Winter fishing report. Weekly updates will resume in February.
Winter fishing usually means limited ramp access. Expect rapid water level rises and drawdowns as rain events happen and the Corps tries to achieve and maintain winter pool (236 ft) from December 1 until mid-January, then it should rise to 241 ft by March 1. High winter water releases should mean good fishing in the spillway and Lower Lake. For water level information, call (662)563-4531 or check at http://126.96.36.199/offices/ed/edh/docs/bullet.txt for a table or http://188.8.131.52/offices/ed/edh/plots/sardplot.png for a graph.
Winter fishing can be good since the fish often school tightly. Fish bite better after a few warm, sunny days. Unlike the summer, best bet is to fish on sunny banks.
Winter crappie fishing can be good drifting or trolling jigs and/or minnows around the dam, marina, or main lake or jigging in cover. White bass usually stack up around Engineer’s Point and off the dam in front of the spillway gates where jigs or small crankbaits work best. White bass and catfish are also good in the river in the upper end of the lake. Largemouth bass also stack up on Engineer’s Point, the dam, and any cover in the main lake. Fish soft plastics, jigging spoons, or a jig-n-pig. Catfishing is normally best using cut bait on trotlines over mudflats or on worms or stink baits in tributaries after rainfall.
Best luck in the spillway and Lower Lake is when some water is being released. For crappie, fish jigs and/or minnows out of the current or right on the rocks. Catfishing is best in eddies on cut bait. White bass will be in the current where you can drift a 2 jig rig just off bottom (watch the rocks!) or fish small crankbaits or tailspinner lures. For largemouths, cover in the old river run is the best bet, or fish right on the rocks with crankbaits or a jig-n-pig.
Contact the COE office (662)563-4531 for accessible ramps at current water levels.
The daily limit on black bass (largemouth and spotted) is 7 fish, any size.
The daily crappie creel limit is 15 per person. Crappie must be over 11 inches. Anglers fishing Sardis Lake may use no more than 3 poles per person and no more than 2 hooks or lures per pole. There is a 40 crappie per boat limit for boats with 3 or more anglers.
The crappie length limit does not apply to the reservoir spillway, but the spillway, including Sardis Lower Lake, has a 20 crappie creel limit.