Arkansas Wildlife Weekly Fishing Report
BY Jim Harris
Sept. 1, 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: Zach Baird from Howard, Colorado, was throwing a small articulated streamer pattern called the “Swim Coach” on a 7-weight rod with a 200 grain sink line in low water of the Little Red River and ended up pulling this brown trout off the bank on an evening trip. Photo provided by Mike Winkler.
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 9-1-2022) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said bream are good on redworms, crickets and hair-tie jigs. Crappie are good on minnows and small jigs. Catfish are good on bream, nightcrawlers, shad, stink bait, skipjack, chicken liver, black goldfish, trotline minnows and dough bait. Bass are fair on Rebel Pop-Rs, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, Rat-L-Traps, frogs and worms. Water is a little low and the normal Lake Conway stain.
Little Red River
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 9-1-2022) Mike Winkler of Little River Fly Fishing Trips (501-507-3688) said that with Greers Ferry Lake at 5.3 feet below pool and daytime temperatures in the low 90s, the Southwestern Power Administration has been running a fairly consistent generation schedule on weekdays usually starting at 3 p.m. and going till 5 p.m. of 7 p.m. with two units of water running. The weekend generation schedule has been basically the same with some reduced flows. Mike says he would expect the same schedule to continue. Always check the USACE Little Rock app before heading out.
The current generation schedule has opened up the entire river for wade fishing. The best bite has been early mornings before it starts to get hot. Try fishing the deep holes and oxygenated riffles and alongside the moss beds. Pheasant tails, Guide’s Choice Hare’s Ears, sowbug patterns and midges have been working great while fishing underneath an indicator.
Fishing the falling water from the boat has been good while drift-fishing.
The streamer bite has been producing some nice browns while stripping small streamer patterns on a sink line or intermediate sink tip while fishing the falling water from the boat.
(updated 9-1-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said water is clear. Trout are good on one-eighth-ounce Rooster Tail, pink Trout Magnet or worm, as well as one-sixteenth-ounce olive Maribou Jigs above or just below the shoals.
(updated 9-1-2022) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service (501-230-0730) said that as of this writing, Greers Ferry Dam is generating four hours late afternoon on weekdays with less generation on weekends. This pattern will provide wading opportunities on the upper river in the mornings and on the lower river in the afternoons. Lowell suggests small pheasant tails, hare’s ear, Frenchies, and midges for fly-fishing. For Trout Magnet fishing, he recommends hot pink and cotton candy 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 (501-3625150) 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 457.19 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.54 feet msl, top flood elevation 487.0 msl).
(updated 9-1-2022) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level Wednesday evening at Greers Ferry Lake was at 457.18 feet msl and falling with generation, 5.36 feet below normal pool 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, 10-60 feet. 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. Try shallow to 25 feet. Hybrid bass and white bass are chewing real well and roaming over flats and corners and bends from 15-60 feet.
(updated 9-1-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said water is a few feet low and clear. Bass are good in 22-25 feet of water on drop-shot or a single swimbait (2.5-3 inch) and using underspin. Crappie are good in 25 feet of water on drop-shot minnows around the base of standing timber. Walleye are good on drop-shot nightcrawlers on main lake points in 25 feet of water
Harris Brake Lake
(updated 9-1-2022) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) said crappie are good on minnows and jigs in the early morning. Catfish are good at night. Bream are good at night on redworms and crickets. Black bass are good as well, though no baits were suggested (topwaters will work now, though, as well as soft-plastic worms). Water is low and muddy.
(updated 9-1-2022) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) off Arkansas Highway 9 said Overcup’s water level is about 1.5 feet low and clarity is murky. Surface temperature is around 82 degrees. Bream are slow and not many being caught, except little ones. Black bass are slow as well. Crappie are hard to fish because of the stumps. Catfish are being caught on trotline baited with Zote soap and nightcrawlers. “Can’t say much because there’s not a lot of people fishing now,” Johnny added. “We have all the minnows, crickets, worms and goggle eye in stock. Come see us at Overcup Bait Shop off Highway 9.”
(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 9-1-2022) David Hall at Dad’s Bait Shop (501-289-2210) says fishing this week mirrors last week’s activity. 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 3,144 cfs. The stage at Morrilton is at 9.65 feet (flood stage is 30 feet). Flow further upriver at Dardanelle Lock and Dam the flow was 1,081 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 2,049 cfs.
Arkansas River (Little Rock Area Pools)
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Murray Lock and Dam was 1,571 cfs. The elevation is 249.24 feet msl and the tailwater is at 230.95 feet msl. The stage in the Little Rock pool was at 7.28 feet (flood stage is 23 feet). Flow at the Terry Lock and Dam was 0 cfs.
(updated 9-1-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) says water is about normal and is stained, but clearing up some. Black bass are good on the main river on jetties or sandbar drops in the early morning or late evening on topwaters (bone-colored Spooks or white/black buzzbaits). Bass are also good during the day around sandbars on Carolina rigs, shaky heads and flutter spoons. Anglers also report them biting well on the jetties on five-sixteenth-ounce and seven-sixteenth-ounce finesse jigs, Texas-rigged worms and shaky heads.
(updated 9-1-2022) Hatchet Jack’s Sports Shop at Crystal Hill (501-758-4958) says fishing has been consistent, which is hit or miss, over the past couple of weeks. Catfish are good on skipjack in the river. Flatheads are good around the hydroelectric plant at Murray Lock and Dam. Bream are good on redworms.
(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 9-1-2022) Donna Mulherin at Herman’s Landing (870-626-6899) said crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Catfish are good on chicken liver and hot dogs. Water is low and stumps are showing. No reports came in mentioning bass or bream.
(updated 9-1-2022) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said the White River watershed has seen some rain this week, usually less than predicted in the Cotter area and mostly much appreciated. River clarity has remained very good and trout catching has been phenomenal. Water levels have continued to fluctuate as they have over the last month with very low water levels in the morning hours, much higher generation in the late afternoon. Bull Shoals Lake is slightly below power pool at 660 feet msl. “When the channels are narrow due to limited generation, please share the space. Regardless of experience or technique, we’re all part of the family of trout-loving fishers.”
The rainbow catches were lured in mainly with sunrise or pink PowerBait tipped with shrimp on a size 8 Aberdeen or bait holder hook. It’s a good idea to use bronze hooks to decrease harm to the trout. Another favored bait for a great catch has been fresh, soft-shell crawdads – when drifted mid-depth you’ll likely increase your catch count. Dangling a redworm or a nightcrawler near the bank during rises in the water level is most always a sure catch, too. Then return to tying on a heavier spoon or a favorite jerkbait when the rise levels off.
Reminder: It’s late summer so hopper season is upon us; pull out your hopper flies and make your way to the river. September fishing is so laid-back compared to the hectic spring and summer months. The river provides even more of an escape now than at any other time. All the first-day-of-school preparation is behind us, no demanding holiday schedules yet. Life is good. Come share it with us.
(updated 9-1-2022) Dave McCulley, owner of Jenkins Fishing Service in Calico Rock, says he feels “like I’m a broken record saying the same thing each week but it isn’t a bad thing when I’m reporting the fishing has been very good. We are seeing water cresting in the morning at approximately 8 feet and dropping throughout the day to 4-5 feet. The water has some dinginess in the morning but by noon the water clears. Drift-fishing with inline spinners with a silver-colored Colorado spoon and sunrise or orange Power Eggs and shrimp continues to work best. With the low water, quarter-ounce gold-colored spoons, Rapala Countdowns and Blue Fox lures are working well when fished over the gravel bars. There were two stockings for a total of over 2,700 rainbow trout. The river will be busy this weekend. Be careful and respectful of other anglers and boaters 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.”
Bull Shoals Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 660.03 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 661.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 695.00 feet msl). Total outflow from the dam at 2 p.m. Thursday was 9,866 cfs, with release on Wednesday between 1 and 7 p.m. of 11,000-23,000 cfs. The reported lake elevation at Table Rock Lake was 911.83 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 917.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 931.0 feet msl), with outflow of 1,552 cfs.
(updated 9-1-2022) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said Wednesday that the lake is almost back to normal water level. The constant generating has stopped. Water temperature is 84 degrees, give or take a degree. The 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. Whopper Plopper, buzzbaits and topwater Lucky Craft Gunfish are working early in the day. When the topwater bite 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 30-35 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. The morning topwater bite 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 Beaver or a Big Worm Ole Monster in green-pumpkin red or red shad plum. 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 555.02 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 2 p.m. Thursday was 486 cfs. Heavier generation was seen Wednesday (over 5,000 cfs) between 1 p.m. and 9 p.m.
(updated 9-1-2022) Steven “Scuba Steve” Street at Blackburn’s Resort said the lake level is 555.13 feet msl and is dropping slowly with less generation since reaching the power pool level. The water surface temperature is 84 degrees and the main lake water is clear down to and below the thermocline of 30 feet. The creeks are stained. There are a lot of fish on brush in the 27-feet range on main lake brush, including Kentucky bass, black bass, walleye, crappie, bluegill and catfish. Catfishing is getting better on jugs and throw lines baited with live bluegill with the slower water level drop and the small moon. Some are also biting off docks on prepared bait. The other fish are biting small spoons and jigs dropping them right in the brush.
Crappie fishing has shown the best improvement with some large ones starting to show up. There are some big schools roaming from brushpile to brushpile but they are spooky and do not move far.
“I have no reports of temperate bass being caught except for small ones. Overall fishing has improved this week and the lake is in very good condition going into to the holiday weekend. It looks to be very busy and the water will get stirred up again but will clear quickly. After that, fall fishing is full speed ahead.”
For a daily fishing report and lake condition go to www.blackburnsresort.com and click on Scuba Steve’s Blog.
(updated 9-1-2022) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said, “I fished two different types of areas (Wednesday) morning. I started in the dark about|5:30 a.m. on a main lake big rounded gravelly point. I was marking fish in 28-35 feet of water. I trolled two Flicker Minnows, size 7, with a 1-ounce snap weight set 50 feet behind the bait and added another 50 feet line. I was getting the bait down to about 27 feet traveling 1.2-1.4 mph. I use 8-pound monofilament line. I started on the outside of the point and traveled around to the inside of the point.
“I caught a little of almost every species in the lake. The most plentiful was spotted bass. I also caught crappie, walleye, a catfish, bluegill and white bass. They liked baits in chartreuse or a bright green color. Both baits also had a lot of white on them.
“The big crappie was a 15-inch fish. The spotted bass ranged from 13-16 inches long. One walleye was a keeper, but only 18 inches and so was released.
“At around 7:30 I moved to a large flat. I trolled and vertical-jigged a purple Monkey Tater Shad. I started out in 35-40 feet of water, but marked nothing. I moved in shallower 28-35 feet and found fish. Everything caught in this area were walleye. The big walleye was a little shy of 19.5 inches long. For whatever reason the fish that were out in deeper water for the last two weeks moved into the shallower water and were plentiful. Fun morning.”
The lake conditions have remained stable with a very slight drop in level. Surface water temperature was in the mid-80s. The current Norfork Lake level is 555.04 feet msl. The lake is in great shape. “Happy Fishing and enjoy Norfork Lake.”
Lou posts nearly daily on his Facebook page with photos and where the fish are biting and what’s biting. Check it out.
(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 1,120.25 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 2 p.m. Thursday was 3,815 cfs. The Corps released about 3,800 cfs between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Wednesday.
(updated 9-1-2022) 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 9-1-2022) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said Wednesday that the water is murky. Crappie are good mainly on jigs but also biting minnows. Black bass are good on topwater lures, frogs and plastic worms. Bream are fair on redworms and crickets. Catfish are fair.
(updated 9-1-2022) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) has had no recent reports. With school beginning at Fayetteville and temperature dropping, they expect more anglers out.
(updated 9-1-2022) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) said the bream bite continues to be good. Worms, crickets and jigs are all working. Catfish are good on worms and blood bait. She’s heard no reports on other species (crappie, bass et al.) Water temperature was up a little from a week ago, recorded at 80.7 degrees on Monday. The lake is its usual murky and the elevation is high. Shelly says that Sept. 6-10 should be “good” days based on the moon times.
(updated 9-1-2022) Seth Boone, the superintendent at Lake Poinsett State Park, had no reports from this week. Recently, though, he had said that the renovated lake was seeing bream biting well on crickets and worms, catfish biting on nightcrawlers and other smelly things, and bass biting on spinnerbaits (they are still catch and release). Any crappie caught are also catch and release.
(updated 9-1-2022) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) reported that bass are good on topwater baits and plastic worms. Bream are good on crickets and redworms. Catfish are fair on chicken liver and shrimp. Water is pretty clear and the level is about 1 foot low.
(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 9-1-2022) 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.
The Army Corps of Engineers reported Thursday that the White River stage at Batesville was at 7.54 and falling, and about 8 feet below the flood stage of 15.0 feet. The Newport stage was up a half-foot to 8.10 feet (flood stage was 26.00 feet). The stage at Augusta was down significantly from last year, at least 3 feet, at 18.83 feet (flood stage is 26 feet).
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 40 cfs. The stage at Pine Bluff is steady at 31.10 feet (flood stage is 42 feet). The flow at the Maynard Lock and Dam was 520 cfs.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 259.50 feet msl (normal pool: 259.20 feet msl; top flood elevation is 287.0 feet msl). Total outflow at the dam is 910 cfs.
(updated 9-1-2022) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said Wednesday afternoon that Millwood is about 4 inches above normal conservation pool and steady.
Clarity improved this week along Little River and oxbows. Millwood Lake tailwater elevation is near 225 feet msl with gate discharge at the dam of four gates at 0.5 feet, near 862 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 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 stable this week, ranging 86-90 degrees depending on location and the time of day. Current along Little River slightly cleared up this week, further up Little River with river clarity ranging 5-12 inches visibility depending on location.
Siefert also offered these specific details on the Millwood fishing this week:
* Largemouth bass have been most active at daybreak or first light, relating shallow to stumps, vegetation, lily pads and cypress knees at dawn and late afternoons, with some feeding periods at dusk and dawn. Bass have been fair to good over the past couple weeks on topwater lures around 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 activity and topwater action are random on a buzzbait, Bass Assassin Shad or topwater plastic frogs in the pads early.
Some 2- to 4-pound largemouths are fair to good, with an occasional 5-pounder blowup, on topwaters early at daybreak near cypress tree knees and lily pads. Bass continue the most aggressive bite at dawn in oxbows around vegetation, stumps, cypress trees and pads of vegetation near deep drops. 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 color of buzzbaits over the past couple weeks included black/blue, white/chartreuse or bream colors around pads and vegetation adjacent to deeper sections of the creek channels or in the river. Bass Assassin Shads continue drawing good reactions, with best colors Houdini, Grey Ghost and Bad To the Bone, with some JJ’s Magic chartreuse dye dip for a flash of color. Good bites continue on black, pumpkinseed or Junebug-colored soft plastic frogs this week around pads in clearest water you can find along Little River near White Cliffs campgrounds and creek channel dumps and drains into the river.
Big bulky, fat, 10-inch Power Worms in peanut butter & jelly, black grape, blue fleck or watermelon candy being good colors over the past week. Best locations for working the bulky worms range from 5-10 feet deep in McGuire and Horseshoe oxbows, around grass mats and lily pad stands 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 of 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’s, Fat Free Fingerlings and Bill Lewis MR-6 and SB-57 cranks continue working across 6-10 feet deep flats adjacent to 12-15 deep creek channel swings in the oxbows; Bill Lewis MR-6 and the SB-57 square-bill crankbaits continue working in ditches, and deep creek outer swings where creek mouths and sloughs feed and dump into Little River if you can find a decent water clarity along Little River. These square bills continue working with Millwood Magic, Sneaky Shad, Chartreuse Shad and Lavender Shad colors drawing best reactions from chunky 2- to 4-pound largemouths in the oxbows of Horseshoe and McGuire where the water clarity is much improved this week.
Brazalo Spinnerbaits in Millwood Mayhem Bream, white/chartreuse and Spot Remover are still working around vegetation mats and stumps from 6-9 feet deep near stumps on windy days in the oxbows.
* White bass and hybrids continue roaming Little River and the oxbows, and have been caught on vertical-jigging 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.
Creek channel mouths and flats along Little River that drain and dump into Little River, where little bit of current in river remains, are holding a few broken schools that we found hitting on hammered Cordell Spoons with a white/chartreuse bucktail, along with a few Kentucky Bass, where washouts, ditches or creek dumps, exist from 12-16 feet of depth with stumps. White Cliffs campground area and points with drains into Little River are holding white bass. Entrance to White Cliffs Creek, Brown’s Slough and Cemetery Slough had a few white bass in random action. Reactions were fair on Cordell Hammered Spoons with a white bucktail one day, red bucktail the next day. 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, were working late last week, but cranks did not perform as well as the vertical-dropped spoons into the schools over the past couple of weeks.
* Crappie have been hit and miss over the past couple weeks; no consistent update to report.
* No report 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 hung yo-yos from cypress trees.
(updated 9-1-2022) Lake Erling Guide Service (870-904-8546) reported Wednesday afternoon that the water is back to normal, a little dingy and muddy. Catfish are really good. Crappie are scattered right now, but anglers are catching them on silver shiners and hand-tied jigs. Bream are good on crickets. No reports on 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 541.58 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 400.20 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 432.47 feet msl (full pool: 437.00 feet msl).
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 523.36 feet msl (full pool: 526.00 feet msl).
White Oak Lake Area
(update 9-1-2022) River Rat Bait in Camden (870-231-3831) has opened back up after being closed for a couple of weeks. Call for latest conditions.
(updated 9-1-2022) Donald Ramirez at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) says black bass are starting to bite on topwater baits and frogs. Everything else is slow. The water is low.
Lake Catherine Tailwater (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro
(updated 9-1-2022) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reported that very small numbers of rainbow trout remain in the tailrace below Carpenter Dam. The trout season normally comes to an end in early July, but good numbers of large rainbows remained in the lake all through the month of August. The fall trout stocking schedule is slated to begin in mid-November this year and quality trout fishing will resume for the public. Water temperature below the dam is 66 degrees and climbing to 70 degrees below the bridge. Clear conditions exist with a healthy summer environment created by a normal running of water through the dam. Generation keeps the water cool and prevents an overgrowth of moss and tall grass from dominating the area.
Huge schools of threadfin shad are moving in and out of the tailrace, which brings white bass and hybrid bass in to feed. The majority of action occurs in the late evening when the turbines are running. Zara Super Spooks in clear or silver colors have taken numbers of white and hybrid bass in the 2- to 4-pound range. Trolling shallow-running crankbaits against the current will also target feeding bass below the bridge. Walleye are also present in the tailrace and can be caught trolling or tight-lining live minnows around the bridge pilings. These fish will migrate in and out of the area following the shad schools and can be observed feeding when numbers are right.
Anyone planning on navigating the Carpenter Dam tailrace is urged to be aware of the generation schedules posted weekly on the Entergy website. Always wear a life jacket when on the water and remember to follow all park rules and regulations.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s flow at Dardanelle Lock and Dam as 0 cfs. Elevation was 337.50 feet msl and the tailwater is at 285.64 feet msl. (Top navigation pool is 338.2 and bottom pool is 336.0.) The stage is at 4.51 feet (flood stage is 32 feet).
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was at 343.13 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 570.44 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 9-1-2022) 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 with a finesse worm is working for spotted bass. Walleye are good. a three-quarter-ounce CC Spoon vertically jigged near structure should produce some walleye, and a nightcrawler fished on a drop-shot will work, too. Stripers are still very good. Live bait and trolling hair jigs are working best at thsi time on the eastern part of the lake; try between Brady and the dam. Bream are good on crickets or worms in 15-25 feet depth on structure. Crappie are good on small jigs or minnows. Try brush in 20-30 feet depth. Catfish are good on rod-and-reel with hot dogs or nightcrawlers. Water temperature has fallen, ranging 80-84 degrees as of Thursday. Water clarity is clear. Lake level is 570.46 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 385.09 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 down at 16.63 feet and falling (almost a foot from Wednesday), more than 9 feet below the flood stage of 26.00 feet.
(updated 9-1-2022) The AGFC’s Wil Hafner at Potlatch Cook’s Lake Nature Center (870-241-3373) says he had little to report this week. Angling effort has dropped as students are back in school. The lake has also seen about a 3-foot drop in the last week, which could make for some tough conditions until the level stabilizes. “We will be open as normal this Saturday; come give it a try.”
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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