on area bulletin boards.
A good place to catch large bluegill is Tobacco Hills Lake in the Guy B. Park Conservation Area in Platte County. An 8-inch minimum length limit keeps plenty of bluegill around long enough to grow big. Several longer than 10 inches are caught every summer.
The picturesque 17-acre lake has a boat ramp, but you can effectively fish the lake from shore. Bass are also numerous here, but you’ll find few fish longer than the 15-inch minimum length limit.
Watkins Mill State Park in Clay County has a 100-acre lake with both shore and boat fishing access. A 3.75-mile asphalt trail encircles the lake, providing anglers easy access to almost all of the shoreline. The lake has good numbers of largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, channel catfish and redear sunfish.
Anglers often take large redear sunfish in the spring when the fish are spawning in shallow coves and in the shallows near shore. You can sometimes see the fish in the water. These hard-fighting sunfish are vulnerable to small jigs or worms. They make great table fare.
South of the Missouri River, the James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area provides lots of good fishing. This 2,603-acre area has 11 fishable lakes and ponds that add up to 252 acres of water. Only children under the age of 16 can fish in Honker Pond.
Anglers catch largemouth bass, bluegill, channel catfish, redear sunfish and hybrid striped bass from area waters. Numerous fishing jetties, docks and trails make the lakes extremely accessible for bank anglers. Rental boats are available on some of the lakes during the summer months.
Visitors to the Reed Area willing to brave cold weather may face action that rivals any of southern Missouri’s trout parks. From November through March, the Conservation Department periodically stocks skillet-size rainbow and brown trout in Coot and Plover lakes, as well as in Honker Pond.
A 55-acre lake on Amarugia Conservation Area and the City of Harrisonville’s 34-acre North Lake both provide bank and boat fishing opportunities in Cass County. Both of these lakes have been stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie and channel catfish.
Many small ponds in the area are open for bank fishing only and have good fish populations. From April through October, the Conservation Department stocks eight Kansas City Parks and Recreation ponds with channel catfish. Most of the stocked channel catfish average a pound apiece.
Stocked ponds include Blue Valley, Chaumiere, Englewood, Lake of the