Aside from the excellent bluegill, bass and crappie fishing, a major draw for many fishermen to Calling Panther Lake in south central Mississippi is the peace and quiet.
With skiing and other tow sports confined to the lower lake and only allowed two afternoons per week, the sound of a boat motor at high RPM’s is rare. The rest of the time boats are limited to idle speed only. And those who don’t want to abide by those rules remember this – there are thousands of stumps poised and ready to enforce this regulation, the Clarion-Ledger reported.
That same peace and quiet will probably be a draw for campers when the new campground at the lake is opened.
Clay Ready of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks described the facility as “top of the line” as he pointed out some of the features of the campsites that are within view of the 500-acre lake.
Ready says there are 23 sites, including two handicapped sites and five pull-through sites, “which people will like a lot because when they can’t back their trailer, they can just use the pull-through sites,” Ready said.
All the pads are concrete and include 30-and 50-amp outlets, barbecue grills and picnic tables. Another feature, Ready points out, is that there is a concrete pad extension out to each of the electrical outlet boxes.
The handicapped sites have a few features of their own. The concrete pads are wider to allow for better mobility and one side of each picnic table has a cutout in the bench to allow wheelchair accessibility.
Ready said there is a nearby area designated for tent camping as well.
Once the campground is complete, Ready said there is a plan for new restrooms and showers dedicated to the campground. Currently, there are only restrooms and showers at the manager’s office, which is a short walk from the campsite.
Because of its proximity to the Jackson metro area and its serene environment, Ready thinks the public will really enjoy the campgrounds.
Just down the road, Bill Simon has the same feelings.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Simon, owner of Panther Bait, Tackle & Grill. “I believe opening the campgrounds at the lake will not only bring in people who want to fish, but people who just want to camp.”
Simon said he gets a lot of phone calls at his store from people asking about where they can pitch a tent or park an RV. He explained that a lot of people just like to go to state parks and others just to camp and get away from the everyday hustle and bustle.
Then there is the economic factor.
“Not only do I think it will be good for my business, but Crystal Springs as well,” said Simon as he talked of campers buying supplies and going out for a meal.
“It will be excellent for people who want to fish and people who want to come stay a week,” said Simon.
Walking around the campground as the water shimmers in the sun, seeing the deer tracks that crisscross the grounds and hearing only the sounds of birds makes you think they may want to stay longer.