Crappie is one of the most popular game fish in the United States and many would argue that they are the best-tasting fish of any found in the country. While their taste is a matter of opinion, there is no question that Mississippi is the undisputed mecca for crappie fishing.
Most of the larger bodies of water in Mississippi feature plenty of baitfish and other creatures that are forage for crappie. The abundance of food for both white and black crappie species in Mississippi means that these fish grow to immense sizes when compared to other regions in the country.
Mississippi’s warm weather and suitable crappie habitat also help to make the Magnolia State the best place on Earth for crappie fishing trips.
While it may be easy to see that Mississippi is the best place for crappie fishing trips, it may not be as easy to narrow down the best places in the state to go on crappie fishing trips. We caught up with some of the most experienced and well-known crappie fishing guides in Mississippi to find out the best of the best.
Based on our findings and research, we have compiled this list of the best lakes in Mississippi to plan your crappie fishing trips.
Widely considered to be one of the best lakes in the world for crappie fishing trips, Grenada Lake is an obvious addition to our list. This 35,820-acre lake is great for a number of fish species, but the crappie grow to enormous size and can be found in great numbers.
“There are bigger fish here than you’ll find anywhere else in the country,” says Brandon Fulgham, owner of Grenada Lake Crappie Fishing Guides. “There are so many different lakes to fish here that are just loaded with big crappie, but Grenada is up there with the best of the best.”
Crappie must be at least 12 inches long to be kept on Grenada, which makes crappie fishing trips on this body of water especially memorable for anglers visiting from out of state.
“I’ve caught one out here that was 4 pounds before and caught many that are over 3 pounds,” says Brandon. “However, the fish won’t always be biting like you might expect. Sometimes the lake will really humble you. I grew up fishing Grenada and I have yet to fish a lake that comes close to it’s crappie fishing.”
Brandon has been guiding crappie fishing trips since the age of 17 and is one of the most experienced anglers on Grenada Lake. Ask any one of the Grenada Lake crappie fishing guides and they will attest to the fact that this one is among the absolute best when it comes to crappie fishing trips.
Next on our list of the best lakes for Mississippi crappie fishing trips is not very far from our first lake. Sardis Lake is one of the flood-control lakes located along the I-55 corridor that is bustling with monster crappie.
John Harrison, owner of JH Guide Service, says that it is no secret that Sardis is probably the best lake in Mississippi, and of course, one of the best anywhere for guided crappie fishing trips. He is one of the most experienced Sardis Lake crappie fishing guides and loves to introduce his new clients to the amazing experience that the Magnolia State has to offer.
“Sardis has as many crappie as you’ll find in a lake of that size,” says John. “One of the big reasons that Sardis, and other lakes like it, is so good for crappie fishing trips is that the food chain is very healthy from top to bottom.”
John explains that Sardis has an abundant amount of algae in the lake, which gives rise to plenty of smaller shad and plankton that feed upon the algae and are also the main source of food for smaller fish in the lake. Sardis Lake crappie fishing guides will tell you that there is more than enough big crappie to go around for everyone.
“Catching a 2 or 3 pounder is not uncommon here,” says John. “I have the longest-running guide service here and my grandmother opened the first bait shop in this area back in 1957. I’ve been fishing here as long as anyone and it’s definitely one of the best lakes in the world for crappie fishing trips.”
Matt Blankenship, owner of Good Times Guide Service, focuses on being a Sardis Lake crappie fishing guide and says that he relocated from Missouri after experiencing the legendary Mississippi crappie fishing years ago.
“The crappie fishing here just doesn’t compare to anywhere else,” says Matt. “If you were to compile a list of the top lakes in the United States, the ones at the top would be all from the state of Mississippi. It’s just in a league of its own when it comes to crappie fishing trips.”
Mississippi’s Lake Washington is perhaps the best pound-for-pound body of water for crappie fishing trips. The lake is just over 5,000 acres, but has a reputation for packing as many trophy crappie as anywhere else in the world.
“The numbers here are unlike anywhere else in the world, but the quality of fish is even better,” says Brad Chappell, owner of Brad Chappell Guide ServiceBrad Chappell Guide Service.
Brad, like anyone else who has ever fished Lake Washington, will tell you that it is perhaps the most picturesque body of water in the entire southeast, and probably the United States.
“Lots of guests like to come out and stay in our cabin on the lake and just get the whole experience of the Deep South,” says Brad. “We work hard at being one of the best Lake Washington crappie fishing guides out here and it is unlike any other lake you’ll fish anywhere.”
Brad says the average keeper crappie is about 13 inches in length and it is not uncommon to reel in several 3 pounders in one trip. This lake is easily among our list of the best lakes in Mississippi for crappie fishing trips.
Ross Barnett Reservoir
Located just north of Jackson, Mississippi is Ross Barnett Reservoir, which is considered by many to be the best lake for crappie fishing trips in the entire state. The body of water is more than 33,000 acres and packs in a huge number of some of the largest crappie you’ll find anywhere else in the world.
For those looking to get in on the winter crappie bite, Ross Barnett offers plenty of action. Ross Barnett crappie fishing guides will attest to the fact that the crappie in this lake is home to as many trophy crappie as any lake in the world. Ross Barnett is also the site for many of the world’s most fiercely competitive crappie fishing tournaments.
One of the largest bodies of water on our list is Arkabutla Lake, which is considered by many Mississippi crappie fishing guides to be a must-have on any list of the top lakes in the Magnolia State.
John Woods, owner of John Woods Guide Service, says that this lake is one that holds possibly the biggest Mississippi crappie.
“I fish here quite a bit and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the next world record white crappie came out of Arkabutla Lake,” says John. “I’ve been fishing these lakes my whole life and they are absolutely the best lakes in the world for crappie fishing trips. Sometimes, however, it will bring you to your knees because it can be tough to catch them some days when you think they should be hitting pretty good.”
Arkabulta is known for producing huge crappie year-round, especially in the sweltering hot summer months. Arkabutla Lake crappie fishing guides agree that this lake is one that should be on any list of the top lakes for crappie fishing trips.
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