March 7, 2018
Weekly Fishing Report
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for March 7, 2018. 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
(updated 3-7-2018) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) reported the water is still high and the clarity is stained. Surface water temperature is 52 degrees. Bream are biting fair on worms and crickets. Look for bream about 10 feet from the shore. Crappie, meanwhile, are in 6-8 feet depth around brush piles. The bite is good. Use minnows or jigs. Bass reports have been excellent. Anglers are using white spinnerbaits and plastic lizards and finding great reactions near the shoreline. Catfishing also is excellent. Try worms or large minnows for your yo-yos.
(updated 2-28-2018) Gold Creek Landing (501-607-0590) reports that fishing is good on jigs or minnows. Crappie are at 2-6 feet depth. All other species are slow.
(updated 3-7-2018) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said that after 12 inches of rain in 11 days, the river has been on a wild ride. High, muddy water and a broken berm on a large poind downstream had everyone all guessing. The river has rebounded and all is getting better, Greg said. Greers Ferry Lake has risen 14 feet during this time nad put it in the flood pool, so we will have some heavy generation during the next three to four weeks to get the lake back near normal. But all in all, the river is OK. The rain last Sunday night (3-4-18) left the river slightly stained but fishable, and they are running two generators for 10 hours Monday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The Corps of Engineers has said they will probably request this amount of generation through the weekend due to the water level in Greers Ferry Lake, which is now 470.4 feet msl, 8 feet above normal. When the White River at Georgetown permits, they will increase the generation on the Little Red. This may be the middle of next week. Times of the generation may fluctuate, so it would be best to check the Southwestern Power Administration forecast before planning your trip. Nymph fishing should be good on the river by fishing the lower water sections during this generation period. Hopefully they will stay close to the 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. time schedule because this provides a window to stay ahead of the generation each day. Wednesday, they have scheduled the generation for 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. This is due to colder temperatures in the morning causing an increase in demand for power early. They are then cutting the generation to one unit during the middle of the day and returning to two units late in the afternoon. Hopefully by Friday, with milder temperatures, the generation will be back to 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. One should take care in launching and operating a boat at Dripping Springs due to the amount of debris in the river from the flash flood event last week. From the launch ramp downstream the bed of the river may be filled in some areas and the low water bridge at Pangburn has debris from broken docks and other material that washed into the river. A large amount of debris has been washed into the river, so please take care in navigating downstream of Dripping Springs.
(updated 2-28-2018) Lowell Myers says that Sore Lip’em All Guide Service reported that the good news is the recent heavy rains have raised the Greers Ferry Lake above seasonal pool level. The bad news is the rains have muddied the middle and lower sections of the river for extended days. We expect to see a more consistent water release of 1-2 units of generation until the lake gets down to seasonal pool. This will create good drift-fishing conditions from a boat, but could make wade-fishing challenging. Sowbugs, pheasant tails, Copper Johns and streamers 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.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 470.06 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 3-7-2018) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 470.11 feet msl as of Tuesday at 8:26 p.m. That is 8.07 feet above normal pool of 462.04 feet msl and is dropping with some generation, and when the generation tops it is going back up 6 more inches or so. With the expected rain coming it should get to 471 feet msl, I presume, so it should hang around 9 feet high for a while. Every day the crappie are on the move to more shallow water. Find the warmest water for the best action associated with the bushes, and dip minnows and jigs around until you run across a fish or so, then really soak your bait in the area for best results. Or you can fan-cast a small grub or crappie sin around the outside edges of the old brush line. The bream are starting to move shallower as well and can be caught in the old brush line tight-lining crickets and crawlers. The bite is slow. The black bass are eating all over the lake in their pre-spawn phase, up real shallow eating jigs and spinnerbaits. In the guts of pockets, slow-roll a spinnerbait. Out in the deeper pockets jerk a jerkbait around in open water over 40-60 feet for suspended fish. A Right Bite tube will work fished vertical in the old brush line, and the deeper fish on the bottom can still be caught on football heads and C-rigs. No report on catfish. The walleye bite is starting to turn good all over with a lot of males eating up the rivers and females eating at night. Since the water has gotten more stable, some fish still headed upriver and the lake fish are moving shallower by the day. Use crankbaits, grubs and minnows on drop-shot rigs for the river fish as well as minnows on jigheads; the lake fish will eat the same baits. The hybrid and white bass are eating well and moving some on various days in the mouths of rivers, upriver and major creeks. Look for them schooled up. They will eat spoons, inline spinners and grubs. The lake fish will eat the same. In most cases, fish vertical. Some shallow fish are showing up to eat horizontal cast baits, so stay around the shad.
(updated 2-21-2018) Lisa’s Bait Shot in Benton reports that customers have been catching slab crappie. The fish have been hitting No. 4 crappie minnows.
(updated 3-7-2018) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said the water level is high by about 3 feet. Clarity is muddy but improving. Bass are doing well around brushtops and structure. Use topwater baits and plastic worms. Bream are slow but should start picking up. Catfish are being caught on jugs and yo-yos with bass minnows and shad. Crappie are doing good on yo-yos at night with No. 4 and No. 6 minnows in 4-6 feet of water. Still a little early on the spawn, water temperatures are 53 to 55 degrees.
(updated 2-28-2018) Larry Walters at Bones Bait Shop (501-354-9900) said the clarity is stained and the water level is high. Bream are fair on worms and crickets. Crappie are biting fair on chartreuse jigs. No reports on bass, catfish or any other species.
(updated 3-7-2018) Jolly Rogers Marina (501-868-5558) said that as of Tuesday the lake has dropped 2 feet this week and has a little color from all the rain prior to the week. It is starting to clear up. Water temperature from the marina is 50 degrees and about 56 degrees at the west end. Black bass are good. With water temperature in the mid-50s and on the rise, the bass are starting to move into pre-spawn areas. Crankbaits and jerkbaits are working well in 6-10 feet of water. A few can also be caught in shallow water on spinnerbaits or chatterbaits. In a Fire Fighter Tournament held Monday, the first place team caught five bass weighing 16.38 pounds, second place was 14.3 pounds and third was 12.4 pounds, so there are some big largemouths available. Kentucky bass are good. For the most part, spots are still a little deeper than the largemouth. Try the main lake and rocky banks or points with a crankbait or jig for best results. White bass have slowed. Fewer reports are coming in on white the past couple of weeks. Still, give them a shot with Rooster Tails, CC Spoons, deep-diving Bandits, and Bombers. Crappie reports are poor. The high muddy water is making for a tough crappie bite. Once the water settles down they will start heading shallower due to the warming weather. More reports coming in of them being found scattered in different depths anywhere from 5 to 20 feet. No reports on bream. No reports on catfish.
(updated 3-7-2018) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4958) said anglers reported fair success on crappie. The fish are in 12-14 feet depth and are hitting minnows or red and chartreuse jigs. Nothing else was reported to them from Lake Maumelle.
(updated 3-7-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish have been doing fair on chicken livers and stink bait. Bass are fair on white spinnerbaits. Crappie are doing a little off of pink crappie minnows and Kalin's 2-inch lemon meringue-colored Triple Threat Grubs.
Bishop Park Ponds
(updated 3-7-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said that since it had flooded, the fishing slowed down a little. A few small crappie been caught on No. 6 crappie minnows close to the dock. And some small catfish have been reported being caught off of chicken livers. But a couple of good-sized catfish too have been caught off of No. 12 bass minnows. These were all reported caught off of the back pond that's called Lake Charles.
Saline River Access in Benton
(updated 3-7-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said the good news is, it’s going back down but it was still muddy earlier this week. One of Lisa’s customers who has been going on the river said they caught a few catfish off of No. 12 bass minnows. All the rain and it getting muddy has made it no good for the walleye, unfortunately. Lisa’s husband, she says, likes to catch the river slowly dropping down and clearing up when he goes walleye fishing after a lot of flooding. Other than that, she says, “hopefully next week I can give a good report on it.”
Lisa also says, as for hot areas around the region that her customers have noted: “Had a guy get 10 dozen size 6 crappie minnows going back to Millwood Lake. Says he was tearing up the crappie. He said it was up but he was still doing well. And another customer came back a second time for size 6 crappie minnows going back to Harris Brake. He too has been doing well on the crappie! Hopefully as we get over all this rain and people get into the fishing fever, then they can report more back to me so I can relay more fishing reports!”
(updated 3-7-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said some nice crappie were caught off of No. 6 crappie minnows. Catfish are hitting chicken livers and nightcrawlers. Soon those huge redear bream will be going after crickets fishing on the bottom. Bass been doing well on spinnerbaits and plastic worms.
(updated 3-7-2018) Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) had no report.
(updated 2-21-2018) Professional angler Cody Kelley with Best in Bass Guide Service (501-733-5282) reports that bass fishing is poor right now. Water temps are currently 44-46 degrees. The bite is very, very slow. Water color is actually pretty good (as of Feb. 15), and is around 12-18 inches of clarity. Most of the baitfish is in about 20 feet of water in backwater holes, or slackwater holes off main channel. Cody says he hasn’t gone for crappie in a while, but most of their food is pretty deep. Follow that, he suggests. Catfish, too, are something Cody hasn’t fished for the past week. But, he says, he did spend some time graphing the main river. He marked several large fish on washed up trees just on the edge of holes and current. Typical depth was about 30-35 feet. Cody expects that fishing will get better just as soon as we get some sun and warmth. He says he will also be spending more time on Lake Conway as well this year, so be on the lookout for those reports!
(updated 3-7-2018) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the water is stained and low by about a foot. Crappie reports have been excellent. Crappie are in 6-14 feet depth and are biting both minnows and jigs. Bass are good on crankbaits. Catfishing is good on yo-yos. No report on bream and no report on white bass.
(updated 3-7-2018) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said it hard a fair report on catfish near the Murray Lock and Dam. They were using skipjack.
(updated 3-7-2018) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said the surface water temperature is on the rise, and so are the crappie. The crappie bite is excellent on minnows and jigs. No reports on any other species. The water level and current are normal, and the water is stained.
(updated 3-7-2018) Vince Miller from Fish ’N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) recommends that anglers stay off the river until the flow comes down.
(updated 3-7-2018) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said the surface water temperature seems to be on the rise now. The water level and current are normal, and the water is stained. Reports have come in of excellent crappie catches throughout the pool. The fish are in 6-12 feet of water. The anglers were using white lightning, and foam head slim stick. The bass bite was good, too, in the main pool but nothing was heard on bass near the Terry Lock and Dam. Use white spinnerbaits. No reports on bream, catfish or white bass.
(updated 3-7-2018) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is high near Terry Lock and Dam. Catfishing is good. Use skipjack or shad. No other reports.
Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 3-7-2018) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is stained and the level is high. Crappie fishing is good on minnows or jigs. Bass are fair on crankbaits and plastic worms. Bream reports have been poor. No reports on catfish.
(updated 3-7-2018) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) reported that water level and current are normal, and the surface water temperature is 51 degrees. Crappie are good on jigs. Bass are good on spinnerbaits. Catfish reports are good, and they are hitting worms and yo-yos. No report on bream.
(updated 3-7-2018) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) says that although Bull Shoals Lake is only 2.5 feet above power pool, they are experiencing heavy releases from the dam. In addition, March has made its traditional entry with some wind. Don't let the high water keep you away from the river; grab a guide and go catch some trout. You'll probably prefer drift-fishing during the high releases, and now is the time to get out the heavy hitters: No. 7, 9 or 11 Rapala countdowns, especially silver and black, diving to 5-9 feet. With overcast skies turn to gold, gold and black Rapalas or the newly discovered Head Hunters will work well. Keep an orange-bellied black back Rogue tied on and ready to cast, too. Safety is tantamount when navigating the high water. Keep your life jacket on and leave your anchors at home. Use fairly heavy weight (several quarter-ounce sinkers tied on at once) if using live bait in order to get near to bottom.
(updated 3-7-2018) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the water clarity is stained. The river level has been high all week. Seven generators are running round-the-clock. Still, some good fish were caught, including 20 browns caught on stick bait and frozen shad. Rainbows are responding to PowerBait, pink and red trout worms and frozen shrimp.
(updated 3-7-2018) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said that during the past week, they’ve had several rain events totaling about 2 inches in Cotter, warmer temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals rose 7.1 feet to rest 3.1 feet above seasonal power pool of 659 feet msl. This is 32.1 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock rose 6.3 feet to rest at 1 foot above seasonal power pool and 21.5 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose 6 feet to rest at 1.6 feet below seasonal power pool and 8 feet below the top of flood pool. The White saw more generation and little wadable water. All of the lakes in the White River System are now above or near the top of power pool. With the higher lake levels, expect more generation particularly on the White. The hot spot on the White has been Wildcat 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 and 18), pheasant tails (size 14), ruby midges (size 18), root beer midges (size 18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (size 10), and sowbugs (size 16). Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective (John’s current favorite is a size 10 Y2K with a size 14 ruby midge suspended below it). Use lead to get your flies down. Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.
John also says, “This winter I have busied myself on cold, nasty days by maintaining my fishing gear. As the weather warms I will get busy and not have the time to do this. Often during busy season the broken gear is set aside for later repair. I have so much gear I can do this and keep fishing. Due to my Scots-Irish heritage, I am thrifty and want to repair my gear rather than replace it. I buy good gear that lasts a long time as long as it is properly maintained. It is more economical in the long run.
“All of the better rods come with warranties. If it doesn’t have one, you don’t want to buy it. Whenever I break one of my rods (and I have broken my share) I send it back to the manufacturer to be repaired. Over the years I have broken Winston, Sage, Orvis and TFO rods. All were repaired for a nominal fee ($35-$65.00) and took from a couple of days to over two months. TFO was the quickest and Winston took the most time.
“I had a broken reel, an Orvis CFO (worth several hundred dollars) with a broken drag system. I sent it back to Orvis and they repaired it for $35. It now functions like new. I took the remainder of my reels and carefully cleaned and lubricated them. I carefully examined my fly lines and replaced the ones that were showing wear. I cleaned the remainder with mild dish detergent and warm water. I carefully dried them with an old T-shirt. Now they are all ready to go.
“I also repaired no less than three pair of waders. They were my loaners and all had leaks. I turned the inside out and sprayed them with isopropyl alcohol. The leaks appeared as dark spots on the waders. I then applied a dab of Loon UV wader repair (available at most fly shops) to each spot. This is a gel that instantly cures in direct sun light or under an ultra violet lamp. I carried the waders outside on a sunny day and they were ready to go. I wrote about replacing the stainless steel wire laces in my wading boots a couple of weeks ago.
“I had a couple of down jackets that had holes in them caused by a spark from a camp fire that melted a spot on the outer fabric. I tried to repair them with needle and thread but they didn’t look too good. I fear that I am not much of a seamstress. I bought some Kenyon repair tape in the proper color at Amazon.com and was able to quickly repair the holes. It worked so well that I bought another package of the repair tape in the proper color to repair an old rain jacket. It worked great. You can hardly tell.
“By making a few small repairs I was able to extend the useful life of some of my fishing gear and save some money in the process.”
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 661.39 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 659.00 feet msl).
(updated 2-21-2018) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said on Monday the lake level was at 652 water and the temperature was about 46 degrees. He said it’s starting to warm up. You could find some 48-, 49-degree water Monday in the backs of some of these creeks. There’s a couple different patterns going on. It seems like the fish are in transition from winter haunts coming into spring. The shad are starting to move around and it's made the bite tough the last couple days. There's been a shad kill up the lake and there's a little bit of a shad kill on the lower end, too, depending on where you're at. The brush piles the AGFC put in are amazing. Fish are already on them – not all of them have fish on them, but a lot of them are holding a lot of little fish, which is great. Del said, “A big shout out to those guys – great job on the brush piles. We’re catching fish off them already.”
Del said the deep bite has been pretty sporadic still with the shad moving around, but if you get on top of them on the secondary points or the main lake points, anywhere the channel swing comes in on a bluff, and if you see you can drop in on them – they're not there all the time – drop the drop-shot or spoon. You can video game those fish and pull a few off there. Del said that’s not really a go-to style he would rely on, but it's something he'd look for when he was out. There’s a deep bite for the jig, too. Some of the old brush piles, and some of the new ones, that bite is going to be mostly on the channel swing banks. Keep the boat in 30 feet of water and dragging it all the way back. The conditions you're looking for that is going to be, if you don't have a ton of wind you can pick up a few fish on a Ned Rig and a shaky head. Now, if you find those fish coming up on the flats to feed, those secondary points coming off the channel swings, we're starting to hold some fish as those fish start migrating in off the main lake. They're going to use that channel to go back into the creek and start doing their thing. The shad are already starting to do it.
We're expected to get a ton of rain, a couple inches of rain, which would be great. I've anticipated those baitfish are already starting to move in there, so if that happens the fish won't be too far behind. If you’ve got the wind and the clouds, you can crankbait the shallow fish. You're looking for that chunk rock bank with the wind just hammering on it. That'll put a few fish in the boat. Throw either a Wiggle Wart or the Rock Crawler. And the jerkbait bite has been hit-or-miss over some of the brush piles. It's been conditional with the water temperatures starting to come up. I've been having to do as much as a 5 to 8 count on the jerkbait to get bit on. Or throw a Mega Bass or a Mix Stick, whichever one you cater to. Then we’ve also got a swimbait bite that's starting to happen now. As the water temperature approaches that magic 50-degree mark, that's going to come more into play and you're going to see some of that spinnerbait stuff come back. The bites should be getting real good here.
K Dock Marina will reopen for the season in mid-March.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 552.88 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April 552.00 feet msl; April-September, 554.00 feet msl).
(updated 3-7-2018) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said this past week he fished for striper, walleye and crappie on Norfork Lake. The stripers are just about ready to turn on. The water temperature in Bennett's Bayou is ranging from 51 to 55 degrees depending on how long the sun stays out and how cold it is during the night. The shad are shallow in both creeks. Tom says he caught small gizzards, threadfin, and 7-inch gizzard in 3-10 feet of water. Tom says he keeps seeing fishing reports from fellow striper fishermen about the dirty water; these individuals, he says, do not understand the striper if they continue to make comments about stained and muddy water. The muddy water is the warmest on the lake and the shad will go to it first, then the stripers will follow. Tom says he has caught stripers in water so muddy that he did not know the size of the fish until he netted it. These individuals say they keep turning around when they see dirty water. Tom runs to it and will fish it until late April. The other comment Tom says he keeps seeing is they are not marking fish or bait. First, the bait has moved shallow and waiting to spawn once the water warms up. The stripers are also in waters less than 30 feet, so when you motor over them they scatter. If you have side scan you can see them. If you want to catch stripers right now and well into March, get some shiners, find the warmest water, put out long lines with just a split shot, or planners boards with only a split shot, and you will catch stripers.
Tom adds that he fished for walleye on Friday up at Udall and caught one short. I did see some keepers caught. They are mostly males right now; the females are still deep waiting for warmer water, which will happen soon. The water temperature is around 51 degrees. By this coming weekend anglers should see some nice-size walleye being caught. Saturday and Sunday, Tom fished Bennett's Bayou for crappie. He was spider-rigging using long rods. On Saturday he only caught two and lost a few. He went back Sunday and caught six keepers; they were all females. The water temperature was 52 degrees and the fish were caught slow-trolling in 10 to 12 feet of water with a double hook setup and minnows. Again, it's just a matter of days before they turn on their pre-spawn feed. Tom says he plans on continuing chasing walleye and crappie in the upper part of the lake and creeks on the main lake. Right now they are catching both off brush piles using small jigs and minnows. He will be fishing up near Udall using live bait for walleye and long-line trolling for crappie in the creeks off the main lake like Bennett's, Pigeon Creek and Big Creek. Lots of big crappie are caught trolling small jigs and minnows.
(updated 3-7-2018) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said Norfork Lake is in the midst of change from the cold water winter fishing pattern to the beginning of the spring fishing season. When the water temperature reaches the mid- to low 40s during the winter season, most species go to deep water and go into somewhat of a dormant state. As the water warms, the fish start to get active and move up in the water column and begin to feed heavily. From past experience the mid-50s seem to be a magic temperature to get the fish going. Norfork is almost there! Over the last week, after the heavy rains, Lou says he has seen many changes to the fish patterns. He is starting to find bigger shad moving off the bottom and is starting to mark some bigger arcs in or near these bait balls. He has also netted threadfin shad at his dock, which is a great sign for the bass fisherman. Typically he has found that shad move off of his dock when the water temperature drops below 50 degrees. He’s caught a few bass up in shallow water and has found the big whites are starting to move out of the deep cold water. Hybrids are beginning to school up and are feeding heavily once you find them. The striped bass are one of the last species to move out of the deep water, but Lou has seen a few caught over the last week.
With the heavy rains and the fast rise in the lake level, parts of the lake have turned brown, but this will start to drop out very soon. The lake is still roughly 2 feet below normal pool so we are in great shape for this time of year. Tuesday, Lou headed up to Missouri waters graphing various spots as he went. He found the water to be brown from the mouth of his cove to just north of the Red Bank area. The water is stained in the Calamity area and continued to clear the farther north he went. He fished with live shiners from the Calamity to Cane Creek. He got lots and lots of bites, but very few fish. He said he believes most of his bites were white bass and walleye. It was breezy and he was drifting upriver, probably faster than he should have been to catch the walleye, he said. Yesterday Lou fished the three mid-lake major creeks, found a lot of bait in 30 feet of water, but could only catch small whites. The water in these creeks are stained and in great shape. One of Lou’s guests fished in Float Creek Tuesday morning and hooked into several bigger fish and had great battles for 10 minutes or so each, but for various reasons lost each before getting to see them. Several days ago Lou headed into the Bennetts Bayou area where the water was brown with lots of floating debris. Yesterday a friend fished in the bayou area and said the water was still brown, but there wasn't much floating debris. He ended up landing three nice hybrids on live shiners in the brown water. The fish were in 30 feet of water and suspended down 10-20 feet. Lou was fishing on the Cranfield flats a few days after the heavy rain and found large schools of hybrids and big white bass. You could tell the whites had just moved out of deep cold water as their coloring was really light and they were still very lethargic. The hybrids Lou has caught are very aggressive and give a great fight.
He adds that some walleye have already moved to their spawning areas and others are staging and will soon follow. The walleye spawn typically lasts into April. White bass are starting to stage for their spawn. Lou is finding many of the males up the creeks, but the females are still waiting for the perfect conditions. Assuming no more severe cold fronts, the white bass spawn will be in full swing very shortly. The largemouth, spots and smallmouth will be on their beds typically during April and May. Lou says he will continue being out on the lake looking and fishing most days of the week. I am an early riser so I am typically fishing in the mornings, but on occasion he does go out in the afternoon. He also likes the after-dark bite for stripers and walleye. He has not been out yet after dark, as he really doesn't like fishing after dark when the air temperature is in the 30s. As soon as things warm up a bit more he will start seeing what's biting after dark. It is a blast hooking into a 15-pound fish when you can't see anything and all your fishing is by feel.
The Norfork Lake temperature varies from 48-55 degrees depending on where you are fishing. The farther upriver and up the creeks you go, the warmer it gets. The water is brown from Red Bank to the Highway 101 bridge, brown from Bennetts Bayou to Bidwell, and stained most other areas. As you head south in the main lake, the water clarity gets better and better. The current lake level as of Tuesday is 552.56 feet msl and rising very slowly.
(updated 3-7-2018) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Norfork Lake rose 5.3 feet to rest at 1.4 feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 27.6 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had less generation and more wadable water. On the Norfork, the water is has cleared substantially yet has fished a bit better. Navigate this stream with caution as things have changed a bit during last year’s flooding. There has been major gravel recruitment at the bottom of Mill Pond and the dock hole. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (sizes 18, 20, 22) like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (sizes 14, 16) like the Green Butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead-headed nymph (zebra midge, Copper John or pheasant tail) suspended 18 inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise size 10). The fishing is better in the morning. John’s favorite rig has been a Y2K with a ruby midge dropper. Dry Run Creek has cleared some and not fishing as well as usual. The hot flies have been sowbugs (size 14), Y2Ks (size 12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise size 10).
Buffalo National River/Crooked Creek
(updated 3-7-2018) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are high and stained. With the cold weather the smallmouths are less 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 1,122.37 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.00 msl).
(updated 3-7-2018) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the water is stained and is high by a foot. Surface water temperature is 53 degrees. Crappie fishing is good. The crappie are found around brush piles and are biting minnows and jigs. Bass are fair on crankbaits and jerkbaits. Stripers are biting well on shad and jigs. No reports on bream or catfish.
(updated 3-7-2018) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) said the runoff and debris has begun clearing in the upper reaches of the White and War Eagle rivers. The walleye spawn is on and should continue through late March. The white bass run is beginning with the males showing upstream. Quantity and quality Beaver Lake stripers are being caught up in the upper reaches of the rivers but some striper are still scattered throughout the lake and are still using mouths of coves, backs of coves and the channel adjacent to shallow gravel bars. You should also look for the "mud line," the distinct break between stained and clear water, which will also concentrate bait/fish. There has been an ongoing shad kill so fishing with cut bait on the bottom will be productive. You will need to identify areas that the dead shad are drifting into and make your presentation there. Possible places would be river channel bends, gravel bars and banks where the wind is blowing in. For you diehard live baiters, fishing free lines, balloons and downlines between the surface and about 40 feet deep should get you some stripers. For the artificial baits you can 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, or 5-6-inch Smithwick Rogues in similar colors in on planer boards to stagger your presentation. You should also try fishing jerkbaits by letting the bait remain motionless for an extended period time before the next erratic action. Water surface temps have been in the high 40s-low 50s the past week. Check out these hot spots on the mid-and upper sections: Rambo Creek Arm, Rocky Branch, Ford and Cedar creeks, War Eagle/White River junction, White River and War Eagle River. Check main lake structures, humps and secondary points in the area where the channel intersects. Walleye season has kicked off with walleye being caught in various stages of the spawn. Most walleye are being caught in 20 feet of water or less. Use three-way rigging Rapalas in natural colors for clear water or chartreuse/orange and clown colors in areas of stained water. Also try Rapala Tail Dancers, Bagley Rumble B's, Flicker Shad, Bandit 300 Series and Arkie 350s in colors that include orange and chartreuse. Give a try to slow death rigs and spinner rigs on bottom bouncers in orange/chartreuse as well. A variety of jigs in combination colors of white, orange, chartreuse are also producing walleye. You should try casting to structure or snap jigging to cover water. Night fishing shallow water with jerkbaits like Rapala HJ14's in Tennesse Shad, black back or blue back will produce some hogs in areas near the War Eagle mill and Twin Bridges/Richland Creek. Mike Bailey also reminds anglers that they should make sure they do not keep striper under 20 inches and not more than 3 striper or hybrid or combination. Walleye must be 18 inches long with a limit of 4. 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 website linked above. Live bait as always is the go-to approach on Beaver Lake when fishing for trophy stripers.
Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) had no report.
(updated 3-7-2018) Beaver Dam Store said the Bertrand ramp area has been fishing well. Fish upstream from Parkers Bottom in the Trophy Management Area as well as Campground C, Riverview walk-in areas as well as the turn-around. The river is at 915 and some change, so getting accross will be no problem. Always be attentitive to rising water conditions. Nymphs, Midges are working well along with olive micro jigs. Walleye should be making their way up from Table Rock soon as many anglers are anticipating a good run this year. No word on anyone catching glass-eyes up by Bertrand yet, but things could change. Stocking occured last week and fly-fisherman are reporting numbers of fish being caught. Conventional fisherman are catching nice fish using PowerBait and waxworms. Spring is right around the corner! Typical good lures here are gold and silver Colorado Spoons, red and gold Bouyant Spoons, and Flicker Shad in Pro Series Nos. 4 and 5. Good PowerBait colors are white, red, orange, yellow, chartreuse and peach. Good flies are pheasant tails, midges in blue dun, black, olive, hare’s ear, tungsten Copper Johns, WD 40s, Trout Magnets and San Juan worms. Winter store hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.
(updated 3-7-2018) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said the water is stained and is still high. Surface temperature was 53 degrees. Crappie reports have been good on minnows or jigs. The bass bite also is good, with bass reacting well to spinnerbaits, plastic worms and jerkbaits. Catfishing is good on worms or chicken livers. Nothing to report on bream.
(updated 3-7-2018) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) reports the clarity is stained and the lake is about 3 inches higher than normal. Surface temperature is 51 degrees. Crappie are found in 6-12 feet of water and the bite is good. Throw minnows or jigs. Bass are good on spinnerbaits. Catfishing is good on chicken livers. No report on bream.
(updated 3-7-2018) Seth Boone at Lake Poinsett State Park says that while Lake Poinsett has filled up from the rainfall, there are no fish in the lake as repairs continue on habitat and the shoreline. That being said, Lake Hogue has had crappie biting like crazy on minnows.
And Ome Coleman at the bait shop said it’s nice to see fishing season is getting into full swing, even if Poinsett is closed. “I can tell because we are selling a lot more minnows, rice slicks, goldfish, redworms and nightcrawlers and well as other fishing supplies. Although it will be a while before Lake Poinsett is ready for fishing, there are a lot of good places to fish. So, come get your fishing supplies and bait, and have fun,” Ome says.
(updated 3-7-2018) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water is stained and has a surface temperature of 50 degrees. Water level and current are normal. Crappie reports have been fair. Crappie are in 6-10 feet of water and biting minnows. Bass are good. Try crankbaits or jigs. Catfishing is fair on worms. No reports on bream.
(updated 3-7-2018) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) said water levels are running at 380 cfs (350 average) and water clarity has been poor. The river is up a little higher this week. Clarity is off a bit but should clear any day. Olive and white Woollies have been hot. Takes a little more work to get the fly down. Hot pink and red Trout Magnets have been the go to on spinning rods. Please use extra care wading this week. A wading staff can be a life saver.
(updated 3-7-2018) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Spring River is high and stained. This is a great place to wade fish when they are running water on the White and Norfork rivers. There have been few 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 3-7-2018) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said the water is clearing and the level is high. Crappie reports were fair on jigs. Nothing else was reported caught.
(updated 3-7-2018) Park Interpreter Austin Davidson at Cane Creek State Park said it’s looking like spring at Cane Creek State Park. Reports are coming in that the fish are waking up hungry. Crappie are still biting on minnows at both ends of the spillway. With the water warming up, small crawfish and bait fish are becoming more active. Bass have started hitting spinnerbaits. Slow roll a bright-colored spinnerbait (chartreuse, white, etc.) near structure along the banks. For those still having luck with crankbaits, a shallow-running squarebill will still be your best bet for another couple of weeks until the sun is out enough to warrant using deeper-diving baits. However, if the weather stays nice for the week, I would recommend adding a crawfish-colored bait to your arsenal. Catfish are biting dough baits in the shallows. Try Catfish Pro blood-flavored baits on a circle hook while pole fishing, or set a trotline with cut bait. The State Park store just received a large shipment of fishing gear for the new season. Stop in, grab all the bait and supplies you need, and ask one of our knowledgeable staff to point you toward a hot spot. If you catch anything, please make sure to let us know to increase the accuracy of future reports.
(updated 2-21-2018) Brandy Oliver at Lake Chicot State Park (870-265-9705) said crappie are biting at Lake Chicot. Anglers are having the best luck with electric chicken and crickets. Catfish are a little slow but catchable with patience. Meanwhile, bass fishermen should use black and blue jigs with craw and blackberry worms.
(updated 2-28-2018) Angler Chris Van Duren at Lucky’s of Monticello reports the lake is muddy. Crappie are good, responding to both minnows and jigs. Bass are fair on crankbaits and plastic worms. Catfishing was fair using worms or cut bait. White bass reports were fair. No reports on bream.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 271.70 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 259.20 msl).
(updated 3-7-2018) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said Millwood Lake remains almost 14 feet (272.9 feet msl as of Tuesday vs. normal of 259.2 feet msl) above normal pool with heavy current and wide debris fields. Trees, broken timber, logs and vegetation grass mats are rolling in heavy current of almost 58,000 cfs of current, and navigation is hazardous. The Army Corps of Engineers closed all Corps boat ramps over a week ago, and the Millwood State Park is still under almost 14 feet of water and closed as well. We understand that Corps’ Beards' Bluff Campground is open. Mike says he has not been fishing Millwood Lake again this week due to these hazardous conditions, but has been fishing on Lake Columbia near Magnolia in Columbia County. See report below.
Hopefully the Corps of Engineers will have Millwood Lake lowered to near normal levels by next week, but that is pending inflow and outflow rates, and contingent upon the Red River level continuing to decline in elevation.
(updated 3-7-2018) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said water level is about 8-10 inches above normal, clarity is very good at 1-3 feet based on location. Water temperatures are running in the 62-66 degree range under full sun. Bass are paring up, cruising very shallow in 1-2 feet of water, and preparing for spawn most lakewide. Largemouth are fair to good up to 7 pounds each on Bass Assassin Shads, Senkos, Trick Worms, Beaver Bugs, jigs, spinnerbaits, Rat-L-Traps, Squarebills and chatterbaits. We have not observed bass on the beds yet, but preparing them, running in and out of shallow pockets, in preparation, and cruising these areas in large numbers and in pairs. Best color of Bass Assassins are pumpkinseed, Silver Phantom and Grey Ghost. Senkos and Trick Worms are working in black, blue flake, watermelon-red, crystal ice and green pumpkin. Beavers and Craw bugs are working in green pumpkin-red or watermelon-red. Best color of jigs seem to be black/blue, black/purple, green pumpkin or Texas Craw. Spinnerbaits and chatterbaits in shad or bream colors are working. Rat-L-Traps are working best in slightly deeper water areas, 4-8 feet of depth near spawning flats in Sexy Chrome, Red Shad or Red Chrome.
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 561.51 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).
(updated 2-21-2018) Jason Lenderman with JL Guide Service (870-490-0804) said the lake level is 541.52 feet msl as of Tuesday and up almost a foot from last week, which is still well under normal pool. Water temperature is 44-49 degrees with some color throughout the lake, with more in the upper lake due to the recent rains. Although bass are biting fair to good using a variety of methods, quality bites are hard to come by. Booyah jigs in brown or green pumpkin colors are working well around brush and rocks from 10 feet to as deep as 30 feet. Bandit crankbaits in crawfish colors are catching several fish on rocky and windblown banks. Crankbaits are working better in the more colored water. Smithwick Rogue jerkbaits are also working well around windy main lake points. Crappie are fair to good around deeper brush using minnows or Kalin’s Grubs.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 420.75 feet msl (flood pool: 408.00 feet msl).
(updated 3-7-2018) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said DeGray is flooded. Amity Landing, Point Cedar, Shouse Ford and Arlie Moore boat ramps are closed. Parking lots are underwater.
(updated 2-28-2018) Local angler George Graves said fishing at DeGray is virtually impossible right now due to the extremely high water and most of the ramps closed. As of Tuesday only two ramps were open: Iron Mountain and the State Park Marina. The State Park ramp will probably close if the water gets much higher. The water is muddy down to Edgewood with lots of floating debris and logs, so be very careful if boating. Sometimes bass fishing can be quite good with high water and the fish relating to the flooded timber. Look for clearer water toward the dam and throw a floating worm or squarebill crank bait. Hybrid and crappie fishing will be poor because those fish are in the upper end at Shouse Ford and Point Cedar where the water is extremely muddy and loaded with trash and debris. Also the productive crappie attractors at 20 feet are now at 37 feet. Overall, now is not a good time for fishing on DeGray, even if you can get you boat launched. Better conditions are coming in a few weeks.
John Duncan of YoYoGuideService.com at Iron Mountain Marina had no report.
De Queen Lake
As of Tuesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 475.22 feet msl (flood pool: 437.00 feet msl).
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 558.19 feet msl (flood pool: 526.00 feet msl).
White Oak Lake
(updated 2-21-2018) Andy Yung, AGFC district supervisor, says that the crappie bite has been excellent since the start of the new year. Lower White Oak Lake was renovated in 2012-13, and catch-and-release rules were in effect for crappie until Jan. 1. Now, anglers are taking out limits (30) of crappie in good sizes, Yung said. Bass and redear are also biting well, he said.
Hot Springs Village Area Lakes
(updated 3-7-2018) Greeson Marine of Hot Springs, hometown dealer of the Arkansas born-and-bread all-weld Xpress fishing boats, reports that pre-spawn is in its early stages here. Buck largemouth bass and a few females have relocated to secondary points just off the main lake. Fish are patterning to submerged grass and laydowns that have been covered by the high water lake levels. Fish have NOT moved up into the creek arms yet but are in the staging patterns to do so. Swimbaits in shad patterns have been producing well with the occasional Texas rigged lizard and worm, in pink and white (until water clarity improves) have been producing strikes also. Lake temperature is around 55 degrees throughout. With the expected cold fronts moving through this week, don’t be shocked if the fish pull off the shallow water and revert back to main and secondary points in deeper water.
(updated 3-7-2018) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said the water clarity is muddy and the lake is high about 2.5 feet. Surface water temperature was 55 degrees. Crappie are biting fair on minnows and jigs. Bass reports were poor, but spinnerbaits were getting some reaction. Nothing to report on any other species.
Lake Catherine (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro.
(updated 3-7-2018) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that over 16 inches of rainfall fell in the Hot Springs area over the last 10 days, which led to open flood gates and very heavy generation below Carpenter Dam. Massive amounts of water were released thru all area dams to keep lakes Hamilton and Catherine from flooding. The heavy rainfall raised Lake Ouachita over 12 feet in five days and put the big lake into flood pool. Extremely muddy water and fast currents have been the norm below Carpenter Dam for the past week. Sadly, more heavy rainfall is forecasted for Saturday. Entergy may be forced to open floodgates again and schedule heavier generation to rid the lakes of water that will be mostly runoff since the ground is already saturated from earlier rain. This process will take weeks to bring Lake Ouachita out of flood pool along with regulating area lake levels close to normal. Little fishing has taken place in the Carpenter Dam tailrace due to the treacherous conditions. All boaters and bank fishermen are urged to keep off the lake until the situation has been brought back to normal. March 1 marked the start of the refill of both lakes Hamilton and Catherine with each lake brought back to normal summertime pool on March 15. Again, no one should attempt to navigate the tailrace by boat or wade fish until flood conditions have passed and the water levels are once again safe to use.
(updated 2-21-2018) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) said upriver is stained. The mid-river and lower river and both dingy. Some creeks are dirty, and other creeks are clean. River temperature is 48 degrees; backwater temperature is 51 degrees. White bass and stripers has been excellent on swimbaits, Rat-L-Traps, Alabama rigs and live shad. White bass have been excellent as well on white jigs, spoons and small jerkbaits. Catfish have been very good on whole shad. Crappie have been fair minnows, and chartreuse and black/chartreuse jigs have been doing well also, and some good success has been seen with pink-and-black jigs. Largemouth bass have been excellent on jerkbaits, jigs and bamboozles. Soft jerkbaits likes scam shad have been working well in the back of the pockets. It’s hit-or-miss on Rat-L-Traps, though.
(updated 3-7-2018) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said the lake is back up to summer pool. The main channel is muddy but only stained in most coves. They are passing a lot of water through the lake, so you'll find a current. Crappie have been tough, but they're there. Fish slow and tight to the brush. White and black bass are moving into the shallow creek arms.
(updated 2-28-2018) Phillip Kastner of Trader Bill's Outdoor Sports noted on US97 that Hamilton is one of the best bass lakes in January and February. A lot of people are on Hamilton pre-fishing for tournaments this weekend, and a lot of 5-pounders were caught during the high school tournament held there last weekend. Heard two good reports from Monday; it was one of the prettiest days we’d had in a very long time. Guys were throwing Alabama rig and a jig both. Some warm water was still coming in and there was some crankbait action in the creeks. That’s going to continue. With more water coming in, it’s going to be awfully hard not to throw a Rat-L-Trap. It works well in those freshwater runoffs. Rat-L-Traps were what was used by several of the anglers last weekend in the high school tournament.
(updated 2-21-2018) Lisa’s Bait Shop in Benton said Lake Hamilton remains a hot spot as their customers report doing great on crappie using No. 6 crappie minnows.
As of Tuesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 373.85 feet msl (full pool: 342.00 feet msl).
(updated 3-7-2018) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said fishing is very slow these days. The water is muddy and the lake remains very high. Crappie reports did come in with some fair results. Use minnows. No other reports on any other species.
(updated 3-7-2018) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said the ramps and parks are underwater, so there has been no fishing. Water is high and stained.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 583.41 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 3-7-2018) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) says black bass are still good. Rat-L-Traps and jerkbaits are producing some quality fish. Walleye are spawning and are up the river and major creek channels. Stripers are good on Alabama rigs. Major creek channels on the central and western part of the lake are still the best for these fish. No reports on bream. Crappie are fair and being caught on minnows in 25-35 feet of water near structure. No catfish reports. Surface water temperatures ranging 54-58. Water clarity is stained. Lake level is in flood stage at 583.4 feet msl.
(updated 3-7-2018) Greeson Marine in Hot Springs, hometown dealer of the Arkansas-bred-and-built Xpress All-Weld aluminum fishing boat, reports that the pre-spawn is on! Spotted bass mostly have moved up shallow into secondary points and especially flooded timber and buckbrush in 2-4 feet of water fish in the 1- to 3-pound range are being caught often. Water visibility is clearing quickly and has already reached 2-3 feet clarity. Water temps ranging 52-56 degrees. Best baits to use are the pitchable presentations. Tubes, football head jigs, Texas rigged Brush Hogs, lizards and worms in natural colors like green pumpkin, black and translucent tinted. Throw deep into cover and dead-stick the baits.
Blue Mountain Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 412.30 feet msl (full pool: 384.00 feet msl).
(updated 3-7-2018) Natalie Faughn, ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), said activity remains about the same as last week. There was a good turnout and some good fishing for the bass tournament on Bear Creek Lake this past weekend; Natalie believes the largest bass weighted approximately 6 to 6.5 pounds. Just something for anglers to keep in mind: The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is moving forward with the repair and replacement of the boat launch at Bear Creek Lake. There is no set start date yet; however, once construction starts, the ramp will be CLOSED to the public for approximately 4-6 weeks. The State Park will keep everyone informed as more information becomes available.
Remember that Mississippi River State Park has all of your bait and tackle needs. They offer a variety of live bait, including worms and shad as well as artificial bait and lures. Stop by the Visitor Center and let them help you out.
(updated 3-7-2018) Natalie Faughn, ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), said Storm Creek Lake hasn’t seen a substantial uptick in activity that Bear Creek has; however, Natalie said, she has spoken to some anglers who are gearing up for crappie season. Looking forward to seeing more folks out and enjoying our lakes, and hopefully catching some fish.