Wanted: Arkabutla Spillway Tips

Discussion in 'MISSISSIPPI LAKES / RESERVOIRS TALK' started by patrickgd, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. patrickgd

    patrickgd New Member

    Messages:
    809
    State:
    Memphis TN
    Today I fished at the Arkabutla Spillway and actually caught a few cats (which was great compared to fishing at the MS River) but had a horrendous time with hang-ups. There was a couple of times that I had some super hard hits only to get hung up almost immediately upon the hook set. The water was turned on real high so I was mostly using an 8 oz. no-roll Carolina Rig (might've done better with a 3-way and light leader to bank sinker). I had the best hits using 5 or 6 inch small fish a guy nearby was catching and giving to me but caught some nice smaller cats on Goldfish. Anyway I guess I'm looking for any tips for successfully fishing there. It seems like I probally spent 75% of the time dealing with snags and went through at least $40 in tackle in a few hours. :confused2:
     
  2. patrickgd

    patrickgd New Member

    Messages:
    809
    State:
    Memphis TN
    I also feel compelled to add a few more things about the spillway. First being that there are definitely fish there and lots of them. Also I thought I'd mention that at first I thought I would fish right where the water was pouring out at but that was impossible it seemed because my rig was just blowing all over the place. I don't think it would've mattered how much weight I used because this water was pouring out similar to the way water comes out of a fire hose (blasting furiously). So I decided to move down about 30 yards past a wing dike and fish out in the eddie. This is where I caught 3 fish back to back but as the quick bites slowed down the hang ups began. And strangely everytime I got good bites I would immediately get hung up. Sometimes as I would be reeling in a fish and sometimes right when I would set the hook. I think my slip sinker was possibly sliding up the line too far or perhaps getting hung in the rocks during the retrieve.

    I've been considering a few different ways to successfully fisgh this area. One being a drifting bobber method and another being a 3 way swivel with a somewhat long swivle to weight leader of light test (10 lb. or so). Perhaps if I get a fish I could just snap the weight off as it will inevitably get hung up. Hmm seems like I've got it figured out. I suppose I'm just looking for a proven and tried technique. anyway let me know what y'all think. Your experience is always appreciated here. :wink:
     

  3. iceTrey81

    iceTrey81 New Member

    Messages:
    19
    State:
    MS
    Ok, here's my 2 cents. We have been going down there for the past couple of weeks and having pretty good luck. Last night I hooked about a 20lber while fishing up top but wasn't able to land it before the current tore me up. Eating size channels are ABUNDANT!

    Fishing during the day, your best bet is going to either side on the first set of stairs past the picnic tables. 4-6oz bank sinkers will hold you on the bottom. Fish a 3 way setup to keep your bait off the bottom. They will hit anything you put on the hook more or less but as always, the big ones prefer big live bait. Drum work great for bait down there. Snags are ALWAYS a problem down there. Always have been. Not much you can do about that. I go through at least $20 of tackle every single time I go.

    Night fishing is best fishing up top of the spillway where the water is pouring out. A 6-8oz sinker will hold you down. Flat/no roll sinkers WON'T work, gotta have bank style sinkers. Your rod will bounce but as long as your line isn't moving towards the bank, your on the bottom. At first I thought it would be impossible to tell bites from the current but is actually a lot easier than you would think.
    When the fish hit, there's no need to even set the hook. With that current, when they hit, they are on there. Between 11pm-2am they are plentiful. There are 2 deep holes up top to fish in. One is right below the dam on the right side and one is right in front of a giant slab on concrete running down the bank and into the water on the right side. There is a huge concentration of catfish in both of those spots. Size will vary from tiny to medium depending on your bait. Worms, shrimp and liver will catch eating size channels all night. Cut shad/drum is hit or miss and live bait is good for flatheads. Speaking of which there are some BIG ones in those holes so be sure to use at least 50lb test up there to be on the safe side!

    DO NOT USE CIRCLE HOOKS UP TOP!!

    Not sure if it's the current or what but circles will not work. A basic swivel or 3 way setup seems to work best in the fast water. I use about 6-10 inches of leader to the hook and about 10-15 inches from the swivel to the sinker.

    On a side note, if you fish down there at night, bring plenty of Off. Mosquitoes are horrible down there right now!!!!!!
     
  4. dhonnoll

    dhonnoll New Member

    Messages:
    1
    State:
    Horn Lake, MS
    2 wks ago I caught a 4-5 lb blue cat with chicken liver of the north corner of the dam (first exit) at Butla. This weekend only small cats took the livers off the spillway. The larger ones just did not seem hungry. I know I had that liver right in their faces. Maybe next weekend. PS I seemed to have better luck early afternoon- evening than first thing in the morning. (but I did get 3 small cats in the morning) 1 gar in the afternoon
     
  5. roger long

    roger long New Member

    Messages:
    33
    State:
    Oklahoma
    any info about columbus lake? I want to fish cablas classic in november. need any info I can get please
     
  6. patrickgd

    patrickgd New Member

    Messages:
    809
    State:
    Memphis TN
    sorry Roger I've never heard of Columbus lake. Good Luck though.
     
  7. roger long

    roger long New Member

    Messages:
    33
    State:
    Oklahoma
    columbus lake is on the tombigbee water way on east side of mississippi.
     
  8. possom20

    possom20 New Member

    Messages:
    47
    State:
    MS
    As a resident of Grenada, MS, I fish the spillway here quite often. Hangups are a fact of life when fishing from the rocks. To catch big cats, typically two methods can be used. The first, drift fishing just off the bottom with a slip cork. This can be a pain because your bait is constantly moving and you have to reel in and cast back out over and over. The second method you can use (I use this one) is use a bank sinker about 12" below your hook. No leaders, no swivels, no extra junk. Keep it simple--hook, 12" of line, weight. The rocks will still get you from time to time. As you stated earlier, you can try making the 12" line from your hook to the weight a smaller line so it will break and you can at least keep your hook should you hang up. When the current is rolling, bigger weights will be what saves you. When they shut the spillways down, the current is not too bad, I typically use a 2 oz bank sinker. Another trick you will want to learn on the MS spillways, talk to old timers and find the deep holes. There are typically deeper holes where the big boys hide on down away from the spillway. This will cut down on the current problem and will get you bigger fish in the long run. Hope this will help some future spillway fishers.