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Fishing Wilson Lake

AKA: Wilson Reservoir

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Wilson Lake, KS

Popular Fish Species Wilson Lake, KS

Wilson Lake Popular Fish - White Crappie

White Crappie Fishing

Plenty of healthy white crappie reside in Wilson Lake, as they are making a nice comeback this year. The fish population is healthy and crappie fishing is excellent. Crappie always like cover and structure, so locate shallow brush and vegetation in Spring and Fall focusing on the 8 to 12 foot range. As the crappie move deep in summer and winter, follow points out to as deep as 30 to 35 feet, as well as ledges near channels at these depths. Live bait and small jigs are the most common method for crappie here. Black crappie, in smaller numbers, also make this lake their home. In winter, when the ice is safe, try your luck at ice fishing.

Wilson Lake Popular Fish - Walleye

Walleye Fishing

Thanks to good fisheries management by the Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks, a healthy population of walleye are thriving in the waters of Wilson Lake this year. May and June tend to be the best time for weekend anglers to catch them. During this time they tend to move shallower and closer to shore. Other times of the year they are more likely to roam around in deeper water. As always, staying close by schools of baitfish. They are eager to feed throughout the lake, but tend to concentrate around structure on points, flats and ledges off the river channels. A proven method for catching walleye here is trolling with spinners tipped with live bait, or trolling with long-billed, deep diving crankbaits. However casting live bait, jigs, worms and spoons also works well at times. When the lake freezes over in winter, ice fishing for walleye can be very productive. Use GPS to locate spots you normally fish during other times of the year.

Wilson Lake Popular Fish - Striped Bass

Striped Bass Fishing

Due to their large size, striped bass are a favorite of many locals and fishing guides at Wilson Lake. The state record of 44 pounds was taken from Wilson Reservoir. They are also plentiful, run in schools and can grow to bragging size. In Spring and Fall work the upper end of the lake where water is flowing into the lake. Look for deeper water in the river channel, as a holding place for stripers. In Summer and Winter, stripers hang out in deeper water during the day Morning often draws the stripers to much shallower water, look for them from the surface down to around the 20-foot range as they feed on shallow-running schools of bait. The lake is filled with plenty of baitfish and sunfish to to keep the fishery thriving. Being successful at fishing for stripers is a matter of locating schools of bait, and the wolf packs of stripers which are likely to be nearby. Fish finders, and forward facing sonar, are a big help in locating these roaming schools. Live bait is very effective here, and stripers can be caught year round.

Fish species to fish for...

Guide to fishing for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, blue catfish, white crappie, walleye, bluegill, redear sunfish, white bass, white perch and striped bass at Wilson Lake in Kansas.

Wilson Lake Fishing Video

Several boat ramps provide easy access to Wilson Lake in the north-central part of the state, 5 miles south of Wilson. The lake has 9,000 surface acres and 100 miles of shoreline providing an outdoor paradise for fishing, boating, sightseeing and swimming.

Wilson Lake, located in north-central Kansas, is a renowned fishing destination known for its breathtaking scenery and diverse fish populations. Anglers flock to Wilson Lake for its excellent fishing opportunities and the chance to catch a variety of popular fish species.

Striped bass is one of the most prized game fish found in Wilson Lake. Anglers can target these powerful and elusive fish using a variety of techniques such as trolling with large crankbaits, casting with swimbaits, or drifting with live bait. Wilson Lake's striped bass population offers anglers the opportunity to reel in trophy-sized fish and enjoy the thrill of battling these hard-fighting predators.

Both largemouth and smallmouth bass can be found in Wilson Lake, providing anglers with exciting bass fishing experiences. The lake's structure, including submerged vegetation, rocky points, and drop-offs, offers ideal habitat for bass. Anglers can use various techniques such as casting with soft plastics, crankbaits, or topwater lures to entice these hard-fighting fish into biting. Wilson Lake is known for producing quality-sized bass, making it a favorite spot for bass enthusiasts.

Walleye is another highly sought-after species in Wilson Lake. Anglers can target walleye by trolling with crankbaits, casting with jigs, or drifting with live bait along the lake's drop-offs, rocky structures, or points. Successful walleye fishing at Wilson Lake often requires understanding the lake's structure and employing techniques that appeal to these predator fish. Landing a walleye can provide anglers with an exhilarating and rewarding angling experience.

White perch can be found in abundance in Wilson Lake. Anglers can target these schooling fish by casting with jigs, spoons, or crankbaits near submerged structures or in open water where schools of baitfish are present. White perch offer fast-paced action and multiple hookups, making them a popular target among anglers.

Channel catfish, white crappie, bluegill, and white bass are additional popular species found in Wilson Lake. Anglers can target channel catfish using a variety of baits such as cut bait, stink bait, or live bait. Fishing near the lake's deeper areas, channels, or drop-offs can increase the chances of landing a catfish. White crappie can be caught by vertical jigging near submerged structures, brush piles, or docks. Bluegill, known for their aggressive nature, offer enjoyable panfishing opportunities. Wilson Lake's population of white bass provides anglers with the opportunity to catch these hard-fighting fish and enjoy their firm, white fillets.

Wilson Lake also offers amenities for boating and camping, allowing anglers to make the most of their fishing trips. Anglers can explore the lake's waters, navigate with ease, and access various fishing spots. The lake's campgrounds and recreational facilities provide convenient options for anglers looking to extend their stay and fully enjoy the outdoor experience.

Fishing Boats For Rent In Kansas

Primary fish species residing in Wilson Lake

Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.

Largemouth bass Smallmouth bass Channel catfish Blue catfish White crappie Walleye Bluegill Redear Sunfish White Bass White Perch Striped bass

Wilson Lake Amenities

Marina: YES
Boat Rental: NO
Boat Launch Ramp: YES
Campgrounds: YES
RV Hookups: YES
Lodging: NEARBY
Convenience Store: NEARBY
Bait & Tackle: YES
Restaurant: NEARBY

Today's Weather & Forecast

Fishing enthusiasts are drawn here to pursue bass, catfish, perch, walleye, crappie, sunfish, striped bass and white bass. For anglers preferring to fish from the bank will find camping areas and plenty of primitive areas with easy access. Many of these same areas work well for launch of small craft like canoes, kayaks and car-topper boats.

Public Boat Launch Ramps & Landings

200th Blvd Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, on the south side of the lake, off 200th Blvd, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with gravel parking.

232 Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northeast section of the lake, east side, off State Route 232, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.

Lucas Park Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, on the north side of the lake, off 203rd Street, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.

Minooka Park Recreation Area Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, on the south side of the lake, off Reservoir Road, this is a multi-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.

Minooka Recreation Area East Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, on the south side of the lake, off Reservoir Road, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.

Reservoir Road Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the southwest section of the lake, off Reservoir Road, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and gravel parking.

Wilson State Park Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the southeast section of the lake, off Tatanka Loop, this is a three-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.

Fishing Guides On Wilson Lake

Buck's Guide Service - walleye, stripers, wipers, white bass, crappie

All-American Fishing Tours - striped bass, walleye, crappie

If you offer fishing guide services on this lake, please contact us for a free listing, to be posted here.

Fishing License

Click here for a Kansas Fishing License.

Campgrounds & RV Parks Nearby

Wilson State Park Campground - 785 658-2465

Minooka Park Campground - 785 658-2551

US Army Corps of Engineers Campground - 785 658-2551

Wilson Lake KS Map - Fishing & Camping Areas

Contact Information
Wilson State Park
3 State Park Road
Sylvan Grove, KS 67481
785 658-2465


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Wilson Lake in Kansas.

Information about fishing lakes in KS

Wilson Lake offers bass, catfish, perch, walleye, crappie, sunfish, striped bass and white bass fishing in north-central Kansas.

Fishing on Wilson Lake.