Nov. 6, 2019
Jim Harris Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s weekly fishing report for Nov. 6, 2019. If there is a body of water you would like included in this report, please email email@example.com with information on possible sources for reports about that lake or river. Reports are updated weekly, although some reports might be published for two weeks if updates are not received promptly or if reporters say conditions haven’t changed. Contact the reporter listed 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: 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
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 11-6-2019) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the lake is regular “Lake Conway stain.” The level is normal. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Best reports are coming from Gold Creek, Caney Creek and the Highway 89 bridge. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. They also appear most active in Caney Creek or at the Highway 89 bridge. Black bass are good. Use spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater lures. Catfishing is good on nightcrawlers and dough bait.
Little Red River
(updated 11-6-2019) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service said the Little Red River is currently receiving sporadic generation. 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 10-30-2019) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said the river remains low and clear. Generation Monday night and Tuesday morning helped with an increased flow in the river. The browns are beginning to move, but the shoals have been so low they are not being found in their usual patterns. The cold weather and hopefully an increase in generation will help the spawn. The rainbows are taking small emergers and midge pupa. The deeper pools at the foot of the shoals seem to be the most productive. Remember to watch for rocks, logs and the bottom while motoring in the low water.
Greers Ferry Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 459.68 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.54 feet msl).
(updated 11-6-2019) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 459.69 feet msl, 2.04 feet below normal pool of 462.04 feet msl and falling some with generation. Catfishing is still good on a variety of baits and techniques to do it. The main thing is you have to get out there and fish your strengths. No reports on walleye. Bream have really slowed a lot with the cooler weather and water temps; try dragging something in 15-25 feet of water for the bigger fish, cricket, crawler, etc. Black bass are eating well and can be caught a variety of ways in a variety of depths. Again, fish your strengths and you should be able to catch. Stay around shad, or bream, or crawfish, for sure, super shallow out to 50 feet and keep eye out for schoolers. Hybrid bass and white bass are, of course, gorging themselves on shad for the colder months ahead. Spoons, inline spinners and swimbaits are working great, as well as live bait; find them in 15-50 feet. Crappie are still coming in real well all over lake and rivers, eating jigs, minnows and crankbaits fished 8-30 feet.
Harris Brake Lake
(updated 11-6-2019) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) reported the water is a little clear and the water is just “up a little bit” over normal level. Surface water temperature is ranging 55-56 degrees. Crappie fishing remains good on minnows and jigs. Anglers are catching medium-sized crappie. Black bass are fair. Bass minnows are working best; the bass are being caught in deeper water now. Catfishing is good on the trotlines baited with goldfish, as well as caught on rod-and-reel with chicken liver and hot dogs. Bream are fair on redworms and crickets.
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 10-23-2019) Johnny “Catfish” Banks of Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) says water level is about normal and clarity is good. Surface temperature is around 72 degrees. Bream are slow, but anglers are still catching some on crickets and redworms. Bass are doing good around brushtops and structure with topwater baits and plastic worms. Catfish are being caught on jugs and trotline with bream and minnows. Crappie are slow but should start picking up with this cooler weather. Visit John’s Facebook page (Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park) for any new updates and photos.
(updated 11-6-2019) David Hall, owner of Dad’s Bait Shop (501-977-0303), says the water is clear and at a normal level (328 feet msl). The surface temperature Tuesday morning was66 degrees. Bream are fair on redworms or crickets. Crappie are good and are still being caught in 3-5 feet depth. Use minnows and jigs and fish around the brushpiles. Black bass are in the shallows and continue to bite on nearly everything in the evening. The catch has been good. Use topwater baits for best success. Catfishing is good on chicken livers.
(updated 11-6-2019) Westrock Landing (501-658-5598) on Highway 10 near Roland said water temperature has dropped and the largemouth bass bite is good. Most of them can be found in 16-20 feet of water dusk and dawn biting a variety of lures. Some reports say the black bass are biting shallow early in the mornings on topwater baits. Try using chatterbait, crankbaits, jerkbaits, drop-shots, and swim baits. At a recent bass league event, three two-angler teams each caught more than 12.70 pounds of fish, with Dillon Roth and Kyle Faith landing a 5.19-pounder and winning the event with a five-bass stringer of 12.89 pounds.
Kentucky bass are also good. Some reports of them 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. 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 brush piles in 8-12 feet. Try using minnows, Rooster Rails, jerkbaits and rattle-style baits. Crappie are fair. Reports of them being found stacking in deeper water around 18-22 feet. Some can still be found scattered mixed in with the whites. Try using jigs and minnows. Bream are slow. They are moving into deeper water around 18-22 feet. Try crickets and worms. Catfish are good. Chicken liver, nightcrawlers and baitfish are working.
(updated 11-6-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bass are biting fair on minnows and Carolina-rigged plastics. Crappie are still biting pretty well very early in the mornings on minnows and small jigs. Catfish have been biting chicken livers, minnows and nightcrawlers. Bream fishing has been slow.
Bishop Park Ponds
(updated 11-6-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish and crappie have been biting for some customers using No. 6 minnows. Bass have been hitting minnows, soft plastics and small spinnerbaits. Bream have been biting fair on crickets and redworms.
Saline River Access in Benton
(updated 11-6-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) says No. 6 and brooder minnows were used to catch a mixed stringer of smallmouth, rock bass, catfish and crappie for a couple of customers Tuesday. Bream are biting crickets and worms. One customer reported catching a couple of walleye and several rock bass on No. 12 minnows. The gar are still biting minnows and are fun to catch.
For hot spots outside the immediate area for her customers, Lisa says Lake Ouachita crappie have been doing well on pink crappie minnows and No. 6 and No. 4 crappie minnows. But also some huge bream have been caught while fishing with the No. 6 crappie minnows.
(updated 11-6-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie have been biting well for some customers using No. 6 minnows. Bass fishing is fair with spinnerbaits and Carolina-rigged plastics. Catfish are biting fair on minnows and chicken livers. Bream fishing has slowed but you can still catch a few with crickets and redworms.
(updated 11-6-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie were biting well last week for some customers using No.4 minnows and jigs. Bass are biting minnows and Carolina-rigged plastics. Catfish have been biting chicken livers, minnows and nightcrawlers. Bream fishing has been slow but one customer reported catching a few big ones on minnows while crappie fishing.
Arkansas River at Morrilton
(updated 10-23-2019) Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) said few anglers are out. The fish are in transition, setting up for cold waters. Bass jigs are best for the time being for fishing for bass. Catfish are based off the jetties and on the downstream side of the dam. Use skipjack or shad. No reports on crappie. No reports on bream. Here are a few words for the duck and goose hunters with the waterfowl season coming: “It would be best to check out the rivers and use your GPS. Use your ramp as home. Use the main channel as a highway, then go 90 degrees; turn when you want to get out of the channel to your hunting way points. Hope you have good hunts.”
Arkansas River (Cadron Pool)
Little Maumelle River
(updated 11-6-2019) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the river remains clear and the water is normal. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Black bass are good, with crankbaits and plastic worms working best. Catfishing is excellent. They’re being caught on yo-yos baited with minnows. Bream reports are poor.
Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)
(updated 10-30-2019) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) says catfishing is good using minnows or cut shad. No other reports.
Arkansas River (Little Rock Pool)
(updated 11-6-2019) Fish ‘N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) says the water is “pretty dirty” and the level and current are a little higher than normal. Bass is all that’s been reported on. Good reports have come in, as the bass are being found in shallow water. Fish the banks and use spinnerbaits, crankbaits (square-bill cranks) and chatterbaits. No reports on bream, crappie or catfish.
(updated 11-6-2019) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) says the river is muddy and high with a lot of current. No reports.
(updated 11-6-2019) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) had no reports.
Clear Lake (off Arkansas-River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 11-6-2019) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is clear and the level is normal. The crappie bite remains fair on minnows and jigs. Black bass improved this week with fair catches. They’re also biting minnows. Catfish are responding some to worms, mainly nightcrawlers, but the results still have been poor overall. Bream reports were poor.
(updated 10-30-2019) Donna Muherin at Herman’s Landing (870241-3731) says the water is clear and the level is normal with no stumps showing. No reports on bream. are poor. Crappie are good on minnows a trolling/spider-rigging. Black bass are good using crankbaits or topwater lures. Catfishing is good; use stink bait, chicken liver or hot dogs.
(updated 11-6-2019) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) says trout fishing on the White River in the north central Arkansas Ozarks, also known as Bull Shoals Lake tailwater, continues to offer all-day action for anglers of all ages as one of the most productive trout streams in the country. Releases from the dam have been heavier over the past 10 days than the previous month or two because of several heavy rains across the White River System, from Beaver Lake to Norfork Lake. The lake level has risen about 2 inches, so we're seeing it in higher water levels on the river.
The rainbow catch, as it most often is, was abundant – if you were dangling a worm. Nightcrawlers and red wigglers bested the bubblegum pink scented worm; however, the XFactor white worm played a role in a good share of landed trout, too. A little fuzzy egg
pattern, peach or soft yellow, tied to a No. 8 or 10 hook, served well. Keep your bait pretty near the riverbed, using plenty of weight to stay there. Anglers last week had less success with the shrimp/power bait combo than usual, but found that alternating shrimp and worms over the course of the day proved successful. Drift-fishing is the norm for now, and if fishing from the bank be ready to cast and retrieve, cast and retrieve (or cast and catch, retrieve, cast and catch!) due to a fairly swift current.
They add, “You'll enjoy your fishing adventures much more if you come prepared for Arkansas weather extremes. This week we experienced several mornings with temperatures below freezing and the afternoon sunshine raising the thermometer to the upper 50s, low 60s. As always, whatever the weather, we are blessed to be here in The Natural State and always look forward to meeting fellow trout lovers.”
(updated 11-6-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-4352169) said that during the past week, they had yet another rain event (about a half inch here in Cotter), cool temperatures (to include frost advisories) and moderate to heavy winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals rose 1.2 feet to rest at 3.6 feet above seasonal power pool of 659 feet msl. This is 32.4 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell 0.6 foot to rest at 0.1 foot above seasonal power pool and 13.9 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose 0.7 foot to rest at 8.9 feet above seasonal power pool and 0.7 foot below the top of flood pool. The White had heavy generation with no wadable water. Norfork Lake fell 1.3 feet to rest at 1.6 feet above seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 24.6 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork saw moderate generation with no wadable water. Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. Due to heavy rains over the last three weeks, all of the lakes in the White River System are now at or over the top of power pool. Expect heavy generation for the next few weeks
The catch-and-release section below Bull Shoals Dam has closed beginning Nov. 1 to Jan. 31 to accommodate the brown trout spawn. The State Park will be seasonal catch and release for the same period. All brown trout must be immediately released. In addition, night fishing is prohibited in this area during this period. On Feb. 1, 2020, this section will reopen to fishing.
The White has fished well. The hot spot has been the Wildcat Shoals. The hot flies were olive Woolly Buggers (sizes 8, 10), Y2Ks (sizes 14, 12), prince nymphs (size 14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead sizes 16, 18), pheasant tails (size 14), ruby midges (size 18), root beer midges (size 18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (size 10), and sowbugs (size 16). Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective (John’s current favorite combination is a cerise high water San Juan worm with an egg pattern suspended below it). Use long leaders and plenty of lead to get your flies down.
(updated 11-6-2019) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said little has changed in recent weeks. The river is high with six generators running at the dam. Anglers are catching rainbows but not a lot of browns.
Bull Shoals Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 662.26 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 659.00 feet msl).
(updated 11-6-2019) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said the water is clear and Bull Shoals has risen to about 2.5 feet high as of Tuesday morning. The lake is at 65 degrees on the surface. Del reported last week that the lake has turned over. Crappie continue to be caught, with good results reported. They are deep, however. Most are being caught in 25-30 feet of water and are being found around the Corps brushpiles. Use minnows. The bass are picking up with the Corps running a lot of water, he says. If it’s windy, Del suggests using spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Otherwise, got with topwater baits, the Whopper Plopper, or fish with jigs around the rocky points. The reports have been good on bass. Walleye are being caught trolling. Nothing has been reported on bream, while catfish reports were poor. Check out Del’s YouTube page (Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock) for his latest video reports and tips on catching the fish.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 555.24 feet msl (normal conservation pool: Sept.-April, 552.00 feet msl; April-Sept., 555.75 feet msl).
(updated 10-30-2019) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said Norfork Lake water continues to cool and the lake has nearly completed its annual turnover process. The water temperature is 68 degrees from the surface down to roughly 75-85 feet. The oxygen level is high down to the same level, then reduces along with the water temperature down to the bottom of the lake. This is a normal process for Norfork Lake and is in line with past years, with the exception that the lake temperature is a few degrees warmer than normal. The cold weather this week should make the lake finalize its turnover, which makes the temperature and oxygen level the same from the top to the bottom of the lake. The oxygen and lake temperature information was provided by Norfork Lake Striper Club on Oct. 28.
Lou says the bite continues to be good for bass, crappie and bluegills. White bass fishing has been getting really good over the last few days for the medium-sized whites. Vertical-jig with a ½- to ¾-ounce spoon to catch the whites. They will be on the bottom or suspended 15-25 feet down. “The biggest change since my last report is that the bait has moved out to the flats in 20-50 feet of water. This is the main reason the white bass bite is taking off. As the surface water temperature continues to drop into the low 60s, I would expect to start seeing more frequent topwater action for some of our species in the lake.”
The largemouth and spotted bass bite has been good and you can find them in a couple of areas. The bass continue to be shallow, very close to the shoreline. Shallow, sloping banks has still been the best, but they are showing up more and more on the rock bluff lines. Crankbaits are working very well, as are soft plastics. Cast your bait right next to the shore and retrieve back to the boat. Work your plastics slowly along the bottom. The fish are still using the sunken buckbrush to help them hide, so don’t hesitate casting right up into the brush. If you like to throw topwater baits, the fish are coming up for them. The topwater baits are working early in the morning. Cast your bait, such as a Zara Spook, up to the shoreline, then use a walk-the-dog retrieval method back to the boat. There is still some topwater action for bass in the mornings and evenings but it has slowed a little at this time. A second area that has just started to be good is on large deeper water flats. “I have found some nice schooling, feeding bass in 20-40 feet of water. It does take some time watching your electronics to find the schools. My best method for these deeper fish is to vertical-jig a spoon. You will catch one after another once you find the school. Staying on the school of feeding fish is difficult to do, but if you get lucky enough to stay on top of them you will have a blast for a long time.”
The crappie bite continues to be good, but has slowed a little. “I am still catching some nice slabs, but it seems like I need to jump around a lot. I catch a couple fish off of brush then they seem to stop biting. I move to another brush and catch a few then need to move again. You can still catch your limit, but it will take some work. If it was easy it would not be any fun. I am still using a ¼-ounce spoon. Firetiger, white and chartreuse, white and green and white and pink have been my best colors. The fish have been from 10-20 feet down over brush and you need to be on the brush as I am not finding any on the outsides of the brush. The crappie will start to move around a little more as the water cools and will come shallower in the evenings. The bite has not started for me until around 8:30-9 a.m., but I have not tried in the dark with lights out.
“The bluegill bite has been good. I typically catch a few nice ones on my ¼ ounce spoon while crappie fishing, but fishing with crickets is the best. Best areas have been in small cuts in the bluff walls especially if there is some brush in the cut. You will find them anywhere from 15-30 feet deep.
“Striped bass fishing is still the slowest bite. Not unusual for this time of year, but that bite should take off shortly. Once the lake finalizes its turnover and cools a few more degrees the bigger fish will move to the flats. This is not to say I have not been catching stripers and hybrids. There are large schools of this species out on the flats in 20 – 50 feet of water feeding on shad along with the whites. The issue is that most of the fish are on the short side at this time. There are a few nice size fish in side of the schools of smaller fish and you will hook up on occasion. It is still a blast to catch a 17 – 20 inch striper on light tackle, if you are looking for some fun action. Look for bigger stripers back in the major creeks such as Big Creek, Bennett’s Bayou and up river around the state line.”
Norfork Lake level continues to drop slowly and sits at 555.58 feet msl. The lake surface temperature in the morning this week was 66-68 degrees depending on location. The main lake is fairly clear and the creeks and coves are somewhat stained.
(updated 10-30-2019) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters had no report.
(updated 11-6-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Norfork Lake fell 1.3 feet to rest at 1.6 feet above seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 24.6 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork saw moderate generation with no wadable water. Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. Due to heavy rains over the last three weeks, all of the lakes in the White River System are now at or over the top of power pool. Expect heavy generation for the next few weeks
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 due to flooding over the past couple of years. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (sizes 18, 20, 22) like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (size 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. The fishing is better in the morning.
Dry Run Creek is fishing better. The browns have begun making their annual migration upstream. With school back in session it will be less crowded during the week. The weekends can be pretty busy. The hot flies have been sowbugs (size 14), Y2Ks (size 12), various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise size 10) and mop flies.
Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soles that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.
John also said, “It seems like I have been spending a lot of time writing about rain or the effects of rain this year – this is because it has been a high-water year. The lakes are still in flood pool and my grass is still growing as fast as I can cut it. It is raining as I write this. Last Saturday was typical of the days I have spent recently fishing in the rain.
“The forecast was for a high in the 50s with rain and winds 5-10 mph out of the west. The generation schedule called for about three and a half generators or about 12,500 cfs. It had rained the previous day and the water was lightly stained. It was in the 40s with a steady rain when we arrived at the ramp. The plan was to split the day between fishing from the boat and wading Dry Run Creek.
“I was dressed in long underwear, a layer of fleece, a Primaloft (a synthetic down alternative that maintains its warmth when wet) jacket with a hood, rain bib pants, a rain jacket, muck boots, heavy wool socks, a ball cap (to keep the rain from my face) and fingerless wool gloves. I was perfectly dressed and ready to handle anything that Mother Nature was to throw at me that day.
“My clients, Ed and his son Zack, were not. Zach had waders but no rain jacket. I loaned him a spare rain jacket that I keep in my boat in case I get caught in the rain. Ed had a jacket but it did not look waterproof to me. I loaned him my spare rain pants that I keep in my boat for my unexpected use and a poncho that I keep for clients that don’t have raingear. We fished in driving rain and heavy wind for several hours. The weather man was mistaken; the winds were more like 15-20 mph. We fished for several hours and then drove over to Dry Run Creek to finish the day. We caught plenty of trout, particularly at Dry Run Creek.
“Now that the day was over I had to deal with a mound of wet gear. I started with my raingear. I hung all of it on the porch of my guest house. I have installed about a dozen brass hooks in the woodwork just to hang wet rain gear. It was still raining, so I left my boat out in the rain. It could not get any wetter. I did pull my drain plug to drain the boat.
“The next day was a bit warmer and sunny. This gave me a chance to dry my boat out. I pulled out the life jackets and hung them in the sun to dry. I bailed and sponged out my boat to remove any water that had not drained. I then replaced the plug so I would not forget. I open all of my lockers to let them air out and sponged out any rainwater that I found. I opened and aired out my boat fly box that got wet during the rain. I replaced any flies that I lost during the previous day. I dried out my boat bag and its contents. I noticed that my flashlight had dead batteries and replaced them.
“I folded and stored my now dry raingear. I put my newly dried lifejackets in the boat and stored my other gear in its designated storage location in my boat. I charged my trolling motor batteries. Finally, I put my boat cover on to ensure it would remain clean and dry during the next rain scheduled in a few days.
“Fishing in the rain causes a lot of work to keep your gear in good shape so that it is ready for use the next time you go fishing. I like to be prepared to leave the house on a moment’s notice and know that my gear is ready to do its job.”
Buffalo National River/Crooked Creek
(updated 11-6-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are a bit high and off-color. The smallmouths are less active. John’s favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,128.99 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.00 feet msl).
(updated 11-6-2019) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) says, “Same story different week. Beaver Lake now is poised to be at a level where they may need to open flood gates. We did get the rain last week and lake sits 6 inches from top flood pool. We are expecting heavy rains again this week. All I can say is, from Hickory Creek up into river arms are full of debris and dirty water. Fishing has become very tough even for us guides.
“Be careful if out boating, as lots of hazards out there. The Army Corps of Engineers will have to run generators round-the-clock, which will effect trout fishing below all tailwaters (fly-fishing). On Beaver, fish are really scattered and my advice is keep on moving until you find fish. As my friend and I say, they didn’t get on a bus and head to Florida, they still are in the lake.
“Look to clearer water from Rocky Branch and further toward the dam. Stripers can be found, just move and locate them, and same for walleye. There is some topwater on blacks and spots on cloudy days. Pop-Rs and Zara Puppies and the like are catching bass up in the flooded debris. Beaver needs to stabilize in the worst way. But we do need to be thankful for all the water in the long run! Glass always half full in this guide’s eye! It keeps me going. Guides are the total optimist; we have to be! Get out and be safe.”
(updated 11-6-2019) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the river arms are stained. The overall lake level now is very high. Very few fishing reports came in with the conditions, and fishing is spotty with the exception of crappie. The surface temperature is in the low 60s. Crappie catches were good. Fishing is best by working the brushpiles with small jigs or minnows. Black bass are being found in shallow water and the bite is fair. They are in their fall pattern. Some are being caught in the river arms using jigs. In the main lake area, use spinnerbaits, crankbaits or fish a topwater. Catfishing is poor. White bass are reported slow. Bream are poor.
(updated 10-30-2019) Guide Austin Kennedy (470-244-0039) said that with all the rain we have received over this past week, the Army Corps of Engineers has been generating pretty much all day. With the flowing water and elevated river levels, the bite has been consistent, but nothing like before. “Trout were the only fish targeted this past week. I had good responses from various PowerBaits, fished with light terminal tackle. Had a little better response with various jigs, from 1/8 to 1/4 ounce, in various colors. This week’s hot spot has been between U.S. Highway 62 and Spider Creek. Remember to try florescent colors with the stained water. Hope you all are staying warm and dry. Until next time, stay safe and have fun!”
(updated 11-6-2019) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) says the clarity is a little stained. The surface temperature has fallen to 49 degrees. Water level is normal. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. They’re being caught in 8-14 feet depth. Black bass are good on cranks. Catfish and bream have fallen off, with poor reports.
Lake Fort Smith
(updated 11-6-2019) Ralph Donnangelo, superintendent at Lake Fort Smith State Park, had no report.
(updated 11-6-2019) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) says the lake is has a good color, but rains have left the level high. Bream reports are poor. Crappie are good, and they’ve been seen surfacing around the old bridge. Use minnows or jigs. Black bass reports are poor; your best bet for catches is using a square-bill. Catfishing will go for stink bait but results have been poor this week.
(updated 11-6-2019) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water is clear and is down about 1 foot below normal. Surface temperature as of Tuesday morning was 57 degrees. Fishing is “pretty slow,” they report. Crappie are fair. Use minnows. Poor reports on bream, bass and catfish, however.
(updated 11-6-2019) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park had no reports on any catches this week. She asks anglers to please top by the Visitors Center for a great selection of fishing tackle and nightcrawlers. She adds that the best moon times for fishing this month are Nov. 23-29. Good days should be Nov. 9-15. Lake conditions are murky clarity and a high level. Surface temperature Sunday morning was 45 degrees.
(updated 11-6-2019) 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.
Also, The foundation work began on the new water control structure on Oct. 8, with the driving of the first foundation H-piling. In total, nine 50-foot pilings will be driven. The 50-foot pilings will create the foundation and support for the water control structure.
The upcoming public forum on Lake Poinsett project progress and plans for 2020 is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 12; it had previously been reported as Nov. 14. The event will be held in Harrisburg.
(updated 11-6-2019) Mark Crawford of Spring River Flies and Guides says water levels are at 270 cfs and clarity is very clear. The low, clear water conditions have the trout hiding in deeper pools. Euro nymphing has been working great with a small egg, nymph dropper. Caddis and blue-wing olives are good bets.
(updated 11-6-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Spring River is fishing well. 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).
(updated 11-6-2019) Walcott Lake (Crowley’s Ridge State Park) had no reports.
(updated 10-30-2019) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said the river is clear and the level is 11-12 feet high but steady. Black bass are biting fair on crankbaits. Catfish reports are good, with stink bait and Sonny’s Bait working best. Walleye reports were fair; use minnows or jigs. No reports on bream or crappie.
Arkansas River (Pine Bluff Pool)
(updated 10-30-2019) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team said water temperatures are in the mid-60s, visibility is up to 1.5 feet in Lake Langhofer, less than 6 inches on the main river channel. The water was up about a foot on Sunday and the river was ripping from the recent rains, so be careful if you venture out to the main channel over the next few days. Black bass are biting well on white-colored shallow crankbaits and spinnerbaits with some wind or light current, and dark-colored jigs in calm areas. If you don't notice shad in the area, you should probably move on until you find them again.
Arkansas River (Pool 2)
Cane Creek Lake
(updated 11-6-2019) Austin Davidson, park interpreter at Cane Creek State Park, had no report.
(updated 11-6-2019) Brian Whitson, park interpreter at Lake Chicot State Park (870-265-5480), says the fish are still biting at Lake Chicot, despite the weather change causing them to slow down a bit. Lake level is still lower as the drawdown continues, although past rains have had it a bit higher than the set level. Some boat ramps are still accessible, but do use caution when fishing on Lake Chicot. If you fish from the shoreline, don’t forget your muck boots!
(updated 11-6-2019) 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.
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 11-6-2019) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said Millwood Lake remains 8 inches above normal conservation pool, with level near 260 feet msl; and the discharge around 13,600 cfs in Little River, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. The tailwater below the dam and gates as of Monday was around 240 feet msl. Be sure and check the most recent lake level of Millwood Lake on the guide service’s website linked above, or at the Army Corps of Engineers website, for updated gate release changes and inflow rates with rising and falling lake levels.
Surface temps as of Tuesday ranged near 50 degrees early to 61 degrees later under full sun, and “we expect that to fall rapidly over the coming week if the cold fronts slam us again,” Mike said. Continue to use caution in navigation on Little River and Millwood watching for stumps, random broken or floating timber with high flow rates in Little River in effect. Clarity is consistent from last week, improving daily in the oxbows. Little River is muddy with rapid current, and worse further up river.
Millwood bass are still biting with a frenzy, and the largemouth, white bass and Kentucky bass are showing signs of feeding binges. “It’s a great time to take a kid fishing on Millwood,” Mike says. “Nice, fat, chunky largemouth bass continue chasing and busting shad with cooler temps during early morning. The overall surface activity improved in the pads and on shallow flats adjacent to creek channel swings.”
Bass continue moving in an out of lily pad stands chasing shad and blowing up with abandon on Bass Assassin Shads and Chrome Johnson Spoons with a 3-inch 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, he said. When bass begin chasing and breaking on shad into the lily pads, it can be mayhem. Square-bill crankbaits like the Echo 1.75 in shad patterns and Ghost Minnow, Rat-L-Traps and Bomber Fat Free Fry, Shad and Fat Free Guppy continue catching these schooled-up bass. “We caught several doubles simultaneously, multiple times on Little John cranks, Rat-L-Traps, Echo 1.75s and square-bills. Good lily pad stands remain in Mud Lake, McGuire Lake and Horseshoe Lake. Anywhere a creek channel is close by to the deeper creek bends with lily pads, those have held good chunky bass willing to blow up, chasing shad in the lily pads, and exploding on a Bass Assassin or a weedless spoon on these cooler mornings over the past several weeks.”
Clear Baby Torpedoes, chrome black back Cordell Crazy Shads, Heddon Spit'n Image and Rat-l-Trap Stuttersteps are working again on the morning schooling bass when they’re surface breaking. Juvenile bass mostly have been randomly breaking for 30-60 seconds at a time in rear of several oxbows up Little River. When the bass are not surface-breaking, you can still locate the large schools on your electronics where you see huge clouds of shad. These large schools of juveniles and adolescent Kentucky bass and largemouths, when not surface feeding on shad, can still be caught randomly using Bomber Fat Free Shad and Fat Free Fry, in Tennessee Shad or Citrus Shad colors, as well as with Cordell Hammered Spoons, tail spinner Rat-L-Traps, and a ¾-ounce War Eagle Underspins using a 3-4-inch pearl or white grub trailer.
White bass continue roaming and schooling up with juvenile largemouths and spotted sass following shad in Little River at creek dumps and the oxbows at dawn, most surface breaking diminished over the past couple weeks in Horseshoe and McGuire Lakes in the oxbows up Little River. Rat-L-Trap Tail Spinners, Bomber Fat Free Shads, Fingerlings and Fat Free Guppy cranks in Tennessee Shad or Citrus Shad were catching a mixed bag of bass following schools of shad along both sides of points extending into the oxbows where stumps present. Best colors were the Millwood Magic, Citrus Shad, and Louisiana Shad colors over the past couple weeks. Some mouths of creek dumps held very large schools of whites and Kentucky Bass over the past several weeks. The crappie in the river have scattered over the past couple weeks with the increased current and muddy inflow in Little River, but in the back of the oxbow lakes along Little River the crappie are recovering and biting jigs and minnows near standing timber where water clarity is much improved over the past week. Blue/white, white/chartreuse or blue/chartreuse jigs and minnows were getting bit again over the past week vertical-jigging near standing timber in Horseshoe. Catfish improved over the past week with increased current in Little River. Hanging yo-yos or setting jigs and fishing with noodles in the oxbows, like Horseshow on Little River and the White Cliffs Campground, were working earlier in the week. It’s best in the afternoon; use blood bait, punch bait or chicken liver.
(updated 11-6-2019) 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.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 536.89 feet msl (normal pool: 548.00 feet msl).
(updated 10-30-2019) Angler Ted Lovell, who was fishing for bass at Greeson last week, reported that lots of threadfin shad schools were migrating to the backs of creeks and main lake pockets. Bass are feeding on them, and all the fish were caught very early in the morning, then the fishing action slowed down about noon. Fish were caught on a variety of lures: shad-colored crankbaits, spinnerbaits and watermelon/green pumpkin/black and blue jigs. All spotted bass and largemouth bass; no smallmouth bass were caught. Water temps ranged 65-72 degrees. Water was stained from recent rains.
(updated 10-30-2019) Jason Lenderman of JL Guide Service (870-490-0804) said the lake level is almost 11 feet below full pool of 548 feet, which is normal for this time of year. Water temps are in the upper 60s. The bass are in their fall patterns. They can honestly be caught anywhere from 1 foot deep to 30 feet deep right now. If you find the shad, you will find the bass. Bandit 200 crankbaits in shad colors are working on rocky points and flats really well. Booyah Hard Knockers in chrome/blue are also working well in these areas. Carolina-rigged Yum Finesse Worms or Christie Craws are also working well. Cotton Cordell Spoons are good along creek channel drops as well. Crappie have been good lately. They can be caught in brush 15-25 feet deep on minnows and jigs.
(updated 11-6-2019) Tamara Lunsford, park superintendent at Daisy State Park near Kirby, had no report.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 398.93 feet msl (normal pool: 408.00 feet msl).
(updated 10-23-2019) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said that as every day goes by, the crappie are stacking up on the brushpiles in 15-20 feet of water. Fish jigs and minnows 8-12 feet deep. Use the faux spawn to your advantage. The females are staging, and you might find a few males in shallower water. Once the water temp drops into the 50s they'll move back out to the staging brushpiles.
(updated 11-6-2019) John Duncan of yoyoguideservice.com at Iron Mountain Marina had no updates. He will begin reporting again after hunting season.
De Queen Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 437.78 feet msl (normal pool: 437.00 feet msl).
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 526.15 feet msl (normal pool: 526.00 feet msl).
White Oak Lake
(updated 10-23-2019) Curtis Willingham of River Rat Bait (870-231-3831) in Camden reports that crappie are deep in both Upper and Lower lakes and the bite is fair. Anglers are using shiners. “We sent a lot of bait that way this weekend,” Curtis says. No other reports.
(updated 11-6-2019) Angler John Gulley, CEO of Lone Sportsman Outfitters, had no report.
(updated 11-6-2019) Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said bass are biting well on crankbaits and lipless crankbaits. A few being caught on spinnerbaits. Crappie are starting to bite; fish with jigs and shiners, just need to get out and fish.
(updated 11-6-2019) Sharon at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) says the clarity is clear and the lake level is a little low. Surface water temperature is ranging 55-57 degrees. Bream reports were poor, but there is some response with redworms. Crappie fishing, however, is excellent. They’re in deep water as well as in covered areas. Fish the brushpiles and the rocky points. Use minnows or jigs. Black bass are fair on spinnerbaits. Some 2- to 3-pound bass are being caught. Catfishing is fair; use shad.
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro
(updated 11-6-2019) Steve Donahou at Lake Catherine State Park says the clarity is clear. Surface temperature Tuesday morning was 58 degrees. The water level is lower, as Entergy has begun its annual drawdown of the lake. Plans for this year is a lowering by 3 feet. Bream are good. The fish are being found in a depth of 5-8 feet and near the docks. Use worms. Also fish near the brushpiles. No reports of crappie being taken this week. Black bass are good. Spinnerbaits and crankbaits are working. Bass have been slow to bite for a lot of anglers, though; look for them in deeper water. Catfishing is fair. Use nightcrawlers, stink bait and chicken liver. Fish for them on the lake bottom. No reports of white bass being taken.
Lake Catherine (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro
(updated 11-6-2019) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports the water temperature is 52 degrees below the dam with clear conditions in the tailrace. Beginning Nov. 1, the winter drawdown began for both lakes Hamilton and Catherine. Each lake was be lowered 3 feet and this level will remain in place until early March 2020. Rainbow trout are scheduled to be stocked this week below Carpenter Dam. These fish are stocked in the tailrace and can be caught from a boat or bank. PowerBaits in white or yellow presented under a bobber or just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater are excellent ways to catch trout early in the season. Fly-fishermen can wade to areas that hold good numbers of fish and record limits of trout by casting Woolly Buggers, micro-jigs, and egg patterns. November 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 thriving 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, which 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.
(updated 11-6-2019) Jason Baumgartner, park aquarist at Lake Dardanelle State Park (479-890-7495) says a front passed through last week bringing overcast skies and a steady, light rain for several days. The front left behind some very nice days with sunshine and cool temperatures. Several mornings saw frost. Another cold front is forecast to bring a few inches of rain. Behind this front will be below-average temperatures and clear skies until early next week when another system is expected. Visibility is limited to only a few feet. Surface temperature is 58 degrees. As of Tuesday (Nov. 5) the river at Ozark Lock & Dam 12 has fallen since last report about 6 feet to 347 feet msl. Ozark tailwater release has risen to 140,000 cfs late last week but has slowed to about 70,000 cfs. There has been no power generation at Ozark for several months now. Downriver, pool elevation near Lake Dardanelle State Park has held near 338 feet msl. The Dardanelle tailwater rose late last week to 23 feet but has since receded to 13 feet. Release there approached 150,000 cfs but has also since fallen to about 80,000 cfs. The powerhouse has been generating all day for the last several months.
Near Cabin Creek, the Army Corps of Engineers floating plant continue to work at river mile 222, and a contract dredge is expected to start work at river mile 222 later in October. The Corps of Engineers has issued navigation instructions for areas in Pool 10. Near the river bend at Shoal Bay, between river miles 221.7 and 222.5, run the red line of the currently buoyed temporary channel. Around the river bend at Cane Creek, between river miles 232.5 and 233.5, run the red line. At O’Kane, between river miles 248.0 and 250.0, run the green line. Visit www.swl.usace.army.mil/Media/News-Releases/Article/1985098/mkarns-nav-notice-swl-19-81-pool-10-change-in-water-elevation-and-sailing-instr/ for any updates.
Anglers, please use caution when on the water as the river bottom has changed in many areas. The Lake Dardanelle State Park tournament season has entered the off-season. There are no reports from anglers over the past couple of weeks. For tournament scheduling and updates, please contact the Lake Dardanelle State Park Visitor Center at (479) 967-5516.
(updated 10-23-2019) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) said water temperature is in the mid- to lower 70s. River clarity is poor with flow. Some creeks are dingy, some are clearing on the upper end some are clear throughout the creek. Shad is starting to move into the creeks, which makes for a shallow bite. Bass have been good on jigs and Bamboozie around wood and rocks. Spinnerbaits and Rat-L-Traps have been working well in pockets and the mouth of creeks. Frogs and buzzbaits have been working well on the outside of vegetation. Crappie have been hit-and-miss in and around 8 for the water; minnows and jigs (Monkey Milk) have been working good, while chartreuse and Electric Chicken jigs have also been producing. White bass are in some of the creeks. Rat-L-Traps have been working well along with small white swimbaits. Bream have been fair in the creeks and in the back of the pockets and along the jetty rocks with vegetation. Crickets and worms have been working well. Catfish have been good in the creeks and backwater areas. Fish with large minnows, small bream and worms. Large catfish have been biting well on cut bait such as skipjack and bream just inside of pockets.
(updated 10-30-2019) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas-born-and-bred all-welded aluminum Xpress fishing boats in Hot Springs, reports lake levels up a little and water temps at or below 70 degrees after the last few days of rain and increasing murkiness in the water up creek channels. Reports have been very strong over the last week. Fish are eating very well in preparation for winter. Chrome, chrome and blue and white spoons have been doing well for all bass species, fished vertically or cast on steep sloping points with chunk rock on them. Believe it or not, frogs and toads are doing well in the shallows and structure (docks) just off the main points. Other mentionable baits are white willow bladed spinnerbaits and the watermelon seed worm rigged Carolina or Texas style.
Crappie are really firing up now due to the colder water conditions. Look for good, quality crappie on deeper docks and brush piles 20 feet or so and expect them to keep moving deeper and closer to the current as it gets even cooler. Minnows and shad-colored jigs and small spoons are producing. Walleye are starting to turn on, also. They can be found hanging around bridge piers in the main channels and will happily take spoons and shiner minnows when the conditions are good.
(updated 10-23-2019) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said that as every day goes by, the crappie are stacking up on the brushpiles in 15-20 feet of water. Fish jigs and minnows 8-12 feet deep. Use the faux spawn to your advantage. The females are staging, and you might find a few males in shallower water. Once the water temp drops into the 50s they'll move back out to the staging brushpiles.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 342.47 feet msl (normal pool: 342.00 feet msl).
(updated 11-6-2019) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) says the lake is a “pretty dingy” and the level has gone from a little low last week to high. Bream are poor. Anglers say the numbers are dropping off, but they are still catching a few. Crappie are good. They’re in deeper water, 8-16 feet. The usual minnows and jigs are catching them, but also try Arkansas Shad, they say. Black bass are fair on buzzbaits and jitterbugs. Catfishing is good using shad.
(updated 11-6-2019) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) had no report.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 569.21 feet msl (normal pool: 578.00 feet msl)
(updated 11-6-2019) Todd Gadberry at 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 spotted bass. Walleye are still fair. Three-quarter-ounce CC Spoons jigged vertically and nightcrawlers on drop-shot rigs are still producing good stringers. Stripers remain good. They're being caught at the eastern part of the lake 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 good. Try a small jig near brush in 20-30 feet of water. Catfish are good and anglers are having luck with rod-and-reel using live nightcrawlers or hot dogs around brush piles. The water clarity is clear; surface temperature is 78-82 degrees. The lake level Thursday was 569.31 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 384.36 feet msl (normal pool: 384.00 feet msl).
(updated 11-6-2019) Professional fishing guide Ronnie Tice (901-687-6800) said the water is a muddy and high. That appears to have turned off the fishing. Ronnie had poor reports on all species. The crappie bite had been good but the fish scattered after heavy rain last week and the bite now is down. Check out Ronnie’s Facebook page for up-to-date reports as well as photos from his and his clients’ catches. Water temperature at Horseshoe Lake oxbow has dropped to 54 degrees.
Bear Creek Lake/Storm Creek Lake
(updated 11-6-2019) Natalie Faughn, assistant superintendent at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), said there is not much to report out there way. They have some anglers hanging on to the end of the season, but no big catches to report. “Most of our fishermen have hung up the rods and picked up their camo; hunting season is upon us here in the forest,” she said.
(updated 11-6-2019) The AGFC’s Wil Hafner at Cook’s Lake Conservation Education Center (870-241-3373) says the fishing season is over at Cook’s Lake. “Fishing was very slow this year but that is the cards we were dealt,” he said. Fishing is closed until spring 2020 so that the lake can serve as a waterfowl rest area. Check back in late February for the spring plans and reopening for fishing. For information, please contact the center at 870-241-3373.