Fishing & Boating

Fishing Report

Arkabutla - 5/22/2018 4:59:45 PM

Water level 229.80, falling 0.2 ft/day, 9.8 ft above rule curve Tuesday. Water level is supposed to be at summer pool (220 ft) from May 15 until September 1. For water level information, call (662)562-6261 or check at for a table or for a graph or for both. Be sure to check the date on the table as it is not always updated daily.

The water is still falling quickly; keep an eye out for a possible tropical system that may dump heavy rain this weekend depending on storm development and track. Expect falling water levels to pull fish out of the trees and bushes in the next week or two unless there is a rise. Crappie fishing success has been spotty with most folks catching 0 - 5 fish, although there have been a few double-digit catches recently. The problem is finding the fish because they are moving with the water falling and are scattered. Crappie have been caught from 3 to 14 ft deep lately. Best luck is with a jig and/or minnow fished around the trees or slow trolling out from the trees. With warmer weather, catfishing has been improving for both trotline and rod-and-reel anglers fishing about 6 ft deep near the creeks. Few reports on anything else. Normally, on high water years the bream grow big and spawn over firm bottoms like gravel roads or 4-wheeler trails; try some crickets. Access is improving as the water falls.

The spillway had one gate open 9.0 ft (2680 cfs) Tuesday AM. The COE is trying to bring the reservoir down, but has cut back the gates some. Catfish have started biting crickets fished 1 - 2 ft deep under a cork drifted in the fast water.

MDWFP fall 2017 electrofishing found most Gizzard Shad were 3 – 4 inches long (2017 spawn). Threadfin Shad were seen for the first time; most were 1 - 2 inches. Blue Catfish ("white river cats” or "white humpbacks") were the most abundant catfish; they ranged from 12 - 36 inches with big peaks at 19 and 30 inches. White Bass were less numerous than in past years; most were young-of-year (YOY) less than 10 inches, or older fish over 14 inches. Largemouth Bass were 3 - 19 inches with good proportions less than 12 inches and from 15 - 19 inches. Crappie were 2 - 14 inches with lots of "short fish". Considering spring water levels, there was a good crappie spawn (mostly 3 inch YOY); keepers were mainly 13 inches.

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 daily creel limit for crappie is 15 per person. Crappie must be over 12 inches long. 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 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) 562-6261 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.


Share this share this share this

Sign up, Keep Up

Sign up to receive monthly newsletters featuring all the latest news and happenings from MDWFP.