Ross Barnett Reservoir Fishing Charters & Guides

2 Guests
Charters Near Ross Barnett Reservoir
Wicked Fishing Charters
Mandeville, LA
(5.0, 6 Reviews)
River Bottom Charters
Northport, AL
(5.0, 1 Review)
Lazee Daze Charters
Bay St. Louis, MS
Go Topless Fishing Charters
Biloxi, MS
(4.9, 21 Reviews)
Marshland Adventures Fishing Charters, LLC
Slidell, LA
(5.0, 3 Reviews)
Spot Hunter Fishing Guide Services, LLC.
Pass Christian, MS
(5.0, 3 Reviews)
About Fishing in Ross Barnett Reservoir

Ross Barnett Reservoir, Mississippi

Former Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett may have been a popular political figure way back in the day, but folks around the state these days think more about the lake named after him than state government. Ross Barnett Reservoir is a 33,000 acre reservoir on the Pearl River in Madison and Rankin counties. Besides fishing, the lake serves as the state’s largest drinking water resource. While politicians may argue about which party to follow, fishermen tend to do the same thing here. Is it the largemouth bass or is it the crappie? You’ll get votes for both of them, but the big difference is there are no losers on that ballot.

Fishing Ross Barnett Reservoir

Bass fishing here is excellent, drawing major pro tournaments to the lake. Crappie fishing has, in large part, been recreational in nature until the past couple of years, when super catches are also drawing national crappie events here as well. Let’s start with bass. Earlier in the year, bass move into the shallows for the spawning season and that’s typically when the big ones are caught near shore around thick structure. Popular lures include spinnerbaits and swimming plastic lizards. Areas with rip rap, such as the main dam, Highway 43 and the Pelahatchie Bay are popular choices during the spring. These rocky areas warm up quicker than other parts of the lake and therefore attract baitfish earlier in the year. That, in turn, brings the gamefish to feed. The Pelahatchie Bay area was closed to boating for a long period to rid it of giant salvinia, but management efforts worked and the area is now reopened for public access. Plummer Slough in Pelahatchie Bay, the Mill Creek area on the east side of the Reservoir, Horseshoe Lake and Cane Creek are all good spring areas. In summer, fish head for deeper waters or get into lily pad areas like those above Highway 43 and also near Gilligan’s Island. Punching jigs and rolling frogs through pads works here. Bass also often school in the summer on Barnett.

Ross Barnett Reservoir Crappie Fishing

Fishing for crappie has been hot on this reservoir of late. In recent years, more two and three pound crappie are being caught than ever before. Biologists believe that the older populations there and bountiful baitfish are the reason. Barnett’s large crappie populations are mostly white crappie and in the colder months they hang out and suspend in the vicinity of the lake’s deeper offshore structure.You can find good areas to fish by looking at a map and picking out old lakes, ponds and sloughs to find deeper spots. Using good electronics helps you pinpoint fish in these areas. It helps to remember that Barnett was a mostly wetland area that bordered the Pearl River when it was impounded. These distinct areas, along with the Pearl River channels deeper water are magnets to cold weather crappie schools. The old river channel is very wide in the middle of the lake. Slow-trolling with minnows or jigs, often called spider rigging, is the best way to catch numbers. Anglers put out six to eight poles and move baits slowly over the schools to catch fish. If there’s any current pushing through the lake, it seems to push baitfish closer to submerged contours, but they often roam, especially in the lower and middle lake areas. You may catch fish seven feet deep one day and 20 feet deep the next. That’s why electronics are so important. In the spring, fishing is easier because the big crappie head into the shallows to spawn and can be found almost anywhere in the lake. Bream fishing with red worms and crickets is a popular family activity here. Big bluegill and redear can be caught in the vegetation along Cane Creek and the backwater sloughs near the Rocks. The fishing piers located off Hwy 43 and Hwy 471 in Pelahatchie Bay are also popular sites.

Visiting Ross Barnett Reservoir

For a different approach, try from the Ross Barnett Reservoir spillway outlet to the City of Jackson water intake in the Pearl River for some good fishing for stripers and hybrid stripers and catfish. Be aware of special regulations and safety precautions in these areas. Part of the historic Natchez Trace Parkway runs right alongside the northwestern border of Ross Barnett. Since Ross Barnett is located just a few miles from the state capital of Jackson, there are many options for lodging, restaurants and entertainment to make this an all-around fishing vacation destination. Nearby Madison is one of the fastest growing shopping and eating areas in the state, and the small quaint community of Canton is only a few miles away. Canton bills itself as the Mississippi Movie Capital with portions of famous movies like “O Brother Where Art Thou?”, “A Time to Kill”, “My Dog Skip” and “The Rising Place” filmed there. There are five campgrounds, 16 parks, 22 boat launches, three handicapped-accessible trails, two multi-purpose trails, and a mountain bike trail which meanders near Mule Jail Lake here.

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