Oct. 27, 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: Randy Thurman of Little Rock went slinging for largemouth and white bass with guide Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake recently. Here's one of his nice white bass (above) and a nice largemouth (left). Both species are back to biting well following last week's cold spell, Siefert says in his report this week, listed under Southwest Arkansas. Back by popular demand, and with some software additions, we're able to provide you with the quick links to take you directly to your favorite section below.
Quick links to regions:
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
Download the Fish Brain app and follow AGFC at: https://join.fishbrain.com/agfc-page
Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir
(updated 10-27-2022) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said crappie are really good on minnows and small jigs (2 inches and smaller). Catfish are good on nightcrawlers, goldfish, stink bait, dough bait, shad, chicken liver, skipjack and shrimp. Black bass are slow on minnows and plastics (creature bait, preferably). Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Water is still low and the normal Lake Conway stain.
(updated 10-27-2022) Hatchet Jack’s Sports Shop in Crystal Hill off I-40 (758-4958) said crappie are good on minnows and jigs.
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. Generation on Wednesday reached maximum flow of 6,285 at 11 a.m. in a two-hour generation and 4,153 at 8 p.m. in 3-hour generation cycle. Greers Ferry Lake is 7.7 feet below normal conservation pool. Check with the Army Corps of Engineers 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 10-27-2022) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service (501-230-0730) said the Little Red River has been receiving sporadic generation. Expect this to continue with air temperature fluctuations and need for hydropower from Greers Ferry Dam. This pattern will provide some wading opportunities, but always check generation schedule and be aware of unexpected schedule changes. Midges, small pheasant tails and soft hackles are recommended for fly-fishing. For Trout Magnet fishing, Lowell recommends pink and chartreuse-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 forecasted generation schedule.
(updated 10-27-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said the Little Red is low, there is not a lot of water being run from the dam. Water is clear. Trout are good on one-sixteenth-ounce Rooster Tails, pink Trout Magnet and one-sixteenth-ounce olive Maribou Jigs.
(updated 10-20-2022) Mike Winkler of Little River Fly Fishing Trips (501-507-3688) said, “Fall weather is here and the Southwestern Power Administration has been running a little bit of water early in the mornings with the colder temperatures we are experiencing. This was not projected or posted on the USACE Little Rock app, so always check the ‘Release’ feature on the app to see what they are running. Especially if you are Wade Fishing.
“We are having low flows on the river unless we get a cold snap and they release water for power demand.”
The best bite has been early in the morning and into the evening. Eggs, Midges, Soft hackles have been working well.
Greers Ferry Lake
As of Thursday at 1 p.m., the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 454.29 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.54 feet msl, top flood elevation 487.0 msl).
(updated 10-27-2022) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake on Wednesday was at 454.36 feet msl and falling with some generation in mornings, and evenings as well. It leveled out just a bit with recent rains, and more rain expected should raise levels some. It is 7.68 feet below normal pool for this time of year. The overall catch rate is great for all species at present.
Crappie are coming in by the limits most days on jigs and minnows from 8-40 feet of water. Bream are eating crickets, crawlers and moving baits from super shallow out to 25 feet. Still no report on walleye. Black bass are eating on top to bottom super shallow out to 45 feet on a variety of baits and different ways to fish them – points, humps, bends, in pole timber. Stay with shad and fish will be close.
Hybrid and white bass are pretty much doing the same as black bass: top to bottom from 25-45 feet deep with 43 feet being a kind of magic depth over the years for this time of year. Spoons, inline spinners, swimbaits and topwater baits are best. Be safe on water and wear that life jacket.
(updated 10-27-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said the water is 7-8 feet low and clear, and they warn anglers and boaters to be careful of trees showing now that normally wouldn’t be.
Black bass are good on clear Spooks and half-ounce CC Spoons around schooling fish. Bass also are good on wacky rigs in 6-8 feet of water in green pumpkin color and around windy banks on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. The bite also is good on Carolina rigs and half-ounce peanut butter and jelly football jigs in 8-9 feet of water.
Crappie are good in 15-20 feet of water using drop-shot with minnows or on small gray hair jig sand small 2-inch swimbaits.
Harris Brake Lake
(updated 10-27-2022) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) said crappie are good on minnows and jigs along the shoreline in the early morning. Bass and bream have slowed down a little bit. Water is muddy and still low, but rising a little bit.
(updated 10-13-2022) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) off Arkansas Highway 9 said the water level is about 2 feet low, probably the lowest in a long time. Clarity is good but a little dark. Surface temperature is 70-74 degrees, it is bouncing around.
Bream are being caught with redworms, just not many big ones. Bass are chasing the shad, late evening and early morning. Catfish are slow but should pick up. Crappie was starting, but have slowed down. "It's been slow but cooler weather should make it better. Really hasn’t been a lot of people fishing lately," Johnny said.
(updated 10-27-2022) Lacey Williams at Lakeview Landing on Arkansas Highway 95 (501-242-1437) had no new report.
(update 10-13-2022) David Hall at Dad’s Bait Shop (501-289-2210), a 24/7 self-serve bait shop at the lake, said water is about 1 foot low. Crappie are coming up a little more in 5-6 feet depth and biting on minnows for anglers trolling the channel or around the underwater brushpiles. Bream are good on the banks on redworms. Bass are good in the evenings in shallow water on size 12 bass minnows or white spinnerbaits. Catfish are on the bottom on nightcrawlers and goldfish.
(updated 10-13-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) reports that bass are good in 5-10 feet depth on mid-diving crankbaits and are biting shallow on spinnerbaits.
(updated 10-27-2022) WestRock Landing in Roland (501-658-5598) had no new report.
Arkansas River at Morrilton
At noon Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Ormond Lock and Dam was 5,011 cfs. The stage at Morrilton is at 9.77 feet (flood stage is 30 feet). Flow further upriver at Dardanelle Lock and Dam the flow was 0 cfs.
Little Maumelle River
(updated 10-27-2022) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) says water remains clear and normal. Crappie are “even better this week” in 43-5 feet depth, he said. Black bass are good. No suggestions on baits, however. No reports on bream or catfish.
Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Toad Suck Lock and Dam was 4,552 cfs.
Arkansas River (Little Rock Area Pools)
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Murray Lock and Dam was 16 cfs. The elevation is 249.19 feet msl. The stage in the Little Rock pool was at 7.28 feet (flood stage is 23 feet). Flow at the Terry Lock and Dam was 5,410 cfs.
(updated 10-27-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) says water is normal and slightly stained. Black bass are good on white or shad colored crankbaits and Rat-L Traps in chrome and blue colors on the ends of jetties or on fan drops. Bass are also good at some of the entrances to the backwaters on Chatterbaits in white, black/blue or green pumpkin colors. Anglers are also having success throwing finesse jigs in one-sixteenth-ounce green pumpkin candy or black/blue colors around laydowns. Early mornings and late evenings they are also biting on bone-colored Spooks and white buzzbaits.
Crappie are good on orange/chartreuse, white/chartreuse and yellow/chartreuse crappie jigs around the jetties in 10-15 feet of water.
(updated 10-27-2022) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said crappie are good in 10-12 feet depth on the river off the rock jetties on Bobby Garland Baby Shad in tuxedo color. Black bass are good on shaky head worms in 6-8 feet deep off sandbar drops in the Little Rock pool.
White bass are starting to move in around the dams and are interesting in silver spoons in white curl tail grubs.
Bream are good on crickets and waxworms in backwaters at 6 feet depth.
(updated 10-27-2022) Hatchet Jack’s Sports Shop at Crystal Hill (501-758-4958) says catfish are really good below the dam if you can get out into the flow; try skipjack for bait. In seven days, one man’s weight count for catfish that weighed over 15 pounds each was 375 total pounds of catfish caught.
White bass are running on Sabiki Rigs.
Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 10-27-2022) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said water is super low. Not a lot of fishing happening.
(update 10-27-2022) Donna Mulherin at Herman’s Landing (870-626-6899) said Monday, Oct. 31, will mark the last day of fishing on the lake for the season before it turns over to resting migrating waterfowl. The lake reopens to fishing in February. Check out the lake this weekend. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Catfish are good as well use the typical catfish baits. The water is extremely low with plenty of stumps showing.
(updated 10-27-2022) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said Bull Shoals Lake remains well below power pool even after a record-breaking rain. White River water clarity was unaffected by the almost 4 inches received here, as almost all soaked into the ground. That means the trout still had lots of clear, cold water in which to romp and roll, and tease anglers.
“Mother Nature has treated us to mercurial weather this October, and with those changes in temperature come changes in water releases from Bull Shoals Dam: minimum flow during the early morning hours rising to three to four units (9,000 to 12,000 cfs) later in the day. This is due mostly to power demands during the cold weather we've seen on and off over the last week. Bull Shoals Lake is 4 feet below power pool and still dropping despite that record rainstorm.
“The brown bite has been iffy because the annual spawn is on, but we're still seeing some action with sculpin. Be careful not to disturb the spawning beds (the redds) if you motor through spawning areas around Rim Shoals or on either side of the catch-and-release area.
The rainbows have been feisty and paying most attention to orange baits. Xfactor steelhead orange eggs are a favorite for two weeks running paired with a bead of shrimp or alone. Lures with orange bellies were favored, too. However, the jig fishers found most success with brown or brown/orange-colored jigs, one-sixteenth- or one-eighth-ounce, depending on water depth.
“This October has been spectacular for warm, shirtsleeve days, and even though it's pretty chilly right now we expect a warm front to move in later this week. We've been promised more sunshine and temperate days to continue for a while. Come visit Cotter; catch your share of rainbows and enjoy the beauty of our Natural State.”
(updated 10-27-2022) Dave McCulley, owner of Jenkins Fishing Service in Calico Rock, said Wednesday that recent days have started with cool mornings and then warmed up to comfortable days. “We have seen varied generations from both Bull Shoals Dam and Norfork Dam. Late last week we saw the river levels up, but into the weekend the water got as low 2 feet. Starting Monday we saw higher water levels.
“Spoons continue to be the go-to lure in the low water. Additionally, black jigs, Rooster Tails, lures with a spinner and Rapala Countdowns have worked very well. Power Eggs with shrimp, corn or worms continue to work well when the water rises above 3 feet.”
Since the last report there have been two trout stockings with a total of about 1,500 trout stocked at the Calico Rock boat ramp and another 1,500 at the Chessmond Ferry boat ramp.
(updated 10-27-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service said that during the past week, they had 3.5-inches of rainfall in Cotter, cooler temperatures (to include frost advisories) and heavy winds (to include wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals fell 0.6 foot to rest at 3.8 feet below power pool of 659 feet msl. This is 39.8 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock Lake fell 0.6 foot to rest at 7.5 feet below power pool and 21.5 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose 9.4 feet to rest at 4 feet below power pool or 13.6 feet below the top of flood pool. The White has had wadable water. Norfork Lake fell 0.3 foot to rest at 0.9 foot below power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 27.1 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork tailwater has had more wadable water. With the current lake levels, expect lower flows and more wadable water.
“On the White, the hot spot has been Wildcat Shoals. We have had lower flows in the morning that have been fished very well. 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. My favorite has been a pheasant tail nymph with a ruby midge dropper.”
John also said, “Reel Recovery is a nonprofit organization that helps men in the cancer recovery process by introducing them to the healing powers of fly-fishing while providing a safe, supportive environment to explore their personal experiences of cancer with others who share their stories. As a cancer survivor I was fortunate to attend the Arkansas Reel Recovery Retreat at Cedar Wood Lodge earlier this week.
“Cedar Wood Lodge is a luxury lodge on the White River near the Ranchette Access. I had a private room in a quaint, beautifully furnished cabin near the main lodge. All of the meals were prepared on-site except for a sack lunch for a day of fishing on the North Fork River that was supplied by Heidi’s Ugly Cakes in Norfork. The food was excellent. The only problem is that I think I gained about 3 pounds.
“We had several group discussions where we shared the story of our cancer, the problems and the positive impacts. All of the guys were open and willing to share. The talks were casual and nonthreatening. All of the participants got something out of it. I know I did.
“They concentrated on the fishing aspect of the program. All of the participants were matched with a river buddy. These were local guides or serious fly-fishers that were there to teach the participants to fly-fish. Now I already know how to fly-fish, but I wanted to be on the same footing as the other participants and be challenged to learn something new.
“I decided to learn to Euro nymph. This is the hot new way to fly-fish that was developed in Europe a few years ago. It involves long rods, heavy flies, a very long leader and no strike indicator. You use a sighter instead. This is a brightly colored section of leader material to detect strikes.
“I chose a fellow guide, Steve, who specializes in this technique to be my river buddy. We worked on it for two trips to the river on as many days. I managed to catch a few trout. I did not master the technique, but I got off to a good start. It is something that I will work at and try to master. I can see that it could be a killer technique.
“Aside from learning something new about fly-fishing, what did I get out of the retreat? I learned that I am not alone. There are many other men who have had the same or similar effects from cancer. It can be survived and the introduction of a calming sport like fly-fishing can be an integral part of the healing process.
“I got a lot out of the retreat and I recommend it to others. My neighbor has been diagnosed with cancer and I am going to suggest that he attend a Reel Recovery Retreat. I think it will help him and I think it can help you.”
Bull Shoals Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 655.10 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 659.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 695.00 feet msl). Total outflow from the dam at 2 p.m. Thursday was 6,919 cfs. The reported lake elevation at Table Rock Lake was 909.52 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 917.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 931.0 feet msl), with outflow of 20 cfs.
(updated 10-20-2022) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said Thursday that the lake level is down more than 3 feet (655 feet at last check). The water temperature has dropped to around 70 degrees. Junk fishing with typical fall patterns has begun. The cooler nights have the shad starting to ball up and moving out to deeper water. Turnover is still happening in the backs of creeks. There are always a few shallow fish, so try a Chatterbait square bill spinnerbait or flipping brush in the skinny stained water in the early morning. There’s a few fish there, but hit or miss. Try a rock crawler on the channel swings on points and ledges. Fish the windy side if you have any wind. Target bushes and rock transitions close to deeper water. The jig bite is starting to get better as the sun goes up. Target steeper banks.
"For me, the deep bite is still the best. Drop shot Damiki with a tater shad spoon or a Roboworm has been reliable with the pressure conditions.”
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 552.89 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 noon Thursday was 205 cfs. Wednesday saw 14+ hours of constant generation (8 a.m.-10 p.m.) averaging 2,480 cfs, and one hour Thursday of generation reaching 2,382 cfs at 8 a.m.
(updated 10-27-2022) Steven “Scuba Steve” Street at Blackburn’s Resort said Wednesday the lake level is 552.96 feet msl and has risen about 3 inches in the last two days after the 3.5 inches of rain on Monday and Tuesday total. It was very dry and most of it sank in with not a lot of runoff, but the creeks did run for a few hours on Tuesday, though not fast. The wind has been relentless and early morning has been about the only time to get out of it.
Bass fishing has been the best back in the creeks on windblown banks on crankbaits and single spinnerbaits. The creeks had warmed up with the earlier warm weather more than the main lake and the bass were there in the stained water and also shallow. Crappie were still on brush in 25 feet of water partway back in the creeks, but they are very spooky and the wind makes it hard to stay on them. Some Kentucky bass (spotted bass) are with them. The same is for the temperate bass on the main lake in open water. The white bass are in the 12-inch range and smaller hybrid stripers are together on shad at various water depths and most are suspended at 30-40 feet. They are shallower in the morning and go deeper in the afternoon. “I found several in over 80 feet of water 35 feet down (Tuesday) between Mallard Point and Cranfield Island on the north side.
“Many bluegill are on the top of brush and under docks, shallow and biting worms and crickets. The larger walleye have slowed but I am getting several just at the 18-inch size or just under. It was a good run on the walleye in the 20-24 inch range, but that is over for me for now.
“The full moon is on Nov. 8 and it will be the best time to catch stripers on the shoreline in the late evening and just after dark on the stick bait. The lake is in good condition but overall fishing is just fair.”
For a daily fishing report and lake condition go to www.blackburnsresort.com and click on Scuba Steve's Blog.
(updated 10-27-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Norfork Lake fell 0.3 foot to rest at 0.9 foot below power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 27.1 feet below the top of flood pool. There has been more wadable water on the Norfork in the morning and it has fished a much better. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns like zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead). Grasshoppers have produced fish, particularly when used in conjunction with a small nymph dropper (try a size 20 black zebra midge). Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead-headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended 18 inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise). “My favorite rig has been a pheasant tail nymph size 14 and a ruby midge size 18. The fishing is much better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off midday.”
Dry Run Creek has fished poorly. School is back in session and the creek is not as busy. Weekends can get a quite crowded. The hot flies have been sowbugs, various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise) and white mop flies. 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 10-27-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Crooked Creek and the Buffalo River is fishing well. With cooler temperatures, the smallmouth bass are more 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 1,116.46 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.43 feet msl; top flood elevation is 1,130.0 feet msl). The release at the dam as of Thursday morning was 20 cfs. The Corps released about 3,800 cfs at 7 a.m. Thursday for just an hour. The dam release was nearly 4,000 cfs for 5 hours starting at 7 a.m. on Wednesday.
(updated 10-27-2022) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) said Beaver Lake sits at 1,116.55 feet msl and water is stable. Water temps continue to drop throughout the lake. “We had around 3 inches of rain that we needed in a bad way (can’t believe I said that, since we have been battling high water for so long!). Anyways, even with the rain runoff was minimal. The lake should start to come alive with the fall bite.
“For the most part the fish that set up summer camp from Prairie Creek down to the dam should embark on a migration up the lake toward Monte Ne and further south. The river arms are loaded with shad, and this should help to anchor the fish up into those areas.
“That being said, fishing is fair at best. This will change soon. Turnover should be complete with the mixing that occurred with rain and 35 mph winds last weekend. I would look from Rocky Branch and south for the best bites. Crappie will start to load up on structure near main river channels in and around 20 feet deep and shallower. Stripers will head toward Horseshoe Bend and again further south toward Point 12. White bass typically will school up at this time with some topwater. Same thing with spotted bass.
“Look for shad and fish will be near. The lake will be less crowded and it’s beautiful out there this time of the year. I love winter fishing on Beaver just for that reason. Some nice weather and fish that want to eat is on tap next month. Cooler mornings and nice mid-50 days will flip the switch on the bite. Good luck and stay safe out there as lake is exposing some dangerous hazards. You need to know where you a running a boat. Good luck!”
Visit Jon’s Facebook page for latest updates, FishOn Guide Service Goshen AR.
(updated 10-27-2022) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said fishing is fair. Pressure is light. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs around brush. Bass are fair on small crankbaits and jigs on shallow rocky banks. Stripers are sparse. Catfish are fair on natural bait.
(updated 10-27-2022) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said, “I wish I could say the river conditions improved with the last 3 inches of rain we had, but that is not the case. Don't get me wrong, if you are a shore fisherman, you can find plenty of holes to pull nice fish. If you’re fishing from a boat, you are pretty much limited to Table Rock.
“The best response we have gotten this past week has been with Pautzke Fire Worms and Fire Baits. Fish the worms on a one-sixteenth-ounce jighead on bottom, twitching it every now and then. The color of worm that has produced the best has been pink and white. If you are fishing with Fire Bait, use light terminal tackle, also fished on the bottom. If you are shore fishing, look for deep holes from Spider Creek to Parker Bottoms.
“Toward Holiday Island, we are still on the fall walleye bite. Try trolling crankbaits and jigging live minnows. Once again, look for the deeper water.
“Let's hope we get some more rain and the river levels improve. Hope you’re able to get out and catch some fish! Remember to follow my fishing Facebook page (Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service) for additional information and frequent river updates.”
(updated 10-27-2022) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said black bass are fair on plastics. Crappie are good on jigs. Bream are fair on redworms. Catfish are pretty slow. Water is stained but clearing up.
(updated 10-27-2022) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) said bream and catfish suddenly went into hiding this week. However, the black bass bite picked up at the right time to fill the gap. A few anglers caught good numbers of bass using white Rooster Tails.
No reports on crappie for a few weeks now. The best fishing days according to “moon times” should be this week through Friday. November’s good days are Nov. 4-11 and best days are Nov. 20-26.
The water temperature leveled out some this past weekend to 64.5 degrees. Water level is normal and the clarity is usual murky.
(updated 10-13-2022) Seth Boone, the superintendent at Lake Poinsett State Park, reported Lake Poinsett is lower than normal pool due to lack of rain. Bream and catfish are biting well in deeper water on worms and catfish liver respectively. Bass and crappie are slower but still biting off of structure with some enticement.
(updated 10-27-2022) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) had no new reports.
(updated 10-20-2022) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) said the river is getting low, with 330 cfs at the Spring and with very clear water the conditions have been tough. The cold temps has the leaves falling and can be a bother in the river. Sometimes there are ants on the leaves that can cause some dry fly action.
For trout lately big Y2Ks on sunny days and on really tough days smaller nymphs can work well just off the bottom of the river. On the easy days an olive or brown Woolly cast downstream with a fast short strip back is so much fun watching the fish chase down the fly. About twice a week this happens. We’re catching a few browns.
Smallies have slowed with the cooler temps. The ultra-clear water makes the largemouth bite pick up. Low clear water will get them chasing minnows, and shad. Watch for them along back eddies and slow water.
“Canoe season is over, gotta be careful on the river with the cooler temps. The river is very slick and can get ya wet quick. Don't mess around find a warm place and get dry,” he said.
Visit Mark’s blog on the springriverfliesandguides.com site for the latest river conditions and what’s working for the fish.
(updated 10-27-2022) 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 Norfork 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 back up to 7.24 feet, still almost 8 feet below the flood stage of 15.0 feet. The Newport stage remains low at 3.63 feet (flood stage was 26.00 feet). The stage at Augusta was steady at 13.84 feet, or about 12 feet below the flood stage of 26.00 feet.
(updated 10-27-2022) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) in Batesville said Thursday that the White River is very low and they’ve heard no 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 11,745 cfs. The stage at Pine Bluff is up slightly to 31.37 feet (flood stage is 42 feet). Further upstream, the flow at the Maynard Lock and Dam was 7,872 cfs.
(updated 10-27-2022) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team had no new report from the river.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 258.43 feet msl (normal pool: 259.20 feet msl; top flood elevation is 287.0 feet msl). Total outflow at the dam is 677 cfs, average for what has been released this week.
(updated 10-27-2022) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said that as of Tuesday, the lake as about 10-11 inches below normal pool and falling. Clarity improved this week along Little River, and oxbows. Millwood Lake tailwater elevation was near 224 feet msl with gate discharge at the dam near 672 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. Use caution in navigating the pool while it’s below normal conservation pool. Stumps and obstacles are near the surface.
Surface temps stable this week, ranging 65-70 degrees depending on location and the time of day. Current was slightly clearer this week further up Little River, with river clarity ranging 5-10 inches visibility depending on location. Clarity of oxbows is normal stain, visibility about 15-25 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 provided these details of fishing activity this week:
* “Well, the bass recovered somewhat this week from the cold fronts last week, when it hammered the largemouth bass on the head and slowed the bite to a crawl. There are still randomly schooling on shad in the oxbows and along Little River, and have drastically improved over the past few days. Bass have been good and actively chasing shad over the past several weeks with excellent activity and aggressive feeding in Little River and the oxbows. Hot spots include creek mouths dumping/draining into Little River with lily pads and grass along primary points being key locations. Flats next to deep creeks and secondary points with lily pad stands, are a good target area as well. Chunky 2-, 3- and 4-pound bass, have been the most aggressive at midmorning though most all day long. Good bass activity continues happening throughout midday hitting Millwood Magic Rat-L-Traps and or chrome Johnson Weedless Spoons in the pads.
The Johnson Chrome Spoons with a 3-inch curly tail Bass Assassin Curly Shad, or Bang Die Dapper trailer on back, soft plastic 5-inch Bass Assassin Shads and topwater soft plastic frogs have been drawing random good responses early in the morning in large lily pad clusters. Best color of Bass Assassin Shads have been Salt n Pepper Silver Phantom, Houdini and Pumpkinseed, and they continue drawing good reactions with some JJ's Magic Chartreuse Dye Dip for a flash of color. June bug, black or pumpkinseed-colored Horny Toads and soft plastic frogs, fished in clearest water you can find in the oxbows, are working for a random blow up from 2- 4-pound largemouths.
The numerous schools of juvenile, adolescent and adult-size classes of largemouth bass are still ganged up in many locations and feeding on threadfin shad. Better aggressiveness returned this week with milder daytime temps during the heat of the day in back of Mud Lake, Horseshoe and McGuire oxbows near creek mouth junctions and dumps into Little River.
Good action was also noted in the flats at White Cliffs near the deeper section of the creeks with multiple schools blowing shad out of the water at the same time in numerous locations. These breaking fish were chasing and feeding on shad, and were eager to bust a Rat-L-Trap or shad-colored square-bill Little John and Bill Lewis SB-57 crankbait. Hammered Cordell or Kastmaster Spoons were also connecting with these breaking and schooling fish. It's a great time to take a kid fishing!
* White bass returned to biting this week, and we found a few groups of 2- to 3-pound whites/hybrids breaking on shad along Little River near Hurricane Creek and the White Cliffs USACE campground over this last week. Many continue roaming Little River and the oxbows and have been caught on vertical-jigging spoons and custom painted Little John Crankbaits, Bomber Fat Free Guppy's and Bandit 200 crankbaits along Little River. Tail Spinner Trap Rat-L-Traps in Millwood Magic, Chrome/Black back, Chrome/Blue back, caught some 2-/3-pound Whites in McGuire last week. Fat Free Shad crankbaits in Citrus Shad color, Little Georges, Beetle Spins, Rooster Tails, and Rocket Shads, Cordell or Kastmaster spoons also were working for white bass this week from 8-10 feet deep near ledges and vertical structure.
Schooling whites have been noted in the back of McGuire and Horseshoe oxbows off Little River early at daybreak on flats adjacent to deeper drops in the depths from 5-10 feet deep at random intervals over the past several weeks. Most of the white bass schools are still random and broken, although a few white bass have been found schooling on large groups of threadfin shad, up Little River near White Cliffs campground. Casting the Cordell or Kastmaster Spoons into the schooling whites and largemouth bass connected with rapid-fire action with numerous double hook ups recently.
* Crappie improved over the past week with more stable water temperatures and continued biting well this week! Bee Lake, Mud Lake and the Little River have been holding good groups of nice size 2- to 2.25-pound black and white crappie willing to bite minnows over the past week, 12-17 feet deep in Bee Lake in planted brush and along Little River.
* No reports on bream or catfish this week.
NOTICE: The American Gamebird Research Education and Development Foundation, under recommendation from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, is conducting a 5-foot drawdown of Lake Erling in Lafayette County to combat the spread of giant salvinia, a highly invasive aquatic plant species not native to the United States. Giant salvinia, a free-floating South American plant that has become a major threat to fisheries in the southern U.S., was first spotted on a small portion of Lake Erling in 2018. Since that time the AGFC and AGRED, the lake’s owner, have worked together to monitor and minimize potential spread of the invasive species through information campaigns. With the recent detection of the plant at nearby Mercer Bayou and the spread of the plant within Erling, AGRED worked with the AGFC to determine a plan that would help combat the aquatic nuisance species. The drawdown will remain in effect until March 1, 2023, at which time the 7,000-acre lake will be allowed to refill.
(updated 10-27-2022) Lake Erling Guide Service (870-904-8546) reported Thursday that crappie are back to biting well with limits being caught in the creeks on minnows and white/silver jigs. Catfish are excellent on any kind of bait. Black bass are good schooling in late afternoons on topwater lures.
Water is low (3 feet). Warning: Don’t run the boat lanes because you will get stuck.
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 537.35 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).|
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 397.86 feet msl (full pool: 408.00 feet msl).
(updated 10-13-2022) Randy Plyler with Plyler Outdoors Guide Service (870-210-0522) said not much has changed for Lake DeGray. I've spoken with several locals here that have gone to DeGray this last week. Several of them have told me that fishing has been extremely tough. Few of them have caught some crappie on jigs. Still some breaking action with a mix of blacks, hybrids and whites, but can't really get them on much but a spoon or a small Rooster Tails. Fish just hasn't regrouped yet since the lake had turned over last week. Should start getting better with the cooler weather moving in.
De Queen Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 430.39 feet msl (full pool: 437.00 feet msl).
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 521.61 feet msl (full pool: 526.00 feet msl).
White Oak Lake Area
(update 10-13-2022) Curtis Willingham at River Rat Bait in Camden (870-231-3831) says crappie are hitting a little bit in midwater on minnows and jigs. The water is low.
(updated 10-27-2022) Donald Ramirez at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) says anglers are catching some crappie on Bobby Garland Jigs and on minnows. Black bass are good on worms. Water last week was listed as 4 foot low but clear.
Lake Catherine Tailwater (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro
(updated 10-27-2022) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below the dam is 59 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace. The months of September and October routinely offer angler's little opportunity for fishing in Lake Catherine around Carpenter Dam with the rainbow trout season over and the majority of area fish species having completed their spawning cycles and returned to the main lake body. Mid-November marks the return of the fall trout stocking program, which will create a solid fishing environment for the public. The influx of healthy rainbow trout to the lake rejuvenates the tailrace to an earlier scenario of quality fishing.
The annual lake drawdown for both lakes Hamilton and Catherine will begin Nov. 1. A 5-foot drawdown is scheduled with each lake lowered 6 inches per day for 10 days. Refilling will begin somewhere between March 1-8, 2023, with the process completed by March 15. A 5-foot drawdown on Lake Catherine creates dangerous conditions for wade anglers and boaters alike so caution is advised when navigating the tailrace area. Entergy will schedule daily generation from Carpenter Dam during this period so the public is advised to read the Entergy Hydro website news for updates on lake conditions.
As of Thursday afternoon, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s flow at Dardanelle Lock and Dam as 0 cfs. Elevation was 337.63 feet msl and the tailwater was at 284.79 feet msl. (Top navigation pool is 338.2 and bottom pool is 336.0.)
(updated 10-27-2022) 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 342.11 feet msl (normal pool: 342.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 373.0 feet msl).+
(updated 10-27-2022) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said Thursday that crappie are a little slow on minnows fished over brushpiles in 5-7 feet depth. Anglers are catching a lot of catfish. Bass are good on War Eagle Spinnerbaits and crankbaits. They’re also catching a few bream, but not a lot. The water is clear and low with a surface temperature of about 69 degrees.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 567.65 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 10-27-2022) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) said crappie aren’t stacked up as they once were, but they’re still there. “We’ve been fishing minnows under corks 18-24 feet deep over brushpiles in 28-35 feet of water.”
(updated 10-20-2022) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out-of-state) said black bass are good. Topwater baits and drop-shot with a finesse bait seem to be working the best. No walleye reported. Stripers are still very good. Live bait is working the best; try the central part of the lake for the best striper opportunities. Crappie are good on small jigs or minnows. Try brush in 20-35 feet depth. No reports on bream or catfish. Water temperature continues to fall; the latest cold front drove it down to 65-70 degrees. Water clarity is clear. Lake level continues to fall as well and on Thursday was 567.83 feet msl. Call the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717, or Chris Darby, 870-867-7822) for more information.
Blue Mountain Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 384.00 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 continues falling to 11.87 feet, more than 14 feet below the flood stage of 26.00 feet.
(updated 10-20-2022) The AGFC’s Wil Hafner at Potlatch Cook’s Lake Nature Center (870-241-3373) said the amount of anglers and the amount of success has really declined. “The lake is the lowest I have seen it. Fishing will continue through October then the lake will close as a waterfowl rest area,” he said.
Cook’s Lake is open up until late October to fishing for youths under 16 or mobility-impaired anglers, and up to two helpers (who may also fish). 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. 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.