March 27, 2019
Jim Harris Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine
Weekly Fishing Report
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for March 27, 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.
Arkansas River and White River levels are available at: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=lzk
For real-time information on stream flow in Arkansas from the U.S. Geological Survey, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/rt
For water-quality statistics (including temperature) in many Arkansas streams and lakes, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/current/?type=quality
Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir
(updated 3-27-2019) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said that the lake conditions are calm with the usual Lake Conway stain. The water level is normal. No surface temperature was recorded. Bream, which were reported beginning to spawn last week, are good. Red worms and crickets are the baits of choice. Crappie are good; use minnows or jigs. Black bass are good; anglers report success with white/chartreuse buzz baits. Catfishing is poor
Little Red River
(updated 3-27-2019) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service said currently they are seeing around 14 hours of daily generation on the Little Red River. The Greers Ferry Lake level is above normal seasonal pool due to recent rains, so longer periods of generation with possible flood gates being used to lower the lake level as quickly as possible are expected. If you choose to fish these conditions, you will want to use long leaders and weight. Key for both fly-fishing and Trout Magnet fishing during heavy generation is the ability to get and maintain a good presentation of the fly or Trout Magnet. Working shoreline with streamers is also an effective fly-fishing method during high water conditions. For fly-fishing, Lowell recommends San Juan worms, micro jigs, march brown patterns and streamers during high water conditions, and pheasant tails, 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 Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock District water data system (501-362-5150) for Greers Ferry Dam water release information or check the Corps of Engineers website (swl-wc.usace.army.mil) for real-time water release and the Southwestern Power Administration website (swpa.gov) to see forecasted generation schedule.
(updated 3-27-2019) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said the river is clear with generation from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The lake level is 470.54 feet msl, which is about 8 feet above normal. As long as the lake is in the flood pool, we can expect heavier-than-normal generation. The Corps of Engineers has said that the current schedule will probably be maintained until the weekend, when an increased amount will be released as the lower river levels will allow. They also told Greg that one of the generators will go offline on April 1 for maintenance. At this time, flood gates will be opened to increase the flow up to the amount of two units. This will probably be on a 24/7 operation if the river levels permit.
Greg says drift fishing with large nymphs has been fair to good by staying ahead of the new generation. “Please be aware of the timing of the generation reaching the section of river you are fishing and be careful on this high water. The current and depth change a great deal when the generation occurs. Do not anchor or drift to the upstream side of docks or other obstacles in the river during high water.”
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 470.49 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.04 feet msl Oct. 1-April 30; 463.04 feet msl May 1-June 1; 462.54 feet msl June 1-Sept. 30).
(updated 3-27-2019) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 470.54 feet msl and rising again. It is 8.5 feet above normal pool of 462.04 feet msl. It should level off in a couple of days and then start decreasing with generation if we do not get any more rain, but it is supposed to rain a lot between now and the end of May, so we will have to wait and see. Crappie catching is going well spider-rigging, and vertical-fishing as well, from 12-30 feet of water on jigs, minnows and crankbaits. Walleye are eating at various times all over the lake and rivers on crankbaits, minnows, bream, grubs, drop-shot rigs, up super shallow out to 30 feet. Bream are starting to show themselves in 12-18 feet of water and can be caught on small crankbaits, inline spinners, and crickets. All species of black bass are eating a variety of baits from super shallow out to 30 feet; pick your strengths. Hybrid bass and white bass catching is good in the lake and rivers using a variety of baits as well fished horizontal and vertical, according to conditions and area.
Harris Brake Lake
(updated 3-27-2019) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) reported the clarity is clear in some areas, partly cloudy in others. Surface water temperature on Tuesday morning was 55.2 degrees. The water level is 6 inches above normal. Crappie fishing picked back up with good reports. Crappie are starting to spawn and appear very active. Anglers report a lot of females being caught. Minnows and jigs are working. Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and white bass all are good. Catfishing is poor. Bream are poor.
(updated 3-20-2019) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said the water level is about 2 feet high. Clarity is good, while the surface temperature is around 56 degrees. Black bass are doing fair but are still slow. Bream are slow but should be picking up soon. Catfish are being caught on jugs and trotline with cut shad and minnows. Crappie are doing well around brushtops and structure around the banks, on minnows and jigs.
(updated 3-20-2019) Larry Walters at Bones Bait Shop (501-354-9900) said the lake has cleared, and now it is just “a little high.” Some of the fish aren’t responding well this week. The black bass are fair and are being found in 8-10 feet depth. Crankbaits are working. But crappie are not biting well, he says, with poor reports coming in. Bream are poor. Catfishing is fair.
(updated 3-27-2019) WestRock Landing (501-658-5598) on Highway 10 near Roland reports that water temperature is ranging in the mid-50s. Largemouth bass are good. They are in transition and moving out of deeper water. With the temperatures rising, the bass are starting to move in and are spawning, with others getting ready to spawn. Most are in 3-10 feet of water and some can still be found in depths of 16-22 feet. Try using chatterbaits, crankbaits, jerkbaits, drop-shots and swimbaits. Kentucky bass are slow. Fewer reports this week but most can be found deep in 16-22 feet of water. Try fishing off drops and rocky banks. White bass, some reports are saying it's a good bite while others are saying the whites are slow. Reports coming in of the white moving through the channels and in the creeks as well as some on the flats in the afternoon hours. Try using Rooster Rails, jerkbaits and or rattle-type baits. Crappie are slow. Crappie are heading out of the deeper holes. Reports of them being found in 3-8 feet of water but still scattered and mixed in with the white bass shallow. Look for warm pockets. Try using jigs and minnows. Bream are poor. No reports. Catfish are slow. Try using stink bait, crayfish or worms.
(updated 3-27-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said customers fishing at Sunset Lake have reported catfish biting chicken livers and live minnows. Largemouth bass have been hitting minnows, Carolina-rigged and wacky rigged plastics. One customer caught his best one on a crystal minnow-colored Whopper Plopper. Crappie fishing has picked up a little. Anglers are catching them with No. 4 minnows, pink minnows and small jigs fished 1½-3 feet deep around the islands and 3-6 feet deep around the pier. One customer says if you stay after them you'll catch a mess of good eaters. Bream are starting to bite pretty well on crickets and redworms.
Bishop Park Ponds
(updated 3-27-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie have been biting fair on No. 4, No. 6 and pink minnows. They seem to be scattered around the ponds and at different depths throughout the day. Black bass have been biting No. 12 minnows, floating worms and small spinnerbaits fished close to grassy spots or just working them parallel to the banks about 6-10 feet out. Catfish have been biting fair on minnows, chicken livers and nightcrawlers fished on the bottom. Bream are starting slow but some have been biting crickets and worms.
Saline River Access in Benton
(updated 3-27-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said the river was right this week and the fishing has been good. Bass and walleye have been biting well. Brooder minnows, Carolina- and Texas-rigged lizards and crankbaits have been catching some nice ones. Catfish have been biting minnows, goldfish, black salties and chicken livers. Crappie fishing has been good with No. 6 minnows, pink minnows and Kalin’s grubs in various colors. If you want to catch bream, try crickets or redworms on small hooks and light line with a small float or just tight line it.
(updated 3-27-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said another customer reported catching a good stringer of crappie this week at Norrell. He used No. 6 minnows and said he had a few good-sized ones with an overall count of 16 keepers. That's encouraging as crappie fishing has been tough on the lake in recent years’ past but seems to be improving. Let's hope that continues. Big bream have always been pretty common on Norrell and still are. Crickets and redworms fished close to the bottom around docks, walls and deep structure can produce some dandy redear and bluegill. Bass fishing is fair to good right now. Early in the mornings and late afternoon until dark is best. A No. 12 or brooder minnow, a wacky rigged worm, a Carolina- or Texas-rigged worm and some topwater baits have been working. Catfish are biting fair on minnows, goldfish, black salties and chicken livers.
(updated 3-20-2019) Hatchet Jack’s in North Little Rock (501-758-4958) says catfishing is fair. Use chicken liver, chicken hearts or nightcrawlers.
(updated 3-20-2019) Hatchet Jack’s in North Little Rock (501-758-4958) says crappie are fair on regular and pink minnows. Fish for them off the piers. Black bass are fair on minnows and swimbaits.
(updated 3-27-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie fishing has been on and off for our customers fishing on Winona this week. One day they catch ’em, the next day they don't. The days they do, they're catching them on No. 4 minnows and Monkey Milk and Glacier-colored Bobby Garland Itty Bit jigs fishing 8-12 feet deep over brush. Bass have been hitting brooder minnows, Carolina-rigged lizards and Brush Hogs and some crankbaits. One customer reported catching a nice walleye on a brooder minnow as well. Catfish are biting fair in the evenings on chicken livers, nightcrawlers and minnows fished on bottom. No reports on the bream bite this week from Winona.
Arkansas River at Morrilton
(updated 3-27-2019) Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080 had no report.
(updated 3-27-2019) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the clarity is “very clear” and the level and current are normal. Crappie are good. You can fairly shallow, at about a 4- to 5-foot depth. Black bass are EXCELLENT. They are hitting pretty much anything you care to throw their way, Ray says, with soft plastics standing out. But spinnerbaits, crankbaits and plastic worms all are good choices. Fish for them around the banks. Catfish are good on yo-yos, and they’re loving minnows right now. Bream are poor. White bass provided no reports.
Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)
(updated 3-27-2019) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) says the Maumelle pool is muddy with high level and current. Surface temperature recorded as 58 degrees. Crappie are good fishing for them at 6-8 feet depth around cypress trees. Use white/chartreuse jigs. No other reports.
(updated 3-20-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said catfish are fair around Murray Lock and Dam by snagging or bait fishing with skipjack.
Arkansas River (Little Rock Pool)
(updated 3-27-2019) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) reports that the river level is high and appears to have a lot of current are high, while the clarity is muddy. The fishing was rated similar to last week. Anglers say that black bass response is remains poor right now. Crappie are good at a depth of 3-4 feet using pink minnows. Work the rocky points/the riprap. Nothing reported on bream, catfish or white bass. Moving further down the Little Rock pool to the Terry Lock and Dam and into the next pool, Tony Zimmerman reports that crappie are good below the dam using minnows and jigs, while white bass continue to be good using swimming minnows in pearl and chartreuse grubs. No reports there on black bass or bream.
(updated 3-27-2019) Fish ’N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) said that with surface water temperatures ranging mid-50s to the 60s, it’s been a pretty good week of fishing overall. The clarity is muddy/stained. Water level is normal. Crappie are good and are being found in 5-10 feet depth and best in the backwaters. They’re favoring black/chartreuse jigs. Black bass are good, also in the backwaters. Fish for them with a black/red Gitzit, a chatterbait or spinnerbait. Catfish reports have been poor. Bream continue to not show much, poor reports.
(updated 3-20-2019) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the fish are not doing much in the lower end of the Little Rock pool near the Terry Lock and Dam. The clarity is muddy and the water level there is high. Poor reports across the board on bream, crappie, black bass and catfish.
(updated 3-20-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said catfish are fair around Murray Lock and Dam by snagging or bait fishing with skipjack.
Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 3-20-2018) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water level remains just a little higher than normal, while the clarity is clear. Crappie are excellent this week. Minnows and jigs will work. Bream are fair on redworms and crickets. Black bass are good using spinnerbaits, crankbaits and worms. Nothing reported on catfish.
(updated 3-27-2018) Donna Mulherin at Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said the clarity remains “a little dingy” while the water level is normal. No surface temperature was recorded. The crappie bite has stayed good, with this week’s fish being caught on yo-yos or by anglers throwing jigs. Nothing reported on bream or bass. Catfishing is fair.
(updated 3-27-2019) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) says Bull Shoals Lake has reached desired power pool level – a decrease in the output from the dam is anticipated. “We've seen some unusual releases since reaching the desired water level at the lake two days ago: big water coming at us in the morning, then a drop to minimum flow for several hours around noon, then returning to big water early evening and throughout the night. Trout can mostly adjust to water level changes, but it takes some time, so until we see a pattern established with releases be ready to try lots of baits and be surprised when the bite occurs when least expected. For example, yesterday (Tuesday) during the quick drop, the bite was super good on small pink midge flies.
The time is right to get the Zig Jigs and Maribou jigs out again: white on white or white with red or pink heads; silver and blue spoons should prove successful, and crawdads are poking their heads out so Rebel Wee Craws and crawfish (or shrimp) will attract a following. “The days are warming up, the nights not so cold, and the hills are greening. Spring is really here! Come on over.”
(updated 3-20-2019) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the clarity is cloudy, as there is fast water. The river level is high with six to eight generators running. The trout bite is fair, and anglers are doing OK.
(updated 3-27-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last weekend that during the past week they had just a trace or rain, warmer temperatures and heavy winds (to include lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals fell 3.1 feet to rest at 1 foot above seasonal power pool of 659 feet msl. This is 35 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell 0.1 foot to rest at 0.7 foot above seasonal power pool and 15.3 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.9 foot a foot to rest at 1.6 feet above seasonal power pool and 8 feet below the top of flood pool. The White had heavy generation and no wadable water. Norfork Lake fell 1.3 feet to rest at 1 foot above seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 25.2 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had heavy generation and some wadable water. All of the lakes in the White River System are near the top of power pool. We can expect some wadable water in the near future.
The White has fished well. The hot spot has been the catch-and release section at Rim Shoals. The hot flies were olive Woolly Buggers (sizes 8, 10), Y2Ks (sizes 14, 12), prince nymphs (size 14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead sizes 16, 18), pheasant tails (size 14), ruby midges (size 18), root beer midges (size 18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (size 10), and sowbugs (size 16). Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective (John’s current favorite combination is a size 14 bead-head pheasant tail nymph with a size 12 egg pattern suspended below it. Use plenty of lead to get your flies down.) There have been some shad coming through the generators at Bull Shoals Dam. John says his favorite fly for this situation has been a white mop fly suspended below an egg pattern.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 659.62 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 659.00 feet msl).
(updated 2-27-2019) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said, “The water is coming up, we've got a lot of rain last week. Cold rain, at that. It’s now about 9 feet high and water surface temperature about 45 degrees depending on where you're at. If you get a warm day, the backs of the creeks with the dirty water seem to warm up. That's kind of what I've been keying on,” he said. “However, with it being cold and no warm days in the future, that bite’s not looking so good. I know everyone's chomping at the bit for spring. It's slow.” Del said he’s been away a lot at fishing shows in the Chicago area recently, but he’s been out enough to find a couple of different bites that have been working for him. The deep bite has been slow, but anglers can find it drop-shotting, spooning or using a Damiki rig anywhere in that 25-35 feet range. “If you see them you can video game them and you can pick a few off,” he said, “but it’s going to be hit or miss on that bite.” However, he added, if a warm front comes through, he expects the crankbait bite to pick up. Use a Rock Crawler in natural colors in clear water, or go with brighter colors in the dirty water. “If you’ve got wind and you’ve got sun, it’s going to be a good day to go crank. That bite should get better over the next couple of weeks as the water temperatures start to come up. Hopefully we get a couple more warm fronts.”
Del adds that the jig bite is another that’s been working around the channel swing banks. Look for the chunk rock, the little ledges. He’s had best success in about 15-25 feet depth. “In the creeks has been better for me than out on the main lake,” Del said. Also, he mentioned, he’s found a swimbait bite by throwing a single swimbait and slow-rolling it as slow as possible. He’ll says to look for the shad, and if there are loons and seagulls and little pods of shad he’ll pick up a jerkbait or a swimbait to get a few more fish. The jerkbait is working over the points with brush piles. Del says the new brush piles are still holding some fish. Del also notes that the Alabama rig has been kind of the bread-and-butter for wintertime fishing there and that probably will continue until the warm up. He also says he’s seen a few crappie stacked up in the brush piles. The walleye jerkbait is getting close, too, he says.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 554.49 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April 552.00 feet msl; April-September, 554.00 feet msl).
(updated 3-27-2019) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said had a fun Tuesday night fishing and says the bite for largemouth bass and striped bass has
been very good on Norfork Lake and it’s starting to get exciting. “My guests and I have found topwater action for largemouth, white bass and striped/hybrid bass over the last couple of days. The lake temperature is rising and the fish are starting to get active and are starting to feed heavily. This is not say you can find the active fish everywhere, but you need to look around and when you find them, the fun begins!”
Lou says he has been doing a lot of searching on Norfork Lake waters from the mid-lake major creeks up to the Bennett's area and also upriver to Missouri waters. “The best locations I have found are back in the bigger creeks and also in a few of the smaller creeks. I have also found the best bite is in the early morning until the sun gets above the tree line and then again in the late afternoon, starting around 4 p.m. until after dark.” This is not to say you cannot catch fish during midday, he adds The fish tend to move out of the shallow water into a little deeper water as the sun comes up. Tuesday this week was a great day for him, Lou said. “I fished both early morning and late afternoon to see if the night bite for striped bass was happening. I found striped bass, hybrid bass and white bass in shallow water early in the morning as well as at sundown. My best baits for striped bass have been a 6-inch swimbait with a 3/8-ounce jighead, a half-ounce silver Kastmaster (blade bait) and then after dark a suspending jerkbait. At around 7 p.m. I saw swirls of big fish right on the surface. The stripers and hybrids were feeding. I landed the first hybrid on the swimbait. A lot of fish were farther from me so I switched to my Kastmaster since I can cast it farther. And the game was on after my bait switch. I would see a swirl, cast out my bait and after one little twitch of the rod tip, my rod would double over and the fight began. This action lasted until it became too dark to see. Once it was dark I switched to a suspending jerkbait. I found that a white or bone-color jerkbait worked the best. I moved up closer to the shoreline and slow-rolled the bait back to the boat, occasionally letting it sit still.”
Lou says he ended up landing nine stripers and hybrid bass with most coming from the topwater action, but the fish did move in tight to the shore after dark following the baitfish to continue feeding. Lou says he landed a nice fat 11-pound striper and a big hybrid after dark on a jerkbait. While I was into fish in one area, several of his guests got into topwater action along a deep bluff line about 2 miles away from where Lou was. “My guests were actually heading up to me when they found their topwater action. We all had a good time. The largemouth bass bite continues to be good. There has been good topwater action for this species early in the morning just as the sun is rising. The best locations have been towards the back of smaller creeks in shallow water, 5-20 feet deep. Just about anything you cast out will catch a fish when they begin feeding like this. My guests have gotten into this action for the last two mornings and have had a blast. Crank baits, Alabama rigs, topwater lures, jerkbaits and Rat-L-Traps have all been catching fish in deeper water and on the banks.
“My 6-inch swimbait is starting to catch some nice largemouth in the deeper water. You need to work the swimbait close to the bottom. If you don't find topwater, the fish will be up tight on the shallow banks out to 20 feet deep. (Tuesday) night when I moved from my first point after dark, I headed in towards a typical main lake point to see if striped bass were feeding along the bank. No stripers on these points, but I did find some really nice-size largemouth right next to the sunken buckbrush. I was casting a suspending jerkbait working it very slowly.”
Norfork Lake’s conditions have become fairly stable over the last several days, Lou reports, with the lake only dropping about an inch a day. The current depth is 554.5 feet msl. “I really do like stable water for fishing. The surface water temperature is rising slowing and has reached the mid-50s. The main lake is clearing nicely and some of the creeks and coves are stained a great fishing color.”
(updated 3-27-2018) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said, “This past week has been the hardest to catch a morning striper in years. I fished Sunday, Monday and Tuesday mornings in Bennett's Bayou and Big Creek and did not have one bite. The full moon was the main problem. Like deer hunting, the stripers were feeding in the late afternoons and all night. I canceled my Tuesday trip since there was no action for my clients. My Wednesday clients decided to go on an afternoon and we hooked up nine times boating eight stripers and hybrids by dark. My son went out about 8 p.m. and threw some stick baits and hooked eight and boated two in 45 minutes. My Wednesday client had booked a two-day trip but could not go in the evening on Thursday so we did a morning trip. We left at 5:45 am and went up to Cranfield to fish the points where some stripers had been caught. Again we did not have 1 bite but found large schools of largemouth bass off the pine trees in Pigeon Creek. His grand boys had a great time catching 2- and 3-pound bass all morning. Friday night I took my clients out in Big Creek and again hooked up with stripers. Saturday night in the rain my son and I both had clients and he boat three and I only could boat hybrids I had over 6 strikes using gizzards but we could not get a solid hookup. The late afternoon and night bite is the strongest right now and as the south winds blow the night bite will only get better. Fish the shallow flat banks mid-creek starting around 4:30 to dark in Big Creek, Bennett's and Brushy. Some crappies are being caught off the stickups in Bennett's but the majorly of crappie have moved shallow I have catching good size crappie in 4 feet or less throwing my shad net. I asked a crappie fisherman how deep is was fishing and he said 10 to 20 feet and he was having no luck. I told him to go shallow but he looked at me like I was crazy. I have big schools of crappie on brush piles while I'm striper fishing in Big Creek, Bennett's and Pigeon Creek.”
(updated 3-27-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last weekend that over the previous week Norfork Lake fell 1.3 feet to rest at 1 foot above seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 25.2 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had heavy generation and some wadable water. All of the lakes in the White River System are near the top of power pool. We can expect some wadable water in the near future. The Norfork has fished better. Navigate this stream with caution as there has been major gravel recruitment at the bottom of Mill Pond and the dock hole. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (sizes 18, 20, 22) like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (sizes 14, 16) like the Green Butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small 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. With spring break it has been a bit crowded. Begin early to avoid the crowds. The hot flies have been sowbugs (size 14), Y2Ks (size 12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise size 10).
Buffalo National River/Crooked Creek
(updated 3-27-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are still a bit high. The smallmouths are much less active with the cold conditions. John’s favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,121.29 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.00 msl).
(updated 3-27-2019) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) says Beaver Lake still remains above normal pool levels. Water temps are mid- to upper 40s on the north end with good water color. Mid-section has a stain to it. River arms were clearing nicely, but with the storms last Saturday and Sunday the river arms rose a foot or two and are starting to muddy up. They should clear in a day or two. Water temps in the arms are 54 degrees and the river arms are loaded with white bass. “The bite for whites has been off and then on like fire during the day. You have to be there and don't give up, it flips like a switch!” Jon said. He adds that a lot of anglers are throwing Alabama rigs and Little Fishy baits with some awesome numbers being caught.
Walleye have spawned for the most part and are starting to feed again. Look for fish in runs below spawning shoals. They will start to move back slowly to mid-lake in a week or two and you can follow them back and do really well on them. That being said, the walleye will be spread from way up above the Arkansas Highway 45 bridge and all the way down to Neils Bluff in coming weeks. Lots of big spoonbill being hung with cranks fishing for whites by anglers. Black bass fishing continues to get better and all types of baits and depths are getting all three types of black bass. Whatever you’re confident in throwing it will get some action. It is prime time now, pre-spawn on bass and crappie, and things will move forward fast, so be moving with the fish. Crappie are in transition; you have to use you electronics to find them and you will do really well. You’ll be finding crappie in all the likely places such as main river channel drops, brush piles, humps and just flat suspended. They will commit to banks in a week or two, so then just fish shallow. “Be safe. Lots of people out right now!”
(updated 3-27-2019) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said fishing on most species is good. The lake has a little stain, and the level remains about 2 feet high. No surface temperature was recorded. Bream are fair and are biting live shad and brooder minnows. Crappie are good. They’re liking live minnows and jigs in brighter colors (white, pink, chartreuse). Black bass are good. Go with Ned rigs and shaky heads as well as jerkbaits and crankbaits. Catfishing is poor. Walleye are deemed “pretty good” on the river arms, with a Keitech in white/chartreuse getting their attention. White bass are active in the White River and War Eagle Riverarms. Any plastic lure that can get to the bottom and bounce is working. White/chartreuse is your best bet.
(updated 3-27-2019) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) had no report.
(updated 3-20-2019) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) reports that the lake is clear and at a normal level. No surface temperature was reported. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Black bass are fair and are hitting spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Poor reports on bream. Catfish also are poor this week.
Lake Fort Smith
(updated 3-27-2019) Heather Hula, park interpreter at Lake Fort Smith State Park, reports the bass fishing is slow but will be picking up soon as the water is warming up. Crappie are a bit more active and are biting on jigs and Rooster Tails around well-submerged structure. Rainy weather in the next few days will have the lake’s clarity changing back to muddy conditions in the good fishing spots and drop the surface water temperature, so it will be best to get out on the lake before these spring rains set in this weekend. The surface water temperature on Tuesday was 52 degrees and the water was very clear with visibility down to a depth of 3.5 feet. The crappie bite is good with jigs targeted at the 6-foot depth mark, with best success coming about 15 feet off the shoreline. Black bass are reports fair. They also will bite at about 6 feet depth. Work a jig around the rocky points. No reports came in on bream, catfish or white bass.
(updated 3-27-2019) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) reported the lake clarity is muddy and the level is normal. No surface temperature was reported. Crappie are good, at least through the weekend until rains came. Minnows and jigs were working. Bass are good and hitting crankbaits. Catfish are good on chicken liver. The bream remain poor.
(updated 3-27-2019) Shelly Jeffries at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) says the clarity at Lake Charles remains murky, and surface water temperature on Sunday morning was 46 degrees, on the rise from a week ago. Water level continues to be high. Largemouth bass are fair on crankbaits or plastic worms. Bream are fair on worms and crickets. Crappie are on the way back, with anglers reporting fair results. They’re catching them, but the fish are small. Jigs and redworms were getting the most action. Catfish are fair on worms and blood bait. White bass were fair.
(updated 3-27-2019) Ome Coleman at Lake Poinsett State Park said, “This is the best time of the year. Trees and grass are coming alive with green, flowers are blooming AND the crappie are hungry. We have been selling lots of minnows and night crawlers. Fishermen are telling me they are catching crappie and catfish at Lake Hogue. Happy fishing.” Lake Poinsett is closed to anglers until 2020 for the AGFC’s renovation of the lake, other area lakes such as Lake Hogue and Lake Charles are good destinations. Stop in for your bait supplies on the way there.
(updated 3-27-2019) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water is clear and at a normal level. Surface water temperature was ranging 53-54 degrees Tuesday morning. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Bass are good and are hitting jigs and jerkbaits. Catfishing remain fair, with chicken liver the preferred bait. Still little being seem from the bream.
(updated 3-27-2019) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) said water levels have been holding around 440 cfs (350 cfs is average), and water clarity is clear. The trout have been biting great. Olive Woollies and White Lightning have been hot all week. It takes a little extra work to get the fly down. Smallmouth have been hitting same flies. Hot pink and white Trout Magnets have been hot spin fishing. Catching smallies on a pumpking seed Crappie Magnets. Use a Trout Magnet float and get them just off the bottom. “Be safe with higher flow. A wading staff is priceless!” Mark says.
(updated 3-27-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Spring River is a bit high. This is a great place to wade fish when they are running water on the White and Norfork rivers. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive Woolly Buggers with a bit of flash (size 10), cerise and hot pink San Juan worms (size 10) and Y2Ks (size 10).
(updated 3-27-2018) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) had no reports.
Arkansas River (Pine Bluff Pool)
(updated 3-27-2019) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team had no report. They have been on spring break.
Arkansas River (Pool 2)
(updated 3-27-2019) Jeff Shell, park superintendent at Cane Creek State Park, reports that the water temperature is hovering around 62 degrees. The water is starting to clear up with a slight stain. Most species of fish are still in pre-spawn patterns. Crappie and bass are on the move between deep and shallow water depending on the water temperature. Reports have been coming in about bass being caught in the backs of coves as the sun warms up the water. The main areas to key in on are structure surrounded by lily stubble in 3-4 feet of water. Soft plastics in various creature patterns are yielding the most fish. Catfish are starting to become more active and can be caught with various catfish baits. Catfish are biting in the late evening and early morning times. “As Cane Creek continues to warm, we are approaching our optimal fishing season,” Jeff says.
(updated 3-27-2019) Brian Whitson, park interpreter at Lake Chicot State Park (870-265-5480), says catfish are still biting. Weather is a bit cooler now, and thunderstorms are expected for Saturday, but fish should still be biting for the next few days at least.
(updated 3-27-2019) The lake was drawn down about 6-7 feet while the AGFC completed vegetation and fish cover work on the shoreline through last September. The lake is rising with rainfall that will cover the new anchoring of cut gum trees and other vegetation that is good for fish habitat on the shallow shoreline areas. During the drawdown, tree stumps were showing in the coves toward the east and northeast of the lake; those are good areas to target now for the bass. This spring should be a great time to check out this fishery.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 260.36 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 259.20 msl).
(updated 3-27-2019) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said Millwood Lake was almost at normal pool on Monday with an elevation only 4 inches above normal pool. The Army Corps of Engineers made gate changes at the dam Monday and began releasing around 6,600 cfs on Tuesday. The tailwater below the dam is also falling, and as of Monday, with USACE gates release at the dam, was around 235 feet msl. Water temps rose over the past week and on Monday ranged 60-65 degrees. Be sure and check the most recent lake level of Millwood Lake on the guide service’s website linked above, or at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website, for updated gate release changes and inflow rates with rising and falling lake levels and conditions. Watch for sudden gate changes and debris, which will increase with current in Little River. Navigation is cautious, and floating logs and debris are still very visible this week. Clarity and visibility conditions are beginning to improve in flats and creeks away from Little River current over the past week. On the main lake structure away from current, clarity and visibility Monday was moderate stain, ranging 8-10 inches. Little River is improving and visibility ranges 6-8 inches, slight stained conditions, depending on location and current. The oxbow's clarity slightly improved with most recent lake level stabilizing, but stain is obvious in the mouths of the oxbows, and clarity ranges 24-36 inches depth of visibility. Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, rain or thunderstorms.
Mike says the bite has been excellent for largemouth bass the past several days. “We continue to see activity improvement, still best during the midday hours in the oxbows and pockets, away from strong river current. Numerous largemouths are in full-blown spawning mode, and we are seeing numbers of largemouth bass in bed-making, bed-tending activities, in most all the oxbows along Little River.” Bass Assassin Shads, Bang XX FAT JOBS, trick worms, large bulky Hogs, chatterbaits and lizards all are getting very good responses. The bite frequency and patterns improved again with increased surface temps this week. The best locations remain in back of the oxbows and pockets along main lake where water conditions and clarity are best. The best bite continues during afternoon's warmest periods of the day, from noon to 4 p.m., along flats adjacent to wide creek wings, away from Little River muddy current, where stumps and fresh lily pad shoots are blooming, being prime locations. They are seeing very good Bass reactions with Bass Assassin Shads, on the flats, and in the creeks between 3-8 feet of depth. The best crankbaits have been square-bill cranks in Spring Bream 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 Echo 1.75s in Rayburn Red Craw or Ghost Minnow continue working in the warmer periods in deeper sections of the feeder creeks dumping into the oxbows away from muddy Little River current. Bulky, fat tube jigs like Magnum, fat 4-inch Gitzits, Brush Hogs and Real Deal Custom Tackle Jigs continue taking a few chunky largemouths on trees from 3-8 feet deep, and on stumps from 6-10 feet deep. Cotton candy, pumpkinseed/chartreuse, chartreuse pumpkin and blackberry continue to be good colors for soft plastic Brush Hogs or lizards from solitary bass. War Eagle spinnerbaits or chatterbaits in Smokey Shad, Spot Remover and Hot Mouse colors are still working in the oxbows fished slow in 6-8 feet of depth. If the water clarity is stained and dirty, they are switching over to a FireTiger color. Chatterbaits in FireTger, chartreuse/orange Bream, and Hot Dirty Shad colors with a beaver or Bang Boss Shiner swimbait trailer are catching solid, random bass from 4-5 pounds. More white bass are being caught upriver on Rocket Shads, Bomber Crankbaits and Rat-L-Traps up between McGuire Oxbow and the U.S. Highway 71 bridge. White bass continue their migration in preparation for their annual spawning runs up the Little River to headwaters above the 71 bridge. A few fishermen caught over 30 in just a few hours over the past few days near Cossatot inflow ditch and Ashley Camp. Crappie continue improving in the oxbows, clearest water you can find being the most activity areas, and are hitting minnows and jigs in 2-6 feet of depth around cypress trees. Best colors of jigs over the past couple weeks or so have been white/chartreuse, red/white or blue/chartreuse. As for blue catfish and channel cats, no report this week.
(updated 3-20-2019) Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) had no report.
Lake Greeson Tailwater (Little Missouri River)
Visit www.littlemissouriflyfishing.com for a daily update on fishing conditions.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 546.28 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).
(updated 3-27-2019) Tamara Lunsford, park superintendent at Daisy State Park near Kirby, said Monday that Lake Greeson surface water temperature was 56 degrees with turbid clarity. At 506.45 feet msl, Greeson was 2 feet below normal pool level. Bream continue to improve and this past week were good. They are at a depth of 5-10 feet and are biting crappie jigs and worms. Fish around the brush piles and stumps. Crappie fishing remains good. Minnows and jigs are both working around brush piles and rocky points. Crappie are ranging 10-20 feet depth. Bass are also at a depth of 10-20 feet and are good on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and plastic worms. Look for them around the brush piles and rocky points. Catfish are fair on worms, stink bait blood bait. White bass reports are better, with fair results. The white bass appear to be moving upriver to spawn.
(updated 3-27-2019) Jason Lenderman of JL Guide Service (870-490-0804) said the lake level is almost 2 feet below full pool of 548 feet msl. Water temps have made it the upper 50s to lower 60s. The bass are moving into their spring patterns and looking to spawn. Shaky head-rigged Yum Finesse Worms working OK on main lake and secondary points leading into spawning areas. Carolina-rigged Christie Critters in watermelon candy or green pumpkin are also working well on points adjacent to spawning areas. Wacky-rigged YUM Dingers are starting to pick up some, especially in the afternoons. The crankbait bite is still good using crawfish-colored Bandit crankbaits. The Yumbrella is still working OK over deeper brush using the small YUM Pulse swimbaits. Crappie are really good lately. They can be caught in 15-30 feet brush with minnows or Kalin’s Grubs close to spawning flats.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 406.12 feet msl (full pool: 408.00 feet msl).
(updated 3-27-2019) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips says the crappie and black bass are spawning. “Last time I was on the water the surface temp was 62. Don't be discouraged if the catching is a little tough because they are focused on making babies. When they're done they'll be real hungry,” Darryl says.
De Queen Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 437.50 feet msl (full pool: 437.00 feet msl).
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 536.05 feet msl (full pool: 526.00 feet msl).
White Oak Lake
(updated 3-27-2019) Sportsman’s One Stop (870-863-7248) in El Dorado had no report.
(updated 3-27-2019) Sharon at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) says clarity is clear and the level is normal. Surface temperature Tuesday afternoon was ranging 56 degrees. She says conditions and fishing are the same as last week, but with an improvement in the crappie bite. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Black bass are good with spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfishing fell off to poor, though, and bream remain poor.
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro.
(updated 3-27-2019) Steve Donahou at Lake Catherine State Park (501-844-4176) said the lake is clear and the surface water temperature was ranging 59.1 degrees. The crappie bite is improving. Minnows, jigs and Road Runners with a 1/32-ounce weight are the best ways to fish for them. Bream are poor. Bass were improving this week. Catfish should be improving with the warmer weather. Try cut shad or live bream as bait. Chuck Emrick with “Fishing with Chuck” guide service reported a catch of nine crappie at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
Lake Catherine (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro.
(updated 3-27-2019) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch'em All Guide Service, reports that Lake Catherine is now at normal summertime pool and should remain there until early November. Lake Ouachita has been in the flood pool for weeks, which forced Entergy to run round-the-clock generation in order to pass the excess waters. The big lake finally fell below flood pool early this week and continues to fall as area dam flows continue. This process has been ongoing for months and has adversely affected trout fishing in the Carpenter Dam tailrace since the beginning of the year. Rainbow trout stockings have continued on a regular basis and thousands of quality fish are present and thriving below the dam to the bridge. These fish have had several weeks to acclimate themselves to the higher levels of water and should begin feeding on much more consistent basis. Water temperature varies from 50 degrees below the dam to 56 degrees around the bridge. Clear conditions are the norm. Rainbow trout will bite PowerBait, waxworms and meal worms, nightcrawlers, and corn presented under a bobber or fished just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Bank fishermen can cast to areas holding trout with these presentations and have success primarily in times of slack water. Basic baits like these are best when the bite is tough and patience is necessary. Spin fishermen casting Rooster Tails in white or brown when the turbines are running can catch trout that key on injured shad drawn through the turbines. Rapalas in a black/silver combination will also work well in these same conditions. Trolling shallow-running crankbaits against the current will also produce results in the early morning or late evening. Crappie have begun their spawning migration toward the dam as smaller males have been caught close to the bank – dodging the current flow. Live minnows fished under a bobber or tight-lined from a boat will catch crappie that are preparing the spawning beds. Small jigs in gray or white are also effective especially in shallow water. April is a hot month for crappie as the females join the males and the spawn shifts into full swing. Walleye continue to inhabit the tailrace with males and females present in good numbers. Trolling crankbaits that run close to the bottom have accounted for some decent catches of fish in the 3- to 5-pound class. Carolina rigs tipped with nightcrawlers or live minnows rival trolling numbers caught and will catch walleye in slack or current situations. White bass have also been taken below the dam, but numbers are low and fish are small. The main push of whites will arrive in mid-April and early May. Anyone navigating the lake below Carpenter Dam is urged to be aware of the generation schedules and always wear a life jacket.
(updated 3-27-2019) Jason Baumgartner, park aquarist at Lake Dardanelle State Park (479-890-7495) said the week was mixed with days of sunshine and overcast skies with light rain; several days of breezy lake conditions. At the lower end of the lake, sediment continues to linger throughout the river. The Big Piney and Illinois Bayou rivers are finally beginning to clear up. Surface water temperature Tuesday morning was 58 degrees. The pool elevation has held at normal elevation. Upriver, release at Ozark Lock and Dam 12 last Tuesday was 61,000 cfs and climbed over 70,000 cfs before steadily dropping to 59,000 cfs this Tuesday. They have been generating all day and spillway release has remained steady. Downriver, release at Dardanelle Lock and Dam 10 has been up and down between 62,000 cfs and 74,000 cfs for the past week. It is currently around 66,000 cfs. They have held somewhat steady through the spillway and have been generating all day.
Weekend tournaments are taking place on the lake. Some big bass continue to be caught. A 6.63-pound and a 5.75-pound bass were the big bass for the Pro and Co-Angler sides of the TH-Marine BFL Arkie Division tournament at Lake Dardanelle State Park on Saturday. Although some big bass were weighed, the overall catch was fair. Of 214 anglers in the tournament, 50 weighed their limit while 128 weighed less than three bass. Anglers reported fishing drop-offs near spawning flats using soft plastics on a shaky head. Also, anglers continue to fish for crappie in the deeper tributaries. No report on how the catfish are biting.
(updated 3-27-2019) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) had no report.
(updated 3-27-2019) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas born-and-bred Xpress all-welded aluminum fishing boats in Hot Springs, reports that lake levels have returned to normal pool with temperatures in the main channels around 54 degrees. Off-channel pocket water is holding a temps just below 60 degrees. “The time has come, friends, for the bass slaying season to begin! Males are moving up to secondary points and further. Males can be found in as little as 6 inches of water and sometimes all the way to the farthest point in the pockets. The larger females will move to secondary points, but as of this weekend most big fish are hanging out on rocky and gravel points in 5-15 feet of water, and they are AGGRESSIVE!” As the sun rises in the early morning and just before dusk are the prime times to catch them. “Suspending jerkbaits, Fluke imitations and Carolina- and Texas-rigged worms and Brush Hogs in natural colors are tearing them to ribbons right now! The females are schooled up big-time, so don’t be so quick to run off when you catch one.” Meanwhile, crappie are doing well in 15 feet of water near secondary channels near flats or shallow docks. “You can’t go wrong rolling a jig under a cork this time of year. Get out there and fish, folks! Good luck and go Greeson!”
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 346.70 feet msl (full pool: 342.00 feet msl).
(updated 3-27-2019) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said the clarity is a “dull color,” while the lake level is normal. Surface temperature at midmorning Tuesday was 57 degrees. Crappie fishing remains good. Fish for crappie at a 4-foot depth close to the shoreline with black/chartreuse jigs or with minnows. Black bass are good and are hitting swimbaits and chatterbaits. Catfish are fair on hot dogs or shad. Bream appear to be bedding, and the bite is fair.
(updated 3-20-2019) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said reports picked up this week. The water level was normal there and the clarity is clearing. Bream are good. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Catfish reports were good. Nothing reported on bass.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 577.85 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 3-27-2019) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) said black bass are still very good. Jerkbaits, crankbaits and floating worms fished on main and secondary lake points or in creek channels are working at this time. Walleye are very good and moving back into the lake from spawning run. Small minnow-colored crankbaits, smoke-colored grubs and gray hair jigs have been producing good stringers. Stripers are very good. Most of these fish are up the rivers and being caught on shad colored lipless crank baits, C-10 redfins and live bait. Bream are still slow, but getting sporadic reports of fish being caught with grubs and worms in 20-25 feet of water near brush. Crappie are still fair and being caught with jigs or minnows in 20-30 feet of water near brush. Catfish are slow but some anglers are having luck with limblines and trotlines using live bait. Surface water temperature ranges 52-58 degrees and the clarity is clearing. Lake level on Tuesday was 577.98 feet msl. Contact the Mountain Harbor guides – Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717; Chris Darby, 870-867-7822; and Jerry Bean, 501-282-6104 – for more information.
(updated 3-20-2019) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas born and bred, all-welded, aluminum Xpress fishing boats in Hot Springs, reports Lake Ouachita at normal levels with temperatures in the low 50s in the main channels and mid-50s in the backs of pockets. Water clarity is in most areas 6-8 feet. “We are in that weird transition time for bass, where some are moving in closer to the secondary points of the lake with many fish still on main points. Preferably rocky ones.” Suspending jerkbaits and crawfish colored crankbaits are taking some good fish. It is imperative to get out early. Right as the sun breaks in the morning seems to be when the binge feeding is going on. Most fish are being taken in good numbers on the warmer southern end of the lake. Planning ahead to the lull between morning and evening is crucial on bait selections. Drop-shot rigs, jigs and Carolina rigs are the best ways to cover water during the day right now when the fish get inactive. Natural colors like green pumpkin and light craw colors are best with the fantastic water clarity. Crappie are good on brush piles near shallow pockets and preferably near some current in 25 feet of water. For you striper folks out there; it’s on right now! Fish are moving toward main lake feeding channels and it is not uncommon to accidentally catch one while bass fishing. “Good Luck and GoGreeson!”
Blue Mountain Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 387.68 feet msl (full pool: 384.00 feet msl).
(updated 3-27-2019) Natalie Faughn, assistant superintendent at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), says Bear Creek Lake has seen a sharp uptick in crappie activity. Anglers have had good luck with live bait (minnows and worms). Bass have been biting on chartreuse and bright jigs in cove water. “Remember, Mississippi River State Park can meet all of your bait needs. We carry crickets, worms, shad, and a variety of artificial bait,” she said.
(updated 3-27-2019) Natalie Faughn, assistant superintendent at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), says Storm Creek Lake has been producing some nice-size catfish this week; anglers are bringing their own bait and fishing in the early afternoons.
(updated 3-27-2019) Wil Hafner, education program specialist at the Potlatch Education Center at Cook’s Lake, said plans were for the lake to reopen for youth and mobility-impaired fishing this month, but due to White River flooding, the opening has been rescheduled. Check back in this space or call the center at 870-241-3373. Cook’s Lake, when it reopens, will make fishing available on the 2-mile-long oxbow off the White River to youth under age 16 and to mobility-impaired anglers on the first and third Saturdays of each month, through October. Anglers can be accompanied by a helper who may fish.