Regional Reports-Midwest

Truman Lake

When summer turns up the heat at Truman Lake, crappie fishermen head for the shade trees-the ones in the water, that is. Flooded timber is one of the reasons fishing at this huge reservoir in west-central Missouri stays as hot as the summer afternoons. The crappies move into the bushy trees and suspend in the branches, waiting to ambush shad. For anglers who locate these trees, the summer action can be memorable. "Summer is a time when you can have some of your most consistent fishing," says Tim Martin, a professional fisherman from Olathe, Kan. "It's not like spring, when all the fronts are coming through." Martin and his partner, Chapman Spangler of Clinton, Mo., key on areas where three or four oak trees fork together. They use 10-foot rods to drop bright tube jigs back into hard-to-reach openings in the flooded timber, and they often fish 9 to 13 feet deep on the flat side of the lake. Contact: Missouri Department of Conservation (573-751-4115).