Smithville Lake Fishing Report Guide

Smithville Lake Fishing Report Guide

Hey there, fishing enthusiasts! Today, we’re diving into the fantastic world of Smithville Lake, located in Clay County, Missouri. If you’re looking for a top-notch fishing spot with beautiful scenery and plenty of amenities, Smithville Lake is the place to be. Let’s explore everything this lake has to offer, from the types of fish you can catch to the best fishing spots and tips for a successful trip.

About Smithville Smithville Lake Fishing

Smithville Lake is a man-made reservoir situated in Clay County, just a short drive north of Kansas City, Missouri. This lake is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide range of activities including boating, camping, hiking, and of course, fishing. With its sprawling waters and scenic surroundings, Smithville Lake is a perfect getaway for both novice and experienced anglers.

Smithville Lake Fishing Details

Let’s break down some essential details about Smithville Lake:

  • Water Surface: 7,190 acres
  • Shoreline: 175 miles
  • Average Depth: 27 feet
  • Max Depth: 60 feet
  • Surface Elevation: 864 feet above sea level
  • Location: Clay County, Missouri
  • Coordinates: 39.4536° N, 94.5783° W
  • Accessibility: Easily accessible via multiple public access points and boat ramps
  • Type of Lake: Man-made reservoir
  • Lake Amenities: Boat ramps, marinas, fishing piers, picnic areas, campgrounds, and hiking trails

Types of Fish in Smithville Lake

Smithville Lake is teeming with a variety of fish species, making it a prime destination for anglers. Here are some of the common fish you can catch and where you might find them:

  1. Largemouth Bass: Found in shallow waters near structures like fallen trees, docks, and weed beds. Spring and early summer are the best times to catch them.
  2. White Bass: Often located in open waters and can be caught near the surface during their spawning season in spring.
  3. Crappie (Black and White): Typically found near submerged structures and brush piles. The best time to catch crappie is during the spring spawning season.
  4. Channel Catfish: These bottom dwellers are commonly found in deeper parts of the lake, especially near drop-offs and river channels.
  5. Flathead Catfish: Usually found in areas with plenty of cover like logs and rocky outcrops. They prefer deeper waters.
  6. Bluegill: Found in shallow waters near weed beds and docks, especially during the summer months.
  7. Walleye: Often located in deeper, cooler waters. They are more active during the early morning and late evening.

Best Fishing Baits, Lures, and Tackle Recommendations for Smithville Lake Fishing

Choosing the right bait and tackle can make all the difference in your fishing experience. Here are some recommendations for Smithville Lake:

Largemouth Bass

  • Baits: Live minnows, plastic worms, and crayfish
  • Lures: Spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and topwater lures
  • Tackle: Medium-heavy rod with a baitcasting reel

White Bass

  • Baits: Live shad and minnows
  • Lures: Jigs, spoons, and small crankbaits
  • Tackle: Medium-light rod with a spinning reel


  • Baits: Live minnows and small jigs
  • Lures: Tube jigs and small spinners
  • Tackle: Light rod with a spinning reel

Channel Catfish

  • Baits: Stink baits, chicken liver, and nightcrawlers
  • Lures: Catfish rigs with heavy sinkers
  • Tackle: Medium-heavy rod with a spinning or baitcasting reel

Flathead Catfish

  • Baits: Live bluegill and large minnows
  • Lures: Large jigs and catfish rigs
  • Tackle: Heavy rod with a baitcasting reel


  • Baits: Worms, crickets, and small insects
  • Lures: Small jigs and spinners
  • Tackle: Ultralight rod with a spinning reel


  • Baits: Live minnows and nightcrawlers
  • Lures: Jigs, crankbaits, and spinner rigs
  • Tackle: Medium rod with a spinning reel
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Berkley PowerBait Power Minnow Fishing Bait, Black Shad, 2in | 5cm, Irresistible Scent & Flavor, Realistic Action, Split Tail Design, Ideal for Bass, Walleye, Trout, Panfish Species and More
  • BERKLEY POWERBAIT POWER MINNOW FRESHWATER SOFT PLASTIC BAITS: Featuring lifelike details, these pre-rigged Power Minnow baits have 3D eyes and holographic inserts to attract attention, making them an essential tool for any angler.
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TOOLSSIDE 1 Dozen Rubber Maggots Fishing Bait #10 (12 Pcs) Crappie Jigs, Fishing Maggots, Bulk Fishing Grubs for Trout, Crappie, Pan Fish, Bluegill, Fresh Water Fishing Lures Set (Hooks and Worms)
  • ✅ Purpose and Size: These grubs for fishing attract a wide variety of fish including trout, crappie, panfish, bluegill, bream, roach, carp and more. Using grub fishing lures that imitate worms offers many advantages over live worms or minnows. These crappie lures are equipped with an optimal size hook and a rubber grub. The hook dimensions are 10 mm wide and 25 mm long, and the length of the larva itself is 22 mm.

Best Fishing Spot Locations at Smithville Lake Fishing

Smithville Lake offers numerous excellent fishing spots. Here are some top locations to try your luck:

  1. Camp Branch Marina: Great for bass and crappie fishing near the docks and submerged structures.
  2. Smithville Dam: A popular spot for walleye and catfish, especially near the deeper waters.
  3. Little Platte Park: Known for its easy access to shore fishing and a variety of fish species.
  4. Crows Creek Park: Offers excellent opportunities for bass and crappie fishing with plenty of submerged structures.
  5. Rocky Ford Access: Ideal for catfish and white bass, with deep waters and plenty of cover.

Fishing Tips and Recommendations for Smithville Lake Fishing

To make the most of your fishing trip to Smithville Lake, keep these tips in mind:

  • Time of Day: Early morning and late evening are the best times to fish, as fish are more active during these cooler parts of the day.
  • Season: Spring and fall are prime fishing seasons, with fish more likely to bite due to cooler water temperatures.
  • Weather: Overcast days can be excellent for fishing, as fish tend to be more active when the sun isn’t as intense.
  • Structure: Focus on areas with structures like fallen trees, docks, and submerged brush piles, as fish often use these for cover.
  • Patience: Fishing requires patience and persistence. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get a bite right away.

Positive Fishing Reviews for Smithville Lake Fishing

Here are five positive reviews from anglers who have enjoyed fishing at Smithville Lake:

  1. John D.: “Smithville Lake is my go-to spot for fishing. The variety of fish and the beautiful scenery make it a perfect place for a relaxing day on the water. I’ve had great luck with bass and crappie near the Camp Branch Marina.”
  2. Emily R.: “I love fishing at Smithville Lake! The facilities are top-notch, and the lake is always well-maintained. My favorite spot is near the Smithville Dam for catching walleye and catfish.”
  3. Mike S.: “I’ve been fishing at Smithville Lake for years, and it never disappoints. The fishing piers at Little Platte Park are fantastic, and I’ve caught some big bass there.”
  4. Karen W.: “Smithville Lake is a hidden gem for fishing enthusiasts. The variety of fish and the peaceful environment make it a perfect getaway. Crows Creek Park is my favorite spot for crappie fishing.”
  5. David H.: “Smithville Lake offers some of the best fishing in Missouri. The Rocky Ford Access area is great for catfish, and I’ve had some amazing catches there. Highly recommend it!”

Nearby RV Parks and Campgrounds for Smithville Lake Fishing

For those looking to extend their stay and enjoy the great outdoors, here are five top-rated RV parks and campgrounds near Smithville Lake:

  1. Camp Branch Campground
    • Features: Electric and water hookups, restrooms, showers, picnic areas, and playgrounds
    • Amenities: Boat ramp, fishing pier, hiking trails
    • Distance to Lake: On the lake
  2. Crows Creek Campground
    • Features: Full hookups, restrooms, showers, picnic areas, and playgrounds
    • Amenities: Boat ramp, fishing pier, hiking trails
    • Distance to Lake: On the lake
  3. Smith’s Fork Campground
    • Features: Electric and water hookups, restrooms, showers, picnic areas, and playgrounds
    • Amenities: Boat ramp, fishing pier, hiking trails
    • Distance to Lake: 0.5 miles
  4. Clay County Park
    • Features: Electric and water hookups, restrooms, showers, picnic areas, and playgrounds
    • Amenities: Boat ramp, fishing pier, hiking trails
    • Distance to Lake: 1 mile
  5. Crow’s Nest RV Resort
    • Features: Full hookups, restrooms, showers, picnic areas, and laundry facilities
    • Amenities: Swimming pool, game room, and convenience store
    • Distance to Lake: 2 miles

Smithville Lake Fishing Summary

Smithville Lake is a fantastic destination for fishing enthusiasts of all levels. With its abundant fish species, excellent amenities, and beautiful surroundings, it’s no wonder that anglers from all over flock to this lake. Whether you’re looking for bass, crappie, catfish, or walleye, Smithville Lake has something for everyone. So pack your gear, head out to the lake, and enjoy a day of fishing and fun in the great outdoors!

Frequently Asked Questions – Smithville Lake Fishing

1. What is the best time of year to fish at Smithville Lake?

The best time of year to fish at Smithville Lake is during the spring and fall. The cooler water temperatures during these seasons make fish more active and likely to bite.

2. Are there any fishing regulations I need to be aware of?

Yes, fishing regulations apply at Smithville Lake. Be sure to check the Missouri Department of Conservation’s website for the latest regulations, including size and bag limits for different fish species.

3. Can I rent a boat at Smithville Lake?

Yes, boat rentals are available at Smithville Lake. There are several marinas around the lake that offer boat rentals, including Camp Branch Marina and Little Platte Marina.

4. Are there any fishing tournaments held at Smithville Lake?

Yes, Smithville Lake hosts several fishing tournaments throughout the year. Check with local fishing clubs and organizations for information on upcoming tournaments and how to participate.

5. Is there a fee to fish at Smithville Lake?

There is no fee to fish at Smithville Lake, but you will need a valid Missouri fishing license. Licenses can be purchased online or at local retailers.

So there you have it, folks! A comprehensive guide to fishing at Smithville Lake. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or just starting out, this lake offers plenty of opportunities for a great fishing experience. Happy fishing!

Smithville Lake Fishing Guide

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Best Fishing Bait, Lures & Tackle

Here’s some of the best fishing bait, fishing lures and fishing tackle Smithville Lake Fishing Report Guide: