UPDATE 5/3/17

Lake level is 622.5 and looks like it is pretty close to the crest. We did not receive much rain at all today so that will help. Naturally the water is pretty dirty and there is a lot of debris floating around. As far as I know the only ramps that are closed at this time are some of the small dirt ramps. Elk Fork, Little U, Lick Creek, #11, and # 20 are the ones I know about.

CRAPPIE: It looks like the smaller ones are starting to bite again. I talked to someone who was on the water today and he said he actually saw some shad busting the surface so that is a good sign.He also caught a bunch of smaller fish near them. Don’t look for them to be on the bank anytime soon. I would look in 10 to 20 FOW. As the wter warms back up things should improve. When it does you will want high contrast jigs, minnows, and nibbles to attract their attention.

CATFISH: Channel cats should be in high gear since they are the ones that like all this inflow. Toss a crawler in wherever you find inflow and you should be able to pull in some of these fighters. There have been a few blues and flatheads coming in.

BASS: I assume they will be acting the same as the crappie. They were getting pretty near the bank and now will be backed off.

NOTES: There is a lot of debris on the water so travel slow and keep a close eye out for logs, etc. If you see a bird standing out in the middle of the lake you can bet he is standing on something that can hurt you or your boat. Wearing your life jacket is probably a good idea while travelling from spot to spot.

52 Responses to “UPDATE 5/3/17”

  1. Leroy Says:

    Better weather coming up. Hope there is no wind to keep churning the lake.

  2. LJ Says:

    Water temps are around 54, varies a little up or down depending on where you fish; rivers, coves, main lake, in the wind or out. I have caught fish anywhere from 4 feet deep to 17 feet deep, but very few and most are definitely small. Fishing this last week hasn’t even been good for the ducks, last week we were killing them. Water clarity varies a lot. Near the dam you can see your jig a foot deep in the water and in the rivers you have to pull your jig out of the water and wipe the rain out of your eyes to see it. Sometimes its hard to even see your jig even out of the water because the wind blows your boat in a circle pretty fast and jig can wave back and forth six or seven feet in the wind.
    Be careful launching your boat, debris has been accumulating on the ramps and sometimes the water raises so fast the docks are submerged and you can’t see them and possibly ruin a lower unit. There is debris in the water almost everywhere unless the tornadic winds clear an area. The good news is spawn definitely hasn’t happened and if the weather stabilizes the fishing could get really good.

  3. Scotty j. Says:

    Was wondering if anybody knows if the hwy u ramp in Florida is still open?

  4. Bill W. Says:

    Well if anyone is checking the new level, this last rain we got blew the crest out of the water so to speak. As of 11 AM today the Corp. is no longer
    predicting a crest. It was 623.17 and still rising when I checked it a little
    while ago. Get ready for the high water ramps folks.

  5. BigBassBob Says:

    Bill W – The river and reservoir report the Corps puts out shows 622.62 and cresting Saturday at 624.5 max (still no water generation). However, I think they only update that every 24 hours. Do you have a place that shows hourly info like Lake of the Ozark does?

  6. Leroy Says:

    see links on southfork website.

  7. Brandon Says:

    Going to start continuous generation tomorrow according to their Facebook page…

  8. Bill W. Says:

    As Leroy said if you go to the links on here and tap lake level and go to the
    gauge page it will show the lake level and any inflow from the rivers and how
    much generation they are doing. As of 2:30 PM it was 623.37 and they were generating about 223.0 If as you say it is supposed to crest at 624.5 then the high water ramps will be in use, the others will be closed.

  9. Larry Says:

    According to the Mark Twain Lake Facebook page, Dueto large amounts of debris from recent flooding the South Fork Recreation Area has been temporarily closed. The area will reopen as soon as the debris flow has subsided and the debris has been removed. All other 4-lane ramps remain open your your use.

  10. DougK Says:

    I just checked 107 and route U ramps at 6:45. They are both still open with 1 ramp at each. If the lake gets any higher we will have the high water ramps only.

  11. Leroy Says:

    What is a high water ramp, please, and where are they located? I thought the Corps simply pulled the loading docks up the skids during high water. Thanks for answered a dufus question.

  12. Raymond Says:

    Is the fishing any good in the tail waters below the dam when the are running water? I know on most other lakes the fishing is good when they are letting water out.

  13. Larry Says:

    Leroy, Recreation Areas with high water boat launch ramps are John F. Spalding, Indian Creek, Stoutsville and Robert Allen. Normally they are boat ramps that do not reach the water. Sometimes in the past you could back down the road leading to the normal ramp, and launch from the road.

  14. Larry Says:

    The lake is at 623.85 and with water being released seems to be holding steady. My gut feeling is we won’t need the high water ramps, but it’s close. Maneuvering room on the ramps will be tight, but as long as everyone is patient and considerate it should be fine.

  15. DougK Says:

    If the high water ramps get installed, which I hope won’t happen,stay away from the Stoutsville ramp. Last time the lake was up only one ramp was usable and by the time I was ready to load the boat I had to fight lots of logs.

  16. ron Says:

    Indian Creek also has a high water ramp. Lake level this morning is 623.8 and looks to be starting to fall just a bit. It looks like we are not going to need the high water ramps after all. South Fork ramp is still closed.

  17. LJ Says:

    Just hope the water level stabilizes when the crappie move to the banks. Hate to see eggs left on the banks or so deep the sun never hits them.

  18. Mark Says:

    WHY do they pull the walk ways when the water comes up? People still like to fish. People are contracted to raise or lower the walk ways. Make them do there job. O course the stupid corps will have some crazy reason they must be pulled.

  19. Darlene Reeves Says:

    Probably so they don’t have to keep going back as water rises. If they don’t get them out and someone hits them while underwater they will be complaining about that also. I never use them. My knees won’t. Let me safely step down into boat like that. I step into boat from bank. Much safer for me.

  20. Easton Says:

    What’s the water look like as of today is there a lot of debris still to looking to maybe go out Thursday. Thanks

  21. field frank Says:

    was on the water yesterday and yes be careful out there, saw a lot of big timber still floating in the middle of the lake. Was lucky sat am and got bird #2, couldn’t find any decent crappie, only one keeper out of 10 fish. Sunday no wind and couldn’t find the bigger crappie, all dinks. water temp in the morning was 57-58degres warmed up to 62-63 by midday nut still couldn’t find any decent fish?

  22. Rich Says:

    Any idea at what lake level the Corps puts the courtesy ramps back in? I’d like to come up next Tuesday.

  23. Mark R2 Says:

    There is a ramp in at Robt Allen, Spalding, 107, Route U. The ramp isnt in at Behrens because the water is above the steeper part of the ramp, so the dock wouldn’t sit correctly for people to use.

  24. mark Says:

    They will most likely put the walk ways in about Oct sometime. Mean while we can all tear up our boats because they are all so stupid.

  25. kenny ray Says:

    You tear up your boat, because the Corp is stupid? smh

  26. Dan Says:

    Could I get the water clarity of North & South Fork? Thank You

  27. cooper Says:

    to Dan; water clarity (or lack of it) in North, Middle and South was “Yohoo” chocolate…however backs of coves and up little creeks a long the near shore is starting to clear up a bit. Crappie don’t really care right now about clarity. Some are on the receding banks (one foot) and some were out to four foot. The females still have eggs and have to go! Seems like mid lake to dam pockets and creeks were a little clearer and also warmer. To all you ramp/walkway winers call the lake office and ask which ramps are open and which have walkways in. They are great about answering questions. If you want better service double your tax donation and i’m sure things will get better…corps is not required to furnish walkways…most other lakes don’t. My two cents, cooper

  28. Dan Says:

    If they keep dropping the lake like they have the birds will have caviar.

  29. Dan Says:

    #28 is a different Dan. Thank You Mr. Cooper. Appreciate your reply.

  30. JayG Says:

    From someone who is used to fishing the Mississippi River I have been as far up the lake as the Hwy U ramp and as far down as the dam and I didn’t ser any wster that I would call MUDDY. It was all fishable to me but the main lake and lower portions looked better.

  31. Shoop Says:

    Has anybody found the fish since the water came up? I was down on Sunday and had to work to find any crappie….finally found a bunch of dinks in shallow water on Sunday afternoon but never could find any keepers….also, what have you seen for water temps the past 2 days with the 80 degree weather?

  32. Larry Says:

    Haven’t seen it mentioned, the South Fork Ramp is reopened.

  33. Easton Says:

    How much debri is still on the lake

  34. Darius Says:

    Hey I’m new to the lake and was wanting to know could anybody tell me where I could do some good catfishing from the bank I’m coming from Columbia thanks for your help

  35. Robin Says:

    Wondering where the blues and flatheads are biting with the higher lake level

  36. Erich Says:

    Hey Darius. I’ve heard of good bankfishing for catfish below the damn. I’ve fished all night there before and believe its open 24hrs if the rules haven’t changed.

  37. Billy Says:

    I would just fish next to the South Fork Boat Ramp where people throw away left over bait, dump dead minnow, or possibly clean crappie. However, you may need to check the regs to see if that is allowed.

    Other places I would try are where old gravel road beds run into the lake. Fish may associate with those hard surfaces instead of the muck/mud. Good luck. As for baits I would go with night crawlers since you could pick up almost any species….yes, drum are good to eat. Good luck.

  38. John m Says:

    Yesterday Eastern Missouri Crappie Club held its annual Adult / Youth crappie tournament. 25 youth teams not only learned the fun of competive fishing but lessons of respect and sportsmanship towards other fishermen. A 6 yearold caught the big fish of the tournament, 1.25 lb. This same young man also learned a lesson in unsportmanship as a team from another tournament, adults, saw him catch the big fish and immediately cut in front of his boat and blocked from the next tree. He looked to his mom and said i would never do that. Every youth took home a new rod and reel. Thanks to South Fork Resort for hosting. The pulled pork was excellent. Over 100 vehicles 107 parking lot. Debris minimal.

  39. Scott Says:

    just wondering if anyone has been catching some catifish I was thinking about going in the morning,also thought about trying the crappie before I leave.

  40. Dwain Says:

    Whats the water color looking like

  41. John m Says:

    See maybe 3 to 4 inches. Certainly not clear.

  42. clike Says:

    lot of short crappie this weekened on the bank

  43. cooper Says:

    I see water temps in the high 50’s to mid 60’s depending on where you go. same with water clarity. the corps is dropping the lake several inches per day and will probable keep that up until the lake gets to summer pool. Crappie are difficult but not impossible…really tough on high sky, hi barometer days and better on others. I start on or near the bank and work out to 8 ft. (on the bottom) some are suspended in 6 to 8 in deeper water. if you don’ have a hot spot (spawning area) start mid way in a creek or long pocket and work from the little points back into the cuts or divots in the bank. seem like steeper banks with gravel and wood and deeper water near by are producing better. TO DARIUS: there are alot of places around the lake where the road is close enough to access the water. go to google maps (sattelite) or google earth and ck it out. IF the channel is near also that helps a bunch.

  44. cooper Says:

    to Darius…highway 154 crosses Elk fork and Highway 24 crosses north fork. both areas are not to far out of Paris and have parking lot and access to channel and flats. the corps is dropping the lake and that will create a current under either bridge. the water is still high but i’m betting you would do pretty good in those areas with pretty simple approach. good luck. free corp lake maps are avaible in several shops in Paris

  45. JayG Says:

    I was on the lake in the 13th and seen water temps from 63 all the way up to 71 in the afternoon. If you stay on the eastern half of the lake you can see down a foot or more with it being clearer towards the dam. There is some debris in the lake but it is not bad. Lots of small crappie with the occasional keeper up shallow.

  46. BruceH Says:

    Does anyone know if the the small one lane ramp is open on U? Thanks

  47. cooper Says:

    to Bruce H…yes the corp does…call them …jeeezz

  48. BruceH Says:

    Maybe I’m just a poor old man without a phone, using my neighbor’s computer to ask a question….jeezz

  49. JT Says:

    To Easton: I know your question was 4 days ago but, we were on the lake for the weekend on the Ray Behrens side and sterndrive ran up on a submerged log. There were no signs that it was under there but usually you can see them in time. Be Careful out there.

  50. Ron Says:

    BruceH- yes, little U is open as is Elkfork. I assume pretty much all of the ramps are now open.

  51. Marty Says:

    Cooper may be you should read what BruceH was asking.GEEEEEEEEEEZE

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