Fishing & Boating

Fishing Report

Arkabutla - 6/11/2019 3:51:56 PM

Water level 232.21, rising 0.1 ft/day, 12.2 ft over rule curve Tuesday. The water level is supposed to be at summer pool (220 ft) from May 15 until September 1. Emergency spillway level is 238.3. Expect rapid water level rises and drawdowns as rain events happen and the Corps tries to achieve and maintain summer pool. For water level information, call (662)562-6261 or check at for a table or for a graph or for both. Be sure to check the date on the table as it is not always updated daily.

The reservoir rose over 3 ft since last week but should be cresting and/or starting to fall this week. Angler access is still limited due to flooding.

Some crappie anglers were landing limits before the water rose, but the rise slowed fishing considerably. Most crappie anglers are spider rigging jigs and/or minnows or pulling crankbaits 7 - 10 ft deep. Some days one works better than the other. Just before the rise, single poling fishing was doing best. Best luck has been in or out from the willows in the mouths of major creeks. Although some good fish are being caught, a lot of short fish are being reported. White Bass are moving from the river and creeks to main lake points; fish jigs or small crankbaits over sand bars in the channels or over sandy points. There are no Striped or Hybrid Striped Bass in Arkabutla, just White Bass and a few Yellow Bass. Neither has a size or daily number limit. Largemouth Bass will be 3 - 7 ft deep on the outer edges of cover in the clearest available water where weedless lures (spinnerbait, buzzbait) can catch or locate fish; keep a weedless soft plastic rigged to cast for missed strikes. Catfishing has been slow lately as fish are more interested in spawning than eating. There have been a couple of decent reports handgrabbling. Best luck has been fishing natural baits on trotlines. Fish worms under a bobber for Channel Catfish spawning in the rip-rap rocks. Flooding allows bream to fatten up and grow quickly; fish for spawners over a firm bottom (flooded roads, parking lots, 4-wheeler trails, etc) using worms or crickets 2 - 5 ft deep under a bobber. There is a full moon this coming Monday.

The spillway had one gate open 5.0 ft (1500 cfs) Tuesday. Best fishing down here has been for catfish on the rocks with various natural baits.

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) 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.

Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Fisheries Biologists use various sampling methods to assess the fish populations in the State’s waters.   Sampling results for selected water bodies are summarized in Reel Facts Sheets.


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