July 14, 2022
Jim Harris Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine
Reports are updated weekly, although some reports may be published for two weeks if updates are not received promptly or if reporters say conditions haven’t changed. Contact the reporter for current news for the lake or stream you plan to fish.
TOP AND LEFT: Rob Goshien forwarded to us a photo of his daughter's first fish, which she caught last week. She landed this 5.2-pound bass on a cricket "all by herself," the proud papa reported. "She has a love for fishing, and we had been catching a lot of big bream on beds," Rob says.
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
Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir
(updated 7-14-2022) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) reported that the lake has its normal stain and as of Thursday morning was back at a normal level. No surface temperature was recorded. Bream remain good on redworms, crickets, Dynamax jigs and waxworms. Crappie are fair. Try the usual minnows and jigs, but also give a try to a Spicy Mustard Crappie Magnet. They report it “is doing really well.” Black bass are good on a variety of favored baits. Anglers have suggested spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, 6½- to 7½-inch worms, creature baits, lizards, a swimbait or jigs. Catfish are good on stink bait, dough bait, trotline minnows and goldfish.
Little Red River
The Army Corps of Engineers reports the outflow at Greers Ferry Dam to be 20 cfs (turbine) as of 1 p.m. Thursday, July 14. Generation on Wednesday was 3-8 p.m. and averaged 6,200 cfs (the generators kick on at about 2 p.m. at 324 cfs). Greers Ferry Lake is 1.8 feet below normal conservation pool. The tailwater was steady at 267.03 feet msl. 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 7-14-2022) Mike Winkler of Little River Fly Fishing Trips (501-507-3688) said the Southwestern Power Administration (www.swpa.org) has been running a consistent generation schedule of late from Greers Ferry Lake dam. Throughout the week, SWPA has been running two units of water usually starting at 2 p.m. and running till 7 p.m.
“I'd expect to see this generation schedule continue as long as the temperatures in Arkansas remain in the 90s with triple-digit heat indexes. The weekend generation schedule has been somewhat similar, with some reduced flows.”
Always check the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock app for generation schedule before heading out.
With heat indexes in the triple digits and daytime temps in the upper 90s, this can be stressful on the fish. With reduced water flows on the weekends, try to quickly get the fish in and try not to overplay them.
The best bite has been early morning before it gets hot. Try fishing the deep holes and oxygenated riffles. Fishing the falling water has been great from the boat. Small pheasant tail nymphs, Guide's Choice Hare’s Ear and midges have been producing.
(updated 7-14-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said trout are good in the mornings on No. 5 Rapala Countdowns in rainbow or brown trout color and eighth-ounce Maribou Jig in olive color and pink Trout Magnets and Rooster Tails.
(updated 7-14-2022) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service (501-230-0730) said that as of this writing Wednesday, the recent pattern from the Greers Ferry Dam has been six hours generation on weekdays starting early afternoon and a couple hours’ generation on weekends. “This pattern is creating good wading opportunities on the Little Red River starting on the upper river in the mornings and working your way down to the lower river accesses in the afternoon,” Lowell said. “For Micah and others fishing the Little Red we suggest pheasant tails, hare’s ear and midges for fly-fishing. For Trout Magnet fishing, go with hot pink and cotton-candy-colored bodies on chartreuse or gold jigheads.
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 the generation schedule forecast.
Greers Ferry Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 460.73 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.54 feet msl, top flood elevation 487.0 msl).
(updated 7-14-2022) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 460.89 feet msl, or 1.65 feet below normal pool for this time of year of 462.54 feet msl. “Water temp is HOT but fish are eating, of course. Crappie are all over the place eating at 40 feet and a lot are on the bottom at 10 feet for this time of year, which is odd but it is happening. Use minnows, live bait and crankbaits, and jigs are working.”
Tommy says bream are guarding fry again and are very active with the moon, shallow out to 20 feet. Fish them with crickets, crankbaits, inline spinners or crawlers. Catfish are eating hot dogs, soap, live and cut bait all over the lake and rivers. Black bass are still good, shallow out to 50 feet. They’re eating a variety of baits, from top to bottom. Hybrid and white bass are eating on and off just like the rest around the clock, 25-50 feet on spoons, inline spinners and live bait.
(updated 7-14-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood got back up to Greers Ferry Lake and reported that water is about 1-1.5 feet low and the clarity is clear. Crappie are good in 20-30 feet of water around standing timber in the middle of creeks and rivers. The walleye have been good by trolling bottom bouncers and crankbaits.
Harris Brake Lake
(updated 7-14-2022) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) said Thursday morning the water is muddy and the level remains low. Still, bream continue to bite well on redworms and crickets. Black bass are fair, but no baits were suggested. Catfish are good at night on the trotlines baited with chicken liver or goldfish. No reports on crappie.
(updated 6-30-2022) Lacey Williams at Lakeview Landing on Arkansas Highway 95 (501-242-1437) said water levels are still coming down. Visibility is poor now. Crappie are biting on minnows in deep waters, and anglers are catching up to the limit. Bream are biting all over on worms and crickets. No report on catfish.
(update 7-14-2022) David Hall at Dad’s Bait Shop (501-289-2210) says the clarity is a little cloudy but the lake is at a normal level. Bream are being caught around the shoreline on redworms and crickets. They’re also relating to the brushpiles. Crappie are deep in the channel and spider-rigging is good. Minnows and chartreuse/white jigs will also work. The overall crappie bite is good. Black bass are being found shallow and are biting well. The best approach is a white spinnerbait. Catfish are good on goldfish and black salties.
Dad’s is a 24/7 self-serve bait shop.
(updated 7-15-2022) WestRock Landing in Roland (501-658-5598) said the fishing slowed way down after the full moon and less wind around the lake, so there have been no good reports at midweek at Lake Maumelle. Earlier this week, the bream were good. Bream are on their beds and anglers were catching 50 but only keeping or less. As the week moved on, it became a tough bite. Crappie are fair. They are still out deep in 20-25 feet biting on jigs. Black bass were good before the full moon and have slowed down. Bass are being found in 18-22 feet depth and some are reported to be still shallow. The best bite is early in the morning and late in the evening. White bass are slow. Reports of them schooling for a few seconds and moving on. Tuesday night's black bass fishing tournament reflected a decent bite with Josh Baker and Josh Jeffers catching a 5-bass stringer of 16.48 pounds to win. That included the Big Bass of 3.94 pounds. Brandon Crain and Matt Hedrick were runners-up with an 11.30-pound bag. Call WestRock Landing for more information on competing in the tournament.
(updated 7-14-2022) Hatchet Jack’s Sports Shop at Crystal Hill (501-758-4958) reports that crappie are good on minnows and jigs.
(updated 6-30-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said bass are good on watermelon red wacky worms or spinnerbaits anywhere there is wind.
Arkansas River at Morrilton
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Ormond Lock and Dam was 3,121 cfs. The stage was down to 9.64 Thursday. Flow further upriver at Dardanelle Lock and Dam was 36,004 cfs.
Little Maumelle River
(updated 7-14-2022) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) says his report has not changed from last week. The river remains clear and at a normal level. Crappie are good and seem to have found a consistent depth, 6 feet. Use the usual minnow or jig. Black bass are good, with anglers using crankbaits or a soft plastic worm. He has heard no reports on bream or catfish for a couple of weeks.
Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Toad Suck Lock and Dam was 2,192 cfs.
Arkansas River (Little Rock Area Pools)
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Murray Lock and Dam was 47 cfs, and the stream gauge stage was falling at 7.45 feet. The tailwater is at 231.02 feet msl. Flow at the Terry Lock and Dam was 20 cfs.
(updated 7-14-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) says water is stained, but clearing up, and flow is about normal. Bass are good, and getting better, on Texas-rigged ribbon-tailed worms and deep-diving crank bait in 6-10 feet. Also try finesse jigs in quarter-ounce or eighth-ounce sizes, and fish from the middle to ends of the jetties. Also, bass are good in the evenings on Spooks and buzzbaits.
(updated 7-14-2022) Hatchet Jack’s Sports Shop at Crystal Hill (501-758-4958) says anglers have reported catching crappie in good numbers using minnows and jigs. Catfish are good on shad and skipjack.
(updated 7-7-2022) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said reports they were hearing were similar to last week. Bream are good on redworms and crickets in 4-5 feet of water around the riprap below the Murray Lock and Dam. Catfish are excellent below both Terry and Murray dams using cut shad. Bass are good early in the morning on topwater baits and Bandit Crankbaits.
Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 7-7-2022) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said Thursday morning that the lake lives up to its name in clarity, and the level is normal. Bream have been good for a while now on redworms and crickets. Catfish are fair using skipjack. Still no reports on crappie or black bass of late. Clear Lake is a private lake but has a for-pay public boat launch just off Highway 161.
(update 7-14-2022) Donna Mulherin at Herman’s Landing (870-626-6899) said the lake is clear. The level is low but no stumps are showing. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair for anglers who are trolling. Catfish are good using usual catfish baits. No reports on black bass.
(updated 7-14-2022) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said Bull Shoals Dam releases have slowed only a little “so we still have high water and a fairly fast current here on the White River. If a pattern has developed, it is morning generation of about 12,000 cfs (four generators), increasing to five or more generators (15,000 to 16,000 cfs) in the afternoon. The lake level is at 675.85 feet msl and dropping.
“The fluctuating water levels require a variety of baits. The staples will include yellow and green PowerBait, quarter-ounce brown trout Thomas Buoyant Spoons and a Rapala Countdown (the brook trout is kickin' it right now). A cup of nightcrawlers or redworms is a must for fishing off the bank. Looks like the brass-colored spoons and spinners are working well, brass Colorados, and brass-colored Blue Foxes have caught some nice rainbows. My secret this week? A blue-backed Rapala HJ10 minnow.
“The only thing that could make a summer day on the White River any better than we're experiencing now is a grand slam catch of trout. Catch a brown, a rainbow, a brook and a cutthroat in one day and you can crow about your grand slam catch.
“Now, with tiger trout being stocked, let's call for a Grand Slam Plus One!
“As memorable as a great catching day might be, a day on the river is priceless with or without a trophy. Come and experience one of the many sunny, gorgeous summer days we enjoy here in the Arkansas Ozarks at Cotter.”
(updated 7-14-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service said that during the past week they had a couple of minor rain events that combined for just a trace of rainfall in Cotter, brutally hot temperatures (to include heat advisories) and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell 3.3 feet to rest at 15.5 feet above power pool of 661.13 feet msl. This is 18.4 feet below the top of the flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock Lake rose 0.7 foot to rest at 0.1 foot below power pool and 14.7 feet below the top of the flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 1.1 feet to rest at 4.3 feet above power pool or 4.3 feet below the top of the flood pool. The White has had no wadable water. Norfork Lake fell 2.3 feet to rest at 8.6 feet above power pool of 555.88 feet msl and 15.5 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork tailwater has had no wadable water during the day. The water level for the top of power pool has been reset higher for all of the lakes in the White River system. Most of the lakes in the White River system are now well above power pool. With the current lake levels, expect high water all summer. The prediction for the lakes to reach power pool is Sept. 5.
On the White, the hot spot has been the catch-and-release section below Bull Shoals Dam. “We have had much heavier flows,” John says. 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 a cerise San Juan worm with a girdle bug.”
John also said, “(Two weeks ago) my wife's sister, Terri, came to Cotter to do some kayaking. A few weeks ago she visited and bought a new kayak at the kayak shop in Cotter and had never taken it out. Her husband, Larry, joined her but instead of kayaking he painted my house.
“What kind of brother in law paints your house? The good kind!
“I had previously done some major home improvements to enclose my front porch and renovate my back porch. In doing so, I had painted a lot of the house but had never painted the eaves (which required a tall ladder and no fear of high places). He also painted five windows and changed the color of the related storm windows to match the new windows on my porches that I had neglected to paint during my renovations. All of this was accomplished during a heat wave.
“While we were painting, my wife, Lori, and Terri decided to kayak the White River, with our neighbor Shelley. They chose to float the section from White Hole to Cotter. Lori wanted to scout out the section to identify any fishing opportunities. She had never kayaked it before.
“They were generating about 17,000 cfs, or the equivalent of 5½ full generators. That is a lot of water. Minimum flow on the White is 700 cfs. The temperature was about 80 degrees when they started but promised to rise to 95. It was very sunny and there was little if any wind. They took plenty of water and sunscreen and wore light shorts, lightweight fishing shirts and big hats. They started as early as they could.
“They quickly found that the river was very busy with a lot of fishing boats due to the Fourth of July weekend quickly approaching. The high water was not a problem. The big riverboats with massive jet outboard motors were. They are quite noisy and generate a substantial wake that is much higher than the sides of most kayaks.
“There were some boats that were very polite and slowed down when they passed the kayakers. There were others that did not slow down at all and passed the kayaks at full speed, sending a high wake toward the ladies. To avoid swamping, they quickly turned their boats to face the wakes head on. They did not enjoy this.
“How can this be acceptable behavior? Kayaks do not have motors and cannot react as quickly as motorboats. Boats with no power source have the right of way. We are a center for aquatic sports. We have a local kayak shop and several outfitters that cater to canoes and kayaks. This is a valuable component to our local economy. If we cannot politely work with canoes and kayaks, our businesses will suffer.
“We are better than this. Slow down and respect all boats. Treat them like your mother was in it.”
(updated 7-14-2022) Dave McCulley, owner of Jenkins Fishing Service in Calico Rock, said fishing has been good this week. The river levels have remained high as both Bull Shoals and Norfork dams continue running eight generators (Bull Shoals) and one to two generators (Norfork). Drift-fishing with inline spinners with sunrise or orange power eggs and shrimp has worked best this week. With the swift water, to ensure the bait reaches the bottom of the river, using two No. 7 weights works well. Deep-diving crankbaits such as Rapala Shad Raps in the deeper holes have produced some nice 18-inch-plus brown trout and rainbows. Throwing shallow-diving baits such as Rapala Countdowns or gold spoons on the shallow shoals have also worked well.
“This week we had two trout stockings at the Calico Rock boat ramp for a total of 2,400 rainbow trout, and Chessmond Ferry received a stocking of 1,200 trout. In addition to the fish caught, there have been reports of trophy brown trout following the bait to boat or breaking a line, plus there have been sightings of a couple of nice-sized golden rainbow trout.
“The weather is going to remain very hot. The fish don’t seem to mind the heat, but it can be tough on the fishermen. Stay hydrated, wear a hat and use sunscreen. A cooling towel dipped in the mid-50-degree water does a great job of helping to cool off.”
Bull Shoals Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 675.28 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 661.50 feet msl; top flood elevation is 695.00 feet msl). Total outflow from the dam at 1 p.m. Thursday was 17,594 cfs, and releases have been constant for the past few weeks. The reported lake elevation at Table Rock Lake was 915.78 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 916.58 feet msl; top flood elevation is 931.0 feet msl), with outflow of 4,058 cfs.
(updated 7-14-2022) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said the lake is 16 feet high (675 feet msl). The parking lots and boat ramps are starting to emerge. The surface water temperature is 85 degrees, give or take a degree. He says the typical summer patterns are working. There are always shallow fish but the heat and falling water has lots of bait over the old river. Target channel swings and ledges close to deep water. There is an early topwater bite; Del likes an LC Gunfish “for busting fish.” When topwater slows, a half-ounce flutter spoon in a shad pattern, small swim bait or drop-shot the fish. Fish are in 20-40 feet over 50-70 feet. Most of the shad are under 3 inches suspended in 20-25 feet. Almost all species are present under bigger shad balls. There appears to be fish throughout the top half of the water column.
The creek fish have pulled back with the water coming down. The topwater bite will slow when the sun starts getting high. Move out, hopping a Jewel Special Ops Football Jig in green pumpkin or orange, or a Ned rig in green pumpkin variations, and keep the boat out around 30 feet. A lot of fish are feeding on the old shoreline.
Del regularly posts new YouTube videos. Visit his 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 563.79 feet msl (normal conservation pool: Sept.-April, 553.75 feet msl; April-Sept. 556.25 feet msl; top flood elevation 580.0 feet msl). Total outflow from Norfork Dam at 1 p.m. Thursday was 2,762 cfs, and releases over the past 36 hours have ranged from 2,700-2,800.
(updated 7-14-2022) Steven “Scuba Steve” Street at Blackburn’s Resort said the lake level is 564 feet msl and has dropped 9 feet from its high of 573 feet msl on June 6. The Army Corps of Engineers has slowed down generation for the last couple of days, dropping the White River at Newport. The surface water temperature is 88-89 degrees and the thermocline is at 23 feet. The water is clear down to about 18 feet and gets cloudy down to about 28 feet where the water gets cold. The best bite continues to be in the early morning just before sunrise and continues to about 8 a.m. on temperate bass that are on shad with some walleye and black bass with them. They are shallow, about 30-45 feet down, and then go deeper after sunrise and disappear after that. They can be at any depth. A few bass are surfacing but are mostly small. Some fish are still at or near the thermocline in the cloudy mudline on main lake points, and some Kentucky bass are coming in shallow in the evening to feed on creek minnows and crawdads. Spoons are the best overall lures in deeper water.
Night fishermen are doing well on black bass using a black light and salt craws. Use creature baits on bass on a jighead shallow or a plastic worm.
The moon is full, the lake is dropping and the catfishing is just fair to poor until the moon wanes and the lake stabilizes. Overall the lake is in excellent condition for boating, fishing and swimming.
For a daily fishing report and lake condition go to www.blackburnsresort.com and click on Scuba Steve's Blog.
(updated 7-14-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Norfork Lake fell 2.3 feet to rest at 8.6 feet above power pool of 555.88 feet msl and 15.5 feet below the top of flood pool. The water level for the top of power pool has been reset higher for all of the lakes in the White River system. Most of the lakes in the White River system are now well above power pool. With the current lake levels, expect high water all summer. The prediction for the lakes to reach power pool is Sept. 5.
There has been no wadable water on the Norfork tailwater and it fished poorly. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns like zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead). Grasshoppers have produced fish, particularly when used in conjunction with a small nymph dropper (try a size 20 black zebra midge). Double-fly nymph rigs have been effective when the fishing is on. Try a small bead-head nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended 18 inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise).
Dry Run Creek has fished moderately. School is out and the creek is busy. 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.
Buffalo National River/Crooked Creek
(updated 7-14-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Crooked Creek and the Buffalo River are low. With hot temperatures, the smallmouths are less 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 1,125.25 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.43 feet msl; top flood elevation is 1,130.0 feet msl). The Corps released about 3,800 cfs between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. on Wednesday and began similar releases at 10 a.m. Thursday with the flow hitting 3,815 at 1 p.m.
(updated 7-14-2022) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) said Beaver Lake is still on a steady drop and remains very warm, in and around the upper 80s. “Fishing is fair to good depending on your targets. Crappie are good on trolled crankbaits. This will remain throughout the summer months. Best crankbaits are baits that will run to around 12-15 feet of water. Look for big flats adjacent to the main channels. White cranks. The added bonus is that you will pick up multiple species. “Lately the catfish have been up in the water column and chasing shad. These are nice-sized eater cats anywhere from 2 to 10 pounds. The Bandit 300 in bluegill color has been best on the catfish. Crappie have been hitting all colors and that is a pointer – find a color they want; each day it seems different.
“Stripers are good. Live bait is the key. Fish are moving towards the dam. Look at main points very early and late into the night. Walleye are hit and miss on crawler harnesses, and this too will continue till fall. Look again for humps and flats near deep water; 20-25 feet has been where they have been caught. Bream are good. Lots of opportunities for bowfishing. Stay safe and hydrated! Have a great week!”
Check out Jon’s Facebook page for latest updates, FishOn Guide Service Goshen AR.
(updated 7-14-2022) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the lake is clear and has a surface temperature ranging 89-91 degrees. Water level remains high.
Walleye are fair and are deep, biting worms and grubs. Bream are excellent on redworms or crickets. Crappie have picked up, with good catches of late. Trolling crankbaits and grubs have been suggested, along with minnows. Black bass are being caught deep in good numbers. Try jigs, worms and swimbaits. Catfish picked up nicely with good results. Cut bait and live minnows will work best.
(updated 7-14-2022) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said this week has been good on the tailwater. The Army Corps of Engineers still has been generating pretty much starting at 10 a.m., but that has not stopped the bite. In fact, it increases the bite in most cases.
“Most of our fish were caught using light terminal tackle, and Pautzke Fire Bait. When the sun moved higher in the sky, we would switch it over to quarter-ounce spoons and coat the spoons using Pautzke Fire Gel. Try letting the spoon sink a bit before retrieving due to the water still being a little deep. The water levels are returning to normal for the most part. If we can get some overcast or rainy days, the bite should pick up a lot!”
This week’s hot spot for trout has been above Spider Creek. Try hitting the deeper holes and looking for slack water during generation. The white bass and walleye are still up toward Holiday island, but you need to look for them. Jigging live minnows off of points and humps has done the trick. There are still quite a few males in the river, so get after them.
“Remember, for additional tips, visit my fishing Facebook page (Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service). Hope you all are able to get out and catch some fish!”
(updated 7-14-2022) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said Thursday that the lake has stained clarity and the water level is normal. Bream are excellent on redworms or crickets. Crappie are good on minnows or jigs. Black bass are good on crankbaits, plastic worms and frogs. Catfish are good with anglers reporting catching them on glow worms.
(updated 7-7-2022) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said Thursday that the clarity remains stained but the lake has fallen off again and is now at a low level. Bream are fair on redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair with minnows or jigs, as well as trolling. Black bass are good both early in the day and late in the evening, but they are pretty selective on what they’ll eat. Try a soft plastic worm, or throw a topwater before it’s really hot. Catfishing is good; chicken liver, nightcrawlers and prepared catfish bait are working best.
(updated 7-14-2022) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) said that fishing for bream continues to top all the anglers’ lists at Lake Charles, with fair fishing for other species. Bream are good on worms and jigs. Crappie are fair on minnows, jigs and worms. Best results seem to be on chartreuse-colored jigs. Black bass are fair using topwater baits or a soft plastic worm. Catfishing is fair; try worms, blood bait or chicken liver.
Shelly wants anglers to know that the best days to fish based on “moon times” will fall July 25-31, and in August the best period is forecast to be Aug. 24-30. Look for good fishing days Aug. 8-14.
The lake is murky and at a normal level. Surface temperature on Monday was 82 degrees.
(updated 7-7-2022) Seth Boone, the superintendent at Lake Poinsett State Park, says the bream are biting well. Catfish have started hitting on worms and some livers. Bass, while catch-and-release, are biting on topwater early in the morning and late evening. They are biting on swimbaits sporadically. Crappie have been more docile at this time.
(updated 7-14-2022) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) reported Thursday morning that the water is clear and is low by 2-3 feet. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. No reports on crappie. Black bass are good on topwater lures and on size 12 minnows. Catfish are good on nightcrawlers.
(updated 7-14-2022) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) said water levels have been at 360 cfs and water clarity has been clear. The trout have been biting great on Pat’s Rubber Legs and Y2Ks, but you’ve got to get to the bottom. With the heat on full blast, the fish have been hugging the river bottom trying to stay cool.
“On a good day, Hopper Droppers are fun to fish but as soon as the sun starts blaring you’ve got to start nymphing. Shawn and the guys like to indicator nymph, and we have been tight-lining in Hunters and my boats watching the trout chase the fly down at the end of the swing.
“The smallie bite has been good with the clear conditions. Once again it's about dropping down around the falls and getting down to the fish. Crawfish and minnow patterns have been the favs. And for smallies, Popper Droppers work. Just make sure the dropper is getting to the bottom!
“Saturdays on the Spring have been busy with floaters. Get out early and beat the hatch! The river is very cold and refreshing during this heat.”
Check out Mark’s blog (springriverfliesandguides.com/blog) for the latest river conditions.
(updated 7-14-2022) 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. Canoe season is in full swing and the boats and rafts are here. 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 falling at 9.64 feet, more than 5 feet below the flood stage of 15.0 feet. The Newport stage was falling at 12.69 feet (flood stage was 26.00 feet). The stage at Augusta is falling at 24.92 feet, which is more than a foot below the flood stage of 26.00 feet.
(updated 7-14-2022) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) in Batesville said the river remains high and muddy, and they had no recent 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 45 cfs. The stage at Pine Bluff is steady at 31.08 feet (flood stage is 42 feet). Further upriver at the C.D. Maynard Lock and Dam near Redfield, the flow was 465 cfs.
(updated 7-14-2022) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team had no report this week.
Cane Creek Lake
(updated 7-14-2022) 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 259.71 feet msl (normal pool: 259.20 feet msl; top flood elevation is 287.0 feet msl). Total outflow at the dam is 878 cfs, an amount being steadily released this week.
(updated 7-14-2022) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said that as of Tuesday, Millwood Lake is 4 inches above normal conservation pool, at 259.5 feet msl and stable. Clarity improved this week along Little River and the oxbows. Millwood Lake tailwater elevation is near 225 feet msl with gate discharge at the dam around 1,000 cfs in Little River, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. Check the most recent lake level of Millwood Lake the guide service’s website linked above, or the Army Corps of Engineers website, for updated gate release changes and inflow rates with rising and falling lake levels. Watch for random floaters and broken timber during any navigation on Little River and Millwood Lake with discharge rates and fluctuations in flow conditions in Little River, and any time high gate discharge conditions exist.
Surface temps are stable this week, ranging in 88-93 degrees depending on location and the time of day. Lots of Little River buoy markers along the main lake channel have been replaced, yet may have moved with recent gate changes at the Millwood Dam and high wind. Use caution in navigation.
Current along Little River has normal stain levels this week with reduced discharge release at the dam, and river clarity ranging 5-10 inches visibility depending on location. Clarity of oxbows is normal stain, visibility is about 20-30 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 these latest reports on fishing specifics, adding that he and the Millwood Guide Service team are only fishing half-days until the heat wave subsides:
* Largemouth bass have slowed over the past few weeks with all the dog day summer heat, and are fair and best at early mornings and late evenings, with best activity in oxbows up Little River early in the morning and late in the day. Bass have been moving horizontally out to deeper water drops and vertical structures during heat of the afternoons; they are finding them shallow to stumps, vegetation, lily pads, cypress knees at dawn, early and late. Bass have been very good on topwater lures for the past couple of weeks around emerging new lily pad stands and vegetation at daylight. Chunky 2- to 3-pound bass have been striking various topwater lures on shallow flats near stumps and laydowns early for the past few weeks. Good bass will randomly bust a buzzbait, Bass Assassin Shad or topwater plastic frogs in the pads early. Big, 7- to 10-inch bulky Brush Hogs, as well as Bass Assassin Bang RSB 7.25-inch worms and XX Fat Job Trick Worms, are working, with best colors over the past couple weeks being Candy Bug, Gooseberry, Junebug/red or Redbug.
Several schools of juvenile largemouths from 1.5-2.5 pounds each were surface-breaking on shad early at daylight (around 6:30 a.m.) in Mud Lake on the back drop near the long point toward the cypress trees this week. These schooling juveniles ranged in size from 10-14 inches and would jump out of the water to bust a Cordell Crazy Shad, Pop-R or Boy Howdy. Best colors were chrome/black back, Threadfin Shad or Bone.
Late morning after the sun gets up above the tree line (around 10 a.m.), largemouths are gravitating toward creek channels, deeper ditches, and drops of vertical structure where flats drop into 12-15 feet zones. The oxbows over the past couple weeks have had the best water clarity and will produce best topwater reactions. Slow deflections off stumps with a Bill Lewis SB57 or Echo 1.75 square-bill crankbaits in Millwood Magic, Ghost Minnow and Bluegill colors will draw random reactions on the flats near drops into deeper creek bends. Brazalo Spinnerbaits in Spot Remover, Millwood Mayhem Bream and Hot Mouse are working for nice 2- to 3-pounders near stumps in 3-6 feet deep.
Bass Assassin Shads continue catching nice bass and best colors for the past few weeks include Salt n Pepper Silver Phantom, Houdini and 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.
* The white bass schools are still random and broken, although a few random white bass have been found up Little River. Areas behind points where a little bit of current in Little River remains are holding a few broken schools that Mike and crew found hitting on hammered Cordell Spoons with a white/chartreuse bucktail, along with a few Kentucky bass, where washouts, ditches or creek dumps exist from 12-16 feet of depth with stumps. White Cliffs campground area and points with drains into Little River gave up a few more whites. Entrance to Snake Creek, Jack's Isle and Hurricane Creek had a few white bass in random action. Reactions were fair on Cordell Hammered Spoons with a white bucktail one day, red bucktail the next day. Bomber Fat Free Shads, Fat Free Fingerlings and Model A Crankbaits in Citrus Shad and Tennessee Shad, or Flat A's in Silver Flash or Pearl Shad, were working late last week, but cranks did not perform as well as the vertical-dropped spoons into the white bass schools as of late.
* Nothing consistent this week with the crappie. They’ve been hit or miss over the past couple of weeks, biting good one day, random and few the next. Crappie have been suspended in and over planted brush piles in 13-17 feet depth in the oxbows and along Little River over the past several weeks. Not much changed over the past week – very random, with the best bite from daylight to around 9 a.m. Best colors working 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.
* With the reduction in release at the dam, and much less current along Little River, not much catfish activity has been seen. “We did not see many catfishermen out on the river over the past few days in this heat. Prior and over last several weeks the blues, flatheads and channels were fair on trotlines, yo-yos and tight lines as long as there was a good bit of current along the Little River. Spoiled chicken livers and gizzards,cut buffalo and shad, homemade cheese dough baits and King's Punch Bait were working over the past several weeks. Alligators have been noted being hung up and dragging noodles around after eating the catfish or bait attached for several weeks.
* No report on bream.
(updated 7-14-2022) Lake Erling Guide Service (870-904-8546) is back from vacation, but had no new reports. Catfish for several weeks earlier this summer were good to excellent. Erling has all three species of cats. Bream fishing was good during June, so try a redworm or cricket and see if they are still active, especially with the full moon this week. Look for bass in the shadows around the coves.
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 545.50 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 404.48 feet msl (full pool: 408.00 feet msl).
(updated 7-14-2022) John Duncan of YoYo Guide Service at Iron Mountain Marina said, “What can I say? It is HOT!” He says water temperature is at 90 degrees; the lake level Tuesday was 404.75 feet msl with a slight fall. The lake is clear and very little surface trash to watch for.
“Bream, well I guess this is the best story in town,” John said. “Those guys are doing their thing on the beds right now. Full moon (Wednesday). Look for them on the flats, back of coves, tops of ridges. Run your side-scan or LiveScope perspective view to locate the beds. Draw a waypoint or throw out a marker buoy. Back off and throw drop-shot rigs or slip bobbers to the area and open the ice chest! They should be on the beds for a few more days. Go get ’em.
“Crappie, as you know, are my favorite. The crappie bite is tough. Might want to consider fishing with lights at night to avoid the heat. The bite is best in the early morning. Fish are tight on structure. They are showing up in the brushpiles that are close to the thermocline. It depends upon which part of the lake you are fishing as to the depth of the thermocline. Drop-shot, tight-line minnows or sniping are the best techniques to use this time of year. If you are jigging, go small – 1/32-ounce or smaller. Fish slow, be patient and sweat!
“Some bass surface activity has been showing up in the mornings when it is calm. Lennox Marcus back to Iron Mountain, reports say.
“Hydrate and watch out for others!”
De Queen Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 434.36 feet msl (full pool: 437.00 feet msl).
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 525.70 feet msl (full pool: 526.00 feet msl).
White Oak Lake Area
(update 7-14-2022) Curtis Willingham at River Rat Bait in Camden (870-231-3831) had no reports this week.
(updated 6-30-2022) Donald Ramirez at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said conditions and fishing success are fair to good. The lake clarity is clear, while the lake level is low. Bream are good on redworms, nightcrawlers and crickets. The crappie being caught are small in size and fair in numbers. Use minnows or jigs. Black bass also are small in size with fair fishing. Try Carolina rigs and Texas rigs. Donald has heard of good catfishing on the river. Use black salties and goldfish.
Lake Catherine Tailwater (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro
(updated 7-7-2022) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reported that water temperature below the dam is 65 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace. Rainbow trout fishing remains strong as good numbers of fish are present and feeding consistently from the bridge to the dam. Normally, rainbow trout fishing is over by July, but earlier flooding has kept large numbers of fish in the area that are healthy and thriving in the nutrient-rich waters of Lake Catherine. Live bait presentations such as waxworms and mealworms or redworms fished just off the bottom are working best during times of generation. Little success has been seen using artificial lures as thousands of threadfin shad are in the tailrace, finishing up their yearly spawning run.
White bass have also completed the spawn and are in and out of the tailrace feeding on shad. Small gray or white jigs in one-eighth-ounce sizes have accounted for good catches in the past week while the generators are running. No striper activity has been observed or fish caught to report.
Generation periods are daily but fluctuate at times because of power needs and lack of rainfall. The public can view the flow schedules by going to the Entergy Hydro-Operations website and searching for real-time lake levels. Anyone visiting Carpenter Dam is advised to follow all park rules and regulations and always wear a life jacket when on the water.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s flow at Dardanelle Lock and Dam as 36,004 cfs. Elevation was 337.55 feet msl, with the tailwater at 287.19 feet msl. (Top navigation pool is 338.2 and bottom pool is 336.0.) The stage has fallen to 6.82 feet (flood stage is 32 feet).
(updated 7-14-2022) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas-born-and-bred Xpress, all-welded aluminum fishing boats in Hot Springs, had no new reports.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was at 344.40 feet msl (normal pool: 344.51 feet msl; top flood elevation is 373.0 feet msl).
(updated 7-14-2022) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said Thursday morning that water clarity is clear and the water is at a normal level. Surface water temperature ranges from 85-90 degrees. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs; the preferred jigs appear to be black/chartreuse and Monkey Milk). Crappie are at 5-7 feet depth. Black bass are good using white spinnerbaits and Big Monster Plum Worms. Catfish are biting well on jugs, limb lines and trotlines baited with goldfish or black salties.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 574.74 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 7-14-2022) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) said black bass are fair. Big Texas-rigged worms fished in or near structure are best for these fish, or try a buzzbait-style lure for a topwater bite. Walleye are very good. A three-quarter-ounce CC Spoon vertically jigged near structure should produce some of these fish, and a nightcrawler fished on a drop-shot will work, too. Stripers are still good. Live bait and trolling hair jigs are working best at this time on the eastern part of the lake. Bream are good on crickets or worms 15-25 feet deep on structure. Crappie are good on small jigs or minnows. Try brush at 10-20 feet depth. Catfish are very good on rod and reel, jugs or trotlines with cut bait, shad or nightcrawlers. The water temperature ranges from 88-92 degrees. Water clarity is clear. Lake level Thursday was 574.88 feet msl. Call the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717, or Chris Darby, 870-867-7822) for more information.
(updated 7-14-2022) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) said crappie are doing well. Very early in the morning you can catch them as shallow as 8 feet deep on brushpiles with jigs or minnows. As the sun climbs higher in the sky, fish deeper. Many crappie and catfish have been caught as deep as 20 feet.
Blue Mountain Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 386.16 feet msl (full pool: 387.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 419.0 feet msl).
No reports. Water is down significantly from the middle of last month, however, and is about at normal pool now.
White River/Clarendon Area
The Army Corps of Engineers on Thursday reported the Clarendon gauge is falling at 21.72 feet, or more than 4 feet below the flood stage of 26.00 feet.
(updated 7-7-2022) The AGFC’s Wil Hafner at Cook’s Lake Nature Center (870-241-3373) reports that the White River level at Clarendon has finally dropped enough to access Cook's Lake. Therefore, the lake has been reopened for youth and mobility-impaired fishing. The lake is getting closer to normal pool, creating desirable fishing conditions. Very few anglers have taken advantage of this opportunity but the ones who have, have had good results, including a 9.6-pound largemouth bass caught and released this past weekend. The anglers have been tight-lipped; however, a green pumpkin jig or black and red flake tube should produce many bass bites. The bluegill action is hot near laydowns on crickets, and crappie have been found in the channels fishing with minnows.
Cook’s Lake is a 2.5-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. 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. Please call ahead at least a day in advance to register to fish. Before launching, please check in at the Nature Center classroom and report back before leaving. For information or unscheduled closures, please call the center at 870-241-3373.
Note: msl is mean sea level; cfs is cubic feet per second.