Sardis Lake - 7/28/2015
Water level 265.24 ft, falling 0.15 ft/day; 5.2 ft above rule curve Tuesday. For water level information, call (662)563-4531 or check at http://220.127.116.11/offices/ed/edh/docs/bullet.txt for a table or http://18.104.22.168/offices/ed/edh/plots/sardplot.png for a graph. The lake is supposed to be maintained at summer pool (260 ft) from May 1 – August 1.
The water is falling fairly quickly. Best luck for crappie has been fishing crankbaits 10 – 16 ft deep in the main lake or major creek mouths toward the dam. A lot of short fish are being reported; use bigger baits and fish deeper to discourage smaller fish. Pinch down the barbs on crankbait hooks to make releasing short fish faster and less damaging; it does no good to release dead fish. Quite a few blue catfish and white bass have been hitting crankbaits meant for crappie. Catfishing on lines or rod-and-reel has been picking up as fish start feeding after they’re done spawning. White bass are in the main lake feeding on shad; fish jigs, tailspinner lures, or small crankbaits over sandy points. There is no size or number limit on white bass. For largemouth bass, fish spinnerbaits or topwaters in shallower water over flooded cover early and late in the day and crankbaits or soft plastics in deeper water on channel edges or main lake points ; look for clearer water.
As the water falls, folks report balls of “fish eggs” or “jellyfish” clinging to sticks, trees, and about everything else. These are actually colonial animals (like coral) that filter plankton out of the water. Nibbling by fish results in a rounded colony. Web search “freshwater bryozoans” for more on these interesting, ancient animals.
The spillway had two gates open 5.0 ft each (2600 cfs) Tuesday. Best luck down here has been has been for small blue catfish on nightcrawlers or cut shad. Some largemouth and spotted bass can be taken fishing spinnerbaits or crankbaits near the rocks.
Starting July 22, 2015, the daily creel limit for crappie is 15 per person. Crappie must be over 12 inches. Anglers may use no more than 4 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 12 inch length limit does not apply to the reservoir spillway, but the spillway, including Sardis Lower Lake, has a 15 crappie creel limit.
Starting July 22, 2015, limits on black bass (largemouth and spotted) go to statewide limits: no size limit, 10 fish per person daily.
Contact the COE office (662)563-4531 for accessible ramps at current water levels.