Fishing & Boating

Fishing Report

JP Coleman/Pickwick Lake - 12/6/2018 2:24:24 PM

Late Fall/Winter fishing report:

As water temps continue to fall, the water level will control the cold water bite for the next few months. Sudden rises in water level, which results in increased current, will typically “turn on” the bass and catfish bite, despite colder water temps.




For bass, target offshore humps, points, and river ledges with 1 oz. spinnerbaits, Alabama rigs, suspending jerkbaits, jigs, and grubs. Good electronics are a must for the off shore bite. Don’t overlook vertical bluffs and gravel bars during the cold weather, especially where the old river channel swings in close. Grubs, blade baits, and jigging spoons are good choices for a vertical presentation, but casting Alabama-rigs, suspending jerkbaits, Ned rigs, or spybaits may get you some bites as well. Some anglers target the tail waters of Pickwick and Wilson dams during the cold months in search of smallmouth. Live minnows/shiners, Alabama-rigs, and single swimbaits work well there.




The catfish bite is typically pretty tough, with the exception of periods with good current flow. Tight lining cut/whole shad along the deeper gravel bars and shallower river ledges is typically the best technique during the cold months. A reminder that Pickwick is a shared waterbody with Alabama, so the 1 catfish over 34 inch rule applies here.




Crappie can be caught during the winter; target the bigger creeks and hollows (Indian, Yellow) and look for crappie suspended near the creek channels. Most anglers typically target 20 to 30 feet of water. Hair jigs get the nod during the cold weather. Pre-spawn crappie will start to show up as early as mid to late January depending on how harsh of a winter it has been. Most crappie anglers will start in Yellow Creek and make their way to Indian Creek and Bear Creek towards the end of February.


Weekly fishing reports will pick back up in February.




For up to date Pickwick Lake water level, see

Fishing Regulations

Black bass (combined largemouth, spotted and smallmouth bass)
Crappie (combined black and white)
Catfish (blue, channel and flathead)

Lengths to Release:
Black bass: 15 inches and under
Crappie: 9 inches and under
Catfish: only 1 catfish over 34 inches may be harvested
Paddlefish:  All lengths

Creel Limit (per person, per day):
Black bass: 10
Crappie:  30
Catfish: no creel limit under 34 inches; 1 over 34 inches
Paddlefish:  0

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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