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Sept. 6, 2017

Jim Harris

 

Weekly Fishing Report

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for Sept. 6, 2017. If there is a body of water you would like included in this report, please email AGFCfishingreport@outlook.com with information on possible sources for reports about that lake or river. Reports are updated weekly, although some reports might be published for two weeks if updates are not received promptly or if reporters say conditions haven’t changed. Contact the reporter for the lake or stream you plan to fish for current news.

 

Arkansas River and White River levels are available at: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=lzk

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

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


CENTRAL ARKANSAS

Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir

The AGFC is treating alligator weed in Lake Conway using EPA-registered herbicides approved for use in aquatic systems. The AGFC strongly recommends that adjacent landowners not use lake water for irrigation of lawns or gardens through March 1, 2018. For more information please contact the AGFC Fisheries Office in Mayflower at (877)-470-3309.

(update 9-6-2017) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said it has seen little change in the fish activity now for the past couple of weeks. The water remains its usual stain and is at a normal level. Surface temperature on the water had dropped some this week after hitting 90 last week. 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 9-6-2017) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service said the Little Red continues to receive around 2-4 hours of generation on weekdays and lesser amounts on weekends. Lowell says they anticipate this generation schedule to continue unless they receive significant rainfall. 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 9-6-2017) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said the river remains low and clear with afternoon generation from 2-3 hours each afternoon during the week and 1-2 hours on the weekend. Fishing has been good, but the low, clear water demands light tippet and small flies along with good presentation. Size 18 and 20 flies are the best choices.

The fish will be biting Saturday afternoon, if you help us clean up the river on Saturday morning and enjoy a good lunch of hamburgers and hot dogs at the annual river cleanup this Saturday, Sept. 9. (Can’t guarantee this, but we sure could use your help). We will be registering volunteers at the ASU-Heber Springs Campus pavilion (Arkansas Highway 110 East) starting at 8 a.m. and serving lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the same location. Dumpsters will be provided at this location to drop off your collected litter. If you have a boat, we need you. If you don’t have a boat, we’ll put you with someone with a boat or assign a location that does not require one.
This is an annual event sponsored by your local TU Chapter and Little Red Foundation. If you would like to participate and know which section of the river you will cover, please call Greg at 501-690-9166 or John at 501-920-3825. This will keep you from coming to register beforehand and will let us know to expect you for lunch. Good fishing!

Greers Ferry Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 460.61 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 9-6-2017) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is 1.92 feet below normal pool of 462.54 feet msl and falling. The bass fishing continues to be good day and night, with spinnerbaits and small crankbaits working shallow. Use jighead worms and jigs for the mid-range fish. Get the the deeper fish on Texas rigged worms-rigs. Football head jigs, spinnerbaits and topwater plugs are good 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 8-23-2017) 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 9-6-2017) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) said water is crystal clear and the level is normal. No surface temperature was recorded, but overall conditions are nice for fishing. Bream are fair using worms. Crappie picked up some with fair reports. Use minnows or jigs. Bass are fair. Topwater baits are working best. The most activity is coming from catfish. The bite is excellent, the resort reports.

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 9-6-2017) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said water level is still about a foot high. Clarity and color are good. Water surface temperature is at 76 degrees. Bass are still doing well. Bream are slow but anglers are still catching them. Catfish are doing well on jugs and pole fishing, but are a little slow on trotlines. But we have had a 29-pound blue and a 29-pound flathead brought in the last week. Crappie are starting to pick up. He says they are catching 10-14 a day around 10 to 13 inches long. They are finding them in the channels pooled with shad.

Brewer Lake

(update 9-6-2017) Larry Walters at Bones Bait Shop (501-354-9900) said the water is clear and the surface temperature reading Wednesday morning was 78 degrees. Water level is normal. Anglers enjoyed a very nice week, Larry says, with good fishing. Bream are fair on worms and crickets. Crappie are biting, with good reports coming in. Crappie are in 10-12 feet depth. Use minnows or jigs. Bass fishing is good, with crankbaits working best. Catfishing is fair. Use worms or chicken livers.

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 9-6-2017) Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) said white bass are very good early in the day and late in the evening on jetty tips where you have schooling shad. Fish a 3-inch crankbait in shad or pearl color. Fish are averaging 1-2 pounds. Kentucky bass are good. Fish the tops of jetties. Use a Fat Rap in shad color, crank down and hit the top of the jetty, then let it float back up. Black bass are good early in the morning on jitterbugs in black. Bream are good around grass on riprap and in the shallow backwater. They are biting crickets. Float the bait about 2 feet deep. Catfish are on the front side of jetties. Use a worm and skipjack, and combo fish where the rock meets sand. Reports have been good. No reports on striper. No reports 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 9-6-2017) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the clarity remains clear and the level and current are normal. Crappie are beginning to bite. Reports were fair to good. Minnows were getting the best reaction. Black bass are good. Anglers were using spinnerbaits, crankbaits, topwater lures like Zara Spooks and plastic worms. Catfishing reports were good. Bream bite has slowed and is poor.

Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)

Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said catfishing is fair around Murray Lock and Dam. Their being caught using skipjack and shad, as well as 1-ounce and 1/3-ounce white jigheads with twister tails.

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 9-6-2017) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said water level and current are normal on the south end of the pool near Terry Lock and Dam. Bream are good and are biting worms and crickets. Crappie reports were fair, with minnows working best. Catfish are biting fair. Use live bait. No report on bass.

(update 9-6-2017) 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 9-6-2017) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water level and current are normal. No recorded clarity or temperature. Bream continue to have a good bite, and are hitting worms and crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Bass reports were poor. Catfishing is fair using live bait.

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 9-6-2017) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said if you're waiting for perfect weather to go fishing, now's the time to fish the White River in the Arkansas Ozarks. If you're waiting for a catch of fat rainbows, now's the time to fish the White River in the Arkansas Ozarks. Although they are still experiencing continual generation from Bull Shoals Dam, the catch has been plentiful and healthy – quick bites on Berkley pink worms, sometimes tipped with shrimp. Try salting your shrimp supply to keep your bait in place longer. Still good opportunities for experimenting with your larger rogues and stick baits. You'll want to keep several colors of PowerBait on hand – yellow, orange, pink and sunrise are good to have – and change up your bait if you don't get a hit soon enough. Use gold spoons and white bodies when selecting spinnerbaits. Most of all, keep fishing! See you at the river.

(update 9-6-2017) 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 9-6-2017) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last Friday that during the past week they have had a rain event (just a trace of rainfall in Cotter), unseasonably cool temperatures and heavy winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals dropped 2.9 feet to rest at 12.1 feet above seasonal power pool of 661 feet msl. This is 21.9 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock dropped 0.3 feet to rest at 0.4 feet below seasonal power pool and 14.4 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake dropped 0.7 feet to rest at 5.1 feet above seasonal power pool and 3.5 feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had 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. The hot spot on the White has been Rim Shoals. The hot flies were olive Woolly Buggers (sizes 8, 10), Y2Ks (sizes 14, 12), prince nymphs (size 14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead sizes 16, 18), pheasant tails (size 14), ruby midges (size 18), root beer midges (size 18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (sized 10), and sowbugs (size 16). Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective (John’s current favorite is a size 14 bead-head pheasant tail nymph with a ruby midge suspended below it). Use lots of lead and long leaders to get your flies down.

John also said, “This year the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is updating the Trout Management Plan for the White and Norfork rivers. The plan was last updated about 10 years ago. The first public meeting was held a few weeks ago at the Vada Sheid Center at Arkansas State University-Mountain Home. I attended and we were asked what we disliked and liked. Based on those likes and dislikes the AGFC put together a number of proposals for regulation changes that will affect our trout fisheries. Two weeks ago the AGFC had another meeting where the agency presented these proposals and the public was able to vote for their favorites. I was there. The first thing that I noticed is that there were about half of the number of attendees that were there for the first meeting.

“Second, there was a question-and-answer period for each proposed change where the public was allowed to ask questions and make comments. The format of the first meeting did not allow for this. I was intrigued by some of the comments and was amazed by others. Several attendees complained about blue herons and the number of trout that they ate. One attendee suggested a bounty on them. It was noted by an AGFC employee that blue herons are a federally protected species.

“Most of the proposed regulations related to protecting rainbow, brook and cutthroat trout on the White and Norfork rivers. At the first Trout Management Plan meeting it was noted the regulation limiting the harvest of brown trout to those trout 24 inches or larger had been a great success and the public wanted similar regulations protecting other species, particularly the rainbows. We are just not catching larger rainbows, brook trout and cutthroats. There were several proposed regulations for each species and we were asked to vote on our favorite.

“I was glad to see more restrictive regulations on these species but did not think they went far enough except for a proposed change to protect all cutthroats under 24 inches. I think a similar regulation on brook trout is called for. My big disappointment was the proposed changes on rainbows. The propose changes centered on allowing anglers keep one rainbow over 14 inches and another proposal for keeping one 16-inch trout. There were also proposals allowing the angler to keep two such trout. I would rather see a regulation calling for rainbow trout between 14-24 inches to be released.

“Other proposed regulations concerned catch-and-release sections. The AGFC recommended closing the Monkey Island section because it is not working. I agree. The section in the state park below the Bull Shoals catch-and-release section is closed from November through January to accommodate the brown trout spawn. The section below that is seasonally catch and release during the same period. The AGFC wants to simplify the regulations and make both sections in the state park seasonal catch and release. This sounds logical.

“The AGFC had the University of Arkansas study the catch-and-release section at Rim Shoals. The study concluded that the section was too small and should be enlarged to make it more effective. They recommended a 1-mile extension upstream or a 2-mile extension downstream. I fish at Rim Shoals more than any other piece of water in the area. I totally support either of these proposals. It will be interesting to see how this all turns out.”

Bull Shoals Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 670.41 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 561.55 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April 552.00 feet msl; April-September, 554.00 feet msl).

(update 9-6-2017) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters says striper fishing has slowed down on Norfork Lake. The oxygen levels are too low to support an active striper bite, therefore the stripers are in survival mode and have quit eating. Tom says he has suspended striper fishing until the water turns colder, which is usually around the beginning of October. Then he will start fishing north toward the Missouri state line because the water is shallower and the fish become more active sooner. Now is the time to chase bass, hybrids, bluegill, and crappie. Don’t waste your time or money chasing stripers. Tom says, “Our last trip we had three boats fishing and between all of us we had one bite.” The hybrids are chasing young shad in the 30-foot water column. Hybrids are not affected by the oxygen so look for them in the late afternoons around the Robinson Point area. They are being caught on topwater with swimbaits along with live shad.

(update 9-6-2017) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said the thermocline on Norfork Lake has been slowly dropping and currently is about 30 to maybe 35 feet down, and is holding most fish and bait species to this depth or shallower. If you plan to fish Norfork Lake take note of the thermocline level, as lots of fish will hang at this level. Striped bass is the only species that Lou is aware of, he says, that will go way below the thermocline to reach cold water. There have been some really nice spotted (Kentucky) bass caught over the last week. The bass are being found in two main areas; up in the flooded buckbrush and suspended over deep water close to structure. Lou says he went out bass fishing one morning this week and found some nice bass suspended down 10-20 feet in 60-100 feet of water. Bluff line points and the mid-lake bridge columns are great places to check out. He also went out Tuesday evening for a few hours. There are plenty of bass feeding on shad up in the flooded buck brush. Topwater baits, plastics and crankbaits are all catching nice fish. Live bait has also been doing very well in catching bass.
Tuesday evening Lou found the white bass nursery. “Norfork Lake had a great white bass spawn this year, if what I saw this evening is any indication,” he said. At first the whites were in about 16 feet of water on the bottom, but as the sun was lowering in the sky the whites started busting all over the lake chasing and feeding on tiny shad. “Most of the whites that I found were small, but it was a blast catching one fish after another,” Lou said. He started out jigging a spoon on the bottom, but as the fish starting hitting the surface he switched to a Kastmaster. If this year is like prior years, the big whites will start to show up very soon, he said.
Striped bass fishing has slowed, at least for him, Lou said. He has been striper fishing only about one day a week. He was limiting out each time, until his last trip out on Labor Day. He found a lot of fish down 80-90 feet on the bottom and some suspended in deeper water, but he only got one light bite on his threadfin shad in a 2-hour period. The boat traffic over the holiday weekend may have affected the bite. There have been a few stripers caught suspended down 30 feet over deep water in the dam area, as well as in the mid-lake area. Typically around mid-September the stripers in the dam area start to migrate north for cooler water. More and more stripers will show up in the mid-lake area, as well as up around the Missouri border. The upcoming cooler nights and days will help lower the water temperature, which will benefit all species of fish.
Norfork Lake level is falling about 3-4 inches per day with one generator being run continuously during the day; the lake currently sits at 561.71 feet msl as of Tuesday. The surface water temperature Tuesday evening was 81.5 degrees. The main lake is clear with the creeks and coves stained.

Norfork Tailwater

(update 9-6-2017) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last Friday that Norfork Lake fell 1.8 feet to rest at 7.3 feet above seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet msl and 16.9 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had no wadable water and the water stained. It fishes well one day and poorly the next. Navigate this stream with caution as things have changed a bit during 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. Berry’s favorite rig has been a cerise San Juan worm with a ruby midge dropper.
Dry Run Creek is fishing well. The hot flies have been sowbugs (size 14), Y2Ks (size 12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise size 10). While you are at the creek you should visit the Norfork National Fish Hatchery. It is fascinating. Be sure and remove your waders before entering to prevent the spread of aquatic diseases.

Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.

Buffalo National River/Crooked Creek

(update 9-6-2017) 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. Berry’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 1,125.86 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.00 msl).

(update 9-6-2017) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said water is high but the clarity is good. Bream remain fair on worms and crickets. Crappie fishing is fair. Most success is by trolling. Use Bandits or Hot-n-Tot Lures. Bass reports were that it ranged from poor to fair, with best success during the day. Anglers were catching them on drop-shot rigs and shaky heads. Catfish are biting. The bite is good on trotlines using live bait.

(update 9-6-2017) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) says the stripers are on the feed while still using summer areas for the most part, but some fish are beginning to move toward fall areas. 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 80s. On the mid and lower sections check out these hot spots: Point 1, Indian Creek, Dry Creek, Lost Bridge North, Point 3, Honey Creek, Lost Bridge South, Pine Log, Point 4, Big Clifty and Point 5. 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 9-6-2017) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said the trout bite has very good this week. The Army Corps of Engineers has been generating from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. lately. Most trout are being caught between Spider Creek and Parkers Bottom. Trout are biting on various ¼-ounce spoons and various PowerBaits fished with light terminal tackle. If you can find the right hole you can catch very nice fish in nice numbers. The water temperature in the area mentioned above has been between 54 and 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.

(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 9-6-2017) Loy Lewis of War Eagle Creek Outfitting (479-530-3262) said smallmouth bass are biting soft plastics, spoons, crawdad crankbaits, and live minnows with clear bobber and crawdads caught from creek, as well as topwater poppers. Good fishing from AGFC's Clifty Access to low-water bridge on Gar Hole Road. Float to good smallmouth bass fishing spot every half-mile and good time to do some wade fishing back up the creek!

Lake Fayetteville

(update 9-6-2017) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said there is a little stain to the water. Surface temperature was 76 degrees. Water level is normal. Anglers had a pretty good week. Bream are good on crickets. Crappie are good on minnows. Catfishing has been good, with catches made on plastic worms. No report on bass.

Lake Sequoyah

(update 9-6-2017) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said the water is dingy. Surface temperature is 74 degrees. Water level and current are normal. Bass are good, with anglers reporting success on topwaters and with plastic worms. Catfishing is good using chicken livers and live bait. Crappie reports were fair. Use minnows or jigs. The bream bite was poor this past week.


NORTHEAST ARKANSAS

Lake Poinsett

(update 9-6-2017) Ome Coleman at Lake Poinsett State Park reports getting a lot of phone calls asking if Lake Poinsett State Park will still be open due to the AGFC's draining of the lake. "YES, we will be open as usual. State Parks are not the ones draining the lake. Arkansas Game & Fish are in charge of the lake. I will answer any questions I can. If I can’t, I will refer you to them," Ome says. Now, for the fishing report: The lake is to the point that it is difficult to launch a boat. You may be able to get a small lightweight craft launched. There are some large catfish being caught as well as some very nice crappie. Ome expects that a lot of bass and bream are being caught, too. They are selling plenty of goldfish and minnows as well as worms, nightcrawlers and crickets. Happy fishing!

Crown Lake

(update 9-6-2017) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said anglers had a good week. The water is clear and at a normal level. Surface water temperature is 76 degrees. Bream continue to bite, with excellent results reported. Use redworms or crickets. Black bass are good on spinnerbaits, topwater lures and plastic worms. Catfishing has been excellent, with chicken livers and nightcrawlers reportedly working best. Crappie reports were poor.

Spring River

(update 9-6-2017) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) said water levels are running at 300 cfs (350 avg.) and water clarity has been clear. With the river low and clear, we have had some excellent conditions for catching trout and smallmouth bass. A variety of Woolly Buggers and big nymphs have been working great. High-stick nymphing and stripping Woollies have been the hot techniques. Big white Woollies floated below an indicator has been successful for smallmouth.

(update 9-6-2017) 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 9-6-2017) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said the water is clear and the level and current are high. No surface temperature was recorded. Bass are fair using topwater lures and plastic worms. Walleye reports were fair. There were no reports on bream, crappie or catfish.


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 9-6-2017) Jennifer Albertson at Cane Creek State Park said bass are good and are biting on a variety of baits, primarily topwater lures. Bream are starting to slow down, but bream can still be caught on crickets. Crappie are just starting to pick up, but won’t hit hard until the weather cools down a bit more. Crappie are biting on shiners. No word on catfish, but they are out there if you can find them!

Lake Chicot

(update 8-30-2017) 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) Local ngler 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 259.61 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 259.20 msl).

(update 9-6-2017) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said lake level was about 4 inches above normal conservation pool and steady at 259.5 feet msl. There was current of 1,090 cfs in Little River; tailwater about 228.4 feet msl. Water temps dropped slightly over the past week, and surface temperature Monday ranged near 77 degrees early to 85 degrees later under full sun (depending on location). Check lake level of Millwood Lake on Mike’s website helpful links page, or at the Army Corps of Engineers website for updated gate-release changes and inflow rates with rising and falling lake levels. Use caution in navigation on Millwood Lake. Clarity and visibility continues improving from all the recent high winds and thunderstorms over the past week, depending on location, for the main lake and Little River. As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity and visibility ranged 6-15 inches. Little River's visibility ranged 8-12 inches depending on location and current. The oxbow's clarity ranged15-25 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 cooler temperatures this week dropped the surface water temperature and schooling activities upriver are back again. Largemouth bass remain good around 2-4 pounds on topwaters early at dawn up to around 10 a.m. Bass continue to react the most aggressive at dawn in the oxbows of Little River where creek channels dump into main body water. Topwater bite at daybreak remains very good over the past few weeks on soft plastic frogs, buzzbaits, Stuttersteps, Baby Torpedoes, Heddon Dying Flutters and Jitterbugs. Soft plastic Bass Assassin Shads and topwater soft plastic frogs still draw good responses, early in the morning around vegetation and lily pads. Best color of buzzbaits over the past couple 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 and best reaction they have had remain on the Salt and Pepper Silver Phantom, or Grey Ghost, and on the Rainbow Trout colors. Best colors over the past couple weeks of the Stuttersteps are the Pro Blue, Ghost Shad, or Millwood Magic colors. The deep- and medium-diving crankbaits like the Bomber Fat Free Shad continue working across underwater points in Little River; squarebill crankbaits continue working in creek channel swings (outer bends and deflecting off stumps) and where creek mouths and sloughs feed and dump into the oxbows. Rat-L-Trap/Echo 1.75 squarebills are still catching bass with the Gizzard Shad, Ghost Minnow and Gold Shad being the best colors in the clearer backwaters away from current. Nice-size bass also continue biting on bulky 4-inch salty tubes with black/blue tail or appleseed/chartreuse tail colors working the past week. Ten-inch Magnum Berkley worms are still working, with best colors over the past week being black, black grape and blue fleck. When the morning topwater bite subsides, largemouths and whites that are grouped together near standing timber can be coaxed up with a ¼-ounce to ½-ounce jigging spoon vertically jigged near the standing timber from 8-15 feet of depth. Some days a bucktail spoon works better and other days no bucktail works better. Go figure? War Eagle Spinnerbaits in Firecracker with chartreuse colors, Spot Remover and Hot Mouse are working next to cypress tree knees and vegetation over the past couple weeks in the oxbows away from current in Little River, once the sun gets up, in the clearest water you can locate.
Mike says whites and hybrids are back to early and midmorning schooling activities with all the recent cloud cover and cooler daytime temps, away from river current in the oxbows. Clear Baby Torpedoes, Cordell Crazy Shads in chrome/black, Stuttersteps, Little Georges, Rocket Shads, Rooster Tails and Rat-L-Traps in chrome or Millwood Magic will bring in a good mess of these nomads. Crappie continue improving near standing timber and planted brush in the backs of the oxbows from 12-16 feet deep on vertical jigging spoons, small H&H's, paddle tail grubs and Blakemore Road Runners. Channel cats are biting well on trotlines set along outer bends of the river in timber from 10-15 feet deep using Charlie, cottonseed cakes, hot dogs and chicken livers. Yo-yos using shiners and minnows are catching some nice cats in the oxbows underneath cypress tree limbs from 7-9 feet deep.

Lake Greeson

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 540.41 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).

(update 8-23-2017) 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 400.03 feet msl (flood pool: 408.00 feet msl).

(update 9-6-2017) Local angler George Graves said surface water temperature is around 80 degrees and the lake is clear throughout. Bass fishing is good, with the shad starting to school up shallow. Look for schooling fish early in the morning along the south side between the dam and Point 6. Also lots of activity at Point 10 and Ozan Point. Fish can be found all along the state park between Caddo Bend and the marina. Look for "breaking" fish and throw most any topwater lure as close as possible to the "break." Natural shad is best in the clear water. A few fish showing at mid-lake between Edgewood and Yancey Creek. Try fishing the main lake points with medium-running crankbaits. Crappie fishing is fair, with a few decent catches reported coming from the main lake attractors between Edgewood and Shouse Ford. Look for brush in 18-25 feet of water and vertically fish a 2-inch Kalin's Grub in Tennessee Shad. Fish the lure to just above the thickest part of the brush and move around the cover slowly. If you get no action within a few minutes, move to another attractor until fish are located. Lots of small hybrids and white bass are now schooling at mid-lake in the vicinity of Point 10 and Ozan Point. Also try the mouth of Brushy Creek. Look for schooling "breaking" fish early in the morning and throw small topwater lures along with 3-inch swimbaits. When the school goes down you can get a few more fish by working a jigging spoon deeper under the fish. Bream fishing remains good in the big coves and offshore humps in 8-20 feet of water. The bigger fish will be deeper (20 feet-plus) near the bottom off secondary points. Drop crickets and redworms.

(update 9-6-2017) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said it’s an early fall crappie season. The crappie are starting to move up on the brush piles. Minnows and jigs fished 10-15 feet deep will produce.

(update 9-6-2017) John Duncan of YoYoGuideService.com at Iron Mountain Marina said the lake is clear throughout. Water level is low at 400.04 feet msl as of Tuesday. Water temperature is in the low 80s. It looks like the fall bite is about here. Some reports of crappie being caught in some areas in around Lennox Marcus and Arlie Moore. Around deep brush piles, fish slow with minnows deep in brush. Drop-shot is good for the penetration of piles. Black bass are still on the points. Fishing Texas Rigs and early morning topwater action both are still working, but are slower. Use black Colorado spinnerbaits in darkness. Schooling fish have slowed some. Shouse Ford reported Tuesday nothing on the surface. What fish that are surfacing stay up only a brief time and are hard to get a bite on. Bream are slow now that the weather is changing. The weather this weekend should help us turn the curve to the fall bite. Be safe and watch out for others.

(update 9-6-2017) Greeson Marine, dealer of the Arkansas born-and-bred Xpress all-welded aluminum fishing boat in Hot Springs, reports that as of Labor Day weekend the water was clear with 8 feet visibility in most sections. The water temp varies from 81.5 degrees near the southern dam to 84 degrees as you move northwest up the lake. Spotted bass are clinging to sloping rocks and boulder fields in 15 feet of water or less and readily taking shad swimbaits in the mornings. The dams themselves are a good place to start early. Largemouth bass have moved off the rocks on most points and have placed themselves in ambush positions on partially submerged shoals with submerged grass and brush piles near river and creek channels. Look for the 15-feet mark on your sonar near creeks and start marking brush piles. Piles can be scarce, so you can bet on fish stacked up on them when found. Large black, watermelon and pumpkinseed worms and tubes (Carolina rigged or Texas rigged) should yield good, hard strikes. Good luck out there!

De Queen Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 437.52 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 526.17 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 9-6-2017) Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said bass are still biting on top water and soft plastics. Very few reports on bream, crappie and catfish. Water is still low, so be cautious when boating.

Lake Columbia

(update 9-6-2017) Sportsman’s One Stop (870-863-7248) said the only report they’ve heard is a few bream being caught.

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 9-6-2017) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said fishing continues to be consistent over the past several weeks. Water clarity is cloudy and the most recent 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)

Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) had no report.

Lake Catherine

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

(update 9-6-2017) 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.

Lake Dardanelle

(update 9-6-2017) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) said water temperature is in the mid-80s. Water clarity is good in the river with a few dingy creeks. Bass have been scattered and hard to catch with overabundance of bait. Go with frogs in the lily pads, buzzbaits on the outside of the grass line, Rat-L-Traps on points. Use scam shad in the shallows and over the top of the grass. Squarebill crankbaits around rock. White bass and stripers have been good on spinnerbaits, topwater pop baits, spoons and crankbaits. Crappie fishing has been excellent 6-10 feet deep using minnows and white jigs. Bream have been excellent around trees with mayflies, and around grassy rock using redworms, crickets and grasshoppers. Catfish have been fair off of steep drops just inside of river pockets. Use cut shad, skipjack or perch.

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 342.84 feet msl (full pool: 342.00 feet msl).

(update 9-6-2017) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said the water is clear and the most recent water surface temperature recorded was 85 degrees. The water level is normal. Crappie are good and anglers were reporting the fish are various levels. Some were in 12-14 feet of water, others were at 16-18 feet and there were some catches made in 8 feet of water. Use minnows and jigs. Catfish reports also were good. The catfish are around stump beds. White bass are fair. Black bass are fair. Try spinnerbaits, topwater lures and crankbaits. Bream are fair, with the bite slowing down. Worms or crickets will still work, though. Overall, they report, it was beautiful fishing the past week. “Come to Lake Nimrod and see the lake,” they say.

(update 9-6-2017) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) says anglers have come back out and have found the water clear and now at a normal level. The bream bite is fair. Worms and crickets are both working. Crappie are fair on minnows. Anglers are using plastic worms to get a fair bite from bass. Catfishing reports were poor.

Lake Ouachita

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 570.78 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 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 384.70 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

(update 9-6-2017) Natalie Faughn, ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), said there has been little to report. Not too many anglers out that she has been able to catch up with and get a good report from. She hopes this cooler weather will bring them back out – and the fish along with it.

Maddox Bay

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

Storm Creek Lake

(update 9-6-2017) Natalie Faughn, ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), had no reports. There has not been much activity on the lake.