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Fishing & Boating

Fishing Report

Tunica Cutoff - 5/22/2018 5:32:53 PM

The Mississippi River was at 17.4 ft (Memphis gauge) Tuesday; it is supposed to rise very slowly to 18.8 ft by Sunday. With the weir, the Mississippi River will not enter the Cutoff until it rises over 6 ft (Memphis gauge). Flood stage is 34 ft. Best fishing is usually on a slow fall from 15 to 10 ft. For the river level and 5 day forecast, call (901)544-0408 (press 2) or check https://forecast.weather.gov/product.php?site=NWS&issuedby=ORN&product=RVA&format=txt&version=1&glossary=0

Charlie's Camp and Bordeaux (Tait) ramps are the only ones open to the public. Use the honor boxes. Bait is now available across the levee.

The river and lake are rising very slowly, but will be just above the "good fishing" range all week. With a slow rise, there are likely to be fish spawning back in the trees, but they will be scattered and both hard to find and get to. Fish jigs and/or minnows 2 - 6 ft deep on the inside edges of cover for crappie; fish the same cover and depths with crickets or worms for bream. Move stationary gears (yo-yos, trotlines) to keep up with the water; catfish and crappie should be biting minnows. With Mississippi River water coming in with snowmelt from up north, the Cutoff is much cooler and about a month later for fish spawning than other area lakes. Late April and May are typical for crappie spawning, with bream in May and June.

With the lake connected to the river, you might land a Striped Bass or hybrid, both of which have to be over 15 inches long with a daily limit of 6 fish per person. The best way to tell these fish apart is by their stripes. White Bass have 1 stripe running to the tail; stripers and hybrids have 2 or more stripes running to the tail.

DWFP fisheries biologists sampled 4, 1 acre areas in the lake in August, 2017, to compare current conditions to similar sampling done before Asian carp were present. Asian carp made up a significant portion of the fish population. Other abundant fish were Freshwater Drum and Channel Catfish, with a lot of cats near a pound (good eating size). 2017 spawned bream and crappie were fairly abundant, but larger bream and crappie were not. Hopefully, this means there should be more larger bream and crappie in the future.

An Asian carp kill occurred in late summer, but likely had little effect on the population.

Memphis District Corps personnel allow placement of artificial fish habitat. This is a good time to sweeten your favorite spots; remember to save GPS waypoints if you have the capability.

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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