Kansas often gets a bad rap as being a dull, flat, boring place to live or visit. That may be true for some folks, but for sportsmen and women, it is a wonderful place to visit, especially in the Eastern part of the state.

Topeka is a quaint city that feels like a small city or a large town. Around the city are many lakes, and thousands of ponds. Some lakes, such as Clinton, can be very busy, due to their location near Lawrence.

But others are less travelled and are real jewels. Melvern lake, about 40 miles to the south of Topeka, is one such location. It is a very large reservoir built and maintained by the Corps of Engineers. It has several picnic and camping locations, boat ramps, a nice little marina, and the water quality is quite good, ranging from very clear in the early spring, to moderate later in summer. It tends to have a lovely aquamarine color to the water, unlike another nearby lake, Pomona, which is more brown water.

Fishing in Melvern can be incredible. The largemouth are quite common and tend to be decent sized. Walleye are common, as are channel cats and of course the panfish (blue gills, crappie, sunfish) are very common. During spring and fall the crappie fishing can be excellent.

Be aware that the prevailing winds are from the south and cross the lake in the afternoons during the summer. This means that it can start out calm in the morning and get quite choppy on the north shore. Small craft should be cautious, and it is generally safer to stay on the Southern lee shore. That is also the deeper part of the lake, and the shores are rocky. Fishing there is good. But the shallower North shore is a bass haven.  Many fisherman have good luck with visual lures and crankbaits, while others prefer fishing deeper with bait. 

The Osage County reservoir is another hidden jewell and is closer to Topeka. It's a small lake, perhaps 60 acres, but is beautiful, quiet, and full of bass, crappie, catfish, and walleye. The water is very clear and the fish strike hard on visual lures and crankbaits.