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Mississippi Fishing Report

Lakes & Reservoirs

Arkabutla Sponsored by
Date 28-Sep-16
Water Condition
Water Temperature  

Conditions : ?Arkabutla: Water level 217.77 ft, falling about 0.05 ft/day, on rule curve Tuesday. The Corps normally starts fall drawdown September 1 (fall drawdown starts a month later than at the other flood control reservoirs) with a target of 210 ft by December 1. For water level or road closure information, call (662) 562-6261

The lake is near rule curve and on fall drawdown; fish are relating to creeks and river channels following deeper water to the main lake. A rainless cold front pushed through Monday; often anglers react quicker enjoying the cooler weather than the fish. Expect the bite to improve after a few days of cooler, more stable temperatures.

Shad are abundant, so predators like bass and crappie have lots to eat without hitting minnows or crankbaits. Folks have not been catching a lot of crappie, but the ones they have been landing are good sized. Best reports have been drifting or pushing jigs and/or minnows 5 to 8 ft deep. Some folks are catching fish trolling crankbaits in the mouths of creeks 8 to 12 ft deep. Some fish can be taken jigging similar depths around live or dead cypress trees and/or sunken brush tops. Use bigger baits and fish deeper to discourage smaller fish. Replace treble hooks with singles and/or pinch down the barbs on hooks to make releasing short fish faster and less damaging; it does no good to release dead fish. Catfishing has been good with 1 - 5 lb Blue Catfish (white humpbacks) hitting natural baits (whole or cut shad have been good) on trotlines or noodles (jugs). If you find a tributary with some rainfall runoff, fish worms or stink baits. Otherwise, the best spot is in the upper end near where Hickahala Creek and the river come in. For Largemouth Bass, look for clearer water and try soft plastics or spinnerbaits off main lake points or fish cover on the edges of deeper channels. Bass will be shallower early and late in the day and deeper midday. For White Bass, fish jigs or small crankbaits over sandy points. There are no size or number limits for White Bass.

The spillway had one gate open 2.0 ft (600 cfs) Tuesday. Best reports down here have been for Blue Catfish (white humpbacks) fishing minnows or shad. White Bass should be hitting jigs or small crankbaits fished in the faster water early and late in the day. The bad smell in the spillway is hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg gas) that is in solution in deep water where there is no oxygen in the upper lake. As deep water is drawn through the dam, the gas comes out of solution in the spillway when the water is re-oxygenated by splashing down the tunnel and rocks.

As the water falls in the lake, folks report balls of "fish eggs" or "jellyfish" clinging to sticks, trees, and about everything else. They 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 rounded shape. Websearch "freshwater bryozoans" for more on these interesting, ancient animals.

Reported by: MDWFP

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About: - Arkabutla Lake is an impoundment of the Coldwater River and lies just east of I-55 near Hernando. It is the shallowest of the big lakes (Sardis, Enid and Grenada)and the least affected by spring rises and fall drawdowns. Its many creek channels and coves and the backwaters off the Coldwater offer excellent bass cover. The bass fishing is excellent, and it rarely gets pressured.

Crappie spawning in Arkabutla is normally from the first of April through mid-May, but it may vary a week or more depending on weather, moon phase, etc. Crappie spawned nearly a month later than normal the last couple of springs because a cold winter made main lake temperatures where crappie overwinter very cold. Main lake temperatures are warmer this winter and a more normal spawning time is expected unless we get an unusually cool spring. Not all crappie spawn at the same time; larger females usually spawn first and get the best spots. Black Crappie usually spawn earlier than White Crappie (males of both species get dark during the spawn; do not use color to tell the species apart).

Location: Tate & Desoto Counties, 7.5 miles West of Coldwater, off Coldwater-Arkabutla Road.

Misc Info: - The daily creel limit for crappie on Arkabutla Lake is 20 per person. The minimum length limit for crappie is 12 inches. Anglers fishing Arkabutla Lake may use no more than 5 poles per person. The 12 inch length limit does not apply to the reservoir spillway, but the spillway has a 20 crappie creel limit.

Arkabutla Lake Level



- Near Flood Stage
238' - Minor Flooding

240' - Moderate Flooding

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