Guest Post: Bass Fishing in the Barnett Reservoir
by Coty Perry, YourBassGuy.com
“The Rez” is the result of impounding the Pearl River in 1965. The reservoir is a great place for anglers and boaters alike. Bass fishing is the name of the game here and if you’re visiting Ridgeland, we want to make sure you have the best time possible fishing The Rez.
Largemouth and spotted bass are common and can be found throughout most of the reservoir. That said, most people who come here generally fish the northern section of the lake. The best action is north of Highway 43.
The months of January, February, and March are when you’ll encounter the pre-spawn season. This is when the bass are preparing to move towards the shallow water to build their nest and prepare for the spawn. While fishing may temporarily slow during this period, it’s also when some of the largest bass are caught.
If you’re traveling to the area during this time, you’ll want to approach with a slow presentation like a skirted jig with a soft plastic trailer. Weeds can be an issue here so a weedless presentation always helps.
If you’re fishing on an exceptionally warm day topwaters and spinnerbaits are the most popular lures. It’s best to use fish finding GPS to help find fish on the lake and you’ll likely need a boat because the shore has a lot of vegetation and not a ton of opportunities to fish from the bank.
If you’re visiting in the Summer, you’ll notice that the bass have left the shallow water and retreated to deeper areas. They do this to find a more regulated temperature because it helps them feel better and become more active.
In the deeper water, the temperature is a little cooler and doesn’t fluctuate as much. This will make the bass more active and ready to strike your lure. We’d recommend using soft plastics or diving crankbaits at this time. These lures have an aggressive presentation.
There’s a lot of pads near the Highway 43 area that provide important coverage for the bass hiding beneath. This is a great area to throw a Carolina rig during hot Summer mornings. We highly suggest getting to the lake early during the Summer months before it gets too hot.
The months of September through November may be the best time for bass fishing in the reservoir. The temperatures are still warm, the bass’s metabolism is still rolling, and they’re actively feeding.
They’ll move into the shallow water because the temperature is more consistent. Throwing soft plastics or frogs in this area is a great way to draw lunkers out of their hiding areas. Fallen trees near Low Head Dam are a great place to throw these lures. Dock pilings around the Main Harbor Marina is another popular location local anglers boast about.
Fishing for Striped Bass
The lake is stocked with striped bass so you’ll have the opportunity to chase them as well. Go with shad imitating cranks and swimbaits. They’re usually in the river up North and you have the best chance of catching them during late Spring early Summer when they travel South towards the main lake.
Finding schooling shad is the best way to find the stripers since they follow them. Feeding stripers will create a lot of noise on the surface and you can always use fish finders to help you find them as well.
We hope this guide helps you catch fish during your trip to Ridgeland. The Barnett Reservoir is a popular destination in the area for boaters, kayakers, and anglers alike!
About the Author
Coty Perry is a writer for YourBassGuy.com. For Coty, he didn’t love bass fishing at first cast. It took a few (thousand) throws for him to become obsessed with mastering every possible fishing style, technique, and lure. As a third-generation anger, he has a plethora of knowledge and experience on the water and loves sharing what he knows.