Driving directions: Four miles north of Springfield on Highway 65, 0.5 mile west on Route AA, then north on Farm Road 197. Fellows Lake is in Greene County and offers diverse, close-to-home fishing opportunities. A disabled user accessible fishing dock is located on the northeast arm of the lake, and a two-lane boat ramp with disabled access and courtesy dock is located at the marina area. Springfield City Utilities owns Fellows Lake and requires an annual motorized boat permit ($35), annual non-motorized permit ($25) or a daily permit ($10) which may be purchased at the marina. Boat motors are limited to 40 horsepower or less. Over 30 fish attractors (brush piles) continue to provide good areas to catch fish. Fifteen of these brush piles were replenished in 2009, 6 in 2011 and 7 in 2012. Also, several PVC pipe habitat structures were placed around the disabled user fishing dock in 2009 and 2010. For a detailed contour map and fish attractor locations, contact the Missouri Department of Conservation (417-895-6880) or check the MDC website: http://mdc.mo.gov/node/9334 for an online map.
Annual Prospects Report
Muskellunge fishing at Fellows Lake should be good in 2023. Roughly 30% of muskie sampled in 2022 were greater than 36 inches with nearly 15% being greater than 40 inches. The largest muskie sampled was 47 inches long and weighed in at 28 lbs. Expect best muskie fishing success on overcast, rainy days during the fall or early spring months when water temperature is below 70°F. Fish large spinners, bucktails, or crank baits near brush structure or weed beds. Muskies are occasionally caught while fishing for largemouth bass or walleye. Careful handling of both sub-legal and legal muskie at the water's surface will increase their chances for survival. Fishing for muskie during summer months when water temperature is warmer, will likely decrease the chance for survival of released muskie. Anglers interested in joining the Show-Me Muskie Project and helping with statewide muskie management should visit mdc.mo.gov and search “Show-Me Muskie.”
Walleye anglers continued to have success in 2022 and there is still potential to catch walleye over five pounds in 2023. The latest survey indicated that nearly 40 percent of the harvestable walleye should exceed 20 inches in length. Walleye can be caught fishing gravel points in the spring, the backs of coves in the summer using suspending jerk baits, crappie jigs, nightcrawlers, or minnows, and trolling deep-diving crankbaits across main lake points. The minimum length limit for walleye is 15 inches with a four fish daily bag limit.
Largemouth bass fishing will be good at Fellows Lake in 2023. A 12 to 15-inch protected slot length limit helps provide catch-and-release fishing opportunities. The latest sample showed that nearly 45% of all bass collected were ≥ 15 inches despite high water hindering sampling efficiency. Largemouth bass are usually found more onshore during the spring spawn and during the fall. In the summertime, bass move offshore into deeper waters following schools of shad and other baitfish. The summer thermocline in Fellows Lake is generally between 15-17 feet, depending on weather conditions, with few fish found below this depth.
Crappie fishing should remain good in 2023. Both white crappie and black crappie are present in the lake, however black crappie continued to make up roughly 90% of the population sampled. The crappie fishery in Fellows Lake is characterized by a low-density, fast-growing population. Fall crappie netting showed a strong year-class of 8-inch black crappie present as well as numerous juvenile crappies, each of which should provide excellent fishing now and into the future. Minnows and tube jigs are the preferred baits for crappie anglers primarily in and around brush piles. Fellows Lake has a 15 fish per day bag limit with no minimum length.
Channel catfish are stocked annually and can be found throughout the lake with several larger fish available for harvest. Preferred baits include chicken livers, nightcrawlers, prepared baits, and cut bait. Bluegill fishing will be fair this year with most ranging from 4 to 6 inches. The latest sampling data indicates that there will also be several quality-size bluegill (above 6 inches) available in 2023. Small pieces of worms and a bobber make an excellent rig for children to catch this species. Low densities of redear sunfish and white bass are also present in the lake.
Fellows Lake is managed under a Community Assistance Program (CAP) agreement with City Utilities of Springfield and has both a marina and bait shop run by the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks. Bass boats, pontoon boats, and kayaks are all available to rent and anglers can pick up basic tackle, nightcrawlers, snacks, and drinks in the bait shop. An ADA-accessible fishing dock is also present but be advised, the main lake and surrounding facilities close at sunset.
From Springfield, take Highway 65 north 4 miles, then Route AA west 0.5 mile, then Farm Road 197 north.