Waters of Opportunity: Mississippi's Best Fishing Locations Revealed!
In the heart of the Deep South, where the rhythm of life flows as steadily as the mighty Mississippi River, a hidden world of angling wonders awaits. Welcome to Mississippi – a haven for those who cast their hopes upon the waters, seeking the thrill of the catch and the tranquility that only a day spent fishing can offer. From the serene bayous to the expansive reservoirs, this state boasts a diverse tapestry of fishing destinations that cater to every angler's dream. Picture yourself standing on the edge of a pristine lake, the sun's warm embrace on your skin, the water's surface shimmering with promise. In this article, we embark on a journey to unearth the 20 best fishing spots Mississippi has to offer, revealing not only the species that call these waters home but also the artistry of the perfect bait and the stories behind the record catches. So, tie your lures and ready your rods as we dive into the depths of Mississippi's aquatic treasures – a world where every cast could be the one that reels in a memory to last a lifetime.
1: Bay St. Louis.
Nestled along the Gulf of Mexico, Bay St. Louis offers prime fishing opportunities for both beginners and seasoned anglers. The waters are abundant with speckled trout and redfish, making it an enticing destination for those seeking a rewarding catch. Live shrimp and soft plastic lures are recommended for enticing bites. The record catch at Bay St. Louis was a 35-inch redfish, reeled in by a lucky angler in April 2020. Best time to fish: Spring and Fall.
2: Sardis Lake.
Sardis Lake is a freshwater reservoir teeming with crappie and largemouth bass. The sight of anglers lining the shore is a common one, as it's a popular spot for catching crappie during the spring and fall months. Jigs and minnows are the go-to baits here. The record catch at Sardis Lake is a colossal 3-pound crappie, caught in May 2018. Best time to fish: Spring and Fall.
3: Ross Barnett Reservoir.
Located near Jackson, Ross Barnett Reservoir offers excellent fishing for largemouth bass, catfish, and bream. Plastic worms and crankbaits are effective for enticing bass, while catfish can't resist chicken liver or cut bait. The record catch at this reservoir is a whopping 14-pound bass, reeled in during June 2019. Best time to fish: Spring and Fall.
4: Gulfport Harbor.
Gulfport Harbor provides diverse fishing opportunities in the brackish waters of the Mississippi Sound. Anglers can target species such as flounder, sheepshead, and black drum. Using live shrimp or crab as bait is the key to attracting these prized catches. The record catch at Gulfport Harbor was a 28-inch flounder, caught in August 2021. Best time to fish: Spring and Fall.
5: Pickwick Lake.
This picturesque reservoir is a haven for anglers seeking smallmouth and largemouth bass. The spring and fall seasons are ideal for fishing here. Swimbaits and jigs prove effective for enticing both bass species. A remarkable 6-pound smallmouth bass holds the record for Pickwick Lake, caught in April 2017. Best time to fish: Spring and Fall.
6: Pascagoula River.
The Pascagoula River is a serene location to catch speckled trout, redfish, and flounder. Artificial lures like spoons and soft plastics are favored by local anglers. The largest recorded catch from these waters is a 31-inch redfish, hooked in July 2020. Best time to fish: Spring and Fall.
7: Grenada Lake.
Grenada Lake boasts remarkable crappie fishing, particularly in the winter and early spring months. Jigs tipped with minnows are the preferred tactics. The record catch from Grenada Lake is a 3.5-pound crappie, caught in February 2015. Best time to fish: Winter and Spring.
8: Biloxi Back Bay.
The Biloxi Back Bay is perfect for kayak fishing enthusiasts. It's a prime spot for catching redfish and flounder. Soft plastic baits and live shrimp are favored choices. The record catch for the area is a 27-inch redfish, hooked in September 2018. Best time to fish: Spring and Fall.
9: Enid Lake.
Enid Lake is a crappie haven, particularly in the cooler months. Crappie jigs and minnows are the preferred tactics. The record catch at Enid Lake is a hefty 2.5-pound crappie, caught in December 2019. Best time to fish: Winter and Spring.
10: Lake Tangipahoa.
Situated in Percy Quin State Park, Lake Tangipahoa is a serene haven for fishing enthusiasts. The lake is home to a variety of fish species, including largemouth bass, crappie, and bream. The calm waters and lush surroundings create an inviting atmosphere for anglers of all levels. During the warmer months, spinnerbaits and plastic worms work wonders for attracting bass, while crappie jigs and minnows are the preferred choices for crappie. The record bass catch from Lake Tangipahoa is a 7-pound beauty, reeled in during a memorable fishing day in May 2017. Best time to fish: Spring and Summer.
11: J.P. Coleman State Park.
Located on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, J.P. Coleman State Park is renowned for its catfish and crappie fishing. Nightcrawlers and chicken liver are top baits for catfish, while crappie jigs prove effective for crappie. The record catfish catch here is a 50-pound blue catfish, landed in August 2017. Best time to fish: Spring and Fall.
12: Okatibbee Lake.
Okatibbee Lake is a great location for bass fishing, with spinnerbaits and plastic worms being popular choices. The spring and fall months offer the best chances for a successful catch. The record bass from Okatibbee Lake is a 9-pound specimen, caught in April 2014. Best time to fish: Spring and Fall.
13: Arkabutla Lake.
Arkabutla Lake offers excellent fishing for crappie and catfish. Jigs and minnows are ideal for crappie, while catfish prefer stinkbaits and cut bait. The record crappie catch from Arkabutla Lake is a 2.5-pound fish, caught in March 2020. Best time to fish: Winter and Spring.
14: Lake Washington.
Lake Washington is renowned for its trophy-sized crappie. Anglers use jigs and minnows to target these sought-after catches. The record crappie from Lake Washington is a staggering 4-pound fish, caught in February 2018. Best time to fish: Winter and Spring.
15: Columbus Lake.
Columbus Lake offers year-round fishing for bass, catfish, and crappie. Plastic worms and jigs prove effective for bass, while chicken liver and nightcrawlers work well for catfish. The record bass catch from Columbus Lake is a 10-pound specimen, caught in June 2015. Best time to fish: All Seasons.
16: Lake Tom Bailey.
Lake Tom Bailey is a prime spot for crappie fishing in the cooler months. Jigs and minnows are the go-to baits for reeling in these delicious catches. The record crappie from Lake Tom Bailey is a 2-pound fish, caught in December 2020. Best time to fish: Winter and Spring.
17: Mississippi River.
The mighty Mississippi River provides an array of fishing opportunities, including catfish and bass. Cut bait and live baitfish are the favored choices for targeting catfish, while crankbaits and swimbaits are effective for bass. The record catfish catch from the Mississippi River is a 95-pound blue catfish, caught in May 2019. Best time to fish: Spring and Fall.
18: Lake Jeff Davis.
Lake Jeff Davis is home to bass, catfish, and bream. Plastic worms and topwater lures yield great results for bass, while catfish prefer cut bait and nightcrawlers. The record bass from Lake Jeff Davis is a 7-pound fish, caught in July 2017. Best time to fish: Spring and Fall.
19: Tippah County Lake.
Nestled in the heart of Tippah County, Mississippi, Tippah County Lake offers a peaceful retreat for fishing enthusiasts seeking bass, crappie, and catfish. The lake's serene ambiance provides an ideal setting for a day of angling. When targeting bass, lures like spinnerbaits and plastic worms prove effective, while crappie jigs and minnows are the key to landing crappie. Catfish enthusiasts will find success with chicken liver or stinkbaits. The record bass from Tippah County Lake is an impressive 6-pound specimen, caught in the golden hues of a September afternoon in 2015. Best time to fish: Spring and Fall.
20: Moon Lake.
Moon Lake is famed for its abundant bass and crappie population. Jigs and plastic worms work wonders for bass, while crappie jigs and minnows are ideal for reeling in crappie. The record bass from Moon Lake is a 9-pound fish, caught in March 2016. Best time to fish: Spring and Fall.
Conclusion: Mississippi's waters are a treasure trove for fishing enthusiasts, each location offering a unique experience with its own set of challenges and rewards. Whether you're chasing the elusive crappie in the brisk winter breeze or casting for bass in the balmy embrace of spring, there's never a wrong time to answer the call of the waters. As you explore these 20 fishing paradises, remember that each season holds its own magic, and the journey itself is as much a part of the story as the catch you bring home. We hope you enjoyed this journey through some of the best spots for SUP fishing in Mississippi.
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