May 29, 2019
Jim Harris Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine
Weekly Fishing Report
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for May 29, 2019. If there is a body of water you would like included in this report, please email email@example.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
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 5-29-2019) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the clarity is stained and they list the water as normal as of Tuesday. But as of Wednesday morning, the lake was beginning have a backflow of water from Palarm Creek off the Arkansas River. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Crappie are poor; the bite is slow, but there is still a bite. Use small minnows and small jigs. Fish the green cypress trees. Black bass are good on spinnerbaits and plastic worms. Catfishing is good on chicken liver, bream and nightcrawlers.
FLOOD UPDATE: The National Weather Service in Little Rock has issued a Flood Warning for Lake Conway. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission predicts Lake Conway will exceed the flood stage of 266 feet mean sea level (normal pool is 263 feet MSL) by June 5. The lake will continue rising after Wednesday, but the peak level is unknown at this time. Property that has flooded around Lake Conway in the last 10 years is at the greatest risk of flooding this week. That includes property within 6 feet in elevation above the lake's normal pool. Those living in close proximity to Lake Conway should take immediate action to protect themselves and their property from flood damage.
Even though the Arkansas River was expected to crest Monday and begin receding, water will still continue to rise in Palarm Creek for the next several days, pushing more water into Lake Conway. This flood is a lengthy event, with the threat of flooding around Lake Conway possibly extending beyond this week. Lake Conway's water level is rising at a rate of 1 foot every 30 hours,, and was close to 264.4 feet msl, 1.4 feet above normal pool, at 9 a.m. Monday. Central Arkansas could receive 2-4 inches of rain Wednesday through Saturday. Rain runoff from this event cannot be evacuated from the lake because of downstream flooding and could drastically affect the lake's water level. Updates related to the flood threat around Lake Conway will be provided as conditions change and new information becomes available. Questions related to the lake's water level should be directed to the AGFC's Fisheries Office in Mayflower at 501-470-3309.
(updated 5-29-2019) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service said the Army Corps of Engineers is releasing 12 hours of two units of generation daily. This generation pattern is providing small windows of wading opportunities on the upper sections of the river early mornings and on the middle and lower sections later in the day. With the water release of two full units of generation, the river will rise quickly. If wading, be observant of changing water levels and be aware of your surroundings for your safety. This pattern is also providing excellent drift-fishing on all sections. Use sowbugs, emergers, San Juan worms and streamers for fly-fishing. For Trout Magnet fishing use cotton candy and hot pink bodies on chartreuse jigheads. Always check before heading to the Little Red River by calling the Corps of Engineers Little Rock District water data system (501-362-5150) for Greers Ferry Dam water release information or check the Corps of Engineers website (swl-wc.usace.army.mil) for real-time water release and the Southwestern Power Administration website (swpa.gov) to see forecasted generation schedule.
(updated 5-22-2019) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said the river is muddy today after 2 inches of rain Tuesday night. The generation should help clear the water by Friday with the same amount of release that has been scheduled the last several days. This has been about 12 hours of two-unit generation from 8-9 a.m. to about 9 p.m. This schedule should hold for the next several days due to the lower river capacity. Check the Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock App for the scheduled generation.
Fishing has been good by staying ahead of the new generation, with some wading available in the morning hours at Winkley and mid-day hours on the lower river shoals. Early morning wading at the dam until 8-9 a.m. Fish are taking caddis emergers, caddis pupa and midge pupa. Size 12 to 14 emergers and size 18 to 20 midge pupa are good choices.
Greg adds, “This is Memorial Day weekend and many anglers will be on the water, so please be courteous and safe. Be aware that the river will be high and swift when the generated water reaches your area, and plan accordingly. Don’t wade a great distance downstream from your takeout point and have to return upstream when the water rises. Also, if kayaking or canoeing, please plan your trip to stay ahead of the rising water and not risk the increased flow. If caught in the high flow, avoid docks and other obstructions from the upstream side. The water reaches Cow Shoals about 1 hour after generation starts, Winkley Shoal about 3½ hours, and Libby Shoal about 4-4½ hours. Be safe and respect the river. Have a safe and happy Memorial Day.”
Greers Ferry Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 473.49 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 5-29-2019) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 473.44 feet msl and falling. It is 11.4 feet above normal pool of 462.04 feet msl, and the 11 feet should be out of here by July if all works well. Crappie fishing continues to be good all around the lake, real shallow out to 30 feet on jigs, grubs and minnows as well as with trolled crankbaits. Walleye are eating crawlers as well as cranks on points, humps, etc. in 12-25 feet. Black bass are scattered from super shallow out to 30-35 feet and being caught by various methods. A lot is going on with shad spawn, bream spawn etc. Catfish are eating well all over the lake on a gauntlet of baits and ways to fish for them – pick your poison. Bream are getting ready to do their thing from super shallow out to 12-15 feet; try crickets, crawlers, inline spinners, small crankbaits. Hybrid and white bass are eating well and taking advantage of shad and the bream spawn as well. They can be caught between 15-43 feet on spoons, inline spinners, grubs and swimbaits.
Harris Brake Lake
(updated 5-29-2019) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) reported the clarity is semi-clear and the level has returned to normal. Surface water temperature was not reported. Bluegill and redear are good on redworms and crickets. The crappie are now hit and miss; use minnows or jigs. Catfishing remains excellent on trotlines with goldfish. Black bass are fair/hit and miss like the crappie, they report.
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 5-29-2019) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said bass are doing well around brushtops and structure with topwater baits and plastic worms. Bream are doing well on crickets and redworms. They are on their beds around grass and buckbrush. Crappie are being caught in 8-14 feet of water fishing about 6 feet deep mainly with jigs. Catfish are slow but should start picking up any day now. The water level is high by about 2 feet and clarity is good. Water temperature is around 86 degrees “Come see me, Catfish Banks, at the bait shop, off Highway 9.”
(updated 5-29-2019) Larry Walters at Bones Bait Shop (501-354-9900) said the water is clear but it is 2.5 feet high. Surface water temperature is ranging 75-77 degrees. Bream are excellent. Use redworms or crickets. Crappie are good, but you’ll have to fish 15-18 feet deep to catch them. Black bass are good on the points and shoals. Catfish are excellent on worms or chicken liver.
(updated 5-29-2019) WestRock Landing (501-658-5598) on Highway 10 near Roland reports water temperature is in the upper 70s. Largemouth bass are good. Most of them can be found shallow dusk and dawn biting a variety of lures. Some reports coming in this week say the black bass can be find in 8-12 feet. Try using chatterbait, crankbaits, jerkbaits, drop-shots and swimbaits. Cameron Nesterenko and Andrew Wooley caught a stringer of 13.04 pounds to win Tuesday night’s black bass tournament. Greg White and Noah White hooked the Big Bass of 4.73 pounds, while two other bass were caught that weighed over 4.5 pounds. Kentucky bass reports are good. Some spots are reported to be found in 4-8 feet of water outside the grass line dusk and dawn. They can also be found in 12-16 feet off drops and rocky banks. White bass fishing is slow. The run reportedly has slowed down. Some can be found mixed in with the crappie on the flats or near brush piles in 8-12 feet. Try using Rooster Tails, jerkbaits and rattle-type baits. Crappie are fair. Reports of them being found stacking in around 15 feet of water. Some can still be found scattered mixed in with the whites. Try using jigs and minnows. Bream are fair. They can be found up shallow. They are moving into their shallow beds around 8 feet or less. Try using crickets and worms. Catfish remain slow, but there are reports coming in that the channel cats are moving in to shallow water. Try using stink bait, crayfish or worms.
(updated 5-29-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said that even though it has been since May 6 of being stocked with catfish, anglers are still catching them pretty good on fresh chicken livers, size 12 bass minnows and bait shrimp. Bass are being caught on brooder minnows and live crawdads. Crappie on size 6 crappie minnows and on Kalin's 2-inch grubs in Tennessee Shad color. Bream have been doing great off of crickets and redworms.
Bishop Park Ponds
(updated 5-29-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said while smaller bream being report caught out of the back one Lake Charles, the front one, Lake Norma, has been the hot one on better catches of bigger bream on crickets. Some nice bass are being caught, too, off of size 12 bass minnows. A few crappie on size 6 crappie minnows. Catfish been good on live crawdads.
Saline River Access in Benton
(updated 5-29-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said finally the level was just right this past weekend, and a lot of people hit it hard. Bass have been great off of brooder minnows. Crappie are good on size 6 crappie minnows and pink crappie minnows. Catfish have been doing well on pole and trotlines using goldfish, black salties and live crawdads. Bream have been very good off of crickets. A few walleye have been caught off of brooder minnows.
(updated 5-29-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bass have been good on brooder minnows. Some nice crappie were caught off of size12 bass minnows – large-size ones but not big quantities of them. But over the last few years this lake has been improving on the crappie. Big redear bream being caught on crickets fishing on bottom. This lake is one of the best lake for catching good bream. One customer couldn't get into the redear but did manage to catch some huge bluegill on crickets. Another one caught a bream on crickets but everything else he caught was actually catfish. Catfish have been doing well on black salties.
(updated 5-22-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said crappie are fair. Anglers are having the best success with minnows or with Bobby Garland white Slab Slayers and spider rigging. Fish the creek channel of the lake.
(updated 5-22-2019) Hatchet Jack’s in North Little Rock (501-758-4958) says
catfishing is fair. Use chicken liver or chicken hearts.
(updated 5-22-2019) Hatchet Jack’s in North Little Rock (501-758-4958) says black bass are excellent. Use spinnerbaits or buzzbaits. Catfishing is also excellent on nightcrawlers or chicken hearts.
(updated 5-29-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie have been good on No. 6 crappie minnows. Catfish been doing very well off of live crawdads and nightcrawlers. Bream are good on crickets. Bass are good on No. 12 bass minnows and crankbaits.
Arkansas River at Morrilton
(updated 5-22-2019) Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) had no report.
(updated 5-29-2019) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) says fishing is bad. The Arkansas River at major flood stage in this area now, and Ray says to stay off of the river. Water level is high and clarity is muddy. Poor reports across the board he past week for all species.
(updated 5-22-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said catfishing is excellent at Murray Lock and Dam by snagging. White bass are also excellent. Use spoons and twister tails.
(updated 5-22-2019) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) says bream are good on redworms and crickets. Catfish are good using cut bait and shad.
(updated 5-29-2019) Fish ’N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) urges all anglers and boaters to stay off the river. Flow as of Tuesday morning was 350,000 cfs in the Little Rock pool. Clarity is muddy and the water is extremely high.
(updated 5-22-2019) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) says the river is muddy and high. No reports from the Little Rock Pool. However, below the Terry Lock and Dam, bream are good on redworms and crickets, while catfishing is good by snagging, or by bait fishing with cut bait and shad.
(updated 5-29-2019) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) says everyone should stay off the river.
(updated 5-22-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said catfishing is excellent at Murray Lock and Dam by snagging. White bass are also excellent. Use spoons and twister tails.
Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 5-29-2019) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the level is now just a little high, despite the high water from the Arkansas River. The clarity is “pretty clear.” Bream are good on crickets. Crappie are good on minnows. Catfish are good on nightcrawlers.
(updated 5-29-2019) Donna Mulherin at Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said the clarity slightly stained, while water level is normal. Bream are excellent on redworms or crickets. Crappie are good on minnows, jigs and trolling or spider-rigging. Still no reports on black bass. Catfishing is excellent using worms.
(updated 5-29-2019) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) says, “Amazing fishing! White River/Bull Shoals tailwaters remain low; most days during the last two weeks we've seen an average of less than 3,000 cfs (less than one generator from the dam). This past weekend trout bite was phenomenal using everything from shrimp and scented egg baits to Blue Foxes to Thomas Buoyant spoons (1/6-ounce and quarter-ounce, red/gold and blue/silver) to Rapala count downs No. 5 and No. 7 (most success was with the rainbow and brown trout Rapalas) and the Trout Magnet purple grub/worms. So many holiday fishers were able to take home a mess of rainbows for Memorial Day grilling and some celebrated family time.
“While this weekend brought perfect conditions, we know we can't expect that every day. But we can expect our guides to take care of you in all weather and water conditions, help you catch fish every day, teach new techniques to sharpen your fishing skills, and bless you with Arkansas Ozark hospitality. So many areas are being adversely affected with flooding; we're keeping all those folks in our hearts and prayers. Your do the same and we'll keep you posted on water conditions near Cotter.”
(updated 5-29-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Sunday that during the past week they had a three-quarters of an inch of rain, warm temperatures and heavy winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals rose 6.2 feet to rest at 21.1 feet above seasonal power pool of 662 feet msl. This is 11.1 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell 0.4 foot to rest at 0.5 foot above seasonal power pool and 13.7 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose 0.1 foot to rest at 4.5 feet above seasonal power pool and 3.6 feet below the top of flood pool. The White had light generation and some wadable water. Norfork Lake rose 1.5 feet to rest at 14.5 feet above seasonal power pool of 556.75 feet msl and 8.7 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. There is currently light generation and some wadable water. This will end when flooding recedes downstream. Expect heavy generation in the near future. The White has fished well. The hot spot has been 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 pheasant tail nymph with a size 18 root beer midge suspended below it. Use lead to get your flies down).
Remember that the White and Norfork rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soles that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.
John also said, “As many of you know, my wife, Lori Sloas, is the top fly-casting instructor in the area. Together we have been teaching a basic fly-fishing class at Arkansas State University-Mountain Home twice a year for eight years. We have taught fly-fishing at a variety of other venues for over 17 years. The one constant is that Lori has lead the fly-fishing portion of the class. She has also taught fly-casting at the Sowbug Roundup for the past few years by herself.
“I met Lori 19 years ago, when I was teaching a fly-fishing class with my brother, Dan. She was one of our students and I ended up working with her on stream. It was love at first sight. She was a natural and took to casting like a duck to water. Dan was leading the casting portion and worked with her and thought she had promise. We added her to our faculty and had her assist in teaching casting. We ran into the late fly-casting guru, Lefty Kreh, at a fly-fishing show and he took a lot of time to hone her casting skills. Lori and I moved here and began teaching fly-fishing on our own.
“We have had a lot of requests for Lori to teach a fly-casting clinic. The idea is to have it open to beginners and intermediate fly-casters. The beginners will be taught the basic cast to enable them to go fishing with confidence. For intermediate casters, she will evaluate their cast and provide tips on cleaning it up. In addition, she will provide instruction on shooting line, extending your cast and roll casting. All of this will be tailored to the individual student’s needs. She has a simple approach and is not judgmental. Lori works within her students’ abilities and physical limitations.
“Like our other classes, this is being held through the Community Education Department at Arkansas State University-Mountain Home. It will be held on Saturday June 15, at Cotter Big Spring Park on the banks of the beautiful White River behind the ball field from 9 a.m. until noon. Fly rods and reels will be furnished, or you can bring your own. You can register online at http://www.asumh.edu/services/<wbr></wbr>community-education.html. You can also register in person at the Vada Sheid Community Development Center at ASUMH 1600 College St., Mountain Home, AR 72653, or by telephone at (870) 508-6105. There is a modest fee. I think that this clinic will benefit most fly casters or would be fly casters out there.”
(updated 5-29-2019) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the clarity is green from the moss. There are 2-6 generators running – usually two in the morning and as many as six in the afternoon. The trout bite is good, but moss is still a problem for anglers. They report a lot of rainbow trout were caught. A 20-plus-inch trout was hooked last week.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 683.71 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 661.00 feet msl).
(updated 5-22-2019) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said late last week that the lake level was up 16 feet to 677 feet msl. “You’ve got a lot of water in the lake. that makes it fun, and we’re still catching fish.” Water clarity is about 25-30 feet. Down by the dam on a flat day, you can see quite a ways down, he said. So, that means you can fish the lake two different ways: clear and dirty. If you're going to fish in the clear water, he said, there's a good tube bite. You can drag a tube, and what ou want to do is fish the points, the old shoreline. Mark the bush and come back out 10-15 feet and cast. Throw a tube, and a football jigs working in there as well. Carolina rigs are also working. “What I do is I like to go find a little dirtier water. There’s still some late spotters up and there’s some bed fish still, so go ahead and hit them up with the Senko. There’s also a Beaver bite, flipping the bushes, pushing the cover. That’s going to work good in the dirty water.” He notes that there is a lot new water to explore, and if anglers get into the mulch pads, the frog is still working there. Again, it helps if there is a little dirtier water for that approach. “You can catch a few on a frog, and that’s a lot of fun,” he said. “Also if you get up early there's topwater bite that's starting, so in isolated cover you can throw a Whopper Plopper or a Zara Spook. If you're looking to cover some water, you can also throw the Lucky Craft, the Gun Fish, if the water is real clear. That will put a couple of fish in the boat for you.”
Also working, Del said, is when a front is coming through and there are clouds, anglers can do some power fishing with a spinnerbait. The Whopper Plopper is st arting to work there, too. “You kind of want a little bit of wind, a little bit of clouds, a little bit of dirty water. Same thing with the buzzbait.” So, the story is, if you’re on Bull Shoals, Del says, there’s “a bunch of different ways to catch them.” Also, the smallmouth bass and Kentucky bass seem to be out toward the main lake now, while back in the arms and creeks, if you get the “skinny, dirty water,” there seems to be a bit more largemouth action back there.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 571.53 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April 552.00 feet msl; April-September, 555.75 feet msl).
(updated 5-29-2019) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said the Memorial Day holiday weekend had absolutely gorgeous weather here on Lake Norfork. This holiday brings on the summertime lake lovers. This does not mean that the fishing season is over, it just means the fishing patterns will change. Bring the family and enjoy the quiet early morning fishing experience then during the heat of the day enjoy the lake a different way by swimming, tubing, skiing or whatever type of water sport you enjoy.
“I have mainly been fishing for striped bass the last couple of weeks and the bite has been good once I find the fish. The higher water level has altered the timing of the typical fishing patterns, but during the last week, I found that striped and hybrid bass are starting to do what they normally do this time of year. I am starting to find large schools feeding in the dark and they continue feeding until the sun rises above the tree line. Once the sun gets high in the sky, they head out into deeper water and start to go toward the bottom. This morning I was fishing with a couple of my guests and found a huge school of fish feeding on shad. The fish were suspended from the surface down to 40 feet and we were actually sitting in 100+ feet of water. Live bait was working great. As it started to get light, the bait and fish left this main lake area. I then headed partway back into a couple of different creeks and found some good topwater action for hybrids, and then found stripers lying on the bottom in 50 - 60 feet of water, with a few suspended 30 to 40 feet down. My problem this morning was that I was only geared to live bait fish and did not have any of my topwater rods with me, so pitching live bait worked in a pinch. Trolling with umbrella rigs or large swimbaits will work great as long as you get them down to at least 25 feet if not deeper for the suspended fish. Vertical jigging with a 1 ounce spoon will work for the fish on the bottom.
The largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass bite has also been good. Many of this species are hiding out close to or inside of the sunken buck brush early and late in the day. Worms, spinners and swimbaits are all producing some nice fish coming off the shoreline. Topwater baits are also working well early and late in the day. Once the sun gets high in the sky, fish the outside edge of the brush or at the old normal pool shoreline which would be roughly be at 18 - 20 feet. Creature baits, jig & pigs or other plastics worked slowly on the bottom with pick up some big bass. The bite has been very light so watch your line carefully and if you start to see it swim away set the hook.
Norfork Lake water level is slowly rising and currently sits at 571.40 feet msl. The surface water temperature this morning was in the mid- to upper 70s. Most of the main lake, creeks and coves are clear to just slightly stained.
(updated 5-29-2019) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said the shad have yet to do a full spawn in Norfork Lake, but the stripers have decided they could not wait so they have switched their diet to crawdads. They are feeding on crawdads on the flats early then moving to deep water to feed on shad. “We had a cold wet spring with very few days of warm weather and more rain than I care to see again. The lake is now 14.6 feet over the normal summer pool, and we will have that for foreseeable future as all the lakes and rivers are over the banks and they have no place to put the water. The best bite is the first two hours unless we have overcast skies. I have been using gizzard shad ranging from 3-8 inches. Now the water has warmed up. It's now time to keep your fish, the current water temperature is above 76 degrees and going up with the current weather pattern calling for warm weather. The stripers have gone deep ;we are catching stripers from 31-50 feet on downlines. The stripers are being caught in Crystal Cove, Bidwill Point, the east side of the U.S. Highway 62 bridge and the points on the backside of Henderson marina. We are catching stripers in the Big Creek and Brushy Creek on the channel swings in waters ranging from 40-100 feet.
The walleye bite has slowed down. They will be moving to their summer pattern. They will feeding in the 28-32 feet range. The best bite is usually from 8-11 a.m.. You will catch them using bottom bouncers set on the bottom running spinners and nightcrawlers. The high water will alter the crappie bite. Until the water warms they will stay in the deep brush piles, but once it warms up, look for stained water and find some buckbrush. The best method is to dip and cork and minnow into the brush. It's very effective in catching spawning crappie.
(updated 5-29-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Sunday that over the previous week Norfork Lake rose 1.5 feet to rest at 14.5 feet above seasonal power pool of 556.75 feet msl and 8.7 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. There is currently light generation and some wadable water. This will end when flooding recedes downstream. Expect heavy generation in the near future. The Norfork has been slow. Navigate this stream with caution as things have changed a bit during the recent flooding. 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 (#18, #20, #22) like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (#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 (#18) suspended eighteen inches below a red fox squirrel and copper (#14). The fishing is better in the morning. Dry Run Creek is fishing well. With school out, it will be crowded soon. The hot flies have been sowbugs (#14), Y2Ks (#12), various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise #10) and white mop flies.
(updated 5-22-2019) 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 more active with the warm conditions. John’s favorite fly here 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 1,126.23 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.00 msl).
(updated 5-29-2019) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) says Beaver Lake has remained steady at 1,126.45 feet msl, which is 6.5 feet above normal pool level of 1,120 msl. Water temps throughout lake are mid-70s. Beaver is entering its transition into its summer patterns. Stripers are good scattered in all main lake creek arms. Find the bait and the fish will not be far behind. Look in Big Clifty, Little Clifty, Rambo and Indian Creek. Look early and late. Memorial Day boat traffic did slow the bite by midday. Walleye are set up on flats adjacent to main river channel. Look for them in 25-35 feet of water. They are doing well on crawler harnesses and with snap weights trolling an assortment of crankbaits. Crappie are scattered on boat docks and also suspending at 15 feet of water in main lake areas. Spider-rigging pulling or dragging cranks will work a Bandit 300 is a good starting point. Crappie are good. Bream are on fire and starting to spawn. Bream are a great way to introduce new fisherman to the sport! And they are good-eating fish and provide a lot of action. There is an early-morning/late-afternoon Fluke and spinnerbait bite going on for bass pitch at flooded brush. Spots are setting up on points mixed in with smallies. Ned rigs and shaky heads working. Catfish are good on any method. Lots of debris, keep your eyes open, be careful if you’re running at night.
(updated 5-29-2019) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the clarity is “pretty clear.” Water level is high. Bream are excellent on worms and crickets. Crappie are fair during the daytime. Trolling and spider-rigging are the way to go. Black bass are excellent. Use spinnerbaits, soft plastic worms and chatterbaits. Catfishing is excellent on trotlines and limblines with nightcrawlers. Walleye are being caught toward the dam on nightcrawler harnesses.
(updated 5-29-2019) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said, “I hope everyone enjoyed the Memorial Day weekend and I hope everyone was safe and got a chance to fish. Before I get started, I would like to note some observations and suggestions from this past weekend. First, if you see a kayaker or an anchored vessel, slow your speed. Not only can your wake cause a kayaker to overturn, but folks like me who have shallow water anchor systems, the wake will cause damage to equipment. Now that the ‘crowd’ has cleared the river, I have seen quite a few sunken beer cans in the river. It truly disturbs me, not only as a guide, but as a person, to see our river treated in such a fashion. I encourage all individuals who witness another littering in our river, to report that activity to the AGFC. Do not get into a confrontation, from a law enforcement perspective, a good witness builds a great case. If possible, I know it is not your responsibility, but maybe ask to dispose of the trash for them. Our goal is conservation and protecting our waterways the best we can. I personally attached a nail to a 10 foot PVC pole and retrieved 10 cans.
“Also, I want to thank AGFC Officer Kelly and her cadet for working the river this weekend. During my contact, they both exceeded the standards of professionalism and courtesy. I know what it is like to wear a badge and how difficult the job can be. Their professional presence was just outstanding, in my opinion.
“Now on to the fishing! Fishing has been great, that's all there is to it. The trout have been hitting on various PowerBaits fished with light terminal tackle. Spoons once again have been doing the job as well. The ‘hot spot’ has been between Parker Bottoms and Bertrand Access. A few white bass were schooled up near Spider Creek for a couple days. The bass were hitting on X-Raps, U-rigs and soft plastics suspended. Spotted bass were caught between Beaver and Holiday Island – fishing the coves, structure and chunk rock produced the best bite. Suspended hard baits and tube jigs seemed to be the bait of choice.
“Folks! The walleye are still in the river, but spread out. You have to get out and look for them, but they are there. I have caught five this past week in different areas. Try fishing points, bends and deep pockets during the day. Jigging live minnows, trolling a crawler harness or suspended hard bait, was the preferred method. Water temperatures have been in the low 50s from Houseman, dipping into the mid to upper 40s near the Highway 62 bridge. We have some rain forecasted this week, but do not let that keep you from enjoying the bite. Like always, feel free to contact me on my fishing Facebook page (Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service) or send me a text, if you have any further questions. Have fun, be safe and catch some fish.”
(updated 5-15-2019) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) reports a clear clarity to the water and a normal level. Bream are good on worms and crickets. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Black bass are good using plastic worms and live bait. Catfishing is good.
Lake Fort Smith
(updated 5-15-2019) Ralph Donnangelo, superintendent at Lake Fort Smith State Park, said that he noticed two great fishing success indicators for this past week: a nearly full parking lot at the boat ramp area most days, and only two surveys from anglers returned. “Yep – fishing is becoming so good here that NOBODY is talking about it for fear of losing their prized “honey hole,” Ralph says. “Suffice to say – we are having some successes here.” Park interpreter Heather Hula reported to Ralph that the bite is on and the fish are moving up into the shallow water and the newly submerged vegetation from all the recent rainfall. Clarity and visibility are 2.5 feet, and surface temperature is 73 degrees. Bream are good and are in 2 feet of water. They’ll generally bite crickets or worms. Crappie are in 2-4 feet depth. Black bass are excellent and will bite plastic worms fished in 2-4 feet depth. Fish around brush piles, stumps or rocky points. White bass are excellent in 2 feet depth. Use worms and focus around the stumps and brush piles. No reports on catfish.
(updated 5-29-2019) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) reported the clarity as stained and the water level is “just a little high.” Bream are good on redworms. Crappie are good using chartreuse/black jigs and on minnows. Largemouth bass are excellent. White/chartreuse-colored baits are working well among spinnerbaits, Flukes and chatterbaits. Catfish are good on stink bait, chicken liver, catfish bait and punch bait.
(updated 5-29-2019) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) says the lake remains murky and the level is stil high. Surface temperature early Sunday was 69 degrees. Fishing has picked up this week, she said, with lots of reports on catfish biting anything from rice hulls to spinnerbaits and worms. Some nice-size crappie were caught this past week, too. Reports of good-size bream and crappie. Fishing continues to be good from both the shoreline or from a boat. Bream are excellent on worms and crickets, as well as Bobby Garland Baby Shad in chartreuse and black pepper. Fish those brush piles, stumps and rocky points. Crappie are excellent using minnows, jigs, Mr. Crappie in yellow and black-red colors, crickets and worms. They’re hanging around the brush piles, stumps and points. Black bass are excellent on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and plastic worms. Catfishing is excellent using worms, blood bait, stink bait, chicken liver and Catfish Pro.
(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 5-29-2019) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water clarity is clear and the surface temperature is in the low 80s. Water level is normal. Bream are good on worms and crickets. Crappie are fair; fishing for crappie is done now unless you’re willing to fish deep, they report. Bass are good; use big minnows. Catfishing is good using big minnows late at night.
(updated 5-15-2019) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) said water levels are at 470 cfs (350 average) at the spring and water clarity has had partly cloudy. The river is looking good this week. Water levels have been above normal, so be safe wading. The fish have been biting well down deep. The use of split shot about a foot above the fly will help to get closer to the bottom of the river. Olive Woolly Buggers have been hot this week with a nymph dropper; a lot of nymphs are hatching throughout the day. Black and orange Trout Magnets have been hot. It’s all about getting down to the bottom where the fish are. Don’t be afraid to use extra spit shot.
(updated 5-29-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Spring River is a fishing well. This is a great place to wade fish when they are running water on the White and Norfork rivers. Canoe season is here and the river can be crowded especially on the weekends. 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 5-29-2019) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) had no reports.
Arkansas River (Pine Bluff Pool)
(updated 5-29-2019) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team said all ramps are flooded. Stay off the river until further notice.
Arkansas River (Pool 2)
(updated 5-29-2019) Austin Davidson, park interpreter at Cane Creek State Park, said that luckily all the flooding happening in nearby towns hasn’t affected Cane Creek Lake. With the weather staying warm and stable for the past week the fishing is good! Crappie are being found in deeper holes toward the middle of the lake, in cool water. Fish a shiner anywhere from 6-10 feet deep over structure to coax the hungry ones into biting. Bass are schooling at the moment looking for food. Fish suspended at 10 feet with a soft plastic in pumpkinseed color or a square-billed crank or Rat-L-Trap in chartreuse or Firetiger. People fishing for crappie are ending up catching bass, so they’re also biting shiners. Bream are tearing it up, and it is no doubt that the bream bite is on. They’re not sitting on beds at the moment, but are biting aggressively due to warm water temperatures. Fish crickets tied loose on the end of your line, under a sinker so that they bounce along the bottom. Fish away from the boat as the water is relatively clear right now and it might spook the fish, although they’re aggressive enough that they’ll come right back. The exterior fishing pier under logs and around the brush pile to the front of the pier seem to be a hot spot for anybody looking to do some bank fishing. Catfish, as always, are Cane Creek State Park’s constant. Big fish are on the move right now looking for shelter as the water warms. Fish on the bottom anywhere from 8-10 feet, which seems to be a hot zone for all fish species right now. Flatheads are becoming more active, so shiners and small bream (under 4 inches) attached to your pole or trotline will attract the big boys. Blue and channel cats will be attracted to pungent smelling bait. Multiple reports of chicken soaked in WD-40 are coming in as a hot bait right now. Be sure once the chicken is done soaking, to soak up any excess wd-40, so that it does not spread into the water. Chunks of Ivory-brand soap are also being used with some degree of success. Another good trick is to use to use chunks of a cheap, soft dogfood. Take a coffee can full and chum the water before you begin fishing. Then hook a piece of the same dogfood to your line and let it sink. You’ll start a feeding frenzy and increase your chances of hooking your limit.
(updated 5-22-2019) Brian Whitson, park interpreter at Lake Chicot State Park (870-265-5480), says catfish are biting on worms and stink bait. Lake level is going down, but the recent storms moving in have made the lake very rough and muddy the last couple of days. The forecast is showing a chance of storms Wednesday and then minor precipitation expected throughout 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 260.07 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 259.20 msl).
(updated 5-29-2019) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service says mid-morning activity for largemouth bass continues improving, and early morning activity continues improving in the oxbows and pockets away from river current. Excellent reactions have been seen using buzzbaits, plastic frogs, Bass Assassin Shads, Rat-L-Traps and jigs. 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. The further away from Little River muddy current seems to find the best largemouth activity. Anywhere you find fresh lily pads, new grass and stumps will be prime locations. The white bass disappeared with all the recent muddy inflow and high current discharge. Crappie are post-spawn, and there has been nothing consistent to report with all the muddy current over the past few days in Little River with current discharge over 15,000 cfs. Blue catfish and channel cats improved dramatically on the lake side of the dam, along Little River, 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 and biting very well.
(updated 5-22-2019) Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) reports that bass are biting well on soft plastics. A few bream are being caught.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Narrows Dam was 546.20 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).
(updated 5-29-2019) Tamara Lunsford, park superintendent at Daisy State Park near Kirby, said Lake Greeson’s surface water temperature Monday was 85 degrees. The level was at normal full pool, 548 feet. Bream are good, with the fish at 5 feet depth and biting worms and crickets. Crappie are excellent. They are in 20 feet depth of water and biting minnows and jigs. Work the bait around the brush piles or stumps. Black bass are excellent. Reports of bass in 10-20 feet of water and hitting spinnerbaits, crankbaits, plastic worms and topwater lures. Set up near brush or the rocky points nd throw topwaters for best success. Catfish are good on the bottom using worms, blood bait and stink bait. White bass reports were fair.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 406.48 feet msl (full pool: 408.00 feet msl).
(updated 5-29-2019) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips says crappie are still on the brush piles 6-14 feet deep. White bass and hybrid bass are schooling randomly.
(updated 5-22-2019) John Duncan of yoyoguideservice.com at Iron Mountain Marina, said water level is at 408.6 feet msl and water temperature ranges from the mid-70s and up. Fishing reports have been great. Crappie have moved back to the brush piles and are being caught from 15 feet to 6 feet deep. Minnows and jigs have both been producing. Reports are good from Point Cedar to Arlie Moore. Black bass reports are good, also. Spinnerbaits and topwaters over the brush have been producing well. Brushy and Shouse Ford are good areas for black bass. White bass and hybrids are showing up from Caddo Bend to Point Cedar. This is early in their surfacing season, so the key is to find out what they will bite. Spoons, jigs and live bait choices are pillars in hybrid fishing … And then it rained. No reports on catfish or bream at this time. Fish early, use your electronics and be safe.
De Queen Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 437.40 feet msl (full pool: 437.00 feet msl).
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 530.68 feet msl (full pool: 526.00 feet msl).
White Oak Lake
(updated 5-15-2019) Angler John Gulley, CEO of Lone Sportsman Outfitters, says the water clarity is murky and the surface temperature is 71 degrees. The lake level is 3 feet above normal. Bass are biting Flukes, Senkos, Rat-L-Traps and topwater chatterbaits. Crappie are biting blue and white jigs, along with pink and green. Bream are biting redworms and crickets consistently. Catfish are biting nightcrawlers slowly, as well as bream and pumpkinseed-color Senkos.
(updated 5-22-2019) Sportsman’s One Stop (870-863-7248) in El Dorado said the water is still high by the bream are biting well in the woods. Bass are slow. A few catfish are being caught.
(updated 5-29-2019) Sharon at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said Lucky Landing access is blocked off from the flood waters coming in up that area and she had no reports. Lake Atkins itself could rise in coming days from backed up flood waters.
(updated 5-29-2019) Steve Donahou at Lake Catherine State Park (501-844-4176) said the clarity is improving and surface temperature is 72.5 degrees. Water level is normal. The bream bite is excellent. The fish are at 5-6 feet depth and are biting worms and crickets. Fish around the brush piles. Crappie reports are poor. Black bass are good. Use plastic worms mainly, but lizards, Brush Hogs and creature baits will work, too. Fish around the brush and rocky points. Catfishing is good on worms, stink bait and chicken liver. White bass reports are good with blade baits, spoons, small topwater rigs and shad swimbaits all working well.
Lake Catherine (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro.
(updated 5-29-2019) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch'em All Guide Service, reports that Lake Ouachita has finally fallen out of flood pool after weeks of flood waters. Carpenter Dam has been unsafe to navigate for weeks, but the rainbow trout population is present with all stocking completed until mid-November. These fish are virtually untouched because of the recent conditions and can be caught as soon as this weekend. Boaters can anchor in areas holding good numbers of trout and have success casting Rooster Tails in white or brown around rock structure and sandbars. The month of May brings huge numbers of shad toward the dam to spawn. Trout will feed heavily on these baitfish and will strike artificial lures that imitate live minnows. Small jigs in gray or white will also work well in the same areas in slack or current situations. Trolling against the current with shallow-running crankbaits imitating shad or crawfish will attract larger trout that seek bigger prey. Bank fishermen should take advantage of slack water periods by presenting trout with nightcrawlers and redworms fished just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Waxworms and mealworms used in the same manner will allow anglers to catch limits of rainbows that are actively searching for food. Live bait presentations cannot be over emphasized because trout become much more wary as their environment warms and the summer heat sets in. June brings white bass by the thousands into the Carpenter Dam tailrace to begin the spawn. Crankbaits, jerkbaits, spinnerbaits and jig presentations will all draw strikes from these temperate bass from the dam to the bridge as they feed on shad for months. Hybrid bass also run alongside these fish and will feed on the same prey. Stripers always migrate into the area in the summer months in search of food and cooler temperatures. Balloon rigs with gizzard shad give anglers a good chance to hook a big striper, but artificial lures such as Super Spooks and Alabama rigs should not be overlooked. Strong rods and lines are recommended for these predator fish that possess great power and are often in the 20- to 40-pound range. Anyone navigating Lake Catherine should always wear a life jacket and be aware of the generation schedules. All park rules and regulations must be followed in the Carpenter Dam tailrace.
(updated 5-29-2019) Jason Baumgartner, park aquarist at Lake Dardanelle State Park (479-890-7495), said they have experienced mostly sunshine and breezy winds. A strong storm system was forecasted to arrive on Tuesday night and Wednesday before sunshine returns for the weekend. There is no visibility in the lake. Surface temperature is 78 degrees. Jason urges, “STAY OFF THE WATER. Boating and swimming on ANY part of the river are bad decisions. Do not risk the lives of rescuers. The Arkansas River is at historic levels and still rising. Boat ramps inside Lake Dardanelle State Park are closed until further notice. As of Tuesday the river at Ozark Lock & Dam 12 is forecast to crest at 377 feet elevation on Thursday (May 30). The lock and dam went “open river” for the first time ever on Sunday, May 26. Currently, the tailwater elevation is 374 feet and rising which is 19 feet above flood stage (357 feet). Release at Ozark L&D 12 has been swiftly increasing and is currently 547,000 cfs. Downriver, pool elevation near Lake Dardanelle State Park has risen some. The river here is at 43 feet, which is 11 feet above flood stage (32 feet). The forecasted crest is at 45.5 feet on Friday, May 31st (This is not an elevation level like Ozark). The river flow is very dangerous. Release is currently 520,000 cfs and rising. If you fish, Jason says, FISH FROM THE BANK ONLY. Tournaments at Lake Dardanelle State Park have been cancelled or rescheduled due to dangerous river conditions. No fishing report.
(updated 5-22-2019) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas born-and-bred Xpress all-welded aluminum fishing boats in Hot Springs, reports that water temps are hovering in the low to mid-70s depending on the day. Water clarity is fair but not great, and visibility is only about 2-3 feet. Bass are doing well on topwater baits like Whopper Ploppers and toads early in the day and late in the day. Worms are also doing well for the bass, Texas-rigged in black and plum colors. Crappie have been fair, according to the few folks who have gone after them. Rain, please go away! Good luck and GoGreeson!
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 367.33 feet msl (normal pool: 345.00 feet msl).
(updated 5-29-2019) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said the water clarity is clear and the water level is normal. Bream are fair on redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Bass are good, with spinnerbaits (Gold Eagle Leaf spinnerbait hooked a 16-pounder last week) working best. Catfishing is excellent using shrimp, bass minnows and live bream on yo-yos.
(updated 5-22-2019) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said conditions for fishing are bad, with muddy clarity and high water. No reports.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 577.72 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 5-22-2019) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) said black bass are still very good. 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 nightcrawlers have been producing good stringers. Stripers are very good. 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 still good with reports of fish being caught with grubs and worms in 8-15 feet of water near brush. Crappie are very 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 70-74 degrees and the clarity is clearing. Lake level is 581.15 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 407.00 feet msl (full pool: 387.00 feet msl).
(update 5-15-2019) Angler Dane Goodwin said the lake is 23 feet high “and needless to say fishing is about nonexistent.”
(updated 5-29-2019) Professional fishing guide Ronnie Tice (901-687-6800) says the lake clarity is clear and the surface temperature is 72 degrees. As of Tuesday, he says, the oxbow lake is a couple of feet high. Bream are excellent on redworms and crickets. Work your bait around the cypress trees and lily pads. Crappie also are excellent. You’ll find them suspended 10-12 feet dep in 30 feet of water. Try trolling or fishing under piers and around the lily pads. Black bass are excellent. Plastic worms are working well. Work your bait around the piers and around trees on islands. Catfishing is excellent with the best action around the piers in 4-8 feet depth. Check out Ronnie’s Facebook page for the latest reports.
(updated 5-22-2019) Natalie Faughn, assistant superintendent at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), says crappie and bream are up and biting. Live bait (mainly crickets) have been bringing them in. Bream are on beds, while crappie are biting in shallow water (4-5 feet). Bass are feeding on worms and artificial jigs.
(updated 5-22-2019) Natalie Faughn, assistant superintendent at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), there Storm Creek activity is slow. Some catfish and bass are biting, but water is still muddy and high.
(updated 5-29-2019) Check back in this space or call the center at 870-241-3373 for any updates on fishing Cook’s Lake. 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.