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Fishing & Boating

Alert

Weekly fishing reports will resume the week of February 17, 2020. Listed below are winter fishing tips and techniques for Arkabutla Lake.


Fishing Report

Arkabutla - 12/3/2019 2:58:59 PM
Species Detail
Bass Bass usually will be in the clearest available water on any cover, on main lake points, or tributaries where soft plastics or a jig-n-pig are best baits.
Crappie Best luck is either trolling or drifting along the dam, in the gravel pit, or in the mouths of major creeks with jigs and/or minnows or jigging in any remaining cover.
Bream Fish for bream with worms 3 to 6 ft deep around any cover on creek and river channel edges, rock or rip-rap, or sunken brush tops or stake beds.
Catfish Catfishing is normally best using various natural baits on rod-and-reel, noodles (jugs), or trotlines over mudflats or on worms or stink baits in tributaries after rainfall.
White Bass Fish off sandy points or main lake humps with shad-imitating jigs or small crankbaits. There are no Striped or Hybrid Striped Bass in Arkabutla, just White Bass and a few Yellow Bass. Neither has a size or daily number limit.

Winter fishing can be good since the fish often school tightly and/or are concentrated by low water. Fish bite better after a few warm, sunny days. Unlike summer, best bet is to fish midday on sunny banks. Check water level trends; except for catfish, fishing is usually better on a slow fall than a fast rise. Even in cold weather, catfish will feed in rainfall runoff.

Special Fishing Regulations


Species

Species Type Length To Release
Crappie (combined black and white) Minimum Length Limit 12 inches and under

Creel Limits (per person, per day)

Type Amount Additional Information
Crappie (combined black and white) 15 There is a 40 crappie per boat limit for boats with 3 or more anglers.

Anglers may use no more than 4 poles per person and no more than 2 hooks or lures per pole. 


Spillway


Best luck in the spillway is when some water is being released, but not too much. For crappie, fish jigs and/or minnows out of the current, like in Elbow Creek, or right along the rocks. Catfishing is best in eddies on natural bait fished near the bottom. White Bass will be in the current where you can drift a 2 jig rig just off bottom (watch the rocks!) or fish small crankbaits or tailspinner lures. For largemouths, fish any cover or right on the rocks in the spillway with crankbaits or a jig-n-pig.

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.

The 12 inch crappie length limit does not apply to the reservoir spillway, but the spillway has a 15 crappie creel limit.


Water Level


Winter fishing usually means limited ramp access. Expect rapid water level rises and drawdowns as rain events happen and the Corps tries to achieve and maintain winter pool (210 ft) from December 1 until May 1. High winter water releases should mean good fishing in the spillway. Emergency spillway level is 238.3. For water level information, call (662)562-6261 or check at http://www.mvk-wc.usace.army.mil/docs/bullet.txt for a table or http://www.mvk-wc.usace.army.mil/plots/arkaplot.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.

 


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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