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Arkansas Wildlife Weekly Fishing Report

BY Jim Harris

ON 04-18-2024


April 18, 2024

Jim Harris

Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine

An angler from Columbia, Missouri, named Stan (no last name provided) landed this nice 24-inch brown trout on the White River near Calico Rock, fishing out of Jenkins Fishing Service and Motel. Conditions have been near perfect on the river, according to Dave McCulley, who runs the resort. Anglers have been catching numerous brown trout of 18 inches or more in length, including one that was 26 inches, and rainbows are also biting nicely.

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

Lake Conway
For the most up-to-date lake level, visit the U.S. Geological Survey’s Lake Conway water level site.

(updated 4-18-2024) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said fishing was about a carbon copy of what it’s been lately. Crappie are still being caught around the Highway 89 bridge and at Gold Creek. Minnows and jigs have both worked, and white/chartreuse has been the best color for your soft-plastics. 

Catfish continue biting well on night crawlers, and last week they were going after liver and shad. The Highway 89 bridge area seems to be the hot spot.

Bass are biting well on chatterbaits and crankbaits. Soft plastic crawdads have also worked well. Anglers continue catching a lot of bream. The redear are already moving up and biting very well on redworms and crickets. Bluegills are biting well on redworms and waxworms. 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 and bream.

Remember, the AGFC is hosting a cleanup from April 18-21. Trash bags, reusable mesh bags and other items to help with trash pickup are available at six of the accesses to the lake. Visit to learn more and participate. 


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 4-11-2024) Mike Winkler of Little Red River Fly Fishing Trips/Little Red River Fly Guides (501-507-3688) said the lake just hit its power pool level, and Army Corps of Engineers have been running one unit 24/7 to lower the water levels. Southwestern Power Administration projected releases, but didn’t execute any water runs. Keep an eye out for the generation schedule this week to plan your fishing trips accordingly.

Things are looking up here on the Little Red. The caddis hatch is in full swing, and the fish are loving it. Try using a Guide’s Choice Hare’s Ear or a soft hackle PheasantTail nymph under an indicator, adjusting the depth based on river levels.
The streamer bite is on fire! Opt for an 8-weight fly rod with a 330 grain sink line. Double Deceivers and Peanut Envy flies are doing the trick, especially in yellow and brown or olive and yellow colors.

(updated 4-11-2024) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said Thursday the Little Red has been fishing really well of late. Rooster Tails, Rapala Countdowns and Maribou Jigs each have been bringing them in in good numbers. Also, a pink or white Trout Magnet will be a good call.

Wading is possible, you just have to pay attention to the generation schedule (see sources linked above). Pick and choose when they are running water.


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 4-11-2024) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level is 462.13  feet, 0.09 feet above normal pool for this time of year, the shad spawn is happening now over some portions of the lake. Some of our fish have spawned, but a lot haven’t. Many will spawn with next week’s full moon, so be ready. Catch rates for this time of year are really good; just stay with same programs. Crappie are roaming, holding to pole timber or in brush piles, in all places they are suspended. They can be found anywhere from 4 feet down to 40 feet. Use live bait, jigs, crankbaits or Beetle Spins for best results. Black bass are good. Most are shallow, but there are still plenty out to 40 feet deep in creek channel guts, on main lake points or secondary points. Use an Alabama rig, Carolina-rigged or Texas-rigged lizard, jerkbait, football head jig or crankbait around the shad or spawning areas. A few topwater bass also have been found. Walleye are moving out of the rivers and fattening up on staging areas toward the lake. Drag a nightcrawler or minnow-tipped jig along points and flats or you can troll a crankbait or work a jigging spoon around schools of bait you find on your sonar. Catfish are hanging out on secondary points around and under baitfish or up rivers and creeks very shallow eating heavily as they get ready for their early summer spawn. No report on bream. Hybrids and white bass are gorging like the other species, when you find them just about any spoon, tailspinner or blade bait will work. Also try swim baits, hair jigs and in-line spinners. Most of the hybrids and whites are sitting in 25-50 feet of water. 

(updated 4-11-2024) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood says both the bass fishing and crappie fishing have been very good in the past week. Anglers are using various approaches for bass – a Carolina rig and a jig are both being favored. On windier banks, a Chatterbait or spinnerbait have been working. Anglers also have been catching them off a floating worm up shallow. Anything in a bright color — Bubble Gum and Merthiolate are popular now — will get their attention. Also, anglers report catching a few on jerkbaits still.

Crappie fishing has been good using a little Roadrunner or a Fin Spin in one-eighth ounce or quarter ounce. Anglers have also been catching crappie up shallow around buckbrush or on standing timber in about 15 feet of water.
Water clarity up the lake is stained, but in the lower end it is really clear, they say.


Harris Brake Lake
(updated 4-18-2024) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) said the pollen has given the water a very yellow tint. Water temprature has really risen in the last week. On Thursday it was 73 degrees. The catfish have responded very well and one angler caught 10 in a few hours during the morning on nightcrawlers in shallow water on the opposite end of the dam from the resort. Night fishing for catfish has also been very good. Largemouth bass are biting well on soft plastic worms and crankbaits fished around the shallow areas near the shoreline. Some bream are biting on crickets or redworms. Crappie are still slow for this time of year. 


Lake Overcup
(updated 4-11-2024) John “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Landing off Arkansas Highway 9 said water level is up about 1.5 feet, while clarity is good. Surface temperature is around 61 degrees. Black bass are in the shallow water trying to spawn. Bream are slow but should pick up with warmer weather. Catfish are being caught on yo-yos and trotlines baited with bass minnows. Crappie are still being caught but they are still moving around, and some males are in shallow water. It should all pick up with warmer and stable temperatures. 

(updated 4-18-2024) Lacey Williams at Lakeview Landing on Arkansas Highway 95 (501-252-1437) had no report.


Brewer Lake
(update 4-18-2024) David Hall at Dad’s Bait Shop (501-289-2210), a 24/7 self-serve bait shop at the lake, had no new reports.


Lake Maumelle
(updated 4-18-2024) WestRock Landing in Roland (501-658-5598) reported that their boat ramp and access to Lake Maumelle was closed most of the week last week so that CAW can perform treatment on hydrilla. As of Thursday April 18, the lake is again open to boating. Prior to the closure, the water temperature was 64-66 degrees in most areas. The largemouth bass bite is slow. Males can be found shallow in 2-8 feet of water and caught on wacky-rigged stickbaits, while females are being found deeper (10-15 feet deep). Jigs, Alabama rigs, crankbaits, swimbaits are reportedly working. Spotted bass (Kentucky bass) also are slow. A few have been found around brush in 8-12 feet as well as in shallow water. Try jigs or shaky heads.

White bass are slow. No reports this week. Try using twister tails.

Crappie are slow; try using jigs and minnows. Bream are slow. Try using crickets and worms. Catfish are slow. Small bream, liver and worms might get some action.

(updated 4-4-2024) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood reports that crappie are spawning and anglers can catch them around the brush piles in 10 feet of water. Try a one-eighth-ounce jighead with a white and chartreuse Crappie Magnet.


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 4-11-2024) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said, “We didn’t get enough rain to mess the water up. It’s still clear and normal. The bass are going nuts.” Bass, both spotted bass and largemouths, are biting spinnerbaits, crankbaits, worms, “about anything you throw out there.” Anglers are catching more Kentucky bass (spots) than largemouths, which have been mostly small of late, he said. The bite is in 2-3 feet of water. They appear to be staging and spawning.

Crappie are so-so. Anglers are catching a few in about 3 feet of water, but the crappie do not appear to have moved shallower on the nests, Ray said. Use jigs or minnows.

He’s heard no reports on catfish or white bass, and the bream are fair. “You can always catch bream here,” he said.


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 4-11-2024) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said the fishing is “really, really good” for bass. Most of the good activity is on the main river and backwaters now. Bass are mostly being caught on black and blue jigs and also a Texas-rigged creature in Junebug or black/blue colors. A wide variety of creature baits are working, they add. Also, bass have been hitting a bluegill-colored frog in the early morning or early evenings as well as midday if it’s cloudy. And a black buzzbait has also been good anywhere on the river mostly in the early mornings or late evenings.

Crappie have been hit or miss with the changing river flow. Most crappie are being caught between the main river and backwaters on a black/chartreuse or white/chartreuse crappie jig. The water level has been fluctuating, which slows the bite (though it does not bother the bass bite now).

The water clarity is stained to muddy in most places. 


Peckerwood Lake
(updated 4-4-2024) Donna Mulherin at Herman’s Landing (501-626-6899) reports that anglers are finding the fish good when they can fish — she says the wind has made it difficult this week. THe crappie are biting both on poles and on the yo-yos. Crappie are moving up into the bushes and treelines, making it conducive for the folks setting yo-yos with minnows. Jigs are also working for the anglers.

Catfishing is fair. Hot dogs are the preferred bait at Peckerwood Lake, and minnows are being used. Black bass are good; like the crappie, the yo-yos hung around the treeline and bushes are catching some.

Water temperature earlier in the week was in the 50s. The clarity is dingy and the water level is at normal pool.


North Arkansas

White River
(updated 4-18-2024) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said when the early morning mist is on the river, it’s a perfect time to lay a line on the water and wait for that first tug. The river level has returned to a fairly consistent flow of less than one generator (2,000 cfs). Bull Shoals Lake is currently 2 feet below power pool at 657.73 msl. Try any rainbow bait, especially the Mepps spinner or the silver Blue Fox both with the rainbow blade — they’re attracting a lot of attention since the recent rain. Turn to the old faithful baits: the red-gold Thomas Buoyant Spoon caused a splash this past week, and the ever-successful shrimp/PowerBait brought in rainbows left and right.  Keep your bait near the bottom and expect the bite nearer the bank. If you’re not having any luck, try something different right away; change up the color you’re using or even just reverse the order. The catch has been especially good this past week for browns. Although most were not officially ‘trophies’, there were many that fell just an inch or two short of the 24-inch requirement to earn a catch-and-release pin. The bait of choice was, again, sculpins, but crawdads are crawling out of the mud and adding to the mix. Low-water times have been great for fly-fishers with many wading opportunities opening up.  Can’t miss with a silver/red midge. You’ll see hatches most every day with these sunny afternoons. Don’t forget: the river level can change fast, so keep an eye on the water level if wade fishing.

(updated 4-18-2024) Dave McCulley, owner of Jenkins Fishing Service in Calico Rock, said they’’ve seen clear water with depths as high as 7 feet on Saturday and Monday and depths as low as 4 feet Tuesday and Wednesday morning. A lot of moss, sticks and limbs were in the water when it came up. This week the go-to bait has been Uncommon Baits UV eggs in neo pink or bright orange with shrimp and silver in-line spinners. During lower water, anglers saw a lot of success with ¼-ounce gold spoons or CD5 Rapala Countdowns in rainbow trout color. Fishing with dark-colored jigs (black, olive or brown with a splash of additional color) resulted in some nice rainbows and brown trout, including a beautiful 28.25-inch brown.  The brown trout bite continues to be going strong. This week trout biologist Kent Coffey used the AGFC stocking raft to stock 4800 rainbow trout between the Calico Rock boat ramp and the Round Bottom boat ramp. The stocking included many average 11-inch trout as well as some larger fish than normal.


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 4-18-2024) Fishing guide Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake said reports the lake level is 657 msl. Surface water temps are around 61 degrees, depending on where you are at. Bass are in pre-spawn, spawn and a few are in post-spawn already. On cloudy days, focus on crankbaits, chatterbaits and other power-fishing techniques. Cover a lot of water and be sure to hit windblown transition banks near creek channel swings. If it’s calm and sunny, slow down and fish swings, points and secondary points with Jewel peewee jigs, green pumpkin tubes, Carolina rigs, shakey heads and Ned rigs. In clear water keep the boat out deep (25-30 feet) and slow down. In dirty water you can get real shallow if it’s warm. The shad balls are definitely broken up, so open water anglers should pay attention and cast 2.8 swimbaits and flukes in white or natural shad colors. 

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 4-18-2024) Southernwalleye Guide Service reports that walleyes are getting more active during daylight hours. Night fishing also is good, especially the smaller male walleye on main lake points and secondary points on 5-inch 110 style jerkbaits. Stickbaits or shad-style cranks trolled just before dark and just after daybreak in 8 to 14 feet of water are working as well. Slide out to deeper water (20-40 feet) after daylight. If open-water trolling for suspended fish, find shad and try trolling from 25-40 feet deep over 80 feet of water with Berkley no. 9 flicker minnows or no. 7 flicker Shads. Troll over the old river channel at 1.2 to 1.8 mph, and that should put some fish in the boat.

(updated 4-18-2024) Crappie 101 Guide Service reports crappie are mostly staged on shallow brush now and the males are blackening up nicely. Swimming a 1/16- or 1/8-ounce jig with a small fry bait or the Tater Baits Thump Minnow right over top of the brush has been working as well as minnows and bobbers.


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

(updated 4-18-2024) Steven “Scuba Steve” Street at Blackburn’s Resort and Boat Rental said the lake level is 553.67. They have been running the one operable generator for about 8-hours in a 24-hour period and have been very reluctant to drop the level below the top of the power pool of 553.75. The White River at Newport is 6.89 feet and very low indicating not much water is being released into the White River anywhere. There is pollen all over the lake and it looks stained, but just a couple of feet below the surface it is very clear. The surface water temperature was 66 on the main lake and 68 in the back of Blackburns Creek. There are a lot of crappie under the shallower docks back in the creeks. There have been reports of a shad spawn but I have not seen any of it quite yet. It usually happens in 70-degree water. Bass are coming up in the mornings making some people think the shad spawn is on. Norfork Lake overall is in excellent condition and at a good level and fishing is getting better every day. Black Bass. Walleye and Crappie are the best right now. White Bass are picking up nicely. Top-water stripers will be good very soon. It is an exciting time. 

(updated 4-4-2024) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said that Tuesday was a fun morning of fishing on Norfork Lake. “I waited until the radar was clear of thunderstorms and made it out on the lake at around 4 a.m. The light rain was not over, but there was no thunder or lightning in the area anymore. Warm weather and virtually no wind — just how I like it when I am fishing in the dark. I started on a main lake point on the shallow side of the lake. I had caught several short walleyes in this area yesterday morning. This morning nothing was happening so I moved across the lake close to where the channel was swinging into a small cut in the rocks. I was sitting in more than 60 feet of water. I was casting in toward the shoreline using a 3.5-inch Paddle Tail Swimbait in a Sexy Shad color pattern on a three-eighth-ounce chartreuse jighead. I started counting down 3-4 seconds and it did not take long to land three nice walleyes. I could see fish down at about 30-40 feet on my LiveScope. I tried jigging for them with a Tater Shad but they would look and then swim away. I switched to casting my swimbait and counting down 7-8 seconds. The white bass hit this bait with each cast. It was starting to get light out and I had not found any striped bass yet. I headed back into a creek where I was fishing last week. I was near a deepwater channel swing next to a point. There were striped bass and white bass in the area 30-60 feet down. I managed to land one striped bass and more white bass. The stripers were being finicky and swam up to my Tater Shad quickly, then stopped and swam away. 

“LiveScope is amazing! You can actually see these fish and what they are doing. It can get a little frustrating to see the fish looking at my bait and not taking it (lol). 

“I had to be back at the resort by 8:30 so I headed home at about 8 a.m. I was fishing the mid-lake area for my third spot. The main lake surface water temp was 58-60 degrees and the creek was slightly above 60 degrees. The lake continues its slow, steady fall and sits at 554.23 feet msl. The lake is clearing up nicely.
“I ended up cleaning the walleye, striper and half of the white bass that I caught (Tuesday). One of my workers was doing some painting and wanted some fish. I gave him a couple of gallon-sized zip-seal bags stuffed full of fillets.”
Lou says they have cabins available throughout the spring and summer. “Give us a call to make your fishing and/or family vacation plans, 870-492-5113. Happy fishing and enjoy Norfork Lake.”

Lou posts fishing reports almost every day to his blog on the Hummingbird Hideaway Resort webpage.


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 4-18-2024) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) said Beaver lake is sitting near normal level. The water temperature is in the low 60s and the water clarity is stained from Neil’s Bluff down to Hickory. It clears up as you go farther downlake. Stripers have been off one day and on another.  Places to look are from Horseshoe up to Camp War Eagle and from there up to Neil’s Bluff. Crappie are scattered from the shallow backs of coves to suspended in 30 feet of water. Some spawned out female crappie have already been caught, but the spawn should be in full swing this week and next. White bass are up in the river arms, spawning. Walleye are done spawning, but a few males are still in spawning areas to target.

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


Beaver Tailwater
(updated 4-11-2024) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) says there has been no change in the fishing from recent weeks. The catch has been off and on with the up-and-down water temperature, which lately has been around 50 degrees, as well as with light water releases from Beaver Dam.

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. Austin also reports catching a few white bass here and there, but has not got into any big schools of them. Pulling Flicker Shads or Shad Raps has produced the best with the white bass, he added. Follow Austin’s fishing Facebook page (Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service) for updates.


Lake Fayetteville
(updated 4-11-2024) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) says anglers catching a lot of crappie and white bass. They are using jigs, worms and minnows for both species. The crappie catches are still “pretty little.” They report that more anglers are getting out now, though.


Lake Sequoyah
(updated 4-11-2024) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) had no report.


Northeast Arkansas

Lake Charles
(updated 4-18-2024) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) said surface water temperature is around 62 degrees and the water level is normal.

Bream are biting fairly well on worms, crickets and micro jigs. They’ve slowed a bit since last week, but warmer weather may have them picking up again soon. Crappie are biting well on minnows and tube jigs. The crappie are up shallow and anglers are catching them best in the mornings. With the murky water you normally find at Lake Charles, you can’t go wrong with black/chartruese. Black bass are fair on dark-colored soft plastic worms. Catfishing was good with worms, minnows and goldfish. 


Lake Poinsett
(updated 4-11-2024) Jonathan Wagner at Lake Poinsett State Park said Lake Poinsett has been busy recently. Numerous anglers have reported catching good-sized bream and crappie. One angler, fishing from a kayak in one of the lake’s coves, reported catching a 10- to 12-inch crappie using minnows. Minnows still seem to be the preferred bait of choice for crappie, though anglers have said they have had luck with various artificial baits. Bream seem to be hitting on crickets and the redworms, according to visitors to the state park. They are primarily bank fishing from the park shoreline and at the AGFC fishing pier. Bass and catfish have not been reported being caught in large numbers as of yet. The state park visitor center has been selling a lot of white-colored lures and jigs as of late, possibly indicating a trend amongst anglers as a favored bait color for the lake. 


Crown Lake
(updated 4-18-2024) Box Hound Marina (870-670-4496) had no new reports. Their hours through April are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.


Spring River
(updated 4-18-2024) Mark Crawford with (870-955-8300) said Water levels are low at 220 cfs and water clarity is clear. Lack of rain has the river very low, creating some great hopper/dropper action, and possible dry fly action in the evenings. Use lighter tippet and smaller nymphs on tough days given the clear water we’re seeing. Stocking for the summer season has ramped up with really nice-sized rainbows being stocked at all locations. All of the campgrounds are open now, offering more wade-in options. This is the time to fish before the summer crowd starts up. It’s a great time to chase smallmouth, but they will start spawning soon. The river is looking great; it’s just getting really low and warm too early in the year. River conditions can change with springtime thunderstorms.  Always check the blog for the latest river conditions on the Spring River on our website at


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.

(updated 4-4-2024) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) in Batesville said that due to so much rain and the river being so high that anglers are staying away from the water, they had no reports.


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 4-11-2024) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team had no report this week, but its most recent report noted the water temperature was in the mid-60s, about where it has been for a few weeks. Cleanest water usually is in backwaters and Lake Langhofer. Black bass were biting fairly well recently on bladed jigs, spinnerbaits, shallow-diving crankbaits, lipless crankbaits and creature baits/jigs around typical prespawn rocky banks and wooden cover. Some bass were 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 4-18-2024) Teresa Atchley at Cane Creek State Park (870-628-4714) said quite a few anglers are visiting the lake lately. Most are stopping by the state park buying red worms and nightcrawlers, looking for catfish and bream. Minnows have been popular for the crappie. A few largemouth bass have been caught near the camper dock as well. 


Lake Monticello
(updated 4-18-2024) All anglers are reminded that bass, crappie, catfish and bream fishing on the lake is strictly catch-and-release. All fish of these species must be immediately returned to the water. 


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 4-11-2024) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said Millwood is back on a slow drop with water level 5 inches conservation pool at 259.4 ft msl; The dam is releasing 7,000 CFS.  A lot of broken debris, logs, limbs, grass mats, and timber floaters remain in Little River. Use extreme caution navigating Little River this week with scattered debris fields from Yarborough Landing all the way to White Cliffs and Wilton Landing. Water surface temperatures range from 65 degrees early to 72 degrees later in the day along Little River this week. A few main lake river channel buoys may be out of channel from recent high wind, or not yet replaced. Clarity along Little River muddy this week, but improving daily with falling pool elevation. River clarity ranges 5-8 inches of visibility depending on location. Clarity in oxbows, will vary widely from mud lines pushing into the oxbows and heavy stained to fair visibility from 5-15 inches, and we observed around 1-2 feet visibility in a few protected areas like McGuire Oxbow, away from river current Largemouth Bass have improved over the past week. Several large female bass between 6-9 lbs. each have recently been caught. The males and females continue moving in bedding areas and building beds near 1-5 feet of depth on bedding flats. The best activity is 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 Shads, plastic lizards, Brush Hogs, tubes and spinnerbaits will draw a reaction in 2-6 feet of water. Bill Lewis crankbaits like the MR-6, and Echo 1.75, and SB-57 MDJ crankbaits were all getting random reaction bites over the past couple weeks from these active roaming Bass in deeper sections of creek channels or drops from the flats into 8-12 feet. The best responses here during the heat of the afternoon, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.  Beavers, creature baits, and Zoom Baby Brush Hogs have been taking some decent 14-17 inch male bass roaming flats in the clearer sections of Oxbows away from river current. With the water temps continuing to warm into mid 60s the males are active, cruising, and a few beds are being seen. Where you find shallow 5-8 foot depth flats with stumps can find a few decent 2-3 lb. male bass roaming on warm afternoons.   Red Slough and South Hickory golf course pockets are warming up as well and gave up some nice 16-19 inch fish late last week on chatterbaits, spinnerbaits and lizards around cypress tree knees. The best colors for chatterbaits and spinnerbaits have been Millwood Mayhem Bream, fire craw, and firetiger.  Best depth zones we are targeting are cypress tree knees from 6-10 feet, with 12-15 feet of depth nearby.  White bass continue roaming and breaking into various schools moving down Little River and staging at mouths of the oxbows and creek dumps. Over the past couple weeks the White bass have begun to scatter and move back down Little River from the spawning pockets and rocks near Patterson Shoals above AR highway 71.  Good numbers can still be caught near Brown’s Slough and Black’s Branch and Highway 71 Bridge.  Heavy thumping ¾- and 1-oz. 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 are working well. 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 has continually improved over the past few weeks with water clarity improving in many locations. Planted brush piles in Pugh Slough, Horseshoe, Bee Lake, and Millwood State Park, gave up some nice 2 lb. slabs over the past couple weeks.  Jigs tipped with a minnow, in planted brush piles 10-16 feet of depth are working well Best colors are red/white, electric chicken smoke/chartruese tail. No report on bream or catfish


Lake Columbia
(updated 4-11-2024) Lake Erling Guide Service (870-904-8546) near here said they heard reports that anglers were catching a lot of bass last week, and crappie were biting in about 12 feet of water.


Lake Erling
(updated 4-11-2024) Lake Erling Guide Service (870-904-8546) said crappie are biting “really good. We are catching a lot of fish.” They are catching a few on the bank and a few out in deeper water. Up close to the bank, the go-to bait is minnows. From the areas that are 10 feet and deeper, the bite is on jigs. Water is up high because of all the rain, and the water clarity is getting a little dingy, but the fish are still biting. Other anglers are catching a lot of catfish on noodles with minnows or cut bait. No reports on bass. Bream were biting on crickets before the rainfall. What’s ahead is up in the air, they said. Before the rain, water temperature was in the 64-65 degree range. No report on temperature after the rain but they are sure it cooled it off a bit.

Also check out Friends of Lake Erling on Facebook for more fishing information on the lake and photos, too.


Lake Greeson Tailwater
For the most updated Narrows Dam generation schedule from SWEPCO, click here.


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

No new reports.


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

(updated 4-18-2024) John Duncan of YoYo Guide Service at Iron Mountain Marina says the rain has begun to fill the lake back up and it is at 407.07 as of Wednesday. Water temperature is in the 60s on most of the lake, and the water is relatively clean, considering the amount of rain that has occurred. Crappie have been trying to go shallow to spawn, but the yo-yo effect of falling and rising lake levels has made it difficult to stay on top of. This time of year, start in Brushy Creek or Point Cedar for the early spawners, then move through Shouse Ford, Alpine, Lennox Marcus and Arlie Moore as the water temperature rises. Fish near shallow brush with your minnow set about 6 inches from the bottom. Start on the north bank and look for the fish along the edges o the brush, slowly working your way shallower. When you find one crappie, you’ve likely found several. Black/chartreuse jigs are always a staple for crappie fishing in addition to a lip-hooked minnow. Keep your lures at 1/16-ounce if the wind will allow. Spotted bass are all over the lake and are biting well on minnow-imitating lures like shallow-running cranbaits and even some topwater lures. 

(updated 4-18-2024) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) said the crappie and black bass are in full-on spawn mode. Find the fish in brushpiles close to the spawning flats and you’ll be able to catch them coming and going. Jigs and minnows fished 8 to 11 feet deep will work well. 

(updated 4-18-2024) 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 the water is still a foot low. The largemouth bass are up spawning right now, and many on the north side of the lake are nearly finished up. Stick to the south side of the lake and look for beds in shallow water. 


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
(update 4-18-2024) The fisheries team in the AGFC Camden Regional Office just wrapped up their bass surveys on the lake and said many large fish are still up shallow in the evenings. During their surveys, they pulled up a 12-lb. bass and an 8-lb. bass from the upper lake and another healthy 8 pounder from the lower lake. Click here for their report.


West-Central Arkansas

Lake Atkins
(updated 4-18-2024) Reba’s Marina Bait & RV Park @ Lucky Landing (479-237-5218), previously known as Lucky Landing Marina, is under the new ownership of businessmen Kevin Pierce of Paragrould, who has relocated to the area.
Last Friday’s conditions were 72 degrees ambient temperature with a surface water temp of 65.1 degrees, perfect for bass and crappie fishing. Extremely windy conditions Thursday led to just one brave soul fishing about an hour before giving up. The bait shop has live bait (bass, crappie, black salties, nightcrawlers, redworms, shad, crickets and more in stock, along with the latest and greatest lures. They also feature the Bonefish Bucket Eatery food trailer for hungry visitors/anglers (open 8 a.m.-5 p.m.).

They have a Facebook page with regular updates. Reba’s will be hosting a first (and planned for annual) youth fishing tournament on Monday, May 27 (Memorial Day), from 9 a.m.-noon. Signup sheets at Reba’s and Sun Kissed Tanning. Top three winners will receive big prizes: First place, a bicycle; second place, fishing pole; third place, tackle box with lures and more. Every child who signs up will receive a T-shirt. The event is open to 13 years old and younger.


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

(updated 4-18-2024) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports  water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 61 degrees and is clear. Both lakes Hamilton and Catherine have been refilled and are now at normal pool until mid-November. Flows have been scheduled in the late afternoon, which has given boaters and bank fishermen the opportunity to fish. Before fishing below a hydro-electric dam, it is a good idea to check the weekly generation schedules and plan your outings accordingly. Fly-fishermen can still wade to areas that hold good numbers of trout and can 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 wax or meal worms will catch rainbows cast with a small bobber or fished just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Boaters can anchor in and around sand bars and rock structure and catch trout using small in-line spinners such as a Rooster Tail or Mepps spinner in brown or silver. Trolling can be effective against the current with the normal water level. Rainbow trout fishing will dominate the area for months to come but are not be the only gamefish available to target. The walleye spawn is underway on Lake Catherine as male walleye have migrated into the tailrace, and the larger females will be there soon. 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. Most walleye will 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 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. 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. 


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

(updated 4-4-2024) Seth Boone, superintendent at Lake Dardanelle State Park (479-890-7474), reported that Lake Dardanelle looks to be entering the spring season strongly with white bass and crappie biting well on live bait such as minnows. Anglers haven’t shared much on the black bass, but catfish seem to be doing OK on chicken liver close to sunset or early evening. 


Lake Hamilton
(updated 4-18-2024) 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  

(updated 4-18-2024) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) said the crappie and black bass are in full-on spawn mode. Find the fish in brushpiles close to the spawning flats and you’ll be able to catch them coming and going. Jigs and minnows fished 8 to 11 feet deep will work well. 


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), 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 4-18-2024) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out-of-state) said black bass are good. Try a topwater bait near main lake and secondary points. Carolina-rigged craws or lizards are still producing, and the floating worm bite is good. Walleye are biting well on drop-shotted green pumpkin soft plastics. Stripers are biting very well on the west end of the lake. Alabama rigs, live shad and C-10 Redfins are all working well. Bream are good and being caught on crickets and worms in the 15- to 25-foot range. Crappie are picking up. They are still shallow and can be targeted on shallow brush and cover with small jigs or minnows Emerald shiner jig colors are always a good bet on Ouachita. Jugs and trotlines are producing quality catfish catches over main lake points with live or cut bait.

Water temperature is ranging 61-66 degrees. The water clarity is getting better and the lake level is 576.89 feet msl. Call the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717, or Chris Darby, 870-867-7822) for more information.

(updated 4-18-2024) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) said the crappie and black bass are in full-on spawn mode. Find the fish in brushpiles close to the spawning flats and you’ll be able to catch them coming and going. Jigs and minnows fished 8 to 11 feet deep will work well. 

(updated 4-18-2024) 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 Ouachita is still a foot below full pool. Last weekend’s Trader Bill’s tournament showed out with many fish at the 8-pound mark and a 19+ lb. first-place bag. The best tactic is to focus on the south side of the lake and look for fish on the backside of the spawn. There are still a lot of fish on the beds, so sight fishing is in full swing for bass


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.

(updated 4-18-2023) Sheila Ferrebee, owner of Carter Cove Bait-N-More (479-272-4025) near Plainview had no new report.  


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 4-18-2024) The AGFC’s Wil Hafner at Cook’s Lake Nature Center (501-404-2321) said the nice weather has been attracting more anglers to Cook’s Lake but the bite has still been rather slow. Despite the major rains, the lake is at a perfect level and holding steady. The water temperatures are in the low 70s, causing the crappie to move shallow on to the cypress trees with the bass not being far behind. If conditions hold steady, the bream should be moving shallow by this time next month.
Cook’s Lake is nestled in the heart of the Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge near Arkansas County. This fertile oxbow has slab crappie, black bass, bream and every species of catfish and receives very little fishing pressure due to being used only for education purposes and youth and mobility-impaired fishing. 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 Saturday 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 4-18-2024) Kent Williams of Oxbow Guide Service (870-278-7978) said the water temperature continues to fluctuate with the passing cold fronts. Last Friday, surface temperatures were 59.5-61.5 and Monday they were 64. The biggest story with the Crappie report is the wind. Southwest winds most days have made boat control difficult to stay on the fish. Friday, we caught crappie in 24 feet of water in the 10-14 foot range with a mixture of male and female fish. Monday fish were in 3-7 feet of water and those were predominantly males. Blue/white and olive/brown jigs did well both days. The water is still low, so look for spawning fish in the not-so-common areas in the next few weeks. No report on largemouth bass. Catfishing has been good for people setting limb lines and yo-yos at night baited with nightcrawlers. No report on bream


Bear Creek Lake/Storm Creek Lake
(updated 8-3-2022) Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) had no new reports.


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

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