Aug. 21, 2019
Jim Harris Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s weekly fishing report for Aug. 21, 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. 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 8-21-2019) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) says the lake has its good stain and is at a low level. Bream continue to be good on redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair. Go with small jigs with white/chartreuse tails, or use crappie minnows. Black bass are good on plastic worms or jigs. Catfishing is on limblines and trotlines. Bait with perch, goldfish, nightcrawlers or bream.
Little Red River
(updated 8-21-2019) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said, “Cross your fingers and hold your breath! The lake will be back to normal pool level today (Wednesday) and the Corp has informed me that generation will be cut back to demand only starting tomorrow. I called Southwestern Power and they told me that tomorrow’s generation will be two-units from about noon till 6 or 7 pm. This is due to the heat and power demands. As the weather cools, this demand should be less and so should the generation. Check each day for the schedule. This adjusted schedule should allow wade fishing on all parts of the river at different times according the start time of the generation. Plan your wading trip to be in a position to take out when the new generation reaches your area. Two-unit generation moves at the rate of about 3 miles per hour, so figure your distance from the dam, divided by three. This will be the approximate number of hours you have from the start time.”
Greg adds that with the lower water, watch for mayfly hatches. Small emergers and nymphs should be good fly choices.
(updated 8-21-2019) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service said that barring any significant rainfall, they should begin to have less generation and lower water conditions on the Little Red River as the Greers Ferry Lake is close to seasonal pool level. With expected normal river conditions over the next week, anglers should see the typical fly-fishing patterns of midges, soft hackles, emergers, sowbugs and streamers be productive. Consider pink and cotton candy bodies on chartreuse jigheads for Trout Magnet spin-fishing.
Mark your calendars now for the annual Little Red River Clean-up, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 7. Detailed information on the clean-up can be found on the Little Red River Foundation’s website and Facebook page. Always check before heading to the Little Red River by calling the Army 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.
Greers Ferry Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation is 462.72 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.54 feet msl).
(updated 8-21-2019) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 462.91 feet msl and falling as of Tuesday evening. It is 0.37 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 said. 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 bank out to 60 feet eating a variety of baits dragged around or moving or on top. Find the shad and fish will be close by. 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. They are using edges of some sorts all in water 25-65 feet deep to corral them up to eat as they may wander off of it some but relate to edges. Either it’s timber, humps, bends or channels of rivers or creeks. Use spoons, inline spinners, swimbaits or a glide bait.
Harris Brake Lake
(updated 8-21-2019) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) says the water clarity remains clear; no surface temperature was recorded. The water level still is low. Anglers report good numbers of bream caught using redworms and crickets. Get out there in the early mornings for a good crappie bite; use minnows. Black bass returned poor reports the past week. Catfishing is good at night. Bait yo-yos with minnows.
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 8-21-2019) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said it's so hot nobody is fishing. Water temperature is around 92 degrees, clarity is good and water level is about normal. “All I can tell is the catfish are doing good on bream,” Johnny said. “I had four fish in four days days for a total of 138 pounds.”
(update 8-21-2019) Angler Larry Walters had no report.
(updated 8-21-2019) Westrock Landing (501-658-5598) on Highway 10 near Roland says largemouth bass are fair. Most of them can be found in 16-20 feet of water at dusk and dawn biting a variety of lures. Some reports say the black bass can be found in 8-12 feet and 16-20 feet. Use chatterbaits, crankbaits, jerkbaits, drop-shots and swimbaits. Kentucky bass are slow. Some reports of them being found in 10-15 feet of water outside the grass line at dusk and dawn. They can also be found in 18-22 feet off drops and rocky banks. White bass are slow. 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 moving into their shallow beds around 8 feet or less. Try using crickets and worms. Catfish are good. Reports coming in that the channel cats are moving into shallow water. Try using chicken liver, crayfish, or worms.
(updated 8-21-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bream have been doing well on crickets and redworms. Bass have been good on bass minnows and brooder minnows. Catfish have been biting chicken livers and bait shrimp. Even though they haven't stocked it since June 13, Lisa says. Regular stocking is expected to start again in September. “Perhaps soon they will stock it again. Haven't heard anything lately on the crappie there,” she added.
Bishop Park Ponds
(updated 8-21-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bream are good on crickets. Bass are fair on brooders. Catfish have been hitting chicken livers and cut baits. No word on the crappie.
Saline River Access in Benton
(updated 8-21-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie have been slow, but are biting on No. 6 crappie minnows. Catfish have been good on black salties and goldfish on trotlines. Bass been good on topwater baits, plastic lizards and brooder minnows. Bream, especially big ones, have been doing great on crickets. Lyle Park has been doing good on them.
As for some other hot spots in the area that Lisa is hearing about: “We have been hearing a lot of people catching lots of little bass, then some nice-size crappie, at Lake Nimrod. Most are using No. 12 bass minnows there. And Lake Ouachita very nice crappie being caught off the No. 4 crappie minnows by several people, and big bream off of crickets there as well.”
(updated 8-21-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said the bream have been doing great on crickets, especially just from the shoreline. Catfish been hitting nightcrawlers. Crappie are fair on No. 6 crappie minnows. Bass are good on minnows and plastics.
(updated 8-21-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie are slow on No. 6 crappie minnows. Bass have been plentiful on No. 12 bass minnows. Bream are good on crickets. Catfish have been being caught off of goldfish and black salties.
Arkansas River at Morrilton
(updated 8-7-2019) Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) says he had a few boats launch in the past week. One was running the river to see what ramps were open. The boater said he caught some nice bass in the Pine Bluff Pool on Tuesday morning. He returned to this pool around noon and fished the jetties, and reported catching a few. They also had an angler from Conway show up, and he fished all the push-ups and brush piles with black and blue jigs. He caught 17 black bass and rated fishing fair. Also catfish were around deeper brush piles. Use nightcrawlers. The catfish bite looks good. No reports on bream, crappie, white bass or stripers.
Arkansas River (Cadron Pool)
Little Maumelle River
(updated 8-21-2019) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the river is clear and at a normal level. Bream reports are good; use redworms or crickets. Crappie reports, though, are poor. Black bass are good on soft plastic worms and topwater lures. Catfishing is good using worms, shiners and chicken liver.
Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)
(updated 8-21-2019) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) says bream reports are good. They are at 3-4 feet depth of water and are biting redworms or crickets. Crappie reports are fair. Use a Bobby Garland Bone White/Chartreuse Jig, and fish off the ends of jetties. No other reports.
Arkansas River (Little Rock Pool)
(updated 8-21-2019) Fish ‘N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) says the water continues to have a stained-muddy appearance. The water temperature ranges from the mid-80s to the low 80s. Water level is a little high to normal. Bream are fair; use redworms. No reports on crappie. Black bass are excellent. They suggest using a brand-new bait that is doing well for anglers, the Motivated Revelation Buzzbait. Green pumpkin black and blue jigs are working, as well as a black Bandit 200. Texas-rigged Gitzit worms are another good way to go. Spinnerbaits and crankbaits are going to get the most action. Catfishing is good below the dam on stink bait, they report.
(updated 8-21-2019) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) is hearing that striper fishing in the Little Rock pool is excellent. Zoom Salty Super Flukes in chartreuse/pearl are the bait to use. Fish for them below the hydrogenation plant. Moving below the Terry Lock and Dam, the striper action is still excellent. Use the same Zoom Salty Super Fluke and fish just below the dam. Black bass reports are good, but for the best results, go early mornings. A Racket Irritator buzzbait in black with blue blade is a good morning choice. If you’re out at midday, switch to square-billed brown crankbaits or a Booyah Tad Crusher Shad Frog. White bass reports are good, both in the Little Rock pool and below the Terry Lock and Dam toward Tar Camp, with catches on a 3-inch white twister tail or White Sassy Shad. No reports on crappie or catfish.
(updated 8-21-2019) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) had no reports.
Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 8-21-2019) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is clear and the level is low Bream are good using redworms or crickets. Crappie remain poor. Black bass reports were poor. Catfish are good using crickets.
(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 s[ommerbaits and topwater baits. Catfishing is good using chicken liver, hot dogs, “and just about anything,” she said.
(updated 8-21-2019) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) say the high temperatures have been steady and so has the fishing. Great rainbows have been consistently reeled in all week long, many of them measuring over 17 inches. The best way to hook these excellent fish has been a mix of live worms (usually redworms or nightcrawlers) and spoons with a flash of red in them. The usual mix of yellow or red PowerBait and frozen shrimp is the best if you're looking for a large quantity of slightly smaller rainbow trout. The bigger brown trout have been looking for live minnows and lures with orange bellies. For fly-fishing this week, peach- or orange-colored egg patterns have proven very successful. The water level has been steady this week with Bull Shoals Dam consistently generating around four units for most of the day. “Be ready for the heat and come ready to catch some great trout on the White River.”
(updated 8-21-2019) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) had no report this week.
(updated 8-21-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Monday that they had just a trace of rain, hot temperatures (to include heat advisories) and moderate winds over the previous week. The lake level at Bull Shoals dropped 2.6 feet to rest at 18 feet above seasonal power pool of 661 feet. This is 16 feet below the top of the flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell 0.1 foot to rest at 0.1 of a foot below seasonal power pool and 14.1 feet below the top of the flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.9 foot to rest at 4.7 feet above seasonal power pool and 3.9 feet below the top of the flood pool. The White had heavy generation with no wadable water last week. Norfork lake fell 1.5 feet to rest at 10.1 feet above seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet and 14.1 feet below the top of the flood pool. The Norfork saw heavy generation in the afternoon and very limited wadable water in the early morning. 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 Wildcat Shoals. The hot flies were olive Woolly Buggers (sizes 8, 10), Y2Ks (sizes 14, 12), prince nymphs (size 14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead sizes 16, 18), pheasant tails (size 14), ruby midges (size 18), root beer midges (size 18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (size 10), and sowbugs (size 16). Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective (John’s current favorite combination is a cerise San Juan worm with an egg pattern suspended below it. Use long leaders and plenty of lead to get your flies down).
John also said, “Last week I got a last-minute trip to guide a family from Kansas City. There were more anglers than I could handle with just my boat so I called my friend and fellow guide Danny Barker to help me out. The family from Kansas City had rented a cabin on the White River expecting to wade fish there. Reality crept in when they arrived and saw four full generators flowing by.
“I met them at McDonalds (anybody can find it) and we drove over to Rim Shoals. The Army Corps of Engineers was running about four full generators or 12,500 cfs. The phone at the dam said that they were running six generators. It had rained the day before but the river was still clear.
“The big deal was the fog. It was heavier than I had ever seen. I could not see but half of my boat when I backed it into the river to launch. I loaded my clients into the boat and ventured from the ramp. I went very slowly because I could only see a few feet in front of me.
“Luckily for me I have fished this area a lot over the years and I know it like the back of my hand. I carefully navigated around the obstacles that I was aware of and looked and listened for other boats. My outboard motor is a four cycle Honda prop and runs very quietly allowing me to hear well even when it is running. In addition, with the heavy volume of water they were running, most of the rocks and other obstacles were well below the surface.
“The forecast for the day called for temperatures in the low 90s. However, due to the dense fog, it was much cooler on the river than usual. I put on my rain jacket that I always carry in my boat. It is bright neon green that comforted me because I thought it would be easier to see. Generally a fog like this burns off around ten o’clock but at noon when we stopped for lunch it was still as dense as it had been when we started. I wore the rain jacket until around two o’clock when it warmed up.
“The skies were overcast. It was so dark, my sunglasses were virtually unnecessary. In addition, when I ran upstream, they clouded up from the moisture in the fog and I was constantly cleaning them.
“Since I could only see a few feet in front of me I tried to keep up with Danny because I knew he was fishing nearby. I had heard him running upstream before me and as I made my run I scoured the water in front of me to try and see him. I took it very slow and as I went upstream he suddenly appeared about ten feet in front of me. He has the brightest colored boat on the river (yellow and purple) and I could not see him until I was virtually on top of him. The fog remained this dense all day. At quitting time it was still there.
“Luckily I didn’t hit Danny or anyone else and the trout cooperated.”
Bull Shoals Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 678.23 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 661.00 feet msl).
(updated 8-21-2019) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said the lake clarity is stained with a visibility of 5-10 feet. The water level as of Tuesday early afternoon was still 19 feet over normal pool level. Bream reports are good, with redworms or crickets working well. Crappie are good; they are biting spoons and are mostly on the creeks now. Black bass reports are fair. Del is finding them in about 20-30 feet of water. In the morning there is a topwater bite. Nothing to report on catfish or white bass. Check out Del’s YouTube channel (Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock) for his regularly updated video fishing report with various baits and patterns he’s using for the bass.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 565.36 feet msl (normal conservation pool: Sept.-April, 552.00 feet msl; April-Sept. 555.75 feet msl).
(updated 8-21-2019) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideway Resort said fishing on Norfork Lake continues the summertime pattern with no dramatic change over the last week. The water temperature is on the rise with the unseasonably warm air temperatures. The thermocline may have dropped a foot or two, bur is still in the 25-foot range, plus or minus a foot or two. Striped bass fishing is still the best at the dam area. You can find many of the stripers 70-90 feet deep on the bottom or very close to it. “I have noticed that they seem to have moved a little deeper since last week. I fished for striped bass last Sunday and Monday and caught a few and missed a few, but most were 80-90 feet down on the bottom. Live bait is working, but you will need to change out your baits often as they are not surviving long in this deep and cold water. Vertical-jigging with a spoon is picking up a few fish and trolling with downriggers or a lot of inline weight is also picking up some fish. I am hearing that the fishermen trolling swimbaits or umbrella rigs are catching a few stripers suspended 40 feet down, but the fish I am finding are mainly very deep.
“Today (Tuesday) I headed toward the Cranfield area and upriver a short way and fished in 20-35 feet of water. I was vertical-jigging a spoon, casting deeper-diving crankbaits and slow trolling deep-diving crankbaits. I caught crappie, bluegill and bass. Crappie have moved into brush that is in 25-30 feet of water. I started out vertical jigging a quarter-ounce spoon with lightweight line. I was marking fish at the tops of the brush, about 15 feet down. I received no bites. I switch to my 1-ounce spoon and on my first drop it was hammered by a 10.5-inch crappie. I fished this brush with the 1-ounce spoon for about 30 minutes and landed five more in the 10-inch range. Why they liked the bigger bait over my normal go-to size, I have no idea, but they were aggressive. I switched methods of fishing and started casting a deep-diving crankbait over the tops of some brush where I was marking fish and landed a nice 12 crappie and a few bass. You can also troll with deep-diving crankbaits in 18-30 feet of water and catch many different species of fish. You will need to have your bait reach around 15-20 feet deep. I have in the past added some big split shots about 6 feet or so from the bait to help it get deeper.”
Norfork Lake surface water temperature is on the rise and was 87 degrees Tuesady morning. The lake is somewhat stained, but clearer in the main lake. The water depth continues to drop 2-3 inches per day due to the Army Corps of Engineers keeping the power generators on for part of the day. The current depth of Norfork Lake is 565.5 feet msl. “Happy fishing and see you on the lake.”
(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 AM and really get no bites until after 6:30 AM so this week we are leaving at 6:30 AM. 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 3 move bites by 10 AM. We caught 2 16 & 18 lbs and lost 2 in that size range. I feel that the real bite is somewhere between 8 and 10 AM. 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’ range. Most of the stripers I have catching are at 80’ right off the bottom. In-line spinners, spoons, trolling and live bait all are producing catches.
(updated 8-21-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last weekend that during the previous week Norfork Lake fell 1.5 feet to rest at 10.1 feet above seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet and 14.1 feet below the top of the flood pool. The Norfork saw heavy generation in the afternoon and very limited wadable water in the early morning. 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.
Buffalo National River/Crooked Creek
(updated 8-21-2019) 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. My 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 1,125.82 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.00 feet msl).
(updated 8-21-2019) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) says walleye have been fair to good on crawler harnesses and Carolina-rigged nightcrawlers. Fish main lake points 20-35 feet deep. Point 5 and Point 4 are producing fish at this time. Bass are schooling early and late. Crappie are good if you troll cranks also look for structure in 20-25 feet deep. Stripers are fair to good. Look in Big Clifty, Rambo, Lost Bridge and Indian Creek areas. Catfish are good on all methods. Good reports up the War Eagle arm on channel catfish. “It will not be long before fall arrives and some of the best fishing of the year will be here. Good luck and be safe!”
(updated 8-21-2019) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the water is clear and has worked its way back to about normal. Bream continue to be good with worms or crickets. Crappie are good using minnows. Anglers are trolling jigs in deep water and fishing near brush piles. Black bass are providing a good topwater bite in the morning. Later as the sun gets up, go with big plastic worms for the deeper fish. Use jigs at night. All methods are producing good results. Catfish are good using catfish bait/PowerBait. Walleye are biting on big minnows in the deep end of the lake and also using live nightcrawlers.
(updated 8-21-2019) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said the tailwater continues to produce some very nice fish. This past week, the trout have been biting on various spoons and light jigs. The average size has been between 13-20 inches. This week’s hot spot has been between Houseman Access and a local area known as "Walden Flats," which is about 3 miles upstream from Beaver town. The Kentucky bass have also been hitting on various soft plastics and crankbaits thrown at structure and chunk rock. A few walleye have also been caught in the Holiday Island area. The preferred method has been jigging with live minnows. The water temperatures have been consistent throughout the tailwater and a lot of baitfish have been marked. As fall approaches, start to look for the trout in the deeper water, chasing the baitfish. “Hope you all have kept cool this week. If you plan on getting out, be sure to hydrate and take breaks, even from fishing!”
(updated 8-21-2019) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) had something to report. The water is “a little stained,” but it’s at a normal level. The surface water temperature at midmorning Tuesday was 84 degrees. Not a lot of fish are biting, with the exception of black bass. They heard good reports from anglers on bass. The patterns used were wacky worms and Texas-rigged worms. Nothing reported on bream, crappie or catfish.
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 8-21-2019) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said the lake is “a little stained,” but it’s at a normal level. No temperature was reported. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair, and they are shallow and bunched up. Try a minnow or jig. Black bass continue to be poor with the heat. Catfishing is good using stink bait, punch bait, cut bait and minnows.
(updated 8-21-2019) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) says bream are always biting, and crappie have been biting well on worms in shallow water this week, in and around brushpiles. Shelly notes that the best moon times for fishing are between Aug. 25-Sept. 1. The bream bite is excellent on worms and crickets, and jigs are great to use. Besides worms, also use jigs for crappie. No reports came in on black bass. Catfishing is good on worms, blood bait and cut bait.
(updated 8-21-2019) Ome Coleman at Lake Poinsett State Park said, “We have not heard much of fishing this week, but the bait is selling. Anglers are brave to get out there is this heat and humidity. As usual, we are keeping minnows, goldfish, crickets, worms and nightcrawlers (as well as other fishing supplies) here at Lake Poinsett State Park. Progress is being made on repairs on the lake. Thank you for your patience. The AGFC is working diligently on it.” While Lake Poinsett is closed for repairs through early 2020, check out other neighboring lakes such as Walcott Lake, Lake Charles and Lake Hogue, as well as the AGFC’s Family and Community Fishing Program pond at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.
(updated 8-21-2019) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the clarity is clear and the level is normal. The water feels extremely hot. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Fish for them all around the docks. Crappie reports continue to be poor. Black bass are fair; you’ll find them about 20 feet deep, with the best fishing coming late in the evenings. Throw a topwater lure. Catfishing is good, also in the evenings. Baits used have been chicken liver and bluegill.
(updated 8-7-2019) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) said water levels are running at 400 cfs at the spring. Clarity has been clear. “A few weeks ago the gage at the spring jumped up and it appears to be off. The river has gotten low lately with the lack of rain in our area,” Mark says. “The Dam 3 access area has had a lot of algae in the channel by the parking lot. Not easy to fish in. During this time of year I prefer to fish at the campgrounds that have been holding better fish in my opinion. Many islands, Spring River Oaks, Riverside Resort and Saddler Falls all have easy places to wade and are really nice places to fish through the week. Saturdays are busy on the Spring River with the canoe hatch, but through the week can be so nice and peaceful. A map of all locations to fish can be found on agfc.com under the Resources tag. A must-have map!”
Mark reports that the trout and smallmouth have been hitting well, with olive Woollies working best on overcast days. On the sunny hot days, you have got to get down and work for the bite. Y2Ks on hot sunny days can be very productive. There are some really good bug hatches on some mornings – blue-wing olives, tan and black caddis. Beadhead nymphs below a hopper can be great fun.
(updated 8-21-2019) 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 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 8-21-2019) 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 8-21-2019) Austin Davidson, park interpreter at Cane Creek State Park, had no report.
(updated 8-21-2019) Brian Whitson, park interpreter at Lake Chicot State Park (870-265-5480), says the fish are definitely biting on Lake Chicot. The lake level is continuing to drop at a rapid rate from the planned drawdown, so gaining access to the fish may prove more difficult. The shoreline continues to be exposed and several area docks are now completely out of the water. The boat ramp at Lake Chicot State Park does still appear to be useable, but the lake level has dropped considerably. Slight chance of thunderstorms are expected throughout the coming week.
(updated 8-21-2019) No reports.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 257.22 feet msl (normal pool: 259.20 feet msl).
(updated 8-21-2019) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said he and his team aren’t staying on the water past 9:30-10 a.m. in this heat and humidity. The planned, 2-foot drawdown continues on Millwood for maintenance at the dam and millet planting for fall migratory flight paths, according the Army Corps of Engineers. Millwood is currently 25 inches BELOW normal conservation pool and falling at 257.1 feet msl; and the discharge was near 500 cfs in Little River, according to the Corps. The tailwater below the dam and gates as of Monday was around 226 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. Surface temps as of Monday ranged near 84 degrees early to 95 later under full sun, depending on location. Continue to use caution in navigation on Little River and Millwood, watching for stumps and random broken or floating timber while the drawdown remains in effect through September. Clarity and visibility continued 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.
Largemouths continue in their typical, full-blown summer patterns. The best 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 retreat 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 continue to find 2- to 4-pound largemouth bass and 1-2 pound spots, with a few white bass in the mix, schooled up and hitting jigging spoons in Little River behind primary points, on the fringes of current from 8-10 a.m., and the bite shuts off almost like a light switch. We are vertical-jigging chrome and hammered Cordell, or Kastmaster, and Johnson 1/2-3/4-ounce jigging spoons in chrome/blue, chrome/chartreuse or solid chrome. The bass seem to prefer the jigging spoon behind points and just out of the slow river current, where stumps are in 8-12 feet of depth on backside of the points," Siefert says.
"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. In addition, we are vertical-jigging a Cordell Gay Blade, Heddon Rattling Sonar Flash or just a plain Sonar Flash if the bass become lethargic. Seems like lately the rattling blade baits will wake them up if the bite tapers off, and by changing from a jigging spoon to a Rattling Sonar Flash we sometimes will pick up another 8-10 bites in the same location with the same schools of mixed-up largemouth, spots and white bass. We assume that all three bass species are feeding on the same school of threadfin shad, and are 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 also says that it appears to his team that the best largemouth bass are night-feeding. "Some mornings when we arrive at dawn, we can hear bass breaking shallow before we ever get to them and it's apparent we are arriving at the tail end of their cooler-surface-temp, overnight feeding binges. The bite slows considerably during the heat of the day with the bass pulling out to deeper, vertical structure. The best baits drawing early morning reactions over the past few weeks, have been buzzBaits, plastic frogs and chrome Johnson Spoons in lily pads. On a cloudy morning we are getting the best reactions using a gold spoon with a 3- to 4-inch tail thumping Bang Die Dapper swimbait on the single hook. If the sun is bright on cloudless 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.
"We used to do a lot of night-fishing on Millwood, with good results in shallow water from midnight to around 4-6 a.m. using big 10-inch bulky worms, jigs and bulky, 5-6-inch Gene Larew Hog Craws. We may have to try that again soon – and if YOU do, we highly recommend letting people know before you go, where you plan to fish on the lake, wear your life jacket and engine kill switch, and when to expect you back. Don't go alone, slow down, and use extreme caution. Millwood Lake's nature is a stump-filled, oxbow-rich, river system, and extreme caution is a requirement for night-fishing here. On the flip side, however, it can be a real payday for huge largemouth bass on Millwood on the night shift!"
White bass continue schooling up with juvenile largemouths and spotted bass 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 slowed this week, but are still biting minnows in the standing timber of the oxbows and planted brushpiles along Little River, in ditches and ridges where stumps and standing timber remain. 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 with the largemouths. Most of the crappie have been holding from 4-9 feet of depth around cypress trees where deeper drops are nearby. Blue catfish and channel cats improved late last week when Little River had more current. “We spoke to several folks the other morning who were running yo-yos hung from cypress tree limbs that were having good action at night. They have been using hot dogs, chicken gizzards, Ivory soap and punch bait with fair to good catches of cats from 2-4 pounds.” Best yo-yo activity was along Little River, hanging them from cypress tree limbs and timber from 8-12 feet deep. No reports on bream.
(updated 8-7-2019) Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) has heard no reports from here.
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 542.99 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).
(updated 8-21-2019) 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 400.08 feet msl (full pool: 408.00 feet msl).
(updated 8-21-2019) John Duncan of yoyoguideservice.com at Iron Mountain Marina says the summer effect is here. Water is in the high 80s, clear and no debris. Water level is 400.08 feet msl with slight drop. “The heat is on. Not a lot of presence on the water except for schooling fishermen. I think the schooling fish present the best fishing opportunity for these conditions.” He says they are surfacing from Point Cedar to Iron Mountain. “You have to get out by 6:30 or so, look, listen and go to the sound or sight of them. Clear Zara Spook Jr.’s, Whopper Plopper and other topwater work if they are still up. Alabama rigs, Flukes, and white crankbaits after they go down. Then, spoons fished at the correct depth,” John suggests. Hybrids have been far and few lately and they don’t stay up long, usually. If you run into whites, largemouths or Kentucky bass will hit 3/8-ounce white or gray Road Runners. “Just can’t throw as far as a 2-ounce spoon.” Black bass are really slow. Brushpiles, worms and some nightfishing have provided the best reports. Crappie fishing is slow, hot and hotter. Some trolling is going on, with small reports. Brushpiles are fishing really slow. You can use Livescope to see them and put your bait on their nose but that doesn’t get you past the finicky summer bite. Shorter days and cooler nights are coming soon. No bream report except the full moon bedding that was on. “Stay hydrated, look out for others and good fishing.”
(updated 8-21-2019) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said casting spoons at schooling white bass and hybrids have produced. Start early – very early, because they are done with their morning feed by 9 a.m.
De Queen Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 437.15 feet msl (full pool: 437.00 feet msl).
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 524.13 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 8-21-2019) Sharon at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said the clarity is clear and the surface temperature is hitting 92 degrees. The level is about 2 feet low as of Tuesday. Bream are biting well on redworms and crickets. Crappie are good. They’re hitting mainly jigs, but throw a minnow as well. Black bass fishing is “kind of slow,” she said. Catfish reports also rated poor.
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro
(updated 8-21-2019) Steve Donahou at Lake Catherine State Park (501-844-4176) spoke with Lake Catherine State Park Marina Manager Tosha Walker, who reports that water conditions are clear clarity with the surface temperature of 84.2 degrees. Bream are excellent. They are at 5-8 feet and biting worms and crickets. Crappie reports are poor. Black bass are good on spinnerbaits, plastic worms and Flukes. Catfishing is good; use worms, stink bait or chicken liver. Tosha also told Steve that she had “no reorts for white bass,” adding that “we have had a few reports of striper (striped bass) being caught near the (Carpenter) dam on shad.”
Lake Catherine (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro
(updated 8-21-2019) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature is 61 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 are having success casting Rooster Tails in white or brown around rock structure and sandbars. Late spring and early summer brought huge numbers of shad toward the dam to spawn. Trout feed heavily on these bait fish 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. 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 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, as they 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) 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 8-21-2019) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) said water temperature is in the high 80s. Water clarity in the river is good. Creeks are clear and backwater is clear. Largemouth bass have been good. Frogs re working well in the thick stuff; worms and crankbaits are working well on shell beds and points; chiselers and scam shad are working well in backwater and creeks; and jigs and Bamboozie are working well around rocks and jetties. Large worms haver been working well on sandbars. Striped bass have been good on spinnerbaits, rattle-style baits and topwater baits, as well as jigging spoons. White bass have been fair in the creeks with inline spinners, small crankbaits and topwater baits. Crappie has been fair with minnows and jigs around deep trees with no current. Bream have been good around river rocks with crickets, worms and grasshoppers. Catfish have been good on bream, live or cut, in deep holes in the main river and along deep drops.
(updated 8-21-2019) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas-born-and-bred all-welded aluminum Xpress fishing boats in Hot Springs, reports lake levels normal and up to 8 feet of clarity throughout. Lake temps hover at or around the 90-degree mark at the surface. “The heat just won’t leave us alone, but the time of year is changing the bite in our favor. Bass species are doing well not only deep, but shallow. Mornings and evenings are producing well with topwater baits like frogs, buzzbaits and walking-style baits. Behind, beside or under docks and slips can pay good dividends when seeking bass. If it’s the middle of the day and high noon (if you can stand it), go deeper off islands and points where bass and hybrids are suspending together and attacking large baitfish balls. It’s a show when they decide its time to eat! Flukes, crankbaits that cruise at 15 feet or deeper, and drop-shot rigs work well on these finicky eaters.”
Crappie is slow all over and they are very deep when found. Catfish are good everywhere. “These scavengers don’t care how hot it gets and can be found next to current in around 20 feet of water. Good luck and 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 351.26 feet msl (normal pool: 345.0 feet msl).
(updated 8-21-2019) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said the water is a little dingy, but the lake is at a normal level now and the surface temperature as of Tuesday early afternoon was 87 degrees. Bream reports are good; anglers are doing best with crickets. Crappie are excellent. They are in 10 feet of water and being caught at 5-foot depth. Use white/chartreuse jigs. Minnows are great choices as well. Anglers report catching limits. Black bass are good and the ones being caught are in the 2- to 3-pound size. Wacky worms and Carolina-rigs are the best ways to catch them. Catfishing is good on noodles and trotlines baited with shad or bream. Everyone, they report, is catching fish of all kinds now. “Fishing is really good right now,” they said.
(updated 8-21-2019) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) reports the clarity is clear and the lake level has returned to normal summertime pool. Bream are poor, they hear. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Black bass reports are poor. Catfish are being caught in good numbers using chicken liver, shad, bream and perch.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 571.00 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 8-21-2019) 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 night crawlers around brush piles. Water temperature is ranging 86-90 degrees and the clarity is clear. Lake level Wednesday morning was 571.04 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 395.41 feet msl (full pool: 384.00 feet msl).
(8-21-2019) Angler Dane Goodwin had no report.
(updated 8-21-2019) Professional fishing guide Ronnie Tice (901-687-6800) said Tuesday that the lake remains clear and the water level is about 1 foot high. The bream bite is good as of Monday, he said, but it has slowed down some. Use redworms or crickets. The crappie bite has really slowed down, even under the piers, he said. Black bass reports were poor. Catfish catches have been good, with stink bait, shrimp and shad working best for bait. Check out Ronnie’s Facebook page for the latest information and photos of his excursions with clients.
Bear Creek Lake
(updated 8-21-2019) Natalie Faughn, assistant superintendent at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), had no reports.
(updated 8-21-2019) The AGFC’s Wil Hafner at Cook’s Lake Conservation Education Center (870-241-3373) said the fishing is steadily improving. 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 being caught 2 to 4 feet deep around cypress trees using crickets. Crappie are being picked off of brush tops using jigs.
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 8am to 4:30pm 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 8-21-2019) Natalie Faughn, assistant superintendent at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), had no reports.