Keeping it Reel: Mississippi’s World-Class Fishing Spots

Fishing is one of mankind’s most ancient and enduring practices, and if you fish, you get it. To be out on open water, breathing the fresh air and waiting patiently for that tug on the line is a transcendent experience. Of course, it’s not all about the big catch. Fishing is camaraderie, adventure and relaxation, a chance to touch base with ourselves and each other.

Still, who doesn’t pine for that trophy fish, the big haul, a mess of good eating? The good news is, you can have it both ways. Mississippi has some of the most premier fishing spots in the Southeast: legendary crappie, bountiful bass, hearty sea trout and much more await in the state’s serene lakes and coastline.

Grenada Lake

A reservoir of the Yalobusha River, Grenada Lake is uniquely situated to provide the perfect conditions for large fish. Within this undisturbed cypress habitat, where temperatures are mild year-round, food is concentrated at levels that allow fish to grow big. That’s what makes Grenada Lake famous as the home of the 3-pound crappie.

Crappie of this size aren’t unusual here, meaning anglers of any level can experience the thrill of hauling in a big one – or several. You can even hire a guide through the Grenada Lake Crappie Guide Network, which offers a full day on the water and the chance to learn innovative techniques from professional local anglers.

Though Grenada Lake’s dynamic landscape and year-round fishing opportunities have attracted outdoor enthusiasts for generations, it remains surprisingly uncongested. Convenient to many cities and easy to access for both quick weekend trips and longer stays, you can expect peace and quiet while enjoying the best crappie fishing in the country.

Sardis Lake

Miles of uninhabited shoreline. Over 32,000 surface acres of water. Sardis Lake is one of Mississippi’s best-kept fishing secrets, brimming with opportunities to catch largemouth bass, catfish, bighead carp and more. With just over an hour’s drive from both Memphis and Tupelo, you can escape the hustle and bustle and truly get back to nature.

The St. Jude Bass Tournament takes place here every Memorial Day weekend, attracting hundreds of professional and amateur fishermen. You can fish here year-round, and every season is good for bass, even the hot and typically busy summer months when many folks turn to other species. Outside of the busy tournament weekend, Sardis Lake is reliably less crowded than many other popular fishing spots.

With some 27 boat-launching ramps and ample recreation areas for other outdoor activities like camping, Sardis Lake has everything you need.

Gulf of Mexico

The Mississippi Gulf Coast is a fishing paradise, abundant in all kinds of diverse catches off the coast near Biloxi, Ocean Springs, Gulfport and Bay St. Louis. Among the nearshore barrier islands and artificial reefs along the narrow coastline are several ideal sea trout and redfish habitats. The average catch size for trout out here is a whopping 18 inches (two pounds), though even bigger ones-up to 24 inches-aren’t uncommon. You can also expect redfish up to 30 inches.

Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Seasoned fishermen can navigate favorite fish-magnet spots like Katrina Key Reef and Petit Bois, as well as Horn and Cat islands. Of course, if you don’t have your own boat, you can always take advantage of one of the many fishing charter opportunities along the Coast. From sportfishing charters to family friendly tours, every adventurer’s appetite can be satisfied here.

Get Hooked

Once you experience fishing in Mississippi, you’ll be hooked. No matter what your reason for casting a line, there’s a place for you here. To start planning your ideal excursion, explore accommodations and other adventures at www.VisitMississippi.org today.