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Mississippi Fishing Report

Lakes & Reservoirs

Arkabutla Sponsored by
Date 22-Apr-16
Water Condition
Water Temperature  

Conditions : ?Arkabutla: Water level 239.47, falling 0.2 ft/day, 29.5 ft over rule curve Tuesday. The lake is over the emergency spillway level (238.30 ft) this week. The Corps will be taking safety precautions for the dam and emergency spillway channel areas. There are some road closures due to high water.

The lake had almost fallen below the emergency spillway, but the latest rainfall jumped it back up. Winds this past week made all but the most protected areas of the lake unfishable, so there have been few reports. The rise will likely turn off about everything but catfish until the lake has stabilized and started to fall and clear. A full moon and warming trend expect the fish to move in shallower water to start spawning. There isn't much bank fishing due to extremely high water levels. Crappie are scattered in thousands of acres of heavy cover. A few crappie have been caught near the Hwy 51 bridge (which you can't get under in a boat, and Hwy 51 bridge is closed) this week and wading in flooded backwaters. Find water in the 3 - 5 ft range and fish with bright color jigs and/ or minnows. Expect a good catfish bite on worms in the tributaries after rains or feeding in the shallows in newly flooded areas. For Largemouth Bass, look for clearer water in the backs of creeks and coves and try topwaters, buzzbaits, or spinnerbaits in flooded cover, especially grass and brush covered flats. White Bass are in the creeks and the river on their spawning run; fish jigs or small crankbaits over a sandy bottom. There are no size or number limits for White Bass.

The spillway had one gate open at 7 ft. (2500 cfs) Tuesday. The Corps cannot open the gates much due to ongoing flooding downstream in the Delta. Expect the gates to open up once the lake gets below the emergency spillway. Best luck in the spillway has been for crappie fishing jigs and/or minnows in Elbow Creek.

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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