Google
 
Web www.zeiners.com
www.kansasangler.com cottonwoodmercantile.com
  Store | Shopping

  
Home Page
About Us
Tour of Store
Online Sales
Baits
Lures
Tackle
Lure Making
Fly Fishing
Info Center 

Check Out
What's New
With Zeiner's

Merchandise

Specials
Fishing Reports
Fishing News
Kids' Corner

Contact Us

Have You Read
The Kansas Angler
Online Edition

 Swim Tail® Lures

 The Original Action Tail


Back To

 

 

 

 

 

Four Lake Guides - Mike Cook's
Fishing Report

Learn About Mike Cook's Four Lake Guides

Mike Cook - Four Lake Guides

July 3, 2015 - Meet Gary and Jim Smith, 77 and 84 years young. I hope I am in as good a shape as they are when and if I make it that far. They wanted to do some trolling for wipers or white bass and if that didn't work out anything that would cooperate. I told them I thought I could help them. I picked them up at their hotel, they are both from the suberbs of Kansas city.

Marion was still way high because they can't release water because everything downstream is still flooded. I chose Marion because of the holiday weekend. I figured the lake would be less crowded than Cheney or El Dorado and I was right. The parks are also posted with a blue algea warning which kept a lot of pleasure boaters at other lakes.

Okay back to fishing. We trolled some of my favorite spots for whites with not a bump. Even tried up in the river for a bit. Same results. So after wasting a couple of hours it was time to change species. Catfish of course. The first anchored spot we caught one and missed one. But that was enough to let me know where the fish were going to be on this day. The second spot we really got into them. Jim caught three before Gary could get a rod to bend. Boy was I busy for awhile. When we finally left that spot we had two sacks of channel cats pushing the scales to about 60 pounds with the biggest a real brusier going about 12 pounds. We tried several more spots catching small pound or little larger maybe but not adding any more to the fish already in the bags.

By 2:00 we had enough of the July weather to call it a day even though with the cloud cover and the breeze from the north and then from the east it was a very pleasant day. We will try again on another day for the wipers and white bass.

June 13, 2015 - Yeah that's right. Finally an update. Meet three fun guys from Salina Kansas. Scott and Malcolm Gardner, father and son and cousin Rich Allen. Cheney is higher then it has been in quite a while. We have been catching a lot of fish and big ones in the past five or six weeks. Im talking about channel cats 20 pounds plus on Secret 7. Thats right, big fish on cheese bait. So don't believe the myth that you can't catch big fish on dip bait. I've been doing it for 30 years.

Back to the fishing trip. Started at eight in the morning. Big front came through and really was just past being right on top of us. Temperature drop of 20 degrees, thunder storms and inch and a half of rain. Pre-spawn fish. Started in the creeks figuring the fish would be taking advantage of the new water. Strike one! On to the willow trees. Strike two! On to the big timber. Strike three! Not only three strikes but not a single bite, nothing, nada! I'm beyond getting a little nervous. They are like par for the course. I told them I didn't play golf.

Long boat ride up to the river and we catch our first fish. A little pound and a half little fella but our first one. The second one came pretty quick and the third was the biggest that Scott had ever caught in his life. A solid 15 pound plus pig! We caught nine fish from noon till two then nothing  again. Strange day! We cried mercy at four and called it a day. They were a lot happier with the day than I was. It was a successful ending of a rough day and we all had a lot of fun in between and I guess that's all that matters.

Teresa CookApril 2015 - Teresa Cook starts the 2015 season with a channel cat that qualifies as a Kansas Master Angler catch.

 

Saturday July 13, 2013. El Dorado flathead trip with Eric Traffas. The day was overcast with about a 20 mph wind from the southeast. A little to windy to vertical jig fish the trees on the creek channels. Just to dangerous. So we concentrated on the rip rap areas. We jig fished with 1 ounce lead head jigs tipped with 3 inch goldfish and 5 inch black sunfish. The sunfish were a little big for what I like but the goldfish were perfect.

When we started fishing I told Eric to crappie fish. He asked,"crappie fish?" I said just pretend you are crappie fishing. He said ok, understanding what I was wanting him to do. He started with a sunfish and me a goldfish. We fished rip rap areas from 6 to 20 feet deep. Fishing from about 5 or 5:30 until about 7:30 or 8 o'clock. Not a bump.

We headed to a feeding area at 8 so we could set the anchors to fish after dark. I don't move around after dark except to go home. Murphy's law. Whatever will go wrong after dark will and whatever can't go wrong will anyway. So once I set the anchors for flathead, we are there til we quit.

I had asked Eric to bring his flathead rods and reels cuz I am short on my supply of flathead gear due to not having replaced them all since the divorce. That's all I have to say about that as Forrest Gump would say.

So while I was transferring some of my heavier reels to my flathead rods and changing the rigging from dip bait channel cats to livebait flathead stuff, Eric wasted no time in baiting his up and getting them in the water.

Let me tell you a little bit about Eric. He is a fun guy to fish with who loves to catch fish of all species, but particularly the big cats. He fishes with me several times a year and also goes to Virginia and fishes the James River for giant blues. He has caught 60 and 70 pound blues and 2 and 3 pound crappie. So he knows what he is doing with a rod and reel.

Ok. So it didn't take me long and we each had 3 baits in the water. He made himself comfortable in the front deck swivel seat while I ran around getting lights going on the boat along with a couple of Coleman lanterns. Everything was pretty quiet except for the occasional splash made by some predator fish filling its mouth then belly with some unfortunate bait fish.The wind seemed to get stronger as the night got darker. A little backwards from what normally happens, it seems.

Every once in a while one of our baits would get excited and transmit those feelings to us by way of our rod tips. But that was about the only thing keeping me awake. Until my center rod tip showed a little more excitement than normal. Before I could say anything to Eric the rod doubled over hard in the rod holder. I grabbed the rod and struggled to remove it from the rod holder before I could get it out to put a good hookset on the fish. Eric is a big man but I think he ran on air getting to the back of the boat as I passed the rod off to him.

Now we were fishing only a short distance from some trees so we had the drags totally cranked down to stop any fish from getting to them and safety.

Eric was putting everything he had on the rod and the fish was still ripping line off the reel. It lasted a frantic and short 3 or 4 minutes and snap. The leader gave up the fight and Eric never got the fish turned. He looked at me and I said dam. He came back with,"Mike, it was humungus." I couldn't help but giggle just a little.

I looked at my watch. It was 9:55. As we passed the time wandering and weighing that fish that swam off with my tru turn hook, another rod went down but popped right back up. That was at 11:00 o'clock. One fish broke off and one hard bite but no hookup. Not a good night flathead fishing but not a bad one either. At 1:30 we quit.

Eric wants to get that Tru-Turn hook back from what he guesses is an 80 pound fish. Comparing the hookset and pull I felt to the big spoonbill I've caught, I won't argue with him. 40 pound flatheads are the biggest I've got to the boat. Felt a few that I know were a whole lot bigger. But they broke off or swam into trees. I'll add that one to the list.

Mike Cook

July 4, 2013 - Yep, I'm still alive and fishing. 2 1/2 years ago the doctors were saying go in and say your goodbyes to him. Ha, what do they know. I'm still alive and fishing, minus a few toes. The writing juices don't flow as well as they once did, but the fishing fever is as strong as it's ever been. Enough of that. Let's get to the fishing.

Going back to this past spring, the crappie at Fall River and Cheney was super and super size. We had a couple of really good crappie trips at Marion in the early spring at Marion. The channel cats were as reliable as ever at Marion, Fall River and Kaw. Kaw also bave up some really nice blues.

There is only so much time in the day and so many things left to do and undone. El Dorado seemed to fit in that catagory. A half dozen trips there yielded only a few crappie and walleye. I just could not seem to get on them at El Dorado. That is going to change, I know it.

Meanwhile, summer is here. Marion has the blue algea. The water is rising and fish are biting at Cheney. As much as I want to get to Kaw and Fall River, Cheney is closer and dependable. Well, the yard needs mowed and the rental house has a roof leak. One last note. Call me if you have 40 to 80 acres for sale within 30 minutes of the city or you want to go fishing. I gotta get away! God bless and good luck fishing. Happy 4th.

September 7 , 2009 - Ken flew in from California to see Brian and his wifes new family addition. Congradulations, and they wanted to fish. So Saturday found me driving through the rain on 2-35 headeed out to Cheney. By the time I reached the town of Goddard the windshield wipers were off and my spirits were rising for a beautiful morning on the lake.

We met at the marina and once the introductions were through it didn't take me long to have the boat ready and off the trailor. The morning was overcast with 5 to 10 mph winds from the north east. Cold front had just past leaving us with unusually cool conditions for this area in August. I explained to Ken and Brian that I had been catching fish reccently in very shallow water. Brian was telling me of a reccent trip to lake Lewisville in Texas where they caught 55 nice channelsin a day of fishing but no pressure. Yea right! Okay so he gives mea half day to find them with cold front conditions. Brian adds in " No pressure Mike but there are five people at home wanting to have a fish fry." Well I just real matter of factly told him," well they should have come fishing then huh." With a big smile on my face. Brian is a pretty big ol'  boy you see.     

So the first place we anchored was on the west side hoping to catch fish feeding along the shoreline on the windy side of the lake. To shorten things up a little. Strike one. We moved a little north. Strike two. We moved a little deeper thinking the front had pushed them out a little. Strike three. Next guide. No I wasn't through yet. I told them we should try fishing yesterdays wind, explaining the wind the previous day was from the south and thought we should try fishing the north shore. Strike four. We moved out into eight feet of water to fish some submerged trees. Lot of baitfish showing up around the trees on the electronics. Good sign. Ken hooked a fish. FINALLY! A pattern was developing. Brian hooked a fish and commented that 4 people could eat now and I came back with better make lots of hushpuppies. Ken caught a couple more and Brian added another and things slowed down to nothing. We moved further into the cove and nothing more.

I suggested a sandbar that was usually good this time of year. We anchored on it in 2 feet of water and Brian set the hook on a nice channel and things started to brighten up on the boat. No not really. These guys were having fun the moment they stepped on the boat. They were a couple of super nice guys that would have been happy to just get out on the water and enjoy the day. Catching fish was just a bonus. The sandbar didn't produce anything else and time was running short. They had to be back in Wichita by 2:00 and I wanted to be off the water before the lake got busy on this holiday weekend so changed locations to an underwater rock pile.

The waves were hitting the rock pile pretty good as the wind had picked up some. We anchored up wind from it and it wasn't lond at all before Ken grabbed a pole that was bent double in the rod holder. Once he finnally managed to get the fish to the boat I slipped the net under his first double digit channel cat. Cameras came out and things got pretty busy after that and I kinda lost track of how things went but they caught a lot of big channels off that rock pile.

Ken said he couldn't wait to tell his guide buddy in Texas that they ain't got nothin' on us boys and our channel cats in KANSAS! Ken said our SMALLEST fish was bigger than their biggest on that Texas trip. Both Ken and Brian caught their biggest channels of their lives. And their fish fry would need no hushpuppies at all.

Just a side note about Sunday night at Cheney. I wanted to comment on the fireworks show. It was great as always but the number of boats on the water for it was amazing. I was expecting a couple of handfuls of boats like in the past but there were a couple of hundred Sunday night. It was like a little lit up city on the water. I was anchored up out of sailboat cove on the southern edge of the sailboats for the fireworks and as I looked out across the water there were red' green and white lights all over the lake. It was really cool. Hope you were there.

Post script; My apoligies for my lack of literary juices this past year. Without going into great detail I'll offer a short explannation and beg your forgiveness. A sudden and nasty divorce just blew me out of the water. It was, well I won't go into it but for those who were in touch through out, I can't thank you enough for your kindness and support. Now that I'm starting over I hope that I can keep  the literary juices flowing. I'm feeling better every day now that everything is settled and over. Anyone out there that pours lead? Please contact me because I wasn't awarded my lead pouring stuff and am in need of sinkers and such. Thanks and tell your friends that I should be writing more soon.

Mike Cook

Four Lake Guides

May 26, 2008 - 5-19-08

Howdy folks. It's been awhile. Lot 's of stuff going on with me right now that I won't get into just yet but I have been doing an awful lot of fishing. I had a chance to enjoy a day on the water with a family of boys from out west, mostly, and I would like to share that.

Once a year these guys get out and fish together and I was the lucky one this year to take them out. Two of them were not strangers to me as I had fished with them once before. Merton and Miles Veeder. Father and son. Both from Dodge City . On a previous trip they caught back to back eight pound walleyes. Now how many times do you think that happens? On this trip though they were joined by Mert's other son Mace from Lawrence , Kansas and son in-law Sean Powell from Lenexa , Kansas. The target species for this day was channel cat.

Marion Reservoir was about a foot high and releasing 91 CFM. The wind was from the north at 10-15 in the morning increasing as noon approached and dropping as the 4 pm hour came.

We baited up our dip bait worms with Team Catfish Secret 7 dip bait. If ya'll haven't heard of this yet let me tell you just a little bit about it real quick. I've been using it since June of last year and can't say enough good things about it. It's real consistent in texture from one batch to the next. You don't have to worry about thinning it down or thickening it up. Just go fish. And boy does it catch fish.

My step on Chris Decker and I fished with it at a tournament at Texoma last month and took 8th place out of 116 boats. And 1st and 2nd place were using the Secret 7 as well. A few weeks back I had a group out at Cheney and one of them caught a channel catfish that was at least 20 pounds. So the old saying that says stink bait won't catch big fish is just that an old saying. I can't count the fish over 10 pounds I've caught on dip bait. Well back to the fishing trip.

Our first anchor position was on a little secondary point with a little bit of brush on it. The wind was blowing in on it and Mert was the first to bring a fish to the boat. Fact is smoked those boys about all day long. Miles caught the next one and then Mert caught his second which weighed in at 10 and half pounds. Don't know how it disappeard of my camera. It was a dandy of a fish.

We headed to a rock pile where I have been catching them pretty good lately and man did they keep me busy huffing and puffing. We stopped for lunch about noon and dressed the fish before heading into Hillsboro for a bite to eat. 26 fish and 14 more would make their limit. We decided to fish the upper end on the mud flats and see if we could find some mere big ones. We didn't find one to beat the 10 and a half but caught some really nice channels. All on Team Catfish Secret 7.

It was another great day on the lake. Spent with great company and a lot of ribbing and laughter. It's nice to see families make a special effort to get together for an annual event. I'm glad in this case I was able to share the experience.

Mike Cook - Four Lake Guides - fourlake@cox.net - 316-655-1541

January 1, 2008 - New Years Day at Kaw reservoir. Wellllllllll, it started real good, once I chiseled the ice from my drain hole for the boat and lubed the steering shaft with w-d-40 cause the grease was so stiff.

The wind was up too much for me to anchor at the first spot I wanted to fish. Pulling those cold wet icy anchor ropes in was, well should have hired a guide. The second spot I caught 6 nice crappie before the wind blew me off the brush pile that was in 25 foot of water. The third spot produced no fish. The fourth spot, despite the cold water I decided to set out 3 anchors in hopes of holding me over the brush pile without getting blown off. It worked but I still had to contend with the boat moving a lot more than I wanted it to and the crappie rods having an east west bend in them like they had 8 ounce sinkers on them. I caught several more nice crappie under these less than ideal conditions before crying uncle.

Also in attendance sailing the currents overhead at Sarge Creek were three mature bald eagles that were beautiful to observe on the blustery day. So all in all and to put it in a nutshell and all that. IT WAS COLD AND WINDY! See ya soon.

Mike

November 25, 2007 - Despite the lack of fishing reports and short stories it has been a great year of fishing on the local reservoirs. That is if you throw out the high waters that we had during summer. For now though the channel cat is over for me unless I can get an ice out pattern going. The flathead is over until we get some warmer water in April. But there are always those big blues at Kaw which is what I'll be doing and the jig fishing for let's just call them scaled fish. Since you never know if it's going to be a crappie, wiper, white bass or walleye that you are going to reel up at this time of year while fishing a jig or spoon.

I'll try and get more postings next year. It was a difficult year for me off the water for many reasons. Hopefully those issues are left in 2007. 2008 is promising a brand new year with a lot more time on my hands which means more time to spend on the water and at this keyboard. So I'll see some of you on the water in December and January and see you at the shows in February. By the way , if you fished with me and liked my boat, it's for sale. I'll be buying a Weld Pro.

See ya'll soon,

Mike Cook

October 16, 2007 - Fall Fishing - Summer fishing was trying at best for me. I just couldn't pattern anything with all the high water. The last few weeks has been back to the wonderful fishing that one expects from south central Kansas.

The channel cat has been fantastic. The crappie fair and improving. The wipers good. But the walleye have still been pretty tough for me. Things should continue to improve with the cooling weather. I'm still seeing a lot of fishermen out there.

More than in the past years, so word is getting out on fall fishing. It's the best.

Talk to ya''l soon.
Mike Cook

September 5, 2007 - Trip with winner of Zeiner's Bass Shop drawing - Do ya'll remember Ron Smyth? He was the winner of the drawing for the fishing trip with me back in the spring held at Zeiner's. Well we got our trip in on Sunday, June 11th. Our day started about 6:30 am on Cheney Reservoir for channel cats. Ron brought his good friend, John Soileaux to join in on the fun. It was a beautifully cool Kansas summer morning with mostly cloudy skies and a slight southeast wind. But we knew the heat was coming and decided to start and finish early.

Our first anchored position was off of a bank where the waves were gently rolling into several big cottonwood trees that had been blown over and the branches were lying in about 2 foot of water. It was a great looking spot with perfect conditions. Six lines in the water and it wasn't long before a rod in front of me bounced once. I took it out of the rod holder and the fish gave it a hard pull before I could get it into John's hands so I set the hook and handed it to him and the fight was on with the first fish of the day. John clearly had the upper hand on this fish until it neared the boat. The heavy, fast action rod took a serious bend then as the 30 pound test line sang as it sliced through the water. The fish obviously didn't like what was happening. It stayed down the whole time, never once coming to the surface until it was played out. The sign of a good size channel cat. I slipped the net under the cat as it started its' last fight signature channel cat spin on top of the water. A super nice six pound channel cat to start the day.

Hoops and hollers and out came the camera for some quick photos and just as quickly, back to fishing. That was the only fish to come out of that spot which was very surprising as good as it looked. The next spot was a big goose egg. The rest of the day was a fish here 2 fish there a fish here and so on. Except for one spot where a creek channel dumped into the river. There in about 8 foot of water we caught 6 or 7 fish real quick for the fastest action of the day.

It was a great morning of Kansas summertime channel cat fishing. But the Kansas summertime heat forced us to call it an early day. 16 very nice Cheney cats was the end tally. Everyone agreed, it was an excellent day spent fishing and with great company. So Ron and John, thank you both and I look forward to fishing with ya'll again real soon.

Mike Cook
Four Lake Guides

October 5, 2006 - Fall Fishing - Mike Cook - Four Lake Guides - Fall fishing is back. For the past 6 weeks, limits of channels have come easy and big fish are showing up more and more. I did have one slow trip to Kaw a couple of weeks ago. Fish are shallow now and I can't stress that enough. I caught a channel over ten pounds last week out of water less than a foot. It mildly surprised even me. You have to remember that shallow water heats and cools quicker than the main lake water. I like the secondary points and the main lake points over the coves this time of year. Especially right now with the lake levels as low as they are now.

Yes, I'm still using the Cattracker line of dip baits. Any bait will work though. I've used shrimp, worms, grasshoppers and the list goes on and on. The cheesebaits just seem to produce a lot faster than anything else does. Think about this. A catfish is basically a big sensory organ. And like it or not, their job is clean the bottom of the lake. When you hit that fish with a big cloud of cheese smell it can't help but react. Now not all fish are the same just as not all people or dogs are the same. What I mean is that some cats may have more of a taste for shad or white perch or this or that. But I've caught 20 pound channels with their stomachs packed with white perch and they still hit that little cheese bait worm. I've caught 40 pound blues packed with shad and did the same. Unless those fish are in a totally negative mood they will react to the dipbait.

Well get out there and enjoy some beautiful fall weather and chase some channel cats. Remember to fish shallow and you will put more cats in your boat right now.

July 3, 2006 - Cheney & Marion - Fishing was fair to good over the July fourth weekend for channel cats. Marion is still slow due to the lake turning over.
Mike Cook

June 15, 2006 - Cheney - Mike Cook - Four Lake Guides - - Do ya'll remember Ron Smyth? He was the winner of the drawing for the fishing trip with me back in the spring held at Zeiner's. Well we got our trip in on Sunday, June 11th. Our day started about 6:30 am on Cheney Reservoir for channel cats. Ron brought his good friend, John Soileaux to join in on the fun. It was a beautifully cool Kansas summer morning with mostly cloudy skies and a slight southeast wind. But we knew the heat was coming and decided to start and finish early.

Our first anchored position was off of a bank where the waves were gently rolling into several big cottonwood trees that had been blown over and the branches were lying in about 2 foot of water. It was a great looking spot with perfect conditions. Six lines in the water and it wasn't long before a rod in front of me bounced once. I took it out of the rod holder and the fish gave it a hard pull before I could get it into John's hands so I set the hook and handed it to him and the fight was on with the first fish of the day. John clearly had the upper hand on this fish until it neared the boat. The heavy, fast action rod took a serious bend then as the 30 pound test line sang as it sliced through the water. The fish obviously didn't like what was happening. It stayed down the whole time, never once coming to the surface until it was played out. The sign of a good size channel cat. I slipped the net under the cat as it started its' last fight signature channel cat spin on top of the water. A super nice six pound channel cat to start the day.

Hoops and hollers and out came the camera for some quick photos and just as quickly, back to fishing. That was the only fish to come out of that spot which was very surprising as good as it looked. The next spot was a big goose egg. The rest of the day was a fish here 2 fish there a fish here and so on. Except for one spot where a creek channel dumped into the river. There in about 8 foot of water we caught 6 or 7 fish real quick for the fastest action of the day.

It was a great morning of Kansas summertime channel cat fishing. But the Kansas summertime heat forced us to call it an early day. 16 very nice Cheney cats was the end tally. Everyone agreed, it was an excellent day spent fishing and with great company. So Ron and John, thank you both and I look forward to fishing with ya'll again real soon.

Mike Cook - Four Lake Guides

June 7, 2006 - Cheney - El Dorado - Marion - I need more hours in the day. I'm sure some of ya'll know exactly what I mean. Anyway I'll get right to the fishing. Walleye has been excellent at El Dorado this past month. Boating 30-40 fish a day. Seem to have 4 different year classes for the most part. Every once in a while we will get that 30 inch fish but not often enough. 10 keeper fish a day are common but you have to work for them. Flatheads are active and moving around a bunch!

Cheney and Marion are consistantly allowing 40 fish days with fish ranging from littltle bitty to 14 pound monsters. No 20's this year yet. But still trying.

Well that is it in a nut shell. Thanks to all of you who used me this year and look forward to seeing some of you again real soon.
Mike Cook

May 19, 2006 - Cheney - Mike Cook - Four Lake Guides - Great fish, wish I had taken my sunglasses off. Linh Lenszuk fought this big ol' girl to the boat on Mother's day, May 14th ,06 while fishing with me and her husband Steve. We quickly weighed her and released her back into Cheney.

 

February 27, 2006 - Kaw - Mike Cook - Four Lake Guides - Fishing February 25th at Kaw. Spent the morning fishing for crappie because the wind was up to high for me to fish for the big bad blues where I wanted to fish for them. Did pretty good. I caught 25 crappie and 6 or 8 big white bass. Kept a dozen of the bigger crappie for the tabble and a couple of the smaller ones for bait for the blues which I started fishing for them about 2 o'clock. Caught and released a half dozen of them between 3 and 15 pounds. All in all a fun trip although I should a fished longer for the blues.
Mike Cook

February 4, 2006 - El Dorado and Marion - Mike Cook - Four Lake Guides - El Dorado and Marion have been giving up some really nice crappie to me lately. Not so good on the numbers, but 8 to 14 inch fish.I have had a couple of fishless days over the past month, but that is fishing.And if you are fishing Marion and can come across a bunch of shad, rig up a sassy shad and hold on for some wipers. I've been catching 5 to 8 pound fish on 8 foot fly rods with 6 pound line. Talk about fun.El Dorado is about a foot and half low and Marion is around a foot low maybe. The water is in great shape and you can't beat the weather. The wind has been a bit strong most times but it usually is. Good luck.
Mike Cook
Four Lake Guides

October 31, 2005 - Fall River - Fished Fall River Saturday. Had a cancellation due to a customer being sick. Poor Clark sounded like death warmed over on the phone. So what did I do on a day off? That's right. I went fishing. Fished the river in the morning cause the wind was blowing hard enough to straighten a 10 foot length of half inch log chain. It was really cool though. The cool temperatures lately and the wind blowing like it was, I've never seen leaves fall like they did Saturday on the river at Fall River. I was vertical jig fishing for crappie using 8 and 10 foot B&M jig poles and every once in while a big leaf or twig would fall and hit one of the poles and make it feel like a bite. I did a whole lot of premature jerking. I did jerk up a half dozen really nice crappie and I can't really say how many real small ones. No white bass.

After eating lunch at 2 in the afternoon, I braved the lake and wind and waves and shallow water on the north end for cats. No luck on the flats around the river. I tried the back of a few coves with the same results. I finally found them on a wind blown point and man were they big channel cats. Eight fish, 2 were 10 pounders. An 8, a couple of 6's and nothing under 4 for the rest. I decided that was enough fun for the day and started back towards Ladd Bridge, because I had a long way to go through some shallow water and it was getting dark fast. Going to Missouri next weekend to see my Dad and Sister and her family. My Grandmother there is wanting me to bring some fish to fry and my Sister , her family and Brother and his family will meet there for a good ol' fashion family fish fry. So no report next weekend. But I'll talk to you when I get back.

Mike Cook

October 27, 2005
- Marion -
Hi Mike

Thanks again for a great day on Marion. You sure know how to put us onto the cats. And special thanks for giving my brother the best day of fishing he's ever had.

Here are a few photos of a happy man and his best catches of the day. For your notes, he's Jan Groves, my younger brother and one of my favorite people.

We were thinking back on the day. The last stop, on the south shore cove, was no more than half an hour. With 11 fish kept including all of the largest of the day, and two released. It's as close to a catfish feeding frenzy as we've ever seen.

it was a blast.

Take care and thanks again.

Russell Groves

October 24, 2005 - Marion - Saturday fishing at Marion was very slow to get started. We had four fish in the boat at 1:00 o'clock. Then the bite happened or we found the fish or God only knows what happened. But Terry and Bob limited out by 4:00 and that was good enough for them. Water temp dropped to 58 degrees. I'll send pics on a seperate e-mail. (Photographs from left Scott Bull, Bob Gutshenritter, Jim Bull, Lynn Bull)
Mike Cook

October 18, 2005 - Cheney -- Well the great fishing could'nt continue forever. Finally had a real slow day. Four fish all day long. And it was a 12 year old birthday present. Bummer! Talked to a couple of Wiper fishermen. Same story with them. A couple of small fish and that was it. No wind. Need some wind for a chop on the water at Cheney To get the fish active. But it was a beautiful fall day. A little warm maybe. Well it will be better fishing this coming weekend. Gotta think possitive.
Mike Cook

A note from a happy customer that fished with me a couple of times at Marion.
Mike

HELLO MIKE
HAVE NOT HAD A CHANCE TO ORDER FROM CATTRACKER BUT I WILL
POP WANTS TO KNOW WHEN DO YOU START GOING OUT IN 06 I THINK HE WANTS TO GO AT LEAST 4 TIMES A YEAR OR MORE .
YA MADE A BIG IMPRESSION ON POP AND HE CANT STOP TALKING ABOUT THE FISHING TRIPS.I WAS IMPRESSED ALSO.WE TRIED SOME OF THE STINK BAIT AT THE HERINGTON RESIVOIR BUT JUST CAUGHT SOME REAL SMALL CATS THEY WERE ABOUT 6IN LONG BUT HIT THE BAIT LIKE CHARLIE TUNA.
WELL THANKS AGAIN
JOHN & POP
721 N.D. STREET
HERINGTON,KS 67449

October 13, 2005 - Marion -- Sorry for the lateness in this report. Saturday, we hammered them again at Marion. Using Cat Trackers Jo Jo's Poles Snatcher Bait. Water temp had dropped to 64 degrees. Sunday was a tough day. Caught a dozen. But all were really nice fish. Don't know why things were so slow. Picked up a fish here and there, but could not find that big school where we could bend one pole after the other. Water temp Sunday at Cheney was 62 degrees.
Mike Cook

October 3, 2005 - Marion - Saturday 10-1 was quite slow for jig fishing on crappie and white bass in the river at Marion. Caught a few nice fish though. Maybe it was the fronts coming through, but it sure was slow. We switched to channel cat after lunch and had a grand ol' time until the rain and lightning made us make a run to the boat ramp. Lots and lots of shad. you all know what that means. Oh boy , oh boy. Fall and winter fish should be fat and sassy.
Mike Cook

September 26, 2005 - Marion - This was another great weekend of catfishing. Three of us limited out on channels at Marion Reservoir on Saturday. Even releasing a few smaller ones. No big fish. Two to six pounds. All really nice healthy looking fish. Same story on Sunday. We were through fishing by 2 oclock in the afternoon on both days. I just love fall fishing.
Mike Cook


September 20, 2005 - Marion

Hi Mike

Thanks again for a great day on Marion. You sure know how to put us onto the cats. And special thanks for giving my brother the best day of fishing he's ever had.

Here are a few photos of a happy man and his best catches of the day. For your notes, he's Jan Groves, my younger brother and one of my favorite people.

We were thinking back on the day. The last stop, on the south shore cove, was no more than half an hour. With 11 fish kept including all of the largest of the day, and two released. It's as close to a catfish feeding frenzy as we've ever seen.

it was a blast.

Take care and thanks again.

Russell Groves
1065 140th
Hillsboro, KS 67063
620-947-5664
rpgroves1954@yahoo.com

September 11, 2005 - Windy Weather - Too windy to fish. Rescheduled my trips for October dates. Don't want anyone
to die. Especially me.
Mike

July 16, 2005 - Cheney - Ishika informed me on the phone that her husband Dan and herself have been enjoying the great sport of fishing for about 3 years, but with little success. I told her my customers were doing very well this year and with the high water, I saw no reason for things to be any different. We scheduled a date for later in the week with high hopes of having a great trip for channel cats at Cheney Reservoir.

On June 16th we met at the east shore boat ramp in the late afternoon, due to them not being able to get away from their busy business. The water was up into the parking lot and I would guess it to be 5 or 6 feet high. I told Dan that with the high water the fish should be up in the grass feasting on worms.

Our first stop way back in a cove didn't produce a bite. So after 15 minutes of no action we reeled them in and headed to the north end where the river dumps into the lake. We anchored just off of some willows that were flooded and after 2 or 3 minutes, Ishika got one on that took her into the trees. We reeled in once again and moved into the trees to try and free the hung up fish. It didn't take long and we had had our first fish in the boat. A nice 3 pounder by my guess. We changed anchor positions after making all the comotion freeing our first fish from the brush.

We anchored about 100 feet from where we caught the first fish and started baiting and casting our Wicked Sticky. The third bait hit the water and Ishika screamed she had on another one. The second bait got hammered. The rod was doubled over and the water exploded 30 feet away from the boat at the edge of the willows. Nice fish I told her. She pumped the fish in not at all easy for that 30 feet. When it got to the boat, it broke water and took out that 30 feet she had just fought so hard to recover. When the fish finally came to net it was a monstrous 12 pound 34 inch beauty. After the congratulations I told her we needed to release the fish. She asked if that was the law and I told and explained that I release all my channels over about 8 pounds because they are not that good to eat once they grow that big and every one wants to catch a big fish and if we take them home our chances of catching a big one gets slimmer with each one we take home. And lastly, a big fish like that makes lots of babies. She agreed and we quickly took some photos and slid the big trophy back into the water to thrill someone on another day.

Our next few stops were fruitless. It was starting to get dark and a storm was building way out to the west. So with the wind picking up and lightning flashing in the far away western sky we set up in the back of a cove with the waves rolling in from the lake. It wasn't long and Ishika again pulled in the first fish. I told Dan, It looks like she is going to be the only one of us to catch any fish today. Then Dan's rod bent. Then his other rod bent and I was busy unhooking fish and rebaiting lines. Just the way I like it.

As the fishing slowed down and with the storm getting closer, we decided to call it a day. With a nice mess of channels, we raced back to the boat ramp with lightning and rain closing in on us fast. Bringing to an end of another great day of channel cat fishing on Cheney Reservoir.

June 19, 2005 - Cheney and Marion

With all the high water , fishing has been fabulas at Cheney and Marion
reservoirs for the past couple of weeks. Been to busy to write about all of
them but I will get you one with photos real soon. Thanks
Mike

May 10, 2005

El Dorado Walleye
Walleye fishing has been improving steadily for the past several weeks as
the spawn is winding down. Numbers of fish should make most anyone happy but you'll still have to catch quite a few fish before you get you're legal
limit of 18" keepers. So take plenty of crawlers. We are catching fish on
the post spawn sites now. Sites such as the flats, points, lower sections of
the creeks and the river and still some around the dam.

Catfish
Catfishing is good and bad. I've had some great trips over the past several
weeksd at Cheney, Marion and Kaw. But due to the weather patterns, I've had some prewtty tough days too. Last week I found 70 degree water on the upper end of Marion with spawning carp activity and hungry channnel cats. With the cold nights this past week, water temps are back down to the low 60s. Mothers day night thunder storms and forecast highs in the 80s should
drastically improve the catfishing.

Cheney Hybrids
The Wiper fishing at Cheney is so good it is hard to put into words, but
I'll try. We have been catching and releasing fish up to 27' long with
girths about the same and these fish know how to use those inches. First
catch you some white perch then use a 5/0 or 6/0 tru turn hook and fish the
points or the upper end the lake and hold on. These fish are real tackle
busters and light tackle is not the way to go.

So get out and stretch a line and let us at the Kansas Angler know how you
do.

December 16, 2004 - El Dorado - Can't seem to get the writing juices flowing. Sorry. I fishing E.D. thursday and couldn't get the walleye to bite. The crappie were real slow also but there was a great bite on big white bass. Look for them in 15-25 feet of water in the upper end of the lake. Slab spoon with a jig tied a foot or so above it has been doing the trick for me.
Mike Cook

December 13, 2004 - El Dorado - The fishing is really hot right now for big walleye. Lots of white bass and the crappie fishing is starting to pick up.

January 29, 2003 - New regulations in place for Cheney Reservoier
I hope everyone caught Mr. Pierce's newspiece in the paper last week. For
those of you who didn't here goes.I contacted Gordon Scheider, the Reno
County fisheries bioligist for the Kansas Dept. of Wildlife and Parks. He
happily informed me that the legislature acted promptly in passing his
suggestions of the new regs. concerning walleye and wipers at Cheney
reservoir. He is busy gathering up signs to be posted at Cheney on these new regs. They will go into effect as soon as the signs are posted, so ya'll payattention and look for them. Any way the new regs will be like this. Two
walleye per person a day and they have to be 21 inches or longer. Also two
wipers a day and they too must be 21 inches or longer. Let's all support
these efforts cause if you don't we will continue to have to deal with the
white perch problem. And you might find yourself in a world of *&#%. I do
wish they would include stocking some blues with their plans of battle
against the white perch. But these are probably purely selfish reasons. If
anyone feels the same, take a minute and post it on this site. For or
against. Thanks.
Mike Cook

Nov. 5, 2002 - Whew, what a summer. I guess an update is long overdue. I haven't guided since back in June. I have done some fishing here and there, but most of my time and energy has been devoted to my fight with cancer for those of you who didn't know. Chemotherapy followed by surgery a couple of weeks ago and things are looking real good. I think I'll go fishing tomorrow.

Thanks to all for your prayers, cards, plants and well wishes. There were some tough times and your thoughtfulness was appreciated more than ya'll can know.

What I really want to do is talk about fishing though, so let me jump right
in. We should have another 3-4 weeks of good channel cat fishing. Marion and Cheney Reservoirs provided some outstanding channel cat fishing this past year. I fished Marion right before I went in for surgery. A wet cold front
was forcasts for that morning and they were right on the money. The wind was howling from the north at 25-30 mph, so I stayed on the some what protected flats on the upper end. I couldn't escape the wind, but at least I didn't have to contend with big waves. Fishing was as slow as the rise in
temperature. By noon, I had tangled with only three fish. It was just one of
those tough days.

I was enjoying myself though, just being out on the water. I had the whole
lake to myself and despite being tired and beat up by a wet and windy mother nature I decided to hang around and see what the afternoon had to offer. I did feel a break from the wind and a little lunch would go a lond way. A trip up the river was easier said than done though due to the low water
level and having to maake my way into the wind with the outboard drastically
tilted up. With a little persistance and some careful navigating, I was
finally able to make my way across the stump ridden shallow flats and into
the murky, wind protected waters of the cottonwood river.

Things looked better already. I waved at the only pair of anglers I saw all
day as I slowly idled by. I enjoyed watching hundreds of big pelicans having
an easy time with the abundant shad as I continued up the river for a couple
of miles. I finally beached the boat on the outside of a sharp bend in the
river where the shad seemed to be thicker thean anyplace downriver. I dipped a worm in my bucket of Cat Tracker and tossed it out the back of the boat into 4 1/2 feet of water. I followed that with a second and dug out the cold bisquets and gravy I brought from the cafe that morning. I poured a cup of hot coffee and wouldn't you know that first pole bounced.

I sat there for the next several hours and caught and released channel cats
at about 1 evey 3-4 minutes. The bisquets and gravy was a little slow in
getting down. But a hookset is more important than a cold 6 hour old
breakfast. Even after 50 fish.

Mike Cook, Four Lake Guides

June 12, 2002 - I was in Zeiners yesterday afternnon picking up my replacement pair of Solar Bat Sunglasses. The first pair blew off the dash of my boat at Cheney. So if you hook um and bring them up, wear them in good health, they are fine eyewear.

Anyway, Steve and I decided to try for some walleye before the storms blew
in. Steve Ryan is the manager of Zeiners Bass Shop for those of you who
don't know. Stop in and ask him about the details of the trip. We had a lot
of fun. He'll be happy to bend your ear. But for now I'll cover the
highlights.

We started fishing about 7:30 and lightning ran us off at 9:30. In that
short time he caught his largest walleye ever. A fat 22" fish. Way to go
Steve. We also caught and released 14 other nice walleye. All but a few
keeper fish. He did keep his limit of 5 to take home to his Dad. But who can
blame him.

We also caught a number of white bass, White perch and drum. At one point
we had four walleye on at one time. That was pretty exciting! Like I said
stop and and see him and he'll give you all the details.

I can't say enough good things about this walleye fishery. And the channel
cat fishing is even better. So come on out to the lake and join in the fun.
I'll see you there.
Mike Cook
Four Lake Guides

June 10, 2002 - June 7th 02 - Clark brought a friend Gary. The morning was pretty uneventful, light south wind blowing only allowed us to put one keeper in the live-well. But I explained that the afternoon had been producing the better bite lately and we should do well after lunch.

So with full bellies and a renewed confidence we hit the water again and found hungry walleyes! We had a lot of fun until we needed one more fish to fill our limit. That last fish was a real bugger to get to the net. Click photograph for larger image.

Twice , Clark had a nice fish on, only to have them come loose before getting them on to the boat. Then I set the hook on a heavy fish that took some drag and came off. Finally, Gary showed us how it was done by boating a nice 20 incher. A fine end to a fine day!

June 9th, 02 - This trip almost didn't happen. Kevin McDaniels should have been at the hospital with the delivery of his first grandbaby! But he braved the wrath of his wife and fishing partner Art Hartshorn to try his hand at Cheney's walleye.

Unlike the Friday before, This Sunday found the wind howling and the skies overcast. I speculated that this morning would likely be slow while the afternoon would likely provide a better bite. The fish proved I didn't know what I was talking about! The first drift gave up 4 fish over 20"! Gotta love that wind! Click photograph for larger image.

About 9:00am Kevin received a phone call informing him of the delivery of a 8 1/2 POUND BABY BOY!!! CONGRATULATIONS GRANDPA!! At 9:30am I dropped the 10th fish into the live-well and it was catch and release for the rest of the day. but fishing was so good I had to take 5 for myself. I'll say we caught & released 40-50 fish this day! I'm sure they will be back to ply the waters of Cheney for some more hog eyes!

A little safety note to pass along, When the wind is howling at 30mph plus,
USE CAUTION!. Some of the boats we saw Sunday should not have been on the water. If you are like me and just have to fish, go see the folk's at
Wichita Marine for a big Sea Ark boat that will handle mother nature's
worse! Some of the smaller 12-16 foot boats we saw Sunday would just
disappear behind waves from time to time.

A 20' Bayfisher from Sea Ark will let you concentrate on fishing and not
worry as much about how big the waves are getting. Happy Fishing to all of
you and bless the wind in Kansas. - Mike Cook, Four Lake Guides

June 4, 2002 I guided a couple of parties over the weekend at Cheney. Our target species for both days was Walleye. Saturday offered a nice 20 mph wind that allowed us to boat 4 nice keeper fish with a few shorts by 10:00am. The fish fell to swimming jigs tipped with half a crawler. We switched to trolling tactics till noon hoping to get away from the white perch but didn't produce any more fish.

After taking a break for lunch, we returned to drifting jigs and crawlers
and found a great afternoon big fish bite. We easily filled our limit. Then
caught and released a few more before giving in from being beat by the wind and waves.

Sunday found us arriving at Cheney to white caps rolling across the lake.
The south wind was blowing 20-30 mph with higher gusts. But that's just what big walleyes like. My guests this day was a father and son team of avid
anglers with a lot of experience on a multitude of different species. Steve
and Seth Woolson, both of Wichita, were excited about trying for Cheney
Walleye. Clark fished with me the day before by the way.

Of course, I informed them about the excellent bite that was occurring. So it was show time. Our first three drifts across the point only produced a
few white perch bites. These fish have a jack hammer type bite which is far
different from the way a walleye sucks in a jig and crawler. I explained how
to point the rod tip at the fish, giving it a couple of feet of line. As the
line tightens and you feel the weight of the fish, then set the hook. They
got it real quick and we enjoyed a fine morning of catching big walleye.

After lunch and a rough ride back across the lake, we picked up where we
left off. I can't believe Seth didn't lose his lunch. He ate a double
cheeseburger from Creations. Those are huge burgers if you haven't ate
there. He's the man! Anyway, you know you have a great fishery when you are catching and releasing fat 24 inch walleye. And thats what we did. Late in the afternoon we finally succumbed to the wind, waves, sun and arm fatigue from battling hog walleyes on fly tackle. One last wet ride across the now 4 footers and it was the perfect end to a perfect day spent with great people.

Thanks guys. I had as much fun as ya'll did.

If you would like some of these swimming jigs or the fly rods, see Steve
at Zeiner's Bass Shop. He knows what I use and the advantages this tackle
offers. Good fishing to all of you and I'll see you at the lake.
Mike Cook
Four Lake Guides

June 1, 2002
Hi Folks,
Sorry it has been so long! I've been busy with a lot of FISHING.So many fish
so little time! Just wrapped up a fun shoot for Cabela's. Cat fishing with
the PRO'S,a how to video to be released this fall. We were using WICKED
STICKY by Cat Tracker. It's a bait they have been developing over the past
year and I have had the privilege of using during that time.

Well It's available to the public now and you got to try this one! I can't
say enough about this bait! See for yourself on the video, but don't wait
till then to try it! It has out-produced everything I've fished side by side
with it. The fish hit hard and run!

It works great at all the lakes I fish and a couple county lakes I've tried
it at. It was really hard fishing with this bait over the past year and not
being able to talk about it. But Zeiner's Bass Shop has it in stock now, so
stop by and pick up a case before it is all gone.

This has been a great year of fishing so far. The winter crappie fishing was
excellent and has continued thru the spawn which is going on now. The cat
fishing is always great and the walleye hasn't held up to last years
fishing but Cheney is still probably the best in the state

So if you've been out this year, Hope you have done well. If you haven't,
you are missing out on a very good year of FISHING.
P.S e-mail address change to fourlake@cox.net

 

 
Website

Shopping Cart

  Copyright 1999-2013 by Zeiner's Bass Shop
737 S. Washington #6 - Wichita, KS 67211 - Phone (316) 265-5551 - Fax (316) 265-6668
Questions or problems with this website should be directed to
webmaster.