Arkansas Wildlife Weekly Fishing Report
BY Jim Harris
June 16, 2022
Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine
Reports are updated weekly, although some reports may be published for two weeks if updates are not received promptly or if reporters say conditions haven’t changed. Contact the reporter for current news for the lake or stream you plan to fish.
TOP AND LEFT: Leigh Craig was fishing with one of Cotter Trout Dock’s guides, Doug, when she caught this impressive brown trout on Sunday on the White River.
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
Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir
(updated 6-16-2022) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) reported that the lake has its normal stain and is at a normal level as of Thursday morning. No surface temperature was recorded. The bream bite has fallen off to fair; redworms and crickets will work. Crappie have moved into deep water and the bite is fair on minnows and jigs. Black bass are good and the topwater bite is on! Catfish are good on yo-yos and limb lines; try chicken liver, cut shad or other typical line baits.
(updated 6-16-2022) The high and fast water on the Little Rock pool of the Arkansas River is getting the anglers from Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood out to area lakes instead. This week they checked out Lake Conway, where the black bass were biting well in the coves on single swimbaits and on topwater frogs.
Little Red River
The Army Corps of Engineers reports the outflow at Greers Ferry Dam to be 6,239 cfs (turbine) as of noon Thursday, June 16. Wednesday’s release began about 8 a.m. and run until 1 a.m. Thursday, and Thursday’s began again at 5 a.m., averaging about 6,200 cfs to generate about 88 mwh of energy. Greers Ferry Lake is about 3 feet over normal conservation pool. The tailwater at 2 p.m. May 19 was 276.63 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 6-16-2022) Mike Winkler of Little River Fly Fishing Trips (501-507-3688) said that with high temperatures in the 90s and a heat index in the 100s throughout Arkansas, along with Greers Ferry Lake being above power pool, look for the Army Corp of Engineers to continue to run two units of water for most of the day. Always check the USACE Little Rock app for the generation schedule before heading out.
“As of now we are in a consistent generation schedule,” Mike said. “The Army Corp of Engineers have been running two units usually starting at 7 a.m. and running till midnight. I’d expect the same schedule as long as we have hot weather in the forecast and no rain.”
Fishing the falling water has been good. The best bite has been early in the morning before it gets hot and before the new push of water hits. Pheasant tail nymphs, Guide’s Choice hare’s ear and midges have been working great in the falling water.
“When the high water hits, I’d run a deep-water nymph rig up at the dam set from 6 feet to 12 feet deep or throw streamer patterns.”
(updated 6-16-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said trout are good on olive Maribou Jigs and on white Rooster Tails.
(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.
Greers Ferry Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 465.64 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.75 feet msl, top flood elevation 487.0 msl).
(updated 6-16-2022) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 465.65 feet msl, about 3 feet above normal pool for this time of year and falling with generation and evaporation. Crappie continue to be caught trolling, jigging, etc. in 8-40 feet of water on live and artificial baits. Black bass are right up on the bank out to 45 feet of water and can be caught with lots of different baits from top to bottom. Bream are guarding fry and eating most anything in sight from super shallow out to 25 feet on flats. Catfishing is great all over lake and rivers – out of a lot of baits, hot dogs seem to be shining right now. Walleye are here today, gone tomorrow. Some kind of walleye rotation; try crawlers, spoons, crankbaits, etc. from 12-45 feet. Hybrid and white bass are roaming a lot and setting up midday on to eat on structure; spoons, inline spinners and live bait – lots working in 25-60 feet of water.
(updated 6-16-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood reports that black bass are good in the early morning hours on topwater baits; try a Zara Spook or a Rebel Popper.
Harris Brake Lake
(updated 6-16-2022) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) says a 7-pound flathead catfish was caught this week. This was after a 36-pounder was hauled in the previous week. Not surprisingly, the conditions at Harris Brake this week after recent storms featured muddy, high water. Overall, the catfish bite is good on trotlines baited with goldfish. Also, bream remain good with redworms and crickets working. Crappie and bass, meanwhile, have ben fair. Crappie are reachable in the deeper areas by boat; use minnows or jigs. Black bass will be round on shoreline areas, and they are hungry for minnows or typical summertime bass lures.
(updated 6-16-2022) Lacey Williams at Lakeview Landing on Arkansas Highway 95 (501-242-1437) said fishing has slowed down a bit because of the weather. But if you can beat the heat in the morning, that is your best bet. Or come before daylight and use stink baits like Danny King’s Catfish Punch Bait. The bass are in beds, which means you most likely need a boat to get to them. Crappie are about 2 feet deep on jigs out in the brushpiles. “The only thing I was catching myself was a sunburn,” Lacey noted.
(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 6-16-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said bass are good on main lake points using a Carolina rig or deep-diving crankbaits.
(updated 6-16-2022) WestRock Landing in Roland (501-658-5598) said the largemouth bass bite is good. There are reports of the bass being found shallow along the grass lines. Some reports have them deep. They are biting at dawn and at dusk. Try using Carolina-rigged lizards, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, Rat-L-Traps or drop-shots rigs. Spotted bass (Kentucky bass) are also 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. Some have been caught near rocky points. Try using a Texas rig on brush or jigs, crankbaits and Rat-L-Traps. In the Tuesday night WestRock Landing black bass tournament this week, Sam and Fred Lowery caught a 5-bass limit totaling 12.97 pounds plus the Big Bass of 4.19 pounds. Cameron Nesterenko and Andrew Wooley were right behind the winners by a fraction, catching 12.94 pounds with their five bass, and Josh Jeffers and Josh Baker had an 11.91-pound stringer.
Crappie have been fair. Reports surfaced this week of crappie being found at 12-18 feet depth. Go with jigs or minnows. Bream have been fair. They are mixed in with the crappie and some bream are still deep. Most of the catches have been between 12-14 feet on minnows or jigs. No reports on white bass or catfish this week. For the cats, though, try using chicken liver, worms or crayfish and see what bites.
Arkansas River at Morrilton
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Ormond Lock and Dam was 143,766 cfs. The stage was down almost 4 feet this time from last week, at 22.99 feet on Thursday. Flow further upriver at Dardanelle Lock and Dam was 137,787 cfs.
Little Maumelle River
(updated 6-16-2022) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) says the fishing and conditions have been consistent for the most part for a couple of weeks now. Water is clear and the level is normal. No surface temperature was reported. Bream are biting well and are bedded up shallow. Go with redworms or crickets. Crappie are good in 5-6 feet depth. Minnows are working best. Black bass are good 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 143,564 cfs.
Arkansas River (Little Rock Area Pools)
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Murray Lock and Dam was 138,150 cfs, and the stream gauge stage was at 10.97 feet, down 3 feet from a week ago. The tailwater is at 248.93 feet msl. Flow at the Terry Lock and Dam was 141,848 cfs. There continues to be a small-craft warning on the Little Rock pool.
(updated 6-16-2022) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said that bream are good on the river using waxworms or crickets in the backwaters and the Willow Beach area. Black bass are biting well around the old Cajun’s Wharf location on the main river; try a crankbait, a topwater lure or shaky head worm. Catfish reports are good, with skipjack and shad proving tasty to the cats. They’re also being snagged. Crappie are fair in 12-15 feet depth on the ends of jetties. Try minnows or jigs.
(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) 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 6-16-2022) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said Thursday morning that the bream remains good on redworms and crickets. No crappie were reported this week, and bass also didn’t show up either. Catfishing is good; nightcrawlers are the go-to this week. Clear Lake is a private lake but has a for-pay public boat launch just off Highway 161.
(updated 6-16-2022) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said summer is officially here in temperature, as things are getting hot not only weather-wise, but also in terms of fishing. The river level has been consistently high for the past week, so it’s been a great time to pull up to a favorite brown trout spot and throw out a minnow or sculpin. The rainbow bite has been excellent with many 13- to 14-inch rainbows being brought to the boat daily. The pink worm has been successful – combine that with frozen shrimp for great results.
Releases from Bull Shoals Dam have been heavy and round-the-clock with continual output of four or more generators, 14,000 to 17,000 cfs all day. The lake at this writing is sitting at 687.05 feet msl and slowly dropping. All this high water provides lots of places for trout to run and hide in (and grow big and feisty) and has tested the skills of the anglers. Look for clear water to drift, cast toward the bank and you’ll most often pull in a rainbow in no time. Get their attention with fluorescent, bright baits and flashy silver spoons.
Plenty of sunshine requires plenty of sunscreen. Come prepared, but make sure to keep the sunscreen away from your fishing gear and baits. Seems that sunscreen not only repels harmful rays from above, but repels fish as well. Clean your hands of sunscreen before handling rods, reels and baits and don’t use a spray in the boat. “Be prepared for the heat and join us on the White River for a some great fishing – regardless of water releases from the dam.”
(updated 6-16-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service said that during the past week they had a couple of minor rain events that combined for just a trace in Cotter, brutally hot temperatures (to include heat advisories) and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell 1.1 feet to rest at 25.2 feet above power pool of 662 feet msl. This is 7.8 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock Lake fell 1.8 feet to rest at 3.2 feet above power pool and 10.8 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.5 foot to rest at 6.3 feet above power pool or 1.3 feet below the top of flood pool. The White has had no wadable water. Norfork Lake fell 0.7 foot to rest at 15.5 feet above power pool of 556.75 feet msl and 7.7 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork tailwater has had much less wadable water lately.
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 the Wildcat Shoals,” John said. “We have had much 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 a San Juan worm with an orange egg.”
John also discussed an angling situation to which most of us are familiar: “Anyone who has ever wet a hook knows that tangles are a bane on fishing in general and fly-fishing in particular. The dictionary definition of tangle is: a confused mass of something twisted together. When your line is tangled, the flies are not properly presented to the fish. Therefore, if your line is tangled you will not catch any fish.
“Tangles are a particular problem for the most popular method of fishing we employ around here: nymphing. When nymphing we attach a weighted fly, a split shot and a strike indicator to the leader. To further complicate things, most fly-fishing guides and other serious anglers then add a dropper fly suspended below the lead fly on a length of tippet. When things go bad, the flies, weight and strike indicator all move in different directions causing a serious tangle to form.
“The best way to deal with tangles is to avoid them. Most tangles are caused by rushing your back cast. This results in a tailing loop, which creates the likelihood of tangling. Slow down and give your line time to straighten out on your back cast. False casting a heavy nymph rig is also an invitation to disaster. The only time that you should false cast is when you are drying your fly, when fishing dry flies.
“Another way to prevent tangles is to use a Belgian cast. This is a continuous-motion cast. There is no stop between the back cast and the forward cast. By not stopping as you do in a normal cast, you are able to cast large weighted flies and complex rigs with ease. This is also an effective cast to use in windy conditions. I use the Belgian cast all the time I fish nymph rigs.
“Another cause of tangles is for the fish to slip the hook when the fish is being retrieved. The leader is sprung back to the rod. The flies go one way, the split shot another. The resulting tangle can be a mess. The bad thing is there is little you can do to prevent it. This is where I tangle my line.
“If you do tangle your line, the best way to untangle it is to remove the flies before you start. I know that this sounds counterintuitive but you can untangle the knot much more quickly without the flies in the mix. They just catch on the leader and tippet and make the tangle more complex to fix. It only takes a minute or two to tie the flies back on.
“Tangles are no fun and it always seems that when you are tangled, your fishing buddy is catching trout after trout and you are stuck with a mess in your hands. I often carry a spare rod already rigged for these occasions.”
(updated 6-16-2022) Dave McCulley, owner of Jenkins Fishing Service in Calico Rock, said the Army Corps of Engineers has started releasing a lot of water out of both Bull Shoals Dam and Norfork Dam. “We are seeing Bull Shoals with eight generators running, and Norfork has two generators starting in the morning and stopping in the evening. We are seeing clear water and cold water (averaging in the mid-50-degree range) in Calico Rock with the river averaging around 8 feet in the morning from the Bull Shoals water and rising about 2 feet when the water from Norfork arrives. As a rule of thumb, plan on the water from Norfork to take five hours to reach Calico Rock and for 1 foot of depth for each generator they turn on.
“Fishing has been good in the mornings and just before the river rises from the Norfork Dam water. Watch the water levels, and if the water starts rising try to stay ahead of the rise. The trout start feeding as they sense the rising water. Once the water passes, the bite slows down for about an hour as the trout adjust to the new water. Drift-fishing with Power Eggs (sunrise or orange seems to work best) with worms, shrimp or corn has produced some nice limits of fish. Using sculpins has produced some very nice larger trout. If you prefer to throw lures, use larger Rapala Countdowns (either 9- or 11-inch) or deep-diving lures such as Rapala Shad Raps (purple or silver). The Shad Raps have produced several 18-inch-plus brown trout and an occasional smallmouth bass.
“With the abundant available food we are seeing some nice 15-inch-plus rainbows with fat bellies. While cleaning the fish we are finding the larger trout have a mixture of sculpins, crawdads and freshwater shrimp in their stomach. Over the last week there have been two stockings of rainbow trout at the Calico Rock boat ramp and other nearby locations both up and down river.
“With the hotter weather, remember to take precautions such as using sunscreen, drinking plenty of water and wearing a hat. Many people also keep a cooling rag to dip in the water and wrap around their neck.”
Bull Shoals Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 686.99 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 662.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 695.00 feet msl). Total outflow from the dam is 16,849 cfs, and releases have been constant this week. The reported lake elevation at Table Rock Lake was 919.34 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 916.58 feet msl; top flood elevation is 931.0 feet msl), with outflow of 9,442 cfs.
(updated 6-16-2022) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said Thursday morning that the high lake is still proving problematic for some folks trying to find a parking spot. The limited parking with water up in some of the lot can be an issue, so plan your visit head.
Despite the high water, Del says, the lake is “really clear in the main part.” The back of the bigger creeks have stain, he said. The water temperature is ranging about 79 degrees.
An early topwater bite has been key. Target windy, main lake secondary points, especially when the Army Corps of Engineers is generating water the dam. Use a topwater lure, an LC Gunfish or a Zara Spook. Or get in the back of feeder creeks that have shad. The creek fish have pulled back with the water dropping some. The topwater bite will end when the sun starts getting high. Slow-dragging a Jewel Special Ops football jig in green pumping orange or variations of that is a good way to fish. Keep your boat around 30 feet. A lot of fish are on the old shoreline. The flipping bite is tougher now as the submerged vegetation is starting to lose its leaves. Around standing timber and laydowns, use a Beaver or big worm, or small jigs. The drop-shot bite has been heating up. As always, 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 571.83 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 noon Thursday was 5,632 cfs.
(updated 6-16-2022) Steven “Scuba Steve” Street at Blackburn’s Resort said the Norfork Lake level is 572.98 feet msl as of Wednesday and has dropped 2⅓ inches in the last 24 hours with both generators running for about 16 hours. Water has dropped about a foot from its high of 572.98 feet msl on June 6. The White River at Newport is 14.22 feet and has been held steady for several days. The four-lake system is 59 percent full. Surface water temperature is in the low 80s and rising with the hot, dry weather. “We could use some rain. The water remains clear in both the creeks and main lake. There are several ways to catch Norfork lake fish at this time. First, the stripers are in open water on shad early before they go deep later in the morning and can be caught dragging live bait or umbrellas through schools of shad or dropping a spoon on their heads.
“The topwater bite is over for all practical purposes, but a few bass may come up early at or just before sunrise. Crappie are on wood back in the creeks in 26-28 feet of water and are biting on jigs cast past the structure and letting them sink into it. They are hitting on the drop near the bottom and can be caught throughout the day but you may have to have some slow periods before they bite.
“Catfishing has slowed with the dropping water level and the moon getting bigger, but a few are being caught. Some nice flatheads are coming with a few channels on throw lines partway back in the creeks in about 20-25 feet of water on live bluegill. The flatheads are the last to spawn and are ready. You can catch fish of different species casting plastic worms and other soft plastics to the shore and slowly retrieving near the bottom.
“I caught several white bass in about 23 feet of water (Tuesday) using this method in front of a brushpile, which was deeper. Look for walleye on main lake points or just around them in 20-26 feet of water near the bottom on spoons.
For a daily fishing report and lake condition go to www.blackburnsresort.com and click on Scuba Steve’s Blog.
(updated 6-16-2022) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort had no recent report. Lou typically provides daily fishing reports on the Hummingbird Hideaway Resort’s Facebook page. Check his page for the latest updates.
(updated 6-16-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Norfork Lake fell 0.7 foot to rest at 15.5 feet above power pool of 556.75 feet msl and 7.7 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork tailwater has had much less wadable water lately.
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 little wadable water on the Norfork and it has 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 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 moderately. 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 6-16-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Crooked Creek and the Buffalo River are low and 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 1,128.57 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.43 feet msl; top flood elevation is 1,130.0 feet msl). There was a brief water release (7 hours) between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. that averaged about 3,600 cfs on Wednesday.
(updated 6-16-2022) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said stripers and walleye are both good and both going after big brooder minnows. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Crappie have moved into a depth of 10-20 feet and are biting fair on minnows and jigs. Black bass are good for the anglers throwing spinnerbaits or using jigs. Catfish are good on limb lines, jugs and trotlines. The water has a little stain and the overall lake level remains high.
(updated 6-16-2022) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) said Beaver Lake remains above normal pool and continues to creep up into the 80-degree range. Striper fishing has still been off and on depending on the day. Move and move more looking for schools of fish and shad. Trolling live bait/shad, brooders and bream will work. It has been August HOT, so get out early. Crappie are good on trolled Bandit 300s. Troll at and around 1.75 mph. The White River arm and the War Eagle arm are producing nice fish. Bass are in summer pattern; look on points and secondary points. Walleye are hit-and-miss in crawler harnesses. Bream are great. Catfish also are a good option to fill your freezer with some good eats. Be safe and good luck!
Visit Jon’s Facebook page for latest updates, FishOn Guide Service Goshen AR.
(updated 6-9-2022) 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 6-16-2022) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said Thursday that the clarity remains muddy and the lake is still 6 inches above normal level. Those conditions haven’t hurt the fish bite for a couple of weeks now, as everything is good. 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 6-16-2022) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) is back from vacation and reports that bream are biting! Try worms. She has heard no other reports.
(updated 6-16-2022) Seth Boone, the superintendent at Lake Poinsett State Park, says that bream are still biting well on live bait at Lake Poinsett. Crappie and bass (which are catch-and-release only) are biting decently on spinners and Rooster Tails or brighter colors. Catfish are doing OK, but most reports have been better along the old creek bottom.
(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 6-16-2022) 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. Canoe season is in full swing and the canoes are here. 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 slightly up at 10.12 feet, less than 5 feet below the flood stage of 15.0 feet. The Newport stage was steady 14.27 feet (flood stage is 26.00 feet). The stage at Augusta is slightly on the drop at 26.45 feet, which is about a half-foot above the flood stage of 26.00 feet.
(updated 6-16-2022) 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 127,440 cfs. The stage at Pine Bluff is down 2 feet from last week to 33.97 feet (flood stage is 42 feet). Further upriver at the C.D. Maynard Lock and Dam near Redfield, the flow was 134,152 cfs.
(updated 6-16-2022) 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 6-16-2022) 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 259.93 feet msl (normal pool: 259.20 feet msl; top flood elevation is 287.0 feet msl). Total outflow at the dam is 8,123 cfs, about double what it was at this time last week.
(updated 6-16-2022) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said that as of Wednesday Millwood Lake is almost back to normal pool, sitting 8 inches above normal at 259.9 feet msl and on a slow rise. Clarity is fair this week along Little River and in the oxbows. Millwood Lake tailwater elevation near 234 feet msl with gate discharge at the dam around 8,100 cfs in Little River, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. Check the most recent lake level of Millwood Lake on our website helpful link page, 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 82-88 degrees depending on location and the time of day. Current along Little River is normal stain levels this week with reduced discharge release at the dam, and river clarity ranges 5-10 inches visibility depending on location. Clarity and visibility of 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.
Mike offered this specifics on fishing Millwood this week:
* A recent mayfly hatch on Millwood has a lot of fish feeding under willow trees near vertical structure, and a lot of activity has moved to the night shift. Largemouth bass have slowed with all the dog day summer heat and are fair, best at early mornings and late evenings with the 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 topwater lures for the past couple of 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 buzzbait, Bass Assassin Shad or topwater plastic frogs in the pads early. Big, 7-to 10-inch bulky Brush Hogs and worms, 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.
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 have been 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 had the best water clarity — Horseshoe, Clear Lake and McGuire will produce best top water 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 depth.
* The white bass schools are still pretty much scattered, although a few random whites have been found up Little River near McGuire Lake and Black’s Branch draining into Little River. Reactions were fair on Bomber Fat Free Shads, Fat Free Fingerlings and Model A Crankbaits in Citrus Shad and Tennessee Shad, or Flat A’s in Silver Flash or Pearl Shad.
* Crappie have slowed to a crawl over the past week and are suspended in and over planted brushpiles in 9-15 feet of depth in the oxbows and along Little River. Nothing consistent over the past week. Good, healthy, post-spawn crappie from 1.5-2 pounds were hitting jigs, Southern Pro Crappie Stingers 2.0, Pro Series Lit’l Hustlers and minnows two to three weeks ago, but have slowed during the day with the recent mayfly hatch, and (we think) are feeding at night. Several crappie cleaned over the past week were full of mayflies. Best colors working over the past couple weeks on the Southern Pro Crappie Stingers and Lit’l Hustlers were black/chartreuse, Money, blue/silk/chartreuse swirl and black/orange.
* Good release at the gates at the dam has good current along Little River, and catfish were fair to good along Little River on yo-yos and trotlines. 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 several weeks.
Alligators have been noted hung up and dragging noodles around after eating the catfish or bait attached for several weeks now. Be alert to that.
* For the last two to three weeks, bream beds were being observed in many locations from Millwood State Park, the golf course pockets on the 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. Bream are almost finished with their spawning activities.
(updated 6-2-2022) 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 and will have no reports.
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 548.74 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 407.78 feet msl (full pool: 408.00 feet msl).
(updated 6-16-2022) John Duncan of YoYo Guide Service at Iron Mountain Marina said, “Hey everyone. The crappie bite is on. They are stacked up on brush and there are some roaming fish. It’s hot as the dickens but worth the sweat and blood if you get them. Very simply this is what I see: Crappie are still in the brushpiles primarily and not in the timber as heavy yet. Thicker piles are better than the the skeleton ones. The water level is still up a little for this time of year, but it’s dropping. Water level as of this writing is 407.8 feet msl and falling.
“Bream are moved onto the piles along with the crappie. Minnows are the choice for bait. Slip bobbers and minnows are my game this time of year for clients. Fish as close to the piles as you can. The bigger fish are really holding close. Fish are in the piles all over the lake from Brushy to Point Cedar, from Iron Mountain to Arlie Moore, and from Lennox Marcus to Alpine. Just find the piles; 20-22 feet of water is a good depth.
“It’s hot so stay hydrated. Watch out for others who may need assistance. Good fishing!”
De Queen Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 437.22 feet msl (full pool: 437.00 feet msl).
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 528.02 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 6-16-2022) Donald Ramirez at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said the lake is clear and at a normal level. Bream are fair on crickets. Crappie slowed down several weeks back and have not been heard from. Black bass were fair this week; no specific catch reports or baits came in. Catfish continue to bite well; jugs and limb lines baited with goldfish, bream and bluegill seem the best way to go.
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 137,787 cfs. Elevation was 337.60 feet msl, with the tailwater at 300.98 feet msl. (Top navigation pool is 338.2 and bottom pool is 336.0.) The stage ihas dropped more than 4 feet from this time last week, to 20.34 feet (flood stage is 32 feet).
(updated 6-16-2022) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas-born-and-bred Xpress, all-welded aluminum fishing boats in Hot Springs, reports water levels are normal with good water clarity. Lake surface temps hover around 83 degrees in most areas with the exception of the river channel, which runs 60 degrees or less. Pleasure boat traffic is very high at all times on Lake Hamilton during the warm months so plan your fishing at night or early morning if possible. Bass have been good to very good lately during the twilight bours and even well into the night throwing buzzbaits, buzz toads and Whopper Ploppers in dark or black color presentations. Fish shallow areas near some type of current for the best results. Stone walls, rocks and behind or under wooden docks produce the best results. Bass can also be caught deep or suspended on hair jigs in white, like white flutter spoons. Fish that are in or right on current should be approached with the seedless watermelon worm or fluke on a drop-shot rig.
Bream are good everywhere! Crickets and worms fished on a slip cork on deep docks can fill up a 5-gallon bucket in a hurry! No crappie or catfish to report. “Wear your kill switches and life jackets while running on Hamilton, always. It can be as rough as the ocean out here some days. Good luck and Go Greeson!”
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was up 4 feet from a week ago, sitting at 358.29 feet msl (normal pool: 344.96 feet msl; top flood elevation is 373.0 feet msl).
(updated 6-16-2022) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said Thursday morning that water was still high (more than 13 feet above normal) and fishing is slow. They had no new reports on catches.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 578.18 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 6-16-2022) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) said black bass are still very good. There is still some good topwater action, but a drop-shot for big spots has been excellent, or try a Chatterbait fished along the shore targeting structure. Try depths of 18-22 feet near structure. Walleye are good. A swim jig or Shad Rap is working best for these fish, and a three-quarter-ounce CC Spoon vertically jigged near structure will produce, too. Stripers are very good. Live bait and trolling hair jigs are working best on the eastern part of the lake. Bream are excellent on crickets and worms in 10-15 feet depth. Crappie are excellent on small jigs and minnows. Try brush 10-20 feet dep. Catfish are very good on jugs or trotlines with cut bait, shad or live bream. The water temperature is ranging 80-84 degrees and the clarity is clear. The lake is up some from last week, to 578.47 feet msl. Call the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717, or Chris Darby, 870-867-7822) for more information.
(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.”
Blue Mountain Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 404.31 feet msl (full pool: 387.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 419.0 feet msl). That is almost 10 feet above last week’s level at this time.
No reports. Water is very high, access is limited in spots.
White River/Clarendon Area
The Army Corps of Engineers on Thursday reported the Clarendon gauge is steady at 25.50 feet, or about a half-foot below the flood stage of 26.00 feet. It is the first time in several weeks that the water level has fallen below flood stage.
(updated 6-16-2022) Wil Hafner, facility manager at Potlatch Cooks Lake Nature Center (870-241-3373), said high water continues to close access to the lake for youth and mobility-impaired anglers and there helpers. The good news this week is the White River at Clarendon finally dropped below the flood stage.
(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.
Note: msl = mean sea level; cfs = cubic feet per second.
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