Fishing & Boating


From the COE - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Vicksburg District have closed the parking lot area at Clear Creek Boat Ramp as work continues to repair the ramp. The boat ramp was closed last year when a section of the ramp surface collapsed. It is anticipated that repairs will be finished fairly soon.


Fishing Report

Sardis Lake - 5/14/2024 3:02:49 PM
Species Detail
Largemouth Bass A few bass may still be bedding (and/or feeding shallow) with the water still rising. Target backs of coves and flats with flooded vegetation over firmer bottoms or deeper cover nearby. Fish search baits (buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, vibrating jigs), but keep another rod rigged with a soft plastic (lizard or fluke) or floating topwater to follow up missed strikes.
Crappie Bruce at Wyatt's Crossing Outdoors 901-870-0298 reports that crappie are post-spawn, scattered, and suspended from 4 - 10 ft deep out from spawning areas, in standing timber, or in open water in the mouths of major creeks and the main lake. 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 natural baits under a bobber near any cover (flooded grass, timber, brush, etc.).
Catfish The catfish bite remains good with nightcrawlers, large minnows, or cut bait. Fish in the river and creeks as long as there is rainfall runoff. Otherwise, fish over main lake flats with rod-and-reel (tight lining), noodles (jugs), or trotlines. Grabbling season runs May 1 to July 15; there have been some reports of 5 - 10 lb blue catfish (white humpbacks), but nothing big yet.
White Bass Fish sandy, main lake points with shad-imitating lures (jigs, small crankbaits, etc.). There are no size or number limits on white bass. These fish die quickly in a livewell. They will keep and taste better if put immediately into "slush" (ice/water mix).

Expect multiple rain fronts this week; keep a watch for severe weather.

Always check the links in the "Water Level" section for the lake level and if it's rising or falling. A big rain can change conditions quickly. Adjust to conditions like the fish do. Except for catfish, fishing is usually better on a slow fall than a fast rise. Water falling, fish deeper; water rising, fish shallower.

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 all gates closed (0 cfs) Tuesday. The gates may reopen this week unless there is more heavy rainfall. Best luck in the spillway is when some water is being released, but not too much. Expect frequent spillway gate closures and openings as the Corps maintains the rule curve in the reservoir above. There is a small flow of water coming out even with the gates closed. Best luck has been for catfish with natural baits near the bottom. For crappie, fish jigs and/or minnows out of the current or right along the rocks or troll or drift in the Lower Lake. For bass, cover in the old river run is the best bet, or fish along the rocks in the spillway with spinnerbaits or swimbaits.

Spillway gate openings, flow rates, and spillway water levels can be obtained at (662)563-4531 or check at Vicksburg District Daily River Bulletin for a table OR Little Tallahatchie River @ Sardis Dam, MS for a graph OR Yazoo River Basin Reservoirs 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 261.02 ft, rising 0.15 ft/day, 1.0 ft above the rule curve Tuesday. The water level is supposed to remain at summer pool (260 ft) from May 1 to August 1. Expect rapid water level rises and drawdowns as rain events happen and the Corps tries to achieve and maintain rule curve. For water level information, call (662)563-4531 or check at Vicksburg District Daily River Bulletin for a table OR Little Tallahatchie River @ Sardis Dam, MS for a graph OR Yazoo River Basin Reservoirs 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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