Fishing ReportTunica Cutoff - 3/13/2018 1:42:52 PM
The Mississippi River was at 39.0 ft (Memphis gauge) Tuesday, and then falling to 32.7 ft by Sunday. With the weir, the Mississippi River will not enter the Cutoff until it rises over 6 ft (Memphis gauge). 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 https://forecast.weather.gov/product.php?site=NWS&issuedby=ORN&product=RVA&format=txt&version=1&glossary=0
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 river is about 5 ft over flood stage and over the ramps and parking lots this week. Heavy rains upstream may result in it rising higher than expected. With the water too high to get in, rising, and cold from northern snowmelt, do not expect much from the Cutoff this week. Best bet would be catfishing in the shallows with natural baits. The water will be relatively stable, so no need to move stationary gear (lines, yo-yos, etc.) frequently.
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.
MDWFP fisheries biologists sampled 4, 1 acre areas in the lake in August, 2017, to compare current conditions to similar sampling done before Asian carp were present. Asian carp made up a significant portion of the fish population. Other abundant fish were Freshwater Drum and Channel Catfish, with a lot of cats near a pound (good eating size). 2017 spawned bream and crappie were fairly abundant, but larger bream and crappie were not. Hopefully, this means there should be more larger bream and crappie in the future.
An Asian carp kill occurred in late summer, but likely had little effect on the population.
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.
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.