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Fishing & Boating

Fishing Report

Sardis Lake - 6/19/2018 2:50:42 PM

Water level 268.87, falling 0.2 ft/day, 8.9 ft over rule curve Tuesday. The water level is supposed to be at summer pool (260 ft) from May 1 until August 1. For water level information, call (662)563-4531 or check at http://mvk-wc.usace.army.mil/docs/bullet.txt for a table or http://mvk-wc.usace.army.mil/plots/sardplot.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.

The water level bumped up a little last week, but it is falling again. The flow has crappie in summer patterns and more active. Best luck has been pulling crankbaits or slow trolling jigs and/or minnows in the main lake 12 - 18 ft deep. A few can be taken single poling up near Hwy 7 as the falling water pulls fish out of brakes and sloughs and they head downriver toward deeper water. Expect a lot of short fish; to return them alive and in good shape, PLEASE replace treble hooks with singles, especially the rear hook on crankbaits, and/or pinch the barbs down to make unhooking easier. Losing a few fish is better than killing a lot. White Bass are in the main lake; most are incidental catch by folks after crappie. They should start feeding on shad off main lake points very early and late in the day. Fish jigs or small crankbaits. There are no size on number limits on White Bass. Catfishing has slowed down, meaning they are more interested in spawning than food. There have been a few reports from grabblers fishing deep boxes out from the trees and brush. Blue Catfish ('white river cats" or "white humpbacks") are more common than Flatheads. Fish for Largemouth Bass off main lake points about 8 - 12 ft deep with soft plastics. Normally, on high water years the bream grow big and spawn over firm bottoms like gravel roads or 4-wheeler trails; try some crickets over the flooded road at Hurricane Creek or sand bank east of Piney Point.

The spillway had two gates open 8.0 ft each (4280 cfs) Tuesday AM. The Corps is trying to get the reservoir back down to rule curve, so expect high outflows for awhile. Most fishing has been for catfish on natural baits near bottom; some flatheads have been caught lately. Check out the new COE fishing pier on the north side of the spillway near the end of the rip-rap.

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.

MDWFP fall 2017 electrofishing found good spawns of most fishes due to abundant flooded vegetation. Most Gizzard Shad were about 3 inches, while most Threadfin Shad were about 2 inches. Many of the 2017 spawned shad appeared to be Threadfin X Gizzard hybrids, possibly because of low water and limited spawning habitat. Largemouth Bass were 3 – 21 inches with peaks at 8 and 13 inches, with a good proportion over 15 inches. Blue Catfish ("white river cats or "white humpbacks") were the most abundant catfish; they peaked near 21 inches (about 4 lb), but ranged from 5 – 35 inches. With the unseasonably warm fall, crappie were holding deeper than electrofishing could effectively sample. Most crappie were from the 2017 - 2014 year classes (3 - 14 inches). White Crappie peaked at 10 inches (2016 fish).

The daily creel limit for crappie is 15 per person. Crappie must be over 12 inches. 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, including Sardis Lower Lake, has a 15 crappie creel limit.

Limits on Black Bass (Largemouth and Spotted Bass) are statewide limits: no size limit, 10 fish per person daily.

Contact the COE office (662) 563-4531 for accessible ramps at current water levels.

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.

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