Water level 237.60 ft, stable; 4.3 ft above rule curve Tuesday. For water level information, call (662)563-4571 or check at http://22.214.171.124/offices/ed/edh/docs/bullet.txt for a table or http://ftp.mvk.usace.army.mil/offices/ed/edh/graphs1.htm for a graph. Fall drawdown started August 1 with a target of 230 ft by December 1.
Unusually cold, windy weather has reduced both fish and fishing activity. A warm up late this week may improve things slightly. Access is limited at most ramps at current water levels. A club crappie tournament this past Saturday was won with 13.50 lb (7 fish); big fish was 2.47. Only 7 of 37 boats caught 7 fish limits under cold, windy conditions. Most crappie anglers are spider-rigging jigs and/or minnows 6 - 14 ft deep in the main lake. Minnows have been the key to getting bites, but are also attracting more short fish. Crappie can also be taken fishing planted brush tops 3 – 6 ft deep. For white bass, fish over sandy, main lake points with small shad-colored crankbaits, swimbaits, or jigs. For catfish, fish worms, shad, or stink baits in the river and creek channels or on main lake flats. As the lake falls, it pulls fish, including largemouth bass, out of the backs of creeks into the deeper channels. Fish spinnerbaits, swim baits, or soft plastics on river or creek channel edges 2 – 6 ft deep or fish crankbaits or soft plastics 4 – 10 ft deep on any cover (brush tops, stake beds, old timber) off main lake points.
As the water falls, folks report balls of “fish eggs” or “jellyfish” clinging to sticks, trees, and about everything else. Those blobs are actually colonial animals called bryozoans that filter plankton out of the water. Nibbling by fish causes the colony to minimize its surface area to a round shape. Web search “freshwater bryozoans” for more on these interesting, ancient animals.
MDWFP electrofishing recently found bass, bream, and crappie on cover, especially brush tops, in 2 – 6 ft of water. Several bass over 7 lbs were weighed. Most crappie on brush tops were keeper size black crappie. Crappie were also in standing timber 6 – 8 ft deep. White bass and small largemouths were scattered on sandy flats feeding on small shad.
The spillway was releasing (1400 cfs) Tuesday. Best luck down here has been for catfish on various natural baits. Some white bass can be taken in the faster water and a few bream and bass can be taken on the rocks.