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Examiner
  • Don't miss out on terrific winter fishing in Missouri

  • Although hunting seasons are in full swing, including quail, rabbit, squirrel, waterfowl and the antlerless deer season that opens Saturday, fishermen are still pulling in some good catches.

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  • Although hunting seasons are in full swing, including quail, rabbit, squirrel, waterfowl and the antlerless deer season that opens Saturday, fishermen are still pulling in some good catches.
    Jim Nelson of Sedalia hit Pomme de Terre last week and caught a limit of bass and crappie.
    “I always seem to hit the good fishing in early December on Pomme, Truman or Stockton,” Nelson said. “Last week I hit the Pomme and caught some of the best crappie all year. Using a small white jig, fishing in about 15 feet in the brush, I had my limit of 15 nice crappie and then turned to fishing for bass. Casting close to the bank, and using jerkbait, I caught six bass, including a 4-pounder. It was as good as any day in the summer.”
    It’s that time of year that many anglers turn to jerk fishing for bass and walleye including Les Jarman of Stockton, who starts using  jerkbaits in December.
    “Starting now through March, jerkbaits work well, and you can catch some nice bass and walleye,” Jarman said.
    Two Iowa anglers, Paul Kitchen and Jerry Adams of Des Moines, who always hit Missouri lakes before the Kansas City SportShow in January, said, “We usually hit Taneycomo for some good trout fishing, but this year we came a little early to try the crappie and bass at the Pomme.”
    The pair has been hitting Missouri lakes in the winter for more than 10 years and have taken some big bass and crappie from Table Rock, Stockton, Truman and Pomme. One January afternoon last year, after the SportShow, Adams had an experience he will never forget while crappie fishing at the Pomme.
    “I had been catching a few crappie using a white jig, and then I hooked one that I knew was larger,” he said. “Just as I had it near the boat, I saw this big shadow in the water that came after the crappie. It was a big muskie and it grabbed the crappie and took off with it. I nearly fell out of the boat with excitement. I knew the Pomme had some big muskie, but this was the first time I had ever seen one.”
    Said Adams: “We came to Missouri a little early this year, and we are glad we did. We started fishing at Truman last week and caught a limit of crappie and bass, but the best fishing we had was at the Pomme, where we had a limit of crappie in less than an hour before we started after the bass. In one afternoon we had six bass, including a 4-pounder. And then we moved to Stockton, where we repeated the pattern. We had 24 crappie, two walleye and four bass in an afternoon of fishing before we headed to Taneycomo for some trout fishing. We could never have done that in Iowa.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Nelson pointed out that there weren’t many other anglers on any of the lakes.
    “They are missing some great fishing,” he said. “We gave been coming to Missouri in the winter for about 15 years and have always gone home with lots of fish. This year was one of the better ones for good fishing and good weather.”
    Don Helms of Sedalia has been deer hunting around Truman, but when he happened on fishermen from Kansas City who had limits of crappie, he changed from a hunter to a fisherman.
    “When I saw how good the fishing was, I put down my gun and picked up my ultralight rod and reel and started fishing for crappie,” Helms said. “I had my limit of 15 crappie early one afternoon and then went back to hunting. My wife was glad to see the fish instead of a deer.”
    Helms pointed out that the crappie caught in the cold water in winter even taste better than those caught any other time of the year.
    “You don’t even notice the cold when the crappie are hitting,” he said. “I guess the fishing never stops in Missouri even when the temperature is in the single digits.”
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