Obviously, March is a hot month for fishing throughout Mississippi, as fish transition from their docile winter behavior and start feeding heavily to fuel their coming spawning desires. There are so many good places to wet a hook, but these five are proven early spring hot spots.
Jordan River, Bay of St. Louis
Guide Sonny Schindler loves fishing for reds in March, especially on a high tide. That’s when the bay, which is formed by the mouth of the Jordan River, gets hot. “The high water opens up a lot of new water for fishermen to chase reds,” said Schindler, of Shore Thing Charters in Bay St. Louis. “The same tide that makes fishing the marshes difficult makes it easy in the bay, plus, you don’t have very far to run.”
Schindler said the high water pushes the fish up on the banks looking for easy meals. The rest of the month, he counts on the U.S. Highway 90 bridge pilings to produce the hot action for redfish and their black drum cousins, as well as plentiful sheepshead.
Flint Creek Water Park, Wiggins
South Mississippi’s best crappie lake hits a spawning peak earlier than most lakes. The males move up in early March; the females will follow when the water temp moves up to 60 degrees or more. Take a jig and look for shallow cover in small coves or around riprap banks. Bonus tip: take a bass fishing outfit, because the females will be feeding heavy before making their final move up to the beds. Look for any drop off outside of a spawning area.
Jeff Davis Lake, Prentiss
This MDWFP lake offers two options, and both can be extremely productive. Both the impressive largemouth bass population and a healthy redear bream population hit the shallows in March to start procreating. Bass can be found all around the edges of this lake, but you’ll need to find some clean hard bottoms for the redear.
Lake Washington, Glen Allan
There’s a reason why this old Washington County oxbow lake south of Greenville is included on everybody’s Top 10 list of crappie hotspots in the world. It’s loaded with big fish, and they are most vulnerable in March — in the final stages of the prespawn in early March and the early stages of the spawn later in the month. For prespawners before the waters reaches 60 degrees and stays there, drift-fishing with spider rigs covering the entire water column down in 7 to 8 feet of water with a jig/minnow combination. Once the surface temperature hits 60 and surges past it for good, move on up into the plentiful cypress trees and heavy brush and hit every imaginable spot with a jig. The smaller size of this lake, compared to the state’s larger crappie waters, makes this a great choice because it’s fishable on moderately windy days that would leave you docked at Grenada Lake or Barnett Reservoir.
Barnett Reservoir, Jackson
Can’t leave this one off the list most months, and certainly not in March, when the bass and crappie become extremely vulnerable. Watch the surface temperature. Once they pass 50 degrees, the male bass will move into the shallows and begin preparing beds. They rarely let a swimming lizard pass without an attack. Once the temperature hits the upper 50s, say, 56 to 58, the big females will start showing up as if someone flipped on a switch. One day you can’t buy a bite, and the next day your five best fish could easily surpass 20 or 25 pounds. The favorite bait of most old timers is the swimming lizard, fished around pad stems on the east side of the main lake from Old Fannin Landing north to Highway 43. Crappie fishermen can go shallow and chase the males as they prepare beds or stay with the creek channels where they approach the spawning grounds and fish for the bigger sows as they make a slower progression to the shallows.
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