If you love the outdoors you will love it here in Manhattan, KS! From the Konza Prairie, lakes, rivers, and honey holes, this area of the Midwest is perfect for all lovers of the outdoors! A fun fact that is not well known is that I love to fish, taking the fish off is another story but catching fish, I am your girl! Growing up in the country our family had a pond basically right in our backyard so it was completely normal for us to spend the evening down there. There is a funny story from when I was little, I caught a fish that was longer than I was tall and since I was not strong enough to reel it in I just started walking backward until my line and the fish were both out of the water! LOL I mean you gotta do what you gotta do, right???
As an adult not much has not changed except I don't have a pond in my backyard anymore! I still enjoy casting in a line and relaxing, well until something hits my line! In case you are in the same boat as me, here is my list of the best places to go fishing in Manhattan, KS!
Rocky Ford Fishing Area, this one is definitely off the beaten path! Rocky Ford is 18 acres and was formed many years ago and is South of Tuttle Creek Dam and situated on the Blue River. When you are at Rocky Ford you will see people walking over the water along the old railroad tracks that have since been removed. Make sure you are careful, there are some big fish that come out of Rocky Ford, but a lot of rocks, hence the name to get caught up on! You will catch a variety here such as Saugeye, white bass, the catfishes, and drum. Here it is important to check the outflows and inflows of Tuttle since that will significantly affect your fishing experience!
Pott 2 this state fishing lake is actually named, Pottawatomie Lake No. 2 State Fishing Lake. However, locals refer to it only as, Pott 2! The 179 acres that surround Pott 2 is a wildlife refuge and camping ground. The variety of animals you will enjoy while spending time out at Pott 2 is truly enjoyable for those who might want to take in more scenery than fish! The camping is more primitive if you prefer that style of roughing it. Channel Cat is stocked during the summer months but you will also find, Bluegill, Crappie, and Walleye to name a few.
The tubes were reopened in August of 2021 after the four-year stabilization project at the stilling basin. Several local fishermen had been anxiously awaited this reopening at Tuttle Creek Dam. The tubes are part of the water control system and fishermen can now fish the tubes with better parking and fencing in the area. Much like the Rocky Ford Fishing area, the tubes are greatly affected by the rate of outflow from Tuttle Creek. Here you will find many of the fish mentioned such as crappies, Catfish, Saugeye, and more.
Milford one of our largest fishing areas with over 16,000 sq ft, Milford Fishing Reservoir is a popular spot, especially when the wipers are hitting! Many fishermen like to fish in the protection below the dam and will enjoy a day of fishing for catfish, Bass, and Walleye. There are Walleye limits so please make sure you click the like above for Milford and make sure your catch qualifies and doesn't need to be released. Fish and game also run studies with tagging so make sure that you notify of a tagged fish caught!
Willow Lake Fishing Access and Tuttle Pond, Willow Lake Fishing is accessed by piers and a walkway. In addition to fishing that variety of waterfowl is enjoyed but those who come to relax in the area. Stocked with Rainbow Trout, Perch, and more, this is a spot that is one that once you fish there you will know why it is a favorite! This area is located at the bottom of Tuttle Creek Dam, located off Beach Drive and not far from The Little Grill just off of Barnes Rd.
If you make it out to one of these spots, please make sure to share your photos with your catch! It is always so much fun to see people enjoying the area!