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Fishing & Boating

Fishing Report

Arkabutla - 12/4/2018 2:44:27 PM

Late fall/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 (210 ft) from December 1 until May 1. High winter water releases should mean good fishing in the spillway. For water level information, call (662)562-6261 or check at http://www.mvk-wc.usace.army.mil/docs/bullet.txt for a table or http://www.mvk-wc.usace.army.mil/plots/arkaplot.png for a graph or http://www.mvk-wc.usace.army.mil/resrep.htm for both. Be sure to check the date on the table as it is not always updated daily.

Winter fishing can be good since the fish often school tightly. Fish bite better after a few warm, sunny days. Unlike summer, best bet is to fish midday on sunny banks. Check water level trends; except for catfish, fishing is usually better on a slow fall than a fast rise. Even in cold weather, catfish will feed in rainfall runoff.

Best luck for crappie is either trolling or drifting along the dam, in the gravel pit, or in the mouths of major creeks with jigs and/or minnows or jigging in any remaining cover. White Bass can be taken on jigs or small crankbaits fished off sandy main lake points. There are no Striped or Hybrid Striped Bass in the reservoir, just White Bass and a few Yellow Bass. Largemouth Bass usually will be in the clearest available water on any cover, on main lake points, or tributaries where soft plastics or a jig-n-pig are best baits. Catfishing is normally best using various natural baits on rod-and-reel, noodles (jugs), or trotlines over mudflats or on worms or stink baits in tributaries after rainfall.

Best luck in the spillway is when some water is being released. For crappie, fish jigs and/or minnows out of the current, like in Elbow Creek, or right along the rocks. Catfishing is best in eddies on natural bait fished near the bottom. 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, fish any cover or right on the rocks in the spillway with crankbaits or a jig-n-pig.

All fish captured and kept with dip or landing nets, cast nets, boat mounted scoops, wire baskets, minnow seines, and minnow traps in the spillway areas bordered by rip rap must be immediately placed on ice or in a dry container. Game fish caught with these gears must be released. This regulation was enacted to reduce the potential of transferring harmful Asian carps to the reservoir or other waters.

The daily creel limit for crappie is 15 per person. Crappie must be over 12 inches long. Anglers may use no more than 4 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 12 inch length limit does not apply to the reservoir spillway, but the spillway has a 15 crappie creel limit.

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