Fishing ReportTunica Cutoff - 10/16/2018 3:30:46 PM
The Mississippi River was at 19.6 ft (Memphis gauge) Tuesday. It is supposed to rise to 23.5 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 remains unseasonably high and rising this week. Expect minimal fishing success until the water level drops into the "good fishing" range (15 ft falling slowly to 10 ft). Fish the outside edges of the trees when the lake is falling, and the inside edges when it is rising. Fish for bream 4 to 8 ft deep with crickets or redworms in recently flooded 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 this week will likely be for catfish fishing worms or other natural bait over flooded mudflats on shallow banks. Move stationary gears (trotlines, yo-yo's, etc.) often enough to keep up with the water level, which will be rising fairly quickly.
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.
In recent weeks, there have been reports of another Asian carp kill on Tunica Cutoff, other Mississippi River oxbows, and in the river itself. These kills have been occurring almost every year in late summer. Investigation of previous kills revealed a bacteria as the cause. Time will tell if there will be any effects on the carp or other fish.
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.