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Missouri Hybrid Striped Bass fishing
Missouri Striper fishing Forum
July 13 2008 morning on Bull Shoals Lake, Greg Blair reeled in a 56 pound striped bass
Missouri State Striper records
Old Missouri Striper record
Although similar to a white bass in appearance, the hatchery-produced hybrid striped bass were first introduced to Missouri waters in the early 1980s. The Conservation Department produces hybrids by using the sperm of native white bass to fertilize the eggs of striped bass, an introduced species.
The Conservation Department has stocked hybrids in select Missouri waters to provide anglers with trophy-sized gamefish and to introduce a predator that could feed on large gizzard shad. Adult gizzard shad in Missouri reservoirs are too large to be eaten by most other sportfish, with the exception of large predators such as flathead catfish and muskellunge.
In Missouri, hybrids commonly reach 7 to 10 pounds. Occasionally, an angler catches a 15- or 16-pound fish. A lucky angler caught the state record hybrid, a 20.5-pound fish in Lake of the Ozarks in 1986. The current world record stands at 27 pounds, 5 ounces.
At present, hybrids are stocked in Lake of the Ozarks, Truman Lake, Thomas Hill Reservoir and Blue Springs Lake. As a result of fish passage through Bagnell Dam, hybrids also live in the Osage River below Lake of the Ozarks.
Look for current
Anglers take a few hybrids while fishing for catfish, largemouth bass or white bass. Hybrids appear to be attracted to flowing water. Tailwater areas below dams are good fishing locations when water is flowing either through the spillway gates or turbines of the dam. Also, natural springs and the mouths of feeder creeks after heavy rains can attract hybrids.
The fish will usually not be in the fastest water, but off to the side waiting to ambush their prey (or your lure). Areas with current are productive throughout the year. Hybrids also travel up reservoir tributary streams right along with the white bass during April and May. During the summer months, you can catch hybrids by trolling deep-diving crankbaits over main lake points or near the edge where a flat drops off into the channel. The most productive times are low light periods (dusk and dawn) and overcast days. The key is to get your lure to bounce bottom in 14 to 17 feet of water. This can be done by adding weight to your lure and by using a low stretch/small diameter line.
Hybrids occupy distinct spots on structure, so trolling passes need to be exact. Anglers should line up shoreline objects and troll between them. Most strikes will come while trolling with the current because the fish like to hold on the down-current side of points.
You can catch hybrids on a variety of artificial baits. In fast water situations, such as those encountered below dams, heavy spoons and jigs are popular baits. For areas with less current, imitation minnow baits and other crankbaits are effective. Hybrids also can be caught on shad, liver and a variety of insects.
South Grand River Watershed
Historical records of fish community collections within the South Grand River Watershed date back to 6 July, 1940
A total of 13 species of gamefish are known to occur within the watershed
These include spotted bass, largemouth bass, white crappie, black crappie, blue catfish, channel catfish, flathead catfish, white bass, striped bass, walleye, and paddlefish. Muskellunge and warmouth have been observed in the watershed however, these are not considered to be significant fisheries. Flathead, blue, and channel catfish make up the primary game fishery of the South Grand River and its tributaries, while rough fish such as common carp, buffalo, and drum provide fisheries for alternative angling opportunities
The lower portion of the South Grand supports a significant population of crappie. Spring rises also provide angling opportunities for hybrid striped bass and white bass. In addition, a limited amount of angling for paddlefish also occurs.
Norfork Lake (Ozark Region)
Information: (417) 256-7161
For the past several years, hybrid striped bass fingerlings have been stocked into the lake to develop a unique, trophy fishing opportunity. Legal sized fish are present in the lake and interested anglers should target the aeration boils where gizzard shad congregate.
Thomas Hill Reservoir (Northeast Region)
Information: (660) 785-2420
Thomas Hill Reservoir (4,950 acres) is located in Macon and Randolph Counties and provides water for cooling Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc's coal-fired generators. The warm water discharge results in a unique, year-round fishery. Popular with wintertime anglers due to their attraction to the warm water discharge, hybrid striped bass are known for their fierce fight. Fish exceeding the minimum length limit of 20 inches can be caught on rattling lures, soft plastics and jigs, as well as chicken livers and minnows. Both crappie and hybrid striped bass are vulnerable through the winter months in and below the warm-water discharge channel on the southeast side of the lake. Due to high water and poor reservoir conditions, no Largemouth bass surveys were conducted in 2009, although historically, anglers have found plenty of action in the 12-15 inch length range. Flathead catfish and channel catfish round out the angling choices at this reservoir.
In early 2009, a barrier-free fishing dock was placed in the warm-water arm (Brush Creek), just northeast of the boat ramp. This dock will be especially attractive to anglers who enjoy fishing for crappie and hybrid striped bass during the winter months because it is located just southeast of the warm-water discharge channel. Brush piles were placed in the lake as fish-attracting cover from 1991 through 1994. In spring 2005, eleven of these brush piles had new brush added to them and four new brush piles were constructed. In spring 2009, new brush was added to the existing brush piles. Contact the Northeast Regional Office to request a location map, or visit the MDC website at http://www.mdc.mo.gov/documents/areas/neast/ThomasHillLake.pdf. When on Thomas Hill Reservoir, just look for the bright yellow "Fish Attractor" signs on the shore; the brush pile is nearby.
Long Branch Lake (Northeast Region)
Long Branch Lake, located in Macon County, is a 2,400-acre Corps of Enginners flood control reservoir. Hybrid striped bass were initially stocked in 2005 and stocking has continued though 2009. Hybrids have survived well and in a recent survey, fish up to 24 inches long were captured, with a few in the 5 to 7 pound range! During the spring and summer, anglers should concentrate on fishing main lake points, also keeping a watch out for schooling hybrids breaking the surface feeding upon gizzard shad.
Blue Springs Lake (Kansas City Region)
Information: (816) 655-6250
Fishing at Blue Springs Lake will be good for several species in 2010. Channel catfish from 1 to 3 pounds are abundant, and even beginners should be able to land of few of these fish this summer and into the fall. Some nice-sized channel catfish and a few flathead catfish can be found along the dam early in the summer; try using goldfish, large minnows, or some of the green sunfish that can be caught along the dam. Hybrid striped bass continue to provide a unique fishing opportunity in the Kansas City area. Over 7,300 young hybrids were stocked in the fall of 2009. These fish were slightly larger than usual and survival should be excellent. Anglers should look for schooling hybrids at the upper end of the lake in the early spring near the Lake Jacomo spillway and along the dam and main lake points in the summer and early fall. The Jacomo discharge pipe (known locally as the "blow hole") provides some of the hottest action every year, especially in the very early morning after moderate rainfalls. Also, watch for hybrids hitting shad on the surface in Marina Cove in early June. Fish 7 pounds and larger have been caught. Anglers should try jigging, casting, and trolling along any of these areas. Some folks even use chicken livers on the flats near Woods Chapel Road
Harmony Mission Lake (Kansas City Region)
Information: (417) 876-5226
Harmony Mission Lake in Bates CountyMDC also continues to stock hybrid striped bass into the lake. Nearly 8,000 fingerling hybrids have been stocked in the last seven years. Reports of anglers catching 5 to 7 pound hybrids are increasing. Many of these fish should be above the 20-inch minimum length limit.
Eurasian Watermilfoil is an aggressive non-native aquatic plant which has ringed Harmony Mission Lake. Grass carp have been stocked in an attempt to reduce the plant dominance, but more aggressive efforts are needed to eradicate this plant. Anglers are asked to thoroughly clean their boat before leaving the area so as to limit the spread of this plant to other bodies of water.
Cameron Reservoir #3 (Northwest Region)
Information: (816) 675-2205 or (816) 271-3100 This 96-acre lake is located just west of Cameron in DeKalb County, and is the northernmost of the City of Cameron's three older drinking water reservoirs. Mid-lake bubblers prevent this lake from stratifying during the summer and help to maintain good water quality year round.
Hybrid stripers commonly reach lengths of 15-24", with a few individuals reaching sizes of 10 or more pounds. Many crappie ranging in size from 7-9" and a few from 11-14" can be found in the spring and fall. Largemouth bass show good overall growth and sizes ranging from 12-20". Largemouth bass must be a minimum of 15" (limit 6) and hybrid stripers must be a minimum of 20" (limit 4) to be harvested from this lake. This summer they added nine artificial habitat structures to the lake as part of a combined MDC and Eagle Scout project. They are located off access areas along the southwest shoreline in 7-8 foot of water. Cameron #3 is an electric motor only lake.
Lake Paho (Northwest Region)
Information: (816) 675-2205 or (816) 271-3100
Lake Paho (273 acres) in Mercer County, returned to full pool in 2008 and has stayed near or above full levels through much of 2009
Hybrid striped bass (striped bass x white bass) were experimentally stocked in 2007 and again in 2009. Several hybrid bass from 10-18" were caught by anglers in 2009 and many commented on their excellcent fighting qualities. Special regulations restrict the harvest of hybrid bass, but an abundant forage base will promote good growth and some healthy, hard-fighting fish should make an exciting fishery in 2010, and for years to come.
Important note to Paho anglers...effective March 1, 2008 on Lake Paho, it is prohibited to use: 1) private boats, 2) outboard motors, and 3) bait transported or held in water. These restrictions are necessary to protect Paho's catfish rearing facility from threat of zebra mussels (an extremely-aggressive exotic clam) in Missouri, since the lake serves as water supply to the hatchery. MDC fishing boats are available for use by the public at no charge. Anglers must supply their own Coast Guard-approved personal floatation (life jackets) and may use their electric trolling motors on the MDC boats. For more information on zebra mussels, check out the following website: http://mdc.mo.gov/8260
The West Osage River Basin that lies in Missouri
Lake of the Ozarks
Opportunities for catching hybrid striped bass are good in the Truman Dam tailwater and, during the summer and winter months, in spring-fed areas of the lake.
West Osage watershed stockings
Harry S. Truman Lake - Truman Reservoir
Truman Lake is a 55,600 acre impoundment constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the purposes of flood control, hydropower generation, and recreation. Truman Dam impounds portions of the South Grand, Osage, Sac, and Pomme de Terre rivers, as well as numerous smaller tributaries. The lake has 958 miles of shoreline and an average depth of 22 feet (at multi-purpose pool elevation of 706 ft. m.s.l.
Truman reservoir located in the lower portion of the watershed, provides a diverse array of game fish. Significant game fish populations include black bass, crappie, white bass, hybrid striped bass, walleye, paddlefish, blue catfish, channel catfish, and flathead catfish. Since the early years of the existence of Truman Reservoir, paddlefish, and hybrid striped bass have been stocked nearly every year
Several fish species have been stocked into Truman Lake. Only three, the tiger muskie, the striped bass, and the hybrid striped bass were not native to the area. Currently, two species are stocked on a regular basis (hybrid striped bass and paddlefish). One goal of the approved Truman Lake Management Plan is to sustain a trophy hybrid striped bass fishery. To this end, 150,000 2-inch hybrid-striped bass are stocked annually. Conservation agents have reported that anglers have caught white bass and hybrid striped bass during spring spawning runs up tributary streams, and hybrid striped bass were documented in creel surveys on Truman Lake
Pomme de Terre Reservoir (Southwest Region)
Early in April and May, and sometimes even as early as March, white bass can be caught making their spawning runs up the major tributaries like the Pomme de Terre, Osage, Sac, South Grand, and Tebo arms. Other minor tributaries to the Osage also support good white bass fishing during these times. Weaubleau and Bear Creeks are only two of these smaller white bass fishing spots to try. Roostertails and lipless crankbaits resembling shad work well during this period. Summertime will find white bass and hybrids associated with mid and lower lake humps and points. Trolling over humps with silver or white crankbaits, or imitation shad baits will work well in these areas. Bouncing jigging spoons over these areas also works well. White bass and hybrids can be caught on or near the surface in late summer and early fall chasing schools of shad. Good topwater choices are Spooks, Pop-Rs, and similar style baits. Periods of water release from the dam create current within the lake which make locating schools of white bass and hybrids predictable. Whites and hybrids will be on points or humps with current flowing over them. Points on the lower Osage and Grand arms, areas near KK Island and the mouth of the Pomme de Terre arm, and the weir in front of the dam are all traditional locations that annually produce good catches of white bass and hybrids. White bass and hybrids will move into shallow water along windblown points during the fall. Target these fish with white rooster tails or imitation shad baits.
All Stripers All The Time!!