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Arkansas Wildlife Fishing Report

BY Jim Harris

ON 09-26-2018


Sept. 26, 2018

Jim Harris

Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine

Weekly Fishing Report

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for Sept. 26, 2018. If there is a body of water you would like included in this report, please email 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.

Central Arkansas

North Arkansas

Northwest Arkansas

Northeast Arkansas

Southeast Arkansas

Southwest Arkansas

South-Central Arkansas

West-Central Arkansas

East Arkansas

Arkansas River and White River levels are available at:

For real-time information on stream flow in Arkansas from the U.S. Geological Survey, visit:

For water-quality statistics (including temperature) in many Arkansas streams and lakes, visit:


Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir

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 9-26-2018) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) says the lake is stained and the level is normal. No surface temperature was recorded. However, crappie have improved to a fair bite. Go with small minnows and small jigs. Bass are fair; use spinnerbaits, topwater lures or lizards. Catfishing is fair, with chicken liver and nightcrawlers working best. Bream are poor. There is a bite at 8 feet, though; use redworms or crickets.

Little Red River

(updated 9-26-2018) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service said for fly-fishing, he recommends midges, soft hackles, sowbugs and streamers. Hot pink and cotton candy bodies on chartreuse jig heads are recommended for Trout Magnet spin fishing. Be safe while enjoying the 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 ( for real-time water release and the Southwestern Power Administration website ( to see forecasted generation schedule.


(updated 9-26-2018) Greg Seaton of (501-690-9166) said they missed the large amounts of rain that hit some areas of the state over the weekend but they did get enough to muddy the mid- and lower sections of the river on Sunday. The generation Monday cleared the river and all sections are fishable. The rainbow bite was good Tuesday with Greg’s anglers catching fish on midge pupas and small mayfly nymphs. “It may sound like a broken record when my reports keep using midge pupas, but this time of the year the fish are looking for something small with midges and blue-wing olive mayflies being the main insect activity. Sowbugs are also available to the trout and I use these a backup.”
Greg adds, “Fall is just around the corner with cooler temperatures and good fishing. Plan a trip today with a friend or family member and enjoy the outdoors. It is a great way to escape and relax. Be safe, courteous and enjoy the river.”

Greers Ferry Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 459.92 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 9-26-2018) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 459.89 feet msl and falling; it is 2.65 feet below normal pool of 462.54 feet for this time of year and will continue to fall some as we go. But in Arkansas the weather is like the wind, of course, so just hang around. The bream bite is good as there appear to be a lot in the lake. Use crickets, crawlers, inline spinners and small crankbaits from super shallow out to 15 feet of water. The walleye are hit and miss just like the cool and hot weather; try dragging crawlers in 12-25 feet of water on jigheads and drop-shot rigs. The crappie action is still going strong, if not stronger all around the lake, on jigs and minnows in and around pole timer, brush piles and just about any wood in 12-25 feet of water. The black bass are from super shallow out to 55 feet eating just about whatever you like to throw at them. Some are busting as well, so just stay around the bait. The hybrid and white bass action is good all over the lake on spoons, inline spinners, grubs, swimbaits and topwater baits; fish from 15-55 feet and stay around the bait.

Harris Brake Lake

(updated 9-26-2018) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) said the water color is dark brown/green and you can’t see the bottom. There is lots of activity this week on top of the water. Water level is high, about 4 inches above normal. Surface temperature this week was a nice 75.5 degrees. Bream are fair. Crappie are good in about 4-8 feet depth. Black bass reports were poor, and very few white bass were reported as well. Catfishing is fair. Some flatheads are migrating around the lake, and quite a few flatheads have been caught recently.

Lake Overcup

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 9-5-2018) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said water level is high by about 2 feet and clarity is good. Surface temperature is around 84 degrees. Crappie are being caught on jigs and minnows in 6-8 feet of water around stumps and creek channels. Bream are slow bit still catching some good ones on crickets and red worms. Bass are doing well on crankbaits and buzzbaits. Catfish are being caught on jugs and trotline with bream and minnows.

Brewer Lake

(updated 9-26-2018) Larry Walters at Bones Bait Shop (501-354-9900) said the clarity is a little muddy and the level has risen to about 2-3 inches above normal. No surface temperature was recorded. Bream were poor over the past week. Crappie are fair in about 10-12 feet depth. Bass reports were fair, but there was not much fishing going on, Larry said. Catfishing has been good; target them in 7-8 feet depth.

Lake Maumelle

(updated 9-26-2018) Jolly Rogers Marina (501-868-5558) had no report.

Sunset Lake

(updated 9-26-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said she been hearing from a few people that have actually been doing pretty well on catfish, especially on chicken livers. Some big ones, too, have been caught – between 16-18 pounds. Bream have been good on crickets. Bass have been hitting bass minnows. Crappie are being caught off of pink crappie and small crappie minnows.

Bishop Park Ponds

(updated 9-26-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said, “The front one they call Lake Norma, I just got a report of some nice bass, catfish and good-size crappie being caught there on medium crappie minnows. As far as the back one named Lake Charles, some bass and catfish have been caught off of brooder minnows. Bream have been caught off of crickets. And lots of hand-size crappie off of medium crappie minnows.”

Saline River Access in Benton

(updated 9-26-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said a few anglers are still doing well catching flathead catfish off goldfish and black salties on trotlines. Bream are fair on crickets and redworms. Bass have been hitting bass and brooder minnows and also 4-inch green pumpkin lizards. Crappie are doing fair on medium crappie minnows. October is coming up and so is the good walleye fishing.

Lake Norrell

(updated 9-26-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said some nice bream being caught off of crickets. And some have been using bream they catch to put on their noodles and have been doing well on catfish. Crappie have been fair on medium crappie minnows. Bass have been doing well on pink spinnerbaits and also on bass minnows.

Lake Valencia

(updated 9-26-2018) Hatchet Jack’s in North Little Rock (501-758-4958) says catfishing is fair. Use chicken liver or nightcrawlers.

Lake Willastein

(updated 9-26-2018) Hatchet Jack’s in North Little Rock (501-758-4958) says bream are fair around the piers. Use redworms or crickets. Bass are fair on topwater poppers and buzzbaits. No other reports.

Lake Winona

(updated 9-26-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie have been good on bass minnows and also blue and silver 2-inch Kalin’s Grubs. Bream are biting on crickets. Catfish have been biting chicken livers and bait shrimp. Haven’t heard of any walleye yet, but wait till October and they will be doing well. Bass are biting well on bass minnows and Tennessee shad colored crankbaits.

Arkansas River at Morrilton

(updated 9-26-2018) Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) said that Monday and Tuesday anglers were seen catching both catfish and bass. The water is a little high and stained. For catfish, use a whole shad and worm combination. A lot of smaller fish are on front of the jetties, but the larger ones are on the back side. Reports have been good. Black bass are on the front side of sunken jetties. Use shad-colored crankbaits. Throw one on top and swim them back upstream. Bass are also off points of jetties, so use a dark lizard with a chartreuse tail. Reports are good. White bass are on top of sunken jetties chasing shad. Use a Firetiger crankbait. The catch has been good.

Arkansas River (Cadron Pool)

No report.

Little Maumelle River

(updated 9-26-2018) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) says the water clarity is muddy, with the water close to normal (in a couple of days it will be back to normal, Ray said). No temperature was available. With the conditions earlier this week, bream reports were poor. Crappie were poor. Bass were poor. There were fair reports on catfishing with chicken livers. All should pick up as the conditions improve later this week.

Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)

(updated 9-26-2018) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said bream are biting fair. Use crickets. Crappie are fair and are hitting super jigs and white bibric Rooster Tails. Black bass are excellent. Anglers report success with shad-colored Rat-L-Traps off the sandbars. Stripers are good on shad-colored Little Fishy’s baits. No reports on white bass or catfish.

(updated 9-26-2018) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said catfishing at the Murray Lock and Dam is fair using skipjack or slicks.

Arkansas River (Little Rock Pool)

(updated 9-26-2018) Vince Miller from Fish ’N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) said the river clarity is stained and water level is a little high this week. The river flow is picking up. Bass reports continue to be fair, with crankbaits in blue/chartreuse colors working best. There have been no reports this week on bream, crappie or catfish.

(updated 9-26-2018) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said the river has a lot of current and the level is high. Clarity is dingy. Catfishing reports are good below the Murray Dam, with shad getting the bites. There were no reports from the pool on bream, crappie or bass this week. However, below Terry Dam in the next pool, bream are biting fair in 5-6 feet of water on crickets. Crappie are fair in 10-15 feet of water off the rock jetties; use super jigs in red/chartreuse. Bass are fair. The bite is early and they are being caught off the sandbar. Use spinnerbaits, crankbaits and imitator buzzbaits. Nothing reported on catfish there or white bass.

(Updated 9-26-2018) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said that below Murray Lock and Dam, catfishing is fair using skipjack or shad.

(updated 9-19-2018) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water clarity is clear, with a normal level and current at Terry Lock and Dam. Bream are poor. Crappie reports were fair from anglers working the edges. Bass are good; crankbaits and worms work best. Catfishing is fair behind the dam.

Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)

(updated 9-19-2018) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is clear and just a little low. No temperature was recorded. Bream are fair on worms or crickets. Crappie are good on minnows or jigs. Bass reports were good, with anglers using spinnerbaits or worms. Catfishing remained poor.

Peckerwood Lake

(updated 9-26-2018) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) reported the water clarity is stained. The water is still a little low but there are no stumps showing. Crappie fishing is good. Use minnows or jigs. Bass fishing improved over the week to good, with crankbaits working best. Catfishing is good; hot dogs and just about anything else were working. Bream fishing went unreported again this week; the bream bite has been poor of late here.


White River

(updated 9-26-2018) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) says that through last weekend the White River at Cotter has been running on minimum flow releases (very low) from Bull Shoals Dam for most of a month. Wading opportunities were abundant and hopper season brought out our favorite late-summer flies. The Rebel Crick Hopper remains a favorite and works especially well in the low water near the bank. Hop it along the surface and the trout gobble it up. In the last few days, we’ve seen about one generator of water released from the dam bringing the water level up a foot or so – a nice, steady flow without the spikes that tend to stir the fish up. We’re still getting plentiful bites from the brown trout population on sculpin and minnows (a little less abundant as the summer winds down). Look to orange and sunrise mix as the color for egg patterns and bait right now, and when you add a little pinch of shrimp to the hook, the rainbows will chase you down. Keep that bait near the bottom for the most consistent action. And keep anglin’!

(updated 9-26-2018) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said there was little change in conditions or fishing from last week. The river clarity is clear, especially when it’s low. The river is low during the day was rises in the evening with generation. Rainbow fishing is “pretty good.” Fishing for browns is nonexistent, they say.

(updated 9-26-2018) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last Friday that during the past week they had a few rain events that combined for three-quarters of an inch, cooler temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals rose 0.3 feet to rest at 3.4 feet below seasonal power pool of 661 feet msl. This is 37.4 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell 1.3 feet to rest at 4.3 feet below seasonal power pool and 18.3 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.7 feet to rest at 3 feet below seasonal power pool and 11.6 feet below the top of flood pool. The White had little generation with significant wadable water most every day. Norfork Lake fell 0.3 feet to rest at 4 feet below seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet msl and 28.3 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork little 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. The White has fished well. 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 combination is a size 14 Copper John with a size 18 ruby midge suspended below it. Use lead to get your flies down.
John also said, “Gary Flippin and I are going to teach a riverboat handling course on Thursday Oct. 4, for the Fly Fishing Fair at Arkansas State University-Mountain Home. A major component of that class is boating safety. It should be noted that the White River System is considered the sixth most dangerous body of water in the United States. The big problem here is that the White and Norfork are tailwaters and our water levels can vary greatly in a matter of minutes. To operate in conditions like this you need to be proactive.
“Maintain your boat properly and carry the gear necessary to make simple repairs. I always carry an extra propeller and extra spark plugs. I also have a spark plug, wrench, a pair of pliers, a crescent wrench, a screw driver and a sharp knife. Though I have an electric starter, I carry a spare pull rope. Make sure that you have plenty of fuel. I only use ethanol-free, high-octane gasoline in my boat to prevent damage from the ethanol.
“I also carry safety equipment. I have a Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device for each passenger and a couple of extras. Since my boat is a bit over twenty feet long I also have a floating throw cushion. I have a first aid kit, a small air horn and a flash light. I do not plan to be on the river after dark but things happen out there that you cannot always control. I carry a paddle. It has a T handle that also functions as a boat hook.
“Check weather conditions before you leave the house. Know what the weather is going to be. Fog, rain, lightning, wind, cold and severe heat can adversely affect your day. I monitor the weather channel several times a day and I have a weather app on my IPhone that I use to check conditions, when I am on the river. I carry a rain suit in the boat as well as a couple of inexpensive throw away rain ponchos for my clients. 
Check water conditions before you leave the house. You want to know what the water level will be when you get to the river and when any changes in the water level will arrive at your locations whether it be rising or falling water.
“When you are operating a boat, pay close attention to where you are going. Be on the lookout for rocks, submerged trees and floating logs. The best way to drift fish is to point the bow of the boat upstream and drift backwards. That way, when you encounter an obstacle, all you have to do to avoid it is to motor forward. Avoid drifting broadside. If you hit an obstacle drifting this way, you could get pinned to it by the current. Keep the motor running at all times. That way all you have to do to avoid an obstacle is to put your motor in gear and rev the engine. Be particularly careful when drifting along a shoreline. You could easily hit a submerged rock or stump.
“The use of drag chains should be avoided on high water. The chain could get caught on the bottom and pull the boat under. When the drag chain hangs up the boat comes to an immediate stop. Any boat occupant could be knocked from their feet if they were standing. Anchoring in high water can also be dangerous for the same reasons. While you can safely anchor in a quiet side channel with little or no current, you should avoid anchoring in heavy current.
“One of the most dangerous situations is boating in a heavy fog like we often have here. Sometimes you are unable to see other boats until you are almost on top of them. If you are running up or down stream, do so at a safe speed. Have your passengers help you by looking out for other boats and other obstacles.
“Sit down. I know that most of you prefer to stand when fishing but it is much safer to sit. That way, if you hit something, you are less likely to be thrown from the boat. It is difficult to fish, if you are also controlling a boat in heavy water. It is best if you devote your full attention to where your boat is going. When I fish with my buddies or other guides, we take turns running the boat. When someone catches a good one, they take their turn at the tiller. That way everyone gets to fish. Keep the deck of your boat clean. Any trash, fishing equipment or loose lines should be carefully stowed. This will help prevent falls or entanglement.
“Slow it down. I constantly observe anglers running at top speed. You have slower reaction times when you are going fast. Don’t drive distracted. Check your cell phone when you are not running. Avoid the use of alcohol when operating a boat. Water and alcohol don’t mix.
“You should approach docks or islands from downstream, so that the current doesn’t push you into the obstacle. If you spot someone in trouble, help them out. It could be you next time! Keep these suggestions in mind and you will have a much safer trip.”

Bull Shoals Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 657.29 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 659.00 feet msl).

(updated 9-26-2018) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said last Thursday that the lake level was 657 feet msl. It’s been stable and they had not gotten much rain before last week. Del says they’re starting to “get the lake back, guys.” There were a couple of cool days, but then it got brutally hot again. The fish were starting to move up and then crept back down. Water temps were right around 80 degrees in the morning, by the end of the day it can be 86-87 on the surface. Keep in mind, it’s fall now. The fish are moving around or starting to move. Be prepared to cover a bunch of water. As far as the bite goes, some of the things have been for him, Del says, and have a caught a few fish on the Jewel Special Ops Tactical Jig in their Bass Whacker color. He’s been catching quite a few fish on that whether it’s sunny, windy – it doesn’t matter with the good jig bite going on, he said. If it’s windy, you can get right upside the bushes and, if it’s flat and calm, move out to the deeper stuff. Those fish have been positioned on the rocks, on the channel swing banks, sides of points, anywhere there’s wind, on the bigger football-sized rock, that bite is definitely helped if you’ve got a little bit of wind or cloud cover. Now, if you’re covering water you can throw a buzzbait now. This time of year put the trolling motor down. Get you a high-speed reel so you’re not fighting it, and keep it going. Del also says he’s fishing the buzzbait. If there’s enough wind, you can throw it all day. If you got clouds and a little bit of wind you can still throw it. If conditions are super nasty, if you got a ton of wind like the lake saw recently, you can catch them on the Whopper Plopper. The Whopper Plopper’s working just outside the bushes, the channel swing banks, bigger rock, anywhere those fish can go up there and munch and get back to the deep water. Now, as the sun comes up and it’s just nasty and nothing seems to be working, Del says, he’s still resorting to fishing the drop-shot in the main lake. The main lake drop-shot has been fair on channel swing banks going into the creeks, the brush piles, anywhere from 15-20 feet of water. Just lob it up on the bluffs and drag it down. The brush piles are going be hit or miss. Fish them for 5-10 minutes and, if the fish are not there, just go to the next one. Also in super windy and cloudy conditions, you can catch a few on a spinnerbait. The live bait around the bushes and the shore has been real small so you want to pick out something in a natural color – if you’re in clear water, go with whites, blue shads, anything like that with a smaller blade. Del added that one of his favorite things to do at this time is to go back through the dock and skip a buzzbait or a jig up around the shade of the dock. That’ll help you get a couple more fish in the boat. He said that if weather reports were even halfway right about the past weekend, a lot more fish should have moved shallow.

Norfork Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 551.76 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April 552.00 feet msl; April-September, 554.00 feet msl).

(updated 9-26-2018) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said there have been a few changes in fishing on Norfork Lake since his last report. First of all, the surface water temperature has dropped to 79 degrees at sunrise but increases slightly during the daylight hours. Secondly, the thermocline is dropping very slowly and currently sits in the 35-40 foot range. The drop in the thermocline at the end of summer is very common. Thirdly, the bigger bass are finally starting to come out of their deep water summer pattern and are feeding in shallower water early in the morning.
Lou says Norfork Lake’s walleye bite continues to be outstanding. There have been several methods of fishing for this species at amazingly different depths. Near the dam you can catch walleye in 80 feet of water, plus or minus 10 feet. The fish are lying on the bottom or very close to it. Live bait and vertical jigging with a spoon are both working well. If you are vertical jigging with a spoon you don’t need to work the bait fast. Drop it to the bottom, then lift the bait 3 to 4 feet off the bottom by raising your rod, then let it fall back to the bottom. Repeat until your bait gets real heavy then reel in your fish. A third method that is also catching a few walleye is trolling swim baits with down riggers. This deep water bite for walleye will not last much longer so you better get on the lake and catch a few. The second location is in shallower water 30 – 35 feet, again on the bottom or close to it. This morning (9/25) I found several nice walleye off of a shallow sloping bank out in the main lake area. The walleye are starting to move onto the flats at approximately 32 feet of water level. I caught my walleye by moving slowly with my trolling motor and stayed in 30-35 foot range. I kept bouncing my half-ounce spoon off of the bottom. You can also troll slowly with a crawler harness with a bottom bouncing weight. It is amazing how many walleye there are in Norfork Lake.

Striped bass are still in the dam area in deep water. Live bait is working the best, but spoons and trolling swimbaits are also catching a few good fish. This species is also in the 80 foot range on the bottom or suspended in the deep water channel, but they are staying at the 80 foot level plus or minus 10 feet. I don’t expect these fish to stick around in the dam area much longer. The largemouth and spotted bass bite is improving quickly with the cooling off of the water. I am starting to find and catch larger sized fish in shallower water. This morning I found some good topwater action for bass close to the start of a large flat. The fish were at all depths. Some were chasing shad next to a chunk rock shoreline all the way out to the start of a flat. I was sitting in 30 feet of water and could see fish coming up in 10 feet of water, as well as, out in 60 feet of water. Most of the deep water fish were whites chasing shad, but there were some nice spots mixed in. I was casting a quarter-ounce Kastmaster with a feather trailer. There was a lot of bait in the area and the bass stuck around for well over an hour. I ended up leaving with the fish still exploding. What fun! Norfork Lake level is holding fairly stable with minimal power generation and currently sits at 551.74 feet msl. The lake surface water temperature dropped to 79.4 degrees Tuesday morning based on Lou’s depth finder. The main lake is clear and some of the creeks and coves are somewhat stained. Norfork Lake is in great shape.


(updated 9-26-2018) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said the Norfork Lake striper bite continues near the dam but we should see a major change in the coming weeks. I expect by next weekend we should begin to see a shift in the migration of stripers. With the current weather pattern, the lake temperature will be lower. It’s currently 80 degrees but with the rain and cooler nights of late, the temperature will fall. Now the fish are hanging around 80-93 feet off the bottom. We are catching limits of stripers and a few walleye each trip out. The bite is very strong using gizzard shad. I have been lowering my bait to the bottom and bring it up 2 feet. The walleye are also biting on the shad. A small spoon worked slowly will catch you a limit if you stay in waters near the dam. White Bass and Hybrids are surfacing and feeding in the back of Koso Point at sunup. There is also a strong topwater bite on the flat above Blue Lady. As the water cools the bait will begin to school and will move to shallower water in the mouths of the creeks. Check Big Creek if you’re on the lower end of the lake and Robinson Point, Float and Panther Creeks in the mid-lake area. The Fouts area will begin holding fish along with areas from Red Bank to the 160 bridge. Find the bait and you will find the stripers. They will be hungry and begin their fall feeding pattern. “Remember we now in the summer period of striper fishing, so you should stop releasing legal stripers that you catch,” Tom said.


Norfork Tailwater

(updated 9-26-2018) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last weekend that over the previous week Norfork Lake fell 0.3 feet to rest at 4 feet below seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet msl and 28.3 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork little 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. The Norfork has fished well. There have been some nice midge and sporadic caddis hatches that have provided some limited top water action. Navigate this stream with caution as things have changed a bit during flooding over the past year. 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 is fishing much better. 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).

Buffalo National River/Crooked Creek

(updated 9-26-2018) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are higher and off color. 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.


Beaver Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,118.33 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.00 msl).

(updated 9-26-2018) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said that the water level is normal and the clarity is clear. No surface temperature was recorded. Bream are good on crickets. Crappie are fair with anglers trolling crankbaits. Bass are poor. There is some success early in the mornings and late in the evenings. Anglers were using spinnerbaits and topwater plugs, along with Whopper Plopper and buzzbaits. They were catching fish at the end of the lake. Catfish are good on prepared bait.

(updated 9-26-2018) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) striper activity for this week rates as good. Beaver Lake stripers are in fall transition mode and are heading into their fall locations. They are on the move, and being mobile/flexible will be key to finding them. Mike Bailey says they are seeing some topwater action, so get those binoculars out and be on the lookout! For you diehard live baiters, fishing 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, as well as Smithwick Rogues in similar colors in 5- to 6-inch model on planer boards to stagger your presentation. Down-rigging those baits will be effective as well, especially at night. Make sure you do not keep striper under 20 inches and not more than three striper/hybrid or combination. Walleye must be 18 inches long with a limit of four. Fish location is greatly influenced by lake level and current flow. Current in Beaver Lake from generation will generally position fish on upstream or downstream edges of structure; check the daily lake level and flow data link on Bailey’s website. Mike also says live bait is always the go-to approach on Beaver Lake when fishing for trophy stripers. This week, water surface temperatures were in the high 70s. Mike suggests checking out these hot spots on the mid- and upper sections of the lake, where stripers are on the prowl throughout and there is topwater activity noted: Point 1 (lots of topwater activity around the campground island and the area between there and Honey Creek), Rocky Branch, Ford and Cedar creeks (pay attention to where tree line intersects channel), and Larue (check the main channel bends and cuts).

Beaver Tailwaters

(updated 9-26-2018) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said nothing has really changed since the last report, except shore fishing has been quite good at Parker Bottoms, this week’s “Hot Spot.” Trout have been biting on various PowerBaits, fished with light terminal tackle. The trout have also been hitting nightcrawlers, fished the same method. Rooster Tails and various spoons have also produced some nice fish as well. No smallmouth this week, but the spotted bass were hitting the Ned Rig, aka “turd rig.” Melon has seemed to be the color of choice, fished in 6-10 feet of water. Bass were caught between Beaver and Holiday Island, fishing bottom. Water temperatures have been consistent in the mid to lower 50s between Houseman Access and Parker Bottoms early to midmorning.
Austin said, “On another related topic, I have been asked, how do I safely remove an embedded hook from a trout? I have posted a ‘how to’ video on my fishing Facebook page, (Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service). This is the best way I have found to remove a hook from a trout that causes the least amount of injury to the fish. I hope you all have enjoyed the cool weather, as it just becomes cooler from here. Stay safe and good luck!”

Lake Fayetteville

(updated 9-26-2018) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said the lake is a little dirty. Surface water temperature was 75 degrees, and the level is normal. The lake has cooled way down from recent temperatures. Crappie are fair. Anglers were using crankbaits and trolling behind their boats. Bass are fair, with best results coming by suspending bait off the rocks. Bream fishing remains poor. Catfishing is poor.

Lake Sequoyah

(updated 9-26-2018) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) reports that the water clarity is a little stained, and the level is normal. No water temperature was recorded. Bream are fair on redworms. Crappie are fair on minnows. Bass were good again this week, mostly favoring artificial baits. Catfish are fair; use punch bait or chicken liver.


Lake Poinsett

(updated 9-26-2018) Ome Coleman at Lake Poinsett State Park said, “We have a fisherman (Robert) who is a regular at Lake Poinsett State Park, because this is where he gets his bait. He tells me each time he comes about the fine crappie he is catching. He also said that as soon as the lake comes back he is ready to come back to Lake Poinsett to fish. That is music to our ears. Keep coming here to get your bait and tell us about your fishing catch. We are selling more minnows than any other bait, but we still have the goldfish and worms as well as other live and artificial bait.” While Lake Poinsett is closed to anglers until 2020, there are other lakes in the immediate area to check out, including Lake Hogue and Lake Charles. Also, the AGFC’s Family and Community Fishing Program is stocking the pond at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.

Crown Lake

(updated 9-26-2018) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water is clear and is at normal level. The surface temperature ranged 75-80 degrees depending on location and time of day. Bream are fair on crickets. No reports on crappie. Bass are fair in the morning and then later in the evening. Topwater lures were catching them. Catfishing is fair on shad.

Spring River

(updated 9-26-2018) Mark Crawford with (870-955-8300) said water levels are running at 260 cfs (350 average) and water clarity has been clear. The river remains low and clear, making for easier wading on the Spring. Cool cloudy days have the trout hitting great, and we are seeing bigger rainbows feeding. Olive Woollies on cloudy days and Y2Ks on the sunny days. On the cloudy days, casting downstream with a slow steady strip back upstream will get the hits. On hatches a nymph pattern will work great. Hot pink and white Trout Magnets are working well for spin fishing.

(updated 9-26-2018) 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 almost over and there are still several 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 size 10 olive Woolly Buggers with a bit of flash, size 10 cerise and hot pink San Juan worms and size 10 Y2Ks.

White River

(updated 9-26-2018) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said the water level remains too low, and there was nothing to report. However, they had reports of fish biting on minnows and jigs at Greers Ferry in 25-plus feet of water.


Arkansas River (Pine Bluff Pool)

(updated 9-26-2018) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team had no report.

Arkansas River (Pool 2)

No report.

Cane Creek Lake

(updated 9-26-2018)

No report.

Lake Chicot

No report.

Lake Monticello

(updated 9-26-2018) The lake is down about 7 feet and in a draw down while the AGFC does some vegetation and fish cover work on the shoreline through September. This week, the AGFC teams were anchoring new tree cover to the shallow shoreline areas before the lake is brought back up. There is a little fishing going on. Tree stumps are showing in the coves toward the east and northeast of the lake; those are good areas to fish for the bass as the temperature cools down.


Millwood Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 258.99 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 259.20 msl).

(updated 9-26-2018) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said Tuesday that the lake was on the rise, just 2 inches below normal, at 259 feet msl. The Red River also continues rising and has pushed Little River back up to the dam. The level below the dam continues rising, and now is at about 234.9 feet msl. So, the 2-foot drawdown by the Army Corps of Engineers has ended. The water came up a bunch overnight and the Red is just now backing up Little River to the dam, downstream of the discharge gates, still only releasing around 185 cfs. Check the most recent lake level on the guide service’s website, or at the US Army Corps of Engineers website, and for updated gate release changes and inflow rates. Surface temps on Monday were ranging 78-85 degrees. Continue to use caution in navigation on Little River and Millwood, watching for random, broken or floating timber. Recent cool rain and cloud cover have dropped the surface temps, and recent thunderstorms stained up the lake some this week. Runoff from mudflats and creek channels have stained the river since last week. Current is almost nonexistent in the river, but surface is cloudy from runoff. Last few weeks, Mike said, they found bass surface feeding in Little River, running shad to the surface, and in adjacent shallow flats to deeper ditches, creek channels and points along the river. The largemouth bass, Kentucky bass, and a few white bass continue randomly surface-schooling on shad along Little River and the oxbows early to midmorning over depths of 15-20 feet, as well as a few of the flats from 5-9 feet in lily pads and vegetation. Bass remain active at daylight up to 2 or 3 pounds. Surface feeding activity levels taper off except for the random schooling fish, and they are finding them more frequently and longer in duration with the daylight hours reducing. Best baits drawing topwater reactions at early morning continue to be Heddon Spitn’ Images, Cordell Crazy Shads, Stuttersteps and Bass Assassin Shads near pads and vegetation. Chatterbaits and H&H Spinnerbaits are working in same areas at same time as the surface feeders. Black/white and white/chartreuse or black/white/yellow H&H Spinners seem to produce best lately. The Cordell Crazy Shads and Bass Assassin Shads continue working near the vegetation and in between lily pads. Then at midmorning, the surface schooling bass are showing up randomly along Little River’s creek dumps and the oxbow lakes most days. Quarter-ounce and half-ounce Rat-L-Traps in Millwood Magic, Ghost, Holographic Transparent Shad, Livin Chrome and most any shad pattern are catching these schoolers breaking surface on shad, along with fast-moving Chrome Johnson Silver Minnow Spoons with a white grub trailer pulled over tops of the lily pads. Rocket Shads, Hammered Cordell Spoons, Rooster Tails and H&H Spinnerbaits skipped and retrieved quickly continue working when you see the surface breaking. Majority of these surface breakers are the younger buck bass, adolescents and juveniles from 1.5 to 2.5 pounds. These surface feeders are huge time to get kids interested in fishing, while the action is hot! After the topwater activity diminishes, a fairly good bite has been found for several weeks by medium depth-running (5-9 feet deep) Rat-L-Traps, Fat Free Shad crankbaits or square-bill crankbaits, 2.0 & 3.0 & S-cranks and Echo 1.75s. You’ll draw a few good random reactions by deflecting and banging/deflecting them off stumps from 8-10 feet deep in creek channels and points. The bass from 2-3 pounds are randomly responding to crankbaits in shad colors. Best color of cranks in the oxbows  for the past couple weeks or so have been the Millwood Magic and Ghost. Increasing size up to a ¾-ounce Rat-L-Trap, fished much slower and deeper, will draw a few random hits during late mornings in creek channels and across points converging with Little River. Best colors of Traps over the past week or so have been Millwood Magic and Diamond Dust. Magnum Tubes like Gitzits have been working on stumps with best reactions on Black & Blue tail, Pumpkinseed/Chartreuse tail or Bluegill colors. Bass Assassin Skunk Apes in Houdini or Nillbilly Special colors are working in creeks from 8-10 feet deep on stumps. Bulky, 10- to 12-inch worms and Bass Assassin Skunk Apes, worked around stumps on points and deeper in the creeks, will draw a few reactions from feeding bass, and on points dumping into Little River and secondary points along Little River. Berkley Power Worms in black, Blue Fleck, Red Shad and June Bug colors continue drawing random reactions from largemouths along steeper vertical washouts, ledges and stairsteps along Little River and near creek mouth junctions, points and intersecting feeder creeks dumping into Little River. Vertical-jigging spoons are still working with Kentucky 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 adds that fair to large-size schools of white bass have been randomly schooling on surface feeding shad in Little River with the largemouths and Kentucky bass, and are fair to good on Fat Free Shads, Rat-L-Traps, Cordell Hammered Spoons with red/white bucktails and Rocket Shads. Crappie were more consistent over the past couple weeks from 8-13 feet of depth on minnows, shiners, and vertically jigging crappie tubes in red/white, blue/white, or Cordell paddle tail grubs in smoke colors. Channel cats and blue cats from 3-4 pounds continue biting in oxbows along Little River using yoyo’s hung from cypress trees using cut bait, live shiners, chicken livers and homemade blood baits.

Lake Columbia

No report.

Lake Greeson Tailwater (Little Missouri River)
Visit for a daily update on fishing conditions.

Lake Greeson

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 537.97 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).

(updated 9-26-2018) Jason Lenderman of JL Guide Service (870-490-0804) says the lake level is 10 feet below full pool of 548 feet msl and holding pretty steady. Water temps have fallen but remain in the 80s for the most part. The bass have transitioning to their fall patterns and are picking up. Shaky head Yum Finesse Worms and drop-shots rigged with Yum Kill Shots or Sharpshooters are working OK on main lake points around brush. You can find some schooling activity throughout the day. Super Spook Jr’s and Booyah Hard Knockers are good choices for these. Crappie are picking up as well. They can be caught in 15- to 30-foot brush with minnows.

DeGray Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 397.18 feet msl (flood pool: 408.00 feet msl).

(updated 9-26-2018) Local angler George Graves said surface water temperature is in the high 70s and the lake is clear throughout. “Seeing lots of deer with little ones crossing the road on my way fishing early in the morning,” George noted. “If you see a deer cross, slow down, because there probably be a little one following mama.” Overall, all fishing is very good due to the abundance of shad, which are schooling near the surface with the lower water temps. However, this will probably change with cold windy weather arriving. Bass fishing is only fair with mostly small fish reported. Look for fish between Arlie Moore and Iron Mountain feeding on shad in coves off secondary points. Best spots have been the big coves between points 2 and 6 on the south side and between Caddo Bend and the marina at the state park. Look for “breaking” fish and throw most any smaller topwater plug in natural shad. Also try soft plastics such as Flukes and 3-inch swimbaits. If no surface activity, try a Texas-rigged worm in green pumpkin or red shad. Crappie fishing is getting better as the water cools. Look for fish on attractors around 20 feet deep. Finding attractors at this depth can be the hardest part of crappie fishing right now due to the low water. When deep water cover is located, drop a 2-inch Kalin’s Grub in Tennessee Shad on a 1/16-ounce jighead over the thickest part of the cover. Move slowly around the brush until fish are located. The fish will be mostly only in one spot so be sure to cover the entire attractor. Look for attractors between Edgewood and Shouse Ford and in the major coves.
George says that lots of white bass and some hybrids were showing in the huge shad schools in the Arlie Moore/Point 28 areas. Look for feeding, “breaking” fish and throw small topwater plugs. Sometimes the bigger hybrids will be a bit deeper, so try a small half-ounce spoon such as Kastmaster or Hopkins. The fish were feeding most all day during the hot wet weather, but don’t be surprised if this action is over with the cold windy weather moving in. Bream fishing has been good but with the cold weather arriving, the fish will move to deeper water at 15-20 feet. Try the deeper points in coves and fish near the bottom baiting with redworm or crickets.

(updated 9-26-2018) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said white bass and hybrids are schooling in the mornings near the middle of the lake. A variety of baits are working – spoons, swimbait, topwater.

(updated 9-26-2018) John Duncan of at Iron Mountain Marina said his reports will resume in October.

De Queen Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 437.65 feet msl (flood pool: 437.00 feet msl).

No reports.

Dierks Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 526.65 feet msl (flood pool: 526.00 feet msl).

No reports.


White Oak Lake

No report.


No report.


Lake Atkins

(updated 9-26-2018) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) reported the lake is cloudy. Morning temperatures were around 81-82 degrees, rising to 90 by the evening earlier this week. The water level is high by about 3 inches. Bream are fair on worms or crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows or jigs. Black bass are good with plastic worms and live worms. No reports on catfish or white bass.

Lake Bailey (Petit Jean State Park)

No report.

Lake Catherine
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit

No report.

Lake Catherine (Below Carpenter Dam)

For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit

(updated 9-26-2018) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that Entergy is currently running a minimum-flow pattern of generation below Carpenter Dam. The lake is at a normal summertime pool and will remain at this level until November when the winter drawdown is scheduled to begin. Rainbow trout fishing has been over for months as the last productive fishing ended in early July. Very few trout remain in the tailrace and no quality fishing will occur until the week of Thanksgiving when the stocking schedule begins again. Water temperature ranges from 67 degrees below the dam to 74 degrees below the bridge. Clarity is good and the overall look of the tailrace is healthy. In the absence of a healthy rainbow trout population, white bass and striper activity are the main sources of gamefish in the summertime and early fall. These fish feed heavily on the threadfin and gizzard shad population around the dam. Fall temperatures can bring about some topwater activity as these predator fish chase shad to the surface. Zara Spooks in white or shad colors work well along with Super Spooks in rainbow trout colors as feeding times are fast and short-lived. Stripers move in and out of the tailrace weekly and feed alongside white bass. Large fish over 20 pounds are often seen breaking water below the bridge. Live bait presentations are the best bet for hooking striped bass as artificial lures are often ignored by these wary bass. Gizzard shad presented under a balloon rig will work in slack or current and give anglers the best chance for a hook-up. Watching for breaking fish is crucial for success in the tailrace as schools of bass move quickly and feeding times are short. Walleye are being caught below the dam in deep water on jigging spoons in silver and gold colors. Numbers are few, but fish in the 5-pound class are present. Bream tend to congregate around the dam in the fall and can be caught on crickets and nightcrawlers fished just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Overall, fishing is slow for all game species in the Carpenter Dam tailrace but will improve greatly in the month of November when the rainbow trout stocking commences for the fall. Anyone navigating the area should be aware of the generation schedules and must always obey all lake and park rules.

Lake Dardanelle

No report.

Lake Hamilton

(updated 9-26-2018) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas born-and-bred, all-welded Xpress fishing boat in Hot Springs, reports a large decrease in water temperatures throughout all area lakes. Lake Hamilton has hit its sweet spot with water temps below 80 degrees and in many areas just above 70 degrees. Lake color varies but mostly there is a nice stain to the water. Reports have come in about breaking fish in the mornings and evenings on main lake points and even some secondary points. These reports indicate the fall transition is happening. Bass should continue to move toward secondary points (unless it gets hot again) and they are not picky about what they will eat. Rat-L-Traps, flutter spoons and shallow to mid-range crankbaits in shad white or chrome should really hammer them in between main and secondary points over rocky bottom and adjacent to deeper water. The worm bite is still there, folks, but also factor topwater frogs and football jigs back into the picture. Monsters can be caught wholesale this time of year so get out there and see what works for you! Crappie have been good lately, even when it was very hot, upstream headed toward Blakeley Dam. There are tons of laydowns and brush piles up that way and the fish are there and hungry! Tipped jigs with minnows and slow-rolling various colors of jigs will produce.

Lake Nimrod

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 344.52 feet msl (full pool: 342.00 feet msl).

(updated 9-26-2018) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said the water is muddy. No surface water temperature was recorded. Water level is high, and it appears to be rising about a foot a day. Bream reports were fair this week. Worms worked best. Crappie are good in 10 feet depth; anglers catching crappie were trolling with Roadrunners. Bass are fair. A white spinnerbait continues to work best along with gold willow leaf. Catfishing is fair. Noodling or using nightcrawlers remain the way to go.

(updated 9-19-2018) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) had no report.

(updated 9-26-2018) Lisa’s Bait Shop in Benton says a couple of customers are using bass minnows and are still doing great for crappie fishing.

Lake Ouachita

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 570.83 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).

(updated 9-26-2018) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) said black bass are still fair. Texas-rigged worms and drop-shot finesse worms are best at this time. Walleye are very good. Try using a CC Spoon near brush 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 still good and being caught on crickets and worms in 15-25 feet of water near brush. Crappie are fair and being caught with jigs or minnows in 15-20 feet of water near brush. Catfish are still good. Cut bait, live bait and stink bait are all producing good bags. Water temperature is ranging 78-82 degrees. The 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.

(updated 9-12-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) in Benton said that over at Little Fir the fishing has still been going great for several of my customers using the small crappie minnows hitting the brush tops.

Blue Mountain Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 387.48 feet msl (full pool: 384.00 feet msl).

No reports.


Cook’s Lake

(updated 9-26-2018) The AGFC’s Wil Hafner at Cook’s Lake Conservation Education Center (870-241-3373) said the recent heat wave has slowed the bite down, but cooler weather in the forecast should set fish in fall patterns by Oct. 6. Anglers are reporting a few black bass to be hitting Texas-rigged green pumpkin Baby Brush Hogs in the deeper water and white spinnerbaits near the bank. The bluegill have slowed down. Catfishing has been fair off of the dock with nightcrawlers and hot dogs. The crappie bite has picked up a bit on black/chartreuse tube jigs near brush tops and dead cypress stumps.
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 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.

Horseshoe Lake

No report.

Bear Creek Lake

(updated 9-26-2018) Natalie Faughn, ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), says fishing and hunting seasons seem to have a reverse effect on each other at the park. With archery season now open, it seems most of their anglers have abandoned the boats and rods for tree stands and bows. However, Natalie says, they have had some positive reports coming from Bear Creek Lake about the catfish biting on yoyo’s using stink bait. Bass are biting a little bit deeper on chartreuse jigs. Bream and crappie activity seems to have slowed down.

Storm Creek Lake

(updated 9-26-2018) Natalie Faughn, ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), said that like Bear Creek Lake, Storm Creek Lake doesn’t have much activity to report these days. Some anglers have been trying their luck with the bream but can’t seem to get more than a few bites with worms. “If someone is fishing down there and having some luck, please call the park and let us know! We won’t give away (all) of your secret spots,” she says.

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