John's Journal...

The South's Sleeper Lunker Lakes

Lake Bill Waller, Mississippi

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: If you want to catch bigger bass than you’ve ever caught, then consider fishing secret spots. Click to enlargeMost anglers know that if they can find the areas with little fishing pressure, they’ll have better chances of locating and taking bigger bass than if they fish where everyone else fishes. We’ve investigated some overlooked hotspots that homesecret big bass.

Source: David Berry, lakes director of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, and Tim Barber, lake manager

The Scoop: Lake Bill Waller, finished in 1975 and located 12-miles southeast of Columbia in the Marion County Wildlife Management Area (WMA), covers 168 acres. The lake closed in 2003, and biologists drained, renovated and restocked it in 2004 with  7- to 8-pound bass as the top weights now. Biologists expect catches to reach the 10-plus-pound range in about 2years after the lake’s reopening in November 2007. The lake has new boat lanes, earthen piers, gravel beds and old standing timber to provide fish habitat. You can reach a public boatramp from Columbia off Highway 98 and visit DJ's Bait Shop in Columbia 601-731-Click to enlarge2150. A 1-year non-resident license will cost $50, a 3-day license $15 and a 1-day license $8 from as well as the lake office, localtackle shops and Wal-Mart. The lake also charges an entrance fee of $5 per person and $11 per boat. A map should be available on after November, 2007.Click to enlarge

Lake Record: In 1995, the second-largest bass caught in the state tipped the scales at Bill Waller at 15 pounds, 14 ounces.

When, Where and With What to Fish for a Big ‘Un: Fish mid-February through early April during spawning season along the banks and around the points with plastic lizards and worms that resemble the food the bass naturally eat like salamanders.
Gear Tips: Use 17-pound-test or stronger line to catch big bass in this lake.
Call the lake office at 601-736-1861. 

Tomorrow: Lake Bill Waller, Mississippi

Check back each day this week for more about "The South's Sleeper Lunker Lakes"

Day 1: Lake Victor, Florida
Day 2: Dodge County Public Fishing Area (PFA), Georgia
Day 3: Caddo Lake, Louisiana
Day 4: Lake Bill Waller, Mississippi
Day 5: Lake Arrowhead, Texas


Entry 444, Day 4