Missouri's Great Lakes: Stockton Lake
fishing spawning bass. "Look for pea gravel toward the backs of the coves. Bring a floating Rogue or a bright color worm--chartreuse or white--back over the nests, and they'll usually whack it pretty good.
Bass fishing techniques and lures are almost as numerous as anglers. Eutsler said he'd advise a newcomer to Stockton Lake to start by probing secondary points with a small leadhead jig fixed with a 3- to 4-inch curly-tailed grub. He suggested smoke-colored, red, black or green grubs.
"Use 10-pound test line and try to keep the jig swimming just off the bottom, The deeper you go out, the slower your retrieve. Cover a lot of territory," he said.
Rick Flint, the Conservation Department's Hunter Education Program Coordinator, lived only 25 minutes from Stockton. He said there were times in his life when he would fish it every day for crappie.
He shuns live bait, maintaining that using it is a waste of time, is unnecessary and needlessly wets his hands in cold weather. He primarily uses plain jigs, almost always 1/16-ounce. He occasionally threads on a small plastic tube. He's also uses small Roadrunner jigs. When asked what color he saw most when he looked into his tackle box, he answered "chartreuse."
He relies on ultra-light spinning rods, from 5- to 5 1/2-feet long. He threads 4-pound test clear monofilament line on his reels.
Flint has crappie fishing techniques for each of the four seasons. From late March to early May, the spawn governs crappie movements, and he looks for male fish in the coves and upper tributaries. He starts about halfway back in a cove and works his way in, casting his jig toward shore and swimming it back to the boat. "Pay attention to notches in the shoreline, brush, stumps--any type of structure," he suggested.
Flint says he sometimes locates spawning crappie in water almost too shallow for his boat, but in clear water he's found them spawning as deep as 28 feet. "The dingier the water, the brighter the lure you'll need and the shallower the fish will be."
In summer, he likes fishing early in the morning and at night. He said he usually finds the fish at about 18 feet and rarely deeper than 24 feet. He targets shallow crappie beds, man-made fish attractors.
He said the lake maps of Stockton Lake, available almost everywhere in the area where