The current river stage at Helena is near 14 ft. and on a moderate rise.
Bass should be up near structure or suspended near points or dropoffs and along the newly flooded vegetation. Look for inflowing water from recent rains and runoff as good areas too. Try tossing a spinnerbait or a deep diving crankbait around these locations.
Crappie are beginning to be caught up around the flooded willows but mostly by anglers that are trolling. Try trolling in the deeper portions of the lake, about 5-6 ft deep, with jigs or minnows for bait, or try fishing around submerged brush or tree tops.
For Mississippi River oxbow lakes, the fluctuations of the Mississippi River is an important factor for determining how the fishing is. Slow rises and slow falls produce the best fishing. The best crappie fishing on Desoto Lake is normally at water levels between 12-18 feet (Helena gauge).
For a general map go to Http://outfitters.org Click on public waters and then click on Desoto Lake under "more area lake maps".