Bass and crappie might be the most-popular game fish, at least when judged by the amount of hours and money spent by fishermen who cast and jig with the fanciest of equipment, but June can be a month when two other blue-collar species take over.
That would be bluegill and catfish, and here are five places you have to visit:
1. Okhissa Lake: This 500-acre National Forest Service lake near Bude is rapidly becoming famous for its bluegill, as well it should — but it’s also full of catfish. With more than 500 man-made gravel beds included in the lake’s construction, finding an active bream bed is easy. You can see them. You can smell them. Or you can just look for all the anchored boats. And because of its great depth, Okhissa’s bream bed big time in June.
Catfish are overlooked, but 2- to 5-pound channels are consistently caught there. In June, look at shallow flats off points and in coves.
2. Tippah County Lake: This 145-acre lake near Ripley is loaded with big bream, and it’s another spot where June is a peak bedding month. Look in the coves for beds, and keep your nose in the wind to sniff out the beds.
3. Pickwick Lake: Sure, it’s hard to overlook the bass fishing on this big lake in the extreme Northeast corner of Mississippi. But in June, the fish to target are catfish, as channel cats by the millions move up on the rock bluff banks to spawn in the cracks in 4 to 5 feet of water.
Bream are also easily found in the big lake by looking for shady, gravel banks in the backs of the many coves.
4. Kemper County Lake: This 595-acre MDWFP lake near DeKalb is a bluegill hotspot, and like others listed above it has enough deep water within its banks to make it a June bedding lake. Find the coves that offer depths near the bank and sniff for beds in the shallows. Don’t be surprised to find some fish bedding in 5 to 6 feet of water.
5. Mississippi River: Whether you jug, trotline and cast, the inside bends and shallow bars of the river are loaded with catfish.
If you want to add a little different action to the day, try finding a rock jetty at water level and fish below it for white bass. Your day could end with a box full of blue and channel catfish, as well as white bass.