Arkansas Wildlife Weekly Fishing Report
BY Jim Harris
June 23, 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: Young Owen Thomas seems amazed while dad Nathan Thomas shows off one of the crappie they called on Millwood Lake recently while fishing with guide Mackey Harvin of Millwood Lake Guide Service. Photo provided by Mike Siefert.
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 6-23-2022) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) reported that the lake has its normal stain and is at normal level. No surface temperature was recorded. The Bream picked back up, with redworms, crickets and Dynamax Jigs also getting good bites. Crappie are now in deep water but will bite fair on small minnows and small jigs, typical for the warm water days. Black bass are good, but the topwater bite is back off after last week. Spinnerbaits are back on, and also swimbaits, buzzbaits, jigs, anything that resembles baitfish, and frogs will work. Catfish are good on stink bait, dough bait, trotline minnows and goldfish.
(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 6,335 cfs (turbine) as of noon Thursday, June 16. There has been constant release of 3,500-6,200 cfs since 3 a.m. Wednesday. 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 6-23-2022) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service (501-230-0730) said that as of this writing, they were receiving basically round-the-clock generation creating high-water conditions on all sections of the river. There are a few late nights that have 2-5 hours of break in generation, but those are unpredictable. San Juan worms, pheasant tails, hare’s ear, midges and streamers are recommended for fly fishing. For Trout Magnet fishing, use pink and white-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 6-23-2022) Mike Winkler of Little River Fly Fishing Trips (501-507-3688) said Greers Ferry Lake is 1.5 feet above power pool. The Army Corps of Engineers are running a consistent generation schedule as of now. With temperatures in the 90s and the lake above pool, the Corps has been running two units of water almost continuously for the last week. On the days that they are not running two units continuously the start times have usually been 5 a.m. or 7 a.m. till midnight. “I think they will continue to run this same schedule till the lake gets down to power pool or we have rain in the forecast,” Mike said. “Always check the USACE Little Rock app for generation schedule before heading out.
On the days when they don’t run 24/7 and there’s a few hours for the water to drop out, the bite has been good till the new batch of water hits. “While fishing from a boat I’d stay ahead of the water and keep motoring downstream. I’d fish pheasant tails, Guide Choice Hare’s Ear, eggs and San Juan worms. They all have been producing.
A deep-water nymph rig has been productive set anywhere from 6-12 feet deep while fishing the high water.
(updated 6-23-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said the water is clear, higher in the mornings with generation but lower in the afternoons. Throw a 5-inch jerkbait when the water is high. Trout are good on Trout Magnets in white color and pink trout worms and olive Maribou Jigs in sixteenth-ounce size, as well as No. 5 Shad Raps and half-ounce Rooster Tails.
Greers Ferry Lake
As of Thursday noon, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 465.23 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.75 feet msl, top flood elevation 487.0 msl).
(updated 6-23-2022) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level; at Greers Ferry Lake is at 463.30 feet msl, or 0.76 foot above normal pool of 462.54 feet msl for this time of year. Generation as of late has been going pretty strong. Crappie that are set up in timber are biting well; a lot of open water fish have moved because of current. Continue to use minnows, jigs and live bait in 8-45 feet. Walleye are on the rotation: edges of flats, points, humps. Crawlers and crankbaits are recommended, and fish them 18-60 feet. Hybrid and white bass are on move as the bait has moved around a lot. They are in 25-60 feet currently. Spoons, inline spinners, swimbaits and hair jigs will work. All species of catfish are good, with hot dogs doing most of the work now. Bream are shallow to 25 feet eating anything in sight. Black bass are still going good, super shallow out to 60 feet on a variety of baits.
(updated 6-23-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood reports that water is a little high but is coming down and has clear clarity. Crappie are good in 25-40 feet of water and biting small gray hair jigs, Crappie Magnets with an eighth-ounce of sixteenth-ounce jighead in natural shad, blue or white colors. Also, anglers are successfully trolling crankbaits like a Bandit 300 in 20 feet of water.
Harris Brake Lake
(updated 6-23-2022) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) says the lake is muddy and is high. Bream are still good with redworms and crickets. Crappie are poor, but some are being caught in the deeper areas by the boating anglers. Use minnows or jigs. The black bass being caught now are small in size; they rate the catches fair. Minnows and usual summer bass lures are worth a try. Catfish are good baiting with bream or goldfish.
(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 6-23-2022) David Hall at Dad’s Bait Shop (501-289-2210) says water clarity is murky and the lake is high by about 1 foot. Bream are good on redworms and are found around brushpiles. Crappie are biting well around sunrise, again at sunset and late at night. Try size 6 minnows or jigs. Black bass are biting well in the evenings. Anglers have found them shallow and interested in a white spinnerbait. Catfish are good on the bottom and noodling with goldfish.
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 62,200 cfs. The stage was down almost 8 feet this time from last week, at 14.42 feet on Thursday. Flow further upriver at Dardanelle Lock and Dam was 63,561 cfs.
Little Maumelle River
(updated 6-23-2022) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) says water is clear and at a normal level. Bream have been fair on redworms and crickets. Crappie are good in 6 feet of water on minnows. Anglers are finding a good bass bite both early in the day and late in the evening; try using crankbaits or soft plastic worms. Catfish are particular for chicken liver these days, with good results reported.
Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Toad Suck Lock and Dam was 68,008 cfs.
Arkansas River (Little Rock Area Pools)
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Murray Lock and Dam was 66,215 cfs, and the stream gauge stage was at 7.96 feet, down 3 feet from a week ago. The tailwater is at 264.51 feet msl. Flow at the Terry Lock and Dam was 72,399 cfs.
(updated 6-23-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said its anglers have finally been able to test the Arkansas River for the first time in weeks as the flow dropped below 70,000 cfs. It’s about at a normal level; the water is muddy but appears to be clearing up.
Bass are good on crankbaits around jetties. Chartreuse with black back or a black crankbait has been working, and black/blue and green pumpkin orange finesse jigs have gotten bit. Also try a black buzzbait and a black/blue or green pumpkin creature bait.
(updated 6-23-2022) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said that bream are still 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 6-23-2022) Hatchet Jack’s Sports Shop at Crystal Hill (501-758-4958) said Thursday morning that crappie are good. They are 8 feet deep on the oxbow lakes on minnows and jigs. Bream are good anywhere and everywhere using redworms and crickets. The Arkansas River is leveling off so fishing is about to get better!
Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 6-23-2022) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said Thursday morning that the lake’s clarity is living up to its actual name, and that clear water is leading to a fair bream bite on redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs, as well as a big worm. Black bass are fair on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfishing is poor. Clear Lake is a private lake but has a for-pay public boat launch just off Highway 161.
(updated 6-23-2022) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said the bite is on and the anglers on the White River in the Arkansas Ozarks are catching trout on the first cast of the day, on the last cast in the afternoon and on a whole lot of casts in between. Anglers of all ages and persuasions are catching trout downriver from Bull Shoals Dam in the Cotter neighborhood. The water is cold and clear, refreshing, and provides a cool updraft when you’re moving downstream in a john boat.
Bull Shoals Dam is continuing releases from the lake, which are required to bring the lake down to desired power pool level. Four or more generators, 14,000 to 17,000 cfs all day, has been the norm. The generation is a little heavier in the afternoon than the morning. The lake has dropped 3 feet over the last couple of weeks and, at this writing, is at 685.55 feet msl and continuing to drop.
Plan your baits based on water conditions: Begin with the tried-and-true shrimp and egg pattern (orange and/or yellow and/or pink) for a swift catch of rainbows, move to worms or to drifting a pink or orange 2-inch worm as the water rises later in the morning. Spinnerbaits are also a good option in the morning before the higher releases.
Later in the day, as the water rises, pull out the big baits: Look for the 4- to 5-inch Smithwicks, orange bellies, blue or black backs or a chrome and blue Husky Jerk. The brown trout X-Rap Rapala and the Elite Blue RPS-9 (Rapala’s size 9) are good baits to use as well. Brook trout Rapalas might be the secret this week.
A family fishing adventure offers time together in an outdoor arena, sharing quiet moments and watching nature “happen” in real time, in a digital-free environment (or as much as you desire it to be.) Go catching and enjoy Arkansas’s natural resources.
(updated 6-23-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service said that during the past week they had no rain, brutally hot temperatures (to include heat advisories) and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell 1.4 feet to rest at 24 feet above power pool of 661.8 feet msl. This is 9.2 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock Lake fell 2.4 feet to rest at 0.8 foot above power pool and 13.2 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.4 foot to rest at 6.9 feet above power pool or 1.7 feet below the top of flood pool. The White has had no wadable water. Norfork Lake fell 1.8 feet to rest at 14.9 feet above power pool of 556.6 feet msl and 9.5 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork tailwater has not had much wadable water during the day.
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 high water all summer.
“On the White, the hot spot has been the White Hole,” John said. “We have had much heavier flows and sulphur mayfly hatches. 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.
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.
(updated 6-23-2022) Dave McCulley, owner of Jenkins Fishing Service in Calico Rock, said the river remained high and fast this week, averaging between 8.5 and 10.5 feet in depth. Both Bull Shoals and Norfork dams are generating a lot of water both to lower the lake levels and to meet the summer electricity demand. The water remains clear and cold. Using inline spinners (both gold and silver work well) with Power Eggs (bright colors work best) and shrimp worked best. In the deeper water add an extra weight to keep the bait on the bottom. Using deep-diving crankbaits has been effective for bigger trout. We are also seeing some nice largemouth and smallmouth bass being caught in the creeks and sloughs. A benefit of high muddy water we had the last couple of months was increased food for the trout. Over the last week we have seen several 18-inch-plus brown trout and fat 15- to 20-inch rainbow trout. There was one trout stocking in the last week.
The weather is hot, stay hydrated, wear sunscreen and a hat.
Bull Shoals Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 685.28 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 662.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 695.00 feet msl). Total outflow from the dam is 18,049 cfs, and releases have been constant this week. The reported lake elevation at Table Rock Lake was 917.08 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 916.58 feet msl; top flood elevation is 931.0 feet msl), with outflow of 3,460 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 ahead.
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 from 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 560.99 feet msl (normal conservation pool: Sept.-April, 553.75 feet msl; April-Sept. 556.48 feet msl; top flood elevation 580.0 feet msl). Total outflow from Norfork Dam at noon Thursday was 5,707 cfs.
(updated 6-23-2022) Steven “Scuba Steve” Street at Blackburn’s Resort said the lake level is 570.30 feet msl and has dropped almost 3 feet from its recent high on June 6. The surface water temperature is 87 degrees and the lake looks clear from the surface but is cloudy down past about 12 feet and then clear again at about 25 feet. Some fish are going deeper with the hot weather and increasing surface temperature, and some nice stripers and walleye are being caught on shad anywhere from 50-60 feet of water and at various depths on the jigging spoon and dragging umbrellas through the shad. The early morning bite is the best. Other walleye are on main lake points from 16-25 feet near the bottom. Some crappie are still back in the creeks on wood but many are under docks in the shade. There is a topwater bite some days early but are mostly small bass. Other bass are still in the buckbrush in the evening and are hitting creature baits and plastic worms. Catfishing is fair on throw lines and jugs in 20 feet of water with live bait. The lake overall is in good condition and the level drop is welcome.
For a daily fishing report and lake condition go to www.blackburnsresort.com and click on Scuba Steve’s Blog.
(updated 6-23-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Norfork Lake fell 1.8 feet to rest at 14.9 feet above power pool of 556.6 feet msl and 9.5 feet below the top of flood pool. There has been no wadable water on the Norfork and it fished poorly. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns like zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead). Grasshoppers have produced fish, particularly when used in conjunction with a small nymph dropper (try a size 20 black zebra midge). Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead-headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended 18 inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise). The fishing is much better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off midday.
Dry Run Creek has fished moderately. School is out and the creek is busy. Weekends can get 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.
John also said, “I have been guiding on Dry Run Creek for over 30 years. During this time I have learned a thing or two. I consider it to be the most challenging place to guide. The fish are truly huge. They receive a ton of pressure and have all been hooked several times before. They are a bit skittish. The typical angler on Dry Run Creek is around 10 years of age and has never fly-fished. They are expected to land large, wily trout that would challenge an experienced adult angler. Ninety percent of the fish are caught by 10 percent of the anglers.
“My client Russ brought his grandson, Austin. This is the second grandchild that he has had me guide (there is one more). He brings them one at a time so that they get plenty of individual attention. Austin was 12 and had fished, but had never fly-fished.
“We started at my favorite spot and could only land a 7-inch rainbow. The previous week my young client had hooked a 12-pounder. We decided to move on. Our second spot produced nothing. We moved again and were rewarded with three nice rainbows. We lost a good one and I explained that on a big one you can’t horse them in. You have to let them run and wear them down before you can net them.
“It was 11 a.m. and I was getting concerned. The fish were just not biting. We were an hour before quitting time and we had not landed a big fish. My goal for every trip is to catch a trophy, a fish that is 24 inches long or longer. We moved again to a spot that I do not usually fish. It was time for the Hail Mary!
“The spot was loaded with trout and I began changing flies to find something that would produce. We caught a small rainbow. I looked in my fly box and saw a pink San Juan worm. Real men fish pink worms.
“It was 15 minutes from quitting time. On the second cast, Austin hooked a good one. It took a reel screaming run upstream and suddenly we had a lot of line out. Austin did exactly what I told him as I coached his struggle with the big trout. It was an epic fight. The trout made several long runs. The big rainbow slowly surrendered line as we brought him near.
“I released a sigh of relief as I netted him. We had accomplished my goal with five minutes left in my day. We were all stoked and took several photos of the 26-inch trout before gently releasing it.
“We had not caught a lot of trout but one really good one can make for a successful trip.”
Buffalo National River/Crooked Creek
(updated 6-23-2022) 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 1,128.13 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 (4 hours) between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. that averaged about 3,700 cfs on Wednesday.
(updated 6-23-2022) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) said Beaver Lake remains high and the water temps are warming into the hot range. The lake is running in the mid-80s and will climb higher with expected temps next few days. “The National Weather Service predicts cooler days next week and I’m thankful for that!”
Stripers are doing pretty well on live shad and umbrella rigs. Fish are from 15-60 feet deep. Some nice fish are being caught. Crappie are setting up in the thermocline, which means it’s trolling time on Beaver. “We use Bandits, Picos and Arkie cranks. Any crankbait that will hit 12-15 feet deep will work. Another thing is that when trolling you pick up an assortment of fish such as walleye and catfish and occasionally stripers. Look for cranks in bubblegum and shad colors. Troll at or around 2 mph.”
Catfish are doing well on all methods and baits. Bream are good. Still lots of debris floating, so keep eyes open and be careful.
“We have had a couple of boating accidents last week with debris and boats hitting semi-submerged floating trees. Wear your kill switch and life jackets, as one accident ejected the people from the boat and it circled them for quite a bit and sent some to hospital. Be safe, stay hydrated. Good luck!”
Visit Jon’s Facebook page for latest updates, FishOn Guide Service Goshen AR.
(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 6-23-2022) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said this week has been great on the tailwater. The Army Corps of Engineers has not been generating as much, 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 6-23-2022) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said Thursday that the clarity is “pretty clear” and the lake is at a normal level. Bream are excellent on redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair on jigs. Black bass are good; try soft plastic worms or topwater lures. Catfish still aren’t biting.
(updated 6-23-2022) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said Thursday that the lake still has a little stain to it and the water level has dropped to low. Fishing still remains mostly good, with fair bite for crappie on minnows and jigs. Crappie are getting harder to find, having moved into deeper water. Bream are being found just off the shoreline due to the low water, and they are responding well to being thrown a redworm or cricket. Black bass are good early in the day and late in the evening, with topwater baits working best. Catfishing is good using chicken liver, nightcrawlers or cut bait.
(updated 6-23-2022) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) reports that best fishing days based on “moon times” are upon us, June 25-July 1. Look for good days July 10-16 and best days in July being the 25-31.
The fishing bite this past week has ranged from fair to good. Bream have been good on worms and jigs. Crappie were fair on minnows and jigs. Bass are being found in deeper water and are biting fair on soft plastic worms and topwater lures. Catfishing is good using worms, blood bait and cut bait.
Water level has eased back down to normal. Surface water temperature Monday was 84.9 degrees. Clarity is the usual murky.
(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 6-23-2022) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) had no recent reports.
(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 are 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 of our favs.” Mark said.
Check out Mark’s blog (springriverfliesandguides.com/blog) for the latest river conditions.
(updated 6-23-2022) 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 steady at 10.10 feet, less than 5 feet below the flood stage of 15.0 feet. The Newport stage was steady 13.78 feet (flood stage is 26.00 feet). The stage at Augusta is slightly on the drop at 25.99 feet, which is about at flood stage of 26.00 feet.
(updated 6-23-2022) 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 68,953 cfs. The stage at Pine Bluff is down 2 feet from last week to 31.57 feet (flood stage is 42 feet). Further upriver at the C.D. Maynard Lock and Dam near Redfield, the flow was 67,251 cfs.
(updated 6-23-2022) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team had no report this week. All pools on the Arkansas River had had weeks of a small craft warning. This is the first week in the past couple of months that flow has fallen below 100,000 cfs.
Cane Creek Lake
(updated 6-23-2022) 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 259.26 feet msl (normal pool: 259.20 feet msl; top flood elevation is 287.0 feet msl). Total outflow at the dam is 213 cfs.
(updated 6-23-2022) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said that as of Tuesday, Millwood Lake is at normal conservation pool, 259.2 feet msl and stable. Clarity improved this week along Little River and in the oxbows. Millwood Lake tailwater elevation is near 227 feet msl with gate discharge at the dam around 1,000 cfs in Little River, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. Check the most recent lake level of Millwood Lake on the guide service’s website linked above, or 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 as well as river buoys that may be out of the channel from recent high wind during any navigation on Little River and Millwood Lake.
Mike says he’s been out of pocket for the last few days but has been talking everyday with everyone and not much has changed in terms of fishing. The lake has warmed a little and the lake is at a stable level now. “A few more white bass were randomly found also late last week after last week’s report was published, and crappie are randomly biting like every 2-3 days,” he said.
Surface temps are stable this week, ranging 85-90 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 ranging 5-10 inches visibility depending on location. Clarity and visibility of oxbows are normal stain, and visibility is about 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 says the fishing specifics have not changed since last week:
* Largemouth bass are good in the early mornings and late evenings with best activity in the oxbows up Little River, early and late in the day. Bass have been moving horizontally out to deeper water drops and vertical structures during the 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 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 Vhatterbaits 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 largemouths have been recently caught and released from 4- to 6-pounds over the past several weeks.
Once the sun gets up above the tree line in the late morning, largemouths 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 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 – like Horseshoe, Clear Lake and McGuire – and will produce best topwater reactions. 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 blows up and misses your topwater bait, an immediate throwback past the missed strike with the Underspin and Lit’L Boss swimbait will get a reaction bite. “We are using the Underspin with a Chico”s Red Ear or 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 near grass and vegetation lines around lily pads and alligatorweed mats. Firetiger, Sexy Shad and Millwood Mayhem Bream colors are getting the best responses, catching keeper-size largemouths in oxbows, and in the pockets along the golf course and at Millwood State Park coves. “If you can find any remaining pond weed and emerging, standing vertical vegetation along Little River on the main lake body, these are good areas that will hold shad and largemouths willing to bust a Brazalo Spinnerbait.”
Bass Assassin Shads continue catching nice bass and best colors for the past few weeks include Salt n Pepper Silver Phantom, Houdini and Pumpkinseed/Chartreuse Shad colors. Work these in and around the same areas as the topwater frogs near new growth of vegetation lines, new bloom stands of lily pads, and buckbrush. Texas-rigged Bang Woopah Craws are working in these same areas near laydowns and stumps from 5-9 feet deep, and best colors in recent weeks have been the Okeechobee Craw, Black/Red Glitter and Blueberry. Bulky 10-inch Berkley Power Worms are working, and best colors of late have been Blue Fleck, Black Grape and Plum colors, fished in 8-9 feet of depth near stumps.
Salty Rat Tails, Senkos and Trick Worms continue randomly working in the edges of new lily pad stands and stumps near drop-offs from 7-10 feet deep in the oxbows. Best colors have been black/blue tail, Blue Glimmer or Blue Ice.
* The white bass schools have scattered over the past few weeks, and we are still searching for the large schools of whites. Nothing consistent this week.
* Crappie have been excellent over the past several weeks and have moved out from shallow cypress trees from spawning to planted brushpiles in 12-18 feet of depth in the oxbows and along Little River. The bite continues to be very good, just slightly deeper on planted brush along Little River. Healthy sized crappie around 2 to 2.25 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 over the past couple of weeks in the Southern Pro Crappie Stingers and Lit’l Hustlers have been black/chartreuse, Money, blue/silk/chartreuse swirl and black/orange.
* Catfish are consistent this week along Little River. For several weeks the Blues, Flatheads, and Channels were fair to good on 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 the west end, and in the oxbows along Little River. Largemouth bass are hanging nearby and will hit a bream-colored square-bill crankbait. The bream were hitting on redworms, crickets and bread at Millwood State Park a few days ago, just off the banks. It’s a good time to take a kid bream fishing on Millwood Lake!
(updated 6-0-2022) 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 547.33 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 406.12 feet msl (full pool: 408.00 feet msl).
(updated 6-23-2022) John Duncan of YoYo Guide Service at Iron Mountain Marina said, “Hey everyone, IT IS HOT!!! Wow, water temperatures are at 90 degrees and it’s June. Water level is 406.12 and down slightly. This heat wave and the increased water temperature is greatly changing the summer cycle of fishing. Some reports of surfacing fish near Shouse Ford and Lennox Marcus. Topwaters like Zara Spook, Torpedo and Chug Bug work well – shad color, of course. Watch for the fish to surface, look for birds, and look for boat concentrations. Spoons are always good and great for long cats. A-rigs will also work great.
Good reports on bream during the last full moon. Find the beds using side scan or perspective view on LS. Throw a drop-shot to beds with crickets or worms and hold on. You can also cast bobbers to the beds.
“Now let’s talk about my fish. Crappie! Well, this heat wave has definitely sped up the summer bite variables. The fish are holding tight to the brushpiles right now. You can catch them by casting jigs to the piles. Piles from 18-22 feet seem to be the best. Minnows with slip bobbers will produce a higher yield of bites over brush usually. Sniping is also a good producer but a different tactic completely. Fish slow and close to the cover. They will be in the timber soon.”
De Queen Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 436.38 feet msl (full pool: 437.00 feet msl).
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 526.68 feet msl (full pool: 526.00 feet msl).
White Oak Lake Area
(update 6-23-2022) Curtis Willingham at River Rat Bait in Camden (870-231-3831) said bream are good on redworms and crickets. Catfishing is good on the river. The Ouachita River is a little muddy but is coming down.
(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 6-23-2022) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports recent heavy rainfall caused Entergy to run very high generation flows and open flood gates below Carpenter Dam on Lake Catherine, and the Corps has been trying to lower Lake Ouachita and Hamilton from the recent higher water. The tailrace is treacherous and boaters and bank anglers are cautioned to remain off the water until flows have subsided to a much more stable pattern. 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 63,561 cfs. Elevation was 337.76 feet msl, with the tailwater at 291.30 feet msl. (Top navigation pool is 338.2 and bottom pool is 336.0.) The stage has dropped more than 10 feet from this time last week, to 10.82 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 hours 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 351.73 feet msl (normal pool: 344.59 feet msl; top flood elevation is 373.0 feet msl).
(updated 6-23-2022) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said Thursday morning that the water clarity is “pretty good” and Nimrod is reported by the Corps of Engineers to be about 7 feet above normal level. Bream are good on red worms and crickets. Crappie are good on minnows or on jigs (try green/chartreuse) and target brushpiles. Black bass are good, with best results coming on white spider bait. Catfishing is good on trotlines and yo-yos baited with black salties or bream.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 576.96 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 6-23-2022) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) said the number of crappie in the brushpiles are thinning out. Those that remain are deep inside. Brushpiles are loaded with bream of all sizes.
“Lately, we’ve been transitioning to catfish and walleye. We’re finding them near existing brushpiles on shallow water (18-24 feet of water depth) flats. The same depths can target walleye on rocky points and humps. I’ll be checking that as soon as next week.
“A little surface active on bass can be seen very early in the mornings. Trolling crankbaits or A-rigs is the ticket.”
(updated 6-23-2022) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) said black bass are good. Big Texas-rigged worm or creature bait fished in or near structure has been getting some decent reports. Try depths 18-22 feet near structure. Walleye are still good. A three-quarter-ounce CC Spoon vertically jigged near structure should produce some of these fish. Stripers are good. Live bait and trolling hair jigs are working best at this time on the eastern part of the lake. Bream are very good 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.
Water temperature is ranging 85-89 degrees. The lake level is 577.19 feet msl and the clarity is clear. Call the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717, or Chris Darby, 870-867-7822) for more information.
Blue Mountain Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 400.23 feet msl (full pool: 387.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 419.0 feet msl). That is a drop of 4 feet below last week’s level at this time.
White River/Clarendon Area
The Army Corps of Engineers on Thursday reported the Clarendon gauge is steady at 24.29 feet, nearly 2 feet below flood stage of 26.00 feet.
(updated 6-23-2022) Wil Hafner at the AGFC’s Cook’s Lake Nature Center (870-241-3373) reports that the White River level at Clarendon has finally dropped enough to access Cooks Lake. The lake will open for youth and mobility-impaired anglers during normal business hours starting on Tuesday, June 28, at 8 a.m. The lake is still high and the fishing will improve as the water drops to normal pool.
The best species to target right now will be largemouth bass. Any soft plastic that is black with red flake would be a great choice flipped to the banks or cypress trees. Bluegill should be near laydowns and willing to bite a cricket or redworm as well.
Cook’s Lake is a 2.5-mile long oxbow off of the White River, nestled in the heart of the Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge near Casscoe in Arkansas County. This fertile oxbow receives very little fishing pressure due to its use for education purposes and youth and mobility-impaired fishing only. The scenic lake is full of slab crappie, giant bluegills, largemouth bass and catfish of all species. Cook’s Lake will be open to fishing during normal business hours Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., water level pending. Cook’s Lake is open to fishing for youths under 16 or mobility-impaired anglers, and up to two helpers (who may also fish). Fish from the 140-foot mobility-impaired accessible dock or launch a boat. Please call ahead at least a day in advance to register to fish. Before launching, please check in at the Nature Center classroom and report back before leaving. For information or unscheduled closures, call the center at 870-241-3373.
(updated 6-23-2022) Kent Williams of Oxbow Guide Service (870-278-7978) had no new updates.
Bear Creek Lake/Storm Creek Lake
(updated 6-23-2022) Call the Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) for the latest updates.
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