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Bob's Best Bets  
               Febuary 17, 2017
Open waters are providing some Crappie fishing at various reserviors.  Reports vary as to success but on nice winter days, some anglers are very successful.  Best patterns are brush piles. Water temperatures are warming slightly and some anglers finding a few fish shallower than normal for this time of year. 
 
Special message from KDWPT 
 In order to complete a scheduled system upgrade, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism's licensing and permit system will be shut down at 9:45 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, and will be back online at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22. No license or permit sales will be available during that time, both online and at license vendors. Also, the campsite and cabin reservation system will shut down at 12:01 a.m., on Monday, Feb. 20 and go back online at 6 p.m., on Tuesday, Feb. 21.

Febuary, 2017

Are you ready for some fishing? Chances are that our open waters including reservoirs, lakes, rivers and ponds will not ice up for the rest of the year. Still want to ice fish? Better head to the states north of here.   

Cold waters offer some great fishing with Crappie being the most sought after species. Big slab Crappie concentrate around structures like trees, brush piles and channel breaks. These tightly schooled fish are very competitive for food and agressively bite lures and live bait. Avid Crappie fishermen love this kind of action and February and March are great months for this kind of fishing.

Walleye and Saugeye fishing can be very good in late winter as these species move from their deep water haunts toward shallow rocky banks in preperation for the annual spawning. Mostly the 'eyes' are loosely schooled in areas and if you can catch one, then chances are that you can also find more in the same proximity. Wilson reservoir is known for a winter deep water bite for Walleyes. The clear waters at Wilson provide visibility to the Walleyes down to 40 plus feet however on an overcast day, fish might bite best in 25 to 30 feet.

The Blue Catfish anglers at Milford might be fishing deep in late winter or they might be working baits in shallow water. Several days of warm sunny weather may move bait fish like big gizzard Shad into shallow water of 5 feet or less. Big Blue Catfish as big as 50 pounds follow the bait fish into the shallow water and offer some great fishing.

White Bass, Wipers and Stripers all offer some good late Winter angling. Mostly the fish are holding out in deep water along river and creek channels. Amassed in big schools the fish are very agressive in biting lures. Find a big school of Stripers or Wipers and it can be some real tackle testing action. Even a school of White Bass will provide great action.

Channel Catfish are more of a warm water fish but avid cat anglers find good action on rivers and streams using a variety of baits. Bugs and other creatures that offer challenges in fishing these areas are non existance in late winter which makes for a better experience.

Farm ponds also can be good in the late winter period but may be prone to icing just enough some days to prevent access to open water. Species common to pond like Largemouth Bass and Channel Catfish are caught readily in February and March.

Biggest factor in late winter angling is the weather. Hopefully you can match up your schedule with some of those 60 degree sunny light wind days.