Sardis Lake: Fall/winter fishing report. Weekly updates will resume in February.
Winter fishing usually means limited ramp access. Expect rapid water level rises and drawdowns as rain events happen and the Corps tries to achieve and maintain winter pool (236 ft) from December 1 until mid-January, then it should rise to 241 ft by March 1. High winter water releases should mean good fishing in the spillway and Lower Lake. For water level information, call (662)563-4531
Winter fishing can be good since the fish often school tightly. Fish bite better after a few warm, sunny days. Unlike the summer, best bet is to fish midday on sunny banks. Check water level trends; except for catfish, fishing is usually better on a slow fall than a fast rise. Even in cold weather, catfish will feed in rainfall runoff.
Winter crappie fishing can be good drifting or trolling jigs and/or minnows around the dam, marina, or main lake, or jigging in any remaining cover. White Bass usually stack up around Engineer's Point and off the dam in front of the spillway gates where jigs or small crankbaits work best. Largemouth Bass also stack up on Engineer's Point, the dam, and any cover in the main lake; fish soft plastics, jigging spoons, or a jig-n-pig. Catfishing is normally best using various natural baits on rod-and-reel or trotlines over main lake flats or on worms or stink baits in tributaries after rainfall.
Best luck in the spillway and Lower Lake is when some water is being released. For crappie, fish jigs and/or minnows out of the current or right along the rocks. Catfishing is best in eddies on natural bait fished near the bottom. White Bass will be in the current where you can drift a 2 jig rig just off bottom (watch the rocks!) or fish small crankbaits or tailspinner lures. For largemouths, cover in the old river run is the best bet, or fish right on the rocks in the spillway with crankbaits or a jig-n-pig.