Fishing Reports


Arkabutla - 11/18/2014

Water level 212.97, falling 0.1 ft/day; 0.7 ft above rule curve Tuesday.  For water level information, call (662)562-6261 or check at for a table or for a graph.  The lake is supposed to be maintained at summer pool (220 ft) from May 15 – September 1.  Fall drawdown started September 1 with a target of 210 ft by December 1.


Unusually cold, windy weather has reduced both fish and fishing activity.  A warm up late this week may improve things slightly.  Access is limited at most ramps at current water levels.  Best luck for crappie has been slow trolling jigs and/or minnows 4 – 8 ft deep in the mouths of major creek arms or on cover in creek and river channels edges; minnows have been the key to bites.  For catfish, fish worms, shad, or stink baits in the river and creek channels or on main lake flats.  For largemouth bass, look for clearer water and fish spinnerbaits or soft plastics on main lake points, or on the channel dropoffs in the backs of creeks.  White bass have been biting in the river at the Hwy 51 bridge.  Fish small, shad-imitating lures (jigs, tailspinners, small crankbaits).


As the water falls, folks report balls of “fish eggs” or “jellyfish” clinging to sticks, trees, and about everything else.  These blobs are actually colonial animals called bryozoans that filter plankton out of the water.  Nibbling by fish causes the colony to minimize its surface area to a round shape.  Web search “freshwater bryozoans” for more on these interesting, ancient animals.


The spillway had two gates open 0.5 ft each, one open 5.0 ft (1200 cfs) Tuesday.  Best luck down here has been for catfish (natural baits) or white bass (jigs, small crankbaits) in the faster water.


Contact the COE office (662)562-6261 for accessible ramps at current water levels.

The daily creel limit for crappie on Arkabutla Lake is 20 per person. Crappie must be over 12 inches. Anglers fishing Arkabutla Lake may use no more than 5 poles per person and no more than 2 hooks or lures per pole.  There is a 50 crappie per boat limit for boats with 3 or more anglers.  The 12 inch length limit does not apply to the reservoir spillway, but the spillway has a 20 crappie creel limit.

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