June 14, 2017
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for June 14, 2017. If there is a body of water you would like included in this report, please emailAGFCfishingreport@outlook.com with information on possible sources for reports about that lake or river. Reports are updated weekly, although some reports might be published for two weeks if updates are not received promptly or if reporters say conditions haven’t changed. Contact the reporter for the lake or stream you plan to fish for current news.
Arkansas River and White River levels are available at:
For real-time information on stream flow in Arkansas from the U.S. Geological Survey, visit:
For water-quality statistics (including temperature) in many Arkansas streams and lakes, visit:
Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir
The AGFC is treating alligator weed in Lake Conway using EPA-registered herbicides approved for use in aquatic systems. The AGFC strongly recommends that adjacent landowners not use lake water for irrigation of lawns or gardens through March 1, 2018. For more information please contact the AGFC Fisheries Office in Mayflower at (877)-470-3309.
(updated 6-14-2017) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the water is stained and surface temperature on Tuesday was 82 degrees. The water level is normal. The bream bite is excellent. Bream are all around the shoreline and the lily pads. Use worms or crickets. The crappie fishing was just fair in the past week. You’ll find them at about 8 feet under the Arkansas Highway 89 bridge. Use jigs. Bass reports were fair. Anglers were having most success using topwater lures and wacky worms. Catfishing ranged from fair to good. The fish are biting worms and cut bait.
(updated 6-14-2017) Gold Creek Landing (501-607-0590) reported bream are doing well. Bass are fair. Fishing overall is kind of spotty, especially ever since the heavy rains.
Little Red River
(updated 6-14-2017) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service said the Little Red continues to receive 12 hours of daily generation. The generation pattern has changed just a little this week with water release starting midmorning instead of early morning. This pattern is providing excellent wading conditions for a few hours each day and excellent drift-fishing from a boat. With the water release of two full units of generation, the river will rise quickly. So, if wading, be observant of changing water levels and be aware of your surroundings for your safety.For fly-fishing, Lowell recommends sowbugs, midges, caddis pupa and streamers.Pink- and red-colored Trout Magnet bodies on chartreuse heads are recommended for spin fishing. Always check before heading to the Little Red River by calling the Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock District water data system (501-362-5150) for Greers Ferry Dam water release information or check the Corps of Engineers website (swl-wc.usace.army.mil) for real-time water release and the Southwestern Power Administration website (swpa.gov) to see forecasted generation schedule.
(updated 6-14-2017) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said, “Summertime and the living is easy! Well maybe not easy, but good!” He said the river is clear with the generation still on the 12-hour-on and 12-hour-off schedule. Southwestern Power has changed the hours to 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. due to a shift in the power demand. The Army Corps of Engineers is expecting the lake level to return to normal by mid-July using the current generation amounts. This means the Little Red may miss 24-hour generation. These forecasts depend on the weather pattern staying the same with no large rain events. The Corps may need to change the generation times for one day to complete some work on the river. Check generation schedules to be aware of this change. Meanwhile, fishing is good with some wade fishing available at the dam (early mornings), Winkley Shoal from about 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and lower shoals (late morning to midafternoon). Drift-fishing is good by staying ahead of the new generation and fishing the lower water from the previous day. Large nymphs are working well in the deeper water, and size 16 nymphs and midge pupas are taking fish in the shallow, clearer sections. Please be careful when canoeing or kayaking during the high-water periods each day. We had another close call on the river this past weekend. All are well but it could have been devastating. Only experienced kayakers and canoeists should navigate the river during generation periods (high water). Enjoy the river on low water but respect the dangers of swift current and high water. Water generation can be checked by calling 501-362-5150 and enter 3 and # for Greers Ferry Dam or check the USACE Little Rock app. Be Safe and Good Fishing!
(updated 6-7-2017) James Dillard at Tailwater Fishing Co. said the fishing on the Little Red has been excellent. The water release from the dam has been a consistent 12 hours on and 12 hours off. Fishing has been best while fishing the falling water. The hot flies have been pink San Juan worms and copper johns. Trout Magnets have been catching fish as well.
Greers Ferry Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 469.42 feetmsl (normal conservation pool: 462.04 feetmsl Oct. 1-April 30; 463.04 feetmsl May 1-June 1; 462.54 feetmsl June 1-Sept. 30).
(updated 6-14-2017) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 469.40 feet and has just about leveled off. It is 6.86 feet above normal pool of 462.04 feet and will remain over pool for a while. The bass fishing is good all over the lake with lots of small fish seeming to be the norm at present. But the bigger fish are in kind of a post-spawn funk. The bigger fish bite should pick back up over the next few days as they get acclimated to the rise and move back shallow to feed. Try buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, soft plastics, jigs and swimbait, or a gizit now in the old shore line, or a Carolina rig out in front. Lots of fish are being picked up around the shad spawn as well. The bream are bedding; use crickets, crawlers and small crankbaits. The crappie are holding in the old brush line and around any wood eating minnows and jigs. Catfishing is very good overall all over the lake on jugs, trotlines and rods and reels, on a variety of baits. Walleye are a little slow as they are getting acclimated as well after the rise, and when it clears the bite will be good on crawlers drug around in bald spots on pea gravel points and humps. The hybrid bite and white bass bite are good around the shad spawn and in guts of creeks, points and humps in the lake. Look for clear water and shad, and try in-line spinners, spoons, swimbaits and topwater lures.
(updated 6-14-2017) Cody S. Smith of FishGreersFerry.com (501-691-5701) said, “Hey folks, summertime patterns are finally showing up here on Greers Ferry.” Surface water temps are ranging in the mid- to upper 70s. The new threadfin shad population is wrapping up the spawn and fish are feeding and healthy. While they still have an excess of water in the reservoir, most of the game fish are starting to really relate to offshore cover and the outside edge of the old shoreline. Cody says he has found that 12-25 feet of water is holding the majority of game fish, while in the early morning and late evenings they will push shallower, feeding on shad and sunfish fry. The walleye bite is going strong in both live bait and artificial offerings on mixed rock on hard bottom areas. Some of the biggest bluegills Cody says he’s seen this year are colored up and spawning in that 10-18-foot range. Pretty consistent schooling with whites and hybrids can be found in good numbers on the northern part of the lake like Sugarloaf, Choctaw and Lynn Creek.
Harris Brake Lake
(updated 6-14-2017) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) said the past week has been a good one for anglers. The water is clear and maybe a little high, but that didn’t stop the fish from biting good to excellent. Bream reports were excellent on worms or crickets. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Bass anglers are having excellent success, from the looks of the stringers, but not much else was shared. Catfishing was excellent on trotlines.
The AGFC is treating alligator weed in Lake Overcup using EPA-registered herbicides approved for use in aquatic systems. The AGFC strongly recommends that adjacent landowners not use lake water for irrigation of lawns or gardens through March 1, 2018. For more information please contact the AGFC Fisheries Office in Mayflower at (877)-470-3309.
(updated 6-7-2017) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said water level is up by 5 feet, but clarity is good. We have tons of shad now on surface late evening and early morning. Bass are still doing well around brush and shallow water using black plastic worm and crankbaits. Bream are still slow but are picking up a little using crickets. Crappie are doing fair out in 9 to 11 feet of water spider-rigging using jigs and minnows. Catfish are doing fair on jugs and trotlines – nothing over 6 pounds so far – using perch, shad and bass minnows. Come see us off Arkansas Highway 9 and enjoy this good weather for a change.
(updated 6-14-2017) Larry Walters at Bones Bait Shop (501-354-9900) said that while his phone line had been down a couple of weeks, causing problems for anyone trying to call in to the shop, the fishing was doing really well. Crappie are good and can be found in 10-20 feet of water, are biting minnows and jigs. Some anglers are spider-rigging over the brush, some are fishing about 10 feet deep off drops, and some are fishing the bottom, all getting success. One group came in with 42 crappie, which he said were really nice ones. Bream are good. Catfish are doing really well. The anglers catching catfish are using big bass minnows, or stink bait. Some are noodling with small shad. Some are catching them right off the bank with minnows, just maybe 15 yards from the shoreline. Bass fishing is just off and on, he said. Anglers can catch some off the points in about 18 foot of water, using a Texas rig, spinnerbaits, and bass are even hitting some minnows. Anglers going for crappie were catching bass with the minnow fishing. On a 1-5 scale, Larry gives the week at least a 4 if not a 5. The lake is at 331 feet msl, about 1 foot high. Though no measurement was taken the surface water temperature, he said, probably ranged about 74-75 degrees.
(updated 6-7-2017) Jolly Rogers Marina (501-868-5558) said black bass are good to excellent. They’re biting on crankbaits, wacky rig worms, flukes and spinnerbaits. Black bass are in about 10-15 feet of water off the weeds by about 10 feet. Earlier this week, Roger said, he heard a lot of comments that the black bass were still in the weeds. “Is this wild?” he said. The Kentucky bass bite remains excellent. They’re being caught on jigs and minnows. They can be found mixed in with the black bass in shallow water. White bass are good. They are still schooling at the east end. Use Rooster Tails, CC Spoons and deep-diving Bandits and Bombers. They are staying up longer. Crappie are good, and good-size, and are being caught on crappie minnows and jigs. Use a chartreuse and white jig with a very light line. Bream reports have been excellent. They have moved off the bed and are 10-14 feet deep. Lots of redear being caught. Use crickets and live worms. Catfishing has been excellent. They are being caught in 15-25 feet of water, but some have been in shallow water. Use stink bait, small bream and chicken livers.
(updated 6-14-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish have been biting fair on chicken livers, nightcrawlers and minnows. Bream fishing has been good with crickets and redworms. Bass have been hitting fair on minnows, floating worms and small topwater baits. Crappie have been biting slow, but some are biting early in the mornings on No. 6 and pink minnows.
Bishop Park Ponds
(updated 6-14-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said some crappie are coming from the front pond. Customers are catching them on No. 6 minnows and Tennessee Shad-colored grubs. Bass have been hitting the grubs and minnows also, as well as red or purple plastic worms. Bream have been biting crickets and redworms. Catfish are biting minnows, worms, chicken livers and bait shrimp.
Saline River Access in Benton
(updated 6-14-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bass have been biting minnows, 4-inch green pumpkin or watermelon-colored lizards, crawdad-colored crankbaits and small spinnerbaits. Crappie have been fair in some deeper holes on the river. No. 6 minnows fished around logs close to current have been producing some nice eaters. Catfish are biting slow to fair on minnows, black salties and goldfish on trotlines. Bream fishing has been fast and fun lately. Crickets or worms on small hooks and light line will work for high numbers and a few good keepers. Fish hard, have fun, leave only footprints and, most importantly, be safe.
(updated 6-14-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bream fishing has been good. Tight-lining around deep cover and docks with crickets and redworms will catch some good ones. Catfish have been biting at night on minnows, goldfish and black salties. Bass have been biting early in the mornings and at night. Watermelon, watermelon/red and green pumpkin plastics in the mornings and black or purple at night have been working well. Crappie fishing has been fair for some fishing with No. 6 minnows. All that anglers said were that they were way back in the back of a cove.
(updated 6-14-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said customers have reported catching catfish and bream while fishing below the spillway. Worms, minnows and chicken livers are working for the catfish. Worms and crickets for the bream. Some crappie are still being caught in the lake on size 6 minnows. Customers tell us they're catching them early and late, around cover in 4 to 8 feet of water. Bass fishing has been slow to fair with plastic worms and lizards, topwater baits early in the mornings, and black and blue jigs.
Arkansas River at Morrilton
(updated 6-14-2017) Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) said the river flows are dropping, and on Tuesday morning they were at 113,000 cfs. Catfish are moving to the backside of the jetties. Use shad and fish from the bank out. Reports were good on catfish. Bass results were good. They are shallow in the morning; Charley says to fish under an overhang, use Jitterbugs and then move to grassy spots and use chatterbaits. As the day goes by, fish the drops. Fish for bream behind the jetties and in the backwaters with crickets in 3-10 feet of water. Reports have been good on bream. There were no reports on crappie for the past week. White bass are schooling behind the jetties. Use shad or pearl crankbaits. White bass reports have been fair. Striper appear to be blow the power house. Use a wobble spoon.
Arkansas River (Cadron Pool)
(updated 6-7-2017) Professional angler Cody Kelley, owner of Best in Bass Guide Service (501-733-5282),) had no report. River is flowing very fast and remains high. Cody suggests staying off the main river for the time being.
Little Maumelle River
(updated 6-14-2017) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the water has gotten fairly clear in the past week. The level is about 1½ foot below normal. Bream are bedding and spawning. The bite is good. Throw a worm or a cricket. Crappie are good. The fish are about 4 feet deep and responding mostly to minnows. Bass are good and can be found in shallow water. They appear to be biting everything, as anglers were reporting good success on spinnerbaits, crankbaits, topwater lures and Zara Spooks. Catfishing is fair using chicken livers. On a 1-5 scale, the marina rated the past week a 3.
Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)
(updated 6-14-2017) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) reported bream are good on worms and cricket. Crappie are fair using minnows and jigs. There were good reports of bass up in Maumelle Creek on plastic worms. Catfishing is excellent on skipjack. No reports on white bass.
(updated 6-7-2017) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said catfishing in the Murray Lock and Dam area remains excellent by snagging. Anglers reported that white bass there are good and some are being caught on twister tails. No reports on any other species.
Arkansas River (Little Rock Pool)
(updated 6-14-2017) Vince Miller from Fish ’N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) said the clarity is dirty and the water is still high. Bream reports, though, were good. Use worms or crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows or jigs. Bass are biting, especially in the back waters. Reports were good. Anglers were using squarebills and black and blue jigs. Catfish are responding some to stinkbait. The reports were good.
(updated 6-14-2017) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said water in the Clear Lake area is stained. Water level is high. Bream have been good on worms and crickets. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Bass are good and reacting nicely to spinnerbaits and crankbaits. All the fish seem to be just off the banks. No report on catfish. The report was consistent throughout the river pool, they said. On a 1-5 scale for the week, McSwain called it a 4.
(updated 6-14-2017) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) termed the clarity dingy but said it appeared to be at a normal level. No report on surface temperature. Bream are excellent. You’ll find the best bite in the back waters in a depth of 3-4 feet. Waxworms and crickets were the bait of choice. Crappie are fair using minnows and jigs. Bass were good and responding well to plastic worms. Catfishing is excellent below the Murray Dam on skipjack. Near the Terry Dam and from Tar Camp Pool, the catfishing was excellent there as well on skips. No reports on white bass.
(updated 6-14-2017) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said the water is almost clear and is at a normal level. Bream are good on worms and crickets. Anglers had some fair success trolling for crappie and using minnows and jigs. Bass are good using spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfishing was fair. Worms worked best.
(updated 6-14-2017) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) says thatafter a mild, wet spring, they’re feeling the heat now. Low 90s forecast for the next week and beyond; but the trout continue to enjoy fresh, cold, clear water from the deep bottom of Bull Shoals Lake. The Army Corps of Engineers has dropped the water release to an average of 8,800 cfs (about three generators if you use that calculation), increasing it to approximately 13,500 cfs over the last few nights. The brown bite has remained feisty; sculpins are a favorite. Local guides are using crawdad tails when they can find them. You might try your Rebel Cajun Teeny Wee Crawfish and see if it produces any action. Look for 5-inch to 5 ½-inch stick baits with greenish blue backs and light chartreuse bellies – they've played well this week. Another favorite bait this week: redworms. Always imitate or offer the current food source in the river, and when the trout have had their fill of the staples, cast something new and flashy to pique their interest. Above all, enjoy yourself and the great beauty of The Natural State.
(updated 6-14-2017) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the water is clear, and all this past weekend there were five generators running. River level is normal. Trout fishing was excellent the past week. The resort drew a nice crowd for browns that ranged in size from 16 to 24 inches. Rainbow catches were also very good. Four cutthroat trout were caught, along with an 8-pound walleye and several bass.
(updated 6-14-2017) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-435-2169) said late last week that in the past week they had a rain event (less than an inch in Cotter), warm temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell 1.6 feet to rest at 27.7 feet above seasonal power pool of 662 feet. This is 5.3 feet below the top of flood pool. The Corps of Engineers has closed the floodgates and the volume of water in the White is greatly reduced. Upstream, Table Rock fell 0.6 feet to rest at 8.6 feet above seasonal power pool and 5.4 feet above the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose 0.3 feet to rest at 7.5 feet above seasonal power pool and 1.1 feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had no wadable water with high generation. All of the lakes in the White River System are now below the top of flood pool. The Corps of Engineers has closed the floodgates on all of the lakes in the White River system. The area should expect a lot of generation with little if any wadable water in the near future. On the White, the water below Crooked Creek and the Buffalo has cleared up. The hot flies were olive Woolly Buggers (sizes 8, 10), Y2Ks (sizes 14, 12), prince nymphs (size 14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead sizes 16, 18), pheasant tails (size 14), ruby midges (size 18), root beer midges (size 18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (size 10), and sowbugs (size 16). Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective (John’s current favorite is a size 14 hare and copper nymph with a size 18 ruby midge suspended below it). Use lots of lead and long leaders to get your flies down.
Bull Shoals Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 689.85 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659.00 msl).
(updated 6-7-2017) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said last Saturday that the lake was at 691 feet msl and the water temperature was 76 degrees, up to 84 degrees depending on where you’re fishing. The water is getting warm pretty quick and the fish are in post-spawn mode. Lots of these fish have moved out of the spawning pockets and are staging up on the points. Down by the dam the water is really clear. Even in the creeks the water has gotten pretty clear. The channel bite had gotten a little challenging unless you’ve got wind or a little dirty water. Some of those creeks where there’s no flow, the fishing is real slow back in there. You want to avoid those if you can. The water level is coming down and as the temperature keeps coming up the fish are going to be moving out a little bit deeper. A lot of the offshore stuff is beginning to pick up a little bit. Most guys that Del sees, he says, are fishing with their boats on top of the fish. What you want to do is get in the old shoreline anywhere from 25-30 feet off the shore and cast in. On any given day you could throw a Carolina rig, you could throw a Ned rig. Tubes are working. Del said he likes to draw a jig through the old brush; not necessarily dragging it but hopping it along, keeping it tight the whole time. There a ton of crawdads in the lake and the fish are eating on them. A green pumpkin with orange is the best color to match. Del uses a ½-ounce jig with a Jackall craw bait, you can use whatever one you want, he says. Highlight it if you have a marker. As for the topwater bite, seems like the creeks that do have a little bit of flow, if you don’t go into the very back, you can catch a few throwing a Whopper Plopper, a buzzbait, but conditions have to be right for it. If it’s bright and sunny, and the water is flat, Del says he wouldn’t go to the back and start power fishing. Also throwing the Walk the Dog-style baits will catch some fish, but it’s still dependent on conditions. If you’re fishing from here on out, have a topwater ready to fire out there. If you can get up close to the shoreline along those steeper banks, the fish are on those channel swing banks. If it gets really, really windy and you’ve got some clouds, the spinnerbait bite is still working. The biggest thing is to fish the conditions. If you get on a pattern now you can figure them out. If it lays real flat for you – it seems like those hot days when it lays flat – you’re going to have to back out into the main lake, catch them on the drop-shot with a shad pattern. And a worm is working, too. Anywhere in the 30-40 feet depth seems to be holding the fish when the sun is up, it’s calm and nice and hot. Del is still catching a few in the back on the squarebill. He uses a Lucky Craft and swims it through submerged bushes, banging it across something, clashing it into a bush or coming across a log under the water. He says if you’re fishing an area closer to the main lake and catching smallmouth, sneak up closer on the points, look for the old road beds or walking paths that people have used to get down to the lake. There’s a lot of largemouth bass up in the areas up in the same areas that the smallmouths are, just a little bit shallower. Don’t be afraid to go up there on any given day. If you’re catching smallmouths on a point in 30 feet of water, after you’ve fished that, go back in and fish it shallow for the black bass. Drag a jig around, throw a tube around.
(updated 6-14-2017) K Dock Marina said the general public must access the marina from the lake only during this high water situation. No boat rentals at this time. They have no fishing reports.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 576.51 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 552.00 msl, April-September – 554.00 msl).
(updated 6-14-2017) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters says Norfork Lake is turning back into the great lake she has always been. The water is clear and the temperature is 80 degrees and will be going up due to the warm weather they will be having. The stripers are also moving into their summer pattern. You can still catch shallow fish before the sun comes up, but then they are moving out onto flats feeding on crawdads. Tom says he has been running a planer board with a 6-inch gizzard shad shallow over the brush and fishing in 25 to 30 feet of water. Hybrids are providing the best early bite. They are great fighters but right now they are on the smaller size so Tom and crew are letting them go because they can survive warm water. As the morning progresses, move out to the 40- to 50-foot range; the stripers are on or very close to the bottom. Place your baits a foot or two above the stripers. Right now they are running six downlines and are having three and four hookups daily. The bottom part of lake is the most productive from Woods Point toward the dam; they are producing lots of stripers.
Tom’s son, Sean, joined him for a double trip on Sunday. Sean had the Kalchik family, who were taking their father out for his 80th birthday. They told Sean when they were leaving the dock they wanted to catch at least 80 pounds of stripers. They limited out with 12 and had close to 100 pounds of stripers. It was a great birthday present the boys gave him.
Tom’s client, the Blair family, are locals. John is a local photographer who just happened to shoot Sean’s wedding. None of them – John, Trish, or Ean – had fished for stripers but was eager to catch one. After a couple of misses they got the hang of it and they caught their first striper and limited out with nine fat ones. So both parties had a great Sunday fishing on Norfork Lake.
For you out-of-area folks, you might want to get your calendars out and start making plans now. The stripers are in their summer pattern and the bite is on. A good tool to use to make your plans with is on the web at www.FishNorfork.com for everything Norfork Lake! For a real outdoor adventure, you might consider a striper fishing trip combined with a pheasant hunt. It's a blast!
(updated 6-14-2017) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said Norfork Lake fishing has been good over the last couple of weeks. All species are biting, but the typical pattern for this time of year is different. The higher-than-normal water level is keeping the baitfish inside the sunken trees and brush, and the fish are loving it. Plenty of places to hide and feed. The predators are, as you would guess, up inside of the brush with the baitfish. Striper fishing has been excellent from the southern portion of the mid-lake area down to the dam and east of the dam partway back into Big Creek. Main lake points, as well as secondary points back into the creeks and coves, have been the best areas to find the striped bass. Early in the morning you can find stripers and hybrids up tight to the sunken trees and brush feeding on shad. If you can find an area with the shad flipping back in the brush, all species of fish will be in the area feeding. As the sun rises over the tree line, the stripers tend to move out into deeper, cooler water. They will still be off the points, but will move out to find water temperatures in the low 60s, which at this time is about 40-45 feet deep. Surface water temperature is close to 80 degrees. Live bait is working the best for him, Lou said. He’s been using live threadfin shad, gizzard shad or larger shiners. Artificial baits that have worked have been swimbaits, crankbaits and spinnerbaits. Lou says he attempts to get the bait down to the tops of the sunken buckbrush and try to retrieve along the tops of the brush anywhere from 10 feet to 25 feet of water. Once the stripers go deeper, vertical jigging with a spoon will start working. So far though, Lou says, he can't seem to beg a bite on a spoon, but they will work before long.
Lou adds that both largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing have been good. Early and late in the day they are up tight on the sunken brush. Lou says he has had luck over the last week casting a Zara Spook into the brush and slowing walking the dog back to the boat. Lou says he’s called up many fish by this method. Crankbaits and spinnerbaits are also working very well. Try to get a deep-diving crankbait so it will get down to the tops of the brush in 10 to 25 feet of water. The fish are inside of the brush feeding on shad.
Walleye fishing has increasingly gotten better and better. Troll crankbaits on the old shoreline just off of the sunken brush in 20-25 feet of water. Lou had a group of guys down last week and they were using this method of fishing. They landed well over 20 walleye, many keepers. Firetiger was their most productive crankbait color pattern. The walleye are also moving onto the flats in the 15-30 feet water range. Using a Lindy rig with nightcrawlers has been working. You can also drop-shot a large shiner, keeping it just above the bottom in the same water depth of 15-25 feet.
Crappie and bluegills are up in the sunken brush. There has been some nice fish caught on crankbaits as well as spinnerbaits. Live bait will be the best, but the fish are very hard to reach. They have moved very deep into the brush, but working the edges of the sunken brush and especially under sunken Willow trees are holding some nice fish.
Catfishing has been excellent. Limblines, jugs and trotlines are all producing some really nice fish. Norfork Lake's current water level is falling slowly and is at 574.95 as of earlier this week. The current surface water temperature is in the high 70s. Parts of the lake are clear (far north upriver and far south east of the dam). The remainder of the lake is slightly stained with a greenish blue color. Parts of the mid-lake area around the two bridges are still showing a slightly brown tint of stain. Overall the lake is in great condition and is getting back to normal. Lou said he is noticing very little floating debris, but caution is still advised as always.
(updated 6-14-2017) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service said Norfork Lake fell 1.2 feet to rest at 18.6 feet above seasonal power pool of 556.75 feet and 4.7 feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had limited wadable water. On the Norfork, the water is stained but is fishing well. Navigate this stream with caution as things have changed a bit during the recent flooding. There has been major gravel recruitment at the bottom of Mill Pond and the dock hole. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (sizes 18, 20, 22) like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (sizes 14, 16) like the Green Butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead-headed nymph (zebra midge, copper john or pheasant tail) suspended 18 inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise size 10). The fishing is better in the morning. John’s favorite rig on the Norfork has been a hare and copper nymph with a ruby midge dropper. Dry Run Creek has been affected by the flooding but has returned to its banks and is fishing well. The hot flies have been sowbugs (size 14), Y2Ks (size 12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise size 10).
Buffalo National River
(updated 6-14-2017) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are navigable. With the warmer weather the smallmouths should be more active. John’s favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.
(updated 6-14-2017) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Crooked Creek is navigable. With the warmer weather the smallmouths should be more active. John’s favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek. There are no dams, and there are large drainages making Crooked Creek prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,128.84 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,121.00 msl).
(updated 6-14-2017) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the lake’s clarity is clearing, and the water level remains high. Bream were fair this past week on worms or crickets. Crappie reports were fair. Some anglers were trolling along the deep areas with small cranks. Minnows were also getting a response. Bass are good, particularly the deeper you can fish. The topwater bite was there in the morning. Anglers were using spinnerbaits, plastic worms and jigs. Catfishing is fair. They appear to be spawning around the docks. On a 1-5 scale, Southtown rated the fishing a 4.
(updated 6-14-2017) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) said water temperatures are in the high 70s, and striper activity forecast for the week is good. They are on the feed with most stripers using 20-100 feet of water. The mud line is clearing nicely. Some stripers are using gravel bars, points, humps, treetops and cuts in the bank to corner bait. Fishing free lines and lightly weighted downlines will get you some fish. Night fishing has also been productive in these areas. Some stripers are keyed on the spawning shad and patrolling areas that the shad are spawning in. There has been some topwater activity from striper and white bass. Beaver lake striper fishing will be good with striper taken on live shad fished on free lines and downlines from the surface down to about 50 feet deep; also try trolling small umbrella rigs with white grubs or chartreuse for stained water, as well as plugs like Rapala No. 14 husky jerks in black back or purple back colors and Smithwick Rogues in similar colors in 5-6-inch model on plane boards with snap weights to get some depth and stagger your presentation. Jerk baits like flukes, swimbaits and jigs will also produce. Topwaters like 7-inch Redfins, Spooks and Pencil Poppers need to be tied on and ready. Fish location is greatly influenced by lake level and current flow; current in the lake from generation will generally position fish on upstream or downstream edges of structure. Check the daily lake level and flow data link on Mike’s website linked above.
On the mid and lower sections check out these hot spots: Indian Creek, Lost Bridge North, Big Clifty, points 5 and 6, Rambo Creek Arm, Rocky Branch, Ford and Cedar creeks and Larue.
Horseshoe bend has white bass surfacing, while walleye being caught in numbers as well. Walleye continue making their way back to the main lake in numbers in late spring/summer migration mode and can be found scattered throughout the lake and are on the feed. Walleye can be found from 10-30 feet deep depending on areas you fish. Three-way rigging Rapalas in natural colors for clear water or chartreuse/orange and clown colors in areas of stained water.
Try Rapala Tail Dancers, Bagley Rumble B's, Flicker Shad, Bandit 300 Series in colors that include orange and chartreuse. Also give slow death rigs and spinner rigs on bottom bouncers in orange/chartreuse a try. Bink Pro Scale 1-ounce jigging spoons in white or white/chartreuse combo and a variety of jigs are also producing walleye.
(updated 6-14-2017) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said, “Encouraging news! The water in the tailwaters is starting to go down and the bite is picking up.” Austin reported water temperatures between Houseman Access and the U.S. Highway 62 bridge ranging from mid-60s down to the upper 50s. Water clarity is still less than optimal. You can find pockets of trout between the 62 bridge and Spider Creek. Unfortunately, you will still need a boat to access these areas. Trout are biting on various PowerBaits fished with light terminal tackle. Trout are also hitting Rapalas and spoons being trolled between Houseman and the 62 bridge. Smallmouths are hitting on various crankbaits and soft plastics thrown at structure and in coves between Houseman and Beaver town.
(updated 6-14-2017) Beaver Dam Store reported fish were stocked last week and the fish are eager to eat whatever you throw at them. With the water in its current condition, fish the boat ramp just below the dam and at Bertrand. Bank fishing is limited due to the high water however, there is still room to fish, just got to get out there and find it. Only one week left in the snagging season. Game fish may be snagged from the bank below Beaver Dam, from the Corps of Engineers "No fishing beyond this point" sign, downstream to the first Corps of Engineers boat ramp on the left descending bank until June 15. Good lures for anglers at Beaver Dam Store are gold and silver Colorado Spoons, red and gold Bouyant Spoons and Flicker Shad in Pro Series Nos. 4 and 5. Good PowerBait colors are white, red, orange, yellow, chartreuse and peach. Good flies are pheasant tails, midges in blue dun, black or olive; hare’s ear, tungsten copper johns, WD40s, Trout Magnets and San Juan Worms.
Lucky Key at Duck Camp Fishing Retreat (479-871-6305) has closed the shop and has retired.
(updated 6-14-2017) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) reported water clear and at a normal level. The bream bite is good on worms and crickets. Crappie have moved into deep water, but the bite remains good. Use minnows or jigs. Bass are good on crankbaits, topwater baits and Zara Spook-style baits. Catfish were slow going with poor to fair results, but they were expecting the catfish to pick up in another week or so. Overall, a lot of fish (bass, crappie) were being caught in boats using deeper water. They rated the fishing 4 for the week on a 1-5 scale.
(updated 6-14-2017) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) reported the water with a dingy clarity and a surface temperature of 79 degrees. Water level is normal. Bream are good on worms and crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Bass are good using spinnerbaits and plastic worms. Catfish are good on shad and chicken livers.
(updated 6-14-2017) Ome Coleman at Lake Poinsett State Park said this is the time of year that we need sun protection and be sure not to get too hot. Lots of fishermen are buying goldfish and rice slicks and putting out lines in the evening to catch the catfish. With the warm weather, the bream are bedding. The preferred bait for the bream is crickets. They also like to use redworms. The bait shop is keeping plenty of minnows for those who still go for the crappie. There have been reports also that some bass are being caught, mostly on artificial bait.
Bald Knob Lake
(updated 6-7-2017) Angler Nicholas Karris said the bream bite is best right now. Bass are good early and late.
(updated 6-7-2017) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water has remained clear for the second week in a row and the level is normal. Water temperature Tuesday was 75 degrees. Bream fishing is good on crickets. Crappie are in shallow water and the fishing has been good using minnows. The bass may be starting to move into deeper areas as the surface begins to warm. The bite is best early in the day and late in afternoon/evening. Catfishing is good on chicken livers and nightcrawlers.
(updated 6-7-2017) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) said water levels have been running at 488 cfs at the spring with partly cloudy water. The trout have been biting great. Rain over each weekend has kept water levels up and off color. It hasn’t really affected the bite. Bead-head Woollies in olive, brown or black have been great. It has been harder to get the fly down on the main river. Versa leaders have been great for helping get down deep. Hoping for a dry spell soon to get water low and clear again.
(updated 6-14-2017) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Spring River is fishing well. This is a great place to wade fish when they are running water on the White and Norfork rivers. Canoe season is on and there many boats on the river. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive Woolly Buggers with a bit of flash (size 10), cerise and hot pink San Juan worms (size 10) and Y2Ks (size 10).
(updated 6-14-2017) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) reported that water is clear and the level is closer to normal, about 9-9 ½ feet. Bream are fair on worms and crickets. Crappie are in the creeks and around brush piles. Reports were fair, using minnows. No reports on bass. No reports on catfish. No reports on walleye.
Arkansas River at Pine Bluff
(updated 6-7-2017) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Team reported that water temperatures are in the mid- to low 80s and visibility is less than 1 foot in most places; some protected back waters have around 1 foot of visibility. The river continues to flow at dangerously high rates. Additionally, the higher water level has barely submerged many of the wing dams in the northern part of the Pine Bluff pool, making boating outside of the marked navigation channel extremely dangerous. It is their advice to stay within Lake Langhofer until the river slows and returns to normal level. Black bass are biting fairly well within Lake Langhofer and in protected backwaters off of the river. Fishing pressure in the protected areas has made these fish difficult to catch, but they can still be caught using dark-colored soft-plastic creature baits and jigs either swam or worked through flooded vegetation and woody cover. Multiple casts to likely spots may be needed to get them to bite, so be diligent in your approach.
Cane Creek Lake
(updated 6-14-2017) Austin Davidson, park interpreter at Cane Creek State Park, said fishing is in full blast at Cane Creek. The bream bite is still on. Bright, clear nights and stable temperatures are causing bream to bed and aggressively attack almost any bait. Crickets have been the bait of choice for most fishermen, especially near the banks and in shallower water. Deeper water has shown equally good results with worms as well as with crickets. Most anglers work a stump-to-stump pattern near the Beaver Pond area of the lake until they get a strike, and then stick to that general location. Due to fluctuating water levels, bass are hit and miss. The temperature has been warm enough for insect activity, but not too hot to push the fish into deeper waters, so topwaters and buzzbaits are the go-to for most bass fishermen at the moment. Windy conditions have been pushing baitfish up closer to the shore, so most bass action has taken place under log and lily pad cover near the shore. Catfish are always biting on Cane Creek Lake. Even with a full moon and cold fronts moving in, catfish anglers are still pulling in catches on trotlines, although not near as much as they are used to. The most popular baits recently have been chicken parts of any kind and salty/fruity combos such as bait marinated in a dry garlic salt/Kool-Aid mixture. Bait bream have also had success. Crappie have made somewhat of an appearance back on the Cane Creek fishing scene with some anglers claiming to have found multiple hotspots fishing deep on structure. With rain coming in later this week, expect all activity to decline somewhat until the weather stabilizes.
(updated 5-31-2017) Brandy Oliver at Lake Chicot State Park (870-265-9705) said the catfish are biting on everything, especially nightcrawlers and stink bait. The best catfish catching is fishing on the bottom. Bream are biting on waxworms and crickets. Anglers are recommended to try Ditch Bayou for the best chances at bream. People are also starting have luck fishing with topwater baits for bass.
(updated 6-14-2017) Angler Chris Van Duren at Lucky’s of Monticello said the water clarity this past week was very clear. The lake is at a normal level, and surface temperature ranged 80 degrees in the morning to 85 in the afternoon. Bream can be found now in deeper water. The bite is good, and they’re liking worms or crickets. Bass fishing was good in the morning. Spinnerbaits and topwater lures are working best. The white bass were working well, too. Try a spoon. No report on crappie. No report on catfish.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 259.35 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 259.20 msl).
(updated 6-14-2017) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said the lake level is near normal conservation pool and steady as of Monday, with reduced current in Little River as the gates were releasing around 1,100 cfs. Largemouth bass are excellent on topwaters early, moving deeper later in the day. White bass are deep in Little River. Crappie have improved upriver, out of any remaining current. Surface temperatures as of Monday ranged 75 degrees early to 82 degrees, depending on rain, wind, incoming fresh water, location and time of day. As of Monday the tailwater level was near 228 feet msl. Clarity and visibility continued to improve. Further up Little River, with the reduced inflow and current, clarity is much better than a week ago. The oxbow's clarity also continues improving. As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity and visibility ranges 8-10 inches. Little River's visibility ranges 5-10 inches depending on location and current. The oxbow's clarity is ranging 20-30 inches depth of visibility depending on location. Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, rain or thunderstorms.
Largemouth bass are excellent on topwaters, shallow at dawn and early morning, up to around 10 a.m., and most anglers are getting a good topwater bite early. The best bite early remains on buzzbaits, Bass Assassin Shads, frogs and Zara Spooks or Moss Bosses around lily pads, while small squarebill cranks finessed around vegetation also worked. Good blowups on buzzbaits, frogs, Spitn' Images and Jitterbugs are heart-stopping at daybreak around stumps, lily pads and vegetation from 1-5 feet deep. Jitterbugs in coach dog, leopard frog and black are getting best reactions. Soft plastic frogs in green pumpkin/pearl, June bug and black are getting really good blowups in the pads. When the sun gets up over the trees, switch over to big bulky 10-inch worms, or chatterbaits, or shallow-running squarebill crankbaits, Echo 1.75 cranks and that can entice a few more early bites adjacent to the flats in the ditches. War Eagle spinnerbaits are working on windy days, and best around stumps, cypress trees and vegetation near deeper drops of ditches and creek channels. Mike said they were seeing the bass holding during the higher sun periods, near points and quick drops, to allow quick access to deep water in Little River during the day after the shallow topwater bite is done. Best color over the past week or two for buzzbaits continue to be firecracker, white/chartreuse or bull bream. Bass Assassin Shads in Salt and Pepper Phantom, Bad to the Bone and Panhandle Moon continue working around lily pads and vegetation. Big, bulky Magnum Lizards or Berkley 10-inch Power Worms continue working with Blue Fleck or purple drawing best reactions. Rat-L-Trap 1.75 Echo Squarebill crankbaits are beginning to get good reactions, with the best colors over the past couple weeks being the Gizzard Shad, Ghost Minnow and Millwood Magic. Medium-running Bomber Fat Free Shad crankbaits in Citrus Shad or Tennessee Shad have caught a few largemouths in the oxbows and clearer water color in 5-9 feet depths near cypress trees and creek channel swings. Rat-L-Trap StutterSteps continue getting good reactions at the surface on flats and over creek channels early in the morning low-light hours upriver in the oxbows, with best colors being Ayu, Pro Blue and Ghost Shad.
Mike said the best white bass reaction bite they could find over the past week came by locating large schools of whites or hybrids holding in 12-16 feet depth of Little River. Cordell or Kastmaster jigging spoons were able to jig up a few whites over the past week. Crappie were improving in planted brush between 9-12 feet of depth on white/chartreuse jigs or white/red jigs. Catfish were back to action this past week with best cats on trotlines in Little River between 9-15 feet of depth using chicken livers and cut baits.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 546.90 feet msl (Flood pool – 548.00 msl).
(updated 6-14-2017) Phillip Kastner ofTrader Bill's Outdoor Sports in Hot Springs said on US97 that all he’d heard lately from here is that the bream bite had really gotten good. He heard from some guys who spent this past weekend on the lake and they reported it was a little better than the normal June as far as the bluegill. The guess was, it was due to all the May rain. That large amount of water may have made some of those fish put off their spawn. Kastner said that Greeson was more “vertically challenged” than any lake around there because of all the rainfall, but the result is that the bream spawn last week was likely as good as there was anywhere.
Lake Greeson Tailwater (Little Missouri River)
Visit www.littlemissouriflyfishing.com for a daily update on fishing conditions.
Cossatot River State Park had no report this week.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 407.38 feet msl (flood pool – 408.00 msl).
(updated 6-14-2017) Local angler George Graves said surface water temperature is in the high 70s and the lake is clear throughout. Bass fishing remains good with some nice-size fish now showing. Best pattern has been fishing crankbaits, both lipped and lipless, across main lake points with either rock or wood cover. Also a few fish are coming on spinnerbaits worked around the standing timber in the big pockets. Although fish can be taken anywhere in the lake right now, mid-lake and the upper end seems to be the most productive. Crappie fishing is holding up nicely at mid-lake between Edgewood and Yancey Creek. Look for brush in 18-20 feet of water and work a 1/16-ounce jig with a 2-inch Kalin's grub across and just above the cover. In the clear water, Tennessee shad is by far the best. Be sure to cover the entire attractor because the fish will be in only one spot. Early morning is the best time. Bream fishing is good in both coves and offshore humps in water 5-10 feet deep. Bluegill will hold shallow around the spawning beds, so use a float and set the bait for just off the bottom. For redear or shellcrackers, which will be deeper at 15-20 feet, tight-lining vertically works best. Use redworms or crickets. Best areas have been Edgewood, Arlie Moore and Caddo Drive. Hybrid fishing is fair with the fish now in the lower end of the lake between the dam and Point 4. The fish are mostly scattered with very little schooling activity. Use the sonar to locate the fish and drop a heavy jigging spoon to just above the fish, which will be 30-50 feet down. Be there early, even before sunrise.
(updated 6-14-2017) John Duncan of YoYoGuideService.com at Iron Mountain Marina said lake levels are stabilized at 407.39 feet msl as of Tuesday. Water temperature is in the low 80s depending on where you are. Fishing reports are looking up. Still getting good reports on bream. Shallow water areas of Ozane, Arlie Moore and Lennox Marcus are producing well. Use electronics to locate beds in 6-10 feet of water. Throwing drop-shot rigs or bobbers with crickets on or near the bottom is the best bet. Black bass, white bass and hybrids are reported all over the lake. Schools are showing mid-lake around Caddo Bend, Arlie Moore and Shouse Ford. Topwater baits, jigs and crankbaits are best. Hybrids are lower than the blacks, for the most part. Crappie are back on the brush piles. They are 15 feet deep as a whole. They can be found from Shouse Ford to Caddo Bend on the brush piles. Catfishing is also getting good reports. Trotlines across the mouth of coves fished 8- to 10-feet deep working well. Live bait is the best option. Black bass are doing well at night with this moon. Black spinnerbaits, Whopper Plopper, Jitterbugs, Hula Popper and buzzbaits are all good. Fish topwaters over the grass beds along with buzzbaits early, then switch to worms Texas rigged off the of the points and grass lines. Now is the time to get them early and late.
(updated 6-7-2017) Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said crappie are still biting on live bait 8-12 feet deep in 15-20 feet of water. Hybrids and whites are showing signs of morning surface feeding but still best on live bait fished 40-60 feet deep over submerged timber.
(updated 6-14-2017) Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) saidthe river is back to normal. Bream are biting well on crickets. Bass are biting on topwater lures, and several nice bass were caught last week in the Ronald McDonald event. Crappie and catfish are both slow.
(updated 6-14-2017) Sportsman’s One Stop (870-863-7248) said there were no reports this week from here. Last week, the reports were that a few bass were caught on stick worm and flukes. Some nice crappie were being caught at night.
Mike Knoedl Tri-County Lake
(updated 6-14-2017) Local angler Jaret Rushing had no report.
Moro Bay State Park, at the junction of the Ouachita River, Raymond Lake and Moro Bay, had no report this week.
White Oak Lake
(updated 6-14-2017) White Oak Lake State Park (870-685-2748) had no report.
(updated 6-14-2017) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said water clarity was dingy and the lake was at a normal level. No surface temperature was available Monday. Bream are fair on crickets. Crappie ranged from poor to fair on minnows and jigs. Bass were good, with one group of anglers hauling in a big catch. Spinnerbaits and crankbaits were working best. Catfishing was good on trotlines and yo-yo’s. No report on white bass. On a 1-5 scale, Lucky Landing called it a 3½ the past week.
Lake Bailey (Petit Jean State Park)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro.
(updated 6-14-2017) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below Carpenter Dam has risen to 64 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace. The lake is now at normal summertime pool with Entergy opening floodgates for 3-hour periods each day to help maintain lake levels. Boaters and anglers should use caution approaching the dam when the flow is at its highest peak. Fast currents created by open floodgates are dangerous and keeping the proper distance from the area is vital for safety. Lifejackets should be worn at all times. Rainbow trout fishing is winding down, which is the norm for this time of year. Numbers of fish caught are much lower than earlier in the season, but size is the main attraction now. Four- and five-pound rainbows have been caught and released in the last several days by area guides. The bite is very slow and patience is key regardless of the techniques used. Live bait presentations are best presented under a bobber or just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Redworms, nightcrawlers, waxworms or mealworms are an excellent choice along with live minnows and crickets. Artificial lures are nonproductive, as hundreds of thousands of threadfin shad have migrated into the area to spawn. June trout fishing requires stealth and patience as the fish are extremely wary and the bite lasts for only a few hours. White bass are in the tailrace and are being caught on live minnows tight-lined over deep water below the bridge. In periods of current flow, jerkbaits in a black/silver pattern have worked well over rock structure and sandbars. These fish are spawning and should be present from the bridge to the dam until late July. Stripers have migrated into the tailrace to feed on the shad migration that occurs every May and June. Fish in the 20-pound class have been observed feeding below the bridge in the late evening while the floodgates are open. With the fish feeding on small shad, anglers should downsize their techniques to match the forage. Smaller Alabama rigs and jigs are much more effective now than earlier in the spring. Casting weightless soft plastics perfectly match the injured shad drawn thru the open gate flow. Strong lines and rods are highly recommended as many of these large predator fish are in excess of 20 pounds and are ferocious fighters when hooked. Anyone navigating the Carpenter Dam tailrace is urged to be aware of the generation schedules and always follow all park and lake regulations.
(updated 6-14-2017) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945)said water temperature is in the 80s. River flow is still swift and falling. River is still dingy with some clear creeks and a few dingy creeks. Bass fishing has been really good flipping jigs and Bamboozies as well as structure bugs into thick vegetation. Spinnerbaits have been working well off of points. Zara Spooks have been working well in bays and creeks, with a good crankbait bite around the bridge piers. Stripers have been good in the creeks on spinnerbaits crankbaits, jerkbaits and swimbaits. White bass are being found in the creeks and the bays; use crankbaits and spoons and in-line spinners. Bream have been excellent around bridge piers with mayflies and low overhanging tree limbs. Use crickets, worms and mayflies. Catfish have been good in the bays with worms, especially Catawba worms. Just inside the bays and the mouth of creeks, cut-bait has been working well. Use shad or skipjack on the larger fish.
(updated 6-14-2017) Phillip Kastner of Trader Bill's Outdoor Sports said onUS97 thatonly seven tagged fish have been caught so far in the Hot Springs Fishing Challenge, with the 5 p.m. June 30 deadline approaching. “There’s a lot of money swimming out there in Lake Hamilton and in Lake Catherine,” Kastner said. Especially Hamilton, he noted, as the Visit Hot Springs office has confirmed that “Big Al,” a $15,000 fish, is in Hamilton and is a largemouth bass. Also, there are four fish with $5,000 tags split between Hamilton and Catherine yet to be caught, plus 40 $1,000 fish and nine $500 fish. The contest features tagged fish among largemouth bass, bluegill, channel cats, white bass, crappie and walleye. The purple tag on the fish tagged by the AGFC have a prize number and a phone number for Visit Hot Springs. A lucky angler who catches a tagged fish just needs to call the number, report the prize number and claim his or her prize.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 348.67 feet msl (flood pool – 342.00 msl).
(updated 6-14-2017) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) reported the water is clear and at a normal level. Water surface temperature was 82 degrees. Bream action was poor to fair at best, though. The bite was fair on both worms and crickets. Crappie are good, however. They’re anywhere from 4 to 10 feet deep. Bass results were rather slow, with just a fair week, though one angler hooked a “monster.” Plastic worms seemed the way to go. Catfishing is good on yo-yo’s. On a 1-5 scale, Andrews rated the week a 4.
(updated 6-14-2017) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) had no report.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 576.51 feet msl (flood pool – 578.00 msl).
(updated 6-14-2017) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) said black bass are good and being caught with frog-style baits, Texas rigged plastics and black spinnerbaits fished late evening and night. Main lake and secondary points have been the most productive. Walleye are still good and being caught on small crankbaits and spoons on main lake humps and points near brush. Stripers are very good on Alabama rigs and live bait. The central and eastern parts of the lake are the best areas for these fish. Bream are still excellent in water 10-15 feet deep on crickets and worms. Crappie are still good. Try using minnows or crappie jigs at depths around 20-25 feet deep fished near brush. Catfish are still very good on live bait and cut bait. Try depths of 10-20 feet. The water temperature has ranged 78-82 this week. Water clarity is clear. Call the Mountain Harbor guides – Mike Wurm (501-622-7717), Chris Darby (870-867-7822) or Jerry Bean (501-282-6104) – for more information.
(updated 6-14-2017) Phillip Kastner of Trader Bill's Outdoor Sports said onUS97 radiothat he’d heard a lot of good topwater reports earlier this week. The cloud cover Monday seemed to help; it gave anglers the ability to fish topwater almost all day long. He said, however, that regardless of whether you’re throwing a topwater bait, or a frog, even the little squarebill seems to be working pretty well on the inside edge of the moss line. There are still quite a few people catching shallow bass. He also reported that the moss on the lake is “in excellent shape.” If you haven’t had the chance to fish Lake Ouachita, you need to right now, he said, because moss goes in cycles and at this point it’s in the shape you want it. He also said a jighead worm bait is tough to beat on moss. Also, anglers should be able to take advantage of the back end of the full moon, which started last Friday. There will still be a big, bright moon overnight, giving you the best chance to catch the most prominent, quality fish. Also, anglers should have some success very early after sunrise and after sunset with a topwater lure. Fish are going to be feeding, moving and being active all night long and when it gets to daylight hours they take a break.
Blue Mountain Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 387.22 feet msl (flood pool – 384.00 msl).
No fishing reports.
Bear Creek Lake
(updated 6-7-2017) Natalie Faughn, ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), said they had good reports on Bear Creek. Bream activity is still high on the beds at moderate depths, using live bait (mainly crickets). Crappie activity was good over the weekend – anglers were using mainly minnows and fishing at moderate to deep levels. Some activity with jigs as well. No reports on bass and catfish. Don’t forget to swing by and purchase your bait at the Mississippi River State Park Visitor Center.
Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) has closed.
Storm Creek Lake
(updated 6-7-2017) Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) said activity at Storm Creek is still low. Bream seem to be picking up from the bank, but no more than a half-dozen bites in any given sitting. Fewer anglers have been out on Storm Creek, so less to report compared with Bear Creek.