Arkansas Wildlife Weekly Fishing Report
BY Jim Harris
Aug. 25, 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:
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 8-25-2022) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said bream are good on redworms, crickets and hair-tie jigs. Crappie are 5 feet deep around cypress trees on minnows and jigs. Catfish are good on trotlines with goldfish, bream, nightcrawlers and dough baits. Bass are fair on Rebel Pop-R-style baits and worms in between the lily pads. Water is almost back to normal level and has the normal Lake Conway stain.
Little Red River
The Army Corps of Engineers reports the outflow at Greers Ferry Dam to be 20 cfs (turbine) as of noon Thursday, Aug. 25. Generation on Wednesday started up at 3 p.m. and was about 6,200cfs between 5-7 p.m. Greers Ferry Lake is 4.9 feet below normal conservation pool. 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 8-25-2022) Mike Winkler of Little River Fly Fishing Trips (501-507-3688) said the Southwestern Power Administration (www.swpa.org) continues to run a consistent generation schedule, usually starting at 2 p.m. and running until 6 p.m., with two generators. The weekend generation schedule has been cut back with them running usually for two hours. Always check the Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock app before heading out.
Pheasant tails, Guide’s Choice Hare’s Ear and midges have been working great, along with small streamer patterns.
(Updated 8-25-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said water is clear. Trout are good on pink and white Trout Magnets above and below the shoals. Trout are also biting one-sixteenth-ounce olive Maribou Jigs.
(updated 8-18-2022) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service (501-230-0730) said that with cooler temperatures, he is seeing a decrease in generation compared to the past few weeks. As of this writing (Wednesday), Greers Ferry Dam is generating two hours late afternoon. This pattern will provide wading opportunities on the upper river in the mornings and down on the lower river in the afternoons. Lowell suggests small pheasant tails, hare’s ear, Frenchie or midges for fly-fishing. For Trout Magnet fishing, hot pink-colored bodies on chartreuse or gold jigheads are recommended.
Greers Ferry Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 457.64 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.54 feet msl, top flood elevation 487.0 msl).
(updated 8-25-2022) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 457.65 feet msl and falling with generation, now 4.89 feet below normal pol for this time of year. It will probably continue to fall or stay close to same until spring rains.
The overall bite has been good pretty much all year and just getting better day by day as weather and time of year change. Black bass are on the bank out to 60 feet of water eating a variety of baits throughout the day and night. Drag something, reel something or just target specific fish or schools with something as most will work.
Crappie are shallow to deep as well, from 10 feet to 60. Jigs, crankbaits and minnows are working. Walleye are moving around flats eating spoons, drop-shot worms and crawlers as well as minnows in 18-40 feet.
Catfishing is good on rod-and-reels and lines. Again, a variety of bait options are working shallow to 50 feet. Bream are guarding fry with lots of them roaming around ready to eat anything that moves, from artificial baits to crawlers and crickets. They are shallow to 25 feet. Hybrid and white bass are chewing real well and roaming over flats and corners and bends 15-60 feet.
(updated 8-25-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood dropped in again on Greers Ferry Lake to see how the fish were biting. Water is now 4 feet low and is clear. Black bass are good in deeper waters (25-30 feet) on swimbaits or drop-shots in morning dawn or Martin’s Madness colors. Crappie are good in 30 feet of water on drop-shots with minnows around standing timber. Walleye are good drop-shotting nightcrawlers are the main lake points in 25-30 feet of water.
Harris Brake Lake
(updated 8-25-2022) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) said Thursday morning that catfish are good around the docks. Bass are good on topwater baits. Bream are good on crickets and redworms. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Water level is low and really muddy.
(updated 8-25-2022) Lacey Williams at Lakeview Landing on Arkansas Highway 95 (501-242-1437) said the water level is low. The bream are biting early in the morning. Use redworms. You may be able to catch a bass or two in the morning or late evening; use minnows.
(update 8-25-2022) David Hall at Dad’s Bait Shop (501-289-2210) says bass are coming up to the top in the afternoons around the shoreline on white spinnerbaits, plastic minnows, worms and crickets. Bream are good on redworms around the brush. Crappie are 6 feet deep over underwater brushpiles in the channels spider-rigging on crappie minnows and Baby Shad plastics. Catfish are good on small goldfish and stink bait and nightcrawlers on the bottom. Water is normal level and a little cloudy.
(updated 8-25-2022) WestRock Landing in Roland (501-658-5598) hasn’t heard many angler reports this week. The water temperature is 82 degrees, which ought to be just right for August fishing and more reports, they say. What they have heard is that the catfish are biting well. They’re rolling on top.
Bream are fair. They’re shallow, about 6 feet (you can see the bass chasing them by the shoreline). Black bass are fair. The best bite is in the morning and then in the evenings shallow. Some are being found deep.
White bass are still schooling but are not staying up for long.
(updated 8-18-2022) Hatchet Jack’s Sports Shop at Crystal Hill (501-758-4958) reports that bream are good on redworms and crickets. Catfish are good in the evenings on Super Worms.
(updated 8-18-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) reports that bass are good in 3-6 feet of water in the grassy areas on Texas-rigged Senkos or black spinnerbaits, mainly at night.
Arkansas River at Morrilton
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Ormond Lock and Dam was 3,128 cfs. The stage at Morrilton is at 9.60 feet (flood stage is 30 feet). Flow further upriver at Dardanelle Lock and Dam the flow was 175 cfs.
Little Maumelle River
(updated 8-25-2022) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) says water is normal and fairly clear. Temperature is in the low 80s. Crappie are good in 3 feet of water on minnows. Bass are good shallow on topwater baits and plastic worms. Catfish are good on chicken liver. No report on bream.
Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Toad Suck Lock and Dam was 1,973 cfs.
Arkansas River (Little Rock Area Pools)
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Murray Lock and Dam was 16 cfs. The elevation is 249.18 feet msl and the tailwater is at 231.30 feet msl. The stage in the Little Rock pool was at 7.58 feet (flood stage is 23 feet). Flow at the Terry Lock and Dam was 766 cfs.
(updated 8-25-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) says water is normal level and stained, but clearing up. Bass are good on topwater (Zara Spooks) early and late in the day. Bass are also good on white and black buzzbaits. When the sun comes up, use a shaky head in three-sixteenth-ounce with a redbug Trick Worm or in plum apple. Finesse jigs around the jetties are good as well in green-pumpkin orange.
(updated 8-25-2022) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said black bass are schooling in the Little Rock pool on square-billed crankbaits, topwater baits and Whopper Ploppers. Crappie are good in 8-10 feet depth off the end of jetties. Bream are good in the backwaters on crickets. Catfish are fair below the dams on skipjack.
Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 8-18-2022) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said Wednesday that catfish are good on skipjack and shad. Other species have been pretty slow.
(update 8-18-2022) Donna Mulherin at Herman’s Landing (870-626-6899) said the lake level is low and now she is seeing quite a few stumps showing. Catfishing is good on usual catfish baits. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. No other reports came in that mentioned bass or bream.
(updated 8-25-2022) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said, “The White River winds through the Arkansas Ozarks and offers an angler the opportunity to catch more trout than in any other stream in the country. After a week or two of brutal heat, we’re enjoying a week of cooler temperatures. Bull Shoals Lake has arrived at power pool (661 feet msl) after several months of high lake levels and heavy generation into the White River. Beginning this week, the river level is near minimum flow all day followed by heavy generation late in the afternoon, falling back to minimum flow before dawn.
“The release schedule makes for great wade fishing, so take advantage of the easy access. Extra skill and knowledge of the river are required to keep a john boat floating, however. Please be considerate and thoughtful of your fellow anglers. Low river levels make for a great time to catch trout and we have 60-plus miles to share.” Sunrise-colored Power Eggs have been a favorite this week for both shore fishers and anglers in boats. The browns are still biting at sculpins and soft-shell crawdads (keep the Rebel Wee Craw handy). The ruby midge has been the go-to fly to tie on. Pull out your hopper flies; the end of August, first of September, is the best grasshopper crop of the year and the trout are looking for them.
“Keep anglin’ and we’ll see you on the river.”
(updated 8-25-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service said Monday that during the past week they had an inch and a half of rainfall, warm temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell 3.2 feet to rest at 0.4 foot above power pool of 661 feet msl. This is 33.6 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock Lake fell 0.4 foot to rest at 4.2 feet below power pool and 18.2 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.2 foot to rest at 0.5 foot below power pool or 9.1 feet below the top of flood pool. The White has had no wadable water. On the White, the hot spot has been Rim Shoals. “We have had lower flows in the morning that have been fished well. 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 cerise San Juan worm with a pheasant tail nymph.”
(updated 8-25-2022) Dave McCulley, owner of Jenkins Fishing Service in Calico Rock, said fishing conditions continue to be very good, and with the expected lower water levels, fishing will get even better. Bull Shoals Lake has finally reached the power pool level of 661 feet msl and as a result, anglers on the White River will see much lower water levels. Drift-fishing with inline spinners with Power Eggs and shrimp will continue to work well. Artificial lures are very effective in low water conditions. Throw gold-colored quarter-ounce spoons, Rapala Countdowns, Blue Fox lures or any lure that creates a flash in the water. With the lower water, be aware of underwater obstacles. Rocks and gravel bars will be shallower, and hitting them can damage the lower unit of a motor.
Bull Shoals Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 660.85 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 661.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 695.00 feet msl). Total outflow from the dam at noon Thursday was 8,312 cfs, with release on Wednesday between 1 and 8 p.m. of 15,000-21,600 cfs. The reported lake elevation at Table Rock Lake was 912.40 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 917.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 931.0 feet msl), with outflow of 2,138 cfs.
(updated 8-18-2022) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said Thursday that the lake level is at 663 feet, only about 5 feet high, and almost back to normal. The constant generating from Bull Shoals Dam has stopped. Water temperature is about 85 degrees.
Typical summer patterns are working. The cooler nights have the shad starting to move. There are always shallow fish, especially with recent rains. Target channel swings, points and ledges close to deep water. Whooper Plopper, buzzbait and a topwater Lucky Craft Gunfish are working early in the day. When topwater slows, use a half-ounce flutter spoon in a shad pattern and a small swimbait. Then move to a Mooneye Tater Shad or drop-shot a Jewel Spoon. Most of the shad are suspended at 25-35 feet. Almost all species are present. A lot of fish have moved up into the brushpiles and are coming into play with lowering water levels. The creek fish have pulled back with the water coming down. Topwater will slow down when the sun starts getting high. Move out with a Jewel Special Ops football jig in green pumpkin-orange variations and keep the boat out around 40 feet. Fishing is good around channel swings, standing timber, ledges and laydowns. Use a Beaver/Big Worm Ole Monster in green-pumpkin, red or red shad, or plum as well. Fish the conditions.
Del regularly posts new YouTube videos. Visit his 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 555.69 feet msl (normal conservation pool: Sept.-April, 553.75 feet msl; April-Sept. 556.25 feet msl; top flood elevation 580.0 feet msl). Total outflow from Norfork Dam at noon Thursday was 495 cfs. Heavier generation was seen Wednesday (over 5,000 cfs) between 11 a.m. and midnight.
(updated 8-25-2022) Steven “Scuba Steve” Street at Blackburn’s Resort said Wednesday the lake level was 555.92 feet msl and had dropped over 3 inches in the last 24 hours with more generation than before. “We are approaching the 555.75 level of power pool and will hit that level on Wednesday but are still about 4 feet higher than what is normal for this date. The lake is in excellent condition for swimming, boating and fishing with a surface water temperature of 85 degrees. The water is clear down to the thermocline at 30 feet on the main lake but stained in the creeks.”
Several fish of different species are in 30-38 feet of water with the most being on main lake points on or near brush. The new news is that there has been a topwater bite in the mornings at about 8 a.m. for the last few days, for some reason. Stripers, black bass and white bass are all together and pushing up shad. It has been lasting for almost two hours. Casting spoons and Zara Spooks has been catching a lot of fish. The rest of the time, fish off points in 35-40 feet of water, tapping bottom with the spoon for walleye. Some crappie have moved to brushpiles at 35 feet, but not a lot. Cast the jig past the brush and let it sink into it.
The after-dark fishing for largemouth bass is about over. The moon is small and the catfishing is getting better on both prepared bait and live bluegill. Trollers are catching a mixture of bass and walleye dragging crankbaits in 35 feet of water but the walleye are mostly undersized. Fishing is better than it usually is for the end of August and the weather has been beautiful.
For a daily fishing report and lake condition go to www.blackburnsresort.com and click on Scuba Steve’s Blog.
(updated 8-25-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Norfork Lake fell 1.3 feet to rest at 0.7 foot above power pool of 555.75 feet msl and 23.5 feet below the top of flood pool. There has been more wadable water on the Norfork tailwater in the morning. 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 eighteen 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 back in session and the creek is not as busy. Weekends can still get quite crowded. The hot flies have been sowbugs, various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise) and white mop flies. Small orange or peach eggs have been very effective. Carry a large net, as most fish are lost at the net.
Remember that the White River, Norfork tailwater and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.
John also said, “As a working fly-fishing guide and avid angler, I am constantly going online to check water conditions. The White River system is considered to be the sixth most dangerous body of water in the United States. Since many of our rivers are tailwaters, our river levels are subject to fast and substantial changes in water flow. In order for me and my clients to be safe, I need to know what is going to happen.
“The prediction that I am writing about is the projected loading schedule of the Southwestern Power Administration. I go to my cell phone to obtain this. It is generally available late afternoon (3:30 p.m. or later) Monday through Friday for the next day. On Friday, you get the information for Saturday, Sunday or Monday. I find this on the USACE Little Rock app.
Last Friday afternoon (5 p.m.) I consulted the SWPA projected loading schedule for Saturday. I was interested in wade fishing the Norfork tailwater. There had been wadable water there for several days in the morning. I was seeking the generation schedule for two reasons.
First, I did not want to needlessly drive from my house in Cotter to the Ackerman Access on the Norfork. This drive takes me about a half-hour and in these days of expensive gasoline I did not want to make the trip unless I knew the water was down. I have done that before only to look out my windshield to see rising water as I arrived.
Second, I wanted to know when conditions were to be safe for wading. It is approximately four miles from the Norfork dam to the confluence of the White and North Fork rivers. The water moves about 4 miles an hour. It would take about 30 minutes for the rising water to travel from the dam to the area I would be fishing (the catch-and-release section).|
This area is a couple of miles downstream of the dam. The Army Corps of Engineers sounds a loud horn a few minutes before beginning generation. You cannot hear the horn this far from the dam. Therefore it is imperative that I know when generation is scheduled to start, so that I can safely leave before the water rises.
When the USACE Little Rock app came up on my iPhone, I noted that the SWPA had not updated the projected loading schedule for the following Saturday, Sunday or Monday. I had no reliable information to help me safely plan my trip.
“I could have called the Corps of Engineers generation number (870) 431-5311. I have found this to not be useful. They give you information on what they are doing now. Not what they are going to do. I kept checking the app all weekend. It was never updated until Monday afternoon for the next day. It was never updated for Saturday, Sunday or Monday.
“We need updated generation information in order to safely fish our rivers!”
Buffalo National River/Crooked Creek
(Updated 8-25-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Crooked Creek and the Buffalo River are low. With hot temperatures, the smallmouths are less 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 1,120.72 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.43 feet msl; top flood elevation is 1,130.0 feet msl). The release at the dam as of 1 p.m. Thursday was 3,852 cfs. The Corps released about 3,800 cfs between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Wednesday.
(updated 8-25-2022) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) said Beaver Lake is sitting a tad below normal levels and the water is hovering in low 80s. “Fishing has seem to hit the dog days and the fish are really off and on right now. One day the bite is good and the next it gets really tough. I expect this for the next four to five weeks and as water cools and lake turns over. Once turnover happens we will be on to fall fishing. Just need to ride this out for a bit.”
Stripers are spread out from Point 6 to the dam. Look for bait and fish should be nearby. Walleye have been picked up on crawler harnesses. Look from the rocky point up to islands at Prairie Creek. Crappie are suspended and on brush. Look in 15-25 feet depth. Jigs and trolled cranks will work. Catfish are good “and we are picking lots on crawler harnesses. Be safe and good luck!”
Visit Jon’s Facebook page for latest updates, FishOn Guide Service Goshen AR.
(updated 8-25-2022) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said fishing is fair. Water is normal and clear. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs around brush. Bream are fair on redworms and crickets. Walleye are good dragging bottom bouncers and spoons in deep water. Bass are fair at night on spinnerbaits, plastics and jigs around brush and rocky banks. Stripers are fair. Catfish are fair on jug lines and rods-and-reels on chicken liver and worms.
(updated 8-25-2022) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said that nothing much has really changed from last week except for the weather. This week has been good on the tailwater. The Army Corps of Engineers generation into the evening has not stopped the bite. “In fact, it increases the bite in most cases,” Austin said. “Most of our fish were caught using light terminal tackle and 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 a little deep.”
The hot spot for trout has been above Spider Creek. Try hitting the deeper holes, looking for slack water during generation. The white bass and walleye are still up toward Holiday Island, but you need to look for them. 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 8-18-2022) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said Wednesday that crappie “are OK” on minnows. Bream are “really good” on worms, they said. Bass are picking up on topwater and plastics. Catfish are good on “a little bit of everything – worms and jigs, even.”
(updated 8-25-2022) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) has had no recent reports. As school begins at Fayetteville and temperature drops, they expect more anglers out.
(updated 8-25-2022) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) said anglers will want to be fishing through Tuesday, Aug. 30, as these represent the best days for fishing based on “moon times.” Bream are biting well no matter what, with good results on worms, crickets and jigs. Catfish have been fair, mostly biting cut bait. She had heard no reports on crappie or bass over the past week, through her Monday report. Surface water temperature was 76.8 degrees. The water is murky and high. After this week, she notes that Sept. 6-10 should be “good” days based on the moon times.
(updated 8-11-2022) Seth Boone, the superintendent at Lake Poinsett State Park, reported that bream have been biting well on crickets and worms. Catfish are biting on nightcrawlers and other smelly things. Bass are biting on spinnerbaits, but are still catch and release. Crappie are catch and release as well.
(updated 8-25-2022) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) reported that catfish are still being caught at night. Bass are slow. Bream are good around the shores on redworms and crickets.
(updated 8-25-2022) 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 boats and rafts are here. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive Woolly Buggers with a bit of flash, cerise and hot pink San Juan worms and Y2Ks.
(updated 8-25-2022) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) had no recent reports. Visit Mark’s website for any updates at springriverfliesandguides.com; his blog is at springriverfliesandguides.com/blog.
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 55 cfs. The stage at Pine Bluff is steady at 31.36 feet (flood stage is 42 feet).
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 259.41 feet msl (normal pool: 259.20 feet msl; top flood elevation is 287.0 feet msl). Total outflow at the dam is 862 cfs, an amount being steadily released this week and for the past couple of weeks.
(updated 8-25-2022) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said Wednesday afternoon that the lake is on a slight rise from normal conservation pool. Clarity is heavy stained this week along Little River, and oxbows from recent 5-8 inches rainfall in the region. Millwood Lake tailwater elevation is near 225 feet msl with gate discharge at the dam of four gates at 0.5 feet, near 872 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 during any navigation on Little River and Millwood Lake.
Surface temps are stable this week, ranging in 82-88 degrees depending on location and the time of day. Current along Little River has heavy stain this week from recent flash flooding and muddy in areas further up Little River with river clarity ranging 2-5 inches visibility depending on location. Further up Little River near White Cliffs and Wilton Landing has heavier stain conditions.
Mike had these fishing specifics this week:
* Largemouth bass continue biting best early and late, relating shallow to stumps, vegetation, lily pads and cypress knees at dawn and late afternoons. Some feeding periods have moved to the night shift. Bass have been very good on topwater lures for the past couple of weeks around emerging new lily pad stands and vegetation at daylight. Chunky 2- to 3-pound bass have been striking various topwater lures on shallow flats near stumps and laydowns early for the past few weeks. Good bass will randomly bust a buzzbait, Bass Assassin Shad or topwater plastic frogs in the pads early.
Big, 7-inch bulky Brush Hogs, 10-inch Power Worms, Bass Assassin Bang RSB 7.25-inch worms and XX Fat Job Trick Worms have been good with best colors over the past couple of weeks being Watermelon-Candy, Gooseberry, Blackberry or Redbug. Largemouth bass from 2-4 pounds are fair to good, with an occasional 5-pounder blowup, on topwaters early at daybreak near cypress tree knees and lily pads. Bill Lewis Stuttersteps, Storm Chug Bugs, Shad Assassins, Heddon Crippled Crazy Crawlers, Cordell Crazy Shads and jitterbugs all continue drawing good, random reactions on topwater at daybreak.
Best locations for working bulky Power Worms range from 5-10 feet deep in McGuire, Horseshoe, Clear Lake or Mud Lake oxbows, around grass mats after morning topwater bite subsides, and in the same areas where the topwater early bite is aggressive. Continue moving deeper in the creek channels or to the points where the creek junctions the oxbow as the sun rises and begins to heat up the flats adjacent to creek channels.
The medium-diving crankbaits like the Bomber Fat Free Guppy or Fat Free Fingerlings still work across 5- to 9-feet deep flats adjacent to 10- to 15-feet deep creek channel swings in the oxbows; Bill Lewis MR-6 and Echo 1.75 square-bill crankbaits continue working in ditches and deep creek outer swings where creekmouths and sloughs feed and dump into Little River (if you can find a decent water clarity along Little River). The square bills along with Rat-L-Traps continue working with Tennessee Shad, Toledo Gold and Millwood Magic colors drawing best reactions from White Cliffs Campgrounds to Brown’s Creek.
Brazalo Spinnerbaits in Millwood Mayhem Bream, white/chartreuse and Spot Remover are working around vegetation mats and stumps from 6-9 feet deep near stumps on windy days in the oxbows.
* Whites/hybrids continue roaming Little River and the oxbows, and have been caught on vertical-jigged spoons along Little River. Rat-L-Traps in Millwood Magic, Fat Free Shad crankbaits in Citrus Shad color, Little Georges, beetle spins, Rooster Tails and Rocket Shads from about 10-12 feet deep were catching whites randomly in the oxbows. Schooling whites have been noted in the back of McGuire and Horseshoe oxbows off Little River early at daybreak on flats adjacent to deeper drops in the depths from 5-10 feet deep at random intervals over the past several weeks. Most of the white bass schools are still random and broken, although a few bass have been found up Little River near White Cliffs campground.
* Crappie are hit and miss over the past couple weeks, continuing to relate to cover and planted brushpiles by vertical-jigging Bass Assassin 1.5-inch Tiny Shads, minnows and jigs from 10-15 feet of depth out of any remaining current in Little River. Best colors have been Electric Chicken, Mississippi Hippie, Monkey Milk or combinations thereof. Spinning jigs and Blakemore Road Runners were also vertically jigging up a few decent-sized crappie late last week. Crappie have been suspended in and over planted brushpiles in 12-15 feet of depth in the oxbows and along Little River over the past several weeks. Bite has been very random, best from daylight to around 9 a.m. Best colors working over the past couple weeks for tube jigs have been in Monkey Milk, Smokey Shad Gray colors, or on the Southern Pro Crappie Stingers and Lit’l Hustlers have been black/chartreuse, Money, Blue/Silk/Chartreuse swirl and black/orange. Cordell smoke-colored paddle-tail grubs caught a few suspended crappie in brush in McGuire late over the past weekend.
No reports on bream.
* Catfish have been best over the past couple weeks at night on trotlines and yo-yos set along outer bends of the river in stump rows of old river timber from 15-20 feet deep with chicken livers, hearts, gizzards, cut buffalo and blood bait working late over the weekend, and in the oxbows on hung yo-yos from cypress trees if you could keep all the alligators off them and retrieve the fish quickly once hooked.
(updated 8-25-2022) Lake Erling Guide Service (870-904-8546) said Thursday morning that they had no new reports. The lake is up over a foot and is muddy. When conditions were better last week (down a foot below normal and mostly clear), they said that crappie were beginning to get on the trees in around 16-18 feet of water and biting well on jigs and silver minnows. Bream were good on crickets, catfish were excellent, and anglers were catching a few schooling bass.
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 542.45 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 400.71 feet msl (full pool: 408.00 feet msl).
(updated 8-11-2022) Randy Plyler with Plyler Outdoors Guide Service (870-210-0522) reported that bass fishing has picked up significantly with the cooler, partly cloudy weather. Bass have been schooling early in the morning and can be caught on topwater walking baits. When the fish are not schooling on the surface, try throwing Rooster Tails, small jerkbaits or a small lipless crankbait. When the bass go deep, fish vertically over them with a small spoon or a drop-shot rig. White bass and hybrids can be found in the creeks and caught with topwater walking baits as well. Crappie and bream are around brushpiles in 15-25 feet of water. Crappie can be caught on minnows. Bream can be caught on crickets.
De Queen Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 432.68 feet msl (full pool: 437.00 feet msl).
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 523.73 feet msl (full pool: 526.00 feet msl).
White Oak Lake Area
(update 8-25-2022) Curtis Willingham at River Rat Bait in Camden (870-231-3831) had no reports this week.
(updated 8-18-2022) Donald Ramirez at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) says bream are good on redworms. Anglers also are catching a few catfish on chicken liver, and some reported catching a few small bass.
Lake Catherine Tailwater (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s flow at Dardanelle Lock and Dam as 0 cfs. Elevation was 337.66 feet msl and the tailwater is at 284.57 feet msl. (Top navigation pool is 338.2 and bottom pool is 336.0.) The stage is at 4.29 feet (flood stage is 32 feet).
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was at 343.60 feet msl (normal pool: 344.51 feet msl; top flood elevation is 373.0 feet msl).
(updated 8-25-2022) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said Wednesday that fish have moved up into more shallow water. Crappie are good pulling crankbaits and little Bandits in 4-6 feet depth. Catfish are good on shad and perch. Flathead cats are good on limb lines with live bait. Bream are fair up in the river on redworms and crickets.
Black bass are good on Rat-L-Traps in shallow water.
Water has cooled off to 82 degrees and is clear.
(updated 8-25-2022) Hatchet Jack’s Sports Shop in Crystal Hill off I-40 (758-4958) heard from anglers that crappie are good on jigs in 15 feet of water and bream on crickets at 2 feet deep in the middle of the lake. Bream are good anywhere around the beds on crickets and redworms. Catfish are good on the river on shad and skipjack.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 571.48 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 8-25-2022) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out-of-state) said black bass are still fair. A drop-shot pattern with a finesse worm is working for spots (Kentucky bass). Walleye are very good. A three-quarter-ounce. CC Spoon vertically jigged near structure should produce some of these fish and a nightcrawler fished on a drop-shot will work, too. Stripers are very good. Live bait and trolling hair jigs are working best at this time on the eastern part of the lake; try between Brady and the dam. Bream are still good on crickets or worms 15-25 feet deep on structure. Crappie are fair on small jigs or minnows. Try brush 20-30 feet deep. Catfish are still fair on rod-and-reel with hot dogs or nightcrawlers. Water temperature has fallen, ranging 82-86 as of Wednesday. Water clarity is stained. Lake level is 571.49 feet msl. 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 385.52 feet msl (full pool: 387.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 419.0 feet msl).
White River/Clarendon Area
The Army Corps of Engineers on Thursday reported the Clarendon gauge is steady at 21.12 feet, almost 5 feet below the flood stage of 26.00 feet.
(updated 8-18-2022) The AGFC’s Wil Hafner at Potlatch Cook’s Lake Nature Center (870-241-3373) says he had nothing new to report from Cook’s Lake, other than the lake being on the rise while the bite has fallen off. “Hopefully this cooler weather will get some more anglers out and about!” The lake has been on a rise and the bite has fallen off. Hopefully this cooler weather will get some more anglers out and about!
Cook’s Lake is open to fishing for youths under 16 or mobility-impaired anglers, and up to two helpers (who may also fish). 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. 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, please call the center at 870-241-3373. The lake continues to rise after recent rains and the action is slowing down. Bass anglers are having the most luck flipping green pumpkin or black-and-blue jigs to cypress trees. Some bass are being caught in deeper water using forward-facing sonar. A few have been reported to be taken on white spinnerbaits in running water. The bream bite has slowed a bit, but some are still being caught in about 2 feet of water on crickets and redworms. The bite should pick up this week with the peak full moon. Crappie are being caught here and there while bass fishing.
Note: msl is mean sea level; cfs is cubic feet per second.
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