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Arkansas Wildlife Weekly Fishing Report

BY Jim Harris

ON 03-14-2024


March 14, 2024

Jim Harris

Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine

Daniel Williams from Memphis was fishing a pink San Juan Worm under an indicator while drift-fishing recently with guide Mike Winkler on the Little Red River when he pulled this nice brown trout out from between a few logs. After the photo, they released it to fight another day. Winkler says that “interesting” water releases at Greers Ferry Lake dam this week have resulted in his best fishing coming from a boat near the dam during the high-water flows. A deep-water nymph rig set from 6-12 feet has had success, but the go-to has been the pink San Juan Worm set at various depths depending on where you are on the river. Read more of Winkler’s report below.


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 3-14-2024) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said fishing this week has been a carbon copy of the action last week. Crappie continue to bite very well, and all the major species were biting well as the lake continues to fall out. 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 what has been 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 recent 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 3-14-2024) Mike Winkler of Little Red River Fly Fishing Trips/Little Red River Fly Guides (501-507-3688) said, “The Southwestern Power Administration has been doing some interesting water releases from the dam. They typically start in the morning for a few hours, then turn it off, and then resume until around 9 o’clock. Be sure to check the SWPA website for the daily water release schedule before hitting the water.”
“With the recent generation schedule, the best fishing strategy is to fish from a boat near the dam during high water flows. I’ve been having success using a deep-water nymph rig set anywhere from 6-12 feet deep. The go-to fly has been a pink San Juan Worm, set at various depths depending on where you are on the river.

(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 haven’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 3-14-2024) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood says the bass are still beginning in the creeks on mid-diving crankbaits like the Rock Crawler in any orange or red color. They are also biting well on Alabama rigs with natural color swimbaits. On the main lake, Carolina-rig a Zoom Lizard on the points with a half-ounce weight. 

(updated 3-14-2024) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 462.18 feet msl, or 0.14 below normal pool of 462.04 feet msl for this time of year. Catch rates for this time of year are really good.
Crappie are roaming around chewing or roaming among 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 and are biting on Alabama rigs, Carolina rigs, jerkbaits, football heads or crankbaits. Stay around the shad. Also, the wiggle wart is working great 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. A 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 a lot of the other species; when you find them, just about any metal bait you get in front of them will work, and swimbaits, hair jigs and inline spinners 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!”


Harris Brake Lake
(updated 3-14-2024) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) says the bass and catfish are very active around the lake now. An 8-pound catfish was hauled in recently, using minnows. Another angler reported catching five catfish in the 3- to 4-pound range. Some are being caught from the bank, some from boats. It appears some good catfish success is being had on the lake from opposite the bait shop, they report.

Recently, a local bass fishing tournament posted good results with some really nice largemouths being caught, they report. The winning two-person team caught a 15-pound bag of fish (limit of five), and the tournament’s Big Bass catch was 3.7 pounds among the 16 boats competing.

Wednesday morning, a crappie angler was having good success catching fish in shallow water from his boat. The crappie appear to be moving closer to the shoreline for spawning. No bream have been reported lately.


Lake Overcup
(updated 3-14-2024) John “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Landing off Arkansas Highway 9 said water level is about 1.5 feet high but clarity is good. Surface temperature as of midweek is around 64 degrees. Bass are getting ready to spawn. Bream are slow but should pick up before long. Catfish are being caught on yoyo’s with minnows. Crappie are being caught with minnows and jigs. Not catching a lot but they are some good ones.
“Come see us at Overcup Bait Shop off Highway 9.”


Lake Maumelle
(updated 3-14-2024) WestRock Landing in Roland (501-658-5598) reported Thursday that water temperature is ranging 55-60 degrees depending on location. With a lot of fish in prespawn, there is a lot of action going on around the lake. Kentucky bass (spotted bass) are great. Anglers are catching nonstop, tons of them, and c catching them over brush piles. People fishing for crappie are catching them as well. Many aren’t big ones, but they are biting. Depth is about 12 feet. Shaky heads and jigs are the go-to baits.
Largemouth bass are still fair. Reports of the largemouths 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.
White bass are good. 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. There are quite a few anglers now using the Sleepy Hollow Access beyond the lake looking for the annual white bass run there.

Crappie are good. They are at 12 feet and haven’t moved in shallow yet. They are catching around brush piles. 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 3-14-2024) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the fish are “doing great,” but he’s not sure what the incoming rain might do to the bite over the next few days. Black bass are biting in 2-3 feet of water, and the females are full of eggs and up on the banks. It’s pretty much the same thing with the crappie, with the biting going on in 3 feet of water and they are obviously ready to spawn. A few catfish anglers were out at night this week catching some on minnows.

Among the crappie being caught, many are big now, particularly the females, he said. Minnows and jigs are the usual go-tos, but specifically for jigs, use anything that is a shad color, as well as jigs in black and chartreuse, black and white, red and chartreuse.

Bass are biting on spinnerbaits, soft plastic worms and crankbaits.


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 3-14-2024) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said the river backwaters are going to be the place to be right now for bass fishing. The fish are thinking about spawning. Throwing weightless flipping baits like a Big Bite Fighting Frog is a great way to go. Try green pumpkin or white colors now. Also in the backwaters for bass, three-eighth-ounce jigs in black and blue are a good call with a crawfish trailer on it also in black and blue. You can throw a square-bill crankbait on the entrances to the backwaters and any breaks in the walls of jetties. 


Peckerwood Lake
(updated 2-29-2024) Donna Mulherin at Herman’s Landing (501-626-6899) reports anglers are catching crappie and catfish really well on poles and yo-yos. The lake is at full pool and 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 3-14-2024) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said the warm weather is here and the fishing is hot on the rivers in the Arkansas Ozarks. Releases from Bull Shoals Dam have been variable this past week, from one unit to over three units (9,000 cfs), while the lake sits 3 feet below power pool at 656.09 feet msl.
“We’ve been offered all types of water levels, fluctuating between low, shallow water to high, deep water — so take a cue from our professionals and get creative out there. Be prepared to change your fishing tactics in the middle of the day as the water rises. Start the day with a white D2/Trout Magnet jig (one-eighth ounce) or a smaller white-bellied lure (Rapala’s glass blue Husky Jerk Minnow is great). Of course, the shrimp/PowerBait combo works almost every time, so a light-colored egg pattern (white or yellow, maybe even pink) and a mini-bite of shrimp will bring a bundle of rainbows in. Worms work very nicely as the water level increases.

“Shiny gold spinners (Blue Foxes) and spoons (Cleos) attracted the rainbows and the heavier ones catch the eye of a brown every once in a while. The brown trout have mostly been biting live baits: minnows, sculpins and shad. Some browns have even been caught on shrimp this week.
“Spring break on the White River near Cotter means lots of young anglers. Seeing families enjoying the great outdoors and being able to spend time together without the everyday hustle and bustle is the best.”

(updated 3-14-2024) Dave McCulley, owner of Jenkins Fishing Service in Calico Rock, said the rain last week caused the Buffalo River to rise, which caused us to have muddy water until Friday. The water cleared up some on Saturday but was very dirty on Sunday. By Monday the water had some dinginess but was definitely fishable. When the river was muddy the best fishing option for trout was to move up into the mouths of the creeks where the fish were looking for cleaner water, tie up or anchor, and fish using corn. This resulted in some nice limits of trout plus a few other species of fish caught. Monday through Wednesday fishing was decent using Uncommon Bait Neo Pink UV eggs and shrimp or corn. Artificial lures were not effective.
“We will be watching the rain coming in Thursday night and Friday morning to see how it affects the river conditions. This week we received one stocking of more than 800 rainbow trout from the Norfork Hatchery.”


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 3-14-2024) Steven “Scuba Steve” Street at Blackburn’s Resort and Boat Rental said the lake level is 553.42 feet msl and has dropped half an inch in the last 24 hours with the one operating generator running for about 8 hours starting at 9 a.m. and then shutting it off. There is no effort to drop the lake before the spring rains. The lake level has not varied much all winter. The surface water temperature is 54 degrees on the main lake and 56 in the backs of the creeks. The clarity is good and you can see your lure down about 10 feet on the main lake and 5-6 feet in the creeks. The lake is in a transition period and is wanting to warm up but it is March and the cold fronts just keep coming through. One day it is 80 and the next is in the 50s. I am catching fish in one place one day and they are gone the next. The stripers are ready to move to their spawning banks and the night bite has barely started but should be in full swing by a few days before the full moon which is March 25. The March winds are blowing the baitfish back into the creeks and it depends which way it is blowing. From the south it warms up and from the north it cools down. There are fish coming up shallow in the mornings but it is just because the wind has blown the shad back in the creeks. You cannot count on it and they are mostly bass and carp. It is the same for the night bite for stripers. Very few have moved to their spawning banks but a few are. Mostly they are there because the wind has blown the bait to the bank and not because they are spawning. I am catching fish on main lake brush and also back in the creeks near the shore, but not a lot anywhere. The topwater bite for red meat fish and bass should be in full swing by April 15. Right now you have to work for them. The lake overall is in good condition and at a good level for fishing but it is fair at best. It will get better soon. Some good fish are being caught every day. 

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

(updated 3-14-2024) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said Wednesday, “Mission accomplished! I had my daughter fishing with me this morning. Was hoping to have the oldest granddaughter along but she would not wake up. I guess college life for Jordan has set in — stay up all night and sleep all morning.
“I found some striped bass and Keri totally out-fished me this morning. She was casting a half-ounce chrome Kastmaster with white feather trailer and I was casting a 5-inch Sexy Shad Swimbait with a three-eighths-ounce chartreuse jighead. The bait was right on the surface down to maybe 15-20 feet. It was scattered out. The fish were darting through the bait, feeding away. I got quite a few short strikes but no boated fish for me. I should have downsized to a 3.5-inch swimbait. Keri landed two nice striped bass and a really good largemouth bass.
“Keri and I were fishing back in a creek in 30-60 feet of water. Wayne and Jimmy had success casting swimbaits and a Kastmaster. They have had a stretch of bad luck lately with striped bass. They have hooked into quite a few over the last couple of days, but the fish were coming unhooked. They redeemed themselves this morning. Joe was back at finding and catching some really nice walleye, crappie and one striped bass.
“I heard another guest was cleaning some fish, but I have not had a chance to talk with them. Overall, good day for all. The surface water temp was in the mid-50s. The lake level is falling slowly and sits at 553.43 feet msl. Fishing has been pretty good for most species and will only get better and better as the warmer temperature continues. I believe the white bass are spawning, most of the walleye should have spawned and a few others will be still on the beds. Crappie are staging for their spawn, which should happen before long. There are quite a few big slab crappie on or near brush piles back in creeks. The bass are still a little way off for their spawn, but with the early warm weather it might be sooner than normal.
“We have cabins available throughout the spring and summer. Give us a call to make your fishing and/or family vacation plans. 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 3-14-2024) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) said Beaver Lake is still remaining at a stable level of 1,115.58 feet msl. That correlates to a level around 7 feet below normal pool. Fishing is starting to pick up. Crappie are starting to move shallower each week. Water temperature is in the mid- to upper 50s. Crappie are still suspended at different levels of the water column, and that seems to change lately for all you forward-facing sonar people. Crappie are also on brush and laydowns in 5-15 feet of water. The bite has been pretty good, and good areas are from Nelson’s Hollow up to Camp War Eagle or up to Neil’s Bluff on the White River side. The usual baits will work. 

Stripers are starting to show back up on the south end of the lake from Hickory Creek up to Camp War Eagle. This should get better as water warms into the 60s, which triggers the striper spawn. Even though the stripers do not recruit (eggs do not hatch and make it), they do spawn and make a spawning run just like every other fish on Beaver. That being said, they will move up river arms and back of creek arms. 

Bass are starting their pre-stage spawning and can be caught on jerkbaits off main lake and secondary points. Walleye are very inconsistent as we need some water inflow. “It’s very hard to get up into the spawning areas by boat. Some anglers are walking into areas and catching some. It’s a very strange year indeed. 

“Also, white bass remain very scattered and I believe some good water flow will set them off in a good way. The big difference this year is low water and lack of big river rises that usually funnel fish in drives up into the river arms. Hopefully that will change. Still, fishing is awesome anytime you can go! Stay safe and good luck!”

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


Beaver Tailwater
(updated 3-8-2024) 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 3-14-2024) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) said the water temperature Monday had fallen slightly to 55 degrees. The water level remains high and the clarity is the usual murky. Bream and crappie are both biting well now, and the white bass have made a big appearance with good results. Black bass and catfish remain undetected for now.

Bream are biting well on worms, crickets and jigs. Crappie like the jigs and worms as well. Those jigs are getting the attention of the white bass, with good hauls.

“We have a good selection of fishing tackle for Lake Charles,” Shelly says. “We also have worms, nightcrawlers and redworms. Stop in and see us, and give us a fishing report.”

The “moon” times indicate good days coming up March 22-28, she says. 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 Charles might be a nice place from which to watch it, and catch some fish at the same time that Monday.


Lake Poinsett
(updated 3-14-2024) Seth Boone, the superintendent at Lake Poinsett State Park, said the bream are doing well on crickets in various water levels. Bigger ones are deeper, around 8 feet or so. Catfish have been scarce, though we are hoping to have some anglers try out our new Docs bait to see if they can get them going. Bass and crappie are just starting to get into the prespawn. With the bass, you should have luck with frogs coming off water rose and lily pads. Crappie seem to be biting best on minnows around 10 feet of water, but you may do well with pink, green or Electric Blue jigs.


Spring River
(updated 3-8-2024) 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.


Lake Chicot
(updated 3-14-2024) Crappie reports have been good from AGFC staffers in recent weeks. Anglers putting in from the Connerly Bayou Access have been seeing good results. Recent electrofishing surveys of the same area of Lake Chicot have revealed several crappie in the surveys.

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 3-14-2024) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said that as of Wednesday, lake elevation was a foot above normal pool, at 260.2 feet msl and falling. Millwood Lake Dam was releasing about 7,800 CFS, and tailwater was holding at 234 feet. Check the most recent lake level of Millwood Lake the guide service’s website linked above, or Army Corps of Engineers website linked under Millwood Lake above, for updated gate release changes and inflow rates with rising and falling lake levels Surface temperature has remained stable this week, ranging 60 degrees early to 68 later in the day along Little River, depending on location and the time of day. Use caution in navigation on main lake river channels where river buoys may be out of channel from recent high wind, or not yet replaced. Clarity along Little River has improved over the past few weeks of pool rise, with 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. Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, gate discharge, rain or thunderstorms.
Mike had these fishing specifics from this week:
* Largemouth bass have drastically improved activity over the past two weeks. The improved clarity has the males on the search for bedding areas and the females are roaming in areas of 1-6 feet on bedding flats. Best activity is seen in afternoons near creek channel swings and vertical structure where flats of 1-6 feet deep are holding fresh lily pad blooms and vegetation. Bass Assassin 5-inch Shads, plastic lizards, Brush Hogs, Tubes and spinnerbaits will draw a reaction in 2- to 6-feet depths. Heavy three-quarter-ounce One-knocker Rat-L-Traps, Brazalo and War Eagle Spinnerbaits have been working over the past few weeks. Hammer Traps, MR-6 and 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 in the deeper sections of creek channels or drops from the flats into 8-12 feet structure with stumps present. Targeting these areas is best from noon to 3 p.m. We caught good numbers of males the past two weeks on the Bass Assassin Shads, as well as lizards and spinnerbaits this week, in the shallow grass and buckbrush.
The largemouths’ reaction bites continue to be much more reliable in the oxbows of McGuire, Horseshoe, Mud and Clear lakes where the water clarity was drastically better, water temps were warmer and calm/no river current was present. The best responses are 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 males roaming flats in the clearer water sections of the oxbows, away from current. With the water temp continuing to warm into low 60s the males are active and cruising. Where you find shallow 5-8 foot depth flats with stumps, you can find a few decent 2- to 3-pound males 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. 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 Chatterbait colors, which we’re throwing where we are seeing cruising bass, have been the Millwood Mayhem Bream, Arkansas River Shad or Fire Craw. Best depth zones we are targeting are cypress tree knees from 6-10 feet, with 12-15 feet of depth nearby.
* For several weeks the white bass have been roaming and staging along Little River and mouths of the oxbows and creek dumps, in preparation for a spawning run upriver. This week the white bass have continued their migration up Little River (and we hear reports of the same activity in the Saline River on east end of Millwood Lake) and we caught good numbers from White Cliffs Creek all the way to Brown’s Slough and Black’s Branch and the U.S. Highway 71 bridge. Heavy thumping three-quarter- and 1-ounce Rat-L-Traps in Millwood Magic, chrome or Splatterback colors, and Fat Free Shads and Fingerlings or Bill Lewis MR-6 Crankbaits in Tennessee Shad cranked very slow and deliberately behind points along Little River, caught some decent 2- to 3-pound whites over recent weeks from 7-12 feet deep. A chrome three-quarter-ounce Cordell Hammered Spoon with a red/white hair bucktail vertical-jigged 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 tail swimbait trailer 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 in the most reliable locations. Deep-running Fat Free Guppy cranks in Tennessee Shad or Citrus Shad, Little George’s, little Rocket Shads and red/white Rooster Tails were also picking up a few random whites this week.
* 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 of weeks. Minnows work one day, then jigs the next, in planted brush piles 10-16 feet with crappie size up to 2.25 pounds. Best color jig was black/chartreuse one day and red/white one day, then smoke-colored grubs on a light wire jighead would pick up a few extra bites.
* No reports on bream or catfish still.


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.”


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 3-14-2024) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 51 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 15 for completion. This summertime pool will remain in place until mid-November, when the winter drawdown is scheduled to begin. Current flows have come 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 AGFC released 12,000 rainbow trout in Lake Catherine below the dam in February, 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 cast with a small bobber or fished just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater will catch rainbows. 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 are finally gone as rising water has brought the tailrace close to normal pool, so trolling can be effective against the current. 

Rainbow trout fishing will dominate the area for months 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 underway on Lake Catherine as male walleye have migrated 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 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 temperature warms and threadfin shad aren’t 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 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.

No reports.


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 3-14-2024) 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 3-14-2024) 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. Carolina-rigged craws or lizards are producing, and the floating worm bite is trying to get some traction. Just get out and throw your favorite lure! Walleye are moving back into the main lake and being caught on jerkbaits and green soft plastics. Stripers are very 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 still fair and being caught on crickets and worms in the 20- to 25-foot range. Crappie are very good. They can be targeted on shallow structure with minnows or small jigs. Jug lines and trot lines are starting to produce quality catches of catfish over main lake points with live or cut bait.
The water temperature is ranging 54-58 degrees. The clarity is clearing. The lake level Thursday was 573.62 feet msl. Call the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717, or Chris Darby, 870-867-7822) for more information.

(updated 3-14-2024) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) said the Lake Ouachita crappie and black bass are beginning their spawn. You can find them scattered from beds to staging brush piles. Vertical=jigging and casting jigs or minnows both have produced ample numbers of large fish.

(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.


Cook’s Lake
(updated 3-14-2024) The AGFC’s Wil Hafner at Cook’s Lake Nature Center (501-404-2321) said the water temperature of Cook’s Lake has warmed up into the low 60s which means fish should be moving shallow soon. Very few anglers have taken the opportunity to fish Cook’s Lake the first two weekends it was open. To increase opportunity during spring break, Hafner said the lake will be open to youth and mobility-impaired anglers Tuesday through Saturday 8 a.m. 4 p.m. instead of the typical Friday-and-Saturday-only fishing days. Wil also wanted to remind everyone to take advantage of all the activities the AGFC nature centers around the state will be offering during spring break week.

Cook’s Lake is a 2.5-mile-long oxbow off of the White River, nestled in the heart of the Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge near Casscoe in Arkansas County. This fertile oxbow receives very little fishing pressure due to being used only for education purposes and youth and mobility-impaired fishing. The scenic lake is full of slab crappie, giant bluegills, largemouth bass, and catfish of all species. Cook’s Lake is open to fishing 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 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.


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.


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

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