20 Best Catfish Fishing Lakes & Rivers in Mississippi

  • Updated August 10th, 2023

Mississippi, with its intricate network of lakes and rivers, is a veritable paradise for catfish anglers. From the mighty Mississippi River to hidden lakes nestled within the state’s picturesque landscapes, there are countless opportunities to reel in impressive catfish. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the 20 best catfish fishing lakes and rivers in Mississippi, each offering a unique angling experience. Whether you’re a local angler or planning a fishing trip to Mississippi, this guide will lead you to the best catfish hotspots.

20 Best Catfish Fishing Lakes & Rivers in Mississippi

Catfish Fishing in Mississippi: An Overview

Catfish angling in Mississippi is more than just a pastime; it’s a cherished tradition deeply ingrained in the state’s culture. With its diverse water bodies, Mississippi provides an array of catfish species to target, including the formidable blue catfish, feisty channel catfish, and elusive flathead catfish. Whether you prefer fishing from the banks of serene lakes or embarking on a boat journey along the state’s rivers, Mississippi offers a catfish angler’s dream come true.


Navigating the Mighty Mississippi River

Mighty Mississippi River

The iconic Mississippi River spans the entire western border of the state, offering catfish enthusiasts ample opportunities for reeling in trophy-sized catches. The Mississippi River is renowned for its blue catfish population, with some individuals surpassing the 100-pound mark. Cities like Vicksburg, Natchez, and Greenville provide access points for bank and boat anglers, allowing you to cast your line into the river’s dynamic currents and hidden pockets where catfish thrive.


Best Catfish Fishing Lakes in Mississippi

Lake Ferguson

Lake Ferguson, situated near Greenville, is a catfish haven within Mississippi. This oxbow lake is an extension of the Mississippi River, providing an ideal habitat for blue catfish. The lake’s structure, including deep holes and submerged timber, attracts catfish in search of food and shelter. Lake Ferguson is a popular destination for bank fishing and offers opportunities to land trophy-sized catfish.

Sardis Lake

Sardis Lake, located in northern Mississippi, is a hotspot for channel catfish enthusiasts. With its expansive waters and diverse underwater terrain, including submerged timber and rocky areas, Sardis Lake is a catfish haven. The lake’s fertile waters support a healthy population of channel catfish, making it a prime destination for anglers seeking consistent action and a variety of fishing techniques.

Enid Lake

Enid Lake, known for its excellent crappie fishing, is also a hidden gem for catfish anglers. This lake offers a chance to catch both channel and blue catfish. The abundance of submerged structures, drop-offs, and points creates an environment where catfish thrive. Enid Lake provides a tranquil setting for both bank and boat anglers, allowing you to enjoy the beauty of nature while pursuing your catfishing passions.


Discovering the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway

Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway

The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway is an extensive network of interconnected rivers, lakes, and locks that spans across Mississippi. This waterway offers catfish anglers a diverse range of opportunities. From the Tennessee state line to the Gulf of Mexico, catfish enthusiasts can explore different habitats and catfish species. The varying waters, ranging from open lakes to secluded coves, provide a versatile catfishing experience.

Hidden Treasures: Ross Barnett Reservoir and Grenada Lake

Ross Barnett Reservoir

Ross Barnett Reservoir, near Jackson, is another top destination for catfish fishing in Mississippi. This reservoir provides a mix of blue and channel catfish opportunities. The lake’s structure, including submerged structures, drop-offs, and points, attracts catfish looking for shelter and feeding spots. Whether you’re casting from the shore or venturing out on a boat, Ross Barnett Reservoir offers ample areas to target catfish.

Grenada Lake

Grenada Lake, situated in the northern part of the state, is renowned for its trophy blue catfish. This lake holds the distinction of producing multiple state-record catfish catches. With its deep waters and abundant baitfish, Grenada Lake provides a perfect environment for blue catfish to grow to impressive sizes. Anglers targeting trophy catfish will find Grenada Lake to be a rewarding and exciting destination.


Tri-State Waters: Pickwick Lake and Bay Springs Lake

Pickwick Lake

Pickwick Lake, spanning across Mississippi, Tennessee, and Alabama, is a tri-state catfish destination. This reservoir is known for its diverse catfish population, including blue, channel, and flathead catfish. Pickwick Lake’s underwater structure, characterized by submerged islands and deep channels, creates an environment where catfish thrive. Anglers can explore various techniques and target multiple catfish species in this picturesque setting.

Bay Springs Lake

Bay Springs Lake, nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, offers catfish anglers a serene and picturesque environment. This reservoir is home to a mix of catfish species, including channel and blue catfish. The lake’s clear waters and diverse structure provide opportunities for bank and boat anglers to enjoy a peaceful catfishing experience surrounded by nature’s beauty.


State Parks and Rivers: John W. Kyle State Park Lake and Tombigbee River

John W. Kyle State Park Lake

John W. Kyle State Park Lake, located within the state park near Sardis, is a local favorite for catfish angling. This lake is stocked with catfish regularly, ensuring consistent action for anglers of all ages and skill levels. The peaceful surroundings and family-friendly atmosphere make it an ideal destination for a relaxing day of catfishing.

Tombigbee River

The Tombigbee River, flowing through the heart of Mississippi, is a treasure trove of catfish opportunities. With its diverse range of habitats, including deep channels, sandbars, and submerged structures, the Tombigbee River is home to blue, channel, and flathead catfish. Whether you’re fishing from the riverbanks or exploring by boat, the Tombigbee River offers a dynamic catfishing experience.


The Yazoo River and Okhissa Lake: A Mix of History and Tranquility

Yazoo River

The Yazoo River, known for its historical significance, is also a productive catfish fishing destination. This river winds its way through Mississippi, offering anglers access to channel and blue catfish. The Yazoo River’s meandering currents, deep holes, and bends create an environment that catfish find irresistible. Anglers can relish both the thrill of catfishing and the sense of history that surrounds the Yazoo River.

Okhissa Lake

Okhissa Lake, situated within the Homochitto National Forest, is a hidden gem for catfish anglers seeking a peaceful escape. This lake is stocked with channel catfish, providing opportunities for families and solo anglers alike. The serene surroundings and diverse wildlife add to the charm of catfishing at Okhissa Lake.


Lake Lincoln State Park and Pascagoula River: A Balance of Relaxation and Adventure

Lake Lincoln State Park

Lake Lincoln State Park, located near Wesson, offers a relaxing retreat for catfish enthusiasts. This lake is stocked with catfish regularly, ensuring a rewarding experience for anglers of all levels. The state park’s facilities and beautiful scenery make it an excellent choice for a weekend catfishing getaway.

Pascagoula River

The Pascagoula River, winding through southeastern Mississippi, offers a unique coastal catfishing adventure. This river is home to channel and flathead catfish, providing anglers with a diverse range of targets. The brackish and freshwater mix in the Pascagoula River creates an environment that catfish thrive in. Exploring this coastal river adds an extra layer of excitement to your catfishing journey.


Exploring Bogue Chitto River and Homochitto River

Bogue Chitto River

The Bogue Chitto River, winding through southwestern Mississippi, offers a scenic catfish haven for anglers seeking a different kind of adventure. This river is home to channel and flathead catfish, creating opportunities for anglers to explore diverse fishing techniques. The picturesque surroundings and hidden spots along the river add to the thrill of catfishing.

Homochitto River

The Homochitto River, meandering through the Homochitto National Forest, offers a serene and secluded catfishing experience. This river is home to channel and flathead catfish, making it a great destination for both bank and boat anglers. The untouched beauty of the Homochitto River adds an element of tranquility to your catfishing escapades.


Nature’s Charms: Bear Creek Waterway and Bayou Pierre

Bear Creek Waterway

Bear Creek Waterway, located near Tishomingo State Park, offers a nature-focused catfish experience for anglers seeking solace in the great outdoors. This waterway is home to a mix of catfish species, including channel and flathead catfish. The rocky terrain and diverse underwater structures provide an environment that catfish thrive in.

Bayou Pierre

Bayou Pierre, located in southwestern Mississippi, offers catfish anglers a chance to explore Mississippi’s wetlands for prime catfishing opportunities. This slow-moving waterway is home to channel and flathead catfish, with its marshy surroundings creating an ideal habitat for these species. Exploring the wetlands adds an element of adventure to your catfishing journey.


When to Catch Catfish and What Kinds of Catfish are in Mississippi?

When to Catch Catfish

The timing of your catfishing expedition can greatly impact your success. In Mississippi, catfish can be caught year-round, but certain seasons offer better opportunities. Spring and fall are considered prime seasons for catfishing. During these periods, catfish are more active and likely to feed as they prepare for spawning and winter respectively. Nighttime can also be particularly productive during the warmer months when catfish are more active.

What Kinds of Catfish are in Mississippi?

Mississippi’s waters are home to various catfish species, each with its unique characteristics and preferences:

  1. Blue Catfish: Known for their impressive size, blue catfish can exceed 100 pounds. They’re often found in large rivers and reservoirs like the Mississippi River and Grenada Lake.
  2. Channel Catfish: A common and popular species, channel catfish thrive in various habitats, including lakes, rivers, and ponds. They’re known for their willingness to bite and make for great eating.
  3. Flathead Catfish: Recognizable by their flat heads and nocturnal habits, flathead catfish prefer hiding in cover and are often found near submerged structures.
  4. White Catfish: Found in slower-moving waters, white catfish are known for their light coloration and are frequently caught in rivers and lakes.

Understanding the behavior and preferences of these catfish species can help you tailor your fishing approach and increase your chances of a successful catch.


Final Thoughts:

Mississippi’s lakes and rivers offer a diverse array of catfish fishing experiences that cater to anglers of all skill levels. Whether you’re seeking trophy-sized catfish in the Mississippi River or enjoying the tranquility of a secluded lake, Mississippi’s waters hold endless possibilities. From the iconic Mississippi River to hidden gems nestled within the state’s landscapes, each catfish fishing location provides a unique blend of excitement, challenge, and natural beauty. As you embark on your Mississippi catfish adventure, remember to respect the environment, follow fishing regulations, and savor every moment spent in pursuit of these remarkable aquatic creatures.