The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) commissioned world-famous bass fisherman, Bill Dance, to help design Okhissa Lake's fish habitat from the initial 1999 planning phase for this reservoir. With this invitation, Okhissa Lake became Bill Dance's first "Signature Lake." Nestled in the Homochitto National Forest in southwest Mississippi, this lake's primary function was for fish habitat. Today, this secluded lake offers pleasure boating, swimming, and serves as an ideal venue for world class fishing.
The Bill Dance brand made this lake instantly popular among anglers who seek Bill Dance Signature Lakes. Okhissa Lake has over 34 miles of shoreline, and its deep waters are ideal for smallmouth bass. This species usually is not found this far south, as bass demand cooler waters. Since Okhissa is over 80-feet deep in some spots, this depth allows for cooler waters to support smallmouth bass habitat.
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Although Okhissa Lake is a deep lake, the fish habitats can be dangerous at high speeds. Therefore, approximately 80 percent of the lake is "idle only," and park rangers are serious about "no wakes." The ski area for this lake is located in the lake's northern waters near the boat launch just south of Bude. The second boat launch is located on the western shore off Highway 98.
The only campground and recreation area in the Homochitto National Forest is located five miles west from Meadville. This campground contains 22 sites, including RV spaces. Other privately-owned campgrounds are located around the lake, and some cabins also are available. The Forest Service plans to build lakeside cabins and offer primitive camping near the lake in the future.
If you're seeking hotel rooms, Brookhaven is less than an hour's drive from the lake. That small town has several hotels located near the I-55 exit. McComb is a little larger than Brookhaven, and that town also is located along I-55. McComb is about 32 miles southeast via 98 to south I-55.
Review the Lake Resource Guide for additional lodging.
Okhissa Lake is situated in Franklin County near Meadville, the county seat. Other small towns located near the lake include Bude, about five miles north of the lake, and Smithville to the south. The closest major airport is located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which is 86 miles from Meadville. The Jackson-Evers International Airport is located in Jackson, Mississippi, which is located 93 miles from Meadville.
Fun times at Okhissa Lake
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