Arkansas Wildlife Fishing Report
BY Jim Harris
June 19, 2019
Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for June 19, 2019. If there is a body of water youl would like included in this report, please email email@example.com with information on possible sources for reports about that lake or river. Reports are updated weekly, although some reports might be published for two weeks if updates are not received promptly or if reporters say conditions haven’t changed. Contact the reporter for the lake or stream you plan to fish for current news. Note: msl = mean sea level; cfs = cubic feet per second.
Arkansas River and White River levels are available at: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=lzk
For real-time information on stream flow in Arkansas from the U.S. Geoloical Survey, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/rt
For water-quality statistics (including temperature) in many Arkansas streams and lakes, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/current/?type=quality
Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir
NOTICE: AGFC employees and contractors using airboats will be conducting foliar applications of EPA-approved herbicie – which will cause no harm to wildlife, people or aquatic life such as fish – to treat alligatorweed on Lake Conway in 2019. By federal law, these herbicides have up to a 120-day irrigation restriction after application. The AGFC asks adjacent landowners to NOT irrigate water from Lake Conway for lawn or garden use through March 1, 2020. For more information, please contact the AGFC Fisheries Office in Mayflower at (877) 470-3309.
(updated 6-19-2019) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the lake’s clarity is clearing up. Water level is “pretty much back down to normal,” they report. No surface temperature was recorded. Bream are excellent. Use redworms or crickets. Crappie reports are fair. Minnows and small jigs are best now. Black bass are good. Spinnerbaits, chatterbaits and topwater lures are all getting good reactions. Catfish are good. Use dough bait, goldfish, bream and live minnows on your lines.
(updated 6-19-2019) Hatchet Jack’s in Crystal Hill (501-758-4958) reports that the bream are bedding down with the full moon and the bite is good. Use redworms or crickets. No reports on crappie. Black bass are good on spinnerbaits and topwaters. Fish around the brush. Catfish are good. Use cut bait, skipjack and nightcrawlers.
Little Red River
(updated 6-19-2019) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said the river is clear with two-unit generation from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The Army Corps of Engineers says the White River is falling to a level that may let it increase the release at Greers Ferry Dam. It would be good to check the generation schedules daily to see when this happens. Full generation 24/7 is expected in the future because the lake is 12 feet over normal.
The bite is good when staying ahead of the new generation. Small mayfly nymphs and midge pupa are working well. Please be safe and courteous on the river. When boating, slow down to a minimum with no wake when passing a boat that is anchored or drift-fishing, and, when possible, pass on the side opposite the direction they are fishing.
(updated 6-19-2019) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service said Wednesday morning that the Army Corps of Engineers is releasing 12 hours of two units of generation daily. This generation pattern is providing small windows of wading opportunities on the upper sections of the river early mornings and on the middle and lower sections later in the day and good drift-fishing on all sections. An increase in generation on the Little Red River is expected as early as next week to begin lowering the Greers Ferry Lake to seasonal pool. How much of an increase and duration will depend on rainfall and potential flooding downstream. Currently recommended are midges, sowbugs, emergers, BWO’s and streamers for fly-fishing. For Trout Magnet fishing use hot pink bodies on chartreuse jigheads. Always check before heading to the Little Red River by calling the Corps of Engineers Little Rock District water data system (501-362-.5150) for Greers Ferry Dam water release information or check the Corps of Engineers website (swl-wc.usace.army.mil) for real-time water release and the Southwestern Power Administration website (swpa.gov) to see forecasted generation schedule.
Greers Ferry Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation is 473.96 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.54 feet msl).
(updated 6-19-2019) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 474.05 feet msl. That is 11.51 feet above normal pool of 462.54 feet msl. The catching is good overall. Bream are spawning all over the lake; use crickets, crawlers, inline spinners and small crankbaits from super shallow out to 20 feet. Crappie are still eating well with water temps still in the low 80s; use jigs, minnows and beetle spins 18-30 feet deep. Walleye are setting up for summer bite. They are at 18-45 feet. Use crawlers for the most part for the best bite. Black bass are eating well roaming and some fish are still super shallow and some inbetween. A gauntlet of baits work if they won’t bite it moving. Drag something. Hybrid bass and white bass are munching as well, 25-55 feet at present. When you can dial them in, 41-43 feet, but the size of spot to catch them is just the size spot of a 5-gallon bucket. Use spoons or inline spinners – vertical is the game with some schoolers as well.
Harris Brake Lake
(updated 6-19-2019) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) says the lake is clear and the water level is normal. No surface temperature was recorded. Crappie are good, but they have moved deeper. Toss minnows or jigs their way. Black bass are good. Use soft plastic worms or a topwater bait. Catfishing is good with worms of chicken livers. No reports on bream.
NOTICE: AGFC employees and contractors using airboats will be conducting foliar applications of EPA-approved herbicie – which will cause no harm to wildlife, people or aquatic life such as fish – to treat alligatorweed on Lake Overcup in 2019. By federal law, these herbicides have up to a 120-day irrigation restriction after application. The AGFC asks adjacent landowners to NOT irrigate water from Lake Conway for lawn or garden use through March 1, 2020. For more information, please contact the AGFC Fisheries Office in Mayflower at (877) 470-3309.
(updated 6-19-2019) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said black bass are doing well on buzzbaits and black plastic worms and some spinners. Bream are doing well with crickets and worms about 18-24 inches deep; they are on there beds. “We are catching some of the biggest bream I have seen in years,” Johnny says. Crappie are being caught in 12-14 feet of water around 8 feet deep on brushtops with jigs and small minnows. Not catching any limits but are catching some good ones. Catfish are being caught on jugs and trotlines with bream, skip jack and catalpa worms. Water level is almost normal levels and the surface temperature is around 81 degrees. “Come visit us at the bait shop, off Highway 9.”
(update 6-19-2019) Larry Walters at Bones Bait Shop (501-354-9900) rates the fishing as a 9 out of 10 at Brewer. The clarity is clear and the water level is 2 feet high. The surface water temperature Tuesday morning was 73-74 degrees. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Crappie are excellent. Use minnows or jigs around the brush piles. Black bass are good. Catfish are good using worms and chicken livers.
(updated 6-19-2019) Hatchet Jack’s in Crystal Hill (501-758-4948) said bream are good on redworms and crickets. Black bass are good on spinnerbaits; fish the brush. Catfishing is good using cut bait, skipjack and nightcrawlers.
(updated 6-19-2019) Westrock Landing (501-658-5598) on Highway 10 near Roland reports water temperature is in the upper 70s. Largemouth bass are good. Most of them can be found shallow at dusk and dawn biting a variety of lures. Some reports have come in this week say the bass can be found in 8-12 feet and at 16-20 feet. Try using chatterbaits, crankbaits, jerkbaits, drop-shots and swimbaits. Bracker Cobb and Dalton Norris landed a Big Bass of 5.13 pounds on their way to winning this Tuesday night’s black bass tournament with 12.81 pounds total. Meanwhile, as for other black bass, the Kentucky bass bite is good. Some reports of them being found in 10-15 feet of water outside the grass line at dusk and dawn. They can also be found in 18-22 feet off drops and rocky banks. White bass are slow. Some can be found mixed in with the crappie on the flats or near brush piles in 8-12 feet depth. Try using Rooster Tails, jerkbaits and rattle-style baits. Crappie are fair. Reports of them being found stacking in and around brush in 15-18 feet of water. Some can still be found scattered, mixed in with the whites. Try using jigs and minnows. Bream are good. They can be found up shallow. They are moving into their shallow beds around 8 feet or less. Try using crickets and worms. Catfish are slow. Reports are coming in that the channel cats are moving into shallow water. Try using stink bait, crayfish or worms.
(updated 6-19-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said has been really good on the catfish. It was stocked June 13. And, more than likely, it was probably stocked again for the kids fishing derby they had on June 19. They are catching them on near about anything from chicken livers to stink baits, minnows and worms. Crappie have been slow but better early in the mornings with No. 6 crappie minnows and pink crappie minnows. Bream have been good on crickets and super mealworms, and also redworms. Bass have been hitting bass minnows and spinnerbaits.
Bishop Park Ponds
(updated 6-19-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said that usually they hear more about the back lake, Lake Charles. But recently the front one, Lake Norma, has been doing better, especially on bream using crickets. Bass and catfish have been fair on bass minnows. No word on crappie.
Saline River Access in Benton
(updated 6-19-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bass have been good on bass minnows, beetle spins and spinnerbaits and live crawdads. Crappie are fair on No. 6 crappie minnows. Bream have been excellent on crickets and redworms. Catfish have been doing good on black salties, especially on trotlines.
(updated 6-19-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bream have been doing great on crickets fished on the bottom. This lake is well known for its big redear bream. Bass have been fair on plastic worms and bass minnows. Catfish have been good on nightcrawlers, bait shrimp and live crawdads. Crappie slow on No. 6 crappie minnows and pink crappie minnows.
(updated 6-19-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) had no report.
(updated 6-19-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said bream are good using redworms and crickets. Bass are good and hitting spinnerbaits. Catfishing is good on cut bait, skipjack and nightcrawlers. No other reports.
(updated 6-19-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said that bream have a good bite going on redworms and crickets. Black bass are good; use spinnerbaits around brushy areas. Catfishing is good with cut bait, skipjack and nightcrawlers. No other reports.
(updated 6-19-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie been fair on bass minnows. Bream are good on crickets. Catfish are excellent on live crawdads. Bass been good on minnows and topwater baits.
Arkansas River at Morrilton
(updated 6-19-2019) Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) had no reports.
Arkansas River (Cadron Pool)
Little Maumelle River
(updated 6-19-2019) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) had no reports. He says the water is almost black and that there appeared to be dead fish on the surface after the flood situation of the past few weeks.
Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)
(updated 6-19-2019) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) says that bream are good on redworms and crickets. Catfishing is good with worms or chicken livers. No other reports.
(updated 6-19-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said that in the area off the Maumelle River leading to the river, bream are good. They are bedding with the full moon. Anglers are using redworms and crickets. Black bass are good on spinnerbaits and topwater lures around brush. Catfishing is good using cut bait, skipjack or nightcrawlers. No reports on crappie. Alex urges anglers to stay off the main river. Also, the Little Maumelle is black with dead fish, he reports.
Arkansas River (Little Rock Pool)
(updated 6-19-2019) Fish ‘N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) is still urgeing all anglers and boaters to stay off of the river until the flooding conditions (very fast moving water) subside. The current is down, but it is still a swift 185,000 cfs as of Monday afternoon. Water level is high and the clarity is muddy. No catch reports.
(updated 6-19-2019) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) says that anglers still should avoid the river. The level is dropping, but there is still a lot of current. Clarity is muddy. No reports from anglers on any catches in the main Little Rock pool. However, below the Terry Lock and Dam, they here good reports on bream and crappie. Bream are spawning and are in 3-4 feet of water. Good reports of catches on redworms and crickets. Crappie are good trotlining, on jugs and baiting with black salties. Fish the jetties and the backwaters. The crappie are at a depth of 15-20 feet.
(updated 6-19-2019) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) says the river is muddy and high. No reports.
(updated 6-19-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) has no reports.
Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 6-19-2019) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water level normal and Clear Lake has cleared. The bream bite is fair on worms and crickets. Crappie are biting good on minnows and jigs. Black bass are fair; use a soft plastic worm. Nothing report on catfish.
(updated 6-19-2019) Donna Mulherin at Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said the clarity is a little stained while the water level is normal. No surface temperature was recorded. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Crappie improved to good thsi week, with trolling and spider-rigging still working nicely. Minnows or jigs as baits, she says. Crankbaits, meanwhile, are the way to go for black bass. The bite for bass is good. Catfishing is good with worms.
(updated 6-19-2019) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) says unseasonably mild temperatures this past week enhanced everybody’s trout fishing experience, and the quality and quantity of trout brought in surpassed expectations. The favorite technique this week was, by far, fishing artificial baits. The Vibrax Blue Fox spinner, 3/16 ounces gold and 3/16 ounces rainbow trout, led the pack, with the olive and brown/orange jigs (Maribou and White River Zig Jigs) a very close second. “Six, seven, and up to nine browns have been reeled in daily to several boats this week; minnows were the go-to bait for the larger fish, but we heard that more than one browns was hooked with shrimp and PowerBait. Late-afternoon water rises make for a good time to bring out your nightcrawlers and stir up some memories of fishing with Grandma and Grandpa. Come to the river and catch a trout or two with us.”
(updated 6-19-2019) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the clarity is awful, with a lot of light green moss in the water. The river level is low. The fishing is frustrating, but nonetheless it’s still good for trout. Small lures and sculpins are good bait choices – going that way, a 24-inch fish and a 6-pound fish were caught. Waxworms and PowerBait also will work.
(updated 6-12-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last Friday that during the previous week they had an inch and a half of rain, warm temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals rose 0.5 foot to rest at 22.4 feet above seasonal power pool of 662 feet msl. This is 10.6 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell 0.3 feet to rest at seasonal power pool and 14 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose 1.6 feet to rest at 6.6 feet above seasonal power pool and 2 feet below the top of flood pool. The White had light generation and some wadable water. Norfork Lake rose 1.7 feet to rest at 16.2 feet above seasonal power pool of 556.75 feet msl and 7 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had less generation and reliable 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 well over the top of power pool, with light generation and some wadable water. This will end when flooding recedes downstream. Expect heavy generation in the near future.
The White has fished well. The hot spot has been Rim Shoals. The hot flies were olive Woolly Buggers (sizes 8, 10), Y2Ks (sizes 14, 12), prince nymphs (size 14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead sizes 16, 18), pheasant tails (size 14), ruby midges (size 18), root beer midges (size 18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (size 10), and sowbugs (size 16). Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective. (John’s current favorite combination is a size 14 pheasant tail nymph with a size 18 ruby midge suspended below it. Use lead to get your flies down.)
John also said, “Last week I took Jack, a retired ophthalmologist, fishing. Jack spends the spring and fall here. He recently took the fly-fishing class that my wife, Lori, and I teach twice a year. Whenever he has friends or family visit, he hires me to take them out in the boat. Last week his old friend, John, was in town and we fished the White.
“We met at McDonald’s and drove over to Rim Shoals. We arrived a bit after 7:30 a.m. It was still cool but the weather forecast was for sunny conditions and a high temperature of 87 degrees. There was a heavy fog on the river that kept things cool until mid-morning. The fog was so dense that navigation was difficult, so I kept the speed down until it burned off. The water was pretty low, 2,750 cfs, or less than one full generator. This water level fishes well and was scheduled to last all day.
“We began the day with a casting class. John had never fly-fished and I taught him the basics, as quickly as I could, so that we could get on the water. We got in the boat and began fishing. Jack is an experienced fly-fisher, but John was the first one to hook and land a trout. In fact, he landed three fish before Jack got into the game. John was a natural. I was getting a bit concerned because Jack was not catching trout. They were rigged exactly the same. They had the same rod, reel, fly line, leader, tippet, flies (a pheasant tail nymph size 14 with a brown midge size 18 dropper), split shot and strike indicator. They were set at the same depth and drifting over the same water. Why was John catching trout while Jack wasn’t?
“I thought that it was a fluke and I was right. All of a sudden Jack began catching trout and quickly caught up with John. It was explained by my theory that the catching occurs in streaks. This is when one angler catches a few and then the other catches a few. Over time it generally evens out. The trick is to rely on basic strategy. You should concentrate on achieving a perfect drag-free drift and to set the hook quickly when you get a strike.
“At lunch, we had about 25 trout to the net. The largest was a fat 18-inch west slope cutthroat. We sat in the shade and enjoyed our lunch. We relaxed for a minute before returning to the river. At first the going was a bit slow but we were soon catching trout. It began to get hot. Jack and John had caught plenty of trout. We ended the day with between 45-50 trout to the net. There was no clear leader. They had both landed about the same number of trout. We pulled the plug and headed home.
“When your fishing buddy is on a hot streak, don’t worry. You could begin your streak soon.”
Bull Shoals Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 684.80 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 661.00 feet msl).
(updated 6-12-2019) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said the lake level is up 26 feet over normal and the clarity overall remains cloudy. The surface water temperature is upper 70s. Black bass are good. Topwaters are working best in the morning. Fish the old shorelines and the wind-blown pockets. Crappie are good. Jigs are a good bait choice, or anything that can go through the bushes. Focus on the brush piles. Catfish are good. You’ll find them in back of creeks using limblines to catch them. Walleye are good on bottom bouncers fished on the old shorelines. No reports on bream. Check out Del’s YouTube channel for his regularly updated video fishing report.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 573.56 feet msl (normal conservation pool: Sept.-April, 552.00 feet msl; April-Sept. 555.75 feet msl).
(updated 6-19-2019) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said the stripers in Norfork Lake are now in their summer pattern. We have been catching fish from 30-60 feet in large schools in the channels near bluff walls. The best bait has been mid-size gizzard shad 4-7 inches on a downline set just above the fish. The cold overnight weather has dropped the lake from 82 degrees to 77 degrees but should come up fast unless the rain that is predicted this week is cold, then it will remain the same. The thermocline is around 20 feet and the water below is very murky. It will stay that way until the lake returns to its normal pool. Fishing has been good the past week. Both Sean and I have been limited out each day. Sean’s client caught a 42-inch striper that was very skinny and only weighted 22 pounds. It should have been in the 30-pound range. The fish could not be released because the fight took too long. It was a shame to have to clean a big fish but that what happens this time of year.”
“On Tuesday I had first-time clients who had not fished for stripers. Nick is 13 years old and by the end of the trip it he was fishing like a pro. We had some luck at our first spot but the bite slowed so I had earlier found fish that were feeding around 7:30 in the morning. I moved there and set up my normal fishing pole routine of two float rods and five down rods. Jeff’s rod went down, and right when I netted his fish the front pole went down and that continued around the boat; as each rod went down, I was netting another fish. The same time the two float rods were hit, but we were too busy fighting the other fish. The floats were 30 yards from the boat and by the time we started fighting those fish they had come all the way to the boat. In all we boated all seven fish. We were lucky because some were hybrids and we could release them and the others were kept to fill their limit. It was an experience both Jeff and Nick will never forget, nor will I.”
Tom says he is now fishing the main lake from Thumb Point to Hand Cove and the Dam Area. This pattern will hold true well into September. He adds that the walleye have moved to their summer pattern. They will be feeding in the 28- to 32-foot range. The best bite is usually from 8-11 a.m. Longline trolling crankbaits and bottom bouncers set just off the bottom running spinners with nightcrawlers.
(updated 6-12-2019) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideway Resort said, “Who wants to striped bass fish! The striped bass bite has been pretty good the last couple of weeks. If you like to fish in the dark, when it is cool, quiet and calm, there are several good areas near our resort. I have had guests fishing all night long, and others fishing from sunset until around midnight. Still other guests enjoy the early morning bite and get on the lake around 4 a.m. and fish until about 9 a.m. The best bait has been live shad or large shiners, but vertical-jigging a spoon has also picked up some nice fish.
“This morning I had a difficult time finding fresh bait but had a few leftovers, so I headed to my first area and started fishing around 4:30 a.m. I dropped one bait down to about 30 feet, while sitting in 100 feet of water. I also started to vertical-jig a 1-ounce white spoon at the same depth. It wasn’t more than 10 minutes before the live bait rod went singing and I landed a nice 9-plus pound striped bass. I continued to jig and got hammered on the spoon, but lost him halfway up. Over the next 45 minutes I landed two stripers on my spoon and two more on live bait. Not bad for a short time.
“Once it started getting light out, the bait and fish scattered. I headed out to a big main lake flat and found fish, but they would not hit my spoon. I moved locations to part way back into a major creek and found more scattered fish at depths from 10 feet down to 40 feet, and I was mainly in 50-80 feet of water. My only taker was hooked by casting my Kastmaster. I was doing a steady fast retrieval and was stopped dead in my tracks with a big fish taking off the other direction. To say the least, I only got to fight this fish for about a minute before he broke off.” Lou says walleye fishing has been very good whether you are dock fishing or fishing out on the lake. There have been many walleye caught off his dock over the last couple of weeks. Live crappie minnows have been working well, or smaller shiners. The best time has been after dark. The fish under his dock have come off the bottom in about 30 feet of water. The other location that has been producing some nice fish is on the normal pool shore line, which is just outside of the sunken buckbrush. The water depth will vary, but ranges 20-30 feet deep. Slow-trolling a crawler harness with a bottom bouncing weight has been working great. You can also drop shot a shiner to the same depth. Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass are showing up in the same areas as the walleye. This morning, as the sun was rising, Lou says, he stopped to check out a few main lake points. While he was heading back into a creek, he had his Kastmaster tied on so he casted to the shoreline, letting the bait sink about 10 feet, and started to retrieve the bait, twitching it slightly. It wasn’t long before he boated a smallie and a nice largemouth. They were probably in about 20-25 feet of water, he said. He adds that it has been tough finding crappie. With the higher-than-normal water level, the fish have plenty of cover all over the lake. The best areas to find confined crappie are under docks. Live bait or small jigs are working. You can also troll small crankbaits such as a Flicker Minnow or Shad in about 20-25 feet of water. The Norfork Lake surface water temperature Tuesday morning was 78-79 degrees. The water level has finally stabilized with a very slight daily rise and currently sits at 573.81 feet msl. The lake is clear with some areas having a slight stain. The lake is high, but in great condition for all your summertime water sports.
(updated 6-12-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last weekend that during the previous week Norfork Lake rose 1.7 feet to rest at 16.2 feet above seasonal power pool of 556.75 feet msl and 7 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had less generation and reliable 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 well over the top of power pool, with light generation and some wadable water. This will end when flooding recedes downstream. Expect heavy generation in the near future.
The Norfork has been slow. Navigate this stream with caution as 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 ruby midge (size 18) suspended 18 inches below a red fox squirrel and copper (size 14). The fishing is better in the morning. Dry Run Creek is fishing well. With school out, it will be crowded. The hot flies have been sowbugs (size 14), Y2Ks (size 12), various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise size 10) and white mop flies. 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 6-12-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are high and off-color. The smallmouths are more active with the warm conditions. John’s favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,129.41 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.00 feet msl).
(updated 6-19-2019) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the clarity is stained but the river arms are muddy. Accress is very difficult because of the high water; Beaver Lake’s level was 10 feet higher than normal as of Monday afternoon, and as of Wednesday it was 2 feet over last week’s measurement. Crappie reports are good. Anglers are night fishing with the lights with good success. The crappie are deep (15-20 feet). Trolling with deep-diving baits is the best bet. They’ll hit minnows and jigs. Black bass are good. Fishing shallow with worms will get a good reaction. In the mornings, go with a topwater lure. Also target the brush. Good reports of bass catches near Arkansas Highway 12. Catfish are biting well. They are around the rocks now and are spawning. No reports on bream.
(updated 6-19-2019) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) says Beaver Lake remains really high and looks to stay above normal for some time, which will pay dividends in next few years. Meanwhile, water has yet to create a major thermocline and that has fish still scattered from deep to shallow. Stripers are good following shad; look in all major arms for them. There is a night bite going on as Jon says he has heard some reports. Hit flats adjacent to main points and throw big jerkbaits. Walleye are good trolling deep-diving cranks such as walleye divers or slow troll crawler harnesses. Spotted bass and brown bass are good off chunk rock points in 15-30 feet of water. Largemouths are still in flooded timber/brush – Whopper Ploppers, Flukes, buzzbaits and spinnerbaits are working. Hit docks, as fish always relate to docks on Beaver. Crappie are fair to good trolling cranks, and jigs are working for limits. Catfish are good and bream are excellent. Be safe when running, as debris is out there. Bowfishing is good at the clear end of the lake back in coves.
(updated 6-19-2019) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said, “I apologize for not sending out last week’s fishing report, folks. I was extremely busy running a trip and dealing with fire department business. So I will kind of give you a two-week report. The trout have been really active with the different weather systems moving in and out. They have been hitting spoons really hard the past week or so. PowerBaits fished with light terminal tackle have also brought in nice numbers. It seems the trout have been hanging in the deeper water, 8-10 feet this past week. The ‘hot spot’ has been between Parker Bottoms and the Bertran launch ramp. There are still some walleye in the area, most of them have been small males, biting on live minnow, fished with various jigs. The Kentucky bass have been hitting on 2-inch grubs, fished in structure and on bottom. Not much to report on with the smallmouths; however, fish the drop-offs, humps and chunk rock. A crawler bait or suspended soft plastic should do the trick. Like always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me on my Facebook page (Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service) or send me an email or text. Stay safe, have fun and catch some fish!”
(updated 6-19-2019) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) reports the lake has a murky green color. The water level is normal. No temperature was recorded. Bream are good using worms. Crappie are good. Fish the tree lines and the brush piles with minnows or jigs. Black bass are good; use a soft plastic worms. Catfishing appear to be spawning on the rocks. The bite is good on worms.
Lake Fort Smith
(updated 6-12-2019) Ralph Donnangelo, superintendent at Lake Fort Smith State Park, said Heather Hula and the park staff gathered a lot of fishing information from their youth fishing derby held last Saturday (June 8). The kids were all catching sunfish left and right. The bream are at 2-3 feet depth A couple of children were catching channel catfish, and a few largemouth bass were caught. The fish were pretty active all throughout the morning and into the afternoon before the heat of the day. The sunfish are spawning so the bass are harassing the nesting beds of those sunfish. Catfish are at a depth of 10-15 feet, while the black bass appear to be at a depth of 5-6 feet. Heather recommends using crankbaits to mimic sunfish in shallow inlets of the lake if you’re trying to catch bass. The clarity Tuesday was fairly clear, with a visibility of 2 feet. Surface temperature is 74 degrees.
(updated 6-19-2019) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said the lake is clear and the water level is normal. No surface temperature was recorded. Bream are fair on redworms. Crappie also still shallow and the bite is fair with minnows and jigs. Largemouth bass are good. Black/blue chatterbaits and chartreuse jigs fished during hte morning your best bets. Catfish are excellent on stink bait, but the bite is best in late afternoon.
(updated 6-19-2019) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) says the bream and catfish have been active from the shoreline out into the lake for those anglers in a boat. The bream bite is excellent taking both approaches. Use worms or crickets. Fish near the brush piles, stumps or rocky points. Crappie are good on minnows or jigs. Black bass are good in spinnerbaits, plastic worms, live worms or topwater lures. The excellent catfishing is spurred on by anglers using worms, blood bait, stink bait, chicken livers and the Catfish Pro chicken liver flavor. No reports on white bass. Surface temperature Sunday at 11 a.m. was 61 degrees. The lake is above normal level. Clarity is murky.
(updated 6-19-2019) Ome Coleman at Lake Poinsett State Park said, “Beautiful weather for fishing. While the lake is being repaired, Lake Poinsett State Park still maintains a supply of both live and frozen bait as well as other fishing supplies. Yes, and we are open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day for your fishing needs.” While Lake Poinsett is closed for repairs through early 2020, check out other neighboring lakes such as Lake Charles and Lake Hogue, as well as the AGFC’s Family and Community Fishing Program pond at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.
(updated 6-19-2019) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water clarity is clear while the water level is normal. No surface temperature was reported. Bream are good. Use red wigglers and crickets. Bass are fair. Catfishing is good with chicken livers. No report on crappie.
(updated 6-19-2019) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) said water levels are running at 415 cfs at the spring and water clarity is clear. Lack of rain over the last week and a half has the river looking great. A dry spell is much needed. On overcast days an olive or brown Woolly Bugger is hot. Just use a simple swing of the fly with a slow strip back. On the sunny slow days the trout have been eating up small nymphs – about a size 14 prince, pheasant tail or a hares ear nymph can be very productive. Don’t be afraid to use a small split shot in deep and fast areas. For spin fishers a black, white or red Trout Magnet works great. With smallmouth a simple Ned rig on a 1/8 jig works well. Watermelon or pumpkin colors most days work the best.
(updated 6-12-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Spring River is a high and stained. This is a great place to wade fish when they are running water on the White and Norfork rivers. Canoe season is here and the river can be crowded especially on the weekends. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive Woolly Buggers with a bit of flash (size 10), cerise and hot pink San Juan worms (size 10) and Y2Ks (size 10).
(updated 6-19-2019) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) finally had some good news of catches to report. The water is clear and the the level is still a little high but it has dropped down. Reports of crappie catches were good. Minnows and jigs are working around the brush piles. Black bass are fair on soft plastic worms and jigs. Walleye are being caught in fair numbers with a jig/minnow combination. No reports on bream or catfish.
Arkansas River (Pine Bluff Pool)
(updated 5-29-2019) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team said all ramps are flooded. Stay off the river until further notice.
Arkansas River (Pool 2)
Cane Creek Lake
(updated 6-19-2019) Austin Davidson, park interpreter at Cane Creek State Park, said the fishing at Cane Creek has been somewhat steady in the past week. Bream are still biting aggressively on both crickets and worms fished away from the boat in 3-5 foot of water. Bass are biting on topwaters and shallow-swimming lipless cranks in the morning and early evening. The darker it gets, the better chance you’ll have with using a dark spinnerbait or buzzbait. The bass are aggressive, but are having a little trouble committing to a bite. If you use a hard bait and miss a bite, have a backup soft plastic waiting. Use a Texas-rigged baby Brush Hog or craw in a dark color like pumpkinseed with dark red or blue flecks. Throw it in the same spot and you might get a second chance. Catfish are doing better on trotlines than poles at the moment. They’re hungry but reluctant to bite right off. Use bream or minnows for a flathead and chicken liver for blues and channels. If the weather turns and we get rain, your chances of catching a big cat on a pole go up. Use the same bait, but fish in 10 feet of water or shallower, all the way up to the shoreline, especially where water has run into the lake. It’s snake season, so be careful of cottonmouths when pulling up to these backwater banks and sloughs.
(updated 6-5-2019) Brian Whitson, park interpreter at Lake Chicot State Park (870-265-5480), says lake level is just a bit higher than normal, but no bad. Bream are biting very well on crickets. Catfish are also biting well on crickets and worms.
(updated 6-12-2019) Angler Chris Duren at Lucky’s (870-224-6747) had no report.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 260.31 feet msl (normal pool: 259.20 feet msl).
(updated 6-19-2019) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said that will the lake settled down (about 1 foot above normal pool as of Wednesday), they have been seeing nice numbers of largemouth bass busting Heddon Moss Bosses and the Yum Tip Toads in lily pads near bases of cypress trees for the past several weeks. The cass are once again feeding great early in the mornings from just before dawn until around 10 a.m. The best reactions seen lately are “up in the thick of it,” he said, where lily pads and hydrilla or coontail grass converge over primary or secondary points and humps. “Those are things heart attacks are made of,” Mike says. “I am typically starting the dawn hours with a Snot Rocket or bullfrog color Tip Toad, skipping it to the back of cypress trees where ridges extend out onto points. I am letting the frog and the water ripples settle to still, and kill it either side of the base of the cypress tree back under low branches. Many mornings, we have had largemouth bass hammer this presentation knocking the Tip Toad 1-2 feet in the air and crushing it. Some days, of course, are different, and after I kill the Tip Toad on the base of the cypress tree, i just notice my line swimming off in one direction or the other. Be sure to retie frequently and check line abrasion all day because of this jungle we fish in on Millwood Lake.”
Mike adds that if the water has heavy stain, he is dipping the feet of the Tip Toad in chartreuse JJ’s Magic Dye. The Heddon Moss Boss his is throwing is the Black Shad or the White Scaled colors. If it’s a relatively dark morning, heavy cloud cover, or showers Mike will typically start with the Black Shad. If the morning is cloud-free, clear and bright, he is throwing the White Scaled version as far back into pads as he can reach, move it fast for 3-5 feet of distance, and kill it on top of a lily pad, and let it sit. If that doesn’t initiate a reaction, he will “quiver” his rod tip and make the Moss Boss shimmy, shake and vibrate on top of the lily pad. “Some of these silly acrobatic largemouths are coming up underneath a lily pad that the Moss Boss is resting or sitting on, and bust the bottom of the pad knocking the Moss Boss 2-3 feet in the air. It’s crazy insane to watch, even when we miss a few bass when they knock it 2-3 feet away another direction. Many times you will see the wake of the bass running to where the Moss Boss landed, and they will come completely out of the water next to a pad and crash down on top of the Moss Boss. Yes, Moss Bosses work well in grass and moss, too, but to see the Moss Boss in action in the pads is heart stopping stuff!”
If Mike and his anglers are fishing in a calm/no wind day, they are still throwing Arbogast Jitterbugs or Arborgast Jointed Jitterbugs to create a subtle crawl wake at dawn for a good reaction. Best retrieve on tabletop calm water he has had is to cast the Jitterbug parallel to the lily pad line, over deeper water from 7-12 feet where points extend, and hydrilla or coontail moss is growing near stumps or laydowns. “I slowly wake the Jitterbug much much slower than a buzzbait, almost just a crawl, to put off a tail-walking wake behind it. I am constantly scanning 5-10 feet of surrounding water for any movement. If I see any type of subsurface activity or motion wakes, I kill the Jitterbug and just let it sit, sometimes 1-3 minutes without any motion or lateral movement at all. If after sitting a couple minutes there is no reaction, I will slowly twitch the Jitterbug like a struggling bird, or injured bream, just for 2-4 feet and kill it again. Many times, this will initiate an immediate response from nice 3-5 pound largemouths. If they are finicky or picky eaters, I just wake the Jitterbug back to the boat changing rhythm until I get a reaction and then repeat the action in similar areas
“I like to let the bass tell me how they want it, and I keep changing up the cadence and the retrieve until I make one react on it. For the past several weeks, the best colors we are using to get best reaction with on stained Millwood Lake are the Coach Dog, Firetiger or Perch.”
He says Yum Dingers are still working, also wacky rigged. Millwood Lake has so much vegetation, Mike says, one has to be semi-selective about where you throw the wacky rigs or you “will be dragging salad on every cast. I like throwing the Yum Dingers wacky rigged in the same locations as the Jitterbugs, on lily pad edges over grass, just not letting it sink all the way into the grass 6-9 feet below, but along edges of the lily pads. Best retrieve on the wacky rigs is simply cast parallel to the edges of the pad lines, and short, hard, jerking twitches following the pad edges. Many times, bass will run out from underneath the pads, snatch the Yum Dinger and immediately turn 180 degrees and run back under the lily pad edges. I have found its better to pause on the hook set a few seconds, until the bass has swam 2-4 feet with the Dinger before setting the hook. Yes, sometimes that means that they have swam back into the pads, but setting too fast before he has entire Dinger and hook in his mouth will result in a swing and a miss by not allowing him enough time after he grabs the Dinger and swim off. I typically try to pause long enough that the bass has taken all the slack out of my line, and I begin to feel him pulling my rod. That’s typically when I hit him hard and even if he’s back inside the pad line, I have enough good hookset, that I can horse him out, or hold him long enough to go into the pads 3-5 feet and lip the bass out of the salad. Lots of folks miss lots of bass with this presentation by setting hooks far too early and quick.”
Mike says he continues to have a Yum 10-inch Ribbon Tail on deck. He is rigging up the worm with the 3/16-ounce slip sinker ahead of a glass clacker bead, not pegged for the clicking and ticking sound of the bullet weight on the glass bead. Less resistance that comes through all this vegetation, the better. Best colors he has been using on for the last 3-4 weeks in the Ribbon Tail worm have been the Blue Fleck, Black/Blue Flake, Red Shad and Plum. “We are throwing the Yum 10-inch Ribbon Tail in nearly the same water as the Yum Dingers and swimming it just off the bottom over the tops of the hydrilla and coontail grass. This will tease the bass into some of the most violent worm strikes we have ever experienced. If you are not ready on point, the ferocity with which some of these 3-to 5-pound largemouth bass strike a swimming 10-inch Yum Dinger is something to behold. They will literally almost rip the rod out of your hands with this methodology. Another good thing about having a Yum 10-inch Ribbon Tail on deck is, if one of the bass hits or slaps at the Jitterbug or Moss Boss and miss the bait, I will immediately lay down my topwater rod, leaving the bait where the vass missed it, and pitch the Ribbon Tail to the swirl of the missed strike. I cannot tell you how many times the bass has grabbed the Ribbon Tail on the fall, not even 2-5 seconds after the miss, before it has dropped more than 1-2 feet of depth. It works, and I always have a Yum 10-inch worm rigged, ready and on deck year-round!”
Crappie are beginning to recover and are best near standing timber and planted brush piles, as long as they are located out of Little River current and flow. Persistence is the best factor right now, and vertical jigging minnows can get you bit if you are patient, from 9-15 feet of depth away from current. Blue and channel cats continue biting well in Little River current on trotlines. King’s Punch bait and homemade bait with spoiled chicken livers and gizzards have been working on trotlines set from 8-15 feet in river current. No reports on white bass. Water temps were stable over the past week. Be sure and check the most recent lake level of Millwood Lake on the guide service’s website linked above, or at the 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 cautioned again this week, and numerous trees/logs and river debris are still visible this week.
(updated 6-12-2019) Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) had nore reports.
Lake Greeson Tailwater
Visit www.littlemissouriflyfishing.com for a daily update on fishing conditions.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Narrows Dam was 546.75 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).
(updated 6-12-2019) Jason Lenderman of JL Guide Service (870-490-0804) says the lake level is almost 2 feet above full pool of 548 feet msl and falling until the rain this week. Water temps have made it the 80s. The bass are in their summer patterns. Bass have moved to the post-spawn and summer patterns and can be caught on Yum Pulse swimbaits and Super Spook Jr’s. Shaky head-rigged Yum finesse worms working OK on main lake and secondary points leading into spawning areas. Concentrate on main lake points. Crappie are REALLY good lately. They can be caught in brush 15-25 feet deep on minnows and jigs. Catches of 50-100 per day are not uncommon right now.
(updated 6-12-2019) Tamara Lunsford, park superintendent at Daisy State Park near Kirby, said Lake Greeson’s surface water temperature Sunday was 85 degrees. The lake level is at normal pool., 548 feet msl. Bream are good. Use worms or jigs and fish the brush piles and around stumps. The bream are in 2-5 feet depth. Crappie are good and can be found in 10-20 feet depth. Use minnows or jigs, and work your bait around the brush piles, stumps or rocky points. Black bass are good. They’ve been biting in 10-15 feet depth on spinnerbaits, plastic worms and will come up for some topwater action. Focus on the brush areas or at rocky points. Catfish are good on worms, blood bait and chicke liver. Fair reports on white bass.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 406.33 feet msl (full pool: 408.00 feet msl).
(updated 6-12-2019) John Duncan of yoyoguideservice.com at Iron Mountain Marina said, “Let’s go fishing! Hurry up, because the rain is coming again.” White bass are schooling from Brushy Creek to Point Cedar, he says. If the will will give you a break, they will surface. Arlie Moore near the Boy Scout Camp has been a good area. Hybrids are also active. Again, if the wind will give you a break, try surface lures for school fish very early and late. Whopper Plooper and Zara Spooks work well. If they go down, switch to crankbaits, Rat-L-Traps or spoons. Black bass are turning to the summer pattern. Worms and soft plastics. Catfish reports are fair on noodles. Bream beds are showing up since the full moon. Use your side imaging to locate the beds in 4-6 feet of water, then stand off and cast to the beds. Crappie is another story. Brush piles 12-20 feet deep are producing best. Minnows over jigs for summer fishing. The big ones are holding close to cover. Fish slow. Good fishing and be safe.
(updated 6-12-2019) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips says it’s pretty simple since the rains have stopped – the crappie are still biting and the whites are schooling.
De Queen Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 437.36 feet msl (full pool: 437.00 feet msl).
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 526.06 feet msl (full pool: 526.00 feet msl).
White Oak Lake
(updated 6-19-2019) Angler John Gulley, CEO of Lone Sportsman Outfitters, had no report.
(updated 6-19-2019) Sportsman’s One Stop (870-863-7248) in El Dorado had no report.
(updated 6-19-2019) Sharon at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said the clarity is clear and the water level is up about 1-1.5 feet over normal. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Crappie reports are poor. Black bass are fair on spinnerbait; fish around the brush. Catfish are good on trotlines and yo-yos.
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro
(updated 6-19-2019) Steve Donahou at Lake Catherine State Park (501-844-4176) checked with Tosha Walker, manager of the Lake Catherine State Park Marina, Lake Catherine State Park Marina, who reports that clarity is clear and the surface temperature earlier this week was 64.8 degrees. Water level and current are normal. Bream are excellent, use worms and crickets. Crappie are poor. Jigs were working best. Black bass are good. Use plastic worms, lizards, frogs and topwater lures. Focus on rocky points. Catfishing is good. Use worms, stink bait and chicken liver. No reports on white bass.
Lake Catherine (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro
(updated 6-19-2019) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that Lake Ouachita has fallen out of flood pool as a drier weather pattern blessed the state the past week. Entergy has regulated the generation schedules, so the Carpenter Dam tailrace can be safely navigated and fished. Boaters can anchor in areas holding good numbers of trout and have success casting Rooster Tails in white or brown around rock structure and sandbars. The month of May and June brings huge numbers of shad toward the dam to spawn. Trout will feed heavily on these baitfish and will strike artificial lures that imitate live minnows. Small jigs in gray or white will also work well in the same areas in slack or current situations. Trolling against the current with shallow-running crankbaits imitating shad or crawfish will attract larger trout that seek bigger prey. Bank fishermen should take advantage of slack water periods by presenting trout with nightcrawlers and redworms fished just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Waxworms and mealworms used in the same manner will allow anglers to catch limits of rainbows that are actively searching for food. Live bait presentations cannot be overemphasized because trout become much more wary as their environment warms and the summer heat sets in. June brings white bass by the thousands into the Carpenter Dam tailrace to begin the spawn. Crankbaits, jerkbaits, spinnerbaits and jig presentations will all draw strikes from these temperate bass from the dam to the bridge as they feed on shad for months. Hybrid bass also run alongside these fish and will feed on the same prey items. Stripers always migrate into the area in the summer months in search of food and cooler temperatures. Balloon rigs with gizzard shad give anglers a good chance to hook a big striper, but artificial lures such as Super Spooks and Alabama rigs should not be overlooked. Strong rods and lines are recommended for these predator fish that possess great power and are often in the 20- to 40-pound range. Anyone navigating Lake Catherine should always wear a life jacket and be aware of the generation schedules. All park rules and regulations must be followed in the Carpenter Dam tailrace.
(updated 6-19-2019) Jason Baumgartner, park aquarist at Lake Dardanelle State Park (479-890-7495), said they have experienced mostly sunshine and breezy winds the past week A sunny and nice end to the week is forecasted and then humidity and the heat index rises over the weekend. There is no visibility to the lake; the water remains muddy. The surface temperature is about 80 degrees. Boat ramps inside Lake Dardanelle State Park are now open. As of Tuesday, June 18, the river at Ozark Lock & Dam 12 is forecast to remain just below flood stage (357 feet). Currently, the tailwater elevation is 356 feet and holding. Release at Ozark L&D 12 has been holding around 160,000 cfs for several days now. There has been no power generation. The islands and bottoms at the Highway 109 bridge and near Spadra are beginning to emerge as the water recedes. It is likely that much of the sandbars and points have changed in size or shifted in these areas. Dikes remain underwater so use caution. Downriver, pool elevation near Lake Dardanelle State Park has returned to normal and is currently at 24 feet. Release has been steady and is currently 163,000 cfs. The powerhouse began generating on Monday. Please use caution when on the water as the river has most likely changed in many areas. Most tournaments at Lake Dardanelle State Park were rescheduled due to the dangerous river conditions. For tournament updates, please contact the Lake Dardanelle State Park Visitor Center at (479) 967-5516 ext. 2.
(updated 6-19-2019) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) had no report.
(updated 6-19-2019) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas-born-and-bred all-welded aluminum Xpress fishing boats in Hot Springs, reports Lake Hamilton at normal pool and temps in the mid-70s throughout with shallow water in the high 70s. Bass fishing has been stout lately! Good numbers and good sizes of spotted bass and largemouth are being recorded all over the lake. The catch to Lake Hamilton is that it is a pleasure boaters’ lake and that water gets churned up with regularity. Those bold enough to brave the wakes can do really well on main channel points with rocky bottoms. They key to fishing as it is always this time of year is to ADAPT. Breaking fish early in the mornings can be caught with swimbaits and fluke in shad colorations. When the sun comes up, it is essential to find shade. Docks, bridge pilings and overhanging timber and brush need to be focused on. If it isn’t shaded, just forget about it. Frogs, poppers and Texas-rigged big dark-colored worms are the way to go in shade. When evening comes on, flip back over to morning patterns but add a little Sammy or Whopper Plopper topwater to the mix. Crappie reports are still good as the water temps aren’t scorching hot yet. And catfish is always a crowd pleaser on drop-offs at creek channels. Be careful out there, and everyone keep a sharp eye for everyone else on the lake! Good luck and Go Greeson!
(updated 6-19-2019) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips says white bass are schooling early in the morning hitting small spoons and Rooster Tails. Crappie are still biting on live bait fished 13-16 feet deep. Get on the water by first light and reap the results.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 371.22 feet msl (normal pool: 345.0 feet msl).
(updated 6-19-2019) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said the clarity is clear and the surface water temperature Tuesday morning was 83 degrees. The water level is still high (26 feet over normal pool) but appears to be dropping some. Bream can be caught off the parking lot, they report. Good catches, with redworms and crickets both working well. Crappie are good. They are biting at 3-7 feet depth on black/chartreuse jigs and minnows. Fish the brush piles. Black bass are excellent. Your best bet is fishing with a War Eagle spinnerbait with white skirt. Catfishing also is excellent. Like the bream, they’re being caught off the parking lot. Use nightcrawlers.
(updated 6-19-2019) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) had no report.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 577.24 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 6-19-2019) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) said black bass are still good. Texas-rigged soft plastics and drop-shot rigs fished over points are working at this time. Walleye are very good. Small minnow-colored crankbaits and nightcrawlers on drop-shot rigs are producing good stringers. Stripers are still good. Most of these fish have moved to the eastern part of the lake and are being caught on live bait or big hair jigs. Bream are very good with reports of fish being caught with grubs and worms in 8-15 feet of water near brush. Crappie are good and being caught with jigs or minnows in 12-20 feet of water near brush. Catfish are excellent and anglers are having luck with rod and reel using live nightcrawlers around brush piles. Water temperature is ranging 80-84 degrees. The water clarity is clearing. Lake level is 577.46 feet msl. Contact the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717; Chris Darby, 870-867-7822; and Jerry Bean, 501-282-6104) for more information.
Blue Mountain Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 408.40 feet msl (full pool: 384.00 feet msl).
(updated 6-12-2019) Angler Dane Goodwin said Blue Mountain Lake is still not producing well for crappie. Bream are on beds and good. No report on catfish. Water should continue to improve in coming weeks.
(updated 6-19-2019) Professional fishing guide Ronnie Tice (901-687-6800) says lake clarity is clear and the water level is “just a little high.” Bream are good on worms and crickets. They are in their beds during the full moon. Crappie fishing remains excellent. Minnows and jigs, of course, but make sure to fish around the piers and that you’re shooting the docks in the morning. Ronnie says they are hitting limits every time the fish. Black bass are fair. With the bass at 4-12 feet, fish shallow water and fish the shallower shaded areas under the docks. Catfishing is fair. Jigging and limblining are the best methods. Ronnie said Monday this past week has been a great week for fishing Horseshoe Lake.
Bear Creek Lake
(updated 6-19-2019) Natalie Faughn, assistant superintendent at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), had no reports.
Storm Creek Lake
(updated 6-19-2019) Natalie Faughn, assistant superintendent at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), had no reports.
(updated 6-19-2019) Wil Hafner, education program specialist at Potlatch Conservation Education Center on Cook’s Lake (870-241-3373), is hoping fishing for youths and mobility-impaired anglers can resume July 6. The two-mile oxbow lake off the White River offers fishing for youths under 16 and for mobility-impaired anglers every first and third Saturday of the month, when the lake is accessible (it hasn’t been all season). Call the CEC for more information or updates.
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