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Top 10 public fishing spots in Kansas City


Kansas City, Missouri, offers a variety of public fishing spots for anglers to explore. From serene lakes to winding rivers, here are the top 10 public fishing spots in and around Kansas City.

1. Smithville Lake

Smithville Lake is a popular destination for anglers near Kansas City. This large reservoir provides opportunities to catch bass, crappie, and catfish. With multiple access points and fishing docks, it’s a versatile spot for a day on the water.

2. Missouri River

The Missouri River, flowing near Kansas City, is a prime location for fishing enthusiasts. Known for its catfish and paddlefish, the river offers a unique angling experience. Explore the riverbanks for various access points and scenic views.

3. James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area

This expansive wildlife area features several lakes open for public fishing. Bass, bluegill, and catfish are commonly caught in these well-maintained lakes. Enjoy the natural surroundings while casting your line from the shore or a fishing dock.

4. Longview Lake

Longview Lake is a favorite among locals for its recreational activities, including fishing. Bass, crappie, and walleye are abundant, providing diverse opportunities for anglers. Take advantage of the lake’s amenities, such as fishing piers and boat ramps.

5. Shawnee Mission Park

Shawnee Mission Park not only offers green spaces but also serves as a fishing haven. The park features multiple lakes stocked with various fish species. Fishing enthusiasts can enjoy the peaceful ambiance and convenient access.

6. Blue Springs Lake

Located in Fleming Park, Blue Springs Lake is a picturesque spot for fishing near Kansas City. Anglers can target bass, catfish, and panfish. The lake’s scenic beauty and accessible fishing areas make it a popular choice for local anglers.

7. Kill Creek Park

Kill Creek Park, southwest of Kansas City, features a lake open for public fishing. This serene location offers a chance to catch bass, bluegill, and more.Fishing docks and shoreline access add to the overall angling experience.

8. Lake Jacomo

Lake Jacomo, surrounded by Fleming Park, provides a diverse angling experience. Known for its catfish and crappie, the lake offers both shoreline and boat fishing options. Enjoy the lake’s amenities, including fishing docks and picnic areas.

9. Clinton State Park

While a bit outside Kansas City, Clinton State Park is worth the trip for anglers seeking a larger water body. Clinton Lake is known for its variety of fish, including bass and walleye. Explore the park’s shoreline for convenient access.

10. Minor Park

Minor Park features ponds and lakes that are open for public fishing. With stocked fish and accessible fishing areas, it’s a family-friendly spot in the heart of Kansas City. Enjoy a day of angling amidst the park’s greenery.


A few things to remember before you go fishing:

  1. Never trespass on private property to get to a fishing spot, only use public access or property you’ve received permission to access.
  2. Research your fishing spot(s) ahead of time so you know what to expect, and where the public access starts and ends.
  3. Be prepared – dress for the weather, bring a spare change of dry clothes/towels just in case, and bring everything you’ll need to fish and enjoy the day (bait, lures, rod, ice, snacks, etc.).
  4. Be aware of all the state regulations like catch limits, licenses, seasons, size & species restrictions.
  5. Be safe and have fun! No one wants to spoil the fun with hypothermia or a hook in the leg, so remember to have fun responsibly.

Posted on November 21, 2023

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