Site Menu
News

Feb. 20, 2019

Jim Harris

Weekly Fishing Report

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for Feb. 20, 2019. 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.

Central Arkansas

North Arkansas

Northwest Arkansas

Northeast Arkansas

Southeast Arkansas

Southwest Arkansas

South-Central Arkansas

West-Central Arkansas

East Arkansas

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

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

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


CENTRAL ARKANSAS

Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir

NOTICE: An irrigation restriction on Lake Conway will be in effect through March 1. 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 2-20-2019) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said on Tuesday morning that the lake has a stained clarity and the level is high. No surface temperature was reported. Bream are said to be fair. Anglers are using redworms and crickets, focusing their best efforts around Caney Creek and Gold Creek. In those same areas, anglers are having fair success on crappie. You’ll have to go with small minnows for now, or jigs. Bass are fair. Try using spinnerbaits, crankbaits or jerkbaits for the black bass. Catfishing is good. Nightcrawlers and dough bait are the baits of choice.

Little Red River

(updated 2-20-2019) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) on Wednesday morning said, “The river is high and muddy due to about 3 inches of rain we received yesterday and last night. The Corps has informed me that generation started at 6 a.m. this morning and ran till 9 a.m. This will be the only generation today with it starting again tomorrow (Thursday) for four hours. This 4-hour generation will be the schedule for the next two to three days. This schedule is subject to change according to the amount of rain on Friday and Saturday. When possible, the schedule will be back to the 12-hour release and continue as such for the next couple of weeks. As soon as possible, the 24/7 generation will be needed to lower the lake level. With the heavy weather and water conditions, fishing will probably be put on hold until sometime next week. Be safe and good fishing!
NOTE: Greg’s free fly-fishing classes at Heber Springs First United Methodist Church start Thursday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. in the Family Life Center. The class is open to all adults and older youths. Younger children can attend with a parent. The class will meet each Thursday evening from 7-9 for four consecutive weeks. These dates are Feb. 21, Feb. 28, March 7 and March 14. All persons interested in learning to fly-fish are welcome to attend. Call 501-690-9166 to register for the class.

(updated 2-20-2019) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service said the Greers Ferry Lake level is over 8 feet above normal pool and climbing from the recent rains. It is expected the Army Corps of Engineers will increase generation to lower the Greers Ferry Lake level as flood waters downriver allow. Heavy generation for an extended period is expected to begin as soon as conditions allow. For fly-fishing, Lowell recommends egg patterns, San Juan worms and streamers during high water conditions, and midges, soft hackles, sowbugs and streamers during normal water conditions. Hot pink, cotton candy and white bodies on chartreuse jigheads are recommended for Trout Magnet spin fishing. Be safe while enjoying the river. Always check before heading to the Little Red River by calling the 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.

Greers Ferry Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 470.35 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 2-20-2019) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level is up at Greers Ferry Lake, 8.21 feet above normal pool of 462.04 feet msl and rising. It sits at 470.25 feet as of this report Wednesday morning and will probably reach 10 feet high. All the fresh warm water influx has made a big change in the underwater world of Greers Ferry, but now the influx of cold water runoff has re-established the fishery back a notch or so, as they have to eat some kind of way. But it is hard to take anyone and show them stuff under these conditions. The clock is ticking on several species wanting to spawn, but they will not go until the time is right. Crappie are in 18-30 feet eating at will on jigs and jigs tipped with minnows, around the warmest water you can find close to any timber. Black bass are eating in 15-60 feet of water with some largemouth being right on the bank; use spinnerbaits, crankbaits, or drag soft plastics in football head or C-rig. No reports on bream. Catfishing is still good all around the lake on several methods. Walleye are being caught when conditions present themselves; use jigs with minnows, crankbaits and jerkbaits. Hybrid and white basses are eating every day at some point. Do not leave fish to find fish; be sure and stay around bait for best results on hybrids and whites. Use spoons, inline spinners, hair jigs, swimbaits and, of course, live bait in 25-60 feet of water.

(updated 2-20-2019) Cody Smith of Fishing Greers Ferry Guide Service (501-691-5701) says, “Well. It’s February, and I should be well into two weeks’ worth of guiding by now and the fish should be participating better and better every day. Sorry to say that’s just not the case. Lake is up to 469 feet and it’s raining as I type this report. We just have to deal with Mother Nature as she generally knows what’s best for her resources. Water surface temps have come up a couple degrees and are ranging in the mid-40s lake wide. We have clearing colder water up most of the tributaries and the fish are staging in the dirtier, more stable water. Really spread out between active schools of fish and you can go awhile without as much as a nibble. All this will change as our water begins to warm slightly and the amount of sunlight we get is longer every day. Bear with us and there will be some good news to report before too long. Good fishin’.”

Harris Brake Lake

(updated 2-20-2019) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) reported the clarity remains murky and the lake level as high, as much as 8 inches high on Tuesday morning before the next wave of rain passed through. Water surface temperature was 42.5 degrees. Fishing was a little slow, with best results coming for crappie and bass anglers. Crappie were fair on minnows and jigs. Bass were reported as fair, but no baits were suggested. Bream were poor. Catfish were poor.

Lake Overcup

NOTICE: An irrigation restriction on Lake Overcup will be in effect through March 1. 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 2-6-2019) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said water level is high by about 2 feet. Clarity is murky, but it’s improving. Water surface temperature is about 45 degrees. Bass are doing well around brushtops and structure. Bream are slow, but anglers are still catching some with redworms. Crappie are being caught on yo-yos at night. Anglers are not catching a lot, but are catching some good ones on small No. 4s. Catfish are slow, but Overcup had a lake record for blue channel catfish caught, with a 71-pounder brought in. Carl Prince caught the blue on a floaty using shad, Johnny says.

Brewer Lake

(updated 2-13-2019) Larry Walters at Bones Bait Shop (501-354-9900) said Tuesday afternoon that anglers need to wait a couple of days before heading out. The lake is muddy and the level is high. Brewer Lake received 5 inches of rain over Sunday-Monday. Hence, Larry received no fishing reports from anglers the past week. Recently, when the lake was normal, crappie were setting up about 20-25 feet on the bottom. They were under the bridge on the north end of the lake hitting jigs. White bass also were good two weeks ago, sitting on the bottom with the crappie.

Lake Maumelle

(updated 2-20-2019) WestRock Landing (501-658-5598) on Highway 10 near Roland said the water temperature is in the mi-d to high 40s. The Big Bass Shootout was held on Lake Maumelle Feb. 16-17, with Justin Hake and Duke Gunnell catching 40.5 pounds over the two days (22.34 pounds on Saturday). Cody and Jerry Bryant, who led Saturday with 22.44 pounds, finished in second with 37.56 total pounds. Tracy Holder and Josh Ray, with 32.04 pounds, were third but had the biggest single bass, at 7.24 pounds. Jake and Gunnell were right behind with a 6.44-pounder. The Arkansas Top 12 High School Tournament finals also fished Sunday, with Aaron Joslin and KJ Terry of Bryant High School landing a 5.8-pound big bass and 13.82 total over five bass to win. Bryson and Hunter Kindy were second with 13.04 pounds. On that note, Westrock notes that the largemouth bass bite is good. They are in transition and moving out of deeper water. Some reports are coming in that the blacks are on the outer edge of the grass. Some can still be found in depths of 18-25 feet. Try using chatterbaits, crankbaits, jerkbaits, drop-shots and swimbaits. Kentucky bass fishing is poor. Fewer reports of them this week, but most can be found in 16-22 foot of water. Try fishing off drops and rocky banks. White bass are good. Some whites are being caught near brush piles on the west end of the lake 18-25 feet of water. They should be running soon. Try using jerkbaits and rattle-style baits. Crappie are good. Crappie are heading out of the deeper holes. Reports of them being found in 16-20 foot of water close to brush piles and are still scattered. Try using jigs and minnows. No reports on bream and no reports on catfish.

Sunset Lake

(updated 2-20-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie fishing has been slow. Some customers reported catching a few on Tennessee Shad and John Deere Green Kalin’s Triple Threat Grubs while fishing around the pier. Catfish have been biting fair on live minnows and nightcrawlers on the bottom. Bass are hitting minnows, small jigs and spinnerbaits. You can pick up a few bream on worms and crickets if you move around the lake and fish different spots.

Bishop Park Ponds

(updated 2-20-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie “are biting pretty good at Lake Charles.” Use No. 6 crappie minnows and Kalin’s Grubs. “Fish around the grass and dock but try a little deeper out in the middle of the pond as well,” she said. Bass have been biting fair, too. Try No. 12 minnows or use your favorite plastics or spinnerbaits. Catfish are biting minnows, nightcrawlers and bait shrimp fished on the bottom, and you're likely to catch a couple while crappie fishing. Bream will bite crickets and redworms.

Saline River Access in Benton

(updated 2-20-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said the Saline River is a favorite of many, including herself. Unfortunately, she said, it's been hard to catch it right lately due to all the rain. On the days it has been down enough to fish, the fishing has been good. Customers have been reporting catching some good smallmouth, Kentucky and largemouth bass as well as some good walleye. Brooder minnows are the preferred bait, but some are also catching them on crankbaits and 3- and 4-inch curly tailed grubs. Catfish have been biting the big minnows and nightcrawlers fished on the bottom. Crappie have been caught in the backwaters and around logs and brush in the deeper holes. No. 6 crappie minnows and Kalin’s Grubs have been doing the job. Not many folks are bream fishing right now, but if you pitch a cricket or redworm out on a small hook you're liable to catch one about any time on the Saline. “Whatever you do, be smart and be safe. The Saline is small but it can rise fast and become very dangerous in a hurry.”

Lake Norrell
(updated 2-20-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said reports from Norrell have been few recently. One customer did report catching some catfish around his dock on minnows. We expect more reports from the lake as the weather improves.

Lake Valencia

(updated 2-13-2019) Hatchet Jack’s in North Little Rock (501-758-4958) says catfishing is fair. Use chicken liver or nightcrawlers. Valencia will be stocked for one last month by the AGFC with trout (these dinner-size trout have been biting PowerBaitO) before the stockings are turned over to catfish as the lake warms.

Lake Willastein

(updated 2-13-2018) Hatchet Jack’s in North Little Rock (501-758-4958) says crappie are fair. Use Electric Chicken jigs or minnows. Fish on the pier by the church. Bass are reported fair. They are biting crankbaits and black and blue jigs. Target the channel of the lake.

Lake Winona

(updated 2-20-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said customers are taking No. 4 minnows and catching some good crappie. They report catching a few on jigs, too, but the minnows seem to attract the bigger fish. Bass have been biting minnows, spinnerbaits and jigs. Catfish are biting nightcrawlers, minnows and stink baits on the bottom. Some good-sized bream have been biting the small crappie minnows of customers fishing for crappie. “I'd suggest taking some crickets and/or redworms along and doing a little bream fishing, too. One customer set out to catch walleye on Winona and ended up with only a few good bass and one catfish,” she said.

Arkansas River at Morrilton

(updated 2-20-2019) Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) had no report.

Arkansas River (Cadron Pool)

No report.

Little Maumelle River

(updated 2-20-2019) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said fishing and the conditions had been good the past week up until Tuesday, when the rain hit. The clarity had been slightly dingy and the water level was normal. Crappie have been good on minnows or jigs. Bass reports have been good on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. No reports came in on bream. Nothing reported on catfish.

Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)

(updated 2-20-2019) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) reported that conditions improved for fishing over the past week. Water level is high and the clarity is dingy. Crappie are good on minnows or jigs. Catfish are good using cut shad. Nothing reported on black bass, white bass or bream.

(updated 2-13-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said it’s heard that catfishing is fair around the Murray Lock and Dam. Try skipjack or shad. White bass are fair using chartreuse split tails, white twister tails and spoons.

Arkansas River (Little Rock Pool)

(updated 2-20-2019) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) reports that the river is a little high as of Tuesday and the clarity was dingy. Crappie reports were good. Minnows or jigs were working. Nothing else reported in the regular Little Rock pool for bream, bass or catfish. Below the Terry Lock and Dam, however, stripers are good. Use a half-ounce Vibric Rooster Tail in light color. Also below the dam, the catfish bite is good on cut shad. Crappie in Pool 5 and below the dam are good. Best baits for crappie are the Super Jig Nos. 404 and 405. No reports there on bream.

(updated 2-20-2019) Vince Miller from Fish ’N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) said the average flow has dropped significantly over last week, to 62,000 cfs and that on Tuesday the river was “just now fishable.” The clarity is muddy and the surface temperature was 46 degrees. Crappie reports are good. The crappie are at 10 feet depth and are hitting jigs – blue/chartreuse and red/chartreuse are your winning combinations. Black bass are fair and are biting jerkbaits or a small jig. Bream are poor and catfish reports also were poor.

(updated 2-13-2019) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the clarity near Terry Lock and Dam is muddy. The river is running high. However, anglers are having fair success with crappie or bass the past week. Bass are being found around rocky points and rock jetties and are hitting crankbaits and worms. Catfish are fair on worm around the rock jetties.

Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)

(updated 2-13-2018) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) the clarity here is not too murky, though the level and current are high “but not too high.” Crappie are good if fishing against the bank. Use minnows or black jigs. Black bass are poor, but anglers are trying with spinnerbaits, crankbaits or worms. Nothing reported on bream, an no reports on catfish.

Peckerwood Lake

(updated 2-20-2018) The lake’s clarity is dingy and the level as of Tuesday was normal. Surface water temperature was a chilled 36 degrees. Fishing has resumed at Peckerwood. Crappie are biting well on minnows. Bass results appear good, but no baits were reported. Catfishing is good, with anglers trolling, using spider rigs or on yo-yos. Nothing reported on bream.


NORTH ARKANSAS

White River

(updated 2-20-2019) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) says “We have been fishing every day this past week – most days were pretty darn cold – but, boy-oh-boy have we been catching some nice trout. Today we brought a 25-inch brown and a 24-inch brown to the boat (netted a couple of others) right here in Cotter. We were using sculpins and minnows. During the previous five or six days the guides have assisted their guests in catching five other trophy browns, bundles of rainbows and a couple of cutthroats. Don't let the weather hold you back, this is prime time for fishing for, and catching, your trophy brown.” Water levels have been a little erratic, starting out low, rising in early afternoon, then dropping a couple of hours later. That will change when the gauge at Newport drops; then anglers should see more consistent (and higher) releases from Bull Shoals Dam. You'll need to adjust you fishing technique and tackle as the water level changes, but always keep some redworms and some scented eggs on standby. “The White River guides are expert at finding trout – and ensuring you catch them! – at every water level, every rise or drop, or steady flow offered on any given day of the year. Come test them and see!”

(updated 2-20-2019) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the clarity is now clear and the river level had returned to normal by Tuesday. But, with the temperature and other conditions, they had just one angler out. There have been three generators running at the dam, running medium to medium low. The trout bite is good. A lot of rainbows and a few browns are being caught, they say.

(updated 2-13-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last Friday that during the past week they had two inches of rain in Cotter, bitterly cold temperatures and heavy wind. The lake level at Bull Shoals rose 0.1 foot to rest at 0.8 foot above seasonal power pool of 659 feet msl. This is 35.2 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell 0.3 foot to rest at 0.3 foot above seasonal power pool and 15.7 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.2 foot to rest at 0.6 foot above seasonal power pool and 9 feet below the top of flood pool. The White received heavy generation and little wadable water. Norfork Lake rose 0.4 foot to rest at 1.2 feet above seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 25 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had no wadable water. Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes in the White River System are still above the top of power pool, and expect to see more high water and little if any wadable water. The Catch and Release section below Bull Shoals Dam on the White River, closed during part of the winter for the brown trout spawn, is reopened and it’s also been the hot spot of late as the White has fished well. 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 10 cerise San Juan worm with a size 12 Y2K suspended below it. Use plenty of lead to get your flies down.

Bull Shoals Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 665.93 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 659.00 feet msl).

(updated 2-1-2019) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said the lake level is at 661 feet msl, it's about 3 feet above pool. Water temps are still hanging around 48 degrees and the water’s been crazy. The lake’s been coming up, Table Rock is dumping on us, and Bull Shoals Dam is generating a lot of water out. From the rain the lake’s cleared up a little bit, but it's moved the shad around quite a bit, those big monster schools of shad that they were seeing for the past month. Those have broken off in the little pods. Some of them are deep. Seeing a lot in 70-80 foot of water in the main channel or off the points. If you can find the shad balls in 30-50 feet of water you can get after them using a spoon or an ice jig. If you're looking to do that, the deep fish you can video-game fish them for a little bit. It's usually good for one or two fish, and then you're just going have to go find the next little ball shad. You can look for the birds, there are still loons on the lake, so if you want to cruise the creek channels, most of those that were in the back or moved out closer to the main lake. Those deep fish, if they're real finicky you can pick some more off using a Dubuque rig or and dropping a mat down in front of them. The bite for that and the ice jig are kind of just leaving the pole sitting still. So, if you are fishing a deep fish you're gonna have to work for them a little more than what we have been, spend a little time graphing and it'll pay off. Now with the water temp where it’s at, some shad are dying off and that'll bring into the jerkbait bite, fishing channel swing banks, bluffs, bluff ends, points anywhere close to those shad is probably a good place to start. This time of year if we get a little bit of sun, that's kind of what you're looking for at this time of year. You’re not looking for a lot of wind, but if you do get some wind you can go cranking, you can throw a Rock Crawler or Wiggle Wart. Del says he’s using the Red Crawler, the greenback orange belly and the same color in the Wiggle Wart. Depending on how deep the bank is, the channels swing banks with chunk rock on them are kind of what you're going to look for. “The other thing I don't throw a lot but I have thrown it little bit this week is throwing an umbrella rig, an A-rig. This will flat-out catch them. The thing with the A-rig, that bite’s going to get better as the water drops a little bit. I’m catching those fish mostly out of brush piles, keeping the boat in 40 foot of water, brush piles off of bluff ends, anywhere they're close to the main channel where those shad are at. If you're going rig your rig you have to have to use silver with one other different color or you won't catch fish guys. Just mix up the baits and see what they want.
“The last thing is a jig. I’m using either a rubber jig, the jewel jig, and dropping those down in same spots where the shad are out. The jig bites been hit-or-miss but it's going to catch fish year-round. Those are usually a little better quality fish. I’m using the greens, the green pumpkins, brown, something with a little blue in it has been working, too.” Some days are going to be slow out there, it's the dead of winter and some days are going to be really good. You’re going to catch fish, you're just going to have to work for them a little bit harder. Meanwhile, Del will be hitting the fishing and boat shows in the north in coming weeks.

Norfork Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 562.45 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April 552.00 feet msl; April-September, 554.00 feet msl).

(updated 2-20-2019) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said Norfork Lake, along with the majority of the country, in his opinion, is in constant weather change. After a frontal system rolls through our area it typically takes a day or two for the fish to get active again. Once this happens the fish feed with a frenzy, but then we have a new system roll through to start the cycle all over again. I will be the first to admit that I am really ready for spring to get here. I am totally tired of the cold weather and need a little consistent warmth for my fishing days. :-) Last Saturday, I found fish feeding heavily in 44 - 48 feet of water on a large flat in the Cranfield area. I did not get out until late morning due to the below freezing temperature early, but once it reached around 29 degrees I headed out. The fish stuck around until mid-afternoon and I got to land well over 40 fish between hybrid bass, striped bass and white bass. Vertical jigging with a 1/2 to a 1 ounce spoon was my bait of choice. I was also casting out a 1/2 ounce blade bait with a feather trailer and landed some nice fish with it. Once the fish leave the flats they tend to scatter throughout the deeper water, staying suspended 30 - 50 feet down. You will still catch fish, but not necessarily the numbers.
Crappie fishing has been fairly good as of late, but still the frontal systems have affected their bite. I have landed some really nice slabs 30 feet down near the sunken brush piles. I typically use a 1/4 ounce spoon and jig it very slowly in and around the brush piles on the bottom. Live bait with a slip float or a minnow tipped to a small curly or paddle tail grub will work great.
The big white bass that I have been catching are full of eggs. I would assume they are staging for their upcoming spawn, which will happen shortly. The males should be way back in the creeks or up river in the shallower water awaiting the right timing and water temperature. Bennett's Bayou is a great place to get into the white bass run or up river around the AR/MO border. They also tend to head back into some of the larger creeks and coves.
Walleye should also be gearing up for their spawn. February is usually the time for this to occur. The AR/MO border area is a good area to find the spawning and pre-spawning fish. If we can get some nice weather, the first hour before sunrise and an hour before and after sunset are great times to fish for walleye in shallow water. Throw a suspending rogue or use soft plastic swim baits. Norfork Lake level is on a slow rise and currently sits at 561.92 feet msl. This is approximately 8 feet over normal seasonal pool. The surface water temperature ranges from 43-46 degrees depending on your location and time of day. The main lake has a greenish stain along with most of creeks and coves. The water clarity heading up in the Bennetts area is stained brown as is up river once you're past the Cranfield area. A lot of the brown water has dropped out and the remainder will follow suit quickly.

(updated 2-20-2018) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters had no report.

Norfork Tailwater

(updated 2-13-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last weekend that over the previous week Norfork Lake rose 0.4 foot to rest at 1.2 feet above seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 25 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had no wadable water. Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes in the White River System are still above the top of power pool, and expect to see more high water and little if any wadable water. The Norfork has fished well. Navigate this stream with caution as there has been major gravel recruitment at the bottom of Mill Pond and the dock hole over the past year and a half. 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 Y2K suspended 18 inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise size 10). The fishing is better in the morning. Dry Run Creek is fishing well. The hot flies have been sowbugs (size 14), Y2Ks (size 12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise size 10). It is cold out there be sure and bundle the kids up. Remember that the White and Norfork rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soles that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.
Also, John explained the mop fly: “I am constantly being introduced to new flies. When I managed Blue Ribbon Fly Shop, I always had commercial fly-tyers and local tyers coming in and showing me their latest creation. That situation continued with my position as the chairman of the Sowbug Roundup Fly Tying Contest. Whenever I am guiding I talk with all of the other guides and ask what is working. I am frequently introduced to the new hot fly. I also talk to my fellow anglers when I am fishing on my own to determine what fly is working. Over the years, I have been shown hundreds of patterns and have been given many of those flies to try out. Most were nicely tied but did not produce the desired result. A precious few were game changers.
“Those were the ones that earned a place in my fly box. I learned to tie and fish them and, if asked I, would recommend them to others and often shared them with others. If have found such a fly, the mop fly.
“It is an odd-looking fly. It is a piece of heavy yarn tied to a jighead. The first ones were tied with the strings from a common mop. Hence the name mop fly. Now Wapsi, the largest purveyor of fly-tying materials in the world, manufactures a special yarn to tie them. I have seen them in white, lime green and pink.
“The first time I saw one was on the Norfork, below the dam. An angler fishing near me was having a good day while I was struggling. Later I saw a big brown caught on one on Dry Run Creek. My interest was piqued.
“My wife, Lori, actually used one before I did. A fellow angler gave her one while she was guiding on Dry Run Creek. She had a fantastic day with it and told me about her success when she came home that night. I went to the fly shop, bought some mop fly yarn and tied a few. My first attempt at using them was not productive. I figured that no fly works all of the time. I decided to try them again.
“I got my chance a week later on Dry Run Creek. We were having a good day fishing my usual flies. I ran out of San Juan worms and rather than walking back to my car and stripping some, from another fly box, I decided to give the mop fly another shot.
“I took a minute to tie on a fresh 4X tippet and a mop fly. My young client cast it into the creek and was immediately onto a nice 20-inch cutthroat. Things were looking up. We continued fishing it and it produced 20 trout of various sizes (the largest was a 24-inch brown) before we lost the fly in a tree. I tied on another and we caught even more. I was a believer and now fish it often. Give the mop fly a try.”

Buffalo National River/Crooked Creek

(updated 2-13-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are off-color and high. The smallmouths are much less active with the cold conditions. John says his favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.



NORTHWEST ARKANSAS

Beaver Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,122.78 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.00 msl).

(updated 2-20-2019) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the lake is slightly dingy and the surface water temperature is “cold,” ranging in the low 40s and leading to slow response of the fish. The level also is high. Crappie are fair. Anglers are using spider rigs or trolling crankbaits. Minnows and jigs are also on the crappie menu. Bass are fair. Alabama rigs and jerkbaits seem the ways to go for bass. Catfishing is poor. With the walleye staging and spawning, the male walleye are going after jerkbaits, grubs and crankbaits. Bream are poor.

Beaver Tailwaters

(updated 2-20-2019) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) says fishing has been a little on the slow end this past week. “We have had some bipolar weather that has not only kept me away, but the bite as well. However, the days spent fishing, I was able to get the trout to bite.” Austin says trout were biting on light terminal tackle with various PowerBaits. Spoons and jigs have not done so well this week. This week’s hot spot has been between Spider Creek and Parker Bottoms. “I should have more to report after this next system pushes through.

Lake Fayetteville

(updated 2-20-2019) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) says the lake level is normal and the clarity is now clear. Fishing is a little slow, with only bass being targeted. Bass reports were good, but no baits were revealed. Bream, crappie and catfish produced no reports the past week.

Lake Sequoyah

(updated 2-20-2019) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) reported the lake conditions as clear and at a normal level as of Tuesday morning. Crappie are good and the usual minnows and jigs will get their attention. Black bass action remains poor. Catfishing is fair, but no baits were reported. Bream are poor; it’s early.


NORTHEAST ARKANSAS

Lake Poinsett

(updated 2-20-2019) Ome Coleman at Lake Poinsett State Park said, “You never know this time of the year whether it is going to be hot, cold, rain or sunny. Bait sales have been slow, but we are still keeping the minnows, worms, some frozen bait, and other fishing supplies just to be ready for you. Work is going forward on getting Lake Poinsett back to, “the Best Place to Fish.” Meanwhile, other area lakes such as Lake Hogue and Lake Charles are destinations in this area. Stop in for your bait supplies on the way there.

Crown Lake

(updated 2-20-2019) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) reported that they had no anglers over the recent days. The lake conditions are normal level of water and clear. But across the board – bream, crappie, black bass and catfish – the reports were poor.

Spring River

(updated 2-6-2019) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) said water levels are running at 400 cfs (350 average) and water clarity has been good. The river is looking great and the smallmouth bass and brown trout have been hitting. “More rain is in the forecast may flood the river this week. But we’re hopeful it will not. As always check my blog at springriverfliesandguides.com for the latest updates on river conditions.” It has been a very wet season this year and the main river can be difficult to wade. The trout are biting great, anglers just might have to work a little harder to get the fly down. Olive Woollies and Y2Ks have been the main producers. “On some days we have had some great hatches and a pheasant tail, hare’s ear or Copper John work great. Make sure and let the fly swing out at the end of the drift with short fast strips back upstream. Hot pink and orange Trout Magnets are hot on the spinning rods, and crankbaits for the browns work great.”

(updated 2-13-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Spring River is high and off color. This is a great place to wade fish when they are running water on the White and Norfork rivers. Canoe season is over. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive Woolly Buggers with a bit of flash (size 10), cerise and hot pink San Juan worms (size 10) and Y2Ks (size 10).

White River

(updated 2-13-2018) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said it had no reports. The level and current of the river is rising, and the clarity is poor.

 

 SOUTHEAST ARKANSAS

Arkansas River (Pine Bluff Pool)

(updated 2-20-2019) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team reports that water temperatures are in the low to mid-40s. Water visibility is very low, only inches in most places. The water level and flow rates are fluctuating frequently, generally staying on the high side. Fishing for black bass is very, very poor this time of year in this pool. Best bet, honestly, is to go somewhere else until the water here warms into the low 50s at the very least.

Arkansas River (Pool 2)

No report.

Cane Creek Lake

No report.

Lake Chicot

(updated 2-7-2019) Brian Whitson, park interpreter at Lake Chicot State Park, says crappie are biting on minnows and bright pink crappie jigs. The expectation of rains and storms next Monday and Tuesday will likely mean a muddied-up lake, and that will put a hold on fishing.

Lake Monticello

(updated 2-20-2019) The lake was drawn down about 6-7 feet and while the AGFC completed vegetation and fish cover work on the shoreline through last September. The lake is rising with rainfall will cover the new anchoring of cut gum trees and other vegetation good for fish habitat on the shallow shoreline areas. During the drawdown, tree stumps are showing in the coves toward the east and northeast of the lake; those are good areas to fish for the bass. This spring should be a great time to check out this fishery.


SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS

Millwood Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 259.22 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 259.20 msl).

(updated 2-20-2019) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said Millwood Lake pool dropped slightly over the last week with rain in the region to about 8.5 inches above normal pool. The Army Corps of Engineers made gate changes at the dam on Monday and were releasing around 13,600 cfs. Millwood Lake is above normal conservation pool on Monday at 259.9 feet msl. The tailwater below the dam dropped slightly, and as of Monday is now about 240 feet msl. Water temps also jumped over the past week, and on Monday were ranging 45-50 degrees. 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. Continue to use caution in navigation on Little River and Millwood this week, watching for random, broken or floating timber with the current conditions of river flow in Little River. Clarity and visibility conditions worsened over the past few days with increase of current along Little River and navigation is considered cautious along Little River with the current discharge around 13,000 cfs. Some debris remains present in Little River current, use caution. Further upriver finds highest turbidity rates. As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity and visibility is moderate stain, ranging about 5-6 inches. Little River's visibility ranges 3-4 inches with stained conditions, depending on location and current. The oxbow's clarity ranges about 10-15 inches depth of visibility depending on location. Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, rain or thunderstorms.
The bite for bass improved over the past few days for largemouths during the midday hours in the oxbows. A tournament over the past weekend produced some good sacks. A 9-pound pound largemouth was caught over the past weekend. Bomber crankbaits, large bulky Hogs, Beavers, and 6-inch lizards are getting good responses. The best locations over the past few weeks have been in the back of the oxbows where water conditions and clarity are best, like the back of McGuire and Horseshoe oxbows. The bite is certainly best during warmest periods of the day, from 8-15 feet deep over drops, with stumps and remaining vegetation being prime locations. We continue to see good bass reactions with crankbaits, ¾-ounce slow-rolled War Eagle Spinnerbaits, and Rat-L-Traps in the creeks between 10-15 feet of depth. The best crankbaits drawing reactions over the past few weeks were Bomber Fat Free Shads, or square-bill cranks in craw patterns, and Bandit Cranks in brown/orange crawfish patterns. Rat-L-Traps and Echo 1.75s in shad patterns like Millwood Magic, red chrome, Toledo Gold and square bills and Echo 1.75s in Rayburn Red Craw, Pinch'n Peach or Ghost Minnow continue working near midday in back of the oxbows away from muddy Little River current flows, and in creek channels where clarity maybe slightly better than close to Little River current flows. These are still drawing random reactions, by deflecting the traps around and over stumps in creek channels with any cypress trees, standing timber, and stumps. Bulky, fat tube jigs like 4-inch Gitzits, Brush Hogs, Bass Assassin Jingle Bugs or lizards, 10-12-inch bulky worms and Real Deal Custom Tackle Jigs continue taking a few chunky, largemouths in the creek channels from 10-15 feet deep on stumps, and on primary points with stumps from 6-10 feet deep. Green Pumpkin, Pumpkinseed/chartreuse, chartreuse pumpkin and blackberry colors continue to be good colors for soft plastic Brush Hogs or lizards from solitary bass. A slowmoving Real Deal Custom Tackle jig in Texas Craw, black/blue, amber/chartreuse or June Bu with black craw trailer, continue this week getting a few good reaction bites near stumps, from 9-12 feet of depth in outer bends of creeks and ditches with cypress trees.
With water continues warming as it has since late last week, a few white bass were caught on yo-yos up Little River between White Cliffs and McGuire Oxbow. The white bass are evidently still on the move upriver, and staging in preparation for their annual spawning runs up the Little River to headwaters above highway 71 bridge. Crappie continue improving in the oxbows, clearest water you can find being the most activity areas, and are stacked up vertically over planted brush with jigs from 12-15 feet of depth. Best colors of jigs over the past week or so have been black/chartreuse, white/chartreuse or blue/chartreuse. Catfish continue biting well on trotlines set in the current of Little River set from 15-20 feet deep. Yo-yos set from cypress trees over 8-12 feet deep in back of Mud Lake are still catching some nice 3- to 5-pound cats. Punch bait, chicken livers and gizzards, and catalpa worms have been working for cats over the last several weeks on the yo-yos.

 

Lake

Weekly Fishing Report

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for Feb. 20, 2019. 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.

Central Arkansas

North Arkansas

Northwest Arkansas

Northeast Arkansas

Southeast Arkansas

Southwest Arkansas

South-Central Arkansas

West-Central Arkansas

East Arkansas

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

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

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

CENTRAL ARKANSAS

Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir

NOTICE: An irrigation restriction on Lake Conway will be in effect through March 1. 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 2-20-2019) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said on Tuesday morning that the lake has a stained clarity and the level is high. No surface temperature was reported. Bream are said to be fair. Anglers are using redworms and crickets, focusing their best efforts around Caney Creek and Gold Creek. In those same areas, anglers are having fair success on crappie. You’ll have to go with small minnows for now, or jigs. Bass are fair. Try using spinnerbaits, crankbaits or jerkbaits for the black bass. Catfishing is good. Nightcrawlers and dough bait are the baits of choice.

Little Red River

(updated 2-20-2019) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) on Wednesday morning said, “The river is high and muddy due to about 3 inches of rain we received yesterday and last night. The Corps has informed me that generation started at 6 a.m. this morning and ran till 9 a.m. This will be the only generation today with it starting again tomorrow (Thursday) for four hours. This 4-hour generation will be the schedule for the next two to three days. This schedule is subject to change according to the amount of rain on Friday and Saturday. When possible, the schedule will be back to the 12-hour release and continue as such for the next couple of weeks. As soon as possible, the 24/7 generation will be needed to lower the lake level. With the heavy weather and water conditions, fishing will probably be put on hold until sometime next week. Be safe and good fishing!
NOTE: Greg’s free fly-fishing classes at Heber Springs First United Methodist Church start Thursday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. in the Family Life Center. The class is open to all adults and older youths. Younger children can attend with a parent. The class will meet each Thursday evening from 7-9 for four consecutive weeks. These dates are Feb. 21, Feb. 28, March 7 and March 14. All persons interested in learning to fly-fish are welcome to attend. Call 501-690-9166 to register for the class.

(updated 2-20-2019) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service said the Greers Ferry Lake level is over 8 feet above normal pool and climbing from the recent rains. It is expected the Army Corps of Engineers will increase generation to lower the Greers Ferry Lake level as flood waters downriver allow. Heavy generation for an extended period is expected to begin as soon as conditions allow. For fly-fishing, Lowell recommends egg patterns, San Juan worms and streamers during high water conditions, and midges, soft hackles, sowbugs and streamers during normal water conditions. Hot pink, cotton candy and white bodies on chartreuse jigheads are recommended for Trout Magnet spin fishing. Be safe while enjoying the river. Always check before heading to the Little Red River by calling the 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.

Greers Ferry Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 470.35 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 2-20-2019) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level is up at Greers Ferry Lake, 8.21 feet above normal pool of 462.04 feet msl and rising. It sits at 470.25 feet as of this report Wednesday morning and will probably reach 10 feet high. All the fresh warm water influx has made a big change in the underwater world of Greers Ferry, but now the influx of cold water runoff has re-established the fishery back a notch or so, as they have to eat some kind of way. But it is hard to take anyone and show them stuff under these conditions. The clock is ticking on several species wanting to spawn, but they will not go until the time is right. Crappie are in 18-30 feet eating at will on jigs and jigs tipped with minnows, around the warmest water you can find close to any timber. Black bass are eating in 15-60 feet of water with some largemouth being right on the bank; use spinnerbaits, crankbaits, or drag soft plastics in football head or C-rig. No reports on bream. Catfishing is still good all around the lake on several methods. Walleye are being caught when conditions present themselves; use jigs with minnows, crankbaits and jerkbaits. Hybrid and white basses are eating every day at some point. Do not leave fish to find fish; be sure and stay around bait for best results on hybrids and whites. Use spoons, inline spinners, hair jigs, swimbaits and, of course, live bait in 25-60 feet of water.

 

(updated 2-20-2019) Cody Smith of Fishing Greers Ferry Guide Service (501-691-5701) says, “Well. It’s February, and I should be well into two weeks’ worth of guiding by now and the fish should be participating better and better every day. Sorry to say that’s just not the case. Lake is up to 469 feet and it’s raining as I type this report. We just have to deal with Mother Nature as she generally knows what’s best for her resources. Water surface temps have come up a couple degrees and are ranging in the mid-40s lake wide. We have clearing colder water up most of the tributaries and the fish are staging in the dirtier, more stable water. Really spread out between active schools of fish and you can go awhile without as much as a nibble. All this will change as our water begins to warm slightly and the amount of sunlight we get is longer every day. Bear with us and there will be some good news to report before too long. Good fishin’.”

Harris Brake Lake

(updated 2-20-2019) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) reported the clarity remains murky and the lake level as high, as much as 8 inches high on Tuesday morning before the next wave of rain passed through. Water surface temperature was 42.5 degrees. Fishing was a little slow, with best results coming for crappie and bass anglers. Crappie were fair on minnows and jigs. Bass were reported as fair, but no baits were suggested. Bream were poor. Catfish were poor.
 

Lake Overcup

NOTICE: An irrigation restriction on Lake Overcup will be in effect through March 1. 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 2-6-2019) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said water level is high by about 2 feet. Clarity is murky, but it’s improving. Water surface temperature is about 45 degrees. Bass are doing well around brushtops and structure. Bream are slow, but anglers are still catching some with redworms. Crappie are being caught on yo-yos at night. Anglers are not catching a lot, but are catching some good ones on small No. 4s. Catfish are slow, but Overcup had a lake record for blue channel catfish caught, with a 71-pounder brought in. Carl Prince caught the blue on a floaty using shad, Johnny says.

Brewer Lake

(updated 2-13-2019) Larry Walters at Bones Bait Shop (501-354-9900) said Tuesday afternoon that anglers need to wait a couple of days before heading out. The lake is muddy and the level is high. Brewer Lake received 5 inches of rain over Sunday-Monday. Hence, Larry received no fishing reports from anglers the past week. Recently, when the lake was normal, crappie were setting up about 20-25 feet on the bottom. They were under the bridge on the north end of the lake hitting jigs. White bass also were good two weeks ago, sitting on the bottom with the crappie.

Lake Maumelle

(updated 2-20-2019) WestRock Landing (501-658-5598) on Highway 10 near Roland said the water temperature is in the mi-d to high 40s. The Big Bass Shootout was held on Lake Maumelle Feb. 16-17, with Justin Hake and Duke Gunnell catching 40.5 pounds over the two days (22.34 pounds on Saturday). Cody and Jerry Bryant, who led Saturday with 22.44 pounds, finished in second with 37.56 total pounds. Tracy Holder and Josh Ray, with 32.04 pounds, were third but had the biggest single bass, at 7.24 pounds. Jake and Gunnell were right behind with a 6.44-pounder. The Arkansas Top 12 High School Tournament finals also fished Sunday, with Aaron Joslin and KJ Terry of Bryant High School landing a 5.8-pound big bass and 13.82 total over five bass to win. Bryson and Hunter Kindy were second with 13.04 pounds. On that note, Westrock notes that the largemouth bass bite is good. They are in transition and moving out of deeper water. Some reports are coming in that the blacks are on the outer edge of the grass. Some can still be found in depths of 18-25 feet. Try using chatterbaits, crankbaits, jerkbaits, drop-shots and swimbaits. Kentucky bass fishing is poor. Fewer reports of them this week, but most can be found in 16-22 foot of water. Try fishing off drops and rocky banks. White bass are good. Some whites are being caught near brush piles on the west end of the lake 18-25 feet of water. They should be running soon. Try using jerkbaits and rattle-style baits. Crappie are good. Crappie are heading out of the deeper holes. Reports of them being found in 16-20 foot of water close to brush piles and are still scattered. Try using jigs and minnows. No reports on bream and no reports on catfish.

 

Sunset Lake
 

(updated 2-20-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie fishing has been slow. Some customers reported catching a few on Tennessee Shad and John Deere Green Kalin’s Triple Threat Grubs while fishing around the pier. Catfish have been biting fair on live minnows and nightcrawlers on the bottom. Bass are hitting minnows, small jigs and spinnerbaits. You can pick up a few bream on worms and crickets if you move around the lake and fish different spots.

Bishop Park Ponds

(updated 2-20-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie “are biting pretty good at Lake Charles.” Use No. 6 crappie minnows and Kalin’s Grubs. “Fish around the grass and dock but try a little deeper out in the middle of the pond as well,” she said. Bass have been biting fair, too. Try No. 12 minnows or use your favorite plastics or spinnerbaits. Catfish are biting minnows, nightcrawlers and bait shrimp fished on the bottom, and you're likely to catch a couple while crappie fishing. Bream will bite crickets and redworms.

 

Saline River Access in Benton

(updated 2-20-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said the Saline River is a favorite of many, including herself. Unfortunately, she said, it's been hard to catch it right lately due to all the rain. On the days it has been down enough to fish, the fishing has been good. Customers have been reporting catching some good smallmouth, Kentucky and largemouth bass as well as some good walleye. Brooder minnows are the preferred bait, but some are also catching them on crankbaits and 3- and 4-inch curly tailed grubs. Catfish have been biting the big minnows and nightcrawlers fished on the bottom. Crappie have been caught in the backwaters and around logs and brush in the deeper holes. No. 6 crappie minnows and Kalin’s Grubs have been doing the job. Not many folks are bream fishing right now, but if you pitch a cricket or redworm out on a small hook you're liable to catch one about any time on the Saline. “Whatever you do, be smart and be safe. The Saline is small but it can rise fast and become very dangerous in a hurry.”

 

Lake Norrell


(updated 2-20-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said reports from Norrell have been few recently. One customer did report catching some catfish around his dock on minnows. We expect more reports from the lake as the weather improves.

 

Lake Valencia
 

(updated 2-13-2019) Hatchet Jack’s in North Little Rock (501-758-4958) says catfishing is fair. Use chicken liver or nightcrawlers. Valencia will be stocked for one last month by the AGFC with trout (these dinner-size trout have been biting PowerBaitO) before the stockings are turned over to catfish as the lake warms.

Lake Willastein

(updated 2-13-2018) Hatchet Jack’s in North Little Rock (501-758-4958) says crappie are fair. Use Electric Chicken jigs or minnows. Fish on the pier by the church. Bass are reported fair. They are biting crankbaits and black and blue jigs. Target the channel of the lake.

Lake Winona

(updated 2-20-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said customers are taking No. 4 minnows and catching some good crappie. They report catching a few on jigs, too, but the minnows seem to attract the bigger fish. Bass have been biting minnows, spinnerbaits and jigs. Catfish are biting nightcrawlers, minnows and stink baits on the bottom. Some good-sized bream have been biting the small crappie minnows of customers fishing for crappie. “I'd suggest taking some crickets and/or redworms along and doing a little bream fishing, too. One customer set out to catch walleye on Winona and ended up with only a few good bass and one catfish,” she said.

 

Arkansas River at Morrilton

(updated 2-20-2019) Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) had no report.

 

Arkansas River (Cadron Pool)

No report.

Little Maumelle River

(updated 2-20-2019) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said fishing and the conditions had been good the past week up until Tuesday, when the rain hit. The clarity had been slightly dingy and the water level was normal. Crappie have been good on minnows or jigs. Bass reports have been good on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. No reports came in on bream. Nothing reported on catfish.

Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)

(updated 2-20-2019) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) reported that conditions improved for fishing over the past week. Water level is high and the clarity is dingy. Crappie are good on minnows or jigs. Catfish are good using cut shad. Nothing reported on black bass, white bass or bream.

(updated 2-13-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said it’s heard that catfishing is fair around the Murray Lock and Dam. Try skipjack or shad. White bass are fair using chartreuse split tails, white twister tails and spoons.

Arkansas River (Little Rock Pool)

(updated 2-20-2019) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) reports that the river is a little high as of Tuesday and the clarity was dingy. Crappie reports were good. Minnows or jigs were working. Nothing else reported in the regular Little Rock pool for bream, bass or catfish. Below the Terry Lock and Dam, however, stripers are good. Use a half-ounce Vibric Rooster Tail in light color. Also below the dam, the catfish bite is good on cut shad. Crappie in Pool 5 and below the dam are good. Best baits for crappie are the Super Jig Nos. 404 and 405. No reports there on bream.

(updated 2-20-2019) Vince Miller from Fish ’N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) said the average flow has dropped significantly over last week, to 62,000 cfs and that on Tuesday the river was “just now fishable.” The clarity is muddy and the surface temperature was 46 degrees. Crappie reports are good. The crappie are at 10 feet depth and are hitting jigs – blue/chartreuse and red/chartreuse are your winning combinations. Black bass are fair and are biting jerkbaits or a small jig. Bream are poor and catfish reports also were poor.

(updated 2-13-2019) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the clarity near Terry Lock and Dam is muddy. The river is running high. However, anglers are having fair success with crappie or bass the past week. Bass are being found around rocky points and rock jetties and are hitting crankbaits and worms. Catfish are fair on worm around the rock jetties.

Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)

(updated 2-13-2018) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) the clarity here is not too murky, though the level and current are high “but not too high.” Crappie are good if fishing against the bank. Use minnows or black jigs. Black bass are poor, but anglers are trying with spinnerbaits, crankbaits or worms. Nothing reported on bream, an no reports on catfish.

Peckerwood Lake

(updated 2-20-2018) The lake’s clarity is dingy and the level as of Tuesday was normal. Surface water temperature was a chilled 36 degrees. Fishing has resumed at Peckerwood. Crappie are biting well on minnows. Bass results appear good, but no baits were reported. Catfishing is good, with anglers trolling, using spider rigs or on yo-yos. Nothing reported on bream.

NORTH ARKANSAS

White River

(updated 2-20-2019) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) says “We have been fishing every day this past week – most days were pretty darn cold – but, boy-oh-boy have we been catching some nice trout. Today we brought a 25-inch brown and a 24-inch brown to the boat (netted a couple of others) right here in Cotter. We were using sculpins and minnows. During the previous five or six days the guides have assisted their guests in catching five other trophy browns, bundles of rainbows and a couple of cutthroats. Don't let the weather hold you back, this is prime time for fishing for, and catching, your trophy brown.” Water levels have been a little erratic, starting out low, rising in early afternoon, then dropping a couple of hours later. That will change when the gauge at Newport drops; then anglers should see more consistent (and higher) releases from Bull Shoals Dam. You'll need to adjust you fishing technique and tackle as the water level changes, but always keep some redworms and some scented eggs on standby. “The White River guides are expert at finding trout – and ensuring you catch them! – at every water level, every rise or drop, or steady flow offered on any given day of the year. Come test them and see!”

(updated 2-20-2019) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the clarity is now clear and the river level had returned to normal by Tuesday. But, with the temperature and other conditions, they had just one angler out. There have been three generators running at the dam, running medium to medium low. The trout bite is good. A lot of rainbows and a few browns are being caught, they say.

(updated 2-13-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last Friday that during the past week they had two inches of rain in Cotter, bitterly cold temperatures and heavy wind. The lake level at Bull Shoals rose 0.1 foot to rest at 0.8 foot above seasonal power pool of 659 feet msl. This is 35.2 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell 0.3 foot to rest at 0.3 foot above seasonal power pool and 15.7 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.2 foot to rest at 0.6 foot above seasonal power pool and 9 feet below the top of flood pool. The White received heavy generation and little wadable water. Norfork Lake rose 0.4 foot to rest at 1.2 feet above seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 25 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had no wadable water. Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes in the White River System are still above the top of power pool, and expect to see more high water and little if any wadable water. The Catch and Release section below Bull Shoals Dam on the White River, closed during part of the winter for the brown trout spawn, is reopened and it’s also been the hot spot of late as the White has fished well. 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 10 cerise San Juan worm with a size 12 Y2K suspended below it. Use plenty of lead to get your flies down.


Bull Shoals Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 665.93 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 659.00 feet msl).

(updated 2-1-2019) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said the lake level is at 661 feet msl, it's about 3 feet above pool. Water temps are still hanging around 48 degrees and the water’s been crazy. The lake’s been coming up, Table Rock is dumping on us, and Bull Shoals Dam is generating a lot of water out. From the rain the lake’s cleared up a little bit, but it's moved the shad around quite a bit, those big monster schools of shad that they were seeing for the past month. Those have broken off in the little pods. Some of them are deep. Seeing a lot in 70-80 foot of water in the main channel or off the points. If you can find the shad balls in 30-50 feet of water you can get after them using a spoon or an ice jig. If you're looking to do that, the deep fish you can video-game fish them for a little bit. It's usually good for one or two fish, and then you're just going have to go find the next little ball shad. You can look for the birds, there are still loons on the lake, so if you want to cruise the creek channels, most of those that were in the back or moved out closer to the main lake. Those deep fish, if they're real finicky you can pick some more off using a Dubuque rig or and dropping a mat down in front of them. The bite for that and the ice jig are kind of just leaving the pole sitting still. So, if you are fishing a deep fish you're gonna have to work for them a little more than what we have been, spend a little time graphing and it'll pay off. Now with the water temp where it’s at, some shad are dying off and that'll bring into the jerkbait bite, fishing channel swing banks, bluffs, bluff ends, points anywhere close to those shad is probably a good place to start. This time of year if we get a little bit of sun, that's kind of what you're looking for at this time of year. You’re not looking for a lot of wind, but if you do get some wind you can go cranking, you can throw a Rock Crawler or Wiggle Wart. Del says he’s using the Red Crawler, the greenback orange belly and the same color in the Wiggle Wart. Depending on how deep the bank is, the channels swing banks with chunk rock on them are kind of what you're going to look for. “The other thing I don't throw a lot but I have thrown it little bit this week is throwing an umbrella rig, an A-rig. This will flat-out catch them. The thing with the A-rig, that bite’s going to get better as the water drops a little bit. I’m catching those fish mostly out of brush piles, keeping the boat in 40 foot of water, brush piles off of bluff ends, anywhere they're close to the main channel where those shad are at. If you're going rig your rig you have to have to use silver with one other different color or you won't catch fish guys. Just mix up the baits and see what they want.
“The last thing is a jig. I’m using either a rubber jig, the jewel jig, and dropping those down in same spots where the shad are out. The jig bites been hit-or-miss but it's going to catch fish year-round. Those are usually a little better quality fish. I’m using the greens, the green pumpkins, brown, something with a little blue in it has been working, too.” Some days are going to be slow out there, it's the dead of winter and some days are going to be really good. You’re going to catch fish, you're just going to have to work for them a little bit harder. Meanwhile, Del will be hitting the fishing and boat shows in the north in coming weeks.

 

Norfork Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 562.45 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April 552.00 feet msl; April-September, 554.00 feet msl).

(updated 2-20-2019) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said Norfork Lake, along with the majority of the country, in his opinion, is in constant weather change. After a frontal system rolls through our area it typically takes a day or two for the fish to get active again. Once this happens the fish feed with a frenzy, but then we have a new system roll through to start the cycle all over again. I will be the first to admit that I am really ready for spring to get here. I am totally tired of the cold weather and need a little consistent warmth for my fishing days. :-) Last Saturday, I found fish feeding heavily in 44 - 48 feet of water on a large flat in the Cranfield area. I did not get out until late morning due to the below freezing temperature early, but once it reached around 29 degrees I headed out. The fish stuck around until mid-afternoon and I got to land well over 40 fish between hybrid bass, striped bass and white bass. Vertical jigging with a 1/2 to a 1 ounce spoon was my bait of choice. I was also casting out a 1/2 ounce blade bait with a feather trailer and landed some nice fish with it. Once the fish leave the flats they tend to scatter throughout the deeper water, staying suspended 30 - 50 feet down. You will still catch fish, but not necessarily the numbers.
Crappie fishing has been fairly good as of late, but still the frontal systems have affected their bite. I have landed some really nice slabs 30 feet down near the sunken brush piles. I typically use a 1/4 ounce spoon and jig it very slowly in and around the brush piles on the bottom. Live bait with a slip float or a minnow tipped to a small curly or paddle tail grub will work great.
The big white bass that I have been catching are full of eggs. I would assume they are staging for their upcoming spawn, which will happen shortly. The males should be way back in the creeks or up river in the shallower water awaiting the right timing and water temperature. Bennett's Bayou is a great place to get into the white bass run or up river around the AR/MO border. They also tend to head back into some of the larger creeks and coves.
Walleye should also be gearing up for their spawn. February is usually the time for this to occur. The AR/MO border area is a good area to find the spawning and pre-spawning fish. If we can get some nice weather, the first hour before sunrise and an hour before and after sunset are great times to fish for walleye in shallow water. Throw a suspending rogue or use soft plastic swim baits. Norfork Lake level is on a slow rise and currently sits at 561.92 feet msl. This is approximately 8 feet over normal seasonal pool. The surface water temperature ranges from 43-46 degrees depending on your location and time of day. The main lake has a greenish stain along with most of creeks and coves. The water clarity heading up in the Bennetts area is stained brown as is up river once you're past the Cranfield area. A lot of the brown water has dropped out and the remainder will follow suit quickly.

(updated 2-20-2018) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters had no report.

 

Norfork Tailwater

(updated 2-13-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last weekend that over the previous week Norfork Lake rose 0.4 foot to rest at 1.2 feet above seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 25 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had no wadable water. Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes in the White River System are still above the top of power pool, and expect to see more high water and little if any wadable water. The Norfork has fished well. Navigate this stream with caution as there has been major gravel recruitment at the bottom of Mill Pond and the dock hole over the past year and a half. 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 Y2K suspended 18 inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise size 10). The fishing is better in the morning. Dry Run Creek is fishing well. The hot flies have been sowbugs (size 14), Y2Ks (size 12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise size 10). It is cold out there be sure and bundle the kids up. Remember that the White and Norfork rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soles that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.
Also, John explained the mop fly: “I am constantly being introduced to new flies. When I managed Blue Ribbon Fly Shop, I always had commercial fly-tyers and local tyers coming in and showing me their latest creation. That situation continued with my position as the chairman of the Sowbug Roundup Fly Tying Contest. Whenever I am guiding I talk with all of the other guides and ask what is working. I am frequently introduced to the new hot fly. I also talk to my fellow anglers when I am fishing on my own to determine what fly is working. Over the years, I have been shown hundreds of patterns and have been given many of those flies to try out. Most were nicely tied but did not produce the desired result. A precious few were game changers.
“Those were the ones that earned a place in my fly box. I learned to tie and fish them and, if asked I, would recommend them to others and often shared them with others. If have found such a fly, the mop fly.
“It is an odd-looking fly. It is a piece of heavy yarn tied to a jighead. The first ones were tied with the strings from a common mop. Hence the name mop fly. Now Wapsi, the largest purveyor of fly-tying materials in the world, manufactures a special yarn to tie them. I have seen them in white, lime green and pink.
“The first time I saw one was on the Norfork, below the dam. An angler fishing near me was having a good day while I was struggling. Later I saw a big brown caught on one on Dry Run Creek. My interest was piqued.
“My wife, Lori, actually used one before I did. A fellow angler gave her one while she was guiding on Dry Run Creek. She had a fantastic day with it and told me about her success when she came home that night. I went to the fly shop, bought some mop fly yarn and tied a few. My first attempt at using them was not productive. I figured that no fly works all of the time. I decided to try them again.
“I got my chance a week later on Dry Run Creek. We were having a good day fishing my usual flies. I ran out of San Juan worms and rather than walking back to my car and stripping some, from another fly box, I decided to give the mop fly another shot.
“I took a minute to tie on a fresh 4X tippet and a mop fly. My young client cast it into the creek and was immediately onto a nice 20-inch cutthroat. Things were looking up. We continued fishing it and it produced 20 trout of various sizes (the largest was a 24-inch brown) before we lost the fly in a tree. I tied on another and we caught even more. I was a believer and now fish it often. Give the mop fly a try.”

 

Buffalo National River/Crooked Creek

(updated 2-13-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are off-color and high. The smallmouths are much less active with the cold conditions. John says his favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.


NORTHWEST ARKANSAS

Beaver Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,122.78 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.00 msl).

(updated 2-20-2019) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the lake is slightly dingy and the surface water temperature is “cold,” ranging in the low 40s and leading to slow response of the fish. The level also is high. Crappie are fair. Anglers are using spider rigs or trolling crankbaits. Minnows and jigs are also on the crappie menu. Bass are fair. Alabama rigs and jerkbaits seem the ways to go for bass. Catfishing is poor. With the walleye staging and spawning, the male walleye are going after jerkbaits, grubs and crankbaits. Bream are poor.

 

Beaver Tailwaters

(updated 2-20-2019) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) says fishing has been a little on the slow end this past week. “We have had some bipolar weather that has not only kept me away, but the bite as well. However, the days spent fishing, I was able to get the trout to bite.” Austin says trout were biting on light terminal tackle with various PowerBaits. Spoons and jigs have not done so well this week. This week’s hot spot has been between Spider Creek and Parker Bottoms. “I should have more to report after this next system pushes through.”

 

Lake Fayetteville

(updated 2-20-2019) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) says the lake level is normal and the clarity is now clear. Fishing is a little slow, with only bass being targeted. Bass reports were good, but no baits were revealed. Bream, crappie and catfish produced no reports the past week.

Lake Sequoyah

(updated 2-20-2019) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) reported the lake conditions as clear and at a normal level as of Tuesday morning. Crappie are good and the usual minnows and jigs will get their attention. Black bass action remains poor. Catfishing is fair, but no baits were reported. Bream are poor; it’s early.

NORTHEAST ARKANSAS

Lake Poinsett

(updated 2-20-2019) Ome Coleman at Lake Poinsett State Park said, “You never know this time of the year whether it is going to be hot, cold, rain or sunny. Bait sales have been slow, but we are still keeping the minnows, worms, some frozen bait, and other fishing supplies just to be ready for you. Work is going forward on getting Lake Poinsett back to, “the Best Place to Fish.” Meanwhile, other area lakes such as Lake Hogue and Lake Charles are destinations in this area. Stop in for your bait supplies on the way there.

 

Crown Lake

(updated 2-20-2019) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) reported that they had no anglers over the recent days. The lake conditions are normal level of water and clear. But across the board – bream, crappie, black bass and catfish – the reports were poor.

 

Spring River

(updated 2-6-2019) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) said water levels are running at 400 cfs (350 average) and water clarity has been good. The river is looking great and the smallmouth bass and brown trout have been hitting. “More rain is in the forecast may flood the river this week. But we’re hopeful it will not. As always check my blog at springriverfliesandguides.com for the latest updates on river conditions.” It has been a very wet season this year and the main river can be difficult to wade. The trout are biting great, anglers just might have to work a little harder to get the fly down. Olive Woollies and Y2Ks have been the main producers. “On some days we have had some great hatches and a pheasant tail, hare’s ear or Copper John work great. Make sure and let the fly swing out at the end of the drift with short fast strips back upstream. Hot pink and orange Trout Magnets are hot on the spinning rods, and crankbaits for the browns work great.”

(updated 2-13-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Spring River is high and off color. This is a great place to wade fish when they are running water on the White and Norfork rivers. Canoe season is over. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive Woolly Buggers with a bit of flash (size 10), cerise and hot pink San Juan worms (size 10) and Y2Ks (size 10).

White River

(updated 2-13-2018) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said it had no reports. The level and current of the river is rising, and the clarity is poor.


SOUTHEAST ARKANSAS

Arkansas River (Pine Bluff Pool)

(updated 2-20-2019) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team reports that water temperatures are in the low to mid-40s. Water visibility is very low, only inches in most places. The water level and flow rates are fluctuating frequently, generally staying on the high side. Fishing for black bass is very, very poor this time of year in this pool. Best bet, honestly, is to go somewhere else until the water here warms into the low 50s at the very least.

Arkansas River (Pool 2)

No report.

Cane Creek Lake

No report.

Lake Chicot

(updated 2-7-2019) Brian Whitson, park interpreter at Lake Chicot State Park, says crappie are biting on minnows and bright pink crappie jigs. The expectation of rains and storms next Monday and Tuesday will likely mean a muddied-up lake, and that will put a hold on fishing.

 

Lake Monticello

(updated 2-20-2019) The lake was drawn down about 6-7 feet and while the AGFC completed vegetation and fish cover work on the shoreline through last September. The lake is rising with rainfall will cover the new anchoring of cut gum trees and other vegetation good for fish habitat on the shallow shoreline areas. During the drawdown, tree stumps are showing in the coves toward the east and northeast of the lake; those are good areas to fish for the bass. This spring should be a great time to check out this fishery.

SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS

Millwood Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 259.22 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 259.20 msl).

(updated 2-20-2019) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said Millwood Lake pool dropped slightly over the last week with rain in the region to about 8.5 inches above normal pool. The Army Corps of Engineers made gate changes at the dam on Monday and were releasing around 13,600 cfs. Millwood Lake is above normal conservation pool on Monday at 259.9 feet msl. The tailwater below the dam dropped slightly, and as of Monday is now about 240 feet msl. Water temps also jumped over the past week, and on Monday were ranging 45-50 degrees. 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. Continue to use caution in navigation on Little River and Millwood this week, watching for random, broken or floating timber with the current conditions of river flow in Little River. Clarity and visibility conditions worsened over the past few days with increase of current along Little River and navigation is considered cautious along Little River with the current discharge around 13,000 cfs. Some debris remains present in Little River current, use caution. Further upriver finds highest turbidity rates. As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity and visibility is moderate stain, ranging about 5-6 inches. Little River's visibility ranges 3-4 inches with stained conditions, depending on location and current. The oxbow's clarity ranges about 10-15 inches depth of visibility depending on location. Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, rain or thunderstorms.
The bite for bass improved over the past few days for largemouths during the midday hours in the oxbows. A tournament over the past weekend produced some good sacks. A 9-pound pound largemouth was caught over the past weekend. Bomber crankbaits, large bulky Hogs, Beavers, and 6-inch lizards are getting good responses. The best locations over the past few weeks have been in the back of the oxbows where water conditions and clarity are best, like the back of McGuire and Horseshoe oxbows. The bite is certainly best during warmest periods of the day, from 8-15 feet deep over drops, with stumps and remaining vegetation being prime locations. We continue to see good bass reactions with crankbaits, ¾-ounce slow-rolled War Eagle Spinnerbaits, and Rat-L-Traps in the creeks between 10-15 feet of depth. The best crankbaits drawing reactions over the past few weeks were Bomber Fat Free Shads, or square-bill cranks in craw patterns, and Bandit Cranks in brown/orange crawfish patterns. Rat-L-Traps and Echo 1.75s in shad patterns like Millwood Magic, red chrome, Toledo Gold and square bills and Echo 1.75s in Rayburn Red Craw, Pinch'n Peach or Ghost Minnow continue working near midday in back of the oxbows away from muddy Little River current flows, and in creek channels where clarity maybe slightly better than close to Little River current flows. These are still drawing random reactions, by deflecting the traps around and over stumps in creek channels with any cypress trees, standing timber, and stumps. Bulky, fat tube jigs like 4-inch Gitzits, Brush Hogs, Bass Assassin Jingle Bugs or lizards, 10-12-inch bulky worms and Real Deal Custom Tackle Jigs continue taking a few chunky, largemouths in the creek channels from 10-15 feet deep on stumps, and on primary points with stumps from 6-10 feet deep. Green Pumpkin, Pumpkinseed/chartreuse, chartreuse pumpkin and blackberry colors continue to be good colors for soft plastic Brush Hogs or lizards from solitary bass. A slowmoving Real Deal Custom Tackle jig in Texas Craw, black/blue, amber/chartreuse or June Bu with black craw trailer, continue this week getting a few good reaction bites near stumps, from 9-12 feet of depth in outer bends of creeks and ditches with cypress trees.
With water continues warming as it has since late last week, a few white bass were caught on yo-yos up Little River between White Cliffs and McGuire Oxbow. The white bass are evidently still on the move upriver, and staging in preparation for their annual spawning runs up the Little River to headwaters above highway 71 bridge. Crappie continue improving in the oxbows, clearest water you can find being the most activity areas, and are stacked up vertically over planted brush with jigs from 12-15 feet of depth. Best colors of jigs over the past week or so have been black/chartreuse, white/chartreuse or blue/chartreuse. Catfish continue biting well on trotlines set in the current of Little River set from 15-20 feet deep. Yo-yos set from cypress trees over 8-12 feet deep in back of Mud Lake are still catching some nice 3- to 5-pound cats. Punch bait, chicken livers and gizzards, and catalpa worms have been working for cats over the last several weeks on the yo-yos.

Lake Columbia

(updated 2-13-2019) Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) reported that a few bass are being caught. No reports on crappie.
 

Lake Greeson Tailwater (Little Missouri River)
Visit www.littlemissouriflyfishing.com for a daily update on fishing conditions.

Lake Greeson

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 548.14 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).

(updated 2-20-2019) Jason Lenderman of JL Guide Service (870-490-0804) had no report.

DeGray Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 409.14 feet msl (full pool: 408.00 feet msl).

(updated 2-20-2019) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said water temperature is at 50. White bass and hybrids are moving up the lake toward the river. Vertical-jigging spoons, casting swimbaits and trolling A-rigs or crankbaits have produced. Crappie are beginning to invade brush piles when the surface temp is warmer and clear and will stack up even more as the water warms.

 

De Queen Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 439.50 feet msl (full pool: 437.00 feet msl).

No reports.

Dierks Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 536.13 feet msl (full pool: 526.00 feet msl).

No reports.

SOUTH-CENTRAL ARKANSAS

White Oak Lake

No report.

Felsenthal

(updated 2-13-2019) Sportsman’s One Stop (870-863-7248) in El Dorado said the river is back on the rise and fishing is still slow.

 WEST-CENTRAL ARKANSAS

Lake Atkins

(updated 2-13-2019) Sharon at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) says clarity is very muddy and the lake is back to a high level, up 4.5 feet over las week. No surface temperature was recorded. No fishing reports came in over the past week.

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

No report.

Lake Catherine (Below Carpenter Dam)

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

(updated 2-20-2019) Shane Goodner, owner of Catcher All Guide Service, reports that heavy rainfall has forced Entergy to run very heavy generation through the area dams to bring Lake Ouachita down out of flood pool. This process has been ongoing and will continue with the added rainfall of the past several days. Fast flows below Carpenter Dam have created treacherous conditions in the tailrace. As reported last week, fishermen and boaters alike should stay off the water below Carpenter Dam until stable conditions return to the area. This will take days if not weeks to occur. While thousands of rainbow trout are present along with hundreds of spawning walleye, no fishing trip is worth risking your personal safety, Shane says. Muddy water disguises water depth and underwater hazards, which doubles the danger factor from the dam to the bridge. Safe boating and fishing will return to the area when the present danger has passed.

Lake Dardanelle

(updated 2-20-2019) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) had no report.


Lake Hamilton

(updated 2-20-2019) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas born-and-bred Xpress all-welded aluminum fishing boats in Hot Springs, reports Lake Hamilton’s water level still below normal pool by 3-5 feet throughout. Water temps have dropped into the 45-degree area and clarity is pretty good considering the amount of rain over the last week. All species are lethargic in their actions but some are still doing very well if you can withstand the cold and wind. Bass are fair and hanging off main lake points (usually on rocks that hold heat). Fish are varying in range from 25-50 feet (sometimes deeper) and suspended. Use jigging spoons, football jigs and drop-shot rigs in natural colors (crawdads and olives) to go after them. Bites are slow and sluggish, so be patient. Walleye and hybrids will mix in with the bass waiting for forage to come down the main channels. Crappie are really excellent right now over brushtops near creek and main channels in about 30-45 feet of water. Look for vertical piles and structures (even docks). The fish seem to want some good height in the structure right now. You can really hammer them home on the slip cork rig with a split shot and unweighted hook tipped with a minnow. The corks will just slowly slip away from sight or drift away in a nontypical way. Some really nice fish are being taken in the area and especially before weather fronts push through! “Good luck and GoGreeson!”

Lake Nimrod

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 353.62 feet msl (full pool: 342.00 feet msl).

(updated 2-20-2019) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) had no report for this week, as of Tuesday, due to the weather conditions. Even the previous week, Andrews’ staff had noted that anglers might need to wait about two weeks for any decent fishing at Nimrod after that weather system had come through. The clarity then muddy. Until this spate of rough weather, crappie were biting well, though, on black/chartreuse jigs. Most of the crappie are being found in Porter Creek. Black bass were fair on spinnnerbaits. Catfishing was fair as of a week ago, before conditions changed and the lake continued to rise. Check Andrews’ Facebook page for any updates by the weekend.

(updated 2-20-2019) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said the lake is dingy and at a high level, and they say no one is fishing, plus they are getting more rain. And, with the low air temps, the surface water temp is cold. Not a good combination for fishing now.

Lake Ouachita

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 578.78 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).

(updated 2-20-2019) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) said black bass are fair. Alabama rigs, jigs or crankbaits fished on main lake points or in creek channels are still working at this time. On walleye, most reports have these fish working up major creeks and the rivers. The bite is slow. Stripers are still fair on live bait and Bama rigs. Major creek mouths and main lake points on the western and central parts of the lake are the best for these fish. No reports on bream. Crappie are slow and being caught with jigs or minnows in 20-30 feet of water near brush. No report on catfish. Water temperature is ranging 48-52 degrees. Water clarity is muddy to stained. Lake level stands at 577.34 as of Tuesday. 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 400.92 feet msl (full pool: 384.00 feet msl).

No reports.


EAST ARKANSAS

Bear Creek Lake

(updated 2-20-2019) Natalie Faughn, ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), reported that crappie are still biting well at Bear Creek and Storm Creek. Bear Creek anglers are seeing lots of activity off of the bank near habitat and fallen trees, using live bait. No major reports on bass, although they do have some tournaments coming up and hope to have something to report on that next week.

Storm Creek Lake

(updated 2-20-2019) See Bear Creek Lake.
 

Cook’s Lake

(updated 2-20-2019) Cook’s Lake will reopen for fishing the first weekend in March.

Horseshoe Lake

No report.