July 24, 2019
Jim Harris Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for July 24, 2019. If there is a body of water you would like included in this report, please email email@example.com with information on possible sources for reports about that lake or river. Reports are updated weekly, although some reports might be published for two weeks if updates are not received promptly or if reporters say conditions haven’t changed. Contact the reporter for the lake or stream you plan to fish for current news. 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 7-24-2019) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) says the lake still has the Lake Conway stain and the water is at a normal level. No surface temperature was reported. Bream are excellent on redworms and crickets, as well as hair-tie jigs. Crappie are fair, with best results coming on crappie minnows and small stinger jigs. Black bass are excellent on pretty much anything, but anglers specifically note spinnerbaits and plastic worms as being great, along with live worms, chatterbaits and creature baits. Catfishing reports were good, with the cats biting on worms, stink bait, bream or nightcrawlers.
(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 7-24-2019) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service said Wednesday morning the Corps of Engineers is releasing 12 hours of two units of generation daily. This generation pattern is providing windows of wading opportunities during the morning on the upper sections of the river and on the middle and lower sections later in the day. We are expecting an increase in generation on the Little Red River to lower the lake to seasonal pool when conditions downstream allow. Until that time, recommended are midges, sowbugs, emergers, hares ear and streamers for flyfishing. For Trout Magnet fishing, go with 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 forecasted generation schedule.
(updated 7-24-2019) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said, “Whew!!! Woke up this morning and it was actually cool! The river remains clear and the Corps of Engineers has informed me that generation will increase by one hour on Wednesday and maybe up to two hours of additional generation by the weekend. This will make a 14-hour generation period, and one should check the starting times since they may change.”
Greg says mayflies and midges are still the major hatches on the river, with nymphs and pupas producing a good bite. Please be careful if you’re on the river during high-water generation. All boaters should be extremely careful and small craft should only be used by experienced kayakers or canoers in high water. Avoid any obstructions such as docks, logs or trees when approaching from the upstream side. Putting children in boats during high water is dangerous, especially in small craft, because the current can separate them from the adults if the craft capsizes. Remember, the lake is a good option during high-water conditions on the river.
Greers Ferry Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation is 469.77 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.54 feet msl).
(updated 7-24-2019) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 469.77 feet msl. It is 7.23 feet above normal pool of 462.54 feet msl, and generation is going along at about 12 hours a day. It’s according to who you talk to about the catching – “some good, some bad, but I think it has more to do with knowledge of where to be when and why, more than anything else. The overall picture I am predicting is good for catching any species you are trying to target from now until late January of next year unless the weather throws us for a big loop.” Crappie are eating in 12-45 feet of water on jigs and minnows. Go with beetle spins, etc. Bream are spunky guarding fry and also just eating in 1 inch to 30 feet of water on crawlers, crickets, inline spinners, beetle spins etc. Walleye are maybe finally going to be more hemmed up on flats better than they have been with all the high water that has had them scattered; try dragging crawlers in 18-45 feet of water. Black bass will eat about anything if you put in front of them right. Use what you like in 1 inch of water all the way out to 80 feet. “If you’re not catching, try something else as you are not doing the right thing,” Tommy says. Catfishing is still simple, just keep it simple, use what you like – it’s a very untapped resource here, lots of good fish to be caught. Hybrid bass and white bass are enjoying all the shad we have as well. Any and all are anywhere now from 25 feet to 80 feet. Use big spinners, big spoons, small spinners and small spoons, swimbaits, Alabama rigs, hair jigs – lots of baits will work if you put it in front of some. And topwaters as well.
Harris Brake Lake
(updated 7-24-2019) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) says the water clarity has cleared up, while the surface water temperature Tuesday early afternoon was 87 degrees, a little drop from a week ago thanks to the cooler surface air temp. The water level is normal. Bream are good using crickets. Crappie are good in 8-12 feet depth using minnows. Black bass are responding to plastic worms with good results. Catfishing is excellent. Use worms/nightcrawlers or chicken liver.
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 7-17-2019) Westrock Landing (501-658-5598) on Highway 10 near Roland says the surface water temperatuer is in the mid-80s. Largemouth bass are fair. Most of them can be found in 16-20 feet of water at dusk and at dawn biting a variety of lures. Some reports say black bass can be found in 8-12 feet and 16-20 feet. Try using chatterbaits, crankbaits, jerkbaits, drop-shots and swimbaits. The Tuesday Night Black Bass Tournament featured a 5.53 Big Bass caught by Darren Keener and John Chaney, whose 13.04 total stringer of bass won the event. Rick Easter and Shane Curtis caught an 11.39-pound stringer.
The spotted bass are slow. Reports of Kentucky bass being found in 10-15 feet of water outside the grassline at dusk and at dawn. Then can also be found in 18-22 feet of water off drops and rocky banks. White bass continue to be slow. Some may be found mixed in with the crappie on the flats or near brush piles in 8-12 feet of water. Rooster Tails, jerkbaits and rattle-type baits work best for the whites. Crappie are fair. Reports lately have them being found stacking in and around brush in 15-18 feet of water. Try using jigs and minnows. Bream are good. They are up shallow, moving into their beds around 8 feet or less. Use crickets and worms. Catfishing has been slow. You might find some channel cats in the shallow water, though. Use chicken liver, crawfish or 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 7-24-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish are biting chicken livers, worms and stink bait fished on the bottom. Bream have been biting crickets and mealworms. Bass have been biting fair on minnows, soft plastics and small topwater baits. Crappie fishing has been slow.
Bishop Park Ponds
(updated 7-24-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bream fishing has been pretty good with crickets, redworms and mealworms. A few customers have reported catching some small to fair-sized crappie on No. 6 minnows. Catfish have been biting fair on minnows, chicken livers and worms. Bass have been hitting minnows, small soft plastics and small topwater baits.
Saline River Access in Benton
(updated 7-24-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish have been biting black salties, goldfish and minnows on trotlines and limblines. Bass fishing is good with small plastics, crawdad crankbaits, and large minnows. Crappie have been biting fair on No. 6 minnows and Kalin’s grubs in Tennessee Shad and crystal colors. Bream will bite crickets and worms. Gar fishing is fun on the river this time of year. Sight-fishing with No. 12 minnows works well. You'll need sharp hooks and strong line to get the job done.
(updated 7-24-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish have been biting well on minnows, black salties, nightcrawlers and chicken livers. Bass have been biting best early in the mornings and at night on Texas- and Carolina-rigged plastics, topwater lures and buzz baits. Bream are biting crickets and redworms fished on thebottom in water anywhere from 4 to 20 feet deep. Customers tell Lisa they are starting to scatter and they've had to move around to get a mess of the big ones. Crappie fishing has slowed but a few are still being caught on No. 6 minnows.
(updated 7-24-2019) 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 7-24-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said a few customers report catching some good bream on Winona recently. Bluegill are biting crickets, and the redears seem to like redworms and mealworms better. Fish close or on the bottom in coves from 1 to 6 feet deep. Catfish start biting right before dark and will hit worms, minnows, chicken livers or bait shrimp. Crappie fishing has been fair for some customers using No. 6 minnows and various jigs. Bass have been biting fair on minnows, plastic worms and lizards and topwater baits in low light times.
(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 7-24-2019) Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) had no reports.
Arkansas River (Cadron Pool)
Little Maumelle River
(updated 7-24-2019) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said conditions have changed dramatically there. Now, the water is really low, he said, and the clarity is strained. Fishing for bream has been poor, but toss a redworm or cricket out there and see what happens. Also, poor reports have come in on the crappie bite. However, things get great with black bass and catfish. Bass are excellent on spinnerbaits, live worms and plastic worms. Catfishing is excellent mainly with chicken livers but also with worms.
Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)
(updated 7-24-2019) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) is finally hearing some fishing reports from here. Bream are excellent on waxworms and crickets. Crappie are good in 10-15 feet depth on mosly black/chartreuse jigs. Black bass are good early in the morning and late in the evening on black buzzbaits.
(updated 7-24-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) had no report.
Arkansas River (Little Rock Pool)
(updated 7-24-2019) Fish ‘N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) says that finally there may be a breakthrough for folks wanting to get back on the river. They report that if everything goes as the Corps of Engineers predicts, then Saturday may be the day it is safe for anglers and boaters to return to the river. Until then, everyone is urged to avoid it. The water is murky and the level is high. Off the main channel of the river, though, they hear that black bass are biting fair off the jetties with a crankbait and around the grass lines of the backwaters with jigs. Also, throw a topwater around brush.
(updated 7-24-2019) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said that while the river is muddy and high, there is fishing in the backwaters, with crappie biting good in 10-15 feet depth, best on black chartreuse jigs. Below the Terry Lock and Dam, stripers are reported excellent, with anglers using three-quarter-ounce jigheads with chartreuse Super Flukes. Also, white bass are good. Use a white Vibrant Rooster tail around that dam, as well as the Murray Lock and Dam on the northeast end of the Little Rock pool.
(updated 7-24-2019) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) says that below the Terry Lock and dam, the clarity is murky and the level is high, but bream and crappie are biting great. Bream are providing excellent hauls, with crickets working. The crappie are excellent, too, in the mornings and later in the evenings on minnows.
(updated 7-24-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) has no reports.
Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 7-24-2019) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is murky and the level is high. Bream are enjoying the conditions and the bite is excellent on redworms and crickets. Crappie also are excellent. They are eally good in the early mornings and later in the evening on minnows and jigs. No other 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 7-24-2019) Angler William McCoy had no report.
(updated 7-24-2019) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) says the Bull Shoals tailwater of the White River will satisfy your need for a variety of fishing conditions – all in one day! “We've been wading in the early morning with midges and jigs, anchor fishing midday with big sculpins and drift-fishing in the afternoon with an egg pattern and shrimp. The catches have met or exceeded our expectations for White
River daily tallies. The weather has been perfect. Very cool mornings and sunny, extremely mild afternoons on the White River are soothing to the soul.” The rainbows have been chasing smaller baits, especially the spoons. The gold and red Cleo and silver and blue Thomas Buoyant, 1/6-ounce, have been stirring a lot of action. The power generation, although at times fairly high (up to five or six generators, 16,000 cfs), has not caused an issue with water clarity over the last several weeks. “It may yet be a few weeks before we are treated to around-the-clock high water releases from the dam, so keep the shallow water baits handy for a while yet.”
(updated 7-24-2019) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the river is fairly clear. It’s low in the mornings, higher in the afternoon with generation. Fishing is good in all depths of water, though, they report. The trout bite is excellent. PowerBaits are the main way to go. Several browns and rainbows were caught on stick baits, spoons, Little Cleo spinners and pink worms as well.
(updated 7-24-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last Friday that during the previous week they had a couple of minor rain events (combined for a quarter inch in Cotter), hot temperatures (to include heat index warnings) and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals rose 0.3 foot to rest at 25.7 feet above seasonal power pool of 661 feet msl. This is 8.3 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock remained steady at 3 eet above seasonal power pool and 11 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.4 foot to rest at 6.6 feet above seasonal power pool and 2 feet below the top of flood pool. The White had heavy generation early in the week with no wadable water and lower generation later in the week, with some wadable water. Norfork Lake rose 0.4 foot to rest at 15.2 feet above seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet msl and 8.9 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had heavy generation in the afternoon and wadable water in the morning. 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 expect heavy generation for the foreseeable future.
The White has fished very well. The hot spot has been the 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 size 18 ruby midge suspended below it. Use lead to get your flies down).
John also mentions an interesting catch at Dry Run Creek: “Over the Fourth of July holiday a few weeks ago. I had a three-day guide trip with a nice family from my old hometown, Memphis. I took the kids, Eva and Fulton, fishing on Dry Run Creek on the first and second day. On the third my wife, Lori, took them to Dry Run Creek while I took mom and dad fishing on the White River.
“The first day, I picked them up at River Ridge Inn at 7:30 a.m. and headed to Dry Run Creek. We were the second car in the parking lot. I like to get there early to ensure that I can get into my favorite spots. They had borrowed waders and had some issues with fit. While we sat there dealing with that about a dozen young anglers arrived and went to the creek. I was concerned that we would not get into my favorite spots. When we were all ready, we headed to the creek and I was pleasantly surprised to see my prime spot open.
“It has a deep fast run and is next to a productive run that always hold decent fish. The two spots are close enough that I can assist the two anglers without running the creek bank too much. I usually put one child in a spot and the other child in the other. I then switch them off from time to time, to ensure that the get plenty of time in the best water.
“I started off with Eva in the best water. She was younger than her brother, Fulton, and not as aggressive. I coached her and she picked up a few trout but no big ones. She was very patient and paid close attention to my coaching. Meanwhile, Fulton was doing well and landed several big trout. We decided to have them swap spots.
“Eva began fishing the new spot in earnest. Her Dad and I could see several large trout in the water and anticipated success. She was a bit slow on the hook set and I patiently coached her on a more aggressive action.
“About this time, the strike indicator went down. I called out to her to set the hook and she did. The fish was on. It appeared to be pretty big. As we reeled it in, something looked strange. The leader appeared to be much longer than I had put on the rod. As it drew closer, I noted that Eva had hooked a line that was hooked to the trout. It had been hooked previously and had broken off from the angler. It was now trailing a long length of monofilament attached to a big jig and Eva’s line was securely hooked to a tangle in the monofilament. It was a struggle, but she prevailed. She had landed a stout 23-inch rainbow.
“It was fortunate that she landed the trout. Not just for her to catch a big fish, but also to remove the heavy fly and the mass of monofilament from it. If the mono had gotten tangled in the bottom of the creek, the fish could have died. Eva didn’t just release it, she saved it. In this case, getting caught was good for the trout.”
Bull Shoals Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 686.38 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 661.00 feet msl).
(updated 7-24-2019) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said the lake level is 27 feet above normal, while the clarity is cloudy. Surface temperature Tuesday midafternoon was 86 degrees. Black bass are fair on topwater baits. Catfishing is fair using trotlines or limblines. Some walleye are being caugh, he says. 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 570.67 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 7-24-2019) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideway Resort had no report.
(updated 7-24-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last weekend that during the previous week Norfork Lake rose 0.4 foot to rest at 15.2 feet above seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet msl and 8.9 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had heavy generation in the afternoon and wadable water in the morning. 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 expect heavy generation for the foreseeable future.
The Norfork has been slow. Navigate this stream with caution there has been major gravel recruitment at the bottom of Mill Pond and the dock hole over the past couple of years. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (sizes 18, #0, 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 (size 18) ruby midge 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 mop flies.
Buffalo National River/Crooked Creek
(updated 7-24-2019) 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 1,127.88 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.00 feet msl).
(updated 7-24-2019) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) says Beaver Lake still remains above normal level and the water temperature is climbing up into upper 80s. Summer is here, water temperature wise. Look early and late for fish to be active. This is a good time to try night fishing if you have not done that. Get yourself some green underwater fishing lights and anchor along bluff walls or known structure. And get a bucket if minnows and you should be able to catch an assortment of fish. It’s a great way to get out of the heat. Jon says he has heard some good reports up the lake on smallmouth bass from his friend Larry. Bass in general are fair/good, and some schooling has been seen early and late. Stripers are good but you have to find them, so good electronics are a must-have – “I cannot stress this enough!” Crappie have found the thermocline and, again, electronics will find the thermocline and the fish. “f you have no electronics, well, troll some cranks that dive to 15=20 feet and you should catch some,” Jon said. “People call these the dog days of summer but if you have the time, and fish at the right time, you will catch fish.” Catfishing is good with various baits and techniques. Walleye are fair/good using crawler harnesses and cranks with snap weights. “If you do not know how snap weight fishing works, I will post an article on my Facebook page, FishOn Guides in Goshen Arkansas, this week. Go check it out for some good info on Beaver Lake. Also, call anytime and I would be happy to help in any way. Be safe and hit the lake. The fish are there, just modify into a summer pattern and you can catch them.”
(updated 7-24-2019) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the water remains high, up 2-3 feet above normal, and the clarity is still murky. Anglers report bream are fair on redworms and crickets. Crappie are good if you’re trolling crankbaits. Bass are fair; fish a spinnerbait at night, or come back with the topwater lure in the morning. Catfishing is fair using prepared bait. Walleye are being caught by the dam on nightcrawler rigs. All fish appear in their summertime pattern now.
(updated 7-24-2019) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said fishing has been “excellent this week! Trout are biting on just about everything from various PowerBaits, spoons and jigs.” The hot spot has been between Bertrand access and Parker Bottoms again this week. There have been some schools of white bass between Beaver town and Holiday Island. The whites were hitting on various suspended hard baits and U-rigs with white grubs. The Kentucky bass are hanging in structure and hitting soft plastics, both jigged and suspended. The water levels are starting to fall in the river, so more bank fishing should be available in the coming week(s). “I hope you all stay safe and get out and catch some fish.”
(updated 7-24-2019) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) says the clarity remains murky and the water level is normal. No surface temperature was recorded. Bream are fair on worms. Nothing reported on crappie over the past week. Black bass are good using soft plastic worms. Catfishing is fair with live worms or stink bait.
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 7-24-2019) 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 found in the shallows and are biting well on redworms. They are still bedding. Crappie is active around structures and biting artificial baits. The bite is reported good. Black bass are good on topwaters and swimbaits. Catfishing is good using stink bait, cut bait and worms. They also have moved up shallow with the cooler weather.
(updated 7-24-2019) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) says bream and catfish are still biting well from the shore. Bass and catfish have moved to deeper water. The best days for fishing, she says, should be July 29-Aug. 4. Clarity is murky and the water on Sunday morning was 70 degrees. Use worms and crickets for a good bream bite, while jigs and worms are both working for crappie. If you’re targeting bass, throw crankbaits, plastic worms or live worms. Anglers report fair results. Catfishing will be fair using blood bait or stink bait.
(updated 7-24-2019) Ome Coleman at Lake Poinsett State Park said, “Thank you, Lord, for cooler weather. Lake Poinsett State Park has seen a greater number of fishermen stop in to get their live bait and other supplies. Some are going for goldfish to catch some nice catfish. Others are just wanting to relax and enjoy putting the crickets on their hook to have fun with the bream. We don’t have any rice slicks, but we are keeping plenty of minnows, redworms and nightcrawlers (as well as frozen bait) on hand. Hopefully, this cooler weather will stay around for a while.” 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 7-24-2019) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said Crown Lake is clear and at a normal level, but the water is hot even with the cold front passing through. Bream are fair on redworms and crickets. No report on crappie. Black bass are poor, but angers are getting some catches early in the morning and late in the evening. Catfish reports are good, with chicken liver and cut bait working best.
(updated 7-24-2019) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) said water levels at the spring are running at 370 cfs and water clarity has been clear. The river is looking great and with the nice temps this week, and the catching has been great. On the overcast days olive and brown Woollies are working great. The sunny days are all about getting the fly down to the bottom of the river. Y2Ks and White Lightnings are working well on the sunny days. As water levels start to get back to average flows, the fishing just keeps getting better. High water all year has the trout stacked up and the lower water flows have the trout feeding more. Mayflies and caddis are hatching well, too. “Prince nymphs and pheasant tail can be very productive fished Euro-nymphing style. And it’s is a fun way to fish, also. We usually run two nymphs for maximum effect,” Mark says.
(updated 7-24-2019) 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 7-24-2019) Walcott Lake (Crowley’s Ridge State Park) is cloudy and the water is warm with the hot air temperature around it. Water level is high. The largemouth bass bite is fair. Bass are about 8 feet deep and will hit a topwater. No other reports.
(updated 7-24-2019) 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 7-24-2019) Austin Davidson, park interpreter at Cane Creek State Park, said that with cooler weather and lower humidity, it’ll feels good to be out on the lake regardless of how well the fish are biting. That being said, reports are coming in of multiple decent hauls within the past week. Bass are taking advantage of the cooler morning and evenings by moving into the shallows along the shoreline and feeding on topwater baits. Throw a topwater bait near the edge of the bank and draw it toward you. Baits that use a short, jerky action (Zara Spooks, frogs, Whopper Ploppers, etc.) are drawing the attention of good-size bass hiding under structure. Soft plastics that have been Texas-rigged and drawn across the bottom have also gotten some results. Throw a worm or creature bait onto the shoreline and twitch it into the water with sporadic, bouncing movement. Bright colors like whites, chartreuses and pinks will be easily seen in the clearer water. Bream are hit and miss at the moment. Many great reports have come in from people fishing in the shallows with a cricket. Tie your cricket above your sinker and drag it across the bottom. Make sure that you cast away from your boat or the dock that you’re on to keep from scaring the fish. Catfish are still biting in the evening and on into the night. Fish in an area at about 10 feet deep, using fresh chicken liver soaked in garlic salt. Crappie are sitting deep at the moment. Find a spot in the lake at least 12 feet deep, go deeper if possible, and fish at about 8 feet. Use shiners and be patient. You probably won’t catch your limit, but a haul of five or six good crappie is possible.
(updated 7-24-2019) Brian Whitson, park interpreter at Lake Chicot State Park (870-265-5480), says fishing has been a bit slow. There very little activity report. Lake level continues to decrease, although the lake is still accessible by the boat ramp at Lake Chicot State Park as well as a couple of others. Weather is predicted to be pretty mild for the week, although temperatures may be a bit cooler then they have been. 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 7-24-2019) 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 259.25 feet msl (normal pool: 259.20 feet msl).
(updated 7-17-2019) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said they are beginning to see a slight relief from all this heat and humidity in southwest Arkansas. “We are just now seeing a cold front drop down, and it is a welcome break from the heat.” Millwood Lake is currently undergoing a 2-foot drawdown, according the my contacts at the Army Corps of Engineers. Millwood is currently 13 inches BELOW normal conservation pool and falling at 258.1 ft-msl msl; and the discharge was near 9,727cfs in Little River, according to the Corps. The tailwater below the dam and gates, as of Monday, is around 236 feet msl. Water temps were 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, especially during drawdown conditions.
Mike says there has not been a lot of change in bass activity. Largemouths are in their typical, full-blown summer patterns, and best level of topwater activity continues to be early morning, best from dawn to around 9-10 a.m. Once the sun climbs and begins intense surface penetration, the surface temp will climb several degrees and the largemouth bass after around 9-10 a.m. are retreating to the first and second drops out of the flats and deeper sections of the creeks or the river behind primary and secondary points out of river current. Over the past few mornings, cloud cover mornings were best for overall surface activity. Best baits drawing early morning reactions have been buzzbaits, plastic frogs and Johnson Spoons in new lily pad growth. On cloudy mornings we are using a gold spoon with a 3- to 4-inch tail thumping Bang Die Dapper swimbait on the single hook, and bright mornings we simply change from gold Johnson spoon to a chrome version with the same Bang Die Dapper trailer. At daylight, throw the spoon and trailer as far back in the pads near creek channels and work it out to the creek over the tops of the lily pads. This presentation has drawn some ferocious topwater explosions lately in the pads from 1-3 pounders cruising shallow just before daylight and meandering their way back to the creeks as the sun rises and heats up the surface temps. Heddon Dying Flutters, Baby Torpedoes, and Moss Bosses are still good for a few reactions also working at daybreak. Best color of frogs have been Snot Rocket or Black in new lily pads. Hot Firecracker buzzbaits are still randomly working at dawn. StutterSteps & Spit'n Images continue to draw random reactions from largemouths around grass, vegetation and lily pads. Several boats were chasing the random, schooling yearling bass and whites near daybreak in the oxbows over the past week. These mostly juvenile bass, are randomly breaking for 10-30 seconds at a time, early just after dawn in the backs of several oxbows up Little River. We have been catching those schooling yearling largemouths and whites with Bomber Fat Free Shads and Fat Free Guppys in Citrus Shad, along with a Cordell hammered spoons, clear Baby Torpedoes, tail spinner Rat-L-Traps, and Cordell Crazy Shads in chrome/black, clear/Blue Nose or Moon-Eyed Shad colors.
White bass were found several weeks ago, schooling with juvenile largemouths 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 along with a host of topwater in the middle of the mayhem, like chrome/black or Clear-Blue nose Cordell Crazy Shads, clear Baby Torpedoes, Cordell hammered spoons, and Heddon Dying Flutters. Crappie have been consistently biting jigs and minnows near cypress trees for the past several weeks well. The 4-feet to 8-feet-deep Cypress trees hold fish early, and planted brush piles out of river current from 8-12 feet deep is holding fish later in the day. Crappie over the past couple weeks continue to be 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 till around 10 a.m. shallow on cypress trees using minnows. Channel Cats and blues, up to 3-4 pounds, are still feeding in Little River on trotlines and yo-yos set 10-15 feet deep in Little River using cut bait or spoiled chicken livers.
(updated 7-24-2019) Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) had 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 555.20 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).
(updated 7-24-2019) Tamara Lunsford, park superintendent at Daisy State Park near Kirby, said Lake Greeson’s surface water temperature Sunday was ranging 85-90 degrees, and the water was very turbid. The lake is 9.21 feet above full pool as of 9:30 a.m. Sunday. Bream are poor, but there is a little bite on worms at 5-10 feet depth. Crappie are reported fair. They are in 10-25 feet and are biting minnows and jigs. Fish the brush piles or rocky points. Black bass are fair, and they appear to be in depth of 10-20 feet. Use spinnerbaits, crankbaits and plastic worms and fish near brush. Catfishing is poor. The best bite is on worms or blood bait. White bass reports are poor, with the water level too high. Flood waters have really affected the fishing over the past weekend, Tamara reports.
(updated 7-24-2019) 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 404.30 feet msl (full pool: 408.00 feet msl).
(updated 7-24-2019) John Duncan of yoyoguideservice.com at Iron Mountain Marina says, “Wow, what a weather change, 60s at night and 80s in the day? This must be Arkansas.” Water level is 404.29 feet msl and water surface temperature mid-80s. “I think the best fishing is in the schooling fish. Whites have been surfacing a lot lately all over the lake. Rooster-tailed jigs and spoons are great baits. The wind is the issue. Look for schooling fish in smoother water. Reports are from Iron Mountain to Shouse Ford that schooling fish can be seen.” Bream have been on the beds with the full moon. Electronics using side scan are used to find beds then back off and cast to them with slip sinker and cricket. Crappie fishing is slow. Trolling crankbaits or spider-rigging is your best bet. Remember to stay above the thermocline. No report on black bass or catfish. “Enjoy the cooler weather while you can. Go early or late and look for schooling fish in smoother water. Good luck.”
(updated 7-24-2019) 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 437.45 feet msl (full pool: 437.00 feet msl).
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 545.56 feet msl (full pool: 526.00 feet msl).
White Oak Lake
(updated 7-24-2019) 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 7-24-2019) Sharon at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said the lake is clear and it looks good. The water level is normal. No surface temperature was reported. Bream are poor. Crappie are good using a jig. Black bass are fair, with the best bites coming early in the mornings and late in the day on topwater lures. Catfishing is good on trotlines and limblines.
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro
(updated 7-24-2019) Steve Donahou at Lake Catherine State Park (501-844-4176) reached out to Austin Owens of the Lake Catherine State Park Marina, who reports that the clarity is murky and the surface temperature is a nice 77 degrees. The water level is normal. Bream are biting well. Worms and crickets will get a good response. Find the bream around the rocky points. Crappie reports are poor. Black bass are fair and are being caught in a depth of 5-10 feet. Spinnerbaits, plastic worms and topwater lures like Zara Spooks are the way to go. Catfishing is good using chicken liver. White bass are good. “A few fish (white bass) are starting to break the water late in the evenings and early morning chasing shad,” Austin told Steve.
Lake Catherine (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro
(updated 7-24-2019) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that 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 3 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 will 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 brought 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 7-24-2019) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas-born-and-bred all-welded aluminum Xpress fishing boats in Hot Springs, reports lake levels at normal pool with good water clarity of 2-4 feet throughout. With this cold front that has pushed through in the last 24 hours, the bass seem to be a little confused in thinking it’s fall. Flukes, swimbaits, spoons and spinnerbaits are doing well in shad colors like white and silver. Focus for now on the offshore fish that are cornering large baitfish balls and right at the opening of main lake pockets. Fishing this technique should be very productive for this week! No crappie report, but catfish are good as always in the creek channel drop-offs and in the mouths of pockets that a creek or main channel swing by.
(updated 7-24-2019) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips had no reports.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 365.98 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 7-24-2019) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) reports good news, saying the water may be high there but it has dropped 2 feet the past week. The clarity is muddy. But here’s the shocker, they say with a laugh: “No one is fishing.”
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 574.90 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 403.75 feet msl (full pool: 384.00 feet msl).
(updated 7-24-2019) Angler Dane Goodwin had no report.
(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 7-24-2019) Natalie Faughn, assistant superintendent at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), had no reports.
(updated 7-24-2019) The AGFC’s Wil Hafner at Cook’s Lake Conservation Education Center (870-241-3373) said the water is high but dropping and appears to be a great spot to wet a hook! Fishing has been slow for all species. For black bass try green pumpkin or black and blue jigs around cypress trees and laydowns. Shad have spawned, so a swimbait would also be a great way to cover water and search for a bite. 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 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, 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 7-24-2019) Natalie Faughn, assistant superintendent at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), had no reports.