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Arkansas Wildlife Weekly Fishing Report

BY Jim Harris

ON 03-28-2024


March 28, 2024

Jim Harris

Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine

Lorie Teagarden hauled in this armful of walleye while fishing on Bull Shoals Lake with guide Del Colvin in recent days. The walleye measured 26 inches in length and weighed 5.75 pounds. Walleye reportedly are still spawning on the lower portion of Bull Shoals Lake, while the main lake and secondary points in larger creeks are holding fish. Trolling stick baits slow and shallow during low light periods can be a successful approach. Casting jerkbaits and small shad-style baits slowly with a jerk-and-pause retrieve also will get some attention.

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 3-28-2024) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the bass “are really doing it right now. The bass are on fire.” Crankbaits and Chatterbaits are working the best. Anglers are also catching some bream, but they are on the small side.

“After this weekend, everything will be on course,” they add. “It’s supposed to be nice all weekend.”

Crappie are “still doing all right” but it’s the bass bite that is really going great. Catfish, they say, are always going to bite. Nightcrawlers have been the best bait for cats for some time.

Crappie are liking jigs about the same as minnows, but it’s especially a minnow bite with the crappie in the evenings. The lake has been getting plenty of angling attention after sunset, they report.

“As long as the water stays in there a little bit, the fish will keep on biting. A couple of inches of rain fills here right back up. A lot of creeks flow into this lake,” they say.

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 some winter-stocked rainbow trout


Little Red River
For the Army Corps of Engineers’ real-time outflow report from Greers Ferry Dam, visit the Corps’ Little Rock office website or by calling (501) 362-5150). Also check the Southwestern Power Administration website to see forecast generation schedule.

(updated 3-28-2024) Mike Winkler of Little Red River Fly Fishing Trips/Little Red River Fly Guides (501-507-3688) said that last week we saw a bit of variation in the generation schedule from the Army Corps of Engineers and Southwestern Power Administration. They were running two generators in the morning for about 4 hours, then turning them off for a while. Later in the day, usually around 5 p.m. until 10 p.m., they would start running two generators again. However, this week it looks like they’re shifting to running one generator around the clock, 24/7. The schedule has been a bit unpredictable in terms of start times and water release amounts, so it’s best to keep an eye on the SWPA generation schedule for updates.
“We’ve been having success with a double-nymph rig set between 6-9 feet deep, using split shot to help get the flies down. Hot fly colors have been white, pink or chartreuse San Juan Worms, along with caddis patterns, all fished under an indicator.

“The streamer bite has been good lately! The generation schedule is ideal for throwing streamer patterns toward the bank and stripping them in. Olive and yellow streamer patterns have been particularly effective.

“So, grab your gear, check the generation schedule, and get out there for some great fishing on the Little Red River! Tight lines!”

(updated 3-21-2024) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said Thursday that the fishing has been good. The best fishing is when the Corps of Engineers is coming off the generation and the water begins falling. Check for generation times. Best baits in the falling water have been an eighth-ounce Maribou jig and the No. 7 Rapala Countdowns.


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 3-28-2024) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 462.71 feet msl, or 0.67 above normal pool. Some of our fish have spawned but a lot haven’t — between now and June there’s a lot more to go and a lot of fish are eating, coming and going to spawn and after spawn. Catch rates for this time of year are really good, just stay with the same programs.
Some crappie are roaming around chewing while other crappie are roaming and chewing 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 and biting on Alabama rig, Carolina rig, jerkbaits, football heads or crankbaits and Texas-rigged lizards. Stay around the shad and or spawning areas. Some are now eating topwater baits as well.
Walleye continue doing what they usually do this time of year: following the river spawn looking to get set back up downlake to eat, while the lake fish are pulled up to same spots eating and trying to spawn on flats, humps, riprap and points. Drag a crawler or crankbait or use a minnow-tipped jig. A spoon working best around schools of bait.
Catfish are hanging out on secondary points around and under baitfish or up rivers and creeks real shallow and gorging. No report on bream. Hybrid bass and white bass are gorging like the other species — when you find them, just about any metal bait you get in front of them will work, or you can try a swimbait, hair jig or inline spinners, which have pulled a lot of them out of super deep water lately, 25-60 feet.
“Enjoy and remember to let someone know when you will be back in and wear your life jacket!”

(updated 3-28-2024) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood says anglers are fishing the main lake points for bass with success dragging Carolina rigs across the points. A green pumpkin lizard with a chartreuse tail has been working great. Also, up in the buckbrush a 3.8-inch Keitech Swimbait is a good call, just swimming the bait close to the base of the buckbrush. With Greers Ferry Lake almost a foot high, some of those areas are excellent target spots.

Crappie has been doing fairly well on Greers, too. A lot of anglers are catching them on brush piles — not necessarily in the main lake but in the coves. Find a brush pile or some flooded timber and throw a light-colored jig, like a Monkey Milk color, as crappie are biting pretty well on that.


Harris Brake Lake
(updated 3-29-2024) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) says bass and catfish have been biting well this week. One angler in particular was kayak fishing and caught several largemouth and spotted bass. A swim jig was working (purple and black color), as well as spinnerbaits and crankbaits.

Also, people were using minnows on trotlines earlier this week and caught 14 catfish, ranging 3-7 pounds. Crappie are slow. Only a catch or two was reported. Bream are also slow. 

Water temperature Thursday was 67 degrees. The water level is stable now, but the yellow pollen is all over the top of the water.


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 yo-yos 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 3-21-2024) WestRock Landing in Roland (501-658-5598) reported that water temperature is ranging 55-61 degrees. As for black bass, the largemouth bass are fair, while the spotted bass (Kentucky bass) are great. Largemouth bass are reported to be in prespawn and starting to spawn and can be found in 2-8 feet depth. Use jigs, Alabama rigs, crankbaits, swimbaits, and try jerkbaits shallow in the afternoon. Spotted bass are found around brush in 8-12 feet as well as in shallow water. Use jigs and shaky heads.
White bass are fair. Some reports of anglers finding female white bass in 10 feet full of eggs. No reports by the west end of the bridge this week. Use twister tails for white bass.

Crappie are fair. Some reports of the crappie being found 8-12 feet off points. Other reports of crappie being found around brush, but it’s a tough bite. Use jigs or minnows.

Bream are slow and they heard no reports this week. Try using worms.

Catfish are slow. Try using bream, liver and worms.


Arkansas River at Morrilton
For the real-time water flow at the Ormond Lock and Dam and Morrilton stage level, visit the Corps’ Little Rock office website


Little Maumelle River
(updated 3-21-2024) 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 3-28-2024) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said bass are active and biting in the backwaters on a three-quarter-ounce white spinnerbait and a half-ounce Brazalo Custom Lures spinnerbait, also in white. Also in the backwaters, a good pattern now is flipping any sort of craw or Beaver-style bait like a Big Bite Fighting Frog.

At the mouths of the backwaters, where they touch the river channel, try a square-bill crankbait; that’s having some success.

With the river flow up Thursday morning (70,000 cfs), crappie are also mainly in the backwaters and anglers are urged to also stick around those areas because of that higher flow. Fish for crappie around stumps or rock piles and use a blue and chartreuse one-sixteenth-ounce crappie jig. Another way to fish the crappie is to tie on a mini Keitech Swimbait and swimming those around the stumps and grass.


Peckerwood Lake
(updated 3-21-2024) Donna Mulherin at Herman’s Landing (501-626-6899) reports that anglers are doing well on crappie. The crappie are starting to get on their beds, anglers say. Minnows and jigs will both work. The fish are biting more on poles than on the yo-yos. 

Anglers are doing fair on catfish using hot dogs and minnows, she added.

The lake is level full.


North Arkansas

White River
(updated 3-28-2024) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said Bull Shoals Lake was on the rise after Monday’s rain, and as of Wednesday was sitting at 657.26 feet msl. Expect an increase of about a foot in the next week, which means continued generation at the dam. A steady flow, whether high or low, makes for the best fishing because the trout settle down and begin to pay attention to the baits you’re presenting. Angler skills are in demand during sizable fluctuation in water levels.
When the water is running fast and high, add weight to your line, offer a bright-colored bead several inches above the hook, and use an extra flashy lure. The Rapala CD-7s (brown trout and silver/black) have been popular and successful this week; they run between 6-8 feet — a great option for fishing the deeper water. We’ve had good luck bringing some fair-sized browns to the boat drifting a Redfin River Minnow. Troll a sculpin or a minnow (live or manufactured) mid-depth 3-4 feet from the bank and be ready for the tug. 

Shore anglers have been finding some luck with garlic-scented yellow and pink Power Eggs. When floating on the river, you’ll find the rainbows are biting hard on pink worms and nuggets of shrimp.
“The dogwoods are popping, green in is happening, and we’re in the midst of one of the most beautiful times of the year. Come on over and experience trout catching on the White River at Cotter in The Natural State of Arkansas.”

(updated 3-28-2024) Dave McCulley, owner of Jenkins Fishing Service in Calico Rock, said the fishing from last Thursday to Sunday was tremendous. River conditions were almost perfect and the weather was nice. Drift-fishing with Uncommon Baits UV Neo Pink eggs with corn worked very well. Using shrimp or worms also worked well. Drift-fishing with sculpin resulted in some nice rainbows over 17 inches and 22-inch-plus brown trout. With the low and clear water, quarter-ounce Colorado spoons in nickel/gold worked extremely well. Other lures such as various sizes of Rapala Countdowns in silver, rainbow trout or brown trout colors and quarter-ounce Panther Martins with gold spinner and black body with yellow spots caught a lot of trout.

Monday the storm system dumped over 2 inches in the Buffalo River Valley, causing the river to rise to over 14 feet at St. Joe. By Tuesday morning the river at Calico Rock was muddy and rising, eventually cresting around 12 feet Tuesday night. Wednesday saw more muddy water and slowly dropping river levels. On Wednesday we received a stocking of more than 1,100 rainbow trout from the Jim Hinkle Spring River Fish Hatchery and a second stocking of about 1,200 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 3-28-2024) Fishing guide Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake said the lake level Wednesday was 657 feet msl and rising. Water temperature dropped around 53 degrees, give or take. “We might get a runoff bite if it warms up,” he said. “Keep a spinnerbait or Chatterbait close. Black bass are in prespawn. Overall, bass fishing has been fair; it definitely slowed down after the big storm, then the cold front. Be sure to fish the conditions.
Del says that if it’s cloudy and windy, anglers can powerfish cranking a Wiggle Wart or SPRO Rock Crawler square bill, covering water on windblown transition banks and swings. If it’s flat and sunny, use a Jewel Peewee Jig in green pumpkin with either a Bass Whacker or Touchdown in orange or blue. Also if it gets tough try a tube C-rig, while a shaky head and a Ned are starting to get a few. Use colors in variants of green pumpkin orange/red. Look on swings or points or secondary points close to spawning areas in the creeks. Keep the boat out deep, 30 feet, and slow down.
“For me I still feel most of the bigger fish are feeding heavily on shad. In the bigger creeks look for loons and gulls because they are not all out deep in the middle anymore. Shad are spread out. Some shad went shallow in the creeks and some are back deep with the cold. Try a 2.8 swimbait fluke or Tater Shad 2.8 all in white or natural shad colors.
“Guys are also catching them on a shad color jerkbait, like a Megabass 110. Everyone is starting to catch them, so go get out there and do your thing! Fish the conditions!” 

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 3-28-2024) Southernwalleye Guide Service reports that walleyes are still spawning on the lower lake. Main lake and secondary points in larger creeks are holding fish. If trolling, try stick baits slow and shallow during low light periods in 8-14 feet of water. Trolling at 0.85 to 1.2 mph should produce a few fish. If casting, try jerkbaits or small shad-style baits fished slow with a jerk-and-pause retrieve. Most fish will be caught just before and after dark with the current full moon or just before daylight at this time. Overcast skies and wind can extend the shallow bite into the daylight hours. 

(updated 3-28-2024) Crappie 101 Guide Service reports that crappie are still actively feeding in creeks but the bite has slowed. Crappie are beginning to stage in areas close to spawning grounds. A one-sixteenth-ounce or one-eighth-ounce jig with Tater Bait, small fry Purple Monkey and minnows worked well earlier this week.


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

(updated 3-28-2024) Steven “Scuba Steve” Street at Blackburn’s Resort and Boat Rental said the lake level was 555.49 feet msl and had dropped a half-inch in the last 24 hours when he came in at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The 3.4 inches of rain late last week is working its way through the system and the Army Corps of Engineers has opened up spillway gates to an equivalent to one and a half generators. It has been cold the last few days. The water is not warming very much so far, but the sunshine and light winds will warm the water especially in the creeks. The rain muddied up the creeks but it is clearing now and will be at a good color soon. We are expecting warm ambient temperature and light winds and sunshine and expect the shallow water in the creeks to warm rapidly and fish to move back into shallow water.
The bass and crappie will move shallow staging for spawn but have not done so yet. They need some warm nights with lows near 60. Walleye are back downstream from their spawn and some white bass are also, but not all. The lake overall is in excellent condition and at a good level for fishing. The water in the creeks is clearing and good bass fishing is on its way. 

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 3-28-2024) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) said Beaver Lake continues on a steady rise. Water temperature ranges from the mid- to upper 50s. “We had upward of 3 inches of rain last week. Both river arms coming into the lake had about an 11 feet rise, which was much needed. With that, though, came some very muddy water and debris.
“The mudline, which I always get asked, is moving past Hickory Creek. The War Eagle side is not as muddy, and there was a slot of better-looking water from Point 12 to the Highlines. That’s a stretch, if you’re looking for stripers, you may want to check.
“On the striper report there had been some really nice fish caught before all the rain. Small shad and brood minnows were working. Crappie are scattered with the rise but should commit to the banks with this warm weather coming next week. White bass should be moving up in force into spawning areas with the huge river rise. Walleye were hit and miss and not really sure what the condition change will do. Walleye are at least a month behind and it should be interesting to see if they make a bigger run up.
“This year was certainly different, and I will know next week how it plays out. Catfish should be great after the rain and mud. Be safe, watch for floaters and good luck!”

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


Beaver Tailwater
(updated 3-28-2024) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) says nothing has changed from last week in the tailwater fishing. It’s still been off and on. Water temperatures have been around 50 degrees. Trout have been responsive to Pautzke Fire Worms and Fire Baits, fished with light terminal tackle. The fire bait has done the best. The walleye bite has been up and down as well, but it is still there, mainly between Beaver town and Holiday Island. Pulling mid-diving crankbaits coated in Pautzke Fire Gel has been the preferred method this week. “As the Army Corps of Engineers is not projected to move water for the rest of the month, I do not expect the walleye bite to increase anytime soon. Have caught a few white bass here and there, but we have not got into any big schools of them. Pulling Flicker Shads or Shad Raps has produced the best with the white bass.”

Follow Austin’s fishing Facebook page (Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service) for updates.


Lake Fayetteville
(updated 3-14-2024) 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 3-28-2024) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) said anglers are finding the fishing very good now at Lake Charles. While the white bass may have not been reported this past week, all other species are biting well.

Bream are good on jigs of all colors, as well as worms and crickets. Crappie are good on minnows and small soft plastic colored worms. Black bass have checked in, and results were good this past week on soft plastics. And she notes finally having a report on catfish, as they are biting well on live worms.
Shelly reports that the water temperature Sunday morning was 54.3 degrees The water level remains high and the clarity is the usual murky. 

The full moon and total eclipse in April should have a moon effect on the fishing, it appears, with the “moon” table calling for best days in April to be April 5-11 (the eclipse is April 8). Lake Charles is within the area of totality and might be a nice place from which to watch it, and catch some fish at the same time that Monday. Good days for fishing in April based on “moon” times should be April 20-26, Shelly reports.


Lake Poinsett
(updated 3-28-2024) Jonathan Wagner at Lake Poinsett State Park said Lake Poinsett has continued to see bream as the primary catch recently. They are hitting on both crickets and worms. Catfish continue to not have a large representation among anglers here, or at least not reported. Anglers have been requesting blue/white as well as pink jigs for crappie as of late, though some anglers reported having success with orange jig skirts. At the bait shop at the park, minnows continue to be the top-selling bait for crappie, though. They are having success in open water from boats as well as from the bank with crappie. 

Bass reports have not been as numerous, however. Both bass and crappie are still catch-and-release, whereas with bream and catfish you can keep state limits.
Over spring break, Lake Poinsett State Park held a fishing program, Keeping It Reel: Fishing Basics. Here aspiring anglers and other park guests learned casting techniques, baiting hooks, and more. They caught numerous redear using night crawlers. It was a great opportunity to get younger folks involved in this outdoor activity and to explore The Natural State through a new hobby. 


Spring River
(updated 3-28-2024) Mark Crawford with (870-955-8300) said water levels are running at 320 cfs and water clarity has been mostly clear. Over the last month a lot of storms have passed around our area. At this time the river is below average flows and looking great. Spring storms can change conditions at any time. Keep an eye on our blog on the website linked above for the latest river conditions.
This is the time of year the Jim Hinkle Spring River Fish Hatchery ramps up stocking numbers getting ready for the summer crowds. It has been very busy on the river with the nice weather. Please be safe and courteous when wading and fishing the river. The river bottom is very slick. A wading staff is a must in the main river.
The campgrounds all open up April 1. It will not be too busy on the river until the end of May when schools let out for the summer. Then Saturday will get busy and through the week, and Sundays will be the best time to fish. 

Plenty of bugs have been hatching lately, from black and tan caddis, to blue-wing olives to a small black beetle (that got hits for us one day). We’re seeing Hopper Dropper action on some days, bit on most days it’s swinging nymphs or Woolly Buggers. Fun fishing opportunities exist as long as the water stays low.

“Smallies on the fly are fun on an olive or brown streamer fished right on the bottom slow. Or if you’re floating, I love Popper Droppers. My White Lightning was made to float below an indicator for smallies. Why not make that indicator look like a big black or brown beetle with a hook in it. It works!
For spinning tackle, hot pink Trout Magnets fished just off the river bottom will wear out the trout. If you’re chasing bigger game fish, try the Trout Cranks in rainbow and brown trout colors. Ned rigs for smallies always work.


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.

(updated 3-21-2024) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team reports that water temperature is in the mid-60s. Visibility ranges from 0-18 inches, with the cleanest water usually in backwaters and Lake Langhofer. Black bass are biting fairly well on bladed jigs, spinnerbaits, shallow-diving crankbaits, lipless crankbaits and creature baits/jigs around typical prespawn rocky banks and wooden cover. Some bass are positioned along the first sand drops away from spawning areas. Moving baits do better around current and banks with wind blowing to them. Use slower baits in calm areas. 


Cane Creek Lake
(updated 3-28-2024) Keyunna Austin at Cane Creek State Park said anglers were fishing for crappie and catfish on Tuesdays and catching both with minnows and liver. Another group was having success catching crappie using redworms.


Lake Monticello
(updated 3-28-2024) Anglers are reminded that if they venture out for some fishing on Lake Monticello now while the lake refills after being renovated, all fish caught must be released immediately.


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 3-28-2024) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said that as of Wednesday, lake elevation has risen to about 20 inches above normal pool; Millwood Lake Dam is releasing about 21,000 cfs and tailwater is holding at 245 feet msl. “Tons of broken debris, logs, limbs, grass mats and timber floaters are in Little River’s heavy current,” Mike says, urging boaters to use extreme caution navigating Little River this week with the scattered and wide debris fields all along the river from Yarborough Landing all the way to White Cliffs and Wilton Landing. Check the most recent lake level of Millwood Lake on the guide service’s website linked above, or at the US Army Corps of Engineers website linked above under “Millwood Lake,” for updated gate release changes and inflow rates with rising and falling lake levels.
Surface temps dropped somewhat this week with cold fronts and fresh cold rain, ranging 59 degrees early to 64 degrees later in the day along Little River, depending on location and the time of day. Clarity along Little River was muddy this week with rapid pool rise and heavy stain in most locations, some areas further up Little River being heaviest, with river clarity ranging 1-3 inches visibility depending on location. Clarity of oxbows will vary widely from mudlines pushing into the oxbows and are heavily stained to fair visibility from 5-15 inches, and Mike and his guides observed around 1-2 feet visibility in a few wind- and current-protected 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 offered these specifics on the fishing this past week: 

* Largemouth bass drastically improved activity over the past two weeks. The males and females are moving in bedding areas and building beds near 3-7 feet of depth on bedding flats. Best activity is being 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 2-6 feet depths. Bill Lewis Crankbaits like the MR-6, the Echo 1.75, and SB-57 MDJ crankbaits were all getting random reaction bites over the past couple of 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. Best responses targeting these areas were during the heat of the afternoon from noon-3 p.m. We caught good numbers of males and females from 3-6 pounds each over the past two weeks on Bass Assassin Shads, lizards and spinnerbaits in the shallow lily pads, grass and buckbrush.
The largemouths’ reaction bites continue to be much more reliable in the oxbows of where the water clarity was drastically better, water temps were warmer, and away from river current. Baby Brush Hogs have been taking some decent 14- to 17-inch males roaming flats in the clearer water sections of the oxbows. With the water temp continuing to warm into the mid-60s, the males are active and cruising, and a few beds are being seen. You can find a few decent 2- to 3-pound males roaming on warm afternoons where you find shallow 5-8 foot depth flats with stumps, if near to a quick creek bend drop into 8-12 feet structure. Best reaction colors of Chatterbaits and spinnerbaits, where we are seeing cruising bass, have been the Millwood Mayhem Bream, Fire Craw and Firetiger. Best depth zones are at 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 the east end of Millwood Lake) and we caught good numbers of 2- to 3-pound whites near Brown’s Slough and Black’s Branch and the U.S. Highway 71 bridge. Heavy-thumping three-quarter-ounce 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 whites in 7-12 feet depth. 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 tail swimbait trailer picked up a few white bass in 10-14 feet swimming and dropping the bait.
* The crappie bite had improved over the past few weeks with water clarity improving in many locations before the latest cold rain and muddied conditions. Our planted brush piles in Pugh Slough, Horseshoe, Bee Lake and Millwood State Park gave up some nice slabs. The crappie were best using minnows one day and jigs the next, or jigs tipped with a minnow, in planted brush piles 10-16 feet of depth up. Many of our planted brush piles are holding crappie this week. Best color jig was red/white one day, Electric Chicken the next, and smoke-colored grubs with a chartreuse tip tail on a light wire jig head have picked up a few extra bites.
No reports on bream or catfish.


Lake Erling
(updated 3-14-2024) Lake Erling Guide Service (870-904-8546) reports that crappie are 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 3-21-2024) Southwest regional AGFC Fisheries biologists recently completed black bass spring electrofishing at Lake Greeson, capturing over 300 bass during their spring sampling effort, and fish appeared to be in good condition. They will conduct another black bass electrofishing effort this fall in order to evaluate fish condition going into the winter.

The biologists also offer this hot tip on Greeson: Bass are currently in about 6-10 feet of water near steep-sloping, rocky shorelines, and also on brush piles near shorelines.
Electrofishing is the most common sampling method for collecting data on black bass populations in Arkansas reservoirs. Electrofishing briefly stuns fish, allowing biologists to scoop them up with a dip net. This method is not lethal when performed following standardized sampling procedures. The data obtained tells fisheries managers about the fish population’s recruitment rates, size structure, density, condition, growth rates and mortality rates, and helps them make informed management decisions.


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

(updated 3-21-2024) AGFC staff checked out DeGray Lake over the past weekend. Water was up 2 feet from recent rains, allowing for ample room for the spawning fish. Male buck bass were noted swimming through the shallow water. In a bass tournament over the weekend, the biggest bass caught topped 9 pounds, and then it fell off to the 6 pound range from there.
Water temperature is ranging 59-62 degrees. You’re going to want to fish weedless in the shallow areas as bass begin to hit those spots in their run-up to spawning. A Senko, a Chatterbait, or a Texas-rigged lizard (June Bug color is good) will be good ways to try.


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 3-28-2024) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 51 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace. Both lakes Hamilton and Catherine are at normal pool. 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 flow has allowed fishermen to access the area safely and target area fish species with limited success. Each March the lake is raised back to normal pool from a 5-foot winter drawdown and this process destroys the rainbow trout bite for the entire month. While the tailrace appears normal and the scheduled trout stocking continues to plan, virtually zero trout are caught. Thousands of trout are stocked in January, February and March, but few are caught until early April. Fly-fishermen can wade 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 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 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 comes to an end, walleye will be present and can be caught from the bridge to the dam. April 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. 

Even with the safer conditions and warmer weather, it is extremely important to remember that fish in the tailrace will be difficult to catch until early April. Trout can be caught but not in the numbers that are expected in March. No explainable reason exists other than the fact that rising water is detrimental for the trout bite. Normal pool levels will bring a more consistent bite from the rainbow trout population. 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 3-28-2024) 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 the water temperature, fluctuating air temp and unusual spring water levels of all the central Arkansas lakes have “changed game a little bit. It’s gone back to regular Arkansas spring. (You’ve) gotta play the game the way the hand is played in front of you. There are some creeks that are warm, there are some creeks that are cold. You’ve just gotta go back and forth and pay attention to all the surface temperatures that you’ve on your depth finder that tell you where to go and where not to go. Most important is where not to go.”

Fishing is going to pick up in the warm afternoons now, but this weekend could see a surge in fishing activity and will be perfect for getting the family out. “You’ve got to play with a 75-degree weekend coming up … always be on the sunny banks, the warm side, the warm creeks that are coming in. That’s what you’ve got to be able to do to catch fish.”


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

(updated 3-21-2024) Sheila Ferrebee, owner of Carter Cove Bait-N-More (479-272-4025), said fishing is going well. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs. Bream are biting well on crickets (“crickets are flying out the door,” Sheila said.) White bass are good, but Sheila said the guys out crappie fishing are the ones catching white bass on the same baits for crappie.
Black bass are biting on spinnerbaits and jigs.
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 3-28-2024) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out-of-state) said black bass are very good. Try a Rat-L-Trap-style bait or jerkbait near main lake and secondary points. A Carolina-rigged craw or lizard is producing, and the floating worm bite is on. Just get out and throw your favorite lure! 

Walleye are good and 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 C-10 Redfins, live bait or Alabama rigs.

Bream are still fair and being caught on crickets and worms in the 20- to 25-feet range. Crappie are good. These fish can be targeted on shallow structure with minnows or small jigs. Jugs and trotlines are still producing quality catfish catches over main lake points with live or cut bait.
Water temperature is ranging 50-55 degrees. Water clarity is stained. The lake level at midweek was 578.01 feet msl, or normal pool. Call the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717, or Chris Darby, 870-867-7822) for more information.

(updated 3-28-2024) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) said crappie are doing their normal thing despite the fluctuating weather and water temperature. Watch the water temp and as it stabilizes in the 60s, they will start and finish their spawn. During this time, you will be able to catch scattered, transitioning crappie anywhere from 3-12 feet deep. Once they enter post-spawn, they’ll be hungry and stack up on the staging brush piles. Be safe.

(updated 3-28-2024) Philip Kastner of Trader Bill’s Outdoors in Little Rock and Hot Springs said on the March 19 edition of “Wild Side Show” on KABZ-FM, 103.7 The Buzz that the white bass run is in full swing; it doesn’t matter if you’re on Greeson, Ouachita, DeGray, Hamilton, any of the central Arkansas lakes. Go in the back of creeks and throw a quarter-ounce lipless crankbait of some type, Red Eye Shad or Rat-L-Trap or a smoke grub, it doesn’t matter. Take the kids and catch fish. It’s all about being able to get the kids and take them to catch something, making it a family function. That’s what fishing on spring break is about.”


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 3-28-2024) The AGFC’s Wil Hafner at Cook’s Lake Nature Center (501-404-2321) said there was nothing new to report. Fishing at Cook’s Lake remains open on Fridays and Saturdays. Water is still high, scattering the fish. Youth and mobility-impaired angling will remain open on Fridays and Saturdays as long as the dock and boat ramp are accessible.
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 3-28-2024) Kent Williams of Oxbow Guide Service (870-278-7978) said that as of Tuesday, the surface temperature at Horseshoe was 59 degree. Water was clear and the lake is low by about 2 feet. There is water in the Happy Jack area but it is shallow.
The prespawn bite for crappie continues and the fish are extremely scattered. There are fish in the shallows as well as deep water, and those in deep water are scattered vertically in the water column. Our trips this past week produced fish with jigs in the colors of oranges, silvers and pinks. Longlining and LiveScoping have been the most productive methods
Male bass are showing up in the shallows. Those big females, no one seems to know where they are or they are being quiet about it.
No reports on catfish or bream.


Bear Creek Lake/Storm Creek Lake
(updated 3-21-2024) AGFC Fisheries biologists and other staff recently teamed up with Mississippi River State Park and U.S. Forest Service staff to enhance fish habitat in Bear Creek Lake near Marianna. The group sank more than 60 Christmas trees across four previously established habitat sites that had broken down over time, and needed a little attention. Those sites can be found on the AGFC’s Fishing Attractors page on the website,


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

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