Fishing in Kansas


Top 10 Fishing Destinations in Kansas

Kansas, named after the Kansas River, is a US State in the Midwest.  Nearly 76 miles of the Kansas northeastern border is defined by the Missouri River, formed by the intersection of the Smoky Hill and Republican rivers.


Anyone living in, or visiting Kansas, knows that fishing culture is very prevalent here.  Even those living in major cities have access to productive angling only a few minutes away. All fishing enthusiasts rush to Kansas as they know that the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism biologists regularly stock 80 bodies of water with over 100,000 great-tasting channel catfish throughout the spring and summer seasons. Fishing in Kansas continues in through the fall and winter months, as some of the waters are stocked with hard-fighting trout. Kansas thrives with 24 major reservoirs, 40 regularly stocked Kansas fishing lakes, and more than 100 community and county lakes. The water bodies range from over 100 acres in size,  and can also support good populations of bluegill, largemouth bass and sometimes crappie. A Kansas fishing license costs $42.50, which is a one-time purchase, and once you get that, there’s nothing that can stop you from fishing.

Fishing Types

Kansas has two unique fish groups.  One that breeds in huge, deep murky rivers, and another that lives in shallow and clear, tree-lined streams. Kansas has outstanding fishing opportunities for crappie, catfish, wipers, fathead minnow, gizzard shad, green sunfish, redear sunfish and many more.  Kansas is renowned as the land of giant fish. However, no place in the state has more massive, meaner fish than the Kansas River.

Hunting for a great spot to catch some fish? We will provide you with a Kansas fishing guide which highlights some of the best spots which surely cannot be missed. Smaller than our expansive reservoirs, they can be more easily fished from shore or from small boats. Most have good panfish populations, so they are perfect places for beginners, of any age, to catch fish and have fun.

Types of Catch Available

raindbow trout

Rainbow Trout

brown trout

Brown Trout

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth Bass

smallmouth bass

Smallmouth Bass

northern pike


yellow perch

Yellow Perch



Striped Bass

bullhead catfish

Bullhead Catfish

White Bass

White Bass





spotted bass

Spotted Bass


State Fishing Records

Top 10 Fishing Spots Across Kansas

Lake Henry


Located in Clinton State Park, near the western edge of Lawrence, this three-acre lake is nestled in a beautiful, wooded valley where you can angle from the shore. The lake breeds rich channel cats and bass up to 8 pounds which have been caught here. Lake Henry has good numbers of 12 to 13-inch bass, which makes it a perfect place for beginners to practice or learn the art of fishing spinner baits, or top-water lures around lush vegetation. The lake is stocked with trout in the winter months.

Lake Lenexa


Looking for a fishing spot that is family-friendly and lets you find great catches? If so, then Head over to Lake Lenexa which is a 30-acre lake with sheared shorelines, picnic tables, and good fish populations. Bass is fairly well-populated, and are 12 inches or more. Hunt for them around lily pads and other sprawling vegetation. Kids can stay busy and enjoy catching bobbers and worms near the shore for bluegill. 

Anglers must note that here the limit is five per day on bass, but all should be between 13-18 inches. Lake Lenexa is stocked with channel catfish, bluegill, sunfish, black crappie, and largemouth bass. While deepwater fishing, you will be able to relish the scenic beauty and explore a wide variety of wildlife.

Severy City Lake


This lake encompasses 10 acres, is 64 miles east of Wichita, and south of Severy. Be ready to have a fun-filled fishing experience as this lake is perfect for kayaks, canoes and shore fishing. The quiet waters have a rich abundance of bluegill and redear sunfish. They are not enormous, but they are plentiful. Bluegill is usually close to the shore, especially around any kind of dark areas.  Redear sunfish are usually farther out. There are also nice populations of largemouth bass and channel catfish.

Milford Lake


Want to fish at the largest body of water in Kansas? Milford Lake is impossible to beat as an all-around fishing lake.  Beginning with blue catfish, it is regularly stocked and thrives with fish 50 pounds and larger. There are wipers (a cross between white bass and stripers) that provide thrilling top water catches, especially in the fall. Anglers head here as they know that Milford Lake is one of the top smallmouth-bass lakes in Kansas. You may also find white bass and crappies, and the reservoir in northeast Kansas provides plenty of bites.

Melvern Reservoir


This reservoir was constructed on 7,000 acres and is located 35 miles south of Topeka. The good news at Melvern is the rapid growth of its smallmouth-bass population. The reservoir also contains some small bruiser fish, which loves the reservoir’s rocky environment. Blue catfish are also thriving in Melvern, with an emerging population producing some big fish in spring.  You may also find additional channel cats, crappies and walleyes.

Wyandotte Lake


This is an urban reservoir encompassing 330 acres. Wyandotte produces some surprisingly good Kansas fishing. Best known for its late-winter trout fishing, be ready to find great catches. Thousands of rainbows are stocked, as they provide a good ice-breaker for robust fishermen. This urban lake is heavily stocked with channel catfish. Smallmouth and largemouth bass, wipers, and crappies also thrive here. Don’t miss the panoramic views of the Missouri River valley.

La Cygne Lake


About an hour south of Kansas City, this beautiful lake was constructed on 2600 acres. In search of the best bass lake in Kansas? Then head over to LaCygne for a memorable experience! Since the warm water is flushed from the power plants into the lake, the bass has a longer breeding season. Due to the availability of warm water, fishing in the cold weather makes this one of the leading angling spots. There is a growing population of blue catfish up to 89 pounds or bigger. Recently, fishers have caught several 10-pound large-mouths. You will also enjoy a mixed bag of fish such as wiper, carp, sunfish, crappies and white bass.

Wilson Reservoir


Wilson Lake is a popular reservoir in Kansas, located on the borders of Russell and Lincoln Counties. This reservoir never fails to surprise anglers as it has a diverse fishery. It is possibly the top body of water in Kansas for striper fishing, and its walleye fishing is quite inspiring. It ranks as one of the Sunflower State’s best smallmouth-bass lakes, with white bass and catfish also available. It’s one of the clearest lakes in Kansas. Hence you can find brilliant channel and flathead catfish in the lake. Crappies are also found abundantly.

Hillsdale reservoir


With vast fishing space of about 4,580 acres, Hillsdale reservoir is located less than an hour south of the Kansas City area.  This metro-area reservoir gets a lot of fishing pressure, but it holds up well. Most of the crowds of fishermen visit in the spring when the crappies move to the shallows to spawn. You will also find abundant walleyes, catfish and largemouth bass.

Tuttle Creek Reservoir


It is made on 12,500 acres near Manhattan, and if you are searching for a stringer filled with big white bass, then Turtle Creek is your go-to.  The reservoir is more popular during the summer months. You will find big populations of bluegill, crappie, catfish, and saugeye. Turtle Creek was previously known for being a bass and large-mouth fishing hotspot, but now it’s  more favorable for catching catfish. 

Kansas fishing is not just restricted to experienced anglers - it’s also great for beginners, learners, and kids too. So, if you are planning your next fishing trip, Kansas should definitely be on the list of your desired fishing destinations.








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