Top 10 Fishing Destinations in Missouri

Missouri is the 21st largest-area state, and located in the American Midwest. Missouri is well-endowed with many rivers, streams, lakes and reservoirs, and provides some of the best fishing opportunities in the Midwest. Great fishing is one of the major attractions of Missouri’s outdoor recreation. From streams, farm ponds, and lakes, to the nation’s biggest rivers, Missouri offers an abundance of sport-fishing opportunities to give anglers a thrill of a lifetime. Some may think that winter isn’t  ideal for fishing, but if you go to Missouri you’ll see firsthand big clear water reservoirs, catch-and-release fishing in Missouri trout parks. Missouri can easily claim to have some of the best trout fishing in the United States, even though trout is not native to the state.

Lots of Options Up for Grabs

Anglers with a legal Missouri fishing license may fish in the freshwater and backwaters of the Missouri River and any oxbow lake through which the river flows. Both rainbow and brown trout are non-native to state, were introduced from Asia, and raised in hatcheries for sport fishing. You will find largemouth bass, blue catfish, black crappie, common carp, paddlefish, bowfin, muskellunge, pike, walleye, sauger and many more great species in Missouri. Many waterways are supplied with rainbow and brown trout throughout the year, and some locations are even stocked daily from March-October.

Types of Catch Available


raindbow trout

Rainbow Trout

brown trout

Brown Trout

Largemouth Bass

smallmouth bass

Smallmouth Bass

spotted bass

Spotted Bass

White Bass

White Bass

Striped Bass



northern pike

Northern Pike



yellow perch

Yellow Perch

bullhead catfish

Bullhead Catfish


State Fishing Records

Top 10 Fishing Spots Across Missouri

Missouri fishing absolutely cannot be missed if you visit this beautiful state. To make it easier for you, we’ve compiled a Missouri fishing guide to help you choose the fishing spot which best suits your needs.

Table Rock Lake

Table Rock Lake

Many species dwell in Table Rock Lake including the most coveted largemouth, smallmouth, and Kentucky (spotted) bass. Interestingly, the lake hosts fishing tournaments almost every weekend and sometimes hosts national fishing events too. During the winter season, the temperatures usually don’t get frigid enough to cause freezing on the lake’s surface, which provides anglers with a year round fishery. In reality, some of the best fishing possibilities are available during the winter, when seasonal anglers no longer visit the lake.

Bull Shoals Lake

Bull Shoals Lake

Bull Shoals Lake flowing in southern Missouri, is a 45,500-acre lake distributed between Missouri and Arkansas, with about 16,000 acres on the Missouri side. The Missouri side of Bull Shoals Lake is deep and clear, with rocky and gravel shorelines. There are very little sandy shorelines, and the elevation ranges from bluff to gentle slope. You will commonly find black Bass, walleye, channel, rainbow trout, Crappie, Bluegill, White bass, Flathead Catfish, and Striped Bass in Bull Shoals Lake. The average water temperature during the winter months is 40 degrees. It is best known for its big white bass and is considered as one of the best walleye lakes in the region.

Pomme De Terre

Pomme De Terre

Pomme de Terre is an artificial lake in southwest Missouri located in Pomme de Terre State Park, which consists of 734 acres in two sections of wooded hills on both sides of the lake. Even though the lake is more commonly known for its abundance of muskies, you may also find bluegill, black bass, white bass, crappie, walleye or catfish. The muskies are managed by the Missouri Department of Conservation, as they are a fierce fighting fish that can reach up to 40 inches long, and the good news is that you can catch them throughout the year.

Lees Summit

Lees Summit

Attention all nature lovers: this spot allows you to relish fishing along with admiring the picturesque landscapes. Sitting at the edge of the water with bait, you can try your skills and luck at catching a wide range of fish, including: bluegill, channel catfish, and largemouth bass. Don’t worry if one spot does not work for you, as there are several ponds and lakes to fish in the nearby area. After fishing, you can comfortably stay in Missouri’s fishing lodges in Lee’s Summit, or head towards Kansas City to explore more fun.

Fleming Park

Fleming Park

Fleming Park is made on 7,800 acres of leisure area, and is home to Blue Springs Lake, Lake Jacomo, and numerous other fishing ponds. With a variety of fish available, from flathead catfish to hybrid striped bass in this area, you have a fair chance to catch something during the day. There is a separate fishing dock dedicated to those with disabilities, which allows everyone to enjoy fishing. If you want to fish in the deeper areas of the lake, then it’s advised to charter one of the various boats available on the lake.

Montauk State Park

Montauk State Park

Montauk State Park is one of the finest parks for Missouri fishing. The unspoiled waters and natural surroundings of the Current River are an excellent spot for trout fishing. Montauk State Park is best known for trout fishing, with the Current River featuring both rainbow and brown trout. Trout season opens March 1st, and lasts until October 31st, and in between, there is a catch-and-release program for year-round fishing. The everyday limit is 4 trout, with a minimum size restriction of 15 inches to keep brown trout. As applicable to most of the trout parks, sight fishing tends to be the secret weapon here.

Lake of the Ozarks

Lake of the Ozarks

The Lake of the Ozarks covers an area of 55,000 acres in central Missouri. It is a giant reservoir with lots of boating, recreational activities and partying going on in summer months. Lake of the Ozarks is best known for its spring bass fishing. Big large-mouth are caught each year, especially from March to late May, which makes it an anglers paradise. This big lake also has brilliant crappie, catfish, paddlefish and white bass fishing.

Smithville Lake

Smithville Lake

Smithville Lake covers an area of 7,190 acres and is located approximately 25 miles north of Kansas City. The good part about this spot is that it’s close to an urban area.  So, after fishing, you can go and explore a new city. It is best known for its impressive crappie fishing, and produces huge bass - especially during the spring months. You may also find flathead and channel catfish, white bass and walleyes. So, if you are living in Kansas City and need a weekend getaway, think no further, and just head towards Smithville Lake for a thrilling experience.

Bennet Spring State Park

Bennet Spring State Park

The waterways flowing at Bennett Spring State Park in southwest Missouri, named Niangua River and Bennett Spring, offer brilliant fishing opportunities for rainbow and brown trout. The stream is well-stocked, the water is pure, and the water levels are generally shallow. Anglers must have a valid Missouri fishing license and a daily trout tag to fish in these waters.  Be mindful of the three fishing zones, which have separate, specific rules. When planning your Missouri fishing trips to Bennett Spring State Park, remember there is daily rainbow trout stocking from March-October, and anglers largely experience great numbers of catches. It is catch-and-release only fishing from November-February, with seasonal permissions for bait, and trout are stocked throughout the winter. The best approachability to fishing waters at Bennett Spring State Park is from Highway 65 from I-44 to the park entrance.

Lake Taneycomo

Lake Taneycomo

surrounded by 40 miles of shoreline, Lake Taneycomo located in southern Missouri, keeps you covered for all your fishing needs. It is celebrated as being one of the best trout fishing lakes in the USA. What makes it a trout paradise is that it is stocked annually with 600,000 rainbow trout and 10,000 brown trout, making it a tremendous spot to fish all year round. You must abide by specific fishing regulations of this lake, which are important to know in order to have the finest experience. While anglers can paddle in the water, fishing by boat is recommended in the deeper downstream water. The easiest entrance to the lake is from the trails near the hatchery, which are also used for hiking and biking.

Fishing can add fun and excitement to your family vacation, so why not opt for an awesome fishing destination like Missouri? With hundreds of lakes and streams, consider Missouri for your next destination to make lasting memories for you and your family.












FishingVacations.com Copyright 2019

Terms of Use