Wipers, largemouths still top targets at Glenn Shoals
By Ralph Loos
The seven fishing tournaments recorded by DNR on Glenn Shoals Lake last sumer produced nearly 170 largemouth bass.
At least two of them topped 5 pounds – one at 5.7 pounds and the other at 5.3 pounds.
Better news for regular anglers is the fact that several of the bass weighed in at the tournaments were in the 3- to 4-pound range.
On the development front, DNR stocked more than 40,000 “wipers” in 2021 – the cross between a white bass and striped bass is seen as a “future popular species” in Glenn Shoals.
Not that largemouth bass are ready to concede the spotlight just yet.
DNR’s most recent survey of the 1,100-acre lake revealed that the largemouth bass numbers were up compared to the previous survey – in fact, they were higher than the five previous surveys.
The bass collected in the survey show a good size distribution and the condition of the largemouths collected was good.
DNR put a new regulation in place in 2016 that includes a 15-inch minimum length limit, with a three-fish daily creel limit.
Hybrid stripers are often overlooked in Glenn Shoals.
“During our surveys, we don’t normally see this pelagic predator,” DNR reported. However, “In 2015, we were lucky enough to find three stripers measuring from 19 inches to 24 inches, and weighing up to 8.8 pounds.”
There is a 17-inch minimum length limit and three-fish daily creel limit for hybrid stripers.
Bluegills, meanwhile, have never done well in Glenn Shoals. This lake has good densities of gizzard shad, which directly compete with bluegills.
“It seems difficult to create high numbers of harvestable-sized bluegills in impoundments of this size,” DNR reported in its most recent survey report. “This group (bluegills) only appears to be providing forage for other predator fish types. With some luck, the supplemental stockings of largemouth bass could benefit size structure down the road.”
The crappie population is decent in Glenn Shoals. DNR’s most recent survey resulted in low numbers of this species.
“The white crappies collected were of good size, with most over 10 inches,” DNR reported. “There is likely very good population of white crappies present in the lake. However, due to the time of year this survey is completed and the gear used, it is not likely a representative sample of the true crappie populations.“
For unknown reasons, channel catfish struggle in Glenn Shoals. Structural indices, and population size structure, had not been good since at least the 2000 survey.
However, this species had good numbers and size quality in the most recent survey.
Fish collected during DNR’s most recent sample showed channel catfish predominantly in the 0.5-pound to 4-pound range. The largest channel catfish was 29 inches long and weighed 11.7 pounds. There is a six-fish daily creel limit for channel cats.
Shad numbers appear to be declining in this water body. Since 2003, the number of shad collected during surveys has declined. Body condition, on the other hand, was good. This forage species will be watched over the next several samples.
Glenn Shoals, near Hillsboro, was constructed in 1976 as a primary source of water for customers on the Hillsboro Water System.
A new dock and boat slips were installed at the South Marina in recent years. The long-term project was spawned by community members hoping to improve local recreational opportunities, including fishing.
For anglers, the lake has been stocked, off and on, with bluegills, crappies, largemouth bass, catfish, and hybrid stripers. Sauger were stocked for the first time in 2017.
The lake has fairly high numbers of common carp and yellow bass.
For those without boats, there are many places to bank fish. The riprap along the dam is good and the riprap along the road crossing by the north marina is good.
There is a full service marina at the south end of the lake located on the west side of the dam, below the parking lot and boat launch. There is a second boat launch ramp at the north end of the lake.
All boats are required to obtain a boat permit from the city before accessing the lake.
Permits are available at the Marina, Sherwood Forest Campground, Hillsboro Fire Department and City Hall.
Lake regulations are posted at each access area.
Camping on or near Glenn Shoals consists of persons leasing a lakefront lot for camping by tent only.
A picnic pavilion near the south boat access offers shade, protection from rain and a wonderful view of the lake and marina complex on Lake Glenn Shoals.
Nearby is Old Lake Hillsboro, a 100-acre lake that has bass, crappies, bluegills, channel catfish and carp.
Glenn Shoals Lake
Nearest town: Hillsboro
Surface area: 1,100 acres
Avg. depth: 10 feet
Shoreline: 18 miles
Species present include:
Largemouth bass, channel catfish, bluegills, crappies, saugers, hybrid striped bass.