?Arkabutla: Late 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 (210 ft) from December 1 until May 1. Winter water releases should mean good fishing in the spillway. For water level information, call (662)562-6261
Winter fishing can be good since the fish often school tightly. Fish bite better after a few warm, sunny days. Unlike 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.
Crappie fishing is usually the best winter action. Troll or drift in the main lake with jigs and/or minnows or jig any remaining cover in the main lake or tributaries. For Largemouth Bass, look for clearer water and fish soft plastics or a jig-n-pig around any cover. Catfishing is normally best using various natural baits on trotlines over mudflats or on worms or stink baits in tributaries after rainfall. For White Bass ("stripes"), fish jigs or small crankbaits off sandy main lake points.
Best luck in the spillway is when some water is being released. For crappie, fish out of the current in Elbow Creek or right against the rocks. Catfishing is best in eddies on cut bait. White Bass will be in the current; drift a 2 jig rig just off bottom (watch the rocks!) or fish small crankbaits or tailspinner lures.