June 10, 2021
Jim Harris Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for June 10, 2021. If there is a body of water you would like included in this report, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with information on possible sources for reports about that lake or river. Reports are updated weekly, although some reports might be published for two weeks if updates are not received promptly or if reporters say conditions haven’t changed. Contact the reporter for the lake or stream you plan to fish for current news. Note: msl = mean sea level; cfs = cubic feet per second. All Corps of Engineers lake and river readings were taken at 10 a.m. the day of publication (June 10).
****Buy an Arkansas Fishing License by clicking here. Your purchase of a Fishing License helps support the AGFC’s work in maintaining the fishing resources throughout the state.
Arkansas River and White River levels are available at: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=lzk
For real-time information on stream flow in Arkansas from the U.S. Geological Survey, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/rt
For water-quality statistics (including temperature) in many Arkansas streams and lakes, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/current/?type=quality
TOP AND LEFT: Judsen Coon was fishing in a bass tournament on Lake Ouachita last weekend when a big cat interrupted his bass angling efforts: a 55-pound blue catfish, to be exact. Coon reports that he caught the cat on a 10.5 Red Bug Ol' Monster in 3 feet of water.
Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir
(updated 6-10-2021) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the clarity is muddy and the lake is high. They have gotten no fishing reports this week. Before this heavy rainfall, the reports had bream biting well on redworms, crickets and Dynamax jigs; crappie were fair on minnows and jigs; black bass are good on topwater baits, worms, lizards, Rat-L-Traps and frogs, with lily pads surrendering several nice ones and catfish were hungry for stink bait, nightcrawlers, goldfish and bream.
(updated 6-3-2021) Angler Dennis Charles visited Beaverfork as well as several other lakes in the area with similar conditions (Lake Brewer, Lake Cargile, Woolly Hollow, Lake Barnett). Water level has been above normal and somewhat clear, the bite has slowed for the past week or so; BUT, Dennis says he caught a few bass who were schooling right before and during the rain.
For bass, he says the bite has slowed over the past two weeks. Water temperature is around 75 degrees and the crappie are slow in mid-level water; use floating lures with dive, as well as jigs. Bass are slow and in the shallows and in the grass. “Use plastic worms, topwater poppers and Chatterbaits. Bream are slow. Catfish are chasing plastics and almost anything in your box and can be found anywhere, you just need to find them.” Dennis says he caught several on bass baits where bass lurk.
Visit Dennis’ Facebook page (Arkansas Fishing Adventures) for more information – send Jim Harris, the AGFC’s Arkansas Wildlife Magazine managing editor, a photo of your catch and Jim just might post it here with the other photos.
Little Red River
(updated 6-10-2021) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service (501-230-0730) the Army Corps of Engineers is releasing 12 hours of two units generation daily. This generation pattern is providing small windows of wading opportunities on the upper sections of the river during early mornings and on the middle and lower sections later in the day. With the water release of two full units of generation, the river will rise quickly. If wading, be observant of changing water levels and be aware of your surroundings for your safety. This pattern is also providing excellent drift-fishing on all sections. Midges, sowbugs, emergers, blue-winged olives and streamers for fly-fishing. For Trout Magnet fishing, use hot pink-colored bodies on chartreuse jig heads. Always check before heading to the Little Red River by calling the Corps of Engineers Little Rock District water date system (501-362-5150) for Greers Ferry Dam water release information or check the Corps of Engineers website (swl-wc.usace.army.mil) for real-time water release and the Southwestern Power Administration website (swpa.gov) to see forecasted generation schedule.
(updated 6-3-2021) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood says the Army Corps of Engineers is generating from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The rainbow trout are excellent early in the morning on marabou jigs, Trout Magnets, Rapala Countdowns and Rapala Shad Raps. The bite drops off slightly to good in the afternoons on Shad Raps and jerkbaits.
IN MEMORIAM: Greg Seaton (1945-2021)
The Fishing Report, and its editor, lost a dear friend this week with the passing of Greg Seaton, a fishing guide on the Little Red River and a regular contributor to this report.
Greg was always giving us his time to instruct or just to talk. I did a feature story a couple of years ago in Arkansas Wildlife on his love of trout fishing and his willingness to provide a free beginner fly-fishing class in Heber Springs for four consecutive Thursdays before the spring season got fully underway. Greg had told me it was his way of giving back something to his church there, but the look on his face told you that even 11 years or so into doing this that he relished the opportunity to introduce new people to fly-fishing.
Greg also had a deep concern for everyone's safety on the Little Red and took it seriously enough to be in contact with authorities, such as the Army Corps of Engineers, when, like now, Greers Ferry Lake was high and water was running fast downtream on the Little Red after releases. He'd make sure he had me on speed dial to update his reports here when that was called for.
I didn't really know Greg until I began this job and starting doing the Fishing Reports 5 years ago, but I learned I'd actually been running into him for years via the Seaton family's ownership of the wonderful White Pig Inn barbecue restaurant that was east of downtown North Little Rock, out near Rose City. (Greg's son took over the Pig when Greg retired and relocated to the Little Red and set up his fly-fishing guide service full time; his son now runs Seaton's Scott Place in Scott on U.S. Highway 165.)
At publication time of this report, there was no word yet on a memorial service.
I and everyone else here in the AGFC Communications Division, and surely anyone associated with fishing on the Little Red, no doubt will miss him. – Jim Harris
Greers Ferry Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 472.88 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 463.04 feet msl, top flood elevation 487.0 msl).
(updated 6-10-2021) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said Wednesday the water level at Greers Ferry lake is at 472.49 feet and rising; it was 9.95 feet above this month’s usual pool of 462.54 feet msl. Crappie are still roaming and chewing; just stay with program, fish for them in 12-30 feet depth all over the lake on jigs, crankbaits and minnows. Bream are spawning. Use crickets and crawlers in super shallow out to 15 feet. Catfish are eating and roaming with all new water and being caught on a number of prepared and live baits. Walleye are really roaming around. A lot are in bushes, and in front of certain bushes, on crawlers ,grubs and crankbaits. Black bass are mostly in the old brush line up to new bank and can be caught a number of ways: anything on top, Texas-rigged Right Bite plastics, or try hopping a Christmas tree-colored 4-inch tube with tail dyed chartreuse straight up and down in old brush line. You won’t get a ton of bites but the ones you do get will be nice fish. The A-rig is working for deeper fish out on drops. Hybrid and white bass, well, its June so here they are ready to chew finally in 25-50 feet, eating hair jigs, inline spinners, spoons and topwater baits.
In photo left, 11-year-old Evan Knaus got a sweet birthday present, catching hybrid bass with his dad, mom and guide Tommy Cauley recently.
(updated 6-10-2021) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood says water is high. Bass are good on the edge of the flooded buckbrush in bushes on Texas rigs, lizards, tubes and swimbaits, and they’re starting to bite buzzbaits and topwater on the shoreline areas.
Harris Brake Lake
(updated 6-10-2021) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) says the lake is muddy but is now high with all the rainfall. Bream this past week were good on redworms or crickets. Crappie are fair and have retreated back to deeper water; use minnows and jigs. Black bass were poor this week. Catfish are good. Try worms, and bait your trotlines with baby bream or minnows.
(updated 6-10-2021) Owner Phil Thomas at Lakeview Landing (501-354-5309) said the clarity is very clear and the lake level is back up to high. Bream are good using redworms or crickets. No reports on crappie or black bass. Catfish are good using worms or chicken liver.
(update 6-3-2021) David Hall at Dad’s Bait Shop (501-977-0303) said the lake clarity remains fairly clear but still cloudy in spots. The level is high by 1-2 feet. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Crappie are good on size 6 minnows and on jigs. Black bass a good and favor the size 12 bass minnows as well as goldfish. Catfishing is good using live baits such as nightcrawlers, goldfish on the trotlines, and bass minnows.
(updated 6-3-2021) See Angler Dennis Charles’ report under Lake Beaverfork.
(updated 6-10-2021) WestRock Landing in Roland (501-658-5598) reported Thursday that with the rising water, the crappie bite has picked back up with excellent results this week. Reports came in of the crappie being found 18-20 feet deep above structure. Go with jigs or minnows.
Meanwhile, largemouth bass are fair. Some can be found in the grass on the banks and around the grass in 8-12 feet biting a variety of lures. Try using crankbaits, spinnerbaits and swimbaits. The largemouths’ black bass brethren, the spotted bass (Kentucky bass) also are fair. Some anglers report finding them near drop-offs around 16-20 feet and off rocky banks. Try using jigs for the spots. Reflective these opinions on the black bass bite, the Tuesday night tournament on Maumelle had seen a bit of a drop on stringer size and size of Big Bass caught: Cody Bryant and Brad Lequieu won with 9.22 pounds of bass, edging Andrew Wooley and Cameron Nesterenko’s 8.48 pounds. Doug Rich and Frank Ramey hooked the Big Bass of 3.81 pounds, a mere .01 better than Noah White and Harley White’s best bass. Call the marina for more information on the tournaments or to participate.
White bass are slow. Some anglers said they were catching them shallow while trolling. Swimbaits are the best lures now. Bream range fair to good. Some have been found in 12-16 feet around the bream beds, while others are biting 14 feet off of points. Crickets and redworms are both working well. Catfish are fair off the shoreline in about 12-15 feet depth. Chicken liver, worms and crawfish are the best baits.
(updated 5-27-2021) The AGFC’s Randy Zellers reported from Lake Maumelle that over the weekend the water was 1.5 feet high. With water at that level, bass will run up in the shoreline brush. Anglers were fishing in that brush, typical when the lake floods up like it has. A lot of people went up shallow on Sunday.
There was a high school tournament held on the lake on Saturday, with about 12 pounds of bass winning the tournament.
Temperature was in the mid-70s and the water is fairly clear, settling out quickly. Most of the water willow was submerged. If the fish are under the surface in the water willow, anglers have to use their electronics. Lily pads were still visible, however.
He didn’t hear much about a crappie bite, but bass were biting pretty well. Topwater frogs worked in the lily pads that remained, and Zara Spooks fished over the submerged water willow were getting hit. Also, Texas-rigged soft plastics getting bit on the first drop to deeper water.
Bream were getting ready to bed up, the story for most all Arkansas lakes coming up on the first full month before summer. This should mark the best time of the year for adult anglers to take a kid out fishing this Memorial Day weekend.
Take note that at Lake Maumelle, bream will bed deeper than in the normal, dirtier water of other lakes such as Lake Conway. Here, start at 6 feet and go deeper all the way down to 15 feet for the bream bite.
Arkansas River at Morrilton
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Ormond Lock and Dam was 103,041 cfs. Flow further upriver at Dardanelle Lock and Dam was 111,360 cfs. This is about one-third the amount of flow at this same time last week. Small craft advisory on the river.
Little Maumelle River
(updated 6-10-2021) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) says water is muddy and high. The only reports Ray has heard has been with catfish. Reports are fair; use worms.
Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Toad Suck Lock and Dam was 118,849 cfs. Small craft advisory issued.
Arkansas River (Little Rock Area Pools)
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Murray Lock and Dam was still a fast 131,442 cfs. Flow at the Terry Lock and Dam was 135,970 cfs. Small craft advisory issued.
(updated 6-10-2021) Fish ‘N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) said Wednesday morning that the river has a small craft advisory with the high flow (126,000 at their last check) and they urge anglers and boaters to stay off the river.
(updated 6-3-2021) Hatchet Jack’s Sports Shop in Crystal Hill off I-40 (758-4958) said they’ve heard good reports from anglers who were able to safely navigate the river and find some hot fishing holes. Bream are excellent on waxworms and crickets. Crappie are fair; try a shad-colored jig now, or use minnows. Black bass are good early in the morning and late in the day on topwater baits. Catfishing is good using rice slicks and nightcrawlers.
(updated 5-27-2021) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) says water below the Terry Lock and Dam remains a little muddy, and the river current and level are high. Bass reports remained in the fair range, with reports of catches on crankbaits and worms. The best action will come around the jetties. Catfish have a good bite, but no baits were revealed. Bream and crappie remain poor in this portion of the river.
Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 6-10-2021) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the lake is high and they have heard no reports.
(update 6-10-2021) Donna Mulherin at Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) reports that the lake is clear but is high. Bream aren’t bothered; they are biting well on redworms and crickets. Crappie have been working for anglers trolling, with fair results using minnows or jigs. Black bass are good on jigs. Catfish are good on yo-yos, and on rod-and-reel using baits such as minnows and hot dogs, or fishing them with jigs. Still just about anything will work for the cats, Donna says.
(updated 6-3-2021) With the water still high and in the parking lot at Cook’s Lake Conservation Education Center, making the fishing there a no-go, the AGFC’s Wil Hafner (870-241-3373) made another trip back to Peckerwood Lake, between Hazen and Stuttgart, for the bluegill and “was served a large slice of humble pie,” he said this week. “Either they moved out during the cold snap or lucky anglers have already picked off the first round of spawning males. I will probably give it until the next full moon to target them again.”
(updated 6-10-2021) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said, “Summertime and fishing go together like peanut butter and jelly, and kids and fishing are a pairing made in heaven. The trout bite has been easy this week for kids, parents, grandparents and every fisher under the sun. Get to the river early while it's still cool and while the water level is relatively low to enjoy the best of the day.
“Lots of success with spinners and spoons on the low water; the sparkle from gold or silver Cleos is attracting really nice-sized rainbows. The nickel/gold Colorado and a Mepps ⅙-ounce spinner with a gold blade will be hard to resist, too.
“White River water levels have been especially low during morning and early afternoon hours, with late afternoon releases bringing a rush of cold, clear water for a whole different fishing adventure: weighted line and worms (nightcrawlers, red wigglers, bubblegum pink or San Juan) will help. Drift-fishing from a jon boat takes the frustration out of high-water fishing.
“Brown trout catches continue to delight the anglers around Cotter, mostly with live bait taken from the river (minnows, crawdads, sculpins), but we heard that more than one brown was hooked with shrimp and PowerBait. Enjoy the best of summer with the best The Natural State has to offer: trout-catching on the White River in the Arkansas Ozarks.
(updated 6-10-2021) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service said Monday afternoon that during the past week they had an inch in Cotter, unseasonably cool temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals rose 1.8 feet to land at 26.9 feet above seasonal power pool of 662 feet msl. This is 6.1 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock rose 2.4 feet to rest at 5.6 feet above seasonal power pool and 8.4 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake remained steady at 7.1 foot above seasonal power pool and 1.5 feet below the top of flood pool. The White had significant wadable water. Norfork Lake rose 1.7 feet to rest at 15.3 feet above seasonal power pool of 556.75 feet msl and 7.9 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork tailwater had wadable water this past week. Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. The lakes are all much higher due to recent rains with more expected! So, expect high levels of generation in the near future.
On the lower flows, the fishing on the White River has been good! The top spot has been the Narrows. 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 pheasant tail nymph with a ruby midge dropper).
John also said, “On Sunday earlier this week I received an advance copy of “Fly Fishing The White and Norfork Rivers: The Guides Speak.” It was edited by Keith Campbell. This is a book about fly-fishing our local rivers. Its premise is to present in-depth interviews of fly-fishing icons Dave Whitlock and Dale Fulton. There are also interviews with seven local guides: Steve Dally, Chad Johnson, Ron McQuay, Jim Traylor, Hank Wilson, Davy Wotton and me. I received an advance copy because I was interviewed for the book.
“In addition to the interviews, there are chapters on the White River and Norfork tailwater (including history and safety), maps of the White and Norfork and suggestions for different styles of fishing.
“I was most interested in the interviews with the icons on the White and Norfork, Dave Whitlock and Dale Fulton. I was an early fan of Whitlock. I have all of his books, several pieces of his art and have listened to his lectures for years. I have learned a lot from him. He is also one of the greatest fly-tyers around. I regularly fish his patterns and have caught an incredible number of fish on them. I found his interview fascinating and found out things about him that I never knew before.
“The interview about Dale Fulton was especially meaningful to me. He passed away a few years ago. We were friends and I miss him. I worked for him as a guide years ago at his Blue Ribbon Fly Shop and I learned a lot about guiding from him. After I established myself as an independent guide, I would stop by and talk to him whenever I was near the shop or would stop by his lodge to chat. His interview told me a lot about him that I never knew.
“I know and have worked with almost all of the guides included in the book. They are all solid guides who know how to catch trout. Each guide explained his guiding. The interviews were all similar in some of the questions asked. ‘How did you get started in guiding?’ This is where every guide had a different story. They were all interesting. The best question was common mistakes I see my clients make. I really thought that this would be useful to any reader. They were also asked about their favorite flies and how we could grow bigger rainbow trout.
“There is also a section on flies that has photos and recipes for the guide’s favorite flies.
“This cost to publish this book was provided by the North Arkansas Fly Fishers and the club president, Dave Boyer. Proceeds from the book are earmarked for selected youth programs in Baxter and Marion counties. The book will be available in local fly shops and through the North Arkansas Fly Fishers.
“I heartily recommend the book for anyone who fishes here or plans to.”
John Berry is a fly-fishing guide in Cotter and has fished our streams for over 35 years. John can be reached at (870) 435-2169.
(updated 6-10-2021) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said Wednesday afternoon that the river level is normal with two or three generators running in the afternoons; the Army Corps of Engineers shuts the water off in the morning. Trout fishing overall is good. The best baits to use are pink PowerBait, Little Silver Cleo’s, Rooster Tails in light greens and browns, worms and shrimp.
Bull Shoals Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 689.24 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 661.86 feet msl; top flood elevation is 695.0 feet msl). The reported lake elevation at Table Rock Lake was 918.15 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 916.42 feet msl; top flood elevation is 931.0 feet msl).
(updated 6-10-2021) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock reported Thursday morning that fish are in all stages of the spawn. “There has been a major wave up in mid-lake area target points and swings close to spawning pockets and south-facing pockets,” Del said. “The gravel flats and dirty water have some warmer temps but are first to cool. The shad are schooling back up, so look for shad balls in the creeks. In the shad, try flukes shallow or a swimbait like a 2.8 Damiki rig. A little topwater and popper or small wal-the-dog smaller profile are working well.”
Powerfish windy, cloudy days and use bright spinnerbait and chatterbait in dirty, shallow water. If it’s clear and flat, use blue birds and green pumpkin shaky head and the ol’ ned rig tube. The backs of creeks have a little color change. Del says they always catch them on a jig in the channel swings. Also try a green pumpkin Beaver flipping in shallow water and bushes in the right area. Brush is becoming a player. Fish the conditions.
Surface temperature now ranging 76-82 degrees. The lake is 30 feet high and rising.
Visit Del’s YouTube site (Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock) for more information and tips on fishing the lake.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 572.46 feet msl (normal conservation pool: Sept.-April, 553.75 feet msl; April-Sept. 556.61 feet msl; top flood elevation 580.0 feet msl).
(updated 6-10-2021) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Norfork Lake rose 1.7 feet to rest at 15.3 feet above seasonal power pool of 556.75 feet msl and 7.9 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork tailwater had wadable water this past week. Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. The lakes are all much higher due to recent rains with more expected! So, expect high levels of generation in the near future.
The Norfork is fishing moderately. Navigate this stream with caution as things have changed a bit during recent flooding. There has been major gravel recruitment at the bottom of Mill Pond and the dock hole. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (sizes 18, 20, 22) like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (sizes 14, 16) like the Green Butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective. John’s current favorite combination is a pheasant tail nymph with a ruby midge dropper.
Dry Run Creek is fishing poorly. There is increased pressure with warmer weather. Fish early or late to avoid the crowds (the creek is open to fishing from sunrise to sundown). The Norfork National Fish Hatchery is open but the restrooms remain closed. 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), mop flies and egg patterns.
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.
Buffalo National River/Crooked Creek
(updated 6-10-2021) 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. With the warm temperatures the bite is better. 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 Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,128.42 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.43 feet msl; top flood elevation is 1,130.0 feet msl).
(updated 6-10-2021) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) said, “Broken record replaying again. Beaver Lake is high and rain still keeping it that way. The strange thing is, as most of this year we are behind in the normal patterns. The lake yesterday in Big Clifty was reading 72 degrees and no thermocline at this time. What that means to all you anglers, if you do not understand thermocline, is that fish are very scattered throughout the lake. The thermocline will set up when water nears 78 degrees and it is where the water stratifies and a layer of colder water will set up at or around 15 to 25 feet deep. In that layer will be the better oxygen levels and the fish will position in and around that layer and make them easier to target. You can see this on your electronics if gain is up. It will show a line where the thermo is. That is when summer patterns set up.
“We are almost there. Stripers are starting to show up in better numbers this last week. I am seeing a lot of topwater early in the morning. Look for stripers from the islands around Prairie Creek all the way to the dam. Bream are starting to work, as are shad and brooders. Bass have moved out some from the shore. The bait is fair for them. Walleye are scattered and hard to pattern right now but that will change as the thermocline sets up. Crappie, same story. They are scattered but will soon load up on the thermo and it will be crankbait trolling time. Bandits and Picos are what I use, but others will work. You need to get them to that 15 feet level or less usually. Troll at 2 mph and vary speed.
“Bream are spawning and can be good if you find bedding area. Catfish are good. Guides are picking them up trolling live bait for stripers, so I know they will be good on jugs and other methods.
“Be safe lots of boat traffic on weekends. Stay courteous and respectful.”
Check out Jon’s Facebook page for the latest updates, FishOn Guide Service Goshen AR.
(updated 6-10-2021) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) says Beaver Lake is muddy and high. Bream are good; use redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair with minnows or jigs. Black bass have gotten hot, with excellent reports coming in. Anglers are having their best success using swimbaits and shaky heads at night.
Catfish are good; shad, cut bait and stink bait are the dependable lures. Nothing heard on walleye or stripers.
(updated 6-10-2021) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said, "Well, with all the rain we have received, and the recent release from the dam, the river has filled up nicely. The trout bite has been great, most are being caught with light terminal tackle, fished with various PowerBaits. If the water temperature starts to rise, look for the 'slime line'; you will find some nice fish in this area. Also, try fishing around brush for bluegill and crappie when the water is like this. Most of the walleye are out of the system and back in the main lakes. You can still find a few white bass if you have a graph and can locate them. Kentucky bass are being caught early morning, along chunk rock and around structure. Suspended soft plastics have been the way to go with these fish.
"This week’s hot spot has been around Spider Creek and Bertrand Access.
"Sorry for the intermittent reports; running a Fire Department and working for the Sheriff's Office can get quite busy this time of year.
"Remember, if you have a question, please feel to reach out to me via phone of my Facebook page (Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service). Have fun, stay safe and catch some fish!"
(updated 6-3-2021) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said the water has stain and is at a normal level. The full moon had the expected effect on the bream, and the bite has been excellent this week. Try redworms or crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Black bass improved over the week with good catches on topwater lures. Catfishing is good; try regular worms, glow worms and basic catfish bait.
(updated 6-10-2021) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said Wednesday morning that the lake is a little stained but seems to be clearing up. Water is high. An 18-pound striper was caught below the dam last Friday, they say. Also, bream continue to bite well on redworms and crickets. Crappie are hanging in there, with fair catches report using minnows and jigs. A few crappie are still being caught shallow, they report. Black bass are off and on. Topwaters (try more buzzbait styles and speed crawls, they suggest) are the best bait. Catfish got back in game, as anglers had good catches using chicken liver, cut bait and prepared bait (try the Danny Smith Punch Bait and Secret 7, the marina folks suggest).
(updated 6-10-2021) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) reminds everyone that June 11-13 is Free Fishing Weekend statewide, and she’s eager to welcome anglers of all ages to Lake Charles, where no fishing license is needed to take in some fishing from noon Friday to midnight Sunday night. Regular Lake Charles limits apply during the free weekend, however. Check the AGFC’s 2021 Fishing Guidebook for the Lake Charles listing on the various species.
If the bite keeps up like it’s been the past couple of weeks, it should be a fabulous weekend for free fishing. Bream are good on worms, crickets and jigs. Look around the brushpiles, stumps and rocky points. Crappie are in the same areas and are biting well on minnows and jigs. Black bass are good, with a plastic worm working best. Bass are being caught around brush and rocky points. Catfishing is good; try worms, blood bait, stink bait, chicken liver, cut bait and goldfish.
Lake Charles is regularly murky in clarity and the water level is high.
(updated 6-10-2021) Lake Poinsett is getting closer to being full. There are 4- to 7-inch redears than anglers can catch and release in the lake. Though this latest rain continues to fill the lake, the visitors center recommends only kayaks or canoes out on the lake at this time.
The gate at the dam at Lake Poinsett was closed on Dec. 1, following the completion of a three-year renovation projection, and the lake began to refilling with rainwater (Poinsett is rainfall dependent). The lake, at Lake Poinsett State Park, has been undergoing an extensive renovation with a new water control structure, more than 10,000 linear feet of shoreline work, more than 100 habitat structures placed on the lakebed, and nearly 100 trees anchored for fish habitat with more anchoring in the plans as the lake begins to refill.
The AGFC’s stocking of forage fish began in March, with hopes that the forage fish will reproduce in good numbers over the next several months. Predator stocking is planned for next year. Fathead minnows, golden shiners, threadfin shad, redear and bluegill have been added to the lake to build up a huge food supply for bass, catfish and other sportfish that will be added next year to give the lake a jump start after its renovation renovation.
(updated 6-10-2021) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) reports that water clarity is a little dingy and water is some 8-10 inches above normal. Surface water temperature Wednesday morning was 75 degrees. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Crappie are still turned off with no reports coming in. Black bass are good; topwater baits seem to be working early in the mornings and late in the evenings with the warmer water. Catfish continue to bite well now; try chicken liver or nightcrawlers.
(updated 6-10-2021) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Spring River is fishing better. This is a great place to wade fish when they are running water on the White and North Fork rivers. “The canoe season is upon us. Look out for the aluminum hatch!” John said. Wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff, as a lot of bedrock there 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 5-27-2021) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) said water levels are running at 470 cfs and water clarity has been clear this week. River flows are still up some, “but thankfully we have missed most of the rain lately. A heavy rain could change river conditions this time of year. Be careful wading with the higher flow.”
The trout have been hitting great on olive and brown Woollies on cloudy days and Y2Ks and nymphs on sunny days. It has been tough getting the fly down, and an extra weight may help get the fly down to the fish. Smallies have been tough in the high water but have been hitting as the water clears. Big streamers or Clousers are the ticket to get them to bite around the big rocks and rocky shore line.
For spin-fishers, Trout Cranks and Flicker Shad are working well. The crankbaits do a good job of getting down to the fish, and they're also a good way to possibly catch a walleye.
During this time of year keep an eye on Mark’s blog at springriverfliesandguides.com for the latest conditions on the Spring River. A heavy rain can change things overnight.
The Army Corps of Engineers reported Thursday that the White River stage at Batesville was at 8.11 feet, almost 7 feet below the flood stage of 15.0 feet. The Newport stage is 16.68, below the flood stage of 26.0 feet. The stage at Augusta is back up to 29.25 feet, or more than 3 feet above flood stage 26 feet.
(updated 6-10-2021) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said the water remains muddy and at a high level. No reports.
Arkansas River (Pine Bluff Pool)
(updated 6-10-2021) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team had no report.
Cane Creek Lake
(updated 6-3-2021) Sarah Reap, assistant superintendent at Cane Creek State Park, said fishing activity at Cane Creek Lake this week has been on the downslope. There have been many reports of unsuccessful trotlines and shoreline fishing. Bream activity has remained steady with the bream being caught with crickets, while crappie are being caught with jigs and minnows.
(updated 6-10-2021) Dam repair work by the city’s contracted construction crew is underway, while the AGFC has been rebuilding the lake bottom and areas near where the shoreline will be for fish habitat when the lake is refilled.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 261.99 feet msl (normal pool: 259.20 feet msl; top flood elevation is 287.0 feet msl).
(updated 6-10-2021) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said that as of Tuesday, Millwood Lake was back on the rise again from the recent flash floods, thunderstorms and heavy rainfall. The lake elevation on Tuesday was 18 inches above normal conservation pool) at 260.7 feet msl and rising; oxbows' water clarity was heavy stained, while Little River clarity was muddy with current discharge this week. Millwood Lake tailwater elevation was near 248 feet msl, with gate discharge at the dam around 19,700 cfs in Little River, according to Army Corps of Engineers. Check the most recent lake level of Millwood Lake on the guide service’s website linked above, or the Army Corps of Engineers website, for updated gate release changes and inflow rates with rising and falling lake levels. NAVIGATION CONDITIONS ARE IMPROVED, but CAUTIONED on Millwood Lake with high discharge rates and heavy flow conditions in Little River. Debris fields are present. Use EXTREME CAUTION during current high gate discharge conditions. Lots of Little River buoy markers along the main lake channel MAY HAVE MOVED with recent GATE HIGH DISCHARGE RATES.
Surface temps remain stable this week, ranging in 75-80 degrees depending on location. Continue to use caution in navigation on Little River and Millwood watching for random broken, or floating timber in Little River are in effect. Use extreme caution in navigation on main lake river channels.
As for the fishing specifics:
* Largemouth bass: They were fair early in the morning, and slowing down after 9-11 a.m. with fluctuating pool levels, on chartreuse Sexy Shad colored buzzbaits and hatterbaits. The juvenile and adolescent bass, about 10-15 inches, seemed to be the most aggressive. Black Grape, Junebug Red or Black/Blue tail 10-inch worms have been working for some bass over the past several weeks if you could find some decent water clarity in backs of the oxbows away from Little River current. Bulky 4-inch Gitzit Tubes with a rattle inside were working; best colors are Black Neon or Pumpkinseed/chartreuse tail, hitting randomly. Water temperature stable, but there is still a 1-1/2 feet of fresh water in Millwood over the past week, and it’s back on the rise again. Largemouths were slower in responding this past week. A few bass were caught last week on Horny Toads and Yum Tip Toads 4-8 feet deep in the pads and grass.
Lots of floating alligatorweed mats are making fishing many types or lures and crankbaits difficult in numerous areas of the oxbows up Little River. The middle of Horseshoe Lake oxbow, inside the cypress tree line on the north and east side, and northeast pocket behind the northern peninsula, is completely matted. “We noted some large grass mats floating in Little River this week with debris. Bagley Creek, Red Slough and South Hickory pockets are vegetation-matted thick, and made navigation and fishing impossible. Pine Island, Schall, Plum and Mine creeks are beginning to mat completely over. Corps of Engineers is currently monitoring and evaluating the excessive alligatorweed densities lake-wide.”
* Bream: Bream have been in a pre-spawn/spawning mode for a couple weeks in a few areas. Water clarity worsened over the past week again with fluctuating pool levels, and made bedmaking activities hard to spot. Bream should be good at Millwood State Park off the shoreline, or on the dock at Jack's Isle this weekend, with crickets, earthworms, sweet corn and/or bread.
* Catfish: Continued to bite well again this week with the increased current along Little River. Limblines, trotlines and yo-yos have been working for some nice blues and channel cats over the past couple weeks with the increase of discharge at Millwood Dam. Cut buffalo, hot dogs, cheese bait and doughballs were working for the past several weeks for some nice size 4- to 8-pound cats on trotlines and yo-yos from 8-10 feet deep near current flows in creek channels near the river.
No reports on white bass or crappie.
Lake Greeson Tailwater
Visit www.littlemissouriflyfishing.com for a daily update on fishing conditions.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Narrows Dam was 548.42 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 408.07 feet msl (full pool: 408.00 feet msl).
(updated 6-10-2021) John Duncan of yoyoguideservice.com at Iron Mountain Marina said, “Wow!!!! is this arkansas? Well, i must remit to last weeks report. There is little change on tactics except for water levels and the amount of fresh water in the lake. Lake level is 408.38 feet msl and rising. Water temperature in the 70s. There is a lot of trash around Goat Island and Point Cedar. Lots of shad schooling up on surface all over the lake. A little warm weather and calm days should flip the switch on the surfacing fish. Bream bedding should be in the slowdown/over stage. Crappie (my thing) are definitely in the brushpiles. The piles above the thermocline. I’m fishing about 20-24 feet. if your electronics does not show fish, move on.
“Same scenario; once fish are located with electronics, cast jigs first. It gets some big ones that way. After bite dies, move in with minnows. Clearer water, use shad-colored jigs. Muddy water, you can brighten it up. Some of my favorite colors are Bluegrass, Tennessee Shad, Monkey Milk and, of course, ones like Popsicle and other bright colors work. This is a starting point. Good luck.”
(update 6-3-2021) Local crappie angler Charles Abernathy said, “I fished a lot over Memorial Day weekend with my family. The water temp was mid-70s. Water was fairly clean throughout, even up past Point Cedar. We caught some good sized crappie on 1/16-ounce jigs (hand ties/Bobby Garland/Mr. Crappie slab slangers). The bite was pretty good over the weekend, even with all the traffic. The brighter colors worked good (pinks w/green char). When the sun got bright and the skies opened up, a gray bucktail did pretty good. Small profiles work good … even the micro sizes (1 inch).
This time of year, a crappie fisherman has multiple patterns to choose from (like most seasons). One method that I’m very fond of is to look for fish piling up on a stick of timber over deep water (I’m talking 40-50 feet). They’ll usually be in 15-20 feet range from surface. They’re easier to spot with livescope/sidescan. When you find them take note. They’ll be very close by tomorrow, the next day, and even next week. Stay away from them and cast to them. I treat my crappie fishing a lot like deer hunting. I try to be as stealthy as possible. Most folks don’t tear off through the woods like a silverback gorilla while slip hunting deer ha ha … maybe crappie fishing should be approached the same way…slow and steady. If they stop biting, change baits or even change your angle on them. If they quit all together go somewhere else. Let them be for a couple of hours and come back. My main advise would be not let them know you are there.
Degray is full of timber and it’s no surprise, a crappie can be caught on a stick of timber in this lake year around and it’s probably my favorite structure to fish. Navionics maps can help you to locate timber if you are not already using it.
“I appreciate you all reaching out and feedback you have provided. As always, feel free to ping me at email@example.com for more info. I have a YouTube channel where I share some fishing content and have already posted this trip. I hope everyone had a safe Memorial weekend. Lake Degray is a wonderful resource and is big enough for us all to enjoy. I hope you are on it enjoying it whether you are fishing/skiing/swimming. Be safe. I look forward to seeing you on the water.”
(updated 6-3-2021) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips Guide Service (501-844-5418) said the crappie are post-spawn and quickly transitioning into a summer pattern. You'll find more crappie in brushpiles on points where deeper water is close by.
De Queen Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 466.16 feet msl (full pool: 437.00 feet msl).
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 552.83 feet msl (full pool: 526.00 feet msl).
White Oak Lake
(updated 6-10-2021) Donald Ramirez at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said the lake has turned a little murky and the water level is high. Bream are biting fair on worms and crickets. No reports on crappie. Black bass are fair and are being found deep. Buzzbaits and big worms in watermelon red or green pumpkin colors are working best. No reports on catfish.
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro
(updated 6-10-2021) Slycked Back Fishing LLC, manufacturer of the finest built and tied-by-hand fishing jigs in Hot Springs, reports Lake Catherine’s lake levels slightly up with stiff currents in the main channel due to the ongoing water releases in the chain of lakes. Water temps vary from 53 in the upper river channel and up to 76 degrees in the lower end and pockets. Water is stained throughout. With the heavy currents in the river, bass have been pushed into points and pockets and are holding close to structure and cover. Drag a large worm in dark colors into brush and under docks. Topwater is starting to come into its own but with the large amount of forage in the water it takes a ton of casts to fill a limit of 12-inch bass. Bigger bass have been caught but the tournament weights are on a downward swing. Try a Zara Spook or small topwater frog fished slow and you can get some fish in the boat. Also, for some reason, bass also like the white swim jig. Slycked Back Fishing LLC makes a dandy that has a nice wobble to it.
No crappie report. Walleye have been decent on live nightcrawlers on secondary points. Bream are outstanding on shallow brush and laydowns using live worms and crickets. CAUTION: Heavy fog is a real issue lately in the evenings. All boaters, slow down and use caution along with lights.
“Check us out on Facebook at Slycked Back Fishing LLC.”
Lake Catherine (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro
(updated 6-10-2021) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that continued heavy rains have kept Lake Ouachita up into flood pool, which has forced Entergy to run huge amounts of water through all area dams. Very fast flows have been the norm from Carpenter Dam this past week and this process has gone on for weeks with the unstable weather patterns of the past month. Until Lake Ouachita falls out flood pool (which could take a week or more) the tailrace flows from all our area dams will be extremely dangerous areas for anyone to fish or navigate. The general public is urged to read the weekly generation schedules for area dams (https://www.entergy.com/operations_information/hydro/flow_releases/) each week to stay informed of lake conditions. No outing is worth the risk of injury or death so making good decisions based on accurate information is vital to the safety of everyone. June marks the end of the severe weather months and more stable weather will be on the way as the summer weather approaches.
(updated 6-10-2021) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) had no report.
(updated 6-10-2021) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas-born-and-bred Xpress all-welded aluminum fishing boats in Hot Springs, reports Lake Hamilton’s water levels slightly up with moderate currents due to the ongoing rains. Water clarity is still good in most areas, but the water is stained. Bass have been fair at best over the last couple weeks. The rainwater has washed a ton of food into the lake and the bass will not chase baits. Fish can still be caught with the Ned rig or drop-shot rig with a worm in green pumpkin or black on points and on bridge and dock pilings. Even with the finesse approach, it’s tough! If you are a power fisherman, try throwing a slow top water bait like a popping frog or a Spook. Again, think finesse even fishing power. Bream have been good on brushpiles and docks in 10 feet or less of water on worms and crickets. Catfish are fair in all areas at night but especially on creek channel drop-offs to main lake water.
The one high spot of this week was the chain pickerel. These toothy, long suckers are whacking spinnerbaits, as well as topwater minnow presentations at the top end of the lake in the sloughs of the river, and it’s very entertaining when times are as they have been! “Good luck and Go Greeson!”
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 359.86 feet msl (normal pool: 344.95 feet msl; top flood elevation is 373.0 feet msl).
(updated 6-10-2021) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said Wednesday morning that Nimrod is on a climb, already reading 359 feet msl. The clarity is muddy. The high water has turned off the bream bite, or at least there are no reports of bream catches after a good few weeks around the spawn. But the rest of the fishing has been reported as good. Crappie are good and being caught about 8-10 feet deep on minnows as well as jigs in chartreuse with a gold willow leaf skirt. Black bass are good, with green pumpkin colored worms working best. Your best success will come on the shoreline in the grass with the higher water giving bass more areas for habitat. Catfishing is good. Limblines seem to be doing better than trotlines in the shallow water on the shorelines.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 578.64 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 6-3-2021) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) reports that black bass are still good. Jighead worms and shad-colored swimbaits seem to be working best. Walleye are very good and are being caught on Shad Raps and Flicker Shad when trolling near/over points. Stripers are still good. These fish are being caught on jerkbaits and live bait in the central part of the lake near Bird Island and the Cedar Fouche mouth. Bream are still excellent and can be caught on worms and crickets. These fish are on beds 6-10 feet deep. Crappie are very good. Try a small jig or minnow near brush in 10-20 feet of water. Catfish are still very good and are being caught on juglines and trotlines with live or cut bait. Water temperature is ranging 70-74 degrees and the clarity is clearing. Lake level on Wednesday was 578.47 feet msl. Call the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717, or Chris Darby, 870-867-7822) for more information.
Blue Mountain Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 398.56 feet msl (full pool: 384.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 419.0 feet msl).
White River/Clarendon Area
The Army Corps of Engineers on Thursday reported the Clarendon gauge had dropped to 27.63 feet, back to more than foot and a half above flood stage of 26.00 feet.
(updated 6-10-2021) Kent Williams of Oxbow Guide Service (870-278-7978) said crappie are in their summer pattern. Some fish are being caught shallow in the lily pads, some are being caught around the piers and some are out in open water. On a recent trip, most fish around the piers were at the 9-10 foot depth and open water fish were at 12 feet.
Bream are shallow and should be bedding up again in about a week. Crickets or waxworms, if you can find them, work best. Look in 2-4 feet of water around the piers.
No reports on catfish or bass. “I’ve seen very few people targeting catfish. June is a good time of year to catch catfish,” Kent said.
(updated 6-10-2021) The AGFC’s Wil Hafner at Cook’s Lake Conservation Education Center (870-241-3373) said the story will not change for Cook’s Lake as long as the water is this high off the White River, as the place in accessible and parking lot is flooded. Cook’s Lake will remain closed until water recedes enough, Hafner said.
After a couple of visits to Peckerwood Lake in recent weeks, Wil said, “I have not made any trips anywhere else to speak of in the last week, just some culvert hopping here and there catching a few nice bass. With all of this rain, culverts will be blown out for a while again.”
Bear Creek Lake/Storm Creek Lake
(updated 6-3-2021) Tyler Ball, park ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), said anglers at Bear Creek Lake report having great success in catching crappie and blue catfish within the last week. Crappie have been reported to be biting at depths of 3-4 feet, particularly in coves. Artificial baits and minnows have grown to be the most popular for catching these wonderful tasting fish. Blue cats have also been on the menu. Anglers report having success catching blues in depths of 6-8 feet using mostly homemade baits.
Surveying has been completed for the construction of the spillway at Bear Creek Lake; however, the park is still waiting news from the U.S Forest Service on when the project will be started and an approximate date on completion.
At Storm Creek Lake within the state park, anglers report catching blue catfish within in the past week in depths of about 8 feet using homemade baits. “The fishing activity at Storm Creek Lake is starting to pick up, it seems,” Ball said. “We hope to hear more positive outcomes in these hot summer months!”