The City eradicated the shad in the attempt to improve fishing and the lake has seen resurgence in both the quality of fish as well as the number of people fishing. Pan fishing is excellent and most people there on any given day are chasing the gills and redear. Bass fishing on McNeely is probably the best kept secret in the area. I can’t count on one hand the number of people I have seen bass fishing on the lake in the past three years.
Both abundance and size make this a great lake to fish. On any given trip you can pull in large numbers of bass in the 10-14” size and the occasional large fish is always a cast away. We have pulled several bass between 4 and 6 lbs. the past few years. The lake has abundant cover and is always stained. It also has a ton of shore line grass that extends up to nine feet from the shore by the summer. Fishing is excellent in the grass especially the pockets near deeper water. A large portion of the lake is very shallow (5’ or less) until you pass the public fishing dock on the way to the damn. Once you pass the damn the lake get progressively deeper from 7’ up to over 20’ near the damn. Once you hit the dam the lake doglegs to the left and it gets shallower the farther you get away from the dam. The dogleg section has lots of timber.
We catch bass on a wide variety of baits. A wacky rig is deadly on the lake and is my go to bait and I caught my biggest fish on a 5” stickbait rigged wacky style. My 7 year old daughter also caught her biggest bass on the wacky rig last summer. Dark colors seem to work best in my experience.
Kayak access is excellent as there is a boat ramp that is easy to use for put in. There is also a ton of shore line access for bank fisherman all the way up the ramp side of the lake. There are several areas farther up toward the dam where you can park and it is a short walk down to put the kayak in the water.
All in all an excellent peaceful place to get out and enjoy some quality fishing close to home!
About the Author: Joe Maione is an avid fisherman and is a Pro Staff Member at Yakangler.com. He is addicted to kayak fishing and spending time with his son and daughter in the outdoors. Joe considers himself a novice writer and photographer.