2022 Spring Fishing Forecast
2/28/2022 8:33:04 AM
Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologists are optimistic about fishing success in 2022. Most of the fishing in this area is on the Corps of Engineers’ flood control reservoirs (Arkabutla, Sardis, Enid, and Grenada), which get an estimated 1.5 million hours of fishing annually, primarily for crappie.
These lakes have experienced high water in the past four years. MDWFP sampling found abundant crappie populations, especially younger fish; however, their growth was fast. Grenada was the state’s top crappie lake according to last year’s tournament results. Bass was numerous, and tournaments at Sardis and Enid were often won with 20 to 30-pound bags. These lakes contained healthy catfish populations and hand-sized bream was plentiful. Shad and other forage fish were abundant during sampling.
Tunica Cutoff rose over the boat ramps last spring hampering access but promising more fish for 2022. Since youth fishing rodeos were canceled due to COVID-19, those catfish were stocked in area Community Fishing Assistance Program ponds and Spring Lake at Wall Doxey State Park.
Food, lodging, and other amenities are available in Hernando, Batesville, Grenada, Tunica, and other nearby towns. There are MDWFP State Parks on Sardis, Enid, and Grenada Reservoirs; book ahead as they fill up quickly during peak fishing times.
Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologists are optimistic about fishing success in 2022. Several of the northeast region State Lakes and State Park Lakes looked great during fall sampling.
Lake Monroe was sampled twice in 2021, and the fishery looks fantastic. Both bluegill and redear sunfish are large and abundant. The bass are very healthy as well, regardless of size, and a double-digit bass this spring would not be surprising. Lake Lamar Bruce is still producing trophy bass, and both of these lakes provide anglers the opportunity to catch Walleye. Also, MDWFP personnel added nine fish attractors at Monroe and five at Lamar Bruce in January 2022. Check each lake’s fishing reports page for coordinates.
As for State Parks, Lake Lowndes and Trace State Park Lake offers abundant bass with the opportunity to catch a trophy. Both lakes are bass-crowded, but both also harbor fish in the 9+ pound range. Creel data show angler catch rates for bass at Trace Lake are at an all-time high. Both lakes also have good crappie fisheries, particularly Trace.
As usual, fishing at Bay Springs Lake and Pickwick Lake is expected to be good. Both lakes have healthy black bass populations and are popular with crappie anglers as well.
Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologists are excited about the upcoming fishing season in Central Mississippi. The Ross Barnett Reservoir bass fishery remains in great condition as bass over 15 inches were abundant during fall electrofishing. According to MDWFP Fisheries Biologist, Ryan Jones, “The abundance of four-pound plus fish sampled in Pelahatchie Bay was stunning. I have never seen it that good.”
Trophy bass can be caught at Neshoba County Lake and Lake Calling Panther. These lakes produce lunkers over 10 pounds every year. The month of March is a great time to catch big spawning bass. “Fall 2021 electrofishing revealed a healthy bass population on Eagle Lake as well.,” said Jones. “Big largemouth bass were collected around piers, along with numerous White Bass.”
Central Mississippi bream anglers do not have to travel far for some of the best bream fishing in the state. According to Jones, “Bream typically average over half a pound at Prentiss Walker Lake, Shadow Lake at Roosevelt State Park, and Eagle Lake during spring angler creel surveys.” Ross Barnett Reservoir continues to be a destination for quality crappie fishing in central Mississippi. Crappie averaged nearly a pound during 2021 spring angler creel surveys. Okatibbee Reservoir, Neshoba County Lake, and Eagle Lake also contain healthy crappie populations. According to Jones, “While Okatibbee Reservoir is known for producing good numbers, Eagle Lake and Neshoba County Lake produce quality size crappie each year.”
Fishing season is quickly approaching for south Mississippi and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologists are anticipating a productive 2022 season. Anglers have already caught trophy bass in the 8 to10-pound range at Lake Bill Waller during the last few weeks and recently harvested several quality crappie from Lake Columbia. These catches provide an early indicator of fishing success for anglers this spring and summer. “Population sampling during fall 2021 revealed catch rates dominated by quality sized largemouth bass and sunfish in the south region state fishing lakes,” said Stephen Brown, MDWFP Fisheries Biologist. Fall sampling at Lake Lincoln State Park produced numerous bass in the four to the six-pound range and a variety of quality sunfish. "With great electrofishing survey numbers, expect the numbers and sizes of fish caught to increase this spring at Lake Lincoln,” said Brown.
The state lake to target for largemouth bass this spring is Lake Mary Crawford. With the lake reopening in 2021, the fishery is continuing to grow and thrive and will produce great fishing through this fishing season. Three to five-pound bass should become a regular catch this spring and will continue to get better.