Nov. 1, 2017
Jim Harris Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine
Weekly Fishing Report
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for Nov. 1, 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
Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir
The AGFC is treating alligator weed in Lake Conway using EPA-registered herbicides approved for use in aquatic systems. The AGFC strongly recommends that adjacent landowners not use lake water for irrigation of lawns or gardens through March 1, 2018. For more information please contact the AGFC Fisheries Office in Mayflower at (877)-470-3309.
(updated 10-25-2017) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the lake has the stain anglers look for here, and the level is now low. On Tuesday under a full sun the surface temperature was 79 degrees. Crappie are excellent. Minnows and jigs are being used, and the fish are most active in the usual haunts: the Highway 89 bridge, Gold Creek and Caney Creek. The bass bite is good. Anglers have having success with white spinnerbaits and soft plastic worms fished around lily pads. Catfishing is excellent. Cats are active on limblines and trotlines around the creek channels. Bait with goldfish or minnows. While bream weren’t quite as active as the other species, they’re still fair. You’ll find bream about 20 feet from the shorelines. Use worms and crickets.
(updated 11-1-2017) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service said the Little Red River is receiving sporadic generation during the week. This generation pattern is creating low water conditions. With low water, remember to use fluorocarbon tippet to increase your catch numbers. In slow moving or still water, remember to put some movement on the fly or Trout Magnet to get more strikes. Sowbugs, midges, soft hackles and Woolly Buggers are working well for fly anglers. Pink and white-colored Trout Magnets are recommended for spin fishing. Always check before heading to the Little Red River by calling the Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock District water data system (501-362-5150) for Greers Ferry Dam water release information or check the Corps of Engineers website (swl-wc.usace.army.mil) for real-time water release and the Southwestern Power Administration website (swpa.gov) to see forecasted generation schedule.
(updated 10-25-2017) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said he went to New York City last week “and all I caught was a cold. Needless to say I didn’t fish much. It was a nice visit with my son and now I’m back to fishing.” The river remains low, clear and the fly selection remains about the same. Sowbugs, small emergers and midge pupas seem to be the best choices. Small Woolly Buggers are also taking a few fish. The browns are beginning to move with the females carrying eggs. More rainbows than browns are moving on the shoals. Maybe the cooler weather forecast for the next few days will get things going. The browns are more in the staging areas they use before spawning on the shoals. These usually are deeper holes above or below the shallow spawning areas.
Greg notes, “Please start looking for reds on the shoals and avoid wading through these areas. Reds will appear as clean, polished areas on the gravel bottom. Disturbing the eggs destroys a lot of brown trout because these eggs will not hatch.”
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 457.41 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.04 feet msl Oct. 1-April 30; 463.04 feet msl May 1-June 1; 462.54 feet msl June 1-Sept. 30).
(updated 11-1-2017) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake on Tuesday was at 457.45 feet msl and falling. It was 4.59 feet below normal pool of 462.04 feet msl, and it will continue to drop slowly all fall and winter. The fishing is at about a 2½ on a scale of 1-5 and will continue to get better every minute. Some of the black bass are shallow, some are on the move shallow, and some are deep. Try spinnerbaits, small crankbaits and jigs for the shallow bass on secondary points, in the back of pockets and around any wood. Throw Rat-L-Traps as well. The deeper fish can be caught with C-rigs, football heads and drop-shots out to 42 feet. The crappie are eating in 15-20 feet of water on jigs and minnows. No report on walleye. The bream are still eating crawlers, crickets and small crankbaits and inline spinners from the bank out to 18 feet. No report on catfish. The hybrid bass and white bass are eating spoons, inline spinners, hair jigs, swimbaits and topwater baits. Just stay around the shad for the best action, from 25-45 feet of water.
(updated 10-25-2017) Cody S. Smith of FishGreersFerry.com (501-691-5701) said Greers Ferry is currently on a slow fall and is fishing really well. Crappie have really started over the last two weeks and anglers are catching limits most every day. Water temperatures cooling as much as 6 degrees over the last week have turned the fish on. Basically anything less than 20 feet of water is holding the largest concentrations of baitfish and game fish. Loads of shad are on the upper end and the fish are taking advantage. Get on the water as the fall bite has started.
(updated 10-25-2017) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) said fishing picked up a little bit during the past week. The water clarity is clear and the surface temperature earlier this week was 65 degrees. Bream are fair on worms and crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Bass are good on spinnerbaits and plastic worms. Catfishing is good.
The AGFC is treating alligator weed in Lake Overcup using EPA-registered herbicides approved for use in aquatic systems. The AGFC strongly recommends that adjacent landowners not use lake water for irrigation of lawns or gardens through March 1, 2018. For more information please contact the AGFC Fisheries Office in Mayflower at (877)-470-3309.
(updated 10-18-2017) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said water level is normal if not a little low. Clarity is good, temperature is around 73 degrees. Bream are slow but we are seeing some good redears. Bass are still doing good. Catfish are doing good with stink bait, bass minnows and hot dogs. Johnny had a 30-pound blue last week. Crappie are starting to pick up with jigs and minnows in the channels at different depths, some in 5-6 feet of water, 9-12 feet of water. “If you ain't fishing you don't know what you are missing,” Johnny says.
(updated 10-25-2017) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4958) said crappie are excellent. Anglers report success with pink minnows, feather jigs and crappie minnows.
(updated 10-18-2017) Jolly Rogers Marina (501-868-5558) said black bass are good. There have been more reports coming in this week of limits being caught. Black bass are biting on crankbaits, drop-shot, jigs, buzzbaits, wacky rig worms and spinnerbaits. Blacks are in the weeds and off the edge line. They’re shallow during dusk and dawn. Drop 12-18 feet in deep water and drop just below fast-moving schools of shad. Almost 11 pounds of bass were hauled in by two teams in last Friday night’s tournament with a 4.3-pound big bass. Spotted bass (Kentuckies) action is slow. Spots are being caught on hair and finesse worm jigs, spoons and minnows. They can be found in the deep water mixed in with the black bass. White bass are slow. 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 reports have been good. They are being caught on crappie minnows and jigs (Tennessee Shad). Lots of 11- to 15-inch crappie are being caught 7-12 feet and 18-22 feet deep. Fish off the channel or under water bridges. Bream are slow. Look for them near brush piles, but they’re moving quickly. They are being caught on crickets and live worms. Catfish are good. Use stink bait, small bream, worms and chicken livers. There are reports of cats near rocks on shoreline by the weeds.
(updated 11-1-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said a customer had been taking the No. 12 bass minnows and catching a few nice crappie. Bream have been slow on crickets and redworms. Bass have been hitting topwater baits and brooder minnows. While a very few small catfish have been caught on chicken livers, bait shrimp and nightcrawlers.
Bishop Park Ponds
(updated 11-1-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said small crappie about hand-size been caught in the back pond using pink crappie minnows . A few small catfish being caught off of minnows and Sonny's Super Sticky Dip Bait. No word on bass or bream.
Saline River Access in Benton
(updated 11-1-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said had another guy take some brooders down on the spillway in hopes of catching walleye. Just hooked into a few nice Kentucky bass. A few catfish been caught down by the old river bridge off River Street using brooder minnows and goldfish. Gar are being caught for fun also, especially off Alum Fork using minnows. No other reports on crappie or bream, though.
Lisa’s customers on a few of the bigger southwest lakes such as Ouachita, DeGray and Greeson have really been doing well on the crappie. They are using No. 4 crappie minnows, pink crappie minnows and No. 6 crappie minnows. Some are reporting the fish at 15-20 feet depth at the brush tops.
(updated 11-1-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said a few crappie off of size 6 crappie minnows and pink crappie minnows. Catfish around some of the docks with nightcrawlers. No word on bass or bream.
(updated 10-25-2017) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4958) says the crappie bite is excellent. Crappie are in 14-16 feet depth and aggressively going after minnows.
(updated 11-1-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said some crappie being caught off of size 6 crappie minnows. Catfish off of bait shrimp and bass minnows. Bass on crawdad crankbaits. No word on bream.
(updated 10-18-2017) Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) said there are very few fishermen and really more hunters than fishermen using the river. Black bass are active late in the day on the jetty tops, up the Petit Jean River and in Point Remove Creek. Use crankbaits like the Fat Rap or a jig-and-pig. Reports are slow, however. Bream have been active late in the day around grass on riprap. Use crickets or a Mepps spinner in black. Like bass, bream are slow. White bass are chasing shad schools early in the day and late in the afternoon. Use crankbaits. Results have been slow. Kentucky bass are also slow, but some are around jetties. Use CC Spoons. Catfishing has been fair. Fish around the jetties using skipjack.
(updated 11-1-2017) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the water is clear, while the current and level are normal. Crappie are good on minnows or jigs. Bass are good; use a spinnerbait, plastic worm or topwater bait. Catfish reports were good, with worms or blood bait working. No reports on bream. No reports on white bass.
Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)
(updated 10-18-2017) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said catfish are fair in the Murray Lock and Dam area. Skipjack is working best for bait, along with shad.
(updated 11-1-2017) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said the water is clear and the water surface temperature is in the 60s. Water level and current is normal. Crappie are moving up in depth, and anglers report good results in the area. Use pink minnows or jigs. Bass are good on spinnerbaits and plastic worms. The striper bite has been good this week. No report on catfish. No report on bream. No report on white bass.
Arkansas River (Little Rock Pool)
(updated 10-15-2017) Vince Miller from Fish ’N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) said the water is at a normal level and current and is clear. Surface temperature earlier this week, before Wednesday’s overnight temperature tumble, was 75-80 degrees. Bream have been good on nighcrawlers and redworms. Crappie are good. Fish around brush piles and use black crappie tubes. Bass are good. Parallel the jetties and use a crankbait, a jig or the Whopper Plopper. No reports on catfish.
(updated 11-1-2017) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water near Terry Lock and Dam is clear. Level and current are normal. Crappie are fair on jigs. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfish reports are good. Use worms, blood bait or stink bait. No report on bream.
(updated 11-1-2017) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said the water is clear and the water surface temperature is in the 60s. Water level and current is normal. Crappie are good and appear to be moving up. You’ll find them below the Terry Lock and Dam. Use pink minnows or jigs. Bass are good on spinnerbaits and plastic worms. The striper bite has been good this week. No report on catfish. No report on bream. No report on white bass.
Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 11-1-2017) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water level and current are normal. Clarity is clear. Bream are fair on crickets. Crappie are fair on jigs. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and plastic worms. No report on catfish.
Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) will be closed until February.
Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said fishing below Bull Shoals Dam has been challenging this past week. We have leaned on the old reliables, shrimp and egg pattern PowerBait for bait fishing. Have brought a few 20-22-inch browns to the boat with sculpins. Some anglers have had luck with Berkley's doughy formable scented trout bait with glitter. We've not seen a whole lot of trout moving upriver due to the spawn yet, but expect that as the cold weather sticks around for a few days. Local anglers have the shore to themselves all week long, so take advantage of the extra quiet. The bite is sure to pick up as the weather stabilizes a bit. Dress for the cold, stay dry and keep enjoying the crystal clear water of the river. If it gets too cold out there, come inside and warm up and visit.
(updated 11-1-2017) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said two generators have been running. The water is clear and at a normal level and current. The trout bite is good, particularly rainbows. Use PowerBait, Power Worms or shrimp.
(updated 11-1-2017) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last Friday that during the previous week, they had about an inch in Cotter with cool temperatures and heavy winds (to include lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals dropped 0.9 feet to rest at 3.1 feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet msl. This is 39.1 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock rose 0.1 feet to rest at 0.9 feet below seasonal power pool and 14.9 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake dropped 0.1 feet to rest at 0.8 feet below seasonal power pool and 10.4 feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, there was no wadable water with light generation. The hot spot on the White remains Rim Shoals. The hot flies were olive Woolly Buggers (sizes 8, 10), Y2Ks (sizes 14, #12), prince nymphs (size 14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead sizes 16, 18), pheasant tails (size 14), ruby midges (size 18), root beer midges (size 18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (size 10), and sowbugs (size 16). Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective (my current favorite is a size 10 Y2K with a size 14 ruby midge suspended below it). Use lead to get your flies down.
John says about netting trout, “It can be the exhilarating climax of a long difficult struggle or a crushing defeat on stream. For me, as a guide, it all comes down to netting my client’s trout. The process, of netting a trout, is even more critical on Dry Run Creek. The client is much less experienced and the fish is much larger. I see it time and time again that most trout are lost at the net. There are a few things to consider when attempting to net a fish.
“First, make sure that your net is big enough. This is one of my pet peeves. I have seen it again and again where an angler is trying to net a big fish and just does not have a big enough net to land it. A little net will just make a big trout angry. A little net is acceptable, when you are fishing on tiny streams, in the Smokies, where the biggest trout you are likely to land is maybe twelve inches long. Around here you have to realize that the next trout you land could be a world record. We have some absolutely huge trout and you need to carry the biggest net that you can lay your hands on.
“I currently use a Fish Pond Nomad Boat net. It is the largest net that Fish Pond makes. It has a carbon fiber, which is strong, light and floats. I previously carried a Brodin wood net that was basically the same size but I had trouble, with the wood net delaminating due to the constant exposure to water. The carbon fiber Fish Pond doesn’t mind the water at all. It has an extra-large rubber bag that does not constantly catch flies like a cotton or nylon bag and it floats should you drop it.
“Take your time don’t try to rush the job, of netting a trout. I always heard that you should be able to land a pound a minute. I have found that to be a rough guide line. Last week I was guiding on Dry Run Creek and my young client caught two large brown trout. The first was a stout nine pounder that came in an epic struggle (the lads parents were filming the fight and it took exactly eleven minutes and twenty six seconds). The next trout, an eight pounder, took less than a minute to land. All trout are different. Do not try to net them until the fish are on the surface.
“Approach the struggling trout with stealth. Try not to spook the trout. Last week I was guiding another client, a 15-year-old boy. We had landed two trophy brown trout and we had another one on. This trout was significantly larger than the other two. I had been taking my time waiting for my chance to land it. The dad lost his patience and decided to land the trout himself. He asked for the net. I knew he would lose the fish, when I handed it to him. He jumped in the water, took a couple of quick steps and swung the net at the trout. The big fish spooked and dove under a log breaking off, in the process. The whole thing lasted two seconds.
“It’s not as easy as it looks. Carry a big net, take your time and move carefully. The payoff is incredible!
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 654.94 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 659.00 feet msl).
(updated 10-25-2017) K Dock Marina said it has gotten great reports for all species of game fish coming in from the anglers recently. Lake level is now below normal and is dropping at about an inch per day. Really good color to the water for bass fishing, too. Not as dark, but good, stained water for fishing. As the lake drops, the oxygen and cooler water temperature have really improved the walleye, bass and crappie bite around their area, and it should get better and better with these weather conditions. Still the most shad that Scott has ever seen in this area of the lake. You can throw a topwater bait and see the water explode with shad. The spotted bass look like footballs. The water temperature is ranging 68-71 degrees as of the weekend. The water level is more than 2 feet below normal and the clarity is stained.
The walleye bite was really good this week from K Dock up toward the Power Site Dam. Trolling medium to large crankbaits, bottom-bouncing night crawlers and bottom-bouncing No. 7 Flicker Shads in 20 feet of water. Several 5- to 7-pound walleye came in last weekend. Black bass are good to great on topwater buzzbaits, Zara Spooks, Whopper Ploppers or anything you have in the top drawer of you tackle box. (It doesn’t matter when you see the amount of shad in the coves.) Also throw a medium to heavy jig on the points and steep rock bluffs. Use crankbaits down the bank as well. Crappie are getting better. Use live minnows around brush piles and any structure. Still seeing some big ones suspended in deeper water. Swimming minnows also working well. Bluegill are great on a bobber and worm. Treat the kids to a day of fishing the old-school way; just pick a cove and enjoy. Flat head catfish are good to great on trotlines with live bluegills. The water level is perfect to set lines now. The gar have started to retreat with the cooler water temps. You should have a better chance at hitting a big cat without the gar getting there first.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 553.01 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April 552.00 feet msl; April-September, 554.00 feet msl).
(updated 11-1-2017) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters says that right now Norfork Lake's hot spot for stripers is Robinson Point. Look for stripers starting at 30 feet and keep moving out until you find them feeding on the bottom. The schools will keep moving so you will be on the move most of the morning. The stripers, walleye, bass and crappie bite is moving to the main lake, creeks and flats. Look for them just above the Highway 101 bridge on the large flat, the flat just north of Blue Lady and both Panther and Float creeks. With colder weather and water, the stripers will start feeding at varies times of the day, so there is no bad time to be on the water. Live bait and artificial baits are working well. Stripers and walleye are hitting small to medium-size shad. Crappie are biting on minnows, small spoons and jigs. Bass are being caught on the topwater using spinners, jigs, worms and spoons. Find the shad and the fish will be nearby. The colder the water up toward Udall has moved the smaller stripers down toward Calamity Beach and south. The colder water forces the smaller shad to seek warmer water, so the stripers follow them. The upper end of Norfork Lake is still full of big fish, but you must use large baits and a lot of patience to catch one. The best bite begins around 10 a.m. and lasts into the afternoon. Start looking for shad and stripers at Calamity Beach and work your way up past Lick Creek. Find the bait and the stripers and walleye will be there. The best bait is a mid-size gizzard shad about 4 inches long. Both the walleye and stripers are taking them. Big Creek will also be holding fish from Reynolds Island to 1C and past. Lots of limits of crappie are being caught in all the major creeks using small jigs, minnows and spoons. As the water cools the crappie will move up the creeks into the 10- to 15-foot range feeding heavy for the winter. The hot spots for crappie are the Fout area, deep into Brushy Creek and near 1C in Big Creek.
(updated 11-1-2017) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said Norfork Lake is in its fall fishing pattern and the fish are starting to go deeper as the water temperature cools. One of the most exciting things about fishing in the fall is that the fish are on the feed and you can get into monster schools of feeding fish. Hopefully we will also see some topwater feeding going on this fall, but that does not necessarily happen every fall. Striped bass fishing is starting to show great signs that the cooler water temperature has schooled them up and they are starting their feeding frenzy for the upcoming winter cold months. Lou has scouted a lot of different fishing areas of Norfork Lake and has found that many shad have been moving back into the creeks. Monday and Tuesday, Lou has found large schools of striped bass and hybrid bass feeding in 30-50 feet of water. The hybrids that he has found are schooled and typically suspended 10-20 feet down and when he gets into striped bass they have typically been deeper. He has been vertical-jigging a ¾-ounce white and green spoon and has also been using a couple of down poles with live bait. Tuesday, Lou says he ran into a school of fish in 47 feet of water and all his live bait poles got buried at once and he also hooked into a good fish on his spoon. After about a 5-minute fight the fish on the spoon unhooked, then Lou went to the live bait rods and landed two fish from the three rods he had set out. Not bad. It was hectic. Creeks you should check out are Fall, Panther, Float and back in the Bennetts area. If you find a lot of bait, there will more than likely be fish close by. Heading up river check out the flats in the Briar Creek area and up into Missouri. There are a lot of whites, stripers and hybrids from the Calamity and Barren Creek area to just south of Point 10 and up to Cane Creek. Don't be afraid to get inside the coves in shallow water 16 feet or so; there have been stripers jigged up in the shallower water.
Lou says largemouth bass fishing is also picking up. He is still finding schools of feeding fish in 30-40 feet of water on large flats. When you get lucky enough to find these schools you have the chance of picking up many 3- to 4-pound fish in a big hurry. Lou has been jigging a spoon, but casting out a Texas rigged worm or jig and pig will catch you some nice fish. The bass have started to move to shallower water early and late in the day. Look to the deep bluff lines and get down to 10-20 feet and you will find some feeding fish. Along with the largemouth will be smallmouth bass. Crankbaits are working in some areas and, as always, back in the Bennetts area is a great place to work crankbaits in the shallower water. Lou says crappie fishing is still good and they have also started to go deeper. The other day Lou was fishing a 40-foot deep older brush pile that had timber lying on the bottom. The crappie were right on the bottom next to the timber. When you do fish brush piles for crappie they will typically be at the top of the brush, but if you can get down deeper inside of the brush you are more likely to pick up the bigger slabs. As normal, late in the day the crappie move up in the water column over the brush and may be 6-8 feet down. You can tell by the report, you need to check out all depths until you find the one that is most productive. Lou says he’s also still picking up walleye on the flats in 30-40 feet of water. As with the other species, Lou says he is catching them on a spoon jigging it off the bottom. Crawler harnesses with a bottom bouncer are also working well.
Norfork Lake level is falling ever so slightly. The surface water temperature Tuesday morning was 65 degrees and typically will rise a degree or two as the day wears on. The creeks and coves are stained and the main lake is a little off color, but overall the water clarity is a great fishing color. It does appear the lake is turning over and Lou says it should be very close to completion. He received an oxygen report from the Striper Club on the Oct. 20 and the good oxygenated water had dropped to 50-55 feet and at that time the water temp down to 55 feet was 72 degrees. The water has cooled drastically since that time, adding in the turnover process.
(updated 11-1-2017) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Norfork Lake remained steady at 0.4 feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 26.6 feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had light generation and significant wadable water. The water is stained and the lake is turning over resulting in low dissolved oxygen. It fishes well one day and poorly the next. Navigate this stream with caution as things have changed a bit during the recent flooding. There has been major gravel recruitment at the bottom of Mill Pond and the dock hole. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (sizes 18, 20, 22) like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (size 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. My favorite rig has been a cerise San Juan worm with a pheasant tail dropper (#10).Dry Run Creek is stained but still fishing well. The brown trout have begun moving in for the spawn. 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
(updated 11-1-2017) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are low and clear. With the warmer weather the smallmouths are more active. John’s favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,119.25 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.00 msl).
(updated 11-1-2017) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the water is clear and surface water temperature mid-60s. Water level is normal. Bream are fair on crickets. Crappie are fair, especially around the river channels and near cover of brush piles. Use jigs. Bass are fair, but it’s been mostly hit and miss with bass fishing. Spinnerbaits and topwater lures are the way to go. Catfishing is fair using live bait.
(updated 11-1-2017) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) says striper activity for the week is good. Stripers continue on the feed, and most fish are moving toward fall areas. Your best bet is to cover lots of water, paying close attention to what Mike Bailey calls “high percentage spots.” These spots are typically points, humps, pockets or tree lines where stripers can corner bait. Some stripers can be caught fishing the open water or channel areas near high percentage spots as well. Mike says they have also been seeing some fish surfacing, so have your spoons, jigs or topwater plugs handy in order to capitalize on a quick rush when they pin bait to the surface. Fish free lines, balloons and downlines between 10 feet to about 40 feet in order to make sure you have a good spread. You can also try trolling umbrella rigs with white or chartreuse jigs/grubs or plugs like Rapala No. 14 husky jerks in black back or purple back colors, as well as 5-6-inch model Smithwick Rogues in similar colors on downriggers or snap weights and planer boards to get some depth and stagger your presentation. Make sure not to keep stripers under 20 inches and not more than three striper or hybrid or combination. Walleye must be 18 inches long with a limit of four. 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 Bailey’s website linked above. Live bait is always the way to go when fishing for trophy stripers. Water surface temperature is in the high 50s to low 60s. Check out these hot spots this week, and check the main lake structures, humps and secondary points in the area where the channel intersects: Big Clifty, Point 5, Point 6, Rambo Creek Arm, Rocky Branch, Ford and Cedar creeks, Larue, Coppermine, Ventris, Shaddox Hollow, Highway 12 Bridge, Prairie Creek, Coose Hollow, Blackburn Creek, Beaver Shores, Escapalia Hollow/Falls Hollow, Horseshoe Bend, Mont Ne. Walleye remain in their fall migration and can be found 20-30 feet deep depending on the areas you fish. Use three-way rigging Rapalas in natural colors for clear water, and chartreuse/orange or 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. Slow death rigs and spinner rigs on bottom bounders in orange and chartreuse also will work. Bink Pro Scale 1-ounce jigging spoons in white or white/chartreuse combination and a variety of jigs are also producing walleye.
(updated 10-18-2017) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) says due to generation this week (morning hours), fishing has been kind of slow. Trolling flicker shads and spoons have produced some nice fish. Water temperatures have been in the lower 50s between Houseman and the Highway 62 bridge. Drift-fishing with light terminal tackle and various power baits have also produced some nice fish. You can also free-line Power Eggs while drifting. This method has produced some pretty good numbers as well. Most fish are being caught between Spider Creek and the Highway 62 bridge during generation.
(updated 11-1-2017) Beaver Dam Store said the water remains off below Beaver Dam. Fly-fisherman are reporting good numbers trout being caught. Generation was off Friday morning until 2 p.m. The brown trout are spawning, so be aware of the reds in the river and not walk all over them. Fisherman in boats are catching their limits while drifting with PowerBait and waxworm combos. There have been some walleye caught using nightcrawlers, and crawlers are also working well for catching trout. Fish the Bertrand and the launching ramp just below the dam using PowerBait. Also, try fishing the Parker Bottoms area. When water is flowing, throw quarter-ounce spoons. Flicker Shad are also doing the job. Remember, the store now will be now Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays and will be open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
War Eagle Creek
(updated 10-25-2017) Loy Lewis of War Eagle Creek Outfitting (479-530-3262) said smallmouth bass fishing is going well between Smallmouth Rapids Access and War Eagle Mills area. Floating past rapid stretches and wade-fishing back upstream will offer some good fishing. Also, the beginning and end side of pools have smallmouth bass actively chasing minnows. Good baits are live minnows and crawdads as well as crankbaits, spoons and watermelon-colored soft plastics.
(updated 10-25-2017) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said the water is stained and at a normal level. Surface water temperature was 66 degrees earlier this week. Bream reports were fair, though the bites were slow. Worms or crickets were used. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Bass reports were poor. The catches were small and the action was slow. Spinnerbaits and plastic worms were about all that worked. Catfishing is fair. Worms and stink bait are getting bites.
(updated 10-18-2017) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said the water has remained clear and Tuesday’s surface temperature was 68 degrees. Water level is low about 2 inches. Crappie are fair. The fish are in 6 feet depth. Minnows or jigs will get response. Bass are fair on plastic worms. Catfish are biting, with good reports. In fact, some big fish in the 10- to 20-pound range are being caught. Live bait what the anglers are using. Bream have not been active for some time; no reports there.
(updated 10-18-2017) Ome Coleman at Lake Poinsett State Park says there is no more fishing here at Lake Poinsett until all the needed repairs are done. The bait shop is still selling bait. So, you can still get your minnows, goldfish, crickets, redworms, night crawlers, etc. They still have frozen bait and lots of other fishing supplies at Lake Poinsett State Park.
(updated 10-25-2017) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water was dingy and low about 1 foot. Surface water temperature is ranging 65-69 degrees. Bream are fair on worms and crickets. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Bass anglers had good reports, with jerkbaits being the best bait. No reports on catfish.
(updated 10-18-2017) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) said water levels are running at 270cfs (350 cfs avg) and water clarity has been clear. The river is low and clear and still tough fishing on sunny days and easy catching on overcast days. On the sunny days a Y2K down deep produces well and a brownie can be really hot some days. There have been a lot of crawfish moving around. And a big nymph in olive or brown can be really good. Stripping the Woolly or nymph upstream is the ticket. For spin fishers on tough days or even on a fly rod a hot pink Trout Magnet can be really hard to beat. On a windy day use an indicator to get down below the leaves floating in the water.
(updated 11-1-2017) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Spring River is fishing well. This is a great place to wade fish when they are running water on the White and Norfork rivers. Canoe season is still on and there many boats on the river. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive Woolly Buggers with a bit of flash (size 10), cerise and hot pink San Juan worms (size 10) and Y2Ks (size 10).
(updated 10-25-2017) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said water is clear and the surface water temperature is 67 degrees. Level and current are normal. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Bream are poor. Bass are poor but there are some responses on spinnerbaits and plastic worms. Catfish results were poor at best, with worms working best. Walleye reports were no catches to just a few, overall poor.
(updated 11-1-2017) Austin Davidson at Cane Creek State Park said peak crappie season has arrived at Cane Creek. Anglers are showing tremendous results using both minnows and electric chicken (chartreuse and hot pink) colored jigs fished near banks and partially submerged structure. Bass are also biting near the surface, chasing rolling schools of gizzard shad. Shad- or minnow-colored crankbaits and Rat-L-Traps fished near structure are receiving aggressive responses from both Kentucky and largemouth bass. With the water temperature dropping expect catfish to start feeding. Trotlines baited with bream or chicken livers are expected to bring in significant amounts of fish in the upcoming weeks.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will open a special commercial fishing season on Lake Chicot to target Asian carp from Nov. 1-Dec. 31. Chicot normally is off limits to commercial harvest. Commercial anglers will be allowed to keep any commercial fish other than alligator gar during the season, and all Asian carp caught must be removed from the lake. The 16-inch minimum length regulation on buffalo is removed during the season as well. Commercial anglers should contact the Monticello Regional Office at 877-367-3559 to obtain a free permit to participate in the special season.
(updated 10-25-2017) Brandy Oliver at Lake Chicot State Park (870-265-9705) said people fishing for catfish have reported fair catches. Limblines and noodles have been more effective than rod and reel, especially late in the evening or early in the morning. Not many people are catching crappie. A few people have caught bream, mostly on crickets.
(updated 11-1-2017) Angler Chris Van Duren at Lucky’s of Monticello said the lake’s clarity is fair and surface temperature Monday was the mid- to low 60s. Water level is low. The lake has been in a partial drawdown for the last several weeks. Nice-size crappie are being caught, and reports are good from the deepest areas of the lake. Use jigs. You can find fish about 20-30 feet deep. Bass reports have been poor. Anglers are using spinnerbaits or plastic worms for any success. No reports on bream. No reports on catfish. No reports on white bass.
As of Tuesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 257.88 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 259.20 msl).
(updated 10-25-2017) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said much everything stayed the same this past week on Millwood except the water temperature, which cooled some more. Temps ranged 67 degrees early to 72 later in the day. Tuesday’s lake elevation was 1.46 feet below normal conservation pool, as the water slowly rises following the fall drawdown. They just need more rain to reach normal pool. Bass are still schooling in same locations. The lake has been hot with quite a bit of action the past couple of weeks largemouths and Kentuckies (spotted bass). The bass remain in the same spots as last week. They are schooling on flats in the lily pads and in Little River chasing huge shad schools. These bass, from 2-4 pounds, remain excellent almost all day on topwaters, Rat-L-Traps, Bass Assassin Shads, buzzbaits and Jitterbugs near vegetation and lily pads. Best color of buzzbaits over the past couple weeks were 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 Mike has seen are still on Grey Ghost, Houdini, Salt and Pepper and Silver Phantom colors. After the topwater excitement slows, a shallow squarebill and Rat-L-Trap will get bit in cuts, ditches and around the schooling fish in creek channels and lily pad stands. Best colors for squarebills and Rat-L-Traps over the past week or so have been the shad imitations like Millwood Magic, Black Bone Nova, Gold Tennessee Shad and Holographic Transparent. The deep- and medium-diving crankbaits like the Bomber Fat Free Shads, Fat Free Fry or Fat Free Guppies are still working from 5-10 feet deep in creek channels and across primary points along Little River with the best colors over the past couple of weeks drawing best reactions being Citrus Shad, White Pearl, Threadfin Shad and Citruse. The Rat-L-Trap 1.75 Echo 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. Best colors the past few days have been Ghost Minnow or Millwood Magic in the better water clarity away from remaining current. War Eagle Spinnerbaits continue working in and around vegetation and cypress trees, best on windy mornings, and colors drawing best reactions over the past week were Mouse or Hot Mouse, Spot Remover or Chartreuse and Firecracker/chartreuse.
Mike says white bass and hybrids are seen still schooling with the largemouth and Kentucky bass. Clear Baby Torpedoes, Cordell Crazy Shads in chrome/black, Stuttersteps, Little Georges, Rocket Shads, Rooster Tails and Rat-L-Traps in black-chrome or Millwood Magic are still working for whites and hybrids. Crappie are best near standing timber and planted brush in Little River out of any remaining current, and backs of the oxbows from 8-15 feet deep on vertical-jigging Cordell smoke colored paddle tail grubs, and light wire jigs in pink/white or red/white. Catfish continue biting well on trotlines set along Little River from 9-12 feet deep using CJ's Punchbait or chicken gizzards and livers. Yo-Yos using shiners and minnow are still catching some nice cats in the oxbows underneath cypress tree limbs from 9-12 feet deep.
Lake Greeson Tailwater (Little Missouri River)
Visit www.littlemissouriflyfishing.com for a daily update on fishing conditions.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 536.59 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).
(updated 11-1-2017) Jason Lenderman with JL Guide Service (870-490-0804) said lake level Wednesday morning was about 10 feet below normal pool and down about 3 inches from last week. Water is clear in most parts of the lake with the upper part of the lake having some color. Water temperature is 65-69 degrees. Bass are biting well using a variety of techniques. Spinnerbaits around shallow brush are working well. Pitch a jig in the brush for the better quality bites. Bass continue to school in all parts of the lake early and late and can be caught using Super Spook Jrs., Booyah One Knockers, Cotton Cordell Spots and smaller swimbaits. Several fish can be caught using a shakey head worm or drop-shot on points as well in green pumpkin or watermelon colors. Crappie are good and can be caught in and around brush in the 15-20 foot depth using Kalin’s Grubs or minnows.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 397.35 feet msl (flood pool: 408.00 feet msl).
(updated 11-1-2017) Local angler George Graves said surface water temperature is in the mid-60s and the lake is clear throughout. Fishing has improved somewhat with the weather becoming more stable. However not many are fishing due to football and hunting season getting underway. Largemouth bass fishing is fair with the fish scattered and little schooling activity. Look for fish mostly early in the morning between mid-lake and the upper end around Shouse Ford and Cox Creek. Best bet has been throwing medium-running crankbaits across main lake points. Also try the lipless type such as a Rat-L-Trap. Use natural shad in clear water and something with chartreuse in stained water. Lots of Kentucky bass are on the bluff banks between points 14 and 15, also on the west side of Goat Island. Try a 4-inch Texas rigged finesse worm in green pumpkin or red shad.
George adds that crappie fishing is getting better and will keep getting better as the fall progresses into winter. Look for brush attractors in 18-20 feet of water. With the low water the deeper brush is hard to locate, but if found, fish can be almost guaranteed. Vertically fish a 2-inch Kalin's Grub on a 1/16-ounce jighead over the thickest part of the brush. Tennessee Shad and black/chartreuse have been the best bets. Look for cover on the main lake between Point 14 and Point Cedar. Hybrid fishing remains slow as has been the case most of the fall. The fish just are not schooling, which is strange because there are just tons of shad. Try trolling the small umbrella loaded with 4-inch swim baits and hopefully you might run into a fish. Best areas have been Point 15 and Shouse Ford to Point Cedar. A few big bream reported by crappie fishermen fishing the brush attractors. Fish near the bottom just outside the brush with redworms or crickets.
(updated 10-25-2017) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said the fishing keeps getting better every day. The crappie continue stacking up on the brush piles fished 8-12 feet deep with jigs and minnows. A few schools of white bass have been spotted breaking but they don't stay up very long. Look for them suspended; cast and count down spoons.
(updated 10-25-2017) John Duncan of YoYoGuideService.com at Iron Mountain Marina asks, “How much will the lake get before the fall rains hit?” Water level is 397.67 feet msl more than 8 feet below normal pool. The water temperature has dropped considerably to the mid- and lower 70s. Fish have been biting a little slower. Watch for schooling fish in calm coves and lake areas. If you cannot locate them on the surface, try using spoons when you find the schools on your electronics. Fish have been pretty pick lately on what to bite. Whopper Ploppers and other shad-colored topwaters are the best bet when fish are on the surface. The last calm days had fish from Iron Mountain Marina to Shouse Ford areas. Crappie have been moving to shallower water. Some are being caught in water 12-14 feet deep. Look for structure in the upper lake areas. Watch for fish suspended over brush piles and other areas like points and bluffs. No bream report. Bass fishing, other than surface fish, has been slow – those are the reports on some of the tournaments lately. Again, the lake is lower than last week. Be careful and watch for shallow areas and points. Be safe and good fishing.
De Queen Lake
As of Tuesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 436.87 feet msl (flood pool: 437.00 feet msl).
As of Tuesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 524.75 feet msl (flood pool: 526.00 feet msl).
(updated 10-18-2017) Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said bass are still being biting on crankbaits and soft plastics. Crappie are still slow. No report on bream and catfish.
(updated 10-18-2017) Sportsman’s One Stop (870-863-7248) said a few bass are being caught on stick worms. No report on crappie and bream.
(updated 11-1-2017) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said the water is clear and surface water temperature is 60 degrees. Water level is normal. Bream are fair on worms and crickets. Crappie are good on minnows or jigs. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfish are fair on worms and stink bait. No report on white bass.
Lake Bailey (Petit Jean State Park)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro.
(updated 10-25-2017) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas bred and built Xpress aluminum fishing boat, reports that with Lake Catherine and Hot Springs Village area lakes, “What a wild time we are having with the weather patterns this year! That being said, bass are doing a couple different things here so pick your poison!” First of all, anglers obviously have the breaking bass at most times of the day but hot and heavy in the mornings and from about 3 p.m. until dark. Target these fish off main and secondary points and any space in between that has between 12-20 feet of water depth. Hit these fish with top water baits like Zara spooks, broken minnows and even poppers. When the fish get “smart” to your presentation move to crank baits in the shad or white coloration. Again when those fish get “smart” move out away from the breaking spot into adjacent deeper water and work some drop-shot fluke or finesse worms in lighter natural colors(don’t get crazy here) or go to the wacky or Neko rig in the same colors.
Option No. 2: Frogs, Whopper Ploppers and buzzbaits. Work the same general areas listed above, but just keep flinging those baits in any crease or cubby of the shore lines. Shaded areas seem to be the way to go latter in the day but some monsters are being taken this way. Be patient with this approach. It is a Lot of casting for just a few fish, just keep banging away.
Crappie are good in depths for 20-30 feet of water depending on the temperature of the body of water you are on. Look for piles and structure off the main channels adjacent to deeper water. Minnows and jigs (no surprise there). With the weather shifting colder this coming week don’t be surprised if these patterns get thrown out the window. Keep those crankbaits and tubes ready to go hit the rocks on secondary points at a moment’s notice! Good luck out there!
Lake Catherine Tailwater
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro.
(updated 11-1-2017) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below Carpenter Dam has fallen to 56 degrees due to the cold nights of the last week. Entergy will begin the winter drawdown for both lakes Hamilton and Catherine on Nov. 1 with a 3-foot draw planned for each lake. Carpenter Dam will begin generating at noon and continue until 10 p.m. each day through Nov. 6. The lake will fall 6 inches per day. These levels will remain in place until early March. Much safer conditions will exist in the Carpenter Dam tailrace this year with a 3-foot drawdown as opposed to the 5-foot draw of the past two years. This area is shallow at normal summertime pool and becomes treacherous when the current is running over exposed rock and sand bars. November marks the beginning of the fall rainbow trout stocking. Trout will be in the tailrace the week of Thanksgiving with sizes perfect for fishing and great-tasting table fare. Currently, white bass continue to be caught by the bridge and close to the dam on live minnows tight-lined over deep water. These fish roam in and out of the area chasing shad and are caught year-round when few game fish are present in the tailrace during the summer months. During times of generation, jerkbaits in a black/silver pattern are effective over sandbars and exposed rock structure. Some striper activity has been observed in the early morning and late evening below the bridge. Little fishing has taken place in the last week; however, these fish can be caught on live shad presented under a balloon. C-10 Redfins and Super Spooks in white will draw vicious strikes from feeding stripers. A few walleye have been taken by anglers trolling shallow-running crankbaits close to shore in the morning before daylight. Sizes range from 1½ pounds all the way to 5 pounds. Numbers are few but will increase as the new year begins. Good fishing is on the horizon with the coming of rainbow trout. Trout bring the tailrace to life. As stated earlier, the summer months are extremely slow in the Carpenter Dam tailrace, but quality angling will return this month to Lake Catherine. Anyone navigating the area must always wear a lifejacket and observe all park and boating regulations.
(updated 10-25-2017) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) said water temperature is in the mid- to upper 60s. Water clarity in the river is cloudy. Creeks some are stained some are dirty. Largemouth bass have been excellent on Rat-L-Traps on points, on spinnerbaits and buzzbaits in the creeks on point and ridges. Scam shad have been working well in the pockets and in the flats of the creeks. White bass and stripers are in the river making their way to the creeks; Rat-L-Traps, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits and swimbaits have been working well on deep water points. Vertical spoons also are working occasionally. Crappie have been excellent shallow and the creeks to 4 feet deep; in the river they are 13-14 feet deep. Chartreuse black, pink chartreuse, red yellow and minnows have been working well around stumps and fallen trees in both creeks and the river. Catfish have been good around the jetties on cut bait, shad, perch and skipjack.
(updated 11-1-2017) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said the monster crappie are biting on brush piles in 18-24 feet of water fished 8-12 feet deep with jigs or minnows. Take into account however, the drawdown starts Nov. 1, so just move out to deeper brush piles.
(updated 11-1-2017) Tom Duke on US97 during the Trader Bill’s Fishing Report that the first Arkansas Bassmaster High School Series fished Hamilton on Sunday. It was cold, but the winning team won with 12.99 pounds. The big bass was 3.81 pounds. The top four teams caught at least 10 pounds of fish. The next tournament in the series is on Lake Greeson in February.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 341.80 feet msl (full pool: 342.00 feet msl).
(updated 11-1-2017) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) had no report.
(updated 11-1-2017) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) had no report.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 567.99 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 11-1-2017) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) was in a Halloween mood Tuesday when he told us, “Black bass are ghoulishly good and Spooky Spots are fangtastic! Try a drop shot with a frightful finesse worm for a mess of Spooky Spots.” Meanwhile Ouachita’s wicked walleye are still fair and being caught on spoons near main lake humps and points near brush. Stripers are fair on live bait. “The central part of the lake is still the best area for these frightening fish,” he said. Bream must be frightened these days, they are missing and “last seen somewhere near Elm Street.” Crappie are good and being caught on minnows in 20-30 feet of water near structure. Catfish are fair on live bait and stink bait with trotlines or jogs. Try depths 20-30 feet. Water temperatures has ranged from 60 to a devilish 66 degrees. Water is clear. Call the Mountain Harbor guides – Mike Wurm (501-622-7717), Chris Darby (870-867-7822) or Jerry Bean (501-282-6104) – for more information.
Blue Mountain Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 383.52 feet msl (full pool: 384.00 feet msl).
(updated 10-25-2017) Natalie Faughn, ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), said cooler temperatures hopefully will bring an uptick in fishing activity. Anglers at Bear Creek are using live bait to entice bites from redear. Fishermen at Bear Creek Lake are anticipating an increase in bass activity over the next few days if the cooler temperatures hold steady. Hoping for a productive weekend of fishing at Mississippi River State Park. Remember, the State Park Visitor Center sells all your bait needs. Crickets, worms, artificial bait, and they are now restocked with minnows. Call or come by for prices.
(updated 10-25-2017) Natalie Faughn, ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), said anglers at Storm Creek Lake are beginning to see increases in crappie activity, especially from the shoreline and fishing pier near more shallow habitat. Anglers are using live bait to entice bites from redear. The State Park Visitor Center sells crickets, worms and artificial bait, and are now restocked with minnows. Call or come by for prices.