Fishing & Boating

Fishing Report

Arkabutla - 7/10/2018 4:06:59 PM

Water level 223.10, rising 0.1 ft/day, 3.1 ft above rule curve Tuesday. Water level is supposed to be at summer pool (220 ft) from May 15 until September 1. 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 water is rising because the spillway gates were closed for spillway inspection. Fishing has been slow in the heat with the water cut off. Best luck for crappie has been pulling crankbaits about 4 - 5 ft deep in 10 - 14 ft of water off main lake points. Folks pushing jigs and/or minnows have not been doing as well as cranks. Single pole jigging is not as productive as trolling. Some crappie have been coming from the river as fish move out of some of the brakes and sloughs to head downriver to deeper water. Quite a few short fish have been landed recently. To return short crappie alive and in good shape, PLEASE replace treble hooks with singles, especially the rear hook on crankbaits, and/or pinch the barbs down to make unhooking easier. Losing a few fish is better than killing a lot. For catfish, fish noodles (jugs), trotlines, or rod-and-reel with various natural baits. Best spots for catfish have been in the Hurricane Creek arm fishing cut shad with rod-and-reel and limb lines in the river. Remember, the last day for grabbling season is July 15. White Bass have started blowing up on shad. Be there at daylight at Bird Island, the main lake island, or other sandy, main lake points; fish jigs, white spinnerbaits, or small crankbaits. The fast bite only lasts about 1 - 2 hours. There are no size or number limits on White Bass. No reports on Largemouth Bass other than some incidental catches on crankbaits for crappie. Bass have been in main lake patterns on the other reservoirs; especially check out any rock and/or hard clay points. Fish topwaters or spinnerbaits early and late and crankbaits or soft plastics midday.

The spillway had all gates closed (0 cfs) and the spillway dewatered Tuesday AM for tunnel inspection. Fishing will be minimal down here until the gates are reopened, which will depend on the results of the inspection.

MDWFP fall 2017 electrofishing found most Gizzard Shad were 3 – 4 inches long (2017 spawn). Threadfin Shad were seen for the first time; most were 1 - 2 inches. Blue Catfish ("white river cats” or "white humpbacks") were the most abundant catfish; they ranged from 12 - 36 inches with big peaks at 19 and 30 inches. White Bass were less numerous than in past years; most were young-of-year (YOY) less than 10 inches, or older fish over 14 inches. Largemouth Bass were 3 - 19 inches with good proportions less than 12 inches and from 15 - 19 inches. Crappie were 2 - 14 inches with lots of "short fish". Considering spring water levels, there was a good crappie spawn (mostly 3 inch YOY); keepers were mainly 13 inches.

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.

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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