Fishing & Boating

Fishing Report

Desoto - 11/14/2017 10:21:25 AM

River Stage

As of 11/14 the Mississippi River stage at Helena was at 20.7 feet and stable.

For current river stages and forecasts click on the following link:



Fall bass fishing can be very good on river connected oxbow lakes like Desoto. Fish should be congregating around any structure that is still submerged at low water levels. Try fishing soft plastics or crank baits around points or structure near the shoreline in water between 3 and 6 feet deep.  After a rain, fish around inflowing creeks or streams, as fish sometimes stack up in these areas.



Crappie fishing remains slow at Desoto.  Most fish should be suspended off shore in deeper water areas.  Trolling open water areas with either jigs or minnows is probably your best bet. 



There are lots of catfish in Desoto Lake, though fishing is normally fair to slow this time of year.  Try tightlining on the bottom in deep areas of the lake at the mouth of the lake near where it connects to the river.  For blues and channels try chicken liver or nightcrawlers....for flatheads try live sunfish or goldfish.  Trotlines can also produce good fish and can be run with a regular fishing license as long as you are fishing less than 100 hooks. 



There's no new reports from bream anglers.  Crickets fished around structure in 4-6 feet of water is probably your best bet. 


Please be careful of jumping Silver Carp in the lake, as they are a very bad in Desoto, particularly when the water levels are low. This time of year you may encounter schools of carp swimming together near the surface.


For Mississippi River oxbow lakes, the fluctuations of the Mississippi River is an important factor for determining how the fishing is. Slow rises and slow falls produce the best fishing. The best crappie fishing on Desoto Lake is normally at water levels between 12 - 18 feet (Helena gauge).

For a general map of the lake, click on the following link:


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