Fishing Reports

This month is my favorite month of the year to catch catfish. Water temperatures will range from the low to mid 70’s and the passage of cold fronts and heavy spring rains are pretty much gone by this time. Cats will be feeding heavily in the days leading up to spawning. Fish can be caught from 2 to 70 feet of water this month depending upon where you want to fish. To locate shallow fish check out log jams in cuts along the main river bank on both sides of the river. Logs stack in the back of these pockets and cats seek their cover out for spawning. I fish these areas by rigging spinning tackle with 14 lb test Vicious mono and a 3/0 Mister Twister Keeper red worm hook. I place a 1/16 or 1/8 oz. sinker about 8 to 10 inches under the hook creating a drop shot rig. Cast your bait up against or just under the floating logs and hold steady keeping a tight line. Worms, shrimp, shad or skipjack all work well with this application. For larger fish seek out 15 to 40 feet of water in the mid to rear portions of sloughs on the south end of the lake. McKeirnan Creek, Wilson Lake Shores, and Steenson Hollow among others will have cats this month. To fish these areas I rig heavy bait casting tackle with 65 lb Vicious braid and use a two hook rig. I attach a 6 foot leader of 30 to 40 lb. mono with a 2 to 4 oz. sinker on the bottom. I place the upper hook about 4 feet above the sinker with the lower hook riding 12 to 16 inches above the sinker. This rig allows me to troll my baits behind the boat while eliminating most snags with the hooks up of the bottom. One important tip for trolling on Wilson is to troll East to West across the sloughs and North to South in the main lake. Wilson is full of old abandoned trotlines and by trolling with the direction the lines are running as opposed to across them will prevent a lot of hook loses.

Pickwick Lake, like Wilson will be hot for cats throughout the month. Fish will be on top of and along river ledges, as well as the tops and backs of humps and mounds in the river channel. Blues will be staging heavily at the base of Wilson Dam this month. Its not uncommon for local anglers to catch 50 to 75 fish a day along the tailrace. Eddy pockets and any slack water areas downstream of the dam are likely to be holding cats. A favorite spot of mine this month is to fish the knees of Cypress trees from Seven Mile Island downstream to the Sinking Creek area. Channel cats will often load up in droves under these trees for spawning. Cast worms, prepared baits, or chicken livers underneath the trees to catch the fish. I use a slip float rig set about 6” above the bottom on 10 lb. mono on spinning tackle in these areas. The rock rows along Kroger Island will be a hot spot to search for blues as well as the flats downstream of the Natchez Trace bridge. Check out Brian Barton Outdoors on the web at or email for trip information.


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