Fishing & Boating


Caution is advised as the water level falls; watch for obstructions and shallow areas.

Because of the collapse of a portion of the Clear Creek ramp March 7, 2023, the COE has closed the ramp until further notice.

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 - 9/18/2023 3:24:50 PM
Species Detail
Largemouth Bass Fish shallow cover (brush tops, stake beds, timber, etc.) early and late in the day with topwaters or other “search baits” (spinnerbaits, bladed jigs), but have another rod rigged with soft plastics to follow up on missed strikes. Midday, fish main lake points or offshore ledges with crankbaits or soft plastics. Fish the edges (water 0 to 4 ft over the banks) of creek and river channels as fish move downstream.
Crappie Bruce at Wyatt's Crossing Outdoors 901-870-0298 reports crappie are moving via the river and creeks to the main lake. Most boats are from Piney Point to the dam; boat ramps at the dam have been crowded lately. Jig, troll, or drift jigs and/or minnows or pull crankbaits 6 to 18 ft deep for suspended fish in the main lake, standing timber, or the mouths of major creek coves. Advanced electronics suggest fish are present, but not biting. Fish are holding deeper (12 - 18 ft) closer to the dam than in the upper end. 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 under a bobber near any cover (brush tops, timber, riprap, etc.).
Catfish Catfishing remains good on various natural baits. Due to requests, Bruce at Wyatt's Crossing Outdoors 901-870-0298 is carrying large minnows and skipjack for catfish. Fish with rod-and-reel (tight lining), noodles (jugs), or trotlines in the river channel where fish are heading down the lake or over main lake flats. Use worms or stink baits in the river and creeks after rainfall.
White Bass Fish in the river from Wyatt's Crossing on down with shad-imitating lures (jigs, small spinnerbaits, etc.) from the bank or a boat. Cast jigs or small crankbaits over hard-bottomed, sandy main lake points. 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).

Fall drawdown is underway. Fish will follow the river and creek channels to the main lake. Nights will be a little cooler this week. No matter what the Tuesday fishing report says, always check the links in the "Water Level" section for the lake's current level and if it's rising or falling. A big rain can change conditions quickly. Adjust to current 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 two gates open 4.0 ft each (1785 cfs) Monday. 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 in eddies on natural bait fished near the bottom. Bream should be biting crickets fished under a bobber along the riprap. For largemouth and spotted bass, cover in the old river run is the best bet, or fish right on the rocks in the spillway with crankbaits or swimbaits. Few crappie reports yet. 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 253.41 ft, falling 0.1 ft/day, 0.7 ft above rule curve Monday. Fall drawdown started August 1; the water level is supposed to reach winter pool (236 ft) by December 1. Expect 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 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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