Fishing ReportSardis Lake - 8/20/2019 3:08:52 PM
Water level 269.49, falling 0.2 ft/day, 12.6 ft over rule curve Tuesday. Water levels are supposed to fall from 260 ft (summer pool) starting July 29 to 236 ft (winter pool) on December 1. Emergency spillway level is 281.4. For water level information, call (662)563-4531 or check at http://www.mvk-wc.usace.army.mil/bulletin.txt for a table or http://mvk-wc.usace.army.mil/plots/sardplot.png for a graph or http://www.mvk-wc.usace.army.mil/resrep.htm for both. Be sure to check the date on the table as it is not always updated daily.
Fall drawdown is supposed to be underway, but the water is still well above summer pool. With the water falling, shallow fish (including bait fish) will be following the river, creeks, and ditches towards deeper water. The heat has affected anglers more than the fish. Angler access is still limited due to high water, but improving. You can launch at Coontown Crossing and the high water ramp at Wyatt's Crossing.
Most folks are catching suspended crappie pulling or pushing crankbaits 16 - 22 ft deep in 20+ ft of water outside the tree line, the mouths of major creek coves, and in the main lake. Some are spider rigging or single poling jigs and/or minnows. Although some good fish are being caught, a lot of short fish are being released. Replace treble hooks with single hooks and/or pinch down the barbs to make releasing short fish faster and less damaging; it does no good to release dead crappie. Crappie are usually shallower early and move deeper later in the day. Crappie anglers may pick up some catfish or White Bass. White Bass are in the main lake feeding on small shad, but there are still some in the river. Fish jigs or small crankbaits over sandbars in the river channel and over sandy, main lake points early and late in the day; get there at daylight for the early bite. There are no Striped or Hybrid Striped Bass in Sardis, just White Bass that have no size or number limit. Largemouth Bass will be 5 - 15 ft deep in the river and creek channels feeding on concentrated bait fish, off secondary points in major coves, or off main lake points. Fish topwaters, spinnerbaits, swimbaits, or crankbaits, but keep a Texas-rigged soft plastic handy to cast for missed strikes. Fish shallower early and late in the day and deeper midday. If there is any rainfall runoff, fish for catfish in the river and creeks with worms or stink baits. Otherwise, fish cut skipjack, shad, or other natural baits with your gear of choice (rod-and-reel, trotlines, noodles, etc.) over main lake flats or in channels. Flooding allows bream to fatten up and grow quickly; fish for spawners over a firm bottom (flooded roads, parking lots, 4-wheeler trails, etc) using worms or crickets 1.5 - 5 ft deep under a bobber.
The spillway had two gates open 8.0 ft each (4305 cfs) Tuesday AM. Spillway fishing is usually better with some current. Most fishing now is for catfish. Fish natural baits near the bottom; a slip cork or bobber will result in fewer hang-ups in the rocks. Jugs will work in the Lower Lake. For crappie, fish jigs and/or minnows out of the current (eddies) or right along the rocks. Few reports now on crappie. Fish for White Bass with jigs or small crankbaits (watch the rocks!) in the current. For Largemouth and Spotted Bass, cover in the old river run is the best bet, or fish right on the rocks in the spillway with crankbaits or spinnerbaits. Some bream are being caught off the rocks fishing crickets or worms under a bobber.
Sardis COE personnel have closed the Hurricane Creek ramp road to have the road repaved, including out to the Indian Mound ramp (not that section until this winter). Contact the COE office (662) 563-4531 to see when it is expected to reopen. The county has been repairing bridges on the road to Clear Creek Landing (Hwy 314 or Old Sardis Rd) and sporadically closing the road. The ramp is open and you can bypass the bridge work if you know the back roads from Hwy 6 to Hwy 314.
All fish captured and kept with dip or landing nets, cast nets, boat mounted scoops, wire baskets, minnow seines, and minnow traps in the spillway areas bordered by rip rap must be immediately placed on ice or in a dry container. Game fish caught with these gears must be released. This regulation was enacted to reduce the potential of transferring harmful Asian carps to the reservoir or other waters.
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.
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.