• Freshwater Fishing

    The Structure Snake was designed to be the most snag-resistant weight available. It is available in a variety of sizes and colors.

    Structure Snake weight slithers through cover

    The real secret to the catfish rig used by angler David Magness is the weight, a specially designed model made and sold by his fishing partner, Rusty Jackson of Olive Branch, through his website, bigrivercatfishing.com

    June 15 at 7:00am
    This catfish fell for a bait being pulled under a planer board.

    Fishing on a higher plane

    Using planer boards to separate trolling lines is a tactic that has been around for a long time, but anglers continue to re-invent it, tailoring it to the species they are targeting. 

    June 15 at 7:00am
    Catfish guide David Magness urges Magnolia state anglers not to overlook the great catfishing available in Mississippi’s big reservoir lakes.

    Put the move on Mississippi’s corridor cats

    Anyone who has spent any amount of time fishing on one of the flood-control lakes along Mississippi’s I-55 corridor has witnessed boats trolling back and forth with rods hanging off their sides. 

    June 01 at 7:00am
    A nesting box can be made from scraps that are found around the house or in dumpsters at construction sites. This box is made from treated wood and is 30 inches long, 22 inches wide and 11¼ inches tall inside. The hole is 8 inches wide and 6 inches high.

    Fish attractor rules

    The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks’ regulations regarding fishing attractors or structures, including boxes for noodling:

    May 15 at 7:00am
    There's an outstanding list of bream holes scattered throughout the state.

    A primer for Mississippi bream fishermen

    Bluegill or redear? Cricket or worm? Wet fly or dry? 

    Cane pole or jig pole? Fly rod or spinning rod? 

    May 01 at 7:00am
    Hand-grabbing is a social activity for friends and family, enticing fishermen of all ages and types to join this fun. This group made this haul in a single morning on Barnett Reservoir.

    Grab a Mississippi catfish and hold on

    You are submerged in murky water, too stained to see your hand in front of your face. You’re not wearing a mask, you have no way to breathe and someone is pushing you down.

    May 01 at 7:00am
    Driftmaster’s line of crappie-style rod holders make setting the hook using long rods much easier.

    Rodholders key to stalking crappie

    Driftmaster Rodholders, a division of Black River Tools, is the manufacturer of one of the most innovative rod holders designed specifically for spider-rigging for crappie. 

    April 15 at 7:00am
    Old school Mississippi crappie fishing means using a jig pole to search for crappie in the grass and is still a top producer for slabs this month. An 11- or 12-footer will allow anglers to reach deeper into the vegetation to get to fish others miss.

    The pros and cons of current

    Long is the debate over exactly how current, whether it be wind or water generated, has on crappie fishing. 

    April 15 at 7:00am
    In mid March, male crappie on Barnett had already turned black and moved shallow for the spawn. There's one lighter colored female in the bunch. Since April 1, both males and females are in deep water.

    Crappie yet to spawn on Barnett Reservoir

    It could happen today, but then, again, it might be tomorrow.

    April 13 at 2:50pm
    Jigging is an effective way to catch crappie in flood-control reservoirs. Notice, in the background, the absence of cover needed for successful crappie spawning.

    How do young crappie survive the winter

    Good crappie fishing often depends on a strong year-class: an abundance of fish produced in a given year. When those fish grow to a size of interest to anglers — what biologists call “recruit to the fishery” — the result is fast action, filled limits and full coolers. Fast growth and limited harvest often equates to super slabs for the next several years. 

    April 09 at 9:00am
    Crappie fisherman Hugh Krutz of Brandon recommends that Barnett Reservoir anglers pay their taxes early and target April 15 for a time to hit the peak of the crappie spawn on The Rez.

    April 15: Taxes or slabs at the Rez

    Most people mark April 15 on their calendars as a reminder that their income tax forms are due.

    April 01 at 7:00am
    Coloration, teeth in the throat and a light orange or red line around the ear flap are ways to tell a shellcracker (above) from a bluegill.

    Bream ID: Shellcrackers and bluegills

    Although commonly lumped together in many circumstances under the handle bream, bluegill and redear sunfish have distinctly different characteristics, especially when targeting one species or the other.

    March 15 at 8:00am
    Because shellcrackers feed closer to the bottom than bluegill, baits like red worms are more effective than crickets.

    Tips for catching shellcrackers

    Use these tips to catch more shellcrackers:

    March 15 at 8:00am
    Light planer boards like Water Bugz are more suitable for pulling light lures and baits for crappie.

    Gaining a little weight isn’t always bad

    While most folks stress about putting on a little weight, guide Brad Taylor said that when pulling planer boards for crappie, adding a little weight can go a long way.

    March 15 at 8:00am
    This nice Grenada Lake crappie weighed almost 3 pounds.

    Managing crappie is often a water issue

    Reservoir crappie populations are notoriously cyclic. A strong year-class is produced once every few years and is usually followed by one or more weak year-classes. When the fish reach catchable size, the abundant cohort supports good to excellent fishing for a few years until members of the once abundant year-class are caught or die of old age. 

    March 09 at 8:30am
    Spawning earlier than bluegills, this month is the time to begin seeking out shellcracker, a.k.a. redear or chinquapin, on one of Mississippi’s well-managed state lakes.

    Shellcracker fever is heating up

    May is widely considered to be the best month for chasing bream, but die-hard panfisher anglers know that redear sunfish — aka chinquapin, shellcracker or just redear — move into their prespawn and spawning patterns much sooner than bluegill and other sunfish species that fall under the general colloquialism of “bream.”

    March 01 at 7:00am