June 12, 2019
Jim Harris Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s weekly fishing report for June 12 2019. If there is a body of water youl 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. Note: msl = mean sea level; cfs = cubic feet per second.
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. Geoloical 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 herbicie – 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 through March 1, 2020. For more information, please contact the AGFC Fisheries Office in Mayflower at (877) 470-3309.
(updated 6-12-2019) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the lake is mostly murky but it is clear in spots. The level is high but is going back down. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair; use crappie minnows or small jigs. Black bass are good on plastic worms, buzzbaits and bass minnows. Catfishing is good with worms, nightcrawlers, dough bait and live bait.
(updated 6-12-2019) Hatchet Jack’s in Crystal Hill (501-758-4958) reports that the bream bite is good. Redworms or crickets will work. Also, catfishing is good on the limblines.
Little Red River
(updated 6-12-2019) 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 midges, sowbugs, emergers, blue-winged olives and streamers for fly-fishing. For Trout Magnet fishing, go with 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 6-12-2019) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said the river is clear with two-unit generation from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wading is available at the dam early and Winkley Shoal until about 1:30 p.m. The bite has been good drifting ahead of the new generation using mayfly nymphs, emergers and midge pupa. Check the generation each day because the starting time changes during the week. Remember that you have about 3½ hours at Winkley Shoal before the new water arrives from the start time.
Greg adds that there is a blue-winged olive hatch occurring in the afternoon.
Greers Ferry Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 474.97 feet msl (normal conservation pool 461.44 feet msl).
(updated 6-12-2019) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 474.96 feet msl and staying just about the same as it’s been lately. It is 12.42 feet above normal pool of 462.54 feet msl. The level will start falling soon, but more rain is in forecasts, so we will see. The walleye are eating if you can find them, as they are roaming a lot. Try crankbaits and/or drag crawlers in 15-25 feet of water. Crappie are eating during the day and night. They are biting at 18-30 feet deep on minnows and jigs. Bream will spawn during this moon. They can be caught with crawlers and crickets, small crankbaits and inline spinners from super shallow out to 15 feet. Catfish are eating, just in different places than usual with the high water. Flatheads will spawn this month. Your usual baits will work for all three species. Black bass are all over the place in bushes, chasing shad in open water and in between. A laundry lists of baits will work from super shallow out to 43 feet. Hybrid and white bass fishing and catching is super good all over the lake; try and not crowd people, as the fish are everywhere eating shad on flats. Use your electronics and find the shad, and fish will be close. It’s a great month to catch big hybrids on swimbaits, spoons and inline spinners, and some topwater action is going on, from 25 feet out to 45 feet.
Harris Brake Lake
(updated 6-12-2019) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) says the lake is pretty clear while the surface water temperature is 79.7 degrees. Water level is normal. Bream are good on worms and crickets. Crappie are good and biting minnows and jigs. Black bass are good on crankbaits and topwater lures. Catfishing is good, with goldfish working best.
NOTICE: AGFC employees and contractors using airboats will be conducting foliar applications of EPA-approved herbicie – 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 asks adjacent landowners to NOT irrigate water from Lake Conway for lawn or garden use through March 1, 2020. For more 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 the 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 the clarity is good. Water temperature is around 86 degrees. “Come see me, Catfish Banks, at the bait shop, off Highway 9.”
(update 6-12-2019) Larry Walters at Bones Bait Shop (501-354-9900) said the lake is clear and is slightly high. Larry said he’d rate things about an 8 or 9 on a 10-point scale for fishing. Surface temperature is 78 degrees. The bream bite is good, but they are not bedded. They are biting redworms and crickets. Crappie are excellent. An angler on Tuesday morning caught 14 crappie, Larry reported. They are in 12-15 feet depth and are biting minnows and jigs. Work the brush piles for best results. Black bass are good. Shallow crankbaits are working. Fish the rocky poins. Catfishing is good on worms and chicken livers.
(updated 6-12-2019) Hatchet Jack’s in Crystal Hill (501-758-4948) said bream are good on redworms and crickets. Black bass are biting well. Catfishing is good using limblines.
(updated 6-12-2019) 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 at dusk and dawn biting a variety of lures. Some reports have come in this week saying the black bass can be find in 8-12 feet and 16-20 feet. Try using chatterbaits, crankbaits, jerkbaits, drop-shots and swimbaits. Lee Brizzolara and Wes Lowder caught 14 pounds of bass, with a Big Bass of 4.77 pounds, to win Tuesday night’s Black Bass Tournament, edging Keeton Blaylock and Kyle Wise, who had a 13.49-pound stringer. The Kentucky bass bite at Maumelle is good. Some reports have been received of them being found in 10-15 feet of water outside the grass line at dusk and dawn. They can also be found in 18-22 feet off drops and rocky banks. White bass are slow. Reports continue of the run slowing down. Some whites 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-style baits. Crappie are fair. Reports of them being found stacking in and around brush 15-18 feet of water. Some can still be found scattered mixed in with the whites. Try using jigs and minnows. Bream are good. They can be found up shallow. They are moving into their shallow beds around 8 feet or less. Try using crickets and worms. Catfish are slow. Reports coming in that the channel cats are moving in to shallow water. Try using stink bait, crayfish or worms.
(updated 6-12-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said several customers are still catching catfish on chicken livers, nightcrawlers and minnows. Bream are biting crickets and worms. Fish around the lake and you'll find more big ones. Crappie have been slow this week and only a few report catches around the dock on No. 6 minnows. Bass have been biting early in the mornings on live minnows, topwater baits, floating worms and Carolina-rigged lizards.
Bishop Park Ponds
(updated 6-12-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bream fishing has been good for some customers in both ponds. Crickets and redworms have been working well fished close to the bottom in 3-5 feet of water. Catfish are being caught on the crickets and worms as well as chicken livers and bait shrimp. Bass have been more active in the early mornings and hitting topwater baits, live minnows and floating worms. Crappie are biting fair to good on No. 6 minnows, but most of them are small to only fair sized.
Saline River Access in Benton
(updated 6-12-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bass fishing is good on the river right now. Minnows, green pumpkin, watermelon seed, pumpkin, watermelon/red or one of many other colors of lizards, worms or Brush Hogs will work, as will small spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfish are biting black salties and goldfish on trotlines and limblines and nightcrawlers, chicken livers and minnows tight-lining with rod and reel. Crappie are biting fair on No. 6 minnows and a few different jigs fished close to brush and logs in deep pools and in backwaters. Walleye fishing has slowed and Lisa has had no reports of catches this week. Bream fishing can be tons of fun on the river if you just want to catch fish. Use crickets or worms on a small hook and light line. You'll catch lots of fish and a good one now and then. Gar are also good for a fun fight, but you'll want heavier tackle and strong line, and No. 12 minnows work well for bait. Fish hard. Have fun. Be safe. Leave the banks and waters clean. Please.
(updated 6-12-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bream fishing is good. Crickets and redworms are the live baits to use. Try a Rock Hopper if you want to catch them on a jig or fly-type bait. Fish around docks, walls and anything in the water. Look for beds in shallow coves but don't forget to fish around some deep structure, too. Get your bait close to the bottom for the bigger ones. Bass are biting fair at night and early in the morning. Topwater baits, buzzbaits, floating worms and shallow-running crankbaits will work and a good live minnows will, too. Catfish are biting chicken livers, minnows, nightcrawlers and goldfish. Crappie are slow to bite anything this week on Norrell.
(updated 6-12-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) had no report.
(updated 6-12-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) had no report.
(updated 6-12-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said that bream are biting now; anglers have had good reports and are using redworms and crickets. Black bass are biting as well, with good reports coming in. Spinnerbaits and crankbaits are getting action.
(updated 6-12-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish and bream are what she’s been hearing about Winona the last few days. Both have been biting redworms, nightcrawlers and crickets as customers fish for bream. Bass fishing has been "OK," as one customers says. He reported catching several fish but only a couple of good ones. After trying several baits, a floating red/black core Trick Worm worked best. Crappie fishing has been slow and some that usually catch them here have only caught five or six on recent trips.
Arkansas River at Morrilton
(updated 6-12-2019) Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) had no reports.
Arkansas River (Cadron Pool)
Little Maumelle River
(updated 6-12-2019) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the reports were poor for all species the past week. The water there is 5 feet high and the clarity is muddy.
Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)
(updated 6-12-2019) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) says that the backwaters are worth checking out now; stay out of the main channel of the river. In those backwaters, Tony Zimmerman hears that the bream bite is good on redworms and crickets. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs and are hanging around brush piles. Black bass are good; use crankbaits or topwater baits, and work the brush. Catfishing is good with worms or chicken livers.
(updated 6-12-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) had no report.
Arkansas River (Little Rock Pool)
(updated 6-12-2019) Fish ‘N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) continues to urge all anglers and boaters to continue to stay off the river until the flooding conditions (very fast moving water) subside.
(updated 6-12-2019) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) says that anglers should stay off the main river, but they can find good fishing in the backwaters away from the quick current. The water remains high but as of Tuesday morning it was down 8 feet. The clarity is muddy.
(updated 6-12-2019) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) says it’s best everyone continue to stay off the river.
(updated 6-12-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) has no reports.
Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 6-12-2019) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water level remains high and clarity is cloudy. The bream bite remained good the past week; use crickets. Crappie are biting fair on minnows and jigs. Black bass are good on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfish are good; fish a trotline with skipjack.
(updated 6-12-2019) Donna Mulherin at Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said the clarity remains a little stained and water level is normal. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows, jigs, trolling and spider-rigging. Black bass are good, but nobody is sharing any bait information. Catfishing is good with worms.
(updated 6-12-2019) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) says, “What is highly contagious and usually harmless, and happens when you're exposed to great fishing? Trout Fever! We've got stories (and pictures to back them up) of many trophy trout caught and released in the past two weeks, plus great rainbows, browns and cutthroats that may not be considered trophy size but that fight for the title nonetheless.” Water releases have remained steady at just under one unit of water issued from Bull Shoals Dam (approximately 2,400 cfs) for most of each day, with a rise in the late afternoon and early evening. “We expect major water releases coming soon, and can't wait to fish that big water with oversized stick baits, but we're taking advantage of low water with our shrimp and scented egg baits right now. This past week, we found success with jigs (brown/orange, ginger/orange and tri-olive), quarter-ounce Little Cleos, both gold and silver and minnows for the browns. Come visit the river and catch the fever.”
(updated 6-12-2019) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the clarity is clear and there are 1-3 generators running now. The river level is low. The trout bite is excellent. Brown trout are biting 2-inch long sculpins and stick baits. Rainbows are outstanding and are getting bigger and bigger.
(updated 6-12-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last Friday that during the previous week they had an inch and a half of rain, warm temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals rose 0.5 foot to rest at 22.4 feet above seasonal power pool of 662 feet msl. This is 10.6 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell 0.3 feet to rest at seasonal power pool and 14 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose 1.6 feet to rest at 6.6 feet above seasonal power pool and 2 feet below the top of flood pool. The White had light generation and some wadable water. Norfork Lake rose 1.7 feet to rest at 16.2 feet above seasonal power pool of 556.75 feet msl and 7 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had less generation and reliable wadable water every day. 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, with 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 ruby midge suspended below it. Use lead to get your flies down.)
John also said, “Last week I took Jack, a retired ophthalmologist, fishing. Jack spends the spring and fall here. He recently took the fly-fishing class that my wife, Lori, and I teach twice a year. Whenever he has friends or family visit, he hires me to take them out in the boat. Last week his old friend, John, was in town and we fished the White.
“We met at McDonald’s and drove over to Rim Shoals. We arrived a bit after 7:30 a.m. It was still cool but the weather forecast was for sunny conditions and a high temperature of 87 degrees. There was a heavy fog on the river that kept things cool until mid-morning. The fog was so dense that navigation was difficult, so I kept the speed down until it burned off. The water was pretty low, 2,750 cfs, or less than one full generator. This water level fishes well and was scheduled to last all day.
“We began the day with a casting class. John had never fly-fished and I taught him the basics, as quickly as I could, so that we could get on the water. We got in the boat and began fishing. Jack is an experienced fly-fisher, but John was the first one to hook and land a trout. In fact, he landed three fish before Jack got into the game. John was a natural. I was getting a bit concerned because Jack was not catching trout. They were rigged exactly the same. They had the same rod, reel, fly line, leader, tippet, flies (a pheasant tail nymph size 14 with a brown midge size 18 dropper), split shot and strike indicator. They were set at the same depth and drifting over the same water. Why was John catching trout while Jack wasn’t?
“I thought that it was a fluke and I was right. All of a sudden Jack began catching trout and quickly caught up with John. It was explained by my theory that the catching occurs in streaks. This is when one angler catches a few and then the other catches a few. Over time it generally evens out. The trick is to rely on basic strategy. You should concentrate on achieving a perfect drag-free drift and to set the hook quickly when you get a strike.
“At lunch, we had about 25 trout to the net. The largest was a fat 18-inch west slope cutthroat. We sat in the shade and enjoyed our lunch. We relaxed for a minute before returning to the river. At first the going was a bit slow but we were soon catching trout. It began to get hot. Jack and John had caught plenty of trout. We ended the day with between 45-50 trout to the net. There was no clear leader. They had both landed about the same number of trout. We pulled the plug and headed home.
“When your fishing buddy is on a hot streak, don’t worry. You could begin your streak soon.”
Bull Shoals Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 684.78 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 661.00 feet msl).
(updated 6-12-2019) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said the lake level is up 26 feet over normal and the clarity overall remains cloudy. The surface water temperature is upper 70s. Black bass are good. Topwaters are working best in the morning. Fish the old shorelines and the wind-blown pockets. Crappie are good. Jigs are a good bait choice, or anything that can go through the bushes. Focus on the brush piles. Catfish are good. You’ll find them in back of creeks using limblines to catch them. Walleye are good on bottom bouncers fished on the old shorelines. No reports on bream. Check out Del’s YouTube channel for his regularly updated video fishing report.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 573.86 feet msl (normal conservation pool: Sept.-April, 552.00 feet msl; April-Sept. 555.75 feet msl).
(updated 6-12-2019) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said water is everywhere. “We had a 4½-inch rain this week and the lake continues to rise. Norfork Lake is at 573 feet, which is 7 feet from the top of the pool. This is very late in the year to see such a rise, but this year has been extraordinary in weather. The water temperature is now 80 degrees and the stripers for the most part are now content under the thermocline. The stripers are finally moving to deeper water; however, they are still being caught just under the thermocline, but I have seen stripers feeding at 60 feet and deeper. We are catching stripers consistently in the 35- to 50-foot range in water depths of 100-plus feet.
“This past week I have been fishing up in Big Creek past Woods Point and catching fish consistently, but not any numbers. One day the bite is strong, then the next we only catch a couple of fish. I have pre-fished all over the lower half of the lake looking for consistent fish to catch but I'm not having much luck.
“I was scheduled to take a party of four out Saturday morning but I gave them my results from this past week and they decided to take a pass. I was glad since it was going to be their first time striper fishing and I wanted to make sure they had a good time. It's no value to me to just take a client for the money and they have a bad experience. I did pre-fish and I found some fish where they were supposed to be this time of year. We caught one and missed four. I felt good that the fish were there and I will be able to catch them this week. My client would have had fun but not much action, so we were both winners on Saturday.
“I'm now fishing the main lake from Thumb Point to Hand Cove and the Dam Area. This pattern will hold true well into September. The walleye have moved to their summer pattern. They will be feeding in the 28- to 32-foot range. The best bite is usually 8-11 a.m. Long-line trolling crankbaits and bottom bouncers set just off the bottom running spinners with nightcrawlers.”
(updated 6-12-2019) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideway Resort said, “Who wants to striped bass fish! The striped bass bite has been pretty good the last couple of weeks. If you like to fish in the dark, when it is cool, quiet and calm, there are several good areas near our resort. I have had guests fishing all night long, and others fishing from sunset until around midnight. Still other guests enjoy the early morning bite and get on the lake around 4 a.m. and fish until about 9 a.m. The best bait has been live shad or large shiners, but vertical-jigging a spoon has also picked up some nice fish.
“This morning I had a difficult time finding fresh bait but had a few leftovers, so I headed to my first area and started fishing around 4:30 a.m. I dropped one bait down to about 30 feet, while sitting in 100 feet of water. I also started to vertical-jig a 1-ounce white spoon at the same depth. It wasn't more than 10 minutes before the live bait rod went singing and I landed a nice 9-plus pound striped bass. I continued to jig and got hammered on the spoon, but lost him halfway up. Over the next 45 minutes I landed two stripers on my spoon and two more on live bait. Not bad for a short time.
“Once it started getting light out, the bait and fish scattered. I headed out to a big main lake flat and found fish, but they would not hit my spoon. I moved locations to part way back into a major creek and found more scattered fish at depths from 10 feet down to 40 feet, and I was mainly in 50-80 feet of water. My only taker was hooked by casting my Kastmaster. I was doing a steady fast retrieval and was stopped dead in my tracks with a big fish taking off the other direction. To say the least, I only got to fight this fish for about a minute before he broke off.”
Lou says walleye fishing has been very good whether you are dock fishing or fishing out on the lake. There have been many walleye caught off his dock over the last couple of weeks. Live crappie minnows have been working well, or smaller shiners. The best time has been after dark. The fish under his dock have come off the bottom in about 30 feet of water. The other location that has been producing some nice fish is on the normal pool shore line, which is just outside of the sunken buckbrush. The water depth will vary, but ranges 20-30 feet deep. Slow-trolling a crawler harness with a bottom bouncing weight has been working great. You can also drop shot a shiner to the same depth. Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass are showing up in the same areas as the walleye. This morning, as the sun was rising, Lou says, he stopped to check out a few main lake points. While he was heading back into a creek, he had his Kastmaster tied on so he casted to the shoreline, letting the bait sink about 10 feet, and started to retrieve the bait, twitching it slightly. It wasn't long before he boated a smallie and a nice largemouth. They were probably in about 20-25 feet of water, he said. He adds that it has been tough finding crappie. With the higher-than-normal water level, the fish have plenty of cover all over the lake. The best areas to find confined crappie are under docks. Live bait or small jigs are working. You can also troll small crankbaits such as a Flicker Minnow or Shad in about 20-25 feet of water. The Norfork Lake surface water temperature Tuesday morning was 78-79 degrees. The water level has finally stabilized with a very slight daily rise and currently sits at 573.81 feet msl. The lake is clear with some areas having a slight stain. The lake is high, but in great condition for all your summertime water sports.
(updated 6-12-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last weekend that during the previous week Norfork Lake rose 1.7 feet to rest at 16.2 feet above seasonal power pool of 556.75 feet msl and 7 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had less generation and reliable wadable water every day. 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, with 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 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. With school out, it will be crowded. The hot flies have been sowbugs (size 14), Y2Ks (size 12), various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise size 10) and white mop flies. 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.
Buffalo National River/Crooked Creek
(updated 6-12-2019) 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 1,129.38 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.00 feet msl).
(updated 6-12-2019) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the clarity is stained/muddy with debris and the water level is “really high.” Bream are biting, though, with good results on redworms or crickets. Crappie are good but appear to be moving deeper. Anglers are trolling in the deep brush piles with success. Minnows or jigs will work. Black bass are good. Now, it appears nighttime patterns have started. Big spinnerbaits, big plastic worms and big Brush Hog jigs are working later in the day. In the early morning, throw a topwater lure. Catfishing has been excellent. Go with worms, stink bait, chicken livers and live bait on the trotlines. Walleye are being caught on the big end of the lake. Slow-trolling walleye rigs are helping anglers catch some nice fish.
(updated 6-12-2019) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) says Beaver Lake is about a half-foot below maximum levels. The lake sits at 1,129.29 feet msl. The lake is fishing fairly well for all species. Stripers are scattered, following the shad. As usual, find the bait and you will find the stripers. Look around Point 5 , Rambo Arm, Little Clifty and Big Clifty arms. Smallmouth and spots are in usual wummer pattern areas – any main lake points and secondary points in 20-30 feet of water. There is some early morning topwater action. Largemouth bass are in brush and can be caught on Flukes, spinnerbaits, chatterbaits and plastics. Robo worms in 4.5 inches in green pumpkin are working on spots and brownies. Downsize your line to 6- or 8-pound flouro if you’re fishing the clear end of the lake. Crappie are setting up in main channels at 12-17 feet depth. A Bandit 300 is a good choice trolled at 2.3 mph. Walleye are good using crawler harnesses. All main lake points hold fish now. Look for clear water. Bream are good. Hit the docks They hold all species in summertime. Be safe and watch for debris.
(updated 6-5-2019) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said fishing has been really good this past week. The trout have been very active with all these different weather conditions. Trout have been biting well on various PowerBaits fished with light terminal tackle. Once again, quarter-ounce spoons have done really well. This week’s hot spot has been the Houseman area, down to the second bend. A few white bass were caught between Houseman and Beaver; X-Raps were the plug of choice for these fish. The bass stayed suspended about 10 feet the entire stretch. A few male walleye were caught again this past week. They are still very spread out, but they are there. Jigging live minnows and fishing soft plastics seemed to work the best. Try looking for them off of points and in structure and weed lines. Austin says he did not get a chance to fish for Kentucky bass or smallmouth this week. “I will have more to report on that later. I sure hope you all find some time, between the rain showers, to get out there and catch some fish. Like always, if you have any additional questions, please reach out to me on me cell or my fishing Facebook page (Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service). Have fun, be safe and go catch some FISH!”
(updated 6-12-2019) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) reports the clarity is ranging between clear and murky. Water level is normal. No surface temperature was recorded. Bream are good on redworms. Crappie are goos with minnows and jigs. Fish the shorelines by the trees, brush piles or stumps. Black bass are good, with soft plastic worms working best. Catfishing is good. The catfish are spawning and they’re biting worms and chicken livers.
Lake Fort Smith
(updated 6-12-2019) Ralph Donnangelo, superintendent at Lake Fort Smith State Park, said Heather Hula and the park staff gathered a lot of fishing information from their youth fishing derby held last Saturday (June 8). The kids were all catching sunfish left and right. The bream are at 2-3 feet depth A couple of children were catching channel catfish, and a few largemouth bass were caught. The fish were pretty active all throughout the morning and into the afternoon before the heat of the day. The sunfish are spawning so the bass are harassing the nesting beds of those sunfish. Catfish are at a depth of 10-15 feet, while the black bass appear to be at a depth of 5-6 feet. Heather recommends using crankbaits to mimic sunfish in shallow inlets of the lake if you’re trying to catch bass. The clarity Tuesday was fairly clear, with a visibility of 2 feet. Surface temperature is 74 degrees.
(updated 6-12-2019) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said the lake is clear and the water level is normal. No surface temperature was recorded. Bream are good on redworms or crickets. The bream are shallow. Crappie also are shallow and the bite is good with minnows. Largemouth bass are good on chatterbaits. Catfish are good with stink bait or cut shad.
(updated 6-12-2019) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) says the fishing derby last weekend was a success, with 45 participants and 96 fish caught. Shelly had a guest catch a 5-pound largemouth bass from the shore using Catfish Pro. She says anglers report that the bass bite is good on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and plastic worms. The catfish are good on Catfish Pro (when a bass isn’t hitting it), worms, blood bait and chicken liver. Crappie are still biting, with good reports coming in. Minnows or jigs will work. Use worms and crickets (especially!) for bream, which she rates excellent over the past week. Surface water temperature early Sunday was 64 degrees and the clarity was murky. Water level is high, which it has been for weeks now.
(updated 6-12-2019) Ome Coleman at Lake Poinsett State Park said, “While Lake Poinsett is being repaired, we’re open and selling more bait, gearing more for catching catfish in the area. But, we are also selling the minnows, crickets and worms for the bream, bass and crappie. A big shipment of other fishing supplies came in last week.” While Lake Poinsett is closed for repairs through early 2020, check out other neighboring lakes such as Lake Charles and Lake Hogue, as well as the AGFC’s Family and Community Fishing Program pond at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.
(updated 6-12-2019) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water clarity is “pretty clear” and the water level is up a foot and high. Bream are biting well, with red wigglers working nicely, as well as redworms and crickets. No report on crappie. Black bass are good on plastic worms. Catfish are good on chicken livers.
(updated 6-5-2019) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) said water levels are flowing at 450 cfs at the spring and water clarity has been good the last several days. Heavy rains, it seems like weekly, have kept the river up and at times muddy. Because the river is spring-fed, it clears quickly. At the springriverfliesandguides.com blog page, up-to-date water conditions are posted when the river’s fishing conditions become poor due to high muddy water. It has been changing weekly lately. On average, 2-3 days has been the amount of time for hte river to clear up. Clear skies are ahead, we hope.
The trout have been biting well, but there is a lot of work to get a bite. The use of heavier jigs or a split shot 1 foot above the fly will help a lot when trying to get down to the fish. Olive and brown Woolies have been the hot flies in size 10-8 with a small split shot. An olive or yellow jig can work well, also. On the tough days when a bite is hard to get, downsize to a size 14-16 tungsten bead-head Woolly Bugger or nymph. Orange, black and white Trout Magnets are working well. Just get it down deep! Be safe wading, the river is flowing strong. Wading staffs can be a lifesaver.
(updated 6-12-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Spring River is a high and stained. 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 6-12-2019) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said the clarity is muddy and the water is very high. Therefore, everything is poor about the fishing right now on all species.
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)
Cane Creek Lake
(updated 6-12-2019) Austin Davidson, park interpreter at Cane Creek State Park, said stable weather means good fishing at Cane Creek Lake. Bass have been reported biting topwater baits early in the morning and early afternoon. During the evening, as the light begins to fail, throw a black spinnerbait or buzzbait to attract a big largemouth from under cover along the shoreline. Many anglers are also fishing for suspended bass at the moment. Use a crankbait or swimbait to fish in open water for suspended Kentucky bass. Bream are still biting mostly on crickets, although the sale of worms has increased quite drastically from the last week. Fish with a nightcrawler cast out from your position, using a slip bobber to suspend it in 3-6 feet of water. Crappie are still only biting in a few choice holes across the lake. Happen upon a deep spot with a brush pile at the bottom, and fish a shiner at about 6 feet to catch the crappie that are avoiding the warming water. Catfish have become more active with the amount of food that has been in the water as of late. Pungent, salty/sour baits seem to be doing great right now. Try soaking chicken skin in a mixture of crushed garlic, garlic salt and cheap beer and letting it set in the sun for a day or two to really drive the big blues crazy.
(updated 6-5-2019) Brian Whitson, park interpreter at Lake Chicot State Park (870-265-5480), says lake level is just a bit higher than normal, but no bad. Bream are biting very well on crickets. Catfish are also biting well on crickets and worms.
(updated 6-12-2019) Angler Chris Duren at Lucky’s (870-224-6747) had no report.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 260.33 feet msl normal conservation pool: 259.20 feet msl).
(updated 6-12-2019) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said Millwood Lake pool continues falling and as of Monday was 6 inches above normal pool. The Army Corps of Engineers made gate changes at the dam Monday and began releasing around 13,000 cfs, which could change again by midweek. The tailwater below the dam is also beginning to fall after its recent rise when the Red River backed up, and with USACE gates release at the dam it is around 244 feet msl. Water temps rose over the past week. Surface temps as of Monday ranged 74-83. 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. Navigation is cautioned again this week, and numerous trees/logs and river debris are still visible this week. Clarity and visibility conditions continue improving away from Little River current. Further upriver finds highest turbidity rates. On main lake structure away from current, clarity and visibility Monday was moderate stain, ranging 3-5 inches. Little River is muddy current and visibility ranges 0-5 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. Currently, the oxbow clarity ranges 12-18 inches depth of visibility depending on location.
Good reactions from largemouth bass have occurred over the past few weeks early near dawn to mid-morning, and best activity is in the oxbows away from river current, on topwaters. Lily pads and grass convergences over primary or secondary underwater points and humps continue to provide respectable reactions and ambush points for bass. Buzzbaits, plastic frogs, Bass Assassin Shads, Magnum Pop-R's and StutterSteps are all drawing topwater explosions at dawn up until near 9-10 a.m., in pads on the flats and in the creeks between 5-7 feet of depth. The best locations over the past few weeks have been in the back of the oxbows 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 being prime locations. Bass Assassin Skunk Apes and Johnson chrome spoons fished in the pads continue to get good reactions. Chrome spoons with a white 3-inch curly tail grub trailer are catching 2-4 pound largemouths in the pads as long as you have 20- to 50-pound braid line. Heddon Moss Boss in white scale or leopard frog colors continue getting good, solid hits in the pads. Ten-inch worms in peanut butter 'n jelly and Real Deal Custom Tackle jigs in Texas Craw or black/purple are working on trees in 5-9 feet deph, and on stumps from 6-8 feet depth. Peanut butter/jelly, blackberry, Grey Ghost, pumpkinseed/chartreuse and Salt'N Pepper Silver Phantom continue to be good colors for soft plastics. Wacky-rigged Bang XX Fat Jobs are getting great reactions in the oxbows in 2-5 feet depth of water in fresh hydrilla, coontail grass, deertongue grass and new lily pad growth. Best colors for buzzbaits have been Casper Ghost, Bleeding Blue Glimmer, Spot Remover or Hot Spot Remover, and Firecracker.
Also, War Eagle spinnerbaits and Brazalo Custom chatterbaits in Spot Remover, Hot Bream or Hot Dirty Shad colors are still working since last week and getting good reactions in the oxbows. If the water clarity is stained and dirty, Mike says they are switching over to a FireTiger color near where Little River still has swift current, behind primary points. Brazalo chatterbaits in FireTiger, chartreuse/orange bream and Hot Dirty Shad colors (using a Bang Boss Shiner swimbait trailer) are catching solid, random bass from 2-4 pounds. Floating Rat-L-Traps that you can stop and go without hanging up in the hydrilla will get a good reaction when the bass follow the bait only a few feet and it stops and pauses in their face. Tennessee Shad, Red Shad and Stumpknocker colors are the most effective on the pause with a stop-and-go/stop-and-float presentation using the Floating Rat-L-Traps.
Mike had no reports on white bass. Crappie, though, are beginning to recover and reposition themselves after the recent muddy rise and high current of Little River. Brush piles and standing timber are starting to attract the crappie again, as long as they are out of Little River current and flow. Persistence is key, and vertical-jigging minnows can get you bites if you are patient. Fish in 9-15 feet depth away from current. Blue catfish and channel cats continue biting well in Little River current on trotlines. King's Punch Bait and homemade bait with spoiled chicken livers and gizzards have been working on trotlines set from 8-15 feet in river current. This presentation has been working the last couple of weeks.
(updated 6-12-2019) Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) had nore reports.
Lake Greeson Tailwater
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 547.96 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).
(updated 6-12-2019) Jason Lenderman of JL Guide Service (870-490-0804) says the lake level is almost 2 feet above full pool of 548 feet msl and falling until the rain this week. Water temps have made it the 80s. The bass are in their summer patterns. Bass have moved to the post-spawn and summer patterns and can be caught on Yum Pulse swimbaits and Super Spook Jr’s. Shaky head-rigged Yum finesse worms working OK on main lake and secondary points leading into spawning areas. Concentrate on main lake points. 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 6-12-2019) Tamara Lunsford, park superintendent at Daisy State Park near Kirby, said Lake Greeson’s surface water temperature Sunday was 85 degrees. The lake level is at normal pool., 548 feet msl. Bream are good. Use worms or jigs and fish the brush piles and around stumps. The bream are in 2-5 feet depth. Crappie are good and can be found in 10-20 feet depth. Use minnows or jigs, and work your bait around the brush piles, stumps or rocky points. Black bass are good. They’ve been biting in 10-15 feet depth on spinnerbaits, plastic worms and will come up for some topwater action. Focus on the brush areas or at rocky points. Catfish are good on worms, blood bait and chicke liver. Fair reports on white bass.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 408.00 feet msl (full pool: 408.00 feet msl).
(updated 6-12-2019) John Duncan of yoyoguideservice.com at Iron Mountain Marina said, “It’s fishing time, my friends. The water looks great throughout and it’s time.” John says water temperature is in the mid-80s and the water level is 408.1 feet ms. “I think the best way to start is with the schooling fish. Hybrid fishing is on the upswing. If you can get a calm day, they are working the surface from Shouse Ford to Iron Mountain. Whopper Ploppers for surface fishing or Tiny Torpedoes or even Zara Spooks. If it is not calm, look in the river channels and jig vertically for them. White bass are mixed with black bass, and Kentucky bass also are working the surface early and late. Rooster-tailed jigs or spoons are great for surfacing fish. Crappie fishing has been doing well. Fish the brush piles that are 16-20 feet deep. Minnows are prevailing over jigs. Drop-shot seems to bring out the bigger ones. No report on bream or catfish. This is the best fishing, get it while you can with rain coming.”
(updated 6-12-2019) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips says it's pretty simple since the rains have stopped – the crappie are still biting and the whites are schooling.
De Queen Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 440.04 feet msl (full pool: 437.00 feet msl).
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 529.44 feet msl (full pool: 526.00 feet msl).
White Oak Lake
(updated 6-12-2019) Angler John Gulley, CEO of Lone Sportsman Outfitters, had no report.
(updated 6-12-2019) Sportsman’s One Stop (870-863-7248) in El Dorado had no report.
(updated 6-12-2019) Sharon at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said Lake Atkins is cloudy in some areas but overall is pretty clear. The water level is high by about 1-1.5 feet. No surface temperature was reported. No reports on bream and nothing reported on crappie, either. Black bass are good on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater lures. Catfishing is good using worms or chicken livers.
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro
(updated 6-12-2019) Steve Donahou at Lake Catherine State Park (501-844-4176) checked with Austin Owens of the Lake Catherine State Park Marina, who reports that clarity is dirty from recent rains, though the water level is normal. Bream are good. They can be caught from the shoreline out to 7-8 feet depth. Worms and crickets are being used. Crappie reports are poor. Black bass are good, with the fish found in 5-10 feet depth. Plastic worms, topwater baits, Brush Hogs and lizards are all working well. Find the bass around the brush. Catfishing is good on worms and blood bait. No report on white bass.
Lake Catherine (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro
(updated 6-12-2019) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that Lake Ouachita has risen slightly back into flood pool as more rainfall continues to plague our state. Carpenter Dam had been unsafe to navigate for weeks, but Entergy has scheduled time the last week for no generation until noon for the public to fish. This move has made it possible for anglers to safely and effectively target a virtually untouched trout population These fish are presently being caught in good numbers. 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 months of May and June 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 overemphasized, 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 items. Stripers always migrate into the area in the summer months in search of food and cooler temperatures. Balloon rigs with gizzard shad give fishermen 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 2 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 6-12-2019) Jason Baumgartner, park aquarist at Lake Dardanelle State Park (479-890-7495), said the area has experienced mostly sunshine and breezy winds the past week. A sunny and dry week is forecasted until the weekend, when more humid air and showers arrive. The lake has no visibility, the water remains muddy. Surface temperature is 79 degrees. Boat ramps inside Lake Dardanelle State Park remain closed until further notice. However, please contact the Visitor Center (479) 967-5516 ext. 2 for updated boat ramp status. According to National Weather Service preliminary values, the river crested at the Ozark Lock & Dam 12 on May 30 at 374.99 feet msl with a flow around 560,000 cfs. As of Tuesday, June 11, the river at Ozark Lock & Dam 12 is forecasted to recede below flood stage (357 feet) Thursday morning. Currently, the tailwater elevation is 359 feet and falling. Release at Ozark L&D 12 has been steadily slowing and is currently 204,000 cfs. There has been no power generation. The islands and bottoms at the Arkansas Highway 109 bridge and near Spadra are beginning to emerge as the water recedes. It is likely that much of the sandbars and points have changed in size or shifted in these areas. Dikes remain underwater. so use caution. Downriver, pool elevation near Lake Dardanelle State Park has returned to normal. NWS preliminary values show the Lake Dardanelle tailwater crested on May 30 at 45.91 feet msl with a flow around 587,000 cfs. If official, this level will have exceeded the record established in 1943. It has since receded below flood stage to 28 feet. Release is currently 194,000 cfs and slowing. There has been no power generation. Anglers: Please use caution when on the water. Tournaments at Lake Dardanelle State Park have been cancelled or rescheduled due to dangerous river conditions. For tournament updates, please contact the Lake Dardanelle State Park Visitor Center at (479) 967-5516 ext. 2.
(updated 6-12-2019) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) had no report.
(updated 6-12-2019) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas-born-and-bred all-welded aluminum Xpress fishing boats in Hot Springs, reports lake levels normalizing and temps in the mid-70s throughout. Bass fishing is really hot right now! The water is just barely off-color, which makes things much easier for anglers to imitate the natural prey of the fish. Bass are good all over right now and not just on Hamilton. Carolina-rigged worms and lizards along with Texas-rigged ribbon-tailed worms in darker colors like black, plum or June-bug are doing well all over. Topwater is doing really well in the mornings and evenings. Whopper Ploppers always work, along with frog and popper styles. Change it up every now and then. Fish have seen the typical presentations on these public lakes, so think outside the box and modify what you have or throw something with rusted-out hooks at the bottom of the box. Catfish are good as usual this time of year. You can find them on drop-offs and creek channel bends everywhere. Crappie are fair in most areas from what we have heard, but no real reports. Good luck! And Go Greeson!
(updated 6-12-2019) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips says that like at DeGray, the story is pretty simple after all the rainfall has moved on – the crappie are still biting and the whites are schooling.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 371.48 feet msl (normal pool: 345.0 feet msl).
(updated 6-12-2019) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said the clarity is “real clear” now and the surface temperature is 83 degrees. Water level is high. But that’s not hurting fishing for their anglers. Crappie are good. The fish are in 5-7 feet depth and are biting black/chartreuse crappie niblets, as well as minnows or jigs. Work the brush piles. Black bass are fair. Use a chatterbait or a War Eagle spinnerbait. Catfish are biting well around the brush piles. They say that anglers tell them they are catching a lot of bream elsewhere, just not at Nimrod. At Nimrod, the bream bite rates fair. Use crickets.
(updated 6-12-2019) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said the water is muddy and at a high level. The area is “super flooded,” they say. Across the board, the results for fishing have been poor. “We’re playing dominoes,” the source joked.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 579.16 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 6-12-2019) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) said black bass are good. Texas-rigged soft plastics and drop-shot rigs fished over points are working at this time. Walleye are still very good. Small minnow-colored crank baits and night crawlers on drop shot rigs are producing good stringers. Stripers are still good. Most of these fish have moved to the central part of the lake and are being caught on live bait or big hair jigs. Bream are still very good with reports of fish being caught with grubs and worms in 8-15 feet of water near brush. Crappie are fair and being caught with jigs or minnows in 12-20 feet of water near brush. Catfish are excellent and anglers are having luck with rod and reel using live nightcrawlers around brush piles. Surface water temperature is ranging 80-84 degrees. Lake level is 579.40 feet msl as of Tuesday and the clarity is clearing. Contact the Mountain Harbor fishing 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 409.40 feet msl (full pool: 384.00 feet msl).
(updated 6-12-2019) Angler Dane Goodwin said Blue Mountain Lake is still not producing well for crappie. Bream are on beds and good. No report on catfish. Water should continue to improve in coming weeks.
(updated 6-12-2019) Professional fishing guide Ronnie Tice (901-687-6800) says lake clarity is clear and the water level is up a couple of inches over normal. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. They are in their beds. Crappie are excellent. They’re found in 4-18 feet depth. Anglers are trolling in the channels at 15 feet. You’ll also have success fishing for them under piers, docks and around lily pads. Use minnows or jigs. Black bass are fair. There is a decent bite early in the morning, Ronnie says. Catfishing is fair. He says the bite has slowed down the last couple of weeks on cats.
Bear Creek Lake
(updated 6-12-2019) Natalie Faughn, assistant superintendent at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), had no reports.
Storm Creek Lake
(updated 5-22-2019) Natalie Faughn, assistant superintendent at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), had no reports.
(updated 6-12-2019) Wil Hafner, education program specialist at Potlatch Conservation Education Center on Cook’s Lake (870-241-3373), said he really thought he might get to open for fishing this weekend; however, the fall of the White River has stalled, still leaving the boat ramp and parking area under water. Fingers are crossed that maybe it can open July 6. The two-mile oxbow lake off the White River offers fishing for youths under 16 and for mobility-impaired anglers every first and third Saturday of the month, when the lake is accessible (it hasn’t been all season). Call the CEC for more information or updates.