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Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission meetings:
April 21, 2016 Wichita - Great Plains Nature Center, 6232 E 29th St N, Wichita, KS 1:00 pm
Bob's Best Bets
May 13, 2016
Walleye-Saugeye fishing is good at most area lakes. Water temperatures are in the mid 60's. Crappies are at spawning banks in smaller lakes and in creek and river arms at larger lakes. Reports of catching success on Crappies is varied from good to poor. White Bass in river arms and on dams.
May 13, 2016
May is one of the best months for Kansas fishing as the weather stabilizes with warm days and cool nights. That's the normal Kansas May and in Kansas there is no normal weather for outdoors folks. This year it seemed like everything was ahead of schedule back in February and March. Walleyes-Saugeyes were ahead of schedule moving into spawning areas in late February and early March. Water temperatures were as high as ten degrees above normal during that time period.
Anglers were looking for a spawning schedule for the 'eyes' and Crappies ahead of the traditional time periods. Late March and early April is the time period for 'eyes' to do their spawning in Kansas lakes and reservoirs. May is the month when Crappies move to the spawning banks. Even with warming weather that moved water temperatures into the range for these species to spawn, the time tables are not changing.
Fisheries biologists say their are two factors that govern when fish spawn. The most important is what they call 'photo period' which is the length of daylight. Water temperatures are the other factor but the day length has to be right to trigger the spawning. Water temperature has to be at warm enough level to have the fish's metabolism active enough to spawn. Fish are cold blooded creatures and their temperatures are the same as the water temperatures. Walleyes-Saugeyes need water temperatures of approximately 42-44 degrees and Crappies in the high 60's to low 70's.
The Walleyes were on schedule this year at area reservoirs as water temperatures were above the required range but now anglers are trying to figure out the Crappies spawn schedule. We are in the prime day length range for the slabs to be on the banks but at many reservoirs the water temperatures are not in that high 60's to low 70's range. Some experienced Crappie anglers are having a hard time finding fish at the traditional spawning areas and without a serious warming trend in the weather, the Crappie spawn may be delayed until late May or early June. Some of the smaller lakes already have had some spawning but larger reservoirs are lagging behind. The fish are in the areas but catching has been spotty due to inconsistant weather and cool nights.
Turkey hunters that hunt the latter part of the season in May find little competition from other hunters and some very willing Toms. Turkeys are not monogomous and are always looking for a willing hen. Experienced Turkey hunters say that when a Tom's harem heads out to their nests in the morning, he is looking for some action and may not only respond but race to the sound of a yelping Hen.
If you are a bow hunter, you may want to give bowfishing a try. Recently when we were at various reservoirs, we witnessed Carp and Buffalo spawning on the banks, some real heavy weights thrashing like hogs in the water. At lovewell the sound was almost deafening. Some of these monsters would probably weigh in over 40 lbs and that would really give a bow fisherman a real fight.