Arkansas Wildlife Weekly Fishing Report
BY Jim Harris
June 22, 2023
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: Lake Hamilton seems loaded with some really nice bass this year that are finding the end of hooks. Justin Manning landed good largemouth on Lake Hamilton on Monday evening. Also, Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips, one of our weekly contributors, ventured over to Hamilton (He’s been having a big time at Lake Ouachita on crappie lately) to report that Hamilton’s crappie have started moving deeper and are not on all the brush piles, but they’re catchable at 12-14 feet. He’s also noticed that anglers are cleaning lots of catfish around Hamilton, too. And the bream bite is always good on Lake Hamilton on a full moon. Lots of reason to check out the lake for fishing, especially when the summer boating quiets down, or visit some of the back coves and creeks there.
Quick links to regions:
Arkansas River and White River levels are available at: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=lzk
For real-time information on stream flow in Arkansas from the U.S. Geological Survey, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/rt
For water-quality statistics (including temperature) in many Arkansas streams and lakes, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/current/?type=quality
Download the Fish Brain app and follow AGFC at: https://join.fishbrain.com/agfc-page
NOTICE: AGFC employees and contractors will be conducting herbicide applications to Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir and Lake Overcup June 5-9. Contractors will complete the application of the EPA-approved aquatic herbicides by June 9. The treatment causes no harm to wildlife, people or aquatic life, but water irrigated from the lake can harm gardens, flowerbeds and lawns if used on neighboring lands. By federal law these herbicides have up to a 120-day irrigation restriction after application. The AGFC asks adjacent landowners to not irrigate for lawns or gardens with water from these lakes until October. Multiple applications per year are necessary for effective control of alligatorweed, and being unable to irrigate during this time is another unfortunate effect of this nonnative invasive aquatic plant species. With controlling it, alligatorweed can infest lakes, restricting access to boathouses, boat ramps and fishign locations, and choke out native vegetation and fish populations. For more information, call the AGFC Fisheries Office in Mayflower at 833-338-3636.
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 6-22-2023) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said that fishing is good with all the major species this week. Bream are hitting crickets and redworms. They are up shallow, and one angler reported to them they they were bedding and looking ready to spawn, with females full of eggs. Crappie are favoring chartreuse and black jigs. They are a little deeper than the black bass, which are being found in 4-8 feet, as the crappie is around 10-14 feet. Bass are eager to take soft plastics. Their 4-8 feet range is just below the thermocline, as surface temps are hot now. Catfish are biting on about anything thrown their way.
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 (swpa.gov) to see forecast generation schedule.
(updated 6-22-2023) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service (501-250-0730) said the Little Red River has settled into a summertime water release pattern. Daily afternoon generation provides wade- and drift-fishing opportunities on all sections of the river. If you plan to fish the Trout Magnet, consider using red, pink and white-colored bodies on chartreuse jigheads. For fly-fishing, consider San Juan Worm, Hare’s Ear, Pheasant Tail and Streamers. Always check 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 (swl-wc.usace.army.mil) for real-time water release and the Southwestern Power Administration website (swpa.gov) to see forecasted generation schedule.
(updated 6-22-2023) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said they’ve been catching trout pretty well this week on either a ⅛- or 1/16-ounce Rooster Tail. They’ve also been throwing a pink Trout Magnet quite a bit and a 1/16-ounce olive maribou jig, both with success.
(updated 6-15-2023) Mike Winkler of Little Red River Fly Fishing Trips/Little Red River Fly Guides (501-507-3688) said Greers Ferry Lake is at power pool level. The Southwestern Power Administration has been running water at various times, so always check the Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock app before heading out on the water.
The bite has been really good while fishing the falling water. Try fishing along the deep water next to the moss beds or the oxygenated shoals and plunge pools. Anything buggy is working well. Caddis patterns and Pheasant Tails along with midge patterns fished underneath an indicator have been putting fish in the boat.
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 6-22-2023) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said in the early morning and late evening, anglers are having success on bass throwing a clear Zara Spook as well as a bone-color Spook off schooling fish. Also there is an early morning bite on a Whopper Plopper running steeper banks. Throughout the day, bass anglers have been catching them out on main lake structure, humps and brush piles on main lake points using a C-rig, drop-shop and football jig. Catches have been pretty good.
Crappie are being caught in 20-25 feet of water using a natural color hair jig or a blue/white crappie jig on a ⅛-once jighead.
Walleye are biting on the main lake points on a drop-shot nightcrawler.
The lake has clear clarity now.
(updated 6-22-2023) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is 461.87 feet msl, 0.67 feet below normal summer pool of 462.54 feet msl. It has been fluctuating up and down a few tenths with rainfall and generation. Here we are, the latter part of June and usually June 1 most fish are out on major drops or close to them 30-50 feet and set up for summer; thermocline is not deep yet for some reason and a lot of fish are still more shallow than usual.
Crappie can be caught 10-40 feet fishing up and down or trolling for them with usual baits. Black bass are super shallow out to 50 feet and some are floating around docks – try topwater, flukes, swim jigs, glide baits or dragging something plastic C-rigged or Texas-rigged. Bream are eating well on crickets or crawlers, shallow out to 25 feet. Walleye can be caught on some days (and some days not) on crawlers or crankbaits in 10-40 feet on gravel banks in main lake. Catfishing has not been the best; people are picking up a few fish each day or night is about it on rod and reel or lines.
Hybrids and white bass are roaming 15-50 feet running up on edge of flats eating off and on during the day. Just try and stay with bait, use spoons, inline spinners, swimbaits or at times a topwater bait.
Harris Brake Lake
(updated 6-22-2023) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) says bream have been biting well on crickets and worms. They are being caught near the shoreline, rocks, piers and in shaded areas. Some anglers have been catching bass on minnows and worms. Bass are varying between shallow and deep. Some people report that a lot of catfish have been coming out and hungry to bite. One angler caught “a real nice one,” they said, on stink bait used on their trotline set near the shore. Crappie have moved out into the deeper end with occasional catches, but not often.
(updated 6-15-2023) Ken Winstead at Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said
bream are biting great on redworms and crickets. Black bass are biting well; dark colors are being favorited along with minnows and nightcrawlers. Good colors for artificial baits are watermelon red, and red, blue and grape. Catfish are biting great on liver of all kinds and dough bait, as well as minnows and nightcrawlers. Crappie are biting typical for changing water with the up-and-down weather, so move around from shallow to deep water. Good luck, crappie are hit and miss. Best colors are silvers/chartreuse, Monkey Milk, black/chartreuse, Cajun Cricket, kiwi, Mo-Glo, silver, blue ice, orange/white and diamond mist. Also fish a Crappie Magnet, minnows or nightcrawlers.
(updated 6-15-2023) Lacey Williams at Lakeview Landing on Arkansas Highway 95 (501-252-1437) said the rain didn’t stop everyone from fishing last weekend. The kids are catching catfish and bream off of the dock. Some crappie also. Best baits are nightcrawlers and minnows.
(updated 6-8-2023) John “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Landing off Arkansas Highway 9 said the water level is about normal, the clarity is good and the surface temperature is around 84 degrees. Black bass are doing well on buzzbaits and black plastic worms. Crappie are still being caught in 10-12 feet of water and out of the brushtops in 5 feet of water on minnows.
Catfish are being caught on jigs and trotlines baited with perch. Bream are being caught on crickets and worms, but crickets have been catching more.
(update 6-22-2023) David Hall at Dad’s Bait Shop (501-289-2210), a 24/7 self-serve bait shop at the lake, had no new reports.
(updated 6-22-2023) WestRock Landing in Roland (501-658-5598) says water temperature on Lake Maumelle is ranging 85-87 degrees. The largemouth bass bite is fair. Reports of the bass being found in a wide range of depths. The bass are biting best in the mornings and evenings. They can be found shallow, some starting to hit topwater as well as in 16-20 feet depth. Try using crankbaits, flukes, wacky rig shallow and Texas rig deep. Spotted bass (Kentucky bass) are also fair with reports of them being found deep in the 16-20 feet range. Try using a shaky head and use crawdad colors. In this week’s Tuesday Night black bass tournament, 24 boats went out and 17 caught 5-stringer limits. Brandon Crain and Matt Hedrick brought in the best stringer at 15.69 pounds and a 7.31 Big Bass. Cody Bryant and Brad Lequieu pulled in 13.66 pounds.
White Bass are slow. Crappie are fair with reports of them hanging in the brush at around 15 feet of water. Try using a white Bobby Garland Jig or minnows. Bream are fair. A few reports have them spawning up in 3-5 feet of water as well as 15 feet dept. Use worms or crickets. No reports on 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 6-22-2023) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) had no new report.
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 6-22-2023) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) reports the river does not have a lot of current out there right now. It’s more like a like now. Something they recommend with not much river current is to bass fish the main river, perhaps fishing with a little deeper-diving crankbait in citrus shad color or chartreuse/blue color. Then try a shaky head with a Trick Worm, focusing on sandy drops, jetty tips, cuts in the jetties. Early in the morning and late in the day, a topwater like a Whopper Plopper or a bone-colored Zara Spook should be doing really well.
(updated 6-15-2023) AGFC staff fishing the Little Rock Pool of the Arkansas River last weekend found the catfish very active and hungry both for rod-and-reel anglers and for trotline setters just east of downtown near the airport. Lots of bream in that area were biting, especially the small ones perfect for catching catfish. Large blues and fair-sized flatheads were biting. A lot of other fish where coming up on the topwater after the sun went down. The river was at 85 degrees at sunset and there was little current. Set trotlines from 7 out to 45 feet depth for the cats.
(updated 6-22-2023) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said, “If you’re looking for a place to escape from the heat but where the fishing is hot, Cotter is the answer. The White River curls its way around Cotter and provides all the trout catching action for which anyone could ask, and the cold, clear water refreshes the soul.”
Bull Shoals Dam has maintained a steady release pattern for the last week or two, averaging one unit (3,000 cfs) most of the morning and early afternoon, then increasing the flow during late afternoon hours to supply rising power demand. (That being said, it’s probably due to change.) Bull Shoals Lake is at 660.53 feet msl and continuing to drop slowly.
Healthy, gorgeous rainbows have been consistently reeled in throughout the week, many of them measuring over 16 inches. The best way to hook these excellent fish has been a mix of live worms (usually nightcrawlers) and spoons with a flash of red in them. Gold is generally the color of choice for the White, but our experience so far this spring is that silver blades and spoons are catching more trout than the gold.
The usual mix of yellow or orange PowerBait and shrimp is the best if you’re looking for a large quantity of take-home-for-dinner rainbows.
Early morning is the best time to be on the river with crawdad tails or crawfish crankbaits cast toward the bank in the grassy areas. The bigger brown trout have been looking for sculpin and lures with orange bellies.
“Enjoy the start to the summer and come ready to catch lots of trout on the White River.”
(updated 6-22-2023) Dave McCulley, owner of Jenkins Fishing Service in Calico Rock, said it has been another great week of fishing. The rain last week had minimal effect on the river conditions. Bull Shoals Dam continues increasing generation in the mid- to late afternoon and decreasing in the evening. In the morning we are seeing depths of about 3.5 feet increasing to 5.5 to 6 feet by late morning. Norfork Dam has been releasing water in the mornings, so as the water from Bull Shoals is dropping we see a slight bump in depth from the Norfork water and then the rest of the day the water continues to drop. Not to sound like a broken record, but what has been working continues to work well. With the lower water levels fishing has been great. Drift-fishing with silver-colored inline spinners with Uncommon Baits brand bright orange UV glow eggs and shrimp continue to work great. Using corn or redworms have also worked well. Quarter-ounce Thomas Colorado spoons in nickel/gold or copper/gold have been very effective for rainbows. Additionally, rainbow CD7 Rapala Countdowns and Purpledescent-colored Shad Rap lures worked well. Catching sculpins and drift-fishing with them have worked well for larger size rainbows and browns.
(updated 6-22-2023) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service at Cotter said that during the past week, they have had several rain events that combined for less than a quarter of an inch in Cotter, warm temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals remained steady at 1.3 feet below power pool of 661.8 feet msl. This is 34.5 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock Lake remained steady at 0.3 foot below power pool and 14.3 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake remained steady at 0.1 foot below power pool or 8.7 feet below the top of flood pool. The White has had no wadable water and lower flows. Norfork Lake fell 0.6 foot to rest at 0.2 foot above power pool of 556.55 feet msl and 23.3 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork has had less wadable water. All of the lakes are below or near power pool. Expect lower flows in the coming days. 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 flood gates.
On the White, the hot spot has been Rim 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 Copper John (size 14) with a ruby Midge Dropper (size 18).
Norfork Lake fell 0.6 foot to rest at 0.2 foot above power pool of 556.55 feet msl and 23.3 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork has had less wadable water. All of the lakes are below or near power pool. Expect lower flows in the coming days. 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 flood gates.
Remember that the White and North Fork rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber-soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.
John also said, “I wrote last week about hurting myself on a guide trip. At the end of two weeks after my injury I felt much better and was able to cut my grass, which needed it. As I was pulling out my lawn mower, I paused for a moment to think about my father. Several years ago I had gone to Memphis to visit my family and found my 92-year-old father cutting his grass with a push mower. I was stunned. I had been cutting my grass in Cotter with a riding lawn mower.
“It gave me something to think about. Had my father lived to be 92 because he was mowing with a push mower, which afforded him a good deal of exercise? When I got back to Cotter, I parked my riding mower and went back to mowing my large lawn with a push mower. I also turn my garden by hand, make my own compost and am currently spreading 7 cubic yards of mulch in my yard. Dad was from a generation that did things like that, and I strive to emulate him.
“Another thing he did that I admired is that he worked until he was 76. I am currently that age and I think my guiding career is coming to a close. Like dad, I want to quit while I am still on top of my game.
“He was never a fisherman and could not understand when I quit my job as a CPA to move here to be a fly-fishing guide. He could not comprehend walking away from a career to start doing something completely different. He worked at the same place for over 50 years. Over time he accepted it and was very supportive of my decision.
“Though he did not fish, he knew that his children loved it and took us. It was not fly-fishing. It was bamboo poles and crickets. We thought we were in heaven. He made us a cricket box out of the wood from an apple crate, some window screen and an old coffee can. It was awesome. I do not know what happened to it and I wish I still had it. I would put it in my living room and pass by it every day. Every time I did I would remember those trips.
He passed away eight years ago at 94 years of age and around Father’s Day I think of him. He is my constant inspiration and I miss him dearly. He and my mother were married for 60 years and were devoted to each other, and I know they are watching over me, my sister, Ernestine and my wife, Lori. Happy Father’s Day Dad!”
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 6-22-2023) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said Wednesday that the lake level is steady at 660 feet msl, only 1 foot higher than normal power pool. Water temperature is around 80 degrees. Bass activity seems to be in the 10-25 feet. Del says he’s spending lots of time graphing offshore, checking summer spots, swings, points and bluffs as well as brush piles, drops and ledges. Generation helps the point bite. Look in large creeks early. If you find cloudy, warm windy rainwater powerfishing is best with Chatterbaits, spinnerbait. Early, pick up a big worm or Beaver in any of the laydowns. There’s a big Texas-rigged redworm bite in some of the shallower brush piles close to deep water. As you move out, try points cracking a tube or stroking a Jewel half-ounce Special Ops football jig in green pumpkin orange. Perch colors, too. In 10-20 feet range in sunny conditions with clear water, natural colors in small profile baits are good. Look at ledges, keep boat off the fish. Start early with a topwater and as it slows, a small 2.8 McMinnow is still working. Once the sun gets up, drop-shot a Robo Worm. Don’t be surprised if you find a few walleye on those points in 15-20 feet.
The shad are broken up high in the water column mostly over deep water. Early morning topwater has slowed up a bit, but bomb casts and look around for activity – they are schooled up. Try a Lucky Craft Gunfish, white popper or Spook Jr. topwater as well as a flutter spoon or Jewel Scope Spin on schoolers. Fish that in the early morning, or all day if it’s cloudy. If it get too hot, jump in the water – it’s fine!
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.
For the Army Corps of Engineers’ real-time outflow report from Norfork Dam, visit the Corps’ Little Rock office website.
(updated 6-22-2023) Steven “Scuba Steve” Street at Blackburn’s Resort said the lake level was 556.62 feet msl and had dropped one inch in the last 24 hours with sluice gates open to an equivalent of 1⅓ generators about half the time by 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. The generators at Norfork Dam are still inoperable. The surface water temperature was 83 degrees and the thermocline is at 18 feet with a mud line at 15 feet down to the thermocline with cold water below that. The visibility has deteriorated a bit since last week but Scuba Conditions are still good.
You can find the water clarity that you desire as you move south. When you see the bass surfacing in the early morning and you are in at least 50 feet of water, there will be stripers under that. Drop a spoon on their head. Everything is going deeper with the increase in surface water temperature. Bass are feeding on crawdads in the evening shallow, and a creature bait or salt craw are working just at the first drop-off. Stripers are going deeper and you need water at least 50 feet deep. There are bass fry everywhere, so there must have been a good spawn. They are moving to cover and predator fish are after them. Big bluegill are under docks and on top of the shallower brush piles. Main lake points and just around on both sides are a good place to start. When in doubt, drop a spoon.
Visit blackburnsresort.com and click on Scuba Steve’s blog for a daily report.
(updated 6-22-2023) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort reports from Wednesday, “Happy first day of summer! Give us a call at 870-492-5113, if you are needing a place to stay on Norfork Lake. Hummingbird Hideaway Resort still has a few cabins available throughout the summer.
“Today (Wednesday) was the first day since last Friday that I have been able to get out on the lake. I had a pretty awesome morning of fishing. I started fishing around 4 a.m. and landed a nice striped bass at the second spot that I checked out. The stripers were suspended 30-50 feet down in 100-plus-feet of water. This fish was released and swam away very quickly. I moved to a large flat and found a lot of fish in 25-30 feet of water at all depths.
“On my first drop of a white trash Tater Shad, a big fish hammered the bait on the fall, but it broke off immediately. Must have hooked on the gill plate and cut the line. After that, I started to land one after another big white bass. When it became light enough to see, the fish seemed to vanish. I moved back into a creek and found a lot of bait up high in the water column. I checked a lot of areas in the creek and nearby coves, but never could find anything exciting.
“I started to head toward the resort at around 8 a.m. and decided to check out a deep bluff line with some rocky points. Over the next hour, schools of stripers came under the boat and I got to land five more striped bass. All swam away very willingly. My best bait in this area was the Binks 3/4-ounce spoon with a green back and white belly. The stripers wanted to chase the bait. I dropped the bait down to 50 feet and when the fish swam though at 30-40 feet, I would reel up as fast as I could. I would see three to five fish turn out of the school to chase the bait. Before the bait reached the surface one of the followers would hammer the bait. Each of these fish had lots of energy and would peel out close to 100 feet of line. I could see the fish surface in the distance.
“What great battles these fish gave today. I was sitting in 70-110-plus-feet of water.
“There was also quite a bit of surface activity. I landed and released several nice largemouth. Each time I saw bass feeding on the surface there seemed to be stripers under them. This isn’t the first time I have noticed these two species feeding together. I don’t know if the stripers are pushing the bait up or if they are just waited for some leftovers from the feeding bass.
“The Skole group also had a successful morning fishing, landing several striped bass and largemouth bass. They caught their fish jigging a Tater Shad and also jigging a Ned rig. The surface water temp was about 82 degrees. The lake level is slowly falling and sits at 556.7 feet msl. The lake appears to be fairly clear.
“Have a great time on Norfork Lake doing whatever water activity that you love doing. Give us a call at 870-492-5113, if you are needing a place to stay.”
Lou posts almost daily on his Facebook page with photos and where the fish are biting and what’s biting. Check it out.
(updated 6-22-2023) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Norfork Lake fell 0.6 foot to rest at 0.2 foot above power pool of 556.55 feet msl and 23.3 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork has had less wadable water. All of the lakes are below or near power pool. Expect lower flows in the coming days. 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 flood gates.
There has been much less wadable water on the Norfork. The most productive flies have been small Midge patterns like Zebra Midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead). Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead-head nymph (Zebra Midge, Copper John or Pheasant Tail) suspended 18 inches below a brightly colored San Juan Worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise). My favorite rig has been a cerise San Juan Worm 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. Weekends can get a quite crowded. The hot flies have been Sowbugs, various colored San Juan Worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise) and white Mop Flies. Small orange or peach eggs have been very effective. Carry a large net, as most fish are lost at the net.
Remember that the White and North Fork rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber-soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.
Buffalo National River/Crooked Creek
(updated 6-22-2023) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Crooked Creek and the Buffalo River are fishing better. With warmer water, 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.
For the Army Corps of Engineers’ real-time outflow report from Beaver Lake Dam, visit the Corps’ Little Rock office website.
(updated 6-22-2023) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) said Beaver Lake remains right at normal pool levels. This is the first year in the last three where the lake actually has some shoreline exposed and not right up in the trees. This makes for great boating and places to park and enjoy this beautiful lake if fishing is not on the agenda. On the fishing front, stripers are starting to show the summer pattern as the water heats up. Early and late is when the bite happens. The first two hours of sunrise has found fish busting on top some days. Look from Ventris down to Starkey. Have some topwater baits tied on in case you luck into a boil. Otherwise, shad and bream are working now. Walleye have also up-ticked the past week. You can get them on crawler harnesses and trolled crankbaits. Look at all flats and points in 15-25 feet of water. This also is an early/late bait. Crappie are suspended near the thermocline, which in most places is around 20 feet. So, to maximize bites troll cranks that touch 15 feet deep or so. The thermo should really set up well after the heat this week. That will make the troll bite even better.
Catfish are spawning, so jug lines/noodles placed near shore should do well. The bluegill are on beds, so you should be able to load up on this underutilized, good-eating fish. There are lots of people and boats this time of year. So courtesy is important on the ramps. Have boat ready to launch when you back up and do not tie up the ramps or you probably will get some feedback from the people waiting. Good luck and stay safe on this beautiful lake!
Visit Jon’s Facebook page for latest updates, FishOn Guide Service Goshen AR.
(updated 6-15-2023) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said this week has been good on the tailwater. Nothing drastically changed since the last report. The Army Corps of Engineers still has been generating pretty much starting at 10 a.m., but that has not stopped the bite. In fact, it increases the bite in most cases.
“Most of our fish were caught using light terminal tackle, and Pautzke Fire Bait. When the sun moved higher in the sky, we would switch it over to quarter-ounce spoons and coat the spoons using Pautzke Fire Gel. Try letting the spoon sink a bit before retrieving, due to the water still being a little deep. The water levels are still low and continue to fall, seems like each day. If we can get some overcast or rainy days, the bite should pick up a lot!”
“This week’s hot spot for trout has been above Spider Creek. Try hitting the deeper holes and looking for slack water during generation. The white bass and walleye are still up toward Holiday Island, but you need to look for them. Jigging live minnows off of points and humps has done the trick. There are still quite a few males in the river, so get after them.
“Remember, for additional updates follow my Facebook page (Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service). Hope you all are able to get out and catch some fish.”
(updated 6-15-2023) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) reported that catfish are good off the rocks and are pretty shallow. Anglers were using nightcrawlers, cut bait (mostly little bream). The grown-up bream are doing really well this week, both the bluegill and redear. Redworms are working mostly, as crickets are hard to come by, but they’ll work if you have them.
Black bass are doing well on plastics and some spinnerbaits. Crappie are steady, you have to work for them. Jigs and minnows are being used, mostly jigs. The fish are shallower than you might expect.”
Water pretty much stays at a normal level, even with the rain this week. It may rise briefly but gets back to normal within a day, they report.
(Updated 6-22-2023) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) reported that fishing is ramping up all over, with good to excellent catches this past week, especially for bream and catfish. Bream are excellent on worms, crickets and jigs. Crappie are good on jigs and worms, and they’re being caught now in deeper water. Black bass are biting well on plastic worms and live worms. Catfish are good on worms and blood bait.
(Updated 6-22-2023) Seth Boone, the superintendent at Lake Poinsett State Park, had no recent reports. Bream and catfish may be kept from the lake now, while there are catch-and-release regulations on crappie and black bass.
(updated 6-8-2023) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) said the Spring has been running at 390 cfs and water clarity has been clear. A long dry spell has the river looking great for catching. Heavy bugs hatches most mornings of Caddis and Mayflies. Nymphing with some dry fly action has been working great. With the water being really clear, on bright sunny days you have to get the fly down with an indicator rig or tight-lining. The rare overcast day has been easy catching with some streamer action.
There are a lot of big fish in the river. It’s been kind of hard to catch them with stocking ramping up for the summer season. It’s hard not to catch a beautiful, freshly stocked rainbow. Average stocking size on the Spring River is around 12 inches and the river is stocked weekly at nine locations. This is a great time to learn to fly-fish – easy fishing on the Spring this time of year.
Smallmouth bass are hitting but have been tough the last few weeks. “This is the time to chase smallies, and we have been so busy with chasing bows, we have not done many trips for smallies, but that should ramp up this month. The smallmouth bass is the native fish of the Spring River and local creeks. Hard to beat skull head Sculpin patterns; heavy-weighted Woollies in olive, brown and black work well; and Clousers. Got to get it to the bottom and work it slow.
“The canoe hatch is on every Saturday on the river now. Saturday is not a great day to fish, but through the week and on Sundays it’s perfect. The canoe hatch will be heavy on Saturdays until September.
“Be safe wading the river is very slick; but, hey, it’s hot out and the river is cold!”
(updated 6-22-2023) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the water level on the Spring River is fishable. This is a great place to wade fish when they are running water on the White and North Fork rivers. Canoe season is here. Fish early or late to avoid the boats. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive Woolly Buggers with a bit of flash, cerise and hot pink San Juan Worms and Y2Ks.
The Army Corps of Engineers reported Thursday that the White River stage at Batesville was slightly falling at 7.38 feet (flood stage is 15.0 feet). The Newport stage is slightly falling at 6.37 feet (flood stage is 26 feet). The stage at Augusta was steady at 18.48 feet, below flood stage of 26.00 feet.
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 6-22-2023) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team had no report this week.
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 6-22-2023) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said that as of Wednesday Millwood Lake is near normal conservation pool, about 1 foot high and on a slow rise, and clarity continues improving in most locations. Up Little River from White Cliffs to Cossatot inflow from Wilton Landing remains more heavily stained. Millwood Lake tailwater elevation near 226 feet msl and stable with gate discharge at the dam near 180 cfs in Little River, according to the Army Corps of Engineers on Wednesday. Check the most recent lake level of Millwood Lake on the guide service’s website linked above, or the Army Corps of Engineers website linked under Millwood Lake above, for updated gate release changes and inflow rates with rising and falling lake levels. Expect this week to see a rise of lake pool elevation and gate discharge increase at the dam due to intense thunderstorms all over the region.
Surface temps are stable this week, ranging 82-87 degrees at Wilton and Little River this week, depending on location and the time of day. River clarity ranges 10-15 inches visibility depending on location. Clarity of oxbows will vary widely from heavy stain to good clarity, visibility ranges 15-30 inches up to 3 feet visibility in a few locations away from river flow rates that have begun settling out, depending on location.
Mike had these fishing specifics for the past week
* Largemouth bass remain fair and are best early and late, fair to slow in midday heat, ranging from 2-3 pounds in 3-8 feet of water on flats near vegetation, and once sun gets above the trees they are pulling out off the flats into 9-10 feet deep creek channels where grass and reeds and fresh lily pad shoots are emerging. Buzzbaits, Heddon Dying Flutters, Cordell Crazy Shads, plastic frogs, Bass Assassin Shads, Bill Lewis Lures StutterSteps and Ken Pops are all working randomly at daylight at various locations. Once the sun gets above the trees, many of the better quality fish are pulling out to the creek’s deeper sections, and will respond to a Bill Lewis SB-57 square-bill, Echo 1.75 Crankbait and 10-inch Power Worms or Brush Hog. Over the past couple weeks, largemouths have been randomly feeding in creek channels dumping into Little River. The oxbows continue providing best water clarity in many locations. Flats next to deep creeks and secondary points with any fresh grass growth, new lily pad blooms and vegetation will coax an ambush bite on a BLL SB-57 or Echo 1.75 square bill after the topwater bite subsides on buzzbaits near late morning and noon. Best colors of 10- to 12-inch Power Worms have been Blue Fleck, Black Grape and Brush Hogs in Watermelon Candy.
In the very back of McGuire oxbow, some chunky 2- and 3-pound bass were the most aggressive early into late morning over the past few weeks, and those fish are being seen randomly near deeper creek channels or ditches through the flats. The best bass activity is shifting to early morning on buzzbaits, BLL 4.0 StutterStep in Ghost Shad, Horny Toads in Junebug or Pumpkinseed, and Spit’n Images in dingy water color. Bass Assassin Shads and soft plastic frogs, finessed through the new vegetation and lily pad blooms, have picked up decent sized bass in the 2- to 3-pound class. The best water clarity and reaction from chunky largemouth bass has left the river and moved to the back of the oxbows like McGuire, Clear Lake and Horseshoe Lake. Further up above McGuire in Little River, near Cemetery Slough and Black’s Branch, several nice largemouths around 3-5 pounds were caught near new bream beds on a custom-painted, Bream-colored, Little John Crankbait and BLL MR-6 Cranks in Bluegill, Tennessee Shad and Millwood Magic colors.
Senkos and floating trick worms like the Zoom Trick Worm, Barlow’s Salty Rat Tails and the Yum Dingers are still getting reactions, wacky rigged. South African Special, Junebug/red, Blackberry, Watermelon seed or Merthiolate colors have been randomly working in the back of McGuire oxbow and Horseshoe Lake oxbows. Best reaction color on Bass Assassin Shads have Pumpkinseed, Salt and Pepper Silver Phantom and Chico’s Red Ear fished near cypress trees and fresh vegetation. Yum Christie Critters in black/blue continue working for shallow bass inside grass and vegetation near stumps in 1-3 feet of depth.
* The white bass have remained elusive this week. Broken schools were staged along primary and secondary points extending into Little River last week, but we have not seen any white bass few weeks.
* Crappie continue biting very good near Saratoga, Millwood State Park and Bee Lake this week and are biting best using jigs tipped with minnows in 11-15 feet of depth in planted brush piles up to 2.25 pounds.
* For past several weeks, folks have been telling us about catching bream on beds near Cemetery Slough and Black’s Creek above McGuire oxbow along Little River. Best baits reported to us have been crickets and red worms fished in 2-5 feet of depth. Several nice largemouths were caught near those bream beds on a Bill Lewis SB-57 Square Bill crankbait in Bream and custom-painted Little John Crankbaits.
* Hi Fin blue catfish and channel cats this week improved on yo-yos and trotlines, up to 8 pound with a few folks we saw along Little River on Tuesday. Punch bait, chicken hearts/gizzards, and catalpa worms are working.
(updated 6-22-2023) Lake Erling Guide Service (870-904-8546) is closed until July 1 for vacation, but the store on Lake Erling is open daily, 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. weekdays, 9 p.m. on weekends. Good numbers and size of fish were being caught there this week, though, based on anglers posting on their Facebook pages. Also check out Friends of Lake Erling on Facebook for more information and photos, too.
For the most updated lake level at Lake Greeson, click here.
For the most updated lake level at DeGray Lake, click here.
(updated 6-22-2023 John Duncan of YoYo Guide Service at Iron Mountain Marina says water temperature is in the low 80s right now. It was up to 85.4 but recent rains have cooled it somewhat for now. The lake level is 406.97 feet msl as of now. Nothing but good news.
Crappie are still in the brush piles as of now. Use your electronics to find the piles. Watch the thermocline and stay above it for action. If the thermocline is too high in one area, check another. Deep water runs and shallow coves have different thermoclines. The fish are beginning to migrate to vertical timber. Good fish seem to migrate to the timber as this time of year comes. Minnows preferred by myself this time of year, but all techniques are workable.
Surface action is picking up daily. Lots of white bass and black bass (some Kentucky bass included) are grouping up. Fish up from Lennox to Point Cedar. Topwaters, shad-colored, are the best bet for the ones on the surface.
“I would think bream are doing good because crickets are in high demand. Next full moon is coming, be ready.
White Oak Lake Area
NOTICE: AGFC employees and contractors will be conducting herbicide applications to Lake Atkins and to the Cabin Creek arm of Lake Dardanelle June 5-9. Contractors will complete the application of the EPA-approved aquatic herbicides by June 9. The treatment causes no harm to wildlife, people or aquatic life, but water irrigated from the lake can harm gardens, flowerbeds and lawns if used on neighboring lands. By federal law these herbicides have up to a 120-day irrigation restriction after application. The AGFC asks adjacent landowners to not irrigate for lawns or gardens with water from these lakes until October. Multiple applications per year are necessary for effective control of alligatorweed, and being unable to irrigate during this time is another unfortunate effect of this nonnative invasive aquatic plant species. With controlling it, alligatorweed can infest lakes, restricting access to boathouses, boat ramps and fishign locations, and choke out native vegetation and fish populations. For more information, call the AGFC Fisheries Office in Russellville at 833-356-0879.
(updated 6-8-2023) Donald Ramirez at Lucky Landing (479-264-0851) said the AGFC was fertilizing the lake again last week. He had no reports. Before the fertilizing began again, he said, black bass were being caught on the lower end of the lake. Anglers were using all kinds of spinnerbaits, Chatterbaits and Whopper Plopper. The bass were still bedding up in the cove at that area. Also, folks were catching fish in the bream beds. Bream were spawning. Redworms and nightcrawlers are the best baits. Crappie were in the brushpiles. Anglers were catching a few, not many, but the catches were around 13- to 14-inches. Crappie minnows were the go-to now. Some catfish were being caught on cut shad, bass minnows, black salties or goldfish baited to jugs, limb lines and yo-yos. The lake clarity was clearing from the fertilization of a few weeks ago. Water temperature is 74 degrees and water was at a normal level.
(updated 5-12-2022) Slycked Back Fishing LLC, producer of the world’s toughest and Arkansas-built fishing products in Hot Springs, had no report.
Lake Catherine Tailwater (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro
(updated 6-22-2023) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below the dam is 60 degrees with slightly stained conditions in the tailrace. The tailrace has stable conditions, despite storms moving in and out of the area last week, and public can fish and boat safely on Lake Catherine. Big numbers of fish have migrated upstream to feed and establish territory in the nutrient-rich tailrace. Limited generation has caused waters downstream to heat up quickly and forced trout to move upstream to the dam where cooler temperatures are present.
Fishing below a hydroelectric dam poses many problems dictated by Mother Nature for boaters and anglers. The rainbow trout bite has been painfully slow, but fish have been caught with quality being the main attraction now instead of numbers. Entergy has generated below Carpenter Dam for two hours each day since Friday, May 26, and continuing this flow pattern through Friday, June 23. This schedule will allow a few hours each day to bypass fishing in the heavy flows and effectively target the many fish species now present in the tailrace. The following techniques will give anglers a chance at catching numbers of rainbow trout, walleye, crappie and white bass that have received little fishing pressure this season:
Fly-fishermen can still access areas that hold feeding fish. Trout key in on the shad kill this time of year as good numbers of threadfin shad in Lake Hamilton are drawn through the turbines and scattered throughout the tailrace area. Thousands of shad have migrated into the tailrace to spawn, creating a perfect environment for area fish to feed on baitfish. Flies that imitate injured shad will draw immediate strikes from hungry rainbows. Micro jigs in white or black cast with a strike indicator will produce strikes in current or slackwater. Egg patterns in white or yellow used in the same manner can be productive when the action slows down. Spin-fishermen using PowerBaits in yellow or white and lures such as a Super Duper and Little Cleo in silver are proven trout-catching baits in many conditions. Crankbaits that represent fleeing crayfish will also catch trout searching for prey. Live bait fishermen can use waxworms or mealworms fished just of the bottom with a marshmallow floater, or earthworms and nightcrawlers in the same manner, to target larger trout.
The walleye spawn has ended, but many fish will remain the tailrace to rest and feed up from the rigors of reproduction. Trolling shallow-running crankbaits against the current is an excellent method of covering water and locating feeding fish. The crappie spawn is complete, but these fish can still be caught with live minnows and jigs fished in current breaks around sandbars and rock structure as they remain in the tailrace to feed before migrating downstream to the main body of the lake. Crappie shy away from heavy current and thrive in protected areas out of the main flow. White bass are migrating into the area in huge numbers to spawn and their presence rounds out a multispecies opportunity for angling. These bass can be caught casting 1/16- and ⅛-ounce jigs around rock structure, with the best results occurring while the turbines are running.
Bream are present in big numbers preparing to spawn and are being caught on nightcrawlers and redworms fished under a bobber or a few feet off the bottom around rock structure. June brings blue and channel catfish to the tailrace to spawn, and these fish range from 3 to 30 pounds. Cut bait fished around the bridge is a best bet, with the best action occurring in the later evening.
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.
As of Thursday afternoon, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s flow at Dardanelle Lock and Dam as 7,993 cfs. Elevation was 337.78 feet msl and the tailwater was at 285.17 feet msl. (Top navigation pool is 338.2 and bottom pool is 336.0.) The stage was at 4.9 feet as of Thursday afternoon (flood stage is 32 feet).
(updated 6-15-2023) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said early morning they’ve been catching bass on frog and buzzbait in the Illinois bayou area and also the Spadra area. After the morning bite, people are flipping reeds with a green pumpkin or black/blue creature bait. Also throwing like a square bill crank around wood and rocks in a chartreuse blue back or a char black back. Fishing offshore brush piles or shell beds, Deep diving crankbait and also a big Texas-rigged worm.
(updated 6-8-2023) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) said water temperature is warming to the mid-80s. Clarity is good in the upper river section, while the lower section is dingy. Bass fishing has been good. Go with topwater baits early; buzzbaits have been working the best. Swimbaits have been working well around vegetation. Crankbaits have been working well off of the points and ledges. Flipping plastics around wood has been working well, also.
Crappie have been good around bridge structure, brush and rock dikes. They have been at different depths, anywhere from 5-10 feet. Monkey Milk is still working well. Stripers and white bass are holding around current. Spoons, Rat-L-Traps and white hair jigs been working well. Bream have moved off of the flats for the most part. Look for the Mayflies and they won’t be far away. Channel cats are still good in the creeks on worms and crickets. Flatheads have been good around jetties with live perch. Blue cats have been good in the deeper holes on cut bait.
(updated 6-22-2023) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) said that just as he’s found at Lake Ouachita (see below), the crappie are starting to move a little deeper and not on all the brush piles. Most are being caught on live bait in 12-14 feet depth. Don’t spend too much time on one spot unless it’s loaded with fish, and don’t let the sunfish fool you. I see ample numbers of catfish at the cleaning stations, so they too are there to be caught. “Many have told me they are catching them at night on jug lines. Rest assured, they can be caught during the day in the same areas if well-baited regularly.”
As of noon Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 344.91 feet msl (normal pool: 345.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 373.0 feet msl).
(updated 6-8-2023) Sheila Ferrebee, the new owner of Carter Cove Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025), formerly Andrews, says crappie, bream and catfish all are biting well. Some of the crappie are in the 2-pound range, and two cats that were pulled from the lake this week “were the biggest I’ve seen,” she said. “We’ve been going through crickets like crazy for the bream and the crappie.” Black bass are biting “pretty good” on jigs and minnows. Crappie are also biting minnows and white jigs.
Sheila, who moved from California to take over the business, says Carter Cove offers breakfast and lunch, as well as pizza for now at dinner, “and eventually we’ll get there” for adding to the menu. They have a Facebook page and the email address is email@example.com.
(updated 6-15-2023) Ken Winstead at Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) in Perryville said the crappie bite continues to be typical for the continuous water changes due to weather, so move around from shallow to deep water. It’s hit or miss. Best colors are silver/chartreuse, Monkey Milk, black/chartreuse, Cajun Cricket, Kiwi, Mo-Glo, silver, Blue Ice, orange/white, Diamond Mist. Also throw Crappie Magnet, minnows and nightcrawlers. Bream are biting great on redworms and crickets. Black bass are doing well on dark colors, as well as watermelon red, red or blue shad, and minnows and worms.
Catfish are biting well on liver of all kinds, dough bait, minnows and nightcrawlers.
(updated 6-22-2023) Andrews Fishing and Hunting Supply in Hollis (1-800-818-6373) has fresh bait in this week.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 576.43 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 6-22-2023) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) said the crappie are starting to move a little deeper and not on all the brush piles. Most are being caught on live bait 12-14 feet deep. Don’t spend too much time on one spot unless it’s loaded with fish, and don’t let the sunfish fool you. I see ample numbers of catfish at the cleaning stations, so they too are there to be caught. “Many have told me they are catching them at night on jug lines. Rest assured, they can be caught during the day in the same areas if well-baited regularly.”
(updated 6-22-2023) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out-of-state) said black bass are good. Drop-shot for some spotted bass action near brush in the 18-22 feet range. Topwater baits are still working in multiple applications; shallow frog fishing or deeper, open water Spook/Boy Howdy fishing.
Jigs and bottom bouncers tipped with nightcrawlers are working for walleye. Try main river/lake channel points for these fish, near brush, in the 18-22 feet range. Stripers are good. These fish are being caught in the central and eastern portions of the lake and can be caught on live bait, trolling crankbaits and Alabama rigs. Or, try throwing a topwater C-10 Redfin early and late.
Bream are excellent. Try a cricket or worm near brush in the 8-20 depth range for a quality bite. Crappie are still good and being caught on small jigs or minnows. Try brush and structure 20-25 feet deep. Catfish are very good on rod and reel with crawlers or stink bait. Jugs and trotlines with live or cut bait are working well, too.
The water clarity is clearing and the temperature is steady in the 80- to 84-degree range. Lake level Wednesday was 576.46 feet msl. Call the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717, or Chris Darby, 870-867-7822) for more information.
Blue Mountain Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 386.93 feet msl (full pool: 387.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 419.0 feet msl).
White River/Clarendon Area
The Army Corps of Engineers on Thursday reported the Clarendon gauge is dropping at 16.61, almost a 4 foot drop from last week (flood stage is 26.00 feet).
(updated 6-22-2023) The AGFC’s Wil Hafner at Cook’s Lake Nature Center (501-404-2321) says that the water has drastically dropped out of the lake, making for some of the lowest water conditions in years. Only a few anglers have fished the lake this season. Bass anglers are having the most luck flipping black and red tubes or green pumpkin jigs to cypress trees as well as tossing white spinnerbaits up on the bank. For bream, crickets have been the ticket near large cypress trees. Crappie anglers should try tight-lining jigs or minnows near cypress trees or in the channel using forward-facing sonar.
Cook’s Lake is a 2.5-mile-long oxbow off of the White River, nestled in the heart of the Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge near Casscoe in Arkansas County. This fertile oxbow receives very little fishing pressure due to being used only for education purposes and youth and mobility-impaired fishing. The scenic lake is full of slab crappie, giant bluegills, largemouth bass, and catfish of all species. Cook’s Lake is open to fishing during normal business hours Tuesday through Saturday 8 a.m.-4 p.m., water level pending. Cook’s Lake is open to fishing for youths under 16 or mobility-impaired anglers, and up to two guests (who may also fish). Fish from the 140-foot mobility-impaired accessible dock or launch a boat. Please call ahead at least a day in advance to register to fish. Before launching, please check in at the Nature Center classroom and report back before leaving. For information or unscheduled closures, please call the center at 501-404-2321.
Note: msl is mean sea level; cfs is cubic feet per second.
Arkansas Wildlife Weekly Waterfowl Report
Dec. 6, 2023
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