State lakes by the calendar

Mississippi’s State Parks and State Lake system puts quality fishing near every angler. This stringer came from Roosevelt State Park.

Mississippi is lucky to have a productive and well-managed system of smaller public lakes, offering outstanding fishing in all corners of the state and during all months on the calendar.

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks manages 38 lakes combined through its State Lakes and State Parks programs.

Compiled by the fisheries staff headed by director Larry Pugh, here is a suggested 2017 calendar of fishing opportunities.

January: Trace State Park (Pontotoc County) for bass and crappie on winter patterns, beating out Simpson County Lake for double-digit bass.

February: Lakes Bill Waller and Columbia, located right across the road from each other in Marion County, come as a package deal. Bass spawn early down south, and they will be on the beds.

March: Neshoba County Lake bass will be spawning, and this lake has been the best in the state lately for giant double-digit bass. Trace State Park is another place to target spawning giants.

April: Calling Panther Lake (Copiah County) is full of bass, and Percy Quin State Park (Pike County) will produce because it reopened in 2017. In South Mississippi, Lake Perry County gives the first shot at bedding bream.

May: There’s not a bad bream lake, but the best two for bedding fish are Prentiss Walker Lake (Smith County) or Tippah County Lake.

June: For something different, try trolling for crappie at Lake Lincoln State Park or testing spotted bass at Kemper County Lake.

July: It’s hot, so you want a hot lake. In 2017, that would be two lakes that reopened last year: Lake Lamar Bruce (Lee County) and Percy Quin State Park. Restocking means a lot of hungry, stupid fish.

August: Dog days mean catfish, and Elvis Presley Lake (Lee County) and Roosevelt State Park (Scott County) offer good bank and boat fishing.

September: Shhh! This is a secret. Since restocking, Lake Jeff Davis County has crappie, and they can be caught trolling. Take a bass rod, too, because the new Florida bass there are still dumb.

October: One of the coolest places in Mississippi, Tishomingo State Park and Bear Creek offers spotted bass float trips. With Lake Monroe opening in either May or June, it also produce a good mixed bag.

November: Natchez State Park (Adams County) still has good bass fishing, and it peaks in the fall. But don’t overlook the mixed bag available at Lake Mary County (Lawrence County).

December: Deep water equals good fishing in the winter, and Kemper County Lake has both bass and crappie. Lake Calling Panther is also good.

About Bobby Cleveland 1342 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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