Arkansas Wildlife Weekly Fishing Report
BY Jim Harris
June 2, 2022
Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for June 2, 2022. If there is a body of water you 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. All Corps of Engineers lake and river readings were taken at noon the day of publication (June 2).
****Buy an Arkansas Fishing License by clicking here. Your purchase of a Fishing License helps support the AGFC’s work in maintaining the fishing resources throughout the state.
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: Braelyn Bridgeman, age 13, and his uncle Kyle celebrate the catch of a golden rainbow trout on Memorial Day. The trout was caught right above Crooked Creek before the catch-and-release area toward Rim Shoals while they were camping with family at the White Buffalo Resort. After this catch of a lifetime, Braelyn released the trout back to the waters for maybe someone else’s future fishing story. Photo provided by Joanna Bishop.
Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir
(updated 6-2-2022) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) reported that the lake has the usual stain with a normal water level. No surface temperature was recorded. The bream are good on redworms, crickets and hand-tied jigs. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Black bass are good; you’ll find the best activity now around the lily pads. Try a spinnerbait, crankbait, frogs, poppers, Magnum Lizards, curly tail worms or a Whopper Plopper. Catfish are good using stink bait. The cats are good on limblines and pole fishing too using dough bait, nightcrawlers, goldfish, trotline minnows and black salties.
Little Red River
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the outflow at Greers Ferry Dam to be 5,872 cfs (both turbine and spillway) as of 1 p.m. A release reaching nearly 6,000-6,240 has occurred each day between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. this week. Greers Ferry Lake is about 6 feet over normal conservation pool. The tailwater at 1 p.m. June 2 was 276.21 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 6-2-2022) 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 468.19 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.75 feet msl, top flood elevation 487.0 msl).
(updated 6-2-2022) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said Wednesday the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 468.34 feet msl. That’s 5.8 feet above normal pool of 462.54 feet and falling. Crappie continue to eat well all over lake and rivers, with jigging, dead sticking live bait, and swimming baits working well in 12-30 feet of water. Walleye are fair and on again, off again. Drag crawlers or a crankbait around in 12-43 feet of water.
Bream and June go together! Fish with crawlers and crickets, or moving baits, 6 inches out to 20-25 feet of water. The fishing’s good all over lake and rivers. Bass catching is still good all over lake and rivers as well, from super shallow out to 43 good with a lot of different baits working. Some schooling fish as well. Hybrid and white bass are really feeding a lot from 20-43 feet; spoons, inline spinners, swimbaits, Alabama rigs and some on top as well. As for catfish, June is flathead spawning time now, but all species are eating live or cut bait.
(updated 6-2-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said black bass are good for anglers using mid-diving crankbaits in 5-10 feet depth around the bluff banks. Also try shaky heads and Magnum Trick Worms on the main lake points; they caught some nice ones.
Harris Brake Lake
(updated 6-2-2022) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) says the lake clarity has turned muddy. The water level is high. Even so, the bream are good on redworms and crickets. Crappie are poor. Black bass are good using minnows and usual bass lures. Catfishing is good on yo-yos and noodles.
(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 6-2-2022) David Hall at Dad’s Bait Shop (501-289-2210) says the water is cloudy and the level is high. No temperature was reported. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair, with the bite occurring in 6-7 feet deep trolling and spider-rigging down the channel, as well as over the sunken brushpiles. Use minnows or jigs. Black bass are best in the evenings when it’s warmest. The bite is good, with spinnerbaits being the go-to. Catfish are eager to taste some Catfish Charlie bait; good catches seen lately.
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.
(updated 5-19-2022) WestRock Landing in Roland (501-658-5598) said water temperature is in the high 70s to low 80s. Fishing for black bass is good. They are biting best early in the morning and later in the evenings. Otherwise, the fishing patterns are similar to the past week. Largemouth bass are good. Reports of the bass being found shallow along the grass lines. Some reports say they are deep. Try using Carolina-rigged lizards, crankbaits, spinnerbaits and drop-shots. Kentucky bass are good. Some reports of them being found near drop-offs around 16-20 feet and off rocky banks, and other reports of them being found on brushpiles. Try using a Texas rig on brush, or jigs. Cameron Nesterenko and Andrew Wooley won Tuesday night’s black bass tournament with a five-bass haul of 15.33 pounds, which included a 5.46-pound Big Bass. Four duos caught at least 10.5 pounds of bass. Caleb Yielding caught a 3.98-pound bass, which was the second best bass caught Tuesday night.
No reports on white bass this week. Crappie are good. You can find them in shallow water hugging the banks using minnows or swim jigs. Bream are fair. Reports of bream being found on beds. Crickets and worms have been working well. Catfish are good: All species are being caught and biting on anything. Try using chicken liver, worms and crawfish.
Arkansas River at Morrilton
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Ormond Lock and Dam was 128,504 cfs. The stage is down from last week, at 21.56 on Thursday. Flow further upriver at Dardanelle Lock and Dam was 128,000 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 back to normal. No surface temperature was reported. Bream are biting well, and they are bedded up shallow. Use redworms or crickets. Crappie are back to being active, and they’re being caught 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 130,296 cfs.
Arkansas River (Little Rock Area Pools)
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Murray Lock and Dam was 125,463 cfs, and the stream gauge stage was at 10.61 feet. Flow at the Terry Lock and Dam was 133,466 cfs. There continues to be a small-craft warning on the Little Rock pool.
(updated 6-2-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said things have calmed down enough to get some reports from around the river. Bass are good in the backwaters flipping black and blue creature baits or a June bug curly tail worm
(updated 5-26-2022) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said their reports were similar to a week ago. Bream are good. They’re on the beds, especially around Willow Beach and White Oak Bayou. Catfishing is good below Terry Lock and Dam and the Crystal Dam on skipjack. Crappie are fair on minnows and super jigs in green and chartreuse colors. Fish for crappie off the rock jetties on the main river. Black bass are biting well on black buzzbaits around the rock jetties.
(updated 5-19-2022) Hatchet Jack’s Sports Shop at Crystal Hill (501-758-4958) says bream are good pretty much anywhere on redworms and crickets. Catfish are starting to move in and are very consistent with the bite on the river.
Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 6-2-2022) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said Wednesday bream are biting well on redworms and crickets. Crappie reports are fair; use minnows or jigs. Catfish are good; try skipjack.
(updated 6-2-2022) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said Bull Shoals Lake elevation is 689 feet msl, 6 feet from the top of flood pool. “Our friends and fellow Arkansans, especially those along the Arkansas River and the Mississippi near Memphis, and many folks to the west and north of us, are experiencing flooding, so the Corps of Engineers is employing the dam to hold back lake water. We anticipate controlled, managed releases from Bull Shoals Lake sometime in the next weeks. When that happens, we will see much higher water levels, but we will continue to fish – and catch – great trout.
“The No. 1 question on everybody’s mind is, ‘Will we be able to fish on the White River when they release lots of water?’ ‘Yes! Yes, you will!’ And we will catch beautiful, healthy rainbows and browns.”
At this time, releases from the dam remain low, averaging 1½ units (4,800 cfs) with large spurts in the late afternoon for a few hours. That means the White River below Bull Shoals is relatively shallow, and may be wadable in some spots during morning hours.
“The browns kept us busy this past week. Find some really nice sculpins and you’ll attract some really nice browns. The rainbows are showing curiosity toward shiny silver spoons (especially Cleos and the hammered blue-silver Thomas Buoyant). They’re also biting at just about any worm, especially when a bubblegum pink or fluorescent orange worm is used in conjunction with shrimp. But don’t discount the live ones – red wigglers and Canadian nightcrawlers – for catching great rainbows. Whatever form your fishing takes, bring it to the river and enjoy Arkansas, The Natural State.”
(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.
(updated 6-2-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service said that during the past week they had half an inch of rain in Cotter, warm temperatures and heavy winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals rose 1.4 feet to rest at 26.8 feet above power pool of 662 feet msl. This is 6.2 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock Lake rose 1.8 feet to rest at 5.6 feet above power pool and 8.4 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose 0.1 foot to rest at 6.8 feet above power pool or 1.8 feet below the top of flood pool. The White had no wadable water. Norfork Lake rose 0.8 foot to rest at 16 feet above power pool of 556.75 feet msl and 7.2 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork tailwater had 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, we can expect some wadable water on the Norfork to prevent downstream flooding.
On the White, the hot spot has been the Rim Shoals. 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 a prince nymph with a size 18 ruby midge.
John also said, “Here recently my wife, Lori, and I have been pretty lucky in that we have been able to fish together almost every week. We have had some decent weather between thunderstorms and have also had some nice lower flows. We have even been able to wade fish a bit. Last week we had another stellar opportunity. I should note that on the last two previous fishing trips with Lori, she has out fished me mercilessly.
“It was a bright sunny day. The river was on the bottom and gin clear. There were few waders but plenty of boats. We left the house as soon as Lori had fed and walked our dogs. I loaded our gear into my Suburban. We drove to the access and put on our waders. We had been chasing the caddis hatch for weeks and they had eluded us.
“I pulled out my Sage rod. It was still rigged with a partridge and orange soft hackle. I left it on, figuring that it would be an effective fly for the caddis. Lori took a client rod. These are rods that we keep in my Suburban for client use. They are quite serviceable but are not as fancy as our personal rods. This one was not rigged. Lori was going to rig it when she got on stream and observed the conditions.
“We walked far from the access. We noted a few caddis. It was not a hatch. They were ovipositors, adults that had previously hatched that had returned to the river to lay eggs. I opted to fish the partridge and orange soft hackle I had on, while Lori decided to fish dry flies. In this case she went for an elk hair caddis.
“I began fishing and caught several. The partridge and orange was producing trout after trout. Meantime, Lori was struggling. She had managed to hook one but set the hook too soon and pulled the fly from the trout’s mouth. This is a common problem. You have to let the trout close its mouth before you set the hook. The problem with topwater fishing is that you see the strike and the adrenalin is pumping.
“Lori wanted to fish the dry flies and nothing else. She kept at it with no further success. I had caught enough, so I cranked in my line and sat on the bank watching her fish. I really enjoyed watching her. She is a really good fly caster and she was in her element. She tried several different caddis dry fly patterns but was unwilling to try any other technique. She went fishless.
“Sometimes it is the technique that counts and you have to be willing to try something else. Sometimes you just want to do it your way.”
Bull Shoals Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 688.95 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 662.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 695.00 feet msl). The outflow from Bull Shoals Dam at 1 p.m. was 10,536 cfs. The reported lake elevation at Table Rock Lake was 922.61 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 916.58 feet msl; top flood elevation is 931.0 feet msl).
(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 572.90 feet msl (normal conservation pool: Sept.-April, 553.75 feet msl; April-Sept. 556.40 feet msl; top flood elevation 580.0 feet msl).
(updated 6-2-2022) Steven “Scuba Steve” Street at Blackburn’s Resort said the lake level is 572.83 feet msl and has risen three-quarters of an inch in the last 24 hours with three hours of running both generators and 2-hours of less than one. It is scheduled to crest at 572.90 on 5-June at 66% full. The White River at Newport is 15.87 and dropping quickly. Surface water temperature is 76-degrees and the water is clearing nicely again after the holiday churn. The thermocline is between 19 and 20 feet as is the old shoreline before the water rise and many fish are at this level. The top-water bite has slowed with the warming water and will diminish as the thermocline goes deeper. Crappie and bass are both near cover and in open water on shad. Live bait fishermen are catching a few temperate bass. Bluegill fishing remains good on crickets and small spoons. Catfishing is fair on live bluegill on throw lines and limb lines. Bluegill about 4-inches long is the best bait. Overall spooning main lake points and just around them is good but working the bank for black bass in the creeks with grubs and creature baits is also working.
For a daily fishing report and lake condition go to www.blackburnsresort.com and click on Scuba Steve’s Blog.
(updated 6-2-2022) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort had no updated report this week. But check out Hummingbird Hideaway Resort’s Facebook page, where Lou gives periodic updates on Norfork Lake.
(updated 6-2-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Norfork Lake rose 0.8 foot to rest at 16 feet above power pool of 556.75 feet msl and 7.2 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork tailwater had 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, we can 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 moderately. 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 River, Norfork tailwater 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 6-2-2022) 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 1,128.30 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.43 feet msl; top flood elevation is 1,130.0 feet msl).
(updated 6-2-2022) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) said Beaver Lake is 8 feet above normal and water temps are climbing into the 70s. “I have graphed some areas with a thermocline at around 24 feet in some areas. Once this feature sets up, it will make Beaver Lake fish a bit better by shrinking the overall size of the lake. What it does is it forces the fish to stay in and around that area where oxygen levels are optimal. It also means it is getting close to trolling cranks that dive to and around the depth the thermocline is at. That’s your summer pattern on Beaver.
“As my clients will tell you, it is important to understand what and where fish set up in each season. It will make you much more successful when you fish this lake. Beaver is a very big lake and if you can narrow it down, then you shrink the lake especially when we are in a high-water situation.
“Stripers are still hit and miss with some days putting some in the boat and others getting skunked. Good news is when you are out trolling live bait you will catch all sorts of fish. Lately, spotted bass and smallmouth bass are being caught while trolling live bait mixed in with the stripers. Crappie are all over the place still and that will change soon once the water gets close to 80 degrees. Catfish are getting ready to spawn and moving up shallower. Bream are in spawn mode, so go out and catch some fine-eating and great fighting fish. They, in my opinion, are very underutilized by most people.
“Be safe out; there still some debris. Good luck!”
Visit Jon’s Facebook page for latest updates, FishOn Guide Service Goshen AR.
(updated 6-2-2022) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the lake is pretty clear, but the upper end of the lake still has color. Water level is way up. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Crappie are in post-spawn mode and the bite is fair; anglers are using minnows, jigs and are spider-rigging. Black bass are good. Anglers are finding a topwater bite now, and they’re also using wacky worms and drop-shot baits. Catfish are spawning now. The bite is good. Best bait is chicken liver.
(updated 6-2-2022) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said this week has been great on the tailwater. The Army Corps of Engineers has been generating pretty much 24/7, but that has not stopped the bite. “Most of our fish were caught using light terminal tackle, using Pautzke Fire Bait. When the sun moved higher in the sky, we would switch it over to quarter-ounce spoons and coat the spoons using Pautzke Fire Gel. Try letting the spoon sink a bit before retrieving, due to the water still being deep.
“This week’s hot spot for trout has been above Spider Creek. Try hitting the deeper holes and looking for slack water. The white bass and walleye have moved up toward Holiday Island. Jigging live minnows off of points and humps have done the trick. There are still quite a few males in the river, so get after them.
“Remember, for additional tips, visit my fishing Facebook page (Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service). Hope you all are able to get out and catch some fish!”
(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 6-2-2022) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) says there is a little stain in the clarity and the level is normal. Bream are good using redworms or crickets. Crappie are found mostly around the brushpiles; use minnows or jigs. Black bass are a good using spinnerbaits and Chatterbaits. Also try your topwater lures early for a good bite. Catfish reports have improved; anglers report good results with chicken liver, nightcrawlers and cut bait working best.
(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 5-19-2022) Seth Boone, the superintendent at Lake Poinsett State Park, says Lake Poinsett has bream and catfish biting well. The bass have started slowing down a bit, but they are catch-and-release only at this time.
Besides the catch-and-release rules for black bass, current limits at Lake Poinsett call for a half-the-daily limit on catfish and full limits for bream. 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 5-26-2022) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) said water levels have been flowing at 560 cfs at the Spring (350 cfs is average flow) and water clarity has been green stained. With all the rain lately the Spring River has been flowing strong and at times poor clarity, this week the rain has not murked up the river and it has been clearing and fishing has been great this week.
On the trout, Woolies and big nymphs have been hot. Lots of bugs have been hatching lately from big caddis to crazy big mayflies. On the tough days a little weight to get down to the bottom is the trick. But lately the bite has been on most days simple tightlining techniques are getting high numbers. The river has been high and murky for so long the trout have stacked up from weekly stockings by the Jim Hinkle Spring River State Fish Hatchery. Last week about 10,000 small browns were stocked. These fish will take dries and will chase down a small streamer. Hopefully these small browns will grow into big monster browns!
Smallmouth have not been easy to catch in the high water. “We did a smallmouth float last week and caught five smallies and a bunch of bows that day. The river needs to clear up and slow down some for the smallmouth bite.
This weekend kicks off the canoe hatch on the Spring. For the rest of the summer, Saturdays can get busy on the river with floaters having fun. Sundays and through the week are the times to fish.
The river is up and flowing strong so be safe wading. A wading staff works great to keep your head above the water and keeping the snakes at bay.
Check out Mark’s blog (springriverfliesandguides.com/blog) for the latest river conditions.
(updated 6-2-2022) 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 7.91 feet, more than 6 feet below the flood stage of 15.0 feet. The Newport stage has dropped significantly in a week to 14.84 feet (flood stage is 26.00 feet). The stage at Augusta is down to 28.75, which is about 3 feet above the flood stage of 26.00 feet.
(updated 6-2-2022) 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 132,729 cfs. The stage at Pine Bluff is 34.33 feet (flood stage is 42 feet). Further upriver at the C.D. Maynard Lock and Dam near Redfield, the flow was 130,333 cfs.
(updated 6-2-2022) 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 6-2-2022) 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 259.72 feet msl (normal pool: 259.20 feet msl; top flood elevation is 287.0 feet msl). Total outflow at the dam is 2,426 cfs.
(updated 6-2-2022) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said that as of Wednesday, Millwood Lake is almost back to normal conservation pool. Wednesday saw Millwood sitting 4 inches above normal at 259.6 feet msl and on a slow fall. Clarity has improved this week along Little River and in the oxbows. Millwood Lake tailwater elevation is near 225 feet msl with gate discharge at the dam around 650 cfs in Little River, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. Check the most recent lake level 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. Watch for random floaters and broken timber during any navigation on Little River and Millwood Lake.
Surface temps are stable this week, ranging 77-85 degrees depending on location and the time of day. Current along Little River has normal stain levels this week with reduced discharge release at the dam, and river clarity is ranging 5-10 inches visibility depending on location. Clarity and visibility of the oxbows 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.
As for the fishing specifics this week, Mike said:
* Largemouth bass are good in the early mornings and late evenings, with 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, and cypress knees at dawn, early and late. Bass have been very good on topwater lures at daylight for the past couple weeks around emerging new lily pad stands and vegetation. 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 buzzbait, Bass Assassin Shad or topwater plastic frog early in the pads. Big 7- to 10-inch bulky Brush Hogs and worms, as well as slow-moving square-bill crankbaits and Chatterbaits, will get a reaction from bass near laydown logs, cypress trees, knees and stumps where ridges, ditches and flats are close to deeper creek channels and vertical structure. Several nice and healthy female largemouth have been caught and released from 5-9 pounds over the past several weeks.
Once the sun gets up above the tree line in late morning, 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. The oxbows over the past couple weeks have had the best water clarity –
Horseshoe, Clear Lake and McGuire will produce the best topwater reactions from largemouths. Chatterbaits in black/blue/purple or Spring Bream with chartreuse are taking nice 2- to 3-pound largemouths near stumps in 3-6 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 a reaction bite. We are using a Smokey Joe-colored head War Eagle Underspin with a Chico’s Red Ear, Hammertime, or Silver Flash Minnow-colored swimbait trailer to incite a reaction strike.
Cordell Crazy Shads, Boy Howdy’s and Spit’n Images are randomly working early. Brazalo Spinnerbaits continue working on windy days and on creek channel drops and secondary points. Spot Remover, white, Sexy Shad and Millwood Mayhem Bream colors are best, catching keeper-size largemouths in oxbows and in the pockets along the golf course and at Millwood State Park coves.
* Nothing consistent from the white bass over the past week.
* Crappie have been excellent over the past couple weeks and have recently begun moving out from shallow cypress trees from spawning over the past several weeks. The bite continues to be very good, just slightly deeper on planted brushpiles in the oxbows and along Little River. Healthy-sized crappie from 2 to 2.5 pounds have been hitting jigs, Southern Pro Crappie Stingers 2.0, Pro Series Lit’l Hustlers and minnows over the past several weeks. Best colors for the Southern Pro Crappie Stingers and Lit’l Hustlers have been black/chartreuse, Money, Blue/Silk/Chartreuse swirl and black/orange.
* Catfish improved this week along Little River. For several weeks the blues, flatheads and channels were fair to good on trotlines, yo-yos and tight lines. Spoiled chicken livers and gizzards, cut buffalo and shad, homemade cheese dough baits and 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, the 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 shoreline. 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.
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 547.28 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 407.92 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 437.75 feet msl (full pool: 437.00 feet msl).
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 526.89 feet msl (full pool: 526.00 feet msl).
White Oak Lake Area
(update 6-2-2022) Curtis Willingham at River Rat Bait in Camden (870-231-3831) had no recent report.
(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 6-2-2022) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that Lake Ouachita is now well clear of flood pool levels and all area lakes have been returned to normal summertime pool. Entergy implements a new generation schedule every Friday that runs through the following Thursday. Anyone planning to navigate our area lakes is urged to view this information from Entergy’s website in order to plan a safe and successful outing. This information is vital when planning a trip close to a hydroelectric dam.
Rainbow trout are present in the tailrace in very good numbers and being caught on PowerBait and live presentations from boat and bank anglers. Waxworms and mealworms are working well fished under a bobber or just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Redworms and nightcrawlers provide quality results presented in the same manner. Big numbers of white bass are migrating into the tailrace to spawn and have been caught in periods of generation by trolling shallow-running crankbaits against the current. Hybrid bass are mixed in with the white bass schools and are being caught on one-eighth-ounce jigs in white or gray colors. Walleye in the 4-pound class have been caught on spoons and leeches fished on a Carolina rig.
Dry weather has been forecasted for the next week, which will give the public an opportunity to use area lakes that have been at high levels for weeks. Always wear a life jacket when on the water and follow all park regulations when visiting Carpenter Dam. Be ready to show up-to-date fishing licenses when asked by Game and Fish officers.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s flow at Dardanelle Lock and Dam as 128,000 cfs. Elevation was 337.78 feet msl, with the tailwater at 299.83 feet msl. (Top navigation pool is 338.2 and bottom pool is 336.0.) The stage is 19.14 feet (flood stage is 32 feet).
(updated 5-26-2022) 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. Highway 270 bridge are 80 degrees surface temperature. Bass (especially largemouth) have been “on go” the last few weeks. Bass have taken up positions in semi-deep waters (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 or 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 of late. Cut bait and live bait for flatheads, and stink bait and cheese hunks for blue and channel cats 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.
Use caution on Hamilton while fishing, folks. Pleasure traffic is high and getting higher (even at night). Please wear your life jackets, kill switches and have your navigation lights. Watch out for other boaters (they may not be watching for you!). We have already had one fatality in the last week that could have been prevented!
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 354.42 feet msl (normal pool: 344.96 feet msl; top flood elevation is 373.0 feet msl).
(updated 6-2-2022) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said Thursday that the lake clarity “is a good color” and the surface temperature is 86 degrees. The level remains high, up to 9 feet above normal pool. Bream are good on redworms, crickets and poppers. Crappie are good around the brushpiles on minnows and jigs. Black bass are good, and the best activity is happening still on the original shoreline. Use a crankbait or swimbait. Catfish are good on cut bait, shad and buzzbaits.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 575.82 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.
(updated 5-26-2022) Anglers from Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood took the opportunity of the high, swift water on the Arkansas River’s Little Rock pool this week to check out Lake Ouachita again. They report that bass are good in the grass on Texas-rigged Senkos or shallow-running square-bill crankbaits.
Blue Mountain Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 393.67 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 27.46 feet, or about 1½ feet 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 5-19-2022) Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) had no new reports.
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