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Aug. 9, 2017

Jim Harris

Weekly Fishing Report

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for Aug. 9, 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: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=lzk

For real-time information on stream flow in Arkansas from the U.S. Geological Survey, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/rt

For water-quality statistics (including temperature) in many Arkansas streams and lakes, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/current/?type=quality


CENTRAL ARKANSAS

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 8-9-2017) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the water is stained and at a normal level Bream are in 2-5 feet of water and the bite is fair. Use redworms or crickets. Crappie are fair. It’s best now to use small minnows or jigs. Bass reports have been good, with the best activity around lily pads. Bass are biting spinnerbaits, Flukes and jigs. Catfish are fair on nightcrawlers and also are biting dough bait.

Little Red River

(updated 8-9-2017) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service said the Little Red is receiving around 4-6 hours of generation on weekdays and lesser amounts on weekends. Midges, soft hackles and sowbugs, along with Wooly Buggers, are working well for fly anglers. White-colored Trout Magnets 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 8-9-2017) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said so far it’s a great August on the Little Red with clear water and cooler than normal weather. Afternoon generation has been the rule with generation beginning about 1 pm. during the week and sometimes later on the weekend. There has been a blue-wing olive hatch mid-day to early afternoon and the bite is best during this time. Midge pupas, small pheasant tail nymphs, and small fox squirrel nymphs have been the best choices. During the hatch, size 20 or 18 mayfly emergers have been taking browns. Try fishing them dry or just under the surface when the fish are rising. Hope everyone is enjoying the low water. Please remember to limit your kayak or canoe trips to the low-water sections on the river. It makes for a much more enjoyable and safer outing. Be safe and respect the high water during generation.

Greers Ferry Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 461.67 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 8-9-2017) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake on Tuesday was at 461.79 and falling with generation and evaporation. It will continue to fall on through the fall of the year for electricity needs as they come. The bass fishing is good with some schooling fish and the rest of the structure and shallow fish eating with the cooler water temps and cloud cover being present. For the shallow fish use topwater baits, spinner baits, small crankbaits, jighead worms and jigs for the mid-range fish; for the deeper fish try Texas rigged worms, football heads, and C-rigs, as well as drop-shots and swimbaits. The bream are bedding; small crankbaits, in-line spinners and beetle spins are working as well as crickets and crawlers from shallow out to18-26 feet. The crappie are floating around suspended following the bait fish and can be caught with jigs or minnows in 18-38 feet of water. No report on walleye. The catfish are still chewing good all over the lake on a variety of baits – whatever your choice is, they will eat it. The hybrid and white bass are still eating off and on all day and night and have moved a little more shallow and can be caught from 22-38 feet of water. With some schooling going on all over the lake, try spoons, topwater baits, in-line spinners, swimbaits and hair jigs, as well as Alabama rigs.

Harris Brake Lake

(updated 8-9-2017) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) said that with clear water and the water at a normal level, the bream bite has been good to excellent during the past week. Bream are biting worms and crickets. Bass reports are good, with the bass biting spinnerbaits, crankbaits and hitting topwater lures. Catfishing is good with worms.

(updated 8-2-2017) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) reported that crappie are deep, but biting on Bobby Garland 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’Rs in blue ice, Cajun cricket, BBQ chicken, monkey milk and penny back shad colors. Minnows also are working. Crappie are biting at night as well. Catfishing is fair on minnows, worms and shad. Bass are biting on worms, minnows, buzzbaits and topwater lures. White bass are biting on Cajun spins, Johnson Silver Minnow spoons, and Bobby Garland 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’Rs. Bream are biting well on crickets, worms and rock hopper jigs.

Lake Overcup

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 8-9-2017)Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said water level is almost normal at 22 feet. Clarity is good, temperature is around 85 degrees. Bass are doing well with buzzbaits and plastic worms (black), around brush and around shad pools. Bream are doing well around the grass and banks, finally on their beds. Catfish are doing well on poles with nightcrawlers and bass minnows. Crappie are being caught in deeper water 9-11 feet using jigs and minnows. Most are 10-12 inches long with good amounts being caught. Fishing is the best it has been in a while; come see us at Overcup Landing off Arkansas Highway 9.

Brewer Lake

(updated 8-9-2017)Larry Walters at Bones Bait Shop (501-354-9900) said water is clear and the surface temperature is ranging 83-85 degrees. Water level is normal. Bream fishing has been fair to good the past week. Bream are around the brush piles and are biting worms and crickets. Crappie also are fair to good. Crappie are in 10-15 feet of water and are biting minnows and jigs. Bass have been slow; reports are the bite is fair. Use spinnerbaits or crankbaits. Catfish are fair and the catfishing can be slow, but patience will be rewarded with a few. White bass reports ranged from poor to fair.

Lake Maumelle

(updated 7-26-2017) Jolly Rogers Marina (501-868-5558) said black bass are slow. Black bass are biting on jigs, crankbaits, wacky rig worms, spinnerbaits and Sweet Beaver. Blacks are about 10-15 feet off the weeds by about 10 feet. Biting around shallow water during dusk time and dawn. Matt Hedrick and Brandon Crain were able to find a 4.08-pound “Big Bass” in Tuesday night’s tournament, won by the 9.58 pounds caught by Josh Baker and Josh Jeffers. Rod Martinez and Marvin Lewis caught 10.9 pounds of bass to win last Friday’s tournament, and Keeton Blaylock caught a “Big Bass” of 4.22 pounds. Kentucky bass bite is also slow. Kentucky bass are being caught on jigs and minnows, and can be found mixed with the black bass in the shallow water. White bass are excellent. They are schooling at east end and some are midwest. They are coming up for a short period of time and moving quickly with the schools. Use Rooster tails, CC Spoons, deep-diving Bandits and Bombers. Crappie are good. They are being caught on crappie minnows and jigs (chartreuse and white with very light line). Lots of 11- to-15 inch crappie are being caught in 22-25 feet of water. Fish off channel or under water bridges. Bream are excellent and can be found on the brush piles but moving quickly. Lots of reports about redear on west end of lake. They are being caught on crickets and live worms. Catfish are excellent. The catfish are being caught in 15-25 feet of water with some moving into shallower water. Use stink bait, small bream and chicken livers.

(updated 8-9-2017) Vince Miller from Fish ’N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) said the water has a light stain to it and is at a normal level and current. Bream are in 3 feet of water and the bite is good. Use redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair. Bass are good. You’ll find the best bite around rock points and jetties. Use crankbaits, buzzbaits and shaky heads. Catfish reports were poor.

(updated 8-2-2017) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said crappie are biting in deep water on Baby Shad and Slab Slanger, minnows and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r. White bass are biting Slab Slanger and Baby Shad in Cajun Spin and Silver Minnow. Black Bass are biting on worms, lizards, Brush Hogs and Whopper Plopper.

Sunset Lake

(updated 8-2-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said customers are catching catfish at Sunset Lake on chicken livers, nightcrawlers and minnows. Bream are biting fair on crickets and redworms. Bass fishing has been slow to fair with minnows and watermelon seed lizards and worms. Crappie fishing has been slow.

Bishop Park Ponds

(updated 8-2-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish have been biting chicken livers, nightcrawlers, minnows and bait shrimp. Bream are biting fair on crickets and worms. Bass and crappie fishing has been slow.

Saline River Access in Benton

(updated 8-2-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish are being caught on trotlines baited with brooder minnows, black salties and goldfish. Bass have been biting minnows, small plastic worms and lizards and small crankbaits. Crappie have been slow but some have been caught on No. 6 minnows and Kalin’s Grubs. Bream are fairly easy to catch with crickets and redworms. Expect to catch plenty of small ones and a big one now and then. Gar are fun and challenging to catch and they'll bite a minnow if you get it anywhere close to them.

Lake Norrell

(updated 8-2-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bream fishing has been good with crickets and redworms. Catfish have been biting fair for some at night using minnows and back salties. Bass fishing has been fair with Carolina rigged plastics and small topwater baits early in the mornings and minnows in the evenings. No reports of crappie being caught lately.

Lake Winona

(updated 8-2-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bream fishing has been good with crickets. Catfish have been biting chicken livers, nightcrawlers and minnows. Bass have been slow to bite but some have been hitting minnows and Carolina rigged plastics. Crappie fishing has slowed but a few nice ones have been caught this week on size 6 minnows and Kalin’s Grubs.

Arkansas River at Morrilton

(updated 8-9-2017) Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) said water levels are back up to normal. Catfishing is getting better. It's best to drift-fish for them. Use skapjack. Also very good fishing grass with shad. As for bream, we have a full moon, which pushed bream to the shallows. Use Rooster Tails or Mepps. Reports have been very good. Bass are very good and biting early on grass. Use Chatterbaits. Later in the day, work the wood and jetties. Drum are excellent on jetties. Use crawfish-colored pig-and-jigs. Kentucky bass are good. Use spinerbaits over the top of jetties. Crappie are around 10 feet where the jetty and backwater hit. Use jigs. Reports have been good. No report on stripers.

Arkansas River (Cadron Pool)

(updated 8-2-2017) Professional angler Cody Kelley, owner of Best in Bass Guide Service (501-733-5282), reports that the flows on the river are slowing and fishing is still good. Bass fishing is good to excellent right now depending on the day. The fish are definitely in full summer mode and sticking close to that highly oxygenated water found near current. Look ambush areas near the main river where the current is broken up. Good fish can also be caught in deeper back waters where there are small blowholes that keep a small amount of water moving. Use moving baits like spinnerbaits and squarebills around current. Try slower baits, like big worms and jigs, around the slack water. Crappie fishing is slow. Some can be caught in the deeper slack water holes behind jetties. Use jigs and minnows in 20-25 feet. Most of the catfish are fully recovered and eating well. Now is the time to use your biggest offerings. Place large live or cut bait (the fresher the better) in the deepest holes you can find. Be sure to set up on the upstream side so the current and 'walk' your bait back to the cats. For bream, Trout Magnet on a single pole is deadly right now. Look for water willow grass around the shallower jetties. Flip in there and hold on!

Little Maumelle River

(updated 8-9-2017) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the water is clear and the level and current are normal. No water temperature was taken. Bass are good. Try spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater lures. Crappie are in 5 feet depth and the bite is fair. They’ll hit minnows or jigs. Bream are fair on worms and crickets. Catfishing was poor. White bass reports were poor.

Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)

(updated 8-9-2017) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) reported water is clear and at a normal level. Bream are good on worms and crickets. Crappie are fair using curly jigs. Bass are fair if you’re fishing early. Use a shaky head, plastic worm or spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfish are fair with worms. White bass reports have been fair.

Arkansas River (Little Rock Pool)

(updated 8-2-2017) Vince Miller from Fish ’N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) said the water is clear and at normal levels. Surface water temperature is at 90 degrees during the day. Crappie are biting well on minnows and tube jigs fished near jetty drops. Bass are slow to fair on Texas-rigged worms and deep-diving crankbaits around the jetties. No report on catfish or bream.

(updated 8-9-2017) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said water is normal near the Terry Lock and Dam; no report on clarity. Bream are good on worms and crickets. Catfish reports were fair with cut bait working best. Crappie reports were poor. Bass reports were poor.

(updated 8-9-2017) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said water is clear and at a normal level. Bream are good on worms and crickets. Crappie are fair using curly jigs. Bass are fair if you’re fishing early. Use a shaky head, plastic worm or spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfish are fair with worms. White bass reports have been fair.

Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)

(updated 8-9-2017) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said water level and current are normal. Bream are biting well on redworms and crickets. Anglers report good results. Catfishing is fair using cut bait. No reports on bass. No reports on crappie.

Peckerwood Lake

(updated 8-9-2017)Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said water is clear and at a normal level. Bream are good on worms and crickets. Bass are good and hitting spinnerbaits and topwater lures. Catfish are good on worms. Crappie reports were fair on minnows and jigs.


NORTH ARKANSAS


White River

(updated 8-9-2017) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) says Cotter has seen consistently higher water levels from Bull Shoals Dam this week with little or no drop overnight. The food supply is plentiful for the trout so you need to find something to catch their attention. While this challenging water level might mean the possibility of a smaller fish count, it could also mean the best time to catch is that bigger rainbow or German brown trout you've been angling for. Early morning, is the best time to be on the river with crawdad tails or crawfish crankbaits, cast them nearer the bank in the grassy areas that are underwater now. Add some garlic scent to your shrimp bait and play that near the bank, too. The black or the black-and-orange Zig Jig hooked some nice fish this week. They've seen several days of light rainy weather this week so keep some shiny spinners and stick baits handy for deep water under dark skies. Stay patient and wait for the bite. Enjoy your free time on the river.

(updated 8-9-2017) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the rainbows are good if you can find them. The past week was slow, and rainbows appear to be scattered about in the high water. There a five to eight generators running depending on the time. Clarity of the water is OK. Expect fishing response to be fair.

(updated 8-9-2017) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the lake level at Bull Shoals dropped 2 feet to rest at 22.8 feet above seasonal power pool of 661 feet msl. This is 11.2 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell 1.4 feet to rest at 0.1 feet below seasonal power pool and 14.1 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.4 feet to rest at 5.4 feet above seasonal power pool and 3.2 feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, they had no wadable water with heavier generation. Hopper season is here. Many guides are banging the bank with grasshopper patterns. Add a nymph dropper (ruby midge) to increase takes. If the grasshopper is hit or sinks, set the hook. John’s favorite grasshopper pattern is a Western Pink Lady. On the White, the hot spot has been the Rim 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 size 14 bead-head pheasant tail nymph with a ruby midge 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 said, “The most often asked question that both local and out of town anglers ask me is, when will we get wadable water? I understand their concern. We have received precious little this summer. I myself prefer wade fishing and I can count the days that I have been able to wade this summer, on one hand. To say that there is some pent up demand is an understatement.

“Our troubles began in early April. Before that we had some really great wading conditions that had me wading low water several times a week. The out of nowhere we had a series, of major rain events. There was a lot of runoff and the lake levels surged upward. At one time, all of the lakes in the White River System (Beaver, Table Rock, Bull Shoals and Norfork) were over the top of flood pool. The Corps of Engineers open the spill gates, on all of the dams, in an effort to get the dams below flood pool. This resulted, in severe flooding on the White and Norfork rivers. Now, after four months of high water, I can see light at the end of the tunnel. The lakes are beginning to drop.

“The White River is a series of lakes. Normal procedures call for the lake level at Table Rock to be dropped first. On the day of this writing the lake level at Table Rock is only an inch or two above the top of power pool. That means that all of the water that has been running to draw down Table Rock will not be coming into Bull Shoals Lake. This will allow Bull Shoals to fall more quickly. Beaver is usually down when Bull is near to Power pool. This happens fast.
“Then there is the funnel effect. As the water in a lake falls, the surface area of the lake is reduced. As this occurs the water level of the lake falls quicker just like the water in a funnel. Therefore, as the lake level comes down, it will fall faster with the same level of generation.

“In addition, they have increased the level of generation this week. The lake level at Bull Shoals is a bit less than 24 feet above the top of power pool. The lake level is currently falling about 1 1/2 feet per week. At that rate, it would take about 16 weeks for Bull Shoals to fall to the top of power pool, but with the funnel effect that could be substantially quicker. I predict that Bull Shoals could drop to power pool in 10-12 weeks. They usually draw down Norfork at about the same rate. That would result in the possibility of wadable water in mid to late October.
“This prediction is based on the same level of generation that we now have and that we do not have a major rain event. I know that that sounds like a long time but it will be here before you know it. In the meantime, the fly-fishing from a boat is good some days and excellent on others.”

Bull Shoals Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 682.02 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 659.00 feet msl).

(updated 8-9-2017) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said last Friday that the lake is at the 683-foot (msl) level, and the Army Corps of Engineers has been running quite a bit of water trying to get the lake down. Water temps are about 88 degrees give or take a little bit depending on the day. The temperature is finally beginning to come down the last couple of weeks after being in the mid-90s. That being said, fish are in a little bit of a transition. It’s that special time of the year, it’s a little bit tough. There are some bites that are working, though. If you can get out, get out early. There’s a good morning bite still. The first hour of the day is pretty crucial to get out there. There not a whole lot of topwater but there’s a little topwater going on. You can throw a Sammy or throw a Keitech to cover some water. Then, more toward the main lake but starting to go into the major creeks, some of the secondary points, there has been a huge shad migration. You’ll see them, they will look like big sea monsters on your graphs. If you see those, it either is going to be either real good or real bad. It’s a hit-or-miss kind of deal. The fish are schooled up. If you do get into them you can get into them really quick. The best bite for him, Del said, has been a jig bite – dragging a jig during the middle of the day, on bluff ends or long points that go off into the main lake or to the main channel, depending on where you’re at. A green pumpkin with a green pumpkin trailer, with some orange in it, is working. This is a compact jig from Right Bite and it’s good for dragging on the bottom. Green pumpkin blue is working and Del says he’s also doing a little bit of flipping. Friday, he said, was more of a drop-shot day; he was on the river and then was bowfishing later that night. But he has noticed some of the fish moving up shallow. So this time of year he’s going to start flipping more the ledge-style banks, either with a D Bomb, or bug bait, a Green Pumpkin or Green Pumpkin orange. They’ve also still got bushes and trees, as the old shoreline still goes out to about 26 feet. You can parallel the brush piles and old shoreline. Drag a grub or a worm off those points is working. Or, you can parallel the bluffs and do some drop-shotting. Del says he doesn’t particularly stay in one area for too long. It’s that time of year where you’re going to move around a little bit and if you’re on them, you’re on them, you stay there – and, if not, you go to the next spot. The water is perfect for jumping in. The lake level should start coming down in the next couple of weeks. If that happens, these fish with the current will position on the points. If the lake gets these expected major rains over the next couple of weeks, some of the backs of these creeks will starting pulling in some of the shad. It’s early, he says, but when you get a 10-degree temperature drop in the lake, that’s going to get some things moving. Del said he expects things to start picking up as the temperature drops.

(updated 8-9-2017) K Dock Marina said last Friday that the lake is finally on a steady drop of about 4 inches per day. The recent rains have helped cool the surface temperature, making for some much better fishing conditions. Most species are still hanging deep, though. Early morning has produced some decent topwater bites this past week! Anglers should see the walleye bite get better with these temps cooling off. They hope to get back to levels where anglers can bottom bounce nightcrawlers again. Water level was 683.8 feet msl late last week (23.8 feet above normal pool). Water temperature ranged 83-86 degrees, and the water is clear. Black bass are good to fair on heavy jigs, big plastic plum worms and a variety of plastic craws and creature baits. Also hitting on large crankbaits off the points. Try topwater very early morning. Spook or Whopper Plopper. Walleye are fair to slow on medium to large crankbaits. Try trolling a deep-diving crank bait that will go down around 20-25 feet. If you graph them deep, drop a ¾-ounce silver or white spoon. Crappie are fair to slow on live minnows. Bluegill are good on worms in the coves. Small hook and a bobber!

Norfork Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 567.22 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April 552.00 feet msl; April-September, 554.00 feet msl).

(updated 8-9-2017) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters says striper fishing continues to be good. The stripers are continuing to move deeper as the oxygen level gets lower. The thermocline has dropped down to 60 feet and will keep getting lower as the lake level goes lower. One tip is to keep changing your bait. The bait will not live more than 10 minutes right now, so keep changing the bait and you will catch stripers. The other bite is the hybrid on topwater. Lots of limits were caught this past week in the Hand Cove area. You can also catch them trolling if you set your lines between 20-30 feet. Tom says he has been seeing multiple schools of hybrids passing underneath my boat. The shad is staying up the water column that is why the hybrids are feeding on them. The basic fishing rig has not changed. A 3- or 4-ounce weight with a short leader and putting the bait on the bottom then bringing it up about a foot and keep it there as we move around produces fish. The stripers are still concentrated around the dam area the best places is Dam Cove, Koso, Thumb, Point 1 and the Hudson area. Trolling and spooning is also producing some fish but not the numbers the live bait is. Tom says his son took out his godson Willie along with their close friend’s grandson Logon. The boys are 4 and 5 years old. Willie’s dad, Rick, and Logon’s grandfather Dennis were also along. The boys did very well reeling in their limit of stripers. The fun part of the morning was when one of the boys tooted and all anybody could hear between the laughs was them blowing in their arms making the sounds everybody knows. Tom’s clients watched and were laughing as they caught their fish. Tom says it was one of the funniest days he’s had on the lake in a long time.

(updated 8-2-2017) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said the water level is falling around 2 to 3 inches per day and currently sits at 568.86. The lake is clear to its normal green summer time tint. The surface water temperature has reached 90 degrees, plus or minus a few degrees. Fishing has not changed much over the last couple of weeks, which means the striped bass bite continues to be strong in deep water and all other species are biting in zero to 20 feet of water. When Lou has had the chance to get out, the bite has been strong. Striped bass are being caught from south of Point 2 to the dam and east of the dam to Jordan Island. The larger stripers are being caught in 50 to 70 feet of water. They're lying on the bottom early in the morning and during the day. Live bait is working very well, but several artificial baits also are working. Vertical jigging with a spoon, as well as jigging with a small 3-inch grub (green or off-white) on the bottom. Move your bait very slowly along the bottom. Trollers are picking up some nice stripers, but again you will need to get your bait down below 45 feet. Many nice-sized largemouth bass have been seen in about 3 feet of water early in the morning around the dock. The gravel parking lot is still partially under water and the bait fish and small blue gills are loving it with the warm water. Bass are having a field day feeding at will. Look for those flooded roadways early in the morning and cast out your favorite soft-plastic crayfish imitation or swim bait and you should pick up some nice fish. I am also noting some bass hitting the surface early in the morning as well as at sunset. Walleye fishing has also starting picking up. The best water depth is around 18 feet on large rounded points. Use a crawler harness with a bottom bouncer or drop shot a live minnow to pick up some nice fish. Bluegill also are in the 18-foot water depth range; crickets have been one of the best baits at this time. White bass have been sporadically erupting in the mornings. I have gotten reports from all different areas of the lake with topwater action. There have been some nice-sized hybrids and mid-sized whites coming up and feeding on small shad.

Norfork Tailwater

(updated 8-9-2017) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters says striper fishing continues to be good. The stripers are continuing to move deeper as the oxygen level gets lower. The thermocline has dropped down to 60 feet and will keep getting lower as the lake level goes lower. One tip is to keep changing your bait. The bait will not live more than 10 minutes right now, so keep changing the bait and you will catch stripers. The other bite is the hybrid on topwater. Lots of limits were caught this past week in the Hand Cove area. You can also catch them trolling if you set your lines between 20-30 feet. Tom says he has been seeing multiple schools of hybrids passing underneath my boat. The shad is staying up the water column that is why the hybrids are feeding on them. The basic fishing rig has not changed. A 3- or 4-ounce weight with a short leader and putting the bait on the bottom then bringing it up about a foot and keep it there as we move around produces fish. The stripers are still concentrated around the dam area the best places is Dam Cove, Koso, Thumb, Point 1 and the Hudson area. Trolling and spooning is also producing some fish but not the numbers the live bait is. Tom says his son took out his godson Willie along with their close friend’s grandson Logon. The boys are 4 and 5 years old. Willie’s dad, Rick, and Logon’s grandfather Dennis were also along. The boys did very well reeling in their limit of stripers. The fun part of the morning was when one of the boys tooted and all anybody could hear between the laughs was them blowing in their arms making the sounds everybody knows. Tom’s clients watched and were laughing as they caught their fish. Tom says it was one of the funniest days he’s had on the lake in a long time.

(updated 8-9-2017) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Norfork Lake fell 1.7 feet to rest at 12.5 feet above seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet msl and 11.7 feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, there was no wadable water. On the Norfork, the water 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 eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise size 10). The fishing is better in the morning. My favorite rig has been a cerise San Juan worm with a ruby midge dropper.

(updated 8-9-2017) Dry Run Creek is fishing well one day and poorly the next. 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 8-9-2017) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are low and clear. 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.


NORTHWEST ARKANSAS

Beaver Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,126.59 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.00 msl).

(updated 8-9-2017) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said water level is high and the water is clear. No temperature was recorded. Bass appear to be in their summertime slow period. Reports were fair, with topwaters getting reaction early in the day and spinnerbaits and crankbaits working late in the day. Also, plastic worms got some reaction. Best bet is to work the brush piles. Bream, though, are good and biting both redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair. They’ve been slow in the daytime, with trolling crankbaits the best way to get a reaction. Catfish are fair on trotlines, limblines and hitting thrown live baits. Try using worms, blood bait or prepared bait.

(updated 8-2-2017) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) reports striper fishing picked up slightly from last week, and he’s seen some fish surfacing with the cooler weather. Have your spoons, jigs and topwater lures handy. Stripers can also be taken on live shad, minnows and bream fished on downlines from 10 to 45 feet deep. Also try trolling small umbrella rigs with white or chartreuse grubs or plugs like the Rapala No. 14 Husky Jerk in black back or purple back colors, or try the 5-6-inch model of Smithwick Rogues in similar colors on down riggers or snap weights to get some depth and stagger your presentation. You will need to locate fish near springs along bluffs with tree lines. Striper are using areas like these due to high summer temperatures, dropping oxygen content and the loss of thermocline due to generation. Night fishing with lights has been productive in these areas. Water surface temperatures are in the high 80s on the mid- and lower sections of the lake. The hot spots are all on the lower end of the lake. On Point 1, Indian Creek, Dry Creek and Lost Bridge North, check the main lake structure, humps and secondary points where creek channels intersect the main lake channel. Points 3, 4, 5 and 6 also are some hot spots this week. Lost Bridge South, Pine Log and Big Clifty are producing some stripers as well. In the upper section of the lake, white bass have been seen busting the surface, and can be caught in Horseshoe Bend. Walleye also are being caught in the bend underneath the whites. Walleye are in their summer mode and can be found scattered throughout the lake and are on the feed. Walleye can be found from 20-30 feet deep depending on areas you fish. Use three way rigging Rapalas in natural colors for clear water or chartreuse/orange and clown colors in areas of stained water. Also try Rapala Tail Dancers, Bagley Rumble B's, Flicker Shad, and Bandit 300 Series in colors that include orange and chartreuse. Also try slow death rigs and spinner rigs on bottom bouncers in orange/chartreuse. Bink Pro Scale 1-ounce jigging spoons in white or white/chartreuse combination and a variety of jigs are also producing walleye.

Beaver Tailwaters

(updated 8-9-2017) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said the trout bite has picked up quite a bit this week. Most trout are being caught between Spider Creek and Parkers Bottom. Trout are biting on various ¼-ounce spoons, various PowerBaits fished with light terminal tackle. One particular thing noted, a lot of these fish have been quite a bit bigger. The biggest one caught this week weighed 8 pounds. However, 2-pound trout have also been caught in nice numbers. The water temperatures in the area mentioned above has been between 55-58 degrees. Hybrids are being caught between Beaver town and Holiday Island pulling various Rapalas and Berkley hard baits in 6-10 feet of water. The weather has been great, so get out there and catch some fish.

(updated 8-9-2017) Beaver Dam Store reported the water below Beaver Dam has fallen enough to get out there and do some wading. Fly-fisherman and bait fisherman are catching their limits, as many gravel bars are finally exposing themselves allowing fisherman to get to "that" special spot to catch them elusive trout. 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 ¼-ounce spoons. Flicker Shad are also doing the job. Don’t forget: The annual one-fly, one-lure tournament is in October; pick up a registration form at the front desk of the Beaver Dam Store.

War Eagle Creek

(updated 8-2-2017) Loy Lewis of War Eagle Creek Outfitting (479-530-3262) said smallmouth bass are hitting topwater hoppers and poppers, Rooster Tails, crankbaits, soft plastics, live minnows and crawdads caught from creek. Largemouth bass are biting very well in the stretch of War Eagle running into Beaver Lake. Anglers are fishing around bushes, trees and grass with topwater lures, spinnerbaits and plastic worms. Crankbaits, jigs and soft-plastics are working better toward deeper water. Goggle eye are hitting topwater hoppers and poppers, small jigs, Rooster Tails, and live worms. Catfishing is excellent with liver, stink bait, and live perch. Bowfishing getting good with successful anglers walking bluffline stretches and working from boats below War Eagle Mills to Beaver Lake.

Lake Fayetteville

(updated 8-9-2017) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said the water is murky and at a normal level. Bream bites have been fair on worms or crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Bass activity ranged from poor to fair, with bites coming on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater lures. Catfishing is fair on worms.

Lake Sequoyah

(updated 8-9-2017) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said the water surface temperature dropped this week to 86 degrees, and the level is normal. Clarity remained clear. Crappie are in about 8 feet depth and the bite is good. Use minnows or jigs. Bass are good. They are hitting topwater lures and plastic worms. Catfishing is good on live bait, especially shad. Bream reports were poor.


NORTHEAST ARKANSAS

Lake Poinsett

(updated 8-9-2017) Ome Coleman at Lake Poinsett State Park said, “Wow!! It is time to come to Lake Poinsett and catch all the fish you want. There is no limit to what you catch.” The lake requires some major repairs and is being drained by the AGFC. Therefore, anglers are being asking to come and catch all you can. The bait shop is keeping plenty of minnows, gold fish, crickets, worms, and more, as well as other fishing accessories. Those big flathead and blue catfish are out there as well as the bass, crappie and bream.

Crown Lake

(updated 8-9-2017) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said water is clear and at a normal level. No temperature reading was available. Bream are good on worms and crickets. Crappie reports were poor. Bass are biting, with reports fair to good the past week. Use spinnerbaits or crankbaits. Catfishing is fair. Use nightcrawlers.

Spring River

(updated 8-9-2017) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) said water levels are running at 356 cfs and water clarity has been clear. Feels like fall on the river over the weekend. The trout have been hitting on olive Woollies and Y2Ks. During a hatch, a guppie works great. With so many minnow varieties in the river during a hatch, minnow imitations work great due to the minnows eating the bugs hatching and the bigger trout eating the minnows. Hot pink and white Trout Magnets are working great and hot pink and white crappie Magnets have been working well on smallmouth. Fish the seams for smallies in the lower Spring River and hang on!

(updated 8-9-2017) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Spring River is fishing better. 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).

White River

(updated 8-9-2017) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said the water is clear and the level and current are normal. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits and topwater baits. Catfishing is fair with worms. Bream reports were poor, as were crappie reports. White bass also were poor.


SOUTHEAST ARKANSAS

Arkansas River at Pine Bluff

(updated 8-9-2017) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Team said the surface water temperature is in the upper 80s, and visibility is just under 1 foot in most places. The river is not flowing much lately. Black bass are biting well, especially in the mornings. Some days they will respond to topwater lures, such as buzzbaits, walking lures and poppers. Other days they will only bite soft-plastic worms and crawfish-imitating lures worked on the bottom. Experiment each day to gauge their activity level. Focusing on shaded areas has been the key lately, along with making many casts to likely spots to get the more lethargic fish to bite.

Cane Creek Lake

(updated 8-9-2017) Jennifer Albertson at Cane Creek State Park said fishing on Cane Creek Lake has remained relatively stable. As of this week, worms are still outselling crickets as the most popular bait for bream fishing. Bream are biting in the shallows, so bank and pier fishing are prime. A recent mayfly hatch means they will be ready to bite anything that breaks the surface of the water. Bass are biting well also; topwater baits and crankbaits are drawing strikes from bass, although it seems they are striking more from aggression than hunger. Frogs are also receiving satisfying results when drug across the tops of lily pads. Fish transition zones between lily pads and open water to increase your chances. Catfish are becoming more aggressive, and biting on live and moving baits. Some bass fishermen are even reporting catching catfish on deep-running crankbaits and soft plastics. Crappie are still hard on structure, but seem to be a little shallower than usual. Crappie are biting on shiners, and a few on jigs. A recent cold front and rain may slow the bite some, but they’ll bounce right back as soon as the weather stabilizes.

Lake Chicot

(updated 8-9-2017) Brandy Oliver at Lake Chicot State Park (870-265-9705) said anglers report having excellent luck fishing for bass, especially with black and chartreuse crankbait, Pumpkin Seed Pit Boss, and watermelon candy Baby Brush Hogs. Several people also have reported that catfish are biting in up to just over a foot of water.

Lake Monticello

(updated 8-9-2017) Angler Chris Van Duren at Lucky’s of Monticello said bass are at about 20 feet depth early in the day and the bite is fair. Use spinnerbaits and topwater lures. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Chris said the fish are coming up from deep water, and anglers should pay attention to inflated swim bladders. A video on how to “fizz” a fish to release the air in the bladder can be found on the AGFC’s Black Bass Program Facebook Page. No reports on catfish. No reports on bream.


SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS

Millwood Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 260.08 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 259.20 msl).

(updated 8-9-2017) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said the lake level Monday was about 9 inches above normal conservation pool and rising at 259.9 feet msl. There is current of 5,995 cfs in Little River on Tuesday; tailwater about 235.1 feet msl. Water temps dropped slightly over the past week. Lake level is in the process of a rapid rise due all the local thunderstorms and rain over the past few days. Use normal caution during navigation. The mayfly hatch tapering off on Millwood. Anglers have enjoyed the 10 degree reduction in temperatures over the past few days! Surface temps as of Monday were ranging near 81ºF early to 89ºF range later under full sun, depending on location. Navigation considered normal caution on Little River and Millwood, this week. Clarity and visibility is fair but getting worse with all the incoming fresh rain, compared to last week, in most areas on the main lake and Little River. As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity and visibility ranged 5-10 inches. Cottonshed and northeast section of the lake remains heavy stained. Little River's visibility ranged 5-12 inches depending on location and current. The oxbow's clarity currently rages 12-15 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 there’s not been much change in largemouth bass behavior over the past week or so, although with these cooler temperature daytime highs, they have seen schooling fish more often in the oxbows up Little River. Bass remain very good from 2 to 3 pounds on topwaters early at daybreak. Bass continue to react the most aggressive at dawn around lily pad stands, stumps, cypress trees, and vegetation in Little River near deep drops. Stuttersteps, Chug Bugs, Baby Torpedoes, Shad Assassins, Heddon Dying Flutters, and Jitterbugs, all continue drawing good reactions on topwater at daybreak. Soft plastic Bass Assassin Shads and top water soft plastic frogs all remain drawing good responses, early in the morning around vegetation and lily pads. Best color of buzz baits over the past couple weeks included white/chartreuse, black, black/blue, or Bream colors around pads and vegetation adjacent to deeper sections of the creek channels or in the river. Bass Assassin Shads continue biting best on Salt and Pepper Silver Phantom, Grey Ghost, and Bad to the Bone colors. Good bites continue on black, pumpkinseed, or June bug colored soft plastic frogs this week around pads in clearest water you can find. Big bulky, fat, 7-10-inch worms, and brush hogs continue working in drop-offs, with best colors over the past week or two being peanut butter'n jelly, black grape, watermelon-purple, or watermelon candy and green pumpkin. Best locations for working the bulky worms range from 5-10 feet deep in Little River around grass mats after morning top water bite subsides, and in the same areas where the top water early bite is aggressive. Continue moving deeper in the creek channels or to the points of Little River where the creek junctions the river as the sun rises and begins to heat up the flats adjacent to creek channels. The deep and medium diving crankbaits like the Bomber Fat Free Shad, remain working across underwater points in Little River; squarebill crankbaits continue working long old river channel cut-overs, ditches, and deep creek outer swings where creek mouths and sloughs feed and dump into Little River. Rat-L-Trap/Echo 1.75 squarebills continue working in Millwood Magic and Ghost colors around deeper drops in Little River. Nice size bass also continue biting on magnum sized, 4" salty tubes with Smokey/black/red flake, Purple Smoke/purple fleck, and black/blue tail colors working over the past several weeks. Chatterbaits continuing to get bit using Spot Remover or Firecracker colors, next to cypress trees and knees, over the past couple weeks in the oxbows once the sun gets up. Shad and bream-colored squarebill crankbaits continue working around hydrilla and stumps from 5-9 feet deep near cypress trees along creeks and parallel to vegetation lines/mats dumping into the oxbows.
Mike adds that whites/hybrids continue roaming Little River and the oxbows, and have been caught on Rat-L-Traps, Fat Free Shad crankbaits, Little Georges, Beetle Spins, Rooster Tails, and Rocket Shads from about7-12 feet deep. Schooling whites have been noted in the back of McGuire and Horseshoe oxbows off Little River early at daybreak on flats adjacent to deeper drops in the depths from 5-10 feet deep at random intervals for the past several weeks. The cooling daytime highs over the past week have notched up the surface breaker activity this week. Crappie disappeared this week with the increase of incoming muddy water and increased current. The bluegills and longear sunfish bream continue biting really well. Good bream and bluegills continue hitting crickets and worms at the Millwood State Park off the bank, and all along Little River over the past couple weeks, and especially under any leaning cypress or willow, and other "leafed out" trees where the Mayfly hatch is happening. The mayfly hatch is beginning to wind down. As for catfish, blues improved this week with the increase in Little River current up. Channel cats continue biting well on trot lines set along outer bends of the river in stump rows of old river timber from 12-16 feet deep with chicken livers, hearts, gizzards, cut buffalo, and blood bait continue working.

Lake Greeson

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 544.44 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).

(updated 8-2-2017) Gary Lammers of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said the surface water temperature is in the low 90s. Bass are biting well on Texas-rigged worms in dark red or purple in 12 to 15 feet of water near main lake points. Largemouth bass and white bass have been schooling some in the mornings, and everyone seems to be catching them on a small, size 90 Whopper Plopper. Crappie are fair on fish shelters and are holding about 15 feet deep. Live minnows are the best bet for crappie right now. Catfish are fair on noodles and trotlines baited with small sunfish and liver.

Lake Greeson Tailwater (Little Missouri River)

Visit www.littlemissouriflyfishing.com for a daily update on fishing conditions.

Cossatot River

Cossatot River State Park had no report this week.

DeGray Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 402.41 feet msl (flood pool: 408.00 feet msl).

(updated 8-9-2017) Local angler George Graves said surface water temperature is in the low 80s and the lake is clear throughout. Bass fishing is good for small fish now that the water temperature is lower. Lots of schooling fish early in the morning. The areas along the south side between the dam and Point 6 have been very good. Look for fish feeding in the shad schools in the big coves and off points. Most any topwater presentation will work as long as the lure lands close to where the fish "breaks." Several decent catches also reported coming from mid-lake in the Arlie Moore area. Try medium-running crankbaits, both lipped and lipless. Most any shad imitation will produce. Lots of Kentuckies biting along the rock bluffs at points 14, 15 and the west side of Goat Island. Try a 4-inch finesse worm Texas rigged. Green pumpkin is one of the better colors. Crappie fishing is still slow but should pick up as the water cools. Look for fish at mid-lake on brush attractors at 20-25 feet deep. Vertical fish a 2-inch Kalin's grub on a 1/16-ounce jighead to just above the brush. Tennessee shad is hard to beat. Like bass, early morning is the best time. Hybrid fishing is fair with some schooling activity with the cooler water. Look for surface feeding fish along the south side between the dam and Point 4. Also around the islands across from the State Park Lodge. Also try the big coves between Caddo Bend and the State Park Marina on the north side. The deep-water bite has slowed because the fish are now schooling on the surface, but a few fish are still showing at 50 feet along the old river channel at 100-plus feet. Drop a heavy jigging spoon or 3-inch grub to just above the fish which are "marked" on the sonar. Bream fishing remains good with lots of fish on offshore humps and points in secondary coves. Look for fish in 10-15 feet of water and drop a cricket or redworm to just off the bottom.

Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said crappie are deep and scattered. Hybrids are deep and loving the live bait. Whites are schooling off and on early in the mornings. Casting spoons first early then trolling crankbaits later has produced for him, he said. Look for the flotilla of boats and if it doesn't work, blame them.

(updated 7-26-2017) Phillip Kastner of Trader Bill’s said he’s getting starting to get reports of hybrids breaking now in the middle of the lake near Arlie Moore.

De Queen Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 441.00 feet msl (flood pool: 437.00 feet msl).

No reports.

SOUTH-CENTRAL ARKANSAS

Felsenthal

No report.

Lake Columbia

Sportsman’s One Stop (870-863-7248) had no report.

Mike Knoedl Tri-County Lake

No report.

Moro Bay

Moro Bay State Park, at the junction of the Ouachita River, Raymond Lake and Moro Bay, had no report.

White Oak Lake

White Oak Lake State Park (870-685-2748) had no report.


WEST-CENTRAL ARKANSAS

Lake Atkins

(updated 8-9-2017) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said the water is clear and the level is a little high, they say. Bream are good on worms and crickets. Catfish appear to be spawning and the bite is good. Trotlines were working best. Crappie are poor. Bass are poor but there is a little action on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. White bass reports were poor.

Lake Bailey (Petit Jean State Park)

(updated 8-2-2017) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) reported that catfish are biting on minnows and worms. Bream are biting well on crickets, worms and Rock Hopper. Bass are biting on worms, lizards, Brush Hogs and Whopper Plopper.

Lake Catherine

For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro.

(updated 8-9-2017) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 63 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace. The lake is now at normal summertime pool with Entergy scheduling 10-hour generation 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 and 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 extremely slow, which is the norm for this time of year. 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. Summer 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 have spawning and should be present from the bridge to the dam. Stripers have migrated into the tailrace to feed on the shad migration. Fish in the 20-pound class have been observed feeding below the bridge in the late evening while the floodgates are open. Anglers should downsize their techniques to match the forage. Smaller Alabama rigs and jigs are much more effective now. Casting weightless soft plastics perfectly matches the injured shad drawn through the open gates. 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 8-2-2017) Greesons Marine, the hometown dealer of Xpress boats in Hot Springs, said fishing has been good, despite the heat. Bass we semi-actively taking large black Texas-rigged worms and large watermelon-colored tubes well into the nights between 10 and 15 feet of water. Docks with solid or rocky bottoms below have been the most productive areas to target. Water temperature has been the major factor on where fish have been and how active they are in those locations. If you can find that water in the 85-degree range (usually near the river channel), you most likely will have your bait in front of a fish. Still, you must slow down, be patient and watch your line.

Lake Dardanelle

(updated 8-9-2017) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) said water temperatures are in the upper 80s to lower 90s. Water clarity is good; there are some dingy creeks. The topwater bait for largemouth bass has been excellent. Jigs and large worms are working very well on deep structure. Crankbaits have been working well along riprap and jetties. Striped bass fishing has been good on spinnerbaits, swimbaits and topwater Poppers on the end of jetties and gravel bars just outside the buoy line. White bass and small stripers are on the sandy points. The topwater bite has been good for them, and spoons and crankbaits will catch them, too. Bream has been excellent around floating mats that are stuck on wood around points and jetties. Catfish have been good around the mouths of the creeks and off the deep drops of sandbars. Cut perch, shad and skipjack will catch them.

Lake Hamilton

(updated 7-26-2017) Greesons Marine, the hometown dealer of Xpress boats in Hot Springs, reports from Lake Hamilton, as well as Lake Ouachita and other Hot Springs area lakes (including Hot Springs Village) that water surface temperatures are hovering at the 90-degree mark in most areas. With the temperatures being bathwater, warm fish are returning to deep spots during the hottest parts of the days. Even early in the mornings fish are staying in shaded areas only. Work deeper areas that have some sort of drastic structure. Areas 10-18 feet have been best around docks and sharp drop-offs with hard rock bottoms or boulders. If you can match all of the above, you are in the strike zone for sure. During the days use those electronics and find baitfish on sudden drop-offs near current or creek channels. Find the baitfish ball and you’ve found the bass! Oxygen levels are low this time of year, so keep your baits on the large size. Fish are looking for a whole day’s meal in one swallow. Another tip is to use scent attract. If the bite is “mushy” and fish aren’t hammering baits, use scent attract so you have time to get a good hook set. Best baits to use right now have been Zoom Ole Monster 10-12-inch ribbon-tailed black or Watermelon worms fished with a single large split shot 18 inches up. Texas rigged green lizards have worked well also. For the deeper fish chasing the baitfish, work a jerkbait, deep-diving crankbait or black or dark-colored spinnerbaits at a slow and steady pace parallel or just above where you think the bait fish are located. Shad and silhouette colors like dark craw have been prompting strikes.

(updated 8-9-2017) Phillip Kastner of Trader Bill's Outdoor Sports noted on US97 that there were lots of good reports right before Sunday’s rain. The first 3-4 hours of daylight Sunday, quite a few boats that were out there and two of them in particular caught quite a few fish on topwater bait. It’s just incredible weather for August, anglers can’t beat what we’re getting, he said. One key is paying attention to the weather maps in the coming couple of weeks with expected fronts moving through. You want to always be fishing on the low side of the fronts, before they pass through. If it turns into a bluebird day, you need to go floating. If it starts out clear bluebird and turns cloudy, get to fishing. They highs seem to shut the fish down.

Kastner said that before last weekend on Hamilton, a couple of guys preparing for a Friday tournament caught quite a few fish fishing around boat docks. Being that it’s a little cooler, fish are moving out from under these boat docks on cloudy afternoons or right before dark. Don’t be afraid to throw topwater around boat docks on Hamilton right before dark. Also, with cooler mornings those fish will move up in the shallows. The topwater bite has been good all summer long. We’ve gotten more rain that normal, kind of cools everything off. The crappie, bite for typical for August. Not so good. Not as many people going this time of year for Crappie. Hamilton bass fishing has been red hot. Throwing a Texas rig worm around brush the last three weeks. The bream, now that’s the one thing that’s been off the entire season, he said. Heavy rain in May pushed the spawn into June and July. Still lot of people are catching bream. They are deeper than expected; lot are catching at 10 feet of water right now. Easiest way to fish for bream when they are that deep is a drop-shot rig. Literally just tie an eighth-ounce drop-shot weight on, attach the bream hook about 6 inches above it, tight line it – don’t use a bobber, just drop it straight down around (not in) the brush – and you’ll catch some good ones.

Lake Nimrod

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 344.11 feet msl (full pool: 342.00 feet msl).

(updated 8-9-2017) Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said the clarity was great for fishing, and the surface water temperature has dropped to a range of 82-85 degrees. Level is normal. Bream are bedding and are biting crickets. Crappie results are good, and the crappie are about 4 feet deep. Bass reports ranged poor to fair, however. Crawdads appeared to get the best reaction. Catfish are fair and are hitting minnows and crankbaits.

(updated 8-9-2017) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said activity at the lake has been super-slow the past week. No reports.

(updated 8-2-2017) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) reported that 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.

Lake Ouachita

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 572.71 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).

(updated 8-9-2017) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) said black bass are still fair and being caught with Texas rigged plastics and jigs fished early and late. Drop-shots fished with finesse worms have been productive for spotted bass near brush. Walleye are still very good and being caught on spoons or bottom bouncers on main lake humps and points near brush. Stripers are fair on live bait. The eastern end of the lake is the best area for these fish. Bream are still good in water 20-25 feet deep on crickets and worms. Crappie are fair. Try using minnows or crappie jigs at depths around 20-25 feet deep fished near brush. Catfish are fair on live bait, stink bait and hot dogs. Try depths of 20-30 feet. Water temperature is ranging 86-90 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 8-9-2017)
Phillip Kastner of Trader Bill's Outdoor Sports said he’s getting good reports of walleye being caught in nice numbers. He notes that traditionally the walleye catch is about a month late. Last year in June, walleye fishing was great. This year it’s the end of July, first of August before it’s kicked in. Use bottom bouncing nightcrawler rigs, or catch them on a spoon, lot of things. They’ve moved up on humps arounds brush piles.
A lot of people catching walleye right now and, Kastner says, it goes about the time of frame that the Kentuckies are not going to be far from when you’re going to be dunking crawfish on these humps. He said he wouldn’t be surprised that if you went out there with crawfish and tried it that you could catch just as many walleye as Kentuckies right now because there’s a bunch of walleye that have moved up on these humps. Go flip some large rocks over and collect a few dozen crawdads to use.

(updated 8-2-2017) Greesons Marine, dealer of Xpress boats in Hot Springs, said they have heard good reports of crappie being caught in the 8- to 14-foot range over brush pile tops. The best baits have been minnows tipped with a jig and live minnows on a snell rig. Bass have been biting topwater lures in the mornings and evenings. Go-To’s like Whopper Ploppers, Zara Spooks and frogs are the weapons of choice. Some large fish have been netted recently by anglers fishing dark-colored worms and Yum Dingers in green or black off points in 10 to 20 feet of water. Texas-rigged worms have been the staple choice so far, but the drop shotters are doing well also during the day. Black, blue and green spinnerbaits worked slowly start to turn on when the sun goes down over any type of drastic structure.

Spring Lake

No report.

Blue Mountain Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 386.26 feet msl (flood pool: 384.00 feet msl).

No reports.


EAST ARKANSAS

Horseshoe Lake

Professional guide Ronnie Tice of Horseshoe Lake Guide Service (901-687-6800) had no report.

Bear Creek Lake

(updated 8-2-2017) Natalie Faughn, ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), said fishing activity has slowed considerably the last few weeks. Bass and bream are still moderately active in the mornings. Anglers are using mainly live bait, with a few anglers doing well on bass with jigs.

Maddox Bay

Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) has closed.

Storm Creek Lake\

(updated 8-2-2017) Natalie Faughn, ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), said a few anglers have had some luck bass fishing with jigs and artificial lures, but the water temperature and daytime temperatures are so warm that few people are fishing and few fish are biting.