Outdoors

Here’s why South Mississippi’s fishing season is looking up, state says

Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologists are anticipating a productive 2019 fishing season in south Mississippi waters.

After the high water subsides and the spring rains diminish, the south region lakes and rivers should be primed for our anglers.

Anglers have already caught trophy bass ranging from eight to 12 pounds at Lake Bill Waller during the last few weeks and one angler recently harvested a 1.9 pound, lake-record crappie from Lake Columbia.

These catches provide an early indicator of fishing success for anglers this spring and summer.

“Population sampling during fall 2018 revealed catch rates dominated by quality sized largemouth bass and sunfish in the south region state fishing lakes,” said MDWFP Fisheries Biologist Stephen Brown.

“Fall sampling in Lake Bogue Homa produced numerous crappie over one pound and more quality sunfish than in previous years. With increased boat accessibility due to the continued reduction of water hyacinth, great electrofishing survey numbers, and larger bass being caught during tournaments in 2018, expect the numbers and sizes of fish caught to increase this spring at Lake Bogue Homa.”

The state lake to target for largemouth bass this spring is Lake Jeff Davis. Tournament catches were at or near the best in the state with tournament anglers weighing in large 5 fish creels and lunkers at 10 pounds or better throughout the 2018 tournament season.

The fall electrofishing survey produced numerous bass over five pounds with a few reaching almost eight pounds. Lake Jeff Davis is one to watch!

Biologists saw the highest catch rates of largemouth bass since 2009 in the Pascagoula Marsh during fall electrofishing.

Increased numbers during surveys should bode well for anglers on the Pascagoula River and marsh this upcoming fishing season. In addition, the associated oxbows of the Pascagoula River will be popular and should produce large crappie and sunfish this spring.

For more information regarding fishing in Mississippi, visit www.mdwfp.com or call 601-432-2212.

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