Though known as the Sunflower State Kansas is full of rivers and lakes. It is a fisherman’s escape in the midst of a busy world. Kansas is a state for bass, crappie, and catfish.
There are many great bass locations throughout the state of Kansas. La Cygne Reservoir is excellent for largemouth and striped bass. Keith Sebelius Lake is known for its bass variety, as it is home to smallmouth, largemouth and spotted bass, as well as walleye and crappie, too. Marion County Lake’s waters hold many fish including spotted bass.
Kansas is also home to a hybrid of bass called wiper, a cross of white and striped. The state wiper record was an impressive twenty-five pounder that came from Perry Reservoir. Other locations for this interesting cross-breed are Webster Reservoir, Kirwin Reservoir, and other locations where the parent species converge.
The Perry Reservoir is one of Kansas’ best bass fishing holes, but bass are not all the allure its waters hold. This reservoir is also home to other state fishing records, including both shortnose and longnose gar. Also within its waters swim walleye, perch, panfish and catfish.
The largest man-made lake in Kansas is Milford Reservoir. It holds wiper, along with largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass, as well as bluegill, walleye, crappie, and blue and channel catfish. With Milford Reservoir located within a state park it is also a relaxing, tucked away destination for anglers.
There is little naturally supported trout fishing in Kansas, but this state does stock some rainbow and brown trout in its waters. Decent stocks can be found in Cedar Bluff Lake, Clinton Lake, and Lake Shawnee. Clinton and Cedar Bluff are also home to bass, walleye, panfish, crappie and catfish. Most trout stocking is limited from October to April, but for year round trout fishing visit Willow Lake in Tuttle Creek State Park. Remember that additional trout permits are necessary.
If you seek more challenging recreational fishing that may yield huge sea creatures, then you may want to angle for some of Kansas’ premier paddlefish. These ancient, shark-looking fish can grow huge. Try the Neosho River for paddlefish. The state record for paddlefish was nearly a hundred and fifty pounds, from Atchison Pond. Extra permits are required for paddlefish snagging.
For even more variety on a larger waterway, the Lovewell Reservoir is a fair choice. The Lovewell Reservoir is home to not only catfish, walleye, and crappie, but is the state record holder of bigmouth buffalo and sturgeon.
If you can’t wait for Kansas’ free fishing days then you need a license if you are older than sixteen. One day and annual licenses are available for everyone, but only residents can buy lifetime licenses. Non-residents can opt for five day licenses though. Social security numbers are necessary. Senior citizens and persons under twenty-one can buy cheaper licenses (reduced lifetime and half price annual for seniors, and youth licenses for under 21). Disabled Veterans are entitled to free licenses, and state funding is set aside to pay for free licenses for a portion of residential members of the National Guard (active duty). Non-residents in the military stationed in Kansas can purchase a resident fishing license.
Whenever you head out fishing to a new place, it's always best to speak to local anglers. Use fishing forums to ask questions and learn about the most accurate and up to date conditions.