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Sardis Lake


Monday, March 20, 2017 3:37 PM

Water level 245.26 ft, stable, 1.0 ft above rule curve Monday. Expect rapid water level rises and drawdowns as rain events happen and the Corps tries to maintain rule curve; it is supposed to rise from 241 ft on March 1 to summer pool (260 ft) on May 1. For water level information, call (662)563-4531 or check at http://155.76.244.230/offices/ed/edh/docs/bullet.txt for a table or http://155.76.244.230/offices/ed/edh/plots/sardplot.png for a graph.

Last week's cold temperatures and wind made fishing difficult and set the fish back awhile, but did not produce enough rain to raise water levels. Warmer temperatures this week should have fish moving shallower, but don't expect much rain or rise until late in the week.

Best reports on crappie have come slow-trolling jigs and minnows or just minnows in the mid-lake area 4 - 12 ft deep; big fish are holding deeper. Several 3+ lb fish were seen in MDWFP angler surveys this weekend. Some fish (more Black Crappie) have been landed at similar depths jigging standing timber and other cover. No reports on Largemouth Bass. A few White Bass have been mixed in with the crappie, but some have started started running up the creeks and river where they can be taken on jigs, spinners, or small crankbaits. There are no size or number limits on White Bass. For catfish, use noodles (jugs) or trotlines baited with shad or other baits over mudflats. Rod-and-reel will work in the river with incoming rain runoff or off the banks in the main lake. The ramp into the river at Wyatt's Crossing was recently cleaned off.

The spillway had two gates open 0.5 ft each (200 cfs) Monday. About the best reports here have been a few crappie and White Bass. For White Bass, drift a 2 jig rig just off bottom in the current or fish small crankbaits or tailspinner lures. For crappie, fish jigs and/or minnows under a bobber near the rocks. Catfish can be taken fishing natural baits near the bottom.

MDWFP shocking in the Lower Lake last year found Silver (jumping) Carp. Anglers are cautioned that small Asian carp (Silver and Bighead) are very hard to tell from shad. As a precaution, it would be a wise conservation practice if anglers refrain from moving any live "shad" caught down here anywhere else to avoid spreading these fish.

MDWFP fall 2016 electrofishing found most Gizzard Shad were about 3 inches long (spawned last spring). Threadfin Shad had shown up again; most were about 2 inches. Blue Catfish ("white river cats or "white humpbacks") were abundant in creek and river channels and shallow flats; most fish were 13 - 35 inches long with a big group near 21 inches. White Bass were uncommon; most were 11 - 12 inches and were mainly found on sandy points. Largemouth Bass, crappie, and bream were around any remaining cover (brush, stakes, stumps, etc.). Bass of all sizes were seen with a good proportion from 16 - 21 inches. Crappie were 2 - 16 inches with lots of "short fish"; keepers were mainly 13 inches.

MDWFP fall 2016 trapnetting found fish mostly from 2016 and 2015 less than 8 inches, although larger fish were seen, especially Black Crappie.

The daily creel limit for crappie is 15 per person. Crappie must be over 12 inches. Anglers may use no more than 4 poles per person and no more than 2 hooks or lures per pole. There is a 40 crappie per boat limit for boats with 3 or more anglers. The 12 inch length limit does not apply to the reservoir spillway, but the spillway, including Sardis Lower Lake, has a 15 crappie creel limit.

Limits on Black Bass (Largemouth and Spotted Bass) are statewide limits: no size limit, 10 fish per person daily.

Contact the COE office (662)563-4531 for accessible ramps at current water levels.

 

The daily creel limit for crappie is 15 per person. Crappie must be over 12 inches. Anglers may use no more than 4 poles per person and no more than 2 hooks or lures per pole. There is a 40 crappie per boat limit for boats with 3 or more anglers. The 12 inch length limit does not apply to the reservoir spillway, but the spillway, including Sardis Lower Lake, has a 15 crappie creel limit.

Limits on Black Bass (Largemouth and Spotted Bass) are statewide limits: no size limit, 10 fish per person daily.

Contact the COE office (662)563-4531 for accessible ramps at current water levels.



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