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Tunica Cutoff

Monday, March 20, 2017 3:41 PM

Mississippi River level was 14.9 ft (Memphis gauge) Monday. It is supposed to fall to 10.3 ft by Saturday. With the weir, the Mississippi River will not enter the Cutoff until it rises above 6 ft. Flood stage is 34 ft. Best fishing is usually on a slow fall from 15 to 10 ft. For the river level and 5 day forecast, call (901) 544-0408 (press 2) or check http://www.srh.noaa.gov/lmrfc/?n=lmrfc-mississippiandohioriverforecast

Charlie's Camp and Bordeaux (Tait) ramps are the only ones open to the public. Use the honor boxes. Bait is now available across the levee.

The lake will be falling quickly through and stabilizing in the good fishing range this week. With colder river water here, expect fishing to be fairly slow, but improving with a warming trend. Best luck this time of year is on minnows fished from yo-yos for crappie and catfish. Be sure to check on and move stationary gear (yo-yos, trotlines, etc.) with falling water levels. No reports on anything else. Because of inflowing cooler river water, spawning on the Cutoff is about a month later (April - May) than on other area lakes.

If the water is rising, fish shallower on the inside edges of cover. If the water is falling, fish deeper on the outside edges. Move stationary gear (lines, yo-yos, etc.) frequently if the water is rising or falling quickly.

With the lake connected to the river, you might land a Striped Bass or hybrid, both of which have to be over 15 inches long with a daily limit of 6 fish per person. The best way to tell these fish apart is by their stripes. White Bass have 1 stripe running to the tail; stripers and hybrids have 2 or more stripes running to the tail.

An Asian carp kill was documented here last summer.

Memphis District Corps personnel allow placement of artificial fish habitat. This is a good time to sweeten your favorite spots; remember to save GPS waypoints if you have the capability.

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