Bourbon State Fishing Lake

Elsmore, KS
4 miles E of Elsmore
Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism

Don George,KDWP&T Fisheries Biologist 913-795-2218

GPS Location: 37.7976 -95.06540

Elsmore, KS

Impoundment Type: State Fishing Lake

Surface Acres: 103 acres

Maximum Depth: 32 feet

Normal Lake Level: 942 msl

Current Lake Level: normal, full pool

Lake Temperature: varies

This is a 103 acre state fishing lake. This area has many developments on the west side of the lake including toilets, picnic areas, numerous fishing piers, several fish feeders, boatramp and floating dock. Shoreline access on the west side of the lake is very good. The east side of the lake is not developed. This lake supports a very good channel catfish and largemouth/spotted bass populations. It also is known for its large redear sunfish and black crappie.

Fishing PopulationCreel LimitMin Length Limit
Bluegill unlimited unlimited
Black Bullhead unlimited unlimited
Channel Catfish 2 15
Crappie 50 unlimited
Largemouth Bass 5 15
Saugeye 2 18
Walleye 2 18
Spotted Bass 5 15
Green Sunfish unlimited unlimited
Redear Sunfish unlimited unlimited
* Largemouth, Smallmouth, Spotted Bass in Combination
** Striped Bass or Wiper in Combination
*** Walleye, Sauger or Saugeye in Combination

Fishing Report - Last Update: 4/6/2015

Species Rating Size Baits, Method, & Location
Black Bass FAIR 12-18 inches fish the shoreline, weedbeds and piers, use spinners, plastic baits, crankbaits, lakewide along cover in and around the piers,
Bluegill/redear sunffish FAIR all sizes beautiful redear some 1/2 ot 3/4 pound available by slow fishing along the piers with jig, worm under a float 
Walleye FAIR varies in spawning areas and try the dam on windy, cloudy days off the creek channel dropoffs, with crank baits or jigs,
Channel Catfish FAIR 12-26 inches the fish feeders are OFF. use cut bluegill/stink baits, chicken liver, lakewide,
Crappie FAIR 8 - 12 inches and up in spawning areas and recent sampling indicates nice crappie in the 9-12 inch range along the dam,--over brushpiles,near dropoffs, minnows, jigs ,
General Comments

The lake has been lowered as a fisheries management tool.  This process produces faster growing fish populations producing larger fish for anglers.  

Remember- Wear a Lifejacket and Reach - Throw - Don t Go. Buy your state fishing license and go fishing. This is a great family fishing lake with good shoreline access and bathrooms.

 Remember to "CLEAN, DRAIN AND DRY" your boats and equipment.

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KDWPT released the recently completed “Kansas Crappie Bonanza” video. This 25-minute video covers Kansas crappie fishing during spring, summer, fall, and winter with tips and tactics to make you a better crappie angler. Visit the KDWPT homepage on and click on the Kansas Crappie Bonanza link to view the video!