom was five to fifteen feet deep.  I used a spinner and back trolled along the edge of the timber out to about 200 yards from the timber line.  There was a lot of standing timber, and it showed up on the graph. 

Northland Fishing Tackle Baitfish Image? Holographic Spinner Blades - #6 - Clown - Cold Water Lures

Northland Fishing Tackle Baitfish Image? Holographic Spinner Blades - #6 - Clown - Cold Water Lures
This was the spinner I used most of the time.
Click on the link above to price and buy from Bass Pro.
I lost a lot of lures because of the underwater timber.  It appeared that most of the fishermen were jigging vertically in tight areas. 
It appeared that further out from the tree line, walleye were regularly being picked up.  Most were less than 15 inches.  Finding a stand of timber just poking itself out of the lake, I trolled around it and it produced outstanding results.  I caught walleye every five to ten minutes.  All small, but periodically a keeper was caught.  The total time on the lake was four hours and a daily limit of walleye in the fifteen to eighteen inch length was in the boat.  In total, 25 to 30 walleye were caught as the count was soon lost with such good fishing.  The depth of the water was around ten to fifteen feet and I stayed within fifty yards of the timber sticking up.  In addition I boated a half a dozen crappie.

Bass Pro Shops XPS Walleye Angler Spinner Blades - Indiana #5 - Rainbow - Cold Water Lures

This spinner was also used.  I tie my own so if I loose one or two or three, so what.
Click on the link above or the picture to price and buy from Bass Pro.
As I reached the shore, the Creel Manager introduced herself and checked the length of the walleye.  All was well.  It cannot get any better that this.

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Good hunting, good fishing, and good luck.  Hank

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