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Lake Information for Clinton Lake


Clinton Lake is a 7,000 acre lake near Lawrence, Kansas.

Facilities and Parks: 

There are ten boat ramps located on Clinton Lake. Ramps #1 - #3 are located in the Clinton State Park, and require a State Park vehicle permit. Ramp #4 is in Bloomington West, is free to the public. Ramps #5 - #7 are in Bloomington East and require a Federal Day Use pass (daily or annual) during the boat ramp day use fee season. Boat ramps #8, #9 and #10 are located in the Coon Creek Area, Wakarusa River arm and Rock Creek arms respectively.

One fish cleaning station is located in Bloomington East within the breakwaters between Boat Ramps #6 and #7. This floating facility is accessible from land and has a cleaning surface and pumps for rinsing with lake water.

Clinton State Park has a new fish cleaning station located in the Clinton Marina area of the State Park. Accessible by land, from the marina parking lot, this fish cleaning station will be a fully modern facility with running water, cutting board surfaces and a disposal for the remains.

Fishing Description: 

Fishing opportunities in Clinton Lake include bluegill, channel catfish, crappie, flathead catfish, green sunfish, largemouth bass, sauger, smallmouth bass, striped bass, walleye, white bass, wiper, and blue catfish.

Fishing Tips, Tactics, How-To info: 

Fishing for crappie is very popular on Clinton Lake due to this fishes rapid growth and large lake populations. The best time to fish for crappie is in the spring (April to May), when water temperatures are 58 to 65 degrees. This is when they are most vulnerable, as they become shore-bound due to spawning. Fishing for crappie should become hot and heavy by May. Spring methods differ from summer because the crappie are spawning near shore among submerged brush and rocks in the spring. As summer temperatures become hotter the crappie will move to deeper water, but can still be caught using jigs and minnows.

White bass are caught year around on a variety of spoons, jigs and plugs. Look for large schools of these fish to break the surface when they feed. During the spring (April to May), when water temperatures are 55 to 65 degrees, white bass are frequently found in the upper tributaries and on the face of the dam. During this spawning time, jigs and spinner baits work well. Later, in the summer months, white bass can be found in deeper water off of points and drop-offs, by trolling or casting spinner baits and jigging spoons.

Fishing for channel catfish is quite popular at Clinton Lake. These fish can reach sizes of up to 50 pounds, and are caught during most of the year. The best time to hit the rivers and creeks is as they are rising after heavy rainfall. In the spring, shad guts or shad sides seem to work best as bait. In the summer, minnows, prepared baits, chicken livers and worms seem the most productive. As bottom feeders, channel catfish are most often found on the bottom of coves, mudflats or creeks. The stilling basin of the outlet is a good place to find them also. The typical spawning time for channel catfish is June when water temperatures are 70 to 80 degrees.

Walleye fishing is most productive in the spring during the spawn and continues through June, July and August. In the spring, walleye can be caught off the rocky face of the dam or at the upper end of the lake in the river and creeks, using jigs or crank-baits. In late spring and early summer, fish the mudflats in 5 to 15 feet of water, or the river channels in 5 to 30 feet of water. Different combinations of jigs and live baits, such as night crawlers, leeches or minnows, work best. Trolling with crank baits or drifting with jigs and night crawlers also works well during the late spring and summer.

Largemouth bass can be found throughout the lake near several types of cover. Bass in the two major forks of the reservoir will be associated with the old stream channels and standing timber. Largemouth bass in the main body of the lake are more oriented to rock points, drop-offs, old channels and coves. The location of largemouth bass in the main body of the lake and the two major arms will depend on the time of year, water quality, and level of the lake. Largemouth bass fishing is best from late April through the middle of June and again during late September and October.

Blue Catfish
Channel Catfish
Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Striped Bass
White Bass
Optional Information
Maximum depth: 
Surface area: 
Clinton Lake
Lake type: 

Businesses Located Nearby

Boat Rental

    Wyandotte Boat Rental
  • 4280 West Dr - Kansas City, KS
  • (913) 299-8488
    Mid-West Performance Boats
  • 313 Delaware St - Kansas City, MO
  • (816) 502-2960

Vacation Rental

    Clinton State Park
  • 798 N 1415 Rd - Lawrence, KS
  • (785) 842-8562
    Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Lawrence
  • 3411 Iowa St - Lawrence, KS
  • (877) 786-9480

Bar and Restaurant

    Henry T's
  • 3520 W 6th St - Lawrence, KS
  • (785) 749-2999

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