April 21, 2022
Jim Harris Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for April 21, 2022. If there is a body of water you would like included in this report, please email email@example.com with information on possible sources for reports about that lake or river. Reports are updated weekly, although some reports might be published for two weeks if updates are not received promptly or if reporters say conditions haven’t changed. Contact the reporter 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 noon the day of publication (April 21).
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Arkansas River and White River levels are available at: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=lzk
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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: Mrs. Willie Bethea of Camden, a client of Millwood Lake Guide Service, enjoyed the crappie bite with her husband on Millwood this past week, despite the darkening skies and impending rain. Guide Mackey Harvin took his clients to the crappie hot spots. Warmer temperatures helped the bite, and crappie have begun migrating to cypress trees for their spring spawning ground movements at Millwood. A few nice 2- to 2.5-pound crappie have been hitting jigs and minnows over the last week. They've also been hitting bass anglers' baits, such as spinnerbaits and lizards, which fishing the cypress stands.
Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir
(updated 4-21-2022) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) reported that the lake has a normal stain and the water is still high. Bream are excellent. Try redworms, crickets and hair-tied jigs. Crappie are good on minnows or jigs, the best being a 1- to 3-inch chartreuse color jig. Black bass are good on spinnerbaits and crankbaits, 7- to 10-inch curly tail jigs, buzzbaits, small frog poppers, and anything resembling baitfish. Catfish are good using stink bait, dough bait, nightcrawlers, shad, skipjack and trotline minnows.
Little Red River
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the outflow at Greers Ferry Dam to be 2,851 cfs (both turbine and spillway) as of noon. The flow has topped 6,000 cfs about twice a day this past week. The tailwater is 272.58 feet msl.
(updated 4-21-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said trout are good on Maribou Jigs, Rooster tails and soft-plastic hot pink worms in 2-6 feet of water.
(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) suggests that anglers always check before heading to the Little Red River by calling the Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock District water data system (501-362-5150) for Greers Ferry Dam water release information or check the Corps of Engineers website (swl-wc.usace.army.mil) for real-time water release and the Southwestern Power Administration website (swpa.gov) to see forecasted generation schedule.
Greers Ferry Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 464.28 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.04 feet msl, top flood elevation 487.0 msl).
(updated 4-21-2022) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said Wednesday afternoon the water level at Greers Ferry was on its way back up, probably a 4-foot rise or better. It was already up over 1 foot at 463.13 feet msl. “It is 1.09 feet above, to be exact, of 462.04 feet and the Corps has been generating on for 6 hours, of, 6 hours, again and again. The overall bite is good on some days, some days not. Lots of changing conditions and changing fish locations as well. Water temps vary – high 50s to mid-60s to lower 50s.”
Some crappie are staged up, some have spawned, and some are not staged. They are 40 feet to super shallow. Walleye are all over the place as well, super shallow out to 40 feet. Drag or troll something. White and hybrid bass “are scattered and in groups as well, if that makes any sense,” Tommy said, “super shallow out to 40 feet, on a variety of baits.”
Catfish are coming in. All species of cats are eating all types of baits. For bream, drag a cricket or crawler super shallow out to 20 feet. For black bass, fish a fluke or floating worms. Again, some have spawned, some are staged, some have not staged yet, and they are super shallow out to about 40 feet with lots of things working. Texas-rigged lizard up shallow – you cannot go wrong.
(updated 4-21-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said bass are good in the buckbrush in 2-4 feet of water flipping with jigs and fishing shallow-diving crankbaits.
Harris Brake Lake
(updated 4-21-2022) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) says the lake is fairly clear and at a high level. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Crappie reports continue to be poor with the rain and cooler temps this week. Black bass are good on soft-plastic worms. Catfish reports have been poor.
(updated 4-21-2022) Lacey Williams at Lakeview Landing on Arkansas Highway 95 (501-242-1437) said the very high water level doesn't seem to be messing with the fish this week. The water is low visibility. The crappie are biting on minnows, more still toward the levee. Anglers pulled some good catfish out way in the back by the woods, as well as some little cats up in the boat dock area. Hank Rowland and Seth Diemer land a nice 8.5-pound largemouth bass a few days ago. “Minnows is all I know of that's working right now,” Lacey said.
(updated 4-21-2022) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) off Arkansas Highway 9 said water level is up by 1.5 feet. Clarity is murky and surface temperature is around 65 degrees. Bass are doing well on spinnerbaits and crankbaits, as well as topwater. Bream haven't started yet but anglers are catching one here and there. Catfish are doing well with all the creeks running in the lake. Crappie had started coming to the buckbrush, mostly males, and were turning black. The females were in 6-8 feet of water. “The day before this rain we had 30 females brought in along with 45 males by three people,” Johnny said, noting that Jay Nichols and Gene Bennett also caught 22 good crappie.
(update 4-21-2022) David Hall at Dad’s Bait Shop (501-289-2210) says the water is stained and the water is up 2-3 feet above normal. Fishing results have been about the same for more than a week now. Bream are fair around brushpiles; use redworms and crickets. Crappie fishing is good. Anglers are catching them in 6 feet depth with minnows and with jigs in chartreuse, red and white colors. They're relating to the brushpiles. Anglers are also spider-rigging down the channel. Black bass are good using white Rooster Tails, crickets or worms. They are moving shallow at sunset. 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 4-21-2022) WestRock Landing in Roland (501-658-5598) said water temp is in the low 60s. Largemouth bass are good. Reports of the bass being found shallow along the grass lines. Some reports of them deep. Try using Carolina-rigged lizards, crankbaits, spinnerbaits and drop-shots. Also, the spotted bass (Kentucky bass) are good. Some reports of them being found near drop-offs around 16-20 feet and off rocky banks, and other reports of them being found on brushpiles. Try using a Texas rig on brush, or jigs. The black bass catch totals in Tuesday night’s tournament at WestRock landing were modest: Dustin Crow and David Adams led the way with a 10.73-pound stringer, edging Kevin Hannah and Craig Tissue’s 10.38 pounds. Garry and Matt Bryant landed the Big Bass of 3.74 pounds.
White bass have slowed. They had a great run this year. You can probably find some still on the west end of the lake. Try using swimbaits. Crappie are good. Reports this week of the crappie being found shallow, 8-10 feet, and moving toward the shore. Try using jigs and minnows. Bream are fair. They are mixed in with the crappie and some are still deep. They were biting on minnows and jigs. No reports of catfish this week, but it never hurts now to throw some hooks baited with chicken liver, worms or crayfish and see if they bite.
(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.
Arkansas River at Morrilton
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Ormond Lock and Dam was 84,674 cfs with a pool elevation of 285.50 feet msl. The stage is up at 18.18 feet. Flow further upriver at Dardanelle Lock and Dam was 88,488 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 95,066 cfs with a pool elevation of 264.76 feet msl.
Arkansas River (Little Rock Area Pools)
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Murray Lock and Dam was 103,630 cfs, and the stream gauge stage was at 9.31 feet. Pool elevation is 248.77 feet msl. Flow at the Terry Lock and Dam was 103,522 cfs with a pool elevation of 230.85. There is a small-craft warning on the Little Rock pool as of Thursday.
(updated 4-21-2022) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said crappie are starting to move up in Big and Little Maumelle creeks and are being caught on Crappie Weapon in black and pink and Crappie Magnet Dancer in pink and chartreuse. Target about 5-6 feet depth of water around brush or laydowns.
Catfish are fair on skipjack below both dams. Bream are good on crickets at about 6 feet depth around the backwater areas. Anglers going for white bass are catching a few below the dams on white grubs.
(updated 4-21-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said water is high and the river is still under a small craft advisory. They have not been out fishing.
(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 4-21-2022) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said Thursday morning that crappie fishing is off and on. Try minnows or jigs. Crappie are moving toward the shoreline at 10 feet depth.
(updated 4-7-2022) Hatchet Jack’s Sports Shop in Crystal Hill off I-40 (758-4958) says crappie fishing is good.
(update 4-21-2022) Donna Mulherin at Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said the lake is still dingy and the water level is normal. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Black bass are fair, but anglers are providing bait recommendations. Catfish are good still on “pretty much anything,” she said. No reports on bream.
(updated 4-21-2022) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said, “What a week on the White! Most every day started out with the threat of rain and with unseasonably low temperatures (in my opinion), then ended on a mostly dry, warmer note and we were treated to a big array of photos of browns and happy anglers. Rain doesn't seem to bother the trout.”
The lakes in the White River watershed have been rising due to recent rains. Bull Shoals Lake is sitting at 664.43 feet msl, 4 feet above power pool for this time of year. Water levels have been fairly consistent at between 5,000 and 10,000 cfs, which means the trout aren't being spooked by extreme changes in their environment.
“Our best bait was the Blue Fox spinner, gold, 3/16-ounce or quarter-ounce, but the Thomas Buoyant red/gold hammered quarter-ounce spoon was a close second. Try to keep your bait not too far below the surface of the water (keep your rod tip high).
“Crawdad season is almost here; we're finding a good supply in ponds and smaller tributaries. Trout love crawdads, but if you can't get your hands on real ones, shrimp is a close imitator, and the Rebel WeeCrawfish (Stream Crawfish color or the chartreuse/green back) works great, too.
“Rainbows have been moving toward sunrise and orange PowerBait, and combining that with shrimp or crawdad tail has been an excellent way to reel in some great-sized fish. Garlic PowerBait has proved successful, with either the yellow or white being the best.
“Stick to sculpins and minnows for the browns – they're just big meat eaters – and the bigger your bait, the larger the trout you'll hook.
“We'd love for you to include some trout fishing in your vacation plans, and Cotter is the Trout Capital of the U.S. of A. The fishing forecast: good to spectacular. Come test the waters.”
(updated 4-21-2022) Dave McCulley, owner of Jenkins Fishing Service in Calico Rock, said it was another slow week of fishing. The uncertainty with the weather and the varying river conditions have kept folks away from the river. Those who did fish reported success using Power Eggs and shrimp. When the river was muddy, they fished the creeks using corn. There was a report of a lone fisherman who used a gold Little Cleo Spoon fishing the gravel bars and hooked a very nice brown trout, but the fish threw the hook when it jumped out of the water. “Hopefully after the April showers we will see more stable river conditions resulting in more consistent fishing,” Dave said.
(updated 4-21-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service said that during the past week they had several rain events (combined for less than an inch and a half in Cotter), warmer temperatures and heavy winds (to include lake wind advisories). At this writing Tuesday, it is due to rain again tomorrow. The lake level at Bull Shoals rose 4.7 feet to rest at 5 feet above power pool of 659 feet msl. This is 31 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock Lake rose 0.9 foot to rest at 1.7 feet above power pool and 14.3 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose 1.4 feet to rest at 2.2 feet above power pool or 7.4 feet below the top of flood pool. The White has had no wadable water. Norfork Lake rose 3.6 feet to rest at 4.3 feet above power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 21.9 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork tailwater has had some limited 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.
On the White, the hot spot has been Wildcat Shoals. 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. 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.
John also had an interesting tale about motor failure on the river, “In December, I had a guide trip just a few weeks after my cancer surgery. I might have been pushing it a bit but I was totally over sitting around the house and was eager to be back on stream. My doctor thought I was good to go, so I took the trip.
“I met my clients at the usual time at the Rim Shoals ramp and took some time to rig their rods and launch my boat. It was cold. My clients wore their waders for the warmth. I was heavily dressed in fleece and down and was wearing my knee-high muck boots to keep my feet dry and warm. The water was at a good level for fishing, approximately 6,000 cfs (about two full generators) but promised to rise to about 19,000 cfs (about six full generators).
“We were fishing double-fly rigs, a size 14 flash back pheasant tail nymph with a size 18 ruby midge. The hot fly was the midge and we did very well. I knew that we would do better on the lower flows but was concerned about the catch on the higher water.
“Around 11 a.m. I was expecting the water to begin rising at any moment. I was moving my boat to set up a drift when I noticed a loss of power. My engine was running well, but the propeller was not turning. I was adrift. This is not the kind of situation that a guide wants to be in, especially with clients in the boat.
“I knew that the water was about to rise and was not up for an uncontrolled float trip. I pulled out my paddle and made for the bank (the one my car was parked on). I was paddling as fast as I could so that I would reach the bank before my boat drifted into Rim Shoals. I made it to the bank just upstream from the walk-in access. I got out of my boat so I could pull it up further on the bank so the rising water would not wash it away. It was about this time that I discovered that the water near the bank was about a quarter of an inch deeper than my muck boots could handle.
“I secured the boat and walked up to Rim Shoals Trout Dock to see if Abram, the manager – recently he lived across the street from me in Cotter – could help. He was in Cotter. I called him on my iPhone and explained my problem. He agreed to meet me at my boat and assist. I returned to my boat and he arrived a few minutes later. He towed me to the ramp. I loaded the boat on my trailer. I talked to my clients and we agreed to end the day. Luckily they had caught plenty of fish.
“I took my boat to Tracy (Area Boat and Motor Sales) and got some bad news. After 17 years of faithful service, the Honda was kaput. I bought a new one, a Christmas present from my sister, Ernestine.
“Without assistance from Abram and Ernestine I could still be out there.”
Bull Shoals Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 665.99 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 659.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 695.00 feet msl). Total outflow from the dam is 4,008 cfs. The reported lake elevation at Table Rock Lake was 915.93 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 915.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 931.0 feet msl), with outflow of 13,014 cfs.
(updated 4-21-2022) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock reported bass fishing has been fair. Generation has been slowed at the dam. Lake level and unstable weather has made the fishing up and down. The shad have moved three-quarters of the way back. Go with jerkbait in the morning and later switch to a 2.8 Keitech on a quarter-ounce bass jighead or swim a grub or 2.8 swimbait in shad colors. We’re having success dragging a jig, Carolina rig, shaky head or Ned rig in green pumpkin variations in 5-20 feet on secondary points and channel swings leading to spawning areas. Continue to key in on spawning areas, south-facing pockets and creeks with stain/runoff. If you find warm, stained runoff, use bright spinnerbaits, Chatterbait or square bill. Expect the fish to pull up eventually. Fish the conditions.
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 558.69 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 1,332 cfs.
(updated 4-21-2022) Steven “Scuba Steve” Street at Blackburn’s Resort said the lake level is 558.14 feet msl and is rising slowly with one generator running for a few hours a day. One generator cannot keep up, but both can drop the lake. The White River at Newport is 20.48 feet. “I had a surface water temperature of 61 on the main lake and 57 in the creek that I was fishing on Tuesday afternoon. The water is stained a little brownish green but is still a good color for fishing. The topwater bite is usually in full swing this time of year but the cold fronts have slowed it down. It is to get very warm and windy by this weekend and it should get it going.
“The wind will just not go away but was not bad (Tuesday) for the first time. It is raining now. Some crappie have spawned and some are on beds and some are just staging. They are scattered all over the lake, but many are back in the creeks shallow. Catfish are moving back in the creeks and are biting on throw lines baited with live shiners. Some stripers are in open water on shad but they are mostly small. The walleye bite was good but now is only fair on main lake points. Bass are all over the place and are also wanting to spawn.
“Overall fishing on Norfork has changed with the absence of the high numbers of large stripers. The competition for food is less and more other fish are on shad in open water than before, even catfish and walleye. We are in a transition period, but some nice fish of different species are being caught every day.”
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, Kastmaster 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 4-21-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Norfork Lake rose 3.6 feet to rest at 4.3 feet above power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 21.9 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork tailwater has had some limited 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.
There has been little wadable water on the Norfork during the day and it fished moderately. 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 18 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 well. Weekends can get a quite crowded during this time of year, but with school still in session the weekdays are slower. 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.
Remember that the White and North Fork rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. 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.
Buffalo National River/Crooked Creek
(updated 4-21-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Crooked Creek and the Buffalo River are high and off color. 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 at 1,124.91 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 3,970 cfs.
(updated 4-21-2022) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) said Beaver Lake had a ton of rain last week, and some frosty mornings. Conditions really changed. The lake rose almost 3 feet and the Army Corps of Engineers could not raise the gates as planned because of the amount of water that entered into Table Rock Lake at the same time. So Beaver rose 3 feet, scattering the fish again. When the lake stabilized Tuesday, the river arms began clearing.
The spawn is on for crappie and they will be pushing up really shallow, especially with the muddy water on the south end. Fish spawning areas. Stripers are moving looking for clearer water and they really want to move up rivers to spawn, but are being pushed back with the mud flowing through mid-lake area. “You just need to move and look and move more until you graph fish, then drop your lines,” Jon said. Bass are prespawn and staged up near known spawning areas. All baits at this time will work, some better than others; throw what you have confidence in. Walleye for the most part have spawned but still are up the White and War Eagle albeit moving back toward mid-lake. White bass are spawning on shallow gravel shoals.
“Lots of debris in system, so be careful when running and make sure to look for floaters. Be safe and good luck!”
Visit Jon’s Facebook page for latest updates, FishOn Guide Service Goshen AR.
(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 4-21-2022) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said Wednesday afternoon that the clarity was murky and the surface temperature was 60 degrees. Water level is normal. Bream are good. Use jigs, redworms and crickets. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Black bass are fair on spinnerbaits or soft-plastic worms. Catfish went back into hiding this week.
(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 4-21-2022) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) said they had a cold Easter weekend and the fishing – and the fish – slowed down a little. Water is “High!” she said. Nevertheless, there is a fair bite for crappie in shallow waters. Use minnows, jigs or worms. There were no reports on bream, bass or catfish. The surface water temperature earlier this week was 59.1 degrees. The lake clarity is the usual murky.
(updated 4-21-2022) 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 4-7-2022) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the lake is “pretty clear” with a surface water temperature of 55 degrees. Water level is normal. The only reports they’ve heard on the lake have come from bass anglers, who report good catches. They’re using Dingers and Trick Worms.
(updated 4-21-2022) 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.
(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.
The Army Corps of Engineers reported Thursday that the White River stage at Batesville was rising 11.87 feet, about 2 feet up over the past 24 hours and nearly 3 feet below the flood stage of 15.0 feet. The Newport stage was still rising at 21.86 feet, or almost 4 below the flood stage of 26.0 feet. The stage at Augusta is steady at 31.33 feet, which is about 5.3 feet above the flood stage of 26.00 feet.
(updated 4-21-2022) 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 93,924 cfs. The pool elevation is 195.54 feet msl and the stage at Pine Bluff is 32.12 feet (flood stage is 42 feet). Further upriver at the C.D. Maynard Lock and Dam near Redfield, the flow was 95,209 cfs. The pool elevation is 212.67 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 4-21-2022) Jeff Shell, the superintendent at Cane Creek State Park, said had no new reports from Cane Creek Lake.
(updated 4-21-2022) 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 259.61 feet msl (normal pool: 259.20 feet msl; top flood elevation is 287.0 feet msl). Total outflow at the dam is 7,232 cfs.
(updated 4-21-2022) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said that as of Wednesday, Millwood Lake is currently 11 inches above normal pool at 260.2 feet msl and rising. Clarity is heavy stain to chocolate milk along Little River. Millwood Lake tailwater elevation is near 233 feet msl with gate discharge at the dam around 7,200 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 at 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. River buoys may be out of channel from recent high wind, or not yet replaced.
Surface temps are stable this week, ranging 61-66 degrees depending on location and the day. Current along Little River is stained this week with discharge release at the dam, and river clarity ranges 2-4 inches visibility depending on location. Clarity and visibility of oxbows is 10-20 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.
As for fishing specifics this week, Mike said:
* The largemouth bass have been in a spawning mode for the last few weeks and can be found roaming flats from 2-6 feet deep where bedding areas exist. 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 for 35-42 pounds, including several largemouths in the 7- to 10-pound class. With the wacky weather in Southwest Arkansas lately on Millwood, one day the big healthy, fat girls are all geared up, happy and hungry, then next day it's hunker-down time with thunderstorms and 50 mph winds hitting them in the head.
The shallow-cruising male largemouths 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.
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 continue during the heat of the day – sunny, clear days when water temps will rise a few degrees in midday 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 have connected with 2- to 4-pound male bass over the past several weeks 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 methyolate, black/blue tail, black grape and California 420.
* The white bass have been scattered over the past week from their spawning runs up Little River. A lot of the creek dumps into Little River, from Browns Creek up to Cemetery Slough, are seeing broken schools of white bass scattering from recent annual migration upriver to spawn at Patterson Shoals. Over the past week, the bites have been random and very inconsistent. 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.
* Crappie continue to improve this week with the warmer temperatures and have begun migrating to cypress trees for their spring spawning ground movements. A few nice 2- to 2.5-pound crappie have been hitting jigs and minnows over the last week. “I have caught crappie this week on spinnerbaits and lizards while bass fishing near cypress tree stands in the oxbows,” Mike said.
* Catfish: No report this week.
(updated 4-21-2022) Lake Erling Guide Service (870-904-8546) reports the lake is dingy, while the level is high. Surface water temperature is up to 73-74 degrees. Bream are starting to bite, and this week’s results have been fair. Use redworms or crickets. Crappie are good both in the shallows and out in 12-20 feet depth roaming. Use minnows or jigs. Black bass were fair. Try crankbaits and target around the bridges. Catfish are excellent on cut bait and “pretty much anything else.”
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 545.00 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 408.15 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 439.46 feet msl (full pool: 437.00 feet msl).
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 529.32 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 4-21-2022) Curtis Willingham at River Rat Bait in Camden (870-231-3831) had no new reports.
(updated 4-21-2022) Donald Ramirez at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said that there has not been much catching the last couple of days due to the rain. Atkins is clear and is high. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Black bass are good on topwater baits. No reports on bream and catfish.
Lake Catherine Tailwater (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro
(updated 4-21-2022) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that weekly heavy rainfall has forced Lake Ouachita up into flood pool, causing Entergy to schedule very heavy generation and open flood gates below all area dams. Muddy water and fast flows are the norm below Carpenter Dam and these conditions will continue until Lake Ouachita has dropped below flood level. As many as five floodgates have been open at a time on Lake Catherine to rid the system of last week’s stormy weather that created treacherous lake conditions. No one should attempt to navigate the Carpenter Dam tailrace for any reason until safe conditions return, which could take another week to 10 days.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s flow at Dardanelle Lock and Dam as 88,488 cfs. Elevation was 337.66 feet msl, with the tailwater at 294.92 feet msl. (Top navigation pool is 338.2 and bottom pool is 336.0.) The stage is rising at 14.35 feet (flood stage is 32 feet), up almost 4 feet over the past 24 hours.
(updated 4-21-2022) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas-born-and-bred Xpress, all-welded aluminum fishing boats in Hot Springs, reports lake levels up slightly and water clarity at 6 inches or less and muddy due to the heavy rains over the past week. Water temps in the main channels are 59 degrees and rising. Pocket areas that run east to west are much warmer with some areas reaching 63 degrees. “We are struggling to get things going as far as water temps this year, but fish are biting well, even in muddy water. Bass have been struggling to get on their beds for the spawn and this last week sure didn’t help. We were able to target and catch some nice pre-spawners up shallow using buzzbaits. Options are very limited due to water clarity and the large amount of debris that a lure must make it through. Stone seawalls and impoundments produced some nice aggressive pre-spawners. Dark-colored baits in black or blue are the only way to go in conditions right now.” Bream have been good on shallow (2-10 feet) brushpiles and especially on the ends of docks. Worms or crappie jigs work great for catching a mess of fish!
No catfish or crappie reports.
“Please use caution navigating Lake Hamilton. Trees, dock floats and everything in between are floating in the main channels. Wear your life jackets and use your kill switches!”
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 352.74 feet msl (normal pool: 345.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 373.0 feet msl).
(updated 4-21-2022) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said Thursday morning that the lake is muddy and is high by 7 feet. Surface water temperature wasn’t reported. Crappie are fair. They’re struggling a little but beginning to spawn. Try minnows or jigs. Black bass are fair, but several 18- to 19-pound stringers were recorded at a bass tournament here on Tuesday. The go-to bait appears to be a Chug Bug Worm. Catfishing is excellent on limblines and using chicken liver or black salties as bait. No reports of any note on bream.
(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 578.97 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 4-21-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood took the opportunity of high, swift water on the Arkansas River Little Rock pool to go check out Ouachita, and they say the black bass are good on main lake points using Texas-rigged Senkos, as well as good in the buckbrush on spinnerbaits.
(updated 4-21-2022) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) said black bass are very good. Floating worms, jighead worms and Dingers are producing quality catches. These fish are still shallow, 4-10 feet deep.
Walleye are still good. A swim jig or Shad Rap should work to find and catch these fish.
Stripers are good. Trolling an Alabama rig or throwing a topwater C-10 Redfin are still producing quality catches. Bream are very good on crickets or worms 15-20 feet deep on brush. Crappie are still excellent on small jigs or minnows. Try brushpiles in the 6-12 feet depth range. Catfish are good on juglines or trotlines with cut bait, shad or live bream.
Water temperature is ranging 62-68 degrees. The clarity is clearing. Lake level Friday (April 22) was 578.99 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.”
Blue Mountain Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 395.72 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 steady at 28.45 feet, or 2.45 feet above the flood stage of 26.00 feet.
(updated 4-21-2022) Kent Williams of Oxbow Guide Service (870-278-7978) said the cold fronts continue and the fish are still on the move. Watch the weather and water temperature closely. Fronts and cold air will back these fish up toward the deeper water. Warm days bring them back quickly.
As of Tuesday, the crappie had once again backed out to deeper water. They didn’t go far but they left the shallow areas for the most part. “I would expect them to move back shallow at the end of the week with forecasted 80-degree temps. Tuesday afternoon had surface temperatures of 59 degrees. Minnows and jigs are working well with the fish right now. Preferred colors are still chartreuse mixed with something.”
As for black bass, Kent says, “Same ole story here. Spinnerbaits seem to be working well with the warmer water in the shallow areas. Fish are moving and making it difficult to establish a pattern for more than a couple of days.
“If you are a catfisherman, you need to get after them. Females are feeding in preparation for the spawn and are following shad. Yo-yos, jugs and rod-and-reel fishermen are catching fish.
“Bream, it just a matter of time and I think a person could catch some now. These fish will spawn on the full moon in May so it’s not far away.”
Give Kent a call. He’s got some days available in May to catch some crappie.
(updated 4-21-2022) Wil Hafner, facility manager at Potlatch Cooks Lake Nature Center (870-241-3373), said they’re still surviving down at Cook’s Lake but there is just a lot of high water still coming off the White River. “Maybe one day the water will go down and we can reopen the lake.” The White is holding at 27.5 or more feet at Clarendon, 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. Comply with current guidelines by calling 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 4-21-2022) Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) had no new reports.