Fishing & Boating


Boating access is improving as water levels are falling. Most ramps are accessible now.

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

Fishing Report

Sardis Lake - 9/21/2021 4:07:29 PM
Species Detail
Largemouth Bass Fish topwaters over main lake points very early and late in the day (or at night). Flip, pitch, or cast jigs, crankbaits, and/or soft plastics 8 - 14 ft deep on the same points midday, as well as humps, ledges, and old pond levees. Also, fish any cover on river and creek channel edges where the water is in the channels or up to 4 ft over the banks. Most bass are 3 - 5 lb.
Crappie Bruce at Wyatt's Crossing Outdoors 901-870-0298 and MDWFP creel surveys report best luck has been fishing 10 - 12 ft deep in 16 - 20 ft of water in standing timber or over other cover (stake beds, brush tops). Trolling crankbaits or jigs and/or minnows in the main lake (the dam has been popular) has been yielding mostly short white crappie. Trollers have also been landing catfish and white bass. 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 Few reports lately.
Catfish Fish various natural baits in the river and creeks as long as there is rainfall runoff. Otherwise, fish natural baits (ex. red, flavored chicken, shad) over main lake flats with lines, jugs (noodles), or rod-and-reel.
White Bass Few reports lately. Fish jigs, spinners, or small crankbaits off sandy points very early and late in the day; Piney Point, Holiday Lodge, and Cole’s Point are good spots. There are no size or number limits on White Bass.

Recent rains have put the fall drawdown on pause. Expect it to resume later this week. Fall weather should arrive midweek; it may turn the fish off a couple of days, but they will likely move shallower. Fish will use deeper water (river, creeks, sloughs) to move towards the main lake. Water falling, fish deeper; water rising, fish shallower.

Short crappie this spring were either 2-year-old fish (big 2019 spawn) averaging about 8 - 9 inches or 3-year-old fish (big 2018 spawn) averaging just under 12 inches. 2018 crappie should grow to legal size mid-summer through fall. It may not seem like they're growing because many will be harvested as soon as they're legal. Unlike the last few springs, high water did not protect keeper fish from heavy spring harvest for very 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 2.0 ft each Tuesday PM. Expect gates to be opened more later this week. 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. Best luck in the spillway and Lower Lake is when some water is being released, but not too much. Best luck lately has been for catfish using natural baits fished near the bottom. Fish for crappie with jigs and/or minnows along the rocks or trolling in the Lower Lake. Fish right on the rocks in the spillway with crankbaits or a bladed jig for both Largemouth and Spotted Bass; alternately, fish soft plastics fish around wood cover in the old river run. Fish the same areas for bream with worms or crickets.

Decomposing vegetation, low oxygen in deeper water, and a bottom outlet from the lake above result in releasing hydrogen sulfide gas (“rotten egg gas”) into the spillway.

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 was 262.17 ft, rising 0.25 ft/day, 9.9 ft above rule curve Tuesday. Water levels are supposed to fall from 260 ft (summer pool) on July 29 to 236 ft (winter pool) on December 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.

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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