Water level 201.60 ft, rising 0.4 ft/day; 4.6 ft above rule curve Tuesday. For water level information, call (662)226-5911 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 193 ft by December 1.
Unusually cold, windy weather has reduced both fish and fishing activity. Recent rains have raised and muddied the lake, but it should start to clear and fall later this week. A warm up late this week may improve things also. Access is limited at some ramps at current water levels. Collins’ Bait Shop (662)226-3581 reports fishing pressure has been light with hunting seasons starting. Best luck for crappie lately has been slow trolling jigs and/or minnows near the bottom, with 8 – 9 ft the best depth. The Skuna River area, Carver Point, and the mouth of Perry Creek have been producing fish. For catfish, fish worms, shad, or stink baits in the rivers and creek channels or on main lake flats. Shad or flavored chicken works better on bigger blue catfish (white river cats) than worms or chicken livers. Look for white bass schooling on shad in the main lake; fish over sandy, main lake points with small shad-colored crankbaits, swimbaits, or jigs. 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.
The spillway was releasing 1300 cfs Monday. Expect the gates to be opened later on this week. There have been some reports of crappie being taken on jigs and/or minnows fishing 8 – 9 ft deep in the old river run. Best luck has been for blue catfish with minnows, nightcrawlers, or shad drifting just above bottom with a heavy weight (and expect to lose it), either with or without a slip-cork.