Kingman State Fishing Lake: 144 acres, max depth 11 feet, and the only place in Kansas you can chase after teethy Northern Pike. As an angler who initially got his feet wet and became addicted to fishing in Minnesota, my natural inclinations have always been towards Northern Pike, Muskellunge, Walleye, and Smallmouth Bass. Now transplanted to Kansas I primarily fish for Largemouth Bass, Wiper and the sort but my heart will always truly be taken by Esox.
Therefore I woke up at 3:30 Friday morning and drove over three hours to Kingman, just west of Wichita. I have read good things about Kingman and seen pictures of 13 and 19 lb Pike that were taken from there so needless to say when I finally got on the water just after 7 I was very excited. Well to my disappointment when I took the water temp it was 81*. Far too warm for Northern Pike. Second obstacle was going to be the lake itself. Visibility was near zero, very muddy and the lake was obviously down a few feet. This threw out my initial plan, to find a weed line on a point adjacent deeper water and concentrate my efforts there. The problem was there was no deeper water, and weeds were everywhere. The result of 9 hours: 2 follows from Pike on both a fly rod and conventional tackle and one 4 lb Largemouth. The Largemouth was a nice way to avoid being skunked but regardless I would have preferred a Pike. Let the water cool down, give it some fall rain and let the lake rise a bit and I will be back to Kingman soon I hope. This time hopefully successful.
Sun rising over the Prairie.
Fishing Conditions. Spent a lot of time removing weeds. My Paddle could touch bottom wherever I was in the lake. While there were lots of lilypads, what you don't see is the Milfoil under the water's surface that has overtaken the entire lake. I think someone needs to drop in a few Grass Carp....
Only fish of the day 4 lb Largemouth, "The Egg" Crankbait.
Any other day I would have been happy to catch this fish, but not that day.