• Freshwater Fishing

    Portable lights can put more fish in the boat — or on your dock — at night as well as make your trip safer.

    Night fishing musts

    When fishing at night, remember to pack:

    July 15, 2017 at 7:00am
    Steve Coleman replaces jigs with crankbaits and pushes them out the front of his boat in power trolling fashion.

    Coleman and Capps love deep cranking

    For the last 20 years, the team of Ronnie Capps and Steve Coleman has been the team to beat on national crappie tournament circuits. The duo has developed tournament crappie tactics so successful that manufacturers began creating rods, rigs, and lures just for that style of fishing. 

    July 15, 2017 at 7:00am
    A number of set ups are used for power trolling, but most involve tandem jigs and a heavy weight to keep the baits down in the water column at faster trolling speeds.

    One head, different colors

    Veteran crappie angler Les Smith highly recommends Road Runner jigheads for his style of power trolling. He said the balance of the jig, along with the additional flash provided by the spinner blade works well when power trolling.

    July 15, 2017 at 7:00am
    Veteran crappie angler Les Smith from Senatobia looks to power trolling in the summer to consistently catch slab fish.

    Trip information

    Where to go: Veteran crappie angler Les Smith has friends who have successfully used power-trolling techniques all across the country, but he knows how well it works on north Mississippi’s four U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flood control lakes along the state’s I-55 crappie corridor.

    July 15, 2017 at 7:00am
    Yes, fish have color vision. Crappie have a penchant for bright, gaudy colors.

    Fish Sensory Systems - Part 1

    A fish’s survival depends on its ability to sense its environment. Anglers, of course, are most concerned about feeding — how fish detect, select, and ultimately attack and consume food. We make the assumption that sensory systems involved in feeding are equally involved in catching fish with lures or real food impaled on a hook. This three-part series explores fish vision, taste, smell, hearing, and detection of water movement. Understanding the basics of how fish sensory systems work is relatively simple. The more difficult, but vital, part of understanding how fish use their sensory systems for feeding is comprehending the differences between the fish’s aqueous home and our aerial world.

    July 10, 2017 at 9:00am
    A light, either above or below the surface, is necessary to nighttime fishing success.

    Under the light: crappie at night

    Even biologists struggle to agree on an answer: Do fish sleep?

    Some say yes, others say no, and both make a case to prove their answer is correct. The evidence points to fish taking periods of rest, but without eyelids, or that portion of the brain mammals use to produce sleep, how do we know if and when they sleep?

    July 01, 2017 at 7:00am
    Crankbait and long line trolling lack the precise depth control that can be achieved when power trolling.

    Power troll for summertime crappie

    When Les Smith of Senatobia looks at the thermometer in July, it’s not the weather temperature that comes to mind, it’s the fishing temperature. His years of experience on north Mississippi’s famous crappie factories like Enid, Sardis, Grenada, and Arkabutla lakes have shown that the heat of summer doesn’t mean it’s time to stop fishing.

    July 01, 2017 at 7:00am
    Catching a limit with plastics isn’t as hard as you might think once you’ve got your presentation dialed in.

    Summer crappie like fast-break approach

    I don’t know about you, but when I think of crappie fishing during June, I picture a laid-back, leisurely affair that feels about as lazy and slow as a Mississippi summer.

    June 15, 2017 at 7:00am
    Mississippi’s noodling, or hand-grabbing season for catfish, opened May 1 and ends July 15, making June the peak month for hands-on action.

    Noodling (a.k.a. hand-grabbing) peaks in June

    One of the few freshwater fishing seasons in Mississippi is the hands-on noodling season for catfish. It opened May 1 and will close on July 15, making June the peak month for activity.

    June 15, 2017 at 6:00am
    Follow Wally

    Mr. Crappie’s top 10 crappie-fishing tips

    Seeing a school of crappie on your side-imaging electronics is one thing: Getting those fish into the boat is quite another.

    But Wally “Mr. Crappie” Marshall has it figured out. Once fish are in their summertime pattern, he begins by using his Humminbird Helix units to identify submerged timber or submerged brush tops holding fish.

    June 08, 2017 at 9:45am
    The good thing about crankbaits and jigs is that you don't have to worry about keeping minnows alive.

    Kicking the minnow habit

    There’s no doubt live minnows catch crappie.

    There’s also no doubt that live minnows are a bit of a hassle. Like disposable razors, live minnows have a finite shelf life, after which they are more trouble than what they’re worth. 

    June 01, 2017 at 7:00am
    Whether you seek trophy catfish or fryers, one of these methods will fit the bill for your summertime action.

    Summer Cats 5 Ways

    As hard as it may be to believe, catfish are one of the most versatile quarries with whom anglers can ever hope to do battle. While most people think of them as slimy creatures that lurk on the bottom in the mud, catfish represent all of the characteristics as top-of-the-food-chain predators, finicky tournament day foes, and main course for a fish fry all rolled up into one.

    June 01, 2017 at 7:00am
    Fishermen in Northeast Mississippi will get a treat in June when Lake Monroe reopens to fishing.

    Monroe to open in June

    MDWFP announced that it will reopen a popular — and soon to be even more so — fishing hole near Aberdeen. Closed in 2014, 99-acre Lake Monroe in Monroe County will have two opening dates in June.

    May 30, 2017 at 6:00am
    An in-line spinner like a Mepps Aglia can be just the ticket for going from throwbacks to bragging-sized bluegills.

    To get out of a small-bream rut, go deep, go big

    May is a great month for catching big bluegills, but the bite will last for the next several months. While some anglers have a knack for filling a cooler with really big bream, others can’t keep the small ones off the hook. If you seem stuck on small fish, don’t pull up anchor just yet. These tips can turn your trip around.

    May 18, 2017 at 10:00am
    Hugh Krutz stresses the importance of fishing current patterns rather than fishing in the most comfortable manner for the angler to find the most success.

    Post-spawn success requires versatility

    Magnolia Crappie Club member Hugh Krutz said one of the biggest mistakes he sees when crappie anglers take to the water during the post-spawn is only fishing the way the angler wants to fish for them.

    May 15, 2017 at 7:00am
    While Ronnie Capps and Steve Coleman will still be working the shallows using tight line methods, using an additional short casting rod will allow them to reach tight places that they cannot get to with the boat. The target is male crappie guarding fry after the spawn.

    Troll or cast the post-spawn? Why not both?

    National crappie tournament champions Ronnie Capps and Steve Coleman have earned themselves the reputation for being diehard tight-line trollers, but they describe a twist that one or both of them may use during the post-spawn to pick off male who are sticking tight to the nest during the post-spawn to guard fry.

    May 15, 2017 at 7:00am