Mid-creek musings as I eagerly anticipate fishing in the heated dock at Lake Shawnee once more this winter.


• According to Mike McLaughlin with Shawnee County Parks and Recreation, the dock will be opened to the public on Oct. 31, when the lake opens back up to fishing after this week’s trout stocking.


• Of course, the Kansas trout season doesn’t technically start until the following day, Nov. 1, but you can still pursue other fish at the heated dock that Saturday, including crappie and white bass.


• There was some concern the heated dock wouldn’t open at all this fall because of COVID-19 restrictions. Personally, I’m glad they’re opening it up. I just hope people continue to wear their masks and social distance so it stays open.


• Other lakes with heated docks in Kansas include Hillsdale Reservoir, Eureka City Lake, Marion County Lake and Melvern Reservoir.


• If you’ve never been in one, it’s quite an experience!


• The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Tuttle Creek in Manhattan had to move a massive amount of fish downstream after dewatering the stilling basin below the dam, including some big blue cats and young paddlefish.


• It was astounding to see such a large amount of fish in such a tiny space, and is a great reminder of how diverse and plentiful the fish species are in Kansas waters.


• According to the USACE, the fish were trucked 1,000 feet downstream in the Big Blue River and deposited to meet regulatory requirements and help prevent the spread of Aquatic Nuisance Species.


• Speaking of big blue cats, some young anglers near Salina caught one of their own.


• Stephanie Salter submitted a video of a mighty big blue catfish caught below Kanopolis Dam in Kanopolis Lake by her sons. The full video can be found on the online version of this story.


• "My three boys, ages 10, 7 and 6, caught this blue cat in the shallow water below the Kanopolis Dam," Salter said in an email. "They literally simply ran it aground and after taking a few pictures, we put him back into the water but he didn’t go anywhere. We decided to move him up to above the dam and asked a couple other campers to help. After catching him again, we drove him up to the lake and released him. He was quite happy to be in deeper water. I tried to have the rangers record his size and help us move him but they were too busy to help. I know he was at least 50 pounds, but could have been even bigger. He’s back in Kanopolis Lake."


• Awesome catch, kids!


• Stilwell’s Jesse Jordan and Hutchinson’s Kyle Klein were the Kansas BASS Nation champions last week at the Central BASS Nation regional at Toledo Bend Reservoir. They will now fish in the BASS Nation National Championship at Lake Pickwick next month for a spot in next year’s Bassmaster Classic at Ray Roberts.


• Klein finished third among nonboaters with a three-day total bag weight of 16-13. Other Kansas nonboaters included Shawnee’s Jeff Nolte (19th), Park City’s Jeff Cherne (21st), Salina’s Jeremiaha Cole (24th), Topeka’s Richard Heflin (41st) and Thomas Heinen (58th), Iola’s Richard Muhl (tie-60th), Wichita’s Larry Fralick and Berryton’s Mike Turner (tie-67th).


• Jordan finished 14th among boaters with 22-9. Other Kansas boaters included Andover’s Chris Brimager (43rd), Stilwell’s Keith Pflumm (48th), Spring Hill’s Dale Manning (49th), Moran’s Douglas Troxel (51st), Gypsum’s Jason Baird (55th), Andover’s Kevin Miller (60th) and Towanda’s Trevis Unger (67th).


• At the Bassmaster Junior National Championship on Oct. 19-20 in Huntingdon, Tenn., the Topeka team of Nick and Kyle Herrman made their hometown proud after finishing 14th out of 54 teams.


• The Herrmans sat in second place after Day 1 with an impressive bag of 7-15 but blanked on Day 2. Louisburg’s Steele Smith and Lucas Sheafer finished 30th with a two-day total of 5-5, as well.


• Kyle also set a personal record with a largemouth weighing 7 pounds, 9 ounces, in pre-fishing. They then caught the big fish of the tournament, quite a bit smaller at 5-4, for a $200 scholarship. Awesome fish and awesome job representing the Capital City.


• The Bassmaster High School National Championship on Kentucky Lake in Paris, Tenn., kicked off Thursday and continued through the weekend.


• The Kansas delegation for that event consists of Ottawa’s Austin Curtis and Todd Crosley, of Franklin County OutCast; Dylan Nimrod and Collin Stephens, of De Soto; Nathan Fideldy and Preston Gover, of Buhler; and Shawnee Mission East’s Werner Brundige and Ty Neidlein, of Kickback Bass Club.


• Nimrod and Stephens won the Kansas Bass Nation High School State Championship in September.


• The Franklin County OutCast team made the national championship in its first year of existence, as well. Ottawa should be mighty proud of those two.


• "Todd and I are very excited about our opportunity to fish nationals for our first year of being a part of the high school tournaments," Curtis said following the state championship on Bone Creek.


• Check out next week’s Outdoors section for results of that tournament, as well.