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Crappie Fishing Lakes in Mississippi – Top Spots

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 I have found some of the best spots in Mississippi for a fun fishing experience. Here’s a list of my top five crappie fishing lakes in the state:

Pickwick Lake

High on my list of favorite lakes is Pickwick Lake. This location near Corinth offers a picturesque setting and beautiful scenery while I cast my line. The abundance of White Crappie makes it a popular destination for many anglers. Here are some hotspots to check out:

  • Indian Creek
  • Yellow Creek
  • Whetstone Branch

I went crappie fishing on Pickwick Lake like it was yesterday. The sun was just beginning to peek over the horizon, casting a golden glow over the calm waters. I had always heard that Pickwick Lake, sprawling across the borders of Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee, was a haven for anglers, and that day I was eager to test my luck.

crappie underwater view

I had my 16-foot aluminum fishing boat hitched to my truck, loaded with all the essentials: my trusty 6-foot ultralight rod, a spool of 4-pound test line, and an assortment of jigs and minnows which I had meticulously organized the night before. My tackle box was a colorful array of lures, with hues ranging from bright chartreuse to deep blues and greens, each one promising the potential of a bountiful catch. I had everything.

As I launched my boat into the water, the cool morning air was filled with the sounds of nature waking up. The lake was serene, with only the occasional fish breaking the surface tension, creating ripples that disrupted the reflection of the waking sky. I navigated to my favorite spot, a secluded area near a fallen tree that extended its bare branches into the water, creating the perfect structure where crappie loved to hide.

I remember lowering my first jig, a 1/16-ounce pink and white one, into the water and watching it disappear into the depths. I felt the anticipation build as I slowly reeled in, giving the jig a gentle twitch every now and then to mimic the movements of an injured baitfish. It wasn’t long before I felt a subtle tap on the line, and with a swift upward motion, I set the hook. The fight was on!

The crappie was a decent size, measuring about 12 inches in length and weighing just over a pound. Its silvery scales shimmered in the early morning light as I carefully unhooked it and placed it in my live well. I could feel my heart racing with excitement; there’s something truly exhilarating about the first catch of the day.

For the next few hours, I was in my element. I moved around the lake, trying different depths and structures, from submerged brush piles to rocky outcroppings. Each location offered its own unique challenge and potential reward. I experimented with different jig colors and sizes, finding that a 2-inch chartreuse tube jig seemed particularly irresistible to the crappie that day.

By the time the sun was high in the sky, I had caught and released several more crappie, each one adding to the tapestry of my experience. The largest crappie I reeled in was a hefty 15 inches, its girth suggesting it had been feasting well in the fertile waters of Pickwick Lake.

As the day drew to a close, I took a moment to soak in the beauty of my surroundings. The lake had been kind to me, offering not just a bountiful catch but also a sense of peace and connection to the natural world. I promised myself I would return soon, knowing that each trip on Pickwick Lake would write a new chapter in my book of outdoor adventures.

man catches crappie by lake

Arkabutla Lake

Located near Hernando and not too far from Memphis, Tennessee, Arkabutla Lake has consistently provided me with some great crappie catches. The lake is known for its Black Crappie and many of them can be found near underwater structures such as fallen trees and brush piles. My favorite spots are:

  • Windy Point
  • Pawn Island
  • Watson’s Point

Sardis Lake

Sardis Lake offers a mix of White Crappie and Black Crappie fishing opportunities. With plenty of coves and submerged structure, I never get bored fishing here. Some of my top spots include:

  • Thompson Creek
  • Toby Tubby Creek
  • Hurricane Creek

Enid Lake

Enid Lake is another favorable crappie fishing spot in Mississippi. What I love about this lake is that it can produce large crappies, which makes it even more exciting. Some fishing hotspots here are:

  • Cossar State Park
  • Thompson Cove
  • Stumpy Point

Grenada Lake

Any crappie fisher in the South is surely familiar with the impressive Grenada Lake. This reservoir is known for consistently producing some of the largest crappies in Mississippi, making it my go-to spot during peak season. My preferred locations here are:

  • Red Grass Creek
  • Choctaw Point
  • Pelston Point

Crappie Fishing Techniques

As a fishing enthusiast, I have personally tried various techniques to catch crappie. Let me share with you some of the most effective methods I have used in Mississippi lakes.

Jigging

Jigging is one of my go-to techniques when crappie fishing. Using lightweight jigs, usually 1/16 ounce or smaller, I cast the jig and allow it to sink to the desired depth. Frequently, I vary the jigging action between slow and fast to attract crappie. Some jig types that work well for crappie fishing in Mississippi include:

  • Marabou jigs
  • Plastic grub jigs
  • Minnow-like jigs

Still Fishing

When the crappie are less active and I need to be more patient, I opt for still fishing. For this technique, I’ll rig my line with a light sinker, hook, and bobber. The setup will look like this:

  1. Attach a hook to your line
  2. Add a sinker about 12-18 inches above the hook
  3. Position a bobber 1-3 feet above the sinker, adjusting its position depending on the depth of the crappie

I’ll then bait the hook with minnows or small jigs and cast it into a promising area where crappie might be holding.

Casting

When crappie are scattered and not concentrated in a specific area, casting can be an effective method of catching them. I begin by choosing a versatile lure like a small spinner, crankbait, or soft plastic grub. Then, I simply cast out the lure and retrieve it with varying speeds and at different depths to cover as much water as possible.

Trolling

Sometimes, I find success by trolling the lake for crappie. Trolling involves moving slowly through the water while dragging lures or baits behind the boat. Here’s my preferred trolling setup:

Rod PlacementLure TypeLure Depth
CenterShallow lure3-4 feet
Side (left)Medium lure4-6 feet
Side (right)Deep lure6-8 feet

By trolling with multiple rods at different depths, I can cover a larger area of the lake and target crappie at various levels in the water column.

 

Crappie Fishing Regulations in Mississippi

License Requirements

Before you start enjoying crappie fishing in Mississippi, make sure you have the right licenses. I always recommend buying a Mississippi Freshwater Fishing License for residents or a Non-Resident Freshwater Fishing License for non-residents. In Mississippi, you can buy your license online, from a local agent, or by visiting the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) office. Here’s a quick rundown of the fees:

  • Resident Freshwater Fishing License: $12.29 (annual)
  • Non-Resident Freshwater License: $64.29 (annual), $33.29 (7-day trip)

Remember, if you’re under 16 or a Mississippi resident over 65, you’re exempt from needing a license.

Catch Limits

Now let’s talk about the catch limits to keep your crappie fishing fun and sustainable. In general, you’re allowed to harvest up to 30 crappies per day across most of Mississippi’s waters. However, there are some specific regulations for certain lakes and reservoirs. For example:

  • Arkabutla, Sardis, Enid, and Grenada reservoirs: 40 crappies per person per day, with a maximum of 15 under 12 inches long.
  • Washington, Pascagoula, and Moon lakes: 30 crappies per person per day, with a minimum size of 11 inches.

Please double-check the regulations of your fishing location to make sure you’re up-to-date with the rules.

Size Restrictions

Lastly, don’t forget about the size restrictions when crappie fishing in Mississippi. As I mentioned earlier, several lakes have regulations on the minimum size of crappie you can keep. Apart from those, there aren’t any statewide size limits for crappies. However, it’s always a good idea to practice Catch and Release when you catch something smaller or larger than you prefer, so the crappie population remains healthy and sustainable.

I hope this information helps you have a great time crappie fishing in Mississippi while following the regulations. Enjoy the beautiful lakes, and good luck with your catches!

white crappie

Local Crappie Fishing Tournaments

I’ve been fishing for crappie in Mississippi for a long time, and one of the highlights of my year is the excitement of the local crappie fishing tournaments. I especially love the atmosphere and camaraderie when fellow passionate anglers come together to participate in these competitions. Let me give you a quick rundown of some of the popular tournaments you might want to check out.

1. The Magnolia Crappie Club: This club hosts several tournaments each year at different locations around Mississippi. The Mississippi Crappie Championship is the culminating event, where anglers from all the other tournaments come together to compete for the title. You can find out more about their schedule through their website.

2. The Mississippi Crappie Masters: If you’re looking for a more intense competition with higher stakes, the Mississippi Crappie Masters might be for you. This tournament series offers a chance for anglers to qualify for the Crappie Masters National Championship.

Now, if you’re new to crappie fishing tournaments and need some help getting started, here are some tips:

  • Know the rules: Before entering a tournament, familiarize yourself with the specific rules and regulations. They can vary depending on the organizers, so read them carefully.
  • Scout the area: Try to fish the lake before the tournament to understand the layout and locate good fishing spots.
  • Gear up: Make sure you have the right equipment, including proper rods and reels, tackle, and bait. If unsure, ask fellow anglers for advice.
  • Teamwork: Many tournaments are team-based, so find a partner who complements your skills and has a similar mindset.

No matter your skill level, local crappie fishing tournaments are both fun and challenging experiences. So, give them a try and see if you can reel in the big one. You might just walk away with a trophy, cash prize, or, at the very least, some great memories.

nice crappie

Conservation Efforts for Mississippi Lakes

I recently came across some fantastic conservation efforts in Mississippi aimed at preserving the state’s lakes and their natural habitat, especially for Crappie fishing enthusiasts like myself. Let me share some essential measures taken by local organizations and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) that I found quite interesting.

One of the primary steps taken by the MDWFP is the establishment of habitat enhancement programs. These initiatives involve introducing artificial structures to lakes as part of the Fish Attractor Program. Fish, including Crappie, find shelter and foraging areas in these structures, promoting population growth and supporting a thriving ecosystem.

Here’s a quick list of lakes that are beneficiaries of such projects:

  • Arkabutla Lake
  • Sardis Lake
  • Enid Lake
  • Grenada Lake

Another approach is the enforcement of fishing regulations that ensure sustainable Crappie populations. It’s crucial for all of us to follow these rules:

  1. A daily limit of 30 Black and White Crappie
  2. Requires a 9-inch minimum length limit for Black and White Crappie

My personal favorite conservation effort is the Mangrove Planting Program. Mangrove trees are planted around the lakeshores as they provide the perfect habitat for juvenile Crappie, support the food chain, and enhance overall water quality. The positive impact of this program on the Crappie population and the surrounding environment cannot be overstated.