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Tuesday, April 18, 2017 1:18 PM

River Stage

As of 4/12 the Mississippi River stage at Helena was at 30.6 ft and has crested. The river is pretty high and is forecasted to be falling for the rest of the week.

For current river stages and forecasts click on the following link:


Fishing is normally tough at Desoto when the water is very high like this, and there are no new reports for this week.


With the high water, looks for crappie to be back in newly flooded areas in water less than 8 feet deep.  Crappie may be staging over flooded willows or other vegetation, or they may be up in just a couple feet of water preparing to spawn.  Jigs or minnows are the best bait choices.


Your best bet for bass is probably soft plastics around newly flooded structure such as flooded willows in water between 3 and 6 feet in depth.  Look for fish to move back over newly flooded areas and be feeding on terrerstrial prey.  A topwater frog in really shallow water might be worth trying.


There are lots of catfish in Desoto Lake!  Try tightlining on the bottom with nightcrawlers or other catfish baits, especially in deep areas of the lake at the mouth of the lake near where it connects to the river.


Bream fishing is slow this time of year.  Crickets fished around structure is probably your best bet, but bream fishing should be better in a month or two.


Please be careful of jumping Silver Carp in the lake, as they are a very bad in Desoto, particularly near the chute going out to the River. 

For Mississippi River oxbow lakes, the fluctuations of the Mississippi River is an important factor for determining how the fishing is. Slow rises and slow falls produce the best fishing. The best crappie fishing on Desoto Lake is normally at water levels between 12 - 18 feet (Helena gauge).

For a general map of the lake, click on the following link: http://outfitters.org/fishing/lakes/desoto.pdf


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