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And it is still my favorite lake to fish in Missouri..


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A buddy and I spent three and a half days on Stockton this week and had a blast!  We did not make it down in 2020 due to Covid. Due to work and calenders we came down a couple weeks later than normal. We drove down and got on the water Monday at 8. We started out trolling Flicker shad, jointed Flicker shad, and 200 and 300 series Bandits. We started on a couple of the spots that have been productive and didn't even get bit. We went into a different cove and caught a 15.5 walleye on a secondary point. We were on the board! Once again spots that produced on previous weren't doing it. We finally caught a nice crappie in 25 feet of water over a brushpile. We found a few more brushpiles in the fromt third of same cove in 25 -30 feet with fish suspended over them and managed 5 more keeper crappie including one over 12 and one over 13 inches. We pulled the boat out about 12:30, cleaned fish and checked into the Owl Haven. It is under new management by the way and they are working on it - Van and Brenda are super nice. We really like having a full fridge and stove and cooking. We unloaded our gear, sat in the A/C and ate lunch, and then went back out about 4:30 and trolled until 7:30 when we ran out of battery. We caught another  15.5 inch walleye on a secondary point. We caught one more keeper crappie along with a few other fish. We went to troll the dam and on the east end there were 3 loons. Hearing them calling was cool!  Tuesday morning we went out with Ed Callaway aka LMT-OUT guide service (660-890-5262).  He told us it was a tough bite as the fish were still in transition and weren't really in a summer pattern yet. I would highly recommend any one wanting to learn the lake and how to walleye fish to go with Ed. We had a great time, learned a lot, laughed a lot and ended with 6 keeper walleye and 4 shorts. The majority of our fish came bottom bouncing with crawler harnesses.  By the end of the trip fishing with Ed was like fishing with a fishing buddy more than a guide. On Wednesday we started out using the new bottom bouncing technique Ed taught us and we caught 1 keeper walleye and three shorts. We also lost a couple including another definite keeper. The smallmouth, largemouth and drum kept us busy as well. By 11:30 it was hotter than blue blazes without a hint of wind. We decided if we trolled we'd at least have some wind moving. We went back to try where we caught the crappie on Monday in the first third of the cove and struck out. On a whim we went further in and found fish in the back third. We hit the walleye nursery and caught another 10 shorts. We managed another keeper walleye and four real nice crappie including one over 13 and another over 14 inches! We even managed 4 big bluegill that went in the livewell. Once again the smallmouth, largemouth, channel cat and drum kept us busy! Even had a first trolling by catching about a 3 pound flathead. Pulled off the water about 5:30 after 9 hours of fishing tired and hot. We pan-fried the blue gill and and a couple of the crappie in butter with a little Old Bay for dinner and they were awesome. We only fished a half day on Thursday before needing to drive back. We bottom bounced the whole time and caught all the usual culprits (we were especially hard on the drum!) along with five short walleye. It's amazing how you keep being hopeful that it's a nice walleye when the drum hit! The walleye all came in 14-18 feet on secondary points. And by the way for us it seemed a lure, whether a Bandit or a Flicker shad, had to have chrome on it to get bit consistently when we were trolling. I can't wait to get back down and hit my favorite lake again later this year. I'm envious of all you who live close!

Tater

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Stockton is a great place but I wish the fish ran bigger...I wish a greater effort to stock the native river strain and a more progressive length and bag limits fish def run smaller than in the late 80s and early 90s...

the fish seem Emaciated...unsure why, perhaps burning up more energy than they get eating just shad

 

, bluegills, yellow perch etc would help...could be the pressure, people have the skills to catch walleyes more today, spot lock, better electronics...other states have slot limits perhaps the time has come for that on Stockton...

haven’t seen a huge fish in years every fall a few mid teens showed up caught by a bass angler on a jig and pig or tossing jerk baits at night...biggest I heard of late was 8#.....

MDC? What up?

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557068F4-3DB7-4583-805E-52998CC2F86B.jpeg

CA201070-0D31-4075-B694-0F03D4DADD8F.jpeg

MONKEYS? what monkeys?

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1 hour ago, MoCarp said:

Stockton is a great place but I wish the fish ran bigger...I wish a greater effort to stock the native river strain and a more progressive length and bag limits fish def run smaller than in the late 80s and early 90s...

the fish seem Emaciated...unsure why, perhaps burning up more energy than they get eating just shad

 

, bluegills, yellow perch etc would help...could be the pressure, people have the skills to catch walleyes more today, spot lock, better electronics...other states have slot limits perhaps the time has come for that on Stockton...

haven’t seen a huge fish in years every fall a few mid teens showed up caught by a bass angler on a jig and pig or tossing jerk baits at night...biggest I heard of late was 8#.....

MDC? What up?

265CCB12-2A1B-44A8-94B8-981B70DFE0DD.jpeg

17F674ED-0236-4D29-85B5-9C69568A1AF8.jpeg

557068F4-3DB7-4583-805E-52998CC2F86B.jpeg

CA201070-0D31-4075-B694-0F03D4DADD8F.jpeg

From what I understand, the brood stock in Stockton come from Truman dam. They shock them, haul them up to Lost Valley in Warsaw, give them a belly massage, and hatch out the fry which are stocked all over the state. Whether or not that was always the case, I don't know.

I believe a slot limit also only really works in lakes that have natural reproduction, of which Stockton has very little. The big fish aren't any more likely to pass on their genetics than the dinks.

I have caught a couple that were hump backed, but none that appeared skinny. Even the small ones have pot bellies a lot of times.

It does seem like for every one keeper there are 2-3 that are just a hair under 15". 

-Austin

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4 hours ago, MrGiggles said:

From what I understand, the brood stock in Stockton come from Truman dam. They shock them, haul them up to Lost Valley in Warsaw, give them a belly massage, and hatch out the fry which are stocked all over the state. Whether or not that was always the case, I don't know.

I believe a slot limit also only really works in lakes that have natural reproduction, of which Stockton has very little. The big fish aren't any more likely to pass on their genetics than the dinks.

I have caught a couple that were hump backed, but none that appeared skinny. Even the small ones have pot bellies a lot of times.

It does seem like for every one keeper there are 2-3 that are just a hair under 15". 

They used to shock fish off the dam at Stockton. Unsure if they still do it or not. 

But one thing is for certain the big monsters don’t show up...worthy of a study, 

MONKEYS? what monkeys?

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2 hours ago, Smithvillesteve said:

A lot of meat fisherman at Stockton. All species!!

If you wanna stir up some drama, keep a limit of good sized bass and post it on the Stockton Facebook group. 

I don't know of anybody that C&R's walleye, me included. About the only time I turn a keeper loose is if I only catch one or two and don't feel like dealing with them. Of course, my skill level isn't causing a lot of damage, but there's a lot more guys out there fishing for them.

I don't have any problem with people doing what they're legally allowed to.

-Austin

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On 6/14/2021 at 12:57 AM, MoCarp said:

They used to shock fish off the dam at Stockton. Unsure if they still do it or not. 

But one thing is for certain the big monsters don’t show up...worthy of a study, 

I'm sure that they still do their electrofishing surveys, but I don't know if they bring any up for spawning. 

Their 2019 survey says that 94% of walleyes that came up were >15", and 23% were >20". I don't know if you can access the full surveys to see how many large fish were found. Would be cool to see though.

I caught more big fish from 2017-2019. 2019 was my best year with one 23" and one 24". I don't know that I caught any over 20 last year, but didn't fish as much because of Covid.

2019 was such a good year with the high water, everybody else stayed home and the fishing was excellent if you're able think outside the box a little. There was several days where I was the only guy out there, had to get my feet wet while dunking the boat from the parking lot, but it was worth it.

I read somewhere that MDC is managing Stockton as a numbers lake, not for size. Bull is the place to go for big ones.

-Austin

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I agree with you Mr Giggles that you cant complain about anybody doing anything legal. I'm just saying there are a lot of meat hunters at Stockton. In my humble opinion. I watched two "good ol boys" at Mutton Creek one day filleting up a 5 gal bucket of 8 beautiful 3-4 lb largemouth bass. Being a bass guy it broke my heart. Almost wanted to say something. But i bit my tongue. These guys were totally legal. Maybe they need the meat to feed their families. More walleye fisherman than ever before from what i see. And somebody on here hit the nail on the head. Better technology plus more fishermen and a lot of walleyes are being harvested. Its still one of my favorite lakes. 

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