Fishing & Boating

Fishing Report

Tunica Cutoff - 8/20/2019 3:14:16 PM

The Mississippi River was at 10.1 ft (Memphis gauge) Tuesday. The river is predicted to fall to 9.2 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

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 should be really close to the "15 to 10 ft on a slow fall" good fishing range this week and falling very slowly. Fish should be fat from flooding and have seen few baits or lures for months. You will likely have the lake pretty much to yourself. Fish the outside edges of cover. Fish for bream 3 - 6 ft deep with worms or crickets under a bobber. Use a slip float if the fish are deep. Best luck for crappie should be jigging 6 - 10 ft deep in the edges of the trees or trolling outside the tree line; Houseboat or OK Pockets are good starting points. Recent reports are crappie are scattered with no pattern on depth, color, etc., but fish are good sized after the flood; some folks are catching some, some are not. Bass should be on wood cover off steep banks; spinnerbaits and soft plastics should work. A bass tournament Aug 3 was won with only 6.44 lb (5 fish); big fish was 3.22. Only two teams caught more than one fish. However, the water was higher then and falling quickly. Best luck on catfish should be fishing natural bait on lines on the outside of the trees or in the runout. Most catfish caught here are 1 - 5+ lb channels. White Bass should be schooling on shad around the ramps or off steep, sandy points; fish jigs or shad-imitating crankbaits. There are no size or number limits on White Bass. 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.

In August, 2018, there was an Asian carp kill on Tunica Cutoff, other Mississippi River oxbows, and in the river itself. These kills have been occurring almost every year in late summer and may be happening now. Investigation of previous kills revealed bacteria as the cause. Time will tell if there will be any effects on the carp or other fish. 

Memphis District Corps personnel allow placement of artificial fish habitat. When you can get back in the lake 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.

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