Aug. 29, 2018
Jim Harris Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine
Weekly Fishing Report
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for Aug. 29, 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
NOTICE: An irrigation restriction on Lake Conway will be in effect through March 1, 2019. The irrigation restriction will allow the AGFC to apply Environmental Protection Agency-approved aquatic herbicides to treat and reduce the spread of alligator weed, a non-native, invasive aquatic plant. Herbicides used will not cause harm to aquatic organisms, such as fish, and are not harmful to people or wildlife that may come into contact with treated vegetation or water. Herbicides that will be used have up to a 120-day irrigation restriction after application. Therefore, the AGFC strongly recommends adjacent landowners DO NOT irrigate water from Lakes Conway for lawn or garden use during this period.
(updated 8-29-2018) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) says the lake clarity is stained and the level is normal. Surface water temperature is 85 degrees. Bream are fair on worms and crickets. Crappie fishing improved to fair. Use minnows or jigs and target 6-8 feet depth. Bass are good early in the morning and late in the evening on spinnerbaits, topwater lures and plastic worms. Catfish are fair on worms and cut bait.
(updated 8-29-2018) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service said the current generation pattern is a few hours of early afternoon and evening generation. This pattern provides good wading opportunities on the upper river in mornings and lower river in afternoons. For fly-fishing, Lowell recommend midges, soft hackles, sowbugs and streamers. Hot pink and cotton candy bodies on chartreuse jigheads are recommended for Trout Magnet spin fishing. Mark your calendars now for the annual Little Red River Clean-up, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 8. Be safe while enjoying the Little Red River. Always check before heading to the Little Red River by calling the Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock District water data system (501-362-5150) for Greers Ferry Dam water release information or check the Corps of Engineers website (swl-wc.usace.army.mil) for real-time water release and the Southwestern Power Administration website (swpa.gov) to see forecasted generation schedule.
(updated 8-29-2018) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said, “I just returned Monday from a trip to New York for my son’s wedding. After the happy event and four days in the city, it is good to be back to the Little Red River. The peace and quiet of the river are welcome after the hustle and noise of the big city.” Greg says the river is clear with afternoon generation: 3-5 hours of two generators has been the daily schedule for weekdays with lesser amounts on the weekend. “I had a trip Tuesday afternoon and we did well on rainbows using sowbugs and size 20 midge pupa. There was a blue-wing olive hatch about 4 p.m. on the lower river and I imagine this happened earlier on the upper sections. Rain is forecast for the rest of the week so we’ll have to see if we get enough to muddy the river for the weekend. As of now, the river is in good shape. Don’t forget the River Cleanup on Saturday, Sept. 8. If you can, please come to Lobo Landing at 8 a.m. and help clean the river.”
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 460.52 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.04 feet msl Oct. 1-April 30; 463.04 feet msl May 1-June 1; 462.54 feet msl June 1-Sept. 30).
(updated 8-29-2018) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake at 4:54 p.m. Tuesday was at 460.53 feet msl. That is 2.01 feet below normal pool for this time of the year. The catching is good overall and is getting better by the minute as follows: The crappie are eating well in pole timber or any brush piles in 12-22 feet of water on minnows or jigs tipped with minnows. The catfish catching is good all around the lake on any method you choose and any bait you prefer using at this time for all three species. Walleye are being picked up under black bass, hybrid and white bass schooling all around the lake and also eating crawlers dragged around on jigheads and drop-shot rigs in 16-24 feet of water. Bream are on beds and guarding fry – use crawlers, crickets, small crankbaits and inline spinners in 6 inches out to 18 feet of water. Black bass are scattered out all over, busting water and eating topwater baits, spinnerbaits, jigs and Fluke-type baits. The deeper fish can be caught on Texas-rigged worms, C-rigs and football heads using a worm as a trailer. The hybrid and white bass bite is terrific all around the lake – early, late and just about all day long in the right areas. Use spoons, inline spinners, topwater baits and swimbaits for the best results. The new Texas Tornado by Bait Shop Bob is working great in 25-60 feet of water.
Harris Brake Lake
(updated 8-29-2018) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) said the water clarity is clear and the lake seems to be cooling off. Water level is normal. Bream reports have been fair. Crappie are good on minnows or jigs. Bass are good; throw topwater lures. Catfishing is good on worms and bait bags.
(updated 8-15-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) says Harris Brake seems to be the area hot spot, based on reports from her customers. One of her regulars at Harris Brake said that he finally got into some huge crappie using small crappie minnows and Bobby Garland 2-inch Slab Slayer in the color bone white chartreuse.
NOTICE: An irrigation restriction on Lake Overcup will be in effect through March 1, 2019. The irrigation restriction will allow the AGFC to apply Environmental Protection Agency-approved aquatic herbicides to treat and reduce the spread of alligator weed, a non-native, invasive aquatic plant. Herbicides used will not cause harm to aquatic organisms, such as fish, and are not harmful to people or wildlife that may come into contact with treated vegetation or water. Herbicides that will be used have up to a 120-day irrigation restriction after application. Therefore, the AGFC strongly recommends adjacent landowners DO NOT irrigate water from Lakes Overcup for lawn or garden use during this period.
(updated 8-22-2018) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said the water level is back up and the clarity is good. Surface temperature is around 84 degrees. Bream are doing well around the banks with crickets and worms fishing about 2 feet deep. Bass are still chasing shad, and there is a lot of shad. Crappie are doing well on minnows and jigs in 8-12 feet of water. Still not catching a lot but catching some good ones. Catfish are being caught on jugs and trotline with bream minnows and nightcrawlers. “Come see us at the bait shop, off Highway 9,” Johnny says.
(updated 8-29-2018) Larry Walters at Bones Bait Shop (501-354-9900) said the water is down about a foot and a half and is pretty clear. Surface water temperature is 84 degrees. Bream are biting fair in about 8-10 feet of water. Use worms, crickets or jigs. Crappie are good and are in 10-12 feet depth. Target the brush piles with minnows or jigs. Bass are fair. Check around the coves. They’ll go for buzzbaits, crankbaits and topwater plugs. Catfishing has slowed down. Results lately have been fair on worms or chicken livers. Overall, Larry said, fishing was “reall good this week; everything was biting.”
(updated 8-29-2018) Jolly Rogers Marina (501-868-5558) said largemouth bass are good to excellent. The bass are about 10-20 feet deep while some are just outside of the grass. Try using Zoom Trick Worms, crankbaits, jerkbaits and jigs in 6-8 feet and 10-16 feet of water. A few can also be caught in shallow water on Pop-Rs, spinnerbaits, and chatterbaits. The largemouths are still biting more during dusk and dawn. Kentucky bass are good. Kentucky bass are off the grass line and also about 8-12 feet deep down over the drop off points. Rocky banks are best with a crankbait or jig. White bass are good. Reports of the whites schooling near the dam from 5-9:30 p.m. Use Rooster Tails, CC Spoons, deep-diving Bandits, and Bombers. Crappie are good. More reports of crappie being found near brush piles and structures anywhere from 8-12 feet deep and from 16-20 feet deep. Try using spider rigs and minnows early in the morning or later in the evening. Bream are good. Bream are being caught 6-12 feet deep and on brush piles. Try using crickets, worms or jigs anywhere from 3-12 feet depth. Catfish are excellent: More reports this week of the channels starting to move out and the blues coming in. Try stink bait and bream around 8-10 feet and 20 feet deep. Roger says to come out to the marina “where everything is half-price.”
(updated 8-29-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said a few catfish are still being caught on chicken livers. Lisa has had reports of a couple of about 8 pounds and then some of those in the 1-1.5 pound range. Bream have been good on crickets. June 12 was the last date report on the stocking chart. If you ever want to check out when Sunset Lake was last stocked, just Google, Stocked Ponds, Arkansas Game and Fish, or you can also call the stocking hotline at (866) 540-3474. A few bass have been caught off of bass minnows and several different types of artificial baits like spinnerbaits, zing tails and 4-inch lizards. Crappie have been slow on pink minnows and small crappie minnows.
Bishop Park Ponds
(updated 8-29-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie been doing pretty good there from a couple of reports she received. Medium crappie minnows as well as bass minnows have both been doing great over there. Both bream and catfish have been fair on redworms and nightcrawlers . Some have been using frozen shad and cutting it up for the catfish. Bass are fair on bass minnows.
Saline River Access in Benton
(updated 8-29-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said smallmouth as well as the Kentucky bass have been fair on brooder minnows. Give it another month and soon the walleye will be doing great on those brooder minnows as well using a No. 2 bronze plain shank hook, with a small split shot. Just throw it out there and let that brooder do the job. Crappie have been slow using medium crappie minnows. Bream been good using crickets and redworms. Catfish have been being caught on trotlines using goldfish, black salties and bream.
Lisa says some of the hot spots for her customers in proximity her regular spots include Lake Ouachita, where “small crappie minnows have been doing great on some slab crappie for a couple of my customers. They have been hitting the brushtops with the small crappie minnows because they don't get them all hung up like the bigger ones would. Also, Lake Nimrod has also been doing great for some more of my customers but on the very opposite-size minnows, they have been catching the slab crappie on bass minnows.”
(updated 8-29-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie been slow but the ones that have been caught out there are pretty nice ones. This is a hard lake to crappie fish, usually medium crappie minnows or Kalin's bleeding Tennessee Shad 2-inch jigs do well. Bream, especially the big redear, are biting the crickets fishing on bottom. Catfish have been good on black salties and chicken livers. Bass have been fair on brooder minnows and crankbaits.
Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bass minnows have been the key for several on the crappie . Catfish fair on chicken livers and bait shrimp. Bass on spinner baits and crank baits . Bream on crickets .
(updated 8-30-2018) Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) said catfishing is good fishing with catalpa worms and nightcrawlers drifting in 10-20 feet of water. Do not get this mixed up with jug fishing. You are using pole fishing and on the bottom. Bass fishing is fair early and late. Fish the wood. Use green pumpkin with chartreuse tail in a lizard. White bass are chasing shad early and late. Use pearl or white shallow-diving crankbaits. Reports have been fair. Bream are biting on crickets or a blade Rooster Tail or Mepps spinner early on the grass lines. Good reports. A few crappie can be caught up Petit Jean River or Point Remove Creek. Use red and white jigs. Reports are it's slow.
(updated 8-29-2018) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the clarity remains clear while the water and current are running a little high. There were a not of lot of bream, but the bite was fair. Crappie are good, however. Minnows work best, and a lot of anglers were catching them, according to Ray Hudson. Bass are good on spinnerbaits. Catfishing is fair on the trotline using chicken livers, cut bait and minnows.
(updated 8-29-2018) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said catfishing is fair around Murray Lock and Dam. Use skipjack or slicks. Some fair reports on white bass, as well. Use white or chartreuse twin tails.
(updated 8-22-2018) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said the river is muddy and the level and current are normal. No surface temperature was recorded. Bream are good on worms and crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows or jigs. Bass are good on spinnerbaits and plastic worms. Catfish are good using shad.
(updated 8-29-2018) Vince Miller from Fish ’N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) said the water is stained with water level and current ranging a little high to normal. A few bream were being caught this week. No reports on crappie. Bass were fair. Try a black/blue jig or a pumpkin jig and fish the shallow areas around grass. Catfishing is fair. Fish around the dam in 8-10 feet depth with stink bait.
(updated 8-29-2018) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water in the area of Terry Lock and Dam is clear and the level and current are normal. No temperature was reported. Bream fell off this week, with only poor results. Crappie are fair on minnows or jigs in the backwaters. Bass reports are good; crankbaits and worms are getting response. Catfishing is fair behind the dam.
(updated 8-29-2018) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said catfishing is fair around Murray Lock and Dam. Use skipjack or slicks. Some fair reports on white bass, as well. Use white or chartreuse twin tails.
(updated 8-22-2018) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said the pool is muddy and the level and current are normal. Tony hears excellent reports on bream coming from the Willow Beach area. Anglers are fishing the riprap and rocky points with worms or crickets. Crappie are fair. Try around 12 feet depth with a black tube jig. Bass are good. Anglers aiming for bass are fishing the riprap with a spinnerbait or a black and blue jig. Catfishing is good below the dam. Fish with shad. Fair reports as well coming in on white bass. White spoons were drawing them in. Similar excellent reports came in on bream below the Terry Dam with anglers using redworms. Crappie are fair there in 15 feet depth on minnows and jigs. Bass are good on spinnerbaits.
Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 8-29-2018) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is clear and looks good for fishing. The water level is normal. Bream are fair on redworms or with crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Bass reports improved this week; with good catches. Use a spinnerbait, crankbait or fish a worm. Catfish reports were poor.
(updated 8-29-2018) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) reported the water level is still low (watch for stumps). The clarity is “pretty clear.” No surface temperature was recorded. Crappie are fair using minnows or jigs. No reports from bream, bass or catfish,
(updated 8-30-2018) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) says the White River, upriver or down, from Cotter, has rewarded anglers once more with stunning trout. Just this (Thursday) morning, fishing with sculpins produced nine browns for a guide and his anglers, dropping the bait into a little recess in the rocks and patiently working the line until they witnessed their catch and released the hook. A tiger-colored Rooster Tail with a black and gold skirt floated over the shoals at Roundhouse hooked several nice rainbows. Always keep some frozen shrimp on hand to pair with corn and/or scented eggs to ensure at least a catch of a few rainbows each day. "After a week's respite from the heat, we're experiencing typical August weather again: Hot and humid; but the river promises cool, clear water and the occasional chill breeze from rising mist that both refreshes and relaxes. See you there."
(updated 8-29-2018) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the river clarity is clear, with minimum flowin the morning and high flow in the evening. Rainbow bite was excellent this week, and the brown trout bite was fair.
(updated 8-29-2018) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said late last week that during the previous week, they had several rain events that combined for half an inch in Cotter, plus cooler temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell 0.1 foot to rest at 3.6 feet below seasonal power pool of 661 feet msl. This is 37.6 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock rose 0.7 feet to rest at 2.7 feet below seasonal power pool and 16.7 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose 0.2 feet to rest at 1.6 feet below seasonal power pool and 10.2 feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had less generation with wadable water every day. Norfork Lake rose 0.1 feet to rest at 3.3 feet below seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet msl and 27.5 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had less generation and wadable water every day. Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes in the White River System are now below the top of power pool. With warmer weather and increased power demand for air conditioning, we can expect more generation in the afternoons but there is a possibility of wadable water in the cooler mornings.
The White has fished well. The hot spot has been Wildcat Shoals. There are a few sulphurs still coming off. The hot flies were olive Woolly Buggers (sizes 8, 10), Y2Ks (sizes 14, 12), prince nymphs (size 14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead sizes 16, 18), pheasant tails (size 14), ruby midges (size 18), root beer midges (size 18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (size 10), and sowbugs (size 16). Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective (John’s current favorite combination is a size 14 Copper John with a size 18 ruby midge suspended below it). Use lead to get your flies down.
John also says, “(Last week) I got an email from Christy Graham. She is the Trout Management Plan/Supervisor for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. She regularly publishes an email of current events on our local trout streams. This week’s email included a blurb about progress on the construction on the ramps at Wildcat and White Hole (scheduled for completion Sept. 15) and another blurb on stocking brook trout on the Norfork Tailwater.
“The next item was very disturbing. The AGFC was conducting its annual electrofishing sample of Dry Run Creek and noted several trophy trout with angler-made notches cut out of their tails. They had heard of anglers doing this so that they could identify trout that they had previously caught. This is the most disgusting thing I have encountered in quite some time, mutilating trout in a Catch and Release area set aside for children and the handicapped.
“My wife, Lori, and I spend quite a bit of time guiding on Dry Run Creek (I am scheduled to guide a handicapped gentleman there tomorrow). I have been guiding there for almost 30 years. It has a large population of trophy trout. I took my daughter there as soon as it opened up as a catch-and-release stream. It is where my grandson caught his first fish, a 21-inch brown.
“It is a national treasure. I know of no other trophy fishing area of its quality that is open to the public anywhere in the United States or the world for that matter. To think that some angler is knowingly mutilating these magnificent fish is beyond comprehension. Trout that have been harmed in this way are much more susceptible to disease.
“The AGFC sometimes removes the adipose fin to identify certain stocked fish. It is done to small fish that have been sedated, handled carefully and held for a safe period of time under clinical conditions before being released into the wild. I have participated in fin clipping and it is carefully done at the hatchery to prevent infection or harm to the trout.
“When this is done by some angler on a catch-and-release stream for no sanctioned scientific reason, it is illegal. Fish are to be quickly released into the stream. Taking the time to hack off a body part is not my idea of quickly releasing a trout. Whoever is doing this is no sportsman or sportswoman. You are destroying the best fishing spot in Arkansas. If I see you on the stream doing this, I will photograph you in the act and call the ACFC poaching hotline (800) 482-9262, as quickly as I can. I ask other anglers to do the same. I hope that they punish any perpetrator within the fullest extent of the law and suggest that they lose their angling privileges on Dry Run Creek for life!
“We have something very special here and there are those that would ruin it for everyone. Let’s be vigilant and put an immediate stop to this!”
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 657.33 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 659.00 feet msl).
(updated 8-15-2018) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said the lake water is starting to cool off, which is helping the fishing. They have 84-degree temperatures as of Wednesday. Del says, “I’d say the biggest bite for the lake has been the walleye. The walleye have been really good this past week.” Anglers are bottom-bouncing from 28-36 feet around main lake points and secondary points. “Everybody seems to be catching them.” As far as the largemouth bass fishing goes, pretty much the early morning topwater bite seems to be on the “moving” baits rather than on poppers or the walk-the-dog style baits. Del says buzzbaits and the Whopper Plopper are working. Some of the shad have migrated into the creeks. He notes that threadfin shad appear headed about halfway to three-quarters back. “I think it’s the rains we’ve gotten that have pulled them back there, and (the Army Corps of Engineers) haven’t been running a bunch of water (at Bull Shoals Dam). The Corps has it at minimum flow.” The Kentucky bass seem to be around the channel swing banks or suspending over trees. There are tons of trees in Bull Shoals Lake, he says. Del adds that “you can never go wrong with a half-ounce football head jig on Bull Shoals Lake. Big worms are also working. Anything with red in it will work.” Crappie are mostly random these days. There are a couple of regular crappie anglers that Del seems often, but he said he hasn’t seen them going out lately.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 552.24feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April 552.00 feet msl; April-September, 554.00 feet msl).
(updated 8-29-2018) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said the striper bite continues to be excellent on Norfork Lake but the stripers are concentrating within sight of the dam. Thumb Point, Koso Point and all the areas around and near the dam are where the majority of the stripers are. They are also in the channel and open water from Quarry Marina to the dam. The trollers are having success catching open water stripers but as the oxygen continues to decline the stripers are moving closer to the bottom. Early morning, before light you can catch hybrids in 50' of water in front of Koso Point. As the sun appears the fish are going deeper, we are fishing off the points by the dam. The stripers we are catching are healthy and feeding but they now being caught at the 60' level in depths ranging from 70 to 110'. This trend will continue until the water temperature gets into the low 70's. As the stripers continue to move down the trollers will have a harder time since the stripers are hugging the bottom they cannot get their lures close enough to them for a hit. Jigging a spoon is the better way to catch a striper if you're not using live bait. We are catching limits of stripers both morning and late afternoon. This a great time of year to get out there and catch some good eating fish. Your best spots will be the front and back of Koso Point, Thumb Point and the points by the dam. Don't forget to scan and look at the river channel, I catch limits of fish by just fishing the river channel from Koso to the dam. Remember we now in the summer period of striper fishing so you should stop releasing legal stripers that you catch. Catch your limit and quit for the day or change your target species. Save some fish for your next trip and watch them grow into trophies.
(updated 8-22-2018) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said Norfork Lake is still in its summer fishing pattern. This typically lasts until around mid-September, when the striped bass will then scatter and head to the cooler water northward. The lake currently has a thermocline that has set up around 25-30 feet. There is warm water down to the thermocline, then the water temperature drops drastically below the line. Many of the fish species hang out right around the thermocline, so fishing in 20-35 feet of water will produce some nice fish. “Overall fishing has stayed fairly consistent since my last report,” Lou says. “The biggest change has been with the striped bass. They are going deeper; at least I am finding the larger fish on the bottom in around 60-70 feet of water. This is not to say you will not find striped bass shallower.
“One of our guests at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort was jigging a half-ounce chrome Kastmaster in 35 feet of water the other day and landed a nice 15-pound fish. I am marking fish from 35 feet down to the bottom. My fishing time typically is from around 5:30 a.m. until about 9:30 a.m. In the dark I have been using live shad set at 35 and 45 feet deep. I have found large schools of fish cruising around in the dark. As the sun comes up they do tend to go deeper. When they go deeper, I switch to a spoon and start to vertical-jig at the depth where I find the fish. When I find a large school I also cast out a large Rooster Tail-type spinning bait. Cast the bait out and let it sink to the bottom, then reel up though the fish and hang on.
“The striped bass are being very aggressive at this time and are hammering the baits and are giving a great fight. One major item to remember is that most of the striped bass you catch at this time will die if you release them, due to the temperature of the water. So when you catch a fish you should keep it and when you get your limit, switch your fishing tactics and fish for other species. Catch and release is not a good idea for striped bass at this time. Trolling is also picking up some good fish. You will need to get your baits down to below 35 feet to catch some decent fish. I have been fishing points from a little south of Point 2 down to the dam and a little east of the dam up toward Jordan area.”
Lou says walleye fishing has also been good, but they are at all depths. He says he has caught walleye in 50 feet of water as well as at 20-30 feet of water. A crawler harness with bottom-bouncing weights is working well, as well as deep-diving crankbaits, as long as you can get them very close to the bottom. Brush piles in 30-40 feet of water are also holding some nice fish. Bass fishing has been fair. Lou says he has picked up some nice spotted bass, as well as largemouth bass, in 25-35 feet of water by vertical-jigging a spoon. Brush piles are also holding some fish. Early and late in the day you can also get a few nice bass on topwater back in the creeks and coves. Norfork Lake is holding fairly stable on water depth. Currently the lake depth is 552.41 feet msl. The main lake is clear and some of the creeks and coves are stained. The current surface water temperature is in the mid-80s.
(updated 8-29-2018) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last weekend that over the previous week Norfork Lake rose 0.1 feet to rest at 3.3 feet below seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet msl and 27.5 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had less generation and wadable water every day. Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes in the White River System are now below the top of power pool. With warmer weather and increased power demand for air conditioning, we can expect more generation in the afternoons but there is a possibility of wadable water in the cooler mornings.
The Norfork, the water has fished very well. There have been some nice midge and sporadic sulphur hatches that have provided some limited top water action. Navigate this stream with caution. 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 red fox squirrel nymph with a ruby midge dropper. Dry Run Creek is fishing much better. The hot flies have been sowbugs (size 14), Y2Ks (size 12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise size 10).
(updated 8-29-2018) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are a bit higher. The smallmouths are 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 1,119.60 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.00 msl).
(updated 8-29-2018) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said that the water level is normal, but no other conditions were reported. Bream are fair on redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair by trolling crankbaits. Bass are good; throw a spinnerbait in the evening and fish with a topwater plug in the morning. Catfishing is fair using prepared and live bait.
(updated 8-29-2018) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) says the striper activity for this week is good. Stripers are still scattered throughout the lake. They are using mouths of coves, bluffs and tree lines adjacent to the channel and are beginning to move toward fall locations. That means secondary points and deep coves. For you diehard live baiters, fishing using weighted lines, balloons and downlines between about 20-40 feet deep during daylight hours 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, and Smithwick Rogues in similar colors in the 5-6-inch model on planer boards to stagger your presentation. Down-rigging those baits will be effective, too, as well especially at night. “I have been experimenting with mooching/downrigging and am finding it effective. You can expect to see a how to video on my YouTube channel in the future,” Mike said. Make sure you do not keep striper under 20 inches and not more than three striper, hybrid or combination of the two. There is no limit on white bass. Fish location is greatly influenced by lake level and current flow. Current in the lake from generation will generally position fish on upstream or downstream edges of structure. Check the daily lake level and flow data link on Mike Bailey’s website linked above. Live bait as always is the go-to approach on Beaver Lake when fishing for trophy stripers. Water surface temperatures are in the high 70s to low 80s. Mike suggest checking out these hot spots in the mid- and upper sections, checking the main lake points and humps: Lost Bridge South, Point 4, Big Clifty, points 5 and 6, Rambo Creek Arm and Rocky Branch.
Walleye are in their summer haunts near rocky points, rock piles, bluffs, tree lines and a good portion of them can be found suspended 20-40 feet down over 40-plus feet of water near structure. Three-way rigging, down-rigging or using snap weights with Rapalas in natural colors for clear water or chartreuse/orange and clown colors in areas of stained water are effective, but hang on tight because the walleye and striper territories overlap some and you my hook more than you bargained for. Try Rapala tail dancers, Bagley Rumble B's, Flicker Shad, Bandit 300 Series and Arkie 350s in colors that include orange and chartreuse. Also try slow death rigs and spinner rigs on bottom-bouncers on long points and humps near the channel rigged in orange/chartreuse.
(updated 8-22-2018) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said, “It looks like generation has resumed – what a relief! The water levels are still considerably low, but at least we are getting cold water flowing again.” He says the trout have been biting between Spider Creek and Parkers. Quarter-ounce spoons and Rooster Tails have produced some nice fish. Fishing with light terminal tackle with various PowerBaits have also produced nice fish. The hot spot has been Parker Bottoms this past week. The bite was about every 5 minutes throwing Rooster Tails. “I did not get a chance to do bass fishing this past week, so nothing new to report there; however, the bite has been pretty consistent, so I would imagine the same technique could be applied this week while fishing in the previously mentioned locations. Hope you all enjoy the cool weather and catch plenty of fish, good luck and be safe.”
(updated 8-29-2018) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said the lake is mostly clear, but there is some slight stain. The water level is normal. No surface temperature was recorded. The bream bite is fair on worms or crickets. Crappie are fair with minnows and jigs, and even crankbaits and Rat-L-Traps are getting crappie bites. Bass reports have been good. Crankbaits and worms remain the way to go. Catfish reports were fair, with best response when it’s raining a lot. Chicken liver and catfish bait were getting hits, anglers said.
(updated 8-29-2018) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) reports that the water has cleared and the level is normal. No temperature was reported. Bream reports are good, with anglers using redworms. No reports on crappie. Bass are fair on plastic worms and buzzbaits. Catfish are biting fair on punch baits.
(updated 8-29-2018) Ome Coleman at Lake Poinsett State Park said that minnows are the hot item at the State Park shop. "We are still keeping and selling all the live and frozen bait you may need. The weather is right. We will all be glad when Lake Poinsett is full of water and full of all your favorite fish." That will not be for another two years, it is estimated, as the lake is drained for structural repairs to the shoreline and to other areas. While Lake Poinsett is closed, there are other lakes in the immediate area for anglers to check out, including Lake Hogue and Lake Charles. Also, the AGFC’s Family and Community Fishing Program is now stocking the pond at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.
(updated 8-29-2018) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water is very clear and is still about 2 feet low. The temperature was ranging 88-90 degrees earlier this week. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Bass bites were fair late in the evening and early in the morning. Spinnerbaits and crankbaits were getting the best response. Crown Lake will be hosting a bass tournament on Saturday. Catfishing is fair on cut shad or large minnows. No reports on crappie.
(updated 8-29-2018) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) said water levels are 275 cfs at the spring and water clarity has a little stain to it. “The way I like it,” Mark said. “The river is low.” The trout and smallmouth have been hitting olive Woolies consistently this week. On the sunny hot days it is so important to get it down deep. Look for fast water hitting deeper pools. On the fly cast a little upstream, put a good mend in the line and let the fly swing all the way down till it straightens out. “The trout on the Spring River love the swing, with a little strip back at the end. Rarely do we use indicators,” he said. “Hot pink Trout Magnets are always hot for trout and smallmouth. Fish it with a float with a spinning rod or on a fly rod fishing the shore line. It always works for me. They should be in every survival kit.”
(updated 8-29-2018) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Spring River is navigable. This is a great place to wade fish when they are running water on the White and Norfork rivers. With canoe season there are many boats on the river. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive Woolly Buggers with a bit of flash (size 10), cerise and hot pink San Juan worms (size 10) and Y2Ks (size 10).
(updated 8-29-2018) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said the water clarity clear and the water is low by 5-5½ feet. No temperature was recorded. Bass are fair on plastic worms or jigs. Walleye are fair using hairjigs and live bait. There have been stripers caught below lots 1 and 2 using swimbaits and jerkbaits. Nothing to report on bream, crappie or catfish.
Arkansas River (Pool 2)
Arkansas River (Pine Bluff Pool)
(updated 8-29-2018) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team said water temperatures are in the upper 80s to low 90s by end of day. Water visibility is between 1-2 feet. Very light flow on the main channel, but barely noticeable. The cooler air temperatures and periodic rainfall have helped perk the fish up lately. Black bass are still slow during the middle of the day but numbers can be caught in the morning, evening and around periods of rainfall. Reaction lures like buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and swimjigs worked along shoreline vegetation or jetties on the main channel can get bites during the active times. Finesse Worms on shaky heads and light Texas rigs can get bites from offshore brush piles in Lake Langhofer during the inactive times but you must be patient. Best bet for right now is to cover water very quickly in the mornings and evenings to encounter as many active fish as possible before they go inactive from bright sunlight. If you continue fishing in the middle of the day, slow down and deliberately work through deeper woody cover with finesse gear.
(updated 8-29-2018) Park Interpreter Houston Wynn at Cane Creek State Park said fishing at Cane Creek is starting to hit its stride. The shad are rolling, and the fish are extremely active in pursuit of them. Bass fishing is in a fairly high gear, though fish aren’t necessarily massive, they can be found schooling at about 2 to 4 four pounds. Crankbaits and Spinnerbaits seem to be pouring in the best results, anything that resembles the school shad should work. With the temperatures the way that they are, mornings and evening are the best time to find these fish. Bream fishing is still in its summer-mode. With these fish still sitting on beds in shallow water, they can be caught in an abundance. You can find these fish at all times of the day in anywhere from 2 to 5 feet of water, with your larger fish hanging in the deeper water. Just about any bait will work, but the best reports have been coming from crickets. Catfish are still being are still in summer mode, and they can be caught in many different ways. Try the deeper channels of the lake during the day time to find larger fish while smaller or “eating size” fish will hang closer to the shore. At night the catfish will be following the shad up and down the shore line, so anywhere that there is a bay or bait activity. Crappie are starting to be found more and more frequent. In the summer time, crappie are more active than any other time of the year, and they will constantly be on the move. So there are two ways to find these fish, and that’s to move around and fish 12 feet of water until you find 2 or 3 fish at a time, or sit in one spot and wait for them to find you, either way, with patience, you will find these fish. Fish minnows in about 10-12 feet of water.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 257.85 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 259.20 msl).
(updated 8-29-2018) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said Millwood Lake remains in 24-inch drawdown pool; lake level is currently about 16 inches below normal conservation pool; the discharge Monday was near 500 cfs for Little River, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. The tailwater below the dam and gates was about 224 feet msl. Water temps have jumped over the past week. Surface temps as of Monday ranged 84 degrees early to 89 later under full sun, depending on location. Be sure and check the most recent lake level of Millwood Lake on the guide service’s website linked above, or at the US Army Corps of Engineers website, for updated gate release changes and inflow rates with rising and falling lake levels and conditions while the Corps of Engineers drawdown is in effect. This 24-inch reduction of normal pool elevation is bringing stumps and broken timber to, and very near surface pool. Use extreme caution in navigation during ongoing drawdown conditions on Millwood. Clarity and visibility continue improving over the past week, but remain stained in places, especially upriver. Monday the clarity and visibility was moderate stain, ranging 10-15 inches. Not a lot of change over past couple weeks, its HOT and a lot of the largemouth bass are feeding at night. Early morning is most definitely best bite and is subdued after 9:30 a.m. This time of year, early morning will yield most aggressive feeders. Cooler temps at night have been observed as much as 8 degrees cooler without blazing sun. The largemouth bass, Kentucky bass and a few white bass continue randomly surface schooling on shad in Little River and the oxbows of McGuire and Mud lakes along Little River, near midmorning, in the oxbows over deep water from 15-20 feet, deeper flats from 5-9 feet in lily pads, and at mouths of creeks dumping into Little River on points between 12-18 feet. Bass remain active at daylight up to 2 or 3 pounds. Feeding activity levels taper off except for the random schooling fish much after daylight's first couple hours. Best baits drawing reactions at early morning continue to be slow-rolling buzzaits, soft plastic frogs, Cordell Crazy Shads, Baby Torpedoes, StutterSteps, Rat-L-Traps and Bass Assassin Shads near pads and vegetation. Buzzbait colors drawing best reactions lately continue to be Cotton Candy Lime or HotFirecracker Candy. Best buzzbait bite continues to be across deeper flats near creek channel swings, with stumps and laydowns, and around lily pads. Cordell Crazy Shads, Arbogast Jitterbugs, Baby Torpedoes and Bass Assassin Shads are working in or near the vegetation and lily pads. The surface-schooling bass are showing up randomly along Little River and the oxbow lakes most days by midmorning. White bass have been randomly schooling on surface feeding shad in Little River with the largemouths and Kentucky bass, and are fair to good on Fat Free Shads, Rat-L-Traps, Cordell Hammered Spoons with red/white bucktails, and Rocket Shads. Crappie have been fair over the past week with jigs and minnows, and anglers were catching some nice slabs early, from 8-12 feet deep, vertical jigging in standing timber. No update this week for the catfish. The last few weeks the channel and blue cats from 3-7 pounds were biting in the oxbow lakes up Little River on yoyos hung from cypress trees using cut bait and punch baits.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 542.84 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).
(updated 8-15-2018) Jason Lenderman of JL Guide Service (870-490-0804) says the lake level on Tuesday was 4.5 feet below full pool of 548 feet msl and has risen some with the recent rains. Water temps have made it to the mid- to upper 80s. The bass have are in their summertime patterns and have slowed down considerably. Super Spook Jr’s, Zara Puppies, Booyah Hard Knockers, and small swimbaits are seeing some action on main lake points early and late with some schooling action from spotted bass taking place. Shaky head rigged Yum Finesse Worms and drop-shots rigged with Yum Kill Shots or Sharpshooters are working OK on main lake points around brush, too. Night fishing has been decent lately using black Booyah Spinnerbaits or Yum Ribbontail Worms. Crappie are slowing down, but still good. They can be caught in 15- to 30-foot brush with minnows.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 398.31 feet msl (flood pool: 408.00 feet msl).
(updated 8-29-2018) John Duncan of yoyoguideservice.com at Iron Mountain Marina said, “Summer, summer go away! Wow has it been hot. Even with the heat the days are getting shorter and the water temperature has stopped rising.” Water temperature is in the mid-80s. Moon has been full, so bream should be on the bed but it is late in the year. “Since I have no bream reports, let me review with you how to find the beds,” John said. “Pick an area with the depth you want to view for beds. Set side imaging on one side (right or left), stay about 100 feet from shore and set side imaging to same distance. Travel 3-6 mph and watch for the ‘waffle.’ Mark with waypoint and back off and cast to beds. That simple.” Water level is even lower at 398.31 feet msl. Crappie reports are slow. Water temperature needs to drop a little more and days continue to shorten and they will begin fall patterns. Schooling fish is still the story in town. Surfacing fish can be found throughout the lake if you can find calm water. From Iron Mountain to Shouse Ford they are schooling. One-ounce spoons will get the white bass, and if you can get it under the whites the hybrids are around. Fish the calm side of the lake. Be there early. (some up at 6:15 a.m.). Rooster Tails and Red-Eyed Shad are good baits, also. Good fishing to you.
(updated 8-29-2018) Local angler George Graves said surface water temperature is in the low 80s and the lake is clear throughout. Due to Entergy sucking water, the lake is getting very low, so boaters beware. Bass fishing is only fair early in the morning with mostly small fish being caught. Look for schooling fish in the lower end in the big coves at points 2 and 4. Also some fish along the state park between Caddo Bend and the marina. Throw topwater plugs, Flukes and 3-inch swimbaits. You have to hit right where the fish "break" because they come up for a shad and right back down. Also quite a few Kentuckies showing along rock bluffs and points on the south side. Work a 4-inch Texas-rigged worm down the steep banks. Red shad and green pumpkin are good colors to start with. Crappie fishing is very slow with most of the attractors at mid-lake too shallow with the low water. “Someone please tell the AGFC to place some attractors in deeper water,” George says. “Around 20 feet is ideal for crappies, so that means, place them at 30 feet at full pool.” Hybrid fishing is slow with very few schooling fish reported. In fact, there has been a lack of schooling activity all summer even though there are vast schools of shad. A few fish are being caught on heavy spoons fished deep in the thermocline at the dam area. Lots of bream reported but most are on the small side. Look for fish in most any cove with some rock or wood cover. Try redworms or crickets.
(updated 8-29-2018) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said white bass are schooling and hitting everything from bottom-bouncing spoons to topwater baits. They are beginning their migration toward the river.
De Queen Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 437.18 feet msl (flood pool: 437.00 feet msl).
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 526.48 feet msl (flood pool: 526.00 feet msl).
White Oak Lake
(updated 8-29-2018) White Oak Lake State Park (870-685-2748) had no report.
(updated 8-29-2018) Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said bass are fair on crankbaits and wobbleheads. Bream are still being caught, just have to find them. Crappie are slow, no report on catfish.
(updated 8-29-2018) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) reported the lake is pretty clear this week and the surface temperature has cooled to a range of 80-82 degrees. Water level is normal. The bream bite is slowing down. This week it’s been fair, with crickets getting the response. Crappie are fair on minnows. Bass are fair on crankbaits and plastic worms; Sharon says to use black/blue/white colors in the baits. Catfishing is good with catches off the bank. Use stink bait, shad or nightcrawlers.
Lake Bailey (Petit Jean State Park)
Lake Catherine (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro.
(updated 8-29-2018) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, said rainbow trout fishing is extremely slow. June is traditionally the last month for quality fishing below Carpenter Dam as the summer season kicks in. Anglers will experience short feeding times and a finicky bite as wary trout feed on insect hatches and injured baitfish. Patience is key as the remaining trout numbers are actively feeding in the late evening as the sun sets over the top of the dam. Trout from 12-21 inches are present in the tailrace, but numbers are few. Bank fishermen have had some success using waxworms and mealworms fished just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Nightcrawlers and redworms will also work presented in the same manner. As the month of August kicks in, few rainbow trout will be seen feeding and smaller numbers caught. By mid-August, trout fishing will be over and good numbers of fish won't be caught again until the stocking program beings again in November, when the water temperature is suitable for trout again. Walleye are also present in the area and are feeding on shad. The majority of fish are being caught by trolling shallow-running stick baits that imitate small minnows or crawfish. Carolina rigs tipped with nightcrawlers have taken the largest fish at night. White bass are present in the tailrace with numbers being taken from the bank by anglers casting flukes and Rapala jerkbaits in a black/silver combination. Crappie have long finished their spawning run and but some fish are still being caught on small jigs and live minnows around rock structure and sand bars close to the main river channel. Little striper activity has been observed lately, but huge numbers of shad are present and these predators can appear at any time of day to feed. Anyone navigating the Carpenter Dam tailrace should be aware of the generation schedules and must always follow all park and boating regulations.
(updated 8-29-2018) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas born-and-bred, all-welded Xpress fishing boat in Hot Springs, reports lake conditions clear to slightly off color depending on what part of the lake you are on. Lake temps have risen back to the mid- to high 80s. Bass still reads as follows: lousy. Fish are being caught, but any size is few and far between. Our resident pro Derek Sandlin, who fished a tournament with Marc Davis, (YES THE MARC DAVIS) only weighed in 8 pounds and culled nearly 25 fish. The only go-to at the moment is the drop-shot rig in black, green or salt-and-pepper and over brush piles. Sporadic fish will be caught on crankbaits and spoons, but it may be a good time to take up another hobby like croquet or just practicing trash-talking the other anglers, which many consider to be the only reason to fish in the first place. Catfish are good, as usual, on drop-offs. Crappie have been fair in 15-20 feet of the main channels and on brush. “Good luck! Go Greeson!”
(updated 8-15-2018) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said spoons and swimbaits are catching the white bass, black bass and hybrid bass in the creek arms. Use sonar for the large concentrations of shad, you'll find the feeding fish early in the morning.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 343.45 feet msl (full pool: 342.00 feet msl).
(updated 8-29-2018) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) reported there were fair fishing results across the board, but overall the fish are not biting. The lake temperature is still warm, they say, and the clarity is “pretty clear.” Water level is normal. Bream are fair on worms or crickets. Crappie are fair, but the catches as real small. Mostly jigs, and some minnows, work best. Anglers are trying everything but the results are spotty. But chances are in the backbrush. Bass are fair. Catfish reports were fair using worms.
(updated 8-22-2018) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said the water is a murky-stained clarity. Surface temperature is 83 degrees and the lake level is normal. Bream are biting well. Worms or crickets will work. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Bass are good with anglers using spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater plugs. Catfishing was poor, but worms and stink bait will get some response. There have been some extra large ones caught here lately.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 572.28 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 8-22-2018) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) says black bass are fair. Texas-rigged worms and drop-shot finesse worms are best at this time. Walleye are good. Try using a CC Spoon near brush for these fish or drop-shotting a nightcrawler. Stripers are still good on live bait. Major creek mouths and main lake points on the eastern part of the lake are the best for these fish. Bream are good and being caught on crickets and worms in 15-25 feet water near brush. No report on crappie. Catfish are good. Cut bait, live bait and stink bait are all producing good bags. Water temperature is ranging 84-88 degrees. Water clarity is clear. Contact the Mountain Harbor guides – Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717; Chris Darby, 870-867-7822; and 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 387.24 feet msl (full pool: 384.00 feet msl).
(updated 8-29-2018) The AGFC’s Wil Hafner at Cook’s Lake Conservation Education Center (870-241-3373) said the weather is hot and so is the fishing. The recent rains have muddied the water and the lake is on the rise. Anglers are still reporting black bass to be hitting Texas-rigged green pumpkin Baby Brush Hogs and green pumpkin or black and blue jigs in the center of dead cypress trees. Black and chartreuse square-bill crankbaits are also producing. Several anglers are catching 4- to 6-pound bass. The bluegill have slowed down. Crappie fishing has picked up with a few slabs being caught in submerged brush on black and chartreuse tubes.
Cook’s Lake is a 2.5-mile-long oxbow off the White River, nestled in the heart of the Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge near Casscoe in Arkansas County. This fertile oxbow receives very little fishing pressure due to being used only for education purposes and youth and mobility-impaired fishing. The scenic lake is full of slab crappie, giant bluegills, largemouth bass and catfish of all species. Cook’s Lake will be open to fishing on Saturday, Sept. 1 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will be open the first and third Saturdays of every month through October, water level pending. Cook’s Lake is open to fishing for youth under 16 or mobility-impaired, and up to two helpers (who may also fish). Fish from the 140-foot mobility-impaired accessible dock or launch a boat, but we ask for trolling motors only (outboard motor may be used for loading and unloading or in case of emergency). Before launching, please check in at the Conservation Education Center and report back before leaving. For information or unscheduled closures, please contact the center at 870-241-3373.
(updated 8-22-2018) Natalie Faughn, ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), says the cooler weather has been making our Bear Creek bass happy – anglers report higher activity in the cooler mornings and early afternoon hours since Sunday. Looks like they’re biting on artificial bait and some smaller jigs. We’re hoping this weather decides to stick around and encourages them to come out some more.
(updated 8-22-2018) Natalie Faughn, ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), said Storm Creek Lake has about the same activity level that it’s had for weeks. Bass activity has seen a slight increase, but nothing else of note to report.