Arkansas Wildlife Fishing Report
BY Jim Harris
July 10, 2019
Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for July 10, 2019. If there is a body of water youl would like included in this report, please email firstname.lastname@example.org 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 for lawn or garden use with water from Lake Conway through March 1, 2020. For more information, please contact the AGFC Fisheries Office in Mayflower at (877) 470-3309.
(updated 7-10-2019) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) described the clarity as “a little stained” and said the water level is normal. No surface temperature was recorded. The past week was great for bream. Anglers say the bream are excellent around the shoreline, with worms and crickets working. However, crappie have fallen off. While reports are poor, there is a little activity around the cypress trees on minnows or jigs. Black bass are good on crankbaits and topwater lures. Catfishing is excellent. Use cut shad, goldfish or trotline minnows.
(updated 7-10-2019) Hatchet Jack’s in Crystal Hill (501-758-4958) reports that the bream bite remains good on redworms and especially crickets. Catfish are good; use bronze goldfish on a limbline for best results. They are also hearing that the backwaters at Burns Park are opened now, and anglers are reporting black bass are hitting spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Bream are biting crickets. Catfish are favoring nightcrawlers and cut bait.
Little Red River
(updated 7-10-2019) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service said Wednesday morning the 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 to lower the lake to seasonal pool as soon as possible. How much of an increase and duration will depend on rainfall and potential flooding downstream during the time they are lowering the lake. Until that time, Lowell recommends midges, sowbugs, emergers, blue-wing olives and streamers for fly-fishing. For Trout Magnet fishing, use hot pink-colored bodies on chartreuse jigheads. 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 (swl-wc.usace.army.mil) for real-time water release and the Southwestern Power Administration website (swpa.gov) to see generation schedule forecast.
(updated 7-10-2019) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said the river remains clear with 12-hour generation. The starting times have varied, so everyone should check each day for the forecast schedule. The Corps of Engineers has informed Greg that this will probably increase starting Thursday by one to two hours, reaching a 16- to 18-hour generation schedule by the weekend. As always, this is subject to change due to rain in the White River basin. The lake is still about 9 feet above normal and this is the reason for the increased amounts of generation.|
Small mayfly nymphs and midge pupa have been the best fly choices. The bite has been good on the days when there is a window of low water. Staying ahead of the new generation is the key. Visit the Southwestern Power Administration website (swpa.gov) for generation forecast. The Army Corps of Engineers app will show forecast and current generation as well, or visit the website at www.swl-wc.usace.army.mil/pages/data/tabular/htm/greersf.htm.
Greers Ferry Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation is 471.40 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.54 feet msl).
(updated 7-10-2019) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 471.42 feet msl and falling with evaporation and generation. It is 8.88 feet above normal pool of 462.54 feet msl and will continue to fall with 16 hours of generation a day until they reach normal pool. The black bass are set up on ambush points, eating well from shallow to 45 feet. A lot of different baits working, and some schooling is taking place as well all around the lake and rivers. Fish your strengths shallow or use your electronics and find bait fish to catch them deeper. Crappie are still eating vertical 15-30 feet or trolled baits in the same range. Catfish are eating well all around the lake and rivers, on a gauntlet of baits and ways to catch them. Bream have been caught from super shallow out to 25 feet on crickets and crawlers. Walleye are still acting a little crazy with all the moving water; try dragging crawlers from 15-45 feet until you find them for that hour and then go back and forth through them. Hybrid bass and white bass are eating on and off around the clock from 25-45 feet of water. Use spoons, inline spinners, hair jigs and swimbaits, and stay around the bait.
Harris Brake Lake
(updated 7-10-2019) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) says the clarity is “super clear.” The water is calm and nice, and the level is normal, they report. Bream this past week were good. Use worms or crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Black bass reports were poor. Catfishing is good on hot dogs, catfish bait and Ol’ Roy dog food.
NOTICE: AGFC employees and contractors using airboats will be conducting foliar applications of EPA-approved herbicide – 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 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 7-10-2019) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said black bass are doing well on buzzbaits and topwater spinners. They are chasing the new spawn of shad. Bream are doing well on crickets and redworms. They are on their beds. Anglers are catching some redears, too. Crappie are slow but still catching some good ones in 7-14 feet of water over brush. Catfish are being caught on jugs and trotlines with bream and shad, along with skipjack. Water level is about normal and clarity is fair. Surface temperature is around 88 degrees. “Come visit us at the bait shop, off Highway 9.”
(update 7-10-2019) Angler Larry Walters says the water at Brewer is clear, but it’s probably too hot to fish. Still, anglers are giving it a go. Bream, he said, are fair on redworms and crickets. Crappie are excellent. They are biting in 13-18 feet depth around the brush piles. Black bass are excellent on topwater baits and plastic worms. Catfishing is good noodling and using minnows. White bass are schooling and the bie is good. Water level was normal as of Tuesday morning. The bait shop that Larry previously owned has changed hands. The new owner is David Hall.
(updated 7-10-2019) Hatchet Jack’s in Crystal Hill (501-758-4948) said bream are good on crickets. Black bass are good on topwaters. Nothing reported on crappie, white bass or catfish.
(updated 7-10-2019) Westrock Landing (501-658-5598) on Highway 10 near Roland says the surface water temperature is in the mid-80s. Largemouth bass are fair. Most of them can be found in 16-20 feet of water at dusk and at dawn biting a variety of lures. Some reports say black bass can be found in 8-12 feet and 16-20 feet. Try using chatterbaits, crankbaits, jerkbaits, drop-shots and swimbaits. The Tuesday Night Black Bass Tournament featured a 5.53 Big Bass caught by Darren Keener and John Chaney, whose 13.04 total stringer of bass won the event. Rick Easter and Shane Curtis caught an 11.39-pound stringer.
The spotted bass are slow. Reports of Kentucky bass being found in 10-15 feet of water outside the grassline at dusk and at dawn. Then can also be found in 18-22 feet of water off drops and rocky banks. White bass continue to be slow. Some may be found mixed in with the crappie on the flats or near brush piles in 8-12 feet of water. Rooster Tails, jerkbaits and rattle-type baits work best for the whites. Crappie are fair. Reports lately have them being found stacking in and around brush in 15-18 feet of water. Try using jigs and minnows. Bream are good. They are up shallow, moving into their beds around 8 feet or less. Use crickets and worms. Catfishing has been slow. You might find some channel cats in the shallow water, though. Use chicken liver, crawfish or worms.
(updated 7-10-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said that even though it’s been since last month that it was stocked twice, some people are actually still catching a few catfish off of livers, bass minnows and stink bait. Crappie been slow but will bite crappie minnows. Bream have been good on crickets, redworms and super mealworms. Bass have been hitting pink and white spinnerbaits and bass minnows. “Turtles, I hear, have been pretty abundant, too,” Lisa says.
Bishop Park Ponds
(updated 7-10-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bream are doing great off of crickets and redworms. Bass have been fair off of bass minnows and some plastic baits. Catfish are good on chicken livers and black salties and cut shad and skipjack. Crappie are slow but will still bite crappie minnows.
Saline River Access in Benton
(updated 7-10-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said the Saline River finally got back down and the smallmouth have been doing well on bass minnows. Also the Kentucky bass have been good. Crappie have been slow on No. 6 crappie minnows. Bream been good on super mealworms and crickets. Catfish have been being caught on trotlines and rod-and-reel off of black salties, goldfish and bass minnows.
(updated 7-10-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said the bream have been good using crickets. “You might try some super mealworms, too,” Lisa suggests. “They stay on the hook longer and I usually catch bigger bream with them, too.” Catfish have been good on nightcrawlers, bait shrimp, crawdads and black salties. Crappie have been slow on crappie minnows and Bleeding Tennessee Shad-colored Kalin’s 2-inch grubs. Bass have been fair on bass minnows and spinnerbaits.
(updated 7-10-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) had no report.
(updated 7-10-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said catfishing is good using catalpa worms or nightcrawlers. Black bass are biting plastic worms, with good reports. Bream are good on crickets. No other reports.
(updated 7-10-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said that bream reports continue to be good, with crickets working best. Black bass are good on plastic worms. Catfishing is good using catalpa worms.
(updated 7-10-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bream have been good on crickets. Crappie have been hitting the bass minnows. Bass have been abundant off of minnows and crankbaits. Catfish are good on goldfish, black salties and crawdads.
(updated 7-10-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) in Crystal Hill said catfishing is still good, with cut bait and live bream working best for bait. Black bass are good using on spinnerbaits and plastic worms. Bream are good on crickets. No other reports.
Arkansas River at Morrilton
(updated 7-10-2019) Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) had no reports.
Arkansas River (Cadron Pool)
Little Maumelle River
(updated 7-10-2019) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the water clarity is a little stained and the water level is normal. No surface temperature was recorded. Bream reports are good, with anglers using redworms and crickets. Crappie reports, however, were poor. Black bass are fair in the early mornings or late in the evenings; use topwater baits. Catfishing is good using worms and live bait.
Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)
(updated 7-10-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said the high water won’t allow anyone to get to the dam. Clarity is muddy and the water level remains very high as it’s been all late spring and summer.
(updated 7-10-2019) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) had no reports.
Arkansas River (Little Rock Pool)
(updated 7-10-2019) Fish ‘N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) said the river remains muddy and the level still high. The flow as of Monday at 160,000 cfs. No fishing reports. “Stay off the river,” they say.
(updated 7-10-2019) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said the water is muddy and high with a fast current, and there were no fishing reports.
(updated 7-10-2019) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) had no report.
(updated 7-10-2019) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) has no reports.
Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 7-10-2019) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the clarity is clear and the water level is normal. Bream are good on crickets. Crappie reports are good using jigs. No reports on black bass. The catfish are fair using worms or chicken liver.
(updated 7-10-2019) Donna Mulherin at Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) had no reports.
White River (Augusta-Des Arc section)
(updated 7-3-2019) Angler William McCoy says he fished all weekend at the White River at Des Arc and also talked with many anglers at the ramp. The water temperature is 73.8 degrees and the clarity is very muddy. The current is not very strong and the river shows to be pretty steady. Catfish are targeting feeder creekmouths and the shallow banks. The bait to use is small bream and some shad, as the shad are running in the mouth of Des Arc Bayou.
(updated 7-10-2019) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) says Bull Shoals Dam has begun the release they’ve been expecting, which is required to bring the lake down to desired power pool level. “Over the last week we’ve seen fluctuations in the water: beginning the day with low water and ending with a fairly significant rise. Plan your baits based on water conditions: Begin with the tried-and-true shrimp and egg pattern
(orange and/or yellow and/or pink), move to worms or to drifting a pink or orange two-inch worm as the water rises. Try a mid-sized Rebel Minnow when the releases equal two or three units of water (4,500 to 9,000 cfs). The brown trout X-Rap Rapala and the Elite Blue RPS-9 (Rapala’s ripstop size 9) are good baits to use at low- to mid-level
“When we begin to see steady releases of 12,000 cfs and more, we’ll be pulling out the big baits: Look for the 4- to 5-inch Smithwicks, orange bellies, blue or black backs. Pay attention to the eye color on your baits and let me know which works best for you: yellow, red or black? Go catching and enjoy Arkansas’s natural resources.”
(updated 7-10-2019) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the water temperature and clarity are variable. The water is very hot now, they say. The water starts low and gets high every day. Fishing was good when the water was low; when the water got high at 2-3 p.m., fishing was over. But overall, the trout bite was good, they report. Anglers caught several rainbows and a few brown trout.
(updated 7-10-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last Friday that during the previous week they had four rain events that combined for an inch of rainfall, hot temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell 0.2 foot to rest at 26.7 feet above seasonal power pool of 661.27 feet msl. This is 7 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock remained steady at 4 feet above seasonal power pool and 10 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.5 foot to rest at 7.4 feet above seasonal power pool and 1.6 feet below the top of flood pool. The White had light generation and reliable wadable water early in the week, and heavy generation and no wadable water later in the week. Norfork Lake fell 2.1 feet to rest at 18.6 feet above seasonal power pool of 556.02 feet msl and 7.4 feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had heavy generation and no wadable water. 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. The dams are seeing heavy generation, and expect it to continue for the foreseeable future.
The White has fished very well. The hot spot has been the Narrows. There have been some good hatches of sulphur mayflies that have created some great topwater action. The hot flies were olive Woolly Buggers (sizes 8, 10), Y2Ks (sizes 14, 12), prince nymphs (size 14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead sizes 16, 18), pheasant tails (size 14), ruby midges (size 18), root beer midges (size 18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (size 10), and sowbugs (size 16). Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective (John’s current favorite combination is a size 14 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. 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 reported the lake’s elevation at 687.78 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 661.00 feet msl).
(updated 7-10-2019) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said the lake level continues stay well above normal pool; as of Tuesday afternoon it was 29 feet high. The water is murky. The surface water temperature was 86 degrees. The bream bite is good. Fish the bluffs or the rocky points with redworms and crickets. No reports on crappie. Black bass will be good in the early morning by fishing topwater baits. Catfishing is good with limblines and trotlines. Walleye are good if you’re trolling; target 20 feet depth. Check out Del’s YouTube channel for his regularly updated video fishing report with various baits and patterns he’s using for the bass, including a new report he put up late last week.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 572.22 feet msl (normal conservation pool: Sept.-April, 552.00 feet msl; April-Sept. 555.75 feet msl).
(updated 7-10-2019) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said, “This is a strange year for striper fishing on Norfork Lake. In fact, in all my years of guiding I cannot recall (another time like) how the stripers are acting this year. Last year I talked about the thermocline needing to move down this year. It did and the stripers went deep. Right now almost all the fish myself and my son catch are at 60-80 feet. Most of the fish being caught are between 60-70 feet and the bite usually starts around 6 a.m. and lasts about 1½ hours. There is a period where the stripers move to the channel edge and feed heavy in 72 feet on the bottom but the bite does not last long and then they move back out into the deep water following the channel.”
Tom says that last weekend he had a great three days of catching stripers. By Monday he fished the same spot and did not have a bite. “In fact, both Monday and Tuesday I only had two bites and no fish. Wednesday I moved to Dam Cove and we caught six and by week’s end my son was limiting out each day while I also was catching good quality stripers. I was not limiting, but my clients were having a good time seeing all the action.” He says the only artificial technique working is spooning. “The trollers by me did not catch a single fish this week,” he added. Stripers are being caught in Shoal Creek around 6:30 a.m. along the bluff wall. The only problem is it’s not every day. There is no consistent bite anywhere right now. Hopefully the hot weather and lowing of lake will get the stripers into their normal summer pattern. “I continue to fish the main lake from Thumb Point to Hand Cove and the Dam Area. This pattern will hold true well into September.”
(updated 7-3-2019) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideway Resort said, “Happy Fourth of July to all. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday period. Norfork Lake is mainly in its summertime pattern. This means fish are starting to go deep. Most fish species are hanging out in the 20-30 feet range. Norfork Lake has formed a thermocline at about 20-25 feet and the fish are hanging very close to it.”
The best bite on the lake at this time, is for largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass. At sunrise, you can find some topwater action up close to the shoreline and out on long shallower points. Yesterday my daughter and I had fun throwing Zara Spooks and Whopper Ploppers. The fish are very aggressive. When you see a small swirl in the water cast your bait at the swirl and give it a twitch, the fish will hammer it. As the sun gets over the tree line the fish start to go deeper. Once they go deep start looking just outside of the sunken buck brush on the wind blown points, which will be in about 20-25 feet of water. Start throwing a grub or just about any dark plastic, and work it along the bottom. You don’t need to work it fast, but you will need to pay attention as the bite at this time has been very light.
The striped bass have gone deep earlier this year than normal. You will find stripers anywhere from 30-70 feet, either suspended or on the bottom. I have been having difficulty in finding large numbers of stripers in any one area. They are scattered throughout the lake. Live bait has been working the best, but you have to work at it. When you find the fish, you can also vertical jig and spoon and you will pick up a few nice fish. Trolling large swimbaits is also picking up some nice fish keeping the bait at about 50 feet deep back in some of the major creeks. The best locations to start looking for this species are from the Robinson area down to the dam and also back to the Big Creek area. They will be up in the 30 feet range early in the morning, then head deeper as the sun comes up.
Norfork Lake has rising to 573.78, but currently is starting to drop with both of the generators running constantly. Both generators running for the entire day will drop the lake about 3 inches per day. The main lake is fairly clear, with the creeks and coves slightly stained. The current surface water temperature is in the mid-80s.
(updated 7-10-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last weekend that during the previous week Norfork Lake fell 2.1 feet to rest at 18.6 feet above seasonal power pool of 556.02 feet msl and 7.4 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had heavy generation and no wadable water. 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. The dams on the System are seeing heavy generation, and expect it to continue for the foreseeable 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 over the last couple of years from flooding. 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. There is some work being done at the hatchery that has affected access to the upper areas on the creek and some of the hatchery discharge pipes are not running, resulting in lower flows on the creek. 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 Norfork River and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. 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 7-10-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are navigable and greatly cleared. 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 1,128.71 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.00 feet msl).
(updated 7-10-2019) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) says Beaver Lake level is high and will continue for some time. The lake has settled down some and fishing is good. Walleye are being caught in 25-35 feet of water on trolled crawler harness rigs. Troll slow is the key, less than 2.3 mph, and you will catch them. Crappie are fair to good on trolled cranks. Bandit 300 is go-to bait. Look around 15 feet deep main channels. Stripers are scattered as always; look around Point 5 and Rambo Arm. Bream are excellent and a great way to spend the day with younger anglers. Bass are good early and late. Some schooling going on, then as sun comes out they drop down deeper. Catfish are good on various methods.
(updated 7-10-2019) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the water is stained in the river. The water level remains high. But the good news is there were a lot of boats on the water this week, they report. Bream are fair on crickets. Crappie are good, with best success coming from trolling small crankbaits. Black bass are slow/poor due to the high water temperature and the high water, they say. Some bass were caught in the early mornings nad late in the evenings on topwater baits. Catfish are good using prepared and live bait. Walleye are being caught by the dam using nightcrawler harnesses.
(updated 7-10-2019) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said that with the exception of the last storm that blew in, fishing has been great on the tailwater. Water levels are high, but that is not stopping the bite. Trout are hitting various spoons and jigs, fished suspended, at or near the bottom of the thermocline. Fishing with light terminal tackle with various PowerBaits have also produced some nice results. This week’s hot spot has been between the U.S. Highway 62 bridge and Spider Creek. There has been minimal generation, so the water temperatures vary between Houseman and Spider Creek. Kentucky bass have been biting on soft plastics and suspended hard baits thrown at chunk rocks and structure. Most bass have been caught between Beaver town and Holiday Island. Crappie are suspended in 20 feet of water in and around structure. Fish with a Texas rig and live minnows. Most of the crappie bite has been between Beaver town and Holiday island as well. “I hope you all had a safe and Happy Independence Day,” Austin says. “Remember, if you need additional information, reach out to me on my fishing Facebook page, (Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service), or text me on my cell. Stay safe. Hydrate! And catch some fish.”
(updated 7-10-2019) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) says the water is a little murky and the water level is normal. No surface temperature was recorded. Bream are fair on redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair; use crappie jigs for best reactions. Black bass are good, with reactions best on plastic worms and topwater baits. No reports on catfish.
Lake Fort Smith
(updated 7-10-2019) Ralph Donnangelo, superintendent at Lake Fort Smith State Park, reports that overall, the Fourth of July holiday saw some additional lake traffic, but otherwise, they are in our summer pattern of excessively hot and humid days. Bass and bream are still good; some catfish are being taken deep on livers and gizzards, and crappie and white bass seem to have taken a vacation. Heather Hula, a park interpreter, says the fishing for sunfish has been really good lately. The bream are in about 3-4 feet depth and are around the brush piles and rocky points. The baits working are worms and those little topwater poppers designed for either trout or panfish. The bass fishing is slow during the day, but picks up well after it starts to cool off. The bass are favoring plastic worms, topwater lures and jigs and appear to be around a depth of 4-6 feet when active, hanging around brush, stumps and rocky points. The lake’s clarity and visibility is 2 feet. Surface water temperature Tuesday was 78 degrees.
(updated 7-10-2019) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said water clarity is clear and the lake is at a normal level. The bream bite is good on redworms and crickets. Crappie, meanwhile, are sporadic. The best bite is coming fishing in deep water with minnows or jigs. Fish against the bluffs in the deep water. Anglers report a fair bite. Black bass are good. Crankbaits and plastic worms (dark-colored are best) will work best. Catfish are biting punch bait and cut bait.
(updated 7-10-2019) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) says fishing continues to be good at Lake Charles fishing from the shoreline or from a boat. Bream are excellent have been biting worms and crickets. Black bass are good are hot for spinnerbaits, while plastic worms and topwaters will also work. Fish around the brush or the rocky points. Catfish are mostly wanting worms, but also try blood bait, stink bait and Catfish Pro’s “Blood & Catfish.” Crappie are good on minnows and jigs, and the fish are congregating near rocky points. The surface temperature early Sunday was 70 degrees. The clarity remains murky and the water level is high. “Stop in the Visitor Center and tell us your fishing story,” Shelly asks.
(updated 7-3-2019) Ome Coleman at Lake Poinsett State Park said, “Summer is here and we can tell it is so … ‘hot.’ That hasn’t slowed the fishermen at all. We are keeping all your preferred live bait in stock and other supplies you will need here at Lake Poinsett State Park. I hear about some very nice catfish and bream being caught in the area. It doesn’t matter if they are fishing at private ponds or lakes.” 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 7-10-2019) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water is “hot, hot, hot” and it’s clear. The lake level is normal. Anglers are catching big bream, they report. The bite is good on crickets. Crappie are not biting. Black bass, though, are good in the early mornings and late in the evenings on topwater baits. Catfishing is good with stink bait and chicken liver.
(updated 7-3-2019) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) said water levels are running at 400 cfs at the spring and water clarity has been stained with a heavy green tint this week. The river has been looking great. Not as much rain has the river coming down from recent higher flows. The trout have been biting great on olive and brown Woollies on cloudy days, while on the hot sunny days, downsizing the fly to a small nymph can really get the trout hitting hard. Sometimes a small split shot above the fly will help get it down. A black or hot pink Trout Magnet can be hot most days. Once again it’s all about getting just off the bottom of the river for the best bites.
(updated 7-10-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Spring River is navigable and greatly cleared. 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 7-10-2019) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) had no reports.
Arkansas River (Pine Bluff Pool)
(updated 7-10-2019) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team reports the Island Harbor and St. Marie Park boat ramps are open, while Regional Park remains closed. St. Marie is the better of the two open ramps right now because around Island Harbor there is still debris and people are cleaning up their property. Please be considerate of the home-owners around Island Harbor and Regional Park and fish areas other than the canals and boat docks for a while; most of the people living there are working through a difficult time. You shouldn’t be on the main channel of the river yet. It continues to flow strong and a great deal of sand has been moved during the flood. It is likely that new sandbars have formed in areas that were previously safe to navigate. No fishing report at this time.
Arkansas River (Pool 2)
Cane Creek Lake
(updated 7-10-2019) Austin Davidson, park interpreter at Cane Creek State Park, said the fish at Cane Creek seem to be slowing down a little bit during the day, now that the heat of the summer is finally creeping in. Bream that normally like warm water in the 80-degree-and-above range are now being reported biting in the morning. Throw a cricket or worm in shallow water, 3-4 feet, around lily pads. You may also find a stump field – drop a line by a stump and if you don’t get a bite, move on to another stump until you get results. Once you find a stump that works, stay there until the bites stop. Bass are still hanging around under lily pad fields to keep away from the direct heat of the sun. As rain moves in this week and cools the water down the bass might move back toward open water. Fish with a spinnerbait or a shiny-colored Rat-L-Trap run near the surface to attract the attention of any aggressive bass hiding under cover. During the morning and early evening, fish a topwater bait, the noisier the better. Catfish will once again be moving into shallow water as the rain washes foodstuffs in from slow-moving and stagnant creeks. Find a muddy confluence where rainwater runs from the bank, or where a creek meets the lake, and fish from the shallows out to about 12 feet deep. Use liver soaked in garlic salt. Secret tip: Use the licorish-flavored extract of the anise plant (anise oil) added to your bait to really get a big cat’s attention. Crappie are scarce in this heat but can be found in deep holes that go beyond 12 feet. Find a deep spot in the lake and fish a shiner over structure for your best chance of getting a good crappie. Anglers tying yo-yos onto trees in the beaver pond and cypress brake late at night have also reported catching slab crappie. Remember, if you catch a big fish, bring it up to the State Park Visitor Center to get your picture on our wall and get a chance at being the face of Cane Creek’s next fishing report on the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission website!
(updated 7-10-2019) Brian Whitson, park interpreter at Lake Chicot State Park (870-265-5480), says fish are biting. Weather is pleasant now but thunderstorms expected later in the week. The Lake Chicot drawdown, scheduled for every five years, was planned to begin on Monday, July 8. The gates will be open and not closed until Jan. 1, 2020. Water levels will decrease during this time, eventually exposing about 900 acres of lake bottom. NOTE: Daily creel limits are reduced to half during this period. Please use caution while fishing on Lake Chicot during the drawdown.
(updated 7-10-2019) 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 260.47 feet msl (normal pool: 259.20 feet msl).
(updated 7-10-2019) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said as of Monday in the middle of July in southwestern Arkansas, “it’s STILL HOT and the lake level on Millwood is nearing normal conservation pool. The discharge was near 6,730 cfs in Little River, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. The tailwater below the dam and gates as of Monday is falling and is about 236 feet msl. Water temps continued improving 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.
Mike says the best bass activity over the past few weeks continues to be early morning and late afternoon around dusk. Largemouth bass have been really active before dawn to around 9 a.m.; cloud cover mornings remain to be best overall surface activity over the past few weeks, with bite shutting down during the heat of the day. Best baits over the past week or so have been plastic frogs, Bass Assassin Shads on a light wire hook working in new lily pad growth, Jitterbugs, buzzbaits, Heddon Dying Flutters, or Johnson Silver Minnows with a grub trailer, all at daybreak. Best color of frogs thrown in the new lily pads have been Snot Rocket or black. Firecracker or Hot Spot Remover buzzbaits are working at dawn. Slow-rolling chatterbaits near flooded bushes and stumps will draw random strikes, with Firecracker and Hot Mouse being good colors in stained water. StutterSteps, Spit’n Images, Ken Pops, Pop-R’s and Moss Bosses continue to draw random reactions from largemouths around grass lines, vegetation and new pads. Topwater activity levels have slowed later in the day with the increased heat over the past couple weeks, with the exception of schooling yearling bass, Kentucky bass, and white bass in the oxbows near daybreak.
White bass were found as of a couple weeks ago schooling on shad in the oxbows at dawn, and surface breaking on shad and bait in Horseshoe and McGuire lakes in the oxbows up Little River where water clarity is best. Hammered Cordell Spoons with red/white bucktails, chrome/black or chrome/blue, and Millwood Magic colored Rat-L-Traps, Spin Traps and Bomber Fat Free Guppy cranks in Citrus Shad were catching these surface schoolers breaking on shad. Crappie have been consistently biting jigs and minnows near cypress trees for the past several weeks. The 4- to 8-foot-deep deep cypress trees are holding fish early, with planted brush piles out of river current from 8-12 feet deep holding fish later in the day. Crappie continue transitioning to deeper drop, near standing timber or planted brush piles, but can still be caught early on base of cypress trees. They have been best vertical-jigging minnows, Arkie Jigs and minnows. Best bite is early from dawn until around 10 a.m. shallow on cypress trees with minnows. Channel cats and blues are still feeding very well in Little River, up to 5-6 pounds, on trotlines and yo-yos set 9-14 feet deep in Little River using spoiled chicken livers, gizzards and hearts. Yo-yos set under cypress trees in Mud Lake using cut shad and buffalo, from 9-10 feet hung from tree limbs, were catching some decent blues over the past couple of weeks. Mason bream and bluegills were biting very good from a report Mike got from Millwood State Park a couple weeks ago. Catalpa worms, crickets, redworms, nightcrawlers and bread were drawing best reactions. Fish off the bank after dusk.
NOTE: The USACE has a planned drawdown for Millwood Lake to commence in mid-July. Use caution navigating on Millwood Lake during affected drawdown conditions when stumps, timber and debris will be at or near surface pool.
Surface temps as of Monday ranged near 80 degrees early to 89 later under full sun, depending on location. Continue to use caution in navigation on Little River and Millwood watching for random, broken or floating timber. Clarity and visibility continue improving over the past week, but remain stained in places, especially upriver.
(updated 6-26-2019) Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said a few bass and bream are being caught. No reports on catfish or crappie.
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 545.97 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).
(updated 7-3-2019) Tamara Lunsford, park superintendent at Daisy State Park near Kirby, said Lake Greeson’s surface water temperature Monday was 85 degrees. The lake level is at normal pool. The bream bite fell off to just fair reports this week. The fish at in 2-5 feet of water and are biting worms. Find the fish around the brush piles or stumps. Crappie are good. They are being caught in 20-25 feet depth on minnows or jigs. Fish the brush piles or the rocky points. Black bass are good. Look for bass in 10-15 feet depth and fish with spinnerbaits, crankbaits, a Zara Spook-like bait or plastic worms. Catfish are fair on worms and blood bait. White bass reports are fair.
(updated 7-10-2019) Jason Lenderman of JL Guide Service (870-490-0804) had no report.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 403.81 feet msl (full pool: 408.00 feet msl).
(updated 7-10-2019) John Duncan of yoyoguideservice.com at Iron Mountain Marina said, “Hot, hot, hot!! Summer has arrived. I think the fish are still waiting on the waves to settle down after the Fourth. The lake as a whole is in good shape with little debris or trash on the surface. The lake is down some from last week, the level is 403.80. The water temperature is in the mid-80s. Little change in the report.” He says bass are in their summer mode where you should be fishing the points with plastics or early morning fishing with topwater lures. Some blacks are schooling early and late, but you have to be there early or stay late. Whopper Ploppers and chrome Zara Spooks are good choices for schooling fish. Schools are showing up all over lake early and late. Hybrids, whites and Kentucky bass are schooling when the water is calm enough. Again, early and late. The schools are from Point Cedar to Iron Mountain. No report on bream or catfish. Crappie are another story; the thermocline is the key. Once that is determined, fish above it. Bigger crappie being caught near the bottom on minnows, 14-16 feet deep. John adds, “Night fishing is going well. Use a mixture of white and green lights for the best results. Again, the thermocline is the key. Stay cool and hydrate often.”
(updated 6-26-2019) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips says white bass and hybrids are schooling and being caught on spoons early in the mornings. Mid-lake is your best bet.
De Queen Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 437.48 feet msl (full pool: 437.00 feet msl).
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 526.11 feet msl (full pool: 526.00 feet msl).
White Oak Lake
(updated 7-10-2019) Angler John Gulley, CEO of Lone Sportsman Outfitters, had no report.
(updated 6-26-2019) Sportsman’s One Stop (870-863-7248) in El Dorado said
bass are biting well on topwater lures and spinnerbaits. Nice bream and catfish are being caught. No report on crappie.
(updated 7-10-2019) Sharon at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said the clarity is clear and the water level is still “just a little high, maybe a foot.” She also says the water temperature is “very hot,” likely ranging 90-94 degrees. Bream are good on worms and crickets. Crappie are biting fair on minnows and jigs. Black bass are fair, but the ones being caught are averaging 7 pounds, she says. Throw a topwater. Catfishing is excellent on trotlines and yo-yos.
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro
(updated 7-10-2019) Steve Donahou at Lake Catherine State Park (501-844-4176) spoke with Lake Catherine State Park marina manager Tosha Walker on Monday, who reported that the clarity is clear and the surface temperature is 77.8 degrees. Water level and current were normal. Bream are excellent on worms and crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Black bass are fair, with plastic worms and topwater lures being the most used baits. Fish the rocky points for best success. Catfishing is good using stink bait, chicken liver and cut bait. No reports on white bass.
Lake Catherine (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro
(updated 7-10-2019) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that Lake Catherine water temperature is 62 degrees below the dam with clear conditions in the tailrace. Entergy has regulated the generation schedules so the Carpenter Dam tailrace can be safely navigated and fished, as Lake Ouachita is now a full 2 feet below flood stage. Numbers of quality rainbow trout are still present in the area because of the heavy flooding early in the year; however, these trout will be gone through migration and predation in the next several weeks. 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 early summer 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 water 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. July still holds numbers of whites, although the size is smaller than in a normal year. 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 7-10-2019) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) said river temperature is in the upper 80s. River clarity is starting to improve from Piney down. From Knoxville being up, it’s still pretty swift. The river bite has been good on jigs and crawls around wood and eddies. Creek fish have been good using large worms and jigs on bottom worked really slow. Main lake bite has been good on worms, deep-diving crankbaits, jigs and Bamboozie, and chiselers on a swing head. Stripers and white bass have been fighting fair in the creeks on crankbaits and Zara Spooks. Crappie have been fair during the day and good at night under lights. Use minnows and jigs, no particular color (though white has been working well). Bream has been excellent on worms and crickets and grasshoppers around rocks stumps around creeks and rivergrass. Catfish has been good on stink bait and perch off of river ledges.
(updated 7-10-2019) Jason Baumgartner, park aquarist at Lake Dardanelle State Park (479-890-7495), said they have experienced mostly sunshine, heat, and humidity along with pop-up showers many afternoons. Arkansas summer weather is forecasted for the next seven days. As for lake clarity there is limited visibility; water remains mostly muddy but is clearing up in several areas. Water surface temperature Tuesday was 88 degrees. Also as of Tuesday, the river at Ozark Lock & Dam 12 has been flirting with flood stage at a level of 357 feet msl. It is forecasted to hold near this level at least for the next day or so. Release has held consistent since last report around 160,000 cfs. There has been no power generation. Water has receded some around the islands and bottoms at the Arkansas Highway 109 bridge and near Spadra. Some dikes may still be submerged. Anglers have reported that much of the sandbars and sloughs have changed from the Highway 109 bridge and down to Shoal Bay. Access to Shoal Bay and Dublin from the river channel has been silted in and is difficult to navigate. Downriver, pool elevation near Lake Dardanelle State Park doesn’t fluctuate much but has been a little below up and down. The Dardanelle tailwater has held steady near 24 feet since last report. Release has also been consistent between 164,000 cfs to around 158,000 cfs and is holding steady. There has been no power generation.
For those trying to fish, please use caution when on the water as the river bottom has changed in many areas. Lake Dardanelle State Park hosted the Horizon Trikes and Marine Buddy Bass tournament last Saturday and Sunday. Many nice bass were weighed and most of the field weighed the five-fish limit. A 6-pound Big Bass was weighed along with several 4- and 5-pound bass. Anglers reported using plastics in both shallow and deep waters. For tournament updates, please contact the Lake Dardanelle State Park Visitor Center at (479) 967-5516 ext. 2.
(updated 6-26-2019) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas-born-and-bred all-welded aluminum Xpress fishing boats in Hot Springs, reports that lake levels are up slightly and temperatures are on the rise. Pockets not on the main channel are approaching 90 degrees due to the heat and warm rainwater coming in. Bass have moved out to the main lake to find cooler and more oxygen-rich waters. Main lake points that drop of quickly, bridge pillars and deep docks are the only areas to go to this time of year. Areas in the shade during parts of the day are even better! Most people would call you crazy to throw topwater during the heat of the day in the summer, but it works! Target shade and cover with frogs, prop baits and wacky rigs (because they skip beautifully). On the main points try a drop-shot rig, a crankbait or a spoon. “We have heard very little on the crappie (most likely because the warm water is really driving them deeper). Catfish are outstanding on creek channel drop-offs bridges and dams. Good luck and Go Greeson!”
(updated 7-10-2019) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips had no reports.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 371.40 feet msl (normal pool: 345.0 feet msl).
(updated 7-10-2019) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said the water clarity is murky. The water level as of Tuesday morning is 21 feet above normal pool. No surface temperature was reported. Bream are excellent. Anglers are fishing around the willows trees and swing sets at the bedding parks as the fish are bedding up. Go with the usual redworms or crickets. Fish those brush piles, too. Crappie are good. Use purple/charteuse jigs, and target a depth of 8-12 feet. Make sure to hit hit brush piles on your graph, other structure and around the willow trees. Black bass are good. Whopper ploppers are working, as well as War Eagle spinnerbaits and Carolina rigs. During their Tuesday night tournament, several five-bass stringers totaled between 16 and 19 pounds. Catfish are good on limblines using redworms or nightcrawlers. They are up in the submerged trees. NOTE: Andrews Bait Shop will be staging a crappie tournament on Saturday, July 13. It’s open to all anglers and starts at 7 a.m. Andrews will also be serving breakfast to the anglers before the event starts. Call the number listed above for more information, of visit the bait shop’s Facebook page.
(updated 7-10-2019) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) had no reports.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 576.05 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 7-10-2019) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) said black bass are still fair. Texas-rigged soft plastics and drop-shot rigs fished over points are working at this time. Walleye are still good. Three-quarter-ounce CC Spoons jigged vertically and nightcrawlers on drop-shot rigs are producing good stringers. Stripers are 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 still fair and being caught with jigs or minnows in 20-25 feet of water near brush. Catfish are very good and anglers are having luck with rod-and-reel using live nightcrawlers around brush piles. Water temperature is ranging 84-88 degrees. The water clarity is clear. The lake level is just below normal at 576.19 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 409.87 feet msl (full pool: 384.00 feet msl).
(updated 7-3-2019) Angler Dane Goodwin said Blue Mountain is 31.5 feet high. No reports.
(updated 7-10-2019) Professional fishing guide Ronnie Tice (901-687-6800) says things are busy at Horseshoe Lake and the lake is a little dingy because of the boat traffic. The fishing is really good, he says. Water level is a little high. Bream are good; they are on the beds. Crappie are good. Ronnie says he and his group caught 38 crappie in three hours one day. They’ve been shooting and jigging around the docks. Minnows or jigs will work for baits. Black bass are good. Ronnie says they had a morning trip that resulted in 15-17 bass caught. Topwaters and plastic worms are working best. Catfishing is good. Horseshoe Lake had a “Fishing Rodeo” on Saturday and a lot of fish were caught, he says.
Bear Creek Lake
(updated 7-10-2019) Natalie Faughn, assistant superintendent at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), had no reports.
(updated 7-10-2019) The AGFC’s Wil Hafner at Cook’s Lake Conservation Education Center (870-241-3373) said the water is high and stained but looks great for bass, crappie and bluegill. Fishing was slow last weekend but should get better as the water drops. For black bass try jigs and square-bill crankbaits around cypress trees and laydowns. For bluegill try redworms or crickets 2 feet under a slip cork. Crappie should be biting on jigs and minnows around the cypress trees and channel.
Cook’s Lake is a 2.5-mile-long oxbow off of the White River, nestled in the heart of the Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge near Casscoe in Arkansas County. This fertile oxbow receives very little fishing pressure due to being used only for education purposes and youth and mobility impaired fishing. The scenic lake is full of slab crappie, giant bluegills, largemouth bass and catfish of all species. Cook’s Lake will be open to fishing during normal business hours, Tuesday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through October, water level pending. Cook’s Lake is open to fishing for youth under 16 or mobility-impaired, and up to two helpers (who may also fish). Fish from the 140-foot mobility-impaired accessible dock or launch a boat, but we ask for trolling motors only. Before launching, please check in at the Conservation Education Center, and report back before leaving. For information or unscheduled closures, please contact the center at 870-241-3373.
Storm Creek Lake
(updated 7-10-2019) Natalie Faughn, assistant superintendent at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), had no reports.
Arkansas Wildlife Weekly Waterfowl Report
Dec. 6, 2023
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