Fishing & Boating


Clean your boat trailers!

Giant Salvinia is a highly invasive floating aquatic plant that is abundant in the Tenn-Tom Waterway. Please remove all vegetation from boat trailers before leaving launch areas.


Weekly fishing reports will resume on February 15, 2023. Listed below are winter fishing tips and techniques for Columbus Lake.

Fishing Report

Columbus Lake - 11/30/2022 2:07:38 PM
Species Detail
Bass Cold and muddy water generally makes for tough fishing. Once the water temps drop into the 40’s, the bass bite really slows down, especially during dirty water events. Several days in a row of warm weather will cause the bass to get active around the shallow sloughs and backwaters that are off the channel and somewhat protected. Texas-rigged soft plastics, jig-n-pig combos, chatterbaits, and spinnerbaits are all good bait choices during any warming trend. Darker colors are typically the best option for the slower presentations. If not too muddy, the lower end of the Buttahatchie offers some decent cold-water fishing for spotted bass. Crankbaits, shakeyheads, small jigs, and spinnerbaits are good options there.
Crappie The crappie bite will be fair until water temps drop below 50 degrees. Best areas to target will be the old river runs where cleaner water is present with the best depths being 5 to 10 ft. Once the water temps drop into the 40’s, the crappie bite will be tough, especially during dirty water events. Look for contrasting colored jigs to work better than minnows in dirty water conditions.
Catfish For catfish, target the mouths of the old river runs with trot lines and tight line rod-n-reel set ups. Fish will also be holding at the edge of any current along the navigation channel. The submerged logs along the deep side of the old river run between the marina and the East Bank boat ramp is a good place for tight lining as well. Cut/whole shad is typically the best bait choice during the cold months.

Special Fishing Regulations


Species Type Length To Release
Black Bass (combined largemouth, spotted and smallmouth) Minimum Length Limit 14 inches and under
Crappie (combined black and white) Minimum Length Limit 9 inches and under

Creel Limits (per person, per day)

Type Amount Additional Information
Black Bass (combined largemouth, spotted and smallmouth) 10
Crappie (combined black and white) 30


From Columbus Lake dam spillway downstream to Mile Marker 334, including the auxiliary spillway and associated bank fishing access areas in the Tombigbee River cutoff below the dam.

  • Anglers can only use one pole or rod per person.
  • Artificial lures with no more than 3 treble hooks no larger than #2 may be used anytime.
  • The use of baited or bare treble hooks is illegal.
  • No other gear can be used in these waters except that dip or landing nets, cast nets, boat mounted scoops, wire baskets, minnow seines, and minnow traps may be used to capture bait. Anglers keeping minnows, shad, nongame gross fish and non-native fish caught with these gear types must immediately place their catch on ice or in a dry container.
  • From Dec 1 until the last day of February - Anglers can only fish with 2 single hooks no larger than #2.  Hooks must be secured at least one inch apart.
  • From March 1 to Nov 30 - Anglers can only fish with 2 single hooks of any size.  Hooks must be secured at least one inch apart.

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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