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 2024. Roughly 35% of muskie sampled in 2023 were greater than 36 inches with nearly 15% being greater than 40 inches. The largest muskie sampled was 47-3/4 inches long and weighed 35 lbs. Expect best muskie fishing success on overcast, rainy days during the fall or early spring months when water temperatures are below 70°F. Long-distance casting of large spinners, bucktails, or crankbaits and/or deep trolling near underwater structures such as river channels, humps, and points can be effective. Don't forget to use the"figure-eight" technique for extra action after retrieving your lure! In addition, muskies are often hooked while fishing for crappie, largemouth bass, or walleye at Fellows. 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 temperatures are warmer, will greatly decrease the survival odds for released muskie. For more information on muskie angling equipment, techniques, and handling methods please visit our website at www.mdc.mo.gov.
Walleye anglers continued to have success in 2023 and there is still potential to catch walleye over five pounds in 2024. The 2023 survey indicated that nearly 40 percent of the harvestable walleye should exceed 20 inches in length. Walleye fishing can be challenging at Fellows, but fish can be caught targeting gravel points in the spring and the backs of coves in the summer using suspending jerk baits, crappie jigs, nightcrawlers, or minnows. Trolling deep-diving crankbaits across main lake points can also yield fish. The minimum length limit for walleye is 15 inches with a four fish daily bag limit at Fellows Lake.
Largemouth bass fishing will be good at Fellows Lake in 2024. A 12 to 15-inch protected slot length limit helps provide catch-and-release fishing opportunities. The latest sample in 2022 showed that nearly 45% of all bass collected were 15+ inches. Largemouth bass are usually found shallower 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 lake level and weather conditions, with few fish found below this depth.
Crappie fishing should remain fair in 2024. Both white crappie and black crappie are present in the lake, however black crappie made up roughly 95% of the population sampled in 2023. The black crappie in Fellows represent a high-density, slow-growing population. Nearly ~45% of the black crappie sampled in 2023 were between 6 and 8 inches. Conversely, the white crappie in Fellows represent a low-density, fast-growing population with some fish reaching 15+ inches and 2 pounds. Minnows and tube jigs are the preferred baits for crappie anglers primarily in and around brush piles and other structures. Bank anglers often find success fishing off the causeway running over the eastern tip of the lake (N Farm Road 197). Fellows Lake has a 15 fish per day bag limit with no minimum length limit for crappie.
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 in 2024 with most ranging from 4 to 6 inches. Small pieces of worms on a #6 to #10 size hook fished under a bobber make an excellent rig for beginning anglers. Low densities of spotted bass, redear sunfish, and flathead catfish 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. Motorboats, canoes, and kayaks are all available to rent. An ADA-accessible fishing dock is also present but does close during low lake levels. Be advised, Fellows Lake has a strict 40 horsepower limit on all motorboats and a boat permit is required, which can be purchased at the bait shop. For more information, please contact the Fellows Lake Bait Shop at 417-840-2965 or visit https://watershedcommittee.org/fellows-lake.
From Springfield, take Highway 65 north 4 miles, then Route AA west 0.5 mile, then Farm Road 197 north.