Aug. 14, 2019
Jim Harris Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s weekly fishing report for Aug. 14, 2019. If there is a body of water you 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. Geological Survey, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/rt
For water-quality statistics (including temperature) in many Arkansas streams and lakes, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/current/?type=quality
CENTRAL ARKANSASCraig 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 8-14-2019) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) says the lake is stained and at a normal level. No surface temperature was recorded. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair using minnows and small jigs. Black bass are fair; use crankbaits or shad Flukes. Catfishing has been excellent on limblines and trotlines baited with goldfish or big minnows.
Little Red River
(updated 8-14-2019) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service said Wednesday morning they are still seeing 24 hours of generation daily. If you fish high water, you will want to use long leaders and heavy weight using egg patterns, San Juan worms, micro jigs and sowbugs. Pounding the banks with streamers is also an effective fly-fishing method. For Trout Magnet fishing, use long leaders and heavy weight using cotton candy and hot pink bodies on silver and chartreuse jigheads. Concentrate on pools along the banks. Key for both fly-fishing and Trout Magnet fishing during heavy generation is the ability to get and maintain a good presentation of the fly or Trout Magnet. 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 8-14-2019) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said the lake is about 2 feet over normal so they are still generating around the clock with one unit from midnight to 10 a.m. and two units the rest of the day. The two-unit amount will increase slightly through the weekend. The good news is that the lake should be normal within about a week and the generation will be for power demand only. The river is clear and the bite is on mayfly nymphs, sowbugs and micro jigs fished deep. “Please continue to be safe during this high-water generation,” Greg said. “Plan ahead so that your boat doesn’t drift against any obstacle in the river. Also, during this time of the year, the fog is heavy o[n the river in the morning. Take it easy motoring in the fog to avoid other boats on the river.”
Greers Ferry Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation is 464.81 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.54 feet msl).
(updated 8-14-2019) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake on Wednesday morning was at 464.83 feet msl and falling. It is 2.29 feet above normal pool of 462.54 feet msl. “We are in summer mode for sure, but the shorter days and cooler weather ahead will trigger the bite overall and it’s going to be good with all the shad the lake has,” he says. Crappie are eating minnows and jigs as well as beetle spins fished slow in or around 30-40 feet. Fish straight up and down or slow reel through them. Black bass are from up on the shoreline out to 60 feet eating a variety of baits dragged around or moving or on top. Find the shad and fish will be near. Catfish are still coming in all around the lake on a lot of different baits and ways to catch them. Bream are eating, guarding fry and spawning; use crickets, crawlers and inline spinners from super shallow out to 25 feet. Walleye are getting more catchable as water drops – the bite should be real good going forward on crawlers. Hybrid bass and white bass are eating on and off all day and night, whenever the urge strikes them, as the abundant shad all over the lake are easy prey. The hybrids and whites are using edges of some sorts, all in water 25-65 feet deep, to corral them up to eat. They may wonder off of it some but relate to edges – either timber, humps, bends or channels of rivers or creeks. Use spoons, inline spinners, swim baits or a glide baits.
Harris Brake Lake
(updated 8-14-2019) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) says the water clarity remains clear and the surface water temperature is “really hot.” The water level is back up to normal as of Monday afternoon. The bream are fair using redworms or crickets. Crappie are fair with minnows or jigs. No reports came in on largemouth bass. Catfish are biting fair on worms, chicken liver and little bream.
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 7-31-2019) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said water level is about normal and the clarity is good. Surface temperature is around 90 degrees. Bream are doing well on crickets and redworms. Crappie are slow but anglers are still catching some in 12-14 feet of water over brushtops and around stumps. Bass are doing well. The average bass caught is 3 to 6 points. Catfish are fair and are being caught on jugs and trotlines with bream and shad.
(update 8-14-2019) Angler Larry Walters had no report.
(updated 7-31-2019) Westrock Landing (501-658-5598) on Highway 10 near Roland says water temperature is in the low 90s. The largemouth bass bite is fair. Most of them can be found in 16-20 feet of water dusk and dawn biting a variety of lures. Some reports coming in this week say the black bass can be found in 8-12 feet and 16-20 feet. Try using chatterbaits, crankbaits, jerkbaits, drop-shots, and swimbaits. Kentucky bass are slow. Some reports of the spots being found in 10-15 feet of water outside the grass line at dusk and dawn. They can also be found in 18-22 feet off drops and rocky banks. White bass are slow. Some can be found mixed in with the crappie on the flats or near brush piles in 8-12 feet. Try using Rooster Tails, jerkbaits and rattle-style baits. Crappie are fair. Reports of them being found stacking in and around brush 15-18 feet of water. Some can still be found scattered mixed in with the whites. Try using jigs and minnows. Bream are good. They can be found up shallow. They are in and around their beds around 8 feet or less. Try using crickets and worms. Catfishing is slow. Some channel cats moved into shallow water. Try using chicken liver, crayfish or worms.
(updated 8-7-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie fishing has been good in the hour or so before daylight for at least one customer who reports catching some nice stringers of some decent fish on No. 6 minnows. Bass have been pretty active early in the mornings, too. Live minnows, floating plastics and topwater baits have been working well. Catfish are biting fair for people using minnows, nightcrawlers and chicken livers. Bream fishing is good with crickets and redworms.
Bishop Park Ponds
(updated 8-7-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish have been biting chicken livers, worms and minnows. Bream are biting redworms and crickets. Crappie have been slow to bite and the few caught recently on No. 4 minnows have been small to fair-sized. Bass have been biting pretty well on minnows, floating worms and Kalin’s grubs.
Saline River Access in Benton
(updated 8-7-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said the river is low right now, so navigation can be tough, but fishing has been good for some. Bream fishing has been fun for many that get out there with light tackle and crickets or worms. Some have been catching some decent-sized redear and bluegill. Bass are biting fair, too. Live minnows, soft plastics, crawdad-colored crankbaits and small spinnerbaits all work well. Catfish are feeding at night, and minnows, goldfish, black salties, nightcrawlers or some of the smaller bream you can catch there will catch channels, blues or flatheads. Crappie have been slow on the river but they are there somewhere. Try floating a No. 4 or No. 6 minnow around logs and brush that are close to what little current there is right now.
(updated 8-7-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bream are biting crickets and redworms fished on tight lines in 12-20 feet of water and 2-4 feet under a float around docks and walls. Catfish are biting fair at night on chicken livers, minnows, nightcrawlers and cut shad. Bass fishing has been fair at night with topwater baits, buzzbaits, floating and Carolina-rigged plastics. Crappie are being stubborn, according to customers trying to catch them there, and No. 6 minnows have caught the few they did get.
(updated 8-7-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie fishing has been slow for the regulars that usually catch them. They have been catching a few on No. 6 and No. 12 minnows, but the numbers and size are both down from their usual. Bass have been hitting No. 6 and No. 12 minnows, floating worms, jigs and topwater baits at sunrise and sunset. Catfish are biting fair at night on nightcrawlers, chicken livers, bait shrimp and cut shad fished in shallow water close to deep water. Bream fishing has been good with crickets and redworms.
Arkansas River at Morrilton
(updated 8-14-2019) Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) says the flooding has cleared and a few anglers have pre-fished for an upcoming tournament. Bass are holding on wood. Use chatterbaits and swimbaits. The bass fishing is fair. Bream are fair; use crickets. Catfish are in 3-10 feet depth and biting shad and worms. Fair results. Please motor with caution, the river have seen major changes since the flooding.
Arkansas River (Cadron Pool)
Little Maumelle River
(updated 8-14-2019) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the water is clear and at a normal level. Bream are good on redworms or crickets. Crappie remain poor this week. Black bass are good fishing early in the morning or late in the evening. Use spinnerbaits and soft plastics. Catfishing is good using chicken liver.
Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)
(updated 8-14-2019) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) says bream are good using crickets. Crappie reports are poor. Nothing reported on bass or catfish.
Arkansas River (Little Rock Pool)
(updated 8-14-2019) Fish ‘N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) says the water is a little dingy and the level now is slightly above normal. No reports came in for bream. Crappie are good and are biting in 5-6 depth of water. They’re hanging around brush piles and biting minnows, but make sure you also throw chartreuse/black jigs. Black bass reports remain good for another week. Crankbaits and plastic worms are dependably bringing them in. Also use a shaky head worm and a regular worm. Work the jetties and fish the backwaters for best success. Anglers are catching catfish off the bank using Magic Bait. The bite is good. Have stink bait and cut bait handy, no matter what. Fishing rates fair to good “on everything right now,” they say.
(updated 8-14-2019) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said the looks muddy and is high with a lot of current. Bream are good using crickets. He’s only heard poor reports for crappie in the pool, and the results are just as poor below the Terry Lock and Dam. Black bass are biting well on square-bill crankbaits. Catch them best early in the morning. Also throw black buzzbaits early. Catfishing is fair below the Murray Lock and Dam at the hydrogenerating plant. Stripers are biting Rooster Tails below the dam as well. Below Terry Dam, bream are good there also; use crickets. Same reports for black bass here as well, with early morning best. Nothing heard on catfish below the Terry Dam.
(updated 8-7-2019) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) reported that below the Terry Lock and Dam, the river is clearing up and the water is just a little high. Black bass are good, and anglers are using crankbaits or worms on the edges and around jetties. Catfish are good behind the dam with cut bait. No reports on bream or crappie.
Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 8-14-2019) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is clear, but the water is so hot that few anglers have been out. Water level is normal. Bream reports are fair; use worms or crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Nothing reported on black bass or catfish.
(updated 8-7-2019) Donna Mulherin at Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) says the lake clarity is clear and the water level is normal. No surface water temperature was recorded. Bream remain good on redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair trolling, using jigs, or fishing with minnows. Black bass are good on spinnerbaits and topwater baits. Catfishing is good using chicken liver, hot dogs, “and just about anything,” she said.
(updated 8-14-2019) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) says, “The White River below Bull Shoals Dam in the northernmost area of central Arkansas is Trout Fishing Heaven. The pattern we have seen developing for water releases from the dam, if there is such a thing as a pattern, is a full three units (12,000-plus cfs) during the early morning hours. The water level remains fairly steady throughout the morning, then after the noon hour the water begins a gradual rise as an additional three generators are released, usually stepped up slowly.
“Big water means big trout. Have you seen the rainbows that are being caught?! This past week we've awarded six catch-and-release pins for rainbows over 19 inches. There are more in the 17- to 19-inch range. Sometimes they demand a minnow before they'll let you catch sight of them, but more often than not, they take a bite of a bubblegum pink worm with a little shrimp added to the end of the hook. Throw out a Blue Fox spinner (grab a quarter-ounce or better) and the odds are good you'll get to work that reel.
“We're still getting glimpses of the golden rainbow trout that were stocked a few weeks back. The ones that we're seeing have obviously developed some survival skills, so you'll have to try a few tricks to bring them in. If purple doesn't work (as was suggested last week) give them a chance at a bronze Colorado spoon, one-sixth ounce; their curiosity may be your good fortune.
“If you are new to fly-fishing, we've found the San Juan worm is a good way to catch your first trout on a fly given the high water we’re experiencing. Wading may be out for now, but fishing never is, so join us on the river and catch the fun.”
(updated 8-14-2019) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the river is high, and the Army Corps of Engineers is running water with six or seven generators running round-the-clock. The fish like it, though. Fishing “was great” over the weekend, they report. Lots of rainbows were caught on river rigs with pink Power Worms. Also, lots of nice browns were brought in on stick bait – bigger browns than ever before, they say. “People fishing with guides are doing a lot better than those without,” is the report. The trout bite rates excellent.
(updated 8-14-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Sunday that during the previous week they had about an inch and a half or rain, hot temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals dropped 2 feet to rest at 20.6 feet above seasonal power pool of 661 feet msl. This is 13.4 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock remained steady at seasonal power pool and 14 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.2 foot to rest at 5.6 feet above seasonal power pool and 3 feet below the top of flood pool. The White had heavy generation with no wadable water. Norfork Lake fell 1.3 feet to rest at 11.6 feet above seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet msl and 12.6 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had heavy generation in the afternoon and very limited wadable water in the morning.
Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. Most of the lakes in the White River System are well over the top of power pool. Expect heavy generation for the foreseeable future.
Hopper season is in full swing. Use a short (7½ foot) leader to turn over the big fly. Cast near the bank and hang on. The takes can be vicious. John says he prefers large western foam hoppers so that he does not need to dress them. Add a dropper nymph to increase your catch.
The White has fished very well. The hot spot has been Rim Shoals. The hot flies were olive Woolly Buggers (sizes 8, 10), Y2Ks (sizes 14, 12), prince nymphs (size 14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead sizes 16, 18), pheasant tails (size 14), ruby midges (size 18), root beer midges (size 18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (size 10), and sowbugs (size 16). Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective (John’s current favorite combination is a cerise San Juan worm with an egg pattern suspended below it. Use long leaders and plenty of lead to get your flies down).
Bull Shoals Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 680.83 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 661.00 feet msl).
(updated 8-14-2019) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said the lake has 10 percent visibility. The surface temperature feels hot and reads out at 87 degrees. Water level is high. The Corps of Engineers is “running a lot of water,” he said. Black bass are fair. Anglers will have to work for them, but you can catch them, Del says. He says it’s junk fishing but mostly a topwater bite. Anglers will have to get out early to have success. He hears that catfishing is good on limblines in the creeks. He rates the bream and crappie bites as poor. Del updates his YouTube Channel, Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock, regularly with reports and tips on fishing the lake.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 566.93 feet msl (normal conservation pool: Sept.-April, 552.00 feet msl; April-Sept. 555.75 feet msl).
(updated 8-14-2019) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideway Resort said Norfork Lake fishing has not really changed much over the last couple of weeks. The fish are still in the summertime pattern and should remain in this pattern for the next four weeks. The only thing that might change is that the thermocline should start to drop from its current level of 20-25 feet down to 30-plus feet. The best bite for striped bass is within a mile or so of the dam. Stripers are hanging around in 60-90 feet water depth and are typically very close to the bottom. Hybrids will be with the stripers, but will also be up toward the thermocline as they handle the warmer water much better than striped bass do. You will be able to find stripers on points near the dam including Thumb, Koso, Long Point and Point 1. At times you may find them roaming out on the deeper flats in the same area.
“I fished for striped bass on Sunday and Monday of this week. On Sunday I found a lot of fish, but they were not very energetic. I got bites, but very light, and they let go of the bait quickly. Monday was a different story. I fished the same area and again lots of fish, but this time they were hungry. When they hit the bait, they took off running. It was a lot of fun. Live shad or shiners are the best baits to use at this time, but vertical-jigging a spoon or trolling may pick up some nice fish.”
Most other species of fish are hanging around the thermocline. The thermocline is at about 25 feet. “The last couple of days I fished for shallower fish and caught almost every species in the lake. This morning (Aug. 13) I spent my time looking at different types of areas within several miles of our resort. (Hummingbird Hideaway Resort) This morning I only used one bait, which was a Bink’s Many Shad, 1-ounce spoon. I was vertical-jigging in 20-30 feet of water. The best depth this morning seemed to be around 25 feet. I caught and released walleye, bass, bluegills, crappie and catfish. I believe I boated over 20 fish, but only the spotted bass and a few crappie were keeper size. The best areas seemed to be on main lake points. I marked some nice-size bass suspended 10-15 feet down near bluff line points. I checked out the back of one cove where I knew there were some shallow brush piles. The brush was in 24-27 feet of water and came up to about 15 feet. I found crappie just stacked at the top of the brush. I still only had the 1-ounce spoon tied on, but the crappie were aggressive. Several of the crappie were 10-11 inches, but most were on the short side.”
Norfork Lake continues to drop about 2 inches per day with about a half-day of full power generation. The current level is at 567.01 feet msl. The coves are slightly stained with the main lake clear. The surface water temperature this morning was 85-87 degrees. “Happy fishing and see you on the lake,” Lou said.
(updated 8-7-2019) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said the Norfork Lake stripers bite was better this past week. “I limited out one day and had several days that if we hooked all of the bites, we would have our limit. What we are finding is there is no early bite. We have been leaving the dock at 5:30 a.m. and really get no bites until after 6:30 a.m., so this week we are leaving at 6:30 a.m. Some days the bite starts around 6:30 and ends by 7:30. What I found was the active fish move out and if you wait and keep changing your bait you will get bit later in the morning. For example I have fishing one location and catch a couple of fish by 7:30, then I move to a place by the dam and try for another striper. I then move back to the original location and catch some later fish.
“Saturday I moved around everywhere and could not get a bit so I went back to my original spot and found some fish but they did not bite until 8:50 and then we had three more bites by 10 a.m. We caught two 16- and 18-pounders and lost two in that size range. I feel that the real bite is somewhere between 8 and 10 a.m.
“I also feel there is an afternoon bite, which I plan on trying on my next off day. I continue to fish from Koso Point to the dam. Dam Cove and along the buoys, the guides have been catching fish in the 80-feet range. Most of the stripers I have catching are at 80 feet right off the bottom. Inline spinners, spoons, trolling and live bait all are producing catches.”
(updated 8-14-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last weekend that during the previous week Norfork Lake fell 1.3 feet to rest at 11.6 feet above seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet msl and 12.6 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had heavy generation in the afternoon and very limited wadable water in the morning. Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. Most of the lakes in the White River System are well over the top of power pool. Expect heavy generation for the foreseeable future.
The Norfork has been slow. Navigate this stream with caution as things have changed a bit during the recent flooding. There has been major gravel recruitment at the bottom of Mill Pond and the dock hole. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (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 slow. With school starting back, it will be less 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.
Remember that the White and Norfork rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soles that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.
John also said, “Yesterday I was cutting my grass (yes it was hot) and I noticed a big tan grass hopper and I immediately began thinking about fishing hoppers. The hopper bite has been pretty good this year. I have thought that it was a bit better on the lower water that we had a few weeks ago. I have even had clients catch fish on hoppers on Dry Run Creek.
“One of my most memorable days catching fish with hoppers with clients was when I took Paul Little on the White. He is a fly fishing guide from Manchester, England, and is recognized internationally for his salmon flies. He came to Mountain Home to tie flies at the Federation of Fly Fishers Southern Council Conclave. One of my regular customers had fished with him in England and wanted to introduce him to fishing here. He hired me to take them out.
“We went to Rim Shoals, a favorite spot of mine. I had them fishing nymphs with strike indicators and we were doing well catching some nice trout. About that time a good trout came up to the top of the water to hit the indicator. It surprised Paul and he was amazed by the ferocity of the hit. Then it happened again and then again.
“I decided to try a grasshopper. Paul had never fished one. He is from an area where they fish dries and wet flies for trout and classic salmon irons for salmon. The idea of fishing a large terrestrial appealed to him. I stripped the nymphs, lead and strike indicator from his line and cut the leader back to seven feet. I then tied on a tan foam western pink lady grass hopper. This is my current favorite hopper pattern. It floats like a cork, is easy to see and does not have to be dressed. It is also deadly.
“On his first cast, he had an 18-inch rainbow hit the hopper like a ton of bricks. He deftly set the hook and had a great time landing the trout. Over the rest of the day, he landed a total of 17 trout on the hopper. He was stoked. He said that he had never fished hoppers in England but would give them a try when he got back home.
“The next day we waded the Norfork and he was much more in his element. We were catching trout on soft hackles similar to the flies he used in England. He switched over to his own wet flies to see if they would work here. They did!
“While we were fishing, he admired my prismatic forceps. We made a trade. I gave him my forceps and he gave me one of his incredible salmon flies. I had it framed and it is now proudly displayed over my desk.
“Paul got to try our great hopper fishing and was duly impressed.”
Buffalo National River/Crooked Creek
(updated 8-14-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are low and clear. 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 1,126.74 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.00 feet msl).
(updated 8-14-2019) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) says Beaver Lake has come down a bit but is still above normal. Water is warm and fishing is fair. Catfishing is the bright spot with water coming in last week river arms are producing a good bite on usual baits. Bass fishing has been fair and with the full moon coming it would be worth you time to night fish. Black spinnerbaits cannot be beat. Head up Big Clifty or Indian creek for some good action. Walleye are fair. Another tip for Walleye is to Carolina rig a whole nightcrawler and work it slowly in 25-35 feet of water off main points. Bream are there for the taking using crickets and is a great way to introduce kids to fishing. I have not heard much or seen stripers. They stay deep this time of year.” Trolling for crappie is good. Bandit 300 and Wigglewarts work well. “Troll 2.5 mph and you will catch them. Any questions, feel free to call anytime.”
(updated 8-14-2019) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the water remains clear and the level is high, though starting to drop from recent numbers. The surface water remains “hot,” of course. Bream reports fell back to fair over the past week; use worms or crickets. Crappie are fair, with spider-rigging the best way to go. Fish those brush piles. Black bass are fair. Use a topwater bait in the morning, spinnerbaits and plastic worms the remainder of the day. Jigs also will get bites. Catfishing is good on jug lines and trotlines. Bait with chicken liver. Stripers are very deep but anglers say they can be caught. Southtown says as of Monday that there have not been many anglers the past week; the heat may have had a lot to do with that.
(updated 8-14-2019) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said the water conditions in the tailwater are starting to fall to normal levels and the temperatures are consistent with this time of the year. Trout have been very responsive to spoons, jigs and various PowerBaits fished with light terminal tackle. This week’s hot spot has been between Spider Creek and the U.S. Highway 62 bridge. The Kentucky bass have picked back up farther toward Beaver. Staying around structure and suspended between 8-10 feet of water. The preferred baits has been suspended soft plastics and crankbaits. A few male walleye have been caught jigging live minnows and various jigs with soft plastics as well. With the water clearing up, try to stick to your more natural colors. “Hope you all were able to beat this heat wave and get out and fish! Stay cool and stay safe.”
(updated 8-14-2019) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) had no recent reports.
Lake Fort Smith
(updated 8-14-2019) Ralph Donnangelo, superintendent at Lake Fort Smith State Park, said the lake is still here and the fish “are kinda, sorta biting when it’s not quite so hot outside.” Heather Hula, a park interpreter, reports this week the fishing has been fair. With the water up a couple of feet due to the recent torrential rains, new vegetation is submerged and the fish are seeking out this new territory. The bass are on the move and are working on schools of shad, and if you time it just right you can catch some lunker. But you’ve got to hit it just as the bass coral the shad up in the shallows in the evening just before dark. Look for bass in 4-6 feet depth. The sunfish are as active as ever and are biting well on worms and topwater insect lures like a Trout Popper. Look for the bream in 1-4 feet of water around brush or rocky points. Angler reports are good. No reports on crappie or catfish. The lake clarity is fairly clear, though there is debris in coves. Visibility is 2 feet. Surface water temperature is 82 degrees.
(updated 8-7-2019) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said the lake remains clear and the water level is normal. No temperature was reported. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair and can be found in 5-8 feet depth of water. Use minnows, jigs and artificial crappie baits. Black bass reports were poor this week. Catfishing was good using worms or crickets.
(updated 8-14-2019) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) says Lake Charles is coming into good fishing days with a full moon on Aug. 16. The best fishing should be Aug. 27-Sept. 2. She adds that she’s looking forward to fall fishing. Lake level is now back to normal, but the clarity is turbid. Surface water temperature on Sunday morning was 70 degrees. Bream are good using worms, crickets and jigs. No reports on crappie or black bass. Catfish are good using worms and cut bait.
(updated 8-7-2019) Seth Boone at Lake Poinsett State Park said Lake Poinsett State Park is continuing to sell bait, though the lake is drained. “A good indication of the season is that anglers are seeking goldfish, which likely means the catfish are really biting. We have stayed sold out this week!” Work on Lake Poinsett continues, with a target of midway 2020 for reopening when the construction is completed and the lake refills.
(updated 8-14-2019) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the lake is clear and it feels “very hot,” probably in the 90s, they report. Water level is normal. Bream are good on worms and crickets. Crappie reports are poor. Black bass are good, with anglers using worms. Catfishing is good using worms, chicken liver and, at night, crickets.
(updated 8-14-2019) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) said the river is low and clear. Water levels are running at 390 cfs and water clarity is clear. This last week, olive Woollies were hot. Smallmouth bass and trout were hitting the fly hard. On the hit sunny days the bite can slow and a smaller nymph or Woolly will get the bites. Hot pink Trout Magnets are working great just off the bottom of the river. Gold spoons have been hot the last week also with a slow retrieve with a twitch for flash.
(updated 8-14-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Spring River is a navigable and clear. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork rivers. Canoe season is ongoing 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 8-14-2019) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) had no reports.
Arkansas River (Pine Bluff Pool)
(updated 7-31-2019) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team reported that all of the main boat ramps to the river in Pine Bluff are open (Regional Park, St. Marie Park and Island Harbor). Water temperatures are in the upper 80s. Water clarity in the harbor and some backwaters is up to about 1 foot and as little as a few inches on the main channel in certain areas. The current on the main channel is still strong as the flush continues. Water levels have been slightly lower than normal. Be careful navigating; many of the channel marker buoys are missing or displaced and some of the jetties are lower than they were before the flooding. There are also some new sand deposits so go easy through shallow places you used to run through to make sure they're still passable. Black bass are biting well on the main channel and in the harbor on shallow crankbaits and dark colored jigs.
Arkansas River (Pool 2)
Cane Creek Lake
(updated 8-7-2019) Austin Davidson, park interpreter at Cane Creek State Park, said a week of cool and stable weather followed by a few rain showers has caused the fishing at Cane Creek Lake to once again become unpredictable. Bream are reacting to the cooler water temperatures by going a little deeper in the water (5-7 feet). Worms have been the bait of choice for enticing them to bite. Fish tight line over the side of the boat in about 6 feet of water, give or take a foot, using a nightcrawler or red wiggler. As usual, crappie are still deep and are only caught by people who know where to find them. Fishing over deep holes that have structure on the bottom give you the best chance at catching a slab. Use a shiner on your hook, and suspend your line at about 9 feet to increase your chances. Bass will enjoy the cooler water and may ease out into the more open areas near lily pad fields. Find a good transition zone where a lily pad or lotus field turns back into open water, and fish around the edge. Topwater will still be your best bet in low-light conditions, while an earth-colored soft plastic played around plant stems or a bright-colored spinnerbait burned just under the surface of the water will cover your bases during the majority of the day. Catfish will be reacting to recent rains and will gather up in the shallows to catch any food that has run off into the water. Fish anywhere between 4-10 feet, around structure, with shiners (alive or dead) drug along the bottom. The recent conditions even have blue and channel cats eating other small fish alongside flatheads.
(updated 8-14-2019) Brian Whitson, park interpreter at Lake Chicot State Park (870-265-5480), says Lake Chicot’s fishing is good but, with the drawdown, finding the fish will take a bit more time. The lake level is continuing to drop at rapid rate. Most of the shoreline has been exposed and several area docks are now out of water. The boat ramp at Lake Chicot State Park is still usable, although other lake ramps may now be affected. Slight chance of rain expected through the week, with temperatures fairly hot. Remember, creel limits are reduce to half of normal limits during the draw down.
(updated 8-14-2019) No report. Lake Monticello is being emptied for upcoming dam reconstruction project and rehabilitation of the fish habitat. There are no limits on game fish at this time.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 257.40 feet msl (normal pool: 259.20 feet msl).
(updated 8-14-2019) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said Folks, "The Heat Is ON" (insert Beverly Hills Cop movie theme) and it's brutal in this corner of Arkansas. We aren't staying on the water past 10 a.m. in this heat and humidity.” Millwood Lake is undergoing a planned, 2-foot drawdown for maintenance at the dam and millet planting for fall migratory flight paths, according the Army Corps of Engineers. Millwood is 25 inches BELOW normal conservation pool and falling at 257.1 feet msl; and the discharge was near 2,200 cfs in Little River, according to the USACE. The tailwater below the dam and gates as of Monday is around 228 feet msl. 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. The drawdown will last through September.
Surface temps as of Monday were ranging near 86 degrees early to 92 degrees later under full sun. Clarity and visibility continue improving over the past week, but remain stained in places, especially upriver. The main lake and lower sections of Little River continue to improve and are not quite as stained or muddy as the upper regions of Little River and Saline River. As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity and visibility is moderate stain, ranging 5-10 inches. Little River's visibility ranges 5-10 inches with heavy to moderate stain, depending on location and current. The oxbow's clarity ranges 25-30 inches depth of visibility, depending on location. Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, rain or thunderstorms. Use caution navigating Millwood Lake during the drawdown conditions.
Largemouths continue in their typical, full-blown summer patterns. The best level of topwater activity continues to be early morning, best from dawn to around 9-10 a.m. Once the the sun climbs and begins intense surface penetration, the surface temp will climb several degrees, and the bass 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. “We have been finding decent largemouth bass hitting jigging spoons in Little River behind primary points from 7-10 a.m., and the bite shuts off. We are vertical-jigging chrome, a hammered Cordell, or Kastmaster or Johnson one-half to three-quarter-ounce jigging spoons in chrome/blue, chrome/chartreuse or solid chrome. The bass behind points and just out of the slow river current seem to prefer the jigging spoon, where stumps are in 8-12 feet of depth on backside of the points. Some days they prefer a bucktail and some days without a bucktail. The preference or presence of a bucktail or not seems to be entirely random in nature – we haven't figured out why some days a bucktail works better and other days an absence of bucktail seems to draw a better quality largemouth.
“One day last week, there was a large presence of Kentucky (spotted) bass, from 1-2 pounds each, mixed in with the school of largemouths. Seems like every other bass we caught was one or the other, and the entire school was intermingled with both species. We assume that both species are feeding on the same school of threadfin shad, and were working in harmony to keep them corralled behind the point and out of the current of Little River, making it easier on the entire school to feed without chasing the shad very far.”
Mike adds that for the largemouth bass alone, cloud cover mornings continue being best for overall surface activity for the topwater bite. The bite slows considerably during the heat of the day with the bass pulling out to deeper, vertical structure. “Seems to us that the best baits drawing early morning reactions over the past few weeks have been buzzBaits, plastic frogs and chrome Johnson Spoons in lily pads. 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 pound largemouth bass cruising shallow just before daylight and meandering their way back to the creeks as the sun rises and heats up the surface temps.” Also, Heddon Dying Flutters, Baby Torpedoes and Cotton Cordell Crazy Shads continue working on early morning breaking yearling and adolescent bass. Moss Bosses or Johnson Chrome Spoons are still good for a few reactions up in the thick of it and lily pads. Soft plastic frogs are still drawing random reactions in the pads as well. Hot Firecracker or Hot Mouse colored buzzbaits are still randomly working at dawn.
White bass are 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, along with a host of topwater baits in the middle of the mayhem. Crappie have been on fire and consistently biting minnows. It’s been best for the past few weeks in the standing timber of the oxbows and planted brush piles along Little River, just out of river current behind primary or secondary points. Minnows have been seeing the best bite over the past few weeks, with an occasional largemouth or white bass stealing it. Good slabs up to 2.5 pounds are biting well, best from daylight to around 10-11 a.m. when the bite almost shuts off like the largemouths. Most of the crappie have been holding from 4-9 feet of depth around cypress trees where deeper drops are nearby. No reports on catfish this week. Bluegills and Mason bream have been biting for the past several weeks on big redworms, catalpa worms, crickets and bread at the Millwood State Park off the shore, and at Jack's Isle on the floating dock with picnic tables. Some really nice, large-size bluegills as big as your hand have been biting for the past couple weeks.
(updated 8-14-2019) Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) has heard no reports. However, one angler reported to the AGFC catching a extremely rare golden crappie.
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 544.76 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).
(updated 8-14-2019) Tamara Lunsford, park superintendent at Daisy State Park near Kirby, had no report.
(updated 8-14-2019) 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 400.22 feet msl (full pool: 408.00 feet msl).
(updated 7-31-2019) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said schooling bass are going crazy at when dawn breaks on spoons to topwaters. After that, you should see success trolling crankbaits.
(updated 8-14-2019) John Duncan of yoyoguideservice.com at Iron Mountain Marina had no report.
De Queen Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 437.32 feet msl (full pool: 437.00 feet msl).
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 530.23 feet msl (full pool: 526.00 feet msl).
White Oak Lake
(updated 8-7-2019) Sportsman’s One Stop (870-863-7248) in El Dorado the river is almost back to normal. Bass are being caught on crankbaits, creature baits and spinnerbaits. Bream are in good shape and are still biting on worms and crickets. A few crappie are starting to bite.
(updated 8-14-2019) Sharon at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said the lake is clear and is about 1 foot below normal. Surface temperature is ranging 88-92 degrees as of Wednesday morning. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Crappie are slow but anglers are catching some, she said. It’s rated poor. Try the usual minnows or jigs. Black bass are good on soft plastics and other soft baits (worms in particular, Sharon said). Catfishing is good on trotlines using shad or bass minnows.
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro
(updated 8-14-2019) Steve Donahou at Lake Catherine State Park (501-844-4176) relays Lake Catherine State Park Marina Manage Tosha Walker’s report that the lake is clear and the surface temperature is 83.4 degrees. Water level is normal. Tasha says bream are excellent and anglers are using worms and crickets. Crappie are poor, but try minnows. Black bass are good on crankbaits and plastic worms. Catfishing is good using stink bait and chicken liver. “Several reports of good-sized catfish being caught on noodles and on trotlines using cut bait. No reports on white bass.
Lake Catherine (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro
(updated 8-14-2019) 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 7 feet below normal pool. Amazingly, good 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 that hold 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 brought white bass by the thousands into the Carpenter Dam tailrace to begin the spawn, and August 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 fishermen a good chance to hook a big striper, but artificial lures such as Super Spooks and Alabama rigs should not be overlooked. Strong rods and lines are recommended for these predator fish that possess great power and are often in the 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 8-14-2019) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) said water temperature is in the upper 80s, while water clarity in the river is improving. Some clear back water. Some creeks are stained and others are clear. The jig and Bamboozie are still rocking on shell beds and rocks. Large worms or working well on sandbars. Crankbaits are working around drops, shell beds and brush. Striped bass have been fair in the main lake on swimbaits and large spoons. White bass or and some of the creeks small crankbaits and inline spinners. Crappie are slow. Bream are on rocky shore; use crickets and worms. Catfish have improved with the recent rise of the river, and will bite cut perch, live perch and live large shad.
(updated 8-14-2019) Jason Baumgartner, park aquarist at Lake Dardanelle State Park (479-890-7495), said the week ended with overcast skies and humidity, but extreme heat and humidity arrived after the weekend, resulting in heat advisories. A summer cold front is forecasted to arrive and bring a break from the humidity. Visibility is limited to about 1 foot. Surface water temperature is about 1 foot. As of Tuesday (Aug. 13) the river at Ozark Lock & Dam 12 is at 345 feet msl. It did briefly rise to 350 feet after the scattered heavy rains late last week. Release also spiked to about 100,000 cfs before falling back to 60,000 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. Dredging continues between Shoal Bay and Spadra between river miles 221 and 225. Downriver, pool elevation near Lake Dardanelle State Park has risen significantly. Pool elevation was raised to aid the dredging operation upriver and is expected to remain elevated for a few more weeks. The Dardanelle tailwater spiked to 15 feet last weekend and has now returned to about 11 feet. Release also spiked to about 90,000 cfs but has since fallen to near 60,000 cfs. The powerhouse has been generating all day for about the last month.
Please use caution when on the water as the river bottom has changed in many areas. The catfish are hungry and biting well on shad. Lake Dardanelle State Park has no scheduled tournament events until Aug. 23-25. For tournament updates, please contact the Lake Dardanelle State Park Visitor Center at (479) 967-5516.
(updated 8-14-2019) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas-born-and-bred all-welded aluminum Xpress fishing boats in Hot Springs, reports lake temps in the high 80s at the surface with 3 feet of visibility or more throughout the lake and 12-feet-plus in the river section. “What an exciting week we have had here on Hamilton over the last week! The FLW has moved on and the fishing is still good!” Bass are doing fair to good all over the lake on deep brush piles off-shore. Target these picky eaters with drop-shot rigs with lizards and Trick Worms in natural colors like watermelon seed, black and plum apple. Many bass are suspended right now over open water that is 30-60 feet deep and attacking shad when the opportunity arises. These “breaking fish” can be caught if you are ready for the frenzy with Spooks, spoons and Flukes in white or silver shad colors. When in doubt just throw something out there into the melee! Bass upstream in the river section will take chatterbaits and swimbaits in white or silver with Fluke trailers all day but are best right before dark or in the morning. No crappie report. Catfish are good everywhere but especially on main channel drop-offs with current nearby. “Big pieces of cheese work well and are delicious to the fish and anglers. Good Luck! Go Greeson!”
(updated 7-31-2019) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said schooling bass are going crazy at Hamilton (and at DeGray) at first-light on spoons to topwaters. After that, trolling crankbaits have produced.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 343.69 feet msl (normal pool: 345.0 feet msl).
(updated 8-14-2019) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said it’s been busy on Nimrod. Three bass tournaments were held over last weekend, and another bass tournament was scheduled for Tuesday of this week. The store sold out of crickets, they report. Naturally, because the bream bite is excellent. So, either call ahead to check if they have some in or bring your own. Bream are found around the sand off the gravel points. Crappie are good and at a depth of 6-7 feet. Those crappie will bite minnows. But if you’re looking for an excellent crappie bite, throw Bandit baits and fish them 4-8 feet, they say. Go to the open waters in front of channels. Black bass are excellent. Anglers report great action using swimbaits and shad-colored Rat-L-Traps. Catfishing is excellent. “All you have to do is throw a hook in the water to catch catfish,” they tell us. Worms, chicken liver, crickets, minnows, you name it, the cats will bite it. The water clarity is a little dingy, but the good news is Nimrod has fallen back to a closer-to-normal level as of Monday. Surface temperature was 87 degrees.
(updated 7-31-2019) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) reports the clarity is muddy and the level is still high. They say anglers are starting to fish, finally, though the water is still high. It appears to be dropping about 4-5 inches each day. Water was over the dam at one point. No specific catches were reported.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 571.59 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 8-14-2019) 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, drop-shot rigs and spoons 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 are located primarily in 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 still 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 86-90 degrees. The water clarity is clear. Lake level Tuesday was 571.72 feet msl. Contact the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717, and Chris Darby, 870-867-7822) for more information.
Blue Mountain Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 390.52 feet msl (full pool: 384.00 feet msl).
(updated 8-14-2019) Professional fishing guide Ronnie Tice (901-687-6800) said Monday that the lake is clear and the water level is normal. Bream are excellent. There’s a full moon coming Friday and the bream are on their beds. Use worms or crickets. Crappie are poor. Ronnie says it’s “really slow”; he confesses he and his party did catch 26 Monday morning “but I know the spots.” Black bass are fair. He says two or three are being caught in the morning vs. 10 or 20 that are usually caught then, before the midday heat arrives. Catfishing is excellent, though. He suggest using shrimp and dragging on the bottom of the lake. Check out Ronnie’s Facebook page for the latest information and photos of his most recent excursions with clients at Horseshoe Lake.
Bear Creek Lake
(updated 8-14-2019) Natalie Faughn, assistant superintendent at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), had no reports.
(updated 8-14-2019) The AGFC’s Wil Hafner at Cook’s Lake Conservation Education Center (870-241-3373) said the action started to pick up last week for anglers targeting bass. Black bass are being caught flipping creature baits in green pumpkin or black and blue as well as jigs in those same colors. Success has come from targeting hollow cypress trees. Bluegill are still being caught on worms and crickets on laydowns. Crappie have been slow, with a few being picked off by bass anglers.
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 youths under 16 or mobility-impaired, along with up to two helpers (who may also fish). Fish from the 140-foot mobility-impaired-accessible dock or launch a boat but, please, 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 8-14-2019) Natalie Faughn, assistant superintendent at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), had no reports.