April 17, 2019
Jim Harris Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine
Weekly Fishing Report
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for April 17, 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 4-17-2019) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the water clarity is stained and the level is high. No temperature was recorded. Bream are improving, with good reports this past week. Use redworms and crickets. Crappie are in the shallow water now and the bite is good. Fish around the shoreline with minnows or jigs. Black bass remain excellent. They will hit plastic worms, lizards and spinnerbaits. Catfishing is good on trotlines with big minnows and shad.
(updated 4-17-2019) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said the lake level is about 4.5 feet above normal and the generation schedule is for one unit around the clock for the next several days. This means about 3,500 cfs, which will curtail any wade fishing. Drift-fishing is fair to good using large weight nymphs. Try to find sections of the river out of the main current. When fishing the generated water, use caution and watch for obstructions in the path of your boat while drifting. Kayaks and other small water craft should only be used by qualified persons trained to handle the swift current. Greg adds, “Have a blessed and happy Easter!”
(updated 4-17-2019) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service said the Corps of Engineers is releasing one unit of generation 24 hours at this time. Use San Juan worms, microjigs and streamers for fly-fishing. For Trout Magnet fishing, cotton candy and hot pink-colored bodies on silver and chartreuse jigheads are the way to go. 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.
Greers Ferry Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 466.89 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 4-17-2019) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said Wednesday the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 466.88 feet msl and “staying kind of steady at present as the gates have been shut” and it is 4.84 feet above normal pool of 462.04 feet msl. However, generation is still continuing. The catching is down somewhat with the big fall in water and cold-moving water through the lake. Most all species are in one of the three phases of spawning. Crappie seem to be eating the best, either in the bushes or out in front of them on flats. Try crankbaits, grubs, jigs, and a jig with a minnow. Walleye are really in between, the lake fish vs the river fish. The best thing is drop a minnow on a drop-shot on flats or swim a grub around some main lake bushes. A lot of black bass are on beds or have just finished the spawn and some have not pulled up yet. A variety of baits will work all over the lake and rivers. Bream are eating crickets, crawlers, inline spinners and small crankbaits. Hybrid and white bass are scattered all over the lake and rivers. It’s very hard to pinpoint large schools for nonstop action, but it is coming any day, though. Both species can be caught from one end to other, on shallow and deep flats and points. Just stay around the bait or spawning areas, use grubs, spoons, inline spinners and live bait. Catfish are eating well, too.
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 4-17-2019) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said the water level is high by about 2 feet and the clarity is good. The surface temperature is around 65 degrees. Black bass are doing well on buzzbaits and plastic worms. Bream are slow but should start picking up any day now with this warm weather. Catfish are being caught on jugs and trotline with bream and minnows. Crappie are being caught on jigs and minnows; some are close to the bank and others are in 6-9 feet of water around brushtops and structure
(updated 4-17-2019) Larry Walters at Bones Bait Shop (501-354-9900) said the lake clarity remains clear and the surface temperature Monday afternoon was 67 degrees. Water level is normal. Crappie activity dropped off with poor reports. Minnows or jigs will be your best bet. Black bass also fell off after the weekend, with poor reports. Try topwater lures to get some action. Nothing reported on bream or catfish.
(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 4-17-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish are still doing well since it was stocked April 2. They have been catching them on chicken livers, nightcrawlers, brooder minnows, bait shrimp and stink bait. Bream have been hitting crickets and redworms. Bass have been good on Rebel Wee-Crawfish and Zoom Watermelon Seed Baby Brush Hogs. Crappie been doing good at the bridge and the far side with No. 6 crappie minnows.
Bishop Park Ponds
(updated 4-17-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said that while the back one (Lake Charles) have been doing fair off No. 6 crappie minnows and pink crappie minnows, catfish been doing fairly well off of nightcrawlers and No. 12 bass minnows. Bass have been fair on Zoom Red Shad plastic worms. Bream are fair off of crickets.
Saline River Access in Benton
(updated 4-17-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bass have been doing well on brooder minnows and Zoom Trick Worms in red/black core and water melon red. Some have been able to get a few walleye, especially out at the spillway, off of brooder minnows early in the morning before sunrise and a little bit after sunset. Bream have been starting up on crickets. Crappie are good off of No. 6 crappie minnows and pink crappie minnows.
Lisa says her customers still indicate that, outside of the immediate area, Lake Ouachita is a hot spot. “I have been still sending lots of pink minnows and No. 6 crappie minnows that way . Most say they are catching them up closer to the bank.”
(updated 4-17-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said big red ear are starting to do well, especially on the days that have been getting hot. Fishing the bottom with crickets has been the best approach. Crappie have been doing a lot better lately with some big ones reported. No. 6 crappie minnows have been used to catch them. Catfish are being caught off of black salties and nightcrawlers. Bass have been good on brooder minnows
(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 4-17-2019) Hatchet Jack’s in North Little Rock (501-758-4958) says
catfishing is fair. Use chicken liver or nightcrawlers. Black bass are good on Texas-rigged Trick Worms.
(updated 4-17-2019) Hatchet Jack’s in North Little Rock (501-758-4958) says bream are fair on works and crickets. Black bass are good on topwater lures and jigs.
(updated 4-17-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie are fair off of No. 6 crappie minnows and Kalin's 2-inch Tennessee Shad grubs. Bass have been doing great on Strike King KVD square-bill lure in Tennessee Shad color and also on No. 12 bass minnows. Catfish are biting bait shrimp and nightcrawlers. Bream fair on red worms and crickets.
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 4-17-2019) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) says the clarity is murky, the level is high and the current and water have the fishing in bad shape the past few days. Poor reports on all species.
(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 4-17-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said catfishing is fair at the Murray Lock and Dam by snagging and with skipjack. White bass are excellent, with best success coming with 3-inch Bobby Garland Slab Slayer.
(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 4-17-2019) Fish ’N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) said the water is muddy and the level is high. Surface temperature is 63 degrees. Crappie are fair using black jigs. Black bass are fair on black and blue jigs and Texas rigs. No reports on bream and no reports on catfish.
(updated 4-17-2018) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water level at the southeast end of the pool is high and the clarity is muddy. The fishing is slow with the high and muddy water. Poor reports all across the board on bream, crappie, bass and catfish. They advise that anglers stay off the river at this time.
(updated 4-17-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said catfishing is fair at the Murray Lock and Dam by snagging and with skipjack. White bass are excellent, with best success coming with 3-inch Bobby Garland Slab Slayer.
Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 4-17-2018) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water level is high and the clarity is muddy. The fishing is slow with the high and muddy water. Poor reports all across the board on bream, crappie, bass and catfish. They advise that anglers stay off the river at this time.
(updated 4-17-2018) Donna Mulherin at Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said the clarity is dingy and the water level after the recent rain is high. No surface temperature was recorded. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Black bass are good on spinnerbaits and Zara Spooks and other topwater lures. Catfishing is good with worms and blood bait. No reports on bream.
(updated 4-17-2019) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) says, “The warm weather is here and the fishing is hot on the rivers here in the Arkansas Ozarks. On the White River, the brown trout have been biting anything from minnows to sculpins and some silver flash lures. Some browns have even been caught on the old standby of PowerBait and shrimp. Rainbow fishing has been good, with many larger ones being pulled in on white jigs. The annual stocking of the cutthroat trout occurred last month, and several cutthroats have been reeled in on yellow egg patterns owing to its resemblance to fishery food. Won't be too long before the cutthroats will be larger and giving anglers a run for their money; but even these small ones are aggressive and will try to capture a minnow more than half its size. On the Buffalo National River, the smallmouth bass were loving 6-inch salt lizards (green pumpkin with red sparkle), or try a skirted 1/8-ounce mushroom jig for more action. Whenever planning a trip to the Buffalo River, be aware of the possibility of rising water levels; it's a gorgeous, naturally flowing river and is often quickly affected by precipitation. The ever-changing April weather means bring your rain gear (just in case) and come to the rivers for some all-round great fishing.”
(updated 4-17-2019) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the clarity is clear; on Monday they reported the river conditions as “wonderful today.” The water is down, but they say the weekend was terrible for anglers. River level is normal and the Corps has three generators running. The trout overall are good. Some nice browns were caught, and anglers also caught as many rainbows as they wanted earlier this week.
(updated 4-17-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last weekend that during the past week they have had half an inch of rain, warmer temperatures and heavy winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell 0.7 foot to rest at 0.2 foot above seasonal power pool of 659 feet msl. This is 35.8 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell 1.1 feet to rest at 0.2 foot below seasonal power pool and 16.2 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.2 foot to rest at 0.3 foot below seasonal power pool and 9.9 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 a 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 limited wadable water. All of the lakes in the White River System are below or inches from the top of power pool. 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.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 660.01 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 659.00 feet msl).
(updated 4-17-2019) 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 555.48 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April 552.00 feet msl; April-September, 554.00 feet msl).
(updated 4-17-2018) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said this past week we saw a lot of big fish caught on Norfork Lake. Most were released however some people just cannot help themselves and instead of getting a replica of the fish they decide to kill it. The number one question I get asked is are you catching any big ones and the answer is not often and when we do we ask that you release it. We caught 4 this week that were to 18 to 25 pounds and they all went back into the lake. When you have the ability to release a big fish this time of year you should because this lake never has enough big ones. It takes years to produce a 30 fish but only a few seconds to end its life. When we get to the warm water period you will need to keep the fish but now is the time of year to release it. If you follow the guides on the White and Norfork river they all release the big browns to be caught again. Let's start doing the same on Lake Norfork.
Tom says that when the south wind blows on Lake Norfork in the spring it's time to fish the north banks mid-morning. A case in point is that I had put off taking a client for two weeks due to the weather and finally decided the time was right and took them Wednesday. We started at 6AM and by 9:20 we had no bites and I was kicking myself for taking them. I noticed the wind was starting to blow so I told them lets go fish the wind. Our guide boats are built for high rough water and we have no problem fishing two foot waves. I told them to a hang on and in 20 minutes we had 5 stripers in boat and missed as many. My son went out that evening in an even stronger wind and caught just as many but bigger. We both did it again on Thursday. I was by myself and I finally had to just fish with 2 rods because the bite was so strong. Friday morning was just the opposite, the temperature dropped 40 degrees and we had a northwest cold wind and the main lake dropped 8 degrees. I went to the same spot and only caught 1 that morning and my son only caught 2. On Saturday I went up the creek and found 62 degree water and caught 6 again by myself fishing the windy shores. I saw some hybrids breaking the surface so I expect to see more topwater this week as we return to warmer weather. The night bite in Diamond Bay is in full swing and should continue for the next several weeks. Now is the time to hit the lake. The fish are aggressive and ready to bite.
(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 4-3-2019) 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 4-17-2019) 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 a 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 limited wadable water. All of the lakes in the White River System are inches from the top of power pool. 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 4-17-2019) 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 1,120.64 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.00 msl).
(updated 4-17-2019) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) says Beaver Lake is primed and ready to go and lake level is stable. Had a good rain last Friday into Saturday, but it was not a downpour so it did not mess things up too bad. The Weather Service is calling for more rain, and if the lake does not get drawn down by the Army Corps of Engineers, it looks like a good spawn is going to happen. “We fished the clear end of the lake (north end) and did really well on spotted bass the other day fishing Robo Worms on a shaky head on main lake points. Reports from a few of my sources said the same thing, that brown bass and the spots are good on wind-blown main lake points. Largemouth are being caught on all variety of baits, fish with what your confident in. They are doing well.” Jon says bass are moving up to stage off spawning areas, and next full moon the spawn should happen. Crappie, same thing, “We fished a few days and had limits every day. Some were real shallow, 2 feet or less, and some still out up to 12 feet deep. Any wood up shallow held fish in Blue Springs and War Eagle. Crappie were hot until mud came Sunday. It will clear by the time you read this, but more rain predicted.”
Jon says that walleye and white bass are finished spawning and lots of stripers and hybrids are in river arms now. Reports are people have been catching walleye from Hickory Creek up to Lost Bridge on crawler harnesses. That will get better in the weeks to come. “Bowfisherman get on out,” he says. “I am seeing lots of carp and gar up shallow. Catfish are doing good on the flats on jugs.”
(updated 4-17-2019) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the river arms are stained while the rest of the main lake is really good and “pretty clear.” Bream are said to be starting up, with fair reports. Crappie are starting to spawn and the bite has been excellent. Anglers are having best success around the shoreline and fishing where crappie have just a little cover with black/red/chartreuse jigs and with minnows. Black bass are good. They are in pre-spawn and are going after crankbaits and plastic worms, along with soft plastic minnows and crawdads. Catfishing is fair. White bass are up in the river arms. Walleye are good in the river arms. Overall, black bass, white bass and crappie are the best for the anglers at this time.
(updated 4-17-2019) 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 4-17-2019) Heather Hula at Lake Fort Smith State Park reports that last Saturday she ran into some bass anglers “weighing-in their catches in a little tournament. Everyone had a successful day of fishing with all but one of the 16 fishermen catching their five fish limit. Most were culling fish by 9:30 that morning!” The water on the upper end of the lake is warming up into the 60s and is maintaining that temperature. With recent rainfall the shallow water areas are a bit muddy, but that has been conducive for good largemouth fishing. Bass fishing rates excellent, with best success coming on spinnerbaits and crankbaits in 6-10 feet depth around brush piles and stumps. No reports on the other species. Water is clear in in the deep water areas and muddy in the shallows. Clarity and visibility is 3 feet. Surface temperature is 61 degrees,
(updated 4-17-2019) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) reported the lake clarity a little murky while the lake level is normal. No temperature was recorded. Bream have moved into the shallows and the bite is fair. Crappie are good and can be found in about 5 feet depth of water. Use minnows. Black bass are biting well and have moved shallowed. Catfishing is good as they have also moved into the shallow water.
(updated 4-17-2019) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) says the clarity is murky and the water level is high. Water temperature Sunday morning was 47 degrees. Anglers are catching crappie off the bank. It appears these are bigger crappie this year; reports of crappie 13-14 inches. The rain is keeping the water level high in the lake. They had a cool spell, but the water should warm up next week. Good moon times ahead, as the best fishing days for April should be the 16th-22nd, Shelly says. Crappie are good on crickets, minnows, jigs, muddy water baits, worms and Crappie Magnets. While there has been lots of success for anglers fishing the shoreline, the crappie are also around brush piles and stumps. Bass are good on crankbaits and plastic worms, as well as Z-man chatterbaits. Anglers are fishing the shoreline for the bass in shallower water and working brush and rocky points. Catfishing is good with worms, blood bait and Catfish Bo & Doc’s. Bream are good on worms or crickets.
(updated 4-17-2019) Ome Coleman at Lake Poinsett State Park said Wednesday morning, “People are so ready to go fishing. Although we do not have our lake back yet, I am getting reports of great catches of the crappie and that the bream are beginning to bite. Get your bait here at Lake Poinsett State Park.” 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.
(updated 4-17-2019) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water just a little stained again this week, while the surface temperature is ranging 61-63 degrees with normal water level. Bream are fair on crickets. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. They were unable to get a report from regular anglers on black bass because a bass tournament was held there last weekend and they did not hear the results. However, some anglers say they heard the bite is good and the bass are now on beds. Catfishing is fair around the dock area.
(updated 4-17-2019) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) said water levels have been holding at 430 cfs (350 cfs is average), and water clarity has been mostly clear. Olive Woollies and White Lightning have been the hot flies. Overcast days have been very productive, and on sunny days it’s all about getting the fly down. There have been really nice bug hatches of mayfly and caddis flies on sunny mornings. Nymphs work well during hatches. Hot pink Trout Magnets have been hot. Fish the Trout Magnet just off the bottom of the river. Silver spinners are doing well on the sunny days.
(updated 4-17-2019) 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 4-17-2018) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) reported that the water is high by 9.5-10 feet and the clarity is clear. Crappie are biting fair on minnows. Black bass are fair using jigs or Senkos. Catfishing is poor. Bream fishing is poor. Walleye are fair with minnows, live bait and slick minnows.
Arkansas River (Pine Bluff Pool)
(updated 4-17-2019) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team had no report.
Arkansas River (Pool 2)
(updated 4-17-2019) Austin Davidson, park interpreter at Cane Creek State Park, said that with nearly 6.5 inches of rain within the last week, there is no shortage of water in Cane Creek Lake at the moment. This influx of cool, fresh water may throw a little bit of a kink into the fishing forecast for the upcoming week. While crappie are beginning to bite with the last short streak of stable weather, they might now go back to being somewhat sluggish and shy for a little while. Your best bet will be to fish with a live minnow around anywhere the water is disturbed. If you fish where the lake water runs into Bayou Bartholomew from the spillway, you might get lucky and happen upon a group of hungry fish. Bass are still warming up, but will more affected by the rise in water level vs. the temperature. Bass now are trying to move up into the shallows, around the nubs of pre-emerged aquatic vegetation to prepare to spawn. Use baits that cause a high disturbance to try and convince sluggish bass to strike. Bright chartreuse-colored spinners and craw-colored cranks and plastics will be your best bet for agitating a big bass into striking. Catfish are really the only fish that you can say have benefited from this most current weather system. The large amount of water flowing into the surrounding creeks has pushed tons of organic matter and foodstuffs from the creeks themselves and into the lake. Fish any confluences where water is currently running into the lake, or where there is strong evidence that water ran into the lake from the shoreline recently. Catfish should almost be in a feeding frenzy, and any bait that smells strong enough to get their attention should get you results. As summer approaches, try coating raw bacon in a dry mixture of Kool-Aid powder and garlic salt to really get a big cat’s attention. On the same note, as the temperature of the water rises with the rising air temperature, bream will begin to become more active and eventually start sitting on beds once summer gets in full swing. Start gauging when they will become active by fishing with a few crickets every time you go out. Once they begin to bite, your chances of catching your limit should only increase until the end of summer.
(updated 4-17-2019) Brian Whitson, park interpreter at Lake Chicot State Park (870-265-5480), says catfish were biting before the storms this past weekend. No word on bass or crappie. The weekend storms caused the lake to rise and become very muddy. Thursday shows more storms in the forecast, which will only make things worse. Minimal fishing is occurring on Lake Chicot due to this.
(updated 4-17-2019) 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 261.30 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 259.20 msl).
(updated 4-17-2019) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said Millwood Lake is rising from normal pool due to thunderstorms over last weekend, with lake elevation about 9 inches above normal pool and rising. The Army Corps of Engineers made gate changes at the dam Monday and are releasing around 6,300 cfs, which could change by midweek. The tailwater below the dam is also rising and was about 240 feet msl on Monday. Water temps rose over the past week. Be sure and check the most recent lake level of Millwood Lake on the guide service’s website, or at the 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. 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 6,000 cfs. Debris remains present in Little River current – use caution. Further up river 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; 20-25 inches depth of visibility in the oxbows depending on location.
The bite has been excellent for largemouth bass over the last few weeks. Best activity is during the midday hours in the oxbows and pockets, away from river current. Numerous largemouths continue in their annual spawning mode, and all largemouth bass from 3-6 pounds continue in the spawn mode in most all the oxbows along Little River. Excellent reactions continue with Bass Assassin Shads, Bang XX FAT JOBS, trick worms, large bulky Hogs, chatterbaits, and Lizards. The bite frequency and patterns improved again with increased surface temps this week. The best locations over the past few weeks have been in the back of the oxbows and pockets along main lake where water conditions and clarity are best. More white bass continue being caught upriver on Rocket Shads, Bomber Crankbaits and Rat-L-Traps between U.S. Highway 71 and Patterson Shoals over the past week. The white bass continue in their annual spawning runs up the Little River to Patterson Shoals headwaters above Highway 71 bridge. Catches of 30-50 white bass in a few hours, are typical. Crappie continue biting well in the oxbows, finding the clearest water from 2-3 feet clarity you can, near cypress trees and knees, being the highest activity areas. They are hitting minnows and jigs from 2-4 feet of depth around cypress trees. Best colors of jigs over the past couple weeks or so have been black/chartreuse, red/white or blue/chartreuse. Blues 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 4-17-2019) Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) reports that bass and crappie have been biting well. A few bream are being caught. The intermittent weather is making the fishing inconsistent.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 548.01 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).
(updated 4-17-2019) Jason Lenderman of JL Guide Service (870-490-0804) said the lake level is almost exactly full pool of 548 feet. Water temps have made it the mid- to upper 60s. The bass are in 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. Concentrate on secondary points next to spawning pockets. Focus on any shallow structure. Crappie are really good lately. They can be caught on the bank around shallow brush and stumps with minnows or Kalin’s grubs close to and in spawning flats.
(updated 4-17-2019) Tamara Lunsford, park superintendent at Daisy State Park near Kirby, said Lake Greeson’s surface water temperature was 60 degrees Monday. At 547.9 feet msl over the weekend, Greeson was at normal pool. The bream bite remains good, with the fish in 2-5 feet depth and going after worms and jigs. They’re around brush piles and close to the bank. Crappie are good. They are at 5-15 feet depth and under cover. Minnows or jigs will work around brush piles or rocky points. Black bass are good. They’re anywhere from 10-20 feet depth and around brush, and are going after spinnerbaits, crankbaits, plastic worms and topwater lures. Catfish are good on worms, blood bait and chicken liver. White bass reports were fair. The cold nights stopped their run upriver.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 407.99 feet msl (full pool: 408.00 feet msl).
(updated 4-17-2019) John Duncan of yoyoguideservice.com at Iron Mountain Marina, said, “Well things were about to stabilize. Water temperature has been slowly rising again after the large storms last weekend. Lots of trash in water around the Shouse Ford area. Water clarity – tinted. Water levels are high, 407.95 feet msl. They are steadily pulling water out and the level is falling slowly, but rain tonight. The water temperature is in the mid-60s. A little warmup is going to do the trick.” John adds that the water is still out of its banks. The warmest water is the shallowest. Catfish will feed in these newly flooded areas at night. Fish the shallows in the back of the coves. Noodles give you flexibility. Short lines if you are using trotlines. Last report on black bass was good on floating worms, This high water is not bad for floating worms. No report on bream. Full moon is the key. That’s April 19. “Time to get our electronics out and find the bream beds. Be sure to send me the coordinates,” he said. Crappie are set on spawning. The water temperature is up and down, so close to the magic temperature. No reports of them being stacked up on brush piles and not in brush solid. Minnows or jigs both will work. “Fish as shallow as you can. We are right of the temperature to get everything going,” he says. Hybrids and white bass being caught all over the Shouse Ford area from spoons being cast to crappie jigs being trolled. “Good fishing. Let’s get this round of rain over and get some warm days.”
(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 439.16 feet msl (full pool: 437.00 feet msl).
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 531.19 feet msl (full pool: 526.00 feet msl).
White Oak Lake
(updated 4-17-2019) Sportsman’s One Stop (870-863-7248) in El Dorado said the river is still 13 feet high and not much fishing is going on. A few black bass are being caught.
(updated 4-17-2019) Sharon at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) says the water is dingy and is high by about 3.5 feet. Surface water temperature is ranging 63-66 degrees. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Black bass are fair on plastic worms. Catfishing is fair with worms and stink bait. Bream reports are poor.
(updated 4-17-2019) Steve Donahou at Lake Catherine State Park (501-844-4176) said the water is clearing and the surface temperature earlier this week was 58.3 degrees. Bream are good on worms and crickets. Crappie are good on white jigs in shallow water. Black bass are “pretty good,” with plastic worms (watermelon Trick Worm-color) working nicely. Bass can be found on beds in shallow water. White bass also are “pretty good,” Steve said, and are hitting white jigs and Alabama rigs. The white bass are running in schools. Catfishing is fair on trotlines using minnows. Austin Owens of the Lake Catherine State Park Marina also recently told Steve, “Overall fishing on Lake Catherine is improving.”
Lake Catherine (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro.
(updated 4-17-2019) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch'em All Guide Service, reports that last weekend's heavy rainfall caused Lake Ouachita to rise back up into the flood pool. Entergy has opened flood gates below area dams to pass the excess waters. This process has been ongoing and has lasted for weeks. Three gates are open as of Tuesday this week below Carpenter Dam and that has created a treacherous waterway on Lake Catherine. Boating and wading the tailrace has been out of the question all week and no productive fishing will take place until the wall of water being released subsides in volume. At the time of this report, Lake Ouachita is over a foot into the flood pool and falling fast. However, another storm is forecasted for early Thursday morning. This front is expected to bring 1-3 inches of rain to our area and is sure to prolong the heavy flows. No one should attempt to navigate the Carpenter Dam tailrace for any reason until the lake returns to much safer conditions.
(updated 4-17-2019) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) said the water temperature is 68. River is dirty, with some clear backwater, and some clear creeks with others being dingy. Crappie fishing has been good but has slowed due to the cold front and high water. The majority of the crappie have already spawned and on the move to deeper water. Minnows have been working, and a wide variety of colors – chartreuse, chartreuse/black, Electric Chicken, Cajun Cricket and blue chartreuse – has been working well in a foot and a half to 2 foot deep. Bass have slowed also, but will pick back up after the full moon with a push. Spinnerbaits, chatterbaits and swimbaits will come into play on that first push if fish move out deep. Lizards, Brush Hogs, and jigs and Bamboozie will catch the shallow fish on the next push of fish. Frogs, scam shad and chiselers will work in the flats with a lot of coontail; work them weightless. White bass and stripers are moving to the swifter water at the heads of the creeks and blowouts in the jetties. White hair jigs with grubs, spinnerbaits, Rat-L-Traps, swimbaits and chatterbaits with a scam shad trailer work great. Bream are starting to spawn in the flats. Use worms and crickets, small jigs and flies. Catfish have moved to the flats; cut bait, nightcrawlers and stink bait will work.
(updated 4-17-2019) Jason Baumgartner, park aquarist at Lake Dardanelle State Park (479-890-7495) said the past week saw sunshine most days except for last Saturday’s steady rain. Recent conditions have mostly been sunny with winds, some gusty, as the midweek storm system approaches. At the lower end, weekly rains have kept visibility shallow and the winds have mixed the surface. The Big Piney and Illinois Bayou rivers are also turbid. Some of the smaller creeks are muddy also. Surface temperature is 69 degrees. The pool elevation has returned to near normal on the lower end. The upper end, from Spadra to Ozark, has risen about 4 feet since the last report bringing the level closer to normal. Upriver, release at Ozark L&D 12 had flowed about 42,000 cfs until rising to 93,000 cfs last Sunday night. It has steadily decreased to 65,000 cfs. They have been generating all day and spillway release had been slow until last weekend’s rain. Downriver, release at Dardanelle L&D 10 ran around 52,000 cfs last Wednesday and rose to 93,000 cfs last Sunday night. It has slowly decreased to 74,000 cfs. They have been generating all day. Spillway release had also been slow until last Saturday’s rain but is now flowing 43,000 cfs.
Weekend tournaments are taking place on the lake. Lake Dardanelle State Park hosted the Crappie Masters event last Friday and Saturday. The average-size crappie for the two-day tournament was 1.76 pounds with the big crappie weighing 2.46 pounds. Each day about 80 percent of the field weighed a limit of seven crappie. Anglers reported fishing structure 6-10 feet deep and even down to 16 feet. Commonly reported jigs were black/chartreuse or pink grubs. Minnows were used, also. Lake Dardanelle State Park also hosted a Get5Bass Solo event Sunday. About 68 percent of the field weighed a limit of five bass. The big bass weighed 5.62 pounds. Anglers reported flipping tubes and throwing vibrating jigs. The catfish are moving into shallower water and are biting on live bait. White bass and skipjack are also chasing live bait.
(updated 4-17-2019) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas born-and-bred Xpress all-welded aluminum fishing boats in Hot Springs, reports lake temps in the mid-60s throughout and clarity fair in the 3-feet or less range (depending on rainfall) Bass are hanging out in the shallows near creek channels and under docks and overhanging structure. Many of these fish have just finished up spawning and some are still in the process. Bass that have finished up are eager to bulk back up after the huge expense of energy that it takes during the spawn. Creature baits like lizards, Brush Hogs and worms on the Texas rig and Carolina rig are working well, “but what works the best is if you are talented enough to skip docks. Frogs, jigs and wacky rigs skipped up under docks are lethal, and not just on Hamilton!” No crappie report. “Good Luck and go Greeson!”
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 351.38 feet msl (full pool: 342.00 feet msl).
(updated 4-17-2019) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said the clarity is murky and the lake is high. Nimrod played host to two bass tournaments this past weekend and the anglers all did very well, they report. The full moon is this weekend and bream should be bedding, but they are not bedding yet and they aren’t really biting. When they do, through them redworms. Crappie appear in pre-spawn. The bite is fair on jigs. Bass are good on spinnerbaits, crankbaits, jigs and swimbaits. Catfishing is good on trotlines and yo-yos.
(updated 4-17-2019) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) says no anglers have been out of late.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 578.90 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 4-17-2019) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) said black bass are still excellent. Yum Dingers, floating worms, Flukes and topwaters fished in and around pockets or over points are working at this time. Walleye are still very good. Small minnow-colored crankbaits, smoke-colored grubs and gray hair jigs have been producing good stringers. Stripers are excellent. Most of these fish are on the west end of the lake and being caught on shad-colored lipless crankbaits, C-10 Redfins and live bait. Bream are fair to good with reports of fish being caught with grubs and worms in 20-25 feet of water near brush. Crappie are still good and being caught with jigs or minnows in 15-18 feet of water near brush. Catfish are picking up and anglers are having luck with limb lines and trot lines using live bait. Water temperature has been ranging 62-66 degrees and the 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 392.88 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 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 4-17-2019) Professional fishing guide Ronnie Tice (901-687-6800) says there are plenty of fish now in the timber and the canals. Crappie are excellent. They are in timber at a depth of 1½-3 feet deep. He says he’s not catching any females. They’ve moved to spawn, and he’s catching all males. Bass are good as well around the timber and canals. Catfishing is good in the shallows and canals and appear starting to spawn. Bream are fair but they will be on around Friday (April 19), which marks the next full moon. Ronnie says the water level at this oxbow is high.
(updated 4-17-2019) Natalie Faughn, assistant superintendent at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), says crappie are active in 4 feet depth of water on crickets; no spawn yet. Bream are starting to move on beds within the last few days, not hitting heavy yet. Bass are biting but still slow to move.
(updated 4-17-2019) Natalie Faughn, assistant superintendent at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), says the water is up and muddy, and there has been no major activity to report.
(updated 4-17-2019) Wil Hafner, education program specialist at the Potlatch Education Center at Cook’s Lake, reports that the lake still cannot open for its every-other Saturday fishing for youths and mobility-impaired anglers because of the very flooded parking lot. “I keep hoping the river will drop out but all this rain is not helping,” he said. However, Wil’s been able to get out to other area fishing spots that he says have been on fire and suggest Lake Des Arc as a destination. Also, fishing the Arkansas River in southeast Arkansas was hot until the rain blew it out, he said. The education center will shoot for the first Saturday in May to open its season, if the White River oxbow has receded from the area. 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.