Fishing & Boating

Fishing Report

Desoto - 6/12/2019 3:48:37 PM

Recreational boating activity has been temporarily suspended on the Mississippi River, its tributaries and oxbow lakes or other lakes and waterways that are influenced and/or affected by high water of the river. The suspension impacts only recreational boating and not boating that is related to transportation to and from homes. All boating activity that is allowed on the suspended waterways shall be conducted in accordance with a “dead slow; leave no wake” standard.

 The ramp at Desoto Lake is currently inaccessible due to high water levels. Please check back later when water levels begin to fall. 


River Stage

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

Mississippi River Stages



Look for fish in water between 4 and 8 feet deep near structure.  Good bait choices include soft plastics, spinnerbaits, jigs.  Try fishing around the steep rocky banks, points, or around logs or stumps. Normally the best bite occurs on a slow fall of the river.



Crappie should be associated with submerged brush, laydowns, or other structure. Try trolling in water 8-15 feet deep with jigs or minnows.



For bream, look for fish to be in water 3-6 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. Bream fishing is usually slow this time of the year.



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.  Catfish fishing is often slow during the winter time.


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. 


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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