Fishing & Boating


Boat ramps on COE reservoirs will remain open. See

Boat ramp access is limited with high water; several are flooded.

There is an old newspaper article that has been circulating on social media and the internet. There are no changes to crappie regulations on Sardis this year.

The road is repaved and open to Hurricane Landing. Although signs may say road work ahead, etc., the bridges on the road to Clear Creek have been replaced and repaved.

Fishing Report

Sardis Lake - 5/26/2020 6:40:27 PM
Species Detail
Largemouth Bass Largemouth Bass have been moving out with the water falling. Look for the clearest water along the edges of flooded vegetation. Weedless lures (spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, frogs, soft plastics) will work best. Lure choices will depend on water level and temperature trends. Fish faster moving lures shallower if warm and/or rising and slow down and fish deeper if cooler and/or falling.
Crappie Bruce (901-870-0298) at Wyatt's Crossing Outdoors reports crappie fishing continues to improve as the water level drops. Trolling the edges of vegetation 10 - 12 ft deep in up to 20 ft of water with jigs and/or minnows has been working. Others have had success jigging up to 14 ft deep in standing timber near the river channel. A couple of favorable crankbait bites have been reported.
Bream Bream have been biting worms or crickets fished under a bobber 3 - 5 ft deep in the bushes. Fish for spawners over a firm bottom (flooded gravel roads, 4-wheeler trails, sand, etc.).
Catfish Catfishing has slowed. Best luck has been on lines or rod-and-reel with various natural baits in the main lake or fishing under a bobber over rip-rap (ramps, dam, Indian Mound, etc.). Head for the river and creeks with worms or stinkbaits if there is rainfall runoff. Grabbling season opened May 1, but few reports so far.
White Bass Fish jigs or small crankbaits over sand-bottomed, main lake points. There are no Striped or Hybrid Striped Bass in Sardis, just White Bass which have no size or number limits.

Sardis is the closest to rule curve of the Big Four. Fish are moving downlake as falling water levels are pulling them out of flooded vegetation. Fish in or near tributaries, ditches, and other travel routes. Water falling, fish deeper; water rising, fish shallower. Rain is forecast this week.

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 9.0 ft each (4690 cfs) Tuesday AM. Best luck in the spillway and Lower Lake is when some water is being released, but not too much. Best luck recently has been for catfish on cut shad or other natural baits, mostly Blue Catfish (white river cats) about two pounds. Crappie fishing has dropped off; a few are being caught trolling in the Lower Lake. White Bass will be in any 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 spinnerbaits. Expect some Spotted (Kentucky) Bass mixed in where there is current. Bream may be caught in eddies or near the rocks fishing worms or crickets under 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 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 267.45, falling 0.2 ft/day, 7.5 ft over rule curve Tuesday. Expect rapid water level rises and drawdowns as rain events happen and the Corps tries to maintain rule curve. The water should be at summer pool (260 ft) from May 1 until August 1. 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 as it is not always updated daily.

Contact the COE office (662) 563-4531 for accessible ramps at current water levels.

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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