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Fishing & Boating

Alert

Weekly fishing reports will resume the week of February 15, 2022.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Vicksburg District announces the closure of Cole’s Point boat ramp. The area closed Oct. 11, 2021, to accommodate equipment for construction at the Sardis Lake Marina. Fishermen are encouraged to use the Pat’s Bluff boat ramp until the work is completed. See the Vicksburg District website for details.

COE maintenance is ongoing at the Clear Creek Recreation Area boat ramp restrooms.


Fishing Report

Sardis Lake - 12/6/2022 3:46:07 PM
Species Detail
Largemouth Bass Fish main lake points or on the edges of creek and river channels (any cover is a plus) 4 to 8 ft deep with soft plastics, bladed jigs, spinnerbaits, or jerkbaits.
Crappie Bruce at Wyatt's Crossing Outdoors 901-870-0298 should reopen the bait shop March1. Drift or troll jigs and/or minnows around the dam or over the river channel in the main lake or jig in any remaining cover. Use bigger baits and/or fish deeper to target larger crappie. 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 redworms or waxworms under a bobber in any cover.
Catfish Fish natural baits on rod-and-reel, noodles (jugs), or trotlines over main lake flats or on worms or stink baits in the river and creeks after rainfall.
White Bass Fish off hard clay or sandy points and near the dam with shad-imitating jigs, spoons, or small crankbaits. There are no size or number limits on white bass.

Winter fishing can be good since the fish often school tightly. Fish bite better after a few warm, sunny days. Unlike the 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. Check water level trends; except for catfish, fishing is usually better on a slow fall than a fast rise. Water falling, fish deeper; water rising, fish shallower.

MDWFP completed fall 2022 electrofishing. Bass, bream, crappie, and catfish were in shallow (3 - 6 ft) cover. Crappie were also suspended deeper in standing timber or other cover. White bass up to 3 lb were concentrated on the dam and Engineer's Point.

 

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 and Lower Lake is when some water is being released, but not too much. For crappie, fish jigs and/or minnows out of the current or right along the rocks. They can also be caught trolling or drifting in the Lower Lake. 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, cover in the old river run is the best bet, or fish right on the rocks in the spillway with crankbaits or swimbaits. Spillway gate openings, flow rates, and spillway water levels can be obtained at (662)563-4531 or check at http://www.mvk-wc.usace.army.mil/bulletin.txt for a table or http://mvk-wc.usace.army.mil/plots/sardplot.png for a graph or http://www.mvk-wc.usace.army.mil/resrep.htm for both (click on 24-hour change for picture explanation of gate flow, spillway flow, etc.). Be sure to check the date on the table; it usually is updated midday.

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, including Sardis Lower Lake, 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 (236 ft) from December 1 until mid-January, then it should rise to 241 ft by March 1. High winter water releases should mean good fishing in the spillway and Lower Lake. Emergency spillway level is 281.4. For water level information, call (662)563-4531 or check at http://www.mvk-wc.usace.army.mil/bulletin.txt for a table or http://mvk-wc.usace.army.mil/plots/sardplot.png for a graph or http://www.mvk-wc.usace.army.mil/resrep.htm for both (click on 24-hour change for picture explanation of gate flow, spillway flow, etc.). Be sure to check the date on the table; it is usually updated midday.


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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