Stockton Lake fishing trip
Arrived at http://www.happyoresort.com/ on Stockton Lake Wednesday afternoon about 4 p.m.. My fishing buddy, Paul Crews from Neosho, was about 30 minutes behind. Got settled, met and talked to Jim the owner of the place, put the boat in and headed to the dam.
Slight breeze out of the southwest and partly cloudy, water temp was hovering around 70. Paul had fished this area quite a few times over the years so I let him pilot the boat, picked the spot. We found the edge of the old river channel on the NW side, 20 feet of water and dropped the anchor. It's as deep as 90 feet there with a rock pile in the middle of the channel that's about 26 feet deep. We fished on top of it too.
We dropped night crawlers to the bottom and cranked up about 3 feet. First few fish we caught were big blue gills. Then a flathead, walleye, channel, bass, drum and a crappie. Paul cut up a gill and used it for bait. He caught the catfish on the cut bait. We ended up keeping a dozen gills, 3 keeper walleye and 2 catfish.
Thursday morning started a 6 a.m. We decided to go back to the dam- thought may be we could catch more walleye. It was dead. Very few bites and no fish about a couple of hours of moving around that area. So we went brush pile hopping.
First went to the west and hit a couple. Not much. Then went SE and found a couple more. Used the MDC App- it was easy. But no fish around the piles- that we could catch anyhow. So we decided to drift crawlers in 25 feet of water down this rock ledge bank.
While Paul drug the worms, I tied on a pearl slider, 1/8th ounce jig head and started working the bank. I caught a bass on almost every cast! May be a few keepers but just 15 inches. Nothing huge. All went back- didn't want to keep any bass. We were after eyes to eat- but none caught on this bank. Used the trolling motor to run on out on the next point where there was supposed to be another pile. Think we found it- caught a nice eye on a crawler out there but that's all.
We headed back south down lake and hit a few more places. Got tired of using worms myself. Pretty boring unless fish are going crazy for them. Rather throw something and not catch fish rather than sitting feeling for a worm bite. Went in, cleaning fish and went to Stockton for a mid afternoon lunch.
Ate at House of Chong Lee. Nice guy. Good prices. Food was good too. Would recommend it.
Back at the lake, we decided to troll. Paul had never trolled with Flicker Shad before. When he trolls, he puts the trolling motor on 1 and drags a jig or swimming minnows. It didn't work for us. So I told him we were going to trolling a #7 Purple Tiger FS.
I had reports from zarraspook and Sac River Jim that the Sons Creek mouth and Googer Creek mouth were good, trolling in 20-25 feet of water. That's what we did. And within a few hours, before dark, we had 27 keepers in the boat with one keeper walleye to boot. I won't say who DIDN'T catch his limit but it wasn't me.
We wanted to fish under the lights at least once so we went back up to the main bridge at Hawker, to the west end and started there. There's a nylon rope tied around the last pillar there you can tie to. We dropped a light and immediately started seeing bait fish dart through the light.
It was about 30 feet deep there if I remember right. Paul fished minnows close to the bottom and picked up 2 more crappie. Still one short of his limit. I caught one white bass- the only one of the whole trip! Couldn't believe we didn't pick any up trolling. Headed in about 11 p.m..
Friday morning we thought we'd clean up again. Not so. Trolled the same area plus up in Googer and Sons and only caught 6 keepers and a few shorts. More short strikes than Thursday too. But the best walleye came out of Googer- about 20 inches. We quit about 11 am, cleaned fishing and headed home.
Happy O is a good place for fishermen. They have access to the lake and a nice dock. And Jim fishes I think about every day so he can talk the talk and give good advice.
I like Stockton. It's so different than Table Rock. Hardly no sign of houses, condos or docks on the shores. Has an untouched feeling about it. And full of fish... couldn't believe how many bass I caught and I wasn't even trying. Funnest time I had was sight fishing along a bluff bank/ledge rock close to point 6. Could see the bass and targeted them with a pearl slider. Bait disappeared and I set the hook. Caught one smallmouth- was as black as I've seen a fish. Should have taken a pic.