Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologists are optimistic about fishing success in 2021, and the busiest areas likely will be the Corps of Engineers’ (COE) flood-control reservoirs (Arkabutla, Sardis, Enid, and Grenada), which get about 1.5 million hours of fishing annually, mainly for crappie.
Here are a few things anglers should consider:
The COE reservoirs had high water in 2020; only Grenada overflowed its spillway.
Spring flooding reduced anglers’ catches; peak success was later in the year when water levels dropped.
Fall MDWFP sampling showed good crappie numbers, especially for younger fish.
Most trophy white crappie on Grenada will be ages 6 or 7 this spring.
Bass abundance was near historic highs.
Few anglers keep bass; populations mostly fluctuate with water levels.
Shad had a big 2020 spawn.
White bass were scarce but big.
Blue catfish were larger and more abundant than channel catfish, except at Enid.
Popular baits for blue catfish include shad or flavored chicken.
Tunica Cutoff also flooded in 2020, hampering access but promising more fish for 2021. On some Community Fishing Assistance Program ponds, keeper fish were scarce, but these managed, fertile waters should grow more keepers soon.
Anglers headed to these reservoirs can find food, lodging, and other amenities in Hernando, Batesville, Grenada, Tunica, and other nearby towns. MDWFP State Parks offer campsites and cabins at Sardis, Enid, and Grenada reservoirs, but be sure to book ahead as they fill up quickly during peak fishing times