1516 msl. This lake generally has a fairly stable water level.
Current Lake Level:
8.7 feet below conservation, releasing 12 cfs
US Army Corps of Engineers 785-658-2551
Wilson Reservoir Fishing Report - Updated: 01/06/2017
Baits, Method, Location
Poor. Crappie numbers are very low and no reports of fish being caught yet but fish are likely moving towards shallower rock and cover to feed prior to spawning. Coves towards the upper end of the reservoir and Otoe in Hell Creek are your best bets.
Fair to Good
Good. There are reports of fish being caught on the West end, Hell Creek, and a few near the dam in shallow water. Fish in the morning and/or evening with topwaters, livebait, spinners, or shad imitation jerkbaits. There is an abundance of stripers in the 16 - 18" range. These fish have excellent body condition compared to the last few years.
Fair to Good
Fair. Cooler water has them being caught at moderate depths. Find contour changes and areas in the middle or lower reservoir with 12 - 30 foot depths with rocky bottoms. Trollers are having some success but anglers using colored jig heads with earthworms, curly tail grubs, or shad swimbaits are also having success.
Slow. Try cutbait, liver, dough baits, and worms near the river channel and off points such as Minooka, Lucas, etc. Look for fish to move shallow (<8 feet depths) towards sundown. The channel catfish population in Wilson has been a nice surprise the last few years.
Be on the lookout for blue catfish which are also in the reservoir. They are not legal size yet so make sure and take care to return them to the water. There is a 35 inch minimum length limit on blue catfish at Wilson Reservoir!
12-18 inches, up to 3 pounds
Fair. Reports of anglers catching a few off the river channel from the upper reservoir to Minooka. Try jigging the flats adjacent to the channel with small spoons and shad imitations.
Fair. Bass are becoming more spread out with the recent elevation rise and cooling water temperatures. There are reports of both Largemouth and Smallmouth being caught. The Smallmouth Bass are currently the best bet and can be caught off rocky points and shorelines throughout the lake. Fish over 3 lbs. are being caught. Try crankbaits, carolina rigged soft baits, and shaky heads near shore or less than 12' of water.
9 to 13 inches
Good. Some are being caught up to 12" in size. We found moderate numbers of white perch around the upper end of the reservoir as well as Hell Creek. The lower end of the reservoir didn't have nearly as many. The fish we collected seemed to be targeting the river channel and moving up and down it while feeding. The west end had the biggest white perch I've seen in some time with 12-13 inch fish common. Anglers might try spoons and spinners off of the river channel near the bluffs towards Minooka - IT IS ILLEGAL TO HAVE A WHITE PERCH ALIVE IN YOUR POSSESSION - IF YOU CATCH IT AND WANT TO KEEP IT - IT HAS TO BE DEAD IN A COOLER OR LIVEWELL. THEY ARE NO LONGER LEGAL AS LIVE BAIT FOR STRIPERS OR OTHER FISH!!!!!
The white perch numbers are down in Wilson right now which is the goal of managing aquatic nuisance species. While this species will continue to thrive and reproduce in Wilson, they are still an ANS species and KDWPT has managed the predator base in such a way to limit their numbers. The hope is that the white bass will be able to make a comeback at the expense of the white perch numbers declining.
Lake Elevation = 8 inches ABOVE conservation pool - THE LAKE FILLED IN SEPTEMBER!!!
Surface Temperature = Ice melted during the last warm spell but it has reformed in the backs of the coves and up the river channel including Horseshoe Bend; ice is still weak. Make sure you have 4" thick ice before attempting and always wear a life vest and fish with a buddy.
BOAT RAMP UPDATE: All boat ramps are useable. WEAR YOUR LIFE JACKETS and be courteous at boat ramps!
We have two Aquatic Nuisance Species - white perch and zebra mussels and have joined Cheney and El Dorado as lakes with both species. The law now says that if anyone leaves the lake with water in your livewell or boat, you are subject to a ticket for transporting Zebra Mussels since they will spawn and the microscopic little mussels will probably be in every drop of water in the lake. Make sure you drain all water from the boat before you leave the boat ramp area!!! We have been taking veliger samples and the samples were high so be sure to drain and dry everything!!!!!!