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Mississippi Fishing Report

Lakes & Reservoirs

Arkabutla Sponsored by
Date 13-Sep-17
Water Condition
Water Temperature  

Conditions : ?Arkabutla: Water level 224.45 ft, falling 0.1 ft/day, 5.5 ft above rule curve Tuesday. The water level is supposed to be maintained at summer pool (220 ft) from May 15 until September 1

The water level is above rule curve; fall drawdown was supposed to start September 1, but rose from heavy rains from Harvey and is higher than it has been all year. There are hundreds of acres of flooded smartweed and other vegetation that small fish have moved into, and bigger fish have followed. As of Tuesday, the effects on water levels from rain from Irma were unknown. Water temperatures have dropped into the 70s with cooler weather.

The water level remains high from "Harvey rain". Although pre-tournament fishing went relatively well, a recent fruit jar crappie tournament was faced with east winds and just opened spillway gates. Only one team brought in a 7 fish limit and won with 10.87 lb. Big fish was 2.70; very good for September. Fishing this week will depend on what water levels do. Fishing has been challenging with all the flooded "grass", but should improve as the water clears and falls later on. For crappie, fish very slowly in the deeper edges of the grass with minnows; some folks are single-poling, others are moving in and out with multiple poles. Trolling out from the grass had been doing better than single pole fishing. For catfish, fish worms, shad, or stinkbaits in the river and creeks as long as we have any rain runoff. Catfish are also feeding in the grass; best luck has been fishing various natural baits on trotlines, but noodles (jugs) have been working better. Fish for White Bass over sandy points in the main lake with jigs, spinners, or small crankbaits. There are no size or number limits on White Bass. No reports on Largemouth Bass, but they should be in any flooded grass close to channel edges or dropoffs; look for the clearest water available and fish spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, or soft plastics. As usual this time of year, fish shallower early and late in the day and deeper midday.

The spillway had one gate open 5 ft (1450 cfs) Tuesday. The spillway gates may be closed if we get enough rain from Irma. Spillway fishing success will depend on water releases from the reservoir. Few reports from down here; best luck has been on catfish fishing natural baits. 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 with splashing down the tunnel and rocks.

Reported by: MDWFP

Patterns Lures & Spinners

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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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