Lake Okhissa still big news for fishermen

Published 11:43 pm Saturday, December 1, 2007

Again this week, Franklin County’s Lake Okhissa continues to be the most talked about lake in the fishing scene.

The average catch of bass during the first two weeks was about 60 fish per boat with some reporting 100 bass in a single day.

To date the largest bass recorded was caught by Monterey Resident Barry Chapman. The fish weighed 9.7 pounds and measured only 23.75 inches. A fish that short and heavy indicates a good food base.

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The bass draw most of the attention but it is not the only fish the lake is producing. Limits of catfish with an average weight of 3 pounds are common.

The largest cat so far weighed 14 pounds. The limit is 10 catfish per person.

A lot of thought went into the construction, stocking and planned management of this lake. Okhissa is the first Mississippi lake designed for fishing by the U.S. Forest Service.

The dam across Porter Creek is the tallest in the state. The lake is currently 4 feet lower than the projected depth. At full pool Okhissa’s average depth will be 31 feet.

About 300 acres were cleared near the dam for recreations like skiing and swimming. Gravel spawning beds were constructed in various locations. The timber was left in the south half of the lake.

Standing timber is so thick in the feeder creeks it’s impossible to get a boat to the far reaches.

The trees will eventually fall allowing boats to reach the timber filled waters but the bass will have at least two years to spawn without being molested.

Okhissa offers the bank fishermen miles of open shore to fish. Fishing from the shore is currently the only way to get to the back of the creeks.

The bass were caught on just about every type lure during the first two weeks but that’s is changing fast as the fish get more educated to lures. As the water temperatures fall, the bass are moving off the banks.

The best reports are now coming from main lake humps, underwater islands and secondary points. Jigs with a pork or plastic trailer and soft plastics fished ahead of a heavy slip sinker are the most productive lures right now. A good sonar unit and a map will guide you to the offshore structure on Okhissa.

Several citations were and continued to be issued since the lake opened. Some were for too many fish and some were for possession of bass within the protected slot.

Get a copy of the regulations at the ramp and go by them or you’ll get a ticket. They are trying to check all boats so play it safe and play by the rules on Okhissa.

Eddie Roberts writes a weekly fishing column for The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at