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Fishing & Boating

Fishing Report

Sardis Lake - 11/13/2018 4:10:40 PM

Water level 244.47, rising 0.2 ft/day, 3.6 ft over rule curve Tuesday. Fall drawdown is supposed to start August 1 and reach winter pool (236 ft) December 1. For water level information, call (662)563-4531 or check at http://mvk-wc.usace.army.mil/docs/bullet.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.

The reservoir is on fall drawdown and trying to catch up to rule curve. Crappie are off main lake points, in the mouths of major creeks, and over drop-offs on the old river channel. Best luck has been slow trolling jigs and/or minnows for fish suspended 6 - 16 ft deep in 10 - 20+ ft of water. Some fish can also be taken jig fishing around remaining cover in water of similar depth or shallower, especially on the river, creek, and slough channel edges. White Bass and catfish may hit crappie baits. Expect a lot of short crappie; to return them alive and in good shape, PLEASE replace treble hooks with singles, especially the rear hook on crankbaits, and/or pinch the barbs down to make unhooking easier. Losing a few fish is better than killing a lot. The best spot for White Bass is near Engineers' Point and the corner of the dam, but they are also on sandy main lake points. Fish jigs or small crankbaits. There are no size on number limits on White Bass. There are no Striped or Hybrid Striped Bass in Sardis, just White Bass. Catfishing has been improving lately as the water is coming down, particularly in the river channel and sloughs in the upper end. Fish various natural baits with noodles (jugs) or trotlines, but rod-and-reel will work, too, especially drifting flavored chicken over main lake flats. Grab some worms or stinkbait and head for the river or creeks if we get any rainfall runoff. For Largemouth Bass, fish 3 - 8 ft deep off main lake points, humps, and other structure that is better with any cover (brush tops, stake beds, rip-rap, stumps, etc.). Fish any such cover on river and creek channel edges as the fish move toward deeper water. This pattern will disappear when the cover gets too shallow. Fish topwaters or spinnerbaits shallow early and late and switch to crankbaits or soft plastics deep midday.

Sardis COE personnel have closed the Hurricane Creek ramp road to repave the road and to repair the road out to the Indian Mound ramp. Although it will be an inconvenience until they are done, it will be nice to have the potholes gone. The river ramp at Wyatt's Crossing was cleaned out last week and is now usable. Tell the Sardis COE thanks. Access is becoming limited as the water falls.

As the water falls, folks report balls of “fish eggs” or “jellyfish” clinging to sticks, trees, etc. or floating in the water. These are actually colonial animals called bryozoans. They are like coral, but with a jelly-like rather than stony matrix. Like coral, they filter plankton out of the water.  Nibbling by fish causes the colony to become rounded.  Web search “freshwater bryozoans” for more on these interesting, ancient animals.

The spillway had two gates open 6.0 ft each (2550 cfs) Tuesday AM. Most spillway fishing has been for catfish on natural baits near bottom. Quite a few folks have been targeting White Bass in the current using a 2 jig rig or small crankbaits. A few folks have reported catching crappie spider rigging the Lower Lake. For bass, either fish along the rip-rap rocks (spots) or in cover in the old river channel (largemouths). Check out the new COE fishing pier on the north side of the spillway near the end of the rip-rap.

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.

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