July 17, 2019
Jim Harris Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for July 17, 2019. If there is a body of water youl would like included in this report, please email firstname.lastname@example.org 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 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 for lawn or garden use with water from Lake Conway through March 1, 2020. For more information, please contact the AGFC Fisheries Office in Mayflower at (877) 470-3309.
(updated 7-17-2019) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) says the lake is back to the Lake Conway stain and the water is at a normal level. Bream continue to bite well on redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair as long as anglers focus anywhere there is cover and with shade. Use crappie minnows for the best results. Black bass are good on spinnerbaits or plastic worms. Catfishing is good on trotlines with dough bait.
(updated 7-10-2019) Hatchet Jack’s in Crystal Hill (501-758-4958) reports that the bream bite remains good on redworms and especially crickets. Black bass are hitting spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfish are good; use bronze goldfish and use a limbline for the best results.
Little Red River
(updated 7-17-2019) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said, “Barry came and went and left behind about 3½ inches of rain in the river’s watershed. We’re just thankful that it was a steady rain with little runoff. Since I live on a river, my thoughts and prayers are with the people of south Arkansas that are dealing with flash floods.”
Greg said the river was Monday and Tuesday but seemed to be clearing with Tuesday’s generation. Generation is still the 12-hour, two-generator schedule. The 12-hour schedule should remain through the weekend but starting times can vary, so be sure to check before planning your fishing trip. The fish are biting, it just depends on the clarity of the water and the right generation. With the river clearing, the trick is to fish the lowest water ahead of the new generation. “My fly selection has been the same for the last couple of weeks. For me, size 14 or 16 mayfly nymphs and size 18 or 20 midge pupa have been good choices. Last Friday, the fish were rising, and swinging a size 16 mayfly soft hackle produced fish.”
Please avoid kayaking or canoeing in the high-water generation. Putting children in kayaks or canoes, even with life jackets, is very dangerous in high water. If the craft capsizes, the child will be swept away by the current. Plan your trip to avoid the new generation and reach your takeout point before this water arrives. Respect the river and enjoy a safe trip. The lake offers warm water with no current and may be a good alternative when the river is high and swift.
(updated 7-17-2019) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service said, “We dodged the heavy rains this past week, so we are still receiving 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 and good drift fishing on all sections. An increase in generation on the Little Red River is expected to lower the lake to seasonal pool as soon as possible. How much of an increase and duration will depend on rainfall and potential flooding downstream during the time they are lowering the lake.”
Until that time, anglers are recommended to use midges, sowbugs, emergers, blue-wing olives and streamers for fly-fishing. For Trout Magnet fishing hot pink-colored 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 the generation schedule forecast.
Greers Ferry Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation is 471.40 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.54 feet msl).
(updated 7-17-2019) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry is at 470.68 feet msl. It is 8.14 feet above normal pool of 462.54 feet msl. The water was just a tad lower but has come back, holding from the hurricane rains, and it will be moving back down soon. Crappie are still eating trolled baits or baits fished vertical in and around 30 feet on jigs, minnows, crankbaits and beetle spins. Bream are eating well all over the lake and rivers on crickets, crawlers, beetle spins and small crankbaits from super shallow to 25 feet. Walleye are setting up in different places this year because of the flow of water. Drag a drop-shot around with a crawler on it in 12-40 feet. Catfishing is really, really good all over but not a lot of people are fishing for them. The channel swings next to flats are working well. Black bass are eating, you just have to wade through a lot of small fish. They are kind of in transition, even at night. Small limits are being caught. Try dragging something from 25-50 feet. Hybrid bass and white bass are acting crazy as always. Some have gone back shallow. There is shad GALORE in lake at present. Check your general places for fish as they are close by, and use spoons, inline spinners and swimbaits in 25-55 feet.
Harris Brake Lake
(updated 7-17-2019) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) says the water clarity is a little muddy, while the surface water temperature on Monday early afternoon was a hot 90.8 degrees. The level is normal. Bream are fair on redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Largemouth bass are good on topwater lures thrown around the shoreline. Catfish are biting well using chicken livers on trotlines.
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 asks adjacent landowners to NOT irrigate water 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 7-10-2019) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said black bass are doing well on buzzbaits and topwater spinners. They are chasing the new spawn of shad. Bream are doing well on crickets and redworms. They are on their beds. Anglers are catching some redears, too. Crappie are slow but still catching some good ones in 7-14 feet of water over brush. Catfish are being caught on jugs and trotlines with bream and shad, along with skipjack. Water level is about normal and clarity is fair. Surface temperature is around 88 degrees. “Come visit us at the bait shop, off Highway 9.”
(update 7-10-2019) Angler Larry Walters says the water at Brewer is clear, but it’s probably too hot to fish. Still, anglers are giving it a go. Bream, he said, are fair on redworms and crickets. Crappie are excellent. They are biting in 13-18 feet depth around the brush piles. Black bass are excellent on topwater baits and plastic worms. Catfishing is good noodling and using minnows. White bass are schooling and the bie is good. Water level was normal as of Tuesday morning. The bait shop that Larry previously owned has changed hands. The new owner is David Hall.
(updated 7-10-2019) Westrock Landing (501-658-5598) on Highway 10 near Roland reports that water temperature dropped into the low 80s earlier this week but will rise toward the end of the weekend. The largemouth bass bite is fair. Most of them can be found in 16-20 feet of water at dusk and at dawn, biting on a variety of lures. Chatterbaits, crankbaits, jerkbaits, drop-shots and swimbaits have been catching the most bass. Tuesday night’s Black Bass Tournament saw Max and Matt Oliver win with an 11.34-pound stringer, while Garry Harris and Rudy Westbrook hauled in a 4.25-pound Big Bass.
Kentucky bass are slow. Some reports of the spots being found in 10-15 feet of water outside the grass line at dusk and at dawn. They can also be found in 18-22 feet off drops and rocky banks. White bass fishing is slow. Some have been found mixed in with the crappie on flats or near brush piles in 8-12 feet of water. Use Rooster Tails, jerkbaits and rattle-style baits. Crappie are fair. Reports of them being found stacked in and around brush at 15-18 feet depth. Some can be found scattered and mixed in with the whites. Use jigs or minnows. Bream are good. They are being found up shallow and they are in their beds. Around 8 feet depth or less. Use crickets and worms. Catfishing remains slow. Channel cats are said to be moving in shallow. Use chicken liver crawdads and worms.
(updated 7-10-2019) Hatchet Jack’s in Crystal Hill (501-758-4948) said bream are good on crickets. Black bass are good on topwaters. Nothing reported on crappie, white bass or catfish.
(updated 7-10-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said that even though it's been since last month that it was stocked twice, some people are actually still catching a few catfish off of livers, bass minnows and stink bait. Crappie been slow but will bite crappie minnows. Bream have been good on crickets, redworms and super mealworms. Bass have been hitting pink and white spinnerbaits and bass minnows. “Turtles, I hear, have been pretty abundant, too,” Lisa says.
Bishop Park Ponds
(updated 7-10-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bream are doing great off of crickets and redworms. Bass have been fair off of bass minnows and some plastic baits. Catfish are good on chicken livers and black salties and cut shad and skipjack. Crappie are slow but will still bite crappie minnows.
Saline River Access in Benton
(updated 7-10-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said the Saline River finally got back down and the smallmouth have been doing well on bass minnows. Also the Kentucky bass have been good. Crappie have been slow on No. 6 crappie minnows. Bream have been good on super mealworms and crickets. Catfish have been being caught on trotlines and rod-and-reel off of black salties, goldfish and bass minnows.
(updated 7-10-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said the bream have been good using crickets. “You might try some super mealsworms, too,” Lisa suggests. “They stay on the hook longer and I usually catch bigger bream with them, too.” Catfish have been good on nightcrawlers, bait shrimp, crawdads and black salties. Crappie have been slow on crappie minnows and Bleeding Tennessee Shad-colored Kalin's 2-inch grubs. Bass have been fair on bass minnows and spinnerbaits.
(updated 7-10-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) had no report.
(updated 7-10-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said catfishing is good using catalpa worms or nightcrawlers. Black bass are biting plastic worms, with good reports. Bream are good on crickets. No other reports.
(updated 7-10-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said that bream reports continue to be good, with crickets working best. Black bass are good on p astic worms. Catfishing is good using catalpa worms.
(updated 7-10-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bream have been good on crickets. Crappie have been hitting the bass minnows. Bass have been abundant off of minnows and crankbaits. Catfish are good on goldfish, black salties and crawdads.
(updated 7-10-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) in Crystal Hill said catfishing is still good, with cut bait and live bream working best for bait. Black bass are good using on spinnerbaits and plastic worms. Bream are good on crickets. No other reports.
Arkansas River at Morrilton
(updated 7-10-2019) Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) had no reports.
Arkansas River (Cadron Pool)
Little Maumelle River
(updated 7-17-2019) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said, “It is really muddy with all the rain.” Water level and current are normal. But poor reports across the board on all species, he says.
Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)
(updated 7-10-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said the high water won’t allow anyone to get to the dam. Clarity is muddy and the water level remains very high as it’s been all late spring and summer.
(updated 7-17-2019) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) had no reports.
Arkansas River (Little Rock Pool)
(updated 7-17-2019) Fish ‘N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) says that with the current and river constantly changing in the difficult conditions of the past several weeks, it continues to be advisable to say off the river. The flow of 150,000 cfs is still 10,000 to much for safe boating, they say. Water is high and muddy. No reports.
(updated 7-17-2019) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said the water remains muddy and high with a fast current, and there were no fishing reports.
(updated 7-17-2019) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) had no report.
(updated 7-17-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) has no reports.
Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 7-17-2019) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said that no one was really fishing of late because of the rain. No reports.
(updated 7-17-2019) Donna Mulherin at Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) says the lake clarity is a little dingy and the water level is normal. No surface water temperature was recorded. Bream are good on worms and crickets. Crappie are fair trolling jigs and on limblines. Black bass reports were poor. Catfishing is good using worms, chicken liver and hot dogs.
White River (Augusta-Des Arc section)
(updated 7-3-2019) Angler William McCoy says he fished all weekend at the White River at Des Arc and also talked with many anglers at the ramp. The water temperature is 73.8 degrees and the clarity is very muddy. The current is not very strong and the river shows to be pretty steady. Catfish are targeting feeder creekmouths and the shallow banks. The bait to use is small bream and some shad, as the shad are running in the mouth of Des Arc Bayou.
(updated 7-17-2019) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) says, “The rainbow catch around Cotter on the White River has been spectacular. Since implementing the new keep levels in January 2018, we've seen a steady improvement in the size of our rainbows. Favorite bait this week was the good old-fashioned worm, redworms or nightcrawlers, your choice. Or, if drifting in a jon boat, you might use the bubblegum pink scented worm with or without the white "mousetail" head. The guides capture river minnows and this week brought some nice-size browns to the boats, nothing oversized, but good, healthy fighters, not to mention a few beautiful 18-20 inch cutthroats. The 1/8 =-ounce moss green and orange-brown jigs are continuing to catch the attention of quite a few trout. The water level, like the weather, is fluctuating between lots of water and dry spells. If a pattern has developed, it is lower water throughout the morning here in the Cotter area with afternoon releases showing up at 4 p.m. and rising until midnight. The lake dropped a foot or two in the last week – still near the top of flood pool – but the releases have been managed very nicely so far, especially based on the high water to the east and south of us. See you at the river.
(updated 7-17-2019) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the river level is high and the trout bite is excellent. In fact, they say things have been astounding in that they’ve seen more 14- to 18-inch rainbow trout than they’ve ever seen in the river. They report that some people are complaining because they’re too big and they can only keep one fish over 14 inches. Rainbows are eating up PowerBait, pink PowerWorms and smaller crankbaits. The brown trout are not doing as well as the rainbows because of the fluctuating water. They tell us, “It is like the rainbows are on steroids and the Game and Fish Commission must be doing something right.”
(updated 7-17-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last Friday that during the previous week they had several minor rain events that combined for a trace, hot temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell 1 foot to rest at 26 feet above seasonal power pool of 661 feet msl. This is 8 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell 1 foot to rest at 3 feet above seasonal power pool and 11 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake remained steady at 7 feet above seasonal power pool and 1.6 feet below the top of flood pool. The White had heavy generation and no wadable water. Norfork Lake fell 1.2 feet to rest at 15.7 feet above seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet msl and 8.6 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had heavy generation and no wadable water during the 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. We are now having heavy generation and expect it to continue for the foreseeable future.
The White has fished very well. The hot spot has been the Wildcat 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).
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.
Bull Shoals Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 686.99 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 661.00 feet msl).
(updated 7-10-2019) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said the lake level continues stay well above normal pool; as of Tuesday afternoon it was 29 feet high. The water is murky. The surface water temperature was 86 degrees. The bream bite is good. Fish the bluffs or the rocky points with redworms and crickets. No reports on crappie. Black bass will be good in the early morning by fishing topwater baits. Catfishing is good with limblines and trotlines. Walleye are good if you’re trolling; target 20 feet depth. Check out Del’s YouTube channel for his regularly updated video fishing report with various baits and patterns he’s using for the bass, including a new report he put up late last week.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 571.34 feet msl (normal conservation pool: Sept.-April, 552.00 feet msl; April-Sept. 555.75 feet msl).
(updated 7-17-2019) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said the stripers are beginning to school on Norfork Lake, but not in the locations they usually can be found this time of year. The hybrids are going crazy off the deep points from Big Creek to Point 1. About 6 a.m. they are feeding on threadfin shad and the topwater bite may last up to an hour. The best live bait bite starts around 5:45 a.m. and can last up to 7 a.m. but usually not in the same area. You have to keep moving around the area you’re fishing because the schools are very deep, 60-80 feet, and keep moving around off the deep side of points from School bus Point to Koso Point. You have to stay in deep water to catch fish this year. Channel swings next to deep points are the best locations. The three baits are working very well right now are live gizzard shad, spoons and a Kastmaster bucktail with a spinner. “I have not seen many fish caught trolling this past week but I'm sure they have been catching some on swimbaits and big umbrella rigs. Stripers are also being caught in Shoal Creek around 6:30 in the morning along the bluff wall. The only problem is, it's not every day. The walleye bite is turning on using bottom bouncers with shiners with a nightcrawlers off the points in 30-35 feet of water from Georges Cove to the dam.”
(updated 7-3-2019) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideway Resort said, “Happy Fourth of July to all. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday period. Norfork Lake is mainly in its summertime pattern. This means fish are starting to go deep. Most fish species are hanging out in the 20-30 feet range. Norfork Lake has formed a thermocline at about 20-25 feet and the fish are hanging very close to it.”
The best bite on the lake at this time, is for largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass. At sunrise, you can find some topwater action up close to the shoreline and out on long shallower points. Yesterday my daughter and I had fun throwing Zara Spooks and Whopper Ploppers. The fish are very aggressive. When you see a small swirl in the water cast your bait at the swirl and give it a twitch, the fish will hammer it. As the sun gets over the tree line the fish start to go deeper. Once they go deep start looking just outside of the sunken buck brush on the wind blown points, which will be in about 20-25 feet of water. Start throwing a grub or just about any dark plastic, and work it along the bottom. You don’t need to work it fast, but you will need to pay attention as the bite at this time has been very light.
The striped bass have gone deep earlier this year than normal. You will find stripers anywhere from 30-70 feet, either suspended or on the bottom. I have been having difficulty in finding large numbers of stripers in any one area. They are scattered throughout the lake. Live bait has been working the best, but you have to work at it. When you find the fish, you can also vertical jig and spoon and you will pick up a few nice fish. Trolling large swimbaits is also picking up some nice fish keeping the bait at about 50 feet deep back in some of the major creeks. The best locations to start looking for this species are from the Robinson area down to the dam and also back to the Big Creek area. They will be up in the 30 feet range early in the morning, then head deeper as the sun comes up.
Norfork Lake has rising to 573.78, but currently is starting to drop with both of the generators running constantly. Both generators running for the entire day will drop the lake about 3 inches per day. The main lake is fairly clear, with the creeks and coves slightly stained. The current surface water temperature is in the mid-80s.
(updated 7-17-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last weekend that during the previous week Norfork Lake fell 1.2 feet to rest at 15.7 feet above seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet msl and 8.6 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had heavy generation and no wadable water during the 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. We are now having heavy generation and expect it to continue for the foreseeable 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 in the past two years. 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 can be crowded. There is some work being done at the hatchery that has affected access to the upper areas on the creek and some of the hatchery discharge pipes are not running resulting in lower flows on the creek. 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 7-17-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are navigable and greatly cleared. 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 1,128.37 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.00 feet msl).
(updated 7-17-2019) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) says Beaver Lake is high and warming into mid-80s. Fishing overall is fair to good for all species. A night bite for bass is setting up and, with full moon happening, should get real good this week. Try black spinnerbaits and or black buzzbaits. “Indian Creek is one good spot for the night bite for Big Smallies,” Jon says. “Jackall Gantarel in darker colors and bluegill will work, also. These are big baits and fairly expensive, but they do work!” Crappie are fair to good and can be caught on the troll with cranks. Look in the main channels and main river arms for fish. They will set up on the thermocline. “You need a good graph and understand what a thermocline looks like. If you need help with that give me a call,” he says. Walleye are fair, with early and late being the best times. They’re being caught and crawler harnesses. Bream are good. Catfish are good on the usual baits and methods. Bowfishing is good in clear water areas. “Good luck and if you are running a boat at night, be safe. Water levels and some debris have created some hazards. Any questions, feel free to call me.”
(updated 7-17-2019) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the water feels hot and the level is very high. It’s also murky. Bream are fair on worms and crickets. Most of the crappie are biting at night under the lights, and with good reports coming in. Also try trolling for best results. Black bass are fair. Anglers are using topwaters in the morning, then switching over to soft plastics during the day and then spinnerbaits at night. Catfishing is fair with trotlines and juglines. Walleye are being caught by trolling deep-diving crankbaits. Anglers report also catching white bass and crappie with the same method. The fish are at 15-20 feet depth.
(updated 7-17-2019) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said, “Fishing this past week has been great! Trout are very active, hitting on spoons of various sizes and colors. The trout have also been hitting on various PowerBaits, fished with light terminal tackle. This week’s hot spot has been between Spider Creek and Parker Bottoms. A few small male walleye were also caught this past week. The preferred method was jigging with live minnows in 10 feet of water. The Kentucky bass have moved more toward structure and are suspended. Most bass are being caught between Beaver town and Holiday Island. Soft plastics and suspended hard baits worked the best. Hope you all enjoy this upcoming week, stay safe and catch some fish.”
(updated 7-17-2019) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) says the clarity is murky and the water level is normal. No surface temperature was recorded. Bream are fair on worms and crickets. Anglers are trolling with fair success on the crappie. Black bass are good on topwaters. Catfishing is good with worms and chicken livers.
Lake Fort Smith
(updated 7-10-2019) Ralph Donnangelo, superintendent at Lake Fort Smith State Park, reports that overall, the Fourth of July holiday saw some additional lake traffic, but otherwise, they are in our summer pattern of excessively hot and humid days. Bass and bream are still good; some catfish are being taken deep on livers and gizzards, and crappie and white bass seem to have taken a vacation. Heather Hula, a park interpreter, says the fishing for sunfish has been really good lately. The bream are in about 3-4 feet depth and are around the brush piles and rocky points. The baits working are worms and those little topwater poppers designed for either trout or panfish. The bass fishing is slow during the day, but picks up well after it starts to cool off. The bass are favoring plastic worms, topwater lures and jigs and appear to be around a depth of 4-6 feet when active, hanging around brush, stumps and rocky points. The lake’s clarity and visibility is 2 feet. Surface water temperature Tuesday was 78 degrees.
(updated 7-17-2019) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said the lake clarity is clear and the water level is normal. No temperature was reported. Bream are shallow and the bite is good. Redworms and regular worms are getting bit, as the bream are bedding. Also try crickets. Crappie are in 8-10 feet depth and the bite is good. Minnows or jigs will work. Black bass are good on crankbaits and worms. Catfishing is good using stink bait and cut bait.
(updated 7-17-2019) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) says bream and catfish were being caught in good numbers, but crappie and black bass were not during the past week. There were no reports on crappie or bass. However, bream are good on worms and crickets. Catfishing is good using blood bait, stink bait, live bait and cut bait. Water level remains high at Lake Charles, with murky clarity. The surface temperature Sunday morning was 70 degrees.
(updated 7-3-2019) Ome Coleman at Lake Poinsett State Park said, “Summer is here and we can tell it is so … ‘hot.’ That hasn’t slowed the fishermen at all. We are keeping all your preferred live bait in stock and other supplies you will need here at Lake Poinsett State Park. I hear about some very nice catfish and bream being caught in the area. It doesn’t matter if they are fishing at private ponds or lakes.” 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 7-17-2019) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water clarity is clear and with just 1 inch of rain during the post-Barry weather, they say they are in good shape, with normal water level. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. No reports on crappie. Black bass are good in the mornings and later in the evenings, but not good during the heat of the day. Go with topwater lures early or late. Catfishing is good on chicken liver, cut bait, shad, nightcrawlers and “pretty much anything now.”
(updated 7-17-2019) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) said the spring is running at 380 cfs (350 average) and water clarity has been partly cloudy. “Tropical storm Barry missed the area for the most part. No flooding in our area. The river is looking good with a slight stain to water clarity,” Mark said.
The fish have been biting well with lower water levels. High water all through 2019 has the river stacked up with trout. Olive and brown Woollies work great on overcast days, and when the sun gets up and it’s hot, we have had the best luck downsizing to smaller nymphs when the bite slows.”
He says hot pink Trout Magnets always work great. Some days, black, white or bright orange can be hot. Get the Trout Magnet down to just off the bottom and hang on. Flicker shad have been working well in shad and rainbow colors. “It’s hot out there, be safe and hydrate. And if it gets too hot, go for a swim! The Spring River is 58 degrees year-round.”
(updated 7-17-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Spring River is a navigable and greatly cleared. 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 7-17-2019) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) had no reports.
Arkansas River (Pine Bluff Pool)
(updated 7-10-2019) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team reports the Island Harbor and St. Marie Park boat ramps are open, while Regional Park remains closed. St. Marie is the better of the two open ramps right now because around Island Harbor there is still debris and people are cleaning up their property. Please be considerate of the home-owners around Island Harbor and Regional Park and fish areas other than the canals and boat docks for a while; most of the people living there are working through a difficult time. You shouldn't be on the main channel of the river yet. It continues to flow strong and a great deal of sand has been moved during the flood. It is likely that new sandbars have formed in areas that were previously safe to navigate. No fishing report at this time.
Arkansas River (Pool 2)
Cane Creek Lake
(updated 7-10-2019) Austin Davidson, park interpreter at Cane Creek State Park, said the fish at Cane Creek seem to be slowing down a little bit during the day, now that the heat of the summer is finally creeping in. Bream that normally like warm water in the 80-degree-and-above range are now being reported biting in the morning. Throw a cricket or worm in shallow water, 3-4 feet, around lily pads. You may also find a stump field – drop a line by a stump and if you don’t get a bite, move on to another stump until you get results. Once you find a stump that works, stay there until the bites stop. Bass are still hanging around under lily pad fields to keep away from the direct heat of the sun. As rain moves in this week and cools the water down the bass might move back toward open water. Fish with a spinnerbait or a shiny-colored Rat-L-Trap run near the surface to attract the attention of any aggressive bass hiding under cover. During the morning and early evening, fish a topwater bait, the noisier the better. Catfish will once again be moving into shallow water as the rain washes foodstuffs in from slow-moving and stagnant creeks. Find a muddy confluence where rainwater runs from the bank, or where a creek meets the lake, and fish from the shallows out to about 12 feet deep. Use liver soaked in garlic salt. Secret tip: Use the liquorish-flavored extract of the anise plant (anise oil) added to your bait to really get a big cat’s attention. Crappie are scarce in this heat but can be found in deep holes that go beyond 12 feet. Find a deep spot in the lake and fish a shiner over structure for your best chance of getting a good crappie. Anglers tying yo-yos onto trees in the beaver pond and cypress brake late at night have also reported catching slab crappie. Remember, if you catch a big fish, bring it up to the State Park Visitor Center to get your picture on our wall and get a chance at being the face of Cane Creek’s next fishing report on the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission website!
(updated 7-17-2019) Brian Whitson, park interpreter at Lake Chicot State Park (870-265-5480), says with the storms and weather the fish have stop biting. Possible thunderstorms expected beginning of next week. The drawdown is taking effect, so water levels are gradually dropping, but so far the levels have not affected access to Lake Chicot at this time. NOTE: Daily creel limits are reduce to half during the lake drawdown period. Please use caution while fishing on Lake Chicot during the drawdown.
(updated 7-17-2019) 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 261.49 feet msl (normal pool: 259.20 feet msl).
(updated 7-17-2019) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said that here in the middle of July they got a break from the heat, while the lake level on Millwood is nearing normal conservation pool. The tailwater below the dam and gates as of Monday was falling at about 230 feet msl. Water temps stable over the past week. 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. Mike said to expect to see a big change, and a rising lake elevation, over the next week due to recent flash flooding in Southwest Arkansas near the tri-lakes of Gillam, Dierks and DeQueen lakes. Also, clarity and visibility continue improving over the past week, but remain stained in places, especially upriver.
Bass activity continues to be best early morning and late afternoon around dusk; it’s best from dawn to around 9-10 a.m. Cloud cover mornings continue to provide the best overall surface activity. The bite slows considerably during the heat of the day. Best baits drawing reactions over the past week or so have been with buzzbaits, plastic Frogs and with Bass Assassin Shads on a light wire hook working in new lily pad growth. Heddon Dying Flutters and Johnson Silver Minnows with a grub trailer are still working at daybreak. Best color of frogs have been Snot Rocket or black, worked in new lily pads. Hot Firecracker or Hot Spot Remover buzzbaits are working at dawn. Slow-rolling chatterbaits near flooded bushes and stumps will draw random strikes, with Firecracker and Hot Mouse being good colors in stained water. StutterSteps, Spit'n Images, Ken Pops, Pop-R's and Moss Bosses continue to draw random reactions from largemouths around grass, vegetation and lily pads. Topwater activity levels have slowed later in the day with the increased heat over the past couple weeks, with the random exception of some schooling yearling bass, some spotted bass and whites.
White bass were found a couple weeks ago, schooling on shad in the oxbows at dawn, and surface breaking on shad and bait in Horseshoe and McGuire lakes in the oxbows up Little River, where water clarity is best. Hammered Cordell Spoons with red/white bucktails, chrome/black or chrome/blue and Millwood Magic colored Rat-L-Traps, Spin Traps and Bomber Fat Free Guppy cranks in Citrus Shad were catching these surface schoolers breaking on shad. Crappie have been consistently biting jigs and minnows near cypress trees for the past several weeks well. And 4-8 feet deep cypress trees are holding fish early, while planted brush piles out of river current from 8-12 feet deep are holding fish later in the day. Crappie continue transitioning to deeper drops near standing timber or planted brush piles but can still be caught early on base of cypress trees. They have been best vertical-jigging minnows, Arkie Jigs and minnows. Best bite is early from dawn until around 10 a.m. shallow on cypress trees with minnows. Channel cats and blues are still feeding in Little River, up to 3-4 pounds, on trotlines and yo-yos set 10-15 feet deep in Little River using cut bait or spoiled chicken livers. Yo-yos set under cypress trees, using cut shad and buffalo, in Mud Lake from 9-10 feet were catching some decent blues over the past couple of weeks.
(updated 7-17-2019) Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said it had heard no 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 557.00 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).
(updated 7-3-2019) Tamara Lunsford, park superintendent at Daisy State Park near Kirby, said Lake Greeson’s surface water temperature Monday was 85 degrees. The lake level is at normal pool. The bream bite fell off to just fair reports this week. The fish at in 2-5 feet of water and are biting worms. Find the fish around the brush piles or stumps. Crappie are good. They are being caught in 20-25 feet depth on minnows or jigs. Fish the brush piles or the rocky points. Black bass are good. Look for bass in 10-15 feet depth and fish with spinnerbaits, crankbaits, a Zara Spook-like bait or plastic worms. Catfish are fair on worms and blood bait. White bass reports are fair.
(updated 7-17-2019) Jason Lenderman of JL Guide Service (870-490-0804) had no report.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 405.00 feet msl (full pool: 408.00 feet msl).
(updated 7-17-2019) John Duncan of yoyoguideservice.com at Iron Mountain Marina says that pre-rain the water temperature was in the mid- to high 80s. Water level was at 403.60 feet msl. Water was clear and free of debris. When you can find calm water early you can find schooling fish. They have been up early in the mornings from Iron Mountain to Shouse Ford. Spoons, Flukes and topwaters like the Whopper Plopper been producing. Just look for the splash or the group of boats. Crappie are now in the summer mood. Anglers are long-lining, spider-rigging, crankbait trolling, and nightfishing. Some reports of catching a limit at night. Pull Bandit 200 and 300 crankbaits. No report on catfish, black bass or bream. It’s that time of year where it’s happening on the surface early and late and fishing deep and slow mid-day.
John adds, “Now post-rain, the lake is on the rise, there is large amounts of rain in the area. It’s wait and see. Debris will be coming down the river, I would expect, when you start upriver past Lennox Marcus, be aware.
“Watch for surfacing fish. Catfishing should pick up with the rising water. They will be moving in to feed on new foods as the water rises over them. The rising water will affect bass and bream, also, as the food accessibility changes.”
(updated 7-17-2019) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips had no report.
De Queen Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 437.57 feet msl (full pool: 437.00 feet msl).
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 547.39 feet msl (full pool: 526.00 feet msl).
White Oak Lake
(updated 7-17-2019) Angler John Gulley, CEO of Lone Sportsman Outfitters, had no report.
(updated 7-17-2019) Sportsman’s One Stop (870-863-7248) in El Dorado said a few bass, bream and catfish are being caught. No report on crappie. The river is back on the rise.
(updated 7-17-2019) Sharon at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said the lake is looking good and clear. Surface temperature Tuesday in the early afternoon was 89 degrees. Water level is normal. Bream are good on worms and crickets. Crappie are good with minnows or jigs. Black bass are good, with topwaters your best bet in the early mornings and the late evenings. Catfishing is good on worms and chicken liver.
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro
(updated 7-17-2019) Steve Donahou at Lake Catherine State Park (501-844-4176) spoke with Marina Manager Tosha Walker of Lake Catherine State Park, who reports that the clarity is clear and the surface temperature is 74.1 degrees. Water level is low. Bream are excellent. The bream are at 5-6 feet depth and are biting worms and crickets. Crappie are poor, but the ones biting are hitting minnows and jigs. “Crappie are slow to bite on minnows.” Work the brush piles. Black bass are fair on crankbaits, plastic worms and lizards. Catfishing is good with stink bait and chicken liver. “A few reports of white bass being caught near creek entrances using crankbaits and spoons.”
Lake Catherine (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro
(updated 7-17-2019) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that Lake Catherine water temperature is 62 degrees below the dam with clear conditions in the tailrace. Entergy has regulated the generation schedules so the Carpenter Dam tailrace can be safely navigated and fished as Lake Ouachita is now a full 2 feet below flood stage. Numbers of quality rainbow trout are still present in the area because of the heavy flooding early in the year; however, these trout will be gone through migration and predation in the next several weeks. 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 and June brought huge numbers of shad toward the dam to spawn. Trout 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 annually brings white bass by the thousands into the Carpenter Dam tailrace to begin the spawn. July still holds numbers of whites, although the size is smaller than in a normal year. 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 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 7-17-2019) Jason Baumgartner, park aquarist at Lake Dardanelle State Park (479-890-7495), said they have experienced mostly sunshine, heat and humidity along with pop-up showers many afternoons until Tropical Storm Barry arrived on Sunday evening. Barry brought relief and cool temperatures along with extended periods of scattered rain. Arkansas summer weather is forecasted to return for the next 7 days. There is limited visibility in the lake; water remains mostly muddy but is clearing up in several areas. Surface temperature is 83 degrees. As of Tuesday (July 16) the river at Ozark Lock & Dam 12 has held just below flood stage at a level of 356 feet msl. It is currently forecast to hold below this level at least for the next day or so. Since last report, release has consistently decreased from 160,000 cfs to near 150,000 cfs. There has been no power generation.
Water has receded some around the islands and bottoms at the Arkansas Highway 109 bridge and near Spadra. Some dikes may still be submerged. Anglers have reported that much of the sandbars and sloughs have changed from the Highway 109 bridge and down to Shoal Bay. Access to Shoal Bay and Dublin from the river channel has been silted in and is difficult to navigate. Downriver, pool elevation near Lake Dardanelle State Park has been near normal and doesn’t fluctuate much. The Dardanelle tailwater has fallen from 24 feet to 22 feet since last report. Release has also steadily slowed from 164,000 cfs to around 150,000 cfs. Power generation resumed on Monday evening (July 15).
Anyone fishing should use caution when on the water as the river bottom has changed in many areas. Lake Dardanelle State Park hosted the Wade Walters Memorial tournament last Saturday. Many nice bass were weighed, and over half of the field weighed the five-fish limit. Several 4- and 5-pound bass were weighed. Anglers reported using plastics in both shallow and deep waters as well as seeing success with crankbaits. For tournament updates, please contact the Lake Dardanelle State Park Visitor Center at (479) 967-5516 ext. 2.
(updated 7-10-2019) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) said river temperature is in the upper 80s. River clarity is starting to improve from Piney down. From Knoxville being up, it’s still pretty swift. The river bite has been good on jigs and crawls around wood and eddies. Creek fish have been good using large worms and jigs on bottom worked really slow. Main lake bite has been good on worms, deep-diving crankbaits, jigs and Bamboozie, and chiselers on a swing head. Stripers and white bass have been fighting fair in the creeks on crankbaits and Zara Spooks. Crappie have been fair during the day and good at night under lights. Use minnows and jigs, no particular color (though white has been working well). Bream has been excellent on worms and crickets and grasshoppers around rocks stumps around creeks and rivergrass. Catfish has been good on stink bait and perch off of river ledges.
(updated 7-17-2019) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas-born-and-bred all-welded aluminum Xpress fishing boats in Hot Springs, reports lake conditions fluctuating due to the lower temperatures and semi-cool rain the lake has received over the past few days. Water temps are down to around 85 degrees at the surface and fish have moved back into shallower waters temporarily. Bass are at all depth levels up to 25 feet. Carolina rigs, Texas rigged worms and lizards and tubes in dark colors like June bug, black and plum are doing well in shall waters next to channels and creeks. Ned rigs and TRD worms do well on bridge pillars and deeper structure using the same colors.
Catfish are good all over as usual this time of year off the creek channels and main lake drop offs. Cheese, stink baits and cut bait are the best options.
“Big Al,” the $15,000 first-prize fish in the annual Hot Spring Fishing Challenge, is still on the loose out in the lake somewhere and everyone seems to have a bucket of crickets lately! Big Al is a bluegill, so get out there and catch dinner and maybe a big paycheck! Be safe out there! Good luck and Go Greeson!
(updated 7-17-2019) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips had no reports.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 369.26 feet msl (normal pool: 345.0 feet msl).
(updated 7-17-2019) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said the crappie tournament staged there last weekend “went really well. The best crappie caught weighed in at 1.75 pounds. The bite is excellent for everyone, and the crappie are found in 8-10 feet depth. Purple/chartreuse jigs are an excellent bait, while minnows also will work. Fish the brush piles. Black bass are excellent. Anglers are using minnows, jigs, Carolina rigs and “pretty much anything,” they tell us. Bass in the 10- to 12-inch size are being caught regularly. Bream are excellent on worms (especially nightcrawlers now) and crickets. The catfish bite is also excellent, with worms, shrimp, leeches, minnows and anything else working. One group caught 90 fish in three days. Nimrod’s clarity as of Tuesday early afternoon was cloudy. The water remains high, some 24 feet above normal pool.
(updated 7-17-2019) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) says no one is camping or fishing. “It is like a ghost town.” The water is very high and muddy. No reports.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 576.00 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 7-17-2019) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) said black bass are fair. Texas-rigged worms and drop-shot rigs fished over points are working at this time. Walleye are good. Three-quarter-ounce CC Spoons jigged vertically and nightcrawlers on drop-shot rigs are producing good stringers. Stripers are still good. These fish have moved to the eastern part of the lake and are being caught on live bait or big hair jigs. Bream are good, with reports of fish being caught with grubs and worms in 15-25 feet of water near brush. Crappie are slow and being caught with jigs or minnows in 20-30 feet of water near brush. Catfish are good and anglers are having luck with rod and reel using live nightcrawlers around brush piles. Water temperature is ranging 84-88 degrees. Water clarity is stained. Lake level Tuesday was 576 feet msl. 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 407.46 feet msl (full pool: 384.00 feet msl).
(updated 7-3-2019) Angler Dane Goodwin said Blue Mountain is 31.5 feet high. No reports.
(updated 7-17-2019) Professional fishing guide Ronnie Tice (901-687-6800) said Monday the lake was muddy and it had been very windy and rainy. The water level is “just a little high.” Ronnie says that before the weather system from Hurricane Barry arrived, he had 40-60 crappie caught in one day and they threw 20 back that were under 10 inches. Crappie overall are good on minnows and jigs. Fish for them under piers and around the lily pads. Black bass are good in the mornings and the evenings. He says he caught 15 one day this past week. Fish with topwaters and work the shoreline. Bream are excellent and they remain on their beds. Redworms and crickets will work. Catfishing is good on worms or chicken liver.
Bear Creek Lake
(updated 7-17-2019) Natalie Faughn, assistant superintendent at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), had no reports.
(updated 7-17-2019) The AGFC’s Wil Hafner at Cook’s Lake Conservation Education Center (870-241-3373) said the water is high and stained and on the rise due to the effects of Hurricane Barry, but the oxbow looks great for bass, crappie and bluegill. Fishing has been slow for all species. For black bass try jigs and square-bill crankbaits around cypress trees and laydowns. For bluegill try redworms or crickets 2 feet under a slip cork. Crappie should be biting on jigs and minnows around the cypress trees and in the channel.
Cook’s Lake is a 2.5-mile-long oxbow off of the White River, nestled in the heart of the Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge near Casscoe in Arkansas County. This fertile oxbow receives very little fishing pressure due to being used only for education purposes and youth and mobility-impaired fishing. The scenic lake is full of slab crappie, giant bluegills, largemouth bass and catfish of all species. Cook’s Lake will be open to fishing during normal business hours, Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through October, water level pending. Cook’s Lake is open to fishing for youth under 16 or mobility-impaired anglers, and up to two helpers (who may also fish). Fish from the 140-foot mobility-impaired accessible dock or launch a boat, but we ask for trolling motors only. Before launching, please check in at the Conservation Education Center, and report back before leaving. For information or unscheduled closures, please contact the center at 870-241-3373.
Storm Creek Lake
(updated 7-17-2019) Natalie Faughn, assistant superintendent at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), had no reports.