2016 Fishing Forecast for Southwest Mississippi
Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologists anticipate a great year for anglers in Southwest Mississippi. “We’ve seen improved fisheries at connecting oxbows along the Mississippi River during fall and winter sampling,” said MDWFP fisheries biologist Jerry Brown. “We collected high numbers of largemouth bass and bluegill at Chotard and Albemarle Lakes, and anglers reported improved catches at those and other oxbows during fall 2015. Recent flooding will not adversely affect game fish populations. According to Brown, “fish move onto the floodplain during high water, and return to the oxbows as the water level decreases.”
Crappie anglers should have a good year at Eagle and Wolf Lakes. “Eagle Lake is producing some big fish right now, and a strong year class from 2013 is expected to be over the 11-inch minimum length limit this season,” stated Brown. “At Wolf Lake, we collected high numbers of crappie of all sizes, and the fish were healthy.”
The state fishing and state park lakes continue to support excellent fish populations. “New fish attractors were added at Lake Mike Conner, Calling Panther Lake, and Lake Lincoln State Park,” said Brown. “Boat lanes were created at Calling Panther Lake, but boaters need to remember that idle speed is required in those areas.” Lake Jeff Davis will be one to watch this year. “The initial stock of Florida-strain largemouth bass will be five years old, and we expect to hear of trophy size fish being caught,” added Brown. The protective slot limit for largemouth bass at Lake Jeff Davis was increased to 18-24 inches, and anglers are allowed to harvest one bass over 24 inches.
For more information regarding fishing in Mississippi, visit our website at www.mdwfp.comor call us at (601) 432-2212.