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Oct. 9, 2019

Jim Harris

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s weekly fishing report for Oct. 2, 2019. If there is a body of water you would like included in this report, please email jim.harris@agfc.ar.gov 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 listed for the lake or stream you plan to fish for current news. Note: msl = mean sea level; cfs = cubic feet per second.

Central Arkansas

North Arkansas

Northwest Arkansas

Northeast Arkansas

Southeast Arkansas

Southwest Arkansas

South-Central Arkansas

West-Central Arkansas

East Arkansas

Arkansas River and White River levels are available at: https://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: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/current/?type=quality


CENTRAL ARKANSAS

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 10-9-2019) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the lake clarity has settled into the “normal Conway stain” and remains at a normal level. No surface temperature was recorded. Bream continue to bite well; redworms and crickets both are working nicely. Crappie were slower this past week, but appear to be picking up into this week. The bite is fair. Use minnows and small jigs. Black bass continue to be good. Buzzbaits, spinnerbaits and crankbaits are consistently working. Catfish are good using dough bait on the trotlines and stink bait.

Little Red River

(updated 10-9-2019) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service said, “We are in a generation pattern on the Little Red of 2-4 hours of generation daily with lesser amounts on weekends. This pattern is providing good river conditions on all sections of the river. Fly patterns of midges, gold-ribbed hares ear and pheasant tails can be productive. Consider chartreuse and hot pink bodies on chartreuse jigheads for Trout Magnet spin-fishing. 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 Army Corps of Engineers website for real-time water release and the Southwestern Power Administration website to see forecasted generation schedule.

(updated 10-9-2019) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said, “I haven’t decided yet whether the fish like the cooler weather, but I sure do. A light jacket has felt good motoring up the river the last couple of mornings.” The bite has been fair to good on small nymphs and midge pupa. Since the water has been clear, light tippet will produce more strikes. When the fish are rising, small emergers, 18 to 20 in size, are producing with a swing presentation and a slow retrieve at the end of the swing.
The generation has gone to a morning schedule with the cooler weather. Tuesday was a different day, with a half-unit in the morning, switching to two units from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. “Hopefully, this was a special power need and they will return to the light morning schedule as forecast. It’s always best to check the generation forecast before planning a trip,” Greg advises.

Greers Ferry Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 460.26 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.54 feet msl).

(updated 10-9-2019) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said Tuesday evening that the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 460.39 feet msl and falling with generation. It is 1.65 feet below normal pool (normal pool for Oct. 1-Dec. 31 is 462.04 feet instead of 462.54 feet that the lake usually keeps for most of the year). “Looks like we finally made fall weather and along with it improved bite every day until we see turnover of the lake as it goes down or up. We will experience a slowdown of the bite for a couple of weeks until it gets settled out and then the bite will be super strong until super, super cold weather puts somewhat of a damper on things, until we start a new spring season again. You can just about put your cards on the opening of gun deer season is when the bite is usually super good.”
Tommy says the crappie catching is still going strong, fishing up and down or trolling something over deep water and semi-deep water. Use minnows, jigs or a crankbait. Walleye are scattered in places and grouped up in places. Try dragging crawler, crankbait or jig different colored spoons for them in 18-40 feet depth. Bream are still actively eating crickets and crawlers, crankbaits, spoons, and just about anything small you put in front of them in super shallow water out to 20 feet. Catfish are having to eat as well all over the lake and rivers on your favorite catfish bait and anything else you might think of. Hybrid and white bass are chewing off and on all day and night right now whenever they feel like it as all things come together with water cooling down and rain. We had to refurbish some well needed oxygen in water. Try spoons, inline spinners, topwater baits – a lot of different type shad baits (plastic-metal) will work under the right conditions. Fish 25-45 feet deep. Black bass are scattered everywhere in the water column, super shallow out to 45 feet; use bladed baits, topwaters, crankbaits, jigs, soft plastics – a lot of things will work, just fish your strengths.

Harris Brake Lake

(updated 10-9-2019) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) reported the clarity as muddy and the surface temperature at 78 degrees as of early Monday afternoon. Level is normal. Bream are good on crickets. Crappie are good; they’re being caught close to the shoreline on minnows and jigs. Largemouth bass are good. They’re being caught early in the day on plastic worms in watermelon/purple colors. Catfishing is good using worms, nightcrawlers and goldfish.

Lake Overcup

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 for lawn or garden use with water from Lake Overcup through March 1, 2020. For more information, please contact the AGFC Fisheries Office in Mayflower at (877) 470-3309.

(updated 9-25-2019) Johnny “Catfish” Banks of Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said surface temperature is around 78 degrees and clarity is good. Lake level is about normal. Bream are slow but still catching some on crickets and redworms. Bass are doing well around brushtops and structure around the banks. Catfish are being caught on jugs and trotline, but are slow. Crappie are slow but should start picking up any day now with this cooler weather; still catching some good ones but not a lot.

Brewer Lake

(updated 10-9-2019) David Hall, owner of Dad’s Bait and Tackle at Brewer Lake (501-977-0303), says the water is “pretty clear” with a surface temperature of 76 degrees as Tuesday afternoon. The water level is 1 foot below normal. Bream remain fair; use redworms or crickets. Crappie are good. They are biting at a depth of 6-7 feet. Use minnows or jigs and fish the brushpiles. Black bass are fair. There is more of a bite a night. Use plastic worms or crickets. Catfishing is good. They’re biting worms, stink bait, chicken liver and “frozen goodies” like shad, shrimp, worms or liver.

Lake Maumelle

(updated 10-9-2019) Westrock Landing (501-658-5598) on Highway 10 near Roland said water temperature is ranging 78-81 degrees. Largemouth bass are biting well. Most of them can be found in 16-20 feet of water at dusk and at dawn biting a variety of lures. Some reports came in saying the black bass can be found in 8-12 feet and 16-20 feet. Try using chatterbait, crankbaits, jerkbaits, drop-shots and swimbaits. Like the largemouths, Kentucky bass are good. Some reports of the spotted bass being found in 10-16 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. The Lake Maumelle Bass League Fall-Winter Club kicked off Sunday, with Robert Kinslow and Sam Drennon catching a Big Bass of 4.93 pounds on the way to a winning 11.16-pound stringer, edging Mike Hammett and Steven Menideth, who caught a 10.78-pound stringer of five fish.
The white bass are fair. Reports of them schooling but not staying up for long. Some can still be found mixed in with the crappie on the flats or near brushpiles in 8-12 feet. Try using minnows, Rooster Tails, jerkbaits and rattle-type baits. Crappie are slow. Reports of them being found stacking in and around brush 12-15 feet of water. Some can still be found scattered, mixed in with the whites. Try using jigs and minnows. Bream are good. They are moving into deeper water around 18-22 feet. Try using crickets and worms. Catfish are slow, no reports.

Sunset Lake

(updated 10-9-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish are still doing very well. Size 12 bass minnows, chicken livers and nightcrawlers have been doing well for catching them. Crappie have been hitting No. 6 crappie minnows and some crappie jigs in Tennessee Shad color. Bass have been doing well on brooders and black salties. Bream are fair on crickets and redworms.

Bishop Park Ponds

(updated 10-9-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish in the back pond have been great, eating size 12 bass minnows and nightcrawlers. Bass have been biting dark-colored plastic worms and brooder minnows. Crappie are fair off of No. 6 crappie minnows mainly early in the morning or late in the evening. Bream are fair off of crickets and super mealworms .

Saline River Access in Benton

(updated 10-9-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) says crappie have been good on No. 6 crappie minnows. Bass have been hitting brooder minnows. Soon those brooder minnows will be the key to the walleye. Just let it get a little cooler. Bream are good on crickets and redworms. Catfish have been taken on black salties and goldfish.

Lake Norrell

(updated 10-9-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie have slowed down since the lake has been drawn down. This lake is part of Benton's water source. Bass are good on brooder minnows and pink spinnerbaits. Bream are fair on crickets fishing on bottom with them. Catfish are good on nightcrawlers, Sonny's Dip Bait and bait shrimp.

Lake Winona

(updated 10-9-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said she’s still head no reports. “But I did have a customer in this (Wednesday) morning going there.”

Arkansas River at Morrilton

(updated 9-25-2019) Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) says the river level is still bouncing up and down. They are seeing a little more barge traffic. If you have never traveled the river, now is the time to do it. You will see how powerful Mother Nature can be, Charley says.
He reports that catfish are in deeper water. Anglers should drive a bait 10 feet to the bottom; use buffalo. A lot of nice 5-pounders and up and being caught. He rates catfish as good. Black bass are on grass and wood structure now. Use chatterbaits. The bite is fair. Drum are going crazy, he says. Use crankbaits, nightcrawlers and buffalo, or just about anything. The bite for drum is very good. White bass are schooling on jetty tips. Use crankbaits in pearl and shad color. The bite is fair.

Arkansas River (Cadron Pool)

No report.

Little Maumelle River

(updated 10-9-2019) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the water is clear with a normal level and current. No temperature was reported. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. No reports this week on crappie. Black bass are good using crankbaits and topwater lures. Catfish are good; use worms or chicken liver.

Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)

(updated 10-9-2019) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) says the only reports they had heard were on catfish. The bite around Maumelle Park was good, with nightcrawlers working best.

Arkansas River (Little Rock Pool)

(updated 10-9-2019) Fish ‘N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) says the water is
pretty dingy” with the surface temperature in the low 80s as of Monday. Water level and current are normal. No reports this week on bream. Crappie are good. Look for them around brushpiles or rocky points and throw minnows or jigs. Black bass are fair. They’re biting square-billed cranks, shaky heads and jigs. You’ll find bass active at the ends of jetties on the main river and at the edges of grass. Also work where there is brush. Catfishing is good below Murray Lock and dam and in the deeper parts of the river. They’ll bite worms or chicken liver.

(updated 10-9-2019) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) says crappie are being caught in the pool in 8-10 feet depth. The catches are good. Anglers are using pink minnows, regular jigs in red/chartreuse, and super jigs. Black bass are good, with the bite coming in the early morning mostly. The best baits are the Bandit 200 series in chrome blue, Whopper Ploppers, buzzbaits and topwaters. No other reports. They did not have updated river conditions as of Tuesday afternoon.

(updated 10-2-2019) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) says the river is clear and at a normal level and current near the Terry Lock and Dam. Bream reports are poor. Crappie also are poor. Black bass, however, are good. Anglers are having success using crankbaits and worms. Catfishing is good using cut shad.

Clear Lake (off Arkansas-River-Little Rock Pool)

(updated 10-9-2019) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) says the lake is clear and is at a normal level. Bream are fair using worms. Crappie are poor, no reports. Black bass are good on minnows. Catfishing is fair; use worms.

Peckerwood Lake

(updated 10-9-2019) Donna Muherin at Herman’s Landing (870241-3731) says the water remains clear and the level is normal; there are no stumps showing. Bream continue to be good on redworms or crickets. The crappie bite also has stayed good for a while, and anglers are trolling and spider-rigging. Black bass are good on crankbaits and topwater lures. Catfishing is good. They’re being caught on jugs and poles using worms or chicken liver.

White River (Augusta-Des Arc section)

(updated 10-9-2019) Angler William McCoy had no report.


NORTH ARKANSAS

White River

(updated 10-9-2019) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) says, “The White River/Bull Shoals tailwater that bends around Cotter and turns our piece of Arkansas into a peninsula is still running fairly fast with a steady four generators issued from the dam (approximately a constant 14,000 cfs). Although we experienced a pretty decent rain this past weekend, the lake level continues to descend to the desired power pool level, which is now set at an elevation of 659 feet msl. Cooler weather is finally here, but the fishing is still hot.
“The brown trout spawn has begun, so the bite may be slower and require more patience than earlier in the year but when you hook one, it'll give you a good fight. Sculpins and slicker minnows continue to be a favorite bait for the browns as they look to put on some extra winter weight. The rainbow catch has been great, with many excellent-size rainbows being pulled in and the occasional cutthroat being spotted. The elusive cut-bow has been seen, and photographed, by several anglers this past week, biting on the same baits as the rainbows: Pick out lures with silver or copper flash like the 3/16-ounce Blue Fox, and the favorite egg-pattern color has graduated from yellow to orange as we move further into the spawn. The X-factor baits are making a hit with the guides, especially the steelhead orange middle-sized eggs and brown trout egg clusters.
“Dress in layers and enjoy the misty, cold mornings on the river reeling in great trout. Drop in to the
office if you're in need of a hot cup of coffee.”

(updated 10-9-2019) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) says the Army Corps of Engineers is running a lot of water from the Bull Shoals dam. The river level has mostly been high the past few days. Trout fishing remains good, however. Anglers are catching a lot of rainbow trout, they report. PowerBait, pink worms and shrimp are working best.

(updated 10-9-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-4352169) said that during the past week, they had about 3 inches of rain in Cotter, cooler temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell 3.6 feet to rest at 3.3 feet above seasonal power pool of 659 feet msl. This is 32.7 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock rose 0.1 foot to rest at 1.5 feet below seasonal power pool and 15.5 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose 0.3 foot to rest at 2 feet above seasonal power pool and 7.6 feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had heavy generation with no wadable water. Norfork Lake fell 1.3 feet to rest at 4 feet above seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 22.3 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had moderate generation with one 10-hour period of wadable water. Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. Most of the lakes in the White River System are at or near the top of power pool. Expect heavy generation for the next week.
Hopper season is on the wane. 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 the catch-and-release section below 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.
John also said, “I was pleased when I got the email from Bob that said that he and his friend Jim wanted to fish with me again. I have fished with Bob on several occasions and with Jim a few times. They are both experienced anglers that have fished all over the United States and at key spots throughout the world. They are both a lot of fun to be with and do not require much attention. They are very easy to be with and guide. When communicating with Bob I explained that we had high water and there would be no chance for wading. That didn’t bother him at all.
“It was raining when I hooked up my boat for the trip to the river. I wore my rain suit and prepared myself for a few hours in the rain. By the time we arrived at the ramp it had stopped raining. Jim did not have a pair of rain pants, so I leant him my spare pair. I told him that if we all had rain gear it would not rain all day. I was right. It quit raining and did not rain for the rest of the day.
“They were running about 16,500 cfs, or a bit over five full generators. There had not been much rain and the river was pretty clear. The rain had really cooled things down and we all wore our rain gear in the boat. There was a light fog with a light wind it was a very comfortable start.
“I rigged them a bit differently. Both had an egg fly with another fly beneath it. Bob had a white mop fly on the bottom because there had been some shad coming through Bull Shoals dam the week before. Jim’s lower fly was cerise worm because it had rained (I always try worms after a rain because they get washed into the river).
“Bob landed the first trout on the mop. It was a nice fat rainbow. Jim proceeded to take the next four on the cerise worn and Bob went fishless for a few minutes. It seemed that the mop fly was a one-hit wonder. We changed Bob over to the cerise worm and he began catching trout. I always begin my clients with different rigs and switch them over to the same rig as the best fly becomes apparent. We only caught one trout on the worm. It had been my top produces on the previous week.
“At lunch we had 17 fish, which is pretty good on high water. We had a nice lunch at the access. The sun came out and it was beginning to warm up. We took off our rain suits and I donned my straw cowboy hat. We fished till around 3:30 p.m. as they had a long drive back to Kansas City. We ended the day with about 35 trout.
“It had been a good day on high water and we all enjoyed it.

Bull Shoals Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 661.63 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 659.00 feet msl).

(updated 10-9-2019) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said the lake is still high by 3 feet but finally going down. The clarity is clear as of midafternoon Tuesday. Surface temperature was 80 degrees. Anglers on the main lake are catching big bream, he said. Overall, the bream bite is good throughout. Redworms or a drop-shot are working. Crappie are good, but they are deep (about 25 feet). Look for them around the brushpiles and use minnows or jigs. Black bass are fair. The shad is going into the creeks, so bass are following. Topwater baits and plastic worms are working best. Walleye are being caught by trolling off the secondary points into the creeks. The bite is good. No reports on catfish. Check out Del’s YouTube page (Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock) for his latest video reports and tips on catching the fish.

Norfork Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 557.41 feet msl (normal conservation pool: Sept.-April, 552.00 feet msl; April-Sept., 555.75 feet msl).

(updated 10-2-2019) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said summer-like weather is hanging on longer this year than normal. “I’m really getting anxious waiting for the fall fishing season to begin. Even with the warm water temperature, my fishing guests and I have been doing pretty well fishing for a variety of species in Norfork Lake. Crappie, largemouth, smallmouth, bluegill, catfish and walleye are all being caught.
The crappie bite is still one of the better bites at this time, with several of the big slabs starting to show up. Crappie are being caught from 15 feet down to 35 feet, suspended and on the bottom in and around large brush piles. The best areas have brush from 22 feet of water out to 35 feet of water. You will be able to stay in one area longer with the brush covering such a large depth range. What I try to do is start in the shallow part of the brush and fish close to the bottom. As the sun gets to the treetops, I move a little deeper and will start to find fish suspended toward the top of the brush. But once the sun gets high in the sky the fish seem to move inside of the brush. If you are not getting bites you need to move to another brush pile. The bite may stop after you catch several fish and if it does, make the move then come back to this brush after you give it some time to rest. I have been using a quarter-ounce white with chartreuse back spoon, as well as ones with a pink and green back. These colors seem to be my go-to colors, but if the bite seems to be slow, I do switch out to other colors until I find one that the fish are wanting. I currently have several guests fishing for pan fish with live minnows and crickets. They are doing quite well catching big blue gills, along with some nice crappie and bass. The best depth so far for my guests have been 25-30 feet towards the bottom close to or inside of brush piles.
“I currently have another fishing guest that is strictly fishing for bass. The bite has been good for him, but he does have to work for them. He has been fishing a dark-colored 10-inch worm and working it in shallow water. His best areas have buckbrush that is still under water or large underwater rocks close to the shore. Yesterday he did land a nice 5.5-pound largemouth bass, but most fish he has caught are in the 2-3.5 pound range. A few days ago, another guest was crappie fishing and saw topwater action occurring along a deep bluff line across the lake from him. He headed that way and started to throw a Zara Spook and landed several nice 16- to 17-inch largemouth bass. These fish were out in 80 feet of water chasing shad at about 9 a.m. on a sunny day.
“I have also been spending quite a bit of time looking for striped bass and walleye. The striped bass have totally eluded me at this time, but I am finding walleye, but all have been short. My best areas for walleye have been on points off the rock bluff walls in 20-30 feet of water. I have caught these fish vertical jigging a ¾-ounce spoon off the bottom.
Norfork Lake continues to drop about 2 inches a day. The lake is currently at 558.36 feet msl. The lake is currently 4.6 feet above normal seasonal pool. The lake surface water temperature Tuesday morning ranged from 79.6 degrees to 81.5 degrees. “The main lake in our area is slightly stained to clear and most of the creeks and coves are also slightly stained. Great fishing color. From what I can see on my depth finder the thermocline has dropped to somewhere between 35-40 feet. Over the last several days I have found many fish on the bottom at this depth. This is one of the main reasons I have started checking out deeper brush and have actually caught crappie 35-feet-plus deep on the bottom. The better bite for crappie is still on 25-30 feet deep brush. As the lake continues to cool, what we call a lake turnover will happen and fish will then have the freedom to move around at any depth. Basically, this means the oxygen level will be high at all levels and the water temperature will become more consistent from top to bottom. Happy fish and see you on the lake.”

(updated 9-25-2019) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said September is still hot with no rain and cold weather. We have had some cooler days but the weather needs to turn cold with rain which is only cure for the dam stripers. Once we get some rain and cooler weather the stripers will be able to move from the depths. We continue to catch limits of stripers above the state line. The stripers are in the water depths from 18 to 24' and the water is cooler with plenty of oxygen. We are using 3 to 5” gizzard shad on downlines and long lines.
The bass are schooling early morning off the main lake points feeding on small shad. Small topwater lures and spoons will produce lots of action. The crappie are schooling over deep brush piles in waters no shallower then 30' and the crappie are suspended around 15'.
High water, no rain, high water temperature, little current, small dam releases, and almost no oxygen has resulted in a striper kill this year. Stripers need 5 ppm to be active and as the summer passes and the high water the oxygen level has continuing to decrease. It's now less than 2 percent and we are seeing some dead stripers at the dam. Once we get some rain and cooler weather the stripers will be able to move from the depths and the kill will be over. We can only pray this happens soon.
If you do not want to travel that far wait until its start getting cooler at night and the water temperature gets into the mid-70s then try the creeks and Robinson Point. One trick is go up the creeks until you find a drop in the water temperature, the stripers will be close by.

Norfork Tailwater

(updated 10-9-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Norfork Lake fell 1.3 feet over the past week to rest at 4 feet above seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 22.3 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had moderate generation with one 10-hour period of wadable water. Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. Most of the lakes in the White River System are at or near the top of power pool. Expect heavy generation for the next week.
The Norfork has been fishing better on the moderate flows but has been a bit crowded. The dissolved oxygen level is slightly improved. Navigate this stream with caution as there has been major gravel recruitment at the bottom of Mill Pond and the dock hole for floods. 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 better. The browns have begun making their annual migration up stream. With school back in session it will be less crowded during the week 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 10-9-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are high and off-color. The smallmouths are more active with the warm conditions. John’s favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.


NORTHWEST ARKANSAS

Beaver Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,124.03 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.00 feet msl).

(updated 10-9-2019) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) says Beaver Lake has come up nearly 2 feet in 3 days due to the 10-12 inches of rain they received this past weekend. “This rain brought in some much cooler water into the lake and I feel will really jump start the fall transition. I believe also it will move stripers and other game fish up into the White and War Eagle arms following the shad. When you get spring-type rises on the river arms, the shad will move up into these areas. The fish will follow. The lake will have to settle for a week or so.
“We are expecting another round of potentially heavy rain this Thursday and Friday. When the lake settles down I think fishing will really get good.” Before the rains, stripers were doing well on brood minnows and shad. Crappie were good on minnows around structure in 20 feet of water. Walleye were fair in the main lake and secondary points on crawlers – either on a slow death rig or Carolina-rigged. Catfish will be good due to inflow in the river arms. “A spooning setup bite will start in a month or so. If you have never vertically fished a spoon you need to try it. Awesome way to fall/winter fish for stripers and white bass,” Jon says.

(updated 10-9-2019) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the clarity is muddy. With all the rain over the past weekend, the lake level was high as of Monday afternoon. No surface temperature was reported. Bream are fair on worms and crickets. Anglers are catching good numbers of crappie and in good sizes. They’re mostly using jigs, but also having success with minnows and crankbaits. Black bass are fair. They’re biting early on topwater baits. Later, use spinnerbaits or crankbaits. Catfishing is good with worms and nightcrawlers. Stripers are hitting live shad, big jigs and shiners. The stripers are “doing pretty good right now,” they report.

Beaver Tailwater

(updated 9-25-2019) Guide Austin Kennedy (470-244-0039) said fishing this past week has been great. The trout have been biting on just about anything from various PowerBaits, jigs and spoons. This week’s hotspot has been the U.S. Highway 62 bridge area. The white bass have been hot as well. “You have to find the right water temperatures (70s) and you will find them, just watch for them busting schools of bait fish. If you have a graph, even better.” The whites, he said, have been hitting U-rigs with white grubs and various crankbaits. The Kentucky bass are in the same area (temperature range). Throwing toward structure and chunk rock will produce the best results. A few walleye have also been in the mix as well, most of them were caught jigging live minnows. “Well, deer season is right around the corner. For all you hunters, get your fishing in before hitting the deer woods. Be safe, have fun and catch some fish,” he said.

Lake Fayetteville

(updated 10-9-2019) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) says the clarity returned to slightly dirty over the past week. The water level is normal. Surface temperature is 72 degrees. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs, with the occasional crankbait also taking them. Black bass are excellent on spinnerbaits, plastic worms “and really anything you want to throw,” they say. Catfishing is good using nightcrawlers. The lake was stocked with catfish two weeks ago, they report. Nobody is fishing for bream, they say.

Lake Fort Smith

(updated 10-9-2019) Ralph Donnangelo, superintendent at Lake Fort Smith State Park, had no report.

Lake Sequoyah

(updated 10-9-2019) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) says the lake is really muddy and high after the rain came through. No surface temperature was reported. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Still no reports on crappie. Black bass are good and after the chatterbaits. Catfishing has improved to good, with stink bait and cut bait working best.


NORTHEAST ARKANSAS

Crown Lake

(updated 10-9-2019) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water is clear and surface temperature is ranging 75-78 degrees. The level continues to be low by about 1 foot. Anglers have been catfishing some big bream this week. The bite is excellent for bream. Use redworms. Crappie are fair on minnows. Anglers are also catching a lot of bass, but they are small-sized. Overall the bite is good. Topwater baits are working best. Catfishing is excellent. Use chicken liver and box shrimp.

Lake Charles

(updated 10-9-2019) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park says there is a good bite going on with bream. Reports of small bream being caught. No reports this week on crappie or black bass. Catfishing are still biting. “Fall is finally here, come out and fish!” Shelly says. The surface temperature Sunday morning was 56 degrees. The clarity remains murky. Water level is above normal. Worms and crickets, as well as jigs, will work for bream. Work the bait around brushpiles, stumps and rocky points. Worms, blood bait and chicken liver are the best choices for catfish. October is a good month for dock fishing. October moon times look good between the 10th and 16th. The best days will be Oct. 25-31.

Lake Poinsett

(updated 10-9-2019) Lake Poinsett is closed until next year as repairs continue on the habitat. The Lake Pointsett State Park Visitors Center sells bait still, and the shop is in proximity to many other fishing destinations in northeast Arkansas. Ome Coleman at the Lake Poinsett State Park says, “We are still selling plenty of minnows. Although the lake is still gone, we are still here to supply your fishing supply needs.”
Also, District 3 biologists in the AGFC Fisheries Division report that
232 spider buckets have been staged and ready to be deployed in Lake Poinsett. Spider buckets are artificial habitat structures composed of ABS pipe, set in concrete-filled buckets. These new structures will replace degraded woody habitat as part of the lake renovation. These structures have benefits for all lake species. They can be placed on the ground in shallow, shoreline areas to benefit catfish and largemouth bass or on pallet towers in open waters to give a more tree-like appearance for crappie and sunfish species.

Spring River

(updated 10-2-2019) Mark Crawford of Spring River Flies and Guides says water levels are running at 330 cfs, 350 average, at the spring. Water clarity has been clear. Early mornings have had some beautiful hatches of tan caddis and blue-wing olive mayflies. Nymphs are working well early in the mornings. Olive Woollies and Guppies have been the hot flies the last few weeks. On cloudy days it has been all about swinging the fly with short strips back upstream. On the hot, blaring days it’s all about getting down and fishing big rocks where the fish are hiding from the sun. Lots of vegetation can give the fish cover, also. Swing the fly along the edges and wait for a strike.
Trout Magnets in hot pink and orange are working great just off the bottom of the river. “It always impresses me how well the Trout Magnets work. For local creeks I like to use a hot pink Trout Magnet on a fly rod. Cast to the shore line and strip it back for catching plenty of smallies and panfish.
“Cooler weather just around the corner should get the trout moving and start the fall season. The trout have not been liking the afternoon heat we have been having lately. Fishing early has been very productive for numbers but the big fish have been hiding out in the heat of the day. Cooler temps should get the big fish moving and feeding. As always keep an eye on my blog for the latest fishing report and river conditions.”

(updated 10-9-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Spring River is high and off-color. This is a great place to wade fish when they are running water on the White and Norfork rivers. Canoe season is officially over. 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).

Walcott Lake

(updated 10-9-2019) Walcott Lake (Crowley’s Ridge State Park) said there wasn’t a lot to report, the guests who did fish had a big time. They were catching channel catfish on stink bait. They caught three large cats. No other reports.

White River

(updated 10-9-2019) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) had no reports.


SOUTHEAST ARKANSAS

Arkansas River (Pine Bluff Pool)

(updated 10-9-2019) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team had no report.

Arkansas River (Pool 2)

No reports.

Cane Creek Lake

(updated 10-9-2019) Austin Davidson, park interpreter at Cane Creek State Park, had no report.

Lake Chicot

(updated 10-9-2019) Brian Whitson, park interpreter at Lake Chicot State Park (870-265-5480), says fishing has been reported very good prior to these last few days. Cooler weather is moving in, which seems to have stalled the fishing temporarily, but with any luck things will get adjusted soon and the fishing will pick up. The Lake is still low, so boating access is limited, although the boat ramp at the park should be accessible.

Lake Monticello

(updated 10-9-2019) The lake is undergoing a drawdown so that the dam can be repaired and the fish habitat rebuilt. There are no limits on game fish during the drawdown. Some nice fish reportedly were still being caught in late September, though the lake is noticeably way down now.


SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS

Millwood Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 259.61 feet msl (normal pool: 259.20 feet msl).

(updated 10-9-2019) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said Millwood Lake's 2-foot drawdown ended Sept. 30 and the lake is now slightly above normal conservation pool, 259.6 feet msl as of Monday; the discharge is about 3,700 cfs in Little River, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. The tailwater below the dam and gates as of Monday was about 231 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. Surface temps as of Monday were ranging near 80 degrees early to 86 later under full sun, depending on location. Continue to use caution navigating Little River and Millwood, watching for stumps and random broken or floating timber. More stain increased with current in Little River over the past week, and Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity and visibility was moderate stain, ranging 3-5 inches. Little River's visibility ranges 5-6 inches with heavy to moderate stain, depending on location and current. The oxbow's clarity currently ranges 10-12 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.
The largemouth bass continue improving their feeding binges, and over the past few days with cooler temps during early morning the overall surface activity improved in the pads and on shallow flats adjacent to creek channel swings. Bass were moving in an out of lily pad stands and blowing up with an improved consistency on Bass Assassin Shads on light wire Owner hook and Chrome Johnson Spoons with a 3-inch curly tail grub in pearl, white, or snow storm trailer. This shallow, lily pad bite can break into a frenzy in several different areas at the same time. Two anglers caught over 20 bass on Bass Assassins and spoons in short order a few days ago where the bass were breaking on shad, chasing them into the lily pads and blowing up. The largemouths are following these schools of shad and chasing them at the surface again with improved consistency over the past week. Square-bill crankbaits like the Echo 1.75 in shad patterns and Ghost Minnow are working. The Bomber Fat Free Fry that run 4-5 feet deep are also catching these schooled-up bass. Mike says his groups caught several doubles simultaneously the other day with shallow Little John cranks and Bass Assassins and square-bills – in fact, he said, “Several times we doubled up. \Catching two bass on a single crankbait happened more than once.”
He adds, “Yum Tip Toads have been getting good reactions over the past few weeks. We have been dipping the feet of the Tip Toad in JJ's Magic chartreuse dipping dye for a trigger/splash of color for a different appearance. Good lily pad stands remain in Mud Lake and Horseshoe Lake, and where a creek channel is close by to the deeper creek bends with lily pads, those areas have held good chunky bass willing to blow up, chasing shad in the lily pads, and exploding on a Bass Assassin or Frog or a weedless spoon on these cooler mornings over the past week.

Over the past week, the schooling bass have returned to surface-breaking in the oxbows, Horseshoe and McGuire lakes – a couple of the better areas for these mostly adolescents and juvenile bass. Clear Baby Torpedoes, chrome black back Cordell Crazy Shads, Heddon Spit'n Image, and Rat-L-Trap Stuttersteps are working again in the early morning on surface-breaking, yearling schooling bass. Mostly, juvenile bass were randomly breaking for 30-60 seconds at a time, early just after dawn in the backs of several oxbows up Little River. When the bass are not surface-breaking, you can still locate the large schools on your electronics. These large schools of juveniles and adolescent largemouths, when not surface feeding on shad, can still be caught randomly using Bomber Fat Free Shads and Fat Free Fry in Tennessee Shad or Citrus Shad colors, along with jigging a Cordell Hammered Spoon, tail spinner Rat-L-Traps and a ¾-ounce War Eagle Underspin using a 3-4-inch pearl or white grub trailer.
Over the past several weeks, 1-2 pound spotted bass, with a few white bass in the mix, schooled up and were hitting jigging spoons in Little River behind primary points, on the fringes of current from 6-9 a.m.; then the bite shuts off almost like a light switch. White bass continue roaming and schooling up with juvenile largemouths and spotted bass following shad in Little River at creek dumps and the oxbows at dawn.
The best thing we can figure on the crappie is, they scattered over the past week with the increased current in Little River and increase in water stain. Blakemore Roadrunners in white, white/chartreuse or blue/chartreuse and minnows and white and blue jigs were getting bit a couple weeks ago by vertical jigging near standing timber in Horseshoe. Catfish improved over the past week with the increased current in Little River. Hanging yoyos in Little River from cypress trees and baiting with hot dogs and blood bait worked over the last week.

Lake Columbia

(updated 10-9-2019) Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) has heard no reports.

Lake Greeson Tailwater

Visit www.littlemissouriflyflishing.com for a daily update on fishing conditions.

Lake Greeson

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 535.86 feet msl (normal pool: 548.00 feet msl).

(updated 10-9-2019) Tamara Lunsford, park superintendent at Daisy State Park near Kirby, had no report.

(updated 10-9-2019) Jason Lenderman of JL Guide Service (870-490-0804) had no report.

DeGray Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 397.94 feet msl (normal pool: 408.00 feet msl).

(updated 10-9-2019) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said that as with Lake Hamilton, the water temperature has dropped about 4 degrees and will keep going in the right direction for the crappie to stack up on the brushpiles. They are acting spookier than usual, so stay back from the pile and pitch or cast to them.

(updated 10-2-2019) John Duncan of yoyoguideservice.com at Iron Mountain Marina says, “Fall is coming, finally. It has it been a kicker. Fishing is just slow, we’re awaiting the weather change. Water temperatures have dropped from the high 80s to lower 80s, and a couple more degrees will make the difference.” John says shad are abundant everywhere, so food is plentiful. Hybrids, white bass and black bass are still surfacing from Caddo Bend to Shouse Ford. Just look for the boats, but be early. “Same drill as far as topwater, crankbaits as they go down (or Rat-L-Trap chrome), then spoons counted down. Spoons can always be thrown at surfacing fish, also.” He recommends a 1-ounce CC for whites and blacks (“and hope a hybrid don’t hit it,” John added) and 2-ounce for hybrids. Alabama rigs work, also. Use small bodies and white color. Crappie are still deep in brush and very slow on the bite. Trolling Bandit 300s in the pockets that have lots of shad is another option. John’s heard a few comments on topwaters and buzzbaits over brush for black bass. No report on catfish or bream. “Fall fishing around the corner. Be safe and courteous.”

De Queen Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 437.99 feet msl (normal pool: 437.00 feet msl).

Dierks Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 522.34 feet msl (normal pool: 526.00 feet msl).


SOUTH-CENTRAL ARKANSAS

White Oak Lake

(updated 10-9-2019) Angler John Gulley, CEO of Lone Sportsman Outfitters, had no report.

Felsenthal

(updated 10-2-2019) Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said bream are still biting fairly well. Bass are biting well on crankbaits and lipless crankbaits. Good catfish being caught tight-lining in the river. Crappie are a little slow.

WEST-CENTRAL ARKANSAS

Lake Atkins

(updated 10-2-2019) Sharon at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) says the clarity is now “really clear” and the level is normal. Bream are fair on redworms and crickets. They’re being caught off the shoreline. Crappie are fair on jigs. Black bass are good on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. No other reports.

Lake Catherine

For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro

(updated 10-9-2019) Tosha Walker, Lake Catherine State Park Marina manager, said the clarity is clear and the surface temperature is 73.5 degrees. Water level and current are normal. Bream are good. The fish are in a depth of 8-10 feet and are biting worms and crickets. No reports on crappie. Also, no reports on black bass. Catfish are good on stink bait and chicken liver. “There have been a few reports of catfish being caught near the dam on minnows and some catfish have been taken with stink bait,” she said. No reports on white bass. Tosha adds, “Lately, there have been reports of striped bass feeding near the dam.”

Lake Catherine (Below Carpenter Dam)

For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro

(updated 10-9-2019) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that the water temperature is 70 degrees below the dam with clear conditions in the tailrace. Entergy is alternating a minimum flow pattern along with selected days of generation that last several hours as Lake Ouachita remains almost 10 feet below flood pool. What few rainbow trout that were living close to the dam have now migrated downstream, as much warmer water temperature has been the norm the last month. Rainbow trout become stressed in water over 70 degrees. Quality trout fishing will return to Lake Catherine in late November when the trout stocking program resumes for the winter season. These fish are stocked in the tailrace and ready to be caught the week of Thanksgiving. October still holds numbers of white bass 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 that are everywhere in the tailrace. Hybrid bass also run alongside these fish and will feed on the same prey items. Stripers have been observed feeding below the bridge in the late evening. Balloon rigs with gizzard shad give anglers a good chance to hook a big striper, but artificial lures such as Super Spooks and Alabama rigs should not be overlooked. Strong rods and lines are recommended for these predator fish that possess great power and are often in the 20- to 40-pound range. Blue catfish in the 4- to 6-pound range have been caught next to the dam on live minnows and stink baits. 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.

Lake Dardanelle

(updated 10-9-2019) Jason Baumgartner, park aquarist at Lake Dardanelle State Park (479-890-7495) says that finally, the cooler temperatures have arrived. The forecast expects a very brief warmup before another front brings rain in for Friday. The system will leave cool and clear weather to wrap up the weekend. Visibility is limited to only a few feet. Surface temperature is 78 degrees. As of Tuesday (Oct. 8) the river at Ozark Lock & Dam 12 has held near 345 feet. Tailwater release rose from 52,000 cfs to 64,000 cfs. There has been no power generation at Ozark for several months now. Downriver, pool elevation near Lake Dardanelle State Park remains elevated at almost 339 feet. The Dardanelle tailwater fell briefly to 8 feet but rose again to about 11 feet. Release there had fallen to about 47,000 cfs but has also since risen to about 65,000 cfs. The powerhouse has been generating all day for the last several months. The Dardanelle lock is undergoing maintenance and the anticipated completion date has been changed to Oct. 25. Mariners are asked to contact the lock via radio on Channel 16 or by phone (479) 890-4987, in advance of arrival, for current conditions.
Anglers,
please use caution when on the water as the river bottom has changed in many areas. Lake Dardanelle State Park continues to host tournaments every weekend this fall. Reports from anglers are that the bass have been biting on soft plastics, jigs and buzzbaits. There have been several 5-pound bass weighed here and even a few 7-pound lunkers. Baitfish are there for fish to prey on, so mimicking shad may be a good start. The fall tournament season is well under way at the state park. The three-day Big Bass Bonanza will take place on the Arkansas River beginning Friday, Oct. 11. For tournament scheduling and updates, please contact the Lake Dardanelle State Park Visitor Center at (479) 967-5516.

(updated 10-2-2019) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) had no report.

Lake Hamilton

(updated 10-9-2019) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said the water temperature has dropped about 4 degrees and will keep going in the right direction for the crappie to stack up on the brushpiles. They are acting spookier than usual, so stay back from the pile and pitch or cast to them.

(updated 10-9-2019) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas-born-and-bred all-welded aluminum Xpress fishing boats in Hot Springs, had no report.

Lake Nimrod

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 342.16 feet msl (normal pool: 342.00 feet msl).

(updated 10-9-2019) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) says the lake clarity has turned muddy and the level is a little low. No temperature was reported. Bream are good on crickets. Crappie are excellent using minnows or jigs. Catfishing is good using trotlines baited with goldfish or shad. No reports came in on black bass.

(updated 9-25-2019) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said the water is clear and at a normal. Bream are excellent on redworms and crickets. Crappie are good with minnows and jigs. They hear black bass are fair, but that’s about it. Catfish are biting well.

Lake Ouachita

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 568.22 feet msl (normal pool: 578.00 feet msl)

(updated 9-25-2019) Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) reports that black bass are still good. The topwater bite is working early, late and on cloudy days. Drop-shot rigging a finesse worm is working well for the spotted bass. Walleye are still fair, with three-quarter-ounce CC Spoons jigged vertically and nightcrawlers on drop-shot rigs producing good stringers. Stripers continue to be good. These fish are located in the eastern part of the lake and are being caught on live bait or big hair jigs. Bream are fair with reports of fish being caught with grubs and worms in 15-25 feet of water near brush. Crappie are fair. “We have been receiving reports of fish being caught with small jigs on brush in 20-30 feet of water,” they say. Catfish are still good and anglers are having luck with rod-and-reel using live nightcrawlers or hot dogs around brushpiles. Water temperature has dropped some and has been ranging 80-84 degrees. The clarity is clear and Lake Ouachita continues to slightly fall to 568.24 feet msl. Contact the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717, or 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 384.20 feet msl (normal pool: 384.00 feet msl).

(updated 10-9-2019) Angler Dane Goodwin had no report.


EAST ARKANSAS

Horseshoe Lake

(updated 10-9-2019) Professional fishing guide Ronnie Tice (901-687-6800) said the lake has turned a little dingy. The surface temperature Monday afternoon was 77 degrees and the level has dropped to 10 inches below normal. The bream have fallen off, with poor reports this week. However, crappie have stormed back and have been excellent. Ronnie says they are catching big fish and are catching limits fast. The crappie are 10-12 feet deep off the bottom. Use minnows or jigs and fish under the piers and around lily pads. Black bass are good. Use plastic worms, rattle-type baits and live worms. Fish the rocky points. Catfishing is fair on worms, and they’re also being caught around the docks on jigs in 8 feet depth.

Bear Creek Lake/Storm Creek Lake

(updated 10-9-2019) Natalie Faughn, assistant superintendent at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), had no reports.

Cook’s Lake

(updated 10-9-2019) The AGFC’s Wil Hafner at Cook’s Lake Conservation Education Center (870-241-3373) said the fishing slowed down as the front came through this past weekend but should pick back up with stable weather. Black bass are still being caught flipping creature baits in green pumpkin or blue sapphire as well as JIG-SOOIE jigs in river craw. Success has come from targeting hollow cypress trees. Bluegill are good around laydowns with redworms and crickets. Crappie are being picked off of brushtops using tube jigs. Wil also reminds everyone that Cooks Lake will close to fishing on Oct. 31 and will reopen in March 2020.
Cook’s Lake is a 2.5-mile-long oxbow off of the White River, nestled in the heart of the Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge near Casscoe in Arkansas County. This fertile oxbow receives very little fishing pressure due to being used only for education purposes and youth and mobility-impaired fishing. The scenic lake is full of slab crappie, giant bluegills, largemouth bass and catfish of all species. Cook’s Lake will be open to fishing during normal business hours, Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through October, water level pending. Cook’s Lake is open to fishing for youth under 16 or mobility-impaired, and up to two helpers (who may also fish). Fish from the 140-foot mobility-impaired accessible dock or launch a boat, but we ask for trolling motors only. Before launching, please check in at the Conservation Education Center, and report back before leaving. For information or unscheduled closures, please contact the center at 870-241-3373.