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Arkansas Wildlife Weekly Fishing Report

BY Jim Harris

ON 02-08-2024


Feb. 8, 2024

Jim Harris

Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine

Steve Michelson hauled in this beautiful smallmouth bass while fishing the Spring River in northeast Arkansas with guide Mark Crawford. Steve was using an olive bead-head Woolly Bugger. Flows are higher than average on the Spring after the recent rain, which has brought a lot of lakes and streams up significantly in recent weeks.

Reports are updated weekly, although some reports may be published for two weeks if updates are not received promptly or if reporters say conditions haven’t changed. Contact the reporter listed for the lake or stream you plan to fish for current news.

Arkansas River and White River levels are available at:

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

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

Download the Fish Brain app and follow AGFC at:

Quick links to regions:


Central Arkansas

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 2-8-2024) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) had no new report. 

The hunt continues for tagged fish in Lake Conway. The prize for each tag is now $1,000 through Feb. 29. Lake Conway has no creel or length limits while the lake is in its drawdown phase as part of the AGFC’s renovation project.
Also, the Lake Conway nursery pond is now open for fishing with the AGFC stocking various sport fish there. The pond is 60 acres and has bass, crappie, bream and stocked rainbow trout.


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 2-8-2024) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said Thursday the Army Corps of Engineers has opened up two generators and moving water constantly at the dam, meaning there is a lot of water going into the Little Red and making it tough for boating or wade fishing there now. Trout anglers are urged to keep an eye on the water flow from the dam as the Corps tries to get Greers Ferry Lake pulled down to a normal level. They had no recent reports of any fishing.


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 2-8-2024) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 463.52 feet msl, or 1.48 above normal pool of 462.04 feet for this time of year. Generation has been running just about 24 hours full bore for the last week or so. Catch rates for this time of year are really good as with any highland reservoir across the country. Some crappie are roaming around chewing, while others are doing the same in pole timber or in brush piles. In all places they are suspended 4 feet down to 40 feet. Use live baits, jigs, crankbaits or beetle spins for best results.
Black bass are good super shallow out to 50 feet in guts, main lake points or secondary points, on C-rigs, jerkbaits, football heads or crankbaits. Stay around the shad; the Wiggle Wart is working great. Also, a spoon or a Silverado-colored Rat-L-Trap is working. Walleye are doing what they usually do this time of year: following schools of bait around or disappearing. Spoons are working best around schools of bait. Catfish are hanging out on secondary points around and under baitfish or up rivers and creeks real shallow doing the same and gorging. 

No report on bream. Hybrid and white bass are gorging like a lot of other species — when you find them, just about any metal bait you get in front of them, or swim bait, hair jig, inline spinner and some topwater will work in 25-60 feet. “Enjoy and remember to let someone know when you will be back in and wear your life jacket!”

(updated 2-8-2024) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said bass fishing is really good right now; you can catch a lot of fish doing nothing in particular. The upper end of the lake has a little bit of stain, while the back of creeks have cleared up some; the lower end of the lake is pretty clear now. The lake is a foot high, but the Army Corps of Engineers is pulling water constantly so the level is starting to come down a little bit.

Bass are being caught up shallow in 5-10 feet of water on crankbaits, spinnerbaits and a jig in good numbers. As for anything caught out in deeper water, anglers have been using LiveScope and starting fish with an Alabama rig or Damiki rig and catching them in 10-25 feet of water.
The fishing is good in general, they report, all the way from shallow to deep. Fish are spread out all over the place because of the recent warmer weather — some are coming shallow and others are staying deep.

Crappie anglers are catching them in the tops of standing timber in 15-20 feet throwing a 2-inch swimbait.


Harris Brake Lake
(updated 2-8-2024) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) says fishing is kind of slow, but anglers are catching some crappie and other fish off the bank. For the crappie, some are using a pearl white crappie jig. But they report that overall there is too much water and the clarity is too muddy for much of a crappie bite nearer the bait shop. 

Across the lake, however, they are using minnows on yo-yos and catching crappie as large as 14 inches in length.
They are expecting a better crappie bite in a couple of weeks.

Also, anglers are catching white bass, some in the 3-4 pound range.

A few bream are also being caught on redworms. Lots of shad and drum are showing up, too. Nothing has been heard on catfish lately.


Lake Maumelle
(updated 2-8-2024) WestRock Landing in Roland (501-658-5598) reported Thursday that water temperature was 46 degrees. The lake water level is 3 feet low and the clarity is dingy. The bite for largemouth bass is slow. There are reports of bass around the edges of channels following baitfish. Try using jigs, Alabama rigs or swimbaits, and try jerkbaits in shallow depth in the afternoon. Look for bass around isolated structures looking for bream and shad around 18 feet of water. Kentucky bass are fair. The spots are reported being found around edges of the channel deep as well as some of them being caught in 18 feet depth off rocky points. Try using shaky heads and jigs.
No reports yet on white bass. Crappie have slowed down, as they’re reported being found roaming in the channel but it’s been a slow bite. Crappie can be found on structures and brush anywhere from 20-35 feet in the channels. Try using jigs or minnows. Bream are slow. The ones that are biting are anywhere from 16-18 feet on redworms. Catfish are slow, too. Entice them with some little bream, liver or worms.


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 2-8-2024) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the fishing has been kind of tough lately with the weather patterns but has been decent this week. A few anglers were out this week catching crappie — “nothing great, but they caught a few,” Ray said. Black bass are in 8-9 feet and biting on crankbaits and jigs, though not many of the bass were keepers. Also, a woman fishing off the dock this week caught redear.
During the coldest part of the weather recently, anglers were finding crappie via LiveScope on the bottom and not interested in taking a minnow — usually, that weather pattern produces a good crappie response but not this year, Ray said.

The water is clear and normal, but a few days of rain are forecast and could muddy things up.


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 2-8-2024) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said they expected the river flow on Thursday to be coming down after a few days of heavier flows. Thursday at midday it was down to 53,000 at Murray Lock and Dam, which is fine, after being at 92,000 early in the morning. The Toad Suck dam upriver also was seeing falling flow. They haven’t heard from a lot of people going out lately because of the rain and heavy flow. If someone were to go fishing, for bass fishing they suggest concentrating on the backwaters. Sunny days tend to be better because the water will be warmer. Try a white or white/chartreuse spinnerbait. Also, a black/blue jig worked against wood or rock should be successful in those good cover areas.
Crappie fisherman can look in the main river or backwaters for fish, according to reports they’ve heard with crappie holding there in about 15 feet of water. This is a good time for a black and chartreuse or white and chartreuse crappie jig.
Expect water clarity to be stained and muddy, and typically this early in the year the water will remain dirty like this for a while.


North Arkansas

White River
(updated 2-8-2024) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said, “Let’s go fishing. Bull Shoals Lake elevation is 655.60 feet msl, nearly 3 feet above where it was a couple of weeks ago, still about 3 feet below power pool. Temperature looks to remain mild with cold mornings, then very comfortable throughout the remainder of the day. Over the last week, generation has fluctuated a lot during each day, from minimum flow (700 cfs) to four units (12,000 cfs) or more and back again. The water level can change very quickly — don’t be caught unawares.
“If you’re looking to fish low water, schedule your river time for early morning hours and wiggle a quarter-ounce spinner with a white tail and gold or bronze blade mid-depth to just below topwater. As the water rises (around 11 a.m. in the Cotter area), move to a red wiggler worm or nightcrawler for the next hour or two. Then, when the water reaches its peak, try angling a 4- to 5-inch jerkbait. Best bet right now is a white-bellied lure with a blue or mossy green back.”
The special regulations for the brown trout spawn have ended; you’ll encounter heavy boat traffic near the dam. Be considerate of your fellow anglers during this annual hunt for browns as they return to their home ground. “Looks like it’s going to be a busy February in our territory, but there’s always coffee enough for everybody. Stop by and say, ‘Hi’; we’re glad you’re here.”

(updated 2-8-2024) Dave McCulley, owner of Jenkins Fishing Service in Calico Rock, said, “Other than the rain Saturday night and Sunday, we have seen some nice weather for February. Once again the rains caused the Buffalo River to rise, resulting in water levels over 9 feet and dirty water in Calico Rock on Monday and Tuesday this week. By Wednesday the water had significantly cleared.
“Fishing has been good the last couple of weeks for both rainbows and browns. What has worked for rainbows is using two Uncommon Baits NeoPink ultraviolet eggs with shrimp. We have seen some success with other colors, but the NeoPink seems to work the best. For both browns and rainbows, throwing Rapala Countdowns in either brown trout or rainbow trout colors has worked well. An alternate Countdown color to try is silver. We have seen several brown trout over 20 inches landed, including a 27-inch and 29-inch fish. 

(updated 2-1-2024) John Berry, veteran angler and retired guide/owner in Cotter, said the White has had a lot of wadable water. The catch-and-release section below Bull Shoals Dam has reopened after being closed for three months for the brown trout spawn. Night fishing in the area is allowed now, too. On the White, the hot spot has been The Narrows. They 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. John says his favorite has been a San Juan Worm with an egg dropper with plenty of lead.

John also said, “Recently, I wrote a column about a fishing buddy that had a bad day, which included him falling and breaking his rod. I had breakfast with him today and explained that I was not trying to demean him in any way, but to show other anglers that this happens to all of us. In fact, during breakfast I began going through the list of my broken rods. It was longer than I imagined. It should be noted that better fly rods and reels come with significant warranties and ask few questions about what happened. There is a handling fee.
“The first rod I broke was my first fly rod, a Fenwick fiberglass rod. I was parked in the pasture at McClellan’s trout dock and I accidently closed the hatch of my Bronco on it, turning a two-piece fly rod into a three piece. By this time, I was beginning to fish only graphite fly rods and I did not bother to have it repaired.
“The next rod I broke was a Sage graphite rod with an Orvis CFO reel. I was fishing the upper Yellowstone River in Yellowstone National Park. At the end of the day I put my rod and reel on top of the Rent a Wreck we were using. I stowed the rest of my gear in the car and we drove off. The rod and reel were still on the roof of the car. I heard a clunk and turned to watch in horror as a pickup ran over my rod and reel. It was a mess. I sent the rod to Sage and it cost $25 and took three months to fix my rod and $10 and a couple of weeks to replace my reel.
“Next I put a Sage rod into a ceiling fan in a motel room in Mammoth Spring before a night-fishing trip to the Spring River. It cost $30 this time to get it repaired.
“Unfortunately my next victim was my wife’s Orvis. It is Lori’s first rod and she loves it. I closed the hatch of my Volvo station wagon on it. That one cost me $35 and took two months.
“I broke a Temple Fork Outfitter rod on a kayak float trip down the Norfork Tailwater. I had attached the rod to the boat to prevent its loss. We sought shelter in a covered dock to escape a heavy pop-up thunderstorm where I accidently banged against the dock, which snapped the tip off. It took $25 and a week to get the rod repaired.
“My clients accounted for four TFOs that I use for my client rods. They were broken on fish, on the deck of the boat, wading the White and just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The cost to repair them rose from $25 to $48 over time but they still take a week to repair.
“Finally, there is a Winston rod. For the life of me, I cannot remember the incident. I only remember that it took a long time to get it back.
“In fly fishing, your rods take a hit. They are fragile, but most rods can be repaired at little cost and a bit of time.”


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 2-8-2024) Fishing guide Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake said Wednesday’s lake level was 655 feet msl, while the water temperature was 48 degrees. “Bass fishing has slowed with the movement of baitfish. I’ll go over what’s working for me:
“Powerfish if it’s cloudy, rainy and windy, covering water with a Rock Crawler or Wiggle Wart in red variations. Don’t rule out a flat-sided as well. Look for windblown, shady, ledgy or chunk rock banks and steeper swings. You can always catch ’em on a jig in green pumpkin variations and PB&J. Try piles and ledges close to shad balls. Graphing can pay off. Get around bait and then fish whatever is nearby — treetops, points, ledges, swings, etc.
“Shad seem to have spread out and are moving back into the bigger creel arms. They are holding down in the 80-100 feet range regardless of the overall depth. Some shad balls have broken off and are high in the water column. Some bass left them as they went deep and some are holding above them at 30-60 feet.
“The video game fish can be tough to find and to fool; try a small shad Damiki, Tater Shad or Thump Shad and change the head size accordingly. White or shad colors are working for me. Loons and gulls are in the area; you better pay attention. The Jewel Scuba Spoon is fooling a few as well as a Rapala Ice Jig, especially if the shad are on the bottom or large schools show up! Every day is different and it is February, so fish the conditions.” 

Crappie 101 Guide Service says crappie are still pretty scattered in the creeks and main lake. Main lake fish are super scattered, but if you find them, they’re usually great quality. Minnows have been working well and the jig bite has definitely picked up, also. Brush piles have been probably the best areas of late. A ⅛- or 1/16-ounce jig paired with natural bait colors has been the best.
Southern Walleye Guide Service reports that the walleye are scattered along creek channels following the shad. I am catching some around trees in 60-80 feet of water where the creek passes close to a steep bank or a point halfway to two-thirds back of creeks. Mostly fishing the longer creek arms, staying close to trees with spoons and jigging Raps. Also, I have also been catching a few on Rapala Rippin Raps. Lure colors have been white or shad pattern.

Del regularly posts new YouTube videos. Visit his YouTube site (Bull Shoals Lake Fishing Report) 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 2-1-2024) Steven “Scuba Steve” Street at Blackburn’s Resort and Boat Rental said the lake level was 554.78 feet msl and had dropped 1.3 inches in the last 24 hours with sluice gates open equal to one generator at 7 p.m. Wednesday. They did have one generator running for a couple of days after being down for several months but shut it off again. The other generator is still inoperable. They have been very reluctant to drop the level lower than the top of the power pool, which is 553.75 feet msl. The White River at Newport is 20.36 feet and very high, indicating a lot of water is going into the river but it is starting to recede. The surface water temperature is 45 degrees and the visibility is not the best and you can only see your lure down about 4 feet. It is clearer near the shore. 

There are a lot of striper fishermen trolling around the Howard Cove area and catching a few small ones in the 5- to 8-pound range in open water on shad, and there are some black bass and white bass with them. “I have been mostly brush pile fishing for crappie and bass and the fishing has been poor during the day and fair in the evening. There is a bite from sundown to dark on jigs and grubs tipped with minnows casting past the brush and letting it sink into it. Some big crappie are being caught but not a lot. The bass fishing is getting better but not good yet. I am glad January is over. The frost is out of the ground.”

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

(updated 1-25-2024) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said it’s a great time to fish the deep water as you never know what you are likely to catch. All species are out chasing baitfish.The photos on our Facebook page from this week are just a sample of what I was catching on Tuesday. It sure feels great being able to be back on the lake after the deep freeze, even with the fog. I was mainly dead sticking a White Trash Tater Baits – Fishing Lures and Umbrella Rigs in about 90 feet of water. I found fish in three different locations. All locations were close to the main lake old river channel.
“My first fish, caught early morning, was a striped bass and he hit the bait on the fall at about 40 feet down. There were other scattered fish in this area but I didn’t see any schools. The second area, mid-morning, I caught another striped bass. He was sitting inside of a bait ball 60 feet down. The third area, late morning, held a lot of bait and good schools of striped/hybrid bass came under me 45-65 feet deep. I landed three hybrids in this area, all on a very slow reel up through the school. The 25-pound catfish was below the bait 75 feet down. He absolutely hammered the Tater Shad. After I netted this fish, I found the hook was almost straightened out. I don’t know how he didn’t come loose.
“Three very nice largemouth and several white bass were feeding 35-40 deep and they really liked the white Tater Shad. The blue cat, whites and largemouth bass were all caught in the second area that I fished.
“The lake level is at 554 feet msl. The surface water temp ranged from 42.5 degrees to 44 degrees depending on where I was fishing. We are forecast for a warming trend with highs in the 50s. This is the time to fish the winter bite. If you are needing a place to stay, give us a call at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort 870-492-5113 for reservations. February, March, April and May are great months to fish Norfork Lake and the weather is typically a little more predictable.

“Happy fishing and enjoy Norfork Lake.”

Lou posts fishing reports almost every day on Hummingbird Hideaway Resort’s Facebook page.


Norfork Tailwater
(updated 2-1-2024) John Berry, angler and retired operator of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169), said there has been wadable water on the Norfork and it has fished well. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns like Zebra Midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead). Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead-head nymph (Zebra Midge, Copper John or Pheasant Tail) suspended 18 inches below a brightly colored San Juan Worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise). John says his favorite rig has been a cerise San Juan 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. The cold wet weather of late January resulted in few anglers. 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. Be sure and carry a large net, as most fish are lost at the net.


Buffalo National River/Crooked Creek
(updated 2-1-2024) John Berry, angler and retired operator of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169), said Crooked Creek and the Buffalo River are not fishing as well and water levels are low. With colder temperatures, the smallmouth bass are much less active. The most effective fly has been a tan and brown Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.


Northwest Arkansas

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

(updated 2-8-2024) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) said, “Beaver Lake has risen up to almost 1115. That is 2 feet higher in the last month. Water temperature is in the low to mid-40s. This warming trend will really help push the prespawn activity. We did have a shad kill when the lake froze over on the south end, which has made striper fishing tough the last two weeks. That will change in the coming month. Walleye are still not in river arms in force. That also will ramp up in the coming weeks. Crappie were the exception as they were hitting fairly well. They are scattered from brush in 15 feet of water to suspended from 1-5 feet deep in water 30-40 feet deep. This bite is a LiveScope/forward sonar bite. The crappie are in the top layer warming up. So, if you have that type of electronics, you will do well.”
Water clarity is from stained to muddy, depending on where you fish. There is another push of dirtier water from Neil’s Bluff down to Hickory Creek. The least stained is from Horseshoe down to the dam.
Bass fishing should ramp up on suspended jerkbaits and Alabama rigs off main lake points adjacent to spawning areas. If we don’t get another arctic blast fishing should continue an upward trajectory. Stay safe and good luck!”

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

(updated 1-25-2024) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said fishing has been slow.


Beaver Tailwater
(updated 2-8-2024) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) says, “Trout, walleye and water levels are still the story for this week’s report. The water levels are on the rise, but we still need more. The trout bite has picked up, but unless you can get up past Spider Creek, the bite may be a bit difficult.
“Here lately, the Corps of Engineers has been releasing water generally a few times a week. During generation, drifting a pink Fireworm has done pretty well. I did get a chance to drift the Fire Tubes that I spoke about in the last report. That process was very successful. We had them tied under a bobber, about 4 feet, and just let it drift. 

“As I mentioned in the last report on Jan. 25, we are starting to look for the walleye — well, guess what? We are starting to see some appear in the system. We have focused most of our attention to the upper White River Arm of Table Rock Lake. We got out Tuesday to scout and landed on a good mess of them. Forgoing traditional methods, I wanted to see if the above stated Fire Tubes and Fire Minnows would provoke the same response as the trout; boy, did it! In a four-hour period, we were able to boat five walleye, all of which were 25 inches or bigger (all were released). I could not believe the response I am still getting from these new baits.
“Now, how to fish the Fire Minnows and Tubes: Using a 1/16- or ⅛-ounce jighead, you want to fish and work the minnows in the water columns, paying attention to retrieve and cadence. With the tubes, they are prepackaged with a jighead; just tie it on and start working it. Most of the walleye were caught in 20 feet of water, while the trout were caught above Spider Creek. You will use the above methods for both species.
“Follow my fishing Facebook page (Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service) for updates on the walleye. If you would like more information on the new Fire Minnows and Tubes, feel free to reach out to me. Obviously, I am pretty excited about these baits. Have fun, stay safe and catch some fish!”


Lake Fayetteville
(updated 2-8-2024) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) says anglers on boats out in the lake away from the shoreline have been catching both smallmouth bass and crappie of late. The smallmouth are taking to worms, while the crappie are favoring jigs. Overall, they report the fishing as fair considering how the weather has been lately.


Northeast Arkansas

Lake Charles
(updated 1-25-2024) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) said Monday that water was still coming up and there was “a pretty good freeze on the lake.” Lake water was down as Lake Charles’ water is used to help flood the Shirey Bay Rainey Brake Wildlife Management Area for waterfowl season. She had no reports of any bites.


Lake Poinsett
(updated 2-8-2024) Seth Boone, the superintendent at Lake Poinsett State Park, had no new report. 


Spring River
(updated 2-8-2024) Mark Crawford with (870-955-8300) said the Spring has been running at 410 cfs and water clarity has been slowly clearing and has a heavy green tint from recent rains. Plenty of rain the last few weeks has raised river levels from 220 cfs to over 400 cfs (350 is average flow). Anglers must be careful wading with the stronger flows.
“A few weeks ago we were fishing dries and droppers, a complete change with the high water. A sink tip or some extra weight is handy with the river up. Every morning we start out throwing Woollies to see if the fish will chase; then, if that doesn’t work we resort to nymphing to get down to the fish. Olive Woolies have been hit this week with heavy bead heads. Great for chasing smallies and browns. For nymphing, an egg with Pat’s Rubber Legs, Pheasant Tail, soft hackle as a dropper can work when the bite seems off. On the Spring River, we have daily hatches of mayflies and caddis. If you’re not getting bites from Woollies, then the trout are usually on the bottom feeding on nymphs.”
February is a great time to chase some of the big fish in the Spring River. Starting in March, stocking will ramp up getting ready for the summer season. This is not the best time for beginners but is a great time to catch your personal best on the fly before heavy stocking starts.
All of the campgrounds are closed until April 1, except for Riverside Resort, which is open year-round and can offer an easier place to wade fish. Lassiter walk-in, Dam 3 and Bayou Access are the main public places to fish during the winter.
“Be very careful wading with the flow above average. Wading staff and felt soles can help keep you upright! Always check our blog on our website,, for the latest conditions on the Spring River!”


White River
For the Army Corps of Engineers’ real-time gauge level and flow from the White River stages at Batesville, Newport and Augusta and all other sites within the White River basin in Arkansas, visit the Corps’ Little Rock office website.


Southeast Arkansas

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


No reports.


Southwest Arkansas

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

(updated 2-8-2024) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said Millwood Lake is 7 inches above normal conservation pool and the release at the dam is 14,000 cfs. The tailwater is 238 feet msl, which is 10 feet above 10 feet above the normal level below the dam. Surface temperature is ranging 48-55 degrees.
Largemouth bass are slow to fair and still holding in deeper drops in the oxbows. Mike says they have not observed any females staging for the spawn yet, “but we anticipate that to begin in a few weeks.” Crappie are fair to good in 10-18 feet of depth away from river current on the main lake or in the oxbows. Crappie are best on jigs one day and minnows the next. White bass are still holding deep and have not shown up in large schools or numbers yet at Wilton Landing near Highway 71. Lots of river current present at Wilton from Cossatot River inflow.
The AGFC and the Army Corps of Engineers have begun installing the additional security lighting at Yarborough Landing parking lot. Also, the tournament courtesy dock has been approved and funded by the AGFC. AGFC regional superintendent Dylan Hann is assisting/overseeing that project, and we understand construction/installation should begin in a few weeks. 


Lake Columbia
(updated 2-8-2024) Lake Erling Guide Service (870-904-8546) near here heard a couple of reports this week from Lake Columbia. Some really nice crappie are being caught there. In one particular report, a crappie angler brought in a couple of two pounds as part of his haul using a 1/16-ounce solid gray jig.


Lake Erling
(updated 2-8-2024) Lake Erling Guide Service (870-904-8546) says the crappie have been biting really well and anglers have been catching a lot of good fish or 2 pounds or more. Crappie are still out in about 16 feet of water. They’re being caught on white/silver-white jigs and gray/silver-white jigs, as well as on minnows.
The water is still a little bit muddy, they report, and the water level is about a foot above normal.
Crappie have been good there for the past month or so. Recently one angler caught a limit with eight of them being over 2 pounds each. In a crappie tournament held on Erling this past weekend, the Big Crappie caught weighed 3.55 pounds, hooked with a live minnow.

Catfishing has been really good of late, with anglers catching quite a few nice ones as well on live bait (bream or minnows). Also some good black bass have also been caught, but those anglers weren’t sharing the baits used.

The water temperature is ranging 49-50 degrees. 

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 2-8-2024) Black bass measuring 11.02 and 12.6 pounds were taken on successive weekends at DeGray by area anglers. Kanon Harmon caught his monster, which was 26 inches long with a 21-inch girth and 15-inch-wide mouth, on Saturday, Jan. 27, fishing with two friends, brothers Carson and Blake Humphrey. Last weekend, Jimmy Easterling guided an angler from Memphis, Dabney Hamner, to a spot to land the 12.6-pounder. 

The water temperature has been about 48 degrees. Kanon reported catching his lunker with a white swimbait, a Motivated Exodus swimmer, at 35 feet in 60 feet of water. He was able to see the fish on LiveScope and put the perfect cast in its vicinity, played with it and got it to attack the bait. They were fishing in the area around the State Park Marina.
Kanon suggests anglers fishing DeGray now to try using swimbaits, jigging spoons and jerkbaits, as well as a Rat-L-Trap, which would be ideal around grass and shallow rock areas at DeGray. The spoon or swimbait, as well as an Alabama rig, would be more suited for targeting over brush piles there the way he was fishing in late January; the A-rig will work nicely over grass, brush and schools of shad. Kanon uses a spoon or swimbait when he’s targeting, he says.
The 11.02-pound catch is his personal best, topping a 7-pounder. Kanon teamed with Carson Humphrey to win the 2020 Commissioners’ Cup, sponsored by the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation. He’s currently a senior at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville.


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


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


South-Central Arkansas

White Oak Lake Area
No reports.


West-Central Arkansas

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

(updated 2-8-2024) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that fast flows and unfishable conditions have been the norm below Carpenter Dam for the last several weeks due to snow and ice and recent heavy rainfall. The 5-foot drawdown on lakes Catherine and Hamilton will be in place until March 1, and Entergy has scheduled 24/7 generation times to keep the lakes at the winter drawdown levels. No quality fishing has taken place on Lake Catherine for rainbow trout since late January due to these conditions. Hopefully, a more stable weather pattern will settle in this month that will allow for safe boating and wading below Carpenter Dam. 

The AGFC is scheduled to release 12,000 rainbow trout in Lake Catherine below the dam this month, which will propel the tailrace into hyper-drive for fish numbers and opportunities to catch fish. Fly-fishermen will be able to wade to areas that hold good numbers of trout and have success casting micro-jigs in white or black under a strike indicator. This presentation perfectly matches the injured shad drawn through the turbines from Lake Hamilton. San Juan Worms offer feeding trout a different look and will often work equally well when fished in the same manner. Trout Magnets should not be overlooked by fly anglers and often make the difference between a successful outing and an unsuccessful one. Bank fishermen using waxworms or mealworms will record limits of rainbows cast with a small bobber or fished just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Boaters can anchor in and around sandbars and rock structure and catch trout using small inline spinners such as a Rooster Tail or Mepps Spinner in brown or silver colors. 

Because of the low water conditions, trolling will have to be confined to areas below the bridge where enough water is present for safe navigation. Rainbow trout fishing will dominate the area for weeks to come as big numbers of fish will congregate in many areas of the tailrace. However, trout will not be the only game fish available to target. The walleye spawn is just now beginning on Lake Catherine as male walleye begin to migrate into the tailrace to prepare the beds for the much larger females. These fish can be caught by trolling shallow-running crankbaits against the current on both sides of the river below the dam. Shad or crayfish imitations work best as both of these are present in large numbers in the lake and offer game fish a solid food source all throughout the year. Trout will be scarce where spawning walleye are established, as rainbow trout are known egg eaters and are attacked by walleye when crossing over into bedding areas. As February rolls on, more and more walleye will be present and can be caught from the bridge to the dam.

Always wear a life jacket when on the water and remember to follow all park and boating regulations. Pick up after yourself, as the number of trash cans are limited in this area. Always cooperate with all wildlife officials and law enforcement.


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

(updated 2-8-2024) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) did not have a new report for this week. 


Lake Hamilton
(updated 2-4-2024) Anglers fishing in Saturday’s Anvil Jaw bass tournament caught plenty of largemouth bass and a few spotted bass during the rainy day. Thirty-three of the 59 anglers competing brought five-fish limits to the scales. Alabama rigs, jerkbaits and flat-sided crankbaits dominated most anglers’ front decks, with some anglers catching a few kicker bass on football jigs and Damiki rigs. The water was stained in the lower lake, but clear upstream of Treasure Island. Water temperature in the main lake ranged from 46 to 51 degrees by mid-afternoon.


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 2-8-2024) Sheila Ferrebee, owner of Carter Cove Bait-N-More (479-272-4025), says the water has been high and she didn’t have much of a report. It’s been really slow, but they’re getting back to it now. I’m selling minnows and they’re out fishing. One guy caught eight crappie (Wednesday), but it’s really been slow, the lake’s been up, and they haven’t wanted to get out, but it’s going down now.”

Anderson Branch ramp is open again, she said. She hasn’t sold any bait for catfish or bass.
Carter Cove has a Facebook page and the email address is, with photos of recent catches. Stop in for live bait, tackle, cabin rentals, pizza, burgers, sandwiches and more.


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

(updated 2-8-2024) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out-of-state) said black bass are fair. Try a PB&J jig or jigging spoon in the 25-30 feet range. No reports on walleye. Stripers are still fair. These fish are being caught in the central and western portions of the lake

and can be caught on live bait. No reports on bream. Crappie are still good and being caught on jigs or minnows. Try brush and structure 25-40 feet

Deep. No report on catfish. Water temperature is ranging 40-45 feet. Water clarity is stained. Lake level is 576.34 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.


East Arkansas

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


White River/Arkansas River (Pool 2)
(updated 2-8-2024) Webb’s Sporting Goods (870-946-0347) in DeWitt had no new fishing reports from the region.


Horseshoe Lake
(updated 2-8-2024) Kent Williams of Oxbow Guide Service (870-278-7978) said, “This our first report of the year. We had two boats on the water on Wednesday and both boats had similar results. The surface temperature was 45 degrees with colder water below. Water temperature this time of year is crucial to the fish biting or just picking up a bait. The water is slightly stained and is at a normal level for this time of year.
Crappie will be found deep in 25 feet of water and they are lethargic. The bite is extremely light. Jig choices were orange or Electric Chicken. The bite should improve with warmer weather. 

There were no reports on bream, bass or catfish.


Cook’s Lake
(updated 2-8-2024) Cook’s Lake is closed to fishing through February as it serves as a rest area for migrating waterfowl. Look for a reopening as the water warms in coming weeks. Cook’s Lake serves youth anglers, mentors and mobility-impaired anglers (who may bring two anglers with them to fish). For more information, please call the center at 501-404-2321.


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

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