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Arkansas Wildlife Fishing Report

BY Jim Harris

ON 10-31-2018


Oct. 31, 2018

Jim Harris

Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine

Weekly Fishing Report

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for Oct. 31, 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 10-31-2018) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the clarity is clear and the water level on Tuesday was normal. No water temperature was recorded. Crappie action continues to be good. Work your way over to Gold Creek or to Cane Creek for best success. Minnows or jigs will work fine. Bream are fair. Look for bream about 8 feet off the bank. Redworms and crickets are working. Bass are good on white spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfishing is good. The best baits are chicken liver, nightcrawlers or dough baits.

Little Red River

(updated 10-31-2018) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service said most days the Little Red is experiencing low water conditions due to sporadic water release patterns based on power needs from the Greers Ferry Dam. Sowbugs, midges, soft hackles and Woolly Buggers are working well for fly anglers. Pink and cotton candy Trout Magnets are recommended for spin fishing. Always check before heading to the Little Red River by calling the Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock District water data system (501-362-5150) for Greers Ferry Dam water release information or check the Corps of Engineers website ( for real-time water release and the Southwestern Power Administration website ( to see forecasted generation schedule.

(updated 10-31-2018) Greg Seaton of (501-690-9166) said the upper river fished well on Tuesday after about 6 hours of unexpected one-unit generation from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m. “My fishermen caught rainbows and four small browns. The largest brown (about 14 inches) was carrying eggs, so they should start moving up to the shoals within the next couple of weeks. All fish were taken on size 16 mayfly nymphs and size 20 midge pupa,” Greg said. He says the river is clear, but the forecast is for heavy rain on Wednesday and Thursday. If this takes place, you should check on the river conditions on Thursday. Some generation is scheduled for Wednesday evening and this might clear the upper sections of the river.

Greers Ferry Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 460.70 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.04 feet msl Oct. 1-April 30; 463.04 feet msl May 1-June 1; 462.54 feet msl June 1-Sept. 30).

(updated 10-31-2018) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake on Tuesday was at 460.65 feet msl and staying put, and even rising some. It is 1.39 feet below normal pool of 462.04 feet msl for this time of year. The bite has been off some as its looks like the lake is starting to turn over, Tommy said. “It got so cold so quick, everything should be back to normal in a week or so and everything should be great until it gets super cold in January, and only a small lull then, and then it will start to cycle the other way for another year.” The crappie bite is good up all rivers and will not be affected by turnover; use jigs and minnows in 12-18 feet of water in standing trees. No report on walleye. Catfishing is still going well on the south end of lake on a variety of baits. Bream are finishing guarding fry and can be caught with crawlers and crickets from super shallow out to 12 feet. Black bass are scattered from on the bank out to 60 feet and can be caught on a variety of techniques. Hybrid and white bass are eating well upriver and on various places around the lake away from turnover. Just stay around the bait, use spoons and inline spinners and some topwater baits, all in 25-60 feet of water.

Harris Brake Lake

(updated 10-31-2018) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) said the water high but appeared to be dropping earlier this week. At last check it was “up a little bit,” they say. Clarity is murky. No surface water temperature was reported. The bass bite improved to good this week. Anglers were having best success with white and yellow artificial worms. Bream reports were poor. The crappie bite, like bass, is also good. No reports on catfish.

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 10-31-2018) 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 65 degrees. Crappie have slowed down a little from the warmer days but anglers are still catching some good ones in 6-12 feet of water fishing 4-8 feet deep. Bream are doing well on crickets and redworms. Bass are still chasing shad. Catfish are being caught on trotlines with bream and minnows, and also on rod-and-reels using chicken livers around the cypress trees. “I caught a 31-pound blue, and another gentleman had his limit three times on rod-and-reels,” Johnny says.

Brewer Lake

(updated 10-31-2018) Larry Walters at Bones Bait Shop (501-354-9900) said he’s noticed lots of hungry fish. The clarity of the lake is clear, and before Wednesday’s rain the level was normal. Bream reports are fair. Crappie are good in 10-20 feet depth. Fish around brush piles and also target the bottom with minnows or twister tail jigs. Bass are good and are chasing shad. Catfishing is good. Look for catfish at 7-8 feet depth and use catfish bait or minnows.

Lake Maumelle

(updated 10-31-2018) WestRock Landing (501-658-5598), formerly Jolly Roger’s Marina, says the water temperatures are in the low 60s – 62-64 degrees depending on where you go. Largemouth bass are good. With the water temperatures in the low 60s, some bass are being caught in 8-12 feet, as well as some being found suspended off creek channels. There are reports of some largemouths hitting in 3 feet of water on cranks. Try using crankbaits, spoons and swim jigs. The Kentucky bass bite is good. They are mixed in with the largemouth bass but most can be found in 8-12 feet of water. Try fishing shallow with running baits and off structures with swim jigs. White bass reports are poor. Some anglers are saying the white bass are in schools, but it’s tough getting a bite. Crappie are good. Crappie are trying to stabilize in their regular fall pattern. Reports of them being found on top of deeper brush suspended about 18-22 feet of water. They are biting fair on minnows. Search for sharper ledges and deeper brush. Bream are poor. Less reports of bream coming in this week. Some anglers are still catching them on redworms. No reports on catfish this week.

Sunset Lake

(updated 10-31-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said some people have caught very few catfish, mainly small ones on bait shrimp, bass minnows and various types of stink baits. Crappie have done well on No. 6 crappie minnows, some anglers even tip their hooks with crappie nibbles. A few bream were caught on crickets. Bass have been hitting Zoom Trick Worms in the color red/black core. Also, some are biting on brooder minnows.

Bishop Park Ponds

(updated 10-24-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said some nice crappie have been caught out of the back pond off of pink crappie minnow. And some small bream were caught off of crickets and No. 6 crappie minnows. Catfish are being caught off of Wild Cat Blood Stink Bait and No. 12 bass minnows. Bass are biting on brooder minnows and various colors of spinnerbaits, pink being one of the most popular.

Saline River Access in Benton

(updated 10-31-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said this past weekend has provided some walleye for a few anglers, including for her husband and his nephew. They caught everything off of brooder minnows – walleye, catfish, several smallmouths and Kentucky bass, and one goggle eye. All the bass, they threw back. Let it get a little colder and the walleye will be doing great on the Saline. They only caught three. Other anglers have caught some nice crappie off of No. 4 crappie minnows. And some bream have been caught off of crickets and redworms.

Lisa says that as for hot spots outside her immediate lakes, Lake Ouachita has been providing some dandy crappie on No. 4 crappie minnow hitting the brush with them, for several of her customers. Some of the main colors in jigs going there have been Kalin’s 2-inch Grubs in Tennessee Shad, Bobby Garland Baby Shad in Blue Thunder and also Electric Chicken. Lake Conway also has been a hot spot on crappie using No. 6 crappie minnows and pink crappie minnows. As for DeGray Lake, a lot of different styles of Bobby Garland in the color Blue Ice have been going there in Baby Shad, 2-inch Slab Slayers and Split Tails. At Lake Greeson, a popular jig going there is Bobby Garland Baby Shad in Red Thunder color. The crappie seem to have really been doing very well a little bit of everywhere. Lisa adds, “I want to say I appreciate my customers sharing their fishing trips with me in order to help me make my reports. And I had one customer tell me he was just fishing a pond and the minnows weren’t doing well for them and he started using a white Zoom Trick Worm and the bass did very well the other day.”

Lake Norrell

(updated 10-31-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie are doing fair off of No. 6 crappie minnows and Kalin’s 2-inch Grubs in Bleeding Tennessee Shad color. Bass are good on No. 12 bass minnows and brooder minnows. And white spinnerbaits. Catfish are hitting around the docks on redworms. A few good bream were caught using crickets on bottom.

Lake Pickthorne

(updated 10-31-2018) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said crappie are fair on minnows and black/chartreuse jigs.

Lake Valencia

(updated 10-31-2018) Hatchet Jack’s in North Little Rock (501-758-4958) says catfishing is fair around the gazebo. Use chicken liver or nightcrawlers.

Lake Willastein

(updated 10-31-2018) Hatchet Jack’s in North Little Rock (501-758-4958) says bass are good around the spillway. Anglers are using Texas Ridge creature baits or deep-diving crankbaits. Catfishing is fair around the launch ramp. Try using minnows or nighcrawlers.

Lake Winona

(updated 10-31-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie have been hitting No. 12 bass minnows and Kalin’s 2-inch Grubs in blue and silver. Smaller bass have been caught off of No. 6 crappie minnows. Catfish were caught off of nightcrawlers and bait shrimp. A few bream were caught off of crickets and redworms.

Arkansas River at Morrilton

(updated 10-24-2018) Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) said the high flows and bad weather have kept most anglers off the river. The migration of birds is great, with Grand pelicans, egrets, herons and puddle ducks is worth the cold and wet to see by boat. The Corps of Engineers has been doing a yeomen’s job on controlling the water. This Tuesday (Oct. 23) the flow has dropped to 102,000 cfs. The coves and backwater are full of shad. For bass fishing, use shallow-billed crankbaits. Also use spinners slow-rolled. For white bass, do the same. Crappie will require jigs in chartreuse with a red head. For catfish, use whole shad. If you’re looking for stripers, go below Lock 9 and throw a wobble spoon with chartreuse and pork rind.

Arkansas River (Cadron Pool)

No report.

Little Maumelle River

(updated 11-1-2018) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said Thursday (Nov. 1) that the fishing is really bad at this time and likely won’t be good for 2-3 days. The water clarity is muddy and the level is high with current running. Everything across the board has rated poor in reports the past few days: bream, crappie, bass, catfish and white bass.

Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)

(updated 10-31-2018) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said catfish are fair near the Murray Lock and Dam. They’re biting skipjack and slicks. White bass are good. Use chartreuse split tail jigs.

(updated 10-31-2018) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said the river is dingy and is running high. No surface temperature was reported. Crappie are excellent. Look for crappie in 6-8 feet depth and around brush piles. Bobby Garland Penny Back Shad and leopard chicken were getting lots of action. Bass are good around the sandbar drops. Use spinnerbaits. Also, black/chartreuse or shad-colored Rat-L-Traps are big now. Catfish reports were fair. Fish below the dam with skipjack. Stripers are active and hungry below the dam. Use 1-ounce jigs. Nothing reported on bream or white bass.

Arkansas River (Little Rock Pool)

(updated 10-31-2018) Vince Miller from Fish ’N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) says the Little Rock pool of the river is fishable now because the flow has gone down. There have not been a lot of anglers because the river was high, he said. It’s still high. Crappie, though, have been reported good. Anglers are using jigs with a 16th-ounce jighead. Bass have been good as well. Small crappie jigs in red/chartreuse have caught some bass, and also try a chrome Rat-L-Trap. Nothing to report on catfish. No reports on bream.

(updated 10-31-2018) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said catfish are fair near the Murray Lock and Dam. They’re biting skipjack and slicks. White bass are good. Use chartreuse split tail jigs.

(updated 10-31-2018) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said the river is dingy and is running high. No surface temperature was reported. Crappie are excellent. Look for crappie in 6-8 feet depth and around brush piles. Bobby Garland Penny Back Shad and leopard chicken were getting lots of action. Bass are good around the sandbar drops. Use spinnerbaits. Also, black/chartreuse or shad-colored Rat-L-Traps are big now. Catfish reports were fair. Fish below the dam with skipjack. Stripers are active and hungry below the dam. Use 1-ounce jigs. Nothing reported on bream or white bass.

(updated 10-24-2018) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water clarity is muddy near Terry Lock and Dam, with a normal level and current. The only reports to come in from here were for crappie, with good catches reported. Crappie are really hitting the minnows now. Nothing on bream, bass or catfish.

Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)

(updated 10-31-2018) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is muddy to murky and the level is high. The only reports of success came with crappie. Fishing for crappie is good now; use crappie minnows. Nothing to report on bream, bass or catfish.

Peckerwood Lake

(updated 10-31-2018) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) reported the water clarity is still “a little dingy” and the water level is high; the lake is full, Donna reports. Crappie fishing continued to be good on minnows or jigs. Bass are good on most any lure, Donna says. Catfishing is good with hot dogs and stink bait. Bream aren’t biting. The lake will be closing for the season on Halloween and reopening Feb. 2, 2019.


White River

(updated 10-31-2018) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) says the temperatures here in the Arkansas Ozarks ranged from the high-30s to the mid 80s this week, with a cold and rainy day thrown in, made little difference to the trout. The browns are cagey right now. It’ll take a fresh minnow or a mid-size (2-inch) sculpin to lure them on the
days they’re biting. The rainbow bite remains active as always. You can count on yellow and/or orange egg pattern bait with a smidgen of shrimp on the barb of your hook. Jigs, both Maribou and White River Zig Jigs, have produced nice catches. You’ll need to experiment with colors to find out what interests the trout at the time you’re on the river, but generally olive green is a good starting place. Try orange-and-brown or ginger-and-orange if olive doesn’t catch as many as you’d like. These same colors are perfect for fly-fishing using Woolly Buggers. Add some flash for the curious browns. Above all, enjoy the time spent angling on the White.

(updated 10-31-2018) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the river clarity continues to run clear, while the level is low with minimum flow. That’s good for rainbows, but bad for browns. Hence, results were good with rainbow catching but few reports on browns. When there are seagulls before January/February there typically are no browns biting.

(updated 10-31-2018) 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 (an inch and a quarter in Cotter), cooler temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell 0.5 feet to rest at 4.5 feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet msl. This is 40.5 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock rose 0.1 feet to rest at 4.8 feet below seasonal power pool and 18.8 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.1 feet to rest at 3 feet below seasonal power pool and 12.6 feet below the top of flood pool. The White River no wadable water. Norfork Lake 0.2 feet to rest at 2.4 feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 28.6 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork 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 well below the top of power pool. The White has fished well. The hot spot has been Rim Shoals. They are still hitting grasshoppers for some nice topwater action. 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 bead-head pheasant tail nymph (size 14) with a ruby midge (size 18) suspended below it. Use lead to get your flies down.
John also said this about getting hooked while fishing, and a good lesson he picked up a while back: “I was netting a trout on a guide trip this week. I was trying to get a size 18 ruby midge out of the fish’s mouth when it rolled and it caused the lead fly, a size 14 flashback bead-head pheasant tail nymph, to impale my finger. It sunk into my skin down to the hook bend. If it had been a barbed hook I would have been in trouble. Fortunately, I always fish barbless no matter where I am. This situation reminded me of a similar occasion that occurred a few years ago that involved a big barbed hook.
“My wife, Lori, and I were fishing on the Norfork with her sister, Terri, and Terri’s husband, Larry. They were running about a quarter of a unit and we had waded up to Charley’s Island, which is upstream of the Ackerman Access. We were fishing the side channel on the access side of the island. It was absolutely loaded with trout and we were catching them nonstop. We were in constant doubles and triples, and occasionally all four of us were hooked up. We were fishing olive Woolly Buggers and it was working.
“During this fish fest, Lori broke off a big trout. She was tying on a new fly when she stumbled in the swift current. She did not fall but she managed to impale herself with the new Woolly Bugger in the meaty portion of her left hand. She had not pinched down the barb yet. She had this big fly hanging from her hand and didn’t want to stop fishing.
“I suggested that we try and remove the fly and she said that it didn’t bother her and she would have it removed later. I told her that she was crazy and to wade over to the island where I would remove it. Terri and Larry continued fishing although they did look over our way from time to time to see how things were going.
“A lot of folks take situations like this to the emergency room. In fact, there is a glass case hanging on the wall of the waiting room there that is full of various lures and flies that have been removed from anglers over the years. I had recently read an article about an easy field expedient. I wrapped a piece of heavy tippet (2X) around the bend of the hook. I pushed down on the eye of the hook in order to disengage the barb. Then I jerked the tippet wrapped around the bend of the hook. The fly came out easily. Lori didn’t scream with pain. In fact, she said that she didn’t feel a thing. It did not bleed much. We took a moment to tie the Woolly Bugger on Lori’s line and then we returned to the water to continue fishing. When we got back to the car at the end of the day, we put antiseptic cream and a small bandage on her hand. She felt fine.
“I tried a new way to remove a barbed hook and it worked. Life is good!”

Bull Shoals Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 384.48 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 659.00 feet msl).

(updated 10-17-2018) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said they’ve had some big weather come in. This cold front will hopefully get those fish moving a little more. It’s been kind of stagnant. The Army Corps of Engineers are running a little water at the dam (dropping the lake about 4 feet) and the days are getting shorter. These fish are starting the move up. As the temperature cools off these fish are starting to get a little more comfortable coming up shallow, so day in and day out don’t forget to check the shallow part. The fish for me have been following into the creeks arms, the bigger creek arms, following the channels going in those bass seem to be keyed in on the shad. If you’re around the shad you’re going to be around the fish. But the key is just keep moving, chucking and winding. It’s power fishing time of year; so, if you put in the work, it’ll pay off. Just don’t be afraid to move. In the morning starting off, there’s a topwater bite. Either throwing a Lucky Craft or Sammy, a buzzbait if there’s some wind. If there’s a little more wind you can throw the Whopper Plopper. That morning bite, if it’s windy and cloudy all day you can stay and throw topwater all day. If it lays flat on you, you’re going to have to mix it up, obviously. Going into the creeks and following the channel swing banks, sides of points with wind on them, the big key is to stay in the wind. If you’re in the wind you’re going to get bit. The square bill is catching some fish. Obviously those fish are a little bit shallower. The jig bite is producing. Green pumpkin or green pumpkin orange, some shad or crawdads. If it does lay flat and if you get some sun, you can still catch them drop-shotting deep up around the docks, hot on the points. The fish seem to be still in that 26-28 feet range. Those are mostly Kentucky bass with some smallmouth bass mixed in. We have been catching quite a few smallmouth even up shallow. If it’s super windy, throw a spinnerbait. The spinnerbaits are starting the work, but you need to have a lot of wind for that the work.

Norfork Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 551.45 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April 552.00 feet msl; April-September, 554.00 feet msl).

(updated 10-24-2018) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said Norfork Lake’s striper bite has been uneven this week. “Last weekend we were catching limits of stripers around School Bus Point and Reynolds Island. The big storm we had on Sunday and cold snap that followed blew all the stripers out of the area. I fished Monday there and did mark many fish and only caught catfish and white bass. I moved back to the state line area and hooked up with seven bites on the first trip. The next day we had fog and only caught one and missed a couple more.” Tom says he has been catching stripers there every day. “One trip, I took my clients up where we only caught and released bigger stripers. We hooked up with a fat 18-pound striper that gave the client a good fight and great picture. It was returned to fight again.” The stripers are moving down from Udall. The water up there is 61 degrees, whereas the state line area it’s 67 degrees. Tom said both he and son Sean fished that area Saturday and boated three quality stripers plus a few smaller ones. The cold snap has driven most of the shad out of the shallows but the upper part of the lake had plenty of bait, he said. As long as the shad stays in the area, the stripers will continue to feed and be catchable.
Tom says the lake temperature continues to drop and will be in the 60s all over the lake by the end of this week. The crappie bite is very strong on the deep brush piles, and limits are being caught using a small spoon or minnows. The bass bite is also very strong all over the lake. “
Greg Weinmann at Hand Cove Resort tells me there has been a fair topwater bite most days recently,” Tom says. “The best has been near and into the entrances of Big and Brushy creeks.” As the water continues to cool, the bait is schooling up and has moved 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 Highway 160 bridge. Find the shad and you will find the stripers. They will be hungry and begin their fall feeding pattern.

(updated 10-24-2018) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said fall fishing on Norfork Lake is gearing up to be a great bite. Most species are biting really well, with big numbers being caught. You can have some great fishing times on Norfork Lake in October, November and December. Give Hummingbird Hideaway Resort a call to make your fall fishing vacation reservations at 870-492-5113. Lou says he is “kind of up in the air on what the best bite is, because crappie, largemouth, catfish and white bass are all biting really well. The slowest bite at this time is for striped bass, but (Tuesday) I did land two nice hybrids and two good striped bass on a nearby flat. Fishing is looking up for all species.”
Lou adds, “This time of year you are going to hear me talk a lot about vertical-jigging with a spoon. I really enjoy this type of fishing because you can catch any of the species on the lake with the same bait and many times in the same area. I tend to use a quarter-ounce spoon for crappie in and around brush piles with 4-pound test line. When I get into 20-30 feet of water I switch to a half-ounce spoon with 6-pound test line. Then when I am fishing in 30-plus feet of water I use a 3/4-ounce spoon on 8-pound test. I am a creature of habit and only use monofilament line, but I am hearing great things about P-line. When you find schooling, feeding fish, the color of the spoon really does not matter (in my opinion) as long as the predominant color on the spoon is white. I tend to use spoons that are all white, white with a chartreuse back, white with a green back, or white with a little red under the head.”
White bass have started to school and feed heavily on some of the nearby flats, he said. At daybreak Lou is finding white bass in 17 feet of water and as the sun rises they move into deeper water. Tuesday he was catching whites in 17 feet of water at 7 a.m., but by 9 a.m. he was catching them in 48 feet of water, but still in the same general area. He was vertical-jigging with a spoon. “I am not sure if it was luck or by chance, but at 8 a.m. I was fishing in 42 feet of water and the hybrids and stripers started to show up. I ended up landing four of them over the next hour along with many whites. I released all but one hybrid and a few white bass.” As the water continues to cool, all the species will move to the 30-50 feet depth, even at daybreak. You will start to find the stripers in very shallow water in the dark as the water cools. Look for a night bite for stripers and hybrids once the water temperature gets into the low 60s.
Lou says the bass bite continues to be good. All types of bait are working in different types of areas. You can still catch some very nice fish on crawlers in very shallow water. If you like to fish bluff lines, jig and pigs as well as worms are working by letting the bait fall down the rocks from 10-20 feet of water. Spinnerbaits are working along the bluff lines up very close to the rock. Bass are also coming up for topwater baits along the shallow sloping backs. Lou says he has caught a few nice bass 42 feet deep suspended in 70 feet of water close to a bluff. Most bass fisherman are telling him the ratio from short fish to keepers is about 60 percent shorts to 40 percent keepers, “not bad!” The crappie bite is also continuing to be very good. They are in brush from 25 feet to 40 feet of water. One day they might be buried in the brush, then the next day they are 10-20 feet down on top of the brush. Jigs are working with a spoon or a grub. Lou says he likes to tip a grub with a small minnow to increase the bite frequency. Catfish are also biting very well. Over the last week, Lou said, he had guests setting five jugs a night and on several occasions they had a nice fish on each. They were using cut bluegills for their bait and catching nice blues. While dock fishing for their bait a 10-pound blue hammered their small hook with a piece of nightcrawler.
Lou says he’s getting a lot of inquiries about the turnover of the lake. Based on the Norfork Lake’s Striper Club temperature and dissolved oxygen readings done Oct. 20, the thermocline had dropped to somewhere between 55-60 feet. It will not be much longer until the total lake has turned over at all depths. This means the oxygen level is basically the same from surface to bottom, as is the water temperature. Norfork Lake’s surface water temperature Tuesday morning was 68.5 degrees. The lake level is fairly stable and currently sits at 551.34 feet msl. The main lake is clear and some of the creeks and coves are somewhat stained.


Norfork Tailwater

(updated 10-31-2018) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last weekend that over the previous week Norfork Lake 0.2 feet to rest at 2.4 feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 28.6 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork 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 well 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 topwater action. Navigate this stream with caution as things have changed a bit 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 browns have moved up into 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 sizes 10). Remember that the White and Norfork rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soles that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.

Buffalo National River/Crooked Creek

(updated 10-31-2018) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are navigable. The smallmouths are still active, although the water is cooling. 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 1,117.48 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.00 msl).

(updated 10-31-2018) 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 continue 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. You should also try casting Rat-L-Traps on points and bars 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 remain in the mid- to low 60s. 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, Big Clifty, Point 5, Rambo Creek Arm (check the main lake points and humps and also look in back near the tree line), Rocky Branch, Ford and Cedar creeks (pay attention to where tree line intersects channel), Larue (check the main channel bends and cuts), Coppermine, Ventris, Shaddox Hollow, the Highway 12 bridge (lot of fish coming out of the river late due to high water), Prairie Creek (pay attention to areas around the islands and Point 10, as lots of fish are coming out of the high river), Blackburn Creek and Beaver Shores.
Mike says walleye are in fall migration mode and can be found on main lake structures like points and gravel bars. Three-way rigging, down-rigging or using snap weights with Rapalas in natural colors for clear water, or chartreuse/orange and clown colors in areas of stained water, are effective – but hang on tight because the walleye and striper territories overlap some and you my hook more than you bargained for. Try Rapala Tail Dancers, Bagley Rumble B’s, Flicker Shad, Bandit 300 Series and Arkie 350s in colors that include orange and chartreuse. Also try slow death rigs and spinner rigs on bottom bouncers on long points and humps near the channel rigged in orange/chartreuse.

(updated 10-24-2018) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said that the water level is a little low and the clarity is clear. The surface water temperature has fallen below 70 degrees, they report. Bream reports continue to be poor. Crappie are picking up and they are moving shallower. Fish the brush piles with jigs. Bass reports have been poor, but there is some activity in the daytime. Try using spinnerbaits, crankbaits or shaky head worms. Catfish are mostly not biting well, but you’ll get the best response from chicken liver or with nightcrawlers. Overall, they said the fishing was spotty for the past week.

Beaver Tailwaters

(updated 10-31-2018) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) says, “Well, if we do not get a lot of rain soon, you will be able to walk to Spider Creek from Houseman Access. OK, it is not that bad, but it is close. Trout have not seemed to be too bothered by the lack of water, but the bite has slowed. However, the preferred method has been light terminal tackle, fished with various PowerBaits.” Austin says the hot spot this week has been between Spider Creek and Bertrand Access. However, you will not be able to get there by boat, you will have to hoof it. quarter-ounce spoons have also done the job at catching this past week. In the deeper water, the trout have been hitting on nightcrawlers fished on bottom. “That is all I have to report for this week. Get out and enjoy the awesome fall colors and the cool weather. It will be really cold soon enough. Have fun, stay safe and catch some fish,” he said. 

Lake Fayetteville

(updated 10-31-2018) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said the lake clarity is stained. Surface water temperature was 62 degrees, while the lake level is normal. Crappie fishing improved this week with good reports. Anglers were using crankbaits behind the boat. Bass also have been good. Try using spinnerbaits or crankbaits and target the rocky points. No reports on bream. No reports on catfish.

Lake Sequoyah

(updated 10-31-2018) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) reports that the water clarity is “very clear,” and the level is normal. No surface water temperature was reported. Bream are good and biting in 1-4 feet of water. Crappie are good at all depths. Of late, they’ve preferred minnows. Bass are fair on plastic worms and other artificial baits. Catfishing is good on chicken liver or shad.


Lake Poinsett

(updated 10-31-2018) Ome Coleman at Lake Poinsett State Park said, “We’ve got beautiful fall colors. It’s a great time to go fishing. Don’t forget you can get your bait and fishing supplies here at Lake Poinsett State Park. We will be letting you know when Lake Poinsett is back. ” While Lake Poinsett is closed to anglers until 2020 for extensive repairs, there are other lakes in the immediate area to check out, including Lake Charles and Lake Hogue. Also, the AGFC’s Family and Community Fishing Program is stocking the pond at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.

Crown Lake

(updated 10-31-2018) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water remains clear and the lake up to its normal level. The surface temperature clocked in at 69 degrees earlier this week. Bream improved to good, with action best on redworms or nightcrawlers. Crappie are good on smaller spinners as well as minnows or jigs. Bass are good. Best results come with shallow crankbaits. Catfish are good. Use chicken liver or nightcrawlers.

Spring River

(updated 10-24-2018) Mark Crawford with (870-955-8300) said water levels are running at 255cfs and water clarity has been clear. The river has been very low. Olive Woollies stripped back upstream have been hot for the brown trout. Large nymphs are hot early for rainbows and an egg with a small nymph dropper is great for numbers. For the smallmouth bass, Mark says he always does well with big white flies stripped back from the shoreline or suspended below an indicator. Hot pink Trout Magnets works for a lot of different fish. Mark says he loves it on the local creeks for smallmouth and panfish. “Below an indicator, the trout eat it up. You just have to get it just off the bottom,” Mark says. “The cool days are always good for going after bigger trout. Layer up and stay dry.”

(updated 10-31-2018) 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 over. 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).

White River

(updated 10-31-2018) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said the water is low by 5-5.5 feet. Clarity is clear. No surface temperature was reported. Bass are biting fair. Throw jigs or plastic worms. Walleye reports have been fair, also, with live bait and jigs working. Nothing was reported on bream, crappie or catfish.


Arkansas River (Pine Bluff Pool)

(updated 10-31-2018) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team had no report.

Arkansas River (Pool 2)

No report.

Cane Creek Lake

(updated 11-1-2018) Austin Davidson, park interpreter at Cane Creek State Park, says the weather lately has been cool and wet at the state park. This means that the crappie bite is about to take off. Shad will start rolling in large schools soon and many of the sport fish will start a feeding frenzy for the upcoming cooler months. Bass will begin feeding on these shad as well, and they will also begin to start working in their winter feeding cycles. Start using live shiners to grab both crappie and bass. Bass will also begin to bite shad-colored square-bill lures bounced off of logs and stumps. The bigger and clumsier, the better. Catfish are active as always, and with water running organic matter into the lake from streams and runoff from the land paired with cooler temperatures, they will be feeding in the shallows – especially near any mud runs or confluences where creeks and runoffs meet the water. Fish with chicken livers on a heavy hook.

Lake Chicot

No report.

Lake Monticello

(updated 10-31-2018) The lake was drawn down about 6-7 feet and while the AGFC completes vegetation and fish cover work on the shoreline through September. The lake will rise with rainfall over the next several weeks and will cover the new anchoring of cut gum trees on the shallow shoreline areas. There was little fishing going on during the hot days of September. During the drawdown, 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 this month.


Millwood Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 259.65 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 259.20 msl).

(updated 10-31-2018) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said largemouth bass and white bass are on a feeding frenzy at Millwood Lake. Catches of 50-75 bass per day are common over the past two weeks. The lake is on a slow steady pool reduction and falling with recent rain and gate changes at the dam by the Army Corps of Engineers. Millwood on Monday was about 5 inches above normal conservation pool, at 259.6 feet msl. The discharge was reduced to 2,350 cfs for Little River, according to the Corps. The tailwater below the dam has crested and has begun falling also. As of Monday it was about 237 feet msl. Water temps have stabilized over the past week, ranging near 58 degrees early to a high of 67 degrees. 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. Continue to use caution in navigation on Little River and Millwood watching for random, broken, or floating timber. Clarity and visibility have stained over the past week with the river current and lake pool, but remain fair to good in places.
Mike says that anglers continue to find black bass and white bass randomly surface-feeding in Little River and its oxbows, running shad to the surface, and in adjacent shallow flats to deeper ditches, creek channels and points along the river. The surface-breaking bass have increased over the past few days with the cooler surface temperatures along Little River and the oxbows. Large schools of largemouths, spots and white bass continue roaming and following the huge shad schools along Little River. Best locations over the past few days have found these schools located at mouths of creeks dumping into Little River on points ranging from 5-10 feet deep with vegetation and pads. Shad are beginning to migrate into the creeks with the reduction in surface temperatures. Bass have begun following these shad schools into numerous creek channels and ditches. Feeding activity picked up again this week at the surface in the creeks over 8-15 feet of depth. Catches of 50-75 bass per day have been common. Best baits drawing reactions over the past week continue to be Bomber Fat Free Shads in Tennessee Shad, Bass Assassin Shads, H&H Spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, Rat-L-Traps and SpinTraps in chrome/blue and shad patterns like Millwood Magic, Sexy Bone Nova, Blueback Herring or Liv-N Chrome. Fish these in or near pads and creek channels with vegetation. H&H Spinners or Rocket Shads are drawing reactions from Kentucky bass and whites along points extending into Little River and the oxbows.
He adds that fast and hot action with frequent hits can be found by medium depth-running (5-9 feet deep) Rat-L-Traps, Fat Free Shad crankbaits, chatterbaits, Rocket Shads or SpinTraps. Deflecting/banging them off stumps from 2-7 feet deep in the creek channels and points will get best reactions. Bass from 2-3 pounds are aggressively responding to crankbaits in shad colors. Three-quarter-ounce Rat-L-Traps, fished much slower and deeper, will draw a few random hits during late mornings in creek channels and across points converging with Little River. The medium-running crankbaits in shad and Ghost colors, and Fat Free Shads, Fat Free Guppys and Fat Free Frys in Tennessee and Citrus Shad, continue working near creek mouths and points extending into Little River for the past week or so. Working the cranks in a stop-and-go retrieve will initiate a reaction. Crappie have improved in and over planted brush out of the current, and behind long, extending points in Little River, by vertically jigging tubes, minnows, or Cordell Paddle Tail Grubs in smoke colors. Catfish are biting well on yo-yos and trotlines in Mud Lake, Horseshoe Lake and McGuire Lake up Little River. Chicken hearts, livers, gizzards and cut shad continue working well.

Lake Columbia

Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) had 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 542.57 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).

(updated 10-31-2018) Jason Lenderman of JL Guide Service (870-490-0804) says the lake level is 5.5 feet below full pool of 548 feet msl and has risen some in the last couple of weeks. Water temps have made it to the mid-60s. The bass are moving into their fall patterns and will only get better as the water cools. SWAHA Lodge hosted the Bassmaster High School series this past weekend. Fishing was not as good as we had hoped for, as it took just over 9 pounds to win on the Junior High side and just over 13 pounds to win in the Senior High division. Big bass of the day was a 5.5-pounder. Most teams reported catching several small fish. Super Spook Jr’s, Zara Puppies, Booyah Hard Knockers and small swimbaits are seeing some action on main lake points, with some schooling action taking place throughout the day, especially early and late. Shaky head rigged Yum Finesse Worms and drop-shots rigged with Yum Kill Shots or Sharpshooters are working OK on main lake points around brush, too. The crankbait bite is picking up, also, using shad-colored Bandit Crankbaits. Cotton Cordell or War Eagle Spoons are working well on flats adjacent to creek channels 20-30 feet deep. Crappie are really coming on. They can be caught in 15-30 foot brush with minnows or Kalin’s Grubs.

DeGray Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 400.96 feet msl (flood pool: 408.00 feet msl).

(updated 10-31-2018) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said crappie are biting great on minnows and jigs 10-15 feet deep on submerged brush where there is deep water close by. The white bass and hybrids are starting their migration toward the river. Water temp is 64 degrees.

De Queen Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 437.49 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 526.44 feet msl (flood pool: 526.00 feet msl).

No reports.


White Oak Lake

No report.


No report.


Lake Atkins

(updated 10-31-2018) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) reported earlier this week that the lake is high by about 1 foot and the clarity is clear. Surface water temperature was 67 degrees. Bream reports continue to be poor. Crappie catching is good, though. Crappie are biting minnows or jigs. Bass are fair on live worms and plastic worms. Catfishing is poor.

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 10-31-2018) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that Entergy is currently lowering Lake Hamilton and Lake Catherine around 6 inches in anticipation of 2 inches of rainfall beginning Wednesday of this week. A 5-foot drawdown will begin Nov. 1 and will be in place until March 1, 2019. Each lake will fall 6 inches per say until the 5-foot level is reached. 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 60 degrees below the dam to 65 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 stripers are the main sources of game fish in the 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

(updated 10-24-2018) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) said the water temperature is 64 degrees. River is extremely muddy and high. A few clear backwater areas but mostly dingy. Bass are good in some areas; use jigs and Bamboozie, spinnerbaits, Pit Boss. Jigs and scam shad as a trailer have been working, also. Rat-L-Traps are working well on the schooling fish. Black buzzbaits have caught a few fish early. Bass also can be caught at the mouth of the creeks on Rat-L-Traps and spinnerbaits. White bass as being with the stripers. Bream can be found in the lily pads biting worms and crickets. Catfish have been really good in the flooded timber with worms. Crappie have been fair in the creeks on minnows and black/pink jigs.

Lake Hamilton

(updated 10-31-2018) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas born-and-bred, all-welded Xpress aluminum fishing boat in Hot Springs, reports lake levels on the rise with the re-emergence of rain and more on the way. Lake clarity is stained in the creek channels but the main channel is clear. Water temperatures have been steady in the mid- to high 60s throughout. We have had some very discouraging reports over the last week that the fish have disappeared from the creek mouth to the main lake and have lockjaw. Bass are habitual critters, and creatures of habit move to predictable locations. The new move happens to be up the creek channels more than most expected. Look for grass lines or submerged vegetation with side scan and sonar. Find the grass, find the fish! Exposed hooks with lightweight tubes (on spinning gear with 8-pound test) and the good ol’ jig, both ripped from the grass, should trigger strikes. Color choices should be watermelon seed or salt and pepper. Maybe even a shad-colored tube for those fish that will still chase baitfish. Crappie are picking up when the cold fronts push through. Time accordingly around weather conditions. Fish are 12-20 feet and at the edges of creek channels (just like the bass) but will be hanging out over or in brush piles. Colder water will push fish deeper lots of times, so keep that in the back of your mind. “Good luck! Go fishing! Go Greeson!”

Lake Nimrod

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 342.53 feet msl (full pool: 342.00 feet msl).

(updated 10-31-2018) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said the water is murky. No surface water temperature was recorded. Water level is normal. Crappie are fair. Catfish are good. No baits or areas were mentioned. Still no reports on bream and no reports on bass over the past couple of weeks.

(updated 10-24-2018) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said the water is high, the clarity is dingy, but anglers are getting out again. Crappie fishing is best, with jigs getting lots of action. Reports have been good. Bream are poor, as are largemouth bass. Catfishing is good on chicken liver.

Lake Ouachita

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 573.42 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).

(updated 10-31-2018) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) said black bass are ghoulishly good. Live crawfish are best at this time for spooky spots and some topwater action on flukes or Zara Spooks has been good on the west end of the lake. Walleye are fair. Try using a C.C. spoon near brush for these fish. Stripers are still fair on live bait. Major creek mouths and main lake points on the eastern and central parts of the lake are the best for these fish. No reports on bream. Crappie are still good and being caught with jigs or minnows in 15-20 feet of water near brush. Catfish are still fair. Cut bait, live bait and stink bait are all producing good bags. Lake conditions are good with the clarity clearing and the water temperature 66-70 degrees. 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 10-31-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) in Benton said her customers tell her nice crappie are being caught using small No. 4 crappie minnows and Kalin’s 2-inch Grubs in the Tennessee Shad color and Bobby Garland Baby Shad in Blue Thunder color – those have been very popular ones, she says.

Blue Mountain Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 384.48 feet msl (full pool: 384.00 feet msl).

No reports.


Bear Creek Lake

(updated 10-24-2018) Natalie Faughn, ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), said she’s heard some good reports from Bear Creek, depending on what you’re fishing for. Folks have been catching some good-size catfish using stink bait and homemade bait. “We have also had some fall bass fishermen out and about this week who have had some luck with various artificial lures, but nothing of notable size. Same bass report for Storm Creek lake down in Phillips County,” she said.

Storm Creek Lake

(updated 10-24-2018) See above.

Cook’s Lake

(updated 10-31-2018) The Cook’s Lake fishing season for youth under age 16 and for mobility-impaired anglers has ended. It will resume the first weekend of March 2019. 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.

Horseshoe Lake

No report.

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