Aug. 16, 2017
Weekly Fishing Report
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for Aug. 16, 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
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 8-16-2017) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the water its usual stain, and the surface temperature is 85 degrees. Water level is about 2-3 inches above normal. Fishing has been fairly good. Bream fishing is excellent, with worms and crickets getting lots of bites. Crappie are good around the cypress on minnows or white jigs. Bass are good. Anglers report success with crankbaits, topwater lures, buzzbaits and June bug worms. Catfishing is fair, with cut bait and goldfish working best.
(updated 8-16-2017) 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 Woolly Buggers, are working well for fly anglers. Pink-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 8-16-2017) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said that after a rainy night Monday and a wet start Tuesday morning, the river is still clear with a normal flow. Generation continues to be the afternoon schedule starting about 1 p.m. The bite is good on small mayfly nymphs and midge pupas. This sounds like a broken record but a good one. Blue-wing olives are continuing to hatch during midday and early afternoon. Some trout are being caught on dry flies and emergers during the hatch.
Check the generation before your trip because changes to the posted data happen due to increased demands for power and other reasons. USACE Little Rock is a good app for your cell phone (add 1 hour to the start time; for example: If the app shows 8 a.m., the generation started at 7 a.m. to reach that amount). Upper left corner of the app (Releases) shows current and past generation. SWPA Forecasts (on the lower left) will show forecasted generation (this is posted after 4 p.m. for the next day). The Corp is now announcing the starting time for the current generation on the recording when you call 501-362-5150 and 3# ext. (This is exact).
The following are approximate times when 2-unit generation will arrive at these locations:
Cow Shoals: 1 hour|
Winkley Shoal: 3 hours
Lobo Landing: 5 hours
Dripping Springs: 6 hours
We hope this will help everybody plan their fishing and recreation on the river safely. Enjoy the river and please respect it and be safe. Canoeing, kayaking and fishing are much safer on low water. Only experienced persons should navigate the river during high-water generation. Knowing which section of the river to fish or paddle according to the generation will add to your enjoyment and safety on the river.
(updated 8-16-2017) James Dillard at Tailwater Fishing Co. said the fishing has been consistently good over the last few days. Subdued temperatures, good water flow and cloud cover have helped the good fishing last all day long. Water is being released every afternoon as of late and should continue as rainfall occurs. The hot flies have been, pheasant tails, sowbugs and soft hackles.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 461.30 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 8-16-2017) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level saw just just a slight rise with the rain this week, just a few tenths, and is 1.24 feet below normal pool of 462.54 feet msl. It will continue to fall with generation and evaporation up until the time it receive lots of rain. The weather has played a big roll this summer on all species doing things a little bit different than usual, using a different part of the water column than a normal hot summer. Crappie fishing is good day and night around the pole timber and over and around brush piles and cane piles. Crappie are sometimes as high as 10 feet suspended in the water column and as deep as 30 feet over 60-80 feet of water. Use jigs and minnows. The bream are guarding fry, shallow to deep. Use inline spinners, small crankbaits, crickets and crawlers; they are working best out to 27 feet. Some walleye are staying put on flats while others are following hybrids and whites eating their leftovers. The flat fish will eat crawlers dragged around on jigheads or drop-shots in 25-35 feet of water. The catfishing continues to be good, with cats coming in from all over the lake and rivers, and biting on cut and live bait fished on flats next to deep water. The bass fishing is good up shallow on topwater baits, small crankbaits and spinner baits. The in-between fish can be caught on jighead worms, and the deeper fish on a worm Texas rigged or a C-rig out to 40 feet of water. The hybrids and white bass are eating off and on all day and night, from 25-65 feet of water, on spoons, in-line spinners, hair jigs, swimbaits and live baits.
(updated 8-16-2017) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) said the lake is at a normal level and has 3 feet of visibility. Bass are very active; several anglers note jumping bass at times. They’re hitting spinnerbaits, topwater baits and plastic worms. Bream reports were good, with both worms and crickets working. Catfishing ranged good to excellent. Use worms and chicken liver. Crappie reports were poor.
(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.
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.
(updated 8-16-2017) Larry Walters at Bones Bait Shop (501-354-9900) said clarity of the water is clear and the surface temperature is 84 degrees as of Tuesday. Lake level is normal. Bream are around the brush piles and the bite has been good. Crappie are good as well. They’re hanging around brush piles in 15-16 feet depth. Use minnows or jigs. Bass anglers report good results. Fish are in 12-14 feet of water. They are biting spinnerbaits and topwaters. Some hellbenders have been caught. Catfishing is good with worms. White bass reports were fair.
(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.
(updated 8-16-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said fishing has been fair at Sunset Lake lately. Customers have caught a few catfish recently on chicken livers and minnows. Bream have been biting crickets and redworms and have been scattered. Bass have been hitting minnows, watermelon-seed-colored worms and lizards and small topwater baits. Crappie fishing has been slow. They've heard of only a few small ones being caught on pink minnows early in the mornings.
Bishop Park Ponds
(updated 8-16-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish have been biting fair on chicken livers, nightcrawlers and bait shrimp. Bream fishing has been fun for a few using crickets and redworms. Crappie have been biting very slow on No. 6 and pink minnows. Bass fishing has been fair with minnows and watermelon red or red shad-colored worms and lizards.
Saline River Access in Benton
(updated 8-16-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said the river has been difficult lately with the changing water levels and clarity. Up and down, muddy and clear – that makes it hard to fish. Some have reported catching some catfish on trotlines baited with minnows, black salties and goldfish. Bass fishing has been on and off with minnows, small plastics and small crankbaits. Crappie have been biting slow in some back water on size 6 minnows and Kalin’s 2-inch Triple Threat Grubs. Bream will bite a redworm or cricket on a small hook and light line. You can still have some fun with the gar on the river. Minnows, strong, sharp hooks, good line and a heavy rod will increase your chances of landing one. If you get your bait close to one you'll probably get the bite. Have fun with it.
A lot of people have expressed concern about litter and trash along the Saline River this summer. PLEASE, wherever you spend time in the outdoors, don't leave your trash behind, and if possible, maybe pick up some trash that a less responsible person left behind. Nothing takes away from the beauty of our Natural State more than litter does. Pick it up, please. Stay safe out there.
(updated 8-16-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bream seem to be the fish they hear the most about from Norrell. Crickets and redworms fished deep on tight lines produce some nice eaters. Customers tell them they aren't catching as many as they were a month ago but they're still catching some big ones. Catfish have been biting well at night on minnows, gold fish and black salties. Bass have been biting fair early in the mornings on minnows, plastic worms and lizards and small topwater baits. Crappie are in hiding on Norrell, and if anybody knows where they are, they're not telling.
(updated 8-16-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bass and crappie have been biting pretty well for some customers using No. 12 minnows and Bobby Garland jigs. Catfish have been biting chicken livers, minnows and nightcrawlers. Bream fishing has been fair with crickets and redworms.
(updated 8-16-2017) Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) said Tuesday rain this week should push most fish close to inside the riverbends and behind jetties and into inlets. Fish the mudline near banks and major creeks and rivers. Catfish are on the backside of jetty tips. Use worms or skipjack. Throw to the outside of swirls. For bream, fish the backwater and where you have some slackwater where the jetty hits the bank. Rooster Tails and Mepps in black are your best bet. Also use crickets. Bass can be caught in the backwater with spinnerbaits and topwater baits. Also fish the cracks in the jetties where you have water flowing through them. Fish upside of the jetty and throw over the jetty to the other side. Use jigs and spinnerbaits, and also try a Wobble Spoon. White bass will be following the schooling shad, which will be in backwaters or slackwaters on the river. Use crankbaits, and also use Fat Raps. Crank down, then let it float to the surface and recrank and do the same thing again.
(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!
(updated 8-16-2017) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the water is dingy, but the level and current are normal. Surface water temperature is 85 degrees. Bass are loving it. Anglers report excellent results. They’ve been using spinnerbaits, topwater lures and plastic worms. Catfishing has been good using worms or shad. White bass reports are good. Bream have been fair on worms and crickets. Crappie are in hiding.
(updated 8-16-2017) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) reported the clarity as “average” for the time. Level and current are normal. Largemouth bass are active early in the day, and the reports ranged fair to good the past week. Best success is on spinnerbaits, crankbaits, topwater baits and plastic worms. Bream bite is good on worms and crickets. Crappie are good with anglers using curly jigs. Catfishing is good on worms. White bass reports were fair.
(updated 8-16-2017) Vince Miller from Fish ’N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) said water is muddy and the level and current are normal. No temperature was recorded. Most of the reports came from the bass anglers, who reported fair catches. Fish are about 8 feet in depth and around jetties. Use crankbaits, a white spinner or a shaky head. Catfishing was poor. Crappie fishing was poor. No reports on bream.
(updated 8-16-2017) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the level and current near the Terry Lock and Dam is normal. Bream reports have been good, with both worms and crickets working. Catfishing has been fair with cut bait. Bass reports were poor. Crappie reports were poor.
(updated 8-16-2017) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said the river has average clarity for mid-August. Level and current are normal. Largemouth bass are active early in the day, and the reports ranged fair to good the past week. Best success is on spinnerbaits, crankbaits, topwater baits and plastic worms. Bream bite is good on worms and crickets. Crappie are good with anglers using curly jigs. Catfishing is good on worms. White bass reports were fair.
(updated 8-9-2017) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said reports have been excellent on bass from the north end of the pool and in the Murray Dam area. Anglers report great success working plastic worms as well as white twister tails and minnows. With the extremely hot conditions, fishing appears to have slowed down, they report.
Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 8-16-2017) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water level is normal. Bream are fair on worms and crickets. Catfish are fair with cut bait. No reports on crappie. No reports on bass.
(updated 8-16-2017) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said the water is clear and at a normal level. Bream are still biting well on redworms and crickets. No report on crappie. No report on bass. Catfishing is fair using worms or cut bait.
(updated 8-16-2017) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) says there is definitely the feel of autumn in the air; maybe it's because school has started here in Arkansas, our Big Spring swimming hole is less crowded and the squeak of the rope swing doesn't sound until later in the day. Time seems to slow during these last couple of weeks of August. How does all that affect fishing and why should we care? The shorter days affect the amount of light, which spurs the spawn, drawing the trout to move upriver and begin the reproduction dance. The browns are less interested in what you have to offer than at other times, so you have to be more creative. The brown trout spawn won't seriously begin until October or later, but it's time to start planning. The tailwaters below Bull Shoals Dam continue to be very high and still offer prime opportunities for stick baits, or lures of all kinds. If you've got any big Husky Jerks, silver and black, try them out. They’ve had some luck this week with white and white-gray jigs. Minnow look-alikes will help you succeed; add some garlic scent to whatever your favorite bait is and gauge the reaction. Fishing is all about keeping track of what worked when. Don't forget to look around and thank the Creator for the beauty of our Natural State and the blessing of a good day on the river. Go catch a rainbow.
(updated 8-16-2017) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the clarity is clear and the river is high with 5-10 generators running. The trout bite is good. Anglers report good fishing from the boats for rainbows and browns.
(updated 8-16-2017) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said late last week that they had a trace of rain in Cotter, warm temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals dropped 2.3 feet to rest at 20.5 feet above seasonal power pool of 661 feet. This is 13.5 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock remained steady at 0.1 feet below seasonal power pool and 14.1 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.3 feet to rest at 5.1 feet above seasonal power pool and 3.5 feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, they had no wadable water with heavy generation. Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes in the White River System are now below the top of flood pool. We should expect a lot of generation, with limited wadable water in the near future. 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 Narrows. 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 (my current favorite is a bead head pheasant tail nymph (size 14) with a ruby midge suspended below it). Use lots of lead and long leaders to get your flies down.
John also reported, “Last Thursday (Aug. 3) I participated in the Bull Shoals/Norfork Trout Management Plan Workshop. It was held at the Sheid Center on the Arkansas State University Mountain Home campus. The idea was to update the state’s Trout Management Plan that was first implemented about 10 years ago. I participated in that plan and am interested in the outcome of this one. The meeting was designed to get input from the public.
“There were over 100 attendees at the meeting. They were mostly fishing guides, resort owners and other concerned parties. I knew most of them. There was also a large contingent from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission that included two commissioners. We were seated at over a dozen round tables in the room. We were asked to list on large sheets of paper our likes and dislikes. We had a sheet titled Bull Shoals Likes, Bull Shoals Dislikes, Norfork Likes and Norfork Dislikes. We were then asked to indicate our top two items on each sheet.
“There was a lot of discussion at our table, and I am sure that the same thing happened at every table. We had eight people and each had different opinions about what was a like or dislike. There was even more discussion when we had to choose the two most important items for each sheet. When there was a major disagreement we took a simple vote and the item with the most votes won.
The moderator then went around the room and asked for the top two likes and dislikes for both tailwaters, which were then written down on another set of four sheets, configured just like the sheets on each table. After completion those summary sheets were then hung on the wall. All of the sheets from the various tables were collected for future reference. We were the asked to vote on what items interested us the most. We were given six stickers and asked to put them on the items listed on the sheets on the wall that we most cared about, either likes or dislikes. They asked that we use three stickers for each river. This took a little time because all of the attendees had to vote.
“In looking and listening, I heard that the most generally approved like was the 24-inch size limit on brown trout. This was a product from the last Trout Management Plan, which requires that all brown trout below 24 inches in length be released. The result of this change has been that we have more brown trout in the below 24-inch size, including many that are 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23 inches long. This is a great fish anywhere and it is very popular here with all anglers.
“At the same time, the general consensus is that there is no protection for rainbow trout. As a result, we do not have many large rainbows in our streams. Many groups suggested a protective slot limit. This would allow rainbow trout below a given length (say, 16 inches) and above a given length (say, 24 inches) to be harvested. The trout between the two sizes would be released resulting in more rainbows in the 16-23-inch slot. I really like this idea.
“The follow-up meeting will be Aug. 24, where we will review the findings and see where to go from there. It will be held at the same time and place. I hope to attend.”
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 679.26 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!
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 566.39 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April 552.00 feet msl; April-September, 554.00 feet msl).
(updated 8-16-2017) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said Norfork Lake fishing is in its summer pattern and fishing methods should be very similar for the next month. The lake level is falling slowly and currently sits about 11 feet above normal pool. The surface water temperature is ranging 82-85 degrees depending the time of day. The main lake looks fairly clear with the creeks and coves stained. The striped bass bite continues to be good for most out on the lake. The easiest and most productive method of catching stripers at this time is with live bait. Live threadfin shad, shiners and small bluegills are all working well, with shad being the best type of live bait. Lou says he’s currently finding large schools of stripers lying on the bottom in 70 feet of water. The best areas to find the stripers at this time are on points and large deep flats in the dam area and at the start of the Big Creek area (Long Point, Koso, Thumb, Point 1, Hudson) and also on the flats out in front of Sand Island in the Jordan area. Artificial baits are also producing striped bass. Try vertical jigging with a spoon or a 3-inch (or so) grub with a ¼- or 3/8-ounce jighead. If you're jigging, keep the action of your bait moving slow, use small twitches of the bait and work them slowly on the bottom. It is hard to feel the bite, so be ready to set the hook with the slightest heaviness of your line while moving the bait. Trolling swimbaits and 4- or 5-inch crankbaits are also producing some fish.
Lou says a second area to catch hybrid bass and the occasional striped bass is in 25 feet (plus or minus 5 feet) of water. The lake thermocline is roughly at 25 feet with good oxygenated water from the shoreline out to 25 feet with about 80-84 degree water temperature throughout this water column. Most of the bait fish he’s found are in this 0-25 feet range, so as you would guess it is holding lots of fish. Lou has found some schooling hybrids in the mid-lake area in the 25-feet range feeding on shad. With this shallower water, all types of artificial baits will work. Lou said a friend who was trolling deep-diving crankbaits ran into schools of nice striped bass on points in the mid-lake area.
The walleye bite is getting good. Most walleye are being caught in 18-25 feet of water on the bottom. Trolling a crawler harness with bottom bouncing weights are catching some nice fish, as are deep-diving crankbaits such as a Flicker Shad. If you're using crankbaits, use about a 4-inch minnow imitating crank. If you just have shallow-diving cranks, you can always add some inline weight to get your bait down to the 20-feet level. Lou says he’s always had the best luck when the bill of the crank digs into the bottom of the lake a little. Walleye are showing up all over the main lake, including points and large flats. He has used threadfin shad set on the bottom and have picked up a few walleye. He has also caught walleye while striper fishing in 70 feet of water. Yesterday he did not land any walleye, but on four different occasions he set my hook on a light bite to bring up only his weight and leader with no hook. Lou says he would guess that he was getting numerous walleye bites.
Panfish are also ranging 0-25 feet of water. If you can find some brush pile in 20-25 of water, you will find some crappie, but most are roaming the flooded shoreline trees feeding on shad. Crickets are working well for bluegills in the shallow water.
Catfish are showing up at all depths. Lou says he has caught cats in 70 feet of water when striper fishing, as well as in 20 feet of water while walleye fishing. They are roaming all over the lake.
Lou adds, “A week ago I had a family that love to bowfish. I sent them over to a point in the Cranfield area and they had a blast. The best part of this group is that they clean and eat what they shoot. I have never eaten gar before, but they tell me they are excellent eating as long as they are cleaned properly. I took a cleaning lesson one afternoon when they were cleaning their catch and saw that you end up getting a nice white fillet with no bones after you are done. I guess I will have to try cleaning one next time I land a gar. I typically cut the line and release them when I do catch one.
(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 8-16-2017) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Norfork Lake fell 1.4 feet last week to rest at 11.1 feet above seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet msl and 13.1 feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, they had no wadable water and the water was 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 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).
(updated 8-16-2017) 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.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,126.51 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.00 msl).
(updated 8-16-2017) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the fishing was much the same as last week. Water is clear and the surface temperature is 84 degrees. Level is normal. Bream are good on worms and crickets. Crappie have been fair for anglers trolling with crankbaits. Bass are fair both early in the day and late in the evening. Bass are mostly around brush piles. Use spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater lures. Around those brush piles. Catfishing has ranged fair to good. Most success is being seen with trotlines and limblines baited with live bait.
(updated 8-16-2017) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) reports that striper activity should be good. Stripers are on the main lake and Bailey has seen some fish surfacing with the cooler temps the last few days, so have your spoons, jigs or topwater plugs handy. Striper fishing will be good with striper taken on live shad, minnows and bream fished on downlines from 10 feet down to about 45 feet. Also try trolling small umbrella rigs with white grubs or chartreuse, or plugs like Rapala Size 14 Husky Jerk's in black back or purple back colors, as well as Smithwick Rogues in similar colors in 5- or 6-inch model 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 summer temps and summer water condition. Night fishing with lights has been productive in these areas. Make sure you do not keep striper under 20 inches and not more than three striper or hybrid or combination, while walleye must be 18 inches long with a limit of four. Know your species and make sure you identify any fish you keep. There is no limit on white bass. 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, so check the daily lake level and flow data link on Mike Bailey’s website linked above.
Water surface temperatures are in the low- to mid-80s. On the mid- and lower sections check out these hot spots: Point 1 (check main lake structures, humps and secondary points in the area where the channel intersects), Indian creek, Dry Creek (fish are chasing bait near the tree line throughout the day and night), Lost Bridge North, Point 3, Lost Bridge South, Pine Log, Point 4, Big Clifty, points 5 and 6, Rambo Creek Arm.
Bailey says that walleye continue in their summer mode and can be found 20-30 feet deep depending on areas you fish. The best bet is to 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, Bandit 300 Series and Arkie 350s 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 combo and a variety of jigs are also producing walleye.
(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 8-11-2017) 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 8-16-2017) Loy Lewis of War Eagle Creek Outfitting (479-530-3262) said smallmouth bass are hitting topwater hoppers and poppers, Rooster Tails, crawdad and grasshopper crankbaits, 4-inch soft plastics, live minnows and crawdads caught from creek. Largemouth bass are hitting in the stretch of War Eagle running into Beaver Lake on topwater lures, spinnerbaits, soft plastics, jigs and crankbaits. Goggle eye are good on topwater hoppers and poppers, small jigs and live worms. Catfishing is good on liver, stink bait and live perch. Bowfishing is good on blufflines and below War Eagle Mills to Beaver Lake
(updated 8-16-2017) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said the water is stained and is at a normal level. No temperature was recorded. Fishing has ranged from fair to good. Catfishing is having the best success, with good reports on worms. Bass have been poor, improving to fair, with the best success early in the day. Use a topwater bait or spinnerbait. Crappie is fair on minnows or jigs. Bream are fair on worms and crickets.
(updated 8-16-2017) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said the lake level is about 4 inches low, the water is clear, and the surface temperature was recorded as 84 degrees. Crappie remain good and have moved up slightly over last week to about 6 feet depth. Bass are good and are biting topwater lures and plastic worms. Catfishing is good using live bait or shad. Bream reports were poor, as they have been recently.
(updated 8-16-2017) Seth Boone at Lake Poinsett State Park said Lake Poinsett is still being drained, but it seems like anglers have figured out how to catch the crappie. Crappie have been biting very well in 20 feet of water at about 16 feet. Minnows seem to be the main item crappie are biting. Bass have been doing well, as have the catfish. Several anglers expressed displeasure with the amount of bluegill they were catching (a bunch). Either way, it is catch and keep as many as you want. Please come and take these fish out of the lake!
(updated 8-16-2017) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water is crystal clear and the surface temperature is 85 degrees. Level and current are normal. Fishing overall is slow, they report. Bream are fair and biting both redworms and crickets. Bass are good and anglers are using small crankbaits for the best action. Catfishing is good using nightcrawlers and liver. Crappie reports remain poor.
(updated 8-16-2017) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) said water levels are running at 344 cfs at the spring and water clarity has been clear. El Diablos and olive Woollies have been working really well. A tight swinging line with short strips at the end have been hot. Hot pink and black Trout Magnets have been hot with spinning equipment. Tight lines and good luck!
(updated 8-16-2017) 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).
(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.
(updated 8-2-2017) 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.
(updated 8-16-2017) Austin Davidson at Cane Creek State Park said the hot temperatures haven’t affected the fishing at Cane Creek Lake as much as expected. Early morning and late evening have become extremely productive times to fish. Bream are, as always, the No. 1 fish being pulled from the lake. Nightcrawlers have finally taken top spot over crickets as the most successful bait. Redear sunfish (shellcrackers) have started biting more frequently and have mixed healthily with the commonly caught green sunfish and bluegill. Target them in shallower parts of the lake with visible insect activity on top of the water and structure underneath. As per usual, fishing around one of the lake’s many stump beds will usually solicit quite a few bites. Many people have reported increasing success along the banks and fishing piers as well. Rig a line with a bobber 2-3 feet up and a No. 4 or No. 6 hook, throw it out to where the morning sunlight touches the water and reel it back in until you meet the shade thrown from the trees along the bank. Let your rig settle in that transition zone and wait for a bite. With the heat, catfish have started to become increasingly nocturnal. Bait trotlines with strong smelling baits such as chicken liver and live baitfish late in the evening. Bass have become increasingly active in the mornings. Light-colored topwaters and natural-colored Rat-L-Traps have seen tremendous success starting at daybreak and lasting all the way to about noon. During the night and late evening, dark-colored spinnerbaits and buzzbaits are the way to go. Crappie have become an ever-increasing report from the lake’s southernmost end, across from the park all the way to the levee. Fish deep on structure with minnows or crappie rigs. With high temperatures prevailing for the rest of the month, expect for fish to become active when the water is cooler.
(updated 8-16-2017) Brandy Oliver at Lake Chicot State Park (870-265-9705) said catfish are biting at Lake Chicot on just about anything. Anglers are having luck with bass in areas with water running into or out of the lake. Spinnerbait, swimbait and crankbait have been equally effective.
(updated 8-16-2017) Angler Chris Van Duren at Lucky’s of Monticello said the water surface temperature is ranged from the lot- to mid-80s. Clarity is average to good. The lake level is high. Bream are good. The fish are in 3-5 feet depth. Use worms or crickets. Bass are in shallow water, about 5-10 feet of depth. Use plastic worms or topwater lures. Catfishing is good on trotlines. No reports on crappie. No reports on white bass.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 260.58 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 259.20 msl).
(updated 8-16-2017) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said the lake level Monday was about 10 inches above normal conservation pool and rising at 260.02 feet msl. There was current of 4,347 cfs in Little River on Tuesday; tailwater was about 232.7 feet msl. Water temps increased slightly over the past week, ranging near 83 degrees early to 90 degrees later under full sun (depending on location). Lake level is in process of stabilizing from all the local thunderstorms and rain over the past few days. Use normal caution during navigation. Cooler temperatures over the past couple weeks have been a welcome relief! Clarity and visibility on most areas of the main lake and Little River are fair but getting worse compared to last week, with all the incoming fresh rain. As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity and visibility ranged 5-10 inches. Cottonshed and the northeast section of the lake remain heavy stained. Little River's visibility ranges 5-12 inches depending on location and current. The oxbow's clarity currently ranging 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 not much change in largemouth bass behavior over the past few weeks, although with these cooler daytime highs, they have seen schooling fish more often in the oxbows up Little River. Bass remain very good from 2-3 pounds on topwaters early at daybreak. Bass continue to react the most aggressively 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 topwater soft plastic frogs all continue drawing good responses early in the morning around vegetation and lily pads. Best color of buzzbaits 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 getting the best bites are 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 topwater bite subsides, and in the same areas where the topwater early bite is aggressive. Continue moving deeper in the creek channels or to the points of Little River where the creek meets 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 are still working in Millwood Magic and Ghost colors around deeper drops in Little River. Nice-size bass also continue biting on magnum sized, 4-inch salty tubes with smokey/black/red flake, purple smoke/purple fleck and black/blue tail colors. In the oxbows and once the sun gets up, Chatterbaits and War Eagle Spinnerbaits continuing to get bit using Spot Remover or Firecracker colors and fishing them next to cypress trees and knees. 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 says white bass and hybrid bass 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 7-12 feet deep. Schooling whites have been noted for the past several weeks in the back of McGuire and Horseshoe oxbows off Little River at daybreak on flats adjacent to deeper drops. They are 5-10 feet deep at random intervals. The cooling daytime highs over the past week have notched up the surface breaker activity this week. Crappie disappeared last week with the increase of incoming muddy water and increased current. Blue catfish continued feeding well with the increase in Little River current up. Channel cats continue biting well on trotlines set along outer bends of the river in stump rows of old river timber from 12-16 feet deep. Bait with chicken livers, hearts, gizzards, cut buffalo and blood bait.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 544.02 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.
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 402.26 feet msl (flood pool: 408.00 feet msl).
(updated 8-16-2017) John Duncan of YoYoGuideService.com at Iron Mountain Marina said, “I am back from Alaska, and what a trip. Anyone needing references on king salmon fishing or halibut fishing, let me know. What a trip.” John says the DeGray Lake temperature is in the mid-80s throughout the lake. The lake is lower still at 402.22 feet msl. There has been lots of rain and thunderstorms. This cools the surface off temporarily and effects schooling fish. He says the big story is the schooling fish. You can locate surfacing fish from Shouse Ford to Iron Mountain. Blacks, whites, Kentuckies and hybrids are schooling. It is usually white bass on top mixed with hybrids, blacks and Kentuckies. Shad-colored topwaters are the best when they are on the surface. Whopper Plopper, Tiny Torpedo, Devils Horse and Zara Spook Jr. If they go down, throw a spoon and count it down to 20 feet and work it. Crappie are very slow. Bream are still fair fishing. Fish brush piles from Brushy to Shouse Ford for bream. Fish just off the bottom. Black bass can be caught real early and late also on topwaters around the weed beds and points. Zara Spook and Whopper Plopper great for surface fishing. Catfishing is also slow. Noodles and some trotlining taking place with some results.
(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.
(updated 8-9-2017) 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.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 437.35 feet msl (flood pool: 437.00 feet msl).
(updated 8-16-2017) Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said anglers are still catching a few bream on upper and lower side. Crappie and catfish are slow. Bass are biting well on topwater and wobbleheads, just be cautious boating as the river is low.
(updated 8-16-2017) Sportsman’s One Stop (870-863-7248) said there have been no reports from the lake.
Moro Bay State Park, at the junction of the Ouachita River, Raymond Lake and Moro Bay, had no report.
White Oak Lake State Park (870-685-2748) had no report.
(updated 8-16-2017) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said water is clarity is cloudy and the surface temperature was 84 degrees. Water level has been high. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets. Bass fishing has been excellent, with anglers showing off several nice-size bass. They are using spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater lures. Catfishing is good. Try using worms or chicken liver. No reports on crappie. No reports on white bass.
(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.
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro.
(updated 8-16-2017) 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 possible 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 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. 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 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 8-16-2017) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas born and bred Xpress all-weld aluminum fishing boat, reports that over the last week water conditions have fluctuated drastically both in water flow and temperature. Fishing has transitioned from dock fishing to main points of the lake. Walleye are being taken in large numbers and large sizes while fishermen are targeting bass. Bass are showing very early signs of the fall shad binge. Fish are lurking near underwater main points in the 12-15-feet range and waiting in ambush positions. Fish are still sluggish due to the heat of the hotter days, but when the water cools drastically (as it does frequently) fish become active again. Big worms like Zoom Ole Monster worms in black or plum and large tube baits like Zoom Watermelon Tubes are working well off points in the 70-degree range, and taking good fish at that. It’s only a matter of time before swimbaits and Rat-L-Traps will be making a sudden appearance into the picture so do not rule out these baits when targeting fish.
(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.
(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.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 343.78 feet msl (full pool: 342.00 feet msl).
(updated 8-16-2017) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said water is clear and at a normal level. Anglers have enjoyed a good week on the lake. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets. Crappie are being caught, though they seem to be small-size fish. Use minnows or jigs. Bass are good and are favoring crankbaits. Catfishing is good. It’s best to go at night and use live perch.
(updated 8-16-2017) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) reports having seen no one fishing.
(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.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 572.70 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 8-16-2017) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) said black bass are fair to good and being caught with topwater baits fished early and late. Drop-shots fished with finesse worms are still productive for spotted bass near brush. Walleye are fair and being caught on spoons or bottom bouncers on main lake humps and points near brush. Stripers are fair on live bait or big hair jigs. The eastern end of the lake is the best area for these fish. Bream are good in water 20-25 feet deep on crickets and worms. Crappie are slow. Try using minnows or crappie jigs at depths around 20-25 feet deep fished near brush. Catfish are still fair on live bait, stink bait and hot dogs. Try depths of 20-30 feet. Water temperature is ranging 82-86 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) Greeson 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.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 385.76 feet msl (flood pool: 384.00 feet msl).
Professional guide Ronnie Tice of Horseshoe Lake Guide Service (901-687-6800) had no report.
(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 Landing (870-462-8317) has closed.
(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.