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Fishing Forest Lake

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By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Fish species to fish for...

Guide to fishing for largemouth bass, channel catfish, black crappie and walleye at Forest Lake in Missouri.

Forest Lake, MO

A resort vacation destination, Forest Lake is a 570-acre lake in Thousand Hills State Park - just a couple miles from Kirksville, MO. Recent fisheries management has improved the quantity and quality of most species in the lake, especially bass.

Lake Video

Forest Lake is located in the central section of Missouri and offers excellent fishing opportunities for anglers. The lake is known for its scenic beauty and diverse fish population, making it a popular destination for fishing enthusiasts.

Walleye is one of the most popular fish species at Forest Lake. Anglers can target walleye using various techniques such as trolling with crankbaits, jigging with minnows or artificial lures, or using live bait rigs. The lake's structure, including points, drop-offs, and submerged brush piles, provides ideal habitat for walleye. Anglers can enjoy the challenge of catching walleye while appreciating the natural surroundings of Forest Lake.

Largemouth bass are also highly sought after by anglers at Forest Lake. The lake offers ample opportunities for anglers to target these bass using techniques such as casting with topwater lures, working plastic worms or jigs, or using spinnerbaits. Anglers can explore the lake's weed beds, submerged logs, and rocky shorelines to find the ideal spots for catching largemouth bass. Forest Lake provides an exciting and rewarding bass fishing experience.

Channel catfish are abundant in Forest Lake and provide anglers with an opportunity to reel in some impressive catches. Anglers can use a variety of baits such as cut bait, stink baits, or chicken livers to target these catfish. Fishing near the lake's deeper areas, along channels, or near submerged structures can increase the chances of catching channel catfish. These fish are known for their strong fights and make for an exciting angling experience.

Black crappie are another popular species found in Forest Lake. Anglers can target crappie using techniques such as vertical jigging, casting with small jigs or minnows, or using crappie nibbles. The lake's submerged brush piles, standing timber, and drop-offs provide excellent hiding spots for crappie. Anglers can enjoy the challenge of finding and catching these tasty panfish.

Forest Lake in Missouri is a wonderful destination for anglers seeking walleye, largemouth bass, channel catfish, black crappie, and other fish species. With its diverse fishery, scenic surroundings, and opportunities for boating and camping, Forest Lake provides an enjoyable fishing experience for anglers of all skill levels.

Boats with motors over 90 horsepower are not allowed on the lake, but fishing, water skiing and family boats with smaller motors are welcome. Canoes, kayaks and small fishing boats can get you to the fish here. Several areas of the lake have road access to the 17 miles of shoreline around the lake for fishing from the bank.

Fishing Boats For Rent In Missouri

Primary fish species residing in Forest Lake

Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.

Largemouth bass Channel catfish Black crappie Walleye

Forest Lake Amenities

Marina: YES
Boat Rental: YES
Boat Launch Ramp: YES
Campgrounds: YES
RV Hookups: YES
Lodging: YES
Convenience Store: YES
Bait & Tackle: YES
Restaurant: YES

Today's Weather & Forecast

In addition to fishing, Forest Lake offers boating and camping facilities for outdoor enthusiasts. Anglers can explore the lake's waters by boat, whether it's a motorized boat, kayak, or canoe, to access different fishing spots and enjoy the tranquility of the lake.

Fishing Boat Rentals

Thousand Hills State Park Marina
Rentals: Fishing boats, canoes, kayaks and pontoon boats
660 665-3712

Public Boat Launch Ramps & Landings

Thousand Hills State Park Boat Ramp
Located mid lake, on the north side of the lake, off Big Loop Trail Road, this is a three-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.


Thousand Hills State Park Marina
20431 State Hwy 157 S
Kirksville, MO 63501
660 665-3712

Click here for a Missouri Fishing License.

Camping facilities are available nearby, allowing anglers to extend their fishing trips and immerse themselves in the natural beauty of Forest Lake.

Campgrounds & RV Parks Nearby

Thousand Hills State Park Campground - 660 665-6995

Lakeroad Village RV Park - 660 665-2228

Forest Lake MO Map - Fishing & Camping Areas

Contact Information

Forest Lake
Thousand Hills State Park Marina
20431 State Hwy 157 S
Kirksville, MO 63501
660 665-7119


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