Missouri's Great Lakes: Stockton Lake

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Published on: Apr. 2, 2003

Last revision: Nov. 15, 2010

he plays it with the fly reel.

The windswept points are apt to attract all kinds of fish. Henry said he frequently catches walleye, black bass, smallmouth, bluegill and crappie on his streamers and small jigs. One day last fall, he and his partner caught eight keeper walleyes while flyfishing for white bass.

Think deeply for walleyes

Frank Claspill of Springfield says he's been fishing Stockton Lake since it filled up. "I know it like my hand," he said.

He used to target bass, but now his main quarry is walleyes. To find them, he looks for shad on his boat's depthfinder. He said walleye hang out underneath the shad schools and follow them around. He says the fishing is best when the shad are over a rough, rocky bottom. Claspill speculated that the walleye hide among the rocks and attack young fish in the school.

He catches most of his walleye on jigging spoons. He lets the spoon down to the bottom, then "rips" it upward 10 feet or so, before letting it fall back on an almost slack line. He said the fluttering spoon looks like a crippled shad falling from the school. The walleyes usually hit as the spoon is descending. He likes a push-button casting reel and a 7-foot pole that he considers "soft" not "stiff." It lets him feel the spoon as it falls.

He uses 50-pound test super-braid line tied directly to the lure or the lure's ring. The heavy braided line remains flexible in cold weather, gives him a better feel for what the lure is doing and lets him pull out of snags. He said if you are fishing correctly, you will get snags.

Claspill prefers a shiny Hopkins spoon or something that looks like one. He fishes spoons that weigh a half-ounce down to about 20 feet, If the water is any deeper, he fishes a 3/4-ounce spoon.

He and his fishing partners catch walleye throughout the winter in 50 to 60 feet of water. He usually launches from the state park and fishes toward the dam in the winter, but he said anyplace where you find shad will work. He also looks for fish off points and near bluff walls, especially over debris piles where rock has sloughed of the bluffs.

Once he finds shad, or a likely looking spot, Claspill will hover over it, using the trolling motor to

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