May 26, 2022
Jim Harris Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for May 26, 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 noon the day of publication (May 26).
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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: Bill Oswald, right in photo, from Missouri caught this nice hybrid striper while being guided by Tommy Cauley on Greers Ferry Lake earlier this week. Oswald and his wife, Mary Ann, enjoyed catching several other fish with Cauley along with the hybrid. Cauley says that all species are in a "strange mood" on the lake at this time, which is understandable considering the weather that's come through the state all of 2022. Read his report below.
Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir
(updated 5-26-2022) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) reported that the lake has the usual stain but the water has inched back up to high in recent days. No surface temperature was recorded. The bream bite was good this week. Redworks, crickets Dynamax Jigs and Bream Killers are the baits having the most success. Crappie remain fair. Most success is coming around shady spots under cypress trees or around brushpiles in the deepest part of the lake. Use minnows or small jigs. Black bass are good around lily pads and grassy areas. Spinnerbaits, frogs, poppers, Magnum Lizards and curly tail worms are working best. Catfish are good using stink bait, dough bait, nightcrawlers, goldfish and trotline minnows.
Little Red River
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the outflow at Greers Ferry Dam to be 6,030 cfs (both turbine and spillway) as of noon. The tailwater was 276.17 feet msl and rising. Check with the Corps website for real-time release data or by calling (501) 362-5150). Also check the Southwestern Power Administration website (swpa.gov) to see forecast generation schedule.
(updated 5-26-2022) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service (501-230-0730) said that with recent rains, Greers Ferry Lake is above top seasonal pool, creating unpredictable generation for the Little Red River. When water conditions are favorable, fishing has been good on all sections of the river. San Juan worms, pheasant tails, hare's ear, midges and streamers are good for fly-fishing. For Trout Magnet fishing, pink and cotton-candy-colored bodies on chartreuse or gold jigheads are recommended. 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 5-26-2022) Mike Winkler of Little River Fly Fishing Trips (501-507-3688) said Greers Ferry Lake is 6 feet above the power pool and rising. The Army Corps of Engineers has not been running a consistent generation schedule as far as start time. "I'd expect them to run two units for 12 hours a day. They have had various start times this week, so always check the generation schedule before heading out. Check the USACE Little Rock app daily because it might change."
The falling water has been fishing well and lots of caddis are coming off later in the afternoon up and down the river with lots of rising fish. The patterns I've been fishing are caddis patterns and pheasant tail nymphs fished underneath an indicator. With all the rain we've had, a pink San Juan worm in the off-colored water has also been fishing well. The streamer bite downriver has been great. The water has been just a big off-color with all the rain we've had. On cloudy days the bite has been strong.
(updated 5-12-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said brown trout and rainbow trout both are good on Trout Magnets and Maribou Jigs.
Greers Ferry Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 468.91 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.75 feet msl, top flood elevation 487.0 msl).
(updated 5-26-2022) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry is at 468.54 feet, or 6.33 feet above normal pool for this time of year. All species are in kind of a strange mood at present. Bill Oswald and his wife, Mary Ann, fished and caught a good hybrid on Monday of this week with some other fish as well. Black bass are scattered all over with a lot holding in the old brush line. You have to target them straight up and down with jigs or plastics; try to resemble a bream, and then from the bank out to 40 feet with lots of other types of baits working pretty well. Crappie are chewing on minnows and jigs, all over the lake and rivers super shallow out to 40 feet as well. Bream are doing the bream thing; crickets, crawlers again super shallow out to 20 feet on flats. Walleye are starting to get grouped up outside of brush in 12-30 feet; try dragging crawlers a lot of different ways. Hybrids and white bass, some are where they are supposed to be and the rest are headed that way; try 25-45 feet of water. Spoons, inline spinners and swimbaits are working. Just stay around the shad.
(updated 5-26-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said black bass are good in flooded buckbrush on flukes and white spinnerbaits.
Harris Brake Lake
(updated 5-26-2022) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) says the lake has maintained a fairly clear clarity over the past couple of weeks. The water level remains high. Bream are being spotted around the shoreline and are biting well on redworms and crickets. Crappie, on the other hand, are poor. Try a minnow or jig and maybe entice a bite. Black bass picked back up and started taking to minnows and usual bass lures in good numbers. Catfish also returned to biting. Baby bream and nooding around the shoreline produced good catfish.
(updated 5-26-2022) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) off Arkansas Highway 9 said water level is up by a foot; clarity is good. Surface temperature is around 80 degrees. Bass are dling well on crankbaits, buzzbaits and plastic worms. Crappie are out in the deeper water and some anglers are catching limits. Catfish are cranking up on trotlines and jigs baited with bass minnows and perch. Bream are starting to get active with crickets and redworms. "Everybody have a safe holiday weekend. Happy Memorial Day from Overcup Bait Shop off Highway 9."
(updated 5-19-2022) Lacey Williams at Lakeview Landing on Arkansas Highway 95 (501-242-1437) said the water level is dropping back down. Water is murky. Crappie are out deeper; use minnows. Bream are biting on crickets. Bass are still loving the beetle spins up in the shallows. No reports on catfish.
(update 5-26-2022) David Hall at Dad’s Bait Shop (501-289-2210) said Wednesday that the water is cloudy and at a high level. Anglers are experience good fishing for most pecies, with the crappie biting fair. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Crappie are being caught in 6-7 feet depth by trolling and spider-rigging down the channel or over underwater brushpiles; use minnows or jigs. Black bass are good in the evenings when it's warmer; use a spinnerbait. Catfish are taking to Charlie bait in good numbers.
Dad’s is a 24/7 self-serve bait shop.
(updated 5-26-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said bass are good in 10-15 feet depth on drop-shots and Carolina rigs.
(updated 5-19-2022) WestRock Landing in Roland (501-658-5598) said water temperature is in the high 70s to low 80s. Fishing for black bass is good. They are biting best early in the morning and later in the evenings. Otherwise, the fishing patterns are similar to the past week. Largemouth bass are good. Reports of the bass being found shallow along the grass lines. Some reports say they are deep. Try using Carolina-rigged lizards, crankbaits, spinnerbaits and drop-shots. 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. Cameron Nesterenko and Andrew Wooley won Tuesday night’s black bass tournament with a five-bass haul of 15.33 pounds, which included a 5.46-pound Big Bass. Four duos caught at least 10.5 pounds of bass. Caleb Yielding caught a 3.98-pound bass, which was the second best bass caught Tuesday night.
No reports on white bass this week. Crappie are good. You can find them in shallow water hugging the banks using minnows or swim jigs. Bream are fair. Reports of bream being found on beds. Crickets and worms have been working well. Catfish are good: All species are being caught and biting on anything. Try using chicken liver, worms and crawfish.
Arkansas River at Morrilton
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Ormond Lock and Dam was 101,749 cfs. The stage was at 22.39. Flow further upriver at Dardanelle Lock and Dam was 131,204 cfs.
Little Maumelle River
(updated 5-26-2022) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) says the water is clear and the level is normal. No surface temperature was reported. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows. Black bass are found in shallow water and the bite has been good this week. Try a spinnerbait or a soft plastic worm. No reports on catfish.
Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Toad Suck Lock and Dam was 132,791 cfs with a pool elevation of 266.42 feet msl.
Arkansas River (Little Rock Area Pools)
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Murray Lock and Dam was 126,398 cfs, and the stream gauge stage was at 10.61 feet. Pool elevation is 248.66 feet msl. Flow at the Terry Lock and Dam was 136,107 cfs with a pool elevation of 230.79 feet. TA small-craft warning contines on the Little Rock pool.
(updated 5-26-2022) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said their reports were similar to a week ago. Bream are good. They’re on the beds, especially around Willow Beach and White Oak Bayou. Catfishing is good below Terry Lock and Dam and the Crystal Dam on skipjack. Crappie are fair on minnows and super jigs in green and chartreuse colors. Fish for crappie off the rock jetties on the main river. Black bass are biting well on black buzzbaits around the rock jetties.
(updated 5-26-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) had no reports from the Little Rock pool. The water has been fast and high in recent weeks. Check out their reports from Lake Maumelle, Greers Ferry Lake and Lake Ouachita listed elsewhere. Two weeks ago, when they had a moment to get on the river, black bass were good off the ends of jetties, with anglers using shaky heads and Zoom Trick Worms in green pumpkin, as well as Strike King 3XD in citrus shad color.
(updated 5-19-2022) Hatchet Jack’s Sports Shop at Crystal Hill (501-758-4958) says bream are good pretty much anywhere on redworms and crickets. Catfish are starting to move in and are very consistent with the bite on the river.
Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 5-26-2022) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said Wednesday afternoon that bream are active now, and anglers report good catches on redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Black bass have started taking the hook. Anglers are catching good bass using spinnerbaits, crankbaits and worms. Catfish reports are poor.
(update 5-5-2022) Donna Mulherin at Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said the lake is still dingy and the water level is normal. Bream are starting to bite and this week has produced fair catches. Use redworms or crickets. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Black bass are good, though anglers didn’t give Donna any hints on baits used. Catfish are good using usual catfish baits.
(updated 5-26-2022) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said the lakes in the White River watershed are full and are being attentively managed by the Army Corps of Engineers. Bull Shoals Lake is hovering at 687.6 feet msl, just 8 feet from the top of flood pool (695.00 feet msl) as we head into a week of predicted sunshine -- or at least no rain. Soon we'll begin the slow and steady release of lake waters into the White River below Bull Shoals Dam, so get out your weighted line, heavier sinkers and big, gutsy stick baits because they'll be your ticket to successful trout catching.
This week we continued trolling with the blue and silver spoons (Cleos or the hammered Thomas Buoyants); the rainbows haven't turned away from them yet. The hatches we saw last week which sated the trout and made it really tough to get their attention in the afternoon hours have slowed down this week with the rain and cooler temps. But we'll see more of those bugs as we warm up this coming week, so the morning hours are going to be more successful than later in the day.
The best brown bite here in the Cotter area has been with slimy sculpins. The best ones are the blue gummers as the old-timers call them -- turquoise-colored bellies. Look for them under rocks while the water is low and generation slow.
Not much longer before the school year is finished. Bring your kids or grandkids to the river and let them learn about The Natural State of things. Arkansas is the place to teach them. See you at the river.
(updated 5-26-2022) Dave McCulley, owner of Jenkins Fishing Service in Calico Rock, said this has been another week of varied river conditions. Thursday and Friday the river began clearing after the storms of last week. The river conditions were good Saturday morning with several people catching their limits of fish. The storms on Saturday once again caused the Buffalo River to rise, resulting in muddying up the White River at Calico Rock on Sunday and Monday. On Tuesday and Wednesday the river conditions were much improved. The Buffalo River rose again after the storms Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning. The resulting muddy water should arrive in Calico Rock by Thursday. If generation at Bulls Shoal Dam remains at least three generators running, the muddy water should be washed away for the holiday weekend. Recommended baits for this weekend are a mix of white and orange Power Eggs or sunrise Power Eggs. Add an inline spinner for additional flash to gain the trout’s attention. If desired, add a piece of shrimp or redworm. The use of a dead sculpin may entice the larger trout to bite. "Stay safe this holiday weekend. Remember the purpose of Memorial Day is to remember our military personnel who lost their life in the service of our country."
(updated 5-26-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service said that during the past week they had just a trace of rain in Cotter, warm temperatures and heavy wind. The lake level at Bull Shoals rose 2.8 feet to rest at 25.4 feet above power pool of 662 feet msl. This is 7.6 feet below the top of the flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock Lakle fell 3.5 feet to rest at 4.1 feet above power pool and 10.2 feet below the top of the flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.2 foot to rest at 6.9 feet above power pool or 1.7 feet below the top of the flood pool. The White River had no wadable water. Norfork Lake rose 2.4 feet to rest at 15.3 feet above power pool of 556.73 and 8 feet below the top of the flood pool. The Norfork tailwater had less wadable water.
The water level for the top of normal conservation pool has been reset higher for all of the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes in the system are now above power pool. With the current lake levels, we can expect some wadable water on the Norfork tailwater as the Corps of Engineers works to prevent downstream flooding.
On the White, the hot spot has been Rim Shoals. The hot flies were Y2Ks, prince nymphs, zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire nad silver bead), pheasant tails, copper Johns, pink and cerise San Juan worms, gold-ribbed hare's ear and sowbugs. Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a prince nymph with a size 18 ruby midge.
(updated 5-26-2022) White River Trout Club (870-453-2424) says the river is high and muddy and they have had no reports lately.
Bull Shoals Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 687.35 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 662.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 695.00 feet msl). Total outflow from the dam is 4,873 cfs, with a high in the past 24 hours of 6,910 cfs. The reported lake elevation at Table Rock Lake was 921.39 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 916.58 feet msl; top flood elevation is 931.0 feet msl), with outflow of 9,437 cfs.
(updated 5-26-2022) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said Wednesday afternoon that with Bull Shoals Lake at its current level and water being up, limited parking at the boat dock can be an issue, so plan ahead. Despite the high water, the lake is really clear in the main part. The backs of bigger creeks have stain. The water temperature dropped down to around 68 degrees this week. The lake level Wednesday was about 687 feet, or 28 feet above normal level. Watch for debris on calm days.
Bass fishing has been up and down of late. Shad have spread out. Use a 2.8 Keitech on a quarter-ounce ball head, or swim a grub in shad colors. Target windy main lake secondary points, saddles and humps. Don’t pass up shad way out on the points. Use topwater, LC Gunfish or a Zara Spook. For sunny days, dragging a Jewel Special Ops Football Jig in green-pumpkin orange, a Ned rig with green pumpkin variations, and keep the boat out around 30 feet.
A lot of fish are on the old shoreline on secondary points and channel swings. Bloody tails are starting to show up in the summer areas. The flipping bite is tougher as the water came up; check out deep bushes, standing timber or laydowns. Use Beaver/Senkos/a small jig. If you find warm, dirty water use a bright spinnerbait, a Chatterbait, Whopper Plopper or square bill. 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 572.25 feet msl (normal conservation pool: Sept.-April, 553.75 feet msl; April-Sept. 556.40 feet msl; top flood elevation 580.0 feet msl). Total outflow from Norfork Dam was 2,120 cfs.
(updated 5-26-2022) Steven “Scuba Steve” Street at Blackburn’s Resort said the lake level is 572.12 feet msl and has risen 1.2 inches in the last 24 hours (through Wednesday) with one generator running for about 10 hours. We received about three-quarters of an inch of rain (Tuesday ) and (Tuesday) night and it has been cloudy, rainy and cool for the last three days. The surface water temperature has dropped from about 77 degrees to 71 degrees in the last week. The main lake water is very clear and you can see your lure down at least 15 feet on the main lake, but it is stained in the creeks with only a few feet of visibility but clear near the shore. The thermocline has formed and is at 18 feet as is the old shoreline before the lake started rising and there are a lot of fish at this depth, especially in the creeks, but walleye are on main lake points just inside the brushpiles near the bottom. Bass are coming up most days and all day long on cloudy rainy ones on shad, and some white bass are with them. Catfishing is excellent, with flatheads slowing a bit but blues and channels picking nicely. They really like live bluegill on limb lines and short throw lines. Crappie are still biting but are scattered with so much cover and bait available. Some stripers have moved into deeper water and live bait draggers are catching a few. Bluegill are biting on crickets and small spoons under docks and on shallow willow bunches.
Overall the lake is in good condition and fishing is fair to good and most species are biting.
For a daily fishing report and lake condition go to www.blackburnsresort.com and click on Scuba Steve's Blog.
(updated 5-5-2022) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said the bite for most species has been good on Norfork. The never-ending changes in the weather have definitely affected the bite by not allowing it to become consistent. The fish keep moving around as their comfort zone changes. But with a little looking each day you will find the fish. The largemouth bite has been the best, with crappie, walleye and striped/hybrid bass all being a close second. Most of the species in our lake have spawned or are in the process except for bluegills. Catfish are close to their spawn cycle, if not already in it.
Largemouth bass have started their post-spawn feed. Topwater action can be found most early mornings and late evenings. “I have found them surface-feeding both back in creeks and coves as well as out on the main lake, especially near long brushy points. It’s prime time to start fishing with flukes and you can catch a lot of bass up inside of the newly sunken brush. Swimbaits and spinnerbaits are also working very well. If a cool front moves through, the fish do seem to move off the shoreline, but can be found nearby in 10-20 feet of water, and will move back into the brush very quickly.”
Crappie are also on their post-spawn feed. You will find them schooled up, roaming from brush to brush, out in 20-30 feet of water. A great way to catch these roaming fish is to troll Berkley Flicker Minnows in size 7. Some of these crappie are relating strictly to brush, and the brush is usually in less than 20 feet of water. A few crappie are still spawning and can be caught by casting to the shoreline with small grubs, a small swimbait or a Road Runner.
Striped/hybrid bass fishing has been good, but the fish seem to be continually moving. You need to find the shad and the stripers will be nearby. “One day I found them back in creeks close to the shoreline and the next day they were out on main lake points that have a lot of sunken buckbrush. The lake is getting more and more buckbrush under water due to recent rains and the rise in the water level. Threadfin shad are getting very close to spawning, if not already spawning, in some areas of the lake. If you can find spawning threadfin, the stripers will be close to them in very shallow water. Cast out a topwater bait, a swimbait or a Kastmaster and hang on.”
Walleye fishing has also been pretty good. “The best bite for me has been early in the morning before sunrise. Find an area with bait and cast a small 3.5-inch swimbait with a one-eighth- or quarter-ounce jighead. The walleye will be near the surface feeding on the shad. You will also find them in about 18-25 feet of water on the bottom. Vertical-jigging or dragging a crawler harness will pick up some fish. Or you can troll a hard crankbait that gets down to 15-18 feet to catch some nice ones. Back in the coves and creeks are good places to find walleye."
The surface water temperature has been keeping fairly consistent, ranging from 63 to 65 degrees. The water level is rising due to recent rains. The current level is 563.37 which is about 9 feet over normal seasonal pool. The water is fairly clear, but may stain up a bit with the most recent rains and runoff.
“If you are looking for almost daily fishing reports and to see what species are being caught, check out Hummingbird Hideaway Resort’s Facebook page. Give us a like and start seeing what is happening on the lake. Happy Fishing and enjoy Norfork Lake.”
(updated 5-26-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Norfork Lake rose 2.4 feet to rest at 15.3 feet above power pool of 556.73 and 8 feet below the top of the flood pool. The Norfork tailwater had less wadable water.
The water level for the top of normal conservation pool has been reset higher for all of the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes in the sy stem are now above power pool. With the current lake levels, we can expect some wadable water on the Norfork tailwater as the Corps of Engineers works to prevent downstream flooding. There has been some wadable water on the Norfork during the day and it has fished moderately. The most productive flies have been small midge patters 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 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.
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 5-26-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Crooked Creek and the Buffalo River are a bit high and off-color. With warmer temperatures, the smallmouths are 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.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,128.77 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.43 feet msl; top flood elevation is 1,130.0 feet msl). Total outflow from Beaver Dam into the tailwater is 3,774 cfs.
(updated 5-26-2022) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) said Beaver Lake remain around 8 feet above normal pool "and we have had lots of rain again the last 3 days. All I can say it has kept the fishing challenging to say the least, The lake was at 61 degrees 2 1/2 weeks ago, then summer showed and brought lake up to 78degrees in some places and now the cool weather has dropped it below 70. Very confusing for fish. They are all over the place, from shallow to suspended. Stripers are hit and miss. Look anywhere from Prairie Creek to the dam. There really isn’t any pattern to speak of. We were doing well on walleye trolling crawlers and drop-shotting crawlers. Look off main lake points and flats close to deep water. That bite slowed as the water got really warm real fast. Now that the water is cooling it may spur on a better bite this weekend. There could be some topwater early in the morning.
"There still is lots of dangerous debris floating through out the lake. Crappie are in the backs of arms that contain some clearer water. I have heard reports from 5 feet to trolling cranks and crappie suspended at 12-15 feet of water. My suggestions would be have numerous arrows in your quiver. Do not rely on one method or spot. Be flexible and you will catch some fish. Once this weather stabilizes, so will the fishing. Good luck and be safe out there; it’s a big weekend and lots of boats will be out."
Visit Jon’s Facebook page for latest updates, FishOn Guide Service Goshen AR.
(updated 5-26-2022) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the lake is clearing up but the river arms still have a murky look. Beaver Lake is high. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair, with best action along the shoreline. Use minnows or jigs. Black bass are good using wacky worms, small worms or drop-shot worms. Catfishing is fair; anglers are using worms and chicken liver.
(updated 5-26-2022) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said he was glad to be back on the water after recent shoulder surgery. This past weekend started off wet and cold, he said. The water levels in the river are still high, but it is slowly falling. With the generator at the dam back online, water temps are returning to the low 50s and high 40s. The white bass have been pushed back down toward Beaver town, and the remaining walleye as well. Jigging live minnows around contour lines and drop-offs is still working for the walleye. Try trolling Rogues and A-rigs for the white bass. As for the trout, the bite has been great toward Houseman Access and below, with the higher water. Throwing quarter-ounce spoons and fishing with light terminal tackle and various PowerBaits have done nicely. This week's hot spot has been around the Blue Springs area.
|"Now that I am back fishing full-time again, expect to receive weekly fishing reports again. I hope your able to get out and catch some fish. For further tips, please visit my fishing Facebook page (Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service)."
(updated 5-26-2022) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said Thursday morning that the lake clarity has stayed “pretty clear” and the water level is normal. Bream are fair on redworms and crickets. Crappie were fair on minnows and jigs. No reports on black bass or catfish.
(updated 5-26-2022) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) says the lake clarity is muddy and the level has risen about a foot above normal. Bream are good on redworms or crickets. Crappie are fair; they are moving off of the shoreline and are still interested in both minnows and jigs. Black bass are good, with artificial baits working. They are starting to see catfish activity, but nothing specific to report this week.
(updated 5-26-2022) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) said the cool weather and high water of last weekend turned off the fish and the fishing for a bit. She received no reports of any species this past week. Best fishing days based on moon times are June 1-2, with good fishing forecast for June 10-16. Surface water temperature on Sunday morning was 71.2 degrees. Clarity is the usual murky.
(updated 5-19-2022) Seth Boone, the superintendent at Lake Poinsett State Park, says Lake Poinsett has bream and catfish biting well. The bass have started slowing down a bit, but they are catch-and-release only at this time.
Besides the catch-and-release rules for black bass, current limits at Lake Poinsett call for a half-the-daily limit on catfish and full limits for bream. Any crappie caught must be released. Crappie haven’t been stocked yet in Poinsett, but some may have made it into the lake from elsewhere.
(updated 5-26-2022) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) reported Thursday that the water is dingy and has jumped up to about 1.5 feet above normal level. Bream continue to bite well on redworms or crickets. Crappie are fair, with a few here and there. Try minnows or jigs. Black bass are fair, but no specific baits were suggested. No reports on catfish.
(updated 5-26-2022) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) said water levels have been flowing at 560 cfs at the Spring (350 cfs is average flow) and water clarity has been green stained. With all the rain lately the Spring River has been flowing strong and at times poor clarity, this week the rain has not murked up the river and it has been clearing and fishing has been great this week.
On the trout, Woolies and big nymphs have been hot. Lots of bugs have been hatching lately from big caddis to crazy big mayflies. On the tough days a little weight to get down to the bottom is the trick. But lately the bite has been on most days simple tightlining techniques are getting high numbers. The river has been high and murky for so long the trout have stacked up from weekly stockings by the Jim Hinkle Spring River State Fish Hatchery. Last week about 10,000 small browns were stocked. These fish will take dries and will chase down a small streamer. Hopefully these small browns will grow into big monster browns!
Smallmouth have not been easy to catch in the high water. "We did a smallmouth float last week and caught five smallies and a bunch of bows that day. The river needs to clear up and slow down some for the smallmouth bite.
This weekend kicks off the canoe hatch on the Spring. For the rest of the summer, Saturdays can get busy on the river with floaters having fun. Sundays and through the week are the times to fish.
The river is up and flowing strong so be safe wading. A wading staff works great to keep your head above the water and keepiung the snakes at bat.
Check out Mark’s blog (springriverfliesandguides.com/blog) for the latest river conditions.
(updated 5-26-2022) 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. 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 steady at 9.71 feet, more than 5 feet below the flood stage of 15.0 feet. The Newport stage has dropped to 19.09 feet (flood stage is 26.00 feet). The stage at Augusta is has dropped slightly to 30.72 feet, which is about 4.7 feet above the flood stage of 26.00 feet.
(updated 5-26-2022) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) in Batesville said its the same story on this portion of the White for their usual anglers as they have no reports; the river is still high.
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 122,495 cfs. The stage at Pine Bluff is 34.12 feet (flood stage is 42 feet). Further upriver at the C.D. Maynard Lock and Dam near Redfield, the flow was 134,786 cfs.
(updated 5-26-2022) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team had no report this week. All pools on the Arkansas River have a small craft warning.
Cane Creek Lake
(updated 5-26-2022) Jeff Shell, the superintendent at Cane Creek State Park, said had no new reports from Cane Creek Lake.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 260.05 feet msl (normal pool: 259.20 feet msl; top flood elevation is 287.0 feet msl). Total outflow at the dam is 1,702 cfs,
(updated 5-26-2022) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said that as of Wednesday, Millwood Lake is back on the rise from recent thunderstorms in southwestern Arkansas and southeastern Oklahoma, 1 foot above normal pool at 260.2 feet msl and rising rapidly. Clarity has stained this week, along Little River. Millwood Lake tailwater elevation was near 230 feet msl with gate discharge at the dam around 3,000 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.
Surface temps are stable this week, ranging in 74-79 degrees depending on location and the time of day. Current along Little River is normal stain levels this week with reduced discharge release at the dam, and river clarity ranging 5-10 inches visibility depending on location. Clarity and visibility of oxbows is stained at 12-15 inches depending on location. Further up Little River near White Cliffs and Wilton Landing has heavier stain conditions. Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, gate discharge, rain or thunderstorms.
Mike offered this fishing details from this week:
* Largemouth bass are fair to good, most activity in oxbows up Little River, early and late in the day. Bass are moving horizontally out to deeper water during heat of the afternoons, and shallow to cover early and late. Bass are fair to good on top water lures around emerging new Lily Pad stands and vegetation at daylight. We continue seeing 3- to 4-pound bass, running in and out of shallow flats early for the past few weeks, and will bust a buzzbait, topwater chugger, and plastic frogs in the pads early. Big, 7-10-inch bulky Brush Hogs, as well as worms, slow-moving square bill crankbaits and Chatterbaits will get a reaction from bass near laydown logs, cypress trees, knees and stumps where ridges, ditches and flats are close to deeper creek channels and vertical structure. Several nice and healthy female largemouth have been caught and released from 5 to 9 pounds over the past several weeks on Millwood Lake.
Bass are continuing to move out horizontally toward deeper drops in the oxbows once the sun gets up above the tree line in late morning. Bass Assassin Shads, Horny Toads, hollow body frogs, buzzbaits and Chatterbaits continue working. The oxbows over the past couple weeks have had the best water clarity, and Horseshoe, Clear Lake and McGuire will produce best topwater reactions from largemouths. Chatterbaits in black/blue/purple, or SpringBream with chartreuse, are taking nice 2- to 3-pound largemouths near stumps in 3-6 feet deep.
War Eagle Smokey Joe-colored Underspins with a 3.5-inch Bass Assassin Lit'L Boss Swimming Bait trailer are catching fish that miss a buzzbait or topwater grog early. If the bass blow up and miss your topwater bait, an immediate throwback past the missed strike with the Underspin and Lit'L Boss swimbait will get you bit. We are using a Smokey Joe colored head War Eagle Underspin with a Chico's Red Ear, or Hammertime, or Silver Flash Minnow-colored swimbait trailer to incite a reaction strike.
Buzzbaits, Cordell Crazy Shads, Boy Howdy's and Spit'n Images are randomly working early. Topwater, weedless frogs like the Spro Live Target and Zoom Horny Toads will get responses from healthy post-spawn largemouth bass now from 3-5 pounds each.
Brazalo Spinnerbaits continue working on windy days and on creek channel drops and secondary points. Spot Remover, White, Sexy Shad and Millwood Mayhem Bream colors are best for catching keeper-size largemouths in oxbows and in the pockets along the golf course and at Millwood State Park coves. Bass Assassin Shads continue catching nice bass and best colors for the past few weeks include Salt n Pepper Silver Phantom, Houdini, Pumpkinseed/Chartreuse Shad colors. Work these in and around same areas as the topwater frogs, near new growth of vegetation lines, new bloom stands of lily pads and buckbrush. Texas-rigged Bang Woopah Craws are working in these same areas, near laydowns and stumps from 5-9 feet deep, and best colors over the past week or two have been the Okeechobee Craw, Black/Red Glitter, and Blueberry. Bulky lizards are working with Blackberry, Sapphire or Watermelon Candy colors, on cypress trees in good water clarity in back of the oxbows, from 7-9 feet of depth. Salty Rat Tails, Senkos, and Trick Worms were working in the edges of new lily pad stands and stumps, near drop offs, from 7-10 feet deep. Best colors have been Black/blue tail, Blue Glimmer or Blue Ice.
* White bass continue roaming and moving to deeper drops along Little River headed back down to the main lake in large, broken, random schools. No consistent bite over the past week.
* Crappie have been excellent over the past couple weeks and have recently began moving out from shallow cypress trees from spawning over the past several weeks. The bite continues to be very good, just slightly deeper on planted brushpiles in the oxbows and along Little River. Healthy-sized xrappie from 2 to 2.5 pounds have been hitting jigs, Southern Pro Crappie Stingers 2.0, Pro Series Lit'l Hustlers, and minnows over the past several weeks. Best colors over the past couple weeks on the Southern Pro Crappie Stingers and Lit'l Hustlers have been black/chartreuse, Money, Blue/Silk/Chartreuse Swirl, and black/orange.
* Catfish improved this week along Little River. For several weeks the blues, flatheads and channels were fair to good on trotlines, yo-yos and tight lines. Spoiled chicken livers and gizzards, cut buffalo and shad, homemade cheese dough baits and King's Punch Bait have all been working over the past week.
* Numerous bream beds are being observed in many locations on Millwood Lake, from Millwood State Park, the golf course pockets on west end, and in the oxbows along Little River. Largemouth bass are hanging nearby also to these bream beds and will hit a bream-colored square-bill crankbait. The bream were hitting on redworms, crickets and bread at Millwood State Park a few days ago, just off the banks. It's a good time to take a kid bream fishing on Millwood Lake!
(updated 5-26-2022) Lake Erling Guide Service (870-904-8546) reports the lake is clear and high. The water is on the rise and running over the spillway by 4 inches as of Wednesday afternoon . Bream are excellent on redworms or crickets. Crappie are good and are in deeper water. Use minnows or hand-tied jigs. Black bass are schooling on shallow points chasing shad. The bite is good. Catfish are still excellent on minnows and cut bait.
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 546.95 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).
(updated 5-5-2022) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) has been spending some time at Greeson in addition to fishing DeGray Lake, and said crappie fishing is great here, as it is at DeGray. “Most of the panfish are almost done with their spawn and starting to stack up on the brushpiles. We’ve been catching most of our fish with minnows under corks 8 feet deep.”
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 408.08 feet msl (full pool: 408.00 feet msl).
(updated 5-5-2022) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) rated the crappie fishing “great.” Most of the panfish are almost done with their spawn and starting to stack up on the brushpiles, he said. “We’ve been catching most of our fish with minnows under corks 8 feet deep.”=
De Queen Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 437.54 feet msl (full pool: 437.00 feet msl).
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 529.12 feet msl (full pool: 526.00 feet msl).
White Oak Lake Area
(update 5-5-2022) Curtis Willingham at River Rat Bait in Camden (870-231-3831) said that bream are good on redworms and crickets.
(updated 5-19-2022) Donald Ramirez at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said the lake, as is the schedule every May, has just been fertilized. The clarity, he says, is “semi-clear” and the water level is 1 foot high. Anglers will notice the green tint to the water from the fertilizing this month, but AGFC biologists have said in the past that this should not affect the bite.
Bream are good on redworms. Crappie went back into their hiding spots, with no reports coming in. Black bass are fair; try a topwater lure or a frog. Still no reports on catfish.
(updated 5-12-2022) Slycked Back Fishing LLC, producer of the world’s toughest and Arkansas-built fishing products in Hot Springs, reports Lake Catherine’s temps finally reaching into the low to mid-60s in most areas. Catherine has produced a TON of high poundage sacks this spring with some topping 20 pounds. The spawn is starting to become a thing of the past and the fishing is changing rapidly. Water clarity has been stained for most of the last month but should become clear shortly. The bass are transitioning from shallow to deep areas of the lake, and current is always key. Although colder temps in Catherine may say otherwise, topwater is already picking up! Whopper Ploppers, Spooks, poppers and buzzbaits are getting hotter in the shallower areas.
If you plan on fishing deeper water or drop-offs, then the drop-shot rig tipped with a silver fluke or even a flutter spoon is hard to beat. The night bite is getting good as the days get warmer, so keep that in mind when planning to be on the water. Chatter-style baits and large-profiled jigs will be effective in the coming weeks.
Lake Catherine Tailwater (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro
(updated 5-26-2022) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that Lake Ouachita is now well clear of flood pool levels and all area lakes have been returned to normal summertime pool. Entergy has established a 5-hour generation schedule starting Friday, May 27, through Monday, May 30, of 3,600 cfs from the hours of noon-5 p.m. This plan will allow safe boating and fishing below Carpenter Dam for the first time in weeks since the heavy rains of April and May. Rainbow trout are present in the tailrace in very good numbers and being caught on PowerBaits and live presentations from boat and bank anglers. Waxworms and mealworms are working well fished under a bobber or just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Redworms and nightcrawlers provide quality results presented in the same manner. Big numbers of white bass are migrating into the tailrace to spawn and have been caught in periods of generation by trolling shallow-running crankbaits against the current. Hybrid bass are mixed in white bass schools and being caught on one-eighth-ounce jigs in white or gray colors. Dry weather has been forecasted for the next week, which will give the public an opportunity to utilize area lakes that have been at high levels for weeks. Always wear a life jacket when on the water and follow all park regulations when visiting Carpenter Dam. Be ready to show up-to-date fishing licenses when asked by Arkansas Game and Fish Commission wildlife officers.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s flow at Dardanelle Lock and Dam as 131,204 cfs. Elevation was 337.42 feet msl, with the tailwater at 300.35 feet msl. (Top navigation pool is 338.2 and bottom pool is 336.0.) The stage is at 19.61 feet (flood stage is 32 feet).
(updated 5-26-2022) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas-born-and-bred Xpress, all-welded aluminum fishing boats in Hot Springs, reports Lake Hamilton at full pool with water clarity slightly stained due to recent rainfall. Most areas below the U.S. Highway 270 bridge are 80 degrees surface temperature. Bass (especially largemouth) have been "on go" the last few weeks. Bass have taken up positions in semi-deep waters (14-25 feet) on points and structure near current, like brushpiles, bridges and docks. Jigs, drop-shot rigs with mainly a fluke or a drop-shot worm in green pumpkin have put lots of good, healthy largemouth and chunky spotted bass in the baot during daylight hours. When night starts to fall, and darkness sets in, the bass are just as good in very shallow areas and flats. Targeting these fish with large, noisy topwater baits like buzzbaits, Whopper Ploppers or Colorado-bladed spinners in dark colors is a ton of fun!
Crappie and bream have been decent lately with the two species mixed in and suspended over brush and under deeper docks at 12-22 feet. A live minnow is always good in the morning and evenings and jigs in variations of pink/chartreuse and white work fair during the daytime. When targeting bream, look to worms and crickets. Catfish reports have been very good of late. Cut bait and live bait for flatheads, and stink bait and cheese hunks for blue and channel cats have been pulling more cats this year! Target ditches in 15-30 feet of water and put it on the edge of the biggest drop-off you can find.
Use caution on Hamilton while fishing, folks. Pleasure traffic is high and getting higher (even at night). Please wear your life jackets, kill switches and have your navigation lights. Watch out for other boaters (they may not be watching for you!). We have already had one fatality in the last week that could have been prevented!
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 358.55 feet msl (normal pool: 344.96 feet msl; top flood elevation is 373.0 feet msl).
(updated 5-26-2022) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said Thursday morning that Nimrod is now clear but the level remains high. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Crappie are being found in 8-10 feet depth and around brushpiles, with minnows and black/chartreuse jigs still your best bets. Black bass are fair, and anglers are having their best success with Zoom Worms while fishing off points on the original shoreline. Catfish are good; set up your limblines and jigs in shallow water baited with the usual catfish attractants.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 575.96 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 5-26-2022) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) said water temperature was as warm as 78 degrees, but now is back down to 70. "We're still catching crappie but with all the weather changes, they don't know if they want to be shallow (fish minnows 8 feet deep in 15 feet of water on brushpiles) or deeper near even deeper channels (fish minnows or jigs 14 feet deep on 24 feet of water on brushpiles). Be safe on the water. Rest assured, catfish and walleye will be coming soon if not feeding up already."
(updated 5-26-2022) Anglers from Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood took the opportunity of the high, swift water on the Arkansas River’s Little Rock pool this week to check out Lake Ouachita again. They report that bass are good in the grass on Texas-rigged Senkos or shallow-running square-bill crankbaits.
(updated 5-26-2022) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) said black bass are still good. The topwater bite is in full swing. Boy Howdies, Zara Spooks and Whopper Ploppers are producing some good fish right now. Nightfishign with a black spinnerbait is good, too. Walleye are good. A swim jig or Shad Rap is working best for these fish. Stripers are still very good. Live bait and trolling hair jigs are working best at this time on the central amd eastern parts of the lake. Bream are excellent on crickets or worms 10-15 feet deep. Crappie are good on small jigs or minnows. Try brush 10-20 feet deep. Catfish are very good on jugs or trotlines with cut bait, shad or live bream.<meta charset="utf-8">
Water temperature ranges from 74-78 degrees. The clarity is clear. Lake level on Thursday was 575.67 feet msl, almost a foot below this time a week ago. Call the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717, or Chris Darby, 870-867-7822) for more information.
Blue Mountain Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 398.73 feet msl (full pool: 387.00 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 down slightly from a week ago, sitting at 27.75 feet, or almost 2 feet above the flood stage of 26.00 feet.
(updated 5-19-2022) Kent Williams of Oxbow Guide Service (870-278-7978) said water clarity at Horseshoe remains good. Water temperature was 75 degrees on Tuesday. The lake is still falling just a little. Crappie are in their post-spawn pattern. The bite has been tough this past week with most days seeing 25-30 fish as a normal haul. The bite is light on most fish but persistence pays off. “There are shad all over the lake and I think it’s part of the problem. The pads are getting above the waters surface and there are fish in them.
“I haven’t spoken with any of the bass fishermen this past week but we have caught several bass while fishing pads.”
Catfish remain in the shallows. “We’ve hung several of them in the pads or while fishing trees.”
No reports on bream.
(updated 5-19-2022) Wil Hafner, facility manager at Potlatch Cooks Lake Nature Center (870-241-3373), said high water continues to keep access to the lake closed.
Bear Creek Lake/Storm Creek Lake
(updated 5-19-2022) Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) had no new reports.