Crappie are found all over the United States From the east cost all the way to California, from southern Canada, to Florida and just about any other place there is a lake river or stream. The great thing about Mississippi crappie fishing is that excellent catch can be found on many lakes year round. Even better, many of these lakes clear out because seasonal anglers prefer to stay at home in front of the fireplace, telling fish stories about their great spring and summer seasons. Some of the best fishing can actually be had in the winter months, and there are several lakes to choose from as your preferred location.
Barnett Reservoir is a 33,000-acre lake, but in the winter, you’ll find most of the fishing is done in about 50 acres of water. Mississippi crappie fishing enthusiasts will crowd into the upper lake area referred to as Welfare Hole, fishing for the strong crappie population. Due to the bottleneck created at the nearby highway bridge, crappie are attracted to the area and held here, seeking shelter from the current. Though just about anyone could catch a fish here, Mississippi crappie fishing during the winter is most efficient with an electronic depth finder to locate large schools, as well as a lot of patience. Barnett’s spillway also offers great fishing opportunities after a large release of water at the dam. Pelahatchie Creek on the east side of the dam also provides great Mississippi crappie fishing, with anglers targeting the banks where crappie can find deep cover.
Eagle Lake is another excellent location to find crappie. It’s a landlocked oxbow off the Mississippi River close to Vicksburg, famous for producing 10- and 12-inch fish in two years’ time, which is faster than any other lake in the state, according to studies by biologists. Eagle Lake is optimal for pre-spawn winter Mississippi crappie fishing because large females move out of the river channel for shelter. During these times, you can troll for an hour or two and catch your limit. For the best success, troll the deeper waters away from the owner piers, where they regularly deplete the supply in the brush along the banks. According to some sources, the crappie here prefer to remain about 14-15 feet deep in 20-foot deep waters.
Bay Springs Pool, just 30 minutes south of the Tennessee border, is a 5,500-acre lake that gets extremely cold during the winter months. However, during this time, Mississippi crappie fishing yields a great catch, with fat fish resting deep in the lake and ready to bite live bait such as small minnows. The lake contains clear waters, and in 35-50-foot deep areas, you’ll probably find the best, largest winter slabs at depths of 35-40 feet. Using more poles to cover a variety of depths can turn out a limit for the day, even in the dead cold of winter.