Fishing ReportTunica Cutoff - 10/17/2017 3:18:22 PM
The Mississippi River level was at +4.9 ft (Memphis gauge) Tuesday. It is predicted to bottom out at 4.1 ft on Thursday and then rise to 5.3 ft by Sunday. With the weir, the Mississippi River will not enter the Cutoff until it rises above 6 ft. Flood stage is 34 ft. Best fishing is usually on a slow fall from 15 to 10 ft. For the river level and 5 or 28 day forecast, call (901) 544-0408 (press 2) or check http://www.srh.noaa.gov/lmrfc/?n=lmrfc-mississippiandohioriverforecast .
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 will be fluctuating this week, but it still should be just below the gap in the weir and not affect the lake level. The lake will be stable or falling slowly and below the "good fishing" range. Water temperatures should be falling from the 70s to the 60s with cooler weather this week.
More folks have been fishing here than in past months, and they have been catching mostly bream and crappie, although the few bass anglers have reported fairly good success. For bream, fish crickets or redworms on the edges of any remaining trees or around any submerged cover 4 - 8 ft deep. For crappie, jig similar depths and cover with jigs and/or minnows or troll out from the trees with jigs and/or minnows or crankbaits. Bass should be on cover on steep banks; fish spinnerbaits or soft plastics. Catfish should be biting in the runout with the water falling on various natural baits. There are a lot of keeper size (12 - 15 inch) Channel Catfish in the lake now. Look for White Bass feeding on shad over the ramps off of any sandy points. Fish shad-imitating lures like jigs, tailspinners, or small crankbaits. There is no size or number limit on White Bass. With the lake connected to the river, you might land a Striped Bass or Striped Bass X White Bass 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.
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.
MDWFP fisheries biologists sampled 4, 1 acre areas in the lake in August to compare current conditions to similar sampling done before Asian carp were present. Data are not analyzed yet, but Asian carp did make 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). This year's 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. Comparisons to old data will be done later.
It appears there is an ongoing minor Asian carp kill; it may worsen in the next month or so.
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.