Skip to main content

Arkansas Wildlife Weekly Fishing Report

BY Jim Harris

ON 03-07-2024


March 7, 2024

Jim Harris

Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine

Keeling Grubb from Eureka Springs caught this walleye while fishing with guide Austin Kennedy on the Beaver Lake tailwater recently. Austin says the walleye bite has slowed a bit, but if you look for them, you can find them. He believes they are still a week or two away from what he’s hoping will be a great spawn run. Most of the fish being caught now are juvenile males and a few over that 18-inch mark. 

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 3-7-2024) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said crappie continue to bite very well, and all the major species were biting well this week, as the lake continues to fall out. “It’s getting lower every day,” they report. The only places they say you can put a boat in is at Adams Lake Access. Elsewhere, you can put in a kayak from areas where the lake reached, or go under the Highway 89 bridge to fish.

Minnows and all colors of jigs are bringing in the crappie. “They’re buying everything under the rainbow,” they say of customers. A crankbait will work for black bass

They have crickets and redworms for a good bream bite. Nightcrawlers are your best bet for the hungry catfish.

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 open for fishing with the AGFC stocking various sport fish there. The pond is more than 60 acres and has bass, crappie, bream and stocked rainbow trout. The water temperature is still suitable to the trout, and AGFC staff report that lots of trout have been caught in the last couple of weeks.


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 3-7-2024) Mike Winkler of Little Red River Fly Fishing Trips/Little Red River Fly Guides (501-507-3688) said, “Hey folks, just wanted to give you a heads up on the fishing scene down on the Little Red River. So, this past Wednesday, March 6, things were a bit up and down with the water releases from the dam. The SWPA schedule has been a bit inconsistent lately, so it’s smart to check its website (linked above under Little Red River) before you head out. Also, keep an eye on the USACE Little Rock app for any surprise water releases.
“Now, despite the unpredictable water flow, the fishing’s been pretty decent. When the water’s falling from the previous day’s release, the bite’s been good. I’ve been having luck using a pink San Juan Worm under an indicator, set about 5-7 feet deep, depending on the river depth. As the day heats up, we’re seeing some action with big mayflies and a few caddis flies buzzing around. So, I’ve been switching between a pheasant tail soft tackle and a caddis fly to keep things interesting.”

(updated 3-7-2024) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said Thursday that water has been consistent on the Little Red of late and fishing has been pretty good. Most of the fishing lately is out of a boat; there hasn’t been quite the regular wade opportunities there were a few weeks back when little water was being released.

Anglers are catching trout on both a black Maribou jig and a white Maribou jig in an eighth-ounce size. A gold black back jerkbait has been doing well here lately, too. Also, try the Rooster Tails and little spoons, as those have been doing really well of late, and don’t forget to bring along Rapala Countdowns that work well in the water they’re seeing.


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 3-7-2024) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 461.40 feet msl, 0.64 below normal pool of 462.04 feet. Catch rates for this time of year are really good. 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. They’re biting on Alabama rigs, Carolina rigs, jerkbaits, football heads or crankbaits. Stay around the shad. The Wiggle Wart is working great, too, and a spoon or a Silverado or red-colored Rat-L-Trap-style bait will work.
Walleye are doing what they usually do this time of year: following schools of bait around or pulling up to prespawn or spawn sites. The spoon is 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 bass and white bass are gorging like many other species — when you find them, just about any metal bait you get in front of them will work. Or try a swimbait, hair jig, inline spinner — they have pulled up a lot of them out of super deep water, 25-60 feet.
“Enjoy and remember to let someone know when you will be back in and wear your life jacket!”

(updated 3-7-2024) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood says the lake is pretty much at normal pool. Anglers are having success catching black bass on Damiki rigs with 3- to 4-inch Yamamoto Scope Shad. Also, through a Carolina rig across points, especially ones that have buckbrush. A good tip would be to rig that up with a green pumpkin colored Yamamoto Yamatanuki. 

In the creeks, anglers are catching bass on spinnerbaits and Chatterbait.


Harris Brake Lake
(updated 3-7-2024) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) says some folks have been catching crappie out in deeper water in boats, but not from the shoreline. The catches have been fair. The fishing may be a little better now for black bass, and the occasional white bass, with some success off the shoreline. But no one is sharing what baits they’re using.

About a week ago, a 12-pound catfish was hauled in from the shoreline. But overall, they report, the amount of folks out fishing has been low; they seem to be waiting for warmer temperatures and for the crappie to move closer to the shoreline.


Lake Overcup
(updated 2-22-2024) John “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Landing off Arkansas Highway 9 said water level is about 8 inches high and clarity is good. Surface temperature is around 54-56 degrees. Crappie are doing well, but off and on. Not catching a lot but we’re catching some big ones, 2.4 to 2.14 pounds.

“Bass are slow but should pick up with this warm weather. Bream are slow, but still catching some on redworms and crickets. I haven’t heard anything about the catfish yet.”


Lake Maumelle
(updated 3-7-2024) WestRock Landing in Roland (501-658-5598) reported Thursday that water temperature is ranging 55-57 degrees, and some areas are a little warmer. Largemouth bass are fair. Reports of the bass in prespawn mode and being found in 2-8 feet of water. Try using jigs, Alabama rigs, crankbaits and swimbaits, and try jerkbaits in shallow water during the afternoons. Kentucky bass (spotted bass) also are fair. Reports of them being found off rocky points in 16-18 feet as well as shallow. Shaky heads and jigs are the go-to baits.
White bass are great! They are doing their annual run; look in the west end of the lake by the bridge toward the creek. Twister tails will work well.

Crappie are fair. There are reports of crappie moving in shallow in prespawn and they are about to start stacking. Target anywhere form 8-12 feet, and use jigs and minnows.

No reports on bream, but throw a redworm and see if they respond. Catfishing is slow. Bream, liver and worms typically work well now.


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 3-7-2024) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said water is normal level and clear. Both crappie and black bass are doing really well now. The temperature was 58 degrees earlier in the week when Ray was out fishing, he said. Crappie seem to be looking like they’re close to spawning, and in the Little Maumelle that usually happens when the temperature hits about 65 degrees, so a few warmer days after this current cold front that was passing through Wednesday-Thursday should get the water to that level.

Crappie are at about 3-4 feet and are wanting both minnows and jigs. The color of the jigs hasn’t mattered too much, but Ray suggests the Bobby Garland pink and black/chartreuse colors as best bets.

Black bass are showing up even shallower than the crappie, he said, with crankbaits, lizards and other soft plastics working well.

He’s heard nothing on the bream or catfish.


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 3-7-2024) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said that what seems typical now, Mother Nature is sending in a cold front right before the weekend, but it ought to not hurt the fishing too bad. You will locate black bass in better numbers in the backwaters, so target grass and wood in any kind of backwater you can get into. For specific plans of attack, throw a green pumpkin or a black-and-blue finesse jig. They are also biting well in the same areas on bladed jigs in white or red.


Peckerwood Lake
(updated 2-29-2024) Donna Mulherin at Herman’s Landing (501-626-6899) reports that Peckerwood Lake has reopened for the season and anglers are catching crappie and catfish really well on poles and yo-yos. The lake is level full. Clarity is dingy. 

Crappie can be caught on minnows and jigs (anglers are quiet about the colors they are using). Catfish are biting minnows and hot dogs baited on the yo-yos.


North Arkansas

White River
(updated 3-7-2024) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said, “Whether this is a ‘teaser’ spring or an actual early, here-to-stay spring season, let’s take advantage of it. Cotter, Trout Capitol USA, 18 river miles from Bull Shoals Dam, is enjoying very mild daytime temperatures for the next couple of weeks; however, the cool nights still make for some chilly mornings. The releases from Bull Shoals Dam have been variable, going from one unit to over four units (12,000 cfs) during the past week while the lake sits at 656.91 feet msl.
The recent ample brown trout bite again proves that February and March are great months to visit the White River. Now, a week or two after a small shad kill, browns are returning to minnows or sculpins, but don’t toss the white baits out yet. Keep some egg pattern baits (white- or light-yellow-peach-colored, with an orange leading bead), or lemon lime-colored PowerBait on hand to drift at mid-depth and you’ll be cranking that reel and bringing in trout.

“Drift-fishing is preferred when angling from a boat during the higher releases: No. 5 or No. 7 Rapala Countdowns, especially silver and black (white bellies), diving to 5-7 feet. Keep an orange-bellied black or blue back Rogue tied on and ready to cast, too. The Rapala floaters are nice to have on hand during low water releases, retrieving at a shallower rate.
“Keep anglin’ and we’ll see you at the river.”

(updated 3-7-2024) Dave McCulley, owner of Jenkins Fishing Service in Calico Rock, said, “The rain Tuesday night caused the Buffalo River to rise, which resulted in us having muddy water Wednesday morning. With more rain forecast Thursday and Friday, I expect the river will remain high and muddy into or beyond the weekend. If the creeks stay clear, the best option for fishing would be to move into the creek and tie up to the bank, then use corn to catch the fish looking for cleaner water. 

“Last week through Tuesday the river remained low and clear. Using quarter-ounce spoons with some mix of gold coloring worked well. In addition, several boats said they had success with different Rapala Countdown coloring and/or one-sixteenth-ounce jigs in dark colors. As usual, drift-fishing with a No. 7 split shot 8-12 inches up the line with a No. 2 bronze hook with Uncommon Baits UV eggs and shrimp worked very well. This week we received one stocking of over 1,000 rainbow trout.”


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 3-7-2024) Fishing guide Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake said Wednesday’s lake level was 656 feet msl. The Army Corps of Engineers has been running some water in the mornings. The water temp is ranging 53-59 degrees. Bass fishing has been up and down with the weather fronts and changing daily. Powerfish if it’s cloudy, rainy and windy covering water with a Rock Crawler, Wiggle Wart or square bill in red/orange variations. Look for windblown shady, ledgy or chunk rock banks and steeper swings and target 5-15 feet.
“I’m going halfway to three-quarters into the creeks. In stained water use a square bill or Chatterbait covering water. You can always catch them on a jig in green pumpkin variations and a PB&J color. Try piles, ledges or wood areas close to shad balls or even close to spawning areas near south-facing pockets protected from the cold north winds. The jig bite can vary from 5-25 feet day to day. A shaky head or Ned rig will get bites on tough days. I feel a lot the fish are still looking up, so I’m still Scoping, and the shad seem to have spread out again, moving back into the bigger creeks arms and mouths of pockets, holding down in the 60-70 feet range, and then they’re spread out up high everywhere. Graph, graph, graph. Drop a small shad, Damiki, Tater Shad or Thump Shad, changing head size according to depth. A swimbait will fool some also. A fluke on high shad balls or a jerkbait in white or shad colors is working for me. Loons and gulls are in the area; you better pay attention. Every day is different. 

White bass are up to spawn 

Not much has changed with the crappie, and the crappie fishing is still pretty good. Crappie are still actively feeding and posting up on brush in the creeks. Still catching a few roamers and also on brush. A one-eighth-ounce jig with a Tater Shad Jr. in Bayou Bleeder color has been the best lately. And, of course, minnows are working well, also.

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.

(updated 3-7-2024) Southernwalleye Guide Service reports walleyes for the most part are still deep under or around shad 50-60 feet deep on the lower lake section and larger creeks. “We have also started to catch a few smaller spawning male walleyes around known main lake spawning points in 50-60 feet on spoons. Fish are making their way up to spawning areas up in the bigger tributaries (Theodosia and Power Site areas) to the warmer flowing waters. Rapala Ice Jigs and spoons are still the ticket. Jerkbaits and small shad-style crankbaits fished like a jerkbait should be producing soon if the weather stays warm. If trolling, try stick baits slow and shallow during low light periods in 8-14 feet of water — 0.85 to 1.2 mph should produce a few fish. 


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

(updated 3-7-2024) Steven “Scuba Steve” Street at Blackburn’s Resort and Boat Rental said the lake level was 553.53 feet msl and had dropped a half-inch in the last 24 hours when he came in at dark Wednesday evening. There is only one operating generator and they run it for about 8 hours and shut it off. The White River at Newport is 5.53 feet and very low, indicating not much water is being released into the White River anywhere.
“We are very dry and could get some rain tonight. The surface water temperature is 54-55 degrees on the main lake and about what you want it to be back in the creeks up to the ambient temperature in the sunshine and shallow water. It goes down quickly at dusk. The fish are not staying there with the cool nights, but are there in the heat of the day. My barometer is when the bluegill, crappie and turtles move under my dock and they did it today.
“If it does not get cold like it could in early March, they should stay there until spawn. It looks like spring but I am very careful about early March. There are not very many fish in open water on shad and it is about time to start the stick bait bite for walleye and stripers shallow in the evening and at dark. Fishing is picking up, and it needed to and is best back in the windblown creeks, but it is not good yet. The lake overall is in excellent condition and at a good level. I could see my lure down about 10 feet.”

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

(updated 3-7-2024) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said Wednesday that the fish are on the move, and once you find them they are hungry. About midweek last week, Lou said he was into day three of checking new areas on the lake for striped bass. “The third time was the charm. I basically had been skunked the last two mornings, but today was one of those days to dream about. I was back in a cove that had the wind blowing in. I found bait early with fish on it, but I continued graphing the rest of the cove all the way to the end. I headed back to where I first saw bait and it was gone. I did a little cursing to myself for not stopping the first time, then continued to look around. I went into a secondary cut of the cove and saw some bait on the surface. Then it started! Fish of all sizes started feeding on the bait. It wasn’t true topwater action, but there were some really huge fish coming totally out of the water. I started to cast my Kastmaster with a white feather trailer and let it sink for 3 seconds. One crank and it was sucked in by the biggest striper of the day. What a great battle. Over the next 1½ hours it was fish after fish.
“I first landed three striped bass, then they seemed to vacate the area, but the largemouth started to bite. I landed six dandies in the 2.5- to 4.5-pound range. Then the largemouth stopped biting and the hybrids took over. I got to land three very big hybrids. The hybrids took off and the largemouth started again. A couple of boats must have seen me boating fish and came over and started casting in the same area where I was casting. It was time to go, anyway. 

“I stopped and looked at a few other areas on my way back to the resort. One of our current guests, Joe, arrived Monday and has been crappie fishing. He has been doing really well with the Tater Baits Small Fry, white trash and silver flash. He was using a one-sixteenth-ounce green head jig. The crappie were suspended 20-30 feet deep on the top or inside of brush back in creeks.
“The surface water temp ranged 52-55 degrees. The lake level is falling very slowly and sits at 553.55 feet msl. It looks like rain for the next couple of days, so I may not be out on the lake for a while. Happy fishing and enjoy Norfork Lake.”
Lou posts fishing reports almost every day on Hummingbird Hideaway Resort’s Facebook page.


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 3-7-2024) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) said Beaver Lake remains at a stable level, but that may change with some rain in the next couple of days. Right now, lake color is good from river arms all the way to the dam. Water temperature is a crazy 60 degrees in most southern parts of the lake, and was actually 62 up in the White arm yesterday. 

Stripers are fair, with fish being caught from Coppermine area all the way up to the High Wires on the War Eagle. Stripers will continue to move towards Point 12 as the spawn is coming up soon. And on the subject of Point 12, there has been some white bass blowing up shad, which is typical for this time of the year. Crappie are all over also, with some fish very shallow and some in brush from 8-15 feet of water. As usual, jigs and minnows will work. Walleye are still holding back and waiting for some water flow. Look from Friendship Creek back to the Pinhook area. Jerkbaits, jigs and minnows will work. 

“If we get that river rise, it will be on! Same thing with the white bass. Everything will benefit from some fresh moving water on the south end. Good luck and be aware of hazards.”
Visit Jon’s Facebook page for the latest updates, FishOn Guide Service Goshen AR.


Beaver Tailwater
(updated 3-7-2024) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) says, “Well, the river water level is going up and down and the Army Corps of Engineers is not generating that much. The walleye bite has slowed a bit, but if you look for them you can find them. There have been a few decent fish caught, but we are still a week or two away from what I’m hoping will be a great spawn run. Most of the fish being caught now are juvenile males and a few over that 18-inch mark. Try fishing the deeper water and deeper holes. Obviously, if you have electronics on board, use them. The Pautzke Fire Minnow has produced some nice fish this past week. Work the minnow from the shallow end to the deep water.

“As far as the trout are concerned, we have had some really nice numbers in the past week or so. Using light terminal tackle with Fire Bait has produced the best numbers. Parker Bottoms has been a hot spot this week, down to Spider Creek. Also, quarter-ounce spoons, with a little Trout Fire Gel, have also produced nice numbers.
“I know it is that time of year where a lot of folks get that walleye fever. Once again, let’s be courteous and mindful to other anglers, both on the river and at the boat ramp. I have already seen actions and incidents that are easily avoidable. We all have to share this awesome fishery, but let’s try to keep our ethics and morals intact — most of all, being safe! I hope you’re able to get out, have some fun, enjoy some of this nicer weather, and catch some fish!”
Follow Austin’s fishing Facebook page (Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service) for updates.


Lake Fayetteville
(updated 3-7-2024) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) says the fishing is going great. Crappie, black bass, white bass and even some carp are biting well.

Anglers are throwing topwater and the classic baits for the hungry white bass on the move. Minnows are beginning to work well on crappie. Just about everything a black bass likes is working for them. The water is good in depth and clarity.


Northeast Arkansas

Lake Charles
(updated 3-7-2024) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) said the water temperature is up to 58 degrees as of Monday morning, and the level is high. Clarity is the usual murky. Fishing is picking up all around. Crappie are good on white/yellow jigs, as well as minnows. Bream are good on crickets. Black bass have done well lately, with good catches on spinnerbaits and soft plastic worms, as well as jigs. No reports on catfish, but you know they’re out there.

According to the “moon times,” best fishing days at Lake Charles should be March 8-13, with good days expected March 22-28. The total eclipse in April should have a moon effect on the fishing the following month, with best days in April forecast for April 5-11 (the eclipse is April 8).


Lake Poinsett
(updated 2-22-2024) Seth Boone, the superintendent at Lake Poinsett State Park, said Lake Poinsett is starting to do better with the crappie as the weather turns warmer. Minnows and light-colored jigs seem to be doing well for them. Bass are doing OK off the rocks with crankbaits and Zara Spooks in the wind. As for bream and catfish, we have had little reports, but the bream are starting to come around on worms and crickets. Catfish, from reports, are mainly biting nocturnally.


Spring River
(updated 3-7-2024) Mark Crawford with (870-955-8300) said water levels are running at 300 cfs and clarity has been clear. “The river has come down and is looking great. The trout were hugging the bottom and had you had to get down to get a bite. This week we did well fishing olive streamers deep on a slow retrieve, and we actually caught a bunch on Hopper Droppers. Mostly on the dropper, Y2Ks, nymph or a snail pattern.

“The stocking will increase this month from Jim Hinkle Spring River State Fish Hatchery, getting ready for the spring and summer fishing. It looked like some really nice sizes, too. Starting in April all of the campgrounds grounds will open up. No need to worry about too much canoe traffic on Saturdays until the end of May. It has still been very nice and quiet on the river.
“If you’re spin fishing, hot pink Trout Magnets always work. If you’re chasing walleye or anything big, we use the rainbow and brown trout Trout Cranks. The big size. Our bass love them, too.
“During this time of year, thunderstorms can change things. Keep an eye on our blog at for the latest in river conditions. And the river bottom is still slick, so be safe out there!”


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.


Lake Chicot
(updated 2-22-2024) AGFC staff report quite a few angers are enjoying a strong midwinter crappie bite putting in from the Connerly Bayou out of access. AGFC biologists recently conducted an electrofishing survey of Lake Chicot in this area, showing several large crappie. Moderate crappie catch rates were noted in October and November in Ditch and Connerly bayous. During December, the biologists noted high crappie catch rates in Connerly Bayou and Lake Chicot and collected 1,318 crappie with trap nets. Of those crappie, 91 percent were legal size (greater than 10 inches). Most of the crappie sampled were in the 11-inch range, but some crappie sampled reached 14.75 inches.

Angling pressure in Connerly Bayou was high during the sampling period, they noted. Anglers also were catching good numbers of crappie.
Lake Chicot, part of Lake Chicot State Park, is home to bluegill, channel catfish, largemouth bass, hybrid striped bass, redear sunfish and other bream, in addition to crappie. If you fish Lake Chicot, Connerly Bayou downstream of Connerly Dam, or Ditch Bayou from Lake Chicot downstream to Ditch Bayou Dam, be aware that crappie shorter than 10 inches must be immediately released and that the crappie daily limit is 20.


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 3-8-2024) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said that as of Wednesday, lake elevation is 6 inches above normal pool, at 259.7 feet msl and rising; Millwood Lake Dam is releasing about 2,000 cfs and the tailwater is holding at 226 feet. Check the most recent lake level of Millwood Lake on the guide service’s website linked above, or the Army Corps of Engineers website linked below “Lake Millwood” above, for updated gate release changes and inflow rates with rising and falling lake levels. Watch for random floaters and broken timber during any navigation on Little River and Millwood Lake with discharge rates and fluctuations high flow conditions in Little River, and anytime high gate discharge conditions exist. Also, some river buoys may be out of main river channel from recent high wind and have not yet been replaced. Lake elevation and discharge at Millwood Dam can change dramatically in mere hours with thunderstorms and fresh water influx. 

Surface temperature was stable this week, ranging 59 degrees early to 67 later in the day along Little River, depending on location. Clarity along Little River has improved over the past few weeks of pool rise and is normal stain in most locations; some areas further up Little River have the heaviest stain, with river clarity ranging 8-10 inches visibility depending on location. Clarity of oxbows will vary widely from stained to good visibility from 10-20 inches, and we observed around 3-4 feet visibility in a few areas like McGuire Oxbow, away from river current depending on location. Further up Little River near White Cliffs and Wilton Landing has heavier stain and higher current rates.

Mike had these details of the fishing on Millwood this past week:
* With elevation back on a slow rise, reduced current in Little River, and drastically improved clarity, we are seeing a few largemouth bass males and females roaming in areas of 1-6 feet depth around creeks, ridges and bedding flats on warm afternoons, near creek channel swings and vertical structure. Heavy, three-quarter-ounce One-knocker Rat-L-Traps and Brazalo and War Eagle Spinnerbaits have been working over the past few weeks. Hammer Traps and MR-6, Echo 1.75 and Bill Lewis SB-57 MDJ crankbaits have all been getting random reaction bites over the past couple weeks from these active, roaming bass. Anywhere a creek channel is close by to the deeper creek bends or vertical structure and drops into the oxbows, where stumps are present, and where creek mouths drop, have held some decent-sized bass over the past several weeks and they were moving shallow on afternoons, with best responses in the warmer hours from noon-3 p.m. We caught good numbers of males this week on 5-inch Bass Assassin Shads and Lizards this week in the shallow grass and buckbrush.
The largemouth reaction bites were much more reliable in the oxbows where the water clarity was drastically better, water temps were warmer, and calm/no river current was present. The best responses were reaction bites on Rat-L-Traps in Red Chrome, Toledo Gold, Red Chrome Craw and Red Rayburn Craw. Baby Brush Hogs have been taking some decent 14- to 17-inch male largemouths roaming flats in the clearer water sections of the oxbows, away from river current. With the water temperature continuing to warm into the mid-50s, the males are active and cruising. Where you find shallow 5- to 8-foot-deep flats with stumps you can find a few decent 2- to 3-pound male bass roaming on warm afternoons, if near to a quick creek bend drop into 8-12 feet structure. A few bed-making activities are being observed now. Red Slough and South Hickory golf course pockets are warming up as well. We got several good reactions from 2- to 3-pound males over the past week or so throwing an old school H&H Spinnerbait in yellow/white and black/white around cypress tree knees using a trailer hook for short strikers.
Best reaction colors for Chatterbaits have been the Millwood Mayhem Bream, Arkansas River Shad or Fire Craw. Best target depth zones are cypress tree knees from 6-10 feet, with 12-15 feet of depth nearby. We have been seeing the male bass roaming the flats through the dead lily pad stems from 2-4 pounds each, moving in shallow, 3- to 5-feet-deep bedding areas, not staying on the flats for very long, and they were spooky. The larger females are staging further out in deeper areas near points and drops where broken timber and stumps are present. Lizards of about 6-8 inches in black neon, blackberry, California 420 and Watermelon Magic have been picking up some cruising bass near stumps, on drops into 10 feet structure.
Also, Senkos, Trick Worms, Trick Sticks and Twitch Worms in Watermelon Candy, Hot Craw, black/blue or Purple Ice were working late last week in 5-to 8-feet depths on cypress trees. Bass Assassin Shads in Salt & Pepper Silver Phantom or Pumpkinseed, dead-sticking on stumps and cypress trees/knees using an extremely light wire hook, caught a few nice male and female bass roaming in and out of flats to and from the creek channels.
* For several weeks, the white bass continue roaming and staging along Little River and mouths of the oxbows and creek dumps in preparation for a spawning run upriver. Heavy-thumping three-quarter and one-ounce Rat-L-Traps in Millwood Magic, chrome or Splatterback colors, cranked very slow and deep behind primary or secondary points, caught some decent 2- to 3-pound whites over the past few weeks from 9-16 feet deep. A chrome three-quarter-ounce Cordell Hammered Spoon with a red/white hair bucktail vertical-jigging behind primary points near the bottom, where stumps were located on the backside of points, were connecting with a few nice-sized whites over the past several weeks. Swimming a hair jig with a heavy thumping swimbait trailer tail picked up a few in 10-14 feet by swimming and dropping the bait.
Most of the white bass continue staging along Little River, stacked up near primary or secondary points, from 10-15 feet deep. Deep-running Fat Free Guppy cranks in Tennessee Shad or Citrus Shad, Little George’s, little Rocket Shads and red/white Rooster Tails also were picking up a few random whites this week. With water warming, the white bass continue staging in Little River in preparation for a final run up to the U.S. Highway 71 bridge and Patterson Shoals for annual spawning, if water temps stay in the 50-degree range. White bass were found again over the past couple weeks between White Cliffs Campground and the entrance to McGuire Lake along Little River where points intersect with creek mouths dumping into the river — although the water was very stained but improved and had current. The white bass spawning run is about to be ON. Stay tuned over the next few days and week to the guide service’s website and Facebook page for updates on the spawning run.

* The crappie bite has continually improved over the past few weeks with water clarity improving in many locations. Our planted brush piles in Pugh Slough, Horseshoe, Bee Lake and Millwood State Park gave up some nice 2-pound slabs over the past couple weeks. The crappie are best using minnows one day and jigs the next in planted brush piles in 10-16 feet of depth up to 2.25 pounds. Many of our planted brush piles were holding crappie last week. The best color of jig was black/chartreuse one day, red/white the next day, then smoke-colored grubs on a light wire jig head also picked up a few extra bites.

* No report on bream or catfish.


Lake Erling
(updated 3-7-2024) Lake Erling Guide Service (870-904-8546) had no new reports, but it’s most recent news was that crappie were biting really well and anglers were bringing in good fish topping 2 pounds. White/silver-white jigs and gray/silver-white jigs seem to work best here, along with minnows, especially if the water is muddy.

Catfishing has been really good, 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.

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.

(updated 3-7-2024) Philip Kastner of Trader Bill’s Outdoors in Little Rock and Hot Springs said Tuesday on the weekly “Wild Side Show” on KABZ-FM, 103.7 The Buzz that both lakes DeGray and Ouachita are both exactly 4.5 feet below full pool, while Lake Greeson is 8 feet below full pool because the Army Corps of Engineers has pulled the lake level down to work on the dam.
“A lot of lakes are in the same ballpark right now. Mid-50s temperatures, 53-55 degrees, in the back of pockets you can find warmer water, absolutely. Most lakes are pretty, pretty clear. There’s not a lot of color in the water because we just haven’t had enough rain for this time of year. It’s a unique situation for March for it to be not only this warm, but to be this low in water and this clear from the lack of rain.”


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

(updated 3-7-2024) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) said he has been fishing both Lake Ouachita and DeGray Lake recently and the fish activity and conditions mirror each other. The crappie are definitely moving up shallower and in transition to spawn. Water temperature in the main body of water was 57 degrees the last time I went out. White bass and hybrids are migrating upriver for their spawn, too.

(updated 3-7-2024) Philip Kastner of Trader Bill’s Outdoors in Little Rock and Hot Springs noted on the weekly “Wild Side Show” on KABZ-FM, 103.7 The Buzz that DeGray Lake will be hosting the Trader Bill’s Team Trail event on Saturday, and high schooler’s will be fishing a tournament on the lake on Sunday. He also noted of DeGray, Lake Ouachita and Lake Greeson how “a lot of lakes are in the same ballpark right now. Mid-50s temperatures, 53-55 degrees, in the back of pockets you can find warmer water, absolutely. Most lakes are pretty, pretty clear. There’s not a lot of color in the water because we just haven’t had enough rain for this time of year. It’s a unique situation for March for it to be not only this warm, but to be this low in water and this clear from the lack of rain.”

(updated 2-22-2024) Black bass measuring 11.02 and 12.6 pounds were taken on successive weekends at DeGray at the end of January and early February 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. On the following Saturday, Jimi Easterling guided an angler from Memphis, Dabney Hammer, 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 3-7-2024) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 50 degrees with stained conditions in the tailrace. Currently, both lakes Hamilton and Catherine are being refilled at 6 inches per day with a target date of March 11 to return to full pool. This summertime pool will remain in place until mid-November when the winter drawdown is scheduled to begin. Current flows have been seen at various times below Carpenter Dam as power demands dictate, but much safer fishing and boating conditions are present, which has allowed the public to access Lake Catherine.
This reduction in current flow has allowed fishermen to access the area safely and target area fish species with limited success. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission released 12,000 rainbow trout in Lake Catherine below the dam last month and another 9,700 trout are scheduled to be stocked in March. This huge addition of fish has propelled the tailrace into hyper-drive for fish numbers and opportunities to catch fish. Fly-fishermen are wading to areas that hold good numbers of trout and have had some 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 catch 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. 

Low water conditions still exist in the tailrace so 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 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 March rolls on, walleye will be present and can be caught from the bridge to the dam. March also promises the beginning of the crappie spawn, which will add another quality game fish for the public to target. As temperatures warm and threadfin shad are no longer stunned by freezing temperatures, there will be a dramatic decrease in the amount of prey for fish to feed on. Several days of this reduction in food will force fish to actively search for prey, which will create a good situation for anglers to be successful. 

Despite the safer conditions and warmer weather, it is extremely important to remember that rainbow trout are difficult to catch while the lake is being refilled. Trout can be caught, but not in the numbers that are expected with the stained conditions. No explainable reason exists other than the fact that rising water is detrimental for the trout bite. The rising water does not affect the walleye and crappie bite to the same degree. Always wear a life jacket while 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 3-7-2024) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) did not have a new report for this week. 


Lake Hamilton
(updated 3-7-2024) Philip Kastner of Trader Bill’s Outdoors in Little Rock and Hot Springs said on the weekly “Wild Side Show” on KABZ-FM, 103.7 The Buzz that Lake Hamilton, as well as Lake Catherine, are not quite halfway to refilling from their 5-foot winter drawdown, but he expected both to be a normal pool early next week.


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 3-7-2024) Sheila Ferrebee, owner of Carter Cove Bait-N-More (479-272-4025), had no new reports. Carter Cove has a Facebook page and the email address is, with updates and photos. 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 3-7-2024) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out-of-state) said black bass are excellent. Try a Rat-L-Trap-style bait or jerkbait near main lake and secondary points. A Carolina-rigged craw or lizard is producing, too.
Walleye are still up the main rivers on their spawning run. Stripers are good. These fish are being caught in the western portion of the lake and can be caught on live bait or Alabama rigs. Bream are fair and being caught on crickets and worms in the 20- to 25-foot range. Crappie are fair. Try brush and structure 25-40 feet deep with jigs or minnows. No reports on catfish.

Water temperature is ranging 53-56 degrees. Water clarity is clearing. The lake level is 573.44 feet msl. Call the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717, or Chris Darby, 870-867-7822) for more information.

(updated 3-7-2024) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) said he has been fishing both Lake Ouachita and DeGray Lake recently and the results mirror each other. The crappie are definitely moving up shallower and in transition to spawn. Water temperature in the main body of water was 57 degrees the last time I went out. White bass and hybrids are migrating upriver for their spawn, too.

(updated 3-7-2024) Philip Kastner of Trader Bill’s Outdoors in Little Rock and Hot Springs said Tuesday on the weekly “Wild Side Show” on KABZ-FM, 103.7 The Buzz that last weekend on Lake Ouachita, “something I noticed, a testament to what’s going on,” were the variation in results of two tournaments on the lake. In the BLF tournament on Saturday, first place (Brice Boatwright) caught 18 pounds, 12 ounces; Chris Darby took second with 18-9, and the big bass was 6 pounds, by Grand Ford. “The very next day, same pond, a lot of the same guys, the Mr. Bass of Arkansas, first place, Derrick Sandlin catches 22.95 pounds, Trent Owens is second at 20.15 pounds and Brandon Rhoden has 19.43 AND a 10.62-pound Big Bass. And there was an 8-pounder, a 7-pounder and on down. One hundred and 19 fishermen with 76 limits of fish. It’s amazing how one day 18 pounds wins it and the next day 23 pounds wins.”

Kastner attributed some of that to the tournaments being contrasting styles: In the Mr. Bass anglers could fish by themselves and didn’t have to deal with someone else in the boat, a definite advantage to moving around and hitting your target areas quicker. Nevertheless, BFL is a very popular tournament to fish; so, it’s two different formats and two different ways to fish.”
Kastner notes that both lakes DeGray and Ouachita are both exactly 4.5 feet below full pool; Lake Greeson is 8 feet below full pool because the Army Corps of Engineers has pulled the lake level down to work on the dam.
“A lot of lakes are in the same ballpark right now. Mid-50s temperatures, 53-55 degrees, in the back of pockets you can find warmer water, absolutely. Most lakes are pretty, pretty clear. There’s not a lot of color in the water because we just haven’t had enough rain for this time of year. It’s a unique situation for March for it to be not only this warm, but to be this low in water and this clear from the lack of rain.”


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 3-7-2024) Webb’s Sporting Goods (870-946-0347) in DeWitt had no new fishing reports from the region.


Horseshoe Lake
(updated 3-7-2024) Kent Williams of Oxbow Guide Service (870-278-7978) said that the last trip out the water was clear and the surface temperature was 56 degrees. Crappie are moving up in the water column and feeding heavily on shad. Most fish caught were 12-14 feet deep over 20 feet of water. Jig colors was Electric Chicken and Orange Crush. While spider-rigging, minnows worked fine. Watch the weather and as the temperature fluctuates, adjust your depth as the crappie will be moving with the temperature.
Still no report on black bass, and Kent says he’s not seen anyone bass fishing on the days he was out. No reports on catfish or bream.


Cook’s Lake
(updated 3-8-2024) The AGFC’s Wil Hafner at Cook’s Lake Nature Center (501-404-2321) says Cook’s Lake has reopened, though no one took advantage of the opportunity last week, so he has no report yet. The water level is low — the White River has dropped a bit at Clarendon — and the temperature is around 62 degrees, about 6 degrees higher than this time last week. They will be open for fishing again this Friday and Saturday beginning at 8 a.m.

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 bluegill, largemouth bass, and catfish of all species. Cook’s Lake is open to fishing for youths under 16 or mobility-impaired anglers who must possess the AGFC mobility-impaired access permit, and up to two guests (who may also fish), during the specified fishing season. Fish from the 140-foot mobility-impaired accessible dock or launch a boat. Fishing will be allowed only on Fridays and Saturdays during March through August, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., water level pending. 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. 

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter E-mails

Don’t miss another issue. Sign up now to receive the AGFC Wildlife Weekly Newsletter in your mailbox every Wednesday afternoon (Waterfowl Reports are published weekly during waterfowl season and periodically outside the season). Fishing Reports arrive on Thursdays. Fill in the following fields and hit submit. Thanks, and welcome!