Fishing & Boating


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 - 5/24/2022 4:04:58 PM
Species Detail
Largemouth Bass Fish shallow (topwaters, spinnerbaits) early and late in the day. Fish secondary and main lake points midday (any cover is a plus) 5 to 8 ft deep with soft plastics, bladed jigs, or spinnerbaits. The St. Jude bass tournament is Sunday, so expect heavy traffic.
Crappie Bruce at Wyatt's Crossing Outdoors 901-870-0298 reports most folks are trolling, drifting, or jigging the timber 5 to 8 ft deep in 11 to 14 ft of water. The Magnolia Crappie Club tournament May 20 was won with 13.43 lb (7 fish); big fish was 2.42. Nearly 60% of teams fishing weighed in a 7 fish tournament limit. 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 crickets or redworms 3 - 5 ft under a bobber in any cover.
Catfish Grabbling season started May 1 and runs through July 15. Some fish have started showing up in boxes lately. Fish various natural baits in the river and creeks as long as there is rainfall runoff. Otherwise, fish trotlines over main lake flats. Channel cats should hit worms under a bobber fish over rip-rap.
White Bass Fish jigs, spinners, or small crankbaits over sandy main lake points early AM or late PM. There are no size or number limits on white bass.

Recent rains stabilized the falling water level, but it may rise if we get more rain. 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 fall 2021 electrofishing was completed Nov. 30. The fish population has expanded due to recent flood years. Lots of 1 - 5 lb largemouth bass were seen, plus smaller and larger fish. There was a good 2021 crappie spawn (now 3 - 4 inches). Short and legal crappie were seen, but most adult fish were deeper than electrofishing could reach. Catfish were common; blues were larger and more abundant than channels. 2021's gizzard shad (3 - 4 inches) were very abundant. No threadfin shad were seen; they were severely reduced (or eliminated) by cold weather in February. Bluegill (bream) were good-sized, but not as numerous as expected. More information will be provided as data are analyzed.

MDWFP fall 2021 trap netting was completed Dec 17. A very large 2021 year class was seen (black and white crappie), but the 2020 year class was weaker than expected. However, catch rates were the highest seen netting. Other than the 2021 year class, most were from the big 2019 year class. 2019 white crappie averaged 11.6 inches long. 

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 two gates open 5.25 ft each (2470 cfs) Tuesday. Best luck in the spillway and Lower Lake is when some water is being released, but not too much. For crappie either troll with jigs and/or minnows 6 - 10 ft deep in the Lower Lake or 3 - 5 ft deep under a bobber along the rocks. Fish natural baits near the bottom for catfish; a slip bobber makes casting and depth control easier. Fish the spillway rocks with spinnerbaits, crankbaits, or a bladed jig for both Largemouth and Spotted Bass; alternately, fish soft plastics around wood cover in the old river run. White bass will be in the current where you can drift a 2-jig rig just off bottom or cast small crankbaits or tailspinner lures. Spillway gate openings, flow rates, and spillway water levels can be obtained at (662)563-4531 or check at for a table or for a graph or 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

Water level 260.52, stable, 0.5 ft above rule curve Tuesday. The water level should be maintained at summer pool (260 ft) from May 1 until August 1. Expect rapid water level rises and drawdowns as rain events happen and the Corps tries to achieve and maintain the rule curve. Emergency spillway level is 281.4. For water level information, call (662)563-4531 or check at for a table or for a graph or 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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