Fishing & Boating


There was an Asian carp kill on Tunica Cutoff, other Mississippi River oxbows, and in the river last summer and early fall. These kills have occurred almost every year at the same time. Investigation of previous kills revealed bacteria as the cause. Expect a repeat this year, especially with hot weather and lower water levels recently. 

Fishing Report

Tunica Cutoff - 8/4/2020 3:33:55 PM
Species Detail
Bass Fish spinnerbaits, soft plastics, or a bladed jig around cover on steep, sandy banks, especially points.
Crappie Best luck recently has been for crappie; troll or drift jigs and/or minnows 8 - 12 ft deep or pull crankbaits out from cover in the main lake. Houseboat and OK Pockets are usually good, as well as Katy's Bar down near the runout. Reports are crappie will bite best early in the morning, then quit until late evening.
Bream Full moon was Monday and the water is rising; look for spawning activity in cover on sandy points. If you can find crickets (bait shops are having shortages), fish them 3 - 5 ft deep in the trees. About 1 of 6 bream caught are the big “Tunica Bream”. Bigger bream are holding deeper than smaller ones. Some people are fishing for crappie early, then switching to bream when the crappie bite slows. Contact JT Baitshop 662-363-2408 for recent updates.
Catfish Fish various natural baits with your gear of choice (trotlines, yo-yo's, noodles, rod-and-reel) in newly flooded cover. Check and reposition stationary gear often with the water rising.
White Bass Fish jigs or small crankbaits on or near the ramps, the runout, or off sandy points. There are no size or number limits on White Bass. However, 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.

The water level will be rising into the good fishing range (15 to 10 ft) this week. Expect fish to be moving with the water rising and then falling and not in the same place daily (but may remain in the general area). Anglers are reporting improved catches lately compared to recent years.

MDWFP spring electrofishing in high water found fish scattered. Quite a few of this spring's bass and shad were seen. Crappie were out deeper than electrofishing could reach. There were good numbers of last year's bass, bream, and shad.

Check water level trends; except for catfish, fishing is usually better on a slow fall than a fast rise. If the water is rising, fish shallower on the inside edges of cover. If the water is falling, fish deeper on the outside edges. Move stationary gear (lines, yo-yos, etc.) frequently if the water is rising or falling quickly.

Special Fishing Regulations


Species Type Length To Release

Creel Limits (per person, per day)

Type Amount Additional Information

Water Level

The Mississippi River was at 11.3 ft (Memphis gauge) Tuesday. The river is rising and expected to crest at 15.1 ft by Saturday and fall to 14.8 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

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.

Memphis District Corps personnel allow placement of artificial fish habitat. Remember to save GPS waypoints if you have the capability.

Additional Information

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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