Fishing ReportTunica Cutoff - 7/17/2018 3:48:01 PM
The Mississippi River was at 10.9 ft (Memphis gauge) Tuesday. It is supposed to fall to 9.7 ft by Thursday, rise to 10.1 ft Friday, and then fall to 9.1 ft by Sunday. With the weir, the Mississippi River will not enter the Cutoff until it rises over 6 ft (Memphis gauge). Flood stage is 34 ft. Best fishing is usually on a slow fall from 15 to 10 ft. For the river level and 5 day forecast, call (901)544-0408 (press 2) or check https://forecast.weather.gov/product.php?site=NWS&issuedby=ORN&product=RVA&format=txt&version=1&glossary=0
Charlie's Camp and Bordeaux (Tait) ramps are the only ones open to the public. Use the honor boxes. Bait is now available across the levee.
The river will be fluctuating mostly in or near the "good fishing" range this week. Fish the outside edges of the trees when the lake is falling, and the inside edges when it is rising. Fishing should continue to improve this week as the water falls and fish move to the outside of cover. Fish for bream 4 to 8 ft deep with crickets or redworms in shoreline cover off steep banks. Fish similar areas and depths with jigs and/or minnows for crappie; trolling jigs or crankbaits off steep banks (Houseboat Pocket, etc.) out from the timber should also work. Fish cover on steep banks and points for bass with spinnerbaits or soft plastics. Fish for White Bass in the runout or off sandy points with jigs or small crankbaits. Best luck for catfish with the water falling should be in the runout on various natural baits, although the outside of cover on shallow banks should also be good. Move stationary gear (trotlines, noodles, etc.) often enough to keep up with the water level.
With the lake connected to the river, you might land a Striped Bass or hybrid, both of which have to be over 15 inches long with a daily limit of 6 fish per person. The best way to tell these fish apart is by their stripes. White Bass have 1 stripe running to the tail; stripers and hybrids have 2 or more stripes running to the tail.
DWFP fisheries biologists sampled 4, 1 acre areas in the lake in August, 2017, to compare current conditions to similar sampling done before Asian carp were present. Asian carp made up a significant portion of the fish population. Other abundant fish were Freshwater Drum and Channel Catfish, with a lot of cats near a pound (good eating size). 2017 spawned bream and crappie were fairly abundant, but larger bream and crappie were not. Hopefully, this means there should be more larger bream and crappie in the future.
An Asian carp kill occurred in late summer, but likely had little effect on the population.
Memphis District Corps personnel allow placement of artificial fish habitat. This is a good time to sweeten your favorite spots; remember to save GPS waypoints if you have the capability.
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.