Sardis Lake: Water level 245.47, falling 0.3 ft/day; 3.8 ft above rule curve Monday.
Expect fishing to slow down with a big cold front late this week. Access is limited at some ramps at current water levels. Best luck for crappie has been trolling jigs and/or minnows 6 12 ft deep in the main lake from the dam to Holiday Lodge. Several folks have been jigging the timber near Holiday Lodge, too. Expect a few catfish or white bass fishing for crappie. For catfish, fish worms, shad, or stink baits in the river and creek channels or on main lake flats. Shad or flavored chicken works better on bigger blue catfish (white river cats) than worms or chicken livers. White bass fishing has been a fish-every-cast affair recently, with the best spots on the dam and Engineers Point rocks, but any sandy, main lake points are holding white bass. Fish small shad-colored crankbaits or jigs. There is no size or number limit on white bass. As the lake falls, it pulls fish, including largemouth bass, out of the backs of creeks into the deeper channels. Fish spinnerbaits, swim baits, or soft plastics on river or creek channel edges 2 6 ft deep early and late in the day or fish crankbaits or soft plastics 4 10 ft deep on any cover (brush tops, stake beds, old timber) off main lake points midday.
MDWFP electrofishing this fall found very good numbers of largemouth bass and white bass. Most largemouths were 1 2 lbs with a decent proportion of larger fish. Crappie from this year and last year were seen, as well as older keepers. Crappie preferred deeper cover, especially black crappie on brush tops. There were numerous blue catfish from 2 20 lbs throughout the lake, but especially in the river channel. Dont expect to catch them on chicken livers and worms like channel cats.
As the water falls, folks report balls of fish eggs or jellyfish clinging to sticks, trees, and about everything else. Those blobs are actually colonial animals called bryozoans that filter plankton out of the water. Nibbling by fish causes the colony to minimize its surface area to a round shape. Web search freshwater bryozoans for more on these interesting, ancient animals.
The spillway had two gates open 12.0 ft each (3900 cfs) Monday. Most fishing down here has been for catfish with natural baits. Some folks have been picking up a few crappie trolling in the Lower Lake. White bass should be hitting crankbaits or jigs in the faster water.