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Stockton Lake Fishing

Stockton Lake Missouri Fishing You can expect to catch a variety of fish including bass, white bass, crappie, walleye, catfish or bluegill. Fishing is not allowed near the boat ramps or the marina area; there are no motor restrictions on the lake.

Fishing Information

Crappie Fishing –  Crappie are often caught using small jigs or minnows around brush structure. The Corps of Engineers and the Missouri Department of Conservation have created and replenished a large number of fish attractors at Stockton Lake the past years.  

Bass Fishing – Largemouth bass are the most numerous black bass species in Stockton Lake, especially in the upper portions of the lake. Spotted bass and smallmouth bass are present throughout the lake, but make up larger percentages of the population in the lower portion of the lake. 

White Bass –  The best white bass fishing usually occurs near or in the lake’s tributary streams from mid-March to the end of April. During July and August anglers can often find white bass chasing schools of shad in the early morning and late evening hours on the main lake open water areas. In the fall, angling efforts should be concentrated on windy main lake points or banks. Small crankbaits, rooster tails, topwater lures, and white jigs are good choices for catching white bass.

Walleye Fishing – Walleyes are stocked in Stockton Lake at 1-2 inches in size and typically grow to 15 inches in two years. In the spring and fall, walleye are often found along the dam, in coves, and in more shallow water. During the summer season, it is key to fish for walleyes at or around the depth of the thermocline.  Walleye are most often caught using night crawlers or minnows bounced along the bottom in 15 to 20 feet of water during early and mid-summer. Trolling deep-running or suspending crankbaits or casting these baits along the shoreline and windswept main lake points can be equally effective at certain times of the year.

Catfishing – The upper half of the lake or large coves will usually provide the best channel catfish angling opportunities. Mid-May to mid-June, just before the spawning season, is usually the best time to fish for catfish.  Trotlines or jug lines baited with live baits are the method of choice for most flathead anglers

History of Stockton Lake

Stockton Lake, located on the Sac River, is nestled among the rolling, tree covered hills at the western edge of the Missouri Ozarks. This area was historically controlled by the Osage Indians.

Construction of the 24,900 acre lake began in 1963, and was completed in 1969. Over 16,000 acres of the wildlife area surrounding Stockton Lake is leased to the Missouri Department of Conservation for management and public use.

Stockton Lake was formed in 1969 when the dam east of  Stockton was closed.  The lake reached its normal pool elevation of 867 feet above sea level in December 1971. 

Stockton lake is “Missouri’s best kept secret”. With 300 miles of shoreline and no commercial or residential development with the exception of 3 secluded marina’s and various swimming beaches and campgrounds. Stockton lake is also 1 of the top 10 lakes in the United States for sailing.