Bust bluegills at Okhissa, many Mississippi state lakes
June is always a hot month, and we’re talking fishing, not temperatures.
Statewide, opportunities abound for many species on many types of waters, from the Gulf of Mexico to Pickwick Lake and all lakes, rivers and streams in between.
These are five recommendations we suggest:
Okhissa Lake bluegills
This U.S. Forest Service Lake near Bude in southwest Mississippi has outstanding bluegill bedding action on the more than 600 gravel beds that were built during the lake’s construction, and its original stocking of Florida bass is reaching full maturity. This is one of the few places that can threaten Mississippi record for largemouth bass, 18.15 pounds. But for all the notoriety Okhissa gets for bass, bream may be its best offer.
Pickwick Lake catfish
For all the publicity this big lake that forms Mississippi’s northeast border with Tennessee and Alabama gets as a bass fishery, it attracts more catfish anglers. Millions of channel and blue catfish move up on the rock shelf banks to spawn in the cracks and holes. Rods and reels, cane poles, jig poles, fly gear — all of it can produce action. Don’t be surprised to find a lot of bluegill biting, too.
MDWFP state lakes bream
It’s impossible to pick one or two of the more than 30 state lakes and state-park lakes managed by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks to send bream fishermen.
Most all of them are capable of producing outstanding catches of bluegill. In south Mississippi, try Lake Perry near Beaumont or Bill Waller near Columbia. Central Mississippi, try Prentiss Walker Lake at Mize or Claude Bennett in rural Jasper County about 20 miles east of Bay Springs. In the southwest, Calling Panther Lake near Crystal Springs and Lake Lincoln at Wesson are outstanding. In the east, Kemper County Lake near DeKalb, Tom Bailey at Toomsuba and Roosevelt State Park are hotspots. Up north, try Tippah County Lake near Ripley or Lamar Bruce near Saltillo.
There is no better lake for variety, especially in June, than Barnett, a 55-year-old, 33,000-acre lake near Jackson. As good as the action can be for schooling largemouth and striped/hybrid bass, catfish and bream, this year the spotlight is on crappie. Since the lake was off-limits during the peak of the spring spawn because of the pandemic, the numbers should be fantastic.
No other body of water in the world can match the jugging action on the Big Muddy. Allowing a spread of free-floating fishing devices — nobody uses jugs any more — to flow over a sandy, shallow inside bend of the river will produce more fish that a couple of guys can skin and fillet in a day. It’s also a good time to chase white bass behind the cracks in the many rock dikes used to control the current.
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