Fishing & Boating


Falling water levels are limiting boat ramp access. Most accessible ramps are near the dam.

Fishing Report

Arkabutla - 11/29/2022 3:47:22 PM
Species Detail
Largemouth Bass Fish soft plastics, bladed jigs, or spinnerbaits 4 to 8 ft deep over main lake points or on the edges of the river and creeks near cover (brush tops, stake beds, stumps, rocks, etc.).
Crappie Trolling major creek mouths with jigs and/or minnows 3 – 8 ft deep has been best lately. Or fish any remaining cover (standing timber, brush tops, etc.) with similar lures and depths; active sonar is a plus. 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 fish.
Bream Fish redworms or waxworms 3 - 6 ft under a bobber in any cover (rocks, brush tops, stake beds, etc.).
Catfish Fish worms or stinkbaits in the river or creeks if there is any rainfall runoff. There have been good reports fishing various natural baits over main lake flats from the bank or by boat.
White Bass Cast jigs or small crankbaits over hard-bottomed main lake points. There are a few yellow bass in the lake. Neither white nor yellow bass have any size or number limits.

The water level is supposed to fall to winter pool (210) by December 1. This week’s rains may cause enough runoff to slow or reverse the drawdown. Fish will be moving via the river and creeks to the main lake. Check water level trends; except for catfish, fishing is usually better on a slow fall than a fast rise. Water falling, fish deeper; water rising, fish shallower.


Special Fishing Regulations


Species Type Length To Release
Crappie (combined black and white) Minimum Length Limit 12 inches and under

Creel Limits (per person, per day)

Type Amount Additional Information
Crappie (combined black and white) 15 There is a 40 crappie per boat limit for boats with 3 or more anglers.

Anglers may use no more than 4 poles per person and no more than 2 hooks or lures per pole. 


The spillway had all gates closed (0 cfs) Tuesday. Spillway fishing is best when some water is being released, but not too much. Most reports have been for catfish fished in eddies with natural baits near the bottom. For largemouth bass, fish any cover or right along the rocks with crankbaits or soft plastics. Some crappie have been showing up in the eddies and Elbow Creek; fish jigs and/or minnows. Spillway gate openings, flow rates, and spillway water elevations can be obtained at or (click on 24-hour change for picture explanation of gate flow, spillway flow, etc.).

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 12-inch crappie length limit does not apply to the reservoir spillway, but the spillway has a 15-crappie creel limit.

Water Level

Water level 210.71, rising 0.1 ft/day, 0.5 ft above rule curve Tuesday. Fall drawdown started September 1 and is supposed to reach winter pool (210 ft) December 1. Emergency spillway level is 238.3. For water level information, call (662)562-6261 or check at for a table or for a graph or for both (click on 24-hour change for picture explanation of gate flow, spillway flow, etc.). Be sure to check the date on the table; it is usually updated midday.

Additional Information

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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