Best Fishing Spots in Mississippi

Rods resting in a rod holder on the Mississippi
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Mississippi’s diverse aquatic landscapes offer you both freshwater and saltwater fishing experiences that are considered some of the best in the region. Whether you prefer the calm, freshwater environments of public lakes or the adventurous saltwater fishing off the Gulf Coast, Mississippi ensures an engaging pursuit for every angler. In freshwater, you have access to renowned bodies of water like the Ross Barnett Reservoir, a 33,000-acre lake known for its abundance of bass, bream, crappie, and catfish.

On the other hand, if saltwater fishing piques your interest, places such as Ocean Springs Pier and Biloxi Bay offer fruitful oceanic shorelines perfect for your next catch. Estuaries, coastal preserves, and piers, like the Davis Bayou Fishing Pier and Lake Mars Pier, provide unique spots closer to brackish bayous where saltwater species thrive. Each location across Mississippi’s richly varied fishing spots is bound to give you an extraordinary fishing encounter.



Ross Barnett Reservoir

Regarded as Mississippi’s premier bass fishery, Ross Barnett Reservoir is a pivotal location for bass fishing enthusiasts and hosts several bass tournaments annually. Spanning over 33,000 acres, this extensive body of water offers abundant fishing opportunities for anglers of all levels.

When targeting bass, consider stopping at local tackle shops to obtain your Mississippi fishing license and gather essential fishing insights. These shops are treasure troves of local knowledge and can set you up with the right gear.

Top Fishing Spots:

  • Welfare Hole: This spot is noted for its significant current-break area and deep hole within the old river channel, where crappie tend to congregate.

Fishing Regulations:

  • Hooks must be secured at least one inch apart.
  • The area from the reservoir spillway outlet to the Jackson water intake has a daily bag limit of 6 Striped and/or Hybrid Striped Bass per person.
  • Mandatory release of all fish 15 inches and under; only 1 fish over 24 inches may be harvested per day.

Notable Features:

  • An impressive 3.5-mile dam that dates to 1965.
  • Over 105 shoreline miles created by numerous backwaters.

Your fishing experience at Ross Barnett is enhanced by the reservoir’s location bordering the historic Natchez Trace northeast of Jackson. With hands-on expertise from local anglers and an array of habitats, including the reservoir’s backwaters, main lake, and old river channel, your fishing endeavor is poised for success.

Sardis Lake

When you’re planning a fishing trip in Mississippi, Sardis Lake should be high on your list. As a substantial reservoir along the Little Tallahatchie River in northern Mississippi, Sardis Lake covers around 32,500 acres and boasts upwards of 80 miles of shoreline, making it a prime location for anglers.

The maximum depth is approximately 76 feet, and with an elevation of 596 feet, the lake provides diverse habitats for fish. Known for its excellent fishing opportunities, Sardis Lake hosts a variety of species, including:

For crappie enthusiasts, one particular spot worth noting is Engineer Point (Coordinates: N 34 23.965 / W 89 47.083). This area offers protection from wind, which is an asset since the lake can become quite choppy, particularly in the afternoons.

Here are some strategies to help you catch fish on Sardis Lake:

  • Largemouth Bass: Target main lake points, ledges, or the edges of creek and river channels with spinnerbaits, jigs, or soft plastics.
  • Crappies: Fishing in deeper waters (35 ft or more) with crankbaits set 18-22 feet deep can yield good results.
  • Edge Fishing: Explore the dam and Engineers’ Point with faster moving baits such as buzz baits and crankbaits as the weather warms.

Just remember, it’s about an hour’s drive southeast from Memphis, Tennessee, making it accessible for a day trip or a longer fishing expedition.

Gulfport Harbor

When visiting Gulfport Harbor, you’ll find a welcoming hub of fishing activity perfect for anglers of all skill levels. The harbor offers multiple fishing piers and boat launches, making it a versatile spot for casting your line.

Key Features:

  • Fishing Piers: Accessible and equipped with amenities, the piers at Gulfport Harbor are great for a relaxing day of fishing.
  • Boat Launches: For those preferring to fish from the water, well-maintained boat launches are readily available.

What You Might Catch:

  • Red Drum: Especially abundant, providing exciting catches for anglers.
  • Sharks: Present in the inshore and nearshore waters, with opportunities to catch them more favorable in late fall.

Amenities:

  • Parking: Ample space available, alleviating worries about finding a spot for your vehicle.
  • Restrooms: For your convenience, restrooms are situated close to fishing areas.
  • Snack Bar: Fight off hunger during long fishing sessions with nearby snacks.

When planning your trip, consider that the harbor is a dynamic environment with fluctuations in fish activity. Previous catch logs suggest a variety of species are present, and while Red Drum are frequently caught, the opportunity to battle sharks during their peak season adds a level of excitement for the more adventurous angler.

Bay St. Louis

Bay St. Louis is a prime fishing destination in Mississippi, offering a variety of species and scenic spots for both novice and experienced anglers. Your adventure in the waters of Bay St. Louis can result in catches like speckled trout, redfish, and a range of other gamefish.

Prime Locations

  • The Trestles: Located at N 30 18.665 x W 89 18.919, the west end of the bridge is particularly fruitful for fishing, especially in early November.
  • Mallini Bayou: Favored for red drum, and with over 262 logged catches, it’s a local angler’s highlight.

Fishing Tips

  • Best Time: Aim for a moderately moving tide to increase your chances of a good catch.
  • Bait: Use live bait or fresh dead shrimp on the bottom for the best results.

Remember, the beauty of Bay St. Louis is not just in the potential of a big catch, but also in the peacefulness of its waters and the opportunity to merge with nature.

Percy Quin State Park Lake

Located in the heart of Mississippi, Percy Quin State Park offers a premier fishing destination at Lake Tangipahoa. This 490-acre expanse is situated just six miles south of McComb, within easy access from Interstate 55, and presents a serene environment coupled with rich fisheries.

Fish Species Availability:

  • Largemouth Bass: Spring and fall are ideal seasons for bass fishing.
  • Crappie: Known for their size in this lake, they’re most active in cooler months.
  • Catfish: A year-round staple packed full of fight.
  • Bluegill: Summer months provide abundant and exciting opportunities for anglers targeting bluegill.

Facilities and Services:

Service TypeAvailabilityPhone Number
RV CampsitesYes (100 slots)(601) 684-3938
Boat SlipsMonthly/Yearly(601) 684-3938
Fishing ReportsReel Facts Sheets(601) 684-3938
Cabins/CottagesYes, for rent(601) 684-3938

Before heading out, you may contact the park at the provided phone number to inquire about services and current fishing reports to optimize your trip. Note that the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks often conducts fish populations assessments, providing valuable insights into the best times to visit and techniques to use. Whether you prefer a laid-back fishing experience from a cabin’s comfort or an active day out on the water, Percy Quin State Park Lake stands out as a must-visit destination for anglers of all levels.

Enid Lake

Located in the north-central region of Mississippi, Enid Lake is a premier destination for anglers seeking a variety of fish species. This 28,000-acre reservoir boasts over fifty miles of shoreline, providing ample space for fishing and other recreational activities.

When targeting fish at Enid Lake, here’s what you can expect:

  • Bass: Focus on main lake points, ledges, or creek edges. Use slow-rolled spinnerbaits, jigs, and soft plastic lures. As the water temperature increases, shift to faster moving baits like buzzbaits and crankbaits.
  • Crappie: Known for its record-setting white crappie, your best chance comes with participating in local tournaments or fishing near structures with jigs or minnows.
  • Catfish: Stink baits and worms are effective for catfish, especially along the bottom of the lake where these fish commonly feed.
  • Sunfish & White Bass: Easily caught with the right light tackle and live bait around shallow areas.

You can also find excellent camping facilities near Enid Lake, enhancing your fishing trip by allowing you to stay close to the best fishing spots. Before you plan your visit, check the latest fishing reports for the most current information on bait preferences and fish activity.

Enid Lake Fishing Snapshot:

SpeciesRecommended Baits
BassSpinnerbaits, Jigs, Soft Plastics
CrappieJigs, Minnows
CatfishStink Baits, Worms
Sunfish & White BassLive Bait

Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway

Late afternoon at the Tennessee Tombigbee waterway fishing spot

When seeking prime fishing spots in Mississippi, you’ll find the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway (Tenn-Tom) offers a prolific fishing experience. The Tenn-Tom, a 234-mile waterway, connects the Tennessee River to the Black Warrior-Tombigbee River system.

Notable Fishing Spots:

  • Burnsville Bridge: Known for excellent opportunities to catch trophy flatheads and vibrant blue catfish.
  • Bay Springs Lake: This lake is part of the Tenn-Tom and is renowned for crappie, striped bass, sauger, and catfish.

Available Fish Species:

  • Catfish: flatheads and blue cats
  • Bass: largemouth and spotted bass
  • Crappie: particularly abundant
  • Striped bass
  • Sauger

The construction of the Tenn-Tom was primarily for economic development, yet it inadvertently created a haven for anglers. The waterway maintains strong crappie action through the summer, quite appealing for avid anglers.

For more information or detailed maps of the Tenn-Tom Waterway, you may contact the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Development Authority or visit their website. Here, you’ll gain access to resources that can enhance your fishing venture.

Whether you are a seasoned angler or someone looking to explore new fishing territories in Mississippi, the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway’s chain of lakes and surrounding environments are waiting for you.

Pascagoula River

The Pascagoula River presents a diverse fishing landscape for you to explore. It runs approximately 80 miles from the convergence of the Chickasawhay and Leaf rivers, down to the Gulf of Mexico. Here, marshes and estuaries create prime habitats for various fish species, making it a dynamic spot for anglers.

When visiting the Pascagoula River, you can expect to encounter spots like Marsh Lake and the Pascagoula River Marsh Coastal Preserve, both offering vibrant fishing settings. These locations are particularly noted for their abundance of fish, and are accessible by kayak or motorized boats. Expect to see species such as:

Fishing near the mouth of the river and the near-shore reefs is fruitful, particularly for Speckled Trout. The river’s natural layout, with its range of depths and numerous sandbars, creates an inviting environment for both fishing and camping experiences.

For a successful outing, consider the various depths of the river’s south side, where bayous can range from 5 to 50 feet deep. This depth variation is something to be mindful of, especially if you’re fishing the area for the first time. Using local resources, such as guides or apps like Fishbrain, could help you understand local fishing regulations and garner tips to enhance your catch rate.

Lake Ferguson

Lake Ferguson, an oxbow lake along the Mississippi-Arkansas border, offers ample fishing opportunities. Its waters were historically part of the Mississippi River but now provide a unique habitat for various fish species.

Location and Access:
Located near Greenville, Mississippi, you can access Lake Ferguson for a fishing trip with ease. There are access points for boat launching as well as spots for shore fishing, ensuring that you can fish regardless of whether you own a boat.

Fish Species:
You will find a wide array of fish in Lake Ferguson. Notably:

  • Largemouth bass
  • Crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish

Fishing Tips:
For successful catches in Lake Ferguson, consider the following:

  • Largemouth bass: Use spinnerbaits or soft plastic worms around submerged structures.
  • Crappie: Target with minnows or jigs near brush piles or fallen trees.
  • Catfish: Bottom fishing with live bait or stink baits can be particularly effective.

Please note the presence of silver carp in the lake; they are known to leap out of the water and can be a hazard to boaters.

Local Insights:
Engage with local anglers or fishing reports for the latest bait recommendations and hotspots. Guide services are available if you’re seeking expert advice for navigating Lake Ferguson’s fishing landscape.

Buccaneer State Park

Buccaneer State Park, located in Waveland, Mississippi, offers a serene fishing experience for you with its picturesque backdrop against the Gulf of Mexico. The park’s natural setting includes large moss-draped oaks and sprawling marshlands, providing an exceptionally ambient environment for fishing enthusiasts.

Amenities:

  • Accessible Fishing Areas: Enjoy fishing with ease thanks to well-maintained spots geared towards comfort and convenience.
  • Variety of Fish Species: You can expect to catch a range of fish including speckled trout, redfish, and flounder.
  • Pier Fishing: The park has a fishing pier that extends into the Gulf, where the waters teem with marine life ideal for fishing.

Hours and Access:

  • Buccaneer Bay is open to the public on weekends (Saturday and Sunday) beginning August 1, 2023, through Labor Day weekend.
  • For year-round access details, it is recommended to contact the park at (228) 467-3822 or check their official website.

Location:
Address: 1150 South Beach Boulevard, Waveland, MS 39576

What to Bring:

  • Fishing License: Ensure you have a valid Mississippi fishing license, a crucial requirement for fishing in the state.
  • Gear: Bring your own rods, bait, and tackle for a personalized fishing experience.

Whether you are a seasoned angler or trying out fishing for the first time, Buccaneer State Park offers a tranquil escape with promising fishing prospects for you. Make sure to observe the park’s regulations to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

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