Obviously fishing is the major drawing card to Grenada Lake among the CrappieNOW crowd,
including CrappieNOW Publisher Dan Dannenmueller (left) and partner, Nick Deshano with
Off Shore Tackle. But many people don’t realize what an incredible array of other attractions
are in the area, whether you fish or not. (Photo: Ryan Rodriquez)
Grenada, MS: A Crappie Fishing Paradise with Hidden Gems
by Erin Foster
Step into the heart of southern charm and discover the hidden gem that is Grenada, MS — a captivating blend of rich history, budding community, and outdoor adventure. For many avid crappie anglers, fishing on Grenada Lake is an item on their bucket list.
However, many do not know that the Grenada area also offers many local tourist attractions that fishermen and their families can enjoy. Combined it can all provide an unforgettable travel experience in the nation’s #1 crappie fishing destination.
Grenada Lake is often known as the “home of the three-pound crappie” for a good reason. Sprawling over 35,000 acres, the reservoir has a healthy white and black crappie population. Over the years, conservation organizations and wildlife agencies have implemented stocking programs to enhance and sustain the crappie population in Grenada Lake.
The reservoir’s optimal depth and nutrient-rich waters provide an ideal habitat for crappie to thrive, resulting in impressive catches year-round. While crappie fishing is productive throughout the year, the best times are generally during the spring spawn and fall feeding. These seasons are when crappie are more active and easier to catch. Trolling and vertical jigging are popular techniques for crappie fishing in Grenada Lake, known for its abundance of underwater structures, including brush piles, drop-offs, and submerged trees.
Local fishing guides can be helpful, especially for out-of-town fishermen, offering expert knowledge of the reservoir and techniques. Some options to consider for crappie fishing guides are Brad Chappell Guide Service, Grenada Lake Charters, Grenada Lake Crappie Guides, Pro Team Guides, JH Guide Services, and Carlos Willis Fishing. For fishing and boating regulations and up-to-date information about Grenada Lake, fishermen should visit the Mississippi, Wildlife, Fisheries, & Parks website.
Travelers to Grenada can also enjoy many options for outdoor adventures when planning their trip. The winding waterways of the Lee Tartt Nature Preserve are adorned with moss and weave between cypress trees, creating a tranquil experience for visitors. This 300-acre wetland habitat offers adventures such as hiking, kayaking, canoeing, and birdwatching, and it is conveniently located one-quarter mile from the town square.
Robin Whitfield, Executive Director of Friends of Chakchiuma Swamp, said, “In 2018 formed a non-profit and are now managing this place and making it as healthy as possible. We do interpretive events classes and create access for people to be able to fully understand what swamps are and why they are important.” To learn more about the Lee Tartt Nature Preserve events, visit their Facebook page.
Nestled at the north end of Grenada Dam is North Abutment Campground. This 88-site campground displays breathtaking views of the lake. The sites have water and sewer hookups and 30 and 50-amp electrical services. Fire rings and grills are available to campers, and the lake is accessible through a nearby boat ramp.
Visitors enjoy the hospitality of campground hosts Dan and Yvonne Garlington. The Garlington family oversee all reservations and management of the grounds alongside the Army Corps of Engineers.
“It’s a beautiful place for families to visit; there is a swimming area for the summertime and a playground. It’s a great place for kids to ride their bikes,” said Dan.
Pricing information is available online, where reservations can be made. Fishing opportunities are available at the North Abutment and nearby Hugh White State Park. The state park provides scenic views of the lake and excellent fishing opportunities near the dam.
Grenada also has an exciting blend of new restaurants and local staples in the downtown culinary scene. Grenada’s oldest restaurant is Spencer’s Dairy Kream. The community finds relief from the heat with delicious ice cream, milkshakes, or their famous banana split. The burger is a menu staple among many other delicious options.
Owner Duane McKinney said, “We still use the same type of hamburger patty that Mr. Spencer used back when they first opened up…the burger is one of our most popular items.”
First & Green is also integral to Grenada’s history. The building was built in 1867 and served as Grenada Hardware for nearly 150 years. It still retains much of its historical charm. Today, it is owned and operated as an event venue and catering service.
Molly’s Place is another local favorite. This restaurant is inspired by owner Deborah Bailey’s mother, Molly, who flew with the women’s Air Force in World War II. The restaurant exudes a unique ambiance: its warmly lit setting, nostalgic charm, and a courtyard often buzzing with live entertainment. The sprawling vintage bar offers a selection of cocktails, craft beer, and wine. The menu boasts many handcrafted dishes, including steak, seafood, and burger selections.
A few doors down in the heart of downtown is Square Market. “[Square Market] is a community gathering spot and a coffee shop…people love the food, coffee, and smoothies,” said owner Deborah Bailey.
This is an excellent option for breakfast, lunch, or an afternoon caffeinated beverage after a long day on the water. The downtown area will continue to develop as locals plan to unveil exciting businesses such as more restaurants, bars, and even a cigar lounge.
Grenada has many lodging options to choose from. Lofts on the Square is a southern bed and breakfast that provides hospitality, hot breakfast, and quaint comforts for every guest.
Owner Janice Michael said, “The space is very private and clean. People can come here as a group and bring their family and friends just like it’s their own house, or the rooms can be private.”
There are multiple rooms to choose from, each with its own unique decor and bathroom.
For fishermen, there is an off-site area for boat storage. The Postmasters Quarters is an upscale rental located on Main Street in Grenada, MS, next to Engagements Bridal & Formalwear. The building is the “Old Post Office,” built in 1914, and features many original details and architecture present when it was constructed.
“Our mission is to preserve the history and architecture of this magnificent building while opening it up to allow others to enjoy its beauty,” said owner Bethany McRee. Guests staying longer than two nights in the two-bedroom and 1.5-bath rental will receive complimentary laundry service. All guests have access to an off-site area for boat storage with electrical hookups.
The Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton, another great option for fishermen and their families, offers spacious rooms, complimentary hot breakfast, and a parking lot for boat storage with electrical hookups.
Deep woodlands embrace the rolling fairways at Dogwoods Golf Course. Because the course includes many hills, golfers must navigate elevation changes and adapt their shots accordingly. Golfers will enjoy the beautiful views along the course, and the diverse tee boxes offered at each hole will require golfers to adjust their playing style.
The resounding crack of a baseball bat and the smell of sizzling hot dogs ignite enthusiasm among Kirk Auto Sports Complex fans. The youth sports facility opened to the public in 2023. The event calendar filled up quickly with baseball and softball teams from across the state and beyond. Grenada is proud to cheer on their very own team: the Grenada Guardians.
Grenada offers some of the Southeast’s best outdoor resources and activities for the entire family — a mix of Southern charm, history, and outdoor fun. Whether it’s fishing at Grenada Lake, exploring the Lee Tartt Nature Preserve, enjoying the views at North Abutment Campground, savoring local restaurants, or soaking in the energy at Kirk Auto Sports Complex, an array of experiences is waiting to be discovered.
We recommend visiting the Grenada Lake Visitor’s Center upon your arrival in Grenada to receive the most up-to-date information about the area and learn more about the history of the area.
More information at: