April 14, 2022
Jim Harris Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for April 14, 2022. 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 7 a.m. the day of publication (April 14).
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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: Jonathan Still put his kayak to good use on Overcup Lake in Conway County, hooking this nice crappie. Lacey Williams of Lakeview Landing at Overcup, who provided the photo, says crappie are moving in slowing, and some are still out in deeper spots of Overcup. Jigs are the go-to bait right now. While they're also still waiting on fish to move back toward the dock, the angling around the levee "is great," Lacey said. Lakeview Landing is off Arkansas Highway 95. See more from Lakeview Landing's report under Central Arkansas below.
Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir
(updated 4-14-2022) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) reported on Thursday morning that water was high and muddy, and they were closed for the previous two days because of the storms. They had not heard any fishing reports this week. Lake Conway is muddy and high. Before this week bream had been good on redworms, crickets or hand-tied jigs. Crappie were good on minnows or any color jig, most active around the flats and in the Gold Creek area. Black bass were good on spinnerbaits, 7- to 10-inch curly tail worms and anything resembling live baitfish. Catfish were good using stink bait, chicken liver, dough bait, nightcrawlers, goldfish, trotline minnows and baitfish.
(updated 4-7-2022) Hatchet Jack’s Sports Shop in Crystal Hill off I-40 (758-4958) says the word is that catfish are biting well in the spillway backwaters.
Little Red River
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the outflow at Greers Ferry Dam to be 6,236 cfs (both turbine and spillway). The tailwater is 276.44 feet msl.
(updated 4-14-2022) Mike Winkler of Little River Fly Fishing Trips said the Little Red River has had a consistent generation schedule lately, running two units of generation usually starting at 8 a.m. and running till 8-9 p.m.
The current generation schedule has opened up some water for wading in the morning. Always Check the Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock app for generation schedule.
The Greers Ferry Dam area has been fishing well with a deep-water nymph rig when they're running two units of water. Fish anywhere from 6-12 feet deep.
Fishing falling water from the boat has been good, launching from Lobo Landing or Dripping Springs access. Caddis patterns, pheasant tail nymphs and hare's ear nymphs have been fishing well below an indicator.
The caddis are starting to coming off.
The streamer bite has been good with the current generation schedule. “Double Deceivers with medium Fish-Skulls in yellow and brown will work. And white/chartreuse are currently tied on my rods,” Mike said.
(updated 4-14-2022) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service (501-230-0730) says spring has arrived on the Little Red River. They're starting to see caddis hatches and bug activity when water conditions are favorable. San Juan worms, pheasant tails, hare's ear and Woolly Buggers are recommended for fly-fishing. For Trout Magnet fishing, pick and white-colored bodies on chartreuse or gold jigheads are the way to go. Always check before heading to the Little Red River by calling the Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock District water data system (501-362-5150) for Greers Ferry Dam water release information or check the Corps of Engineers website (swl-wc.usace.army.mil) for real-time water release and the Southwestern Power Administration website (swpa.gov) to see forecasted generation schedule.
(updated 4-14-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said the Army Corps of Engineers is still running a lot of water at Greers Ferry Dam. Pay attention to the generation. Water is stained. For trout use bigger bait when they are generating, such as a No. 7 Rapala Countdown. Also, use Maribou jigs, Rooster tails or Trout Magnets when there is no generation.
Greers Ferry Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 462.71 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.04 feet msl, top flood elevation 487.0 msl).
(updated 4-14-2022) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said Wednesday afternoon that the water level at Greers Ferry is at 462.13 feet msl and is on the rise again (of course). “It is 0.09 feet above normal pool of 462.04 feet. Up and down water, hot and cold temps, an everyday struggle to adjust of course all over the lake,” he said. “Some species have spawned but most have not.”
For crappie, fish from the bank out to 40 feet, with minnows, jigs or crankbaits. Catfish are eating at times all over the lake, rivers and creeks, and all types of baits working.
Walleye are in rivers, the lake and creeks, and in all stages. Drag something or troll a big crankbait or throw at bushes. Bream are eating crawlers, crickets and in-line spinners out to 30 feet.
Black bass and biting from the shoreline out to 45 feet and all in between; try crankbaits, spinnerbaits, bladed jigs, drop-shots, flukes, swimbaits, Alabama rigs, spoons – you could go on and on listing baits. All will work certain conditions and they’re now on points, secondary points, humps, pockets. All are holding fish that want to eat. Also a Little George will catch them.
(updated 4-14-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said water is warming and coming up. The clarity is stained on lower end, muddy on upper end. Runoff in the backs of creeks will be good with water coming in from rain. Water temperature is ranging mid-50s to 62 degrees.
The bass bite is good. Bass are shallow in the bushes and biting on Chatterbait, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, single swimbait and finesse jigs (in green pumpkin and orange color, or PB&J jigs).
Smallmouth bass are good. They are deeper in 10-15 feet ow water and hitting Carolina rigs, drop-shots and shaky heads. Crappie are up shallow in 8-10 feet of water and biting on a Kalin’s Tennessee Shad-color grub and in popsicle color.
Harris Brake Lake
(updated 4-14-2022) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) says the lake clarity is muddy and the level is high. Bream have been biting well on redworms and crickets. Crappie reports have been poor this past week. Black bass are good; best success has come using watermelon-colored plastic lures. No reports on catfish.
(updated 4-14-2022) Lacey Williams at Lakeview Landing on Arkansas Highway 95 (501-242-1437) reported that water is still a little high with fairly good clarity. Bass are being caught on crankbaits. Crappie are moving in slowly. Some are still out in the deeper spots. Jigs are the go-to right now. Trotlines are having very little luck; not sure why because the shad moved out. Crickets are the No. 1 bait for bream. Still waiting on the fish to move back to the dock, but the levee is great! Boats are better.
(update 4-14-2022) David Hall at Dad’s Bait Shop (501-289-2210) says the water is stained and the level is high. Bream are fair around brushpiles; use redworms and crickets. Crappie fishing is good. Anglers are catching them in 6 feet depthwith minniws and with jigs in chartreuse, red and white colors. They're relating to the brushpiles. Anglers are also spider-rigging deown the channel. Black bass are good using white Rooster Tails, crickets or worms. Catfishing is good on the bottom and are biting live bait and goldfish, among other baits.
Dad’s is a 24/7 self-serve bait shop.
(updated 4-7-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said bass are good between 2-6 feet of water. Gold jerkbaits and wacky-rigged Senkos were working best.
(updated 4-14-2022) WestRock Landing in Roland (501-658-5598) said the water temperature is in the high 50s. Largemouth bass are good. Some reports of the bass being found inside the grass 4-12 feet early in the morning and going deep after the sun comes out (scattered at all depths). They are hitting on Chatterbaits, Rat-L-Traps and Rock Crawlers. Kentucky bass (spotted bass) are fair. Some reports of them being found near drop-offs around 16-20 feet and off rocky banks, while other reports have them being found on brushpiles. Try using a Texas rig on brush, or jigs. White bass are good. They are biting in 6-8 feet depth on the spawn run on the west end of the bridge at Highway 10. Crappie are good. You can find them in shallow water hugging the shoreline. Use a swim jig to catch them. Bream and catfish are still slow. No reports of bream this week, but you can try worms or crickets. Catfish also have gone unreported, but might go for chicken liver, worms or crawfish.
Arkansas River at Morrilton
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Ormond Lock and Dam was 71,267 cfs with a pool elevation of 285.21 feet msl. The stage is up at 15.81 feet. Flow further upriver at Dardanelle Lock and Dam was 76,932 cfs.
Little Maumelle River
(updated 4-14-2022) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) says the fishing was good up until this week’s worms. “Water is about to be really muddy,” he said. Most recently, Ray had said that crappie were good and being caught fairly shallow. Plus, they were biting yo-yos at night with minnows as bait. Black bass had been good, also are fairly shallow, and biting spinnerbaits and plastics.
Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Toad Suck Lock and Dam was 86,327 cfs with a pool elevation of 264.45 feet msl.
Arkansas River (Little Rock Area Pools)
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Murray Lock and Dam was 74,812 and the stream gauge stage was at 7.95 feet. Pool elevation is 248.48 feet msl. Flow at the Terry Lock and Dam was 81,738 cfs with a pool elevation of 230.53.
(updated 4-14-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said there is advisory above small-craft warning, and they urge boaters to stay off the river for now. Before all the bad weather, bass were biting well in about 6-8 feet of water, with a mid-diving crankbait working best.
(updated 4-14-2022) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said catfish were good below the Murray Lock and Dam on skipjack, while snagging is excellent below both Murray and Terry Lock and Dam. Crappie are good in the back of Willow Beach area in 4 feet of water; use rosy red minnows or jigs. Bream are starting to move and are biting waxworms and crickets in the backwaters of the river around White Oak Bayou.
(updated 4-7-2022) Hatchet Jack’s Sports Shop at Crystal Hill (501-758-4958) has heard reports from the hydroelectric plant area at Murray Lock and Dam that catfish are biting well.
Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 4-14-2022) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the lake is muddy and high. Crappie have been good on jigs and crappie minnows, pulling in good-sized crappie. Crappie appear to be moving toward the shoreline.
(updated 4-7-2022) Hatchet Jack’s Sports Shop in Crystal Hill off I-40 (758-4958) says crappie fishing is good.
(update 4-14-2022) Donna Mulherin at Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said the lake is dingy but the water level is normal. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Try around brushpiles and around debris. Black bass are good, but no baits were suggested. Catfish are good still on “pretty much anything,” she said. Bream aren’t biting yet.
(updated 4-14-2022) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said, “No fair-weather fishers here: This past week brought several rainy days, and also delivered the heartiest of fishers to the White River. Water and weather (mostly windy) conditions combined to create difficult fishing scenarios, but we witnessed some great catches by skilled guides and tough visitors.”
They report that Bull Shoals Lake is at 660 feet msl elevation, but with the recent rains they are expecting the lake and all the other lakes in the watershed to rise. Generation over the past week has been steady, averaging 12,000 cfs, about four units. Remember though, higher water levels often aid in growth patterns of trout.
Use heavy weights/sinkers on your line to get your baits near the bottom in this deeper water and cast near the banks where the trout don't have to fight the current. “Sculpins remain the best bait for the browns; shad continue to bring in some really pretty ones, too. We've seen some rainbow action with redworms and spinners, quarter-ounce or three-eighth-ounce; red-gold seems to be the most popular color. Give the kids some shrimp and chartreuse PowerBait and they'll bring a mess of rainbows to the boat, maybe even one of the golden rainbow trout. Once in a while we're surprised when a good-sized brown is found snacking on shrimp.
“There's no better place in our great country to enjoy God's nature than The Natural State: Arkansas. Hoping to see you soon!”
(updated 4-14-2022) Dave McCulley, owner of Jenkins Fishing Service in Calico Rock, said the uncertainty of weather over the last week kept most anglers off the river. “By late last week we started to see the river level decline to between 9.5 feet and 8.5 feet and the river flow to drop to around 20,000 cfs. The people who drift-fish found success using bright-colored Power Eggs. Bank anglers had success using Power Eggs or artificial lures such as spoons or Rooster Tails. The storms Monday night had little effect on the river, but the storms on Wednesday were expected to have a bigger effect. Keep an eye on the river levels and if you go on the water watch for debris.”
(updated 4-7-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service said that during the past week they had several rain events that combined for 3 inches in Cotter), warmer temperatures and heavy winds (to include lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals rose 1.2 feet to rest at 1 foot above power pool of 659 feet. This is 35 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock Lake rose 1.8 feet to rest at 1.3 tenths feet above power pool and 14.7 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose 1.6 feet to rest at 1.2 feet above power pool or 8.4 feet below the top of flood pool. The White had no wadable water. Norfork Lake rose 1.9 feet to rest at 1.1 feet above power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 25.1 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork tailwater has had no wadable water.
All of the lakes in the White River system are now above power pool. With the current lake levels, we can expect no wadable water in the near future.
Streamer season fishing is upon us. Now that the brown trout spawn is over, they are moving back to their regular locations. It is a good time to target them. Fishing is best with heavy generation. Bang the bank with big streamers on sink tip lines. White is John’s current favorite color.
On the White, the hot spot has been the state park below Bull Shoals Dam. The hot flies were Y2Ks, prince nymphs, zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead), pheasant tails, copper Johns, pink and cerise San Juan worms, gold-ribbed hare’s ears and sowbugs. Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try an orange egg with a size 18 purple zebra midge or a girdle bug.
Remember that the White and North Fork 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 soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.
Bull Shoals Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 660.70 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 659.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 695.00 feet msl). Total outflow from the dam is 16,708 cfs. The reported lake elevation at Table Rock Lake was 916.95 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 915.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 931.0 feet msl).
(updated 4-14-2022) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock reported that water temps continue to be good for bass fishing. Generation at Bull Shoals Dam has been steady. Shad continue to be spread out; look for the loons and follow them. Use jerkbaits in the morning and later try a 2.8 Keitech on a quarter-ounce ballhead, or swim a grub/darter. Active diving loons will trigger feeding. As more fish move up and leave the shad, crawfish are on the menu. Dragging a jig, shaky head, Ned rig in green pumpkin variations in 5-20 feet on secondary points or in channel swings leading to spawning areas. Continue through April to key in on the spots outside of spawning areas, around south-facing pockets; creeks with stain are doing a little better. As temps keeping rising, the fish are seeing red. Rock Crawlers or Wiggle Warts on windy or steeper ledges and nasty rock transitions with stained water and wind. If you find warm, stained runoff, use a bright spinnerbait, Chatterbait or square bill.
White bass and walleye are spawning. Fish the conditions. The lake level is above 660 feet msl.
Visit Del’s YouTube site (Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock) for more information and tips on fishing Bull Shoals Lake.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 555.85 feet msl (normal conservation pool: Sept.-April, 553.75 feet msl; April-Sept. 555.75 feet msl; top flood elevation 580.0 feet msl). Total outflow from Norfork Dam is 6,220 cfs.
(updated 4-14-2022) Steven “Scuba Steve” Street at Blackburn’s Resort said that on Wednesday the lake level was 554.53 feet msl and had risen 1 inch in the last 24 hours with no generation since 1 a.m. “It is 11 a.m. on Wednesday now and it is raining hard. They always seem to quit when it rains but the level has been very stable for a few weeks and a lot of water has been released into the White River. The surface water temperature is 57-58 degrees and every time it rises, a new cold front comes through cooling it again. The water clarity is stained a little brownish green but is a good color for fishing. You can see your lure down about 3 feet in the Blackburns Creek area but more clear further downstream. Clearer water is not what you should be looking for now but the highest water temperature.
“I have still been catching crappie off main lake brush in about 18 feet of water and they should have been gone by now back into the creeks spawning. It just has been slow warming up. The topwater bite for temperate bass and black bass is getting better and better every day and they are coming up most mornings. Spittin Image is best for black bass and Zara Spooks for temperate ones. Get a good rod with some backbone so you can walk the dog effectively and practice. It will also call them up if they are not too deep. The Whopper Plopper does not require any skill to retrieve properly but also works.
“Some big bass are in the creeks now staging for spawn, but I am not seeing many doing it. Several fish are being caught every day with bass and crappie being the best, and it should just get better as the weather warms. The crappie are being caught casting a jig or grub past the brush and letting it sink into it. They are hitting on the drop. Some male crappie are on any wood back in the creeks shallow making nests.”
For a daily fishing report and lake condition go to www.blackburnsresort.com and click on Scuba Steve's Blog.
(updated 4-14-2022) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said, “At this time the best bites on the lake are for largemouth bass and white bass. Crappie, walleye and striped bass are improving each day, and if we can get some stable weather, the bites for these species should take off.
“There has been some good topwater action for largemouth, spotted and white bass over the last couple of weeks. You can find topwater action most mornings and an hour or so before sunset. The best areas have been back in larger coves and creeks, typically anywhere from 8 feet out to 25 feet of water. On occasion I have found fish blowing up in the deeper parts of the coves in 40 or more feet of water. Of course, you need to the find the coves that have bait in them. These coves have typically been in the areas where the wind has been blowing into. As of late, we have had a lot of wind to push the bait all the way to the backs of the coves. Various baits have been working: topwater lures such as a Zara Spook, Kastmasters and smaller swimbaits with paddle tails. Even if you don’t see any topwater action in the coves, cast the banks with a suspending jerkbait and you will pick up some nice largemouth and a few crappie and walleye.
“Striped bass has been one of the hardest fish for me to locate consistently. When you find them, they will be in the same coves as the other species feeding on shad. They have been scattered out due to the rise in the lake level a couple of weeks ago, compounded by the hard and fast drawdown of the lake to evacuate the excess water. The lake is currently fairly stable now, and with some consistent warmer weather the striped bass bite will explode.
“The crappie bite has been fairly good. This species can be found in brush in 15-25 feet of water. Jigging soft plastics has been working the best. The fish are typically suspended over the tops of the brush 8-15 feet down. Some of the crappie have started to move back into the coves, but not all. The frequent cold fronts keep pushing them away from the shallow water. Here again with some consistent warm weather the crappie will move to banks to start their spawn.
“The surface water temperature (Wednesday) morning was 56-58 degrees. The water level is rising slowly due to the storm we are currently having. The current level is 554.69 feet msl. The water is stained but is a great fishing color.
“I post almost daily on Facebook. If you want more frequent information please visit and like Hummingbird Hideaway Resort’s Facebook page.
“Happy Fishing and enjoy Norfork Lake.”
(updated 4-7-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Norfork Lake rose 1.9 feet to rest at 1.1 feet above power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 25.1 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork tailwater has had no wadable water.
There has been no wadable water on the Norfork during the day and it fished poorly. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns like zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead). Grasshoppers have produced fish, particularly when used in conjunction with a small nymph dropper (try a size 20 black zebra midge). Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise). The fishing is much better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off midday.
Dry Run Creek has fished particularly well. Weekends can get a quite crowded. The hot flies have been sowbugs and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise). Small orange or peach eggs have been very effective. Carry a large net, as most fish are lost at the net.
Buffalo National River/Crooked Creek
(updated 4-7-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Crooked Creek and the Buffalo River are still navigable. With warmer temperatures, the smallmouths could soon become active. The most effective fly has been a tan and brown 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.
(updated 4-7-2022) Hatchet Jack’s Sports Shop in Crystal Hill off I-40 (758-4958) says catfish are biting well.
|As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation has risen 1.45 feet in 24 hours to 1,122.99 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,120.43 feet msl; top flood elevation is 1,130.0 feet msl). Total outflow from Beaver Dam is 937 cfs.
(updated 4-14-2022) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) said, Beaver Lake is fishing pretty well. Most species are staged up and ready to spawn, except for walleye, which are nearly done and moving back into the lake. “We are still catching walleye but they are dropping back from the upper reaches of the river arms. White bass are in the system and are doing fairly good. Look for moving water of gravel shoals. The river arms came up big and muddy last week and are still fairly muddy.
“With that in mind, stripers are on the move looking for cleaner water. Fish have been caught from Horseshoe Bend up into Prairie Creek this last week. Live bait trolled slowly will pick up a vast assortment of fish thrown in with stripers. This is the time of year that you never know what is on the line when trolling live bait.
“Crappie are shallow and starting to spawn in certain areas. Look for any type of cover and make a cast at it. Shallow pea gravel flats are money during the spawn, especially if buckbrush is in the areas. Bass fishing has been really good in the Clifty arms. Chatterbaits and jerkbaits have been producing nice fish. They do have the gates open at the dam and that is pulling mud through the system fairly fast, so waters should clear quicker than normal. Everything is primed and ready to go we just need a stretch of stable weather. Good luck and stay safe out there!”
Visit Jon’s Facebook page for latest updates, FishOn Guide Service Goshen AR.
(updated 3-31-2022) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) reported that walleye are really good on jigs fished on the bottom, as well as grubs and minnows. Bream have appeared and are biting fair on redworms and crickets. Crappie are good on minnows and small jigs. Black bass are good on crankbaits, jerkbaits and jigs. Catfish are fair on chicken liver of cut bait. The lake’s clarity appears dirty as of Thursday morning after Wednesday’ storm front passed through, and surface water temperature is 51 degrees. Water level is normal.
(updated 4-14-2022) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) had not new reports. Visit Austin’s fishing Facebook Page (Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service) for fishing videos and more tips on the tailwater.
(updated 4-14-2022) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said white bass are good on Road Runners and minnows. Redear and bluegill both are excellent on redworms and crickets. Crappie have picked up in the past week, biting well on minnows and jigs. Black bass are good; anglers are having best success using plastic worms or a Chatterbait. Catfish have perked up. Several people have been fishing for them and up until midweek had been pulling in fair catches.
(updated 4-14-2022) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) says that before the moving lines of thunderstorms through the area this week, the walleye were doing well below the dam. Black bass and catfish were also being caught in good numbers.
Black bass were good last week on spinnerbaits, Chatterbaits, bass minnows and crawdads. Catfish started biting chicken liver, nightcrawlers, shad or skipjack.
(updated 4-14-2022) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) said the water temperature was up to 59 degrees on Monday, and the rise in temps has gotten the crappie and black bass biting. Crappie are excellent. They’re moving to shallow water and are biting minnows, jigs and worms. Black bass are good and are edge the edge of the shoreline. Plastic worms and red lizards are the go-to baits. No reports on bream, catfish or white bass. The water is the usual murky and is high.
(updated 4-14-2022) Seth Boone, the superintendent at Lake Poinsett State Park, reports that Lake Poinsett is only about 1 foot below normal pool. “We are excited, as fishing has been picking up. Astoundingly there have been reports of crappie and bass coming out of the lake even though those have yet to have been stocked. We also have bream and catfish that are biting decently well. Fishing habitat is fresh and new, so come out and find a new honey hole!”
Current limits at Lake Poinsett call for half-the-daily limit on catfish and full limits for bream. Any bass or crappie caught must be released.
(updated 4-14-2022) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the lake is high by about a foot, dingy and with a surface water temperature in the mid-50s. Crapper were starting to pick up, but they think the storms could affect the bite now for a while. Results have been fair. Black bass have been good on "just about anything you want to use" for bait. No reports on catfish or bream.
(updated 4-7-2022) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) said water levels have been at 520 cfs (350 is average) and water clarity has been fair. Plenty of rain lately has the river flowing strong, about a foot above average flows. Anglers have needed to be careful wading lately.
The trout have been hitting great with a little more weight to get the fly down. Lead eye Woollies and tungsten bead-head nymphs are great. “And we are tying big Y2Ks to help on the slow days,” Mark said.
The campgrounds have all opened for the summer season and this provides more wade in access. “Stocking has ramped up also with Jim Hinkle Spring River Hatchery stocking really nice fish the last few weeks. Just need some dry weather!”
Visit Mark’s blog at springriverfliesandguides.com/blog for the latest updates.
(updated 4-7-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the water level on the Spring River is fishable. This is a great place to wade fish when they are running water on the White and North Fork rivers. 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, cerise and hot pink San Juan worms and Y2Ks.
The Army Corps of Engineers reported Thursday that the White River stage at Batesville was rising and at 11.51 feet, about 3.5 feet below the flood stage of 15.0 feet. The Newport stage was somewhat steady at 21.82 feet, or a little more than 5 feet below the flood stage of 26.0 feet. The stage at Augusta is steady at 31.62 feet, which is about 5.5 feet above the flood stage of 26.00 feet.
(updated 4-14-2022) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) in Batesville reported that the river remains high and muddy, and they had heard no fishing reports.
Arkansas River (Pine Bluff Pool)
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Emmett Sanders Lock and Dam at Pine Bluff was 82,303 cfs. The pool elevation is 195.80 feet msl and the stage at Pine Bluff is 31.92 feet (flood stage is 42 feet). Further upriver at the C.D. Maynard Lock and Dam near Redfield, the flow was 81,159 cfs. The pool elevation is 212.62 feet msl.
(updated 4-7-2022) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team said water temperature is in the upper 50s on the main channel of the river, low 60s in Lake Langhofer, and mid- to upper 60s in protected backwaters. Visibility is only inches on the main channel, and up to about 16 inches in protected backwaters. Water level has stayed around normal even with the recent rain events. The river is flowing at a moderate rate and is carrying some debris. Nothing severe, but pay attention when navigating the main channel. There appears to be more filamentous algae growth in Lake Langhofer this spring than normal; it's affecting crankbaits meant to deflect off of cover/bottom a noticeable bit. Black bass are in all stage of spawn (pre-, active and post-) depending on where you fish. Some backwaters already have post-spawners transitioning into late spring/early summer behavior (try slow topwater lures). In general, spinnerbaits and bladed jigs are producing well near all types of cover. Slow topwater lures (frogs, poppers) are starting to get bit in backwaters. Dark-colored jigs and soft plastic creature baits are working in dense cover and along rock banks when the fish aren't committing to moving lures.
Cane Creek Lake
(updated 4-14-2022) Jeff Shell, the superintendent at Cane Creek State Park, said had no new reports from Cane Creek Lake.
(updated 4-14-2022) Dam repair work has been completed by the city of Monticello’s contractor, 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, which will mostly be done by rainfall collection. The gates on the dam are closed and the lake refilling is underway, but it is rainfall dependent. Many artificial fish habitat structures have been created and put in place, and the AGFC has pumped several of the small ponds and has added rotenone to those areas for the elimination of unwanted species (i.e. grass carp, yellow bass), before the refilling of the lake began.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 259.85 feet msl (normal pool: 259.20 feet msl; top flood elevation is 287.0 feet msl). Total outflow at the dam is 6,317 cfs.
(updated 4-14-2022) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said that as of Wednesday, Millwood Lake is currently 8 inches above normal pool at 259.8 feet msl and rising. Clarity is heavy stain to chocolate milk along Little River. Recent thunderstorms hit Millwood and drastically jumped the level to 2 feet above normal pool in 24-36 hours last week, then more thunderstorms and flash flooding has hit Millwood again almost every day this week. Millwood Lake tailwater elevation is near 235 feet msl with gate discharge at the dam around 13,200 cfs in Little River, according to the 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. Watch for random floaters and broken timber during any navigation on Little River and Millwood Lake. Surface temps stable this week, ranging 59-64 degrees depending on location and the day. Current along Little River is stained with discharge release at the dam, and river clarity ranges 2-4 inches visibility depending on location. Clarity and visibility of the oxbows is 5-8 inches depending on location. Further up Little River near White Cliffs and Wilton Landing has heavier stain/muddy conditions. Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, gate discharge, rain or thunderstorms.
Mike said Wednesday that due to recent thunderstorms, tornado warnings, flash flooding and intense cloud to ground (lake!) lightning, none of the guide service’s six guides have been on the lake this week. “I have seen lightning hit 50-100-foot-tall trees on Millwood in years past, and personally I’m not excited about getting out in that type of weather.”
Therefore, he says, the fishing specifics reflect what he was finding last week:
* The largemouth bass activities have been slowly getting better each week. Numerous male bass and a few fat prespawn females, continue to be found roaming flats from 2-6 feet deep where bedding areas exist, searching out new bedding sites. For the last several weeks, these roaming largemouths have been quick to strike on lizards, Brazalo Spinnerbaits, Chatterbaits, Trick Worms, Senkos, salty rat tails and Bass Assassin Shads. A recent bass tournament yielded several good strings of bass for 35-42 pounds, including several in the 7- to 10-pound class of largemouths. “With the wacky weather in southwest Arkansas we've had lately on Millwood, one day the big healthy fat girls are all geared up, happy and hungry; next day it's hunker-down time with thunderstorms and 50 mph winds hitting them in the head. This time of year has always been a hit or miss on Millwood due to "Tornado Alley" and Millwood's shallow river bottom geography,” Mike says.
“The shallow-cruising male largemouth bass we found roaming bedding areas over the past couple weeks were around 2.5-3 pounds and fairly spooky anywhere you can find the clear water, and continue moving in and out of 2-6 feet deep flats with stumps and grass present near creek channel drops from 4-9 feet deep, near vertical structure. We have coaxed a few to hit a Chatterbait, a Brazalo Spinnerbait in Spot Remover or sexy Shad, or a black and blue salty rat tail and Bass Assassins over the past week. Several nice and healthy female largemouth have been recently caught and released from 8-10.5 pounds over the past week to 10 days on Millwood Lake.”
Warmer days with bright skies continue to be best daily conditions. The best locations are near vertical structure and deeper drops with 3-8 feet deep flats in close proximity. Over the past week, bass were fair on swim jigs with thumper-tail trailers, Chatterbaits, jigs and heavy thumping 1-Knocker Rat-L-Traps deep in the creek channel outside bends near stumps and standing timber. The best bite of the day for largemouths continues to come during the heat of the day – sunny, clear days when water temps will rise a few degrees in mid-day and early afternoons.
Lizards have been getting a fair reaction in the oxbows near bedding areas by males and female bass alike. Best lizard colors have been June Bug, Blackberry, black/blue tail, pumpkinseed/chartreuse tail, and white. Southern Pro Flipping Tube or Tournament Tube in black/blue tail, smoke/black/red flake with chartreuse dipped tail, and smoke purple flake with chartreuse dip tail will connect with 2- to 4-pound male bass near dead pad stems, near stumps from 8-10 feet deep in Little River's oxbow lakes and creek channels, upriver near where creek junctions and on tapering points where they will eventually pull into the creek channels to spawn.
Salty rat tails, Senkos and Trick worms are working in the stained water – one day on cypress trees, the next in the dead lily pad stems. Best colors are the methylate, black/blue tail, black grape and California 420.
* The white bass continue schooling up for their spawning run. All the creek dumps into Little River from Browns Creek up to Cemetery Slough are holding good schools of white bass on their annual migration to spawn at Patterson Shoals. Two fishermen recently caught over 50 White Bass in a few hours. Best reaction lures were the Bomber Fat Free Shad, Bill Lewis MR-6, Little Cleos and Little Georges, and red Rooster Tails. Tennessee Shad, Citrus Shad, Sexy Blue Back Herring, Millwood Magic and Green Gizzard Shad were best crankbait colors over the past week. Spoons were working from 9-15 feet deep until the last torrential rainfall and flash flooding hit the river and turned it into chocolate milk.
* Crappie continue to improve this week with the warmer temperatures and have been stacked up in planted brush piles from 8-12 feet deep. A few nice 2- to 2.5-pound crappie have been hitting jigs and minnows over the last week.
* Catfish improved this week with the increase of river current. Best on yo-yos and limblines over the past few weeks with cut Buffalo, homemade blood meal, chicken hearts and livers. Yo-yos and limblines have been improving for cats from 4-8 pounds, over recent weeks.
(updated 4-14-2022) Lake Erling Guide Service (870-904-8546) reports the lake clarity is dingy and the level is normal. Surface temperature is 67 degrees. Crappie are being caught in good numbers around the shoreline and in 10 feet of water. Use minnows or jigs. Black bass are slow, but some anglers are catching a few around the bridges. Catfish remain excellent on "pretty much anything." No reports on bream.
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 544.41 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 406.27 feet msl (full pool: 408.00 feet msl).
(updated 4-7-2022) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) said the crappie and bass are spawning. Males are on the banks (lots of searching). Females are running back and forth from staging brushpiles and the shoreline,
De Queen Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 439.02 feet msl (full pool: 437.00 feet msl).
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 528.05 feet msl (full pool: 526.00 feet msl).
White Oak Lake Area
(updated 4-7-2022) Angler and guide Stephen Tyson Jr. reported on his Facebook page recently his new personal best black bass catch of White Oak Lake, a fish that topped 11 pounds.
(update 4-14-2022) Curtis Willingham at River Rat Bait in Camden (870-231-3831) had no new reports.
(updated 4-14-2022) Donald Ramirez at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) had no new reports.
Lake Catherine Tailwater (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro
(updated 4-14-2022) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below the dam is 51 degrees with stained conditions in the tailrace. Spring storms have kept Lake Catherine conditions a day-to-day event with heavy downpours and extreme temperature changes. Entergy has completed the refill of lakes Hamilton and Catherine with each lake now at normal summertime pool. Rainbow trout are everywhere in the Carpenter Dam tailrace and thriving in the nutrient-rich waters of Lake Catherine. The AGFC stocked an additional 9,700 rainbow trout in March. An additional 4,320 fish are scheduled to be stocked this month. It is important to remember that while trout numbers are in the many thousands, the bite can be unpredictable and always subject to rapid change due to weather and lake conditions. A very good bite pattern can disappear in a matter of hours, so anglers should be aware of this potential problem and have an alternative plan of action. Bank anglers should stick to basic patterns of live bait such as waxworms or mealworms fished just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Nightcrawlers will also work when cut into 2-inch sections presented in the same manner. PowerBait can save a fishing trip due to the fact that this presentation is designed to capitalize on a trout's inborn instinct to feed on fish eggs. Fly-fishermen casting egg patterns in white or yellow under a strike indicator have caught and released decent numbers of rainbow trout in the tailrace in the heavy current. Micro-jigs and Woolly Buggers have taken trout over 15 inches despite very fast current. The San Juan worm in hot pink can account for nice catches of trout especially when the fish are in a slower bite pattern.
White bass have been observed breaking in the early morning hours chasing threadfin shad below the bridge. Casting spinnerbaits and jigs in one-eighth-ounce weights has been the best presentation to catch these fish. Hybrid bass often school alongside white bass and can be caught on the same techniques. Trolling shallow-running crankbaits against the current has been productive catching white bass and hybrids, as well as walleye in the 2-pound class. Walleye thrive in the tailrace in the summer and early winter months as these fish prefer colder water temperatures than other area game fish. The walleye spawn below Carpenter Dam is now winding down as the month of April reaches its mid-point. The best action has taken place during times of generaiton.
The stained conditions have slowed all game species below the dam, but the water is slowly clearing. Entergy will be generating below all area dams to control the lake levels, co caution on waterways must be used during this time.
Finally, it cannot be stressed enough that anglers will experience dramatic changes in bite patterns as cold fronts move in and out of our area. Temperatures can change as much as 30 degrees or more in less than a day. Rapid temperature change shuts down many fish species until consistent weather resumes. Rising and stained water spells the death sentence for quality rainbow trout fishing. Trout despise muddy conditions and often refuse to feed for days and sometimes weeks. Always wear a life jacket when on the water and continue to follow park rules and regulations. The daily possession limit for rainbow trout is 5 fish per person. Don't make the mistake of attempting to keep more than the legal limit of any fish species from Arkansas waters. Always have your fishing license up-to-date and be ready to cooperate with our game officials when asked.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s flow at Dardanelle Lock and Dam as 76,932 cfs. Elevation was 337.68 feet msl, with the tailwater at 293.03 feet msl. (Top navigation pool is 338.2 and bottom pool is 336.0.) The stage is rising at 12.47 feet (flood stage is 32 feet).
(updated 4-7-2022) 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 are normal with water clarity good but stained in most areas. Water temps in the mid-60s throughout the lake. “Over the last week we have had heavy rains that have turned the watercolor stained slightly and storm debris has become a factor in the main channels. Bass have already started the spawning process, and many small “bucks” (males) have been caught just inside main lake points under trash, pollen sludge, submerged grass and docks. Females are scattered in the deeper areas, and it’s hard to tell if they have moved up to the shallows already or, are making their way back out. Floating worm is obviously a great choice for this time of year. It is very effective at getting in tight places that bass like hide during the spawn. “The best tactic we have found over the past week is the Frog Pattern. A Booyah Pad Crasher or Zoom Horney Toad fished down seawalls and through the trash that collects in certain areas has been effective and seems to draw larger fish.”
Bream are lingering in the 10- to 14-foot range just off submerged grass and wooden docks. Worms are always go along with live crickets. No catfish or crappie reports.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 346.58 feet msl (normal pool: 342.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 373.0 feet msl).
(updated 4-14-2022) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said Thursday morning that the lake is muddy and high (4.5 feet above normal pool). The water surface temperature is 63 degrees. Bream have appeared. The bite has been good on redworms and crickets. Crappie are good. They are being caught in 3-5 feet depth on minnows and jigs. Target the brushpiles. Black bass are still fair. They are spawning and close to the shoreline. A white bait with a quarter-size gold spinner is working well. Catfish are fair below the dam.
(updated 4-7-2022) Hatchet Jack’s Sports Shop in Crystal Hill off I-40 (758-4958) says crappie fishing is good.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 577.20 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 4-14-2022) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) said black bass are still very good. Floating worms, Carolina-rigged lizards and Zoom Dingers are producing quality catches. These fish are still shallow; 4-10 feet deep.
Walleye are good. A swim jig or Shad Rap should work to find and catch these fish.
Stripers are excellent. Trolling an Alabama rig or throwing a topwater C-10 Redfin are still producing quality catches. Bream are good on crickets or worms 15-20 feet deep on brush. Crappie are excellent on small jigs or minnows. Try brushpiles in the 18- to 30-foot depth range. Catfish are very good on juglines or trotlines with stink bait, shad or nightcrawlers.
Water temperature is ranging 60-65 degrees. The clarity is clearing. Lake level on Tuesday was 576.63 feet msl. Call the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717, or Chris Darby, 870-867-7822) for more information.
(updated 4-14-2022) Masterbaiters Bait and Tackle (501-209-6538) on Arkansas Highway 7 outside Hot Springs Village reports that Lake Ouachita is doing well. Crappie starting to move shallow; use minnows and jigs. Black bass still going strong on floating worms in the pockets, from the north shore to Avant. John says, “I have not heard about bream yet, but as I find out I will post. I myself, I'm still getting decent bass up to 6 pounds off the points in 8 feet of water.”
(updated 3-31-2022) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) said that like fishing at DeGray, where Darryl also has been getting out, the water temp his last time out here was 58 degrees. “So, that means the crappie and black bass are beginning their spawn. We’ve been catching small females on staging brushpiles and the bigger males and females are in the banks. During the spawn, your catch can slow because their interest is on the spawn and not eating. So, don’t become discouraged and have a great time during postspawn.”
Blue Mountain Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 391.94 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 is rising to 28.25 feet, or 2.25 feet above the flood stage of 26.00 feet.
(updated 4-14-2022) Kent Williams of Oxbow Guide Service (870-278-7978) said the water temperatures at Horseshoe has finally broken the 60-degree mark. That helps, but the unstable weather patterns combined with the wind are making fishing conditions tough to say the least.
Male crappie have moved shallow and they will run in and out preparing beds as these fronts keep coming. Females have moved in closer. There are a few fish still deep as well. “Right now, almost anything goes in the crappie fishing world,” Kent said. “Folks fishing with me last Thursday and Friday caught fish in 24 feet of water and the fish were 12 feet deep. Yesterday, 3.5 feet of water. Be prepared to try a variety of techniques and you should end up with a mess of fish.”
The black bass are moving shallow as well. “I spoke with a few fishermen last week that were pre-fishing for an upcoming tournament. Most had the same story of catching two to five fish shallow.
“As for catfish, the fishermen I spoke with that were after catfish were catching a few but doing best at night on yo-yos. Cut bait and nightcrawlers seemed to be the baits of choice. I’ve only seen one group running noodles but didn’t get to watch them long.”
No reports on bream.
(updated 4-14-2022) Wil Hafner, facility manager at Potlatch Cooks Lake Nature Center (870-241-3373), said still there has been no change here due to all the water on the White River, and Cooks Lake fishing is inaccessible.
Cook’s Lake is a 2-mile long oxbow off of the White River, nestled in the heart of the Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge near Casscoe in Arkansas County. This fertile oxbow receives very little fishing pressure due to being used only for education purposes and youth and mobility-impaired fishing. The scenic lake is full of slab crappie, giant bluegills, largemouth bass, and catfish of all species. Under current guidelines, Cook’s Lake will be open to fishing during normal business hours Tuesday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., water level pending. Cook’s Lake is open to fishing for youths under 16 or mobility-impaired anglers and up to two helpers (who may also fish). Fish from the 140-foot mobility-impaired accessible dock or launch a boat. To comply with current guidelines, please call ahead at least a day in advance to register to fish. Before launching, please check in at the Conservation Education Center, and report back before leaving. For information or unscheduled closures, call the center at 870-241-3373.
Bear Creek Lake/Storm Creek Lake
(updated 4-14-2022) Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) had no new reports.