The Best Bass Fishing Lakes In Mississippi


What Are The Best Bass Fishing Lakes in Mississippi?

Mississippi is a haven for bass fishing enthusiasts, offering a variety of lakes that cater to both experienced anglers and beginners. With its rich aquatic environments and favorable climate, Mississippi stands out as a premier destination for those seeking the thrill of bass fishing in the United States.

It is worth mentioning, that Pickwick Lake is another top bass fishing lake in Mississippi. Due to the size and geographic location of Pickwick Lake, it is one of the few lakes in the United States to be located in 3 different states. We highlighted Pickwick Lake in our Best Bass Fishing Lakes in Tennessee article.

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The Top 5 Best Bass Fishing Lakes In Mississippi

Learn more below about each body of water mentioned and what makes them the best bass fishing lakes in Mississippi.

Calling Panther Lake

Calling Panther Lake in Mississippi, image of welcome sign to lake with one of the best bass fishing lakes in Mississippi in the background.

Calling Panther Lake, nestled near Crystal Springs in Mississippi, is a hidden gem among the state’s bass fishing locales. This 512-acre lake, carved into the picturesque landscapes of central Mississippi, offers an intimate yet prolific bass fishing experience. With an average depth of 12 feet and reaching depths up to 40 feet near the dam, Calling Panther Lake provides a diverse habitat for largemouth bass, making it an angler’s paradise.

The lake is known for its clear waters and a healthy population of trophy-sized bass, partly due to its relatively undisturbed natural environment and effective fish management practices. Vegetation and submerged structures abound, creating ideal conditions for bass to thrive. Recent surveys and angler reports consistently highlight impressive catch rates and the potential for landing significant bass, affirming its status as a top destination for serious bass anglers in Mississippi.

Expert Bass Fishing Tips for Calling Panther Lake: For successful catches at Calling Panther Lake, focus on the early morning or late afternoon when bass are most active. Targeting areas with submerged timber and near the dam can yield trophy-sized bass, especially using topwater lures or soft plastics that mimic the natural prey of bass in these clear waters.

Ross Barnett Reservoir “The Rez”

Ross Barnett Reservoir, a sprawling expanse of water located northeast of Jackson, Mississippi, is a premier destination for bass fishing enthusiasts. Also known to the locals as, “The Rez”. Spanning approximately 33,000 acres, it is one of the largest bodies of water in Mississippi, making it a central hub for both recreational and competitive fishing. The reservoir’s average depth is around 11 feet, with the deepest points near the dam reaching approximately 50 feet.

This varied depth, combined with an extensive network of aquatic vegetation, submerged structures, and creek channels, creates an ideal habitat for largemouth bass. The lake’s diverse ecosystems support a vibrant bass population, and it is well known for producing both high quantities and sizes of bass, including trophy catches. Ross Barnett Reservoir’s accessibility from major cities like Jackson also adds to its appeal, offering outstanding fishing opportunities close to urban amenities.

Expert Bass Fishing Tips for Ross Barnett Reservoir: To maximize your success on Ross Barnett Reservoir, concentrate on fishing around the edges of lily pads and submerged vegetation using weedless lures. These areas are hotspots for largemouth bass, especially during the early morning or late evening hours when the bass are actively feeding.

Sardis Lake: Best Bass Fishing Lakes in Mississippi

Sardis Lake at sunset with very beautiful colors streaming through the evening sky and wispy clouds. One of the underrated best bass fishing lakes in Mississippi

Sardis Lake, located in the rolling hills of North Mississippi near the town of Sardis, is an acclaimed bass fishing destination within the state. Encompassing over 98,520 acres, with a focus area for fishing around 32,500 acres, Sardis Lake presents a vast playground for anglers pursuing largemouth and spotted bass. The lake’s average depth hovers around 14 feet, with the maximum depth reaching up to 59 feet near the dam. Such depth variation, coupled with an array of habitat features including steep bluffs, submerged timber, and expansive flats, provides an optimal environment for bass to grow and thrive.

The presence of clear and deep waters in certain areas also distinguishes it as a unique bass fishing locale, encouraging different fishing strategies. Moreover, Sardis Lake’s reputation for hosting fishing tournaments underscores its value and productivity as a bass fishery. Its proximity to Oxford, Mississippi, adds a cultural and logistical advantage, making it an attractive destination for both local and visiting anglers.

best bass fishing in Mississippi - Sardis lake map

Expert Bass Fishing Tips for Sardis Lake: For successful outings on Sardis Lake, focus on the transition areas where shallow flats meet deeper waters. Utilizing medium to deep diving crankbaits in these zones can be particularly effective, especially during the spring and fall transition periods when bass are more likely to be found in these habitats feeding.

Bay Springs Lake

Bay Springs Lake, nestled in the northeastern corner of Mississippi near Tupelo, is a pristine bass fishing jewel. This relatively small lake, covering an area of about 6,700 acres, is part of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, offering a unique fishing experience due to its clear waters and deep channels. The lake boasts an impressive average depth of 25 feet, with the maximum depth plunging to around 84 feet near the dam.

Such depths are uncommon in Mississippi’s freshwater lakes, providing an ideal habitat for both largemouth and spotted bass. The steep rocky banks, deep water drop-offs, and submerged structure create perfect conditions for bass to thrive, making Bay Springs Lake a hotspot for anglers seeking quality over quantity. Its clear waters also require a more finesse approach to fishing, setting it apart from other bass fisheries in the state.

Expert Bass Fishing Tips for Bay Springs Lake: In the clear waters of Bay Springs Lake, light line and subtle lures are key. Try drop-shot rigs or finesse worms to entice the lake’s deeper-dwelling bass, especially during the summer months when they retreat to cooler depths.

Grenada Lake

Grenada Lake, located near the city of Grenada in North Mississippi, is famed for its crappie fishing but also offers exceptional opportunities for bass anglers. As the largest body of water in Mississippi, Grenada Lake spans approximately 35,000 acres at summer pool level, with an average depth of about 18 feet and reaching depths up to 65 feet near the dam.

This vast reservoir, created by the damming of the Yalobusha River, features a variety of bass habitats, including flooded timber, creek channels, and extensive aquatic vegetation, making it a versatile and productive bass fishing destination. The lake’s fluctuating water levels throughout the year create dynamic fishing conditions that can challenge and reward anglers with both quantity and quality of largemouth bass. Grenada Lake’s reputation is bolstered by regular stocking programs and conservation efforts, ensuring a healthy and sustainable bass population.

Grenada Lake map with boat access, landmarks, creeks and other nav points outlined within the legend of the map.

Expert Bass Fishing Tips for Grenada Lake: Target the transition zones where shallow areas lead into deeper waters, particularly around submerged timber and creek channels. Using spinnerbaits or plastic worms in these areas can be especially effective in the spring and fall when bass move closer to the shore to feed. With abundant underwater structure like cypress trees and sunken islands, target these areas with crankbaits and jigs during the cooler months.

Honorable Mention: Mississippi River Backwaters

The Mississippi River Backwaters in Mississippi, encompassing a sprawling network of oxbow lakes, sloughs, and flooded timber areas, offer a unique and rich habitat for bass fishing. These backwaters, particularly prominent near the towns of Vicksburg and Greenville, create an intricate maze of fishing spots that are less frequented and more serene than the main river channel. The average depth varies widely, from shallow flats of just a few feet to deeper sloughs that can reach depths of over 20 feet.

The backwaters are teeming with diverse vegetation, including water lilies, cattails, and hydrilla, providing ample cover and feeding grounds for largemouth and spotted bass. This habitat diversity supports a vibrant ecosystem where bass can grow to substantial sizes, offering anglers the thrill of pursuing both quantity and trophy-quality fish. The relative seclusion of these waters, combined with their natural beauty and biodiversity, makes them a prime destination for bass anglers seeking a serene and fruitful fishing experience.

Expert Bass Fishing Tips for Mississippi River Back Waters: To succeed in the ever-changing water levels and thick cover backwaters, focus on areas with dense vegetation or fallen timber, using weedless lures to navigate the cover. Early morning or late afternoon, when the bass are most active, are the best times to fish, employing topwater lures or soft plastics to entice strikes in these sheltered waters.

Why You Should Consider Bass Fishing In Mississippi

Mississippi stands as a premier destination for bass fishing enthusiasts due to its diverse aquatic landscapes and abundant bass populations. The state boasts a myriad of lakes and rivers that offer optimal habitats for bass, including largemouth and smallmouth bass, making it a versatile fishing ground for anglers of all skill levels. Mississippi’s mild climate allows for year-round fishing, providing anglers with more opportunities to fish compared to regions with harsher weather conditions.

Furthermore, the state has implemented proactive fish management practices, ensuring healthy and thriving bass populations. Statistics from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks highlight the success of these efforts, with annual reports showcasing impressive catch rates and sizes, including state-record largemouth bass from Enid Lake. These factors, combined with the state’s commitment to maintaining its waterways and promoting sustainable fishing practices, make Mississippi an ideal choice for bass fishing adventures.

Mississippi State Record Bass

Largemouth Bass: 18.15 lbs at Natchez State Park Lake by Anthony Denny on 12/31/1992
Smallmouth Bass: 7 lbs 15 oz at Yellow Creek Arm (Pickwick Lake) by Thomas Wilbanks on 1/24/1987
Spotted Bass: 8 lbs 2 oz at Farm Pond by S . Ross Gratham on 9/2/1975
Striped Bass: 39 lbs 6 oz at Pascagoula River by Rocky Rawls on 2/7/2016
White Bass: 5 lbs 6 oz at Grenada Reservoir Spillway by William Mulvhill on 4/21/1979
Yellow Bass: 2 lbs 4 oz at Pickwick Lake by Zach Lipford on 3/2/2017

Additional Resources for Bass Fishing in Mississippi

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Find Your Next Fishing Spot

Local Knowledge is Key – Engaging with the local fishing communities and resources can provide insights into current conditions, effective techniques, and hidden spots. Local bait shops and our bass fishing near me map are valuable resources for up-to-date information that can give you an edge on your next fishing trip.

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