Freshwater Fishing

Crappie hotspot: Bay Springs Lake

Bay Springs Lake, also known as the Jamie L. Whitten Lock and Dam, is the northernmost lake on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. Located off Highway 4 near the town of Dennis in Mississippi’s Hill Region, the 6,700 acres of water and 133 miles of shoreline that make up Bay Springs provide crappie anglers with loads of slab crappie that are often overlooked by anglers on their way to bigger lakes.

Our guide this month is the owner/operator of Honey Hole Guide Service, Charlie Kent. Born and raised in Baldwyn, Kent has been fishing the crappie-infested waters of Bay Springs since the lake was created by the Corps of Engineers in 1979. […]

Freshwater Fishing

Truth be Told

There’s a saying in the U.S. Army that you can tell a soldier is lying if he starts his story with, “This ain’t no #@!%.”

That’s why my military intelligence started tingling like Spidey sense when Trace State Park Lake Ranger Jeff Rosamond began telling me how good the bream fishing was in this 600-acre lake located near Tupelo. […]

Bass Fishing

Tempting Tubes

Designed to imitate a range of forage, tubes are among the most versatile and productive baits in a bass angler’s arsenal. A simple drop-and-hop approach will certainly earn you a few bites here and there, but paying closer attention to how you rig the tube, how you alter the tube, how you enhance the tube and, of course, how you present the tube can greatly improve your productivity.

Suffice it to say, many a largemouth bass has found itself heading topside after gobbling what appeared to be a crawfish scooting across the bottom, while many more have attacked tubes that did a fine job of imitating shad, bream and others moving through the water column. Certainly, the right technique helps sell a tube’s performance, but the best thing about this bait is its user-friendly nature. […]

Bass Fishing

Fishing for April bass

During April, I’ll primarily be fishing the shad spawn on the rocks at Ross Barnett Reservoir, one of the hottest lakes in Mississippi during April, where you’ll catch 1½- to 6- or 7-pounders. Fishing the lily pads in the lake will be my second choice. I’ll be fishing the Alabama Rig, a setup that allows five lures to swim together at the same time, resembling a school of shad, that’s taking the country by storm. I like to fish the riprap near the dam and where highways cross the lake. Fishing the Alabama Rig will be an early-morning bite and probably will end by 9 a.m. […]

As Big As they Grow

Washington too good to pass up

I know, I know, I know — last month’s “As Big As They Grow” column was all about Lake Washington. But I can’t help but share the following Lake Washington update, especially as it relates to the crappie tournament action and the great fishing at Washington so far this spring. […]

General

The art of the rifle … 3

The Jeep was almost sliding down the rocky, shale-strewn mountainside at a steep 15-degree angle when Larry Wieshuhn stood on the brake.

These Texas rock piles, small mountains in the hill country northwest of San Antonio, are treacherous and slippery, particularly when following another vehicle. The Jeep in front nearly slid off the road, and Wieshuhn slammed on the brakes. […]

Offshore Fishing

Twice as nice

According to Capt. Lenny Maiolatesi of the Fighting Chicken, docked at Harbor Landing Marina in Ocean Springs, “April means wahoo, and we use a three-pronged attack to fish offshore then. In April, the fish seem to scatter and we usually find them between the Midnight Lump and the floating oil rigs. Generally in April there’s big wahoo and lots of them to be caught. The biggest wahoo we ever caught on the ‘Fighting Chicken’ weighed 92 pounds.” […]

Turkey Hunting

Blind as a bat

Turkey hunting can sure seem like hunting blind sometimes. Gobblers can appear out of thin air as though in a vision. Hens pop up behind you with peering eyes picking up on every out-of-place detail in the woods. If they find anything suspicious, they let every animal in the woods know it as they run full speed in the other direction loudly clucking all the way. […]

Bass Fishing

Bed fishing revisited

It’s spawning time for largemouth bass throughout much of Mississippi. It’s time for sight fishing bass on the beds, and it’s prime time for the perennial debate about the effects of bed fishing. I’ve written on this subject before, emphasizing that there is no effect on bass populations in Mississippi’s waters. A new study finally closes the case on the biological effects of bed fishing. […]

Fishing

Seat-of-your-pants orientation rules

Once upon a time, one of the most tedious things we boaters and fishermen attempted was to figure out exactly where we were on a lake map or chart. Few freshwater fishermen bothered to mount a compass on their boat and just used shoreline sightings and depth soundings to figure out where they were. […]

Happy Trails

Managing the data — Part 2

Over the past several years, I have, through trial and error, developed a system that allows me to efficiently deal with multiple trail cameras and memory cards as I use them to monitor deer movement on my farm in west central Mississippi. My working pool of up to a dozen or more active trail cameras at any one time produces a constant and relentless flow of trail camera data throughout the deer season. The simple system that I have come to use maximizes my trail camera efforts, allowing me to monitor and learn many secrets regarding buck movement patterns on my property. […]

Bass Fishing

Tips for catching post-spawn smallmouth on Pickwick

It’s often called the “Lake Erie of the South,” and the abundance of big smallmouth more than justifies that moniker for Pickwick Lake. However, while northern anglers bounce around in monster swells, anglers in the Magnolia State do their smallie work in much more hospitable conditions.

Indeed the TVA lake shared with neighboring Alabama and Tennessee holds a healthy population of smallmouth that find abundant habitat throughout its 43,100-acres. And with long southern growing season, Pickwick smallies grow fat and sassy on a diet of threadfin shad, gizzard shad and all the yellow perch they can catch. […]