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Fishing the Lower Mississippi River Initiative

  • Download the fishing guide (PDF, 7 MB for laptops, desktop, or mobile device)
  • Download the Flash version of the fishing guide (for laptops or desktops)


The guide covers topics related to fishing freshwater habitats of the Lower Mississippi River main channel, side channels, floodplain lakes and chutes from Cairo, Illinois, to the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana.

Fishing the Mississippi River

Fishing the Mississippi River. Photo by Paul Ingram.


It tells readers how to catch crappie, catfish, white bass and other game fish in a variety of river and floodplain habitats. The guide also has important safety and access information and is linked to detailed maps covering more than 950 river miles. The maps show boat ramps, dike fields, public lands and other features.

Expert Advice

Experienced river angler Tommy Shropshire grew up fishing the Mississippi River. His knowledge of how and where to fish the river were invaluable to the preparation of the guide. Tommy assembled experts from the region who helped him to compile nearly 100 pages of information.

Detailed Maps

The guide contains 38 detailed maps of the Lower Mississippi River.  The maps show boat ramps, dike fields, public lands and other features.

Alligator Gar Illustration

Alligator Gar illustration. Illustration by Joseph Tomelleri.

Fish Illustrations

Kansas City artist Joseph R. Tomelleri provided detailed drawings of fish featured in the guide. Tomelleri also provided more than 150 drawings for “Fishes of the Central United States.”

Safety Tips

Safety information is a prominent feature of the guide. The Lower Mississippi River is like any other large water body. Practicing safe boating guidelines is paramount. The guide offers a number of safety checklists. Also, internet links are provided on such topics as river stages and fishing regulations.


The guide was designed, edited and produced by the Lower Mississippi River Conservation Committee with support from the Walton Family Foundation. Experienced river angler Tommy Shropshire prepared the guide’s content, with assistance from a panel of experts from throughout the region.