Fishing & Boating

Fishing Report

Arkabutla - 11/12/2019 3:11:19 PM
Species Detail
Bass Largemouth Bass will be 4 -10 ft deep on cover in the clearest available water, in channels pulling into their banks, secondary points in coves, and mud and/or rock main lake points. Fish shallow (topwaters, spinnerbaits) early and late in the day and deeper midday (crankbaits, soft plastics).
Crappie Few crappie reports with the cold weather. Numbers have been low, but average size very good. The main challenge is finding them. Best reports have been slow trolling jigs and/or minnows 4 - 10 ft deep in the mouths of major creeks. Although some good crappie are being caught, a lot of short fish are being released. Replace treble hooks with single hooks and/or pinch down the barbs to make releasing short fish faster and less damaging; it does no good to release dead fish.
Bream Fish for bream with worms or crickets 3 to 6 ft deep around any cover on creek and river channel edges, rock or rip-rap, or sunken brush tops.
Catfish Catfishing has been good recently with various natural baits with rod-and-reel or lines in inflowing tributaries. This pattern should hold up as fish move back downstream as the water level falls. Otherwise, fish various natural baits with your gear of choice (rod-and-reel, noodles, lines, etc.) over main lake flats.
White Bass White Bass fishing has been good lately off sandy points or main lake humps (like out from Hernando Point). Fish 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.

Special Fishing Regulations


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. 


The spillway had one gate open 9.0 ft, one open 1.0 ft, and one open 2.0 ft (3000 cfs) Tuesday PM. Best luck should be for catfish on natural baits fished just over the bottom using a bobber. White Bass may bite shad-imitating lures (jigs, small crankbaits) fished in the current. For crappie, fish jigs and/or minnows under a bobber out of the current (along the rocks, Elbow Creek, eddies, etc.).

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

Water level 221.01, falling 0.2 ft/day, 8.1 ft over rule curve Tuesday. The water level is supposed to be at summer pool (220 ft) from May 15 until September 1. Emergency spillway level is 238.3. Expect rapid water level rises and drawdowns as rain events happen and the Corps tries to achieve and maintain summer pool. 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.

Fall drawdown is underway. Few reports after the big cold front; expect things to improve with some warming by the weekend. With the water falling, fish will be following the river, creeks, and ditches towards deeper water.


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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