Fishing & Boating

Fishing Report

Desoto - 6/22/2017 8:10:01 AM

River Stage

As of 6/22 the Mississippi River stage at Helena was at 20 ft and on a slow fall, but it's predicted to begin rising again soon.  Water levels have fallen about 7 feet since last week.  You can finally get back to the public ramp now, though water levels are still relatively high and back in the trees.

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



Your best bet for bass is probably soft plastics around 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 terrestrial prey.  A top water frog in really shallow water might be worth trying.



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.  Jigs or minnows are the best bait choices.



There are lots of catfish in Desoto Lake!  Try tightlining on the bottom in deep areas of the lake at the mouth of the lake near where it connects to the river.  For blues and channels try chicken liver or nightcrawlers....for flatheads try live sunfish or goldfish.



For bream, crickets fished around structure in 3 - 5 feet of water is probably your best bet.  If you can get back into any borrow pits or back water areas that are connected to Desoto at high water, bream fishing is usually great in those.


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: