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Stockton Lake MO Smallmouth


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I've never fished many of the lakes in Missouri even though I have lived here for some time and looking to change that. I know Table Rock is supposed to be better smallmouth lake but I have read that Stockton has some also and would be closer. Looking for suggestions for late april/may advice when starting to look at the lake. From reading it appears that the southern or bottom of the lakes tend to be better for smallmouth. Anyone have any advice in regards to general locations etc would be great, thanks.

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  • Super User

Stockton is my favorite lake.  I catch lots of smallmouth but rarely on the south end.  I catch most of mine in the Big Sac arm north of the Mutton Creek Marina.  After the spawn I target large flat coves with Ned, jigs and shaky.  I rarely find them deeper than 20’.

 

The Little Sac arm can be good from State Park Marina on west.  My best fishing in that area is generally points.

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16 hours ago, Jig Man said:

Stockton is my favorite lake.  I catch lots of smallmouth but rarely on the south end.  I catch most of mine in the Big Sac arm north of the Mutton Creek Marina.  After the spawn I target large flat coves with Ned, jigs and shaky.  I rarely find them deeper than 20’.

 

The Little Sac arm can be good from State Park Marina on west.  My best fishing in that area is generally points.

Thanks for the reply, few dumb questions if you don't mind. When you are talking Big Sac Arm I assume you are referring to the arm on the west side and the little Sac arm is the one to the east? Which ramps are decent to use, looks like there are options but mapping out looks like going to take me 4 hours to get there, so trying to figure out which ones make more sense depending I guess where I want to fish. Just thought I would ask, I looked at Mutton Creek and appears to be a paid ramp, tried to find how much but could'nt find anything. Just thought I would ask, thanks.

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Stockton has good ramps.  Hartley on the west and State Park on the east will put you near center lake.  They are DNR ramps with no fees.  The other ramps with the exception of Mutton Creek are COE ramps and require the yearly pass.

 

You are correct on the time.  Your best bet is I44 to Lebanon then Hwy 32 to Stockton.  From there you can launch at Stockton Park on the west side or Crabtree Cove on the east.  If you want to get more mid lake you can go south in Stockton on Hwy 39 to Hwy 215.  After you cross the mile long bridge you will be able to choose Hartley or State Park.

 

If you don’t have one, I suggest you get a Fishing Hot Spots map.  You can get them on Amazon.  It might be useful for your trip.

 

How long do you plan to stay and fish?

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38 minutes ago, Jig Man said:

Stockton has good ramps.  Hartley on the west and State Park on the east will put you near center lake.  They are DNR ramps with no fees.  The other ramps with the exception of Mutton Creek are COE ramps and require the yearly pass.

 

You are correct on the time.  Your best bet is I44 to Lebanon then Hwy 32 to Stockton.  From there you can launch at Stockton Park on the west side or Crabtree Cove on the east.  If you want to get more mid lake you can go south in Stockton on Hwy 39 to Hwy 215.  After you cross the mile long bridge you will be able to choose Hartley or State Park.

 

If you don’t have one, I suggest you get a Fishing Hot Spots map.  You can get them on Amazon.  It might be useful for your trip.

 

How long do you plan to stay and fish?

I'm just thinking about doing day trips, leave early morning fish the day until 6pm etc and then head back. Still in the figuring things out phase, was hoping it was closer that what it was, all the smallmouth lakes are to the west and South of me. I am in the Wentzville area and wanting to fish some other lakes but everything seems to be a drive especially when wanting to fish for smallmouth. There are smaller rivers and creeks but I do not really have a setup to do those so my thinking Stockton was the closest to me. The other thing would be to find somewhere to stay overnight and string a couple days together, just more things to have to figure out etc. I know once school gets out the lake will be busier so was trying to take a trip down before that happens.

 

I'm going to be retiring over the summer and will have lots more time to do things, but wanted to try to get out to see some of the other lakes and start figuring things out. 

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Inside State Park within a couple of hundred yards of the ramp there are rental units.  Less than a mile away there is a motel, I believe it is called Mt. Carmel but I would have to check to be sure.  It would provide easy access to State Park or Hartley.
 

Stockton does get recreational traffic in the summer but usually after 10:00.

 

What have you been reading to get your info on smallmouth?

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8 minutes ago, Jig Man said:

Inside State Park within a couple of hundred yards of the ramp there are rental units.  Less than a mile away there is a motel, I believe it is called Mt. Carmel but I would have to check to be sure.  It would provide easy access to State Park or Hartley.
 

Stockton does get recreational traffic in the summer but usually after 10:00.

 

What have you been reading to get your info on smallmouth?

Thanks, about the heads up on the rentals will give me something to think about. I know nothing about smallmouths, all I have ever fished for is largemouths. They tried to get small mouths established in one of our small lakes but never happened. I am looking for any and all advice and looked like Stockton was the closest lake to me that would allow me to try to fish for them.

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