Fishing & Boating

Fishing Report

Arkabutla - 8/9/2022 2:01:00 PM
Species Detail
Largemouth Bass Fish shallow (topwaters, spinnerbaits) early and late in the day or at night. Fish main lake points or other cover (brush tops, stake beds, rocks) 4 to 8 ft deep using weedless soft plastics, bladed jigs, or spinnerbaits.
Crappie Best luck has been by using active sonar to find fish. Fish standing timber or other cover with jigs and/or minnows 5 – 10 ft deep in 10 – 12 ft of water in the upper end or in open water. Most techniques are working (jigging, drifting or trolling minnows and/or jigs), but pulling crankbaits has not been as productive. 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 crickets or redworms 3 - 6 ft under a bobber in any cover (rocks, brush tops, stake, beds, etc.). There is a full moon Thursday; some fish may be spawning.
Catfish Fish worms or stinkbaits in the river and creeks if there is any rainfall runoff. Fish natural baits on lines, jugs (noodles), or drift with rod-and-reel over main lake flats.
White Bass Cast jigs or small crankbaits over sandy main lake points early AM or late PM. There are a few yellow bass in the lake. Neither white nor yellow bass have any size or number limits.

Water levels are falling slowly. Fish have moved to open water. 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.

MDWFP fall 2021 sampling (electrofishing) found lots of chunky 2 - 5 lb bass, as well as hand-sized bream and a lot of 2 - 20+ lb catfish. There were good numbers of crappie, but they were holding deeper than bass/bream; most were smaller fish less than 3 years old, but some larger fish were present. The February 2021 freeze severely reduced threadfin shad numbers, but gizzard shad were happy to make up the difference with lots of 3 to 6-inch young fish.

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 one gate open 1.75 ft (535 cfs) Tuesday. Spillway fishing is best when some water is being released, but not too much. Most reports have been for catfish. Catfishing is best in eddies on natural baits fished near the bottom; they like crickets here. For largemouths, fish any cover or right along the rocks with crankbaits or soft plastics. 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 220.91, falling 0.05 ft/day, 0.9 ft above rule curve Tuesday. The water level is supposed to be maintained at summer pool (220 ft) from May 15 until September 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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