Fishing & Boating

Fishing Report

Arkabutla - 9/10/2019 4:30:13 PM

Water level 222.98, falling 0.2 ft/day, 3.9 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, but the reservoir is still over summer pool. With the water falling, shallow fish (including bait fish) will be following the river, creeks, and ditches towards deeper water. The heat has affected anglers more than the fish. Almost all ramps are accessible now.

A fruit jar crappie tournament this past Saturday was won with 15.25 lb (7 fish); no report on big fish. Most teams caught fish with 16 teams weighing in over 10 lbs. Fish are moving with the water falling, so the main challenge is finding them. Best reports have come from pulling crankbaits or slow trolling jigs and/or big minnows 10 - 14 ft deep. Watch your graphs for the thermocline, fish will stack up just above it. If single pole jigging the brush, be sure to have big minnows to reduce the short crappie and small bass bite. 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. White Bass fishing has been very good lately. They are off sandy points feeding on small shad; also look for them over main lake humps (like out from Hernando Point). Fish jigs or small crankbaits early and late in the day. Be there at daylight or you will miss the early bite. 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. Largemouth Bass will be 4 -10 ft deep on the outer edges of cover in the clearest available water in channels pulling into their banks, secondary points in coves, mud and/or rock main lake points, and behind the island. Fish shallow (topwaters, spinnerbaits) early and late in the day (or at night) and deeper midday (crankbaits, soft plastics). If there is rainfall runoff, expect catfish to bite worms and stink baits in the river and creeks. Best luck otherwise has been fishing natural baits on noodles (jugs) or trotlines. Do not set catfishing gear too deep or fish will die from low oxygen. Flooding allows bream to fatten up and grow quickly; fish for spawners over a firm bottom (flooded roads, parking lots, 4-wheeler trails, etc) using worms or crickets 3 - 6 ft deep under a bobber. Full moon is Friday. Otherwise, fish any cover on creek and river channel edges, the edges of flooded vegetation, or sunken brush tops.

The spillway had one gate open 5.5 ft (1520 cfs) Tuesday AM. Best luck should be for catfish on natural baits fished just over the bottom using a bobber.

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) 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.