Arkansas Wildlife Fishing Report
BY Jim Harris
Nov. 8, 2017
Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine
Weekly Fishing Report
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for Nov. 8, 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 11-08-2017) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) had no report.
(updated 11-08-2017) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service said the Little Red is experiencing very low water conditions due to the small amounts of sporadic water release from the Greers Ferry Dam. This pattern is creating good wading conditions, but challenging boating on most sections of the river. Remember to use fluorocarbon tippet to increase your catch numbers. 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.
(updated 11-08-2017) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said the river remains low and clear with very little generation. These conditions make boating difficult. Small mayflies (blue-wing olives) are still hatching and this seems to be on which the trout are mainly choosing to feed. The hatch seems to be best during late morning and early afternoon. Emerger flies are doing well in the shallow water during the hatch.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 457.36 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 11-08-2017) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 457.36 feet msl and falling. It is 4.68 feet below normal pool of 462.04 feet msl. The crappie fishing is going well in the pole timber and in and around brush piles in 15-20 feet of water on minnows and jigs as well as Road Runners fished slow. Catfishing is a steady go with the fish biting all over the lake on a lot of different baits, with a lot of blues coming in. No report on walleye. The black bass are eating off and on all day, from real shallow to 40 feet of water power fishing to finesse stuff –whatever is your choice of baits, it is working at different times at different depths. The hybrid and white bass are eating down well and are up at times. A lot of people are searching and keeping them down a lot; use spoons, inline spinners, grubs, hair jigs and topwater baits. Stay around the shad.
(updated 10-25-2017) Cody S. Smith of FishGreersFerry.com (501-691-5701) said Greers Ferry is currently on a slow fall and is fishing really well. Crappie have really started over the last two weeks and anglers are catching limits most every day. Water temperatures cooling as much as 6 degrees over the last week have turned the fish on. Basically anything less than 20 feet of water is holding the largest concentrations of baitfish and game fish. Loads of shad are on the upper end and the fish are taking advantage. Get on the water as the fall bite has started.
(updated 11-08-2017) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said crappie are starting to pick up, biting on Bobby Garland Baby Shad in Shiney Hiney, Glimmer Blue, BBQ Chicken, Cajun Crickets, Blue Ice, Shimmer, Monkey Milk, crystal, bone/chartreuse, gumdrop, Penny Back Shad and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r and minnows. Catfish biting on minnows and worms and frozen shad. Bass are biting on buzzbait and minnows, worms, lizards, Brush Hog, Whopper Ploppler. White bass are biting on Slab Slanger, Baby Shad and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r, Cajun Spin and Silver Minnow. Bream are biting well on crickets, worms and Rock Hopper.
(updated 11-01-2017) 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 11-08-2017) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said water level is normal and clarity is good. Surface temperature is around 68 degrees. Bass are doing well around brush and grass with black worms and purple flukes. Bream are slow but still catching a few. Catfish are doing good on jugs, yoyos and trotlines using size 12 bass minnows and size 20 trotline minnows. Had a 40-pound flathead brought in last Friday. Crappie are doing well around docks, walkways and other structures even out in the channels, using minnows and jigs. There has been a bunch of limits come out in the last week or so.
(updated 11-08-2017) Larry Walters at Bones Bait Shop (501-354-9900) had no report.
(updated 11-08-2017) Jolly Rogers Marina (501-868-5558) said black bass are biting on shaky head jigs, warm-colored crankbaits, drop-shot, 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. Kentucky bass are good and are being caught on hair and finesse worm jigs, spoons and minnows. They can found mixed in with the black bass. White bass reports are poor. They are running in 14-20 feet of water off of the channels. Use Rooster Tails, CC Spoons and deep-diving Bandits and Bombers. Crappie are good. They are being caught on crappie minnows and soft plastic bodies with a weighted jighead. Lots of 11-15 inch crappie are being caught 7-12 feet and 18-22 feet depths. Fish off channel or under water bridges. Bream are slow. Bream can be found near the brush piles but moving quickly. They are being caught on crickets and live worms. Catfish are good. The catfish are being caught in 15-25 feet of water but are moving into shallower wate; use stink bait, small bream, worms and chicken livers. Reports of cats near rocks on shoreline by the weeds.
(updated 11-08-2017) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said crappie are biting on Bobby Garland Baby Shad, Strike King Mr. Crappie Slab Slanger and minnows, and Bobby Garland 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r. White bass are biting Slab Slanger, Baby Shad, Cajun Spin and Silver Minnow. Bass are biting on worms, lizards, Brush Hogs and Whopper Plopper.
(updated 11-08-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish have been biting pretty well for some customers using chicken livers and nightcrawlers. Bream fishing has been slow. Crappie have been biting fair very early in the mornings on pink minnows and pink-colored jigs. Bass have been biting slow to fair on minnows and small plastic worms and curly tail grubs.
Bishop Park Ponds
(updated 11-08-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish and crappie have been biting No. 6 minnows. Bass are hitting minnows and small plastic worms and lizards. Bream are biting fair on crickets and redworms.
Saline River Access in Benton
(updated 11-08-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish have been caught on trotlines baited with minnows, black salties and goldfish. Bass fishing has been fair with minnows, small plastic worms and lizards and small crankbaits or spinnerbaits. A couple of decent stringers of crappie have been caught on the river lately with No. 6 minnows fished under small bobbers around logs. Small bream and an occasional keeper will usually bite a cricket or worm on a small hook about anywhere on the river. Gar are still pretty active on the river and willing to take a minnow if given the chance. This is Lisa’s favorite time of year to fish it and she’s hoping to soon be able to give firsthand reports from the Saline River.
Other areas in the state that customers report to us are:
DeGray – Size 6 minnows and Bobby Garland 2-inch Slab Slay’r in ghost color have been working well for crappie.
Harris Brake Lake – Size 6 and size 4 minnows have been catching some stringers of nice crappie.
Nimrod – Crappie have been biting well on size 4 minnows.
(updated 11-08-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish have been biting fair on minnows, nightcrawlers and chicken livers. Bream fishing has slowed and customers report fewer big ones biting crickets and redworms. Bass are biting fair on live minnows and slow on plastics and other artificial baits. Crappie reports are few and far between from Norrell but the few we do get tell us size 6 and pink minnows are the baits to use.
(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 11-08-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie are biting size 6 and size 12 minnows, Kalin’s Triple Threat Grubs and Bobby Garland Split Tail Jigs. Bass have been hitting the minnows and being caught by the crappie fishermen as well. Catfish are biting about dark in the evenings on chicken livers, minnows and nightcrawlers. No recent reports about bream fishing on Winona.
(updated 11-08-2017) Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) said few people have been fishing the river. Most people Charley has seen out on the river are checking for ducks and scouting their duck hunting spots. Monday and Tuesday of this week, lots of geese were flying over. Catfish are going up and down the water depth. Best time for catfishing seems to be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the jetties. Use skipjack. Reports have been fair. Bass are best from noon to 5 p.m. on the jetties. Use crankbaits or slow roll a spinnerbait. The bass action has been slow. White bass are around the shad schools. Watch for shad schools going crazy. They’re also on the jetty tips. Use a CC Spoon. Reports have been fair. No reports on crappie, bream or stripers.
(updated 11-08-2017) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the water is clear and surface temperature is 63 degrees as of Tuesday. Water level and current are normal. The fishing is slow. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Bass are good on spinnerbaits and Zara Spooks. Anglers catching catfish were having best success from boats, and reports were fair to good.
(updated 11-08-2017) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said bass reports have been good in the area near Murray Lock and Dam. Try using a Keitech swimbait with a 3/4-ounce jighead.
(updated 11-08-2017) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said water level and current are normal. No clarity or surface water temperature was recorded. Crappie are good. Anglers report the crappie in 5-6 feet depth. They are biting jigs. Bass are fair. Spinnerbaits, plastic worms and topwater lures all were working at various times of the day. No reports on catfish, bream or white bass.
(updated 11-08-2017) Vince Miller from Fish ’N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) said crappie are good on 10-12 feet depth. Use minnows or blue jigs. Bass are good, with best results using jerkbait. No reports on catfish. No reports on bream.
(updated 11-08-2017) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said water and current are normal. No temperature was reported. Bream are fair. Crappie ranged from poor to fair, biting minnows and jigs. No reports on bass. No reports on catfish. Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said water level and current are normal. No clarity or surface water temperature was recorded. Crappie are good. Anglers report the crappie in 5-6 feet depth. They are biting jigs. Bass are fair. Spinnerbaits, plastic worms and topwater lures all were working at various times of the day. No reports on catfish, bream or white bass.
Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 11-08-2017) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said water and current are normal. No temperature was reported. Bream are fair. Crappie ranged from poor to fair, biting minnows and jigs. No reports on bass. No reports on catfish.
Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) will be closed until February.
(updated 11-08-2017) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said the White River below Bull Shoals Dam in the Cotter area has seen a fairly steady water level this past week, no exceptional rises or falls, and the catch has improved accordingly. They have seen lots of better-than-average-size rainbows using bright baits: white jigs, white and fluorescent yellow PowerBait, flashy Woolly Buggers and crusty scuds. Keep your baits about a foot or more from the river bottom and pull it slowly back home. The shortened days have kicked off the annual spawn of the brown trout. They are moving home, too, so watch as they move closer to their spawning beds. It will take a lot of time and varying baits to catch their attention at this time, so remain patient, stay on the river and keep it fun.
(updated 11-08-2017) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the river level is normal, with two generators running. Fishing was good. Rainbows were biting PowerBait, Rooster Tails and pink worms.
(updated 11-08-2017) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last weekend that during the past week, they had a trace of rain, cool temperatures and heavy winds (to include lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals dropped 1.4 feet to rest at 4.5 feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet msl. This is 40.5 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock rose 0.1 feet to rest at a foot below seasonal power pool and 15 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake dropped 0.5 feet to rest at 1.3 feet below seasonal power pool and 10.9 feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, they had no wadable water with light generation. On the White, the hot spot has been Rim Shoals. The hot flies were olive woolly buggers (sizes 8, 10), Y2Ks (sizes 14, 12), prince nymphs (size 14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead sizes 16, 18), pheasant tails (size 14), ruby midges (size 18), root beer midges (size 18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (size 10), and sowbugs (size 16). Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective (John’s current favorite is a size 10 Y2K with a size 14 ruby midge suspended below it). Use lead to get your flies down.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 653.99 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 11-08-2017) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said last weekend that the lake was at 655 feet msl, the water temperatures were about 64 degrees. By afternoon you can still find 68 d egrees depending on where you’re at in the lake. It appears like the lake is through turning over. Del talked with some scuba divers who said that everything has evened out. The shad are moving, most of the bait has moved into the creeks. If you’re fishing the make lake, guys are still bottom-bouncing for walleyes, trolling a little bit, and chasing the perch in the main lake points, secondary points, 28-34 feet is what he has been told. As far as bass fishing, they had a major cold front come through last week and Frirday it was 80 degrees. Del had a fishing trip Friday morning and caught a lot of fish, he said. It was windy, you get in the wind and just keep the trolling motor down and keep moving. If it’s windy like Friday, you wanted to be in the wind. If you got out of the wind the bite was gone. So wind is really key this time of year. As far as the baits that have been working, Del says he’s covering a lot of water and starting to p ick up a few fish on the wiggle wart. The spinnerbait is working. With the spinnerbait, you want to have a little bit of muddy water and wind. Also, the squarebill has worked. Del has been fishing relatively shallow, the deepest he’s been fishing is 10 feet, he said. There is a little bit of deep bite setting up that seems to be on the secondary points, in the creeks that have the long points that go way out. Those points that have brush on th em and 28-32 feet of water, you’re going to see fish and you’ll catch them. You can use a shad-style bait, a Roboworm, things like that. They secondary pattern Del is running, he said, is he’s going into these creeks and is fishing the channel swings, the deeper, 45-degree banks with the big, nasty rocks. Not so much the bluffs straight up and down but those bigger-than-football-size rocks. Those areas seem to be holding fish. If you fish that pattern in the main lake or close to the main lake, you will pick up some smallmouth bass. As you move into the creeks, it will be more largemouth. As the day warms up, you can get in the back of the flats and throw a squarebill around. Keep the topwater baits tied on. The Whopper Plopper bite has slowed down. That’s been sporadic. Del said he expects that to come back a little bit, especially if the lake gets back into having 70 degree air temperatures this week. If you do get in the back and hit the channels wings, you can catch fish on a beaver-style bait or a jig. Del said he prefers the skirted jig if the water is dirtier. It’s a bigger profile bait and will get you a little bigger fish. Del believes the fish up the lake are in a little better pattern than they are on the south end. The biggest thing this time of year, he said, is just to keep moving, keep the trolling motor down and don’t be afraid to turn your hat around.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 552.87 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April 552.00 feet msl; April-September, 554.00 feet msl).
(updated 11-08-2017) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters says the fish on Norfork Lake cannot figure out whether it’s late summer, early fall or what. Several days it is fall-like temperatures with cold winds, fog and some rain mixed in. Those days the lake temperature drops and that spurs the fish to feed. Then the temperature starts climbing and now today it’s in the 80s with a 25 mph south winds. On the colder days with some overcast the stripers seem to bite well. Tom spent two days pre-fishing getting ready for his Saturday trip. His clients had postponed on two occasions due to bad weather so Tom was determined to make sure we could catch some stripers. Both days Tom started in Float Creek and caught several stripers. He said he moved up to the Howard Cove area and found bait and fish but no bites. He then moved up to Fouts and again found both bait and fish but no bites. Tuesday he started looking in the Howard Cove and Fouts area and found no bait. So he moved back to Float and found fish and bait, but after two hours of no bites. He moved up to the Cranfield area and found five boats fishing for stripers. Again he found lots of bait and some stripers but no bites. This weather pattern needs to stay consistent for any real pattern to develop. Tom says he planned on moving back to the Calamity area Wednesday since he knows his son caught fish up there. Stripers, whites and a few walleye are being caught on spoons and shad. Look at Float Creek, Cranfield, Twin Coves and Red Bank on flats 30-40 feet deep. Modern gun deer season opens this coming Saturday and duck season opens in two weeks. So November is the best month for the Arkansas sportsperson. If you do not have a place to deer or duck hunt give STR Outfitters a call as they offer guided deer, duck and pheasant hunting trips.
(updated 11-08-2017) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said Norfork Lake fishing has been fun for many of their guests over the last week. Whether fish are big or small, it is always fun to be out on the lake and reel in a fish. Fall has arrived with its varying weather patterns, which seem to change daily, 80s one day and the next in the 40s and 60s. It seems that the cooler the weather, the better the fish bite. Over the last week Lou says he has seen a big change in the location and the size of the fish. The bigger fish are starting to move in. Striped bass fishing has been mediocre for the last several days, but Tuesday most of the resort guests caught a few hybrids and/or stripers. This may be the sign that the stripers are finally coming out of their deeper habitat and are wanting to feed. At the beginning of last week Lou saw the bait migrate back into the creeks. Lou found large schools of striped bass and hybrid bass back in Float Creek as well as back in Bennetts Bayou. The massive amount of bait has since moved out of Float and are back on the flats. The main lake flats are typical locations for stripers at this time of year. If you are looking on one of the flats, concentrate your efforts in 30-50 feet of water. This is not to say the striped bass will not be up in 20 feet or less of water feeding at night or very early in the morning. The bite for Lou’s group of guests has started after sunrise and starts to slow by late morning. Vertical-jigging a spoon has been the bait of choice for most. Once the fish are found, a blade-type bait such as a Kastmaster has been working well. Swimbaits with at least a 1/2-ounce jighead on it to help it sink should also produce some nice fish. Casting out an Alabama rig produced some nice hybrids and white bass for one of Lou’s guests last weekend.
Lou says white bass have been really plentiful this year. There are mixed sizes of fish in the schools, from 8 inches long up to the monster 14-plus-inch fish. This species can be found on the same flats as the stripers. You will find school after school of whites, then all of a sudden the stripers and hybrids will show up. Over the last week it has been possible to catch 50-60 fish of all sizes in a very short period of time which is a blast. I have been vertical jigging a 3/4-ounce spoon for all species. Also, crappie fishing is still good. They are on the top of and inside of brush piles in 25-40 feet of water. Artificial baits are working well, but live minnows are working the best for the biggest numbers of fish. Catfish are being caught on jugs using nightcrawlers and live threadfin shad. Some good sized fish are being caught. Walleye can be found on the same flats as the stripers and the whites; in fact, you have a great chance of catching all species in the lake fishing the flats once you find the bait and energetic and hungry fish. Lou had a guest walleye fishing over the weekend and he had good success casting a Flicker Shad to the shoreline on the shallower banks. Most of his fish bit when his bait was to about 15-20 feet deep. He also caught a few on jerkbaits close to shore in the late afternoon. This may be the start of the night bite for walleye and possibly striped bass.
Lou adds that bass fishing has been good and they are being found in all the different types of locations. Lou has found large schools of largemouth bass and spots feeding on the flats in 28-33 feet of water. They are also being caught along the deep bluff lines hugging the rocks in 15-25 feet of water. Head back into the backs of creeks in the shallow water – as long as the bait is in the area, the bass will be feeding. A few afternoons ago one of the resort’s bass fishing guests got into some nice topwater action for big largemouth bass. They had a blast for about 45 minutes casting topwater baits. For the afternoon bass fisherman, check out the shadow side of docks; there has been some really nice sized fish caught under Lou’s dock, he said. The lake level is holding fairly stable with minimal power generation and currently sits at 552.96 feet msl. The lake surface water temperature has been fairly constant for the last couple of days at around 65 degrees. Lou expects to see this water temperature drop over the next couple of day with the cool nights in the forecast. The overall lake is starting to clear, but you will still see a slight stain in the creeks, as well as parts of the main lake.
The Bassmaster Team Championship will be held on Norfork Lake the beginning of December. It will be exciting to see how these expert fishermen attack the late fall/early winter bass fishery. Hummingbird Hideaway Resort still has some cabins available for the tournament, so give them a call at 870-492-5113.
(updated 11-08-2017) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Norfork Lake rose 0.2 feet to rest at 0.7 feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 26.9 feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, they had light generation and significant wadable water. On the Norfork, the water is stained and the lake is turning over resulting in low dissolved oxygen. It has fished poorly. Navigate this stream with caution as things have changed a bit during the recent flooding. There has been 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 #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 size 14 sowbugs, size 12 Y2Ks and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise size 10). While you are at the creek you should visit the Norfork National Fish Hatchery. It is fascinating. Be sure and remove your waders before entering to prevent the spread of aquatic diseases.
(updated 11-08-2017) 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 1,119.03feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.00 msl).
(updated 11-08-2017) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the water clarity is dirty. The level is normal for November. No temperature was reported. Crappie are fair, with the fish around brush piles. Use jigs. Bass are fair. The fish are shallow with a few scattering deep. Spinnerbaits and topwater lures are getting the best reactions. Catfish reports were poor. No reports on bream.
(updated 11-08-2017) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) says topwater time is here! Beaver Lake stripers are on the feed and most fish are on the move toward fall areas and your best bet is to cover lots of water paying close attention to what Mike calls “high percentage spots.” Those are typically points, humps, pockets or tree lines where stripers can corner bait. Some stripers can be caught fishing the open water or channel areas near high percentage spots as well. Mike has 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 downlines between 10 feet deep to about 40 feet in order to ensure 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. Also you can use 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 you do not keep a striper under 20 inches and not more than three stripers or hybrid or combination. Walleye must be 18 inches long with a limit of four. Walleye are in their fall migration and Walleye can be found from 20-30 feet deep depending on areas you fish.
Fish location is greatly influenced by lake level and current flow. Current in the lake from generation will generally position fish on upstream or downstream edges of structure. Check the daily lake level and flow data on Mike’s website linked above. He adds that live bait isi always the go-to on Beaver Lake when fishing for trophy stripers. Water surface temperatures this week have ranged from the high 50s to the low 60s. Check out these hot spot areas (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 creek, Larue, Coppermine, Ventris, Shaddox Hollow, the Highway 12 Bridge, Prairie Creek, Coose Hollow, Blackburn Creek, Beaver Shores, Escapalia Hollow/Falls Hollow, Horseshoe Bend, Mont Ne, Hickory Creek, and the War Eagle/White River junction.
(updated 11-08-2017) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) says the trout bite has been really good this week. The preferred method is light terminal tackle with various power baits. Quarter-ounce spoons have also done the trick as well. Most bites have been between U.S. Highway 62 bridge and Spider Creek. A few walleye have been caught between Beaver Town and Holiday Island using a bottom-bouncing rig with various hard and soft baits. With the overcast days, a few browns should be able to be caught. Austin suggests throwing throwing spoons and blue fox “and that should be a good start.”
(updated 11-08-2017) 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 11-01-2017) 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 11-08-2017) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said the water is clear but it is low about 10 inches below normal level. Surface water temperature earlier this week was 55 degrees. Crappie are fair on minnows or jigs. Bass are good, with best response on plastic worms. Catfishing is good. Use live bait or chicken livers. No report on bream.
(updated 11-08-2017) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said the water is clear, and Tuesday’s surface temperature was 56 degrees. Water level is normal. Bream activity ranged from poor to fair. Crappie reacted similarly, with anglers reporting poor to fair results. No reports on bass. No reports on catfish.
(updated 11-08-2017) Ome Coleman at Lake Poinsett State Park had no report. Lake Poinsett is in a drawdown phase.
(updated 11-08-2017) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water clarity is clear and the surface water temperature is 59-60 degrees. Bass are excellent on flukes. Crappie are good on minnows. No reports on bream or catfish.
(updated 11-08-2017) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) said water levels are running at 266 cfs at the spring (350 avg.) and water clarity has been clear. The river has been very low and clear. With the river being lower the trout have been going after a little more technical flies. Mark is using smaller nymphs and droppers. Fishing a Y2K below an indicator with a small nymph below will produce trout on the tough days. On an overcast day, stripping Woollies and big nymphs can work great. No sink tip needed. Hot pink trout magnets continue to produce when the trout don’t bite. Get them down to the bottom and be ready for a strike.
(updated 11-08-2017) 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 over and there are few 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 11-08-2017) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said the water is clear and at a normal level. Anglers had a slow, poor week for all species.
(updated 11-08-2017) Austin Davidson at Cane Creek State Park said crappie fishing is still in peak at Cane Creek State Park. A healthy mix of Rosy Red minnows, shiners and jigs (mostly Electric Chicken) have been reported as working bait. Many people have also reported catching bass on the same minnows. Bass are after gizzard shad. Lipless crankbaits or square-billed crankbaits that look like shad are receiving great results when bumped around shallow structure. Catfish are still biting well. Cut baits on trotlines in the shallows are the way to go for good-sized flatheads and channel cats. A string of cold fronts leading to rapidly cooling days may affect fishing later on, but as of right now water temperatures are staying a healthy constant and the fish are responding positively.
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.
(updated 11-08-2017) Brandy Oliver at Lake Chicot State Park (870-265-9705) said most anglers have reported fair luck with catfish, especially on limblines and noodles. The crappie haven’t been biting too well. A group that was bowfishing last weekend said they had great luck.
(updated 11-01-2017) Angler Chris Van Duren at Lucky’s of Monticello said the lake’s clarity is fair and surface temperature Monday was the mid- to low 60s. Water level is low. The lake has been in a partial drawdown for the last several weeks. Nice-size crappie are being caught, and reports are good from the deepest areas of the lake. Use jigs. You can find fish about 20-30 feet deep. Bass reports have been poor. Anglers are using spinnerbaits or plastic worms for any success. No reports on bream. No reports on catfish. No reports on white bass.
As of Tuesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 258.08 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 259.20 msl).
(updated 11-08-2017) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said the lake level Monday was about 13 inches below conservation pool and slowly rising at 258.1 feet msl; drawdown has ended and lake pool is slowly coming back to normal conservation pool. There is current of 174 cfs in Little River, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. The tailwater as of Monday is about 224.6 feet msl. Water temps were stable over the past week, with surface temperature on Monday ranging near 62 degrees early to 68 degrees later under full sun, depending on location. Continue to use extreme caution in navigation on Little River and Millwood, this week during drawdown conditions. Clarity and visibility continues improving, depending on location for main lake and Little River. As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity and visibility is moderate stain, ranging 8-10 inches. Little River’s visibility ranged 8-12 inches with moderate stain, depending on location and current. The oxbow’s clarity currently ranging 12-18 inches depth of visibility depending on location.
Mike says the largemouth’s appetite continues to be excellent on Millwood! Fish are schooling lakewide in almost any area you choose. Take the kiddos and get them into some of this hot action. Catches of 40-60/day of largemouths and Kentuckies (spotted bass) are still common. The bass are schooling on flats in the lily pads and in Little River chasing huge shad schools. These bass remain excellent almost all day from 2-4 pounds on topwaters, Rat-L-Traps, Bass Assassin Shads, Stuttersteps and squarebill cranks, near creek channels and flats with vegetation and lily pads. Best color of Rat-L-Traps and squarebill crankbaits are almost any shad pattern or Millwood Magic, chrome/black or Ghost Shad, especially in the creek channels or where they dump in to the river. Also try Black Bone Nova, Gold Tennessee Shad and Holographic Transparent colors. Bass Assassin Shads continue working well and best reaction Mike has had remains on the Grey Ghost and Salt and Pepper 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. The deep- and medium-diving crankbaits like the Bomber Fat Free Shads, Fat Free Fry or Fat Free Guppies 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 weeks drawing best reactions are the 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, and the best colors over the past few days have been the 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 being Mouse or Hot Mouse, Spot Remover or Chartreuse and Firecracker/chartreuse.
Mike adds that white bass and hybrid bass are continuing their schooling activities with the largemouth and Kentucky Bass as well. 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. The crappie bite continues improving as long as the water continues clearing, and with the reduced current of Little River. 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 536.46 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).
(updated 11-08-2017) Jason Lenderman with JL Guide Service (870-490-0804) said lake level as of Wednesday morning was 536.47 which is about 11 feet below normal pool and down about 1 inch from last week. Water is clear in most parts of the lake with the upper part of the lake having some color. Water temperature is 65-69 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. Schooling activity has slowed down but some bass can still be caught using Super Spook Jrs., Booyah One Knockers, Cotton Cordell Spots and smaller swimbaits around main lake points. Several fish can be caught using a shakey head or drop-shot on points as well in green pumpkin or watermelon colors. Crappie are good and can be caught in and around brush in the 15-20 foot depth range using Kalin’s Grubs or minnows.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 397.28 feet msl (flood pool: 408.00 feet msl).
(updated 11-08-2017) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said crappie are being caught 8-12 feet deep on brush piles using both minnows and jigs. Schools of small white bass and hybrid bass have been spotted on the upper end of the lake and caught trolling Alabama rigs.
(updated 11-01-2017) Local angler George Graves said surface water temperature is in the mid-60s and the lake is clear throughout. Fishing has improved somewhat with the weather becoming more stable. However not many are fishing due to football and hunting season getting underway. Largemouth bass fishing is fair with the fish scattered and little schooling activity. Look for fish mostly early in the morning between mid-lake and the upper end around Shouse Ford and Cox Creek. Best bet has been throwing medium-running crankbaits across main lake points. Also try the lipless type such as a Rat-L-Trap. Use natural shad in clear water and something with chartreuse in stained water. Lots of Kentucky bass are on the bluff banks between points 14 and 15, also on the west side of Goat Island. Try a 4 -nch Texas rigged finesse worm in green pumpkin or red shad.
George adds that crappie fishing is getting better and will keep getting better as the fall progresses into winter. Look for brush attractors in 18-20 feet of water. With the low water the deeper brush is hard to locate, but if found, fish can be almost guaranteed. Vertically fish a 2-inch Kalin’s Grub on a 1/16-ounce jighead over the thickest part of the brush. Tennessee Shad and black/chartreuse have been the best bets. Look for cover on the main lake between Point 14 and Point Cedar. Hybrid fishing remains slow as has been the case most of the fall. The fish just are not schooling, which is strange because there are just tons of shad. Try trolling the small umbrella loaded with 4-inch swim baits and hopefully you might run into a fish. Best areas have been Point 15 and Shouse Ford to Point Cedar. A few big bream reported by crappie fishermen fishing the brush attractors. Fish near the bottom just outside the brush with redworms or crickets.
(updated 10-25-2017) John Duncan of YoYoGuideService.com at Iron Mountain Marina asks , “How mjuch 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.
De Queen Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 436.79 feet msl (flood pool: 437.00 feet msl).
As of Tuesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 524.54 feet msl (flood pool: 526.00 feet msl).
(updated 11-08-2017) Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said bass are still biting. Crappie are starting to bite in the back lakes. No report on bream or catfish. Water level is back to normal at 65 feet.
(updated 11-08-2017) Sportsman’s One Stop (870-863-7248) said some good crappie are being caught. No report on bass, catfish or bream.
(updated 11-08-2017) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said the water is clear and surface water temperature is 60 degrees. Water level is normal. Bream are fair on worms and crickets. Crappie are good on minnows or jigs. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfish are fair on worms and stink bait. No report on white bass.
Lake Bailey (Petit Jean State Park)
(updated 11-08-2017) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said catfish are biting on minnows and worms. Bream are biting well on crickets and worms and Rock Hopper. Bass are biting on worms, lizards, Brush Hogs and Whopper Plopper.
(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!
Lake Catherine Tailwater
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro.
(updated 11-08-2017) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below the dam has fallen to 56 degrees due to the cold nights of the last week. Entergy began the winter drawdown for both lakes Hamilton and Catherine on Nov. 1 with a 3-foot draw planned for each lake. These new levels will remain in place until early March. Much safer conditions will exist in the Carpenter Dam tailrace this year with a 3-foot drawdown as opposed to the 5-foot draw of the past two years. This area is shallow at normal summertime pool and becomes treacherous when the current is running over exposed rock and sand bars. November marks the beginning of the fall rainbow trout stocking. Trout will be in the tailrace the week of Thanksgiving with sizes perfect for fishing and great tasting table fare. White bass continue to be caught by the bridge and close to the dam on live minnows tight-lined over deep water. These fish roam in and out of the area chasing shad and are caught year-round when few gamefish are present in the tailrace during the summer months. During times of generation, jerkbaits in a black/silver pattern are effective over sandsbars and exposed rock structure. Some striper activity has been observed in the early morning and late evening below the bridge. Little fishing has taken place in the last week; however, these fish can be caught on live shad presented under a balloon. C-10 Redfins and Super Spooks in white will draw vicious strikes from feeding stripers. A few walleye have been taken by anglers trolling shallow-running crankbaits close to shore in the morning before daylight. Sizes range from 1½ pounds all the way to 5 pounds. Numbers are few but will increase as the new year begins. Good fishing is on the horizon with the coming of rainbow trout. Trout bring the tailrace to life. Anyone navigating the area must always wear a lifejacket and observe all park and boating regulations.
(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 hae 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 11-08-2017) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said the drawdown is complete and the crappie should settle down and be caught on brush piles 8-10 feet deep.
(updated 11-01-2017) Tom Duke on US97 during the Trader Bill’s Fishing Report that the first Arkansas Bassmaster High School Series fished Hamilton on Sunday. It was cold, but the winning team won with 12.99 pounds. The big bass was 3.81 pounds. The top four teams caught at least 10 pounds of fish. The next tournament in the series is on Lake Greeson in February.
(updated 10-25-2017) Greeson Marine in Hot Springs, hometown dealer of the Arkansas bred and built, all-weld Xpress fishing boat, reported that black bass and spotted bass have begun their annual shad binge and fishing is fun, fast paced and fishy! Black bass and spotted bass can be found on most secondary points of the main channel in 8-20 feet of water. Bass are feeding heavily on these points for shad. Secondary points can be docks, grass, outcroppings and flats. The best way to locate fish is to reel or “burn” a shad-colored or chrome Rat-L-Trap swimbait as fast as possible in these areas. Do not be surprised by seeing three or more bass chasing or hitting your bait the whole way in. When found it is a good idea to switch to a swim jig or weighted swimbait to entice the bigger fish. Fishing is good but will get even better in the next few weeks. Get out there and have fun.
As of Tuesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 341.75 feet msl (full pool: 342.00 feet msl).
(updated 11-08-2017) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said most of the anglers seemed to be hunting these days. The clarity of the lake is good and the surface water temperature ranged 58-60 degrees earlier in the week. Water level is normal. Crappie are good. Bass are fair. Bass are fair. Anglers were using topwater baits and plastic worms. Catfish reports were poor. No reports on bream.
(updated 11-08-2017) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) had no report.
(updated 11-08-2017) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) says crappie are starting to pick up on Bobby Garland Baby Shad in such colors as Shiney Hiney, Glimmer Blue, BBQ Chicken, Cajun Crickets, Blue Ice, Shimmer, Monkey Milk, crystal, bone, Gumdrop, Penny Back Baby Shad Slab Slay’r and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r and minnows. Catfish are biting on minnows, worms and frozen shad. Bream are biting well on crickets, worms and Rock Hopper. Bass are biting on worms, lizards, Brush Hogs and Whopper Plopper.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 567.85 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 11-08-2017) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) says black bass are still good! Try a drop-shot with a finesse worm for a mess of Kentucky bass. Walleye are still 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 and stink bait with trotlines or jugs. Try depths of 20-30 feet. Water temperature is ranging 60-66 degrees. 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 11-08-2017) Phillip Kastner of Trader Bill’s Outdoors Sports in Hot Springs said on US97 that the lake needs some rain, not the heavy mist of late. Ouachita needs something that will saturate the ground and run off into the water. This is the reason why: Shad migrate during the fall. They are looking for freshwater intake. If you go into a dead creek with no water coming in, those shad are not going to use that back end of that creek as much as they would if fresh water was coming in. The second thing is, these lakes (Ouachita, DeGray, Greeson) are gin clear. You can literally drop a quarter and in 15 feet call heads or tails. That’s not conducive to catching a bunch of fish in a creek. They’re just too spooky. They see you before you can get close enough to throw into the back of a creek. A little color in the water definitely will help. You can catch some fish cranking in the timber, and the reason why is that the back of those creeks is dead. You’ve got to be out from the very tail of the creek to more the middle of the creek to the mouth to catch better quality fish. Heard some decent crappie reports, but they are deep. We’re talking fish that are 15 feet deep and everybody’s wanting it to be more shallow. That’s why we need fresh water.
Blue Mountain Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 383.56 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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