Crawford State Fishing Lake Fishing Report -
Species Rating Size Baits, Method &Location
Bluegill / Redear sunfish  Poor

 2-4" -- 66%

4-6" -- 34%

> 6" -- 0%

The fall sample indicated a poor size structure of bluegill and redear sunfish. However, there is an abundance of bluegill and redear sunfish up to 6" in good numbers. Panfish are a wonderful species to get someone hooked to fishing! They can be caught readily using a simple bobber and worm, 1/16-1/32 ounce jighead, and a fly rod and small fly to name a few tactics. Locations to try would be near the swim beach in the northwest corner, coves where shallow water and aquatic vegetation can be found, and marina cove.  

Approximately 30,000 Redear Sunfish were stocked in early April to boost their current numbers and to provide an additional fishing opportunity for anglers. Redear Sunfish prefer habitat composed of rock and hard substrate, which Crawford SFL provides. 

Saugeye  Fair Up to 21"

The fall sample indicated a low-density, high-quality population of saugeye up to 21". A variety of ways to target saugeye are trolling with swimbaits and Rapalas, or vertical jigging. Anglers can also find saugeye up shallow in the fall, winter, and spring when water temperatures are cooler and where they can be found feeding on the flats and shallow habitat. 

600,000 Saugeye fry were stocked in early April. 

Wiper (White bass x Striped Bass hybrid) Fair 

5-10" -- 58%

14-16" -- 21%

20-22" -- 21%

Wiper have been stocked in Crawford State Lake and provide a quality sportfish for anglers to target. Wipers are pelagic, or open water, predators lurking in deeper water during the day, but come up shallow to feed in the morning, evening, and during the night. Some baits to try would be jerkbaits, swimbaits, jigs, and live bait. Trolling and vertical jigging over schools of gizzard shad may yield a fish, or two. The fall sample indicated good numbers above the 18" minimum length limit and a quality population for anglers to utilize. 
Channel catfish  Good

 < 10" -- 26%

10-15" -- 53%

16-24" -- 18%

> 25" -- 3%

Channel catfish can be found throughout all portions of the lake. Anglers can target the whiskered fish in coves on the upper end of the lake, especially during periods of inflow, main lake where submerged trees and Georgia Cubes have been placed, and jetties and docks that can be fished from shore. Prepared baits, gizzard shad, live bait, and chicken liver are all popular baits that anglers might give a try. 

Fish feeders were filled on May 10, 2019. They are set to go off at 7am, 1pm, and 7pm. Maintenance is ongoing for the feeder that was located on the east jetty as it was vandalized in the summer of 2018. 

Flathead catfish Fair All sizes Flathead catfish can be found in deep water next to submerged trees and structure. There have been reports of flathead catfish being caught up to 30 lbs. Live bait and fresh cut bait are two tactics to try. 
Crappie  Good

< 8" -- 35%

8-10" -- 63%

> 11" -- 2%

The crappie population has a slightly improved size structure with fish sampled up to 12". However, the majority of the crappie that anglers may find at the end of their line will be in the 8-10" size range. Georgia Cubes, an artificial habitat structure placed by KDWPT staff, are present in Crawford State Lake and the link in the "General Comments" section will provide you with GPS coordinates. Eight brushpiles were created and added. GPS coordinates are listed below in the comments section. Crappie will congregate near the Georgia Cubes, submerged trees, structure, and docks. Anglers should try live minnows under a bobber, jigs with a twister tail, and streamers with a fly rod. 
Largemouth bass  Good

 8-12" -- 51%

12-15" -- 19%

15-20" -- 29%

Largemouth bass densities and size structure is improved, since being infected with LMBV (Largemouth Bass Virus) in 2007. Strong year classes in the 8-12" size category indicate good numbers that haven't been as prominent since 2007. Quality fish up to 20" were sampled and anglers will benefit from the improved numbers and quality of largemouth bass in Crawford State Lake. Anglers should focus on coves and jetties using a variety of methods, which include spinnerbaits, top-water lures, plastic lures, and jerkbaits. An often overlooked method, the "Ned Rig" can also be utilized during all times of the year, but specifically in the summer months, when largemouth bass don't seem as willing to bite other types of lures. 
General Comments

Water temperature: 72 degrees, 5/14/2019

KDWPT Fisheries and State Park staff submerged nearly 100 cedar trees and 40 "Georgia Cubes" were added to the lake in spring of 2019. 

Cedar trees were placed on existing brushpiles. The GPS coordinates for those existing brushpiles are as follows:

16 trees @ N 37.642683, W 094.806843 (Northeast corner dock)

13 trees @ N 37.641414, W 094.807232 (East cove dock on west side of cove)

17 trees @ N 37.640050, W 094.809163 (Middle arm, east side)

24 trees @ N 37.637126, W 094.811680 (East fishing pier)

Cedar trees were placed on new brushpiles. The GPS coordinates for the new brushpile locations are as follows:

18 trees @ N 37.642581, W 094.808307 (North point) 

8 trees and stumps @ N 37.644641, W 094.810386 (North boat ramp)

11 trees and stumps @ N 37.643394, W 094.811154 (Marina northeast dock)

7 trees @ N 37.641860, W 094.812640 (Marina Cove southwest dock)

Georgia Cubes were added to six new locations. The GPS coordinates for the Georiga Cubes are as follows:

16 Georgia Cubes @ N 37.642602, W 094.808321 (North point)

6 Georgia Cubes @ N 37.642695, W 094.806880 (Northeast corner dock)

7 Georgia Cubes @ N 37.641402, W 094.807221 (East cove dock on west side of cove)

5 Georgia Cubes @ N 37.637147, W 094.811688 (East fishing pier)

3 Georgia Cubes @ N 37.643472, W 094.811373 (Marina northeast dock)

3 Georgia Cubes @ N 37.644663, W 094.810369 (North boat ramp)

As District Fisheries Biologists, we send out a newsletter to inform anglers of fish sampling result, aquatic outreach events, fish stockings, and habitat improvement projects, for example. We have a spring and fall edition of our newsletters that you can subscribe to. This is sent directly to your email. If you would like to stay up to date on what is happening on Neosho State Fishing Lake (Lake McKinley), Crawford State Fishing Lake (Farlington Lake), Bone Creek Lake, CFAP and FISH properties, and the Mined Land Wildlife Area strip pits, you can subscribe to the Pittsburg District Newsletter at the following link: https://ksoutdoors.com/KDWPT-Info/News/Newsletter-Request-Forms/Request-a-Newsletter-for-the-Pittsburg-Fishing-District 

Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism fisheries staff recently undertook a project to produce lake maps, or bathymetric maps, for public waters statewide. The lake map for Crawford State Fishing Lake can be found at the following link: https://ksoutdoors.com/Fishing/Where-to-Fish-in-Kansas/Bathymetric-Lake-Maps.This link will provide you with a link for all bathymetric lake maps for the state of Kansas. Scroll down to find Crawford State Fishing Lake. This will allow for anglers to view the depths of the lake to choose different habitats and lake depths to fish for different species, year-round. You will also find current GPS locations of habitat structures placed by KDWPT fisheries staff to easily input into your sonar unit, or find if you are fishing from shore. 

Be sure to Clean, Drain, and Dry your boat, bait buckets, and recreational watercraft before and after launching your boat. It is important to remove your drain plug on your watercraft upon departure to drain live wells and water inside of your boat; it will protect our natural resources in Kansas for current anglers and future generations to enjoy. Zebra mussels, white perch, and asian carp are all invasive species that can be found in Kansas. Be sure to stay up to date on information regarding Aquatic Nuisance Species. The following link will provide you with information on Aquatic Nuisance Species in Kansas: https://ksoutdoors.com/Fishing/Aquatic-Nuisance-Species.

If you would like to provide a fishing report for Crawford State Fishing Lake, don't hesitate to contact Connor Ossowski, District Fisheries Biologist, at (620) 231-3173.