Arkansas Wildlife Fishing Report
BY Jim Harris
Aug. 1, 2018
Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine
Weekly Fishing Report
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for Aug. 1, 2018. 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
NOTICE: An irrigation restriction on Lake Conway will be in effect through March 1, 2019. The irrigation restriction will allow the AGFC to apply Environmental Protection Agency-approved aquatic herbicides to treat and reduce the spread of alligator weed, a non-native, invasive aquatic plant. Herbicides used will not cause harm to aquatic organisms, such as fish, and are not harmful to people or wildlife that may come into contact with treated vegetation or water. Herbicides that will be used have up to a 120-day irrigation restriction after application. Therefore, the AGFC strongly recommends adjacent landowners DO NOT irrigate water from Lakes Conway for lawn or garden use during this period.
(updated 8-1-2018) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) says the clarity is stained and the surface water temperature is 86 degrees. Water level is normal. Bream are fair on worms or crickets. Crappie are fair on jigs. Get out early for the bass, as the bite is fair; use plastic worms and topwater plugs. Catfishing is fair.
(updated 8-1-2018) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said the river remains low and clear with little generation over the weekend and through Tuesday. The AGFC is working on the access area at Dripping Springs where they are removing some of the silt that washed into the river from the berm failing on private property that caused a flash flood in the area. They are re-establishing a boat channel directly above the launch ramp. This will cause the river below this area to be dingy or muddy until the work is finished, which should be during this week. The afternoon generation will increase when the work is finished and the temperatures rise. The fish are taking blue-winged olives and midges during the hatches that are occurring more frequently on the upper and mid-river sections during the late morning and afternoon hours. The bite has been fair to good during the hatches. This week brought more clouds and lower temperatures. Hopefully this is a trend to continue through August. “We can always hope!” Greg says. The long-range forecast seems to support this, he added.
(updated 8-1-2018) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service said the summertime generation pattern for the Little Red River continues. This schedule is a few hours of early afternoon and/or evening generation. You will find wading opportunities on the upper river in mornings and lower river in afternoons. For fly-fishing, Lowell recommends midges, hare’s ears, sowbugs and streamers. Hot pink and cotton-candy-colored bodies on chartreuse jigheads are recommended for Trout Magnet spin fishing. Be safe while enjoying the Little Red River. Always check before heading to the Little Red River by calling the 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 458.54 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 8-1-2018) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the he water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 458.59 feet msl and falling with generation and evaporation. It is 3.95 feet below normal pool of 462.54 feet msl. The catching is good overall and is getting better every day as we move closer to fall. The black bass are eating Texas-rigged worms, C-rigged Senkos, football heads in deeper water; jigs, spinnerbaits and crankbaits in shallow water as well as topwater baits; and the same for shallow will work for the in-between fish. Also, there are some schooling fish that can be caught all around the lake. The bream bite is good on crickets, crawlers, inline spinners and small crankbaits from real shallow out to about 20 feet. The crappie are suspended as usual most days with them being on the bottom some; use jigs and jigs tipped with minnows for the best bite in 12-28 feet. Walleye are picking up some on crawlers and crankbaits fished a variety of ways in 24-30 feet of water. Catfishing is still on fire all over the lake on various baits and techniques from about 10 feet out to 45 feet. Hybrid bass and white bass are eating a lot with some surface action as well on different places scattered around the lake and the down fish are eating from 25-55 feet on spoons, inline spinners, swimbaits and grubs.
(updated 8-1-2018) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) said the clarity is very clear and the water is nice. Surface temperature is 86 degrees The lake is ranging normal to low. Bream are excellent on crickets. Crappie are good. They are deep, with the bite at about 16 feet. Use minnows or jigs. Bass are good; use spinnerbaits. Catfish are excellent with nightcrawlers.
NOTICE: An irrigation restriction on Lake Overcup will be in effect through March 1, 2019. The irrigation restriction will allow the AGFC to apply Environmental Protection Agency-approved aquatic herbicides to treat and reduce the spread of alligator weed, a non-native, invasive aquatic plant. Herbicides used will not cause harm to aquatic organisms, such as fish, and are not harmful to people or wildlife that may come into contact with treated vegetation or water. Herbicides that will be used have up to a 120-day irrigation restriction after application. Therefore, the AGFC strongly recommends adjacent landowners DO NOT irrigate water from Lakes Overcup for lawn or garden use during this period.
(updated 8-1-2018) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said water level is about normal, but getting a little low. Surface temperature is around 83 degrees. Bass are chasing shad still. Bream are doing well on crickets and redworms. Catching some good-size bream. Catfish are being caught on jugs and trotlines with bream and minnows. Crappie are being caught on minnows and jigs, but not catching a lot. Johnny had a 40-pound flathead Tuesday morning on his trotline.
(updated 8-1-2018) Larry Walters at Bones Bait Shop (501-354-9900) said the fishing continues to be good at Brewer Lake. The water clarity is clear and the surface water temperature is 87 degrees. Water level is normal. Bream are good on worms and crickets. Crappie are good on minnows or jigs. Bass are good using spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfishing is good with worms.
(updated 8-1-2018) Jolly Rogers Marina (501-868-5558) said the largemouth bass bite remains excellent. The bass are about 10-20 feet deep, while some are just outside the grass. Try using Zoom Trick Worms, crankbaits, jerkbaits and jigs in 6-8 feet and 10-16 feet of water. A few can also be caught in shallow water on Pop-Rs, spinnerbaits, and chatterbaits. The blacks are still biting more during dusk and dawn. Keeton Blaylock and Kyle Wise had another good night on Tuesday to win the last regular season Tuesday tournament on the lake, hauling in a 9.12-pound stringer and the Big Bass of 3.48 pounds. Meanwhile, Kentucky bass are good. The spots are off the grass line and also about 8-12 feet down over the drop-off points. Rocky shoreline is best with a crank bait or jig. The white bass bite is good. Reports keep coming in of whites schooling near the dam from 6-9:30 p.m. Use Rooster tails, CC Spoons, deep-diving Bandits, and Bombers. Crappie are good, with more reports of crappie being found near brush piles and structures anywhere from 8-12 feet deep and from 16-20 feet deep. Try using spider rigs and minnows early in the morning or later in the evening. Bream are good and are being caught 6-12 feet deep and on brush piles. Use crickets, worms or jigs anywhere from 3-12 feet of depth. Catfishing is excellent. More reports this week of the channel cats moving out and the blues coming in. Try stink bait and bream around 8-10 feet and at 20 feet depth.
(updated 8-1-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish have still been good for some people at the lake. One of Lisa’s customers recently caught a 22-pounder off of nightcrawlers. Some crappie have been hitting pink crappie minnows and small crappie minnows. Bream have been good on crickets. Bass have been hitting brooder minnows and small spinnerbaits.
Bishop Park Ponds
(updated 8-1-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said it’s till been pretty slow, with little to report from here.
Saline River Access in Benton
(updated 8-1-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said the water has come up a little but the area still needs more rain. The bream have been fair on crickets and redworms. Bass have been good on brooders minnows and Brush Hogs. Catfish are good on trotlines using black salties and goldfish. Also, some flatheads have been caught on rod-and-reel using brooder minnows. Crappie have been slow, with best results on medium-size crappie minnows.
(updated 8-1-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie are slow but are biting medium-size crappie minnows and Kalin’s 2-inch Grubs in Bleeding Tennessee Shad color. Catfish are good on black salties and nightcrawlers. Bass are good on Brush Hogs and brooder minnows. Bream have been doing well on crickets.
(updated 8-1-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie are biting good for some off medium crappie minnows and others small crappie minnows. Bream good on crickets. Bass are good on bass minnows and Rebel Wee Crawfish. Catfish are good on chicken livers and bait shrimp.
(updated 8-1-2018) Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) said anglers are still fishing early and coming in around 9:30 a.m. due to the heat. There are millions of shad in the river. Catfish are up early around jetties in about 10-15 feet of water, then going deeper. Charley said he is drift-fishing. Use shad. Also, float a live bream about 5-10 feet deep while you drift. Results have been very good. White bass are chasing shad around creek mouths and over sunken jetties. Use crankbaits in pearl and shad colors. In the late afternoon the shad are going to the center of the river. Fish tiny torpedoes and Zara Spooks. You will see how many shad are there; pick a school and throw in and crank out. Results have been good. Bream are good on crickets on grass and overhangs. Kentucky bass can be found early under the overhangs. Use buzzbaits, jitterbugs and chatterbaits. Results have been good. Stripers are blow dams 9 and 10. Use wobble spoons. Also, when shad are schooling in the late afternoon in mid-river, keep using the wobble spoon as well as Spooks or a larger crankbait. Expect good results. Black bass are in the overhang areas early like the Kentuckies, then they move to secondary drops where you have wood.
(updated 8-1-2018) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the water level and current are normal and the water clarity is clear. Surface water temperature was 87 degrees. Bream are fair on worms or crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows or jigs. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits and plastic worms. Catfish reports were fair with worms. Reports came in on white bass, too, with fair results.
(updated 8-1-2018) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said the water is clear and the level and current are normal. Surface temperature is 85 degrees. Bream are good on worms and crickets. Crappie reports are good on minnows or jigs. Black bass are fair, with the best bites on spinnerbaits and plastic worms. Catfish are fair on shad.
(updated 8-1-2018) Vince Miller from Fish ’N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) said the clarity of the river pool is clear with a surface water temperature 88 degrees. The level and current are normal. Bream are in about 8 feet of water and the bite is good. Use worms or crickets. Crappie are fair with minnows or jigs. Bass are fair with spinnerbaits or plastic worms. No reports on catfish.
(updated 8-1-2018) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said the water is very clear and the surface temperature is in the mid-80s. Bream are good on crickets. Bream are in the backwaters; target them at 3-4 feet. Crappie are good; look around the rock jetties in 12-15 feet depth with jigs. Bass are good. They’re responding well to topwater plugs as well as black buzzbaits and black Bandits. Catfishing reports have been fair. Skipjacks are working best below the dam. In the Terry Lock and Dam area and the pool below the dam, bream are fair on worms and crickets. Crappie are good in 10-12 feet depth on jigs. Bass reports are good with topwater lures and plastic worms. No reports on other species.
(updated 8-1-2018) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the bass bite is fair near Terry Lock and Dam on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and plastic worms. Catfish are being caught on worms and chicken liver, with good results. Bream are poor on worms or crickets. Crappie are poor on minnows or jigs. The water is clear on that end of the river pool and the surface temperature was reported a7s 90 degrees. Water level and current are normal.
(updated 7-25-2018) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said that below Murray Lock and Dam, the catfishing is fair using skipjack or by snagging. White bass are good on spoons, shad and twister tails.
Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 8-1-2018) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the surface water temperature is 88 degrees and the water clarity is clear. Level and current are high. Bream are fair on worms or crickets. Crappie are poor; anglers were using minnows and jigs. Bass are good on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and plastic worms. No reports on catfish.
(updated 8-1-2018) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) reported water temperature at 86 degrees, and the level is normal. Water clarity is clear. Fishing is slow, Donna says. Bream are fair on worms or crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows or jigs. Bass are good, though, biting plastic worms, with anglers reported good catches. Catfishing is good on worms.
(updated 8-1-2018) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) says releases from Bull Shoals Dam have been minimal and the White River water level at Cotter is very low most every day. They see mid-afternoon releases during the week with the rise showing up in Cotter late in the day or early evening, and returning to an extremely low level by morning. Although this makes navigation dicier (the river claims large chunks of propellers at times like this), the professionals find the deep holes and are claiming the best catches of rainbows seen in months. Bring your favorite spoons (nothing too big for most of the day) like the 1/6-ounce Thomas Buoyant brown trout spoon, a Rebel floating minnow (blue or black back, white bellies), the Rebel crawfish, or the old standby shrimp and Power Eggs (usually fluorescent yellow is most successful). You’ll have your own fish tales (tails?) to tell. The brown bite hasn’t let up completely and we’ve seen some nice cutthroats over the last several weeks. These two fighters usually perk up at a river minnow laid low beside their hidey holes. See you at the river.
(updated 8-1-2018) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the water is clear and the water level is low in the morning, returning to normal later in the day. The trout fishing is excellent, they report. Fifteen browns were caught in one day, with the size ranging between 17 and 25 inches. Rainbows being caught are all excellent.
(updated 8-1-2018) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last weekend that during the past week, they had no measurable rain, brutally hot temperatures (to include heat advisories) and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell 0.1 feet to rest at 2.1 feet below seasonal power pool of 661 feet msl. This is 36.1 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell 0.9 feet to rest at 2.5 feet below seasonal power pool and 16.5 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.1 feet to rest at 1.5 feet below seasonal power pool and 10feet below the top of flood pool. The White River had less generation with more wadable water. Norfork Lake fell 0.5 feet to rest at 1.7 feet below seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet msl and 25.9 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had less generation and wadable water every day. Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes in the White River System are now below the top of power pool. With warmer weather and increased power demand for air conditioning, expect more generation in the afternoons but there is a possibility of wadable water in the cooler mornings. The White has fished well. The hot spot has been the Narrows. There are sulphurs are still coming off. 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 14 bead head pheasant tail with a size 18 midge suspended below it. Use lead to get your flies down.
John also had a fishing story: “Last week Bill Barksdale called and asked me if I would introduce his 21-year-old grandson, Alex, to fly-fishing. I have known Bill and his wife, Sandy, for over two decades. We were in the same fly-fishing club in Memphis, the Mid South Fly Fishers. They lived just down the street from my mother- and father-in-law. They even lived briefly in Cotter a few blocks from me while their home on a bluff overlooking Rim Shoals was being built.
“Bill is an avid fly-fisher but had not been able to introduce Alex to the sport because his son William (Alex’s dad) has traveled quite a bit for his job and Alex had been unavailable for Bill to fish with him. Bill wanted him to fish with me the first time to build his confidence in his ability to catch trout on a fly rod and in general get him enthusiastic about fly-fishing. I was eager to do it.
“The day we chose was a bit challenging. We were to begin at noon and the forecast was for a sunny day with a high temperature of 100 degrees. I feared it would be too hot for the lad, but I was clearly mistaken.
“I began the day with a brief casting lesson. It was apparent to me rather quickly that Alex was a natural. I decided to get the boat in the water and concentrate on fishing. They were running a bit of water around 1,500 cfs, or about half a generator. This is a good level to fish.
“We had a couple of fish on during the first drift but lost them. I explained to Alex what he was doing wrong and how to correct the error. On the next drift he landed a fat 18-inch rainbow.
“From then on it was clear sailing. We began catching fish at will. From time to time we would lose one and I would explain what went wrong. Alex quickly made the correction and we began to catch even more trout. We were fishing at the catch-and-release section at Rim Shoals. The fish there are a bit larger. All of the trout we caught were in the 14- to 18-inch slot. They averaged about 16 inches. Alex was having the time of his life.
“About 3 p.m. we took a brief break. Bill and William were sitting at a picnic table in the shade near the ramp watching us fish. They were pleased with our progress. We had landed 20 trout. I invited them to join us, but they declined. They said it was Alex’s day.
“We returned to the river after drinking a bottle of water. I was amazed at how well we were doing despite the heat. One hundred degrees doesn’t bother you when you are catching fish. A bit of cloud cover and a light wind helped a lot. We caught five more and then it was time to call it a day.
“We had ended the day with 25 trout. Bill was very pleased. The next two days Bill and Alex canoed together and fished. Alex fished well both days and was enthusiastic about bringing his college buddies at Texas Christian University up to fish with him and his grand dad. Life is good!”
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 658.61 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 659.00 feet msl).
(updated 8-1-2018) K Dock Marina on the Missouri side of Bull Shoals Lake said lake conditions are perfect right now for fishing. Water is clear of debris and sitting around the new normal of 659 feet msl. Surface temp has cooled off with the recent rains. The cooler temperatures have brought the lake way down from the 91 degrees experienced a couple of weeks ago. Bass have become very active feeding in shallower water. Boat launch, Bluff Road and courtesy dock are all usable. The lake level Tuesday is 658.7 feet, the lake temperature is 84 degrees. Clarity is stained. Black bass are good on a variety of baits. Topwater plugs such as Zara Spooks, full-size Whopper Ploppers and buzzbaits. Great results have been seen using a 10- to 12-inch plum worm, Texas-rigged, in and around brush piles. Also good results on jigs and Brush Hogs. Crappie are good to fair on live minnows on trees and brush piles. Several 12- to 15-inch crappie came in last week. Large crappie are hitting medium crankbaits along the high rock bluffs while trolling. Walleye are good vertical-jigging silver or white spoons off of steep rock points. Good reports toward the power site/bridge area. Also good on large crankbaits trolled in 20-40 feet depth. Best reports on trolling are coming from around Bee Creek Island and the Drury Mincy flats starting at Barn Cove and heading downstream (just past the 35 Lake Marker).
(updated 7-18-2018) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said last week the lake level was at 659 feet msl; water temperature is about 90 degrees, mid-90s, depending on location. We’ve been under a heat advisory, so we’re doing half-days. If you guys want to get out, learn how to drop-shot, it’s a great time to learn how to do that. Definitely sticking with the half-days,” he says. The biggest thing is to fish the conditions. It’s that time of year, got the thunderstorms rolling in – it might rain, it might not rain, that’s going to affect the bite. Early in the morning there’s still a topwater bite. Any walk-the-dog style baits are going to work. If you get around the fish you’ll notice they’ll be schooling pretty much out toward the main lake, any of those long points or saddles. If you see them busting you get in there right away, you can catch a few on it. Also started catching a few throwing a spoon at them. If they’re a mile out there, if you chunk a piece of lead in there and let it sink, if you get in there right away, you’ll catch a few. The top water bite, if you do get one, the most predominant bite for Del is picking up the spinning rod and putting a drop-shot on them. Places you’re going to drop-shop: main lake points, main lake bluffs, secondary points, anywhere where you’ve got the channel swing banks where it comes in, if you’ve got deep-water ledges, that’s where you’re going to want to key in on the drop-shot. The conditions that Del will fish the drop shot: If the water is laying flat, or sunny, or the fish just aren’t cooperating. “We love to power fish just like you guys. I’d love to go out and throw a Whopper Plopper and catch them.” Whopper Plopper is catching a few fish depending on the conditions. If you stick with it you’ll catch a few. “A Whopper Plopper is one of my favorite ways to catch them just like a lot of you guys, so if you’re gonna throw the Whopper Plopper with the lake level being where it is – we’re right where we’re supposed to be, 659 feet – there’s a little bit of bushes left in the water, Whopper Plopper fish have been on those transition banks with bushes, points of bushes, a little bit of cover for them to get on.
“Another thing I’m doing is, if it’s flat, sunny, some of the deeper docks, you can throw a Flutter Spoon in, pitching that around the docks, any of those docks that have 20 or more feet when you get around them. Those seem to be the ones that are holding the fish. They’ll get in around the shade; make sure you fish the shady side of the docks. With all the boat traffic the lake is dirty, he said. He adds that there’s a Sweet Beaver bite going on, that’s catching a few and these are shallow. These are going to be your largemouth bass. He’s also catching a few on a square bill. There’s a lot of shad that are up right now. Found a nice pocket of shad and went and fished them relatively shallow and caught some fish off of them. Fish very early, then go back in the evening.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 553.58 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April 552.00 feet msl; April-September, 554.00 feet msl).
(updated 8-1-2018) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said striper fishing continues to be the hot bite on Norfork Lake. Right now everybody who either live bait fishes, trolls or spoons is catching stripers. This year with the normal water levels the lake has an excellent level of oxygen from 35-100 feet of water. This means the stripers have plenty of areas to roam and feed. August should be a great time for striper fishing. The crowds will be gone the weather will be good and should see lots of stripers caught. In years past when the water levels and oxygen are good, a great afternoon bite will start at Robinson Point from the island south to above 80 feet of water. Tom says he has fished Robinson Point both in the morning and evening in August and have produced lots of limits and some trophy fish. It’s worth checking it out. You will see Tom out there some evenings. The best bite right now is from Georges Cove to the dam and from Thumb Point to Hand Cove. The areas Tom says he has targeted are secondary points with a channel swing in waters starting 50-130 feet. The shallow fish will be feeding on crawdads while the deeper fish will be feeding on this year’s shad hatch. The small white bass and largemouth bass are feeding both early and late on the young shad. Any topwater bait will produce a strike. These fish are small but you will have lots of action. The topwater bite starts early and sometimes you will see feeding fish all day long. The evening bite looks like it will be great. Tom says they fished several evenings this past week and caught multiple limits and several good-size fish. Look for stripers in water starting at 40 feet and move out until you find them. The bite will last up until dark. The stripers are on the points with sloping flats near the dam. Stripers are still being caught from Diamond Bay off Point 2 in the channel, Georges Cove, Koso Point, Hudson, Hand Cove, Dam Cove and Thumb Point.
(updated 7-25-2018) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said Norfork Lake fishing has been good and has had some very interesting occurrences that are not typical based on his prior years’ experience. If you are looking for some fun topwater action, it has been occurring for the last several weeks. White bass and hybrids are erupting in the mid-lake to northern parts of the lake in the mornings and the afternoons. The small to mid-sized whites are on the surface, but if you get down 5-10 feet the bigger whites are feeding heavily. “I suggested using a Kastmaster blade-type bait to some of my guests. They found the feeding frenzy this morning and had a blast.” The catfish bite is also doing very well. Some of Lou’s guests have set trotlines in coves in about 10 feet of water and are catching blues and channels overnight, as well as a few during the day. “I have caught some really nice-size blues in about 50 feet of water on the sides of points with a sharp drop-off. My catfish have been caught using live threadfin shad.”
Lou says the striped bass and hybrid bass bite is good if you can locate the schools of fish. He has been fishing in two different areas, but he said he can see the fish are slowing moving out. “I did a little looking around different areas from Point 2 down toward the Jordan area. I marked a few fish in all areas, but didn’t find anything really exciting. In the last spot I did find small schools of stripers that were still feeding. A first-time striped bass fisherwomen landed a nice 8-pounder out of this school. We had two other rods bent to the water at the same time, but we missed both of them. After this flurry of activity the fish moved on and we headed home. I am going to check this spot out much earlier in the morning tomorrow.” Lou says he has been mainly using threadfin shad, but spoons are also working. If you enjoy trolling you should be able to pick up some nice fish. Umbrella rigs and swimbaits are both catching fish. The trick is to get your bait down to 30-40 feet deep, Lou said. Look from Point 2 to the dam out in the deeper water along bluff lines and main lake points. Norfork Lake is holding fairly stable for both the lake level and the surface water temperature. The lake currently sits at 554.30 feet msl and the surface water temperature Tuesday morning was 87 degrees. The main lake is clear and some of the creeks and coves are somewhat stained.
(updated 8-1-2018) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last weekend that over the past week Norfork Lake fell 0.5 feet to rest at 1.7 feet below seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet msl and 25.9 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had less generation and wadable water every day. Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes in the White River System are now below the top of power pool. With warmer weather and increased power demand for air conditioning, expect more generation in the afternoons but there is a possibility of wadable water in the cooler mornings. On the Norfork, the water has fished very well. There have been some nice midge, caddis and sulphur hatches that have provided some good top water action. 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 size 10). The fishing is better in the morning. John’s favorite rig has been a red fox squirrel nymph with a ruby midge dropper. Dry Run Creek has cleared and is fishing much better though there are fewer fish in the creek. 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).
(updated 8-1-2018) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are low. The smallmouths are 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 1,120.09 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.00 msl).
(updated 8-1-2018) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148 said the water is stained and is low. The surface water temperature is a nice mid-70s as of Monday. Bream are good. Use redworms or crickets, and target 3-6 feet for best bites. Crappie are good and are in 12-16 feet depth. Bass are good on jigs and plastic worms, and they’re mostly in the 6-12 feet range. Catfish are good. Look for cats in 5-15 feet of water and use cut shad for bait.
(updated 8-1-2018) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) says the striper activity for this week is good. They remain scattered throughout the lake. They are using mouths of coves, bluffs and tree lines adjacent to the channel. Some stripers are still making their way out of the river to the main lake. For you diehard live baiters, fishing with green lights at night and using weighted lines, balloons and downlines between about 20-40 feet deep during daylight hours should get you some stripers. For the artificial baits you can 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, and Smithwick Rogues in similar colors in the 5-6-inch model on planer boards to stagger your presentation. Downrigging those baits will be effective, too. Make sure you do not keep striper under 20 inches and not more than three striper, hybrid or combination of the two. Know your species and make sure you identify any fish you keep. There is no limit on white bass. 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 link on Mike Bailey’s website linked above. Live bait as always is the go-to approach on Beaver Lake when fishing for trophy stripers. Water surface temperatures are in the mid-80s. Mike suggest checking out these hot spots in the mid- and upper sections: Lost Bridge South, Point 4, Big Clifty, points 5 and 6, Rambo Creek Arm, Rocky Branch, Ford and Cedar creeks (check main lake points and humps. Pay attention to where tree line intersects channel), Larue, Coppermine, Ventris, Shaddox Hollow, the Highway 12 bridge (check mouth of the river and main lake structures, a lot of fish coming out of the river late due to high water) and Prairie Creek (pay attention to areas around the islands and Point 10, a lot of fish coming out of the river late due to high water).
(updated 8-1-2018) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said fishing has been consistent this past week. “With the high-temperature scare, I sure am glad that we have had some rain and cooler weather temperatures,” he said. The temperature from Houseman Access to the Highway 72 bridge is in the low 80s and low 70s leading up to Spider Creek. The trout have been biting on light terminal tackle, fished with various PowerBaits. Spoons and Rapalas have also been a hit as well, due to the amount of bait fish in the tailwaters. Spotted bass have been hitting on soft plastics thrown at structure. Most of that activity has been between Beaver town and Holiday Island. The hot spot this week has been Parker Bottoms, fishing with the above mentioned methods. Have fun, be safe and go catch some fish.
(updated 8-1-2018) Beaver Dam Store said the water conditions are poor on the White River because of the broken generators and not knowing when the water will pick back up and turn to original conditions once again. Fly-fisherman are still catch good numbers on the water, and so are the bait fishermen. Temperatures on the river are starting to climb with the little water they are letting out from the generator. The pocket is holding good enough to sustain the trout in the upper part of the river. Always be attentive to rising water conditions. Nymphs and midges are working well along with white or olive PJ Jigs.
(updated 8-1-2018) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said the clarity is muddy the surface water temperature earlier this week had fallen to 86 degrees. Water level is normal. Bream reports were good. Use worms or crickets. Crappie are good, as anglers are trolling with crankbaits. Bass are good on plastic worms. No reports on catfish.
(updated 8-1-2018) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) reports that the water is clear and has a surface temperature of 88 degrees. The level and current are normal. Bream are fair on worms and crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows or jigs. Bass are fair using spinnerbaits and plastic worms. Catfishing is good with worms.
(updated 8-1-2018) Ome Coleman at Lake Poinsett State Park said cooler weather is bringing out more fishermen. They are selling more redworms, nightcrawlers and crickets. Also, they are getting more minnows and goldfish than they did last month. They keep a good variety at Lake Poinsett State Park of live bait as well as frozen bait and plenty of other fishing supplies. While Lake Poinsett is closed for up to two years undergoing repairs, there are other lakes in the immediate area for anglers to check out, including Lake Hogue and Lake Charles. Also, the AGFC’s Family and Community Fishing Program is now stocking the pond at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.
(updated 8-1-2018) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water level is normal and the clarity is clear. Temperature was about 90 degrees at last check. Bream are good on redworms or crickets. No reports on crappie. Bass are excellent; anglers are using plastic worms, topwaters early and late, and spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfishing is good on stink bait and chicken liver.
(updated 8-1-2018) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Spring River is navigable. This is a great place to wade fish when they are running water on the White and Norfork rivers. Canoe season is here and there are 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 8-1-2018) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said the water is clear and is about 5 feet low. There was no surface water temperature recorded. Reports on bass were fair, with plastic worms, grubs and swimbaits working best. Catfish ranged from poor to fair, with chicken livers working best. Crankbaits will bring in a fair amount of walleye these days. Nothing report on bream or crappie.
Arkansas River (Pool 2)
Arkansas River (Pine Bluff Pool)
(updated 7-25-2018) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team said water temperatures are in the low to mid-90s. Water clarity is around 1-1.5 feet in most places, with some areas clearer. Wind, barges and lock operation are about the only thing moving water in the main channel. Black bass are slow throughout. Best bet is to start before sunrise, covering water quickly with topwaters and moving baits. After the sun gets up, it becomes very difficult to get bites. Focus on shady spots along steeper banks and either fish very fast or very slow. Offshore brush piles in Lake Langhofer will produce a few bites as well.
(updated 7-25-2018) Park Interpreter Austin Davidson at Cane Creek State Park said hot weather hasn’t slowed down the bream in Cane Creek Lake. Fishing a cricket in shallow areas among lily pads will get result in enough fish to make a meal! Catfish are still biting in depths of 5-10 feet during the cooler hours of the day, like dawn and dusk. If you wait until about 10 a.m., when the temperature begins to rise, you will begin to catch catfish moving into the deeper pockets around the lake. As they escape the heat and feed on sediment that is moving with the current, they will be apt to bite pieces of chicken liver they find sitting in their way. Crappie are still technically biting in deeper water, over structure. But you have to know exactly where to look to find them. Fish deep pockets with shiners, and if you catch one, stay put! Many locals are also kind enough to point you in the right direction if you are brave enough to ask. Bass are tricky during this time of year. While out on the lake you see them jumping all over the place, but you may not get a single bite. They are being affected heavily by the temperature, and the cooler the air the better your chances of landing a fish. Fish in the early morning or late evening. Look for shad balls that are common around the lake during this time of year and fish white spinnerbaits, shad-colored cranks (lipped or lipless) and save a topwater for when the sun is almost down to draw them in with noise.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 257.38 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 259.20 msl).
(updated 8-1-2018) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said Millwood is a HOT SPOT for largemouth bass and spotted bass this week. Also, he says the lake has almost reached 100 percent of the 24-inch drawdown pool, and was currently about 23 inches below normal conservation pool 257.3 feet msl; the discharge was near 168 cfs for Little River, according to the USACE. The tailwater below the dam and gates has dropped accordingly to 224 feet msl. Water temps have been stable over the past week. Be sure and check the most recent lake level of Millwood Lake on the guide service’s website or at the US Army Corps of Engineers website for updated gate release changes and inflow rates with rising and falling lake levels and conditions while the Corps of Engineers drawdown is in effect. This 24-inch reduction of normal pool elevation is bringing stumps and broken timber to, and very near, surface pool. Use extreme caution in navigation during ongoing drawdown conditions on Millwood.
Mike says surface temps as of Monday ranged 85 degrees early to 90 later under full sun, depending on location. Clarity and visibility continue improving over the past week, but remain stained in places, especially upriver. Largemouth bass and Kentucky Bass have been randomly surface schooling on shad in Horseshoe and McGuire oxbow lakes along Little River for the past week or so, usually around midmorning, over deep water (12-20 feet of depth)and at mouths of creeks dumping into Little River on points. Bass remain active early up to 2-4 pounds on topwaters, and cloud cover mornings are still seeing best activity, early at dawn. Feeding activity levels taper off except for the schooling fish much after daylight’s first couple hours. Best baits drawing reactions, at early morning continue to be buzzbaits, soft plastic frogs, Cordell Crazy Shads, StutterSteps and Jitterbugs at dawn near pads and vegetation. Buzzbait colors drawing best reactions lately continue to be Hot Firecracker, Spot Remover, black or Hot Cotton Candy. Best buzzbait bite working is across flats near creek channel swings, with stumps and laydowns, and around lily pads. Quarter-ounce to half-ounce Rat-L-Traps in Millwood Magic, Ghost, Holographic Transparent Shad, Livin Chrome and Blueback Herring are catching these early schooling bass breaking surface on shad. Additionally, Little Georges, Hammered Cordell Spoons, Kastmaster casting spoons, Rooster Tails and H&H single spin spinnerbaits are working near and around vegetation for these surface-breaking fish. Majority of these surface breakers are appearing to be younger buck bass, adolescents and juveniles 1-2.5 pounds in size. Tons off. Take a kid and get them involved in these schooling bass.
After the topwater activity diminishes, a fairly decent bite can be had by shallow-running square-bill crankbaits, 2.0 & 3.0 & S-cranks and Echo 1.75’s to draw a few good random reactions by deflecting and banging/deflecting them off stumps from 8-10 feet deep in creek channels and points. Working the cranks in a stop-and-go, slow retrieve will draw a better reaction than fast retrieves. The drawdown in process will bring majority of predator largemouths to creek mouths and points in junction with Little River in short order. Magnum tubes like Gitzits have been working on stumps with best reactions on Black & Blue tail, Watermelon Magic, Pumpkinseed/Chartreuse tail or Bluegill colors. Vertical-jigging spoons are still working with Kentucky (spotted) bass and schools of largemouths in Little River behind points and washouts. Schools of Kentuckies and largemouths feeding on river shad will hit vertical-jigged spoons with abandon once the topwater bite subsides late in the morning. Mike says he has been using Cotton Cordell hammered spoons over the past couple weeks, with added bucktails. Some mornings a white bucktail is best, and seems like cloudy mornings that a red bucktail works better. Between Jack’s Isle and Hurricane Creek along Little River, in 10-15 foot of depth where broken timber and stumps are located, anglers will find the most aggressive spoon-bass feeders. Hurricane Creek had some spoon feeding bass early one morning last week, and surface schooling Kentucky bass and white bass several days where bends of creeks contained deeper water in the 10-15 feet depth range. Whites continue hitting vertical-jigged half-ounce to 1-ounce slab spoons in Little River between Jack’s Isle and first entrance into Mud Lake, and surface feeding in Horseshoe and McGuire with the largemouths herding shad over the past few mornings. Catfish improved this week along Little River on trotlines using cut bait, chicken livers, gizzards and minnows on yo-yos hung from cypress trees with live minnows. Bream were biting well at the Millwood State Park and at Jack’s Isle over the past couple weeks using redworms and crickets. These aggressive bream were biting from the bank and the floating dock from 3-6 feet of depth. No report on crappie.
Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) reports that a few bass being caught.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 542.77 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 401.51 feet msl (flood pool: 408.00 feet msl).
(updated 8-1-2018) John Duncan of yoyoguideservice.com at Iron Mountain Marina said the rain this week has cooled the surface temperature down to low 80s. Some water is being pulled out to generate electricity and resulting levels are down some to 401.55 feet msl as of Tuesday. Its full moon time and the bream are bedding. Look for the beds in the back of coves from Ozane to Cox Creek. You will see a “waffle” view on side imaging. Back off and throw either tiny crankbaits of drop shot crickets or worms to the bedding area. Look for them in water 3-10 feet deep. Crappie are slow. Best bet now is either long-line trolling or pushing with crankbaits (Bandit 300) near points and bluffs. Pull them around 1.6 mph. Another option is to pull or push jigs. Use 6-pound test line and 1/8-ounce or ¼-ounce jigs and get your speed down to 0.9 or slower mph. Vary your speed and fish above the thermocline. Change speeds and colors till you find the ticket. No report on black bass. Schooling fish are the item of the day. White bass are surfacing from Shouse Ford to the state park. Same as always, use topwaters like Zara Spook Jr., Whopper Plopper and Sun Gals for topwater action. When they go down, switch to crankbaits or spoons. Hybrids are spotty but usually below the whites and blacks that are schooling. The main thing is to be there when they come up and look for them in calm water. Hope the crappie move back to brush piles soon. Lake is down so watch for shallow spots and humps. Good luck and stay hydrated.
(updated 7-25-2018) Local angler George Graves said surface water temperature is in the mid-80s and the lake is clear throughout. Not many folks are fishing right now, especially bass fishermen with most tournaments ended until fall. Bass fishing is slow with only a few small fish reported. Try the big coves in the lower end between points 2 and 6. Look for surface feeding fish early in the morning. Throw most any topwater plug in a natural shad pattern. Also try Flukes and 3-inch swimbaits. A few fish also reported in the big coves at the state park and around the park marina. Crappie fishing is very slow due to the hot weather and water; it looks like the fish are suspended in the deep timber. Hybrid fishing is slow with only a few fish reported coming from the Iron Mountain area in coves on the south side. Very little schooling activity. Try a heavy jigging spoon fished down to about 50 feet. The good news is that the white bass are thick in those same coves and are surface feeding early in the morning. Look for “breaking” fish and throw small spoons, inline spinners and 2-inch curly tail grubs. White is the best color for all lures. Lots of bream are showing both shallow and deeper to 20 feet. Look for fish in most any cove with some rock or wood cover. Also try the crappie attractors on the main lake. Very few crappie, but lots of bream. Use redworms or crickets.
De Queen Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 437.52 feet msl (flood pool: 437.00 feet msl).
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 525.00 feet msl (flood pool: 526.00 feet msl).
White Oak Lake
(updated 8-1-2018) Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said bream are still biting well. Bass are being caught on topwater and crankbait. Catfish are biting. No report on crappie.
(updated 8-1-2018) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) reported the lake level as normal on their end and the water being clear. No temperature was reported. The bream bite is fair on worms or crickets.crappieare biting fair to good on minnows or jigs. Bass reports are good; use spinnerbaits or plastic worms. Catfish are fair on worms. No report on white bass.
(updated 8-1-2018) Angler Ken Vinson says Lake Atkins is low and mostly clear. Surface water temperature is between 88 and 90 degrees. Bass are hitting on plastic worms and crankbaits. Crappie are hitting on minnows. Bream are hitting on crickets and worms. Catfish are hitting on shad.
Lake Bailey (Petit Jean State Park)
(updated 8-1-2018) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) had no report.
Lake Catherine (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro.
(updated 8-1-2018) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, said rainbow trout fishing is extremely slow. June is traditionally the last month for quality fishing below Carpenter Dam as the summer season kicks in. Anglers will experience short feeding times and a finicky bite as wary trout feed on insect hatches and injured baitfish. Patience is key as the remaining trout numbers are actively feeding in the late evening as the sun sets over the top of the dam. Trout from 12-17 inches are present in the tailrace, but numbers are few. Bank fishermen have had some success using waxworms and mealworms fished just of the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Nightcrawlers and redworms will also work presented in the same manner. As August approaches, few rainbow trout will be seen feeding and smaller numbers caught. By August, trout fishing will be over and good numbers of fish won’t be caught again until the stocking program beings again in November, when the water temperature is suitable for trout again. Walleye are also present in the area and are feeding on shad. The majority of fish are being caught by trolling shallow-running stick baits that imitate small minnows or crawfish. Carolina rigs tipped with nightcrawlers have taken the largest fish at night. White bass are making a run toward the dam with numbers being taken from the bank by anglers casting flukes and Rapala jerkbaits in a black/silver combination. Crappie have finished their spawning run and are still being caught on small jigs and live minnows around rock structure and sand bars close to the main river channel. Little striper activity has been observed this week, but huge numbers of shad are present and these predators can appear at any time of day to feed. Anyone navigating the Carpenter Dam tailrace should be aware of the generation schedules and must always follow all park and boating regulations.
(updated 8-1-2018) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) said water temperature is 86 degrees. River clarity is good. Some bays are heavily stained. Largemouth bass have been hit-and-miss; large Ribbontail worms are working well on sand bars when there’s current. Jigging Bamboozie, frogs, scam shad and weightless lizards are working well around lily pads. Pop-Rs, Chug Bugs and prop baits are working well on the schooling fish, as well as small inline spinners and tailspins. White bass have been excellent schooling throughout the river system and eating small crankbaits, Pop-Rs, Chug Bugs and small spoons. Striped bass have been good when there is current; try using chatterbaits with a scam shad trailer, large Gilmore jumpers, prop baits, bucktail jigs with grubs. Bream have been excellent on crickets and worms around lily pads in the main river stumps and lay down in the creeks. Catfish have been fair on cut bait, shad, skipjack, perch and liver.
(updated 7-25-2018) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said spoons and swimbaits are catching the white bass, black bass and hybrid bass in the creek arms. Use sonar for the large concentrations of shad, you’ll find the feeding fish early in the morning.
(updated 7-25-2018) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the arkansas born-and-bred Xpress all-aluminum, all-welded fishing boat, reports that lake temperatures are in the high 80s throughout and fishing is getting tough. Bass are in the classic hot-water pattern of no pattern at all! That being said, you can throw numerous lures and get some good results if you are patient enough. Medium- to deep-diving crankbaits in Sexy Shad run through drop-off shaded areas work. Zoom Horny Toad Frogs skipped under docks and dragged through grass areas also work, and yes, the old summer special big ole black ribbon tailed worm, Texas-rigged or Carolina-rigged … well those work, too! It doesn’t hurt to have all three rigged up and ready to go on the deck at all times right now. You finally have a reason to have three rods or more in the first place that doesn’t involve lying to your wife! Crappie fishing is slow but much better at night on minnows. Catfish are good, as always.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 343.98 feet msl (full pool: 342.00 feet msl).
(updated 8-1-2018) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said the water is clear with a surface temperature of 87 degrees. Water level is normal. Bream are good; use worms or crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows or jigs. Bass are good using spinnerbaits, crankbaits and plastic worms. Catfishing is good with worms.
(updated 8-1-2018) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) reported the fishing being slow in recent days. Bream are fair on worms or crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows or jigs. Bass can be caught on plastic worms, and results have been fair. No reports on catfish or any other species.
(updated 8-1-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) says the lake is still doing well for a couple of here customers for good-size crappie caught on bass minnows. She has seen some photos of some dandy ones from there.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 573.45 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 7-25-2018) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) says black bass are still good. Texas-rigged worms and drop shot finesse worms are working well. Walleye are still excellent. Try using a CC spoon near brush or drop-shotting a nightcrawler for these fish. Stripers are good on live bait. Major creek mouths and main lake points on the eastern part of the lake are the best for these fish. Bream are very good and being caught on crickets and worms in 15-25 feet water near brush. No report on crappie. Catfish are still very good. Cut bait, live bait and stink bait are all producing good bags. Water temperature continues to range from 84-88 degrees. The water clarity is clear. Contact the Mountain Harbor guides – Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717; Chris Darby, 870-867-7822; and Jerry Bean, 501-282-6104 – for more information.
Blue Mountain Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 386.28 feet msl (full pool: 384.00 feet msl).
(updated 8-1-2018) The AGFC’s Wil Hafner at Cook’s Lake Conservation Education Center (870-241-3373) said the weather is hot and so is the fishing. Anglers are reporting black bass to be hitting Texas-rigged green pumpkin Baby Brush Hogs and Jig-Sooie jigs in the center of dead cypress trees. Square-bill crankbaits and single blade spinnerbaits are also producing. Several anglers are catching 4- to 6-pound bass. Bluegill are still spawning and can be caught on crickets or nightcrawlers in the shallow flats or at the base of cypress trees. Crappie have been almost nonexistent. No one has been fishing for catfish.
Cook’s Lake is a 2.5 mile long oxbow off of the White River, nestled in the heart of the Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge near Casscoe in Arkansas County. This fertile oxbow receives very little fishing pressure due to being used only for education purposes and youth and mobility-impaired fishing. The scenic lake is full of slab crappie, giant bluegills, largemouth bass and catfish of all species. Cook’s Lake will be open to fishing on Saturday, Aug. 4, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will be open the first and third Saturdays of every month through October, water level pending. Cook’s Lake is open to fishing for youth under 16 or mobility impaired, and up to two helpers (who may also fish). Fish from the 140-foot mobility-impaired accessible dock or launch a boat, but we ask for trolling motors only (outboard motor may be used for loading and unloading or in case of emergency). Before launching, please check in at the Conservation Education Center, and report back before leaving. For information or unscheduled closures, please contact the center at 870-241-3373.
(updated 7-25-2018) Natalie Faughn, ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), tells us, Bear Creek Lake has seen a slight increase in activity. The bream fishermen are saying they are having more bites the past week or so using live bait (crickets, in particular) in two coves near Lone Pine campground. “We’re hoping the cooler weather will hang around long enough to bring some more anglers out,” Natalie said.
(updated 7-25-2018) Natalie Faughn, ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), said Storm Creek activity still isn’t very high – some bass fishermen are having luck in the back coves early in the morning using jigs, but once the morning warms up the fish seem to be laying low.
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