Arkansas Wildlife Weekly Fishing Report
BY Jim Harris
June 9, 2022
Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for June 9, 2022. If there is a body of water you 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. All Corps of Engineers lake and river readings were taken at 2 p.m. the day of publication (June 9).
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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. Geological 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
TOP AND LEFT: A recent trip for a group of friends to Lake Conway produced a great day of fishing for redear sunfish. Two of the anglers were Kayce Wilson (left, who works at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission) and McKenzie Peters, who are holding up a couple of the nice shellcrackers that eventually resulted in a nice fish fry afterward. Photo provided by Tristan Lancett.
Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir
(updated 6-9-2022) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) reported that the lake has the normal stain and normal level on Thursday morning.. No surface temperature was recorded. The bream are now off the beds and biting well on redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs; look in deep water now. Black bass are good and staying around the lily pads. Anglers are going with spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater lures. Catfish are good; try chicken liver or cut shad.
Little Red River
The Army Corps of Engineers reports the outflow at Greers Ferry Dam to be 5,960 cfs (both turbine and spillway) as of 2 p.m. Thursday, June 9. A short release of between 2,795 and 5,600 cfs occurred on Wednesday. Greers Ferry Lake is about 4 feet over normal conservation pool. The tailwater at 2 p.m. May 19 was 276.08 feet msl and rising. Check with the Corps website for real-time release data or by calling (501) 362-5150). Also check the Southwestern Power Administration website (swpa.gov) to see forecast generation schedule.
(updated 6-9-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said the Army Corps of Engineers is running a lot of water from the dam. When the water is running, catch trout by throwing a No. 9 Rapala Countdown or a jerkbait; when the water is falling, throw a Maribou jig (one-sixteenth ounce) or a white Trout Magnet.
(updated 6-2-2022) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service (501-230-0730) said that with recent rains, Greers Ferry Lake is above normal seasonal pool, creating unpredictable generation for the Little Red River. San Juan worms, pheasant tails, hare’s ear, midges and streamers are recommended for fly-fishing. For Trout Magnet fishing, Lowell suggests pink and cotton-candy-colored bodies on chartreuse or gold 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 forecasted generation schedule.
(updated 6-2-2022) Mike Winkler of Little River Fly Fishing Trips (501-507-3688) said Greers Ferry Lake is 5.69 feet over the normal seasonal power pool. The Army Corps of Engineers has been running a consistent generation schedule lately. The Corps has been running two units usually starting at 10 a.m. and running until 10 p.m. Always check the USACE Little Rock app before heading out.
The current generation schedule has been creating an opportunity to wade fish from the morning until about 1 in the afternoon if you start out fishing at Barnett Access, aka “Swinging Bridge,” or Libby Access.
Boat fishing has been really good while fishing the falling water. Nymphing underneath an indicator with caddis patterns and pheasant tail nymphs has been working well along with midges.
Greers Ferry Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 467.11 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.75 feet msl, top flood elevation 487.0 msl).
(updated 6-9-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood reports that the water is 6-7 feet high and is clear on the lower end while stained on the lake’s upper end. Bass are going deeper, and they were finding them on the old shoreline in 8-20 feet of water. The bass that are shallower, use jigs, Carolina rig or swim jigs in the bushes as well as topwater lures. For deeper water bass, use a deep-diving crankbait, a football jig or a drop-shot. Crappie and walleye both are good trolling around the South Fork river and Middle Fork river on Bandit 300s in 15 feet of water, suspended.
(updated 6-9-2022) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said Wednesday the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 467.13 feet msl, which is 4.59 feet above normal pool of 462.54 feet msl. The water level is dropping with generation and rising with rainfall – up and down, up and down. The overall bite is good, but all species scattered all over. Crappie are in 10-40 feet and all in between with some still on bank; try jigs, or jigs with minnows or crankbaits. Walleye are better as of late, on flats and on corners, points, humps, etc. Drag crawlers or crankbaits for the best bite in 15-40 feet. Black bass are on the bank out to 60 feet; lots and lots of different baits and techniques are working. The catfish bite is strong all over, and just about any baits will work. It’s June and flatheads are spawning. Bream are guarding fry up on the bank out to 25 feet and are very active; try crawlers, crickets or small moving bait. Hybrid and white bass are being caught 25-60 feet according to the hour and the weather. Use spoons, inline spinners, hair jigs and swimbaits.
Harris Brake Lake
(updated 6-9-2022) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) reports that a 36-pound flathead catfish was caught this week near the shoreline with baby bream as bait. Catfish overall are biting well on yo-yos and noddles baited with the baby bream. Good-sized bream are biting on redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair; you’ll find them in deeper areas now on minnows and jigs. Black bass are around the shoreline and biting well; minnows and bass lures are the go-tos. Lake clarity as of Thursday morning was muddy after the storms. Water level is high. No temperature was recorded.
(updated 6-2-2022) Lacey Williams at Lakeview Landing on Arkansas Highway 95 (501-242-1437) said water level is medium. Clarity is poor. “I think it’s the pollen,” she added.
Striped bass are hitting on minnows, Rooster Tails, spinners and jigs. Bream are smashing the crickets this week.
“Our friend J.T. Blue caught a mess of crappie early in the morning,” she said Wednesday. “He plans on adding more to his haul later in the evening. Crappie are out in the deep and not so eager to bite everything. But occasionally a minnow will bring in one or two.”
The catfish are biting well on stink bait with shad in it.
“I hope this rain is going to help out the condition before our fishing fundraiser this Saturday. It’s called ‘Beat the Drum.’ Hope to see a lot of people here!”
(updated 5-26-2022) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) off Arkansas Highway 9 said water level is up by a foot; clarity is good. Surface temperature is around 80 degrees. Bass are doing well on crankbaits, buzzbaits and plastic worms. Crappie are out in the deeper water and some anglers are catching limits. Catfish are cranking up on trotlines and jigs baited with bass minnows and perch. Bream are starting to get active with crickets and redworms. “Everybody have a safe holiday weekend. Happy Memorial Day from Overcup Bait Shop off Highway 9.”
(update 6-9-2022) David Hall at Dad’s Bait Shop (501-289-2210) says the water remains cloudy and the level is high. No temperature was reported. Fishing results mirror what David saw last week. Bream are still good on redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows or jigs; try 6-7 feet deep by trolling and spider-rigging down the channel, and also target sunken brushpiles. The best black bass bite is found in the evenings. Go with spinnerbaits. Catfish are favoring Catfish Charlie bait. Results have been good.
Dad’s is a 24/7 self-serve bait shop.
(updated 6-2-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said bass are good off main lake points using a drop-shot and shaky heads, as well as biting nicely in shallow grass on wacky worms and on watermelon red or green pumpkin Senkos.
Arkansas River at Morrilton
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Ormond Lock and Dam was 181,610 cfs. The stage was up again from this time from last week, at 26.59 feet on Thursday. Flow further upriver at Dardanelle Lock and Dam was 175,972 cfs.
Little Maumelle River
(updated 6-2-2022) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) says the water is clear and the level is normal. No surface temperature was reported. Bream are biting well, and they are bedded up shallow. Use redworms or crickets. Crappie are good in 5-6 feet depth in good numbers. Try minnows. Black bass are good both early in the day and late in the evening. Spinnerbaits and soft plastic worms are getting the most action. Catfish are good using chicken liver.
Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Toad Suck Lock and Dam was 179,969 cfs.
Arkansas River (Little Rock Area Pools)
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Murray Lock and Dam was 167,744 cfs, and the stream gauge stage was at 13.01 feet. Flow at the Terry Lock and Dam was 177,231 cfs. There continues to be a small-craft warning on the Little Rock pool.
(updated 6-9-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said a small craft advisory remains on the river, which has been running fast for several weeks now and will continue with the most recent passing storms. Last week, they had heard that bass were good in the backwaters flipping black and blue creature baits or a June bug curly tail worm, so keep that in mind if things calm down some.
(updated 6-9-2022) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said that bream are good. They are spawning on the river around the Willow Beach area. Try redworms or crickets. Black bass are fair in the backwaters on topwater baits and black buzzbaits, as well as snagging.
(updated 6-9-2022) Hatchet Jack’s Sports Shop at Crystal Hill (501-758-4958) says fishing overall is hit and miss. The water is muddy and high.
Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 6-9-2022) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said Thursday morning that fishing has been fairly steady and the same for the past couple of weeks. Bream are biting well on redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair; use minnows or jigs. Catfish are good; try skipjack. No reports on bass.
(updated 6-9-2022) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said Bull Shoals Lake is sitting well above normal power pool, currently at 688.10 feet msl and dropping slowly as the Army Corps Of Engineers begins to lower the lake level. The Bull Shoals Dam is running between 10,000-15,000 cfs (four to five units) all day. Drift-fishing is the name of the game on high water and has allowed for an excellent catch of rainbows and a good number of browns. “The brown bite has been a little off this past week, not unexpected, as the trout acclimate to the swifter water. That being said, we’ve still seen a good number in the 19- to 22-inch range, especially if you can lay your hands on some soft-shell crawdads. The rainbow catch seems to be a little heavier since the start of increased water levels, maybe due to the greater food sources.”
The return of the White River Zig Jigs made a hit last week in the lower water, but probably won’t produce much action for a while. You’ve got time to locate some and save them for our next low water event. One to two units (3,000 to 6,000 cfs) is good for jigging.
“Stock up on red wrigglers and night crawlers – they’re doing very well for us right now, ensuring a good catch of the fatter rainbows. I suggest throwing some brighter baits in this high water, casting some white or chartreuse egg baits (PowerBait or X-Factor) toward the bank a little out of the current. Add some weight to get your baits deeper. I expect to hear about some good action from larger stick baits, too. Come in with your success stories with 4-, 5- or even 9-inch lures.
“Drifting the White before the summer heat sets in is a great way to spend the day. Stay safe. It’s a good idea to keep your life jacket on while on a boat.”
(updated 6-9-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service said that during the past week they had couple of rain events that combined for half an inch in Cotter, warm temperatures and heavy winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell 0.5 foot to rest at 26.3 feet above normal power pool of 662 feet msl. This is 6.7feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock Lake fell 0.6 foot to rest at 5 feet above power pool and 9 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake remained steady at 6.8 feet above power pool or 1.8 feet below the top of flood pool. The White has had no wadable water. Norfork Lake rose 0.2 foot to rest at 16.2 feet above power pool of 556.75 feet msl and 7 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork tailwater has had a bit more wadable water.
The water level for the top of power pool has been reset higher for all of the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes in the White River system are now well above power pool. With the current lake levels, expect some wadable water on the Norfork to prevent downstream flooding.
On the White, the hot spot has been Wildcat Shoals. “We have had heavier flows. The hot flies were Y2Ks, prince nymphs, zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead), pheasant tails, copper Johns, pink and cerise San Juan worms, gold ribbed hare’s ears and sowbugs. Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try an San Juan worm with an orange egg.”
John also said, “I frequently write about the trials and tribulations of being a fly-fishing guide on the White River and Norfork tailwater. Sometimes you have a really good day and you remember why you ever took up this life choice to begin with. Such a day was last Saturday. It did not start out that way.
“I was scheduled to take Russ, a banker from Missouri, and his wife, Julie, a nurse, fishing on Thursday. They were camping at White River Campgrounds, across the river from Cotter. The weather forecast called for significant rain. Russ called and said that he and Julie were not interested in fishing in the rain. I understood. While I will fish in the rain if my clients want to, it is not my favorite thing. Drying everything out is a pain. We rescheduled for Saturday. Luckily I was available then. As predicted, it rained almost all day Thursday.
“Saturday was a near-perfect day. The sky was clear and the sun was shining. The temperature was in the low 70s when we started, with light wind. The water was low but there was enough flow for a good long drift. What wind that we had was blowing in the right direction and helped us drift easily. The river was gin clear and we could easily see the bottom. I saw a bald eagle fly overhead. Due to my Native American heritage, that is always a good omen to me.
“I had Russ sit up front. He was more experienced and not as likely to need my assistance. Meanwhile, Julie sat in the rear of the boat. She was not as advanced so I wanted to be able to coach her a bit. We began fishing and Russ landed a nice one on the first drift. We were off to the races.
“Julie hooked one but lost it. Russ landed another. Julie hooked up again, but again she lost it. I coached her a bit and she soon landed a nice fat rainbow. The skunk was out of the boat. We continued on and Julie was landing a good percentage of her hooked trout. She was definitely getting the feel of it. Russ was on fire. He landed trout after trout. The fishing turned out to be outstanding.
“To make things even better, these folks were easy to get along with. We had a lot in common, so the conversations were interesting to say the least. I had worked in banking for several years, and my wife’s sister and mother had been nurses.
“I didn’t really want the day to end but I had a date with a lawnmower. We were having company over that evening for a lawn party and the grass was high. At noon, we ended the half-day and went our separate ways. It had been of my best days ever. Good weather, good water and good clients – does it get better than this?”
(updated 6-2-2022) Dave McCulley, owner of Jenkins Fishing Service in Calico Rock, said that late last week the river remained high and muddy from the rains in the Buffalo River Valley. By Saturday the water cleared and was between 6-7 feet deep. Fishing was great during the holiday weekend with many 15-inch-plus rainbow trout caught and several brown trout that topped 18 inches. A couple of boats reported hooking some 5-pound-plus rainbows or brown trout that either broke the line or threw the hook. One angler caught and released an 8-pound brown trout. The trout were hungry and weren’t too picky. Drift-fishing with Power Eggs with shrimp or worms or corn performed well. Rapala Countdowns caught some of the bigger trout. Tuesday and Wednesday, throwing gold-colored spoons on the gravel bars worked well as well as drift-fishing with sculpins. On Tuesday the Norfork Hatchery with the Arkansas Game and Fish used a pontoon raft to stock over 2,200 rainbow trout between the Calico Rock boat ramp and the Optimus boat ramp.
Bull Shoals Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 688.10 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 662.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 695.00 feet msl). Total outflow from the dam is 16,925 cfs, and releases have been heavy this week. The reported lake elevation at Table Rock Lake was 921.50 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 916.58 feet msl; top flood elevation is 931.0 feet msl), with outflow of 9,442 cfs.
(updated 6-2-2022) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said Thursday morning that limited parking at the boat dock can be an issue, so plan ahead. The lake continues to rise, now at 688 feet msl (or 29 feet high and 7 feet from the top of the lake). Despite the high water, the lake is really clear in the main portion. Bigger creeks have stain. The water temperature is around 70 degrees. Watch for debris on calm days.
Bass fishing has been up and down with the weather fronts. The shad have spread out. Use a 2.8 Keitech on a quarter-ounce ball head, or swim a grub in shad colors. Target windy main lake secondary points and saddle humps. Don’t pass up shad way out on the points, and use topwater, an LC Gunfish or a Zara Spook. For sunny days, dragging a Jewel Special Ops Football Jig in green-pumpkin orange, a Ned rig with green pumpkin variations, and keep the boat out around 30 feet.
A lot of fish are on the old shoreline on secondary points and channel swings. Bloody tails are starting to show up in the summer areas. The flipping bite is tougher as the water came up, so deep bushes, standing timber and laydowns are where to focus. Use a Beaver/Senko/a small jig. If you find warm, dirty water, use a bright spinnerbait, a Chatterbait, Whopper Plopper or square bill. Fish the conditions.
Visit Del’s YouTube site (Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock) for more information and tips on fishing Bull Shoals Lake.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 572.85 feet msl (normal conservation pool: Sept.-April, 553.75 feet msl; April-Sept. 556.75 feet msl; top flood elevation 580.0 feet msl). Total outflow from Norfork Dam at 2 p.m. Thursday was 5,568 cfs.
(updated 6-9-2022) Steven “Scuba Steve” Street at Blackburn’s Resort said the lake level is 572.95 feet msl and has dropped a half-inch in the last 24 hours with about eight hours of running both generators. This is the first drop in months and is good news. The White River at Newport is at 14.11 feet and the surface water is 76-77 degrees and rising and the water is clear. Crappie fishing is getting better back in the creeks near wood in about 25 feet of water if you can find it. Most brushpiles are too deep at this time. Fish of several species are on the old shoreline before the rise in 20-25 feet of water back in the creeks. A few walleye are on main lake points or just around them in 20-22 feet of water near the bottom and hitting the three-eighth-ounce jigging spoon. More are around Cranfield and Robinson Islands at the same depth. Trollers are dragging live bait and umbrellas in open water on shad and catching a few stripers and bass. Big bluegill are around willows on both the main lake and in creeks on crickets and small spoons. You can catch fish off docks at this time if they are at the right depth, which is from 20-35 feet of water. Catfishing has slowed but a few are still being caught on live bluegill on both limb lines and throw lines. The topwater bite has slowed way down. Fishing overall is better this week and most people are catching fish.
For a daily fishing report and lake condition go to www.blackburnsresort.com and click on Scuba Steve’s Blog.
(updated 6-9-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Norfork Lake rose 0.2 foot to rest at 16.2 feet above power pool of 556.75 feet msl and 7 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork tailwater has had a bit more wadable water.
The water level for the top of power pool has been reset higher for all of the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes in the White River system are now well above power pool. With the current lake levels, expect some wadable water on the Norfork to prevent downstream flooding.
There has been some wadable water on the Norfork during the day and it fished poorly. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns like zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead). Grasshoppers have produced fish, particularly when used in conjunction with a small nymph dropper (try a size 20 black zebra midge). Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead-headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended 18 inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise). The fishing is much better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off midday.
Dry Run Creek has fished well. School is out and the creek is busy. Weekends can get a quite crowded. The hot flies have been sowbugs and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise). Small orange or peach eggs have been very effective. Carry a large net, as most fish are lost at the net.
Remember that the White and North Fork 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 soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.
Buffalo National River/Crooked Creek
(updated 6-9-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Crooked Creek and the Buffalo River are navigable. With warmer temperatures, the smallmouths are active. The most effective fly has been a tan and brown 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 Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,128.46 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.43 feet msl; top flood elevation is 1,130.0 feet msl). Total outflow from Beaver Dam into the tailwater is 3,775 cfs.
(updated 6-9-2022) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) said Beaver Lake is still above normal level and still lots of debris in certain areas. The lake is warming close to 78-80 degrees. A thermocline is setting up on the south end at an around 18 feet. Striper fishing is finally starting to show signs of life. There have been some pretty nice catches these last couple days. Look anywhere from Rocky Branch down to the dam. Trolling shad and brood minnows are working. When trolling you do not want to be above 1 mph. Another tip: Downsizing your leader to 15-pound test in fluorocarbon will help put more fish in the boat. Walleye have become elusive this last week but we have been catching some on crawler harnesses trolling below 1 MPH. Crappie are starting to suspend and can be caught trolling various crankbaits that dive to 12 feet. Bream are bedding and up shallow. There are some pretty good catfish been caught as of late. Trotlines and jugs are filling live wells. “The summer pattern will be in full swing by mid-July. Be safe and enjoy this beautiful lake!”
Visit Jon’s Facebook page for latest updates, FishOn Guide Service Goshen AR.
(updated 6-9-2022) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the lake is “pretty clear,” while Beaver has been at a high level now for a few weeks. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair; try minnows, jigs or spider-rig minnows and troll crankbaits. Black bass are fair. Topwater is working early in the day and late in the evening. Anglers also are using finesse presentations and spinnerbaits during the day while night fighting with plastic worms, jigs and deep-diving cranks. Catfish are good on limb lines, jigs and trotlines. Cut bait works well now.
(updated 6-2-2022) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said the bite in the tailwater have been up and down this past week. To stay on the chew, you have to be willing to move around. Fishing the deeper pockets has produced the best numbers. Fishing with light terminal tackle and various PowerBaits has done well. Also, throwing quarter-ounce spoons along with Rapala hard baits have done nicely as well. Most fish have been caught between Parker Bottoms and the dam. Walleye are still being caught in the tailwater but much further down, past Beaver town. Trolling deep-diving hard baits and jigging with live minnows have been the best approaches for these fish.
If you’re looking for bass, try tossing soft plastics towards chunk rock and structure. If you’re fishing from the shore, your best bet is probably going to be Parker Bottoms for the trout. “Remember to follow my fishing Facebook page (Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service) for more information and tips.”
(updated 6-2-2022) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said Wednesday that the lake clarity is dirty; the water level is normal. No surface temperature was reported. Bream are fair on redworms and crickets. Crappie are also fair; use minnows and jigs. Black bass are fair; no baits were suggested. Catfish disappeared; no reports.
(updated 6-9-2022) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said Thursday that the clarity is muddy and the lake has risen to 6 inches above normal level. That doesn’t appear to have bothered the fish bite, which is good overall. Bream are shallow and biting well on redworms and crickets. Crappie are good; they have moved deeper and are being found off the old bridge as well as by trolling the channel. Use minnows or jigs. Black bass are good on spinnerbaits, soft plastic worms and topwaters fished both early in the day and late in the evening. Catfishing is good using chicken liver, nightcrawlers or cut bait.
(updated 5-26-2022) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) said the cool weather and high water of last weekend turned off the fish and the fishing for a bit. She received no reports of any species this past week. Best fishing days based on moon times are June 1-2, with good fishing forecast for June 10-16. Surface water temperature on Sunday morning was 71.2 degrees. Clarity is the usual murky.
(updated 6-9-2022) Seth Boone, the superintendent at Lake Poinsett State Park, most recently reported that the renovated and newly opened Lake Poinsett has bream and catfish biting well. Bass are catch-and-release only at this time.
Current limits at Lake Poinsett call for a half-the-daily limit on catfish and full limits for bream. Also, any crappie caught must be released. Crappie haven’t been stocked yet in Poinsett, but some may have made it into the lake from elsewhere.
(updated 6-2-2022) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) reported Wednesday that the water is clearing up and is down to a normal level. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Anglers are catching a few crappie here and there. Black bass are good with soft plastics working best. No reports on catfish.
(updated 6-9-2022) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) said the Spring River is flowing at 520 cfs (350 cfs is average) and water clarity is clear. No rain this week has the river looking great. It has been a very wet spring, and a dry spell was much needed.
The trout have been hitting great on big nymphs and Woollies. Olive Woollies have been the hot fly lately. Caddis and mayflies of all kinds have been hatching daily. Overcast days have been crazy good. Few nice browns coming out, but plenty of really nice size rainbows are hitting in the river and hitting hard.
The smallmouth bass are just now starting to bite well. “The river has dropped enough to get them chasing bait better. Big white minnow patterns and sculpin patterns are some if our favs.” Mark said.
Check out Mark’s blog (springriverfliesandguides.com/blog) for the latest river conditions.
(updated 6-9-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the water level on the Spring River is fishable. This is a great place to wade fish when they are running water on the White and North Fork rivers. 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, cerise and hot pink San Juan worms and Y2Ks.
The Army Corps of Engineers reported Thursday that the White River stage at Batesville was steady at 9.64 feet, more than 5 feet below the flood stage of 15.0 feet. The Newport stage has dropped to 14.24 feet (flood stage is 26.00 feet). The stage at Augusta is slightly on the rise at 27.08 feet, which is about 1 foot above the flood stage of 26.00 feet.
(updated 6-9-2022) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) in Batesville said the river remains high and muddy, and they had no recent fishing reports.
Arkansas River (Pine Bluff Pool)
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Emmett Sanders Lock and Dam at Pine Bluff was 165,785 cfs. The stage at Pine Bluff is 36.04 feet (flood stage is 42 feet). Further upriver at the C.D. Maynard Lock and Dam near Redfield, the flow was 176,721 cfs.
(updated 6-9-2022) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team had no report this week. All pools on the Arkansas River have a small craft warning.
Cane Creek Lake
(updated 6-9-2022) Jeff Shell, the superintendent at Cane Creek State Park, said had no new reports from Cane Creek Lake.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 259.71 feet msl (normal pool: 259.20 feet msl; top flood elevation is 287.0 feet msl). Total outflow at the dam is 4,426 cfs.
(updated 6-9-2022) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said that as of Wednesday Millwood Lake is almost back to normal conservation pool. It’s 4 inches above normal pool at 259.6 feet msl and on a slow fall. Clarity has improved this week along Little River and oxbows. Millwood Lake tailwater elevation was near 229 feet msl with gate discharge at the dam around 2,600 cfs in Little River, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. Check the most recent lake level of Millwood Lake on the guide service’s webpage linked above, or at the US Army Corps of Engineers website, for updated gate release changes and inflow rates with rising and falling lake levels.
Surface temps were stable this week, ranging in 80-87 degrees depending on location and the time of day. Current along Little River has normal stain level this week with reduced discharge release at the dam, and river clarity ranges 10 inches visibility depending on location. Clarity and visibility of oxbows is stained at 15-20 inches depending on location. Further up Little River near White Cliffs and Wilton Landing has heavier stain conditions. Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, gate discharge, rain or thunderstorms.
Mike provided these fishing specifics for this week:
* Largemouth bass are good, early mornings and late evenings, w/ best activity in oxbows up Little River, early and late in the day. Bass have been moving horizontally out to deeper water drops and vertical structures, during heat of the afternoons, being shallow to stumps, vegetation, lily pads, cypress knees at dawn, early and late. Bass have been very good on top water lures for the past couple weeks around emerging new Lily Pad stands and vegetation at daylight. Nice, healthy, 3 to 4 pound Bass, have been striking various topwater lures, on shallow flats near stumps and laydowns, early for the past few weeks. Good Bass will bust a buzz bait, Bass Assassin Shad, or top water plastic frogs in the pads early. Big, 7-10-inch bulky brush hogs, & worms, slow moving square-bill crankbaits and Chatterbaits will get a reaction from Bass near lay-down logs, cypress trees, knees, and stumps, where ridges, ditches, and flats are close to deeper creek channels and vertical structure. Several nice and healthy Largemouth have been recently caught and released from 4 to 6 pounds over the past several weeks on Millwood Lake.
Once the sun gets up above the tree line in late morning, Largemouth Bass are moving toward creek channels, ditches, and vertical structure where flats drop into 8-12 feet zones. Bass Assassin Shads, Horny Toads, hollow body frogs, buzzbaits and Chatterbaits continue working over the past several weeks until the sun gets above the horizon, with the best activity period from daylight to around 10 a.m. The oxbows over the past couple weeks have the best water clarity – Horseshoe, Clear Lake and McGuire will produce best topwater reactions from largemouths. Chatterbaits in black/blue/purple, or Spring Bream with chartreuse, are taking nice 2-3 pound largemouths near stumps in 3 to 6 feet deep.
War Eagle, Smokey Joe colored Underspins with a 3.5-inch Bass Assassin Lit’L Boss swimming bait trailer are catching fish that miss a buzzbait or topwater frog early. If the bass blow up and miss your topwater bait, an immediate throw-back past the missed strike with the Underspin and Lit’L Boss swimbait will get you bit in a reaction bite after the blow up strike on a top water. We are using a Smokey Joe colored head War Eagle Underspin, with a Chico”s Red Ear, or Hammertime, or Silver Flash Minnow colored swim bait trailer to incite a reaction strike.
Cordell Crazy Shads, Boy Howdy’s, Spit’n Images are randomly working early. Brazalo Spinnerbaits continue working on windy days, near grass and vegetation lines around Lily Pads and alligator weed mats. Firetiger, Sexy Shad, and Millwood Mayhem Bream colors are getting the best responses, catching keeper size Largemouths in oxbows, and in the pockets along the golf course and at Millwood State Park coves. If you can find any remaining pond weed and emerging, standing vertical vegetation along Little River on the main lake body, these are good areas that will hold shad and Largemouths willing to bust a Brazalo Spinnerbait.
Bass Assassin Shads continue catching nice Bass and best colors for the past few weeks include Salt n Pepper Silver Phantom, Houdini, Pumpkinseed/chartreuse Shad colors. Work these in and around same areas as the top water frogs, near new growth of vegetation lines, new bloom stands of lily pads, and buckbrush. Texas-rigged Bang Woopah Craws are working in these same areas, near laydowns and stumps from 5-9 feet deep, and best colors over the past week or two have been the Okeechobee Craw, Black/Red Glitter, and Blueberry. Bulky 10″ Berkley Power Worms are working, and best colors of late, have been Blue Fleck, Black Grape, and Plum colors, from 8-9 feet of depth near stumps.
Salty Rat Tails, Senkos, and Trick worms continue randomly working in the edges of new lily pad stands, and stumps, near drop offs from 7-10 feet deep in the oxbows. Best colors have been Black/blue tail, or Blue Glimmer, or Blue Ice.
* The white bass schools have scattered over the past few weeks, and we are still searching for the large schools of Whites. Nothing consistent this week.
* Crappie have been excellent over the past several weeks and have moved out from shallow cypress trees from spawning, to planted brush piles in 12-18 feet of depth in the oxbows and along Little River. The bite continues to be very good, just slightly deeper on planted brush along Little River. Healthy sized Crappie around 2 to 2.25lb, have been hitting jigs, Southern Pro Crappie Stingers 2.0, Pro Series Lit’l Hustlers, and minnows over the past several weeks. Best colors working over the past couple weeks on the Southern Pro Crappie Stingers and Lit’l Hustlers have been black/chartreuse, Money, Blue/Silk/Chartreuse swirl, and Black/orange.
* Catfish are consistent this week along Little River. For several weeks the Blues, Flatheads, and Channels were fair to good on trot lines, yo-yo’s and tight lines. Spoiled Chicken livers & gizzards, Cut buffalo & shad, homemade cheese dough baits, King’s punch bait, have all been working over the past couple weeks.
* Numerous bream beds are being observed in many locations on Millwood Lake from Millwood State Park, golf course pockets on west end, and in the oxbows along Little River. Largemouth bass are hanging nearby also to these bream beds and will hit a bream-colored square-bill crankbait. The bream were hitting on redworms, crickets and bread at Millwood State Park a few days ago, just off the banks. It’s a good time to take a kid bream fishing on Millwood Lake!
(updated 5-26-2022) Lake Erling Guide Service (870-904-8546) reports the lake is dingy and high (on the rise, running over the spillway by 4 inches). Bream are excellent. They’re now up in the grass. Throw redworms or crickets. Crappie are good. Most are in deeper water. Minnows and hand-tied jigs are your best baits. Black bass are good. They are schooling on shallow points chasing shad. Catfish are still excellent. Minnows and cut bait continue to work great. The Guide Service will be on vacation the first two weeks of June.
Lake Greeson Tailwater
Visit www.littlemissouriflyfishing.com for a daily update on fishing conditions.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Narrows Dam was 547.45 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 408.05 feet msl (full pool: 408.00 feet msl).
(updated 6-2-2022) John Duncan of YoYo Guide Service at Iron Mountain Marina said that lake level is at 407.83 and the water temperature is in the high 70s. The lake is stable and water clear. There is some trash to watch for when boating.
John says, “As you know, I focus on crappie fishing. So, here is the story. Crappie are doing great. They are in the brushpiles tight. You can find them all over the lake in brushpiles. Use your electronics to find the piles. Look in water from 15-25 feet of water. From what I am seeing, they prefer thick (cedar type) piles versus the skeleton type. Minnows are the bait. Fish above the pile and get the ones on top. Then deepen up 3 feet and go back, dventually ending up as close to the brush as you can without hanging up. Drop-shotting the tops gets the big ones out of the piles.
“We are picking up bream in the brushpiles, also. Surface activity is increasing daily.”
De Queen Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 438.58 feet msl (full pool: 437.00 feet msl).
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 527.24 feet msl (full pool: 526.00 feet msl).
White Oak Lake Area
(update 6-9-2022) Curtis Willingham at River Rat Bait in Camden (870-231-3831) said they river is down a bit. Catfishing are biting well. Bream have been good on redworms and crickets.
(updated 6-2-2022) Donald Ramirez at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said the lake has cleared up. The water level is normal. Bream are fair on redworms, crickets and nightcrawlers. Crappie have not been biting for a few weeks now. Black bass were off this week; no reports. You still might try a topwater when things settle down after this front. Or, focus on catfish instead. The bite is good on shad, black salties and drop Punch Blood Bait.
Lake Catherine Tailwater (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro
(updated 6-9-2022) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that this week’s heavy rainfall has caused Entergy to run very high generation flows and open flood gates below Carpenter Dam on Lake Catherine. The tailrace is treacherous and boaters and bank fisherman are cautioned to remain off the water until flows have subsided to a much more stable pattern. This process could take several more days as more rainfall is forecasted for Friday with another round of rain moving across the area. Anyone planning an outing on Lake Catherine is urged to be aware of the generation schedules that are posted each week on the Entergy website.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s flow at Dardanelle Lock and Dam as 175,840 cfs. Elevation was 337.44 feet msl, with the tailwater at 305.27 feet msl. (Top navigation pool is 338.2 and bottom pool is 336.0.) The stage is rising at 24.45 feet (flood stage is 32 feet).
(updated 5-24-2022) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas-born-and-bred Xpress, all-welded aluminum fishing boats in Hot Springs, reports Lake Hamilton at full pool with water clarity slightly stained due to recent rainfall. Most areas below the U.S. 270 bridge are at 80 degrees surface temperature. Bass (especially largemouth) have been “on go” the last few weeks. Bass have taken up positions in semi-deep water (14-25 feet) on points and structure near current like brushpiles, bridges and docks. Jigs, drop-shot rigs with mainly a fluke or a drop-shot worm in green pumpkin have put lots of good healthy largemouth and chunky spotted bass in the boat during daylight hours. When night starts to fall and darkness sets in the bass are just as good in very shallow areas and flats. Targeting these fish with large noisy topwater baits like buzzbaits, Whopper Ploppers and Colorado-bladed spinners in dark colors is a ton of fun!
Crappie and bream have been decent lately with the two species mixed in and suspended over brush and under deeper docks at 12-22 feet. A live minnow is always good in the morning and evenings and jigs in variations of pink/chartreuse and white work fair during the daytime. When targeting bream, look to worms and crickets.
Catfish reports have been very good as of late. Cut bait and live bait for flatheads and stink bait and cheese hunks for blue and channel have been pulling more cats this year! Target ditches in 15-30 feet of water and put it on the edge of the biggest drop off you can find.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 354.04 feet msl (normal pool: 344.96 feet msl; top flood elevation is 373.0 feet msl).
(updated 6-9-2022) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said Thursday morning that water was rising after Wednesday’s storms and the water clarity was muddy. “Not a lot of people are fishing,” they report. They’ve heard nothing this week.
During the better weather of last week, bream were good on redworms, crickets and poppers. Crappie were good around the brushpiles on minnows and jigs. Black bass were good, and the best activity is happening still on the original shoreline. Use a crankbait or swimbait. Catfish were good on cut bait, shad and buzzbaits.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 576.57 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 6-2-2022) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) said, “We’re still catching crappie on brushpiles despite the warm water topping out at 79 degrees. The brushpiles are loaded with sunfish as well. It won’t be long and we’ll transition into walleye, catfish and schooling bass.”
(updated 6-2-2022) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) said black bass are very good. There is still some good topwater action, but a drop-shot for big spots has been excellent. Try depths from 18-22 feet near structure. Walleye are still good. A swim jig or Shad Rap are working best for these fish and a three-quarter-ounce CC spoon vertically jigged near structure will produce, too. Stripers are good. Live bait and trolling hair jigs are working best at this time on the central and eastern parts of the lake. Bream are still excellent on crickets or worms 10-15 feet deep. Crappie are very good on small jigs or minnows. Try brush 10-20 feet deep. Catfish are good on jugs or trotlines with cut bait, shad or live bream.
Thursday the water temperature is ranging 76-80 degrees and the water level is at 575.80 feet msl. The clarity is clear. Call the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717, or Chris Darby, 870-867-7822) for more information.
Blue Mountain Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 394.02 feet msl (full pool: 387.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 419.0 feet msl).
White River/Clarendon Area
The Army Corps of Engineers on Thursday reported the Clarendon gauge is steady at 26.42 feet, or about a half-foot above the flood stage of 26.00 feet.
(updated 6-2-2022) Kent Williams of Oxbow Guide Service (870-278-7978) said the water in Horseshoe is clear, and the surface temperature was 80 degrees as of Wednesday. Crappie are slow. “We fished piers and pads and found the crappie to be very scattered. There are a few boats spider-rigging in the deeper portions of the lake but no report from them.”
No reports on black bass. Bream are very good. The bream are biting in the shallows around trees and pads. The catfish are biting. Noodles were the method of choice with nightcrawlers and cut bait being used.
(updated 6-2-2022) Wil Hafner, facility manager at Potlatch Cooks Lake Nature Center (870-241-3373), said high water continues to keep access to the lake closed.
Bear Creek Lake/Storm Creek Lake
(updated 6-9-2022) Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) had no new reports.
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