June 28, 2017
Weekly Fishing Report
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for June 28, 2017. If there is a body of water you would like included in this report, please email AGFCfishingreport@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 6-28-2017) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the clarity of the lake is stained, and the water is at a normal level. No surface temperature was provided. Bream are good. Crappie were fair. Bass are taking to frog-style baits and the bite is good. Catfishing was good. No other details were available.
(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 since the heavy rains.
Little Red River
(updated 6-28-2017) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service said they continue to receive 12 hours of daily generation on the Little Red River with generation beginning around mid-day. This generation schedule is providing excellent wading conditions on the upper sections of the river in the mornings and on the middle and lower sections later in the day. With the holiday weekend, expect a lot of folks on the river. Please be courteous on the boat ramps and river and exercise good boating etiquette. 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. This generation schedule is also providing excellent drift-fishing on all sections. For fly-fishing, Lowell recommends sowbugs, midges, emergers and streamers. Red- and white-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 6-28-2017) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said the river remains clear with the 12-hour generation schedule still in place; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. continues to be the schedule. Wading is available by knowing the time the generation will reach the shoal you choose. Drift-fishing is good, with rainbows and browns providing good action. The fish are healthy due to the cold water and have an attitude about being landed. Greg says he likes fish with an attitude. The best flies for his fishermen have been midge pupas and mayfly nymphs. Fishing under an indicator is Greg’s favorite method to use these subsurface flies. The holiday weekend is coming up so please have a happy and safe Fourth of July. Please be careful while enjoying the river and respect it. Also, please be courteous to the other boaters and fishermen. Remember when generation occurs, the depth and current of the river changes drastically.
(updated 6-28-2017) James Dillard at Tailwater Fishing Co. said the fishing on the Little Red has been excellent! The generation schedule has been a steady 12 hours on, 12 hours off, with water releases starting at 10-11 a.m. and running until 10-11 p.m. Fishing in the lower water has been best. The hot flies have been egg patterns and sowbugs fished underneath an indicator.
Greers Ferry Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 467.16 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.04 feet msl Oct. 1-April 30; 463.04 feet msl May 1-June 1; 462.54 feet msl June 1-Sept. 30).
(updated 6-28-2017) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greer ferry Lake is at 467.26 feet and falling. With evaporation and generation it is 4.72 feet above normal pool of 462.54 feet as of Tuesday, and will continue to fall until they reach normal pool and then generation will depend upon power needs. All species of fish are in the eating and staying-cool mode in the water column where they are most comfortable for summer and winter. The majority of black bass are on drops from 25-45 feet of water. Some fish are shallow and will stay that way all year. The deeper fish can be caught on Texas rigged worms, football head jigs and C-rigs with a variety of baits; the shallow fish can be caught on topwater baits, spinnerbaits in the wind, jighead worms and jigs. The crappie are being pushed out to main lake brush piles and deeper pole timber and are suspending in water 15-30 feet deep most of the time and can be caught with minnows or jigs and under lights at night. Catfishing is good all over the lake on your favorite choice of baits and or techniques. Fish the deeper water in channel bends for the best luck with the big fish. The walleye are getting schooled up on edge of flats roaming around feeding. Drag crawlers on the bottom or on a drop-shot in the 20-30 feet range about 1-3 mph. The bream are up real shallow out to about 30 feet of water and will bite crawlers and crickets pretty easy. Most of the bigger fish are deeper. The hybrid bite and white bass bite continue to be good throughout the day and the night bite has now picked up. Fish spoons, in-line spinners, hair jigs, swimbaits and live bait 25-45 feet deep. Find the bait fish and the fish will be close. Watch your electronics. Some schooling is going on at the south end of the lake and that will continue to get better.
(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 6-28-2017) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) said the water is stained and is at a normal level. Bream were good. But other than that, the week was very slow for anglers. No reports on crappie, bass or catfish.
(updated 6-21-2017) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said crappie are in deep water and the bite is good on Bobby Garland Baby Shad in Shiny Hiney, Glimmer Blue, BBQ Chicken, Cajun Crickets, Blue Ice, Shimmer, Monkey Milk, Crystal, bone/chartreuse, Penny Back Shad and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r and minnows. Catfish are biting on minnows, worms and frozen shad. Largemouth bass are biting on buzzbaits and minnows, worms, lizards, Brush Hogs, Whopper Plopper. White bass are biting on Slab Slanger, Baby Shad and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r and Cajun Spin and Silver Minnow. Bream are biting well on crickets, worms and Rock Hopper.
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 6-21-2017) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said bass are still doing well around brush and are chasing shad like crazy. Bream are starting to pick up around the shoreline and grass, but still are not being able to find them on beds yet. Catfish are doing fair on jugs and trotlines, mostly blues and channels. Johnny had a 34-pound blue and several eight- to 12-pound channels last week. Crappie are doing fair, some in deeper water and some in 5 feet of water. Nothing over nine keepers 11 to 15 inches long, but a lot 9.5 inches to 9.75 inches long.
(updated 6-28-2017) Larry Walters at Bones Bait Shop (501-354-9900) had no report. In his previous report a week ago, Larry said water is normal and clear. Bream continued to have a good bite. Anglers were using worms and crickets. Crappie were good and biting minnows. Bass were good on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and plastic worms. Catfishing was good on blood bait and chicken livers.
(updated 6-28-2017) Jolly Rogers Marina (501-868-5558) said black bass are very good. The largemouths are biting on crankbaits, wacky rig worms, flukes and spinnerbaits. Blacks are about 10-15 feet off the weeds in about 10 feet depth. With the temperature going up and down, the black bass are doing a lot of moving from shallow to deep; you will need to do a lot of head shaking. Jim Briggs and Melvin Veasey landed a 3.8-pound fish for Big Bass in the Tuesday night tournament. Winning hauls have been over 9 pounds in recent night fishing tournaments, with Bill Dennis and Rick Easter catching 9.9 pounds on Tuesday night. Kentucky bass fishing is excellent. Kentuckies are being caught on jigs and minnows. They can be found mixed in with the black bass in the shallow water. White bass are excellent, and fish are still be seen schooling at the east end. Fish the whites with Rooster Tails, CC Spoons and deep-diving Bandits and Bombers. Whites are staying up longer. The crappie bite remains good. They are being caught on minnows and jigs, the best bait being the chartreuse and white jig with a very light line. Look for good-size crappie in 22-25 feet of water. Bream are still excellent. The bream have moved off of the bed and are about 10-14 feet deep. Use crickets or live worms. Catfish reports have been excellent. The catfish are being caught in 15-25 feet of water, but some have been shallower. Use stink bait, small bream and chicken livers.
(updated 6-28-2017) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that crappie are fair. Anglers are having the best success trolling crankbaits or minnows. The crappie are in 14-16 feet depth of water. Bass are fair around the main lake points on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and tube jigs.
(updated 6-21-2017) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said crappie are biting in deep water on Baby Shad and Slab Slanger, as well as minnows and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r. White bass are biting Slab Slanger, Baby Shad, Cajun Spin and Silver Minnow. Bass are biting on worms, lizards, Brush Hogs and Whopper Plopper.
(updated 6-28-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish are biting well. Customers have been catching them on chicken livers, nightcrawlers and minnows. They seem to be a little scattered, so if you catch two or three and they stop biting, move down the bank a ways and try again. Bream are biting well on crickets and redworms. Some are catching them around the docks and close to the banks, but the better ones are out a little deeper and close to the bottom. Bass fishing has been fair with minnows and plastic worms or lizards rigged about any way you like to fish them. Wacky rigs are working well early in the mornings and right before dark. The crappie have moved out to deep water and biting best at night on No. 6 minnows and Kalin’s grubs.
Bishop Park Ponds
(updated 6-28-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bream fishing has been good in both ponds. Crickets or redworms fished deep under a cork or on the bottom are doing the trick right now. Catfish have been hitting chicken livers, nightcrawlers, bait shrimp and minnows fished on the bottom. Bass are biting early in the mornings on minnows, floating worms and small topwater baits. Crappie fishing has been slow with few reports of small fish being caught on No. 6 minnows.
Saline River Access in Benton
(updated 6-28-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said the river is a favorite place to fish because you never know what you might catch or how big it will be. Catfish have been biting minnows, goldfish and black salties on trotlines and limblines. Sink trotlines close to cover such as logs and big rocks but not close enough to become tangled. Limblines work well if your bait can swim close to the top above some type of cover. Bass fishing has been good with No. 12 minnows, small Texas rigged lizards, crawdad-colored crankbaits and small topwater baits early in the morning. Crappie fishing is fair to slow on the river right now. If you find the right log close to some deep current, float a No. 6 minnow alongside it from end to end. If you find one, there's most likely some more right there. Do it again. As for bream, as Lisa always says, you can almost always, on any day, catch a few or more bream on crickets or redworms in the Saline. Just fish them on light line with a small hook. You're almost guaranteed to catch some small ones, but some big ones are there, too.
(updated 6-28-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said Lake Norrell is an excellent bream lake if you can find them. Lisa’s most successful customers fish crickets and redworms on a drop-shot – like rigs in deep water. Some report as deep as 24-28 feet. They have personally seen some huge redears from Norrell. Bass are pretty active at night and are biting well on Carolina rigged lizards, black buzzbaits and topwater baits. Catfish are biting best at night as well. Minnows, goldfish and black salties are working on jugs out in the lake. Minnows, chicken livers and nightcrawlers are working around docks and shallow cover. Crappie fishing has been slow. One customer reported catching a few around some docks way back in a deep cove.
(updated 6-28-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said customers are catching some crappie with No. 6 minnows fished around deep brush and other structure. Numbers aren't great but some good eaters are being caught. Bass are coming off of the same structure as the crappie and are hitting minnows, Carolina rigged plastic lizards, slow rolled grubs and Texas rigged brush hogs. Bream fishing has been good with crickets, redworms and super mealworms. Fish them on tight, light line with a small hook. If you find some small ones, move out a little deeper in the same general area and you should pick up a few big ones. Catfish have been biting best right before dark and a little after. Fish in shallow water close to deep water. Tight-line to the bottom with chicken livers, nightcrawlers or minnows.
Tommy Sproles Lake Pickthorne
(updated 6-28-2017) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that catfish are excellent just off the lake on cut shad and nightcrawlers.
(updated 6-28-2017) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that catfishing has been fair using chicken livers, nightcrawlers and hot dogs.
(updated 6-28-2017) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that bass are fair and are in good numbers around grass points. Use jigs or topwater frogs. Catfish are fair and are best around the piers at night. Try worms or minnows.
Arkansas River at Morrilton
(updated 6-28-2017) Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) said this was the first good week he’s seen for so long. People are coming back to the river. Catfish are very good in 20 feet of water around jetties. Use catalpa worms. White bass are schooling late and early where you have shad. Reports have been good. Use white or shad colors. Then, when the fish go down, use a CC Spoon. Bream are good on crickets or a Mepps and Rooster Tail. Fish where the jetty hits the bank and also where you have grass. Kentucky bass are good in the backwaters. Use jitterbugs early, then switch to chatterbaits around the riprap.
Arkansas River (Cadron Pool)
(updated 6-28-2017) Professional angler Cody Kelley, owner of Best in Bass Guide Service (501-733-5282),) said that the fishing on the river is great right now. Good flows and a finally consistent water level has the majority of fish biting pretty well. The bass are finally fully recovered from the spring spawn and are definitely eating. This is the time of year that you want to look to the current and main river areas to fill the boat. Make your way to areas where the current is broken up by rock jetties, poles, turns, etc. Try tossing squarebill crankbaits, spinnerbaits or buzzbaits. If no takers, switch to something slower moving, like a worm or jig. Plenty of catfish can be caught right now, but the larger ones have been a little slow. Channel cats are plentiful on stink bait behind the jetties in deeper holes. As for bream, if you want to take the kids to have a ton of fun, now is the time! Put a cricket under a slip cork and toss around grass and wood in the slackwater areas behind the rock jetties. Lots of good-sized fish to be caught up shallow right now!
Little Maumelle River
(updated 6-28-2017) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the clarity is clear and the water level and current are normal. Bream reports have been good using worms and crickets. Crappie are suspended at about 5-6 feet of depth and the bite is good on minnows or jigs. Bass fishing is excellent. Spinnerbaits and plastic worms are both great bait choices. Catfishing is good at the mouth of the river pool. Most of the activity is coming on trotlines. On a 1-5 scale, they report a 3 for fishing, fair.
(updated 6-28-2017) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that bass are fair and are biting crankbaits and black buzzbaits. Catfish are fair on skipjack and shad.
Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)
(updated 6-28-2017) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said catfishing remains excellent around the Murray Lock and Dam via snagging. White bass are also being reported in excellent numbers. Near the Maumelle River, bass are fair and are hitting topwater baits such as Zara Spooks, as well as jigs and buzzbaits.
(updated 6-21-2017) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) reported bream remain good on worms and crickets. 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.
Arkansas River (Little Rock Pool)
(updated 6-28-2017) Vince Miller from Fish ’N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) said clarity is muddy but the water appears to be clearing up. The flows are at 30,000 cfs. Reports on bass fishing have been excellent. Bass can be found around the main river jetties and are hitting crankbaits. Catfishing is good on stink bait. No reports on bream. No reports on crappie. On a 1-5 scale for the week, Vince called the fishing fair, a 3.
(updated 6-28-2017) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water has cleared in the Clear Lake area and the level is normal. No surface temperature was reported. Bream continue to be good on worms and crickets. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Bass are good on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and plastic worms. No reports on catfish. Further down the pool near the Terry Lock and Dam, the water remains muddy. Bream are fair on worms and crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jobs. The bass bite is fair on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Fair reports came in on catfish, with worms and blood bait getting bites.
(updated 6-21-2017) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said the river was muddy. 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.
(updated 6-28-2017) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said catfishing remains excellent around the Murray Lock and Dam. No reports from the Terry end of the pool.
(updated 6-28-2017) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said clarity was dingy and the water was at a normal level. No surface temperature was recorded. Catfishing is good on stink bait and nightcrawlers. Bream are fair on worms and crickets. Crappie were fair on minnows and jigs. Bass were fair on plastic worms. Overall, Donna said it was a slow week, but the catfishing was good.
(updated 6-28-2017) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) says water releases from Bull Shoals Dam remain at 9,500 cfs on average (about three generators) during the morning hours, then are bumped up another generator (approximately 3,300 cfs) in the afternoons and evenings. Don't let the high water scare you; this is great for growing healthy, bigger and tastier fish. The catch might be a little slower but the quality is greater. If you're having difficulty, get a guide who can help you find fish in low or high water, rising or falling water, and catch your keepers. They report having had phenomenal success this week with the Head Hunter series of lures, both the 100 and the 200 series. They'll work best under overcast skies and earlier in the day rather than later. Sunrise PowerBait alone or matched with a little florescent yellow will bring in a rainbow or two, then switch up your colors and cast again. Drifting a redworm, or a scented pink worm, attracts attention and will net the rainbows, too. Be especially careful during the next couple of weeks on whatever body of water you're fishing because there will be many people celebrating the July 4 holiday, and lots of kids will be on the water. Enjoy the holiday and thank a vet for the freedoms we're celebrating.
(updated 6-28-2017) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the water clarity is clear. The results of this past week mirrored the week before: The trout bite was excellent for the both with rainbows and browns.
(updated 6-28-2017) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-435-2169) said last Friday that in the past week they had had some minor rain, combining for about a half-inch in Cotter, with warmer temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals dropped 0.4 feet to rest at 27.5 feet above seasonal power pool of 661.73 feet. This is 5.7 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell 1.5 feet to rest at 5.7 feet above seasonal power pool and 8.3 feet above the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.3 feet to rest at 7 feet above seasonal power pool and 1.6 feet below the top of flood pool. The White had no wadable water with moderate generation. On the White, the hot spot has been Buffalo Shoals. 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 cerise San Juan worm with a size 14 bead-head pheasant tail nymph suspended below it). Use lots of lead and long leaders to get your flies down.
Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.
John also says, “Last week I had a two-boat, four-day guide trip. It was four retired guys from the St. Louis area. All were accomplished anglers who had fished from Alaska to Argentina. My regular partner, Dennis Schule, was down with an injured shoulder, so I enlisted Danny Barker to help me with the trip. He enthusiastically stepped up and did a great job. The general idea was that we would each take two of them and switch off after two days. That way the guys could get a varied experience from fishing with us. I like to fish the Norfork and Rim Shoals. Danny likes to fish the Buffalo Shoals area.
“The week went well. My first day went as expected. We caught some big fish (a 16-inch brook and a 24-inch brown) on the Norfork. Our next day on the White produced more trout but no trophies. On my last day, I returned to Rim Shoals. I checked the prediction for that day and was pleased with the outcome. It called for lower generation of around 6,000 cfs early in the day with heavier generation later in the day. I knew that Rim was 24 miles below the dam and we would never see the higher generation, while we were there. This was the lowest water level we had seen since the flooding. The day was near perfect. The morning was overcast with light and variable winds, with a promise of sunshine and 80-degree temperatures in the afternoon. I rigged their rods a bit differently. On one, I put on a Y2K with a bead-head pheasant tail dropper. On the other, I used a cerise San Juan with the same pheasant tail dropper. I used an AAA split shot and set the depth at 7 feet from bottom fly to the Thingamabobber.
“I chose the Y2K and the cerise San Juan worm to be attractors and used the pheasant tail to imitate the nymphal form of the sulphurs that are coming off. I tied the pheasant tail on a size 14 jig hook with a copper slotted bead. It was factory barbless and, because it was tied on a jig hook, did not tend to hang the bottom. We began fishing and had immediate success, landing three trout on the first drift. It soon became apparent that the rig with the cerise San Juan worm was out fishing the rig with the Y2K three to one. I stopped and stripped off the Y2K and replaced it with a cerise San Juan worm. It had an immediate impact and we began picking up more trout.
“When we broke for lunch, we had about 25 trout (one of my clients had a clicker). I don’t usually count. In the afternoon, the sun came out and it got a bit warmer. The fishing got better and we were catching a lot of fish. We would pick up two or three trout on each drift. The amazing thing to me was that there was no one else fishing there; we had the whole place to ourselves for most of the day. We finished the day with 63 trout. We landed one good brown but the rest were rainbows. Most were in the 14- to 16-inch slot. It was a great day, and it was nice to be fishing good water again.”
Bull Shoals Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 688.74 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 659.00 feet msl).
(updated 6-21-2017) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said last week that the water has come down but was still 30 extra free above full pool. Surface temperature had been ranging 76 to 80 and upwards to even 85 degrees in the back of creeks. The post-spawn fish that were deep have moved back up a little bit. It kind of killed the drop-shot bite. However, early in the morning if you get in back of some of the creeks, there’s a topwater bite going both early and late. The fish are keying on the shad. If you watch your graph, there are a ton of fish suspending about 20 feet. You can be over 100 foot or 10 foot. Watch your graph, have a topwater handy at all times. The bigger creeks, if they have some color in them, those are worthy of fishing if you’ve got some water coming in from the back. Start out there early; Del’s been catching a lot of fish early on the topwater bite and that’s a lot of fun, he said. Buzzbaits working on the flats. If you’re fish in those pockets a buzzbait works well when there is a lot of submerged cover. If you got a big weather front moving in, or you want to try and get a big one, the Whopper Plopper is working. If you’ve got isolated cover, a popper is working well. If you’re covering water, spinnerbaits are still picking up fish. Del uses a ½-ounce War Eagle, and you can change the color depending on where you’re at or the conditions. Also he’s catching a few on the ol’ jighead Keitech bait. Del prefers the one with the blade if you’ve got clouds and the wind; it’s kind of like the Finesse spinnerbait. Also, Del expects a lot of these fish are going to stay up in these bushes. They’ve got everything they need up there – they’ve got cover, they’ve got food, everything is right there. The crayfish jig bite has been really good, he added – try a ½-ounce football jig with a Netbait Paca-craw in peanut butter, or use an Arkansas craw, a green pumpkin, and maybe something with a little orange in there. You can fish the lake, you can fish the river, and you can do some bowfishing. If the water lays flat and calm ideally, fish it and get out early, get the topwater bite and move out to the points and go from point to point to point. Don’t sit anywhere for too long. If you get around the fish, they’re schooling up pretty good so hang out in that area, fish it thoroughly and you can come back to it if you need to. But the big thing is the topwater bite – get out early and go halfway back in the creeks. The first channel swing towards the middle of the creek has been about where they’ve been in about all the creeks.
(updated 6-28-2017) K Dock Marina said the dock is now secured and it looks like the lake is starting to drop. The road into the marina on K Highway should be out of the water. Slip renters and their guests can access the marina from a temporary walkway set up off the first driveway. Unfortunately, general public cannot access the marina until their main walkway is secured, due to insurance reasons. They are not renting boats at this time due to the high water and possible hazards from debris still floating down the lake. 38 Paddle Board Company will be open by appointment only. They will escort their customers and guest onto the property. Go to 38paddle.com for contact information.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 573.03 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April 552.00 feet msl; April-September, 554.00 feet msl).
(updated 6-28-2017) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters says striper fishing continues to be very good right now. The stripers continue to feed on crawdads very close to the bottom. If you have a 2D depth finder, you will miss most of the fish. Structure Scan will show you the stripers that you would otherwise think was not there. The only way, Tom says, they get them to hit is by putting the bait at the bottom then bringing the weight up a foot and let the shad swim right off the bottom. The stripers have been very aggressive when they take the bait. Most often Tom and his groups have a hit on one pole and then another pole will get hit. The best places to fish are still around the dam area off the main points and flats. Tom says he has caught stripers from the mouth of Big Creek to the dam. This action should continue well into August, so now is the time to get on the lake.
Tom also says, “I received a call from Kathy who was staying at Mockingbird Bay Resort. Kathy and Iris wanted to try striper fishing. The ladies were from south Arkansas and were up here to spend a weekend on Norfork Lake. It was their first time out on the lake and they could not get over how beautiful the lake was and the clear water. We left the dock at 6 a.m. and headed to my first spot. It did not take long and we had our first striper. Kathy took the pole and was having the time of her life. You could have heard halfway across the lake. The action was very fast at times with two and three poles having stripers on the line. Within two hours we had our limit and were heading back to the dock for pictures. Both Kathy and Iris were already planning their return trip with friends and spouses.”
(updated 6-28-2017) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said striped bass fishing on Norfork Lake has been outstanding for the last couple of weeks. This year the stripers are in the summer pattern a little earlier than normal. You can find the striped bass in 40-55 feet of water close to the bottom. Early morning, after sunrise, Lou has been finding large schools of fish feeding heavily on shad. As the morning wears on, the stripers are staying at this same depth but will be hugging the bottom. Small live bait is working the best for Lou, he said, either threadfin shad or shiners. For his live bait poles he is using a 2-ounce weight with a swivel on both ends, then he ties on a 4-5-foot leader with a No. 6 hook. Yes, this is a very small hook, but Lou tries to match the hook to the bait so the bait can still swim around. Lou will drop the bait to the bottom, then give two cranks of the reel to lift the weight off of the bottom. Best places to fish are from point 2 back to the Sand Island area. Start looking for the stripers on the points and both sides of the points and when you find them, hold on!|
Lou added that the largemouth bass bite is also very good. They can be found all over the lake. The best areas to start fishing is part way to all the way back into the creeks and coves. The largemouth are up in the sunken brush early and late in the day and move out to 20-30 feet of water during the sunny part of the day. Swimbaits, plastic worms, crankbaits and spinnerbaits are all working well at times for the largemouth bass. The largemouth will also come up for a topwater bait early in the morning. Crappie, bluegills and walleye are all feeding inside of the sunken brush early and late in the day. The crappie and bluegill stay inside of or on the edge of the brush during the day. The walleye are starting to move out onto the flats into 20-40 feet of water. Live bait is a great choice for all these species. The lake as of Tuesday was falling slowly with sporadic power generation; it is dropping 1-2 inches per day. The majority of the lake is clear with the creeks and coves partially stained. The lake surface water temperature was 81-82 degrees Tuesday morning.
(updated 6-28-2017) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service said Norfork Lake fell 0.9 feet to rest at 17.2 feet above seasonal power pool of 556.48 feet and 6.3 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had limited wadable water. All of the lakes in the White River System are now below the top of flood pool. Expect a lot of generation with limited wadable water in the near future. The water on the Norfork is stained. It fishes well one day and poorly the next. 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 has been a cerise San Juan worm with a ruby midge dropper. Dry Run Creek is fishing well. With school out it can get a bit crowded. 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). While you are at the creek you should visit the Norfork National Fish Hatchery. It is fascinating. Be sure and remove your waders before entering to prevent the spread of aquatic diseases.
Buffalo National River/Crooked Creek
(updated 6-28-2017) 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 are 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.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,128.14 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.00 msl).
(updated 6-28-2017) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the water clarity is clearing up, but the water level remains high. Bream remain good on crickets. Crappie reports were fair. Most success is coming from trolling with a crankbait. Crappie are around brush piles, and they are also biting minnows. Bass fishing is good. The bass are in shallow water and are hitting spinnerbaits, jigs and topwater lures. Catfishing is good on live and prepared bait.
(updated 6-28-2017) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) said Beaver Lake stripers are on the feed with some stripers using gravel bars, points, humps, treetops and cuts in the bank to corner bait. Fishing weighted downlines will definitely get you some fish. Target 20-25 feet in the early morning and at night, with stripers to be be found deeper during daylight hours and midday. Night fishing with lights has also been productive in these areas. Beaver lake striper fishing will be good with striper taken on live shad fished on downlines from 20 down to about 50 feet deep; also try trolling small umbrella rigs with white grubs or chartreuse, as well as trying plugs like the Rapala No. 14 Husky Jerk in black back or purple back colors and the 5-6-inch model of Smithwick Rogues in similar colors on downriggers. Get some depth and stagger your presentation using stackers.
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.
Water surface temperatures are in the low 80s in the mid- and lower sections of the lake; check out these hot spots: Dam (Hybrid Cove has fish in it), Indian Creek (keep your eyes out for surfacing fish), Lost Bridge North, Point 3, Lost Bridge South, Point 4, Big Clifty, points 5 and 6, and Rambo Creek Arm. Horseshoe Bend has white bass surfacing, while walleye are being caught in numbers as well. Walleye are 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. Please help stop the spread of invasive species by sourcing bait locally and supporting the AGFC in its endeavor to protect state lakes.
(updated 6-28-2017) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said water is going down and the bite is increasing in the tailwaters. Trout are biting well on light terminal tackle with various PowerBaits. Trout are also hitting spoons well, too. The water is still a little high but low enough to the point where it could be very dangerous for anyone operating a boat at a high rate of speed and not knowing where the underwater obstructions are. Please boat with caution and care while in the tailwaters. Water temperatures are between 70 degrees toward Houseman Access and mid 50s toward Spider Creek. Walleye have been caught this past week out by Butler Creek fishing jigs on bottom and Flicker Shad. Even though these fish are still pretty spread out, with some persistence you can boat a couple. Smallmouths are being caught between Beaver town and Holiday Island with soft plastics and Rapalas. Be safe and have fun.
(updated 6-28-2017) Beaver Dam Store reported that slowly but surely the water level below Beaver Dam is dropping. It's like it will take forever to get back down to where a person can get in there and do some wading, but eventually it will. Don't be discouraged by the high waters below the dam. Many anglers change tactics and eventually limit out. The water below the dam is still high and fishing real estate is limited, so get up and out early before the heat, catch some fish and enjoy a day out relaxing with family and friends. Nightcrawlers and waxworms are working well for catching trout. PowerBait in dough or balls are also working well. Fish the Bertrand and the launching ramp just below the dam using PowerBait. Also try fishing the Parker Bottoms area. When water is flowing, throw quarter-ounce spoons. Flicker shad are also doing the job. Good lures in this area 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, olive; hare’s ear; tungsten copper johns; WD40s; Trout Magnets; and San Juan worms.
War Eagle Creek
(updated 6-28-2017) Loy Lewis of War Eagle Creek Outfitting (479-530-3262) said smallmouth bass are hitting watermelon-colored soft plastics, crawdad-colored crankbaits, spoons, spinnerbaits and live crawdads. Pools above, during and after rapids are good fishing places from AGFC's Clifty Access to War Eagle Mills. Remember, the length limit on smallmouth is 14 inches. There has been very good fishing for largemouth bass on the last stretches of War Eagle into Beaver Lake. Anglers are fishing with plastics, crankbaits, spinnerbaits and topwater lures, with water up high to banks for good places to fish. A reminder that the black bass combined limit is 2. Goggle Eye are biting rooster tails, small jigs and live worms. When you catch one, there are more likely many more in that same area. Catfishing is best with liver, stink bait and live bait. There has been good fishing at night and daylight hours; good spots are at each bluff hole and the War Eagle stretch going into Beaver Lake.
(updated 6-21-2017) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) reported that the water is high and the clarity is stained as of Monday. Dave, who reports from here, said that overall it was still a good week for anglers. He also said “You can’t catch ’em if you don’t come on out.” He said the bream were still responding nicely, with anglers reporting good success. Crickets were working best for bream. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Bass reports were good using crankbaits and plastic worms. Catfishing is excellent. You could throw about anything and get a response from the cats, Dave said.
(updated 6-28-2017) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) reported the water clarity was murky and the water surface temperature was 80 degrees. Water level is high. Bream are good on worms and crickets. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Bass are good on spinnerbaits and plastic worms. Catfishing is good on chicken livers and shad.
(updated 6-28-2017) Ome Coleman at Lake Poinsett State Park said the weather this week has been perfect. They’ve been getting lots of calls with regard to the draining of Lake Poinsett. That does not begin until July 10, and it will be slow drain. So, for the next few months the fishing should be great! Minnows, goldfish, rice slicks, redworms, nightcrawler and crickets are selling equally. All things considered, it is a great time to go fishing.
(updated 6-28-2017) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water clarity remains clear and the level is normal. The bream bite is excellent; use crickets. No reports on crappie. Bass are biting both early in the day and late, and results are good using topwater lures. Catfishing is excellent. The catfish were liking chicken liver or nightcrawlers.
(updated 6-21-2017) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) said water levels are running at 455 cfs and water clarity is partly clear. Water coming out of the spring has still been cloudy. The river is coming down to a wadable level. Extra care should be used wading and always use a wading staff. The bite has been really good lately on olive, brown and black bead-head Woollies. This week a snail pattern has been working great. For spin fishing a hot pink or red Trout Magnet is hard to beat. Silver and gold spinners work well, also. The river is cold and refreshing during this hot time, so get out and enjoy.
(updated 6-28-2017) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Spring River is off-color. 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 6-28-2017) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) had no reports of any catches of any species, but did say that nightcrawlers were selling well.
Arkansas River at Pine Bluff
(updated 6-28-2017) University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Team had no report.
Cane Creek Lake
(updated 6-28-2017) Jennifer Albertson, park interpreter at Cane Creek State Park, said bream are excellent, mostly biting on crickets. Folks are filling their freezers with bream. Crappie are picking up a bit, mostly caught out of the deep spots like the standing timber. When you can find them, crappie are biting on shiners. Bass are fair and biting on topwater baits. The water level is high and the clarity is a bit muddy right now.
(updated 6-21-2017) Brandy Oliver at Lake Chicot State Park (870-265-9705) said due to the higher temperatures, the best fishing at Lake Chicot has been at night and early in the morning. Catfish are the main thing biting. People are having better luck overnight with yo-yo’s and stink bait. The best daytime catch was a group of guys that were “hogging” or “noodling,” meaning catching the fish by feeling around for them and pulling them out of the water by hand.
(updated 6-28-2017) Angler Chris Van Duren at Lucky’s of Monticello said it was a good but slow week for fishing. The clarity is fair and the water surface temperature was in the mid-80s. The level is normal. Bass could be found at about 2 feet of water and deeper, and the bite was good on crankbaits and plastic worms. Catfishing was good on stink bait. No reports on bream. No reports on crappie.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 259.51 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 259.20 msl).
(updated 6-28-2017) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said lake level Monday was about 3 inches above normal conservation pool and steady. There is reduced current in Little River with the gates releasing around 390 cfs. Main lake continues improving clarity. Largemouth bass are very good early, moving deeper into creek channels and Little River later in the day. White bass remain are deep Little River. Crappie have improved up river, out of any remaining current. Surface temperatures Monday ranged 78 degrees early to 90 degrees. Tailwater level Monday was near 226 feet msl. Clarity and visibility continues to improve depending on location. Little River continues to settle out and clear up as does the main lake, with the reduced inflow and current. The oxbow's clarity continues to improve. As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity and visibility ranged 8-12 inches. Little River's visibility ranged 10-15 inches depending on location and current. The oxbow's clarity was 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.
Mike says largemouth bass are feeding good early on topwaters. Not much change since last week, as seasonal patterns for summer are definitely the norm. Best topwater activity is at dawn and early morning, low light conditions and up to around 10 a.m. The topwater activity continues to be excellent on buzzbaits, topwater frogs, Ken Pops, Pop-R Magnums, Spit'n Images, Bass Assassins and Chug Bugs working around lily pads, stumps on flats and vegetation from 2-7 feet of depth. As the sun rises, switch to chatterbaits and War Eagle spinnerbaits, and shallow-depth squarebill crankbaits will get a reaction from the bass in the creek channels, in the same areas as the early topwater bite. Also use big, bulky Magnum tubes, 8-inch lizards and 10-inch worms near cypress trees, knees and vegetation close to deep drops in creek channels and Little River that will be holding these midmorning fish. The points and deep creeks allow the bass quick access to deeper water in Little River during the day as the sun gets up. Best colors over the past week or so for buzzbaits are Firecracker, white/chartreuse or bream color. Bass Assassin Shads in Salt and Pepper Phantom, Houdini, Violet Moon and Molting colors have been working around lily pads and vegetation over the past week with the better water clarity. Rat-L-Trap 1.75 Echo Squarebill crankbaits continue to get good reactions, with the best colors over the past week being Gizzard Shad, Ghost Minnow and Millwood Magic. Medium-running Bomber Fat Free Shad crankbaits in Citruse or Citrus Shad are catching a few largemouths in the oxbows and clearer water color in 8-12 feet depths near cypress trees and creek channel swings. Rat-L-Trap Stuttersteps are 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 says the best white bass and hybrid reaction bites over the past week were in the McGuire and Horseshoe oxbows. Bomber Fat Free Shad medium-diving cranks were tagging a few good whites, as were jigging spoons. Crappie continue to improve in planted brush between 8-9 feet of depth on jigs or Blakemore Road Runners and minnows. Blues and channel cats are biting fair on trotlines using Charlie, homemade blood meal baits, hot dogs and Ivory soap.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 546.58 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).
(updated 6-14-2017) Phillip Kastner of Trader 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 406.23 feet msl (flood pool: 408.00 feet msl).
(updated 6-28-2017) Local angler George Graves said surface water temperature is in the low 80s and the lake is clear throughout. The key to catching fish in the summer when the water temp hits 80 degrees is to be on the water early, even before sunup. Bass fishing is fair with a pretty decent early morning bite with fish feeding in the shad schools. When "breaking" fish are spotted, throw a surface lure as close to the "break" as possible. Most any topwater plug will work, with Zara Spooks, Pop-R's, and Rapala Minnows being some of the better ones. Also try flukes and 3-inch swimbaits. Natural shad works best in the clear water. When the topwater action slows, try medium running crankbaits fished across main lake points. Some larger fish are showing in the coves with standing timber. Work a double spinnerbait close to the timber. Best areas have been mid-lake to Shouse Ford. Crappie fishing is good, but once again, the action slows considerably once the sun gets well above the horizon. Look for brush attractors on the main lake in 20-25 feet of water. Drop a 2-inch Kalin's grub on a 1/16-ounce jighead in Tennessee Shad to the top of the brush at about 15 feet. Move around the cover while slowly jigging the lure. Remember, the bite is very subtle, so pay attention to any difference in line tension (that is, the line goes slack when the lure is dropped, that is a "lift" bite, set the hook). Look for cover between Edgewood and Shouse Ford. Also try the big creeks such as Brushy, Big Hill and Yancey. Hybrid fishing is fair with the fish scattered all over the lake, from Alpine Ridge to DeRoche Ridge. Look for topwater action in the upper end and throw topwater lures or spoons. Also, lots of white bass are mixed in with the hybrids. In the lower end, the fish are suspended 35-45 feet down in 100-plus feet of water. Use the sonar to locate the fish and drop a heavy jigging spoon or 3-inch grub to just above the fish. White is a good color for both the spoon and grub. Once again, early morning is by far the best time. Lots of bream showing in the coves and humps in 5-15 feet of water. Also some big fish are being caught from the crappie attractors. Drop a cricket or redworm. Look for fish at mid-lake between Edgewood and Caddo Drive.
(updated 6-28-2017) John Duncan of YoYoGuideService.com at Iron Mountain Marina said summer is here. Water levels have stabilized to about normal. The lake level is 406.24 as of Tuesday. The water temperature is mid-80s to high 80s depending on the part of the lake you are fishing. Bream fishing is slowing with the spawn but still some catches going on. Same pattern of fishing close to the bottom, either with drop-shot, bottom rigs or bobbers just off the bottom. Fish water 10 feet and under. Electronics are the best bet for finding beds. Crappie are in the bottom of the brush piles just off the bottom. That is where the big ones are. They are from Arlie Moore to Brushy to Shouse Ford but deep. Black bass are still in their summer pattern. Use topwaters early (Whopper Plopper is a killer) around grass beds and on points. The move to crankbaits and, as the sun comes up, move to Texas rigged worms. Bushwacker is a good type. John says he guesses the hybrids are the story, though. They are up pretty good when DeGray has nights of high 60s and calm wind in the morning. Throw anything that looks like a shad on top when they are surfacing, then move to Shad Rap, Rat-L-Traps and swimbait next, and if the fish show on the electronics deeper, use spoons or swimbaits and live bait. They are up all over the place when the water is calm and outside temperature and outside temperature is up, not down a few degrees. It’s the holiday season. Stop and help people, watch for people in the water, be a courteous driver, say safe and wear a personal flotation device.
(updated 6-28-2017) Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said the white bass and hybrids are biting well on spoons early in the morning. The crappie are still good on jigs or minnows fished 8-12 feet deep on brush piles.
De Queen Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 437.55 feet msl (flood pool: 437.00 feet msl).
(updated 6-21-2017) Phillip Kastner of Trader Bill’s in Hot Springs reported on US97 that a recent 5-fish stringer of largemouth bass totaling more than 25 pounds was pulled out of the lake to win a high school fishing tournament. Big bass were here, as well as in nearby Gillham and Dierks lakes, he said.
(updated 6-21-2017) Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said bream are still biting well, They are selling a lot of crickets. Bass are hitting topwater baits and spinnerbaits. Got a good report on crappie being caught on the lower river. No report on catfish. Heard they were going to lower Felsenthal by 1 foot, down to 64 feet starting July 5.
(updated 6-21-2017) Sportsman’s One Stop (870-863-7248) said a few bream being caught. Bass are slow. No report on crappie or catfish.
Mike Knoedl Tri-County Lake
(updated 6-28-2017) Local angler Jaret Rushing had no report.
(updated 6-21-2017) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said the water was clear and a little above normal level. Bream fishing is good, as anglers in boats are finding them off the shoreline and in open water. They are using worms and crickets. Crappie have slowed down a bit, rating just fair. Use minnows or jigs. Bass fishing is good, and anglers are mainly using plastic worms. Catfish are good on yo-yo’s. No report on white bass.
Lake Bailey (Petit Jean State Park)
(updated 6-21-2017) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) reported that catfish are biting on minnows and worms. Bream are biting well on crickets and worms and Rock Hopper. Bass are biting on worms, lizards, Brush Hogs and Whopper Plopper.
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro.
(updated 6-28-2017) 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. Life jackets 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 has 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 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 through 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 6-28-2017) Greesons Marine, the hometown dealer of Xpress boats in Hot Springs, reports that the lake is stained and the water temperature is in the low to mid-80s. Fish in depth of 1-3 feet near or in grass cover. Use topwater baits, specifically Whopper Ploppers and buzzbaits with the occasional frog. Fishing conditions are slow. The fish are slowing down due to the hot water temperatures. It’s time to start throwing those big dark-colored plastics down deeper and much slower. Warm up the electronics and start looking for submerged structure in the 12-20 feet range.
(updated 6-21-2017) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) said the river is in the mid-80s. Clarity is still poor in the river, but improving, with some clear creeks and some dingy creeks, and some clear bays. River flow is down to 25,000 cfs. Bass fishing has been excellent on jigs and Bamboozies, spinnerbaits, plastic flipping baits, crankbaits and lipless crankbaits. Frog fishing in the grass and around lily pads has been excellent. White bass and stripers are still in the creeks spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, topwater baits, crankbait and swimbaits. Bream have been excellent on worms, crickets and mayflies. Catfish have been good on cut shad, cut skipjack. Flatheads have been good on bream. Crappie have been fair about 10-foot deep on minnows.
(updated 6-21-2017) Phillip Kastner of Trader Bill's Outdoor Sports said on US97 that a lot of people are still doing a lot of night fishing, which is fun right now, but the best report he heard was from daytime topwater fishing, something we don’t hear a lot in the heat of summer there. But last Sunday morning, on the front of that big storm coming, at White Oak Basin, this group was fishing topwater lures around boat docks. Kastner says, pay attention to the fronts coming through. On the front side of those fronts, that’s when you want to be out there. Also, these were not schooling fish they were catching. Rather, they were calling them up around boat docks. He suggests any topwater method would work, but he likes to parallel up to the edge of a boat dock and throw a frog or his preference, a chugger. He prefers less a walking-the-dog type topwater to a chugger-type bait, which he finds more versatile. Also, Kastner notes, the coordinates of where “Big Al,” the $15,000 largemouth bass that was released as part of the Hot Springs Fishing Challenge, were revealed last week, and he noted that the coordinates put that in a lot of open water at the mouth of Williams Creek just across from Gilligan’s on the Lake. “That fish could have literally gone anywhere in the lake from that point, perhaps up into the creek, or out beyond the bridges,” he said. The contest on both Hamilton and Lake Catherine ends at 5 p.m. June 30.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 345.28 feet msl (full pool: 342.00 feet msl).
(updated 6-28-2017) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) reported that water clarity is good and the surface temperature is 83 degrees. Water level and current are normal. Bream are excellent. Bream are numerous around rocky points. Worms and minnows are working best. Crappie are excellent in about 6 feet depth of water. Use minnows or jigs. Bass are excellent. The bass are at a depth of 10 feet or so. Crawdads are working great for bait, as are spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfishing is excellent. Use skipjack or shad. With all that good news, it’s no wonder Andrews says the past week was a 5 on a 1-5 scale. “It was a great week,” they say.
(updated 6-28-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) in Benton said that one of its regular customers took crickets to Lake Nimrod on Sunday hoping to catch a few bream from the bank. Mr. Bobby Neal came back by to show them a 22-pound, 14-ounce buffalo he caught on his ultra light combo, 6-pound test line and a No. 10 blue wire hook. That had to be fun.
(updated 6-28-2017) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said the water is dingy and the water level is high to normal level now. The reports of catches were “so-so.” Bream were fair, as were crappie reports. Bass fishing is fair. Catfish are biting fair.
(updated 6-21-2017) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) reported crappie are biting on Bobby Garland Baby Shad in Shiny Hiney, Glimmer Blue, BBQ Chicken, Cajun Crickets, Blue Ice, Shimmer, Monkey Milk, crystal, bone, Penny Back Baby Shad, Slab Slay’r and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r and minnows. Catfish are biting on minnows, worms and frozen shad. Bream are biting well on crickets, worms and Rock Hopper. Bass are biting on worms, lizards, Brush Hogs and Whopper Plopper.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 576.15 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 6-28-2017) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) said black bass are still fair to good and being caught with Texas rigged plastics and crankbaits fished late evening and night. Main lake and secondary points have been the most productive. Walleye are still very good and being caught on small crankbaits and spoons on main lake humps and points near brush. Stripers are still 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. Water temperature is ranging 80-84 degrees and the water 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 6-28-2017) Phillip Kastner of Trader Bill's Outdoor Sports said on US97 radio that the cold front that passed through last Thursday led to good conditions where they had four or five mornings where the temperatures in the morning were a little cooler and the clouds blocked the sun off the water. The fish are biting topwater better than they normally do. Trader Bill’s has been selling all different kinds of Whopper Ploppers, chuggers, Zara Spooks. Kastner said he wasn’t sure it mattered what kind of topwater bait used, it was just using them, going and throwing them. This includes Lake Hamilton, where he also heard good reports like from Ouachita. And, he added, he wasn’t talking about schoolers, breaking fish, but calling these fish up, going down the bank. If you’re on Ouachita, it’s not hard to keep your eye on flooded timber, and on Hamilton you need to parallel boat docks. It’s not that difficult to do, Kastner said, but also it’s the same kind of fishing.
Blue Mountain Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 387.08 feet msl (flood pool: 384.00 feet msl).
Bear Creek Lake
(updated 6-28-2017) Natalie Faughn, ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), had no report.