Fishing & Boating

Fishing Report

Arkabutla - 10/17/2017 2:52:51 PM

Water level 218.16 ft, falling 0.25 ft/day, 1.9 ft above rule curve Tuesday. The water level is supposed to be drawn down from summer pool (220 ft) starting September 1 to winter pool (210 ft) December 1. For water level information, call (662) 562-6261 or check at for a table or for a graph. Be sure to check the date on the table as it is not always updated daily.

Fall drawdown is underway, but the water level is still above rule curve from heavy rains from hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Flooded vegetation is coming out of the water. Water temperatures are falling from the 70s this week with cooler weather. As the water falls and cools, expect fish to start moving shallower. Fall drawdown concentrates fish in creek and river channels as they move out of the shallows into the main lake; predators feed on bait fish pulled out of the grass and into deeper water.

The water level is pulling out of the flooded grass. Cold fronts and winds have made fishing tough recently, but it should improve when the water falls from 218 to 216 ft. For crappie, fish very slowly in the deeper edges of the grass with jigs and/or minnows. Spider rigging out from the grass may do better than single pole fishing, especially as the cover disappears. For catfish, fish worms, shad, or stinkbaits in the river and creeks if there is any rain runoff, or fish various natural baits on trotlines or noodles (jugs) if there is no runoff. Catfish are also moving toward deeper water in the main lake via the river and creeks. Fish for White Bass over sandy points in the main lake with jigs, spinners, or small crankbaits. There are no size or number limits on White Bass. No reports on Largemouth Bass, but they should be on any cover (stumps, stake beds, flooded grass, etc.) close to channel edges or dropoffs; look for the clearest water available and fish spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, or soft plastics.

The spillway had one gate open 6 ft (1600 cfs) Tuesday. Few reports from down here; best luck has been on catfish fishing natural baits. Fish for White Bass with jigs or small crankbaits in the faster water.

All fish captured and kept with dip or landing nets, cast nets, boat mounted scoops, wire baskets, minnow seines, and minnow traps in the spillway areas bordered by rip rap must be immediately placed on ice or in a dry container. Game fish caught with these gears must be released. This regulation was enacted to reduce the potential of transferring harmful Asian carps to the reservoir or other waters.

The daily creel limit for crappie is 15 per person. Crappie must be over 12 inches long. 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 has a 15 crappie creel limit.

Limits on Black Bass (Largemouth and Spotted Bass) are statewide limits: no size limit, 10 fish per person daily.

Contact the COE office (662) 562-6261 for accessible ramps at current water levels.




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