Mississippi’s top 5 March fishing hotspots

March is a prime month to catch big crappie on a handful of the nation’s best lakes, all of which are within Mississippi borders.

The late winter/early spring is prime time for fishing in Mississippi, mostly thanks to the phase of fish activity known as the prespawn. Fishing feed heavily in early and mid-March as they prepare for the rigors and the fasting period that comes with the peak of reproduction activity. With that in mind, here is Mississippi Sportsman’s Top 5 March fishing trips:

Grenada Lake

For the pure, trophy crappie angler, not just from Mississippi but from all over the country, there is no destination that ranks higher on any list than this U.S. Corps of Engineers flood-control project near Grenada. As many 3-pound or better fish are caught in March as in the rest of the year combined. When the big females begin migrating from the deep winter to the shallow spawning areas, it leads them into precarious positions where they can be found. They will follow all the typical routes; main lake points, creek channels, ditches. If fishermen can locate structure on those routes, it’s on.

Lake Washington

If, and that’s a mighty big if, the South Delta can escape the backwater flooding that was so catastrophic in 2019, then this old oxbow lake near Glen Allen in south Washington County is a must visit, especially for trolling aficionados.

It is unique in that the fish have very little structure with which to relate, so they simply stack up in shallow flats just off the shallower spawning grounds. You have to find the shad, but they are plentiful. Most trolling success is found in 5 to 7 feet of water, and the west side of the lake right across from downtown Glen Allen, is a great place to start. Use either jigs or a jig-minnow combination and cover all levels of the water column from 3 feet down to the bottom.

Lake Okhissa

Bass fishermen looking for the bite of a lifetime would be wise to visit this U.S. National Forest Service lake near Bude. It is deep and clear, but it is also full of big bass that start moving up on the points and banks nearest creek channels on the upper end of the lake. In early March, the big females will be on the move from deep water to shallow water, but by late March fishermen with trained eyes can start spotting females on the beds.

Barnett Reservoir

This is the one lake we can include for both bass and crappie, all on the prespawn pattern. This year could be a challenge, because the lake has been lowered by 21/2 feet, which is a lot for The Rez, through the winter as lake officials continue fighting against an outbreak of giant salvinia in the Pelahatchie Bay area. But it could also be a blessing. The shallow water should concentrate the fish in smaller areas. Bass fishermen may have to switch from vegetation like pad stems to ditches and ledges, but that shouldn’t be a problem. Crappie fishermen can look to the old standing timber areas.

Bay Springs Lake

For spotted bass and black bass lovers, this lake produces some entertaining action, and an old pattern is making a comeback on this Tenn-Tom Waterway pool. The prespawn period brings the big fish up from the deep points and places them in the mouths of the coves they will eventually use for spawning. Throwing a suspending jerkbait, reeling it quickly to a depth of about 7 or 8 feet, and then retrieving it slowly with a sweeping action of a rod, can get your shoulder hurt with the way these aggressive spots and largemouths hit these lures.

Bobby Cleveland
About Bobby Cleveland 1253 Articles
Bobby Cleveland has covered sports in Mississippi for over 40 years. A native of Hattiesburg and graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, Cleveland lives on Ross Barnett Reservoir near Jackson with his wife Pam.

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