Crappie Fishing on Lake Olathe

Crappie Fishing on Lake Olathe on 3/17/2015 at 8:50 AM

Lake Olathe initiates a ton of memories and represents a lot of outdoor fun for my family, especially when the fun centers around crappie fishing. We kayaked and canoed there last summer and kicked off our first fishing trip of 2015, today. By most accounts the crappie of Olathe Lake are in the 9″-12″ range and inhabit any cover they can find. Below is a detailed description of our trip and our results.

Weather Conditions

  • Cloudy
  • 17 mph blowing from the Northeast going to the Southwest
  • 46 degrees
  • 30.35 Barometric pressure
  • UV index of 5


Crappie Fishing Lure

Today we focused on a single lure, the Crappie Maxx jig in Red tube with a yellow tail. Both fisherman used florescent yellow jig heads. I fished with just the jig on a micro rig, while the junior Outdoorsman in Suburbia fished the same lure with a spinner. Initially, we wanted to experiment with color though we quickly determined that the high winds caused the waves to pound the surf, keeping the crappie in deeper water, just out of the range from bank fishers. The Crappie Maxx lure is easily found at Bass Pro in a variety of colors, and jig heads range in color and weights, too. Don’t discount the colors and when the water is choppy the extra weight will get you down tot he depth where the fish are biting.

Crappie Fishing Lure and Rod

Fishing Location

Lake Olathe Map

(1) Driving to the North end of the parking lot means a quick walk to the the trail along the lake’s edge. The path is covered with mulch, making for an easy walk to the first fishable spots. While not the most frequented spot on Lake Olathe there is a significant amount of traffic to suppress the the amount of fish taken in this area. We have frequently caught bluegill and perch off the bank. When the winds are out of the North waves drive shoreline fish into deeper waters.

Area (2) has limited parking and rightfully so, as few fish are caught in the area. In the past I’ve taken pictures of beaver, muskrat and a variety of ducks– all contributing to lower fish numbers. The water is shallow in this area and the shoreline is conducive to weeks and lots of hang ups for all but the most experienced casters. Even in high winds the water is typically calm due to the bluff and hills blocking them out.

(3) The edge of the bluff offers deeper water accessible to bank fishermen. The hike isn’t strenuous though not wheelchair friendly by any means. There’s little cover so bring your hats and sunscreen if you send much more than an hour or two in direct sunlight! The fishing is difficult at best due to the cliff being about 15 feet above the water line, thus large fish will be trouble bringing up that high.

(4) Parking for area 4 is a bit of a trick when larger groups occupy the grand pavilion for parties, otherwise there are over 50 spots to choose from. The reward for a long walk down the bank is deeper water with little to no branches to attract your lures. The walk may be to difficult for small children.

Note: In future posts the numbers associated with areas may change across articles as I determine the best way to standardize the numbers across posts. In any event the map will change, so check back frequently when referring to the numbering system for areas.

Fishing Trip Results


After an hour and a half of jigging for Crappie, we called it a day with no fish in the basked and a couple of questionable strikes. We could tell in area 1 when the 17 mph Northeast winds were banging the coastline causing the first 10 feet to be murky and hard for fish to stay in shallow waters. It was a sad day for these bank fishers. Unfortunately, our destiny of not owning a boat is not in the wheels of fortune at this time; however, if it was, this is the boat we would have! Next trip we will keep the red/yellow jigs in the tackle box (one cool setup). We are very likely to continue using jigs in our crappie fishing and will explore other colors and will report the results. Chartreuse or White combinations are my next attempt.

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