Annual Prospects Report
Mark Twain Lake (18,600 acres) is located in Ralls and Monroe counties in northeast Missouri.
Largemouth bass fishing will continue to be fair in 2023. Electrofishing surveys in 2022 indicated a slight increase in the catch rate of adult bass compared to 2021. Bass anglers will find about half of the bass they catch will be at least 15 inches long. The best bass angling opportunities will be in the spring and fall, around points, rocky banks, brush piles, and docks. The 2022 fall survey indicated a decrease in the catch rate for white crappie and black crappie compared to the 2021 survey. Anglers should expect to catch more crappie less than 9 inches. The best fishing will occur during late April and early May when crappie can be caught in shallow water on jigs or minnows.
White bass fishing should be average. Fish windy points, submerged islands and long, sloping points using either artificial lures or shad. Anglers do best when these fish are spawning on riffles in tributary streams in early spring, while feeding on schooling shad, or congregating over underwater humps or mud flats during the summer. Walleye abundance remains low, although anglers have reported improved catches the last few years. Anglers should also consider walleye fishing in tributary streams of the lake during early spring where walleye abundance has increased due to recent tributary stream stockings. Catfish anglers can expect good fishing to continue this year. Channel catfish are abundant and many blue catfish and flathead catfish exceeding 25 pounds are caught each year on trotlines, bank lines, and jugs. Effective February 28, 2022, blue catfish and flathead catfish less than 26 inches in total length must be returned to the water unharmed immediately after being caught. Anglers have been very successful in recent years capturing blue catfish on trotlines and jugs baited with cut shad or herring. Catfish anglers do best in the upper portions of North Fork, Middle Fork, South Fork, and Indian Creek arms.