Fishing Report: Ross Barnett Reservoir
Bobby Cleveland April 17, 2008
Lake level is 297.25 and is headed up toward normal summer pool of 297.5 feet above sea level, scheduled for May 1. Current release rate is minimum (250 cubic feet per second).
1. ABOVE HIGHWAY 43 — EXCELLENT
Doesn't get much better than this report for north of the 43 bridge. Outstanding crappie (spawn) and bass fishing, despite the cold weather. Surface temperatures are holding in the mid to upper 60s. With a full moon on Sunday, look for crappie spawning to peak out in the Caney Creek area and other backwaters. Bass fishing has improved steadily this week with fish moving to the post-spawn patterns, which puts the big bass on the first drops out from shallow spawning areas. A very skinny 8-pounder was caught Tuesday morning on a swim bait in Caney Creek, obviously having spawned out.
2. UPPER MAIN LAKE — EXCELLENT
Suggestion: Clear your schedule for the weekend and the first of next week. Do it, that is, if you like to fish crappie on the spawn. It will be happening throughout the reservoir but particularly on the upper half of the main lake. Temperatures are forecast to return to the 80s by the weekend and the full moon is on Sunday. The males are already on the spawning beds, despite the cold and look for the big females to join them. Bass fishing is also getting real good with the fish moving to the first drops out from the spawning grounds. Catfish are moving to the flats.
3. LOWER MAIN LAKE — GOOD
We could probably turn the thumb up here, too, but because the north wind has been particularly bad here, we aren't sure. Male crappie are on spawning stumps 6-7 feet of water this week and the females aren't far away. They have been good on prespawn but could be ready to spawn this weekend. Catfish activity is picking up on the 8- to 10-foot flats.
4. PELAHATCHIE BAY — GOOD
The crappie spawn, which appears to have already peaked in the Bay, is gearing up for a second peak. Crappie fishermen on Tuesday morning reported a new influx of females joining the darkened males on the shallow flats. If that is the case, then this weekend, with the full moon, should provide one more chance to load an icebox with big Bay slabs. Bass fishermen are finding some good fish around stumps, especially those along the edge of ditches and creeks. The best news might be catfish - they're shallow and apparently very hungry.
5. THE SPILLWAY — FAIR
With the release rate at the dam at a minimum, fishing has slowed in the tailrace. Crappie have really dropped off and the catfish action isn't much better - at least not for big ones. We had one good report of some spotted bass being caught on a shallow bar down the river, about halfway to Lakeland Drive
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