Sept. 5, 2018
Jim Harris Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine
Weekly Fishing Report
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for Sept. 5, 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 9-5-2018) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) says the lake has the expected Lake Conway stain this week, and the lake is full. No surface temperature was reported. Bream are fair in 5-6 feet depth and are biting redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair. Go to the green cypress trees for the best results with minnows or jigs. Bass are fair. Use spinnerbaits, 1.5 crankbaits, shad or minnows. Catfishing is fair on nightcrawlers or gimp baits.
Gold Creek Landing (501-607-0590) reports
Little Red River
(updated 9-5-2018) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service said the Little Red is getting a few hours of early afternoon and/or evening generation. Forecasts are showing the system coming up from the Gulf producing significant rainfall in our area over the next few days. If this happens, the Little Red could potentially experience stained or muddy water on the middle and lower sections of the Little Red. 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. Don’t forget to participate in the annual Little Red River Clean-up that is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 8. Be safe while enjoying the 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 9-5-2018) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said, The weather cooperated for the Labor Day weekend and the rain wasn’t heavy enough to cause a problem. Now we are having to watch the hurricane heading this way through Mississippi. If the heavy rain that is possible with this storm affects the Little Red watershed, the river could become muddy.” The river as of Wednesday morning is clear with afternoon generation of 4-6 hours during the week and 2-3 hours on the weekend. ”I have been having good luck with size 16 and 18 pheasant tails and size 20 midge pupa,” Greg says. “When there is no insect activity, size 14 and 16 sowbugs have been producing. The bite has been the best from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the lower river where I fished over the weekend and Monday. It could have been earlier on the upper river since the water levels would have been lower in this area. Keep your fingers crossed and hope the heavy rain stays south of us. If so, the fishing should be good on the Little Red.”
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 9-5-2018) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake as of Tuesday evening was at 460.40 feet msl and falling with generation. It is 2.17 feet below normal pool of 462.54 feet msl. The catching is good overall, it is just a timing issue – being there or staying there when they feed, as it will happen off and on all day now (and sometimes go on all day), according to wind, weather, etc. But if you are pushed for time, you can miss it hopping around trying to make something happen. The best thing is find the bait and stay put – patience is key. The crappie are eating in the pole timber and some are following white bass and hybrid bass around as well. The pole timber fish and brush pile fish can be caught with minnows, jigs, and jigs tipped with minnows in 12-26 feet of water. The catfish are eating all around the lake on a variety of baits and techniques. The black bass are eating spinnerbaits in wind. Some are schooling, some are right on the bank, some mid-depths, some out in 45 feet of water. Try topwater baits, jigs, small crankbaits, football heads tipped with a worm, Texas-rigged worms and a C-rig with a Senko for the best overall bite. Bream are eating crickets, crawlers and small crankbaits and inline spinners. Walleye are eating crawlers drug around in 12-26 feet of water on a jighead, drop-shot rig, and spoons. The hybrid and white bass are eating inline spinners, spoons, topwater baits, swimbaits and the Texas Tornado. Fishing vertical is best at this time, with the horizontal bite picking up every day in 23-55 feet.
Harris Brake Lake
(updated 9-5-2018) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) said the water clarity is dingy and water level is normal. No temperature was reported. Bream reports remain fair. Fish them with worms or crickets. Crappie are poor. Bass are fair but only in the late evening. Nothing to report on catfish.
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 9-5-2018) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said water level is high by about 2 feet and clarity is good. Surface temperature is around 84 degrees. Crappie are being caught on jigs and minnows in 6-8 feet of water around stumps and creek channels. Bream are slow bit still catching some good ones on crickets and red worms. Bass are doing well on crankbaits and buzzbaits. Catfish are being caught on jugs and trotline with bream and minnows.
(updated 9-5-2018) Larry Walters at Bones Bait Shop (501-354-9900) said the water is still down about a foot and the clarity is clear. Surface water temperature is 80-82 degrees. Bream are good in about 10 feet of water. Use worms or crickets. Crappie are good and are in 10-12 feet depth. Target the brush piles with minnows or jigs. Bass are fair and are biting crankbaits as well as Rat-L-Traps, buzzbaits and shad. Catfishing is fair.
(updated 9-5-2018) Jolly Rogers Marina (501-868-5558) said the largemouth bass bite is good, They are about 10-20 feet deep while some are just outside of the grass. Try using Trick Worms, crankbaits, jerkbaits and jigs in 6-8 and 10-16 feet of water. A few can also be caught in shallow water on Pop-Rs, spinnerbaits and chatterbaits. Some really good reports coming in from the east north corner of lake. The largemouths are still biting more during dusk and dawn. Kentucky bass are good. Expect to see some schooling in the next few weeks. 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 Rails, 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 18-22 feet deep. Try using spider rigs and minnows early in the morning or later in the evening. Bream are slow. 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 good. 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.
(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 well there from a couple of reports she has gotten. 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 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 and 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 as well using medium crappie minnows. Bream have been good using crickets and redworms. Catfish been being caught on trot lines using gold fish, 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, she adds, but usually medium crappie minnows or Kalin's bleeding Tennessee shad colored 2-inch jigs do well. Bream, especially the big redear, are biting the crickets fished on bottom. Catfishing has been good on black salties and chicken livers. Bass have been fair on brooder minnows and crankbaits.
(updated 9-5-2018) Hatchet Jack’s in North Little Rock (501-758-4958) says catfishing is excellent. Use chicken liver or nightcrawlers.
(updated 8-29-2018) 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 are biting on spinner baits and crank baits. Bream are biting on crickets.
(updated 8-29-2018) Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) said with rain, rain and more rainwater in the river, it’s been muddy and there’s been fair flows of water. “A few chickadee fishermen have fished here.” Black bass are on jetty points where you have large schools of shad. Use shad-colored spinnerbaits slow-rolled. Also chartreuse crankbaits will work. Reports on bass have been good. Bream are on the jetty tops. Use worms moved slowly over the bottom. Good reports on bream. Catfish are on the backside of jetties and on points. Use worms and catalpa worms. Reports have been great on catfish. White bass have moved to where the mudline and the clear water meet. Use shad-colored crankbaits.
(updated 9-5-2018) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the clarity is clear and the level and current are normal. No surface temperature was reported. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Catfishing is fair on the trotlines. No reports on bream. No reports on bass.
(updated 9-5-2018) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said bream are biting fair in 3-4 feet depth. Use crickets. White bass reports have been fair in this pool. Nothing else was reported.
(updated 9-5-2018) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said catfishing is fair using skipjack or slicks. White bass are biting fair on white twister tails.
(updated 9-5-2018) Vince Miller from Fish ’N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) said the river flow is down along with the level. The bream bite in the pool has begun to slow down, he said. Fish with crickets for best results. Bass are fair. The bass are moving back out, and it’s best to target the rocky points. Fish with shaky heads or with jigs in green/pumpkin/orange and with river craws. No reports on crappie or catfish.
(updated 9-5-2018) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said the pool is dingy and there is very little current. The bream bite is good in 5-6 feet depth with crickets. Crappie are fair on pink minnows. Bass are fair. Try fishing with a topwater plug early. Then look for bass in 10-15 feet depth. Fish the sand bar drops and throw a bone-colored Whopper Plopper or a Red Bug shaky head. Catfish are good below the hydroelectric plant. They’re favoring skipjack.
(updated 9-5-2018) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said that around the Murray Lock and Dam, catfishing is fair using skipjack or slicks. White bass are biting fair on white twister tails.
(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.
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 9-5-2018) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) reported the water is clear and the level is low but very few stumps are showing. Crappie fishing is fair. Use minnows or jigs. Bass are good, no baits were reported. Catfishing is fair. No reports on bream.
(updated 9-5-2018) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) says, “The White River winds through the Arkansas Ozarks and offers an angler the opportunity to catch more trout than in any other stream in the country. After a week or two respite from the heat, we're experiencing summer's last hurrah in Cotter: hot and humid.” Bull Shoals Lake is 3 feet below power pool and the small amount of water generation from the dam comes late in the afternoon but has fallen before dawn, and water level is near minimum flow amounts all day. Makes for great wade fishing but requires some extra skill and knowledge of the river to keep a jon boat floating. And makes for a great time to catch trout. Sunrise-colored Power Eggs have been a favorite this week for both shore fishers and anglers in boats. The browns are still biting at sculpins and soft-shell crawdads (keep the Rebel Wee Craw handy). The ruby midge has been the go-to fly to tie on. Pull out your hopper flies; the end of August, first of September, is the best grasshopper crop of the year and the trout are looking for them. “Keep anglin' and we'll see you on the river.”
(updated 9-5-2018) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the river clarity is clear, with minimum flow in the morning and high flow in the evening like it has been for the past couple of weeks. The trout reports have been fair. Anglers are using PowerBait and shrimp. Others are fly-fishing with a Zebra or with spoons.
(updated 9-5-2018) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last weekend that during the past week, several rain events combined for an inch in Cotter, plus they saw cooler temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals remained steady at 3.6 feet below seasonal power pool of 661 feet. This is 37.6 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell 0.5 feet to rest at 3.2 feet below seasonal power pool and 17.2 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.3 feet to rest at 1.9 feet below seasonal power pool and 10.5 feet below the top of flood pool. The White River had little generation with wadable water every day. Norfork Lake rose 0.2 feet to rest at 3.5 feet below seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet msl and 27.7 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork little 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, expect generation in the afternoons and wadable water in the cooler mornings. The White has fished well. The hot spot has been Rim Shoals. There are still 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 said, “This Monday my wife, Lori, and I were on our weekly fishing trip. She is the love of my life and my favorite fishing buddy. We had a bit of a late start due to a hearty breakfast and dawdling over coffee. I drove over to the river, rigged the rods and launched the boat. Lori fed and walked the dogs before she joined me. She called me when she arrived at the ramp and I motored over to pick her up. I had done one drift and picked up a nice trout before she got in the boat.
“Lori began with a good streak and landed several while I was struggling. Luckily my luck changed and I began to pick up a few trout. It always seems to me that the flow of a fishing trip goes in streaks. Lori would catch a few then I would catch a few. She hooked a good trout. It fought ferociously and took a run to the bow of the boat. It dove under the drag chain that I was using to help me control my drifts. This happens from time to time. When I have a really big trout on, I will pull the chain in to prevent this from happening.
“This was not Lori’s first rodeo. She moved to the bow of the boat and began to gently pull in the chain in while maintain constant pressure on the trout. The trick is to get the chain untangled without losing the fish. She was doing a great job but I thought she might need a hand. I cranked in my line and laid my rod down on my seat. A bit of the line was hanging down in the water. This is a rookie mistake. The fly dangling down could easily catch a rock or a bit of aquatic vegetation and pull my fly rod into the water. Then I would either lose the rod or spend time diving into rather cool water to retrieve my gear.
“By the time I got to the bow, Lori had brought in the chain and still had good pressure on the trout. I grabbed the boat net and handed it to Lori. She is a guide and is used to netting her own fish. I walked to the stern of the boat and went to pick up my rod so that I could continue fishing. As I reached for my rod, I noticed that the strike indicator went down. I picked the rod up and quickly set the hook. Luckily it was a fat 18-inch rainbow and not the bottom of the river. It was slightly smaller than Lori’s fish. Since Lori’s trout was in the net, when I hooked mine, it was our first double of the day. I brought the trout to my net. It had been a couple of minutes of fast action. Lori had performed a delicate move and landed a nice trout. I got lucky and landed one also.”
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 9-5-2018) 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 9-5-2018) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said the striper bite continues to be excellent on Norfork Lake. He says, “In fact, on Friday the action was so fast we finished up quickly so I invited a local who fishes by me to come on to my boat. We hooked up the other person’s rod who stayed in their boat and in another 25 minutes they both had their limit of stripers. I limited out the last four days very quickly. Today, Labor Day, my clients were done in 45 minutes. A tourist had been fishing by us the last two days with their grandchildren with no luck. Today it was just Jenna and grandpa so we had Jenna get in my boat and set up grandpa and they both caught their limit of stripers. Jenna caught her three so fast she could not get one in before there was another one on the pole.
“I enjoy seeing these kids’ smiles on their faces when they catch the biggest fish of their lives and now know they can catch fish. Grandpa was smiling ear to ear.”
Tom says the stripers are moving deeper and he’s now catching them in the 70-80 feet range with gizzard shad. “The guys using threadfin shad are catching them but not at the rate we are. Threadfin life span is very short at these depths, so you have to change them out every 5 minutes whereas the gizzards can stay down to up to 20 minutes before you need to change them. When that school comes by the lively bait will always catch more fish,” he said. Spoons are not working right now; the stripers do not want to move much to feed. They are catching some trolling but nothing like live bait is right now. The stripers are now within a quarter- to half-mile of the dam off the points in waters ranging from 70-130. The best bite is after light starting around 6:30 and lasting up to 9 a.m.
(updated 9-5-2018) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said fishing on Norfork Lake has remained consistent over the last couple of weeks. The best bite on the lake has been for striped and hybrid bass. Walleye and white bass are not far behind. “Our fishing guests over the last week have had a great time catching and getting great fights from Norfork Lake's striped bass. I, however, fished (Tuesday) morning with a couple of guests and the bite was way off. We found a lot of fish in 65-75 feet of water. Most were laying on the bottom. We managed to land two nice hybrids and a very nice walleye, and had a handful of other bites which we missed. Very slow morning compared to the last three days.” The best location to find striped bass is near the dam off of points and on the large flats. Large schools of fish are cruising the area, and when you get on them you will typically get a fish. Live bait (gizzard shad, threadfin shad and large shiners) is working the best. Vertical-jigging with a spoon is also generating some nice fish. “As I have stated in the past, if this year is typical to prior years, the striped bass will start their northbound migration during the second half of September.”
Walleye have been showing up consistently in 60-70 feet of water with most found on the bottom. Live bait has been picking up some nice 22- to 26-inch long fish. Spoons are also catching some nice walleye, as is trolling with down-riggers or using inline weights to get the bait down to 50-60 feet of water. “White bass are still coming up all over the lake at different times of day. I have found schools of whites erupting while fishing for striped bass in the dam area. They are also coming up in the late afternoons in the Cranfield area and all the way up to the Red Bank area. The best places I have found for whites are large flats. Look in 25-35 feet of water and if you find bait you will find the whites. Jigging a spoon has worked for me when I find these fish on the flats.” Early mornings and late afternoon have been the best times to find this species either on top or down deeper. The Norfork Lake surface water temperature was 83.5 degrees Tuesday morning and as normal will rise slightly during the sunny part of the day. The lake level is holding fairly stable and currently sits at 552.08 feet msl. The main lake is clear with some creeks and coves stained.
(updated 9-5-2018) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last weekend that over the previous week Norfork Lake rose 0.2 feet to rest at 3.5 feet below seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet msl and 27.7 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork little 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, expect generation in the afternoons and wadable water in the cooler mornings. The Norfork has fished very well. There have been some nice midge and sporadic caddis hatches that have provided some limited top water action. Navigate this stream with caution as things have changed a bit during the recent flooding. There has been major gravel recruitment at the bottom of Mill Pond and the dock hole. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (sizes 18, 20, 22) like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (size 14, 16) like the Green Butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead-headed nymph (zebra midge, Copper John or pheasant tail) suspended 18 inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise size 10). The fishing is better in the morning. 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 9-5-2018) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are low. 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 9-5-2018) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said that the water level is down just a little from normal level, with a surface water temperature reported in the low 80s. The clarity is clear. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair by trolling crankbaits. Focus on the brush piles and target 10-20 feet depth. Bass are fair; anglers report it to be real spotty this week. Continue to go with a topwater plug in the early morning. Otherwise, fish with shad. Catfishing is good on juglines.
(updated 9-5-2018) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) says the walleye bite has been as good as the striper bite lately. Bottom bouncers on gravel points are producing some nice eyes. 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 may 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.
Mike Bailey rates the striper activity for this week as 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, especially at night. “I have been experimenting with mooching/down-rigging 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 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, Rocky Branch, Ford and Cedar creeks, Larue, Coppermine, Ventris, Shaddox Hollow, the Highway 12 Bridge and Prairie Creek.
(updated 9-5-2018) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) asked, “Where is all the water going? The river levels are low, but that is not slowing the bite for the trout.” He says the best method this week has been with dough PowerBaits, fished with light terminal tackle. The hot spot has been between Spider Creek and Bertrand access. Parker Bottoms has produced some nice fish, too. The trout have also been hitting various spoons and Rooster Tails as well. Not too many Kentucky bass or smallmouths have been caught this week, but the ones that were caught, were caught with soft plastics thrown toward structure and chuck rock. Most of the bass action has been between Holiday Island and Beaver town. “We are forecasted to have some rain this Friday and Saturday as a tropical system moves up from the Gulf. That rain should pick things up after it blows through. Have fun and be safe.”
(updated 9-5-2018) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said the lake is strained. Surface water temperature is ranging 77-80 degrees. Water level is normal. Bream are fair but the bite has been slowing down. Crappie are fair for anglers trolling. Black bass reports have been poor. Crankbaits and plastic worms were getting the best bites. White bass, however, is picking up. Catfish also are picking up lately. Reports are fair; trolling is the best way to get a bite.
(updated 9-5-2018) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) reports that the water is clear and the level is normal. No temperature was reported. Bream reports are fair; redworms or crickets will work. Crappie are fair; use small jigs and work them in 2-10 feet depth. Bass are fair on plastic worms and minnows. Catfish are fair and will bite in 2-3 feet depth.
(updated 9-5-2018) Ome Coleman at Lake Poinsett State Park said, “We are looking forward to when our Lake Poinsett will be back better than ever before. Until then we are maintaining a good supply of live, frozen and artificial bait as well as other fishing supplies. Happy Fishing from Lake Poinsett State Park.” While Lake Poinsett is closed for extended repairs, 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 9-5-2018) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water is clear and remains about 2 feet low. Bream are fair on redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair; look for the fish about 20 feet deep in the evenings. Bass were fair early in the morning and again late in the day. Catfish are biting fair on cut bait.
(updated 9-5-2018) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) said water levels are running at 260 cfs, 350 average, and water clarity has been mostly clear. The river is getting very low, making for easier wading. Olive and brown Woollies have been hot in sizes 6-8. Still a lot of little trout in the river that will not leave anything below a size 8 alone. A bigger fly will greatly increase chances of a bigger trout. Hot pink Trout Magnets are always hot, and you might try a trout crank in a rainbow pattern for some bigger fish.
(updated 9-5-2018) 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 (Pine Bluff Pool)
(updated 9-5-2018) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team said water temperatures are in the mid-80s, visibility is between 1-1.5 feet with light flow on the river. What a difference 5 degrees of water temperature and a little flow make! Black bass are biting well, especially on the main channel, on buzzbaits, square-bill crankbaits and light jigs along rock jetties and wooden poles or logs. The key is moving water, either by wind or river current. Concentrate around the ends of jetties, points of rock or woody cover with wind or current pushing bait into it.
Arkansas River (Pool 2)
(updated 9-5-2018) Park Interpreter Austin Davidson at Cane Creek State Park said fish are still biting at Cane Creek Lake despite the weather. Bream are the No. 1 goal for anglers at the moment, as they get active in warm water. Fish with a cricket set about a foot and a half away from a sinker, drug across the bottom, in water 2-4 feet deep. Chances are better if you’re also in a place with a significant amount of lily pads. The fish hide in the shade cast by the pads and dart out to catch food. Bass are beginning to bite again as the morning and evening cool down into the 70s. Since the lake is so shallow, when the temperature is too hot the fish have nowhere to cool down, which makes them sluggish. As water temperatures cool to the mid and low 80s, bigger bass will begin to bite on lipless crankbaits and spinners. Topwaters will get a strike early in the morning and late in the evening when the light is beginning to fail, but don’t expect anything too big. More quantity over quality. Crappie are surprisingly still being reported. Only a few places on the lake are still holding active crappie, but hopefully this will foreshadow an abnormally productive crappie season when the cool fall and winter weather hit. If you do happen to stumble on one of these illusive crappie holes, fish with a minnow on a line that is worked onto a slip bobber for varied depth. Holes of 12 feet or more are where they are hiding, but they are biting anywhere between 4-8 feet. Catfish are about to become extremely active. With a tropical storm heading this way, and large amounts of water expected to fall in Arkansas, the entire lake ecosystem is going to change. Water levels will rise, and they will be significantly cooler. Debris will also be washed in from creeks and tributaries that have sat stagnant almost all summer. This means tons of larva and organic matter for catfish to feed on. Once the rain hits, find a spot where water is running from the shore into the water. Fish near these confluences in shallow water to catch catfish in a feeding frenzy. Use liver soaked in onions, garlic and Kool-Aid to make the bait stand out amongst all the other foodstuffs washing into the lake. Remember, if you catch anything to be proud of, be sure to bring your fish up to the Cane Creek State Park visitor center to get you picture put on our catch wall and maybe even in the AGFC emailed Fishing Report!
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 9-5-2018) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service has a Hot Spot Flash Tip for Millwood: Watch for three to five or more of the white egrets standing on pads, stumps and cover in 4- to 9-feet-deep flats. These egrets are picking off the leaping shad bouncing on top of lily pads while the bass chase the shad in the flats from 4-7 feet deep! Find those egrets and the topwater schoolers and buck bass are not far away. The egrets are simply waiting their turn when the bass force the threadfin shad up into the shallow flats with nowhere to go except up and over the lily pads. When these bass run the shad out of cover and depth, the shad can be seen bouncing on top of lily pads for several seconds at a time. The egrets are picking them off and letting the juvenile bass do all their work for them. It’s a feedbag fiesta near midmorning where you find groups of these egrets patiently waiting on their breakfast catered to them by the bass. Most of these buck bass are only 2-3 pounds but tons of fun to fight in the lily pads.
Meanwhile, Mike also says that there’s not been a lot of change in the largemouth bass bite over the past few weeks. It’s HOT, but even so, a lot of the bass continue randomly schooling. Early morning is most definitely the best bite for topwater blowups, and is subdued after 9:30 a.m. It's actually a little bit early this year to find schools of bass surface feeding on shad in midmorning hours. Of course, the dawn and early morning will yield most aggressive topwater explosions. Cooler temps at night have been observed as much as 8 degrees cooler, and a lot of bass are feeding without blazing sun on their backs in the shallow flats. The largemouth bass, Kentucky bass and a few white bass continue randomly surface schooling on shad in Little River and McGuire Lake along Little River for the past couple weeks, and near midmorning, in the oxbows over deep water from 15-20 feet, and also a few of the flats from 5-9 feet in lily pads and vegetation. Mike says anglers are finding several schools of bass at mouths of creeks dumping into Little River on points, ranging from 5-10 feet deep with pads. Bass remain active at daylight up to 2 or 3 pounds with an occasional 4-6 pound largemouth thrown in for good measure. Surface feeding activity levels taper off except for the random schooling fish much after daylight through late-morning hours. Best baits drawing reaction at early morning continue to be slow-rolling buzzbaits, soft-plastic frogs, Heddon Spitn' Images, Cordell Crazy Shads, Baby Torpedoes, StutterSteps, Rat-L-Traps and Bass Assassin Shads at dawn near pads and vegetation. Buzzbait colors drawing best reactions lately continue to be Firecracker Candy or Shad Candy. Best buzzbait bite for past few weeks 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 continue working in or near the vegetation and lily pads.
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. Channel cats and blue cats from 2-6 pounds were biting up Little River on yo-yos hung from cypress trees using cut bait (gizzard shad or gar), chicken livers and homemade blood baits.
The lake level is near stable at about 18 inches below normal conservation pool, 257.7 feet msl; discharge was between 700-800 cfs for Little River, according to the USACE. The tailwater below the dam and gates as of Monday rose slightly with gate released to about 225 feet msl. Water temps have jumped over the past week, ranging on Monday from near 85 degrees to 90 degrees 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 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. As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity and visibility is moderate stain, ranging 10-15 inches. Little River's visibility ranges 10-12 inches with heavy to moderate stain, depending on location and current. The oxbow's clarity currently ranges 20-30 inches depth of visibility depending on location.
Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) reports that a few bass being caught.
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 9-5-2018) 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) 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 9-5-2018) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) reported the lake is clear and the surface temperature is ranging 80-82 degrees. Water level is normal. Bream are fair on worms or crickets. Crappie are fair. The crappie are very deep and the bite is still slow. Use minnows or jigs. Bass fishing is picking up. Reports have been good of late, with anglers using crankbaits or plastic worms in black, blue and white. Catfishing is fair/slow. Stink bait is working along with shad on trotlines.
Lake Bailey (Petit Jean State Park)
Lake Catherine (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro.
(updated 9-5-2018) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, said that Entergy began lowering Lakes Hamilton and Catherine by 6 inches on Tuesday of this week in preparation for the projected rainfall from Tropical Storm/Hurricane Gordon. Rainbow trout fishing remains extremely slow. 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 of the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Nightcrawlers and redworms will also work presented in the same manner. As the month of September kicks in, few rainbow trout will be seen feeding and smaller numbers caught. Good numbers of fish won't be caught again until the stocking program resumes in November. Walleye are also present in the area and are feeding on shad. The majority of fish are being caught by trolling shallow-running stickbaits 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. Some crappie are still being caught on small jigs and live minnows around rock structure and sandbars close to the main river channel. Striper activity has picked up some this week as some topwater activity has been observed below the bridge in the late evening. 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 9-5-2018) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas born-and-bred, all-welded Xpress fishing boat in Hot Springs, reports Lake Hamilton water temperatures starting to creep downward, with temps in the mid- to low 80s and falling. With the onset of rain later in the week, temps should be hitting that sweet spot soon. Bass are starting to show signs of life in breaking fish and the pursuance of moving baits. Texas-rigged worms, drop-shots and spoons are still the go-to, but don’t be shocked if you get some decent action on shad-colored swimbaits, crankbaits and flat-sided crankbaits. Fish will begin positioning themselves on points soon and it never hurts to beat them there. Look for rock outcroppings and gravel bottoms on points as a high-percentage area. Also frogs, buzzbaits, chatterbaits and prop baits are seeing action FINALLY! Look for this to increase as temps drop. Biggins like big bait. No crappie report. Good luck. Be careful and keep an eye to the sky.
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 9-5-2018) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said the water is a little dingy and the surface water temperature is ranging 82-85 degrees. Water level is normal. Bream are fair but it’s spotty throughout the lake. Crappie are fair. You’ll have best success toward the dam fishing in 8-12 feet depth with minnows. Bass are fair. The best bait to use is a white spinnerbait. Catfishing is good. Anglers are using chicken livers, noodles and big minnows.
(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.
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 9-5-2018) 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.