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Mississippi Fishing Report

Lakes & Reservoirs
Rivers


Arkabutla Sponsored by
Date 25-Apr-18
Water Condition
Water Temperature  


Conditions : ?Arkabutla: Water level 235.51, falling 0.2 ft/day, 25.5 ft above rule curve Tuesday. The water level is below the emergency spillway (238.3 ft). Water level is supposed to be at winter pool (210 ft) until May 1 and rise to summer pool (220 ft) by May 15. Expect rapid water level rises and drawdowns as rain events happen and the Corps tries to achieve and maintain rule curve. For water level information, call (662)562-6261

The water is falling and the weather has remained cool. Full moon is Sunday. Crappie fishing success has been spotty with most folks catching 0 - 5 fish. The problem is finding the fish because they are moving with the water rising or falling and are scattered in heavy cover. Best luck is with a jig and/or minnow fished around the trees (there are plenty in the water!) in 3 - 8 feet of water either by boat or wading. Best trees are those with vines and/or on edges of openings, trails, ditches, creeks, etc. No good reports from people trolling. Other than a few catfish on trotlines and some White Bass in the creeks, few reports on anything else. Access is difficult because the water is so high all ramps are underwater. Be extra careful because things like concrete picnic tables and road guardrails are also underwater.

Crappie fishing tip: Crappie sense water level changes and react accordingly. When the water is rising, they will spawn 1 - 3 ft deep; when it is falling (or very clear), they will spawn 3 - 6 ft deep or more. Eggs hatch in 2 - 3 days. Newly hatched fry have a yolk sac, but no mouth. They lie in the nest (guarded by the male) until their yolk sac is absorbed and mouth parts form in another 2 - 3 days. Then they swim up and start feeding. Development is faster when the water is warmer; laying eggs to swim-up usually takes less than a week. Not all fish spawn at the same time. Spawning may last 4 - 6 weeks, or more, ensuring some fish are produced each spring.

The spillway had one gate open 19.0 ft (5450 cfs) Tuesday AM. The COE is trying to bring the reservoir down and will likely open the gates some more. Very few reports down here. Fish will be out of the heavy current; Elbow Creek will be the best spot.

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.

  • Blue Catfish
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Crappie
  • Shad

Misc Info: - 2018 - The daily creel limit for crappie is 15 per person. Crappie must be over 12 inches long. Anglers may use no more than 4 poles per person and no more than 2 hooks or lures per pole. There is a 40 crappie per boat limit for boats with 3 or more anglers. The 12 inch length limit does not apply to the reservoir spillway, but the spillway has a 15 crappie creel limit.

Limits on Black Bass (Largemouth and Spotted Bass) are statewide limits: no size limit, 10 fish per person daily.

MDWFP fall 2017 electrofishing found most Gizzard Shad were 3 – 4 inches long (2017 spawn). Threadfin Shad were seen for the first time; most were 1 - 2 inches. Blue Catfish ("white river cats” or "white humpbacks") were the most abundant catfish; they ranged from 12 - 36 inches with big peaks at 19 and 30 inches. White Bass were less numerous than in past years; most were young-of-year (YOY) less than 10 inches, or older fish over 14 inches. Largemouth Bass were 3 - 19 inches with good proportions less than 12 inches and from 15 - 19 inches. Crappie were 2 - 14 inches with lots of "short fish". Considering spring water levels, there was a good crappie spawn (mostly 3 inch YOY); keepers were mainly 13 inches.



Arkabutla Lake Level

Stages

Normal

- Near Flood Stage
238' - Minor Flooding

240' - Moderate Flooding



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