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Arkansas Wildlife Weekly Fishing Report

BY Jim Harris

ON 07-27-2023


July 27, 2023

Jim Harris

Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine

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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.


Quick links to regions:

Central Arkansas

North Arkansas

Northwest Arkansas

Northeast Arkansas

Southeast Arkansas

Southwest Arkansas

South-Central Arkansas

West-Central Arkansas

East Arkansas

Arkansas River and White River levels are available at:

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

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

Download the Fish Brain app and follow AGFC at:



AW Fishing Report - Central AR.png

NOTICE: The AGFC reminds landowners adjacent to Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir and Lake Overcup to not irrigate for lawns or gardens with water from these lakes until October. Both lakes were treated in early June with herbicides to control the invasive aquatic vegetation. 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. Without controlling it, alligatorweed can infest lakes, restricting access to boathouses, boat ramps and fishing 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 7-27-2023) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said with limits now removed as Lake Conway is prepped for renovation, the store has been busy and the lake has too with anglers. Also, the AGFC has added more than 50 fish tagged to the population at $500 per tag, which has drawn some enthusiastic anglers.
The bream, they report, are bedding up again and moving back to the banks, where they’re being caught in good numbers. They are being caught on redworms, crickets and Danamax hair jigs.
Bass are doing well. Shad are everywhere, and the bass are hitting on spinnerbaits and Baby Brush Hogs in a green pumpkin color or something dark under shady spots and under the docks.

Crappie are deep but are being caught if you can find them in the afternoons, on medium crappie minnows and small jigs. They’re in 6-8 feet depth.
Catfish are biting well on goldfish, nightcrawlers (popular among customers now, they say), trotline minnows, stink bait, chicken liver and shad.

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 7-27-2023) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service (501-250-0730) said the Little Red River is in a summertime water release pattern from Greers Ferry Dam. 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 pink and red-colored bodies on chartreuse jigheads. For fly-fishing, consider San Juan Worm, Hare’s Ear, Pheasant Tail and Midge. 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 ( for real-time water release and the Southwestern Power Administration website ( to see forecasted generation schedule.

(updated 7-27-2023) 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 consistent generation schedule for a while now. They have been starting the generation around 2-3 p.m. and running two units for several hours usually stopping around 7-9 p.m. Always check the USACE Little Rock app before heading out.
With the temperature in the 90s and heat index around the 100s, I’d expect to see the same generation schedule to continue until it starts to cool down a bit. With the hot weather, try not to overplay the fish and get them back in the water quickly. Try fishing in the deep holes around the moss beds and in the oxygenated shoals.
“The fishing has been good considering the hot weather we are experiencing. The best bite has been early morning and late evening before the sun goes down. I’ve been launching the boat mostly out of Dripping Springs Access and fishing the falling water, drifting San Juan Worms in the morning, then switching it up between buggy soft hackle flies and sometimes dropping a Midge below the soft hackles
Hot flies for me right now have been small Pheasant Tail soft hackles, Guides Choice Hare’s Ears and pink San Juan Worms along with Root Beer Midges.

(updated 7-27-2023) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said fishing has been pretty decent, especially early mornings when the current is still flowing. Anglers are using a maribou jig, small Rooster Tails and also a pink Trout Magnet with success. Also consider a Carolina rig and Power Bait in chartreuse color.

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 7-27-2023) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 459.11 feet msl, and that’s 3.43 feet below normal pool of 462.54 feet msl for this time of year. With evaporation and generation, it will continue to come down. Black bass for the most part are super shallow, suspended or out sitting out on structure, so baits to cover all three different locations will have you covered and however you like to target them, from 1-60 feet. Sometimes a few are coming up on top as well. Crappie are still being hauled in more regularly now (with inventions to teach people where fish are located a lot of times in a highland reservoir). Use jigs, beetle spins, hair jigs, live bait, etc. in 10-50 feet. Bream catching is at its best now; crickets, crawlers and inline spinners are working super shallow out to 20 feet. Catfish are eating live and cut bait, dog food, soap and prepared baits as well as artificial baits like spoons under shad, shallow to deep. Hybrid and white bass are eating live bait, spoons, inline spinners and hair jigs fished right on structure. Some schooling activity going on. Some walleye are floating around with shad suspended; some are on structure, some are roaming. Drag a crawler on jighead or drop-shot in 20-40 feet for best results. Some crankbaits also are working, as well as spoons.

(updated 7-27-2023) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said bass fishing is picking up a little bit. Anglers are catching more fish at night out there, especially with the moon being up late. They’ve been catching nice bass throwing a three-quarter-ounce black spinnerbait with either a gold or black blade. Also, a big Texas-rigged worm or on a shaky head will work. All of this particular bite has been at night, from about 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Walleye can be caught trolling cranks or throwing a drop-shot with a nightcrawler by the dam on some steeper banks in 25-30 feet of water.
The lake is a little low right now with clear clarity.

Harris Brake Lake
(updated 7-27-2023) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) says some people are catching crappie that are in the neighborhood of 13 inches. They’re having to fish in the water that’s about 10 feet deep, though. They are using minnows as bait, and one angler has reported catches of three, four and up to eight per visit.

Catfish are biting at night, with cats in the 5- to 7-pound range being caught. Use stink bait. Black bass are being caught off the shoreline. One gentleman reported catching a 3-pound bass using a spinnerbait. Bream are doing well. Crickets and redworms are being used.

The water clarity looks a little bit muddy, while the level is normal.

Lake Overcup

(updated 7-20-2023) John “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Landing off Arkansas Highway 9 said water level is normal and clarity is good, but the surface temperature is around 93 degrees. “No one is fishing at the moment, but last week we were catching 50-70 Bream in the afternoons. No great big ones but good trotline bait.
“We have caught several good channel cats and an albino. Also a 40-pound flathead by Doug and Dennis Vaughn and Dennis’ granddaughter, Marrissa.”

Lake Maumelle

(updated 7-27-2023) WestRock Landing in Roland (501-658-5598) says water temperature is ranging 85-87 degrees. The largemouth bass bite is still good. Reports have 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, with some starting to hit topwater, and also at 16-20 feet. Use crankbaits and flukes, fish a wacky rig shallow and try a Texas rig for the deeper fish. Spotted bass (Kentucky bass) are fair. Reports of them being found still around 16-20 feet. Use a shaky head and crawdad colors. The black bass continue to bite well for the Tuesday night crowd. This week’s Tuesday Night Tournament out of WestRock saw Brandon Crain and Matt Hedrick pull in a winning 5-bass stringer of 17.06 pounds. Josh Jeffers and Aaron Presser caught a 5.18-pound Big Bass as part of their runner-up 14.44-pound stringer.

Crappie are good, with reports of crappie hanging in the brush around 20 feet of water on top of brush. Try using minnows. Bream are great, with reports of them still on the beds and biting. They are anywhere from 8-15 feet deep. Use crickets or worms. Catfish reports are good, as they are being found with the bream off the bottom. Still no reports on white bass.

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 7-27-2023) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said water remains clear and normal pool. Not a lot of poeople have been out other than than early in the mornings, where a few bass anglers are regularly putting in. They appear to still be catching a lot of bass, too, he says, including up into the river. A lot of anglers are going up into the Little Maumelle with plastic worms for the bass. Also you can catch bream any time, Ray says, but the bream are no longer bedding. Worms and crickets will work as always, he adds. Nothing lately has been heard on catfish or crappie.

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 7-27-2023) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) reports that bass fishing has been fairly tough out there lately. There is an early morning and late evening bite with topwater, however. Try a quarter-ounce buzzbait in white or black colors, and also throw a bone-colored Zara Spook. Early morning the bite is around grass that has some wind on it, around the main river jetties and jetty tips, as well as on isolated laydown logs on jetties or sandbars.
Also during the day, you will have success around the sandbars throwing jerkbaits and quarter-ounce chrome/blue Rat-L-Traps, as well as flukes in pearl or white colors.
Catfish are biting below the dam on stink bait, cut bait and nightcrawlers. This bite is also best early in the morning or late in evenings.

Water clarity is stained in the back waters and off the main river, while the main channel is a little clear.

AW Fishing Report - North AR.png

White River
(updated 7-27-2023) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said lots of things in our world are changing, but some things remain the same: Trout fishing on the White River in the beautiful Arkansas Ozarks continues to produce a great catch of fish and as much action as you could ask for. The beauty, peace and hospitality you’ll find in Cotter, Trout Capital USA, and the whole of north-central Arkansas will keep you coming back for more.
Bull Shoals Lake elevation measured 659.30 feet msl Wednesday with generation continuing its schedule of minimum flows in the morning, raising a little earlier than it has been, to almost 12,000 cfs (four generators). The lake is currently below the targeted power pool of 661 feet msl.
Browns have been hiding in the remaining deep holes and biting on sculpin and crawdad tails. Wouldn’t hurt to cast a Rebel WeeCraw or TeenyCraw and watch for a chase. There’s been a late afternoon surge in the brown bite this past week, which is a little uncommon but might be attributed to the changing pressure systems and the occasional pop-up showers.
Rainbows are hitting gold spinners and pink and white PowerBait mousetails (scented manufactured worms topped with white Power Bait). The always popular red/gold hammered Thomas Buoyant Spoon is living up to its reputation by adding to the creel count.
Keep a cup of nightcrawlers or redworms on hand during the late afternoon water rise and play them close to the banks just a foot or so below the surface.
“Treat yourself to some time on the river. You’ll return home refreshed, revived and thankful for all the great outdoors in The Natural State has to offer.”

(updated 7-27-2023) Dave McCulley, owner of Jenkins Fishing Service in Calico Rock, said there hasn’t been a change to the routine of low water in the mornings cresting at 6-plus feet by late morning and dropping the rest of the day. There is some dinginess to the water in the mornings and clearing throughout the day. In the mornings drift-fishing with a silver inline spinner with Uncommon Bait UV glow eggs (bright orange or Firefly [yellow/greenish]) and shrimp have worked well. “We are getting reports that, instead of shrimp, worms have also been doing well.”
As the water drops in the afternoon, using quarter-ounce Colorado spoons with nickel/gold or copper/gold or Buoyant rainbow trout or brown trout colored spoons work well while fishing the gravel bars. CD7 Rapala Countdowns in brown trout color are effective. Several reports of people fishing with sculpins with mixed results. The trout caught with sculpins have been 17-plus inches or longer. After applying sunscreen, make sure to wash your hands so you don’t get any on your bait. The trout can taste the sunscreen and will spit out the bait. “This week we received one stocking of 800 rainbow trout at the Calico Rock boat ramp.”

(updated 7-27-2023) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service at Cotter said that during the past week they had three quarters of an inch of rain in Cotter, hot temperatures (to include heat advisories) and heavy winds (to include lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals fell 1.4 feet to rest at 1.7 feet below power pool of 661 feet msl. This is 35.7 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock Lake fell 0.6 foot to rest at 2.6 feet below power pool and 16.6 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.6 foot to rest at 2.4 feet below power pool and 11 feet below the top of flood pool. The White has had wadable water every day with moderate flows in the afternoon during peak power demand. Norfork Lake remained steady at 1.3 feet over power pool of 555.75 feet msl and 23.1 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork Tailwater has had 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.
John said, “On the White, the hot spot has been the Narrows. 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 pheasant tail (size 14) with a ruby Midge dropper (size 18).

John also said, “Here on the White and Norfork rivers, we spend most of our time fishing heavy flies on or near the bottom. That is where the trout usually are. To make sure they are getting down we add significant weight (split shots) to the leader or use a weighted sink tip line to get that fly or flies down.
“The big problem with fishing the bottom of the river is that there are other things than fish down there. There are rocks of various sizes, weeds, sunken logs and other interesting things that just lie in wait for your fly to drift by.
“When you hang the bottom, you see your strike indicator sink and instinctively set the hook. If it is not a fish, there will be no movement at the end of your line. Rocks do not shake their heads. Many anglers, particularly neophytes, take this feeling as a result of a huge trout and hold the line tight, which results in a broken leader and lost flies.
“I once had a lady angler who did this 13 times, which resulted in my losing 13 girdle bugs that I had tied the night before. I was out of girdle bugs, so she went on to lose several San Juan worms. There was a dropper tied on every lead fly. That doubles my losses. It doesn’t take a trip to a fly shop to figure out that this is a bit of money.
“The correct procedure, when you hang the bottom, is to let out line until you can start the motor. Move the boat upstream slowly as you wind the line back on the reel. When you are upstream from where the fly is hung and the slack is removed from the fly line, gently disengage the fly from the bottom by moving the line upstream.
“This usually works about 90 percent of the time. It works when the fly is stuck on a rock or grass. It does not work if the fly is stuck in a sunken tree. When you retrieve your hook, make sure that it is still there, is clean of aquatic weeds, is sharp and not bent.
“One way to help prevent this is to fish flies tied on jig hooks. These flies are weighted with beads on the head of the fly on special hooks that allow them to drift with the hook point up and sink quickly. With the hook point up, they are not as likely to grab the bottom. Flies tied on jig hooks are the most recent trend in fly tying and many flies are now available on them. I tie and use mostly flies tied on jig hooks.
“Fishing the bottom is subject to having hang-ups. Take care not to lose any more flies than necessary.”

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 7-27-2023) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said Thursday the lake level is steady at 659 feet msl. Water temperature is around 85 degrees and is 90s in the backs. Bass activity seems fair. A thermocline is starting to form down there around 26 feet. Get up early, especially with this nasty heat, and you’ll get a chance at a little topwater action. Look for surface activity along shallow areas close to deep water. If you’re around them, they will show themselves; it’s still hit or miss but they are schooled up and covering water. Try a  popper or small walk-the-dog like a Lucky Craft Gunfish or Sammy if you can get it in there while they’re up.
“Shad are spread out everywhere. Most topwater for me has been closer to the main lake or on the main lake. Look in large creeks early if you’re planning to fish runoff or stained water. If the conditions are right you can catch them on a Whopper Plopper on the flats and remaining bushes. Pick up a Jewel Jig Bass Whacker in green pumpkin orange or a big red worm, or green pumpkin shaky head in any of the laydowns, brush piles, drop-offs – cover water. Look at the temps back there before you start. Be sure to fish the conditions.”
If it’s sunny and clear, stay out toward the main lake and use natural colors on small profile baits. Look at ledges, keep the boat off the fish. Start early with a topwater and as it slows, a drop-shot has been Del’s go-to bait matched with a Robo Worm on brush piles, bluffs, standing timber off ledges or suspenders. Bonus walleye are mixed in on the brush piles off points in 28-32 feet.
“It’s summer for sure. You’re gonna have to cat-and-mouse ’em most days. Tater Shad will also work on the deeper suspenders in 35-45 feet. Also a big R2S Flutter if the largemouths and Kentuckys are up high (0-20 feet) and a small spoon if they are deeper (20-40). Use a spoon or Jewel Scope Spin on schoolers. Don’t put the topwater away after the morning bite. If they start generating, there will be a flurry.”
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 7-27-2023) Steven “Scuba Steve” Street at Blackburn’s Resort said the lake level was 556.98 feet msl at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. The surface water temperature was 87-88 degrees and rising with very warm ambient temperatures. The thermocline is 23-24 feet with very cold water at 30 feet and a mudline from 19-25-feet with little visibility. It is very clear from the surface down to 18 feet, especially on the main lake. There are a lot of fish in the 20-25 feet range, including bass, walleye and catfish especially on main lake points with brush nearby. Bluegill are in the same area but shallower and right in the brush. Bass and bluegill fry are everywhere near cover and are attracting the game fish. The water level fluctuation this spring did not seem to affect the spawn much with the number of fry in the lake.
Bink is still catching stripers and a few big walleye deep in 60-70 feet of water near the bottom on the spoon early and bass anglers are doing well after dark with black lights and salt craws. “I am not seeing very many crappie yet, but they should move in after Labor Day. The lake overall is at a good level and condition for boating, swimming and fishing, but fishing and scuba diving are just fair but improving. It is nice to not have the water level too high.”

Visit and click on Scuba Steve’s blog for a daily report.

(updated 7-27-2023) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort had no new reports, but Lou posts almost daily on his Facebook page with photos and where the fish are biting and what’s biting. Check it out.

Norfork Tailwater
(updated 7-27-2023) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Norfork Lake remained steady at 1.3 feet over power pool of 555.75 feet msl and 23.1 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork Tailwater has had 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.
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 Rail) 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 Worm and a ruby Midge. The fishing is better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off midday.

Dry Run Creek has fished poorly. School is out and it can get quite crowded particularly on weekends. 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 7-27-2023) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Crooked Creek and the Buffalo River are fishing well. With warmer 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.

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

(updated 7-27-2023) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) said Beaver Lake is warm and sitting at 1,119.0 feet, which is 2 feet below normal pool level. Water is hot sitting near 90 degrees in lots of locations. That hot water and daytime heat has been dictating when and how to fish. First off, be early or be later in the day. The bite is best at first light or after sun sets. Striper has been very consistent, with fish in the 12- to 17-pound range common. Look at the Starkey area to the Damsite Campground. Shad or bluegill will work. Remember, this time of the year you are encouraged to keep any legal striper, as most cannot survive the fight.
Walleye have been caught on points and flats on bottom bouncers from Horseshoe down to the dam. Crappie are still on the crank bite. Troll cranks that touch 15 feet and you will do well. Bandit 300s will work, and lately anything with pink on it is the color that’s working. Catfish are good and we are picking up catfish on trolled cranks and also on crawler harnesses. There is some early and late topwater on schoolie-size bass right at dark up in the river arms lately. Bluegill are there for the taking. Stay safe and hydrated.

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

(updated 7-28-2023) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said it’s really hot, dry and not fun for most folks to be on the water when it’s 80 degrees well into the late evening/early morning hours. It’s all been pretty slow. Crappie fishing is as good a highlight as any, though, and it’s been going on with anglers trolling for crappie using trolling baits that will get 10-15 feet — be it a Bandit, Pico, Arkei or some deeper-diving crankbait. Some crappie are being caught on minnows tight to the brush in 12-20 feet of water. Bass fishing is almost nonexistent in the daytime, and the folks doing it are throwing a vareity of finesse worms. There is decent bass fishing night, however, on spinnerbaits and dark, 9- to 12-inch soft plastic worms.
A few stripers are being caught in the overnight hours or early in the morning; it’s done by 8-9 a.m. and that’s on an overcast day. Anglers are also catching walleye dragging bottom bouncers (with nightcrawlers mostly, or minnows) at 20-30 feet and maybe a little deeper. Now, bluegill can be counted on for some catches, they seem to always be good around Beaver Lake in the warmer months. Use redworms and crickets; anglers are catching them in 6-10 feet of water. They are anticipating possibly one more spawn with the full moon coming up. 
The lake is clear and just slightly below normal power pool. The water temperature is around 85 degrees, hot and not cooling down anytime soon, it seems.

Beaver Tailwater
(updated 7-27-2023) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said this week has been good on the tailwater; nothing drastically has changed since his last report. The Corps of Engineers has still been generating pretty much starting at 1 p.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 level is still low and continues 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 slackwater during generation. The white bass and walleye are still up toward Holiday island, but you need to look for them. Jigging live minnows off of points and humps have done the trick. There are still quite a few males in the river, so get after them. Remember, for additional tips, visit my fishing Facebook page (Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service). Hope you all are able to get out and catch some fish.”

Lake Fayetteville
(updated 7-27-2023) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said bream are biting a lot on crickets and worms. Crappie are slowing down. Black bass are biting on worms, topwater baits and jigs, but it’s been hit and miss. Try the shady areas off the pier as well as in the coves. Snapping turtles are biting as well. It’s hot.



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Lake Charles
(updated 7-20-2023) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) says water is up a little and has cooled off some. And crappie and bass took the opportunity to go rest; she heard no reports on those species.
However, bream are good on jigs and worms, while catfish are good using worms, shrimp and goldfish.
Water temperature Sunday was 78.8 degrees. Clarity is the usual murky.

Lake Poinsett
(updated 7-13-2023) Seth Boone, the superintendent at Lake Poinsett State Park, said Lake Poinsett has the bream still biting. The bigger bream seem to be off rocky shores in about 12-15 feet of water biting on worms or crickets. Catfish are deeper right now and more active in the evenings on chicken liver and other good-smelling baits. Bass and crappie are still catch-and-release but the crappie have been biting on minnows and worms. Bass are biting on white jigs around structures and frogs off the water primrose.

Crown Lake
(updated 7-27-2023) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said bream on redworms. Catfish are biting goldfish. Black bass are biting in the late afternoon on nightcrawlers.

Spring River
(updated 7-27-2023) Mark Crawford with (870-955-8300) had no reports. Mark has a blog on his website with the most recent conditions and updates from the Spring.

(updated 7-27-2023) 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. 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.


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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.

Cane Creek Lake
(updated 7-28-2023) Stephanie Clingenpeel, seasonal park interpreter at Cane Creek State Park, said it has been a hot, slow week at the park. She spoke with an older gentleman who said the crappie are out and biting at the moment. He would not disclose the exact location, though said they were caught somewhere farther into the lake. It has been another hot week with temperatures topping out in the 90s, with mostly clear skies. “Here at Cane Creek we also cannot seem to keep our crickets in stock,” she said. Look for bream to be biting, then.


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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 7-27-2023) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said that as of Tuesday Millwood Lake is about 23 inches below normal and falling due to the Army Corps of Engineers’ 2-foot drawdown, which will run through mid-September. Clarity continues improving in most locations. Use extreme caution during the drawdown when stumps and obstacles will be at or near the water surface in many locations. Some boat lanes on the main lake will be inaccessible during the drawdown with shallow flats and stumps preventing navigation.
As mentioned last week, the work on paving the new and expanded parking lot at Yarborough Landing is completed.
Millwood is near 257.3 f feet msl, and tailwater elevation near 226 feet msl and rising with gate discharge at the dam near 900 cfs, according to the Army Corps of Engineers on Tuesday. Check the most recent lake level of Millwood Lake on the guide service’s website linked above, or at the Corps of Engineers website, for updated gate release changes and inflow rates with rising and falling lake levels.
Surface temps are stable this week, ranging 86-89 degrees at Wilton and Little River, depending on location and the time of day. Clarity along Little River is stained but improving in many locations, worse further up Little River, with river clarity ranging 10-15 inches visibility depending on location. Clarity of oxbows will vary widely from heavy stain to good clarity, visibility ranging 15-30 inches up to 3 feet in a few locations. Further up Little River near White Cliffs and Wilton Landing has heavier stain. Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, gate discharge, rain or thunderstorms.
Mike offered these specifics of the fishing this week on Millwood:
* Largemouth bass are fair, biting randomly. They are best from daybreak until up around 9 a.m. along the river from the mouth of Warrior Trail all the way upriver to White Cliffs Creek dump. It is best best early and late on plastic frogs, Bass Assassin Shads and Brush Hogs, or Bang 3.5-inch Skunk Apes in the pads along grass lines. They are ranging from 2-4 pounds, and activity slows in midday heat. “We connected with some largemouth and Kentucky bass and whites on Cordell Jigging Spoons all in various groups following shad schools along the river. During the drawdown, the current and falling lake level is pulling most bass to the creek mouths, primary and secondary points where channel dumps, and into Little River.”
The best action along Little River is near washouts from 6-15 feet of depth off the bank near vegetation mats, and along primary and secondary points and creek dumps into the river. Also good action in the back in the oxbows, in 3-8 feet of water on flats near cypress trees, until the sun gets above the trees. Once the sun reaches overhead, 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. Best colors of Shad Assassins with current water clarity are Salt & Pepper Silver Phantom, Chico’s Red Ear and Pumpkinseed. Best colors of Brush Hogs are Watermelon Candy and June Bug Red, while Skunk Apes are best in black/blue tail, Hematoma Shad or Blank Check.

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. After about 9-10 a.m., bass will randomly respond to a Bill Lewis ATV Square Bill, Echo 1.75 Crankbaits, and 10-inch Power Worms or a Brush Hog. Over the past couple of 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 ATV Square Bill or Echo 1.75 after the topwater bite subsides on Buzzbaits near late morning. Best colors of Power Worms have been Blue Fleck and Black Grape; the best Brush Hog is Watermelon Candy with a chartreuse tail.
Senkos, Yum Dingers and trick worms like the Barlow’s Salty Rat Tails, as well as finesse worms are still getting reactions wacky-rigged. South African Special, June Bug Red, Blackberry and Watermelon Seed have been randomly working all along Little River and in the back of McGuire and Horseshoe oxbows.
* For a couple weeks, some very large schools of white bass have been spotted schooling and surface-breaking in Little River between Jack’s Isle and the mouth of Snake Creek along the edges near grass mats on threadfin shad. “These whites were hitting jigging spoons when we saw them surface schooling last week. Several different schools of whites were feeding along Little River breaking on shad at the surface and down to 8-12 feet of depth near the burnt tree at Pugh Slough, while we were vertical-jigging chrome Cordell or Kastmaster Spoons, and ranged from 2-3 pounds each. We didn’t see the white bass surface-breaking over the past week.”
* Crappie continue biting well near Saratoga and Millwood State Park this week and are biting best using minnows one day and jigs the next in 12-16 feet of depth in planted brush piles. Size has been up to 2.25 pounds.
* Bream were biting well above Jack’s Isle, and more beds were seen last week. Those bream were biting best on crickets, redworms and sweet corn.
* No report this week on catfish. Several folks were snagging below the dam with the increased discharge earlier this week before they shut the gates back and reduced flow. Elevation below the dam in tailwater is low with a much reduced current output as of Tuesday.

Lake Columbia
No reports.

Lake Erling
(updated 7-20-2023) Lake Erling Guide Service (870-904-8546) has a Crappie Masters Lake Erling Showdown going on Thursday through Saturday. Fish are biting really well early, then as it warms up they are not biting near as good. Hand-tied jigs and minnows are working best on the crappie.
Meanwhile, the local anglers are catching lots of catfish on jugs, trotlines and noodles and they’re using anything for bait, it doesn’t matter.

Folks are still catching a lot of bream around the lake, and the store is selling lots of crickets and worms for them.
They have seen several schools of black bass in the mornings and afternoons, but they haven’t heard of anyone catching any bass yet.
The lake was more than 3 feet high after heavy rain last week, but has come down as of Thursday. On Friday or Saturday it should be back to full pool, they report. The rainfall did cool the lake down nicely, which helped get the fish biting again. The water clarity is clear in spite of the heavy rainfall.
The tournament results will be carried on the Crappie Masters Facebook page live during the midafternoon (around 3 p.m.) Friday and Saturday. Crappie Masters is a national group. The tournament has drawn anglers from many states in the region.
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 7-20-2023) John Duncan of YoYo Guide Service at Iron Mountain Marina says, “Yep, it’s hot! Water’s hot and the air is hot! Hydrate, folks!
“The water temperature is mid- to high 80s. It’s clear and still windy, it seems. Water level at this time is 405.01 feet and falling.

“It’s hot and I have had limited time on the water. But in a nutshell, here it is: The biggest story is the schooling fish. They are pretty well lake-over. If you can find calm water you can get action on whites, Kentuckys. Spoons are great always; 2-ounce white and chartreuse is my favorite. Lots of fish near the bottom in these pockets. Deep-diving crankbaits are good and can be trolled, also. Topwater action will be on if the water is calm. Devil Horse, Whopper Plopper, Zara Spook, Chuggers and other noisy baits will work. Still getting reports of good crappie catches in the brush piles casting jigs. Fish slow and deep.
“Short and sweet: hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!”

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.

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White Oak Lake Area
No reports.


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NOTICE: The AGFC reminders landowners adjacent to Lake Atkins and to the Cabin Creek arm of Lake Dardanelle that EPA-approved aquatic herbicides were applied to those bodies of water earlier this month, and while he treatment causes no harm to wildlife, people or aquatic life, 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. Please 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. Without controlling it, alligatorweed can infest lakes, restricting access to boathouses, boat ramps and fishing locations, and choke out native vegetation and fish populations. For more information, call the AGFC Fisheries Office in Russellville at 833-356-0879.

Lake Atkins
(updated 7-13-2023) Donald Ramirez at Lucky Landing (479-264-0851) said he had been out catching a bunch of small bream (5-6 inches) and tossing them back Thursday, and no one was trying to fish at midday. Fishing is slow and the water is hot. Anglers are trying, starting early (around 6-7 a.m.) and are out by 10-11 a.m. having caught one or two bass probably. Crappie are deep and hiding from the heat.
Clarity is a little murky.

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

(updated 7-27-2023) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below the dam is 64 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace. Entergy is generating 6,900 cfs for nine hours each day this week through Friday, Aug. 4. Fair numbers of white bass have migrated into the tailrace chasing shad. July is a good month for white bass fishing, although most of the fish present are on the smaller size. Topwater activity is key in locating feeding bass. The main channels hold the majority of shad, and anglers casting eighth-ounce jigs in gray or white will catch bass that are keying in on these baitfish. Small topwater plugs such as Zara Puppies and Heddon Tiny Torpedoes closely match the profile of area shad.
Because of the variety of forage, walleye, catfish and bass will move in and out of the tailrace in the hot summer months and can be caught in numbers by anglers that closely observe conditions on Lake Catherine. Carpenter Dam is a difficult area to fish with a constant barrage of changing conditions brought on by storms and dangerous heat. Live bait is a must when anglers are serious about catching numbers of fish in the area. While artificial lures work when feeding fish are showing themselves, anglers must be patient and use live presentations when no topwater activity is present.
The rainbow trout stocking schedule will resume in mid-November to start the fall and winter season.
Always wear a lifejacket when on Lake Catherine and be aware of the generation schedules before planning a day on the water.

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

(updated 7-27-2023) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) had no new reports. In his most recent report, he said  black bass have been hit-and-miss. When there is current, there is a good topwater bite. When there is no current, it is extremely tough – unless you get lucky and come across some schooling bass. Large worms and deep-diving crankbaits will catch you some fish off of points and drops. Crappie are on brush piles and deep trees. Monkey Milk color has still been working well; 6-10 feet is the best bite. But it is still going to take all day to get your limit.
White bass and stripers were starting to school out in the river around the flats earlier this month. Crankbaits and spoons were working the best. Flathead catfish were eating live perch on the steep rocky banks, rock dikes and around bluff walls. Blue cats were in a deep hold around the channel swings. Channel cats are best found in the creeks. Cut bait, shad and skipjack have been working well on blues, worms and minnows for the channel cat. Bream have been good around the Mayfly hatch. Worms, crickets and flies have been working well.

Lake Hamilton
(updated 7-27-2023) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) said he has been fishing both lakes in the area, Ouachita and Hamilton, lately. With summer water temps in the mid-80s, the bite for all species (walleye, striper, hybrid striper, white bass, largemouth bass and spotted bass) comes very early. “Start casting, vertical jig and drop-shot your favorite lures – mine are gold and silver spoons – at first-light. Work the ends of points and submerged humps as shallow as 12-18 feet of water and as deep as 30-45 feet of water for the best results. You’ll find some breaking fish early with most suspending 8-12 feet deep. When the morning feed slows and the fish scatter, trolling crankbaits in the same areas will produce fish.”

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 7-27-2023) Sheila Ferrebee, the new owner of Carter Cove Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025), formerly Andrews, are catching crappie on minnows and jigs. They are fishing early, coinciding when breakfast is served at the store (5 a.m.), Sheila notes. No bass reports lately. A 50-pound catfish was caught, however. Fishing mostly has been quite slow, she says.
Bream were biting really well a couple of weeks ago.
Carter Cove has a Facebook page and the email address is

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

(updated 7-27-2023) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) said he has been fishing both lakes in the area, Ouachita and Hamilton, lately. With summer water temps in the mid-80s, the bite for all species (walleye, striper, hybrid striper, white bass, largemouth bass and spotted bass) comes very early. “Start casting, vertical jig and drop-shot your favorite lures – mine are gold and silver spoons – at first-light. Work the ends of points and submerged humps as shallow as 12-18 feet of water and as deep as 30-45 feet of water for the best results. You’ll find some breaking fish early with most suspending 8-12 feet deep. When the morning feed slows and the fish scatter, trolling crankbaits in the same areas will produce fish.”

(updated 7-27-2023) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out-of-state) said black bass remain fair. Drop-shot for some spotted bass action near brush in the 18-22 feet range. Walleye are excellent. Silver spoons and drop-shotting nightcrawlers are working for these fish. Try main river/lake channel points for these fish, near brush, in the 18-22 feet range. Stripers are still 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. Bream are good. Try a cricket or worm near brush in the 15-25 feet depth range for a quality bite. Crappie are fair and being caught on small jigs or minnows. Try brush and structure 20-25 feet deep. Catfish are fair on rod-and-reel with crawlers or stink bait. Jugs and trotlines with live or cut bait are working well, too.
Water temperature is a steady 84-88 degrees now. Water clarity is clear. Lake level is 575.27 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
For the Army Corps of Engineers’ real-time lake level and outflow reports from Blue Mountain Lake, visit the Corps’ Little Rock office website.

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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

Cook’s Lake

(updated 7-27-2023) The AGFC’s Wil Hafner at Cook’s Lake Nature Center (501-404-2321) says that the few anglers that have braved the heat are experiencing a very slow bite. Cooks Lake is about 5 feet deep at most and water temperature is in the low to mid-90s. A few bass are still being caught on spinnerbaits, buzzbaits,and frogs right on the bank in the shade or by flipping a green pumpkin jig or soft plastic into the hollow tree stumps in about 4 feet of water.
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 will be 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.

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