April 10, 2019
Weekly Fishing Report
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for April 10, 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
(updated 4-10-2019) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the water clarity is a little murky and the level has jumped up to high. Bream are fair on redworms. Crappie are good. They’re in 3-4 feet of water around the shoreline, and they’re favoring minnows and jigs. Black bass are excellent. They will hit plastic worms and soft plastics. Catfishing is good on trotlines with minnows and large cut bait.
Little Red River
(updated 4-10-2019) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service said the Corps of Engineers is releasing water through the Greers Ferry Dam spillway gates along with one unit of generation. The total release will be 8,000 cfs. “We are hoping to see decreased water release this weekend. These river conditions are not ideal for fishing and create safety concerns for boating. If you fish these conditions, you will want to use long leaders and heavy weight using egg patterns, San Juan worms, micro jigs and sowbugs. Pounding the banks with streamers is also an effective fly-fishing method during high water conditions.” For Trout Magnet fishing use long leaders and heavy weight using cotton candy and purple bodies on silver and chartreuse jigheads. Concentrate on pools along the banks. Lowell says, “The 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.” 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.
(updated 4-10-2019) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said the lake is still about 5 feet above normal and the Army Corps of Engineers has increased the flow to 9,500 cfs by using one generator and releasing about 6,000 cfs through the floodgates. This will continue through Friday, when the Corps plans on cutting back to 7,000 cfs over the weekend. Next Monday the plan is to close the floodgates with the one generator continuing to discharge about 3,350 cfs. This will probably be the schedule until the Corps gets the second generator back online, which is down due to maintenance. Meantime, drift-fishing should be good when the generation returns to one unit Monday. The flow will be strong over the weekend, so please use extra caution if you get on the river. Small boats and personal watercraft should not be used during this flow. It would be wise to plan your trip after Monday when the flow is lower.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 467.11 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 4-10-2019) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said Wednesday morning the water level at Greers Ferry Lake was at 467.15 feet msl; it is 5.11 feet above normal pool of 462.04 feet msl. Most all species are shallow or headed that way. Things are happening so fast it is tough keeping up with them. The Army Corps of Engineers says it is going to pull water until the lake gets to normal pool. Crappie are eating about 2 feet down in buckbrush and 4-5 feet down in cedars getting ready to spawn; try jigs or jigs tipped with minnows. Bream are floating around docks and some up shallow; try crickets or artificial baits. Catfish are eating all over the lake on a variety of baits fished a variety of ways. Black bass are scattered from dry ground out to 30 feet and all in between, being caught a variety of ways as well. Hybrid bass and white bass are all in some phase of laying eggs before, during or after. The hybrids have to get rid of them some way; your usual ways to catch them should be working in some part of lake or rivers.
Harris Brake Lake
(updated 4-10-2019) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) reported the clarity is clear. Surface water temperature was not recorded. The water level is normal. Bream are poor; what’s being caught is very small. Crappie continue to be good. Anglers are using crappie minnows or crickets, and some 2.5- to 2.75-pounders are being caught. Black bass are good on large minnows or stinger lures. Catfishing is good. Use chicken liver or grilled chicken.
(updated 4-3-2019) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said black bass are starting to pick up around brushtops and structure. Bream are slow but should start picking up any day now. Catfish are being caught on jugs and trotline with bream and minnows. “I have rice slicks available for sale. Crappie are slow at the moment, but should pick up again with the warmer days. Still catching some on yo-yos at night,” Johnny said.
(updated 4-10-2019) Larry Walters at Bones Bait Shop (501-354-9900) said the lake is clear and surface water temperature is up to 67 degrees. The level is normal. Crappie are good and are moving in to spawn. They are in 2-3 feet depth. Fish with minnows or jigs. Black bass are good. They’re staying around the cold waters. Use a shallow crankbait. No reports on bream, catfish or white bass.
(updated 4-10-2019) WestRock Landing (501-658-5598) on Highway 10 near Roland reports water temperatures were in the upper 70s this week and lower 80s later in the week during the evening. Largemouth bass are good. They are moving out of deeper water and most of them can be found shallow. With the temperatures rising, most are in 3-8 feet of water and some can still be found in depths of 16-20 feet. Try using chatterbaits, crankbaits, jerkbaits, drop-shots and swimbaits. Tuesday night’s black bass tournament had five bags weighing in over 10 pounds each, with 23 boats participating. Gary Harris and Rudy Westbrook caught five fish worth a winning 12.58 pounds, edging Jeremy and Aaron Cole. Kentucky bass are slow. Fewer reports this week but most can be found deep in 12-16 feet of water. Try fishing off drops and rocky banks. White bass are good. Reports are coming in of the whites moving into the creeks from the channels. Some can be found mixed in with the crappie on the flats in the afternoon hours. Try using Rooster Tails, jerkbaits and rattle-style baits. Crappie are good. Crappie are heading out of the deeper holes. Reports of them being found at 3-8 feet as well as 12-16 feet but are still scattered and mixed in with the white bass shallow. Try using jigs and minnows. No reports on bream. Catfish are slow. Reports are coming in that the channel cats are moving into shallow water. Try using stink bait, crayfish or worms.
(updated 4-10-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish have been biting well this week on chicken livers, nightcrawlers and minnows. Bass fishing has been fair with minnows, floating worms and Carolina-rigged lizards. Crappie have been biting fair on No. 6 minnows and pink minnows. Bream fishing has picked up some with crickets and redworms.
Bishop Park Ponds
(updated 4-10-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie are biting fair on No. 6 minnows and Kalins Tennessee Shad grubs. Catfish have been biting minnows, nightcrawlers and bait shrimp. Bass are biting live minnows and floating wormsm and some have hit small topwater baits at dusk. Bream fishing is good with crickets or redworms.
Saline River Access in Benton
(updated 4-10-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said fishing on the river has been up and down with the water level. When it's not too high or too muddy, fishing has been good. Bass and walleye have been biting brooder minnows, crankbaits and some plastic grubs. Crappie are biting No. 6 minnows, Kalin’s grubs in a few different colors and micro spinner baits. Catfish are biting minnows, black salties, chicken livers and nightcrawlers. Bream will hit crickets or redworms.
Attention: We always ask everyone, PLEASE don't leave trash anywhere on the banks, ground or in the water. If you find litter that someone else left, pick it up if you can do it safely, or report it to the proper local authorities. If you haven't seen or heard on the local news lately, this has become a major problem on the Saline River, a very special stream to many outdoors enthusiast (“including myself,” Lisa says). So, please, wherever you go or whatever you do to enjoy the outdoors, be safe and leave it clean.
(updated 4-10-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie fishing is evidently improving on the lake. More reports have come in of good fish being caught on No. 6 minnows. Numbers aren't high, but the fish are nice ones. Bass are also hitting minnows as well as plastic worms or lizards, spinnerbaits and topwater baits at first and last light. Catfish are biting fair on minnows, black salties, nightcrawlers and chicken livers. Bream are slowly picking up and are deep as usual on Norrell. Drop a cricket or redworm down near deep structure or brush and you'll find a few.
(updated 4-10-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said crappie are good. Anglers are finding them at 10-12 feet depth and they’re interested in minnows and also going after spider rigs.
(updated 4-10-2019) Hatchet Jack’s in North Little Rock (501-758-4958) says
catfishing is poor. What bites are coming will be found on chicken livers or chicken hearts. Nothing else was reported.
(updated 4-10-2019) Hatchet Jack’s in North Little Rock (501-758-4958) says bream are fair on redworms. Black bass are fair on topwater lures and Texas-rigged creature baits.
(updated 4-10-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie fishing has been good for some customers using No. 4 and No. 6 minnows, Bobby Garland Itty Bit Swim'r jigs and Kalin’s Bleeding Tennessee Shad grubs. Bass are hitting minnows, Carolina-rigged worms, lizards and Brush Hogs and topwater baits during low light hours. Catfish are biting chicken livers, minnows and nightcrawlers fished on the bottom. Bream are starting slow but some have been biting crickets and worms.
Arkansas River at Morrilton
(updated 4-10-2019) Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) said, “Well, it finally started. After months of bad weather and high water, fishing has really taken off.” The surface water temperature has ranged 55-60 degrees and water is calm. Black bass are in the shallows. The bass that the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission have put in for four years is really paying off. Use big thunder sticks, green pumpkin, and also use chatterbaits in white. Results with black bass have been great. White bass are around most of the creeks like Point Remove, the Petit Jean River and Flagg Lake Cut-off. Use shad or pearl crankbaits. Good reports on white bass. Catfish are also moving around. Go below Nos. 9 and 10 dams, and use shad or skipjack. Reports are good. Bream are good on crickets around the grass. For crappie, use chartreuse with red-headed jigs. You’ll find them up the Petit Jean River, Point Remove Creek and Cypress Creek and around the Nos. 9 and 10 locks. No reports on striper. “The fishing has just exploded,” Charley said. “It’s about time.”
(updated 4-10-2019) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) had no reports this week. Last week, crappie remained good and were around the banks. Fish with minnows or jigs. Black bass were good around the banks and were going after crankbaits. No other reports.
(updated 4-3-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said catfishing is good on chicken hearts and chicken liver on trotlines. Crappie are good and have been found in 5-8 feet depth. They’re biting pink minnows and regular minnows.
(updated 4-10-2019) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) says the clarity is dingy and the water level and current are normal. Crappie are excellent. They are shallow (about 2 feet depth) and are hitting minnows and jigs. In particular, go with a Shad Buster black chartreuse jig.
(updated 4-3-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said catfishing is good on chicken hearts and chicken liver on trotlines. Crappie are good on pink and regular minnows and are being caught in 5-8 feet depth. At the Murray Lock and Dam, reports on catfish are fair, with skipjack and shad working as best baits. Also, white bass are fair near there on chartreuse and white twister tails.
(updated 4-10-2019) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) reports that people need to be out fishing now because it is excellent. The river clarity is dingy and the level and current are normal. In the backwaters, the surface water temperature ranges 58-60 degrees. Bream reports are fair on waxworms and crickets. Fish for them on the backwaters. Crappie are good throughout the pool and below Terry Lock and Dam. They are on the beds, and reports are good from Brody Bend (Pool 6) and the Tar Camp area. Minnows and a purple/chartreuse Minnow Minder jig will both work. Black bass are excellent below the Terry Lock and Dam, below the hydro plant. Catfish are excellent in the Little Rock pool and below the Terry Lock and Dam. Snagging or using skipjack have been the ways to catch them, along with tube baits in the grass. Also try a chartreuse swimming minnow.
(updated 4-10-2019) Fish ’N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) said the water clarity remains stained and the level is high. Surface water temperature Monday mid-afternoon was in the low to mid-60s. The 62,000 cfs current in the pool “is fishable,” they said. Crappie are good. They are biting jigs (blue and chartreuse or red and chartreuse jigs are best), and chatterbaits. Largemouth bass are good. They are spawning and are active on jigs and 3-ounce chatterbaits. Fish for them around the banks or in the backwaters or around jetties. Catfish reports are poor, but you can maybe get a response from stink bait fished around the jetties. Bream reports are poor.
(updated 4-10-2019) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the fish are doing fair in the lower end of the Little Rock pool near the Terry Lock and Dam. The clarity remained murky and the water level is high. Crappie improved to fair this past week. They are biting minnows and jigs. Black bass are fair on crankbaits and worms. Catfishing is good on cut shad. Bream reports were poor.
(updated 4-10-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said that at the Murray Lock and Dam the catfish bite has fallen off. Reports are poor. A couple were caught on skipjack and snagging. White bass, however, are fair. They are biting Bobby Garland 3-inch Slab Slayer in Lights Out or white and chartreuse. Nothing reported on bream, crappie or bass.
Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 4-10-2018) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water level is just a little high and the clarity is good. No water temperature was reported. Bream are beginning to get very active, as the bite is good on redworms or crickets. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Black bass are good on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and worms. Nothing reported on catfish.
(updated 4-10-2018) Donna Mulherin at Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said the clarity is dingy while the water level is normal. No surface temperature was recorded. Crappie remain excellent. Minnows or jigs will work. Black bass are excellent, it appears, with topwater lures and rattle-style baits working best. Donna says about anything will get a reaction. Catfishing is fair on worms. Bream are poor.
(updated 4-10-2019) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) says, “In the Arkansas Ozarks, on the White River below Bull Shoals Dam, near the peaceful, picturesque town of Cotter, we've been living up to our name: ‘Trout Capitol USA.’” Keep some sculpin handy for those browns that are looking for a fight (and are living up their name, too) and put some pink on your hook for rainbows – pink and/or pink and white egg patterns or worms. “The water level has been fairly steady at a very comfortable four generators and the trout are just waiting for your bait,” they say.
(updated 4-10-2019) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the clarity is clear and the Army Corps of Engineers now is slowing the water down, they said. The Corps has been running four generators at the dam. The trout bite is good. Browns are biting shad, minnows and white jigs. The rainbow trout are feasting on pink worms, PowerBait and lures.
(updated 4-10-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last weekend that during the past week they have had a bit over an inch of rain, warmer temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals rose 0.6 foot to rest at 0.9 foot above seasonal power pool of 659 feet msk. This is 35.1 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock rose 0.2 foot to rest at 0.9 foot above seasonal power pool and 15.1 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.5 foot to rest at 0.1 foot below seasonal power pool and 9.7 feet below the top of flood pool. The White had heavy generation and no wadable water. Norfork Lake rose 0.2 foot to rest at 0.8 foot above seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 25.4 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had heavy generation and 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 inches from the top of power pool. We can expect more wadable water in the near future if it would just stop raining.
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 has been some shad coming through the generators at Bull Shoals Dam. John’s favorite fly for this situation has been a white mop fly suspended below an egg pattern. John also said, “In my last report I complained about being tired of fishing high water and dealing with cold and wet conditions. A friend, local photographic artist Bill Barksdale, accused me of whining. I thought about it for a while and realized that he may be right. What I should be writing about is how fortunate I am to have a river boat that allows me to fish under these conditions.
“When I moved here 19 years ago I was a wade fisherman. Before that I had been working for Ducks Unlimited and I had been guiding here part time for seven or eight years. All of my guide trips were wade-only. If they were running water I could not work. If I was going to make a living as a guide, I had to have a boat. As soon as I moved here, I bought a boat, a second-hand 33-inch Shawnee with a beat-up, 15 horsepower Mercury two-stroke engine. It took me a while to figure out how to run the boat without hitting in the river.
“Since then I have had a few boats. I currently fish from a 60-inch Supreme with a Honda four-cycle outboard and a remote control trolling motor. I put on a jack plate so that I can run it in shallow water.
“I am not the only fly-fisher that likes to wade. My brother was a prime example. If he couldn’t wade, he didn’t want to fish. He had a boat for over 10 years but only used it a few times. It spent most of its life in a garage. He was a purist.
“I am a pragmatist. While I prefer to wade, I am all too aware that it is not always possible to wade. I have embraced the boat. I have found it to be easy and effective.
“Many people are surprised that there are limited chances to wade here. Some years are better than others but every year that I have lived here there have been multimonth periods where there was no wadable water.
“The simple answer is to get a boat. I think the best option is a White River Jon Boat. They originated here and are built here for our water conditions. I have seen people try a variety of boat styles. I have seen bass boats, square-stern canoes with a small outboard, and even a float tube with a small engine. They didn’t work too well.
“Several anglers use a drift boat. They are a small rowboat designed for the mountain streams out west. The problem is that they are a one-way trip, downstream. If you want to go anywhere you have to row and that can be tough, particularly in windy conditions. I had a buddy who had one and decided a half-mile from the ramp that he wasn’t going to make it. He ended up being towed back to the ramp with a jon boat. If you are rowing you can’t fish.
“If you want to fish more, embrace the boat. I think you will like it.”
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 659.56 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 659.00 feet msl).
(updated 4-10-2019) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock had no report.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 554.78 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April 552.00 feet msl; April-September, 554.00 feet msl).
(updated 4-10-2019) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said, “Spring is here on Norfork Lake. Trees and flowers are blooming, and the fish are active. Crappie are very close to their spawn, and I believe a few have already started. The bass are staging for their spawn. Surface water temperature is in the low 60s in the early mornings and rises during the warm days. Water level has been fairly stable. Everything is perfect for a great spring fishing season. Oh, yeah, topwater action is starting and will only get better.”
Lou says the crappie bite has been very good over the last week. Guests are catching nice slabs on the banks by casting out 1/16- to 1/8-ounce Road Runners. “Some other guests and I have been slow-trolling Flicker Minnows in 15-25 feet of water,” he said. Large schools of crappie are either on brush or roaming in between brush piles. “This morning I fished in a couple of small creeks. The crappie were very active until around 9:30 a.m. I was trolling a No. 7 FireTiger and pearl silver-colored Flicker Minnow. When one of the 15-inch slabs hammered the bait, I thought I had hooked up to a hybrid, it was fighting so hard. It was great fun. I released all fish. The best location to look for crappie is back in coves and creeks. When I trolled over brush piles I could see the crappie just sacked in the brush. If a tree was lying down the crappie seemed to be on the trunk side and other fish were roaming away from the brush.”
Largemouth bass and spotted bass fishing have also been good, he said. The best bite appears to be at sunrise and sunset with topwater action occurring during both of these times. “I have been finding most of my fish back in creeks and coves along the shallow shoreline. I have also found them way in the back of these creeks in 6 feet or less of water and several times this was the area for the best topwater action. Alabama rigs, crankbaits and jerkbaits have been the better choices of bait so far for me and some of my guests. Plastics are starting to work, especially the jerkbaits such as Flukes and Bass Assassins with a weighted hook. The largemouth are staging for their spawn, which will start to happen at any time.”
The striped and hybrid bass bite is slowly improving. “They have not moved into my normal early springtime areas, but have been hanging out back in the creeks and some of the larger coves. Once you find the bait, this species will be nearby. The afternoon bite still seems to be a better time to find and catch fish. Topwater action has occurred with hybrids and stripers blowing up on shad in the mornings and evenings, but the locations have not been consistent. It takes some time searching with your electronics, but when you find them, the excitement begins. Trolling for striped bass with an umbrella rig still seems to be a very good way to catch this species. You get to cover a lot of ground when you are trolling and will end up hooking up with some nice fish. Early in the morning throw a Fluke or a jerkbait to the shoreline once you know bait is in the area and you will find some feeding fish. In the late evening and after dark, slow- rolling a stick bait such as a Smithwick Rogue has produced some nice fish for me over the last couple of weeks. This we call the night bite.” The striped bass are coming into very shallow water on points to feed. This species will continue to feed after dark along the shoreline for the next month or until the bait starts to move to cooler water. Norfork Lake level is holding fairly stable with a slight increase due to a rain Monday morning. The current level is 554.77 feet msl. The lake surface water temperature early Tuesday morning was 62 degrees but will rise during the heat of the day. “The lake is getting really clear. I cannot say crystal clear, but if all stays stable it will continue in that direction. I can actually see bass on the shoreline starting to look around for a good nesting area,” he said.
(updated 4-10-20191) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said spring has finally sprung and the stripers, bass and crappie are biting all over Norfork Lake. Limits of crappies are being caught in Bennett's Bayou, Big Creek and Brushy Creek. Some days they are close to the shore, while other days they are on deep brush piles. Jigs, minnows and small spoons are working the best. The lake is warming up fast and the first major shad spawn is coming up soon. It will happen on the full moon period in April and May. “We should start seeing topwater action all over the lake as the stripers begin chasing bait. Our bite the last couple of days has been very early, then it picks up again around 10 a.m. The stripers are hitting gizzard and threadfin shad on floats, longlines and planer boards. Everything is less than 10 feet deep, even over deep water. By week's end you will able to catch stripers early off the main lake points on the south end of the lake, and once the wind begins to blow the bite will happen again on the main lake.” Tom says the water is so clear that once the sun is up the stripers shut down, but once the wind blows and creates waves they will hit a shad again on the windy banks. “We have caught stripers in Bennett's Bayou and Big Creek along with some being caught off deep water main lake points at first light. The night bite should be in full swing and continue for the next several weeks. “Now is the time to hit the lake; the fish are aggressive and ready to bite,” he said.
(updated 4-3-2019) Steve Olomon of Steve’s Guide Service said the Norfork Lake level is normal and the water temp is in the low 50s in the main lake to the upper 50s up in the creeks. The water clarity is clear main lake and stained up in the creeks. The upper end of the lake is a little warmer. There are a few white bass coming up chasing bait along with some black bass. “You can catch the topwater fish on just about any topwater bait. I like to use a Zara Spook,” he said. The bass are hitting jerk baits, crankbaits and swimbaits. The whites are hitting swimbaits as well. “I haven't seen any surface activity for hybrids or stripers, but it will happen soon when the water warms a little more and the weather gets more stable. There are some stripers hitting at night. The bite is only going to get better as we move into April.”
(updated 4-10-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last weekend that over the previous week Norfork Lake rose 0.2 foot to rest at 0.8 foot above seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 25.4 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had heavy generation and 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 inches from the top of power pool. We can expect more wadable water in the near future if it would just stop raining. 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. 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. It has been less crowded after everyone’s spring break ended. 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) and white mop flies.
(updated 4-10-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are navigable. The smallmouths are much less active with the cold conditions. My 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 1,120.08 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.00 msl).
(updated 4-10-2019) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) says Beaver Lake has dropped down to normal level of 1120 feet msl. The temperatures on the northern are in the 50s to mid-50s and on the river arms it’s upper 50s to 63 degrees. The fishing is really on the upswing for all species. Jon says he fished the river arms this last week with really good success. The white bass were biting real well for people throwing jigs. Stripers are in the river arms in great numbers. Crappie have moved to the banks in the river arms and are doing real well up the War Eagle arms . Walleye have spawned but are still in the river arms. “We fished Big Clifty this week and caught lots of nice bass on swimbaits and jerkbaits,” he said.
(updated 4-10-2019) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the water is clear and at a normal level. Surface water temperature is 57 degrees. Bream are fair on crickets. Crappie are good and biting live minnows and jigs. Black bass have moved into 10-foot-or-less depth of water and the bite is good on crankbaits, jigs and jerkbaits.
(updated 4-10-2019) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) had no report.
(updated 4-10-2019) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) reports that the lake is “pretty clear” now and at a normal level. Surface temperature is ranging 56-58 degrees. Crappie are fair on minnows, crappie jigs and crickets. Black bass are good with spinnerbaits, plastic worms, live worms and other plastics working best. Catfishing is poor, and bream reports were poor.
Lake Fort Smith
(updated 4-10-2019) Heather Hula at Lake Fort Smith State Park reports that fishing is starting to pick up as the water temperature is rising. The crappie are getting ready for the spawn and slowly becoming more active. The white bass are starting to be on the move in the channel on the upper end of the lake. Once the water temperature remains in the 60-degree mark for a few more days, the bite will be on. Clarity and visibility on the lake is 3 feet. Fish for the white bass, as well as catfish, in 5-6 foot depth of water.
(updated 4-10-2019) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) reported the lake clarity average for this time of year, while the lake is about 6 inches low. No surface temperature was reported. Bream are fair in the shallows. Crappie are good in 5-7 feet depth on minnows or jigs. Black bass have moved shallow, to about 5 feet depth. Reports have been good. Catfish are good and they’ve also moved shallow at least in the evening. Fish with cut bait.
(updated 4-10-2019) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) says that with the warm weather finally here, the fish have really started biting. Shoreline fishing is good for bass, crappie and bream. The lake hosted their annual GEAPS Tournament last Friday and anglers “caught lots of fish and had a great time” Shelly says. “We had a paddlefish caught at the spillway.” Bream are good on worms, crickets and small jigs. Crappie are good on minnows, jigs, worms and Crappie Magnet. Look for the crappie around the brush piles and stumps. Black bass are good on crankbaits, plastic worms and Z-man chatterbaits. Many bass were caught bank fishing, while brush and rocky points are also holding the bass. Catfish are good on worms, blood bait and Catfish Pro Blood.
(updated 4-10-2019) Ome Coleman at Lake Poinsett State Park said Wednesday morning, “What a day to go fishing. We are having several great fishing days. That is why we are selling a LOT of minnows and worms as well as other fishing supplies. We should be getting crickets before long. Lake Poinsett State Park is here to help you with your fishing experience.” While 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 4-10-2019) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water is “a little stained” and the surface water temperature was 60 degrees Tuesday morning. The level is normal. Crappie are good on jigs. Black bass are good, but no baits were mentioned again this week. Catfishing is fair. Bream are fair on crickets.
(updated 4-3-2019) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) said water levels are running at 430 cfs at the spring (350 cfs is average), and water clarity has been clear. Weekly rains have kept river levels up a bit. The catching has been great. It does take extra work to get the fly down on sunny days. Nymphs and Woollies have been hot. White and olive have been the best colors. Take care wading the river is flowing strong. For spin fishing, orange has been the hot color for Trout Magnets. Just got to bounce it off the bottom.
(updated 4-10-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Spring River is 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 4-10-2018) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) reported that the water is a “little high,” by about 9.5-10 feet while the clarity is clear. No surface temperature was reported. Bream are poor. Crappie are spotty, just fair reports this week. Black bass are fair on small jigs and a square-bill crankbait. Catfishing is poor. Walleye are fair with minnows and jig/minnow combination. A Cotton Cordell walleye diver is another bait possibility.
Arkansas River (Pine Bluff Pool)
(updated 4-10-2019) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team had no report.
Arkansas River (Pool 2)
(updated 4-10-2019) Austin Davidson, park interpreter at Cane Creek State Park, said that with warmer weather showing itself more and more, water temperatures are beginning to stabilize. Hanging around an average of 63 degrees, the water is just warm enough to coax sluggish bass into biting more frequently, but still cool enough for crappie to bite regularly. While crappie have been reluctant biters in the past few weeks, it seems that they are finally trying to move into pre-spawn/spawn patterns. They are still biting shiners better than any other bait, but as they move into shallower water, jigs may start catching their attention. At 3-6 feet, the average catching depth as of late, the most visible colors are bright oranges (neon orange) and darker reds, browns and silver/grays. As black bass are moving into the shallows, too, these colors apply to them as well. Since browns and reds are more visible in current water conditions, craw pattern baits will start to gain more attention. This coincides perfectly with the time of year that crawfish move between the creeks and the deeper waters of the lake. Oranges are more visible in this water as well, so don’t forget to try using bright-colored spinnerbaits as well as gray- or silver-colored Rat-L-Traps and swimming baits to imitate shad. Catfish are still biting in the early mornings and early evenings. Chicken liver or hotdogs soaked in a garlic/Kool-aid mix will still be a go-to bait. “The Cane Creek State Park Bait Shop is selling bags of frozen minnows soaked in our own signature mixture,” Austin said. “Make sure to swing by and grab a bag the next time you try to catch a monster cat!
(updated 4-10-2019) Brian Whitson, park interpreter at Lake Chicot State Park (870-265-5480), says catfish were biting on minnows and worms. No word on bass. Crappie are not biting. More rainy weather was expected through the week.
(updated 4-10-2019) 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 has risen with rainfall that should cover the new anchoring of cut gum trees and other vegetation, a 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 260.45 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 259.20 msl).
(updated 4-10-2019) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said Millwood Lake pool was rising Monday from normal pool due to thunderstorms over last weekend. Lake elevation was 17 inches above normal pool Monday. The Army Corps of Engineers made gate changes at the dam Monday and are releasing around 11,000 cfs on Tuesday. The tailwater below the dam is also rising and was and is around 239 feet msl. Water temps rose over the past week, and on Monday they ranged 62-68 degrees. Be sure and check the most recent lake level of Millwood Lake on the guide service’s website linked above, or at the Army Corps of Engineers website, for updated gate release changes and inflow rates with rising and falling lake levels and conditions. Clarity and visibility conditions, which were beginning to improve in flats and creeks away from Little River current last week, have stained up again from recent thunderstorms and high wind. Navigation is considered cautious along Little River with the discharge around 11,000 cfs. Debris remains present in Little River current. Further upriver finds highest turbidity rates. As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity and visibility is moderate stain, ranging 4-8 inches. Little River is improving and visibility ranges 3-5 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. Oxbow clarity ranges 20-25 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 largemouth bass continues to be strong, or excellent. Mike says they are seeing the best activity during the midday hours in the oxbows and pockets, away from river current. Numerous largemouths continue in their annual spawning mode, and they are seeing strong numbers of bass from 3-6 pounds in 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 are all getting very good responses. The bite frequency and patterns improved again with increased surface temps. The best locations over the past few weeks have been in the back of the oxbows and pockets along the main lake, where water conditions and clarity are best. The best bite continues during the 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. We continue to see very good reactions with Bass Assassin Shads on the flat, and in the creeks between 3-8 feet of depth.
The best crankbaits drawing reactions over the past few weeks were square-bill cranks in Spring Bream or shad patterns. Rat-L-Traps and Echo 1.75s in shad patterns like Millwood Magic or Toledo Gold, and Echo 1.75s in Rayburn Red Craw or Ghost Minnow, continue working when it’s warmer in deeper sections of the feeder creeks dumping into the oxbows away from muddy Little River current, where water clarity is much better. Bulky, fat tube jigs like Magnum, fat 4-inch Gitzits, Brush Hogs and Real Deal Custom Tackle jigs continue taking a few chunky, largemouths near trees from 3-8 feet deep, and on stumps from 6-8 feet deep. Cotton candy, pumpkinseed and chartreuse, chartreuse pumpkin, and blackberry continue to be good colors for soft plastic Brush Hogs or lizards from solitary bass. Real Deal Custom Tackle jigs in Texas Craw, Black/blue or black/blue/purple, with black craw trailer, continue getting a few good reaction bites near stumps from 7-8 feet of depth in outer bends of creeks and ditches with cypress trees. War Eagle spinnerbaits or Brazalo Custom chatterbaits in Spot Remover, Hot Mouse or Dirty Hot Pumpkin Shad colors are still working and getting good reactions in the oxbows fished slow from 6-8 feet of depth. If the water clarity is stained and dirty, we are switching over to a FireTiger color in the dirtier water.
More white bass continue being caught upriver on Rocket Shads, Bomber crankbaits, and Rat-L-Traps between Ashley's Camp and Patterson Shoals. The white bass continue migration in preparation for their annual spawning runs up the Little River to Patterson Shoals headwaters above the U.S. Highway 71 bridge. Fishermen caught between 40-60 in just a few hours over the past week near Cossatot inflow ditch and points extending into Little River. Crappie continue biting well in the oxbows. Find the clearest water from 2-3 feet clarity you can, near cypress trees and knees, and throw minnows and jigs from 2-4 feet of depth around the trees. Best colors of jigs over the past couple weeks or so have been black/chartreuse, red/white or blue/chartreuse. Blue catfish and channel cats were hitting Kings punch bait, chicken livers, Charlie and Ivory soap on noodles, trotlines and yo-yos this week in the oxbows from 4-10 feet of depth.
(updated 4-10-2019) Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) had no report.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 547.17 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).
(updated 4-10-2019) Jason Lenderman of JL Guide Service (870-490-0804) said the lake level is about a foot below full pool of 548 feet. Water temps have made it into the 60s. The bass are moving into their spring patterns, looking to spawn, and spawning. Shaky head rigged Yum Finesse Worms are working OK on main lake and secondary points leading into spawning areas. Carolina-rigged Christie Critters or lizards in watermelon candy or green pumpkin are also working well on points adjacent to spawning areas. Wacky rigged YUM Dingers are really good now around spawning flats. Crappie are really good lately. They can be caught on the shoreline around shallow brush and stumps with minnows or Kalin’s grubs close to and in spawning flats.
(updated 4-10-2019) Tamara Lunsford, park superintendent at Daisy State Park near Kirby, said Monday that Lake Greeson surface water temperature was 60 degrees with murky clarity. At 545.9 feet msl over the weekend, Greeson was 2.1 feet below normal pool level and dropping slowly. Anglers continue to rate the bream good, with the fish in 3-5 feet depth and going after worms, crickets and jigs. They’re prevalent around brush piles, stumps and rocky points. Crappie are good. They continue to move into shallower water, and were found the past week in 5-10 feet depth. Minnows or jigs will work; focus on the areas of brush piles or rocky points. Black bass are good. They remain in 10-15 feet depth but are hitting topwater lures, along with spinnerbaits and plastic worms. Brush or rocky points were where the action was. Catfish are good on worms, blood bait and chicken liver. White bass reports were fair. They’re up around the shoreline or in the river and are biting jigs and minnows.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 407.78 feet msl (full pool: 408.00 feet msl).
(updated 4-10-2019) John Duncan of yoyoguideservice.com at Iron Mountain Marina, said, “Well here it is again. Arkansas weather – always different and always timely. Lake level is 407.72 feet msl. That’s a considerable rise. Water temperature has been back down to the 60s. Lots of trash washed in from all the rain. Most of the time lately I’ve been watching it rain. Haven’t heard any new reports on hybrids or whites. Black bass were doing good on a floating worm but haven’t heard since the rain. Crappie had moved out with the lower water and temperatures, but that will change quickly. With the recent rains and water level increases things are changing.” Catfishing should be good with the cats wanting to forage in the new lands that have just gone under the water. So, John says, stretch your lines across areas were you think they would come to feed at night. Don’t wait: When water goes, so does fishing. Crappie are sitting there waiting for warm water and a place. With these 80-degree days, things should happen fast. Fish early and late, fish shallow and go slow. If you can find them in the shallow waters, you can rack up. When the water gets in the mid- to high 60s, they are there. Minnow or jigs are good. “Things will get better fast. Good fishing!”
(updated 4-3-2019) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips says that due to dropping lake levels last week and dropping water temperature the last several days, the crappie and black bass have pulled back from the banks a little and staging on shallow brush piles. As the water temp rises back into the 60s, they will finish their spawn.
De Queen Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 438.48 feet msl (full pool: 437.00 feet msl).
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 532.15 feet msl (full pool: 526.00 feet msl).
White Oak Lake
(updated 3-20-2019) Sportsman’s One Stop (870-863-7248) in El Dorado had no report.
(updated 4-10-2019) Sharon at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) says the water has a lot of green tint to it on top because of the pollen. The surface water temperature is ranging 61-62 degrees. Water level is low, by about 1-1.5 feet. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Black bass are good on jigs and minnows. Bream are poor and catfish are poor.
(updated 4-10-2019) Steve Donahou at Lake Catherine State Park (501-844-4176) said conditions are a clarity that is dingy with a surface water temperature of 61 degrees. The water level is normal. Bream are good on worms. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Bass are fair. They’re moving into shallow areas and onto beds. Use plastic worms. Catfish are fair, with worms and chicken liver working best. White bass are good and are hitting crankbaits and spinnerbaits.
Lake Catherine (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro.
(updated 4-10-2019) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch'em All Guide Service, reports that Lake Catherine is now at normal summertime pool until early November. Lake Ouachita has been in the flood pool for weeks which forced Entergy to run around 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 mealworms, nightcrawlers and corn presented under a bobber or fished just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Shoreline anglers 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 tightlined 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- or 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 4-10-2019) Jason Baumgartner, park aquarist at Lake Dardanelle State Park (479-890-7495) said the past week had sunshine most days except for the heavy downpour Saturday afternoon. Conditions have mostly been sunny and calm as the weekend rain system approaches. At the lower end of the lake, the heavy rain washed sediment into the river and it visibility very shallow. The Big Piney and Illinois Bayou rivers are a little cleaner than the Arkansas. Surface water temperature is 68 degrees. The pool elevation has dropped about 1 foot on the lower end and remains 3-4 feet low on the upper end. Upriver, release at Ozark Lock and Dam 12 has flowed mostly between 41,000 cfs and 33,000 cfs all week. It did increase to 55,000 cfs on Friday but has since slowed and is currently flowing 41,000 cfs. They have been generating all day and spillway release has been up and down. Downriver, release at Dardanelle L&D 10 ran around 38,000 cfs last Thursday and steadily approached 72,000 cfs on Saturday. It is currently releasing 35,000 cfs. They have been generating all day. Spillway release has been up and down all week and is not flowing much this Tuesday. Weekend tournaments are taking place on the lake. Lake Dardanelle State Park did not host any tournaments this past weekend. The black bass are being caught in shallow spawning areas on jigs, lizards, frogs and craws. The crappie have also moved into the shallow spawning areas and creeks. No report on how they are biting jigs, but they are hungry for minnows. No report on how the catfish are biting.
(updated 4-10-2019) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas born-and-bred Xpress all-welded aluminum fishing boats in Hot Springs, reports lake levels normalized and clarity of 3 feet or more throughout. Temperatures are at 62 or higher just about everywhere. The spawn is still here for bass and they are doing their thing in the backs of pockets and under boat docks and anywhere in between. Spawners are pretty aggressive guarding beds if you can find one. Jigs and creature baits flipped or skipped to these fish should get attacked. Keep in mind that attacks don’t necessarily mean bites. These fish can be very tough to get a hook in, so you may want to throw a buzz bait, Whopper Plopper or something along those lines just like you would in the summer running the shoreline. Fishing is about to be really stable if the weather holds its temps below 90, so capitalize and basically use your own personal go-to baits. “Fish will be hungry and aggressive trying to bulk up after spawning so get out there and get ya a couple!” they say. Crappie are finishing up their spawn and can be found up creek channels off docks and brush in 15 feet or less of water. “Slow roll those white jigs and fill a cooler! Good luck and go Greeson!”
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 350.14 feet msl (full pool: 342.00 feet msl).
(updated 4-10-2019) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said the clarity of the lake is “horrible” and the level of the water is high by about 5 feet. The fish do not appear to be bedding yet. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Bream are fair; no other details were provided. Nothing reported on black bass or catfish.
(updated 4-10-2019) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) had no report.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 578.89 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 4-10-2019) 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 float will work. Walleye are very good and moving back into the lake from their 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 fair with reports of fish being caught with grubs and worms in 20-25 feet of water near brush. Crappie are good and being caught with jigs or minnows in 15-18 feet of water near brush. Catfish are fair but some anglers are having luck with limb lines and trot lines using live bait. Water temperatures are ranging 56-60 degrees. The water clarity is clearing. 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 389.74 feet msl (full pool: 384.00 feet msl).
(update 4-12-2019) Angler Dane Goodwin reports that the water temperature at Blue Mountain is 66 degrees with water being stained. No one has been fishing for bream, but it should not be long. Crappie are on fire. Dane says every angler he saw was limiting out and culling. Fish are in buckbrush with females staging in 7-9 feet of water. Most fish are being taken on black and white or chartreuse jigs and minnows. Black bass are active and being caught on spinnerbaits near shallow water or rocky shoreline. Catfish are improving every day with most caught on cut and live bait.
(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 4-10-2019) 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 and the parking lot still being flooded this week, 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.