May 8, 2019
Jim Harris Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine
Weekly Fishing Report
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for May 8, 2019. If there is a body of water you would like included in this report, please email AGFCfishingreport@outlook.com with information on possible sources for reports about that lake or river. Reports are updated weekly, although some reports might be published for two weeks if updates are not received promptly or if reporters say conditions haven’t changed. Contact the reporter for the lake or stream you plan to fish for current news.
Arkansas River and White River levels are available at: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=lzk
For real-time information on stream flow in Arkansas from the U.S. Geological Survey, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/rt
For water-quality statistics (including temperature) in many Arkansas streams and lakes, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/current/?type=quality
Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir
NOTICE: AGFC employees and contractors using airboats will be conducting foliar applications of EPA-approved herbicide – which will cause no harm to wildlife, people or aquatic life such as fish – to treat alligatorweed on Lake Conway in 2019. By federal law, these herbicides have up to a 120-day irrigation restriction after application. The AGFC asks adjacent landowners to NOT irrigate water from Lake Conway for lawn or garden use from May 20, 2019, to March 1, 2020. For further information, please contact the AGFC Fisheries Office in Mayflower at (877) 470-3309.
(updated 5-8-2019) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the clarity is stained and the water level is high. Bream are bedding. The bite is fair on redworms or crickets. Crappie are good. Fish around the green cypress trees with minnows or jigs. Black bass are good on spinnerbaits, plastic worms and frogs. Catfishing is good using chicken liver, nightcrawlers, trotline minnows and goldfish.
Little Red River
(updated 5-8-2019) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said the river is clear with generation of two units for 12 hours. This has been starting at 8 a.m. or 10 a.m., depending on the day’s schedule. The fish are hitting caddis flies because there is a big caddis hatch in the mornings before the new water hits an area. Caddis emergers and pupa are good fly choices. Drift fishing is good by staying ahead of the day’s generation, and there are short wading opportunities from Winkley Shoal down to Libby Shoal. The new water gets to Winkley in about 3½ hours and Libby in 4-4½ hours after the release at the dam. If wading, plan to be near your takeout point when the water begins to rise because they are running two units and the water rises quickly. The weather forecast is for storms and possible heavy rain the next two days. If this occurs, the river will probably be muddy for two to three days. Check the generation times each day to plan your trip.
(updated 5-8-2019) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service said that as of his report Tuesday night the Little Red was receiving around 12 hours of two units beginning early mornings. This schedule provides good fishing opportunities on the middle and lower sections of the river until late afternoon. Use sowbugs, caddis pupas, pheasant tails, San Juan worms and streamers for fly-fishing. For Trout Magnet fishing use cotton candy and hot pink bodies on silver and chartreuse jigheads. 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 472.54 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.93 feet msl Oct. 1-April 30; 463.04 feet msl May 1-June 1; 462.54 feet msl June 1-Sept. 30).
(updated 5-8-2019) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said Wednesday morning thet water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 472.51 feet msl, 10.47 feet above normal pool of 462.04 feet msl and rising and with the rain. The forecast looks like it will come up some more, so be careful out there as there are lots of hazards under water at this time. Walleye are eating crawlers, grubs and jigheads if you can find them, as they are scattered out on points and flats in 15-20 feet of water. Crappie are still up shallow eating jigs and minnows. There is a lot of new water, find them and then slow down; where there is one, more are close. Catfish are eating your choice of baits all over the lakes and rivers. Bream are eating well on crickets and crawlers, small crankbaits and inline spinners up shallow. Bass catching is good all over the lake on a variety of baits, in all three phases of the spawn. Let the fish tell you what they are doing. Some hybrid and white bass are still up rivers and some are set up in lake; it’s a timing deal to be there when they are eating. Use spoons, inline spinners, grubs and Road Runners from super shallow out to 30 feet.
Harris Brake Lake
(updated 5-8-2019) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) reported the clarity is “pretty clear” and the lake level remains a little high (about 1 foot above normal). Surface water temperature Monday midday was 57-58 degrees. The bream bite fell off a little to fair on redworms and crickets. Crappie appear to be slowing down and are fair on jigs and Cajun Crickets. Black bass are good in the early morning and late evening on minnows. Catfishing is fair; the catfish spawn appears to be starting. White bass also are starting up.
NOTICE: AGFC employees and contractors using airboats will be conducting foliar applications of EPA-approved herbicide – which will cause no harm to wildlife, people or aquatic life such as fish – to treat alligatorweed on Lake Overcup in 2019. By federal law, these herbicides have up to a 120-day irrigation restriction after application. The AGFC urges adjacent landowners to NOT irrigate water from Lake Overcup for lawn or garden use from May 20, 2019, to March 1, 2020. For further information, please contact the AGFC Fisheries Office in Mayflower at (877) 470-3309.
(updated 5-8-2019) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said ,black bass are doing well on black plastic worms and buzzbaits. Crappie are doing well on minnows and jigs in 8-14 feet of water, and some still on the shoreline. Bream are starting to pick up, and the size caught recently seem to be bigger. Catfish are being caught on jugs and trotlines with bream and minnows. With waters rising, they always bite well. The water level is about 2 feet high with good clarity. Surface temperature is around 70 degrees.
(updated 5-1-2019) Larry Walters at Bones Bait Shop (501-354-9900) said the lake clarity is clear and the surface temperature is 68 degrees. The water level is high. Crappie fishing is excellent. Fish the brush piles with minnows or jigs. Bream are good on crickets. Black bass are good on spinnerbaits. Catfishing is fair; use worms or blood bait.
(updated 5-8-2019) WestRock Landing (501-658-5598) on Highway 10 near Roland reports water temperature is in the mid-70s. Largemouth bass are good. Most can be found shallow biting a variety of lures. Some are moving into 3-8 feet of water and some can still be found in depths of 12-16 feet. Try using chatterbaits, crankbaits, jerkbaits, drop-shots and swimbaits. The black bass bite was good for anglers at this Tuesday night’s tournament ahead of the rain front, with Gary Bryant and Quin Minton stringing 12.47 pounds with five bass. Phillip Cole and Jason Bargiel hookd the Big Bass of 4.46 and were a pound behind in total stringer weight for second. Anglers are finding the Kentucky bass improved, with good action. Some reports of them being found in 4-8 feet of water outside the grass line. They can also be found in 12-16 feet off drops and rocky banks. White bass, however, have fallen off to poor. Reports are the run is slowing down. Some can be found mixed in with the crappie on the flats in the afternoon hours in 8-12 feet of water. Try using Rooster Tails, jerkbaits and rattle-type baits. The crappie bite is good. Crappie are heading out of the deeper holes. Reports of them being found 3-8 feet as well as 12-16 feet, but they are still scattered. Try using jigs and minnows. Bream are slow, but crickets and worms will work best now. Catfishing is slow. Reports are coming in that the channel cats are moving in to shallow water. Try using stink bait, crayfish or worms.
(updated 5-8-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish have been keeping some customers entertained this week. “We've had several report catching them on chicken livers, nightcrawlers and minnows,” Lisa said. Crappie have been biting No. 6 and pink minnows as well as Kalin’s Tennessee Shad grubs. The bream bite is picking up and some have had good luck with crickets and redworms. Bass have been hitting minnows, floating worms, Carolina-rigged lizards and topwater baits.
Bishop Park Ponds
(updated 5-8-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie and catfish have been biting No. 6 minnows. Bass are biting minnows, floating worms and small topwater baits. Bream fishing has been good with crickets and redworms.
Saline River Access in Benton
(updated 5-8-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said the river has been too high to fish this week and if the weather forecasts are correct it will be even higher in the near future. Severe weather and flash flooding is likely over the next few days. Everyone stay safe and don't take unnecessary risks by driving through or attempting to navigate flood waters.
(updated 5-8-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bream are starting to bite well. Fish close to the bottom around the deep end of docks or around deep logs and brush with crickets or redworms. Move around and you'll find some whoppers. Bass have been biting well on minnows, floating worms, Carolina- or Texas-rigged plastics and topwater baits early in the mornings and just before dark. Crappie fishing is still improving and customers tell us they're catching some good-sized ones but no big numbers. No. 6 minnows and Bobby Garland Baby Shad jigs are catching them. Catfish are biting at night and right at daylight on nightcrawlers, bait shrimp, minnows and chicken livers.
(updated 5-8-2019) Hatchet Jack’s in North Little Rock (501-758-4958) says
catfishing is good. Use chicken liver or nightcrawlers.
(updated 5-8-2019) Hatchet Jack’s in North Little Rock (501-758-4958) says bream now are excellent. Fish around the culverts and the spillway with redworms or crickets. Black bass are good with topwater lures, buzzbaits and Texas-rigged creature baits.
(updated 5-8-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bream fishing has been good for customers using crickets, redworms and nightcrawlers. Catfish are biting nightcrawlers, minnows and chicken livers. Bass have been hitting minnows, plastic worms, lizards and Brush Hogs and topwater baits early in the mornings. Crappie fishing has been good early in the mornings with No. 6 minnows and Bobby Garland Itty Bit jigs.
Arkansas River at Morrilton
(updated 5-8-2019) Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) had no report.
(updated 5-8-2019) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) says the clarity is stained. The water level is normal. No surface temperature was reported. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Black bass are excellent on spinnerbaits and plastic worms. Catfishing is excellent on chicken liver or using minnows running trotlines. No reports on bream.
Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)
(updated 5-8-2019) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) says you’ll have best success here fishing on the Maumelle River and in the creeks. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. That’s all they’ve heard about. This pool was significantly calmer in current than the Little Rock pool on Sunday.
(updated 5-8-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said catfishing is fair at Murray Lock and Dam. Skipjack and snagging were working. Meanwhile, white bass are good on twister tails, Bobby Garland 3-inch Slab Slayers, and spoons.
Arkansas River (Little Rock Pool)
(updated 5-8-2019) Fish ’N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) said the Little Rock pool is muddy, and on Tuesday the flow was a dangerously swift 190,000 cfs. They advise staying off the water as it is also too high as well as too fast. No reports have come in.
(updated 5-8-2019) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) says the river is muddy, high, with fast current, and dangerous. Avoid fishing.
(updated 5-8-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said catfishing is fair at Murray Lock and Dam. Skipjack and snagging were working. Meanwhile, white bass are good on twister tails, Bobby Garland 3-inch Slab Slayers, and spoons.
(updated 5-1-2019) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) keeps anglers updated on the southeast end of the pool, near Terry Lock and Dam, and says the clarity is cloudy. The fishing has improved greatly over last week. Bream are good on worms or crickets. Crappie are biting well on minnows or jigs. Black bass are good with anglers using spinnerbaits or crankbaits. Catfishing is good using worms or stink bait.
Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 5-1-2019) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said Clear Lake is experience some good fishing now. The water level is still high. No other conditions were reported. Bream are fair to good on crickets. The crappie bite is good on minnows or jigs. Black bass are good on spinnerbaits and plastic works. Good reports on catfish, too, with shad working as the best bait.
(updated 5-8-2019) Donna Mulherin at Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said the clarity remains a little dingy and the water level still remains high. No surface temperature was recorded. Crappie are good on minnows and trolling and using spider-rigging. Black bass are excellent, though anglers weren’t sharing their bait secrets. Same with catfish – an excellent bite, but anyone’s guess as to baits. No reports on bream.
(update 5-8-2019) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) says, “What a week on the White! Most every day started out with the threat of rain, then ended on a mostly dry note with a whole bunch of photos of browns and happy anglers. We've been catching "the tar out of 'em" with sculpins spinner baits. The river bed is a little mossy right now so it's best to keep your bait just under the surface an inch or two. Try floating a Rapala, F5, gold and black or the brook trout, or keep a spinner zigzagging a little. Water levels remain fairly constant at around one unit (great for some jig fishing--orange and brown or tri-olive), but be on the lookout for a rise in the days to come. Bull Shoals Lake has risen ten feet in the last 10 days or so; the rise is slowing but not stopping and with winter melt and spring rains continuing we're probably in for higher lake levels which will eventually mean an outpouring to the river. The weather forecast calls for showers just about daily, but remember: Trout love the rain--it keeps the lightweights away and gives them more room to play. The fishing forecast: good to spectacular. Come test the waters.”
(updated 5-8-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last weekend that during the past week they had two rain events combining for 2½ inches here in Cotter), warmer temperatures and heavy winds (to include lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals rose 8.7 feet to rest at 8.4 feet above seasonal power pool of 660.29 feet msl. This is 26.3 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock rose 3.6 feet to rest at 3.1 feet above seasonal power pool and 11.8 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose 2.8 feet to rest at 2.4 feet above seasonal power pool and 6.2 feet below the top of flood pool. The White saw light generation and some wadable water. Norfork Lake rose 5.2 feet to rest at 8.2 feet above seasonal power pool of 555.04 feet msl and 16.8 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had less generation and reliable 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 well over the top of power pool. Expect more generation in the near future.
The White has fished well. The hot spot has been the catch-and-release section at Rim Shoals. The hot flies were olive Woolly Buggers (sizes 8, 10), Y2Ks (sizes 14, 12), prince nymphs (size 14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead sizes 16, 18), pheasant tails (size 14), ruby midges (size 18), root beer midges (size 18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (size 10), and sowbugs (size 16). Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective (John’s current favorite combination is a size 14 prince nymph with a size 18 ruby midge suspended below it. Use lead to get your flies down).
(updated 5-8-2019) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the clarity is “not bad” but the fishing has been hampered by the rain. They also say the trout bite is “not bad” and maybe good at times, especially for rainbows. Anglers caught a lot of rainbow trout in the past week, but not a lot of brown trout. There is a lot of moss in the river, they report.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 672.96 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 661.00 feet msl).
(updated 4-24-2019) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said crappie are good on minnows and jigs and are active around brush piles and bushes. Crappie are spawning. Walleye will bite if you’re bottom-bouncing with night crawlers at secondary points. Bream are shallow and the bite is good. They’ve moved onto the shoreline. More of Del’s reports are available on Youtube: Del Colvin, Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 566.59 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April 552.00 feet msl; April-September, 555.75 feet msl).
(updated 5-8-2019) Steve Olomon of Steve’s Guide Service said that with the rain they had this past week Norfork Lake is up about 10 feet and the water temperature is in the mid- to upper 60s. The upper end of the lake the water is stained with some debris floating. The rest of the lake down to the dam and up Big Creek is clear. There is not very much topwater activity going on. When there is some, it’s just a few coming up sporadic. If they are close enough to cast to, they will usually hit your lure. Throw a Spook, soft jerkbait or a wake-type bait. “When the fish aren’t feeding on the surface, I throw a swimbait and it will catch stripers, hybrids, whites, walleye and all three bass species. I even caught a couple crappie. At night, throw a stick bait to the edge of the brush close to the bank and retrieve the lure SLOW back to the boat,” Steve says.
(updated 5-1-2019) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said Norfork Lake fishing has been good for most species over the last week. Topwater activity has begun in earnest and will only get better. Crappie fishing continues to be very good and fishing for the three bass species has also continued to be strong. The latest species to show up more frequently is walleye. Over the past week topwater action for striped, hybrid and white bass has been exciting. The best bite at this time for topwater activity is right before sunrise. The bite can last until the sun gets above the tree line. On cloudy days, it may last longer. Lou says he has been using three different baits for this action: a Zara Spook, a half-ounce Kastmater and a 6-inch swimbait with a paddle tail and 3/8-ounce jighead. “I have had the best luck with the swimbait. Prior to the feeding frenzy on topwater, I have been casting a jerkbait or a swimbait up to the shoreline. This time of year, stripers tend to feed on shad in very shallow water. As the sun gets higher in the sky striped bass tend to move out to a little deeper water. It appears that 30 feet down is where stripers are suspended during the middle part of the day. You can vertical jig for these fish or troll an umbrella rig. As the day wears on, look for topwater feeding fish about an hour or so before sunset. But your fishing day is not done at sunset, there is still a good after dark bite for striped, hybrid, large and smallmouth bass and walleye. The bite does not necessarily start right at dark, but can occur all though the night. The fish tend to feed heavily on shad after the sun goes down. Your fishing method after dark is to throw a suspending jerkbait, retrieving the bait very, very slowly with an occasional pause. The best place to find striped bass is from the mouth of the larger creeks to part way back. Main points and secondary points are good feeding spots for this species. If you find shad in the area, you can almost bet the stripers will not be too far away.”
He says crappie fishing has continued to be excellent. Most of the crappie have spawned out, but there are still a few continuing their spawn process. “The best method that I have found is to slow troll a Berkley Flicker Minnow Pro about 1.2 to 1.5 mph in 20-30 feet of water. For best result make sure there are brush pile in your trolling path. The best colors have varied for me depending on the weather conditions. On a cloudy or dark day, I've been using a darker color such as the purple back and white body or the FireTiger pattern. The white, as well as the purple and white, tends to work the best on sunny days. You can also fish the traditional way of dropping a small jig or spoon in the brush or use a live minnow in the brush. I have found that crappie have been suspended 12-20 feet down on or very near brush with a few fish buried inside of the brush. Down imaging on your depth finder is absolutely amazing for seeing crappie inside of brush, as well as for finding schools of crappie when they are roaming between brush piles.
Lou adds that bass fishing has also been very good. “My fish have been coming out of or very near the sunken buckbrush along the shoreline. I use a Fluke or a Bass Assassin with a weighted shank hook. I cast it into the brush and twitch it out. The hard part is getting the fish out of the brush without breaking off. There has been some good topwater action for bass and it can occur any time of day and also in any depth of water. This morning the bass started to chase shad and I got to land several quality fish on my big swimbait. After the early morning bite, start throwing some of your favorite plastics up near the sunken buckbrush and then work it back slowly along the bottom. The fish will be from 8-20 feet down on the bottom. There are still a few bass continuing to spawn, but the spawn season for bass is almost to a close.
“Most people's favorite fresh water fish to eat is walleye and they are starting to show up in all the same areas as the other species. Very early this morning (5 a.m.) I found a large school of walleye feeding heavily. I was casting my swimbait and was getting a hit on every cast. Walleye tend to be very active in the dark. Swimbaits and jerkbaits are two great methods of fishing for walleye this time of year, not to say that live bait will not work great. Areas that I have found walleye have been near brush in about 20 feet of water while trolling the Flicker Minnow for crappie. I have also caught a few throwing a jerkbait up next to brush very early or very late in the day when it is dark or almost dark. The other time to look for walleye is when you find a feeding frenzy on the surface, walleye will typically be hanging out below the feeding fish picking up the scraps and this can occur in any depth of water.”
Norfork Lake's water level is rising very slowly due to rain and minimal power generation. The lake currently sits at 558.20 feet msl. The surface water temperature Tuesday morning was 64-66 degrees and it typically rises some during the day, and then falls back during the evening. The main lake is clear and some of the smaller creeks and coves are stained.
(updated 4-24-2019) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said, “I have the full moon blues. What is normally a great month (April) to fish when the full moon appears has turned into a nightmare. The water temperature was up to 62 degrees and heading up when a cold snap happened and the lake went back down to 52 degrees. Normally the lake should be around 68 degrees and with the full moon the threadfin shad would be spawning and the fish activity would be crazy. Right now with the clear water and cold nights it has taken forever for the lake to get back to 60 degrees. Hopefully that should change this week and we can get the lake temperature back up and let the spawning process begin. I figure is will be another week or so before we will see any type of spawn. The crappie have moved back to deeper water and being caught over the new brush piles but until it warms up they will stay put.
“This past week I fished all week and I thought it was gone to be great after Monday. I pre-fished Bennett's Bayou Monday morning and had fish going crazy around 8 AM. So the next day I took my clients up there and we did not have a bite in 5 hours of fishing. The following morning I took my clients south to Big Creek and we only had 3 bites. They had booked 2 trips so I suggested we fish the evening since the moon was coming up late and it was almost full. We ended up with 10 stripers and hybrids in the boat. Friday and Saturday nights we fished and caught stripers but the each night the bite was slower. Now I'm off a couple of days and will let my son find the morning fish before I start fishing again on Tuesday. The moon will be fading and staying up during the day so that will help on the daytime fishing.”
(updated 5-8-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last weekend that over the previous week Norfork Lake rose 5.2 feet to rest at 8.2 feet above seasonal power pool of 555.04 feet msl and 16.8 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had less generation and reliable 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 well over the top of power pool. Expect more generation in the near future. 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 ruby midge (size 18) suspended 18 inches below a red fox squirrel and copper (size 14). The fishing is better in the morning. Dry Run Creek is fishing well. School is nearly out, and it will be more crowded soon; now is a good time to fish it. 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.
Buffalo National River/Crooked Creek
(updated 5-8-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are high and off-color. The smallmouths are more active with the warm conditions. John’s favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,125.59 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.00 msl).
(updated 5-8-2019) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) says rain and rising lake levels are the story for Beaver Lake. The lake rose 2.5 feet in the last week. This seemed to scatter the fish a bit. There is a mudline approaching Horseshoe Bend area. The lake is in transition on crappie. They have spawned in most areas and the bite has gotten a little harder, but if you move and locate them, you can do well. “We fished the Lost Bridge area and water there became a little less clear but still good,” Jon said. Stripers are good on trolled baits and shad. There are lots of shad back in coves and a shad spawn going on early mornings. Some topwater is happening early – have a pole ready with a topwater bait. Walleye are really good right now. Any main lake points are producing fish from 20-26 inches. “Fish clear water areas. If you do not know how to catch them, give me a call, I can answer any questions,” Jon says. Bass are either spawning or just finished, it depends what part of lake you’re fishing. “We managed some nice brown bass last week in 25 feet of water. Spots mixed in with them also. Robo worms on shakey heads were the bait in green pumpkin red flake,” he said. Catfish are really turning on. It is jug and trotline time. The clear end is offering some good bowfishing right now. “Debris is all over lake; be safe when running boats watch for logs, etc. Be safe and dodge storms and you will do good.”
(updated 5-8-2019) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the clarity is cloudy and the lake has been on the rise, with Monday’s level 3 feet above normal pool. Bream are fair on redworms and crickets. Crappie are through spawning and are getting into the river arms. They’re biting minnows and jigs in 10-12 feet depth. Black bass are late in spawning, it appears, and are still in shallow water. They’ll hit topwater lures as well as Flukes and shallow-running baits. Nothing reported on catfish.
(updated 5-8-2019) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said this week the fishing has been nice. “Even with all the rain we got, that did not seem to slow the bite. Trout bit mostly on PowerBaits, fished with light terminal tackle. Spoons in various colors were also a hit.” This weeks "hot spot" has to be between Spider Creek and Bertrand, he said. The fish just seemed to pile up in there. Further downstream toward Beaver, the Kentucky bass, white bass and even a few walleye managed to make their way to the boat. The spots (Kentucky bass) were caught using various soft plastics, both suspended and horizontal jigging in 10-12 feet of water did the trick. Whites were not scattered too bad once you got on top of them – a U-rig with white grubs and suspended hard baits were all it took to induce a response. Whites were pretty much in the same water column. Walleye are spread out; you have to get out and search for them. If you have a graph, use it. Look around the points and inside bends. Jigging with live minnows, artificial baits, crawlers and worms near or on the bottom should produce some results. “We have some more rain moving in this week. Try to get out before then. Remember, if I can help further, contact me on my fishing Facebook page (Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service) or shoot me a text. Have fun, stay safe and catch some fish!”
(updated 4-24-2019) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) reports that the lake is clear and at a normal level. No surface temperature was reported. Crappie are good on minnows. Crappie are shallow now. Black bass are good for anglers using plastic worms, minnows and live and artificial baits. No reports on catfish. Bream are good on crickets.
Lake Fort Smith
(updated 5-8-2019) Ralph Donnangelo, superintendent at Lake Fort Smith State Park, It appears that bass are still trending well here, but the anglers to gather reports from have been limited at the lake the last several days due to the inclement weather. Heather Hula, a Park Interpreter, says one angler reported the bass fishing is still pretty good with the best bites at sundown. Use topwater lures; the bass appear to be in 2-3 feet depth. No other catches were reported. The clarity and visibility is 2.5 feet and the surface water temperature is 75 degrees.
(updated 5-8-2019) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) reported the lake clarity is stained “but fishable,” while the water level has risen significantly in the past week; it’s now 8 inches above normal. No surface temperature was reported. Crappie are good. They’re favoring chartreuse/black jigs and they’re also interested in minnows. Black bass are poor. Catfishing was good on minnows or cut bait. Bream reports were poor.
(updated 5-8-2019) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) says the lake clarity is turbid while the surface temperature Sunday morning was 51 degrees. The water continues to stay high. The fish continue to bite. Great reports on all species of fish this past week. Fishing is great from a boat or fishing from the shore, she says. Bream are excellent on worms and crickets. Fish the brush piles and stumps. Crappie are excellent on minnows, jigs and Crappie Magnets. Black bass are excellent. Use spinnerbaits and plastic worms or regular worms. Work the brush or the rocky points. Catfishing is excellent with worms, blood bait, stink bait, chicken liver and Catfish Pro. White bass reports are good.
(updated 5-8-2019) Ome Coleman at Lake Poinsett State Park said, “Wow, what a weekend we had. Sold out of minnows and most of our crickets. Lake Poinsett State Park has plenty in stock now and plans to have what you need when you get here. We are here from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. Happy fishing!” While Lake Poinsett is undergoing repairs through early next year, other options in the area include Lake Hogue and Lake Charles. Also, remember the AGFC’s public meeting about the status of the lake on Thursday, May 9, at 6 p.m. at Calvary Baptist Church in Harrisburg.
(updated 5-8-2019) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the clarity is dingy and the water level is up 1 foot above normal. No surface temperature was reported. Bream are fair on crickets. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Black bass are good and the spawn appears over. Catfishing has improved over the week to good; use chicken liver or large minnows.
(updated 4-24-2019) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) said water levels are running at 450 cfs (350 is average) and water clarity is mostly clear. Rain lately has kept river levels up. Be careful wading. Warm temperatures and nice days have had the bugs hatching thick and heavy, caddis and mayflies. The trick the last few weeks has been to tie on a nymph and place a Guppie fly about a foot below. Some trout will be caught on the nymph but the bigger trout will slam the minnow imitation aka Guppie. Hot pink Trout Magnets have been hot. Get them down just off the bottom. They will eat it up.
(updated 5-8-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Spring River is a bit high. This is a great place to wade fish when they are running water on the White and Norfork rivers. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive Woolly Buggers with a bit of flash (size 10), cerise and hot pink San Juan worms (size 10) and Y2Ks (size 10).
(updated 5-8-2019) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said the clarity is muddy and the water level is high. There has been too much rain for fishing, they add, with no reports to pass along.
Arkansas River (Pine Bluff Pool)
(updated 4-24-2019) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team reports that water temperatures are in the mid- to upper 60s. Visibility is between 6-12 inches. The river is flowing strong and the water level was about 1.5-2 feet high on the day of this report (Saturday); expect the level to be variable for a while yet. Use extreme caution when boating on the main channel of the river and avoid it if you can until it calms down. Black bass are biting well and they are working through the spawn; many are already done, but some are still spawning. When the water level is up, fish can be caught in flooded bushes and vegetation with spinnerbaits and jigs worked on the bottom and/or swimming. Square-bill and medium-diving crankbaits and jigs are effective along rocky shorelines at any water level. The shad spawn should begin in a couple weeks, which will draw black bass to rocky shorelines even more, especially first thing in the morning. It's a great time to fish Pine Bluff!
Arkansas River (Pool 2)
(updated 5-8-2019) Austin Davidson, park interpreter at Cane Creek State Park, said the more stable weather in the recent week or so has made for wonderful fishing on Cane Creek Lake. Unfortunately, with large amounts of rain moving in, the fish will become a little more unpredictable. At the moment, crappie are starting to wind down. The few that still bite are biting on shiners, with a little bit more luck on Rosie Reds than normal minnows. Fish in about 6 feet of water, over structure, for your best chances. Bass are beginning to move into a more summer-like pattern. If the water temperature stays warm even after this rain, start throwing frogs onto the bank, hopping them across lily pads, and then down into an open area. Topwater baits will also start to catch the big bass’ attention. Throw loud topwaters that are darker in color, later in the evening for a great effect. Buzzbaits will also start to get strikes during this same time period. Bream are beginning to bite more and more. Fish with a cricket, tied after a sinker so it floats freely, drug almost across the bottom. As the bream start to bed, this technique will be your best bet. At the moment, tight-lining over the side of the boat or dock with your bait hanging straight down and suspending in about 5 feet of water may also prove successful. Catfish will once again become very active with the upcoming rain. Find places where water runs off into the lake from creeks, streams or the shoreline. Fish with strong-smelling bait such as chicken liver, soaked hotdogs or bacon to compete with the other foodstuffs washing into the lake with the rainwater. Fish anywhere between 3-10 feet deep, as the catfish will vary depending on species and how much food is running into the water.
(updated 5-8-2019) Brian Whitson, park interpreter at Lake Chicot State Park (870-265-5480), says catfish are definitely biting on worms and minnows. “We have had several out fishing for crappie and bass, but nothing confirmed on whether there biting or not,” Brian says. Lake level is normal, and not real muddy. Thunderstorms are expected for the next few days, with highest chances on Thursday and Saturday. Temperatures are expected to be a bit warmer midweek with highest in the 80s, lowest in the 70s, but it gradually cools down some throughout the rest of the week.
(updated 5-8-2019) Chris Duren at Lucky’s (870-224-6747) reports that Lake Monticello is has fair to good clarity while the water level is high. The fish are finished spawning and are moving to post-spawn. The black bass bite is good on crankbaits and soft plastics. Fish for them in 5-8 feet depth. No reports on bream, crappie or catfish.
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 5-8-2019) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said the Red River is still rising, and is beginning to back up Little River to the Millwood Dam. With gates closed back, Millwood Lake pool is still rising from thunderstorms over past couple weeks and more torrential downpours are expected mid-week with extended expectations of 5-7 inches more rainfall. As of Monday, lake elevation is now about 2.5 feet above normal pool and rising. USACE made gate changes at the dam Monday and are releasing around 23,000 cfs, which could change by mid-week. The tailwater below the dam is also rising from the Red River backing up, and as of Monday it was is around 252 feet msl. Water temps rose over the past week, and Monday the surface temps ranged 69-75 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. Watch for sudden gate changes and debris, which will increase with current in Little River. Continue to use caution in navigation on Little River and Millwood this week.
Mike says the majority of the largemouth bass spawn is over and most fish are now post-spawn. Mid-morning activity is improving, and best activity noted during the 9 a.m.-1 p.m. hours in the oxbows and pockets away from river current. Excellent reactions continue with chatterbaits, Trick Worms, spinnerbaits, plastic frogs, Bass Assassin Shads, Rat-L-Traps, and swimbaits. 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. Anywhere you find fresh lily pads, new grass and stumps being prime locations. Millwood State Park still has a few spawning bass, but most are beginning to recover from recent spawning activities. The white bass have, for the most part, wrapped up their annual spawning runs up the Little River to Patterson Shoals headwaters above U.S. Highway 71 bridge, and are beginning to school deep in Little River, on the move. Catches in a few hours of 50-70 white bass were typical over the past several weeks at all the feeder creeks and dumps over extending points in Little River between Cossatot River inflow and Patterson Shoals. Rooster Tails, Rocket Shads, CC Redfins, Bomber Crankbaits, Rat-L-Traps, H&H Spinnerbaits and Little Georges have all been working the white bass over really well for the past few weeks upriver. We are seeing the large white bass beginning to move downriver in large schools now, and grouping behind primary and secondary points just out of the heavy current, along Little River between Cemetery Slough and U.S. Highway 71. Crappie were wrapping up their annual spawn cycles around cypress trees a week or so ago, and starting to feed well before the muddy water and thunderstorms hit Millwood over the past week. A few good slabs are still hitting if you can find them. Seems like they are beginning to scatter with all the recent rainfall and lake pool rising with stain and muddy current in Little River. Not a consistent, reproducible pattern over the last couple days in Little River with current discharge over 20,000 cfs. Blue cats and channel cats improved dramatically on the lake side of the dam, along Little Riverm since the USACE opened the gates back up this week and increased current discharge at the dam. Below the dam, we are hearing good reports of spoonbills, flatheads and even a few striped bass coming upriver from the Red River biting very well. Note that clarity and visibility conditions have stained up again from recent thunderstorms and high wind. Navigation is considered cautious along Little River with high discharge rates. Debris remains present in Little River current, so 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 2-3 inches. Little River is muddy current and visibility ranges 0-2 inches, stained conditions, depending on location and current. The oxbow's clarity slightly stained up with most recent lake level rising, and stain is obvious in the mouths of the oxbows. Oxbow clarity ranges 10-12 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.
(updated 5-1-2019) Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) reports that black bass have slowed down. A few bream and crappie are being caught.
Lake Greeson Tailwater (Little Missouri River)
Visit www.littlemissouriflyfishing.com for a daily update on fishing conditions.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Narrows Dam was 549.3 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).
(updated 5-8-2019) Jason Lenderman of JL Guide Service (870-490-0804) said the lake level is almost 2 feet above full pool of 548 feet and falling until the rain this week. Water temps have made it the mid- to the lower 70s. The bass are in their spring and early summer patterns. A lot of bass have moved to the post-spawn patterns and can be caught on Yum Pulse swimbaits and Super Spook Jr’s. 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 have slowed, but can still work around spawning flats. Concentrate on secondary points next to spawning pockets where the fish are moving out of. Crappie are REALLY good lately. They can be caught in brush 15-25 feet deep on minnows and jigs. Catches of 50-100 per day are not uncommon right now.
(updated 4-24-2019) Tamara Lunsford, park superintendent at Daisy State Park near Kirby, said Lake Greeson’s surface water temperature was 62 degrees over the weekend. At 549.2 feet msl over the weekend, Greeson was 2.2 feet above normal pool. The bream are good, with the fish in 2-5 feet depth and going after worms and crickets. They’re around brush piles and stumps. Crappie are good. They are shallow at 2-10 feet depth and around brush piles. Either minnows or jigs will work. Black bass are good. Use spinnerbaits, crankbaits or plastic worms. Bass are in the creeks, as well as around brush and rocky points. Catfish are fair on worms, blood bait and chicken liver. White bass reports were fair.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 407.8 feet msl (full pool: 408.00 feet msl).
(updated 5-8-2019) John Duncan of yoyoguideservice.com at Iron Mountain Marina, said, “Well if you don’t like the weather in Arkansas, stick around it will change. It did, over and over. Water is up, boys. Levels above full pool.” Water level is above 408 feet msl. Water temperature is ranging high 60s to 70s depending on light and water depth. The water has been up and down and it has had a big effect on the spawning fish, at least as far as catching them. The crappie and bass spawns are pretty well wrapped up. Water is still high so the fishing the bass with topwaters, buzzbaits and Whopper Ploppers is a good bet early. Many 10-pound black bass have been reported this year from DeGray (even a 12-plus pounder). Lots of surface activity in the brushy areas. Brushy, Lennox Marcus, Arlie Moore and Shouse Ford areas have the brush and water depths for this type of fishing. Hybrids and whites are beginning to break all over lake. This early they don’t stay up long. You really have to use electronics to stay with fish and locate them. Hybrids have been reported from 12 feet deep to the bottom. Live bait fished above them usually does the trick. You can find them from marker 35 upriver early in the morning. Crappie are pretty well scattered after the spawn. Some brush piles producing fish but most are smaller in size. Trolling Tennessee Shad anywhere from 12-15 feet deep in and around brush piles in the upper areas is producing some nice crappie. Fish as slow as you can and maintain control of you rigs. No report on bream or catfish.
(updated 4-24-2019) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips says crappie are finishing their spawn. The catch has been fair and very weather-dependent. Recent rains has deposited much debris in the water. Boat safely.
De Queen Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 446.34 feet msl (full pool: 437.00 feet msl).
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 536.02 feet msl (full pool: 526.00 feet msl).
White Oak Lake
(updated 5-8-2019) Angler John Gulley, CEO of Lone Sportsman Outfitters, says water rose about 2 feet with the rain in the past week. The water temperature is 68 degrees. Bass are biting on Flukes and Senkos in the shallows, and jigs, Senkos and Chigger craws in deeper water. Bream are biting crickets and redworms consistently in shady areas. Crappie are biting live minnows and pink and white crappie jigs. Catfish are biting nightcrawlers in the early morning and late evening slowly.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District reports the river is 10 feet above normal level, at 80 feet.
(updated 5-1-2019) Sportsman’s One Stop (870-863-7248) in El Dorado said the river is still 15 feet high. A few black bass, bream and catfish are being caught.
(updated 5-8-2019) Sharon at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said fishing is very slow. The water is clear. Largemouth bass are still hitting but the activity is slow. Poor results for all other species.
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro.
(updated 5-8-2019) Steve Donahou at Lake Catherine State Park (501-844-4176) relayed Austin Owens’ report from Lake Catherine State Park Marina. Austin says Lake Catherine’s clarity is dirty while the surface temperature is 64 degrees. The level is normal. Bream are fair on worms and crickets. Crappie are poor. Minnows will still work; fish the brush piles for any bites. Black bass are fair. Plastic worms and Zara Spooks are working. Fish the rocky points. He says the bass are “getting off their beds and heading towards a little deeper water.” Catfishing is fair. Try chicken liver. White bass are biting fair. Austin also says the “lake is dirty from all the rain, causing the fish to not bite as well … rain has affected the fishing.”
Lake Catherine (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro.
(updated 4-24-2019) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch'em All Guide Service, reports that Lake Ouachita is still almost 2 feet into the flood pool. Entergy has scheduled heavy generation and open flood gates below all area dams in an effort to bring lake level back to normal. This process has been ongoing for weeks and has made navigating the Carpenter Dam tailrace very dangerous. Fast flows and muddy water have been the norm with weekly storms creating havoc with water levels all over the state. Very little productive fishing has taken place from the dam to the bridge the past several weeks due to the treacherous conditions. April marks the last month for rainbow trout stocking until November. This season has been the worst on record because of excessive rainfall that began in January and continues through April. Until flows subside considerably, the Carpenter Dam tailrace will remain dangerous to boaters or waders.
(updated 5-8-2019) Jason Baumgartner, park aquarist at Lake Dardanelle State Park (479-890-7495), said since his last report they have experienced frequently rain, heavy at times. Sunshine has followed since the weekend. Heavy rains are forecasted on Wednesday which will likely worsen river conditions. At the lower end, weekly rains are keeping the river muddy with very little visibility. The Big Piney and Illinois Bayou rivers are also muddy, as well as some of the smaller creeks. Driftwood and debris has not been too heavy but could worsen with another heavy rainfall. Surface temperature is 75 degrees. On the upper end, from Spadra to Ozark, tailwater elevation has risen to 355 feet just below flood stage (357 feet) and has held all week. Upriver, release at Ozark L&D 12 reached 180,000 cfs and has not slowed much. It is currently flowing near 152,000 cfs. They have not been generating and are only flowing through the spillway. Downriver, pool elevation does not change as dramatically. Release at Dardanelle L&D 10 climbed to 189,000 cfs last week and has not slowed much either. It is currently flowing 154,000 cfs. They have not been generating and are only flowing through the spillway. With another heavy rain system expected beginning Wednesday, these levels are likely to continue or possibly worsen. As for fishing, no weekend tournaments were hosted at Lake Dardanelle State Park this past week. No fishing reports, either. Current river conditions have likely changed the bite and where fish can be located. Try areas where the water has moved into the banks, timber or fields. Fish will feed on the insects and worms that have been flooded.
(updated 5-8-2019) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) had no report.
(updated 5-1-2019) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas born-and-bred Xpress all-welded aluminum fishing boats in Hot Springs, reports Lake Hamilton’s temperatures in the mid-60s and water clarity of 2 feet or more in most areas. There are still some spawning fish out there on the area lakes, but most are going to be spotted bass (Kentucky bass), as most largemouth bass have already finished up. Early mornings are still the best time of day to put fish in the boat. Topwater baits like frogs, sexy dogs and little Sammys are doing well just off main lake points in the mornings. As the day progresses the fish tend to suspend in 10-20 feet of water and can be targeted with drop-shot rigs, wacky rigs in green pumpkin and crankbaits in shad colors. For those of you out there that have coordination to skip baits under dock, you should have no trouble finding big bass hanging out in the shadows of manmade structures. Jigs and soft plastics that can get under docks are going to be lethal from now until fall. Good luck and Go Greeson!
(updated 4-24-2019) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said white bass and hybrids are finishing their spawn. They will be found as far up major creek arms as a boat can get. Stay in the channels and boat safely.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 365.08 feet msl (normal pool: 345.00 feet msl).
(updated 5-8-2019) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said the water clarity is “pretty clear” and the surface temperature is 70 degrees. The lake level is high, about 14 feet above normal pool. Bream are fair, if maybe slow. They are biting but not in the lake – more bream activity is seen in the shallow areas. Crappie reports are poor/slow. They are biting a little on black/chartreuse jigs. Largemouth bass are good. There were bass in the 10- to 12-pound range caught in a bass tournament last week. War Eagle spinnerbaits are working great along with Ribbit Frogs. Catfishing is good running trotlines with chicken liver or cut shad as bait.
(updated 5-8-2019) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) says there has been too much rain and the water level is high, to go along with muddy clarity. No reports.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 581.5 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 5-8-2019) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) said black bass are very good. Texas-rigged soft plastics, Flukes and topwaters fished in and around pockets or over points are still working at this time. Walleye are still very good. Small minnow-colored crankbaits and spoons have been producing good stringers. Stripers are excellent. Most of these fish are on the west end of the lake and being caught on C-10 Redfins, topwater baits or live bait. Bream are good with reports of fish being caught with grubs and worms in 8-15 feet of water near brush. Crappie are good and being caught with jigs or minnows in 8-12 feet of water near brush. Catfish are good and anglers are having luck with limblines and trotlines using live bait. Water temperature is ranging 66-70 degrees. The clarity is clearing. Lake level was 581.47 feet msl. Contact the Mountain Harbor guides – Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717; Chris Darby, 870-867-7822; and Jerry Bean, 501-282-6104 – for more information.
Blue Mountain Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 411.28 feet msl (full pool: 387.00 feet msl).
(updated 5-1-2019) Professional fishing guide Ronnie Tice (901-687-6800) says this is a great time to be fishing Horseshoe Lake. The crappie are just now spawning. The females have gone to their beds to lay their eggs. Lots of 15-20 catches of crappie in half a day by anglers who are using crankbaits in 15-20 feet of water. Jig fishing, you have to move it around if fishing 6-7 feet. Follow Ronnie on his Facebook page for video updates during the week; he’s out on the lake all the time now with clients but checks in with reports to Facebook. “Fish the trees, check different depths, the females are beginning to spawn. Take your time, catch some hogs, have yourself a good time,” he said, recommending that anglers get some yellow nibblets. Bream, crappie and bass all like those. “Put a bobber on and you’ll catch a limit of bream. Not a few, but a limit.”
(updated 5-1-2019) Natalie Faughn, assistant superintendent at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), says bream and crappie are biting at Bear Creek. Folks are using live bait such as crickets and worms. Biting at shallow depths (4-6 feet), and females look ready to spawn.
(updated 5-1-2019) Natalie Faughn, assistant superintendent at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), there has been little activity to report from Storm Creek.
(updated 5-8-2019) Wil Hafner, education program specialist at the Potlatch Education Center at Cook’s Lake, says that, looking at the river forecast, it does not look like it the river will be dropping before May 18, which would have been the next date to target for the opening of the youth and mobility-impaired fishing Saturdays there. “On the bright side, the flooding and high water should produce great spawning conditions for forage and sportfish,” Wil says. 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.