Mississippi is the hidden gem for crappie fishing in the United States. Anglers like to talk about Louisiana, Texas, and Florida crappie, and there’s no denying the excellent crappie fishing opportunities in those states.
In the meantime, however, Mississippi has quietly placed nine lakes in the “Top 50 Crappie Waters” in the entire country. The first three on the list are all Mississippi lakes. It’s not just the amount of crappie in the various lakes across Mississippi—it’s their size. Crappie fishing in Mississippi is as exciting as it is productive.
It’s not uncommon to catch 3lb or even 4lb crappie throughout the state, especially in Grenada Lake. People who live just across the state line, in Alabama, cross state lines just to fish for crappie in the state of Mississippi.
7 Best Fishing Lakes in Mississippi
The state of Mississippi has four flood-controlled reservoirs, and these reservoirs hold some of the best crappie fishing in the entire US. Many of the lakes in Mississippi get pretty low during the summer months, which increases vegetation. When the water comes back up, you have an incredible recipe for crappie.
1. Grenada Lake
It makes sense to start with this one since it’s the best lake in the country for crappie fishing. If you want large crappie, this is the lake to go to, with 3+ pounds the status quo. Grenada is about 80 miles south of Memphis and sits on the Skuna and Yalobusha Rivers.
Keeper crappie must be 12” in length (which shouldn’t be a problem in Grenada Lake), and you can catch a limit of 15 per person, per day. Grenada Lake is highly popular, and there are several tournaments held here throughout the year.
2. Barnett Reservoir
While Barnett can’t beat Grenada Lake in terms of crappie fishing opportunities, it does host one of the more dense populations of crappie in the country. Located on the Pearl River, Barnett Reservoir is the place to go if you want to catch your limit without breaking a sweat.
Black and white crappie are common in Barnett Reservoir. There are a lot of anglers out here, so you may want to come out early to find yourself a pretty good spot.
3. Lake Washington
A lot of anglers point to Lake Washington as a better crappie spot than even Grenada Lake, if only it were a little bit larger. Once fed by the mighty Mississippi, Lake Washington was abandoned by the river centuries ago, yet still stands today. It’s still a pretty large lake, and you can catch a limit of 30 crappie per day here.
Like Barnett Reservoir, white and black crappie are mostly what you’ll catch here. They may not get as big as they do in Grenada Lake, but catching monster crappie isn’t uncommon here either.
4. Arklabutla Lake
This lake sits on nearly 12,000 acres of real estate and is fed by the Coldwater River. Its depth levels fluctuate chaotically throughout the year, but it’s still one of the best crappie fishing spots in the state.
You won’t find a ton of 3lb crappie here, but Arklabutla Lake gives up larger crappie than most. The best part about Arklabutla Lake is it’s not alone. If you aren’t having any luck on Arklabutla, sister lakes Sardis and Enid are right there as well.
5. Pickwick Lake
Like Lake Washington, Pickwick Lake is the freshwater body to go to if you want to catch your limit of crappie every day. Close to Muscle Shoals, Mississippi, Pickwick is full of little coves, which makes it a great spot for kayakers.
While the crappie aren’t giants in Pickwick Lake, catching 2lbs+ is a pretty common occurrence.
6. Eagle Lake
Another of the so-called “oxbow” lakes in the state of Mississippi (oxbow meaning that it was once fed by the Mississippi but no longer), Eagle Lake sits roughly 20 miles to the north of Vicksburg. Eagle Lake is considered an above-average crappie fishing lake all year-round.
In certain parts of the year, crappie fishing is fantastic here. Black crappie are more prevalent in Eagle Lake, but you can catch white crappie here as well.
7. Sardis Lake
Along with Enid Lake, Sardis Lake is one of Arklabutla Lake’s sister lakes. Springtime is the best time of year to hit up Sardis Lake, just before bass fishing kicks into high gear. Once the bass season starts in earnest, it gets harder to find a good spot on the lake.
Best Time to Fish for Crappie in Mississippi
Mississippi is like most other states in that crappie fishing is a year-round thing. Of course, there are better times to head out in your boat than others. While Mississippi doesn’t officially release any exact dates, most of the local anglers will know.
Regardless of what anybody says, early spring is the best time to head out unless you want to compete for elbow room with anglers fishing for bass. That’s true across all of the lakes in Mississippi, rather than just a few here and there.
With a handful of lakes on the country’s top ten for crappie fishing, the state of Mississippi might just be the best state in the country for crappie fishing, no matter what time of year it is.
Mississippi is also listed as one of the best states for fishing on the gulf coast, so you might want to bring your saltwater gear with you as well. Many of Mississippi’s best crappie-fishing lakes are pretty close together too, so don’t feel too disappointed if you’re not having a good day on one.
The best advice you can get is to go fishing for crappie when the dogwoods bloom. Nature always seems to outthink people when it comes to things like that. One thing is for sure, in the state of Mississippi, it’s hard to choose the wrong lake.
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