Fishing & Boating

Fishing Report

Desoto - 9/12/2018 4:56:40 PM


River Stage

As of 9/12 the MS River Stage at Helena is at 18.6 feet and will continue to rise for the remainder of the week.


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

Mississippi River Stages



Bass should be in continuing to follow their late summertime patterns.  Look for fish in shallow water between 3 and 6 feet deep near structure.  Good bait choices include top water lures like buzzbaits, soft plastics, or large crankbaits.  Try fishing around the steep rocky banks, points, or around logs or stumps.  Best times of day should be early morning and late evening.



For bream, look for fish to be in water less than 4 feet deep, especially around logs brush tops, or other structure near the shoreline.  Most anglers use crickets, but red worms are also a good bait choice. 



Crappie should be suspended off shore in deeper waters this time of year at Desoto. Try trolling in water 8-15 feet deep with jigs or minnows.



For catfish, try tightlining or fishing trotlines along the shoreline in water less than 6 feet deep.  Blues, channels, and flatheads are all present in Desoto Lake.   Best baits for blues and channels should be nightcrawlers or chicken liver.  For flathead use live bait like goldfish.


Silver Carp

Please be aware that Silver carp are very abundant in Desoto Lake and may jump out of the water and collide with boater, skiers, and anglers.  They seem to also be most active this time of year, so anglers are warned to keep an eye out for them while on the lake.  Also, we often experience silver carp fish kills this time of year on Delta oxbows such as Desoto.  The cause of these die-offs is currently unknown.


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).


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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