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Arkansas Wildlife Weekly Fishing Report

BY Jim Harris

ON 11-16-2023


Nov. 16, 2023

Jim Harris

Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine

Clarence Bray (with fish) and his buddy Fred from San Antonio, Texas, went fishing earlier this week with guide Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake, and according to Mike, had a ball laughing and catching largemouth and white bass.

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 listed for the lake or stream you plan to fish for current news.

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:

Central Arkansas

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

NOTICE: The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission opened all operational gates at Lake Conway Dam Nov. 15, allowing the lake to drain faster in preparation for the Lake Conway restoration project announced in June. Nick Feltz, AGFC fisheries supervisor at the agency’s Mayflower office, says the lake has seen a slow release using only one to two open gates since Sept. 1.
“We needed to release the water slowly this summer to prevent flooding bottomland hardwood trees in Bell Slough Wildlife Management Area downstream of the dam during the growing season,” Feltz said.

The lake has already fallen nearly 3.5 feet since the first gate was opened Sept. 1, and it is expected to drop another 2 feet much more rapidly with the opening of all gates. Feltz says the lowest level the lake will reach from the gates being opened is approximately 257 feet msl, about 6 feet below normal pool. He said there will still be a lot of surface water on the lake at this level, but the AGFC does not plan any additional actions to lower the water level below this point until late winter or early spring.”

Visit to for updates about the renovation project.

(updated 11-16-2023) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) reports that all the gates are open and anglers are still catching fish “but it won’t be long, though. It’s gone down tremendously in the last couple of days. It’s losing surface water pretty fast.”

When the water starts dropping quickly, Lake Conway fish seem to take note and stop for a bit, but then pick back up. Such is the case this week, they report. People are catching crappie every day in big numbers. Crappie are biting on jigs, while some anglers are catching them on minnows. Some anglers report catching 70-80 crappie (there are no creel limits as the lake is drawn down). Bass are biting on crankbaits and spinnerbaits. Catfish will bite anything you throw in the water.


Little Red River
For the Army Corps of Engineers’ real-time outflow report from Greers Ferry Dam, visit the Corps’ Little Rock office website or by calling (501) 362-5150). Also check the Southwestern Power Administration website to see forecast generation schedule.

(updated 11-16-2023) Mike Winkler of Little Red River Fly Fishing Trips/Little Red River Fly Guides (501-507-3688) said the Southwestern Power Administration has been running a little bit of water lately. “We have had two days with cold temperatures in the morning and they ran both those days, running two units for two hours.

Check the SWPA website for the generation schedule.

“The bite has been excellent the day after they release water and while fishing the falling out water from the day’s releases. With the current generation, the river is still experiencing low flows or no flows. With no moving water, I’ve been fishing the deep water around the moss beds. I’ve been casting near the moss beds. If no bite, cast in 5- to 6-feet increments or in-between the moss lanes. I’ve been fishing eggs and San Juan Worms. Midges have also produced.”

(updated 11-16-2023) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said a little water is being released from the dam, a couple of hours in the morning, but it’s been very spotty. It will run a couple of days and cut it for three or four days. It’s consistent for boating and important that anglers pay attention to the generation schedule.

But there has been enough water to set up for great wade fishing opportunities using the AGFC walk-in areas such as JFK Park, Libby, Swinging Bridge and Cow Shoals, all the way to Pangburn bridge. Trout anglers are mostly catching them on Carolina-rigged PowerBait or on a small Rooster Tail or a small Little Cleo (or small spoon) and a Maribou Jig (anything in olive or white has worked well lately).

(updated 11-16-2023) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service (501-250-0730) had no new reports. Always check the generation schedule and be aware of unexpected water release. Check before heading to the Little Red River for Greers Ferry Dam water release by downloading the USACE Little Rock app, Corps of Engineers website ( for real-time water release and the Southwestern Power Administration website ( to see forecasted generation schedule. 


Greers Ferry Lake
For the Army Corps of Engineers’ real-time lake level and outflow report from Greers Ferry Dam, visit the Corps’ Little Rock office website

(updated 11-16-2023) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 453.92 feet msl, 8.12 feet below normal pool. Tommy says, “Right now is a great time to check out the lay of land that’s usually underwater. Film it or mark it for later when water gets back up so it can help you understand how the fish set up here for you to catch later. Also stay away from the tannic colored water as it is probably in process of turning over and usually it is about two weeks before fish will settle and eat well again — and wear your life jackets and be safe.
“A lot of baitfish have gathered up in the mouths of certain creeks and rivers. Some are in the back of the creeks. It will not be the same place every year, so check different ones each year for best results and stay around shad for best catching.”
Crappie are as high as 4-5 feet floating around the surface in places, and in other places they are still in 40 feet — pick your favorite way to catch them and stay with the program with jigs or jigs tipped with minnows; crankbaits are working too.
No reports on catfish still, other than they are following baitfish around eating what other fish spit up all over the lake and rivers, but jug fishing is a good way to go. Black bass are super shallow out to suspended over 80 feet or sitting on structure in 43 feet. The top, missile or bottom of the water column is working with a lot of different baits. Walleyes are still eating, just finding them is the ticket now. Drag crawlers in 15-45 feet for best results, or use a spoon. Hybrid bass and white bass are scattered all over the lake and rivers feeding pretty well and it will be even better soon. They are on top at times. Some are trying to get settled in at 33 feet, while most are trying to get settled in at 43 feet. When they first get out of deep water they will act kind of crazy like this for a while until they get settled down on the type of structure they like, staying close to bait and in the right water conditions. Use spoons, inline spinners, swimbaits or hair jigs for best results and stay around baitfish. 

(updated 11-16-2023) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said fishing patterns seem to be the same as they have been for a few weeks. Bass are hitting topwaters mostly. They’re starting to move into the creeks. They’re being found mostly on secondary points and biting there on topwaters and shad-looking baits. Also try a drop-shot around brush for some response. Crappie are also hungry around the brush in 15-20 feet. Some anglers are catching crappie by trolling Bandit crankbaits. No reports on walleye.


Harris Brake Lake
(updated 11-16-2023) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) says crappie has been doing pretty well for the past couple of weeks. Anglers are catching them off the shoreline and some crappie have measured 14 to 14.5 inches. They are using minnows and jigs. Also try a 1/16-ounce orange or pink jighead. The best time for catching crappie has been from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. The evenings are OK, but not as good as the mornings. 

The AGFC’s drawdown of Harris Brake Lake to use some of that water for the nearby WMA for waterfowl season is underway. On Thursday, the areas where folks were able to catch crappie from the shoreline were harder to access because of the lowering of the water, they report, but the water level should pick back up after a few days.
Both white bass and some black bass (spotted bass) are being caught, with some of the bass in the 2-3 pound range. Anglers are catching bass with minnows and crappie jigs off the shoreline. You can catch white bass anytime now, they are very active, Harris Brake Resort folks tell us.
Not as many catfish as usual are being caught now, but people are still using noodles and trotlines for catfish. Trotlines are being baited with bass minnows. Some bream are still being caught off the dock off redworms.

Not as many people have been fishing lately with hunting season underway, they report.

(updated 7-6-2023) Ken Winstead at Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) had no new reports.


Lake Overcup
(updated 11-16-2023) John “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Landing off Arkansas Highway 9 had no new reports.

(updated 8-17-2023) Lacey Williams at Lakeview Landing on Arkansas Highway 95 (501-252-1437) said the catfish “are biting real good! They’re better caught with yo-yos or trotlines, but you can still reel them in with a pole. They were night fishing. Use bass minnows or trotline minnows. We had a father-son duo go home with 14 keepers the other day.”
Bream are biting but mostly on the small side. No report for crappie or bass

Brewer Lake
(update 7-6-2023) David Hall at Dad’s Bait Shop (501-289-2210), a 24/7 self-serve bait shop at the lake, had no new reports.


Lake Maumelle
(updated 11-16-2023) WestRock Landing in Roland (501-658-5598) reported Thursday that the lake is now 6 feet low. Central Arkansas Water, the owner of Lake Maumelle, is trying to draw down the lake 8 feet below normal level for the colder months.

Crappie are fair to good. They are starting to go deep. Reports of them in 20-24 feet. More crappie are being caught in the mornings. Use minnows or jigs.

No updates on black bass, bream or catfish this week.


Arkansas River at Morrilton
For the real-time water flow at the Ormond Lock and Dam and Morrilton stage level, visit the Corps’ Little Rock office website

Little Maumelle River
(updated 11-2-2023) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) reported, while he was fishing from the dock for crappie, said the crappie were biting well. Anglers are catching quite a few. One group went out and caught some bass. But crappie is the main thing right now, he said. The water has cooled off a bunch. Ray personally was using a blue/white jig and some of the Bobby Garland jigs in pink colors, but most anglers he spoke with were using minnows. The crappie are biting at 6-8 feet.


Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)
For the real-time water flow at the Toad Suck Lock and Dam, visit the Corps’ Little Rock office website.

Arkansas River (Little Rock Area Pools)
For the real-time water flow at the Murray Lock and Dam and David D. Terry Lock and Dam, as well as the Little Rock pool stage level, visit the Corps’ Little Rock office website

(updated 11-16-2023) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) says fishing in the river has not changed in weeks. The water temperature has not changed. Bass fishing has been good for catching numbers of bass — not the biggest fish in the world, but lots of numbers — most are being caught on a topwater like a buzzbait or Whopper Plopper. It’s kind of more of a midmorning/midafternoon bite now. The majority of the day, anglers are throwing something like a square-bill crankbait in a shad color around rocks. Also, a chartreuse/white or white spinnerbait will work around rocks, and a Texas-rigged creature bait and a finesse jig also are having success. All of the fishing is focused on the main river now, with fish relating to rocks and wood. There is no particular area of focus right now, though.
Crappie have been biting pretty well on the backside of jetties on white/chartreuse and chartreuse crappie jigs. Anglers are catching them in around 8 feet of water.
When the water drops below 60 degrees, fishing patterns will change like a light switch, they say.


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

North Arkansas

White River
(updated 11-16-2023) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said, “Daily water releases from Bull Shoals Dam into the teeming White River Tailwater have been extremely variable throughout the last week: minimum flow during the early morning followed by higher generation (up to four units or 12,000 cfs) in the later morning before dropping back to minimum flows for the afternoon. Bull Shoals Lake is 8 feet below seasonal power pool of 661 feet msl elevation, currently sitting at 652.77 feet msl as of midweek.
“Can an angler really get tired of catching fish? Some folks have been heard to say their casting arms are worn out from reeling in so many rainbows. Imagine that! But that’s been the case here on the White River in our breathtakingly beautiful Arkansas Ozarks.
If you prefer bait, the guides have found red wiggler worms to be the ticket. Backing them up with shrimp and peach, orange or sunrise egg patterns adds to the count. For a little more challenge, but still bringing a lot of trout to the boat, anglers have been casting spinners. Under an overcast, cloudy sky, work a Rooster Tail with a gold blade, pink body or a Blue Fox with a rainbow blade, gold bell. But when the sun comes out, put the artificial baits away and return to the scented or live baits.
“The brown bite remains fickle; your best bet is to get your hands on fresh river minnows or varied sizes of sculpins and dangle them near the bottom.
“It’s easy to see all that we have to be thankful for as we look around the hills and waterways here in the Ozarks, so take special care this holiday season with the resources and with one another. Respect the gifts we’ve been given and enjoy all The Natural State has to offer.”

(updated 11-16-2023) Dave McCulley, owner of Jenkins Fishing Service in Calico Rock, said they have seen varied river levels from as low as less than 2.5 feet Sunday morning through Monday evening to as high as almost 6 feet Tuesday morning. The sudden rise in water from Monday to Tuesday resulted in dingy water with a lot of moss and small debris. When the water was below 4 feet and clear, throwing Colorado quarter-ounce spoons and shallow-diving lures worked well. With the deeper water, drift-fishing with eggs and shrimp worked well. Some guides have reported success using olive-colored 1/16-ounce jigs.
“This weekend we are expecting some nice days with mornings in the upper 30s and highs in the 60s, perfect time to get out on the river and catch some trout. This week we received one stocking at the Calico Rock boat ramp of 2,400 rainbow trout. With the reduced fishing pressure this winter, some of those trout should have the chance to grow into some fat 13-inch-plus rainbows by spring. 

(updated 11-16-2023) John Berry, veteran angler and retired guide/owner in Cotter, said that during the past week they had no measurable rain, cool temperatures, and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell 0.3 foot to rest at 6.3 feet below power pool of 659 feet msl. This is 42.3 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock Lake fell 0.5 foot to rest at 4.7 feet below power pool and 18.7 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.4 foot to rest at 7 feet below power pool and 16.6 feet below the top of flood pool. The White had much more wadable water with moderate flows this past week in the afternoon during peak power demand. Norfork Lake remained steady at 0.4 foot below power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 26.6 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork Tailwater had wadable water. All of the lakes are well below the top of power pool. Expect wadable water in the coming days with moderate flows in the afternoon during peak power demand. On the Norfork, all turbines are inoperable for the foreseeable future. Minimum release is being made through the siphon at continuous flows of 185 cfs and additional flows are made through the floodgates.

The catch-and-release section below Bull Shoals Dam is closed until Jan. 31 to protect the brown trout spawn. The State Park will be seasonal catch-and-release for the same period. All brown trout must be immediately released. In addition, night fishing is prohibited in this area during this period. On Feb. 1 this section will open to fishing.
John says that on the White this week, the hot spot has been Wildcat Shoals. “We have had 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 size 14 pheasant tail with a size 18 ruby midge dropper.”
He also opined, “Last week I took my wife, Lori, on our weekly fishing trip. It was a cold start. When I was hooking up my boat and removing my boat cover I noticed that the boat was covered with a heavy coat of frost. The light down sweater that I was wearing was not up to the job and I got chilled. I went in the house and told Lori it was pretty cold and she should dress warmly to walk the dogs and then join me on the stream. I put on my warmest down jacket, grabbed a Yeti tumbler full of hot coffee and headed toward the river.
“I prepared the boat to launch and, for the first time this season, I put on my wool fingerless gloves and my warm insulated fishing hat. I was glad that I had put on my warmest jacket. I pulled out two fly rods that were already rigged and put them in the boat. One was rigged with a Pheasant Tail Nymph with a Ruby Midge dropper; the other had a Blob Fly (a conical egg pattern) with a Ruby Midge dropper. I did adjust the strike indicators for the low water conditions. They were running about 1,500 cfs, or a bit less than half a generator.
“I launched my boat, parked my Suburban, got aboard and headed upstream. Before I had begun my first drift I heard my iPhone. Lori was on the ramp ready to fish. I motored down and picked her up. She got in and we headed out.
“On our first drift, I picked up a nice rainbow on the Pheasant Tail nymph. I was thinking that this was going to be the hot fly. I was wrong. On the next three drifts, Lori picked up three fish on the Blob while I caught none. I have always said one fish is a fluke, two is a coincidence and three is a trend. It became evident that the Blob was out producing the Pheasant Tail nymph. It was time to change flies.
“I stopped fishing and clipped the dropper and the Pheasant Tail off. I then tied on a Blob and put the tippet holding the Ruby Midge on the bend of the Blob’s hook. All of this took a few minutes. Lori continued fishing and caught another nice fat rainbow. That was tough, changing flies with cold hands, while your fishing buddy is doing a little too well.
“I returned to fishing and was immediately into a nice one. It was worth the effort. The Blob was hot and I was catching fish after fish. Lori continued her success. Once when releasing a trout I noticed that I had lost my dropper. Neither one of us had caught a trout on the Ruby Midge. I decided to go with just the Blob and clipped off the remnant of the dropper tippet. I continued fishing and did well. We didn’t count but we had all we could handle. By the time we headed home, it was a bit warmer.
“Something as simple as a fly change can make a big difference.”


Bull Shoals Lake
For the Army Corps of Engineers’ real-time outflow report from Bull Shoals Dam, visit the Corps’ Little Rock office website.

(updated 11-9-2023) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said Wednesday the lake level was 652 feet msl, some 7 feet below normal pool, and water temperature was back up to 65 degrees. “Bass fishing has been up and down like the weather. Be sure to fish the conditions. It’s a mixed bag; you can catch ’em a bunch of different ways without one being better than the other! Powerfish if it’s cloudy and windy. I’m going with Chatterbait, spinnerbait and square bill in the stained water. I use a red Rock Crawler to target windy, steep transition banks. If it’s sunny, flat and bluebirds, pull the Robo drop-shot back out.
“Or target the shad eaters. They were getting grouped up in the creeks, then the water warmed up and they spread back out. There are wads three-quarters back out in the channel. I have found groups busting the surface down to 40 feet.
“Graph, graph, graph! Graphing can pay off. Get around bait and fish whatever is available: piles, ledges, swings, etc. A Beaver, A Texas Cowboy on a wobble shaky head worm in green pumpkin, and a Jewel Jig in green pumpkin orange with red highlights are working for me. I seem to need to have some color in the water for this bite to be good. They seem to be holding on ledges shallow if it’s cloudy, or in the 15- to 20-foot range while not munching shad.
“Most days you’re going to have to work for them. There are mega schools of fish grouping up demolishing shad, but videogame fish can be tough to fool. Try a small shad swimbait, or a Damiki or Hover Rig with a Tater Shad. The Jewel Scuba Spoon or Rapala Ice Jig is also working for me if the shad are on the bottom. Every day is different, so fish the conditions.
Walleye are in the deep trees and humps around 50-60 feet. Crappie picking up. Anglers are hopping brush piles working for them; stay off of them and try a crappie minnow under a float.

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
For the Army Corps of Engineers’ real-time outflow report from Norfork Dam, visit the Corps’ Little Rock office website.

(updated 11-16-2023) Steven “Scuba Steve” Street at Blackburn’s Resort and Boat Rental said the lake level is 553.36 feet msl and has been the same since last week’s report with no discharge from the dam except for minimum flow. Both generators are still inoperable. As of 6 p.m. Wednesday the surface water temperature was 64 degrees and stable with the warm ambient temperatures and the White River at Newport was 3.32 feet and very low, indicating not much water is being let out anywhere in the White River. The clarity is good on the main lake and I could see my lure down about 5-6 feet in the warm sunshine and the creeks are stained a bit but not bad. The lake level and water conditions are both excellent, but fishing overall is just fair at best.
A few temperate bass are being caught in open water at varying depths depending on the time of day on the jigging spoon but not very many and not very big. Some crappie, black bass and walleye are biting on brush in 18-25 feet of water on live bait on a slip float about 5 feet further down than you can see your bait.
There are more baitfish than predator fish, and feeding fish are hard to find, but a few good ones are being caught every day. Bluegill are the best bite now and some are very nice-sized. The weather is supposed to cool next week, and later this weekend the fishing might get better but I cannot guarantee anything. It is just nice to be out there in the warm sunshine and catch a few fish.
Visit and click on Scuba Steve’s blog for daily updates. 

(updated 11-9-2023) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said, “It looks like the beginning of the fall bite has begun. All species are starting to feed heavily as they typically do before the cold winter season. Our guests can see the fish activity getting better each day. The striped bass, hybrid bass and white bass have started to school up and can be found in shallow water out to about 50 feet of water. If you are out fishing very early in the morning, start checking out shallow water, less than 20 feet, and as the sun gets higher overhead the fish move out into deeper water. This whole pattern is based on where the bait is located. Check out large flats and also big round main lake points. If you are fishing in the afternoon, the fish will still be out in deeper water. The current magic water depth appears to be around 50 feet. At sunset the fish typically move up in the water column and also toward the shore following the bait. Fish will also be back in the major creeks, assuming the bait migrates into them.
“This is the time of year that the fish can and will be in many different types of locations. It takes a little time graphing, but once you find them you will have a blast. John and Joe, a couple of our guests, caught over 25 jumbo white bass Wednesday morning vertical jigging a 1-ounce spoon. Mike and Craig, two guests, told me they have caught all the predator species in the lake except for a smallmouth.”
The surface water temp is around 65 degrees and the lake is holding stable at normal seasonal pool of 553.3 feet msl. The lake is fairly clear to slightly stain back in coves. “It is going to be a lot of fun fishing Norfork Lake over the next several months. If you are needing a place to stay, give us a call at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort, 870-492-5113 for reservations. Happy fishing and enjoy Norfork Lake.”
Lou posts fishing reports almost every day on Hummingbird Hideaway Resort’s Facebook page.


Norfork Tailwater
(updated 11-16-2023) John Berry, angler and retired operator of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169), said Norfork Lake remained steady at 0.4 foot below power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 26.6 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork Tailwater had wadable water. All of the lakes are well below the top of power pool. Expect wadable water in the coming days with moderate flows in the afternoon during peak power demand. On the Norfork, all turbines are inoperable for the foreseeable future. Minimum release is being made through the siphon at continuous flows of 185 cfs and additional flows are made through the floodgates.

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 says his favorite rig has been a cerise San Juan worms and a Ruby Midge. The fishing is better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off midday.

Dry Run Creek has fished a bit better despite a lot of fishing pressure. School is in session, though it will be out some of next week, and weekdays tend to be not as 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.


Buffalo National River/Crooked Creek
(updated 11-16-2023) John Berry, angler and retired operator of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169), said Crooked Creek and the Buffalo River are fishing well but are very low. With moderate temperatures, the smallmouths are more 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.

Northwest Arkansas

Beaver Lake
For the Army Corps of Engineers’ real-time outflow report from Beaver Lake Dam, visit the Corps’ Little Rock office website.

(updated 11-16-2023) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) said Beaver Lake is sitting in the 1,113 feet msl range and rumors have it, it will be down near 1,111 feet msl soon enough, barring any major rains. “Now that will be as low as it has been in a few years. I think this low level in the long term will be beneficial, as grasses and other plants are growing back in areas that have been flooded in recent years. I believe in the long run it will have a very good impact on future spawns. The water has been so high for so many years and lots of erosion was going on, which creates a silty environment. 

“So on to the report: Stripers are moving and moving in a lot day to day. They are spread from Prairie Creek all the way up to Camp War Eagle. Use your electronics and trust what you see. Shad and brooders will work, and I have also witnessed some topwater activity, which is typical right now. Crappie are schooling up on structure and will stay attached to it all winter. Winter can be some really good crappie fishing on Beaver. Walleye have done their after turnover disappearing act. The will show back up in December on their prespawn staging up in the river arms.
“Lake is low, be careful and good luck!! 

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

(updated 11-9-2023) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said activity is all right if you like deer, saying jokingly that anglers are carrying crossbows in their boats for the deer, and this weekend will move to rifle. 

Seriously, for fishing, it’s only about fair, they report, and there is very little pressure on the fish with outdoors folks seemingly more focused on hunting. “Pressure is very light and it has been all fall,” they tell us. “Nothing is really exceptional with the fishing.”

Crappie are fair and are right around brush piles. Stripers have moved into the river arms and they’re being caught on live bait. There are reports of a little topwater action; it’s a hodge-podge of patterns but again, it’s all been very light. Bass fishing is also fair, but there is a bite at 15-20 feet on jigs. “We ought to get a really good spinnerbait bite soon for a couple of weeks and then they will go deep and silent, staying under the shad.”

When the temperature gets around 60 degrees, the bass in Beaver Lake will get very active on the shad like they are feeding up for the winter, they say. But for now, anglers are just throwing various baits, with some resembling shad and others being jigs. 

“You can catch fish, but nothing is really on. That’s typical for the fall here. There is low interest.”


Beaver Tailwater
(updated 11-16-2023) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) says the fishing on the tailwater this past week “has been pretty darn good. The trout have been really responsive to Pautzke Fire Bait, fished with light terminal tackle. Most of this week’s fish were caught between Spider Creek and Parker Bottoms.
“As the water rises a little when the Army Corps of Engineers generates, one with a reasonable boat can access these areas. In the early morning hours, tossing a quarter-ounce spoon has also produced some nice numbers. In the deeper waters, the same methods are working, just have to allow the spoon to sink a bit more before retrieving.
“As hunting season ramps up, one could possibly have the river to themselves, if you hit it on the right days. That’s all for this week, have fun, be safe and catch some fish! Remember to follow my fishing Facebook page (Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service) for day-to-day updates between reports.”


Lake Fayetteville
(updated 11-16-2023) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said the bream and crappie were biting pretty well. Crappie are biting jigs and are deeper right now (the lake maximum is 30 feet). Bass are favoring plastic worms and the bass are shallower; some just off the shoreline. 

Bream and catfish are both biting red worms. Catfish are in the coves in 12-15 feet of water. Some catfish have been around 7 pounds.

The lake was recently stocked with channel cats.

Northeast Arkansas

Lake Charles
(updated 11-16-2023) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) said the drawdown of Lake Charles, which will provide water to waterfowl hunting areas at Shirey Bay Rainey Brake Wildlife Management Areas, has started and will run through January.
Black bass and catfish were active this past week; bream and crappie either weren’t any angler’s targets or went into hiding. Bass were fair on plastic worms and topwater lures. Catfish were good and want a sampling of worms on deep lines dropped in their areas.

Water surface temperature was 60.4 degrees on Sunday. The lake level was high on Sunday but is headed downward. Clarity is murky. Best moon times are wrapping up this month on Thursday, but Nov. 29-30 are noted for being “good” days based on the moon times.

Lake Poinsett
(updated 11-16-2023) Seth Boone, the superintendent at Lake Poinsett State Park, had no new report this week, but had reported lately that Lake Poinsett was doing well with black bass and some crappie. The bass were biting well around the lily pads and the crappie are a bit deeper with live bait. Bream were still biting, but have been more active early in the morning and right before dusk. Catfish were doing outstanding on just about anything at night. 


Spring River
(updated 11-9-2023) Mark Crawford with (870-955-8300) said water levels have been running at 250 cfs and water clarity has been clear. The river has been very low and clear for a while now, making for a little more technical fishing on some days. Lighter tippet and sometimes smaller flies can be the trick on the tough days. Hopper droppers are working with eggs and nymphs as droppers. Leaves in the river can still be troublesome this week. They should all fall through this week.
’Tis the season for the big fish of the Spring to start moving with the cold weather moving in. “And we have been catching some bigger rainbows and browns with the cooler temps. Minnow patterns and eggs patterns have been working for the browns and bigger ’bows. Wading has been easier with the low water conditions. It has been difficult floating the river in some areas; we could really benefit from some rain.”
The spotted bass and smallmouth bass have been biting great in the clear water conditions. Streamers/Clousers have been working for the bass, with smallies hitting the streamers and at times biting on nymphs below a Hopper Dropper.
This time of year is nice on the Spring with little pressure from fishers and the canoe rentals are closed for the season, except for Riverside Resort that is open year-round for camping through the fall season. Be safe wading, the rocks are still very slick.

(updated 11-16-2023) John Berry, angler and retired operator 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. 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
For the Army Corps of Engineers’ real-time gauge level and flow from the White River stages at Batesville, Newport and Augusta and all other sites within the White River basin in Arkansas, visit the Corps’ Little Rock office website.

Southeast Arkansas

Arkansas River (Pine Bluff Pool)
For the real-time water flow at the Emmett Sanders Lock and Dam and Maynard Lock and Dam, as well as the Pine Bluff pool stage level, visit the Corps’ Little Rock office website

(updated 11-16-2023) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team had no reports this week. The most recent word they had from the Pine Bluff Pool in recent weeks was that black bass were biting well on spinnerbaits, bladed jigs, shallow-running crankbaits and lipless crankbaits in shad/chrome colors, especially near woody cover and docks/piers. Windy banks tend to produce better than slack ones.

Cane Creek Lake
(updated 11-16-2023) Stephanie Clingenpeel, seasonal park interpreter at Cane Creek State Park, had no new reports.

Southwest Arkansas

Millwood Lake
For the Army Corps of Engineers’ real-time lake level and outflow report from Millwood Lake Dam, visit the Corps’ Little Rock office website.

(updated 11-16-2023) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said that as of Wednesday, lake elevation is 5 inches above normal pool and falling with gate release at the Millwood Dam of about 6,650 cfs. Up Little River from White Cliffs to Cossatot inflow from Wilton Landing remains more heavily stained. Be sure and 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 linked above under Millwood Lake, 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 dropped this week and ranged in 61-65 degrees along Little River depending on location and the time of day. Clarity along Little River ranges 5-10 inches visibility depending on location. Clarity of oxbows will vary widely from stained to good visibility from 10-15 inches, up to 3 feet visibility in a few locations away from river’s high flow rates and have begun settling out, depending on location.
Mike offered these fishing specifics:
* For several weeks, the juvenile and adolescent/young adult largemouth bass have been random schooling and surface-breaking in numerous locations along Little River and the oxbows. Bass feeding periods continue to shift to later in the day, from mid-morning up until noon, and bass continue randomly schooling into early afternoon, mainly in the oxbows along Little River from Mud Lake all the way upriver to Brown’s Slough. We found several schools of adolescent-aged largemouths and yearling spotted bass schooling on shad over the past few weeks in Mud, Horseshoe and McGuire oxbows. These schooling juveniles and adolescents will bust a tandem-rigged Bass Assassin Shad or Cordell Crazy Shad on the surface, then alternating with a shallow-diving, custom-painted Little John Square Bill Crankbait, Bill Lewis Lures Mag Trap three-quarter-ounce, or an Echo 1.75 Square Bill Crankbait, as well as Rat-L-Trap Spin Traps with a tail spinner.
Most bass are ranging 2-3 pounds, and over the past week the schooling activity has continued. We connected with some largemouths, spots and white bass in various groups following shad schools along the old river channel in the oxbows. Anywhere the creek channel dumps into the oxbows, the mouths of the creeks are holding various-sized schools of largemouths or Kentucky bass. Along Little River just north of Hurricane Creek dump, there have been a few good schools of largemouth and juvenile spotted bass chasing shad. These schooling bass were hitting chrome/blue or Millwood Magic Spin Traps and Sexy Prism, Millwood Magic and Silver Tennessee Shad colored Rat-L-Traps after the surface-breaking slowed for another 5-10 minutes at a time.
Best color of Shad Assassins with current water clarity is Salt & Pepper Silver Phantom in the lily pads when bass are busting shad on the flats. We were able to catch several nice bass over the past couple of weeks by finessing a short-arm, H&H Spinnerbait and a Rocketshad in the lily pads on flats near vertical drops into 9-12 feet of depth.
Small Bill Lewis Lures Spin Traps continue working on randomly schooling juvenile Bass at various locations.
Horseshoe and McGuire oxbows along Little River have begun clearing and continue to hold the best water clarity, but the more aggressive black bass seemed to respond better in the oxbows of Little River at creek junctions on primary and secondary points. In McGuire oxbow up Little River, for the past few weeks, we tied into a few decent 12- to 15-inch bass on a Bandit 200 or Bandit 300 crankbaits in Splatterback yellow belly colors, or a Rat-L-Trap with a tail spinner and an MR-6 Crankbait picked up a few random bites. Best colors of Traps and MR-6 Crankbaits were Millwood Magic, Ghost Minnow and Sneaky Shad.
* White bass continue random schooling and surface-breaking chasing threadfin shad in the oxbows with the black bass near grass mats and extended points breaking off into deep water, where the points drop into 12-20 feet of depth, with stumps present. These whites were hitting our custom-painted Little John Crankbaits in Millwood Magic, Bandit 200 or 300 Crankbaits in Splatterback yellow belly, or Rat-L-Trap Spin Traps. Several different schools of whites have been feeding in the oxbows from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. breaking on shad at the surface, and the biggest part of the school was between 5-10 feet of depth while we were casting to them. Once the surface-breaking subsided, we were able to coax another 5-10 good bites from the school by switching to a Rat-L-Trap MR6 Crankbait, or a Magnum three-quarter-ounce Rat-L-Trap in Silverado color, or an ATV Square Bill. The majority of these hard charging white bass were feeding aggressively and ranged from around 2 to 3 pounds each.
* The crappie bite has been very good over the past week, and best using minnows one day, and jigs the next, in planted brush piles 10-18 feet of depth, catching crappie up to 2 pounds each.
* No report on bream.
* Blues and channel cats are fair to good on trotlines in Little River using Punch Bait with cottonseed mill cake, Canadian Cold worms, frozen catalpa worms, and homemade blood baits along Little River. They are set 5-10 feet deep, according to several cat-fishermen we talked with this week.


Lake Columbia
No reports.


Lake Erling
(updated 11-16-2023) Lake Erling Guide Service (870-904-8546) has not had any reports of late, but crappie should be biting well now, and catfish have been biting well to excellent all year. The Lake Erling Guide Service store is open daily, 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. weekdays, 9 p.m. on weekends. Also check out Friends of Lake Erling on Facebook for more information and photos, too.


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


Lake Greeson
For the most updated lake level at Lake Greeson, click here.
No reports.


DeGray Lake
For the most updated lake level at DeGray Lake, click here.

(updated 11-2-2023) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) said crappie are still hanging around these fall season depths (12-20 feet), but slowly moving into a winter pattern deeper in the channels. Bass, of all species, can be found schooling on their morning feed. Run and gun. Don’t stay too long in one area where you don’t see surface-feeding fish. Stay warm and safe.

(updated 2-24-2023) Angler Charles Abernathy


De Queen Lake
For the Army Corps of Engineers’ real-time lake level and outflow report from De Queen Lake, visit the Corps’ Little Rock office website.


Dierks Lake
For the Army Corps of Engineers’ real-time lake level and outflow report from Dierks Lake, visit the Corps’ Little Rock office website.

South Central Arkansas

White Oak Lake Area
No reports.

West Central Arkansas

Lake Atkins
(updated 11-9-2023) Donald Ramirez at Lucky Landing (479-264-0851) said that when it was cool a few days ago, anglers were catching some good-sized crappie and a few black bass. When it warmed up, however, the crappie were deep. Wednesday and Thursday, he said, it was raining all day. 

“If it gets cold like they’re saying, the shad should be moving into the coves and the crappie should follow them into the coves too. It depends on getting that cold front in,” he said. He adds that the water will be up a little bit, and that will be good. “It’s a cold rain, and that is good, too.”

For catching those crappie, anglers should use minnows, or go with jigs in any combination of chartreuse.


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

(updated 11-16-2023) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that the winter drawdown for both lakes Hamilton and Catherine was completed on Nov. 11. The public is urged to download the new Entergy Hydro-Operations page that provides up-to-date information on all things concerning local lake news. A 5-foot drawdown has been established for both lakes and will be in place until early March 2024 when the refilling process will begin. Water temperature below Carpenter Dam has fallen to 53 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace. This water level creates a dangerous environment for boaters, as many underwater obstructions come into play as anglers attempt to navigate the tailrace. Extreme caution is advised for boaters and wade anglers alike during this time. Entergy has scheduled a minimum flow pattern for Lake Catherine, but this can change with any rainfall or energy demand.
Finally, the fall trout season has begun with the first stocking of rainbow trout going into Lake Catherine last week with 1,400 fish released below the dam. These fish have brought life to the tailrace despite the low water conditions and are providing quality fishing opportunities for the general public as the fall season kicks into gear. Fly-fishermen can now access areas that hold hungry trout in current or slackwater conditions. Casting egg patterns in white or yellow under a strike indicator is a proven technique early in the season as trout are searching for prey. Olive-colored Woolly Buggers are always a good choice along with San Juan Worms in red or hot pink. It’s always a guessing game early in the fall as fish move in and out of areas and prey items change according to the weather. Bank fishermen can use PowerBaits in white, yellow or orange, taking advantage of the fact that rainbow trout have an inborn instinct to feed on fish eggs. Nightcrawlers cut in small pieces will also work well under a bobber or fished just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Anglers using a variety of these proven techniques give them a big edge for success until one method proves superior to the rest.
Numbers and size of rainbow trout will increase as the season moves through December and dramatically increase with the beginning of the new year. Currently, rainbow trout are scattered from the bridge to the dam in small numbers and are feeding on shad, insects and crayfish that inhabit the tailrace. Always wear a lifejacket when on the water and remember to follow all park and lake regulations when visiting Carpenter Dam.


Lake Dardanelle
For the Army Corps of Engineers’ outflow and gauge level reports from Dardanelle, visit the Corps’ Little Rock office website.

(updated 11-9-2023) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) reported that the weather warming in recent days put a slowdown on the fish. They were about to get on a roll and Mother Nature threw a wrench in it. But you can still catch them. Water temperatures are in the 60s. Water clarity is fair, still a lot of dingy. The upper parts of the creeks are starting to clear. Bass fishing is fair. A good Rat-L-Trap bite is found in some of the creeks, a jig bite around rocks, and bluff ends are good for a spinnerbait bite around vegetation. They are really picky about their colors that you use, though.

Crappie are scattered in some of the creeks. But in others they are congregated. “The best bite is still in around 8 feet of water. But I have run across a few trees out in the river in 20 feet of water that were also loaded. You need to make a cast at the shallow fish. On other days you can get over them. The deep river fish are the ones that you want to go after if you are dropping straight down to them. Monkey Milk and Cajun Cricket are good jig colors, as well as pink green — those have been the colors doing the best.”

White bass are on some of the main river points on the deep side. Small Rat-L-Traps, crappie jigs and spoons have been working well on them. Stripers are below the dams and on some of the jetties. Large Rat-L-Traps and swimbaits are working well.

Bream are on some of the river points on trees, but the bigger ones are on the jetties. Look for grass. Catfish have been biting really well. Several have been caught on bass jigs in and around the creeks, and along the bluff. Try fishing around a persimmon tree. Live bait is best for the flatheads, cut bait for your blue cat (skipjack is working well), and worms are working well for your channel cats in the creeks and in the backwater.


Lake Hamilton
(updated 11-9-2023) Philip Kastner of Trader Bill’s Outdoors in Little Rock and Hot Springs said on the weekly “Wild Side Show” on KABZ-FM, 103.7 The Buzz that the lake is being drawn down now for its annual 5-feet winter drop, and the key for anglers is the crawfish migration and how that will get the black bass going. “Crawfish don’t have a choice but to follow the lake line as they drop (the lake).” He says that Lake Hamilton, fished now with a crawfish colored crankbait, “is a 10.”
“If you’re going to go fishing in the next two or three weeks, Lake Hamilton is it because you only get one time a year when you know a schedule when they’re going to drop the level 5 feet, so Hamilton this weekend, next weekend, is going to be an incredible time to go throw a crawfish-colored crankbait on the rocks or a spinnerbait in newly exposed brush.”


Lake Nimrod
For the Army Corps of Engineers’ real-time lake level and outflow reports from Nimrod Lake, visit the Corps’ Little Rock office website.

(updated 11-9-2023) Sheila Ferrebee, owner of Carter Cove Bait-N-More (479-272-4025), said the fishing is going great, particularly crappie and catfish. Look for crappie under the shad. One catfish angler recently caught a 56-pounder and another caught a 52-pounder, both flatheads. They were both fishing for crappie with minnows, and one had a crappie on the line and the flathead joined in the catch —- three fish on one hook.

Carter Cove has a Facebook page and the email address is, with photos and video of those two aforementioned catfish catches. Stop in for live bait, tackle, cabin rentals, pizza, burgers, sandwiches and more.


Lake Ouachita
For the current lake level at Blakely Dam, click here.

(updated 11-9-2023) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out-of-state) said black bass are good. Try your favorite topwater bait early or late; a finesse worm or crawfish on a drop-shot will produce some nice spotted bass, too. Still no reports this week on walleye. Stripers are fair. These fish are being caught in the central portions of the lake and can be caught on live bait. No reports on bream. Crappie are fair and being caught on small jigs. Try brush and structure 20-25 feet deep. Catfish are still fair on rod-and-reel with crawlers or cut bait. Jugs and trotlines with live or cut bait are working well, too. Water temperature was holding steady in the 62- to 68-degree range. Water clarity is clear. The lake level continues to inch up, and was 568.72 feet msl on Wednesday, a little more than 9 feet below normal level. Call the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717, or Chris Darby, 870-867-7822) for more information.

(updated 11-2-2023) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) said he has been fishing DeGray Lake and Lake Ouachita recently and is seeing similar patterns at those lakes. Crappie are still hanging around these fall season depths (12-20 feet), but slowly moving into a winter pattern deeper in the channels. Bass, of all species, can be found schooling on their morning feed. Run and gun. Don’t stay too long in one area where you don’t see surface-feeding fish. Stay warm and safe.


Blue Mountain Lake
For the Army Corps of Engineers’ real-time lake level and outflow reports from Blue Mountain Lake, visit the Corps’ Little Rock office website.

East Arkansas

White River/Clarendon Area
For the Army Corps of Engineers’ real-time gauge level and flow from Clarendon, visit the Corps’ Little Rock office website.


White River/Arkansas River (Pool 2)
(updated 11-9-2023) Webb’s Sporting Goods (870-946-0347) in DeWitt reports that crappie are biting well in the Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge lakes.


Horseshoe Lake
(updated 11-2-2023) Kent Williams of Oxbow Guide Service (870-278-7978) said the water temperature was 68 degrees as of Saturday. The water was a little dingy, but it looked like the lake had turned over, and it should continue to clear, especially with the cold temperatures coming in this week. Crappie are being found in 10-15 feet depth and are setting up a late fall/early winter pattern. Fish are aggressive and biting hard. Electric chicken was the color used for casting or jigging.

There were no reports on bream, bass or catfish.


Cook’s Lake
(updated 11-16-2023) The AGFC’s Wil Hafner at Cook’s Lake Nature Center (501-404-2321) says Cook’s Lake is now closed to fishing through February and will serve as a rest area for migrating waterfowl.

For information, please call the center at 501-404-2321.


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

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