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Arkansas Wildlife Weekly Fishing Report

BY Jim Harris

ON 02-02-2023


Feb. 2, 2023

Jim Harris

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: One of Austin Kennedy’s recent clients, Cathy (no last name provided) from Arizona, shows off her nice catch of a rainbow trout hooked in the Beaver Lake tailwater in northwest Arkansas. Even with the weather of this week, reports came in that some trout were still be caught in this area this week, along with crappie up in the river arms of Beaver Lake. Photo provided by Austin Kennedy.

Quick links to regions:

Central Arkansas

North Arkansas

Northwest Arkansas

Northeast Arkansas

Southeast Arkansas

Southwest Arkansas

South-Central Arkansas

West-Central Arkansas

East Arkansas

Arkansas River and White River levels are available at:

For real-time information on stream flow in Arkansas from the U.S. Geological Survey, visit:

For water-quality statistics (including temperature) in many Arkansas streams and lakes, visit:

Download the Fish Brain app and follow AGFC at:



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Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir
Lake Conway is currently in its annual winter pool drawdown from normal seasonal level. For the most up-to-date lake level, visit the U.S. Geological Survey’s Lake Conway water level site.

(updated 2-2-2023) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said Thursday thhat they had been closed since Monday, so the fishing reports were slim, though they had heard of anglers doing most of their fishing for crappie around Gold Creek. Use jigs or minnows. Catfish typically will bite now on nightcrawlers, shad, skipjack and chicken liver.
No reports on bass, but with bass tournaments about to begin kicking off at the end of this month, they report selling lots of bass angling supplies for Lake Conway: spinnerbaits, topwater, crankbaits, Chatterbaits, worms and creature baits this week.
With air temperatures expected to rise back toward the 60s over the weekend, they expect a lot of anglers feeling the cabin feature to be back out targeting those main species.

(updated 1-26-2023) Hatchet Jack’s Sports Shop in Crystal Hill off I-40 (501-758-4958) said anglers are having good success on crappie in Gold Creek and Wilhelmina cove. One angler told them that one morning on Lake Conway the crappie were hitting only straight jigs and would not touch a minnow. Later in the day, another angler said it had flipped: only minnows were drawing a bite.

Little Red River
|The Army Corps of Engineers reports the outflow at Greers Ferry Dam to be 6,095 cfs (turbine) as of midday Thursday. The Corps ran almost 15 hours straight of similar release on Wednesday. Greers Ferry Lake is 0.1 foot above normal conservation pool. Check with the Army Corps of Engineers website for real-time release data or by calling (501) 362-5150). Also check the Southwestern Power Administration website ( to see forecast generation schedule.

(updated 1-26-2023) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said browns and rainbows are biting on No. 5 or No. 7 Rapala Countdowns in a brown trout   or rainbow trout color. Also working is a Fire Tiger Rooster Tail. And don’t forget to try a gold Little Cleo or a gold spoon now.

(updated 1-19-2023) Mike Winkler of Little River Fly Fishing Trips (501-507-3688) said Greers Ferry Lake is just .09 foot below power pool with all the rain we have had and is still rising. For the past week the SWPA, South West Power Administration has been running water on days when the temperatures are cold out and not been generating on days when the day time temperatures are warm.
Always check the USACE Little Rock app before heading out. They are always subject to change so check the release feature on the app to see if they are running water. The bite has been good for nymphing under an indicator in the falling water or streamer fishing in the high water. The hot flies right now are egg patterns and Mega worms or San Juan worms along with midges. Or a small buggy pattern.
“The streamer bite has been good when the dam is releasing water. I’ve had a couple of guide trips just throwing streamer patterns chasing after brown trout. We have been throwing Double Deceiver patterns in brown and yellow, or olive on a size 8 weight rod with a 330 sink line.”

(updated 1-12-2023) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service (501-250-0730) said, “We’re still experiencing low water conditions on the Little Red. Water release/generation is sporadic, with multiple days of zero water release. This pattern makes it challenging for boaters but provides wading opportunities on all sections of the river.
“We are currently in spawning season for our brown trout, so be careful when wading to not step on the spawning beds (the redds) that are made in loose gravel on shoals. Always check generation schedule and be aware of unexpected water release. Midges, egg patterns, small pheasant tails and soft hackles are recommended for fly-fishing. For Trout Magnet fishing, we recommend pink, white and cotton candy colored bodies on chartreuse or gold jigheads.”
Check before heading to the Little Red River by calling the 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 ( for real-time water release and the Southwestern Power Administration website ( to see forecasted generation schedule.

Greers Ferry Lake
As of Thursday morning, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 462.12 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.54 feet msl, top flood elevation 487.0 msl).

(updated 2-2-2023) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is back up. It had been on steady slow rise for a while, and now some on-and-off generation is taking place, so this week it has settled at 462.18 feet msl, or 0.14 foot above normal pool of 462.04 foot msl. Temperature ranges 49-53 degrees. Bass fishing is good all over. Try to stay away from the most stained areas unless you want to fish in that type of water; try to stay in medium stained water and throw Wiggle Warts, Rat-L-Traps, spinnerbaits, Alabama rigs or drag a football head or hop a jig off that second drop. Deeper fish can be caught on Carolina rig as well as football head, and remember that this time of year some are right on the bank. Also, some topwater baits are working. Crappie fishing is great all over, but remember they have moved with water now – new puzzle, straight up and down or troll; casting works, also, with live bait, crankbaits, and jigs. No reports on catfish. As for walleye, the river spawners are on the move, for sure, but will eat big crankbaits trolled 15-40 feet. Lake fish are best with jighead minnow fished straight up and down or on down-riggers with big cranks down to 50 feet. No reports on bream.
Hybrid and white bass will eat two or three times a day now, or sometimes all day, 40-80 feet in turns or off of turns in deeper guts. Use hair jigs, spoons, swimbaits, inline spinners or live bait for best results.

(updated 1-26-2023) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said bass anglers are using an Alabama and a crankbait mostly. With an A-rig they are fishing that roughly in 20 feet or water. The crankbait, preferably a crawfish-colored crank in either green craw or red craw, has been going along the shoreline with the target being   the 9- to 14-foot range.
Crappie are being caught in 15-25 feet of water suspended on trees. Anglers are catching them on a natural colored hair jig or a blue and white crappie jig. Something natural colored should work now. Also, try a 2-inch swimbait.
The water us about a foot low. The clarity in the upper rivers is a little dirty, but the main lake and down by the dam have clear water.

Harris Brake Lake
(updated 2-2-2023) Ken Winstead at Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) in Perryville says crappie are biting and typical with the water change because of weather,   so move around from shallow to deep water – and google luck. It will be hit and miss, but colors that will work are Monkey Milk, black chartreuse, Cajun Cricket, Kiwi, Mo-Glo, Silver and Blue Ice jigs and an orange/white Crappie Magnet.
Bream are biting year-round on redworms and crickets, but it’s slow now. Bass are biting but it’s also slow. Use a dark color. Catfish are biting, but they are also slow right now. Use liver of all kinds, and there is also a dough bite.

(updated 1-26-2023) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) says crappie are doing pretty well, but if you’re not there early you’ll show up finding other anglers already fishing. The best crappie fishing is coming before daylight and between 6-7 a.m., with decent-size crappie (one caught this week was 2.5 pounds) in 4-5 feet depth. Mr. Crappie, Shiny Hiney and Bobby Garland Crystal color are the go-tos, with crappie trailers in white and chartreuse also being used. Some of the AGFC’s tagged crappie in Harris Brake Lake continue to be hooked, including a couple recently that were double-tagged ($110 in reward for returning the tag).
White bass are running pretty well on the lake. Anglers are picking them up while fishing for crappie using crappie jigs. The white bass size is medium, with the biggest caught being around 2 pounds.
Anglers are catching largemouth bass out of the boat or on the bank. A few in the 3-pound range were caught this past week. A purple or watermelon colored soft plastic worm will work well.
No reports on catfish or bream.

Lake Overcup
(updated 2-2-2023) Lacey Williams at Lakeview Landing on Arkansas Highway 95 (501-252-1437) said the catfish are big and hungry on the landing. Trotlines are doing well baited with shad or slicks. Get out there deep. Folks have caught plenty to feed the family and more in just a few days. “I saw the biggest catfish I’ve personally seen get pulled out of here, at 13 pounds. But I know there is much bigger ones. Hopefully I will see one soon. Yall be safe out there and Happy Fishing!”

Brewer Lake
(update 1-19-2023) David Hall at Dad’s Bait Shop (501-289-2210), a 24/7 self-serve bait shop at the lake, crappie are over brushpiles in 6-7 feet depth and the bite is fair to middlin’. Real stuff or the tricolor jigs are the way to go.

Black bass, for some reason, sunset is the best time to catch them right when it’s turning dark. Try a Tequila sunrise worm, but they are hitting on minnows too. Also anything white and spinning. Fish at 3-4 feet depth right off the bank.
Catfish like the goldfish and stink bait. David says he’s been selling out of worms so that tells him the bream are biting, too.

Lake Maumelle
(updated 2-2-2023) WestRock Landing in Roland (501-658-5598) had no new fishing reports. The lake level is down significantly as Central Arkansas Water lowers the lake 10 feet to eliminate some of the hydrilla in the lake. Access in early December was reported as “iffy” from the ramps.

(updated 1-26-2023) Hatchet Jack’s Sports Shop in Crystal Hill off I-40 (758-4958) has heard reports of crappie doing well here. A couple of limits reportedly caught in the vicinity of the marinas.

Arkansas River at Morrilton
As of Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Ormond Lock and Dam was 30,303 cfs. The stage at Morrilton is falling at 11.17 feet (flood stage is 30 feet). Flow further upriver at Dardanelle Lock and Dam the flow was 23,854 cfs.

Little Maumelle River
(updated 1-26-2023) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) says fishing was good until the heavy overnight rain Tuesday-Wednesday. About 2 inches fell in this area. That left the Little Maumelle at normal level but “pretty dingy” Thursday, leaving fishing “on the out,” though Ray expects it should be fine in a day or two.
Before the rain, crappie were doing real well, and people were catching nice bass too. Some crappie were biting as much as 3-5 feet depth on jigs and minnows. The bass were interested in crankbaits on the channel edges at 7-8 feet depth. Also, redear can be caught on the regular on the bottom with worms.

Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Toad Suck Lock and Dam was 39,120 cfs.

Arkansas River (Little Rock Area Pools)
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Murray Lock and Dam was 45,605 cfs. The elevation is 249.14 feet msl. The stage in the Little Rock pool was at 7.49 feet (flood stage is 25 feet). Flow at the Terry Lock and Dam was 49,277 cfs.

(updated 1-26-2023) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) says most people on the river have been bass fishing lately. A white/chartreuse or red/chartreuse spinnerbait or a red Chatterbait should be fished around some of the insides of the jetties on the main river and in the backwaters for best success. Also, anglers are throwing a red Rat-L-Trap, and they’re also using a black/blue jig around cover. Crappie have been biting on the insides of the jetties in about 15 feet of water. Red/chartreuse, blue/chartreuse and orange/chartreuse crappie jigs have been the baits of choice. The water level is about normal and the clarity is stained to muddy.

Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 1-26-2023) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said that the lake level should be back to normal for fishing (it was significantly low in the fall) but there hasn’t been any activity going on there with the wide range of weather that’s passed through.

Peckerwood Lake
The lake is closed to fishing later this month while it serves as a rest area for migrating waterfowl through waterfowl season. Call 870-626-6899 for more information.

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White River
(updated 2-2-2023) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said, “We continue to experience variable water levels in the tailwater of the White River watershed in Arkansas, from just under a unit (2,500 cfs) to four units (12,000 cfs) throughout the day.   Bull Shoals Lake is at 657.35 feet msl, remaining 2 feet below power pool. My guess is that demand for power has been pretty steady with the sleety, icy weather, so expect persistent fluctuation in the coming days.”
Anglers need to be creative in this situation; try some things you might not have tried before.   Trout will adjust to water level changes, but it might take a little time, so be ready to try several baits and changes in your fishing tactics. As always, worms work very nicely during the rise. Spinners and jigs are a good bet during lower water flows. Seasoned jig users know that they’ll be successful every time if they have the right color. That’s the key – finding the right color for the current weather, sky, water conditions. This week’s favorites have been ginger, white and orange/brown.
Keep your bait mid-depth with added weight if needed. A bright-colored bead (peach or orange) tied several inches above the hook sometimes draws them in. To lure the browns as they move away from spawning beds, alternate between a good-sized sculpin and a really big river minnow – Red Fins if you can find them. Troll a minnow (live or manufactured) mid-depth 3-4 feet from the bank and be ready for the tug.
“Come on over and enjoy the river’s surprises.”

(updated 2-2-2023) Dave McCulley, owner of Jenkins Fishing Service in Calico Rock, said, “We hope everyone stayed safe during the recent winter storm. Because of the storms last week and again this week there have not been very many fishermen on the river around Calico Rock. Those who did fish did well on artificial lures such as spoons, Rapala Countdowns and dark colored jigs. A few brown trout were caught that were between 19-25 inches. We also saw numerous rainbow trout in the 13- to 15-inch-plus size.
“With the reduced fishing pressure during the winter the fish have been able to eat and grow. Even the smaller rainbows had thickness to them. We have seen water depths between 5-9 feet with clear water. Over the next week we should see cool mornings but warmer temperatures into the upper 50s and lows 60s during the day.”

(updated 2-2-2023) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service said that during the past week, they had 9 inches of snowfall in Cotter, brutally cold temperatures and heavy winds. “As I write this, we have a glaze of ice on all roads making driving perilous with more ice expected today.” The lake level at Bull Shoals rose 0.5 foot to rest at 1.6 feet below power pool of 659 feet msl. This is 37.6 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock Lake fell 0.4 foot to rest at 0.7 foot below power pool and 16.7 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose 0.6 foot to rest at 1.6 feet below power pool or 11.2 feet below the top of flood pool. The White has had no wadable water and moderate flows. Norfork Lake fell 0.2 foot to rest 0.5 foot below power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 26.7 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork tailwater has had more wadable water.
All of the lakes in the White River system are still at or below power pool. With cooler temperatures, expect higher flows and less wadable water. Also expect heavy generation during peak power demand such as this week with the frigid temperatures.
The catch-and-release section below Bull Shoals Dam has reopened to regular fishing, and the State Park’s seasonal catch-and-release is over. Night fishing is now allowed in this area.
John says, “On the White, the hot spot has been White Hole. We have had some lower flows that have 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. My favorite has been a cerise San Juan worm with an orange egg dropper.”

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.
John also said, “After a three-year absence, the Annual Trout Unlimited Banquet is back. This banquet is a fundraiser for the White River Chapter #698 of Trout Unlimited. This is hands down the biggest party of the year for anyone interested in trout fishing. I always attend with my lovely wife, Lori. I have gone to every one of them over the years and always had a great time.
“This year’s banquet will be held at the Elks Lodge at 101 Elks Way in Mountain Home on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. It has always been held there and it is an excellent location. There is plenty of parking, a very nice facility with a well-stocked bar, and enough room to dance.
“The cost is quite reasonable. A single ticket is $40, a couple’s ticket is $60 and a sponsor’s table is $600. The sponsor’s table seats eight and includes 16 drink tickets, a sponsor gift and public recognition for your sponsorship. There is a buffet and a cash bar.
“One of the big features is an auction and raffle. There are a number of desirable items that include a framed Duane Hada print (White River Grand Slam), a slate cutting board with a Trout Unlimited logo, a youth fly-fishing outfit (a four-piece 4-weight fly rod with case) and a wooden canoe-shaped book case and a walnut coat rack. Other items include gift cards from local restaurants, some fine bottles of liquor and some very nice art.
“All of this sounds like a great night out. That is not the reason to attend. You should go because we need to support the major trout conservation organization in the area. This is a fundraiser that supports their conservation and education projects in this area.
“Their lead conservation project is the planting of Bonneville cutthroat trout eggs in the North Fork and White rivers. Originally supervised by the late Dave Whitlock, this project is designed to introduce a sustainable trout species in these rivers. This would increase angling enjoyment and reduce reliance on stocked species.
“My favorite project is the Rim Shoals trail. They took a short trail at Rim Shoals and enlarged and substantially improved the trail. This gives us easy, safer access to more of this catch-and-release area. I have used this trail over the years and I love fishing there.
“Their education projects include a summer camp for local kids, and they put on trout in the classroom program at local schools. Both of these programs educate our most precious asset, our children.
“There were also projects to maintain Dry Run Creek and to develop access to Round House Shoals in my hometown of Cotter.
“To get your tickets to the Annual Trout Unlimited Banquet, go online to the White River Trout Unlimited chapter #698 website, Lori and I already have ours. Don’t delay, space is limited.”

Bull Shoals Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 657.35 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 659.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 695.00 feet msl). Flow on Thursday ranged from 3,700 to 11,110 cfs, and tailwater elevation was 453.30 feet. The reported lake elevation at Table Rock Lake was 914.20 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 915.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 931.0 feet msl).

(updated 1-26-2023) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said the Bull Shoals water level 656 feet msl, or about 2 feet below normal pool. The lake came up a little. Water temperature Thursday was 48 degrees, give or take. “Fishing is good. Shallow guys, there are plenty of fish on the bank. If there are wind and clouds, I’m covering water where the wind hits square on the bank – hopefully on a point, chunk rock, steep bank or ledge rock. I’m saying close to deeper water. A Spro Crawler, Wiggle Wart, Red Craw or green variations. You’ll have keep moving to find them, but when you do there’s usually a few close.
“There are always fish to be caught on a jig. If it’s flat, try sunny points with brush or ledges 30-40 feet. The winter patterns are working. Offshore video gaming. Shad are still spread out; target bigger bait balls and shad becomes the structure. Creek hollers, 50-90 feet overall depth. Every day every creek will be different. Watching the loons and graph time pays off this time of year. Use a single 2.8 white swimbait or jerkbait or flutter spoon around those high swimming shad balls. It’s usually best early or late in the day when shad are up in the water column. If they are being finicky, hang a Tater Shad over the side. For schooling fish, use a Jewel Scope or spin a Jigging Rap. Jewel Scuba Spoon for the bottom dwellers. Lots of different species showing up out there in the middle of the lake. Each day is different, so 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.

Norfork Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 553.05 feet msl (normal conservation pool: Sept.-April, 553.75 feet msl; April-Sept. 556.25 feet msl; top flood elevation 580.0 feet msl). Flow below the dam Thursday midday was 6,203 cfs.

(updated 2-2-2023) Steven “Scuba Steve” Street at Blackburn’s Resort said, ”These are the conditions when I came in at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday: The lake level was 553.11 feet msl and had dropped 1.2 inches in the last 24 hours with both generators running about a third of the time. The White River at Newport is 16.49 feet and is as high as it has been for months. It is not coming from Norfork or Bull Shoals but must be from between here and Newport. The surface water temperature is 46 degrees, and the cold weather and mixed precipitation has not changed it much. Both the main lake and the creeks have the same clarity and you can see your lure down about 5 feet.
“Fishing is not the best but a few good fish are being caught every day. Crappie numbers are not high but they are good-sized on slip floats with live minnow over brush piles during the day and casting small jigs behind the brush near the shore when they come up to feed in the late evening. Black bass fishing is also slow but you can catch a few keepers on the grub near the shoreline next to deep water. A few white bass and smaller hybrids are together and on the bottom in about 55 feet of water around main lake points on flats. The lake is in excellent condition but fishing overall is just fair at best.”

For a daily fishing report and lake condition go to and click on Scuba Steve’s Blog.

(updated 2-2-2023) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort had no new reports, but Lou posts almost daily on his Facebook page with photos and where the fish are biting and what’s biting. Check it out.

Norfork Tailwater
(updated 2-2-2023) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Norfork Lake fell 0.2 foot to rest 0.5 foot below power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 26.7 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork tailwater has had more wadable water.
All of the lakes in the White River system are still at or below power pool. With cooler temperatures, expect higher flows and less wadable water. Also expect heavy generation during peak power demand such as this week with the frigid temperatures.
There has been wadable water, on the Norfork. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns like zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead). 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). John says his favorite rig has been a pheasant tail nymph size 14 and a ruby midge size 18. The fishing is much better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off midday.

Dry Run Creek has fished a bit better. Weekends can get a 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 and North Fork rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.

Buffalo National River/Crooked Creek
(updated 2-2-2023) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Crooked Creek and the Buffalo River are fishing poorly. With colder temperatures, the smallmouths are much 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.

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Beaver Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,118.48 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.43 feet msl; top flood elevation is 1,130.0 feet msl). There was a 6-hour release of about 3,880 cfs earlier Thursday.    

(updated 2-2-2023) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-253-3474) said, ”Well, folks, the lake was coming along really good on water temps but this last week or so have dropped them around 10 degrees. Fishing was tough due to the ups and downs. Also it was difficult to fish most days with snow and ice. There were some stripers caught last weekend around the Point 12 area. Crappie were fair/good on jigs and minnows on structure in 15-25 feet of water.   
“We are so very close to some major shifts on the lake. If we can get some decent warming, the bite will fire up! I look at February as a good month as long as we dodge   all this ice and snow, so let’s keep fingers crossed for the rest of the month.
“Sorry on lack of reporting, but we have been locked indoors for most of the week. Great time to do some tackle and boat maintenance. Stay safe and good luck!”

Visit Jon’s Facebook page for latest updates, FishOn Guide Service Goshen AR.

(updated 2-2-2023) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the weather is terrible but the fish are biting. You can catch crappie. You just can’t get to them. They are selling bait (minnows) for other locations, such as Sequoyah with an old bridge to fish off of. You just have to take into account that nobody can get around much. They received a lot of sleet in the area, and on Thursday they had had no boats come through. “The fish are there if you can get there,” they say. “They were catching crappie right up to before the storm hit. We had walleye reports before the storm, up in the river arms. Nothing on white bass. And below the dams we’ve had some trout fishing. It ought to be good by the weekend.” February is typically a low-pressure month for the fish, but fishing tournaments on Beaver Lake will be cranking up in about two weeks, they add.

Beaver Tailwater
(updated 1-19-2023) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said with water conditions improving in the tailwater (weekly it seems), reaching the fishing grounds by boat has become a bit easier. This week the trout were eager to bite what we were throwing. Using Pautzke Fire Bait, on light terminal tackle did the job in most places along the tailwater. When the Corps of Engineers started generating, we then switched to drifting Pautzke Fire Worms on one-sixteenth-ounce jig heads, which produced nice results as well.
This week’s hot spot has been between Spider Creek and Parker Bottoms. “Remember to follow my fishing Facebook page (
Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service) for more Tailwater updates. Good luck, get out and catch some fish!”

Lake Fayetteville
(updated 2-2-2023) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) had no reports this week.


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Lake Charles
(updated 1-26-2023) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) said there has been little fishing to report. Looking ahead to February, though, she notes Feb. 2-8 as good “moon” times for the fish, with best days being Feb. 17-23. The lake is high and its usual murky. Monday morning’s water temperature was 42.4 degrees.

Lake Poinsett
(updated 2-2-2023) Seth Boone, the superintendent at Lake Poinsett State Park, reported Lake Poinsett is full with bream and catfish, and they can be caught a regular state limits, according to AGFC. Bream have been biting on nightcrawlers toward the bottom of the lake bed. Try chicken liver for catfish. Bass and crappie are catch-and-release only; a few are being caught on jigs and some live minnows.

Crown Lake
Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) is closed for the winter and will reopen in February. They are taking reservations on their answering machine for spring.

Spring River
(updated 1-26-2023) Mark Crawford with (870-955-8300) said the Spring River has been running at 340 cfs (near the 350 average), and water clarity with the recent snow is clear. The river is looking great for this time of year. Mark says they are catching plenty of rainbows this time of year on egg patterns like the Y2K with nymph droppers. Caddis hatches are heavy some days making for some dry-fly action and really good nymphing with bead-head pheasant tails, princes or hare’s ear.
Mark says, “’Tis the season for brown trout, also, and we have been catching some dandies. My fav is a bead-head olive Woolly for big browns on the Spring. The guys do well with streamers and they can work great some days. Our browns are not consistent on the bite, but we are getting a good healthy population and starting to catch some big ones.”
Smallmouth bass should be biting this time of year moving up the Spring looking for warmer water. Mark says they are catching one every now and then but not many. “Great thing about smallmouth and brown trout is they like the same flies. Hard to beat sculpin and crayfish patterns for both, but I do love a white streamer,” he said. “Be safe out there. The Spring River has a very slick river bottom! If you fall in during this time of year, find a warm dry place! Tight lines and good luck!”

Check out Mark’s blog for latest fishing conditions at

(updated 2-2-2023) 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 over. 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.

White River
The Army Corps of Engineers reported Thursday that the White River stage at Batesville was steady at 9.20, almost 6 feet below the flood stage of 15.0 feet. The Newport stage was at 16.36 feet and falling (flood stage was 26.00 feet). The stage at Augusta at 28.29 and rising Thursday, 2.29 feet above flood stage of 26.00 feet.

No reports.

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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 43,018 cfs. The stage at Pine Bluff is at 31.89 feet and falling (flood stage is 42 feet). Further upstream, the flow at the Maynard Lock and Dam was 51,808 cfs.

(updated 2-2-2023) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team had no new report from the river.

Lake Monticello
(updated 2-2-2023) After a two-year project of rebuilding the lake habitat by the AGFC while the city of Monticello had the dam rebuilt, the water in Lake Monticello now covers about 470 acres. The acreage of water in Lake Monticello’s lakebed has only increased about 20 acres since May as a result of minimal rainfall. The water in Lake Monticello covers about 1,520 acres when it is at full pool. When the lake was first flooded, it took about five years for Lake Monticello to reach full pool, with two drought years during this period.
Fisheries District 5 staff in Monticello worked with AGFC and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hatchery staff to stock about 180,000 fathead minnows, 111,902 golden shiners, 78,840 bluegill and 82,056 redear sunfish into Lake Monticello during the month of October. The fish were placed in a hog trough on a trailer pulled by a UTV. The fish were then transported about 220 yards from the boat ramp to the water’s edge, where they were stocked. It took quite a few trips to stock all of the fish that were on the hatchery truck.
The AGFC plans on stocking threadfin shad this fall. Florida largemouth bass will be stocked during the summer of 2025. The aforementioned forage and bream species will be stocked again in the fall of 2025, along with black crappie.


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Millwood Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 260.44 feet msl (normal pool: 259.20 feet msl; top flood elevation is 287.0 feet msl). Total hourly outflow at the dam by midday was 12,413 cfs, about average for the day.

(updated 2-2-2023) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said that he and the crew had not been upriver very much this week due to adverse weather conditions, frozen/ice on boat ramps and such, but he was able to get updates on clarity and surface temperature from various locations around the State Park, U.S. Highway 71 at Wilton, Yarborough, White Cliffs Campground and Jack’s Isle this week. As of Wednesday, Millwood Lake was near 260.3 feet msl, or 13 inches above normal conservation pool and rising. Clarity is muddy this week along Little River. Millwood Lake tailwater elevation was near 237 feet msl and rising with gate discharge at the dam near 11,500 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 at the Army Corps of Engineers website, for updated gate release changes and inflow rates with rising and falling lake levels.   
Surface temps have been stable this week, ranging 38-42 degrees depending on location and the time of day. Clarity along Little River was stained and was much worse further up Little River with river clarity ranging 2-5 inches visibility depending on location. Clarity of the oxbows was normal stain, visibility ranging 5-10 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’s fishing specifics over the past few are:
* Largemouth bass   and spotted bass (Kentucky bass) have been randomly feeding along Little River and the oxbows with a few warmer days over the past couple weeks being best days to make a run upriver. Flats next to deep creeks and secondary points with any remaining dead lily pad stems will coax a bite on a Chatterbait or square bill on warm and sunny days, mainly in the afternoon. A few chunky 2- to 4-pound male bass were the most aggressive at midday into late afternoon and those fish are being found randomly near and close to deeper creek channels. The bass have been randomly hitting Brazalo spinnerbaits in Spot Remover, Chatterbaits in white and Rat-L-Traps in natural-colored crawfish browns and oranges or Toledo Gold and Red Chrome, and custom-painted Bent Pole Little John cranks in Rayburn Red finessing through the dead pad stems. The best water clarity for and reaction from chunky bass has left the river and moved to the back of the oxbows where the clarity is somewhat better, away from the current of Little River.
Mud Lake, Horseshoe and McGuire oxbows along Little River have had the best water clarity and the most aggressive largemouth and Kentucky bass over the past few weeks. In the back of McGuire oxbow, Mike said they were throwing a custom-painted Little John Crankbait in Rayburn Red, and a Bill Lewis SB-57 or MR-6 crankbait in Strawberry Craw, Blood Craw or Red Glitter Craw and picking up a few random bites. One-Knocker Rat-L-Traps in Red Shad, Toledo Gold or Goldfire Craw picked up several chunky, fat male bass on cypress trees and knees in 7-8 feet of depth near flats adjacent to spawning locations, but the retrieve had to be slow and deliberate deflecting off wood, stumps and cypress knees. Expect to get hung up, but expect a big fat prespawn female to bust that 1-knocker any minute or the very next cast this time of year.
* White bass continue to bite well. Mike says they continue to find a few large schools along Little River above White Cliffs about 2 miles before getting to the mouth of McGuire oxbow lake. Those white bass were in large number ranging from 2-3 pounds, and were biting well on Cordell Hammered Spoons, Little George tail-spinners, Heddon Sonar Metal Blades and Rocket Shads. The spoons, Sonar Blades and Rocket Shads seemed to work better by vertical-jigging in the school, letting the blade/spoon drop into the depth zone BELOW the school, then ripping it up, and letting it fall back into the school. The river clarity and current has improved, but the schools were very obvious on your electronics and are migrating up and along Little River. Many different schools continue roaming Little River and have been caught for several weeks casting or vertical-jigging spoons along Little River. Tail Spinner lead heads like the Little Georges, Little Cleos and Rocket Shads caught some 2- to 3-pound whites along Little River between White Cliffs Campground and the mouth of McGuire oxbow.
* The last two weeks the crappie bite was much improved (when clarity finally returned), which has now turned to chocolate milk this week. Best bite was on minnows, but jigs will randomly pick up a few decent bites on sunny days. Bee Lake had a few keepers to play with   recently as long as the wind would let you stay out on the main lake. The best activity was midday, and the crappie were holding in 12-15 feet of depth in planted brush piles.
No reports on bream or catfish.

Lake Columbia
No reports.

Lake Erling
NOTICE: The American Gamebird Research Education and Development Foundation, under recommendation from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, is conducting a 5-foot drawdown of Lake Erling in Lafayette County to combat the spread of giant salvinia, a highly invasive aquatic plant species not native to the United States. Giant salvinia, a free-floating South American plant that has become a major threat to fisheries in the southern U.S., was first spotted on a small portion of Lake Erling in 2018. Since that time the AGFC and AGRED, the lake’s owner, have worked together to monitor and minimize potential spread of the invasive species through information campaigns. With the recent detection of the plant at nearby Mercer Bayou and the spread of the plant within Erling, AGRED worked with the AGFC to determine a plan that would help combat the aquatic nuisance species. The drawdown will remain in effect until March 1, at which time the 7,000-acre lake will be allowed to refill.

(updated 2-2-2023) Lake Erling Guide Service (870-904-8546) said there is very little ice but lots of water, and on Thursday itr was rising over the spillway. Very few people have been fishing for about a week. Crappie have been caught up in the creeks, but that is all that has been heard. “It will be back to normal in a week or so. Those fish have to eat,” they said.

Lake Greeson Tailwater
Visit for a daily update on fishing conditions.

Lake Greeson
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Narrows Dam was 545.28 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).

DeGray Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 406.61 feet msl (full pool: 408.00 feet msl).

(updated 2-2-2022) Randy Plyler with Plyler Outdoors Guide Service (870-210-0522) said that there’s only been a few folks out here over the course of the last couple weeks on Degray. Some reports say folks are getting bit on green pumpkin jigs in 25 feet of water on ledges. Look for balls of shad and try throwing an Alabama rig. Degray Lake water level is 406.5 feet msl.

De Queen Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 438.65 feet msl (full pool: 437.00 feet msl).

Dierks Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 529.78 feet msl (full pool: 526.00 feet msl).

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White Oak Lake Area
(update 2-2-2023) Curtis Willingham at River Rat Bait in Camden (870-251-3831) had no new reports.


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Lake Atkins
(updated 2-2-2023) Donald Ramirez at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) had no new reports.


Lake Catherine Tailwater (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit

(updated 2-2-2023) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below the dam is 45 degrees with stained conditions in the tailrace. Entergy is running water 14 hours on weekdays through this week beginning in the early morning hours. Very heavy generation has been the norm with both generators running huge amounts of water through the system to keep area lakes at winter drawdown levels. Little productive fishing has been seen in the tailrace under these adverse conditions. Fishermen should plan on dealing with a current situation and plan accordingly. The 5-foot winter drawdown on Lake Catherine creates a dangerous environment when attempting to navigate the tailrace in current or zero flow. Numerous rocks and shallow sandbars dot the area creating treacherous boating and wading. Extreme caution is advised by everyone using the tailrace, and the public is advised to be aware of the generation schedules posted every Wednesday on the Entergy website.
January marked the first big month of rainbow trout stocking with 9,300 fish scheduled for Lake Catherine. February will follow suit with 10,000 rainbow trout scheduled to be released, which will create a perfect environment for quality trout fishing. Currently trout are widely scattered from the bridge to the dam and can be caught in the shoals by fly-fishermen casting micro-jigs in black and white under a strike indicator. Trout key in on the shad kill this time of year as freezing temperatures stun threadfin shad in Lake Hamilton and these baitfish are drawn through the turbines and scattered throughout the tailrace area. Flies that imitate injured shad will draw immediate strikes from hungry rainbows. Spin-fishermen using PowerBaits and lures that represent fleeing crayfish will also catch trout that are searching for prey.
Excellent angling opportunities are on the horizon as soon as stable conditions return to Carpenter Dam dependent on consistent weather fronts. The massive influx of healthy rainbow trout to the lake rejuvenates the tailrace to an earlier scenario of quality fishing. Mid-February marks the beginning of the walleye run for Lake Catherine. Smaller males migrate first into the tailrace to prepare the spawning beds. Larger females soon follow and all will remain in the area for weeks until the spawn is complete.
Refilling of both Hamilton and Catherine will begin somewhere between March 1-8, with the process completed by March 15. It is important to note that dramatic drops in temperature greatly affect the trout bite in a negative way. It can take days for a regular bite pattern to resume after a big drop in temperature so anglers need to be aware. Entergy will schedule daily generation from Carpenter Dam each week and the public is advised to read the Entergy Hydro website news for updates on lake conditions. Remember to always wear a life jacket when on the water and follow all lake and park regulations when visiting the Carpenter Dam use area.

Lake Dardanelle
As of Thursday midday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s flow at Dardanelle Lock and Dam as 12,854 cfs. Elevation was 337.75 feet msl and the tailwater was at 288.15 feet msl. (Top navigation pool is 338.2 and bottom pool is 336.0.) The stage is at 7.92 feet and falling (flood stage is 32 feet).

Lake Nimrod
As of Friday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was at 345.50 feet msl (normal pool: 342.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 373.0 feet msl).

(updated 2-2-2023) Ken Winstead at Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) in Perryville says crappie are biting and typical with this week’s water change because of weather. So move around from shallow to deep water. The bite will be hit and miss, but make sure to have jigs in Monkey Milk, black/chartreuse, Cajun Cricket, Kiwi, Mo-Glo, silver and Blue Ice. Also throw an orange and white Crappie Magnet.
Bream are always available but the bite these days is slow. Use redworms or crickets. Fish with dark-colored baits for bass now; the bite is there but slow. For catfish, use liver and dough bait. Catfish are slow for now.

(updated 2-2-2023) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) had no new reports.

Lake Ouachita
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 574.16 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).

(updated 2-2-2023) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out-of-state) said black bass are biting well. An Alabama rig or a PB&J jig are working best. Stripers are still good. A Bama rig or live bait on main lake points or creek channel mouths on the rivers should be the best spots to find these. Crappie are good on small jigs or minnows. Try brush 20-35 feet deep. No reports on walleye, catfish or bream. The water temperature is ranging 42-46 degrees. Water clarity is stained. Lake level is 574.03 feet msl. Call the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717, or Chris Darby, 870-867-7822) for more information.

(updated 1-19-2023) John at Masterbaiters Bait and Tackle (501-209-6538) on Arkansas Highway 7 outside Hot Springs Village said Lake Ouachita is doing great if you get out on the water. Bass are being caught from 5 feet to 40 feet. A-rigs and crankbaits are working, and we’re also getting them on jig and pig. Also, catching some nice crappie in 40 feet on brush. Minnows and jigs are your best bet. “So get out on the water and don’t forget, please take the kids fishing. They love going, also.”

Blue Mountain Lake
As of Friday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 387.45 feet msl (full pool: 387.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 419.0 feet msl).

No reports.

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White River/Clarendon Area 
The Army Corps of Engineers on Thursday reported the Clarendon gauge on the rise to 26.20 feet, slightly above flood stage of 26.00 feet.

Cook’s Lake
The lake is closed to fishing until spring as it serves as a rest area for migrating waterfowl. Call the center at 870-241-3373 for more information.
For more information, please call the center at 870-241-3373.

Note: msl is mean sea level; cfs is cubic feet per second.



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