Water level 251.23, rising 0.1 ft/day; 2.0 ft above rule curve Tuesday. For water level information, call (662)563-4531 or check at http://126.96.36.199/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 236 ft by December 1.
With the lake rising, expect most fishing, except for catfish in the river and creeks, to be slow. Fishing should improve later in the week as the water level stabilizes and starts to clear and fall again. Best luck for crappie has been trolling jigs and/or minnows 6 – 12 ft deep in the main lake from the dam to Holiday Lodge. Several folks have been jigging the timber from Hurricane Creek to Holiday Lodge, too. Expect a few catfish or white bass fishing for crappie. For catfish, fish the river and creeks with worms, shad, or stink baits as long as the rainfall runoff lasts. White bass are schooling on little shad; fish over sandy, main lake points with small shad-colored crankbaits or jigs. As the lake resumes falling, it will pull fish, including largemouth bass, out of the backs of creeks into the deeper channels. Fish spinnerbaits, swim baits, or soft plastics on channel edges 4 – 6 ft deep early and late in the day or Carolina rig soft plastics 10 – 15 ft deep on offshore structure or points .
MDWFP electrofishing last week found lots of blue catfish from 2 – 20 lbs in the river down from Wyatts. Don’t expect to catch them on chicken livers and worms like channel cats. Bass, bream, and blue cats were on cover in the river and on brush tops in the main lake. Crappie were more abundant on deeper cover, especially black crappie on brush tops.
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 had two gates open 1.0 ft each (500 cfs) Tuesday. Expect it to open up and fishing to improve later in the week. Most fishing down here has been for catfish with natural baits. Some folks have been picking up a few crappie trolling in the Lower Lake.
Contact the COE office (662)563-4531 for accessible ramps at current water levels.
The daily limit on black bass (largemouth and spotted) is 7 fish, any size.
The daily crappie creel limit is 15 per person. Crappie must be over 11 inches. Anglers fishing Sardis Lake may use no more than 3 poles per person and no more than 2 hooks or lures per pole. There is a 40 crappie per boat limit for boats with 3 or more anglers.
The crappie length limit does not apply to the reservoir spillway, but the spillway, including Sardis Lower Lake, has a 20 crappie creel limit.