Fishing & Boating


Desoto Lake is open to fishing and boating.  The number of persons in each watercraft is limited to the greater of two (2) occupants or 50% of the occupancy limit of all multi-person watercraft.  Bank fishing is allowed but social distancing requirements must be adhered to (maintaining a minimum distance of 6 feet between individuals). 

Fishing Report

Desoto - 7/30/2020 2:41:23 PM
Species Detail
Bass There have not been any reports of anglers bass fishing at this time. Look for fish in water between 4 and 8 feet deep near structure. Good bait choices include soft plastics, spinnerbaits, jigs. Try fishing around the steep rocky banks, points, or around logs or stumps. Normally the best bite occurs on a slow fall of the river.
Crappie There have not been any reports of anglers crappie fishing at this time, however look for the action to pick up with warmer temperatures approaching. Crappie should be associated with submerged brush, laydowns, or other structure. Try trolling in water 8-15 feet deep with jigs or minnows.
Bream There have not been any reports of anglers bream fishing at this time. For bream, look for fish to be in water 3-6 feet deep, especially around logs brush tops, or other structure near the shoreline. Most anglers use crickets, but red worms are also a good bait choice. Bream fishing is usually slow this time of the year.
Catfish There have not been any reports of any anglers fishing for catfish at this time. For catfish, try tightlining or fishing trotlines along the shoreline in water less than 6 feet deep. Blues, channels, and flatheads are all present in Desoto Lake. Best baits for blues and channels should be nightcrawlers or chicken liver. For flathead use live bait like goldfish. Catfish fishing is often slow during the winter time.

Special Fishing Regulations


Species Type Length To Release

Creel Limits (per person, per day)

Type Amount Additional Information

Additional Information

For Mississippi River oxbow lakes, the fluctuations of the Mississippi River is an important factor for determining how the fishing is. Slow rises and slow falls produce the best fishing. The best crappie fishing on Desoto Lake is normally at water levels between 12 - 18 feet (Helena gauge).

Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Fisheries Biologists use various sampling methods to assess the fish populations in the State’s waters.   Sampling results for selected water bodies are summarized in Reel Facts Sheets.

Please be aware that Silver carp are very abundant in Desoto Lake and may jump out of the water and collide with boater, skiers, and anglers.


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