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Arkansas Wildlife Fishing Report

BY Jim Harris

ON 11-21-2018


Nov. 21, 2018

Jim Harris

Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine

Weekly Fishing Report

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for Nov. 21, 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 11-21-2018) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the clarity is stained and the lake level as of Tuesday was low. No surface temperature was recorded. Crappie are excellent on minnows or white/chartreuse jigs, and Bobby Garland Baby Shad in Monkey Milk and Cajun Crickets. Bream are fair. Bass are good on cut bait. Catfishing is poor.

(updated 11-14-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) in Benton said that at the Gold Creek area of Lake Conway, No. 4 crappie minnows have been providing several of her customers with some very nice crappie. “I heard it has been pretty packed,” she said. “Another one of my customers also on the No. 4 crappie minnows has done well on Lake Ouachita over the brushtops.”

Little Red River

(updated 11-21-2018) Greg Seaton of (501-690-9166) said, “Good news! The flood gates are closed and we are back to a 12-hour generation schedule.” The lake level Tuesday was at 462.75 feet msl and falling at about 0.2 feet per day. This means that the lake should be at normal level by the weekend and generation will be on a demand basis. With a little luck the weather will be good and so will the bite. The browns are beginning to spawn and so are some rainbows. Egg patterns are a good bet on the shoals. Wade fishing has been very limited but should improve as the generation is reduced. Check the daily generation schedules to plan your trip. “Wishing all a Happy Thanksgiving and Good Fishing!”

(updated 11-21-2018) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service said the Greers Ferry Lake is close to normal seasonal pool, so the floodgates have been closed and water release through the power units is now scheduled to accommodate power demand. For fly-fishing, Lowell recommends midges, soft hackles, sowbugs and streamers. Hot pink, chartreuse and white bodies on chartreuse jigheads 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 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.

Greers Ferry Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 462.67 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.04 feet msl Oct. 1-April 30; 463.04 feet msl May 1-June 1; 462.54 feet msl June 1-Sept. 30).

(updated 11-21-2018) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 462.68 feet msl and falling with generation and gates open to get it down to 462.04 feet msl. It is 0.64 feet above normal pool of 462.04 feet msl. The catching is good overall, and the more steady weather for the next month looks good as well up until January when the weather affects the anglers more than the fish, if you can stand it. The fish have to eat as well, and less pressure the easier the catch. Greers Ferry Lake just received a large stocking of threadfin shad again all over the lake. As the baitfish population continues to grow, so will all species. Crappie are still eating well up rivers and creeks in and around any timber on jigs and minnows in 12-18 feet of water. The bite will be good for the next month or so. No reports on bream. No report on catfish. The black bass are eating a variety of baits all over the lake, in creeks and in rivers. You can chase the wind with spinnerbaits and Rat-L-Traps moving baits up shallow, or you can fish for suspended fish in the 25- to 45-foot range, or you can drag something between the bank and 60 feet and catch fish. Just pick your strength, or maybe it’s a good time of year to work on a technique you are not real good at catching on. And now is a good time to learn it from unpressured fish. The hybrid and white bass bite continues to be good all over the lake. Try using spoons, Texas Tornados, swimbaits and hair jigs in 25-60 feet of water. Some topwater action is going on. Most will stay in that depth range until January, then you will have to move out to the 70- to 80-foot range.

Harris Brake Lake

(updated 11-21-2018) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) said the water is clear and the level has dropped back to normal. Crappie are good on shiners. Bream are poor, as are bass. Catfish are good, no baits reported.

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 11-21-2018) 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 54 degrees. Bass are doing well. Bream are slow but anglers are still catching some on redworms. Haven’t heard anything about the catfish. Crappie are doing fair, but it changes from day to day. Some are using jigs and others are using No. 4 and No. 6 minnows. Johnny says, “Happy Holidays to you and your family from us at Overcup Bait Shop off Highway 9.”

Brewer Lake

(updated 11-21-2018) Larry Walters at Bones Bait Shop (501-354-9900) said the water is clear and the lake as of Tuesday was at a normal level. No surface temperature was recorded. Bream were poor. Crappie are good. Fish around the brush piles and you’ll find the crappie at 3-5 feet depth. Use minnows or chartreuse twister tail jigs for best results. Bass are fair on crankbaits, worms and Rat-L-Traps. The catfish bite is good on catfish bait and minnows. Catfish are biting at 8-10 feet depth.

Lake Maumelle

(updated 11-21-2018) WestRock Landing (501-658-5598), formerly Jolly Roger’s Marina, says water temperatures are in the mid-50s. Largemouth bass are excellent. With the water temperatures, some bass are being caught in 10-15 feet of water as well as some being found suspended off creek channels at 20-25 feet. Try using crankbaits, spoons and swim jigs. Kentucky bass are excellent. They are mixed in with the largemouths, but most can be found in 10-15 feet of water. Try fishing off drops and brush. White bass reports are poor. Some are saying the white bass are in suspended schools, but it’s tough getting a bite. Crappie are excellent. Crappie are trying to stabilize in their regular fall pattern. Reports are of them being found on top of deeper brush suspended in about 20-30 feet of water. Try using jigs and minnows. Search for sharper ledges and deeper brush. Bream are poor. Fewer reports are coming in this week. Some are still catching a few bream on redworms. No reports on catfish.

Sunset Lake

(updated 11-14-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie have been slow but are biting No. 4 crappie minnows. No report of bream. Bass are doing well on brooder minnows. Catfish are fair on bait shrimp and nightcrawlers. This is an AGFC Family and Community Fishing Program pond. It’s located on Henry Street off Fairfield Road past the Saline County Fairgrounds from I-30. It is stocked by the AGFC with catfish every so often (you can go to Arkansas Game and Fish stock ponds to pull up the dates they stock it and others like it in the state). You can go to the AGFC Fishing Guide Book on Page 69 to see the limits on fish for it. It also has a paved 1-mile walking trail all the way around it. There are picnic tables, a pavilion, fishing pier and a boat ramp. Waters are open to electric trolling motors only. Sunset Lake is about 8 minutes or less from Lisa’s shop, she says.

Bishop Park Ponds

(updated 11-14-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said she hasn’t heard any recent reports from Bishop Park Ponds lately. She says, “These are located over off Boone Road in Bryant. It’s about 11 mins from my shop.” Go down I-30 south, turn onto Alcoa Road, turn onto Boone Road, and from there you will see signs. It will be on your right across from some apartment buildings. The front pond they call Lake Norma will be on the left front side of the park. If you go into the park past all the buildings you will come to a dead end and there you will see the back pond that they call Lake Charles. It is the bigger of the two. They both actually feed off of Hurricane Creek, which runs up behind them and which feeds off of Hurricane Lake. “Some very nice crappie have come out of Lake Charles. As far as regulations, if not posted nor in the AGFC Fishing Guide Book, then you go by the state regulations found on Page 8 of the guide book. The only time I know of it being stocked with catfish is in September for their Bryant Fall Feast.”

Saline River Access in Benton

(updated 11-14-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said, “To be honest with you, I haven’t heard any reports from there lately. But as soon as the water gets back down, and with the cold weather, the walleye will be on. We use 8-pound clear Trilene XL line, 84A Eagle Claw bronze plain shank hook and a small removable split shot. Hook a brooder minnow on through its mouth, go up under its mouth out through one of its nose holes, and throw it out there and let it go.” Crappie are good on the Saline, also. If you’re able to get into them, you can catch some nice ones. The Kentucky bass and smallmouth bass, too, love the brooder minnows. “We catch them lots of times while walleye fishing,” Lisa said. As far as accesses for the Saline, you have what most locals call Jackmon Trail – you go right past Sunset Lake, the gravel road will take you right up under the I-30 bridge to the boat ramp. “I have had people actually fish right there at the boat ramp with the brooders and catch walleye,” Lisa said. “Or you can put in and go right on up over to the other side of the I-30 up to the spillway and there is great fishing up there. October through February usually are the better times to really get into the walleye on the Saline.” Another access to put in on the Saline is at Lyle Park. It’s about 9 minutes from Lisa’s Bait Shop , off I-30 onto Hot Springs Highway/state Highway 5. Turn off the interstate at Waffle House, go to the red light, turn right at the light. You will past Miller Cove and Hidden Valley, then you will see Lyle Park Road on your left. Go straight on it till you see the river. It’s actually on 2 River Crest Circle. There are picnic tables and a boat ramp, and Saline River Canoe is located to the right of the boat ramp. Another boat access for the Saline River is Peeler Bend. Take Exit 116 off I-30, then head south on what was old U.S. 67. The highway veers from the interstate and crosses the Saline River. About a half-mile, you will see on your right Peeler Bend Road. From there you just follow the road about 4 miles and it dead-ends at the Peeler Bend Access. The boat ramp is nice but it is long and kind of narrow. “The Saline River is really a great place to fish and has so many different kinds of fish to fish for,” Lisa says. “Plus, it’s just a beautiful river to go and enjoy. You can check out the regulations on Page 78 for the Saline River in the AGFC’s Fishing Guide Book.”

Lake Norrell

(updated 11-14-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie fair on No. 6 crappie minnows. Bass are fair on No. 12 bass minnows. Catfish are being caught off of nightcrawlers. Lake Norrell is about 13 miles from Lisa’s shop. Take Congo Road out to the red light at the Salem Citgo, turn left and follow that road until you reach the fire station. There is a yield sign, but that is only for traffic going onto Steelbridge Road. Continue around that curve, then you will have a straight stretch before coming to a crossroads. Turn left between a little store with gas pumps in front and Avilla Mercantile across from it. Remain on that road until you come to a white church at the bottom of the hill where the road comes to a “Y.” Go left and just continue until you arrive at the lake. It is 280-acre lake. “When bream season is here, it’s the best place to go after the big redear with crickets fishing bottom,” Lisa says.

Lake Pickthorne

(updated 11-21-2018) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said crappie are fair on minnows and red/chartreuse jigs. Fish the east end of the lake for best success.

Lake Valencia

(updated 11-21-2018) 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 11-21-2018) 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 11-14-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie do well off various-size minnows. “It’s really weird. While some will catch them off of No. 4 crappie minnows, others catch them off of the No. 12 bass minnows.” Bass are easily caught off of No. 6 crappie minnows and catfish do well off of bait shrimp. Lisa says Lake Winona is a good ways off paved road, “like 7 miles of gravel, I have heard.” It is 35 miles west of Little Rock in the Ouachita National Forest. There are crappie, bream, bass, walleye and catfish in it. Page 71 of the AGFC Fishing Guide Book has fish limits and boat length regulations for the lake. “I do know that from what the regulars tell me, you don’t want to take nice boats and trucks there.”

Arkansas River at Morrilton

(updated 11-21-2018) Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) had no report.

Arkansas River (Cadron Pool)

No report.

Little Maumelle River

(updated 11-21-2018) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) had no report on catches this week. Fishing has been slow for a while. A week ago, though, the crappie bite was good.

(updated 11-21-2018) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said crappie are excellent. Fish for the crappie at a depth of 10-12 feet. Pink minnows and white/chartreuse jigs will work best. Catfishing is fair. Use slicks or shad.

Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)

(updated 11-21-2018) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said crappie are good. Jigs in black/chartreuse are working best. Expect a bite in 6-8 feet depth. Bass are good below the dam. Fish with blue/chartreuse Super Flukes. No other reports.

(updated 11-21-2018) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said the crappie in the Maumelle river are excellent. They are biting pink minnows and jigs.

Arkansas River (Little Rock Pool)

(updated 11-21-2018) Vince Miller from Fish ’N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) says the water is stained in spots, muddy in others. The water level and current are normal. No surface temperature was reported. Crappie are good on black and chartreuse or blue and chartreuse 1/16th-ounce jigs. The crappie are biting in 8-12 feet depth. Bass are good on spinnerbaits and Rat-L-Traps. Bass are favoring the bait in quarter-ounce and half-ounce sizes. Catfishing is poor. Bream are poor.

(updated 11-21-2018) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the clarity is a little muddy and the level and current are high. Bass are biting well on crankbaits and worms. Catfishing is good behind the dam. No reports on bream. Nothing to report on crappie.

(updated 11-21-2018) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said not much is happening on the fishing end in the Little Rock pool.

(updated 11-21-2018) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said white bass have been fair near the David D. Terry Lock and Damn. Use white and chartreuse twister tails.

Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)

(updated 11-21-2018) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water level is high. The water is clear. The crappie bite is good on minnows or jigs. Bass are good on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and worms. Catfishing is poor. The bream bite is poor.

Peckerwood Lake

The lake has closed for the season and will reopen Feb. 2, 2019.


White River

(updated 11-21-2018) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525), feeling the holiday mood and chill in the air, says, “Baby, it’s cold outside. Wear plenty of warm clothes if you’re going to be on the river early in the morning, then you can begin shedding them
as the morning sun heats the surface air and the temps start to rise. A steady catch of rainbows has been keeping anglers busy during this week leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Several anglers have commented that they plan on adding trout to their Thanksgiving Day menu.” You can’t beat the shrimp/power egg combo for netting the rainbows, they say. Because the brown spawn began earlier in the autumn, change up your color combination; try orange, sunrise, chartreuse and/or white. “We had lots of luck with the No. 5 countdowns this week – rainbow and gold/black were the winning lures. The brown bite remains tough, but if you tease them with a sculpin you might be rewarded with a hit.” Water levels are extremely low, with the only releases topping just 4,500 cfs and then only for a few hours a day; otherwise anglers are fishing minimum flow depth. “We might see some pulsing from the dam that is typical during the spawn. Good wading and/or bank fishing times. Layer up and come fishing!”

(updated 11-21-2018) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the river clarity continues to run clear, while the level is normal. The Corps has been running two generators at the dam. Rainbow trout fishing is excellent, they report. As for brown trout, one was caught out of two boats.

(updated 11-21-2018) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last Friday that during the past week that they had a rain event (less than a quarter inches in Cotter), cold temperatures (to include winter weather advisories) and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell 0.6 feet to rest at 4.8 feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet msl. This is 40.8 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock rose 0.2 feet to rest at 4.5 feet below seasonal power pool and 18.5 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose 0.5 feet to rest at 2.2 feet below seasonal power pool and 11.8 feet below the top of flood pool. The White River had no wadable water. Norfork Lake rose 0.6 feet to rest at 1.2 feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 27.5 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had 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 have been some blue-wing olive and some midge hatches (try a size 20 parachute Adams). 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 beadhead pheasant tail nymph with a size 18 ruby midge suspended below it). Use lead to get your flies down. 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.

Bull Shoals Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 654.57 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 659.00 feet msl).

(updated 11-7-2018) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said the lake level is at 654 feet msl water temps around 64 degrees and fall has definitely showed up. The bite’s been hit or miss. It’s kind of power fishing, junk fishing 101. There’s not one set thing that’s working. Go out and try and find the shad, cover water. There hasn’t been any specific pattern that’s been working for him, Del said. “The biggest thing I can tell you is fish the conditions, look for birds, you find the birds you’ll see the shad. If it’s laying flat you’ll see a ton of shad up. I think the backs of these are starting to flip on us so it’s gonna be hit or miss for us a little bit here.” Del said he expects things to pick up as the water temperature cools off a little bit. If the weather is windy, stormy or rainy, you can catch them on a spinnerbait bite now. If it’s real windy and with dirty water the white spinnerbait is working. War Eagle Spinnerbait, if you’re getting into clear water, is working a little bit. Picking up a few fish on the Rock Crawler, so that bite should start getting a little better as the water cools off. Del said he likes to cover a lot of water and is throwing a square bill. Any shad or threadfin shad pattern seems to be working well, as is a Whopper Plopper. “We haven’t gotten that chaotic fall bite as of yet,” he said, “but it’s coming.” If the water is laying flat and you can see fish breaking, get in there early in the morning, there’s a good little topwater bite. If you know where there at you can get on them right away. Also, spoons that look like the bait fish – white, silver, anything that looks like the shad. Also, the jig. Del’s catching fish anywhere from 2 foot of water on gravel to 30 feet off the bluffs. There is definitely shad in the creeks, so that’s a good place to start. He also says he’s been catching a few walleye purely by accident on a spoon under the big schools of shad in the creeks, about 26-30 feet deep. “I can tell you that with all the 16- to 17-inch fish, next year should be stellar!” The lake is beautiful, you can come out and have the lake to yourself. There is lots of color.

Norfork Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 552.51 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April 552.00 feet msl; April-September, 554.00 feet msl).

(updated 11-21-2018) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said Norfork Lake’s striper bite is going great. The stripers, hybrids and whites are in their late fall, early winter feed. If you want to catch a grand slam of stripers, hybrids and whites, now is the time. “I have been hunting all week,” Tom says, “but I had a client come down from the north and fish an area where I caught stripers the previous week. They were using shiners and spoons and caught their limit of stripers each day with a bonus of hybrids and whites.” The fish are still in the channel from the turn past Fout Marina to 6B; however, they are also being caught on the flats up near Cranfield Island, Howard Cove past Blue Lady, and the Fout area. The fish are feeding heavy on shad. The largemouth are also on the feed off the points. Float Creek will begin to hold fish as the water turns colder. Stripers tend to congregate near and in the four corners area of 5A. The stripers will stay in waters from 28-35 feet until the shad moves out toward Crystal Cove. Then you should find them in 40-60 feet of water. “We are using shad but shiners will be an effective substitute to shad. The best method is downlines set off the bottom about 2 feet. I also had one rod set about 20 feet down to catch the roving hybrids that are in the higher water column. Float and Panther Creeks should also hold stripers, plus Big Creek. Follow the same pattern, find the shad and the stripers are nearby.”
Tom says the crappie bite is very strong on the deep brush piles. Limits are being caught using a small spoon or minnows. The white bass bite is strong on the flats by Cranfield Island and the big flat around Fout using small spoons.

(updated 11-7-2018) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said, “Norfork Lake fall fishing sure can be a lot of fun. I will admit that if you want striped bass, hybrid bass and white bass you will spend some time looking for them, but once you find them it is well worth the time.” He says large schools of white bass are currently roaming the flats in the morning hours and during the day. They tend to move into deeper water late in the day and start to relate to points in the mouths of coves. Lou says he tends to fish many different areas of the lake looking for fish in order to try to help his fishing guests find and catch fish. “I tell my wife that this is part of my job as a resort owner that is why I need to be on the lake so much.” White bass fishing, largemouth bass fishing and crappie fishing are the better bites on the lake as of Tuesday. Lou says he expects the striped bass bite to improve very shortly, if what he saw this morning is any indication. He found schooling and feeding fish in 22 feet of water, and at around 7 a.m. the striped bass were all high up in the water column. Casting out a quarter-ounce silver Kastmaster landed a nice striper. Then the whites showed up at all depths. Vertical-jigging a spoon or Kastmaster was giving Lou many hookups. As the sun came up, the fish continued to move deeper on the same flat. Lou says he finally lost the fish in about 35 feet of water. Topwater action for white bass and hybrids is sporadic. He says he has not been fortunate enough to find this action, but several of his resort guests have gotten into some nice topwater action over the last week. “Topwater action is happening somewhere on the lake, but you need to be in the right place at the right time! This will become more frequent based on past years’ experience.”
Lou says the largemouth bite has been very good for him over the week. In the mid-to-late mornings he has found schooling bass in 30-40 feet of water on large flats. Vertical-jigging for the bass has worked great, he adds. The schools of fish have stuck around for well over 45 minutes, so anglers can catch a limit very quickly. In the late afternoon, he says, he has changed tactics a little and moved into the secondary creeks. He has located large schools of bass as far back in the creeks as you can go, but still being in 27-30 feet of water. Secondary points in the small creeks have been productive locations, especially if the creek channel swings in close to the deeper shoreline. Jigging for these fish is working. He has also located some nice bass on the bluff lines where the bluff starts to transition to chunk rock. Crankbaits on calm days and spinnerbaits on windy days are good baits to try. Jig-and-pigs are also working very well. Crappie fishing has been good. Look for brush in 30-40 feet of water and the fish will be somewhere around the brush. At times they are buried inside of the brush and other times they will be suspended on top of the brush. Live bait is working great, but small spinners, jigs and crankbaits are also producing some nice fish. Norfork Lake’s level is slowing rising with very little power generation coupled with rain for several days in a row. The lake level currently sits at 552.37 (basically normal pool). The main lake is fairly clear and most creeks and coves are somewhat stained. The surface water temperature Tuesday morning was 62.5-63.5 degrees.

Norfork Tailwater

(updated 11-21-2018) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last weekend that over the previous week Norfork Lake rose 0.6 feet to rest at 1.2 feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 27.5 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had 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 changed because of flooding 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 beadheaded 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 on the Norfork 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).
John also said, “Last Saturday (Nov. 10), my neighbor Schuyler hired me to take Zach, the son of one of his oldest friends, fishing on Dry Run Creek. The lad loved to fish but had not had much success fishing the ponds near Little Rock. Schuyler wanted me to introduce him to the quiet sport of fly-fishing, and Dry Run Creek is the best place to do that.
“It was a cool start. It was 21 degrees and overcast when we started. Zach was eager to start and well-dressed for the weather. He had no previous fly-fishing experience, but you wouldn’t know it by watching him. He hooked and landed a nice rainbow trout on the second cast. In a matter of minutes he had landed a 20-inch brown trout, a 23- inch cutthroat and several more rainbows. We had begun at a very popular spot near the parking lot that gets a lot of fishing pressure. The bite began to slow up a bit and I decided it was time to move on.
“We waded about as far from the parking lot as we could and went to one of my favorite spots. I always think that the further you get from the access, the better the fishing is. I generally go to this spot when looking for a trophy.
“We began fishing there in earnest. We were catching trout right off the bat, it seemed like one trout after another. There was a wide variety of sizes. Some were small and some were a bit bigger. Then Zach hooked a much larger trout. It was a huge brightly colored rainbow. The pink band on its sides was a vivid pink that glowed like a neon sign. It was a little over 24-inches long but had a huge girth.
“Zach and I were wading over to a spot where Schuyler and Zach’s dad could take some photographs. About this time, Zach slipped and fell into the creek. I had the trophy rainbow in a net in my left hand. I extended my right arm and grabbed Zach. He quickly got to his feet.
“It was still around 25 degrees and I was concerned about Zach. He thought nothing of it and wanted to continue fishing. I was impressed with his fortitude. He got his gloves wet and his hands were cold. I gave him mine. I had a couple of extra pairs in my truck.
“We continued fishing and did well. Then Zach caught a small trout that looked a bit different. I took a minute to carefully inspect it. To my surprise, it was a nice little brook trout. With the brown, cutthroat and numerous rainbows, Zach had caught a grand slam. That is where an angler catches all four species – rainbow, brook, cutthroat and brown – in one day. I have only seen three grand slams in my 30 years of fishing Dry Run Creek. It was special. We ended the day with 56 trout, a trophy rainbow and a grand slam. Not bad for a first day of fly-fishing. Life is good!”

Buffalo National River/Crooked Creek

(updated 11-21-2018) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are navigable and clear. The smallmouths are less active with the water 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 1,118.23 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.00 msl).

(updated 11-21-2018) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the clarity is clear and the surface temperature is in the 50s. Water level is a little low, they report. Fish are in a transition period, they say. Crappie are good and are biting in 5-20 feet depth. They are biting minnows and jigs and the bite is best around brush piles and in the river arms. Anglers should get close to the river edges. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits and Alabama rigs. Fish the rocky points or secondary points. Catfish are poor. Bream are poor. Stripers are moving up in the river arms. Anglers are having success on stripers using brooder minnows. They also report that they’ve seen a lot of deer in the area.

(updated 11-21-2018) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) striper activity forecast for this week is good. Beaver Lake stripers are in fall transition mode and are heading into their winter 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 the surface and 25 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 low 50s. Mike suggests checking out these hot spots on the mid- and upper sections of the lake: Point 5 (stripers are still being found over deep open water and near the tree/bluff lines between points 5 and 6), Rocky Branch, Larue (check the main channel bends and cuts as stripers move through on their way upstream), Coppermine, Ventris, Shaddox Hollow (check mouth of this arm), Highway 12 bridge (check mouth of the river and main lake structures, striper heading upriver), Prairie Creek (pay attention to areas around the islands and point 10. Striper still found over deep open water and near the tree/bluff lines during daylight hours, at night fish the shallows with jerkbaits and Rat-L-Traps) Blackburn Creek, Hickory Creek (check channel bends and gravel bars, watch for surfacing fish), War Eagle/White River junction, White River and War Eagle River.
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.

Beaver Tailwaters

(updated 11-21-2018) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) says, “If you have been able to stand the cold temperatures, fishing has been going quite well in the tailwaters. We still have the lack of water problem, but if you can find the deeper holes, you can catch some nice fish.” The fishing method this week has been light terminal tackle, fished with various PowerBait. The hot spot has been Parker Bottoms; remember to find the deeper holes. “Spoons have done a pretty good job too this week, gold had seemed to work the best. Nothing else to report this week. Good luck and stay warm. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!”

Lake Fayetteville

(updated 11-21-2018) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said the water is “a little stained” and at a normal level. The surface water temperature is 49 degrees. Crappie are fair and are biting in 12-14 feet depth. Use crappie jigs. Bass are fair on plastic worms. Nothing to report on catfish, and no reports on bream.

Lake Sequoyah

(updated 11-21-2018) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) reports that the water clarity is “very clear” and the water level is normal. No surface water temperature was recorded. Reports of bream are poor. Crappie are good on minnows or jigs. Bass are biting poorly. Channel catfish have been caught in good numbers, though. The bite is excellent on chicken liver and shad. “The catfish are on fire. Folks are catching very big ones,” they report.


Lake Poinsett

(updated 11-14-2018) Seth Boone at Lake Poinsett State Park said, “Lake Poinsett has a lot of life running through it, and with the rainfall there is actual water in it! Though, still no fish due to the renovation. We look forward to the repairs on the lake. For more information visit for more info on the renovation of Lake Poinsett.” 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 11-7-2018) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the clarity has become “very clear” with a normal level and a surface water temperature of 60 degrees. Crappie are good on minnows. Bass are good on crankbaits. Bream reports have been poor. Catfishing of late has been poor.

Spring River

(updated 11-21-2018) Mark Crawford with (870-955-8300) said water levels are running at 270 cfs and water clarity is clear. The river is very low. The trout were hitting great last week on Y2Ks and white Woollies. Easy wading with the low water. For spin fishers, hot pink and chartreuse Trout Magnets are always productive for trout on the Spring River. Fish them just of the bottom of the river. With a constant changing river bottom, adjust the depth of float as needed.

(updated 11-21-2018) 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 11-21-2018) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said the clarity is clear and the water is low 4 feet. Bass are fair on plastics and jigs. Walleye are fair on live bait and jigs. No other reports.


Arkansas River (Pine Bluff Pool)

(updated 11-21-2018) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team had no report.

Arkansas River (Pool 2)

No report.

Cane Creek Lake

(updated 11-7-2018) Austin Davidson, park interpreter at Cane Creek State Park, said that with wet and cold weather dominating the forecast, fishing is a little slow at Cane Creek Lake. Once the weather clears and cooler temperatures set in, though, fishing is expected to explode. With cooler temps on the way the crappie will begin to get more active. Shad will start to school near the surface even more, and the feeding frenzy will begin. Crappie will be the main goal for most anglers. Fish shallow with an “electric chicken” colored jig or a live minnow. The best place to be will be the courtesy dock down below the campground. Just remember that if you’re not camping at Cane Creek State Park, you need to park your vehicle at the bathhouse and walk down. Do not park at a campsite. Bass will also be biting shiners and any baits that look like shiners. As usual, cooler water means fishing with a shallow-running square-billed bait, painted in some shad-like color, and bounced off as much structure as possible. The bigger and clumsier the bait, the better. Catfish will be moving into the shallows as well to eat all of the foodstuffs washed into the water by the recent rains. They will also be eating what shad they can catch. Fish in 10 feet of water or less with shiners drug across the bottom. Cut bait will also work well during this time.

Lake Chicot

No report.

Lake Monticello

(updated 11-21-2018) 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 257.30 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 259.20 msl).

(updated 11-21-2018) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said the lake is on a continual pool reduction and falling, about 4 inches above normal conservation pool on Monday at 259.5 feet msl; the discharge was recently decreased to around 4,000 cfs for Little River, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. The tailwater below the dam continues rising with Corps gate releases at the dam, and as of Monday was about 236.2 feet msl. Water temps dropped over the past week ranging near 43 degrees early to 55 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. Watch for sudden gate changes and debris, which will increase with current in Little River. Navigation is hazardous with wide debris fields of broken timber, logs, trees, limbs, and broken vegetation mats concealing logs. Use extreme caution in navigation this week. Clarity and visibility have improved over the past week with the reduction in river current and lake pool, and navigation is noted normal along Little River.
Mike says that as conditions continue a slow improvement, the bass and crappie bites are beginning to recover. The bite for bass recently improved in the oxbows, and they are finding bass a little less finicky and willing to bite in the clearer areas of the oxbows, with crankbaits getting the best response. The schools of largemouths, Kentuckies (spots), and white bass continue to follow shad schools. Best locations over the past few weeks were at mouths of creeks and sloughs dumping into the back of the oxbows on points ranging from 10-12 feet deep with dead lily pad stems and stumps. Shad continue migrating in the creek channels with the reduction in surface temperatures over the past week, and the bass continue following these shad schools into numerous creek channels and ditches. Best reactions seen over the past week or two remain fair to good during the heat of the day and they continue to randomly hit crankbaits and Rat-L-Traps in the creeks between 8-12 feet depth. Surface-feeding activity levels have diminished with current conditions. The best crankbaits drawing reactions over the past few weeks were Bomber Fat Free Shads in Tennessee Shad and Citrus Shad, or white. Rat-L-Traps and SpinTraps in chrome/blue and shad patterns like Millwood Magic, Sexy Bone Nova, Blueback Herring or Liv-N Chrome are are still drawing random reactions in creek channels with any cypress trees, standing timber and stumps. Brush Hogs, 10-inch worms and Real Deal Custom Tackle Jigs were taking a few chunky, 3-4 pound largemouths in depths of the creek channels from 8-10 feet deep on stumps, and on secondary points with stumps from 5-9 feet deep. Blackberry, Green Pumpkin or Red Shad colors continue work well for soft plastic Brush Hogs attracting solitary bass not chasing shad. Good reactions have been found on Real Deal Custom Jigs in Habenero, black/blue/ or black/blue/purple using a Hog Craw trailer for bulk. Jumbo or Magnum 4-inch Gitzit Tubes are beginning to draw a few solid hits from solitary, 2-5 pound largemouth on stumps in creek channel swings, ditches, wash-outs, ridges and cuts behind secondary points along the river.
Here’s a pro tip: Put a rattle inside your tube jig on a tungsten knocker weight to draw a reaction in the stained water clarity conditions.
Best colors of tube jigs and Gitzits have been smoke/black/red flake, Black Neon and Pumpkinseed or Green Pumpkin with tail tentacles dipped in JJ Magic Chartreuse dipping dye. Pitching the Gitzits on stumps from multiple angles seems to initiate a reaction in mid-day warmer periods. Large size schools of white bass continue following shad in the oxbows, and nice 2-4 pound white bass were again hitting crankbaits in Horseshoe and McGuire oxbow lakes up Little River. Crappie continue a slow recovery after the recent 2-foot muddy rise of lake from thunderstorms the past few weeks, and are beginning to stack vertically over planted brush and cut treetops near standing timber as long as the brush and timber are out of any remaining current of Little River. Blakemore Roadrunners in white and chartreuse, solid white or white and red were catching some nice 2-2.5 pound slabs mid-day last week. Catfish continue biting well on yo-yos and trotlines in Mud Lake, Horseshoe Lake and McGuire Lake up Little River. Chicken gizzards or livers, punch bait and any cut baits were working well over the weekend and late last week.

Lake Columbia

(updated 11-7-2018) Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) says some nice crappie being caught. No reports on bass.

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 549.65 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).

(updated 11-7-2018) Jason Lenderman of JL Guide Service (870-490-0804) says the lake level is 1.6 feet above full pool of 548 feet msl and has risen almost 10 feet in the last two weeks with the rains. 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. 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 as well. The crankbait bite is picking up as well using shad colored Bandit crankbaits and chrome Booyah Hard Knocker or One Knocker. A lot of the fish have moved shallow with the rise in the water and can be caught with War Eagle Spinnerbaits or Booyah Finance Jigs. Cotton Cordell or War Eagle Spoons are working well on flats adjacent to creek channels 20-30 feet deep but have slowed with the new water. 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 407.32 feet msl (full pool: 408.00 feet msl).

No reports.

De Queen Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 437.46 feet msl (full pool: 437.00 feet msl).

No reports.

Dierks Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 529.50 feet msl (full pool: 526.00 feet msl).

No reports.


White Oak Lake

No report.


(updated 11-7-2018) Sportsman’s One Stop (870-863-7248) in El Dorado says a few bream are being caught on worms. Bass are biting well on crankbaits and soft plastics. Crappie are starting to bite on the upper side. Use jigs or shiners. No reports on catfish.


Lake Atkins

(updated 11-21-2018) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) reported that clarity is clear and the water is “up a little” above normal. Surface water temperature is 50 degrees. Crappie are excellent minnows and jigs. Bream are poor. Bass are fair. Catfishing has been good on trotlines.

(updated 11-21-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) in Benton said a couple of her customers went to Lake Atkins last Saturday and did well on the crappie using No. 6 crappie minnows and pink crappie minnows.

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 11-14-2018) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that the winter drawdown is now complete for Lake Hamilton and Lake Catherine. A 5-foot draw is now in place and will remain at this level until March 1, when both lakes are scheduled for refilling. Normal water levels have returned to the area after days of open flood gates, which created unsafe navigation below Carpenter Dam. Rainbow trout are now stocked in the Carpenter Dam tailrace. Bank fishermen are catching trout on waxworms or mealworms floated just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Redworms or nightcrawlers will also be effective presented in the same manner. Fly-fisherman can wade to areas that hold numbers of trout and can catch limits of fish casting egg patterns in white or yellow under a strike indicator. San Juan worms in red or hot pink will draw strikes from hungry trout in areas close to the main channel where some current is flowing. Spin fisherman casting Super Dupers in silver or gold over current flow will have success as rainbows will be feeding on injured threadfin shad. Rock structure provides a perfect ambush point for trout chasing bait fish. Trout fishing starts slowly in November as lower numbers are stocked this time of year, so anglers need to use patience and use different techniques until one is found that produces results. Some striper activity has been observed below the bridge late in the evening around 4 p.m. Alabama rigs and Super Spooks in white give anglers a good chance at hooking one of these large predator fish as they feed on trout and gizzard shad. Anyone planning to navigate the Carpenter Dam tailrace is cautioned to be aware of the generation schedules and always wear a life jacket.

Lake Dardanelle

(updated 11-21-2018) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) said water temperature 46. The river is starting to clear. The majority of creeks are in good shape clear and ready to fish. Bass fishing has been good jig and Bamboozie around rock, jerkbaits around the mouth of the creeks and channel swings, Alabama rigs along bluffs and treetops. Soft plastic jerkbaits like scam shad and chiselers working well in the backwater, around pad stems. Stripers and white bass or moving in the creeks and bays; spinnerbaits, swimbaits, hair jigs and grubs working well. Crappie have been good on minnows and jigs in Electric Chicken, chartreuse, brown and pink, and blue shad. Fish 5-7 feet deep in the creeks just off the bottom in the river. Catfish have been good. Use worms or blood bait, and minnows have been working well in the creeks.

Lake Hamilton

(updated 11-14-2018) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas born-and-bred, all-welded Xpress aluminum fishing boat in Hot Springs, reports water temps in the mid- to high 50s with water color on the stained side. Lake Hamilton has drawn down its water levels 3-5 feet or more in areas for yearly dock maintenance. If you are used to running wide open across the flats DO NOT DO IT! Fishing reports are very mixed and so are the fish trying to adapt to winter and the falling water levels. Bass are reported up the creak channels in 5-15 feet depending on whether the sun is shining. Worms on Texas-rigged setups are still doing really well. What is struggling is baitfish patterns. Most anglers are used to some sort of hard bait this time of year and it’s not working out. Worms, jigs and creature baits are working shockingly well when dragged off of main lake points adjacent to deep water, BUT only on rocky areas. The sun is heating up rocks and the fish are hugging the heat. Crappie are turning on right now in the brush piles off the main channel and in or on creek channel arms. Jigs and minnows or both will get them. Good luck out there and wear your life jackets now that the water is cold.

(updated 11-7-2018) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said crappie are biting on jigs and minnows fished 8-15 feet deep on brush piles. Multispecies are being caught jigging spoons 40-plus feet of water just off the bottom.

Lake Nimrod

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 342.85 feet msl (full pool: 342.00 feet msl).

(updated 11-7-2018) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said the water remains murky. No surface water temperature was recorded. Water level is normal. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Bass are good on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfish are good with worms and blood bait. No reports on bream.

(updated 11-7-2018) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said too much water chased away the anglers the past week.

Lake Ouachita

As of Monday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 577.76 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).

(updated 11-21-2018) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) said black bass are good. Bama rigs or spoons are best at this time. Walleye are slow. Try using a Cotton Cordell Spoon near brush for these fish. Stripers are fair on brood minnows and shad. Major creek mouths and main lake points on the western and central parts of the lake are the best for these fish. No reports on bream. Crappie are slower and being caught with jigs or minnows in 15-20 feet of water near brush. Catfish are slow. Cut bait, live bait and stink bait are the best bets for catching these fish. Water temperature is ranging 48-54 degrees and the water clarity is stained. 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 11-7-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) in Benton said her customers report still doing great on No. 4 crappie minnows hitting the brushtops.

Blue Mountain Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 384.60 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

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.

Horseshoe Lake

No report.

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