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Arkansas Wildlife Weekly Fishing Report

BY Jim Harris

ON 03-09-2023


March 9, 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: An angler from Bentonville named Dylan (no last name provided) hit the Beaver Lake tailwater recently with guide Austin Kennedy and landed this nice walleye. 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:



AW Fishing Report - Central AR.png

Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir
For the most up-to-date lake level, visit the U.S. Geological Survey’s Lake Conway water level site.

(updated 3-9-2023) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said that despite the rain at midweek, a few anglers were still getting about and fishing around the raindrops. Anglers going to Gold Creek are still catching a few crappie. They report that the gates on Lake Conway were supposed to closed Thursday “and that will help out tremendously,” the say. When the gates are open, that lake is more murky. When closed, the lake starts clearing up and settling better, which crappie anglers like.
Other than the crappie, they had heard nothing else this week.
In the past couple of weeks though, bass anglers were out getting ready for tournaments with topwater lures, Chatterbaits, buzzbaits, worms, shad-type flukes, creature baits and swimbaits. Catfish had been biting on nightcrawlers, skipjack, shad, chicken liver and stink bait. People have been fishing for cats under the 89 bridge, Pierce Creek and around Dix, Green and Adams lakes. Bream were starting to pick up as of a couple of weeks ago.  Redworms, crickets, bucktail jigs, maribou jigs and hair-tied jigs were all recommended. Anglers seeking bream were headed to Pierce Creek.

(updated 3-2-2023) Hatchet Jack’s Sports Shop in Crystal Hill off I-40 (501-758-4958) said some good activity has been reported near Palarm Creek with the water running. One angler had a good day catching a 4.4-pound largemouth and seven crappie, returning all those back to the water. So they are out there.

Little Red River
The Army Corps of Engineers reported the outflow at Greers Ferry Dam to be 6,133 cfs (turbine) as of noon Thursday; the Corps ran water for 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday of about that same amount, then had a period from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. of low flow before resuming. The tailwater was at 276.51 feet as of noon Thursday. Greers Ferry Lake is 7.8 feet 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 3-9-2023) Mike Winkler of Little River Fly Fishing Trips (501-507-3688) said Greers Ferry Lake is 7.7 feet above power pool. With all the rain last week the Army Corps of Engineers has cut back on the generation schedule till the water from other streams goes down. “I see them increasing the flows as soon as they’re able to do so. As of now the generation schedule has been running around 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., running two units. Always check the USACE Little Rock app for the generation schedule before heading out.”
The water is still just a bit off-color around Dripping Springs Access and further down.
Some of the boat ramps are full of mud from the all of the rain and the heavy flows we had last week.
“I’d recommend using four-wheel drive to launch at Dripping Springs Access. There’s probably 12 inches of mud on the ramp.” Mike says the hot flies have been pink San Juan worms and egg patterns.

(updated 3-9-2023) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service (501-250-0730) has no new updates. He suggests anglers and boaters 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.

(updated 3-9-2023) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said the Little Red is still really blown out with the water being released from Greers Ferry Dam over the past few weeks, and more rain this week probably means more water moving though the dam. No reports.

Greers Ferry Lake
As of Thursdayat noon, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 469.88 feet msl, a 4-foot jump from this time last week (normal conservation pool: 462.54 feet msl, top flood elevation 487.0 msl).

(updated 3-9-2023) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the lake level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 469.81 feet msl, which is 7.77 feet above normal pool for this time of year (462.04 feet msl). The water temperature is mid-50s to low 60s on some days but will cool back off the next two weeks if weather holds and most species will be in holding pattern.
Black bass are eating jerkbaits, crankbaits and spinnerbaits in guts or side of guts; the rest are out deeper and can be caught dragging something and some are right up on shoreline. Some crappie are as shallow as a couple of feet, while most are 10-40 feet. Jigs, minnows or crankbaits catching them. Walleye are eating crankbaits, plastics on a jighead or live baits in a lot of different places all over lake and rivers. No reports on bream. Catfish are eating around dying shad in lake and rivers. Hybrid and white bass are eating a lot of days away from the super stained water, they do not like it. Spoons, inline spinners, swimbaits and small grubs are working in 10-50 feet.

(updated 3-2-2023) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said the fish are pushing toward the back of creeks, and most of the black bass reported caught have been hauled in from the middle to the backs of creeks this week. A red crankbait like a Rock Crawler would be good now, as well as a Wiggle Wart in a crawfish pattern. Anglers also have been throwing a green pumpkin jig and a peanut butter & jelly jig. Also, with a lot of water probably coming into the back of creeks from all the runoff, a white/chartreuse or white spinnerbait would be a good call.
For crappie, anglers have been catching lot of fish around the South Fork River and up around Choctaw. They’ve been catching them in about 10-15 foot of water.
The lake level is about 4 feet high and is probably coming up with this next rainfall, they note. Water clarity of the upper part of lake will be stained or muddy, while the lower part of lake will be clear.

Harris Brake Lake
(updated 2-23-2023) Ken Winstead at Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) in Perryville says crappie are biting and are typical for the changing water of late because of the weather, so move around from shallow to deep water. It’s still hit and miss. Make sure you have the right color: Monkey Milk, black/chartreuse, Cajun Cricket, Kiwi, Mo-Glo, Silver, Blue Ice in jigs, or orange/white/diamond mist in Crappie Magnet. Also use minnows and nightcrawlers.
Bream are a year-round bite on redworms and crickets, but they’re slow now. Black bass are biting, but they’re slow. Use a dark-colored bait. Also, the minnows and nightcrawlers that work for crappie may get a bass reaction. Watermelon red, red/blue/grape colors in artificials are good choices for bass here.
Catfish are biting, but it’s been slow. Liver of all kinds, dough bait, minnows and nightcrawlers are the go-to baits.

(updated 2-23-2023) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) says fishing is mostly “no good” this week after all the rain. “It’s kind of slow right now.” Crappie are still biting but it’s difficult to catch them from the shoreline or dock. Out on the boats, anglers have caught some but not many.
However, white bass are really picking up and appear hungry and hunting for something to eat around the shoreline. Bream, too, are a little more active. Redworms are getting reactions from bream right by the dock. White bass are about 5-7 feet out from the shoreline and also going after the redworms.
The clarity is muddy to almost “yellow looking,” they report, and the level of the lake appears to be 2-3 feet deeper for some that at this usual time of the year. “People are fishing 5-foot deep for crappie.”

Lake Overcup
(updated 2-23-2023) Lacey Williams at Lakeview Landing on Arkansas Highway 95 (501-252-1437) said that crappie anglers should look for the underwater timber about 5 feet deep and use minnows. Catfish are still doing well on trotlines using shad or slicks. No bream or bass reports. Check out the Lakeview Landing Hwy 95 Facebook page for water temperature and other updates.

Brewer Lake
(update 3-9-2023) David Hall at Dad’s Bait Shop (501-289-2210), a 24/7 self-serve bait shop at the lake, had no new reports from the lake.

Lake Maumelle
No reports.

Arkansas River at Morrilton
As of Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Ormond Lock and Dam was 85,221 cfs. The stage at Morrilton was fishing at 17.17 feet (flood stage is 30 feet). Flow further upriver at Dardanelle Lock and Dam the flow was 85,170 cfs. That amount of flow is dangerous for small craft.

Little Maumelle River
(updated 2-23-2023) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the fishing has been really good. Crappie are really starting to move up shallow. Anglers are catching them as shallow as 3-5 feet now. “They are moving up, this water has warmed up, it’s clear and normal (level),” Ray said.
Anglers have also been doing really well on the black bass, which are also coming up shallow in 3-4 feet of water. Lizards, soft plastics of any type and crankbaits are working. Catfish folks are catching their target on yo-yos baited with minnows. The yo-yos are working for crappie, too, and also on minnows.
Not much to report on bream, “but I’m sure you could fish worms on the bottom and catch bream. That’s how it’s been all winter but nobody is fishing for them,” Ray said. “The main thing here is the crappie is moving up shallow.”
Plan your crappie trip to the Little Maumelle either early (sunup or before) and late in the day, an hour or so before dark and into the night (when the yo-yos are working). Use minnows or jigs. With the clear water, about any color is good now. Ray suggests shad-colored jigs or jigs favoring white, silver/white and pink colors.

Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Toad Suck Lock and Dam was 86,559 cfs.

Arkansas River (Little Rock Area Pools)
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Murray Lock and Dam was 96,603 cfs. The elevation is 248.78 feet msl. The stage in the Little Rock pool was steady at 8.57 feet (flood stage is 25 feet). Flow at the Terry Lock and Dam was 91,271 cfs. Both pools have a small craft advisory because of high flow.

(updated 3-2-2023) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) says the river current is good for fishing, but the water is dirty/muddy in clarity. With warmer water temperatures, bass anglers should head toward the backwaters and fish shallower areas. They suggest using a chartreuse black back square bill. Also try a black/blue Chatterbait, while anglers also are having success using a black/blue jig. Just try to target any visible cover where black bass are pulling up to spawn.
The crappie have been on the backwater holes on the inside of jetties in 10 feet of water. Crappie anglers are catching them on orange/chartreuse jigs and red/chartreuse and solid chartreuse crappie jigs.
The water level of the river is a little higher than normal, but again the current is good now to take on the pool if you can handle the muddy water.

(updated 3-2-2023) Hatchet Jack’s Sports Shop in Crystal Hill off I-40 (501-758-4958) said the river is slow on catfish for now, while crappie are “fair to middlin’” on jigs or minnows. “In another two weeks, things will really be on.” Catfish in the 10-pounds and up just aren’t consistent now. They appear very lethargic.
But some good days have happened lately with crappie, as one angler reported a limit of big 14- to-17-inch crappie caught in the pool. How long it took that angler to catch all those crappie was a question not answered, however.

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White River
(updated 3-9-2023) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said March brings spring break across the country – perfect for family time enjoying the great outdoors in The Natural State. That might include some time trout fishing, and catching, on the White River in the Arkansas Ozarks. Anglers were rewarded with some beauties this past week with river, especially if they had a handful of shad or a couple of Rapala Countdowns.
Water levels have ranged from about three units (3,300 cfs) to upward of 15,000 cfs as short spurts of heavy releases are experienced usually in mid-afternoon. We expect that to continue with the late winter rains we are encountering. Bull Shoals Lake rose about 5 feet over the last week and is now at 664.70 feet msl; the Army Corps of Engineers will work to lower that number to seasonal power pool of 659 feet over the coming days.
There is plenty of opportunity to fish “the rise” with red wigglers or plumped-up nightcrawlers drifted mid-depth. The early morning water level is often perfect for some jigging. White jigs have been attracting larger rainbows, they report, and you’ll see some pretty good action with a black feathered jig, too. If you start early while the water level remains low, you can begin your catching day with a quarter-ounce silver and blue hammered spoon, and finish up with a Rapala Gold and Black CD5. The shrimp/PowerBait combo works well for the times in between.
“Make health and safety as your No. 1 priority right now and keep angling for trophy trout on the river! Don’t forget: The month of March is time for wearin’ o’ the green.”

(updated 3-9-2023) Dave McCulley, owner of Jenkins Fishing Service in Calico Rock, said the rains late last week caused the river to rise to over 16 feet and the water to become very muddy. Luckily by Tuesday the water still had some dinginess to it but it was fishable. With the dingy water bright colors and anything that causes a flash works best. If drift-fishing try using a silver inline spinner with bright-colored Power Eggs to get the trout’s attention and shrimp to further entice the trout to bite and hold on to the bait while you can set the hook. The brown trout will lie in wait for something to come by and then ambush what they see. Try using size 7 Rapala Countdowns in silver or gold.
Happily, the weatherman’s early prediction of 3 to 4 inches between Wednesday and Thursday doesn’t look like it will happen. The half-inch on Wednesday and the expected half-inch on Thursday should have little effect on the river levels and water conditions.

(updated 3-9-2023) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service at Cotter said that during the past week they had a little over 2.5 inches of rainfall, warmer temperatures and heavy winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals rose 5.1 feet to rest at 5.5 feet above power pool of 659 feet msl. This is 30.5 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock Lake rose 2.6 feet to rest at 3.3 feet below power pool and 12.7 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose 3.4 feet to rest at 3.3 feet above power pool or 5.8 feet below the top of flood pool. The White has had no wadable water and moderate flows. Norfork Lake rose 4.8 feet to rest at 4.7 feet above power pool of 553.75 feet and 21.5 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork tailwater has had some wadable water.
Streamer season is upon us. The browns trout that have were spawning from November to late January are now working their way back downstream. Anglers are targeting them by banging the bank with big streamers on sink tip lines.
He said, “On the White, the hot spot has been the Narrows. We have had higher flows that have fished well one day and poorly the next. 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 has been prepping for the Sowbug Roundup in his area and says, “The Sowbug Roundup is coming to town. This is the biggest fly-tying show in the area. Over the years this show has gained international respect and is a national treasure. This event has been created and produced by the North Arkansas Fly Fishers for several decades. It started as a little fly-tying show in my home town of Cotter and has grown exponentially over the years.
“This year’s show will be held at the Baxter County Fairgrounds in Mountain Home on March 23-25. It begins at 9 a.m. and ends each day at 4 p.m. Admission is $10 for all three days. Adults accompanied with children under 12 years old are admitted free. The first $10,000 goes toward scholarships for students majoring in conservation or fisheries. Other funds are earmarked for conservation and education projects.|
“How has a small local fly-fishing club been able to put on a show of this caliber? The secret is hard work. The committee meets monthly throughout the year. The club members have been doing this for years and know their jobs intimately. All are eager volunteers.
“This show is all about the fly-tyers. We have approximately 150 tyers from all 50 states and several foreign countries. They come here at their expense to be a part of this show. On each day of the show, many of them are tying at tables for the public to watch them tie, interact with them and learn many of their advanced techniques.
“There are also seminars, free fly-casting lessons and fly-tying classes. There are over 20 vendors, including all of our local fly shops.
“I have been personally involved with the Sowbug Roundup ever since I moved to Cotter 23 years ago. I have been a tyer, a seminar presenter, a vendor, a casting instructor, a committee member and chairman of the fly-tying contest.

“After all of these years, my favorite job is still fly-tyer. I have a vendor booth for my guide service, Berry Brothers Guide Service, and I am there tying my signature fly, the Green Butt, except when I am presenting a seminar. My sister, Ernestine, travels from Memphis every year to help in my booth. My wife, Lori, will be teaching fly-casting as usual. I am scheduled to present a seminar on how to fish local waters and another on fishing Tennessee (my birth place).
“There is also a plethora of raffles, silent auctions and live auctions. This is a great opportunity to pick up a host of fly-fishing equipment and collectables. I will be there all three days. Stop by my booth and I will tie you a fly.”

Bull Shoals Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 665.44 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 659.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 695.00 feet msl). By midday Thursday the flow was 13,066 cfs and has ranged from 6,300 late Wednesday to almost 15,000 over the past two days; tailwater elevation was 456.29 feet. The reported lake elevation at Table Rock Lake was 918.05 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 915.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 931.0 feet msl).

(updated 3-9-2023) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said the lake level has risen 5 feet rise since last report, to 664 feet. Water temperature is 49 degrees, give or take. We have had dirty water and temps in the upper 50s. The warm rain and wind helped. Temperature and conditions over the next month will dictate your game plan and success. Fish the conditions. The shad are spread out everywhere from the main lake to backs of the creeks. Look for bigger spreads shallower than 60 feet. Gulls and loons can help you find them. If you can find a wad, then that’s where the big girls have been hanging, usually above the shad from 10-30 feet. Tater Shad, swimbait, Jerky Jerk are good for these conditions, and if there is not a lot of action, try dead stick on the bait.
While some warmer creeks have a wave of fish up, they are mostly bucks with an occasional big. Windy, dirty, cloudy, warm water calls for a crankbait, square bill, Rock Crawler or Wiggle Wart. Fish on the swing banks. If it’s sunny with flat water, try slow-dragging a Jewel Jig or green pumpkin shaky head slow-banging on the rocks ledges in 5-15 feet.
The fish are in transition. The shad bite video gaming isn’t over but it’s been nice to hit the bank and catch them somewhat regularly. Fish are already staging early prespawn areas in the creeks, swings and points. The crankbait bite is hit or miss this should improve with warm days and dirty water – wind, wind and wind and clouds will help. Parallel steeper ledges, 45-degree banks and transition banks, and cover water.

Rock Crawler has worked better. Try the reds on the steeper, clearer water. A Wiggle Wart will work on mid-water; and try a Chick Magnet flat side in the stain. A jerkbait on breezy day bluff ends over steeper swings and points with shad nearby will fool a few. “I’m not a rig guy, but they are setting up for that. The smallmouth are definitely grouping up if you can find them; they are in roaming mode. A 2.8 McMinnow is on deck. Checker steeper side ledges. You’ll have keep moving to find them, but when you do there’s usually a few. Each day is different. White bass and stripers have started popping up and walleyes are moving up to spawn. Get up early, or stay out late if it’s sunny.
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 midday Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 558.99 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 3,000 cfs, with on-and-off generation.

(updated 3-9-2023) Steven “Scuba Steve” Street at Blackburn’s Resort said, “The lake level was 558.71 feet msl and still rising slowly with a surface water temperature of 53 degrees when I came in at 5:30 PM on Wednesday. The White River at Newport was 24.41 feet and dropping but a lot of water is flowing into the river other than from the lakes. They are letting out about as much as they can and not flood things out downstream. The water clarity varies with the amount of generation but has cleared a lot in the main lake since the big rain last week. The muddy and brown water is all gone.
Crappie fishing picked up and then has slowed again and bass fishing is pretty good. Some are back in the creeks and some are on brush near the bank on windblown banks and more are in open water on shad. White bass are spawning in the backs of the major creeks and up river and the walleye have finished. Stripers are simulating a spawn in their normal places and move to their spawning banks at dark.
“Overall, fishing just gets good and then another cold front comes through. Trollers are catching a variety of fish dragging umbrellas through shad; brush fishing is fair for Kentucky bass and crappie, people beating the bank back in the creeks, and others casting jigs and small grubs over brush and letting them sink into it are all catching fish. Overall, fishing is just fair but some nice ones are being caught every day.”

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

(updated 3-9-2023) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort had no new reports. However, 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 3-9-2023) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Norfork Lake rose 4.8 feet to rest at 4.7 feet above power pool of 553.75 feet and 21.5 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork tailwater has had some wadable water. 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-head nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended 18 inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise). John’s favorite rig has been a size 14 pheasant tail nymph and a size 18 ruby midge. 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, 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 3-9-2023) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Crooked Creek and the Buffalo River are fishing poorly. With warmer temperatures, the smallmouths should be soon 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 1,124.91 feet msl, a 3-foot rise from this time last week (normal conservation pool: 1,120.43 feet msl; top flood elevation is 1,130.0 feet msl).

(updated 3-9-2023) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) said Beaver Lake sits at 1,124.5 feet msl, which is 3 feet above normal levels. “We did receive a lot of rain last week, which as expected blew into the system. Lots of muddy water and debris. Lake water temps are in the upper 40s to low 50s in the river arms and backs of creek arms.”
Spotted bass have ramped up on jerkbaits in the backs of Rambo, Clifty and Joe’s and Blackburn arms. This should continue to get better. Stripers are still very hard to find and a few have been caught around Horseshoe Bend and the islands around Prairie Creek. Crappie are really scattered and moving into main arms and starting to stage up on brush adjacent to known spawning areas. With the rise of water do not be afraid to look shallow for both crappie and bass. Walleye have been sputtering due to muddy water and water rises. There have been some big females caught, though, on trolled Flicker Shad as of late. White bass are basically just starting to filter into the river arms and this should ramp up in the coming weeks. Catfish should be active with all the rising muddy water.
“Be safe and watch out for floaters/debris in the lake.”

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

(updated 2-24-2023) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the main topic of conversation this week is the walleye are starting to move into the creeks. Anglers are fishing mostly live baits (minnows have been the big thing) and they are finding mostly males, no females, and the males aren’t really that big yet. The run has just started, they note. Look for them in the river arms and below Beaver Dam, around War Eagle and the White River arms. “They are not really going full bore, but they can be caught now and that’s big.” Crappie are rated fair to good. There are not a lot of crappie anglers out yet with the chill (35 degrees Friday) still in the air. The crappie are in a prespawn bite and found around brush and other cover. Many crappie anglers are using the LiveScope and searching them out and using a variety of baits, mostly jigs, artificials and minnows.
The fishing pressure on the lake is still light. The lake is in good shape and clear for the most part. Conditions are good.
Stripers, a year-long target on Beaver Lake, are being caught on big minnows, but pressure is light on them as well right now. Stripers are moving into the river arms and upper White. 
Black bass are still in a winter pattern and that bite is rate fair. Jerkbaits, Alabama rigs are the baits of choice, and mostly it’s tournament fishing time, though it has taken around 15 pounds to win the tourneys, The white bass run hasn’t really started; some have been caught in the river arms but that is also still a winter fishing pattern for now.
Water temperature in the river arms is in the high 40s and the main lake is in the mid-40s. It’s still far from spring-like temps. “We expect a big change in the next three weeks,” they report. “It hasn’t been a hard winter up here. Everything is happening as it should. The walleye are the first to pick up.”

Beaver Tailwater
(updated 3-9-2023) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said, “Fishing has been great this week. The trout bite has picked up as well as the walleye and white bass. Trout are being caught using Pautzke Fire Bait, Fire Balls and Fire Worms (drifting). Fish with light terminal tackle, on bottom. Try to hit the deeper holes with the bait and Fire Balls. Drift the Fire Worms when the Corps of Engineers is flowing water.
“The walleye bite has continued to increase and temperatures are starting to climb. Most are getting caught on soft plastics with Fire Gel scent. Also trolling crankbaits scented with Fire Gel. Try to focus baits in the 8-10 feet range. The walleye are spread out, so you’ve got to cover water.
White bass have been hitting hard and soft swimbaits. As with the walleye, they are spread out.
“As a side note, with the increasing boat traffic, please try to be courteous to other boaters. If you are under power and approaching a standing boat, slow down and try to communicate with the standing boat to see which side to yield to. Remember, you are under power, the standing boat cannot maneuver as quickly as you.
“I hope you are able to get out and catch some fish. For daily fishing updates, follow my fishing Facebook page (
Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service). Have fun and stay safe.”

Lake Fayetteville
(updated 3-9-2023) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) had no new reports.



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Lake Charles
(updated 3-9-2023) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) said bream have begun to appear around the shoreline. Anglers found fair numbers of them and caught those using crickets and jigs. Crappie had picked up but maybe fell off just a little to fair this past week. Jigs are working best. Black bass are still fair, but Shelly didn’t have report on baits used. No reports on catfish or white bass.
The rain of late has raised the lake considerably to where it is over the piers as recent as Sunday. The lake’s water temperature on Sunday was 51.6 degrees. The lake is usually murky.

Lake Poinsett
(updated 2-23-2023) Seth Boone, the superintendent at Lake Poinsett State Park, reported Lake Poinsett had crappie biting well on minnows and jigs. Bass are starting to bite on artificials off of the points. Bream are biting on worms and Bream Killers. Catfish are slow but biting in the early evenings on stink bait and live bait. Crappie and bass are catch-and-release at Lake Poinsett. Normal state limits on bream and catfish now.

Crown Lake
(updated 3-2-2023) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) has reopened for the fishing season and for the past three weeks they’ve started to see some activity, particularly out of the bass anglers. The bass being caught in good numbers are reported all healthy “and chunky.” They are using a variety of baits, but it tends to lean toward crankbaits or jigs. No bass are on top yet, but they are moving in to shallower areas. They’ve seen some crappie anglers out, but so far there have been no reports. “It’s probably too early.”
The water level is normal and the clarity is dingy.

Spring River
(updated 3-9-2023) Mark Crawford with (870-955-8300) said the Spring is flowing at 560 cfs (well above the 350 cfs average), and water clarity has been poor depending on rain amounts through the week. Plenty of rain lately has the river up and murky at times. Always check our blog for latest fishing conditions on the Spring River. Our blog page is on the website linked above.
The catch has been good with sink tips or split shot to help get the fly down. Lots of bug hatches on the sunny days has made nymphing productive most days. Just takes a little more weight to get down. “A few browns have been caught lately but mainly good rainbows and smallmouth. Grandma’s brownies and Cracklebacks have been hot for my guide trips with a sink tip or spit shot. And if no luck, go to a Y2K with a nymph dropper for the days they are not biting.”
The smallmouth have been hitting lately on deep slow presentations. Sink tips with snag free flies work well. Minnow and sculpins patterns are the fav, with crawfish patterns working well too somedays. Got to get it down!
With river levels up, be safe wading; a wading staff can save a life. The Spring River has a very slick river bottom that is hard to wade normally, so be careful. With the public areas getting a lot of pressure, places like Riverside Resort that is open through the winter can offer better wading and less pressure. All of the campgrounds will open April 1, providing more accesses. And stocking will increase through March, getting ready for the summer season.
“Water has been up but that has not slowed us down from catching fish and having fun!”

(updated 3-9-2023) 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,” he says. 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 on the rise at 10.33 feet (flood stage is 15.0 feet. The Newport stage is also still slightly on the rise at 24.53 feet (flood stage is 26 feet). The stage at Augusta is beginning to drop but is high at 32.47 feet, almost 6.5 feet above flood stage of 26.00 feet.

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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 90,599 cfs. The stage at Pine Bluff is at 31.85 and slightly on the rise (flood stage is 42 feet). Further upstream, the flow at the Maynard Lock and Dam was 94,889 cfs.

(updated 3-9-2023) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team reports water temperatures in low 60s mostly with upper 60s in protected backwaters. Visibility is less than 6 inches in most places, with slightly better visibility in protected backwaters. Black bass are biting fairly well on small dark-colored jigs and soft plastics. Black bass are transitioning into traditional spawning areas but have not quite loaded into them yet. Check staging areas for now and anticipate more activity in spawning areas over the next few weeks.


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Millwood Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 259.94 feet msl (normal pool: 259.20 feet msl; top flood elevation is 287.0 feet msl). Total hourly outflow at the dam is still high; at midday it was 16,439cfs, which is steady for the past few days.

(updated 3-9-2023) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said Tuesday that Millwood Lake actually rose over the past few days from recent storms, and he said clarity is heavy stain to muddy in some locations with high river flow and current. Currently Millwood is almost 11 inches above normal pools. Millwood Lake tailwater elevation was near 245 feet msl (almost 20 FEET above normal) and rising with gate discharge at the dam near 17,000 cfs in Little River, according to the USACE. 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. Watch for random floaters and broken timber during any navigation on Little River and Millwood Lake. Surface temps jumped this week, ranging in 60-65 degrees depending on location and the time of day. Clarity along Little River was stained to muddy many locations and much worse further up Little River, with river clarity ranging 3-5 inches visibility depending on location. Oxbows had heavy stain with visibility 5-7 inches depending on location. Further up Little River near White Cliffs and Wilton Landing has heavier stain and muddy conditions with high current flow.
Mike provided the following fishing specifics from the past week:

* Over the past couple weeks the black bass have been randomly feeding along Little River and the oxbows with a few warmer days being best days to make a run upriver. Flats next to deep creeks and secondary points with any fresh grass growth, new lily pad blooms and vegetation will coax a bite on a Chatterbait or square bill on warm and sunny days mainly in the afternoon. A few chunky 2- and 3-pound male largemouth bass were the most aggressive at midday into late afternoon over the past few weeks and those fish were being seen randomly near and close to deeper creek channels. They have been randomly hitting Brazalo Spinnerbaits in Spot Remover, Chatterbaits in white or Firecraw, and Rat-L-Traps in Red Chrome Crawfish, Millwood Magic or Toledo Gold. Custom-painted Bent Pole Little John Cranks in Millwood Magic and Rayburn Red finessed through the new vegetation have picked up a few male largemouths in the 2- to 4-pound class. The best water clarity and reaction from chunky bass have left the river and moved to the back of McGuire, Clear Lake and Horseshoe Lake oxbows where the clarity is somewhat better away from the current of Little River.
Floating a Zoom Trick Worm, Barlow’s Salty Rat Tails and the Yum Dingers are beginning to get good reactions. Merthiolate, Blue Ice, Watermelon Candy, Pumpkinseed Shad and South African Special colors were all randomly working in the back of Clear Lake, Horseshoe Lake and McGuire. Bass Assassin Shads in Pumpkinseed, Houdini and Chico’s Red Ear have been getting bit near cypress trees and fresh vegetation from a few prespawn female largemouths. Brazalo spinnerbaits in Spot Remover or River Shad with red blades were catching some decent prespawn males moving in and out of spawning flats over the past couple of weeks when the sun was up and you could see movement in 3-5 feet of depths on the spawning flats. Big female largemouth have been starting to stage at creek mouths and on first vertical drops from the spawning flats to deeper water. Red Chrome Crawfish, Toledo Gold or Natural Crawfish in three-quarter ounce and 1-knocker Rat-L-Traps were picking up a few prespawn fish in 8-12 feet depth on vertical drops.
Mud Lake clarity worsened over the past few days with increased current passing through, but Horseshoe and McGuire oxbows along Little River have had the best water clarity and the most aggressive largemouth and Kentucky (spotted) bass over the past few weeks. In the back of McGuire oxbow, we were throwing a custom-painted Little John Crankbaits in Rayburn Red, 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. We continue to find a few large schools over the past couple weeks along Little River and most have moved upriver past the entrance of McGuire Lake. Those white bass were in large number and decent school sizes, ranging from 2-3 pounds, and continue biting well on Rat-L-Trap Spin-Traps, Cordell Hammered Spoons, Bomber Fat Free Shads, 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 current along Little River has increased again, but the schools of white bass continue migrating up Little River for their annual spawning run. Many different schools continue roaming Little River and were caught for several weeks from Cemetery Slough upwards toward Wilton Landing. Tail-Spinner and Underspins with lead heads like the Little Georges, Little Cleo’s and Rocket Shads caught some 2-3 pound whites along Little River between McGuire and Cemetery Slough over the past 2-3 weeks. We expect to see greater numbers of large white bass schools running further upriver near Wilton Landing, Cossatot inflow ditch and Patterson Shoals for their annual spawning runs over the next week as the surface temps continue to climb in the mid-60 degree range now.
* Crappie have been chasing white bass the past couple of weeks, and we’ve had no reports. No reports on bream or catfish.

Lake Columbia
No reports.

Lake Erling
(updated 2-23-2023) Lake Erling Guide Service (870-904-8546) reported that the crappie are moving to the shallows. Anglers are caching lots of nice-sized crappie. Use hand-tied jigs in white/silver and gray/silver/white or use minnows for best results.

Lake Greeson Tailwater
For the most updated Narrows Dam generation schedule from SWEPCO, click here.

Lake Greeson
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Narrows Dam was 547.26 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).

DeGray Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 405.83 feet msl (full pool: 408.00 feet msl).

(updated 3-9-2023) Randy Plyler with Plyler Outdoors Guide Service (870-210-0522) said fishing has really picked over the last couple of weeks with the warm weather we’ve been having. Lake level is at 475.72 feet msl, subject to change due to all the rain we’ve been getting. Please watch out for floating debris as you get from Arlie Moore Landing to upper lake area due to the amount of rain. Bass have moved into a prespawn pattern and have moved into waters 1-10 feet deep. They can be caught on a variety of baits, including crankbaits, Chatterbaits, jerkbaits, jigs and shaky head. Water temperature is ranging between 56-60 degrees.
Crappie have moved up and have been bunched up. Just watch your graph or LiveScope and look for them near flats or towards the back of some pockets. They can be caught on minnows or small jigs.
Whites bass are running can be caught on lipless crankbaits or shad-colored crankbaits.

(updated 3-9-2023) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) said for all the lakes he fishes in the Hot Springs area – DeGray, Hamilton and Ouachita – they each are fishing about the same at this time. Water is warming and the crappie are moving up to their staging brush piles. If you can find some descent water clarity you’ll catch some. Live bait and jigs have worked 8-15 feet deep.

De Queen Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 441.75 feet msl (full pool: 437.00 feet msl).

Dierks Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 543.60 feet msl (full pool: 526.00 feet msl).

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White Oak Lake Area
(update 3-9-2023) Curtis Willingham at River Rat Bait in Camden (870-251-3831) had no new reports.


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Lake Atkins
(updated 3-9-2023) 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 3-9-2023) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below the dam is 55 degrees with stained conditions in the tailrace. Very heavy generation has been the norm for several weeks with both generators running huge amounts of water through the system to keep area lakes at winter drawdown and now normal pool levels. Flood gates remain open to aid in lowering Lake Ouachita out of flood pool. Little productive fishing has been done in the tailrace under these adverse conditions and this scenario has continued since mid-January. Anglers should plan on staying off the water below Carpenter Dam until area lakes are safe to navigate and conditions return to normal. The public is urged to use extreme caution when visiting the Carpenter Dam use area during this time. Numerous rocks and shallow sandbars dot the area creating treacherous boating and wading. The weekly generation report is posted every Wednesday evening on the Entergy website under Hydro-Operations. Currently, all flood gates have been closed below Carpenter Dam, but this could change as heavy rainfall is possible on Wednesday and Thursday of this week. The trout stocking program has proceeded as scheduled so big numbers of fish are in the tailrace and can be caught when safe conditions allow bank and boat fishermen to access the lake.
March has 9,700 rainbows scheduled for release in the tailrace just in time for spring. Trout are widely scattered from the bridge to the dam and, when conditions allow, can be caught in the shoals by fly-fishermen casting micro-jigs in black and white under a strike indicator.
A San Juan worm in hot pink gives trout a visible prey item in the murky conditions. 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 with more 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 annual 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. Trolling shallow-running crankbaits that imitate shad or crayfish against the current will draw strikes from spawning walleye and is an excellent method of locating areas where walleye are congregating.

Always follow all park and lake regulations when visiting the Carpenter Dam use area and be aware of lake conditions before planning a day on the water.

Lake Dardanelle
As of Thursday midday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s flow at Dardanelle Lock and Dam as 85,170 cfs. Elevation was 337.78 feet msl and the tailwater was at 294.08 feet msl. (Top navigation pool is 338.2 and bottom pool is 336.0.) The stage higher than it has been of late, rising to 13.44 feet as of Thursday afternoon (flood stage is 32 feet).

(updated 2-24-2023) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) in Plainview hears from guides and anglers that crappie are doing very well now. Guide Jeff Larch, who operates River Valley Tours and takes groups out at Nimrod, went up in recent days to Dardanelle “and did very good on the crappie,” they report.

Lake Hamilton
(updated 3-9-2023) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) said for all the lakes he fishes in the Hot Springs area – DeGray, Hamilton and Ouachita – they each are fishing about the same at this time. Water is warming and the crappie are moving up to their staging brush piles. If you can find some descent water clarity you’ll catch some. Live bait and jigs have worked 8-15 feet deep.

(updated 3-2-2023) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said that with the water warming up, black bass are moving toward the backs of the creeks or toward spawning flats. Target those 10-15 foot brush piles, and also the transitions areas where it goes from a little deeper water to a flat or channel swing. Anglers are mostly catching them on red Rat-L-Traps and green pumpkin Chatterbait. Also, anglers are flipping a jig around docks and around wood.
Crappie have been hanging around those 15-foot brush pile in the creeks, the guts of creeks and pockets. It’s best to throw a jig now, with Monkey Milk being a good color. With the stained water, also consider a white/chartreuse jig.

Lake Nimrod
As of 1 p.m. Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 22 feet high at 365.20 feet msl (normal pool: 343.71 feet msl; top flood elevation is 373.0 feet msl).

(updated 2-24-2023) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said Friday morning that the crappie are beginning to bite, and bite well. One of the guides going out from Andrews fished three days this week and on his teams the anglers were doing real well on the crappie. The preferred bait is a yellow-headed hair jig, and some minnows are being used, though not as many as jigs. The fish are about 8-12 feet deep.
The lake had made its way up to 50 degrees though on Friday morning it was recorded as 39 degrees.
Bass are slow and anglers are not catching many even up into the backwaters. Nobody is really catfishing now, and the bream anglers have not started bream fishing in number yet, though they were catching bream before the water took a big rise.
Nimrod was 18 feet above normal pool level, but even with the latest rain it is dropping. The Corps of Engineers is “running it strong,” they report, and the water below the dam is at 314 feet msl. Above the dam and coming from the river the water is clear, though in front of the dam the water is muddy. In spite of the higher level these days, anglers are able to launch boats.

(updated 2-23-2023) Ken Winstead at Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) in Perryville says crappie are biting in spite of the various weather and water changes we’re seeing lately. Move around, check out shallow water and the deep water too. Good luck. It might be hit and miss now. Use jigs in Monkey Milk, black/chartreuse, Cajun Cricket, Kiwi, Mo-Glo, silver and Blue Ice, or throw a Crappie Magnet that is orange, white or Diamond Mist. Minnows and nightcrawlers for live bait.
Bream are slow, but try redworms and crickets as they may be starting to get hungry as the water warms some. Black bass are biting but it’s been slow. We favor a dark colored bait and also watermelon red, red or blue, or shad-like baits. Also use minnows. Catfish like liver, dough bait, minnows and nightcrawlers now, but cats have been slow.

Lake Ouachita
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 578.49 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).

(updated 3-9-2023) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out-of-state) said black bass are still good. Rat-L-Traps, crawfish-colored square bill crankbaits or a PB&J jig were working best. Walleye are slow, but there have been random reports of these fish being caught on jerkbaits. Stripers are still good. An Alabama rig or live bait on the main lake points or creek channel mouths on the rivers should be the best lures in the best spots to find these. No reports on bream. Crappie are good on small jigs or minnows. Try brush 20-35 feet deep. It’s also time to get your trot lines and jugs set for catfish.
Water temperature is ranging 50-54 degrees. Water clarity is stained. Lake level on Tuesday was 578.92 feet msl, up more than 2 feet from last week. Call the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717, or Chris Darby, 870-867-7822) for more information.

(updated 3-9-2023) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) said for all the lakes he fishes in the Hot Springs area – DeGray, Hamilton and Ouachita – they each are fishing about the same at this time. Water is warming and the crappie are moving up to their staging brush piles. If you can find some descent water clarity you’ll catch some. Live bait and jigs have worked 8-15 feet deep.

Blue Mountain Lake
As of Friday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 408.98 feet msl, 22.3 above pool stage (full pool: 385.71.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 419.0 feet msl).

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White River/Clarendon Area
The Army Corps of Engineers on Thursday reported the Clarendon gauge is steady 28.73 feet, or 2.73 above the flood stage of 26.00 feet.

Horseshoe Lake
(updated 3-9-2023) Kent Williams of Oxbow Guide Service (870-278-7978) said that with last week’s 6-plus inches of rain there, the lake came up and got muddy to stained in most areas. The surface temperature has continued to rise and was 60.5 degrees as of Sunday afternoon. More rain is forecasted for Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. We shall see how the fish respond.
With the rising water and the rising temperatures one would think the crappie fishing would be on fire. The crappie are/were still deep and finicky. “Spider-riggers that I spoke to were struggling to catch fish. Longlining over a 4-hour period produced one fish for us.

“LiveScope was the only tactic that we could find to consistently produce and that was at a slow rate. With the water having color to it, we swapped bait colors and caught our fish on an Oxbow Jig in the color Orange Crush (a jig I make).
The fish are still very pale, coming from an average of 18 feet deep. On a better note, after a while in the live well the colors come in and the males are getting darker.
“There was a bass tournament on Saturday (two tournaments, I think). I was coming out as they were weighing in. There were some really impressive fish released back into the lake. I didn’t see many with a five-fish limit but it looked as if most had two or three fish. Most folks I saw bass fishing were in the shallows.”
Still no reports as yet on bream or catfish.

Cook’s Lake
(update 3-9-2023) Wil Hafner, facility manager at Cook’s Lake Nature Center (501-404-2321), says the center is prepping the lake for fishing; they are just dealing now with high water from the White River. Cook’s will open for youth and mobility impaired and up to two guests as soon as the water recedes and allows access to the dock and ramp. Please note the change in phone number to the facility as well, listed above.

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


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