Crappie fishermen at Barnett Reservoir know that many of the prime spawning areas of the 33,000-acre lake are on the northeast side, just south of Mississippi Highway 43. In the past, access to those waters meant launching either a lot further south and going up the lake or launching with the horde of boats on the north side of Highway 43 and running south under the bridge.
But when the spawn takes place this spring at Barnett, those perch-jerkers will have better and closer access to those areas by using the new Goshen South Boat Ramp that opens March 18 across Highway 43 from the popular and always crowded Goshen North Boat Ramp.
“We’ve been needing a ramp on the north end of the main lake for a lot time, especially in the spring when the crappie are spawning,” said Willie Green of Jackson. “There’s a lot of good fishing just off from that landing that will now be in safe reach for a lot of us that don’t have big rigs. I’ll feel a lot safer in my 12-foot john boat with a 15-horse engine launching over there than I do launching across the street and then having to motor through so many other bigger boats with bigger engines that go so darned fast.
“I won’t even have to crank my big motor except to idle about 200 yards, and I can start fishing spawning waters. This new ramp is perfect for us smaller boaters, but I’m sure it will be just as popular for the bigger boat people. The good thing is that a lot of the area I want to go to during the spawn is too shallow for those guys to go lickety-split up through there.”
The new ramp is accessible off Mississippi Highway 43 and has parking spaces for about 55 boats. Once access channel has been dredged to an elevation of 292, so at the lake’s normal operation level of 297.5 feet above sea level, there is plenty of water. At the end of the dredged channel, boaters have a choice of turning north and following existing channels around Sunset Marina along Highway 43, or turning south and running an existing marked channel south to where it merges with the marked Pearl River Channel.