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Aug. 30, 2017

Jim Harris

Weekly Fishing Report

 

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for Aug. 30, 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.

NOTE: The National Weather Service said that the remnants of Tropical Storm Harvey were finally moving away from Texas Wednesday morning. Harvey made landfall in southwest Louisiana, and was headed slowly to the northeast. As Harvey approaches Arkansas, rain will become widespread across the southeast half of the state through Wednesday night. Two to three inches of rain and localized flash flooding will be possible across the far southeast. This includes areas southeast of Hermitage (Bradley County) to Monticello (Drew County) and DeWitt (Arkansas County). Rain will continue on Thursday in the southeast before Harvey exits toward the Tennessee Valley. By Friday, drier and calmer conditions will be noted, with the concern for hazardous weather becoming low this weekend into early next week.

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.

(update 8-30-2017) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said anglers have noted the same conditions and fish bite as last week. The water is its usual stain and is at a normal level. Surface temperature on the water was 90 degrees Tuesday. Bream remain excellent. They’re being found around lily pads and the shoreline. Use worms or crickets. Crappie fishing is good. Crappie are working around the cypress trees and in creek channels. Minnows or jigs will work. Bass are good. Try a topwater, especially early, and plastic worms for the deeper reactions. Catfishing is fair on trotlines.

Little Red River

(update 8-30-2017) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service said that as of Tuesday the Little Red was receiving around 2-4 hours of generation on weekdays and lesser amounts on weekends. They anticipate this generation schedule to continue unless they receive significant rainfall from the weather system moving up from the Gulf Coast later in the week. 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.

(update 8-30-2017) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said the fishing is good on the Little Red with rainbows the best bite, but browns are also adding to the mix. Greg said he had a good afternoon Sunday using an olive Woolly Bugger at the bottom of a shoal. This was a little unusual since most of the action has been on small flies such as midge pupas and emergers (size 20). The river has been very clear and with the slower currents, the presentation and light tippets have been very important to the angler’s success.
Greg also asks anglers and anyone else to please mark their calendars for the river clean-up Saturday, Sept. 9. Trout Unlimited Chapter 722 and Little Red River Foundation will sponsor the event with registration starting at 7 a.m. at the pavilion on the campus of ASU-Heber Springs, and participants returning to this location will have hamburgers and hot dogs and all the trimmings at noon. Dumpsters will be provided at this location to deposit your trash. Greg says, “Hope to see all of you there since this is a chance to help the river that provides a great deal of enjoyment to all of us. Have a good time cleaning the river in the morning, sharing a good lunch with friends and fishing that afternoon.” If you have questions or want to register early for your section of the river and avoid coming to the pavilion before heading to the river, please call Greg at 501-690-9166 or John at 501-920-3825.

(update 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.

Greers Ferry Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 460.85 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).

(update 8-30-2017) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake was at 460.95 feet msl as of Tuesday, 1.59 feet below normal pool of 462.54 feet msl and falling. The lake may get a little rise out of the rainfall expected, but would not count on it. The bass fishing continues to be good day and night, with spinnerbaits and small crankbaits in shallow water; jighead worms and jigs for the mid-range fish; and the deeper fish on Texas rigged worms-rigs. Use football head jigs, spinnerbaits and topwater plugs at night, and some topwater action is going on off and on all day. The crappie are fat and eating well in 15-30 feet of water suspended, on minnows and jigs. The catfishing is good all over the lake with some good fish coming in from real shallow water and others on the edge of deep water on a variety of baits. No report on walleye. Bream action is still good from real shallow water out to 27 feet or so on crickets and crawlers, with some artificial baits working up shallow. The hybrid and white bass action is good all over the lake on top and on structure from 30-50 feet of water day and night. Use live bait, inline spinners, grubs, spoons, swimbaits and Alabama rigs.

(update 8-30-2017) Cody S. Smith of FishGreersFerry.com (501-691-5701) said unseasonably cool temperatures continue to dominate across north central Arkansas and the fish are responding well. Greers Ferry is at 461 feet and 1.5 feet low in comparison to normal pool at this time. Cooler weather and precipitation have back d our surface temperatures off from summer highs around 90 degrees. We had fallen off to the low 80s over the last couple of weeks with surface temps rebounding to the high 80s this past week. With our short and long term forecast looking to be much cooler than average temps look for the late summer early fall transition to really get going. Fish and bait are starting to show up in good numbers much shallower than they have been over the last month. Most of our shad are utilizing 10-24 feet with select pods in 3-8 feet. These areas seem to be holding the highest concentrations of fish. Mixed bags continue for their guide boats on a daily basis; seven to nine different species on a single trip are being caught, and that will continue to be the norm right on into October. The lake gamefish have responded well to the shad stockings and the baitfish populations are on the rise. Their gamefish are stuffed full and look as good as Cody says he’s seen them in several years. With continued stocking efforts and habitat improvement projects Greers Ferry is well on its way to producing some really good bags for tournament and recreational anglers alike. Shad imitating baits along with live bait rigs are your best options for a great bite right now. Call Email or text to book your next great day on the lake. We specialize in making memories.

Harris Brake Lake

(update 8-30-2017) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) said water is murky and a tad low. Bream are good and biting worms and crickets. Bass reports were poor. Anglers had a little success with spinnerbaits and topwater lures. Catfish were good. Use worms. No reports on crappie.

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

(update 8-23-2017) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said water level is high about 3 feet clarity is good. Water temperature is good around 85 degrees. Bass are still doing well. Bream are on their beds again but have slowed down some. Catfish are doing well in shallow water around buckbrush on nightcrawlers and minnows. Crappie are slow but are starting to catch 10-15 a morning, 10-13 inches in 5-8 feet of water in the channels.

Brewer Lake

(update 8-30-2017) Larry Walters at Bones Bait Shop (501-354-9900) said Wednesday morning that the water was clear and at a normal level. No temperature was available. The bream bite is still good, with the fish biting worms and crickets. Crappie are in about 15 feet depth of water around brush piles and the bite is good. Go with minnows or jigs. Catfish are fair; most success was with black softies. No report on black bass. No report on white bass.

Lake Maumelle

(update 8-30-2017) Jolly Rogers Marina (501-868-5558) said black bass are biting on buzzbaits, drop-shot, jigs, crankbaits, wacky rig worms, spinnerbaits, and Sweet Beaver. Still 10-15 feet off the weeds by about 10 feet deep in the shallow water during dusk time and at dawn. You can also find them tailing just below the white bass chasing the shad, about 12-18 feet in the deep water. Helped by catching the Big Bass of 3.38 pounds, Cody Bryant and Garry Bryant won last Friday night’s tournament with a total of 8.04 pounds. The Kentucky bass bite is slow. Kentucky bass are being caught on hair jigs, spoons and minnows. They can found in the deep water mixed in with the black bass. White bass are slow. They are schooling at east end and some are in the Midwest portion. They are coming up for a shorter period of time and moving quickly with the schools. Use Rooster Tails, CC Spoons and deep-diving Bandits and Bombers. Crappie are good. Crappie are stacking up around channel and brush piles. They are being caught on crappie minnows and jigs (Tennessee Shad). Lots of 11- to 15-inch crappie are being caught 12-15 feet and 17-20 feet depths. Fish off channel or under water bridges. Bream are good 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. Catfishing has been slow. The catfish are being caught in 15-25 feet of water but are moving into shallower water. Use stink bait, small bream and chicken livers.

Sunset Lake

(update 8-30-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bream have been biting fair on crickets and redworms. Catfish are biting slow and mainly at night on chicken livers, nightcrawlers and bait shrimp. Bass fishing has been slow as well. Customers report catching a few on minnows and Texas rigged lizards. Crappie are biting fair for a few that fish from right before daylight to a little after with pink and No. 4 minnows.

Bishop Park Ponds

(update 8-30-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish have been biting fair on chicken livers and nightcrawlers at times. Bream are hitting crickets and worms. Bass fishing has been fair with minnows and wacky rigged worms. Crappie haven't been biting very well at Bishop Park. One customer reported catching two small ones on pink minnows this week.

Saline River Access in Benton

(update 8-30-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said few reports this week from the river. Some have been catching a few catfish on lines baited with minnows and black salties. Bass fishing has been fair with minnows and small plastics. Crappie are biting slow and are in backwaters and coves when you do find a few. Bream are biting crickets and redworms. It's still pretty fun to hook and old gar and try to land it if you want a good fight. Just cast a live minnow close enough for it to see and you'll probably get a chance.

Lake Norrell

(update 8-30-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bream are still biting pretty well on crickets and redworms fished deep on tight lines. Bass fishing has been fair early in the mornings and at night with minnows, plastic worm and lizards and topwater baits. Catfish have been biting at night on minnows, nightcrawlers and chicken livers. Crappie fishing has been tough for most but some that know where to fish have caught a few this week on size 6 minnows.

Lake Winona

(update 8-30-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish have been biting for some customers using minnows, chicken livers, nightcrawlers and Sonny's dip bait. Bream fishing has been fair to good with crickets and redworms. Bass have been hitting early in the mornings on minnows, Texas and Carolina rigged plastics and topwater baits. Still hearing of a few nice crappie being caught on size 6 and size 4 minnows.

Arkansas River at Morrilton

(update 8-23-2017) Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) said water is down to 40,000 cps with a little muddy look. Bass are in shallow water near grass lines early in the day and late in the evening. Use Firetiger-colored buzzbait and throw it in front of the grass and run it parallel to the grass. Also use a weedless white topwater frog. Reports have been good. Catfish are shallow early in the day and late in the evening from 5-15 feet deep. Use whole shad and nightcrawler combo. As the day moves on, fish around the jetties about 5-25 feet deep. Reports have been good. Bream are good around riprap. Fish a Mepps or Rooster Tail in black with copper blades. White bass are chasing schools of shad early and late. Throw a sassy shad. Striper fishing has been fair. Stripers are around both sides of the generator late at night. Use bream or shad, as well as a wobble spoon with a trailer of white with chartreuse tail. No report on crappie.

Arkansas River (Cadron Pool)

(update 8-30-2017) Professional angler Cody Kelley, owner of Best in Bass Guide Service (501-733-5282), reports that the fishing has been fair to good recently. As for bass, the current was really rolling there for a while and really pushed the fish back into backwaters close to the main river. As the flows slow, look back to the current break areas with spinnerbaits and crankbaits. If that doesn't produce, run sand flats with a ¼-ounce Rat-L-Trap and buzzbait. With heavier flows comes better catfishing. Anchor above deep holes on the outside bends of the river and let the current “walk” your baits back into the front of the hole to present your bait. Cody says his favorite is fresh cut bait, but definitely try other options if you have confidence in them. If you find yourself without much flow, try drifting along the main channel with your baits hanging about 1 foot off the bottom. For bream, check out shallow backwater areas within 50 yards of the main channel. Right now it is tough to beat a tube of crickets and a slip cork.

Little Maumelle River

(update 8-30-2017) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the clarity is clear and the level and current are normal. No temperature was recorded. Bass fishing is excellent. Bass are biting spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater lures. Crappie reports were fair. The bream bite is poor. Catfishing was poor. There were no reports on white bass.

Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)

(update 8-30-2017) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said the catfish bite is picking up near Murray Lock and Dam. Results were poor but have improved to fair, with skipjack and shad getting the bites. Also stripers are active and are biting well on bucktail jigs.

(update 8-30-2017) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) reported that the water is clear and the current and level are normal. Bream are good on worms. Crappie are fair in 8-10 feet of water. Best success has been on monkey jigs, while other jigs will get some notice. Bass are good early in the day, with lots of activity below the dams. Anglers are using topwater baits, especially the Whopper Plopper, and Flukes. Catfish reports were fair, with skipjack working best. White bass are fair on crankbaits.

Arkansas River (Little Rock Pool)

(update 8-30-2017) Vince Miller from Fish ’N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) said fishing is slow on the river this week and he had no reports. A week ago, bass were biting fair on crankbaits, while catfishing was fair using stink bait. There had been no other reports.

(update 8-30-2017) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is murky in the Terry Lock and Dam area as of Wednesday morning. Surface water temperature was ranging 80-85 degrees. Level and current are normal. Bream are good on worms and crickets. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Bass are good on topwater lures and plastic worms. Catfishing is good using regular worms, blood bait and nightcrawlers.

(update 8-30-2017) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said the water is clear and the level and current are normal. Bream are good. The fish are in 4-5 feet of water and around brush piles. Use worms or Mini Magnet bream jigs. Crappie are good and are biting about 6 feet of depth around brush piles. Use minnows and black super jigs. Get there early if you want the bass bite, which is good in the early morning on topwater baits. Catfishing is good below the Murray Dam on skipjack. On the southern end of the pool near the Terry Dam, Tony says bream are fair on worms; crappie are good on jigs in 8-10 feet of water; bass are good late in the day on topwater lures; and catfishing is fair on worms, blood bait and stink bait.

Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)

(update 8-30-2017) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is clear and the level and current are normal. No surface temperature reading was available. Bream have taking a jump in activity, with anglers calling it excellent. Worms and crickets, naturally, are the way to go. Crappie also have been excellent. Minnows and jigs are working. Bass are excellent and biting both topwater baits and plastic worms. No reports on catfish. But overall, they say it was a great week to be on Clear Lake.

Peckerwood Lake

(update 8-23-2017) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said the water is clear and is at a normal level. The bream bite is good on worms or crickets. Crappie reports were good from anglers trolling with minnows or jigs. Bass activity is fair using spinnerbaits or topwater lures. Catfishing is good on worms.


NORTH ARKANSAS

White River

(update 8-30-2017) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said that if ever you wanted to be on the river, now is the time. Mother Nature has blessed the arear with a fantastically mild August weather: sunshine, low(er) humidity, temperatures in the low to mid-80s. Breathtaking and gorgeous. Water levels have decreased just a little, but remain in the 15,000 cfs range (four to five generators running). Moving out of a new moon, the bite will possibly slow down a little as the cycle progresses but not enough to notice if you're luring the trout with the right stuff. Orange and black jigs have proven successful, as have rogues and stick baits with orange bellies, black backs, and silver sides. Swim them mid-depth. Orange and/or yellow PowerBait still catches rainbows, and the catch has been of a nice size and color. Our hearts and prayers are with our friends in Texas.

(update 8-30-2017) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the water level is high and there are six to seven generators running 24/7. A few rainbows were caught in the past week but the catches were in high water. Otherwise, fishing is very slow. Sportsman’s rates it fair for the week.

(update 8-30-2017) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said that during the past week, they had a rain event (just a trace in Cotter), unseasonably cool temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals as of last weekend had dropped 3 feet to rest at 15 feet above seasonal power pool of 661 feet msl. This is 19 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 rose 0.2 feet to rest at 5.8 feet above seasonal power pool and 2.8 feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, there was no wadable water with heavy 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 catch-and-release section at Bull Shoals Dam. 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 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 says, “One way to improve your fishing is to keep a fishing journal. The idea is to write down all the applicable information pertaining to the day you spent fishing. That way you have a reference for planning your next day on the river. My friend Mike has been recording all of his days on the water in a leather fishing journal for years. If he cannot get on the water, he reviews the log to relive memorable days fishing. I maintain my journal on my computer and refer to it often. I use it to prepare for upcoming days on the river, and I refer to it when writing about my day on the river.

“I always record the weather. I like to know the high and low temperature, whether it is sunny or overcast, how windy it was, any type of precipitation on that day or the previous one and if a major front comes through. I also record what I wear, if it is particularly hot, cold or wet. I follow up this with a notation of how that worked out. Did I need another layer or did my feet get cold or wet?

“I take a bit of time to record the water conditions. This affects the quality of the fishing more than anything. I always record where I was fishing and how much water they were running. If there was a big push, what time did it reach where I was fishing and how did it affect the catch? I always record that in cubic feet per second because that is the most precise measurement. I will make a note about the most productive spots that I fished.
“Several guides and anglers that I know fish with a clicker and carefully record each and every fish that they catch. They then record this and even tally up how many trout they catch in a year. This is more like accounting to me than fishing. If I wanted to keep up with a bunch of numbers, I would still be a CPA. I will post an estimate on a really productive day.

“What I am more interested in is to record the catching of an interesting trout. When I land a nice brook or a Bonneville cutthroat, I make a note of it. A big brown or a rainbow is also noted. I always record the fly I used and exactly where it was caught. I always note what the most productive fly was on that day.
“Finally I write down anything out of the ordinary that happened on that particular day. I once observed 14 deer swim the White River at Rim Shoals. On another day, I had to stop my car to allow a flock of turkeys (over 50 birds) cross the road as I was driving into the Dam Three Access on the Spring River.

“My most memorable experience was when I watched Dave Whitlock and Flip Pallot film a television show (an episode of the “Walker’s Cay Chronicles”) at Rim Shoals. It was fascinating just to watch the process. I was amazed to watch Dave’s ability with a dry fly. The most interesting thing was that I had walked by that stretch of water for decades and never stopped to fish it. I now fish there any chance that I get. It is now one of my favorite spots to fish dry flies.

“I have been keeping a journal for almost 20 years and really enjoy the process. It has been a great source of information of past trips and has made me a better fly-fisher. I think that it can do the same for you.”

Bull Shoals Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 673.96 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 659.00 feet msl).

(update 8-23-2017) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said they’ve still got 23 extra feet of water in the lake. The Army Corps of Engineers is bringing it down. The fishing is starting to pick up pretty good this week. Del said they had some weather move in and the cold nights have got the fish moving around quite a bit. They’re schooling really hard. “I’m going to let the cat out of the back,” Dell said, saying that he’s starting to catch them really shallow. The baitfish is starting to move in to the backs of some of the creeks that have runoff coming into them. If you can find a temperature change of a degree or two, those areas will be better than the ones that are more pockets. There are threadfins back there, there are gizzards back there. Del says that’s the hot bite he likes, catching them back there. He’s used a squarebill, just burning it through 0-4 feet of water; he says it “seems like you have to bump that thing into something to get bit. “There are a lot of what they call bushes that are out on the flats now, and he’s starting to pick up a few fish on a frog. The topwater bite seems like it’s been hit or miss, so you want to have one ready to go. Del says he did pick up a few on the Whopper Plopper. He says he’s not doing so hot on the walk-the-dog style baits; he’s tried Spook or a Sammy and will I’ll pick up a few, but the bigger bite seems to be on the Whopper Plopper. Also, as the fish start to migrate into these creeks, they’re going to use these channels, so wherever that old channel comes up along the bank, you can do right with a jig there. If it’s super windy, throw a War Eagle Spinnerbait, either Blue Shad or Sexy Shad or Mouse, depending on the color of the water – it varies throughout the lake, they’ve had quite a bit of water traffic lately. The clay banks with the boat traffic, those are really dirty, he said. If you get some wind in there, those fish will be in there and you can pull a few out with a spinnerbait. The ledges, 25 feet is about as deep as Del has been having to fish and most of the fish he’s been catching 10-15 feet of water – a lot of times less – he’s throwing a half-ounce Right Bite Jig in green pumpkin orange or green pumpkin blue, whatever the angler prefers. The NetBait Paca-Craw Senior in either green pumpkin or summer craw, that seems to be getting quite a few fish, he said. When going in the back water areas, because they have a lot of structure in the high water, if you can find the pole timber of the trees, Del will throw a Strike King Rage Tail Structure Bug in there. That will help you pick up a few more fish. Conditions are everything, he says. If you’ve got wind, if you have a quality day, you can power fish with a spinnerbait or topwater. And watch for baitfish. If you get into some fish, you can get right back in there; a lot of times you’ll catch 2-3 fish in the same little area. They’re schooled up pretty hard. Del says he caught two on a squarebill the other day on the same cast. He also likes to cover some water. It seems to be more productive – points, channel swings, not very deep. Smallmouth are out a little deeper. The drop-shot bite has been so intermittent, and the weather is changing, so he says he’s going to stick to the shallow fish. The fishing is going to get even better – these rains come, it cools down, the shorter days, it’s a great time to be on the lake. Water temps are about 84-85 degrees so it’s starting to come down.

(update 8-23-2017) K Dock Marina said the lake is continuing to drop about 4-5 inches per day. This has had a big impact on the number of fish being caught. Fish do not react well to extreme changes in water level. Water color and temp are great, just a slow bite for all species. Live bait working the best right now. Hope to get a better report from some of our anglers after this weekend. Water level is 20 feet above normal as of last weekend. Water temperature ranging 80-82 degrees. Water is clear to stained.

Norfork Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 563.55 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April 552.00 feet msl; April-September, 554.00 feet msl).

(updated 8-30-2017) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters says striper fishing on Norfork Lake continues to be slow, but they have been able to catch limits each time they’ve fished. With the bad weather in Texas, the Southwestern Power Administration has been generating power 24 hours a day, and that has helped lower the lake and keeping an active striper bite. Tom says the main reason they have been catching stripers is they continue to use their electronics to keep on the fish and what depth they are holding at. If you are live-bait fishing you must stay glued to your locator and keep presenting your baits in front of the fish. Yesterday, Tom’s son Sean did not have a bite for the first two hours. He finally figured out what they wanted and had his clients limits in 45 minutes. One troller is doing very well. He is using a crankbait with downriggers and been catching his clients a limit each day. Right now it's about fresh bait and keeping the bait in front of the fish. The stripers are now concentrated around the dam area. For you out-of-area folks, you might want to get your calendars out and start making plans now. The stripers are in their summer pattern now, but the fall bite is coming up fast, so start you’re planning for some great fall fishing. A good tool to use to make your plans with is on the web at www.FishNorfork.com for everything Norfork Lake! For a real outdoor adventure, you might consider a striper fishing trip combined with a pheasant hunt. It's a blast!

(update 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.

Norfork Tailwater

(update 8-30-2017) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Norfork Lake fell 1.2 feet by last weekend to rest at 9.1 feet above seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet msl and 15.1 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had no wadable water. 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 spring 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. The hot flies have been sowbugs (size 14), Y2Ks (size 12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise size 10).

Buffalo National River/Crooked Creek

(update 8-30-2017) 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 1,126.79 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.00 msl).

(update 8-30-2017) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the water is clear to lightly stained. Temperature of the water was in the low 80s and the water level is high. Fishing for the past week was fair overall. The bream bite was fair with crickets working best. Crappie are fair; anglers are having the best success trolling crankbaits. Bass are good early in the day. Most anglers were spoon fishing or were using a topwater lure. Catfish are good and biting jigs and live bait. Spoons are working for walleye.

(update 8-30-2017) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) says the striper activity forecast for the week is good. Beaver Lake stripers are on the feed while still using summer areas for the most part, but some fish are beginning to move toward fall areas. Mike Bailey says they have been seeing some fish surfacing, so have your spoons, jigs or topwater plugs handy. Stripers are gorging on yearling shad and you may have noticed the little shad floating on the surface. Matching the hatch is key for getting more bites whether the fish you have found are feeding on the little shad, sunfish or minnows. Striper fishing will be good taken with live shad, minnows and bream fished on free lines and downlines from 10 feet down to about 45 feet. Also try trolling small umbrella rigs with white grubs or chartreuse or plugs like Rapala No. 14 husky jerks in black back or purple back colors or the 5-6-inch model of Smithwick Rogues in similar colors on downriggers or snap weights to get some depth and stagger your presentation. Night fishing with lights has also still been productive. Make sure you do not keep striper under 20 inches and not more than three stripers or hybrid or combination, walleye must be 18 inches long with a limit of four. 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. Check the daily lake level and flow data link on Mike’s website.
Water surface temperatures are in the low to mid-80s. On the mid and lower sections check out these hot spots: Point 1, Indian Creek, Dry Creek, Lost Bridge North, Point 3, Lost Bridge South, Pine Log, Point 4, Big Clifty, points 5 and 6, and Rambo Creek Arm. Check main lake structures, humps and secondary points in the area where the channel intersects.

Walleye are in their summer mode and can be found from 20-30 feet deep depending on areas you fish. Three-way rigging Rapalas in natural colors for clear water or chartreuse/orange and clown colors in areas of stained water. Try Rapala Tail Dancers, Bagley Rumble B's, Flicker shad, Bandit 300 Series 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.

Beaver Tailwaters

(update 8-30-2017) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said the trout bite has been good this week. Most trout are being caught between Spider Creek and Parkers Bottom. Trout are biting on various ¼-ounce spoons or various PowerBaits fished with light terminal tackle. If you can find the right hole, you can catch very nice fish in nice numbers. Also, try throwing some soft plastics at structure. The water temperatures in the area mentioned above has been between 55-60 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 nice so far, we might get some rain toward the end of the week. So get out there and catch some fish.

(update 8-30-2017) Beaver Dam Store reported the stocking trucks just dumped trout below Beaver Dam at 11 a.m. last Friday at the first boat ramp and at Bertrand boat ramp. Fishing is great during this time of release. 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 the 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 spoons in ¼-ounce. Flicker Shad are also doing the job.

Also, Beaver Dam Store notes, their annual one-fly, one-lure tournament is in October, so don't forget to pick up a registration form at the front desk of the store.

War Eagle Creek

(update 8-30-2017) Loy Lewis of War Eagle Creek Outfitting (479-530-3262) said smallmouth bass are hitting little spoons in the rapids, 4-inch dark colored plastic lizards or worms, crawdad crankbaits, live minnows and crawdads caught from creek, topwater hoppers and poppers, good fishing from AGFC's Clifty Access to War Eagle Mills area. Largemouth bass are hitting buzzbaits, soft plastics, crankbaits, spinnerbaits and jigs in the War Eagle stretch going into Beaver Lake from banks to deep water. Goggle eye are good on small jigs, live worms and bobber, topwater hoppers and poppers. Catfishing is good on liver, stink bait and sponge, and live perch. Bowfishing is good on blufflines and below War Eagle Mills to Beaver Lake. War Eagle Creek has been muddy and up for a week; it’s clearing this week and it’s a great time for fishing action!

Lake Fayetteville

(update 8-30-2017) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said water is stained and at a normal level. The surface water temperature was 79-80 degrees Wednesday morning. Bream are excellent. Worms and crickets were both getting plenty of response. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Bass are fair on topwater baits and plastic worms. Catfish are good on about anything an angler puts out there.

Lake Sequoyah

(update 8-30-2017) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said water has a muddy clarity and the surface temperature of the water is 82 degrees. The water is high by 3 inches. Bass reports were fair. Use a spinnerbait or a topwater bait. Catfishing is excellent on chicken livers or shad. No reports from bream or from crappie.


NORTHEAST ARKANSAS

Lake Poinsett

(update 8-30-2017) Ome Coleman at Lake Poinsett State Park said they are getting a lot of calls about the lake. Some campers told them Tuesday morning about several catfish they caught Monday evening on trotlines. They also were catching some nice crappie and some bream while pole fishing. Because it is not possible to launch boats with motors the fishermen are using lightweight boats that can be put in by hand. Some are using kayaks to fish from. If you need bait, the shop is still carrying all the bait you need. Lake Poinsett is in the process of being drawn down by the AGFC.

Crown Lake

(update 8-30-2017) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the clarity of the water is very clear and the water is at a normal level. No temperature was reported. The bream bite has really stepped up in the past week, with excellent reports. Bream are biting redworms. Bass reports, however, were only poor to fair. For best results, look for shallow fish and throw a crankbait. Topwaters also are having some success. Catfishing was good using nightcrawlers and chicken livers.

Spring River

(update 8-23-2017) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) said water levels are running at 340 cfs at the spring and water clarity has been clear. With the river lower than it has been all summer the trout have been hitting great. Cool temps the rest of the week should only make it better. Y2Ks and Guppies were hot last week. When the trout go off the bite and trout can be seen chasing the Y2K but not hitting it. It is best to put a small dropper nymph about a foot behind the Y2K and they will eat it up. Hot pink and white trout magnets have been working great on smallmouth and trout for spin fishers.

(update 8-30-2017) 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

(update 8-30-2017) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said the water is clear and the level is high with fast current. Bass reports were fair in the main river. Anglers were using topwater baits and plastic lures. Catfishing reports were poor. There were no reports on bream. No reports on crappie. Also poor reports on walleye.


SOUTHEAST ARKANSAS

Arkansas River at Pine Bluff

(update 8-23-2017) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Team said water temperatures are in the upper 80s throughout, visibility is about one foot in Lake Langhofer and less than 6 inches on the main channel of the river (muddy). The main channel is flowing steady. Navigation is fairly safe at this time, but you'll need a strong trolling motor to fish in the main current of the river. Black bass were not biting well for the team this past weekend. Still, fish were caught using a variety of lures from buzzbaits to crankbaits, and Texas-rigged crawfish imitators to drop-shot-rigged finesse worms.

Cane Creek Lake

(update 8-23-2017) Jennifer Albertson at Cane Creek State Park said bream are still biting there. They are biting on worms and crickets. Both nightcrawlers and redworms seem to be working for bream. Bass are still biting on topwater baits, including spinnerbaits. Catfish are slow, but fishermen with trotlines are having some luck. Crappie are kind of slow, but with a little bit of luck if you can find a hole. Crappie should pick up in a couple of months. Temperatures are hot and humid! Morning fishing is best right now, because it gets so hot in the afternoon. Hot temperatures are tending to continue until well after sunset, with the humidity lasting all 24 hours. There is no indication that the heat is driving the fish away any more than usual, but you are likely to be uncomfortable as a fisherman in the afternoon heat.

Lake Chicot

(update 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.

Lake Monticello

(update 8-30-2017) Angler Chris Van Duren at Lucky’s of Monticello said the city’s drawdown process has begun; the Monticello city council voted down the AGFC’s proposal to completely draw down the lake for repairs, but will draw it down partially for some work to be done to restore the habitat. Water is low right now, Chris informs. Largemouth bass can be found in shallow water and the bite is good. Use a plastic worm. White bass are schooling and will hit fair on shallow-running crankbaits. There were no reports on other species. The water is clear and the surface temperature was reading 83 degrees.


SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS

Millwood Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 259.73 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 259.20 msl).

(update 8-30-2017) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said the lake level is about 6 inches above normal conservation pool and rising, at 259.7 feet msl on Monday. There is current of 1,097 cfs in Little River; tailwater about 229.4 feet msl. Water temperatures dropped slightly over the past week, with surface temps on Monday ranging 83 degrees early to 91 degrees later under full sun. Use normal caution during navigation. They expect this to change drastically late this week and into the weekend, with the forecast models of the remnants of Hurricane Harvey by the National Weather Service. Check lake level of Millwood Lake on the Guide Service’s website helpful links page (link above), or at the Army Corps of Engineers website for updated gate release changes and inflow rates with rising and falling lake levels. Clarity and visibility is stained but improving, depending on location from recent rain, on most areas on the main lake and Little River. As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity and visibility ranged 5-12 inches. Little River's visibility ranged 5-10 inches depending on location and current. The oxbow's clarity currently ranges 10-20 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 that cooler temperatures this week has dropped the surface water temp and schooling activities up river, are back again. Largemouth bass remain good around 2-4 pounds, on topwaters early at dawn up to around 11 a.m. Bass continue to react the most aggressive at dawn around stumps, cypress trees and vegetation in the oxbows and Little River near deep drops. Topwater bite at daybreak remains very good on soft plastic frogs, buzzbaits, Stuttersteps, Baby Torpedoes, Heddon Dying Flutters, and Jitterbugs. Soft plastic Bass Assassin Shads and topwater soft plastic frogs remain drawing good responses early in the morning around vegetation and lily pads. Best colors of buzzbaits over the past couple of weeks included black/blue, Casper the Ghost, and Firecracker/chartreuse around pads and vegetation adjacent to deeper sections of the creek channels or in the river. Bass Assassin Shads continue working well with Salt and Pepper or Houdini colors. Best Stuttersteps colors over the past couple are Sexy Ghost, Gold Black Back/Orange belly and Bone. The deep- and medium-diving crankbaits like the Bomber Fat Free Shad continue 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 the oxbows. Rat-L-Trap/Echo 1.75 squarebills are still catching bass with the Ghost Minnow and Sexy Chrome best colors in the clearer backwaters away from current. 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 working over the past several weeks. Ten-inch Magnum Berkley worms are still working with best colors over the past week being black, black grape and blue fleck. Brush Hogs are catching a few keeper-size bass in the 3-4-pound class as well with the best colors being chartreuse pumpkin, chameleon, cherryseed and watermelon magic. Chatterbaits in black/blue and War Eagle Spinnerbaits in Firecracker with chartreuse colors continue working next to cypress trees and knees in the oxbows away from current in Little River, once the sun gets up, in the clearest water you can locate. 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 whites/hybrids are back to early and midmorning schooling activities with all the recent cloud cover and cooler daytime temperatures, away from river current in the oxbows. Clear Baby Torpedoes, Cordell Crazy Shads in chrome/black, Stuttersteps and Rooster Tails are catching these schooling fish. Also, a Little George, Rocket Shad or Rat-L-Trap in chrome or Millwood Magic will bring in a good mess of these nomads. Crappie began improving again near standing timber in the backs of the oxbows from 7-12 feet deep on vertical jigging spoons, tubes, grubs and Blakemore Road Runners. Channel cats continue biting well on trotlines set along outer bends of the river in timber from 7-12 feet deep using Charlie, cottonseed cakes, hot dogs and chicken livers.

Lake Greeson

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 542.52 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).

(update 8-16-2017) Gary Lammers of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported surface temperature is in the lower to mid- 90’s. Schooling activity has picked up early from sun-up until mid-morning, but the bass are finicky. Most of the shad are about 1.5 inches long. Small Flukes and Finesse Fish are working well if you can get it on the schoolers quick enough, small CC spoons and 2 inch twister tail grubs work well for suspended fish. The size 90 Whopper Plopper is still taking some nice size bass in open water over the main river channel. During mid-day try fishing finesse worms or drop-shot rigs in watermelon red and pumpkinseed colors, off of main lake points in 16 to 20 feet of water. Crappie are fair on fish shelters and are holding 15 to 20 feet deep, live minnows remain the best bet for crappie right now. Catfish are fair on noodles and trotlines, small sunfish and liver are getting the bigger bites. I hope all you die-hard anglers were able to enjoy the eclipse from a boat on the lake like I did. It was a strange and unforgettable experience and the fish bite was really good throughout the day, especially during the event. Be safe and don’t forget to hook up that kill switch.

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 400.72 feet msl (flood pool: 408.00 feet msl).

(update 8-30-2017) Local angler George Graves said surface water temperature is in the low 80s and the lake is clear throughout. Bass fishing is good with lots of good reports. Morning fishing is best with fish "busting" the big shad schools. Look for shad and bass on points in the big coves along the south side between the dam and Point 6. Also look for fish along the north side between Caddo Bend and State Park Marina. Throw most any natural shad-color topwater lure to where the "break" occurs. Be fast and accurate because the fish won't stay up very long. Action is also fair at mid-lake between Caddo Drive and Shouse Ford. Work the main lake points with a Texas rigged worm or medium-running crankbaits. Once again, be there early in the morning. Crappie fishing is improving with the lower water temps. Look for brush attractors on the main lake between Edgewood and Shouse Ford. The deep attractors at 20-25 feet are best. Drop a 2-inch Tennessee Shad Kalin's Grub on a 1/16-ounce jighead to just above the thickest part of the brush. Cover the complete attractor because the fish will be mostly in one spot. Hybrids are schooling most anywhere there are shad in the south end of the lake. Some of the better areas for schooling fish are the big coves at points 2 and 4, the islands across from State Park Lodge and around State Park Marina. Most any smaller topwater lure will work along with swimbaits. The action will be between sunup and about 9 a.m. A few fish are still suspended 50 feet down in water over 100 feet deep. Use the sonar to locate the fish and drop a heavy jigging spoon or heavy jig with a 3-inch trailer to just above the fish. White is best for both the spoon and jig trailer. Bream fishing is good on offshore humps and points in the major coves. Fish a cricket or redworm near the bottom. Fish depths of 8 to 20 feet.

(update 8-30-2017) John Duncan of YoYoGuideService.com at Iron Mountain Marina said, “Summer, summer, go away! It’s that time of year. Everything is slowing down.” Water level earlier this week was at 400.81 feet msl, and the water temperature is mid- to low 80s. The bite is slow and either deep or surfacing schooling fish. Bream fishing is slow. Deep-water tops mid-lake to Shouse Ford are the best bet. Fish with a cricket or worm in brush piles with either a drop-shot or bobber. Crappie have been slow and spotty. Catfishing is also slower. Noodles in the back of wooded coves or trotlines across coves in 10-12 feet of water. Always use live bait when available. The schooling fish is still the story. Reports are that surfacing fish are showing up from Point Cedar to No. 2 marker near Iron Mountain. White bass, Kentucky bass, hybrid bass and black bass are all schooling. Blacks seem to be working some of the coves mid-lake area. Whites spread throughout the lake and are the primary surfacing fish species. Fish early and look for surfacing fish with eyes of binos. When you are in schooling fish, watch electronics and use deep-diving baits (Shadrap) or spoons when schools show up below. The hybrids are usually around the 20-feet depth. The fish are very finicky in the baits they will hit. When fishing the surfacing fish, use shad-looking baits. The smaller the better, but casting distance is important. Good fishing and safe boating to you.

(update 8-23-2017) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said white bass continue schooling early in the mornings. He’s using spoons with success. As the water temperature falls, start working the brush piles for the crappie. Darryl expects the possibility of an early fall.

De Queen Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 437.48 feet msl (flood pool: 437.00 feet msl).

No reports.

Dierks Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 526.28 feet msl (flood pool: 526.00 feet msl).

(update 8-30-2017) Angler Kerry Forga visited last weekend and gave us a report from Dierks. He and his wife had a great time on Dierks and camped at Blue Ridge camping area, which was perfect for kayak fishing the river. He notes that though he’s not a crappie fisherman, he’s trying to learn and caught 10 on Saturday with the average size about 12-14 –inches. Caught them all on a small crankbait. His wife was throwing a perch color while Kerry was throwing a white/black back. He says they probably caught 50 bass ranging 6-10-inches, with only a couple of keeper bass, between them. On Sunday, nothing would hit the crankbait so they switched to a Monk Minnow in Acid Rain color. They only caught a few “but WOW, what big ones they were,” he said. They spoke with a few guys camping who said they had been catching a few scattered using minnows but the fish had to be in 14 feet of water. The Forgas were upriver and seemed to catch the best in 8-10 feet and always near brushtops.


SOUTH-CENTRAL ARKANSAS

Felsenthal

(update 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.

Lake Columbia

(update 8-16-2017) Sportsman’s One Stop (870-863-7248) said there have been no reports from the lake.

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

(update 8-30-2017) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said fishing continues to be consistent over the past couple of weeks. Water is clarity is cloudy and the surface temperature was recorded as 84 degrees. Water level has been high of late. 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.

Lake Bailey (Petit Jean State Park)

(update 8-30-2017) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) had no report.

Lake Catherine

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

(update 8-30-2017) 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 have worked well over rock structure and sandbars. These fish are in and out of the tailrace most of the summer season. 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.

(update 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.

Lake Dardanelle

(update 8-30-2017) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) had no report.

Lake Hamilton

(update 8-30-2017) Greeson Marine, home of the original, Arkansas-bred-and-built all-welded Xpress fishing boats, is reporting an upward climb in numbers of fish being taken in the last 10 days. Breaking fish are schooling in the mornings around small fingerling shad. The bass being caught (mainly spotted bass in the 2-pound-or-less range) are gorged with these small baitfish. Small Flukes, jerkbaits and spoons should put fish in the boat. Black bass are doing well also as of lately. Color and size patterns in worms and tubes that have produced all summer are still working well. Large ribbon-tail worms in black, watermelon seed and tequila sunrise and tubes in watermelon red and June bug are still on. Points and well-covered ambush points for easy prey are the go-to right now in 15 feet of water depth. As the water cools the fish will begin to pile up on rocky points and structure waiting for baitfish to come by. Start cleaning up your stick baits, folks. Good luck and good fishing.

(update 8-30-2017) Phillip Kastner of Trader Bill's Outdoor Sports noted on US97 that all the Hot Springs area lakes are ready for any possible significant rain event this week from the tropical storm. All our reservoirs are usually low at this time of the year, too, which is good if something like this is to happen. Meanwhile, the rain we’ve been getting and cloud cover has just spurred topwater season on so much more than we normally get at this time of the year. Normally mid-August we have high sun, high heat and falling, falling lakes, and it’s just not that way this year, with highs in the 80s and a lot of cloud cover that we’ve seen his week. You could fish topwater literally all day and Trader Bill’s is selling a lot of topwater baits right now. And he says he’s not talking about just Zara Spooks, a hard body topwater type (although they’re selling as well) but buzzbaits, frogs, a ribbit or a horny toad. Different kinds of chuggers, shallow-running topwaters like a squarebill. There are many different kinds of ways that you can fish shallow and that’s what’s selling right not. You can even get a chugger frog now. Kastner says that not a lot of people know about it, but there is a buzzing frog. War Eagle makes a buzzbait with an offset longshank hook that you can hook a frog body on, so not only do you have the buzzbait in the front, you’ve got the legs of the frog kicking as well. That’s another good topwater bait. Stanley makes one, also, except it has a swivel head on it but it’s the same thing: a buzzbait blade in front of a frog, so not only do you get the buzz bait front, you get the frogs legs kicking and it throws a lot of water up in the air, it makes a lot of commotion. It works well. Kastner adds that while usually it would be time to start putting out your brush piles for the planned lake drawdowns, the milder August weather we’ve had means that brush pile fishing will be deemphasized for the next 30 days or so.

(update 8-23-2017) Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said the white bass are still schooling early in the mornings and spoons work we'll for him. As the water cools, be prepared to hit the brush piles for the crappie. It might be an early fall this year.

Lake Nimrod

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 343.16 feet msl (full pool: 342.00 feet msl).

(update 8-30-2017) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said water is clear and the level is low. No temperature was recorded. Bream are good and are biting crickets. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Bass are fair on topwater baits and plastic worms. Catfish are good using worms or skipjack. White bass reports were poor.

(update 8-30-2017) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) had no report, saying the fishing was slow.

Lake Ouachita

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 571.86 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).

(update 8-30-2017) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) said black bass are still slow and being caught with crankbaits fished near ledges and humps. Walleye are still slow and being caught on spoons or bottom bouncers on main lake humps and points near brush. Stripers are slow on live bait or big hair jigs. The eastern end of the lake is the best area for these fish. Bream are fair to good in water 20-25 feet deep on crickets and worms. No report on crappie. Catfish are still very good on live bait, stink bait and hot dogs with trotline or jugs. Try depths of 20-30 feet. Water temperature is ranging 80-84 degrees. Clarity is clear. Call the Mountain Harbor guides – Mike Wurm (501-622-7717), Chris Darby (870-867-7822) or Jerry Bean (501-282-6104) – for more information.

(update 8-30-2017) Phillip Kastner of Trader Bill's Outdoor Sports said on US97 that Phillip Kastner of Trader Bill's Outdoor Sports noted on US97 that all the Hot Springs area lakes are ready for any possible significant rain event this week from the tropical storm. All our reservoirs are usually low at this time of the year, too, which is good if something like this is to happen. Meanwhile, the rain we’ve been getting and cloud cover has just spurred topwater season on so much more than we normally get at this time of the year. Normally mid-August we have high sun, high heat and falling, falling lakes, and it’s just not that way this year, with highs in the 80s and a lot of cloud cover that we’ve seen his week. You could fish topwater literally all day and Trader Bill’s is selling a lot of topwater baits right now. And he says he’s not talking about just Zara Spooks, a hard body topwater type (although they’re selling as well) but buzzbaits, frogs, a ribbit or a horny toad. Different kinds of chuggers, shallow-running topwaters like a squarebill. There are many different kinds of ways that you can fish shallow and that’s what’s selling right not. You can even get a chugger frog now. Kastner says that not a lot of people know about it, but there is a buzzing frog. War Eagle makes a buzzbait with an offset longshank hook that you can hook a frog body on, so not only do you have the buzzbait in the front, you’ve got the legs of the frog kicking as well. That’s another good topwater bait. Stanley makes one, also, except it has a swivel head on it but it’s the same thing: a buzzbait blade in front of a frog, so not only do you get the buzz bait front, you get the frogs legs kicking and it throws a lot of water up in the air, it makes a lot of commotion. It works well. Kastner adds that while usually it would be time to start putting out your brush piles for the planned lake drawdowns, the milder August weather we’ve had means that brush pile fishing will be deemphasized for the next 30 days or so.

(update 8-30-2017) Greeson Marine, home of the original, Arkansas-bred-and-built all-welded Xpress fishing boats, is reporting an upward climb in numbers of fish being taken in the last 10 days. Breaking fish are schooling in the mornings around small fingerling shad. The bass being caught (mainly spotted bass in the 2-pound-or-less range) are gorged with these small baitfish. Small Flukes, jerkbaits and spoons should put fish in the boat. Black bass are doing well also as of lately. Color and size patterns in worms and tubes that have produced all summer are still working well. Large ribbon-tail worms in black, watermelon seed and tequila sunrise and tubes in watermelon red and June bug are still on. Points and well-covered ambush points for easy prey are the go-to right now in 15 feet of water depth. As the water cools the fish will begin to pile up on rocky points and structure waiting for baitfish to come by. Start cleaning up your stick baits, folks. Good luck and good fishing.

(update 8-23-2017) David Draper of the Lake Ouachita Striped Bass Association said striper fishing on Lake Ouachita has been tough. The fish are in the trees and not very active. Mainly seeing them around 50 feet deep and almost always in trees. Finding fish is tough; getting them to bite is hard; hooking and bringing them out of the trees is extremely difficult. The rewards are great though. Snags are inevitable, so make sure you have lots of tackle. Safe and happy fishing to everyone.

Spring Lake

No report.

Blue Mountain Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 385.26 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

Natalie Faughn, ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), had no report.

Maddox Bay

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

Storm Creek Lake

Natalie Faughn, ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), had no report.