Arkansas Weekly Fishing Report
BY Jim Harris
Oct. 25, 2017
Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine
Weekly Fishing Report
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for Oct. 25, 2017. If there is a body of water you would like included in this report, please email AGFCfishingreport@outlook.com with information on possible sources for reports about that lake or river. Reports are updated weekly, although some reports might be published for two weeks if updates are not received promptly or if reporters say conditions haven’t changed. Contact the reporter for the lake or stream you plan to fish for current news.
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
The AGFC is treating alligator weed in Lake Conway using EPA-registered herbicides approved for use in aquatic systems. The AGFC strongly recommends that adjacent landowners not use lake water for irrigation of lawns or gardens through March 1, 2018. For more information please contact the AGFC Fisheries Office in Mayflower at (877)-470-3309.
(updated 10-25-2017) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the lake is stained and the level is low. On Tuesday under a full sun the surface temperature was 79 degrees. Crappie are excellent. Minnows and jigs are being used, and the fish are most active in the usual haunts: the Highway 89 bridge, Gold Creek and Caney Creek. The bass bite is good. Anglers have having success with white spinnerbaits and soft plastic worms fished around lily pads. Catfishing is excellent. Cats are active on limblines and trotlines around the creek channels. Bait with goldfish or minnows. While bream weren’t quite as active as the other species, they’re still fair. You’ll find bream about 20 feet from the shorelines. Use worms and crickets.
(updated 10-25-2017) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said he went to New York City last week “and all I caught was a cold. Needless to say I didn’t fish much. It was a nice visit with my son and now I’m back to fishing.” The river remains low, clear and the fly selection remains about the same. Sowbugs, small emergers and midge pupas seem to be the best choices. Small Woolly Buggers are also taking a few fish. The browns are beginning to move with the females carrying eggs. More rainbows than browns are moving on the shoals. Maybe the cooler weather forecast for the next few days will get things going. The browns are more in the staging areas they use before spawning on the shoals. These usually are deeper holes above or below the shallow spawning areas.
Greg notes, “Please start looking for reds on the shoals and avoid wading through these areas. Reds will appear as clean, polished areas on the gravel bottom. Disturbing the eggs destroys a lot of brown trout because these eggs will not hatch.”
(updated 10-25-2017) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service said currently the Little Red River is receiving small amounts of generation during the week. This generation pattern is creating low water conditions most days providing good wading conditions, but challenging boating on some sections on the river. Expect this pattern to continue until significant rainfall is received. With low water, remember to use fluorocarbon tippet to increase your catch numbers. In slow moving or still water, remember to put some movement on the fly or Trout Magnet to get more strikes. Sowbugs, midges, soft hackles and Woolly Buggers are working well for fly anglers. Pink- and white-colored Trout Magnets are recommended for spin fishing. 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.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 457.88 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.04 feet msl Oct. 1-April 30; 463.04 feet msl May 1-June 1; 462.54 feet msl June 1-Sept. 30).
(updated 10-25-2017) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the lake is 4.16 feet below normal pool for this time of year, and the turnover is over. Things are looking good for the best fall Greers Ferry anglers have had in a while for schooling fish. With the threadfin back as they are, the ones that stay high in the water column and the ones fish will push to the surface during conditions that have been setting up by the first day of gun deer season, the catching will be off the charts barring any odd weather. The crappie are suspended as usual in the pole timber and over and around brush piles in 15-20 feet of water. Use minnows or jigs as well as beetle spins slow-rolled through the brush. The bream are still shallow for the most part eating crickets, crawlers and inline spinners. Try out to 23 feet for some bigger fish. No report on catfish other than the blue winter bite will be good as usual all over the lake. The bass fishing is good for schoolers. A lot are suspended but some are starting to feed off the bottom and are the ones to target as they are on the prowl. For shallow fish use spinnerbaits or small crankbaits and topwater baits around any wood or windblown banks. The deeper fish can be caught with C-rigs, drop-shots and tubes as well as football heads out to 40 feet. A lot of walleye are following the schooling fish around and eating underneath them, and the rest are getting settled on flats where they are comfortable after the turnover. Try crawlers, or use minnows on a drop-shot for those fish. The hybrid and white bass are back going and getting crazy as they usually do this time of year and put on a super feed, sometimes eating all day long. Spoons are better right now, but try inline spinners, topwater baits and hair jigs. Just stay with the bait.
(updated 10-25-2017) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) said fishing picked up a little bit during the past week. The water clarity is clear and the surface temperature earlier this week was 65 degrees. Bream are fair on worms and crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Bass are good on spinnerbaits and plastic worms. Catfishing is good.
The AGFC is treating alligator weed in Lake Overcup using EPA-registered herbicides approved for use in aquatic systems. The AGFC strongly recommends that adjacent landowners not use lake water for irrigation of lawns or gardens through March 1, 2018. For more information please contact the AGFC Fisheries Office in Mayflower at (877)-470-3309.
(updated 10-18-2017) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said water level is normal if not a little low. Clarity is good, temperature is around 73 degrees. Bream are slow but we are seeing some good redears. Bass are still doing good. Catfish are doing well with stink bait, bass minnows and hot dogs. Johnny had a 30-pound blue last week. Crappie are starting to pick up with jigs and minnows in the channels at different depths, some in 5-6 feet of water, 9-12 feet of water. “If you ain’t fishing you don’t know what you are missing,” Johnny says.
(updated 10-18-2017) Larry Walters at Bones Bait Shop (501-354-9900) had no report this week. In last week’s report, Larry said that the dropping water temperature (down to 77 degrees) had crappie chasing shad in 10-12 feet depth. Use minnows and jigs. Bass reports were good, with anglers using crankbaits or buzzbaits. Catfishing was good in 10-12 feet depth. Bream were fair on worms or crickets.
(updated10-18-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) in Benton says a couple reported Oct. 14 that the crappie at Brewer Lake in Conway County were biting size 6 and size 4 minnows as fast as they could get them in the water. The two got excited telling Lisa about it as they got minnows to go again.
(updated 10-18-2017) Jolly Rogers Marina (501-868-5558) said black bass are good. There have been more reports coming in this week of limits being caught. Black bass are biting on crankbaits, drop-shot, jigs, buzzbaits, wacky rig worms and spinnerbaits. Blacks are in the weeds and off the edge line. They’re shallow during dusk and dawn. Drop 12-18 feet in deep water and drop just below fast-moving schools of shad. Almost 11 pounds of bass were hauled in by two teams in last Friday night’s tournament with a 4.3-pound big bass. Spotted bass (Kentuckies) action is slow. Spots are being caught on hair and finesse worm jigs, spoons and minnows. They can be found in the deep water mixed in with the black bass. White bass are slow. They are coming up for a shorter period of time and moving quickly with the schools. Use Rooster Tails, CC Spoons and deep-diving Bandits and Bombers. Crappie reports have been good. They are being caught on crappie minnows and jigs (Tennessee Shad). Lots of 11- to 15-inch crappie are being caught 7-12 feet and 18-22 feet deep. Fish off the channel or under water bridges. Bream are slow. Look for them near brush piles, but they’re moving quickly. They are being caught on crickets and live worms. Catfish are good. Use stink bait, small bream, worms and chicken livers. There are reports of cats near rocks on shoreline by the weeds.
(updated 10-25-2017) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4958) said crappie are excellent. Anglers report success with pink minnows, feather jigs and crappie minnows.
(updated 10-25-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said a few decent size crappie being caught using the No. 6 crappie minnows. Catfish doing fair on bait shrimp, chicken livers and No. 12 bass minnows. On the warmer days the break had been hitting on crickets and redworms. Bass been biting the brooder minnows and watermelon red plastic baits.
Bishop Park Ponds
(updated 10-25-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said that two weeks last month the back pond, what they call Lake Charles, was stocked with catfish. Size 12 bass minnows and nightcrawlers have been providing a few catfish. Bream are doing well on redworms. Bass have been good on brooder minnows and pink or red shad plastic worms. No crappie reports lately from there, though.
Saline River Access in Benton
(updated 10-25-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said a few walleye have been reported doing well on brooder minnows and bass minnows, especially in the deeper holes. The river needs some water bad, for they really haven’t heard much of anything else except for a few catfish on bass minnows and nightcrawlers down at the river near the old river bridge. Oh, and the gar have been plentiful, too – fun to catch but that’s about it.
Reports from customers having success in other areas of the state:
Customers have been reporting of catching some nice crappie on size 4 crappie minnows at Lake Greeson. At Lake DeGray size 6 crappie minnows are still producing some good crappie. Along catching them with the Bobby Garland 2-inch Slab Slayers in the color ghost and the split tail in blue ice color. Lake Ouachita been doing well on crappie with pink crappie minnows and Kalin’s Bleeding Tennessee Shad-color Grubs . And another customer said he had been doing great with nightcrawlers on the Kentucky bass over at Lake Hamilton. The Arkansas River been producing some good-size catfish off of cut skipjacks.
(updated 10-25-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said nightcrawlers and black salties have been doing well on catfish. Bream have been biting slow on crickets and redworms. Crappie been biting No. 6 crappie minnows and 2-inch Kalin’s Grubs in the Bleeding Tennessee Shad color. Bass have been doing well on brooder minnows and pink and white and crawfish-colored spinnerbaits.
(updated 10-25-2017) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4958) says the crappie bite is excellent. Crappie are in 14-16 feet depth and aggressively going after minnows.
(updated 10-25-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie have been biting on size 12 bass minnows and pink crappie minnows. Catfish been doing well on bait shrimp and nightcrawlers. Bream have been doing fair on crickets and redworms. Bass are fair on watermelon red Brush Hogs and crankbaits .
(updated 10-18-2017) Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) said there are very few fishermen and really more hunters than fishermen using the river. Black bass are active late in the day on the jetty tops, up the Petit Jean River and in Point Remove Creek. Use crankbaits like the Fat Rap or a jig-and-pig. Reports are slow, however. Bream have been active late in the day around grass on riprap. Use crickets or a Mepps spinner in black. Like bass, bream are slow. White bass are chasing shad schools early in the day and late in the afternoon. Use crankbaits. Results have been slow. Kentucky bass are also slow, but some are around jetties. Use CC Spoons. Catfishing has been fair. Fish around the jetties using skipjack.
(updated 10-25-2017) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the water is clear, while the current and level are normal. Crappie are good on minnows or jigs. Bass are good; use a spinnerbait, plastic worm or topwater bait. Catfish reports were good, with worms or blood bait working. No reports on bream. No reports on white bass.
(updated 10-25-2017) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said the river is stained and the current and level are normal. Bream conting to rate good among anglers. Bream are in 5-6 feet of water and are biting worms and crickets. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Bass reports have been fair. Anglers are having best success on spinnerbaits, topwater lures and plastic worms. Catfishing has ranged fair to good. Shad is working best. No reports on white bass.
(updated 10-25-2017) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said catfish are fair in the Murray Lock and Dam area. Skipjack is working best for bait, along with shad.
(updated 10-25-2017) Vince Miller from Fish ’N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) said the water is at a normal level and current and is clear. Surface temperature earlier this week, before Wednesday’s overnight temperature tumble, was 75-80 degrees. Bream have been good on nighcrawlers and redworms. Crappie are good. Fish around brush piles and use black crappie tubes. Bass are good. Parallel the jetties and use a crankbait, a jig or the Whopper Plopper. No reports on catfish.
(updated 10-25-2017) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the river is murky near Terry Lock and Dam. Level and current are normal. Crappie are good and are biting pink minnows as well as jigs. Bream are poor but are nibbling at redworms. Catfishing is poor but cut bait will help get some response. No reports on bass.
(updated 10-25-2017) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said the river is stained and the current and level are normal. Bream conting to rate good among anglers. Bream are in 5-6 feet of water and are biting worms and crickets. Crappie are fair, with best fishing around the jetties. Use a black jig (same around the Terry Lock and Dam and in the next pool). Bass reports have been fair on spinnerbaits, topwater lures and plastic worms. Catfish are fair and biting cut shad. White bass were fair, with spoons working best.
Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 10-25-2017) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water was not clear but rather murky. Level and current are normal. Crappie are good. Throw colorful jigs or minnows and you’ll likely get a response. Bream are poor, but worms were getting some nibbles. No reports on bass. No reports on catfish.
(updated 10-25-2017) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) will be closed until February.
(updated 10-25-2017) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said the rainbow bite is improving after some slow days when the water level first dropped. (Remember, slow times on the White River are hopping days on most every other trout stream in the country.) Go to your Old Reliables in the tackle box: red-and-gold hammered spoons, smaller Rapala rainbow or brown trout countdowns, and orange egg patterns (PowerBait). Don’t stop using what works: shrimp on the hooking point and some floating bait above that. This coming week the temperatures are predicted to bounce between the low 50s to the upper 60s in the afternoon, but every morning will be very cool, so unpack your wool socks and stay warm. The hillsides are more yellow than green now and you’ll be treated to some magnificent displays of nature here in our natural state of Arkansas. Come visit and stay awhile.
(updated 10-25-2017) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the water is clear and the river is running high. Trout fishing has been fair the past week. PowerBait is working best. Rainbows are small but they are biting. Expect some good fun fishing.
(updated 10-25-2017) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said during the past week, they have had rain (about a half inch in Cotter), cooler temperatures and heavier winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals dropped 1.2 feet to rest at 2.2 feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet msl. This is 38.2 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock dropped 0.3 feet to rest at a foot below seasonal power pool and 15 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake dropped 0.3 feet to rest at 0.7 feet below seasonal power pool and 10.3 feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, they had some wadable water with light generation.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 656.18 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 659.00 feet msl).
(updated 10-25-2017) K Dock Marina said it has gotten great reports for all species of game fish coming in from the anglers recently. Lake level is now below normal and is dropping at about an inch per day. Really good color to the water for bass fishing, too. Not as dark, but good, stained water for fishing. As the lake drops, the oxygen and cooler water temperature have really improved the walleye, bass and crappie bite around their area, and it should get better and better with these weather conditions. Still the most shad that Scott has ever seen in this area of the lake. You can throw a topwater bait and see the water explode with shad. The spotted bass look like footballs. The water temperature is ranging 68-71 degrees as of the weekend. The water level is more than 2 feet below normal and the clarity is stained.
The walleye bite was really good this week from K Dock up toward the Power Site Dam. Trolling medium to large crankbaits, bottom-bouncing night crawlers and bottom-bouncing No. 7 Flicker Shads in 20 feet of water. Several 5- to 7-pound walleye came in last weekend. Black bass are good to great on topwater buzzbaits, Zara Spooks, Whopper Ploppers or anything you have in the top drawer of you tackle box. (It doesn’t matter when you see the amount of shad in the coves.) Also throw a medium to heavy jig on the points and steep rock bluffs. Use crankbaits down the bank as well. Crappie are getting better. Use live minnows around brush piles and any structure. Still seeing some big ones suspended in deeper water. Swimming minnows also working well. Bluegill are great on a bobber and worm. Treat the kids to a day of fishing the old-school way; just pick a cove and enjoy. Flat head catfish are good to great on trotlines with live bluegills. The water level is perfect to set lines now. The gar have started to retreat with the cooler water temps. You should have a better chance at hitting a big cat without the gar getting there first.
(updated 10-11-2017) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock says water temperature Sunday, Oct. 8, was 67 degrees. They are getting some of those cooler nights, and the lake is finally starting to cool down a little bit. The fishing is kind of the same deal of what it’s been, he said. There is bait everywhere. There’s shad in up the water column and that is what Del has been targeting with some shad-style baits off the bottom. Anglers are catching some walleye bottom-bouncing in the 28- to 30-feet range. As for bass fishing, depending on the day Del is putting trolling motor down and covering ground. You’ll run into them, he says, you just have to stick with it. Del says he has been keying in on bushes. If the water is flat, he likes to throw a frog in there, or a buzzbait. A buzzbait will get you a little bigger fish. If it’s real windy, cloudy or nasty, or front moving in, anglers are catching them on the Whopper Plopper. That’s a lot of fun, Del notes. If you get into open water, you better have a topwater, walk-the-dog style bait tied on. Folks are catching a few on the Sammy or a Gunfish. You can throw a Zara Spook. If the fish blow up on you, you can throw a fluke in there, or a throwback bait if they’re not quite committing to it. Del has been using a Keitech along the outside of the bushes. The deepest he’s been fishing is 15 feet. With a lot of the bait being up in the water column, you’ve got the fish suspended right outside the bushes or in the bushes. If it’s flat and sunny, go key in on some of the shade, the docks and the points. The point fish are ambushing the shad as they come through. Pay attention to the generation, though, as the generation has slowed down. The Army Corps of Engineers has stopped running the big water out of the river, so that’s affected the point bite. If fish come across laydowns, Del is picking up the jig, and the type of bank he’s throwing on is a laydown along the bushes, or if he’s in the main creek channel and there is a little bit of wind and little bit deeper bank, you need that bigger chunk style rock. That’s going to have couple of fish on it, too. It’s that time of year to put the trolling motor down and go for it. Some days are going to be better down others. The crankbait bite will be here before you know it. The topwater, Bull Shoals Lake still has a lot of topwater fish to catch, he says.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 553.31 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April 552.00 feet msl; April-September, 554.00 feet msl).
(updated 10-25-2017) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters says stripers, walleye, bass and crappie are on their fall feeding pattern in Norfork Lake. Both live bait and artificial baits are working well. Stripers and walleye are hitting small to medium-size shad. Crappie are biting on minnows, small spoons and jigs. Bass are being caught on the topwater using spinners, jigs, worms and spoons. Find the shad and the fish will be nearby. The stripers continue to be active around Robinson Point in the morning. The colder the water gets, the longer the bite will last. The upper end of Norfork Lake is still producing the most fish. The best bite has begun around 10 a.m. and lasting into the afternoon. Start looking for shad and stripers at Calamity Beach and work your way up past Lick Creek. Find the bait and the stripers and walleye will be there. The best bait is a mid-size gizzard shad about 4 inches long. Both the walleye and stripers are taking them. Big Creek will also be holding fish from Reynolds Island to 1C and past. Tom and his groups are catching walleye on every trip. They have been staying in the 20-foot range after sunup but you can catch them very shallow at first light. They have caught them from the Stump Hole to past Point 10. Right now is the time to book your walleye trip or get out and troll Shad Raps and swimbaits in 10-30 feet of water above the state line. The hot spots for crappie are the Fout area and near 1C in Big Creek. The crappie are biting on minnows, small spoons and jigs on brush piles in 20-30 feet of water.
(updated 10-18-2017) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said Norfork Lake is starting to get real exciting. The fall bite is improving every day and will get better and better as the water cools. The lake is dropping roughly a half-degree a day with this current cool front and Lou said he is looking forward to the lake surface temperature reaching the 60s. All species will become very aggressive and start to feed heavily for the upcoming winter months. Lou is starting to find large schools of feeding fish and they will attack anything that comes in front of them. Striped bass fishing is finally starting to improve. Lou is finding schools as well as scattered fish feeding on the bottom on large flats. Lou says he has been fishing several different flats from the mid-lake area up to the Red Bank area. Tuesday was a little slow with the high pressure arriving after the cool frontal system arrived the other day. Lou says he did manage to find a really nice 31.5-inch striped bass on the bottom that gave him quite a battle. Lou said he didn’t think the fish knew he was hooked until he saw the boat, then the excitement started with one run after another. Very healthy and energetic 12- to 13-pound fish. Lou gave him his freedom at his dock after the photo. During the last full moon there was a very early morning (in-the-dark bite), but recently the bite has not started until almost sunrise and Lou is finding feeding fish all the way up to noon or a little after. Lou uses his electronics to find the bait fish, then he starts jigging a spoon off the bottom. Tuesday was a little slow, but the large schools will become increasingly more common as the water cools. Live bait is working very well, either thread fin shad, gizzard shad or shiners. Lou is still using a downline for live bait with a 1- to 2-ounce weight, a 3- to 4-foot leader and a small No. 4 size hook. A larger hook should be used if you have the bigger gizzard shad. Match the hook size to the bait. Lou has mainly been vertical-jigging with a half-ounce to three-quarter-ounce spoon. All colors seem to be working as long as the predominant color is white, Lou’s favorite color is white with a chartreuse back. Feeding alongside the striped bass are the hybrids, white bass, largemouth bass, spotted bass, walleye and catfish. You never know what you are going to catch when you are jigging a spoon. “:I think this is why I like fishing this method so much,” he said.
Crappie fishing is still good. Find brush in 25-35 feet of water and the fish will be on the top of the brush or buried inside of the brush. In the late afternoons the fish may come up in the water column to the warmer water, so start dropping your bait down about 8 feet and keep checking deeper until the fish start to bite. Lou has been using a small quarter-ounce spoons in white/chartreuse, but other colors will work. Small grubs tipped with a minnow will work very well, or just use a minnow with a slip float. The bigger white crappie are finally starting to move into some of the brush. Several 13- to 15-inch crappie have been caught recently, but most of the crappie are in the 10- to 12-inch range, which is a great size to clean and eat.
Bass fishing continues to be pretty good. Lou says he’s done exceptionally well a couple of days. While striped bass fishing on the flats, Lou and his guests have run into large schools of feeding largemouth bass and spotted bass. These have not been the little guys, all have been in the 2.5-to 4-plus-pounds range. Lou has found these fish in about 30 feet of water at all different times of day, from just after sunrise to 2 in the afternoon. Other areas to check out are along bluff walls using jig-and-pigs or Texas rigged worms. Lou had some bass fishing guests in last week and he says they had a blast catching topwater bass up on the Missouri side of the lake. They caught a lot of short fish, but some keepers were in feeding with the little guys. Crankbaits are also producing a lot of bass, but many are short fish.
Norfork Lake level has been stable for the last week and Tuesday was at 553.44 feet msl. Sporadic power generation is being used to maintain this level. The current level is a little under normal seasonal pool. The surface water temperature Tuesday morning was 73 degrees and the lake temperature is falling slowly due to the current cooler weather. The main lake is clear to partly stained and the creeks and coves are stained. Great fishing conditions for all species and a perfect time to take that much needed lake fishing vacation.
(updated 10-25-2017) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Norfork Lake fell 0.2 feet to rest at 0.4 feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 16.6 feet below the top of flood pool. There was light generation and reliable wadable water. The water is stained. It fishes well one day and poorly the next. Navigate this stream with caution as things changed a bit during spring flooding. There was major gravel recruitment at the bottom of Mill Pond and the dock hole. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (sizes 18, 20, 22) like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (sizes 14, 16) like the Green Butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. 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 size 10). The fishing is better in the morning. John’s favorite rig has been a cerise San Juan worm with a pheasant tail dropper (size 10).
Dry Run Creek is stained but still fishing well. The brown trout have begun moving in for the spawn. The hot flies have been sowbugs (size 14), Y2Ks (size 12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise size 10). John adds, “This morning I fished with Gus on Dry Run Creek. Dad was there, too, to take pictures. It was a cool start, 47 degrees, but the day warmed up as we fished. It was a bit fogg, on the drive over, but the fog burned off as soon as we got there, revealing a sunny sky. I knew that a lot of brown trout had moved into the creek but I didn’t really see them because the water was quite stained. This is a holdover from the flooding on the Norfork this spring. In addition, there was an unmistakable odor of sulfur in the air. This is a telltale sign that Norfork lake is turning over.
“We arrived at 7:30 a.m. and we were on the water in 10 minutes. There was no one there and we had the place to ourselves. I went to one of our favorite spots. The first 20 minutes were a bit slow. We began hooking trout but lost about three before we hooked a stout 24-inch rainbow. It was a good fight, but Gus did a great job and brought it in in short order. It was a male with a large kype. That was a great fish to begin the day and on omen of things to come.
“The next fish was a fat 24-inch brown. We caught several more there including a 23-inch rainbow and a 22-inch brown. It was slowing down there and I figured it was time to move. We walked far upstream and arrived at one of my cherished spots. I knew that it was loaded with trout but could not see them as the water was stained. We fished it for a few minutes but did not hook anything.
“I moved to my next spot and struck gold. The first fish was a 23-inch rainbow then a 20-inch brown. We caught several slightly smaller trout. It was definitely enough action to keep our minds in the game. Then Gus struck pay dirt and hooked a monster. It took a long run downstream. Gus carefully finessed it in closer so that I could finally net it. It was a seriously thick 27-inch rainbow. This was another male with a thick kype. We took a few minutes to take some photos. It was so big that Gus had trouble lifting it so I shed my gloves, wet my hands and posed the fish for the camera. We took a few minutes to carefully release the trout. We took a few more fish and then began walking out.
“We tried several spots and caught fish most places. We caught one good rainbow, several good browns and a bunch of slightly smaller trout. We ended the day with five trophy trout and about 20 other fish; most of them were 18 inches or better. When we got back to the car, I found out that Gus was 8 years old. He was the best angler for his age that I had seen in years. It was a great day to be a guide.”
(updated 10-25-2017) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are low and clear. With the warmer weather the smallmouths are more active. John’s favorite fly is a 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 Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,119.69 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.00 msl).
(updated 10-18-2017) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said water is clear and is at a normal level. The surface temperature is in the high 60s. Catfish are biting the best. Reports were excellent, with nice-size catfish being caught. Chicken livers are working best for the cats. Crappie are fair. You can find them in about 5-15 feet depth anywhere you see brush piles. Minnows or jigs will get a reaction. Bass are fair. Early in the day, go with topwater baits. For the rest of the day, spinnerbaits are a good bet. Crankbaits and jigs were also getting bites. Bream are poor.
(updated 10-25-2017) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) says striper activity forecast for the week is good. Beaver Lake stripers are on the feed and most fish are on the move toward fall areas. Your best bet is to cover lots of water, paying close attention to what Mike Bailey terms “high percentage spots.” High percentage spots are typically points, humps, pockets or tree lines where stripers can corner bait. Some striper can be caught fishing the open water or channel areas near high percentage spots as well. We have also been seeing some fish surfacing so have your spoons, jigs or topwater plugs handy in order to capitalize on a quick rush when they pin bait to the surface. Fishing free lines, balloons and down lines between 10 feet deep to about 40 feet in order to ensure make sure you have a good spread and you can also try trolling umbrella rigs with white or chartreuse jigs/grubs or plugs like Rapala No. 14 husky jerks in black back or purple back colors, or a 5-6-inch model of Smithwick Rogues in similar colors on downriggers or snap weights and planer boards to get some depth and stagger your presentation. Make sure not to keep stripers under 20 inches and not more than three stripers or hybrid combination. Walleye must be 18 inches long with a limit of 4. Live bait is the go-to approach on Beaver Lake when fishing for trophy stripers.
Surface water temperature is in the high 60s. Check out these hot spots, and check the main lake structures, humps and secondary points in the area where the channel intersects: Big Clifty, Point 5, Point 6, Rambo Creek Arm, Rocky Branch, Ford and Cedar creeks, Larue, Coppermine, Ventris, Shaddox Hollow, the Highway 12 bridge, Prairie Creek, Coose Hollow, Blackburn Creek, Beaver Shores, Escapalia Hollow/Falls Hollow, Horseshoe Bend and Mont Ne.
Walleye are still in their summer mode and can be found 20-30 feet deep depending on areas you fish. Mike recommends fishing with three-way rigging Rapalas in natural colors for clear water or chartreuse/orange and clown colors in areas of stained water. Also, try Rapala Tail Dancers, Bagley Rumble B’s, Flicker Shad, Bandit 300 Series and Arkie 350s in colors that include orange and chartreuse. Use slow death rigs and spinner rigs on bottom bouncers in orange/chartreuse. Bink Pro Scale 1-ounce jigging spoons in white or white/chartreuse combination and a variety of jigs are also producing walleye.
(updated 10-18-2017) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) says due to generation this week (morning hours), fishing has been kind of slow. Trolling flicker shads and spoons have produced some nice fish. Water temperatures have been in the lower 50s between Houseman and the Highway 62 bridge. Drift-fishing with light terminal tackle and various power baits have also produced some nice fish. You can also free-line Power Eggs while drifting. This method has produced some pretty good numbers as well. Most fish are being caught between Spider Creek and the Highway 62 bridge during generation.
(updated 10-25-2017) Beaver Dam Store said the water remains off below Beaver Dam. Fly-fisherman are reporting good numbers trout being caught. Generation was off Friday morning until 2 p.m. The brown trout are spawning, so be aware of the reds in the river and not walk all over them. Fisherman in boats are catching their limits while drifting with PowerBait and waxworm combos. There have been some walleye caught using nightcrawlers, and crawlers are also working well for catching trout. Fish the Bertrand and the launching ramp just below the dam using PowerBait. Also, try fishing the Parker Bottoms area. When water is flowing, throw quarter-ounce spoons. Flicker Shad are also doing the job. Remember, the store now will be now Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays and will be open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
War Eagle Creek
(updated 10-26-2017) Loy Lewis of War Eagle Creek Outfitting (479-530-3262) said smallmouth bass fishing is going well between Smallmouth Rapids Access and War Eagle Mills area. Floating past rapid stretches and wade-fishing back upstream will offer some good fishing. Also, the beginning and end side of pools have smallmouth bass actively chasing minnows. Good baits are live minnows and crawdads as well as crankbaits, spoons and watermeloncolored soft plastics.
(updated 10-25-2017) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said the water is stained and at a normal level. Surface water temperature was 66 degrees earlier this week. Bream reports were fair, though the bites were slow. Worms or crickets were used. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Bass reports were poor. The catches were small and the action was slow. Spinnerbaits and plastic worms were about all that worked. Catfishing is fair. Worms and stink bait are getting bites.
(updated 10-18-2017) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said the water has remained clear and Tuesday’s surface temperature was 68 degrees. Water level is low about 2 inches. Crappie are fair. The fish are in 6 feet depth. Minnows or jigs will get response. Bass are fair on plastic worms. Catfish are biting, with good reports. In fact, some big fish in the 10- to 20-pound range are being caught. Live bait what the anglers are using. Bream have not been active for some time; no reports there.
(updated 10-18-2017) Ome Coleman at Lake Poinsett State Park says there is no more fishing here at Lake Poinsett until all the needed repairs are done. The bait shop is still selling bait. So, you can still get your minnows, goldfish, crickets, redworms, night crawlers, etc. They still have frozen bait and lots of other fishing supplies at Lake Poinsett State Park.
(updated 10-25-2017) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water was dingy and low about 1 foot. Surface water temperature is ranging 65-69 degrees. Bream are fair on worms and crickets. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Bass anglers had good reports, with jerkbaits being the best bait. No reports on catfish.
(updated 10-18-2017) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) said water levels are running at 270cfs (350 cfs avg) and water clarity has been clear. The river is low and clear and still tough fishing on sunny days and easy catching on overcast days. On the sunny days a Y2K down deep produces well and a brownie can be really hot some days. There have been a lot of crawfish moving around. And a big nymph in olive or brown can be really good. Stripping the Woolly or nymph upstream is the ticket. For spin fishers on tough days or even on a fly rod a hot pink Trout Magnet can be really hard to beat. On a windy day use an indicator to get down below the leaves floating in the water.
(updated 10-25-2017) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Spring River is fishing well. This is a great place to wade fish when they are running water on the White and Norfork rivers. Canoe season is still on and there many boats on the river. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive Woolly Buggers with a bit of flash (size 10), cerise and hot pink San Juan worms (size 10) and Y2Ks (size 10).
(updated 10-25-2017) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said water is clear and the surface water temperature is 67 degrees. Level and current are normal. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Bream are poor. Bass are poor but there are some responses on spinnerbaits and plastic worms. Catfish results were poor at best, with worms working best. Walleye reports were no catches to just a few, overall poor.
(updated 10-25-2017) Austin Davidson at Cane Creek State Park said crappie fishing is booming. A solid mix are biting on brown minnows and jigs alike. Fish are biting near the bank, on structure. Although bream are still biting, the reported numbers have dropped significantly with cooler weather moving in. People are still catching them on nightcrawlers. The cooler weather is expected to bring an increase in the number of catfish caught. Cut bream and chicken livers are the bait of choice. Bass are still striking topwater baits and shallow crankbaits or Rat-L-Traps. Shad are schooling just below the surface of the water and all game fish are feeding shallow. As November moves in, crappie season will peak.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will open a special commercial fishing season on Lake Chicot to target Asian carp from Nov. 1-Dec. 31. Chicot normally is off limits to commercial harvest. Commercial anglers will be allowed to keep any commercial fish other than alligator gar during the season, and all Asian carp caught must be removed from the lake. The 16-inch minimum length regulation on buffalo is removed during the season as well. Commercial anglers should contact the Monticello Regional Office at 877-367-3559 to obtain a free permit to participate in the special season.
As of Tuesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 257.74 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 259.20 msl).
(updated 10-25-2017) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said much everything stayed the same on Millwood over the past week except the water temperature, which cooled some more. Temps ranged 67 degrees early to 72 later in the day. Tuesday’s lake elevation was 1.46 feet below normal conservation pool, as the water slowly rises following the fall drawdown. They just need more rain to reach normal pool. Bass are still schooling in same locations. The lake has been hot with quite a bit of action the past couple of weeks largemouths and Kentuckies (spotted bass). The bass remain in the same spots as last week. They are schooling on flats in the lily pads and in Little River chasing huge shad schools. These bass, from 2-4 pounds, remain excellent almost all day on topwaters, Rat-L-Traps, Bass Assassin Shads, buzzbaits and Jitterbugs near vegetation and lily pads. Best color of buzzbaits over the past couple weeks were Firecracker/chartreuse around pads and vegetation adjacent to deeper sections of the creek channels or in the river. Bass Assassin Shads continue working well and best reaction Mike has seen are still on Grey Ghost, Houdini, Salt and Pepper and Silver Phantom colors. After the topwater excitement slows, a shallow squarebill and Rat-L-Trap will get bit in cuts, ditches and around the schooling fish in creek channels and lily pad stands. Best colors for squarebills and Rat-L-Traps over the past week or so have been the shad imitations like Millwood Magic, Black Bone Nova, Gold Tennessee Shad and Holographic Transparent. The deep- and medium-diving crankbaits like the Bomber Fat Free Shads, Fat Free Fry or Fat Free Guppys are still working from 5-10 feet deep in creek channels and across primary points along Little River with the best colors over the past couple of weeks drawing best reactions being Citrus Shad, White Pearl, Threadfin Shad and Citruse. The Rat-L-Trap 1.75 Echo squarebill crankbaits continue working in creek channel swings (outer bends and deflecting off stumps) and where creek mouths and sloughs feed and dump into the oxbows. Best colors the past few days have been Ghost Minnow or Millwood Magic in the better water clarity away from remaining current. War Eagle Spinnerbaits continue working in and around vegetation and cypress trees, best on windy mornings, and colors drawing best reactions over the past week were Mouse or Hot Mouse, Spot Remover or Chartreuse and Firecracker/chartreuse.
Mike says white bass and hybrids are seen still schooling with the largemouth and Kentucky bass. Clear Baby Torpedoes, Cordell Crazy Shads in chrome/black, Stuttersteps, Little Georges, Rocket Shads, Rooster Tails and Rat-L-Traps in black-chrome or Millwood Magic are still working for whites and hybrids. Crappie are best near standing timber and planted brush in Little River out of any remaining current, and backs of the oxbows from 8-15 feet deep on vertical-jigging Cordell smoke colored paddle tail grubs, and light wire jigs in pink/white or red/white. Catfish continue biting well on trotlines set along Little River from 9-12 feet deep using CJ’s Punchbait or chicken gizzards and livers. Yo-Yos using shiners and minnow are still catching some nice cats in the oxbows underneath cypress tree limbs from 9-12 feet deep.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 536.84 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).
(updated 10-25-2017) Jason Lenderman with JL Guide Service (870-490-0804) said Tuesday that the lake level was at 536.88 feet msl, which is about 10 feet below normal pool. Water is clear in most parts of the lake, with the upper part of the lake having some color. Water temperature is 70 degrees. Bass are biting well using a variety of techniques. Spinnerbaits around shallow brush are working well. Pitch a jig in the brush for the better quality bites. Bass continue to school in all parts of the lake early and late and can be caught using Super Spook Jrs., Booyah One Knockers, Cotton Cordell Spots and smaller swimbaits. Several fish can be caught using a shakey head worm on points as well in green pumpkin or watermelon colors. Crappie are starting to pick up and can be caught in and around brush in the 15-20 feet depth range using Kalin’s Grubs and minnows.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 397.64 feet msl (flood pool: 408.00 feet msl).
(updated 10-25-2017) John Duncan of YoYoGuideService.com at Iron Mountain Marina asks , “How much will the lake get before the fall rains hit?” Water level is 397.67 feet msl more than 8 feet below normal pool. The water temperature has dropped considerably to the mid- and lower 70s. Fish have been biting a little slower. Watch for schooling fish in calm coves and lake areas. If you cannot locate them on the surface, try using spoons when you find the schools on your electronics. Fish have been pretty pick lately on what to bite. Whopper Ploppers and other shad-colored topwaters are the best bet when fish are on the surface. The last calm days had fish from Iron Mountain Marina to Shouse Ford areas. Crappie have been moving to shallower water. Some are being caught in water 12-14 feet deep. Look for structure in the upper lake areas. Watch for fish suspended over brush piles and other areas like points and bluffs. No bream report. Bass fishing, other than surface fish, has been slow – those are the reports on some of the tournaments lately. Again, the lake is lower than last week. Be careful and watch for shallow areas and points. Be safe and good fishing.
(updated 10-25-2017) Local angler George Graves said surface water temperature is in the low 70s and the lake is clear throughout. Fishing is slow due to the cold weather, wind and rain (yes, it did rain), with only a few decent catches reported. Not much doing with bass mainly due to the inclement weather and wind. Best bet has been up lake from Shouse Ford to Point Cedar. Very little schooling activity but a few fish reported coming on crankbaits both lipped and lipless. Fish at 6-10 feet on both main lake and secondary points. Lots of small Kentuckies showing along the bluff banks around points 14 to 15 and along the west side of Goat Island. Try Texas rigged finesse worms in green pumpkin or red shad. Crappie fishing has slowed due to the low water. Most of the brush attractors are now too shallow for decent fall fishing. If you can find a sizable attractor at around 20 feet you will probably catch fish. The problem is that there is very little brush cover now at that depth. With global warming causing weather conditions such as drought and floods, the lake now has extreme fluctuations. The Army Corps of Engineers and the AGFC should start placing brush attractors to compensate for these water level changes. Fishermen are placing a few attractors at good low water depths, but only the Corps and AGFC have the facilities and equipment to place the large attractors, which are by far the best. With the demise of the hydrilla, the only decent cover that crappies now have are man-placed. Hybrid fishing is slow with the weather changes scattering the shad. Best bet is trolling with the small umbrella and covering a lot of water. Load the five-arm umbrella with 4-inch swimbaits in white or chartreuse.
(updated 10-25-2017) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said the fishing keeps getting better every day. The crappie continue stacking up on the brush piles fished 8-12 feet deep with jigs and minnows. A few schools of white bass have been spotted breaking but they don’t stay up very long. Look for them suspended; cast and count down spoons.
De Queen Lake
As of Tuesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 436.87 feet msl (flood pool: 437.00 feet msl).
As of Tuesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 524.75 feet msl (flood pool: 526.00 feet msl).
(updated 10-18-2017) Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said bass are still being biting on crankbaits and soft plastics. Crappie are still slow. No report on bream and catfish.
(updated 10-25-2017) Sportsman’s One Stop (870-863-7248) said a few bass are being caught on stick worms. No report on crappie and bream.
(updated 10-25-2017) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said the water is clear and the level is normal. Surface water temperature is 64 degrees. Best fishing reports continue to from the bass anglers, who had another week of good results. Spinnerbaits and plastic worms are working best. Bream are fair around the docks on worms and crickets. Crappie are good on minnows or jigs. No reports on catfish. No reports on white bass.
Lake Bailey (Petit Jean State Park)
(updated 10-25-2017) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas bred and built Xpress aluminum fishing boat, reports that with Lake Catherine and Hot Springs Village area lakes, “What a wild time we are having with the weather patterns this year! That being said, bass are doing a couple different things here so pick your poison!” First of all, anglers obviously have the breaking bass at most times of the day but hot and heavy in the mornings and from about 3 p.m. until dark. Target these fish off main and secondary points and any space in between that has between 12-20 feet of water depth. Hit these fish with top water baits like Zara spooks, broken minnows and even poppers. When the fish get “smart” to your presentation move to crank baits in the shad or white coloration. Again when those fish get “smart” move out away from the breaking spot into adjacent deeper water and work some drop-shot fluke or finesse worms in lighter natural colors(don’t get crazy here) or go to the wacky or Neko rig in the same colors.
Option #2 Frogs, whopper ploppers and buzzbaits. Work the same general areas listed above, but just keep flinging those baits in any crease or cubby of the shore lines. Shaded areas seem to be the way to go latter in the day but some monsters are being taken this way. Be patient with this approach. It is a Lot of casting for just a few fish, just keep banging away.
Crappie are good in depths for 20-30 feet of water depending on the temperature of the body of water you are on. Look for piles and structure off the main channels adjacent to deeper water. Minnows and jigs (no surprise there). With the weather shifting colder this coming week don’t be surprised if these patterns get thrown out the window. Keep those crankbaits and tubes ready to go hit the rocks on secondary points at a moment’s notice! Good luck out there!
(updated 10-25-2017) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 66 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace. Entergy is only generating every few days to maintain lake levels. Lake Catherine is at normal summertime pool with no change in water levels expected until November. A 3-foot drawdown is planned for the lake beginning Nov. 1. Catherine will begin to refill in early March. The rainbow trout season has been over for months with the bite dying out in early July. Trout stocking will begin again in mid-November. White bass migrate in and out of the area chasing shad and can be caught on spinnerbaits in white or yellow. Jerkbaits in a black/silver pattern are another good choice of artificial lure that imitates baitfish. The bite is best during periods of generation, and the late evening periods have been the most productive. Some hybrid action is mixed in with the white bass and these fish are being caught on the same techniques. Striper action is hit and miss with some topwater action observed below the bridge in the early morning around daybreak. Gizzard shad fished under a balloon give anglers the best chance to hook a large striper as these predator fish consistently target large baitfish. Large soft plastics casted weightless into feeding fish will draw vicious strikes. Strong rods and lines are recommended as many of these fish weigh over 20 pounds with some in the 40-pound class. A few walleye have been caught in the early morning on crankbaits trolled against the current. Walleye often remain the tailrace after the spring spawn with small numbers taken year-round. Anyone navigating the Carpenter Dam tailrace should be aware of all boating and park regulations and always wear a life jacket.
(updated 10-25-2017) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) said water temperature is in the mid- to upper 60s. Water clarity in the river is cloudy. Creeks some are stained some are dirty. Largemouth bass have been excellent on Rat-L-Traps on points, on spinnerbaits and buzzbaits in the creeks on point and ridges. Scam shad have been working well in the pockets and in the flats of the creeks. White bass and stripers are in the river making their way to the creeks; Rat-L-Traps, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits and swimbaits have been working well on deep water points. Vertical spoons also are working occasionally. Crappie have been excellent shallow and the creeks to 4 feet deep; in the river they are 13-14 feet deep. Chartreuse black, pink chartreuse, red yellow and minnows have been working well around stumps and fallen trees in both creeks and the river. Catfish have been good around the jetties on cut bait, shad, perch and skipjack.
(updated 10-25-2017) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said that like in DeGray Lake, the crappie are stacking up on the brush piles fished 8-12 feet deep with jigs and minnows. A few schools of white bass have been spotted breaking but they don’t stay up very long. Look for them suspended; cast and count down spoons. An ample number of yellow bass are also on the brush piles. The fishing just keeps getting better, he said.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 341.99 feet msl (full pool: 342.00 feet msl).
(updated 10-11-2017) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said the lake is clear and at a normal level. Surface temperature earlier this week was 87 degrees at midday, before the cool front entered the state. Bream are fair on worms. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Largemouth bass are fair, with anglers throwing spinnerbaits, topwater baits and plastic worms all with relative success. Catfish reports have been poor. Best response has come on chicken livers. No reports on white bass.
(updated 10-11-2017) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said the lake is clear, and no surface temperature was recorded. Level is normal pool. Reports on largemouth bass ranged from fair to good. Anglers were using spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfishing is fair to good. Try worms for best response. No reports on bream. No reports on crappie.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 568.16 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 10-25-2017) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) said black bass are better and spotted bass are good. Try drop-shot finesse worms for a mess of spots. Walleye are fair and being caught on spoons near main lake humps and points near brush. Stripers are fair on live bait. The central part of the lake is still the best area for these fish. No report on bream. Crappie are good and being caught on minnows in 20-30 feet of water near structure. Catfish are still fair on live bait, stink bait and hot dogs with trot line or jugs. Try depths of 20-30 feet. Water temperature has ranged 66-70 degrees and the clarity is clear. Call the Mountain Harbor guides – Mike Wurm (501-622-7717), Chris Darby (870-867-7822) or Jerry Bean (501-282-6104) – for more information.
(updated 10-11-2017) Greeson Marine, home of the Arkansas bred-and-built Xpress fishing boat, reports that fishing conditions are still good on our erratic waters this week. Temperatures are still at or around the 80 degree mark and cooking fisherman and shallow water fish. Spotted bass have been found lurking in schools over flats in between main and secondary points along with submerged shoals. Smaller fish in the 1- to 2-pound range are taking small shad over these areas with the adjacent deeper water holding the bigger fish in the 20-feet range. Deep-diving or lipless crankbaits in the shad color range along with drop-shot rigs and “turd” rigs tipped with swimbaits or small Senkos are producing well. In the heat of the day a worm in black or watermelon is a go-to option when the bite slows or stops. Remember to use your electronics and find those balls of bait fish as they are not on every point. Good luck.
Blue Mountain Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 383.70 feet msl (full pool: 384.00 feet msl).
(updated 10-25-2017) Natalie Faughn, ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), said cooler temperatures hopefully will bring an uptick in fishing activity. Anglers at Bear Creek are using live bait to entice bites from redear. Fishermen at Bear Creek Lake are anticipating an increase in bass activity over the next few days if the cooler temperatures hold steady. Hoping for a productive weekend of fishing at Mississippi River State Park. Remember, the State Park Visitor Center sells all your bait needs. Crickets, worms, artificial bait, and they are now restocked with minnows. Call or come by for prices.
(updated 10-25-2017) Natalie Faughn, ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), said anglers at Storm Creek Lake are beginning to see increases in crappie activity, especially from the shoreline and fishing pier near more shallow habitat. Anglers are using live bait to entice bites from redear. The State Park Visitor Center sells crickets, worms and artificial bait, and are now restocked with minnows. Call or come by for prices.
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Arkansas Wildlife Weekly Fishing Report
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