The greater Kansas City and St. Louis metropolitan areas boast, by far, the
largest population centers in the state. For this reason, the Missouri Department
of Conversation made the decision that additional outdoor recreation experiences
should be brought into the cities to reach those citizens that are most typically
left out. And so the Urban Winter Trout fishing program was born. At first, only a
few lakes were stocked. The program became so popular, however, that additional
lakes were quickly added. As participation grew, additional cities were added to
the mix. First Jefferson City, Columbia and Jackson were added. Additional programs
in Mexico and Sedalia were soon added, and Kirksville and St. Joseph have now also
joined the club. With Kansas City's five trout lakes and St. Louis' 17 trout lakes,
that brings the state's urban trout lake total to 29 destinations.
All of Missouri's 29 urban trout lakes are pretty much managed the same way. All are
stocked in early November, with a few receiving more than one stocking during the winter.
Several of the lakes have a catch-and-release season, but the others have no bait
restrictions with a daily limit of four trout, just like the White Ribbon trout areas.
The most popular method of fishing these lakes is the sit-and-wait bait method using any of
the popular floating dough baits. The most successful method, however, tends to be using
lures like in-line spinners, small spoons, teeny crankbaits, rubber shad or trout worms
(if legal), and fly casting small colorful streamers. At times, dry flies can also work.
Without a current, though, the trout are forced to cruise in search of food and are
generally more willing to chase down minnows and swimming aquatic insects.