< Back to Boating
Campfire Collective May 9th, 2018

Boating in Mississippi

Bordered by the second longest river in the U.S., and peppered with seemingly endless lakes and reservoirs, it’s no wonder Mississippi offers some epic boating. Will you explore the Mississippi coastline, and paddle to the sandy beaches of Deer Island? Or maybe you’ll spot some gators, while touring the unspoiled wilderness of Mississippi’s swamps by airboat? If fishing is your game, try your luck at catching one of over 200 species of fish, off the coast of the bustling city of Gulf Port. No matter which activity you choose, with over 280,000 acres of lakes and reservoirs, and the endless twisting river, not to mention the sandy stretches of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, your next boating adventure is never far away.


There are over 1,000 lakes and reservoirs in Mississippi, so choosing the one you want to explore can be overwhelming. But no worries- we’ve picked out some of our top spots for your next boating excursion.

Looking to spend some time cruising around the lake? Sardis Lake offers over 98,000 acres of waterway to explore. It’s shores are home to multiple public use areas and green spaces, as well as John W. Kyle State Park, which boasts a golf course, camping facilities, and of course- some prime fishing.

If paddling is more your speed, don’t miss out on the chance to drift down the Pascagoula River. Known for being one of the largest free-flowing rivers in the Continental U.S. the locals refer to this unimpeded waterway as the “Singing River”, but we’re not telling you why, you’ll have to see or- hear for yourself.


This multi-use 92,000 acre project has the largest inland body of water in Mississippi at 36,000 acres with 15 boat ramps. The lake contains crappies, bass, bream, and catfish.

The lake offers access to the various boat ramps including ones at Graysport Crossing, Carver;s Point, Skuna-Turkey, Piney Hills, Torrance Landing and more.

If you feel like going for a hike the Haserway Wetland Nature Trail can be found halfway down the road below the Grenada Lake dam.  The Old River Run Nature Trails is a 1-mile trail located on the southside of the Grenada Lake spillway near the playground area.

BOATsmart! docking course content on tablet with Mississippi Boater Education card.
BOATsmart! Mississippi Boater Education card.

Get your Official Mississippi
Boating License

The Official NASBLA and Mississippi State-Approved Boating Course, Test & License.

Get your Official Mississippi
Boating License

The Official NASBLA and Mississippi State-Approved Boating Course, Test & License.


Pascagoula River is located in George and Jackson Counties near Lucedale. The River is managed by the Mississippi Wildlife Federation and is one of the last free flowing rivers in the upper 48 states.  Because of its pristine state, the biodiversity of the basin is very impressive.  Enjoy views of a multitude of wildlife throughout the year.

There are several companies that will provide boat tours and kayak trips of the Pascagoula River. Pascagoula Boating and Tours captains have been fishing and boating the Gulf of Mexico for 30 years. Explore their Gulf of Mexico through a fishing or boating trip and visit any of the islands to relax and/or fish.


There is currently no ferry offered to get from Biloxi to Deer Island however many choose to make the short paddle to the island in a canoe or kayak. The island lies at an angle to the mainland and is long and skinny.

The more common departure point is from Biloxi. The Northwest end of the island is only about two hundred yards from the Biloxi beach and is about a ten minute paddle to the long sandy spit at this end of the island. From here you can paddle around to the south side and enjoy several beach landing sites or paddle along the more protected north side. The south beach is larger than the north however the north offers plenty of seashells to pick up as you take a scroll down the beach. The south side is exposed to the Mississippi Sound and creates more waves than the calmer north side however worth a venture due to the beach there.

But the rest of the island is a great place to visit. In places it’s only about 50 yard’s wide. There are stands of pines and some very large oaks. Tidal pools and lot’s of beach. Birds of all kinds and I’ve seen possum tracks and alligator tracks in the sand.


In search of your next Mississippi boating destination? On the lookout for an easy-access boat launch? Getting out for a day on the water is easy with the Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks interactive boat launch map.

If you need to gas up the boat, grab a bite to eat, or find a place to dock for the night or the season, Mississippi’s Official Tourism page offers a complete list of Marina’s, who offer everything from food and lodging, boat repair and dry storage to fresh seafood and live music. Check it out today, and experience all that Mississippi’s waterways have to offer.



With more than 100 public lakes, 123,000 miles of streams and Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, there’s no shortage of fishing opportunities in the Hospitality State. Oh, and did we mention that there are over 100 species of fish for the taking in the Mississippi River? Seriously. Bass, carp, catfish, and trout, just to name a few. Take your pick. Just remember to keep an eye out for gators.

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks makes finding your next prime fishing opportunity easy. With their list of 20 state fishing lakes, plus their interactive bait shop map, it’s easy to hit up the closest bait shop, and head straight to the lake. Just be sure to grab a State Fishing Lake Permit, and find out about any licensing requirements before you go.

So whether you’re planning a day of bass fishing on Arkabutla Lake, or maybe Saltwater Fishing for the prized Cobia fish off the Gulf Coast; no matter where you cast your line, you’re sure to land your next big catch in this fisherman’s paradise.

You Might Also Like

Campfire Collective truck icon.



Go boldly, tell your story. Campfire is building a collective of ambassadors who share a passion for the wild. If you’re an influencer, publisher or sport expert drop us a line. Let’s hook up and inspire others.

Campfire Collective high five icon.



Stay in the loop. Sign up for our newsletter
to get the latest stories from around the fire.